Bergman's Bruisers

A Look Into My Life Of Raising Four Rough
And Tumbly Boys

Thursday, December 31, 2009

After The Crash

My Aunt Patti sent me this picture with the subject title 'after the crash'.  The guys all giving a big thumbs up that everyone was a-okay. Harrison is sitting in front of Noah on the four-wheeler. Too many of my loved ones are in this picture for me to feel fine about the caption reading 'after the crash.'  The details I've been given are intentionally vague. Whatever did happen, it was decided that Noah (the 10 year-old) should be the designated  driver.  Something about that seems a little odd.....

Harrison,The Dictator

Steve told Harrison at dinner they would go to Costco later in the evening.  When it came time to go Steve asked me to come along.  Harrison immediately objected saying, "No, Mommy, you stay here."  I asked why I needed to stay, he replied, "You stay here and do the dishes." 

I think Harrison, in his four short years, has already learned his Dad is 'Disneyland Dad' and with enough persuasion he can get whatever he long as I'm kept out of the picture!

But to tell me I needed to do the dishes??  I'm going to have to push up the date for our talk about sexism.

**I did stay home (because I wanted to!) and Steve took both kids to the store and it was fabulous!  I did not do the dishes, but instead took a long shower and watched t.v.--all by myself.**

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Can You Supersize That, Please?

    Steve got one of these for Christmas. I lovingly refer to Steve's fingers as 'sausages'-- his hands are huge, he wears a size 15 ring.  My brother, Justin, teased him that he needed to find an app that super-sizes the buttons on the screen. 

My Uncle Mark works for UPS, while home on his lunch break we made Steve pose with his UPS package-signer-thingy.  This would be the perfect size iphone for my Stevey!

We laughed a lot more than he did. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Christmas From The Buckeye State

After a tedious 16-hour drive to Ohio we embarked upon 5 days of never-ending family fun! Gavin had his pick of cousins to hold him and tend to his every need.  He was an equal opportunity baby because he would change his mind as to who was his 'flavor of the hour.'  Harrison loved all the boys to play with and especially loved Cameron (Cramden as he called him) always wanting to know his whereabouts and what he was doing.  Cramden was very kind to his 4 year-old shadow.  Christmas Eve was when we all gathered to take this picture, believe it or not there are a couple people missing from this photo!  My Grandpa, a man of few words, was overheard commenting how all of this started with him and my Grandma. 

Can you believe we were able to get all these people together to pose for this picture?  Finding Steve in this picture is like 'Where's Waldo?' He was our photog for the night and he had to run into the picture before the timer went off.  No one was able to do a quality check and make sure his face was visible.  Can you find him?

 Aunt Pat was willing to take loving from Harrison however he would give it.  She went to far as to act interested in a video game.  Why are boys so stingy with their affection?


WWE has nothing on these boys and their wrestling skills!  This was a constant activity, it became sorta like background noise. 

Harrison and Gavin had so much fun in the snow!  Gavin loved to walk and watch the snow crunch under his feet and Harrison loved sledding down the hills. Not captured in pictures is Uncle Justin's big crash on a snowboard resulting in the demise of his worn-everyday-Levi-Strauss.  Justin said even Grandma's sewing skills wouldn't be able to bring the jeans back from the dead.  

When I'm older and look through the rear view mirror of my life this Christmas will come to mind.  I'm thankful for my family and the blessings I've been given.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Baa, Baa Black Sheep

I think we can safely cross thespian off of future possibilities for Harrison. He had a very, very simple role for the Christmas play at school- a sheep. One a child really couldn't mess up, unless, of course, you're Harrison. Some days Harrison would participate, but mostly he would throw his hat off and say 'poopy' instead of 'baa, baa.' Even the morning of the play he didn't want to be a good sheep and said he was not going to the play. I pulled out all the stops and warned him that Santa Claus would be watching him-oh, yeah, I went there.

But he did great! A video for your viewing pleasure.
I thought Ms. Beaty was kidding when she said she was making him the 'black sheep'

G-Jo said, "look, he's the lead sheep! He sooo could've had the role of the cow!"

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Birthday Extravaganza

We decided not to have a big birthday party for Harrison this year. I'm not sure how it happened, but in hindsight a big birthday would have been smaller than the four-day-never-ending-small parties that took place. It started with a visit from Granddad (my dad), we went to the Ice at the Gaylord Hotel. The provided parkas were no match for the nine degrees they had to keep the place to maintain the ice sculptures.

'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' was the Ice theme. These sculptures are hand carved out of ice.

My big 4 year-old

Who says Geedge doesn't look like us??

I know, I get a little too animated sometimes with my excitement.

We had a dinner feast of lobster ('mobster' as Harrison calls it) This is Uncle Alex showing the boys the mobsters strength being able to hold a chopstick. The boys wanted to watch, but only at a distance. The table-mates at preschool Monday morning were captivated with Harrison's tales of mobster eating. ;)

A cute little cake for the birthday boys. Dad objected that he's really somewhere still on the hill.

After a robust dinner the birthday boys enjoyed some presents.

Gavin loves his pop-up book and even more having his Uncle Alex read it to him. Over and over.

No, I don't have a mouth full of food. This is an example of procrastination biting me in the toosh. This started as a cavity, untreated, it grew into needing a root canal, still untreated it grew into a raging infection in need of antibiotics STAT. I took more pain medication this weekend than with either of my c-sections. A 'toothache' isn't a strong enough word for this pain.

On Monday at preschool the kids feasted on pizza and cupcakes. Harrison picked the cupcake with 'H' on it. For Harrison, of course.

Takin' it way back and having a McDonald's party. It was just how I remembered them; Good fries, a yummy cake in a flimsy tin, and cute little party favors. Every child should have one of these parties in their memory bank.

The actual day of Harrison's birth we celebrated as a family with dinner at Sonic (Harrison's choice) and games at Chuck-E-Cheeses. This was definitely for my boy because both places are last on my fun list.

Harrison's birthday extravaganza ended with a dinner date with G-Jo on Tuesday. His birthday week was fun, though exhausting, for us all.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Down But Not Out

Will a stinkin' computer virus keep me from blogging?


Will 29 computer viruses keep me from blogging?

Nada. But, it may slow me down a bit.

I'm down but not out.

Stick with me, there's more to come later. G.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Big Boy

"You're finally going to meet a man you can't live without" were words written in a card given to me from my friend, Alissa, before you were born. Harrison, my boy, you are four years old today. I had no idea then how meaningful so words would be to me now. You bring such happiness and entertainment to our lives. You are inquisitive, needing to know where everything comes from, and 'who brought you this?', and 'where did you get that?'. Your attention to detail is impressive, you know the cars our friends and family drive and will point them out on the road. You even notice the Toyota symbol from Daddy's car and will find it on other Toyota's. You are 'Team Mom' making Daddy crazy with insisting I'm consulted before decisions are made. You love all music and learning the words to songs (although you've inherited your Dad's knack of making up your own lyrics). You always ask what the song is called and who's the singer. You love your family and we especially love you. Happy birthday Butter Beany.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Pops!

My Dad and Harrison share a birthday. I know, could I be a better daughter.....the first grandchild and born on his Granddad's birthday?? My brother, Justin, said all I needed to do was name Harrison Kevin and I would have had it in the bag! Sometimes I even amaze myself.

My family loves 'Top 10 Lists' as they are concise and to the point. So, here's a shout-out to my Pops on his birthday. 'Top 10' quotes and/or life lessons taught to me from my Dad.

  1. My Dad was green long before it was a household name. One of my jobs as a kid was to separate and load the recycle in the car for Dad to drive it the closest recycling bin about 15 miles away. The man sported the same 'BK Knight' tennis shoes for 13 years.

  2. "You got to have crossroads in life. Never allow yourself to end up at life's intersection with only one way to turn."

  3. "If you're willing to wager your integrity on so little then what is it really worth?" One time I heard this after Dad watched me buying bulk candy and I ate one of the pieces before weighing the bag. I argued that the candy I ate couldn't cost more than five cents. He said it was concerning that my integrity was worth so little.

  4. Smith's aren't quitters (I know I'm technically not a Smith anymore, but it runs through my veins, right?)

  5. I won't raise a 'dumb female'. This required many of my high school weekends to be spent changing oil in our cars, rotating tires, and all the other 'honey-do's' on my Dad's list

  6. My pre-marriage talk: "Gretchy, Steve is the mighty ship and you're the little tug boat. Now, don't be discouraged by this, the tug boat is small but very strong. And with persistence and gentle nudging the mighty ship will go where the tug boat wants." Kid. You. Not. This was my pep talk from my Dad.

  7. "It doesn't matter if people are talkin' about you, as long as they're talkin'."

  8. 'Functional Christmas'- only stuff we needed, not wanted. One year for Christmas, my little brother, Alex had to write a 250-word essay explaining how a Superninentendo would be beneficial in his life.

  9. When filling up the family car with fuel (Dad never called gas gas, no matter how many times we told him it wasn't a rocket ship we were driving.) that I was rarely able to drive in high school, I had take note of the tripometer and figure the miles per gallon the tank had averaged. If this number deviated from the norm the car would then require a full one-over. Dad had a deep connection with the cars, a connection he said was necessary to keep the cars running smoothly.

  10. My Dad is not a very emotional man. Although he has grown softer over the past years, a childhood from a hard-nosed father and years of military life has polished him down to a nice, smooth stone. I have seen my Dad cry twice. The first when he dropped me off at college and the second when he gave me away on my wedding day. The life lesson I've learned from this is not to wait to tell your family how much they mean to you. I tell my Mom, Dad, brothers, and family that I love them every time we end a conversation. I love ya, Dad, I hope we have many more birthdays and 'Top 10' lists to share.

A 'Do-Over' Kind Of Day

You know those days when you just wish you could have a 'do-over'? I had one of those days recently, it went a little something like this:

I was meeting play group friends to see Polar Express at the Imax with the kids. It was freezing outside and the theater only let us wait in the foyer until promptly 10 a.m.

After much commotion of getting tickets and snacks we settled in to the movie with popcorn, M&M's, and a Sprite.

Actually, at some point during the movie, Geedge and I were snuggling and I got a little teary thinking about my boys and how much they mean to me. That is until......

Gavin has a sensitive gag reflex. I should've referenced this morsel of information as I turned him towards me to pat him on the back while he was choking on some not-intended-for-children-under-three popcorn. He upchucked his entire stomach contents (consisting mostly of milk, now curdled no less) all over me. From my shoulders to my thigh I was covered in vomit.

The usher guided us to the bathroom all the while saying "Oh my, my, my, oh, no, I'm so sorry."

While thankful I had brought a jacket with me, I was disappointed I chose my sleeveless vest because that it was I had to wear out of the theater with my shirt in a ball of barf.

Believe it or not, I still tried to make the most of my lemons and went to the museums gift shop and bought a t-shirt so we could continue onto lunch (a girls gotta eat, right??) The kids were awful at lunch, fidgeting and fussy.

When I got home I put Gavin in the tub. I thought I would join him so we could both wash the smell off that kept washing over us during lunch. As I was putting our clothes in a smelly pile I turned as saw Gavin pooping in the bathtub! Now, unfortunately, I have been faced with this before so I DID NOT make the same mistake of using toilet paper that instantly dissolves in water leaving you holding a turd with your bare hands. No, no,this time I was able to keep a barrier between myself and poop.

After a thorough tub cleaning and a shower (not enough time elapsed between poop in the bathtub and me sitting down) we went off to nap to wash away the terrible events of my morning.

A nice, lovely shirt before it was covered in vomit.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Iron Chef-Secret Ingredient Pumpkin

I have a hard time throwing good things away. I was looking at the three uncarved pumpkins wondering what I could do with them. Then it hit Iron Chef themed cook-off with the not-so-secret ingredient being pumpkin. After pumping it up to my family (who is always willing to participate in games and competitions) the competition was born! Some daring friends came over to be the judges and after little deliberation I was crowned winner of three out of the five categories! I must insert some humility here and admit that I did submit the most dishes to be judged so my odds of winning were much higher. Hey, I'm no dummy, I know how these games work.

The Display

The Judges

I Speak Tummy

Getting Harrison to eat is a daily challenge. While I certainly don't wish for my child to be 'rollie-pollie' I am always a little envious of the Mom's who have to push their child away from the table. Creativity and food go hand-in-hand in our house. Steve's favorite is to add a Superhero in front of any food to make it more enticing; Hulk chicken, Superman spaghetti, Batman stir-fry. This actually works, making Harrison think he could become these characters by simply eating their namesake's food. I, however, have a different approach.

Harrison thinks I can talk to his tummy. Only me. No one else.

He lifts his shirt and I press my ear to his tummy, I do a couple, "uh-huh, okay, I'll let him know" and then I tell Harrison what it is his tummy desires. His tummy usually wants a couple more bites with a sip of milk. Sometimes his tummy is tired and needs a nap. And sometimes his tummy is perfectly full.

I don't know how many years I'll get away with Harrison thinking I speak Tummy. I hope he's not an angry adult when he learns of the lies his mother has told him. I don't know how far "it was for your own good" will get me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gobble Gobble

O' The Lord is Good to Me
From "Melody Time"

The Lord is good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need
The sun and rain and an appleseed

Yes, he's been good to me
I owe the Lord so much
For everything I see

I'm certain if it weren't for him
There'd be no apples on this limb
He's been good to me

Oh, here am I 'neath the blue, blue sky a-doin' as I please
Singin' with my feathered friends, hummin' with the bees

I wake up every day as happy as can be
Because I know that with his care
My apple trees, they will still be there
Oh, the Lord is good to me

Monday, November 23, 2009

Stop, Drop, And Roll Into Fire Station #2

I love play group. I love the people I get to connect with and the places we go. From bounce houses, parks, zoos, and trains, we do the typical things kids like. Every once in a while we do something that is truly unique. This was one of those special Tuesdays...

What a wonderful play date!

A fire stations from the 1930's with beautiful art deco design.

A good Fireman is always willing to lend a helping hand.

The kids loved playing in the full-size gym. The noise level is here was out of control!

I think the Mom's enjoyed playing, too!

The kids could slide down only as high as I could hoist them. A bummer of a time to only be 5 ft 1 in tall!

My camera has a mind of it's own and half of the play group was in black and white. Another thing in my life that doesn't do what it's told?? Don't think so. A new camera is on my Christmas wish list!

Honestly, I would have given anything to slide down that pole! Not kidding. And in my mind I would have been so graceful and athletic. In reality, I would have more in common with 'Bridget Jones'.

This is Harrison's embarrassed look after being told not to touch the buttons. His buddy, Nate, is trying to console him.

Add ImageSome of our finest. They really showed us (I mean, the kids!) a good time!