Gavin did this gut-thrusting thing in Florida and it made Justin and I laugh uncontrollably. I haven't been able to get him to do it since we've come home. I guess today he felt like being a funny man again.
10. Watching dolphins in their natural habitat on a chartered boat with my cousin Dave as the Captain. (pronounced Cap'n)
9. Seeing my GrandmotherJane look better than ever after her heart surgery
8. Hearing Harrison say 'Uncle Justin, Uncle Awex (Alex), Uncle Justin, Uncle Awex' instead of 'Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.' Although I still heard my fair share!
7. Having Harrison get a little taste of what it was like for me as a child of my Dad. ↑My Dad teasing Harrison that a real man would be able to catch the free-roaming chickens.
↓Harrison insisting he simply can't catch them!
6. Snorkeling in the Atlantic Ocean. You become very aware that you are a very little fish in a large pond.
5. Meeting my new cousin, Rylan, and watching her interact with her other cousins, Harrison and Gavin.
4. Watching Harrison 'shake it off' like a man after being stung by a jellyfish.
3. Being able to spend lots of quality time with my brothers and Dad. Albeit, a lot of it was spent driving from one destination to another, but I can't remember the last time we were all together for that length of time.This is at Mile Marker 0. This road starts in Key West and extends through New York.
2. Eating lunch at the Islamorada Fish Market and afterward watching a huge manatee entertain us.
1. Seeing the excitement of Steve reuniting with his bruisers.
A couple runner's up....
↑ Being an elementary school teacher, Aunt Melissa knew exactly how to entertain.
↑ The boys going commando in Aunt Melissa and Uncle Dave's pool. No worries, though, there were no floaters!
↑Harrison loved the Thomas the Train sticker book GrandmotherJane gave him. I think she's going to find stickers for months in her house!
↑Gavin hated, hated, wearing the coastguard approved life vest. This put him in one foul mood.
Just a good picture of Geedge on a tree that was here long before us and hopefully long after, too.
Mom played hooky from work today so we decided to go to Glen Rose and visit Fossil Rim. This is a 15,000 acre wildlife habitat that allows you to see animals in their near natural environment. All in the comfort of your car! You are able to purchase food for the animals, which they love, so they will come right up to you and eat. Having a minivan for a trip like this was a huge plus because the kids were able to run from side to side.
We started off our morning with the 'breakfast of champions' at the local Cracker Barrel.
There was even a petting zoo. Gavin loved the goats and gave this one a hug.
The goats loved to be brushed and Harrison kindly obliged.
The deer were very friendly.
I can't remember the name of this fellow.
Gavin has quite the throwing arm. When he throws he even adds a grunt for extra umph.
God's creatures are truly beautiful. But not really all of them. The next picture is an example of such an atrocity.
This one could go back to R&D (research and development) for some improvements. Ostrichs also seem to have a big chip on their shoulder about being so ugly and they take it out on those around them. They are M-E-A-N! It's embarrassing to admit, but I was really scared of this beast.
Afterward, we went to the other big attraction in Glen Rose, Dinosaur Valley, home to some of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils. Very hard to explain to a 3 year old the concept of extinct. Especially when there are these huge dinosaurs that look very alive and real to him. Except, of course, that they are being held back by only a two-foot-tall fence.....and they're not moving.
Harrison standing where a dinosaur stood just a few (million) years ago.
But really, he enjoyed climbing most of all.
......and so did his never-to-be-outdone little brother.
Gavin giving a leaf to G-Jo. Leaves get him pretty excited.
All of us are standing in just one foot of this dinosaur.
I wasn't prepared for the hiking involved, but we had to see the fossils so I pushed forward. Flip-flops with a baby on my back in the middle of nowhere-not the safest parenting choice I've ever made.
Gavin and I came home last week after taking Harrison to preschool. At first Gavin looked a little lost without his big brother to boss him. I was interested to see what he would do all by himself. He very quickly ran into Harrison's room and started playing with the forbidden train set! This is Harrison's most precious (like Lord of the Rings?!) and any attempts Gavin makes to play with it is thwarted by a firm push and a "get back Gavin. No, no, no!"
And no, I see no problem with a life-size Yoda in my son's room. Wearing a sombrero....and a scarf.
I walked into the room after about 5 minutes to find Gavin chucking Harrison's most precious trains behind a table. Initially I thought he was just throwing stuff as he normally does, but I looked behind the table and found this! This was no accident! This was intentional payback for never letting Gavin play. He sent a clear message to his older brother: Be afraid buddy, be very afraid. I'm only a year old, the best is yet to come.
Happy mom, happy wife, happy life. I'm a mom who sees that the daily challenges and blessings of parenting far supersedes what I expected. I'm a wife who sees 'for better or for worse' in a whole new light. I'm a neonatal ICU nurse who sees daily that the miracle of life is a gift from God.
My husband, my love. The ying to my yang. Famous quote "Hey Steve, can you help me clean up around the house?" "But, Gretch, you're so good at it. We're a team, we both shouldn't be good at the same thing, right?" He's the proud pappa of his four boys. He enjoys adding to the rough and tumbliness of the household!
My little man Harrison. He's a rowdy nine year old who loves everything "boy." Every stage since his birth has been my favorite. But now, really, I think the 8 year old stage is the best. Really.
My middle son Gavin, Gi-Gi, or Geedge is my fiercely independent six year old. His mantra is 'I can do it by myself.' Sometimes this is at the expense of his safety and much to his dismay Mom and Dad have to intervene. But, at the end of the day he still needs his Momma to snuggle and scratch his back. I happily oblige.
My youngest and rowdiest! son, Cannon. At the age of three he has grown into true a true Bergman Bruiser adding to the rough and tumbliness of our home.
Our latest and greatest Bruiser. Quin joining our family officially enters us into the 'buttload of kids' category and ensures that we will have a rambunctious house for many years to come.