Bergman's Bruisers

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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Bergs 2011

 I assumed with the ridiculously-busy few months we've had, a family picture in 2011 was just scrapped. But, my cousin, Kyle, started a photography business and was willing to squeeze us in Christmas Eve morning.  These were taken in the town square of Versailles.  Gavin was uncooperative because...well, because he's Gavin, and also because it was about 30 degrees!  I'm so grateful we were able to capture Steve and I with our family of a six year-old, a three year-old, and a six month-old. 

Thanks, Kyle!

Christmas in Versailles

 We spent this Christmas in my parents' hometown, Versailles, Ohio.  I took full advantage of not having a job to run back to and stayed in Ohio for ten days. My cousin, Andy, kindly opened his home to us.  Being single with no children, I think we were a little 'shock and awe,' but he was a trooper letting us practically take over his house. We didn't take our normal 1,336 pictures because our family photog (Steve) had to go back to work during the week. But, the pictures can be imagined- lots of people laughing, telling stories, swimming, bowling, playing games, cooking, eating, and just spending time together.   It was, as anticipated, a fantastic time with family.  With the challenging year we've had, it was positive to ring in the new year with family. 

My kids loved all the attention they received!  At any given moment they had more than one person willing to listen to their stories, requests, and general thoughts on life.  

Cannon loved his 'Elmer Fudd' hat from Grandma Pits.  It helped keep him warm in the Ohio weather.  We hoped for a white Christmas but instead had only a little sleet and a lot of rain. 

Godmother Bailey stayed in Ohio the whole time we were there and got in lots of loving time with Cannon...and Harrison and Gavin, too.  My boys have a thing for pretty girls.  Kinda makes their Daddy proud. 

 All of the Pitsenbarger grandkids, great-grandkids, and a few spouses.  It's always a challenge to get this many people together and smiling, but it's so worth the end result. This was a birthday present for Grandma!

 I'm so thankful Cannon was able to meet and spend time with his only living Great-Grandfather.  

 The farm fields of Ohio....with a random fake deer to climb on.  Seems perfectly normal to me.  

 Steve could not contain himself when he found out my cousin Andy is a apiarist (a beekeeper, Shanita) and was willing to let Steve play beekeeper with him for the day.  Steve was the assistant and did an excellent job of 'smoking' the bees to help keep them calm.  The bees were so calm we were even able to stick our fingers into the honeycomb and pull out a dollop of honey to eat.

 We went to lots of basketball games to watch my cousins play.  Harrison thought it was soo cool that he knew some of the players. He keeps talking about how he hopes one day he can play basketball as good as Dominic, Damien and Noah.  I think because our family is so big he assumes everyone in Ohio is a relative. At one point during a game I turned around to find him sitting with another family behind us.  He's making casual conversation asking them if they're cheering for the orange or blue team.  The funny part is...I think somehow, although distantly, we are related to them!  

We finally broke down and gave Gavin a real haircut.  The winter chapped skin + static-y straight hair + runny nose = a homeless, neglected-looking child. Gavin was so excited to have his locks cut, he kept calling it his 
'man hair.'  He instantly aged, which hurts my heart a little bit, but he now looks handsome as ever. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cannon Ball Run 6 Months Old

 You are so giggly and happy....until the camera comes out.  You get all googly-eyed fascinated with the camera that I cannot seem to capture your adorable smile and cute face.  I love that we've hit the six month mark.  Six months is my favorite stage of infancy.  You sit up, start to eat solids, sleep (mostly) through the night, and really start to show your personality.  And what a personality you're developing!  You kick and move your arms as I'm feeding you new foods and get angry if I don't feed you fast enough! You love sweet potatoes and apples but purse your lips to peas (I don't blame you there.) You are patient and go-with-the-flow, but you are the most happy when you're being held.  Toonces, the cat, joins us during most of your feedings and he lovingly sits through you patting and pulling his fur.  You should feel special, he does not allow the older boys to do this to him. 

 This month your looks have changed into so much of your Dad.  We met our new neighbors, they took one look at you and quickly said, "well, if that isn't a spitting image of Steve!" Daddy says he hopes you inherit all of his good and none of his bad.  Amen to that!

All you wanted to do is eat that sticker!  

This picture was taken while we were in the Smoky Mountains.  You had a major blow-out and thankfully I had this spare outfit in the car.  I should've had this outfit on you the whole time--my little Smoky the Bear in the Smoky Mountains!

You are my snuggle buggy and I love you from your head to your toes. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Siblings Help Keep It Real

Siblings make the best friends. They encourage you when you're down and share with you the biggest joys in life.  That being said, they also have a great knack of helping you stay grounded.  I think it's impossible to get a 'big head' when spending time with your siblings.  Especially if they're like mine....or like my children are becoming to each other.

I remember as a kid my older brother, Justin, would tease me relentlessly that my name sounded like the grunts and groans someone would make while pooping.  Yes, pooping.  He would wiggle and squirm while bearing down moaning, "Grrrrr-eeetch-ennnn." I hated it and subsequently hated my name.

I used to dress my little brother, Alex, up like a girl, called him Alexis and made him play house with me.  Sorry, Al, but I think it's helped make you a more well-rounded person...I hope.

In high school I was so excited when I got a pair of go-go boots.  I was prancing around the house thinking I was dressed to impress and couldn't wait to wear them to school.  Justin squashed my thunder when he told me my calves looked like packed sausage.  Those boots never saw the light of day.

Steve and his brother, Russell, to this day affectionately call each other 'Dummy.'  It's programmed in Steve's phone as 'Dummy,' not Russell.  It's been very confusing for our kids to know that as a bad word and yet hear their Dad and Uncle use it daily.

The other day Gavin went with me into Cannon's room to pick him up from his nap.  I was putting away clothes while Gavin was perched on the crib talking to Cannon.  All of a sudden, Gavin says to Cannon, "you have big ears, you look like a monkey!" 

What??  It's started already?  The baby isn't even six months old!  Can't he get a couple years of reprieve before he's teased relentlessly?  I know being raised with all boys my children are going to have some thick skin by the time they are grown. 

Is it terrible that I laughed when Gavin teased Cannon?  Probably so.  But, it was really funny.  I mean, they are kinda big.....cute, but big.

Pigeon Forge

I would love to tell the truth for why we made an impromptu visit to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, but I'm not sure of the statute of limitations. Rest assured I will share the story one day and it's worth waiting for, but for now I'll give the same reason for the trip we told the kids--to celebrate Harrison's 6th birthday, of course! 
We stayed in this awesome cabin!  In addition to all the comforts of home it had a hot tub on the upper deck and two huge jacuzzi tubs. 

Pigeon Forge is like a kids Las Vegas in the Smoky Mountains.  There are endless family activities, we only sampled a small portion of what the area had to offer. 

The ducks were so friendly they would eat the food from your hand.  We fed and fed and fed the ducks until they were so stuffed they turned away to swim off the calories. 
Exhibit A:  Cheesy family activity.  A Jurassic Park ride with dinosaur animatronics.  Bored me to tears, but the kids LOVED it. They begged to go again and again....I begged to wait in the car.

I loved going to the Smoky National Park.  I've been channeling my inner-outdoors-man lately and I'm loving it.  Don't get me wrong, you'll never find me backpacking anything, but I'm more than willing to venture within a day's walk from a heated cabin.  I'm even thinking about becoming straight up Griswald-like and try to visit all the National Parks.  

A lovely family photo with the Cataract Falls as our backdrop.  Although last minute, it was a much-needed family vacation. 

Six Birthdays In The Bag

Shortly after arriving to South Carolina Harrison turned six years old.  It was the smallest, most low-key birthday to date and I felt bad about it.  Not because there wasn't the big hooplah like years past, but because there were no Grandparents, Uncles, and friends.  I know, I know, kids all over the world celebrate birthdays with only their immediate family everyday.  But, my kids have been much more fortunate than that and have been blessed to celebrate birthdays with a room filled with people who love them. 

We did our best to make the day special for our guy.  
 I brought cupcakes to his new classroom.  The teacher told the class how much she's enjoyed having Harrison in her classroom and how smart and well-behaved he is.  Everyone then sang him 'Happy Birthday'

 When he came home from school it was present time! 

 I love the 'fist pump' after he opened the Zombie Lab game.  He didn't even notice the wrapping was a Target plastic bag.  Oh, how I love the age of oblivion!  

 Like most three year-olds who think the world revolves around them it was a good lesson for Gavin to spend the day thinking about his big brother.  He went with me to the store to pick out presents and balloons.  It was sweet to watch Gavin take charge of giving Harrison his presents. 

It was then off to Gatti-Town for pizza and games.  Harrison was beyond excited to finally be tall enough to ride on the bumper cars.  At the end of the night he said this was his highlight.

 No birthday is complete without a cake.  It was a challenge to find a cake small enough to feed our small party.  Definitely the smallest birthday cake I've ever bought.  My birthday wish for Harrison is to celebrate his seventh birthday with a cake big enough to feed thirty!

First Day Of School....Again

Harrison was the happiest boy walking into his first day of school in South Carolina.  I am amazed at how resilient kids are.  He wasn't nervous or shy or any of the things I would have been feeling.  I had ants in my pants picking him up from school wanting to know how his day went.  He was giggly as can be hopping into the car telling me about the cool playground and the two new friends he made.  

I could take a lesson or two from my son about dealing and adjusting.  I can only hope to transition as easily as he has.  He's set the bar pretty high. 

Thanksgiving-Yes, I know it was Almost a Month Ago

Oh, blog, how you've been neglected!  Life has been so busy I've barely had time to live it much less write about it.  I'm determined to get back on track and caught up, this blog is about to be on fire with so many posts! 

Let's start all the way back at Thanksgiving.  Remember I posted that the kids and I were boarding a plane?  That was only after a very emotional goodbye to my Mom and Steve's parents.  It's been weeks and I still get emotional when I think of saying goodbye to them. The only thing that saved me from a  total cry-fest was the busy-ness of going to the airport and flying with the kids.  My friend, Nancy, said she would rather have three root canals than fly alone with three kids.  I will admit, it took a lot of mental focus to keep all of us together and moving forward in the airport and finally get us all situated on the airplane, but the kids were fantastic!  May I even go so far as to call them angels?  Yes!  Angels, indeed. 

Instead of taking a straight path to South Carolina we made a detour; Steve met us at the Miami airport to spend a couple days with my Dad and Florida family.

 Swimming in the pool in November is not a problem in Florida.  Well, not a problem for rambunctious kids, a little chilly for adults. 

 I think the total head count was somewhere around fifteen that day. I'm truly blessed to have such a large family that makes the effort to spend time together. 

 Uncle Dave really enjoyed firing up the creme brulee.  Not surprisingly, Steve was enamored with the torch and was quickly trying to find other things that needed a little added heat.  His favorite?  A chocolate covered Rice Crispy treat torched to perfection.  

Harrison was able to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a waiter.  He did a great job and took his role very seriously!  He even went around to each person in between courses (yes, courses, this was a meal like no other! Alligator,  pumpkin soup, shrimp cocktail, creme brulee) and offered various breads from the bread basket.   

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Interview With An Almost 6 Year-Old

Like most soon-to-be six year olds, Harrison has been counting down his birthday for months.  When he woke up this morning he said, "Mom, I only have to go to sleep one more time before I turn six?!?" When I told him yes he fist pumped the air with excitement!  I thought it would be entertaining to interview Harrison and get his outlook on life at the ripe ol' age of six.

  1. How would you describe yourself?  A human that is nice to play with
  2. If you could be any animal, which one would you be and why? I would be a lion because they have four legs and can make a scary face with their mouth and can pretend to eat people. ....Pretend?!?
  3. What would be the ideal allowance?  And how would you use it?  What's allowance? Oh, okay. 25 cents a week and I would use it to buy a Toy Story game.
  4. What's the grossest thing you can think of? A stinky trashcan.
  5. What do you want to be when you grow up? A waiter.  I want to carry a tray in one hand and walk around the table and ask each person what they want to eat and drink.
  6. What do you think makes a person good-looking?  A pink dress, beautiful pants, and smelling good.
  7. What's your happiest memory?  My mommy tickling me and kissing me as a baby.
  8. What's your favorite thing to do with friends?  Play on the playground and go down the slide.
  9. Do you want to have kids when you grow up?  Yes.  Five kids, three boys and two girls.  Their names would be Boxen, Polka Dot, No-No, Bella....and I don't know the last name. 
  10. Name two things we should do on the weekend as a family?  Hiking and going outside to talk.
  11. What's the nicest thing you've done for someone?  Playing with my new friend, Conner, at school.
  12. What's one thing you would like to tell your parents?  I love you!!!

Ahh, sweet  boy, we love you, too!!