Bergman's Bruisers

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

Friday, September 30, 2011

What's The Word On The Street?

For all of you who watch Sesame Street you know what I mean with the word on the street.  The word in the Bergman house is "quarantine."

Quarantine is compulsory isolation, typically to contain the spread of something considered dangerous.

Harrison is sick with a fever and sore throat and Gavin is sick with croup. 
I have one healthy one left! 

My healthy child, Cannon is playing in his area of the house.  The older two can't step foot on the rug without hearing the word, 'quarantine' being yelled at them.

Harrison and Gavin can share their nasty germs in this area of the house.  Times like this I would love to have one of the isolation tents with helmet like in the movie E.T.  so I can bring them their medicine and food without cross contamination!

"Harrison, what does quarantine mean?" 

Response,"It means, stay away!" 

Covering the cough like he's taught. 

Gavin, what do you think quarantine means?

Response, "Go away! Don't come any closer, you're sick!"

 The best part IS, in the middle of being elbow deep with sick kids, Steve sends me a text with a picture of this soda and a caption that reads: "Look at what I just found! It's so smooth!"  I'm picturing him sitting back, relaxing, watching ESPN while drinking an ice cold Mello Yello.  He's lucky there are a thousand miles between us right now because if my arms could stretch....

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cradle Catholic


Noun cradle Catholic (plural Cradle Catholics)
  1. A person who has been raised in the Catholic faith since birth (in contrast to a person who has converted to the faith). It is usually implicit that the person has not lapsed in the faith.

For 120 years babies in our family have been baptized in this gown.  Kind of like Santa's naughty or nice list, my Grandma has a list with every baby's name who's donned the gown.  Although not every family member has worn it, Cannon's great-great grandmother Emma did and so did his Godmother Bailey. 

Bailey and I were so careful putting Cannon in the gown.  He had not one, but two diapers on and a onesie to help keep the gown stain-free.  What we didn't account for were the chunky-monkey arms that sausaged into sleeves causing one to tear!  I just hope that when Grandma adds Cannon's name to the long list his doesn't have an asterisk next to his name:  Cannon, son of Gretchen, *the one who tore the left sleeve. 

Beautiful Godmother Bailey, what a blessing she will be in my boy's life. 

My angelic baby,  he's patiently awaiting for the anointed oil to be put on his chest. 

Grandma Pits, Grammy, G-Jo

No celebration is complete without food, lots and lots of food, in this case.  Grammy rolled up her sleeves and did an amazing job preparing most of the food.  Waffles, breakfast casseroles, fruit, ham, cheese, endless breads and cookies left us all stuffed.  Good food, good company, good day, what more can you ask for?

With  Bailey coming from Michigan, Grandad from Florida, Grandma Pits from Ohio, Justin and Dixie from Austin, and our close friends and family here in Fort Worth, the love and support that continues to fall on us is overwhelming.

Cannon with his Godparents, cousin Bailey and Uncle Alex.  

As a family with three boys, our odds of taking a decent family photo with all smiles and eyes looking at the camera have dropped to 5,365,978:1.  It doesn't really matter, I suppose, goofy pictures or not, we're a family all the same. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I'm a sucker for traditions.  I take them seriously, especially when it comes to my kids. There will be no, "you were the last child and I didn't have time."  No, I'm not at all a bitter middle child.  Not at all.  Some traditions are easier than others, like, filling out a baby book and updating it monthly or taking professional pictures every three months--HARD.  But, other traditions, like taking four generation photos or adding the latest hand print to a sweatshirt--EASY and FUN.  

I think this is one of the best four generation photos in my collection.  I love the botanical gardens, the surroundings and lighting make for beautiful pictures.  A cute little baby helps, too!

Now, onto another tradition of adding a hand print to Grandma's sweatshirt.  First you strip your baby's clothes off to make sure no paint ends up on clothing.  Or in this case pull him out of bed in what he slept in--just a diaper. 

Next, you cover his chubby hand in purple paint and stretch open five little fingers. Press down firmly and hold.

Lastly, you marvel at your great hand print and are proud to have it take it's final resting place on the "Hands Down You're the Best Grandma" sweatshirt belonging to none other than Grandma Pits.  Including grandkids and great-grandkids, there are something like 25 hand prints on there, right Grandma??  As an adult I know now how much time it takes to keep traditions alive, I'm so appreciative of people like my Grandma Pits who worked hard to show me the importance of it.   Like the green outfit, it's the little things that bind you together and make you family.  My children are going to be raised with so much stinkin' tradition it'll make them sick!  It is then I'll know I've done my job well.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cannon 3 Months

                Three months old and developing such a personality!  We love it!  You weigh 14 1/2 pounds and are 25 inches long. Although these pictures don't show it, you are cooing and giggling and love to smile.  You will never be labelled a 'great sleeper' but you are getting better and giving me some four hour stretches at night.  You have officially taken over Daddy's side of the bed, he says he doesn't mind sharing with his baby boy (and we'll keep the pee and drool you cover his side of the bed with a secret, okay?  *wink, wink*)

 Oh, you and that tongue!  The only thing you do more than stick out your tongue is drool!  You leave a 'snail trail' on whoever holds you.  Your daily dose of Prevacid keeps the drool drool and not throw-up, although shake you up just right and you can serve up a mean milkshake. 

Your favorite daily activities (in order of preference) continue to be nursing, swinging in your swing, playing on your floor mat, and taking baths (can't promise a daily bath, though, but when you get 'em you love 'em!)

Note the tongue.  
Cannabanana, you continue to fill our lives and hearts. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Words of Encouragement

**as I'm sweeping the floors**

Harrison:  "Mom, thank you for working so hard to keep the house clean so somebody will want to buy it so we can move to South Carolina and be with Daddy." 

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bruiser Bones

I woke up Friday morning feeling more rested than I have felt in months.  My pal, Shanita, had called me the day before and told me she was picking up my children to come spend the night with her. My initial reaction was, "no way, that's too much!" but she insisted, telling me she had taken a nap that day and she was ready for whatever Cannon would bring her.  Before she could change her mind I packed up my kids, their stuff, an ample amount of milk for Lil' C and they were out the door!  It was really hard to fall asleep without my boys, I even thought about going to pick them up.  I must have drifted off in mid-thought about driving to Shanita's because the next thing I heard was my alarm at seven a.m. 

The kids were out of school on Friday, and taking every opportunity to show the kids a good time, Shanita and I planned a fun morning of swimming, parks and lunch.  Our plans went awry at the park when Harrison pulled an 'Indiana Jones' stunt and tried to jump onto a zip line.  As one might guess, he's no Indiana and as his grip slipped he fell with his arms extended to brace himself.  He's a pretty tough kid, so I quickly realized this wasn't just another bump or bruise when he wouldn't stop crying and holding his left arm.  My heart broke for him during the car ride to the hospital, he moaned a moan that let me know this was really, really painful.

After some Motrin and nasal Fentanyl Harrison was feeling good!  Thank goodness my Mom was there when the tech said it was good Harrison hadn't eaten anything since breakfast as he would be able to go to surgery right away.  Surgery wasn't on my radar, I thought they would push and roll his arm back into place, slap a cast on it and send us home.  It was in this moment that I desperately wished Steve were at my side.  I wanted to be just the mom--not the nurse, planner, and insurance dealer.  I quickly dried my tears in the hall on my Mom's shoulder, Harrison was being so cool, calm and collected I didn't want him to see me upset.

After the nurse let him cover his body in stickers, Harrison picked out the color green for his soon-to-be cast. It was then they gave him a healthy dose of Versed (this children's hospital isn't shy with the pain meds!) and he said night-night to me.  It was very strange being in the pre-op room as a mom, I had been there many times before as a nurse--taking someone else's baby to surgery--this was quite different. The nursing side is much, much easier than the parenting one.  Off to the waiting room where Grammy, G-Jo, Cannon and I waited for updates.  We waited for about an hour before the doctor came out to tell us the surgery was over and Harrison had three pins in his humerus and elbow.  

The pre-op nurse promised Harrison three Popsicles after surgery.  He was very groggy post-op but had no trouble nodding his head when asked if he was ready for his promised treat.  He quickly ate the Popsicle and nodded off until another was brought to him. 

The sedatives hadn't completely worn off but we were cleared to go home. Harrison slept the whole way home, even through the torrential rain that fell over us.  

 Home and happy with another Popsicle in hand.  Steve couldn't stand being so far away when his family needed him, so unbeknownst to me, he had boarded a plane home. The storms shut down the airport here and delayed his flight five hours--having him arrive home after midnight.  It was a special treat when Dad brought Harrison his pain medicine at five a.m.!

In true Bruiser fashion, Harrison woke up Saturday morning and said, "Let's do something fun today.  I know, let's go to a bounce house and jump!!"

.......I know this will be my first of many trips to the E.R. and O.R.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Day In the Life of

Oh, how my life has changed since I did my last 'a day in the life of' back in June,  these lazy days of summer!  And, just so I will always remember what a day in my life is like now, I feel compelled to do another. I keep telling myself I'm not doing anything many mothers and wives across the country do everyday.  I have a whole nutha level of respect for military wives--at least I know my husband is safe and I can talk to him daily.  My hat and my prayers are extended to these families, for what they deal with far exceeds what I have on my plate.  But, here goes, come with me on a day in my life as a single mom trying to sell a house...

6:14 a.m.- Alarm goes off, but it doesn't wake me up because I've been awake for a while--with Cannon.  I put him down so I can get dressed, I'm volunteering in Harrison's class this morning so I have to look more presentable than my usual morning drop-off-get-up.  I have only about 15 minutes before Cannon is demanding more food.

7:00 a.m. - I go into the guest room where the boys have been sleeping lately.  They like sleeping together in the full bed instead of separately in their bunk beds.  It works well for me because it's only one bed to make and they stay together in the bed instead of coming to mine during the night.  Harrison still needs help getting dressed; tucking in his shirt and tying shoes are not skills he's mastered yet.  I make the bed and pick up clothes as we make our way to the kitchen.

7:20- I have a showing this morning at 9:30 so I have to leave the house ready to show. My realtor sets the bar high for how showing should be and I don't like to disappoint, so it takes time to get it all ready. I have this great idea to have the kids eat breakfast in the car!  I hyped it up so they thought it was cool to take their milk and breakfast bar in the car and watch cartoons while I finished up the house.  I was so proud of myself for coming up with this plan, that is until Harrison came back into the house to show me the chocolate milk he spilled down the front of his white shirt while drinking it in the car.  I did not see this coming, I know I should have with the messiness that is my children, but I didn't.  The only other school uniform shirts I had for him were in the washer I just started!  My tight schedule didn't allocate for a stain removal, and for a second I thought about sending him to school stain and all, but I squeezed in with what little time I had left a t-shirt cleaning with my best friend, bleach.  I turned on all the lights in my house, t.v.'s were tuned into a nice classical music channel, a.c. turned down a couple degrees, movie room turned on and ready to play a movie (today it was Thor) Crap, I didn't have time to pop popcorn, I'll have to come back and do that before the showing.

7:55- Pull away from the school after dropping off Harrison.  My car desperately needs gas, Steve always takes care of this for me so it makes me especially miss him as I pull into the gas station.

8:20- Drop off Gavin at preschool.  He loves this school, and so do I, which is why it's hard to get out of there without chatting with everyone.  Fifteen minutes later Cannon and I buckled in and are on our way.

8:40- Quickly stop by my house, feed Cannon while trying to pop popcorn and start Thor.  Give kisses to my last child as I drop him off at Grammy and PopPop's house.

9:00-11:00- Volunteer in Harrison's classroom.  While it's stressful to get there, I do enjoy the time I'm in his classroom.  I like being with the kids and helping them with reading and Harrison is still young enough to think it's cool that I'm there.

11:15- Pick up Cannon and visit with Steve's parents.  Lois tells me I need to ask for her help more and not stress to do this alone and she's right, I know she's right.  It's just hard to ask for help and when things are so busy I don't take the time to think about how to lighten the load.  I just go, go, go. 

11:45- Back home, showing over, feed Cannon and scarf down some lunch before it's time to pick up Gavin from school.

12:30- Gavin chats on the way home about the songs they sang and who his new friends are.

1:30-I dust and sweep while Cannon takes a nap.  What's considered fun has changed in our house here recently, so entertainment for Gavin often consists of helping me clean.  Give that boy a can of Pledge and he's happy as a clam!  He hears the sounds of an aerosol can and immediately comes running, "I wanna help clean sumpin'!" 

2:45- Pack the kids up and get it that dreaded pick-up line for Harrison.  Cannon has zero tolerance for being in a car seat in a  parked car.  Just about everyday when the van door opens for Harrison to climb in, the entire school gets to hear what great lungs Cannon has. 

3:30-Back home to begin what I call the witching hour.  This consists of wrestling, yelling, running and overall chaos from the boys. Lucky for me a copy of Thor has arrived in the mail and with the promise of good, quiet behavior, I let them watch it with a snack.  There is peace in my house.  Cannon is sleeping and the boys are quiet.  I make myself a cup of coffee and return a long overdue call to my GrandmotherJane.

5:00- This is how family dinners look in our house these days.  I'm grateful we have Skype as it really has helped us stay connected. 

6:00- Cannon watches from his Bumbo as Harrison tackles his homework and Gavin plays on the train tracks.  It is torturous to help Harrison work on his handwriting.  I'm not as patient as I know I need to be, but I think sometimes he messes up just so he can use that stinkin' eraser.  "Look Mom, I erased it!" Now watch me write that d backwards again!

6:45- I clean the kitchen, fold and put away laundry, clean the pee stains from all the toilets (I ask myself why I haven't banned the boys to only one toilet so as to avoid this daily task.) and finally help the boys pick up what few toys they have left in the game room. 

7:15- Showers, brush teeth, read stories, do an impromptu rendition of the Hokey Pokey, kiss and hug my two oldest goodnight.

8:00- It's down to me and C-Ball and he's looking way more alert than me.  We snuggle, nurse, nurse, and snuggle some more until he finally gives out about ten p.m.

10:02- It's lights out for me, too.  My body is exhausted.  I fall asleep thinking about an ongoing to-do list that I assure myself will get tackled tomorrow.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Green Outfit

This is Steve, in green sailor pajamas, less than a month old. Adorable, I know. 
Kinda looks like three other little boys I've held before.

Harrison Lee- about 1 month old.
Steve's mom saved the green outfit and I'm so glad she did because when Harrison was born I thought it was special to put him in the same outfit around about the same age.  He was such a serious baby.  I remember trying to get him to smile and this was all he'd give me. 

Gavin Paul- about 1 month old
So when my next one was born we had to get out the green outfit again! Gi-Gi Gav, my little ham.  Definitely my most smiley, giggly baby to date.  I remember taking about twenty pictures trying to get a serious one like his older brother.  Gavin just kept smiling and cooing making us all laugh.  He has continued to fill the role of the family joker.
Cannon Smith- 2 months old
I almost waited too long to put Cannon Ball in the now infamous green outfit.  He turned two months old in the midst of getting our house ready to go on the market.  It was late at night and Cannon was grumpy, but I wasn't even able to snap the legs together so I knew we had to get the picture STAT!  I couldn't let my third baby be the one that was overlooked, he's special just like my other two.  It was like Cannon knew how important it was to me to get this picture because he fussed up until the camera started snapping and once Steve said, "okay, I got it."  he started fussing again.   

Steve and I almost got teary looking at our three boys' pictures side by side (okay, so me way more than him) I remember the day I took all three pictures and how I felt looking at my babies.  Whether it be from an outfit that's almost forty years old or familial similarities that's shared, it warms my heart seeing what binds us together and makes us family.  

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's Happening.

How fitting is was that Harrison picked this book up from the library at school the same day Steve left for South Carolina.  I smiled when I read the title and smiled even more when I saw it wasn't a bazillion pages like the 'Curious George' book he brought home the day before.  That monkey is entirely too curious for entirely too long in my opinion.  

I still can't believe this move is really going to happen. This is real.  It's really happening. 

The kids miss their dad although probably not as much as I miss my husband.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Little Nemo

YouTube Video

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Sleeping Like A Baby

"The only thing worth stealing is a kiss from a sleeping child."

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chapter Endings And New Beginnings

I have been sitting at this computer trying to put into words what's in my head.  I'll write five lines and then erase two.  This is pretty much how my last ten days have been spent--scattered and unorganized. Not able to express exactly how I feel, mainly because I'm not exactly sure what I feel. 

Ten days ago I would have never imagined I would see a 'for sale' sign in my front yard, never imagined I could sell most of my worldly goods in two days flat, and certainly never imagined I would be saying goodbye to the life I have known for the past fourteen years.  But, here I am doing just that.

Steve has a job opportunity in Greenville, South Carolina.  We are leaving to start a new adventure and try this new venture.  Growing up a military child moving all over the world I would have assumed this process would be like riding a bike.  It's a lot harder that I thought getting back on that bike.  When I rode that bike as a kid I had my parents as my 'training wheels' offering support and shouldering the responsibilities.  I now have to be the training wheels for my children. I don't get to cry and sulk about leaving my friends and family. I don't get to drag and stomp my feet when it comes to selling our house and making this transition smoothly.

While we are nervous for the unknown we are excited about what the future holds.  As the old adage goes, everything happens for a reason, I have to believe that to be especially true in this situation.


To My Godmother


I want you to know how lucky I feel
to have a Godmother like you.
Someone who always loves me
no matter what I do.

When I think of you I count my blessings,
and thank the Lord above,
that I have you for my Godmother,
because Godmothers are chosen with love.

Gavin loved his visit from Maddison.  Anytime she ventured out of his sight he would wonder aimlessly around whining, "Godmudder, Godmudder, where are you?"  He was too sad to say goodbye when we took Maddy back to the airport.  He buried his head in his car seat leaving just his quivering chin showing.  While it broke my heart it also filled my heart with happiness seeing that special bond that's created with Godparents.  

Thank you, Maddy, for spending your hard-earned babysitting money to come visit us here in Texas!