Bergman's Bruisers

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

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

“Bless us, Lord Jesus, and thank you For coming to us from heaven to renew our lives, and to give us hope, faith, and love... Bless us today, our families, and our friends, as we celebrate your Birth in Bethlehem. Bless us with peace of heart, true joy and good health, with happy times and good cheer to give, to receive, and to share. In the Sacred name of Jesus we pray. Amen”

You can check out our photographer here:

This is my absolute favorite!

I was too busy this Christmas hosting to take time to photograph all the events!  It will just have to be captured permanently in our minds instead of the blog.  I will remember endless presents piled under the tree with the not one, but two! Christmas mornings we celebrated. Also, the excitement of the boys seeing their presents from Santa Claus lined high up on the living room ledge. Santa's sneaky Uncle Justin thought it would be fun to pull out the twenty-foot ladder midnight Christmas Eve and place eighteen Skylanders where only a magical Santa could have placed them.  It was worth the effort when we saw their expression in the morning. 

Monday, December 24, 2012


Three little men bruisers in a tub.

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Elf on the Pain-in-the-Butt Shelf

Steve tends to be the guy who'd rather not deal with anything that causes the slightest hassle or inconvenience.  I'm usually the one rallying the troops, trying to convince him that whatever idea I've come up with won't be a big deal.  When it comes to excitement or a new experience for my kids, I am usually onboard--even in the most hassle-iest of situations.  Sometimes, however, it's Steve who takes the "but-the-kids-will-love-it" reigns, and I'll be honest--I don't like a dose of my own medicine. Meet 'the Elf on the Shelf'.  For all you parents who were spared this tedious task, count yourselves lucky.  For the parents-to-be in my life, know that I will be buying this for you as a wonderful Christmas present (misery likes company!) 
This elf, as the kids were told, watches their actions throughout the day and then uses Christmas magic to fly back to the North Pole each night to report to Santa Claus.  A little creepy, right?  Strange little elf with side-eyes taking note of your every move.  But, as suspected, the kids thought it was great!  Timmy, as we've named him, is a sneaky elf who likes to get into mischief before the kids wake each day.  The kids loved waking up in the morning trying to find where that sneaky little elf was hiding.

I'll spare you the twenty-five pictures of where our elf ended up each day and only give a couple good high-lights.  This being mostly because there were a couple days we forgot to move the dang elf--I don't know how many years I'll be able to get away with accusing Cannon of touching the elf and killing his Christmas magic!  The few days the kids couldn't find the elf was a score for me because that meant I didn't have to move him then either!

One morning that elf dyed our milk green.  It was special Christmas milk that the kids loved pouring over the cereal.  I didn't take the picture of the elf a few days later having "pooped" (green icing) from all that magic milk he'd drank.

I loved this one!  The kids did, too.  Stupid elf didn't realize that permanent marker doesn't come off glass without a lot of effort.

This was probably my favorite!  Gavin sleeps with a black light as a nightlight so I took (I mean) the elf took a highlighter and wrote on them as they were sleeping.  The elf then left them a riddle that read:

I left you a message in the darkest of night, that can only be read with the darkest of light.

Yeah, the riddle needed some parental guidance to make sense, but once they figured it out they LOVED reading their messages.  Gavin even had his nose colored like Rudolph.

That sneaky little Elf will probably show up again next year. 

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Century Under Her Belt

Steve's grandmother, Monu as we call her, celebrated her 100th birthday this month.  She has lived through eighteen presidents, at least two big recessions, and more wars then most care to think about. 

Here are some other fun-facts I found for the Year 1912:

- The “Unsinkable Ship,” also known as “The Titanic” sank at 2:27 AM off the coast of Newfoundland on April 15th, killing 1500 people

- Life Savers Candy was created in 1912 by Clarence Crane.

- Motorized movie cameras were invented, replacing its hand-cranked predecessor

- New Mexico became the 47th state in 1912

- Arizona became the 48th state the same year

- Pitcher Cy Young, for whom the major baseball award in now named, retired with 511 wins

- In 1912 Nabisco had a new idea for a cookie, and named it the Oreo

- Girl Scouts of USA is founded

- The 5th Summer Olympics was held in Stockholm, Sweden

- Albert Berry made the first parachute jump from an airplane

- The average life expectancy was 47 years

- Only 14 percent of  homes had a bathtub

- Only 8 percent of  homes had a telephone

- The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph

- The average wage in 1912 was $1022/year

- The average car cost $941

- A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year

- More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME 

And most importantly, Monu has witnessed the birth and soon-to-be death of the Twinkie!

Our special lady, Monu, herself.  She still manages to squeeze in a daily crossword puzzle

100 candles would only be fitting to rest upon one of the best desserts ever-- Lois' famous ice box cake.  It's delish, especially when topped with cool whip.

My boys love being with Monu. She is quick to point out that in Newberry, Michigan, she was a kindergarten teacher with thirty children she managed each day.  Eighty years later she hasn't lost her skill in capturing children's attention--starting when the babies are six months old she sings a resounding rendition of patty-cake.  As the kids grow, so do their games; Gavin's favorite is 'let's cover Monu in stuffed animals' and Harrison enjoys impressing Monu with his reading skills. Monu 'ooohs and aaaahs' enough to keep Harrison going.
It's a very special day, December 20th.  Happy Birthday to an incredible lady!
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I'm Ashamed To Admit It

I owe an apology to so many dog owners I have scoffed at over the years.  In the few short months of Chewy joining our family I have done oh! so many things I swore I would never, ever do.  Below is a list of my most recent violations:

  • Clothing.  Old Greta- They're covered in fur for crying out loud!  They don't need additional warmth or mother nature would have birthed them complete with knitting needles.  New Greta- But, he shivers and loves the comfort of blankets.  Don't we all feel more secure with something warm wrapped around us?! (That could be another violation right there, human feelings personified into a dog.  Ugh! Who am I??)
  • Outings.  Old Greta- Crazy dog lady, you think everyone wants to see your dog??  We don't.  Leave your dog at home where they belong.  New Greta- Mmmmm, I don't think this person has met Chewy.  Surely, they would want to be graced with meeting my new boy.  Plus, leaving him home alone seems cruel and unjust.  He's much happier when he gets to ride along. 

  • Dress up.  Old Greta- Really?  I mean, really.  New Greta- Look! A dog in a tie!  Hilarious!!  What else can we put him in??

  • Pictures.  Old Greta- Got it.  You have a dog and he's cute.  Oh, look, another picture of your dog sleeping.  New Greta- *Gush* He looks sooo cute sleeping.  Where's my camera?  I gotta get a picture of this!

  • Food.  Old Greta- You buy what special food and give your dog what to eat??  They're a dog, crazy lady, they eat poop and lick their balls!  Give them kibble and when they're hungry they'll eat.  New Greta- "Little Chewy, what's the problem?  You don't like this expensive dry dog food we've offered you?  What would make you happier, little one?  Even more expensive wet dog food?  Okay.  And just for kicks I Googled and found this recipe for doggy meatballs that are super healthy and will help fatten you up.  I will go ahead and make these for you from scratch while I feed my own children from frozen chicken nuggets."

I hope the crazy dog people out there can find it in their heart to forgive me and graciously allow me to join the club.  

XOXO, Gretch, the reformer.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cannon The Stubbornator

May this video finally solidify any doubts as to how stubborn my sweet Cannon can be.  He is rising up to the challenge of his namesake, being as forceful as any cannonball can be. 

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Golden Birthday

 Harrison celebrated his golden birthday this year.  A golden birthday being turning the same age as the day of your birth.  Like turning 7 on the 7th! I was really, really excited about his birthday. 
 It finally put a year between me and the 'terrible, horrible, no good day' in South Carolina.  (the wounds are still too fresh to put the story into words) But, it also marked seven years of me being a mother and us becoming a family.  

 My mom and I made these awesome 'Plants Vs. Zombies' cupcakes.  Well, I supervised my mom making these goodies.  It was an important job filled with, "Yeah, that looks good there.  Yes, keep doing that.  Perfect. Perfect."  I don't think they would've turned out this cute without my encouragement.  Uncle Justin was right, Harrison did almost pee himself with excitement when he saw his treats!

 Harrison got to choose the first cupcake.  Only the gnarliest of zombies would do.  

 His party was filled with old friends and new classmates. 

Grandad gave Harrison a camera for his birthday.  Within minutes the camera was covered in stickers making sure there would be no confusion as to who the camera belonged.  He enjoyed taking his own pictures at his own party.  He's Olin Mills in training.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Turkey Day 2012

What a difference a year can make.  A year ago the kids and I were boarding a plane saying goodbye to our Texas home.  We are now happily back home where I feel we belong.  Making what was old, new again. 

This Thanksgiving I'm grateful for the comforts of home. 

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Crazy Baby

Cannon's nickname lately is 'Crazy Baby!' It really needs no definition....he is a cah-razy baby!!  He gets into everything leaving a path of mess and destruction.  This lovely face came from a gumball he found and licked until it left a blue 'blood splatter' like trail from the upstairs down. 

Is this the face of remorse?  No!!
 Not only does he know what he did was naughty he's amazingly pleased with what he's accomplished!

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Wrestle Mania

Harrison made his first wrestling debut last weekend.  Starting with the early morning weigh-in, finger nail and skin check, and ending with figuring out the bracket system to learn when you're up and eventually out--it was a learning experience for us all.

He was smiley and happy not having near the anticipation that I had. 
 The butterflies in my stomach were in full-force!

Although he lost both matches he did not allow himself to be pinned.  Not matter how many times (and there were oh, so many times!) his opponent got him to his back Harrison twisted and manipulated out of it. 

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Another Bruiser Joins The Family

Steve called last week and said, "I've met someone and want to know if I can bring 'em home?" 

I was not expecting the someone to be a dog and even more so a little guy like this!  
But, just as he connected with Steve he did the same to the rest of us and has very quickly become  
one of the family. 

We've named him Chewy for his resemblance to Chewbacca from Star Wars.  
 He's the sweetest little guy and seems to be grateful to have found a 'forever' home. 

The doctor said he's extremely malnourished and, in time, should double his weight.  He said as he gets his energy back we'll see more and more of his personality.  Right now he prefers to sleep and snuggle.  He was severely neglected and his coat was full of clumps and balls of fur.  One trip to the groomers has him walking with a new pep (although it's left him a little chilly and in need of a doggy sweater!)

" Saving just one dog won't change the world, but surely it will change the world for that one dog."

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why I Work Nights- In A Nutshell

I often have to explain myself as to why, twelve years into my job, I still work nights.  I've more then 'paid my dues' and have had more than one opportunity to switch to a more normal schedule.  Truth is, I like nights.  I know it can be hard to understand, why would someone want to stay up when the rest of the world is sleeping just to sleep while the rest of the world is awake. I thought I'd put in in my classic top five list to make it a little easier to see my perspective.

 5.   The hospital is less crowded at night.  The occupational therapist, dieticians, speech therapists, chaplains, doctors, managers, and administrative people are all tucked in their beds asleep, leaving me to do my job best.  That's not to say those people are not very important and needed, just needed more so between 8-5 (when I'm not there)

4. Night nurses are different then their day counterpart.  Not better....just different.  Like a little funnier different, or little more laid back different, or maybe even just a little more like me different.  Whatever it is, I know when you spend twelve hours alone in a room with someone your shift goes a lot faster when you like the person you're with.

3.  Hundred dolla bills y'all!  You make more money.  And if I'm going to be away from my family I want to make the most amount of money I can.

2. Having worked nights forever it's made allowed Steve the opportunity to be more hands on with the kids.  Even though the kids go to sleep a few hours after I leave for work, it's Steve who has to give baths, brush teeth, finish homework, and even take care of the late night snuggling.  I think the kids really enjoy the nights with just Daddy, things aren't quite so regimented and with just a little negotiating they can easily swindle a pushed back bedtime.  I actually think Steve enjoys it, too.  Once he gets the kids in bed he's free to watch ESPN, Pawn Star, and endless car shows without me begging him to turn the channel.

1.Sacrifice worth making.  When I have worked the occasional day shift I miss out on a day entirely with my kids.  I leave for work before they wake up and get home right as they've gone to bed.  Makes my Mommy-guilt go into overdrive not to mention I truly miss being with them.  I like that if I'm willing to sacrifice sleep there's very little I have to miss of this precious time.  I can work two days in a row and in between shifts I can manage to make it to our neighborhood Pumpkin Festival and enjoy a street block party.  My family makes the sacrifice feel easy. 

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