Bergman's Bruisers

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

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cannon 11 Months

This time last year I was big as a house,
just counting down the days until we'd meet.
Saying 'time flies' doesn't do it justice for what I feel this past year has been.  I have to remind myself that you're 11 months old and not a newborn!  

 Here you are eleven months later and already adding to the noise and rambunctiousness of the house.  You are filling the shoes of a 'Bruiser' quite well joining in on wrestling matches and yelling contest.  You, by far, have the highest pitch and longest squeal. The baby in you loves to be held, snuggled, and carried everywhere.  This must be how the "baby of the family" is born because Daddy and I happily oblige. The other night you woke up about midnight, not crying, just talking to yourself in your crib.  I listened to you for a while until I couldn't help myself and I went and brought you into our bed.  You, Daddy, and me played and talked for about an hour before we all finally fell asleep.  So happy and such a lovey. 

 Those four little teeth are as ferocious as they look.  They are sharp and strong and pack a mighty punch when you bite, which seems to be a lot these days.  No matter how stern my face when I tell you "No, biting!" you grin and giggle and cock your head back to bite again.

We pacify your desire to chomp by always offering a safe skin-free alternative.  You look like a puppy crawling around with a chew toy in your mouth. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

That's A Wrap

When we moved to South Carolina in November we went in on a joint venture with my Dad rehabbing a foreclosed house.  The kids and I were brought home to a house I had never laid eyes on.  A leap of faith in Steve, for sure.  Especially when we pulled into the drive and saw the likes of the picture below.  We've now lived here for about six months, we've worked endless nights and weekends, and in the end, I'm proud of what we have to show for it.  What I love most about before and after pictures is they skip ahead of the dust, dirt, and drama to show the beautiful end result.  Check 'em out.

You can barely see the house through the Jumanji forest. 

Once the trees cleared they exposed a house lacking any curb appeal.  A painting was definitely in order.

We had a rough time assuming ownership of this house.  Buying HUD foreclosures isn't for the faint of heart.  This is us moving out after we had already moved in.  Don't ask.  It's a story that still makes me fill with tears.

The skip ahead.  A breathtaking improvement, right?  It remains a very simple house, but with grass, small landscaping, paint, flowers, and a lovely wreath it looks inviting instead of frightening.  

                                                                 A view from the back.

Wallpaper filled every. single. room. in this country home.  Along with god-awful chandeliers that consisted of heart stamped metal.  

I love this screened in back porch.  Steve took down the rusted old screen and re-wrapped the porch.  The kids and I enjoyed throwing the football through the openings while Daddy worked. 

Steve picked out the colors in the house.  I especially love the yellow one for this room.  To me, it's the perfect shade of yellow.  

The master bedroom is huge and fills with morning light.  True to the time it was built the master bathroom leaves a lot to be desired. Given the opportunity I'd take about half this space and give it over the the ensuite. 

The entryway. 

                                   Formal living room or informal toy room as we are using it.

 The kitchen.  The heart of any house.  When we arrived to this house this was the first room we walked into, Gavin looked around and said, "Daddy, why our kitchen broken?"

A broken kitchen, indeed.

This was how we ate  until our kind neighbors took pity on us and offered their card table.  Rehabbing really makes you appreciate the simple things in life.  Sinks, stove, a toilet, or even just a table. 

We are living high on the hog here with a table and microwave.   Move over Martha Stewart!

Kitchen before pictures.  Trust me, the blurry picture made this look better then it did in person.


I know, right?!  It looks amazingly different!  I LOVE this space. 

Steve and I both were super excited for our Craig's List find of this stove.  It's a beast and has definitely taken some getting used to.

The back splash was probably my favorite project. It was like Tetris fitting the glass tile together. I think the end product marries old and new perfectly.  

Steve built the shelves under the counter tops to house the microwave, toaster oven, and Kitchen aide mixer.  My friend and realtor, Holly Roberts, stresses the importance of keeping your counter tops clutter-free.  I was never happier to see these shelves come together and get that stuff put away. 

Steve hand scrapped the checkerboard off the floors and then refinished to a rustic look.  

We really debated as to what color to paint the kitchen.  It was by far the toughest decision and the toughest job to do.  The walls are rough cedar and were incredibly difficult to paint.  We spent about three weekends working on it together.  We stayed entertained with the Oxygen network playing re-runs of The Notebook.  Steve was over it by about hour one of that movie.  As for me, I can never get enough of Noah.

The fireplace had about twenty years of soot plastered to it.  A Comet paste and good scrubbing restored it new. 

The little pond in the backyard is a favorite for our kids.  We had to drain and dredge the bottom cleaning out years of leaves and rocks.  We wanted to put some fish in it, but our neighbors warned us we would just be feeding the hawks.  We opted for some nice lily pads instead. 

All of the work on this country home brings us to this.  We finished up the work on the house just in time to feel the call to return back home to Texas.  It's where we feel we are needed and need to be.  Steve, the man who wears many hats, wants to try his hand at selling the house by owner.   He loves the art of negotiation.

Who knows where the Bergmans will rest their heads next.  Another rehab or move-in ready?  Every time we've done this I swear I'm never doing it again. However, the salesman in Steve seems to be able to convince me of just about anything. 

Onto our next adventure.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Momma's Day 2012

Steve asked the boys these questions for me on my once-a-year-special-day.  I thought the answers were pretty cute.  What was especially funny was the similarity between their answers even though they were "interviewed" separately.

14 Questions to answer about your MOM:

Harrison's answers will be in BLUE

Gavin's answers will be in GREEN

Cannon's answers will be red, but I'll save you reading his answers over and over, because they're all the same with, "Ba, ba, ba!  Mmmm, ma, ma!!"

1.  What do you LOVE TO DO THE MOST with your mom? Hang out with her.   Play with her.

2.  Complete this sentence:  “My mom is as pretty as ...............................”  Me. (As in I'm as pretty as Harrison.)  Me.  (As is I'm as pretty as Gavin)

3.  If you could give your mom ANYTHING in the world, what would it be?  I would give a DVD of learning lessons.  A baby toy for Cannon.

4.  What kind of stuff is your mom REALLY GOOD AT? Exercising. Playing with my toys.

5.  If you could CHANGE ONE THING about your mom, what would it be? Her not to get mad.  Yeah, getting mad.  For her not to get mad at me so I don't have to go away and cry. 

6.  What’s ONE THING you think your mom should do LESS OF?  Get mad. Don't get mad at me.  (Really, like I'm mad all the time or something?!)

7.  What’s ONE THING you think your mom should do MORE OF? Eating healthy food.  Eat cake.

8.  What does your mom do to RELAX?  Sit in a chair and watch T.V. Sleep, I think

9.  What do you think your mom was like BEFORE SHE HAD KIDS?  She wore pretty dresses.  I don't know, I didn't see her then.  (Harrison is so literal)  She was a baby, and you were a baby, too, Daddy. 

10.  What’s your mom’s FAVORITE FOOD and FAVORITE DRINK?  Lemon cake and water.  Lasagna and Kool-Aid.

11.  What’s the CRAZIEST THING you’ve ever seen your mom do?  I've never seen that.  Never.  Gavin says the craziest thing I've ever done is pull my mouth apart with my fingers and say "ba la la la la".  (And may he always remain so naive.)

12.  Is your mom BRAVE?  Tell me why she IS or ISN’T.  Yes, because she does the right thing and wears knee pads and elbow when she skateboard (I've never been skateboarding a day in my life)  Yes, very brave, because she comes to find me when I'm lost and crying. 

13. Is your mom a GOOD COOK?  What food does your mom COOK THE BEST?  Yeah, a good one.  I really like when she cooks alphabet soup.  Little Caesar's Pizza or hot dog, or pancakes.  (Wow! Only one of those items mentioned do I actually cook.)

14. Complete this sentence.  “I know my mom loves me because she......................”  I'm her son.  (Well said, son, and oh so true.)  Because she tells me and because I know everything.

It was a special day complete with multiple handmade cards and even a stop sign from Harrison that I'm to show whenever I want the boys to 'stop'!  Steve painstakingly made me a Martha Stewart lemon cream cheese pound cake with butter cream meringue coconut icing!

 Be still my beating heart!  This cake was delish!! Even though my Bruisers bowed out of helping Dad, he still added  their initials on the plate.  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Silence Is So Not Golden

Warning: All new parents should be aware that when your children are quiet they are often up to no good.  It may seem nice in the immediate moment to enjoy a little peace, but know that you will suffer tenfold when you discover what their silence yielded them.

I was drinking a cup of coffee on the couch this afternoon and was 'coming to' from having worked the night before.  Steve and I were talking so I didn't immediately notice that Harrison and Gavin were unaccounted for.  After some prolonged silence I looked into the kitchen and saw Gavin with a jar of Nutella, I barely had time to ask Gavin what he was doing with the Nutella when Harrison turned around and showed me...

Harrison's answer for why he wanted Gavin to paint his face with Nutella?  He wanted a chocolate face and it tastes good.  And his teachers tell me he's smart?!

Same day, but a few hours later, I'm putting on my makeup getting ready for work.  Gavin often hangs out with me while I'm doing this and digs through my makeup helping me 'get ready.'  Cannon woke up from a nap causing me to leave Gavin alone....and quiet. 

I came back in the bathroom to find Gavin crouched on the floor next to the toilet that he had just used to poop in, but opted not to wipe since there was nary a piece of toilet paper in sight.  He was digging through my make-up and cleaning it in the toilet....with the turd still in it!!  That's right people, his silence resulted in my make-up getting a poop wash in the toilet!!!!

Although the noise that my boys create can, at times, be deafening, after the events of today I'm going to try and embrace the sound a little more.

Silent Bruisers only leads to trouble.

And makeup freshly washed in poop.  

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, May 4, 2012


Before you were conceived I wanted you.

 Before you were born I loved you.

Before you were here an hour I would die for you.  That is the miracle of love.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lil' Commando

Harrison patiently sat through his haircut with the promise of a water gun fight in the backyard.  He ended up waiting even longer because Gavin decided he wanted his hair cut to look like Harrison and Cameron...and Jimmy Neutron, too!  All who know me know my love affair with Gavin's hair and I must admit I shed a tear (or two or three) as I watched his beloved hair fall to the ground.

Gavin thought he looked so cool as he admired his new do in the mirror.  He especially loved going to preschool the next morning because, "everybody wanted to touch my hair!"  Not sure if the buzz is going to stick around for G-Man.  He just doesn't look like Gavin and my fingers have nothing to twirl when we snuggle.

They were both excited to head to the backyard and wash off any excess hair with a good ol' water gun fight courtesy of Grandads birthday gift for Gavin.  I do think this recent gift raises the tally of guns given to my children from my dad to about six!

They looked like little soldiers running around spraying each other (sounds better than shooting!) with water. 

Gavin tried to hide behind this big tree, but his loud giggling gave away his secret location.  

The Gavinator--about to make his move. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

April Photo A Day

I jumped at the opportunity to stay in touch with my friends in Fort Worth and join them for the month of April in the photo a day challenge.  It was fun getting picture texts sent daily with everyone's unique take of the daily word.  Here's mine

Day 1- Reflection.  Initially I read this one wrong and sent a picture of myself.  It wasn't until I received all these cool "reflection" pictures back that I realized my mistake.  So, here's my second attempt, this is my absolute favorite family photo (even though it's missing Lil' C.) Can you see my face in Steve's shirt?  Ahh...reflection.

Day 2- Color.  This is art in the NICU where I work.  I was a little slow getting in the swing of the whole picture-a-day-thing so I was left taking this at about 10:30 at night.

Day 3- Mail.  With the chaos of December I was never able to send out Christmas cards, so I made up for it with a couple Easter ones instead.

Day 4- Someone that makes you happy.  Seeing my boys want to be like their older cousin, Cameron. Cam is a good person for them to look up to.

Day 5- Tiny.  Cannon's hand, though chunky, is still smaller than mine.

Day 6- Lunch.  Doesn't look like much, but these were awesome fajitas!

Day 7- Shadow. 

Day 8- Inside your wallet.  This is the most organized thing in my purse, only because I rarely put stuff back in it.  My Fort Worth zoo and museum passes are just dying to be used.  *Sniff*

Day 9- Younger you. Hard to believe this picture is 15 years old!!  Where has the time gone? 

Day 10- Frozen.  If my house was on fire and I only had time to save a few things this frozen milk would be on the list.  Unless you have pumped milk yourself this may be hard to understand, but the method for gathering this milk is nor fun or easy.   For those mom's out there who have been there I know you're nodding your head in agreement with me. 

Day 11- Where you ate breakfast.  My breakfast is a bad habit of just coffee and I drank it, rather, at the kitchen table. 

Day 12- Stairs.  These are the stairs in my house and it was the only thing separating me from my bed after a night of work.  **The walls are not this bright green.  It's a perfect shade of green. Really.**

Day 13- Something you found.  Cannon and I laid down for a nap together and I woke to find Toonces snuggled up next to him.  This cat loves Cannon! 

Day 14- How you feel today.  Rested and ready for a night of work!

Day 15- Sunset.  The sunset from the parking garage at the hospital.

Day 16- Flowers.  I would be childless if you had to prove you can grow flowers before you can have kids.  Steve often offers a eulogy when I bring plants home, "you were a good plant, providing color to our world, offering nectar to the butterfly.  Goodbye dear flower."  Geesh.

Day 17- Something you don't like.  Laundry.  Everything about it I hate. 

Day 18- Hair.  Steve's head is hair...less! 

Day 19- Orange.  Harrison in his orange vest from the kids' Home Depot workshop. 

Day 20- Something you drew. 
I can't draw.  Even a simple of connecting the drawing with numbers leaves me frustrated.  But, give me a face and I can draw, paint, and create like Picasso!

Day 21- Bottle.  The bottle collection from work.  More types of formula than a bar has liquor.

Day 22- The last thing you bought.  Call me vain, but this is the last thing I bought.  'Frownies', a little triangle that adheres between my eyebrows keeping me from furrowing at night while I sleep. Steve has me paranoid that I'm rapidly aging each night with my 'angry sleep!'   By the way, it really works! 

Day 23- Vegetable.  My most favorite veggie mix, salsa!!

Day 24- Something you're grateful for.  For my three little Bruisers.  Oh, and their Daddy, too!

Day 25- Looking down.  Cannon enjoying the bounce of his first bouncy house.

Day 26- Black and White.  Me and Shanita, we go together like peas and carrots.  My sister from another mister. 

Day 27- Someplace you went.  We've been to just about every park in Greenville, South Carolina.  This city gets an A+ for parks!

Day 28- 1 pm.  Precisely at this time I was sleeping from having worked the night before.  Just imagine me with my eyes closed and a Frownie perfectly placed.  Picture it?  Good.

Day 29- Circle.  H & G.  Ying and Yang.

Day 30- Something that makes you sad.  Having to take Cannon for an emergency dental visit because he hit his face while crawling and loosened his bottom two teeth.  This visit caused me to score a perfect 100% of taking now all three of my children to the dentist in an emergency situation.  Cannon being the youngest has me really concerned for his future catastrophes.