Bergman's Bruisers

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

Thursday, August 29, 2013

If You're Gonna Be Dumb

...You Gotta Be Tough

"Cannon, stop jumping off the coffee table.  
You're going to hurt yourself."  Repeat X5.


"Next time listen to Mommy."

 ♫  If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough
When you get knocked down, you gotta get back up
I ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I know enough to know
If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough  ♫

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Another School Year Started

2nd grader with Ms. McKee.
Harrison was most excited about getting to cross the monkey bars that were forbidden to the first graders.  After school, when I asked him how it went, he said he thought for sure the monkey bars were coated in butter because he kept slipping off.  When I told him I would really like a school year without a broken bone he said he couldn't promise that wouldn't happen.  But, it was okay when he fell from the monkey bars because he only hit his head.  Only his head?!  *sigh*

      Kindergartener with Mrs. Smith...

   who just so happens to have been my sorority sister at TCU.
Gavin said he had  a great first day of school.  
He made two friends and told his teacher he loved her. 
 I expected nothing less.

And, my baby boy, starting a preschool a few mornings a week with Ms. Adrianne. 
I filled out paperwork for Cannon and one of the questions asked  was: 'Is there anything you want us to know about your child?'  I thought for a while about just letting them discover Cannon all on their own, but realized they would appreciate a head's up.  So I wrote, 'Cannon is the youngest of three boys.  At times he can be very assertive (I didn't want to use the word 'aggressive').  We work on being kind and sharing.  We work on this a lot.'  I emphasized the a lot.                  

Where does this leave me?  I am alone in my house with Chewy sleeping next to me not quite sure what to do with myself.  I'm told by other moms who've gone before me that what seems like endless alone time will quickly turn into not enough alone time.  I guess I'll have to take their word for it, because for now, I feel like I'm watching the clock waiting until it's time to not have enough time again.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

75th Jubliee

 Our big family trip this summer was to Florida to celebrate my GrandmotherJane's 75th birthday.  The party was set in motion over nine months ago, as that's how long it takes to gather this many people.  I have said many times on this blog how thankful I am to belong to such a large, tight-knit family.  It's celebrations like this, and annual girls' weekend trips on my mom's side that make me feel so special to have been born into such love and family-ness. 

75th birthday, or the 'jubilee' as we coined it, wouldn't be complete without a shirt to always remember the party!  What would be more befitting for G-Jane then a 'God Save The Queen' shirt?  All the grand kids love the picture of G-Jane looking oh-so-Jackie-O in her twenties, we all proudly rocked her face across our chests.

My kids love, love, love their cousins!

And by love, I mean LOVE!

GrandmotherJane with (almost) all of her grandchildren.  Cousin Jordan flew in the next morning.  If only I could figure out a way to Photoshop him in with us....

Great-GrandmotherJane with all her great-grandchildren.  My boys are incredibly lucky to have three of their great-grandmothers in their lives. 

The 'Kevin Smith' family.
A nice looking group, if I do say so myself.

G-Jane was given an awesome golf cart to putt around in her neighborhood.

Uncle Chris heaving Harrison to block the pummel of water heading his way.

There was an intense water gun fight held at Aunt Melissa's house. 

Gavin was better prepared to handle the direct hits of the water 
gun after he donned his goggles. 

Identical twins Aunt Judi and GrandmotherJane.  So easy to tell them apart now, but as children and young adults it was much harder.  

My soon-to-be-sister-in-law, Dixie!  Justin proposed on their way to Florida.  
So happy for her to join the family. 

Uncle Brian doing his best Johnny Cash

A Smith family gathering would be incomplete without an impromptu jam session.  This one was a little more planned because the music was themed around G-Jane's favorite singer--Elton John.

Dad tossing in a couple crabs to meet their untimely death.

Steve talked endlessly about doing a traditional New England crab boil.  The kids thought it was fun to play with the crabs, but when it came time to actually eat them......

 ...they passed and had corn on the cob instead.

It was a week of some good-eatin'!



Like, finger-licking-good-eatin'!

The bugs in Florida are HUGE!  My kids loved it, while I feared it.  I felt like I was in the movie "Jumanji" and kept waiting for a larger-than-life locus to take me down.  

Cannon is pretty good with the whole potty training thing, but when business calls there's no putting it off.  Having a boy makes this process much easier!  Find any tree, shrub, or rock and call it a bathroom.

 Cannon giving a shout-out to Ohio State.  

Cameron and me. Seriously love this guy.  He's made me look sooo forward to my boys growing up into teenagers.  I'm trying to talk him into coming and spending next summer with us. 

Me and Geedge.  

We had a bake-off competition complete with a secret ingredient--Florida citrus.  Justin really tried to make this as 'Iron Chef' as possible, even debuting the secret ingredient by surrounding it with dry ice while Alex did his best Japanese accent.
That lovely pudding concoction in the middle took first place, giving the reigning champs, Uncle Chris and Aunt Stephanie, another victory.  I think Steve has finally given up on beating's only taken about five losses in a row.  

Justin and Aunt Melissa were the judges.  The judging was serious!  

They kindly let Harrison be a junior judge.  I thought his voting was really funny.  If Harrison were the only judge, Cameron and I would have won.  We were contestant number 3 with the vote of "good!"


GrandmotherJane-- Cannon says, and we all agree, "you da man" when it comes to planning a party!  I love that you kindly demanded our attendance so that everyone was in attendance.  If I've learned anything from you it's that life and family are worth celebrating. It's worth the sacrifice to take time off work, hassle of traveling, and money spent to gain the time and love shared with those who love you. 

Being a family means that you are a part of something very wonderful.
It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.
No matter what.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

House Hunters With A Little Remodel

"Hey, Gretch, I'm going to sign us up to be on House Hunters."

"That's a terrible idea.  I don't want to be on T.V. This is allll you, I'm having nothing to do with this."
(me thinking Steve has A LOT of ideas that he never follows through with, I thought I'd go along with it, he'd forget about it, and I wouldn't the be 'dream squasher' he says I am)

"Gretch, House Hunters called--they are coming out to film us in three weeks."

"What?! You followed through? You never do that! Why would you choose this of all things to follow through on?!"

Steve did follow through on House Hunters and it was an experience we'll never forget, because even if Steve tried I'd remind him of all the stress he put me through.  It was five full days of filming with multiple outfits and site locations.  The House Hunters filming coincided with Harrison starting first grade, Gavin starting preschool, and of course, us moving into our house.  It took a large group of family, friends, and an awesome realtor, Holly Roberts to move into our house in the three day deadline House Hunters gave us. 

Filming at the restaurant 'Oliva' as we decided which house to buy.
  And by decided I mean we told the cameras the house we already had bought.

Steve chatting it up with the light and sound guys. 
 The downtime was fun getting to know everyone. 

The first day of filming we filmed the house that is our home.
 Kinda crazy to see a film crew in my house.

If you watched the show you saw the before pictures of our house......if you missed (shame on you!) here are a couple of still shots.

Before kitchen

After kitchen.


  I told Steve I wanted an old stove, as usual, he doesn't fail when it comes to hunting something down.  He found this beautiful O'Keefe and Merritt on Craig's List complete with the original Vent-a-hood from the early 1950's.  We had to patiently wait while the only antique stove restoration man in town spent four months turning our stove into it's original masterpiece.  The stove is made complete with the vintage Domino's powdered sugar tin my GrandmotherJane gave me.  It's the focal point in our kitchen and I just love it!

 Steve found this fish platter at an estate sale.  
My friend, Shanita, says he's creepy looking, but, hey, 
it's a perfect match for our kitchen.  So he stays, sad fish lips and all.

Steve made a matching bench to go with his South Carolina table, Ikea light fixtures, and curtains, courtesy of G-Jo's sewing, finishes our new kitchen. 

Steve and I both enjoy remodeling.  The difference is Steve enjoys the demolition more and my love is putting on the finishing touches.  Like these chrome drawer pulls that are the perfect compliment to the chrome handles on the stove. I was so excited when I found them.  I guess kind of like the excitement some girls get from clothes shopping.  It was as though these pulls were waiting their whole life just for me to find them...on Ebay and on sale.  *sigh*

With the stove, black cabinets, and white counter tops I was concerned the kitchen would take on too much of a retro look in our very traditional house.  I thought adding these classic glass knobs to the cabinets along with the island butcher top would tie it all together giving the look I was going for.

 My friend, Alissa, and her mom have an Etsy store where they sell pieces like this one here.  A new twist on the typical cork board.  You can check out more of their stuff here  Just Me and Mom
I got mine for my birthday, it's a perk of being friends with crafty people.

 I don't have a before picture of the study.  But, like we said on the show, we don't study, we play.  
A play room filled with all the kids toys would get a lot more use then a desk.  

But, as a matter of fact, we do have a desk in our play room.  It's a desk my mom played with as a little girl.  It's one of the many treasures I have from my Grandpa and GrandmaPits. I'm pretty lucky with all the antiques both my grandparents have given me. 

My Mom helped me put together this room by making the curtains and the cushion covers.  
I love the yellow curtains with grey walls.  This is a happy, happy room that is never this picked up.

 Before Formal Living Room.

Our 'quiet room' as Harrison calls it, or even better, Steve says the 'phone booth' because it's where I go to talk on the phone.
 Before Formal Dining Room

A room which is used more as a scooter race path then anything else.
I read that one of the ways you can make your 'track' home look more custom is to change out the builder lighting fixtures. We, of course, haven't done this to the entire house, but in the rooms we have it's made a big difference.

We tiled around the fireplace and had the concrete floors redone over Spring break. 

I continue to love our house and neighborhood.  It's a great place to raise our family