On any given day I clean a face like this ten times. It amazes me how a face can get so messy with so many different things. I could feed a starving child with the remnants from my child's face alone! My love for my children should never come into question, because even through this mess, I see a face with smoochable cheeks.
We had our first annual Halloween party this year. Halloween is my favorite holiday to celebrate with the kids. I rallied the help of friends and family and got to planning! Here's a couple shots from our fun night!
Justin and Dixie drove all the way from Austin to party with us!
It's always fun to see work friends outside of work!
One of the entertainment stops was the Beanboozled jelly beans. Two jelly beans that look the same and until you eat them you don't know if you're eating say, canned dog food or chocolate pudding! Ew!! The bucket in the middle was for the disgusting jelly beans that couldn't be eaten and had to be spit out.
No Bergman party is complete without lots and lots of food!
Thanks to Groupon we even had a lovely bouncy house.
This picture doesn't show our craft room very well. But, we covered the room in plastic--straight Dexter style, for those who watched the show--and had the kids paint pumpkins. It was great because at the end of the night I rolled up all the paint, dirty brushes, and mess and tossed it all away. Easiest clean up ever. Who'da thought you could get party tips from a show about a serial killer??
And, if you've watched Dexter then you should recognize Alex's costume.
I have the happiest memory as a kid of going to a Halloween party where they had a 'feel box.' A covered box you stick your hand into and touch things like intestines (cold spaghetti noodles) or Jello-molded brains, hearts, and ears.
Alex brought over his hungry snakes and the kids got to get up close and personal while they ate rats.
Sometimes the circle of life is quite scary. The kids loved it!
The crowd around the hungry snakes!
A group of little girls took notice of Dixie's craft skills and she immediately found herself with new friends. Who knew all the things you could make from pipe cleaners?!
Another of the game stations was popping candy-filled balloons with darts. These balloons took a long time to stuff and pin and a very short time to pop and enjoy.
With a lot of help we turned the upstairs into a haunted house. There was a wickedly-dressed witch (G-Jo) that led the kids through. The kids were led into a bathroom to find Alex laying lifeless in the bathtub covered in his snakes and then into a bedroom where a very tall Terrance slowly rose up to greet them. They had to bravely walk past a strobe light bloody curtain with scary creatures popping out into a dark room with a glow-stick man walking towards them. I heard a couple of the kids say "lame" but quite a few more went through to be scared over and over.
In between kids coming through our glow man, Cameron, showed us his best Dougie skills.
Harrison went dressed as his favorite video game, Minecraft.
Cannon, very appropriately dressed, as the Hulk.
Gavin as Iron Patriot.
The Halloween party committee (me and mom) have already started our planning for next year!
Gavin was home sick with strep throat last week. His fever kept him from going to school, but with antibiotics on board he felt much better. With Harrison at school and Cannon at preschool it left rare alone time with Gavin. We decided to have a "date" and go to breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Being in a family with three kids, alone time with no battle for attention, is rare. To know Gavin means you know how much he loves attention. And, oh yeah, he decided last minute to dress up as Batman.
Batman thought ordering a Root Beer in the bottle was extra cool.
We kept having to 'cheers' our glasses together.
When I asked Gavin to smile, he very seriously told me--in the best Bruce Wayne voice he could-- "Batman doesn't smile. His parents are dead and he must avenge their death."
It's unfortunate that it took being sick to have this one-on-one time. We really had a good time together. Without other brothers to interrupt, Gavin had my undivided attention. And, not to hate on those momma's to just one out there, but it was so easy. Easy to keep up with him, easy to maneuver in and out of the car, easy to make decisions. Like, manineedtodothismoreofteneasy.
I decided I need to not wait for an illness to have these easy dates with my boys. A date with a healthy child would probably be even more fun! Oh! The places we could go! That is my mission--more alone time with each one of my boys. A year from now I hope to see a stamp on this post saying "DONE. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"
At the ripe ol' age of five Gavin is already very aware of clothing, hair, and styles of the people around him. He's particular about how he looks and what he wears. I remember at his age already wanting my clothes and hair to look a certain way, so I get it. I have no problem letting Gavin be Gavin.
He decided some months ago he wanted his hair to look like Justin Bieber...circa 2009. This took some dedication to grow because he got a nice summer buzz in June. But, persisted he did, and finally it was long enough to shape into the Biebster. I watched a couple You Tube videos on how to achieve the modern 'bowl' haircut and felt confident enough to get to styling.
Move over, Justin, there's a new heart throb in town and he goes by the name of Geedge.
Not a bad job, right?? I was kinda proud of myself!
As for Harrison, he wanted his tried and true buzz. "Mom, I want it short enough that I can take a super fast shower and I don't have to brush it in the morning before school." I have no problem letting Harrison be Harrison either.
The difference between Harrison and Gavin is stark. I'm not sure there could be more opposite. It makes parenting that much more challenging. What encourages one disables the other and what is easy for one seems impossible for the other. As for Cannon, his young personality is still presenting itself, but, so far, he definitely is filling the name of Cannon quite well. It really gives teeth to the idea that we're born with our personality.
When kicked off electronics this is what Harrison does in his free time.....
And what Gavin does in his free time.
Over the years I've often thought about what Father Charlie said in church one day--how the family we are born into is one of the things we don't choose in life, it's chosen for us. And instead of begrudging our family for what it is or isn't, we should ask ourselves why it is God put us where he did. What purpose do we serve to the people that make up our family? As my boys grow older and their differences more vast, I can see where it might be easy for them to drift apart. My prayer for them is that their brotherly and family bond makes them see they are greater than the sum of their parts. Meaning, if they have each other's back, tackling the setbacks together, they will go so much further....
Because, after all, the ties that bind them are stronger than their differences could divide.
Happy mom, happy wife, happy life. I'm a mom who sees that the daily challenges and blessings of parenting far supersedes what I expected. I'm a wife who sees 'for better or for worse' in a whole new light. I'm a neonatal ICU nurse who sees daily that the miracle of life is a gift from God.
My husband, my love. The ying to my yang. Famous quote "Hey Steve, can you help me clean up around the house?" "But, Gretch, you're so good at it. We're a team, we both shouldn't be good at the same thing, right?" He's the proud pappa of his four boys. He enjoys adding to the rough and tumbliness of the household!
My little man Harrison. He's a rowdy nine year old who loves everything "boy." Every stage since his birth has been my favorite. But now, really, I think the 8 year old stage is the best. Really.
My middle son Gavin, Gi-Gi, or Geedge is my fiercely independent six year old. His mantra is 'I can do it by myself.' Sometimes this is at the expense of his safety and much to his dismay Mom and Dad have to intervene. But, at the end of the day he still needs his Momma to snuggle and scratch his back. I happily oblige.
My youngest and rowdiest! son, Cannon. At the age of three he has grown into true a true Bergman Bruiser adding to the rough and tumbliness of our home.
Our latest and greatest Bruiser. Quin joining our family officially enters us into the 'buttload of kids' category and ensures that we will have a rambunctious house for many years to come.