A friend was telling me a story about her three year-old son, who has an older sister, and how we often refers to his underwear as 'panties.' I laughed and said in my very boy house I don't think my kids would even know that word. I came home from work, asked them, and videoed their response:
Nope, as I thought, they don't know panties. Their wives are going to hate me. I really need to up the estrogen influence in this house. Maybe make them watch a marathon of Frozen?!
Steve and I decided last minute to take the kids overnight to Rough Creek Lodge before school started. We've been here a couple of times without the kids and each time talked about how much they would love it. To me, this is how you know you're a parent--when you're on a getaway with your spouse and all you talk about is how much your kids would love the place you're visiting. But, really, we knew the kids would have a great time. Each night you can make s'mores by the fire pit. And, where else can you learn how to throw tomahawks at targets?!
This swimming pool included with free ice cream!
We rented a mule and went on an adventure through hundreds of acres. This sounded like a safer alternative for me and my peanut than the other adventures the lodge offered. In hindsight, me and my peanut should've just headed back to the pool because my belly turned into a washing machine with the bouncing and pouncing during the two-hour ride through the woods!
Cannon loved spotting the 'faces' on the trees through the enchanted forest.
Of all the boys, Gavin loves the outdoors the most.
This may not look like much in the picture, but what the picture doesn't convey is the Texas heat and large jumping bugs that surrounded us. But, would I let a few hundred steps keep me from seeing the top of Gunn Mountain?! No way! I was definitely last to make it to the top, but I made it!
Cannon is clearly the smartest person in our family.
"I'm the king of the world!"
There was a game at the top that consisted of a large collection of rocks with various barrels down the side of the mountain. The goal, of course, was to get as many as you could into the barrels. I think we depleted about half that box of rocks trying to make various goals. Seriously, boys are so competitive! They just never give up!
I love when my boys are sweet to each other. *sigh*
Gavin is my little gymnast and climber. He will climb anything put in front of him. I'm often cleaning footprints off the wall where he's tried to see if he could just climb like a spider! This tower was pretty challenging for all of his 42 inches in height. He had to almost do the splits to make it to a couple different spots. He was determined to ring the bell at the top of this tower. And ring the bell he did!
Although Cannon was too small to climb the wall I did let him climb this fence.
Harrison and Steve zip-lining. Initially, Harrison walked all the way up and then promptly all the way back down saying it was too high. He quickly overcame his fear because when I looked up again Harrison was jumping right behind Steve. I like that it didn't take anyone else to talk him into it, he just bucked up and went for it.
All that fun and excitement got the boys ready for Monday morning and the first day of school!
3rd Grade with Mrs. Kim and 1st Grade with Miss George
Gavin is sitting next to his friend, Chase, from Kindergarten. I think that made him pretty happy.
Harrison was too old to let me walk him all the way into his room. This is as far as I was allowed to go. He gave me a happy smile and off he went!
Cannon started preschool a few mornings a week later than his brothers due to a pipe bursting and flooding the church! Cannon was all smiles here, but when it came time to actually leave him, that lovely smile was no where to be found.
Harrison: "Mom, I'm hearing voices in my head." Me: "Um, (don't freak out, don't freak out, don't freak out) okay, lets talk about that. What kind of voices are you hearing?"
Harrison: "Well, there's a clicking sound on the video game, Minecraft, that I play and sometimes even when I'm not playing it I'll hear that clicking sound in my head."
Me: "Okay, and you said you hear voices. What voices are you hearing?"
Harrison: "Sometimes I hear you calling my name, but when I come to see what you want you haven't called my name at all."
Me: "Any other voices besides me calling your name?" (Please say no, please say no, please say no)
Harrison: "No, that's all, just the clicking sound and you calling me."
Me: "You know, sometimes, when I'm at work I hear monitors going off all night long. Then, when I come home and fall asleep I still hear beeping sounds in my head. So, I think, this likely means you're playing too much Minecraft and you need to take more breaks. Like, really, really limit the time you spend playing games."
Harrison: "Well, I think it means you need to yell my name less. Because if you didn't yell my name as much then I wouldn't hear your voice in my head. The clicking sound is fine, it's really just your voice that bothers me."
I love everything about the beach: the sun, sand, water, waves, and adventure. Even the annoying sand, that never completely rinses off, makes me happy. This year we stayed in Texas and drove to South Padre Island. I talked my friend, Shanita, and her family into coming along with us. Our boys are close in age and as Harrison says "we have a connection" so it makes hanging together a lot of fun. My cousin, Cameron, was visiting and Shanita even had a matching cousin, Keenen, to bring along.
South Padre Island
Schlitterbahn South Padre Island
This place was a lot of fun, but not designed by a mother. There are rides everywhere with starting and stop points that don't match up. It was really challenging to keep up with allll of our kids.
It had to be an interesting change for Cameron because in his house he's the youngest with two older sisters and he came to us as the oldest of three younger boys. He quickly stepped into the big brother role and the boys easily adapted to him as a big brother.
Me and my girly, Shanita.
In the evenings we went out to dinner to fun restaurants.
We definitely turned a head or two walking in with seven kids and all of them being boys!
Give seven boys any length of time and a competition of sorts with be born.
'Let's see who can run down the hill faster!'
And, like any good boy mom, Shanita had to join in the competition.
The inner-collegiate track and field athlete never dies!
Celebrating my halfway point in my pregnancy at the Port Isabel light house.
Our friend, Alissa, even drove down to spend a few days on the beach.
Her boys added to the fun in the sand.
Gavin really captured the surfer look with his tan, shark tooth necklace, and dark blonde hair. What he didn't capture, however, was how to skim board.
The boogie bahn was a favorite for everybody. Staying at the resort allowed us to bypass the long lines and have an hour after the park closed to ride this one over and over.
Cameron didn't start the mud fight, but he certainly kicked it up a notch!
Cannon opted to not get covered in sandy mud and instead chased the birds.
Keenen did the 'Heisman' to avoid the mud splatter from Gavin.
It's all fun and games 'til someone gets hurt.
Sometimes you just need a pep talk from a parent to help you shake it off and move on. Especially when you're the one who started the mud fight.
After dinner we would play board games and just hang out. It's not too often that you find people who vacation well together. We are lucky to have found just that. We like to sleep in, veg out, eat good food, and come home relaxed.
I love how these boys get along.
These two are too much!
Cannon took an instant liking to Keenen. And, by liking, I mean he was constantly attacking, picking, or overall annoying him! I laughed when Shanita told me Keenen said he actually missed Cannon a little bit on the car ride home.
Evan (9), Harrison (8), Gavin (6)
Cannon loved for Steve to take him in the ocean. He rested his head like this and laid perfectly still holding tightly to his Daddy. Cannon and Steve would wade through the waves getting about neck deep. It almost seemed to lull him to sleep. I tried a couple of times to do this with Cannon and it just wasn't quite the same. I don't think I provided the same comforting grip that his Daddy did.
So long beach and summer. We will see you next year with a plus one!
How exactly does a Disney Dad earn his title? Whenever a Mom says "No" to an idea the Disney Dad immediately says "YES!" As in, "YES! Of course you can have a huge, sticky lollipop in a car seat that is ridiculously difficult to clean!" And the Disney Dad seals his title by laughing along with the brothers when the child pretends to wash his face with the lollipop all while Mom is yelling, "Noooo, stop the madness!"
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 three boys. He enjoys adding to the rough and tumbliness of the household!
My little man Harrison. He's a rowdy eight 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.