Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy Holidays from the Bergquist Family!

Wishing You Happiness Holiday Card
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Camp NanaPapa!

Since my parents have been kind enough to come to our house to watch the boys basically every Wednesday since February 2006, we thought we would try something different this summer. We sent the boys to THEIR house, to Camp NanaPapa!

Kevin was a champ, delaying the start of his Wednesday to meet my parents halfway – at the US-23 and M-59 intersection – every week. The boys were always so excited and the minute they saw my parents parked at the Wendy’s (the drop-off point), they would start screaming from the car for them.

Once they were transported from one car to the other, they were typically greeted with one of their favorite treats – chocolate-glazed Timbits! Back to my parents’ house they would go for the day to play in the pool, play baseball with Papa, watch lots of movies and eat lots of vegetables! During special weeks, my parents would get extra help from Aunt Erin or the boys would get a visit from Aunt Stacey and Baby Elsa!

At the end of the day, we typically would meet up with them at an awesome market near Milford called Colasanti’s and they would feed the ducks and geese with my parents while Kevin and I grabbed something delicious from the deli. And, all the way home, the boys would mistakenly call me “Nana” and talk about all the fun they had that day.

Of course, these past 12 weeks have gone by in the blink of an eye and now it’s time for school again. And it’s time for my parents to get back into the routine of making the weekly Wednesday trek to Ann Arbor. I hope the summer made things easier on them and I hope they had as much fun as the boys did at Camp NanaPapa!

Side note: I just want to TRY to put into words how appreciative Kevin and I are of my parents’ constant, consistent and reliable help raising the boys. We simply cannot imagine doing it without them. No words could ever explain it and no dollar amount could ever cover it. Thank you!

Monday, August 13, 2012

I'm upset!

The calendar shows Christmas on Dec. 25, but for Harmon and Simon every Monday brings with it another chance to get a shiny new toy, or a lump of coal. But, this isn’t about toys; it is about telling the boys which car they are going to ride in that morning.

Even though we have a nice new Traverse with all of the creature comforts, including satellite radio, for some reason the boys always want to ride in the 2004 Liberty. On Mondays we have to split up to take the boys to their respective summer camps. And, at the stroke of 7:30 a.m., they run out of the house and head for the driveway with wide eyes. And sure enough, the son that is chosen to ride in the Liberty taunts, while the other is upset all the way to camp.

Simon drew the short end of the stick this a.m., and decided he had had enough. He said, “I hate the Traverse, and I am going to kick it.” Sure enough, he walked up to the rear fender and gave it a swift kick. Then he retreated to the side of the driveway, where he folded his arms and barked,” I don’t like the Traverse, and I am not riding in it ever again.” Eventually, he was coaxed in and on his way to school. But they never get used to it, and will no doubt square off again next Monday.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Night game

Harmon usually sees Comerica Park only in the daylight and typically for Kids Days on Sundays. But, now that he’s getting a little older, I told him I would take him to a night game and we did just that last Friday.

He was very excited and was dressed in his Tigers gear and ready to go early Friday evening. We parked in our favorite spot and got into the stadium with no trouble at all. We got his usual staples – hot dog, soft pretzel and bottle of water – and headed for our seats. Once again, Kevin did an amazing job with the tickets. This time, Harmon got spoiled with seats in the first row overlooking the bullpen.

After the first inning, Jose Valverde and Joaquin Benoit made their way to the bullpen and I told Harmon to wave and yell but he went all shy. The family next to us said their son waved and yelled during warm-ups and his efforts were rewarded with a ball. This was ALL Harmon needed to hear! For the next eight innings, Harmon was on his feet relentlessly waving and yelling at anyone who was in or around the bullpen – including Quintin Berry who was playing left field that night. Sadly, and he was really bummed at the time, he did not get a ball.

When Harmon wasn’t harassing the bullpen, he was downing his food. He ate part of his pretzel, then his hot dog, then watched a while and then wanted the rest of his (now cold) soft pretzel. I told him to at least sit down while he was EATING so as he turned to sit he bumped his arm and – I’m not even kidding – he dropped the rest of his soft pretzel into the bullpen. At first, I was mortified but, after a few innings, I was laughing uncontrollably about it. It WAS hilarious and now we have a great story to tell about his first night game!

And speaking of the actual game, he was a champ! We stayed in our seats the ENTIRE time and he watched – alternating between the new huge scoreboard and the actual field – the Tigers beat the Indians, 10-2, with the highlight being a Prince Fielder home run.

Although I wasn’t sure he would make it, he was excited about and stayed awake for the Friday night fireworks. We had a great seat for them and they were beautiful!

As we left out section, I snapped a quick picture of him with the field in the background and he looked so happy. An usher stopped me when I was taking this picture and asked if I would like one of the BOTH of us which, of course, I did! He took one and although it wasn’t the best picture ever, he said something to me when he handed my phone back to me that was even better than a picture.

He told me his father took him to his very first game – game two of the 1945 World Series – when he was 6 years old. He said it was one of his greatest memories and he remembers it like it was yesterday. He then said “that’s what you just gave your son!” I wanted to cry at that point – so very sweet!

We headed to the car for a very traffic-y drive back to Ann Arbor and, all the way home, as Harmon slept, I kept thinking that THESE were the nights I was waiting for when he was born, when I first learned I had a son.  

Friday, August 03, 2012

Back to it ....

I have pages of blog notes but, with work and two kids, getting these notes actually posted on the blog has been a challenge. Quite frankly, it's felt very overwhelming. I feel like I'm letting the boys' experiences just pass by without documentation. Thank God we take lots of pictures.

I was talking to a co-worker about this feeling the other day and she had some great advice. She said that, in scrapbooking, you will never catch up so you just do the most recent thing and work backwards. So, that's what we're going to do here ... I hope it works!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Meet Me in St. Louis

Our family vacation of 2012 took us to the Gateway to the West: St. Louis. And, while we will remember the trip for its scorching weather, fire alarms and the best van ever, it also will be remembered as the time we took the boys on a road trip back to Daddy’s old stomping grounds. 

Normally, we would fly such a long distance, but we decided to drive. After picking up our rental car, we quickly noticed the lingering cigarette smell. We returned it promptly and, lo and behold, about all they had left was a Town and Country van with leather captain seats and – BOOM! – a DVD player for the boys.

We knew it would be hard on the boys to drive straight through to St. Louis, so we decided to split the trip both ways. On the way down, we stayed in Bloomington, Indiana, home of our Big Ten brethren Hoosiers. We like to visit college towns during our travels, and often joke that we are taking the boys on their college visits about 12-15 years early. After settling into our hotel we took a brief tour of campus and even walked straight into Memorial Stadium. Quite beautiful, actually, but the real highlight came the next day.

On our way out of town, we decided to stop by fabled Assembly Hall to see if we could sneak in for a look around. Most of the doors were predictably bolted, but Aimee found an open door. She and Harmon crept down to the court and took a few photos before one of the facilities staff walked in. Busted? No way. He said, “I am going to make your day and turn the lights on.” For a good 20 minutes, we had the whole court to ourselves. The boys ran around and screamed, oblivious to the history below their feet.

Pulling our heads out of the clouds, we hit I-70 for a trip across Illinois to our destination. Upon checking into our hotel, I wanted to make sure we had the Arch view we had been promised. Our room was on the 14th floor and, upon flinging the drapes open, found the Arch staring us down. We could not have asked for a better room. There was still a lot of day left, so we took a trip to get some Pointer’s chicken pizza (try it!) and spend some time in Forest Park. As it got dark we headed down to the Arch to take one of the last trips of the night up the famous landmark. The boys loved it, especially seeing Busch Stadium lit up in the distance. Aimee had wobbly legs, so we headed back down and settled in for the night.

On Tuesday, we headed out to the St. Louis Zoo, still free after all these years. It was oppressively hot, and the boys eventually succumbed, but they were good sports. We decided to keep the boys cool, and what better way to do that than to embark on another college tour. The University of Missouri was a mere 100 miles down the road, so we grabbed some cold pops, decided we had time for that, cranked the AC and headed further west. In Columbia, we had dinner, tried in vain to get into the football stadium (not as accommodating as some of our other stops), and saw some of the campus landmarks. We drove back to St. Louis and got back into town just as the Cardinals’ game ended and traffic picked up.

We spent the Fourth of July entirely downtown. There was a parade and airshow outside of our hotel window, so we stayed indoors as long as we could before venturing out. On our way to Busch Stadium for the Cardinals game, we stopped by City Gardens, where the boys got an unexpected swimming experience. We then made our way to the house that Willie McGee built and this was, by far, the hottest point of our trip. Not sure if he passed out because of the heat, or simply fell asleep, as he had not taken a nap, but Simon just tanked it. After he awoke, we settled into the bleachers for, oh, about two innings. The scoreboard said 102 degrees and all four of us were like, NO WAY! We took the Metrolink back to the hotel and watched the fireworks from our hotel room.

On our final full day in the STL, we headed to City Museum. We were on the second or third floor when the fire alarm went off. Sure enough, we all evacuated, but only for about 45 minutes. After we piled back in, the boys had fun exploring every nook and cranny, inside and outside. We decided to take a short ride over to the Magic House, and the boys explored there for another two hours or so before we headed for The Hill, and Zia’s, for dinner. The boys actually ate better than we did, and we were stuffed for the night. We took one final campus trip, to nearby Washington University in St. Louis, where Daddy spent his final days in sports information. Back at the hotel, the boys swam, as they did most days.

On our way out of town on Friday, we dropped by Anheuser-Bush for a brewery tour; well, at least part of it. After we saw the Clydesdales, we got our free drinks and snacks and headed out of town. We saw the Arch in the rearview mirror and were glad the boys got to see where Daddy lived for four years and where we added another layer of family memories.

Like we did on the way down, we decided to split up our trip. We stopped for an overnight stay at my brother’s home in Washington, Illinois. The boys loved Uncle Steve’s new pool, we had Avanti’s for dinner, and we visited with Aunt Kim, Aunt Angela, cousins Kourtney and Katelyn, a rare summer visit, as we usually only see them during the Christmas holidays and Easter. The boys wanted my brother’s dog, Cheyenne, to sleep in their sleeping bags and she was ready to oblige, but had to sleep upstairs. After a good breakfast the next morning, we hit the road for Ann Arbor. It was a great trip home with great weather.

We got home Saturday night and used our buffer day of Sunday to get groceries, run errands, and settle back into our routine. It was great family vacation, and the boys loved every minute of it. And while I have been gone from St. Louis for 12 years, it was a reminder that this little Midwestern river town has always been a special part of our lives.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Simon at swim

Simon always has to attend Harmon’s sporting events so naturally he began asking when HE could start playing. Since there are not a lot of options for three-year-olds – at least options that work with our schedule – Kevin agreed to take him to the parent/child swim class. He was very excited but had one small concern – he needed to know if there were any frogs there!

Much like his Nana, Simon has a love-hate relationship with frogs. If they are stuffed or in figurine form, that’s cool. If they are real, well, that’s not so cool. Anyway, we assured him there were no frogs at the pool so he went on to have a great time!

We knew he was having a great time simply by the amount of happy screams that came out of his mouth. Side note: Kevin may have permanent hearing damage because Simon is just SO loud.
Besides having fun, he also did a great job. Kevin said that, at times, it seemed like he just wanted to go swim on his own. We’re guessing he’ll soon be ready for the next class when he IS on his own.