About Me

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I am a Mom of two young lads, a fitness fanatic and wife to a die-hard Packers/Brewers fan. I worked in corporate america for 12 years. Now I am on a new adventure - raising my sons and working part-time in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor. I hope you stop by and read my updates- family, fitness, or life related!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Braden's First Christmas!

Mom and Braden opening some presents at home on Christmas.

Dad and Braden- matching Christmas sweaters! Will this be a new tradition?? :)

All of the Sullivan grandkids! Braden is the sleepy guy of course!

The present madness at the Sullivan Christmas 2009!

Well I think Braden enjoyed his first Christmas- he enjoyed the stimulation of being with all of the cousins/aunts/uncles/grandpa, etc... that he didn't sleep well the two days post-Christmas (and was pretty crabby/fussy as a result). He must have been wondering what happened to all the action?

Braden of course got spoiled for his first Christmas. Lots of clothes, a few books and some new toys. He sure is a lucky guy! We spent Christmas Eve at my brother Mike's house and the whole Sullivan family was there which was nice (including cousins Nick, Rachael and Julie). We then slept over at my sister's house because it was still a bit snowy that night. We woke up on Christmas Day to Mitchell, Levi and Ava checking out their gifts from Santa. Then we headed home and opened some presents as a family of three! It was a fun Christmas!

We can't believe next year at Christmas time Braden will probably be running around or maybe pretty darn close to it. Hope you all enjoyed your Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Three Months!

Braden on our new rocking chair.

Braden sprawled out in his crib- loving being free of the swaddle!

Today Braden is officially three months old. He is no longer a newborn. He is now an infant. :) We have packed up the newborn clothes and he is starting to wear the 3-6m clothes now. I can't believe how fast it's going (just like everyone says) and how he seems to change more and more every week.

What is Braden up to lately? He is into more of a routine now - morning nap (9 or 9:30), afternoon nap (12:30 or 1ish), mini late afternoon nap (5ish), bedtime around 7:30 or so, sleeps until 4am - gets up to eat, and goes back to sleep until about 8am. He also is sleeping without being swaddled. He was getting too big for the miracle blanket and was starting to wiggle out of it multiple times a night. I had to attach a picture of him sprawling out in his crib. It must feel good! He also is smiling a ton, laughing, and talking up a storm. It's fun to see him play more too - holding his toys and moving them around (like up to his mouth).

We also have been busy doing our Christmas shopping, baking cookies, and wrapping the presents. We are all set for the holidays. This year is a Sullivan Christmas (we trade off years) so we will be here in MN- Stillwater and Woodbury. We saw Joe's parents last week, they gave us the rocking chair that Braden is sitting on in his three month pic above. It's so nice to rock Braden to sleep in it - he loves it.

We also spent this past Sunday with Joe's sisters and Todd so that was nice too. Today we went downtown to visit some Target friends and old co-workers. Braden was in awe of all the people and the lights. We stopped by to visit Dad too which was fun!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone, be safe and enjoy this special time with family!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I Had A Moment!

Mom (on the left) in her scrubs outside the operating room after assisting with a surgery.

(Beware, this post might make you teary eyed.)

Tonight I had a moment. I was holding Braden as he was falling asleep and this overwhelming feeling came over me. A feeling that made my eyes well up with tears. This feeling was simular to one that I had with my mom the spring before she passed away (13 years ago), after what would be her very last surgery. To give you a little background, my Mom went into this surgery knowing that cancer was spreading to her colon (it started as ovarian cancer). Before going into surgery, the doctor explained two potential outcomes. The worst scenario would be if she woke up and had a colostomy bag attached (meaning they couldn't remove the tumors and it was spreading too badly) and the better scenario would be sans colostomy bag and being able to remove some of the tumors.

Well, I went up to see her in the recovery room and she indeed had the bag attached. I tried to be as strong as I could for her when she woke up. She didn't know which outcome yet and I was holding her hand and rubbing it. She woke up all of a sudden and said, "I knew that touch was yours" and then noticed that she had the worse of the two scenarios and then stated her favorite vulgar word. :)
Anyway, the moment that I had tonight with Braden brought me right back to that time in the hospital recovery room. My Mom knew my touch even after a major surgery and she awoke knowing that I was comforting her. Tonight Braden fell asleep holding my hand and that same overwhelming feeling came over me. I know he is only three months old but I believe he can recognize my touch. It is such an amazing thing for me to be able to carry this love on - the same comforting touch that my Mom recognized in the worst of times is now recognizable to my newborn son.

Anyway, sorry if I made anyone sad by writing this but it's one of those experiences/moments that I wanted to capture so I didn't forget it. I have been thinking about her a lot since Braden's birth and even more so during this holiday season. I know that she is with us each and every day but I do really miss her.

I chose this picture of her because it's the same one that I had with me in the delivery room. I used this picture as a focal point in the last 10-20 minutes before Braden was born. I told the nurse that I was picturing my Mom in the room in her scrubs telling me to work hard. It sure worked! :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

All I Want For Christmas!

Nope...it's not my two front teeth! But these pictures tell the story of "what I want for Christmas, I already have!" It's even wrapped in a bow! :) (ok, if I could get anything I wanted for Christmas I might ask for new house- but I know that is not possible for quite a while so I'll put that on the list for next year and if not, then the next year after that- he he.) But, seriously, I feel very blessed this holiday season- we have a three month old son who brings so much joy to our family. We are healthy and happy. We have food on the table and a roof over our head. We have awesome family members and friends. Life is good! I pray for those who are going through tough times this holiday season- the ill or people who have lost someone close to them, those who are less fortunate, etc.... I know that for some people Christmas time is tough, I have experienced tough times as well and even though I miss my Mom dearly each year, I try to focus on all of the blessings that surround me each and every day!

I hope this holiday season finds you all thinking about the things you are thankful for and sending prayers to those who need it this season! Christmas is all about spending time with family. The Hammond household is so thankful and blessed that we have a family of three this year - that is all we want for Christmas and we got it early! We must have been nice this year for Santa to bring us Braden! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

12 Weeks Old!

Well Mister Braden is twelve weeks old today- my how time flies. It's crazy to think that today I would have started back at work also. I know tons of people do it and babies are totally fine, but we are very happy that we made the decision to have me stay at home while Braden is so young. It would be really hard on our family to have him in daycare with both of us in the corporate world with not much flexibility. I am adjusting to my new lifestyle- trying to get Braden to take his naps, playing with Braden, getting out and having some plans with friends, hitting the YMCA for workouts some mornings (so Mom can stay healthy) and being able to run errands and get all of our Christmas things done early this year. :) It is not so bad!! I am sure the winter will be really long, but we will try not to stay cooped up. We are taking a "Baby and Me" class that starts the end of Jan. too so that will be nice!

We have a couple of friends that are due within the next couple of weeks to have a baby - so we are excited to find out the exciting news when it happens. Braden looks forward to having his same-age friends!

It was minus 15 or so today with the windchill so I hope all you Minnesotans are staying warm!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cookie Baking!!

Braden watching over the Christmas goodies!

This year we are feeling quite festive- tree was up the weekend after Thanksgiving, the Christmas shopping is officially done and we even made Christmas cookies this weekend. Joe took a kind and I made two other kinds. Nothing fancy of course- just peanut butter cookies with the hershey kiss on top, peanut/raisin clusters and white chocolate pretzels (my fav!) Braden even helped out- he watched for a while and then took a nap in the car seat in the kitchen next to us! Now the true test will be if I can restrain myself from eating the cookies- I am still trying to finish losing my pregnancy weight and I don't want to lose focus over the holidays! Easier said than done of course!!!

Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season!

Family Day

We finally had someone take a picture of us three by the tree!
Braden and his Bapa Sullivan!
Three Generations of Hammond Guys!

On Saturday of this past weekend we spent the day with both sides of the family- Joe's parents were in town doing some Christmas shopping so they stopped by for a few hours to see us. Then that afternoon we headed over to my sister's house for a Sullivan dinner. My Dad made some delicious spagetti and we hung out. It's pretty rare that we get to see both sides of the family in the very same day! What a fun way to spend a Saturday. Braden enjoyed seeing everyone and they all enjoyed getting more play time with him instead of him sleeping the whole time! :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Braden and His Friends!

Braden is surrounded by friends. Each morning on the spare bed in his bedroom he plays with Vines, Elmo and Freddy the Firefly. They usually get him talking real loud! Today I had to take a picture of him in his little chair surrounded by his friends!! It cracks me up! He tries to bring whatever toy is closest up to his mouth so he can suck on them. So already we have started the eating/sucking everything in sight! :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tis the Season!

Joe did a great job decorating the house for the holidays - he is into it more than I am so I am thankful for that! He thought it would be fun to put Braden in his new Christmas pajamas and take some fun pictures of his first Christmas season. Although he won't obviously get into Christmas this year it sure is fun to have him around this holiday season. It is crazy to think that last year at this time we were not pregnant yet and now we have an almost three month old son! Life is good!!!!

Braden is getting more active these days- he plays w/ some toys (holding them and tries to put them into his mouth), and he sure is talking and moving a lot more! It's fun to watch the changes each and every week. He is a good little man!

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Guy - My Full Time Job

So, these pictures show you what I will be looking at every day at my new full-time job! Yep, you heard it right - I decided to stay home with Braden and teach some classes at the YMCA near our house part-time. Although it was hard and strange to say good-bye to a company that I have worked at for 12 years (since I graduated college), I am excited for this new chapter and to spend my days with the most important person in the world! We already signed up for a weekly "Baby and Me" class that will start at the end of January. I also know other people who stay home so we will keep busy. He does great at the daycare at the YMCA so I can teach and attend some classes during the week to get a little "me" time which is a perfect balance.

Work will always be there, and I am a very lucky lady to be able to not put him into daycare at such a young age and be a part of his everyday development and growth. I am so thankful for this opportunity (thank you, Joe). I know my Mom would be proud too! Here's to a new chapter in life!! I have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Morning Ritual

Braden in his Bumbo seat
Braden admiring the tree!

This is our morning ritual - when Braden wakes up (around 8:30 or 9 most days) he is usually smiling and laughing in his crib. I take him downstairs and put him in his Bumbo seat, turn on the Christmas lights, give him his paper toy and he sits and plays and admires the tree while I make myself tea and check my email. Oh, I also have the Today show on in the back. :) We play for a while until he gets hungry and then goes down for a morning nap. He still isn't totally on a schedule- but this is our morning routine and I like it! :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sick Little Monkey

Braden and his new monkey!

We think this picture is the best picture of Braden. They have the same expression on their faces! It makes us laugh every time we look at it!

So our little monkey is sick, he picked up a cold at Thanksgiving. He has a cough, stuffy nose and he also had an upset stomach today. He wasn't himself today at all - so here's hoping that he is back to the funny, smiley, active Braden SOON! It's so hard to see a ten week old baby under the weather. It makes mom's heart break!!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Braden's First Thanksgiving

Uncle Jason meets Braden for the first time!
Cousin Reece can't get enough of the baby!
Grandpa and Grandma Hammond and their grandkids
Grandma and Braden
Proud Grandpa

This Thanksgiving we spent with Joe's family in Neillsville, WI. It was Braden's first time there. It was also his first road trip and overnight trip. We stayed for two days. We felt like we had to pack the entire car with his stuff just for the two days! Low and behold we used most of it, so it wasn't a waste! He did such a good job- slept pretty decent, didn't wake anyone up at night (except me of course), he showed everyone how he can laugh, talk and play and he spent quality time with his Grandpa, Grandma, Aunts, Uncles and cousins. Uncle Jason, Aunt Shelly, and cousins Cooper and Reece actually met him for the first time at Thanksgiving. They were pretty excited and I think they really liked him. :) Grandpa and Grandma also fought a lot for who got to hold him. So, it was a great trip. Braden slept the entire way there and back - so far so good on his traveling skills!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gobble, Gobble - Happy Thanksgiving!

We are in WI with Joe's family this weekend. I don't have any pics to post right now but I will when we get back. This is Braden's first road trip and first overnight adventure. He is doing pretty good. I hope everyone is having a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving...more to come when we get home!

Monday, November 23, 2009


So we had a couple of milestones over the weekend. The first is that we made it through the second weekend without Joe. He had two back-to-back weekends of travel and although I thought it would be a bit much for me, it turned out okay and Braden was awesome. It helped that we kept busy with lots of family and friends time so hopefully he didn't get too sick of me. :)

The other milestone was that he began sleeping in bigger increments for two nights in a row. Saturday night he slept for six hours and Sunday night for seven. Both times he woke up to eat and went back to bed for another three or four hours. So, I hate to get excited but maybe he is moving towards sleeping through the night...or at least in bigger increments anyway. It's nice for me to get some solid sleep instead of the interrupted sleep of getting up every three hours! YEAH!!!! When he wakes up from his big sleep he is laughing and talking so loud- it's funny! Here are some pics of our getting to be a good sleeper guy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Eight weeks ago, Braden joined our family!

So the sign in the picture says Braden is two months but I guess it's really eight weeks ago today that we were blessed with this amazing life - our son Braden. (The official two month milestone would be Nov. 22).

Braden, you are eight weeks old today and I look back at these eight weeks and think they have flown by but also think that I can't imagine life without you. You were seven pounds at birth and now you are 11 pounds - you are a growing boy! You are smiling, cooing and laughing - and each and every day with you gets better and better.

We are so blessed to have you as our son. We look back at eight weeks ago and can't believe that we didn't even know if you were a boy or girl. As soon as you entered the world, our lives changed more than we would have ever known. We have now experienced a love that we never knew was possible. You are so precious to us. I hold you every day and savor the moment because I know before I know it you will run away and not want to hug me. When you wake up in the middle of the night and fall back to sleep, I hold you a few minutes extra before going back to bed myself because I know soon enough you will squirm away from my hold. I watch you while you are sleeping - it is the most peaceful thing I have ever seen before. I can't wait for all that is in store, watching you grow and experience life. You will always be our little boy no matter how big you grow! Love, MOM

Monday, November 16, 2009

Single Mom Weekend #1

So, this was our first weekend of just Braden and Mom bonding time. Joe was on a work trip from Thurs-Sun. I thought the long weekend would seem like forever but it went a-ok. We had lots of plans though which helped! Thursday night my college friends came for dinner, Friday we took an ECFE class, Friday night Kamie and Matt came over to visit, Saturday we hit the YMCA and then went to my sister and Kurt's for a Sullivan hang out night and even played Bunco! Joe had the camera so I didn't take any pics of the weekend but here are a couple after the weekend to show you that Braden made it through the weekend just fine but he missed his Dad (and so did I!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Seven Weeks Old

Braden is seven weeks old today. He is definitely getting more alert and fun each and every day. I get lots of smiles every day and even some coos and other noises. He is a sweet boy! He is so strong that he can sit in the Bumbo chair now. He also is getting so big! Happy seven weeks buddy, we are amazed by you each and every day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This Too Shall Pass! (I pray)

The title of this blog is what the doctor told me on Wednesday when I brought Braden in because he was screaming bloody murder for hours on end and would not sleep during the day for two days straight. He also seemed to have some stomach issues so I wanted to get it checked out. The doctor checked him out and everything was fine but he said some babies are very gassy and the get intestinal pain with gas. So, the screaming could be from the pain or it could be from him being overtired because he is not sleeping during the day.
Then on Thursday we were out all day from 9-4 and he slept the entire time pretty much. So, we came to the conclusion that on the days where we are home he is overstimulated and likes to look around and be awake. The days that we are out he is soothed by the car and the stroller and the outside noise. Then I read in this book that the sixth week is the week that babies sleep the least and are the fussiest- so I am hoping "This too shall pass" is really true! It is hard to see him screaming his head off for no apparent reason and not go to sleep when you know he is so tired. What happened to my baby that slept everywhere and anywhere a few weeks ago? :)
Here are some pics of him smiling- this helps to remind me that I can't get too frustrated if we have a bad day. Who could be mad at this precious face??

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Six Weeks!

Braden is six weeks old today and weighs a whopping 11 pounds. Wow, he must be a growing boy! I can't believe how fast the time is going. We have enjoyed every minute of his life with us! He is coo-ing and making noise, we get big smiles, and of course we get big cries too! :) We feel so blessed to have such a sweet boy!
What have we been up to lately? This past weekend we went to Shawn and Kurt's for Halloween, Aunt Jess came to visit us, this week we have plans to meet Rachel and Eli for lunch, I have my six week OB appointment where hopefully I get the ok to officially start exercising again- even though I have started that about a week ago (lightly of course)! So we are all doing well and can't believe it's already Novemeber!!