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! :)