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!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Professional Pictures

We got some professional pictures taken of Braden over a week ago when he was almost 7 months. We just saw them for the first time. The slideshow brought tears to my eyes. It made me realize how big our little guy is getting and how proud and lucky I am to not only be his Mom but to experience the joys of motherhood. No matter how tired I am (it's been a no-sleep week for me) or how rough the week is, these pictures just make me smile and melt my heart! The song that goes with it is so fitting. Our photographer Cari did a really great job. Braden was wonderful for his pictures. He was happy and smiley the entire time- until the very end when it was literally his nap time (that's the one pic of him crying). Cari said he made her job easy! What a fun day- getting his pictures professionally done and looking on as he enjoyed every minute of it!

Feel free to check the slideshow out on the following link (then hit play):


Monday, April 26, 2010

7 Months Young

With the excitement of the Twins game last week on Braden's seven month birthday- I neglected to make an official seven month post! We can't believe that it has been seven months since Braden joined our family. Here are some updates on our big boy!
Braden's personality is really starting to shine. He is a happy, silly and smiley boy who loves to play games like peek-a-boo and play independently with his rings and blocks. He also loves the exersaucer where he can stand up like a big boy and spin around and play with all the fun gadgets.

He also flips onto his belly and tries to crawl. It looks more like swimming but in the past couple of days he has learned to push backwards a little. He gets frustrated easily that he can't crawl so he will start to cry but he is really trying. His favorite position is standing- he smiles immediately if you take his hands and stand him up. He will take steps forward.

He is saying "ba ba" and "ma ma". He is pretty vocal! He is rolling his tongue which is hysterical (neither one of us has a Spanish accent- ha). He loves the park- checking out the other kids, swinging and riding the little motorcycle. He drinks four bottles a day and eats two foods- a fruit in the morning and a veggie with dinner (babyfood obviously.) He still takes three naps- a morning nap, an afternoon nap and one little catnap at about 5:30 or so but we are trying to phase that one out soon..probably when we get home from vacation. He sleeps 11 straight hours at night- wonderful! Once in a while we will have to go in and flip him back over (he will have gone to his stomach and woke up scared) and give him his paci and he goes back to bed. We are so lucky to have such a great baby! He is so much fun and we love watching him grow, change and become a person with a personality.

His aunt Jess came over this weekend and babysat so we could go out to dinner- the first person to put him to bed at night other than us. He did great and we are trying to get him more used to having others take care of him in preperation for our five day trip in a couple of weeks!

I am sure soon enough I will be writing a post saying that he crawled! He is very motivated and very strong. He loves going new places and checking out all the people! Right now he loves dogs- he stares and smiles at them. He likes walks in the stroller (but after about 45 mins he likes to be held or to come out of the stroller.) He loves touching everything, holding things and putting them in his mouth. He is an inquisitive little boy who loves learning! Happy seven months Braden, how did we get so lucky!??!?! You are so much fun and motherhood is more than I ever had imagined!
We look forward to this summer and all the fun that it will bring.

Friday, April 23, 2010

First Twins Game

Baseball buddies!
Braden joining the crowd in a big cheer!
The awesome view from our seats!

Braden turned 7 months old yesterday so we celebrated with a family day at the Twins game! It was Braden and Mom's first time at the new stadium. What a beautiful day it was! Of course, Dad has been there about four times by now but he was lovin' showing his son his favorite sport. Joe of course is a die hard Brewers fan, but Braden showed up in a Twins outfit courtesy of Mom. :) I think it's only fair that he can support the MN team- afterall his Mom is a Twins fan, born and raised in MN, and Braden lives in MN...c'mon, he can't be all WI! But, the war will continue and the WI influences will be ten-fold as he gets older I am sure.

Braden loved all the action at the game. We aren't sure if he even saw the baseball part of it, but he loved the people and all the sights to take in. He did a great job considering we were there for three hours! It did get a little hot up in our seats in the sun for him and he did get a little restless, so I spent a couple of hours walking and holding him (and he took a half hour snooze too) so needless to say, I didn't get to watch much of the game or relax! But, no worries- next time we will go without Braden and have a date night at the ballpark. Yesterday we had a fun time as a family of three enjoying the beautiful day and the beautiful stadium. Oh, and he was a crowd pleaser too- so many people stopped to see him and adore his smile. He is already a social butterfly- hmmm, maybe a Mom trait more so than Dad? :)

Little Golfer

I know Joe is heavily influencing Braden on his love of Baseball...but I think he looks really adorable as a little golfer. Hmmmmmm, golf and baseball are during the same season. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tunnel Vision

Not only have we perfected the swings at the playground but now Braden has perfected sitting up in the tunnel. I put him in the middle of it and then quick run around to the other side and pull him through by his legs, which is usually accompanied by a big smile and sometimes even a giggle.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring Update

I am going to mix things up today and give you an update on our lives this spring. I figure you might get bored with the same old stories/pictures of little Braden boy! Or maybe not, but here it goes anyway! :)
What have we been up to this spring besides watch our baby boy grow and become this funny, smiley and wonderful infant?!?!? Well, Joe started his baseball coaching season a few weeks ago. He isn't doing 100% but he is at about 75% right now just so he can have time to see Braden, and I can teach my classes and maybe have a night out here and there. So far it's a good balance for everyone- although Joe probably would like to do more coaching but right now it's too hard to fit it all in! He also has begun what will be a busy travel schedule for the next few months- about 5-6 trips in 3 months. At least they are just 2-3 days at a time, but with a little person in your life traveling is hard on everyone. We seem to manage fine though. It would be completely different if I were working and traveling too.
I started a spring Kettlebell session for Bloomington Community Education and really enjoy it. I teach that on Mondays (for six weeks) and my normal kickboxing class on Wednesday evenings. I am subbing a bit too, so some weeks I have three classes. I really enjoy teaching fitness and hope that I am able to continue doing it for a long time! I also started to volunteer with my old high school youth group, Young Life (the Stillwater chapter). I am helping to put together the Communications for their annual golf fundraising event this summer. I look forward to getting involved in something I am passionate about and something that has shaped who I am today!
As a family some things we have coming up: Twins game this Thursday (we will take pics of Braden at the ball park), my first Mother's Day celebration (what a new perspective I will have this year). Then Joe and I are headed to Myrtle Beach, S.C for our anniversary for five days in May so expect a post or two about that (and leaving Braden for the first time). We also want to take Braden to the zoo sometime soon, maybe on a day Joe can take off so we can avoid the crowds.
I hope you are all enjoying the spring...summer is right around the corner!!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Braden and Max.

Some of you might wonder if Braden gets to be around other kids since I stay at home. Well, we do ECFE class every Friday which is a baby and me class with about 15 other moms and kids. We both enjoy this every week. I get to talk with other moms who I have made friends with, and Braden gets to stare and laugh at the other kids. Plus we sing songs at the very end which makes them all smile. Sometimes they shout back and forth across the circle too, it's pretty entertaining!

He also goes to the YMCA daycare anywhere from one to three times a week. Depending on what time of day that we go, he is either around other babies or there might be toddlers running around in the room as well. Also, sometimes during the week, we get to see Braden's cousins Ava (1 1/2) and Levi (4 1/2), friends Rachael and Eli (2 1/2). This week I babysat Max (son of our friends Stacy and Chad), so Braden and Max got to have a little playdate. It was fun to watch them stare at eachother and try to grab at one another. They are only six weeks apart (Braden being the older of the two) so it will be very fun to see them grow up together! We have a few other friends with kids right around Braden's age as well so he will not be deprived of other kid time by any means. He also enjoys watching the bigger kids run around the park and I can tell he wants to be as active as them. I am sure it will happen before we know it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Attention Blog Readers: Soliciting Advice!

Ok, now is the time for everyone that reads this blog to finally leave me a comment so I can see who is actually keeping up with my updates! Seriously, I would like to hear some thoughts on some strange things I have been experiencing lately. So, we all know that most people love babies and when you are out in the public they may say hi to your baby, wave to your baby, or even come up to get a closer look. I am sure I have done these things. Well, here is where it may perhaps cross the line:

A neighbor of mine who rarely is home (like she travels 75% of the year) and who I barely know, wanted to see Braden while we were out in the driveway. She came up for a closer look. She began to touch him, hold his hand, etc....then she asked if he had any teeth yet. I answered "no, not yet" and then she proceeded to stick a finger in his mouth to check. Ok- gross! Who does that??? And who does that even more after I said "no". Strange!

The next encounter was when Joe and I were taking a walk. An elderly lady was walking down the street and saw us behind her with a stroller. She stopped in her tracks so she could check out the baby in the stroller. She began to tell us that she would never hurt a baby (Ok, the fact that you have to verbalize that is strange) and that she just loves babies. She then stuck one of her very dirty, smokey fingers in his face. I am sure she is a very nice lady, but she looked like she could have been out on the streets for a while. I can say these things because I am sure she is not reading this blog! :)

Now, the third somewhat wierd encounter happened tonight. There is a nursing home across the street so I took Braden to look at some of the flowers they have planted by the street. There were two ladies sitting on the bench hundreds of feet away. One lady came walking (slowly) over and exclaimed how cute Braden was, asked how old he was, what his name is, etc.... this all seemed OK because a lot of elderly people love babies- until she asked if she could hold him and then grabbed him from me! To top it off she kissed him on the forehead and he began to cry. Ok, things just got really creepy to me - this one takes the cake. Or not, maybe the tooth one wins!

I get that some people come running to see a baby, but seriously what do you say to someone who is a total stranger that asks to hold your baby (there are like 100 reasons why I think this is just socially wrong)? I would love your thoughts. I have not had any good answers or comebacks yet so I just watch in awe and then try to say that he is hungry and needs to go home. Throw me your thoughts- whether it's a good comeback or if I should just let them have their baby fix no matter how wierd it is. I have no idea if other people go through this same thing or if I am the only one. I know Braden is cute and all and maybe they can't resist his precious face (see picture above) but c'mon, can't we just keep the boundaries a little? :)

Six Month Stats

Braden sitting independently chewing on his Easter egg!

Braden had his sixth month check-up yesterday (well, technically he is 6 3/4 months old- but that's the first appt. we could make with the doctor). We were a little surprised at his weight and height. We had no idea our little guy was a little on the small size! The doc even called him petite. Who would have guessed with these chunky thighs??

He is weighing in at 16.9 lbs (21% tile) and is 26.3" tall (30 %tile). So now I understand why the 6 month clothes are still a bit big- especially the pants! I am sure he will catch up at some point, we aren't worried and neither is the doctor. He is still eating like a champ. I am sure the fact that he hasn't been eating during the nights now for a couple of months and the fact that he has an active lifestyle at such a young age (well, he and mom are busy all week being active) both contribute to his "petiteness." just kidding- I have no idea why (except for the fact that neither of us are huge people- duh!) but I do know that if he is going to take after Dad and become a quarterback and a second baseman, he can't stay petite for long!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Determined Little Dude

Braden is a very focused and determined little man! Every day he rolls over onto his belly and tries and tries to crawl. He is not quite there which is good for us because we still need to do some babyproofing. :) He looks more like a fish out of water- swimming on land. He kicks his legs and his arms go straight out like an airplane. Then he will do a push-up with his arms but doesn't realize his legs need to do something at the same time in order to move. I love to watch him but after a few minutes he gets frustrated that he can't reach that toy across the room or the remote on the floor so he starts crying. I am sure one day when I turn around he will take off. Here are some pics of him practicing his crawling skills - push-up position.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Stroller Graduation

This weekend Braden had stroller graduation- he is strictly a straight up stroller guy now (no car seat) and faces outward like the big kids. Some people might ask, "How did you know he was ready sit in the stroller without the carseat (so, laying down versus sitting up)?" Well, not only is he sitting up now independently when he's on the floor but this whole week whenever I put him in the stroller he would use his stomach muscles to get to a sitting position so he could see everything. I think he started to get frustrated and bored at staring at the sky and my face for six months. :) I even brought a blanket a few times to prop him up high so his ab muscles wouldn't get too tired, so needless to say, it was time for the big move!

He has been for a couple of walks and one jog so far facing outward and LOVES it. I don't hear a peep from him as he takes in the cars, birds, people, buildings, planes, trees, etc... I love it too because it's much lighter to push when I jog. In the close up picture above, you can see behind the paci that he has a smirk on his face like, "yep, I'm a big boy now!" He is so proud, and I can't believe he is getting this big (although he looks so little in that far away pic)!! We are so proud too! There are so many milestones at this age, it is so much fun!

Easter Fun

Braden wearing his Easter basket
Braden and his cute bunny hat
Braden all dressed up for the Easter occasion!

We celebrated Easter on Saturday with all of the Sullivans. The kids had their annual egg hunt around the yard, the food was delicious and Bapa handed out his money filled easter eggs for the kids and even brought a craft project for everyone to do. It was a fun-filled day. Braden enjoyed watching everyone socialize and run around. He didn't mind his bunny hat either. At home on Sunday it was just us three hanging out. We took a walk to the park, went out for a little early evening bite to eat and just enjoyed the day. The Easter Bunny came and Braden got his first Easter basket, but as you can see he is wearing it on his head. Easily entertained at this age I tell ya!

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend with your families!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Too Nice Out To Blog

The weather this week has been unbelievable- in the 70s for a MN march?!??! Crazy. We did not have one ounce of snow in march- first time ever! Let's hope that no april storms come our way either and it's here to stay. We have been busy taking advantage of the weather this week- lots of trips to the park, walk around lake Calhoun, Minnehaha Falls, picnics and time on the patio. We've been outside, so I have forgotten to blog.

The picture here is literally the view that I have as I type this blog entry- Braden loving life outside on the patio in his exersaucer. I bought him a nice sun protecting hat so his little bald head doesn't get scorched. He doesn't seem to mind it- just sucks on the little strings. :)

Family Day at Minnehaha Falls

This past Sunday Joe, Braden and I headed to Minnehaha Falls for a nice walk. Braden got to see his first waterfall and seemed pretty in awe (he's in awe with pretty much anything outside these days). It sure is nice to get out and do fun outdoor things with the great weather and melted snow!