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!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Edgey Beans

Dying Easter eggs with Mom.

Braden and cousin Catherine posing at the Sullivan celebration.

The golden egg has been found!

Braden's turn to fish for a prize.
Who on earth is behind this curtain?
Bubbles at the park on Easter day!

Is it edgey beans, elly jeans, belly jeans or jelly yeans? I can't remember how he says it exactly, but Braden has a new love for jelly beans. He asks for more all the time, but I eventually have to cut him off (which on good days he can be rationally talked out of a meltdown and somedays I get a slight tantrum). We had a very fun Easter this year though, seeing as how last year he was only about 6 months old and not able to partake in much of the fun. It is crazy how one year can make such a big difference in how much they get into a holiday!

The 2011 Easter festivities for our family started on Friday night with dying Easter eggs at home. It was more or less me dying the eggs, letting Braden help, and then doing damage control as he tried to dip his hands in the cups of dye. Saturday morning we then headed to my sister's for brunch and an egg hunt with all of the Sullivan side. Braden was in rare form playing with his cousins. He also had zero time to eat w/ all the distractions- so his brunch consisted of grapes, strawberries and later some bunny cake with ice cream. That's really mom's type of meal - fruit and dessert - so I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

The egg hunt for toddlers was upstairs - less chaos/distractions and eggs were easier to find. So, Braden and Ava had their egg hunt upstairs while they other kiddos were in the basement. Braden got distracted w/ some toys here and there, but for the most part he was pretty into looking for eggs and collecting him in his basket. Once he realized that each egg made a "clank" noise, he would rip them open to see the candy and of course want to eat it all immediately. Bapa (my Dad) then ended the festivities with a fun fishing game. He stayed hidden behind a curtain and when each kid held the fishing rod, they pulled out a prize. Braden's curiousity got the best of him with this game (as usual). He figured out someone was behind the curtain and started to peek underneath to watch the magic unfold! We were all laughing. He was a successful fisherman though and came home with a new kite and a plastic boat to sail in the tub, lake or puddles.

Sunday (Easter day), we enjoyed the day as a family of three with our own Easter egg and basket hunt, breakfast, church, and then a trip to the park for some sliding and playing in the sand. Of course, we had to bring the bubbles to the park! Braden was very excited about the new construction truck that was in his Easter basket(which doesn't leave his side most days now) and of course, his new bubble gun. Oh what fun when they can really enjoy holidays and show their excitment. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter with your families!

Monday, April 25, 2011

19 Months- Our Little Parrot

New hobby- coloring
Grocery shopping at the Children's Museum

Current favorite sport - basketball! (he talks about this ALL day long)

Hanging in his fort - the lawn mower box.

Taking over the new recliner

Braden turned 19 months this past Friday, right before the Easter holiday. His biggest development in the last month is his vocabulary. He repeats the last word of every sentence we say. For example, I'll say: "Let's get your shoes on because we are going to the store." He will repeat, just "store". That goes on all day long. He has become our little parrot! So, we better really watch what we say now! ha.

The words or sayings that he uses very frequently on his own (without prompting) are basketball (this one is used about 100x a day), window, worker (for the maintenance guys he sees outside), button, hallway, I don't know, no way, and applesauce to name a few. He is also getting good at people's names and can say some of our family members and neighbors names on his own when he sees them. It is really fun to be able to communicate more and more, but of course he also has entered the "no" stage. He clearly has his opinions on what he wants to do or what he wants to eat now. If I ask him if he wants a snack and he will say "no" but then 10 seconds later he'll grab for the snack. So, maybe the terrible two's are slowly approaching. Yikes.

Some activities that Braden has been partaking in the last month are: coloring on his own at the table (so nice), shooting hoops (he is obsessed w/ basketball), sitting in our new recliner - between he and Joe, I don't stand a chance on spending much time in it, enjoying the various activities at the Children's Museum (great venue for the bad weather this spring), playing with bubbles, and pretty much playing with anything and everything outside - especially the neighbors toys.

19 months has flown by and it's crazy to think that in a few months he will turn two and become a big brother right around that same time!

Easter pics to come soon....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April Fools!

All of us that live in MN know that the month of April has fooled us...warm weather came in, we even hit 70 a day or two...then bam, back to cold, wind and yes even an inch of snow surprised us this past weekend! Yes, we have crazy weather here in the north!

Anyway, I have tried to not complain too much about the weather this year because a.) I can't do anything about it and b.) it's Minnesota- and the weather in spring is always tricking us but we seem to forget that each year. I know, this year feels really bad though because it's mid-April and it feels like the winter has last forever because it was an awfully snowy one, unlike the past few mild winters. I am hopeful that the warm weather is right around the corner to stay though. Positive thinking is key!

Braden LOVED, LOVED, LoVeD getting outside those handful of nice days - we hit a handful of parks, played in the yard, etc... He would point out the patio door and say "outside!" If it was time to come in for lunch or anything else, he would cry. So, our boy is an outdoor man. Anyway, the point of my blog is - when the weather goes back to cold from being sooo nice for a week, it's REALLY hard to explain to an almost 19 month old that now we can't go outside because it's too cold. I am pretty sure he would have still gone outside, but momma is a wimp and could not bear the high of 45 degrees and almost 30 mph winds! Yuck. (I do have to say that I am thankful that we have been able to spend this nasty weather in our new house! It doesn't seem as bad when we have more space and more things to do inside versus if we were stuck in our townhome. That is probably the reason why I haven't been complaing too much about the LONG winter.)

So, this past week was long- we were stuck inside Wed-Sat for the most part (Today was sunny and not as windy so we managed to get out for a walk and a bit of playing). I tried to be creative by making couch forts, going to an indoor park, the library, the YMCA, etc... so all I have to say is the warm weather better be around the corner because it will help Braden and I both keep sane. :) I can only tickle-torture him so many times and now we need some new things to do!

The picture above is Braden doing his "summer please come fast" chant - he wanted to wear his swim diaper, yes, even over his clothes. Oh, mother nature please be nice to us SOON.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Times Are A Changing!

Here is a picture of my devious little toddler in his favorite playground mode!!!

I posted on my Facebook page today the following quote: "warm weather enters, and my good napper exits!" Today's blog entry will explain this quote a little more!

Braden, my active 18 month-old, has typically been a really good napper. His usual routine is taking a 2-3 hour nap from about 1-3:00ish or some days closer to 4:00. Notice that I explain his routine by using the PAST tense. :) This past week now that the weather is nicer and we are outside a ton more, he won't seem to settle down for his nap. For example, this past Saturday he never slept at all and was in his crib playing for the two hours during normal nap time.

I was telling Joe that now for the past week he will take about an hour to settle down and finally fall asleep. He suggested maybe putting him down a little earlier because all the outdoor playing could make him tired sooner and maybe he is overtired. So, today I tried that experiment and no such luck! I put him down at 12:40 or so and it seriously took him until almost 2:15 or so to fall asleep.(Well, I am assuming he even fell asleep as I type this since I don't hear the usual toys hitting the floor, feet banging on the crib or the chatting.)

I laugh because just when you think you are in a really good groove and know your toddler's needs, oh yes- they change! (unlike when they are a baby and you are guessing each and every day until something works.) I am not overly strict on the nap by any means, I just want to know what this little guy needs in order to remain his happy self. I do know that 18 months is way too early to give up a nap entirely- most kids give it up between 3-4. I also want him to be able to stay up at night to play w/ Joe (who doesn't get home until 6-6:30) and not have meltdowns due to overtiredness! So I know he still needs a nap...it's just a matter of figuring out how and when! So, my next test is just waiting until perhaps 2pm and give us more play time.

Who knows, maybe my experiment won't be as easy for me to figure out. I know that it's not just a toddler that keeps you guessing, but kids in general do! I am sure this is ONE of many things to test my motherly patience. :) All I know is that summer is approaching and I prefer to not have wasted time stuck inside, so if this 2-4 business works then it's a win-win because momma doesn't mind being outside enjoying the weather a little longer too! We shall see.....

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sister/Rejuvenation Weekend!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of going on a girls' getaway with my sister. We headed up to Grandview Lodge in Nisswa, MN - one of our favorite places to visit in MN since we were little kids.

Here's a quick recap of our fun and relaxing weekend: we hit the gym for a workout before we officially hit the road on Friday. Stopped for a late lunch on the way. Checked in to our cozy golf-course villa which had a gigantic jacuzzi tub, a fireplace and two large and comfy beds! Friday we ended up staying in to read magazines and watch a movie by the fireplace. After breakfast on Saturday we hit the golf course for some snowshoeing, which was really pretty and peaceful, not to mention a decent workout! We then headed to the spa for massages- ahhhh, heaven! We stayed at the spa for a while just hanging out by the fireplace and taking our time to get ready. Saturday night we went to happy hour at one bar on the lake and then hit another favorite lake spot for dinner. Of course, we were back to our villa by about 10pm for another good night's rest. My how things have changed when you are tired mom's! :) Sunday we did some shopping and headed home in the afternoon.

It sure was a nice relaxing weekend and I felt very refreshed when I came home. It was great bonding with my sister, no interruptions, no schedules, no responsibilities. I highly recommend Grandview for a getaway any time of year. Obviously in the summer there's a ton to do lakeside, but in the winter there are lots of things to choose from as well. It was my only vacation this winter, so the spa and snowshoeing was a nice addition to a MN winter getaway.

Every mom needs a nice getaway like that w/ girlfriends or sisters! Here's hoping this is a new tradition!