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!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Braden at Twenty Months

 "Mom, why are you taking so long....let's get this bike going!??!"
 Baseball, baseball and more baseball!
 Hiding in the laundry basket...he cried when I had to use it and took it away. :(
 Being silly on the patio.
Playing in Dad's Luggage

Braden turned twenty months this weekend. I can't believe he is approaching the big 2. I have no idea where the time has gone!

At twenty months old, Braden, the young lad is as fun as ever! His favorite activities include: baseball, taking Burley rides behind our bikes, playing with the neighbors, hiding in things (like laundry baskets or suitcases), watching Curious George before breakfast every morning, playing in the sand, construction trucks (he could watch them ALL DAY long), riding in his wagon or on his tricycle, reading books, and did I say playing baseball? Yes, baseball is a current favorite right now. He loves to throw the ball, swing the bat, wear his glove inside and outside of the house. While at a baseball field, he will run the bases, stand on the pitcher's mound and of course pick up the dirt and throw it. He talks about baseball all day long, so that is why we are going to turn his room into a baseball theme. I can't wait! We will paint it blue and then find some cool baseball themed stuff to go in there- that's my goal before this baby comes anyway. Then he can feel like he has a big boy "toddler" room and we can transfer his baby stuff over to the baby's room.

Braden's vocabulary and awareness is also increasing every single day. It amazes me what he picks up. He watched a soccer game for the first time the other week. Today I pointed out a soccer ball, and he put it down and began to kick it. Normally any type of ball gets thrown, so it's amazing to me that he knew to kick it by only watching a few minutes of a soccer game. So, TRULY this is the age where toddlers soak up everything they see and hear, which is why I am trying to be careful. He saw Joe spit outside once and spit inside once.  Now we have to teach him that is only for outside....yikes. It's a good thing I don't swear anymore. :)

The best thing at this age is how Braden makes us laugh. Like in the picture above where he smashes his face against the screen door. He is already a comedian (to us) at twenty months old. He plays peekaboo, he makes a scary monster noise, he says "shhh" when he's trying to sneak up on Dad but his loud feet give him away, and my favorite is when he sings or dances. We have been entertained by this young man for twenty months and something tells me this is ONLY the beginning.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Couch forts!

With the crappy weather this Winter and Spring - ahhh, will it ever end, I made a lot of couch forts to entertain Braden. It got to the point where everyday he would try lifting up the couch cushions himself with a big grunt when he had no luck lifting them. After I constructed the fort, a lot of running, dancing, flopping, jumping and falling would occur with lots of giggles. Here's just slight glance at the couch fort madness!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Momma's Day 2.0

Momma and son at the lake. (One of the RARE preggo pics that I will allow!)
Swingin' Braden
Braden's new love for throwing sticks down the stream

Horsey ride in Nisswa while Mom shopped

Since I am known around our house as the "Momma", I was greeted with a smiley "Happy Momma's Day" from my sweet 19 month old. How can you NOT have a good Mother's Day when your child can actually say those words to you?

I am a lucky lady. I got to spend Mother's Day weekend up north with my family of three (or is it three and a half now?) On our way out of town on Friday we stopped in Stillwater to visit Teddy Bear Park, hit the ice cream store and we also visited my Mom's grave. This was Braden's first official visit to see Nana Judy, where he got out of the car and came up to the headstone with me. We talked about his Nana and how she is up in heaven as an angel. He kept repeating the word "angel". I explained that we come here to visit her spirit and tell her we love and miss her. I also told him that she will visit him in his dreams. Sharing this moment with Braden for the first time was very touching to me. I felt my Mom looking down at us, being so proud of our family of three. I also was overcome with thanks and graciousness, and naturally a bit of sadness. 

I am so thankful that I had Judy Sullivan as my Mom for 21 years. She was such a great role model to me in many ways, but the biggest thing she taught me about motherhood is to always show and express your love. The amount of love she showed me each and every day, taught me how important it is to express it to my own children. I never once doubted my Mother's love and it helped me to be a confident woman. Before I had Braden, I had no idea what a Mother's love entailed. Now, I can't even express in words how amazing it is and how lucky I am to experience it not only with one child but soon with another child. Of course there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss my mom or become frustrated that she was taken from us, however I try to focus on all the gifts that she left me and all the blessings she has currently helped to give me as our angel up above.

This visit to the grave really helped put things into perspective for me. I have no idea how long I will be around in this life, but I want to make sure that I spend quality time with my family. I don't want life to pass me by and have any regrets on building special memories with my husband or children. Our weekend up north really made me realize how we need to have more getaways together. Sometimes when you are at home (even without a ton of plans on the weekend) you still spend the time running errands or doing house stuff. Going away forces you to bond, create memories and just enjoy each other's company and see things differently together. We had such a nice time up north. Some of the highlights were: swimming, taking morning jogs along the trail that winds along the lake and woods, exploring the resort, watching all the floater planes cruise up above, shopping in town, hitting the candy store, going to our favorite lakeside restaurants, sitting outside soaking in all the nature, playing basketball, throwing sticks in the stream and watching them float by, and most of all just hanging out as a family with no other external distractions. Braden had a blast and the three words he repeated NON-STOP all weekend were: boat, loon and airplane. Joe and I shared a lot of smiles just watching his excitement at all the new things he saw or did.

All in all, I had a wonderful second Momma's Day. I feel more and more blessed each year.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Conversations With A Toddler

My sister and I were talking today about how the age of 18-24 months is our favorite. Of course I don't know from first-hand experience what goes on past this stage, but it's so nice to actually be able to communicate with your child for the first time, see them so excited at their daily surroundings (things we take for granted) and the meltdown and independence stage is not at it's peak.

The past couple of weeks with Braden I feel as though I have hit that mommy bliss stage - i.e. I can actually have conversations with my 19 month old. They might be in two word sentences- but we actually get what each other means. So, when Braden says, "shoes on", "Auntie's house", "Da-ddy home", or "water please" - it brings me so much happiness because there is no confusion as to what he is trying to say! Even his one word sentences like, "swimming" as we pass the YMCA pool, or "shopping" as we pull up to Target make this momma smile and it's so much fun now that they can recognize things and communicate them.

At this age, they also are also still excited about what they see and do, as if they are seeing it or doing it for the first time. Some examples of this for Braden are: every time we see a construction truck, airplane or school bus he reacts, or when we run into his cousins at the YMCA he gets so excited, and when he sees the neighbors playing outside he runs to the window saying their name. I am sure in time, this excitement about everything, will pass. But again, I am going to enjoy every minute of it and add to that excitement while it's here.

It is also nice at this age that you can minimize meltdowns by easily distracting them and they aren't quite sassy or overly opinionated YET. For example, Braden likes to stall around nap time and bedtime. We read one or two books, and of course he grabs at it when we are done so he can look through the pages on his own. When it's time to put him to bed, I tell him we are done and he usually cries or has a tiny meltdown. It doesn't last too long, or I can distract him by re-directing his focus by saying, "let's grab your teddy" or "you get to turn the light off."

So for now, I am going to revel in my mom-bliss by having these two word conversations with my toddler and trying not to get too frustrated at the smaller meltdowns. Why? Because I know that soon enough I will be the mom that has to leave Target b/c her child is throwing a major public tantrum and I will wish I could go back to the minor meltdown at this stage any day!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

I Wanna Be A Cowboy!

Braden wants to be a cowboy! Our little cowpoke struts around the house in his new cowboy boots and hat. He even does a little cowboy dance when we turn on the music, it's pretty hilarious! Dad gets the credit for Braden's cowboy skills. Joe is more of a country fan than I am. He even wears his cowboy boots to work on casual Fridays here and there.  I can see father and son wearing cowboy wear someday - you know, with matching big belt buckles. Yee-haw, maybe that's what the two Hammond boys will be for Halloween this fall. We shall see.

As you can see, he opts for sans pants and only a diaper (instead of chaps) so that he can see his boots instead of hiding them.

Even if Mom herself isn't a huge country fan, I can't say I mind this little cowpoke running around our house!