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, August 24, 2011

Liam's Arrival!

Well life has changed dramatically since my last post. Liam Jude Hammond was born on Monday, August 22 at 10:36 a.m. He is 8 lbs and 19.5 inches long. Liam is the Irish version of William (for those that wonder) and Jude is after my mom Judith who passed away 15 years ago. Here's a short synopsis of Liam's journey into the world:

On Sunday evening, August 21st I made Joe go for a long walk after dinner thinking that maybe it would help start the labor process. :) During the walk I had some braxton  hicks contractions (false contractions basically) along with some back pains. It was a warm night out, so the three miles was maybe a bit much for a 9 month pregnant lady but looking back it obviously helped! At about 9:45 p.m I spoke with my sister Shawn, who informed me (jokingly) that I only had one more day to have this baby before she had to leave on vacation. I told her that I wasn't sure it was going to happen, although I hadn't been feeling the best all weekend. Even though I was still 6 days from my due date, the goal in my head was to have this baby before she left. I was a bit dissapointed that it was getting so close to her departure and no baby yet. We hung up the phone and about 20 minutes later I looked at Joe with WIDE eyes and said, "I think my water might have broke." After speaking with the doctor, at 11:15 we headed to the hospital to get checked out. Brother-in-law Kurt came over to sleep here with Braden until he heard the update. We found out we were there to stay at about 12:30 a.m, so Kurt spent the night and brought Braden back to my sister's and his house in the morning with his bag. Talk about good timing. I am still not sure how it all worked out so well. :)

At the hospital, not much was happening overnight so at 6:00 a.m. on Monday they started me on Pitocin to jump start everything. Just one hour later I was in extreme pain from the contractions, so I ordered my favorite laboring cocktail- the epidural. :) After my happy hour buzz on the epidural kicked-in, things happened FAST. At 10:00 they told me it was go time and 36 minutes later Liam joined the world. He was sunny-side up just like his brother (faced the wrong way), so these two boys like their mama to work hard for them!! I sure showed them! The nurses and doctors were again amazed that I was able to deliver in such a short amount of time based on the positioning of baby. I told them that when it comes to babies, I don't mess around and like to get 'er done. :)

We asked to be released from the hospital a day early since we technically were there two nights with the first night just waiting for my labor to progress. I was feeling decent and Liam was doing well, so they let us go and we arrived home late Tuesday afternoon. Since then, I have gone on two walks, went on a Target run and have visited with some neighbors. All in all, I feel a better recovery process this time around. And what about everyone else? Liam is doing great. He doesn't cry much, he sleeps well and eats well. We are waiting for something to change drastically because he's a terrific and easy-going newborn so far! Braden is adjusting as much as a 2 year old can do. He is sweet to his brother and gives him toys, wants to sit by him, wants him to come upstairs with him when it's bedtime...but there are definitely more displays of emotions with him, more of the "NO" word and some other toddler antics happening that I am sure are very normal for adding a new sibling to the family. We are hoping that things wear off eventually and he will not remember what life was like before Liam's arrival, but for the most part it's an adjustment phase and he's doing pretty well. Joe will be taking some time off work for us to get adjusted as a family of four which is nice. We are working on getting into a groove together - newborn and toddler, and I already dread when I have to do it all on my own. BUT I won't think about that just yet!

Here are some pics of the lovely lad and the new family of four. Crazy how fast life changes, you are taking a walk as a family of three one minute and 12 hours later you have a new addition! I am feeling very blessed and proud to be a mom of two healthy, happy and beautiful boys. I know my mom is so proud. I am so thankful for being blessed with the amazing gift of motherhood not only once but twice!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ticking Time Bomb!

Well, we are officially 10 days away from my actual due date. I started to refer to myself as the "ticking time bomb." Every time I call a family member, they jump at the phone to see if I am in labor. With every pain and change in how I feel, I wonder if this could be it? So, yes - we are all on pins and needles. As an overall update, yesterday I felt pretty cruddy- not able to eat much, exhausted, not sleeping, some sharp (non-contraction) pains, etc....but today I am back to normal and feeling great. It's amazing how it's basically a roller coaster these last days. I officially stopped teaching classes (most of you are saying it's about time) as of last week. I am trying to slow down and do mostly walking and a bit of yoga for the home stretch. Of course it would not be like me to just sit around and do nothing and take a total break! :)

Braden has been a trooper through this "almost" major transition time in his life. He doesn't put up too much of a fuss if we need to go inside and play for a while if I am getting to hot or can't stand on my feet outside playing anymore. If we only stay at the pool for an hour and a half because I am uncomfortable he seems to roll with the punches pretty darn good. I couldn't ask for a better toddler to help me through this time. Sure he's a busy bee that sometimes is hard to keep up with, but he is pretty darn easy going which I am soooooo thankful for. His sense of humor (in the pics below) is what basically keeps me going everyday towards the end here. He seems to know exactly when I need a good laugh. Last night I was in tears he had me laughing so hard. I hope he is still his silly self as he makes the transition to big brother. I will probably need his humor even more when a newborn is added to the mix and I am sleep deprived.  He says he is ready for the baby to "come out" and that he can't wait to play with, hold the baby, have he/she sleep in the next room, and sit by him in the new van. He also said he would like a little brother versus a little sister...so only time will tell! Will the ticking time bomb deliver a baby boy or girl into this world? AND.... when will he/she decide to appear? Will it be this weekend, will it be next week, will it be later? (For my sake, sooner than later let's hope!) Guess we are all waiting to find out!

For now, thank you my smiley and happy son who makes me laugh every day. You give me the motivation to keep plugging along and I can only hope that your little sibling can also get your sense of humor.

(By the way, these pics are dedicated to my Dad (Braden's Bapa) who was obsessed with spraying whipped cream into our mouths as kids (to the point that it was overflowing and we couldn't swallow it). Now Braden is practicing showing Bapa his whipped cream skills.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love My Neighborhood:

1. It has it's own pool - little and big. We have hit the pool about 2-3x/week this summer!

2. All of the parks that are close by- about 5 of them we can walk to!

3. The trails for biking, walking, running (makes being away from the MPLS lakes not as bad). 

4. The elementary school is a couple blocks away (will be so nice when that time comes).

5. Great neighbors, where fun is right in the backyard, for example:

6. The ice cream truck drives by (this will haunt me when my kids are older, but for now it's fun)!

7. There are tons of families with young kids.

8. It's pretty close to some of my hometown favorite places, like (Teddy Bear Park in Stillwater):

9. It's a lot closer to my family.

10. Did I mention the great neighbors?
(Fires at night with smores and drinks (haven't been able to partake in the drinks but I am waiting), adult laughter, kids playing, other stay-at-home moms around to hang with, etc....)

I am sure I can add even more to the list above, but you get the picture. (Joe would probably add that if we walk to the end of our block, you can see WISCONSIN- or what he calls God's Country.) It has been about 6 months now that we have lived here and we are so glad we made the move, although it seemed big/drastic at the time! We enjoy feeling like we are more out in the country, but have everything we need right here at the same time!

Monday, August 8, 2011

37 week update

Well, I have officially made it to the "full term" portion of pregnancy. This past weekend, I hit the 37th week milestone. At my last doctor appointment, I was showing progress towards labor (dilated to a 2) and doc said I could hang out here for a while, or this baby could come early. So, that helped kick things into high gear for me. That same week, I put the baby's room together, we bought a new vehicle, we installed the car seat, I finished my online training so I can be a cycle instructor at the YMCA come fall, and I made the last touch to upgrading Braden's room to his new "baseball" theme. Wow, what a busy week. :) Now I am trying to slow down and just spend time with our almost 23 month old, while also relaxing and enjoying being a family of three. Oh, and then there's the sleep thing. I am trying to stock up on sleep, but there are nights where I have horrible insomnia and get like 3-5 hours. It is just too uncomfortable to lay down some nights with where the baby is positioned and how he/she kicks and moves around. So, here's to a little more time to get better sleep and have a little relaxation time before life drastically changes! However, little baby- do not wait TOO long because I know that I am really close to calling it quits on this pregnancy thing! I stopped teaching classes now starting tomorrow- thank goodness most of you are saying. It is hard for me to stop doing anything due to ailments, so I am already looking forward to returning back to teaching and being able to move around like I used to. I know that will take a bit of time, but it's hard to not feel my normal active self!
This past weekend was really fun. Not knowing when life will change and we'll be dedicated to more time at home for a while, we are trying to get out and do fun stuff with Braden. We took him to the County Fair where he enjoyed seeing the animals, taking his first merry-go-round ride and sitting on the tractors. We sat by the fire with neighbors one night. We had dinner at our friend's the Nelsons and Braden and Cole got to play together. We also took a long family walk on Sunday morning, went out to breakfast, and visited my family at the Relay 4 Life. So, even though slowing down doesn't really sound like slowing down- it truly is slowing down to me! ha ha.

I will try to update the blog with any more progress...and of course baby news once the big day comes! Braden says he is ready to be a big brother and that he will help out. I keep telling him how special big brothers are and how much fun it will be to have a sibling so he won't be by himself. Here's hoping that he really means it and the transition from one to two can go OK- for this momma's sake! :) Please, oh please!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Letter to Mom - 15 Years

August 3, 2011

Dear Mom,

Today is the fifteenth anniversary of your death. I can’t believe how many years have passed without your warm smile touching this world.

Looking back at the yearly letters I have written to you, I see a pattern. I started them on the tenth anniversary of your death. In that letter, I told you that I met a wonderful man and how I knew that you chose him for me. The following year, my letter told you that I was engaged. In the third letter, I told you about the exciting new adventures of being a wife. The fourth letter shared the news that I was expecting a baby. Then last year, I got to share with you all of the joys of motherhood. Now, in this sixth letter, once again I have more milestones to share with you. In February, we moved out of our townhouse and bought our first home together in Woodbury. I also transferred to a new YMCA and started a new job. And, the biggest excitement is that we are expecting baby #2. I am due this month, coincidentally the month of your birthday and your journey into Heaven.( Of course I know that you are aware of all these milestones as you watch us from above, but it helps me to write you these yearly letters so I can feel close to you and keep your spirit alive.)

First I want to tell you more about our new house. We have lived in Woodbury almost six months and really love it. It was a big change from living in the Minneapolis area for so long, but we are very happy here. Not only is it nice to be closer to family, but the neighborhood, schools, things to do, parks and amenities are perfect for raising a young family. I have really enjoyed bringing Joe and Braden to do things in Stillwater – it brings me back to memories shared with you. I feel your presence just being this close to where I grew up, as strange as that may seem. Every day I wonder what life would be like with you around to hang out with, but I try not to focus on the bad and hang onto all of the great memories of you and things that you have taught me.

Since my last letter to you a year ago, I feel like I have grown more as a person and as a mother. Raising a toddler is much different than being a mom to a newborn or infant. I have seen my patience, compassion, teaching, discipline and so many other skills being used and tested on a daily basis. It’s funny because never once do I question what type of mother that I want to be – I want to be just like you. With all the things you taught me, I also know what I want to teach my own children: respect, treating others nicely, being a genuine and good person, being honest and open, being loyal and reliable, to have fun in life, to work towards their life goals, and to create memories to last a lifetime.

As I get ready to become a mom for the second time, I have fears and excitement. I wonder how my love will be spread with two versus one. I worry that Braden will be mad at me with a newborn to take up a lot of my time. There are tons of thoughts that race through my mind, but all I have to think about is how you raised four of us and never, ever did any of us every feel slighted or jealous of your love. I know you will be with me in the delivery room again. I thank you each and every day for watching over me and my family; for helping to deliver all of these wonderful blessings into my life. I know you are looking down and are proud of me today, but really I wouldn’t be where I am if I didn’t have you as the best mother a woman could ask for! I miss you more than words can say.

Your biggest pride in life was your family and I am so honored to say that now I have a family of my own - my biggest pride. Thanks for being my angel.

P.S- I am bringing this picture with me into the delivery room so you can be my nurse just like last time!
P.S.S - Maybe this baby will be born on your birthday? You never know...seems like you are always sneaking into our lives in amazing ways. :)
 Love, Your Pina Colada