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, September 29, 2011

Liam - One Month

I have done a monthly recap for Braden every month since he has been born, and I planned to do the same for Liam. Well, his first month milestone has come and gone! Yikes. No excuses! It could be that it happened to fall on Braden's birthday and I was busy (and then we were out of town), or you could say that you just can't keep up with all the updates as fast with the youngest child. Note- I did say YOUNGEST child..explanation to come in another future post! :) Going forward, I am going to have to do both monthly updates for Braden and Liam on the same day since they were both born on the 22nd. That is a good goal to have, but I am going to be honest with myself - for the unforeseeable future this busy momma will probably have to post them on separate days.

What is Liam up to at one month? Well, he is smiling (as you can see in the picture)! How can you not love that smile? Liam came into this world looking just like his big brother did as a newborn. This also remains to be true at one month. He is losing his nice black hair, just like Braden did (starting at the top so he will be another George Costanza until it all falls out- ha). He is starting to put on some pounds- the little double chin is slowly setting in. Liam is a STRONG boy. He pushes up with his legs, he holds his head up and whips it around. He busts out of his swaddle like a wiggly worm. He is a bit finicky in the sleep department- needs a bit more soothing, relies on his pacifier and if I don't have him sleeping before the fussing begins then it's a LONG road of crying and awake time! So, I am learning what his needs are and trying my best to adapt to them, all while being able to keep up with a 2 year old! It sure is interesting some days, but all is good. I have a new level of multii-tasking now that is for sure! One day, I was pushing the giant Target shopping cart, feeding Liam a bottle, and rounding up Braden from the toy aisle. Wow, aren't you all envious of my multi-tasking? ha!

Mr. Liam eats pretty good- downs about 4 to 5 ounces every 3 to 4 hours. He is famous for falling asleep for 5 or 10 minutes and then waking up again, to start the process all over again. I am hoping as he grows he will be a better sleeper for mom, but some days are really good so we'll take the bad with the good. I think he is now just wanting to be more awake to soak in the sights of the world! He is curious and aware of his surroundings now. He doesn't want to miss out. He is a sweet little man nonetheless.

Liam took his first trip this past weekend to Grandma and Grandpa's house in Wisconsin. He was a champ on the road. Either looked around at the sights cruising past, or took a snooze. Of course at Grandma and Grandpa's he was in good hands- being rocked or held the entire time and barely made a peep! He also got to meet his Uncle Jason, Aunt Shelly and cousins Cooper and Reece for the first time so that was fun. He had lots of fun celebrating Braden's birthday last week too- a trip to Como Zoo, a ride on the trolley, and singing happy birthday. Ok, well maybe he slept through most of that stuff but I am sure he liked being there with us!

Liam already looks up to his big brother. Braden will lay down next to him and Liam will just look at him with wide eyes. It's quite adorable to watch! Liam loves taking baths- sits there nice and calmly when the warm water hits him. Big bro even helped helped bathe Liam this week (captured above).

So, one month down and we feel like Liam has been a part of our family for much longer than that! Looking forward to watching this little man grow and grow and comparing these monthly recaps and pictures down the road.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

To Braden - On Your Second Birthday

Two years ago today, I welcomed you into the world.

I had no idea how much that day would change my life.
For the past two years, I have watched you grow.
I have watched all of your milestones in amazement- from crawling, walking, talking and now running and riding your big wheel.
You are a sweet and fun boy with a sense of humor.
Your laugh and smile are infectious.
You like to run, play baseball, football, swim and go to parks.
You love to eat popsicles, applesauce, ice cream and drink water and juice.
You love construction trucks, balloons, playing with cars and building towers with blocks or legos. You love riding on things- tractors, 4 wheelers, scooters, trikes, etc…
You love cartoons, movies and your teddy.
You like to sing and dance.
Your Dad and I thank our lucky stars every day that we were blessed with such a wonderful child.
You tell us you love us before you go to bed every night, this melts our heart.
You give us a “smooch” whenever one of us leaves.
You have made the transition to being a big brother so well!
We had no idea the love that parents have for their children.
We are so blessed to have discovered this love.
You help us realize what is truly important in life.
You make me even more grateful for my own mom, and make me strive to be like her.
We are so proud of you and can’t wait to watch you grow and grow into a wonderful man.
We want the best for you. We want you to be happy, to enjoy life, and to experience the amazing things we have experienced.
We are so proud to have you as our own.
You are our family, our blood, our sweet little boy.

Happy 2nd Birthday Braden!

I hold you close every night, thanking my lucky stars for a wonderful son like you. I cherish every single moment that I get to spend with you. You are my pride and joy.

Love you Always and Forever,

Your Momma

(all pics are taken on Braden's 2nd bday 9-22-11)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Boys will be boys!

As you can see from the pics above, when son #2 sleeps in funny positions, son #1 wants to join him. When Liam does tummy time, Braden does it too. Braden and Liam seem to be the best of friends already!

It has been 4 weeks since Liam was born. We are adjusting to life as a family of four (I think anyway). The biggest challenge lately, seems to be getting out of the house at a decent time in the morning - having everyone fed, changed, clothed. I start the process at 7:30 and some days it's 10:00 before I am all ready to go somewhere. Yikes. I am used to getting ready fast and getting out the door easily! Two days last week I was out of the house by 9:00- a big win for me. So, here's hoping that soon there will be less bottles and less diapers to help me get out of the house a little bit easier. The other challenge is Liam's sleep habits. He is now fighting sleep- or wanting to be awake for longer and then being overtired and it's hard to settle him down. He has learned to use his lungs that's for sure. Screaming fits are more regular now, and so is creative soothing processes like setting the car seat on the dryer or rocking the car seat back and forth to get him to fall asleep. He seems to be a guy that likes to sleep when there's motion, needs his paci and he hates being swaddled...so, clearly he has an opinion at such an early age. Only time will tell if his opinions grow stronger as he ages!

Braden is doing really well as a big brother. He asks where his brother is if he doesn't see him right away. He helps feed him bottles, and he even held his brother's hand one day on a stroller ride when we couldn't get him to stop crying. He also helps to put his pacifier in when I have my hands tied and can't get to it right that minute. I am going to relish this because who knows when the fighting and competing will begin- ha!

We have been keeping somewhat busy, but having enough down time as well. We started ECFE last week, I am taking a spinning test this Friday so I have been studying a bit, and I will resume teaching classes in two weeks and am very excited about that. We have been enjoying days where the weather was nice- getting out for walks and visits to the park. Next up is Braden's birthday, this Thursday. We have about 4 days of fun planned for him (just kindof happened that way, not intentionally), so the next post will be birthday dedicated!

I am proud of my boys!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Farewell Summer, Hello Fall!

"Summer is not over, the weather is still warm!" or "I am sooooo not ready for fall"! How many times have we caught ourselves saying one of these sentences or overheard someone else saying one of these? Even though the weather has still felt like summer, once the kids get on the bus to school we really have to face reality - Fall has begun people.

Summer treated the Hammonds well- we did a lot of fun things and of course Mister Liam joined our family which ended our summer most perfectly! Here in MN, the end of the summer marks the great MN get together- the State Fair. Last year, Braden was only 11 months old when I took him, so this year we had even more fun. He loved the tractors, the Harleys, and Joe took him through an interactive farm for toddlers where he got to drive his own tractor, pet some animals, carry an egg, milk a cow, wear an apron, and he got his very own cow tattoo! He also got to try some cheese curds, a shake, and some caramel apples and ice cream. Oh what fun! What did Liam think of the Fair? Well, he slept the entire time so maybe next year he will have more memories to share (and he can be in the pictures)! I had to post some pics of Braden and his farm experience because he had so much fun.

I love summer, but I am really excited for fall. My favorite fall things are: Braden's birthday, wearing sweaters and jeans, tall boots, going to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch, bonfires, the changing of the leaves, fall is my favorite running weather, pumpkin spice lattes (soooo good), making soup in the crock pot, Halloween, wine (ok, that isn't a fall thing but I had to say this b/c I am pumped to be able to have wine again) and of course my favorite shows are back on! Joe would pretty much just say football is his most favorite part I would guess, so I had to post this lovely pic of Braden and his Packers jersey. We are full into fall in this household...I even bought new running shoes but am waiting patiently to get the OK to resume working out again. Very excited to return to my favorite things!
Summer- you treated us well...but hello fall! 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Braden: 23 Months + Liam's First Week!

So, Braden turned 23 months old on Liam's birthday. In one of my previous posts, I asked if Braden would be adding "Big Brother" to his toddler skills by next month and I was right. So, now I have two boys that are both born on the 22nd of each month. Easy to remember? I'd say so!! Not to mention they are back-to-back months. So, our family of four will celebrate four birthdays within about 8 weeks of each other. Fun stuff!

Braden is doing a terrific job of being a big brother. When he met Liam in the hospital he wanted to watch him and kept saying "baby" and "brother". But as soon as Liam moved or cried, Braden got scared and would say "no" and get a little emotional. I think he was scared and not sure what this strange baby was all about. Once Liam was home, he started to warm up to him - realizing that he wasn't a stranger we just picked up off the street. :) He was a bit needy and emotional the first couple of days, understandably so. But now he asks where Liam is when he wakes up in the morning, and he wants to hold him and watch Liam getting changed. He also puts his toys next to Liam so he can play next to him while Liam snoozes in his bouncy seat. It's cute to see him in his big brother role. I hope and pray these two brothers will be best buds in the future. I do know that my future will be filled with big appetites, dirty (and smelly) uniforms, throwing balls in the house, football Sundays where Mom will probably have to leave the house and I am positive that the TV will constantly be turned to anything sports related! Welcome to a house of boys and ONE lady. :) In all seriousness, it will be lots of fun to have two boys two years apart. We look forward to watching them grow and all the adventures to come our way! We feel very lucky. My momma is watching us from above!

As for Liam's first week home- he is adjusting well. He is a pretty laid back baby so far. He doesn't cry much, just when he's really hungry or maybe overtired and needs a little comforting to sleep. He loves naps in the car seat and being wrapped up in his Halo sleepsack at night. He is a cuddle bug, loves to be held close. He also will just lay on the floor and kick his legs and move his hands and take in the scenery. He is really alert, he picks his head up and watches movements and objects already. He only had one bad night, and the rest of the nights he will either sleep in 2-3 hour increments and then wake hungry, or we have had a couple of nights where he slept 4 or 5 hours straight! Even though this time I have to be up and ready at 7am for Braden, I do feel like the nights are better this time around. I am recovering faster too so that helps, the day after Liam was born we were out for a short walk.

Joe had 7 days off of work, so it was nice to have the extra help adjusting to life with two. I had two days this week at home alone with the two kiddos and it went better than I thought. Adjusting to the baby stage is pretty easy the second time around since you know what you are doing. We took advantage of Joe's time off by getting out of the house. Our adventures included: the pool, Woodbury Days, The State Fair (yes, we brought a one week old who slept pretty much the entire time), and Teddy Bear Park and lunch at the Freight House in Stillwater. We also had a few family members visit (see pics of Liam's first week of visitors below), so we had a busy week. Now things are settling down a bit and hopefully soon enough I will be good about getting out more on my own. The challenge this time around is just managing all the baby  needs while keeping an active toddler entertained. It takes me a LONG time to get everyone ready in the morning, so hopefully when Liam gets a little older and eats and needs less diaper changes we can be a bit more speedy! :)

All in all, things are going very well and we are enjoying being a family of FOUR!

 Proud Grandparents
 Aunt Angie perfecting the double nephew hold
 Aunt Jess snuggling with Liam
 Cousin Devyn and Uncle Mike
 Liam's first visitor- proud Bapa Sullivan
 Auntie Shawn, excited to meet the irish lad