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!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Braden John: 2 years + 5 months

 Mister Braden (a.k.a - The Big Brother) is a whopping 2 years and 5 months old! He never ceases to amaze us with his ever expanding vocabulary. His dialogue consists of "no, not quite yet Momma" when I tell him it's bedtime or naptime. He also says, "I need one little minute" if he wants to finish playing before lunch. So, clearly he understands every word that I use and is now turning it around and using it on me- ha!

Braden is such a joy to be around. He is full of life and personality. He waves hi to the waitresses when we go out to dinner. He runs to the door when the doorbell rings to see who it is. He is so easily excited to go places, see people and do things. He loves helping out, as you can see from the picture above with the paintbrush in his hand. He loves learning new things- he is working on letters and numbers. He can count to 10 and can recognize quite a few letters and spell his name with a little help. He loves books and puzzles. He is into games, art projects like coloring, playdough and painting. He loves to hide and scare you- he is quite the character, constantly making us laugh. Of course, we never forget his love of baseball and football. He loves shooting hoops and doing anything active. We do a lot of running and dancing in the house to wear off energy. He is up for anything!

Braden is so laid-back and fun-loving. It has been a joy to watch him grow and learn over the last 29 months. We are constantly amazed and surprised by him, and we know it's just the beginning. He feels like a 4 or 5 year-old in a 2 year-old body. He is a wonderful big-brother. I hope this continues! :) He helps Liam grab toys, he gives him hugs and kisses, he wants to be around him all the time. It is really sweet to watch him with his little brother. I really couldn't ask for a better big-brother, and eldest son in Braden.  He really makes my days so much brighter.

What a lucky lady I am, between Liam's big smile and belly laugh and Braden's fun-loving personality, I am such a blessed Momma!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Liam Jude: 6 months

All smiles- sitting up
 In his Johnny Jump Up- big brother hanging out in the back! :)
 Brothers- always touching

Bright-eyed Liam Jude

Mister Liam turned the big six months this week! Six months is where things really start to change! He is eating a lot more baby food- today we tried yogurt for the first time and he couldn't get enough. He is sitting all by himself now. He rides in the cart with Braden at Target, he can sit in the stroller without the car seat, and the list goes on. He tries to crawl when doing tummy time- by kicking and wiggling and getting frustrated that he can't go anywhere. Maybe crawling will be in his near future, we shall see. I do know that this guy was born to move. He wakes up in the morning kicking his happy little feet. He is happiest when he is being tossed in the air, running around chasing Braden ( I am holding him as we run). Or when he is standing, bouncing and grabbing for toys. He is BUSY and on the go. He constantly likes to be entertained by my singing, dancing and playing peek-a-boo. Only a few minutes go by where he will get bored and need new stimulation. He also does one roll over and then ends up with his arms tucked under his torso and ends up crying. He hasn't figured out how to pull his arms out yet.

By watching his big bro, Liam is learning fast! These two boys are peas in a pod - big bro and little bro. Now that Liam can do more things, Braden wants to sit directly next to him so they are touching feet. They are constantly in close proximity. When Liam is in his jumper, Braden brings his toys into the bathroom so he can be close (pic below). Too funny. It's a lot of fun watching these two dudes grow together and be best buds even this young!

Liam just had his six month check-up this week too. Shots galore- four of them. Ouch! He weighs a whopping 18 lbs 10 ounces. He is in the 75 percentile for weight and height. He just moved from two naps and a catnap to just two naps this week. His night sleep is pretty good- goes to bed around 7 or 7:30 and sleeps until 4 or 5 (to eat), and goes back to bed until about 7. The doctor did tell me that I can start to sleep train and wean that bottle out as he doesn't need food anymore in the night. I knew that was coming. I figured around six months I would do that anyway. We will work on that next!

Liam is so smiley, giggly and sweet. He is Mama's boy- always looking to see where I am at all times. He is my sensitive boy! He doesn't cry as much at loud noises as he used to (he can stand the vacuum and blender now), but he does get startled and scared easily. He is a lot of fun and his smile is contagious! He is STRONG- he has a grip of death. My hair is one if his favorite targets to grab onto- ouch. We look forward to Liam's milestones to come. We adore watching him grow and change each and everyday and develop his fun personality more and more!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pinterest...my new best friend!

I am making this recipe that I got off Pinterest tonight. They are chicken lasagna roll-ups! I'll let you know how it goes. Thank you Pinterest for all these wonderful dinner ideas, and of course wasting a lot of time that I don't even have! :)

Click the link below if you want the recipe!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Painting Galore!

We decided to start painting again this winter. So, call it round two of painting galore! Last spring and early summer (pre-Liam's arrival) we were only able to get the 3 main bedrooms done and our bathroom. So, a couple of weeks ago we tackled the half-bath on the main floor. Then, this past weekend we did the boys' bathroom. I still need to decorate it though, so I'll post pics of that later. Next in line, the entire main level- kitchen, dining and living rooms. Oh what fun. It's a lot of work, but sure looks nice when it's all done. If you have any color suggestions for an open floorplan with a lot of natural light let me know. I am still undecided how to paint all three rooms if they all blend together! It'll be nice to have the house painted though. You can't really decorate anything until you know your color scheme! So, we will be busy painting, painting and more painting!

Here's a pic of our new bathroom!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Crockpot Porkchops

I am trying a bunch of new recipes lately. I tried this one this week and it was amazing. I thought I would share! It's super easy and really good.

Pineapple Porkchops in the Crockpot
•6 pork chops
•1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks with juice
•1/4 cup brown sugar
•2 teaspoons soy sauce

*Put pork chops in a plastic storage bag; mix remaining ingredients; pour over pork chops in bag. Seal bag and refrigerate overnight. Put in Crock Pot on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until done. These pork chops are also great on the grill. Serves 6.

*I actually just put the porkchops and all the ingredients into the crockpot at the same time- no marinading overnight. It took about 4 hours to cook in the crockpot. I served with a salad and au gratin potatoes- one of Joe's favorites.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I had such a fun and busy Valentine's Day that I forgot to take any pictures- boo! It sure was a fun day though. It started out at 5:45 am when I hit a chocolate donut in the refrigerator for Joe to find when he grabbed his work lunch. Then, when Braden woke up and came downstairs around 7ish, he saw a few special surprises laying out- a white frosted donut with sprinkles, a bag of tiny dinosaurs and some M-n-Ms . He was jumping up and down saying, "YEAH, it's Valentine's Day." Everything red or heart-shaped item that he saw today he exclaimed, "Happy Valentine's Day" at the top of his lungs. My Valentine's got me a cute pink bracelet that represents love, a cool green watch, a butterfly necklace and sparkly earrings to match. What a lucky lady I am. Liam will get to partake in the Valentine fun next year- he is a bit too little for donuts or M-n-Ms, and of course mini dinosaur figures. The dinosaurs would probably get shoved in his mouth! He got extra snuggles today though. V-day ended with me making Braden a heart-shaped grilled cheese sandwich before I had to head out to teach class. And now I am watching Parenthood with Joe - our favorite show. Valentine's Day is a lot of fun when little ones can add to the fun.
So, in lieu of real pics today, here are a few recent pics of my littlest Valentines spending quality time together. Big bro and little bro are loving life together as a duo! I hope you all had a great day with your loved ones - big or small.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Whole Lot of Tabata!

If you are connected to me via Facebook, you read a lot of posts about Tabata- a new group fitness class that I am teaching twice a week. I am in my sixth week of teaching this class and I have to tell you- people love it! There are 40 to 50 folks coming in the door to sweat like crazy during this 30 min workout. So, what is Tabata for those that don't know (and wonder why the heck I keep talking about it)? Here are some basic details:

1.) The Tabata protocol is a high-intensity interval workout.

2.) It includes 20 seconds of maximal intensity effort followed by a 10 second rest. This is repeated for 8 sets. So each move is approximately 4 minutes total. You could do 4, 6 or 8 moves total in your workout (you always want to do a warm-up and cool down as well).

3.)The high intensity nature of Tabata provides a significant “after burn effect” that primes your body to continue burning fat for hours after completion.

4.)Tabata improves both aerobic and anaerobic capacity, better than steady state cardio.

5.)Tabata can be done with virtually any exercise that allows you to exert maximum effort in short bursts.

6.) In short, the Tabata protocol can provide the best fat burning cardio workout.

I started doing Tabata on my own about 8 weeks ago and have seem some changes in my body. I was looking for a way to bring my workouts to the next level in order to get results, and Tabata is helping me to achieve that. If you are looking for a way to step up your workout regimen, give Tabata a try. What can it hurt? Well, it may hurt a little...ha! But, that hurt is only that "burn" feeling that you get when you are having a crazy good workout and know you are doing something good for your body.
With my passion for fitness, I hope to incorporate more fitness tips, tricks and advice into my blog. If I can help inspire, motivate or educate even one person via the internet, then these posts will be worth it. :) More to come...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rough Housing

Well Braden got his first black eye this weekend- running in circles at a friend's house and then took a tumble onto a piece of furniture/toy. I wasn't in the room so I don't even know exactly what he ran into. Whatever it was, it was a sharp corner! I can't believe we made it this long without a black eye.

Welcome to being a Mom of boys, right? I am sure my future is filled with a lot more black-eyes and whatever else. Braden is a tough little dude though. He wanted to get right back up and play after just a couple of minutes of sobs. He claimed he was all better when he woke up this morning and his eye was super swollen and purple. I like his attitude- nothing is going to slow him down. I can't say he gets that from just one of us, Mom and Dad are both like that. I will teach my boys it's okay to cry and show emotions, but to also stand back up and brush the dirt off if they fall. Nobody else will pick you up when you fall as an adult, you gotta pick yourself up and carry on.