Leo - Month 8

Weight: 16lbs 9oz (12%) and  27" (21%) 
Nicknames: Leeman, Lee-Lee, Forest Boy, Weeward, Wee-whoa
Clothes: You can fit into some 6mth outfits, but you have ripped a few in the toes, so I think its time to upgrade to the bigger size. All new clothes are size 9mths+ and I think you'll be in size 4 diapers when its time to order new diapers.
Sleep:  Overall, I really can't complain. This month you've dropped a nap and you take (most of the time) a solid morning nap and a solid afternoon nap. We put you down right before 7pm and you wake up between 6-6:30am.
up at 6:30...with a 8oz bottle
6:30-8:30am play
8:00am breakfast -yogurt, oatmeal, smoothie, banana....
8:30-10:30am nap
10:30am - 8oz bottle
10:45-2pm play
1:00 pm lunch - prunes, carrots, sweet potato....
2:15-4:30pm nap
4:30pm bottle 6oz
6:00pm dinner - red pepper, avocado, black beans...
6:30 pm bath
7:00 pm 8oz bottle and bed

Health:  You are in perfect health and we are so thankful for that. The only curve ball I've had to deal with this month is your dang skin! I should have stock in all lotion companies! We've played trial and error for the past month and nothing has totally fixed the situation. **We are having some luck with Eucerin Baby lotion for your body and Cetaphil Eczema for your face. We do know for sure that any jelly product (aquaphor, vaseline, etc.) is not your friend!

Crying: You either whine or scream, but you don't really "cry". You've been a little more whiney this month than usual, but you've cut two teeth on the bottom and are working on your two top teeth, so I think that's whats to blame. I've never needed to give you Tylenol before this month, but we've had to do it a few times when I felt like you were in pain.

Feeding:  On your 7 month birthday (4/24/16), we had our last nursing session. It was harder for me than it was for you, and I miss breastfeeding, but there are a lot of perks with that chapter being closed too. Mama has a lot more freedom now.
This month you have really started to love food and that has been so fun! You're getting three "meals" a day, and we're having fun finding out what foods you like (carrots, smoothies, prunes, and red peppers) and which you don't (beets, broccoli, butternut squash).
We're doing a mixture of purees and BLW and it's going really well. You haven't figured out how to use your sippy cup, but you drink from my water bottle like a champ. 
Likes: You love swimming and you have gotten SO good at it this month. We went every single week (a few times with your cousin Nolan), and last time with Dad. You swam for him so well, he was so proud of you! You put your whole face in, kick your feet, and have absolutely zero fear! 

You also mastered the jump this month and are pretty obsessed with your bouncer that hangs from the doorway.
Dislikes: You don't like to wait for your bottle - so putting on a bib is not the most fun activity for anyone. You do not like putting lotion on either - especially on your face, and you really don't like if we walk away from you!
Milestones:  You are scooting around town. You aren't up on your knees, but you can do a full 360 to grab toys or get a better view in the mirror. My guess is that you will start to crawl this month. 
One thing that has truly been a heart melting milestone is having you reach up to us when you want us to pick you up. It's pretty dang adorable. 
Places You’ve Gone: We were in California all month

Visitors: You met your newest cousin Carter this month. She was born on April 26th and the two of you are almost exactly 7 months apart. We've spent a lot of time with her and I think you'll be very excited to have a built in best friend as she gets older and older.

Postpartum: I'm happy to report that not much changed once I had my last nursing session with you. I've had friends have hormonal drops after nursing, but overall, I weaned really slowly and felt ok.

Roscoe: You guys are the cutest thing in the world together and its a sight to see. He's a great, great dog/brother to you.

Leo - we fall more and more in love with you every second. 


High Tea

Ok, so I think we have found the most ideal baby shower/sprinkle location ever.

High Tea at The Peninsula hotel!

Our "book club" got together to celebrate Dawn's second baby - a girl! - on Sunday. Her and our friend Laura are both having C-sections on the exact same day next week, so our group will be growing quite a bit!

It was so lovely to spend a Sunday afternoon over tea, champagne, and an amazing tower of goodies. We had a harpist right behind our table, and I'm pretty sure we could've stayed at our table all night long.

 After we polished off our trays, we had Dawn open a few girly gifts to celebrate her upcoming addition. 

 Some of our husbands and babies hung out while we were busy - so it turned out to be a fun Sunday for everyone involved. 

And a perfect way to celebrate our two dear friends! 



::: Thursday night I met up with some of my girlfriends to celebrate my birthday! We met at my favorite wine bar - Ester's in Santa Monica - and basically closed the place down. Laura was such a trooper hanging in a wine bar filled to the brim with wine, soft cheese, and charcuterie....but we know she'll be back in action with us in only a few short weeks!

::: I had to shake off my fuzziness from Thursday nights shenanigans because we had swim lessons bright and early on Friday morning - and I'm so glad we did. Literally Leo might be the next Michael Phelps ;) This was our 3rd lessons, and it really clicked for him this time. He was going under water constantly, kicking his feet and splashing all around.

  ::: We stayed in Friday which was what we both needed. Since Mexico I've been loving tequila and lime juice as my cocktail of choice.

::: Saturday Joel went to run on the Pacific Crest Trail and it was an all day affair so Leo and I were solo.  I took him on a hike in the morning where we did 4 miles, and then we stopped at our friends house for bagels and a few hours of playtime.

Clearly, it was a long day ;)

Joel got home just in time for bath time, so I made myself a salad (since he had stopped and had two burritos after 7 hours of running), caught up on some shows, and we both went to bed before 9:30!

::: Sunday we ran errands and then had a little pizza party. Leo was obsessed with the big kids, and clearly their company worked like a charm because he slept in until 7:30am Monday morning!


 ::: I wish I had a better "almost after" picture, but Leo started cutting two teeth on Friday (below)! They didn't seem to bother him until yesterday, but yesterday was a long day. I could tell he was in pain and he basically spent the entire day whining. They're like half way through, so I'm hoping its just a few more days.

::: He's also really trying hard to be on the move. He's able to pivot all around but can't really make any forward (or backward) motion....but I have a feeling we are going to wake up one morning to a crawling baby.

::: A few people asked about his eczema, so I thought I'd update you on that too. We're still very much in the trial and error phase. Hydrocortizone worked like a charm to clear it up - so we had a few days of perfect skin, but once I stopped using that (and was just using aquaphor), it started to flare up again. We see the doctor this Friday (for his 8mth check up!!), so I want to talk to her about coconut oil as an option (he also has a dry scalp, and I've heard coconut oil is great for that as well), since we can't use hydrocortizone constantly.....to be continued....

::: I think that covers it for all of the notable items going on around these parts. I'm trying really hard to increase my workouts, so I'm trying to get in long walks everyday, with at least 3-4 hard workouts on top of that. I've been leaving around 6am a few mornings a week to sneak in a run or do that Santa Monica stairs with my girlfriend, so I'm hoping that I can officially fit into all of my pre-baby clothes in the next few weeks. My weight is just about there, but everything has changed!!

The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. It's about what you're made of, not the circumstances.:


Five on Friday

::: 1 :::

I started reading this book in Mexico and I cannot put it down. I have about 20% left to finish, and I know I'm going to be sad when it's down. Its about a young couple who have been together for ten years and basically fall out of love....by making the mistakes we all make in marriage. They decide to take a year off with out any contact, and its about their journey alone. Like I said, I haven't finished it so I have no idea how it ends, but its really been forcing me look at my own marriage, who I am as a partner, and who Joel thinks I am. Its a good one...

::: 2 :::

Our "playroom" has been my latest house project, and I had fun pulling a few things together. We don't have tons of space to work with, so I had to get creative. I found this cute chalkboard and Marshalls, and had a decal made on Etsy to spruce it up a bit. It was a $7.00 addition, but I think it pulled the whole little corner together.

::: 3 ::: 
Leo is really starting to figure out this whole eating solids thing. We are doing a pretty solid combo of BLW and some purees, and each day, both methods, seem to get better. Both are messy, both take some time, but both seem to work for us so far. 

::: 4 ::::  

This week I got to spend a lot of time with my cousin Erin and her baby girl Carter. I even broke out my old Solly wrap to give Erin an hour with both hands - and talk about a flashback! I used to live and die by that solly wrap! 

::: 5 :::
If you follow me on snapchat (tshields622) you may have seen that I chopped my hair again. I've had it this short before, but its been a while. It's nice to have a "style", but I need to practice how to much some beachy waves into it. 

Hope you guys have a great weekend! We don't have any big plans on the books which is much needed!  


Ten things I've learned about myself in the last year

2+8 makes 10 and 28.....the age I just turned)

Upper twenties! Hot damn! No turning back now, but I honestly don't mind getting older.....what's the alternative?

But when I think about how much has changed in the last 12 months, I'm sort of blown away - so I figured I'd share some of the things that come to my mind when I look back on what this past year has brought and taught me. 


1. I'm officially a #SAHM. It's been somewhat of a natural change for our family, and while there have been sacrifices made in certain areas, I've found that we are all operating better because of this choice. I have, by no means, perfected the job title around here, but it's a work in progress. When I told my boss that I wasn't coming back, it took two months for me to not feel like I was just on a really long vacation. To watch the Sunday scaries just disappear is pretty amazing but I no longer can tell any kind of difference between weekdays and weekends. Overall though, it's a truly amazing #blessing for us, for right now.

2. I worked out far more when I was pregnant than I do now with a baby. In fact, just yesterday I told Joel that these past 7 months I've worked out the least that I have since I was able to understand that exercise made me feel good. I had become so good at working out so often because my body (and mind) needed it and it didn't feel good to miss it. With Leo,  I've fallen out of that habit and I'm having a hard time getting back in since my schedule doesn't allow for a lot of time away from the baby. I'm still managing about 2-3 days a week but I'm ready to increase that number and start finding ways to get in more workouts.

3. I talked a lot about being anxious when I was pregnant with Leo, and it really was the worst part of my pregnancy. In my third trimester I just felt riddled with fear every passing hour. It was not a fun place to be in and I hope to have better control over it for my next go around(s). There are a few things working for me currently, but anxiety for me typically shows its head during great change (like being pregnant!), so I know I'll need to really manage it in the future to keep it under control.

4. I started to like Chardonnay this year. No idea how it happened, but I finally fell in love with it. I used to not drink any white wine, and on occasion maybe I would choose a Sauvigon Blanc.....but now, a buttery, oaky, freezing cold glass of Chard calls my name quite often

5. I went to a mommy group and found out really fast it wasn't for me. I spent all pregnancy looking forward to it, planning the lifelong friends I was going to make, thinking about how we would all be on this same playing field and really be rooting for the success of each other as new mothers.....but I ended up hating it. I have no idea why either. It may have been the group of women, the instructor, my initial weirdness towards the dynamics - but I found it painful, I felt like it got really judgey really fast, and that comparisons were happening with our 4 week olds! Not my style.

6. My view on friends and friendship has changed a lot in the past year - and mainly for the better, even if that meant that I've paired down a little. I've really discovered what I'm looking for in friendships, how I like my friendships to operate, and what you do (and can expect) for good friends.

7.  Cooking has really become a passion for me. I think I really started to get good at cooking this year. I trust myself in the kitchen much more than I ever have and have really started to up my game. I've really enjoyed trying different styles, techniques, etc. and playing in the kitchen which is making my husband really happy.

8. I operate better than I thought without sleep. Having a newborn (and baby, really), everyone would give me the advice to try and stock up on sleep because it was truly going to be hell operating on such little sleep....but I was actually ok. Its not as hellish as it seems and you actually get used to it. A random night not getting good sleep sucks much worse (for me) than continual shitty sleep, because your body just kind of gets used to it.

9. How much my parents love me, and how all encompassing that love truly is. My mom has said many times that they are only as happy as their saddest child. For a long time, I thought that was so sad, but its so, so true. Our happiness really, truly, deeply brings our parents happiness, and I get it now. And I'm so sorry for being such a monster in high school!!!

10. I learned that you really, really, really want to marry your best friend. Because when life gets hard, or scary, or anxious, or sleepy, or sad, or funny, or joyful, or overwhelmingly amazing.....you are going to want to share that with your best friend and its going to make everything better.



Girls Trip to Mexico

I have officially come to the conclusion that there are few things better for your soul than a weekend away with girlfriends. This trip came together sort of randomly, but also weirdly perfectly, so I knew going into it was it was destined for great things from the start.

Flying out of LA with my girlfriend Shelby, made even the customs line part of the fun! No diaper bag, no problem over here!

After we made our way out of the airport in Puerto Vallarta, our driver had cold beers for us for the drive to my parents condo in Punta Mita. Talk about a smart way to get a good tip! 


We got into the condo and decided to hit the beach for a beer and some chips and guac while we waited for Jenna to make it in from Chicago. 


Once we got back to the house, Jenna made her way and the trip officially began. 

Our first night for dinner on the beach we hit up Blue Shrimp on the water. Whenever you make a reservation at these restaurants, since most people are on vacation, they ask "what are you celebrating"....well, tell them it's your 21st birthday and rest assured, you're going to end the night with a few too many tequila shots.


We were actually looking for more of a relaxing girls weekend as opposed to as crazy one, so we actually sipped the shots they brought and more so enjoyed the chocolate cake they brought out too!  

Saturday morning we started our day at our favorite coffee/breakfast shop in town - Boca Deli - and then took off for a walk around the village. 

Mexico in May is pretty hot and humid, so by the time we were done walking around 10am, the only place you really want to be is the pool. 

We spent the entire day reading, swimming, napping, listening to music....only breaking for fish tacos and beers on the beach.

 That Friday night, we went to another local restaurant favorite (Si Senor), and ended up having the best dinner ever. We brought "chat cards" with conversation prompts on them, and ended up closing the restaurant down answering wild, hilarious, boring, and funny questions.

And that night we did have too much tequila. 

Saturday - we honestly wanted to replicate what we did the day before. That was a big key to this weekends success = we all wanted the exact same thing from the trip: rest, relaxation, good food, good laughs, and lots of fun.

So we hit up our coffee shop and then took our 2nd cups of coffee on the road so we could get a little walk in. 

Once we got home, we resumed positions in our beach chairs and hung out all day long.

On Saturday night, we decided to get cocktails at the St. Regis and have dinner at a beautiful restaurant near there called Sufi. 

The view and vibe were sort of perfect for our last dinner out. We ordered an amazing bottle of wine and ate as much fresh seafood as we could.

We took the party home, sat outside for a few more hours drinking beer, listening to country music, and just telling stories....laughing and crying....until we forced ourselves to bed.

We snuck in one delicious brunch before we all headed to the airport to go home.

Shelby and I decided to upgrade on the way back....we figured why not. When we walked on the plane, the pilot was outside of the cockpit and started talking with us. I told him it was my birthday and my first mother's day as we made small talk.

Well, little did I know, before we took off, the pilot (Victor, from Alaskan Airlines) comes on the speaker, gives me a sweet little shout out and then had the entire plane sing happy birthday to me. I was as red as a tomato, but it kicked off the most fun (and funniest) plane ride I've ever had.

We landed at 4:15, and I was home with Leo, Joel, and my sister Hannah by 5pm. Just enough time to order pizza and open a few presents.

I honestly wouldn't have been able to make this trip happen without Joel being so awesome, but, truly, my sister was an amazing aunt and swooped in to substitute for me while I was gone like a champ.

She didn't miss a beat, and I didn't worry for a second, and it was the best gift she could have given me.

I'm pretty sure Leo didn't even realize I was gone, and I got to come home a better mom and wife because of it.

A birthday and 1st Mother's Day very, very well spent.