Things we need to discuss

::: If you are ever at the beach....you need this tent. I found it at Tj.maxx and the two times we've used it, it's changed our entire expirence. Drew can crawl around happily, I like to sit in the shade, and it's a perfect spot to eat enjoy snacks and hang out. Well worth the $30 bucks

::: Mom question: Has anyone ever had a baby who had a violent reaction to oatmeal? Apparently it's a thing on Google, and Drew isn't the only one. Her doctor isn't concerned and told me its too early to label her as "allergic", but both times after eating (earth's best) organic cereal, Drew had a horrible vomit reaction exactly 2.5 hours after consumption. She threw up until her entire stomach was emptied, and then was basically totally back to normal.

::: I have been trying to keep a list of some of my favorite wines and I don't have too too many because mostly this summer I've been drinking beer (corona light and Crystal Lake Brewing's Beach Blonde), but I have been drinking a ton of this Rose. It's so good - the bottle is beautiful (which makes it a pretty gift), and it's a reasonable price point ($16)! I've bought it at Mariano's and Target.

Image result for cote de roses 

::: Speaking of drinks....the other day was like 93 degrees, it was 2pm and I was exhausted. I needed some coffee but the idea of hot coffee was just not doing it for me. I normally HATE iced coffee, but I decided to give the new "Salted Carmel Cold Brew" a try - and damn it was good. I didn't want anything that was so caloric it felt like a meal, but at 180 calories for a tall, I felt like that was a reasonable treat, and not only did it hit the spot, it totally energized me through the afternoon slump.


::: One of my best girlfriends Sara had her baby girl Emma a few weeks ago, and Drew and I finally got a chance to head into the city to meet her. She is SO darling, with more dark hair than even Drew had, and it was just so fun to be with Sara and our DAUGHTERS. Life is crazy.


and being with Emma made Drewbie look SO big

::: We are going to start potty training Leo soon. Joel and I are heading to California in two weeks, and we are going to bootcamp potty train him when we get back. Any tips? I haven't read anything - but I think we are pretty much going to try and wing it? Is that a horrible idea? I know I want to install two new toilet seats. Our neighbors use them and they seem like the perfect solution for little booties without being too gory.

Image result for potty training toilet seat

New undies, potty books, lots of ipad games, tons of treats,a sticker chart, pull ups for bed (because he is still in the crib) are the other thoughts I have, but let me know if there is something else I seriously need.

::: I'm sure there's a long list of other things, but for now,  a new episode of Younger awaits and my eyes aren't going to be open for much longer!


Drew's Baptism

Since a lot of our family was already in town for the 4th of July festivities, we decided to have Drew's baptism on Sunday, July 8th. 

That morning, we decided for our whole fam to go out and play some tennis and pickle to start the day off. It turned out to be an absolute blast - and even Leo got in on the action.

We rushed home, pulled the house together as quickly as possible, finished up last minute errands, got everyone ready, and tried to snap a few family pictures before we met everyone at the church.




Drew's baptism gown was worn by my mom - and then by me as a baby - which was really, really special. 




 My sister Hannah is Drew's Godmother, and Joel's brother Andrew is her Godfather 

After the Baptism, our two families all headed back to our house for a late lunch party.

all the Shields cousins

 three Shields girls were born in 2017  




We wrapped up the perfect afternoon with rose and cheersed to our sweet Drewbie girl.


4th of July Recap

The Fourth of July weekend is probably the best week where we live all year long - and this year did not disappoint. 

On Wednesday, the actual 4th, my parents hosted a pool party BBQ for all of my cousins. Joel and I started the morning off with a run, and then spent the rest of the day in the pool, eating, drinking, playing games and just hanging with family.

The only bummer about the 4th this year was that it fell in the middle of the work week, so Joel had to get up Thursday morning and go to work. 

We kept to our normal day on Thursday, with the exception of welcoming family in to town. Joel's Aunt Annie and Uncle Jim stayed with us for the weekend - and we kicked off the party with a BBQ at our house.

On Friday, after swim lessons for Leo, Joel's mom, aunt, and my mom, Grandma, and the kids all went out to lunch. 

It is not lost on me how lucky we are to have so much family local, and family that loves each other as much as we love them. 

Joel got home early from work and we took the kids over to the Lakeside Fest. 

Leo had been watching the rides go up all week long and was BEYOND excited.

We did about 3 rides with friends, and then we walked the kids home to meet a babysitter, so that Joel and I could go back to the fest and hang out with friends for the evening in the beer tent. 

Saturday morning we work up and got right back into the swing of things with cocktails and pickle ball at our neighbors house. 

Joel's brother Andrew and his family from San Diego were in town, so we hung out with them for a little while in the afternoon before we got ready for a 4th of July party.

The weather couldn't have been more ideal....and besides Leo being suppper anxious about the "big booms" we had a perfect evening. 


I changed Leo into his jammies - my sister pulled out a new stuffed toy for Leo - and once the first firework made it into the air - Leo decided they were the coolest thing ever. His commentary for the entire 20 minute display was adorable and he wanted to go to firework party eveyday now.

And because we're crazy....we decided to have Drew's baptism Sunday! But we'll save that for a different post!


Packing Pool Bags

A reader (Katie) asked if I had any pool bag hacks that I could share....and while I don't have anything that makes the process mind blowingly easier - I figured I would share what we are doing.

My favorite pool bag is the LL.Bean X-Large Tote with zipper. It's washable, I can throw it on the parking lot/sand/grass....it's perfect - and I love all of the pockets. 

This is a peek at what our pool bag contains - and here are the few products that I think are really handy to have on hand.

1. SwimZip rashguard: Makes getting on and off SO much easier. Especially off. 

2. Babiator goggles AND sunglasses: Not only can you replace them if they're lost or stolen, the sunglasses and goggles actually stay on! 

3. A wet bag: My mom found mine at Marshalls for me probably 2 years ago and it's a must have for putting wet bathing suits into when we are leaving. 

Image result for wet bag

4. All of the snacks: Our favorites our individual bags of anything, but right now we're really into pirates booty, veggie sticks, gold fish, and mini-ritz crackers. 

5. Frozen Water Bottle: If I'm taking a bottle with us for Drew, I will bring a frozen water bottle to keep it cool. I never seem to have the right sized ice pack, so this works well without taking tons of space.

6. Coppertone for babies: Leo and I are really sensitive to sunscreens but this one doesn't leave us with a rash.  

Image result for coppertone for babies

7. Foldable/zipper blanket: If we are packing our bags for the beach, this blanket is a life saver. I almost could use two of them since Leo inevitably gets one covered in sand, but we use this baby a lot. I bought mind from Bed Bath and Beyond but I recently had a friend buy one off of Amazon.

8. Sand Toy bag: If we are going to the lake instead of the pool, I bought this large plastic totes from Target that I love. It holds a ton of big sand toys, and is super easy to clean. And it's $5.99 


 9. Baby Raft: Bought at target two summers ago. It worked for Leo for two summers and now Drew loves it too. Leo has now upgraded to swimming with puddle jumpers which are going well too. 


Any good hacks I'm missing??