Popping In


It's been a while. 

Actually, probably the longest break I've taken....ever! 

Life's been good over here. 

Our summer has been jam packed - honestly Tuesday-Sunday we basically have plans every single night, and our days have been filled too. I'm playing tennis four times a week, Leo's in swim lessons and camp, we have play group, a babysitter a few mornings a week, library dates, walks, pool visits, beach time, and anything else we can fit in between. 

Crystal Lake sure does shine during the summer. 

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June's weather was a little hit or miss - but we worked with it - and fit in so much fun.

Fourth of July was literally maybe the best weekend ever. We were surrounded by family, friends, fun. The kids were SUCH troopers for our crazy, chaotic weekend - but they both loved every second. Leo's still asking for fireworks again.

Image may contain: 4 people, including Tess Tyrrell Shields and Joel Shields, people smiling, people standing, child and outdoor

And....as it always does....probably with all of the hype of the Nsale and the school supply list that has already been sent out, I'm starting to feel a little bit, tiny bit, kind of excited for the fall and the upcoming routine that it has. But, I also haven't forgotten how long this winter was for us, and how much time we were inside - so I'm not rushing it.

I did, however, buy 1 thing from the Nsale. A pair of short Hunter boots. I thought about them all last winter, so hopefully I'll get some wear out if it.

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And I pulled the trigger on an Apple Watch on Prime Day too. 

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Other than that, the random stuff, will probably have to wait for another post. 

Likely in 6 weeks.

I really just wanted to pop in. I'm still here, maybe you are too - and if you are - hope this finds you well. 

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Drew - Month 18

 1 month ::: 2 months ::: 3 months ::: 4 months::: 5 months::: 6 months ::: 7 months ::: 8 months ::: 9 months ::: 10 months ::: 11 months ::: 12 months ::: 13 months ::: 14 months ::: 15 months ::: 16 months 

Weight: 24.3lbs (71%), 80% for height

Clothes: You are pretty much in 18-24mth, and omg 2t. Size 4/5 shoes, size 5 diapers 

Nicknames: Drewbie, Drewbs, and Drewbo, DD, "princessa" 

Sleep: You are officially down to just 1 nap a day - but days when we are home during the morning - you struggle a bit and literally ask to go "ni ni" before I'd like you to ;) 

6:45-7:45am - You wake up normally between here. I think we are officially done with bottles. Daddy one day just stopped giving it to you, and because I can't focus on it too much because it makes me sad, we are just going with it. 
8am - breakfast with milk cup 4-6oz
11:30am - lunch 
1pm - 2:30/3pm - Nap
3:15 - snack
3:30-5pm - play
5:30/6pm- Dinner
6:30pm-Mike Cup, normally 4-6ox
7pm - Bed

Health:  We are working through a stomach bug/cold situation at our house. You started it, and Leo got it way worse, but yours is sticking around with more cold like symptoms - so who the heck knows. You got shots a few days ago, your cutting all 4 of your eye teeth, so it could be a mixture of everything. 

 Crying: You are in the thick of tantrums if you don't get what you want, when you want it. We all find it pretty hilarious (#2ndChildProblems), which seems to aggravate you even more! 

Feeding: You're a pretty good eater. You love to snack - you like your own snack cup, separate from Leo, which is pretty funny....but you also love throwing and dumping your snacks whenever you get a chance - which also drives me a bit nuts! 

Breakfast is normally banana, hard boiled eggs, and toast. Lunch is normally apple sauce and chicken nuggets, and dinners are whatever we are eating deconstructed or whatever Leo is eating. 

Likes: You are a wild woman. You love Leo. Anything he does makes you laugh, and you want to copy. It's pretty amazing to watch. You LOVE books (especially chatbooks), you love music and dancing, you love running, you love being outside, you love bubbles, people, holding hands, pulling glasses off of peoples faces, holding your babies, and dogs. 

Dislikes: Being told no, not getting what you want, having things taken from your hands.

Milestones: Your words are starting to flow! I love it! We are just about at the stage where a new word will pop out every day a surprise us. You can say "thank you", and new words lately have been "cheese", "yes", "barbie", "cracker", "uh-oh", "weeeee" "coco" "hannah", "gigi".......gosh, I forgot what else, but its been pretty cool. 

Places You’ve Gone: No where new this month.

Leo: Probably the biggest joy of my life is watching you two together. I love the knowing looks you give each other, how you both amp each other up for fun - and for trouble. I love that you bang on his door, try to keep up with him, and play with his toys. I love that you try to impress him - it's all such a joy. 


31 - things

Every year around my birthday, I like to share a few things with the few people that might still be checking in here. 

I know that this spot has started to collect quite a bit of dust - and I'm sorry about that. I always have great intentions of signing on, writing a post, and for whatever reason, I either come up blank or fall asleep ;) 

But, I'm here now, at the cutest littlest wine bar ever (Aroma in downtown Crystal Lake), I have one hour with a babysitter at home, and I'm about to get a refill of Rose - SO.....let's do this.

1 - My favorite line has been - I'm a horrible "stay at home mom" because I hate to stay home. We stay very busy throughout the day, and ideally I try to only be home for nap time to be honest.

2 - In order to make that work, I try to keep a tight schedule of home-ish chores so that I can stay on top of things, and keep us busy. I have a laundry schedule I stick too....

3 - Which means I do 1 load of laundry every day

4 - I also try and cook dinner most nights of the week, and the key to my success on that one is having everything prepped at nap time. That way, when 5:30pm rolls around, I just bake/fry/etc.

5 - The other reason I'm really successful at that? My husband is incredibly helpful and supportive. He cleans up the kitchen every night, lines up the coffee machine, loads the dishwasher, UNLOADS the dishwasher, gets laundry started in the morning, ........and about 50 other things he manages on a daily basis along with providing for our family. He operates on very little sleep, has a discipline like no one I've ever met, and also doesn't really know how to relax and/or sit down.

6 - I'm obsessed with my kids. I think they're truly the most beautiful, smartest, funniest, and loveliest little things to be around. They both - OF COURSE - have their moments - but for the most part, I spent the day in awe of how we created these two little doll babies.

7 - On that nice note, I really do feel like I'm living the life that I always dreamed off.

8 - I have been SO against red wine lately. Unless it's a really nice bottle, I really haven't had much of a desire to drink it. I've been having a lot of beer, rose, and vodka.

9 -  Speaking of nice red wine - pretty much the only time I'll drink red wine is Sunday's at my parents. We spend every Sunday at their house for dinner. It's such a special tradition and treat. They cook for us, we hang out, spend most of the afternoon and then enjoy and early dinner together.

10 - I really wish you could be listening to these idiots sitting next to me. I'm not even going to get into detail but I pretty much want to puke in my mouth they're so lame. This is random, I know, but trust me.

11 - I get energy from being around other people. I am VERY much an extrovert, VERY social, and would rather be around people than be alone.

12 -  I take half a unisom every night in order to even try and sleep through the night, and even with that, it's a crap-shoot. Since it works 80% of the time, my doctor thinks I should stay on this path since it's very mild and there is a lot of room to play if it gets worse.

13 - My favorite day of the week is the day that we have our babysitter come to our house to help me from 3:15-6:15pm. It almost blows my mind that those 3 hours are sometimes what gets me through the entire week - but to just have 3 selfish hours where I can go sit at a wine bar, or go to trader joe's alone, or organize the kids closets or whatever. 

14 - We moved from Los Angeles two years ago, after spending five years there. We knew that the Chicago suburbs would always be home.

15 - I miss parts of living in Los Angeles, but I really couldn't imagine living there right now. The lifestyle here is much more aligned to the life I want, but I'm so glad Joel and I lived such a chunk of our twenties there.

16 - I know a lot of people move West for the weather - but I truly missed seasons. I've discovered now, I missed summer, fall, and winter - but I actually friggen HATE Spring. It's cruel here in Chicago. It's cold, gray, flirts with you, and then leaves you again.

17 - My newest favorite instagram account - and least favorite because she is making me go broke - instagram is @things.i.bought.and.liked.

18 - I bought these really cool silk, top-knot-ish-y headbands she reccomended - incredibly random - but I wore it today and no joke, got like 10 random compliments on it. Along with socks, cleaning supplies, underwear, wine.......she's amazing.

19 - I mentioned above that I haven't been having a ton of motivation to blog, and with that, I haven't had a ton of motivation to read blogs. Have you felt the same? I have a few of my favorite girls that I check in with, but for the most part, they just don't fulfill me like the used to.

20 - I do really love to Liz Adams at @HelloAdamsFamily - but more than her blog - I follow her for her instastories which I think has stolen much of Bloggers mojo

21 - I'm so excited for this summer. We decided to join our local country club and I think it's going to change the entire feeling of our summer. Their pool doesn't open until 12, so I think we will end up visiting the pool after naps until before dinner....which literally THRILLS me! Plus, I'm going to try and play tennis there in the morning, and hope to play tennis and pickle ball with Joel on the weekends.

22 - I'm also hoping to have Leo do a camp on Fridays in the summer from 9-3.

23 - The only problem - he has to be potty trained and he isn't.

24 - One of my worst parenting experiences - thus far  - has been our first attempt at potty training. I was a horrible mom in regards to the process, I put WAY too much pressure on Leo and on the situation, him and I both cried for two weeks straight, and then eventually I threw in the towel.

25 - But, it's time to do it again. Leo will be 4 in the fall, and I hope that this time around, we can both come at it from a much more gentle and calm place, and we're just going to take it one day at a time and hope that it sticks. Because we were both so burned from the first process, I'm not following any perfect book/schedule/routine but more so going to try and follow Leo's lead.

26 - We are REALLY hoping to travel with Leo and Drew next year to Europe. The best trip Joel and I ever took was to France a few years ago, and we dreamed of taking our little babes with us. I think they'll both be a very fun ages to do it, so we're really going to try. We'd like to do two weeks in Italy and France but for now, it's truly just a dream.

27 - I have to leave this wine shop in 15 minutes, so the next few points are going to have to be quick

28 - My favorite dessert is key lime pie

29 - I hate getting my hair and nails done. Truly, I find them as chores that I dread.

30 - My favorite food is pizza.....I think.

31 - I am SO beyond thankful. For my health, for my families health, for my life, for my friends, for my house, and for my life. And thank you for checking in here.


5 (things I want) on Friday

With my birthday coming up - this Monday!!! -  I thought I'd put together a list of the things I'd be most happy to see for birthday presents.

cough, cough, Joel. ;) 

::: Amazon Speaker :::

I honestly have no idea which is the best one to get, but I want a speaker in my kitchen that can get decently loud, doesn't need to be touched - can just turn on with my voice - and doesn't take over my phone the way my Jawbone speaker does. Anyone have any good recommendations? 
::: Lilly Pulitizer pullover ::: 

UPF 50+ Skipper Popover, Crew Blue Tint Kaleidoscope Coral, large
I am pretty much in athlesiure pull overs of some kind 6 days a week, and with the summer coming up, I'd like to add another popover to my closet. I love the bright colors and decently light weight material. 
::: Apple Watch :::
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I think I want an apple watch. A few of my friends have them and really like them, and I think it would be handy to be able to be reached and not have to have my phone on me at all times. Especailly at the gym, I feel like I need to take my phone into classes in case the preschool were to call me, but with the iwatch, I wouldn't need to as much. I'm not sure it's totally worth it - and I'll be fine to live without one - but I think it would be a fun gift. 
::: cast iron skillet :::

Lodge Cast-Iron Round Fry Pan
I need a cast iron skillet! Kind of a random thing, but my kitchen could use one, and I'd like to start finding some new recipes to use in one. 
::: Gold birkenstocks :::

Slide View 1: Arizona Metallic Birkenstock Sandal

I wear my silver thong like birks all the time, and I recently got lilac pool birkenstocks that I love - but I think these would be a nice neutral summer sandal that could actually hold up at parks and on light walks.
plus - I love massages, mani pedis, wine, essential oils, some new makeup, gosh - I won't really say no to any presents to be honest ;) 

PARTY | YAY Candles 


Drew - Month 16


 1 month ::: 2 months ::: 3 months ::: 4 months::: 5 months::: 6 months ::: 7 months ::: 8 months ::: 9 months ::: 10 months ::: 11 months ::: 12 months ::: 13 months ::: 14 months ::: 15 months :::

Weight: 22lbs (58%), I think it was like 33 inches? You were in the 78% for height!

Clothes: You are pretty much in 18-24mth

Nicknames: Drewbie, Drewbs, and Drewbo, DD, "princessa" 

Sleep: You are still a better napper when you get two naps in a day. Your doctor advised to start working towards 1 nap, and I think we will when summer arrives, but for now, if we can get you a morning nap, we like to.

7:15am - We wake you up most mornings with an 7oz bottle
8am - breakfast
10:30am - sometimes nap
11:15am - up, playtime, bath, snack, etc.
11:30am - lunch 
1pm - 2:30/3pm - Nap
3:15 - snack
3:30-5pm - play
5:30/6pm- Dinner
6:30pm-Bottle, normally 6-7oz
7pm - Bed
Health:  You've had perfect health this month - minus a tough diaper rash and slight cough.
 Crying: You don't cry too much, but you will throw mini tantrums when you don't get what you want.
Feeding: You are a good eater overall, but I would say maybe slowed down a little bit in the food department this month. Breakfast has been pretty light, and you think it's fun to feed Roscoe, so a lot of your food has been ending up on the ground lately.
Likes: You are a busy body! You love to get into things, play outside, dance to music, read books, and kiss your babies. You love your brother, you love dogs, you love people, and you love your slippers! Oh, and you LOVE bubbles. Especially the "bubbles" (hand sanitizer) from the gym.
Dislikes: Diaper changes have been tough this month and you don't like when I take things out of your hands that you're not supposed to have.
Milestones: This month you are starting to really understand everything we say. You'll show us your belly, your shoes, your hair, etc. You can follow most instructions, and have a real idea of the routine of things which I love watching. 

You are talking up a storm and learning about 2-3 words a week. Most recently this week you've started to say banana and shoes.
Places You’ve Gone: No where new this month.
Leo: You two have been kissing all month long. If you give dad a kiss goodbye, you will then chase your brother down with puckered lips to kiss him as many times as he will let you.


April Updates

::: How these months keep just flying by, I seriously don't even know. I feel like I just flipped my calendar to read April, and now, it's gone.  

Overall - we had a great April. Chicago gave us two legit snow storms and more days in the 70's than normal, so it's been a little all over the place, but we've tried to keep busy and make the best of it. 


::: One of the best things the Easter bunny brought us is this driveway gate. We love it. Our driveway has a slight slope, so it stops balls and cozy coupes from rolling straight into the street, and it gives the kids a nice visual of where to stop - plus, no one pulls in while we're out playing. Tons of people have pulled over to ask where we got it - and the answer is obvious....amazon. 

::: Speaking of Easter - we had the best day. The weather was PERFECT - almost eighty degrees, and it just felt like the ideal Easter ever. We started the day with opening Easter baskets and heading t church, before we spent the rest of the day drinking champagne and hanging at my parents with tons of family and friends. 




::: The day before Easter, Joel ran in an ultra-marathon. He had been training and feeling great - but during his warm uprun for the race, he stepped funny and hurt his knee. He was able to run the marathon of the race, but stopped after that. We were still seriously impressed and glad that he didn't push past phyiscal pain for the mental aspect of "finishing". Still a winner in our book! 


::: Our basement is done!! We had the ceilings spray painted black and the dry wall painted and it looks a TON better! It's MUCH cleaner, feels much more intentional, and I am really happy with the progress. I'll try and get a post up on the basement separate to this too. 


::: I've been able to sneak out with my girlfriends quite a bit - from book club to beer and yoga to picnics at the park, we've had a super fun time this month. I feel like I have really started to make a great mom/friend group which has made life - and parenting - so much better.




:::I haven't been taking too many pictures of dinners (going to try and get somewhat better!) but here's what I was able to pull from my phone over the last month. 

cauliflower gnocchi with chicken sausage and pesto (c/o Hello Adams Family) 


::: Happy pictures from April 



March Updates

::: Spring in Chicago is so funky. We've seen great weather and some really shitty weather. Yesterday, the kids and I were having our lunch outside, had been to two parks, and I got sunburn - and today, it's snowing and I'm sitting at a wine bar with a sweater and boots on. 



::: Life's been great from all accounts. I'm finding less and less motivation to log on to this blog though. I feel like I don't have much to say or share that I'm not already sharing on Instagram. I feel the blog slowly slipping away, and that makes me pretty sad. 

::: We had the stomach flu hit our house last week and it was literal hell. We had been at a party and literally like contagion - SO many people got knocked down after 36 hours of being there - it was insane. It was the sickest Leo has ever been - and I just literally kept catching his puke in my hands. It wasn't fun but I was SO grateful that it was relatively quick moving and that everyone is back to normal. 

::: We didn't do too much for St. Patrick's day. We took the opportunity for a cute photo op on our holiday shirts, and shared corned beef dinner with both of our parents at dinner. It was perfect. 

::: Are you watching Summer House? I think it's a few years old but I just got into it, and I'm obsessed. Given the choice, I would totally rather watch Summer House over Real Housewives. I'm pretty much over NY and BH.

Image result for summer house bravo

::: I've been hitting is SO hard at the gym lately. My girlfriends and I are on a text chain and since the gym has become such a social spot (and a day care option) I feel like I've been at the gym 5 days a week for the last 6-8 weeks. I can feel some of the strength that I've been working on, but not really seeing it - so I'm hoping that shift happens a little sooner than later here ;) 

::: Over Spring Break, we took a weekend getaway with friends to Galena - and we had the best time. For my own record keeping purposes, I'm going to back post and share some of our secrets to a successful weekend trip with friends.

::: I finally made dinner with the Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi - and holy cow it was so good. What a solid dupe! I will say - it's a little tricky to work with - but overall, especially considering what a light dinner option it is - we loved it. I used Liz Adams recipe from her "Cooking with Liz" instalive she does - and I can't wait to make it again.  (she doesn't have the recipe on her blog, that I can find! Check her instastories!) 

::: I bought these darling easter baskets from a neighbor and I couldn't be more obsessed! 

::: I think I've shared a bit that we are fixing up our basement a bit. Drywall finished this week, and next week the ceiling is getting spray painted black! I can't wait to see the space totally transform. When the ceiling is done, we are going to paint the drywall (revere peweter), do a deep clean, and rearrange bit here and there. I'm hoping to add a ping pong table down there, and eventually a TV, and try to make it as "industrial cool" as I can. 

::: That's it for now. I'm sitting at the cutest little coffee and wine bar that just opened in our hood, but the internet is painfully slow and I have about 15 other things I've got to knock out before I let the babysitter go home! Ha!