Leo - Month 14

Weight: 20+lbs?

Nicknames: Leeman, Lee-Lee, Forest Boy, Weeward, Wee-whoa
Clothes: Somehow you are fitting into 24mth pjs! Everything else is same from last month.
Sleep:  We have both gotten a lot more used to your one nap a day, and it actually isn't so bad. It took us both a while to not feel like something was way off, but we got to the other side and we are having a lot of fun with our long mornings. 

up at 6:30...with an 8oz bottle
8:00am breakfast
9-12am play - very necessary to get out of the house during this time
11:30am/12pmish- lunch
12:30/1:00 pm nap
3:30pm snack & playtime
6:00pm dinner
6:30 pm bath
7:00 pm 8oz bottle and bed

Health: We had your first brutal cold. In fact, you are still fighting it off a bit, but it has broken your momma's heart. Plus, me and dad have been sick with you too, so it's been a very long week. You threw up, had a fever for 3 days (over Thanksgiving!), goopy eyes, runny nose, and now you are coughing. We called your doctor (well, mom has called a few times.....) and she said to just keep doing what we are doing because apparently a nasty bug is making its rounds. Steam showers, a tilted crib, lots of pedialyte bottles, and as much snuggles as you'll take! Somehow, you've still been pretty happy and enjoyable!
Crying: Now that you are a walking/running pro, you seem overall happier....although, now, frustration is a real thing. If you are playing with a push car and it doesn't do what you want, you will cry out in frustration, for example. Whining if you don't get what you want is new to us too. You will cry briefly when you fall on your bottom, but recover quickly. Overall, you are a happy little guy. 
Feeding:  Pickier and smarter.....for a long time I could get any kind of veggie in you, but now....not so much. A lot of times, you will put the food in your mouth, and then if you don't like it, just spit it out. It's not mommy's favorite game. Another game mommy doesn't love? Throwing food off your high chair.

Likes:  You love a lot of things! You love people, new toys, new games, learning, exploring, FaceTime, and bathtime! 
Dislikes: When things don't go/do what you want them too, falling/tripping, getting frustrated, most vegetables.
Milestones:  Now that we have crossed the walking and running threshold, we are focusing a lot on your verbal and cognitive milestones. You are talking up a storm, and new words come out of your mouth daily. Today's new word: bubble (and, it was after observing mommy's large glass of champagne!). Recent new words include; wiggle, Peppa, banana, birdie,  "hot coffee", "wa-wa", and "ni-ni".

Some of your newest tricks include lots of animal sounds, your favorite being the horse and the fish, pointing at our body parts, and kinddddd of blowing kisses.

You love to give daddy his shoes to put on, put your mega blocks together, kick a soccer ball, and fetch a ball to Roscoe.
Places You’ve Gone: You got to go to Disneyland this month!  Not only that, you got to go with all of the Shields family! You love to watch Mickey Mouse Club House and you really seemed to love being at Disney. Mom loved that we got to go during the Christmas season because the music and decorations were her favorite part. We rode "Its a Small World" which you LOVED and played like a wildman in Toon Town and loved exploring Goofy's house with your dad who patiently played in there with you for an hour.

It was mom and dad's first time too! 

Visitors: Your Mimi and Grandpa and all of your Iowa cousins were in town for Thanksgiving! We had such a blast with them.

Roscoe: It's taking Roscoe a little bit of time to warm up to the fact that you are now a running and walking tiny human that charges him 40 times a day. He is doing really well with you, and we are trying to teach you how to be gentle and play with dogs nicely. You love to fetch with Roscoe and think he is hilarious when he runs circles in our living room.


Thanksgiving Recap

Wednesday morning we were up bright and early to head to San Diego to celebrate the holiday with Joel's entire family. His oldest brother and their three kids flew into town with my in-laws, so after a few days in Disney, the plan was to celebrate Thanksgiving together and hang out in SD.

Leo is actually a really good car rider - but my mom bought him this little tray for our road trip to Arizona this week - and it turned out to be really handy for him to have breakfast on. It's not a necessity, but it proved to be pretty fun for him to play with too. Our JJ.Cole ipad holder, is however, a necessity.

I also just bought this since we are clocking so many hours in the car recently - and I'll let you know what I think. I can't stand a messy car, so I'm hoping this helps.

Back Seat Organizer - With Tablet Holder - Premium Multipurpose Travel Accessory for Your Vehicle - Toy Organizer, Kick Mat and Entertainment Unit - By Mio Child

When we got to San Diego, we pretty much got right to work prepping for Turkey day!

It is so fun watching all of the cousins play together. Leo is (currently, and not for long) the youngest of the crew, and he just adores watching the big kids. 

I had been sick all week prior to Wednesday, and Leo had been punky, but by Wednesday night, a cold hit him full speed and at dinner that night. We put him in his pack and play before 6pm and crossed our fingers he would be ok for the next day. 

Since he was sick - and I was still down too - Leo and I stayed home from our annual Turkey Trot. It's the first time I've missed it in more than 10 years, but Joel dominated and took home the 12th place, so I was glad he still went out there and ran for the fam. 

Leo seemed good on Motrin, so we decided to stay and enjoy the day with the family. The boys took the kids to the park and us girls got busy on lots of appetizers and mimosas. 


Dinner pulled together despite the chaos all around us that day - and the Shields fam had a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving.

I feel incredibly lucky to love my entire in-law family as much as I do. We all have so much fun together and actually enjoy spending as much time together as we can. It's pretty rare to get as lucky as we did - and I'm so thankful for them. 

Unfortunately, that night was not fun for us! Leo was up the entire night and we decided to drive back home super early Friday morning. It burned to cut our fun early, but we needed the weekend at home to recoup and get back to feeling good.

We're on the mend.....just in time for our next adventure to Scottsdale for a family friends wedding!


Thanksgiving Break

It's been crazy around here.

Stomach bugs (and like 90 loads of laundry), trips to Disney (in the pouring rain), a cone-wearing dog (that barks through the night), in laws in town (with lots of different schedules to manage), more balls in the air than I can even count (more to come on that later), and so......as I try to make it through this week thankful, present and happy, I thought I better take blogging off my list of to-do's.

Hope to see you back here in a week or two (because we leave for Arizona a week from today!), feeling rested (ha!), sober (ha! ha!), and not 5 pounds heavier (ha! ha! ha!)

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!



Five on Friday

::: 1 :::
Clearly the city of Beverly Hills agrees with me - because we are decking our halls this weekend too! We are out of town the next two weeks, and that means so much fewer days to enjoy the beauty that is a lit Christmas tree - so up early it goes!!!!

Christmas leggings and hot cocoa:
::: 2 ::: 

Image result for disneyland at christmas
Also, pretty special this weekend - we are taking Leo to Disneyland! All of his cousins are coming together for Thanksgiving (most of them are staying a few extra days in Disney), but we are joining them for one fun filled day on Sunday! 
Image result for disneyland at christmas
Joel and I are not really Disney people, and I'm nervous that its going to be absolute madness with the holiday - but to see it all dressed up for Christmas, and through all of my nieces and nephews (and son's) eyes, is going to be pretty special, so I'm willing to be converted!

::: 3 ::: 
I am SO off my running game but this week I tried to get a few runs in with Leo. I'm really hoping running with a stroller will make running without it feel like a breeze because I am struggggggling with it! 

::: 4 ::: 
hand-applied beveled mirrors in our Sophie collection make an entryway graceful & grand. Click to shop Sophie. Photo: @salesbarista:
Thank you for all of the love on our family photos. I'm SO overdue for framing all of my favorite photos. I have so many pictures and just no idea how to display all of them .... and then when and how often to switch them out. I try to get ambitious and stick them into shutterfly books when I get free time, but that hasn't happened since Leo was born, so the pictures are piling up. Plus, I don't want my entire house covered in family photos, so I've got to find the right balance.

::: 5 :::
And don't forget to enter to win $300 to Amazon by entering the Home of Malone's giveaway here!

Must be Friday.:


Family Photos

I was especially excited to take family pictures this year because we got to take them in the beautiful fall season while we were in Chicago. The photographer, Dory Touhey, that did our wedding was able to take these pictures for us and they turned out so beautiful. 

We saved one of my favorites for our Christmas card, and a few other favorites for Christmas gifts, but  take a peek at some of my other favorites - I'm just obsessed. 



Crock-Pot Yellow Curry

Joel and I are big curry fans. I make a really yummy red curry, and when we order here in LA (our favorite being from Emproium Thai) we like to go with green curry - but very rarely do we try yellow curry....until this recipe came along c/o The Food Charlatan. 

Slow Cooker Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce from The Food Charlatan

I found it on Pintrest and decided to try and simplify it for an easy, weeknight meal - and it worked! 

What You Need:
  • 6-7 boneless chicken thighs 
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • 1.5 bottles of yellow curry sauce (we used these from Trader Joe's)
Image result for trader joe's yellow curry
  • half red onion, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, diced
  • 1 large handful of basil, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic
  • heavy shakes of chili powder, salt, and pepper
  • diced cilantro for topping
  • 2 cups of uncooked rice (the curry makes a lot and we liked having the extra rice for leftovers!)


1. Dice jalapenos, red onion, basil, ginger
2. In crock pot add chicken, add 1.5 bottles of yellow curry sauce, and 2 cups of coconut milk.
3. Add in garlic, ginger, jalapenos, red onion, basil, ginger, and seasonings
4. Cook on high for 6 hours -then pull out cooked chicken and shred if needed (and then keep on warm until you are ready to serve)
5. Serve over rice and top with cilantro


What's Up Around Here....

::: Leo is officially down to one nap (12:30-3pm *if I'm lucky) and it's exhausting! I'm kind of not sure what I'm doing wrong because I am all but out of energy before lunch. 

Start shopping home decor on Keep to make your home totally fab!:

::: Or at least, I would be if I wasn't chugging coffee like its water! I'm sitting pretty at 3 cups a day and I know that's a habit I need to curb a bit!

::: What are good 1 year old activities and toys? We just started to introduce some craft time in our day, but I'd love to know if you have any fun tricks up your sleeve (besides going to the park all day long!). 

By far, the best toddler activity list I've ever seen. We're starting tomorrow! 40 Ways to Distract a Toddler: Puzzle storage!! Best way to store kids puzzles! Buy some Legal size poly expandable envelopes. Remove the string and replace with Velcro circles. Place in a bin or on a shelf. My rule is one out at a time. The envelopes are easy enough for my two year old to open and clean up himself.:

::: We have such a jam packed next few months....I'm ready to settle down....see above regarding exhaustion.

::: All fun stuff on the agenda though so I don't have much room to complain. We head to San Diego for Thanksgiving to celebrate with all of Joel's family, a trip to Disney, a week long trip to Scottsdale, AZ the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, and then Christmas! 

::: That trip to Scottsdale though is a 6 hour car trip with Leo that has me losing a little sleep! Our game plan is to leave really early in the morning, give him a bottle in the car and then hope he falls back asleep before we stop for breakfast, run around a park, and then stick a movie on. Think it could work?

::: I'm due for a "Day in the Life" post. They are always my favorite to look at from other people, and go back and read through mine, so I think we might try and get that accomplished this week!

::: This is basically turning into a long stream of my thoughts, but, it leads me to my defense of what I'm going to say next; We are putting up our Christmas decorations NEXT weekend. I know it's insane, but if I wait until after Thanksgiving, we only get 2/3 weekends with them, and that's just not enough time for all the effort!  So, judge away (mom).

::: Has anyone ordered their Christmas cards yet? There is no denying that the season is basically here. I've always been loyal to Minted, so I think I'm going to bite the bullet and order the one I have my eye on, but I'm waiting for a solid discount code to come through my inbox. Here's a sneak peek of our little photoshoot!

::: Speaking of discount codes - I think this is going to be the first year that I try to take advantage of some Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. We are in desperate need of some new furniture (mainly a new sectional or couches), so I'm going to start shopping this week and then buy after Thanksgiving.

::: This will be, I think, my 11th year in a row running a Turkey Trot, and this year I've probably logged the least amount of running miles in my life. It might be a rudddde awakening!

::: I'm going to try and get pen to paper for our Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions - and I'd love to add some new ones to my list too.

::: Have you read any good, light-hearted, "beachy", books? I tried to get into The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close (author of Girls in White Dresses which I liked), but just couldn't get past the first few chapters.

Image result for The Hopefuls


Weekly Menu

Posting my weekly menu here always has me a little extra motivated to try a new recipe and keep our menu changing from week to week. 

Overall, our meals were really easy, quick to make, and kept everyone happy. 

Tuesday: Salmon Fajita Salad - I'm trying to make sure we eat fish at least once a week, and this was my first time pan frying salmon, which turned out really well.

Wednesday: Black Bean Burgers - another new recipe for me and we all liked it a lot (makes a great lunch too).

Thursday: Crock pot maple, djion drumsticks, roasted brussel sprouts, and refried black beans 



Five on Friday

::: 1 :::

Well, um, the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series!
and....That's basically summed up our week to be honest
Game 7 was fun, not fun, wild, exciting, and we pulled it through in the 10th inning after a short rain delay. Joel and I went literally nuts when the game was over, blasting the "Go Cubs Go" song, taking swigs of champagne out of the bottle, jumping from couch to couch....it was a scene (that thankfully Leo slept through). Such a dream and itt sure makes me proud to be a Chicagoan! 

::: 2 ::: 
Image result for This is Us 
I am obsessed. I've spent the last three days binge watching the six episodes that I DVR'ed, and I can't get enough. And so far....while its made me cry....its not overly sad and more so addicting and adorable.

::: 3 ::: 
Even though its still in the goddamn eighties here, it's somewhat cool in the mornings. Now that Leo is getting older I'm preferring two piece jammies for him. They just seem to be a little easier but his little feet get so cold walking around on our wood floors so I needed to find some kind of toe warming solution.
 Zutano - Cozie Fleece Furry Lined Bootie - Heather Gray - Size 6 month
 Which is why I'm really obsessed with these Zutano booties with grippers on the bottom. We had a pair for him when was a little baby, and these are the perfect "grown up" slipper/sock option for him right now. If you're in need of something like this for the upcoming winter....I highly recommend. **We ordered size 18mths, and they fit well. I think the brand runs a bit small, as Leo is a size 3 in shoes. 

::: 4 ::: 
I cannot believe that it's almost time to start shopping for Christmas again. Is it bad to just give everyone framed pictures of Leo again?
::: 5 ::: 
Quotable from Emily Freeman #SimplyTuesday: