Alcott and High

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Fitz’s First Birthday: Part 3

The first birthday party was a success!  Read Part 1 and Part 2. We have been cleaning up in phases and are still finding crayons under cushions and smears of frosting at baby level.  Friends and family came to celebrate,  eat delicious tacos made by Marcos, and enjoy Jungle Juice.

Marcos and I somehow got Fitz to sleep before the party and he awoke to a house full of friends. All his little friends who were wiggly tiny babies last January charged through the house and took turns with all of his new toys. They were not a fan of the scary looking wild animals.


We (Marcos) devoted time to making delicious food and I was busy cleaning, decorating and baby-proofing.  I ended up picking up Fitz’s cakes last minute at Whole Foods. They just happened to have perfect first birthday cakes and a cookie cake I impulsively grabbed. I guess this cake is a regular thing at Whole Foods so SCORE!

The atmosphere was lively, loving and fun. Fitz smashed his little fingers in the icing but I don’t think he actually had any cake because I was like, Nah.

A friend pointed out that the holidays have a super nostalgic feel now that our babies birthdays are mixed in with this time of year.  All winter I couldn’t help but reflect on this time last year, and how wonderfully different things are now.  I feel incredibly close to the friends who supported us during our biggest adventure yet. My tribe of mamas has been a gift.

At twelve months Fitz has two top teeth, many opinions, drools for days, stands without support, and continues to be the best little person I know.

Fitz’s First Birthday: Part 2

By Shannon

I was sluggish about planning a party for Fitz’s first birthday.  Read why here. I think it all felt too huge. I kind of just wanted to get a Negroni at Dio Mio,  our favorite restaurant and the place where Marcos timed my contractions before we headed for the hospital last year.

Timing contractions at Dio Mio

I ended up pulling it together because I wanted to bring together the community that supported us during this monumental year. I wanted to celebrate Fitz with all his little baby friends. I wanted to throw a party for me and Marcos because we made it a year!

The theme for the party is kind of animal/jungle/zoo. Here is the  front of the invite sent via paperless post.

The birthday decor is going to follow the invite. I am not huge on specific themes and colors so the invite will reflect the vibe of the party: bold, fun, and wild. We have some jungle animal decor and I found these awesome tassels on sale at Pottery Barn Kids that I can reuse in his room.

We are going to have animal coloring pages for older kids, stickers, and a baby bar with cut up fruit and vegetables. For the adults we are going to have some grown up Jungle Juice and appetizers. Marcos is going to make the cake.

I have leaned in to this whole first birthday. I mean it’s the first birthday! Part 3 I’ll let you know how the party turns out.

Fitz’s First Birthday: Part One

By Shannon

I’m in a discombobulated state when it comes to  Fitz’s first birthday. On one hand its this major milestone and cause for celebration. We made it a year! So, let’s throw a party for Fitz! (But really, for ourselves ;)) On the other hand its accepting that my infant is entering toddlerhood. That the foggy newborn days are behind us (Thank God!) but also OH god HOW?! Its knowing that I don’t need to pump four times a day, including in the car. I won’t be the bag lady at work, carrying the pump bag plus my laptop to every site, and rushing home to deliver milk for the nanny. The immense grounding that has come through the struggle of these new parenthood routines and the letting go of those same routines makes me feel sad.

As I watch him turn off light switches, feed himself with a spoon and dance I can’t help thinking that last year at this time he wasn’t even earth side. Can’t I freeze how it feels to have his chubby cool check against mine?  At the same time, how does every phase become more entertaining than the next? How can so much development for a  child and for a family happen in twelve short months?

My friend said the other day that the one year experience reminds her of Stockholm syndrome in that you have this little captor and at first your are freaked out. Then you spend all this time getting used to them and the rest of your life trying to let go of those crazy scary days that bonded you together always.

Later this week I will share the rest of my thoughts on Fitz’s first birthday, including what we are going to do for the party and how I’m going to try and not be a sappy mess.

Gift Ideas for Babies

Let’s face it,  babies will enjoy the Amazon Prime boxes the gifts arrive in and then eat eat the wrapping paper after opening their gifts. Marcos and I will probably get Fitz 2-3 gifts.  Here’s our list.

Fitz LOVES music so a first harmonica could be fun.

Fitz also enjoys tearing, stretching and pulling things apart. Mostly paper. These blocks are magnetic and take some time pull apart. They also come in an awesome travel pack. Bonus!

Our neighbor has this cool bike. Fitz is almost walking and this bike acts as a walker and later a bike.


Brow Game Changer

The product that I use the most often, that makes a huge difference, is a brow filler. I had read about these before and they seemed complicated or the way they were used made people look very “made up.”

Aillea, a natural makeup store that we love in Denver, offers a brow brush and filler that you can use lightly or heavily for a more made up look.  It instantly makes your face look transformed. My friend who over plucked her eyebrows in college has been using it religiously for the the last few months. If I could recommend any product it would be the brow brush and filler.

Also, if you want the best brow expert in Denver go see Dana!  at Zen Skin and Brow Bar. 

Photo from Who What Wear.

The Perfect Red

Red lipstick is my go to look that makes me feel instantly together. It gives a pop to an outfit and a hop to my step.  I like a red/orange look personally. The only problem with red is that it can become such a mess!

I should try one of those lipsticks that never come off that you see advertised all over social media.  Has anyone tried them? Are they toxic?  What ingredient makes the lip gloss never come off? I am skeptical…

The RMS brand, linked above, is my go to favorite right now in RMS Red.

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Our First Christmas Tree with Fitz.

Last week Marcos made mulled wine and homemade pizza.  We turned on cheesy Christmas music and unwound strings of white lights. I forced Fitz to take pictures with me. I love Christmas and I was feeling mushy and sentimental putting the tree up as a fam. It feels special sharing this tradition with my child.

Fitz loves his house and was a bit uneasy about the tree taking up so much valuable play space. I love the ritual and nostalgia of putting up the tree.


This year we have a little man who loves to eat everything so the bottom of the tree was left minimal. Its incredible to think about what  a difference a year makes! Last year I was so pregnant around this time.

This year, we have our greatest gift, our Fitzgerald.



How to NOT be a Grinch

The holidays are my favorite time of year. I get all mushy for sweets, white twinkling lights, and Christmas movie marathons. This year as a new mama that is working full time, I get Grinchy (grouchy at Christmas) after a long day of work or when the Christmas lights are tangled. Here are some things that instantly lift my mood.

  1. Drinking more water-I can’t survive on just coffee alone. If I drink two water bottles throughout the day, which is still not enough, but better than nothing, I am much more sun-shiney. If you add some cranberry juice to your water it is so much easier to drink.
  2. Eating protein- Protein is gold. I am like superman ruined by Kryptonite when I eat only carbs. Some greens and protein help me feel happy and healthy.
  3. Get outside. A walk around the block is fine. Fresh crisp air is an instant mood booster.
  4. Staying present. I have started putting my phone aside for 1-2 hours at  time with Fitz and Marcos at home. When I am in the moment I am more grateful for all that I have and my cold Grinch heart grows three times its size.

What do you do to beat the holiday blues?


Face Washing is such a PAIN

I avoid, and kind of always have, getting ready for bed. Sometimes, I avoid getting ready for the in the morning too, but WORK. When I was young I would often just splash cold water on my face and call it a day. Now, I will often just do nothing. Also, I now have wrinkles on my face because of a year of limited sleep, little water, and mostly caffeine.

I need to get a routine together and I am turning to the K beauty movement to get started. CVS has a million adorable products from the beauty-obsessed country of South Korea. I will be using this natural line.

Over the next 21 days, the amount of time experts say it takes to build a habit, I am going to follow a morning and evening skin care routine. To be honest, I feel brighter and more with it, when I take care of myself. This sounds obvious but everything is kind of dazey with a baby.

Day one starts tomorrow when my Amazon purchases arrive.

The process looks like this:

  1. Cleanse with CosRx low pH good morning gel cleanser
  2. Use CosRx toner
  3. Dab on CeraVe eye cream
  4. Body Merry Moisturizer

Hygge Away

This fall/winter I have mentioned the word cozy about 979,000. Half of those times, using the Danish word Hygge (pronounced HOO-GA). The word translates to cozy but more than that it is a way to be grounded in togetherness, community, light, comfort, warmth, and sweetness. The Danes have long dark winters and the Hygge way of life gets them through.  I bought The Little Book of Hygge and its been a coffee table staple.

Last year, around this time, was hard for me emotionally and physically. The darkness and fear I experienced during my last weeks of pregnancy was the most difficult experience I’ve ever had to work though. This year I am being intentional about taking gentle care of myself and creating an hygge and  nurturing space for me and my family.

Hygge Rules:

  • Get comfy. Take a break.
  • Be here now. Turn off the phones.
  • Turn down the lights. Bring out the candles.
  • Build relationships. Spend time with your tribe.
  • Give yourself a break from the demands of healthy living. Cake is most definitely hygge.
  • Live life today, like there is no coffee tomorrow.

My personal Hygge goals include wearing cozy socks, lighting my favorite candles, making soup, turning on the fireplace,  spending  time in nature, listening to podcasts and reading instead of tv and computers, and cuddling with my babes.