A Mini-trip to Frakenmuth.

Going to Frakenmuth every November has been a kind-of-tradition of ours since we got married.  Since our anniversary is in early November, it is a nice anniversary getaway that always makes it feel like Christmastime to me.  The only year we haven’t gone was when I thought we were going, and then the night before RJ surprised me by telling me we were going to Disney World.  Which was pretty awesome, so I didn’t so much care about missing out on the Frakenmuth that year.  (Although, he has had to reassure me that we are indeed going to Frakenmuth, not Disney, for the past two years.)

This year was a whole new experience with the monkey coming along.  We spent the night at Zenhder’s Splash Village, which was super fun for Elijah.  He kept yelling “pool” and “fun” every second we were in the hotel.

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He was impressed with the beds.  We even considered letting him sleep in one for a minute, but then quickly decided against it since it took him about 2 minutes to figure out how to open the door and escape into the hallway yelling “pool!”

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Give my monkey a basketball and he is happy.

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He was a little cautious on the big play area at first, but he warmed up real quick.  RJ spent most of the time following him up and down the stairs and around the perimeter to check everything out.

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Sweet, chilly Eli and mama.

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Elijah is always wanting to sit in chairs.  He thinks he is big.  I set him straight and remind him he is still my baby.

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Spitting, oh so gracefully, after he was blowing bubbles in the water with Daddy.

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A bell would chime before the huge bucket of water dumped.  Elijah figured this out quick and got excited when it was coming.

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All pool-ed out.  He slept real good that night.  Real. Good.

We went to a tasty pizza place called T-Dubs for dinner and then we thought it would be a good idea to walk around a little.  It was not a good idea.  It was freezing and Eli looked miserable.

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We stopped in Frakenmuth Fudge Kitchen to warm up.  And I just happened to buy 4 slabs of fudge while we were warming up…

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There were Christmas jams playing so Eli showed off his moves.

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The monkey is such a goof.

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The only other store we went in was a toy store.  So Elijah had to check out the train table.

We planned on going to downtown Frakenmuth again the next morning, before we hit up the outlets, but it was cold.Image

And Elijah Oscar was having problems keeping his mittens on.

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It was too cold for a baby monkey.  And he was not about to pose for some pictures in that cold either.

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Doesn’t he look over it?

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I want to go back in the spring, when its possible to walk around and not lose feeling in your toes.

As far as the outlets at Birch Run, that was a success.

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He wanted to check out the sales.  Feel the fabrics.  Shop around for a good price.  Definitely my child.

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Oh, I have trained him well.

Monkey Gets a Haircut.

So, I finally gave in.  After witnessing Elijah rubbing his eyes, and trying to get his long “bangs” out of his way, a few times this week, I broke down and made an appointment for a haircut.

Here is the before, notice the bangs completely covering his eyes, and please ignore the boogies:

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And the after:

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Buh-bye sweet baby curls.

He still looks handsome as ever.  But I am so sad that he is getting more and more grown up.  I loved his long, crazy hair.  But it was clearly starting to bother him lately.  And the sweet curls will grow back.

We went to Chaos Studio Salon in downtown Mt. Clemens.  RJ’s cousin, Gillian, works there.  Didn’t she do an awesome job?  Monkey did so good, too.  Probably because he knows Gillian and he had a few suckers.

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And he looked adorable in the cape.  Although the sucker-drool-hair-clipping combination ended up being quite gross.

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I swear he wasn’t mad.  He just kept his serious face on the whole time.

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I forgot for a minute that his hair was short and then when we he took his hat off I was so sad.  I did hold back the tears though.

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Thanks Gillian for doing such a great job!  (I should have thought to get a picture of Gillian and Elijah together…)

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7 Things NOT To Do While Pregnant.

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Since I am more than halfway through my second pregnancy (26 weeks…woo hoo!); I have quite a few things I have learned, from experience of course, not to do while pregnant.  Here are a few of them:

1. Do not take a bath when you’re home alone.  Especially if you have a deep jacuzzi tub.  When I was VERY pregnant with Elijah, I decided that a nice, long bath would be awesome.  Well, the bath was nice.  But I couldn’t get out.  I was in the empty tub for probably 20 minutes before I was able to lift myself out.  I will not be repeating this mistake, it was not fun.

2. Do not watch every season of Grey’s Anatomy or Lost.  No matter how sick you are.  No matter how much you want to just lay on the couch and veg out for 10 hours of TV.  Do not do it.  Just watch romantic comedies or even CSI.  If you watch Grey’s or Lost, you will be an emotional wreck.  You will google the likelihood that your baby will be born with his heart outside his chest or 23 weeks premature.  You will have nightmares that The Others are coming to take your baby.  Or that they kidnap you and put you in a bunker to perform tests on your unborn child.  Trust me.

3. Do not go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.  Even though this applies to me when I am not with child, it is even worse when I am.  I have come home with 6 different kinds of chocolate and every snack food that looked even remotely appetizing, but no real source of nourishment for anyone.

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4. Do not google “flu shot while pregnant” after you have already received the flu shot.  Basically, google-ing medical issues is a bad idea all the time.

5. Do not tell your husband you are making a delicious dinner more than an hour before the dinner would be ready.  Since feeling like crap goes hand in hand with pregnancy for me, I make dinner about 50% of the time these days.  RJ often calls on his way home and asks if he needs to pick dinner up, because he knows better than to assume I have it prepared.  Even with the best intentions of making a healthy meal for my family, we have ended up with Mickey nuggets and apple sauce.  I feel that I am doing better this pregnancy with the dinner preparations (thank God for my crock pot), mostly because I don’t want Eli to have happy meals more than once a week.  I am fairly certain that I didn’t make dinner for about 10 months total, between being pregnant with Eli and having a tiny baby.  My husband, miraciously, still loves me though.

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6. Do not spend your sleepless nights looking at baby clothes online.  I may have spent my own clothing money one month on clothes for Eli and the new baby.  Do they need $34 tee shirts that are super hip?  Probably not.  Will you need a some new maternity leggings, especially if you don’t do your laundry?  Absolutely.  They will, undoubtedly, look freaking adorable in the new clothes.

7. Do not turn down offers of help.   I probably should’ve taken more people up on this the first time.  RJ was forced to do his first load of laundry when he ran out of clean clothes.  This time around I am taking everyone up on their offers.  I think in my first trimester, Eli was with other people 3 days a week so that I could sleep.  and puke without Elijah coming to examine the toilet bowl.  and to binge watch tv shows on my iPad in bed (see #2).  I am so lucky to have awesome family and friends who are happy to help.

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All photos in this post were taken by my talented-at-everything husband the week I had Elijah.  I am not this big…yet.

More Fall Monkey Fashion.

I keep telling myself it is normal for one child to go through 3 outfits on an average day.  This kid so messy, I really don’t know how it happens…and his “game” of ripping bibs off halfway through a meal doesn’t help.

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Church Clothes.

I can’t get enough of this fox sweater.  Eli may wear it everyday this fall…

fox sweater: Nordstrom baby, (thanks grandma!) check out those hip elbow pads.

white tee: Carters.

yellow skinnies: babyGap.

sneakers: Converse.

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Lazy Day with Mama Clothes.

These days, if we aren’t  leaving the house, (and let me be honest, sometimes even if we are leaving the house) my fashion choices are mostly yoga pants and leggings.  So I feel guilty making Elijah wear jeans if I am just in comfy clothes all the time.  And we have a lot of lazy days.

top: babyGap.  (it is just one top.)

orange sweatpants: Old Navy.

boots: Ugg, I got them at a resale shop for $15–who could pass that up?!  They have no soles, so he only wears them in the house, or to pass out Halloween candy on our porch.

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Cute and Cozy Sweatshirt.

Sometimes I really wish monkey’s clothes came in grown up sizes…this sweatshirt is one of them.  Eli’s Auntie Moll bought it for him and it is super cozy.  Super.  Cozy.  Since he is getting over being a sick monkey, Elijah was allowed to have his paci when he wasn’t asleep.

sweatshirt: Genuine Kids from Osh Kosh.

black skinnies: Truly Scrumptious by Heidi Klum.  They are getting a little too skinny on his legs…

socks: Junk Food for baby Gap

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Story-time Play Clothes.

Barnes and Noble has an awesome story time for littles.  They read a story and do a craft.  This year Eli actually wants to do the crafts so it is fun.  But it is hard for him to focus on the actual story since there are so many toys.  and the train table.  and the lego table.  and these round monster stuffed animals that have creepy little whisper voices.

hat: H&M.

grey tee: zulily (it has a cute screen print from The Breakfast Club on it.)

flannel lumber jack button up: The Children’s Place.

jeans with suspenders: H&M.  He has had these jeans for over a year–and they just now are fitting him.  And they even look a little baggy from behind so he can probably wear them for awhile.  My boy is so skinny.  He goes back and forth between wanting the suspenders up and whining while trying to pull them off.

sneakers: Stride Rite (Only $3 at a mom to mom sale.  This mama cannot pass up $3 play shoes.)

This post contains a referral link to zulily.  If you make a purchase from zulily using my referral link, I will receive credit.

October. According to Instagram.

October flew by.  Here is what our October looked like on Instagram.

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if you want to follow me on instagram, i am @jessgrune.

Monkey Loves November.

So far.  Even though we had a crazy, fun October.  I have a feeling November is going to be awesome as well.  We are only one week in, and already, Eli has had some adventures.

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We spent one of the rainier days watching movies.  And both monkey and mama may have stayed in pjs until after nap time.  Eli feels the need to track down a toy from whatever Pixar movie he picks out, so Woody was on the couch with him while he viewed Toy Story 2.  As you can see he also needs to hold onto the DVD and talk about it while the movie is playing.

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We went to Lakeside to use some coupons that were expiring from the Wrapp app.  I decided to skip the play area since it was a Saturday and chaotic in there, but Eli had fun with the light floor thing.  His favorite was when the water appeared, he ran around yelling “wa wa!  wa wa!”

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Eli and his girl Kendal both had runny noses at church on Sunday, so we hung out in the parent room.  They spent a large amount of the service attempting to escape from the room.  Lucky for me, Monkey is a skinny boy and didn’t weigh down the baby gate  step enough for it to swing open.  They didn’t try to both stand on it together, which would’ve probably worked…

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On Monday, mama had a migraine.  So daddy took Elijah to the library.  The library is always a hit, as are train tables.  We have to work on sharing, because whenever a new child came up to play Eli would shake his head and tell them “no.”

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Elijah had a blast playing in the small leaf pile that his daddy gathered in our yard.  Once the leaves really start falling, he is going to be one happy monkey.

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Because Eli loves the mall so much, we decided to take him there one night, even though it gets dark so early.  He ran around the fire place and asked if it was hot.  Elijah was the only kid in the play area, which has never happened to us before.  So he ran from the peas to the carrot that makes the creepy munching noise to the watermelon slide.  Then on the way back to the car we walked by the toy store.  Monkey was smitten with the giant giraffe.  Since it costs almost $200, gazing at him through the glass is going to have to be enough.

A Soggy Halloween

I hope everyone’s halloween was as awesome as ours was. Elijah had so much fun last night! He went out in the rain with his daddy and papi, lasted about a hour, and came back soaked and happy.
This was after one of the first houses he went to, when he was still okay with sitting in his wagon:

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The wagon riding did not last long. He was running from house to house yelling “go buzz go.” He came home with a bucket full of candy and so much energy. He didn’t care that he was soaked and his hands were freezing.
Elijah found passing out candy to trick or treaters to be just as exciting and receiving it.

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He did give some kids handfuls of candy and others he refused to give candy to…but he was so adorable doing it. Saying the costumes they had on if he knew what they were and saying “bye bye.” He even yelled at kids if they skipped our house. But it was a friendly yell.