Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Grunewalds!

I hope your day is filled with joy!

A Christmas Card Photo.

A couple of weeks ago we had our Christmas Card photos taken.  We are very lucky that we have two talented photographers in the family.  Both of Elijah’s godparents, Uncle Coco and Auntie Moll are excellent photographers.  Molly, of Molly Grunewald Photography, did an awesome job.

The monkey is not the best “model.”  He does not like to sit still.  Or pose.  Or smile for family photos.  But Molly got some great pics of him.  Take a look at my favorites.


Elijah loves his Mickey lights.  We often have to stand by the door and watch them change colors when we come home at night, so that he can admire them.


My parents always had a frosty outside when I was growing up–they still put him out every Christmas–so they garbaged picked this beaut for me a couple years ago.  And Eli shares my affinity for light up plastic snowmen.  RJ put him on the back porch so Eli can look at him through our door wall at night.


I love how Molly captures sweet moments like this one, Elijah holding his daddy’s hand to step off the deck.


My boys.


And then the family photo fun began…we gave him a bell thinking it would make him smile.  But he just wanted to shake the bell on everyone’s cheeks.


He has learned how to “smile” on command since we took these, so maybe we can get a few keepers on Christmas.


Upside-down monkey.


^^This one is my favorite.  That sweet face.  ^^


Yep.  More Mickey Christmas decorations…we keep those lights in his room for him.


He is holding a Jake ornament my Nana bought him.  Jake rarely spends more then 10 minutes at a time on the tree.  Thank you Hallmark for making such kid-friendly ornaments.


We were trying to get him to kiss my belly.  Or touch at it.  Or even look at it.  Like I said, he is not the best at posing.  Oh, and I feel like my belly is way bigger now.  And this was only two weeks ago…


A real monkey smile.  Because we were playing hide under the pillows.

Thanks again Molly, for taking our Christmas photos 🙂

Christmas Tree Time.

Last year, we went and chopped down a tree on a beautiful day in November.  This year, for budgetary reasons, we opted for a real one from Costco–$30 and its beautiful.


Bringing it in the house and putting it up was pretty exciting for Elijah.  (not such a good experience for RJ’s back though)



And then he was very into helping daddy put up the lights.  He followed RJ around the tree in circles with a handful of lights for about 15 minutes…and then he was done helping and just wanted to play with the lights.


We still have one or two boxes of decorations in the basement, but haven’t got around to putting the other ones up since Elijah likes to throw the “balls” and play with the current ornaments that are within his reach.  The bottom half is completely shatter-proof or monkey-friendly, so I am hesitant to put more ornaments up that are glass or breakable because he already has become accustomed to pulling the shatter-proof bulbs off, yelling “ball!  ball!” and tossing it across the room.

One of the boxes of ornaments we did put up contained all of our Disney ornaments.  We are dangerously close to having a strictly-Disney-ornament-filled-tree and I am totally okay with that.  Although, we would still need to put some special ones that we have up, like the ornament that RJ proposed to me with…

Eli loved looking at all the Disney ornaments, and wanted to hold each one.  I think it’s fun for him to recognize the different ornaments and will often randomly point and yell “minnie!” or “lightning!”  It is pretty cute.



And we have plenty of monkey-friendly ones that he put up (and removes daily).



My favorite part of the tree decorating was watching my boys put up the star.  ImageImage

We call the star our Hidden Mickey star.  You can’t really tell from the picture, but it has Mickey heads swirled into it.  We bought it on our babymoon in Disney World.


I love these special Christmas traditions we are beginning and continuing as a family.


I hope you and your family are enjoying every second of Christmas as much as we are!

If you’re curious, Elijah’s super cute union suit jams, with his name on the butt are from Personal Creations.  They were super cheap when I bought them back in early November–it looks like they are full price now and mostly sold out.

November Monkey Fashion.

I see my future a little bit clearer as Elijah gets more and more opinionated about his clothes…this fun dressing my little man in adorable outfits is not going to last.  This week RJ put him in a Lightning McQueen tee that Eli picked out, and then he had a change of heart and was asking for the Batman tee that RJ had originally selected for him.

Dressing in layers is always what I do in the winter months so I am doing the same for the little man.


Thanksgiving Day Attire.

We were going for a casual, cool vibe here.

blazer and button up: little maven by Tori Spelling.  I saw these walking through jcpenney one day and waited for a good sale.  The shirt has a fox print on it, and the buttons on the blazer and the fox pocket square put me over the edge.  We had to have it.

skinny jeans: babyGap (of course.)

brown high tops: babyGap.  These have an inside zipper so they don’t have to be laced up every time.  Genius.  Easiest high tops to get on a squirmy 21 month old.


Church Clothes.

I feel like he wears the same 4 or 5 pairs of pants all the time.  But they fit and I like them.  So yellow skinnies are a staple until he grows out of them.  I saw some red skinnies at baby Gap that I am sale-stalking.

grey v-neck sweater: The Children’s Place.  I often find some great “dress” clothes for Eli there.  They have good sale prices and always have a coupon out.

navy polo: Ralph Lauren.  I found this at a mom to mom sale this past fall.  The lady had 4 different sized polos and I should’ve bought them all.  I think I paid $2.00 for it and it’s in great shape.

skinnies: baby Gap.

brown high-tops: baby Gap.


Playdate Wear.

And this playdate was clearly before his big haircut.  I look at pictures of him with his long hair daily and get a tiny bit sad that its gone…

tee: zulily.  If you don’t recognize the “Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good…” then you should probably do yourself a favor and watch Zoolander.  Right now.  I find it hard to resist the clever children’s tees that they often have on zulily.  So stinking cute.

long sleeve tee: Carters.

grey jeans: Levis, 511 skinny.

socks: Carters.


More Church Clothes.

Eli is not so good at the looking-at-the-camera-and-smiling-pose.  So I try to sneak pictures of him playing, like the one above where he is hiding in the curtains.

orange button-up: Carters.  Doesn’t my boy look good in orange?

skinny jeans: baby Gap.  This is my favorite pair that he owns right now.  I get overly excited if they don’t get visibly dirty during the day, and then he is able to wear them a second day.

high tops with the cool orange laces: baby Gap.  I think he has worn these every day since I bought them two weeks ago.

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

Monkey at 21 (and a half) Months.

I am horrible at updating Elijah’s baby book.  I think the last time I wrote in it was before his first birthday.  I always have the best intentions with those sorts of things and never follow through.  I loved looking through my own baby book when I was a little girl; and I still enjoy seeing milestones written in my mom’s distinct handwriting.  Hopefully, I won’t rob Eli of that fun.  But I guess he can check out my instagram feed…

Every single day I have moments where I feel like he is such a little boy.  He is getting too big, too fast on me.  But then I’ll also have moments where I look at him and he is still my baby.  Like when he is still cuddly after naps and when he gives me a hug and just rests his head on my shoulder.  Or when he is asleep–he still looks like my sweet baby even if he is all sprawled out and his long limbs touch either side of the crib.

Perhaps I am doing this post for my own memory…but these are some things that Elijah Oscar does as a 21 month old.  Some are silly and some are probably completely normal and some are just ridiculous.


He pretends to be asleep in the middle of the floor.  This is something he learned from his girlfriend Kendal.  Although I’m not sure who he thinks he is fooling, because he often will cover himself up and tell me to “shhhhh” but keeps playing with his toys.


He is incredibly opinionated about what he eats, but then he eats as much as I do.  If he wants the Doritos instead of his apple, he is going to let you know.  He is also a veggie lover lately.  I’m pretty sure on Thanksgiving he only ate green bean casserole, even though I made sure that his favorite food (ketchup) was on his turkey.


He thinks he is too much of a big shot to ride in the part of the cart that is intended for a child his size.  Instead he wants to ride in the basket part and attempt to open any food items that I am purchasing.  Or, if daddy is with us, he wants to push it.  And will tell me “nooooooo!” if I try to help him.  (Please disregard my leggings, wool socks, moccasin combination I was wearing above…pregnancy makes it difficult to wear boots and Eli just won’t help a mama out.  So mocs are my go to; at least until the snow hits.)Image

And if his daddy is home, its as if I do not exist.  Wherever Daddy is, Eli is.  And usually they are wrestling or playing football or just being silly.  Eli will often bring RJ this football helmet and insist he put on the “hat” before they play football in our front room.  If there is a boo boo, monkey does run to me with his fake whine and tell me what hurts so I can kiss it.  I don’t mind that one bit.Image

Elijah may or may not have a slight iPad addiction.  This picture happened one day after I told him he couldn’t have the “bop” (what he has called the iPad since he started talking) and then went to the basement to do laundry.  He was playing with his cars happily in the front room, I’m downstairs for a couple minutes tops, and come up and he disappeared.  I found him on my bed in the dark.  He had climbed onto our bed, got the ipad off the nightstand, and started to watch Mickey.  He also brought that small Mickey up there with him.  And our bed is pretty tall.  The monkey is DEFINITELY a climber.  Image

We put up Mickey Christmas lights in his room and he wants them on all the time.  If I turn on the big light when he is looking at them he gets mad.  He climbs up onto his toy box and holds them and points out the red and green and white ones.  If we left them on at night, he would probably never sleep.  Image

He also wants to be too independent.  He refuses to hold my hand if I don’t want to carry him through a parking lot, and takes off his own clothes sometimes.  I read somewhere that a toddler should be able to dress himself before you have another baby…so he’s halfway there with the constantly taking his pants off thing.  Image

Elijah is such a goofball.  So silly.


He thinks he can just run onto the stage at church, whenever he wants.  That is why he is not allowed in worship on Sundays when his daddy is preaching.  His daddy also introduced him to the drums a few months back and he wants to go play them whenever they are in sight.  I hope he choses a less obnoxious instrument…like the piano or the guitar.  Image

And he has decided he is ready to potty train.  I am not sure I am ready for this yet.  But he tells us most of the time when he has to poo.  And lately it has been in the middle of the night.  I took this picture from my bed the other night.  He yells “daddy, daddy, daddy! poop” in the night and goes on the toilet.  I’m just glad he yells for RJ and not me…

Oh and he likes to climb up onto my lap whenever I am at the computer, as I am typing this he has wedged himself between my belly and the table.  Having a 25 pound monkey on my lap and a baby girl monkey in my belly is not conducive to typing on the macbook.

November. According to instagram.

It is already half way through the first week of December.  And we are so excited about Christmas.  But here is a mini-recap of November, according to my instagram account.


if you want to follow my instagram, i am @jessgrune.  I pretty much always post pictures of the little man, but he’s nice to look at.