Fourth Festivities.

Our fourth of july weekend was one of the best weekends we have had in a while. Even though it was busy, it still somehow felt relaxed.
Elijah has developed an obsession with fireworks. He even asks for them in the middle of the afternoon. Thankfully the neighborhood fireworks have slowed so that we can hopefully, fingers crossed, get back into the normal sleep routine. IMG_3035
Friday we went to our friends’ annual barbecue. We ate tasty food and had fun with friends. And our little pyro thoroughly enjoyed the fireworks that were continuous all afternoon.IMG_3900IMG_3893IMG_3013IMG_3003IMG_3045
Saturday we had nothing planned, so we decided to spend the morning at the zoo. It was way less crowded than I thought it would be on a beautiful saturday. We saw all of Elijah’s favorite animals. The tiger was running laps so he had a blast watching the tiger run as I nursed Emaline on a nearby bench.IMG_3922IMG_3068IMG_3917IMG_3927IMG_3070 IMG_3083 IMG_3915
Then Saturday evening we met my parents at the mall for dinner (and some clearance shopping for mama at the Gap.) They always have live music on Saturday nights in the summer, so we hung out there for a while and Eli danced. He wanted me to dance with him in front of the stage, but since there were exactly 3 people dancing and about 100 watching the band, I convinced him to dance in the back.
He also decided to play in the fountains. Daddy’s silliness gave Eli some courage, so he ran and hit the fountains. And got completely soaked even though it was barely even warm out.IMG_3086IMG_3944IMG_3951IMG_3947
Sunday we spent the day at the cottage. Eli got to watch RJ water ski and he played in the sand 75% of the time we were there. And of course he ate some snacks.IMG_8735 IMG_8606 IMG_8625 IMG_8672 IMG_8675 IMG_8694 IMG_8599 IMG_8718 IMG_8660
I think the cottage has become one of Elijah’s favorite places to spend summer days. (all cottage photos taken by molly grunewald)

Adventures on Friend-cation.

Last week, we were in Houghten Lake with a bunch of friends. We started going to Houghten Lake every June the summer after we were married and it has been an annual thing ever since.
We basically just hang out on the pontoon boat on sunny days and let the kids create chaos in the house when it rains (only two days out of seven this year). We eat too much and play games when the kiddos go to sleep. Elijah loves getting to see his friends all the time, even if having 9 kids under the age of 6 in one cottage is slight insanity.
Here are some pictures of our fun week (in a completely random order):


Elijah is so happy because he does not know how cold the water is going to be.

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Donuts Make Us Go Nuts.

Happy National Donut Day. What? You didn’t know today was a holiday?IMG_2340
In our house, we like to celebrate every holiday that involves food. Especially if we can get donuts for free.
Thank you Tim Hortons!IMG_2350
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Adventures Lately.

I feel like these past few week have been so incredibly busy.  But that’s our life.  Here’s a glimpse of our most recent adventures.

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We went to the zoo a lot.  Almost once a week.  The Detroit Zoo Membership is totally worth it.  My little Lightning saw this bear poop.  He thought it was hilarious and talked about it for days. Continue reading

Sick Babies, A Broken Keurig, and Mall Adventures.

First, check out the tummy on baby girl!  I can’t get enough of her tummy and chunky thighs.


My babies are sick.  Well, Elijah is sick.  Emaline is just congested.  Everyone slept in “mama’s bed,” as Eli would say, because at 3:00 am he was up with a fever and super sad.  None of our usual tricks to get him back to sleep worked, so cuddles in bed were the answer.  And I definitely didn’t hate sleeping between my two babies. Continue reading

We Love Weekends.

We had a great weekend last weekend.  And since today is Friday and the sun is out; I’m remembering all the fun stuff we did and thinking about how this weekend can be just as fun.

First we went to the library.


He wanted to drive the bus with Emmy in it. Continue reading

Elijah Loves Baby Girl.

“As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen.” –Winnie the Pooh

Elijah is doing amazing as a big brother.  Even better than I had hoped he would do.

He does super sweet things, completely unprompted.  The first thing he did when he woke up this morning was ask to hold Emaline.  And by ask to hold her, I mean he says “I want it, I want it!”  We need to work on his use of personal pronouns.IMG_0351I love his crazy bedhead.  He gets so happy when he holds her.  IMG_0354She started touching his face and he thought it was hilarious.

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January. According to Instagram.

Our January consisted mostly of staying home due to the freezing temperatures and ridiculous amounts of snow.  This has been great for the whole potty training adventure, but not so great for making plans, or having any sort of socialization beyond the monkey and mama duo…

Here is a mini-recap of our month–according to my Instagram feed.


Daddy wrapped Eli in a towel after a bath one night, and he thought it was the coolest thing ever.  Mama thought he looked too big and almost started crying. Continue reading

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.

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.


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!”


Give my monkey a basketball and he is happy.


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.


Sweet, chilly Eli and mama.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


The monkey is such a goof.


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.


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


Doesn’t he look over it?


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.


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


Oh, I have trained him well.