Elijah Said That.

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Elijah: “Tee!  Tee (TV) on please!”

Mama: “What do you want to watch?  Frozen?”

Elijah: “Nooooo!”

Mama: “What do you want on the TV?”

Elijah: thinks for a minute.  “Frozen!  Elsa!  Frozen on Tee.”

Continue reading

Only 5 Hours til Bedtime.

Elijah is acting like a two year old today.
These terrible twos are no joke. My monkey used to be such a good napper. I would let him bring a toy or book to bed with him and turn out the light and leave him in his bed awake and he would play a little and then fall asleep for about two hours. This past week it’s like a switch flipped and he decided he doesn’t want to nap. But the problem is he needs to nap. He is too little to stay up all day. I just wish he knew that. 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.

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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

Elijah Oscar is Two.

Last week, my baby monkey officially became a toddler.  Maybe it is because we have a tiny newborn, but Elijah seems so big now.  He is genuinely a little person and it surprises me every day the things that he says and understands.  I love Eli’s little personality; he is a real goof ball sometimes, but such a sweet boy.  Here are some cool things about Elijah Oscar as a two year old.IMG_0310

He loves books.  There are currently books scattered all over my house, because he picks one out and carries it to another room to read it.  His favorite book is “What Does the Fox Say?”   Continue reading

Our Newest Adventure.

A week ago my sweet Emaline Rose decided it was time to make her entrance.  She was born at 11:57 pm on February 12.  Bigger than her brother, at 7 lbs 9oz and 20 inches long.  We are spoiled by having Molly around to capture moments–like Elijah meeting his baby sister for the first time.   Emaline is not even 12 hours old in these photos.

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Elijah is doing great with the whole big brother thing.  He calls her “baby girl” and whenever she cries he says “its okay baby girl” or asks “why baby girl crying?”  It melts this mama’s heart to see how sweet he is with her already.

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RJ goes back to work tomorrow, so we will see how things go without daddy around to play with him.

 

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.

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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

Winter Monkey Fashion.

I haven’t done a monkey fashion post in awhile…mostly because he spent the majority of the past two months pants-less because of the potty training situation.

He is required to wear pants whenever we leave our house.  Don’t worry.  Here are a few of the sweet outfits he wore in December and January.

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Cool Christmas-time Clothes.

I loved dressing him in Christmasy things this year.  I am a sucker for any holiday themed top.  I can’t  believe this is the only picture I got of him in Christmas clothes.  Especially because he had the cutest outfits for all of our Christmas Parties!

green flannel: Tucker + Tate.  His godmother, Molly, bought him this flannel and it is perfect for layering.

Elf tee: zulily. Monkey is probably going to think I am such a dork when he is older.  I think it is super cute to dress him in tees that have funny things from movies I love.

skinnies: Levi

boots: babyGap.  I am kicking myself now for not buying these in the next size up.  His toes are all the way to the end, so they are done any day now.

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Elijah-Picks-His-Own-Clothes Outfit.

I think he is too young to be choosy about what he wears.  He saw this in his closet and kept saying “Michael Jordan!  Please Mama, Michael Jordan!”  So, of course, I caved.

Jordan jersey and shorts: Air Jordan.  RJ actually spotted this gem at a mom to mom sale we went to in the fall.  Eli recognized the “jump man” immediately.  I want to say we paid $3 or $4 for it.  Awesome, right?

long sleeve tee:  The Children’s Place.

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Polar Vortex Cozy Clothes.

When Elijah did wear pants at home in the past two months, they were usually cozy sweats or leggings like these…making the pulling down of the pants to go on the potty step much smoother.  (A couple times I put leg warmers on him and his daddy was not a fan.)

hoodie: Old Navy.

tee: Love + Art.  I got it at Target.

leggings: Abbey Swanson, one of my good friends, made these.  She made these “custom” for my tall, skinny monkey by adding the cuff at the bottom.   (If you want to see more of her cute stuff or purchase it, follow @aswaney on instagram)

socks: Body Glove.

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Running Errands Outfit.

On the rare occasion that we left the house, he wore something like this.

Batman henley: Love + Art.  Target had a bunch of cool super hero tees like this one on clearance in December.  I am liking this brand, super soft cotton and they wash up well.

skinnies:  Old Navy.  It is hard to tell from my iPhone picture, but they are an army green color.

socks: Stride Rite.

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Going to Mrs. Meg’s Birthday Weekend Clothes.

We went up to Port Sanilac to celebrate our friend Megan’s big 3-0 in early January.  A blizzard ensued when we were up there.  But we all had fun.

hat and puffer:  Old Navy.

sweatshirt: Genuine Kids from oshkosh.  He wore this sweatshirt a couple days ago and it got stuck on his head, so I guess it needs to go in the “too small bin.”

cords:  H&M.  These grey-blue cords have a drawstring waist and are jersey lined.  So they are super comfy for two hour car rides in the snow.

boots: babyGap.

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Potty Training Wear.

I don’t make him wear wellies everyday for potty purposes.  He wanted to put them on today, I swear.

sweatshirt: H&M.  How adorable is this Mickey print!?

underpants: Disney.  You can’t tell because the sweatshirt covers them, but they are Jake underpants.  We let him pick out what character he wanted on his underpants so he gets excited about wearing them.

socks: mini Boden.

wellies: Hunter.  Elijah got these awesome red Hunters from his Grandma for his birthday.  Although, I know  the Hunters were more for mama and the Mickey bike was the real present for monkey.

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

Ways That I Save Money on Baby Monkeys.

Going from a double income family to a single income family is, by no means, easy.  It takes work and budgeting and paying attention to where you are spending and on what exactly.

I have had a few friends ask me to do a post about how I use coupons and save money on baby things.  So here are some of the main ways that I do.  I am by no means an expert at this, these are just suggestions.

Never pay full price for diapers.  Ever.  Avoid ever being in the situation where you need to pay full price by stocking up when you find a great price.  Know the price point for what you can get diapers for, and stick to it.  The bigger the diaper size, the less diapers you get per pack, so the higher the cost per diaper.  Eli is in size 4 right now so I aim to spend .20 per diaper.  I mostly get diapers at Target, as they offer “buy two get a gift card” promotions often and you can usually double stack (or triple stack if you use cartwheel) coupons.  Yesterday, I got two packages of Pull-ups for .14 a Pull-up.  I ordinarily wouldn’t have bought these, but since they were lower than my price point for size 4 diapers, I got them.  Plus, they are helpful for the potty training and leaving the house.  We can’t really let the monkey pee on other people’s carpet…I also will buy diapers at CVS.  They offer promotions where you receive Extra Care bucks back if you spend a set amount, so when you have coupons too it is usually a nice price.  Costco has good prices when they offer the coupons, but the regular price usually isn’t low enough for me.  I would love to use organic diapers on my baby monkeys, I love the Honest ones I received in a trial pack, but it is just so hard to pay double for an item that gets pooped in and then tossed.

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Elijah likes to shop at mama’s happy place, too.

Find a few coupon blogs that you like, and check them often.  For me, I check these daily:

Hip2Save — This blog has the easiest “drugstore deals” to follow.  She also posts great online deals, promotion codes, and when new coupons are released.

Totally Target — This is a blog with Target deals.  I love shopping at Target.  Now that they have fresh groceries, it is sometimes the only shopping I do in a week.  She lists the coupon stacks for the weekly ads on Saturday nights and updates throughout the week.  There is also a database of Target coupons which can be helpful as well.

Bargains to Bounty — Bargains to Bounty is a Metro Detroit area blogger.  She lists the coupon match-ups for all the grocery stores in our area.

I also follow all 3 of these blogs on Facebook.  This can be helpful, especially for Bargains to Bounty, because if a great sale is posted people will post that the item is all gone or there are restrictions on it, etc.  There are so many coupon and deal blogs out there on the internets, so find one that you like and find easy to read.

Utilize Mom to Mom sales and resale shops.  But be picky about what you buy and how much you’ll pay.  I love getting play clothes for Elijah at Mom to Mom sales.  Name brand shoes such as Stride Rite or Robeez are great finds too, since tiny feet grow so quick!  I know not all areas have Mom to Moms like we do around here, but if your area has them, go.  And try not to bring the littles with you.  And if you are very pregnant, take snacks and wear layers.  And bring your own reusable shopping bags.  Sometimes they can get pretty bananas.  Also, try to know what you are looking for; they can get pretty overwhelming.  Garage sales in the summer can be a pretty great place to buy toys and gear.

Shop online for toiletries.  I find the best prices for the baby toiletries that we use online.  Watch for sales, sign up for email lists, take advantage of dollar off promotions and stock up.  I mostly find that drugstore.com and Vitacost have good prices/promotions for the organic toiletries I like.  If you like Johnson & Johnson, Desitin, and Aveeno, there are almost always coupons for these and you can get great prices at Target on them.  Target also offers a wider variety of organic toiletries; so when there are sales and coupons out for products like Babyganics, Burt’s Bees, or Seventh Generation, I will buy them there.  I always check online prices before buying them in the stores.  Amazon sometimes is the best place too.  You just have to know what you’re looking for.

Join rewards programs.  This isn’t exactly “saving” money, more like “earning.”  I think the most rewards sites are Huggies, Pampers, Disney Movie Rewards.  Disney Movie Rewards probably not so much if you aren’t obsessed with Disney like my family is.  Sometimes it can be a hassle to remember to type in the codes every time you open a new pack of diapers, but it can be worth it.  I just tear the little code off and put it aside and then input several at once.  I almost always redeem the points for gift cards…mostly Starbucks because I am an addict.  So rewards programs can be a nice bonus for Mama.

If you do shop online often, join Ebates!  I find buying baby items online can be my favorite way to shop for them.  Especially in a polar vortex like Michigan at the moment; no one wants to take littles out in this.  I have ordered so many things for the new baby girl monkey’s nursery online.  So.  Many.  Things.  (And when Elijah was just a tiny, tiny monkey, I would think of things I needed and order them from Amazon.  Amazon Prime can be a mama’s best friend.)  Ebates is super easy.  You just start at Ebates, and then type in the store you’re going to make your purchase at and then follow their “shop now” link.  Some stores have tiny amounts, 1% or 2% but there are double cash back days and you get a gift card after you make your first purchase through them.  They send you a quarterly check in the mail, so you never have to go through steps for “redemption,” other than depositing the physical check in your bank account.  I earned $133.22 last year.  Like I said, I do a good amount of shopping online.

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Never pay extra for shipping.  I broke this rule of mine just a month ago, when I ordered baby girl’s curtains and rod from Land of Nod…but I did ask customer service for free shipping and they offered me 15% off instead, so it ended up being close to the same as shipping.  Go to Retail Me Not for free shipping promo codes or just leave the items in your shopping cart.  You’d be surprised at the amount of emails you’ll get offering promotions when you do not checkout the same day.

These are just my favorite, easiest ways to save.  I do get an obscene amount of junk email each day, because most of the ways to get coupons and promotions involve giving your email address.  So you may want to consider starting a spare email account.

This post contains referral links.  If you join using my referral, I will receive credit.

December. According to instagram.

I can’t believe it will be February in one week.  I kept meaning to post about Christmas and then, clearly, never got around to it.  So we are just skipping the “Our Christmas was awesome because…” blog post and moving on.  It is freezing.  Literally.  And I feel like I have a million things to do before this baby girl monkey decides to make her appearance.  (Finish the nursery, put away baby clothes, make cute things like I did for Eli’s nursery…oh and Elijah’s birthday party next weekend!)

Anyway, here is what our December looked like, according to my instagram feed.

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Elijah was enamored with our Mickey lights.  I’m glad we bought them last year, thinking he would get excited about them this Christmas.  And we are currently “those people” who still have their lights up…we don’t turn them on anymore.  Since Christmas was a whole month ago.

ImageWe spent New Year’s Eve at our friend’s house, with a bunch of our friends who all have kids now too.  We were all out the door by 12:15.  We know how to party…

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He was not terrified of Santa.  He loved pointing at him and yelling “Santa, ho ho ho!” When it was time to sit on his lap, Elijah didn’t LOVE it.  But he was okay with it.

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He did love the snow.

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Since I am quite pregnant, I often have Elijah walk himself into the house from the car, especially if I have other things to carry.  Every single time I do this, he insists on walking on the snow just beside the walkway.  He fell face first into the snow once, got real upset, and then kept walking in it.

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Our after-nap-ritual is to cuddle on the couch and watch a show or part of a movie.  I love this ritual since it is really the only time that he will snuggle me anymore.

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Sometimes I feel like all this kid ever wants to eat is fruit.  And carbs.  He asks for chips every single day.

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Eli has developed a love for dancing.  Whenever there is music on, he busts a move.  This was at my OB, waiting for the doctor to come in.

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Oh, we started the whole potty training thing…so Elijah rarely has pants on.  Not like the whole not-wearing-pants thing is a crazy idea for this kid or anything.

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This picture still makes me laugh whenever I look at it.  He is so silly and happy all the time, its hard to get mad when it takes half an hour to get him clothed after a bath.  Plus, doesn’t he look so tall?

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We spent a lot of the cold, snowy days staying in our pjs until after nap.  I’m not even embarrassed about it.

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Elijah learned the joy of baking.  Or in his eyes, sampling all the chocolate items.

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And here he is eating peanut butter straight from the jar.  I won’t pretend that he didn’t learn that one from me.

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We went to the Christmas Extravaganza at our church.  The highlights for Elijah were the train room; this obstacle course pictured above; and the candy cane walk…which really was more like Elijah running in circles even when the other kids stopped.

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I love when he will sit all cuddled up like this.

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It got warm for a second in December.  It felt like spring and everyone had the same idea as we did to spend the afternoon at the mall.

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After a costco trip, he played with a paper fowl roll for hours.

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RJ bought me a heated back massager and Eli often climbs up and turns it on.

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I love him in underpants.  Especially boxer briefs.  Elijah also loves them and can never decide which pair he wants to wear.

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The Many Positions of a Monkey

This evening, while daddy had class, Elijah and I watched Toy Story 2. I was folding laundry on the couch and he sat in the chair–and apparently could not get comfortable.
I took all these photos in 30 minutes.
Enjoy the many Pixar-watching positions of my silly monkey.

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