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)

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Easy 4th of July Shirt for Monkey.

I am big on buying tees for us to wear on the 4th.  I found RJ, Emaline, and I shirts at Old Navy this year, but the one that I wanted for Eli wasn’t in stock in his size.  So I decided to do some DIYing with the monkey.  I am not nearly as crafty as I would like to be, but after a little looking around Pinterest I had a few ideas.

"I paint that shirt!"

“I paint that shirt!”

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I Love My Mama.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama.

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I am so lucky that you are you.  Thank you for showing me what unconditional love is and how to shop the clearance racks.   Thank you for loving Jesus and dragging three whiney kids to church every Sunday.  Thank you for teaching me the importance of loving your husband and how to be a good wife.   Continue reading

Mess Free Egg Decorating.

I wanted to find a fun relatively clean way for Elijah to get his egg decorating on.  I spent a couple minutes on Pinterest looking, and found this melted crayon method over on Spoonful.  Parents had some good ideas too, but I wanted something a little more creative than stickers on eggs.  Plus I was hoping for little to no prep since my eggs were already boiling and nap time was looming.

egg decorating Continue reading

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.

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

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Grunewalds!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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My boys.

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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.

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

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Upside-down monkey.

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

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

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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.

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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…

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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 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.

Elijah’s Pumpkin Adventures.

We got two giant pumpkins from a road side stand after we went to Blake’s a few weeks back.  I’m not sure why we bought two, since it took RJ almost two hours to carve one.  But my ambitious husband likes to carve the intricate designs that require a stencil and poking tiny holes in the pumpkin before the actual carving…too complicated for this mama.  I’m all about two triangle eyes and a toothy grin on my pumpkins.

First, Elijah looked through all the options on the Spoonful website with his daddy.  It was a tough choice, since Eli loves all things Disney.  They finally decided on Jake, probably because Elijah is so darn cute when he pumps his tiny fist and yells “yo ho, go go!”

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The monkey was very interested in the guts, but wasn’t crazy about reaching into the pumpkin to help get them out.

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He loved sticking the knife through the portions RJ had already carved.  LOVED IT.  So much that RJ couldn’t really make any progress cause Eli just wanted to sit with his daddy and “carve” with him.  Nothing a little pixar distraction couldn’t solve.

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When Elijah realized that his daddy carved Jake into the pumpkin, he got real excited.  Climbed right up onto the chair and hugged him and bounced up and down.

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He was not so excited about sitting on the porch in the cold to get a picture with his Jake pumpkin.  (Yes, he is holding up a tiny screw driver in front of his face.  The little things fascinate my child.)

The day before Elijah and Mama did some pumpkin decorating of our own.  Here are our finished pumpkins:

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Mine is the one on the right.

And here’s a little pumpkin painting action for you:Image

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I tried to get him to use his fingers, but once he saw me using a paintbrush he was all about that.  Maybe he’s going to be an artist…

I also feel the need to clarify that he has no clothes on because he was painting.  Even though it was washable paint, I didn’t want to deal with that mess–so I just plopped him in the tub after the painting was finished.  I usually put clothes (and pants) on my son.  I swear.

Here’s another picture of him with a pumpkin that his papi carved him:

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He is super excited because it is Buzz.  And he is Buzz.  I’m glad we are getting so much use out of his store bought Buzz costume.  Well worth the $20.