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)

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

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.

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:


And the after:


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.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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!”


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…


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.”




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.




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.

Monkey goes camping.

We are not outdoorsy-type people.  RJ really dislikes camping.  I loved it when I was little.

Apparently Elijah is a huge fan.

We went camping at Sleeper State Park for a Halloween Weekend and Eli had a blast.  I don’t know what his favorite part was; the mud or playing with daddy all day or being with his friends for an entire weekend.

It rained every night but the days were pretty warm for October in Michigan.  But all the rain made for lots of mud.  All the clothes Elijah wore were from mom to mom sales or resale shops, so I didn’t really care about him getting muddy.  And boy, did he get muddy.

ImageGetting a feel for it.

ImageAfter an accidental face plant.

ImageOn the way to get a shower after an intentional face plant.  He is such a boy.

ImageThe monkey wanted to test out all the bigger kids bikes.  He liked Maidyn’s pink Radio Flyer best.

ImageTackle football with Daddy.

ImageSeriously, could my monkey get any happier?

ImageMy little tree hugger.

Image“Eyes!  Eyes!”

ImageDaddy helping Buzz fly.

ImageEli likes to check and make sure his daddy is having a good time.

ImageBuzz and his girl Minnie.

ImageElijah liked pointing out all the other kids in costumes more than the actual trick or treating.  He did enjoy eating a little bit at the end though.

elijah’s memorial weekend adventures.

We had a busy, but fun, Memorial Day weekend.

The monkey got to experience some new things (sand, jerky), and some things that seem new, now that he is so mobile (like the cottage).


Friday night Eli got to play on big inflatables at church…one of the perks of having a daddy who is a youth minister.

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Saturday began with helping daddy dig a spot for the vegetable garden.  and eating dirt.


And then Eli took daddy for a long walk up to 7-11 to get mama a slurpee.



Saturday evening we had a bbq with my family, and Elijah enjoyed showing off and eating noni’s yummy lasagna.  On Sunday we had a bbq with good friends.  Then Monday we went up to the cottage.

Elijah has been to the cottage before, but last summer he would just play on a blanket or fall asleep on the boat.  This year is  a whole new world for the monkey.

We began a new “tradition” (as rj likes to refer to it) of stopping at the Almont Smokehouse on the way to the cottage.  Eli tasted his first venison and loved it.  I think the sausage was nice for him to chew since he has 4 (!!!) molars coming in back there…



The monkey was a little unsure of the water at first.  I don’t blame him, it was real cold.  But he stuck his toes in and eventually just sat right down on the edge, clothes and all.


He was a little afraid of the boat ride, but grandpa let him drive, so he was happy for a little.


Elijah was all about the sand.  Mama was not a fan of how much sand Elijah tried to eat.  I was hoping he would try it and decide that it wasn’t so appetizing after all, but no, he thought it was a funny game.

Burying and looking for his feet was exciting.



Eating is the highlight of any day for this kid.  Here Elijah demonstrates how many cheetos he can fit in his mouth at once.  Good job monkey, good job.


So much fun packed into one weekend.  We love summer already.



we want spring!!!

Its crazy that, in Michigan, 40 degrees and sunshine feels like summer is coming.  I can tell that this monkey is going to be an outdoors boy because he loved every second of being outside this weekend.


Elijah was very interested in the grass.  I didn’t let him go on the lawn because it was still wet from the melting snow, but he kept bending down to touch it.  And then he’d look at me with a huge smile.  I love how every new thing is an adventure for him right now.



It was almost as if he couldn’t believe that I was letting him walk outside.  He was very apprehensive at first.


But then he was super smiley…


and he was quickly ready to run and enjoy it.


The driveway was fun too.  He wanted to sit and watch cars drive by, but mama had other plans.  Walking-around-the-mall-and-not-spending-any-money plans.


At the mall we shared a pretzel.  It was not in my plan to not spend money, but it was snack time and he needed something to eat…so I had to get a pretzel to share with him.  The things mothers do for their babies…


The play area is a little too old for him.  He can’t climb onto any of the veggies, but he walked around and watched the other kids.


It sure felt like spring to me.  Even if it was just a tease.  The sunshine just makes everything better.




I think we took 4 walks this weekend.  I know Elijah and his daddy are going to play outside every chance they get.  I see a lot of basketball and wagon rides in our future…


The wind blowing in his face made him laugh.  He enjoyed it way more than the chilly wind that causes him to bury his face in my shoulder that he is accustomed to.

This weekend has made me long for spring even more than I was before.  But, since this is Michigan, it is currently cloudy and snowy.  So we have to wait for it…