Coming January 2015!

Baby Stuckenschneider #2!

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I am so excited for Henry to be a big brother and to be a family of four in the new year!

Henry brother shirt

Seriously, I can’t use enough exclamation points! Even through the nausea and complete exhaustion (please end soon) I am so excited and already impatient to meet him or her. It’s all worth it in the end, right?

fmaily pic

The baby’s official due date is January 14. My current doctor has told me I will have another c-section on January 7, but I may be changing doctors in case I decide to try the other route (VBAC – let me know if you have any experience with that) — though knowing when they’re coming, and having to wait a full week less would be nice. We will be finding out the sex again, since I’m way too impatient and want to get planning the nursery and names and everything. The most important thing is having a healthy baby (of course), but Ryan would like another boy (of course) and while it would be nice for Henry to have a brother only 2 1/2 years younger, I would love a girl so much. The gender ratio in this household needs to even up! I have even started taking  a couple bump photos already, as seriously I had pregnant bloat belly happening pretty much immediately with #2, though I can’t decide which direction I want to take them (Same outfit every time? which? Only belly, no face? Kind of impersonal, but let’s be honest, it’s a rare day here when I do my hair let alone make up and the first time I tried to get my head in…no, just no.)

I will be sure to keep you updated, though as you can tell, not quite so often. I have our painted house, patio (not quite finished yet but almost) and summer vacation to share…some day :) I’m pretty exhausted all day long, so computer use is pretty sparse. I will try my best though! So yea! Babies! I can’t wait to have a newborn, cuddly little squish again.

 

{Justine}

Henry: Today you are TWO!

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Henry, today you are two!

Today you say so many words, though you still only say the first syllable. Just a sampling: Ha (Henry), Ma, Da, Ba (Beck), Ja (Jack), Jer (Uncle Jarrett), Pa, Ah (Otto, and Charlotte), wah (walk), poo (pool, poo, pee), pull, hi, bye, na (banana, yellow), nya (milk), Geor (Curious George), Ah-ja (Mickey Mouse), juice, choo (train), truck, draw, and my personal favorite – boo (balloon, blue, boo boo and…boob – while grabbing it. ha!).

Today you have also started to put together phrases and it’s so cute. “Nya Geor Da Ba” (drink milk while watching Curious George with Dad and Beck – usually said after bath time) and “Da Ba wah” (Dad and Beck go on a walk).

Today you don’t ever sit still, even while watching TV.

Today you love to climb – on furniture, on Beck, on Mom and Dad. Though you are still fairly cautious and haven’t gotten really hurt yet (knock on wood).

Today you are 34 3/4 inches tall and weigh 27.5 pounds.

Today Curious George is still your favorite. Though you also love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Today you fake cry, a lot. Though sometimes you convince yourself it’s for real and then it’s for real.

Today you love trucks. In the car you ask me for “one more truck” over and over again. If I could make trucks appear for you, I would my dear.

Today you love to draw. You draw line after line on the chalkboard, and scribbles on paper. You request that I write “Henry” and draw dogs, cats and owls over and over…and over.

Today you love letters. You love the Endless Alphabet app, and can identify and match letters. Sometimes I think you’re a genius. You say “ah ah ah” to point out letters.

Today you love to learn.

Today you love animals. You call a cow a “moo” and a pig a “go”. Sometimes I am your interpreter.

Today fruit snacks, apple juice and milk are your favorites.

Today you love to go to the pool. Your favorite part is the fountains and you love to stand over them and spray your bum like the big kids. You also love the sprinkler, and the hose, and the bath. You’re a water baby and I love it.

Today you sign “thank you” but everyone thinks you’re blowing kisses – which works.

Today you are still destined to be a class clown. If something accidental makes you laugh or other people laugh, you attempt to do it again and again.

Today you walk by women at the pool, wave and say “hiiiii”. Lady killer.

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Henry, I wish you all the happiness, smiles, stomach-aching laughter, Curious George marathons and trucks you could ever want. I hope your love for learning and getting laughs never ends. I love you forever and ever and always. I love being your Ma.

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{Justine/Ma}

Weekend Recap {Memorial Day Weekend}

Phew! What a three day weekend! It was a busy one, a good one, and one that actually felt like summer. Ryan takes the cake for hardest working husband, he put in hours installing our new patio. He even sacrificed attending my sister’s high school graduation ceremony to get a full day in on Saturday ;). I also put in several hours (and took a picture to document it for the record) over the weekend and past week, but did attend my baby sister’s said graduation with Henry. I seriously can’t believe she’s in college now! It seems like just yesterday she was cutest little chunk of a toddler (I mean that in the best way possible. She had serious rolls and was seriously cute). I may have slightly teared up at the first sight of her entering the auditorium in her cap and gown. Henry did amazing during the looooong ceremony, btw, color me impressed. After some photos ops we had a lovely lunch at Jordan’s boyfriend’s house. Then it was back home to work on the patio with Ryan. Henry loved playing in the makeshift sandbox for hours. Sunday was even more patio work, with a break for the pool (!) and our first delicious dinner on the (mostly done) patio. Monday was more – you guessed it – patio work! Though not as much because the tile saw broke in the middle of cutting a paver :/ But we did get more pool time and another grilled dinner.

Henry also had lots of firsts this weekend – first ice cream cone all to himself (he devoured it), first “big boy” walking of Beck (no stroller/wagon and he held the leash the whole way), first ride down the new slides at the (finally) re-opened park, first jumps on the neighbor’s trampoline, first flip flops (so cute! i die)…and first blood-drawing injury – a bad knee scrape at the pool (no tears – probably because of the excitement to get into the water).

Henry glassescaps Jordan graduate Jordan and Beau us and jordballoonspatio workryan breakHenry in sandSand pitpooljumpingshoulder ridehenry ice creamice cream mustachewalkslidehenry walking beckdinnerflip flopsscrapesbubblesHenry big smile

Love me the start of summer!

How was your Memorial Day weekend?

{Justine}

 

Currently

Happy Tuesday! Sometimes I want to wait to share things until they are all done and pretty and wrapped up in a bow but sometimes that’s just not going to happen. Either because it’s going to be a while until they’re done or it takes me forever to put the proverbial bow on it and take photos and edit and write and yada yada…I thought I wouldn’t wait this time and show you where we are with some projects, since it’s getting pretty busy in the Stuckenschneider household lately.

1. We are getting our house painted this week (tomorrow!). And we are making quite a change – from light gray to navy blue. I’m so excited to see how different the house looks dark and dramatic with the brick and white trim.

house colors

(all Benjamin Moore)

Which do you think we chose?

2. The outdoors is also getting some a lot of love and we’re putting in a new patio! It’s a huuuge undertaking (for Ryan) that we’re hoping to get done by Henry’s second birthday party in June. First the existing cement patio has to be taken out (and hauled away), then everything needs to be dug out, leveled, filled, tamped, etc. etc. And not to mention we have to get the thousands of bricks to our house – Ryan has been going back and forth to Menards every day for a week now. But the new patio is going to be big and include a fire pit, so basically awesome.

fire pit layout henry helping

Ryan can count on Henry for help. We knew we had him for a reason ;)

3. We have also been in the midst of a laundry room update. Well, I say “in the midst” like we’ve been actively working on it, but really it’s been torn up for a while now (we removed the closet), and I just now got around to removing part of the wallpaper border. Turns out removing a border isn’t too bad! I’d say I removed half of it in less than an hour (but that is such a rough estimate. I have no idea. It didn’t feel like too long). There’s no less than one million tutorials on removing wallpaper on the internets, but in case you’re reading and you happen to want to know how and don’t want to use google, here’s what I did:

Lightly score the wallpaper with the wallpaper scorer you bought at the store. Spray with a mixture of hot water and fabric softener (maybe a few tablespoons of fabric softener are mixed in that bottle). Let sit for a few minutes, then peel of the paper. If any is left on the wall, spray again and then scrape off. Then clean the wall with some water and vinegar (which I have yet to do).

removing wallpaper

I’d show you a photo of the room as-is now, except it really a hot mess of mess. I took one and it’s awful. Sorry, I’m not that real.

We’ve also already bought the tile for the floor and I looooooove it. It’s in our garage and I find myself stopping to look at it all the time. Now I have to decide on what color to paint the cabinets and the built-in bench Ryan is building – so then I can decide what color to paint the walls. #toomanydecisions I’m leaning towards navy blue (perhaps one of the samples from the exterior) for the cabinets and a light wall color but we’ll see.

laundry room tile

4. And just because, here’s a picture looking out my front door. I am LOVING the buds and gorgeous colors and could basically stare outside all day. It’s finally spring!

front yard colors

 

Does anyone else absolutely love ferns too? I don’t know why I do. I picked that one up at Costco to hang on the front porch, though we’ll see if it ever gets hung.

Have a great week!

{Justine}

Easter

Did you all have a good Easter? Good! We did too! Last year I thought Easter was so fun, as it was Henry’s first Easter, but this year was even better, since he was a little more aware (although let’s be honest, not much – he just knew how to collect the eggs well). And the weather was AMAZING. After the winter we had, thank goodness Easter was so late this year. After we woke up (late) and ate breakfast, Henry “found” his Easter basket under the dining room table and promptly played with all the things and tried to eat all the candy. The egg hunt in the backyard took a quick two minutes (literally), as we were running late. After the church service we were late to, we headed to my parents where we spent all day in the backyard soaking the rays, seeing family and watching Henry throw balls again and again and again… There was also another egg hunt, because you can’t have too many egg hunts for Easter.

Here’s some pics from the day, and also from the day before when I got my act together and dyed eggs with Henry, who was surprisingly into it – almost too much so, as eggs are just. so. crackable.

dying eggs finding easter basket basket farmmore mandms egg hunt finding an egg egg pickup with Beckryan henryfamily picthrowinghand in pocket_grown upeaster basket 2egg hunt helpjilly eggjayneegg in bushgrandparentsthrowing ball 2the boyssittinghula hoopingjilly hulajilly hula hoopjilly hula hoop 2ballHenryevening lightjord henryjord henry hamds

mom and dad

 

Believe me when I say there’s lots more where these came from, I edited down because how many pics of Henry throwing/picking up eggs/putting his hands in his pockets can you take? Speaking of hands in his pockets – is it not the cutest thing you ever saw? Also, I die for how handsome Henry looked in both his outfits. Squeeeeeeeze!!

Enjoy the rest of your week!

{Justine}

Home Tour | Foyer {After}

It’s crazy that we’ve been in our “new” house for a year at the end of next month. It feels like it’s gone quickly, but at the same time it feels like we’ve been here forever – except for all the updates we still have to do. Though when I look back at the before photos, I’m reminded at how much we have transformed this place to be more us in less than a year’s time. Since it has been a year and I’ve only shown snippets of our house I thought I would finally start sharing, even though a lot of rooms aren’t “done” (but will they ever be??). Today I’m sharing our new and improved entry, since it’s one of the most finished – and maybe most transformed – room. And who am I kidding, the room I have to clean the least to share :)

The foyer was my least liked room in the house when we bought the house. In fact, I hated it so much I didn’t want to buy the house the first time we saw it. It was just so…I don’t know. Blah. Yellow. Open. Especially open. There was no delineation between the entry and the living room and it drove me nuts. (and don’t get me started again on how there is literally no definition between the living and dining rooms. Still not fixed though.)

new house foyer_before foyer foyerliving room

So the very first thing we did after closing (like, same day) was tearing out a portion of banister, wall and floor in order to build out the stairway wall to give us more of a defined entry way. Things get worse before they get better, right? And when I say we, I mean Ryan and my very helpful Dad. He may have done more work than we did, coming over after work some days to drywall (while we were still living in the city) and stuff. #bestdadever Thanks, Dad! Once it was torn out, they built out the wall from the stairs, and dropped the entry way to a more respectable level. Ryan also replicated the trim work of the front door around the living/dining room entry way on both sides, and it looks amazing. It’s only primed right now, but it will be painted…some day. This freezing cold winter would have been a good time to get some painting done while stuck inside, but um, I didn’t. Also some day we will add the same moldings above the office doors.

during during_raising wall during_raising wall 2 drywalling during_drywall

The next order of business was the floors. We were not a fan of the honey oak color throughout the house, and we definitely were not a fan of the completely different wood and staining in the living/dining room. So the living/dining room floors were ripped out and matched to the rest of the floors, and then the first floor and stairs were stained an ebony (some day we hope to do the upstairs). LOVE the difference the color of the floors make. While it is true that the dark color shows a lot of dirt and dust, I’m still happy with it – and glad we have a black-haired dog. Wouldn’t recommend going ebony if you’re anal about cleaning or have a light-haired dog that sheds a lot, because you would be cleaning the floors every. day. But if you don’t mind that, go for it! And come over and clean mine for me too.

new floors

We also hired a painter for the living/dining room, foyer/stairwell and upstairs hallway. Best decision ever – there was no way I was going up two stories to paint and it got done so much faster than I would have. We would basically still be living in the jaundice house. For the foyer and upstairs hallway I went with Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl at 50% lighter. I love it, it’s such a great neutral. It’s very light but not almost-white so there’s contrast with the trim, and it’s gray but has some beige to it (though let me be clear, I hate beige, and it’s not a greige as they say these says. Definitely gray). It’s hard to capture the true colors because the lighting isn’t great and my photography skills are not professional.

stairwell Foyer_door into dining room

Let’s see, I also painted the banister black, which I may have to do again since the color is still not black. Even though I bought black paint. Like, the blackest swatch I could find, and then even went back to the store to get more black added after the first coat. And it’s still a grayish black. Pretty sure it was the paint I used, but I’m not sure why/how (Ace Hardware cabinet & trim paint). The office doors are black, railing is not. Very frustrating. Ryan removed the turned spindles and replaced with squares spindles (let’s not discuss how long with lived on the edge, literally, without spindles).  We’d like to replace the newel posts but that is a larger project we weren’t ready for…and let’s see if it ever actually gets done, it’s low on the priority list since just the spindles and black banister look 1,000 times better. We still have to fix all the nail holes in the spindles and then paint them, along with the risers and the skirt board; speaking of which, Ryan could not find it anywhere to match where we added onto the wall, so he had to custom make a router bit and it ended up matching pretty perfectly.

hallway to front door stair rails railing into living room

I also painted the office doors black, as I already mentioned, and the transom window white (which reminds me, it’s only primed right now…#typical). I’m in love with the black office doors and have plans to paint all the doors on the first level black. It just gives them such a pop and looks so expensive and pretty.

living into entry dining to front door dining room to door new doorway

My favorite pictures from our travels were hung in the hallway after I spray painted the weirdly silver color I never liked to black, and I added the pretty popular raspberry and gold bench/ottoman from Target and my favorite mirror from West Elm to the little corner that I didn’t know what to do with. The bench is used for time-outs and for putting on shoes – pretty versatile :) Speaking of the bench, there was literally one left in my surrounding area and none available online so I hightailed it to the store and bought it, loved it, but since then Ryan has pointed out that the legs totally slant and now I can’t unsee it. And it makes me angry, and it’s unfixable, and none left to exchange with, but it’s pretty so whatever. I *try* to ignore it. I love how the pink ties into the painting on the landing of the stairs, which is from HomeGoods. It was quite the decision of where to put it (over the living/dining room entrance? over the door?) but I’m glad I put it where it lives now. Oh, and the entry rug which is only really visible in like one photo is an indoor/outdoor rug from Dash & Albert, ordered from a store here in town. It really stays pretty clean, and if it gets dirty, I can hose it off or wash it, which was important for an entry rug I think.

photos mirror benchfrom upstairs into living

foyer from above

Still to-do is replacing the hideous chandelier, painting/repainting all the trim, painting the front door and new door hardware. And adding a humongo gallery wall up the humongo staircase wall. But it’s come a long way, baby! From yellow on yellow sponge painting and too open to soothing and defined.

foyer after_stairs

foyer after_from FR

foyer after_from office

foyer after_towards door

foyer after_towards office

foyer after_from above

It’s pretty great to see a vision come together, and I’m so thankful for my husband’s, dad’s, painter’s (and my) hard work!

 

Paint: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl at 50% lighter
Rug: Dash & Albert
Pink ottoman/bench: Target (no longer available)
Mirror: West Elm (no longer available)
Painting: HomeGoods

I hope you enjoyed an “after”, finally! I need to work on more for you…”some day” seems to be the phrase around here though.

{Justine}