Henry’s 2nd Birthday Party – Party Animals!

The weekend before my not-a-baby-anymore baby turned two we had a friends & family party for him to celebrate. I couldn’t decide on a theme (Curious George, Mickey Mouse, animals – all his current loves), but months ago I took an online illustrator class and came up with this birthday invitation idea and stuck with the animal theme since I was really proud of the invitation (personal details removed now, of course). It was such a great day! Several people couldn’t make it unfortunately, but honestly the smaller guest list was pretty nice for having time to actually have full conversations with those who made it. I didn’t go all out for decorations (I had to cut some due to time but really wasn’t that sad about it), but did make tiny party hats for the little animals I had on all the tables, drew on my chalkboard wall to match the invitation (kind of…) and had my sister create a ‘2’ out of pictures of Henry from the past year (thanks Pinterest! or Instagram?). Henry didn’t cry when we sang Happy Birthday this year, so that’s an improvement, though we did forget to practice blowing out candles. He was again a champ at opening presents, actually opening them and was interested in each and every one. Love him. Funny story before I get to the pics – while everyone was busy in the kitchen getting ready for the party, I noticed I didn’t hear Henry. You know it’s trouble when you don’t hear toddlers, so I went to look for him and found him in the dining room helping himself to the cake I put on the buffet – with his hands. It was amazing. Of course I took a picture first, then cleaned it up.

Henry bday invite_5x7 cake in hand cake eating pre party dessert table cake cake topper animal bunting cabinet

(sneak peek!)2 animals birthday hat outside tables IMG_0897 IMG_7237 IMG_0994 IMG_0990 IMG_0896 jilly happy birthday song blowing out candles eating cake opening presents family pic

 I love him so.


Coming January 2015!

Baby Stuckenschneider #2!


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.



Henry: Today you are TWO!


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.


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.

IMG_7270 IMG_7278



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?




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!



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!