Monthly Archives: January 2013

Sew-Sew Weekend

The last January weekend is in the books and with it our last free weekend for awhile.  My parents were supposed to come up on Sunday, but since there was a freezing rain advisory, we all decided it was best that they stay home.  Unfortunately, all the weather forecasters were wrong (well all the ones that I looked at anyway), so we cancelled their visit for no reason.  While I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to see them, we were pretty productive to make up for it.  Tyler was recovering from his busy busy week at daycare being a big kid, so he took two really good naps, and even slept in until 8am Sunday morning (completely unheard of…especially for a weekend!).  That meant Eric and I got to actually work on some of our hobbies as well as clean and cook for the week.

My brand new Brother sewing machine.

My brand new Brother sewing machine.

The best part was I finally got to try out my new sewing machine!  Eric worked on his beer brewing (it was bottling weekend at our house!) for an hour and a half, so I got the same amount of time to work with my sewing machine.  My first project is a simple project for Tyler’s birthday and later on decor for his room.

The blue puppy dog fabrics for my first project for Tyler.

The blue puppy dog fabrics for my first project for Tyler.

I figured out how to put thread on the bobbin and even thread the needle.  That was my Friday night once Tyler went to bed.  (I’m a party animal!) I was pretty proud of myself though!  It was a lot easier than I remember with my little toy sewing machine from when I was a kid.  Cutting the fabric was a lot of math and lining it up precisely to cut, which was my geometry for the day (or basic adding and subtracting, but geometry sounds fancier).  It was pretty easy with my awesome rotary fabric cutter and the self-healing mat to cut on with a ruler on it.

I’m certainly not the best sewer at this point.  I’m not even very good at straight lines, but I’m hoping that gets better with practice.  I really enjoyed it though, especially when I found the best speed for me to sew at to actually keep a fairly straight line.  Even though I’m not done with this project and I already have my fabric for my second project, I’m already trying to figure out what else I can do.

Hopefully I’ll have more time to work on my project, and I can share it soon.  I have to get it done in less than a month and a half for Tyler’s birthday, so I’ll have to find some time sometime soon!

Soooo Big!

Well this week marks a big milestone in our family.  Tyler has moved into his 2nd daycare room!  When he started, he was in the Infant 1 room, which coincidentally is in the same room as Infant 2 only they are divided by a half wall, and Infant 2 has the same age range as Infant 1.    Now he is Infant 3! Big steps!  Unfortunately there is no decrease in price with this move…maybe in another 8 months or so when he moves to Toddlers :).  It’s still a huge move!

So what exactly does this mean.  Well to begin with when he started daycare, he was this little peanut (about 6.5 weeks old) who pretty much just slept all day.  We’d bring home his daily activity sheets and complain that we’re not really getting our money’s worth if all he does is sleep all day with just enough awake time to eat in between.  Where is the tummy time and the play time??  He was awake a lot more when he was home!  Well I think once he hit 4 months or so that all changed.  He started playing and not just sitting in a bouncer or swing all the time.  He was never the oldest kid in his room (strangely he moved up before the kid that is a month older than him!) but I do think he was one of the biggest movers/trouble makers in Infant 1.  He was definitely a big fish in a little pond.

Now he’s the youngest by far, but I think he’s very happy.  He loves watching the big kids walking and playing, and he wants to be like them.  He’s been in his new room for all of 2.5 days at this point, but there have been very few problems so far.  At Chesterbrook, they have a big play room that they schedule time in for each class, and they can go run around and play and mostly burn off some energy.  This room I think causes his most fear so far.  His new teachers (one who was his teacher when he first started!) said he’s a little clingy in there and on the first day when they were passing the 2 year olds he got a little freaked out.  He’s not used to seeing the big kids and all the excitement.  The second day they were in the big room a mini basketball freaked him out.  He was even shaking from fear of it.  He didn’t even like it when his teacher held him tried to introduce him to the basketball slowly (I’m a little worried that he’s going to be like Eric and not enjoy watching sports now.)

The other big adjustment for him is that now he’s on a pretty definitive schedule.  Meals happen pretty darn close to a certain times each day and nap time happens at pretty much the same time everyday.  I think in a month he’ll be down to 1 nap as well.  The last two days he’s only slept 2 hours per day at daycare, which is unheard of from him.  I have to say I’m not really enjoying that part.  He’s pretty grumpy in the evenings and has been going to bed right around 7pm.  Not much fun play time for us with him.  Hopefully that will even itself out sometime soon though.  I think he just loves seeing what the big kids are doing so much that he doesn’t want to miss anything, so he’s awake all day and then wants to sleep all night.

That is our big milestone this week!  It’s amazing how much he’s growing up and changing.  I think this move will be really good for him.  Just in 2.5 days I’ve seen a big change and he really seems to be getting close to pushing himself to walk (letting go of chairs and trying to take steps).  I think wanting to be like the big kids is a great change for him and will push him to start walking soon!  Hopefully I’ll have stories of that soon!

One last note about my big kid.  He’s gotten so big and loves him mama so much that he wants to be held all time that he’s given me “Mommy’s thumb”, better known as de Quervain’s tenosynovitis.  I’m now wearing a brace on my right arm, taking Ibuprofen regularly and will be seeing an orthopedic doctor in March.  I guess there are some drawbacks to having a big kid!

S’more weekend fun!

So I totally decided to go with this title to annoy Eric, hater of puns and word play!  It’s the weekend, and even better it’s a long weekend…for me anyway (I wish Eric didn’t have to go to work tomorrow).  It was definitely a long week, so having a long weekend to look forward really helped.

We started off our weekend with a morning playdate with some of our Frasca friends and their kids.  It was fun and while Tyler decided he just wanted to be held by Eric for last half of it, Eric and I enjoyed seeing our friends.  We’re also starting to look at new kitchen appliances because at least 2 of ours seem to be on their last legs.  The dishwasher has stopped working on a delay, and we have to push the start button a minimum of 3 times (maximum is around 10) before it actually starts.  It’s also a crapshoot whether the soap will actually discharge to clean the dishes or not.  The other problem (I think from Guster standing on the door licking dishes clean) is that the whole thing will randomly come unscrewed from the countertop and all the dishes in it will end up on the floor unless we move really quickly to catch it. As for the oven, its timer and clock haven’t worked since we’ve lived here,  The oven also runs really hot (500F when set to 350F), so we have to always kinda guess when the food is done.  The other thing about the oven that I didn’t know until this weekend is that it blocks a drawer!  It sticks out about 3″ past the edge of the counter, which makes it hard to get into a cabinet next to it, but I had no idea there was even a drawer there until Eric showed me it.  He had painted it to look just like a portion of cabinet that was stationary!  I think he succeeded at that project!  Now I really want an oven that actually fits in the space, so we have a free drawer!  The fridge (knock on wood) seems to be in decent shape.  It’s just a lot smaller than the allotted fridge space, so a bigger fridge would be really nice since our current one is always really full!  We think we’ve found ones that we like.  We just have to figure out if we’re ready for such a big purchase.

The other excitement of the weekend was that Eric and I finally agreed on fabric for my sewing project!  I sent Eric 5 options last night.  He didn’t like any of them! Luckily, it was the enough to get him to do some Googling himself to find some fabrics he likes since I’m much more agreeable than he is. 🙂  Hopefully that means maybe next weekend I can get started on that project.

This weekend though, I had another project in mind.  Ice Cream!  For some strange reason I was in the mood for ice cream, and Eric had been asking for this s’mores ice cream for quite some time.  I’d said no because it’s a lot of work and requires free time during both days of the weekend, which finally January has had plenty of, as long as we’re not sick.

Graham crackers, custard mixing, and a fudge ribbon are tasty!

Graham crackers, custard, and a fudge ribbon are tasty!

This s’mores ice cream recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs, Brown Eyed Baker, so there’s a good chance you’ll see more of her recipes at some point.  For my birthday last year, I asked for the ice cream attachment for my KitchenAid mixer from Eric and Tyler mostly so I could try this recipe.  This is a custard based ice cream, which involves cooking eggs but not overcooking the eggs.  Unfortunately, I got distracted during the first go around and ended up with scrambled eggs (very sweet and vanilla-y scrambled eggs, but pretty gross nonetheless).  Luckily I had just enough eggs and milk to try a second time, and it turned out perfectly.  I haven’t made my own graham crackers for this recipe, mostly because that would add one more step and I’m ok with store bought, but I bet it would be good that way too.  I also can’t find vanilla bean at the grocery store.  I’m guessing it’s there, but I just don’t know what section to look in.  I just threw in more vanilla extract since I didn’t have vanilla bean.  I only finished this around 2 this afternoon, and Eric’s already had 2 servings!  It’s pretty tasty.

S'mores Ice Cream!

S’mores Ice Cream!

Happy MLK Jr Day tomorrow everyone!  Have a good day off or have a great normal Monday (only without mail)!

Resolution Update and a Long Weekend

This past weekend was a  long weekend for me…unintentionally.  Thursday morning, Tyler woke up with a fever, so that meant 2 extra days in my weekend.  It turns out that Tyler had an ear infection, but we didn’t find that out until late Friday afternoon when his temperature spiked over 103.  A short trip to Convenient Care and a little amoxicillin, and he’s pretty much back to normal.  He’s a little too alert now because he doesn’t want to sleep because he doesn’t want to  miss anything!   He’s also become a total momma’s boy in two days.  I feel like I’ve gained an extra 21lbs over the weekend, and my arms have definitely gotten a work out!  Hopefully with us all going back to work/daycare tomorrow will help with that a little bit.  He’s even crying when I try to hand him off to Eric.  Poor Eric!

With Tyler sick, Eric still recovering from his cold and me getting the second round of these colds on Sunday (at least Guster’s healthy!), not a whole lot of fun was had.  We stayed in with the exception of grocery shopping, and walking the dog.  It was so gorgeous (ie warm!) on Saturday too, so it was a shame we couldn’t all go out and do something.  At least I did get the patio furniture covered finally and all the Christmas lights finally down!  We won’t be “that” house any more!  There was also a lot of cleaning and cooking.  I made some turkey chili for my lunches this week, and today we had turkey (made in the crockpot) and my mom’s recipe for mashed potatoes!

With the mention of cleaning, that resolution is going well.  I’ve managed to vacuum every week.  Both Eric and I are keeping the clutter down around the house.  Eric even dusted today!  How awesome is that?!  I really hate that task.  The exercise went better this week even if it was just an XBox Kinect game.   The eating is ok.  I need to get back to that.  It’s harder when you’re home all day and exhausted from a grumpy baby.  I’ve also picked a new hobby, and I’ll be sewing!  Even though I learned in 7th grade, I’ve definitely forgotten since then.  I’m also going to have to learn some patience for this one too.  I have a project in mind already.  I just have to convince Eric that blue, grey and tan aren’t the only colors that exist!  So on to picking out fabric!

A Reverse Family Tree

This little craft project one isn’t mine, and two is kinda old even though it was just mostly finished on January 1.  When we were getting Tyler’s nursery ready early last year, we knew we wanted to put a lot of ourselves in it.  I made two little framed elephants out of cardstock and a framed T made from buttons.  Eric wanted a handmade project as well but wanted to add our families and our history into the mix.  He decided to make a rather large reverse family tree (Tyler being the trunk of the tree) to hang in Tyler’s room.  Honestly at first I was a little put off by his idea (judgmental even…go figure!) .  I thought it was a little creepy to hang pictures of dead people in our baby’s room.  I did manage to talk him out to going back past our great-grandparents though.  In all honesty though, it turned out really well and looks great!

The full picture of Tyler's family tree with the gap where my family is missing a few pictures

The full picture of Tyler’s family tree with the gap where my family is missing a few pictures

Eric first collected pictures of all our families.  There were easy ones like those of Tyler, Eric and I, and our parents.  Then it started getting a little tougher.  Collecting pictures of our grandparents (mostly my grandparents) with no one else in them became a bit of a challenge.  We had to turn to our parents.  Eric’s family has done a lot of family history “stuff”, and he had photos of all of the Stoecker side of his family.  His Grandma Faris was a great source for photos for mom’s side of the family.  So all his photos came together pretty easily.    Mine on the other hand didn’t.  My parents did a great job of collecting photos for us, but there just wasn’t the single go to person like there was for his sides.  Because of this Eric was able to complete his side during the 2 weeks he took off after Tyler was born.  It’s been hanging in Tyler’s room like that since then.  We’d had my families’ photos for quite awhile now, and I was finally able to convince Eric that he needed to get back to it.  The tree was looking a little lopsided, and I didn’t want my parents to feel like they’d collected all those photos for nothing.

The trunk with Tyler and our wedding photo

The trunk with Tyler and our wedding photo

The supplies were fairly minimal.  We bought a poster frame and some large drawing paper.  That was it.  We also needed the photos (which Eric sized and printed out on our printer), brown paint, green paint, paint brushes, a photo glue stick and some coffee all of which we already owned. Since this mostly all took place the first few weeks of Tyler’s life, I don’t have any step by step photos but here’s a run down of the process.

  1. Cut your drawing paper to size to fit in your frame.
  2. To make the paper look older, Eric used watered down coffee to stain the paper.  It looks great and it hasn’t molded or smelled yet!
  3. Once the paper was dried, Eric traced out tree branches that would work with the pictures we had, so there is only one branch if the couple had a picture together or multiple if we couldn’t find a picture of them together.
  4. Once those were drawn in to his satisfaction with pencil he painted in the brown for the limbs.
  5. Eric made a template for the leaves at the top and drew those in and painted them green.
  6. When all the paint was dried, Eric glued on the pictures and put it into the frame.
Eric gluing on a picture.

Eric gluing on a picture.

That was it.  A fairly simple project but pretty time consuming…for Eric anyway!  It’s actually not completely done.  We’re missing photos of my Grandpa Ensor’s parents.  We’re not sure if we can find any of those so it may be done but there is room to add them if the photos ever turn up.

It’s a really nice addition to the nursery and hopefully something Tyler will enjoy a lot as he gets older (I’m guessing he’ll have to be at least 20 to really appreciate it!)

Candy Pie

One quick note!  I have a 10 month old today!  Crazy how fast it goes!

Sweet 10 month old!

Sweet 10 month old!

Eric let’s food go to waste.  Does that really surprise anyone?  It bothers me the most when he lets candy go to waste though.  Every year I give Eric a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, my mom gives him some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sometimes he gets some other candy from my side of the family too.  So I had a plan after this holiday season to make sure at least some of Eric’s Christmas candy was eaten.  I looked up dessert recipes that use Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Beyond using up some of Eric’s candy, it’s also nice to use them because I don’t like peanut butter (Sacrilegious…I know!), and it would help me stay on my diet.

Even though I was using his candy, Eric didn’t get much of a say in this plan other than to decide what kind of dessert he wanted.  He picked a pie.  I was hoping he’d say brownies, but pie works too.  So I came across this recipe from Mrs. Claus’s cookbook.  How appropriate is that since I was using Christmas candy?!

Again I forgot to take pictures while I was making it, even though I did think about it!  (And forgot again!) At least I got one after I finished though.

Eric's yummy (for him) dessert this week!

Eric’s yummy (for him) dessert this week!

It was pretty simple it probably only took 15-20 minutes to wrap up, and Eric gave it the thumbs up after he ate it for dessert at lunch on Monday. So if you need to get rid of some Reese’s cups or just want a peanut butter pie, it’s a good recipe.

Get Rid of the Candy Pie (adapted from northpole.com)

  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used smooth and would recommend it)
  • 8 oz Cool Whip (the recipe originally called for 12 oz but I bought the wrong size.  I think any more would have really overflowed my crust)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 store bought or homemade graham cracker crust
  • 15 miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (I added more than the recipe called for to get rid of more candy!)
  1. Combine the cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar until well mixed.
  2. Fold in the cool whip by hand
  3. Cut up 5 peanut butter cups sprinkle across the bottom of the crust
  4. Spread half the peanut butter/cream cheese mixture in the crust
  5. Cut up and sprinkle 5 more peanut butter cups on top of the mixture.
  6. Spread the rest of the peanut butter/cream cheese mixture into the pie crust
  7. Top with the rest of your cut up peanut butter cups.
  8. Refrigerate until solid.

That’s it.  Easy and evidently tasty according to Eric, and he still has some peanut butter cups left!

Free Weekend and an Update

I am excited about this weekend!  Since the first weekend in November, we have had something even if we were in town planned.  Even though most of them have been fun, it’s still be exhausting.  This is the first weekend that we’ve had NOTHING, and I could not be happier.  It couldn’t happen at a better time as Tyler is finally getting over his cold even though Eric and I both got it from him.

This also means I get to really work on my New Years Resolutions too.  So far things are going so so.  I got my 2 blog posts up this week!  I’ve done really well with the eating better this week too.  The exercise and the cleaning haven’t been going so well…yet.  I should at least get in my exercise this weekend thanks to Guster, and hopefully at least vacuum and the ever present laundry.

Also, I’d really like to nail down what hobby I want to learn during this weekend too.  I’m really starting to lean towards sewing, especially since there is something I’d like to make for Tyler’s birthday party that would require it (more on that in a later post!).  It could probably come in really handy too for other projects, like making pillows (if Eric would ever let me add some color to the living room), or new curtains for “my” living room.  Plus after looking around at Amazon for a sewing machine, I found one for less than $80 with really good reviews.  So I’m going to do a little more research on my options this weekend, and hopefully I’ll have an answer by the end of the weekend…and maybe a new sewing machine or something else for a hobby on the way to my house 🙂  I have to keep up with Eric and all his home automation stuff!

Hopefully next week I’ll have some fun stuff to share with all of you next week.  Happy Weekend, Everyone!