Category Archives: Tyler

Birthday Preparations

Well another week is in the books.  We’re finally healthy after our last bout of stomach bugs.  It took long enough with even an unnecessary trip to the ER for Tyler.  This week I learned not to listen to the patient advisory line because they have to advise you to go to the ER if there is even the slimmest chance that there is something “major” wrong.  I’m trusting my instinct from now on.

Now for something more fun.  I’m right in the midst of planning Tyler’s birthday party.  It’s only 29 days until I have a 1 year old!  Seriously where did the last year go??  The plan at this point is to have a regular birthday party on Tyler’s actual birthday (March 9) for our families and then do separate get togethers for our friends later in the month.  We decided to go this route so that we wouldn’t have to find somewhere outside our house to host the party since there was no way we could fit all our friends and family into our house at one time.  Also, it means that Eric and Tyler’s (and some other friends’) birthdays can be combined and we don’t have to make Tyler’s day such a big deal for everyone else.  Eric is a big fan of not making our family and friends mix! (It’s amazing we didn’t have 3 or 4 separate weddings.)  If he had his way we’d divide up our families for parties too.  Needless to say he’s not actually planning any of these parties.

So the family party is the one that I’ve really been working on so far. About 3 weeks ago at this point, I ordered the invitations.  I got them late last week around the same time the stomach flu hit, and I just got them sent out this week. The theme for the family party is puppy dogs.  Tyler adores dogs, mostly Guster, but other dogs at doggie daycare when we go to pick up Guster too.  Guster is not exactly the biggest fan of Tyler though.  I’m hoping someday that will change when Tyler is older and doesn’t hit Guster with blocks or pull his ears and fur.  Back to the invitations, I combed Vistaprint for something cute and appropriate for the party and came up with these, which I think are perfect for the party.

Invitation for Tyler's first birthday party

Invitation for Tyler’s first birthday party

The invitations went out this week, so far I know that my parents are coming…provided no one is sick, and it doesn’t snow.  I’m still in the middle of deciding what the heck we’re having for lunch that day and how to make it fit the theme.  at least, I know exactly what we’re having for dessert though!  I can’t wait to make the desserts.    There will be lots of night baking the week I’m sure!  The decor I’ve pretty well got figured out (the fabric that I’ve been sewing for the party).

I can’t wait for this all to come together, and to see Tyler turn 1!  Although I don’t know how I’m going to get it all done in 29 days either, I’m sure it’ll be great (for Eric and me at least) either way!


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!

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

  • 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!