Posted by John on July 30th, 2013
Lately, we’ve been posting quite a bit on web design and development. If it’s not something you’re really into, I apologize. We’ll be switching back to home projects full time very shortly. If you have been enjoying them, or at least putting them on your “must read at some point” list, we won’t be abandoning them completely. In today’s post, we wanted to share with you a super quick project that’s already cleared up some much needed garage floor space: stroller storage.
One of the goals of our garage spruce up effort is to remove as much junk off the floor as possible. We’re doing this primarily for two reasons: 1) we want the garage to be a tidy space and 2) everything that stays in the garage eventually gets covered with spiderwebs and bugs. To that end, Lisa suggested we relocate the strollers that have been hanging out on the garage floor or leaned up against the cabinet.
After thinking about it for a while, there is really no ideal location for these things, at least in the long term. Then again though, we’re probably not going to need baby strollers hanging around for the next decade.
Our interim fix? Hanging them up in the basement stairwell. It’s not perfect, but the space is unfinished, so dirty strollers fit in well. Plus, it’s pretty close to the garage, so Lisa doesn’t need to carry it clear across the house.
I bought a couple of these Blue Hawk hooks available from Lowes. They’re only a couple bucks each.
After locating a stud, I pre-drilled using a bit slightly smaller than the diameter of the hook threads and screwed it in by hand.
The strollers hang neatly from their hooks.
Eventually, when we finish the basement, we’re going to need to come up with a better solution. For now though, this works great.
Posted in Baby Stuff,DIY Projects. Tagged in ,Garage and Tools, organization, strollers
Posted by Lisa on July 24th, 2013
There’s been a lot of new babies in our life lately. In April, we welcomed a new daughter, our second. Both of John’s sisters are welcoming their first kids this summer and our neighbors just had their first last month. Our oldest daughter is around two and a half now and even though that still makes us fairly new parents, we feel like seasoned veterans. Gone are the days of fumbling through baby books, calling up our pediatrician once a month and scouring the internet for answers to “Is that normal? Do they all do that?” Instead, we’ve reached a level of confidence we never thought we’d get to and we got there fairly quickly. With all these new children in our lives and more than two years of bona-fide baby experience under our belts, we find ourselves doling out advice and recommendations regularly. The most frequent topic we discuss is one that had us frustrated for a few months ourselves after our first daughter was born. That topic, is of course, how to get a baby to sleep.
The holy grail of new parenthood, by far, has to be a solid night’s sleep. While it can take several weeks or months of restless nights before newborns start sleeping more than two hours straight, there are some products that we use on a nightly basis that can help us and our daughter sleep longer.
(all Photos courtesy of Amazon.com)
1. Angelcare Baby Movement Monitor. This is the number one product we recommend to our family and friends with newborns. The monitor is a battery powered base that is connected via cable to a mouse pad sized plate that goes under a crib, cradle or bassinet mattress. The plate senses movement and relays that info to the base where it is either illuminated with a bright green LED or an audible clicking sound. The idea here is that if a baby stops moving or breathing, the base will emit an audible alarm. The motion sensing plate is sensitive enough to detect a baby’s breathing and it features an adjustable sensitivity level. This product is pure peace of mind. It helped ease our worry over SIDS. The only down side is the base needs to be connected to the pad at all times and so it isn’t mobile. It needs to stay within so many feet of the crib or cradle. The good news is, however, the alarm is so loud that it normally can be heard through the regular baby monitor. We leave ours on silent to avoid hearing the constant clicking sounds and when we want to check in on her while she’s sleeping, we just look for the blinking green light. Perfect product for worriers like us.
2. Pillow Pets Dream Lites. These little stuffed animals have a mini planetarium on their back that shines a colorful night light onto the ceiling for maybe 20 or 30 minutes while the baby doses off to sleep. I’m not sure if newborns are even old enough to be afraid of the dark, but it can’t hurt to leave a little night light on for them. Our daughter usually seems to fuss less if her pillow pet is on.
3. Cloud b Sound Machine Soother. Another stuffed animal. This one plays a white noise for several minutes until the baby falls asleep. There is an adjustable volume knob and four different white noise options that include rain, ocean, whales and mother’s heartbeat. The only real concern I have with this product is that I miss it when we move our kids out of the bed side cradle and into the nursery. You may want to pick up one for yourself.
4. Swaddles. If we don’t swaddle our infant, she doesn’t sleep well. She tries to roll over or her arms and legs come perilously close to the crib slats. If she gets swaddled, she sleeps 8-10 hours a night, no lie.
5. Summer Infant Baby Touch Digital Video Monitor. Bottom line: you need one. There are a ton of baby monitor options out there and I urge you to shop around. This is the monitor we use in our home and it’s worked out well so far. So why is there a baby monitor and a motion sensor on a list of products entitled “How to Get a Baby to Sleep”? These two particular items will help parents sleep more soundly knowing they have nearly full monitoring capability of their child. It works for us.
Always check with a Pediatrician for safe parenting practices and follow the manufacturers instructions for every baby product. Pediatricians are your best source for baby related recommendations and advice. Not every product or method will work with every baby, this is just what worked for us.
Posted in Baby Stuff. Tagged in ,babies, baby sleep
Posted by John on April 18th, 2013
Happy Friday! If you haven’t heard yet, Lisa and I had our baby last weekend. We had a girl :) Now we have two daughters. We feel incredibly blessed… and also a bit tired. Lisa had a fairly quick labor and delivery. She started having contractions around 3am on Saturday and gave birth five hours later. Baby is happy and healthy and our two year old is excited and curious about her new sibling.
It’s actually been easier this time around (says the husband). When we had our first daughter we were nervous. We were constantly checking her breathing throughout the night. It’s more comfortable this time. We’re less nervous and more confident. It’s more relaxing. I would make a joke that the next three kids will be even easier, but I don’t want to push my luck!
I know a lot of our regular readers have already seen the photo above on our Instagram feed. If you’ve already said congrats, thanks! We’re just checking in to let everyone know things are great on our end and we’ll be back next week with new posts.
See you then!
Posted in Baby Stuff. Tagged in ,baby
Posted by Lisa on April 3rd, 2013
Hey there! I hope you enjoyed our last post about preparing for baby numero dos. With the finish line in sight, we’re pretty much ready to go. I need to write a post about all the baby gear expectant parents need for a newborn and I’m hoping to share a little more in depth about my make-ahead meals later, like the recipes and such, but I can’t make any promises. I’m hoping this baby shows up sooner than later!
Another necessary baby prep all nesting moms do is organize the nursery. Last weekend John completed some touch up paint and gave the nursery a deep clean (thanks!!). After that was complete, my mom and I cleaned the dresser drawers and washed all of the baby clothes. When we first set up the nursery for our daughter, I took the time to line every drawer with contact paper. I’m so glad I did that because this time around cleaning the drawers was a breeze. We used non-toxic baby surface wipes for the drawers and allowed them to air dry while we did all the baby laundry.
I organized each drawer to have a “theme” and tried my best to group like age times together (like clothes for 3 or 6 mo. old). Some items, like bedding for example, will be in the drawers temporarily until the baby comes home and we are ready to use the cradle and crib sheets. There’s no use to put them on now because they’ll just get dusty again. Also, I know once the baby arrives I will be tweaking the drawers since I will end up getting more clothes.
Here are some photos of the drawers in the nursery. We still owe you updated Nursery pics, but to be honest, it’s not much different than the last time. Oh and btw, these photos were taken at night with my iPhone, so the quality isn’t too great.
The top drawer of my changing table houses newborn diapers, wipes, and a cosmetic bag that has a baby brush, baby nail clippers, butt paste (there is such a thing), and lanolin. These are the essentials I like to keep near so I can grab an item with one hand if necessary.
I also have a drawer of washing essentials – all of my hooded towels and washcloths get placed together along with my changing pad covers.
The bottom drawer is filled with crib bedding. I have my mattress protector, waterproof pads, and multiple crib sheets tucked away nicely.
The top drawer of my tall dresser has baby socks, newborn hats, and my burp clothes and cotton bibs. I also have my activity mat in the back until I am ready to use it for baby tummy time.
Below that drawer are my long and short sleeve onsies, sized 0-3 month. I also have my 3-6 month onesies ready to go. Next to those are my gender neutral pajamas lined up as well as my printed onesie and pants. I have these items separated by fabric bins I bought a couple years ago at Ikea.
Next I have my cradle bedding, pack ‘n play bedding, boppy covers, and swaddlers.
Last but not least are my baby blankets.
There you have it – a peek into our nursery drawers. Babies sure need a lot of linens n things!
Do you have any drawer organizing tips you want to share? Anyone else buried in baby clothes?
Posted in Baby Stuff. Tagged in ,baby, nursery, organization
Posted by John on March 25th, 2013
Hey guys! First off, yesterday was Lisa’s birthday. She’s turned 25 again. It wouldn’t be appropriate to tell you how many times she’s turned 25, so let’s just stick with 25. To celebrate, we drove to Delaware to get Mexican for dinner. There aren’t any good places near us unfortunately. Although Delaware isn’t too far from us anyway.
In addition to our built-in project, which we’re nearly done, Lisa has been crazy busy getting us ready for our second baby. We think we know what’s going to hit us in a few weeks, so having one kid under our belts has been helpful. Yet despite our best preparations, we know we’ll be pretty exhausted soon enough (Lisa more so than me). Prepping for baby #2 has involved mainly going though all the infant clothes, taking inventory and washing most of them. Btw, Lisa swears by Dreft detergent for infant clothing. She loves the smell of it.
Since we don’t know what gender the next baby will be, there is only so much clothing prep we can do. Lisa actually bought an outfit for a boy and one for a girl to bring them home from the hospital in and once the baby is born, we can wash one set and return the other.
Aside from going through all the clothes, I spent this past weekend repainting the nursery. The room needed some touch ups. We had our daughter’s name in block letters hanging on the wall. I had to take those down and spackle the wall and do paint touch ups. We actually joked that maybe we should name the next baby with the same amount of letters as our daughter so we can reuse the screws in the wall. :) Unfortunately, the paint I had leftover from the first time we painted the room was much glossier than the paint on the wall and it stood out pretty visibly. So I had to repaint most of the room with a fresh can. Stinks. The room looks much, much better now though, so it doesn’t feel like a total waste. We’ll throw up some update photos shortly.
Once the baby arrives, we’re both going to be sleeping in shifts for a couple weeks. To help make life easier all around, Lisa made several make-ahead meals. A few weekends ago, she started with a couple chefs knives and some cutting boards and went to town.
She chopped up veggies and put together meal kits both for crock pot cooking and regular stove top dinners.
Even when we don’t have a newborn, Lisa and I are really bad at picking meals and cooking. We’re not picky eaters, we just don’t plan and execute dinner time very well. We end up eating out a little more often than we’d like to. By having a bunch of ready prepped dinners, it will remove the aggravation of having to decide on a meal and then run to the supermarket for supplies. While the menu of made-ahead meals won’t be huge, it’ll be extremely easy to finish the cooking process and have a great dinner.
Here’s what she made:
1. Lasagna. The containers are paper casserole dishes from Hefty and are oven ready.
2. Avocado Enchiladas.
3. Lasagna primavera
4. Peppers, onions and chicken for fajitas.
5. Beef stew
6. Bolognese sauce
So right now our freezer is busting out at the seams. We’ve been tempted to eat a couple of these made-ahead dinners, but so far we haven’t touched them yet. They’ll definitely come in handy.
So stay tuned, I’m sure we’ll be sharing some more baby related posts over the next few weeks.
I’m hoping we keep up the make ahead meal thing even after the new infant phase. It’s so convenient. Do you do any pre-made meal preps or do you tend to cook on the fly?