Baby on Board

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.

baby hands

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 ,

Our Nursery Drawers

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.

nursery drawer

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 ,, ,

How We Toddler Proof our Home

Posted by John on February 5th, 2013

I promised more than a couple posts this week and I aim to deliver.  Lately, we’ve been re-evaluating some of our child proofing measures.  Child proofing or toddler proofing is a moving target, at least for us anyway.  As soon as our daughter started walking last year, I went around the house and added padding to the table corners and locks to the kitchen cabinets.  At first I only needed to add a lock to the lowest drawer or door.  As she’s gotten older and more mobile, obviously her reach grew.  Now she can reach items on the countertop!  Oh and she ripped off all the corner pads from the tables.  So we’re at the point where I need to add a few more things to keep up with her.  I’ll be showing you a couple ideas I have for custom solutions in a later post, but for now, here’s a list of safety items we have around the house that work for us.. so far.

How We Toddler Proof our Home

child proof door knob

1.  Toddler Proof Door Knobs.  Yes.  Totally necessary.  Especially if your kid is smart like a Velociraptor.  We have one on all the bathroom doors and on the inside of her bedroom so she can’t walk out after we put her down to bed.  We need to add one to our pantry door now as she opens it every time she wants a snack, which is around 30 times a day.

cabinet locks for kids

child cabinet locks

2.  Cabinet Locks.  If you need these locks, buy the bottom ones.  We installed a set of the locks in the first photo and a few of them broke the rest wouldn’t latch very well.  Every drawer and cabinet door in our kitchen needs one of these.  They are a snap to install, but I haven’t been able to add any to our top drawers yet.  The drawer space is too small for my DeWalt drill.  I have an idea on this though, so stay tuned.  If you have any suggestions, let me know.

ikea bed rail

3.  Bed Rails.  We added these Vikare bed rails from Ikea that are designed to work with Ikea beds, like this Hemnes.  Even though it’s not a far drop, better safe than sorry.  There is one on each side of the bed.  They don’t run the entire length of the bed, but they should still catch her.  I love the fact that they clamp on and don’t mar the finish.

toddler gate

baby gate

baby gate for stairs

4.  Baby Gates.  These things are great.  We actually installed the first two several months before our daughter was even born to keep our dog from wandering around ripping up the place.  The first gate photo is a Munchkin and is by far our favorite.  It’s rigid, tall and nearly impossible for a child to open since the handle is high up.  You need to lift the handle pretty high while swinging open the door.  Even an adult can’t open it terribly fast.

The other hall gate is from Summer and it’s okay.  Not nearly as sturdy.  The gate action is fairly weak.  It could probably stand to be tightened up on our end though.  So far so good though.

The bottom photo is the gate at the top of our stairs.  What I love about this unit is it doesn’t need to be screwed into the wooden newel posts on either side.  It gets strapped and taped on.  The gate has a bottom and a top catch for added rigidity.  We got it at Babies R Us, where we bought the other two.

5.  Strapping furniture to the wall.  Hugely important.  Apparently there have been hundreds of kids killed by furniture falling on them.  We’ll show you how we prevent this in a later post.  If you tether the furniture to the wall, you can easily prevent this sort of accident.

Since I don’t want to end this post on a somber note, how about a picture to encourage everyone to switch to round knobs…


Posted in Baby Stuff,Kitchen. Tagged in ,, ,

YHL Book Signing and a New Addition

Posted by John on January 31st, 2013

Hey guys!  Hope everyone is doing well.  I apologize if you’ve expected more posts out of us, but lately we’ve been a bit busy.  I think we’re going to drown you in posts next week though, so you have that to look forward to!  Stay tuned for those.

In other news, Lisa and I went to the Young House Love book signing in NYC this past Wednesday evening.  Beforehand, we met up with another blogger friend of ours, Kristen, from Popcorn on the Stove.  We read her blog all the time and it was fun getting to hang out.  If you haven’t read her blog yet, check it out.  Luckily, she knows the city pretty well and took us to a great pizza place after the signing.

john and sherry young house love book signingJohn and Sherry were extremely friendly.  Very chatty.  It helped with our nervousness!  The signing started at 6:30 and we got in line around 5:30 or so.  It was a good idea, because the line was huge by the time the signing started.

After they signed our book, there was some light refreshments and a photobooth…

prego lisawhich brings us to our new addition!  Lisa and I are having another baby!  BOOM!  Lisa is actually pretty far along now and she’s due in April!  Since we don’t already show our first daughter on the blog, we’re not planning on showing this child either, but we wanted to share the news anyway.  So now you know!  Oh and we don’t know what we’re having.

A few months ago, I dropped a hint in a post (Lisa had me quickly redact that comment shortly after she became aware of it) that we had some big news coming soon.  Before I had a chance to delete the text, Michelle from Decor and the Dog guessed this:

decor and the dog commentAmazingly enough, she was right on both accounts.  A short time after this comment, we setup our Ektorp couch in our sitting room!

So we have plenty of work ahead of us.  We’ll bring you up to speed next week.  Enjoy your weekend!

Posted in Blogging. Tagged in ,,

Storage for Baby Gear

Posted by Lisa on March 14th, 2012

.. Shh don’t tell my husband but I am writing a post right now!! He is downstairs woodworking on those cabinet drawers that are taking forever.

I thought I would share what I have been up to.  Since the birth of our awesome daughter we have been compiling a lot of baby gear and clothes  My mom suggested we get gear that has at least 2 functions (what a great idea!).  For example, baby girl has a exersaucer that she can sit in, move around in, and also walk around and bang on.  It’s great.

As for her clothes, after she has grown out of them, I have been throwing them into a three drawer plastic Sterilite dresser inside John’s closet.  That worked for the first year, and now I have run out of space.  Now I am putting her outgrown clothes into an extra dresser we have in our guest room.  I am definitely ready for a change.

One of our projects down the line is do finish our basement.  I would love if we could have a storage room that I could have all the same plastic totes for storage and they all would be beautifully labeled.  Until then, I am constantly moving things around until they are in a space I can deal with.

I have been perusing the web for storage ideas.  I am okay with placing the clothes in storage bins (and having them labeled properly) but I need some help with storing all of the gear.  So far I have a cradle, a swing, a baby rainforest mat, bottles, some toys, and so on!  The smaller items fit into bins I already have but I am having difficulty with the larger items.  I need some help.  Right now all of these items are scattered around our upstairs hiding randomly in closets – and this is not how I want to store them!

I don’t even know if we have an attic to store items in, and if we did I probably wouldn’t want them there because I would be afraid to go up there by myself, and the basement is out of the question as well.  Basements really scare me and I haven’t been in our basement since last year during Hurricane Irene when there was a tornado warning!

I also want to mention that I am not holding on to every item that belongs to her.  At least once a month I donate one bag to Good Will filled with John’s and my clothes and baby girl’s clothes and toys.  We are so fortunate to have so much that I want to be able to help other people as well!

Oh yea, I also wanted to share this post I found about re-purposing out grown baby clothes (part two can be found here).  Although I am not a seamstress I think a few of these I could actually do with a needle and thread!

Anyways, it’s not only the baby gear that is getting to me.  I feel like slowly we are accumulating more and more stuff and I am trying to organize it the best I can! I am really looking forward to starting the basement project to plan my dream storage room – lol!

So friends, I (we) need your help!  Anyone have some good tips for storage throughout the house and tricks for keeping baby items organized!? Thank you!

Posted in Baby Stuff. Tagged in ,, ,

100th Post … Baby Birthday Party!!!

Posted by Lisa on February 7th, 2012

Well kids it’s here – our 100th post.  I know some of you are regular readers, and some are not, but I just want to take a minute and say thanks for the support and comments and of course keep them coming!!  We’re having fun with this blog thing so I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy writing it.  We certainly enjoy reading yours!!

If it was up to me I would post entirely on our 100th post – and discuss our most popular posts, our most disliked posts, most comments, and so on and so on.  But, I am contractually obligated by my hubs to post about the first birthday party (so I don’t get any dirty looks!).

The theme of the party was cupcakes and everything was pink of course!

Here are some pictures from right before the party:

Cake pops… so rich!

Baby’s “Smash” cake…

Everything went really well.  We had a wonderful time.  Can’t wait til her next one!

Later this week, I will be posting on how I made the banner (not shown), cake pops, cookies, and decorations in separate posts so stop by. 


Posted in Baby Stuff,Cooking,Holiday. Tagged in ,, , ,

Assemble an Ikea Product without Losing Your Mind

Posted by John on January 20th, 2012

Yeeeppp.  Like most DIYers, Lisa and I are big fans of Ikea products.  My first bedroom after college was ALL ikea furniture (It’s currently our guest bedroom digs).  For Christmas, my mom bought our daughter the Ikea Moose Rocking Chair.  We’ve put off assembling it for a few weeks with all the floor projects and general grand plan happenings, but yesterday I made some time to finally get it built for her.  I thought this would be a good opportunity to mention some tips that I use when I’m building some Swedish modular furniture.


1.  First things first.  Find a flat area where you can open up the box.  I need to do this on the countertop because Finnie will be stealing half the package if I don’t.



2. Next thing I do is go thru the entire box and sort all the pieces out. I’ll leave the screws and small metal bits in the bag though. You basically want to make sure nothing is missing or damaged. I also throw out all the plastic foamy wrap stuff.


3. All Ikea products are designed to be assembled without glue.  However, most of them come with wooden dowels. I ALWAYS glue wooden dowels. I feel that it adds additional strength to the dowel joints, especially for something that my daughter will be sitting on. You wouldn’t want to use wood glue on something that you may need to take apart in the future. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to glue together a huge shelving system that needs to be broken down when you move out of your apartment.  Not a good idea.




4. Once I get into the actual assembly with the fasteners, I pay careful attention to the holes on the parts.  Almost all of Ikea products have mirror like parts, so it’s easy to accidentally screw part A into part D, when A was supposed to go into part E.  They usually have minor differences to distinguish between them.  I always double check the procedures before I start gluing or screwing something together.  Keep an eye on the wood glue too. As you tighten down on the screws, the glue will want to squeeze out of the joints. It can be wiped off with a damp paper towel.  Also, it’s a good idea to sort all the screws into little piles to keep them organized.





5. Whenever I start connecting major parts together, like the red seat to the bottom rails, I make sure I get each screw started before I tighten any one down all the way.  You can see in both photos above that feature the screws that I have ALL of them in at once.

This will go great in the baby’s play room!

Do you have any Ikea survival tips?

Posted in Baby Stuff. Tagged in ,,

Little Pumpkin Baby Shower

Posted by Lisa on October 12th, 2011

Last Fall my Mom (and Dad) threw me (and John) and our little one to be a beautiful baby shower. The theme was “Lisa and John’s Little Pumpkin.” I was thrilled! We did not find out the gender, so everything was neutral. The pumpkin idea was great (…and you know how much I love pumpkins!).

We had a lunch at a historical hotel followed by dessert and gifts.

The invitation was from Simply Cre8tive – it turned out great!

My Mom set up a clothes line with pictures of John and I growing up with an adorable onesie for the little one.

Two prize baskets …. filled with fall themed godies.

Table decor – of course it was pumpkin and fall themed!

Yummy dessert trays!

.. and the amazing cake!

I requested to make the favor. My mom said it should be something fall themed. I made pumpkin cake pops for everyone to enjoy.

.. and just for fun we snapped a few shots of the two of us. All pictures courtesy of Elissa Tuerk Photography.

It was a beautiful fall day for the shower and everything was amazing. My parents were so generous to throw us such a wonderful shower. I love them both so much!

The best part of the entire day was that my mom asked everyone for donations for a local charity that helps women who are pregnant with necessities such as baby wash, diapers, and wipes. Everyone was so generous with their donations we had much to donate to the charity. I am truly blessed with such a wonderful family.

Thank you Mom and Dad for your generosity and love this special day and every day!

Posted in Baby Stuff,Cooking,Crafts,Fall. Tagged in ,

Baby Proofing

Posted by John on September 9th, 2011

So for about the last month, our baby girl has been crawling all over the place.  She’s even walking while keeping her hands on the couches!!  It’s CRAZY!!  At only seven months old now, we’re very proud of our little mover and shaker.  While it’s a ton of fun to chase her around our family room, we’re starting to realize we can’t monitor her EVERY SINGLE MOVE ALL THE TIME.  Moreover, once she starts walking, it’s only going to get harder and harder to keep her from getting into trouble.  So, it’s finally come time to aggressively baby proof!

As every parent of a newborn knows, the baby proofing thing is more of a gradual process than an overnight setup.  Even before we had the baby, we’ve had a schnauzer that loves to cause havoc any chance we give him.  So, to keep him in line, we’ve had a couple baby gates up since we moved in.  Thus, we’ve gotten used to the whole concept and already have a good chunk of the requisite hardware installed even before she was born.

Now it’s time to add the safety devices that are more designed to keep a baby in motion from getting hurt.

So this is what we’re adding..

1.  Furniture corner cushions and cabinet locks

The furniture cushions go on in about 30 seconds with double sided tape….

And transform this regular looking TV stand..

Into this awkward, yet baby safe cushion corner…

Yes, that’s an Expendables DVD that is sitting on our TV stand, so what?  That Netflix disc  has been sitting in our house since the beginning of August.  No plans to watch it.  None.

I even added cushions to the front corners of our matching Raymour and Flanigan end tables.  Many-a-time have I cracked my knee against the bare corner of these end tables chasing the dog.  Never again.

Next, I installed a cabinet door lock.  We got these at Baby’s R Us if you can’t tell by the label.  For now, I’m only going to install one of them, I’ll save the rest for this weekend. Surprisingly, I didn’t need to pre-drill for my wood screws.  By putting enough pressure on the screw with my cordless drill, I was able to screw the fasteners right into the hardwood.  Jackpot.

The top latch installs about 1.5″ from the opening of the door.  Once that’s in place, the other piece goes onto the door.  This took about 5 minutes. Of course I have about 15 more to do!

You’ll have to line up the arm piece with the latch to determine a good position on the door.

Once the lock is installed, I set the height of the arm so it will catch without slipping, but still be easy enough to work without a lot of pressure.

2.  Next up are our baby gates.  These have been installed for sometime.

3.  The electrical outlet covers.  Luckily, since our home is new construction, our outlets have built-in baby protectors, so we won’t need to add them.  These outlets protect children from shock by preventing anything from being inserted into them except actual electrical cords.  It’s kinda hard to even plug a real electrical device into these, forget anything else!

4.  Glass protection: TBD.  One whole side of our kitchen island is glass cabinet doors.  I’m pretty sure these doors are plate glass too and not tempered.  Plate glass can break in large sharp pieces if our baby hits it hard enough.  That can result in very serious injuries.  Tempered glass is most often suggested as an alternative, due to it’s high strength.  If it does break, it shatters into hundreds of bite-sized pieces, also not appealing.  So we may just end up removing the glass doors and replacing them with solid wood until our kid(s) are old enough to know not to smash them.

So, is there anything we forgot?  How did you baby proof?  What were your challenges?

Posted in Baby Stuff. Tagged in ,

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