Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer Friends

Evan and Jaden flirting with Taylor

With the start of another fall semester, I think back and wonder how my summer could have possibly gone THAT fast!!

I had the perfect mix of part-time work with the dietetic internship and part-time (with lots of overtime) hours as a Mom. I loved all the extra time I spent with Evan and Jaden watching them grow and learn new things every day.

We had lots of adventures and met many new friends as well. I thought I’d post some pics of the new buddies and girlfriends that Evan and Jaden met throughout the summer. 

Jaden, Taylor, Lilly and Ethan in Watertown

Grant, Evan and Jaden at a lake 
near Minneapolis, MN

Mason, Jaden and Evan ready to jump 
into the pool!

 Evan, Jaden, and Rohnan in Joliet, IL

 Yup--that's a huge tree over the path! We tried to go around, but Brianne and I had to carry the strollers over the debris. 
It was an adventurous walk in the park! 

'The Bean' in Chicago with Patty & Kyle Jensen - excited to meet twin baby girls soon!

The boys are adjusting to full-time daycare again. It is fun to watch them 'play' with the other kids at daycare now that they can crawl, pull up, and of course 'share' toys!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Not quite as big of a project as our 4-foot addition we put on the house last September, but we did lots of rearranging the past couple of weeks.

Prior to having kids, Nathan and I always said we weren’t going to have toys in the living room……hmmmm….if you’ve been to our house in the last 12 months, you know that didn’t last long!! Our initial intent was a toy room in the basement. Well with babies, that’s impractical as most things I need to do in the evenings (like cook supper) are on our main level---thus, the toys in the living room.

Now that the boys are becoming more mobile – and curious – you really cannot leave them alone in the living room. 1. Jaden will find the tiny cord behind the piano that goes to the speaker or 2. Jaden will wonder what it feels like to play with dirt from the planter that is behind the papasan chair on the window sill or 3. Evan will wonder how to open the bottom portion of the gas fireplace to see all the little cords that are hiding or 4……….you get the picture!

And that is how it was decided that we would move our office upstairs and Evan and Jaden would get their very own toy room on the main level. Now, don’t worry, this was not intended to be a room that we’d shut the door and leave the kids alone for the evening! But it is a safe room for them to play with no cords, no plants, no tall furniture to tip over, just lots and lots of toys and balls and colorful things that make noise!

The top shelf makes a great home to Skype Grandparents!

So far, I am very happy with the arrangement! The boys seem to LOVE the space. I have a shelf with toys in it, and they are able to get the toys out they want to play with (Haven’t learned to put them back……..yet) and of course now Jaden has learned how to get the containers that are in the shelf out and dump them!

For the most part, they share. However, Jaden loves to open and close this little laptop toy they have, whereas Evan would prefer to actually learn from the toy and listen to the letters and numbers. Of all the toys we have in this room, these free Star Wars figurines (still in the packaging) are his favorite. He crawls all over with these in his hands. I have absolutely no idea where they came from.

This playmat is in here until we give it away as they have obviously outgrown laying on their backs- however, Jaden will plan his routes purposefully going under this ‘tunnel!’ 

Evan performing a concert for Jaden on their piano. This only lasted 2 seconds before Jaden was up playing a duet with Evan!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

DIY Baby Gate

Since several have texted for more info on the ‘baby gate’ I wrote about in my last post, I thought I would post more information and a picture.
We originally bought a baby gate that had a little door for adults to open and walk through. We tried everything to make it work, however the shape of the spindles along the banister do not allow a pressure activated gate to work. A gate that screws into the staircase would be impossible as well due to the narrow shape of the spindles on top. So I turned to Pinterest!

When I first told Nathan I was making a baby gate and needed plywood and duct tape, he said I would need to find a place to store this gate because I could only use it when I was home alone so no one would see it!! Luckily we had this piece of plywood in the garage that fit perfectly between the end spindles of the staircase. I went to JoAnn’s Fabric and bought 2 yards of a heavy upholstery fabric (54 in wide) – something other than cotton that would withstand sliding against plywood (other suggestions include duck, denim, and outdoor fabric).

I borrowed a staple gun and convinced Nathan to help me use it! I first covered the corners and bottom edge with duct tape to prevent the plywood from tearing up the fabric. Then we wrapped the plywood like a present, wrapping the fabric around the bottom edge twice, stapling only on the back side of the plywood. It only took part of an afternoon naptime to complete!

Jaden will crawl over and just look up at it. It is heavy (I need two hands to slide it over to walk around it- of course it can be done with a baby in hand, too!), but its weight makes it impossible for the boys to push it over. It is rather high for a gate, but since the piece of plywood was already a perfect width, I didn’t want to create a mess and extra work trimming the top down. It will withstand the boys pulling up to stand next to it, drumming it, etc. 

Here’s the link to Pinterest where the idea came from. Slight adaptations as they used PVC pipe for the frame and it was for a dog! The PVC pipe would likely not create a sturdy gate and could be easily moved by the boys – thus the plywood alternative.

The reason for the gate!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

11 Months!

11 months……..does this mean next month I have to start counting by years?! 

The boys’ 11th month was spent on a lot of ‘road trips’! They survived two long car rides to South Dakota, including time in Minnesota visiting Great-Grandma Remmele, and a couple days near Minneapolis visiting friends. We also all enjoyed a day in Chicago.

The boys are officially on the move. I am starting to not be able to keep up…..and I think their speed in only going to get faster! Jaden gave up the arm crawl for all-fours. He also masters the stairs, but only with adult supervision. Nathan sees it as a great workout and Jaden will go up countless times and always has a big grin on his face when he gets to the top. Because of this, we finally have a baby gate (thanks to pinterest).

Evan forego the army crawl and went straight for crawling on all fours. He was slow and steady at the start, but getting more sure of  himself everyday. He is watching his brother pull up on things and starting to do the same. It has been really fun to watch the two interact. Yes often it’s pulling hair, pushing and pulling. But at night they often talk to each other in their cribs -  giggling and cooing. I just know they are coming up with their plan of tomorrow’s adventures!