Baby-proofing the house has been a challenge. I’m sure everyone deals with this in their own way. When we first moved in we put things where it made sense. Then Alexander started crawling, and sitting up, and suddenly books and DVDs needed to move. The television needed to move. We ended up pulling a lot of stuff out of the living room but that wasn’t enough. He could get into the kitchen, dining room and down the hall and none of those areas were safe. The wood stove is in the dining room. So we barricaded the entrance to the dining room and kitchen with large plastic tubs that we could step over but it would keep him confined.

But that proved to be a pain. Particularly for Poppy as the jumping over the tubs aggravated her bad knee. Plus there has been plenty of stumbling and tripping. Not good.

We tried purchasing a gate that could span the wide entrance to the dining room but it arrived broken. We sent it back and the replacement came broken too. We gave up on that option and talked about building something ourselves. Then before we knew it Alexander wasn’t only crawling but standing up and cruising around. For awhile the barricades still held but he’s started using his strength to simply shove the tubs out of his way. Poppy helped, she showed him that they could be pushed by squeezing between them. So we had to move fast and get something up.

Gate Access Only

The new wood gate runs along the front of Kate’s table/desk area and then has a gate across the entrance. It’s easy to operate with one hand and can keep the dogs in the dining room and Alexander safe in the other room. Because it is past the front door it gave Alexander a new area, about 3′ x 6′ with a different floor to explore. He spent a lot of time last night playing in that new area. He also walked around the gate/barrier testing it for any weaknesses, trying to squeeze between the slats (too small), and generally checking to see if there was any way he could get through. It held against the baby onslaught!

The gate and barricade along the table is made from our old futon frame that we hauled along from the apartment because we figured that we’d find a use for it. We picked up the hinges, latch, nails and a spare board that I used to mount the hinges. Using the frame made it much easier to put up quickly. It’s functional at least. Another piece will be used to block off the hallway. Once I get the repainted kitchen cupboard doors up and secured then Alexander will be able to go into the kitchen too. I’m sure he’ll be excited.


The trees outside our gate were growing up into the power lines so we wanted to remove them. When Ryan’s parents visited for Xander’s 1st birthday they brought along their chain saw and that Saturday Ryan and his dad removed the trees.

Trees by the gate

Here you can see the cluster of trees growing into the power lines.


Ricky cutting down the trees.

While Ricky cut down the trees with the chainsaw, Ryan chopped up all the branches.


Our loppers got a workout!

We got a pile of firewood, a bunch of kindling, an easier to open gate, but most importantly our trees won’t be responsible for any power outages. We couldn’t have done it without Ryan’s Dad’s help. Thank you Ricky!