one year old

Today our youngest- and probably our last- child turned one!

I have been reflecting on this moment a lot over the past month (this mama is emotional with three birthdays occurring in November). This is what I have to say.

Every few years, since the moment I turned 30, I have been blessed with a new baby. This has not been lost on me. Married relatively young at 24, for the longest time we never wanted children and went out of our way to prevent them. And because life never works out the way you plan it, when we finally did start trying for one, it took a few very emotionally taxing years to conceive. Once my eyes glanced upon those two pink lines my old life was over and my new life began. Then again, and again, and again.

Motherhood. For me, nothing compares to the role of being a stay-at-home-mother and wife. This is where I am needed most and I wouldn’t trade it for all of the wealth in the world. It has been exactly seven wonderful years of making, growing, and raising babies. If this is our last one, it has been the best thing that I have ever accomplished.

I feel undeserving and yet so grateful for each of my children- on earth and in heaven. You, Beau Beau, are a huge blessing. We love you to the end of the universe and back. Thank you for being ours.

Happy first birthday!!!

Mama

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making sure your home is safe for your climbing baby or toddler

We all know that we have to baby-proof when a baby comes along. It is pretty much common sense. It keeps our homes safe, but more importantly, our children.

But what about when you have a climber?

Yes – that is right. A climber. You might have the next mountaineering legend on your hands. How old they are when they start to discover the joy of climbing up on your couch, the windowsill, the kitchen sides or even scaling the stairs when your back is turned depends entirely on your child. Some will do it as soon as they are crawling or bum-shuffling, others wait until they are confident walkers. Some children are not naturally climbers and this is not anything to worry about either – as long as your child is reaching most of their milestones, such as their 8 month old newborn development milestones – there really is no problem if they do not climb everything in sight. Of course, if you are worried about your child’s physical development at all, reach out to your doctor or child health professional.

If you are blessed with a baby climber though, you may be wondering how on earth you are meant to keep them safe from harm while also allowing them to explore and have fun. Here, we share some tips to help you with making your home safe for your climbing baby or toddler.

Image via Unsplash

Super tall baby gates

If you have a younger climber, investing in a set of tall baby gates can be the difference between them staying downstairs where you left them and finding them at the top of the stairs. Opt for stair gates that have vertical bars and no horizontal footholds for them to get onto.

But you should also consider removing the baby gates

Yes, we know this completely contradicts the previous point, but once your child gets to a height where they are able to even attempt climbing up the gate, it is a good idea to take them off. They are incredibly useful for smaller kids, but once they learn to get up and over those, they can be more dangerous than having them on. It is particularly important to take any off at the top of the stairs, to stop them from climbing over and taking a tumble all the way down.

Secure tall furniture to the wall

In fact, secure any furniture that you can to the wall. Bookcases, media centers, shelving units, drawers, dressers and even wardrobes can seem like great fun to a wannabe mountaineer, but they are also very easy to pull over. A heavy bookcase landing on top of a toddler is not a scenario anyone ever wants to experience. Furniture anchors and straps are easily available online and are relatively easy to fit. It really is not worth the risk of not doing it.

Move the ladders and step stools

Ladders and stools are really useful to have around, especially if you are on the short side. There is no need to be climbing on chairs or tables to reach that mug or plate. However, imagine how much fun they are for kids that love climbing?

In the same vein, take care if you have older children with bunk beds or high cabin beds. Children should be at least five before being up on the top bunk. If you do have younger children around who may be tempted by the ladders, consider buying a ladder guard that slides over them when they are not in use.

Think about drawer handles

This is one you might not have thought about, but drawer handles make excellent footholds for a mini mountaineer. If you have a particularly adventurous child, you might want to consider removing them for a while until they have grown out of the climbing.

Locks on cabinets and cupboards

We all know when we have a baby on the move to secure cupboards that are low down to stop little hands from getting into cupboards that they shouldn’t, but we often forget about this as they get bigger. A toddler could climb on the toilet or the side of the bath and reach for the toiletries, medicine cupboard or cleaning cupboard. They might get into your makeup and redecorate your walls with your favourite lipstick, or empty the DVD cabinet and post them through the letterbox. You do not have to lock away everything, but consider what and where they can reach, and the hazards they may pose to your child.

Locks or catches on kitchen appliances

Serious danger awaits climbers who learn how to open household appliances like the washing machine and dryer, as well as the refrigerator and freezer. Installing locks or at the very least catches that deny them entry will put you one step ahead of them. There is nothing quite like a toddler who has discovered the joy of opening and closing the washing machine or tumble dryer, but you do not want them in danger, so do it as soon as possible.

Put covers on the door knobs and handles

The next best solution is to physically keep your climber out of areas with doors, since baby gates may not be able to restrict him or her.

Every handle should have a knob or handle cover on it, and doors should always be closed while exiting a room. This is particularly important for the bathroom, kitchen and utility room – ad definitely any doors leading to the outside of your home.

Keep tables clear

The truth is that you are going to have a hard time keeping your climber away from your table.

The only way to keep your kids from hopping from chair to table is to remove all of your chairs. However, for the vast majority of families, this would be a drastic and highly inconvenient step.

An alternative is to ensure that there is nothing on the table that could tempt them or increase the risk of their actions when they are up there. Tablecloths, glass dishes, and other decorations should be taken down until your child is no longer in this phase.

Consider how safe your stairs are

Depending on your child’s age and the design of your stairwell, this may take a different form.

Is it possible to teach your climber how to go up and down safely in a way that they can understand? Whether or if your stairs are carpeted is an important question. At the bottom of the stairwell, is there concrete, wood, or carpet? Is it possible to install a baby gate that is tall enough to keep your youngster away from the stairs? Consider all of these elements and devise a strategy. No matter how careful you are, it may be necessary to restrict access if the stairwells are too dangerous to use. However, it is possible to teach certain climbers to utilize stairways, so keep this in mind when weighing the risks and rewards.

Create a safe space for them to climb

You are never going to stop them from climbing, so the next best thing is to create a spce for them to climb. You can buy tri climbs which are safe, indoor climbing frames to encourage safe physical play. Other alternatives are to give them lots of time at play parks or in the garden on climbing frames, which allows them to do it safely.

** This was a contributed post.

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wilder is three!

Our sweet boy Wilder turns 3 years old today!

This last year was quite the challenge. It was filled with much independence and many tantrums. Lately, though, the days have been getting much easier and we can see him returning back to his usual happy and funny self. These terrible twos are almost a thing of the past!

He still loves all things vehicles, books, and doing anything that Remy is doing. He is also affectionate and likes constant company and to be carried around. He is very independent and prefers to tackle all new tasks and things on his own. Only if he can’t get it will he ask for help.

He loves to laugh and will try to get others to laugh as well, either by acting silly or telling jokes. He’s always up for anything. I am looking forward to seeing how he acts towards a new baby in the family!

We love our little brat more than anything. Happy Birthday Wilder!!

xoxo Mama

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wilder is two

Our beloved boy will be turning 2 years old on Sunday.

He has changed so much over this past year, going from no teeth to now 18 of them, he is potty trained, talks, sings, knows his colours and ABCs, and so much more! He loves vehicles, animals, and books.

He truly lives up to his wild name, and we couldn’t love him more! Happy birthday, big boy!!

Emory

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remy is four

I have been putting off writing this post for several reasons. One is because it is a daunting task to sum up just how much Remy has grown, mentally and emotionally, over the past year. Another part of me is in disbelief that my oldest child is now four. At the same time, I am so incredibly proud of this four-year-old.

If somebody told me to write one last letter to my daughter, this is what it would say.

To Remy on your birthday week,

You are one smart cookie. You can count to 100, forwards and backwards, can spell too many words to keep track of, know the words to an immeasurable amount of songs, can name almost any dinosaur, and have started writing on your own. You love to learn and it shows. I have a feeling that you will easily excel in school.

You are the sweetest girl and do not have a mean bone in your body. Sometimes you get frustrated and yell, but it’s more out of not understanding your big emotions as opposed to hate or malice. If you get a time out, you come out of your room saying “I’m so sorry mum, or I’m so sorry dad.” You have never physically harmed any living thing. I’ve witnessed a few children hit or kick you and run away and you never defend yourself. It is always me who runs over to you to tell you that they shouldn’t do that. I’ve also seen Po knock you down countless times, and you just get up and brush yourself off. You are so strong and so gentle.

You are polite. You always say please and thank you and ensure that everyone has what you have.

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You are sporty. If I had to choose a favourite right now I would say that it was either swimming or gymnastics. But you also love to dance, your trampoline, your aim and power with kicking a soccer ball is incredible, you love running, jumping, climbing “snow mountains,” parks, and our daily walks. You’re just an active girl.

You have never come across an animal that you didn’t love. Or want to take home. You beg me everyday to go to the zoo and a pet store. Sometimes I catch you watching hamster videos on YouTube during your afternoon quiet time, which is probably why you ask us now for a hamster.

You also love reading, travelling, dinosaurs, toys, running errands, playing, vehicles, music, clothes, crafts, baking, family, and children. You honestly have such a zest for life and there isn’t really anything you don’t like (except strange men).

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You went from being one of the biggest introverts I had ever seen to blossoming into a social butterfly. You are every child’s biggest cheerleader (see above) and “best friend.” You do not discriminate. You make sure that everyone is included in all things and at all times. You lead the way and ensure that everyone follows. Please keep up that attitude throughout all of your years.

You are still shy around adults that you don’t know very well, and need to practise sharing with your brother. Aside from that, and even with that, you are perfect.

I could go on and on about you. You are one of my greatest achievements, and I just know that you are going places. I love you I love you I love you. Happy fourth birthday, darling girl!

Love Mama

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