Friday, May 9, 2014

DIY Baby Gate

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Our little girl is well into the mobility phase. She is an army crawler – partly because she is just so desperate to keep up with her brothers she hasn’t learned to knee crawl and partly because she likes to grab something in each hand and chew on it periodically as she moves about. Even being an army crawler she’s pretty fast.
I set up our baby gate a while back to have security if I needed to run downstairs to answer the door or anything and needed to leave her upstairs. Our gate that we had was fine and all, but the opening is pretty narrow and got to be a pain when going through with laundry or a flailing/screaming 2 year old.
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This gate is wonderful because I can open it and it is completely out of the way and against the wall. I actually tried a version of this when we first moved into this house but it was flimsy and didn’t turn out as I hoped. This version however, is perfect!
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and apparently pretty tasty!
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The components are very simple, unfortunately I didn’t take step by step pictures because I mostly got to work on it in the garage (poor lighting) during naptime or after the kids were in bed, but here is a run down…

The main components are an old crib rail,1x4”s, and a gate latch. The crib rail I found in the trash a couple years ago and has had a few lives. Basically you just cut the 1x4”s to be a frame for the crib rail and nail together with finish nails. If you’d like, you can fill the seams with wood filler, let dry, then sand.
DIY Baby Gate

Then just paint it the color you’d like. I had several paint samples laying around so I used up a can coating it in a nice gray. Once the paint is dry, attach the hinges to the gate, then have someone help you to hang it on the wall. With as heavy as this is, a stud if pretty much require. You wouldn’t want this ripping out of the wall! Finally, attach the gate latch.
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I used a left over piece of 1x4” behind the latch to make sure it met the gate before it hit and damaged our wall.
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There you go…a sturdy baby gate that can be opened completely and it’s easy for my 4 year old to open. My two year old isn’t able to open it when coming up the stairs and I think I like that…haha. I can keep him from sneaking upstairs while I’m making dinner and dumping every since puzzle on the floor Smile with tongue out.
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I love how it turned out and it only cost me about $6 because I had everything but the 1x4”s on hand.

What kind of baby gate do you use? Are you able to get through it pretty easy?

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 2, 2014

DIY Baby Food in a Crockpot

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I love this age that Cadence is at right now. She’s army crawling around the house, exploring everything she can, and starting to eat new foods. I do enjoy making food for her and it doesn’t have to be a lot of work. When I was making baby food for Ben, I experimented with cooking sweet potatoes in a crockpot and it worked out really well. Check out the original post HERE. Anyway, I had an idea to make multiple foods at once and see how that would work.

I lined the crockpot with tin foil. I find it is really hard to clean if you don’t line it.

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I peeled and cut the sweet potatoes and put them in the bottom (in the future I’d put them on top)

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I put another sheet of foil on top then put apples on top of that. So I would reverse this because the apples have a higher water content so the liquid pooled at the bottom.

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Put it on high for about 3 hours until the fruits or veggies are tender.

To puree the apples I scooped the flesh out of the skin and put it in a blender with a little of the liquid that pooled at the bottom. Blend until smooth, may need to add more water.

For the sweet potatoes, I did similarly. Put them in the food processor (because I was lazy and didn’t want to wash the blender, ha!) Add filtered water and blend until smooth. I use this pitcher because it is the only one to filter out lead!

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Then you just divide them into your containers. Fruits and veggies that have a high water content (apples, pears, zucchini, etc) will make fewer portions since you won’t need to add water. I think I did like 4 apples and 2 sweet potatoes this round…I had a question about where I got my storage containers. These are from Babies R Us and there are a bunch of other great options on Amazon as well.

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Later in the week I made some more apples and a bag of carrots.

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 Do you enjoy making baby food? What is your or your baby's favorite? If you'd like more baby food recipes, check out these posts...HERE
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