Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Getting Into EVERYTHING!

Things Amelia has managed to "discover" in our house recently:
1) our HDTV in the basement (and proceeds to hit it)
2) the DVD/VCR player in the living room (which she sticks her fingers into)
3) a basket of her books and small toys that I had on a shelf (which she repeatedly pulled down on top of herself until I removed the basket and just tossed the items on the shelves)
4) the plant (we had spanish moss on top of the soil which I removed earlier, then added river rock to cover the soil until my husband reminded me that she could choke on them, and so we were down to uncovered soil until Saturday, when she ate two handfuls...the soil is currently under a couple of towels, but now she's started pulling up on the pot and starts pulling on the leaves!)
5) a box of cliff bars and two boxes of pop that we keep on the floor in our dining room (she pulls out the bars and the pops and distributes them across the floor - thank god she hasn't figured out how to pull the blanket off of our tailgating tub - she'd be in the Vodka in no time!)
6) the pantry, but only when I leave it open for any small amount of time (and then she likes to toss around the two cans of chicken that are laying on the floor due to lack of shelf space, or she manages to stick her hands into the bag of pigs ears for the dog, which requires a thorough hand washing!)
7) the stairs - she pulls up on the bottom steps, but may figure out how to climb up after the kitty soon!


I knew that we'd have to make some adjustments around the house, and had even started the process prior to her mobilization, however, I was not prepared for the total rehaul that we're going to have to do in order to live with a crawling, and eventually walking, baby! At this point, our main floor living room is the main issue. I had already removed all of the DVDs from her reach (mounted wall shelves for some and the rest went into the drawers of our new TV stand in the basement), and had found a large basket that fit onto the lowest shelf of our ladder bookshelf that could be used to store blankets so that she wouldn't hurt herself if she pulled it down on top of herself (the basket, not the bookshelf, which is another story entirely). I had also removed all of the framed pictures from the lower shelf and replaced them with another smaller basket, which I filled with some of her books and toys (which I mentioned above). But, in the last week, I've had to remove everything from the next shelf up, and we have to be careful what we put on the lower few stairs, since she found daddy's work phone and pager and proceeded to toss them across the room last night!

I realize that I'm going to have to let go of a little bit of control when it comes to the house (and already have as she continually leaves little disasters in her wake...), but I need some easy, creative, and SAFE ideas on how to "decorate" or simply organize my house in a way that is still baby-friendly without being a constant play area. So, I'm posting a few pics of (her getting into things) areas that need some help, and I'm looking for any ideas that you may have!

Here you can see our (now empty) bookcase that has acted as a TV stand for the past five years. I know we need a new stand, but due to space limitations and the fact that it has to remain in a corner, we haven't found anything that has fit the bill. So for now, it stays.

The plant. I know I could (and probably should) just move it, but we don't have a lot of spaces that would be safe from her and still allow the plant adequate sun. I've had this guy for 8(!) years, so I'd like him to stay healthy. I already removed the peace plant from our dining room into the office (which is off-limits to everyone at this point since it's been taken over with extra baby stuff!). We have another, smaller version of this guy in our bedroom, which I had to elevate to keep her from getting into it (it's small enough that if she pulls it down, it'll do far less harm than the one pictured below, which virtually cannot be elevated).

We also have a built-in shelf that I've removed everything from the bottom two shelves, and will eventually have to remove the top shelf pictures from. I think I may get some bins or a magazine holder that fits in here, but am a little concerned that she'll just pull it down on top of herself (and if it's holding magazines, that would be pretty heavy!).

Meanwhile, we're working on moving our homemade wine (90 bottles now) down into the basement onto a wire shelving unit that can accommodate the weight. She has already discovered the 60 bottles we have on a pew in our dining room, but until she can actually reach the top bottles, she can't do too much to them. We spent most of the weekend bottling the new 30 bottles, reorganizing our storage area in the basement to make room for the additional wine, as well as David's multitude of bikes (3 and counting...at least for the ones that need to stay in the house), and then our garage, to make room for the things that we moved out of the basement to make room for the wine and the bikes.

Obviously it's time to just move into a bigger house. Surely, that would solve all of our problems, right?


J-Funk said...

AHAHAHA!! Man, we are at the beginning of this and I see it does not get better. Our living room currently looks like a tornado went through it - anything we set down on the floor, the coffee table, the couch, or the TV stand gets strewn all over the place. Fortunately we have lots of extra room in the basement so we have slowly been moving everything down there. One thing that might work for you is a 'baby fence' to fence off an area that she can't get to (is your place big enough?) - some of the moms in our baby group have done this. But maybe the fences don't work as well for the big 9-month olds.

Redevetter said...

Well, for one you will just have to lower your standards for neatness. This also might be a good time to start teaching the word 'NO.' However, as you teach the word NO, give in on a few things to give her some control, and that she's allowed to explore. So maybe teach NO on the plant, but decide that you can live with DVDs on the floor. Teach NO on breakables, but when she's going for that direct her attention to a basket of toys that she can explore, or a mixing bowl full of utensils. Anything that's NOT a toy is the best 'toy' right now. It just gets more fun from here... :)

Redevetter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MJ said...

All good ideas! Thanks girls!