A while ago, we shared on Instagram that we've been working hard to prepare Jack and CC for the upcoming arrival of the newest little. So many of you left comments and messages with your own helpful tips, and we've been taking notes ever since! We also had a handful of requests to share what we're doing to set their expectations, and while our experience is unique to us based on our specific needs, we're glad to dive further into what we've been doing, how they've been responding and further the conversation with all of you. It's no secret that our pups (and Libby!) clearly rule this roost, and they're the lights of our lives on a level that cannot be considered normal (and we're A-okay with that). Our goal is to always, always, always set them up for success, which is why we're mindful to enforce rules around the home; the systems we've put in place thus far work…

  • Cheryl - December 14, 2017 - 6:16 AM

    When our first daughter was born we had a rescue pup that was skittish around new people. Our pup loved to lay on the landing of the stairs going up to the second floor so when she began to crawl we taught him to go there when he had had enough of her and her that when he was there he was off limits. It will be awhile before that happens in your life, but something to think about! Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • stephanie scherer - December 14, 2017 - 7:12 AM

    great post! Im a dog mama in the early stages of introducing my pup to my partners children from a previous marriage, and even with the age difference, this was helpful to read. thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle | Birds of Berwick - December 14, 2017 - 7:15 AM

    These tips are so helpful even if you don’t have kids! We have two dogs and are working so hard on every one of these things just to allow people to enter our house! We’ve got a puggle who is admittedly much harder to train but is easy with everyone. We also rescued a coon hound who is very fearful of new people and turns it into aggression. Through many of these tips and months of work we were able to host people in our house during Thanksgiving and it made us all so much happier and put Bogey much more at ease. That said…small children and babies who are crawling are a “no” and he still manages to terrify them, but it’s a work in progress!ReplyCancel

  • Tricia - December 14, 2017 - 7:30 AM

    Wow, this is wonderful! Such great training tips. Something else that we did was try to teach our crawling daughter that the dog’s bed was off limits. That way the dog knew it was a safe space to take a break. Our daughter wasn’t trained as easily as a dog (lol) but she definitely responded to redirection and praise to leave it alone. My daughter just turned 4 but we have another one on the way so thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 14, 2017 - 9:10 AM

      Ooh, great point. That’s going to be equally as important to teach her what’s off limits. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - December 14, 2017 - 7:59 AM

    I’m sure you have already read tips about the day you bring home your new baby, but this is what worked well for us with our dogs and cats and with two kids. Take/steal the first hospital newborn blanket she is wrapped in (its the smelliest). Then one of you enter the house first with just the blanket (baby is left in car with someone). Introduce the animals to the blanket smell, then bring in baby. We have found that the dogs quickly understand the new hierarchy and after initial curiosity everyone adapts…except the cats because they are always “in charge”. ps. keep those dirty diapers securely thrown away. Its pretty much the most disgusting thing to clean up- a eaten dirty diaper.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 14, 2017 - 9:09 AM

      Yes, we went over that as well! And so true about the cats. :DReplyCancel

  • erin - December 14, 2017 - 7:59 AM

    this is absolutely wonderful! i love that you’re working hard to still have the pets as a part of your lives even when a new baby is coming. i wish more people would do this because pets aren’t something you can just ignore and discard if a new family member comes into your lives.

    Training is so essential, and i think everyone is that much better for it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 14, 2017 - 9:09 AM

      We completely agree, but by far the hardest part is sticking to it! Training only works with a lot of persistence and practice. We don’t want to give anyone the illusion that it’s easy.ReplyCancel

      • Rachel - December 14, 2017 - 11:15 AM

        I always say dog training is fundamentally simple, but not easy. The concepts are simple once you start to think how your dog things, but the implementation and consistency are SOOOO hard! You guys are awesome though and I’m sure the work you’re putting in will pay off big time with happy dogs and kiddo :)ReplyCancel

  • Liz - December 14, 2017 - 8:01 AM

    I love you guys for doing this. Wish all new parents who already have fur kids were as thoughtful and committed as you guys are.ReplyCancel

  • Beret - December 14, 2017 - 9:41 AM

    The Travall gate guard is the BEST thing ever. To anyone wondering, it is worth every penny. I had a cheaper version first and I would have to adjust it every single time we got in and out of the car. Good luck with the training!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 14, 2017 - 9:51 AM

      Couldn’t agree more, glad to hear you endorse it as well! We also bought a few less expensive versions of the gate, but CC would ALWAYS find a way to push through the gate and hop into the backseat. This one stays PUT. The dogs are safe, we’re safe, and we’re all traveling in peace (for once!).ReplyCancel

  • Laurel - December 14, 2017 - 9:56 AM

    It is so great that you’re training the pups for the new arrival! Bringing home our son went better than I imagined – we have a mutt who is (we think) a lab/heeler mix so she’s high energy and kind of neurotic. Surprisingly, she didn’t really care when we brought a newborn home. Fast forward two years though, and she “tolerates” the toddler at best. I had visions of the two of them being the best of friends (baby using the dog as a pillow, waiting by the front door together) and it turns out they function more like casual acquaintance roommates. Turns out you can’t force them to love each other!ReplyCancel

  • Taylor - December 14, 2017 - 10:21 AM

    This is so great! Thank you for sharing what you have been doing. Could you explain more how you use the gate guard and the tethers in your car? I think that could work well for us, too, but I’m not sure the best way to tether our pup while she is in the “way” back. Do you have all of the seats folded down?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 14, 2017 - 10:27 AM

      Sure thing! Sorry I didn’t get a better photo of it. So the seats are all up like normal, and the gate guard is secured behind the seats (as seen in the product image). We have a Forester, and this is made for our car model/year, so your guard might look different than this. Then we have the tether around one of the headrests in the back seat with TWO leashes (one for each of them), and we clip an end to each of their harnesses so that they have freedom to lay, sit or move around, but they’re also secured in the back. Does that help?ReplyCancel

      • Taylor - December 14, 2017 - 12:11 PM

        Yes! That makes sense. Thank you :)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - December 14, 2017 - 10:28 AM

    This is so fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing this, as a animal shelter employee and pit bull owner (and potentially getting pregnant soon) this is just one of the greatest things I’ve read all year. If you don’t mind I may take these tips and tricks and compile them into a pamphlet for our adopters to receive, along with other new dog advice. Your pitties are amazing!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 14, 2017 - 10:30 AM

      Thanks, Amanda! We love receiving this feedback – our pets are such an important part of the family!ReplyCancel

  • Julia at Home on 129 Acres - December 14, 2017 - 10:35 AM

    Thanks for sharing your experience and tips in so much detail. I love the love and a six foot leash series too. Thanks for the endorsement of the gate guard. That’s a big one on my list. Although it may be more about training me to not feel guilty that the dog is in the “trunk” than it is about the dog.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 14, 2017 - 10:44 AM

      I hear you! I had guilt at first, too, but MAN. We’re driving safer without their distractions, and all they do is curl up and sleep. It took CC a little longer to get used to it (she would cry and cry at first, and it broke my heart!), but she’s doing awesome now and just cuddles with Jack.ReplyCancel

  • Lydia - December 14, 2017 - 1:09 PM

    I am so happy you did a post on this! We did some intensive training with our high-energy high-anxiety chocolate lab this summer before our own little girl was born in August. WORTH EVERY PENNY and EVERY ounce of energy we put into it. Our main takeaways: dogs need a safe quiet spot away from babies (don’t we all?). We also were told to NOT introduce dog to baby when we got home, to just let them start to coexist without making it a big deal. It was also really important to do positive reinforcement instead of negative consequences – like praising dog for turning away from baby instead of telling them NO while they smell baby’s head- not wanting to associate baby with anything negative. We were also warned of regression once the baby starts moving, so we’ve got our trainer on standby for when that happens. We also got a lot of puzzle toys to keep him occupied on those crazy days when you just can’t give the dog the attention he needs and they have helped A LOT!

    Good luck! It went better than expected for us and I’m sure it will for you guys, too. Make sure you’ve got lots of cheese sticks and hot dogs ready to go :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 14, 2017 - 1:29 PM

      Lots of great advice here, thank you! Would you mind sharing the puzzle toys you got your dog?ReplyCancel

  • Regine from The 256 Project - December 14, 2017 - 2:16 PM

    This is the exact problem we have with our 3-year-old husky/lab mix!!: Jack and CC love meeting new people, and their overexcitement has always been a struggle when we welcome visitors into our home. This is especially true with Jack, who is incapable of greeting people without jumping on them, which is a definite no-no with his large sizeReplyCancel

  • Nicolette - December 14, 2017 - 2:44 PM

    The flooring change in the nook probably helps them a lot. I have different flooring in my kitchen compared to the rest of my house and have been very successful teaching my eight year old pup to stay out of the kitchen.ReplyCancel

  • carmen - December 14, 2017 - 7:07 PM

    I just loved seeing CC’s face in the car, so cute. It was so cute I had to go show my husband, thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Melanie Gagner - December 15, 2017 - 9:36 AM

    Good job you guys. We did literally nothing but we have a 15pound cockapoo so the damage she can do is minimal :) Fortunately the transition has been a breeze (we now have a 15 month toddler). The best advice I got was the day we brought her home (we didn’t do the blanket trick) my husband got down on Obi’s level on the floor and let Obi immediately sniff and lick her over – we’ve always let her lay her head on her and sniff her and play with her and have never had a problem. We also put her bed in Aria’s room so she has a place to lay in there. She sleeps with us (and for the first year so did Aria – whole family in the bed) but when I’d go in the nursery to breastfeed Obi would come with to ‘keep watch’. Dogs and babies are just beautiful together. They’re now best friends when Aria’s not busy tormenting poor Obi :)ReplyCancel

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marble soap dish | silver ribbon | botanical gift toppers This post is in collaboration with Crate & Barrel. Have you ever been caught off guard by a friend or neighbor who drops by with homemade treats during the …
  • AmandaKB - December 12, 2017 - 4:44 PM

    That’s such a great little gift :)ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - December 12, 2017 - 5:01 PM

    I love all the DIY soap posts that I’m seeing floating around the internet today! I’m going to have to try my hand at making some!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.comReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 12, 2017 - 5:03 PM

      So funny, right? There must be something in the air! :)ReplyCancel

  • Eva @ FantasticHandyman - December 13, 2017 - 5:00 AM

    I love how this turned out. I always wanted to try to make DIY soap on my own, but I never had the courage. I think I’ll try to make them this Christmas as little gifts. The packaging you made it’s so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this!ReplyCancel

  • jo li - December 13, 2017 - 3:37 PM

    I tried this a few years ago and by the time I finished they cost more than the nice french soaps at Marshalls LOL. Now I buy the nice french soaps at marshalls and put them in a small basket.ReplyCancel

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rocker | ottoman | rug | end table | sconce | crib | curtains | shades The nursery is slowly coming together, but what …
  • Tina Slocum - December 7, 2017 - 5:56 AM

    I love every little detail of your baby girl’s nursery. The different shades of white are so subtly fabulous. And that pink closet!
    I know you and Scott are thorough enough to anchor the beautiful bookshelf to the wall for safety. So excited for you!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley- At Home with Ashley - December 7, 2017 - 7:52 AM

    I have a cream rocker and my husband said I’d regret the color and it turns out that he’s right. But mine is a twill, not performance velvet. One suggestion would be to put a towel on it for the first month. My baby had a few blowouts while nursing (it was so gross!) and spitting up. I wish I’d done that even though I hate having a towel on a seat. I was just so sleep deprived that cleaning a chair was super unappealing. The room is looking stunning!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 7, 2017 - 8:12 AM

      Great tip, I may have to do that! Luckily the velvet will be more forgiving than twill, but even still. Thanks, Ashley!ReplyCancel

      • Sharon - December 7, 2017 - 1:04 PM

        This is such a good tip! Definitely put a towel down for the first month – maintaining the chair is not something I could have possibly done in those first few weeks of my babies’ lives. There are some things I let go while I was in that exhausted, figure-it-out stage, and now that I’m past it, there are some things that can’t be undone.ReplyCancel

      • Cindy - December 7, 2017 - 2:09 PM

        I second the motion: great tip! Respect the blowouts, man.ReplyCancel

      • Kelly - December 11, 2017 - 9:18 PM

        We put a cute washable blanket or quilt on our upholstered rocker for just this reason. It looked cute and made my life easier. So excited for you guys!ReplyCancel

  • Alison - December 7, 2017 - 8:12 AM

    Love the scone light next to the chair. Do you mind sharing where you got it?ReplyCancel

  • jenn aka the picky girl - December 7, 2017 - 10:10 AM

    I’m SO glad to hear that you’re a researcher as well. My husband (I think) finds it endearing, but I know people think I’m nuts. Why, yes, I did research for two hours about which wool socks are warm enough for a trip to Bavaria. Yes, I want a water pik that will last more than a few months. I can’t help myself! I want the best.

    The nursery is looking fantastic, and I can’t believe you’re so close! So excited for you guys.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 7, 2017 - 11:04 AM

      It’s a sickness – I drive myself (and Scott) crazy!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - December 7, 2017 - 11:03 AM

    Lovely! We’re decorating our nursery right now for our first baby – a little boy- my husband keeps saying it’s fifty shade of gray in there, but as we get closer to the finish line the subtlety of the tones are popping out more. Our glider is in performance velvet as well, but it’s in a really soft gray – everyone keeps telling me how gross it’s going to get but only time will tell!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 7, 2017 - 11:05 AM

      Eh, that’s life. Nothing is too precious in our home, and we do our best to choose durable, hard-wearing materials.ReplyCancel

  • Julia | Chris Loves Julia - December 7, 2017 - 11:04 AM

    Nothing beats all those layered shades of white. Talk about serene!ReplyCancel

  • Malia - December 7, 2017 - 11:30 AM

    Looks amazing! I love the serene & cozy space you’ve created! Looking forward to reading your post about the natural shades as well. Purchasing some very soon!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - December 7, 2017 - 10:25 PM

    Gosh this room is looking so beautiful and inviting! As a fellow shortie (5’0″) I can’t emphasise enough how important it is that you be comfortable in whatever chair you’re nursing in. I neglected my posture for the first several months after my son was born and ended up with constant pain in my mid back. It was totally preventable if I’d only prioritised better back support and being able to rest my feet flat on a footstool (the one I had was too narrow to comfortably get both feet on at once). All improved dramatically when I embraced the wonder of a V pillow, which I set with one arm supporting my back and baby resting on the other.

    Sorry for the torrent of information, I just wish someone had been able to tell me this two years ago. Wishing you all the best for a peaceful final month of pregnancy!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 8, 2017 - 8:41 AM

      I appreciate this feedback! The pillow at the back helps, and the ottoman is quite large for my tiny feet. :) We also have a boppy and a few other essentials to make holding the baby a little easier as well, we hope. Thank you, Nicole!ReplyCancel

  • Miranda - December 8, 2017 - 8:00 AM

    I love this room! We’re in the process of decorating a nursery for our first little girl and I’m loving all of your choices. You might have mentioned this in a previous post, but what’s the paint color on the walls?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 8, 2017 - 8:42 AM

      Thanks, Miranda! It’s Intense White, Ben Moore.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - December 9, 2017 - 12:49 PM

    It looks so beautiful! Excited for you!ReplyCancel

  • 'col - December 10, 2017 - 9:07 AM

    Chiming in to agree with previous commenters about covering the chair for the first few weeks. Better than a towel even would be an easy-wash throw blanket (that’s thick enough to catch some mess). I’m not worried about you–I know you and Scott will work as a team to handle all the things that come up (pun maybe a bit intended). I just want it all to be as easy as possible for you.

    I’m so excited for you. I’m sure you have been bombarded with advice about baby, so I won’t offer any beyond: be kind and gentle with yourselves, and accept help where you can.

    I’m grinning my face off for you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 10, 2017 - 3:28 PM

      You’re so sweet, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - December 10, 2017 - 9:41 PM

    Third the motion to just cover the rocker with a towel or sheet for the first few months. Even if your fabric cleans up, it’s so much easier to throw a sheet in the wash. That’s what I did and our non performance light gray Monte glider is in mint condition for kid #2. OTOH, I burped my baby once on the uncovered couch this week and of course he chose that one time to have the most dramatic projectile spit up. Since then I’ve grabbed a blanket.ReplyCancel

  • nicole - December 12, 2017 - 4:39 PM

    I’m sure you’ve written about this before, but is there a reason you go with curtain clips/hooks as opposed to using the sewn in pockets? Is it just a matter of taste kinda thing or is there a functional difference?

    (apologies if you wrote about this in this very post and I missed it #pregnancybrain)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 12, 2017 - 4:58 PM

      It’s totally personal preference! I like that I can scrunch the curtains tighter to one side when they’re on clips, but mostly I just like the look they create at the top compared to putting the rod through the pockets.ReplyCancel

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This post is in partnership with Schlage. It was the details that sold us on Tree House. Although we were crushed at the time, the first home we put in an offer on (and subsequently lost to a cash buyer) was never meant to be ours. This house though? This house was the Real …
  • Louize - December 5, 2017 - 8:12 AM

    My apartment still had all the 1930 original door hardware – buried under layers and layers of paint – my best home renovation purchase was a slow cooker, it worked miracles and now everyone who comes to visit comments on how beautiful my paint-free hardware is! It isn’t difficult, but does take some patience as you have to leave the pieces bubbling away for 8-10 hours. The advantage it is chemical free – I tried some hideous concoctions before falling on the slow cooker method! Good luck :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 5, 2017 - 8:33 AM

      Thank you! We can’t wait to start boiling away… I don’t think there’s a single hinge in this house that isn’t coated with layers of paint!ReplyCancel

  • Vid - December 5, 2017 - 10:22 AM

    How do you leave the bedroom to go onto the deck, with no doorknob on that door?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 5, 2017 - 10:41 AM

      Hi, Vid! I’m a little confused… On the ‘Inside’ image, there’s a doorknob right under the lock. So we use that. Is that what you mean?ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - December 5, 2017 - 11:38 AM

    I loved this post, especially since it’s something we’re battling in our current home!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.comReplyCancel

  • L. - December 5, 2017 - 3:26 PM

    Speaking of the Daniel method…. is he alive and kicking?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 5, 2017 - 3:33 PM

      He’s a busy, busy man, renovating his little heart out for lucky clients. He’s doing good!ReplyCancel

      • L. - December 5, 2017 - 3:48 PM

        That’s great to hear, thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Casey - December 5, 2017 - 5:38 PM

    For some reason, I think my first comment didn’t post… anyways, our home was built in 1946 and has all the original glass knobs!

    My question is.. is it safe to put the glass knobs in hot water like that? The ones at our house have a metal base that is covered in paint which I’d love to clean off, but I don’t want to ruin them!

    Also, so excited to see all the wonderful updates y’all are gonna do to this house!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 6, 2017 - 9:17 AM

      Ooh, good question. I’m honestly not sure, and I can’t seem to find anything online. Does anyone else know?

      We’ll share the before/afters and what we learn along the way!ReplyCancel

      • Kim - December 6, 2017 - 9:18 AM

        Update: Found an article saying to avoid boiling the glass. We’ll likely need to separate the knobs from the back plate – bummer!ReplyCancel

        • Casey - December 6, 2017 - 12:52 PM

          Bummer! If you find any good way to go about it, let me know! From the photos it looks like my knobs look very similar to y’alls!

          Thanks for the reply! xoReplyCancel

  • Kendal - December 6, 2017 - 8:13 AM

    Love these little projects that keep the renovation train moving! Your new locksets look great. I’m using the same Schlage products in my own place, but in the matte black finish. I have a mix of original (1913) doors and a few new ones. I’m renovating my place one toddler nap at a time (so in 2 hr bursts) and my reno list is made up entirely of projects that I can start, finish and clean up between 1-3pm. Changing out hardware is the perfect example!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 6, 2017 - 9:14 AM

      Start-to-finish projects are SO important to keep the momentum up!ReplyCancel

  • Jon - December 7, 2017 - 11:43 AM

    Awesome way to match old with new! I have a very similar door knob as your front (side) door, but the knobs on the interior and exterior are very loose. Any suggestions on how to tighten it up? It has exposed screws on the knobs and I think they are old and not tightening up anymore.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 7, 2017 - 3:17 PM

      Hi, Jon – that’s a bummer! We’ve used this product before. It definitely helps (quite a bit), but we found that if you mess with it too much, it will start to become loose. It’s a little finicky, but it could be the solution to your problem. It’s worth a try!ReplyCancel

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Over the long weekend, we loaded up the dogs and spent a one-nighter at Tree House. Our list of things to knock out was long, but each task was relatively simple - measuring for lighting, ceiling fans and a couch (this one, specifically!), installing new locksets and, …
  • Bernadette - November 29, 2017 - 8:44 AM

    Love the pink for the bedroom! I’m weary of the living room color, though. Homes surrounded by trees are so much trickier for paint selection. When the trees have leaves again, you’ll have to contend with the green/yellow hue that reflects and tints the sunlight streaming in. Might be worth waiting until spring to commit!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 29, 2017 - 9:03 AM

      That’s a great point! At the same time, that could have been half of my commitment problem – there are still a lot of colorful trees surrounding Tree House while we were choosing samples. It would be nearly impossible to please all the lighting conditions, but we can do our best, ha!ReplyCancel

      • Bernadette - November 30, 2017 - 3:15 PM

        If the trees still have color, I’m sure you’ve made a good choice! And if the light reflects neon green when you start painting, you’ll have the opportunity to rethink your choice ;)

        (And thank you to the proofreader; I did intend wary, but I cannot edit my comment after the fact to correct it.)ReplyCancel

    • KarenJ - November 30, 2017 - 12:38 AM

      That’s wary not weary unless you are saying you are tired of the colour they have chosen for the living room?ReplyCancel

  • Chris R. - November 30, 2017 - 8:27 AM

    Choosing off-white paint has to be one the hardest decisions to make in renovating! I love your choices though! Can I ask where you bought your trim?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 30, 2017 - 9:16 AM

      It’s definitely a toughie! The trim is from Lowe’s.ReplyCancel

      • Chris R. - December 1, 2017 - 7:42 AM

        Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Eileen - November 30, 2017 - 8:48 AM

    I think your paint choices will work well in the space! I am someone who always agonizes over choices and have to remind myself that there are lots of choices that will all be great in their own way and I don’t have to find THE ONE. And as you have noted, the paint colors will be affected by so many variations in lighting that there is just no way to account for them all. It will be great to have everything fresh and clean and honestly, once the baby arrives, you will have so many more things to feel and think about that the variations in shades of white just aren’t going to matter as much. But, in the meantime, the Tree House is an exciting project and its great fun to see you work through all the details. It is a wonderful spot to make lots of memories!ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - November 30, 2017 - 3:37 PM

    Whites are some of the hardest colors to pick because they all tend to actually be just a very light version of another color. I love the one you picked!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.comReplyCancel

  • Mary - December 12, 2017 - 11:14 AM

    The picture you show of Scott holding your final paint choices, the Heirloom Pink looks like a pale gray to me. Does it look pinkier on the wall?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 12, 2017 - 11:17 AM

      It was the most ‘gray’ pink of the bunch! My worry was that it wouldn’t be pink enough, but Scott is obsessed with it. I think once it’s covering the whole wall, it will read much more pink – but still subtle.ReplyCancel

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