Toddler Beds, Take Two

big boy beds

At the start of the year, Sydney forced us to transition the girls from cribs to toddler beds.  Being a daredevil, Sydney escaped from her crib, which meant keeping the girls in cribs was no longer safe.  Since the boys are rather mischievous and had not attempted such an escape we kept their cribs intact. I was absolutely content with this arrangement.

Since moving the girls to toddler beds, they’ve done well, but naps are sporadic at best.   They tend to gab to each other as if it’s a constant slumber party.  Recently, Mason began trying to go to bed in the girls rooms and occasionally asked for a big boy bed.  He really tugged at George’s heartstrings on this one.  After some thought, George and I decided spring break week would be best for this change.  It meant I’d be home all week as we eased into toddler beds.

The day prior to the big change, George inspected the boy’s room for final toddler proofing measures.  All furniture was secured to the wall, latches were installed to the closet door and cabinets, electrical cords were secured, outlets covered, blind cords clipped, and the chair removed.  George then removed the front panel on both cribs.   We introduced the OK To Wake! Owl, and explained that the boys were to stay in bed until the owl illuminated green in the morning.

George read bedtime stories to the crew before tucking the boys into their new beds.

George read bedtime stories to the crew before tucking the boys into their new beds.

Following story time, both boys scrambled into their respective beds as if they’d done it a million times.  It was so easy.  Too easy.

toddler beds

toddler beds

Once prayers were said, I flipped off the lights and both boys snuggled under the covers.  About 30 seconds after we left the boy’s room, they both came charging into the playroom.  I’d forgotten to secure the door knob cover.  Once I wrapped it in a few layers of packing tape, they were set for the night.  George and I retreated to the den for some television watching and braced ourselves for protest.  I checked the baby monitor multiple times, and instead of finding distraught boys, I found two sweetly sleeping boys.   Much to my surprise, we didn’t hear a peep out of them until 7:30 am when Mason proclaimed, “It’s okay to wake!  The owl is green!!!”    I was even more surprised when I found their room totally undisturbed.  Though the room was toddler proofed and immediate hazards were removed, I anticipated a few trouble spots.  Fully expecting these things, I begged George to install latches on EVERY drawer.  His reply, “Let’s see what happens.  Give them the benefit of the doubt.”  While I want them to learn independence, sometimes my sanity is worth taking extra precautions.  I had a little side of crow for breakfast the first morning after toddler beds.

The first day they went down for nap without too much trouble, except they never actually fell asleep.  Instead they had great fun swapping beds and playing all sorts of imaginative games.  At the end of nap quiet playtime, everything in their rooms was in order.

When I went to get the boys up the second morning, I was greeted with a light citrus fragrance trailing from their room.  Undeniably familiar…GermX hand sanitizer.  Inside, I found Harper squirting the last few drops of a once full bottle of GermX all over the dresser.  It was one germ-free dresser that’s for sure.  Aside from the sanitizer, things looked good.

When I opened the bedroom door, I found Harper squirting the last few drops of a once full bottle of GermX all over the dresser.

On the third morning, I discovered socks in the diaper champ and diapers/ swim suits strewn about the room.  I was fed up with these shenanigans especially considering at least one was preventable with a strong latch.  I shot off an angry text complete with pictures for George to see.  His reply, “Mismanagement???”  Oh no, mister!  I was NOT pleased with this response.  I wanted some serious latches.

toddler bed mischief

The boys were different size diapers, which meant I had to sort through each one.

toddler bed mischief

On day four, the morning went smoothly even though George hadn’t yet installed any new latches.  I crossed my fingers for nap, but it did not go well.   About an hour into nap, I heard something suspicious.  Harper managed to dismantle the diaper champ and shredded the garbage bag inside.  Thankfully I emptied it just prior to nap so there were no diapers inside.  I suspected they may put things in the Diaper Champ, but never thought they could take it apart.  I ended up locking the Diaper Champ in the closet, scolded the boys, and put them back to bed.

diaper champ dismantle

The rest of nap did not go any better, the boys finagled a cabinet door open where George had installed a latch.  Once inside the cabinet, they had a hay day scattering undies, socks, and pajamas everywhere.  Harper informed me he was making a train.  To his credit, he lined the baskets up and it did resemble a train.   The only good thing about this mess is that it forced me to do a little spring cleaning.

toddler bed mischief

Despite the now daily shenanigans, George didn’t see a need for additional latches just yet.  On the fifth morning of toddler beds, I woke up to find all of the dresser drawers pulled out with pants scattered about the room.  The drawers aren’t terribly big, but for toddlers are slightly heavy so George finally agreed to latch them.  AMEN!!!!

toddler bed mischief

During nap on day five, Poppa stayed home with the boys so I could run errands.  According to Poppa, the boys sounded rather rowdy.  When he checked on them, both mattresses were off the beds and the boys were jumping wildly.  After a stern talk from Poppa, both boys fell asleep.  (I think I need a recording of Poppa telling the boys to go to bed.)

Today was the first morning when things were not in shambles.  Instead of trouble, I found Mason holding the owl so it would cast light on the door as Harper created shadow puppets.  That charade warmed my heart. The morning was smooth, nap not so much.  This time time they removed the sheets from their beds and got into the diapers again.

toddler bed mischief

Desperate for the boys to take a nap, I settled them onto pallets and rubbed their backs to settle them.  It worked like a charm!

sleeping on pallets

After a full week of toddler bed mayhem, I harassed George enough for him to install latches on the remaining accessible drawers.  Of course, these guys are a clever pair so I’m sure they’ll discover more mischief.  At least I can rest knowing we really exhausted all toddler proofing options available, and George can rest knowing I won’t pester him anymore.

toddler proofing

Even though the boys have created far more messes than the girls could ever imagine, I have to give them kudos for going to bed easily and staying asleep through the night.  The girls keep their room tidier, but getting them to bed is a bit more problematic.



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When the Cat’s Away…

About a month ago Dropcam contacted me about their “Life’s Mysteries” campaign.  They invited bloggers to share stories of times when something went awry,  but no one’s certain exactly what happened.   With four toddlers in our house, missed moments occur several times per day.  We have enough of them that I compile pictures for a semi regular series called “Shawver Shenanigans”.  If you’ve been keeping up with us for a while, you may recall the great corn starch incident.  It was a doozie!  I think there are still traces of cornstarch in our kitchen, and that’s been months.  Last week, we had a similar doozie during Icemagedon.  In an effort to entertain four busy toddlers, I introduced many new activities, and opened up typically off-limits areas of the house since novelty is always entertaining.

On this particular day, I set up our Tinkerbell PlayHut and a few tunnels in our dining room/ foyer.  It was going fabulously until I left the room to change Rylin’s diaper, leaving three toddlers unsupervised.  I thought I did a great job baby proofing this area.  I was proven wrong.  Upon my return, I realized the trio discovered a box of Sprite cans hidden underneath our hutch, and naturally began exploring them.

Suspect #3

Sydney had the empty box.

Suspect #2

Harper gnawed on a can.

Suspect #4

Mason pranced around with his loot.

Rylin did not wait for an invitation to play along.  She gleefully snatched a can for herself. Judging by the pictures, it looks like she found a new best pal.


When my Dad called to chat, I figured Sprite cans were safe enough so I let everyone continue playing.  That was, until I heard a distinctive sound- the one of a shaken carbonated beverage exploding.  Apparently someone dropped, or threw their can.  Naturally, this lead to a puncture on the can and an eruption of Sprite under our dining table.  I ferociously grabbed the dented can, but it was too late.  We already had a flood and eight little feet traipsing through it, tracking icky sticky all over the floor.

Here's the evidence collected: three Sprite cans with various signs of damage two sets of wet, sticky foot prints, one on either side of the dining table

Here’s the evidence collected:
three Sprite cans with various signs of damage
two sets of wet, sticky foot prints, one on either side of the dining table

Do you spy the wet foot prints trailing Mason?

Do you spy the wet foot prints trailing Mason?

Rylin thought the splatter fest was great fun.

Rylin thought the splatter fest was great fun.

Mason was crushed when his Sprite can shenanigans came to a screeching halt.

Mason was crushed when his Sprite can shenanigans came to a screeching halt.  He seemingly caught the brunt of the spray and was soaked.

I don’t believe we will explore soda cans for quite sometime, but I assure you that this is not the final Shawver Shenanigan.  There are many, many more to come.  In this episode of Shawver Shenanigans, we had not one but two incidents 1. exploration of forbidden Sprite cans 2. a Sprite explosion.  Give the pictorial evidence, who do you suspect caused each of these incidents?



P.S. I was in no way compensated by Dropcam for the writing of this post. I simply enjoy writing and a good challenge so I had fun in recanting our latest incident.  I hope you enjoyed reading.

Toddler Tips #1: Tinkle Catcher

toddler tips

I’m ecstatic to launch our new series, Toddler Tips.  With each passing day, I find myself trying to solve some new challenge with raising four toddlers, aka “quaddlers”.  They are a cunning lot who inspires a little ingenuity on my part (and George’s) just to manage day to day life.  While my ideas are born from being surrounded by four toddlers, I think many of them could be helpful to any parents of little ones.

Dating all the way back to the days of the NICU, I can recall that all four of our children have peed in their bathwater.  As soon as their little piggy toes make contact with the water, the flood gates open.  When they were tiny infants it didn’t bother me too much.  Perhaps because I expected the volume was small, or maybe because they were in the infant tub and got their own fresh water.  Once they could sit up, we began pairing them up or even dunking all four in the same water.  The thought of bathing in urine, especially someone else’s disgusts me.

While the babies were in the NICU, we bathed them in tiny plastic tubs.  It's incredible that they fit into those things.

While the babies were in the NICU, we bathed them in tiny plastic tubs. It’s incredible that they fit into those things.

We used bath seats like this when they could sit up, but not with the buoyancy of water.

We used bath seats like this when they could sit up, but not with the buoyancy of water.

Alas, a four baby dunk.

Alas, a four baby dunk.

Then the idea struck!  Now, I dress them down to their diapers and stand them in the water for a few seconds before removing the diaper.  Before I totally remove the diaper, I peel back the tabs just to make sure they’re done.  Voila!  No more pee pee in the water (they could tinkle a little more, but this prevents the flood gates at least).  I always check for two minor details 1. check the diaper to make sure it’s not soiled 2. don’t let them sit prematurely.


Stay tuned for more toddler tips. There’s good stuff coming because necessity is the mother of invention!  If you have any toddler tips of your own, I’d love to hear them.  If I try a great one, I’ll feature it and give credit where it’s due.  I’m always open to ingenious ideas.