Tiny House Baby: Less (stuff) is more (sanity)

baby stuff in a tiny house

Hart was kind enough to take a snooze while I sorted through that stack of new stuff on the table.

baby storage in a tiny house

From L to R, extra blankets, wipes & baby toys, bigger clothes

Life with a baby is messy and cluttered. Thanks to the tiny house though, the mess can only stick around for a few hours or maybe a day at the most. You simply can’t live in a tiny house that has a lot of stuff strewn everywhere. When this happens, you can’t use the stairs, sit down ANYWHERE or even find space on the floor to step. Everything has a place and in order to maintain sanity, things just need to be in their place.

This has then forced us to clean and organize CONTINUALLY. A bag of hand-me-downs from a friend for Hart means going through the bag right away (no room to set it aside for another day) and deciding what he can wear now and then keep those in his drawer which consequently means removing the things he is almost grown out of or the things I simply like less than the new items. As far as clothes he doesn’t yet fit in? They go in a bin under the floor and in our white storage baskets above Peter and my wardrobe. These spaces are limited so this also means rejecting about 1/3 the bag and passing along to another family.

creative storage ideas

The bin from under the kitchen floor contains additional clothes for when our little guy gets bigger.

Don’t get me wrong, this is hard to do. I want to keep all the cute clothes because what is more fun then dressing up your baby? How great is it to always have something new and cute to dress him in? On the flip-side, it is also quite liberating not have to have so much stuff. That is the side I am choosing to live into. So far, it is working out.

I continue to learn that the old adage really is true… Less really is more.

As he grows and we make changes to our organization and daily life, I’ll post updates accordingly.

 

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From Garden to Table

When we moved into the tiny house we planted our first garden. We planted snap peas, lettuce, basil, potatoes, onions, green beans, carrots, and spaghetti squash.

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The spaghetti squash has taken over!

We also have blueberries and blackberries and apples becoming edible too. Last night we picked a large handful of green beans and had our first (semi) garden meal. Made a pasta sauce with some ground beef and cheese (all store bought) but then used our green beans (boiled) as the pasta. It was delicious!

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Picking the beans

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Prepping the beans

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Wanting to eat the beans

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Mmm... beans

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Mmm... beans

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Interview on Micro-Maisons

Bénédicte of Micro-Maisons.com (a french tiny house blog) asked to interview us, so we obliged. See the interview here (if you use Google Chrome it can translate it for you easily).

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Tiny House Baby: Witching Hour

Creative Baby Announcement

One side of Hart’s baby announcement. This is real life.

Tricks to a happy baby

We needed a change of scenery so we climbed up into the loft to hang.

Postpartum exercise

First time heading out donning the joggers.

Hart is six weeks old this week. I had my six week check up and got the green light for “exercise”. Considering the fact that I am winded walking up a flight of stairs at the moment, exercise will be a loosely defined term for my immediate future. But do expect to start seeing some more images on IG (/tinylikeus) of our adventures outside the house. There, now that I’ve put it here, I have to do it!

As many infants do, Hart has a bit of a “witching hour”. It generally starts sometime between 6-7pm and can last until 10 or 11pm. It doesn’t help that he has a very loud cry. These healthy vocal cords has been verified by medical professionals, friends and grandparents…
Wish us luck. Peter and I are getting better at recognizing it and making adjustments to bring it back under control but there have been many an evening when we just take turns back and forth with the screamer until the poor guy finally tires and surrenders to sleep. As you might guess, this can be maddening in our close quarters. We find it helps to go outside, take a walk or just sit on the deck. However if staying indoors, we’ll try going up to the loft, sitting in the living room, walking up and down the stairs from the living room to the kitchen… all these space changes help distract and calm him.

I just needed a few more minutes of happy baby to edit a final paragraph. Ergo to the rescue!

I just needed a few more minutes of happy baby to edit a final paragraph. Ergo to the rescue!

Yes, in many ways this would be easier in a larger house. Having a place to escape for a moment when Dad has him would be welcomed. But that’s not the case, so we’ve made it work for us and it really is working. Peter and I have become a great team in caring for him. Since we can’t escape I think it actually helps with empathy for the other and creates an urgency to jump in and help each other.

We have gotten pretty creative with how to do life with him. Standing up and working at the counter with him in the Ergo or the Moby has worked pretty well. Mom can get her work and blogging done, baby Hart gets his nap… In theory. You can see in the photo he is pretty wide eyed. :-)

Life is pretty fun with this little guy and we’re excited for each new stage and how to tackle it while living in our tiny house!

creative baby announcements

The sweeter side of Hart’s announcement. <3

 

Posted in Baby, Living Tiny, Space

HE is here! Meet Mr. Hart Samuel!

ferry on wedding day

Heading to the alter. January 4, 2014

Month 18 of marriage

Month 4 of tiny house living

Month 1 of life with Mr. Hart Samuel

Shannon here. While the numbers may be random, the moments they represent have become everything that is important in my life.

It seems like just yesterday that I walked down the aisle of the Kaleetan vessel of the Washington State Ferries to my awaiting groom, a man who stole my heart back when I was just 17. Never had a man made me feel more loved, secure, and treasured than that goofy, curly-haired, thrift-shop-wearing kid from my senior year Advanced Grammar class. It may have taken us 8 years to sort out the timing, but a wait well worth it.

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First family pic

Anyway, enough about that… on to what you all care about: life with the babe in the Tiny House! We brought sweet Hart Samuel home from the hospital on June 12. He was born at 7:52am on June 11. His timing was very considerate as we went to the hospital around 11pm on June 10, the very night Peter finished school for the year (Quick side note, has anyone else gone to the hospital to deliver late at night??? You get admitted through the ER and let’s just say that was an experience at 11:30pm in Tacoma!). As we headed in that night, we didn’t know what to expect. Was I actually in labor, how would labor be, would we have a little boy or a little girl?! We were checked in around midnight and labor progressed pretty quickly and we welcomed Mr. Hart just under 8 hours after arriving to the hospital. I am thankful for him only being 7lbs and for cooperation that allowed for a natural birth!

I was in pure bliss during the hospital stay. I was so in love with Hart and so thankful for the safe and healthy delivery (I had been one of those women that was pretty nervous about labor so I was elated merely because it was over.). We had a few visitors and enjoyed the care of the hospital and being waited on.

So one month in, here are a few things we’ve learned.

Cons to life with a newborn in a Tiny House

  • Hard to walk around much when he is fussy
  • No rocking chair
  • Due to small space, a simple diaper or wardrobe change can make the house feel messy
  • With a baby you have to pack more, so unpacking is more of a process and in a tiny house an extra suitcase on the floor can drive you bonkers (and of course I am not speaking from a personal, recent experience)
  • When the Direct TV guy comes to install, you have to go to the patio or Aunt Kim’s next door to nurse (I guess I could have gone to the loft…).

Pros to life with a newborn in a Tiny House

  • Good news in that he slept well in his Baby Box (phew, we didn’t really have a back up plan!)
  • Everything is always within reach. The wipes, the diapers, burp cloth, swaddle… always one within an arm’s reach
  • Easy to get things done while the baby sleeps since I can easily keep an eye on him
  • Gets us outside often which is great for helping Hart adjust to daytime vs. nighttime and in his case, helps with his Breast Milk Jaundice.
  • Helps us limit our “baby litter” as my aunt refers to it
  • Forces us to pick up often throughout the day

 

 

Posted in Baby, Living Tiny

Settling in… deck and fence

Now that we have settled in we decided to make the exterior space a little more appealing. We did this by adding a fence and a deck!

Fence
First we decided to add a little fence to make the tiny house more discrete from the road and increase curb appeal.

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Putting in fence posts. Fun times...

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Propping up a fence panel in an attempt to "visualize it"

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Back side of fence

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The gate (with sneak preview of our deck)

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Front side of fence

Deck
Next, we enlisted the help of Shannon’s dad (thanks Ken!) and built a little 7′ x 16′ deck for the front of the house. This is really nice because it’s a defined space that almost doubles our square footage.

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Getting ready for the tiny baby to join the tiny house

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Baby J’s bed! We found this great company, Baby Box, which mimics Denmark’s government issued baby boxes.

Shannon here. In most situations this would be the “Nursery Blog Post” For our intents and purposes, it is more of a nursery corner, cubby, drawer and cabinet. While we know we don’t have a clue about the full extent of all that will be life with a baby, we are doing our best to prepare.

Car seat is ready; we went with the Britax B Safe thanks to my generous brother & sister in law who gifted it to us once my niece advanced to the next size up. Stroller is the 2005 Bob Stroller and we also have the Bugaboo coming to us in August. The Bob in particular felt like a key piece for us for our Tiny House lifestyle.

 

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We hear we’ll be going through these rather quickly!

We want to be able to go outside easily and for me to be able to handle the terrain on my runs around our hilly little town! We fully anticipate needing more items and hence more storage but are thankful to have found several places to meet the immediate needs of both us and baby.

Now we are just waiting for our new little guy or gal to arrive! We are at 37 weeks now so in theory it could be any day. In the meantime, we’re enjoying the vast spaciousness of only two of us in the tiny house. 😉

 

 

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Ikea storage at it’s finest. We have three of these total.

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This is actually a kitchen drawer right to the left of the sink for baby’s clothes.

 

 

 

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New futon = improved tiny house functionality

We decided to change things up in the living room. Before we were using a knopparp loveseat from Ikea. It was nice because it was really small and cheap. Unfortunately it wasn’t very comfortable and we didn’t really have a good sleeping option for guests/grandmas.  (Old knopparp loveseat as seen in our video)

So we decided to switch to an armless futon which can serve as a larger sofa with more storage underneath, a seat for our table, and a guest bed. Plus it’s more comfortable.

Last night we had an overnight guest, our friend Luke, so he was the first to try it out. According to him it wasn’t bad, though we might try to get a mattress topper to make it more comfortable as a bed.

Shannon getting some work done on the new futon.

   
  

luke making the bed

 

   

luke trying out some sleeping positions

  

next morning breakfast. using the couch as a dining seat. not as good as a chair but it’ll work.

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Our Tiny House Tour video

Now that we’ve been in the Tiny House for a few months we finally spent some time putting together this video tour of the house. Enjoy!

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Tiny House Chat

A few weeks ago on the podcast Casting Pod with Pete and Andy, I was interviewed by Andy all about the Tiny House. I thought I’d share.

http://castingpod.net/26-tiny-house-chat/

Also, if you enjoyed that chat, you should consider subscribing to the podcast: Casting Pod with Pete and Andy

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Our Tiny House Tour

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Yes, it's true. I'm just a lowly school teacher. You probably have a fancy high-paying job with gobs of cash and no financial commitments. If you would like to donate to the project (even $5) we would love to take your money as we work to make our tiny house the best that it can be.