We're all on the up-and-up, though, and, best of all, Huxley never picked up the nasties himself. He's been a major cranky pants, however, on account of four new teeth due to make their debut any day, but he never did succumb otherwise. As we groaned and moaned and sipped gingerale and timidly nibbled on saltines these past few days, we lounged couch-side in our p.j.'s all day or gathered around the wood stove in the kitchen while the temperature dropped.
I wanted to share with you some photos of several wood stove reinforcements Hubs put together. Huxley, curious monkey that he is, has been playing around the wood stove since he could crawl. I decided that scolding him every time he touched it really made no sense until it was actually in use, so I held off fighting that battle until we started to crank it up. Which we now are.
To keep him safe and out of harm's way, Hubs built an L-shaped, two-sided gate out of 2"x2"'s. He opted for those, over 2"x4"'s, to give the gate an upscale, sophisticated vibe and less of a cobbled together one. It's perfect. From the moment we ignited the stove, Huxley stands at the gate, watching the flames while squeezing his tiny hands together and saying "Hot! Ouchy!" (which I say whenever I strick a match and light our stove top). Success!
Hubs also fashioned the firewood stand to the left of the wood stove. Having firewood available indoors (in addition to that outside) helps it to ignite more quickly. To keep the wild child from pulling it down onto himself, Hubs used 3 pieces of heavy 4"x4"'s as a base. The strip running across the stand's top is to stabilize it and can also be used as a handle for easily moving it around. Lastly, he opted to paint and distress it, to make it look a bit more attractive but capable of being scratched and roughened up by the firewood.
I think he did a grand job. Huxley seems to like scurrying around it (and no longer on it), I think it looks lovely, and we didn't have to invest in purchasing a hearth gate, most of which are quite costly. Now, if only Hubs could keep build something to keep the stomach flu away, we'd be set! In the meantime, a warm, safe hearth and home more than suffice.
*For those curious, you can also view images of the firewood stand without wood in it here.