Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Structure

Since we live far away from all of our family, we often get money and gift cards for birthdays. This works perfectly because we already have a plethora of toys overflowing out of the boys' playroom. We usually put all the money that the boys get into bags and when they need something we use what we have saved. The Rock Star has been begging us to hang up his baby swing for about a year now. The trouble is that this house doesn't have a tree or, well, anything, to hang it in. And now that he's nearly four, a baby swing hardly seemed like the answer. But one of those giant play structures sure did. We counted up the money we had saved for them and asked the family members that usually give Garrett a gift if they wouldn't mind contributing to the play set. We told everyone that we were going to get it at the beginning of summer so that they can use it all season long. Between what we already had saved and what we received for Garrett's birthday, it was practically paid for and we had to spend very little of our own birthday budget.

But it certainly became a labor of love. First, we ordered it in April. It took forever to get here. Then we decided that we should seal all the wood because, well, we live in Crazyville where it's been known to snow through May, thunderstorm through the summer, and start snowing again in November. The weekend that my mother-in-law was here we set to sealing and she was a huge help. Over 150 pieces of wood later, we were ready to build.
Except that when Troy started the very first step he discovered that something was wrong with some of the hardware. It was threaded incorrectly for the size of bolt that was supposed to go in it. High times. So, with our garage full of wood we contacted the company and asked them to send us new hardware.
Eventually, we got to building. And by we I mean Troy.
A little bit got built but then we went out of town. The hard working daddy couldn't build. And he has a job. So little by little he worked on it for an hour here or a half hour there.

And on Saturday he built this.

And there was much excitement written all over the faces of two little boys.

Then, a few nights ago, a friend came over and helped him get this part on...

And yesterday I managed, after a tutorial from my husband, to accomplish this...

So, about two months after we ordered it, we finally have a play yard in the back. I thought that the fact that it only has a ladder and a rock wall to assist children in reaching the "club house" would mean that I'd have to help Matthew whenever he wanted to play. It took him about two seconds to figure out how to climb the ladder. He toddled straight over to the slide, sat down, and took off. Luckily, I caught him at the bottom because it's a slick slide and he's a tiny bugger.
So we told Garrett that this is what he's getting for his birthday and, well, as you can see, he seems to be okay with that.

Oh that little girl in the background, that's our oldest child, Matilda. We don't talk about her much. In fact, I don't know if I've ever mentioned her on this blog. So, SURPRISE!

Kidding. She's actually the neighbor girl who comes over to play with Garrett a lot. She loves our new play set.

Then there's this kid. He seems pretty okay with the fact that, back in February, we saved all of his birthday money and put it toward this.

Endless fun. Endless smiles. Endless playing outside in the fresh air all summer--I hope. Thank you to everyone who contributed to our boys' birthday gift. THEY LOVE IT!