Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Operation Swing Set? Accomplished!

Before the drama of the missing Dottie took over the evening, I came home to the sound and smell of cut lumber. I don't know what it is... but I love the smell of wood being cut. My father-in-law, "Papa", and a good friend of ours had spent the afternoon in measuring, cutting, and drilling the lumber that was purchased earlier in the day for this weekend project.

We went to bed that night with everything all set up and prepped to go for the next day. Our friendly helpers were scheduled to start arriving around 10 - 11 am.

Saturday morning, I swept up the deck, washed the patio furniture, and helped set up the beer coolers.

Little One inspecting my work.

Our helpers started to arrive and with their arrival, the work began.

Everyone pitched in... Even "Edward"!

The project went along pretty smooth. There was only one quick run to the local Home Depot to buy a little additional lumber due to a miscalculation that was discovered the day before.

It gave us a much needed rest and time for a beer. We also took this time to fire up the grill and set out the delicious food that everyone prepared and brought.

Every aspect of the swing set was thoroughly tested and inspected by the Little One.

Slide? Check!

Swing? Check!

The swing set was completed well before sunset. The adults even took a turn or two on the swings! Overall, Operation Swing Set was a huge success!

I would like to extend a huge sincere thank you to all our family and friends that help make this happen. The Little One is completely and utterly ecstatic about her new swing set. The Hubby and I literally could not have done this without you. Thank you!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dottie’s little shopping excursion

Who is “Dottie” you may ask? Dottie is my Little One’s beloved stuffed friend.

Dottie was a toy that we purchased for $3 out of a clearance bin in Toys R Us a few months ago. The stuffed animal is a cross between a pig and a cow that is white with pink polka dots. If we would have known that Dottie was going to be our daughter’s BFF, we would have totally bought two of her!

Advice for new parents – If you find that your child is particularly fond of a stuffed animal, I highly recommend that you buy more than one. This way you can swap them when it’s time for the stuffed animal to have a “bath”, etc.

To get ready for Operation Swing Set weekend, The Hubby, Little One, and Dottie went shopping at the local Wal-Mart with “Memaw”, “TT”, and “Baby Tre” this past Friday. Apparently, the shopping trip was quite eventful and perhaps a bit stressful for the adults. Somehow in the confusion of everything, Dottie was left behind. (Insert menacing organ music here)

Realizing what happened; The Hubby immediately went back to Wal-Mart to try to rescue Dottie from retail hell. He searched high and low in the store and the parking lot to no avail. He even had a page sent out to all the store associates in hopes that someone may have found it. No such luck. In the meantime, we are searching the house to make sure Dottie didn’t sneak into one of the grocery bags. Luckily, the Little One was easily distracted from Dottie’s absence by “Papa” and family friends.

The Hubby returned home devastated and defeated. We took a big breath and slowly came to the realization that we are going to have to deliver the first bad news in our Little One’s young life. Both of us didn’t look forward to having to explain to the Little One about her now lost BFF.
Honestly, the Little One took it like a champ. I think it was because she was completely exhausted from the activities and company. She merely asked for Dottie… we explained that Dottie was left behind at the store. Or perhaps she knew that her little friend would return home. Who knows! I can tell you that we were certainly grateful for her calm reaction. That night, we searched on EBay to find another “Dottie”. We found something similar but not quite the same. We ordered it out of parental desperation… thinking that the animal may be close enough in appearance to be at least a comfort to the Little One. We even had a brief back story created on how this new friend was Dottie’s cousin.

Alas, time didn’t stop. Operation Swing Set went ahead and was completed (more on that in a different post).

Wouldn’t you know it? “Memaw” found Dottie on Sunday! Just by chance, she decided to do some light grocery shopping to get the items that were missed on Friday while the rest of us were in nearby Target. She checked with the Customer Service desk for the Lost & Found but no luck. So, she went ahead with her shopping all the while keeping a look out for the missing BFF. She discovered Dottie face down in one of those open freezer chests in the meat section of the store. Hallelujah!

When we returned to the car, the Little One found Dottie sitting in her car seat. The look of happiness and delight was plainly seen across our daughter’s face as she gives Dottie a big bear hug.

And just like that… all is right in the world once again.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Operation Swing Set

Yes, today marks the day where Operation Swing Set begins for our household. As you read from previous posts, The Hubby and I (with the help of our friends) were clearing and setting up a place in our backyard for the Little One to get a swing set from her grandparents.

Tonight, a chainsaw wielding friend of ours is popping by our house to help take out more of the leftover tree stump. We are hoping to get it low enough that the stump will be below ground level. Therefore, it will no longer be a tripping hazard for running children.

Boulder status? Well, he is still in our yard. Yes, it has been determined that the boulder is a male and that his name is “Edward”. We have had some inquiries about people wanting to “adopt” Edward but once we sent a picture of him… we have not heard back from those people. Poor Edward... He’s going to start getting a complex.

Since Edward will be staying with us, Plan B has been instituted by the grandparents. Plan B involves expanding the slide platform so that it will fit over the boulder and the rest of the swing set will be built off of that. They have ordered three packages to be delivered to our house directly. The first of those packages arrived last night. We found a yellow plastic slide and components to a baby swing by our garage door. The other two packages should arrive over the next 2 or 3 days.

The Hubby’s homework assignment is to find a 16 ft treated 4x6 and somehow get it to our house. It should prove to be difficult since we are currently driving a Mercury Tracer.

**Note: This is not our particular car… but really close!

The grandparents will be arriving at the house very late Wednesday night (or early Thursday morning). The swing set construction will begin on Friday and last throughout the weekend. The grandparents are schedule to depart for home on Monday morning. It’s a “Slam! Bam! Thank you Ma’am!” type of trip.

The weather seems to be clearing up nicely for this weekend. The Hubby and I are thinking of throwing a BBQ together to help feed the people who are helping with this project… or at least provide the meat for said BBQ.

I’ll try to remember to take pictures during the production. For now, I’ll leave you a “before” picture of the yard.

Let Operation Swing Set Begin!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Quite the weekend!

The weekend started off wonderfully when The Hubby was able to get off work early on Friday. He went grocery shopping while I was still at work and the Little One was still at daycare. Bonus! I hate shopping. (I’m sure that I mentioned that before.) Grocery shopping is pain in the ass. The Hubby has a knack for it… he can remember prices so he knows whether Wal-Mart or the local grocery store will have the better deal. So, normally, grocery shopping trips consist of me pushing the cart with the Little One, being her 2 year old self, following The Hubby around the store. Anyways, I digress… Friday night was a nice relaxing evening at home. Definite good start!

On Saturday, I got a good dose of girl time by going to D’Lovely’s bachelorette party. We started off getting manicures and pedicures which is always relaxing. I even had a nail technician that didn’t laugh when he saw my nails and could carry on a good conversation! Yea for me! Next, we all went to the Melting Pot for dinner.

If you haven’t been, it is quite the experience. We went all out and did the “Big Night Out” for our table. Talk about a lot of food! And delicious too! The picture above is the Ying & Yang Chocolate dessert before we massacre it with our fondue forks. If I was to go there as an individual, I would stick to the cheese fondue course, the salad, and the dessert course. The main course was delicious but it didn’t quite match the levels of the other courses. Just sayin’.

It was a wonderful time to hang out with my girls… and that’s not the Exotic Mojitos talking either. Cute~Ella did a great job putting the party together.

On Sunday, The Hubby (much to his chagrin) and I tackled the corner of our backyard to try to get it ready for the swing set. I mentioned the project here. Unfortunately, I did not have the forethought to take a “before” picture. However, here’s a look of the “after” picture.
Yes, that is the boulder that we would like to be removed. Unfortunately, we have not found a way to get rid of it without spending hefty amount of $. The Hubby is still trying though! We even put an ad on Craig’s List in hopes to finding an option. In the meantime, I am researching what is the best stuff to put on the ground under the swing set to help prevent injuries from falling. Needless to say, we are making progress. After this playground project, I will be tackling the evil of weeds and get back our yard from its clenches.

Oh! And the pool people are coming out next week to start the process of opening up our pool. I definitely see BBQ parties in our future!