Monday, April 22, 2013

Going (Spring) Green

We bought our house almost a year and a half ago. Right away we threw ourselves into making the necessary repairs and upgrades to make our home cozy and fully functional (AKA air conditioned). We gave ourselves a deadline - the end of 2012, to finish all our projects. Why? Because that was the only way to ensure that everything got done.
Well we came really close to meeting that deadline. The only real project left to do is hang all the trim that is stacked in, guess where, our bedroom. Of course! Isn't that where everybody keeps their yet to be hung trim? Neatly wrapped in a bed sheet so that it doesn't migrate across the floor like a giant wooden sea urchin?
I digress. The point is we accomplished a lot last year, and around this time last year we were in a race. A race against heat and humidity.
Inside the house our A/C guys were racing to install a central unit before they spontaneously combusted in our attic as the temperature steadily rose with each passing day.
Outside, Victor and I were racing to finish building our play set. Well, not really finish. The goal was really to get the main construction of it done to a point that the kids could play on it before the death heat of summer hit. We almost made it.  
Where we left off last spring.
The only major things that we didn't get done was the rock wall and the cargo net. There has been much discussion about a zip line also, but I don't know what the final decision on that is yet.
Since a major part of our winter has been dedicated to getting Grandpa situated, the fort, as we call it has been left unfinished longer than anticipated. But two weekends ago, we caught Spring Fever again. And so spent most of that Sunday afternoon and evening to tackling Project: Finish Fort Freckle Farm! (Actually, I'm kind of the sun Nazi, the kids aren't even allowed to play outside during the peak sun times of the day, especially since all the stuff I've been reading about sun screen seems like it may be more harmful than helpful. Yet again, I digress.) We worked until we ran out of nuts to put on the bolts. But we managed to get all but two tiny climbing holds put up on the rock wall. And we got all the handles put up. Yay! 
Did you notice Kit up in the fort?
Yeah, that girl was determined to sneak up there every chance she got.
Yes, her fearlessness TERRIFIES me!
So, besides just holding the nuts and bolts to hand to Victor, my primary duty outside is Kit monitor. I'm just going to be honest. This child is going to climb whether I want her to or not. So I have two choices. Either nail her feet to the floor, or just follow her everywhere and stay close as she scales every structure in sight. We have chosen the latter (no pun intended, well not originally anyway).

I am standing right there, I promise, I just stepped away as soon as was safe so Vic could snap the pic.

In addition to climbing she loves to engage in lots of other thrills. Like trying to slide down the slide head first, feeding her strawberries through the fence to the (very sweet) dog next door, and getting mad at Grandpa for pushing her too gently on the swing. Not kidding, she was pushing his hands away and yelling, pointing at Daddy. This girl likes to fly! 

It's better than head first!
Grandpa hasn't seen her climb the fort yet. So if you hear about a nuclear explosion near the Gulf, it probably emanated from our back yard! Yeah, it's going to make the Sock Wars seem like a cherry bomb. He means well, and I understand his concern, but speaking of cherries, there is no explaining SPD to the man who thinks that the plastic fruit pieces in our Hi Ho! Cherry-O game have been sent to the U.S. by terrorists. 


Ummmm, yeah.
Let's just not let them outside together.
This weekend I was in major bummer mood, so I went outside with everyone for a while which really helped. Plus I couldn't miss all the action! Having popped several allergy pills, I arrived in time for the main event! The first lawn mow of the season!
Okay, first of all we don't have a "lawn". That evokes images of golf courses, ladies in white, and fancy hotels. No. We have a yard. I'm not even entirely sure we have real grass. I mean the intentionally planted with a fancy name kind of grass. But we do have lots of clover blossoms! And the girls scurried to collect as many as they could before the "cut".
Grace chose the Center Stance to get the job done. HIKE!
Second, no, I'm not usually this excited about the first time we haul out the mower, clean it up, make at least one trip for parts or oil, figure out that the spark plug isn't all the way in and that's why it keeps dying, finally get it running marathon. (And by we, I mean Victor. I sit on the step and tell him what a great job he's doing! When I'm not wrangling Kit.) But this year is special. It marks the grand tradition of teaching one's offspring to start earning their keep!
Yes, Victor taught Zak how to cut the grass on this lovely April afternoon. This breezy, perfect temperature, hardly break a sweat spring tease of a day.

He's happily adding up in his head how much he plans to make from his chore bundle by the end of the summer. (We made a deal that if he cleans both vehicles, cuts the grass, and picks up the poop in the yard each week, that we will pay him $30 each month.) I don't think money will be quite as appealing as air conditioning come June!
He did a great job though, and we are very proud of him! Plus it's fantastic for his heavy work cravings.
When he was all done. We marveled at our transformed yard, and made plans to finally finish a few other to-dos. The girls just enjoyed running around. 
And laying around.
And Kit though she would jump start next weeks mowing by watering the grass. We clearly must move that bench.
And nothing like a ladybug hunt to finish the day! 

Why wasn't the beetle allowed in the boy's bathroom?
Because it was a LADY-BUG!
 Happy Monday everyone!

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