Pool, Day 29

So the decking is in, but not the stuff that goes between the bricks.  Which is okay because it still looks fantastic.

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I’m especially thrilled with how they did the edging.  These are cemented in, effectively creating a form that keeps the stones from moving over time.

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We’re getting there!

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Snickers is ready to have her yard back.

Today, they are cleaning up the backyard.  All the trash and stuff has been hauled off, and now they are power-washing the interior of the spa.

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According to our wonderful project manager, if we don’t run into any bad weather or delays, we will have plaster on Friday, which means we can swim!!!  I’m not getting my hopes up…much.

Pool, Day 26, 27 & 28

Turns out, installing the pool decking is a LOT of work.  Here’s the progression:

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Meanwhile, because life can’t be all perfume and roses, we found out this week Peter will need braces.  Again.  In two weeks. And insurance has already paid out the max amount.  After he gets braces, he will get his wisdom teeth removed because they are keeping his back molars from coming in properly.  Dang wisdom teeth.  They really serve no purpose, which is why, I suppose, we all get them removed eventually.

Then yesterday, as I pulled into the alley to drive the two elementary-aged children to school, I heard a horrible “thump thump thump” sound.  I stopped to inspect and sure enough, I had a flat tire.  Not just a flat tire…a COMPLETELY flat tire.  As in, there was a razor blade embedded in it that effectively ruined the tire and made me have to buy a new one.

Because right now is the PERFECT TIME to be shelling out extra money for braces and wisdom teeth and new tires.  We might end up with a pool when this is all done, but we won’t be able to afford swim suits.

This entry was posted on May 18, 2015, in Pool.

Pool, Day 25

When Brad told me the forecast for today included a 100% chance of rain, I nearly started to cry.  At the end of the day yesterday, a semi arrived with pallets of our pave stones, which had to be unloaded on the driveway, as there isn’t room anywhere else, really.  I was so excited!  This meant we would be getting our decking!  Except, when I took the dog out at 6:30am, it was already starting to rain.

But then, a miracle occurred!  At about 8:30, the crew arrived and began working on our yard!  In the rain!  It’s not raining hard (yet) so I’m praying they can make good progress before the storms arrive.

Don’t misunderstand me…I love rain.  I pray for rain.  I grew up in a desert (practically) and know the fear of not having enough water.  To this day (no joke), I consider a shower a luxury.  We had to bathe in an inch of water when times were hard, so to be able to stand under running hot water is one of my favorite parts of the day.

So I can’t bring myself to pray for a break in the rain.  I feel guilty even wishing for such a thing.  But of all the years to have an unusually rainy Spring (Unusually rainy might be understating it a bit.  We got almost 5 inches in a 48 hour period last weekend – and that wasn’t the first time that’s happened this month.), why did it have to be the year we decided to build a pool??!!!?

I am not frustrated because I’m dying to have a pool to swim in.  I’m not frustrated because I’m tired of looking at the mess outside our living room windows.  I’m frustrated because the dog is driving. me. insane.  And while she (thankfully) did not poop in the Game Room yesterday, I feel like she’s a ticking time bomb, just waiting for me to look away so she can sneak upstairs and do her business.

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The big white pipes will provide drainage under the pave stones.

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By the end of the day, it was raining too hard for the guys to work, but they made a lot of progress anyway!

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Here’s a panoramic view of the yard.

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These guys even brought their own microwave, to heat up their lunch.  I would have let them use ours if they had asked…

This entry was posted on May 14, 2015, in Pool.

Pool, Day 24

I thought the stone masons would finish yesterday, but they did not.  This job of theirs is by far the biggest yet.  Today is the fourth day they’ve been working on our pool!  Thankfully, they finished by the end of the day and we are really impressed with the quality of their work.

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Also today, some guys came and dug down around the four t-posts that represent where the four arbor supports will be placed.  I’m not sure what that was all about, but I’m all for anything that looks like progress.

Because, really, I’m not sure how much longer I can take not having a backyard.  Especially since the dog has apparently decided that the Game Room offers a nice alternative to the outdoors when the need to poop arises.

Yeah.  We need our yard back.


Pool, Day 23

The stone masons are back!!!



I am so. very. relieved.  After yesterday, I wasn’t sure I could take another day with no progress.

Mother’s Day began when I awoke to discover I had slept through my phone’s alarm.  I have a clock app I’m using ever since my actual alarm clock bit the dust, but sometimes, it goes silent on me for no apparent reason.  So I had slept through it because it was going off silently.  Maybe if  I slept with my eyes open…

I got in the shower and tried to hurry, but just as I was rinsing my hair, I heard what sounded like a siren.  I stopped and tried to listen and then realized it was a siren – a tornado siren!  Brad burst through the doors to the bathroom and said “Siren!  I’m going to get the kids!”.  I turned off the shower, wrapped up in a towel and shrugged into my robe.  I was thinking about everything I should be doing – putting on shoes, in case there’s glass after the tornado hits our house.  Putting on clothes, because who wants to be on the news in their robe?  But the siren was sounding, the dog was frantic, and I could hear the thunder rumbling.  I grabbed for the only thing that really mattered – my iPhone – and got to the closet just in time to see the boys finish clearing out space.

Because our tornado closet is also our Sam’s closet, this is what the hallway looks like when we have to all cram in to it.

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Samuel’s spot is behind the file cabinet.  Matthew next to him.  Peter directly in front of the two of them.  Brad and I stand at the front, so we can try to watch the TV in the living room report on what’s going on.

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Of course, if this stupid little weather radio – the one I bought at Sam’s just a few months ago – hadn’t died, we could have listened to it.  I think the sirens frightened it to death.

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When the sirens stopped and the tornado warning lifted, we left the closet and put the kids in the living room so we could keep an eye on them.  The dog was still frantic, but as it was still thundering and raining, I figured it was just her fear of storms.  The kids – remembering it was Mother’s Day, and somewhat oblivious to the fact I was still in my robe with wet hair – decided it was a good time to give me all my gifts.  I did what any mother would have done…accepted graciously.

My first gift came from Samuel.  He made me a card and this little book with writing prompts.  This page reads “My favorite dish that my mother makes is bisckets [biscuits]. She makes it like this…She puts some do [dough] on a pan then makes it look like her bisckets [biscuits] then cooks it in the oven.”  (Okay, so he’s only ever seen me make frozen or refrigerated biscuits.)

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This page really offended me at first.  It says “The funniest thing that ever happened to my  mother is…wen [when] she farted.  SUPER loud.”  I looked at Samuel and said “What are you talking about?  When did this happen?”  He nonchalantly shrugged and said “Oh, a couple of weeks ago.”  That’s Samuel-speak for “I have no idea”.  When I told Brad about the page, he shrugged and said “He’s a boy.  Of course he thinks bodily noises are funny.”  Ha ha.


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Matthew’s gift was a book he made at school, too, only his made me cry, because in just a few weeks, he is leaving Elementary School behind and heading to Middle School.  And seeing him in a cap and gown was just a little more than I could handle.

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Peter gave me a $25 Amazon gift card.  That he bought with his own cash.  Secretly.  At some point in the past few weeks, he took his wallet with him to Target, waited for me to head off to buy groceries, then bought that gift card for me using his own money.  I’ve never loved him more.

After all the gifts and hugs and kisses and tears, the storm seemed to be lessening so I sent the boys upstairs to get ready for church.  Brad appeared to tell me he was having a massive nose bleed and needed to lie down, then confirmed that we would not be driving through the storms to go to Sunday School, but would leave an hour later to attend church.

I sighed.  I was finally going to get my cup of coffee.

Except, right about then, Peter started calling out “SNICKERS!!!!  NOOOOOOO!!!  OH NO SNICKER!  OH GROSS!”  Simultaneously, the other two boys started yelling at me that Snickers was peeing in Peter’s room.  I raced upstairs with paper towels in hand as Peter dragged the dog downstairs and outside.  Where, of course, she did nothing because she had emptied her entire bladder on Peter’s floor.

I cleaned up the mess, got the carpet cleaner out and used it to try to rid the room of the smell, then went down to get ready for church.  I was finally able to have that cup of coffee.

We made it to church, and to lunch with Brad’s family after to celebrate Mother’s Day, then just about the time we were finishing eating, another tornado warning was issued near our home.  As we left the restaurant in downtown Dallas, I read on Facebook that a house was struck by lightning and caught fire.  The house was next door to the home Brad’s brother and sister-in-law occupied up until just a few years ago, and it’s in a neighborhood just a few miles South of our own.  The attic and parts of the second floor burned before the fire department could arrive.

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We went home and proceeded to vigilantly watch the news as the storms in our area continued to produce dangerous tornadoes.  The dog was acting strange, but with the weird weather, it wasn’t a real surprise.  Brad took her out and she peed, then when she wouldn’t settle down and kept whining at the door, he took her out again.  When she didn’t do anything the second time, he declared her done outside for the night.  But she just kept whining and trotting around the living room and nothing we said or did would get her to settle down, so I took her out and she pooped. Only the dog still wouldn’t settle down.  She finally started vomiting, right in the middle of on our new rug.


Brad jumped up to get the dog outside, while I started working to get the reddish colored vomit off our cream-colored rug.  Did I mention it’s brand new?

While I was still cleaning the rug, and Brad was outside with the dog, Peter started yelling that she had thrown up outside his  room too.  Then on his way downstairs, saw the Game Room, where there was a LOT of dog poop.  I finished with the rug, then headed upstairs with a roll of paper towels and the carpet cleaner.

The mess was finally cleaned up, and thankfully, that ended the drama for the night.  I have never been so glad to see Mother’s Day end.  I think next year, I’m going to stay in bed!