As I write this (ha, at time of publication, I wrote this two months ago!!), the boys are watching guys pour cement into our backyard. We started out upstairs, looking out the windows. Reed gave each window a station name--my window was station one, his was station two, etc. He'd yell out a station, and he and Asher would run to that window to see the action. After seeing their excitement over seeing only a sliver of the action, decided that we would go downstairs to see better--but if we hadn't, Reed was all ready to draw a map of his stations!
Downstairs, the boys watched the cement truck fill up wheelbarrows out our front door, then ran to the back door to watch the workers dump the concrete and smooth it in our yard. At one point, I looked over at Reed and he was talking into his hand like a walkie talkie! I love him. When Lila woke up, all the concrete had been transported, but the guys were still working on smoothing and making the cracks. The kids spread a blanket right in front of the slider and watched the guys work in the yard forever. They were entranced! I felt kind of bad--our back yard is tiny, so the boys were basically right next to the guys who were working, ha--but you only get your backyard concrete poured once (hopefully) and I didn't want to pull them away from their excitement.
We were all in awe as they carefully put in the cracks (so cool) and the boys gave Ryan a detailed blow-by-blow account of the whole process as soon as he got home. As you can probably deduce, we were all quite excited. You see, we'd lived with straight-up desert in our backyard for two whole years. Desert sand and rocks aren't even fun sand and rocks because you can't really dig in them. We didn't use our back yard ever, which was a shame. I mean, it's a tiny yard, but we might as well be able to use it, right? So everyone was happy when we planned to use Ryan's overtime tax-season bonus for a back yard.
The process was a little drawn out. First, it took us forever to decide exactly what we wanted to do in the yard because Ryan was in busy season and basically never home when I was awake to talk to him about it. Then, once we finally did decide, we had a few days of rain (so weird) followed by tons of windy days (not weird), which are both not ideal conditions for pouring. Finally, though, the pouring day arrived.
After the concrete was poured, we had to wait a few days for it to dry. I was expecting the other crew to come Monday morning to build our planter (step two of the backyard). On Saturday, though, when we came back from being out all morning, we were pleasantly surprised to see the crew working on our planter! And the crushed granite for our side yard! Woohoo! (Side note about the crushed granite: the boys are now so impressed that they know what crushed granite is that they've been identifying crushed granite by name everywhere we go! They were super pumped when they found crushed granite in my mom's side yard, too.)
The next step: enjoy our backyard! And oh, did we. We ate breakfast outside every morning. We rode bikes in the tiny square footage it provided. Ryan and I enjoyed our evenings after the kids were in bed on "the veranda."
Then we went on vacation. We came home and the weather made me want to punch myself in the face. For, you see, it is already too hot to eat breakfast outside. Thumbs down. But I will say that I am quite excited that our backyard is done and that once it doesn't feel like the surface of the sun outside, we'll spend many hours playing out there.
I should add that once we came back from a vacation we planted seeds in our planter. I am not sure if they will grow (see above discussion on living on the surface of the sun), but if not, we'll try again in the fall! Yay!
Two more side stories, to conclude the most rambling of all rambling posts: one day, during our last consult with our backyard guy, there were two new beautiful wildflowers growing in our backyard! They were seriously gorgeous flowers. In an effort to save them from the coming demolition, we dug them out of the ground and potted them. They lasted approximately two days before they died. At least we tried.
While we were digging the flowers out, Reed noticed a lizard in our pool. He was worried the lizard was stuck, so we tried encouraging the lizard to climb out of the pool. The lizard was, in fact, stuck. I caught the lizard, which is amazing because I am super squeamish. Reed and Asher both decided they wanted to touch the lizard before I set him free. All went well. Then Reed decided to take a turn holding the lizard. The lizard sensed his chance and, as I tried to pass him to Reed, ran up Reed's arm, down Reed's back, to the ground, and IN THE HOUSE. Awesome. We saw him dart under the couch and I knew we had to track him down and catch him again because, really, who wants a wild lizard living in their house? I carefully scooted the couch out--I didn't want to smash him--and saw him serendipitously poised next to my open scripture bag. I herded him into the scripture bag, then took him outside--where I closed the slider before I let him go again.
BEFORE/with all our junk moved out:
It should be noted that while I tried to take after pictures of the side yard, a dance party broke out.
Enjoying our new back yard with a s'mores roast!
You wanted a side-by-side? You're welcome.