Jun 2, 2014

Landscaping and May Happenings

I'm sorry it's been so long since I posted. Mostly we've been busy with landscaping projects. We are blessed to have a house that works so well for Ainsley's needs. Even the yard. But it is LARGE. We nearly didn't buy the house because of it. The original landscaping was done 15+ years ago and some of the plants had become out of scale/overgrown. There were bare spaces that needed to be filled after the relocation of overgrown plants. In addition some things had to be repaired: the sinking pergola, the swing set (it was hit by the neighbors tree), the broken entry slate tile (it would fill with water and freeze which is dangerous). We had to pump the septic system and the lids were buried under the pavers that the original landscaper had installed for the previous home owner.  The lawn was full of moss, and the leyland cypress hedge needed to be pruned, and there were a couple beds that had filled with grass from lack of attention.

The landscaper wouldn't always let us know when they were coming, would work a few hours at a time taking off unexpectedly leaving work unfinished and a mess for me to clean up.  Due to the nature of the projects I had to be there. Most days I worked along with them: weeding, pruning, prepping and staining the lattice (they were supposed to do it) and general clean up. I shopped for plants (he claimed the wholesale nurseries didn't have their perennials) then plant them myself because after weeks they hadn't. There were errors made and we tried to be patient. Then we were over billed, so we are disputing the bill and he hasn't responded to our attempts to resolve it so we can pay him. It's been extremely stressful on top of everyday life. It's taken me countless hours that I'd have rather spent other ways. Even after all that, we aren't done. We never did get the pergola or hot tub deck stained, or the tile work finished and the swing set is half done. I still don't have all the perrenials in and there are weeds, and no bark. The beauty of a large yard is that if you're standing back to take it in you can't see all the little things that need to be done.  So from that perspective things are looking good and I have a few pictures to share.

The fountain which I rebuilt myself.

The vegetable garden (in pots, there are 6 in there).

We planted elderberry, currants and a thorn-less blackberry in the side yard, where the raspberries are. 

It took me hours to remove the buttercup from this groundcover.

The newly planted herb garden. I'm most excited for rosemary skewers for the barbecue.

The pergola, which I think will look really nice once it's stained.

The new Tsuma Gaki Japanese maple between the fire pit and hot tub. I'm not even going to get into the story on that. It looks nice from the living room even though it looks rather small here.

Other May happenings: Mother's Day, Steve's Birthday, 1 year new job anniversary, replaced failed garage door opener, installed new toilets, Evie's school musical performance of FAME, Memorial Day weekend, tons and tons of baseball, 3 doctor/specialist appointments for Ainsley and one rescheduled surgery as well as some modifications to her IEP.

Mother's Day breakfast.

I think I'm the only mom in the world who got 3 new toilets for Mother's Day. 

Squeaky clean. I love them. The old ones were stained and would not scrub clean.

We played outside and enjoyed the yard.

Evie and Adrian rode their bikes down the street.

Ainsley used her walker in the driveway.

We made "silly alphabet soup."

In May our deciduous rhodies are in full bloom and the yard smells wonderful! I'm always sad when they fade and wither away. We have about 6 of these shrubs around the property.
It was a nice Mother's Day.

We made up for the (yard and other) work we did over memorial day weekend by taking the kids to the mall for burgers and a movie.  We went shopping for Steve's belated birthday present, a new bed. They were late meeting us and mall security was looking for them using this picture. Fun times. That lead to arguments later in the week about Evie needing a watch. My time challenged teenager insists she doesn't need one. I say it can't hurt.

We've been wanting a king size for years (Steve especially) and finally decided to make it happen. This is the bed we chose, it's on order and we are so excited for it to come. He loves it. Hopefully this will help us get better sleep (as best as you can when you have a child whose equipment alarms many times a night). 

Adrian received the MVP of the game award last week. He had the biggest hit of the season that game and was so happy! It made up for more discouraging days. He's grown a lot as a player.

Our last baseball game of the season was Saturday. 

Steve helping Adrian suit up to play catcher.  

He played well but it's not his favorite position. He got to play pitcher fairly often this season, as well as shortstop and first base (his favorite). 

Parting words of the season. Will we do it again next year? I don't know. With 3 practices and/or games a week it's a challenge for our family. I wish it wasn't but it is. It's not easy to go anywhere with a child who can't walk that doesn't want to be in her wheelchair. Plus time spent on sports is time we aren't doing other things.

It's been awesome that Steve was assistant coach this season. It was great father son time and I was so thankful that his current job allows for things like this. It's now been a year since Steve switched jobs (out of the gaming industry) and I still find myself wanting to call to find out if he's going to be home. It's been really good for all of us to have him working less and at home in the evenings. When I look back I don't know how I made it through so many years that way and I'm so thankful that it didn't break our family.

Evie's school (next year Adrian's school too) put on an all school musical performance of FAME. Evie was cast as the understudy for Iris. She learned the role, attended all the additional rehearsals, but didn't perform (other than her dance ensemble numbers) for either show (there were 2).  It was a bit of a disappointment that way but the production was great. What a cool experience for the kids to be a part of. Yet I'm glad that it's over. 

Rather than overwhelm you I will post the rest later this week. COMING UP: echocardiogram results, ortho (foot) appointment,  surgery update, wheelchair status, AFO's, and IEP changes.


  1. Your yard is spectacular and from an outsider looking in .... all your hard work is so worth it! :) The Mother's Day toilets totally made me laugh out loud. Thanks for the update, you are always in my thoughts. Love ya'.

  2. Wow to everything lol!!! looking great!!! I miss chatting with you!! I broke my phone and lost all contacts!! :( hope you are doing well!!! ~wyndi

  3. It really does look great. One thing that I never thought I would enjoy is yard work. My parents used to make my brother and sister and I work out in the yard every summer. We would work from 7 in the morning until lunch and then they would take us to the pool. But now I really enjoy i

    Gladis Livingston @ HDS Landscaping