Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Elsa's birthday gift

Ta-da!! We got a whole new backyard! Kind of. Our backyard lawn was looking so sad, big straw patches and weeds scattered throughout, covered in a blanket of fallen bottle brush pollen threads. It was no place for a baby to play, so we decided to take action and re-do the lawn.

When we had a few gardeners pass through to give us some quotes, every one of them said "That bottle brush tree has got to go." Apparently the pollen stems are really bad for grass, allergies, cleanliness, etc, plus the tree was growing onto the neighbor's garage and impeding the growth of our lovely little orange tree (who now needs a name. Julius! Yes, Julius the orange tree, and Linus the lemon tree). So out came the bottle brush, and it makes such a huge difference. The backyard is so bright now and looks a lot bigger too. Bye bye scary bottle brush man!

Because the tree had to come out, the old lawn pulled up, new dirt put down, and the sprinklers needed to be tuned up, the little lawn replacement turned into a major project (anything over $1000 is major to me- this tallied up to $1400). It sounds like a lot but it was a ton of work. Look at the end of Day 1:

It's pretty amazing they could do all of that in two days. So anyways, as we were working out our budget and how we could afford to get this done in time for Elsa's birthday party, we thought, "why not exploit Elsa's first birthday and convince our family to chip in and help us pay for this as a gift to the baby!?" It totally worked and they all fell for it, hook line and sinker. No one wanted to see the baby eat weeds and get scratched playing in dead grass. Here's a patch of what the grass looked like before:

Scratchy!! But not anymore! Lush and green and velvety:

So a VERY special THANK YOU to our donors who so generously contributed to Elsa's new playground: Noni, Grandpa & Marmie, and Elsie's great grandparents- Jeff's Grammie and my Abuelo. It's a fantastic gift for a 1 year old and will make her birthday party and the rest of the summer so much more enjoyable. I told Karen we were going to give Elsa a home improvement project every year for her birthday and she said good luck with that. I'm thinking maybe a new roof for her 2nd birthday? How exciting!!


ET said...

I think this made a LOT of sense, Liv. She already has plenty of toys and she will get much more joy out of a new backyard where she can crawl on a new, nice lawn and not have to worry about swallowing those bottle brush needles. Good work. We're happy to contribute to a great project. And can't wait to come down next week to see it and, of course, Elsa.

Nikki Menda said...

That's fantastic! And SMART! :)