One of the things about having a townhouse is that we kind of lack on the outdoor space arena. We don't have a big backyard. Yes, it's true, I sometimes (often) wish I did. But that's not the case for us right now. Even though we have an end unit, our side grass is often a community dog-peeing spot. And if you live in a townhome development, you so know what I mean.
Therefore, we don't really play out there. Okay, ever.
You have to maximize your outdoor space in other ways. Adding a deck. Making a patio. Playing in your driveway. Those kinds of things.
We added a big 'ole deck about a year or two ago (totally cannot remember), and it has been great. It's nice to eat out there, although it's burny-hot out there from about 2pm-7:30pm, and even umbrella's don't give you relief with the direction of the sun. Still, though. We love it. We have a water table out there, kids picnic table, adult sitting chairs and tables--it's nice. I should get photos of that sometime. For now, you can see it this way:
For a townhouse, it is a BIG deck. It really is. So we love it. But this year, once we decided to take our house off the market, we knew we needed to do something with the underneath space. It didn't get enough sun to make the grass grow properly. It kind of became a little dumping ground for our pup (truth), and it was kinda gross and buggy back there. AKA: never, ever went back there. Creepy-town.
So, we decided to put in a rock patio beneath the deck. The area was sloped, so it needed to be graded & we hired Declan's brother to do the work with his team of guys (he owns a contracting business). Putting brick pavers or something fancier would have been thousands of dollars more, and honestly? I don't plan on being in this house long enough to enjoy that kind of return. So we went with the fun beachy stone, and slate pieces for some sturdiness in areas. And NOW we have a nice, fun spot where we spend a lot of time lately.
Eme has dollar store toys galore under here. She digs & plays in the stones (she's way past the age of putting stuff like stones in her mouth, for the record), she makes hills, she fills buckets, she dumps buckets--rinse & repeat. She would sit and play in these stones for hours, and sometimes we do. Who knew.
Did you know people are making stone boxes for their kids instead of sandboxes these days? They're cleaner, and also the manufactured sand has warnings for 'cancer causing' stuff on it. Scary. We didn't really plan this to be a giant play box for Eme, but it's kind of fun this way, too.
We installed swings, too. I got a baby swing for $2 at a yardsale (which sure beats the $24.99 it sells for in stores), and then we got Eme the 'big girl swing'. She likes her choice of swings, and enjoys both thoroughly---but one is really there for a certain baby sister that's coming along.
|Daddy likes the swings, too.|
Playing out there has quickly become part of our nightly routines when we can--getting her all tuckered out before bedtime, and extra dirty before bathtime. It's a good time.
And sometimes, just sometimes, on a hot day--....a water fight breaks out.
That little investment of adding the rock patio has already proven it's worth. We're loving it, and have been enjoying some of this Memorial Day Weekend hanging out down there.
Speaking of which---have a happy Memorial Day, friends.