Monday, December 9, 2013

Patio Preparations

Some significant changes occurred this week regarding the area we plan to install the patio. 

Remember this tree?

 We had it removed when Samantha was only a couple months old.  It was about 6 feet in diameter at the trunk and the entire area was covered with the surface roots from it.  Chris had started trying to remove some of them but we quickly realized that it was going to be extremely difficult and time consuming.  We decided to hire an excavator to remove the roots, stump, and grade the area to the proper depth.

It definitely helps to have the right tools for the job.  In thirty seconds, the backhoe had accomplished more than Chris was able to in six hours.

The stump was so enormous that he had to remove it in three pieces - here is one of them.  The stump ended up being closer to ten feet in diameter.

Once he removed all the roots and stump, he graded the area to the proper depth for each level of the patio.  Here are some before/after shots:

We rented the plate tamper because we thought he would be able to move the CR6 base material to the proper places.  Unfortunately he could only make a pile on the right side of the fence.  It did save us from moving it another 50 feet but still required a lot of effort.  Due to this, we didn't get the whole patio base complete but the lower surface is pretty close (even though Chris was tamping in the snow yesterday).  

Even though we have more to do (and will need the tamper again) we should be able to continue with this project when the snow melts.

I was able to do some fun things with Samantha this week.  The best was definitely Port Discovery in Baltimore.  We have been here a few times but this time the kids had so much more fun. 

They spent about half an hour playing with the sand table. 

They enjoyed shopping for produce in the play market.

Pushing buttons never goes out of style.

And playing with this light board made my friends ask if I could make one for our house (we'll see!).

My mom's group decided to make felt Christmas trees and ornaments.  Samantha has been enjoying it and this even won out (several times) over watching the excavation on Saturday.

It's fun to watch her imagination at work.  Here she is feeding the gingerbread man and candy cane to her Halloween costume pink poodle.


And December wouldn't be complete without watching the snow fall.

We're hoping that the weather cooperates next weekend so we can get some of the patio blocks/pavers in place!

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