Mollie is THREE!

I'm so exhausted after getting everything ready for Mollie's party and working on the swingset/playhouse, that I only have the energy to post pictures for now, but Mollie's party was SO much fun, and everything turned out so cute!! I'll add more details later! Thanks so much to all the friends and family who came to help us celebrate!! Board01 Board02 Board03 Board04


Play Structure: Part 1

A few months ago, Brad decided that our swingset desperately needed an upgrade. It's just a simple, typical metal set with a couple swings (both baby swings, actually!), a see-saw swing, a hanging bar, and a slide. It's almost exactly like this one:
I also have a deep yearning for the girls to have a cute playhouse in the backyard. We did a ton of research and online window-shopping and decided that the best way to affordably get exactly what we wanted in a STURDY structure was to design and build it ourselves. I was super excited about the idea - I love building things! :) Brad found some free plans online, BUT they were from Australia, so he had to do a lot of translating - from metric to English, as well as from their type of wood to ours. He used Google Sketch Up to draw up our plans, making plenty of changes along the way, including a plan to enclose the bottom part and make it a playhouse! Here are the plans that he's drawn up - this doesn't show the bottom part being enclosed, but it's a rough idea. We'll have 2-3 swings on the inside of the A-frame and then one rope/disc swing on the outer part of the A-frame. There will also be another way to get up to the top - a more traditional ladder - on the back wall. The front is where you see "Susan" (as Google calls her) :) standing.
We have made sure to choose accessories that are all sturdy enough for adults to use too. Here's our actual slide:
And swings with heavy duty hangers:
The front of the house will have a doorway and a small window. The side with the slide will have a small centered window, the side with the swings will have two small windows, and the back will have a much larger opening with a wide ledge, sort of like a restaurant. The traditional ladder will come out on the back, to one side of that ledge. We decided to use wood siding for the walls - like this:
We haven't decided what color to paint it yet. I think we're going to stain the playset part, and we need to decide what colors of paint and stain we're going to use. We're mainly concerned with just getting it BUILT right now! :) As for the inside, I have some fun ideas - we're thinking of putting up some smooth particle board on one entire wall and painting it with a fun color of chalkboard paint. I'm thinking about using a shower curtain to make some cute waterproof curtains. :) Maybe something like one of these?
I'd love to make some little flowerboxes for the windows - at least the one window in the front - but we'll see. Between planning Mollie's Minnie Mouse birthday party and building, I haven't had as much time as I'd like to think about decorating! :) We are WAY farther in our progress than this picture - this is just one of the first pictures that Brad took to show me his progress when the girls and I were not home. I've taken lots more pictures, and I'll definitely be posting them, but for now, my spare time at home is spent helping Brad, and I'm really enjoying it (aside from the blisters)! I've been in charge of the screwdriver (electric, of course!) for the past few days, and I've actually been the one to attach the top and bottom decking while Brad does the planning, measuring, and cutting! Picture #1, Sunday afternoon (the diagonal pieces on the outsides are just for temporary support):