Call me narcissist if you must but this blog is all about ME. I have another blog about my kids, whom I love and adore writing about. But I was Nicole a long time before I was mom and I don't intend to give up being Nicole overnight.

You can read all about my kids at Naptime Optional.
Or you can follow along on our Arizona adventure on my 365 project blog.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I am now FINALLY ready to show pictures of how the backyard is coming together. It's getting really exciting to see all the progress. (of course, now thanks to my broken toe progress is going to slow down a bit....stupid toe!)

So, when last I left you the back of the house still looked like this:

deck, before

deck and yard, before

the yard, before

A few days later we pulled out the deck and it looked like this:

Deck, gone

Grass today....

Deck, gone

The following day the Bobcat came.


It dug up all my grass and broke up the old patio:

Old Patio, cracked in half

hauling away the old patio

Then it brought in a bunch of gravel, which was quite a job because the dump truck had dumped all the gravel at the neighbor's house two doors down instead of at my house.

Grass all dug up, and gravel laid

The next day the cement truck and the pump showed up bright and early.

Here comes the cement mixer!

And the cement pouring began!

pouring the cement

After it was all poured and smoothed we waved goodbye to the cement truck and they began laying down the design.

laying on the decorative paper

decorative paper

Next they smoothed some more, and started coloring it.

coloring the cement

half colored, detail

The color was actually a powder. I guess I was expecting it to be liquid, because that really surprised me! He would reach into the bucket of powder and just toss it onto the wet cement. Then the smoothed it out some more. There was also some texturing involved, too.

stamping/texturing the cement

working the wet cement

After much smoothing and texturing and coloring and more smoothing the cobblestone paper was pulled up and a sealer was sprayed on. (I actually missed all that part. I left for the credit union and well, you know the rest of the story.)

By the time I got home it looked like this:

The New Patio

The New Patio

Detail: The New Patio

A special shout out to Ryan of Overcast Days for taking the final pictures for me, as I was a bit laid up by then. (I just recently found out from a blogging pro that it's correct blog etiquette to give the entire blog name and not just the author's name when referencing another blogger. Hum, who knew?)

So there you have it.

Well, not really. There is still a LOT left to do. First there is the new deck to build, which can't be done right away. The new cement has to set up for at least a week before we will be able to start construction. We also have two sheds to assemble and chain link fencing to install. (Mike started digging holes for the fence poles yesterday, and boy what a big job that turned into!!!!)

There is also the matter of the front parking strip.

front parking strip, with cement

Due to the extreme heat and wind the day they poured it dried too fast for them to get the design and color on it. He originally told us he would have to tear it up and re-pour it. But then he remembered he could try an overlay that was the same cobblestone design as the patio. So it will be interesting to see how that is done.

So, it's still a work in progress. And I hope my back lawn survives everything. I haven't been able to water it for a little over a week now because of everything going on. (cement workers not wanting mud, digging up sprinkling lines, loads of lumber in the corner of the yard) Because it would be really sad to finally have a beautiful patio and deck only to sit out back and look at dead grass!

And since I am now less help than before I am not too shameless to send out an open request to anybody who feels the desire to build a deck, install chain link fence, or assemble sheds in the heat. Because otherwise my dear husband will be doing it mostly alone. I promise to keep you well supplied with water and gateraid and food. But I will not, under any circumstances, go to the credit union to get you cash.

And for those who have kids like mine who just can't get enough pictures of the big trucks visit my flickr photoset of the continuing project. There you will find oodles of pictures of big trucks, and a few movies of trucks in action, too.


orangemily said...

It looks so nice!!! I can help you water the lawn, other than that we'll have to enlist Rich for the hard labor.

Squirty Wart said...

Beautiful yard! I'm excited for you guys!

HeidiPie said...

I LOVE that poured/stamped/stained concrete. I'm gonna have to do that in my backyard...well I'll have to get rid of the condo there first. =)

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan said...

So what you're telling me is that I'm going to spend my last days here, before you kick me out, turn my bedroom into the playroom, and give my bed away, putting sheds together?

Anndrea said...

I am so jealous I wish our yard looked as great as yours. Yeaterday a well guy came over and said, "looks like you should be ready to cut your first hay crop soon." that is how bad the yard looks- full of weeds.