The best birthday ever!

     I’m sure that if you asked her, Violet would tell you that this is going to be her best birthday ever!  Yesterday, Daddy finally finished putting together Violet’s new swing set / fort (Vi calls it “the castle”).  Vi was so excited watching Dave put the finishing touches on, she was beside herself.

     The assembly directions stated it would take approximately ten hours to put this thing together.  Dave did most of it himself, with much less irritation and frustration than I expected.  His deadline was Violet’s birthday and he came in just under the wire.  Besides assembly, the second most difficult part of this was deciding on a location.  We had a general idea — in the backyard where I can see it from the kitchen window, near enough to the trees that it is in shade a good part of the day — but the land is so rocky and uneven that we had a hard time finding a spot that wasn’t horribly un-level.  We moved the two main pieces of the playset to several different locations (unfortunately, this is much more difficult than playing around with the configuration of my living room) before finally finding the winning spot. 

     Violet is used to walking up steps to get to the slides at the park, but once I showed her how to climb the ladder (you gotta move your hands and feet, kid) she scrambled up it like a pro.  Four times down the slide and four times landing BAM! on her butt at the bottom and now she’s a little slide-shy.  Even though we poured some play sand at the bottom to soften the blow.  Maybe I should pad her knickers with a bunch of wadded-up toilet paper like in that commercial I used to see on tv when I was a kid.  Do you remember the one?  The little girl pads her clothes with Quilted Northern and then goes back outside to play football.  Ahh, memories…

Anyway.

     There’s a chalk board of sorts on one wall of the platform, made up of a fairly flimsy tarp.  We need to add a board behind it to make it more usable, but Violet doesn’t even know what a chalkboard is at this point, so what’s it matter?  The letters “ABC” are written on it and when Vi saw that, she broke out into a spontaneous, celebratory rendition of the Alphabet Song.  Here is a video I took.

     In case you’re thinking that all I did all day was stand around watching Dave assemble “the castle”, I’ll just tell you that I slaved away in the kitchen for several hours making Bacon Jam.  “Bacon Jam?” you ask?  Yes!  I found the recipe on a blog a couple weeks ago and vowed to make it.  It was just as horribly good as I suspected, and now I must experiment by putting it on as many different foods as possible.  Everything is better with bacon, am I right?

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