Monday, October 17, 2005

The History of Keeping Up With The Joneses in the Suburbs: Chapter One

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am quite pleased with how our living situation has turned out moving back to the Midwest. Thanks to making a stupid amount of money on the sale of our house in New Jersey, we were able to put 20% down on a beautiful dream home here in Ohio. The house is not really us, but it's very nice and we plan to stay here until the next move. Yes, I said next move as I am reasonably sure this is not the last time we will be moving.

At any rate, we are slowly getting to know some of our neighbors. Some have been quite friendly and were quick to come to our house to introduce themselves the minute the moving truck pulled away. Others have been a little slower in doing so, but that's their choice. At some point over the holidays, I will pop over to their houses with cookies and shame them for not coming to me first.

We are slowly making our home our own. We removed the tether ball pole out of the back yard and have planted a couple of trees. The playset that the previous owner built was designed for 6 year old boys so my husband has been slowly tweaking it to make it a little friendlier for a 2 1/2 year old as shown below:

See? It's kind of cute. It did have a roof on it yesterday, but the tarp was torn, so my husband took it off with plans to put on a new, cedar roof next spring. At the bottom of the slide my husband created an area that is mulched for a smooth landing as the previous owners secured the bottom of the slide with a huge piece of concrete (I am not even kidding!) While he was working on tearing down the roof/tarp, he noticed that the neighbor behind us (whom we have not met) was taking apart his play set. It was slightly larger and seemed newer and in better shape. We were surprised that he was removing it because it looks like they have a few kids (again, haven't met them).

In a bold move of one-upmanship, the following playset was installed in their yard a couple of hours later:

This thing is easily five times the size of the one we have. It's made with gorgeous cedar, a rope climbing thingie on one side, a huge slide on the other. Not to mention the flags. THE FLAGS! Good God, it's GORGEOUS!













It should then, be no wonder that our daughter is now doing this :

See how pathetic she looks? Her sucko swingset doesn't compare to the shangri-la that is behind us. It is downright embarassing that she continues to walk down there, forlornly dreaming of riding the pretty swings that come in the choice of colors, red, yellow or blue. Why should she go down her lame green slide when she could go down the COOL tubular yellow one. She has asked all day if she can go play "ober there."



So, the gloves are coming off! While we may not have the McDonald Playland in our backyard, we WILL get all Griswold on your ass when it comes to Christmas decorating. Watch and learn dear neighbors--it is GAME ON!

21 comments:

McSwain said...

This is SO damned funny. Oh that pathetic picture of her staring longingly over the fence. Love the Christmas lights. I'm still laughing...

Jenette said...

Oh how funny! We started off a playset marathon in our neighborhood. We got a cute little cheapo wood play set... perfect for our budget and our then 2 year old. Then the new neighbors put up the mammoth playset, along with a trampoline and a concrete basketball court. Then the corner neighbors put up a massive play set as well. So now ours looks totally dinky, and Ethan, like your cutie, asks to go play "over there," and we don't know our neighbors all that well!

Isn't suburbia fun??? AGH!!! :):)
Oh, and thanks for your comments on my blog! We're sooo excited!

kimmyk said...

bless her little heart ! but ya know if ya did get her that gi-gundus one she'd want somethin bigger. it doesnt ever get better.....want want want...more more more......

*sigh*

i'm totally diggin the house-i love that! cept I don't see no santie claus on the roof....what's up with that??? or any of those damn blow up inflatable thingies I see in everyone's yard now these days. Better go to Wally World.

minimal_free_reign said...

I'm sorry, but flags on the playset, trampolines, ping pong tables, in ground pools, pool tables, etc. are all screaming out "I will have tenuous, fair-weather friends who are more interested in my toys than me." At least you know that your girls will have true friends, the sliding-in-your-mulch type friends.

minimal_free_reign said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
metrodad said...

Hilarious! It's so funny how "keeping up with the Joneses" can take so many different manifestations. I never even thought about the great outdoor playset battles. But on a serious note, your set is awesome! I'm amazed. It sure beats the Fisher Price miniaturized playsets that fit into our 20" living room. Maybe we need to move to Ohio!

Susan said...

Now you know why we bought in a neighborhood of elderly people.

And please PLEASE tell me those really ARE your Christmas lights--

adria said...

Thanks for the good chuckle. I love the holiday lights! I cannot wait to see what you do for Christmas.

MIM said...

Awww. She is sooo cute!

You go MH! Kick some bootie!

Misfit Hausfrau said...

I'll admit the decorated house is not mine. I am reasonably sure that several houses in the development will be looking much like that very soon...

My husband is DYING to go to the store and start buying the old school lights with the large bulbs (remember the kind from the 70's?) We will not be purchasing blow-up stuff however...

Missy said...

If she had that playset she would get bored with it. The grass is always greener syndrome. Cool lights though. The electric company will love you.

Candace said...

Dude, stain it with a cedar-colored stain! And get some flags of your own...and maybeIt's all about looks, and if yours looks new to her, she'll totally buy it!

Oh! Oh! And wall off that area behind the ramp and cut a door into the side opposite of the swings, cut some windows and she's got herself a little playhouse!

Candace said...

Or, better yet, plant hedges along that fence. Really tall hedges.

The June Cleaver Diaries said...

I say go for a trampolene.

And then some hedges.

Will Baby Girl still be at the fence at Thanksgiving? Or will she be joining us for some turkey?

JustLinda said...

Seriously? Is that Christmas pic of your house? Oh, you put us to shame, to shame I tell you. Yikes. That is SO Griswald!!!

Misfit Hausfrau said...

No--not my house :) But it could be...

Susan said...

I *LOVE* those big old lights--my dad used to put them up every year (that's where I learned to swear!). Buy some--buy LOTS!

And the reindeer, the motorized light-up kind, rock. Our kids are obssessed with them. I made my in-laws buy two last year, and we had to visit them EVERY DAMN DAY for a week (the deer, not the in-laws. The kids have priorities, you know).

Jenette said...

Misfit Housefrau,
we use those kind of lights around our house. Aaron loves them, and we seek out the lights at all stores, not to mention antique shops, because WHAT could be better than the exact lights he had when he was 6??:):) I like them on the house, but like smaller lights on the tree! Are we really talking about Christmas already? Sigh.

Missy said...

Let's talk about Halloween. I love October. Has Baby Girl figured out what to dress up as? And is she going to trick or treat or give out candy? And what will mommy dress Peaches up in? Or does she go to sleep before the fun begins?

Mary P. said...

I love that pic of her yearning through the fence... I'm with misfit: snazz yours up a bit, and she will yearn no longer. Cedar stain is for the adults. Kids go for bright! Get some primary colours. Make each slat in that ramp red, blue, and yellow, alternately. Flags, for sure. And balloons? Oh - how about water play??

Or you could just put that hedge in...

Candace said...

OH! And a bucket on a rope for the upper levels! Just like a secret tree-house! And passwords!