Jeremiah’s Epic Treehouse {Tour}

I haven’t seen my husband so proud since the days our children were born. Beaming from ear to ear, covered in sawdust and sweat, he gazed up at his labor of love and said, “That treehouse is everything that I dreamed it would be….and more. It is AWESOME.”

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Yes, he’s quite proud of his creation. And I’ve got to give him props. He didn’t use any kind of kit, blueprints or pre-fab version, he made it all from his brain. There were sketches and pictures floating around the house for months, some even drawn in crayon, how cute 😉 Many a night there were several guys out in the yard, talking, theorizing, or as they say ‘visualizing’ the treehouse and discussing how to go about this or that, or how to hang this truss, or how to achieve a good angle with the slide.

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I came home at the end of the day several times this summer to J on a ladder 60 ft tall (or so it seemed) and Uncle Cam pulling some kind of gymnastics moves on the upper rafters and peak. For awhile I wondered if we would make it through the treehouse-building-process without a trip to the ER from a fall related injury.

The treehouse has been quite the talk of our small town. Everyone has seen it and brings it up in conversation. I go to the bank, school, post office, city hall, library…. they all comment on it and say how our kids will have great memories from it.  I think it’s kind of humorous. We’ve gotten questions about renting it out. That’s even better!

So here’s a short tour of the treehouse after I made the kids pick it up today. Yes, it’s pretty much a second toyroom so it gets a little deep.  The neighbor kids are in it whenever our kids are as well so it’s like the neighborhood playground.

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Amelia has no fear. She climbs the ladder like she’s been doing it for years.  It scares the daylights out of me usually, but she just turns around and smiles.  The ladder is 7.5 feet tall and has an attached rope for practicing some kind of rapelling skill, I guess.  Before it was up, she would scale the aluminum construction ladder without a thought. Yipes!

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Porch is 4x8ft with a lower 2.5×2.5 ft landing for the slide.

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Jeremiah made this awesome railing for multiple reasons. Obviously, we needed a railing on the deck, but we needed a functional one, at that. He put the boards vertically so kids would be less likely to climb it, and cut the 1/2 circles in the top to allow us to see through it and the kids to see out. He also positioned the treehouse itself in a place in the yard where we can see into it from the kitchen, dining/living rooms, and from the top of the stairs. Works great!

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The only decor haha!

Gabriel got this picture on a garage sale, months ago, for this specific purpose!

The inside of the treehouse is in the baby stages. We had some leftover carpet pieces from our upstairs and they *almost* cover the floor in there. It’s 8×10 in there so it takes a good chunk of carpet. There will eventually be a ‘hidden door’ beneath the south window that will lead to a cargo net type of climb, but I have to be convinced that my children will not fall doing that, so it might be awhile. J has plans for electricity, drywall, a murphy bed, and a skylight, but we’ll see. I had the fabulous idea for a retractable roof, but I guess I voiced it a few days too late. 😉

We do have a few things to finish before cold weather hits….first up is the door handle/latch so *ahem* no one will lock their sister in there anymore.

-The {treehouse-lovin} Costellos

Carseat prison

Yesterday we traveled 96 miles one way to Backbone State Park near Strawberry Point, IA. We do an annual Labor Day weekend picnic and family get-together with my mom’s brothers and their families.  It’s tons of fun. This year we hiked up to a cave, hiked beautiful trails with several kids in tow, and waded near the springs of a frigid trout stream.  We ate a ton of good food, had water fights and water balloon tossing contests and great conversation. Nana and Papa had offered to drive and we can all fit into their Flex, so it worked out well. Until we went home.

Loving Backbone!

Amelia loves Backbone!

You would think riding in a car is not that awful. You would think the fact that you have been awake all day, missed your regular nap, and are only 21 months old; that a nap in a very comfortable car with your family would be an ideal way to spend 2 hours. What else is there to do?

CRY.

That’s not even the right word.

SCREAM AT THE HIGHEST PITCH IMAGINABLE REPEATEDLY FOR 80 MILES.

Amelia has mastered the scream of all screams.  It rattles your eardrums until they ring.  I’m pretty sure it could splinter glass. It makes one’s blood boil. Especially if you are trapped in a car with that sound.

Our kids have never been great, nor terrible in the car. I guess they are just mediocre. They get bored, but are usually decent.  Yesterday was not the case.  G and L were fine. Amelia was the other end of the spectrum.

We tried everything. I offered snacks, drink, toys, crayons, sights out the window, games.  Nana tried songs. I tried ignoring her after nothing else worked. Papa tried his stern ‘papa voice’ to scare it out of her. J tried tickling her feet from the front seat. She had no reason to be shrieking like that. The  car became a prison, with our little obscenely vocal prisoner strapped securely into her seat in the direct center of the car. I had even turned her around to forward face for the little trip, thinking she might enjoy that more. Guess I was wrong. It got so bad that we pulled over. None of us could take it anymore. I immediately pulled Amelia from her carseat and there it was: SILENCE.  She would have rode the rest of the way home in my lap, but of course that’s not legal. 😛 I ventured into a gas station with her in tow because I just had to get out of there before I snapped! I bought 3 tootsie pops, one per kid. That kept her quiet for the next 16 miles. Then she gave me an empty sticky lollipop stick. Then it started again.

We survived the remaining 10 miles home. I put Amelia directly to bed, and she was asleep within 3 minutes, and that was that.

There have got to be other parents out there who dread the car ride, maybe more than I do. Amelia is definitely the worst of our kids thus far in the car, and it’s hit or miss.   My blood pressure is still recovering.

Next time we go anywhere farther than 30 miles, I’m contemplating earplugs.

-The {ears still ringing} Costellos