We Built a Pool to Save My Sanity

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We’ve had our pool for nearly a year now and I wonder what took us so long to pull the trigger. I know things like money and time and oh, you know, money really were holding us back, but after a year of being home bound with 5 kids I would have begged, borrowed or stole to get the kids outside of the house and not melt into an Arizona summer oblivion.
 
We are so happy we pulled the trigger and we all just love our little pool. Certainly not the fanciest on the block, but it keeps them entertained every single day (seriously our younger ones swam as late as thanksgiving and as early as Easter) and not to mention they sleep better at night! Our family has kids of all ages and the pool is the best happy meeting place for all of them. We are so happy we put the pool in last year and don’t regret one thing!
 
Happy summer!
xo, 
Kim

 

For Mom’s Sanity

We live in Gilbert, Arizona and didn’t have a pool for 8 years. This wasn’t really a problem, per se. An inconvenience, absolutely. A problem? No, well not until 2020 hit.

The beginning of March 2020 looked polar opposite to the end of March. I realized we took that village we were so accustomed to helping us raise our families totally for granted when we lost it all and were fending for ourselves and maybe even questioning the amount of children we had (totally kidding), but seriously… I was trying to cope with it all myself while trying to encourage our kids that this is all temporary.

I was trying to keep them engaged and doing their school work, all the while wanting to kick and scream at all I had taken away. The place we were in wasn’t fun. It wasn’t fun for any of us.

I just thought.. if only we had a pool. Why didn’t we build a pool with this house? Why didn’t I know ahead of time we would all be quarantined at home and a pool would be our only saving grace?

Our community center had a pool…but we couldn’t use it. Our friends had pools…but we couldn’t see them.

The dream for a pool started to turn into an obsession.

I am a cheap frugal mama. A pool is a big investment.

My sanity was also on the line and with all 5 kids at home with nowhere to go.

So, for the tug of war between our wallet and my sanity, my sanity won, and I started making phone calls.

Apparently, a lot of other folks were making calls, too, because it took a month to get someone out. And that is the one who actually called me back. I knew who we wanted to go with because they came with a referral from some close budget-savvy friends, as well as several other people we asked.

When we met them I know we would choose them because their pricing was within our budget (small) and it was a family-run business with the dad still working. Plus, he reminded me of my dad, so of course, we went with them.

Now I am not writing about how to build a pool because I am pretty sure saying things like “we went with this guy because he reminded me of my dad” would not be the most reliable resource on the internet, I’m just saying that’s how I work.

We had many suggest we build it ourselves and maybe in another year I could have. Maybe in another pandemic. But not this one. I didn’t have the bandwidth in me to make those kinds of calls, decisions, and scheduling.

My husband works 24-hour shifts every other day. He would not have been able to handle the build while working his schedule and knowing my own capabilities, I was not about to man a construction project while crying over math with my son because neither of us knew how to convert measurements.

So we hired the company and started the greatest project our family has ever been experienced.

Like I mentioned, we had a budget to work with and we weren’t going fancy. I actually just needed a hole our kids could swim their energy away in and a place I could retreat to for a literal cool off. So, all the gorgeous water features like waterfalls and slides were off the table, but we were able to get the one thing I had to have and that was a large baja step and several umbrella sleeves.

I also wanted a rectangle, but we learned that too was more pricey (who knew?) but we were able to get away with several straight lines and right angles which was more aesthetically pleasing to my eyes.

My husband wanted a little more done with our landscaping so I let him take that chore on and our backyard got a total makeover! 

The pool digging was on July 8th and we jumped in as a family on August 24th! The process was so fun to watch.

The kids learned a little something about patience and how not everything is ordered and delivered to your doorstep the next day.

 

We watched the process step by step and documented it along the way and although the summer is practically over, it is Arizona, so we know we can swim a lot more of the months than we can’t

Our video game-loving 6th grader is outside swimming several times a day, the little ones swim hard and sleep hard every night. Our teenager had a few friends over for the first time in forever because we have a fun backyard to host a small gathering in.

And probably the best part is our special needs daughter loves to float and relax in it!

This one thing (albeit big thing) has unified our family in ways I never imagined for kids ranging for 18-4 would! I feel pretty safe to say the pool is the best thing that happened to our family in 2020.

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Kim is an Arizona Native who grew up in Mesa, AZ, and slowly migrated south over the years. She now lives in South Gilbert with her husband, Andrew an EMS worker, and their 5 children. Kim’s oldest daughter, LilyAnna (18), suffers from a rare genetic disorder called CDD (CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder) that causes a multitude of disabilities. LilyAnna is nonverbal, epileptic and delayed in all areas resulting in her dependent on her family and caregivers for all her needs. Kim has been involved in the special needs community here in Arizona and loves being a supporter of newly diagnosed families with CDKL5 and helping other families on their special needs journey no matter their diagnosis. Additionally, Kim is Mom to Andi Jane (16) who stands over 6’ tall, plays competitive volleyball, who is a great student and super helpful at home and so much fun to be around! And to Oliver (12) a super smart, quick witted, hilarious boy who is handling all the things he has to handle at this tender age one smart aleck comment at a time. Also mama to Alfonso (5) a mama loving, animal loving, music loving boy with the best smile life has to offer and lastly (but certainly not least) miss Isabella (4) who rules every empire she comes in contact with. It's her world we are just mere peasants here to keep her fed and comfortable. Kim works from home trying to juggle it all. More accurately she’s just dropping a lot of balls and laughing about it and posting it to her IG stories.

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