Do you hear that? That sound, my friends, is the sound of progress. It's the approaching sound of a railing being torn down and replaced with a fairy garden.
We're about 20% of the way to the minimum we need to make Center for Victims an amazing space.
Keep it coming.
There's this thing you're supposed to do where you're supposed to take your kids to the doctor once in a while, even if they're well, just because.
I'm bad at that thing.
I'm so bad at that thing that the pediatrician's office called and was like, "Yo. You wanna bring that 2-year old in before she's a 3-year old?" The answer was yes, of course. The good news is that because the office fussed at me, I was only a month late for Mila's appointment.
The thing about well visits with Mila is that they're always annoying. There will always be several minutes spent trying to understand why she's so tiny (she literally is a tiny human -- she's in the 10th percentile for weight and 15th for height).
I dunno why. She eats. The girl will tackle a 300-pound man if she thinks she will walk away from the battle with a candy bar. I suspect she's so little purely out of spite because she heard her sister was a giant toddler.
The other half of the appointment will be spent with me trying to contain the tiny hurricane. She's a nut who climbs all over the place and really doesn't care who sees her doing it. While our favorite pediatrician reviewed Mila's stats, Mila pushed a footstool to the sink and tried to drown herself. My attempts to contain the chaos led to Mila shouting, "NO! I DO IT!"
So that's fun.
But I think my favorite part of this particular visit came when the doctor was asking all of the questions needed to figure out if Mila's development is on schedule.
Mila decided to answer the questions.
Does she know how to jump? Yes! I jump! ::jump::jump::
Does she make eye contact? Nooooooooo.
Does she say phrases or sentences? Yeah, I talk.
Does she follow directions? No, I play with Alexis.
Do you have any concerns? I want paci-fire, please.
The good news is that the pediatrician agreed with me that any kid who says paci-fire completely coherently probably doesn't need an actual pacifier. The bad news is that I'm pretty sure Mila is making a voodoo doll of both me and the pediatrician so she can exact her revenge.
Have I mentioned lately that you're looking great these days? I mean, seriously. You look great.
You know what doesn't look great? This.
It's okay, I suppose, as long as you don't look too closely. If you look too closely, you notice things like the uneven decking that leads to much tripping and falling.
And the benches that need some TLC.
The gaps under the fence that lead to animals sneaking in to do things like eat through cables.
And, well, the overall starkness of the space.
This space is the patio/yard at the Center for Victims emergency shelter. It's the space where men, women, and children who are escaping a violent situation stay while they fight to turn their lives around. Up to 27 people live there at any given time.
But, for obvious reasons, they stay inside.
It's time for us to fix it.
I'm still working on some things behind the scenes, but at the end of it all, we're going to need some money to get this project done. We have a crazy talented Landscape Architect who is donating her time to design plans that are as cost efficient yet functional as possible. With her help and the help of some others, I'm confident we're going to be able to do a lot with a little.
For example, a few cans of paint are going to go a very long way.
We're going to paint that gate and wall. Center for Victims hasn't been able to do so because budgets are tight. We're also going to paint those bright blue doors and that white(ish) storage building.
The storage building is structurally in great shape; it just needs a good power washing and coat of paint.
We're also going to fix those benches. New wood and some stain or paint will make them as good as new.
And, most importantly, we're going to replace that deck. While we're doing it, we're going to solve another problem. Animals are taking up residence under that deck (it's only about a foot off of the ground), so it's going to be replaced with concrete or patio stones. So long things that go bump in the night!
When we're done with all of that, Bedner's is going to come in and add landscaping. It's going to be AMAZING.
But first we need to buy that paint, the wood for those benches, and the patio stones.
Whether you've got $1 or $100 to help out, it will matter. Every little bit will come together and it will make an incredible difference in the lives of some kids who could really use a little difference right about now.
And the best part? This is going to be the kind of gift that gives for years and years. Ten years from now, Center for Victims will still be telling people about their amazing patio that the Internet built.
Use the button above to donate any amount you want. Want to buy a can of paint? Great. $20 should do it. In the mood to fix a bench? That's about $35. Want to own a piece of patio? Great! $3 will get you one square foot if we end up with our lowest cost plan, or you can take care of several square feet. If we get that much done, there's more we can do to make the space even better. Baby steps, though.
Every little bit matters.
(If you're itching to donate your time, hang tight. Once we have funding, we'll work on scheduling a painting crew, a crew to rip out that deck, and another crew to put in the new patio.)
(If you know any local companies that might want in on this fun, holler my way. The email address is burghbaby (at) gmail.com.)
(Of note, the space is much smaller than it appears in the photos. Wide angle lenses have that effect.)