Made of Gray

"Caleigh's Pool"


"Caleigh's Pool"Holly D Gray7 Comments
How do you say thank you for a life changing gift? How do you convey the emotions related to a gift that will bring your child joy for the rest of her years? Gratitude.
This past Wednesday, most of the individuals involved in creating Caleigh's pool came to our house to see the final product and to meet Caleigh. It was a cold and dreary day; the rain had stopped just long enough for the get together to happen. We gathered by the pool and the story of how Caleigh's pool came to be was told. The pool was blessed and then everyone huddled in for a photo.
Everybody was in and out fairly quickly. When everyone had gone and the house was once again quiet; we felt as though it just wasn't enough. Nothing we can say or do will ever be a big enough thank you. The Claffey family and their partners are amazing, humble and truly wonderful people. To see a little girl that wants nothing more than to swim; to take that wish and make it easily come true is just phenomenal to our family. Even though the pool is in and done, we still peek out into our backyard in total disbelief. It still doesn't seem real sometimes.

Over the nine weeks that the project took to complete; we were excited about each and every step. We absolutely enjoyed each area of the construction process. The anticipation for Caleigh was huge. It still is, and I guarantee that she will be excited each time she is able to swim. Our lives will never be the same again. Forever changed for the better. Forever joyful.
Once again a HUGE Thank You to the loving Claffey Pools Family and these wonderful partners that donated their services to Caleigh's pool.

Charlie Claffey
Brian Claffey
Shelley Claffey-Broder
Paul and Barbara Claffey
Mac's Excavating
Maddox Steel & Plumbing
Prestige Gunite
Gustavo Martin Tile & Coping
Alliance Materials
Avery Irrigation
Southwestern Plumbing
Pebble Technology
Zodiac Pool Systems
A & B Plaster
Mackie Electric
Kids Matter International

A special thanks, as well, to Caleigh's Mimi, Pop, Grammie and Grampa for all that you do to help with Caleigh and did do with the pool preparations. We couldn't do this without you.

Everything we do should be a result of our gratitude for what God has done for us. -Lauryn Hill
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Caleigh's Pool - Week Nine - Completion

"Caleigh's Pool"Holly D Gray8 Comments
Day 29 - Manual vacuum, Rocks sealed and Clarity added 1-16-12
The manual vacuuming wasn't getting all of the fine plaster particles so a product called Clarity was added to the water and the filtration system was turned back on. The rocks were also treated on this day. We will have to seal the natural rocks at least once a year to protect them from the saltwater.
Day 30 - Chemistry Checked 1-17-12

Day 31- Deck wash, salt added and saltwater pump started 1-18-12
Something isn't working right on the saltwater pump. We are waiting on a repair at this time.
Day 32- Fill line and irrigation adjusted, Heater repaired and started, Saltwater training, Signed off 1-19-12
They had to put a new transformer on the heater. We are thinking there was a power surge at some point that caused the heater and saltwater pump some issues. When they were done, we started the heater in hopes of swimming the next day. The temperature was going to be about 75 degrees so we set the heater at 85 degrees.
That night we dipped our toes and talked about swimming the next day. Caleigh was kicking and squealing. She was so excited.
Day 33- Grass laid, Lift plumbing re-routed, Backyard prep and 1st Dip 1-20-12
Eric re-routed the plumbing line that will go to Caleigh's pool lift when it is installed. The lift will by hydro-powered, so some fresh water plumbing was involved to get it set up. We are looking at probably getting the lift installed this summer.
The landscaping company came back and laid more grass to areas around the pumps and by the new fence.
By the time all of that was done, it was almost 5 o'clock in the afternoon. The pool water was 85 degrees and you could hear the gas meter hissing from the street. I would say this was Caleigh's first dip, not so much swim. We only lasted maybe 30 minutes.
The water was chilly in spots and we learned a good lesson about heating the pool. Turn off the waterfalls, so that the warm water is flowing directly into the body of the pool and not losing it's momentum in the air.
It wasn't ooh la la comfortable, but had we swam a few hours earlier when the sun was higher, I think it would have been perfect. Caleigh was no doubt excited to finally get in, although she agreed it wasn't summertime splashing fun.
There is a lot of fine tuning that we need to figure out as far as the heating system goes. We've heard a lot of "comfortable" temperatures to set it at, i.e. 85. We've also heard a lot of times to heat the pool for, i.e. 10-12 hours. I think we will just have to test it out, see and hope that we don't rack up a huge electric and gas bill at the same time. The pool heater is mostly to extend our swimming season. So for Texas this most likely means March - early December.
Our next dip in the pool isn't in the foreseeable future, or at least the 10 day forecast. We've decided that it needs to be at least 75 degrees outside, preferably 80 before Caleigh's muscles will be comfortable enough in the water. The wind has a lot to do with how comfortable the experience is as well. We've downloaded a weather app on the iPad so that Caleigh can track the possible next swim.
It was 75 degrees yesterday, but the winds were kicking in around 20-30 mph. It would have been miserable. So instead of swimming we hung out on the deck and I painted Caleigh's toe nails in the warm air while Eric worked on the never ending landscaping tasks.

That's it. The construction is complete. Caleigh's been in the pool. It's done. Never in a million years could we express just how special this pool is for Caleigh. We have a get together planned for everyone involved with Caleigh's Pool this coming week. Somehow we will try to show our immense gratitude for this amazing gift.

Edit: Because I always get a ton of comments and emails, this is the neck float that we use for Caleigh. We use the large size. Waterway Babies
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Caleigh's Pool - Week Eight

"Caleigh's Pool"Holly D GrayComment
Day 25 - Power wash rocks 1-9-12
We got several inches of rain this day. They came out and power washed the rocks, brushed and cleaned out the leaves in the pouring rain.
Day 26 - Masonry rock repair and start-up chemical check 1-11-12
There were a few rocks that needed to be repaired and reattached. The start-up process is a three visit schedule. This was the second visit.

Day 27 - Start-up chemical completion and Landscaping 1-12-12
To finalize the start-up chemical process, they clean out the filters and make any adjustments necessary.


Day 28 - Training Day 1-13-11
Eric and I bundled up Caleigh, she chose her stander, babies and music; and then we headed outside for our pool training.
Meet Becky.... Caleigh's new pool cleaner.
Most families name their pool robot. I remember a friend's from when I was a kid, The Octopus. So when we asked Caleigh what she wanted to name her new pool cleaner she spelled out Becky. Becky is a Polaris 480 Pro....and apparently female.
Landscape3 Polaris480ProBecky
During our training we learned about the filtration systems, chemical balances and when everything needs to be cleaned and replaced.
The water in the pool is still very dirty. You can't even see the bottom right now. The landscaping is now covering the loose dirt. So that should help out a lot. We've put something called Alum into the water and shut off the filtration as of this morning. Alum puts a thin layer on the water. Once the filters are turned off the Alum sinks to the bottom of the pool taking all the dirt with it. Tomorrow they will come in and manually vacuum out the bottom of the pool.
By the end of next week the saltwater system, heater and chemical balances will be turned over to us. Today, January 15th, is supposed to be 70 degrees. We are hoping the unseasonably warm weather continues its pattern.
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Caleigh's Pool - Week Seven

"Caleigh's Pool"Holly D Gray7 Comments
Day 20 - Dirt Work and Final Water Pump Out 1-2-12
Eric and Grampa spent the afternoon cleaning up the fence area and adding more dirt to spots that needed it.
FenceDirtWork2 FenceDirtWork
That same day, the leaves and dirty water were pumped out of the shell for the final time.
Day 21 - Final City Inspection 1-3-12

Day 22 - Plaster 1-4-12
Pebble Sheen Aqua Blue

Day 23 - Plaster pressure washed, buffed and Water Filled 1-5-12
We started filling the pool with water somewhere between 10-11am.
Caleigh had her last chance to stand in the bottom of the pool with Daddy.
She was so incredibly hyped this day. We kept going outside to check the progress. She couldn't take a nap and told us that she felt "excited."
WaterFill2 WaterFillDay
The weather was beautiful and unseasonably warm. We spent most of the afternoon outside soaking it up.
WaterFillDay2 WaterFill3
There was still quite a bit to go by the time Caleigh was ready for bed.
Eric stayed up and finally turned the water off around 1am. Our estimate on water gallons is about 8900 give or take a shower or two. By the next morning the pool was full and gorgeous.
Day 24 - Pump and Chemical Start Up, Gas Meter and Mastic 1-6-12
The pumps were fired up and the start up chemicals were added to the water. The chemicals made the water cloudy and changed the overall color a bit.
Since the final city inspection was complete, the gas meter was ready to be installed.
On the decking, there was foam inserted in the joints when it was laid. On this day, they applied mastic to those joints. We weren't allowed to step on these areas for 24 hours.
For the next 14 days the pumps will run 24 hours. We will also be brushing the plaster twice a day to loosen up any debris and push it towards the main drains. Today, I quickly learned that the simple task of brushing is quite the workout.
There is still a lot of little things that need to be done before Caleigh's actual first swim. Now that there is water in the pool, Caleigh asks to go swimming at least twice a day. Little things that she can participate in seem to help the growing anticipation.
The next two weeks will hold all the finishing touches.
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