I packed away Juliette’s puffy gray coat last weekend – I was a little saddened by the fact that she’ll probably never wear it again, but mostly I was thrilled that winter is OVER.  Never have I been so desperate for being-outside weather.  I’m typically not prone to stir-craziness – I could happily pass an entire weekend without leaving the house, curled up inside with my Kindle and my tea and my knitting.  Jules, on the other hand?  She starts pin-balling off the walls after about 20 minutes of coloring or puzzles, heading to the door and asking “outside?  outside?  outside?” before we’ve even changed out of our pajamas.  In a lot of ways, staying indoors with toddlers is more exhausting than getting out with them.  And so we go out.  and out.  and out!

The warmer weather has been great, but the longer daylight hours feel like an all-out Godsend.  It’s so nice to get home from work/daycare and have the option to play outside for a bit – this makes the two-hour pre-bedtime slog fly right by!  The other night Juliette and I jogged up to Jefferson Park after work to meet up with Shane, who had biked from the office.  We did a few rounds on the slide and hung out on the swings for awhile before heading home for a quick dinner and bedtime.  It felt like a treat for all of us to be able to get some exercise on a weeknight.

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On the warm evenings when we don’t have the time or the energy to hit the park, we hang out in the back yard and dine al fresco, with fresh fruit smoothies for dessert.  Juliette’s a fan.

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Some friends of ours gave us their baby bike seat and Shane has been taking Juliette out for weekend spins around the neighborhood – every time he stops, she looks up at him, her silly pink helmet perched on her head, and asks, “more?  more?  more?”.  Until she decides she’s done, at which point she’s DONE being in the bike.  You have to hope this doesn’t happen when you’re miles from home (yes, that’s experience speaking!).

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We took a day trip out to Bainbridge Island a couple of weeks ago on a particularly sunny Sunday, excited to watch Juliette experience her first ferry ride.

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And…she was not so impressed.  This isn’t a flattering photo of either one of us, but it sums things up so well:  little lady was cranky and I was running low on patience (this particular day was at the tail end of her making-me-crazy spell).

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Eventually she got over whatever fit she’d been throwing and enjoyed the ride a bit…

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And when we made it to Mora’s for ice cream, she was quickly convinced that Bainbridge is heaven on earth.

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We spent most of the afternoon at Fort Ward Park, picking daisies and throwing rocks and walking down the tree-lined paths.

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And then it was time to head back to catch our 5:30 ferry.  We thought we’d play it safe and get there 45 minutes early, only to find a line of 200 cars waiting at the terminal.  We missed our boat by two spots and were told we’d have to wait an hour to catch the next one.  One whole hour in a car with our grouchy toddler?  Say it ain’t so!  But miraculously, Jules was a total delight throughout the wait.  She was super-stoked to be able to hang out in the front seat and push all the buttons on the radio.

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And the ride home proved to be much more fun than the ride there, even if it was ever-so-slightly windy…

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Plus, the golden hour was so golden out there on the water.

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We made it home just in time for bed and Jules crashed hard, waking up the next morning refreshed and fuss-free.  Must have been the ice cream.

Our new favorite close-to-home place to pass a sunny afternoon is in the greenbelt up the street from our house.  It’s pretty great – a five-minute walk and you feel like you’re buried deep in the woods.  This little bench has become our designated super-special bubble-blowing spot.  We sat here for over an hour one Friday.

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It’s fun to watch Juliette experience the squishiness of moss or the sound of birds calling to one another from the treetops.  My hope is that she’ll one day love nature and the city in equal measure.

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On days where the temps approach 70 degrees, we don tank tops and head out in search of water.  We spent this afternoon at Seahurst Park in Burien, dipping our toes in the Sound.

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And then Juliette got carried away dipped her bottom in the Sound.  So glad I packed that extra pair of pants!

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Sayonara, winter, huh Jules?

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