Archive for October, 2015

I think I say this every October (and then again on our first warm, sunny day in May), but Seattle has never looked more beautiful.  I’ve been obsessively toting my camera around (you think?!), wanting to capture every Fall color and texture and hazy glow.

Shane and I were so taken with Ravenna Park when we jogged there a couple of weeks ago that we went back on Saturday for a more leisurely stroll, to wind our way up and down the wooded paths and over the bridges, stopping in open fields of grass for a quick game of tag.

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Jules dug around for the biggest leaf she could find and proudly waved her autumn flag.

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This. Tree.

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And, as icing on our golden cake, a zipline!  Juliette’s new playground favorite.

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This season suits her, don’t you think?

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On Sunday we set out for our weekly family run, this time at Carkeek Park just north of Ballard.  And once again, Shane’s trail-scouting skills proved absolutely superb.

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Mid-loop, we stopped for a breather at the beach – after swooning over all that green and gold, I forgot how much I love blue and gray, too.

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We hit the trail for the final leg of our run, not entirely sure where we were going, but…ka-pow!

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It was so pretty there that we let Juliette hop back out of the stroller to soak it all in.

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Three cheers for Fall!

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These colors, this cool, crisp weather – October is killin’ it.  So we’re more than happy to oblige Juliette’s persistent requests for “outside time?  outside time?  outside time?!”.

Last weekend we romped through the Carpinito pumpkin patch with the gang – Juliette went nuts when she saw the mounds of orange and white, momentarily putting down the beloved Percy train she’d borrowed from Nico to grab a pumpkin from the bin.

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But ultimately, Percy won.

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This was one of those days when I relished her blossoming independence, when it felt so good to sit back and watch her run free.

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Juliette is into all things insect these days and could hardly contain herself when she found a little ladybug crawling on this pumpkin.  Simple pleasures…

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These boys have become like big brothers to Juliette, contentedly playing magna-tiles together one minute, snatching toys out of each other’s hands the next.  I love watching them grow up together.

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Two seconds after I took this photo, the wheelbarrow tipped over.  Whoops.

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We finally settled on a long-stemmed beast of a squash, strapped it in the stroller, and called it a wrap, chuckling a little as we reminisced about our less-than-ideal visit to Carpinito two years ago.  We’ve come a long way!

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We’re on a family running streak and spent that afternoon zipping down the trails at Ravenna Park – how have we missed visiting this gem in the past ten years?!

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Jules and I met up with our pals at Volunteer Park on Friday morning for a go at the playground and a “splash” in the leaf-strewn wading pool.

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Turns out dried leaves are a fairly decent substitute for water!

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And Juliette’s hair is the perfect Fall camouflage.

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I know, Jules – these colors make me feel all warm and huggy, too.

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One final embrace for the road…

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Ok, I’ll stop now.

Who am I kidding?  More orange and gold magic coming your way – we hit the parks hard this past weekend.  Stay tuned.


I thought about skipping the monthly Jules updates now that she’s two and really not a baby anymore, now that the changes in her seem more gradual, but indulge me – there are a few toddler tidbits that I want to capture in this little time capsule.

Like, holy geez, she’s got a mouth on her!  Not a bad mouth, just an ultra-busy one that rambles on and on and on.  She’s using words that I didn’t even realize she knew, telling me about the owie she got on her sho-der at school and asking for tanger-eeeeeens and reminiscing about that shiny carousel zebra she rode on when we were in San Francisco last month.  When we’re in the car together and she doesn’t have anything specific to tell me, it’s just, “Mama?  Mama?  Mama?  MAMA!!!”, until I acknowledge her with, “Yes, honey?”, at which point she replies, “Uhhhh…Hi, Mama!”  Some of her vocabulary is a little mixed up, which is good for a laugh, like when she gets “sham-poop” in her eyes, wants “busy water” (fizzy water) with dinner, and asks for “pine cones” (pumpkin scones) for breakfast.  She’s parotting Shane and I more than ever, flopping down on the floor with a dramatic sigh and saying, “Oh my gosh, I so tired”, and sweetly murmuring to her doll during pretend diaper changes, “Real quick, baby.  I know, I know…”.

She loves to sing, whether anyone is listening or not – “Twinkle, Twinkle” is currently on repeat (and repeat, and repeat) at our house:

It’s not all sweet twinkle-twinkle’s, though.  Her “assertive” personality is shining through more as she finds the words to express her wishes demands.  Favorite phrases these days are “stay back!” and “just leave it”, said with an upheld, spread-fingered hand and a furrowed brow, usually employed when I’m heading her way to retrieve whatever forbidden item she’s snagged from the counter.  Getting dressed in the morning can be maddening, as she grabs her pants out of Shane’s hands and shouts “Mama do it!”, then grabs her socks from me and yells “Daddy do it!”  I know, labeling girls as “bossy” is taboo in this day and age, and we’re supposed to celebrate our daughter’s excellent leadership potential, but dang, toddler tyranny is not my favorite.

Back to the good stuff: pictures!  Here are a few from our Thursday romp through the Arboretum – I have upped my work hours and am now in the office on Thursdays, but when I can, I slip away a little early so that I can pick up Juliette for an abbreviated mama-Jules day.  She and I can’t get enough of these Fall leaves.

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And the requisite N+J photo:

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And…just a couple more, because, JOY:

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Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t wish one hell of a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favorite guy, the man who keeps our boat on course time and again amidst the glaciers of parenthood.  Happy 36th, Shane.  Jules and I love you so very, very much.

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I feel like my last three months of blog entries were a sort of tribute to the glory of Seattle summers, but Fall in the PNW ain’t too shabby, either.  The trees are bursting with color and have shed just enough leaves to coat the ground with a nice crinkly carpet of gold.  Swim season is over, but duck hunting season is well underway – we hop in the car and visit our feathered friends at the Arboretum whenever the sun comes out.

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We spent a lazy Saturday there with the Chens, and after the longest short walk ever, as Juliette seemed to run twenty steps backward for every twenty-one steps forward, we staked out a spot near the water to crack open a bottle of wine and watch the sailboats.

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Like I said, not too shabby.

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My mom and dad were in town last weekend and we spent Friday afternoon at Kubota Gardens – we’d been there just one week earlier with Shane’s mom, but wowsers, it had gotten even better since then!  Happy Birthday to me!

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Such a treat to ring in my 34th year with this crew and these colors.

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Saturday was rainy, rainy, rainy – we hardly left the house and were all feeling completely stir-crazy by Sunday morning.  Thank goodness for a sun-break!  Off to the arboretum again!

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My mom and dad headed back to Oregon on Sunday afternoon while Shane, Jules, and I went for a jog along the trails at the Redmond Watershed Preserve.  Juliette happily bumped along the wooded path with Shane, singing songs while I huffed and puffed to keep up.

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We saw a couple of horses on the trails, and three days later, we’re still hearing about them.  “Horsey go poo-poo on his bottom, mama!”

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Thanks, October, for being awesome.

Shane’s mom left yesterday after a week-long visit – it was a full few days, packed with parks and sight-seeing and plenty of at-home Lego-building and choo-choo time.  We’re missing her today – Juliette’s first words when we came downstairs this morning were, “Where Grandma go?!”  I know, kiddo, it was awfully fun having her around…

Last Sunday was a beautiful Fall day, so we rented a boat at UW and paddled around Lake Washington.  It was a little windy out there, and the water was a little rougher than we anticipated, but after some frantic rowing on Shane’s part, we made our way to the calm, sheltered waters of the arboretum.

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Juliette couldn’t resist leaning over to run her fingers through the water, but Grandma kept a firm hold on her life jacket to make sure the rest of her stayed dry.

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This photo captures our crossing back to the dock so well – Juliette and I snapping pictures while the wind whipped our hair, Shane grimacing with each stroke of the paddle as he struggled to keep us on course.

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Whew!  Made it!

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Shane went to work on Monday while the rest of us headed to the zoo for some animal-gazing.

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We lucked out and saw most of the animals up-close, from giraffes to hippos to these magnificent tigers.

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And penguins!!!

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Juliette loved the flamingos and did her best to mimic their one-legged stance.

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We said good-bye to our furry and feathered friends around noon and headed home for naptime – Juliette snoozed the afternoon away but woke up ready to get back at it, so we caught the last of the day’s rays at Jefferson Park.

Juliette went to daycare on Tuesday while Shane and his mom did some sight-seeing, and then stayed home with Grandma on Wednesday for some bonding time (which didn’t go quite as planned, stubborn Jules!).  Thursday was Grandma-Mama-Jules day, and the three of us spent the morning at the mall and the afternoon at Luther Burbank Park.

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Shane biked over after work to meet up with us and have his own go at the playground.

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The four of us were together on Friday and decided to spend the cool, gray morning indoors at the Museum of Flight.  This kid looks ready to fly, doesn’t she?

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We headed to Kubota Gardens in the afternoon and wandered down the tree-lined pathways, soaking in all the greens and reds and oranges.

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Tuckered out.  Finally.

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We said good-bye to Pat yesterday morning, with lots of hugs and a few tears.  Thanks for making the trek out here, Grandma!  Thanks for riding along with us so patiently on the roller-coaster that is toddler-hood.  For loving Juliette so fiercely.  Come back soon.

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