This is one of my favorite parts of our yard — it’s an open-sided structure with a roof of woven, waterproof material.  There’s a similar structure over the front part of the patio where we park the car, but this one is in the corner of our yard.  At this time of year, it’s shady and cool under there until about 11:30 in the morning, and sitting in it I can see our whole L-shaped yard and patio area.  This morning I took both of the kids out there right after breakfast.  Nathaniel lay on a towel kicking his legs while Stephen played with his trucks and we read books.  Stephen and I came back out during Nathaniel’s morning nap and I taught him how to play a very basic version of dominoes.

I’m amazed at how much of a difference it makes in Stephen’s temperament and in the tone of our day for us to have some time outside early on!  In the afternoon Stephen is much more content to play with his toys indoors if he has had some time outside, even if we’re doing the same thing outdoors that we would have done in the living room.  I really want to get some outdoor floor cushions of some sort so we can make the area a more comfortable place to sit, as I plan to spend a lot of time out there!

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