Wrapping up Summer at Ross Falls

For the entire past week Levi has been walking around {and going places!} wearing one green size 8 sandal and one yellow size 10 sandal.  I swear, that kid would lose his head if it wasn't attached.  I keep waiting for the other sandal matches to show up someplace, but they haven't.  It's kind of funny.  I have a feeling I'll find them sometime after school starts... which is in exactly one week!

For the first time in my entire life I think I am actually okay with saying goodbye to summer and welcoming a new school year.  Part of it is because I'm getting bigger and slower with each passing week.  The commencement of Fall just means I'm that much closer to meeting our newest family member!  Plus, a regular routine is sounding awesome.  Jed and Levi are frankly bored at home.  A few hours away from each other every day will do them some good.  They're cute and play well together most of the time, but gee whiz are they competitive and wow are they physically cruel when they fight!  On top of that, Levi seems to calculate whether the punishment is worth retaliating; it almost always is.

For instance, just earlier this week, I oversaw Jed scrub his toilet and sink after he severely scratched his brother.  Levi waited until Jed was done cleaning and then got his revenge with a mean scratch of his own!  I took him outside to weed the front courtyard.  I'm not sure what we're going to do with that kid.  We've tried taking away toys, time-out, spanking, chores... but revenge always trumps the consequence.  "But Mom, I get angry a lot," he said to me when I sat down and talked with him one day.  I laughed.  I know!  Hopefully we can channel that competitiveness and aggression into something productive one day.

Anyway, the shopping is all done and both boys are super excited to start school.  I can't help but be excited along with them. Jed will be going into first grade and Levi will start preschool.  We live in such a great community and school district.  I feel at ease knowing the boys have supportive teachers and a good group of kids from which to choose solid friends.

But until then, we're going to enjoy our last sunny and completely carefree summer days doing the things we love to do best.

These pictures are from an afternoon trip into the South Hills last week when the boys needed to get out of the house and burn some energy!  I packed my camel backpack with water, jerky, cheese, crackers, and apple slices to eat at the top of the short Ross Falls hike.  Clouds moved in over the sun and we got to explore the falls in balmy 70 degree weather.  It was nearly perfect.  I'm hoping our last week of summer has many more moments like these.  I love my boys.  And I love spending quality time with them.       


Third Baby Bump Date: 25 Weeks

^^Wow, does five weeks make a difference!  Check out how I wore the same shirt just over a month ago.  Whoa.^^

It's time to document this growing bump that feels like a heavy soccer ball and the baby that we're all getting super excited about welcoming to the family!

How far along: 25 weeks plus some.  Closing in on the third trimester.  Whew!

Size of baby boy: According to the books, approximately 9 inches in length and 1.5 pounds in weight.  Or he can also be described as the size of a baseball glove or a Napa Cabbage.  However, when I went in for my last appointment over a week ago, I told the doctor I was hoping for a "light weight" 8 pound baby.  She shook her head as she measured my stomach and said, "Don't plan on it!  Baby is measuring big."  They'll most likely induce this baby a week early just as they did Levi.  I hope if it does come to that decision that labor will go just as smoothly and quickly!  So keep your fingers crossed with me. 

Stretch Marks: Who knows?  Probably.  Don't care anymore.

Weight Gain: About 22 pounds.  I'm ready to quit counting now.

Sleep:  Still sleeping well with a pillow between my knees.  Our mattress rocks!  However, I've turned into the ultimate night owl.  I sometimes don't go to sleep until 1AM or even 2AM.  There are just so many projects to do and so much to learn (I'm trying to master skin tones right now) about photography and it feels like life as I know it is about to end in approximately three months!  Time is running out!  I know that my fear isn't entirely true though.  All my projects and things will just be put on hold for approximately six months or a bit longer.  I'll come back to them eventually.

Symptoms: All this lack of sleep coupled with photo shoots, babysitting, and fun summer activities with my boys have apparently taken a toll on my immune system.  I've been completely wiped-out sick with a stomach bug twice in three weeks!  It's no fun.  I think I need to slow down?  Fortunately, being sick with a six year old and a four year old is pretty mellow.  They're happy about all the extra screen time and I'm happy about a long nap... even if Levi did decide to eat ALL the candy in the pantry for lunch yesterday.  :)

Still struggling with pelvic floor swelling and pain so I sit down and kick up my feet a lot.  Three and half more months, I chant!  But putting my feet up often is probably good as my ankles have begun swelling from time to time during the last two weeks as well.  Water!  I'm trying my best to chug plenty of water.

Favorite moments:  Levi comes up to my belly often to give his baby brother kisses.  "I love that big fat baby!" he exclaims.  Me too.  I can't wait for you to meet him.


Pierre's Hole Bike Race

^^Biking buddies: Bron, Dan, and Bryce^^

This weekend Bron conquered Pierre's Hole, a 30 mile mountain bike race around Grand Targhee, for the third time. He got a PR coming in at under 4 hours. So proud (and slightly jealous) of my man!  One of the hardest parts of pregnancy for me this summer has been sitting out on adventures like this!  But there will be next year.  :)

Pierre's Hole is no joke.  It's a grueling race that takes preparation and mental fortitude.  My friend Shelly and I waited and cheered with our kids to see our men come over the finish line.  As Bron climbed off his bike, he was visibly shaking.  He had been cramping up and needed salt stat!  But friends and strangers came to the quick rescue with pistachios and salt pills.  And after a good meal and conversation, Bron was tired but as good as new.  Surprisingly, he felt better about that race than ever before!  As he should; his time is proof that he's improving.

Also of note is that Peter Sagan, Olympian and green jersey winner from this year's Tour de France, was there as well!  Such a cool opportunity to say that Bron and his friends raced with a world-known professional.  Peter Sagan schooled everyone when he came in at exactly two hours flat.  Whoa!  I think it's because his bike changes color in the heat.  Yeah, that's totally it.  :)  Haha.


Levi's 4th Birthday Party

^^My favorite 4 year old!^^

Summer has got to be the best time of year to celebrate a birthday!  There are just so many fun things to do and the party doesn't end until the sun goes down--well after 9:00PM.  It's like a dream!  I know I spoil my kids from time to time, but I just can't help it; they are my whole world.  And so a party at Bass Lake to celebrate Levi's 4th birthday was planned!  Levi picked three of his little friends and we invited them and their families down to our favorite summer paradise for pizza, swimming, paddle boarding, fishing, cake, and a pinata stuffed full of candy.  The weather was warm, the sun was shining, and I'm pretty sure it was a party riot success for everyone!

Here are a couple dozen colorful pictures to prove it.