Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Father's Day Camping Trip 2017

This past weekend we traveled way up into the mountains to our favorite camping spot at Smith & Morehouse Reservoir.  I think Conor & I like it so much, because it's as close as we can get to that Pacific Northwest feel while still in Utah.  Tons of trees, lots of water, & the fishing is superb!  I was a little nervous about the nighttime temps (hello 40 degrees), but we managed to stay warm.  A little trick: throw some really big rocks in your campfire at night.  Then place them in a corner of your tent (on something heat proof) to help keep it toasty all night long.  It seriously works and is probably the only way we survived the chilly nights.  Well that and that massive amount of blankets I brought.  And the middle of the night snuggles!

In anticipation of this trip, we bought the boys their own fishing poles!  I knew this would help with their patience if they each had a rod to be responsible for and play with.  Finn mostly wanted to reel his line in nonstop, while Liam waited ever so carefully.  Both boys love choosing a worm, and I baited my first hooks in oh, 20+ years.  Still a pro at it!  The stream (river?) was absolutely rushing, since we had a big winter here.  Lots of snow melt still happening.  It was hard to find calm spots to fish, and we often had to cross fallen trees to get to get to them.  My balance is little off these days, but I managed not to ever fall in... can't say the same for Conor.  Over the weekend we caught 4 arctic grayling, 2 cutthroat trout, & 1 brook trout.  A huge success!  While I anticipated that we would do more hiking, the fishing kept everyone occupied.

It was by far one of the more relaxing weekends I've had.  No schedule.  No other families to coordinate with.  Just us.  We slept in.  We had long slow meals.  We hammocked.  We picked wildflowers.  We got crazy dirty, muddy being in & out of the stream.  We spotted a deer and listened to the noisiest squirrels ever.  And each night, we fell asleep to the loud roar of the stream behind our tent.  We were completely unplugged.  I love that.  I notice more.  More smiles, more laughter.  More little in between moments that can get lost in a busy day.  Good conversations all around.  Neither Conor nor I grew up camping, so it's somewhat strange that it has become one of our family's favorite pastimes.  It's a big part of us, and I cannot imagine spending our summers any other way.

Each night we stayed up super late making s'mores only by campfire light (and headlamps, there is a big headlamp obsession) & watching all the stars appear.  Jupiter is still incredibly bright and often the first "star" we spot.  Mornings are for sleeping in & the lingering in the tent for snuggles & tickles and shenanigans until someone is brave enough to hit the cold air and start a fire (not me).  Often I had no idea what time it was, and it didn't even matter.  I'm usually a crazy big planner, but somehow I was able to let that go and just see where the day and the boys took us.

It's quite an effort to get us all packed up for a two night trip.  The food alone sometimes feels outrageous for a family of four.  And we fill our car to the brim!  I have no idea how we will manage next summer with an extra carseat in the mix.  But it's always worth all the hardwork as soon as camp is set up.  We've actually enjoyed our last two trips so much, that we're thinking our next one should be three nights.  Just to get more out of all the packing & preparing.  If only we didn't have to rush back home on Sundays to prepare for the week ahead.

I will say that it's getting slightly more & more uncomfortable to camp.  Getting in & out of the tent, maneuvering an air mattress, getting dressed in a tent...  all those things are just a tad bit harder.  I didn't plan on slowing down, but I may need to just a little bit.  We're planning another trip around Liam's birthday when I'll be 35 weeks pregnant, and I'm hoping to squeeze one in during August too. But for that last trip we'll probably go somewhere with cell service just to be safe!  I want to create these summer memories with just my two older boys, before we have that family shift to newborn life again.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

29 Weeks (Bump #3)

Total Weight Gain:  23 lbs.  Owning it.

Symptoms:  The leg cramps are here and frequent and probably not going anywhere.  I feel like I have a slight waddle; let's call it swagger.  And daily tasks are getting just a tad more challenging.  I have a favorite pair of strappy sandals that are mighty hard to fasten on my own.  Heart burn is here, but mild.  And sometimes I don't really have an appetite because of the position baby is in.

Movement & Position:  Super anxious for my midwife appointment next week to get a better idea of what position he is in.  I actually think he may be traverse at the moment.  His feet really feel like they are on my left side.  He does little dance moves when I'm laying on that side to sleep.

Nesting:  Feeling the urges to nest so so bad.  I need to clear out half my closet to make room for Kane, since we will be sharing a room until our big move.  I keep telling myself that I will really start preparing for his arrival after our summer vacation, so I need to be okay waiting for that.

Maternity Finds:  I really want this "Baby Watch" swimsuit!  I may have to order it before our vacation.  Apparently, one pieces are my thing all of sudden.

Liam's Thoughts:  He's very aware of my changing body, which currently barely has room for a little one to sit on my lap.  He still loves falling asleep with his hand on my belly, and will often move it around in all his sleepiness if he feels kicks.

Finn's Thoughts:  Today I asked him, "What do you think about the baby?"  So much to say!  "Baby eat milk!  So cute!  Baby be born!"  You can see the thoughts rolling through his head.  He seems to be absorbing so much of what we are saying.  I really cannot wait to see him transition to big brother!

I know I'm still a good 11 weeks out, but slowly it's starting to feel like that due date is soon.  It's in the foreseeable future, not some much later day.  I'm starting to feel more confident about giving birth again & just having a brand new baby around.  The excitement is surely building!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

New House Update

I am so ready to be in our new house.  Ready for more space, for the new neighborhood.  To be in the mountains out of the heat.  To start this new stage of life.  But...  They still haven't started digging.  Our permits have yet to be submitted (but maybe this week!).  It's all been quite frustrating, especially as my pregnancy hormones get to me more & more.  We're still unsure of when exactly we will put our current house on the market, and uncertainty is so not my thing.  It gives me anxiety & stress.  I'm such a planner, and unfortunately, this whole process is hard to plan for and time perfectly.  Let alone throwing a birth into the whole mix.  I'm expecting to go into freak out mode shortly after our 4th of July vacation when I'll be 33 weeks.  So we all have that to look forward to!

This past weekend we were itching to just go up to the house site, even though not much exists except for a road & sidewalks.  But we wanted to escape the hot temps in the valley and perhaps fly a kite since it's quite windy up there.  There was a brief mention of hiking between Conor & I, but I thought that plan was squashed, so I threw on my boat shoes and off we were to the mountains.  Well apparently we were hiking.  A good couple of miles.  And it was kinda steep.  So yeah, my boat shoes were just awesome for that, as was my balance that is completely thrown off now that my belly is getting larger & larger. 

But complaints aside, it was gorgeous up there!!!  A summer storm rolled through bringing huge drops of rain while we were also covered in sunshine.  Wildflowers everywhere as well as trails, it was hard to choose just one.  I'm still in awe of the fact that we will literally be able to walk right out of house & down the street to numerous different trailheads, wildlife, & adventures.  My little explorers will love it!  And this may just be the winter that we finally buy some snow shoes, because again... we'll be able to strap those on right from our front door.

While we will be tucked up from the valley a bit, there is an adorable restaurant, market, coffee shop, & snow cone stand (priorities!) sitting a top the mountain just minutes from our house.  We have plans to check that out later this week.  Everyone we have encountered up there is so so friendly, I want to start spending more & more of time there.

I know the wait will be worth it!  But my goodness, I will be one super sad mama if we are not moved in before the holidays!  Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Finny, age 2

Being the second child & all, Finn has been deprived from monthly updates for about the last year.  However, he was born post my first DSLR purchase, so at least he's been more heavily photographed.  Regardless, I still want to remember all those little things that make Finn so Finny.  So at just a month past 2 years old, I am due for a little brag time on the current littlest in the house.  Included is a smattering of photos from the last month!

Our Finn has just the biggest personality!  It's just a contrast to Liam's more reserved demeanor.  He's funny, with a contagious smile & laugh.  He's goofy.  He fills the room with his joy.  And as hard as he shares those feel-good emotions, he's just as intense on the other side of the coin.  He's still our little pistol.  Possibly just as stubborn as I am.   He stands his ground, doesn't back down purely on principle, and at times can give off that general honey badger vibe.  Not a fan of strangers, don't even dare try and talk to him if you don't know him.  He will look at you off of his eyebrows with a look of "Really...?". But don't believe it for a second; behind that mean-mug, once he lets you in, he's a softy that freely doles out double-hugs ("both sides!") and lip-kisses.

He's always up for a treat.  Lives for treats really.  Asks for treats all day long.  Loves to eat. Favorites including raspberries, yogurt, eggs, & bacon.  So breakfast is by far the favorite meal.  Is such an independent guy, constantly saying "I do it" or  "I try"  He'll eventually succumb to help, but only on his terms.  Wants to do everything big brother does.  Occasionally can beat big brother in a wrestling match.  Has some top notch manners with the constant "please", "thank you", & "sorry".  However, the "excuse me" could use some work.

Loves the outdoors.  Swimming is his current favorite, often lounging in the shallow end of a pool or lake like a beached seal.  He's got quite the scrumptious little baby bod, but he is quickly growing out of it.  Though he still out-weighs big brother at this age by a good 5 lbs..  He's incredibly strong & a fast runner.  He's taken up a liking for sports at incredibly young age.  Loves watching big brother, or a game on TV.  I think football is his favorite, but he also dabbles with soccer, skiing, basketball, baseball, & golf!  Quite the sportsman!  He's only seen baseball games in person, but I think we will have to change that soon with an MLS or NBA visit!

 He continues to be oh so lovable, even when he is oh so frustrating.  He's much more of a handful than Liam ever was, but the pay-back of smiles & snuggles is so worth it.  I am trying my hardest not to break that fierce spirit of his, because I know it will serve him well as an adult.  He could be such a leader.  I just know that great things are in store for him.  I could not be more excited to watch him transition into the big brother role and see how he gets to dote on & teach someone younger than him.  Soon he will no longer be the baby, and he is more than ready!  We love you deeply little Finny!

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