The Baby Conrad Growth Series: 5 Months

Is it possible to enjoy a baby too much because I just can't stop!  Isn't he just squishably cute?!?  I can't get enough and absolutely don't want him to grow up, though he's sprouting right under my nose.  This month has been a huge month of milestones and growth for Conrad: he learned to roll over and started eating solid food!  Having a baby around the house makes things so much busier, but I wouldn't trade all the smiles and my full happy heart for anything.  I'm so proud of my baby.  Conrad, I love you to the moon and back and over and over again.  You're a perfect fit for our family and I already can't imagine our lives without you.

Some details about life with Conrad at 5 Months:

:: Conrad is a pretty chill and happy baby--especially if his mama is near.  I love how I'm the one person who can fix anything in his little world.  He's definitely attached.  Once, I came home from a workout to a whiny baby, but his face suddenly lit up as soon as he saw mine.  Aww.  Way to make me feel like a million bucks.  Conrad is generallly full of smiles and occasionally protests his car seat and being put down, but for the most part is just happy to be here along for the ride.  

As for a schedule?  Ha!  We have no schedule!  Poor kid might have one by now if we actually stayed home all afternoon or in the evenings, but between two older kids and church activities, that's simply impossible.  Thank goodness he's so easy-going.

:: With the change of weather from winter to spring, Conrad has developed some eczema all over his tiny body.  The good news is that it's created a daily routine that we both love.  I sing as I apply his lotion and massage it into his teeny arms and squishy thighs.  He smiles and coos and eventually errupts into laughter as I play and tickle him.  It's seriously one of the best moments of the day!

:: Baby boy enjoys rough housing.  Conrad laughs out loud when I blow bubbles on his neck.  His thighs and back are extra ticklish.  He enjoys being gently bounced on the couch.  And he gives me sloppy kisses as we make faces in front of the mirror.  Babies are sooo much fun to play with!


Conrad's First Solid Meal: Bittersweet Milestones

^^Grabbing the spoon.  Yumm!^^

I caught Conrad eyeing his big brother intently as he ate lunch one day not too long ago.  Conrad followed every bite of food from the plate to Levi's mouth.  It was hilarious.  And then one morning as I held Conrad on my lap, he dove face first for my kiwi.  He's definitely a third child because I gave him a taste right then and there.  He's since licked a salty chip, and tasted things like a banana, toast, and chocolate pudding.  Spoiled boy.

However, he ate his first official solid meal the evening of April 4th when I mixed up a tiny bowl (perhaps a little more than a tablespoon) of rice cereal.  Jed and Levi were eager to help out and served him his first few spoonfuls.  Conrad loved it!  He loved it so much he grabbed the spoon and tried licking his bib clean... or is that just what babies do when something gets close to their mouths?  Anyway, Conrad ambitiously slurped up every bite.  So much so, that I mixed up another small bowl!  I would have mixed up a third round but was afraid it would be too much for his small tummy to handle just yet.  Obviously, Conrad was more than ready to start eating real food.

All this growing up stuff feels so bittersweet.  My body has sustained his completely... until now.  It's nothing short of miraculous.  But now he needs something more than just milk as his body grows and matures.  It's good for him.  It's good for both of us, actually.  It means he's becoming less dependent on me as he slowly learns to do things for himself.  I had a similar thought just a few days ago when I realized Conrad no longer sleeps on my chest.  In fact, as I held him sleeping in my arms he suddenly rolled over and wanted to stretch out.  So I quickly and quietly placed him in his crib.  Conrad doesn't need me to help him sleep anymore.  Remember that brief phase when I co-slept with him in our bed just for my sanity?  It's simply a memory now.  There I was, worried that I was creating a bad habit.  Nope, just giving my little guy the love and comfort that he needed in that moment of time.  And here we are now, beginning another big leap of independence.


Seeking Joy, Not Perfection

^^A typical Thursday morning at our home.  Levi beat me into Conrad's room to comfort him.  "Good morning, Baby Conrad!"^^

Over the last few weeks I've learned and re-learned invaluable lessons about myself, about motherhood.

My new mantra:
 Seek joy, not perfection.

In case you didn't already know: I'm a bit of a perfectionist.  My self-worth is directly tied to what I accomplish or check off my to-do list.  It's silly.  And it's a lie!    

Life is busy with three kids.  Lately, I've been in motion all day but my house looks like a tornado just crashed its way through.  Clutter.  Cheerios. Chaos.  Everywhere.  I have nothing to show for the hours I spend on my feet and I feel like a failure!  It's easy to do though when I've made a mental list of things I want to accomplish but somehow cannot get even one single thing done!  (Can anyone else out there relate?)

By society's standards I'm failing if my house isn't clean, if I haven't lost the baby weight in the first year, if my kids' nails are overgrown and dirty... and the list goes on.  It's too much pressure!  And it's all self-imposed.


24 Hours in Sun Valley

^^I didn't bring my camera or take a single phone picture all weekend, so these sweet daffodils from our front yard will have to do for this post.^^

On Friday afternoon, Bron and I left the big boys with a babysitter and escaped to Sun Valley for a quick--but very quiet--overnight getaway!  (With Conrad in tow, of course.)  I think Jed and Levi were as excited to get rid of us as we were of them.  Hehe.  Bron's company hosted a meeting there at the Sun Valley Inn for a number of dairymen and their wives.  I don't mind being social, so I was all over this trip.

The hotel was charming.  The meals were delicious!  I beat Bron bowling twice.  And while Bron and the dairymen sat in a meeting on Saturday morning, Conrad and I went back to our room for a little snooze.  When we woke up, we did a little shopping with the gift card J.D. Heiskell handed out.  I bought myself a new hat and a bunch of chocolate from the candy store.  And that's when I spotted the heated outdoor pool.  It was steaming in the mid-40 degree sunshine!  So Conrad and I donned our swimming suits and went for a little dip.

It was Conrad's very first pool experience.  He's a little fish!  He allowed me to hold him on his back with his ears completely submerged.  Conrad was all smiles.  He couldn't help giggling from all the one-on-one attention as I helped myself to his squishy exposed thighs.

Oh, it was blissful!  It's been a long time since I felt so relaxed.  There were no meals to prepare, no chores begging to be done, and no obnoxious children to listen to and reign in.  I was happy to be reunited with my boys Saturday evening, but I wouldn't have minded staying another night!

We topped the weekend off with LDS General Conference on Sunday.  If anything, that was definitely coming home for.  There were so many golden nuggets of spiritual upliftment and inspiration to do better and be better.

I wouldn't mind putting that weekend on repeat a couple of more times!