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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



Graham Edward: Six Months Old.

On Friday, we celebrated your half-year birthday!  I will spare you all the how it is even possible talk, but seriously…mind is blown.  Time definitely passes much more quickly the second time.  Six months old!

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From six weeks

To six months.  I can’t even stand it. 

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You are the smiliest baby I have ever seen, and you light up whenever someone meets your gaze.  Even when you haven’t napped (which is all the time!) or are feeling grumpy, you are still somehow almost always smiling. 

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And I promise I’m not just being that.crazy.mom when I tell you that people stop me all the time to talk about those eyes!  They are enormous and sparkling and seem to get bluer and bluer every day. 

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Your head is covered in this amazing blonde fuzz, and I rub my face on it all day long (sorry about that).  Where on earth did it come from?  Your whole head sparkles in the sunshine.  You are a peach. 

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You have a squeaky belly laugh that is almost always brought on by your brother.  You like it when he does peekaboo or bangs his cup on the kitchen table, and it sends you into full body giggles.  You pretty much never laugh for your mom. 

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You still scream through pretty much every car ride, no matter how many toys I give you or songs I sing.  I will turn your car seat around on your second birthday, but until then you’re going to have to tough it out, kiddo.  The whole no-pacifier-thing makes things like air travel, car rides, and nap times a lot more tricky.

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You are obsessed with jumping.  We call you Jumping Bean because you literally never stop jumping!  This made for a very exhausting 6.5 hours of flying home from Ohio last week – my arms still ache.  You love your jumperoo and it is the only reason I ever get dinner onto the table.  I predict you are an Olympic trampolinst!

Your other nickname is Roly Poly, because you refuse to ever be on your back.  Diaper and outfit changes are impossible, because you spend the whole time craning your body around desperate to get onto your belly.  You aren’t quite crawling yet, but you’re scooting all over.  You spin in circles and can somehow reach anything within a few feet of you.  You pretty much never stop moving. 

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But despite all that activity, you are somehow never tired.  Naps continue to elude us, and it is kind of driving me crazy.  You are a very noise and light sensitive little guy, which has made it really hard for you to nap on the go.  But you also hate napping in your crib, which means you won’t nap at home either!  On an average day, you might take three 20-25 minute naps.  Occasionally you’ll nap for an hour here or there, but only on your mom or in a (moving) car seat.  I keep telling myself that naps will improve with age.  I also just ordered heavy duty blackout curtains, and I’m hoping those will help. 

We had a really bad month of sleep in general.  So many wakeups, and nothing soothes you other than a boob – which means that mom can never be very far away.  Good thing you are so sweet and snuggly!  You slept terribly when we traveled and ended up in bed with me every night (which I secretly kind of loved).  Knock on wood, we’ve just recently entered a stretch where you are suddenly sleeping about 7pm to 3 or 4am each night, before getting up for the day at six.  It is a HUGE improvement! 

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The other big THING of the month, has been a lingering issue that we’ve been slowly trying to navigate and manage.  The short version of the story is that at around 3.5 months I started to suspect you were tongue-tied.  I mentioned it at your four month checkup, where we also discovered that your weight gain had tailed off quite a bit.  I made it my personal mission to feed you as much as possible, which is also why I was willing to give in to so much of the sleeplessness.  Good thing motherhood has made me lose my modesty – I was willing to feed you pretty much everywhere and anywhere. 

At 4.5 months, we visited a specialist who confirmed that you did have some extra frenulum tissue that could be causing some issues.  I brought up all of my concerns – repeated bouts of mastitis, slow weight gain, frustration when feeding, short and frequent feeds, refusal/inability to take a bottle or pacifier – and they all pointed back to the possible tongue tie.  For a number of reasons, I decided not to have the frenectomy(cutting of the tongue-tie) done that day, but we discussed the possibility of me coming back if things didn’t improve.

In the following weeks, I got mastitis again (for the fourth time in five months!), and you continued to seem frustrated and unsatisfied while eating.  My gut continued to tell me that something was definitely wrong.  We went back to the specialist, who confirmed that your tongue was most definitely restricted, and we finally went through with the frenectomy yesterday.  It was no picnic for anyone, but I cried harder than you did.

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You were back to your normal, smiling self soon afterward and I can already feel a huge difference when you eat now.  Judging from your longer feedings and big satisfied smiles afterward, I’m fairly sure that you can tell the difference too.  I am sorry that it took us six long months to figure out exactly what was going on, but I am very relieved to finally feel like we are moving forward!  It was such a tough decision to make, but I knew you would thank us in the long run.  I would do anything to make you feel better!

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Speaking of eating, we are just starting to dip our toes in the world of solid foods!  Your first food was avocado, and you weren’t so sure about it.  Your brother thought it was hilarious that you were eating something other than milk.  You made funny faces and a big mess.  You hang out in your high chair now to eat meals with us, and every time I see you in it I marvel at just how big and grown up you seem in what has felt like such a short bit of time. 

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You chew on anything and everything, and you are the grabbiest baby I’ve ever seen.  You are Grabby Graham, and it is impossible to eat or drink anything while holding you.  You are insanely strong for someone who weighs 17 pounds, and I love watching you reach out and hook your favorite toy with your tiny fingers.  And my heart melts when those little fingers wrap around mine. 

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You are working on sitting up, and you can balance for a minute or two before toppling over.  You usually end up falling because you are grabbing for something!  You suddenly seem much studier and more solid than you did just a few weeks ago.  I think you just finished a big growth spurt (which might have also explained our sleepless month!). 

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And of course, I can’t talk about all your favorite activities and things without mentioning your most favorite thing of all – your brother!  Your whole demeanor changes when he is around and you never take your eyes off of him.  You like when he jumps around and makes funny sounds.  You don’t like when he is too loud or when he leaves the room. 

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He thinks it is funny when you do a “big time poop” or when you laugh at him.  Once he has figured out a way to make you laugh, he repeats it over and over again for as long as you’ll keep going.  I love that you two entertain each other, and it is so much fun for me to just sit back and watch. 

And while I love our time together as a family, I admit that I also look forward to afternoon nap time when you and I get a few hours alone together to just lay on the floor and smile and play.  I cherish our quiet moments and sweet snuggles. 

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I refuse to start thinking about you being half a year old, inching toward your first birthday – all that jazz.  Instead, I’m going to keep enjoying each and every day with you as they come.  I learned the first time around that worrying about the passage of time does not make it go any slower!

Six Month Stats:

  • Weight: 17ish lbs
  • Clothing: Tail end of the 3-6 stuff, need to pull out the 6-12 bin soon!
  • Diapers:  Mostly cloth with disposables overnight and for travel.
  • Eating: So far just avocado!  Going to try sweet potatoes next…
  • Strolling:  Tolerates the stroller pretty well – has had one successful stroller nap!  Still prefers Ergo for walks.
  • Travel:  One long trip to the Midwest, and another trip coming up next month!
  • Likes:  Rolling over, peekaboo, jumping, bath time, chewing on toys, watching Cullen, jumping, dad coming home from work, squeaky toys, jumping…
  • Dislikes:  Car rides, pacifiers, having his nose wiped, being left alone for 0.2 seconds, overly loud or expressive people.

What will next month bring?  Sleeping through the night?!?  I’ll settle for just an hour or two of napping here and there.  Deal?  You are the sweetest baby in the world, and I am thankful for you every day. 

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Traveling Through.

Yooooooowsas.  Remember me?  Didn’t plan on disappearing like that, but here I am and two weeks have passed.  Sorry about that (I know some of you worried!).  What actually happened is that we went out of town!

I had planned to continue writing and posting during down time and sleep time, but it turned out that those two things didn’t really exist – ha!  We had a wonderful time visiting family and all down time was spent chatting and catching up.  I opened my computer exactly once.  The kids had a blast but sleep was rough, so any nap time breaks required naps for mom as well. 

So with that out of the way – let me tell you about our trip!  We have been hoping to get back to the Midwest to see our families for a while now.  The boys and I haven’t been back since last May when my sister graduated from college – feels like an eternity (and Graham was in my belly!). 

Now that we have two kids, our travel has really slowed down (which we anticipated!).  The logistics and expenses seem far more than two times more complicated.  So when Casey had a business trip to Cincinnati pop up, we jumped at the opportunity to tag along! 

It was our first time flying with both boys, and I went into it expecting the worst (and hoping to be pleasantly surprised).  Casey says he thinks it was better than anticipated.  I thought it was tough.  Graham isn’t a sleeper (don’t let this pic fool you – lasted 20 minutes!) and also doesn’t take a pacifier, so it’s harder to keep him happy in a small space.  All things considered though, everyone did pretty well. 

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We got to Ohio very late Wednesday night, and immediately had to set up camp in our hotel and figure out the sleeping scenario.  We were really lucky that since it was a business trip for Casey, we were able to share his hotel suite.  This nice new hotel just opened up and is walkable to my mom’s house and all my favorite spots – so convenient.  We had a large master bedroom (which we shared with Graham). 

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And we also had a HUGE living room!  This picture doesn’t do it justice.  Cullen slept in another pack n play in a half bathroom (that we didn’t use otherwise), and it actually worked out really well.  Figuring out how and where we would all sleep was my biggest concern going into the trip, and it turned  out to be no big deal. 

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While we were there, we followed the same type of routine we do at home (with a three hour time change thrown in – yikes!).  My mom, friends, and Casey all had to work during the days, so I hung out with the boys and found fun things for us to do.  Sadly, I brought all the Seattle rain with me and it poured the whole time we were there other than a few small pockets of sunshine. 

I spent Wednesday morning having brunch with my best friend, Thursday morning at the house of other good friends, and Friday morning at the zoo (in the rain!) with my mom.  Afternoons were spent napping, or waiting for Cullen to wake up from his nap.  Graham and I had fun relaxing and playing on the giant king size bed. 

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And despite doing a lot of the things we do when we’re at home, it just felt really nice to get away and unplug a bit.  The boys handled the travel and the time change really well, and they both seemed so happy to be around so many loved ones.

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Friday was our trip to the zoo with Grandma, and we managed to see a few of our favorite animals despite drizzly skies, lots of wind, and even a power outage! 

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We spent evenings over at my mom’s house enjoying home cooked meals and a plethora of toys and entertainment. 

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She was in Grandma heaven! 

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Once Casey was off work on Friday, we loaded up the car and headed to Indianapolis for the weekend.  We wanted to make sure we had the chance to visit both of our families since we’d made such a far trek across the country!  We saw Casey’s parents back in February, but it’s amazing how much Graham has already changed since then.

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And both boys got to spend time with their great grandma, Jacque, which is extra special since it is hard for her to travel out to see us.  It’s really important to us that we get back as often as possible so she can be with them.  Pictures just aren’t the same as the real thing. 

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We got to see grandparents, uncles, and cousins and we had a great time just hanging out at the house catching up. 

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Four generations of Malone!

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We also got to see my sister Sarah while we were there!  She lives in Indianapolis now, so we got to see her for dinner on Saturday as well as brunch on Sunday.  Somehow still never enough, sniff. 

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Checking out dad’s very first baseball bat back at Mimi and Grandpa’s house…

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And a (pretend) ride on Grandpa’s motorcycle!

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Sunday afternoon we headed back to Ohio, as Casey had to work two more days in the Cincinnati office.  We checked back into the hotel, and got ready for a few more days with my family.  One of the perks?  An indoor saltwater pool!  Cullen was totally pumped to swim – he hadn’t been in a pool since last summer!  And this was Graham’s first dip (and first tiny bathing suit!).

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The boys had to go one at a time since I couldn’t hold them both in the water alone (while my mom watched the other one).  Graham went first and was not a huge fan.  Lasted about two minutes. Cullen was a fish and didn’t want to get out even when he was shivering and pruning like a raisin.  We had a blast. 

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Is there anything more fun than a baby in a bathing suit?

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We spent our final (rainy) mornings at the children’s museum and the Newport Aquarium.  We do the museums and zoos all the time in Seattle, and it was fun to try them out somewhere new. Cullen is finally at an age where he can really enjoy this stuff, and I love it.

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It was a long but wonderful trip home, and I’m feeling homesick for our loved ones now that we’re back.  Although I don’t miss eating out so much and hotel room life (despite how nice it was).  Counting down until we see them all again at the end of the summer!

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More to come on Monday!

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