about me

    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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    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Easter Weekend 2014.

What a wonderful holiday weekend!  This was the first time we really celebrated Easter now that we’re parents.  Cullen’s first Easter was super low key and we didn’t really do much other than make him pose with bunny ears on.  Last year, we had just gotten back from traveling and we were in the midst of selling our house, which meant Easter fell off the radar.  This year was simple and relaxed, but definitely felt special. 

I had talked up the whole Easter Bunny thing to Cullen in the days before hand, and he was excited to come down and find his goodies!

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A few little gifts for Graham – new things to chew on!

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And just a few small treats for Cullen.  I didn’t want to go over the top, as the kid has plenty.  He’s really into construction trucks right now, so I got him this Water Wow coloring book – he is obsessed!  He also got some new smoothie cups and a few tiny trinkets that were supposed to go into his Easter eggs (and were too big – oops!). 

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One of the biggest joys to me as a parent is watching these little people discover and experience things that are so memorable from my own childhood.  Easter was a BIG DEAL in my family, and while I don’t know if we’ll ever go all out, it was still really nice to celebrate together.

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And you can’t beat a good bunny ear photo. 

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Cullen is in a phase where he doesn’t want his picture taken.  Can you tell?  I feel like this is just a preview into what he will look like at fifteen…

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And Graham is in a phase where he wants to grab everything.  Luckily his brother was happy to give up the glasses and go back to his coloring book.

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We all shared a delicious frittata made with onions, mushrooms, spinach, and asparagus.  I am SO excited for asparagus season!  One of my all time favorite vegetables that has such a short seasonal life. 

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After hanging out for a bit, I went outside and prepped the yard for a hunt – mowed the grass, picked up dog poo, and hid an assortment of eggs.  Cullen came out with his game face on.

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This was his first time looking for Easter eggs, and he was totally into it.

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Although each time he’d find one he wanted to just stop and open it and then play with whatever was inside.  It took a lot of coaxing to get him to keep looking for more!  (Pay no attention to our jungle of a yard…)

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Meanwhile, Graham watched from his big Easter present – an awesome backyard swing!  Casey hung it that morning and the boys took turns – both of them love it. 

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I filled Cullen’s eggs with a variety of stickers and little stretchy robot guys.  Super cheap and fun, and no need to battle over candy (since he doesn’t really know about candy yet!). 

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The Easter dog was also excited to check out the action, and helped sniff out the eggs. 

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And one more gratuitous picture of Graham because…check out that TONGUE!  I will write more in his next update, but I am so so glad we ultimately went through with figuring out and fixing his tongue tie.  Kid will not stop sticking it out now, and it shows how restricted it must have been before.  Never thought I’d be so excited about a tongue!

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Didn’t get a full family Easter photo, but did snap a few to help us remember the day. 

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After a few hours in the backyard, we took advantage of gorgeous sunshine and headed over to Fremont for lunch at the farmer’s market.  We browsed the booths and picked up a few plates of food to enjoy over on the canal steps along the water.  A giant plate of delicious Indian food on a piece of naan…

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And yummy Afghan food that did not disappoint. 

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I also picked up a fresh bunch of gorgeous flowers.  Everything is starting to bloom here and it looks and smells like spring all around.  I can’t get enough!

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The kids napped in the afternoon while Casey worked, and I ran out to the carwash and did a full clean out and detailing of our car.  It is alarming how happy a clean car void of bunny crackers and twenty extra sweatshirts makes me.  It’s the little things.

Finished off our Sunday holiday with a long walk to a neighborhood playground.  Graham snoozed on the way there and woke up just in time to play. 

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These two have more and more fun together with each passing day, and I remind myself on the hard days that their relationship is so worth the challenges of these early years.

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A perfect family day full of good food, plenty of sunshine, and a chocolate bar at the end of it all. 

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Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

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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