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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    A Look Back.

Week 3: Still Learning.

Cullen is three weeks old today.  How is that possible?  What have I been doing for three entire weeks?  Oh I know.  I’ve been living in 2 to 3 hour increments of nursing, sleeping, eating, laundry, walking, playing, rocking, and more. 

I’ve been peed on more times than I can count, I haven’t slept for longer than four hours in a row since October 18th, and this week we have entered an entirely new realm of crankiness.  Hands down, it’s been the best three weeks of my life.

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Cullen has become a little firecracker this week.  He has so much personality already, and there is literally nothing more heart-melting than when he occasionally cracks his giant gorgeous smile.

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In between the playtime and the smiles though, we have also had some rough nights lately.  I think a few of those in a row have left us all a bit exhausted. 

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He is lucky he’s so darn cute. 

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We have a pretty good cycle of eating, sleeping, and playing during the daytime, but just recently starting around 4 or 5pm each night, he breaks into these heartbreaking screams.  We have tried all the Happiest Baby on the Block techniques, and I assure you all the shushing, swaddling, and swinging in the world just makes him angrier.

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He also has a very love/hate relationship with the pacifier.  Last week it was our saving grace, and kept him peaceful and happy for hours at a time.  This week he screams at the sight of one.  He’s definitely a sucker though, and one of the only things that appeases his outbursts is sucking on my finger.  It’s kind of gross, and not exactly convenient for doing anything other than acting as a human pacifier, but if it keeps him calm I’m willing to do just about anything. 

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Last night the screaming didn’t start until about 8pm, because he napped a little later than usual.  I have a feeling he is so comfortable in all my babywearing wraps and carriers during the day that he is sleeping too much, leaving him wide awake and frustrated by evening.

Last night at midnight I found myself slung across my bed with one arm draped in the pack n play so he could suck on my finger (ridiculous), and the other hand holding the hair dryer on full blast for loud white noise.  Absolutely absurd, and 100% effective. 

The good news is that once I do get him calmed down and ready for bed, he is a really good sleeper.  He sleeps in 3-4 hour stretches through the night, wakes up to eat and get a clean diaper, and then goes straight back to sleep with no problems.  Knock on wood.  I’ll take a fussy evening baby over a fussy 3am baby any day.

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He definitely loves his swaddles though, and I am so glad we ordered a few extra blankets as soon as we left the hospital.  You can see my other newborn essentials for the first few weeks over on Babble this week!

Of course his cranky moments are not the only thing of note this week.  We’ve also had a ton of fun getting out and about in the neighborhood, going for lots of long walks and visiting coffee shops.  He’s starting to like sitting in his mini Boppy pillow, and I’ve been singing and dancing along with Baby Einstein to keep him stimulated and entertained.  It makes him happy, and it makes me feel like an absolute fool.  As always, he wins. 

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Overall, life with Cullen is still wonderful and I kiss his face no less than 1,000 times each day. 

Did you know that Cullen is actually a very old Irish/Gaelic name that means handsome?  Seems fitting for such a good looking little guy.

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As for me, the postpartum healing continues slowly but surely.  I’m having a lot of intense lower back/tailbone pain that has been there since delivery, and hasn’t really improved since.  I keep hoping it will start to feel better soon!

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The rest of my soreness has definitely improved though, and I’ve been able to start walking farther and longer, which has been wonderful.  Yesterday I walked four miles and felt fantastic.

I haven’t actually lost any additional weight this week which was initially discouraging.  But I pulled out my old jeans just to see how they fit this morning, and much to my delight– they buttoned!  They are still skin tight and borderline obscene, but they are on my body.  I’m calling that a win.

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I think any sort of cardio is still a few weeks away, but I’m considering starting up some moderate weight training in the meantime if I can figure out how to fit it into my days with Cullen. 

It’s funny – I think I actually felt better about my body at one week postpartum than I do now.  Maybe it was just the shock of finally seeing myself not pregnant after such a long time, but I really felt great that first week.  If I’m being honest, now I just kind of feel saggy and flabby.  I certainly didn’t expect to bounce back into great shape right away, but I’m definitely getting antsy to see some improvements sooner than later.

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Here’s hoping that now that I’m out walking again each day, I’ll start to feel stronger and more toned again.  The good news is that Cullen doesn’t seem to care that I never dry my hair anymore or that sweatpants have become the norm.  As long as he has a warm shoulder to snuggle on, he is content. 

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Three weeks in and I think we’re doing pretty well so far.  Every day I learn something new about myself as a mother, about Cullen as a baby, and about our family as a unit of three. 

For previous weekly updates and other posts about life with a baby, please visit the parenting page!

This week’s Babble:

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130 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Maria     at 2:26 pm

He is so adorable!!! Love all of the photos. Our little guy just turned 6 weeks old. It is crazy how fast the time goes.


Bethany @ Accidental Intentions     at 2:27 pm

Goodness gracious, he is just too precious. Now knowing the meaning of Cullen, I think you chose just the right name :) Thanks for your honesty in this post! I really appreciate it. It’s nice to hear about things as they are, not fully sugar-coated.


sallymae     at 2:30 pm

Being tired probably doesn’t help boost your self-image, but seriously, don’t be too hard on yourself. Your body just went through EPIC changes and you are totally going to rock this whole mom thing!


Stephanie     at 2:32 pm

All of mine went through the crying phase at that age too. They get past it, but it’s hard while they are going through it.. By #3 we were prepared, but it wasn’t any easier. We spent many nights walking up and down the hallway, bouncing, ssshhing, and rocking all at the same time. This too shall pass, and soon it will be a distant memory.


Lauren     at 2:33 pm

So freaking cute!
I love those pics of him in his animal outfit! :)


Katherine     at 2:34 pm

Have you tried one of those stomach wraps? I hear they work well for a lot of females. This but of course there are all sorts of them: http://www.amazon.com/Eco-friendly-Bamboo-Belly-Bandit-Pregnancy/dp/B004W4AVQI
It might help you, and give your back some support holding Cullen all day :D
I am so happy to see you spending so much time with him and really embracing this time to let him lay and sleep on you as much as possible. I think that is how it should be. Not in a crib all day long.


Marlen     at 2:36 pm

I have been following your blog for just a couple of months. I enjoyed going back and reading your pregnancy updates :)

Cullen is such a handsome little guy and you look fantastic!!

As a new mom, you always feel helpless when they cry nonstop but the smiles make it all worthwhile. Enjoy these moments because they zoom by. My son just turned 3 on Sunday but it feels like we just brought him home from the hospital!

P.S. His sleeping “thinking” pose is just WAY too cute!!


Sarah     at 2:52 pm

Can I just say I think you have THE cutest baby I have ever seen xo


Brie @ Brie Fit     at 2:54 pm

FYI, there are a bunch of free White Noise iPhone apps you can download. Probably more convenient than the hair dryer!


Brittnie (A Joy Renewed)     at 2:57 pm

You are glowing in these pictures with Cullen. He looks just like Casey in that 2nd picture you posted. Have people been telling you he looks like either of you?

I don’t know from experience but many of my friends say that it takes time to get into the groove of parenting an infant and also getting back your pre pregnancy fitness/body. I am 14 weeks pregnant now and my friends remind me “It took 9 months to gain the weight so expect it to take 9 months to come off…don’t rush yourself.” Now I know that doesn’t sound too encouraging but you look awesome just having a baby 3 weeks ago!

Excited to continue reading about your journey!! :) Have a great weekend!


Amanda     at 3:04 pm

I love that picture of Cullen smiling. He looks so much like Casey in that one!

Don’t be too hard on yourself about the physical changes. Your body is still recovering and for what it’s worth, I think you look absolutely beautiful. Your happiness is radiating. :)


Leatitia (The Sweetest Year)     at 3:04 pm

From about week 3 until week 8, my son was cranky in the evening, screaming for hours in the evening. I thought it was his belly because he got all tense with his legs straight like bars and screamed bloody murder.

Week 6 was the worst. I think they have a growth spur at this age, combined with the colic, it wasn’t fun. But mommy and baby worked as a team and by month 2, the little darling was much easier to put to sleep at night and such an easy baby.

Now at 4 months, I put him in his crib for the night at 6PM and he goes to sleep by himself! Hang in there, it’s going to feel lots better in a few weeks.

I was amazed how quickly my body lost the weight in the first 2 weeks, but after that it was very sloooow. Nothing fit and I had to go buy some pants because I couldn’t go show my baby at work with sweatpants on. Haha! I still don’t fit my old pants, I was a size 5, not I wear size 8. But I try to eat healthy and exercise (I started running again 2 months after my c-section) and it’s slowly coming off.

You’re doing an amazing job, he looks so comfy, content and happy. Being a little baby is hard work, sometimes little Cullen is tired after a long day and needs his mommy a bit more. :)


ashley     at 3:04 pm

I hope you are starting to think about standing up straighter :) All of your side shots and your belly seems to still just be pulling you forward into lordosis, and I can just see your verterbrae crunching at L4-L5. Being more aware of this might help alleviate some of your back pain :) Google ‘swayback’


Amanda     at 3:05 pm

Love your blog! I have a 13 month old. Reading about your experiences take me back to her tiny baby days. Love that you are willing to share so much. I know you proably get advice coming from every direction…but when I read what you said about the hair dryer, I had to tell you I accidentally discovered the same thing. I put a track on my iPhone and played it all the time to quiet her. It worked like magic! I’d put it in the hood pocket of my ergo or by her feet in the car seat/stroller. I also played it while she slept at night. I used the one from the Happiest Baby on the Block CD. So worth it…they are not all alike and you may have to try a few before you find what works for Cullen. Everyone thought we were nuts, but as you know by now…whatever works! P.S. Also loved your Moby vs. Ergo post! They were/are my go to carriers…still use my Ergo all the time!


Susan Fine     at 3:05 pm

Many years back, when we had newborns, I remember reading about how sometimes at that witching hour, after babies have spent the day with lots of interactions, attention, stimulation, they hit their saturation point — and sometimes they just need to blow off some steam, which they do through the crying, yelling, etc — but the book also said that doing things to try to stop the crying, etc may, in fact, provide more stimulation and make matters worse. I think this was in a Brazelton book.


Theresa     at 3:07 pm

He is so cute! He looks so much like Daddy I think! You look amazing too, that is awesome your are back in your old jeans…buttoning, definitely consider that a win!

Also, there is an app for white noise. It was a lifesaver for my friend when she had her son.


kathleen @ the daily crumb     at 3:12 pm

oh boy is he cute! love these recaps… thanks for taking us along on this journey :)


Jessica     at 3:15 pm

Yay for newborn stimulation! I study neurobiology and it’s incredible learning about brain development. Stimulation is such a critical part as the brain is wiring itself after birth. It’s also astounding the detriment caused by not sufficient sensory input. One interesting thing about babies are that their brains are almost entirely excitatory synapses and this changes as they grow to the 50/50 – excitatory/inhibitory balance found in adults. It’s also a possible explanation for why a higher percentage of seizures in proportion to adults.

You are looking great! It sounds like you are doing a good job of listening to your body and not rushing – which is exactly what it needs! Keep it up!


Jessica Reply:

PS. I love the photo of the ‘thinker Cullen’ where he is sleeping with one arm up. Just like he’s concentrating really hard on something!


Kamaile Reply:

YES!! this is the cutest picture! :-)


Jessica     at 3:16 pm

Everything I have ever read says that the fussiness in the evening is normal, and no one knows why. My babies used to marathon nurse in the evenings (I think it is called “cluster feeding”). I would be stuck on the couch from like 6pm-whenever they went to bed, usually around midnight. Frustrating, but normal.
Do you have a fan in the room he sleeps in? With all 3 kids we have always had a fan on high for naps/bedtime. Great white noise. Studies also show a lesser incidence of SIDS in kids who sleep with a fan on in their room.
Please be kind to your body. You are beautiful and a rockstar. Good for you for fitting into your pants 3 weeks PP. But give yourself more of a rest until you feel normal until you start with the weights. If any part of you is still hurting (like your tailbone, ouch), let that be a message that there is no hurry.
And yep, I believe that is what his name is, because he is beautiful.
How is fatherhood going for Casey? He should do a post for us :)


alison     at 3:18 pm

Hey I just wanted to say that it is sooo common for babies to be fussy at that time of day. I’m sure it doesn’t help but know you are not alone :-) also extra fussiness could be a growth spurt http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/growth-spurt.html


Jenny     at 3:21 pm

Have you seen/tried this for white noise? http://www.amazon.com/Cloud-Gentle-Giraffe-Machine-Soothing/dp/B001S5E0RU They have different ones (I’ve seen a whale too.) A lot of babies really seem to like them.


liz     at 3:30 pm

He’s so adorable Emily! And you are looking fantastic – truly. Don’t be hard on yourself at all – you are putting all your energy where it matters, into that beautiful boy!


Annette @ with a side of brownies     at 3:31 pm

Here’s an old wives tale for you from my mother in law, she says that when you take a baby out you should always have their head covered do air doesn’t get in their tummy. Not wanting to argue I didn’t question it and just did it. I noticed you said you’ve been out allot this week on walks and such, and now Cullen has been cranky. I don’t know if there’s a connection but that is what MIL would say.
Also if by chance it is gas, there are drops you can buy, I can’t remember the name because my babies are five now, but they helped allot. Your baby is adoribal, and you look great, keep up the good work!


AmandaRunsNY     at 3:32 pm

Those pajamas with the bear on the back are soooo cute. Such a beautiful baby.


Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)     at 3:33 pm

He is just precious! I do believe babies are designed to be cute so we can get through all the sleepless nights! Oh how I don’t miss the peeing on me, but I swear, with two boys, I clean up more pee around the toilet at ages 10 and 13. I need to get a urinal in the house! I’m glad things are moving in the right direction. Don’t get discouraged by the flab. It will go back down, but it does take time. If I were you, I would start doing some Core Fusion. I wish I had that after having the boys. It’s not weight lifting, but muscle toning using your own body weight and I love the stretching after each intense muscle workout. I think you look great!


Shari     at 3:39 pm

Could he possibly be any cuter? I think not :)

So glad things are going well! Fingers crossed for less cranky and more cheerful evenings soon!


Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile     at 3:47 pm

Oh my gosh, my heart MELTS every time I see picture of him. So adorable!! I hope you can get more sleep soon!


Casey     at 3:55 pm

You should try gripe water. You get it at any health food store. I have a 2 week old and trust me it works wonders. My lactation consultant told me about it and I trust her wholeheartedly. It helps with tummy troubles.


Marci     at 4:01 pm

Looking real cute–both of you!


Tammy     at 4:07 pm

I feel for you… my baby basically screamed when he wasn’t sleeping all day and evening from 2 weeks until 4 months! He was a great sleeper at night also so that saved the day… but I did plenty of crying along with my sweet baby. Make sure you accept help from those who want to help too – just a hour or so with someone else holding the baby can help you make it through the rest of the day. And then before you know it… bam… you have a happy baby – and my now almost 3yr old is the kindest happiest kid around… and those crying days are just a sweet memory. :)


katie     at 4:14 pm

4pm-7pm was always our worst hours, it seems like it is common thread among newborns. This is just one of many phases and it’ll go away soon. around 6 weeks he started sleeping through the night. then at 4 months he stopped sleeping through the night. now at 6 months we are close to sleeping through the night again. it has been an adventure, a wonderful adventure!!! glad to hear you are doing well! swaddles were my best friend :)


Callie Fenby Reply:

I totally agree! 4-7pm was always a difficult time for my babies too–I remember well because I was trying to start dinner & eat dinner myself with a cranky baby (NOT fun!). It is a phase, and what works one day will probably not work another. Be flexible, in a few months, it will be a memory!!!


Jessie @ Graze With Me     at 4:23 pm

I feel your pain on the evening fussiness. Lyric cried a LOT during weeks 3-6. It’s getting better but MAN is it hard to take!


Jamie @ FoodinRealLife     at 4:24 pm

Cullen is adorable! Glad you are both figuring each other out! You look great-and I’m not going to lie, I’m surprised you’re discouraged about not losing weight this week. You’re basically at your pre-preg weight and already buttoning your pre-preg jeans. Most women deal with losing the baby weight for a lot longer than 3 weeks. Just sayin!


Emily Malone Reply:

Oh no I know that. It’s actually not about my weight – just how I feel in general. I never expected to bounce back immediately. Just hoped I’d feel a little less doughy. :)


Jamie @ FoodinRealLife Reply:

I think you’re bouncing back really quickly. Don’t be so hard on yourself! :)


Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 4:30 pm

Cullen is getting cuter and cuter by the minute! And you look gorgeous! So glad you are enjoying motherhood!


Kristin @ eat healthy. be happy. live well.     at 4:31 pm

He looks just like Casey in that second picture!!!! Oh my goodness, he is precious :)

Thanks for sharing everything that you’re learning and going through. It makes becoming a mom one day a little less scary!


Katie     at 4:52 pm

He is just adorable! I am in nursing school and I am currently in my Obstetrics rotation. When the newborns are upset in the nursery or as a distraction for when we give them medications, we stick a gloved finger in sugar water (called “sweet-ease”) for them to suck on. All the babies love it!


Megan     at 4:52 pm

Awww this post is awesome. I don’t have kids yet but alot of my friends do (I just got married myself)… it will be in my future at some time. I have really really LOVED your updates on your pregnancy and now on being a mother. Actually makes me excited for the future. You have a beautiful and lucky little family.


Jenn     at 4:52 pm

Live reading your updates as my little guy is now 6 months old and it feels like just yesterday we were battling the first 3 months of colic! Sounds like you are getting a good hand on what works for your little man. The only thing that worked for calming my little one was wearing him in the bjorn playing the vaccuumm track at loud levels while bouncing him and giving him the avent soothie pacifier. That is how we spent the first 3 months. But I cherish every moment of it. My son would only suck on my finger as well and refused every pacifier we tried until the soothie. I highly recommend it. It mimics the shape of a finger and was a life saver from having to bend in awkward positions when he needed to suck and he was sleeping in the pack n play next to me!!


Katy @ MonsterProof     at 4:54 pm

Ok, this may be entirely too much information, but I think you could probably use it. My lower back/tailbone pain was part delivery but part 2 things I had to work on. 1) Hemorrhoids. Do what you can to lessen strain, sit in tubs, and be nice to yourself. 2) I ultimately had to go to the chiropractor for a couple weeks because my hip and back were out of alignment. The tailbone pain moved into a shooting pain in my hip. He worked miracles, and I’m now pain free. Good luck!


Katy @ MonsterProof Reply:

OH!!! I forgot the other BIG one. It was also due to after delivery I developed an allergy to the iron in my pre-natal vitamins. Apparently the same thing happened to my mom, and she told me to stop taking them. IMMEDIATE, drastic improvement.


Nadine     at 5:14 pm

I am no baby expert, but, our little guy was so much more cranky then our little girl, and the two babies would cry and cry and work each other up. The one thing that worked was music, specifically:

Symphony No. 5 In C Minor, Op. 67 “Fate”: I. Allegro Con Brio

Over and over again. Still now, music always calms them down.

(oh and some people are lucky and get to sleep, but, I haven’t’ slept longer than 4 hours in over 18 months, coffee is my friend).


Brittany @ L'épice de la vie     at 5:16 pm

I have to know where you got his outfits!! Those are the cutest onesies I’ve ever seen!!


Candy @ Healthy In Candy Land     at 5:17 pm

That last photo did me in. There is nothing better than tiny little baby boys, especially when they are all snuggled up and sleeping. Except for maybe smiling tiny little baby boys.


Molly     at 5:23 pm

I apologize if this is a repeat…I did not read the other comments…BUT…both my kiddos did the night screaming. In all my wisdom (note sarcasm) I decided that it was from gas build up through the day. In most cases Mylecon (not sure that is the correct spelling) gas drops helped a lot. They are pretty pricey but Target makes an Up and Up version that I used (align with every other Up and Up baby item) with a lot of success. Also, my sister had a little one with cholic and she found a CD online of a vacuum cleaner. It helped a lot…assuming you are not enjoying the arm workout from holding the hair dryer. My baby is 5 months old now and I feel like I was JUST where you are. Hold on to every second! Thanks for sharing with us!


Laura F Reply:

Mylicon is great and very similar to gripe water. I used it with both of my kids and it really helped them. I used the generic one from Target too, I do recommend getting the “dye-free” one. Why they would put dye in anything for babies makes no sense to me.
Also if you haven’t tried them already the pacifiers with the hole in them like Soothie or Gumdrop are great. My son didn’t like them but my daughter loved them. You can put your finger in the hole and when he starts to drift off you can try and walk away. He is beautiful, congratulations.


Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)     at 5:25 pm

The smiling picture of Cullen…oh my gosh! He is the cutest baby I have ever seen!


Wendy     at 5:29 pm

Lurker for a while but I have to comment now. My mother in law must have also used your soothing blow dryer technique…my 43 year old husband still LOVES the blow dryer. And the vacuum (for future reference). Cullen is adorable and you are beautiful! Looking forward to watching you all grow.


andrea     at 5:32 pm

I have thought that Cullen looks more like you until a particular photo on this post. He is the spitting image of Casey in his striped pj’s looking off to the right. what a cutie pie. You all look great! don’t be hard on yourself. So happy for your growing family!


Katie @ Peace Love and Oats     at 5:42 pm

I don’t honestly think all babies are cute. But he is not just cute, he is beautiful. And those sleeping pictures?! And the SMILE?!! Too much.


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga     at 5:46 pm

congrats for getting your jeans ON. That’s a huge accomplishment!

Sleeping in 2-3 hour increments and nursing, changing a diaper, nursing, sleeping (maybe), eating, laundry, and repeating..yep, I remember that. It went on for about a year in my case but my daughter was a horrible sleeper then…but bonus now is that she’s great. So I guess it balanced out.

Good luck and hang in there!


Steph     at 5:48 pm

I love all the pictures of Cullen! He is precious!


Brittany     at 5:48 pm

Annabel had the same phase of cranky from 2 weeks until about 6-7 weeks. it wasn’t colic, just being a newborn baby. the pacifer was a love/hate until 6-7 weeks as well. and with the white noise, get an app for your ipad or iphone. you can then avoid the hairdryer. we did and it was a life saver. i cried almost every night for the first 6 weeks, never thinking i would sleep well again. now at 13 weeks she is only getting up once a night and napping on her own in the crib or swing or bouncy chair. it gets better:)


Adrianne Reply:

I have a 10 week old Annabel! :)


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 5:56 pm

He has such distinguished features!!! I think he has Casey’s head (the shape, if that makes sense) but all of your features. He’s so stinking cute.


Jordan Wandfluh     at 5:59 pm

I am in a college class with a girl that just had a baby and many people told her to wear a girdle and usually that helps get thing back to normal and in their place :)


Suzanne     at 6:06 pm

My boys love the pictures of Cullen. “Awww, he’s so sweet.” He’s adorable!

By the way, the only shushing that worked for us was the hair dryer. We’d turn it on and he’d immediately stop crying.


sarah     at 6:51 pm

I always found that the second you start feeling normal…you want to look normal again…and it’s so hard because you don’t…also go get yourself a sound machine…they work wonders and you don’t risk burning yourself!


Meredith     at 6:52 pm

My child cried for about 1 month straight. It was awful. He had colic and heartburn. My doctor told me that when the baby pulls their legs up, it’s gas. When they arch their back, it’s heartburn. Gripe Water was a life saver!!!


Kath     at 6:55 pm

Precious!! Love the smile :)


Hannah     at 7:17 pm

OMG ever since his birth, I can’t get over his beautiful lips! Those are amazing!

He looks sooo much like his daddy in the middle picture. Adorable!!!!!!!!!!


Deborah     at 7:27 pm

I love your sense of humor in this post.


Jenny     at 8:06 pm

Whenever you think you are up to it, any exercise that works the tranverse abdominals are really important for women after child birth. The exercises can be as simple as pulling your navel towards your spine and holding or the more intense planks.


Michaela     at 8:32 pm

he is handsome indeed! and I think he totally looks like Casey in the first pics :)


Cate     at 9:22 pm

He is SUCH an adorable baby! I’ve been pretty much the same weight since 3 weeks post-partum (I’m 8 weeks now). It’s frustrating… I’ve heard some people don’t lose the last 5 pounds until they stop breastfeeding.

You look great! Don’t be hard on yourself…you had the most insane labor ever!


Melissa     at 9:35 pm

It sounds like “Purple Crying” to me. Silly name but some babies go through a phase of crying that is best described by the acronym PURPLE:
PEAK to the crying. The baby cries more and more each week, until it reaches a peak at around 2 months of age, and then it decreases over the following months.
UNEXPECTED. You don’t know when or where it will start or stop.
RESIST soothing. No matter what you do, the baby doesn’t stop crying.
PAIN-LIKE face while crying. The baby may look like it is in pain, although it is not.
LONG LASTING. It can last as much as five hours a day or more (oh god!).
EVENING or late afternoon crying.

Tons of info about it here:


Elisabeth     at 10:40 pm

Cullen is such a doll! Every picture you’ve posted of him is adorable – can’t believe the smiling one! Oh, and the ‘thinking’ photo :) Hope you three have a great weekend!


Missy     at 10:47 pm

He is a sweetheart for sure and you are doing terrific! I know I’ve already left a comment on a different post but I can not stress it enough – Gripe Water! It’s a lifesaver. My daughter did just the same thing with early evening crying jags that left my husband’s nerves in tatters. It wasn’t until I finally listened to my mom & Grandma and found Gripe water that the crying stopped!


Mahealani @ Beauty, Brains, and Balance     at 11:32 pm

He’s such a darling. Every day is a new (sometimes scary) learning experience isn’t it!?


Elaine     at 1:20 am

Cullen is such a cutie! Hey, I have an idea for instead of using the hair dryer (hahaha you’re creative though) – check out simplynoise.com, it’s a website that generates white noise. I think Cullen might sleep better with that!


Jen Rose     at 2:33 am

Found your blog through Babble and have enjoyed reading about your pregnancy/parenting journey so far. Just had my 3rd baby two weeks ago and with her and my 1st baby I had terrible tailbone pain after childbirth. I’m currently seeing a physio about it, but first time around I put up with pain for 10 months before my chiropractor aunt was visiting and had a look at my alignment. She said it was my hip that was causing my tailbone pain and she adjusted me then and there and I had immediate relief after months of pain when sitting down. With a few more visits with my local chiropractor it was resolved completely. I suggest you definitely get it looked at, so the pain doesn’t become chronic. Hope you find a solution soon!


Ester     at 3:04 am

He looks just like his dad!


Kim @ girlevolving     at 5:05 am

Emily, ask your doctor about infant probiotics. Leo started having some fussy spells around 4 weeks and our doctor recommended giving him probiotics every day – it’s been shown in some studies to help reduce colic. While we don’t know if Leo ever had colic, probiotics certainly can’t hurt him. They definitely help him poop, which is great for his system! Just a thought…


eliza     at 5:36 am

Hey Emily! I know it might be too early, but Jilliam Michaels 20 minute shred might be perfect for you once you are feeling a little bit better. Her workout includes strength, cardio and an ab workout. It gets you sweating trust me! You could probably do it with a lot of modifications right now if you wanted! -Eliza


Mari Reply:

Agreed! I love that DVD. It is quick enough that you could do it while he naps!


Samantha     at 5:38 am

They have apps with white noise on them, if the hair dryer gets old?! I love my app for nights I just can’t unwind, it really seems to help!


Autumn Tao     at 6:04 am

I think you look amazing mama… but I appreciate your honesty more than you know. Please continue to be so forthcoming with us. Blogs often paint this rosy picture of life and when you look at your own in comparison, it can be a tad defeating. It’s good to hear the honest truth!

PS-I found that app you emailed me about. So exciting!!


Kristin @ FoodFash     at 8:10 am

I think you look fantastic! Your new mommy glow is out of this world!


fluke     at 8:55 am

i’m not a huge baby lover but Cullen is really one handsome little guy! and I love his name! It’s very fitting!


Rachelle     at 9:42 am

You sound perfect for 3 weeks PP! I apologize, morning sickness is keeping me from reading all the comments, so if this is redundant, I am sorry!

He is likely super cranky b/c of the 3 week growth spurt ;-) It will happen again at 6 weeks and 3 & 6 months. It may explain why he is suddenly eating ever 45min and sleeping more after eating. With my son, we would strap him in a carrier/ wrap and walk on the treadmill… he really liked the movement and sound. Hang on sweet mamma, this will pass quick. What works for one (or one time) won’t work for the other (or the next time). Motherhood, well it is kind of like engineering. Keep trying something new till it works! You are almost over the hardest hump of the newborn period. 5 or 6 weeks it seems to get LOTS easier.

Carriers/ wraps/ slings– I didn’t do carriers, but my husband did. I did the moby, but like you I found it a bit cumbersome, but it was perfect for the newborn wobbly-head period (but mine was really HOT to wear). You will get better at it the more you practice. I got a Maya ring sling too, LOVE IT (and the video it came with). I still use it w/ my 3 year old (in those situations where I can’t let him down in public b/c he will run and break something). It is better for when they gain more head control. I like the Maya in particular b/c it has a zipper pocket :-) I am sure Seattle must have some specialty baby shops that have baby wearing classes. Since you like BW so much, it would probably be worth the class to learn all the other wraps/ slings and how to use them.

Weight, well, you are a champ in my book!! You look *AMAZING* for 3 weeks PP. Recovery post baby is so much more than weight and as I am sure you’ve heard from many, it did take 9 months for your body to change, it may take a while to get it back to “semi” normal (my hips are STILL an inch bigger than they were). Give yourself a huge pat on the back for how awesome you’ve done already. The rest will come. HUGS!


Lisa     at 10:22 am

Hiya. So many of these thoughts resonate as I think back to our first month with our little guy!

Just wanted to second (third?) the chiropractic recommendation. Labor is so intense, for mama and baby both. Most chiropractors have lots of experience with post-partum mamas and many have experience with itty bitty ones too — it could be something to try for Cullen too, to see if it helps any with his late afternoon grumps. Of course those grumps could be just “Darnit this world is kinda tough and I’m tired!!” grumps, but it’s a thought.


Rachel     at 10:32 am

Cullen looks so adorable. My son went through the same crankiness and what seemed like intense pain around the same age as Cullen. It was horrible and I wish I had known WHAT I WAS EATING could have been the problem. I was eating things like broccoli, onions, beans (gassy foods), spicy foods as well and I didn’t know it was causing discomfort to my baby. I WISH I HAD KNOWN. I later found out a very bland diet for the mother is recommended for first few months of nursing due to the baby’s delicate stomach. I really hope this helps. Wishing your family calmer evenings.


Amber K     at 10:39 am

Such a cute little guy! Hope you can find something that can keep him calm, but I agree with you. I’d take a cranky evening baby over a cranky 3am baby any day!


Diana @ frontyardfoodie     at 11:21 am

Yeah, the body confidence gets a little rough after the first little bit. I found that with nursing I wanted muffins and whatnot a lot and it wasn’t until I realized I needed to feed myself fruit and veggies and fresh juices. Once the flab started going, I felt more motivated to get muscle.

My post baby body weight was the same as my pre pregnancy weight but I didn’t have the same tone. While I waited for my abs to come back together I started running and doing work out videos during Avery’s naps.

Now I’m pregnant again and I’m definitely going to change my post baby regime to straight what I know I need!


Anne Weber-Falk     at 11:33 am

I remember those days when I could lay the baby on my chest and they would sleep. I loved looking down into their beautiful faces. I loved just looking at the babies. I could stare at them for hours, listening to their breathing, watching the faces they make in their sleep. I would kiss their feet and fingers and the backs of their soft little necks. I loved smelling their heads. Now those feet are not so little any more and certainly NOT kissable. A twenty year old young man’s feet are GROSS! I will cherish those memories as long as I live. So will you! Enjoy your beautiful baby Emily. I love being a mom!


Adrianne     at 12:27 pm

That picture of him smiling in his sleep is so, so adorable!
I feel like I could have written so much of this post! I wish I would have blogged more about the everyday stuff early on because now it’s so fuzzy (and we’re only 10 weeks in!). Definitely hear you on the pacifier love/hate relationship. And reading it made me have an epiphany. My Annabel definitely prefers the fingers, and now, her own fist. I wonder if it’s because she’s breastfed? If she were bottle fed, maybe the plastic pacifier would feel more natural. But as it is, most of the time when I put it in her mouth, she makes a face like I’m trying to feed her poop or something:)
And as everyone has noted, you look amazing! This postpartum body stuff is TOUGH! I feel pretty much back to normal except for this yucky pooch of flabby belly. I just bought new jeans, a size up because I could no longer handle the muffin top. We’ll get there; you no doubt much faster than me!


Erika mc     at 12:41 pm

With a 12 week old baby boy I too am learning. I have done a lot of research and everything seems to say that most babies have a fussy time at night between 5 & 8. It’s most likely from being stimulated all day and then they just get tired of it – I haven’t read anything yet about preventing it. I also read that a baby can’t sleep too much and to not keep them awake thinking they will sleep better – so don’t worry about all his napping. Napping is when they grow and their brains are developing. Too bad the 5 S’s aren’t working – our son likes it. It really is an amazing journey and you will continue to learn and surprise yourself each day.


Alyson     at 1:31 pm

“It’s funny – I think I actually felt better about my body at one week postpartum than I do now. Maybe it was just the shock of finally seeing myself not pregnant after such a long time, but I really felt great that first week. If I’m being honest, now I just kind of feel saggy and flabby.”

I’ve experienced this seven times myself! A week after birth, because I can remember that big pregnant belly so well, I’m all, “Hey I look goooooood!” but another week or two later and I’m used to the not belly and I start to see only sag and flab. I promise it’ll all suck back in for you. :)


Julie @ Shining From Within     at 1:34 pm

I am being totally honest here: your baby is the most adorable little boy I’ve ever seen. He should be in commercials or something! I am not kidding… he’s gorgeous.


Sunny     at 1:46 pm

So. Very. Precious.
What great pictures of a beautiful baby.


Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count     at 2:44 pm

He is still the cutest thing! Love the striped suit with the bear on his bum!! Have a great weekend!


Emily     at 4:45 pm

Somebody else has probably already suggested this, but friends of ours found that the only sound that would soothe their baby was the vacuum cleaner. They nearly burned it out before they realized that they could make a recording of the sound. Ta da! Homemade white noise!


lona     at 1:38 am

I’ve been following this blog since about three months now, and I’m loving it to pieces. I’m on the brink of asking my longtime love how he would feel about us having a little one. I’m sure he’ll be psyched about it (I for sure know he wants to start a family with me), but I’m still a but scared about the whole process of being pregnant, giving birth, etc. I must say that reading you blog had really helped me with that, and I’m getting less scared and more enthousiastic about it every day. Who knosw, maybe your blog turns out to be the final push (heh) for someone on the other side of the world to stop being a coward and finally just get into the whole adventure of making a baby :) I’d like to thank you for that.

On another note, you’ve been mentioning Baby Einstein, and I’d love to see you do a post on the kind of toys and educational items you love. Considering a lot of the awesome aspects of your lifestyle, my guess is that you put quite some thought in what you’d like to expose your little one to.


Karin     at 6:08 am

That’s actually a common thing.. The screaming at that time of day at this age. My toddler did it and grew out of it in a few weeks. It was awful! You just want to help them but there is no appeasing


Dana     at 7:28 am

Hi Emily,

I was wanted to tell you that Cullen is sooo adorable!I cant help but smile as I read your posts. I hope you’re having a great weekend!


Christie @ Pepper Lynn     at 1:27 pm

It’s awesome that you are writing about your experiences in these early weeks! I imagine you’ll treasure these written memories as Cullen gets older. :)


marian     at 2:06 pm

cullen looks so much like his daddy! and i love his monkey butt :)


Pam     at 3:04 pm

You are doing great! He is adorable! It is normal that he is cranky and cries in the evening and know that it WILL get better! You can buy white noise on itunes and download it onto your ipod (I bought White Noise for Deep Sleep — our baby still sleeps with it at 10 weeks). I thought of the fussiness as something my baby had to do to get out her energy every day and my job was just to keep her as safe and comfortable as possible. And I will say it again…… it WILL get better :)


Hannah     at 7:03 pm

I highly recommend a women’s health physical therapist to help with your pain!! A chiropractor might do the trick, but women’s health PTs are specially qualified to deal with women postpartum (and women in general, and can get a little more personal, if you know what I mean). Just let me know if you have any questions, your OBGYN should be able to call in a referral if that’s necessary in your state!


kate     at 8:35 pm

Sorry but im a bit confused, this is supposed to be a food blog not a pregnancy blog, was wondering when you were going to get to the recipes, because i feel like im reading a personal journal about ur life, which seem to be going off in tangets. Your recipes are measley compared to other sites, and you should start doing more deserts. Im over the baby stuff, seriousley are you that self absorbed.


Wendy Reply:

Wow. As a mom, I just have to say…anyone who has ever had kids knows that the first few weeks are so completely time consuming that recipe development has to take a back burner, so to speak. As a frequent reader of this blog, I’ve enjoyed not only the recipes but also the candor with which Emily has shared her life and experiences. A blog can be whatever the writer wants it to be, personal or otherwise. I don’t know Emily personally, but don’t think she seems “self-absorbed”, she’s “Cullen-absorbed”, as she should be, which makes her a GREAT NEW MOM.


Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Wendy! Definitely Cullen absorbed. I can’t help myself. :) Thanks for being patient and understanding!


Wendy Reply:

You’re welcome…he’s absolutely precious-how could you possibly resist?! You’ll always be “Cullen-absorbed”…the challenge a little later out becomes weaving your interests and hobbies back into the mix. But that will come naturally as he gets older and demands less of your time! (I speak as one who is still “Brittany & Tyler-absorbed”, and they’re 15 and 10! ;-)


Marie Reply:

I actually love all the pregnancy and baby stuff. I’m far from having kids of my own but I have learned SO MUCH.


Emily Malone Reply:

Hey Kate. I guess it’s not really a food blog OR a pregnancy blog – the content sort of grows and changes with my life. Food is definitely still my long-term focus, but I think it’s pretty understandable that I can’t be whipping up new recipes every day with a 3 week old baby. I’m working on getting into a routine and finding a better balance each day. As for the recipes, I find it funny that you are missing them yet also find them to be mediocre. Not sure what to tell you! I don’t think I’m self absorbed, but I do think I’m going through a major life change, and my writing probably reflects that.


M Reply:

Good answer. In any other profession, you’d probably still be on maternity leave anyway – so you shouldn’t be judged for not having new recipes (though I just saw you post a new one). Also, that was just plain rude.


Jenny Reply:

Oh my gosh, what a rude post. I think Emily has been very upfront about the evolution/flow of her blog. If you don’t enjoy reading her posts, simply stop reading them. I, for one, have really enjoyed Emily’s honesty and candidness throughout her pregnancy and now with a new baby. Life’s not just about food, right? We eat well so that we can live well. Keep up the wonderful writing, Emily!


Kelly     at 6:39 am

Great post! I never get tired of looking at his photos! So sweet! His nighttime crankieness reminds me of my first born- I was nursing and noboby had told me what I ate could make my milk gassy for him- I had eaten Broccoli casserole and chocolate ice cream for lunch and dinner every day for a week- come to find out broccoli and chocolate are two of the worst offenders…oops! Live and learn :)


Rachel Reply:

The same for me. I wish I had known what I was eating was making things worse for my baby.


STUFT Mama     at 7:40 am

Hang in there. One day at a time. The same thing happened to me. I felt better about my body 1 week after my c-section than I did 3 weeks later. It’s definitely a process. Tkae your time. Rest when you can.
Cullen is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I know you have LOTS of support, but feel free to email me with any questions or anything abotu baby stuff.) :)


Sandra     at 9:02 am

my 3 breast fed babies wouldn’t take pacifiers – they much preferred sucking on fleshy fingers – that probably sounded vampiry but shouldn’t! Also, the vacuum and setting the bouncy/vibrating seat worked great for calming them down. But it seems like the first was the hardest.


Stacey     at 9:09 am

I love these posts! It’s so interesting to see how you guys are growing/changing every week :) Hang in there, Emily!


Carin     at 12:04 pm

One of the please-stop-crying tricks that worked with my kids at the early infancy stage was holding the baby as my husband or I would walk up and down the stairs. Something about the movement seemed to bounce the crying right out of them in a way the swing, stroller, etc. wouldn’t. Plus, it’s a great leg exercise. : ) The early weeks/months are tough, Emily. You’re doing great and this is all sounding very, very familiar! I remember commenting to my husband when our first was barely a month old, “I had no idea I could function on this little sleep!”


Julie     at 12:49 pm

Hi Emily- just wanted to echo all the others above and tell you how gorgeous your son is! And you look fantastic- good for you for getting all that walking in too. You’re doing fantastic!


Brittany @Little b's healthy habits     at 2:36 pm

He. Is. Adorable.


Kara     at 3:42 pm

Re: tailbone pain…did the doctors check you for a broken tailbone after delivery? I had a forceps delivery which broke mine, but it can happen in a normal delivery too. You can’t do anything about it, other than sit on an inflatable doughnut, but it’s nice to at least KNOW why it hurts so much for so long.


Becca     at 5:08 pm

I really enjoy reading your blog! Congrats, Cullen is adorable. Don’t worry though that cranky/screaming at 5 pm phase will go away soon. Usually their height of fussiness is around 6 weeks then dies down. Have you tried a white noise sound machine? We got one from Target. We spent the $60 for each child and it really helps!! And it might help with your dogs. Hang in there though. This too shall pass.


amy     at 2:11 pm

ahhh look at his smile!!! :) so cute!!! i love the pics..hes so sweet!


Kat @ Living Like the Kings     at 5:38 pm

Aww sounds like you’re learning lots and happy 3 weeks! :)


lauren     at 7:40 pm

Wow, I can’t get over how much Cullen looks like your husband when his eyes are closed – then they’re open and I definitely see you :) I’m guessing you’ve heard this before, but I just couldn’t get over it!


Sam     at 8:55 am

I just saw this post and wanted to reply with a few things based on my limited experience as a mom (I have a 6.5 month old son):

1. Other people here have said this, but those first weeks are REALLY, REALLY HARD and your little guy sounds a lot like how mine was, i.e., not the quiet, pleasant little sack of goo that, during pregnancy, you picture yourself snuggling in your lap while you get all kinds of work done. Yeah, no. I was e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d from simply trying to keep up with his needs, let alone finding time to cram a bran muffin and a piece of fruit down my throat and use the toilet before he needed me again. Productivity in other areas was non-existent.

He also had those “evening fussies” where both my husband and I found ourselves pacing, rocking, swinging, bouncing, shushing, swaying, holding, sitting, jiggling, wearing, carrying our son with little clue as to exactly what combination of actions would satisfy the little dinosaur. Sometimes he liked the paci, sometimes he didn’t, sometimes he only slept in the carseat, sometimes only in the swing, etc. You just keep trying things until something works.

I think I’ve blocked out a lot of those early-newborn memories for the sake of my sanity :), but if I remember correctly, we eventually found that swing + sometimes paci + shushing + fan on for white noise + swaddle had a fairly decent rate of success for a few weeks. Then it was on to finding the next combination.

Babies are constantly changing, so just when you find something that works, it will suddenly stop working. However, the opposite is also true…just when you feel like NOTHING is working, suddenly something will work.

2. I had very intense tailbone pain after my son was born. It made breastfeeding and sitting at all very, very difficult for weeks. Around 6 weeks pp, I started seeing a reputable chiro in my area and that helped a lot. He thought my tailbone was probably broken due to the fact that I felt it “shifting” sometimes when I sat. You can’t do anything directly to the tailbone to heal it but you can make sure the structures around it are aligned to keep the pressure off to let it heal. My pelvis was out of place in a couple of directions, so he adjusts my pelvis and that takes the pressure off my tailbone, allowing it to heal. I’m 6.5 months out and still seeing him periodically and would say that I’m about 85%-90% back to normal. So much better than where I was. Unfortunately, tailbones just take a long time to heal.

3. I returned to my pre-pg weight pretty quickly as well (5,6″, 128 lbs.) and was able to fit into size 6 jeans after a month or two, but it took a few months for my hips to go down more so that I was able to fit into my “normal” jeans, size 4 skinnies. However, I did get there. My belly was also doughy despite my not having gained much excess weight. The rest of me looked pretty normal. The belly doughiness very, very slowly goes down as the months pass. As you start exercising again, you will also see that core and abs work significantly speeds that process up.

My belly is not completely flat and tight right now like it used to be, but when I’m wearing normal clothes you wouldn’t know I had been pregnant. It looks flat.

Without clothes on, I will tell you that it is still very obvious I was pregnant. I only gained 28 lbs. during the pg, and lost 20 of them in the first two weeks pp, but I got bad stretch marks on my tummy thanks to genetics. They have faded in color, but are still evident due to the trauma to the skin. I still have a linea negra due to hormones that remain in the body while breastfeeding, but that will probably fade after he weans. My tummy skin that got stretched out is still loose, although, as I said, my underlying muscles are slowly tightening up so while the skin itself is still loose, my belly pooch is almost gone and my tummy looks pretty flat. My hips, which used to be basically nonexistent as I was very slender and non-curvy, are now a little wider although my husband says he can’t really tell.

Pregnancy has changed my body and I’m still figuring out what I can fix and what I can’t. Either way, I consider myself still recovering so try to keep that in mind as you look for your pre-baby-body in there somewhere. You WILL eventually find it and the doughiness will go down; it will probably just take a couple more months. Exercise as you can but don’t fret if you can’t find the time for a while. You will get there.

Oh, and, yes, it gets better. The newborn stage frankly just sucks. My son is still higher-maintenance than all of my friends’ babies – still more demanding and more active and more alert. However, he rarely cries now (he outgrew the evening fussies after a couple of months), he started sleeping much longer periods once he reached about 10 lbs., and when babies start smiling & laughing, that makes it all a lot more manageable. He is super smiley and sweet and funny now. We have found that he is simply more sensitive to and particular about his surroundings and circumstances than a lot of babies. He always has a reason for his cries and has a lot going on in his head, which is probably a big reason why he was so grumpy in the beginning. He had no way to express it other than through crying. They say very alert, curious, expressive babies are often very intelligent and so far we have found this to be true.

Hopefully you will find that to be the case as well. Hang in there. It definitely gets better! Feel free to email me if you have any questions about our experiences or just want to talk/vent. Cullen’s behavior and temperament really do sound a lot like my son’s. It is challenging…especially if your friends/family all had easy, relatively complacent babies and don’t really get what you’re going through.


Tina     at 12:52 pm

Agreed! I, too, felt better about my body in the days after birth than I do now, nearly 5 months later. I think it’s that the first few changes happen so quickly and your expectations are low, so it feels/seems fantastic, but then as the weeks progress, the changes are much more gradual and the expectations higher.


Meagan     at 7:20 pm

Try some squats and pushups before bed :) that always makes me feel great in the morning.


christy     at 7:01 pm

I heard about you from other blogs and as a newer mother (13 month old son) I finally took a look. Amazing post, soak it all in. You seem to be handling the unpredictability and JOY of newborn life well. Enjoy these moments… It just keeps getting better


Amykinz @ Foodie4Healing     at 6:33 pm

He truly is handsome!

And don’t be so hard on yourself…you look great! But I do know what you mean, I felt better about my body 3 weeks postpartum than I do now (16 weeks postpartum).

Also, babies tend to have a “fussy time” & it’s usually at night. Not fun & not what you want to hear, but take heart, it does pass.


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