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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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



Week 5: Cullen’s First Thanksgiving!

For the past month, I feel like I’ve obsessed over every passing day that Cullen has been here.  Somehow with all the craziness of the holiday week and having family in town, and entire week went by and I barely even realized it.  And here it is Friday and my baby is FIVE weeks old!

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This has been a wonderful week for many reasons.  Cullen turned one month old, celebrated his first holiday, met his cousin, aunts, and uncle, and went for lots of fun walks and outings.  Somewhere in the midst of it, he also became a baby who is WIDE awake most of the day, and is so much fun to be around.  Baby sneezes!

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Even though I tell myself he is still just a little peanut, I had to accept a few realities when he upgraded from newborn to size one diapers this week, and his newborn pajamas started to become too short to zip.  My baby is getting bigger, which is a GOOD thing, because it means he’s getting big and strong on all that delicious milk.  Even though I want him to be tiny and cuddly forever, I feel so lucky that he’s such a good eater, and that he’s continuing to thrive so well. 

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You know who probably hasn’t been mentioned enough in these updates?  DAD!  The only thing I love more than staring at Cullen all day long is watching Casey with Cullen.  He had essentially no baby experience going into parenthood, but he’s already so comfortable and great with him.  Cullen absolutely adores him and stares at his dad whenever he gets the chance.  His number one favorite activity is having Casey swing him back and forth in the air!

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He doesn’t like when his mom swings him for some reason – perhaps smaller hands don’t feel sturdy enough?  As for me, I made a major turn in the recovery department this week.  Last week I still felt like I was in the late stages of recovery – a bit sore, a little slow, and often uncomfortable.  This week I am feeling…normal?  I barely remember what that feels like, but I think my pain and soreness has finally subsided. 

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Still no major exercise beyond walking yet, although I have stepped up my walks quite a bit to 3 and 4 mile loops.  Whenever the weather cooperates I make a point to get both me and Cullen outside for some exercise and fresh air!  I’m only about 3 pounds up from my pre-pregnancy weight now, but my body definitely looks much different.  I call it my new “mom body” and I like it more on some days than others.  I’ll be happier once I lose the rest of the stomach flab, but for now I’m feeling okay.

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This week’s big development that has been a blessing to both me AND Cullen has been the huge improvement in his schedule.  Out of nowhere, he has suddenly developed a predictable sleep pattern.  His days are still a bit more varied, but almost like clockwork now, every night around 7:30pm he is ready for bed and falls into a deep, sound sleep.  He sleeps (with short breaks for feedings) soundly through the night, and we both get up around 6:30 or 7am.  Mom and baby are both feeling a bit more rested and happy this week!

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His predictable bedtime has freed me up in the evenings for cleaning, computer work, and just enjoying some down time.  As much as I love my little guy, it has been really nice to be able to count on a few hours after he goes to bed where I can focus on the other things that need to be done.  Beyond his bedtime, he has also consistently started sleeping for 5 to 6 hour stretches at night.  I’m afraid to even talk about it because I don’t want to jinx the progress – I hope it lasts!

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His personality has continued to grow and develop this week, and I’m amazed at how someone so small can entertain me all day long.  He is goofy, cranky, and everything in between.  I can’t get enough of his big toothless smiles, and I hope he just continues to shine a little bit brighter each week. 

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Have a great weekend!

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69 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Amy     at 9:56 pm

He is so gorgeous! I could eat him up!! I can totally see why you just want to snuggle and hang out with him all day!

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Amie Hutton     at 9:56 pm

You have such a handsome boy and a beautiful family. It has been so exciting to read your blog and feel like a part of your transitions. Congratulations on all of your milestones and thank you for your updates!! :)

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Amy B Reply:

3 people (including myselff) all just posted in a row with the same name! how strange!

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Amy B     at 9:58 pm

Oh my gosh I can not get over how stinkin cute Cullen is! I honetly show my husband the photos you post every night because I am slightly obsessed with having a baby and everyime I see Cullen’s pictures it makes the idea even more irresistable! We just celebrated our one year anniversary and I am in grad school but your little peanut is making it tempting! Thank you SO much for sharing your story and the adorableness that is Cullen with all of your readers! I am so happy for you and your family that you are all healthy and adjusting well!

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Sana     at 10:06 pm

You are doing an amazing job with baby Cullen, he look so happy to be with you and Casey :)

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Army Amy*     at 10:10 pm

He’s such a cutie pie! I can’t believe he’s 5 weeks old already!*

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Devon Mills     at 10:24 pm

So many great Cullen expressions in this post! The photo of you holding him while he’s smiling/laughing is BEYOND adorable.

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Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed Reply:

I agree, SO many good pics and I looove that one too.

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Carley     at 10:29 pm

Love the pants and baby sneeze of Cullen! That’s so great you’re able to walk too!

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kristen @ verbs and vignettes Reply:

<3 baby sneeze! hahaha.

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Cara @ EAT. PRAY. RUN.     at 10:35 pm

I just can’t get enough of him and love reading about your journey as a new family! It’s inspiring and exciting as I hope to be in your shoes someday!

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Michaela     at 12:35 am

I know I say it every time when you post pictures of Cullen, but he is just suuuuuuuuuuch a sweet baby!!
(and you can definitely tell by looking at YOU that he has developed a sleep pattern ;)).

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Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn     at 12:52 am

Did I mention that I’ll babysit any time? Not kidding. And girl. You will lose that flab in NO time. Promises.

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Tamicka     at 1:24 am

Wow you look great and I’m happy to hear your feeling better. I was wondering if you guys were still gonna do cloth diapering? Or is he still too small for the all in ones? Just curious since I was thinking about doing them when I have a beautiful baby myself

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Leatitia @ The Sweetest Year     at 2:16 am

He’s so cute! I love the picture with dad. :)

My baby sleeps in longer stretch now but the problem is MY sleeping schedule. It’s all over the place. If I get 4 hours of sleep in a row, I have a much harder time falling back asleep. Proof in point, it’s 5AM and I’ve been wide awake since 3:30AM. It makes for hard wake up calls when baby wakes up at 7.

I’m glad he’s a great sleeper, most people sleep for that long at his age so I don’t think you’re jinxing yourself. ;-)

Get those updates coming!

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Allie@LiveLaughEat     at 4:34 am

Your little peanut won’t stop smiling! Love the 2nd to last photo. I always show photos of Cullen to my mom when you post them on Facebook. Glad you’re feeling better, Emily. You look great.

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Laine     at 4:43 am

His pants just crack me up! He really is one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen.

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Kaci     at 5:24 am

Adorable!! I love those baby smiles!! So cute!

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Katie @ Peace Love and Oats     at 5:36 am

I’m glad he’s being a good sleeper, and that you’re feeling better! LOVE the sneeze picture!

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers     at 6:05 am

How cute! Happy Thanksgiving! You look great for just having a baby!

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Sara     at 6:38 am

Emily you look beautiful! Really radiant. Your body will (slowly) get back to normal- I think you look amazing! It took a good 6 months for my body to get back to where it was.

I love Cullen’s little pants! So stinkin’ cute. :)

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen     at 6:56 am

I love his pants, he looks like such a little man! You both look great, love these updates :)

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Haley S     at 7:10 am

He is potentially the cutest little baby. You look great too. Keep the pictures coming…I love all of his different faces!

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Jessica @ The Process of Healing     at 7:18 am

I look forward to your baby updates all week… he is honestly one of the prettiest babies I’ve ever seen!

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jenny     at 7:28 am

oh emily, i’m SO glad you’ve reached the stage of the 7:30 bedtime! this is fantastic! and you’re getting sleep… so wonderful!! ENJOY!!

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Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep     at 7:40 am

I’m fairly certain yawns are contagious even through the computer screen because I just yawned looking at his last picture. He’s so adorable!

So glad to hear he’s on a pretty regular schedule now. Free evenings are such a blessing.

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Heather K     at 7:56 am

wow! what a cute baby!
you look fantastic emily! motherhood suits you :)

and the baby- is it just me or does cullen look more like your husband?

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Lisa @ The Splattered Apron     at 8:06 am

Oh Cullen, I am so happy you are growing and thriving like you’re supposed to, but selfishly I want you to stay a little peanut until I get to hold you!!!

Packing away the clothes Caroline has outgrown already KILLED me, I can’t believe how fast it’s all going.

I’m so glad Cullen is getting into a predictable sleep pattern. Don’t be surprised if he switches it up on you every now and then–that’s what C has done to us! She’s a great sleeper and then 3 nights in a row will be awful, then she’s back to being a great sleeper.

You look fantastic Emily, I wish you were here to motivate me to get moving!!

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anon     at 8:13 am

Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures of your precious boy. I wanted to gently suggest that you might be being far too hard on yourself with your body focused comments. There really are body-related changes postpartum. Some can be permanent. For example, the rib cage does expand and there can be permanent changes in the abdominal area. I had my children much later in life (close to 40) so this may have something to do with it. However, even though I’m very, very active, including running marathons and am vegetarian, my stomach has a small roll that is really just stretched skin (not fat) and it will not change, aside from surgery. You are always so careful and thoughtful in your writing, please don’t be hard yourself in this area. Mom bodies can be just as strong and beautiful as pre-mom bodies. Thank you again for all that you do. I have really enjoyed your blog.

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Jillian Reply:

Interesting.. I think what Emily wrote about her body changes was as casual as can be while still remaining *honest*! I would prefer she was honest about her feelings versus tip-toeing around readers who think saying anything at all = “too hard on yourself”.

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Meagan     at 8:34 am

I am so glad you three are well! Are you planning to share what you all enjoyed on Thanksgiving? I’d be interested in seeing what you all managed to cook with 2 young babies and 2 dogs in the house! LOL.

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Liz     at 9:36 am

I can’t believe he’s 5 weeks old already! He is just precious and it looks like you all had a wonderful holiday with family. I just love that picture of the two of you smiling – he is certainly photogenic (but of course he gets that from you!) :)

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Meg @ My Chocolate Covered Life     at 9:44 am

It sounds like you are living every mother’s dream. My husband and I don’t have kids yet (we’re still two years away), but I can only imagine how on top of the world you must feel.

Also, I know baby weight is the least of a new mom’s concerns, but damn girl! You are only three pounds away without any hard core exercise? Again, if I were in your shoes I would be on top of the world.

Keep up these fabulous posts. They are so helpful at giving me a glimpse of (hopefully) what’s to come.

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Sara@BakingandWine     at 10:22 am

That’s so awesome that he’s getting into a sleep schedule! Be ready for it to change at about 3 months though! I was shocked when it happened but apparently it’s very common to have sleep regression during growth spurts. Crazy babies!

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Amber K     at 10:29 am

These will be such great posts to look back in next year and after. I was just looking at pictures of my nieces and nephews last Thanksgiving and comparing them to this year and they have all grown up so much! I wish I had taken more notes about their personalities back then.

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Kara     at 10:34 am

Oh my goshhhhhh that last photo of the two of you.. I just have no words. Made me tear up! You all look so content and relaxed.

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Heather     at 10:50 am

so precious, I love his little facial expressions! Do your dogs bark a lot/wake him up? that is one thing I worry about when we have kids, my dogs bark at every little noise!

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Jackie @ That Deep Breath     at 11:13 am

He is way too precious. Glad to hear you are feeling better, you and Casey both look so happy!

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Julie (A Case of the Runs)     at 11:14 am

So cute! My niece is 7 weeks old and is also smiling regularly… it’s almost like she went from crying blob (in the most affectionate way possible) to a little person… it’s amazing!

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Hayley @ Oat Couture     at 1:20 pm

Honestly Cullen just keeps getting cuter and cuter!! :) So glad your feeling a little bit more like your old self and with less pain! You will be feeling fighting fit again in no time I am sure! :)

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elizabeth     at 2:33 pm

Baby Cullen is adorable!! Sounds like your family is settling in nicely :) YAY!!

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Rachel     at 2:50 pm

He is such a beautiful baby!

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Sarah     at 4:34 pm

I’m glad to read that there’s hope of longer sleep stretches! I’m looking forward to that!
And Emily, I know you might not feel like it all the time, but truly, you look fantastic!

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Victoria     at 4:42 pm

You are beautiful and he is gorgeous! I remember those glorious days! Love his big boy pants!

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Trainer Kjirsten @ Balanced Healthy Life     at 4:56 pm

Wow, I can’t believe he is already 5 weeks! Time is going so quickly! You are adapting to motherhood so well and I’m happy you and baby Cullen are both getting into a nice routine!

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 6:04 pm

LOVE all these pictures! He’s growing so fast!

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Kristen @ Life as an Americanadian     at 6:57 pm

He is so adorable! Glad you had such a wonderful Thanksgiving with your little one :-)

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Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]     at 7:50 pm

2nd to last photo = love.

you’ve got one gorgeous family!

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Katie     at 9:15 pm

You look so beautiful! And that is one adorable little baby (with some super cute silly faces!)

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Shari     at 4:43 am

That last picture is the cutest thing ever :)

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Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count     at 6:04 am

Such a cutie!

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Nathalie     at 12:18 pm

Adorable!!! The baby sneeze and pants are just too cute!!! And you look radiantly beautiful, Emily!!!Cullen really takes after his dad! Thanks for sharing with all of us :-)

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Katherine     at 1:23 pm

….and he gets even more adorable!

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Catherine     at 2:46 pm

Oh what a sweetie!! He is so adorable. I cannot get enough of your pics and posts of him – and look at how much he looks like his papa!! It’s so refreshing hearing your honesty about your recovery and experiences thus far, so thank you for that. :)

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Rebecca     at 2:47 pm

What a gorgeous baby! You are so blessed!

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Diana @ frontyardfoodie     at 5:14 pm

yeah, the mommy body is definitely a little bit of an adjustment. I lost my baby weight and more but things had changed quite a bit…..mostly my big boobs!

I think the main thing though, was my posture. Before the baby, I felt like my bag was straight and after being pregnant my back had the mid back more curve to it. Not a bad thing at all, just different.

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Bethany @ Accidental Intentions     at 5:35 pm

OH MY GOSH. Second to last picture. Can’t even handle it. I’m glad to hear he’s sleeping better lately. I’m sure that’s a huge blessing.

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Sara S.     at 6:21 pm

Girl, I hope I look like you 5 weeks after I give birth! You look wonderful and so does your sweet family. :)

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Kim     at 7:35 pm

What a beautiful family you have!

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Jennifer @ sweetlyvegan.com     at 10:07 pm

Cutest baby boy ever!!!! love the pics! He could even be a baby model! LOVE (:

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Sarah     at 10:55 pm

his little smile seriously melts your heart!

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Charlie- The Runner Beans     at 2:00 am

What a cutie! Would love a guest post from Casey for his thoughts on being a dad!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I have asked him to do one! We’ll see if it happens. :)

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Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family     at 8:06 am

I love the baby sneezes. He is such a gorgeous baby and such a wonderful thing to watch him getting bigger by the post :)

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Jennifer (The Gourmetour)     at 2:13 pm

Emily!
I made a couple of your recipes this Thanksgiving, and all were a huge success with vegans (not really plural, just me) and meat eaters alike!! I made the stuffing and the vegan pumpkin pie and LOVED them both so much, I will be keeping these recipes for forever! I, too, enjoyed brussel sprouts but used my recipe and I made a sweet potato & onion bake-both of which were delicious as well!
Thanks for always sharing the best recipes!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks so much for letting me know!! Glad they were a hit. :)

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Renee     at 8:02 pm

He’s a keeper for sure – love the photos:)

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Katie @ Talk Less, Say More     at 8:46 pm

He is such a photogenic baby! That big giggly smile is just adorable! :)

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Kat     at 5:55 pm

Our little Peanut developed her own sleep schedule around this time too! And it’s been pretty predictable ever since (cept for the wakeful 4 months thing)

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