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    Emily Malone

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

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    A Look Back.



Week 11: Bigger Every Day.

Cullen is eleven weeks old today, and for the first time in a long time – I believe it!  He is so much bigger than he used to be, and I am feeling it in my biceps.  He likes to be active all the time now, always kicking, dancing, and flailing his arms around.

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He is also a ridiculous amount of fun.  I find myself smiling and laughing at him all day long, and the smiles and laughs that I get back in return literally make me feel like my heart might explode. 

In the middle of the night when I hear him start to wake, even though I absolutely KNOW that he’s not going to fall back asleep without being fed, I always lay there an extra minute or two hoping perhaps we don’t really have to get up.  But of course, we do.  Through a blur of sleepy haze, I get out of bed to change and feed him, and then slam back into my pillow praying for just a few more hours of sleep. 

When he finally wakes up for good in the morning, I always have about 30 seconds of once again – praying for more sleep.  But then I lean over and peek into his pack n play, where our eyes meet and as soon as he sees me, he bursts into the happiest, most joyful smile.  There is no better way to start the day.

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The big change this week is that he has found his HANDS.  He loves them, and sucks on them pretty much all the time.  He doesn’t reach out and grab toys yet, but if I put one near his hand he can usually grasp it with a little help.  Anything he holds onto eventually goes into his mouth.

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The other new development this week is DROOL.  Lots of gross, drippy drool.  I am constantly carrying around burp clothes to wipe him off, and I have to avoid getting hit in the face with it when we are playing (although he did get me with something else!).  The dogs are very interested in his drooling and bubble blowing…

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And Cullen seems totally fascinated by them.  I can see his eyes follow them around the room when they are near, and he loves when they come up and sniff his face.  Huey’s new favorite hiding spot is under the crib in the nursery.  I can’t wait until they are all friends and can play together.

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One of the things I’ve been trying to work on recently is his tummy time.  He absolutely HATES it.  He never lasts more than 30 seconds or so, but I really want him to keep practicing so it gets more comfortable.  Can’t really blame him for hating it though – look at the size of that head!

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This week was a particularly tough one – actually one of our hardest in quite some time.  I think a big part of it was transitioning back to pacific time and recovering from our week home for the holidays.  The first few days back he was falling asleep for the night between 4 and 5pm, and no matter what we did we couldn’t keep him awake.

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He is finally back to sleeping later, but I think all the schedule changes have been hard on him (and me!).  My boy seems to really like routine.  He was grumpy and cranky all week long, and none of his usual favorite things seemed to make him happy.

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And just when I was starting to feel the long days really wearing on me, he woke up today in the perfect mood, and we had an awesome day together.  He ate well, he slept well, we played together, and we even took a (rare) nap together.  He quickly made me forget that he puked in my hair, and tortured me all week long.

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Before Cullen, I never would have described myself as overly maternal.  Emotional, yes, but drawn to or interested in babies?  Eh, not so much. 

But then he arrived.  Suddenly, a part of me was now on the outside, literally being held in my arms.  I can’t really describe what these eleven weeks have been like, other than to say that I’m different now.  Of course my schedule is different, my body is different, and life in general is just…different.  But I’m talking about a difference that goes deep into my core.

I stare at him in disbelief that he is mine, that he came out of me, and that I made him.  I still can’t quite wrap my head around that.  I look at pictures from my pregnancy and try to understand that Cullen was in that big belly the whole time.  I think about what he will look like when he is five, what he will sound like when he is eight, and whether he’ll still hug his mom when he is ten.  I feel so lucky to get to watch him grow.

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But as much as I love seeing him grow and change, I can’t help but hope time will slow down for us just a little bit.  He is getting so big so quickly, and I’m simply doing my best to simply appreciate each stage, each day.  Who knows what next week will bring.

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83 Comments so far
Leave a comment

jane richardson     at 9:05 pm

cutest. baby. ever. (ok, since my kids…)

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Kelley     at 9:08 pm

This is so beautiful! I’m pregnant with my 1st and I am overwhelmed with excitement seeing how cute Cullen is! Those smiles are what it’s all about!

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Emily @LivingLongfellow     at 9:09 pm

Oh my gosh he is so adorable. I love the photo of him with the huge smile of his face. The one with Huey licking his face is pretty amazing too.

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Alayna @ Thyme Bombe     at 9:09 pm

Good lord that child is cute! And he really is getting big fast!

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Tara     at 9:11 pm

Wow, I can so relate to all this, especially the hopes for more sleep but those smiles in the morning are like a triple shot of espresso happiness. Wakes you right up!
Great post and so beautifully said.

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Karen     at 9:19 pm

I laughed hysterically when I read the puke in the hair story! (My husband was puzzled as to why this was funny.) But reading about Cullen and your experiences has made me so excited to have kids someday :-)

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Sarah     at 9:23 pm

He is so expressive! I love all his little facials.

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Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)     at 9:23 pm

The puke in hair story was hilarious!

Cullen is so fun to watch grow. He’s just too adorable.

I LOVE reading your writings about cullen and revisiting your pregnancy posts.

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Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie     at 9:49 pm

As weird as this sounds, I feel very similar about my college experience thus far. There’s some absolutely wonderful weeks and others not so much. Regardless of the particular day, however, I want to remember to enjoy the experience.

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Kathryn @ Flopoodle     at 9:56 pm

The projectile vomit story had me laughing :) I love how you write about him and how much warmth and adoration there is in these posts. It’s so fascinating to watch him grow, too!

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Candy @ Healthy In Candy Land     at 10:25 pm

What a beautiful post, Emily! Your writing about your baby brings back so many fond moments and memories with my baby boys, who are now 8 and 5. (And they still give hugs and kisses!)

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Ashley     at 10:58 pm

I LOVE your blog. My first baby (a boy too!) was born October 4th, so I enjoy reading and comparing. It’s so crazy how fast they grow. I am loving every minute of mommy hood. I can’t wait to read more about you and Cullen. I am finding we have more and more in common as I read. Hopefully you and I both get a good night’s sleep tonight!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Congrats to you on YOUR little one!

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Monica     at 11:19 pm

Soooooo sweet! These posts will be so incredible for Cullen to look back and read. They are so great at truly capturing a moment in time.

Glad the little man is feeling back on track!

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carri z.     at 11:44 pm

i love this post so much.

thanks for it.
ALL.

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Brittany (A Healthy Slice of life)     at 1:53 am

Another beautiful update! Hailey thrives on routine, too, and, like you, I look at her in disbelief at how big she is getting. Though we have now hit the 4 month sleep regression, which is tiring, the morning grins get me through it every time :)

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Tricia     at 3:17 am

Such a sweet post. I want to slow down time too. Looking at those sweet pictures of Cullen makes me miss my babies being babies. But each stage is wonderful. There is just something about babies tho! : )

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Simply Life     at 3:41 am

he is SO sweet and I’m sure having this blog will be that perfect way of remembering each stage- how fun will it be in a year to go back through all these photos of him and literally watch him grow?!?! What a cutie!

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Brittnie (A Joy Renewed)     at 3:52 am

So cute! I truly believe that each and every baby is a little miracle. How could they not be, you know? We have pictures of the (2) embryos that the Dr implanted when we did our IVF. I now have pictures from my 20 week ultrasound. To think that one of those embryos grew into a real BABY GIRL is just amazing. A miracle from God in my opinion!

I think my body is preparing me for sleepless nights! I wake up every 2 hours during the night, either having to use the restroom or rearrange to get comfortable. Not fun but SO worth it if it means my body is preparing me to meet my little girl!

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Emily Malone Reply:

That is so awesome!!

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Kristen @ Change of Pace     at 3:55 am

I say this every time but he is SO cute. Neither of my kids liked tummy time. With my second one I hardly did it :/ (bad mom award)…. He still reached all his milestones on time and even started walking early!

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Jessica Ann     at 3:55 am

I so so love these updates and seeing all the changes! That picture of him with the dog is so so sweet. I cannot WAIT until the day I get to experience being a mom.

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Jen     at 4:23 am

Hang in there, he will start to like tummy time more soon! Maya used to hate it too, but we persisted and around 14 weeks or so she really got the hang of it. It is still a struggle, and we hear her grunting, but she can last a good 5-10 minutes before she grows sick of it now.
Glad to see things picked up this week!

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Marlow     at 4:35 am

My sister used to just leave my niece’s bib on her all day and some days she even had to double bib!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I am considering bibbing if I have to!

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Marlow Reply:

It’s better than having to change their onesie constantly!

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Lauren     at 5:01 am

He is just getting more precious every single day!!!

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Sarah     at 5:35 am

Honestly I feel like we’ve all experienced a piece of this with you! Obviously not even close to anything you experience with Baby C, but man, I can’t believe how much he has changed. I remember the first two weeks or so when he was grumpy and kinda looked sort of permanently disgruntled. Now I see his big giant smiles in every picture! It is so so so wonderful. Givin’ me baby-fever! Is there a certain week-mark at which point babies start smiling? (Sorry if that’s such a dumb question. Sheesh.)

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Emily Malone Reply:

He is a lot less grumpy these days, which is a nice change, haha! Cullen start smiling right around week 4.

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Catherine     at 5:53 am

So, so adorable. Even when he’s crying. (I know, that’s probably awful to say!)

Emily, I remember you saying you were planning on cloth diapering. Is that still what you’ve done? I was hoping you’d do a post on it if so – I’d love to hear about those adventures! Or have I missed one? That’s entirely possible too… :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

We are actually just starting the cloth diapering this week! Should have an update in the next week or two. :)

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers     at 6:20 am

Wow, time goes so quickly! Enjoy these moments!

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Aubre Rice     at 6:25 am

He is so darn adorable! My little guy is 4.5 now and I can’t believe how fast it’s gone. I too wish time would slow a little!

Now that Cullen has found his hands, I have a recommendation…wrist rattles! My son loved them and it gives them some stimulation and a new fun activity! Here’s a link for them: http://www.babyearth.com/sassy-wrist-rattles.html?att_val=4797&gclid=CMC2mr2Ovq0CFYHrKgodRlCSAw

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Kelly     at 6:28 am

Aww…11 weeks already!! Could you imagine having to go back to work full time at this point? My maternity leave was the full 12 weeks that I could take, and I remember that last week together, when she turned 11 wks old and how much more interactive she seemed (just like you mentioned!) and it was HEARTBREAKING to have to leave her for 9 hours every day!! How wonderful that you are able to stay home and make these memories with your little sweetie! :o)

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Emily Malone Reply:

We were just talking about that – I can’t imagine! I feel so lucky to be at home.

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Danielle     at 6:51 am

“But then he arrived. Suddenly, a part of me was now on the outside, literally being held in my arms. I can’t really describe what these eleven weeks have been like, other than to say that I’m different now. Of course my schedule is different, my body is different, and life in general is just…different. But I’m talking about a difference that goes deep into my core.”

This is the *perfect* way to describe how I feel about my three week old daughter! I couldn’t agree more :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Three weeks! Eeeeeeeek! Congrats. :)

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Laura G     at 6:57 am

Beautiful post once again Emily!

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colleen     at 7:00 am

Simply beautiful! Cullen is getting so big!

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Ella, RD     at 8:49 am

The story on Babble about Cullen’s puke is HILARIOUS. And it makes me feel better to hear you say you weren’t all baby crazy or anything before you had your own – I am 2 weeks away from my due date and am excited of course, but I’m not, like, Ms. Baby-Lover Woman. I know that will change when it’s my own. Thanks for the honest reflection.

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Rachel     at 8:55 am

Beautiful post! Glad he’s in a better mood. He’s just so stinkin’ cute!

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Army Amy*     at 8:55 am

He has the best smile! I love following your journey through motherhood. Just through your blog posts, the changes in your perspective are obvious. I’m so glad that being a mommy has made you so happy!*

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Katie @ Peace Love & Oats     at 9:31 am

I love that he and the dogs enjoy eachother so much, they are going to have a real bond!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I hope so!

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Heather     at 9:42 am

One thing that helps with tummy time is a wedge-shaped pillow. I put my daughter at the higher end of the wedge, and that way she wasn’t smacking her face into the floor. It propped her up a bit and made it more interesting for her, but it wasn’t awkward like the Boppy because it was still a flat surface to push off against.

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Emily (Edible Psychology)     at 10:08 am

What a wonderful post – you sound like such an incredible mom, on the good days and the bad ones.

~Emily~

P.S. I still think Cullen looks a lot like you, but in the last picture on this post I see a lot of Casey too! Perfect combination!

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April     at 10:13 am

Such a beautiful post Emily, and I can totally relate with my 10-week old! I need to appreciate each day too because they do grow up so fast. My guy HATES tummy time too, glad to know I am not alone, let me know if you find a way to make him enjoy it and I will do the same:)
Cullen is just precious!!!!

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Kayla (The Best Things..)     at 10:14 am

Love the airplane story! Things you can remind him of when he’s a teenager and embarrass him with!!

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Lee     at 10:37 am

And then they turn 14 & 16…never thought the day would come when I didn’t get voluntary hugs and cuddles from them but alas, it’s over. I’m hoping it’s just a stage and these young men will one day remember who loves them the most and not think of me as the ‘enemy’ , enforcer of rules and homework nazi. I wish they were still Cullen’s age, it was a wonderful time…your posts have me remembering the best days of my life.

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Rachelle     at 10:46 am

I bet he is feeling teething pressure (my son was an EARLY teether w/ crankines & non sleeping starting at 4 months and teeth popped in at 5.5 months). Try a little tylenol before bed. Also, take a clean wet was cloth and freeze it & let him chew on it.

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Kristen     at 12:22 pm

How could you not start your day off right with a smile like that?? What a cutie! I love that the dogs are already bonding with him…he’ll be using them for horsey rides in no time :-)

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Amber K     at 12:38 pm

Your blog posts lately have really made me think. I already knew that I wanted to be a mom, but I really want to understand the kind of love you (and other moms describe)!

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Tina @ Best Body Fitness     at 12:48 pm

I cant get over him. he is without a doubt the CUTEST little baby boy I have ever seen…well besides my baby B. ;)

And tummy time…why do babies hate it SO much?!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

No tummy time tips? Haha!

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Victoria     at 1:13 pm

I love reading your blogs. It helps me to relive those wonderful days of pregnancy and babies. My baby days are long over, but, I loved every second of them (even the puking in hair stuff). My three sons, 20, 18 and 17 are the best things that have ever happened to me. I am more complete with them. Just so you know, you never get tired of looking at them. My 17 year old is always saying “Mom, stop staring at me!” HAHA. Nope, never will. Enjoy every second, it is a magical time.

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jennifer     at 1:40 pm

Our boys are one day apart!!! I love trading your updates on mommyhood!

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Emily Malone Reply:

That is awesome!!

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sarah (the SHU box)     at 1:42 pm

HE IS. SO. FREAKING. CUTE!!!!!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha thanks Sarah!

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Laura     at 2:32 pm

Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and your son is adorable – my son is a week younger than yours so I go through a lot of the same things around the same time! Though my baby hates naked time :)

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Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous!     at 3:43 pm

What a beutiful post! Cullin is too precious. I love the picture of him with the dogs. So cute!

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Helen     at 4:01 pm

I wanted to leave a brieg message to ease your wondering mind. My nine year old still loves to hug, kiss, snuggle, and tell him mama he loves her :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

I love that!

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 4:05 pm

Here’s a tip I used with one of my kids that hated tummy time. Roll up a towel or blanket and lay the babies chest on it. I also used the Boppy. She tolerated it much more than on the bare floor.

You want time to speed up when you are pregnant so you can meet your baby and then time to slow once they arrive. It goes by way too fast!

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sarah     at 4:17 pm

It’s nice to read about newborns! With a 7 and an 11 year old, you can forget about some of those ‘fun’ times. When you are in the middle of it, it will seem like it will never end and then ‘pouf’, you blink and they are growing up and talking back! Funny though, everytime they look at me and smile I still get that funny flip deep in my stomach. Definitely a wonderful mom feeling! I was more a baby lover and wondered how I would deal with school age kids, but turns out I love it just as much if not more. So enjoy the journey! Thanks for sharing

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Tracy     at 4:42 pm

The melting and exploding heart only magnifies. When my 16 year old looked back at me as I dropped him off at school yesterday, he smiled and waved. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but my eyes welled up with tears. So. Much. Love. Not sure what I’ll do when he and his younger siblings go to college.

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Emily Malone Reply:

That will totally be me!

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Kat     at 6:31 pm

I love all the facial expressions! Isn’t it crazy that with each day there is something new, including new facial expressions!!! P is almost 1 and she recently got this new scrunch face expresion that just KILLS ME. And the dog thing – oh my. THey’ll be best friends forever and ever. P is absolutely obsessed with her “Tavis”

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Diana @ frontyardfoodie     at 7:25 pm

Yeah Avery hated tummy time too but at three months he learned to roll over! I just put him on his tummy for a second and if he did well I let him stay for a bit but if he screamed I turned him over. haha

Jeez that boy is adorable!

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Georgia     at 10:49 pm

Emily, this is such a beautiful account. I found myself getting a tad emotional just reading. Thanks for sharing :)

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Dorota     at 2:08 am

It is so fun reading about your journey through pregnancy and now into motherhood. You are doing such a great job as a mom :)

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Katie @ Talk Less, Say More     at 6:42 am

He really is the cutest baby ever!! :)

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mi-an d.     at 7:06 am

too cute for words!

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Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 7:30 am

You really have an adorable son. I think a lot of babies look really (and I hate that this sounds so horrible) but plain. He has so much life and distinctiveness in him! He looks like both you and Casey and he is so cute! He will definitely be one of those kids that is cute at every stage!

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hannah alehandra     at 8:31 am

I’m really enjoying reading your posts on Cullen! They’re so interesting and you’re passing on what will be invaluable knowledge to me one day. I’m sure :) Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. It’s beautiful! Much love, from England.

http://hannahalehandra.blogspot.com/

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Haley @ Fit, Young, and Fabulous     at 5:49 pm

I LOVE the sweet puppy kisses picture! So precious! (:

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Meagan     at 6:04 pm

When he is 10, that’s so long ahead! I wonder if you’ll still be blogging then!

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Tanya E.     at 5:00 am

Sounds like an awesome weekend. Your little one is getting so big. I love reading your blog and watching him grow. Just less than 2 weeks away until our little one arrives (hopefully won’t be too much longer than that!)

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Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables     at 6:17 am

I love reading these updates, he is so adorable. You are going to love looking back at these pictures and posts as the time flies on.

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Faith     at 9:30 am

Emily, your posts about labor and motherhood are so beautifully honest, personal, and genuine, thank you for sharing!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Faith!

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Andrea     at 10:04 am

Emily,
Everytime I read your stories about Cullen it reminds me of my oldest son Sam (he’s 5 now). He was so cranky and full of energy and never slept. We swaddled him until he was 7 months old (i’m not kidding). We used to joke that we were going to start swaddling him in the bed comforter. Anyway, he also hated tummy time. ANyway, his personality seems a lot like Cullens does (just going by your posts). It is SO hard sometimes…especially if you have friends who have babies who are so pleasant and dare I say…easy. We found out as Sam got older that his contakerous personality as an infant turned into a little boy who was outgoing and social. It’s been a joy to see the transformation. Hold that little guy and love on him while you can. It really does go by way too fast. Reading your posts really makes me miss the baby stage…even with all the challenges. :)

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Haha laughing at the comforter swaddle. :)

[Reply]

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