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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.



Eleven Months.

Another month passed, another day where I will tell you that my baby is growing up too quickly.  And while I do really marvel at how fast these months and milestones have passed, I wouldn’t trade today to go back in time to any other age.  I can’t believe how much fun we have.

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So far I’d say this month has felt the shortest.  It really does feel like last week that I sat down and wrote about his ten month milestones.  I’m guessing that’s because I’ve barely sat down since then – we’ve been running and racing as fast as he can go. 

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I used to describe him as “into everything” – but now I’m seeing that he’s not just eating flowers and turning over baskets because he’s wild and destructive.  He’s actually into everything – he’s absorbing, learning, discovering, and improving.

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It is so amazing to watch him master a new skill or learn a new way to communicate.  He signs when he wants more, knows how to clap and wave, and loves to mimic funny faces and noises that we make.  He loves nothing more than being let loose in a big wide open green space where he can run.

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He seems to be going through a looooong teething stretch right now.  His drooling is OUT of control, and has been for weeks.  He also has this new thing where he constantly sticks his tongue out on his right side. 

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He has all eight front teeth, so I’m assuming molars are next?  Whatever it is, they seem to be taking a long time to get here.  Again with the tongue…

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It’s possible that the teeth are affecting his sleep a bit too.  We were doing pretty well with sleep for about one blissful week.  Then he got a cold and we traveled home with a three hour time change.  Ever since we’ve been back, his sleep has remained very OFF. 

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For a few nights he was waking up 3-4 times a night – reminiscent of the newborn days!  Now we’re back to just one wakeup each night, which is our norm.  Maybe this sounds crazy, but I don’t really even mind it anymore.  It has been almost a year since I’ve slept for more than 5-6 hours at a time, and I’m used to it.  I figure he’ll do it when he’s ready.

He naps really well – very consistent with two naps each day, usually lasting somewhere between 1.5-2.5 hours each.  We have a good rhythm in our days right now, although I know it will change soon enough.  I used to dread his short, unpredictable naps because I always felt stressed about how much I was trying to cram in during that period.  While I still work during his naps and try to get a lot done, I’ve let go of a lot of that self-imposed pressure.  Now I look forward to our playtimes when he wakes up!

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I know I probably sound like a total sap, but I’ve spent a lot of time recently just slowing down and focusing on how lucky we are to have him.  I have a few people very close to me who are dealing with some extreme parenting challenges – children with disabilities, a friend who actually lost a baby, and another with pregnancy complications.  It really puts things in perspective for me that the “worst” thing I have dealt with is interrupted sleep.  So I continue to remind myself how blessed I am to have this gorgeous boy to wake up to. 

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That’s not to say that motherhood hasn’t presented any challenges.  I definitely have my off days, and occasionally I still get overwhelmed.  But more often than not, the confusing and frustrating days of infancy have passed, and now we just hang out and enjoy each other’s company.

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When he was a little newborn, I used to think I’d want him to stay that way forever.  I saw moms with older babies and assumed they all still longed for the tiny, snuggly newborn days.  And while I loved those days then, I realize that what we have now is so much more fun.  We are able to DO so much together!

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Of course, it’s not all about me.  And for as much as I love playing with Cullen, he’s totally bored of me.  Nope, for him it’s all about D-A-D.  We often wait outside or in the park when I know Casey is on his way home from work.  There is nothing more precious than hearing Cullen squeal with delight when he finally sees dad get off the bus.

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Did I mention he has started kissing?  Big, drooley open mouthed kisses.  Hugs, too!  If you hold out your arms from across the room and ask for a hug, he will come running into them.  Makes my heart ache.

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It has been a great month, and so the countdown begins now as we head toward one year.  I’m not going to focus on it too much, and instead just enjoy the hilarious little boy that he is now at eleven months. 

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Eleven Month Rundown:

  • New Foods:  eggs, quinoa, lentils, tomatoes, peaches, smoothie
  • Breastfeeding:  4-5 feedings a day – still going!
  • Teeth:  Eight and counting.
  • Noises:  Dada, nana, BA.
  • Weight:  Not sure, but trying to feed him as much as I possibly can!
  • Likes:  His new playroom, peekaboo, chasing games, pushing his toy cart, Scout the singing dog, pulling books off shelves, eating paper.
  • Dislikes:  Diaper changes, his infant bathtub (just retired), the stroller, having his nose wiped, having to share toys.

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For more parenting posts, check out the parenting page.  You can also read the latest on Babble:

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48 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hilary Clark     at 11:14 am

Ok…so I took maybe 4 or 5 months off to have twins, and to integrate those twins into our already busy household (two “big” sisters aged 2 ad 3 at the twins’ birth)…and when I pop back on your newborn is WALKING?!? Wow…you’d think after all my little ones I’d be used to how many big things happen that first year. It still amazes me! He has hair too!! Excellent mama…you’ve done a great job raising a happy boy!

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Olviya@olivehealth.wordpress.com     at 11:19 am

I cannot get over how precious your family is! So beautiful. Love the perspective (of slowing down & feeling blessed).

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Lara     at 12:46 pm

Did you guys do a formal sign language program of any kind? Or read a book? I’m curious about it but I’d like to hear more about your experience with it :)

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Victoria     at 1:13 pm

You guys make such a gorgeous family! And Cullen’s smile is positively heart-melting :)

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Amy     at 1:38 pm

I have a 5 month old and I literally cannot imagine it being even more fun than it is now. And yet — I will have to take your word for it!

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Noelle (@singerinkitchen)     at 8:15 pm

Beautiful post. I cannot believe that mine is almost 11 months as well. LOVE those pictures of C with your hubby. So precious!

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Raquel @ Ovenmitts Vegan Blog     at 8:13 am

Emily – those pictures of little Cullen running up to Casey just killed me. I am so jealous (in a good way) of what you guys have, and I cannot wait until I am at a point in my life where I can enjoy it like you do. Congratulations on a successful first year (almost!). There are so many more to come!

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lisa     at 8:59 pm

I love this post! It’s great that you appreciate all your time with him and recognize how precious it is. He is so adorable and I love the pics!

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Catherine     at 10:37 pm

They do grow up too fast! I found your blog during the last couple months of your pregnancy. Just one day before you gave birth, I found that I was pregnant. Now my daughter is 3 months old! I could swear I was just holding her in my arms for the first time yesterday. But it will probably feel that way when I send her off to college. I am also trying to stay present and cherish every moment… even the difficult ones.

I may have said this many times before, but Cullen is such a gorgeous baby!

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Annette     at 6:39 am

One thing I noticed about our daughter was that she changed drastically every six months or so. The change didn’t begin on her birthday and half birthday, rather it began about two months before her birthday and half birthday. She went from a well-organized little person to a deranged monster. And then back again. It was as if something was off inside her as she grew. Eventually she got back to balanced and fine. And then grew out of balanced and fine as she grew again. And it all seemed to coincide with my sigh of relief that I finally had gotten used to the way she was and we had a system going that worked. It was an adventure raising a child. Have fun with Cullen!

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Alexis @ Hummusapien     at 7:06 am

Such beautiful photos! I love that Cullen is eating quinoa already :)

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Shannan     at 7:14 am

Oh goodness, these pictures make my heart melt! What a sweet boy.

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katty lea     at 7:54 am

HE IS SUCH A LITTLE HUMAN!! Wow! What a cutie… all the smiling pics put a huge smile on my face.

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Leila A     at 8:16 am

What a gorgeous family! Cullen is one loved little boy. You’re doing an mazing job, parents! :)

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Katie     at 8:46 am

I swear he gets cuter everyday! So adorable.

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Leah     at 8:53 am

Cullen’s little vest! Love!

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Diana @ frontyardfoodie     at 1:26 pm

Wow, seems like every time I blink he’s a month older! So adorable. He’s a cute little kisser.

It’s funny how kids get cuter as they get older but the reason infants are so precious is because they are TINY.

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Erin     at 7:57 pm

I’ve been wanting to introduce quinoa to our nine month old–how are you serving it to Cullen? I was wondering if it could be made “sticky” (like risotto) so it’s easier for her to eat. Would love to hear any tips you have.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I just do it on a spoon, since it’s too small for him to pick up very well. I tend to cook it with lentils so it mushes together a little better!

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Shannon @ My Place In The Race     at 8:28 am

Such a handsome little man he is! Cannot believe it’s almost been a year!

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Kelly @foodiefresh     at 12:46 pm

Emily, Cullen is one of the cutest little boys I’ve seen and I don’t throw around baby compliments unless I truly mean them. It looks like mommy-hood really agrees with you. You look very happy.

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