about me

    Emily Malone

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

    Contact Emily

    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



13 Months.

After Cullen’s first birthday, I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue writing his monthly updates.  As much as I mostly see this as a professional space, it’s also a personal outlet.  I love scrolling back through previous updates, and reading what we were up to many months ago.  So for now, they will continue…

While we were celebrating in Connecticut last week, Cullen turned thirteen months old! 

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I used to hear people describe children as being some awkward number of “months old” (like thirteen!) and wonder why they didn’t just say “he’s one.”  The same way I never understood why someone would say they were 27 weeks pregnant, rather than seven months along.  But now I’ve been pregnant and have a baby and I totally get it – both experiences are so precious, and each day, week, and month is to be savored and celebrated.

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So what does thirteen months look like?  Apparently, I have a toddler.

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I had no idea until very recently, that toddlerhood begins at the one year mark.  I thought I got to hold onto having a baby for much longer.  But as I watch Cullen stomp in circles, rearrange furniture, and babble endlessly, I’m realizing babyhood is definitely behind us.

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These days he is wildly independent.  He wants nothing to do with me, and will happily entertain himself for most of the day.  Of course this doesn’t mean I suddenly have loads of free time, as his idea of self-entertainment typically involves eating rocks, slobbering on the baby monitor, and splashing in the dog bowls.  Who me?

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He is incredibly social, and has never shown any sort of separation anxiety (knock on wood).  In fact, when we are in large groups, he scurries away from me and Casey and walks around smiling and waving at new faces.  I have no idea where he gets this from, since Casey and I both tend to be rather shy.

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His play has developed and changed a lot this month.  He’s obsessed with moving and stacking, taking things in and out, and rearranging things.  The favorite toy of the moment is CUPS.  Measuring cups, stacking cups, empty yogurt cups – doesn’t matter.  He’ll stack them, line them all up, fill them with blocks, tip them back and pretend to take a drink.

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I love watching him play at this age, because he has this incredible intensity and sense of purpose.  He moves things around as if it would be silly to place them anywhere else.  He seems to have a master plan in his head at all times, and I often wish I knew what he was thinking. 

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When he’s not inside pushing our barstools around the kitchen, he’s outside eating mulch and gathering sticks.

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He’s not saying any “real” words yet, but his babbling continues to develop.  After just a week with his older cousin, he is already making new noises and increasing his babble.  Yesterday, toward the end of a long car ride, I asked if he was all done, and I swear he repeated all done twice.  He also yelled dada at the TV screen when we were watching home videos the other day.  He is definitely close to talking, and I can’t wait.

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Another new favorite thing?  The slide!  We send him down on his belly and have someone ready to catch at the bottom.  The first time we tried it I thought he might be scared, but he laughed the whole way down and clapped for more the minute his feet hit the pavement.

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As far as sleeping goes, we’re officially down to one nap each day.  It’s still sort of a gamble on when that nap is, so our days are a bit unpredictable right now.  Bedtime is between 7 and 7:30 each night, and Cullen sleeps soundly until around 4am.  I get up and feed him, and then we both go back to sleep.  He gets up for the day between 7 and 8.  So still not technically sleeping through the night, but not horrible either.  I am so ready for the 4am business to be over.

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On that note, we are actively weaning.  I have absolutely loved breastfeeding, but I think we are both ready for the next step.  I’m taking it pretty slow – dropping feedings one at a time.  I seem to be very prone to mastitis, and I was worried that weaning would trigger it again.  Unfortunately I was right – and got another bout of it as we dropped from four feedings a day to three.  We’ve been solidly at three feedings a day for about two weeks now, and I’m hoping to drop our mid-day feeding this week.  Cullen is doing well, and doesn’t really seem to miss it.  Sniff.

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I’m planning to write another post later this week all about Cullen’s meals (and milk!).  But overall, feeding him is going really well, and I’m having a lot of fun with it.  He has his picky moments, but most of the time he’s a really hearty eater.  His belly is gigantic, so I’m pretty sure that he’s not starving.

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He’s a crazy little character these days.  Full of life and so, so much energy.  I love that he is becoming his own little person, and he cracks us up constantly.  More and more I can sort of imagine what he’ll be like as a four, five, and six year old – weird!

Thirteen Month Rundown:

  • Weight:  22-23ish pounds
  • Teeth:  still 8!  They came so quickly and now they’ve totally stalled.
  • Favorite Foods:  Apples, English muffins, almond butter, black bean chili, mashed potatoes, lentils
  • Party Tricks:  clapping, waving, pointing at nose, stomping, dancing, spinning in a circle
  • Favorite Toy:  cups!
  • Likes:  dancing to Rick Springfield, doing laps around the kitchen, opening his kitchen cabinet, remotes, talking on speaker phone, riding in the wagon, petting Huey & Indy
  • Dislikes:  sitting in the bathtub, long car rides, taking a predictable nap each day, not being held between 5-6pm,

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And last but not least, a video of Cullen in action at thirteen months! 

He never stops moving, and truly has a mind of his own. What a goof!

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112 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Elise     at 11:20 pm

The dogs look so confused in the video, haha! They keep coming to sniff the bowl like the think there *might* be something in it.

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Jen @ Finding My Inner Bombshell     at 11:43 pm

That is one kid on a mission!

Super cute video and photos!

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Army Amy*     at 12:08 am

That first picture could be an advertisement!*

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Michelle@Peachy Palate     at 12:27 am

So CUTE! I love these posts! I don’t have any kids but can’t wait to have some of my own and posts like these remind me why I so much want to be a mother. You can always feel the love in your words! Loved the vid! :)

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Maya     at 1:40 am

So funny that Cullen got his first teeth SO early, but now Nitsah (who got her first teeth a few months later) has passed him… she has 9 and is doing VERY serious work on another molar. I really love reading your blog because our TODDLERS (yikes!) are the exact same age and they do so much alike, and in other ways they keep passing each other and then catching up again. I love having a walker now!! Cullen is adorable and seems like he must be the life of every party. Your description of him playing like “doing anything else would be silly” is perfect– Nitsah looks so BUSY sometimes as she plays, like she’s running through a very important to-do list in her head!

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Maya     at 1:41 am

Btw, I’d call those his first words!

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Holly     at 2:44 am

He moves at warp speed!

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Lee     at 3:07 am

That video made me smile. Maybe you have a future interior designer there!

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Erica     at 3:38 am

It’s amazing how much of a little man he’s starting to look like – going to be such a charmer when he’s older!!

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Erica     at 3:47 am

He’s hysterical, what a fun kid!

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Simply Life     at 4:05 am

Oh he is just adorable! I love how happy and confident he is!!!

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Sarah     at 4:42 am

Oh my gosh he is hilarious! Just sippin’ on the candle!

I don’t think you’ve said anything about this, but is he talking at all yet? I’eb een so curious!

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Emily Malone Reply:

He’s just starting to babble. Nothing consistent yet though.

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Jessica     at 4:46 am

Your house is so beautifully decorated! I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of Maria Montessori, but she wrote about sensitive periods for children’s development and it seems Cullen is in the sensitive period for order!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Yes, totally! All that stuff is so interesting to read about.

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Julie     at 4:58 am

I love these posts! Please keep them going. I liked reading your blog before motherhood but I like it even more now. Your passion for life as a mother & cooking make for an even greater combination. This blog is just bursting with love and it lifts my spirits. Thanks for sharing!

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Whitney     at 5:16 am

What a great video to have! Do you and Casey ever get to sit down?! haha

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Emily Malone Reply:

After bedtime! :)

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Alice     at 5:34 am

Random question – how is 9 hours of sleep not “technically” sleeping through the night? Is it just because 4am is inconvenient for waking up?

Would you consider him to be sleeping through the night if he slept from 10pm – 7am?

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Jessie @ Graze With Me Reply:

Babies require about 11-13 hours of nighttime sleep so even though it seems like a long time for us, it is possible for them to sleep that long in one stretch. According to the books, an 8 hr stretch is considered “through the night”. But at 3 or 4 am it is most definitely inconvenient!! :(

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Shelly Reply:

I’m sure it’s also that he goes right back to sleep after Emily feeds him, so the stretch from 4-7/8 really is a continuation of his night sleep.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I think the books say that any 8 hour stretch is considered sleeping through the night, but I just meant that he gets up and goes right back to sleep. It’s not like he wakes up at 4am for the day — he definitely wants more sleep. But he’s not doing his whole stretch of sleep uninterrupted, if that makes sense.

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Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries     at 5:36 am

He is SUCH a cutie! I’m sure this is quite a fun age as his personality comes out more and more.

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Fran@BCDC     at 5:40 am

Great photos! Cullen gets cuter every Month!!

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Shari     at 5:41 am

Oh my goodness, he just gets cuter and cuter!

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Amanda     at 5:54 am

It is so crazy to think and suddenly realize how old your baby actually is!

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Clizia     at 6:01 am

He really does seem to have a plan in rearranging the furniture! He’s so cute :)

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Rachel G.     at 6:05 am

I love these update posts – keep them coming! The video cracked me up; man, is he fast!

PS Your home is gorgeous. I love your furniture and your sense of style.

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Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction     at 6:07 am

Cullen is adorable! I don’t mind reading posts about him…it actually reminds me of how long I have been following your blog! I remember when you just began to write posts about being pregnant, and now he is 13 months old! Where does the time go?

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Lisa @ The Splattered Apron     at 6:24 am

I can’t get over how much I love this kid. I just want to cover his face in kisses! He and Caroline are so similar, I can’t wait to be able to get them together again. I think a trip to Seattle is in the cards for next year!

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Emily Malone Reply:

:) There is always room at our house!

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Jessie @ Graze With Me     at 6:29 am

I agree with you about decribing our kid’s exact age in months…I even find myself including half-months too. Because it really does make a big difference. I haven’t fully accepted that I have a toddler yet though. Lyric is 14 (and a half!) months old and she’s still not walking. Close, but not yet. But between 13 & 14 months her language exploded! She’s talking up a storm and says a couple dozen “real” words mixed in with a lot of Chinese. It’s so fun to see them grow!

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Emily Malone Reply:

How cool that she’s bilingual! We’d really like to start C on other languages pretty early. There are some great programs here in Seattle too!

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Jessie @ Graze With Me Reply:

As much as I’d like you to believe that my toddler speaks Chinese I actually meant undecipherable baby babble. As in: KITTYabbashelsnesumMAMAtickatickaTHANKYOUayiyiyiALLDONE!

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Brittney     at 6:38 am

Ah, he is so funny! I’m not really surprised at all that he’s so active after seeing how he was when I saw you in the spring and he was crawling all over the picnic blanket and trying to move the stroller. I can see you have your hands full with him! :) So cute!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha yep! He’s been going strong ever since. :) Hope you are doing well! I love reading your updates. So happy for you!

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Lindsey     at 6:41 am

Cullen is just so adorable!! That video made my heart smile! My son is exactly 3 months younger than him (January 21st!) and I feel like your updates on Cullen’s development are a preview to what I’m in for next! Thanks for sharing!

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Lindsay     at 6:44 am

That video is hysterical!!! I am tired just watching it :)

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MiMi     at 6:46 am

He’s so much more stable and balanced on his feet! I really see a lot of Casey in that face! It’s exactly what Casey looked like at that age. Can’t wait to see him at Christmas!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Oh he is super solid on the feet – actually RUNNING now! We are counting down until everyone is here!

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Katy     at 6:47 am

Loved that video! Cullen is beyond cute!!! I hope you have a restful and enjoyable week!

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Erica {Coffee & Quinoa}     at 6:49 am

He is just the cutest kid I’ve ever seen. I love that he is pretending to take a drink out of everything!

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Annette     at 6:52 am

One reason he is so able to go meet people is that you and your husband are so consistent and support his growing independence. You have taught him that he is safe in your arms or out of them. Great teachers. Super learner.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Annette! I sure hope he feels safe.

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Adrianne     at 6:54 am

It’s always amazing to me how similar and at the same time how different Cullen is to my 14 month old daughter Annabel. At 13 months she was totally into the stacking thing and now it’s all about emptying things from one container and moving items (one by one) to a new location. But as far as being really social and independent, my girl is NOT! She is usually at my side and still has major separation anxiety even when I’m leaving her with her dad. I hate it; it’s so hard to see her so upset:(
I’ve read that when they’re really focused on one skill, others take a little longer and that seems to have been the case with my daughter. She was early to become mobile, but might be a little slower on language. Recently it’s exploded though, so I bet Cullen won’t be far behind. Have you guys done any baby signing? That really helps a lot too!

Sorry for the super long comment (I always want to comment on each item)! Good luck with the weaning. It took me much longer than I thought it would (about two months) but now she’s been officially weaned for about 2 weeks and it’s both exciting and sad. I don’t think she was quite ready, so I do have some regrets there, but it sounds like Cullen will do great!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Totally agree on the language thing. He’s been so busy with the physical stuff, that I’m not surprised he’s a little slower on the talking. We do some signing – just a few. I try to get him to master one at a time rather than bombarding him with new ones each day.

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Raia Reply:

It’s very common for babies who were so active early (as in crawling/walking early) to take a little longer to develop language. Totally normal!

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Elisabeth     at 7:22 am

Oh, he is just so cute – I want to eat him up! I love these posts & how many adorable pictures you put in them (especially love the very firstphoto) :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Glad you appreciate the number of photos, haha. I have a hard time picking my favorites. I generally have about a hundred (no exaggeration) and try to pick 15 or so that are best. :)

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colleens     at 7:25 am

Love it! He is definitely on a mission. They have so much energy, it wears me out just looking at him.

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Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras     at 7:31 am

He is the cutest! And he really does move with such a sense of purpose!

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Bethany @ One Girl's Taste On Life     at 7:35 am

Oh my. Your video had me laughing out loud! You must laugh with him all day long. He looks like the best friend a girl could have! What a goof! I love him.

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Shanna like Banana     at 7:38 am

He is so gosh darn cute. Seriously!

My 11 month old is fiercely independent and it sort of breaks my heart. I want him to need me more!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Totally agree. He is so over me it’s not even funny. But in the long run, I know it’s a good thing!

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Jamie @ StudioEats     at 7:39 am

Emily, I LOVE your monthly updates. Don’t stop! :) And that video is adorable.

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Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)     at 7:45 am

That video is adorable! I totally know what you mean about having some “master plan”–he really does seem to have a very specific idea about how he wants to arrange things :)

Also–just noticed that video you made for his 1st year! So special. I wish my parents had the technology to make that sort of thing for me. Can’t believe how much babies grow in just a year!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Oops! Haha, thought that other video was private. Yeah I made it for friends and family. Considered publishing it here, but it just felt too personal and special. We watch it like once a week. :) Cullen LOVES it! It’s the only thing he will sit still for.

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Nikki     at 7:58 am

I have a 7 month old boy, and I’ve followed your blog through your pregnancy until now.

My Cole is scooting around everywhere, and I feel like he is already out of control. Watching Cullen in action exhausts me to think about! It’s going to be so much fun, though! Thanks for sharing.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Get ready mama! :)

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Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy     at 8:06 am

He’s so cute! And so active — you must be exhausted at the end of every day!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I am! :)

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Ali @ Peaches and Football     at 8:20 am

I love the black and white picture of Cullen with the snow cap on. What a cutie.

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deva at deva by definition     at 8:29 am

He is adorable! I love the rearranging furniture!

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Anya     at 8:30 am

Omg you’re killing me with his little northface jacket!! I literally squealed and my fiancé looked at me like I was batsh*t crazy. Please do continue with the monthly updates, I love hearing about how he grows and I’m at least 5 years out from having my own babies so I like to live vicariously through you :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha! The jacket kills me too. Gift from grandma!

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Hannah     at 8:39 am

I love that you speak to him without a baby voice (one of my biggest pet peeves!) – THANK YOU! Made watching your video a million times better. He is too cute for words.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Yeah I’m not into the baby talk. I don’t think he’d even listen to it if I tried – he’s like a 25 year old already, haha.

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Kelly     at 9:05 am

Cullen is soooo stinkin cute, I could just eat him up!!! You take such good pics and I look at them and think “frame it”!! That black and white one is adorable. I love his hat too. Seriously too cute for words. I don’t say that about every babay I see either!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Kelly! :)

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Alexis @ Hummusapien     at 9:09 am

I loved that video!! He is too cute..especially that belly!!

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Kat     at 10:13 am

He’s so cute! I’m like you, I didn’t get the weeks and months thing until I had a kid. now I try to tell non-baby ppl 1.5 or almost 2 and those with kids I proudly say 22 months. Measuring time is so different with young children because I swear there is something significantly new each and every single month. I love that you are keeping the monthly updates. I did the same thing – I love being able to go back and review month to month and see what’s changed.

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Laura-Ashley     at 10:19 am

That video was too cute!! Definitely put a smile on my face :)

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Jen @ The Well Read Fish     at 10:32 am

This post made my day. Love the pix of him dancing on the grates.

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Rachel     at 11:11 am

I am not a mother, but I’ve really enjoyed your monthly updates on Cullen. I hope you keep them going. For me it is great to read about new motherhood and the ups and downs of it–it gives me an idea of what to expect in the future. Also, Cullen is absolutely adorable (and I don’t say that about every toddler). Your blog has done a really good job of mixing cooking with motherhood with exercise without ever feeling like you are revealing too much–you respect your and your family’s privacy while also allowing the reader to feel like they know you.

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 11:26 am

Omg watching him in action was so adorable! He’s a little mover and shaker! And not related at all but your house is stunning!

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Melissa @TryingtoHeal     at 11:49 am

Cullen with the chairs reminds me of home videos my mom has of us when we were kids and pushing around empty diaper boxes throughout the house! He’s such a cute and energetic kid!

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Kristen @ Change of Pace     at 12:08 pm

He is so adorable. He looks like a busy body like my son! My son is two and still rearranges furniture :)

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 12:11 pm

I spy a kitty piano/microphone! We have the same one. The songs stick in my head so bad…does yours have the Applebee song?

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Alexis     at 12:25 pm

My goodness… his cuteness kills me!!! I loved that video. He seems hard at work in finding the perfect place for that dog bowl haha.

Question – how do you keep your area rug SO clean??? I have two large dogs as well, and I’ve finally given up and thrown out our area rugs, because they somehow turn everything brown (they’re indoor dogs, and it doesn’t even rain much where we live!). Your carpet looks so nice and new, even though its not new. I’m jealous!

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Alicia     at 12:35 pm

My almost 15 month old and C could be best friends. She is busy busy busy too! I’ve been watching Gossip Girl on Netflix lately and can’t get over how much Cullen looks like Matthew Settle. Cute kid!

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Kara     at 12:37 pm

I’m so glad you are continuing your updates. I have a five month old and I love going back and reading your posts to see what I might get to expect my little one to be doing soon. :) Cullen is such a cutie pie, I can’t believe how grown up he looks!

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Amy     at 4:38 pm

Oh my gosh – I can not believe I just sat and watched a video of a baby (excuse me.. pseudo toddler)I have never met and laughed the WHOLE time! He is such a smart lil guy and definitely entertaining! I am sure you feel so blessed :)

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Jacquelyn     at 6:20 pm

my mom always says “you wonder what makes ‘em tick.” I love the sound of his little feet pitter pattering on the floor.

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Cara @ I Don't Believe in Diets     at 7:18 pm

aww cullen is so adorable!

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Angela     at 7:27 pm

You were not joking when you said he doesn’t stop moving! It’s so neat to see him learning and trying new things out! However, I can see how you may be exhausted at times trying to keep up with him! He is truly such an adorable baby!

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Caitlin     at 7:38 pm

Oh my gosh, he is so precious! I was cracking up watching him and listening to your comments…

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Irina @ Chocolatea Time     at 8:07 pm

Watching this put the biggest smile on my face :) What an active little boy! He must have some master plan in his head – he looks so determined with all his actions! Precious.

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Michele     at 8:46 pm

He is just so adorable!

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Kath     at 4:23 am

Loved the video!

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AD     at 5:06 am

loved the video! how cute, a man with a plan. i have 6 month old twins and can’t even believe they’ll be doing this stuff so soon! i have a question for you- you said cullen likes almond butter, and i’m just wondering if its “ok” for babies to have nuts like almonds under a certain age. i can’t remember what i’ve read and NO JUDGEMENT (!), just asking. i love almond butter and would love to be able to give it to my kiddos once they hit a certain age!

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Amanda     at 6:50 am

He is darling..I have loved watching him grow and getting advice for my one year old through this blog. My son all of a sudden hates sitting in the bath too?!? Nice to know someone else is going through this!

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mollie     at 7:04 am

so cute!! what a happy little dude.

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MIchelle     at 8:25 am

Your boy is beautiful! So full of life and personality. Thank you sharing.

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Kelly     at 9:40 am

Cullen is so cute! Love your bar stools – can I ask where you got them?

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Melissa @ HerGreenLife     at 10:50 am

Don’t know if it’s something that I’ve missed in another post here or on Babble, but I’m curious about your decision on weaning.

I’m down to 3-a-day nursing with my 16-month-old, which is technically weaning, but I don’t have any hard and fast end date set. While I look forward to the freedom, I’m afraid that I’ll really miss breastfeeding, so I don’t want to rush the weaning process.

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Danielle     at 11:07 am

I love that you let him investigate so much. Some parents are constantly saying, “Oh, don’t do that! Don’t touch that! Be quiet! Sit still!”. He definitely looks so determined and methodical that it’s adorable!

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Mary     at 3:57 pm

I got tired just watching that video…

He is so adorable and hilarious!

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Sarah @ Kids Heart Real Food     at 8:03 am

Definitely keep up with the updates! It’s fun to watch Cullen grow because he’s a few months ahead of my little guy so I can see what I can expect in the future…and I can’t wait!

I love how happy he looks ALL THE TIME!

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Katie     at 9:47 am

Cullen is one of the cutest little munchkins I’ve seen!! I LOVE your house.

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Jen Lilley     at 10:13 am

You need to sign this kid up to be like a gap baby model or something…He is So photogenic!

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Sarah     at 10:33 am

I love this! My son and yours are very close in age. I love to see how similar and at the same time- how very different they are. Nolan (my almost-13-month-old) saw Cullen’s picture on my computer screen and broke into the BIGGEST smile.

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farmerpam     at 6:27 pm

My “baby” just turned 15 today! The days may be long, but the years fly by fast. Enjoy every minute. I used to think I was so busy with one child, until we had another. LOL.

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Lisa     at 6:29 pm

I could watch thus all day! I love how come you are. No kids here but I feel like I’d be so nervous with that little dude running around!! Can we see more :D

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Julie     at 9:11 am

OMG every single picture is so stinkin’ cute!! Just adorable! Cracks me up that he doesn’t want to be held from 5-6 p.m. What??

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Angela     at 11:35 am

I LOVE your monthly updates. I hope that you keep them up ;).

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Christina     at 1:19 pm

He really is on a mission! Wears me out just watching him the way he is into everything. I love watching toddlers that age play and seeing the way their brains work. His big belly is about the cutest thing ever.

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ANH     at 5:48 pm

Wow Cullen is precious! I love how curious babies are about everything! Everything is so cool and intriguing. Happy 13 months Cullen!

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Alison     at 7:45 pm

Loved the video! He is so hilarious! Seriously on the go.

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Ilane     at 9:29 pm

Cullen is too adorable!!! OMG, he is so funny!
Love your blog, Emily!

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Gabrielle     at 11:26 am

Oh my gosh, he is SO cute! I can see how he would wear you out, as you must have to watch him like a hawk and he never stops moving. But he’s learning, teaching himself, expanding his mind with all that spatial play. All the rearranging and figuring. Maybe he’ll be a mathematician. :) Or an architect.

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Sara     at 12:40 pm

I said “Oh!” out loud when I was watching at work (when Cullen threw that one item in the floor.) I got so into it! He’s so fun to watch! Ha.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha!

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