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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    What’s Cooking?

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    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    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!

Farm, Family, & Food.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Get ready for a holiday photo bomb!

We lucked out with the most incredible weather here in Connecticut.  Since both babies are currently on a similar afternoon nap schedule, we all got up early to make the most of our morning.  My sister needed to check in at work in the morning, so we all went with her. 

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She works on a school that is centered around a farm – very cool!  She actually had a gorgeous farm wedding right here on the school grounds a few years ago!

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I have been to the farm many times, but it still feels fun and exciting every time.  I love getting up close and personal with the animals.

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And we had fun showing them to Cullen and Jonah.  What a lucky guy to get to grow up with his own private petting zoo!

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We stopped to feed the turkeys, and reminded them how lucky they were to be in their cozy coop on Thanksgiving (we are all vegetarians). 

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And tried for the obligatory cousins photo, where naturally they both refused to look at the camera or smile.  (Adorable matching jackets courtesy of Grandma.)

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We toured the farm and the grounds for a bit while Rebecca finished up her work (feeding animals – never a day off!).

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And then we headed up into the woods for fresh air and a family hike.

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Cullen passed out the minute he went into the Ergo.  Just when I think he’s a giant toddler, he acts like a little baby.

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The weather was absolutely gorgeous – couldn’t have asked for anything better.  And Connecticut still has beautiful red, orange, and yellow leaves all around.  I am so used to the Seattle landscape (which is quite different), and I forget how beautiful some of the other parts of the country are too.

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After a leisurely climb UP, we eventually landed at top of West Rock Park.  There was a wide open lookout area, and we had the place all to ourselves.  The views of New Haven and the Long Island Sound in the distance were absolutely gorgeous.

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I haven’t been out to Connecticut in almost two years, and I am so, so happy we were able to make this trip work.  Having a week together to celebrate my mom’s birthday as well as Thanksgiving has felt so special.  So many thanks to Rebecca, Sam, and Jonah (who gave up his nursery to Cullen!) for the wonderful hospitality. 

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Our whole crew at the top of West Rock Park.  Perfect weather, perfect day, perfect way to gear up for a big day of eating!

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I love these two way too much.  I am working hard to mobilize my family to all start heading WEST!

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Cullen snoozed through the entire thing – I was just glad he got in a good nap.  Casey was burning up with the sleeping puffy-coat monster strapped to his chest.  I am always thankful that holidays mean more time with these two!

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After taking in the scenery from the top for a bit, we headed back down so we could start cooking and getting ready for our feast.  I love that my family loves being active and spending time outdoors as much as I do!

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We got back to the house around noon – just in time for babies to take afternoon naps so that we could get to cooking.  Except someone decided to nap during the hike instead…

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So we hung out in the playroom for a bit until others were available for babysitting.  So fun to be back with this girl!  We miss having her in Seattle with us. 

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Eventually, Casey and I made our way into the kitchen to begin our Thanksgiving prep.  I think I underestimated how many dishes and how much food we had to cook – it took us five hours from start to finish!

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We worked nonstop – cutting, chopping, roasting, talking, and hanging out in a kitchen full of family.  It was everything that I love about Thanksgiving.  Couldn’t have done it without my favorite cooking partner. 

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At 7pm on the nose, the food hit the table!  Our spread included: Cranberry orange Brussels sprouts with walnuts

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Homemade cranberry sauce…

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Green beans with sliced almonds (thanks to my mom for making this one!)…

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Quinoa lentil loaf – I had forgotten how good this is – favorite dish of the night!  Looks weird, tastes delicious.

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Mashed skin-on red potatoes, along with white vegan gravy

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Roasted carrots with brown sugar (Casey made this one up!)…

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Sourdough stuffing with fennel and capers (sooooo freaking good).

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It was a monstrosity of food.  If you think vegetarians can’t enjoy Thanksgiving, you are mistaken.

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I ate and ate, and ate some more.  I love mixing a tiny bit of cranberry sauce into every bite.  Great food, great conversation, and great company to share it all with!

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After a bit of a break, and some kitchen cleanup, we were all ready for pumpkin pie in front of the fireplace.  Casey and I made two of our vegan pumpkin pies, along with homemade whipped cream. 

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We made a second pie so we’d have leftovers, but I didn’t end up getting a second piece since we left to head home early this afternoon.  I can’t stop thinking about wanting more pie.  Perhaps I will make another one for us when we get back to Seattle!

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We all agreed that this was one of the best holidays we can remember.  The food was great, the weather was outstanding, but of course the best part was spending four days with the people I love most.  I have so much to be thankful for this year, and this week was such a good reminder of that.

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Flying across the country as we speak – a smooth flight, no travel hiccups, and a snoozing baby on my husband’s chest.  Thankful, indeed.  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

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