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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.



The Mondays.

Usually I sit down on Sunday nights or Monday mornings, excited to edit all my photos and share whatever fun adventures we had that weekend.  But not this weekend – it was pretty much a bust.

It started off strong – a delicious homemade dinner and a movie night with Casey.  This is my most recent obsession – creamy polenta bowls topped with roasted squash, cheesy kale chips, and sautéed mushrooms.  Can’t get enough.

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But the rest of the weekend was pretty lame.  We spent Saturday waiting around for Cullen to take a nap that never happened, and then Casey ended up having to work all day Sunday.

Sunday was a really hard day, and I’m not quite sure why.  I was in a horrible mood.  The weather was rainy and gross.  I was frustrated that Casey had to spend the whole day in the office.  I bought a new ball for Cullen and Huey popped it an hour later.  Cullen took one 40 minute nap.  My Brussels sprouts got overcooked for dinner and ended up tasting like mush.  Just one of those days, I guess.

Casey took a break around bath time, so he could spend a bit of time with Cullen before bed.  We’d been talking for a while about how out of control Cullen’s hair had gotten.  The mullet was cute for a while, but it was starting to go too far.  But I didn’t want to pay $30 for an overpriced kid’s cut when all he really needed was a small trim.

With his hair wet and combed, I grabbed a pair of kitchen shears and very carefully trimmed off the long pieces in the back.  It was impossible to get him to stay still, so it was a pretty rough chop job.  I didn’t want to give him a legit haircut – just get rid of the extra long pieces in the back.

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As soon as I did it, I regretted it.  But as it dried, it grew on me.  Crazy how different he looks with just a few locks of hair missing.  He still has all his wispy curls and loose pieces in the front…

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But the back is short and boyish, and he looks like a total toddler now.  And now there is a small pile of baby hair on my bathroom counter and I don’t know what to do with it.  I can’t bring myself to sweep it into the trash can.  And with that, I have officially become my mother.

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My sidekick kicked off our Monday at 5:30am.  We enjoyed a very early breakfast together. 

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I’m gearing up for a long week ahead.  Casey is bogged down with work this week, so he’s out of commission and it’s just me with Cullen – sun up to sun down.  The pups have been following me around and keeping me company.

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The biggest challenge these days is Cullen’s napping, or lack thereof.  Basically, he’s not doing it.  He went from napping 3-4 hours each day, to suddenly not napping at all.  I thought he was dropping down to just one nap (from two), but now it seems like he just doesn’t want to nap at all.  It is exhausting (for both of us!), and it makes the days feel very looooong.

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It is also making it virtually impossible to get anything done before 7:30pm.  I’m sad that I have all these really great Thanksgiving recipe ideas swirling around my head, and I haven’t been able to bring them to life for you.  I’m still hopeful that I might be able to squeak out a few at the end of the week.

Since we were going strong from 5:30am to 7:30pm today, I had to work hard to keep everyone entertained and happy.  Cullen and I did story time with friends this morning.  Once it became very clear no afternoon nap was happening, we leashed up the pups and covered 3-4 miles in the neighborhood.  It has taken me almost a full year to figure out how to successfully walk both dogs with Cullen, but we’ve finally got it.

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One funny tidbit about our walk – as we looped around, I waved hello as we walked past a man getting into a big truck.  A minute or two later, the truck pulled up next to us, and I saw the side of the truck said something like “The Steak Man.”  He very kindly asked if we knew what we were having for dinner yet, and asked if I’d like one of his (extra) steaks.  I thanked him and told him we were vegetarians.  What are the chances?  I felt bad.  It was a very nice offer.  We continued on and stopped to say hi to our favorite neighbor.

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And enjoyed the gorgeous views of downtown Seattle and Lake Washington along our route.  Whenever I am in a bad mood, a refreshing walk with this view turns it right around.  I feel so lucky to live somewhere so beautiful!

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By 4pm I thought I was going to lose it, and Cullen was reaching new levels of grumpiness.  I thought letting him stretch his legs would help, since he hates being forced into the stroller.

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I grabbed my camera and followed him around the playground – click, click, click.

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Fresh air always cheers him up, and cute baby pictures do it for me.  Check out those CHEEKS.  Such a little stinker.

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Eventually, dinner time and bedtime came, and here I am finally sitting down at my computer..  I apologize that this is basically just a self-indulgent rant with no purpose.  It happens.  It’s Monday.  On Tuesdays, I have some childcare help, so I’m hoping to get you part two of that postpartum update

To end on a brighter note, I’m currently camped out on the couch with a snoozing pup on either side of me, a fire warming the room, and a big mug of this warming my belly.

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Hot chocolate with cayenne pepper?  Yes, please.  Hope your week is off to a good start!

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110 Comments so far
Leave a comment

chiara     at 12:57 pm

Hang in there, Emily. I wanted to echo everyone else who said that they admire you for being honest about the challenges of parenting particularly when you have a spouse who works long hours. It does get better! Each month that passes, Cullen will get more and more independent and that in and of itself will make things easier. Also, while he is protesting naps, have you tried an earlier bedtime? I still do it with my 5 year and 3 year old. Neither of them nap anymore but occasionally they wake up an hour (or more earlier) than normal and i move bedtime back by as much. Even if they don’t fall asleep I’m happy to have a break and tell them they don’t need to sleep but they need to rest in the dark and think about nice things. My husband also works crazy hours and travels a lot and something that really helps all of us (and sustains me through the long days) is that we plan for him to take time off when things slow down again. Even having him take a Monday or Friday off makes a big difference to my mental state and makes our boys so happy. Good luck!

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Crystal     at 1:33 pm

I randomly made your famous blackened tofu for my husband last night (HUGE hit) and as I was trying to explain where I got the recipe I realized I was gushing about you and your blog.

You’ve really inspired me (and countless other people you’ll never meet or know about) over the last few years.

Hang in there on the not so good days and know that you’re so inspiring not because your life is perfect, but because you manage to connect with readers about the bumps in the road as well as the good stuff.

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Wendi Reply:

Ha ha, I do that too (gush about the blog, but we’re Seattle ex-patriots, so there’s that too) :)

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Hilary @ PeanutButterSpoonfuls     at 2:46 pm

I don’t know what is in the air, but my little man (13 months) is on the same nap schedule. As in he just doesn’t unless it’s for 20 mins in the car! The worst is when you sit around the house saying “we’ll go somewhere after his nap” and then the nap never comes. The day feels like such a waste! I’m sure it’s just a phase though. Everything with babies and toddlers is, right? I hope?

We got B’s hair cut at 5 months because it was already a major mullet. They put a little lock of hair in some melted candle wax to hold it together so we could save it. Thought it was a great idea!

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Ruth @ FacetiousFarang     at 5:40 pm

I actually appreciate reading a good rant now and then! The blog medium can make a blogger’s life look so perfect, and it’s nice to be reminded that bloggers are human, too. I can empathize with sucky weekend syndrome – when my husband randomly has to work on Sundays, it is such a disappointment. May your next weekend be more enjoyable!

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Jun     at 5:53 pm

Gosh from the pictures, I totally foresee him growing up looking all like his Dad! As much as I enjoy reading your blog before Cullen’s presence, I MUST admit that Cullen is seriously the main attraction now! Hehe so cute!

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kaity @ kaityscooking     at 6:26 pm

i still havent tried polenta but just from your pictures of dinner i think i just may have to try it it looks so good! and cullen and that hat are absolutely adorable!

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Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 7:36 pm

Sorry to hear it was a rough weekend for you. I can certainly relate (was in the hospital…not so fun). I don’t know if others have this happen to them but when I try to click on different pages I am having that problem where it redirects to different ads (e.g. I click on a page and it goes to viacord cord blood banking website). Sorry if I’m being annoying by pointing this out, I just didn’t know if someone had alerted you already.

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alex     at 9:03 pm

ack! I hear ya. I have a total cat-napper over here, every 2 hours, 30 minute nap! makes it impossible to do anything! as soon as I get settled she wakes up! the days do get long, sometimes I just can’t wait till 730!

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Nana Phyllis     at 7:39 am

I’m thinking for your sanity, I’d give Cullen some “room time” in his crib, whether he sleeps or not. He could spend an hour with toys in his crib mid morning and again after lunch. He may get bored and go to sleep, may just play. you start with 5-10 minutes and work up to 30-60 minutes. It will give you a chance to shower/clean up kitchen/prepare supper/etc.

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Noelle (@singerinkitchen)     at 7:50 am

Wow I feel like we are going through the same thing with the whole nap thing! Hey Emily, do you think you can do a post on what Cullen is now eating? I love that tray you have for him! Is he drinking almond milk or dairy?

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Jenn Chrisman     at 8:00 am

Hi! I just found your blog last week and had a lovely weekend reading through old posts and “getting to know you!” I very rarely comment on blogs but felt compelled to offer condolences for the lack of napping. I’d bet Cullen is probably making that transition down to just one nap a day and that can be very tough on us mommies (kiddies too). Hang in there, if you keep with it, he will get the hang of it, may take a week or two (ouch) but hopefully you start to reap the benefits of those 2 1/2 hour stretches….ah, bliss :-)

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Kathy     at 8:29 am

Not sure if you have already tried this but it worked with my son who did basically the same thing around Cullen’s age and being that he too was very active we both really needed him to nap. I took a small tent and set it up in his room and made a nice cozy ‘resting spot’ we we go in together and read a book and then I would turn on some soft music and snuggle for a few minutes. He always ended up falling asleep and the best part was I didn’t have to move him to crib I just snuck out and left him to sleep, worked like a charm.

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Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run     at 8:36 am

That dinner sounds like my type of Fall/Winter comfort food – mmm!

I am in love with Cullen’s white cap <3

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Emily @ www.main-eats.com     at 9:24 am

Your dinner looks amazing and Cullen’s haircut is precious! Such a handsome boy you have!

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Stephanie     at 11:28 am

Those kale chips look so yummy! Can you post a recipe?

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Arielle     at 1:45 pm

This is so, so strange, but the steak thing just happened to me today, too! This guy came to my door and asked me if I like steak. He said that he delivers for Applebees and a few other restaurants and had some extras he was trying to get rid of. We are vegetarian too and I thought it was creepy so I said no…I wonder if it is a new scam! It was so strange.

And I don’t live in Seattle – all the way across the country!

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Ally     at 7:02 pm

Ah, the sleep stuff is so hard! And confusing. And even harder when a spouse is out of town for a week….you hate to live for bedtime, but some days it can be really hard to enjoy the day when you have no break in sight. Hope Cullen’s napping improves soon.

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Yosef - This American Bite     at 7:19 pm

For the record, I love the chocolate and cayenne. I make a cocoa and cayenne popcorn every so often.

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Samantha     at 9:34 am

Hang in there. This weather out here is tough stuff in the winter. I am in North Bend and sometimes I head a bit west just to get a break in the rain. I can’t remember if you have tried Kelsey Creek yet (more Bellevue) or the Blueberry Farm trail system. Both would probably be kid friendly and give you some variety.

I keep expecting in that in a couple of years the posts will start to swing to him in the kitchen with you as a side kick. I hope you get some adult time soon. All my friends with kids kind of implode sometimes from the constant kid time.

I grew up out here and the winters are tough stuff. It is cold and clear today. Enjoy.

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sach     at 7:48 pm

You’ve probably heard of this, but I guess it does happen around the city:
http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2012/01/04/beware-the-capitol-hill-meat-scam

Lovely posts, wishing you well,
S

[Reply]

whitney dienger     at 12:01 pm

I have been drooling over that picture of the polenta all week. Would you mind posting a recipe when you have a chance?

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spot the difference game for kids     at 1:57 am

Stop trying to impress your colleagues annd start charming the pants ooff your leads.
As promised, here is the next installment of my self-made simplified Engglish
grammar guide. Similarly, you can also sell the postcards at the same locations; it is
just a matter of spotting the bargain posfcards ffor resale.

[Reply]

Solana     at 2:40 pm

I miss posts like this. Not that I want you to be having a down day, but you’re one of the few bloggers left with the honesty to share such relatable emotions. Having a bad day myself.

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