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



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    A Look Back.

18 Months.

Dear Cullen,

Every time I think about how big you’ve gotten and how long ago it was that you were a little baby, I picture us sitting in your glider back in the Fremont nursery.  We’d rock and nap for hours sometimes.  It’s hard to believe you are that same tiny person!

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This eighteen month milestone has felt like a big one – a year and a half already?  We’ve been so busy having fun that I never found time to sit down and write your seventeen month update.  I figure that’s a few extra hours you got on a playground somewhere, so hopefully you’ll forgive me. 

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At eighteen months you are a rambunctious and mischievous little guy. You have recently become very clingy to your mama, and your favorite place to be is in my arms – all 26+ pounds of you.  You are keeping me young (and tired). 

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When you were still a little lump that laid in one place, people tried to warn me that it would get so much harder once you started moving.  And while it has certainly presented new challenges, it has also gotten infinitely more fun. 

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You still love the swings and, unless it is raining, we go to the playground every day.  Your favorite part is to swing near and get a high five, or to lean in and see if we can kiss you.

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It sends you into fits of laughter every.single.time.  You have this new amazing laugh that sounds like a bear growling.  It’s deep and throaty and totally ridiculous.  It makes me and dad laugh, which just makes you growl louder.

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You also have this bizarre obsession with possessions.  You have certain things you have deemed as yours, that you like to carry around with you.  At our weekly Gymboree classes, you always find a ball or small shape at the beginning, and carry it around to every single slide, climbing wall, and game for the entire hour.  Yesterday, you fell in love with this purple shovel and insisted on carrying it at all times. 

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This month brought your first trip to the beach, which sparked a new love affair with the sand.  Lucky for us, we have beaches very close to our house, so we meet dad there after work on warm, sunny evenings.  We learned the hard way that we need to always be armed with our own shovel and pail, otherwise you go looking to be adopted into other families.

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You have a very strong sense of what you want and when you want it, and you are not always happy when we don’t agree.  You think you are much bigger than you are, and you scare mom often by doing things like insisting on going down the big kid’s slide. 

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Your favorite word is NO.

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And while you can be incredibly strong-willed and determined (already!), you are also very sweet and loving.  You give hugs to Huey and Indy all day long, and you are actually willing to put your head on my chest for a few minutes before bedtime again.  You absolutely love to share kisses.

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In fact, you think they are kind of hilarious.

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Every day you need my help less and less.  I watch you scale the climbing mats at play class like a little monkey, and I wonder where on earth you learned to do it.  You put puzzles together faster than I do, work an iPad better than your grandparents, and you have this sense of confidence and fearlessness that is equal parts amazing and terrifying for me as a mother.

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While you were once the world’s most predictable sleeper, we hit a few bumps this month.  The week with no naps almost broke both of us.  Thankfully, this week you are back to “normal” napping, which means our afternoons are a lot more fun. 

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When you don’t take a nap, you are happy to hang out in your crib and just roll around, toss stuffed animals out, or read books.  But it’s hard for mom to relax or work because you also like to put your foot up on the top rail of the crib and practice your climbing skills.  We fear that your days in the crib are numbered, and it’s only a matter of time before you climb completely out!

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When you are awake, your feet barely touch the ground.  You are FAST, and you love to chase and be chased.  The dogs who were once so wary of you have become your best friends.

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Speaking of dogs, you are really into animal noises.  You point and shout a very loud “OOF OOF” at every dog that passes by, including your own.  This means that mom hears your OOFS no less than 200 times a day, yet somehow it never seems to get old.  Other favorite animal noises include monkey, sheep, dinosaur, cow, owl (this is mom’s favorite), chicken, elephant, and alligator.  We go to the zoo at least once a week, and the gorillas are always the highlight. 

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You are incredibly social and love to watch the people around you.  You pick up on little things that mom and dad do, and mimic them in your own funny way.  Every time you take a big drink of water or milk, you swallow and then open your mouth to release a big “aahhhhhh” afterward.  You sound so refreshed!

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You also point to your food and say “mmmmm” if it’s something you’re actually willing to eat.  I have a hard time predicting what that will be these days, since your preferences seem to change on an hourly basis.  Who would have ever guessed you’d eat your green beans last night?

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It’s still a good ways away, but I’m starting to think about you more and more as a big brother.  It feels simultaneously heart-melting and heart-wrenching to think about how our lives will change.  I tear up with excitement thinking about you holding your new little sib, and how I hope the two of you become fast friends.  And then I tear up with sadness knowing that these last few months of just you and us are going to inevitably fly by.  In the meantime, I am making sure I don’t miss a single moment. 

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You are almost impossible to catch on camera these days because you try to grab it and take over the filming, but I did sneak a quick one yesterday!

18 Month Stats:

  • Weight: 26lb 8 oz (75th%)
  • Height: 33.5 inches tall (75th%)
  • Head: Still in the 90th percentile – no surprises there!
  • Teeth: 12 with 3 more on the way
  • Diapers:  Still cloth, still going well.  Disposables for overnights.
  • Likes:  Cups, drinking from things, watering cans, digging, sand, swings, stickers, getting stamps on his hands, reading books
  • Dislikes:  Getting dressed, having his nose wiped, waiting more than 30 seconds for food, getting into his car seat

For previous updates, you can visit the parenting page.  You can also check out the recent posts over on Babble!

In addition to my regular Babble posting this month, I also did one of their special feature pieces.  You can check out Babble Blogger Favorites: Best Baby Carriers to see all my recommendations on the best soft-structured carriers, newborn wraps and slings, and hiking backpacks!

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69 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Alyson     at 4:08 pm

I love the purple shovel! When my eldest son was a toddler I handed him a wooden spoon to keep him busy while I made dinner. It was my favorite wooden spoon, and that was my mistake. He never let it go again, for more than a year. It went to church with us, into the sandbox with him, into the bathtub, camping, it “vacuumed” the floor, it hit his big sister, it batted balls and fished toys out of the kiddie pool. It is in his little chubby fist in his 2YO picture. More people asked me about that spoon than any other thing my kids ever carried around, but I am SO glad I have a picture of him holding it, now. Eventually he gave it up for some other toy. I put it in the dishwasher, and started using it to cook again, always with a melancholy smile.


Amy Reply:

That is so cute. :)


Emily Malone Reply:

This made me laugh. I was in a toy store the other day and smiled at a dad who was pushing a stroller with this totally defeated look, and his baby happily holding a spatula. :) Love that you still have the spoon!


Leah Reply:

That made me giggle! Maybe a sign of a future chef?


Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker     at 4:11 pm

Hahaha Ada just watched this — transfixed! — and did all of the things you asked Cullen to do. So cute to see these guys grow up!


Emily Malone Reply:

Haha love that she did it all too. They are ridiculous. :)


Lisa     at 4:15 pm

I loved this update post! Cullen is so adorable–it’s so cute to see how he’s growing up! I bet he’ll be a great big brother :)


Amy     at 4:25 pm

He is so cute! He also sounds a lot like my son at that 18 month mark. You’re in for some roller coaster times, but it’s obviously still great.
Also, thanks for the Babble carrier post. I have a Bjorn, but I’d like to get a wrap carrier for my second. I’m thinking the k’tan, but I still cannot decide!


Emily Malone Reply:

I didn’t use a K’tan with Cullen, but I tried one out for this post and really liked it! Excited to try it in the fall!


lorie     at 4:27 pm

What a cutie patootie!!! He is talking so much,too! He will be such a good big brother–he will have lots of fun with a new baby to play with!


Meagan     at 4:36 pm

Aww, Emily, he’s getting so big! What a cutie. One of the photos of him at the beach looks exactly like Casey!


Sara @ LovingOnTheRun     at 4:41 pm

I love these posts! Your little man is growing up SO SO fast! He is precious and will be an amazing big brother!


Ellen     at 4:44 pm

Wow! He is SOO cute! And he’s growing up so fast! It’s crazy to think I’ve been reading your blog all the way before your pregnancy! I’m sure you’re a proud momma. :)


Simply Life     at 4:48 pm

too cute! what a sweet post!


LisaR @ Who Stole My Baby?     at 5:00 pm

Ah, animal noises. Adorable. However, I want to know what a dinosaur sounds like. Seems he knows something I don’t.


Emily Malone Reply:

It roars! :)


Amber K     at 5:31 pm

I love that this is written to Cullen. But tell him he’s growing up too quickly ;)


Emily Malone Reply:

Agreed! I will pass that along. :)


Lee     at 5:57 pm

What a cutie! So cool how he totally understands what you are saying. And also, um, what kind of noise do alligators make?


Emily Malone Reply:



Tricia     at 6:08 pm

Pretty sure this is the most precious video ever!!! Love his pudgy little legs and big personality!!!!!!!


Sabrina     at 6:19 pm

Cutie pie!! I love his big smiles!


Becca     at 6:53 pm

He looks so much like Casey! So cute.


Kim     at 7:26 pm

Love this post! So adorable! I just love your thoughts on having a new little brother and how that will change your relationship to Cullen. As always – so well written. Thanks for sharing!


mollie     at 7:51 pm

he absolutely KILLS me, he is so cute. i also love that it seems like you shot a lot of the pictures in one day (him wearing the same shirt), and got such a range of emotions!


Tara     at 8:19 pm

Absolutely adorable! Does he have a lovie? The kids I nanny can not go anywhere (including room-to-room) without their lovies!


dynamics     at 9:27 pm

I had a very bad day today so I came to see Cullen’s smiles. I loved the video and even more the comments. Chomp Chomp had me laughing out loud. I love these updates. I think Cullen is timing the crib. He will be settled in his new bed so the baby can have the crib. So cute Emily. Thanks for sharing.


Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 9:45 pm

Your monthly updates are so sweet. I love the look on Cullen’s face when you say you need to get him a vacuum, he’s such a cutie.


Michelle@Peachy Palate     at 12:15 am

Truly gorgeous post! Took my breath away as always…amazing photos, sentiment, real, open, honest and beautiful. He’s one lucky boy!


Christine     at 3:40 am

I cry every time I read your updates as they make me think of my own kids growing up. This was so sweet!


Coco     at 4:15 am

Such a handsome big boy- he is going to be a great big brother! :)


Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy     at 5:33 am

He is so adorable!! I love how he’s playing with your Barre3 ball — I have the same one :).


Jen     at 5:53 am

Emily, you are raising a wonderful son. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

I love when you asked where his pants were and Cullen grabbed his legs! I can see him thinking “oh my gosh, where ARE my pants?” before he decides it just doesn’t matter!


Ali @ Peaches and Football     at 5:59 am

So many cute comments on this post Emily! I love the note that he looks to get adopted into other families if you don’t have a shovel and bucket for him. And the picture of him and Casey kissing – so adorable. Reminds me of one my Dad took of my mom and me when I was 3. I was going around the merry go round and leaning out to get a quick kiss as I passed by.


Emily     at 6:14 am

He is so incredibly adorable in that movie! Thanks for sharing.


Hayley     at 6:37 am

Emily, I love these letters you write to Cullen. I know he will read them one day and cherish them. Watching the video made my heart swoon, and I practically shed a tear for I am expecting my first November 1, and I can hardly wait to meet them (boy or girl?) and see them grow. :)


Beth@Motor City on my Mind     at 6:43 am

Oh my gosh he is so big! He speaks so well and is just adorable! I love your play room with all of the windows; it’s so perfect.


Adrianne     at 6:47 am

What a cutie he is and reminds me so much of my daughter! She went through a phase where she had to have something in each hand, usually a golf ball and a little stress ball.

Has he started to have an opinion about EVERYTHING? This was around the time that my daughter (she’s not even 2 months older) started protesting certain clothes, shoes, cups, etc. These kids crack me up. Such funny little creatures:)


Julie     at 7:20 am

LOVE these posts!


jen     at 7:22 am

so sweet.


Erika @ balancedspoon.com     at 7:44 am

He’s so precious!


Shannan     at 8:50 am

ooooh what a stinkin cutie! I love the video! :)


Theresa     at 10:00 am

He’s so cute! And getting so big. It’s so great you’re able to enjoy these months with him before the new baby arrives. It will be so fun to watch him as an older brother. I think he’s going to have a baby sister! You should print out these posts and compile a book for him someday.


Lara     at 10:34 am

Loved this update. Matt even looked over my shoulder and said, “He’s so freaking cute!”
I cant’ wat until G is fully mobile and able to communicate more like this. I think he will be a much happier little man and we will have so much fun doing more active things!


Ilane     at 12:01 pm

I cannot believe he is already 18 months! It seems like it was yesterday that you wrote and I read your birth story! Congrats to all of you! You are an amazing mom!


Elizabeth     at 12:59 pm

Oh my goodness, he is just adorable! So talkative, I love it.

While I don’t “know” you at all, I’ve been reading since you were newly pregnant…thanks for sharing your story (and family) with all of us! I have a 14 month old little guy and it’s neat getting to see an older baby as well. My guy still isn’t walking yet (someday haha!), so I actually can’t wait until he can run around the playground. It’s crazy how different every baby is?!


Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs     at 1:10 pm

What a little ham!
I love how in the walking photos it looks like he’s strutting — too cute!


Elizabeth     at 2:19 pm

Also, since my computer doesn’t let me comment on Babble posts for some reason, thanks for your recent posts there…esp the ones on produce and snacks for toddlers. Very helpful! I am always looking for new food ideas (since we know toddlers can be ridiculously picky) and would love more toddler food posts here :)


Heather     at 3:02 pm

All of that sounds so familiar. :) I think our two Seattle boys would get along quite well. Loved the video – he is truly a beautiful boy. You’re a great mama!


kristin     at 12:57 am

Holy Moly! He’s the CUTEST!!!! You’re such a good mama- I love your updates :) Congrats on #2 on the way! EXCITED for you & your family!


Sarah     at 9:53 am

These update/letter to Cullen posts are very sweet and he’s changing so much so quickly. I can’t help but wonder if it’s a good idea to share all of it publicly though. Cullen may grow up to be a blogger who shares his life on the internet but he may grow up to be a private person and you don’t know which way it could go. Personally I am very selective about what I post on my facebook and things like that. I’m just not that comfortable sharing things about myself. I love reading blogs so I obviously don’t think it’s a bad thing to share your life by any means, it’s just a very individual personal choice and it’s not for everyone. It’s something that has come up a lot lately in respect to how much parent’s should share about their children online. I’m wondering what your take is on it? Do you just assume Cullen won’t mind?

I’m a long time reader and fan of your blog so I’m not trying to be cause trouble by any means. I just genuinely wonder what your thoughts are about having your family life be public?


Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health Reply:

I think Cullen is lucky to have a mother who loves him so deeply and one that wants to share her love for him. I really don’t see the harm in it and think he will one day be flattered that so many people adored him. This was such a positive, loving post and I can’t help but feel like your bringing negativity to it with this comment.


Emily Malone Reply:

Sorry I’m late to reply on this. It’s definitely something I think about quite often. With Cullen (and now another baby!) in the picture, I’ve become a lot more private and protective. While it may seem we are very public, I am VERY careful about what I post – both pictures and content. There is a lot here, but also a lot that goes unsaid. I never talk about medical things, personal family matters, etc. I don’t think I’m posting anything here that Cullen would be embarrassed about years down the road. There is also always the option to take a blog down, or remove posts and make them private, which I can certainly do if it become an issue. I appreciate you opening the discussion!


Becky     at 10:57 am

he is so cute! And such a sweetie blowing kisses to say goodbye.


kat     at 4:24 pm

I LOOOOOVED the 18 months+. Well I loved every stage but I sure do love these toddler years. They present challenges, sure but they’re just SO MUCH FUN! Happy 18 months.


Emily @ Tips on Healthy Living     at 7:55 pm

So so sweet! You’re a lucky mom!!


Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 9:54 am

Aw what a sweet update. Cullen is getting so big so fast!!


Trisha     at 6:01 am

Cullen is the most adorable little boy, ever.


Gabrielle     at 11:46 am

Love the video, what a cutie patootie! Great post – these posts will be such a treasure for him when he grows up.


Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health     at 11:40 pm

This was such an awesome post! He is so adorable and the OOF part had me lol. He’ll love seeing this one day. :)


Erin     at 7:58 am

This is such a lovely post! It make me want to start writing letters to my little (soon to be) 10 month old. What a wonderful idea.
Would you mind sharing what kind of shoes Cullen is wearing? It seems to be just what I am looking for as my little girl is learning to walk, but I’m not having much luck! Those are so adorable and practical looking.


Emily Malone Reply:

They are See Kai Run – our favorites!


Maxine     at 7:10 am

Sooo cute! The pics really capture the moment, and his expressions :)


Maria     at 7:11 am

Amazing pictures and video, don’t they grow up sooooo fast :)


Anne     at 6:49 pm

Gosh he is cute. What a sweet post!


Jess     at 8:11 am

How adorable!! Your little boy is just precious and seems like such a wonderful little child. I’m sure he has his moments (as all kids do) but he truly does seem like the perfect well-behaved toddler! Reading this kinda made my ovaries ache ;) Such a great idea to keep a little online journal for him to go back and and read one day. :)


Emily Malone Reply:

He definitely has his moments, haha. :) But yes, most of the time he’s a joy!


Madhuri     at 5:34 pm

Loved your blog, especially your About and this one – my son turns 17 months tomorrow *sigh*, I think i want to write for him too now, thanks for sharing!


Ethan- 8 Months « Sara Jane     at 6:36 am

[...] changing up the monthly stats after being inspired by another blog I read, Daily Garnish.  I liked how she summarized using key [...]

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