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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    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

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    A Look Back.

19 Months.

Dear Cullen,

I took these pictures just two weeks ago, and as I sit down to finally edit and process them today, I feel like you already look completely different. 

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The common theme that seems to echo throughout each day is that you have become a tiny person.  I get together with friends and we all just ooze with joy watching you and your buddies toddle around with such distinct little personalities and voices. 

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Speaking of voices, you have definitely found yours.  We’ve reached that stage everyone told me about – where you seem to have new words every single day.  This morning at the beach you looked up at the sky and yelled “plane!” – the first time I’ve heard you say it without my prompting. 

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Other new and favorite words/sounds currently include: tree, D (for Indy – your best bud), down, beans, water (wah-wahs), door, Elmo, and please – among many more.  It is so nice to finally communicate so intentionally and directly with you!

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You have a really bizarre obsession with trash cans.  You can spot one from a hundred yards away, and if we’re out for a walk, all conversation must pause until we have all acknowledged the trash can’s presence.  If we are out and you start whining and pointing, I have to assume there is a hidden trash can you have spotted somewhere.  Naturally, trash day is the highlight of each week. 

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I took these pictures during our last week at your old house – on the playground that was directly across the street from our place!  Of all the fun things to do there like swing and slide, your favorite was dropping mulch pieces through the drain grates. 

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You have grown out of your need to assert your independence and control, and you love to shower us in hugs and kisses again.  Every night before bed, dad and I read books to you together and then you give each of us a kiss before the “family hug.”  Last night I thought about our family hug including your soon-to-be little brother, and it felt hard to let go. 

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You still talk to us in one word commands, but you seem to understand so much more.  You can point to nearly anything I ask about in a book, and you follow directions very well (when you want to).  I can almost see the little wheels spinning in your head when I ask you to do something – like this morning when I told you to put the toilet seat down, and you waited five seconds, smirked, and then plunged your hand deep into the water. 

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While you will always prefer to hang with mom and dad, you are still very good at independent play.  If given the right entertainment – these days cups, sand, a water table, or sidewalk chalk – you will keep yourself entertained for hours. 

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You are loving our new house and your new backyard, and you start every morning by running to the backdoor and yelling “out, out, out.”  We have been known to do sidewalk chalk in a diaper before 8am. 

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Your nap bandit days are over (knocking on wood), and you are back to being a really great, really consistent napper.  You sleep at least 3 hours in the afternoons – usually between 12:30 and 3:30 – and sometimes I even wake you up because you are napping too long!  You are waking up for it in the mornings though, and your current wakeup time is 5:31am on the dot.  All that summer sunshine streaming in the windows is just too tempting!

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You are a very picky eater, and it’s hard to get you to eat anything more adventurous than bananas, bread, and peanut butter.  Luckily you love smoothies, so I sneak a lot of vegetables and good fats into those to help round out your diet (I’ll post your favorite smoothie recipe next week!).  We take you to lots of restaurants anyway, and you’ve tried everything from (vegetarian) sushi, to Indian food, to food truck tamales!

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I’ve stopped stressing out so much about little things and to-do lists recently, which has helped me to just relax and enjoy our days together.  I work during your nap times and do what I can, and the rest has to wait until the next day.  It has been good for both of us, as our time feels a lot more valued now!  I’m soaking up these last few months of just you and me running the town together, before our newest sidekick gets here. 

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Right now, we are looking forward to a summer filled with daily trips to the playground, swimming lessons at the local pool, and one last big family beach trip before our family grows again.  I caught you on camera a few days ago, playing in your backyard bean bin.  You are obsessed!

Thanks for another great month, C.

For more parenting posts, you can visit the parenting page.  You can also read the latest over on Babble:

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31 Comments so far
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kathy     at 5:06 pm

Wow, amazing how tall and thin Cullen is getting. He is a little man now. Hard to believe he is going to be 2 pretty soon. So adorable. My grandson is 4 now and he rarely eats well. I feel like a bad mimi because he won’t eat much of anything for me. I honestly don’t know how he can stay on the run with so little food. He wants to go, go, go. So don’t fret about the food. As they always say, he’ll eventually eat when he does get hungry.


Christine     at 5:30 pm

Our boys are cut from the same cloth. From the playing in just a diaper, loving the outside, and especially the pick eater part, they are soooooo much alike. Maybe it’s just a boy thing. Cullen sure is adorable :)


Katie     at 5:45 pm

That video is too precious!


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 6:01 pm

He is adorable. I can’t believe how big he is getting! My niece is almost 21 months, and she just started to speak in 3-4 word phrases/short sentences. It is so fun to listen to and watch her form her thoughts. She keeps me laughing all day long!


Lee     at 6:11 pm

The acknowledging of the trash can part made me laugh out loud!


Meghan Reply:

Me too!!


Lauren @ The Highlands Life     at 6:21 pm

Cullen is so cute! It’s amazing how fast they grow up. My little guy, Archie, is 8 months old and it’s gone by in a blink. Time, please slow down!


Heather @ Heather's Dish     at 6:50 pm

I can’t believe how old he looks Emily! Such a little man :)


Meagan     at 8:13 pm

He’s so cute! I’m glad everything is working out with the house. And oh my goodness, the trash can obsession made me laugh! Kids are the greatest :)


Coll     at 8:37 pm

Wow he’s grown up so much… since I started reading your blog! Great post!


Ellie     at 4:42 am

Love this post! Cullen is adorable! So, I recently decided to stay home with my daughter who is close in age to Cullen. It is so helpful to see posts like this and get ideas for things to do with her (like the beans). But I have a question…how do you fit in housework? I feel like I spend most of nap time cleaning, doing laundry, washing dishes, etc. I can’t imagine trying to do work as well! Also, do you ever have downtime? Aren’t you exhausted?!


Katie @ Talk Less, Say More     at 5:03 am

He is just so precious! You’ve got a real heartbreaker on your hands! ;)


Lisa     at 5:39 am

Cullen is so adorable!He is just as you described him, a little man. The video was so cute to see and he seems so coordinated–and serious. It’s amazing how fast he’s growing up!


Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family     at 6:24 am

He is seriously way too cute!! I am so hopeful our meet-up can happen next month so I can see that smile in person. :)


Melissa     at 9:29 am

My eldest son who is now 13, used to play with beans also, he liked to “cook” them. We had to put them away though because one day, when he was around 18 months old, he decided to shove some beans up his nose. Just thought I’d pass this on in case your little guy ever has the same idea! We exchanged the beans for some “larger then any body orifice” pasta! (:


Kathy     at 10:34 am

So beautiful! It’s so fun to watch how he’s grown, I can’t even imagine how it feels in person (no children for me yet).


char eats greens     at 10:43 am

That close up of him squatting on the storm grate…he looks SO much like you there!!!


Amanda     at 4:06 pm

Love your updates! Our Addison used to sleep from 7-6:30/45 and for the past few weeks it has been 5:15! Oh it hurts… LoL.. Do you think them waking up earlier is to stay?!


Lauren     at 7:52 pm

Too cute! Room darkening shades should help with the early wake ups. We used to just have blinds but once spring hit we got drapes with room darkening liners and it totally helps. She usually sleeps til at least 7.


Kristen     at 10:36 am

Emily, I have been reading your blog for about a year now and have an 8 month old of my own now. I have to say thank you for your honesty and beautiful way with words. I just read through your 8 month update for your little guy to see what I’m in store for next month. My little also doesn’t love bottles so I have recently started giving him a sippy cup at meals and he sometimes takes small sips. Can I ask what brand you found to work te best? I know every baby is different but any advice is much appreciated. I’m getting ready to leave him with the grandparents so I can go to a concert and am stressing about it a little! Thanks so much!


Kristi     at 11:31 am

He has gotten so big and is such a cute little boy!


Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 5:56 pm

I love this post! Cullen is growing up to be such a sweet little boy!


Leanne     at 11:18 pm

My daughter was (and still is) obsessed with Caution Wet Floor signs (any caution sign actually). Have you tried water beads in the bin yet? If not, give them a shot! Cullen will love them!


Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 5:14 am

FYI – you may find yourself outside even earlier than 8 a.m.! My two have been known to start playing hard at 6. Good thing our neighbors don’t like to sleep in!


Katie     at 6:14 am

Love this video! We made some awesome rainbow rice yesterday and Jack (17 months) LOVED to play with it. We’ll definitely have to try beans. I’m relieved to know that even your gourmet baby is going through a picky phase. Sunbutter, bread, raisins, and fruit are about all he’ll consistently eat. I’m hoping he recognizes vegetables as food eventually!


Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run     at 9:28 am

Dear Cullen,
You have the best smile in the world :)


Christina     at 10:27 am

He has the sweetest little smiling face. That bean table is pure genius. I love watching kid’s little wheels in their brains turning when they play like that. He is so cute when he realizes Huey wants some! Man, Huey was on a mission the whole video, does he ever stop moving?


Ali @ Peaches and Football     at 10:45 am

He’s always had a thing for Indy, for as long as I remember. Originally it seemed like Huey was a little more standoffish and let Cullen do his own thing. Now that little C has been around for 19 months (sheesh, how can that be), has he gotten more used to him?

Will be interesting to see how C, I, and H react to the new little master of the house come October! :)


Leah     at 12:47 pm

Perfect deck for patio tomatoes!

And for playing with BEANS.

I love how the dogs can just roam around and you don’t have to worry about them getting out beyond the fence. :)


CATHY     at 1:32 pm

Cullen is gorgeous! Emily I just have to say I think you are a really good mom and it’s so sweet to see how much you enjoy BEING a mom. You’re boys are lucky to have you.


Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » 22(ish) Months.     at 5:12 pm

[...] 23 months by the end of the week.  I haven’t written an update for you since you turned 19 months, and looking back through that post now I hardly recognize [...]

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