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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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    What’s Cooking?

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    A Look Back.

Foodie Baby: 48 Hours of Meals

I’ve had a lot of people ask for more posts about daily meals, and what the boys are eating at their respective ages (17 months, and 3.5 years <— how did that happen??).  I’ve done a handful of these types of posts before, but the boys were much younger then.  You can check out the rest of the Foodie Baby series here:

This time, rather than big lists or meal ideas, I thought I’d do something much simpler.  I took a pictures of everything the boys ate from sun up until bedtime.  Of course no two days are the same, so I did two days in a row just to show a bit of variety. 

Here’s a look at what they are eating these days:


Breakfast – the boys are up anytime between 6 and 7am, but we are usually down the steps around 7:15.  Graham is begging for food immediately, so I give him a banana to tide him over while I make the real breakfast. 

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Cullen works on a puzzle at the table until breakfast is ready.  He asks for a banana and then doesn’t touch it. 

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Graham inhales the banana in about seven seconds, so he moves onto pomegranate seeds and (hemp) milk while I continue to cook. 

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Daniel Tiger songs play from the iPad.  “Mommy songs” are always rejected, unless it is Taylor Swift. 

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Breakfast is ready!  Today is an eggs and toast morning, which is always the least popular option (although it is mommy’s favorite).  Cullen begs for oatmeal every single day, but I can only take so much.  This is my plate – toast with coconut oil, scrambled eggs, Field Roast breakfast sausages, and delicious hot coffee that was waiting for me when I got downstairs (courtesy of Casey!). 

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I always buy Silver Hills bread – it’s my favorite in both flavor and softness, and it has awesome nutritional stats.  It’s all sprouted bread and is much higher in protein than most others.  Also a Canadian company, so local-ish to us.

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Cullen would live on carbs if I let him, so the toast is definitely the highlight of this meal.  He’ll eat the Field Roast too, but the eggs have to be bribed (he can watch one show after breakfast while I get dressed). 

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Graham inhales everything and then wipes his greasy, eggy hands all over his hair.  Then he screams while being wiped down and cleaned up. 

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Lunch – we are always out in the mornings for various things, so depending on what that is we sometimes have lunch on the go.  But I prefer to eat at home when it’s feasible, because the kids tend to eat much better when we do.  We use these Re-Play dishes almost exclusively.  The kids like them and I love how durable and easy to clean they are. 

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Lunch is typically thrown together in 30 seconds as we’ve just walked in the door and I’m rushing to get them fed before naptime.  Today’s lunch was a mix of raw veggies – tomatoes and cucumber – and a tortilla with spinach and smashed avocado.  Cullen’s plate always has to be red or green.

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And Graham still gets his tomatoes sliced.  Both boys love cucumbers, but Graham hates tomatoes.  I still try anyway.  I’m hoping he comes around by summer gardening season, when – if all goes well – we’ll have more tomatoes than we know what to do with!

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Graham goes down for nap and Cullen has “quiet time” in his room.  Afterward they are starving for snacks.

Snack – Both kids get their own dish of cashews and raisins in the playroom after they wake up. 

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Graham still seems hungry (throwing his body at the refrigerator) so he gets a cheese stick while I prep for dinner.  I love the way he says “chuussse!” – cutest thing ever!

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Dinner – throughout the week we do a mix of eating with the kids versus waiting and eating alone after bedtime.  This particular week, we ate most meals all together.   This was a version of what we call “salsa bowls.”

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The boys don’t like their food all mixed up yet, so the compartmentalized plates are great for now.  But they don’t like having any empty spaces so I always have to make sure there is enough to divide into at least three parts.  This was one big scoop of brown rice with avocado and shredded cheese, a mixture of onions/mushrooms/black beans, and roasted asparagus. 

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This was the adult version of the meal – a giant bowl of rice, beans, and veggies topped with avocado and a zillion different salsas.  Yummmm.

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So that was day one, and I think it was a pretty typical look at how we eat throughout the day.  Here is the following day, just to show a bit of variety!


Breakfast – Oatmeal, as promised.  I make the oatmeal the same way every morning – rolled oats cooked in half water/half almond milk, and chia seeds, raisins, sliced almonds, hemp seeds, and ground flax mixed in.  Each bowl is then topped with some sort of nut butter – we rotate through cashew, almond, and sunbutter.

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Cullen is in heaven and eats an alarming amount.  He finishes his bowl, anything left in the pot, and then forces me to give up about half of my bowl toward the end. 

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I have nothing against oatmeal but I am so sick and tired of it by now.  We even ate it for Cullen’s birthday dinner last year!  Ridiculous.

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That said, I absolutely love breakfast.  Once both the kids have their food they are so happy and full of excitement for the day.  I have hot coffee and I love sitting with them and singing to music and not rushing around. 

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Lunch – on this particular day, we went to a big indoor sandbox in the morning.  Both kids had a small snack while we were there (Graham had a pouch and then he and Cullen shared hummus and crackers).  Graham fell asleep on the car ride home and then went straight from the carseat to the crib, so he missed lunch.  This happens 50% of the time, so I always make sure to get a little something in his belly before we head home. 

Cullen was hungry for a real lunch though, so he had half a can of lentil vegetable soup and some crackers for dipping.  He ate the whole bowl and asked for more, and then actually took a rare nap himself. 

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Graham woke up absolutely ravenous, as expected, so he snacked on milk, cashews, and raisins after he woke up.  I dragged his high chair into the kitchen and he snacked while I prepped dinner.  And as you can tell, it was a matching tie dye day – Cullen’s request!

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When Cullen woke up, he joined us for some snacks. 

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Dinner – this was one of the last meals we ate before our California trip, so I was doing my best to use up fresh things in our fridge.  We had a combo of roasted green beans, roasted portabella slices, and tempeh with Island Soyaki marinade (from Trader Joe’s). 

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Pretty sure Cullen’s face says it all – not impressed.  He ate the green beans and about half the tempeh, and I bargained for those so that he could have a bowl of “dessert” – which was frozen cherries (his favorite). 

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Graham is picky too but is usually more willing to at least TRY something.  He’s also big on chewing something up and then spitting it right back out, rather than just rejecting on sight.  I’m not sure which is more frustrating!

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And here was the adult version of that meal – Casey and I ate all of the rest of it! 

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So that’s it – 48 hours of meals for the little ones.  They probably snuck some bites of things here and there that I missed, but overall this is the big picture.  The only thing we didn’t eat during these two days that we usually do is a smoothie, which is either at breakfast or for afternoon snack. 

What are your kids eating and loving these days?

One More One Year Old.

As I sit down to write this, I have a warm lunch and a cool kombucha next to me.  It’s drizzly and cool and perfectly Seattle outside, and the house is totally silent other than the whir of the dishwasher in the other room, and the flicker of white noise on the desk beside me.  This can only mean one thing – nap time. 

Both boys are down for the (hopefully long) afternoon nap, and I am soaking up the return of the afternoon quiet, as we are just settling into this amazing phenomenon known as two kids napping at the same time (sure to change before I know it!). 

You know what else this means?  There are no babies left in my house.  No more bouncing and shushing, no more naps on my chest.  No more thirty minute race to inhale my lunch before the catnap is over.  No more soft fuzzy booties in the laundry, and no more ice cubes of sweet potatoes in my freezer.  No more soft little rattles or squeaky giraffes. 

Now there is noise, so much noise.  Clunky tiny shoes and impossibly adorable rain boots lining the front hallway.  Little hats and hooded coats hung inside the closet door.  Stacking cups, shape sorters, train tracks, and a mini shopping cart sitting in the middle of the playroom.  One big nap in the afternoon where mom takes a big exhale. 

Somehow, in the blur of schedules and breastfeeding and swaddling and don’t push your brother and all the rest of it – my sweet little Graham turned ONE. 

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And while I ended my formal monthly updates on here a long time ago, I can’t help but tell you all about the wonderful little one year old he has become in that time. 

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He is the goofiest little character I’ve ever known, and he makes all of us laugh every day.  He knows exactly how to get his big brother going – whether it’s making him belly laugh before bedtime, or making him furious by tossing his puzzle pieces into the air.  He is pure trouble and keeps me on my toes all day long. 

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Now that he’s walking and toddling all over our house, his favorite activities include: climbing the stairs, exploring the kitchen cabinets, carrying around things like measuring cups and strainers, sticking his hands in the potty seats, climbing the bathroom step stools, and feeding the dogs all the food off his high chair.

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He also loves stacking cups, building towers, anything in the play kitchen, pushing carts, taking things in and out of something, banging, drumming, dancing, and being around people.  This kid LOVES people!  Maybe it’s because he’s been out and about around lots of different faces from the very beginning, or maybe it’s just his natural personality – but he is so easy going and good natured, and people ask me all the time if he is “always this happy.” 

And the answer is, yes – he really is. 

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Unless of course, you pull him off the stairs, or take a shoe of out his mouth, or wipe his nose.  But otherwise, he’s pretty happy.  He also thinks he is a three year old. 

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That, of course, doesn’t mean that it’s been a whole year of sunshine.  I’m planning on writing a separate post reflecting on the first year with two kids, but we’ve certainly had our fair share of ups and down.  But having made it to the other side of one year, we’re ending in a sweet spot that I hope we can ride out for a little while. 

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He loves to eat pasta, scrambled eggs, toast with almond butter, Field Roast veggie dogs and sausages, tomatoes, tofu, pears, lentils, green beans, grapes, peas, cucumbers, and carrots.  He hates blueberries, hummus, squash, and beans.  He also loves grass, sand, mulch, and sticks!

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He’s still breastfeeding and we’re down to four times a day now – usually around 5am, 9am, 12pm, and 7pm.  I was finished breastfeeding Cullen around fourteen months, and I remember after we hit that year mark feeling sort of panicked to start weaning him.  I knew we wanted another baby and I think I was worried I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed and be pregnant at the same time.  This time around, I don’t feel rushed to wean so quickly, and I feel much more relaxed (and honestly, lazy) about it.  I’ll just follow his cues and – like most things – figure it out as we go.  But given our initial challenges and a rocky start, I’m really proud we have made it to one year! 

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Part of me feels those pangs of sadness that my baby is so big and independent and looks so much like a tiny toddler these days.  This feels harder the second time because I don’t know if there will be more babies to come.  And even though I have sweet nostalgia for babywearing and his wrinkly newborn forehead, every day he gets more fun, sleeps better, and shows more personality.  I must kiss him a thousand times each day.

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Since both boys have birthdays just ten days apart, I considered combining them into one big birthday bash with all our friends.  And while that’s probably what we’ll do going forward, for this year we decided to have one big first birthday party that was all just for Graham. 

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Casey was out of town the week leading up to the party, which left me far too much free time in the evenings to burn myself with the glue gun and reminisce all about his birth and newborn days. 

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We had a simple, but nice party at our house with all of Graham’s friends – big and small!  We had a light spread of snack food since it was between lunch and dinner…

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And I set out some small decorations and things that were tributes to Graham’s first year.  I finally made a shadowbox with all his newborn mementos – hospital bracelets, birth announcement, his very first hat, the gender reveal card where we learned he was a boy, and an extra pack of Graham crackers they gave me in the hospital right after he was born. 

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And of course, I had to make a banner of all the monthly pictures as he’s grown…

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As a party favor, I made little stacks of homemade graham crackers for guests to take and enjoy.  I had never made them before and it was a labor of love that baked long into the night before the party, but was so worth it. 

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They were buttery and tasty and I think they added a really fun touch to the party.  And now I know how to make homemade Graham crackers for next time!

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I made a little cake just for him, and cupcakes for everyone else.  I used the same pumpkin spice cake recipe that I made for Cullen’s first birthday, because it was delicious and tasty and it never hurts to eat that twice. 

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For the toddlers, we had pumpkins to decorate with stickers, foamy Halloween shapes, and markers.  I said a prayer that my house wasn’t covered in marker by 5pm. 

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My little one year old woke up from his afternoon nap right on time, and was ready to party with all his buddies. 

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And we were ready to celebrate!  How did I get so lucky?

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My mom even flew in for the weekend!  I think Graham felt very loved and very celebrated.

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Before Graham came along, I had no idea that there was room in my heart for anyone else.  And then he charged into our lives on a cool Friday morning in October, and life has never been the same.  He is the breath of fresh air I need when the rest of the day is pure chaos.  He slows me down and reminds me to pay attention, as I know all too well this time that the days are long but the years are so damn short. 

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Happy, happy birthday to Graham.  The baby days might be behind us, but there is so much fun to look forward to just ahead. 

Many, many thanks to my talented friend Pamela of People By Pamela for the gorgeous pictures of Graham’s birthday party!  Seattle friends – check her out for family and lifestyle photography!

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