This is (almost) 2.

March 28, 2017

Almost two year old (!) Maisie is talking up a STORM these days.  It’s so hard to keep up.  Every single day there are new words and expressions.  Having real, actual conversations with her has been such a highlight.  Here are a few of my favorite things she is doing and saying:

Yeah, Sure.

Me: Want to be Mommy’s helper?  I’m unloading the dishwasher.

Maisie: Yeah, sure.


Me: Should we go see Nana and Papa today!?

Maisie: Yeah, sure.

Snick DooJoe bought these snickerdoodle muffins as a morning treat one weekend and they were a huge hit.  So much so that Maisie now refers to any and all sweet breakfast food as “snick doo.”

Need Hug, Mama

Maisie is super attached to me these days.  Like when Joe takes her in the bathroom to brush her teeth she needs to be able to “see Mama” and as soon as he is done with the torture of it all she runs to me, clings to my shirt and says “need hug Mama.”

Her sleep has been a disaster for months now and she will scream from her crib in the middle of the night “need hug, Mama.”  That tiny manipulator!

Scary Guys

The world can be a scary place when you are little.  Like the snow monster in Frozen or the picture of a hand being x-rayed in her alphabet book and even the octopus in her alphabet book (who is smiling happily in his sea garden…we don’t get this one).  All of these are “scary guys” which actually sounds more like “ski duy” when Maisie says it.

Dada, what are you doing here?

Ending with my favorite.  As I mentioned, Maisie has been a real Mama’s girl lately.  Sometimes we will be doing something and she will ask Joe (who has been home with us all day leading up to this point) in all seriousness “Dada, what are you doing here?”

I’m back – with news!

March 19, 2017

Maisie has some exciting news… I’m really thrilled to finally be able to share that Joe and I are expecting our second baby girl this September!

Being pregnant for a second time is already so, so different.  When I was pregnant with Maisie I couldn’t really make myself understand what was about to happen.  This time around, as soon as the second line appeared on the pregnancy test I instantly knew what was at stake and said a million tearful prayers for the health and safety of this child.  Another note on my second pregnancy vs. the first is that time is F L Y I N G G G G by.  We are so wrapped up in Maisie and our busy life that’s its almost as if I blinked and the first trimester was over.

Some things are the same though.  Unfortunately I haven’t been able to escape the insane “morning” aka “every waking second of the day” sickness I experienced with Maisie and I think it may even be worse with this little one.  I won’t lie, it’s pretty horrific.  More on that later I’m sure.  For now I’m just thankful (after a brief scare at our 12 week appointment) that the baby seems to be doing great.  I have reached the second trimester and things are starting to get more real.

Baby Girl Dugan nice and cozy at 12 weeks.

We can’t wait to welcome this little lady into our family.  More than anything, I am so excited for Maisie to have a sister!  I can’t picture my life without my siblings and it makes me feel all the feelings to think about her developing the same relationship with this baby.

Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I’m looking forward to getting back to blogging here.  Updates to follow 🙂

Our turn

January 19, 2017



Daddy says in every group of 5 or 6 men, there’s always one.  One that will speak about women like they are nothing more than objects to be desired.  I used to pray that you would never have to hear this language or understand the meaning behind it, but you will.  I used to pray that you would never have vile things shouted at you from a passing trunk or construction site, but you will.  I used to pray that you would never be made to feel like you are worth less than someone else because you are a female, but you will.  I stopped saying these prayers because I cannot control the world outside of our home and I cannot protect you from everything.   

So instead I pray that you become a smart, strong and self-assured woman.  

God, please let her always know that her true worth will never be determined by the amount of boys chasing her (or not chasing her) in the 10th grade.  

God, please never let an unsolicited opinion about her body define how she feels about herself.  

God, please let her find confidence within herself before seeking it from someone else.  

God, please let the fierce, smart and stubborn toddler I see in front of me retain these characteristics as a girl, teen and woman.

I will pray for you, my strong girl.  I will pray and I will join millions of like-minded women and men across the country and march on Saturday.  I am not marching against any one small minded, small handed person.  

My Maisie girl, I am marching for you.



p.s….Aunt Laura started it!

Friday night freakout.

January 7, 2017


I want to keep her!

I want to hear her tiny voice singing songs in a language only known to her.

I want to sit her in my lap and smell her hair, damp and sweet from the bath.

I want to meet her impatient arms, always needing.

I want to put her in my pocket where the horns beeping and the whistles blowing cannot be heard.

 A secret I can carry.

This is love.

Love that knows my wants cannot be.

I cannot keep her.

She cannot stay.

Tomorrow, she will already be gone.  Different, somehow.

This is love and I want to keep her.  This is love and she cannot stay.

Tiny Details | Volume II (Pics Edition)

December 31, 2016

Just a few snapshots from a regular day.  Maisie, stay little!

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Tiny Details – Volume I

December 19, 2016


Maisie is 19 months old (!)

Haven’t had much time for updating lately.  Here are some tiny details for safe keeping:

• When asked “what’s your name?” she will point to herself and confidently say “You”

• She is way too busy to do much cuddling these days but every once and a while will run to me, bury her head in my shoulder and say “ohhh Mama.”  Three to five seconds later she will dash off to the next adventure.  I love you too, Maisie!

• She loves coloring and calls her crayons “cah cahs”

• She loves babies, kitty cats and doggies – especially her doggie!

• She is literally obsessed with her Papa (my Dad) and immediately ditches Joe and I when we bring her to my parents house which is finneeee by us 🙂

• She is learning how to put things (her coat and hat, toys etc.) away and is a really good helper

• She has basically been sick for 2 months straight.  Ear infections, eye infections, chronic congestion galore and my tough girl still goes a million miles an hour allllllll day long.

• She is very into things being cold and hot…repeatedly approaches the radiators in our house to declare “ooooooh is hot” and make the cutest little concerned face of all time.

• At least once every few weeks Joe and I have a conversation about whether or not her occasionally-fresh behavior is “normal toddler” or “crazy Maisie.”  Thanks for keeping us on our toes, Maisie Dugan!

• Her most favorite word in the universe is, but of course, “NO.”  We are really working on “No, thank you.”

Sweet, smart, stubborn, spunky, silly and soooo beautiful.

Maisie, Mommy loves you to the moon.

Pic(s) Post | Cousins in November 2016

November 22, 2016

0f5a23380f5a2362Maisie, Casey, Graeme, Claire and baby Eileen

My siblings and I threw together a pre-Thanksgiving brunch last weekend and it was soooooooooooo nice.  My littlest niece lives in California so this was the first time I (finally!) got to snuggle her and Maisie was equally obsessed with her baby cousin.  On my Dad’s side I have 11 first cousins and for a while when I was very young it felt like there was a new baby at every family gathering and these pictures remind me of that – especially because there will be one more on that couch in a few weeks!

Here are a few I snapped that day with my phone…

1 Mommy I found this, I’m going to give it to the baby.  2 This is EVERYTHING. 3 Aunt Laura and I fighting over this little lovie.
4Driving Miss Maisie.  She LOVED it.

A Statement On Sharenting from the Inventor of Sharenting

November 17, 2016


Posting these because I took A MILLION pictures of Maisie wearing my hat like it’s no big deal.  I mean, C’MON.

Sharenting (or oversharenting) is a term used to describe the overuse of social media by parents to share content based on their children. 

So the other day I was minding my own business, scrolling through Yahoo News when I saw an article titled “What is “Sharenting” and Should We Be Doing It?”  I clicked through and started reading and soon enough I felt my face turning red as I imagined one of my random Facebook friends (or my rotten siblings) seeing the same article and thinking “UGH…I hope she sees this.”  Even worse, I started worrying – am I putting Maisie at risk by posting pictures of her on the internet?

I thought long and hard about why it is that I feel inclined to post sometimes daily images of my toddler on Instagram/Facebook?  Why it is that I need to constantly take a million pictures or write a blog about our life?

I came up with some reasoning which I think is pretty basic.  I will order from from most —> least normal:

1 – Pride.  I love my daughter more than I can explain or comprehend.  I know my childless friends can’t understand this but just about everything she does makes me proud.  If that is wrong then I don’t want to be right.

2 – Far Away Relatives.  Maisie has a pretty legit extended family – but unfortunately none of them are close to us geographically.  Texting pictures and videos can feel tedious as opposed to broad sharing on social media.

3 –  Posterity.  The last 18 months have gone by so quickly that I can barely wrap my mind around it.  I have so few images of myself as a baby or toddler.  I think I have ONE picture of my Mother and I from my childhood.  I need to preserve memories for Maisie and for Joe and I.  Once upon a time I was a photographer before I was a Mother.  But why do I do it publicly?…

4 – Isolation and Loneliness.  Did you know that I sometimes go to work for 4 days, take care of Maisie alone for 3 days and then go back to work for another 4 days?  Did you know that our closest relatives live an hour away from us?  Did you know we go 6 months or more at a time without seeing our friends?  Did you know that we can’t afford to pay an occasional weekend babysitter in addition to Maisie’s daycare tuition?  I won’t go on and on but sometimes our life can feel really hard and lonely but I always know, even on the worst days, that we are extremely blessed.  So yes I’ll freely admit, posting a picture of Maisie on a Saturday or Sunday during what I call my “pretend single Mom” time makes me feel less lonely and more connected to the outside world.  Sorry random Facebook friends, but I’m not sorry.

5 – What if?  What if something happens to me?  What if I get hit by a bus?  How will Maisie ever know how much she meant to me?  How will she know me at all?  I pray that if something horrible happened she would find this blog one day or be able to scroll through the thousands of pictures and videos that I took.  Is that weird?  I guess.  I mean, it’s probably weird.  Whatever!  Hope for the best, plan for the worst right?

The article did remind me of something I’ve always tried and will definitely continue to be extremely conscious of – her safety.  I never name names of addresses, exact locations etc. – her daycare, our home etc.  Since about 6 months, I’ve never posted a picture of her without a shirt on.  I mean, is there a chance some lunatic could swipe her picture from the MILLIONS of pictures being shared by other parents and do something weird with it?  I guess there’s a chance anything could happen, maybe I’m being naive but I’m not worried.

So the safety stuff was cool but as for the rest I only have one thing to say…BYE FELICIA.  Sorry to disappoint anyone who was hoping for a “the first step is admitting you have a problem” type of post.

Our Family Pictures 2016.

November 8, 2016

We met up with my photogafriend Tricia again this year to get our pictures taken and unknowingly walked into a perfect storm of toddler terror.  Maisie had a few vaccinations the day before and then didn’t end up napping in the car on the way there like we were hoping she would yada yada yada things got ugly pretty quickly.

After we called it quits I literally didn’t think we got even one sane shot so I was thrilled when Tricia revealed a nice handful of photos from the first 9 minutes of shooting hahaha.

I hate being in pictures but it’s so important to me to do this once a year.  I hope I can keep the momentum going as Maisie gets older 🙂

Just for fun – our pictures from last year – SO LITTLE!

Tricia LaPonte Photography

Tricia LaPonte Photography

Tricia LaPonte Photography

I title this one: “The Beginning of the End” (alternate title “If looks could kill”).Tricia LaPonte Photography

Tricia LaPonte Photography

Tricia LaPonte PhotographyAnd that, my friends, is a wrap.

Tricia LaPonte Photography

Some recent Maisie Stuff

November 3, 2016

Maisie recently started at a new daycare (post about this coming soon. or maybe never lol) just in time for picture day.  I had no idea how this would go and when I got the proofs back I died.  Like, literally died.  Way to go Maisie!


Then a few days later was the Halloween parade!  Confession time…I took these pictures with a scarf and sunglasses covering my entire face so she wouldn’t see me on the first parade lap.  I didn’t want to break her stride!  Secondary confession, the cuteness of seeing her and her friends in their little costumes had me fighting tears.paradeSaving the best for last…I didn’t have super high hopes for trick or treating but Maisie totally got it and totally LOVED it!  Every time another door opened and someone gave her a shiny foil-wrapped piece of candy she just kept saying “woooooowwwwwwww!…wowwwwwwwwww!”

Yay Maisie Mouse!

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