Monthly Maisie

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.

Summer Update – Maisie @ 15 Months

August 22, 2016


The two images above both feature Maisie strapped into a high chair or carseat – and that’s not a coincidence.  It’s almost impossible to get a picture in focus of her with my iPhone now because Maisie at 15 months old is a terminator monster of energy.  From the second her tootsie toes hit the ground in the morning she does.not.stop.

I haven’t done an update like this since she turned 11 months old so I figured a mini-summary was in order.  She is getting so big so fast – I need to pause for a moment and leave a few details here for safe keeping…


• Trying to pick up the heaviest thing she can find and carry it across the room.

• Trying to put a headband on her baby dolly’s head (!?) and then covering her with a blankie and kissing her night night.  She will happily repeat this process over and over and over again.

• Frozen on DVD.  Frozen soundtrack in the car.  Just, Frozen.

• Generally running around the house like a lunatic and climbing on her toys, climbing on her chair, climbing on the couch.

• Having her teeny tiny toenails painted by Mommy!  She recently became super interested as I was painting my own toes and to my amazement she sat perfectly still and stared in awe while I did hers.

• Snuggling up with her sippy cup in Mommy and Daddy’s bed in the mornings.

• Eating.  She’s been SUCH a good eater lately.  Way to go, Maisie!


• Doing anything other than exactly what she would like to be doing (i.e….putting her shoes on, getting strapped into her carseat).  She expresses this dislike in a not-so-nice way (which is my very nice way of saying “she will literally punch us in the face”) and we are working on that.

New Skillz:  New words are coming almost daily and I can hardly wait to hear more about what is going on behind those big blue eyes.


Monthly Tidbit: I’m finally starting to really feel the payoff from all of those longggggg days with newborn and baby Maisie.  We have such crazy, silly fun now.  Dance parties, making up games, going on adventures all over the place.  Being Maisie’s Mom at 15 months is the best kind of exhausting there ever was.

Monthly Maisie | One Year

May 5, 2016


I cannot believe it.  You’re 1!  How did we get here!?  When I look back on your first year it all seems like a blur.  

Remember that maddy baddy saddy afternoon out on the deck?  I know you don’t but I definitely do.  You were 3 weeks old and Daddy had just gone back to work.  You wouldn’t stop crying and I didn’t know why so I took you in the backyard in a panic.  The warm June air snapped you out of it and I said…”I don’t know how to be a Mommy yet and you don’t know how to be a baby yet – but we gotta stick together, okay?”  And we did.  Look as us now!  We made it!

Maisie, do you know how amazing you are?  Daddy and I pretend to be modest when we receive compliments about you but the truth is we sometimes lay in bed at night looking at your pictures and whispering to each other about how cool you are.  How beautiful you are.  How smart you are.  How funny you are.   

You just make us so proud.  And happy!  You make us laugh.  Like, really laugh.  You challenge us.  You force us to be better.  Better parents, better partners, better people.  And for that I am so thankful.   

Daddy will tell you that I can sometimes be too sentimental, but I just can’t help it.  On your 1st birthday I keep thinking about that day a few weeks after I found out I was pregnant.  Mommy was bleeding and had to go to the doctor to find out if you were still growing.  When the ultrasound lady put the wand on my belly she zoomed in on your heartbeat and I burst into tears.  I was so relieved that you were safe.  You were wiggling all around on the screen and Daddy and I couldn’t stop laughing.  I will never forget that moment because it was the first time I knew that I loved you.  It can be so scary to love someone as much as I love you.  You will understand someday when you are a Mommy.  When your top teefers were coming in and really hurting you I would’ve given anything to feel the pain instead.  I just want to protect you from everything, even when I know I can’t.

I could go on forever and ever but I don’t want to break the internet or embarrass you any more than I already have so I’ll wrap it up.  I hope the next year and beyond brings a million more milestones, belly laughs and silly games.  But most of all, I hope you always know how much you are loved.  I have been many things in my life.  A daughter.  A sister.  A student.  A friend.  A teammate.  A business owner.  An employee.  A wife.  Nothing has given me more sense of purpose or made me feel more fulfilled than being your Mommy.  

This day 1 year ago – your birth day – was the best day of my life.

What do I say every night when I tuck you in?…”I love you to the moon and back, my beautiful girl.  Thank you for making me a Mommy.”




This time last year…

May 2, 2016


Sigh.  My bikini modeling career was over before it even began.

Maisie’s birthday week is upon us.  Joe keeps asking me “what were we doing this time last year?”…

This time last year I was almost 39 weeks pregnant.  I was crawling towards the finish.  I was folding and refolding tiny onesies.  I was opening the cap of the baby laundry detergent and sneaking a whiff.  I was googling stories of labor induction, watching videos of women giving birth and trying to summon up the courage.  I was spending all of my waking hours daydreaming about the little girl kicking me from the inside.  I was listening to this song at least 5 times a day.  I was happy.  I was nervous.  I loved her already.

Or at least I thought I did.

Methinks there is no way for the human mind to comprehend how much love you will feel for your child until you are holding your child in your arms.  Until you are marveling at their tiny features.  Until it dawns on you that the responsibility of keeping this beautiful and innocent creature alive is resting firmly and indefinitely on your shoulders.

New parenthood has been the most thrilling, terrifying and rewarding experience of my life.  When Maisie turns 1 on Thursday, I guess I should stop calling myself a “new Mom.”  I guess I’m graduating.  I guess my baby will be a toddler.  I guess we survived.  I guess I can’t really remember what life was like before she was here.  I guess I don’t want to.

I don’t know what the future holds for this blog.  Tidbits of life with a toddler, I suppose.  I’m excited to see what the next few months have in store for our little family.  But a nostalgic and weepy part of me would give anything for 15 minutes of snuggling with this girl.  And that part of me is asking – “Did I even enjoy it?”  “Did I smell her head enough?”  “Did I really appreciate how tiny and sweet she was?”

It was all such a chaotic blur.

To answer your question, Joe Dugan, this time last year I was prepared.  But I wasn’t ready.  Not by a mile.

Maisie @ 11 Months

April 4, 2016

This is it!  The last Monthly Maisie installment before I have a ridiculous meltdown on this blog next month.


Size:  18 month clothing.  Size 5 Diapers.

Likes:  Loves: Reading books with Mommy or Daddy.  She will crawl over to the stack of books on our living room floor, tear it apart until she finds her favorite (Where is Baby’s Birthday Cake?), hand it to me and crawl into my lap.  I die.

Dislikes:  Having her never-ending boogie nose wiped.


New Skillz:  Comfortably cruising and first words!  She will point and laugh at the dog (Gillies) and say “Guhgah.”  She can also say Mama, Dada, duck and quack.  Way to go, Maisie!

Monthly Tidbit: Maisie has suddenly taken a strong liking to sharing.  She will be playing with a toy and will then hold it up to my face so I can give the toy kisses.  It’s just about the cutest thing ever.  She really likes sharing her food with us too.  We are still working on her picking something up and feeding it to herself.

Also, she is wayyyyyy attached to Mommy these days.  It is so very sweet but it can also make things more difficult.  Our usual morning routine on Mon-Thurs is that I shower and finish getting dressed just as Joe is bringing Maisie downstairs.  I only have about 3-5 minutes of cuddling and smooches before I have to run out the door and she will now occasionally cry when I try to give her back to Daddy.  Joe is really good at diffusing and will grab a toy or something to distract her, but it’s really hard for me to leave when she’s crying for me.  Working Mom dramz!

Maisie @ 10 Months

March 7, 2016


Size:  12 month clothing.  18 months for footie pajamas.

Likes:  Playing 27 different modified versions of Peek A Boo.  Current favorite is sitting in my lap, throwing a toy on the floor and then squealing with delight when the toy reappears from underneath my legs.


Dislikes:  Being taken out of the bathtub.  Woah nelly.

New Skillz:  Pulling up to a standing position and finally got her to eat some table food without the gagging/vomiting that was giving me heart palpitations for the last few weeks.


Monthly Tidbit: This month Maisie graduated to a big girl carseat, a big girl stroller and is just, in general, looking like such a big girl.  She’s like a little person now, which is equal parts exciting and heartbreaking.  As I’ve mentioned on this blog 328 times already, it’s such a bittersweet thing to see her getting older.

Our doctor’s office gave us a coupon for a free case of formula and when it arrived last week, it was the ready-made liquid formula (as opposed to the powder), which we haven’t used since she was a week or two old.  Thinking nothing of it, I opened one up and poured a bottle before bedtime and I was physically overcome by the strongest memory association.  I had completely forgotten that the liquid formula has a very distinct smell to it.  I guess it kind of smells like powdered milk or whatever but to me it smelled like a snuggly newborn curled into my shoulder.  It smelled like 3 a.m..  It smelled like spring time.  It smelled like terrifying and overwhelming love feelings.

I’m not embarrassed to admit that after I put her down that night I grabbed the empty bottle off the counter, breathed it in like a huffer with some paint thinner under an overpass and let the nostalgia tears happen.

My baby!

Maisie @ 9 Months

February 8, 2016

A little late with this one because ummmmmm didn’t I just do this like 4 days ago?  Maisie!  Stop growing up!


Size:  12 month clothing, size 4 diapers.  At her 9 month well visit she was in the 98th% for height, 95th% for head and 90th% for weight.  My big girl!

Likes:  Going to the Baby Gym with Mommy on the weekends, playing with Poland Spring water bottles and ELMO (still).

Dislikes:  Having her diaper and/or clothing changed.  It is a full-on wrestling match these days.  I usually teeter back and forth between trying to distract her with a toy to keep her happy and just doing it as quickly as possible so she’ll stop screaming.

New Skillz:  Crawling!  Waving and high-fiving (my favorite thing ever).


Maisie and her posse

Monthly Tidbits:  Maisie is a popular girl at school!  Joe has been telling me these tales of glory about daycare drop off for months about how all the other kids will see him walk in with her, stop whatever they are doing and run over yelling “Maisie! Maisie! Maisie!”  I’ll admit, I initially thought he might be exaggerating a bit, until the photo evidence started pouring in.  So hilarious.


I’ll love you forever.  I’ll like you for always.  As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.

Also, have I mentioned how much I love this child?  She is just such a cool, funny and happy baby.  A few nights ago we were snuggling up before her bedtime and she leaned her forehead right onto mine, so I gave her an eskimo kiss.  She leaned back, smiled wildly at me and then leaned in again for another one.  After the third or fourth repeat I just had to grab a few blurry selfies.  These are the things I never want to forget.  This is why I’m writing this blog.  My God, she just melts me.

Maisie, it’s a privilege to be your Mama.

Maisie @ 8 Months

January 5, 2016

SOMEBODY MAKE IT STOP!  What happened to my peanut!?   Here’s to hoping the dreary winter months will make time slow down a bit…


Size:  9 month clothing still fits best (12 months if it’s footy pajamas).  Size 4 diapers.


Likes:  This guy.

New Skillz:  Vocalizing consonant sounds (da-da-da and ba-ba-ba).  Still not crawling though and honestly I don’t see it happening any time soon.  Maisie will push up onto her hands and knees and then kind of slide backwards and that’s about it.  I started panicking a bit about this non-crawling situation because all the other babies we know her age are crawling all over the place.  Right as I was in the middle of a frenzied googling session I thought about the amount of times, in my life, someone has asked me at what age I started crawling.  Zero.  Zero times.  My official stance is that my stubborn girl currently rolls to get where she needs to go and will crawl when she’s good and ready :).  Separate post on the subtle underlying tone of competitiveness among new Moms re: milestones someday…aka never.  I mean, I’m guilty of it too.  I’m posting a blog with a category called “New Skillz?” am I not?  GEE WIZ.

Maisie @ 7 Months

December 4, 2015


7 Months!  Time marches on…


Size: At her appointment this week Maisie weighed in at 17 lbs and is almost 30″ inches long…which, apparently, is very long!  She is wearing 9-12 month clothes and size 3 (almost ready for the 4’s!) diapers.

maisie standing

Likes: Jumping in her bouncer, rolling around on the floor with her toys and being super smiley/friendly to just about anyone she meets.  And, but of course, STANDING.  Sometimes I think that in 15 years the thing I’ll remember most about Maisie as a baby is her crazy hair and the fact that from the age of 11 weeks on, all she wanted to do was stand.  Wild woman!


Monthly Tidbit:  I alluded to a health scare with Maisie a few weeks ago but didn’t really go into any detail.  I was too terrified to even write about it.

The long-story short is that she had several neurological-looking “episodes” which appeared (to me) to be involuntary movements or seizures.  I was able to capture a few of them on video.  In the span of 10 days we saw 2 different pediatric neurologists who both advised immediate EEG tests to rule out a serious form of infantile epilepsy.  Thank God her results were perfect and she does not have epilepsy.  The second doctor we saw suspected the episodes were actually something called Sandifer’s Syndrome.  Basically, a baby that has reflux and spits up a lot (as Maisie always has) will sometimes contort their bodies and writhe around as a defense mechanism against the acid in their spit up.  This writing and contorting can often appear to be neurological when, in fact, it isn’t.  You treat Sandifer’s by treating the reflux.  Maisie is on medication now to reduce her spit ups which seems to be working well so far.

The entire ordeal was horrible.  My poor bunny hated those EEG tests and it was equally hard on Joe and I.  When you have a baby, you daydream about who they might become and what their life will be like.  When you suddenly have to confront the fact their your child’s future may look a lot different and be much more challenging than expected, it is incredibly jarring.

The silver lining is that this month I feel luckier than ever to have a happy, healthy and beautiful little girl in my arms.  I’m also so, so thankful for my husband.  When shit hits the fan, we tend to react completely differently.  Inevitably one of us always freaks out while the other stays completely calm.  In this situation, I was definitely doing 100% of the freaking out and he was there to reassure me that everything would be fine, regardless of the outcome of the tests.  That Joe Dugan, the perpetual ying to my yang.

Feeling all the feelings.

November 4, 2015

A few years ago I saw a bunch of Moms posting emotional status updates about their littles starting Kindergarten in my Facebook feed.  I remember so distinctly thinking that these women were being overly emotional and ridiculous.  “I’ll never be like that when I’m a Mom.”


Guess what?  You guys.  I am feeling so schmoopy this week and I can’t reign it in.  I am having an impossible time believing Maisie is already 6 months old!

It literally feels like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital.  With the holidays and multiple family weddings coming up in the next few months, I just know I’m going to blink and our sweet girl will be 1.

Anyway, I decided to fully indulge and leannnnn right into the feelings the only way I know how.  A video montage (set to make-me-cry-everytime music) of the last 6 months:

Maisie J, you are more than I could have ever imagined.  I love you to the moon and back, my beautiful girl!

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