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 🙂


January 25, 2016


My final verdict: 89% Dugan, 11% Dunbar.

I’ve always been so fascinated by genetics, especially when it comes to babies.  For example, 2 of my sister’s kids look a lot like my Mom’s side of the family, even though my sister looks 100% like my Dad.   I guess she is just carrying some recessive blonde-headed genes.  So random!

When I was pregnant I would ask Joe at least once a week “what do you think the baby will look like though!?” and he would always reply the same way, “I dunno, probably like both of us.”

The craziest thing is that I spent 9+ months obsessing and daydreaming about what Maisie would look like and as soon as they handed her to me, my first thought was “oh yeah, DUH, of course that’s what she looks like.”  It felt more like seeing someone you haven’t seen in years than a first-time meeting.  My second thought was “holy crap, she looks exactly like Joe.”  Even the nurses in the delivery room were commenting on how much she looked like her Daddy.

As she’s gotten older, I’ve started to see some very subtle shades of Dunbar in her face though.  Not even necessarily my features in particular.  Here’s a side by side of Maisie with one of my brothers and I as babies…something about the nose/mouth situation…


But most of the time, I just see a wholeeee lotta Joe Dugan in her face…


And to me, the most insane part of this is that if we have more kids, they could look completely different.  CRAZYTOWN, USA!

Who Would You Have in the Delivery Room?

January 19, 2016


Back when not even the Dads were in the delivery room (!?)

I was randomly thinking about the night Maisie was born recently and I started chuckling to myself because I sometimes forget that my Mom was there!

In the last few weeks of my pregnancy I knew that my Mom would definitely be at the hospital while I was giving birth.  Then a few days before my induction she said something along the lines of “Well I dunno…do you want me to stay in the room?…it’s up to you.”  And I was all…”Okay sure.”

Then I started thinking about it more and I amended my “Okay” to “You can stay but if for any reason I want you to leave – no hard feelings?”  Marmy was completely on board and away we went.

It’s really funny because leading up to giving birth for the first time I imagined that I might feel exposed or embarrassed.  And it kind of started that way.  I remember my Mom shyly slipping out of the room when the doctor came in to check my progress earlier in the day….cut to her yelling “HAIR!” while the baby was crowning.  And trust me, in that moment I wouldn’t have cared if my Dad and three brothers walked through the door.  You are just so focused on the pain and getting the baby the hell out of your body, nothing else even matters.

Although I never really thought much about who I wanted or didn’t want in the delivery room – it just kind of happened that my Mom was there – I think it was really special for her to see one of her Grandchildren being born, so I have no regrets.

Who did you have in the room with you?  Is this a weird topic?

Maisie’s Birth Story | 39 Week Induction

September 29, 2015

1Our last picture as non-parents.  I look fully capable of operating heavy machinery!

I’m aware that this is a bit out of order.  The truth is I have had this post written for over 3 months and have been too nervous and shy to share it.  After all, is there ever a time a woman is more vulnerable/exposed than she is while giving birth?  I highhhlyyyyy doubt it.  Anyway – before I change my mind – here it is.

It was decided by my ObGyn that I would be induced at 39 weeks. The major risk factors of Gestational Diabetes are 10lb+ babies (whose shoulders can be broken/dislocated during delivery) and premature degradation of the placenta – which can lead to the “s” word.  If you don’t know what the “s” word is, you’ve never been pregnant.  Once a doctor even says this word out loud to you, you just kind of agree to whatever they recommend…but I was still nervous about forcing the baby to come out before she was really ready.

To make myself feel better, I spent the days before my induction googling for hours and reading as many positive induction stories as I could get my hands on.  I am trying to pay it forward now by sharing my experience.  We checked into the hospital at 7 p.m. on a Monday night and Maisie was born almost exactly 24 hours later.  Overall my experience was positive – although I have never gone into labor naturally so I have nothing to compare it to.

I am writing this the only way I know how – the way I actually remember it – fragmented and drug-laced.

Joe and I putter around the house getting a few final things ready and occasionally saying to each other “This is so weird.”  Because it is.  The weirdest. day. ever.  My Mom comes over.  I am very nervous.  I eat pizza for the first time in 4 months.  I get a massive nosebleed.  I google “nosebleeds 3rd trimester.”  I diagnose myself with preeclampsia.  I shower.  Suddenly it’s time to leave.

We get to the hospital and check in.  I act like a 4 year old child while they try to put in the I.V.  I don’t have preeclampsia.  The doctor inserts Cervadil and tells me to try and get some sleep.

Around 3 a.m. I wake up to very painful back labor.  The mean nurse says I’m not having real contractions.  Things will get much worse she says.  I do not handle this news well.  The mean nurse calls the doctor.  He approves a Demerol drip.  Drugs are amazing.  I fall back asleep.

I wake up early the next morning.  I want more Demerol.  The mean nurse says no.  My doctor comes back.  He checks me and says I am 4 cm dilated (not real contractions my ass!).  Do I want an epidural before we start Pitocin?  Um, YES.  Joe leaves.  Epidural goes in.  Epidural is AMAZING.  The pain is gone.  They start the Pitocin drip and I fall back asleep.  Joe comes back.  I start crushing ice chips.  The mean nurse says I’m eating too many ice chips.  My Mom comes.  The three of us sit and wait.  They watch the monitor.  I make Joe read all the texts he is receiving from friends and family members out loud.  They watch the monitor more.  They ask me with a weird look on their faces if I can feel anything.  I say no.  The Doctor is back.  8 cm now.  He tells me they will turn down the epidural because it’s almost time to push.  I am excited.  The mean nurse says that since this is my first baby I could be pushing for hours.  As soon as she leaves the room I cry and demand a new nurse.  I am Madonna.

I am starting to feel a lot of pressure.  The mean nurse tells me to start pushing.  I push.  Nothing.  Is.  Happening.  The nurse, Joe and my Mom are cheering me on but they are just patronizing me because nothing. is. happening.  This pattern of pushing and cheering goes on for what seems like forever.  Suddenly Joe’s voice changes.  Something IS happening.  They hold up a mirror so I can see.  Seeing makes me scared.  The nurses keep talking about the baby’s hair.  The doctor is back.  More people are in the room now.  The pain is all-consuming.  I push more.  I throw up.  I push more.  I give up.  I tell Joe I want to go home.  I cry.  Creedance Clearwater Revival is playing in the background.  The doctor asks if I want a C-Section.  I say yes.  He is kidding.  I push and I hear it in Joe’s voice again…her head is out.  Stop pushing they say.  I’m crying too hard to even care.

All of a sudden there is something warm and heavy on my stomach.  Joe is crying.  There is a bright light in my face.  I can’t really see.  I cry with relief because the pain is gone.  They take the baby away and ask me what her name is.  I am crying too hard to talk. “Maisie Janice” says Joe.  My Mom grabs my face and kisses me.  I can hear the baby crying.  I ask over and over and over again if she is okay.  I tell Joe to go make sure she is okay.  He leaves and comes back with a pink piece of paper in his hands.  He shows it to me.  His hands are shaking the paper.  It has her footprints on it. They are the tiniest footprints I’ve ever seen. They bring the baby back over and she is wrapped up like a little burrito.  Her eyes are wide open and she is looking right at me.  She looks so familiar.  I think “there she is…that’s her….of COURSE that’s her.  Maisie.”

2Meeting my daughter.  

What’s in a name?

September 8, 2015


When I found out I was pregnant I immediately started mentally compiling my favorite baby names in my head.  I had a solid top 5 for both boys and girls…although I’ll admit I was initially much more focused on boy names.  I went along my merry list-making way operating under the blind assumption that Joe would love any name that I loved.  WRONG.  When I excitedly shared my strongest contenders with him, I distinctly remember that by the end of my boy list he was literally bursting out in laughter every time I said a new name and then proceeded to watch this video and laugh even harder.  Back to the drawing board I went.  Throughout my first trimester we would casually flip through online lists and baby-naming websites and our conversations usually went something like this….

Me:  Oooh!  What about Brady!?

Joe:  No.

Me:  :dramatic audible sigh:

Joe:  I got it. Maximus.  :starts playing scene from Gladiator on iPad:

Me: :slams laptop closed:

I sometimes think that if the baby had been a boy, we would still be arguing over what his name should be.  We tentatively both liked “Jameson” for a while but it never felt quite right.

One day I was reading an article about the filming of the HBO show Game of Thrones when I saw the name of British actress Maisie Williams.  I immediately said…”what about Maisie!?”  I almost couldn’t believe my ears when Joe said “…that’s cute….I like it.”  From that point on it just kind of stuck.  When I called Joe at work a few weeks later after an unexpected sonogram to tell him the baby was a girl he said, “Maisie?” to which I tearfully replied, “Maisie.”

Overall, choosing a name for another human being felt like a very heavy responsibility to me.  You really only get one shot at it.  Late in my pregnancy I would lay awake while my anxiety swirled…”is the name Maisie too nicknamey?  too informal?  what if she wants to be a politician or something? WHAT IF SHE IS BORN AND DOESN’T LOOK LIKE A MAISIE!?”  Of course now that she is here I literally cannot picture her name being anything else.

I know of people who have had their future children’s names picked out since high school.  Do you? Was it hard finding names that both you and your partner liked?  I’d love to know!

And, just for fun, I found my original list buried in my emails:

My Initial Boy Names

1 – Myles…one day I will buy a goldfish and name him Myles.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this name.

2 – Oliver…turns out this is more popular than I realized.

3 – Finn

4 – Jasper

5 – Julian

My Initial Girl Names

1- Janice (after my Marmy)…with the nickname “Jane” or “Janie” – This ended up being her middle name 🙂

2- Wynter…with the nickname “Winnie.”  I still love this one.

3- Keira

4- Shayla…love the nickname “Shay” for a girl

5- Kina

Quietly Wishing for One Sex and Getting the Other | The Color Pink

August 26, 2015


Am I allowed to say this out loud?

When I found out about my pregnancy, Joe and I of course hoped the baby would be healthy (I hate that you even need to say that…isn’t it just implied!?) but we were both quietly wishing for a boy.

I just found the idea of having a girl so intimidating.  I have always been such a tomboy.  And I don’t mean tomboy in the way some girls pretend to like sports and beer so the guy they have a crush on will think they are one of those “cool girls.”  I mean like, legit boy.  Straight up Marla Hooch.  I exclusively wore boys clothing from ages 9-13.  I once played on an all-boys ice hockey team.  I used to steal shirts out of my Dad’s closet.  I WORE 2 LAYERED SPORTS BRAS TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY FOR THE ENTIRE 8TH GRADE.  Summer of 1998?  Some jackass called me a “lesbo” at a block party.  (In his defense, I totally looked like a lesbo).

Anyway.  I digress.

I was scared when I found out the baby was a girl.  How could I possibly raise this unfortunate child to be a strong, confident and self-assured woman?  And what do I do when she asks me how to get the frizz out of her hair?  What if she wants to get manicures or something?  As the pink and frilly gifts piled up, my anxiety piled higher.  All I could think was, how can I possibly be good at being “a girl’s” Mother?

But then Maisie was born.  And she wasn’t just “a girl”…she was my daughter.

Joe and I laugh now when we think back to the days when we were hoping the baby was a boy.  We are so wrapped up in Maisie that we can’t even imagine what having a boy would be like.  And don’t even get me started on the Daddy/Daughter love-fest around here.  Too many feels.

Maybe Maisie will want to dance around in a bedazzled tutu all day.  Maybe she will want to play third base for the varsity softball team.  Maybe she will want to do both.  Either way, I know now that being her Mother is so much more than being able to answer questions about makeup or fashion.  Besides, she has cousin Becky for that 🙂  Being her Mother means wiping her tears when she is sad and spoiling her with snuggles when she is sick.  It means leading by example.  It means showing her how to work hard, how to be independent, how to be a good friend, how she should allow herself to be treated by others, how it’s okay to be silly sometimes…I could go on forever.

I’ll probably always doubt whether or not I’m good at being “a girl’s” Mother, but I know I’m good at being Maisie’s Mommy.


Maisie Jan – I don’t know how the internet works 10+ years in the future, but if you are reading this – I LOVE YOU to the moon and back.  My girl.


This Season, on The Surreal World

March 23, 2015



So at this point I’ve been pregnant forever.  There is a crapload of baby stuff in our house.  Cribs, the tiniest clothes you’ve ever seen in your life, strollers, car seats…the whole nine.

I feel the baby kicking all throughout the day (and night).  I go to the ObGyn every week and get a sonogram.  I see my daughter moving around on the screen.  The sonographer laughs at how much hair she has.

Despite all of this, I still cannot connect to the fact that in a month and a half we will have a baby.  Like she will look like us and live with us and depend on us for everything.  And we will love her more than either of us can even comprehend right now.  And my heart will explode when I see Joe holding her for the first time (FUN FACT: he’s never held a baby. In. His. Life.).  And I will spend the rest of my life worrying about her.

It all feels eerily similar to the way I get really overwhelmed and confused when I think about how massive the universe is.  It just scares me so I actively choose *not* to think about it.

I guess this post really has no point….other than I’m barreling towards an intense life-altering shift and it doesn’t feel real.  At all.  Seemed worth mentioning?

Anyway, Happy Monday!

Weighing in on Gestational Diabeetus.

March 11, 2015

***Disclaimer*** This blog in every way reflects my personal beliefs on being pregnant.  Cuz I’m keeping it real.


Brussels and Broccoli were fun at first.

Current Gripe: I am supposed to give birth in like 8 weeks and I am being systematically starved to death by a team of doctors.  At my appointment yesterday I got on the scale and (since last week) I have lost another 2 lbs…in addition to the 7 already gone since this Gestational Diabetes regimen began.  I raised alarm with the doctor who swiftly reacted like I had just hit a milestone at fat camp and assured me that babies need very little to thrive inside the womb.

Silver lining?  I am quickly on my way to becoming the first woman in recorded history to *lose* weight during a pregnancy.  I smell a TLC reality show contract.


A new blog…

March 10, 2015

I made a personal blog!  It was kind of an impulsive decision. I didn’t really think about why I was doing it.  I just found myself registering a domain name and fidgeting with fonts before I gave it much thought.  But I guess if I had to nail it down, there are a few reasons I’m here:

1 – On my business blog, I used to share frequent personal anecdotes and updates.  The last year of my life has been so intense (job changes, house purchases, pregnancy perils etc.) that I stopped updating that one.  And I’m finding myself missing it.

2 – Posterity – Standing on the brink of parenthood, having a place to neatly document the goings-on seems like the logical thing to do.

3 – I’ve always found it cathartic to expel my internal thoughts outward.  I had a livejournal (hah!) in college and a photography blog later on.  Since becoming pregnant, my inner thoughts have been on the upswing but I haven’t had a place to purge them.





8.5 weeks to go! And dirty clothes on the floor…and filthy mirror 🙂



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