Deep Thoughts With Cat Dugan

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.

Mothers and Daughters, Daughters and Mothers

November 4, 2015


When I was driving home from work a few days ago, a memory from my childhood crept up on me out of nowhere.  Something I hadn’t thought about in years.

As a young girl, there was a little old lady living next door to us named Mrs. Small.  I don’t think she had any family nearby and she lived alone.  Every year, on Mrs. Small’s birthday, my Mom would find time between wrangling 5 kids to bake her a cake and buy her a card.  Then she would force us to go over and sing Happy Birthday.

Can you even deal?

I bring this up with a certain level of guilt because when I found out I was having a girl I’ll admit I immediately thought of my own upbringing and began compiling a laundry list in my head of things I planned to do differently with my own daughter.  Particularly in those turbulent formative years.  Without opening up a can of worms I’ll simply explain that I can sometimes be hard on my Mom.  We are close and speak almost daily but have always had what I would call a non-traditional Mother/Daughter relationship.

Now that Maisie is here, I can only imagine (although I try not to even think about it…the terror!) that trying to parent a painfully insecure teenage girl is probably not unlike handling a live grenade.  My Mom did the best she could, I know.

As far as my takeaway from my own childhood goes, the rediscovered memory of singing Happy Birthday to Mrs. Small will now live forever at the top of the list of things I hope I can even come close to replicating for my own child(ren) someday.  What an amazing lesson in compassion and empathy.  Love you Marmy!


Sigh.  I think, after 3,000 rewrites of this post and some deep thinking, the relationship between a Mother and her Daughter might be the most complicated of all.  Round and round it goes!

How many kids will you have?

October 27, 2015


My siblings and I circa 1992.  

Before we got married, I loved talking to Joe about how many children we might have someday.  I grew up in a big family and my siblings are such important fixtures in my life, so I always thought I wanted at least 3 or 4 kids.  Joe (who is an only child) would inevitably back out of the room or change the subject when I threw those numbers around.  Wise beyond his years, that Joe Dugan.

However, in the most unsurprising plot twist of all time, my feelings have now completely changed.  I think I made it about 8 weeks into my pregnancy with Maisie before I boldly declared “I will NEVER do this again” from the bathroom after getting sick for the 1,000,000th time that day.  If the agony of all-day morning sickness wasn’t enough to convince me, the unexpected challenges and extreme lifestyle adjustments we’ve faced over the last 6 months certainly have…there is absolutely no way we are having 4 children.  In fact, I literally have no idea how my parents did it.  I’ve tried probing them for answers and have gotten little in return, except that they never formally decided to have 5 children.  I guess they just kind of kept having babies without ever talking about an end-game? (!)

I’ve noticed that a funny thing happens once you cross the threshold from 0 kids to 1 though.  You are already passed the point of no return – up to your ears in diapers, laundry, sleepless nights and the stress of it all.  It’s like…we’re already doing this…1 baby, 2 babies..what difference does it make?

Most days I think we may have just 1 more (God willing).  I’m finding myself already feeling nostalgic for the early days home with a newborn.  And, of course, thinking about Maisie as a big sister makes my heart melt into a puddle of feels.

I’d love to hear, how many kids do you think you will have?  Did you strategize how to space them?  Did you change your mind after you had your first?

Hey Facebook, we need to talk…

October 19, 2015



I registered my Facebook profile over 10 years ago at the ripe old age of 19.  At the time, it was exclusively for college students.  Needless to say, I was instantly addicted.  I loved staying in touch with friends at other schools, stalking my ex-boyfriends at will and procrastinating doing schoolwork for hours on end.

Facebook has seen me through graduations, breakups, makeups, moves, getting engaged, getting married, finding out I was pregnant and Maisie being born.  It has been nice to share our life in real-time with far away family (and the other 378 people I ended up being “friends” with…but that’s neither here nor there).

However, there have been too many instances of Facebook causing more stress than good in my life lately.  I’ve caught myself zombie scrolling through my newsfeed instead of soaking in my baby girl, getting honked at because I’m “liking” a picture (that I don’t even really like) instead of driving after the light turns green and, worst of all, Facebook has created issues with family members on more than one occasion.

So today I am taking the first step towards breaking an addiction.  I am admitting I have a problem.

My name is Catherine and I am 100% addicted to Facebook.  I’m addicted to being on Facebook instead of spending time with my baby and husband.  I’m addicted to feeling jealous of others and comparing my life to theirs and I’m addicted to trying to project a perfect and false image of my own life.  

That’s the weirdest part about Facebook now, no?  It’s not even Facebook anymore, it’s KeepingUpWithTheJones’sBook.  And I’m so guilty of it.

Here’s an example from yesterday:

What my Facebook friends see:  An adorable photo of Maisie “helping” me make cookies.  How cozy!  Life sure is swell when you’re me.

What is actually happening:  I’m trying to survive a 12 hour day alone with a cranky and teething 5 month old.  I also have an endless to-do list (none of which is getting done because of said teething 5 month old), work in the morning and I’m getting a cold.  The house is freezing so I turn on the oven and look for anything to make.  Instant cookies from last Christmas that are about to expire?  Sure!


Here we are.  I have deactivated my Facebook account indefinitely.  I deleted the app off my phone.  My immediate emotions were relief and freedom.  Yay!  That lasted about 5 minutes before the withdrawal started.  Stay tuned for updates on this detox mission.

A Healthy Dose of Perspective. Thanks Universe!

September 28, 2015

eclipse2I don’t really have the right lens to photograph this sort of thing – I don’t even own a tripod – but I made do and totally geeked out over the eclipse tonight.

The last few weeks have been over the top stressful.  I sometimes think back to my life before Maisie was born and it’s hard not to laugh at the fact that I ever I truly believed I was exhausted or stressed out.  It’s all relative I guess.  If Joe and I decide to have more children I will probably look back at this time with “only 1 baby” and think the same thing.  ANYWAY, seeing this eclipse after an awesome weekend sure did put all my worries and anxieties into perspective.

I love my little life…however little it may be 🙂



Coming up for air.

August 5, 2015


Remember when I thought I would have time and energy to update a cutesy little personal lifestyle blog while taking care of a baby AND working full time AND running a business?

That was funny.

But here’s the thing – I still have the desire to do it.  So here I am!

Maisie Janice Dugan arrived on the scene in early May and I am just now coming up for air.  Like, literally.  Two nights ago Joe and I sat on our deck after the baby went down (we have a baby monitor…calm yourself) sipping beers.  It was a perfect summer night, and it was the first time I felt like things were finally starting to settle down to a calm and manageable pace.

What have I learned in the last 3 months?

• It’s is absolutely true what they say – you don’t (and can’t) really understand how much you will love the baby until the baby is here.

• I fell in love with my husband all over again when I saw him become a Father.

• Being a parent is infinitely harder and more stressful than I imagined.  But so rewarding at the same time.

• The 9 month nightmare of my pregnancy was worth it.  A million times over.  If I had known then what I know now, maybe I wouldn’t have minded falling asleep with my head in a plastic puke bag every night for 5 weeks.  Scratch that, I probably still would have minded.

In the meantime, I am starting to catch some (well deserved) side-eye for the amount of Instagram and Facebook updates I’ve been inflicting, so methinks this will be my new way to get the Maisie sharing out of my system…I hope to update at least once a week.  Follow along with me, if you’d like!

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!

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