Posts from August 2015

Manic Monday | 8/31/15

August 31, 2015


When you have a baby girl, everyone is REALLY excited to buy cute little baby girl clothes.  The amount of generosity we received from friends and family makes me blush.  Anyways, as a result of said generosity (combined with bags and bags of hand-me-downs from cousin Claire), I have yet to purchase even one article of clothing for my own daughter.  Even though Maisie has a massive pile of size 6 month clothes waiting for her to grow into, I decided to take a peek on the Baby Gap website with the hope of selecting a special outfit or two for her to wear this fall.  Big mistake.  My heart started pounding and before I knew it I had almost $400 worth of clothes in my shopping cart.  I had to slowly back away.  The Gap really does it right.  The pinks are all super soft and make me swoon when paired with gray or navy.  Hopefully I can try again and reign it in a little bit next time.  Baby girl Moms – how do you deal!?


3039494-poster-p-2-weird-name-stellar-production-why-peaky-blinders-is-the-years-most-immersive-crime-seriLatest obsession:  Peaky Blinders.  It’s a Netflix original series about a gang in post-WWI Birmingham, England. Despite my begging and pleading Joe has yet to “catch up” so he can watch along with me.  My coveted binge-watching time is limited to the rare weeknights when he works late.  Is there anything better than being really into a book or show and finally finding the time to lay down and indulge?  Methinks not.



Joe’s cousin Rebecca recently got her drivers license and drove allllllllll the wayyyyyyy out yesterday and spent the day with us.  It was heavenly to a) have company and b) have a helper.  Maisie the nudie bird peed everywhere right as I was about to put her in the bath and before I could even ask Beck was grabbing the paper towels and following the trail of pee pee.  What a trooper!  She also helps me stay up on what the cool kids are saying these days.  For example: I know now what “on fleek” means.  I’m hip.  I’m with it.


And finally…let’s face it…this was inevitable.  Since tomorrow is September I am officially obligated to tell you how excited I am to dust off the Ugg Boots, grab a Pumpkin Spice something and go completely white-girl over the fact that it’s almost Fall.  Every year (for the last 5 or 6 years) Joe and I have visited a big pumpkin patch here on the North Fork.  I remember daydreaming during the last few trips about going with our yet-to-be-conceived-or-born children someday.  And here we are!  Can’t wait to cover Maisie in multiple layers of cableknit and plop her in the middle of some pumpkins for a photo op 🙂

The Days are Long, The Years are Short

August 29, 2015

0F5A2534It was really important to me to limit Maisie’s time spent in daycare as much as possible for the first month or two.  She is still very little and I wanted to ease her into it however we could.  While I don’t regret this plan of action at all, the fallout is that Joe and I haven’t had a mutual day off in foreverrrrrrr.  We are basically ships in the night, as they say.  After over a month of either being at work or taking care of the baby alone…August has officially kicked my ass.

I was having a lonely moment today when I remembered something Joe’s Aunt Alicia said to me right after Maisie was born: “The days are long but the years are short.”  I realized that it had been a while since I had taken some informal shots of the baby and grabbed my DSLR.

As a photographer, I am often tempted to discard all the “imperfect” pictures I take.  But as a Mom, I know that in a few years seeing this one from today will make me smile.  This shot (more than any of the ones where she is neatly put together and smiling like an angel) perfectly captures Maisie as she is right this very now – ruffled onesie, crazy hair, drooly mouth and all. 🙂

For now I am willing myself to soak in these moments while my baby is still very much a baby and looking forward to September – when our schedules will loosen up and there will be some Dugan Family together time to be had.


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.


Manic Monday | 8/24/15

August 24, 2015

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First of all, thanks for all the awesome feedback on Facebook after my last post.  I have been kind of feeling like a self-important dork for writing this blog at all so it was really cool to hear that a) people liked it and b) I’m not the only one stressing out over these kinds of issues.


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Coming Clean: This is what I had for lunch today.  When I was pregnant, Joe packed my lunch for work every day and I got really spoiled.  I only get a 30 minute break so there just never seems to be enough time to procure something that has even a shred of nutritional value.  I’ve decided to challenge myself to pack lunch everyday for the next week.


Maisie has been breaking out in (what I think is) a teething rash and it’s making my heart sad…although it doesn’t seem to bother her in the least.  She is so drooly these days and puts her hands in her mouth constantly…then when she is tired she rubs drool all over her eyes and the rest of her face.  Off to the pediatrician we shall go if it doesn’t clear up soon.

Also – we got to hang out with my brother Jimmy and his fiancé Trinity over the weekend – which was super swell and nice.  They live in California so we don’t get to spend nearly as much time together as we would like.


Finally, my Grandmother and her sisters turned 95 over the weekend.  Together they are the oldest living triplets in the United States of America.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

They got interviewed by a local news affiliate and I can’t even watch it the entire way through without getting all misty eyed.   So amazing.




Bottle vs. Breast – When It’s Not A Choice

August 18, 2015


As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I was inundated with preachings stressing the benefits of breastfeeding.  I totally bought in.  I spent the months leading up to my maternity leave daydreaming about breastfeeding my baby in a long flowy dress under a willow tree. It was gonna be AMAZING.  I even took a breastfeeding class and left feeling 100% confident.  It looked so easy!

Cue the reality check.  After Maisie was born, I immediately realized that breastfeeding would be an uphill battle.  I’m very “large-chested”, as the old biddies say, and baby girl was a 7lb peanut.  We tried a few different feeding positions and they all left me either completely unable to see what I was doing or worried that I was going to accidentally kill her.  Eventually, we were able to get her to latch (and I say “we” literally…it was a 3 person operation) and although it was extremely painful, I was happy that it was working. Once we got home, the pain was getting so bad that I found myself starting to dread her feeding times.  When she would finally latch, I would wince and squeeze Joe’s hand harder than I did during labor.  I had read over and over again that the discomfort eventually fades, so I resolved to keep pushing through.

We cluelessly headed to Maisie’s first Pediatrician appointment after a few rough days/nights.  I still shudder thinking about this.  Right away the Doctor noticed that the baby was very jaundiced and, after putting her on the scale, was concerned about how much weight she had lost.  We were sent straight to the hospital to have her bilirubin level tested with the possibility of an overnight stay in the NICU.  The Doctor also provided strict instructions to pump into a bottle (so we could measure how much she was eating) and feed her more frequently for the next few days.  As you can probably guess, I absolutely lost it.  I felt like a complete failure and the worst Mother in the world.

Thankfully, Maisie didn’t need to stay in the NICU that night.  We found a breast pump that was covered by our insurance and little Miss Piggy started pounding bottles and never looked back.  After she passed her follow up “weight check” visits at the Doctor I tried multiple times to get her to latch again, and she was. not. having. it.

Eventually my pumping supply started dwindling and I was unable to keep up with her demand.  The amount of supplemental formula we were giving her seemed to increase on a daily basis.  I freaked out.  After everything I had read and been told by Doctors and nurses, I was left feeling like the formula was one step up from sulfuric acid.  I cried to my Mom one day that I was worried Maisie would be overweight because I was a breastfeeding failure – she frantically interrupted my sobs with “YOUR SISTER WAS A FORMULA BABY!…SHE’S NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEMS WITH HER WEIGHT!!”  Jan, bless her heart.

Looking back, I don’t think Maisie ever really latched correctly.  If I had to do it all over again, I would have tried to visit with a lactation consultant for guidance.  I still feel pangs of jealousy and guilt when I see friends breastfeeding their babies.  I ended up pumping for 2 solid months – which is an extreme commitment in itself and very difficult (if not impossible) to keep up with when caring for a newborn.

It’s funny, as I’m writing this out now it all seems so trivial and ridiculous.  But when you’re a new Mom and you so desperately want what’s best for your baby, it’s hard to keep perspective on such things.  I remember feeling insecure about feeding her bottles in front of people, wondering if I was being judged.  Gee wiz, we’re all doing the best we can.

Finally – for all you new Moms out there who may be wrestling with this same set of issues –  I have compiled a list of reasons why bottle-feeding your baby EFFING ROCKS to boost your spirits:

  1. Based on a “never fails” feeding schedule prescribed by our rockstar Pediatrician at her 1-month well visit, Maisie J has been sleeping through the night since she was 7 weeks old.  This is not a joke or a trick.  8 p.m. – 6 a.m.  Every. Night.
  2. Even before she slept through the night, Joe and I were able to alternate the nighttime feedings.
  3. Feeding your baby a bottle still feels like bonding.  It always has to me, and it probably always will.
  4. You can leave the baby with family and go to Target and not have to worry about having a starving baby at home.
  5. Although it may look a little different than you pictured, you are still feeding your baby.  And that’s the most important thing.

Pics Post | The Pigtails Seen Round The World

August 18, 2015


If you MUST know, I wasn’t even planning on posting anything tonight.  If you MUST know, I was just minding my own business, having myself a regular old run of the mill Tuesday afternoon when, completely out of nowhere, Miss Judy from Maisie’s daycare sent me a picture text.  Of my 3 month old daughter.  With pigtails in her hair.  AND RIBBONS.

What choice did I really have?   I am really just a victim in this entire scenario.  I simply need these pictures to be in a place where I can look at them forever and always.


Pics Post | Maisie’s First Block Party!

August 16, 2015


When I was younger, there was NEVER a block party on my block.  Nor were there water slides at the pool.  Life was rough.

Now, 20+ years later, the new wave of young families on my parent’s street decided to organize a block party (and, of course, the public pool was recently renovated and now includes water slides…you’re killin me).  My Dad extended an invite to all his children and grandchildren.  I brought my fancy camera along to document this historic event….

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My Mom, knowing all four of her grandchildren would be in the same place at the same time was all…”it would be NICEEE if we got a picture of all the cousins.”  Getting a coherent picture of 4 kids under 5?  You got it Marmy.


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Life as a (Newly) Working (New) Mom

August 7, 2015


Maisie snug as a bug during her first week at daycare


Confession time:  the 2 weeks leading up to my return to work were probably the worst of my entire life.  I cried almost every day, sometimes inconsolably.  I was terrified.  At night, Joe and I would lay in bed and I would tearfully ask him the same daycare-related questions over and over…

“Are you sure she will be safe there?”

“Can you promise you won’t leave her there if she is crying?”

“Will you remind them that she needs to be put down for a nap on her back only?”

Then the dreaded morning came.  After very little sleep the night before I smiled at Maisie through tears while Joe was getting ready for work.  I nervously watched the clock and cringed as the minutes ticked by.  When the front door closed behind them, I completely fell apart.  I laid on the couch and WAILED for 15 minutes while clutching one of her favorite toys.  It was the most ridiculous and dramatic thing you’ve ever seen.

But then something unexpected happened…

Me going back to work has changed our lives completely – for the better.  Maisie is thriving and I am a happier, more balanced, more sane person than I was when I was with her all day every day.  Most importantly, I’m a better Mother.

On the 3 days a week she is there, I pick her up on my way home from work with butterflies in my stomach. Our reunion is, without fail, the best part of my day.  When we get home I am able to soak in every minute. Things that stressed me out and frustrated me a month ago (water everywhere after bath, spitty-ups, poopsplosions, multiple attempts to put her down for the night etc.) don’t bother me in the least.  I am truly able to cherish spending time with her.

This surprising outcome has been completely facilitated by Maisie’s amazing babysitters – Gina and Judy.  They send me cute picture texts throughout the day to calm my nerves and let me know that my baby is happy and safe.  My heart melts when I walk in and see her smiling while watching all the “big kids” dance or do circle time.  We are only 2 weeks in but (knock on wood) things are going better than I could have ever imagined.

I’m sharing this tale of woe-turned-relief in hopes to ease the mind of even 1 new Mom who might be reading.  Did you look forward to going back to work?  Did you dread it?  Am I insane for being so worried initially?

Good luck to all who are going through this soon!

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!

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