Thursday, December 4, 2014

Happy 5 month-birthday, Molly Lou!

Miss Lou Lou. I can't believe how the time has flown right by us these past few months. I love you so incredibly... you have brought an amount of pure joy to our family that I never knew was possible... never felt it was missing until we had you. You are going to bring so much happiness to the people you come in contact with for the rest of your life, I can already feel that. Thank you for helping make me a better, stronger, more loving & patient mother. Thank you for making Presley a big sister; it's a role I can see she was so naturally made for! Thank you for making my husband a daddy x2 - it has made him an even more caring and sensitive man than he already was. And thank you for making us a family of four. Along with Presley, you have made the bond of this little Duggan family stronger and more meaningful. I love you with my whole heart.

The last time I wrote a monthly update for you, it was September and you were two months old. I know... I have been majorly slacking! Thankfully, I have continued with the monthly pictures...




It's incredible how much you've grown in that amount of time and how much has changed.  Here are some of the things about you:
  • Presley is your favorite person, always. I don't think you've been upset with her yet... not even when she lays right on top of you! I know that might change as you both get older so I am relishing it now.
  • You're still on a breastmilk-only diet and you seem to have no complaints! We'll more than likely start introducing solids to you next month to see how you like it.
  • You're sleeping in our room in your bassinet. You like to wake up anytime between 5am-7am every morning to eat so it's very convenient to have you right there versus across the house in the room that'll be yours... eventually. 
  • Right now you're going through a growth spurt - you've been waking me up all throughout the night to nurse. It could just be your cold but I don't think that's all it is.
  • Your daddy still gets up with you every morning to change your diaper and hand you off to me so I can feed you before he gets ready for work. That is a huge support he offers me that I am grateful for.
  • I'm not sure when you'll start cutting teeth, but you've been drooling and chewing on any/every thing lately. Presley got her first tooth right at the 6 month mark and I will bet you won't be far from that as well.
  • You're a laughy-baby and you love smiling, too. (Except not so much the past few days!)
  • After the initial first few weeks, you've become a very great sleeper. You will go to sleep between 7-8pm (daylight savings time has really thrown us off in this regard... you had been barely making it to 6pm before the time change) and had been sleeping until 5-6am before this growth spurt.
  • We hope to switch you to your own room sometime soon... I'm just nervous to switch you in case you start to wake up Presley in the mornings before we can get to you and feed you since your rooms are near each other.
  • I'm about to (already) switch you from 3-6 month clothes to 6-9 month clothes. They just seem to fit you more comfortably.
  • You are just finally getting into size 3 diapers this week!
  • You LOVE bath time with Presley. That is when we get the best, loudest laughs out of you!
  • Your eyes are still a very pretty, complex color. I still can't really discern what color they are but lately they've been looking mostly green!!!! I'm REALLY hoping they'll be brown but green is definitely my second choice! Either way - they are beautiful.
  • You've flipped from belly to back at least two times now and each time no one else has seen it happen! You're sneaky. And you're so close to being able to do it regularly.
  • You're the cutest little thumb-sucker! Which is all new to me considering Presley never took to it. You used to like your pacifier until you discovered your thumb. You will only suck it when you're very tired. It's SO precious and I'm so glad it helps you sleep.
  • You sleep with a fan in the room and a little bunny that plays a lullaby for 45 minutes.
  • You're not really on much of a schedule as far as naps go... I just put you down when you seem tired and you are easy to get to sleep. You usually take one longer afternoon nap and one shorter morning nap.
I can't believe we are almost halfway to your first birthday and about two months away from Presley's third birthday!


On November 9, your Great Grandfather - Gordon Naylor -  passed away.

I'm very sorry you didn't get to meet or know him. He was a good, sweet man and you both would've loved each other. He came to visit us and see our new home this summer while I was pregnant with you... so your paths did cross and I know he already loved you.

A few days later we hopped in the car and drove to Evansville, Indiana to say goodbye to him one last time. It is an incredibly sad thing to lose someone but we have to hold onto the hope that we will see him again someday. A beautiful thing about things of this nature is that it brings families together - we got to meet so many aunts, uncles, and cousins on the Naylor side and though it was an incredibly short trip, it was a really great one, thanks to the generosity and kindness of Pete & his family. I hope that's not the last we'll be seeing everybody.

This is your Great Aunt Carrie. She is equal parts beautiful on the inside and out.

Here we are with Presley, Aunt Carrie, cousin Dani, & Grandmommy.

And here is your dad's cousin, Dani. She is the sweetest. She was my buddy all day long and couldn't get enough of you. I'm so glad I got to know this little gal.

There are your great aunts & uncles with your Grandmommy. Of course you know your Great Uncle Mike (the one holding up the sign for "I love you") and Grandmommy. In the back is your Great Uncle Pete and down in the front is your Great Uncle John & Great Aunt Carrie.

And here is our family.
Since then, we've taken another road trip, this time to Nashville, Tennessee to visit more family. We spent Thanksgiving with Aunt Ashy, Uncle Jojo, Sage (the puppy), Aunt Amanda, Uncle John, Sammy, and your cousins Matthew and Anne Marie. That was another quick trip but it was so much fun getting everybody together. We're so lucky to have each other and it's so silly how we let life get in the way of spending more time together! I really hope we can start getting together for quick visits like that every month.

Here's the book Ashley & Jonathan go you for Christmas!
Anne Marie & Presley got to paint and things got a little crazy before bath time!
 
Our chefs and the hosts for the holiday

As you know, this is Sage... Ashy & Jojo's baby girl! She will be one in January.
Sitting down for our Thanksgiving feast.
 




Another thing that's been happening is this awful cold that's been going around our house for the past 3 weeks. Right now you've got it (again!) and it's been the worst yet. You have an awful cough that keeps you up at night. Sometimes you will get into these coughing fits that will make you throw up some of the milk you just drank! And the other night you woke up around midnight and your entire face was covered in slimy snot!!! (I'm not exaggerating either! Your dad will serve as a witness for this one.) It seems to be getting better but now your dad has gotten it... I just hope it ends there!

I found an old roll of film the other day and it turns out it was photos from your Great Uncle Stuart's wedding. I was hoping there would be some good photos of your Grampa Scott on there, but of course he was the one taking the photos... like he always was. The only photo he ended up in was a family photo which I am thankful for. There are also some beautiful snapshots of your Great Grandmother, Elinor.

That's my Grandma Myers there on the left.

The girls in the matching dresses are Ashley, Amanda and myself and behind us is my dad and mom. Then there is Aunt Debbie, Caden, and Uncle Stuart and next to him is Gramma Myers.

We've started to decorate the house and I'm so glad we did. It really warms up the place.


We have a lot to look forward to this holiday season and I'm trying my best to be positive, but recently there have been a string of home invasions in the immediate city we live in and the most recent included the murder of someone I went to school with. It has left me with an incredible amount of anxiety about the area we live in and what we need to do in order to keep you girls safe both now and in the future. I'm sure a lot of my anxiety recently stems from the fact that my dad was killed in a similar fashion... but it also has to do with the fact that I don't feel safe in the city we live in (or the times we live in). We just moved back here and bought our first house... it's a home we had every intention of staying in and raising you girls in but now I am not at all sure that will happen. I am hoping for peace in this situation but I'm not sure that it will come.

I also have been feeling extremely foolish for thinking that the Memphis area had become safer over the last few years and that things were getting better. I feel foolish for moving back... again... just to find out that this isn't what I wanted. I know these things can (and do) happen everywhere, but just not this frequently! I feel scared being at home, I am fearful leaving the house, and I am scared to come back home. I'm nervous while we're out shopping or driving. I just don't feel safe in this city and I hate that feeling. But what can we do in this situation? We have been in our home for less than a year and financially we are not equipped to sell the house and start over again in a new area. But eventually, that is what I hope we can do. I hope things will feel better and be better when I revisit this topic in a few months... I truly do... but on this, I am not sure that it will change.

You and your sister mean so much to me. I am in charge of protecting you guys and for giving you a happy childhood. I want to be able to do those things and I hope that you will both grow into your old age without any problems. Having so much to look forward to makes me feel like I have so much to lose. Not our money or our house or any of our "things" - but you, Presley, and your dad make me rich every single day. I know what it's like to lose someone at the hands of evil, selfish, thoughtless people and it is one of the greatest (and most awful) fears I have. I don't know what I would do if something happened to any of you... I don't know if I could survive. But I know I would somehow have to. And I can't let these fears and horrible people take away my peace and hope and joy in the meantime. I have to find a way to focus on all the things in my life that are beautiful until we are financially able to get out of the city I was so looking forward to raising you both in.


I know this is not an uplifting entry but it's what's been going on for me lately. I just ask that people be patient with me regarding this subject. I'm trying hard to put on my big girl panties and deal with it... but it might just take some time. And may you both rest in peace, Jarmelle & Papaw Gordon. You were two great men and it does give me peace to know you're both with the Lord and those who have gone before you.



Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Top 5 Friday.


#5  SLAPSGIVING.

I'm so excited for Thanksgiving Slapsgiving this year.  I'll give you a few reasons:  Amanda, John, Jojo, Ashley, Sage, Sammy, Annie & Matthew!  Not to mention: KATNISS.  Yes... totally gonna geek out at the new Mockingjay movie with some Hunger Games shirts - I am so excited.  I love when we get together for the holidays! And I am bringing my favorite jug wine again!  Last time we got started on the wine, part of dinner got burnt by our tipsy chef (which was somehow hilarious) and we took pictures in the snow.  I know... wild and crazy.  Even crazier is that it's been almost FIVE YEARS since then.  No telling what kinda shenanigans will happen this time.  Did I mention how excited I am?!

just a couple kids back then. kidless kids.


back when we were all 3 still "myers" girls


So that was Christmas five years ago... where was I on Thanksgiving five years ago, you ask?  Florida with my Gramma Myers (and Amanda, Sammy and John).  I've been thinking of Gramma a bunch lately with Thanksgiving drawing near... I miss her and wish I could spend the holiday with her as well.

love this woman.

#4 SCANDAL.

Can we just take a moment to talk about my favorite show right now?  Okay, thanks.  So, I felt like the middle-to-end of Season 3 and the very beginning of Season 4 were not the Scandal I've come to know and love.  It was still awesome - but definitely lacking that something special.  It was to the point where I was so bored with the show and really didn't even care to catch it on time.  After the past few episodes and most notably last night's AMAZING episode - I am super happy it's back to where it was at it's best (which in my opinion was Season1/Season 2)!  With two more episodes left before they take a short hiatus until the end of January... I feel like things are going to get even more amazing!  And if you're a Scandal-addict and on Twitter, the live tweeting is so much fun.  Bellamy Young (aka, Smellie Mellie) tweeted back to me last night.  So basically we're best friends.



#3 SISTERS.

Man. I just love my two girls.  I love watching them grow up and also grow together!  It really is going to be so much fun as a family of four.


me & tony as ninja turtles, presley as tinker bell & molly the sunflower!

And just for fun... Presley on her first Halloween as a sunflower!



#2 SLACKING.

Ugh, I know.  I am so behind on posting monthly updates for Molly on here.  Or posting in general.  I have several posts I have been meaning to write and haven't gotten to it yet.  Several more I have begun writing and failed to finish so they're saved for a future date.  I have every intention of being more present when it comes to reflecting on my life yet fail to follow through and chronicle it.

#1 SINGING.

Any of you out there familiar with Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood on PBS?  It happens to be one of my favorite kiddo shows of Presley's and she just loves it too.  Something we both love?  The songs they sing in each episode!  Amanda had the good idea to tape Presley singing some of them and I'm here to share them with you.  (You're welcome.)




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Honeymoon Horror Story.

So, I have never blogged about our honeymoon.  At that time in my life I wasn't blogging much and a few weeks after the honeymoon we found out we were expecting... so telling our honeymoon stories got lost in the shuffle.  I figure now is as good a time as any to write it all down.  Since it's been 3.5 years, I have already forgotten so many details which is a huge reason why I'd like to get it down before I forget the rest!

As you may or may not know, my husband and I had an amazing honeymoon in Walt Disney World for a week.  It really was incredible.  The food, the people, the weather, the sun, the sky, the rides, the man, the joy of being a newlywed, did I mention the food?, the resort... EVERYTHING.  One of my favorite things about staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge was the fact that we got chauffeured around the entire weekend.  We didn't have to worry about traffic or stopping for gas or parking or anything like that!  I'm sure you wonder where the horror comes in at...

At the time of our honeymoon we lived in Silvis, Illinois and to save some money we flew to Orlando, Florida out of Chicago.  I was excited for this part - road tripping with Tony up to Chicago (which isn't far at all), staying at a nice hotel, waking up to a relaxing breakfast, paying to park at the hotel for a week & taking the hotel shuttle to the airport.  I arranged it all, booked the room, and like I said, I was excited for this extra stop before Disney.  We get there super late that evening to check in and that is when we realized the hotel no longer shuttled to the airport!  After freaking out the man said the hotel would pay for a cab to the airport for us but we would be responsible for the cab back and that we could also park at the hotel for the week.  This was - of course - a setback but since we booked the room through a third-party website there was really nothing else we could do at this point. 

Cue the horror story.


The morning of our flight the cab was RIDICULOUSLY late - I remember waiting in the lobby in front of the doors and waited and waited and waited.  I really thought for sure the cab was never showing up.  Once the cab finally DID get there, the traffic was insane though we were only a few miles from the airport.  It was one of the most stressful mornings I've ever had.  We finally get to the airport and are running through the entire Midway airport and have almost no time before our flight when we get stuck in a never-ending line at the body/bag scanners.  When we get through the line we have minutes to get to our gate which was nowhere close and somehow we get there and they hadn't left yet.  Thank God!  We sat down on the plane and thankfully we were able to laugh about our tumultuous morning and relax for the first time since arriving in Chicago.




my wedding toe nail polish

my engagement ring + wedding band and my wedding nails
 


Lucky for us, this was the only negative experience of our beautiful, wonderful, magical honeymoon back in May 2011.  I'd love to go back in time and enjoy that week all over again and I DEFINITELY plan to go on a second honeymoon to Walt Disney World with my husband someday!

Next up... getting to Orlando and what we thought of Disney's Magical Express!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Currently x21 {link up}

Linking up with Harvesting Kale for another (few) week(s) of "Currently" prompts.
LAST week it was {appreciating, feeling, looking, regretting, playing}

APPRECIATING:  My new phone.  I know it's really not all that "new" considering I've had it for several weeks now... but it's just so NICE!  The screen is huge and the pictures turn out so crisp and clear... I just love it.  Not to mention it's got celebrity status.  Almost everywhere I go someone says, "Oh my goodness! Is that the 6+?"  Always a fun (and easy) conversation starter.

FEELING:  I've really been feeling good lately.  And I've been wanting to feel even better and maybe try to start jogging again (and put the double jogging stroller to good use) or take the plunge and join the YMCA that is just a few miles away (it's just such a sucky YMCA compared to the location in Moline that I worked at for so long... but hey, better than nothing).  For now though I've been doing a couple yoga poses everyday with Presley (or "noga" as she calls it - her favorite is the flamingo pose they do on Sesame Street) along with a couple sets of squats and fire hydrants.  I am going up to our attic to find my dumbbells one of these days...
Memphis/Midsouth folks:  Where is your favorite place to jog with your kiddos in tow?

This week it's {anticipating, contributing, discussing, listening, deciding}

ANTICIPATING:  Okay guys... less than a month until the first MOCKINGJAY movie hits theaters!  I.AM.SO.EXCITED!  I'm even more excited I get to see it with my sisters AND get together for Slapsgiving!  Not to mention, my BIRTHDAY is in a few weeks!  November is on the horizon and it is by far one of the best months of the year.  Followed up by December which is another amazing month and that will mean February is right around the corner... which is Presley's birthday month!!!!  Such an awesome time of the year.


CONTRIBUTING:  I've been wearing Molly in the Ergo carrier a lot lately and it is SO GREAT to be able to have my hands to do whatever I need to do.  Not to mention, she is so content on my chest and I am so much more comfortable with her there rather than in the stroller/car seat all the time.  This is contributing to my lower back aches at the end of the day (probably because I am also chasing a fun, energetic toddler around as well) but it's also responsible for some extra bonding time with my littlest one... which is 110% worth it.  I frequently carry her around the stores we visit (Kroger & Target, mostly) and the park and most recently the Memphis Zoo for several hours.


And I'm not the only one carrying babies around here...




LISTENING:  To so many great songs on repeat lately.  The kind of music that just speaks to your soul.  Good good stuff.

Alex & Sierra: Little Do You Know
Christina Perri: Human
Christina Perri: The Lonely
Lana Del Ray: Born to Die

Skylar Grey: Love the Way You Lie
Sara Ramirez: The Story
Greg Laswell: Your Ghost
Greg Laswell: Comes & Goes in Waves
Lana Del Rey: Blue Jeans
Andrew Belle: In My Veins
Ellie Goulding: Beating Heart


DECIDING:  Last night we got to go on a date night!  It was nice.  And if I'm being honest, almost a little weird without the kids.  Is there such a thing as it feeling too quiet?  Like I said, though, it was so so so nice.  I wanted Tony to decide where we went... sometimes I get tired of making decisions.  Almost went to Five Guys on a last minute whim but we ended up not doing that.  We went to get sushi + hibachi... and holy cow... it was DELICIOUS.  Our waitress and chef were both great - the chef had me come up to the grill and throw the egg in the air all fancy and it was so much fun!  He said, "C'mon up here! If you break the egg, it won't matter!"  It would've been easy to decline but I'm so glad he insisted because even just something small like that made me feel like a version of my former self... which was a good feeling.  (Which reminded me a lot of an interesting article I just read earlier this week.)  And it was funny because Tony referenced HIMYM when Barney gets up at the hibachi grill and does the same thing but completely kills it!  We went out for a drink afterward and don't you hate it when you order a drink and it tastes awful?  Me too!  I ordered a mojito and it was pretty bad.  But I loved the bar we went to and it felt really awesome sitting outside on the patio relaxing in the beautiful weather.  We walked around Midtown which was nice with a sweet, romantic vibe.  And I am so grateful to have Selena... I never have to worry about our kids well-being and know they're with someone who loves them just as much as mommy and daddy.  Not to mention, extremely lucky to have a partner I love and get to date!




That's what we've been up to.  Been meaning to write several times since the last time but life is just busy and days are both short and long, if that makes sense.  Hope to write more later!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Our Wedding Video!

So, a couple of weeks ago, one of the groomsmen in our wedding asked if I had the video of us dancing into the reception.  After all was said and done, I ended up uploading our wedding video online and watched it for the first time in a long time.  It was such a happy day and I'm so glad I get to relive it over and over. 

Though I have a physical copy of the video, I wanted to put all the links together in my blog in case I wanted to come back and watch them again on here to enjoy all the embarrassing moments (us dancing in, the amount of times I try to clink glasses with people during the toasts only to get left hanging, some of the toasts [HAHA]...) and of course all the best parts (the mass, our first kiss, the rest of the toasts, everything!) and relive the day in general.  Remembering how special the day was makes me want to get married over and over again.













Anyways, so there are the moments if you want to catch any.  After three years of marriage I can say that this one day was just that - one day in our lives.  A great and beautiful day... but just one single day.  I'm thankful for that fun wedding day (and night!) but I am glad to have grown so much since then as a person and in our marriage as it has been tested and will continue to be tested over the many (many!) years we will be married.  I am thankful for all the milestones and special days we have had since our wedding.  And I am thankful to have a partner who is worth all of it.