Thursday, September 27, 2012

Butt Chins.

I absolutely love my daughter's chin.  She has a chin that is different from both her father and I and while it's not a completely uncommon thing, I feel like it is different and unique.  Presley shares this trait with her Grampa Scott (my dad) and her Aunt Ashley (my sister) because all three of their chins have clefts in them.  When Presley was born, that was the first thing the nurses asked me before they even handed Presley to me, before I even saw my daughter... "Wow!  So who in your family has a dimple in their chin?"  And before I could even think of my dad, I thought of Ashley.  Maybe that's because she is a girl, like Presley, or maybe I didn't think of my dad right away because he's passed on - but I'd say my dad's was much more prominent than Ashley's.  It's pretty neat because Presley really did look a LOT like my little sister when she was just born.

Growing up, I would have told you my little sister was the cutest kid ever.  (That is, as long as we weren't fighting at the moment.)  I thought her round little face and her full cheeks were adorable and I always loved her little bangs.  When she was younger, she really looked like Darla from "The Little Rascals"  - so cute!  And not a whole lot changed as we grew up, I always thought my sister was pretty and still do.  Even though when I look at Presley I don't necessarily see Ashley's face anymore, I do see that they have many of the same traits.  (I also see my dad's face in her so much these days... but I will save that for another post.)

Anyways, to me, being different in reality is a beautiful and wonderful thing.  There are people out there that will pick on you for your differences or put a negative spin on it and that's too bad.  As an adult, I can put things into perspective and realize that the negativity that people project is really just a reflection of their ugliness and not my own, but for kids, they don't necessarily always see with that sort of clarity.  So when someone came up to me and told my daughter she had a "butt chin" the other day, I was proud of it.  It wasn't until a little while later that I recalled the event in my head and saw it from another angle; the lady was kind-of poking fun at her about it.  (Which is fine, like I said, honest to God it didn't bother me.)

Because of that, I started to think of my favorite actresses who have "butt" chins and who are drop-dead-gorgeous!  I want to compile my mental list here into my blog so that I don't forget... just in case Presley ever needs reassurance on this small difference.

Elisha Cuthbert - absolutely stunning

Alexis Bledel - dark hair, fair skin, and blue eyes - just like my baby!

Vanessa Hudgens - absolutely beautiful

Jenna Dewan - I love her style but liked her look pre-facial-work better than now.

Nikki Reed - my favorite "butt" chin actress - she is flawless in such a subtle way!

Rebecca Herbst - I think she is gorgeous (despite how much I despise her character right now on GH.)

Sandra Bullock - it took me a while to think of her because I have never even noticed she had a cleft chin!

Emily Blunt - she is my hubby's favorite on the list!
Are there any actresses I've left off?  And what are the subtle, unique features you like about yourself or your own child?

I've always thought my brown eyes were ugly and boring, but it wasn't until recently that I've noticed how much I love being a brown-eyed-girl.  So much so that I was a little bummed when Presley's eyes didn't match my own.  (However, I adore her blue eyes and am so happy she has her own special eye color separate from mine or her daddy's.) 

Hope this has caused you to pick out what you once thought was an oddity in yourself or someone else and have realized the awesome things about it.  And Presley, if you ever read this one day, I hope you have never given your adorable chin a second thought!  It's part of you and there is no part of you that isn't special.

Whether you landed here by mistake, are an avid follower, or maybe this is your first time reading my blog, I'd love to hear from you!  If you enjoyed this post, take a moment to vote for our blog - Chasing Moonlight & Roses - by clicking on the button below.  Thanks!

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy 7 Month Birthday, Presley Rose!

 Note:  These pictures were near impossible to take because she is so on the move these days!

Seems like just a few days ago I wrote about what she was up to!  That means I will probably definitely and accidentally repeat myself... so I apologize for boring anyone to tears but I don't want to forget anything.

  • We're still breastfeeding... YAY!  Seven months strong and I love it.  I don't think we could have kept this up if I weren't staying home with her.  I am beyond grateful that I've been home with her this long - despite so many days of feeling overwhelmed, under-prepared, and not qualified!  It's important to remember the ways in which I'm fortunate alongside with my daily complaints.  I don't think I have a thing to complain about when it comes to nursing these days.  It has gotten to be much less of a "chore" now that solid foods are in the mix.  It actually seems like I nurse her less than before.  (Which is probably true...)
  • Speaking of solid foods, here is what the princess has been introduced to thus far:  Baby Oatmeal, Organic Brown Rice Cereal, Sweet Peas, Green Beans, Carrots, Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, and Sweet Potatoes.  Carrots were an instant favorite but honestly, she has loved each food more and more as we've gone on.  Today she had her first bit of sweet potatoes and she scarfed them down!
  • When we started solids, she only ate one "meal" in the late afternoon.  Within the last week or so, I've added another solid meal after we get up in the morning.  She eats about 4 ounces of baby food a day (about 2 ounces per meal) along with some cereal mixed in to thicken it up.
  • She is such a good little eater.  Since it was a rainy, overcast morning - we slept in.  This meant skipping over her breakfast meal.  She had it later on in the early afternoon and was bouncing around in the high chair as I was preparing her food!  She's a little foodie just like her mommy!
  • We usually lay Presley down on her back/side when she goes to bed, but she normally ends up on her belly these days and seems to be pretty content there.  We've also added her new teddy bear to her nighttime routine and she seems to LOVE it.  The bear sings lullabies or plays nature sounds on a 10 or 20 minute timer and lights up during that time.  It really seems to have a calming affect on Presley and has helped at bedtime.  (Thank you Kelly for her nighttime bear!)  I also read her "Night Night Little Pookie" every night before bed!
  • Still wearing size 3 diapers - Pampers Swaddlers being out favorite.  (Although we love Target brand, Pampers Cruisers, and love the Kroger brand of diapers.  Wish we had a Kroger around us for so many reasons!)  The only diapers we've found we don't really like very much are the Huggies with Mickey and friends (the Pooh and friends are pretty good) as well as Pampers Baby Dry - not a fan of those because of the poor quality.
  • Just got an ErgoBaby Carrier and I am so excited to start slinging Presley around with me now more comfortably.  I hope we like it as much as everybody else seems to!
  • Naps have been a struggle since teething reared it's ugly little head and it's been a tough few weeks in the napping department.  We finally seem to be turning a corner and I hope we keep continuing on in the right direction!
  • Presley's still got some cradle cap that is hanging around and I can't wait until that decides to leave her alone so we can tell what her true hair color is.  (It really messes with the shade!)  Speaking of hair, she is started to sprout some additional hair up top!  Still not nearly as much as her cousin - Anne Marie, though!
  • Because she had a fever last month at her checkup, we couldn't get her shots then.  I have been  a bad mom and keep putting it off!  I really want to wait until a time that Tony can be there because I don't like being the only one around when she gets her shots... so hopefully we'll make this happen in the upcoming week!
  • This child still hugely prefers showers to baths, but we're going to keep giving baths a try in hopes she will get used to them.
  • Still hanging out with our buds every week.  Got to love baby interaction!
L to R:  Presley, Molly, and Alli.  (I hope I got that right.  I'm slipping when it comes to telling the twins apart these days!)
  •  Presley has started to think "Peek-a-Boo" is HILARIOUS.  She also finds older individuals to be a hoot, as well.  She's started to really laugh and squeal at people who talk to her when we are out and about and it's precious.
  • I still have a baby clearance/good deal addiction.  It's bad.
  • Still haven't put a pair of shoes on my child yet.  I have a feeling this will change as summer escapes us!
  • As you can see from one of the first pictures I posted, Presley is getting pretty good at sitting up on her own.  She still needs a lot of support as she can only sit by herself for a short amount of time, but it's a start!
  • Still going back and forth on whether or not to get her ears pierced.  Now that she messes with her ears, I'm not sure if it'd be a good idea at this point to have them pierced.  We'll see!
So that's all I can really think of when it comes to what P's been up to.  Can't believe Halloween is coming up in about a month!!!  So exciting.  I already have a few ideas for Presley's costume - but we aren't really doing anything crazy or over-the-top for her outfit this year.  We plan on going to Boo at the Zoo!  Very excited about that.  And then not long after that, Presley will have a new 2nd cousin then is Thanksgiving and finally... Christmas!!!!  This time of year absolutely ROCKS minus the snow and ice... not looking forward to that very much but all the rest of it will be so exciting.  And then not far from Christmas will be Presley's first birthday!  So much to look forward to in the next five months...

Thursday, September 20, 2012


So, as sad as I am to see my old blog name go... I'm always going to be loving life's journey, that's for sure, as long as God grants me the opportunity to be here.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the blogs I very much like to read has a very similar name to mine, so I felt the need to change the name of my blog to something a little less common.

I came up with "Chasing Moonlight and Roses" - mostly because our little girl's middle name is Rose.  But people often tell you marriage, parenting, and even more broadly life in general isn't always "moonlight and roses" - meaning, life isn't perfect.  I'm not chasing perfection, but I am chasing happiness and a fulfilling and exciting life.  Not only that, but I will literally be chasing Miss Presley Rose around for the rest of her life!

That's just a little background on the new title.  I'm sorry if it all throws anyone off - the name change isn't something I take lightly or ever plan to do again, so I hope it doesn't take too long to get used to!  Let me know if you love it or hate it or just how you feel about the new title. 

Thanks for the support!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Meeting Family!

SO, you met a LOT of people while we were in the Midsouth for Labor Day.  I tried to get as many pictures as I could but because your mama wasn't feeling well while we were out of town, we didn't get to meet everyone I had in mind.  Also, there are some family and friends you met that I wasn't able to get a picture of... but the memories are there and those are better than any picture!

Here are some of the wonderful, crazy, loving, beautiful people you met while we were in Mississippi...

You know you're Grandmommy, already!  But we were so lucky to get to see her again so soon!  We've been SO fortunate & have seen your Grandmommy about every 2-3 months since you arrived!  She is surely no stranger to you. :)  Grandmommy is your daddy's mama.  I absolutely love sharing stories with Grandmommy about you because she is just as obsessed with you as I am!  It makes me so happy that there is someone else out there who can match the amount of love that I have for you.  (I know she's not the only one, but there aren't many who I can confidently say love you in a similar way.)  She loves you so much!  We are all lucky to have Grandmommy Selena in our lives.

This was your first time meeting your GREAT Granny!  She is Grampa Mike's mama and she was so comfortable holding you for the first moment she picked you up.  Granny is great at a LOT of things (she is strong, and supportive, and independent, and loving - among those things) but perhaps something she is a PROFESSIONAL at is raising kiddos and helping take good care of them and I could see she is still such a natural.  Your Granny is a spitfire and I have yet to meet someone quite like her; she has got so much LIFE inside of her.  I just hope you get to know her as well as I have!

You met your cousin Riley.  I'm not sure the exact relation (second cousin? someone help me out here...) but she is about 3 months bigger than you and such a sweetie.  I have never seen you react so strongly to another tiny person as you did with her - you must be getting comfortable with little girls who are 3 months older than you thanks to your weekly playdates with Alli and Molly!  Anyways, you and Riley were just loving on each other and it was so sweet.

There you are!

You already know this guy -- it's daddy!  You are just knocked out on him here... we were in Eudora visiting Grandmommy, Grandaddy and the pups!  You met Sandy, Samantha, & Bandit for the first time.  Did you know daddy has known his pup Sandy longer than he's even known you or mommy?  I wish we had a picture of you and Sandy together, but you were a little nervous around dogs on this trip.  You were definitely overwhelmed during our trip to Mississippi, but I am so happy you got to meet so much of your daddy's family members.

Here is your GREAT Aunt Kelly.  She is your Grampa Mike's sister and Granny is her mama which makes her daddy's Aunt.  She has some funny stories about your daddy that I can't wait for her to tell you someday.  You liked looking around the room at your Aunt Kelly's house and out of all the faces in the room you seemed most comfortable focusing on hers!  I don't blame you - not only is she gorgeous (obviously!) but she is one of the kindest people you may ever meet.  I hope the two of you will make lots of memories as you grow.

This is your Aunt Shareese.  Her mama is Aunt Alice - who is Granny's sister.  (I believe this technically makes Shareese your 1st cousin, twice removed... but all of that confuses me... so we are going to recognize her as your GREAT Aunt Shareese for all intents and purposes.)  Just like your Aunt Kelly, Shareese is so kind-hearted and so much fun to be near.  She is also somebody I would love for you to get to know as you grow.  She's married to your Uncle Roy and they have a little girl Ava - who is an absolute sweetheart.

You also got to meet your cousin, Lexi - who's mama is Aunt Kelly - so this makes her your daddy's cousin.  This year is her last year of high school and then she's onto the big leagues!  I first got to know Lexi when she was much younger and sometimes I still see and think of her as a little girl, but she is much older and more mature (although she's always seemed more mature to me than other people her age) now and was so good with you - which was no surprise.  I hope you grow up to love sports and be confident in yourself in the way that Lexi seems to be.

Oh my word.  This is Lexi's little brother, Bobby.  That makes him your cousin as well.  Mommy used to watch Bobby when he was a little boy - and if I still see Lexi as a little girl - then I certainly see Bobby just the same way.  I would easily say Bobby is my first little person love and while EVERYONE I have mentioned here has a ginormous piece of my heart, Bobby's got such a soft spot in my heart.  He is funny and loving and a million other wonderful things... he is just a good person.  I can not wait to see how much you love him as you get older!

Here's another familiar face!  This is your Grandaddy - your Grampa Mike.  The last time you two were together (besides when this picture was taken) was when you were a fresh, brand new baby and still in the hospital.  I'll never forget that your grandparents made that long trip to be with us on your first days here with us.  If you haven't gathered yet, your Grampa Mike is your daddy's daddy and one of your daddy's best friends.  And I hope he will be one of your best friends, too, as you get to know him over the years!  He's such a great man - he's such a hard worker, someone who loves his family unconditionally, and always has a listening, caring ear for the people in his life.  Everybody who knows Grampa Mike, loves him instantly.  :)  He's also the only Grampa you've got left on this Earth.

Your Grandparents - I hope you learn to cherish every moment you have with them because life is very short and these are two people who would lay down their lives for you - that is how much they care about you.

This is your GREAT Uncle Bob!  He is married to your Aunt Kelly and is a very special person in our family.  People flock to both Bob and Kelly.  They are so inviting, always welcoming, and definitely some fun people to be around.  Your Uncle Bob loves you very much and we love him, too!  I don't think Bob has ever met a stranger in his life - he is so friendly and will strike up a conversation with just about anybody.
This is one of daddy's best friend's, Chris.  I'm not sure if you will call him Chris or Uncle Chris - whatever makes you comfortable.  He is so silly and he will make you laugh a lot with his lame jokes over the coming years.  In addition to his silliness, he has got a big heart and is a very humble person.  You can learn a lot of great things from him just by being near him and with how important he is to mommy and daddy I know you will be getting to know him yourself as you grow up!
This is Kristen!  She is dating "Uncle" Chris and this isn't the first time you've met her (or Chris).  We got to see them over Memorial Day Weekend in St. Louis!  And Kristen was around while you were in mommy's belly, too!  I remember Kristen saying how light on my feet I was despite how big my belly was around Christmastime... I would flop down on your Uncle Chris' bed just like I always have and she thought it was hilarious because my belly was pretty big at that point!

This is another one of daddy's best friends - Tyler.  He has one of the biggest hearts of anyone we've ever met!  And he is magic around kiddos... I haven't seen any kid that hasn't liked your Uncle Tyler, including you.  I can't wait until you are old enough for your Uncle Tyler to be able to lift you over his head and toss you around in the pool - because Tyler is very strong! :)  He'll be one of the many protective men in your life who helps chase away the boys who bother you over the years.  Even though we currently live pretty far from each other, I would be shocked if we don't end up living close to your Uncle Tyler in the long run.

You got to see Tyler's girlfriend, Marsha, again!  She is a kindergarten teacher and is so great with kids.  She also has such a sweet spirit and is so easy to talk to and get to know - I don't think she has a mean bone in her body!
This is one of daddy's oldest friends - Damen.  You also met Damen's brother, Peyton, but we didn't get to snap a picture of the two of you together.  Both your Uncle Damen and Uncle Peyton have such important places in your mommy & daddy's life and you will be hearing so many stories involving them as you grow up.  They both had a lot to do with your mommy and daddy getting together and both of them have been such loyal and dear friends to us for so many years.  Damen and Peyton have always been more like brothers to us than anything else.  Though time and distance have made it hard for us to stay as close - nothing will change the bond we have with them!  You are going to grow up to love both Damen and Peyton and have MANY people to meet from their family who have been like our own family for a lot of years.

And that's everybody - at least everybody that I have a photo of with you.  That's a lot to remember and a lot to take in - so it's a good thing this won't be your only time to get to know all these wonderful people.  The plan is to visit again around Christmas or New Years, but considering what a long trip it was and the toll it took on you emotionally, I'm just not sure if we will make it at Christmastime or not.  If not, maybe we can talk some of our friends and family into meeting halfway for a few days in St. Louis again.  But ideally, we would be going "home" for Christmas to spend as much time with everybody as we can!  We will see what happens... in the meantime, know that you are so loved by so many people.  It's because you are such a special girl yourself.  You are so important, Presley, and I hope you always know that.  I love you so much!

PS, Next I will have to write a blog about all your special family members who live near you!  I don't want them to feel slighted - because we love them so much!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Keeping up with the Duggans!

Okay, so really it's just Keeping up with Presley, because Tony and I are chop liver these days!  But I'm okay with that.

I apologize for being M.I.A. lately... as I said in one of my last posts, Presley has had some big changes lately and they require more attention than before!

So, the big thing that's been happening lately is the addition of solid foods into our routine!  Things started off very slow in the food department for Presley, so I really chalked it up to her just not really liking this baby food yet and I'm honestly just happy she's still content with breastmilk since that is so cheap and (relatively) easy -- considering it's the only meal I can make in my sleep!  We tried baby oatmeal (hated it), Gerber Organic Sweet Peas (not a huge fan), and Gerber Green Beans (still not a fan).  I knew I'd like to try making her baby food so after we were home from our Memphis/Mississippi vacation, I decided to start with a batch of Carrots as well as a batch of Butternut Squash.  We started with the carrots and let me just tell you, this kid LOVES them!  She has been gobbling them up!  We started out with one cube (which means, one ice cube, for those who don't know what I mean by that. I puree her food and let them freeze in ice cube trays and then pop them out and save them in freezer baggies), one time a day (I am starting her out pretty slow, I know...) and she worked her way up to demolishing two cubes - still just once a day.

With how much she loves carrots, I was nervous to start the squash today.  I thawed two cubes (each cube is about 1oz each, just for a frame of reference - again, for those who haven't used this method) and realized that the squash turned out much runnier than the carrots.  I thickened it up using some of Presley's Organic Brown Rice baby cereal.  Like I said before, she wasn't a huge fan of cereal, so that on top of introducing a new food, I wasn't sure how she was going to like it!  Come to find out, I had nothing to fret over because she destroyed what I gave her in record time; I could not give her big enough bites fast enough!  SO, now I am thinking about adding another feeding to her day since she acted like a starving child (trust me, she doesn't look the part!).

Maybe adding another feeding to our morning schedule will help her take a nice nap in the afternoon - these days she refuses to nap.  This drives me crazy - mostly because she needs one or two a day - but since she is sleeping pretty good at night again, I kinda just think of it as a give and take.  Hopefully this will subside and just has to do with her transitioning from 3 naps a day to 2 naps a day.  (Even though right now she is 0 naps a day!)

Ever since she began the nasty part of teething a few weeks ago, her sleep has been all messed up!  This was made SO MUCH worse when we went out of town for a long Labor Day Weekend.  We drove from Moline, Illinois to Memphis, Tennessee (10+ hours each way... dumb....) and surprisingly, the car ride was the easiest part each time!  We stayed with Tony's family members - Aunt Kelly, Uncle Bob, cousin Lexi, cousin Bobby, & a few small pups! (They are the most gracious hosts and people just flock to the McQuages, I swear... but more about the fun we had on our vacation for the next post...)

This is what Presley did in the car... GOOD GIRL!

Unfortunately, my first night in town I started to feel really weird.  Tony was so exhausted from getting up so early to travel (4am) that when I told him I didn't feel good he just told me to sleep it off and knocked out himself.  I tried to sleep but I got so hot it was overwhelming - it was making it hard for me to breath, sleep, or even think.  I woke him up (he's so impossible to wake up once he's out...) and just pleaded with him to stay up with me.  He felt how warm I was and by that time I started to get a little freaked out by it all - it felt like my eyes and ears were full of warm liquid.  So he got up with me and we sat in the bathroom and he took my temp... 103.7!?!  I expected it to be high, but not THAT high!!!  So I took some ibuprofen and tried to sleep it off.  Eventually my fever broke and I got some relief and a bit of sleep.

To make an already long story short, I stayed sick (on and off) the entire time we were on vacation.  On top of that, in hindsight, I believe Presley was going through a growth spurt because she was up every 3 hours (or more frequent) throughout the night to eat.  She was crabby as a result and was SO clingy to me.  It could also have been that she was outside of her normal comfort zone, but being that I was feeling sick and spiking a fever every night, it was just awful.  Since we've been back, I've been trying to find our "new" schedule after the chaos and still haven't had much luck.

And, unfortunately, after being sick and feeling so overwhelmed by taking the trip, I quit the couch to 5k program.  I feel like a failure about it but I know I'll try again when the timing is better.  Tony and I are still scheduled to run our first 5k next weekend and I'm still really looking forward to it and plan on giving it my all!  I know we'll both still have a great time with it and I can't wait.  Hopefully the 5k will spark our interest in the program again.

Last night I guess I had too much time on my hands because I started watching videos of Presley that I've taken over the last nearly seven months.  This entire time I've been wishing for time to fly by to get us out of the baby stage and now that time has done just that, I've realized that isn't what I want at all!  For the first time, I was really crying just watching the videos and wondering where in the hell the time has gone.  Even more, where has that tiny little baby gone and why did I wish her away?  I'm sad just thinking about it.

Hey big girl!
As my friend Sharon said earlier this week...  
It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't. - Barbara Kingsolver

Once I gather all the pictures together, I'm going to write a big blog about all the family and friends who might as well be family that Presley got to meet or see again while we were in town.  It was a big trip and so much happened that I want to dedicate an entry strictly to that!  Also, be looking for a guest post soon... pretty excited to start those!  I'll try to make sure there isn't such a big gap before an update, because as I said before... no one is going to be more sorry than myself for the lack of updates.

Love hearing from you guys... hope everybody is doing well with the transition back into the Fall/Autumn lifestyle!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

As much as I don't really want to...

I think I'm going to have to change the name of my blog.

I've gotten comfortable with it, but I never really liked it.  It worked at first when I really didn't feel like this blog was a place I'd stay, but now that I'm here and love it - I've got to find something that fits better.  And something that is less generic.

I began following a blog recently (that I really love reading) and our blog names are nearly identical... so yeah, time for a change-a-roo!

Ideas welcome :)  Though I've already got a few in mind.  Not sure if I should share the ideas and receive input from you guys or just choose myself and have it be a surprise. (You know, because there are so many people who really care...)

Anyways, thoughts welcomed!

Until next time...