Yes, shoes is where I choose to begin.

You see, one cannot plan a Wizard of Oz themed birthday party without mini Ruby Reds.

Last year, when I was still pregnant, I began to see Ruby Reds in stores everywhere. In every size. I couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a pair of Ruby Reds. And I said to myself, I said “self! You should buy a pair in every size, just to be prepared.” But did I? Nope. Sure didn’t.

And now, when I want a pair of Ruby Reds? I can’t find them anywhere. So, I set out to make my own. I started with plenty of time to spare, setting a goal of finishing the shoes before her birthday photos which were scheduled for July 22. Since I bothered to inform you of a time frame and the fact that I started early, you can probably guess that this didn’t work out as I expected it to…

Ruby Reds: A Tutorial

Step 1:

Procure a pair of shoes in appropriate size. Bonus points for managing to find black glitter shoes and succeed in keeping choice words to a minimum about how easy it would have been had they just used red glitter. Because then you’d be done, and several dollars richer.

Black Glitter Shoes: Wal Mart, $10

Step 2:

Borrow ridiculously expensive Mod Podge from your sister and buy a giant bottle of red glitter and a canister of Mod Podge finishing spray. Photograph b/c people will totally care.

Mod Podge: Sister, free-ish
Red Glitter: Walmart, $2.99
Mod Podge Finishing Spray: Walmart, $5.49

Step 3:

Put shoes in a cardboard box, open garage door, stuff shoes with grocery bags (recycling and saving the environment win!), Mod Podge each shoe, and glitter the shit out of them. Let dry for 3 days b/c you honestly forgot about them.

Step 4:

Repeat step 3 until you feel the shoes are sufficiently glittered. Continue to forget about them being in your garage. All the while, tracking red glitter all over your house.

[not pictured]

Step 5:

Carefully read instructions on Mod Podge finishing spray. Spray shoes. Realize it’s turning the glitter a weird silvery color, chalk it up to undried color of finishing spray. Forget about shoes again. Walk into garage to bask in the beauty of your creation only to discover the shoes now look like they’re stuck between Kansas and Oz b/c they now appear to have a weird grey-ish, antique-ish quality to them. Choose your choice words carefully, text sister picture of ruined shoes.

Step 6:

Put new coat of glitter on each shoe. Estimate glitter quantity on each shoe is approximately 3 pounds. Rush around like a mad woman b/c you were doing all of this in such advance b/c your daughter’s birthday photos that were WAY FAR AWAY IN THE FUTURE, are now only a couple days away.

Step 7:

Cover now lead-like shoes in stupid expensive varnish that you (again) borrowed from your sister. Note that it appears kind of pink-ish/orange-ish. Don’t give a shit.

Step 8:

Throw all birthday items in a bag and rush to get pictures taken. Realize no one is ever going to notice the weeks of torture that went into making these damn shoes b/c seriously? Your kid is too cute for them to notice anything else.

Step fini:

Drink. And forever track some more red glitter all over your house b/c your beer is in the garage fridge.


Big shout out thank you to my sister, without whom, I would have spent at least $20 more on this ridiculous adventure.


10 Months

In two months, my baby will be a year old.


Let me put that a different way. In the same amount of time that she was in the hospital, my 2.5 pound munchkin will be one year old.

Those 62 days were the longest days of my life. I have a feeling the next 62 days will be some of the shortest.

This month didn’t pack quite the punch that last month did developmentally, but she sure is hitting her stride.

She’s continuing to crawl like a pro. No more worm crawl, she is straight up crawling now. And homegirl is fast. Gone are the days of putting her down and trusting that she won’t get into any trouble. And forget about putting her down, turning your back, and thinking she’ll still be in that same location. She wants to play! And she wants to play with what she wants to play with when she wants to play with it! Since she’s super into standing now, this means she always wants to be at her activity table.  Which means Mama and Daddy have to be within arms reach at all times. Although she’s mastered getting herself from standing to sitting, that doesn’t mean she still won’t forget what she was doing and lose her balance and bonk her head. I’ve always been of the camp that babies fall and babies should shake it off, but man, sometimes it’s hard to cheer and act like nothing happened when all you want to do is swoop in and comfort them. It will pay off in the long run, (mama doesn’t need a needy baby) but for now it’s a constant struggle to redirect her attention when she’s fallen.

We’re also trying to get her to learn how to use her feet to walk. She’s not really getting it yet, but that too is only a matter of time.

Her little brain is catching up to her physical development. She’s been experimenting with syllables. Most famously the “da” syllable, which makes my husband feel like he’s king of the world. She’s not saying it in context yet, but you wouldn’t know that if you talked to her Daddy!

We’ve graduated from eating food from a spoon to strict finger foods, three times a day. Still no teeth yet, but that doesn’t stop her from chowing down on any food we put in front of her. Well, not all food. She’s not a fan of her veggies. Her meals look like this:


  • Fruit (bananas are her favorite but she will put away a half cup of blueberries in a flash)
  • Buttered Toast
  • Sausage (I get the heat and eat type)
  • Sippy cup of water


  • Veggies (steamed carrots, squash, broccoli, and cauliflower)
  • Chicken or Ham
  • Fruit
  • Sippy cup of water


  • Pretty much the same as lunch

I find that it’s easy and hard when you begin to feed your baby real food. We get mostly frozen things that can be easily heated. Her chicken is actually chicken fries that I heat up and then cut into bite size pieces. Most of her fruit is from the freezer aisle. It’s easier and we can buy in bulk! Because she’s not really liking her veggies, I recently got some of those Green Giant steamer bags where the veggies steam up in a cheese sauce. We’re having a bit better luck with that!

She’s still getting three bottles of formula every day. Usually an hour or two after her solids. We took her from 6oz bottles up to 8oz bottles and she’s doing great! She’ll still get formula, as per her doctor’s orders until she’s 14 months, or corrected aged one year.

Still no teeth and no hair, but all things come in stride. We won’t have another check up until one year so no real stats on height or weight, but she’s most likely between 17 and 18 pounds now.

I just cant believe I only have two more months to plan her Wizard of Oz birthday party! Time flies just as quickly as monkeys!


9 Months

This month is CHOCK full of firsts for little Miss Juliet.

  • Real dinner
  • Sitting up on her own from a kneeling position
  • Pulling up to stand
  • First sick visit
  • First painted toes!
  • First time in the pool!

Man, leave a few things for month 10, kid!

Juliet had her 9 month check up on the 29th and her current stats are:

Weight: 16 lbs, 5 oz

Height: 25.75 inches

Head Circumference: 43.5 centimeters

She’s in the 10th percentile for height and weight and in the 50th percentile for head circumference. I’m so thrilled that she’s firmly into her age group.

Her doctor is astonished by her progress. Her development is right on track with a full term 9 month old. I knew it would only be a matter of time before she started overachieving!


8 Months


First things, first. Someone figured out how to get up on her hands and knees! Add in a dash of forward thrusting to get to toys and I believe by the 9 month post, she’ll be crawling! Holy crap. I guess I should start cleaning my floors and baby proofing.

Based on general crankiness and excess drool, I’m pretty sure we’ll also see a tooth before 9 months.

Remember when I rejoiced about how she’s interested in her feet but doesn’t pull off her socks? Forget I said that. Munchkin LOVES to pull off her socks. Thank goodness it’s getting warmer b/c  I’m sure we’ll soon be struggling to keep socks on her for longer than 5 minutes.

While not the most accurate way to figure out how much she weighs, we did put her on our bathroom scale this morning and according to that she now weighs 15.6 pounds! Chunky monkey, indeed. It feels weird to not take her to the doctor’s office this month. I’m super happy that there’s no need for a visit but getting an accurate weight is a bonus!

Most days she’s down to a morning nap and an afternoon nap. She’s had a stuffy nose and a drainage cough for the past few days (the effects of ever changing weather and pollen) so she’s added that second morning/early afternoon nap back in. It’s never very long, so I almost feel silly counting it!

She’s also still a champ about sleeping through the night. She goes down at 7:30pm and usually doesn’t make a peep until 6:30am.

Her malaise has put her off to eating lately. But in general she’s still eating between 25-30 ounces of formula a day, along with solids at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast is usually fruit with oatmeal. Lunch is veggies with rice cereal. Dinner is some sort of pureed meat nastiness. (Pureed meat will never not be nasty to me.)

As for me, I’m still letting my emotions take control. Lately I’ve been having to bite my tongue when I see people post that they’re ready for their baby to come and they’re only 32 weeks pregnant. I want to scold them for being so selfish.

Or people who use “premature” as a shocker to get sympathy. I try to see both sides of the picture. But I have feelings…and opinions. Having a baby is difficult and super scary regardless of if you have that baby at 40 weeks, 36 weeks, or 30 weeks. But having an average sized, perfectly healthy baby at 36 weeks that requires no medical intervention and you get to take that baby home immediately (ie, no NICU stay), does not a premature baby make. To me (please recognize the operative), that’s an early baby.  To be fair, I only get upset about babies born at 36 weeks and later being called premature. Anything before 36 weeks is too early and therefore, premature, in my book. I blame the inaccurate science of predicting gestational age. And baby websites/books. Some mark 36 weeks as full term and others mark 37 weeks. Also, emotions. I has them.

I’m surprised every day at Juliet’s progress. But I know that I’ll never stop comparing her to other babies. Some days the comparisons give me the sads and some days, the prouds.

Regardless, I love my little girl and that’s really all the matters, right?


Starting Weight: 205.8

Current weight: 195.0

Well, I was able to lose a little over 10 pounds for the 10 pound blog challenge. Admittedly, I did’t quite lose the 20 pounds I thought would slide off so easily.

Turns out, once you get older, weight likes to hang around. Who knew?

While I’m happy to be under 200 pounds, I would be MUCH happier to be able to fit comfortably into clothing that’s not made for pregnant ladies. Seeing as the munchkin is on the verge of being 8 months old, I’ve decided to amend my weight loss aspirations.

By the munchkin’s first birthday, I would like to:

  • not be wearing maternity clothing
  • weigh in around 175 pounds.

That’s around 5 pounds a month. Totally doable, yes? I hope so!

I also hope that something kick starts in my metabolism and on August 26, I’ll see a number lower than 175 on the scale!


Today, a condensed version of Juliet’s birth story and NICU stay is featured over on Life As We Know It‘s blog. The story is part of her series that benefit the March of Dimes.

Go, check it out.

And if you can, please consider donating to the March of Dimes.


Seven Months

I cannot believe that my baby is now closer to being a year old than she is to birth.

So very much has happened in this past month. Juliet is really starting to show us that she’s growing up!

First up, Juliet has figured out that to get where she wants to go, she can roll there. She now has her very own pillow fort, b/c Mama is NOT ready for her to be mobile.

Next, Juliet has found her feet! And all without teaching her how to pull off her socks. That was the advice from her physical therapist that would get her interested in her tootsies. What a terrible thing to teach! Mama knew it wouldn’t take long to get her interested!

After that, Juliet began sitting up on her own!

I’m not sure if you noticed, but she did ALL of those things on the same day, in rapid succession. Smarty Pants.

Juliet had to get a flu shot today and even though they were just going to stick her and send us on our merry way, I made them weigh her. She now weighs 14.5 pounds!

If we adjust her age and look at her weight based on that of a full term five month old, she would be between the 25th & 50th percentiles.

If we don’t adjust her age, and compare her weight to that of a full term seven month old, she’s between the 5th & 10th percentiles! She’s on the charts! Now to get her to the middle of those charts and Mama can breathe easy.

I can’t wait to see where we’ll be in a month’s time, seeing as so much happened developmentally this past month.

One thing’s for certain, sunny days are here to stay and that means a lot more baby sunglasses are in our future!