Incarceration Status

Do you know how hard it is to convince someone you are not incarcerated after you accidentally told them you were? I do. In February I realized my pre requisites for the lpn to rn program were due to expire in the coming year. I made the choice to reapply to school and finish what I started before I lost it all. I don’t have the money to do this, one course cost me approximately $900-$1500 and that doesn’t include tuition. My single income household with 3 growing children cannot survive an expense like that. So I applied for financial aid. Two weeks ago I got the news that my prayers had been answered and financial aid would be provided!

I started making preparations for what is to come. I turned my resignation in for my beloved wound care position and requested to work the weekends. I enrolled in my courses, sought out the different options for my end result career, looked at pre med and clinical research options in case that is where I end up, and then I completed some final questions for my financial aid. Unbeknownst to me I made a small error that turned into a big problem! I plead insanity. I was in a pure state of delirium having worked the night shift before and misread a question that asked if I was currently incarcerated. I answered yes.

What the…

My financial aid came to an abrupt halt with red bleeding all over my beautiful white application. I tried to explain to the financial aid advisor that I was not in jail and that I thought the question asked “are you willing to go to jail?”… to which she wanted to know why I was willing to go to jail. Listen lady I’ll do whatever it takes at this point, don’t judge me.

After I repeatedly stated my claim to confinement was indeed false, I finally found a way to resolve my error. It will take some time and I had to pay out of pocket for this semester but it will be a memory for the books.

If I need to go to jail to finish school then so be it!

In the midst of all the confusion I said a prayer that God would help me be prepared for what is to come. Not even 5 minutes later my mom walks in my front door with a huge black duffel bag. She says it’s a 3 day survival kit for 5 people. She got it for me in case I ever have to make a quick get away. While I may have done a belly laugh, I have always fantasized about having to make a quick get away so I enjoyed it. Then I thought back to my prayer and did a double take at the heavens questioning what God has in store for this next adventure of mine. This story is to be continued…

My get away bag!

HOW TO MAKE THE TIME WORTH IT

The COVID-19 has taken its toll on everyone. People have been out of work, self isolation and quarantine measures taken, the lack of home goods, mask being worn on essential errors, a complete uproot to our normal routine. Change is hard. It’s been a little over a month now, what have you all done to pass the time? The first week I worked around the clock, swing shifts. The second week I had a day off (I think) and I started deep cleaning my house. I began finding stuff I had forgotten. Projects, crafts, and if you’ve followed my previous blogs you know that I was starving. I am not a great cook. Social media began taking a toll on me, the conspiracy theories, people publicly shaming others for there lack of isolation and the media blasting case after case threw me into a panic, which had me then sitting in my house scrubbing my walls with bleach.

I began to pray for my patients that I was serving, my children who were out of school and out of care, for my family and then I prayed for myself. I asked God what I needed to do. The first thought that entered my mind was to further my distancing by shutting off social media. I can’t tell you how many times I was watching a movie or just got off the phone and went to pull up Facebook or Instagram. I still check my messages and get a little peek at the first post on the timeline here and there but that break has been the best thing I could have ever done. I’ve stopped listening to what everyone else is telling me to do and started listening to what God wants me to do.

Week 3: I quit drinking caffeine. What better time to kick a nasty habit? You have time to go through withdrawals and no outside influences tempting you to cave! The first few days were horrible, but I have energy that last all day now and no afternoon crash, a total win in my book! I’ve stepped up my game a notch and started working on my personal skills. With my kids back home and school happening right under my roof I’ve made a plan to sharpen their skills as well! After many failed attempts we are in the kitchen making successful meals and desserts from SCRATCH!

My youngest made almost all of this herself with a little help at the stove from mom!

My oldest daughter is learning to sew with a machine we’ve never even touched. She is a quick study and has made several mask with different techniques. She also helped me make my neighbor some banana bread as a thank you for cutting a fallen tree off my car and cleaning up the debris. We don’t know if he likes banana bread and we’ve never attempted to make it before but it came to my mind and so I took that as a sign that he would enjoy it.

We tried some and it’s GOOD!

I’ve started crocheting, reading more, studying gardening, I even learned from a Buddhist online how to remove a wasp from my home without killing it (the secret is a cracked window, blow dryer on cool, and talking to it as you guide it to the outside). I’m also creating new goals for what I want for my kids and I. I’ve taken a short night shift contract at work and flipped my schedule. My days off seem longer now and it feels great to have full days off to spend as I choose. I believe having my girls back home put the biggest worry in my mind at peace.

School at home!

I think the biggest question to ask yourself right now is, in several years from now what will you wish you had done with your time? Do it now. Make these days count toward the future days. Sharpen your personal skills, kick a nasty habit, read a book, study and pray, look out and take care of your neighbor, make your house your home!

Who needs a couch when you have a basketball?

An amazing woman named Marjorie Hinckley said, “The only way to get through this life is to laugh your way through. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.” I’ve cried more than I’d like to through this pandemic and I agree with Marjorie Hinckley, crying gives me a headache.

Tooth Fairy or Not?

If it feels like you are doing something wrong then doesn’t that mean you usually ARE doing something wrong?! Well… that’s how I felt pretending to be the tooth fairy this morning. I felt deceitful. I felt sneaky. I felt… so alive. I’m starting to question my true calling in life. I could’ve been a spy. At approximately 6:03am my preset alarm went off notifying me that the tooth fairy needs to make her exchange. I, being said tooth fairy, entered operation sneaky mode. I tip toed into the next bedroom over trying not to breathe too loudly. Stepped on something wet in the floor, *please don’t be pee*, reached my hand under the sleeping child heads pillow annnnd… nothing.

I retracted my hand. Blinked to improve my night owl vision, and rubbed my hand on my pajama pants to stimulate my nerve endings so that they may be able to better detect said tooth. Then, for the second time I went back in. Ducking my head to the side, just in case sleeping beauty awakes. Nothing. “Where the heck is your tooth you rotten kid?”. I exited the room feeling a sense of defeat, grabbed a flashlight and went back in. This time from a different angle. “How are you sleeping through this? And where the heck is your pillow case?!”. Questions that will all have to be answered at another time. I let the light shine to the side of her face while examining the bed, careful not to beam the sucker in her eyes. And then I see it… I see a closed hand, tucked securely under the pillow. Oh dear, mercy!

This is what I have to work with

“So you wanna play hard ball, huh?” The things I whisper to my sleeping child as I’m trying to rob her of her baby teeth needs to be recorded somewhere. I turned the flash light off and wiggled my finger into the palm of her hand and found the TOOTH! Made my secret exchange and went back into mom mode. I turned on all the lights and told the girls to get ready for school. The kid didn’t even look under the pillow. Not even interested. I had to coax her to it. I did all of this, for an ooooh yeah, I forgot about that. Meh. I love you anyways. This tooth fairy may have just made her last run.

IF FEET COULD TALK

I was invited on a date by this dream boat of a guy who is 6’6, blonde hair, gym goer body, an all around physically gifted man. I was thinking to myself, whoa dude… I have birthed 3 kids and while I may have went to the gym once a few years ago, I don’t have the beach body that would match you. I accepted the invite with the internal thought that I could google how to became a supermodel in 24 hours and everything would be alright.

Cinnamon rolls for breakfast was not on the google results list but it’s what I had and I was hungry. Instead of picking out an outfit for the date, I went junking with my friend Casey and found some treasures to use my new paint sprayer on. I completely axed my Cinderella transformation. I had dirty boots on, dust in my hair, my jeans were soaked from the rain we had ran through, and when I got home I found gravy on my chin. This was not looking promising.

I rescued this beauty!

Quickly, I tried to make myself look like I hadn’t just rolled out of the sticks. I tried on seven pairs of pants. The only ones that looked modest, without holes up in the thighs, didn’t cover my frickin ankles! So I had to change my shoes to coordinate. Time was running out and the only pair I came across that could complete the coverage I was looking for were these G.I. Jane boots which made me look like I had just returned from Vietnam. “It’s cool”, I thought… we are going bowling and I’m changing shoes anyways so he will not even notice. Plus he is so tall, I bet he can’t even see other people’s feet.

When I first saw him, I went to give a welcoming hug and stepped on his foot. Like a gentleman, he chose to ignore it but as the awkward person I am, I brought it to his attention, “I just stepped on your foot.” He laughed his supermodel laugh and said yeah you did but it’s okay, and then it happened…. he saw my boots. “Oh nice boots, those are coming back in style.” Ah. I’m accidentally stylist. Nice. 🤦🏻‍♀️.

You can see the humiliation in my face 😂

I had Marco Polo my friend Kathy up until this point where she was coaching me to be brave and not chicken out. Because up until the moment I stepped out of the car I wanted to go back home, put on jogging pants, curl up under a fluffy blanket, and binge watch Netflix while painting quietly in my living room. She kept saying, “just breathe, take a deep breath in and out”. That girl could coach a Lamaze class. Sometimes we need a good friend to push us outside of our comfort zone. Thank you my friend 😉.

I used to be on a bowling league so I know all about how the bowling shoes run a size bigger. I have big feet for a girl, size 9 to be exact. I told the bowling employee I needed an 8, to which he sets a size 7 on the counter and says, “they run big”. Yeah I’m aware. But I didn’t want to make things more awkward with my feet than they already were so I silently accepted the shoes. I thought to myself there are people in other countries that wear smaller shoes all the time for beauty so you can do this girl.

Next to our lane there were a bunch of young girls, they were all drinking but they looked like children to me. I must be getting old. It was refreshing to actually hear him say the words I was thinking. I’ve dated guys who are still chasing the youngsters and it’s mind boggling to me, seeing as my daughter will be 18 in 4 years. Handsome and he has a good head on his shoulders. I really should’ve put in more effort to make that Cinderella transformation possible. Darn.

Approximately 10 minutes after the bowling game had ended I started questioning if someone had a voodoo doll of me, tormenting my feet. We had retired to a quiet corner for more personal time and mid conversation I noticed I had put my G.I. Jane boots on the wrong dang feet! What the heck. I wonder if he noticed when I excused myself to the bathroom to fix the mishap. If he did notice he didn’t say, or maybe it didn’t bother him. The night ended with me standing on my tiptoes because he is a whole foot taller than me. Oh mercy. This is to be continued as we are going shopping for some junk together, and pray for my feet.

Dear elf on the shelf, I hate you.

I did the elf on the shelve one year for my kids. I thought it would be a fun time for the kids, so I Pinterest all the fun things to do and went through the motions. I hated it. Every. Single. Day. I hated it. Just call me Mr. Grinch. I hid the little doll and pretended it had to rotate families each year so it could visit all the kids. I even went as far as saying that Santa already made his list out and the elf only visits those people who aren’t on the nice list yet. I thought I got away with it too. Sleeping in every day. Minding my own business, wrapping my own gifts. Then it happened. My mom took my kids shopping this weekend and the smallest kid returned with a new elf.

I side barred my mom and told her I hated that stupid elf. That there was no way I could have that manic in my house again, it gets in all my stuff and leaves me exhausted throughout the holiday. It’s as bad as being married again, no thanks. “We already bought it.” Mom said. 😫. My oldest daughter happily joined the side bar and assumed responsibility for this elf. Fine. I’ve watched Kali night after night arrange this elf better than I ever could. The little girls run out every morning searching for it and giggling after the mischief. I still don’t like the elf but I love seeing the girls happy and Kali enjoys doing it so it’s a win, win in my book. Until one morning when I didn’t see it. Scared the butter right out of me. Literally. I dropped my toast and the elf went tumbling, the girls crying and me apologizing to Santa. Ah, the holidays are right on track.

This morning I woke to find the elf in the same place. I thought, oh Kali forgot to move it. I went to move the thing. As I got closer I noticed a letter:

There’s a strategy I haven’t thought of!

Kali is a smart kid. Using the elf to control the other kids… genius. She sounds like a mini mom. I love it. I can’t wait to wake her up this morning and give her smiling secret eyes that say, “now you know, now you know why I hate this elf business hahaha”. Both younger girls have already visited the elf this morning and promised to be in bed earlier tonight. Genius. Maybe the elf will disappear again next year, maybe Kali will keep this going, who knows. As for now, I’m enjoying this delegated responsibility of maintaining the elf from a distance. This probably doesn’t align with my goals of being one of those cookie cutter moms but we all knew I’d never reach that status anyways so I’m cool with it.

My Therapist Would Be Proud

This past month I feel like I’ve been taken to the cleaners. It has me wanting to loop the Dairy Queen Drive thru until I slip into a diabetic coma. I don’t know what God is trying to teach me here lately but I can tell you I don’t want to learn it. I mean I asked for it, I asked for growth and direction in my life. And then I prepared for learning only the lesson feels more like discipline. Maybe those are the same thing, consequences are lessons that grow us into better people right? I don’t know. All I know is I don’t like it. I work hard as an employee, my time at work doesn’t stop when I clock out, I investigate cases outside of work, take phone calls off the clock and come in on a moments notice when help is need. I work hard as a mother, it’s an unappreciated job at times that is 24/7 regardless of whether they are at school, a friends house, or with their dad. I work hard in my relationships with people, I find time that’s not mine to give to you. I carefully word responses and refrain from saying what’s on my mind to spare feelings and save conflict. Maybe that’s not the best approach, I work hard but still need growth.

This past month I have asked for growth. I’ve set goals and made plans to meet them. Every positive has been counteracted with 2 negatives. So as I sit here with my large moolatte and reflect on this past month trying my best not to add my salty tears to this sweetly crafted goodness I see some critical errors I’ve made along the way. I think it’s time I had a crucial conversation with myself.

#1 You don’t give yourself credit for the passion you put into you’re job, and you’re not going to receive that anywhere else. So take a deep breath, hang that lumber jack calendar up, touch you’re salt lamp, and remind yourself why you are doing this. It’s not for praise, it’s not for appreciation, it’s for the patients and you can lay your head down tonight knowing you did everything within your skill and knowledge level to meet their needs. *side note to self, turn to march on the calendar to add some cheer on a gloomy day*

I’ll add quotes from counsel I turned to for each trial that’s came my way this month.

#2. You have been through worse before with the kids. You have been close to rock bottom. You’ve been through the motions. You know you are a good mother, more importantly your children know it. Do not let an outsider have their 60 seconds of condemnation with you. Brush off that ignorance and pay the fine, do the time, and move forward. And your 7 year old is sleeping now so it’s alright if you want to go ahead and shovel what’s left of her fries into your sad tummy. You deserve it mom.

Oh yes it should!

#3. Girl. Even I don’t have anything good to say about this one. What were you thinking?! Being with that guy is like stepping into a revolving door with no exit. You end up in the exact same spot you started every single time. You are a smart woman. You know exactly what you deserve. You know there is no connection and no evolution so what the heck are you doing lady. If I had a ruler right now I’d smack your hand harder than a nun in a catholic school. Save your time for things you want to be doing until the right person who meets your standards in what you’re looking for in a man comes along. Smh. Girl stop acting a fool.

This quote is referring to Jesus Christ and it’s one of my favorites to reflect on

You know… that was a good talk with myself and a nice emotional binge on this Dairy Queen haul. I feel better already. My therapist would be proud.

Emotional For Education

I know what you’re thinking ‘Tinman actually has a heart’. I’m not your typical crier. I didn’t know I could do that for the longest time. Growing up I thought, “well maybe I’m a psychopath because I don’t cry at funerals or when babies are born”. My oldest daughter told me once that I needed to sit in a quiet room with a lit candle and try to turn my emotions on… I think she was joking but maybe not. I’ve seen other nurses at the station after a code balling their eyes out, I feel it too girl but it’s not coming out of my eyes.

Today I cried a little, like in front of people. It was weird. I was only talking about education, how important it was and how learning from someone with wisdom is much better than learning by mistake. The more I explained it, I felt the wetness under my eyelids no matter how hard I tried to stare at the ceiling. A work pal started to cry just watching me cry… she must be an empath. My middle child is an empath.

I do have an emotional bond with education. I love learning, anything and everything. I didn’t have the privilege to attend high school. I worked hard to get into nursing school after I got my GED. I had failed my entrance exam into nursing school, studied harder and made it in, only to end up in a car accident during the final semester of school… I went to the school in my wheelchair and was told I couldn’t attend because I couldn’t complete my nursing responsibilities. Once I was able to walk again I had to start all over, entrance exam and all.

I cannot explain to you how much I cherish education. I study everyday. Not in school or for any sort of college credit, just for me and my patients. Come to think of it the last time I cried was watching a movie. It was called the boy who harnessed the wind. He wants to go to school so badly and his father can’t afford it so he sneaks into school everyday, sneaks in the library, he gets caught eventually and man oh man does my face end up flooded with tears every time! That movie is based on a true story. I think people often forget that education is mandatory in our country but in others it’s considered a privilege.

Today I was teaching about preventative skin care. I added some show and tell to the mix because that has always been my favorite way to learn.

Check out how that fake urine beads up and rolls off the skin!

I do this once a month and it always gets the “ooooow… awwwww” effect. It really clicks seeing the difference you can make. This is information provided for free! Learn from wisdom, from the experience of the people before you. We rely heavily on that in the medical field. I can describe nothing worse than learning by mistake in this field. It happens, sometimes you do the best you can, the best you know to do, and it’s still not enough. Later down the road you may learn the answer to that problem and wish you had that knowledge before. It will rip your heart string in half, sure you will learn, you’ll never forget that one time you should’ve done this instead of that. But when the information is there, when it’s provided to prevent those nightmares of “learning by mistake” take it!

By the way I didn’t cry while teaching. If that’s what you were thinking.

Yes To This Dress

I’ve never tried on a wedding dress. Ever. Yes, I’ve been married before. It was not a planned thing. I remember riding down the road with my then boyfriend. He was covered in drywall mud and I was in a brown floral top and khaki pants. He asked if I wanted to get married, right then… I wasn’t really doing anything else. My day had been pretty boring and I’m a spontaneous person so of course I was all in. No tears or even witnesses, just me, him, and the lady at the tags office. Romantic right? Ha. That ended 7 years ago. He wasn’t the right guy, but that doesn’t make him a bad guy, just not the right guy. I’m not sure there is a right guy. I have been asked a total of 3 times for my hand in marriage but I’m a bit more cautious with my spontaneity now a days, and to be honest my hands are cold… wouldn’t want to hoodoo another persons life with these icicles.

I believe wholeheartedly that I was meant to be a single mom. Even as a child, when I’d picture my future life, I always saw myself with children but never with a mate. Sometimes now when I’m planning for retirement, or even what I’ll be doing in 10 years from now I see the same thing, mateless… just me and a garden, my one million projects lined around the yard, maybe a medical mission or 2, the company of friends and my kiddos. Perfection. My mom says that the way I’m feeling right now is exactly when my dad found her… well come and find me dad because I’m not going anywhere!

I recently went to a local thrift store to drop off donations. As I walked in the biggest, most poofy dress I had ever laid my eyes on caught my eye. It looked like the wedding gown donned by Barbara in beetlejuice. I snatched it up as my kids laughed saying, “mom no, oh man that’s hideous”… girls this is a work of art. I teased that I needed to try it on to wear to their first ball game at school.. want to look my best right? I slipped the dress on, unaware at the time it’d be my “first time” ever trying on a wedding gown.

Beetlejuice, beetlejuice, beetlejuice!

Everyone talks about that special moment when they find their wedding dress. Some even cry. I understand that feeling now. The broken mirror, the puffy lace sleeves, kids cackling from the door way, the thrift store find… I’m saying yes to this halloween dress 😭. It is perfect. I can picture it now, Maleah as Lydia. Kali as beetlejuice. Hailee as Harley Quinn… I can’t picture an Adam in all this so if that’s where your mind was going, sorry, no husband for me, just the creepy dress please. Thanks.

We go big for Halloween in this house. We plan out the houses we are going to hit. Extra bags in the car for the candies, what time we are going to the Halloween party, what time we will hit Main Street before the neighborhood homes. The book character day party and time it will take for a costume switch… it is all mapped out as if we are preparing for war. My girls make great soldiers.

I took my littles Halloween shopping yesterday. I usually know what to expect with each kid except Maleah. I know Hailee loves all things frilly and Princess related, Kali is somewhere between drag queen attire and full blown Disney Character (I know what you’re thinking but there’s not much difference), and then there’s Maleah… Maleah is that kid in your school who shows up in a hot dog costume when all the other girls are dressed as Cinderella. Try to pick her out in the above picture… if you picked the granny then you’re correct. This year Maleah was holding a cheerleader costume and something polar opposite from it, I don’t even know what to call it, but after heavy contemplation she chose the thing which I will now picture:

The other two girls refuse to let me snag a picture until they’ve gone through hair and makeup so I’ll have to update on Halloween! Divas. I couldn’t get them to go along with my beetlejuice plan so I guess I’ll just be Miss Havisham and sit it my wedding dress at home. I still think it’s perfect.

The Veils of Morality

I’ve heard that death is as easy as walking into another room. That there is a veil between this mortality and immortality. There is a sacred symbolic meaning behind the veil, it can mean obedience, modesty, concealing, humility or all of the above. I want to share the oddest dream I had the other night that changed the way I viewed the veils of our mortality.

I dreamt I was walking into work. It was quiet which is unusual for a nursing facility, there were no other employees, no call lights ringing off, and every patients room had a white veil hanging on the entrance to the doorway. In most of my dreams I can not talk, rather I feel what’s happening. I felt at peace in this one and continued to prepare myself to treat my patients. I approached a doorway and felt a voice ask me who I was. I’d describe it as a telepathic conversation as my mouth never opened but I answered with, “I am Annabelle”. The voice responded with the same question, “Who are you?” After a revolving Q&A with the same results I finally took a step back and thought there is a patient in there who needs my help and I am a nurse. The mystery voice said, “You May enter”. I stepped through the veil and only found the patient inside, no security guard at the door… it was odd but I didn’t question it. The patient was angry at me, he was asking why I took so long and why I hadn’t come to see him sooner. I wanted to respond with, “my child was sick and I’ve had a stomach ulcer so I’ve been out of work” but the voice in my head said again, even louder this time, “WHO ARE YOU?!”. I answered silently, “I am a nurse”. I felt a change internally, the stressors that control my time outside of that room quickly dissipated. I was no longer a woman who had only 4 hours of sleep, a sick child, a crippling stomach ulcer, or a single mom with bills racking up. That woman was not permitted into this room, only the nurse in me was extended an invitation. My response to the patient changed to, “I apologize for my absence but I am here now, how can I help?” The angry mood shifted as the patient allowed me to treat his wounds. I finished up and stepped back through the veil. As I entered the hallway I was Annabelle again, I was a mom, a painter, an adventurer, and a nurse all in one. But each time I approached the door to another room the same question was asked before entry was granted, “Who are you?”.

As I woke up I started pondering the dream with the veils. I thought about all the doors I walk through each day and the person in me who was permitted on the other side. When I come home am I bringing the stressors of work with me? Or am I stopping at the door and asking myself who am I with the response, “I am a mom”? Am I doing the same at work? It’s an interesting concept when I sit back and think about all the mortal doorways we each have in our own lives, with that invisible veil that only allows a part of us to enter. What have you come to that doorway to do? If it’s to give excuses when you get to the other side then take a step back and remind yourself who you are before you cross.

When I walked into work yesterday I couldn’t get the image of the veils out of my head. I believe the dream came about to remind me of who I needed to be in that room, and who I needed to be at home because I couldn’t be both. The hard days I have at work do not belong in my home with my children and the hard days I have with my family at home do not belong in the room with my patients. I thought to myself yesterday before I entered each room, “Who are you?” and that changed my entire day.

To the soon to be new mother

You’ve got the glow. Everything is exciting and it should be. The veterans wants to give you their opinions and tell you what you need to prepare yourself. You haven’t hit the nesting stage yet, you’re still in the honeymoon phase. I can tell because I just read your baby registry and there are multiple car seats, pack and plays, cribs, themes. I’ve always withheld giving my opinion, usually I’ll just give an eye roll at the other veterans who tune in and want to tell you exactly what products they used to care for their little one and that it’s the “right way”. Don’t believe that trash. The right way to do it will be the way you do it. I do however want to tune in to your baby registry and give you some dos and donts to save your nesting self from your honeymoon self. Go ahead and open that registry, look at the car seats (do this on both your registry’s), decide which one you want and eliminate the others. This may be the part where you post on Facebook asking why people like them or their opinions, I don’t have an opinion on that… as long as the baby has a car seat that is safe then kudos. Next do the same with the cribs, and the pack and plays.

You can’t see it but I’m panicked, I forgot to pack nail clippers and she had already started scratching that sweet face up!

Now let’s chat about the bottle and pacifiers, I see you’ve got multiple brands. Pick one. Preferably one that will provide gas relief, they will be more expensive. You can go with the cheaper brands but you’ll have to add manual labor and time in its place because you’ll have to burp the air the bottle doesn’t filter out of your babies tummy. I don’t know about you but my time is more valuable than money. You may think why do I have to pick one? Because these little babies are picky suckers, literally. Once you give them a bottle or pacifier, that’s the one they will want forever and if you want to change brands revisit my sentence that talks about manual labor and time. You will have to rock and soothe the little addict as they make the transition for days sometimes weeks. Some will not even attempt to eat if the nipple isn’t right and then you’ve got a hungry addict on top of that. Again do your nesting self a favor and narrow down that baby registry to the brand of bottles and pacifiers you want and add multiples of the same brand. Look at the nipples on the bottles and pacifiers and try to match them… trickery will be your saving grace while you prep those 2am bottles.

Took me until the 3rd kid to realize the same bottle brand was the key to a happy meal for baby

The honeymoon phase isn’t all bad for your registry. Go crazy on the clothes and sizes, add all the diapers you want, wipes, the decor and neat little inventions mankind has created for the new babe. Those are the things where it’s okay to be extra, but when it comes to the essentials know what you need so those things get taken care of first. As a veteran myself, I, like I’m sure other moms do, look at the essentials that are still left on the registry and then go from there. That’s hard for me to do if I see multiples of the essentials on your registry so narrow it down momma! This will be your greatest adventure yet, let me help you prepare for it 😊.

It’s would be a good idea to remember all these things are temporary. Buying the most expensive brands and products should only come into play when it is beneficial to your child’s wellbeing, like gas relief bottles and car seats that are safe. Sure we all want the stylish outfits and accessories but they only last a season, choose where you spend your money wisely because unexpected cost WILL arise when your child gets sick, loses their bottle, diapers, the formula you use and have stocked could be the wrong brand for the babe and you may not produce enough breast milk, etc… so keep those hidden cost in mind when you want to splurge on the expensive nonessentials. Like the baby baths… non essential. A towel in the tub with a little water works way better than any bath and your child will never out grow it. Of course these are just my opinions and I’m a frugal mom so to each his own.

My brother Jo and I were talking about my skills one time so that I could start a business. I asked him what he thought I was really good at and he drew a blank… he finally said, “the only thing I think you are really great at is being a mom”. I could’ve been offended by that, as I value my other creative skills, but if being a great mom is my top skill then that is possibly the best compliment I have ever received! I am here for you if you need generalize advice but if you come at me with monogrammed momma problems then insert eye roll here and move along.

There’s uncle Jo!