Tag Archives: checklist

Emergency Car Kit Checklist – Baby Edition!

26 Oct

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So one of the major changes I’ve noticed in myself ever since becoming a mother, is that I now feel the need to be freakishly organized and prepared for any and every worst case scenario. My new nightmares consist of finding out that we’ve run out of toilet paper or lightbulbs or that we need a screwdriver that we just don’t own. EGADS!

Anyway, a couple of months ago I made a “Things To Keep In Your Car” checklist. Prior to having Tessa as a resident in my uterus, I just wasn’t all that prepared – ever. And I was (and still am) chronically forgetful. So now that Tessa is here, I thought it would be wise to add another tubful of goodies to my car kit checklist and stay on top of this whole being prepared and taking care of my family thing.

I’d like to mention that the brands that I have stashed in my baby car tub is NOT indicative of brands that I support or regularly use or endorse in any way. These are all quite literally baby shower gift leftovers and gift registry freebies. Since I don’t anticipate actually having to use this bucket – it’s meant for the direst of emergencies – I figured I’d use them in the car stash rather than just toss them. That said:

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Emergency Car Kit Checklist – Baby Edition:

DIAPERS – My little poop factory is only 7 weeks old, and I’ve already come to realize that you can never have too many of these stashed away. While we’ve never been completely diaper-less when I’ve needed one, I have forgotten my diaper bag on some quick 30 minute outings (like going to pick up my husband from work). And had the poop machine decided to blow, I’d have been screwed.

BABY WIPES – Again, I don’t like using store bought wipes on my baby. I use all natural DIY baby wipes for her little tooshie. But in the off chance we’re in a situation that requires wipes, and there are none on hand (for instance, just last week she decided to poop all over her car seat and her diaper decided to have major leakage issues), we have some hypoallergenic baby wipes stashed away for cleaning things and / or baby.

HAND SANITIZER – I have SO MANY of these stashed away… at her changing pad, at our nursing station, in the stroller, in the car, in the diaper bag, and now in the car kit. You can usually find little three packs at a dollar store.

FORMULA AND BOTTLE – This is for the “oh crap, I forgot the diaper bag and we are nowhere near civilization oh god oh god oh god” emergencies. To date, I have not given my daughter a drop of formula. She has been exclusively fed with donor breast milk, and Lord willing, she’ll continue to be so till she is weaned. But in the extremely unlikely event I somehow fumble in her feeding duties on a road trip, I have a random freebie formula sample I was given from Babies R Us stashed away so my darling doesn’t starve.

BURP CLOTHS – Like diapers, I am loving having tons of these scattered around everywhere. You will always need them around with babies, and since plopping this emergency car kit in the car, we’ve already dipped into our burp cloth stash once.

RECEIVING BLANKET – In case she soils the one in her car seat, or if for some unforeseen reason it gets too cold and one blanket just won’t cut it.

EXTRA ONESIE – I don’t know if it’s normal to go through these frequently on outings, but about every other trip out of the house since she’s been born, she’s decided to poop on, massively spit up on and just general wreck her outfit. There’s been a couple days where she has soiled the outfit she left the house in, AND the two extra onesies I had stashed in the diaper bag. So I’ve got a few more hiding the car tub as well.

EXTRA SHIRTS FOR THE PARENTS – I haven’t had a massive wardrobe disaster yet (knock on wood), but I have arrived to functions with spit up stains or huge wet spots on my blouse. So I’ve got one of mine and one of my husband’s spare shirts hiding in the trunk for that inevitable emergency.

BUCKET TO HOLD ALL OF THE JUNK – Slap some Velcro on the bottom so it doesn’t slide around the car when you’re driving.

Other things you might want in your tub, that I have covered in my regular car kit:

FIRST AID KIT – With baby Tylenol and kid specific items

BOTTLED WATER – For mixing formula, cleaning up messes, etc.

ANY IMPORTANT MEDICATIONS FOR BABY

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Things to Bring to Navy Graduation (PIR) Checklist

30 Jul

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I’m leaving tomorrow morning for Chicago to see my handsome husband graduate Navy Boot Camp as a United States Sailor. I’m going insane with last minute packing and with my preggo brain, I’m terrified that I’ll forget something vital to pack… hence this super long and largely common sense list that I’ve compiled. As I have personally never attended a Navy PIR, this is all info I’ve gleaned from seasoned Navy wives and mothers, and things that I’ve found that I personally would like to bring or include.

Since I’ve thoroughly raped this checklist in my Word documents, I thought I might as well share it with the blogosphere. I hope someone out there finds it helpful, haha!

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THINGS TO BRING TO NAVY GRADUATION (PIR)

Plane tickets, hotel reservations and car rental information – Have all of your important travel reservations and documents handy, along with phone numbers and street addresses of hotel, car pick up / drop off locations, the Meet and Greet and the Great Lakes military base.

Phone, laptop and chargers – These are essentials for me when it comes to travel. I usually don’t forget the actual phone or laptop, it’s the chargers that I have a tendency to forget.

Camera, lenses, batteries, charger, memory card and uploading cord – One of my worst nightmares is the thought of forgetting my camera right before an important event, or just as awful, any one of the elements of my camera that are required for photography. I literally have nightmares before major happenings – my honeymoon, a vacation, a graduation – so I’ve gotten really anal about checking and double checking this part of the list. And just last week a gal on the 900 division Facebook group reported having to take photos on her iPhone because she forgot her camera’s SD cards! It happens. So make sure you have your camera, your lenses (standard and telephoto), your batteries, your cameras charger and an uploading cord for getting your photos safely stored onto your laptop ASAP.

Your toiletries and medications – I could go on an even greater checklist with this little category (and my unabridged checklist on my iPhone notebook does just that), but for brevities sake – toiletries and medications. You know what you need / want.

Make up with waterproof mascara – Emphasis on the waterproof mascara. Don’t forget to pack make-up remover wipes as well. (Or better yet, don’t wear any makeup on PIR day, to avoid smudging the Navy whites.)

Outfit for the Meet and Greet – From what I can tell, the attire is casual. I plan on wearing a nice-ish top and leggings, with comfortable pumps.

Centerpiece and place cards for the Meet and Greet – Division families are encouraged to show support for their divisions by creating centerpieces for the tables at Sarge’s Meet and Greet. It’s obviously not a requirement, but our division group is so tight knit and ambitious, we went all out and plan to take the Meet and Greet by storm. In a fit of Martha Stewart-esque craftiness I decided I’d make personalized origami boat place cards for all the people in our group and ensure that we can all sit together.

Gifts for fellow division families at the Meet and Greet – If you were lucky enough to find an amazing support group of fellow Navy families from your sailors division through Facebook that you plan to meet up with, show your appreciation for their company and support with a small gift, candy, cards, whatever (if you’d like, it’s certainly not mandatory)! In the first few weeks of discovering my new online friends, I decided to make up a batch of patriotic lapel pins as gifts. The group has since grown to a number that exceeds the lapel pins I made, so my generosity and act of friendship is only extending to the 938 Facebook old-timers. (Classy, I know, lol.)

Parking passes, base pass and IDs – Make sure you have all of this printed out and set aside prior to leaving for Great Lakes. These guys don’t mess around. If you don’t have the appropriate documents, you won’t be getting in to see the graduation.

Outfit for the PIR – The going consensus is that the attire is business casual, though there is currently no enforced dress code, so jeans and a tee are welcomed. But really? Jeans and a tee for a NAVY GRADUATION? Come on. I’m planning on wearing a nice navy blue knee length day dress. I was agonizing trying to find the perfect dress to show off my baby bump to my husband, and had planned on wearing a 1950’s style circle skirt with an empire waist, but finally decided to opt for something simple, comfortable and classy.

Comfortable walking shoes – Make sure you plan to wear comfortable walking shoes – if your sailor wants to go out on the town, you may be spending the day in whatever you are wearing.

Support ribbons or attire – Don’t forget to pack any ribbons or other support trinkets if you are planning on sporting them to the PIR.

Jacket or wrap – I have been hearing rumors that the PIR room is pretty cold. A lot of gals online are advising bringing something warm to cover up with, like a light jacket or a wrap.

Tissues – If you’re not crying like a baby, you’re a robot. Or a monster. Or a robotic monster. Anyway, make sure you bring something to sob into when you see your sailor on the PIR floor. And when you hear liberty call. And, you know, for the whole weekend.

Graduation gifts for your sailor – I got my husband the Performance Division’s Ship 2 Challenge Coin, and a leather Burberry bomber jacket that I found pre-used for an AMAZING deal. I am going to wrap them and bring them in my checked luggage, but as I have had wrapped gifts unwrapped by TSA before, I’m bringing extra paper just in case I need to re-wrap.

Sailors cell phone and charger, and other electronics. – Your sailor will be able to take these things with them to A School, but they have to be handed off at the airport after their day of leave. I’m going to make sure I have Jonathan’s phone charged and activated during his free time after graduation though, as I’m sure he’d enjoy checking his phone, logging onto Facebook or Google searching random things throughout the day.

Sailors rings and personal jewelry – I’ve been wearing Jonathan’s wedding ring and his Aragorn ring on a necklace since he left for Boot Camp. I can’t wait to see them back on his fingers, and I’m sure his hands have felt naked without them.

Change of clothes for your sailor – If you plan on spending any time in your hotel room, give your sailor the option of changing our of their sailor uniform and into some comfortable and familiar clothes. I’m planning on bring my husband some pajamas, an actual outfit (jeans a tee shirt), and one of his favorite loose hoodies so he has a choice of what to wear / change into.

Your sailors favorite cologne, deodorant or shampoo – While Jonathan isn’t big on cologne, he does love him his Axe brand shampoos and deodorants. People talk about how much their sons / husbands loved returning to their familiar and personalized scents and grooming products. I don’t know how much the gesture will be one that Jonathan delights in, but I’d rather have that option open to him if it would make him feel that much more “at home”.

Lingerie and massage oil – This is for the wifey’s (obviously). I don’t know when / if we’ll have time to ditch the in-laws and indulge in some, uh, quiet time – but in the off chance that we do, I am planning on bringing my classy honeymoon lingerie as a sweet surprise (Don’t look at me like I’m some kinky temptress, it cover more than the average swimsuit. I wore this for my 30 week maternity photos), and some massage oil, and I’m hoping to give my honey a long, relaxing, peaceful massage. Hey, he’s earned it!

Lint roller and tide pen – The sailors must wear their white uniforms in public at all times during PIR weekend, so if you are planning on going out and about, make their life easier and have a lint roller and tide pen to keep them neat and clean.

Dental floss, mint gum, chapstick – Keep some handy “just in case” essentials in your purse. This is not the weekend to be irritated and made uncomfortable by a pesky / stubborn piece of food stuck in your (or your sailors) teeth. Or chapped lips. Or a rank breath from the extra garlic on your deep dish Chicago pizza. Take extra steps to make the weekend a cheerful, joyous, stress free one for all!

Change / cash for toll booths – If you plan on driving in to the Chicago area at all, make sure you have loose change and cash on hand for parking, toll booths and various expenses.

Directions to places you may want to see in Chicago – In my experience, a GPS can get really spotty once you get into the downtown areas. So it’s a good idea to know where you are going, what the address is, and a the directions for getting there instead of embarking on a point by point Google maps excursion.

Letters for your sailor – I have been writing to my husband every single day since he departed for Navy Boot Camp two months ago. Even though I’ve had to stop sending letters with his PIR date approaching, I have not stopped writing them. I plan to bring the unsent letters for him to read on his plane trip to A School.

Book for your sailor to read on the plane – I have not gotten a clear response on whether sailors will have room for an extra book on their flight to A School, but I figure it wouldn’t hurt to bring my bookworm baby a novel just in case. If he can’t take it, I’ll just have to bring it to him when I follow him to A School later.

Complete List of Things to Keep in Your Car for the Chronically Forgetful

6 Jul

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At times, I am the most addle-brained, forgetful person on the planet. No, really. I’m constantly asking, “Is there any chance we have any (fill in the blank) in the car? No? Darn.” I had been toying with the idea of one day, when I’m really bored or motivated or nesting or SOMETHING, to get my act together and actually flesh out my car with every conceivable necessity possible.

With an imminent cross-country road trip to Pensacola, Florida looming over my head and a baby on the way, I finally decided to invest a day in making my car road trip proof, oops-I-forgot-this proof and new baby proof. For those of you who know me, you know I get ridiculously giddy over checklists. So here’s my complete list of things to keep in your car. This is particularly useful for the accident prone and chronically forgetful.

Absolute Essentials:

(Most of these items can be found in pre-assembled Emergency Car Kits in auto supply stores)

Owner’s manual – Helps with everything from, “How do I turn the wiper fluid on?” to “What does it mean when the check engine light is on and fire is happening?”

Registration and Insurance Information  – Always good to have on hand. And make sure you always know where it is. I always feel like cops are thinking I’m some creeper digging around for a gun when it takes me a lot of ferreting around to produce my license and registration.

First aid kit – Make sure you familiarize yourself with everything that’s in it. I had one for like 4 years, and never knew what it contained. And after like a trillion backpacking trips where I endured blisters, chapped lips, bug bites and the like, I finally opened it and was like, “Hey look! Chap stick! Moleskins! Insect repellant! Awesome! And kind of lame for me…”

Jumper cables – Always nice to be in a position to be the Good Samaritan. Of course, I’m usually the one in need of a jump, but that’s besides the point…

Road flares – Good for accidents and the like. Also, in the off chance you find yourself in a Jurassic Park type setting, they are useful for luring T-Rexes off into the woods while you save the childrens.

Flashlight and extra batteries – So you can see in the dark. NOT recommended for shining in the eyes of T-Rexes whose eyesight is based on movement.

Emergency Blankets – Living in the heart of the Central Valley in California I don’t particularly feel the need to keep one of these on hand, but it came along with a ton of other not so essential essentials in the Emergency Car Kit I purchased. The kit I bought came with rain ponchos, a set of tools, a tow rope, glow sticks, an oil funnel and tons of other things I was kind of “meh” over.

Bottled water – For drinking or emergency radiator fluid. Having burned up an engine once, (okay twice) in my day, it’s particularly relevant for the latter.

Money – Everytime I do this I usually just end up spending it on Starbucks or some impulse buy. But I’m going to try and make a point of keeping a handful of change, and at least $20 in cash in my car at all times for emergencies. (Example: card being declined at gas stations and you’re running on empty.)

Cell phone charger – So you can always be able to make emergency calls and troll Facebook.

Important Medications – I have pretty severe asthma at times, and I very rarely actually keep my inhaler on hand. So I’ve set aside room in my car for an inhaler and allergy meds so I don’t, ya know, die.

Oil – I wasn’t going to throw this one on the list, but then a friend convinced me that if a car starts leaking oil on a long road trip, having a can on hand is the best $5 insurance you can invest in. So I agreed and decided to pretend it was my idea to add it to the list. Then I accidently shared this whole story. Oops.

Rags – For checking engines, oil levels, or anything to protect your hands / clothes / whatever.

Bucket to hold all the junk – Slap some Velcro on the bottom so it doesn’t slide around.

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Nonessentials:

(But equally vital for the chronically unprepared…)

Pen and pad of paper – Always good for jotting down important notes and phone numbers, and for the writers out there, essential for capturing random ideas!

Dog treats, spare leash and doggie poop bags – Obviously this is for the dog owners out there. I’m always like, “Come on Thor! In the car!” And then I’m half way to the dog park before I’m like, “So. You didn’t happen to bring your leash, did you boy? BAD DOG!”

Kleenex – No more wiping your snot on your husband or car seat!

Plastic utensils – Okay, this one came about accidentally. My husband would take packed lunches to work, and found that it was easier to use throw away utensils than remembering to bring silverware back from work. After the dozenth time a fast food joint forgot our utensils after we drove away we were kind of like, “Heeeey. This isn’t a bad idea to keep these in the car!” Ditto for napkins and fire sauce from Taco Bell.

Breath mints – Cuz yo breath stanks.

Deodorant (for me and him) – I’m always rushing out the door being stinky. Okay, not ALWAYS, but it’s awful when it happens. I grabbed some tiny (non-meltable) deoderants, one for me and one for hubby, to keep on hand. Ya know, just in case.

Air freshener – I am so retarded for Fabreeze it’s not even funny.

Floss – This is one of those things that doesn’t seem important till you absolutely need it.

Travel razors – Okay, you can start judging me. I really am that unprepared most (all) of the time. I’ll be halfway to a friends house in shorts and then go, “Oh yeah. I should probably take care of these gorilla legs of mine.” Or I’ll find a huge stray hair on the back of my leg that somehow dodged my razor at home. At any rate, I recommend keeping one on hand. If you know how to, ya know, groom properly or whatever, disregard.

Lip balm – Always nice to have on hand. I made sure I got a non-meltable (cars get hot!) uni-sex tube one so I can share with my hubby.

Hand sanitizer wipes – Good to have, cuz you never know.

Lint roller – With a dog and five cats, this is an essential that I almost never have on hand, and really should. But with my honey in the Navy now, I can’t imagine his white Navy suit and black Maine Coon, or his blue Navy suit and his golden retriever would make a good pair without this bad boy on hand.

Sunglasses – I have taken to keeping one pair in my purse and one pair in the car at all times because I always lose and / or break these. ALWAYS.

Tylenol – I’ve taken to keeping this, and due to pregnancy ails, Gas-X and Tums in the car. I’m also keeping Band-Aids up in the front in addition to the ones stashed in the First Aid Kit in the back because PAPER CUTS CAN’T WAIT.

Protectant and Glass Wipes – For cleaning the car out and wiping down random spills and dog slobbers. I bought the pre-moistened wipes because they are ready to use and just easier to mess with.

Windshield Reflector – I really only use this as a light bouncer for photography, but I may eventually one day actually use it for my windshield. So in the car it stays.

Music – iPod, CDs, whatever. Make it happen.

So that’s pretty much it! I went on my epic car supply hunt, and then took my car to be professionally detailed. It looks and smells BETTER than when we drove it off the lot! I seriously don’t know how I’m ever going to let my dog back in the car after this sparkling cleaning job of awesomeness. I feel much more confident and empowered in my car preparedness, both in the emergency realm and in the “Uhhh, sir, you forgot my spork” at the drive thru realm. I’m super ready for this road trip and feeling just a tad more prepared for motherhood! Car down, only a trillion more nesting tasks to go!

Before Your Husband Leaves For Navy Boot Camp Tips

1 Jun

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My husband Jonathan is leaving for Navy Boot Camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Illinois in just 2 days. We’re on the scary, ominous, less-than-a-weekend part of the countdown and it’s crunch time for wrapping up any unfinished business before he goes. So I thought I’d share our little “before he leaves” checklist for any fellow soon-to-be Navy wives out there.

Now, my personal disclaimer is that we are brand new at this whole Navy life / leaving for boot camp thing. But with my husband being in the Delayed Entry Program for well over half a year now, I’ve had plenty of time to pick the brains of fellow Navy wives, recruits and recruiters on their personal experiences and advice in prepping for boot camp. So here is our personal “the week before” plan.

When it comes to helping your husband actually pack for boot camp, there’s not much to it. As far as gifts go, you can’t really give your husband much since he won’t be able to take anything with him.

Recruits are only allowed to bring (checklist from the Navy Recruit START Guide) –

Cash (Maximum of $50)

Prepaid Calling Card

Credit Card

Completed Direct Deposit Bank Form

Photo ID

Social Security Card

Prescription Drugs and Eye Glasses

Small Bible

Anything else is shipped back at the recruits expense. This includes his cell phone (which Jonathan will be sure to have so we can share last minute texts / sexts and calls before he’s shut off from the world), his jewelry and the clothes on his back. So, regarding the things you can prep for:

SMALL BIBLE WITH FAMILY PHOTOS – The only gift / personal item loophole that I could find is the small personal Bible. After asking around I discovered that any scribbles, notes, small bookmarks or page inserts into your Bible that hold religious significance to you cannot be disturbed or banned by Navy personnel. And keeping your family members faces in your Bible to aid in prayer time and devotions qualifies as “religious significance”.

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So we got some wallet sized images from our maternity shoot and Tessa’s 18 week 3D ultrasound and taped them onto the inside covers of his Bible (the mini one he received along with his START Guide after being sworn in at MEPS). That way he has our images there with him right away instead of having to wait for the first mail – which can take weeks from what we hear.

BANK ACCOUNTS AND BILLS – It’s important to get a joint bank account set up at Navy Federal so you have access to his direct deposits, along with thorough information on all bills that must be paid while he is gone. Also, arrange to have his cell phone account suspended, if you can. Most cell phone companies let members of the military suspend their phone service without payment while they are in boot camp or deployed. A couple of days before he leaves, make sure his direct deposit form is fully filled out so you don’t have to work on it last minute. He WILL need it filled out prior to boot camp.

PREPAID PHONE CARDS – When it comes to buying the prepaid phone card, make sure it is activated and that your hubby knows how to use it. You don’t want him wasting time figuring out the phone card when he has less than 5 minutes with the phone. Also, make sure he has all important phone numbers memorized and drilled into his memory. We hear boot camp makes people go full retard, so if the numbers aren’t drilled into his memory, write them into the cover of his personal Bible!)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND PASSWORDS – Have your husband leave all pertinent information that you may need to know when you can’t get in contact with him in the coming months – for instance, his social security number, contact info for his recruiters if you have any questions, etc. etc. Among the info I had Jonathan leave me was the info to our storage unit, passwords to various accounts (Crunchyroll, eBay, PayPal, etc.) and instructions on how to make coffee. (He is, after all, my personal coffee slave. I am one of those people who can LOOK at a coffee maker and it’ll break.)

LOVE NOTES AND SURPRISES – Boot camp is just as hard on the family being left behind as it is on the one going in to it. So don’t let your Navy man forget to prepare sweet gestures for the doting spouse he’s leaving behind. Jonathan is writing me short little love notes on flash cards with sweet nothings and inside jokes, and dating them so that I can “hear from him” once a day for the first month, even when he is far away and our mail exchange hasn’t begun yet.

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WEDDING RINGS AND JEWELRY – Now, I have heard some conflicting reports on whether recruits are allowed to bring their wedding rings or not. I believe that they can have them in boot camp but are not encouraged to wear them and to just leave them in the lockers. So with that in mind, and in the off chance that the rings get lost / broken / stolen / become cumbersome while in boot camp, we have decided to do what countless other couples do – put his rings on a chain for me to wear while he is gone. I’ll be wearing his wedding ring and his Lord of the Rings Aragorn ring. (I know, he’s my nerd boy and I love him so hard.)

PREPARE YOUR ATTITUDE BEFOREHAND – The trick is to focus on the time apart as a growing experience, and an adventure, for both of you. The biggest part of keeping up a positive attitude is consciously CHOOSING beforehand to maintain a positive attitude. Keep busy and find ways that you can better yourself. Learn something new. Develop new skills. Surround yourself with positive people who support you and love you. Put yourself through a domestic boot camp so that your husband is greeted by a super-wife, just as you are being greeted by one of the newest American heroes come graduation day.

I know that this is going to be a difficult transition for us, but we are each determined to be strong and positive. It’s an honor to serve our country (yes, supporting roles like spouses ARE making sacrifices and serving alongside their husbands, too!) and we know that the benefits that go along with service in the Navy outweigh the sacrifices. Not only are we bettering ourselves, but we are giving Tessa a solid start in life with a roof over her head, food on the plate, full medical coverage and a daddy that is an American hero in the greatest naval force in the world. And that is more than worth it. It’s going to be an adventure, that’s for sure. ^_^

The Bare Essentials for a New Baby Checklist

19 May

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We set our phasers to scan and went all sci-fi shooting action on everything all up in this Babies R Us yesterday. It’s getting real ya’ll.

Here’s our timeline as best we know it:

Jonathan leaves for boot camp on June 4. He graduates on or around August 6, at which time he’ll be told where his school will be located. Then he’ll be sent to A School within the few weeks following boot camp. At this point I will be 4-6 weeks to my due date. Since I want to be near him during his school – which lasts 6 months – I will be moving to wherever in the United States his A School is (though I have a sneaky suspicion that it’ll be in Pensacola, FL). So we will have roughly a month after his graduation to find a place to stay, then move ourselves, our cats, our dog, and our baby things to Who-Knows-Where, USA and get our little world ready to be rocked by a new baby.

The chaos of potentially moving cross country, coupled with the fact that we’re not really going to be experiencing an excess of money till Jonathan is well into boot camp, has our hands tied to buying only the barest of the bare necessities to keep Tessa alive, healthy and happy. Not only that, but I will have to be making the majority of our purchases without Jonathan – which is why it was so important to run the big buys by him BEFORE he leaves to be a tight pantsed sailor suit military man on June 4. That way I can buy the things on our list stress free and without any unpleasant “Here’s what I did with the checkbook while you were gone, honey!” moments.

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So yesterday we spent the day in Fresno at Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby with my friend Bree and her family. Bree is a supermom, who is a veritable guru of baby safety and practicality. Having her help us through the registry and the ins and outs of new parenthood was a life saver. For instance, we didn’t know we could take the jogger and baby car seat we were looking at buying out to our car for a test run. (Yeah, that thing was WAY too big. Potential disaster = averted.) And between using her children as experiments on products to practicing car seat safety on a Hello Kitty doll, Bree gave us the thorough 101 on essential baby purchases.

Halfway through our first stop at Babies R Us I got a huge stress headache. Those stores bombard you with useless crap that look so fun and indispensable. Then inadvertently adding up the price tags of the last 35 pointless diaper wipe warmers / Disney themed pacifier holders / Winnie the Pooh plushies was sending me into a financial meltdown. Again, I don’t know what I would have done without Bree there to keep me focused on the essentials!

So here’s the basics I’ve gleaned:

NURSERY AND FURNITURE – The baby will sleep in our room for the first few months. So we simply don’t need a fully-decorated nursery right away. Furthermore, things like high chairs and play pens and swings won’t be necessary till she’s a bit older and the purchases can be delayed, while some parents dispense with the play pens all together. It’s a kind of have the baby first, THEN buy situation. So you can safely cross this section off right off the bat .

CLOTHES – The biggest and most redundant piece of advice we’ve received from various sources is to NOT buy clothes, especially newborn clothes. From what I hear, not only will we be showered in a mountain of cute baby wear, (and we already have, haha) but once Tessa pops out, all she’ll be wearing for the first few months are onesies and pajamas. Also, we’re told that for the majority of babies, the newborn clothes fit for a very small period of time. For instance, in Jonathan’s case, he was born tall and heavy and didn’t even fit newborn wear the first month.

HYGIENE AND GROOMING – I’m told virtually every essential will be supplied by friends and family at the baby shower. And what they don’t cover, hospitals generally will in “new baby” kits. And as far as baths go, I’m told babies can do without soap or shampoo until week three.

SAFETY – While I hear that Tessa will be a whirlwind of destruction one she arrives, I’m also told that she must first be able to move on her own before she’s in danger of setting herself  and / or my cats on fire. Which gives us roughly about five months before we have to seriously baby proof the place.

So, with these points in mind, here’s the breakdown on our list of the bare essentials that we absolutely need to have by day one.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS CHECKLIST

Pack of Onesies

Hat and Socks

Snap-up Pajamas

Stroller and Infant Car Seat Travel Set

Pack of Burp Clothes

Bassinet with Sheets

Diapers and Wipes

Swaddling Cloths and Receiving Blankets

Baby Grooming Kit

4 Ounce Bottles and Bottle Brush

Baby Sling / Carrier

If there is anything I’m forgetting or overlooking – or anything that would be just plain helpful to have prior to pushing Tessa out my hoo-haw, please let me know! If you can’t tell – we’re totally new at all this. 😉