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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Slowly Slipping Down The Crazy Hole

Well, y'all, our agency may well be the last ones to head to China from the April Fool's Day referral group. Everyone else seems to have travel approval. Obviously we don't. I'm hanging in there... barely. I feel myself slowly slipping down The Crazy Hole. And by that I mean I've actually *gasp* enjoyed shopping these past few days. In fact, I can't seem to stop myself.

I think it's nesting.

Which one could argue should include endless home improvement projects and all manner of freezing home cooked meals and yard work and last minute medical and dental appointments, not to mention one last servicing of the car so we don't have to worry about it during our first few months home. Yeah. I know. Shopping sounds a lot more fun, doesn't it?

Even *I* think so, y'all.

Actually, we are pretty much all done with the home improvement projects. The Husband is hanging black-out curtains in the nursery and placing some magnetic locks on kitchen cabinets this weekend. I'll be finishing up our garage clean-out (not too much left to do) and reorganizing the linen closet. I don't want to start freezing meals yet, just in case we don't travel until mid- to late June. And the gardening? Well, y'all, I pretty much kill everything I touch within one month of planting it, so that's dealt with, too.

(Soon we won't have any plants to take care of anyways.)

As for the packing... it's starting. Mei Mei's nursery has become my staging area. I've carefully selected all of her clothes, including four (count! em! FOUR!) outfits that match with the Tongginator. I purchased two, and Tonggu Grammy sewed two. Easier said than done, let me tell y'all. Not only is it intensely difficult to find matching outfits in a size seven and a size nine months, it's even difficult to find matching sewing patterns for that big of a size spread. You can find infant and toddler, or even sometimes infant to size six, but the minute you step into the world of sizes 7 to 16, forget it.

And, unfortunately for me, the Tongginator really, really wants to "match" her sister.

In other packing news, I'm starting to assemble our Tongginator Airplane Survival Kit. I've included a few photos so that you can check out our ideas. A few of these items will actually go in my carry-on bag rather than hers, since they are more suited for airplane layovers than the actual airplane ride. What we plan to do is have the Tongginator use her backpack to store the majority of her Fun Stuff, and place said backpack inside of a rolling carry-on suitcase. Inside the suitcase we'll also include a travel blanket and pillow, plus a change of clothes and basic toiletries in case our bags get lost or something. The backpack will go under the seat in front of her, while the carry-on can go above.

a doodling pad, several games, a sticker book of "paper dolls,"
two travel puzzles, books and workbooks, magnetic tangrams ...
she'll also have majority access to an I-Pad and Total Control of
an I-Pod Touch ... oh, and we are hoping the Tongginator will learn
to tie her shoes using that cute and portable flat pink shoe


twistable colored pencils, hangman pads, a drawing pad,
bendaroos with instruction cards and a puzzle book

I hope to be able to hang this somewhere from the seat in front of us. We'll see how THAT works out. But it's a good idea anyways. I think. I'm also allowing the Tongginator to pack, in her checked luggage, her favorite doll Ivy and a jump rope for the long hotel stay. Those are her favorites, and I can't see being without them for over two weeks.

Then I would REALLY slip down The Crazy Hole.

31 comments:

Shawna said...

I'm way down that crazy hole right now, especially seeing others who even have their plane tickets (leaving May 11th). So, so hard isn't it?

Anyway, I enjoyed seeing what you are packing for the Tongginator since I haven't really started packing for Eli's plane ride yet. Great ideas!

I did pick up a couple of beach balls thinking the kids can safely play ball in the hotel.

autumnesf said...

Bendaroos rock. Do you have a couple of movies on that ipad? Oh - and just a warning....jet lag and stickers do not go well together. Although they do make for some great photo ops.

BevS97 said...

I love the idea of the hanging thing. We always end up in chaos in our plane seats, with things on the floor that we can't reach. I think the hanging organizer is a very good idea.

Krista said...

Regarding matching outfits - have you tried Hanna Andersson? I bet they would have matching outfits for both sizes. Sorry, I'm enabling the shopping thing huh? Good luck with the wait - so brutal.

Serving the King said...

Throw an old flat sheet into your carry on so that during layovers you can spread it out on the floor for the girls with some toys and the mother side of you won't be cringing with all the germs that are all over said floor. We brought 3 sheets with us and it was fantastic. They were able to lay down with their pillow, watch a movie, play UNO all without getting their regular snuggle up blanket dirty. And I wasn't obsessing that they were going to pick up some virus that was going to render them sick the entire trip. In other news, HURRY UP TA!!!!!! I'm so excited for you!!

prechrswife said...

Looks like you are very organized. I can so understand where you are with the TA wait. Our travel group was the same way. And since we were traveling close to the national holiday in October, we were watching the Consulate appointments fill up with others from our referral batch. We knew we would either have short notice travel or have to wait until after the holiday. It was short notice.

Kim K. said...

Thinking of your while you WAIT for that precious OFFICIAL date. You are so organized. Hugs!

3cmum said...

I travelled with my 6 year old to adopt ours. Your list looks good. The biggest thing we were glad to have was a set of headsets (the kid friendly ones) that fit for all the electronics. Mine also played with dolls and we took a small travel dollshouse and things and she loved it. Worth the space. Also put ALOT of kid friendly TV and movies on your ipad (we did it on a laptop). THERE IS ALOT OF DOWNTIME IN THE HOTEL WITH little sis! Esp if it rains.

She is now nearly 10 and we just got back from a trip. She used her DS, her Ipod and the computer (we don't have an ipad yet - sob), and daddy's kindle.

And yes I took matching outfits too ....and she insisted on wearing little sister in mum's ERGO!

Amy said...

Oh, I'm so excited for you all. I love living vicariously:) Now, come on TA!

Debbie said...

Oh, the tales you are going to be able to tell! But, it will all be so worth it:)

Dawn said...

Oh, how exciting! The only thing that makes me a little nervous for you is the packing her favorite doll Ivy in the checked bag. (Do you have a "back up" Ivy at home???) We "lost" a beloved (and a no-longer-manufactured-style) Pooh Bear that way - still makes me tear up when I think about it.

Mark said...

Great stuff!!! On Ivy..yeah, that would make me nervous too. We took Annslee's lovey on the plane with us...it was a pain but worth it. Can't Ivy sit with her?

Our TA took forever too..we watched families travel and we didn't for 10 long weeks (of course with VietNam it was 4 months after referral so that 10 weeks looked better) Hoping yours comes FAST!!

Dita said...

TM....you've always been down the Crazy Hole....who are YOU kiddin'?! Thing is, you're diggin' to China now.....LOL!

You are the most organized...AMAZING Mama EVER...and when MeiMei gets a load of you....well, its gonna be Mama and MeiMei Love at first sight.

Can't wait to see those little letters grace your page....and then pop some champagne corks!

xoxoxoxo
Dita

Debby said...

This waiting has to be so hard. I would be a wreck. Sounds like you are doing great planning. Good luck. Hope you share the baby's picture.

The Byrd's Nest said...

That is the first time I have ever seen that idea of hanging those things on the seat! I LOVE it! Then you are not digging things out from under the seat constantly...love love love it:) You are super creative! Praying you get your travel dates soon so you will feel peaceful and little Mei Mei will finally be held:)

Sunday Koffron said...

LOL, I HOPE you have enough to keep her busy!

Hang in there!

Sharie said...

I hope she sleeps the entire way and doesn't need any of it, but it looks like you are very well prepared for anything. Waiting for TA is the worst. I pray it comes soon!

Chinazhoumom said...

just my 2 cents - when we traveled to China for vacation (daughter was 4) we left FAVORITE duck of all times at home - gave him a kiss and told him we would be back (it was another tool to prove we were comeing back with her with us..anyway - so we took duck duck 2- which by the end of the trip became now know as Hong Kong Duck - as he was forgotten in the last place we stayed HK - I emailed the Marriott and they shipped him - I would never take the doll out of the house - much less in checked luggage...it is better for her to know that she is safe and sound and waiting on her - even with all going on around her...
I would add stickers to the list - dollars store books like teachers use - she stuck them on everything - kept her very entertained. Happy Trails to you !
Carol in FL

Elaine said...

Sorry to hear about the crazy making wait.
We've traveled to/from Asia (not counting when they were babies coming home from China) and the US 5 times with our older daughter - when she was 3, 4, 5, 8 & 9 years old and 3 times with the younger at 20 months, 4 and 5 years old (frighteningly impressive for a non-Pitt-Jolie kids).

Never once thought of a hanging bag like that. Excellent idea. You should be able to hang it on the latch for the tray table, though you may not be able to open the tray table.

The most important item we NEVER leave home without is kid-size earphones. Your airplane should have a back of the seat entertainment screen - though on our last trip back and forth on, I think, Delta we didn't (oh the despair!!). Usually there are marginally acceptable kid's movies and cartoons. If you fly an Asian airline, you get some awesome Asian cartoons. Our kids LOVE the video games as well, since we do not own one single video game ourselves. Figuring out how to play and then playing takes up hours of their flight time. Hangman is one of their favorites!

I could go on and on, but this is your blog, not mine. Let me know if more of my babble could help pass the time for you. =)

planetnomad said...

Wow! You are seriously organized! I am not letting my kids see this--they will think I'm a terrible mother. I didn't provide anything near this cool.

Re: clothes. What about matching jeans and shirts? Old Navy and Gap and places like that might be good places to check.

:) I'm so excited for you!

Chris said...

I am so incredibly excited for you!!!

You sound so stinkin' organized!! :)

If we ever go back to China, I will be coming back here for all these wonderful ideas!!!

Special K said...

9 month clothes? Danggit...I bet those pj's are gonna be way too big even this winter.

I'm going crazy, too. My agency is suggesting travel in only 12 days. And we don't have a consulate appt. Which means we don't have a plane ticket or hotel reservations. And I'm freaking out. I want some confirmed plans already! Tired of limbo!!

Learning Together at Home said...

Wow! You are getting so close now! (I know, not close enough. :)

I love the hanging case idea - so smart! And I second (third, fourth?!) the comment about her Ivy doll. I'm not sure I'd trust something so precious to the cargo hold. Our favourite thing to bring (besides a blow up beach ball) was a set of kid sized head phones. For our sensory kids who get over stimmed by white noise, even wearing them without them being plugged in helped after the many hours in the air (we were on 9 or so planes in nearly 4 weeks).

Can't wait to hear that you haev your TA!

Buckeroomama said...

You are SO ready to go. =)

We bring along the BrainQuest cards with us --so handy. I see that you have the Mighty Minds thingy there. :) You might want to check out 1 or 2 ThinkFun solitaire games (Rush Hour? Chocolate Fix?). These keep J occupied and he loves them.

Aus said...

Hey TM - looks like a lot of good stuff here - but I'd loose the seat hanging thingme - with the tray table in the way there could be a lot of annoyance and it would have to fit between the tray table and the seat + between the arms that hold the table. That's a need for a lot of luck!

As long as T 'works' the ipod touch - great - except it needs a charger. You can get a leap pad and few games on ebay for $10, and it uses AA batteries that can be purchased at any airport. Just thinkin out loud.

Do you plan to skype? If so - before you leave you may want to buy a $10 headset / microphone combo for use with the 'puter. Then again - I'm thinking you are a mac user - and the prolly don't support such 'primative technology'!

Looking forward to hearing you have your go order!

hugs - aus and co.

Teacher Girl said...

You will be going before you know it!!!

Cavatica said...

Impressive nesting! Nesting in your home, nesting on the planes, nesting all over China. I think you are ready. If you need anything else to prepare, we have a really disasterous garage in need of serious nesting. :-) You'll be there and back before you know it.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

You are really nesting my friend!! It will not be long now:) I am sure you are chomping at the bit to get those travel arrangements...... Hope that you will be leaving very soon!!

Wanted to drop by and wish you an extra special Mother's Day!! Hope you have a fabulous day surrounded by your loved ones..... I know you are all thinking about that special little one half way across the world.

xoxo,

Lisa

Wanda said...

I know it's long and crazy but looking at all your well- organized "nesting" just makes me smile. Thanks for that.

Soon.......real soon!
=)

Aunt LoLo said...

Wow. I'm just trying to imagine packing what it would take to keep Ming Wai occupied on a plane for that long. A DVD player would definitely be on the list!

SJ would involve....a straight jacket and possibly some sedatives. Heh.

Football and Fried Rice said...

I can't WAIT for you to get home with that baby girl! Can't wait for a travel tips post!!