Thursday, July 29, 2010

Calling All List Makers!!!!!

I need your help!

Actually, I need your lists!!!

Pretty please? With sugar on top?

I have been having a bit of a panic attack this week because I HAVE NOTHING READY!!!

What have I been doing the last, oh 12 months!!!!????

O.k. I know what I have been be sure this was all going to work out.

While nothing is 100% yet until we get that visa, I need to get our bags packed for Ethiopia.

I need lists of what to bring.

My brain is running amok people - AMOK!!!

I have no idea how to pack for a toddler.

I know he needs clothes.

My friend Cheryl suggested lots of toys because he will be busy.

What else do I need?

I know some of you lovely BTDT's have some great lists so could you share your knowledge and experience with me?

Maybe just post 5 or 6 items you absolutely could not have done without.

Do you think you could do that for little old me?

I will send you hugs and kisses if you do :)


Tammy said...

Check with Nikki/Jrock...seems to me they posted a list once a while back? Not positive though.

Are you on the yahoo forum? There are lists on there I think. Good luck!

Rachella said...

also, don't forget Yvan!!

us single childless types can be so helpful, you're welcome!


ps - loving you and can't wait for pictures!

lovesmukiwa said...

We haven't travelled to pick up a baby, but we have flown with a toddler and we needed diaper wipes - or some kind of wipe - even if he is not in diapers we found we were constantly looking for something to wipe up with and found that diaper wipes are in handy containers. We also wish we had taken a no spill sippy cup (is sippy cup a real name or just what we call it?) - things get knocked over so easily on the plane and the "regular" kids cups leak....

lovesmukiwa said...

Travelling on a plane is strange because you never know if you will be too hot or too cold. We took a small blanket that we could fold up as a pillow if needed and use to wrap in if he was too cold. It was easier than taking many different outfits. You never know if flights will have pillows and blankets and if they do they often charge for them.
SNACKS! You need to take snacks. Food on planes never seems to come at the time the kids are hungry or need a snack. You don't need TONS, but you need something - we took things like jerkey and dehydrated fruit snacks.
Our days of travel became LIGHT YEARS easier once we got ipod touches or iphones... I know this sounds silly, but our boys would play with one toy for just a few minutes and then they were no longer interested. They are FASCINATED with anything electronic and the i-phone or Ipads have applications specifically for kids that are free. Even though they don't know how to "use" everything, they LOVE them - even just holding them.

Sharla said...

-flashlight (not just for the frequent power outages but also good for amusing children!)
-those little raincoats that fold into a pouch - great for kids and unpredictable weather - I got mine at Old Navy
-journal and pen because you will forget so much
-water wings if you plan to go swimming - they don't take up much room (unless you were silly and inflated them pre-packing!)
-zip-loc bags of various sizes - came in handy for so many things but mainly because Sedaya got car sick every time we got into a vehicle over there so I used the medium size ones for that
-finger food like Cheerios or goldfish crackers in small plastic containers with lids...more to keep Ade busy than anything else...when the food is gone, fill it with rocks and use as a noisemaker or let him find treasures to fill it with
-bubble wrap if you plan to buy any pottery - we didn't heed this suggestion and all of ours broke
-camera and all possible accompaniments
-little backpack of activities for him for the plane ride home - make sure you leave the items in there until you are on the plane because "new" things are more fascinating than things they've seen before
That's what comes to mind right now. If I think of more, I'll let you know.

Robynhood said...

Zip locks for sure. You can use them to put food, wet clothes, diapers, etc in.. i carry a few in my diaper bag at all times and they are truly life savers. Toddler mum mum rice crackers since they are easy to eat and digest (you might have a toddler with a stomach that rejects change so theses are good) they are also easy to eat and most kids like them. Oh and also, take more diapers on the plane than you think you need. YOu dont want to be caught short and it's a long trip home.

Anonymous said...

So my top 5

-some sort of baby sack carrier (be that a wrap, an ergo, a mei tai...something to wrap that sweet boy onto you.

-stroller..invaluable for layovers in airports and also when you are eating at the weygoss they have no highchairs..the stroller is great for that. Not useful on the streets but we found it helpful...also good for the sheraton (for a dip at the pool)

-disposable bottle liners and the playtex bottles. Bring atleast 10 rings and 10 nipples so you only have to wash them once a day

-garbage won't have enough of these...bring lots!! Just the sobey bags or the blue ones will work well

-stacking cups...Nathaniel played with these all the time there

-bring clothes a size smaller than you think for him (atleast that was our experience)

-diapers..make sure you save enough pampers for the way home.

-oh and snacks..the pringles they sell there..well they aren't pringles...I don't know what they are..but they aren't pringles LOL LOL

so that was more than 5!

Liz said...

I don't know what the electricity situation is in Canada, but you may need an adapter - the outlets in Ethiopia are the same as the ones in Europe.

I had a lot of trouble sleeping on the plane and wish I had brought some things to help with that - a pillow, ear plugs, that kind of stuff.

Little toys for the plane ride home, one thing I wish I had thought of was stickers!

A travel alarm clock.

Hand sanitizer.

Toilet paper - even in a relatively "nice" restaurant, there was no TP! And they ran out of toilet paper on the plane at the very end of the trip back. I brought a roll, but wish I had brought something that was easier to carry in my pocket or purse.

A money belt.

Flip flops or shower shoes.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head...

Tova said...

I'm going to so very helpful and say that I always WAY over pack and never use half my stuff and get sick of carrying it around so I end up giving it all away so I don't have to lug it home again. While packing, ask yourself if you really need it, and if so, can you buy it there?

1. flashlight
2. little kit of tape, safety pins, etc. this can double up into a first aid kid
3. Loads of prescription meds if you need them.
4. baby/toddler tylenol, advil, etc.
6. Closed toe shoes. I always stubbed my toes on the lumpy ground even in my Teva's.
7. Clothing that can look a bit dressier if you need it.
8. Easy toddler snacks. Queen E. needed food at her disposal 24/7 for reassurance.
9. Clothing is not such a big deal, you can buy stuff there and the laundry is really hard on clothes. I always hit the thrift store before I travel and then leave most of it behind.
10. Do you need bug spray there?
11. Have all your documents in one place, preferable strapped to your chest.
12. Address book of phone numbers. For people here and contacts there.
13. Small US bills for any awkward situations that require a bit of 'smoothing' out. 1$ and 5$ bills should suffice. I've only ever needed these at airports and hotels.
14. Lots of picture storage capacity. Laptop or cards.
15. Notarized copies of your passport kept in a separate spot than your passports.
16. a change of clothes for baby that you would be willing to throw away during your layover. I always dress the child and myself in the worst clothes, and have a clean set in my carry on. Then I change during my layover and throw them away. Yes, I know...but I don't stink then.

Ok, that's all I can think of at the moment. I'm not trying to be a keener. :)

Connie said...

I got a great list off of someone's blog when we were ready to travel. I copied it to my computer and I still have it. I could always email it to you if you like.

I felt panicky too, so I packed as many items as possible. Turns out we didn't need nearly as much as we packed.

Some of the most necessary things were bottles, formula (which we bought out there), diapers and wipes (also bought some out there), diaper change pad, a few different sizes of clothing, toys, blankets, toilet paper, ziploc bags, snacks, baby sling. Camera! Don't forget the camera!!

When you go out sightseeing, be sure to bring with one or more changes of clothes for your boy and plenty of diapers and wipes, and plastic bags to store the dirty clothes. It's very common for the kids to have diarrhea the whole time you're there. We had to strip down our son with every diaper change. And this would always happen at the craziest of places and times! And for the flight home, also be sure to have plenty of clothes, diapers and wipes packed in your carry-on! Things can get messy!

And don't panic if you feel you've missed some things. You can purchase pretty well anything you need out there. Good luck!

Claudia said...

I say take comfort food for YOU. Chocolate, or something like that. And an absolutely escapist book, so that if you get FIVE MINUTES to relax, you'll have something to relax into. Sounds trivial, but... I was glad we did this!

Shannon said...

My experience travelling with toddlers is that you can't have too many snacks or baby wipes. Whoever said you should have babywipes even if your little guy doesn't use diapers (not sure of his age) is RIGHT. My younest is currently 4 and I still carry baby wipes in my purse. Kids always seem to be sticky and those things are so handy. You can get "disposable" sippy cups from Walmart or Toys R Us or Superstore that can be washed and reused (I kept mine for years) but they only cost a few dollars for a pack of 6 so if you want or need to throw them out no big deal. Toys don't need to be big or loud to be exciting. Books are wonderful. Don't bring them all out at once - a new toy can be a good distraction when you're trying to avoid a meltdown. I would also pack infant tylenol and advil in case your little guy is feeling under the weather at any point.

Also, I'm not sure if anyone said a camera, but DON'T FORGET YOUR CAMERA!! :)

Shannon said...

Oh and I was going to say, one good snack I like for older babies or younger toddlers are Baby MumMum cookies. They are rice cookies that are extremely light and melt in baby's mouth so there's no chance of them choking. My kids loved them when they were little. And, as I said, they are so light, they take up very little weight in your suitcase. You find them by the baby food.

D Dae said...

Please do not get Mum Mum's, just do a google search for "Mum Mums Choking" for tons of information. They are a severe choking hazard, and especially since many Ethiopian children are either delayed in eating solids, or tend to over stuff their mouths, it increases this risk much more. Stick to Cheerios or Fish Crackers, where you can regulate the amount going in and they do not form a mass in the child's mouth like Mum Mum's do.

Ok off the soap box, my son choked once on these and since then I have met way too many people who have had similar experiences. Some with horrible consequences.

On a lighter note... YEAH! I sent you my spreadsheet... multiple pages, categorized and ranked.... just call me Ms. Type A

Mrs Changstein said...

Some of our stuff - and I waaaay overpacked:
-Crystal Lite - single serving size - got so sick of drinking plain water.
-Medication. Gravol (for kids & adults), deworming stuff, antihistimine cream, kiddie tylenol, advil, polysporin, lice treatment (get the family pak!:)
-we have a mac - my husband bought an external battery that worked for recharging, etc., and was a lifesaver (it was good for 24 hrs of charging)
-Snacks-fruit rollups, prepackaged crackers, that kind of thing
-Baby Wash
-Diaper Rash cream like Penatin
-Extra memory deal for the camera. I'm a techno-peasant - I leave it all up to the expert.
-Bags - garbage, ziploc
-LOTS of wipes!

Ramona said...

I'll think on this and get back to you as to what we found helpful... but let me give you this advice right now:

If you buy chocolate in Germany: DON'T leave it in the first room they give you at the Weygoss!!!

We bought wonderful German chocolate... Lots of lovely German chocolate... And when we got to the Weygoss, they gave us a room which we slept in for a few hours, left to meet our kids, came back (and were in a bit of a fog from traveling and meeting our beautiful and loudly screaming children)and got moved to a bigger room. Without our chocolate which I had stashed in the closest already... And when we asked at the desk about it, it was "not there"... lots of lovely German chocolate that we didn't get to enjoy...

Ramona said...

Oh and if you want to use a sippy cup on the plane (well if you want Ade to use one) get him to learn how to drink form it before you leave on the plane! It took lots of persuading to keep that lid on and for our kids to learn how to suck from the cup!

Melissa said...

I don't have a child (yet), but I work with the under three crowd and all I can say is: Bubbles! Bubbles are magical and you can get tiny bottles at dollar or wedding supply stores (then you can give them away and they don't take up much room).

I can't believe you finally get to plan for your trip!

tafel said...

Blogger ate my first comment, it appears, so here goes again.

Lisa G's packing lists are great:

five things... hmm, besides passports and Yvan, because someone already covered those... ;)

- clothing in a range of sizes. Donate what turns out to be too small.
- large ziplocs and a roll of those scented garbage bags.
- comfort food for you, and save some for the flights home.
- save a couple of cool toys for distraction on the flight home. Make sure they do NOT make noise or you will lose your mind.
- if there is any chance whatsoever no matter how remote of meeting a birth family member: pack a small photo album with pics of you, your families, your home, etc.
- bubbles & a ball will go far for entertainment at the guest house.

Ok so that was 6 things, but I stayed closer to the limit than Louise. ;p

Anonymous said...

One of the things we take when we are traveling long distances with Ashton is our portable DVD player, it can be great to get him to keep still. When he was Ade's age, he liked those Baby Einstein DVD or any other really simple ones that was just basically a Book on DVD. And Baby Oragel, in case he is teething.


CinnamonOpus said...

You can totally have my lists from our trip:

Anything else I have is probably an excel file, but if you want them, you're welcome to them.

Also totally seconding the Baby MumMum recommendation, as well as goldfish and maybe little snack-size applesauce blends and such for snacks. We didn't have a snacker, but those are things she loves now!

Carol said...

formula dispensers - they're little divided tupperware things, you pre-measure the formula then you can dump it into the bottle on a bus, plane or taxi.

Avent bottles with the disposable plastic liners. Forget the environment for 2 weeks and save your sanity.

Lots of ziplock bags. empty ones, for everything and anything.

Some laundry detergent to do some stuff in the sink of your hotel

granola bars, fruit cups, fruit leather, nuts. When you're sleep deprived and jet lagged, your guts may feel ehn and the last thing you want to do is order something from take out that you don't recognize. Also good for the middle of the night!

4 or 5 different types of soothers. Something has got to work.

Books for baby.

Have fun! congrats!

hazel said...

Okay, you've already received some amazing suggestions!

One thing that may or may not be helpful - I took generic bottle liners for Biset's Born Free bottles, which don't nomally need liners and I found them a waste of time. They just took up valuable powder space in the bottle. In the end, I just washed the bottles in the sink and rinsed them with bottled water (the kids are used to tap water in the fosterhome). During the trip home, I always had 2-3 bottles in the diaper bag, with formula premeasured in them. I just added bottled water. Bring a flask/thermos for this reason! It came in handy when out shopping/on the plane (that was a great tip from Shauna). Biset likes her bottles room temp, and I'll bet Ade is the same. I don't know if he will still be on bottles when you travel to get him (B is down to 3 bottles per day from 6).

Definitely bring a couple of different types of sippy cups. And lots of clothing - the laundry can be slow coming back to you if the power goes out alot.

I didn't bring a stroller - just used the mei tai. I'll bet Ade will still fit in a baby carrier just fine. It was a God send having my hands free. Mind you, he'll likely be walking, so that might make a difference for you. I would still bring a carrier - the bonding experience is HUGE - plus the kids get heavy when they need 'up' all the time! Try to confirm details of his eating habits/mobility/size with the last update before you travel. Warning - shoe sizes are often wrong. They told me B was a size 5 and she was 3. Now she's a size 4.

I have a big spreadsheet which includes stuff from CinnamonOpus and my friend in SF. You may not need it, but I will clean it up and send it to you when I'm back from my trip next month. I found I couldn't get enough of everyone's lists :-)

p.s. This is already too long but I must restate what others have said about bringing a NOTEPAD, CAMERA, VIDEO CAMERA, and an adapter.

hazel said...

p.s. I LOVE that you are at this stage :-)

Gina said...

Hi Rana! I'm delurking here and I'm so excited to hear that you're almost there in your long journey!

A few things that were important for us were a variety of sizes of ziplock bags, baby wipes, a few face cloths for wipe ups at the guest house, a baby carrier, sippy cups, extra strength throat lozenges and sinus meds (for me - I got a bad sinus infection there), a soft blanket for the plane and a few toys and snacks, good diapers for the plane.

Enjoy packing!

K_I_T_ said...

Hey....things I would take For shizzle are...:
toques(for gifts for the security guards and to hand out to homeless ones

rubber gloves

2 sizes of clothes, cause you just don't know! Better to be bigger than too small, although right across from Weygoss is a store of nice "Americian style" clothes, so you could get sleepers etc at it...

**This one for sure** a liquid multivitamin for children...cause even though they are getting food, milk ect...they still are not getting the full value. The dr prescribed Nev that right away in Ethiopia, he said she was malnurised....probably those parasites were taking alot of her nutrients....(and i'd get a good vitamin, like from health food store)

GRAVOL for sure..for the plane ride home....And on the bottles it may just say for ages 2 and up....but you just half or 3/4 the dr told me to do me, even if you have an angel baby(which im sure he is!!) it's still a LONG flight..

not packing list, but as soon as you book your flights, pay for Ade's ticket too(if you are just putting him on your lap) and request a basinet seat, we were told we could just pay for her portion on the way home at the counter....and we did that, BUT only got a bassinet on one flight cause they book up fast. So they said next time(hmmmmm will there be a next time for a baby...not sure..!!!) but to pay for it when we booked..

LOTS of grocery bags...seriously those diapers reak!!! so nice to be able to put them in the grocery bags and then throw them on the balcony until morning...(ekkk, i know throwing the plastic bag may be a stretch for Yvan, but you gotta do what you gotta do!!!!

I will keep firing you ones on facebook when I think of them!!!

K_I_T_ said...

For shits sakes...I just wrote a bunch...obviously too long cause when i hit earased it..too large to publish!! erg.....

K_I_T_ said...

So point form....

Children's liquid multi vitamin

Gravol...and you just half the dose cause it says for ages 2 and up....dr told me to do that..

Lots of plastic grocery bags..the diapers really reak, and you can tie them in there, and throw them away..(may be a stretch for Yvan to throw plastic away..!) give to security guards and homeless people...(I wonder if you contacted some sort of buisness, like coke..or some agriculture busniesses if they would donate some....

SLIPPERS...a must.They Weygoss really will feel like home, but cold floors...

hmmmm forget what else I typed..but will be calling you soon anyhow!!!

andrea said...

I can't help because this is still in the realm of unbelievable for us, but I am so happy for your excitement (and slight panic!) at finally needing to get ready. Have fun shopping. A