Saturday, March 30, 2013

Have You Seen These?

My brother-in-law brought these back to the US from a recent business trip to Honduras. Ezra and Cedric loved playing with them on the plane, and now they're among the "select few" toys that remain in our diaper bag for important occasions.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Holi!

Holi will always be a special holiday for us. Before we had kids, we would spend Holi with our friends, partying it up and having a great time getting really messy! Two years ago, we threw a great Holi party while keeping the secret that on the day before, at a nearby hospital, the doctor had transferred the embryos that would become our boys into our surrogate. I remember being more nervous and more excited than I ever thought I could be. Fast forward two years, to our boys second Holi. Life has changed dramatically, and we are so much richer in so many ways because of our boys. Happy Holi to everyone!

Douglas and Chad

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Vacation Packing List for Baby

We're back from Goa! Good times were had by all travelers, and we have much to say about our experiences. It seems like every travel experience is a learning experience for all parties. So, expect some upcoming blogs as we have time. But first, an updated packing list for those of you who are interested.

The context: we took a four-day trip with a three hour plane ride with twin 16-month-old kids. I think that this list could probably make it for a week-long trip, or a multiple-week trip if you have access to laundry facilities. Our hotel where we stayed had cribs for the kids, so we didn't need to take our pack and play. The green items are things that we took and used. Orange ones are things we took and didn't use. Red ones are things we've taken on previous trips and decided, for one reason or another, to leave home.

We've kept a packing list since the boys were born on google drive. It is a shared document between us, so that both of us can update the list when we're at home or work (and we think of something we might forget, etc.). I highly recommend keeping your list on google drive so that you can access it wherever you are.

I know it seems like a TON of stuff, but we fit all of the boys things in one large suitcase and all of our things in one medium suitcase. So, in total, we had two suitcases, two diaper bags, two umbrella strollers, two dads and two boys (plus one grandma... but that's a different story for a different day!).

Clothes (total for both children)
  • 12 short sleeved
  • 6 long sleeved
  • 4 pants
  • 12 shorts
  • 4 swim suits/shirts
  • 8 pajamas
  • 2 sun hats

  • Towels(used the hotels)
  • Wash cloths (used the hotels)
  • Lotion (in a big ziplock bag)
  • Bath mat

  • Small toiletry bag
    • Baby Shampoo
    • Baby Soap/Body Wash
    • Baby Bug Repellant (mosquitos weren't bad this time!)
    • Anti-Mosquito wipes
    • Thermometer
    • Dirty diaper bags
    • Baby powder
    • Pepto pills
    • Diaper rash cream
    • Neosporin
  • Small toiletry bag
    • Baby sunblock
    • Adult Sunblock
    • Bug Spray

  • Toys for bath
  • Toys for beach (including flotation devices for swimming)
  • Toys for indoors
  • 2 stuffed animals
  • White noise machine (sleep dog)

  • 2 Gumdrop blankets (light linen)
  • 2 Fleece blankets

Travel Stuff
  • Baby bjorn (probably won't take it next time as our kids are getting too big)
  • Beach tent (we didn’t use this on our last trip, so we left it behind this trip and didn't miss it)
  • Sarongs (used as light beach towels)
  • Umbrella strollers
  • Monitor
  • Umbrella

Eating Paraphernalia
  • Bottles and accessories
  • Burp cloths
  • Sippy cups
  • Spoons
  • Bowls and plates
  • Oatmeal
  • Cheerios
  • Granola bars
  • Teddy Grahams
  • Goldfish
  • Larabars (new to us, via suggestion from my sister: LOVED them!)

  • Size 3
  • Dirty diaper bags
  • Extra Wipes
  • Swim diapers

Diaper Bag (we ALWAYS travel with two diaper bags on flights, as we have been split up into different sections of the plane multiple times! With the exception of medicine, everything on this list can be found in both of our diaper bags.)
  • Two Large Bottles with accessories (on long trips where I will have to clean bottles enroute, I take a ziplock bag with a small amount of dish soap and a bottle brush: otherwise, this goes in checked luggage)
  • Burp cloth (not for burping anymore, but good for wiping up messes)
  • Wipes
  • Pacifier wipes (no longer using pacifier, but good for wiping faces)
  • Changing pad
  • Dirty diaper bags
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Dirty clothes bag
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Granola bars
  • Food
    • Cherios
    • Granola Bar
    • Baby food
  • Spoons
  • Thermos for milk
  • Thermos for hot water for heating bottle
  • Toys
  • Medicine
    • Orajel
    • Fever reducer
    • Sweet oil (for ears)
    • Rubbing alcohol (for cleaning dirty surfaces - not sure this is legal to carry on a plane, but it's the best for sanitizing, and so far no one has searched through all the vials in my bag)
    • Gas drops
    • Oral syringe
    • Benedryl allergy syrup
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Nail clippers
    • Band aids
  • Nylon strap (for all of those places where the high chairs don't have straps... maybe this isn't necessary in the US or Europe, but in Asia it's a must!)
  • Change of clothes (baby/adult)
  • Light blanket (we didn't bring any pillows for the kids for the plane, but I may try to find a small pillow that fits into a carryon for our next flight).

Books (we left both of these home this time and survived, but if you're going somewhere new, I'd definitely take both!)
  • Baby 411
  • Lonely Planet

Peace and Happy Holi to you!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Break

The temperature is rising in India, but it is still in the manageable nineties. That can only mean one thing. It is time for our last trip out of Delhi for the school year. Doug's mother is enroute to Delhi. She was due in last night, but as usual Newark was a cluster $%#@ and she had to reschedule for one day later. Thankfully United also let her change her return date by one day so she didn't cut any time off her trip.

Climbing is the newest event in our house. The higher the boys get the happier they are... chuckle chuckle. I am considering removing the couch from the nursery as I am afraid one of them will either jump or get pushed off which will lead to another trip to the hospital.

Dinner time continues to stress us out. It seems we can't make the boys happy. They refuse to eat things they loved five minutes before, they throw all the food off their trays in protest, and scream for more. We have tried so many things, but it seems nothing will suffice. This phase needs to pass.

Cedric is very clingy, and he wants to be held most of the time. I think this problem was created by having two ayahs at his beck and call. We are working on strategies to calm him down, but he gets so worked up we have to let him cry it out. This phase needs to pass.

Ezra is basically running around now. He is a busy boy and usually has on a big smile. Cedric has started taking a few steps here and there, but only when he wants to. He is a very effective crawler so he is content with his mobility. Plus every time he stands Ezra makes it his mission to push him over.

We are all looking forward to Goa. Our family does beach vacations well.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Heigh-Ho Heigh-Ho Back to FRRO We Go

It is that time of year again. Our visas are set to expire in a few weeks, and that means our annual trip to the office of frown and scowl with a side of bureaucratic disfunction is around the corner. Last night we took the boys to get their new visa photos and they did great. They both sat up straight and looked right in the camera. Lets just say this visa photo was a lot easier than their first.

The photo shop we use is right around the corner from where we lived before having children. We walked around our old neighborhood while the photos were being printed and remembered how nice it was to live away from work. We both miss the privacy of living outside the compound, but because of the clean water we have to stay where we are.

We have taken many visa photos since arriving five years ago, and we always get a kick out of the result. The photo man is a pro at photo editing, and he made me look eighteen in my Chinese visa last year. The boys are no exception to getting a little touch up. Even though they have perfect skin with no blemishes the photo man lightened up their faces and practically made them white babies. We both laughed when we saw them and so did our visa agent when I told them the photo man used skin whitening cream on the boys!

I was in Singapore last week for work related training. I love Singapore and would live there in a heartbeat. There are easy to walk streets, bars, restaurants, shopping, public transportation, clean air, and most of all organization!

The grass is always greener...
Goa in two weeks...