February 15, 2009

Babysitters overseas- what can i say

We are leaving China tomorrow back home to the U.S. I have managed to find a little bit of childcare in Spain, South Africa, India, Singapore and China but with some bumps in the road for sure. My general rule is that I try to get a strong recommendation from someone I trust. Then I do a test drive for one hour. I have learned that the good hotels are so eager to please that they put the most trusted people in your room and they are usually fulltime employees. In India and China where it is not uncommon to go sans diaper- I have found the diaper either backwards, or dirty or just plain gone. But in all of these areas I did feel she was safe. If anything I found that they were so eager to please that they let our little one take total control. "She wouldn't let me put her pants on" and "she said she didn't want to go to bed". She is 2. So with a little homework and a little preparation it is possible to have the occassional dinner out or two hour break while you are overseas. But be prepared for things to be done a little bit different..... its all about being flexible right?

January 19, 2009

What is in the mysterious 2nd suitcase

We are packing again.

Leaving tonight from Singapore to Quingdao, China. I share a suitcase with my daughter and I make sure it all fits. If it doesn't, some of the clothes have to go. But I am not that switched on, I travel with a second suitcase- it holds "the stuff". And by the way, it is filled to the brim- everytime we fly. But what is in it? If you asked me I couldn't really tell you. I caught myself telling someone that it had sippy cups, plates, spoons, a little folding high chair, a couple of toys, two or three books. But that alone cannot even fill a carry on bag. So what is the rest- a bag with the pool stuff (but that is small) Her little hairclips (thats a stretch) . I am actually sitting here not able to tell you what fills up the mysterious 2nd suitcase. It is bigger than the clothes one I assure you. Without doing an inventory I can't really tell you anything else- but the fact stands that when you have a kid there is just a lot of "stuff" . Unexplainable, unidentifiable, stuff. Make sure you don't forget any of it! : )

December 26, 2008

Christmas on the Move

It has been very fun to be overseas this year but of course at holiday time we were feeling a little homesick. We wanted to try and make this year as festive as possible for our little girl as it is her second year away from our families. We are currently in Singapore which is a fairly easy place to get sorted but not exactly cheap. So we had to do a bit of creative planning to get the presents under our 1 foot tree. We managed to get it all done and have a great year but like the old saying goes, there is no place like home!

November 11, 2008

Packing for overseas...like they have never heard of babies...

We have been traveling now for a year and a half but only the past two months have we been officially on the move. First Spain, now South Africa. We are lucky in that my husband's company ships one box for us wherever we go. Because my husbands sailing team is filled with young families- the big curiosity is: What did everyone put in their box?

Myself, being an overzealous type A personality- put one or more of everything. One Tylenol (paracetamol) and one of every other medicine a baby could ever need for every ailment that could come up. I also put in a few of everything required for our meals- bottles, plates, fork, knifes, spoon, cups, bowl, etc etc. And then the rest- one pair of scissors, one tape, one suntan lotion, one towel, one set of swimming floaters, and more- seriously one of everything.

Currently we are on our 2nd of 9 stops and all of the families pretty much agree- we don't even need what was in the ever so precious box. Reality check for me: other countries have children too! I have pulled out some of the stuff but of the 20+ books, we probably could get by with like 4 and by the way- it is fun to buy books and toys from other countries.

So if you are traveling abroad- first- take a deep breath. Almost everything (including the brands that you like) are found overseas. Economies of scale don't stop at the U.S. border. Unless you are doing some crazy cool trip to an exotic place that doesn't sell anything- then you are probably going to find what you need when you arrive. Of course we don't want to buy everything twice so we use our reusables- bottles and plates etc etc. But it is the "just in case" stuff that you may want to go without. Fortunately or unfortunately- Babies R Us has spread it's wings.

So tonight I am packing my box for Singapore and leaving it half empty. The local homeless shelter can use my "just in case" stuff today!