Saturday, February 11, 2012

separation anxiety?

A friend (J) graciously volunteered to watch the boys last night. Rodgers and I had not been planning on going out, but we had no problem coming up with a last-minute date night!

Nate was great. He's the one I worry about with babysitters because he is so afraid of strangers and grown-ups who aren't strangers but also are not his parents or grandparents. Also, J had never babysat Nate before. But he was not a problem at all. Bedtime is probably the easiest time of day with Nate because his bedtime routine is so ingrained in him. The rest of the day is too unpredictable to create such a rigid routine. Well, maybe if I were Supermom I could.

Ben was apparently fine until it got close to bedtime, then he just couldn't be happy. J said she tried to feed him his bedtime bottle. He started eating, then decided he'd rather cry. She rocked him. He started to fall asleep, then decided to cry some more. She would soothe him, then he'd look at her and start crying. She'd put him in bed, then he'd cry. She was afraid he was coming down with something. She's taken care of him before, and he's always so happy.

We came home to a crying Ben. I picked him up and he immediately transformed into his usual, happy, bubbly self. He smiled. He laughed. He talked to me. Rodgers took him and fed him. He ate just fine. He just didn't want J to put him to bed!

He's young for separation anxiety, but that seems to be the culprit.

Now, come to think of it, I remember that the past few days he has gotten upset anytime I'm out of his range of vision. I was packing a box on the kitchen table the other day. He was in the bouncy chair, facing me and teething on the many toys I'd put within his reach. I walked across to the living room, just a few feet away in this apartment, but behind him. As soon as he couldn't see me, he cried the most heartbroken, high pitched (but soft) little cry. It was so sad. I have to keep talking if I'm going to be where he can't see me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

relocating via airplane

For those of you who don't follow Maisha Kamili, we have reached our initial fundraising goal and will be moving to Kenya on February 29. Fundraising is ongoing, as we don't yet have enough to buy land or build the children's home. We do have enough to establish ourselves in country and begin looking for a location.

We looked into the cost of shipping a palette or crate of our stuff over there. We learned that it is cheaper to buy all new furniture (and stuff!) in Kenya. Our luggage allowance is 2 51-lb checked bags each for Rodgers, Nate, and myself and 1 20ish-lb checked bag for Ben (he doesn't have his own seat). All of us get one carry-on bag and one "personal item." This sounds like a lot of bags until you consider that this will be *all* of our possessions that we're taking with us. I much prefer traveling light, with only bare minimum essentials, but our bare minimum is quite a bit more this time than if we were just taking a trip.

As the mom and wife, it is my job to organize, plan, test, and pack. We have 2 checked bags planned, test packed, weighed, and repacked. We have 2 checked bags that are partially packed, but not completely because we are still using some things that will go in them. And the remaining 2 checked bags plus the carry-ons are thus far only planned. We aren't planning to use Ben's checked bag allowance, but we do have a bag set aside just in case we have an extra 20 lbs of stuff we want to take with us. It's also possible we may prioritize one or two bags as "nice to have" rather than "essential" and leave them with someone to bring to us. This would make transferring terminals in Nairobi less stressful.

Three scenarios for when we arrive:

Scenario 1, which has been our Plan A, is to have a rent house waiting for us when we land. Our nephew will secure it on our behalf and put a bed and a case of bottled water in it for us so that we can survive the first night (we arrive around midnight). Day 1 in Kenya, we have to get phones and internet connection, buy a refrigerator, stove, beds for the boys, basic cookware, dishes, cutlery, and linens. The remainder of the week would be spent shopping for the next-highest priority appliances, furniture, and furnishings.

Scenario 2, which is looking better and better, is that we go to a hotel when we first get there. In this scenario we don't have to do so much shopping right off the bat, but we would have to move again once we have a rent house, and of course we'd have expenses for the hotel. However, we would be able to see and choose the rent house ourselves. We could stay in the hotel for the first few days we have the rent house so that we can get essentials moved in before we move ourselves in.

Scenario 3 would be like scenario 2, except that we'd live with someone. Living with people is not preferred, but it is cheaper than a hotel!