Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How Will I Survive This?

Or perhaps more importantly, how will he survive two weeks without us? Since last year's disastrous summer, I haven't spent a single night away from him. Maybe we should have done a trial run, but that's difficult to do when the closest set of grandparents lives 7 hours away. Of course, my anxiety isn't helped by the fact that I'm a serial second-guesser. So in lieu of sitting around developing an ulcer or two, I've occupied my time (and Chris's) with Operation Dinkeneh. So far we have:
  1. Daily Bags
Each hand-decorated bag (fancy, eh?) has an animal inside, plus a photo of one of us with Dinkeneh. On the back of the bag is a "letter" from Mama and Dada, talking about what we are doing that day.



post-assembly - not difficult to ascertain the artist in the group, is it?

2. Read-a-Louds

Each one of us was filmed reading six books aloud. Then we compiled the read-a-louds, plus some of Dinkeneh's favorite home videos, into a Dinkeneh DVD. Of course, I would post a clip of me reading (you doubt me?), but (un)fortunately, some inept videographer neglected to mention that my bra was completely falling out of my shirt in an inappropriate way. So, only Dinkeneh (plus my entire immediate family) gets to be so lucky as to witness my oratorical fireworks. But I'm not so cruel as to withhold a little teaser:

3. Matching Outfits for Introduction

Not even a teaser this time. You'll just have to tune in to see the big event. This one actually will be worth it. I promise.

And that's about it. Anyone else have any other suggestions? I'm all ears, or eyes, depending on the manner in which your suggestion is delivered.

I am so going to miss my Baby D.


Anonymous said...

That all sounds wonderful.
By the way, why don't you take him with you?

Holli said...

Wow I AM IMPRESSED! love the video and the bags so cute!

Christina said...

It was certainly not an easy decision to make, deciding whether to take D or leave him with grandparents. In the end, though, D is still too small to really understand what is going on. So I'm afraid he would find it really confusing to be ripped out of his sleep schedule and familiar surroundings, stuck in a small hotel room, and then have to watch mama and dad paying a ton of attention to another little baby. Not to mention that we feel Sisaye deserves at least a few days of exclusive mama and dad time to start the bonding process, something we couldn't give her if Dinkeneh came along.

All that to say that we might have made a different decision if Dinkeneh was a year or two older (old enough to understand the concept of a "new sibling" a little more), or if we had enough cash to cover one of his grandparents coming along to distract him and help out. Unfortunately, we just don't have the resources for that option right now.

And of course, knowing that we'll be back in Ethiopia in a year (maybe two) makes the decision a little easier, since there's not a question that he'll be going back at a very young age.

Regardless of all our "good" reasons, though, it was an extremely difficult decision to make, and one that we are constantly second-guessing.

Life in the Bend said...

I almost spit my coffee out reading about your scandalous video.

I hope your family can get some pictures of D opening your bags. What a great idea!

Christina said...

Thanks for the reminder Betsy:

4. D-Vision (4 disposable cameras)

Mark and Sarah said...

You are SUCH a good mama, Christina. Wow. D is going to feel so loved while you're away. I wish your videos weren't scandalous because I think my two would love to watch them :) Happy Packing...oh, and Ambien is your friend when you're stressed and can't sleep at important times like these. Hang in there!!

AnnMarie & Nick said...

I LOVE all the ideas.

Here's an idea for the G'parents qhile we were away last year my Mom and Dad wrote us a detailed e-mail everyday talking about what they did with Cullen for the day. This year on our one year anniversary of having Geremu in the family we complied a book both for Geremu of the last year and Cullen. Cullens book included all the e-mails of what he did while we were away. He still talks about all the fun stuff he did with Granny Bird and Pop while we were in Opia picking up his brother.

The topping on the cake is the video my parents put together that my mother calls "Granny Camp" of pictures of their time together.

Stacey said...

Hi Cristina,
I am so there with you! We left the girls at home with various people and it was really hard to be away. That being said, it would have been a very difficult trip for the girls and it would have been hard to take care of them and Tsega.
I left a binder with lots of information including a daily schedule, medical information, copies of guardianship for grandparents for medical emergencies, google maps to parks, favorite foods, takeout menus, etc. Do you know that none of the grandparents cracked open that glorious binder? One thing we did that you may want to consider, we did a paper chain and the girls took off one link for each day we were gone. This helped them figure out the "time" when we were gone. Good luck!

Crystal said...

Crazy creative!

Crystal in NM

laugheveryday said...

that is brilliant!

Little Bagel said...

Does the bag behind 11 say "Ok Eat the Baby"?!?! Cuz it sure looks like it. ;)

shell said...

you are such a good mom!! these ideas are all fabulous!!!!!

Ma'amba Jamba said...

This is a brilliant idea! I'm obsessing about leaving my sons, for the first time overnight, when we travel. I'm going to steal all your ideas! Oh, and I've started my worrying about at least 9-12 months in advance of when we'll be leaving...