Thursday, November 29, 2007

Becoming Prepared

Now – don’t get excited. We haven’t received a referral but we have decided to start making some preparations and at least thinking about things such as: What kinds of toys to take, what to do with the animals while were gone, what kind of clothes, etc.

Well, we have the animals worked out. One of my sister’s will be house sitting and my mom lives close enough to check on them daily. After all my doggies and kitties love “Aunt Cassandra” and “Grandma”. The mere mention of “Grandma” puts my oldest doggie, Elka, in a full pant, jump, and run around mode. Did I mention she loves her Grandma??

We have some toys picked out that we though might be fun. The first is a soft bunny teether toy. It came from the wonderful Wally World and the funniest thing is that it has the name RAE initialed on the front. Rae is my nickname and used to be my initials before I got married. My entire family and Troy’s family only calls me Rae. Troy and I joke that Troy’s family doesn’t even know my full name!! And if Troy calls me Rachel, I think I’m in trouble!! We bought a Little Tykes hammer that makes sounds when you hit it on something. We also have an inflatable ball, another teether/rattle, some blocks, and a soft book.

Other things we are taking are a blanket to leave with our child, and disposable cameras in the hopes to get a few pictures back from during the time we are gone. (Is 2 too many to give them?)

We are going back and forth on all the electronics to take with us. I really hate to lug around the camcorder, laptop and camera. Our camera doubles as a camcorder, but it just isn’t the same. I did learn about, thanks to my grandfather, disposable camcorders you can buy that have 20 minutes on them. Then you take them to the store and they put it on cd for you. You can also review and erase so you get the 20 minutes you want. They are small (same size as a disposable camera) and only about $20.00. This sounds great, but you can’t load them onto the computer while there to send to the Dr. I’m not sure how we are going to handle that yet. I’m not even sure the Dr. really needs the video, as he really just talked about the photos.

We also ordered coats finally. Troy needed one and I needed a heavier coat in case we go to Russia anytime soon. We ordered Extreme Squall Coats and they look great and warm!! I ordered a Paradise Aqua color. Usually I am a black or tan girl, but thought I’d go out on a limb. We ordered Troy a dark green. Here’s to hoping these coats will come in handy. Thanks mom for helping me pick them out and placing the order for us!!

If anyone else has any ideas about what else we might need, let me know. I am particularly interested in the electrical converters. We bought one that we used in St. Lucia, but I’m not sure it will work in Vlad after seeing the Marlowe’s pictures with the sockets in the background. The box we have is square but the prongs come out all different ways. Let me know!!


ana & russ said...

I know exactly which coats you are talking about! We haven't ordered any yet, but I have looked at those, and that's probably what we'll get too. Sounds like you got some great toys. The preparations are exciting!

Jane and Jim said...

Getting prepared keeps us motivated, eh!?! It definitely works for Jim and me. We just do a little at a time to keep that light at the end of the tunnel in view.
Sounds like you are set for your toys.
Now maybe think about a medicinal travel pack like Pepto, Asprin, etc. (that's what I'm working on!).

Carey and Norman said...

First, glad you noticed the plugs as I was going to e-mail you today to tell you to take a look at them. They are circular and indented into the wall about 1 to 2 inches. We never found any adaptors here that had the conversion from their voltage to ours. What this means is that you need to use the Vlad Inn adapter to charge batteries, use your computer, etc. We zapped our camera battery not using an adapter in Vlad. It will no longer hold a charge.

Second, I too feel that it is time for you to get busy planning for travels to Vlad. I think you will hear news soon for travels the first of the year. I am so hoping and praying that we are traveling at the same time. That would be the best news we could get (well, unless we could both travel in December).

I think the items you've picked for trip 1 are perfect. As we said, we over packed and had too many objects which was distracting. I think you've picked some good toys. Maybe a small bottle of bubbles too? Of course, your first trip will be in the winter and I don't know that bubbles go over well indoors. Maybe a better item for trip 2 when it will be spring.

Okay, enough rambling. Sounds like you are making progress!

JennStar said...

Have you seen the Flip camera??
We have one- got it at Costco for 89 bucks (plus tax, or course)- it holds 30 minutes and has a built in USB plug that slides right into the laptop. (And looking at the ones I'm not seeing on the internet, apparently they have another one that holds 60 minutes). Very easy to use!!

Becky and Keith said...

Planning is good! I can't wait to see you and Troy in Vlad all bundled in your jackets! I thought I a jacket good enough but I freeze at football games so it might be time to re-think that plan! Let me know what converter you get - we're taking lots of electronic gadgets so we'll definitely need one.

Sira said...

Bring all your cameras, camcorders,and laptops!!! One big piece of advice I have is that.

This is you in labor- well ok, that is the dossier, waiting etc.. so its your delivery room- anyway you get the point.
You will never, never regret taking them. This is the first time you will meet you child- imgine those emotions- capture them. Max loves watching those videos today.
I have made copies and the originals are in a safty deposit box.

Jane said...

I say take all the camera's; you will want to capture as much as possible for the future. I left disp. camera's at both of my kids orphanages and upon returning 8.5 months later for my court date, one orphanage could not locate it and the other had about 4 pics on it in the 8.5 months! My piece of advice on that is to label the disp. camera's with the childs Russian name and your name. It's so much fun preparing and when the day comes, you'll be so happy that alot of this stuff is taken care of. Have fun!

Tami said...

I love this part...buying all the neat toys and things you'll need for the trip. Way to go on getting it done early. You never know when that referral will come in and you need to be prepared! :)

Adrienne and Jim said...

I agree with Sira. It's completely worth it to take everything--laptop, camera, and video camera.

As for toys, Owen absolutely loved the plastic nesting cups we took our first trip too--just another idea! :) We took the duck like the bunny you bought and he loved it too. You've made very good choices!!!

Regarding the converter and adapters, you'll need to have a round-pronged adapter. We also zapped our video camera by charging it with the battery in it so I don't recommend that. Take a portable charger if you can, and use the Vlad Inn's converter. We found it helpful to have ours and theirs so we could charge and plug in multiple things at once.

Definitely put your name and your child's Russian name on your camera(s) before you leave them. We were told one was enough but two might be okay to leave also. We did not put our names on ours and did not get them back. I hope you have better luck as other families have gotten theirs back. I'd love to see if Owen is on any of the pictures the other families have! :)

I'm getting excited for you and hope you do get to travel with Carey and Norman!! How fun would that be?!!

Christine said...

It is so good to prepare. You gotta start somewhere. It makes the time go by quicker. Hoping you get some news any day.

Chris said...

We lugged our camera, laptop, and camcorder, with their power supplies on both trips, and it was definitely worth it.

As far as the power goes, it is the standard european round power plugs in use in Russia, and is 220 volts. For most computers and a lot of cameras, the power supplies will take 220 volts. You need to look at the power supplies, and look to see what they are rated for. They will probably say 110 - 220v. If so you are set. If not, you'll have to buy a power converter, which you can find at any good travel shop, or online.

Dede said...

Sounds like you are on the right track to getting prepared. Trust me, you can never be too prepared or start too soon. I hope you travel soon!

Debbie said...

Try to sleep with the blanket before leaving it so it has your scent on it.
Disposable video camera!! WOW!

Bubbles! I've heard people take those viewfinders as well but that would depend on the age of your little one I guess.

Have fun making your lists and preparing for your trip that will come soon.

KimAbraham said...

You may not need another expense right now, but I have a Canon camera that takes incredible videos too. We bought a memory card that holds 800 photos or several hundred photos plus tons of video clips. It uploads everything to my laptop in a snap. Best of all is that it fits in my jeans pocket.

It works just as well in the frigid cold too. Last year we got great videos of our boys skiing the terrain park in Park City, Utah. If you are interested, I can give you details like the model number.

You are so smart to plan ahead. When you are all "prepared" please pass your list to us! My packing list is so long that I don't even know where to start.