25.6.16

The packing list

I had grand ideas for doing a post on what I'm packing to come back to Malaysia with us, but when the time came to actually start packing, it got crazy.  Ellis took a delightful three hour nap this afternoon so it was power-packing time.  Here's a quick sneak-peak at what is making it into our suitcases this trip:

1) Fabric: I have a couple of projects planned when I get back.  Two of the fabrics shown are an old curtain and an old sheet I found a Goodwill, which I am planning to repurpose into something else.  We do have a fabric store in Penang, but it's mostly synthetic fabrics and they're not really my style.  Oh JoAnns, I will miss you! 


2) Toys.  I made a trip to the dollar store and picked up a few things, I found a great big bag of instruments at Goodwill, and I also bought a ferry boat (top right in the picture below) to remind him of our trip to Bainbridge Island!  The tractor was a gift from a friend and Ellis loves it.  The Lincoln Logs unfortunately didn't make the cut this time around, and we're hoping we can make some room for a small train set we have here.



3) One of the things I love most about being back in the U.S. is thrift shopping.  I bought most of Ellis's clothes until 2T secondhand when I was here (and pregnant with him) last time, and this time I stocked up on clothes from 2T-4T.  Malaysian wardrobes are easy: we only have one season (the hot one!) to plan for.  I didn't realize how much I had collected until I laid it all out (Ellis will be wearing mostly grey shorts for the next two years!) I think everything is secondhand except for maybe two of these items and the shoes.  I shopped little by little so I found some good quality things for a dollar or two for each piece.   The shoes are three different sizes so he has some to grow into over the next few years.


4) Stationaries - I always stock up on cards and stationary when I am here.  We go through a ridiculous amount of thank you cards, because we have such a wonderful community which I am so grateful for!  I also got a pack of brush tip pens to experiment with, and {finally} a pair of pinking shears.  


5)  Misc stuff: Do you know Dr. Bronner's castile soap?  We seriously can't live without this stuff.  There's something special about a bottle that you can use to wash your hair and your dishes and your laundry.  We dilute it to make an all purpose cleaner, clean our floors with it, and use it in Ellis's cloth wipe solution.  Also in the picture: I found a super cute set of measuring cups I had to have.  Plus some little fluffy Easter chicks.





6) We aren't bringing a ton of food with us, but I did purchase some spices in bulk, and something new in the suitcase this time is a few packages of dried chiles.  Chile Ancho is dried poblano pepper, and I also bought some Chili California which are dried Anaheim peppers (both are the mild kind of chiles).  I always have to turn away the Western recipes that use chilis because we can't find those types in Penang, but I am going to experiment by rehydrating these to use for some Mexican food.  I also have discovered that Asian chili powder is very different (much hotter!) than "North American" chili powder, so I bought a bottle of that.  


7) Children's books - I went to a library book sale while I was here and found a few other of my favorites that I just can't bear to leave without.  Lesson learned: board books are heavy!!


8) Christmas stuff: It is very early to start thinking about the holidays this year!  I'm packing a box of Christmas cards, a creche that my parent's picked up in Mongolia, and my favorite new discovery which is pine-scented ornaments that I can hang on my fake tree to make it smell like Christmas!  I grabbed a handful of them (my mom had saved some for me from last year) to give as gifts this year.


My packing list has definitely changed since I became a mom, and pound for pound, Ellis takes up more than his fair share of our luggage allowance.  I should also mention that all of the things above are mostly my {and Ellis's} things.  Reuben has his own suitcase full of bike stuff....priorities!  All in all, we are planning on taking four suitcases which are 50lb each, plus one small carry-on suitcase and Ellis's hiking backpack and stroller.  We hope it all makes it! 



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