1. How can we finagle ourselves the bulkhead seats on at least the transatlantic leg of our flights? Every other time we've flown overseas with a small child, the airline has just given it to us. I can't remember if we had to ask for it, though, and when we bought our tickets for this trip the bulkhead seating was not available. The reason we want the bulkhead is because they have these awesome snap-on bassinets to put your baby in (see Miriam, below). It's just nice to get your kid off your lap for at least a couple of the 894 hours you're spending in the airplane, you know?
2. What, exactly, should I pack? We are strict "less is more" people, but there are some things you don't want to skimp on too much. When we went to Jordan in 2007 I think I brought two pairs of pants and four shirts, and ONE skirt. By the end of that summer I wanted to burn those clothes, I was so sick of them. Which means I have two options this year: bring clothes I am ready to dispose of so I can just leave them there/burn them at the end of the summer, or pack more clothes. Let me tell you, I'm leaning toward the former.
3. Thanks to Project Gutenberg I don't have to worry about books for myself, but what about books for the girls? And toys? I had barely gotten started stressing about this when our friends in Cairo said they'd share some of their kid swag with us, which was such a relief, especially since said swag includes a My Little Pony castle (!!!!). Now the stress is about how many and which of her 27 My Little Ponies Miriam will choose to bring to play with it.
4. One of the things that concerns me the most is how disorganized all our stuff is, and I hate to leave it that way all summer long. You'd think that since we move so much, we'd run a tight ship when it comes to packing and storing our belongings. But in reality, everything just gets more jumbled and spread around since we're always taking things from various boxes, packing them up, and then unpacking them into completely different boxes months later. What a mess. I need to start a new storage classification system that embraces some of the weird stuff we own. It's hard to put things away in the right place when there IS no right place for something like, say, a Who Wants to be a Millionaire? board game in Arabic. Or travel pillows decorated like the Lebanese flag. Or a deck of Most Wanted Iraqi playing cards we bought in Jordan. Or a bottle of Fulla hand sanitizer that is empty but the container has serious cultural kitsch value so I can't seem to throw it away. Sigh.
Other than that, things are coming together nicely for a summer in Egypt!