So, after a whirlwind of craziness, we (and when I say "we" I mean me and the Moosh) are going back to Iran this year. This all came about in the last 4 days. Schedules made, time off requested, tickets bought, and OH MY GOD WHY AM I DOING THIS????
Short answer: last year we will have "no limit" on how long we visit. Next year there will be Kindergarten and in general it is too expensive for us to visit in the summer. Timeframes for visiting in the future will likely be very short.
We leave on Saturday for two weeks (14 days in-country and two days traveling). I am UUUUGGHHHH and MMMMMEEEHHHH about the whole thing. The Moosh is ecstatic. He spent the last few days reiterating with R that yes, the tickets had been bought, and yes, we are going to see his family. He has learned where Iran and Texas are on the world map, and took it to school so he could show his friends. He has recently developed and interest in fishing and his uncle has promised to take him fishing when we go. His only ambivalence is that he is worried about the plane ride, but we have been role-playing with his planes at home and he is slowly coming to terms with it.
I am hoping (truly, cross-my-fingers hoping) that this trip will be easier. The last few times we've gone, I was dragging a baby halfway across the world and he had no idea what was going on, so we both suffered mightily. Now he is fully cognizant of what's happening, he understands that there is a payoff at the end, and he is excited about going. Maybe, just maybe, this time will be different.
I must have a short memory because I had forgotten how expensive it is to travel internationally. I have a laptop computer of my very own, so we don't have that expense this time, but I've had to buy both adult and kids' strength versions of every medicine we might need on our trip, books and movies for entertainment, a new carry-on suitcase for the Moosh who is way too big to be carried anymore, headphones, new shoes for me since we're going to be walking a lot, anti-bug balm (the mosquitos nearly ate us both alive last time), ear pressurizing earplugs, and the kitchen sink. It's been expensive.
Then, today, just for extra fun, one of my contacts has gone completely wonky. I am calling the eye doctor tomorrow to see if they can get me any sort of replacement before we leave, because I am seriously about to go nuts. And this is what sucks about international travel... when you go on a trip like this, you have to take everything, and you are working against a strict deadline. Which means urgency and extra shipping costs.
Because if it's not in my hands by Saturday morning... it's not going. Eeeek.