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Tourists in our own town- for practice!

We set ourselves a task: walk 5 km, check out some local attractions, and try out some gear. That shouldn’t be too hard! We tested;

  • Keens sandals
  • Ergo baby back pack
  • Children’s backpacks
  • Using the ipod for audio stories
  • A homemade take-anywhere mat to lie on

So, we started with a hike up Wireless Hill.  Its spring and the wildflowers are out.  So are the creepy crawlies.

Bobtail lizards, I DO NOT like!

 

There was a “liberty wheelchair” swing. I know some people love them, but I just can’t get over the rigmarole of going to the office to get the key, and the over-the-top safety instructions. Not to mention the separate fenced area. It makes an every day childhood activity like going on the swings at the park into yet another segregated, regulated activity for kids who use wheelchairs. And really, parents of kids with disabilities don’t need yellow danger signs to tell them to ensure their child is safe; that’s what we do, all day, everyday. Having said that, a liberty swing is the only swing some people can use, so bring them on!

 

 

The children walking leaves room for improvement, but that’s alright; there will be plenty of practice!  We also had some ipod altercations. We had a picnic lunch and tried out our ‘blue mat’ . I had sewn a water proof backed lightweight mat for Sparky and Baby Boy to lie on. A person should never sit in a wheelchair in the same position for more than one hour. The blue mat worked a treat, and will enable Sparky to have a stretch and a wiggle when ever we are out about about, even if the ground is wet or dirty.

 

Across the park we saw acrobats training on a high swing. I have lived here most of my life and never knew there was a circus training centre! Its amazing how much more you see by going on foot.

 

We finished our walk and drove to Fremantle to the camping shop to try on women’s packs. They had one type available, not front loading, and without a daypack. Almost as useless as the guy working in the shop.

Next, Fremantle markets. Pre-children, this was our regular haunt. We love the buskers in the bar, the fruit and veg markets and the $10 massages.

Everyone was hungry, so we had a second lunch. The dodgy luke-warm food hall curries were a bad choice. The fresh cooked rotis were great. Note to self; always buy fresh cooked!  It must be a hangover from our Singapore trips that the children think whenever you eat at foodhalls, you should drink soy milk.

 

So,
Successes: the ergo baby carrier is an absolute winner. Baby Boy loved it, he slept happily or looked around, and we both wore it on our fronts and our backs without any discomfort.
Our Keens sandals are comfy and good to walk in. I got blisters, but that’s the fault of my ridiculous feet.
The blue mat worked fine.
The ipod was not really necessary, children don’t actually need audio books while walking, and it turned out to be more of a hassle. And it might help if I actually learned how to order my audio files so we don’t get songs and random chapters all mixed up.
Failures
The children’s backpacks were just their school bags. They are hot and uncomfortable.  I’m really glad the children have carried then all day.  That’s because the great new super deluxe deuter fox 30 packs are still under the bed, being earnt, one job at a time. Aaaah, the tough lesson of delayed gratification.

Sparky’s  wheelchair was hot, heavy and uncomfortable. But we knew that, which is why we are building a new one.

Overall, a good day. Have you ever discovered something new by playing tourist in your own town?  Have you ever wished you gave a piece of gear a practice run?
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It’s official – we are going!

 


The big dream of slow glorious travel, drinking in the riches the smells and the sounds, being together, learning all the time, enjoying the lack of obligation and routine…….its all going to happen. VERY SOON.

We haven’t been mucking around. We’ve renovated and sold a house, moved house three times, had four children in three different schools, had a few family holidays…..not to mention we had a lovely new baby boy.

But now, there is work to be done

Chris, who can do clever things like use spreadsheets, has been organising and prioritising our list of THINGS TO DO.

Apart from all the boring usual things like save money, get immunised, buy plane tickets; we have a few other things to do of note

The trickiest is:

  • Build a wheelchair that can go hiking, sit in restaurants, fold small, with a removable seat that can go in cars and planes and on the back of elephants. It needs to be waterproof, unbreakable, reparable from easily available materials, attractive (except to thieves) and cheap.

No worries.

Probably the most time consuming is this innocuous sounding one:

  • plan home education

We have so many thoughts and ideas about schooling, education, learning and inclusion. This is our big opportunity to direct and nurture the process free from all the restraints and stresses of the system and the bureaucracy that we are escaping. Its not a task we are taking on lightly.

the most fun one is going to be

  • have a massive party for Chris’ 40th

Of course there are things in the list we are not likely to accomplish before departure, like:

  • train children to look after their own things and eat nicely .

But, we live in hope….

And there’s also the small matter of:

  • getting strong and healthy post horror pregnancy and C-section.

Now all we need is for Air Asia to have another sale!

Any other must-do preparation tasks?

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Preparing the baby for travel

“Mum, Mum, Baby Boy has teeth!!”

“Really? How do you know?”

“I put my toe in his mouth, and he bit it”

Knowing the likely state of Snowy’s toe, Baby Boy’s immune system is getting a fine work out, in preparation for travel.

Apart from passports and immunisations, there are a few other things we are doing to get him and ourselves ready for the transition

  • We bought an Ergo Baby carrier and I’m already loving it, it’s so light and he feels so light in it. Nearly all the weight falls on my hips, and not my shoulders. I have had no back pain at all from using it, and he’s so happy to ride around with a great view and milk on tap. And Meenabadeena likes it too, although I’m not planning on letting such a petite 8 year old carry this heavy boy for too long.

  • We are moving him from his baby cradle to a peapod travel bed . So far he loves it and it takes about 7 seconds to put up.
  • We are training him to eat everything and anything, mashed with a fork but not pureed, and straight from our own plates. How do you think he’s doing?

Mushy avocado from Mummy’s fingers- Yum!

 

Dim Sum? Yes please!
In fact, why don’t I just do it myself?

 

  • The most important thing to prepare Baby Boy for travel is for him to be sustainably breastfed.  Breastmilk is nutritious and delicious food available night and day, always at the right temperature, with a side serve of cuddles and kisses on top. I’m really happy he’s a good little drinker. And he is very happy too.

 

I’m not suggesting travel with a baby will be a walk in the park, but I do think he’ll be one of the easiest children to manage and care for. That is, until he becomes a toddler! And even if he doesn’t remember the sights, I hope having his Mum and Dad around all the time will give him a secure grounding from which to grow and thrive.

Have we forgotten anything?

 

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