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April 22nd, 2012

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09:57 pm - Bits and pieces ...
Right ... Bub is just over four weeks old ... how did that happen ?! He just got here !

... time is doing strange things at the moment, apparently :)

So, on Tuesday last week I went back to work, and mostly survived (lacking in sleep by the end of the week, of course, but I'm used to that).
Bub is doing well, and rwrylsin has posted her four-week update, and more photos (go see the photos, they're cute !). (she also posted a cat update)

So far six of Bub's eight grandparents have visited, and I think they've all found him adorable. At some point, we need to visit Adelaide for the final two grandparents - those of you who have travelled with babies and/or young children, what's the best age to do it, and would it be better to fly or drive ?

Other things ... I appear to be watching The Voice (Australia, apparently everyone else has done this format already), not quite sure how that happened. They're doing blind auditions at the moment, and I like the general positive vibe from the coaches, even for those performers that none of them choose for their team.

I've been playing Skyrim (since late January), and finally finished the main quest. There are still major questlines I haven't touched yet, though, and I have a bit less free time for some reason, so I think it'll keep me going for quite a while yet.

I've made more bookcases ! One in stained pine, one in multi-coloured paint (Lego colours, more or less - the yellow, red and blue were matched from bricks I took to the paint store, green based on the nearest match I could find on paint swatches, and orange based on us having some orange paint around from some previous jobs). The Lego-coloured one is taking a while to paint - in retrospect, I should have made it from MDF instead of pine, it's taking quite a few coats (especially of the yellow) to get the coverage I want.

Finally, a little bit of disappointing news - this will be the first Olympics since 1948 that hasn't had an Australian fencer competing. Clearly it's up to rwrylsin to address this by training up a bunch of super-sabreurs (should be ready by 2028 or 2032 !).

Belated Edit: I messed up the "more photos" link above, please try again !

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
Current Mood: tiredtired

(7 touches | En garde !)


(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:April 23rd, 2012 10:58 am (UTC)
I'd second the 4-7 month suggestion. Very small babies often freak out in unfamiliar circumstances (tried taking a 4 week old baby to a feast once - that was a bad idea), and older babies require entertaining, which can be a pain if you are driving.

We drove from Canberra to SE Qld once with a 7 week old baby (and a 3 yr old - in a Barina no less) and the shortness of the eat/sleep/poop cycle made for a lot of delays.

We also did a lot of driving between Canberra and Adelaide with the first two when they were various ages. This is a 12 hour drive and we discovered that by about 6pm most children have had enough of being in a car and want out _right now_.

On the other hand, if you don't mind a bit of wailing at take off and landing (which can be mitigated with judiciously supplied drinks etc) you can fly with fairly young babies. Flying with toddlers on the other hand....
[User Picture]
Date:April 23rd, 2012 11:29 am (UTC)
By the way - another tip. When you are flying with children under two (it used to be under three, but they changed it since Ashwyn was born) you have to have them on your lap with a special seatbelt during take off and landing. It can be very handy for anything other than quite a small baby to buy a seat for them anyway (even if only to have a place to put the baby while you eat). On Virgin flights if you book for a child under two they will automatically _not_ give you a seat for the child even if you book and pay for one - you have to harass them about it to get one.
[User Picture]
Date:April 22nd, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
We've been lucky that m-g is a relatively placid traveller, even at 17 months - he's still interested in the world, although he'll also sleep if there's nothing else to do.</p>

So, from that perspective, either way works - although we found flying tends to be shorter, sweeter and the engine drone knock him out pretty fast. Driving does the same (eventually), but you'll find you make more stops...or, if you get wailed at before it's convenient to stop, you'll be hard-pressed to resist driving a little bit faster to get to some kind of resting point.

Of course, YMMV.

[User Picture]
Date:April 23rd, 2012 05:09 am (UTC)
Travelling is infinitely doable at any age, it's just the variables that change. I didn't travel with Josh when he was very young, mostly because I was still so new to everything and didn't really know what the sleeping arrangements would be like at the other end. By comparisen, i travelled with Ash when she was only 2 weeks old, without any qualms. As with many things, I think it can be luck of the draw.

Personally, I would favour flying. It is bound to be a tiring trip either way, but at least it makes is a couple of hours of potential frazzle vs 12. Also, if bubs doesn't like it, only 1 hour of screaming vs many (one trip with Ash, she hit the witching hour/s and I had to keep stopping until she settled, and had to put up with a couple of hours of screaming on and off ... and had to sing non-stop for about 3 hours to keep her content. Being older, both chlidren now travel better for longer distances, but also remember that you will need to stop more often for toiletting / feeding, and possibly for longer at each stop so you need to adjust your total travel time accordingly. Josh is also nowof an age where I get the thousand questions everywhere we go, so I found it very tiring when we last drove to Adelaide wth the constant, "Mummy..." Bubs is too young for that yet of course, but just general notes.

This also doesn't apply to you, but I did find travelling alone with small babies on planes to be for the most part untraumatic as there would always be helpful strangers, little old ladies who missed their own grandchildren, or simply other parents who know what it's like and were more than happy to help carry bags, etc. By some chance I ended up on the same flight as one football team or another on several flights between here and Adelaide, and they were always very helpful, and quite chatty, seems most of them also have young children (and I guess often spend many weekends away from home during footy season.)
[User Picture]
Date:April 23rd, 2012 05:13 am (UTC)
PS. I travelled to Canada with J when he was 8 months old. He was crawling, but had just started furniture cruising. Again, the trip was largely without hassles (hassles of the baby variety anyway), it was just a matter of knowing which variables to control. Such as taking a large roll of gaffa/packing tape with me. Useful for taping over power sockets and keeping drawers closed in hotel rooms. Also useful for packing and wrapping the pram.

[User Picture]
Date:April 24th, 2012 06:48 am (UTC)
This sounds pretty much right. You never know how it will go. We did a long drive from here to Belgium in winter, with a bonus blizzard on the way home, around A.'s first birthday. Hard work for the driver, and more stops than usual but A. was unperturbed. Don't try driving Melbourne-Adelaide in summer without air conditioning though. Flying is short and sweet, but at your baby's age he'll be in a cot attached to the bulkhead at the front of the cabin, and this will steal space from you (plus you'll have acres of hand luggage: nappies, bottles, spare clothes, medications, oh and just maybe, some things for yourselves). Not to mention a pram, if you'retaking one. And then you'll need a car seat at your destination. Driving with a car you can pile up all the junk you need, and you take the seat with you.

You will all travel better if you do it reasonably often: practice makes perfect. It gets easier as your child gets older too.
Date:April 24th, 2012 01:38 pm (UTC)
On domestic flights they don't have the cot you are talking about, I used to just travel with J in the sling on me, and when he was young he pretty much slept the whole time. For a flight that is barely an hour it's no big deal, I'm sure you've had afternoons where you have spent at least that long glued to teh couch/chair with a baby in your lap. The cots attached to the bulkhead are on larger aircraft, and are compensated for by the fact that you also get lots more leg room anyway because they are bulkhead seats (and if you are lucky, you get a flight that isn't full and a travel agent who manages to get you on a bulkhead seat next to a vacant seat so you've really got room to stretch.

I always travelled light as I didn't worry about a car seat and used to borrow a pram at the other end, so I guess if you are planning for plane travel the question is how will you be getting about at the other end (family/friends) and are you able to borrow or hire a car seat and pram if you need them? If you think you may make several trips to Adelaide in the coming years, it may very well be worthwhile for the grandparents purchasing a cheapish and/or second hand car seat, as this will inevitably work out much cheaper in the long run than hiring one every time. I took the pram with me to Canada because we walked about a lot, but it also doubled nicely as a high chair at mealtimes, so I really didn't need to worry about finding restaurants that were equipped with everything.

The last time I travelled to Adelaide I drove but that was purely for economic reasons, as once they are over the age of 2 you have to buy an airfare for them, and there was definitely the logistical issue of getting around at the other end - Adelaide isn't great for PT and I had too much ground to cover while I was there. It was a very very long and tiring road trip though, so definitely, if I had had the money for arifares, hire car, two hire car seats and assorted sundries, then that's what I would have done.

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