Sunday, 31 July 2016

The Map Family

I am a recovering couch potato, lover of mini-adventures and mum of two mini people. My life used to be filled with adventure and travel but over the past few years I have become rather sedentary and a little pedestrian. Just before my second baby was born I decided to start a branch of Hike it Baby. The thought of getting out into the Hills, the freedom of the trails and the solidarity of other parents excited me. The reality, as ever, is always different from the fantasy. However, I have learnt an amazing amount about getting a baby, toddler, dog and husband all out of the door (mostly on time), have enjoyed some (but not as many as I would have liked) trails and my confidence and organisational skills have certainly improved with the practice.

I am writing this blog partly to keep myself accountable but mostly to show other arm-chair adventurers that you don’t need to wait for an empty nest to have a little fun. From time to time there will also be “comments” from the other members of the MAP family. So without further ado, I shall let rest of the MAP family introduce themselves.

Likes: playing with the boys, coffee, spending time with my family, meeting new people, coffee, and going new places
Dislikes: cold weather, rainy weather, getting out of bed, bad coffee, toddler tantrums
Favourite Mode of transport: Car
Looking forward to in the next year: going on new adventures with my family

Mini Monkey:
Age (at start of project): just two
Likes: Honey, climbing rocks, peas, dinosaurs, farm animals at the Farmers Markets, the zoo, chocolate milk, reading (except if book is selected by Mr or Mrs MAP) and Osky (toy Donkey)
Dislikes: being told no, not being the centre of attention, nappy changes, taking off my favorite jumper, taking off my favorite shoes, putting on jumpers, putting on shoes….
Favourite mode of transport: On dad’s shoulders, taking in the world from a different perspective and chatting to dad and eating snacks
Looking forward to next year: finding more puddles to jump into and throwing gumnuts in rivers and ponds

The Giant Baby:
Age (at start of project): 8 months
Likes: cuddles, crawling after the dog, funny faces, the dogs bed, bananas, and biting (everything)
Dislikes: being left on my own, trying new food, and teething,  
Favourite mode of transport: In my Tula. Mum think’s its hers, but it’s not, it’s mine.
Looking forward to next year: Walking on my own two feet. It’s going to be awesome!!!

Velcro Dog:
Likes: human food, cuddles, crowded beaches, balls, cuddles, lots of balls, cuddles with my people, running, cuddles, balls, smelling new places
Dislikes: cold weather, rain, noisy toddlers, waiting
Looking forward to in the next year: lots of new places to smell

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Adventure 1 – The one where we hit up a hill and found a waterfall

Where: Ellis Brook Valley Reserve, Martin WA

When: July 2016

My Adventure Companions: The Giant Baby, Velcro Dog and my hiking buddy with her 18 month old bub.

‘Hey, friend! I feel like walking some hills. Want to come?’
I love seeing the world through my toddler’s eyes but sometimes I just need to go a little faster, a little further or a little steeper. Ellis Book Valley Reserve is perfect for a quick hill fix as its pretty close to the city and has some nice trails around the valley. Whilst I’m working on it, navigation is not my strong point. I’m pretty sure we were totally off book from the moment we walked out of the car park. We headed up the side of the valley, along the top for some great views and back down past the waterfall (that I had no idea was there before). Both bubs had a nap and we arrived back at the end of our hike just as The Giant Baby was telling me it was definitely time for his next feed. 

Comments from The Giant Baby: It’s always rush rush rush around here. I just want to have a stretch and then keep working on this crawling thing. It would be so much easier if my hands and feet just cooperated. I guess I probably wouldn’t say no to a feed before leaving the house. Or one after a walk. I love my walks with mum. She’s so comfy. I had a lovely nap today. I’m not sure why she insists on taking these walks because we always end up back in the same spot. She also talks too much. 

More details:
Walk trails brochure: here   
Opening hours: 8am-5pm
Fee: $0

The Mini Adventure Project

Mini Adventures for Mini Families

There are so many inspirational adventurers out there. Their big climbs, long runs, crazy jumps and endless cycles are of epic proportions. I have dipped my toe in the immenseness of this world and have always wanted to do more. However, as it inevitably does for most of us, ‘life’ takes over and those dreams of adventure slowly get put on the back burner.

My ‘life’ now is a young family, a mortgage and an office job. For a long time, my husband and I have imagined the spectacular trips our family will take when our kids are old enough. But recently, that has seemed further off than ever.

Happily, inspiration from the likes of Alistair Humphrey’s Micro Adventures and the Exerk weekly adventures around London of Annie Ross set me on my way. My inner adventurer spent a while skipping along and singing ‘yippie!!’ at the thought of all these wonderful ideas until my inner realist gently reminded me that I had a family, mortgage and an office job. How would I fit all this lovely adventuring in along with all of those? I wanted my adventuring to enhance my life and not have to spend hours training for just a single event. Above all, I wanted my family to be involved. With these ideas, a plan started to form and The Mini Adventure Project (MAP) was born. I will be taking mini, mostly local adventures, every week. Some will be with my mini family, some will be sans kids with my husband and some (gasp) may even be solo.

I hope, by sharing these little outings, that I can inspire other families to have a more adventurous life. And who knows, maybe one day, those adventures will get bigger?