Owen Does NAPA – the lead up…

So the adventure to Melbourne and the Napa Centre for a month begins …. This is something we have looked forward to for a VERY long time. Let me take you back… In July 2015 registrations opened for the 2016 NAPA schedule, it’s an online form to be completed and a first come first serve basis – I felt like I was buying concert tickets although you don’t get the outcome instantly. We then had an anxious wait for a week and a half wondering whether Owen had been accepted, how many hours he may have been accepted for, what therapies he’s been accepted in to and what location we may be going? The options were Sydney and Melbourne, we were hoping for Melbourne as we are fortunate to have family accommodation there and therefore wouldn’t have to worry about the accommodation costs for a month. I vividly remember walking along the coast on Sunday morning and I received the emails that Owen had been accepted to one Sydney Intensive (to occur July ‘16) and one Melbourne Intensive (to occur November ’16). We were stoked! We were so happy we had got at least one Melbourne block as there was only 2 opportunities and we were happy we had got two intensives throughout the year in 2016. So you are probably wondering why we are in Melbourne in April ’16 … well in September we were notified there was an opening for the intensive in April in Melbourne. We jumped at it and chose to then cancel our Sydney one we had booked. Therefore we had two Melbourne intensives locked with NAPA and we weren’t going to have to worry about accommodation … plus we LOVE Melbourne!

With over … kilos of luggage, 3 suitcases, 2 backpacks, Owen’s supportive stroller (It’s a big one) and his shiny new green wheels – his walker we made it to the airport nice and early to ensure we weren’t going to have trouble checking in all the bits and pieces. Luckily a good friend of ours who works for Qantas had made it ever so easy for us and prebooked our seats, allowing us to have 4 seats for the 3 of us and making a note that we would have all this gear with us. It actually went very smooth until…….we almost missed the flight! Sitting in the café at the airport sipping on a coffee we then heard our names over the PA – ‘This is the last call for passengers Owen, Taryn & Vince DiCandilo” We were too busy chatting away to Aunty Bec and enjoying our morning coffee as we had been up since 4am that we had missed the call to board the flight and we were the last ones to board… Thank goodness we heard that final call otherwise that would have been a disaster!

Owen was an absolute dream on the flight, he sat in his own seat supported by the Firefly Go To Seat and listened to the kids music through the earphones and played with his toys. After a while he then had a sleep in Daddy’s arms and before we knew it he was waking and we were landing in Melbourne. For those that are close to Owen you would know how much joy he gets out of funny noises and when the wheels on the plane went down and then the plane hit the tarmac he burst into laughter thinking it was the funniest thing ever! He was a delight on the plane which was such a relief!

Owen’s grandparents were had flown in to Melbourne a few days prior to get a car seat sorted for us in the car we were borrowing and get the place sorted for Owen’s arrival. We hired a Smirthwaite bath corner chair from DoAbility, and a care seat from Baby Hire. We are so lucky to be able to walk into an environment that had everything we required.

Since arriving in Melbourne we have walked a lot, eaten a lot and enjoyed some time to chill out before the 3 weeks of therapy starts. Visiting many parks, water fountains (Owen loves the sound), walking on rocky roads (he thinks it’s hilarious going over the bumps) and enjoying family time! Owen has done so well, eating on the go, sitting in his stroller, sleeping in the stroller so we can enjoy a lovely lunch like we did at Chin Chin, sleeping in his new surroundings, he’s on a big single mattress here as the porta cots were just too small and adjusting to the new time zone.

We cant wait for therapy to begin, we have heard such great things about the therapist that work for the NAPA Centre, I am a little concerned at how Owen will manage four hours of therapy straight in a day, as he’s never done more than two in one sitting, but it all will be an experience and I’m sure he will surprise us!

Look forward to telling you all about it when we get started!



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