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Trick or treat!?

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Thursday, 31 October 2013: Two Hundred and Thirteen Days Old.

Happy Halloween!

As the daughter of an Scottish ex-pat, dressing up and ‘guising‘ on ‘All Hallows Eve‘ was as much a part of my childhood as was barbecuing on Australia Day… In fact, probably more so.

To 6 year old me, Halloween was about making costumes out of things we found at home, practicing a trick to do in exchange for treats, “dooking for apples“, and staying up past bed time on a school night.

And that’s the kind of Halloween I want Ayla to know.

So of course for Ayla’s first Halloween I couldn’t refuse the chance to dress her up!

Using a little black frock, some costume jewellery and a bit of black make up, Baby Ayla was quickly and easily transformed into … Duh duh duuuhhhhh….. Baby Zombie.

Ayla loved her costume, especially the necklace, and she played with the jack-o-latern Daddy carved for her for ages.

And, while we won’t be trick-or-treating this year, it was great fun to dress up, take pics and imagine what next years Halloween will be like.

I wonder what Ayla will want to dress up as?

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In for the long haul

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Wednesday, 30 October 2013; Two Hundred and Twelve Days Old.

Ayla and I ventured out to the shops for supplies today…. We’re in for the long haul.

It’s been two weeks and still Ayla’s nappy rash hasn’t cleared. We’ve been back to the doctors a couple of times but she assures me we’re doing everything we can.

So, in order to get some sort if normality back I stocked up on baby undies (I think they’re supposed to be nappy covers) and a couple of t-shirts.

Up until now I’ve mostly dressed Baby Ayla in pretty little frocks, but a shirt and undies are much easier for on-the-go changes now that Ayla’s nappy-less.

And of course Ayla was a good girl so she got to pick out a toy as well… It’s really not hard to spend a hundred bucks when your shopping for baby!

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Advice

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Tuesday, 29 October 2013: Two Hundred and Eleven Days Old.

Nearly seven months ago, when Ayla was born, my life changed forever.

At first, I had no idea what was going on; I was riddled with insecurities and self-induced pressure, and every day brought new challenges that had me wondering what on earth I’d got myself into.

Now however, I understand that these unsure decisions and self doubt is all part of being a mum, and I know I probably won’t escape the voice inside my head that says “are you sure about that?” or “if only…”.

I find it comforting to feel confident in my own vulnerability and today, for the first time, I found myself in a position to give some advice to a new mum with a four month old daughter.

While I’m far from being any kind of expert, I thought I’d share this advice here too because I’m sure I will need to refer back to it many times in the future.

Firstly, don’t feel bad! Your story is exactly like mine and I’m sure we can’t be the only ones.

“Back in the day” there were no baby rules; mums did what felt right and what worked for them.

But today, new mums like us seem to be given an unpublished “book” that dictates all the things we should and shouldn’t be doing with our little ones. But honestly, I’m sure that even if we DID follow the rules set out in this book to a ‘T’ we’d still make mistakes, and that’s ok.

Why? Because every baby, every mum, every family is different, and rules are really more like guidelines anyway – aren’t they?

Before we know it, our babies will be big. They’ll be running around and bossing us about and they won’t need us much at all.

So don’t feel bad for cuddling them to sleep, soothing them with the breast or planning your day around their naps if thats what feels right. One day soon they will grow out of it. Yes, you might look back and think “it could’ve been easier if I did it differently” but why not worry about that if it happens?

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Bursts

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Monday, 28 October 2013; Thirty Weeks Old.

Wow, development really does happen in bursts!

Yesterday Ayla took her first steps while I held her hands, and today she stood without me touching her at all!

Although she didn’t pull herself up, Ayla stood in her cot for a good minute or two this morning, and she kept her balance by holding on to the side.

Then at swimming lessons she did the same thing; holding onto the side of the pool while she stood on the step.

To finish off the day, Ayla showed her Daddy her new trick at home in the lounge room, using the ottoman as her balance beam.

I couldn’t believe it – standing!! Next she’ll be reciting the alphabet backwards!

It really is true when they say “blink and you miss it”. I’m so lucky to have this time at home with her to share these precious milestones.

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So many things

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Sunday, 27 October 2013; Two Hundred and Eight Days Old.

There’s so many things I could blog about today!

I could tell you about how Ayla drew her first blood today – a paper cut on her middle finger while we were reading Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. She didn’t cry.

Or, I could tell you about how the baby bath has been our saving grace this weekend, or how this afternoon Ayla came face-to-face with her biggest fish yet. Good job Daddy.

Or, I could tell you about how Ayla went to her first theatre show tonight. It was a cabaret/burlesque/variety type thing and, despite the loud noises and cheers and the after 7 time slot, the only noise Ayla made the whole time was a modest little giggle at her Aunty Kerri.

But, if I was to choose one thing to blog about today it would be how Ayla took her first (assisted) steps today. About eight of them.

Admittedly, I was holding her hands but for the first time ever Ayla put one chubby little foot in front of the other and walked towards me.

I was so proud! I was so shocked! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But I could hardly believe my eyes. I know it’s only a taste of what’s to come but it was amazing all the same.