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Story time

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013: Two Hundred and Thirty Three Days Old.

I took Ayla to story time at the library for the first time today, and I think we’re hooked!

We both had so much fun; the place was filled with babies and mums and toys, and the session was full of stories and songs.

I think Ayla loved the other, bigger, kids the most though.

Ayla’s little friend Harper and Baby Coops were with us, but Ayla was just as excited to make new friends with other kids too.

She kept wanting to stand and for me to help her walk off to play with the two 16 months old toddlers (Max & Isla) nearby.

It meant I was following Ayla around on my knees, her tiny hands virtually glued to my fingers, but it was great fun.

I can’t wait til next week when Daddy can come too!

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Monsoon

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Tuesday, 19 November 2013: Two Hundred and Thirty Two Days Old.

We awoke this morning to the very first monsoon of Ayla’s life.

As a Territory baby Ayla will only know three seasons instead of four – the wet, the dry and the build up – and I think there’s something pretty special about that.

Luckily for Ayla, she loves the rain. As soon as she woke up this morning I took her outside wearing nothing but her nappy, to smell, and see and feel the morning downpour.

Ayla was in awe. Her tiny half naked body clung to me in a big hug while her head rested gently on my should and I sung to her softly as we rocked to the cacophony of rain, frogs and thunder.

Ayla drunk it all in; from the rain pouring off the roof, to the puddles forming in the mud and she smiled, wide eyes, the whole time.

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Busy little bee

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Monday, 18 November 2013: Thirty Three Weeks Old.

Ayla is such a busy little bee!

She’s into everything, loves making mess and just has to be involved in everything I’m doing.

I put her on her play mat today and instead of lying peacefully on her back Ayla was rolling over, squirming and wiggling around until she was well and truely on the tiles.

She also made a fine mess of the fruit I gave her for lunch. Ayla had bits of banana and strawberry everywhere – from head to toe – and she loved every second of the meal; splashing and banging and throwing things around like crazy.

Even when I’m breast feeding Ayla doesn’t really stay still…. She’s either kicking or waving her hand or playing with the skin on my neck until she’s finished, or asleep.

I can already see Ayla getting frustrated by her lack of mobility (she doesn’t like staying in the one spot too long) and I know it’s probably only weeks before she’s up and about. Look out!

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Back into the swing

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Sunday, 17 November 2013: Two Hundred and Thirty Days Old.

Ayla and I got back into the swing of things today, thanks to the help of Hubby and the Territory we call home.

After a sleep in we hit the markets for breakfast then had a fish with a few friends which ended up with beers, a spa and tea.

It was definitely nice to be home, but I can’t help feeling torn.

I can’t help noticing that the world is different these days… families are spread out across countries and the globe and we’re forced to rely on technology to keep us connected.

While I really want Ayla to experience all that’s great about the Territory, and I’m so glad she has such a huge network of suedo Aunties and Uncles, but I also want her to have the real thing too.

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Happy to be home

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Saturday, 16 November 2013: Two Hundred and Twenty Nine Days Old.

I think Ayla was happy to be home this afternoon.

Even though we had a great time away, when I put Ayla down in her spot on the couch with a couple of toys it was as if we’d never left.

And when I put her on her change table she went crazy, grabbing at the mat, the fluffy white rug underneath and her teddy bear, trying to kiss and cuddly everything she could.

But best of all was when Daddy snuck up on her while she was playing on the floor.

Ayla stopped dead still when she heard Hubby’s voice, and when she saw him her face split into the biggest smile.

And then as her picked her up and nuzzled into her neck Ayla’s legs started kicking in sheer excitement and pure happiness – it was beautiful.

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Wildlife

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Friday, 15 November 2013: Two Hundred and Twenty Eight Days Old.

It’s the last day of our holiday today and we spent it at an Australian wildlife sanctuary.

It was so special to see Ayla staring at all the weird and wonderful animals with so much amazement, from koalas and kangaroos, to wallabies, snakes, lizard and emus.

What’s great about this particular sanctuary though is that they let you get up close and personal with the animals, no matter how little you are!

So luckily for Ayla she got to pat a koala and a kangaroo, she had a rainbow lorikeet sit on her head and she even touched a python!

Oh! And I just remembered… While we were having coffee a whole bunch of lorikeets came down to sit on our table share our snack.

Ayla was mesmerised and was reaching out to pat them, ever so gently.

But just as one of the birds went to fly off Ayla closed her little hand around its tail!

The birds was flapping and flying as best it could but the poor thing was going nowhere!

I got Ayla to let go after a second or two and luckily the bird seemed unfussed. It sat quietly beside us for a moment then hopped (smartly) out of reach.

We left the sanctuary with some gorgeous photos and have some great memories to take away (so does the bird!) and it was a fantastic way to end our stay.

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An educated palette

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Thursday 14 November 2013: Two Hundred and Twenty Seven Days Old.

I think Ayla has been born with an educated palette… she’s been eating (and enjoying) a bunch of different foods that even adults don’t like!

Over the last couple of days Ayla’s devoured mango, brussels sprout and even some spanish mackerel, and today we went out for a Yum Cha lunch where I let her try a little piece of everything we ordered.

From the sticky outer covering of a prawn dumpling to the chewiness of a steamed pork bun, from a creamy, crumbly egg custard tart to the soft coconut jelly cake Ayla ate and loved it all!

It was pretty amazing really, to see little Baby Ayla sitting at the table in a Chinese restaurant happily joining in the conversation and sharing our meal just like a grown up.

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“Sad Ayla”

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Wednesday, 13 November 2013: Two Hundred and Twenty Six Days Old.

Baby Ayla has been all out of sorts today.

I can’t work out if it’s teething, a lack of routine or if she’s just missing her Daddy, but the poor poppet has definitely been grizzly.

I’m so lucky that Ayla’s “grizzly” is what it is though; I tried explaining to a shop assistant today when Ayla didn’t smile back at her but the lady just thought I was joking!

“Sad Ayla” simply means Ayla is happy for less time ie; she gets bored quicker, hungry quicker, is less patient during nappy changes and other things like that.

But without Hubby here I was feeling pretty frazzled by the end of the day today. I felt as if my upper back had seized up from carrying Ayla around and giving her lots of cuddles, and I swear I still had Ayla’s voice ringing in my ears when I came to bed.

But on the upside, Ayla did fall asleep a bit earlier tonight so I actually found time to relax (on my holiday!) and watch a movie.

Here’s to a good nights sleep! 😉

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Remembrance

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Tuesday, 12 November 2013: Two Hundred and Twenty Five Days Old

Yesterday was Remembrance Day but it was only today that I found myself with time to reflect on our lives the world I’ve brought my Baby Ayla in to.

We’re definitely in the lucky country. We have so much to be thankful for in Australia – stability, security, abundance, growth – but these things don’t come easily and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

At our current, overwhelming rate of change I worry that the stories of our veterans, their dogged spirit and the raw and honest passion that drove our national sprit could sadly become more legend than memory.

It seems that for new generations, the concept of fighting for your country, or your community, or even for your family is being overridden by a need to fight for yourself.

But while I will raise Ayla to be strong, I will also raise her to be kind. And while I will teach her about passion, I will also teach her about empathy and understanding.

I will help Ayla learn about right and wrong and even the grey patch in between, and I will teach her that no matter how fast and busy life becomes there is always time to stop and say thanks.