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History and future

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Thursday, 30 January 2014: Three Hundred and Four Days Old.

Ayla and I visited one of my old school friends and her six week old baby boy today.

As we sat around the kitchen table and caught up on old times I found my heart warmed by how easy it was to talk with someone who’s known me so long.

Although my friend and I had fallen out of touch over the years (this was only our third catch up since 2005) it was our two beautiful babies who brought us together.

New life is amazing.

Ayla has changed my world – the way I see it, the way I value it and the way I live it – and it’s clear that Baby James has done the same for my friend.

My friend and I now share not only our history but our futures as well.

And although there’s thousands of kilometres between us our friendship has been refreshed as if we’d moved in next door, and I have my Baby Ayla to thank for it.

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Seasoned pro

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Wednesday, 29 January 2014: Three Hundred and Three Days Old.

I am so lucky to have a baby who is as forgiving, placid and easygoing as Ayla.

Up at 4.45am this morning Ayla was happy to wait with me as we huddled under the front patio in the pouring rain and waited for a taxi to arrive and take us to the airport.

Once there, nearly twenty minutes late mind you, Ayla sat comfortably on my hip and I sweet talked our way into three adjoining seats in Row 5 at no additional cost, and Ayla quietly clung on to me as we charged through the security checks,

The two of us spent the next half an hour sitting side by side on a departure lounge couch, sharing a toasted sandwich and watching other red-eye warriors prop their eyelids open with tooth pegs… Or coffee.

The flight itself was great, thanks to Row 5 but ultimately due to Ayla’s awesomeness at traveling; this is her third interstate trip since she was born and Ayla’s evidently a seasoned pro, happy and content to play with her toys and smile at the passengers behind us through the gap between seats.

I didn’t even have to feed Ayla during landing because her ears handled the change in altitude all by themselves, and I was able to somehow bundle Ayla into the Baby Ka’tan and be ready to “disembark via the front door” without a fuss.

Our luggage arrived on the carousel and we made our way to the pick up area where Ayla’s Grandma met us and helped us load our things, smothering Baby Ayla with cuddles and oodles of long awaited love.

From the airport we headed to a shopping centre no less, and while Grandma finished work for the day Ayla and I killed time browsing and stocking up on nappies and fruit.

We finally made it home in the late afternoon and by then Ayla’s eyes were hanging out of her head, as were mine.

Although we’d been able to jag a little over an hours sleep on the plane it was a massive, long, tiring day of travel and Ayla took it all in her stride.

I would have completely understood if Ayla had reached breaking point on the plane, in the car or even at the shopping centre but my baby girl is a trooper and she helps make even the most exhausting day a pleasure.

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Researching

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Tuesday, 27 January 2014: Three Hundred and Two Days Old.

I’ve been researching ways to get a baby to nap when they’ve just learned how to crawl/stand/sit, and the general consensus seems to be; “good luck”!

Thankfully Ayla’s night time sleeps are starting to improve, slowly and irregularly mind you, but getting Ayla to nap during the day has become a nightmare.

They say it’s because Ayla’s just learned so many awesome new skills she’s simply hyped up and wants to keep using them all the time.

So I guess it could be akin to and adult discovering a cure for cancer but being told to go to bed… Yeah right!

I think there might also be a knack to the whole “feeding solids” thing that could be impacting on Ayla’s nap times.

Now that Ayla is starting to eat more food I find myself worrying if she’s getting enough and wondering if she can’t sleep because she’s still hungry.

At the moment I just keep giving Ayla different types of food until I start to see more of it on the floor than in her mouth, but how do I know if Ayla’s throwing the food away because she’s full or because she doesn’t like it?

I guess it’s all just another matter of trial and error, and of keeping fingers crossed, until Ayla finally gives up the fight and gets back into a rhythm again.

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Play date

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Monday, 27 January 2014: Forty Three Weeks Old.

Ayla went on her first play date today, to the adjoining hotel room for a play with our friend’s 3yo daughter.

Man, I am going to be such a mess when I go back to work and Ayla goes to day care!

Ayla was only next door and she was gone for only 30 minutes but I was aware of every second as it passed by.

Don’t get me wrong, it was great to know Ayla was out of the way and in safe hands while I was busy packing up our stuff, but goodness knows what I’ll be like when we’re apart for a whole day!

The thing that struck me the most was the wondering what Ayla was doing, what funny antics she was pulling or what new lesson she was learning.

I wasn’t worrying about whether she was safe or getting in to trouble, which surprised me a little bit, but I think the fear of missing something important was harder to reason with.

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Australia Day

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Sunday, 26 January 2014: Three Hundred Days Old.

It’s was Ayla’s first Australia Day today and what better way to spend it than road tripping to Kakadu.

We made the journey in convoy with some friends and no sooner had we entered the park than we were bombarded with reminders of why they call this the lucky country.

We saw dingos, wallabies, goannas, eagles and snakes, I even saw a eagle with a snake in it’s talons, and the flooded wetlands were breathtakingly raw and spectacular.

At this time of year everything is green and growing. It creates a stunning display of natural beauty that makes me feel privileged just to look, and while Ayla may be still too small to appreciate it Hubby and I feel blessed that our little girl has such wonder and adventure on her doorstep.

We spent the day fishing in road side culverts, and at one point we even reversed the ute into a swollen creek so that the boys could use the tray as a pontoon platform for flicking lures.

In the afternoon we relaxed in the resort pool and escaped the heat, where we played beach balls with other holiday makers and Ayla learned to fall into our arms from the edge.

Later, Ayla loved cruising around our hotel room, pulling herself up on the bedside tables and playing with the bed spreads, and when the time came for her to go to down for a sleep she settled nicely into her made-up bed of blankets under the desk.

To top it off we shared a lovely dinner and drinks with our friends and kicked back on the patio as a massive tropical storm front rolled in. It was the perfect end to a perfect Australia Day.

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A baby on the go

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Saturday, 25 January 2014: Two Hundred and Ninety Nine Days Old.

When I made the call and said Ayla would be “properly” mobile within a fortnight, I didn’t expect it to be so soon!

Ayla is so good at crawling now that I’m already starting to experience the “oh crap, she’s too quiet” moments, and my privacy is well and truly out the window.

Hubby also noticed the impact of Ayla’s mobility when she crawled her way from one end of the house to the other today and set up camp in front of the fishing rod rack in our bedroom.

It must have only been seconds but Ayla somehow managed to dig out a box of hooks and even get one out… O.M.G. What have we got ourselves in to!?

I also found Ayla standing in front of the vanity draws in the bathroom this morning. She had one draw open fully and was happily pulling out and throwing everything she could get her hands on.

And talk about getting ready to go out! It used to only take me about 15 minutes to get out of the house with Ayla, but today it took nearly an hour; turns out it’s hard work catching, cleaning and clothing a baby on the go!