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Screaming

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Monday, 28 April 2014: One Year, Three Weeks and Six Days Old.

I don’t know what was wrong with Ayla – she’s still unsettled tonight -but she keeps screaming and crying and refusing to lie down.

Last night I was up with her til 1am and the Hubby took over until 3am, but Ayla then woke at 5am, 6am and 7am anyway.

It was tough! Ayla had a temperature but no other symptoms, Panadol didn’t work and sleep seemed impossible.

This morning Ayla was tired (weren’t we all) but she seemed well enough to go to day care. Two hours after dropping her off though, I got “the call” asking me to come and get her and take her to the docs because they couldn’t settle her, no matter what they tried.

The doctor checked Ayla’s ears, throat, nose, stomach and kidneys but all we’re clear and healthy so she sent us home to get some rest.

But still, Ayla screamed! For two hours I cradled her and rocked her hoping she would settle but it was futile… Ayla was not happy.

I eventually took Ayla outside to play where distraction seemed to keep her screams at bay.

But by the time Hubby got home from work Ayla was back to grizzling and crying and screaming and we know we have another long night ahead of us.

After dinner I sent a zombied Hubby off to bed while I sat up with a teary Ayla.

Ayla kept passing out from sheet exhaustion only to wake every fifteen minutes or so in what looks like pain.

I’ve just put her down now, at 10.30pm.

I don’t know if it’s teething, a delayed upset tummy from the formula, another UTI or something else, but whatever it is Ayla is sad, and hurting and dog-tired, and I am too.

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The best years

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Sunday, 27 April 2014: One Year, Three Weeks and Five Days Old.

I realised today that one day I’ll probably look back on this time of my life and think they were the best years I’ve ever had.

When that time comes, I don’t want to find myself wishing I’d realised it “back then”, I’d much rather feel lucky for having taken the time to appreciate it while I lived it.

This whole epiphany came about this afternoon while Hubby and I were doing reno’s in the backyard and Ayla was trying her darnedest to “help” us.

As usual I was worrying about the sun, the grass, the power tools, the heat, the attention Ayla wanted and wasn’t getting, and the priority I was putting on renovating instead of Ayla.

But all of a sudden it was like I was looking through a lens and I felt so very grateful.

Although things are crazy busy, overwhelming and sometimes stressful – trying to find the balance between motherhood, career, renovating and studying isn’t easy – I’m blessed with all the things that matter.

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Last resort

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Saturday, 27 April 2014: One Year, Three Weeks and Four Days Old.

Ayla got her first ever smack on the hand today; it didn’t hurt, she didn’t cry and it was an absolute last resort.

Ayla and I were at the airport saying goodbye to her Grandma, and there was a guy sitting on the couch behind us.

Ayla discovered that he was there and somehow thought it would be fun to hit him as hard as she could on his back, his shoulders and neck.

At first I tried distraction; turning Ayla around and showing her other things to look at and play with, but she kept returning to her “hitting the strange man” game.

Then I tried removal; moving Ayla off the couch completely and putting her on the floor, but after a couple of minutes Ayla returned to standing and cried to be picked up.

Then I tried ignoring; hoping that Ayla would find the whole game boring if no one was watching, but instead her hits on the poor man got harder and more determined.

Then I tried restraining; catching Ayla’s little hands mid hit, looking her in the eye and telling her no.

But instead of looking apologetic Ayla kept throwing her head back , shutting her eyes, pursing her lips and scrunching her nose in what was the cheekiest, most undeniably defiant expression I’ve ever seen.

So with no other places to sit in the airport, a cheeky little devil on a mission of violence beside me, and still twenty minutes til boarding time, I had to come up with a new approach.

The next time Ayla went to hit the man I grabbed her hand, told her no (again) and said that if she did it again she’d get a smack on the hand.

Ayla did it again.

I took hold of her hand calmly and said that I’d asked her not to do that. Then I smacked her little hand and said no.

My heart cracked and I felt instantly guilty, Ayla looked at me wide-eyed for a second and then pulled her cheeky face!

I couldn’t believe she was being so obviously naughty and I had no idea what options I had left. I was spewing that’d I’d pulled out my trump card to no avail!

Then miraculously Ayla turned away from the man, sat down and asked to be put on the ground, where she sat happily playing with her Grandma’s suitcase for the remainder of our time together.

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Third most favourite thing

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Friday, 26 April, 2014: One Year, Three Weeks and Three Days Old.

I’ve decided that floating around in the pool with my little family is my third most favourite thing to do.

It comes after baby cuddles (#1) and going on holidays (#2), but sneaks in just before long car trips (#4) and Sunday afternoon barbecues (#5).

For some reason the pool is a place where the outside world doesn’t reach us; we float, and we talk, and we share stories, we dream and we plan for the future.

And of course we watch Ayla splash and screech and jump and dive and kick and systematically work through every possible way to try and sink to the bottom.

I think I love it so much because there’s no technology at the pool – no phones, no TV, no internet – which means it the one place where we can all get together, enjoy each other’s company and relax, even The Dog and Cat Cat come and hang out as well!

Whatever it is, swimming in the pool was exactly what I needed this afternoon as Hubby and I recovered from our first (and probably last) night out on the town in years!

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Real Grandma

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Thursday, 24 April 2014: One Year, Three Weeks and Two Days Old.

When I got home from work this afternoon my mum met me at the door with a big grin and said “today I got to feel like a real grandma!”

Mum has been visiting for a week and while I’ve been at work she’s looked after Ayla in conjunction with Hubby who’s been on his rostered week off.

But today Ayla and her Grandma were on their own for the whole day – from 7.30am til 5.30pm.

My mum hasn’t had anything to do with babies for 26 years, but over the past week she’s been able to recall her undying parenting skills and has aptly put Ayla to bed, fed her, changed her and played with her like she’s been doing it all along.

But I think what had really resonated with Mum on this visit was that she’s been able to get to know Ayla in her own environment, and share in every day activities that she would normally miss out on due to distance.

I’ve loved seeing Ayla and her Grandma spend quality time together , and my Mum’s great day with Ayla culminated this evening when Ayla took her first official steps!

Ayla took just a couple of tentative wobbly ones but they were toward her Grandma and that put the icing on the cake for my Mum.

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No more expressing

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Wednesday, 23 April 2014: One Year, Three Weeks and One Day Old.

Sadly, I had to make the call to stop expressing milk at work today.

Even though I’ve only been back in the office a couple of weeks, I’m already feeling swamped and finding time to express is becoming more and more difficult.

Although I know I can get everything done at work during my part time hours, it means using every minute effectively to ensure no time is wasted.

It feels contradictory to put “time wasting” and “breast feeding” in the same sentence, and it kills me to think I’m putting work ahead of Ayla.

But the benefits of working part time are outweighing the need for me to be religious about Ayla’s breast milk consumption, so it seems like my days of sitting in the storeroom pumping milk are over.

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Holiday mode over

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014; One Year and Three Weeks Old.

Holiday mode was over for me today as I returned to work after the Easter break, and it was supposed to be over for Ayla too.

But, Hubby is on his week off and Ayla’s grandma is visiting for a few days so there was bucklies chance of that happening!

Even though I explained to them that it would be good for Ayla to get back into her day care routine as soon as possible, I could tell they had other ideas.

And I was right!

Can’t say I blame them though, time with Ayla feels like the most precious commodity in existence and I know I wouldn’t take her if I didn’t have to.

So while I sat at work writing PowerPoint presentations and fending off meeting requests, my little family swam in the pool at home.