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Such a good girl

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Sunday, 21 September 2014: One Year, One Hundred and Seventy Three Days Old.

Hubby, a friend of his and I went out fishing in the boat today and of course we had Baby Ayla in tow.

Ayla was SUCH a good girl; I can’t express how proud and grateful I am of the beautiful, calm, friendly and content little girl she’s growing in to!

We were out on the water for 7 hours, right through the middle of the day, and Ayla was literally an angel the whole time. She spent the the day sitting up on my chair, chewing on biscuits, chatting away to us and playing with her dolly. And whenever a fish came on board Ayla would get as excited as we were, happily pointing and declaring “fish! fish!” over and over until we threw it back.

Ayla’s awesomeness meant it was the first time since becoming a mum that I’ve actually been able to join in on the fishing action properly, without worrying about her getting into lures, falling over at every wave or eating bait… Mmm yum! Instead, I was confidently able to relax and enjoy being out on the water with my bestie (Hubby) doing what we love, while the person we love most (Ayla) watched over us and cheered on from the sidelines.

As if in thanks for her great behaviour, (in case the perfect weather, calm water and good fish weren’t enough) the “Fish Gods” put on an amazing display of beauty when a pod of dolphins came up to play beside the boat. Ayla stood up on the deck while I held on tight and we watched in awe as the dolphins swam effortlessly beside the boat coming up for breaths of air and riding the bow wave.

We all felt so lucky and happy to be witness to something so naturally beautiful; it was one of those perfect moments that make you feel blessed and thankful and get a sense that maybe you are on the right path afterall and that everything’s going to be ok.

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Sun, sand and saltwater

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014: Three Hundred and Fifty Eight Days Old.

Miraculously, I awoke this morning with a full nights rest and hardly any trace of illness… I don’t know how it happened but my goodness, am I grateful!

It meant that we were finally able to have a family outing for the day, our first one in five days and I couldn’t wait to take Ayla on the short boat ride over to Coral Island for some sun, sand and saltwater.

Ayla had a ball crawling around on the beach and Hubby and I found myself keeping track of her by following the strange markings she left in the sand in her wake!

The water at Coral Island was so clear that when we took Ayla in for a swim could see the fish darting in and out amongst the coral.

Ayla also made friends with a couple of young children who were on the tour with us, and at lunch when they started playing hide-and-seek-tickle with her Ayla was so happy she nearly squealed the place down with delight.

On the way back to the mainland the tour stopped for a snorkel in a beautiful bay where we could hand feed thousands of colourful fish within meters of the boat.

Ayla was mesmerised as she looked down at the water from the boat’s flybridge, seeing the bits of bread I was throwing turn into a splashing, shimmering whirlpool of aquatic activity.

All in all it as a great day out, partly because it’s the best we’ve all felt in nearly a week and partly because we are half way around the world, making special precious memories as a family… and there’s not much better than that!

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The good, the bad and the awesome

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Tuesday, 11 February 2014: Three Hundred and Sixteen Days Old.

There were lots of firsts for Ayla today that went the full spectrum: the good, the bad and the awesome.

THE GOOD:

Ayla had her first trip to the osteopath today. I took her because of the clicky left shoulder she’s had since birth and to investigate if there was any reason behind why Ayla has been rubbing the back of her head.

Ayla was pretty good considering the osteo rubbed and poked her while we tried to keep her still, but he said Ayla’s back and shoulder (which he thinks may have been strained in utero) is now cured and I’m to keep an eye on the tight muscles at the back of her head.

THE BAD:

Ayla had her first bout of sea sickness today. It’s Hubby’s week off so we went for a quick fish in the harbour this morning but by the time we got to the spot the wind had picked up, the sky had become overcast and the ocean was choppy.

Although Ayla had been fine on the drive out as soon as we pulled up anchor she started to look queasy and sorry for herself, Ayla even had a tiny little spew! Hubby gets sea sick too so he knew what she was going through and before long we headed for calmer waters where Ayla returned to her usual self and recommenced crawling around the deck.

THE AWESOME:

Ayla caught her first fish today! Well, kind of… She was sitting on Hubby’s lap with her hands on his fishing rod when he got a bite. Hubby was on, and Ayla kept her hands on the rod while he reeled it in. Within seconds up came a Golden Snapper!

I don’t think Ayla had any idea what had just happened though, because as I scrambled for the camera and Hubby wrangled the fish one handed, Ayla kept her eyes glued to the wet, flapping sea creature with a glimmering hook in its mouth trying to decide whether to touch it or not.

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Thing One & Thing Two

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There are two things worth mentioning today…

    Thing One

Baby Ayla got upgraded on our boat today.

She’s now too big (and active) for a baby bouncer, so when we took her out water skiing this morning we had to find Ayla a new digs.

And, we created the perfect place! Up the front, in the shade and with a great view of the rest of the boat Ayla was happy and at home while we cruised about on the dam with some friends.

    Thing Two

We finished off the day with a Christmas dinner at a friends place, and it was here where Ayla showed her first ever sign of proper sookiness!

Where Ayla’s usually stoked to be cuddled by others tonight all she wanted was her Mummy and Daddy and she wasn’t afraid to cry for us!

It was endearing, but a little embarrassing, when Ayla started crying if Hubby or I left the room, if we put her down, or if she saw us again and remembered we’d actually left her for a moment or two while she was distracted.

I think Ayla’s clinginess was due to a combination of sore teeth, tiredness and the fact that she is now fully aware who her family is.

The fact that Ayla is usually so independent and social made meant her clinginess was very out of character, and it was a rare vulnerability we were happy to indulge for the night.

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Boating

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Sunday, 29 September 2013: One Hundred and Eighty One Days Old.

Hubby took Ayla and I out “boating” today (I call it boating because we didn’t plan to catch fish) to show us a beautiful place he found a few months ago.

Not only did Hubby show us “the spot” we saw so many other beautiful and amazing things… things that some people will only get to read about but Baby Ayla’s been lucky enough to witness at less than six months old, and she’s certain to witness them again while we live in the Territory.

We saw the sun rise over land while we steamed out to sea in the cool morning air.

We saw patches of the ocean’s surface bubble and boil as schools of tuna chased balls of bait to the surface (we even caught two different species of tuna!).

We saw a school of two dozen or so mackerel chase down our lures to within inches of the boat before diving back to the safety of the deep blue.

We saw two huge turtles playing “leapfrog”… Well, that’s what we told Ayla they were doing (click here for the real story and thank me later lol).

We saw another turtle up close when he was foul hooked on a lure and we brought him aboard to free him.

And all this took place right on our door step!

It was a great day and Baby Ayla took it all ten hours of “boating” in her stride.

But what struck me the most is that we’re so lucky to live in a place where nature and adventure is a core part of our culture and surroundings.

I sure am glad Ayla’s a Territory kid 😉

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Hubby’s birthday

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Tuesday 27 August 2013: One Hundred and Forty Eight Days Old.

It was Hubby’s birthday today and the three of us had a wonderful day.

Ayla gave her Daddy some fishing lures so we set off in the car with the boat and The Dog to try them out.

It was a beautiful day to be out in the water and Ayla loved it. She watched intently as Hubby and I flicked lure after lure into the sea, and when she saw The Dog panting to keep cool she thought she’d give it a go too!

We didn’t catch any fish but we were grateful for the chance to try, and when we got home we had a long, cool dip in the pool.

Ayla’s been swimming in the pool a few times now, but today was the first time she actually seemed to enjoy it!

It was because she’s finally worked out how to splash, and she kept at it for ages until both she and Hubby had big droplets of water running down their faces (video to be posted soon!)

We ended the day with a birthday cake, of course, one that I made a decorated myself, and Ayla helped her Daddy blow out the candles.

Ayla and I are so lucky to have such a special man in our lives… Happy Birthday Daddy!!! xxxx

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Blue Water

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Sunday, 21 July 2013: One Hundred and Eleven Days Old.

Ayla, Hubby and I went out in the boat again today, but this time we headed for the blue water instead of staying in the harbour.

While it wasn’t as rough as last time, our boat was rolling gently in the swell so I don’t know if the rocking was making Ayla sick or just putting her to sleep!

When she was awake, which wasn’t very often, Ayla was very quiet and serene, sitting calmly on my knee as we watched Daddy catch fish.

Despite being on the water for nearly six hours Ayla returned to shore happy, relax and sunburn-free (kudos to Mum!)