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Lady beetle

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Sunday, 31 August 2014: One Year, One Hundred and Fifty Three Days Old.

My Mum and I took Ayla to a nearby park today, and then for a little walk around a community garden.

Ayla LOVED the garden; stopping to look with cautious awe at the bright and colourful scarecrows.

We also let her pick a fresh snow pea of a vine and taste it’s crispy freshness, and Ayla bent down with eager curiosity to inspect strawberries and peer at ripening tomatoes.

The highlight of the adventure though was showing Ayla little lady beetles for the first time.

Lady beetles have special meaning for Hubby and I, and it was precious to see how gentle and appreciative Ayla was of the tiny red insects.

Ayla was even brave enough to let the lady beetles run along her open palm, resisting a certain urge to close her fists and squish.

Hours later when we were at home getting ready for bed, I sat down with Ayla to read her touchy-geeky bunny book.

I hadn’t realised before that each page of the book had a hidden lady beetle and now knowing that Ayla knew what a lady beetle was I asked her if she could see one.

After a couple of moments studying the page Ayla pointed, straight at the beetle. I tried again on the next page, and the page after that and got the same result every time.

After going through the book a couple of times Ayla even began saying “beetle” when she pointed to them. I was surprised and amazed and proud at my clever little girl.

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Can’t believe it

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Wednesday, 2 April 2014: One Year and One Day Old.

I can’t believe we have a one year old!

I think I was too busy yesterday to realise the significance of it all but today it hit me like a tonne of bricks.

A one year old.

Judging by how quickly the past twelve months have gone I can only imagine the next year will fly by even faster, then the one after will shoot past… and I can almost see the years tick over as Ayla gets older!

Our little family has so much to look forward to over the next twelve months; walking, talking, sleeping through the night (please, oh please!), learning to paint and draw, and making friends.

It amazes me just how many “firsts” Ayla still has to go through, and how the greatness of each milestone she achieves will so quickly be overshadowed by another.

I love watching my baby girl grow and develop, but at the same time I revel in her newness and dread the day it will be gone.

But for now, every new day seems like a new chapter in the best book I’ve ever read; I can’t put it down, I can’t wait to find out what happens next and I never want to finish it.

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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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Family is family

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Thursday, 25 September 2013: One Hundred and Seventy Eight Days Old.

We took Ayla to her Uncle Rob’s (Hubby’s cousin) book launch tonight where she got to meet some of her extended family for the first time.

Hubby has a huge family; he is one of three kids but his mum was one of seven, so he grew up with countless cousins, uncles and aunties in his life.

I remember being overwhelmed by the warmth, love and loyalty of Hubby’s when I first met them.

It didn’t seem to matter which side of the family you were from, how closely related you were or how well you knew them, family is family and that’s all that matters.

It’s an important ideal that I want Ayla to understand and value, despite living thousands of kilometres away from nearly all her family members.

So it’s no wonder my heart brimmed with love as Ayla was whisked off into the crowd in the loving and protective arms of her Aunty.