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Filthy

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Saturday, 7 June 2014: One Years and Sixty Seven Days Old.

Ayla has never been more dirty in her life than what she was today… filthy.

No photo would do it justice; Ayla had red dirt in her hair, mud smeared on her face, her arms were sticky with a combination of mozzie repellant and dust, her feet were black and her hands were sandy and her nappy had tiny stones in it.

Mind you, the amount of fun Ayla had to get that dirty far outweighed the filth, and I loved seeing her enjoy the dirt as much as it enjoyed her!

As soon as we put the tent up and Ayla down, Ayla started picking up handfuls of dirt and carrying it into the tent to throw it on the floor.

After tiring of that game Ayla started drizzling dirt in her hair and along her arms, and she was completely unperturbed when her little friend Charlie and the girl from the campsite beside us decided to try and bury Ayla’s legs with tiny pebbles.

Thankfully, Ayla was too busy learning about the feel and general uses for dirt that she didn’t eat any of it, intentionally at least.

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Tiny camper

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Monday, 5 May 2014: One Year and Thirty Five Days Old.

Ayla definitely got the hang of the whole camping thing today, and I think it’s safe to say her childhood is going to be peppered with little getaways like this.

Although Ayla’s nighttime sleeps have been a bit disrupted (understandably though – no one wants to be the first to leave the campfire) Ayla has been happy and playful and content all weekend.

Then this morning Ayla showed us how comfortable she really is with camping when she passed out for nearly an hour on our swag while we packed up around her.

Ayla was the picture of pure relaxation as she slept there in the shade, covered in dirt after a fun few hours and flaked out on her back like a sleeping starfish.

After her snooze Ayla joined us for a final swim in the waterhole before deciding she could drive the truck.

Ayla climbed from the passenger side (where I was trying to change her) to the drivers side, and pulled herself to standing at the wheel in the blink of an eye; Ayla even reached for the UHF radio and when I have it to her she talked into it straight away!

Of course driving was not an option but while we were on the dirt tracks within the campgrounds Ayla claimed her place on my lap in the passenger seat.

As Hubby drove, Ayla stood with her hands on the open window frame looking out at the world passing her by, smiling at the wind tickling her fluffy blonde hair, and looking like she’d been “playing truckies” her whole life.

After a blissful stop at some hot springs on our homeward journey, where Ayla crawled and splashed and had me help her walk her around for ages, Ayla passed out in her chair within six minutes of leaving.

Ayla was so tired and content though, that her head kept flopping forward in the most awkward of positions.

No matter how many ways we tried to prop it up with towels, and no matter how many times we poked and prodded and pulled at her head, Ayla stayed asleep and continued to sleep more soundly than I’ve ever seen her before.

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Under the stars

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Sunday, 4 May 2014; One Year, One Month and Five Days Old.

Ayla had her first night sleeping under the stars last night and this morning was her first morning waking up at a campsite.

We’ve gotten out of town with a couple of friends for the long weekend and it’s our first time camping with Baby Ayla.

Although we made a few rookie mistakes (like arriving after dark and forgetting to pack the tent but hey, lucky our friends have a big one!), we started today afresh.

After a big bacon and egg cook up the boys went fishing for the day leaving us girls to enjoy a swim in the nearby waterhole, have an afternoon snooze and get into the camping groove.

Ayla loved playing in the sand by the freshwater creek and floating around in the water; she loved it so much in fact that she didn’t even complain when her tiny fingernails started going blue with cold!

After lunch and a rest Ayla spent the afternoon playing with toys on a big mat at the campsite, alongside our friends three year old daughter while we older girls chatted and pottered around.

When the boys returned (without fish) we all headed up to the campground pool where Ayla spent ages laughing and playing with the rock feature waterfall while we adults played a very cruisy version of catch.

By the time bedtime rolled around Ayla was exhausted; she had played and explored and learned til her little eyes were nearly falling out of her head and she fell asleep quickly and easily in my arms.

With Ayla tucked up in the tent at the foot of our swag, I was free to really relax and thankfully there’s not many better places to do that than around the campfire with a beer next to great company after an awesome day.

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Best. Idea. Ever.

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Sunday, 20 October 2013: Two Hundred and Three Days Old.

We took a couple of friends out to the shack this weekend and given the stifling Build Up weather and Ayla’s rash I decided to pack the baby bath.

Best. Idea. Ever.

Ayla is now big enough to sit up in the bath herself, and she’s at the age where simple toys provide hours of fun – put the two together and we have one very happy little girl.

It meant I could let Ayla get as dirty as she wanted; I didn’t have to worry about giving her food to play with, or about how much sand landed on her when The Dog walk past wagging his tail.

I also didn’t have to worry about her overheating or about picking her up for a cuddle if I was dirty.

In less than twenty-four hours, Ayla was in the bath about 5 times. She sat there, quietly playing and splashing for ages and it was so wonderful to watch her.

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Highlights

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Sunday, 4 August 2013; One Hundred and Twenty-Five Days Old.

There were two highlights of today; the first was seeing how amazed Ayla was with waves, and the second was hanging out in the back seat of the car with her on the way home.

When we got up this morning the boys had already taken the boat and gone fishing so Ayla and I snuck out for a walk along the beach.

Despite the morning sun a strong wind made it almost cold and I held Ayla close to keep her warm and stop her from getting the hiccups by sucking in air.

When we got to the shoreline Ayla saw waves for the first time! Not surf, but gentle waves lapping at the sand.

Her eyes locked and she was mesmerised, trying to work out what the foamy white line was and where it went.

Then on the way home, we girls crammed in the back of our dual cab and I sat beside Ayla in her car seat.

For most of the trip Ayla just stared and smiled at me, thinking it was pretty cool she wasn’t stuck back there by herself for once.

Eventually though she started to get tired and began to “talk” before grabbing my hand and jamming my finger in her mouth.

Ayla then proceeded to chew on my index finger with all of her might for nearly twenty minutes until we were both covered in drool.

The things we do for our kids huh?! 🙂

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Much better

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Saturday, 3 August 2013: One Hundred and Twenty-Four Days Old

After a fitful night of cat napping, Ayla was feeling much better this morning so it was off to our beach shack as planned.

With the baby panadol packed (just in case) we hit the road with our visiting friends in tow and arrived at the shack just before sunset.

We didn’t have time to collect firewood so after dinner we sat around a citronella flare, and talked just like old times.

Only tonight we had Baby Ayla in our midst and she always makes things better.

Ayla was mesmerised by the flame and she sat for ages on her Daddy’s knee watching it flicker and twist until she finally fell asleep.

We put her to bed and the tired little sausage stayed out to the count til morning 🙂

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Seasoned traveler

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Sunday, 14 July 2013: One Hundred and Four Days Old.

At three and a half month old, our little Baby Ayla Rose is now a seasoned traveler.

She’s been camping. She’s traveled on planes and stayed in strange beds. She’s gone from wearing winter clothes to summer bikinis in less than a week.

And today, she mastered the great Aussie driving holiday.

For five and a half hours Ayla made the back seat of our Navara her own. She slept for most of it, played with her toys for some of it, and she even started up a conversation with us every now and then.

Hubby and I took it easy on the road, stopping a few times for fuel and food.

And each time we pulled over Ayla was as happy to be taken out of her car seat and join in the adventure as she was to be put back in it and hit the road again.

We made it home relaxed and in one piece, so proud of our little girl and refreshed from our wonderful weekend away.