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Reunited

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014; One Year, One Hundred and Sixty Two Days Old.

Ayla was reunited with her Daddy tonight, when he flew down to join us in time for Ayla’s procedure.

Hubby asked that I didn’t say anything to Ayla about picking Daddy up as we headed off to the airport, but I did accidentily mention it to her yesterday and since then every knock at the door or sound upstairs has had Ayla pointing and saying “Daddy?”

We got to the airport early and waited at the gate. Ayla was restless by the time people started disembarking and she was wandering around excitedly, dodging legs and carry on baggage as they hurriedly headed for the baggage collection area.

I saw Hubby well before Ayla did, and he squatted down next to her. Ayla stopped in her tracks and stared at him; studing his face as if to work out whether he was real or not.

Then it clicked. Ayla ran the last two steps towards her Daddy and threw her arms around his neck, refusing to let go. Ayla kept looking back at me, smiling, then patting her Daddy’s face as if to say
“Nawww Mum! Look! Daddy’s actually here!” – so cute.

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First steps!

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Saturday, 17 May 2014: One Year and Forty Seven Days Old.

Ayla took her first, proper, unassisted steps today!!

Apparently Ayla did take a few steps a day care this week, but Hubby and I decided that it didn’t count unless we saw it for ourselves.

And today, we did!

It’s Saturday so Hubby was working and Ayla and I were busy pottering around the house catching up on a few chores.

Around lunch time Ayla and I decided to take a break, and I put a friends single mattress on the floor so I could stretch out my back and play with Ayla at the same time.

It didn’t take long for Ayla to realise the cushioning properties of the mattress and with minutes she was standing on it and clapping her hands.

I moved down to one end of the mattress and Ayla worked out why straight away; coming at me down the blue foamy runway with four tentative, wobbly, chubby-baby-leg steps!

I squealed with excitement and gave Ayla the biggest hug, which set her off on a pattern of stand-step-step-step-step-fall for the next half an hour.

All I could think of though was how much I wished Hubby was there to share in the moment, and I felt so sad for him missing out.

Thankfully Ayla was so happy to show off her skills that she let me take a quick video (will post it in a sec) so that Daddy could see our little TODDLER in action.

Ayla still isn’t walking around properly yet mind you, but it must only be days away! For now though Ayla seems content to limit her walking to padded surfaces which gives Hubby and I plenty of time to get ready for a whole new chapter.

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This time last year

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Monday, 31 March 2014: Fifty Two Weeks Old.

It’s hard to believe that this time last year I was in hospital, pacing up and down my room in the birthing ward trying to control my contractions.

Tonight, I sit with my daughter in her room while she feeds like a champ and drifts off into dreamland for the last time in her infancy.

Tomorrow Ayla will be one year old.

So much has happened in the past year that its hard to remember life before Ayla.

But at the same time it’s been the fastest twelve months of my life.

There is absolutely no way I could go back and explain to “in labour” me what to expect when 4.03am comes around and I get to hold my Baby Ayla for the first time.

There’s also no words to explain the days, weeks and months that follow because it is simply, and beautifully, a live-it-yourself experience.

I am so happy and proud that Ayla is turning one, partly because its a celebration of her life to date and partly because its only the first of so many wonderful, enriching, challenging, beautiful, enlightening and precious years to come.

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Yum!

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Monday, 10 March 2014: Forty Nine Weeks Old.

Ayla says “yum!”

For the past few days I’ve suspected that’s what she’s been saying (Ayla’s “yum” sounds very similar to her “mum”) but now I’m sure of it.

Ayla’s been saying “yum” whenever she eats something she likes, such as grapes, biscuits, choc chip pancakes, yoghurt and kiwi fruit.

Ayla was munching away on a yoghurt sucker thing this morning when I heard her say “yum”; the word was so distinct that it made me think there was a big kid in the room!

That’s been happening a lot lately. I’ll be busy doing something and then I’ll hear Ayla say something so clearly it shocks me and for a second I find myself thinking “who said that?”

Like a couple of days ago when I was changing Ayla’s nappy and I asked her if she was a good girl. Ayla clearly, distinctly and without question replied “good girl”…. I nearly fell off my branch.

Ayla has also said “hello” a few times, and she’s started saying what I think is “wow” sometimes.

As for “Cat Cat” and “dog” I’m pretty certain Ayla’s saying those words too. Well, “Cat Cat” sounds more like a high-pitched bird squeal (“Kae-Kae”) but she definitely applies it at the right moments so I’ll give it to her 😉

PS – if you haven’t already, please vote Ayla as the cutest baby in Australia and help her win a People’s Choice Award in the Bonds Australia Baby Photo Comp…. Thanks in advance! Click here to vote

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Greatness

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Saturday, 8 March: Three Hundred and Forty One Days Old.

Ayla is changing. She’s getting bigger, louder, smarter and more active every day.

Hubby’s been working and training such long hours that he’s missed a bit of Ayla’s recent development and today I think her sudden “kid-ness” hit him like a tonne of bricks.

He was amazed by Ayla’s love of music which she was really showing off today, her voluntary cuddles and kisses, and Ayla’s moments of quiet calm when she’s just happy to sit or lie beside us.

After they’d been hanging out in the bedroom for a while Hubby reappeared with a huge grin on his face and a smiling Ayla in his arms.

“She’s so awesome babe! Look at her!”

My heart wanted to burst.

Ayla wasn’t doing anything particularly interesting but I knew what he meant; to us, Ayla is so amazing, so wonderful, that we just want to bask in her greatness.

PS – if you haven’t already, please vote Ayla as the cutest baby in Australia and help her win a People’s Choice Award in the Bonds Australia Baby Photo Comp…. Thanks in advance! Click here to vote

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Outdoor playtime

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Sunday, 23 February 2014: Two Hundred and Thirty Days Old.

Ayla had her first proper outdoor playtime today and she spent it cruising around eating sticks and leaves, chasing the cat and playing in puddles.

Ayla has of course been outside countless times but this afternoon was the first opportunity she’s had to crawl about where ever she wanted doing what ever took her fancy.

Usually when I’ve taken Ayla outside I’ve sat her on a particular patch of grass and kept a close vigil on her whereabouts or I’ve relegated Ayla to her walker knowing she’d could go past the driveway edges.

Needless to say Ayla loved her newfound freedom and was covered head to toe in dirt, cobwebs, dogs hairs and goodness knows what else in no time.

There’s not doubt I’m coming to terms with the fact that it’s near impossible to keep an immaculately clean and well presented baby all of the time, and to tell you the truth I actually enjoyed seeing Baby Ayla have so much fun getting dirty.

Letting Ayla explore the outdoors also meant that I was free to get stuck into the gardening, so long as I kept one watchful eye on Ayla of course!

And, because I we’re to lucky enough to live in the tropics, I knew that no matter how sweaty and dirty we got a quick wash down with was waiting for us at the end!

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Chasey

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Tuesday, 18 February 2014: Three Hundred and Twenty Three Days Old.

Ayla and I had our first game of chasey today.

It was adorable and painful; I don’t know how Ayla’s little knees handle the tiles all day long!

It started off with us crawling around on the floor chasing after one of Ayla’s toys and it wasn’t long before the game escalated.

Ayla was like a bundle of pure happiness, squealing and screeching at the top of her lungs each time she took off on all fours, as if she were a knight screaming “charge!” just moments before her horse rears and bolts.

It cracked me up how excited Ayla was, her little hands and knees were moving at warp speed but regardless of how quickly or loudly they slapped the tiles Ayla wasn’t moving any faster.

It was as if Ayla simply couldn’t control the enegery and hype inside herself and her joy was definitely contagious.

After a little while, when my knees couldn’t handle the pressure any more, Ayla and I collapsed together in a big bear hug on the floor where we covered each other in wet slobbery kisses and tickles. Bliss.