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Australia Day

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Sunday, 26 January 2014: Three Hundred Days Old.

It’s was Ayla’s first Australia Day today and what better way to spend it than road tripping to Kakadu.

We made the journey in convoy with some friends and no sooner had we entered the park than we were bombarded with reminders of why they call this the lucky country.

We saw dingos, wallabies, goannas, eagles and snakes, I even saw a eagle with a snake in it’s talons, and the flooded wetlands were breathtakingly raw and spectacular.

At this time of year everything is green and growing. It creates a stunning display of natural beauty that makes me feel privileged just to look, and while Ayla may be still too small to appreciate it Hubby and I feel blessed that our little girl has such wonder and adventure on her doorstep.

We spent the day fishing in road side culverts, and at one point we even reversed the ute into a swollen creek so that the boys could use the tray as a pontoon platform for flicking lures.

In the afternoon we relaxed in the resort pool and escaped the heat, where we played beach balls with other holiday makers and Ayla learned to fall into our arms from the edge.

Later, Ayla loved cruising around our hotel room, pulling herself up on the bedside tables and playing with the bed spreads, and when the time came for her to go to down for a sleep she settled nicely into her made-up bed of blankets under the desk.

To top it off we shared a lovely dinner and drinks with our friends and kicked back on the patio as a massive tropical storm front rolled in. It was the perfect end to a perfect Australia Day.

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Freedom

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Tuesday, 21 January 2014: Two Hundred and Ninety Five Days Old.

Baby Ayla discovered a newfound sense of freedom this afternoon, and she wasted no time in making the most of it.

Until today I’ve been relying on Ayla’s naps for the time I need to get stuck into renovation work around home, but this afternoon Ayla was far from interested in napping.

Plus, the cool overcast weather left behind by the recent monsoon had created the perfect opportunity for some overdue gardening and presented me an opportunity I didn’t want to give up.

So for the first time I took Ayla and her walker outside, shut the front gate and let my baby girl go nuts in the driveway.

Not surprisingly, Ayla headed straight for the road (hence why I shut the gate) and although it appeared like she was on a mission to escape it could simply have been the downward slope of the driveway proved a slightly easier angle for her little legs to practice on.

But before long Ayla fine tuned the muscles she needed for going uphill and she was off… away and running. In every direction.

Ayla ran over to The Dog. She came flying past me digging up weeds in the garden. She shot back down to the gate when a neighbour walked past, and she tried making friends with next door’s dog through the fence.

The whole time she was running about Ayla had a big joyous grin in her face, her mouth and eyes were open wide and her head seemed like it was on a swivel as it turned around every which way to look for the source of each noise and every breath of wind.

I loved it. Not only because I could see Ayla absorbing so much about the world, and not just because seeing her so happy and excited makes my heart feel like bursting, but because it meant she and I now have a whole new spectrum of things to do together – outdoors.