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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sunday, 27 October 2013; Two Hundred and Eight Days Old.
There’s so many things I could blog about today!
I could tell you about how Ayla drew her first blood today – a paper cut on her middle finger while we were reading Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. She didn’t cry.
Or, I could tell you about how the baby bath has been our saving grace this weekend, or how this afternoon Ayla came face-to-face with her biggest fish yet. Good job Daddy.
Or, I could tell you about how Ayla went to her first theatre show tonight. It was a cabaret/burlesque/variety type thing and, despite the loud noises and cheers and the after 7 time slot, the only noise Ayla made the whole time was a modest little giggle at her Aunty Kerri.
But, if I was to choose one thing to blog about today it would be how Ayla took her first (assisted) steps today. About eight of them.
Admittedly, I was holding her hands but for the first time ever Ayla put one chubby little foot in front of the other and walked towards me.
I was so proud! I was so shocked! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But I could hardly believe my eyes. I know it’s only a taste of what’s to come but it was amazing all the same.
Wednesday, 16 October 2013: One Hundred and Ninety Nine Days Old.
Hubby and I have embarked on a new hobby that promises less hazards for Baby Ayla and more opportunity active fun… Waterskiing.
People might not think waterskiing is the best activity for kids, but it beats treble hooks, razor sharp fish teeth and ocean swells.
It’s a huge deal for Hubby to get excited about anything that isn’t fishing, and it shows how much Ayla has changed our worlds.
What’s so surprising though is how everything feel so organic and natural, and not once have we thought poorly of a change we’ve had to make.
By no means are we giving up fishing – Hubby and I MET fishing so it will always be part of our lives – but our drive to give Ayla a safe and wholesome childhood has simply shifted the focus a little.
Like Hubby’s new hobby, Ayla has helped put some of mine into perspective too.
Instead of being hell bent on daily fitness training I’m now happy to work out on my terms, and instead of pushing myself in multiple directions on countless projects I’m happy just tackling one at a time.
It’s amazing how right everything feels. I know it’s a cliche to say that but it’s true.
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 😉
Sunday, 1 September 2013: Five Months Old
It was Hubby’s first Fathers Day today and the three of us had a wonderful day.
Ayla gave her daddy two fishing lures; one to use, and one that’s been changed into a key ring with her tiny toe-prints on it.
After breaky we spent the morning at the Boat and Fishing Show where we had a ball dreaming about big boats, buying gear to catch big fish and planning our next big camping adventure.
After the show, we headed to a beach-side boat club for lunch and a couple of beers.
Despite the 33• temperature there was a beautiful breeze coming up from the sea as we watched yachts and catamarans cruise effortlessly around the harbour.
We could have been anywhere in the world, and we felt blessed we could find such beauty and serenity on our doorstep.
Back at home, we turned on the air conditioning and relaxed on the couch with a movie before finishing off the day with a swim in the pool at sunset.
It was a great day – the very meaning of quality time – jam packed with all the special things in life.
Happy Fathers Day Daddy! We love you xx