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This present thing

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Sunday, 6 April 2014: One Year and Five Days Old.

Ayla’s definitely got the hang of this present thing!

It’s not surprising though, considering Ayla’s been showered with gifts every day for the past week!

As soon as we bring a present out and tell Ayla it’s hers, her little face lights up in a huge smile and she comes crawling over to it like a bat outta hell!

Ayla immediately commences banging on the present like a drum, all the while showing her cheekiest, toothiest grin, in a move that makes us think she’s trying to guess what’s inside!

But in all manners of politeness Ayla knows to open the card first, and once Hubby or I have split the envelope Ayla grabs hold of the card and pulls it free before opening it like a book.

Ayla then hands the card back so that Hubby or I can read it out while she goes back to banging on the present.

When the time comes to tear open her gift Ayla still needs a little help, but once the paper-peeling begins Ayla starts craning her neck to see what’s inside!

What surprises me the most is Ayla’s reaction to her gifts…

If it’s a soft toy, she cuddles it. An interactive toy, and she tries to work out where the buttons are. A book and Ayla tries to read it, and if it’s an ornament, keepsake or artwork Ayla strokes it gently and sits back calmly as if she knows it precious.

I guess Ayla’s aptness at present opening is a clear demonstration of how lucky she is, not so much because of ALL the gifts, but because she has so many people in her life who want to spoil her rotten!

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First birthday

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Tuesday, 1 April 2014: One Year Old.

I think Ayla’s had a pretty good first birthday!

We got up late and had a big breaky, then headed to a kids play gym for a catch up with some of Ayla’s little friends.

Ayla had a ball in the “big kids” section, and she even had her first ride in a coin operated machine!

After a big nap at home it was off to day care for a few hours in the afternoon where the day care mums made a big fuss.

One of the best parts of the day was when Daddy came home from work and we all relaxed in the pool and shared stories of our day.

Just before dinner it was time for presents and my gosh were there lots!

From a trike to a peg-puzzle, from an artwork for her wall to some gorgeous clothes and more, Ayla was rolling in gifts.

Hubby and I gave Ayla a miniature grand piano and the look on her face when she worked out how to play it was absolutely priceless!

Ayla banged away on the piano keys like a mini maestro for ages, and a no matter how many times we tried to distract her within seconds she was back to play some more.

Ayla’s first birthday ended, of course, with a birthday cake complete with a “1” candle, a happy birthday song and lots of kisses.

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First Christmas

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Wednesday, 25 December 2013: Two Hundred and Sixty Eight Days Old.

Well, I think it’s safe to say Ayla’s first Christmas was a huge success.

The day started off with a sleep in (I know, awesome!) til 8.30 then Ayla was up and ready to see if Santa had come.

And he had!

Ayla’s stocking was full of little nic-nacs and there were presents oozing out from under the tree, we didn’t know where to start!

I think I even had myself believing in Santa’s magic again, even if just for a moment or two, as I walked Ayla around the tree explaining what had happened overnight.

Ayla is a very lucky girl indeed! From Santa she got a bucket of shaped blocks and a very cool push-along walker toy, and in her stocking was a couple of teething toys, a Schleich Shetland pony, some bubbles and a book about colours.

From her Mummy and Daddy, Ayla got a ladybug bouncing ball, a pop-up book called “Little Tadpoles Big Surprise”, a tambourine drum and a set of crayons with an art pad.

From friends and family Ayla got everything from gorgeous outfits to stuffed animals, from electronic learning toys to books and games.

Ayla even received a pair of genuine Baby Raybans and a beautiful butterfly bracelet engraved with her name.

Although most of our family is interstate, thanks to the wonders of FaceTime we were able to include them in our Christmas morning as they watched Ayla open her gifts.

It was great to know that despite thousands of kilometres they could still share in Ayla first Christmas, and see her face light up as her presents were unwrapped.

But after the gift giving, unwrapping and thanking was over we were off to our neighbours house for a street-party champagne breakfast, complete with bacon and eggs!

The afternoon was spent cleaning up and getting ready to go away on holidays tomorrow, and from evening to night we gorged ourselves leftovers while relaxing the couch with a wine, watching our little Baby Ayla play with her new toys.

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Christmas Eve

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Tuesday, 24 December 2013: Two Hundred and Sixty Seven Days Old.

My little family and I have had a lovely, first, Christmas Eve together.

After a slow and relaxing morning, Hubby and I dressed Ayla in her Christmas onesie and the three of us set out with a car full of presents.

We spent the afternoon catching up with a few close friends, dropping in to see them at home, give them a gift and of course a last minute Merry Christmas kiss on the cheek.

Ayla was spoiled with love, not to mention the presents, and Hubby and I welcomed the chance to spend a few hours with some of the special people who make up our pseudo “family”.

It was late by the time we got home though so it wasn’t long before Ayla was tucked away in bed… her first Christmas Eve.

Once Ayla was sound asleep, Santa was quick to arrive! He dropped off some presents and filled Ayla’s stocking right to the brim before polishing off a slice of ginger ripple cake.

Eek! I can hardly wait for tomorrow!

Not just for the excitement of Ayla first Christmas, but because we’re so lucky to have each other and we have so much to be happy about.

And, I know our little house will be filled with all the things that matter most at Christmas time; love, happiness, peace, joy and family.

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Paper? What paper?!

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Monday, 23 December 2013 Thirty Eight Weeks Old.

Everyone’s been telling me that at Ayla’s age she’ll be more interested in the paper than the presents on Christmas morning, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to beg to differ!

We had some friends pop over tonight for a Christmas Eve Eve celebration and they came bearing a gift for Baby Ayla.

Just like when she opened her gift from “Aunty” Ali the other day, Ayla was quick to realise there was a goodie hidden inside the crinkly stuff with Santa’s printed on it.

As soon as Ayla saw a glimmer of the sparkling FisherPrice fish tank she was mesmerised, staring at the piece of present peeking out beneath the wrapping.

I had to help her peel the paper back further, and once Ayla saw the whole gift she started squealing and bobbing up and down in delight.

Paper? What paper!?

It might have just been that Ayla’s “Aunty” Kez and “Uncle” Collie nailed the gift selection, or it could be a sign of things to come.

And that on Christmas morning in two days time, we can expect our little house to be filled with gorgeous wide eyes and adorable shrieks of excitement as Ayla opens her presents.

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Presents

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Thursday, 19 December 2013: Two Hundred and Sixty One Days Old.

With just five days ’til Christmas the pool of presents under our tree is widening.

And that raises the age old question… How much is too much?

It’s hard enough to find a hope for a balance between our gifts and Santa’s, but then there’s all the presents from friends and family.

People are so generous! It’s overwhelming and heart warming and kind, and something I didn’t account for when I planned Ayla’s first ever Christmas gift list.

So now, given the pace set by Ayla today when she got to unwrap an early Christmas from her “Aunty” Ali, it looks like our Christmas morning will extend well into Christmas night!

But it also looks like Ayla will get the hang of unwrapping pretty quickly, we’ll just have to watch she doesn’t damage the gift inside!

Can’t wait 🙂

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Daddy’s gift

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Monday, 5 November 2013: Thirty One Weeks Old.

Hubby made Ayla her very own veggie patch and herb garden today.

It’s complete with perfect little rows of soon-to-be-fresh veggies, a potted border of herbs, and even a winding pathway for Ayla’s little feet to follow.

Of course Ayla’s still too small to understand what it all means, but I think it’s one of the most beautiful gifts a Daddy could give his baby girl.

See, the garden will grow as Ayla grows and she will be able to learn about plants and food and cooking and cultivating.

She’ll be able to get dirty, catch caterpillars and eat strawberries straight off the bush.

And I know that cooking dinner will be made all the more special when I send Ayla out to pick me something fresh.