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Such a good girl

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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.

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Homeward bound, for now.

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Friday, 19 September 2014: One Year, One Hundred and Seventy One Days Old

Ayla and I headed home today to see Daddy, The Dog, Cat Cat and the “Ju-jus” (chook-chooks!)

Ayla was so excited to be home, running over to Daddy as soon as she saw him at the airport and gluing herself to his side. Then, when we pulled in the driveway at home and Ayla saw The Dog she gave him the biggest smile and a pat, and later when she saw our cat lounging under the outdoor setting she squealed Cat Cat, pointed and ran on the spot in excitement.

The cutest was seeing Ayla go inside and rediscover all her toys! Ayla ran straight to her little piano, pulled out the stool and bashed on the keys for a few minutes, then toddled over to her toybox and touched everything in her reach. Best of all though was when Ayla layed eyes on her little couch – her most very favourite thing of all! Ayla screeched with delight and plonked herself down, grinning from ear to ear as she looked from me to Hubby and back again.

Ayla excitement about being home meant that an afternoon nap was completely out of the question, so instead she joined Hubby and I out in the yard as we caught up on some gardening. After three weeks of beautiful, crisp spring weather it didn’t take long for home’s 36 degree heat and build-up humidity to have an affect on Ayla, flushing her cheeks pinky-red and putting tiny beads of baby sweat on her top lip.

When bedtime finally rolled around Ayla was pooped but happy, and I was looking forward to a night in my own bed! It felt like we’d accomplished the first leg of an endurance marathon and I relished the chance for some routine and normalcy, even if it’s just for a couple of weeks before returning interstate for the next lot of tests. Thankfully though, Ayla has taken to her prescription formula easily and seems to love it, so we can at least rest assured we’re actually doing something that might help her in the meantime.

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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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More than OK

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Sunday, 20 July 2014: One Year, One Hundred and Eleven Days Old.

As I go to bed tonight I feel so amazingly blessed to have such a beautiful, friendly, smart, gracious little girl for a daughter, and a kind, loving, honest and strong man for a husband.

I’m not quite sure what it is that’s making me feel the love but I had to drag myself away from Ayla’s bedside after I snuck in for her nightly kiss and “sweet dreams” wish, and now I feel heart is going to burst.

It’s intereseting because feeling “blessed” is something that’s attainable by all of us but I feel so very privledged to be aware enough to see it.

The past month or so has been quite tumultous, worry and stress and uncertainty has hung over us like a fading shadow, and even though logically we know everything will turn out just fine and that everyone will be alright, it’s been hard to let myself really feel it.

I think tonight I’ve just had a renewed sense that these really are some of the best days of our lives, and I’m determined to appreciate them while they’re here.

Hubby, Ayla and I are a fresh little family of three with so much excitement and potential on the horizion and so much support and strength from our friends and family behind us that no matter what happens we will be ok… More than ok.

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Pull along puppy

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Saturday, 12 July 2014: One Year, One Hundred and Three Days Old.

Hubby and I gave Ayla a new toy today; a pull-along puppy.

It was a present a friend had given Ayla for her birthday, but we’d kept it aside until such a time that we’d knew Ayla would use it and give it the love and attention it deserved.

And that was today.

Ayla has been such a good girl lately and Hubby and I are both so proud of her, we wanted to reward her and decided to give her a new toy.

It was a big deal because we don’t make a habit of spoiling her with gifts, and Ayla seemed to know that she’d done something good to earn her puppy.

Ayla spent most of the evening toddling around with her puppy in tow, stopping to give him and pat or a kids every now and then.

At one point Ayla even took her puppy over to The Dog’s bowl for some water and Hubby and I melted with love at our smart, happy, precious little girl.

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Back to reality

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Friday, 4 July 2014: One Year and Ninety Five Days Old.

It was back to reality for my little family today, and Ayla didn’t want a bar of it.

When I dropped her at day care this morning, Ayla cried and clasped onto me and wouldn’t let me go. It was the first time Ayla had reacted like that since her first few weeks of day care and it was heartbreaking.

I knew that Ayla loved our week away, having the attention of both her Daddy and I for a whole seven days, but I didn’t realise how much it actually meant to her.

Ayla’s reaction shone a spotlight on the importance of family first, focusing on our own little nucleus instead of all the day-to-day living activities that often steal our attention.

Going back to work (and life) was also a bit of a downer for me. Not because I don’t love my job or because I’m not grateful for the wonderful life we have, but because with life comes distraction and I know what an impact this can have on Ayla.

I don’t know what the answer is… The answer to life-balance.

To keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, to have the money to afford a good education for Ayla, and still finding funds for the things we enjoy means both of us must work.

It also means we have to dedicate our spare time to renovating and property investing, goodness knows our superannuation won’t be much, and it takes time and commitment to continue building our skills so we can maintain our careers.

But, it all comes at such a cost!

Seeing Ayla in tears this morning brought back my desire to throw all our plans and goals and dreams away and head off on an extended family “holiday”; to not worry at all about the future, or Ayla’s future, and think only of the now.

But while it sounds like a wonderful idea and one that could even be achievable, it’s a risky whim that doesn’t address the real issue, it still doesn’t create balance.

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Delays

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Thursday, 3 July 2014; One Year and Ninety Four Days Old.

We left Melbourne today and headed for home, but the journey wasn’t as smooth as we’d hoped for!

Instead of being a three hour and fifty minute flight, we were on board the plane for over five hours.

We were delayed waiting for passengers on another flight and then we were the 13th plane in line for takeoff, which had us waiting on the tarmac for almost thirty minutes.

Ayla was tired and ready for a nap the moment we boarded, but with all the delays I couldn’t keep her awake until takeoff; she passed out in my arms before the plane had even moved.

I was worried about whether or not Ayla would sleep through the pressurisation of take off, given that she wasn’t sucking or chewing anything to help her pop her ears, but Ayla slept like an angel.

Until we were about 20 minutes in the air.

Then Ayla woke up, still tired because we’d got her up early and she’d only had one short nap, and Hubby and I were faced with occupying a one year old for nearly the entire four hour flight.

To say it was fun would be a lie, but it wasn’t awful I guess.

Thankfully we had plenty of toys and snacks to keep Ayla happy and amused but she squirmed and squealed and wanted to run about as much as she could.

We eventually arrived home and Ayla seemed pleased and excited to see The Dog and especially Cat Cat.

I caught Ayla trying to pick Cat Cat up, and after that was unsuccessfully Ayla resorted to kissing her on the head. It was super cute and lovely to know Ayla was happy to be home.