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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.

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Luna Disco

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Wednesday, 2 July 2014: One Year and Ninety Three Days Old.

It was the last day of our holiday today, traveling home tomorrow, and this morning we said goodbye to our friends, until next time.

After they left to catch their plane Hubby, Ayla and I headed to St Kilda for the day.

We started off at Luna Park where Ayla rode the carousel with me, the Binky Train with Daddy, AND she went on her first rollercoaster!

Don’t worry though, it was a kids coaster where we say in little elephants that went around and up and down and it was great fun.

After lunch and a cake on Ackland Street we went for a walk along the St Kilda foreshore where Ayla watched mesmerised as skateboarders practised tricks by the beach.

We went back to the apartment for some last minute packing and a nap then caught a taxi to our hotel near the airport.

We found a club nearby and went in for Dinner only to discover they had a kids disco on for the night!

Ayla was in her element, running around and dancing with the other kids, kissing the one baby who was smaller than her, and chasing bubbles as they poured out of the bubble machine.

Hubby and I were beside ourselves with love seeing our baby girl so happy and having so much fun, just like a big kid. It was adorable and a fantastic end to a great holiday!!

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“Fish!”

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Tuesday 1 July 2014: One Year and Ninety Two Days Old

Ayla can say “fish!” and she said it at least a hundred times today!

We spent the morning at the Vic Markets, then headed to the Melbourne Aquarium for the afternoon.

Ayla LOVED it. She is at such awesome age now that she toddled about from tank to tank, pointing and screeching and saying “fish!”

It was so adorable and my heart must have melted a thousand times over.

I think Ayla’s favourite was the coral reef section where there was a mini tunnel underneath one of the tanks that Ayla didn’t want to leave.

She also loved the massive shark tank dome, and she ran from one end to the other and from one side to the other for ages.

At the touch pool Ayla held a shark egg casing and a pearl shell and she touched a sea star.

When we got to the estuary section we kept Ayla well away from the lifelike crocodile model… Just in case!

After the aquarium us girls went back to the room for a rest while the boys hit the Casino, Hubby coming home $200 richer!

So it was our shout for tea and we found a fantastic Yum Cha in Chinatown that proved to be a great way to end an awesome day.

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Snow!!

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Monday, 30 June 2014: One Year and Thirteen Weeks Old.

We took Ayla to the snow today, and it was my first time too!!

Oh my gosh, there are no words to explain what a great day we has, and there’s no way I can capture it all in a blog post.

The day was PERFECT for snow. After driving up to Lake Mountain from Melbourne on a mini-road trip with our friends, we stopped in at the last town on the way to get some gear.

The tiny town was buzzing about how great the snow was up on the mountain; just the night before they’d had 30cm fall, and the same the night before that.

We got snow chains for the hire car, waterproof pants and some overalls for Ayla, a couple of toboggans and some snow boots and headed up.

The drive was amazing. Fresh snow on the trees and on the side of the road, then no sooner had we parked the car than it began to snow!

Hubby and Adam had a go on the tobboggans first, while we girls hung out in the cafe, ducking out onto the balcony to feel the snow fall on our faces and crunch underneath our boots.

Then it was our turn on the toboggans and gosh it was fun! Pip hadn’t been to the snow since she was a girl and we raced each other down the slope before having a mini snowball fight at the bottom.

Then it was Ayla’s turn. We tucked Ayla and her snowsuit into the waterproof overalls and three-sizes-too-big gumboots so Hubby could take her down the slope on the toboggan. She loved it!

After three rides Ayla had had enough so we made a snowman at the bottom of the slope and took some photos.

All too quickly it was time to go. Our hire car was covered in snow and our faces were pink from the stinging flakes and within minutes of getting in the car Ayla and Evie were both sound asleep.

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Little Magpie

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Sunday, 29 June 2014: One Year and Ninety Days Old.

Ayla got to hear the barrackers a shouting tonight when we took her to see Collingwood v Carlton at the MCG!

Hubby and I we’re so pumped to be back at The G and so excited to have our mini Magpie in tow.

Ayla was fantastic, a little overwhelmed at first, but she settled in quickly and watched wide-eyed as the crowed cheered, putting her “go pies” move into action whenever she could.

We had fantastic seats, in perfect view of the goals, but with not much shelter we felt the full force of the 6 degree air.

Ayla was warm, in four tops and two pants, two pairs of socks, sneakers and a beanie, and when I produced a warm bottle of milk and wrapped us both up in a rain jacket she passed out for a whole quarter, without so much as a stir.

The walk home was good, although freezing, but Ayla had the best seat in the house tucked up in the baby carrier on her Daddy’s chest, underneath his coat.

PS – Collingwood won.

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Zoo!

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Saturday, 28 June 2014: One Year and Eighty Nine Days Old.

We took Ayla to the zoo today!

Ayla saw gorillas, and lemurs, and pigmy hippos, baboons, gibbons, tigers, elephants and a peacock before she fell asleep.

I think Ayla’s highlight was the butterfly house where there were hundred of fragile, fluttering butterflies everywhere to be seen.

One even landed on Daddy’s hand and Ayla got to touch it ever so gently before it flew off to join its friends.

The butterfly house was also toasty warm, just like home, but outside in the open air it was only 12 degrees.

All of us were rugged up and pink-cheeked, my fingers even turned white and icy so it’s not surprising that Ayla fell asleep while she was tucked up and warm inside her pram.

While Ayla was sleeping we saw giraffes (my favourite), zebras, a snow leopard and a brown bear, and I wish I could have shared them with her.

But, I’m sure there will be plenty more zoos to come and today was just a lovely chance to catch up with our friends and kick start our holiday.