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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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Monkey do

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Saturday, 26 July 2014: One Year, One Hundred and Seventeen Days Old.

Ayla learned to drink out of the hose today, like all proper Aussie kids should!

Playing with the hose is one if Ayla’s favourite things to do and she takes great pleasure in spraying us or The Dog when we least expect it.

Today though, Ayla watched as The Dog took a long drink from the hose, then of course it was a case of monkey see monkey do.

I was surprised at how steadily Ayla held the hose, and how well balanced she was as she bent down for a drink.

From my memory I recall ending up wetter than a mermaid whenever I tried to drink from the hose, even as a bigger kid, but Ayla managed to keep the water on her lips and out of her nose (mostly).

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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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Doctor Dad

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Monday, 3 June 3014: One Year and Eight Weeks Old.

Hubby got to play Doctor Dad all day today.

It was strange because I felt a little nervous leaving him at home with a sick Baby Ayla, even though I knew they’d both be ok.

I think it was because Hubby is so GOOD at being a Dad.

To me, it looks like parenthood is completely natural for him; he’s calm, confident, well-balanced and fun.

Of course there’s a little element of causality in there, but show me a grown up man anywhere who wouldn’t be considered “casual” or “relaxed”.

I tried my best not to fuss as I left my instructions and hurtled out the door, late because I’d spent too much time preparing the day to make it as easy as possible for my little family.

When I came home, Ayla was still sick and Hubby was still, almost a little disappointedly for me, unfrazzled.

It was a a great reminder to me that Hubby and I are undoubtedly a team, and today he stepped up to plate and delivered a home run.

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Diagnosis

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Saturday, 29 March 2014; Three Hundred and Sixty Two Days Old.

Ayla had a restless night last night and although she hasn’t had a fever since yesterday, this morning Ayla’s stomach was still upset and she was miserable.

Considering this is Ayla’s eighth day of being sick Hubby and I decided more need to be done than simply sitting around waiting for ‘it’ to ‘pass’.

So at lunchtime we demanded to speak to a paediatric supervisor to try and get some answers.

When the paediatrician came to see us she said that Ayla’s urine results had “only just literally come in that second” (conveniently) and that it was riddled with bugs.

I’d had a sneaking suspicion for a few days now that Ayla might have been suffering a UTI but the doctors kept telling me “not to worry” about catching a sample because it was probably only gastro.

Lucky I persisted.

Apparently Ayla’s UTI has stemmed from having had gastro in Thailand, which created the perfect environment for the e-coli bacteria to spread.

Ayla was immediately given the first dose in a seven day course of antibiotics and we waited at the hospital to see how her body would cope.

Ayla took the antibiotics like a champ and managed to keep it all down, so after a second dose at 7pm this evening we were sent home on ward leave.

Ward leave isn’t exactly discharged though… It means we are still awaiting final urine results tomorrow that will confirm if the generic antibiotics Ayla’s been prescribed will kill the particular bug she has.

It also means that if anything happens overnight we can go straight back to hospital and bypass the emergency room.

It was SO good to get Ayla out of the hospital, and out of that damn isolation room!!

Ayla seemed excited to be home too, crawling straight over to Cat Cat for a pat then off into her room to reacquaint herself.

I decided to treat Ayla to a special homecoming supper to celebrate so I put her in her high chair and presented her with a fresh strawberry and some chocolate custard.

Ayla was a sticky chocolatey mess in minutes and it felt good to have my little girl back!

If all goes well tonight Ayla could be back to her normal self by as early as tomorrow and if not well, lets not worry about that just yet.

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Australia bound

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Wednesday, 26 March 2014: Three Hundred and Fifty Nine Days Old.

Our little family is Australia bound today.

Our departure from Thailand has come with a strange mix of feelings between being sad that our holiday is over and being a little bit relieved that we’re heading back to the comfort of home.

As Hubby and I sat at the airport this afternoon, after a relaxing morning at the resort swimming, packing and saying goodbye to all of Ayla’s newfound Thai friends, we made a point of listing all the wonderful things we’ve done on this family holiday so the illness that struck each of us down wouldn’t win out.

Ayla met and rode her first elephant and she played putt putt in a dinosaur park that took us through an active (replica) volcano.

Ayla also made destroyed her first sandcastle on the beach, she felt the buoyancy of ocean waves for the first time, she visited Fantasea theme park and even won her first prize on a carnival game!

Ayla hand fed thousands of tropical fish, she saw monkeys and lemurs, and iguanas. Ayla rode in a tuk-tuk, rang the bell in a bar and fell asleep on her Dad’s head.

We also made new friends from the other side of the world, dined in luxury restaurants, floated in stunning swimming pools and relaxed on a tropical island.

So all in all, we can’t complain! It definitely was a great holiday with lots of great memories to bring home.

But it seems the dreaded illness isn’t finished with us yet!

Ayla has had an upset stomach all day despite this being her fifth day without eating solids, and as I write this now in Singapore’s Changi Airport her temperature has climbed to 39.5 degrees…. Only four and a half more hours for red eye flying until we’re back in Australia.

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Happy to be home

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Saturday, 16 November 2013: Two Hundred and Twenty Nine Days Old.

I think Ayla was happy to be home this afternoon.

Even though we had a great time away, when I put Ayla down in her spot on the couch with a couple of toys it was as if we’d never left.

And when I put her on her change table she went crazy, grabbing at the mat, the fluffy white rug underneath and her teddy bear, trying to kiss and cuddly everything she could.

But best of all was when Daddy snuck up on her while she was playing on the floor.

Ayla stopped dead still when she heard Hubby’s voice, and when she saw him her face split into the biggest smile.

And then as her picked her up and nuzzled into her neck Ayla’s legs started kicking in sheer excitement and pure happiness – it was beautiful.