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.
Saturday, 8 March: Three Hundred and Forty One Days Old.
Ayla is changing. She’s getting bigger, louder, smarter and more active every day.
Hubby’s been working and training such long hours that he’s missed a bit of Ayla’s recent development and today I think her sudden “kid-ness” hit him like a tonne of bricks.
He was amazed by Ayla’s love of music which she was really showing off today, her voluntary cuddles and kisses, and Ayla’s moments of quiet calm when she’s just happy to sit or lie beside us.
After they’d been hanging out in the bedroom for a while Hubby reappeared with a huge grin on his face and a smiling Ayla in his arms.
“She’s so awesome babe! Look at her!”
My heart wanted to burst.
Ayla wasn’t doing anything particularly interesting but I knew what he meant; to us, Ayla is so amazing, so wonderful, that we just want to bask in her greatness.
PS – if you haven’t already, please vote Ayla as the cutest baby in Australia and help her win a People’s Choice Award in the Bonds Australia Baby Photo Comp…. Thanks in advance! Click here to vote
Tuesday, 4 March 2014: Three Hundred and Thirty Seven Days Old.
Today was D-day (“D” standing for Day Care”) and it ended in disaster.
The morning started off smoothly and to plan; Ayla had slept well, she had some breakfast, a bath, and I even got her day care bag all ready complete with labeled clothes and expressed milk.
At around 10.30am Ayla was looking tired, and although she was rubbing her eyes a little earlier than I expected I decided to put her down for a nap and planned to get stuck into my uni readings, preparing the dinner and doing some washing while she slept.
But by midday Ayla still hadn’t slept – apart from accidentally falling asleep for 10 minutes while I was feeding her – andI was completely frazzled.
The washing was beeping, the frying pan was burnt from being on without having anything in it, the flies were trying to get to my half chopped veggies, I hadn’t gone near my computer and Ayla was crying. It was overload to my stress levels.
Ayla was just really clingy, she would settle in my arms but as soon as I put her down she would start coughing then wake up and cry. This cycle went on, and on, and on, until Ayla’s eyes were red ringed and darkly shadowed and my nerves were completely shot.
I knew there was something wrong that was keeping Ayla from sleep, whether it was a virus, her teeth or something else, which made me feel bad for her and had me questioning my own judgement about leaving her at day care while I went off to uni.
In the end, I couldn’t bring myself to take Ayla to her first afternoon at day care when she was so tired, upset and irritable so I made the decision to give Week One at uni a miss in order to take care of my baby girl.
Although I was happy with my decision, I think all the stress and pressure of the last couple of weeks finally caught up with me and I found myself in tears anyway.
Thankfully, like a knight in shining armour, Hubby came to the rescue by taking the afternoon off work to come home and look after Ayla.
It was a gesture so small and simple but it meant I got a whole three hours to myself to de-mummify, engage with a world outside my four walls and do something purely for me.
We’ll just have to try day care again next week.
Friday, 21 February 2014: Three Hundred and Twenty Eight Days Old.
For the last few nights Ayla has refused to go to sleep unless her Daddy’s put her down.
It’s been a huge change for us and one that proves Baby Ayla is growing up all to fast, but as much as its made me feel a bit obsolete it’s also brought a new feeling of freedom.
While I still give Ayla her bedtime feed instead of backing that up with rocking and singing until she falls asleep the routine is now a family affair that Hubby and I share equally.
Plus, knowing that Ayla can go to to sleep at night in her Daddy’s arms means that we’re another step closer to being able to hire a baby sitter and have a baby-free night out!
It also makes me proud to see that Baby Ayla is gaining her independence and starting to make decisions about what makes her feel happy and content, not just what she likes and doesn’t like.
Growing up certainly happens fast, far faster than anyone can explain. I never thought I’d be using the word independent to describe a ten month old baby and I can hardly believe that in a blink of an eye she won’t need me at all.
Sunday, 16 February 2014: Three Hundred and Twenty One Days Old.
Ayla has added yet another super cute trick to her repertoire; giving kisses on the cheek.
Ayla’s actually been giving kisses for a long time now, maybe since she was about six or seven months old, but until today I think Ayla’s kisses were more like an involuntary action of overwhelming love…. like when a puppy wags its tail.
But this morning, after a day or so of trying to teach her, I asked Ayla to give me a kiss and pointed to my cheek – and she did!
We kept practicing all day, and by the time Hubby got home Ayla had it down to a fine art; he asked for a kiss and Ayla immediately opened her mouth and leaned in close until her tiny slobbery lips were planted firmly on her Daddy’s stubbly cheek.
So that means Ayla’s list of tricks is now sitting at around ten (that I can think of right now), including;
- Waving hello and goodbye
- Clicking (like giddyup horsey!)
- Giving high-fives
- Blowing raspberries
- Flicking her lips with her fingers to make a “bubble-bubble” noise
Annnnd, what’s awesome is that Ayla can apply each of these tricks at the appropriate time, without a demonstration!
- Sniffing, with a scrunched up face
- Sticking out her tongue
Sunday, 22 December 2013: Two Hundred and Sixty Five Days Old.
I’m still a bit under the weather and can’t think straight to save myself, so I’m handing An Ayla A Day over to a guest blogger for the night; Hubby.
It is with great pleasure that I, Daddy, can tell everyone that Ayla is at the stage when she knows who her two best friends in the whole wide world are.
When both Ayla’s arms extend to full reach for either one of us it’s pure love and one of the greatest feelings I have ever had.
It is these little things that when we look back later on in life we realise that they were the biggest things of all.
Monday, 16 December 2013: Thirty Seven Weeks Old.
Over the past two days I’ve watched as the bond between Ayla and Hubby has grown stronger before my very eyes.
Ayla’s always loved her Daddy, but until now her devotion has only really surfaced in the morning when he gets her up for the day, and in the evenings when he comes home from work.
But over yesterday and today Ayla has started to seek him out for cuddles and playtime, comfort and closeness.
I think it’s because Ayla’s at the age now where she wants fun and entertainment, not just food and care, and who better to give her that than her Daddy.
They’ve read stories, watched the cricket, shared meals together and collected eggs from the chooks. Hubby’s rocked Ayla when she’s been tired, and Ayla’s reached for Hubby with both hands outstretched.
It’s come at a perfect time too. I’ve not been feeling well so to be able to lie in bed listening to the noises of Hubby and Ayla playing happily down the hall has been bliss.
Sunday, 15 December 2013: Two Hundred and Fifty Eight Days Old.
Sunday morning is the most special time of the week for us.
When Ayla wakes up, Hubby lets me lie in bed for a few moments longer and goes to get Ayla up.
While I listen through the monitor, Hubby and Ayla chat away while he changes her nappy and gives her cuddles.
Then he brings her to our room.
As soon as Ayla sees me from the doorway a giant smile spreads across her face and she reaches out for me with both hands.
Hubby brings her into bed and Ayla tucks in under the covers, her Daddy on one side and her Mummy on the other.
I think if there was a way to measure the amount of love in a room, our would be off the charts.
With sleepy eyes, no rush to get up and certainly no place we’d rather be, the three of us share stories of our dreams and plans and wait for our rumbling tummies to drive us up and out to face the day.
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.