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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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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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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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The stars align

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Wednesday, 28 May 2014: One Year and Fifty Nine Days Old.

There’s absolutely no question about how being a mum has changed me.

In so many ways I see the world more clearly, I’m more conscious of myself and I feel like I can relate more to people around me.

I also feel stronger, calmer and more resilient and I find myself turning to focus on what matters instead of how a situation came to be.

Best of all about my mummy-transformation is that it’s happened while Hubby has been by my side.

He too has grown and changed, and together we find ourselves to be confident in our partnership, our goals and where we’re headed.

Of course we attribute a lot, if not all, of this newfound wisdom to Baby Ayla, who in all her innocence had opened our eyes to happiness and contentment in its purest form.

It’s hard to tell if we’ve been uniquely blessed or if there’s been a few strange twists of fate that have made the stars align for us, but we certainly know what we have is special and we’re not going to let a single thing ruin it.

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So happy

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Tuesday, 6 May 2014; One Year and Thirty Six Days Old.

Ayla seemed excited to go to school this morning, and when I handed her over to one of the day care mums there was not a tear in sight.

But it was when I picked Ayla up that I noticed a real difference; it was like my baby girl had grown years in just a few hours.

Ayla was happy to see me of course, but this afternoon her happiness seemed driven by a holistic, contented, mature kind of confidence rather than “oh my goodness I’m so glad you came back for me!”

I could see it in her face and feel it in her body, hear it in her voice and know it from the way she was excited to point things out that she’s been doing that day.

Ayla showed me some toys, her water bottle and introduced me to a friend before deciding she was ready to start blowing kisses and waving goodbye.

Then while we were driving home Ayla went into a big long story of baby talk, assumably telling me about her day, but best of all was when Ayla started laughing for what seemed like no reason at all!

Maybe she was laughing at her own joke, laughing at a funny memory from the day or laughing at something she saw out her window, but whatever it was that made her giggle, my heart melted to see her so happy.

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Third most favourite thing

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Friday, 26 April, 2014: One Year, Three Weeks and Three Days Old.

I’ve decided that floating around in the pool with my little family is my third most favourite thing to do.

It comes after baby cuddles (#1) and going on holidays (#2), but sneaks in just before long car trips (#4) and Sunday afternoon barbecues (#5).

For some reason the pool is a place where the outside world doesn’t reach us; we float, and we talk, and we share stories, we dream and we plan for the future.

And of course we watch Ayla splash and screech and jump and dive and kick and systematically work through every possible way to try and sink to the bottom.

I think I love it so much because there’s no technology at the pool – no phones, no TV, no internet – which means it the one place where we can all get together, enjoy each other’s company and relax, even The Dog and Cat Cat come and hang out as well!

Whatever it is, swimming in the pool was exactly what I needed this afternoon as Hubby and I recovered from our first (and probably last) night out on the town in years!