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Clever Sausage

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Tuesday, 9 September 2014; One Year, One Hundred and Sixty One Days Old

Despite all her health issues, I am so undeiably and completely grateful Ayla is a happy, bright, clever little sausage.

Today, Ayla decided out of the blue that she could high-five herself. It came after she high-fived me, then high-fived my Mum, and of course becuase she didn’t want to miss out herself so Ayla held her left hand out flat in front of her then slapped down on it with her right.

Ayla also discovered that she can fit in the dolls pram I bought her the other day. This now means that Ayla’s refuses to allow anything else to sit in the pram except herself, and means I find myself hunched over, pushing her around the house for the half the day.

And, Ayla learned a new word; pretty. I put a headband on her this morning and told her to look in the mirror. She walked over to it, swayed and waved her hands and then said “pret-ty”. It was adorable.

Finally, and certainly not least. Ayla can now also pick out a picture in a book and say what it is. Particularly turtles. And dogs. Even if a new ad comes on TV with something Ayla knows how to say, she says it. Ayla’s vocabularly and comprehension is growing every minute and its completely amazing.

She’s such a clever sausage.

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Proper toddler

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Thursday, 12 June 2014: One Year and Seventy Two Days OldAyla is a proper toddler now!

She’s finally traded in crawling, nearly altogether, and now spends 98% of her time toddling around.

I didn’t think toddling could be so cute!

Ayla’s walk is half-waddle, with stiff little out turned legs that make her body sway slightly from side to side with each step.

And then there’s the bubble butt! Seeing Ayla’s little legs sticking out from her nappy covered tush is adorable, she looks like the cutest little white tailed bee in the world as she toddles about the house.

What really made me realise that Hubby and I now have a toddler on our hands was when Ayla mixed her walking with her words.

As Hubby and I watched from the couch Ayla toddled purposefully over to the kitchen and looked up at the benches.

After a moment or two Ayla then turned back to us and asked, with all the right tone and inflection, “water?”

It was as clear as day and as cute as a button. Hubby and I both melted with love and he got up to give our clever little sausage her water bottle.

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Ball skills

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Tuesday, 20 May 2014: One Year and Fifty Days Old.

Ayla might not be able to walk properly yet, but she knows how to kick a ball!

I don’t know where Ayla learned to kick except from maybe watching a bit of AFL on TV, but today Ayla proved to Hubby and I that she certainly has hand eye coordination.

The ball kicking goes with Ayla’s ability to throw a ball, over arm, in any direction she chooses; both being skills that apparently only 50% of children have mastered by the time they reach 21 months!!

Does this mean Ayla’s gifted? Or is it just one of those skills she developed ahead of average time frames.

Not surprisingly, Hubby is ecstatic. As a natural, ambidextrous sports person he can hardly wait to play a bit of touch footy with Ayla in the back yard.

While that will have to wait until Ayla walks, and then runs, for now we’ll have to be content to bask in her greatness and nurture her (potential) talent!

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First steps!

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Saturday, 17 May 2014: One Year and Forty Seven Days Old.

Ayla took her first, proper, unassisted steps today!!

Apparently Ayla did take a few steps a day care this week, but Hubby and I decided that it didn’t count unless we saw it for ourselves.

And today, we did!

It’s Saturday so Hubby was working and Ayla and I were busy pottering around the house catching up on a few chores.

Around lunch time Ayla and I decided to take a break, and I put a friends single mattress on the floor so I could stretch out my back and play with Ayla at the same time.

It didn’t take long for Ayla to realise the cushioning properties of the mattress and with minutes she was standing on it and clapping her hands.

I moved down to one end of the mattress and Ayla worked out why straight away; coming at me down the blue foamy runway with four tentative, wobbly, chubby-baby-leg steps!

I squealed with excitement and gave Ayla the biggest hug, which set her off on a pattern of stand-step-step-step-step-fall for the next half an hour.

All I could think of though was how much I wished Hubby was there to share in the moment, and I felt so sad for him missing out.

Thankfully Ayla was so happy to show off her skills that she let me take a quick video (will post it in a sec) so that Daddy could see our little TODDLER in action.

Ayla still isn’t walking around properly yet mind you, but it must only be days away! For now though Ayla seems content to limit her walking to padded surfaces which gives Hubby and I plenty of time to get ready for a whole new chapter.

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Do the five

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Friday, 11 April 2014: One Year, One Week and Three Days Old.

Ayla took her first steps today!

Don’t get too excited though… Ayla’s first steps were in the pool!

We have a huge pool at our place and at one end there’s an inbuilt spa with a big seat capable of fitting five or six adults, so that’s where Ayla learned how to put one foot in front of the other.

For weeks now Ayla has been practicing how to stand by using Hubby or I as balance posts for pulling herself up to standing on the couch while we sit, but I thought she was still a long way off walking.

Until today when Ayla somehow put two and two together and let go of the side of the pool, then took two steps toward me.

I was stoked, surprised and so proud, but it didn’t last long.

Ayla was so pleased with herself that she transformed in to a crazed, one year old female version of Evil Kneivel and began launching herself into the depths of the pool.

Ayla must have swallowed a litre of water in her “look-I-think-I-can-swim-but-I-can’t” stunts, but still it didn’t deter her.

After Ayla got bored of freaking mummy out by trying to run and jump off the step, she decided to up the ante by getting out of the pool so she could crawl and fall off the edge instead.

In short, my nerves are shot.

It was bloody hard work keeping track of Ayla, even when I held her she was still squirming to dive under, and I can totally see how tragic pool-side accidents happen.

I think it’s a timely reminder to do the five and keep this kid alive! :

Fence the pool,
Shut the gate,
Teach your kids to swim – it’s great!
Supervise,
Watch your mate,
And learn how to resuscitate!

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Attempt #2… Success!

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Tuesday, 11 March 2014: Three Hundred and Forty Four Days Old.

Ayla and I had our second attempt at day care today and this time it was a success.

Mind you like last week Ayla refused to sleep during the day for some reason, squeezing in just one 30 minute nap around lunch time, but she seemed happy and content enough to be sent off to school!

I was feeling much more relaxed too and I was really looking forward to starting a new chapter of parenthood that will mean mummy can get some time to herself every now and then.

So out came Ayla’s first set of daycare clothes (pictured) and her little baby sneakers. Her bag was packed with a hat, some nappies and cream, a change of clothes, a zippy-straw cup, some expressed milk and a bottle.

Then off we went!

We arrived just as the babies were waking up from their naps so the kids were bright, bubbly and happy; I was actually surprised at how friendly and outgoing some of them where, coming up to meet me and Ayla and promising to look after her for me.

I put Ayla down in the play yard and she sat motionless with wide eyes, staring at all the commotion around her. The other children kept bringing over toys for Ayla to play with, gently patting her head and trying to read to her but after about 15 minutes I think it got all a bit too much and Ayla started to cry.

I picked her up and gave her a cuddle and one of the day care mums brought out a baby couch for her to sit on. After a little while when Ayla seemed more settled and confident, I sat her on the little couch beside me and from then on in she was back to her old self.

After about an hour it was afternoon tea time at the centre and time for me to go to uni. The day care mums took all the kids off to wash their hands and get ready to eat and as I left Ayla was sitting up in a high chair about to get stuck into a piece of pear, a slice of orange and a square of sultana cake – happy as.

As I was leaving I tried explaining what was in Ayla’s bag, but I felt like such a bad parent when I could hardly answer any of the questions the day care mum had about Ayla’s routine!

  • Will she need a nap this afternoon? Umm… probably, she’s hardly slept at all today which isn’t like her.
  • What time does she usually go down for her afternoon nap? Umm… I don’t know, she hasn’t been having arvo naps for the last couple of weeks, but she used to sleep anywhere between 2 and 5pm!
  • Should we give her a bottle if we put her down to nap? Umm… you can certainly try but she’s never taken a bottle.
  • Which bottle should we use, does she have a preference? Umm… no, neither, both? I’m sorry! I’m just not sure, she changes every day!
  • How much food will she eat? Umm… that changes every day too! She was having three solid meals a day but lately she’s dropped back to just snacks and milk.

I was worried they thought Ayla was a spoilt brat but off I went to uni, keeping my fingers and toes crossed that Ayla would be her usual wonderful self and wouldn’t turn into a sleep deprived monster!

When my class finished, and I was pleased to have only thought about Ayla every fifteen minutes, I couldn’t wait to get back to pick her up.

I arrived to find Ayla exactly where I left her, sitting up in a high chair but this time having some pre-dinner snacks. When she saw me Ayla squealed with delight, throwing her plate of food to the floor and kicking her legs in uncontainable excitement.

The day care mum picked her up and brushed off the crumbs then took Ayla off to the sink to wash up. The whole time Ayla couldn’t take her eyes off me, pointing at me with her wide tired eyes.

The ladies at the day care literally gushed about how wonderful Ayla had been, and they had so many wonderful things to say that I don’t think they were just being nice!

Apparently Ayla had been truly wonderful and friendly, ate lots and played really well with the other kids. They said that she had had only one moment of sadness which was easily rectified by a bit of distraction, and one even said she would take care of Ayla any time!

I realised that although my vague recital of Ayla’s routine earlier could have come across as high maintenance, the truth is Ayla is just easy going and placid. Ayla doesn’t need strict rules because she’s happy to go with the flow and adapt, and that’s one of the things that makes her so damn lovable!

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Stood up!

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Tuesday, 25 February 2014: Three Hundred and Thirty Days Old.

Ayla stood up by herself for the first time today!

I don’t think she realised what was happening and she kind of freaked out a little bit, but Ayla was definitely standing up completely unassisted for at least five seconds.

I had just fed her and as Ayla looked no where near sleep I popped her on the floor. But instead of putting her down to sit Ayla’s feet hit the floor first and she actually felt stable.

So I let go.

Ayla didn’t move at first then slowly her arms moved outwards and upwards to help her keep her balance… I just wish I could have seen her expression but with the way I had put her down Ayla was facing away from me.

After a few seconds I could see Ayla’s knees start to bend and her bottom started inching towards the ground, eventually it landed with a solid thud.

I was so excited for her! I kept trying to get Ayla to do it again but she didn’t want a bar of it and refused to stand at all; assisted or not.

We will keep practicing though, so stay tuned!