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Such a good girl

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Sunday, 21 September 2014: One Year, One Hundred and Seventy Three Days Old.

Hubby, a friend of his and I went out fishing in the boat today and of course we had Baby Ayla in tow.

Ayla was SUCH a good girl; I can’t express how proud and grateful I am of the beautiful, calm, friendly and content little girl she’s growing in to!

We were out on the water for 7 hours, right through the middle of the day, and Ayla was literally an angel the whole time. She spent the the day sitting up on my chair, chewing on biscuits, chatting away to us and playing with her dolly. And whenever a fish came on board Ayla would get as excited as we were, happily pointing and declaring “fish! fish!” over and over until we threw it back.

Ayla’s awesomeness meant it was the first time since becoming a mum that I’ve actually been able to join in on the fishing action properly, without worrying about her getting into lures, falling over at every wave or eating bait… Mmm yum! Instead, I was confidently able to relax and enjoy being out on the water with my bestie (Hubby) doing what we love, while the person we love most (Ayla) watched over us and cheered on from the sidelines.

As if in thanks for her great behaviour, (in case the perfect weather, calm water and good fish weren’t enough) the “Fish Gods” put on an amazing display of beauty when a pod of dolphins came up to play beside the boat. Ayla stood up on the deck while I held on tight and we watched in awe as the dolphins swam effortlessly beside the boat coming up for breaths of air and riding the bow wave.

We all felt so lucky and happy to be witness to something so naturally beautiful; it was one of those perfect moments that make you feel blessed and thankful and get a sense that maybe you are on the right path afterall and that everything’s going to be ok.

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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 best kind of smile

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Wednesday, 19 February 2014: Three Hundred and Twenty Four Days Old.

Ayla’s top teeth have been trying to make their presence known for the past week, relentlessly pushing and pulling their way through her gums.

But in true Ayla style she’s handled it exceptionally well, even better than with her first two teeth I think, although day today she was making fish faces and sucking on her tongue so I knew Tooth Number Three wasn’t far away.

The only difference I’ve seen in Ayla with teething this time around has been her reluctance to nap in her bed during the last couple of afternoons, instead preferring to be held and cuddled against my chest.

So today I decided to embrace having a teething baby and instead of the usual “feed-rock-put down-and-repeat” process I chose to sit in the big comfy arm chair in Ayla’s room and cradled her while she slept.

It was the stillest, calmest and quietest I have been in a very long time. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I just sat with no phone, no TV and no thoughts of what I should be doing instead yelling at me from inside my head.

Ayla slept so peacefully for well over an hour in my arms and I couldn’t take my eyes off her the whole time, committing to memory every tiny detail I could.

Ayla’s face was so relaxed and the long dark lashes that rested on her ivory cheeks would flicker occasionally as she dreamt. Ayla’s bright pink lips were ever so slightly apart and every now and then Ayla’s blonde eyebrows would raise up as if asking a dreamy question.

And, just moments before she woke, a gorgeous sleeping smile spread across Ayla’s face; the best kind of smile I’ve ever seen.

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Blessing in disguise

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Monday, 20 January 2014: Forty Two Weeks Old.

Ayla and I had a long list of errands planned for today but due to a mixup with car keys we found ourselves stranded at home during yet another rainy day.

But, what could have turned out to be a disaster was really an angel in disguise because being “stranded” meant Ayla had all day to hang out, have fun and love it up.

Being able to spend all day together, with no interruptions or appointments, I realised that despite my commitment to enjoy the moment and savour the little things, I’ve let life run away with me again.

Since early December I’ve given priority to things that don’t matter; issues from the past, other peoples journeys, my long term goals and stressing about irrelevant and insignificant things.

It’s meant that the days have started to flow into each other – each one looking very similar to the one before it – not due to the actual events happening but due to the silly things I’ve been focusing on.

So today was a day to regroup, to realign my priorities, to make it up to my little girl, and to re-ground myself in the now.

I realised that life is just far too short. At any moment my world could be turned completely upside down and while I like to think it’d never happen to me, why not live it like it could?

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Grounded

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Thursday, 12 December 2013; Two Hundred and Fifty Five Days Old.

I couldn’t sleep last night, I was tossing and turning and feeling anxious, but I had an overwhelming need to be close to Ayla.

So after a while I left an exhausted Hubby to sleep in peace while I snuck down the hall to Ayla’s room.

Ayla grounds me. She is my reminder of the bigger picture but at the same time she reminds me of the little things that matter.

As I sat in the glow of the nightlight and watched my baby sleep, I could actually feel my energy slowly shift from my head to my heart.

Ayla is one powerful little being, that’s for sure, and I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to thank her for coming into my world.

Not only has Ayla grounded me, she’s helped me heal and grow and become a better person in ways I never thought I could.

But I’m conscious that if Ayla can have such a massive impact on my moods and mind, then surely it works in the reverse too?

And if that’s the case, like I believe it is, then I have to try my best to be strong, and calm, and true whenever I’m with her because that’s what the very least she deserves.

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Shiny gold star

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Saturday, 23 November 2013: Two Hundred and Thirty Seven Days Old.

All I want to do is grab Ayla and give her a cuddle, a kiss, look into her eyes, tell her I love her, and give her a shiny gold star… anything and everything to make her understand how grateful I am for her.

I thought I knew what it was to be happy and feel blessed, but the light Ayla puts in my life is like no other.

I don’t know if it’s because Ayla’s such a good baby or if it’s just part and parcel of being a mum, but I am so proud of her and so thankful she’s my daughter.

Ayla is clever, and kind, and patient. She’s friendly, playful and happy. She’s wise and innocent and modest all at the same time. She’s vulnerable but strong, adaptable, generous, honest…. Ayla is everything I hope I can be one day and she’s not even eight months old yet!

Just like when I look at Hubby sometimes and I think my heart will burst, every time I’ve looked at Ayla these past twenty four hours in particular I almost believe my chest is about to explode and shoot out tonnes of sparkling, rainbow coloured happy-love-dust.

I really am blessed. I am lucky. I am grateful. I am thankful. I am not taking any of this for granted and I am appreciating and valuing every moment I have with my beautiful baby girl and my wonderful little family.