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Tiny camper

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Monday, 5 May 2014: One Year and Thirty Five Days Old.

Ayla definitely got the hang of the whole camping thing today, and I think it’s safe to say her childhood is going to be peppered with little getaways like this.

Although Ayla’s nighttime sleeps have been a bit disrupted (understandably though – no one wants to be the first to leave the campfire) Ayla has been happy and playful and content all weekend.

Then this morning Ayla showed us how comfortable she really is with camping when she passed out for nearly an hour on our swag while we packed up around her.

Ayla was the picture of pure relaxation as she slept there in the shade, covered in dirt after a fun few hours and flaked out on her back like a sleeping starfish.

After her snooze Ayla joined us for a final swim in the waterhole before deciding she could drive the truck.

Ayla climbed from the passenger side (where I was trying to change her) to the drivers side, and pulled herself to standing at the wheel in the blink of an eye; Ayla even reached for the UHF radio and when I have it to her she talked into it straight away!

Of course driving was not an option but while we were on the dirt tracks within the campgrounds Ayla claimed her place on my lap in the passenger seat.

As Hubby drove, Ayla stood with her hands on the open window frame looking out at the world passing her by, smiling at the wind tickling her fluffy blonde hair, and looking like she’d been “playing truckies” her whole life.

After a blissful stop at some hot springs on our homeward journey, where Ayla crawled and splashed and had me help her walk her around for ages, Ayla passed out in her chair within six minutes of leaving.

Ayla was so tired and content though, that her head kept flopping forward in the most awkward of positions.

No matter how many ways we tried to prop it up with towels, and no matter how many times we poked and prodded and pulled at her head, Ayla stayed asleep and continued to sleep more soundly than I’ve ever seen her before.

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Under the stars

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Sunday, 4 May 2014; One Year, One Month and Five Days Old.

Ayla had her first night sleeping under the stars last night and this morning was her first morning waking up at a campsite.

We’ve gotten out of town with a couple of friends for the long weekend and it’s our first time camping with Baby Ayla.

Although we made a few rookie mistakes (like arriving after dark and forgetting to pack the tent but hey, lucky our friends have a big one!), we started today afresh.

After a big bacon and egg cook up the boys went fishing for the day leaving us girls to enjoy a swim in the nearby waterhole, have an afternoon snooze and get into the camping groove.

Ayla loved playing in the sand by the freshwater creek and floating around in the water; she loved it so much in fact that she didn’t even complain when her tiny fingernails started going blue with cold!

After lunch and a rest Ayla spent the afternoon playing with toys on a big mat at the campsite, alongside our friends three year old daughter while we older girls chatted and pottered around.

When the boys returned (without fish) we all headed up to the campground pool where Ayla spent ages laughing and playing with the rock feature waterfall while we adults played a very cruisy version of catch.

By the time bedtime rolled around Ayla was exhausted; she had played and explored and learned til her little eyes were nearly falling out of her head and she fell asleep quickly and easily in my arms.

With Ayla tucked up in the tent at the foot of our swag, I was free to really relax and thankfully there’s not many better places to do that than around the campfire with a beer next to great company after an awesome day.

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Australia Day

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Sunday, 26 January 2014: Three Hundred Days Old.

It’s was Ayla’s first Australia Day today and what better way to spend it than road tripping to Kakadu.

We made the journey in convoy with some friends and no sooner had we entered the park than we were bombarded with reminders of why they call this the lucky country.

We saw dingos, wallabies, goannas, eagles and snakes, I even saw a eagle with a snake in it’s talons, and the flooded wetlands were breathtakingly raw and spectacular.

At this time of year everything is green and growing. It creates a stunning display of natural beauty that makes me feel privileged just to look, and while Ayla may be still too small to appreciate it Hubby and I feel blessed that our little girl has such wonder and adventure on her doorstep.

We spent the day fishing in road side culverts, and at one point we even reversed the ute into a swollen creek so that the boys could use the tray as a pontoon platform for flicking lures.

In the afternoon we relaxed in the resort pool and escaped the heat, where we played beach balls with other holiday makers and Ayla learned to fall into our arms from the edge.

Later, Ayla loved cruising around our hotel room, pulling herself up on the bedside tables and playing with the bed spreads, and when the time came for her to go to down for a sleep she settled nicely into her made-up bed of blankets under the desk.

To top it off we shared a lovely dinner and drinks with our friends and kicked back on the patio as a massive tropical storm front rolled in. It was the perfect end to a perfect Australia Day.

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Boating

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Sunday, 29 September 2013: One Hundred and Eighty One Days Old.

Hubby took Ayla and I out “boating” today (I call it boating because we didn’t plan to catch fish) to show us a beautiful place he found a few months ago.

Not only did Hubby show us “the spot” we saw so many other beautiful and amazing things… things that some people will only get to read about but Baby Ayla’s been lucky enough to witness at less than six months old, and she’s certain to witness them again while we live in the Territory.

We saw the sun rise over land while we steamed out to sea in the cool morning air.

We saw patches of the ocean’s surface bubble and boil as schools of tuna chased balls of bait to the surface (we even caught two different species of tuna!).

We saw a school of two dozen or so mackerel chase down our lures to within inches of the boat before diving back to the safety of the deep blue.

We saw two huge turtles playing “leapfrog”… Well, that’s what we told Ayla they were doing (click here for the real story and thank me later lol).

We saw another turtle up close when he was foul hooked on a lure and we brought him aboard to free him.

And all this took place right on our door step!

It was a great day and Baby Ayla took it all ten hours of “boating” in her stride.

But what struck me the most is that we’re so lucky to live in a place where nature and adventure is a core part of our culture and surroundings.

I sure am glad Ayla’s a Territory kid 😉

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Outside

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Thursday 29 August 2013: One Hundred and Fifty Days Old.

Ayla loves being outside.

If we’ve spent most of the day in doors, by around 4pm Ayla starts to get grumpy.

Today, she just wasn’t happy with any toy I gave her and she cracked it with every place I put her.

So after a while we went outside and I laid her on a towel on the grass.

Ayla was so happy! She even started giggling when the breeze picked up and blew across her bare skin.

I spent ages twirling a blade of grass in front of her and Ayla was mesmerised as if it was the most beautiful thing in the whole world.

And when the birds flew overhead Ayla would strain her neck to watch them, if only for a moment more.