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.
Tuesday, 25 March 2014: Three Hundred and Fifty Eight Days Old.
Miraculously, I awoke this morning with a full nights rest and hardly any trace of illness… I don’t know how it happened but my goodness, am I grateful!
It meant that we were finally able to have a family outing for the day, our first one in five days and I couldn’t wait to take Ayla on the short boat ride over to Coral Island for some sun, sand and saltwater.
Ayla had a ball crawling around on the beach and Hubby and I found myself keeping track of her by following the strange markings she left in the sand in her wake!
The water at Coral Island was so clear that when we took Ayla in for a swim could see the fish darting in and out amongst the coral.
Ayla also made friends with a couple of young children who were on the tour with us, and at lunch when they started playing hide-and-seek-tickle with her Ayla was so happy she nearly squealed the place down with delight.
On the way back to the mainland the tour stopped for a snorkel in a beautiful bay where we could hand feed thousands of colourful fish within meters of the boat.
Ayla was mesmerised as she looked down at the water from the boat’s flybridge, seeing the bits of bread I was throwing turn into a splashing, shimmering whirlpool of aquatic activity.
All in all it as a great day out, partly because it’s the best we’ve all felt in nearly a week and partly because we are half way around the world, making special precious memories as a family… and there’s not much better than that!
Saturday, 22 March 2014: Three Hundred and Fifty Five Days Old.
Ayla is much better today, 100% in fact, and the tooth that had been causing her all the grief seems to have retracted into her gums to return and wreak havoc another day.
Hubby is still unwell but definitely better so that meant we were able to leave the resort this morning and check out Phuket Aquarium.
It was fun; Ayla enjoyed it as we knew she would and Hubby was happy to see Barramundi and Mangrove Jack in one of the tanks!
Ayla’s favourite exhibit was the “creatures of the deep” section where there were strange fishlike creatures preserved in liquid in clear Perspex orbs… I think Ayla might have been more interested in the watery orbs than the creatures though.
We escaped the heat of the day in our hotel room where we had lunch and a nap then in the afternoon we took Ayla to the beach to build sandcastles and have a swim.
We had bought a sand play set at the aquarium and a few of the other children at the beach wanted to share it with Ayla which meant we got to meet a couple of other traveling families and it was nice to make new friends.
Ayla played in the sand for ages and systematically destroyed the castles and sculptures as fast as Hubby and I could make them and when the time came to rinse off in the sea Ayla giggled at the waves as the gently lapped her belly.
It was lovely to be on a beach relaxing, and it felt like we were finally getting into the holiday mode we so desperately needed.
Tuesday, 11 February 2014: Three Hundred and Sixteen Days Old.
There were lots of firsts for Ayla today that went the full spectrum: the good, the bad and the awesome.
Ayla had her first trip to the osteopath today. I took her because of the clicky left shoulder she’s had since birth and to investigate if there was any reason behind why Ayla has been rubbing the back of her head.
Ayla was pretty good considering the osteo rubbed and poked her while we tried to keep her still, but he said Ayla’s back and shoulder (which he thinks may have been strained in utero) is now cured and I’m to keep an eye on the tight muscles at the back of her head.
Ayla had her first bout of sea sickness today. It’s Hubby’s week off so we went for a quick fish in the harbour this morning but by the time we got to the spot the wind had picked up, the sky had become overcast and the ocean was choppy.
Although Ayla had been fine on the drive out as soon as we pulled up anchor she started to look queasy and sorry for herself, Ayla even had a tiny little spew! Hubby gets sea sick too so he knew what she was going through and before long we headed for calmer waters where Ayla returned to her usual self and recommenced crawling around the deck.
Ayla caught her first fish today! Well, kind of… She was sitting on Hubby’s lap with her hands on his fishing rod when he got a bite. Hubby was on, and Ayla kept her hands on the rod while he reeled it in. Within seconds up came a Golden Snapper!
I don’t think Ayla had any idea what had just happened though, because as I scrambled for the camera and Hubby wrangled the fish one handed, Ayla kept her eyes glued to the wet, flapping sea creature with a glimmering hook in its mouth trying to decide whether to touch it or not.
Sunday, 10 November 2013:Two Hundred and Twenty Four Days Old.
We took Baby Ayla to Sea World today.
She saw seals, and penguins, and dolphins and polar bears, went on a carousel, and we even found a new dinosaur exhibit.
But the best bit of all was seeing Ayla at the aquarium; I have NEVER seen her so excited.
Ayla’s eyes were glued to the tank and the way she was looking at all the fish made it look like her head was on a swivel.
Ayla got so excited she was squealing and cooing, bouncing in her seat and kicking her legs in overwhelming happiness.
We were in the aquarium for over half an hour and not once did Ayla get bored. In the end we had to make the call to move on and pull Ayla away from all the fishes.
She’s definitely her father’s daughter all right. I wish Hubby had been with us to see his little girl so excited but at least I know she shares his passion for fish.
Who knows, Ayla might even grow up to be a marine biologist one day!
Saturday, 9 November 2013: Two Hundred and Twenty Three Days Old.
Ayla went to the beach for the very first time today!
It was a bit cold and very windy so we didn’t hit the surf but instead found a lovely little bay that was tucked in out of the weather.
Of all things – the sounds, the smells, the swell of the ocean or the birds – it was the sand that had Ayla completely mesmerised!
She kicked it, and grabbed it, and ate it, and sunk into it, and walked on it, and stared at it… The. Whole. Time.
It was hard to get her to look up for a photo, and she was hardly interested in the water at all. And the other kids on the beach…? Meh.
It just goes to show how sensitive Ayla is to learning and experiencing new things.
To us, sand is boring and commonplace (in fact it’s even annoying and dislikable sometimes!) but to Baby Ayla it’s an amazing source of new sensory information; texture, movement, sound, look and feel.
I love how Ayla helps me to see the world through new eyes; she ALMOST got me thinking sand is interesting.
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 😉