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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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The long drive home

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Thursday, 2 January 2014: Two Hundred and Seventy Six Days Old.

We made the long drive home today, despite none of us really wanting to leave.

Ayla was much less settled on the return journey today than what she had been last week, and her tears weren’t as easily wiped dry with a new toy or snack.

After all the excitement and stimulation over the past week I think Ayla found being confined to her car seat boring and lonesome so we pulled out all the stops when it came to entertaining her.

After we’d run out of reasons to stop and stretch our legs, after Ayla had tired of playing baby games on my iPhone and after we’d run out of nibblies to graze on, Hubby and I finally resorted to singing Ayla clips of our favourite hits from the nineties (Corny Parent Status: Complete).

When we finally got home Ayla seemed to know exactly where she was and she started kicking and squealing with delight as soon as she saw The Dog.

Ayla also seemed to recognise her toys, and she got stuck into playing them like they were long lost friends while Hubby and I set about unpacking.

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Surprise success

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Thursday, 26 December 2013: Two Hundred and Sixty Nine Days Old.

We hit the road at 5.30am this morning, and after 12 hours of driving and 1000 kms, we arrived safe and sound at “The Station*”.

Only three out of the thirty-odd family members knew we were coming so it was great to turn up and still be able to say “surprise!”.

Ayla was wonderful in the car, better than I expected. She cat napped for most of the journey, and when she was awake I just kept changing her toy every hour or so to keep her occupied.

When we arrived I think Ayla was a bit shocked. I can’t recall her ever seeing so many kids in one place, let alone all the eager aunties and uncles just itching to say hello and tickle her chubby cheeks!

But after a bath and a feed Ayla started to get into the swing of things, and before long she was trying her darnedest to squirm out of my arms and into the dirt.

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Highlights

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Sunday, 4 August 2013; One Hundred and Twenty-Five Days Old.

There were two highlights of today; the first was seeing how amazed Ayla was with waves, and the second was hanging out in the back seat of the car with her on the way home.

When we got up this morning the boys had already taken the boat and gone fishing so Ayla and I snuck out for a walk along the beach.

Despite the morning sun a strong wind made it almost cold and I held Ayla close to keep her warm and stop her from getting the hiccups by sucking in air.

When we got to the shoreline Ayla saw waves for the first time! Not surf, but gentle waves lapping at the sand.

Her eyes locked and she was mesmerised, trying to work out what the foamy white line was and where it went.

Then on the way home, we girls crammed in the back of our dual cab and I sat beside Ayla in her car seat.

For most of the trip Ayla just stared and smiled at me, thinking it was pretty cool she wasn’t stuck back there by herself for once.

Eventually though she started to get tired and began to “talk” before grabbing my hand and jamming my finger in her mouth.

Ayla then proceeded to chew on my index finger with all of her might for nearly twenty minutes until we were both covered in drool.

The things we do for our kids huh?! 🙂

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Seasoned traveler

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Sunday, 14 July 2013: One Hundred and Four Days Old.

At three and a half month old, our little Baby Ayla Rose is now a seasoned traveler.

She’s been camping. She’s traveled on planes and stayed in strange beds. She’s gone from wearing winter clothes to summer bikinis in less than a week.

And today, she mastered the great Aussie driving holiday.

For five and a half hours Ayla made the back seat of our Navara her own. She slept for most of it, played with her toys for some of it, and she even started up a conversation with us every now and then.

Hubby and I took it easy on the road, stopping a few times for fuel and food.

And each time we pulled over Ayla was as happy to be taken out of her car seat and join in the adventure as she was to be put back in it and hit the road again.

We made it home relaxed and in one piece, so proud of our little girl and refreshed from our wonderful weekend away.

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Road Trip

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Friday, 12 July 2013; One Hundred and Two Days Old.

Ayla went on her first proper road trip today, to a little tourist town four hours away.

The trip is in aid of our five year wedding anniversary, and it doubles as our first ever family holiday.

Ayla was wonderful in the car, sleeping in long stints and generally happy to amuse herself with a toy, or her newly-discovered hands, and watch as the trees whizzed by her window.

After we arrived at our cabin, we tucked Baby Ayla in her baby sling and took her for a fish at a nearby creek.

She looked so happy, wrapped up in Daddy’s chest watching the birds and trees. She’s going to be a nature lover for sure 🙂