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Beachside

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Sunday, 6 July 2014: One Year and Ninety Seven Days Old.

I took Ayla down to the Beer Can Regatta this afternoon where she had a ball playing on the beach.

I don’t know what I was thinking when we left home, but swimwear wasn’t one of them, and within minutes of arriving Ayla was paddling about knee-deep in the ocean.

It didn’t take Ayla long to spy an abandoned bucket and spade which she confidently took ownership of, filling the bucket one spec of sand at a time.

Finally Ayla’s interest in the sand wore off and her curiosity of the water took hold.

Without a glimmer of fear Ayla toddled straight into the sea and up to her waist, with no sign of slowing down.

Fortunately the bay was calm and the waves were more like salty ripples which meant that apart from Ayla’s lack of concern for drowning it was a safe and fun place to play.

We were beachside for a good couple of hours before my back was hurting from bending over holding onto my tearaway, and my brain was hurting from trying to pre-empt her next daredevil tactic!

We made it home and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, just like what Sundays are for.

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Sun, sand and saltwater

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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!

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Holiday mode

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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.

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Beach babe

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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.

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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?! 🙂