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So happy

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Tuesday, 6 May 2014; One Year and Thirty Six Days Old.

Ayla seemed excited to go to school this morning, and when I handed her over to one of the day care mums there was not a tear in sight.

But it was when I picked Ayla up that I noticed a real difference; it was like my baby girl had grown years in just a few hours.

Ayla was happy to see me of course, but this afternoon her happiness seemed driven by a holistic, contented, mature kind of confidence rather than “oh my goodness I’m so glad you came back for me!”

I could see it in her face and feel it in her body, hear it in her voice and know it from the way she was excited to point things out that she’s been doing that day.

Ayla showed me some toys, her water bottle and introduced me to a friend before deciding she was ready to start blowing kisses and waving goodbye.

Then while we were driving home Ayla went into a big long story of baby talk, assumably telling me about her day, but best of all was when Ayla started laughing for what seemed like no reason at all!

Maybe she was laughing at her own joke, laughing at a funny memory from the day or laughing at something she saw out her window, but whatever it was that made her giggle, my heart melted to see her so happy.

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A new kind of smile

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Saturday, 12 April 2014: One Year, One Week and Four Days Old.

Ayla has perfected a new kind of smile!

Until recently Ayla had only one smile, the “full-on, wide-mouthed toothy grin” that she flashed at every opportunity.

Now however Ayla has a new smile, which I refer to as her “sly” cheeky smile.

This new smile has added a whole new dimension to Ayla’s personality, and I can see I’m going to have my work cut out for me with not one, but TWO cheeky jokers in the house.

The new smile goes like this;

Ayla presses her lips together and lets them curl up ever so slightly at the edges so that sometimes it looks a little bit lopsided.

Then Ayla tilts her head down and away, glancing back with her eyes as if what I’m doing is funny but too dorky for her to smile at!

It actually makes me feel embarrassed and gets a laugh every time… How can a one year old know about sarcasm!

I almost expect Ayla to roll her eyes and say “ohhhh Muummmm!” with a subtle chuckle, but I guess there’s still plenty of time for that!

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Toothy grin

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Thursday, 6 April 2014: Three Hundred and Thirty Nine Days Old.

I’m in love with Ayla’s toothy grin!!

Ayla now has four front teeth – two at the top and two at the bottom – and my happy little girl never misses an opportunity to flash them.

Most people I know only show their top teeth when they smile, but when Ayla decides to show the world she’s happy all four pearly whites are on display.

It melts my heart every time! When Ayla smiles she crinkles up her nose, her eyes slim down and she bares all her shiny white teeth as if she’s proud to be a big girl.

And a big girl she is! Ayla’s teeth have given her a much older appearance, and sometimes I swear she’s almost a toddler with the way she looks… and acts!

PS – if you haven’t already, please vote Ayla as the cutest baby in Australia and help her win a People’s Choice Award in the Bonds Australia Baby Photo Comp…. Thanks in advance!

Click here to vote

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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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Head shakes

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Wednesday, 15 January 2014: Two Hundred and Ninety Days Old.

We all know Ayla is a happy kid, but recently she’s been getting so happy she can hardly bear it.

Y’know how a kid will smile at someone before having a moment of shyness that causes them to look away?

Well, Ayla has been doing something similar but instead of being shy it’s almost as if Ayla’s afraid she’ll explode with happiness if she doesn’t look away.

It starts off as a grin, usually at Hubby or I after we’ve been away from her for a while, but Ayla’s grin quickly becomes a wide splitting smile.

Then it’s as if Ayla is just so overwhelmingly happy that she can’t possibly keep eye contact with us for a moment more, and instead she turns her head away on an angle just like a sky kid would.

But no sooner has she looked away Ayla peeks back at us, then looks away again, then looks back, and this goes on and on at a crazy speed until Ayla’s head is shaking so hard I worry it’s about to fall off!

Usually the head shakes are accompanied with high pitched squeals and excited kicks before Ayla finally gets a grip, but setting her off again is as easy as saying “hello”.

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Free smiles

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Wednesday 14 August; One Hundred and Thirty Four Days Old.

Ayla gives out her smiles so freely… a simple glance, a noise, or a flash of colour in the corner of her eye can be all it takes.

Personally, I don’t think there can be many things better than seeing my baby daughter beam at me from across the room, simply because I entered.

Ayla is so pure, so honest, so undeniably innocent that she seems to see nothing but good in the world, and to me she is the epitome of happiness.

One smile from Ayla can make my world turn on its head; she can better any mood, improve any day, enlighten any darkness, with just one single smile.

And the best thing of all is that she has countless smiles to give.