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Homeward bound, for now.

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Friday, 19 September 2014: One Year, One Hundred and Seventy One Days Old

Ayla and I headed home today to see Daddy, The Dog, Cat Cat and the “Ju-jus” (chook-chooks!)

Ayla was so excited to be home, running over to Daddy as soon as she saw him at the airport and gluing herself to his side. Then, when we pulled in the driveway at home and Ayla saw The Dog she gave him the biggest smile and a pat, and later when she saw our cat lounging under the outdoor setting she squealed Cat Cat, pointed and ran on the spot in excitement.

The cutest was seeing Ayla go inside and rediscover all her toys! Ayla ran straight to her little piano, pulled out the stool and bashed on the keys for a few minutes, then toddled over to her toybox and touched everything in her reach. Best of all though was when Ayla layed eyes on her little couch – her most very favourite thing of all! Ayla screeched with delight and plonked herself down, grinning from ear to ear as she looked from me to Hubby and back again.

Ayla excitement about being home meant that an afternoon nap was completely out of the question, so instead she joined Hubby and I out in the yard as we caught up on some gardening. After three weeks of beautiful, crisp spring weather it didn’t take long for home’s 36 degree heat and build-up humidity to have an affect on Ayla, flushing her cheeks pinky-red and putting tiny beads of baby sweat on her top lip.

When bedtime finally rolled around Ayla was pooped but happy, and I was looking forward to a night in my own bed! It felt like we’d accomplished the first leg of an endurance marathon and I relished the chance for some routine and normalcy, even if it’s just for a couple of weeks before returning interstate for the next lot of tests. Thankfully though, Ayla has taken to her prescription formula easily and seems to love it, so we can at least rest assured we’re actually doing something that might help her in the meantime.

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Reunited

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014; One Year, One Hundred and Sixty Two Days Old.

Ayla was reunited with her Daddy tonight, when he flew down to join us in time for Ayla’s procedure.

Hubby asked that I didn’t say anything to Ayla about picking Daddy up as we headed off to the airport, but I did accidentily mention it to her yesterday and since then every knock at the door or sound upstairs has had Ayla pointing and saying “Daddy?”

We got to the airport early and waited at the gate. Ayla was restless by the time people started disembarking and she was wandering around excitedly, dodging legs and carry on baggage as they hurriedly headed for the baggage collection area.

I saw Hubby well before Ayla did, and he squatted down next to her. Ayla stopped in her tracks and stared at him; studing his face as if to work out whether he was real or not.

Then it clicked. Ayla ran the last two steps towards her Daddy and threw her arms around his neck, refusing to let go. Ayla kept looking back at me, smiling, then patting her Daddy’s face as if to say
“Nawww Mum! Look! Daddy’s actually here!” – so cute.

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One Way Ticket

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Wednesday, 27 August 2014: One Year, One Hundred and Forty Nine Days Old.

Today was Hubby’s birthday and while we had a lovely morning together as a family opening presents and eating pancakes, the afternoon was marred with pre-emptive loneliness.

Ayla and I flew out today, on a one way ticket. Her stomach problems, slow growth and a number of other concerns are still undiagnosed, and our local doctors and specialists are either as confused as we are, or so far under the pump that they care little about finding a solution.

The treatments we’ve so far been prescribed attend to the symptoms, but not the cause, and the stress of the unknowing and the fear of the what-ifs are taking thier toll on our little family.

So, Hubby and I made the decision to take matters into our own hands and travel interstate to where specialist care is more accessible and attentive.

Hubby will join us later, if need be, otherwise Ayla and I will return in a week or so, hopefully with a diagnosis and a cure.

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Back to reality

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Friday, 4 July 2014: One Year and Ninety Five Days Old.

It was back to reality for my little family today, and Ayla didn’t want a bar of it.

When I dropped her at day care this morning, Ayla cried and clasped onto me and wouldn’t let me go. It was the first time Ayla had reacted like that since her first few weeks of day care and it was heartbreaking.

I knew that Ayla loved our week away, having the attention of both her Daddy and I for a whole seven days, but I didn’t realise how much it actually meant to her.

Ayla’s reaction shone a spotlight on the importance of family first, focusing on our own little nucleus instead of all the day-to-day living activities that often steal our attention.

Going back to work (and life) was also a bit of a downer for me. Not because I don’t love my job or because I’m not grateful for the wonderful life we have, but because with life comes distraction and I know what an impact this can have on Ayla.

I don’t know what the answer is… The answer to life-balance.

To keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, to have the money to afford a good education for Ayla, and still finding funds for the things we enjoy means both of us must work.

It also means we have to dedicate our spare time to renovating and property investing, goodness knows our superannuation won’t be much, and it takes time and commitment to continue building our skills so we can maintain our careers.

But, it all comes at such a cost!

Seeing Ayla in tears this morning brought back my desire to throw all our plans and goals and dreams away and head off on an extended family “holiday”; to not worry at all about the future, or Ayla’s future, and think only of the now.

But while it sounds like a wonderful idea and one that could even be achievable, it’s a risky whim that doesn’t address the real issue, it still doesn’t create balance.

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Delays

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Thursday, 3 July 2014; One Year and Ninety Four Days Old.

We left Melbourne today and headed for home, but the journey wasn’t as smooth as we’d hoped for!

Instead of being a three hour and fifty minute flight, we were on board the plane for over five hours.

We were delayed waiting for passengers on another flight and then we were the 13th plane in line for takeoff, which had us waiting on the tarmac for almost thirty minutes.

Ayla was tired and ready for a nap the moment we boarded, but with all the delays I couldn’t keep her awake until takeoff; she passed out in my arms before the plane had even moved.

I was worried about whether or not Ayla would sleep through the pressurisation of take off, given that she wasn’t sucking or chewing anything to help her pop her ears, but Ayla slept like an angel.

Until we were about 20 minutes in the air.

Then Ayla woke up, still tired because we’d got her up early and she’d only had one short nap, and Hubby and I were faced with occupying a one year old for nearly the entire four hour flight.

To say it was fun would be a lie, but it wasn’t awful I guess.

Thankfully we had plenty of toys and snacks to keep Ayla happy and amused but she squirmed and squealed and wanted to run about as much as she could.

We eventually arrived home and Ayla seemed pleased and excited to see The Dog and especially Cat Cat.

I caught Ayla trying to pick Cat Cat up, and after that was unsuccessfully Ayla resorted to kissing her on the head. It was super cute and lovely to know Ayla was happy to be home.

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Luna Disco

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Wednesday, 2 July 2014: One Year and Ninety Three Days Old.

It was the last day of our holiday today, traveling home tomorrow, and this morning we said goodbye to our friends, until next time.

After they left to catch their plane Hubby, Ayla and I headed to St Kilda for the day.

We started off at Luna Park where Ayla rode the carousel with me, the Binky Train with Daddy, AND she went on her first rollercoaster!

Don’t worry though, it was a kids coaster where we say in little elephants that went around and up and down and it was great fun.

After lunch and a cake on Ackland Street we went for a walk along the St Kilda foreshore where Ayla watched mesmerised as skateboarders practised tricks by the beach.

We went back to the apartment for some last minute packing and a nap then caught a taxi to our hotel near the airport.

We found a club nearby and went in for Dinner only to discover they had a kids disco on for the night!

Ayla was in her element, running around and dancing with the other kids, kissing the one baby who was smaller than her, and chasing bubbles as they poured out of the bubble machine.

Hubby and I were beside ourselves with love seeing our baby girl so happy and having so much fun, just like a big kid. It was adorable and a fantastic end to a great holiday!!

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“Fish!”

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Tuesday 1 July 2014: One Year and Ninety Two Days Old

Ayla can say “fish!” and she said it at least a hundred times today!

We spent the morning at the Vic Markets, then headed to the Melbourne Aquarium for the afternoon.

Ayla LOVED it. She is at such awesome age now that she toddled about from tank to tank, pointing and screeching and saying “fish!”

It was so adorable and my heart must have melted a thousand times over.

I think Ayla’s favourite was the coral reef section where there was a mini tunnel underneath one of the tanks that Ayla didn’t want to leave.

She also loved the massive shark tank dome, and she ran from one end to the other and from one side to the other for ages.

At the touch pool Ayla held a shark egg casing and a pearl shell and she touched a sea star.

When we got to the estuary section we kept Ayla well away from the lifelike crocodile model… Just in case!

After the aquarium us girls went back to the room for a rest while the boys hit the Casino, Hubby coming home $200 richer!

So it was our shout for tea and we found a fantastic Yum Cha in Chinatown that proved to be a great way to end an awesome day.