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Snow!!

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Monday, 30 June 2014: One Year and Thirteen Weeks Old.

We took Ayla to the snow today, and it was my first time too!!

Oh my gosh, there are no words to explain what a great day we has, and there’s no way I can capture it all in a blog post.

The day was PERFECT for snow. After driving up to Lake Mountain from Melbourne on a mini-road trip with our friends, we stopped in at the last town on the way to get some gear.

The tiny town was buzzing about how great the snow was up on the mountain; just the night before they’d had 30cm fall, and the same the night before that.

We got snow chains for the hire car, waterproof pants and some overalls for Ayla, a couple of toboggans and some snow boots and headed up.

The drive was amazing. Fresh snow on the trees and on the side of the road, then no sooner had we parked the car than it began to snow!

Hubby and Adam had a go on the tobboggans first, while we girls hung out in the cafe, ducking out onto the balcony to feel the snow fall on our faces and crunch underneath our boots.

Then it was our turn on the toboggans and gosh it was fun! Pip hadn’t been to the snow since she was a girl and we raced each other down the slope before having a mini snowball fight at the bottom.

Then it was Ayla’s turn. We tucked Ayla and her snowsuit into the waterproof overalls and three-sizes-too-big gumboots so Hubby could take her down the slope on the toboggan. She loved it!

After three rides Ayla had had enough so we made a snowman at the bottom of the slope and took some photos.

All too quickly it was time to go. Our hire car was covered in snow and our faces were pink from the stinging flakes and within minutes of getting in the car Ayla and Evie were both sound asleep.

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Little Magpie

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Sunday, 29 June 2014: One Year and Ninety Days Old.

Ayla got to hear the barrackers a shouting tonight when we took her to see Collingwood v Carlton at the MCG!

Hubby and I we’re so pumped to be back at The G and so excited to have our mini Magpie in tow.

Ayla was fantastic, a little overwhelmed at first, but she settled in quickly and watched wide-eyed as the crowed cheered, putting her “go pies” move into action whenever she could.

We had fantastic seats, in perfect view of the goals, but with not much shelter we felt the full force of the 6 degree air.

Ayla was warm, in four tops and two pants, two pairs of socks, sneakers and a beanie, and when I produced a warm bottle of milk and wrapped us both up in a rain jacket she passed out for a whole quarter, without so much as a stir.

The walk home was good, although freezing, but Ayla had the best seat in the house tucked up in the baby carrier on her Daddy’s chest, underneath his coat.

PS – Collingwood won.

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Zoo!

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Saturday, 28 June 2014: One Year and Eighty Nine Days Old.

We took Ayla to the zoo today!

Ayla saw gorillas, and lemurs, and pigmy hippos, baboons, gibbons, tigers, elephants and a peacock before she fell asleep.

I think Ayla’s highlight was the butterfly house where there were hundred of fragile, fluttering butterflies everywhere to be seen.

One even landed on Daddy’s hand and Ayla got to touch it ever so gently before it flew off to join its friends.

The butterfly house was also toasty warm, just like home, but outside in the open air it was only 12 degrees.

All of us were rugged up and pink-cheeked, my fingers even turned white and icy so it’s not surprising that Ayla fell asleep while she was tucked up and warm inside her pram.

While Ayla was sleeping we saw giraffes (my favourite), zebras, a snow leopard and a brown bear, and I wish I could have shared them with her.

But, I’m sure there will be plenty more zoos to come and today was just a lovely chance to catch up with our friends and kick start our holiday.

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Flight No.11

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Thursday, 26 June 2014: One Year and Eighty Seven Days Old.

I was anxious about how Ayla would be on the plane today, even though it was her 11th flight in just 14 months of life!!

My concern was unprecedented of course, Ayla was content and happy to sit with Hubby and I, eat snacks, have a couple of little snoozes and push buttons on the built-in screens.

I thought that because Ayla’s walking now she might have wanted to explore the plane and make as many new friends as possible, but it turns out all her previous flying experience has taught her well.

Ayla did have a little bit of ear pain on landing for the first time, and she went awfully quiet when we stepped outside into the cold Melbourne winter air but all in all we made it safe and sound.

My great aunt was waiting for us at our hotel and took us out for tea with my uncle. It was their first time meeting Ayla and it was lovely to catch up and great to start the trip with a couple of friendly faces!

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Australia bound

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Wednesday, 26 March 2014: Three Hundred and Fifty Nine Days Old.

Our little family is Australia bound today.

Our departure from Thailand has come with a strange mix of feelings between being sad that our holiday is over and being a little bit relieved that we’re heading back to the comfort of home.

As Hubby and I sat at the airport this afternoon, after a relaxing morning at the resort swimming, packing and saying goodbye to all of Ayla’s newfound Thai friends, we made a point of listing all the wonderful things we’ve done on this family holiday so the illness that struck each of us down wouldn’t win out.

Ayla met and rode her first elephant and she played putt putt in a dinosaur park that took us through an active (replica) volcano.

Ayla also made destroyed her first sandcastle on the beach, she felt the buoyancy of ocean waves for the first time, she visited Fantasea theme park and even won her first prize on a carnival game!

Ayla hand fed thousands of tropical fish, she saw monkeys and lemurs, and iguanas. Ayla rode in a tuk-tuk, rang the bell in a bar and fell asleep on her Dad’s head.

We also made new friends from the other side of the world, dined in luxury restaurants, floated in stunning swimming pools and relaxed on a tropical island.

So all in all, we can’t complain! It definitely was a great holiday with lots of great memories to bring home.

But it seems the dreaded illness isn’t finished with us yet!

Ayla has had an upset stomach all day despite this being her fifth day without eating solids, and as I write this now in Singapore’s Changi Airport her temperature has climbed to 39.5 degrees…. Only four and a half more hours for red eye flying until we’re back in Australia.

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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!