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Uncle

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: Three Hundred and Nine Days Old.

Ayla had plenty of opportunity to catch up with her Uncle Mannan today and it was great watching their friendship grow.

I love seeing my brother grow more and more confident with Ayla every time he meets her.

Like me he’d had nothing much to do with babies until Ayla came along, so naturally he feels awkward and a bit out his depth when she’s around.

But what my brother lacks in confidence he seems to make up for in devotion and I often catch him staring at Ayla or talking to her quietly when he thinks no ones looking.

I also love seeing my brother step outside his comfort zone in order to do “Uncle–y” things for Ayla, like battle with the car seat buckle until it clicks or hand her a toy that she’s forgotten about.

But most of all I like seeing how much Ayla seems to love her uncle, it’s as if she understands he’s more than just a friend and that he’ll have her back no matter what.

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Can you see it?

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Saturday, 31 January 2014; Three Hundred and Five Days Old.

Since Ayla was born her resemblance to Hubby has been so uncanny that I’ve struggled to remember she’s half me!

But tonight at my Dad’s place I came across a photo of my brother and I as kids that gave me a glimmer of hope.

I’m about 3 years old in the photo and try as I might the only similarity I could draw with Ayla was my fair skin and white blonde hair.

But just as I was about to give up and resign myself to the fact she’ll forever be a Hubby mini-me, I glanced at my baby brother.

He must have been a little over 12 months old when the picture was taken and while not identical to Ayla there is no doubting that they’re kin.

Take a look for yourself… What do you think?

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Christmas all over again

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Wednesday, 8 January 2014: Two Hundred and Eighty Two Days Old.

Ayla thought it was Christmas all over again when her Aunty Lez and Uncle Cam and their four kids arrived dsto stay with us for a few days.

It was lovely to have our house brimming over with kids.

Ayla and eight-month old Tilly straight away picked up where they’d left off at The Station; playing happily in a puddle of water and eating fallen leaves (mmm….yummy?)

Ayla watched on intently as her older cousins excitedly made themselves at home, and later in the evening as we were all winding down Ayla relaxed on the couch with a book and two year old Billy.

Seeing how much Ayla loves playing with her cousins is slowly making me feel better about putting her in daycare when I go back to work in a few months.

As much as I hate the idea of leaving her, Ayla gets so much stimulation and enjoyment from hanging out with other kids that I know she’ll fit right in.

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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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Paper? What paper?!

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Monday, 23 December 2013 Thirty Eight Weeks Old.

Everyone’s been telling me that at Ayla’s age she’ll be more interested in the paper than the presents on Christmas morning, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to beg to differ!

We had some friends pop over tonight for a Christmas Eve Eve celebration and they came bearing a gift for Baby Ayla.

Just like when she opened her gift from “Aunty” Ali the other day, Ayla was quick to realise there was a goodie hidden inside the crinkly stuff with Santa’s printed on it.

As soon as Ayla saw a glimmer of the sparkling FisherPrice fish tank she was mesmerised, staring at the piece of present peeking out beneath the wrapping.

I had to help her peel the paper back further, and once Ayla saw the whole gift she started squealing and bobbing up and down in delight.

Paper? What paper!?

It might have just been that Ayla’s “Aunty” Kez and “Uncle” Collie nailed the gift selection, or it could be a sign of things to come.

And that on Christmas morning in two days time, we can expect our little house to be filled with gorgeous wide eyes and adorable shrieks of excitement as Ayla opens her presents.

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Family is family

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Thursday, 25 September 2013: One Hundred and Seventy Eight Days Old.

We took Ayla to her Uncle Rob’s (Hubby’s cousin) book launch tonight where she got to meet some of her extended family for the first time.

Hubby has a huge family; he is one of three kids but his mum was one of seven, so he grew up with countless cousins, uncles and aunties in his life.

I remember being overwhelmed by the warmth, love and loyalty of Hubby’s when I first met them.

It didn’t seem to matter which side of the family you were from, how closely related you were or how well you knew them, family is family and that’s all that matters.

It’s an important ideal that I want Ayla to understand and value, despite living thousands of kilometres away from nearly all her family members.

So it’s no wonder my heart brimmed with love as Ayla was whisked off into the crowd in the loving and protective arms of her Aunty.

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Without a Hitch

Sunday, 23 June 2013: Eighty-Three Days Old.

We arrived without a hitch – Ayla literally slept the whole flight – but I completely forgot to get the nappy bag off the conveyer belt!

After spending 10 mins trying to get off the motorway and turn around we made it back to the terminal just before the last remaining bags were taken to lost property.

THEN it went without a hitch.
Until bedtime.

I didn’t bring the portacot (going to buy one down here tomorrow) so I jam packed the baby bath full of blankets and tucked Ayla in.

But she wouldn’t settle! It’s taken me nearly an hour to get her down which is very unlike her, and now I feel like my eyes are hanging out of my head.

Not sure if its wind, the cooler weather or if she actually knows she’s sleeping in a bath but I hope tomorrow is easier!