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The first year with Maya went incredibly fast, with little milestones rocketing by. We have had some great moments together and built a large number of wonderful memories. From a new born baby, she is now a toddler, which is really just a slightly bigger baby. She is a child with a character all her own, she has a focus like her mums and a grip like her dads, and once she has taken ownership of a set of keys, or someone’s glasses, or a tv remote she will NOT give it up without a fight. In this case even when you win the battle for the object you will lose the war because the tantrum that follows makes this a trap to be avoided.

First Year

First Year

We have learned difficult lessons like it being better to avoid the fight entirely by not letting her grab certain things if you don’t want her to carry them around for an hour or two, but the more applicable DISTRACTION strategy, or Simon’s innovative ‘I’ll swap you this shiny, colourful, interesting object for those boring keys…’. We have also learned that these ideas can meet with some success or complete failure depending on Maya’s mood that day.


The first year was both really long and really short at the same time. We have experienced many changes, but we think all of them have been positive. Maya had her first trip oversees, we have made a lot of new friends, done a lot of new things, attended new playgroups, reorganised our house, and of course had a lot of fun playing with Maya.

Maya has been crawling everywhere very fast for a while, and now she is developing her walking abilities. It has been great to see her taking her first steps, and now trying to string them together to get further without falling over. It is now a worry to see how much she can reach while standing, and she learned yesterday that she can stand on things to increase her reaching potential – amazing and horrifying as well. We just have to keep pushing things further away from the edges of tables, benches, desks, and higher up the walls and the sides of the fridge. I really hope we can keep her from killing herself until she is old enough to know better…Or we need to better baby-proof the house and re-organise the furniture.


For Maya's birthday, she was baptized and I baked two smash cakes. The ceremony was lovely and held in the same church where Simon and I got married. The smash cake was really fun to organize, prepare and be a part of. The idea is to put a cake in front of the baby and leave them to smash it while you take photos. We started preparing Maya one month earlier with small cakes to destroy at home. For breakfast or lunch I prepared little muffins for her to learn to smash and the practice really paid off. The first cake was for a photo shoot we had as a family, and Maya did wonderfully and everybody had a great time. She ate the cake with a lot of energy and made a complete mess of herself - which I loved. The second was at her grandparents house after her baptism and she was much more polite. She enjoyed the cake and made a little mess but not the complete destruction and chaos of the first attempt. It was a wonderful celebration to have and Maya thoroughly enjoyed herself.


When Maya was having her first birthday I was returning to work after one year's maternity leave. It was exciting but also a little sad too. I missed Maya a lot, also all the new friends I had made at the play groups I have been taking her too. We have a new routine now where Maya goes to a home educator named Fi, who Maya absolutely loves. Fi looks after two other children named Levi and Jed, and Maya enjoys spending time with them all. It is great to see them playing together and Maya talking (making noises) with them is really cute. Fi is an amazing lady who does a great job looking after Maya and the others - she seems to have an incredible amount of patience.


Simon and I are really blessed that we can both share time with Maya in this new routine. In the morning he looks after Maya and my turn is in the afternoon when I get in from work. I start really early and can then finish early so I get to share a couple of hours during the afternoon with my little one. Simon does a wonderful job waking her up, and getting her ready for the day. It is funny to see that Simon dresses Maya much more beautifully than me, and always seems to comb her hair with an extreme comb over - which I have taken photos of and will make available. Simon thinks this is perfectly fine, and looks confused when I laugh.


This month Maya and I started selling Avon, which is something that I used to do at home in Colombia when I was younger. By doing this I could help support my mum and I have missed it so much that I have decided to give it another go here in NZ. We are calling it Maya’s business and think it will be a really good experience for her.

It is now nearly Christmas and the New Year will start soon. Even though Maya does not understand this special time we are going to have fun opening presents with her and celebrating what has been a great 2015.

We wish you all the best to you and your families and will carry on letting you know our adventures from next year


Posted by erika_simon 00:05 Archived in New Zealand

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