Celebrating Baby’s first year – Isaac

DSCF4196 Isn’t Isaac just adorable? This little man hails all the way from New Zealand – he also just celebrated his first birthday last month. I met Isaac’s mom Melissa about 8 years ago through work but not too long after that her family decided to move to New Zealand. This is one of the reasons why I love Facebook and other social media…. it helps us keep in touch with people who are not so close by and yet it feels as if you haven’t missed out that much! I chatted to Melissa recently and picked her brain about how she has coped the past year. This is what she had to say.

  1. What would you say has been the most challenging part of the past year for you?

The biggest challenge for me was trying to juggle both work and being the best mum I could be. Isaac caught every bug out there so was sick quite a bit which meant my time at work was both limited and precious. I was lucky enough to be able to breastfeed him everyday during my lunch break which for the first few months was awesome however when Isaac was about 9 months old he started suffering extreme separation anxiety. I was at a crossroads and  had to figure how to deal with him being so unsettled without me. About 6 weeks before he turned one I decided to drop the lunch time feed and left work early instead. It worked! He is now much more settled and independent.

  1. What has been the most rewarding part of this past year for you?

The most rewarding part of Isaacs first year was being able to breastfeed him, and it didn’t come without a few hiccups. Unlike with my first son my milk took some time to come in and my supply was initially quite low. However once things improved the bond we shared was so amazing. We live in New Plymouth New Zealand which is a small seaside town of about 75,000 and that meant we live, work and school close-by. This meant I could breastfeed Isaac everyday during my lunch break too.

  1. How do you juggle working while being a Mommy? 

Sleep deprivation has been the hardest on me as a working mum as Isaac was not a very good sleeper at night due to being a very windy baby. Also, still having to cook and clean (without much family support as they live elsewhere) has made working full time extremely taxing! Here in New Zealand domestic workers and nannies are not affordable for the middle-class either. In order to cope I ensured I took a good multi-vitaman and vitamin B complex each morning and then a magnesium vitamin before bed at night which ensures I fall back to a sound sleep once woken by Isaac. Also, taking time out on weekends to just chill out helps heaps. DSCF3919  4. Issac is your second born – how did things differ this time around with Isaac and how different is it to be a Mom of 2 kids? 

This time round I was so much more prepared for motherhood! I was blessed enough to follow my birth plan and give birth naturally without pain meds…I just so much wanted that experience as a women. I was also able to form a bond quicker with Isaac as my recovery was quick and I knew what having a newborn entailed. Having two children is very busy and I now understand how mums of two or three complain of not having any time to themselves. There are more spills and less cleaning and the demands have doubled.

5. Have you done anything special to record baby’s milestones (sitting up, crawling, first tooth etc) throughout this year?  I was given a book from my sister Michele which records all milestones and has been very helpful in keeping track of all the little things one can so easily forget. It has prompts for pics and milestones and now contains a pic of Isaacs first smile, hand and foot prints and much more.

6. Is there anything new that you’ve learnt about yourself since you’ve become a parent?  Like so many parents I have learnt how it feels to love unconditionally! With each child I have been blessed with, I become more of a women and more secure in my identity as I discover more about how to love others.

7. Your baby is now officially a toddler! Are you ready for what this new chapter has to bring – walking, running, talking and the good old tantrums 🙂 ?

The toddler years are the cutest but the hardest for sure! I do feel more equipped this time round however and I am more confident that I will be able to strong boundaries for Isaac. story_image_v2_o_1a26he9lcugi1p621fqusu11dsj23_640_wide 8. Tell me about your little ones first birthday party… how much planning went to it? Did you have help or did you do it all on your own?  Did you have a theme?

 I started planning Isaacs birthday party about 6 weeks out…just started thinking about it really. I usually plan the birthday parties on my own – its much easier that way. I thought about a theme and decided on the party being sailor influenced. I then sent out a save the date to our friends and family here in New Plymouth. Two days prior I took off work to prepare as I do all my own baking for the boys parties. We were so lucky that even the weather played its part and we had a awesome time celebrating this special milestone in Isaacs life. DSCF4158 DSCF4155 DSCF4176  

Celebrating Baby’s first year – Karis Leigh

IMG-20150815-01885Good Morning!

Today we meet the first little girl to feature in this series (which I am very excited about) – the pretty poppet Karis Leigh, who celebrated her first birthday on Saturday! Her mom Luchae, who has the greatest sense of humour, is a fellow blogger over at My Spreadsheet Brain.

I chatted to her about Karis Leigh’s first year of life and this is what she had to say:

1.What would you say has been the most challenging part of the past year for you?

A few days after she was born, Karis Leigh was diagnosed with congenital hypothyroidism which means her thyroid is under active and not releasing enough hormone. Fortunately the doctors picked it up when she was 5 days old and she could begin to receive treatment for it a week later (a pill, crushed and given to her with some milk). Of course I was a hot mess when I found out about it, but now looking back 1 year later, I see how it has not affected Karis at all – we don’t even think about it after she has taken her pill in the morning. Every mom dreams about seeing her perfect newborn baby for the first time. No one wants to hear “I’m sorry, but there is something wrong with your baby!” But I am so thankful that God has her in the palm of His hands and that she is doing well now!


2. What has been the most rewarding part of this past year for you?

Man, I am so proud of myself for breastfeeding for such a long time! I exclusively breastfed for the first 3 months and then started to include a formula bottle after that because I was not pumping enough to leave at home with her when I returned to work. But our breastfeeding journey lasted all of 8 months and it has been the best thing ever! I loved every moment of it. Okay, maybe not the eina moments. But everything else… loved it!

3. How do you juggle working while being a Mommy? 

I am a FTWM and would LOVE to be a WAHM! The juggling takes some acquired skill and serious spreadsheeting! I am thankful that my eldest is 13 years old and that my hubby is very hands on. This makes things so much easier because I have so much help (even though I am STILL the go-to person for just about anything in our house!) I also love our routines. It helps to keep a sense of normalcy when we have a lot going on. I have certain morning and evening routines that I wouldn’t change for anything because it helps me to get all the small stuff (prepping babies food etc.) out of the way so that I can enjoy the big, important stuff (quality time with the fam!)


 4. You are also a blogger – tell me more about it…why you started it… and how you manage to keep it going.

I started blogging in 2011 because I realized that there are just not enough characters in a Facebook status update. I created my blogger account and pretty much just blogged for myself and whoever stumbles across my page, but in Jan this year (while on Maternity Leave), I was chatting to a pal and thought, “you know what? I’ve learnt a lot, I’ve grown a lot and I have a lot to share (and a lot to learn!) so I’m going to share my blog with the world!” And here I am 🙂 I try to blog at least 3 times a week (work load permitting) and I pretty much just say what’s on my mind. The reviews and all of that are pretty cool, but I don’t care much about stats and who is on whose list. I know it’s important and it’s cool to have a lot of followers but I find that to be so boring. I care about sharing the real me and I care about learning from the real people who have something to share after reading my posts. So that is what I focus on.

5.Have you done anything special to record baby’s milestones (sitting up, crawling, first tooth etc) throughout this year? 

I have a “journey journal”… something that I had started to write in from the moment I first found out I’m pregnant. I’m sentimental like that! I write letters to Karis in it, telling her about how me and her dad met and life lessons that I’ve learnt. I write prayers in it and I keep special photos in it. I’ve blogged about it once. It’s such a special way to stay connected to your unborn baby and I am sure it will make a sweet gift when she turns 21! I also do a monthly mini “photoshoot” at home, to document her growth every month.

6.Is there anything new that you’ve learnt about yourself since you’ve become a parent? 

My baby girl has taught me that I have the ability to practice extreme patience. If you know me, you’d know that I am super independent and I prefer doing things myself because I have schedules for dayssss. But my girl has totally turned my world around and caused me to loosen up a bit, which I am sure my husband appreciates hahaha


7. Your baby is now officially a toddler! Are you ready for what this new chapter has to bring – walking, running, talking and the good old tantrums 🙂 ?

I am SO ready! I cant wait to hear what she has to say! We have 2 older boys and all they do is play XBox and talk soccer with their dad, so I am ready for some good ol girlyness!

 8. What did you do for your little ones first birthday?

We had a cake and tea thing for the family. But we put most of the attention to her Cake Smash photoshoot which we done with CutePix on the 17th October. Michelle had some pretty rad ideas, which I loved intensely! 🙂 They included tutus, carnivals and kissing booths! Eeek!


Thank  you Luchae and Karis Leigh for featuring



Celebrating Baby’s First year – Cal


Next up in the Celebrating Baby’s First year series is Cal, who will be celebrating his First birthday on the 29th of October. His Mom Kim has certainly had an adventurous first year with many ups and downs. Kim is a Work at Home Mom (WAHM) making AWESOME felt mobiles (seriously you need to check it out) and also blogs on over at Asher Love.

I picked her brain on her experience over the past year and this is what she had to say.

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Celebrating Baby’s First year – Jax


Next up in the Celebrating Baby’s first birthday series is the gorgeous Jax, who turned one on the 18th of August. He is such a bundle of joy.

He’s parents Emma and Donovan, who are good old friends of ours, just love action hero’s like Superman… so you can imagine their excitement when they found out they were expecting a boy to share this love with.

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