Monday, January 16, 2017

Some things just don't need correcting.

When our littles are tiny, they mispronounce words left and right. "Yellow" comes out as "Lellow", and compound nouns such as "fire truck" can spill from their little mouths as "fire f*ck" (two of my mom's favorite expressions from my childhood). As our babies grow, they figure out the "correct" way to say these words and phrases.

However, there are a handful of words that our 5-year-old still mispronounces, and I refuse to correct her, because these personal expressions keep her... Well, little.



For instance, Linna still calls "pancakes", "pan-a-cakes". She's called them "pan-a-cakes" since she was able to put a name to one of her favorite foods. She also says "marsh-yellows" when she refers to "marshmallows", and at the age of 5, the word "maybe" still comes out as "nay-be". Hearing Linna say her versions of these words is especially heart-warming when she's speaking to me like she's a sophisticated 20-year-old.

When Linna was learning how to talk, I pounced on every word that she'd mispronounce, in an attempt to get her to speak "properly". Now, as I watch our first-born grow into a young lady right before my very eyes, I can still see her as my little toddler when she uses her version of certain words.

"Nay-be" one day when she's a grown woman giving her valedictorian speech, the State of the Union address, or her farewell speech as Miss America, she'll still be using her word "flubs". A mother can only dream, right?! No matter what, I'll always be there to make her "pan-a-cakes" in the morning, and put extra "marsh-yellows" in her hot chocolate.

Whatever I can do to keep her little for as long as I can, consider it done. So, "flub" away, baby girl!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Family life-saver: HP instant ink.

I've discovered a game-changer... A MAJOR game-changer for my family.



I don't think there's anything more annoying than clicking the "print" button on my iPhone or computer, only to find out that the printer is out of ink. I've had this happen to me more times than I care to count, and it always happens after I've procrastinated and have something that needs to be printed immediately. With two little ones, I just don't have the time or the patience to put them in the car and drive to the store to buy an ink cartridge.

Last year, we signed up for the HP Instant Ink program. It's an ink replacement service that is seriously life-changing. Let me break it down for you...

- Your printer uses the Internet to monitor your ink usage.
- You pick a plan that works for you (plans are as little as $2.99/month + tax).
- When your ink levels are low, HP automatically sends you a new ink cartridge.
- Ink, shipping, and cartridge recycling are included.
- No annual-fee, and you can cancel or change your plan anytime.
- Use the code INSTANT3 to get your first three months for FREE when you sign up.



I waited to write about this new program until my family used it for at least three months, as I wanted to see if there were any "hidden fees", gimmicks, or issues with the plan we selected. Honestly, I have yet to discover a problem or issue with the HP Instant Ink program. We selected the $2.99/month plan (Occasional Printing Plan), which includes 50 pages per month. We have yet to go over our monthly page limit, but if we do the cost is just $1 for every 15 additional pages. If we find ourselves consistently going over the 50-page limit, we can change to the Moderate Printing Plan (100 pages per month) for $4.99, or the Frequent Printing Plan (300 pages per month) for $9.99. But again, the $2.99/month plan works for our family of four.

Whether we're printing high-quality color photos, or just black text... Our monthly cost stays the same, as long as we stay within our page limit. Also, any unused pages can be rolled over to the next month. Now that we've enrolled in the HP Instant Ink program, we get a FREE month of printing for every person we refer to the program... And you can too. Plus, if you use the code INSTANT3 when you sign up, you'll get your first three months FREE!

This is simply a program that you need to try for yourself. so you can start saving money (save up to 50% on ink), time, and your sanity. I'm not kidding when I say that this program has been a game-changer for our family. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Linna & jimmy update: Surviving winter.

Lately, I've been posting most of our day-to-day videos of our family on my InstaStory (basically a video story-line on Instagram) and SnapChat (look for me at @melissasaigh) accounts. I do this every single day... Multiple times a day. However, I know some of you aren't InstaStory and/or SnapChat users. So, I'm goin' "old school" and sharing some of our recent moments on the blog.

I mean, this blog IS where it all started, right (note to self... more blogging in the new year)?!

Let's see... Where to begin? Linna (age 5) and Jimmy (age 1) got to meet Santa earlier this month, at the Hopkins Fire Department's Christmas party (my Dad is the Hopkins Fire Chief). Linna now looks forward to seeing Santa, but Jimmy has some warming up to do...


Jimmy is now walking EVERYWHERE, and getting into EVERYTHING. But his preferred mode of transportation is still crawling...


Linna put on hockey skates, and hit the ice for the first time this winter (this might actually be her first time EVER on the ice) at our local Rec Center. She LOVES it. This is video of Linna and her friend Paytin (our neighbor), after Linna had only been on the ice for about 5 minutes. In a complete "mom fail" moment, I thought the Rec Center rented skates, so we just brought ourselves.

Nope.

I had to ask some random dad if Linna could barrow his son's skates, because I didn't want to break my daughter's little heart by leaving without getting to skate. I'm so thankful for kind Minnesotans. This dad and his little boy didn't even hesitate to let Linna use his skates for a few minutes before his hockey practice. We bought her some new hockey skates for Christmas. And yes, Linna will be wearing a helmet on the ice next time...


We've also had quite the bad string of luck when it comes to health around our house. Jimmy seems to catch virus after virus this winter, and he's currently trying to bounce back from RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). I feel like Linna was rarely sick as a baby, but Jimmy is a little Petri dish. I guess this is what happens when your second child lives outside the "bubble" that your first child lived in for her first two years.

(This is video of Papa Saigh rocking a sick little Jimmy over Christmas break in Iowa.
Jimmy was so relaxed and wiped out.)

Two sick kiddos, on the ride home from Iowa.
We were all over the place for Christmas this year, but we were able to see a lot of family. We celebrated Christmas Eve with my Mom's side of the family, Christmas Day with my parents and siblings, and then headed to Iowa on the 26th to celebrate with Papa Saigh's sides of the family. 

5-year-old Linna wrote her letter to Santa this year... In the nude... Naturally.

Linna and Jimmy with Papa Saigh's Grandparents (John & LaVonne - AKA "GiGi and Great Grandpa".)

Opening presents on Christmas morning in our home in their Christmas jammies.

All dressed up for Christmas Eve.

Jimmy and his cousin Theda, in their Christmas jammies in Iowa. Jimmy and Theda are named
after Papa Saigh's late Grandparents, Jimmy and Theda Saigh.
Linna and her cousin Bella, in their Christmas jammies. This is a tradition we've continued since the
passing of Papa Saigh's Aunt Jean. She had the kids in Christmas jammies EVERY Christmas.
Over Christmas break, I got to spend some much-needed, one-on-one time with my first born. Linna and I hung out at the Mall of America one day, went grocery shopping, and ice-skating together. Stuff that we never really get to do, just the two of us. While I struggle with Linna's dramatic/diva/challenging personality on a day-to-day basis, having the opportunity to leave the baby at home and just hang out with my girl, makes me appreciate her so much more than I already do. She is seriously THE MOST amazing kid. Everyone else tells me how funny, smart, whitty, and sweet Linna is. It's just difficult to absorb her amazingness when Jimmy demands so much of my attention. Papa Saigh took a week off from work over Christmas, and it's been so wonderful having him home. I'm pretty sure he's counting down the minutes until he gets to return to his "happy place" (AKA, his office), as the reality of my "job" (stay-at-home-mom) is making a strong statement over the past couple weeks.

Matchy matchy. Me and my girl.

While 2016 has been a pretty good year, I'm looking forward to 2017. I still can't believe how big our kids are getting. Wasn't Baby Jimmy a newborn like a few months ago?! Happy New Year, everyone.

Goal for 2017: Get IN more photos WITH my kids.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

DIY with mama saigh: Holiday decor.

It's been awhile, but this week I was back on The Jason Show with some easy holiday decor ideas that you can make yourself. It's not easy being a stay-at-home mom of two little ones while trying to pull together TV segments, but I love doing it! So here you are... Let's start with these pretty DIY snow globes for your mantle...



DIY SNOW GLOBES

Aren't they pretty?! And they're beyond easy to put together. I got these apothecary jars from Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts before Halloween this year, and filled them with white rice (cheaper than fine sand) to create a snow effect. Then, I buried the battery pack of these LED String Lights that I got at Lowes, and TAH-DAH! I have one of these pretties on each end of our mantle.

DIY HOLIDAY CARD DISPLAY



Opening holiday cards is one of my favorite things about Christmas. But, where do you display all of those gorgeous cards once you've opened them? We created a little chalkboard wall in our dining room by mixing regular wall paint (this color is Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore) with powder grout that we found at Lowes (FYI, Lowes can mix almost any color paint in-house, even if they don't carry the brand). This is a great option if you don't want to be limited to the dark chalkboard color of regular chalkboard paint. Just apply a couple coats and you can turn any paint color into a chalkboard wall! Oh, and the deer head is from Target. And one more thing... Minted has some of the BEST holiday cards. Just in case you were wondering.
DIY SNOW-COVERED GREENS



Who knew this process actually had a name?! Apparently, turning your Holiday greens into pretty snow-covered decor, is called "flocking". Well, Papa Saigh and I know how to get a little crazy on the weekends, because last week we stayed in "flocking" on a Saturday night. Haha! All you need is some white paint and some glitter. Then, use a paint/sponge brush to cover your wreaths, trees, and greens with this mixture. Let it dry for about a day, and you now have fluffy, sparkly decor for your home. We used exterior paint for our outdoor wreaths.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

SALE: Mom-life tees (org. $29.99 - now $13.99).

Mom-Life tees - Over 50% OFF 12/7 to 12/9 ONLY

I love my "Mama Bear" top, and now you can get your own for $13.99! Jane is running a sale starting TODAY (through 12/9/16, or until stock runs out) on "Mom Life" tees that were $29.99. The tees come in 11 different sayings, and in sizes S - 2XL. Get them before they sell out! They'd make a great gift for any Mama.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Baby jimmy is walking.

MY BABY IS WALKING!!!



Here's the deal... I love both my kids equally. And now that I've said that... Confession time.

1. I'm pretty sure that Jimmy has been "walking" for at least a week... when I'm not around. My parents and sister told me that Jimmy took 5 to 8 steps while he was at their house this past weekend. Eh, I didn't see it... So, it didn't happen.

2. Papa Saigh told me a month ago that Jimmy took his "first steps" when he was playing with him. He tried to recreate the event for me, but failed. So, if you ask me... It didn't happen.

3. Today (in Mama Saigh's world), Jimmy started walking!!!

Baby Jimmy, 11 months old.
When Linna started walking, I could tell you the second - of the minute - of the hour - of the day that it happened. It was one of my proudest "Mom Moments". We recorded the very second she took that first step. Papa Saigh and I cried together as we watched this historical moment.

It was incredible.

I can put fluffy words and decorative excuses all around it, but the truth is: Our second child's first steps were a much different experience than our first child's.

Today, as I watch my baby boy start to walk, I am overcome with emotions (SO. Many. Emotions). I feel incredibly proud of him, as he takes his first steps toward his independent life. I feel incredibly lucky to have our first-born watch in amazement, as her baby brother takes his first steps. I feel sad (SO sad) to think that these "first steps", might be our last (don't even get me started on this topic). And, most importantly, I don't feel guilty for the possibility of "missing" my baby boy's "first" steps.

Honestly, I have no idea who witnessed Baby Jimmy's first steps. And when I think about it, I'm not 100% confident that I was the first person to witness our first-born's "first steps".

But... does it really matter?!

Knowing that the people who love Jimmy just as much as we do, could have possibly witnessed his first steps, makes me SO proud and happy. If these people felt the happiness and fulfillment that we did, as we watched Jimmy take his "first steps"... That's all that matters.

Because this kind of feeling is what makes LIFE. WORTH. LIVING.



To my beautiful baby boy: Watching your tiny feet make their way across the floor, leaves me breathless. You are an incredible little human. A fiesty, ambitious, determined little human. Your Papa loves you. Your Big Sister loves you. Your Mama loves you (more than you will ever know). SO many people love you.

You may not have been our first baby, but your "firsts" are just as important. We are so proud of you, and beyond thankful to have you in our lives.

You are incredible.

Baby Jimmy: Please stay little.

NEW to little passports: Science expeditions.


While our kiddos are a bit young for this one, we're super excited about Little's Passports' latest subscription for the bigger kids. Science Expeditions is recommended for kids age 9+, and introduces them to an exciting world of science, with a focus on STEM/STEAM principles. Each month, your kiddo receives a package in the mail that includes a comic book adventure, featuring the characters Sam and Sophia. They have a mystery to solve, and of course, fun science experiments. All of the included materials are designed to help kids with problem-solving, observation, and note-taking skills. Give the gift of learning, and the excitement of receiving a package in the mail each month, by subscribing the the newest edition of Little Passports: Science Expeditions.

If you have younger kiddos, check out the monthly subscriptions made just for them, and see why our 5-year-old is a fan.


* This post contains affiliate links, but all thoughts are my own.