Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Papa pees like this.

For those of you who told me that age three was much crazier than age two... you were so right. Our little Linna turned three years old about a month ago, and this new age-bracket has come with more questions and curiosity than we were ready for. She has questions about EVERYTHING! But it's her latest curiosity that has Mama and Papa Saigh's hair turning grey(er).

This morning when I brought Linna into the bathroom for her morning pee, she turned to face the toilet, and informed me that "Papa pees like this."

I am so so SO not ready for this sh*t.

Papa Saigh was in our bedroom getting ready for work, so I went to ask him if he was aware that Linna knows "how he pees" (we may or may not have erupted into a "silent" laughter at this "very adult" conversation - our maturity level as a couple is subpar at most). Papa Saigh told me that Linna has been overly curious every time he goes to the bathroom, as she tries to sneak a peak at his toilet time. Linna is very much a "daddy's girl" lately, which includes her following him to the bathroom when he needs to relieve himself. I find it absolutely hysterical listening to Papa Saigh try to explain to his little girl that "Papa needs his privacy when he goes to the bathroom", which is of course followed by a million questions from the three-year-old.

While I'm still incredibly immature in many of my behaviors, I am very open, honest, and "mom-like" when it comes to talking about body parts with our daughter. Linna and I shower naked together every day (we don't have a bathtub in Singapore), and she loves to point out where my nipples (AKA "nickles") are, she plays with my boobs and tells me that they're "squishy", and she does a lot of staring at my nether-regions (I can only imagine the terrifying thoughts that run through her head when she's trying to process that spectacle). If she asks me questions about body parts, I answer quite honestly.

Papa Saigh on the other hand, is a bit more reserved about these types of things.

As a mom, I feel it is very important to be consistent about not making Linna feel "bad" or "ashamed" when I see that she's "exploring" her female parts. However, I think Papa Saigh is MORTIFIED by these very natural child behaviors. He's SUCH a protective father, as Linna is his only daughter, so I completely get his thought process (and I love him for it). While each of us might have different opinions about our three-year-old exploring her OWN body, I think we're both on the same page when it comes to Linna's first potential "penis sighting" (gasp).

Whenever Papa Saigh showers with Linna, he wears a swimsuit. I questioned this at first, but to be perfectly honest, neither of us were/are quite ready for Linna to see the male anatomy. Call us naive, crazy, immature, or bad parents, but we're just not "there" yet. Even discussing the idea turns the two of us into immature school kids, discussing "private parts". Tehehehehe.

I know the whole thing probably isn't a big deal. I mean, it's JUST a penis. But how, as parents, do you get "there"? When do you let your little ones see your significant other's private parts? Or is this even a big deal in your home?

I'm not kidding you when I say I am terrified to think about our three-year-old's first "penis sighting". Gaaaaaahhhhhhh!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Four daughters for four days.

We are babysitting for our Aussie friends in Singapore for 4 days, while they travel to Sydney. They (the Bryce family) have three girls age 7, 5, and 3. Throw in our 3-year-old, and that makes Mama and Papa Saigh the "parents" of 4 girls... For 4 days. We spend a lot of time with this family in Singapore, as Papa Saigh works with the girls' dad, and I am very good friends with their mom.

I love this one of all four girls (L to R: Kyla, Macee, Chloe, and Linna). I also
think this is Linna telling me how she feels about having three sisters;)

Day #1: Today, we took all 4 girls swimming, scooting, to the park, and they are all currently watching a movie quietly at 6:30 p.m., while Mama and Papa Saigh are enjoying a couple well-deserved beers. They have to be exhausted after our first day together. I know we are! These girls are hard to keep up with.

I do, however, think it's "easier" having multiple children, simply because they play together constantly. Yes, it's more difficult keeping an eye on 4 kids, but I love the constant playmates our daughter has. I'm so used to having just one child, who is constantly wanting my attention. Papa Saigh disagrees, and I think he aged 10 years today trying to keep up with all 4 of the girls. They certainly are exhausting, but I'm loving being a "mom" of 4 girls! We'll see how I feel after day #4. Here's a video of all 4 girls tonight, after our first day together...

Day #2: Here's the video we shot tonight after our second day together...

As you can see, the secret to my sanity is revealed in this video... The Bryce's helper Vikki. This lady has been with the Bryce's since I met them over a year ago, and she is so great with the girls. She cooks, cleans, and in all honesty, the girls probably love her more than me! Last night, Chloe (the youngest) and Macee (the oldest) had a hard time falling asleep, and they both wanted Vikki to lay with them... Not Mama Saigh:( All four girls love Vikki, and I couldn't be a mom of four girls for four days without her. Well, I'm sure I could, but the girls probably wouldn't eat three meals a day, and/or Mama and Papa Bryce would come home to a disaster of a house, with laundry piled up sky-high.

These girls know how to keep Mama Saigh on her toes!

Macee and Kyla have school all day tomorrow, so it will be nice spending a majority of the day with the two little girls. Time to get these girls off to bed so we can start day #3!

Day #3: Alright, so change "we" (as in Papa and Mama Saigh), to "we" (as in Mama Saigh and the "helper" Vikki). Papa Saigh slept at our condo last night, as he had work in the morning, which leaves Mama Saigh and Vikki to manage all 4 girls. Easy-peasy right?! I mean, come ON... I DO have a helper while I'm babysitting. It's safe to say that I have officially lost control of these 4 little Energizer bunnies...

They seriously DO. NOT. STOP.

The older girls have to be up at 7 a.m. for school. Holy sh*t, that's early. I don't function until 8 a.m. Thankfully Vikki knew the routine, as I slowly dragged my lazy, expat-wife ass out of bed. How do people get up so early?! She had the girls fed, dressed, and on the bus by 7:30 a.m., as I waited for the two little girls to wake up (AKA, I fell back asleep). Poor Chloe (the youngest Bryce girl) who was up all night coughing, was up shortly after the girls were off to school, and my little princess Linna slept in until 9 a.m.

Papa Saigh with the four girls. He's ready for three more, right?!

Kyla's homework helpers... Chloe and Linna.

Last night when Chloe wasn't feeling well, I tried to get her to come sleep with me and Linna... but she only wanted Vikki. Macee (the oldest) also had a hard time falling asleep last night, and do you think she wanted Auntie Melissa?! No, she wanted Vikki. Auntie Fail. I wonder if they'd even ask for me if Mama Bryce and Vikki weren't here. OMG, I can't even imagine doing this all on my own... GAHHHHHHHHH!

After an oh-so-fun night trying to get Linna to fall asleep (she had an afternoon nap), Chloe's cough under control, and the two older girls to go to sleep so they could function at school in the morning...
Day #3 was a bit rough. I took the two little girls (Chloe and Linna) swimming, while the older girls were at school. Vikki deserved a break. I even managed a dual toilet-poop at the pool between Linna and Chloe. I so wish I would have had a third arm to snap a photo of the two little loves, pooping simultaneously in side-by-side toilets. At least it wasn't IN the pool!

Spending the morning at the pool with the little girls while the
two older girls were at school.

We greeted the older girls as they got off the bus around 4 p.m., and all 5 of us went back to the pool to swim, and then a quick stop at the park before bath and dinner time. I was more than ready for a glass of wine and bed at 6 p.m., but NO... these girls just keep on goin'. Thank goodness for Vikki. She cooked the girls' dinner AND had the house picked up when we got home at 6 p.m. I cannot stress the importance of having a second pair of hands around when managing multiple children!

Chloe and Linna. Best buddies!

It's currently 8:30 p.m. Linna is asleep in the guest bedroom, Chloe is passed out on her mom and dad's bed (thanks to Vikki), and Kyla, Macee, and Vikki are all sound asleep in the girls room. I'm enjoying my second glass of wine (the first one had to be poured before the girls' bathtime, because that is a job all its own) and I'm onto my third. I will be in bed by 9:30 p.m.  P.S., I was stumped tonight reviewing 7-year-old Macee's homework, and had to Google the answer. Does anyone else know the plural for "roof"?!

Onto Day #4! I will survive.

Day #4: Well, I survived four days with four daughters... Just barely.

Man did these little loves keep me on my toes. And to add a little more to the mix, the girls' friend Florence stopped by on our last night together. What's one more, right?! These girls played so hard, and although I am completely exhausted, I love that Linna got to experience what life would be like with siblings. While trying to give each of the girls some one-on-one attention, and simply trying to keep up with their day-to-day needs, it's amazing how easily you just "let go" of the things you worry about or focus on when you just have one kid. Linna definitely didn't get as much attention as she normally does when it's just the two of us, which was both good and bad. While I had not one, but four little girls to worry about, Linna had a few lessons in survival. She learned how to use her words when one of the other girls did something she didn't like, and she learned how to move onto something else when one of the other girls invaded her personal space. At one point on day #2 or #3, I looked at Linna and thought, "Oh my gosh, I haven't just sat and talked to, or cuddled with you, like I normally do every day!". I felt like such a bad mom for not giving her the attention she's used to, but she survived, right?!

Linna did her best to keep up with the big girls when we went scooting, swimming, and simply playing. I really think she loved learning how to play "house", catch and raise fairies, and other games from with older girls, but her favorite part of the day was when we put all four girls in the tub together for bath time. These girls could seriously play happily in the bath for an hour.

I'm happy to be back in our Singapore home with Papa Saigh and Linna, but we really missed the Bryce girls today. While these temporary sisters came with 3X the whining, crying, fights, tears, and work for Mama Saigh, I really miss the consistent playmates for Linna. I think I heard all three girls' names a half-dozen times today.

Alright, time to enjoy a little bit quieter house with my one baby girl. It's probably time to start working on some siblings for our little Linna, huh?! :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tired linna helps bake papa saigh's 30th birthday cake.

Alright... so we've sacrificed the afternoon nap in the name of the "EARLY BEDTIME". 

FYI, I'm new to this "no nap" sh*t... and I f-ing hate it. Well, it's actually a love-hate relationship. 

Yes, I love Linna's early bedtime (she's completely OUT by 7 p.m.), but the "over-tired" hours that accompany a non-napping kiddo REALLY make me thankful for wine o'clock.

On a normal day, our 3-year-old falls into her "over-tired stage" around 5 p.m. I think this is known as the "witching hour" (AKA a stay-at-home mom's wine o'clock). But today, when I picked our 3-year-old up from school at 2:45 p.m., the meltdowns began IMMEDIATELY. 

I just LOVE having to explain to our 3-year-old that she can't "drop Papa's birthday cake on the floor" because she's "angry". In Linna's defense, I think she's fighting a common-cold or something, because she's had a runny nose and hasn't been herself lately. 

Anyway, to make a long story short, baking a birthday cake for your husband's 30th birthday is SO NOT FUN with an over-tired 3-year-old.

I miss naps.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Linna's first time playing tee-ball.

We recently signed Linna up for a kids' sports program in Singapore called Ready Steady Go Kids.

She has a blast every week learning how to play new sports, and this past week she learned how to play tee-ball.

This is video of our 3-year-old hitting the ball the first couple of times. We've never introduced her to this sport, which happens to be a Minnesota favorite, and I think we'll need to start practicing a bit at home:)

PS, how do you determine if your kid is a "righty" or a "lefty" when they're using things like baseball bats, golf clubs, etc.? I can decide if she's just a kid trying to get the hang of a new sport, or if she's having trouble hitting the ball with a bat right-handed.

Either way, it's too cute!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Linna sings "jesus loves me".

Our 3-year-old's nursery school in Singapore has been rehearsing for their end-of-year concert in October. On the way home from school today, Linna started singing this song. We aren't "religious" people, but Linna does go to a local church school in Singapore (it's affordable, close to our home, and Linna loves it there). I can't get enough of Linna's cuteness as she sings "Jesus Loves Me", and I'm pretty sure I'll be a blubbering mess at the school concert in a couple months.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ok, you can pee yourself.

Linna (after the pee incident) playing with her pal
Brae from Australia at the Interlace in Singapore.
My 3-year-old and I experienced a "first" together in Singapore today. Remember when I said I would NEVER be that mom who encouraged her kid to poop in an airline seat? Well, I feel like I came pretty close today.

After school, we were waiting for the bus to take us to a friends' place for a swim/play-date (it's literally a quick 10-minute ride), when Linna said, "I have to go pee pee Mama." Normally, this kid has SOLID bladder control, but at this point she was dancing around like she was going to explode. According to the app on my phone, our bus would be arriving in 3 minutes, and there wasn't a restroom in our close proximity. I calmly told my 3-year-old to "hold it", just as I've said to her a million times before. Normally, she can, but this time, I watched the pee start to trickle down her leg. I knew I had to think fast.

"Alright, sit on the curb and pee... in your clothes... it's OK.", I told my 3-year-old, as I looked around to see if anyone was watching, while sweat streamed down my face.

For a split second, I seriously thought about holding her over the garbage bin so she could relieve herself... but that might draw attention to the situation. For a moment, I wished she was a boy so I could quickly put her in the corner, and block her public display of urination from those prying, JUDGING eyes. However, even the failure to flush a toilet is illegal in Singapore, so I can't imagine what type of death sentence we'd receive for my 3-year-old's public urination.

As I searched through my backpack for something... ANYTHING that could help me in this situation (I'm still not sure what I was looking for), a mom with an American accent walked by and asked, "Can I help you with anything?". Trying to look like I have my sh*t together while frantically searching through the backpack for ANYTHING absorbent, I stood up and exclaimed, "Oh no, I'm fine! But thanks so much!". Thinking back on this now, I'm sure she saw my sweaty, disheveled, and frantic state, all while watching my 3-year-old with pee dripping down her leg. Thank you random, American woman... I now wish I would have asked if you had a spare diaper.

With little time to react to the situation, I told my 3-year-old to sit on the curb to relieve herself. That's right Singapore... I am an unprepared mom without a "helper", and my kid peed on your sidewalk! I'm so sorry.

I watched as our bus came around the corner, and within 30 seconds I removed Linna's pee-soaked school uniform, and threw on her hooded towel that I had in the backpack.

That's right, my child pissed on a sidewalk in Singapore, AND walked onto a public bus wearing only a towel. I wish you could have seen the looks I received as I put Linna into her swimsuit on the bus, while trying to stuff her pee-soaked clothes into my backpack... ALL while pretending the whole situation was completely normal.

When we finally arrived at our friends' place, I explained the situation to my fellow mamas here in Singapore, and it really brought me back to reality. This sh*t happens all the time, and as a parent you just have to roll with the punches. However, I'm still 110% convinced that I would never encourage my child to poop in her airplane seat. I promise.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Throwing a birthday party for our 3-year-old in singapore.

Princess balloon centerpiece for Linna from THAT Balloons.
This year, our Minnesota Baby turned three years old in Singapore. So, we decided to host a birthday party for Linna at our condo. If you know me at all, you know that I love going "all out" when it comes to parties... especially when it's a party for my kid. This was my first time planning a birthday party for Linna in Singapore, and it's not as easy as it was organizing her birthday parties back home in Minnesota.

No car.
No Target.
And no family here to help with the planning, and/or party itself.

However, we do have one thing in Singapore that we don't have back home in Minnesota... A POOL! And since Linna is a little fish, we decided to plan a pool party for her third birthday. After doing some searching online and talking to a few other moms here in Singapore, I found a company called Kids Pool Party Singapore. It's a team of children's party-planners and swim coaches that will come to your pool, and provide entertainment and games for kids' pool parties in Singapore. Fantastic!

Everyone starting to get into the pool for some fun with the Kids Pool Party Singapore crew!

Ball toss in the pool!

Since we had kids at Linna's party of a wider age-range (infants to 7-years-old), the staff at Kids Pool Party Singapore worked with me to plan appropriate games and activities for all the kids. They showed up with a TON of pool toys, floaties, boats, etc., and the crew entertained the kids and parents in the pool for an hour. We sang songs, played ball-games, did obstacle courses, and the kids loved going for rides in the big inflatable boats. The crew was SO great with all the kids! I loved that I didn't have to worry about buying, inflating, and storing a bunch of pool floaties, and professionals did the entertaining for me. After the party, they made sure that the pool area was exactly as they found it when they arrived. I would use this company again in a heartbeat, as everyone seemed to have a great time. Plus, they put me in contact with a coach named Garett Lee at Little Swim School, who teaches baby swimming lessons in Singapore. We've been looking for a swimming coach/school here, that can work on swim strokes with Linna. We'll see how that pans out!

Balancing on the floating mat and jumping through hoops!

This was a fun activity for all the kids at the party!

*** Get 10% off a Kids Play or Super Kids party package from Kids Pool Party Singapore,
if you book by November 30th, 2014 and mention "Minnesota Baby". ***

We also booked OG from THAT Balloons for the first hour of Linna's birthday party, after we saw entertainers from this company working at an Easter Sunday Brunch that we took my in-laws to this year. OG made some pretty amazing balloon animals and toys for the kids, and I was incredibly impressed with the princess centerpiece he created out of balloons for Linna. It was so cute to watch Linna's little friends all dressed up in super-hero and princess costumes, running around with balloon swords and balloon animals. With the crazy expensive cost of helium-inflated balloons in Singapore, I'd much rather have a great entertainer MAKING balloon animals for Linna and her friends! The balloons ended up all over our condo, looking like great decorations anyway:)

OG from THAT Balloons giving two little princesses their balloon animals.

Birthday girl Linna and her balloon dog.
OG in action, making balloons for the kids.
(Sorry, but Papa Saigh held the phone the wrong way when recording.)

I decided to make/prep all the food for the party myself, and went the "simpler" DIY route. Cheese and jam sandwiches (not together) for the kids, and a chicken cashew pasta salad for the adults. We also served veggies with hummus and ranch dip ('Merica), an assortment of fruits, popcorn in bags for the kids, trail mix (peanuts, raisins, and M&Ms), lollipops and marshmallows, and just bottled water and juice boxes. Simple items, but it meant me prepping/chopping in the kitchen for 8+ hours the night before the party. My biggest headache was the birthday cake. I found a picture of a princess cupcake/cake on Pinterest that I knew I couldn't mess up, as long as I could successfully bake a few dozen cupcakes, and frost them. The cupcakes (from scratch) turned out as good as one could expect from a beginner, but my homemade frosting attempt was a major FAIL. I attempted the White Cloud Icing recipe that I found on Pinterest, and instead of ending up with a beautiful fluffy icing... I created a liquid catastrophe. I have no clue where I went wrong with this recipe, but it's nothing a trip to the store (reason #185 I miss having a car... and a Target down the street from my house) and a few tubes of store-bought frosting couldn't fix. By the time I was finished putting frosting on the last cupcake, I was just about ready to collapse from exhaustion after all the work I did for this two-hour birthday party... for my 3-year-old.

Birthday party food.

Birthday sign that Mama and Papa Saigh made for Linna's party.

Princess cupcakes.

Goodie bags for Linna's friends with popsicles and candy inside!

My wonderful neighbors Simone and Eva, and my new
good friend Marian. Don't know what I'd do without these ladies!

Linna, her school pal Emilia, and Emilia's sister Victoria. Darling princesses!

Overall, the party was a huge success. Linna crashed for an afternoon nap after the last party guest left, and I think she survived the day on candy, cake, and juice. I know this because of the vomit incident she had while we were swimming with friends later that afternoon:( A good lesson on the importance of limiting our sugar intake, I guess.

Cute gift from Dolly, Brian, Clare and Casey!

Singapore friends.

Some of Linna's pals that we met at our first condo in Singapore.
Happy, sugar-filled birthday girl!

Thanks to all of our friends in Singapore who came out to celebrate our little 3-year-old! Linna received so many wonderful gifts, and it was really nice being surrounded by our "family" here in Singapore on this special day.