Thursday, November 30, 2017

DIY with mama saigh: Holiday decor.

Has anyone else had their Christmas decor up since November 1st?!



No?! Well, even if you're just thinking about getting your holiday decor out of boxes and up around your home, you still have lots of time. This week, I was back on The Jason Show with some easy DIY home-decor ideas for the holidays that you can do with your kids!

DIY DECORATIVE VOTIVES



WHAT YOU NEED: Square blocks of wood, wood glue, Yoplait Oui glass jars (cleaned and dried), rice, and votive candles

I am officially addicted to the new French-style yogurt from Yoplait. We served them at our 2-year-old's birthday party, and they were a hit. These little Oui yogurts come in their own glass jars, which make adorable wine glasses, or can be used to make decorative votive candle holders. For this project, simply enjoy your Oui yogurt, then clean out the jar, and peel off the labels. I went to Lowes and bought a long pine board for under $3, and had Papa Saigh cut it into perfect square pieces for me. I stacked the square wood pieces, and glued them together using wood glue. Once dry (about 12 hours), I used gold spray paint to give the wood blocks two coats. Once the paint was dry, I super-glued the empty glass jar from the Yoplait Oui yogurt onto the top block, filled it 1/4 full with white rice, and places a white votive candle in the jar. These inexpensive DIY decorative votives are placed around our home for the holidays, and make great hostess gifts over the holiday season!

DIY SNOWFLAKE ORNAMENTS




WHAT YOU NEED: Wood clothespins (the kind with the wire spring), wood glue, spray paint and glitter (optional)

This craft is super easy, and is a beautiful way to decorate your Christmas tree. I got a 50-pack of wood clothespins from Lowes, and had my 6-year-old help me take them apart. Then, you place the wood pieces back-to-back, and use wood glue to secure them together in twos. Once those pieces are dry, you can glue the heads of the wood pieces together, creating your snowflake shape. Once they dry, you can spray-paint them white and add glitter, or keep them in their original wood state. These snowflakes make lovely Christmas tree ornaments, and you can make 7-12 of them for about $3!

DISPLAYING HOLIDAY GREETING CARDS




This is the easiest trick for displaying your holiday greeting cards, courtesy of my friend, hair stylist, and Jason Show Contributor, Jen Senescall. Simply take a blonde/gold bobby-pin, and use it to hang your holiday greet cards to garland. We have holiday garland on our mantle, and use the gold bobby-pins to secure our friends' and families' holiday greeting cards to that. Super simple, and it doesn't damage the cards!

This is our family's 2017 holiday greeting card. We use Minted every year because of their free address printing, good deals over Black Friday, selection, quality, and service. This year, we had photographer Jayme Peterson come into our home to take photos of our family. I could not be more pleased with the results. She was SO wonderful with our kids, and was in and out in about 45 minutes. Mention Minnesota Baby or The Jason Show when you book your first session with Jayme to get 20% OFF!

Jayme Peterson Photography
JaymePetersonPhotography@gmail.com
(612) 298-4447


We also display holiday greeting-cards on our home's DIY chalkboard wall:




INEXPENSIVE GIFT-WRAP

Another easy way to save money over the holidays: Simply use non-adhesive craft paper to wrap gifts. I found a roll at Lowes for under $3, and I'm going on my second Christmas wrapping gifts with it! Let your kiddos decorate the paper to add their own personal touch, or simply add ribbon to the packages to dress them up a bit. You can mix these wrapped gifts in with gifts wrapped in designer wrapping-paper. This craft paper is so much cheaper than the wrapping paper you can buy in stores!

ADDING TEXTURE




It's simple! Just use blankets, faux-fur pillows, stocking, etc., and decor such as real or faux antlers to add texture to your holiday home-decor. I found faux-fur Christmas stockings in the dollar section at Target last year, and some great faux-fur pillows and blankets at Lowes this year. Throw pillows and blankets over chairs, sofas, or even in baskets to add depth and texture to any room.






Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Jimmy is two.

Today, we celebrated our little man's second birthday. I can't believe Jimmy is two years old. We celebrated at home with Papa Saigh's parents, and my sister. Jimmy was so excited about the cars, trucks, and other gifts he received from family. Although we've misplaced our thermometer, I'm pretty sure Jimmy is running a fever, and he was so tired by the time we sang happy birthday to him. He wasn't even interested in his birthday cupcake. Linna was a fantastic big sister today, letting her baby brother have the spotlight. We are so proud of both of our kids. We'll celebrate Jimmy's birthday with family and friends on Sunday at his birthday party. Happy birthday, Baby Jimmy!


Baby Jimmy on his birthday: November 14th, 2015.

Tired birthday boy: November 14th, 2017
Thanks for the gift, MeMaw and PeePaw!
Happiest birthday boy on the morning of his 2nd birthday.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Baby saigh #3: 20 weeks pregnant.

It's so crazy to think that tomorrow (Thursday, November 2nd) I will be halfway through this pregnancy.

19 weeks pregnant with Baby #3.


My last pregnancy. My last baby.

Ugh.

This is such a bittersweet moment, and we've had so many wonderful experiences over the last few weeks.

The most exciting moment was feeling the baby kick on the inside and outside of my belly. At 19 weeks pregnant, I had finished a Coca-Cola in hopes of getting the baby active. I hadn't felt much of anything in terms of movement yet, and was getting a little worried. Well, the Coca-Cola pepped the baby right up, and I felt his or her little jumps and jabs with my hands on my belly, and all the rolling around on the inside. I tried to let Papa Saigh feel it too, without success. I've been feeling these little movements more regularly lately, especially after my morning coffee.

Can't believe we'll have another one of these little faces, come March 2018!


Linna (our oldest) and Jimmy (our almost 2-year-old) are talking more and more about their new baby brother or sister (well, Linna is, at least). I don't think Jimmy understands that there's a baby in my belly, but whenever there's a baby in a book or on TV, he points and says "baby" with a big smile on his face. Linna is constantly asking questions about the baby: "Where will it sleep? What if it's a girl? What if it's a boy? What if it cries?". She's also is beginning to realize the craziness we're about to dive into. Today, Jimmy was being a whiney, fistey, almost 2-year-old, and Linna goes, "when we have three children, this is going to be a disaster."

Well?!

I had my 17-week check-up a few weeks ago, and we made it a family affair. The baby's heart rate was 142. We're waiting until the baby is born to find out if it's a boy or a girl, but this baby's heart-rate points to a boy. All of my bloodwork came back as "low risk" for fetal abnormalities too, which is very good news.

Belly popped SO much earlier with Baby #3.


I'm hungrier than ever, and gaining a ton of weight. Oops. I need to get back to the gym and start being a little more active, but chasing after two kids while Papa Saigh works and travels is pooping me out. I'm not really craving anything in particular, but give me candy, Thai food, or a Caprese salad, and I'm one happy preggo. I'm actually looking forward to being pregnant all winter, because I can basically hibernate and wait for Baby Saigh #3 to make his or her debut mid-March. I already look like I'm 7 months pregnant, and getting comfy is getting more difficult as the weeks go by. I still think there's a hidden second baby in there. I'm also incredibly emotional, which is not like me at all. I cry listening to songs about people falling in love, as I imagine Linna growing up and getting married. I cry whenever I hear any song from Moana, and when the new song "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran comes on the radio. I seriously melt into a puddle of emotions when I simply look at my kiddos these days.

(Baby Saigh #3's heartbeat at 12 weeks.)

After Christmas, we'll be getting bunk beds for Linna's room, so we can slowly transition Jimmy into a "big boy" bed, and into Linna's room shortly after the baby arrives. The plan is to have the baby in our room for the first 4 to 6 months, while we transition Jimmy out of his crib. I hate taking him out of his crib (Linna stayed in her crib until she was almost 3), but I guess Jimmy will be close to 3 years old, come summer 2018 (that's CRAZY to think about). I'm really not concerned, or worried about a plan, to be honest. I feel like I'm so much for relaxed and carefree with this pregnancy, so I'm expecting things to NOT go as planned, and we'll just deal with whatever comes our way. We already have one kiddo in our bed from 10:30 p.m. to sunrise... What's one or two more?! Lol.

Onto the second half of my last pregnancy...

(Cue all the tears.)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

DIY with mama saigh: Last-minute halloween costumes.

This week, I was back on The Jason Show with some last-minute Halloween costumes for all ages, that you can make yourself using things you probably already have at home.



Let's start with our little LEGO...

DIY LEGO COSTUME


Adorable Emma, modeling our LEGO costume on The Jason Show.

All you need for this costume is an empty cardboard box, 6 empty plastic fruit cups, super glue, and paint. Since your subject is going to wear the box, start by cutting a hole for the arms, head, and a large enough opening for the lower body to fit through the bottom of the box.


Next, super glue the empty plastic fruit cups in two straight lines on the front of the box, so they look like the knobs on Legos. Once those dry, paint the entire box and cups one solid color (red, blue, yellow or green work best). Let the costume dry, and then put it on your subject. Ta-Dah!


DIY SPIDER COSTUMES

This costume is super easy to put together. Both mom and baby wear all-black outfits. Then, simply stuff black knee-high dress socks with tissue paper, newspaper, etc. (use what you have).


Once stuffed, pin all the knee-high socks (spider legs) onto a black baby-carrier. If you'd like, place cotton cobwebs on mom and baby.





For the spider hair-do, use a bun-form to put hair in a bun. Then, stick 4 black pipe-cleaners behind and through the bun to look like spider legs. Finally, use tape to stick two larger googly-eyes onto the bun. Ta-Dah!

DIY DINOSAUR COSTUMES

This is another easy costume that you can make at home using a hooded sweatshirt, and Scotch-Brite Sponges (yellow and green color). All you do is cut the sponges into triangles and do a quick stitch on each end to secure them onto the hood, and down the back of the hooded sweatshirt. For the baby dinosaur costume, I cut the sponge in half, and then into smaller triangles.

Smaller/baby dinosaur spikes: Cut #1

Smaller/baby dinosaur spikes: Cut #2

For the bigger/grown-up dinosaur spikes, make sure you cut all the sponges in the same direction.

Final step for both size dinosaur spikes: Stitch onto hooded sweatshirt at both ends of each spike.

DIY "THROWBACK THURSDAY" COSTUME

Grumpy Brecken (LOL!) modeling our Throwback Thursday costume today on The Jason Show.

DIY "BREAD WINNER" COSTUME
Collette modeling our Bread Winner costume on The Jason Show today!


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

CrockToberFest.

Up until about a month ago, I had never heard of CrockTober, or CrockToberFest. One of my neighbors told me about this type of get-together, where neighbors, friends, and family gather to eat, drink, and share crockpot/slow-cooker recipes. Every person or family shows up to the CrockToberFest get-together with a crockpot/slow-cooker dish to share. Guests can also print out their crockpot recipe on cards for others to take home.

This week, I was back on The Jason Show with a couple crockpot recipes, that you can make for your next CrockToberFest get-together!



The first recipe was given to me by another mom, who makes this dish for her husband's work pot-lucks all the time. This Buffalo Chicken Chili is a two-time cook-off winner at her husband's office! I tweaked it a little bit, to make it work for me.

CROCKPOT BUFFALO CHICKEN CHILI

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground chicken
15 oz. can of white navy beans (rinsed and drained)
2 cups chicken broth
14.5 oz. can of fire-roasted tomatoes (drained)
3/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
1 pkg of ranch dressing mix
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp celery salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp salt
8 oz cream cheese

Toppings:

Blue cheese crumbles
Chopped cilantro

Combine all of the ingredients in the slow-cooker (except the toppings and cream cheese) and cook on low for 6 hours. Make sure to mince the ground chicken up with a fork before you turn the crockpot on. Otherwise, you'll have a big block of cooked ground chicken in your chili. Once the chicken is cooked through (about 4-5 hours), toss in the cream cheese and let it melt. Stir often until everything is creamy and blended (about 6 hours total). Serve in bowls, and top with blue cheese crumbles and cilantro.


SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP

Ingredients:

1 cup mozzarella cheese (grated/shredded)
6 oz Neufchatel cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
14 oz. can of artichoke hearts
1 clove of garlic
2 cups fresh spinach leaves (chopped)
1 tsp black pepper (ground)

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and mix well. Then dump into a crockpot, and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Turn crockpot down to "warm", and serve with crackers, ciabatta bread, or veggies.


AUTUMN VEUVE CLIQUOT SPRITZER

Ingredients:

Ice
Lime zest
Fresh cranberries
Veuve Cliquot Rose Champagne

Fill a large wine glass with 5-6 ice cubes, lime zest, a handful of cranberries, and champagne. If you want the best champagne, always go with the Veuve. Another one of our go-to's when it comes to wine: Black Box. My number one wine choice is always a beautiful bottle of a Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, such as Matua or Grey Rock. But a glass of Black Box Red Blend on a fall evening is pretty darn good! Plus, one Black Box holds 4 regular-size bottles of wine. Yes, please!


Monday, September 18, 2017

We had "the talk" with our 6-year-old.

Ohhhhhh I can just feel all the judgment and opinions after this blog post. Yes, you read it right. We (ok, I) had "the talk" (AKA "the sex talk") with our 6-year-old. Was this something we planned on doing.

Oh no.

But a recent conversation that I had with one of my well-respected mom friends, and some research on my part, had me rethinking our whole outlook and "plan" for having "the talk".

(This video cracks me up, because I can see
myself in every single one of these parents.)

In our house, we talk about penises and vaginas as if they were an arm or a leg. Has it always been this way?

Nope.

For the first three years of our now 6-year-old's life, we referred to a vagina as a "who-ha", and a penis as a "pee pee" and/or "wee wee".

Yeesh.

Lesson learned, and we now refer to these body parts by their proper names.

So, why did we decide to have "the talk" with our 6-year-old? I mean, 6 is REALLY young, and does she even need to know what sex is at this age?! It seems like a little bit of a mature subject matter for our "baby".

I was actually at a playdate with a couple moms, one of whom is a psychologist and just an all-around amazingly intuitive human being. She's married and has two kids, who are both fantastically well-rounded little humans. She told me about a seminar she recently attended, where the speaker talked about having "the talk" with your kids between the ages of 5-7. The reason: Kids get the "gross out" factor, and start tuning parents out once they reach age 8. At age 5-7, kids are genuinely curious, and are able to absorb and retain facts, without getting "grossed out". Plus, the older they get, the higher the risk of having your kids hear about sex from their peers, which is almost always the wrong information.

So, when our 6-year-old (who, mind you, JUST turned 6) asked on a car ride home from Target, "Mom, how did the baby in your belly, get there?", I knew this was the point of no return. I could either give her the "God gives us babies" talk, or have "THE talk". I choked back my nerves, and gave her a boatload of information. Now, THIS is one of those moments when I wish my life was a reality show, because I'm sure all the flies on the wall were having a joyous time watching me TRY to keep my composure and act mature.

Baby Saigh #3... The little one who sparked this BIG conversation.

6-year-old: "Mom, how did the baby in your belly, get there?"

Me: "How do YOU think it got there?"

6-year-old: "I don't know, that's why I'm asking you."

Me: "{Dammit} Well {deep breath}, babies are made when a mom and dad who truly love each other, have sex. Do you know what sex is? {Errrrr mah guuuuuurd, is this really happening?! There's no turning back now!}

6-year-old: "No."

Me: "Well, sex is how a baby is made. When a married couple who really love each other are ready to have a baby, they have sex. The dad puts his penis into the mom's vagina, and the dad's penis releases tiny sperm. The sperm kind of look like tadpoles, but are very tiny, and they swim to the egg that's inside the mom's body. The sperm fertilizes the egg, and that egg grows into a baby. Isn't that amazing?! {I was literally dying inside, and seriously wanted to drive off the road.}

6-year-old: "But how does the penis get inside the vagina?"

Me: {OMG, I can't.} "Well the dad's penis just goes in there. But that is only ok when a mom and a dad are in love, want to make a baby, and they're married. {Changing the subject} You know what's really cool?! Every month, a mom's body releases an egg... A tiny egg that you can't see without a microscope... And that egg can turn into a baby. Isn't that amazing?!"

6-year-old: "So you lay an egg like a chicken every month?"

Me: {THANK YOU, my darling 6-year-old for lightening up this awkward conversation!} "Hahahaha, no, but wouldn't that be funny?! Actually, the tiny egg just comes out in my pee if it doesn't turn into a baby." {I'm choosing to tackle one subject at a time. Periods and "the change" talk will come later.}

As we drove home, the two of us laughed at the thought of me laying eggs like a chicken each month, and I let Linna ask me any follow-up questions she had. Her questions were all about the size of a mom's eggs. She wanted to know EXACTLY how big they were. She didn't have any other "how does 'that' get in 'there'" questions... PRAISE SWEET BABY JESUS!

I made sure she knew that sex is something we talk about at home, and that it's NOT something we talk about with our friends, cousins, etc. I reiterated the importance of keeping private parts, private, and how no one is ever able to touch her body in a way that makes her uncomfortable. This is SUCH an important conversation to have, as often as you can. I also made sure that Linna knew she could always feel comfortable asking us about anything, and that she should never feel embarrassed to talk to us about whatever is on her mind.

I have to admit, although I was incredibly uncomfortable having this conversation with my 6-year-old, I'm SO happy that I did. I'm pretty sure Papa Saigh is even happier that he didn't have to be a part of it. However, after our "talk", I did have Papa Saigh let Linna know that she could ask him about anything, anytime.

So, there you have it. I know there are going to be a hundred different opinions on this subject, and even a hundred more judgments about how we decided to tackle "the talk". But, here's the deal: Sex shouldn't be a topic that's avoided (even though it's SUCH an awkward conversation). Especially if you want your kids to be able to come to YOU when they have questions about things they are hearing at school. As much as we want the topic of "sex" to stay within the confined walls of our homes, that's just not going to happen. Kids talk.

One of my mom-friends uses the term "fairy eyes", which I think is incredibly precious. Trust me, I'd love for my children to waltz through this world with "fairy eyes", but that's not reality. And, in the long-run, it's doing nothing to prepare them for their natural curiosity. When my kids get curious, I want me or Papa Saigh to be the first person they come to.

According to Deborah Roffman, the author of "Talk to Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids' Go-To Person About Sex", kids have 5 core needs when it comes to sexuality: Affirmation and unconditional love, information about healthy and unhealthy behaviors, clarity about values such as respect and integrity, appropriate boundaries and limits, and guidance about making responsible and safe choices. This isn't rocket-science, but great things to keep in mind as our kids grow up right before our eyes.

So, have you had "the talk"? How did it go? Or, how do you plan on handling the topic of "sex" with your kids?




* Note: I'm not an expert (duh). I'm just a mom trying to survive motherhood, one difficult topic at a time. Where's the wine?!