Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Horseback riding in the country.

When I was younger, you couldn't get me to spend more than a day in the rural areas of the Midwest. Although we have family from rural Minnesota, I'm a city/suburb girl, born and raised. These days, I dream of owning and fixing up an old country house on a farm in Minnesota, raising chickens and harvesting food for our family. I know... who am I, right?! Not sure we're going to find this in Singapore;)

Babe, Niki and Linna.

Feeding the horses. This is one thing Linna would NOT do.
This past weekend, Linna and I spent the weekend at my in-law's house in Mankato, MN. While we were there, the wife (Niki) of one of Papa Saigh's best friends (Al) called me to see if our 3-year-old would be interested in seeing some horses at a farm just outside of town. Heck yes she would! So we all piled into the car on a Sunday afternoon to drive out to the farm. It was a very windy and chilly day, which made the experience that much more "authentic". Linna did ride a pony once before, as well as a ride on a smaller horse that was led by a walking trainer, but she's never actually taken a ride on a horse like she did at this farm last weekend with Niki.



Huge tractor.

Chickens and roosters with fancy feet.
Niki showed Linna how to brush and dress a horse, and helped Linna warm up to "Babe" while she was still a little apprehensive. When Linna watched Niki climb onto the horse, we asked her if she wanted to go for a ride. We were shocked when she said yes, as she'd been a little scared of the horses when we first arrived. Showing absolutely no fear, our 3-year-old climbed onto the horse for an impromptu ride in the country with Niki. Linna couldn't go fast enough, and she didn't want to stop. My anxiety level was on the rise during the whole experience because I know how unpredictable horses can be, and Linna wasn't wearing a helmet. Plus, Babe only has one eye (yes, I'm a judger). I tried my best to relax and just let my little girl have fun, and she loved every second! Looks like we have a budding equestrian on our hands. Thank you Niki for showing Linna how "real" kids live in rural Minnesota.

Love this photo! It looks like it's out of Horse & Hound magazine. Haha!

Ain't no shame in Mama Saigh's ugly frightened-face:) Feeding horses is so weird!

Papa Saigh's Mama (MeMaw), Linna, and Papa Saigh's best friend Al watching the horses.

Monday, October 27, 2014

FOX 9 morning buzz: Fabulous baby gear of 2014.

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/27061082/9-pieces-of-trendy-baby-gear-for-new-moms-and-dads
Mama Saigh was on the FOX 9 Morning News this week with some of the latest and greatest baby and kiddo gear of 2014. Click on the photo above to watch the video in full!

- Bassinest Swivel Sleeper by HALO: Just released this year, the Halo Bassinest is a must-have for moms looking for a way to co-sleep safely. The Bassinest is recommended for infants up to 20 lbs. (9 kg), or five months of age. It swivels 360 degrees to bring baby close to mom or dad. The side wall lowers, making it easy to tend to baby from bed, while mesh walls provide easy visibility and breathability. The stable base adjusts to fit beds from 24 to 34 inches high, and the Bassinest includes three lullabies, three nature and womb sounds, two levels of vibration, a nightlight, and nursing timer with automatic shut-off. It includes storage pockets and stain-resistant fabric as well. This is an excellent sleeper for moms recovering from a cesarean section!

Price: $249.99 at Baby Grand in Hopkins

- Stokke Scoot and Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat: The Stokke Scoot and Nuna Pipa work together as a travel system, but both are amazingly innovative products on their own. Stokke upgraded their Scoot stroller this year, featuring two-way seating with three reclining positions each eay. The Scoot also features a rotating handle bar with three positions, and an over-sized SPF50 protective sun canopy with added ventilation. I love that this stroller collapses in one piece, and can be easily carried with one hand. It's compatible with major infant car seat brands such as Nuna, Maxi-Cosi, and Cybex. The Nuna Pipa is quite possibly my new favorite infant car seat, simply because of its ease of installation, as well as the sleek Dream Drape. The Pipa is suitable from 4 to 32 lbs., and it includes an infant insert in the seat. Its a durable, yet lightweight shell (under 8 lbs.), and the rigid latch system locks the seat into the vehicle more securely than the typical flexible latch. Once the latches click into the anchors, the indicators turn green when installed correctly, and the unique stability leg helps minimize forward rotation upon impact by up to 90-percent. I love the sleek look of the Dream Drape and the ease of its magnet closures.


Stokke Scoot Price: $599 (purchase at Baby Grand, or online at Stokke.com)
Nuna Pipa Price: $299.95 (purchase at Nordstrom, or online at Nuna.com)

- BOB Revolution Pro and BOB B-Safe Infant Car Seat by Britax: The new BOB Revolution Pro Stroller comes as a single or double (Duallie) jogging stroller, and is fully-loaded for all your outdoor adventures. We love the hand-activated rear drum-brakes, and 9-position adjustable handlebar. The front wheel can lock or swivel, and the stroller features an easy two-step collapse.

When used with the adapters, both the single and double stroller are compatible with the BOB B-Safe Infant Car Seat by Britax to create a complete travel system. Our now 3-year-old daughter went home from the hospital in a Britax Infant Car Seat, as it's a well-trusted brand for safety.

BOB Revolution Pro and Duallie Price: $499.99 to $709.99 (purchase at REI)
BOB B-Safe Infant Car Seat Price: $199.99 (purchase at Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby, or REI)

BOB B-Safe Infant Car Seat

- rockaRoo by 4Moms: The rockaRoo rocks like a rocking horse, and is a newer version of the popular MamaRoo by 4Moms. It has five speeds, removable balls for baby's visual stimulation, MP3 plug-in, reversible newborn insert, and it comes in three choices of removable and machine-washable seat fabrics. Our now 3-year-old spent a lot of time in the MamaRoo as a newborn, and we have heard nothing but positive things from friends who have been using the rockaRoo with their little ones. We've excited to see what 4Moms will come up with next!


Price: $159.99 (purchase at Target)
rockaRoo by 4Moms
- Siliskins by Silikids: Coming to a cup near you in November 2014, Siliskins by Silikids is changing how parents serve their little ones beverages. Siliskins turn any glass into a sippy cup or no-spill straw cup! These dishwasher-safe, silicone tops stretch and grip onto multiple-size cups, while air-suction keeps them in place. We love these little life-changers!

Price: $8.95 - $12.95 (pre-order online at silikids.com)

Siliskins by Silikids
- WOW Cups: These cups are seriously leak and spill-proof. Every time I show them to one of my mom friends, the word "WOW!" is heard 9 times out of 10. For parents looking for a smoother transition to a regular drinking glass, the WOW Cup provides an alternative to the sippy and straw cup. Very soon, the adult-sized WOW Cups will be available for purchase. No spouts, no straws... just WOW!

Price: $9.99 (purchase at Babies R Us)


WOW Cups
- Less Mess Happy Mat by EZ PZ Fun: The Less Mess Happy Mat is a brand new product that can be shipped to you just in time for the holidays! Made from a high-quality silicone, this FDA approved, non-toxic mat suctions right to your table, making it difficult (maybe even impossible) for little ones to dump their dishes on the floor. No more miss-matched bowls and plates, and the mats can be thrown into the dishwasher after meal time. Dry erase markers can even be used on the mats for some extra fun!

Price: $24.99 (purchase online at EZPZfun.com

Less Mess Happy Mat by EZ PZ Fun


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Linna's first school concert in singapore.

They day before we flew off to Minnesota, we were entertained by our 3-year-old at her school concert and kindergarten graduation. Linna is in the nursery program at a local school in Singapore, so this concert was done in both Chinese and English.

As always, Linna was adorable in her little costume, and it was so fun for us to watch our little girl on a stage performing for the first time. Although I am a huge fan of all things glitter, make-up, and ruffles, I was kind of surprised by the costume selections for this "church school" concert. I loved that they went with ruffly dance-type costumes for the girls, but I guess I just assumed that the kids would be dressed pretty modest and more "plain". Some of the older boys were dressed in a midriff-showing sparkly top with white pants, which I found to be a bit "different"... but whatever. I was, however, pleasantly surprised with the little girls' costumes.

The concert was late in the afternoon, and lasted almost two hours, so Linna was EXHAUSTED on stage for the final number. She loves singing, dancing, and performing though, so she fought her way through it.

The next day at 3 a.m., we were on our way to the airport to fly back to Minnesota. Nothing like cramming it all in!

(Linna and all the nursery students singing "Jesus Loves Me". She's right in the center.)

(Kindergarten graduation processional.)

(All the students and teachers singing "Forever" for the concert's finale.)

Papa Saigh brought Linna flowers. She was beaming!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ready steady go kids.

Over the last several months, our 3-year-old has been attending the Ready Steady Go Kids sports program in Singapore. Every Sunday, our little family of three hopped in a taxi and headed to Bukit Timah's "The Cage Sports Park" to watch Linna learn some new sports for about an hour. Back home in Minnesota, kids usually start playing tee-ball, soccer, or other sports around this age, and community teams are set up so parents can watch their kids first sports games. This was our Singapore version, and after a fun-filled couple months, we are SO bummed that our term has come to an end!

The kids waiting for the "Big Bad Wolf's" next cue: Jump? Run? Crawl?
(Video of the "Big Bad Wolf" exercise game. Very cute!)

Linna learning to balance during an obstacle course.

The kids learning how to hit a ball off a tee. So cute!

Ready Steady Go Kids is Australia's largest multi-sport and exercise program for kids age 2.5 to 6 years old. In Singapore they have four locations across the island. We loved watching Linna learn how to play tee-ball, hockey, AFL/Rugby, and many others. It doesn't get much cuter than watching a bunch of 3-year-olds running around, jumping hurdles, and learning how to swing a baseball bat or a hockey stick.

(Video of Linna hitting a ball off a tee.)

The coaches and teachers during Linna's term were fantastic! They are so energetic, and are great at keeping the kids' attention during the 45-minute sessions. They lead the kids in cheers, songs, and games that were all focused on keeping the body moving (they do give the kids plenty of water breaks too). Nothing was ever competitive (they don't have competitive games/matches), and it was a fun way for little ones to learn the basics of the sports they may pick up when they're a bit older. Also, since we don't have a field or grassy area for Linna to run a round in at our condo, we took full advantage of having access to The Cage Sports Park. Plus, this is a great way to keep kids active on the weekend, while mom and dad sit back and watch their kids learn and enjoy themselves (we all need a break at some point during the weekend)!

Working on her ice-hockey skills!

Practicing her batting skills with Papa Saigh.

This was so darling! The kids learning how to field a ball.

One of the many fun games they played at Ready Steady Go Kids.

The program also offers sports classes in local schools, and they provide activities for children's birthday parties in Singapore. My hope is that Linna learned some basic skills of the various sports she tried out during her time at Ready Steady Go Kids. Maybe one day Mama and Papa Saigh will be in the stands cheering her on, while she plays for her high school sports teams!

(Video of Linna learning how to handle a football. Haha!)

Ready Steady Go Kids
+65 9855 8221
info@readysteadygokids.com.sg

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How linna says "giraffe".

I love how our 3-year-old says "giraffe". She can say it correctly if you sound the word out on its own, but put it in a sentence... and it's just pure cuteness...


Monday, September 29, 2014

New pool tricks.

Linna can't get enough time in our Singapore pool every day. Here are a couple of her new tricks. Please excuse the excessive noise from the construction next door (so peaceful, isn't it?!).

I've never seen a 3-year-old who likes to be tossed around in the pool like this kiddo does! She has absolutely NO fear...




Monday, September 22, 2014

Linna's new obsession with taylor swift.

Papa Saigh recently said that our 3-year-old needs to listen to more "non-baby songs". Alright, he has a point, as Linna usually listens to songs from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, her favorite nursery rhymes, or other songs with the purpose of teaching her something beneficial... but there's only so much of that sh*t grown-ups can handle. As much as I love and appreciate the message behind Daniel Tiger and his friends singing, "STOP and listen to stay safe", we both needed a break from these annoyingly-catchy tunes.

So about a month ago, I decided to YouTube Taylor Swift's new song/video Shake It Off. It's a new, fun, catchy, pop song, without being inappropriate, right?!

Well, Linna is officially obsessed. It all started with our daughter wanting to sing "Shake It Off" to her Auntie Lisa on her birthday earlier this month, instead of "Happy Birthday"...

(Linna singing "Shake It Off" to Auntie Lisa on her birthday,
instead of singing "Happy Birthday".)

Now, we're here...


... And I think Papa Saigh is regretting ever spouting off his words of music advice.