Monday, December 31, 2012

New year's eve with a 16-month-old.

It has been one CRAAAAAZY night in the Saigh household. It's 7:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve. The adults are in their pajamas, and we've already done our countdown. We'll probably be in bed by 10 p.m. This is what New Year's Eve is like with a one-year-old... and I love it.

AJ's sister and her husband are here from New York, and we could have all gone out, but we decided to stay home and celebrate with Linna. We dressed Linna up, Skyped with Grandma and Grandpa Saigh, and did a countdown at 7 p.m. Linna got to eat M&Ms, and she had a dance-party with Rosco (AKA "RoRo" - her dog cousin). It was a crazy, crazy night;)

Dance party with cousin Rosco.

Dance party with Papa.

I definitely think it's fun to go out with friends, have a few drinks, and ring in the New Year. But it's also nice to wake up sober with your baby:) Next year we may go out, but this year we thought it would be fun to stay in and watch Linna participate in her first New Year's Eve countdown. Plus we all may or may not have gone out one too many times this week;)

As you can see, Linna wanted to do the countdown again... and again. And we did.

Dance party with her M&Ms.
Happy New Year everyone!!!

No love for auntie lisa.

AJ's sister Lisa and her husband John are staying with us over the holiday (Christmas through New Years Day), and Auntie Lisa has been working really hard on getting Linna to say "Lisa". Linna has said "Lisa" before, but lately she'd rather say other peoples' names instead. Last night, I was going through a photo book that my brother Scotty and his girlfriend Holly made for us last Christmas, and Linna decided to show love for Auntie Paige and Uncle Scotty, but no love for her Auntie Lisa...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Circus performer.

I don't know what it is about putting things on her feet, but Linna does this with EVERYTHING! Shoes, cups, my ponytail holders... you name it... she tries to put it on her feet. She likes to balance things on her head too. Today I caught her with little cups on both her feet and in the air, while she put her hands behind her back like a little circus performer. The "odd" things our little ones do...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012.

This wasn't Linna's first Christmas, but this year was the first time Linna could actually "enjoy" Christmas. Last year, she was only a few months old, but this year she was almost a year-and-a-half, so watching her open all of her gifts was really fun! Will she remember?! Probably not. But it sure was fun!

Linna loves giving gifts to her grandparents too!
Linna was a little sick this Christmas, and thankfully it was just a cold, but she was a little bit of a "crabby pants" over the last few days. We could tell she really wanted to enjoy all of her presents, but she just felt like crap! AJ and I also got to experience what our parents have been talking about ever since we were little... putting Christmas gifts together that include MANY pieces. So much assembly required... WOOF! But, we really are grateful for all of the gifts Linna received this Christmas. She is so spoiled!

What's under there Linna?!

Linna's first trike from Mama and Papa!
Parents of the Year - Mama and Papa Saigh put together Linna's kitchen from
Grandma and Grandpa Saigh.

Rain coat, boots, shopping cart, clothes and more
from Auntie Lisa, Uncle John, and "RoRo" (Rosco).
We celebrated Christmas with AJ's family in Mankato on Dec. 23rd, Christmas Eve with my family at my parents' house on Dec. 24th, and watched Linna open her presents from Santa at our house on Christmas day. Being at our house on Christmas morning is a tradition that we started when Linna was just a couple months old. We feel it's important for Linna to wake up in her house, in her bed, and open Christmas presents on Christmas morning with her family. However, we never anticipated that we'd be moving out of the country for two years in 2013, so we're not sure what the next two Christmas mornings have in store:)

Christmas morning brunch in our home! AJ's family
drove from Mankato that morning to watch Linna
open her presents from Santa.

Papa Saigh and his Christmas bug.

My mom made one of AJ's favorite appetizers (Deviled Eggs) on Christmas Eve.
Linna is really blessed to have so many family members who love her. They all have great taste and certainly know how to turn our Minnetonka home into a mini Toys R Us store;) Thank you to everyone who made Linna's second Christmas so wonderful!

Our sick lil' Christmas bug on Dec. 23rd... runny nose and all.

Happy 2013!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Bilingual 16-month-old.

The other day, I randomly said "Hola" to Linna, and she repeated me. I thought it was pretty much the cutest thing ever, so of course, I got video of her saying it. Since she can obviously speak Spanish (har har)... think she'll pick up a third language in Singapore?! ;)

Cat sounds according to a 1-year-old.

My parents have a cat named Lewford (he's actually my cat from college) and Linna calls him "Meow" (pronounced "maow"). I'm not sure what types of noises Lewford makes around Linna, but this is what she thinks a cat says...

She found this little rock that has a cat's face painted on it, at her Grandma and Grandpa Saigh's house, and she started making this cat noise. She sounds like a dying alley-cat. Pretty cute!

Here's another video of Linna playing with a music app on her Nabi 2 tablet. Can you tell which "cat noises" are coming from Linna, and which ones are coming from the Nabi 2???

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Breakfast with santa at macys.


Thinking about new holiday traditions we can start in our little family of three, this past Sunday, AJ and I took Linna to have breakfast with Santa at Macy's. We all know how Linna's first meeting with Santa went this year, so we decided to give it a second try.

I've heard stories from friends about taking their families to Macy's Breakfast with Santa at Southdale and Downtown Minneapolis, but I had no idea they had one at Ridgedale Center (in our hood). When we walked in, we were greeted by a really friendly hostess who brought us to our table, which was completely set up with juice, color crayons, a high chair, and snacks for our 16-month-old. I really appreciated that we didn't have to wait for the server to bring us these things. Plus, they kept Mama and Papa Saigh's coffee filled, so we were very happy:) As soon as we got there, we were told we could head right up to the buffet too!

Linna loved the food.

Loving watching Santa from afar.

The buffet had the usual delicious breakfast foods like french toast, fruit, bacon, cheesy potatoes, egg bake (so fabulous), a yogurt bar, etc. Everything was really yummy... even the Cinnamon Toast Crunch (which she has never had before) that Linna decided to stick with (it's Christmas, so what the heck). We watched Santa and Mrs. Claus walk around to each table and talk to the kids. Linna would point at him and say "Ho Ho" (my Dad taught her this - so cute). But we've realized that Santa is just someone she wants to see from afar (for this year at least). Mrs. Claus came up to our table before Santa, and she was so sweet. She gave Linna a color crayon from off the table, and Linna just stared at her. Then, Linna started to cry, but Mrs. Claus was so good with her (respecting her space, yet entertaining her at the same time). It's apparent that Linna is intrigued by Santa and Mrs. Claus, but still wants to keep her distance.

We tried.

Before Santa came to our table, he sat at the table next to ours, and talked to the kids there. Linna liked looking at him, but still clung pretty tight to my shirt:) When Santa came over to our table, Linna wanted to get as far away from him as she could, and Santa was really sweet about it. He took a quick photo with us, but as soon as he realized Linna wasn't really "into it" he said "Ho Ho Ho", and made a friendly exit to the next table (which Linna happily watched). Soon after Santa left, the "balloon elf" came over to our table, and Linna was really into her "skills". She made us a reindeer balloon hat (warning us that balloons are a choking hazard for the wee ones, like Linna), and the creation was pretty cool. This woman (elf) was also super sweet, as I watched her walk over to a little girl wearing a crown on her head, and ask her "Are you a real princess?". So cute.

Balloon elf.

Presents from Macy's!

There was also face-painting for the older kids. I really wanted to get Linna's face painted, but we had a long car ride ahead of us (off to AJ's parents' house for Christmas). When we left breakfast, the hostesses gave Linna a cute little stuffed animal, which she loved. I must say that this event was very properly put together. Everyone was very friendly, all the guests seemed really happy, and we can't wait to go back next year. Here's to hoping Linna learns to love Santa at the age of two-and-a-half:)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Linna meets santa.

For the second year in a row, we took Linna to meet Santa at the Hopkins Fire Department's Holiday Party (my dad is the fire chief). Last year was a much more pleasant experience. This year did NOT go over as well...

I have never seen our little Linna so frightened to see anyone in her life. She CLUNG to my shirt and only wanted to see Santa from afar.

But Santa had a present for her. It was Elmo and Cookie Monster (her favs), so she relaxed for maybe 30 seconds. The second she realized whose lap she was sitting on, it was all over.

Thank you Hopkins Fire Department for another great holiday party! It's so fun to watch the little kid's faces every year, as they sit on Santa's lap. Maybe next year, Linna will actually enjoy Santa's presence:)

Linna Jane Saigh: December 20th, 2012

16 months.

I normally write Linna's monthly updates closer to her "month birthday", but I'm a little behind with this one. Linna is already 16 1/2 months old!

First time in the snow with her Papa!

This month, Linna started walking EVERYWHERE! Crawling is SO last month;) She's really on the move and we can't get enough of the way she picks up her feet when she walks. It's almost like she's marching. For the last couple weeks, Linna has been really quiet. Up until then, she was a little chatter-box and was starting to say all sorts of new words. I think she took the last couple weeks to absorb all the new words she's been hearing, because she's back to being a chatter-box. She's saying so many new words, but her current favorites are "Elmo" and "Owl". She LOVES owls and points them out whenever she sees them!

Linna is also really into Barney and Elmo right now. She will still watch Super Why, but she really watches the same episode of Sesame Street ("Maria the Cowgirl") and Barney over and over again. Therefor, I find myself constantly singing the songs from the shows... woof! Linna loves putting hats, or really anything for that matter, on her head and feet. Linna's favorite foods right now are oatmeal, yogurt, mango, eggs, Kashi Breakfast Bars, and anything sweet. She is slowly losing interest in her fruit/veggie packs, but I'm hoping it's just a phase. Linna also drinks about 6-8 oz. (sometimes more, sometimes less) of whole organic milk each day. She eats almost anything, but there's meals that she chooses to skip if she's not hungry. I completely over worrying about her eating every meal. I've learned that if she's hungry, she will eat. If not, she'll eat when she's hungry:) Kids are unpredictable, and we've also learned this with Linna's sleeping routine.

16-month mullet. Pigtails daily are a must!

Since she was very little, Linna has been sleeping 12 hours at night, plus two 1.5 to 2-hour naps every day. This month, I started noticing that she was having a hard time going to bed and/or staying asleep if she did her two naps a day. So, we attempted doing one LONG nap each day. However, when we do ONE nap a day (around noon), she is still exhausted by 10:30 a.m., and by 4 p.m. she is a nightmare! So, instead of freaking out about it, we've decided to let her take two naps a day when we know we won't be home until 8 p.m. or later, and one nap a day when we put her to bed by 7 p.m. So far, this has really been working for all of us! I have realized that when Linna has sleep "issues", it's just a phase. She is still a good sleeper and I'm going to get as much sleep out of her as I can, before she's "over" her naps.

AJ, "So Serious" Linna, and I at a Twin Cities Bump
Club event in December. Photo taken by SMHerrick Photography.
"Potty talk" with MeMaw.

Linna hates being in the car, and we have to listen to kid's songs when we're driving (something I never thought I'd do). She seems to only get irritated in the car when it's just me and her. I've resorted to giving her her pacifier (or "Wa") in the car. She only gets it when she sleeps, and now in the car. I've also noticed that Linna is getting a little "too" attached to me. Even though I'm a stay-at-home mom, we are around other kids and adults every day! She WILL let us drop her off with anyone, so we don't have an issue with "stranger anxiety". However, if I am in the room when we're with family or friends, she is all about being by her Mama. I do my best to stay out of sight when we're around other people, so she has a chance to hang out with her family and friends. But, if she's tired, she is attached to my hip! Linna also points at me a lot and says, "Mama", just to confirm that I am still there. I love her little voice:)

Getting so BIG!

Looking forward to spending Christmas and New Years with our family! Happy Holidays to all of you:)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What does papa say.

According to 16-month-old Linna, her Papa toots a lot. I actually taught her to do this, and showed AJ when he got home from work the other day...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We're moving back to singapore.

Yes, you heard me correctly. The Saigh family is moving back to Singapore!

Linna and her pal's reaction when we told her the news! Kidding... I had
to bribe her with a M&M is order to capture this photo:)

After spending three months in Singapore (August - November 2012), AJ, Linna and I will be moving back to Singapore for two years. Crazy, right?! My husband was offered a position with his company, and it was an offer we couldn't refuse. This was SUCH a big decision, as we're going to be taking Linna away from her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and our family here in Minnesota:( So much thought has gone into this decision, and ultimately AJ and I decided it is an amazing opportunity for our family.

When we first arrived in Singapore, I hated it there. I was EXHAUSTED after a 19-hour flight with a one-year-old, I didn't know anyone, it was hot, and I was homesick. I wrote about our stressful and emotional arrival in Singapore the day after we arrived. However, the more time we spent there, the more I liked it. We actually grew to love Singapore. We made so many friends there from all over the world, and are so excited to get back to see them!

We'll be living in the same condo (different unit) as we did during our three-month stay. It's where a majority of our friends live in Singapore, it's walking distance to AJ's work, and it's in a great location. Our lifestyle there is so convenient for Linna and I, as we can just walk over to our friends' apartments to play, to the grocery store, etc.! Plus, Linna really turned into a little fish while we were in Singapore, so we're excited to get back to the pool:)

All three of us are very sad to leave our families and our home in Minnesota, but so excited for this opportunity to live in Singapore. There's still a lot of decisions to be made, but the plan is for Linna and I to fly back to Minnesota every three months, and we'll stay for a month. AJ can't because of "tax purposes". I will, of course, still be blogging from Singapore, and keep everyone updated as plans are made. I know two years seems like such a long time, but we know it's going to fly by and we plan on making the most of it. At 16-months-old, Linna is a little sponge, and this is a great time to expose her to as many new languages, sights, sounds, etc., as she can absorb. As of right now, it looks like we'll be heading back to Singapore in February or March, but we'll of course keep everyone posted.

I hope Singapore is ready for the return of the Saighs!

Happy holidays from the saigh family.

Although it is another expense during what always proves to be an expensive holiday season, I look forward to sending out our family's holiday greeting cards every year! I love getting our little family of three together for family photos, and sharing our love with friends and family. I also look forward to receiving our friends' holiday greeting cards, seeing their family photos, and receiving updates on the families we don't get to see very often. We proudly post these cards and letters in our house for all to see!

From our family to yours, we would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bump club twin cities's holiday hoopla.

On Sunday afternoon, AJ, Linna and I attended the Bump Club Twin Cities' Holiday Hoopla at My Gym in Eden Prairie. For about $30, our little family of three played for two hours at My Gym, had dinner, snacks, arts and crafts from Creative Kidstuff, family photos from SMHerrick Photography, and there was a raffle with some pretty cool prizes where proceeds benefited Ella's HALO. We had a blast, and thought we'd share some photos from the event with you!

Watching as another little girl hides in the ball pit.
Learning to go under things.
Papa likes to be close by... especially when Linna is being adventurous.
Playing with the big kids.
Circle time.
She sat in the circle for all of five minutes.
On the balance beam.
Center of the circle.
"I will get that ball."
Snacks for dinner.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thankful to have my daughter.

On December 14th, 2012, our 16-month-old
plays with her toys, oblivious to the tragedy
unfolding in Newtown, CT.
It kills me to know that my daughter will grow up in a world where school shootings are a common occurrence. It's even more upsetting to think that 20 babies had to die today in order for me to write this. How many more children are we going to let die in our schools, before something is done?

Do I have the answer? No. However today, as I watched the tragedy unfold on television in Newtown, Connecticut, I watched my 16-month-old play with her toys, completely oblivious (thankfully) as to what was happening. I thought about the future this world holds for my daughter, and I couldn't help myself but cry. I cried for the tiny victims, the parents, teachers, community, and even the suspect in this horrific shooting. I can't even to begin to imagine what the community of Newtown is going through. The thought of losing my daughter... I can't even go there. My heart breaks for every parent affected by today's nightmare. What kind of world are we leaving in, where we allow a person to enter our schools and murder 20 innocent children?

Today was also my mom's birthday. A day where usually we celebrate life, was saddened by tragedy. Today was one of those days that made me realize how lucky I am to have my family. Our daughter Linna has been the light of all of our lives since she was born on August 8th, 2011. I went into labor the day after my grandfather (my mom's dad) passed away. Linna came into all of our lives when we needed a piece of happiness the most. Tonight, my family got together for dinner, to not only celebrate my mom's birthday, but to celebrate LIFE and the blessing of family.

It's unfortunate that we all don't have a constant reminder of how precious life is. It's unfortunate that we only "squeeze our babies a little bit tighter" when something as awful as today's tragedy in Newton happens. I want to feel the way I felt today, every day. I want to realize every minute of every day, how lucky I am to have my daughter in my life. Every child is a blessing, and the true tragedy is that is takes the horrific murders of 20 babies to realize how blessed we all are to have our babies in our lives.

My mom on her birthday with our little Linna.

Yes, I held my daughter extra tight tonight, and yes, I am so thankful for the time I get to spend with my baby girl. I'm also praying for each and every parent who lost a child today. I'm praying that my daughter will grow up in a world where school shootings are a thing of the past, and something she doesn't have to fear. I hope my daughter will one day know the names of the victims of today's tragedy, and I hope she will one day be able to have a strong voice to make changes in honor of these tiny children.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Frustration with mom's camera-phone.

After a few minutes of watching herself in videos on my phone this afternoon, I turned the camera around on my 16-month-old daughter Linna to capture video of her walking around the house (she's really on the move these days). Instead of "doing her thing" in front of the camera, Linna decided to get extremely frustrated by the fact that she couldn't flip my phone around to see video of herself, as we had been doing just a couple minutes prior. She couldn't figure out that I was recording, and that we weren't watching videos. Anyway, I thought the video of her frustration was pretty cute and thought I'd share it...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Healthy green eggs my one-year-old loves.

Linna with her Green Eggs.

Think of it as a dish from Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs & Ham... without the ham. These eggs might look moldy, but they're actually packed with spinach, quinoa, and a little Parmesan cheese! If you use your imagination, I'm sure you could think of a lot of other nutritious foods you could hide in this dish.

Over the last few weeks, I've realized how big of an alliance I have with eggs, when it comes to getting my daughter to eat nutritious foods. I started my "love affair" with eggs a couple weeks ago, when I made my daughter an impromptu Quinoa & Legume Egg-Cake. I was trying to get her to eat healthier after a 19-hour plane ride, where a LOT of junk food was consumed. I realized you can really "hide" anything inside eggs, especially healthy and nutritious foods that kids won't necessarily eat on their own.

My Green Egg-Cake.

My Green Egg-Cakes are simply an egg (I feed Linna cage-free, organic eggs whenever possible), about a half cup of fresh spinach finely chopped (the more you chop, the less likely your little one is to find the stringy spinach in the eggs), about a quarter cup cooked quinoa, and a little Parmesan cheese. Throw it on a warm pan, cook it like a pancake, and serve! When my 16-month-old sat down for lunch, I cut this up and told her it was eggs. She gobbled it up like it was a plain scrambled egg (she loves eggs)! I was a little nervous since the eggs did turn green from the spinach, but she didn't even think twice about eating it. I made about a half cup of quinoa, so I saved the other half (only takes about a quarter cup for one Green Egg-Cake) with a half cup of chopped spinach and a little Parmesan cheese in the refrigerator, so tomorrow's lunch is as easy as mixing an egg with it. Easy-peezy!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday fashions for kids.

Linna's first Christmas dress at age 4 months.

The holidays are so much more fun to look forward to when you have a child. Dressing them up in cute little frocks that no adult could ever pull off, is something moms just do (including me)! Last year, I put my then four-month-old daughter in a frilly, red, ruffly dress, that literally consumed her entire body. Although she looked adorable in photos, I'm not sure it was the most comfortable look she's ever worn. This year, I'm going to be a little more practical (just a little) when selecting Linna's Christmas attire, but it will still be something special. Whether you want to go "all out" or put your child in something a little more simple this holiday season, here's some adorable holiday looks that will have your little one looking festive!


PaigeLauren Baby Classic Union Suit, $44
Mud Pie Reindeer Long Johns, $33-$36


Nautica 3-Piece Plaid Sweater Set, On sale at Macy's until 12/16/12 for $40.99

Tucker + Tate Sweater, Nordstrom Shirt & Joseph Abboud Pants, Nordstrom (prices vary by size and piece)
"Ready in Red" look from Children's Place, Price varies by piece


Marchesa Girl's Floral Dress, $79.99 at Target
H&M Gold-Printed Lace Dress, H&M $9.95
Twirl Party Dress by Tea Collection, $69 (pair with black tights & cardigan for the holidays for a year-round look)
Children's Place Sequin Sweater Dress, on sale for $17.97


My First Weitzmans, Nordstrom for $29