Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Potty training.

Potty pals Linna and Dora.
At 24 months, we've decided to potty train Linna. We've cleared our schedule for the next three days, and we have one rule: There's no turning back! We got Linna a princess potty, big girl Elmo underwear (thanks Courtney, Bridget & Dave), Mini M&Ms for rewards, Charlie Banana Training Pants (we use these as swim diapers too), and two supportive parents. We're all set to make this a very positive experience for all involved, so here goes nothin'!


Today was quite the learning experience. Linna spent half the day in underwear, and the other half naked. We didn't leave the house, except for a quick walk around the corner to the convenience store to get some M&Ms, eggs, and milk. I asked Linna every 10-15 minutes if she had to use the potty, and walked her into the bathroom every 45 minutes or so if she wouldn't go in there on her own. She did a really good job actually peeing in the potty, and she did a poop in the potty before she went to bed! We had LOTS of accidents though: on the couch, on the floor (thank goodness for Singapore's marble floors), in her underwear, and in her bed. Every time she would have an accident, I wouldn't get mad or upset. Instead, I would show her that I was disappointed, explain that we only potty on the potty chair, and walk her into the bathroom to finish the job on her potty chair. By the end of the day, Linna was catching herself during an accident. She would do a little dribble on the floor, then say "uh oh", and we'd rush into the bathroom. She totally gets that accidents are "bad", because after it happens she says, "no potty in underwears". We give her one M&M for a pee in the potty, and two for a poop, even if she starts with an accident. If she can finish the job on the potty chair, she gets a reward. We are making this experience as positive as possible, with lots of praise, singing, and potty dances. Potty training is definitely testing my patience though. We've spent so much time in the bathroom reading books, playing on the Nabi, washing the potty out, doing laundry... only to have Linna pee on the floor. But we're only on day #1. I put Linna in a Charlie Banana Training Pants during her afternoon nap, and as I expected, she wet the bed during her three-hour sleep. We put her in an actual diaper at night, and AJ took her to the potty as soon as she woke up this morning.

Even after all the accidents today, we're not going back to diapers. Linna is totally ready to be potty-trained, and it's not going to happen over-night. Time to start another diaper-free day!

Playing on her Nabi while she does
her big job on her potty.

We're making progress! No accidents today, other than a random turd on the floor:) This afternoon while I was doing dishes in the kitchen, Linna went into the bathroom to poop on her potty all by herself. When she was finished, she came to get me saying, "poo poo on potty". I thought she was telling me that she needed to go poop, so I raced into the bathroom with her, only to find that she had already done it (one big poop in her potty, and a turd on the floor)! She looked a little disappointed that she pooped on the floor, but I just praised her for going poop on the potty, and reminded her that we should try to get all our poop in the potty (showing her as I picked the turd up off the floor and put it into the potty). Oh the glamorous life of a stay-at-home mom:) I was SO proud of her, and she definitely got her two M&Ms! We're still reminding Linna to go potty every 15 minutes, but she is actually going in there on her own. Now we just need to work on getting her to wipe after she pees, due to the pee dribble-trail she leaves on the floor afterwards.

I put her in some Charlie Banana Training Pants during nap again today, and she did pee in her bed... a LOT. My goal is to have her start waking up from her afternoon nap dry, and I am willing to do lots of daily laundry in order for us to get there. We put a diaper on Linna before bed again last night, and will continue to do so until she has a week of dry afternoon naps. Oh, and Linna hasn't been asking for an M&M every time she pees on the potty, but we do give her one if she asks for it. Weening her off the "reward M&Ms" might be easier than we thought. Off to start another naked day!

Tough work.

I am so incredibly proud of our little potty-trainer. Today, I had to run to the market to get a few things to make AJ's birthday dinner, but the thought of actually leaving the house with a 2-year-old potty-trainer who is still in training, made me a bit nervous. We were going to have to leave the house at some point, so today was the day! I had Linna pee on the potty right before we left the house, put her underwear on, and told her to keep her underwear dry until we get home (being very positive about everything). I think I used the words, "no pee pee or poo poo in your underwear... only on the potty". I packed a towel, some wipes, a plastic bag, and an extra pair of underwear just in case. I gave her a snack to keep her occupied, and carried Linna to the bus stop. To my surprise, Linna made it to the market and back home (about an hour) without having an accident! She even drank her juice at the market and on the bus. When we got home, we both ran into the bathroom, and she sat on her potty and peed! I was SO impressed. This little girl is really catching on! I will admit that while we were at the market, I bought some wafer cookies and gave Linna a few. I kept reminding her that she could have another cookie if she kept her underwear dry. Hey, it worked!

Also, while I was making dinner last night, Linna came running into the kitchen saying "poo poo on potty!". I went to check it out, and she had pooped in the potty all on her own... and this time, there wasn't a turd on the floor! Linna has been going into the bathroom by herself, and peeing without me reminding her (I am still reminding her every 15 minutes or so). She also tells me that she has to go potty if she's in her high-chair eating, and we get right up and head to the bathroom. We are only having accidents during her afternoon nap when Linna is wearing her Charlie Banana Training Pants, so I've been doing lots of daily laundry. We still put her in a diaper at night, and she wakes up really wet, so I think overnight potty-training might be an entirely new challenge. We make sure she goes to the potty as soon as she wakes up from afternoon nap and in the morning, as well as right before she goes to bed at night and before afternoon nap.

This is how she's
been welcoming Papa
home this week:)
On a side note, I'm pretty sure our neighbors think I'm crazy, because I seriously treat every one of Linna's poops and pees in the potty, as if I've won the lottery. There's been lots of excitement in the Saigh condo every hour or so, and I'm kind of thinking I should put a "potty training in process" sign on our door:) Whatever works though, right?!


Linna woke up from a 2-hour afternoon nap with DRY underwear today! While that was a huge success, she also dropped a turd on the floor in her bedroom, and the rest of it made it into her potty. Oops! She was so disappointed, that she actually asked me to put a diaper on her. Poor bug! I explained to her that, "accidents happen, but we should always try to get all of our poop in the potty". Positive positive POSITIVE! She didn't have any other accidents all day, and Linna is doing a great job at going to the potty without us having to remind her. This weekend we're going to a brunch with AJ's boss, so that should be interesting. At a restaurant, with a potty-trainer who's still in training, away from home... sounds like a recipe for disaster. Hopefully AJ will have a job on Monday;)

She's naked a lot these days!
DAY 5 & 6

While Linna was waiting in her swimsuit (one-piece) to go down to the pool yesterday, she had an accident (pee). I give her credit for actually going into the bathroom and sitting on the potty by herself, but the only problem is that she didn't know how to take off her swimsuit. Oh well! She also had a huge accident (pee) during a long afternoon nap yesterday, so I put her in a diaper during her afternoon nap today (I didn't have much of a choice because her training pants were all in the wash or still hanging out to dry). Linna's diaper was COMPLETELY dry when she woke up from her nap today. Go figure! She also had her first skid mark in her underwear today. Linna started her poop grunts while she was playing with me, but caught herself about 5 seconds into it, saying "no poop in underwear", and we ran into the bathroom together. She made it to the potty in time for the big poop! Other than that, she has been going pee and poop on the potty all by herself, without us even having to remind her (we still remind her every so often).

AJ took Linna to the park Saturday morning for an hour and a half while I did some grocery shopping, and Linna made it there and back without any accidents! AJ said he brought Linna to the bathroom twice and put her on the potty, so I'm sure that helped. I did the same thing with Linna when we went out to brunch with AJ's boss and his wife this morning. Again, no accidents! AJ also taught Linna how to pull her underwear on and off all by herself this weekend, so we can start to get her a little more independent when she's actually in clothes. She's pretty much been naked for 90% of the day. Onto another week of potty training!


"I peed on my mom today." - Anonymous 2-year-old
Lots of success, and a couple accidents! For the most part (give or take a mishap or two), Linna is what we like to call "daytime potty-trained". From the moment she gets up in the morning, to the time she goes to bed at night, she is going to the potty all by herself (still without a reminder). In the last week or so, we have had two accidents, and I'm putting the blame on Mama and Papa Saigh:

1. AJ brought her home from the park and told her to go sit on the potty, and poor little Linna didn't know how to pull her pants and underwear off by herself, so she sat on the potty and soaked herself in pee:( Linna is naked in our house 95% of the time, so going potty when she had clothes on was a bit of a challenge. Lesson learned for Papa Saigh:) A naked toddler is a happy toddler!

2. We were at an indoor playground today, and Linna literally sat in my lap and peed on me (not sure when I became a toilet). We had just been to the restroom about 45 minutes prior, but I was talking on my phone, and must have missed her "potty cues". I'm blaming this one on Mama Saigh! This was her first accident in a public place, and a GREAT reminder why we should ALWAYS have a change of undies and clothing for Linna (I had clean undies with me, but no clean bottoms for her today - OOPS!).

We're not really giving her "treats" any more for going pee on the potty (although we still get really excited for her), unless she asks. Poops, however, are ALWAYS rewarded with a treat! We're realizing that either the idea or sensation of pooping on the potty, is something Linna is having to get used to. What we thought was her having some constipation issues, has turned out to be a "fear" or hesitation of doing a poo on the potty. This past week, she didn't do a poo for four days, so I gave her prune juice and Doterra DigestZen Essential Oil drops (I LOVE this line of essential oils). Within an hour, she was doing her anxious poop dance while saying, "no poop on the floor". We ran into the bathroom, and I sat her on the toilet (even though she didn't want to), sang a song while rubbing her back, and after a minute of so, a big soft poo came out. Hooray! The soft poo made me know that she wasn't constipated, but simply hesitant to do her poo on the potty. So, EVERY TIME she does a poo on the potty, we basically throw a party, in hopes that she'll start to get used to the idea of pooping daily on the potty. We're slowly getting there.

We also made the decision to let Linna sleep in a diaper for nap time and bed time. Linna has always been an amazing sleeper, but ever since we started having her sleep in her training pants, her nap times have been cut in half, because she'd often wake up and yell for me to take her to the potty to pee (and once she's up, she's up!). That's a no-go for Mama Saigh, as nap time is my only ME time! Call it a selfish decision, but when you have a 2-year-old who takes a 2 to 3-hour nap, and sleeps from 8 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., you want to keep it that way for as long as possible. Plus, she's an all-around happier kiddo when she's had a good sleep, and most of the time she's waking up with a dry diaper after her nap! Dry sleeps are something I'm not too concerned about at the moment.

Overall, I think Linna is doing great, and we've cut down on diapers (only two a day)! Now we just have to get Linna to realize that she's not the little boy from The Jungle Book, and that she should start getting used to the idea of wearing clothes. My neighbors must think we can't afford clothes for her, when they see her darting out the front door, or hanging out on the balcony in the nude. Naked or fully-clothed, we are VERY proud of our little bug!

Random "poo" question: Linna had a poo last week that was half white (or a light clay color) and half normal. Just happened once, and now we're back to normal-colored poos so I'm no longer worried. Anyone else ever experienced this???


After about a week of "beating myself up" over the question of whether or not we started potty-training Linna too early, I am extremely confident in saying that I think we made the right decision. We had to deal with a lot of issues during the last month of potty-training (i.e. shorter naps, waking up at night, accidents, an over-tired two-year-old, etc.), but everything was a learning experience, and we now have a potty-trained two-year-old! Linna wears underwear all day, and a pull-up diaper during nap and at night. We haven't had an accident in over three weeks! I am so happy we didn't just "give up" and try to potty-train later. I'll admit, having a kid in diapers is SO much easier than CONSTANTLY reminding them about going to the bathroom, and cleaning up after accidents all day, but now that we are confident with Linna's bladder control, all is good! While I was worried that Linna was stressed out and waking up from her afternoon nap and at night (something she had never done before) because she had to pee or poop, that was simply resolved by us putting Linna in a diaper during naps and at bedtime, and explaining to her that it's ok for her to potty in her diaper if she's sleeping. We still reminder her of this every night. Linna is still sleeping in a crib, is back to her two-hour afternoon naps, and sleeping through the night again (yippy!). I know that she'll have an accident at some point, and that's ok because accidents happen. However, I don't like fearing a public accident though. Been there, done that. Bottom line is that I'm less stressed about potty-training, happy we stuck with it, and learned a lot in the end. Three things I learned for next time...

1. Wait until they're three years old. Two-year-olds can be potty-trained, there's just really no "need" for it. Remember, life in diapers is much more convenient:)
2. Once you start, don't go back. Stick with it!
3. Don't worry about night-time and nap-time potty-training at first, especially if you start at two years old. Little kids need their sleep, and they don't need to have their sleep interrupted by stress or worry about having an accident. A tired kid is a crabby kid.

Now, we just have to work on Linna wearing clothes in the house. It's still "nudist central" in the Saigh household... just for Linna of course;)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fatty's restaurant in singapore.

Best egg roll I've ever eaten!

If you're looking for affordable and amazingly delicious food in Singapore, without having to sit in a stuffy restaurant, Wing Seong Fatty's Restaurant (AKA Fatty's) is the place to go! I can't find a website or Facebook page for it, so it's kind of known as one of those hidden little gems that you have to discover for yourself. I have been in LOVE with Fatty's, ever since we visited the Bencoolen Street location with some of AJ's co-workers a few months ago. Linna even enjoyed us on this food adventure, but didn't eat much, as she was too busy checking out the busy outdoor restaurant happenings.

The egg rolls were to die for, and every fish and meat dish I tried was seriously outstanding! Lots of Australians frequent this casual restaurant, and it is always pretty packed during dinner time. This is authentic Chinese food at it's best, and I never felt like I was stepping too far outside my taste bud's "comfort zone", if you know what I mean. This is a great, local restaurant to take visitors to, and you'll never have to worry about them going home hungry! We can't wait to go back.

Quinny yezz stroller review.

I love the look of this new light-weight umbrella stroller by Quinny! The Quinny Yezz really is incredibly easy to carry, push, and collapse. I wish this stroller had more storage, as it only has one storage pocket on the back of the seat that can hold up to 4.5 lbs. The colorful, water-repellent fabrics are changeable, and you can easily wipe away any spills. The Yezz will carry your child from 6 months, up to 40 lbs., and it is really easy to maneuver. At $279, it is a more expensive umbrella stroller, but it is one of the most convenient strollers I've used to get on and off buses in Singapore! Overall, the Yezz is a great stroller for those who travel a lot, and/or use public transportation.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Nabi puzzle genius.

For months now, Linna has been handing us her Nabi when the "puzzle game" pops up. She'll say, "Mama/Papa do it", and since we've always thought the puzzles were a bit too tough/advanced for her, we would help her with them (always showing her how to do it in the process). It's hard to see in this video, but these puzzle pieces are very odd shapes (not just simple shapes like triangles, squares, etc.), and she has to drag the pieces into the matching shape that each piece fits in. Tonight while we were having dinner at the hawker center down the street, Linna surprised us by doing one of the puzzles all by herself!

AJ and I were very impressed.

No, Linna doesn't play on her Nabi ALL the time, but it's a great tool to have when Mama and Papa Saigh are trying to have an "adult" conversation at dinner:) We are big fans of the Nabi!

Friday, August 23, 2013


Trying Manneken Pis fries in Amsterdam
(known as Holland's best). Not that great:(
On our most recent trip back to Singapore, Linna and I flew from Minneapolis to Amsterdam, and enjoyed a 7.5 hour layover in the city. This layover was more than enough time to get through customs at Amsterdam's airport, hop on the train, and enjoy a few hours in the city. Our round-trip train ticket was about $8, and an easy (and stroller-accessible) 15-minute ride from the airport to Amsterdam's Central Station (just 3 stops). I totally recommend doing this if you ever have anything longer than a 4-hour layover in Amsterdam.

Linna slept most of the time that we were in the city, so I just walked around, sat at a coffee shop (no, I did not smoke pot), went to see the Anne Frank House, and just people-watched! Amsterdam is so beautiful, and I love all the old buildings, canals, boats, and relaxed atmosphere. It's so odd to walk by coffee shops, only to see people of all ages rolling a joint and smoking pot so freely in public. I was a bit concerned at one point, that my two-year-old was going to get a second-hand high from breathing the air around these shops. Maybe THAT'S why she slept such a long time in the stroller in Amsterdam;)

Even though Linna and I had to experience some unfortunate issues and frustrations with our Delta flight back to Singapore, this visit to Amsterdam during our layover was really relaxing. It made the flight back to Singapore much easier than our regular flight with a quick layover in Tokyo. It's nice to have a "break" in between flights, especially when you're traveling with a two-year-old. This is the second time Linna and I have gotten to experience a different country while traveling back and forth between Minneapolis and Singapore. Although we loved checking out Paris on our last flight from Singapore to Minneapolis, Amsterdam is a place I would love to return to with my husband. The people were so friendly and helpful, and made my "single mom" adventure very enjoyable!

Now, where should we visit next???

They're everywhere.

Passed out in Amsterdam. That's what you're supposed to do right?! ;)

Just a small portion of the line of people waiting
to get into the Anne Frank House. Really bummed
that we didn't get to go inside:(

Lunch with Linna. This bruschetta was amazing! I people-watched for a
good half-hour while Linna finished up her nap in the stroller.

Are YOU responsible for this graffiti?!

Linna on the streets of Amsterdam.

Outside Anne Frank's House in Amsterdam. This is where her family was hiding
out during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. It's unbelievable that human beings
were ever made to live the way Anne Frank was forced to.

While Linna slept in the stroller, Mama Saigh enjoyed some
coffee and people-watching in Amsterdam at a coffee shop.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Turning travel photos into art.

Original photo.

Since moving to Singapore, our family has been incredibly lucky to travel to so many wonderful places around the world. A few months ago, we took a trip to Bintan Island in Indonesia, where all three of us had our first up-close encounter with elephants! I don't think I've ever taken a really close look at an elephant's tail before, so when I saw what they actually looked like during our trip to Indonesia, I had to snap a photo of one up-close. I love the contrast of the colors and textures in the photo, so I had the photo blown up into a large canvas piece to hang in our home.

I had Brilliant Prints in Singapore turn the photo into a 60X60 cm. canvas, and the result is incredibly gorgeous! Art in Singapore is generally very expensive, so for about $200 we now have a piece of art, designed and created by us, and with our own memories behind it, hanging in our dining room. Because our walls are cement, we can't really drill holes into the wall, so I bought a few Damage-Free Wall Hooks to hang the canvas. The piece really brightens up our small dining room, and adds color to our very white walls. Now, we just need to pick a color to paint one of the walls. Any recommendations?

I will absolutely work with Brilliant Prints again in the future, as they handled our order in a very timely manner, and delivered our piece to our home in about a week. Turning family photos into canvas wall-art is a great way to display the photos in something other than frames, while adding life and color to your walls. I'm excited to one day hang this piece in our future home back in Minnesota, so we will always remember our experience living half-way around the world!

The photo turned into a wall canvas.
Hanging in the dining room. What color
should we paint the accent wall behind the canvas?

Brilliant Prints
38 Genting Lane #07-04
Singapore 349553
+65 6842 2571

***Through September 30th, 2013, you can get 20% off your Brilliant Prints order by using the online code "minnesotababy". Enter the code under "special instructions" on the online ordering system.***

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Britax b-agile stroller review.

The Britax B-Agile Travel System Stroller is a light-weight stroller that will take you from birth to 55 lbs. It retails for $250, and is a pretty affordable option for parents looking for an everyday stroller, that also makes a great travel stroller. Check out our video review:

Linna passed out in our B-Agile Stroller.
This stroller has a great recline, which
makes a comfortable sleep for little ones.
We use this stroller in Singapore, and it's a great option when having to get on and off city buses quickly. It's also an easy stroller to use when traveling to, from, in and around the airport. The other day at the airport, my 19-year-old sister was pushing our two-year-old in the B-Agile, and randomly yells to me, "this stroller is awesome!". Pretty strong words for a girl who doesn't have kids, and could care less about strollers. She was really impressed with the ease in maneuverability of this stroller, and I couldn't agree with her more!

One of the best features of the B-Agile is the stroller's collapse and set-up system. It's literally just one quick lift motion! This stroller's handle-bar is lower than our Britax B-Ready Stroller, but both my husband and I got used to it very quickly. Although this stroller works with an infant car seat, it isn't a stroller that be converted to a double stroller like our Britax B-Ready stroller can. Other than those two "concerns", this is an amazing stroller at a pretty decent price-point! It handles really easily, and very durable for being a lighter-weight stroller.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Leaving minnesota very thankful.

With MeMaw and PeePaw at the park.
After spending two months in Minnesota, it's time to say good-bye and head back to Singapore. Part of me is so sad to leave, but Linna and I are very excited to get back to Papa Saigh. We are scheduled to arrive in Singapore on Wednesday, which will be more than a month since we've seen AJ (besides Skype). Needless to say, he is more than ready to have his girls back in Singapore.

I am leaving Minnesota feeling incredibly lucky and thankful. Linna and I are so lucky to be able to share our time between Minnesota and Singapore, and I am beyond thankful to have two wonderful families that take care of us when we're in the states. Both my parents and AJ's parents open their homes to Linna and I, let us use their cars, make us home-cooked meals, and watch Linna for me so I can have some "me" time. I'm pretty sure both sets of grandparents would be more than thrilled to have us living with them "full-time". They take days, and sometimes WEEKS off from work to spend time with their favorite grandchild (she's the ONLY grandchild), and they literally put their lives on hold so they can be with us (well, mostly Linna) as much as possible. I really feel like the luckiest mom on earth to have this kind of support.

I am also incredibly thankful for my husband. Because of him, Linna and I are able to spend every day together, travel the world, and share our time between our loved ones in both the US and Singapore. AJ sacrificed a month away from his girls (including Linna's 2nd birthday), so Linna and I could spend time with family in Minnesota. He really is the best dad and husband, and I'm not sure what I did to deserve to have this incredible man as my other half. I couldn't ask for anything more. Our expat lifestyle isn't for everyone, and many people don't understand how a father can be away from his child for this amount of time. But AJ does it for us. Everything he does is for the benefit of his family. His little girl is his entire world, and I can only imagine how much he misses her when we're 10,000+ miles away. Giving his girls the opportunity to explore the world, and letting us spend time with family back home in Minnesota, shows just how selfless AJ is.

How did we get so lucky?!

Over the last two months, we've had family and friends drive hours from Iowa, fly in from New York, and aunts and uncles take time out of their own lives... just to spend time with US! Linna has been spoiled beyond belief with both presents and love from family and friends. I know she's too little to realize it right now, but I hope that she'll one day be able to look back at photos from our many travels, and realize how many people from ALL over the world, love her so much! It truly takes a village to raise a child, and I am leaving my village SO incredibly thankful to have each and every one of these people in our lives.

We love you Minnesota. See you in November!

("Sharing" ice cream with Bompa.)
With Uncle Scotty at the cabin.
This big hug took two years to happen, but by the way Linna
acted around Auntie Holly tonight, you'd think they were besties!
Looks like one little girl really wants to be a flower girl in
someone's upcoming wedding;) Way to play the game Linna.
Great Grandpa and Grandma Pollard visiting from Marshalltown, IA.

Auntie Lisa visiting from NY.

Auntie Paige home from college in Winona, MN.

At Nana's office getting some work done.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Two-year pediatrician check-up.

Photo on the left is Linna at her 2-year check-up today. Can't believe she was
ever as small as she was at her 2-week check-up in the photo on the right.

Some quick "stats" from Linna's 2-year check-up with her pediatrician today...

Weight: 26 lbs. (55th percentile)
Height: 34.5 inches (77th percentile)
BMI (not sure if she's ever had this measured before): 15.93 Index (35th percentile)
Head: 18.75 inches (It's completely average AJ, so don't worry.)

It's so crazy that Linna has only gained 1 lb. since her 18-month check-up, but she's grown 3 inches! Her head size has stayed the same since her last pediatrician check-up too. She did get the flu vaccine (nose mist), but didn't need any other shots. Yay!

One concern I had when going into this appointment was the fact that Linna gets what we call a "wonky eye" when she's tired. One of her eyes (I haven't really pinpointed whether it's always the left or the right) literally drifts off and out of focus when she's sleepy. It's actually kind of creepy. Linna will like have a full-on conversation with you when she's tired with her "wonky eye", and you'll have no idea where's she's actually looking. Since this happens every day, her pediatrician wants us to have her vision looked at. We had her vision checked when she was an infant, because we were concerned about a "droopy" eyelid, but her vision was tested as "perfect". I'm really not THAT concerned, as I feel it's a "tired thing". However, we don't want there to be an actual issue that isn't dealt with now, resulting in vision problems later. We'll be scheduling an appointment with an Ophthalmologist when we get back to Singapore next week. Stay tuned!

Has anyone else ever dealt with this "wonk eye" at an early age?

Here's a "mild" version of the full-blown "wonk eye".

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Fox 9 segment on making bedtime easier.

Congratulations to MIKE KOLDEN of ELKO, MNYou are the winner of the Nuna Leaf that was featured Wednesday morning on the FOX 9 Morning News! Please email us (minnesotababyinfo@gmail.com) with your address and phone number, so we can confirm get you the details about picking up your prize! Thanks for participating everyone, and make sure to follow the Minnesota Baby Facebook page to find out about our upcoming giveaways.

*** As stated in the rules, the winner MUST pick up their prize at the FOX 9 Studios in Eden Prairie, MN by Friday, August 30th between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, otherwise the prize will be forfeited. ***

(Below is a list of the products featured on The FOX 9 Morning News)

Bedding by Snurk: $79+
Fun toddler beds by KidKraft: Price varies by bed style
Breeze by 4moms: $299.99
MamaRoo by 4moms: $199.99
Violife Rockee Toothbrush: $14.95
Make a "Monster Spray" using Doterra Essential Oils from The Oil RN: Email The Oil RN (sarah@oilrn.com) and mention FOX 9 or Minnesota Baby to get special discounts!
Goodnight iPad: $15.95

Saturday, August 10, 2013

23 months.

Last day being 23 months old. I'm sure Papa Saigh is THRILLED
that she is already flashing the camera;)
This is my last monthly post for Linna. Since she was one month old, I made an effort to write about our memories and milestones each month with our little bug. I am so happy I have these monthly updates to look back on, but now that she's 2 years old, I'll simply write as things/events happen.

At 23 months old, Linna is definitely showing her sassy personality. We've even had moments when we thought she was going to grow devil horns, as she's starting to throw some pretty wicked temper-tantrums. Both AJ and I are trying really hard not to feed into these episodes, and actually get down on her level and try to get her to use her words instead of her piercing cry. If she has a full-blown tantrum, where there's no reasoning with her (without just giving her candy or something), we just let her tantrum. Even in public, I don't care. We want her to understand that tantrums aren't a good way to communicate, but we also know that it's going to take some time for her to learn.

Linna LOVES singing. She loves singing along to songs in the car, and if anyone sings to her or with her, she becomes that person's BFF. Her favorite songs are "Wheels on the Bus", "Twinkle Twinkle", and any one of the "Silly Songs" on this CD that my dad has in his Trail Blazer. Linna surprises us with new phrases every day, which makes me realize how much she is listening to EVERYTHING we say! She loves telling us every move she makes, as she's doing it. She's basically narrating her every move (i.e. "Linna sit down", "Barney go nigh nigh", or "Walking downstairs"). I love her sweet little voice!

Linna loves running, and hates being told "no". She gets the saddest pouty look on her face if you tell her not to do something. She LOVES water, and could swim every day. She learned to swim by herself w/o floaties a few months ago in Singapore, but while we're visiting Minnesota, she's taking swimming lessons as Foss in Chanhassen, where they are teaching her how to flip over to a back-float when she comes up for air from swimming forward. She haven't mastered that skill yet, but it's really important when it comes to swimming safety (helps prevent drownings). Linna loves being in the bath, and practices her back-floats in the tub every night.

She's still taking one nap a day, usually around 1 p.m., and she'll sleep anywhere from 2-3 hours. It's great! She also goes to bed around 8/8:30 p.m. and sleeps until 8 or 9 a.m. Linna will actually ask us to go to bed, and I think it's because she gets to have her "wah" (pacifier) and blanket in her crib. We don't let her have her "wah" anywhere else but in the crib (sometimes in the car and on planes during long trips), and she knows that. I'm so glad we stuck to our guns on this one, because it's helped Linna stick to her good sleep routine. This month, however, I have noticed that she's starting to procrastinate when it comes to bedtime. She'll ask for one more song video, remind me that she has to brush her teeth, ask for more milk/juice, etc., right after I say it's time to go to bed. There are times where she'll fight us at bedtime, but it's usually because she's over-tired, and once she's in her crib and settled down, she falls right to sleep.

Sweetest face in the world.

I have a feeling she's going to be a "cat lady". This is her BFF Lewford.
He is my parents' cat.

Some of Linna's favorite foods are fresh green beans (she likes to eat beans out of the pod/shell), Plum Organics Fruit & Veggie Shredz, mozzarella cheese sticks, pot roast, french fries, oranges, these broccoli cheese noodles that Grammy Pammy makes, strawberries, hot dogs, edamame, Nature's Path Panda Puffs Cereal, and of course any kind of ice cream or chocolate. The girl has a major sweet tooth! She is still drinking whole milk, but we'll probably switch to 2% after her two-year pediatrician appointment. We also give her water mixed with a little juice throughout the day. I put juice in her water because I add a liquid multivitamin to it, and it's not the tastiest multivitamin.

We head back to Singapore in a little over a week, but we have had a great two months with family and friends in Minnesota! Linna's grandparents can't believe how big she got in the three months we were in Singapore. We're looking at enrolling Linna into a half-day preschool in Singapore starting in January, because she's totally ready for that type of environment. She's so busy, and loves learning from other people, while playing with other kids. For the next few months at least, Mama Saigh will be holding this little lady pretty close, because Linna is growing up so fast. She is at such a fun, yet challenging age, and I want to enjoy every second. Before we know it she'll be heading off to Kindergarden, and I am SO not ready for that.

We're looking forward to getting back to Papa Saigh in Singapore, but will miss everyone in Minnesota!

Singing happy birthday from half-way around the world.

Linna's final 2nd birthday
cake from MeMaw and

Linna Jane is one lucky little girl. Not only did she get a big birthday party in Minnesota last weekend, but she got to celebrate her 2nd birthday on at least five other occasions with our family from all over. We had family drive up from Iowa to celebrate with her, Linna's Grandma and Grandpa Specken took her out for lunch on her birthday in Minnesota, and we drove to Mankato on her birthday evening to celebrate with Grandma and Grandpa Saigh, Auntie Lisa via Skype from NY, and Papa via Skype in Singapore. We may not celebrate birthdays the "traditional" way these days, but the way we do it works for us. Thanks to everyone who made each and every one of Linna's birthday celebrations so special!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ice age camp at the mall of america.

Linna chillin' on a bean bag chair
watching the 10 minute Ice Age
movie sequence.
GIVEAWAY WINNER: Congratulations to Lya Hurst of St Louis Park! You have won a family 4-pack of tickets to Ice Age Camp at the Mall of America! Please email us with your phone number and address so we can verify and get your prize to you (minnesotababyinfo@gmail.com). Thanks for participating everyone!

Although we had a pool date planned, clouds and chilly weather rolled in this past Tuesday, so my Minnesota mom friends and I took the kiddos to Toddler Tuesdays at the Mall of America. The theme was a western round-up, so our kids (all under age 4) danced to country music, and even met a princess (she was handing out free toothbrushes)! We took the kids on some rides, and while we were wondering around, this guy who worked at the new Ice Age Camp came up to us and gave us free tickets to go check it out that day. We took all the kids up to the fourth floor, and this experience was really cool!

Admission to Ice Age Camp is normally $10 for kids, and $4 for adults. There was so much for all of the kids to do at Ice Age Camp, that they were completely entertained for an hour (we had to go to lunch after an hour, otherwise we would have stayed)! Camp Ice Age is a touring experience that features interactive activities for kids of all ages, including climbing aboard a re-creation of Captain Gutt’s ice-ship, enjoying games in the Ice Age Carnival, taking a “movie walk” with highlights from the Ice Age movie, and meeting the costume character Sid the Sloth. Linna FREAKED OUT when Sid came out, but the other kids seemed to like him. I loved the movie (about 10 minutes) set up, as they had bean bag chairs all over the floor for the kids and adults to relax in. Our little ones loved the slide, basketball hoops, and the snowflake-making tables in the camp too. I am super happy we took advantage of the free tickets, because this experience was SO worth it! I hope these Ice Age Camp employees are handing out free tickets during the next few Toddler Tuesdays, because I think everyone should check it out! We'll definitely be going back.

Linna with the performers at Toddler Tuesday's Western Round-Up.

Dancing with Mama.

Our crew in the movie theater.

Bauer boys and Mama Bauer playing basketball.

Taylor is obviously impressed by Mama Nelson's entertainment skills.

I wish I would have gotten this employee's name. She was SO great with the kids!

Clark and JJ playing some b-ball.

Linna and Lilah sliding!

Lilah in the tree tunnel.

Just part of the Ice Age Camp at Mall of America.

Trying out the fairy's magic wand!

Jamie and Tay.

Ice Age Camp
Mall of America
Level 4, East