Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Our 2 1/2-year-old still uses a pacifier.

I never gave this topic much thought until one of our daughter's school teachers asked me about a red bump that she noticed on Linna's lip the other day (every now and then, Linna has a bump on her lip in the morning, from sucking on her pacifier overnight).

"Does she use a pacifier?", the teacher asked.

"Oh, yeah. But only at night or nap time. She ONLY gets it when she's sleeping," I quickly replied, feeling the need to defend our 2.5-year-old's pacifier use. But now I find myself questioning my need to defend this parenting decision.

Linna has used her pacifier (AKA her "wah") since she was a newborn. We used it to calm her down, she slept with it, and it quickly became the coveted baby tool in our house. If you didn't have one close by, you were in big trouble. I can't remember when, but my husband and I made the conscience decision to only allow Linna to have her "wah" during sleep time. We fully believe that this decision, and commitment on our part, resulted in the amazing little sleeper that Linna is.

By the way, I'm not trying to make you feel bad if your kid doesn't sleep... but... we really have a phenomenal sleeper! If our kid doesn't end up going to Harvard, swimming in the Olympic games, or learning five languages by the age of four... we can STILL say, "Yeah, but she was a FABULOUS sleeper".

Sleep always wins.

Sure as Linna got older, we eventually started "bending the rules", allowing her to have her "wah" when she's sick, or when we're on a plane. In those types of situations, the rules go out the door.

At 2.5 years old, Linna knows that she only gets her "wah" at nap and bedtime. Yes, she has her meltdowns when we're out in public and where she asks for her "wah", but we rarely break the rules. Trust me, it would be so much easier to just give her the f-ing "wah" at times, but if we don't stick to our commitment... the toddler wins. And that's not happening. While other kids her age don't nap at all, and/or don't sleep through the night, Linna averages a 2 to 3-hour nap in the afternoon, and sleeps 10-12 hours at night. WHY ON EARTH would we want to mess with this?!

BUT... now that Linna is getting older, I find myself searching for the answer to the question that a lot of first-time parents have:

When is a kid "too old" for a pacifier?

I'll admit, I still cringe when I see kids that are Linna's age, as well as older kids, walking around with a pacifier in their mouth ALL the time. But really, who am I to judge, when other parents are probably questioning my parenting skills when they see Linna on an airplane with her "wah" in her mouth? It's a routine that is currently working for us. Sure we have to start considering her oral development, but Linna speaks as clearly as any other child her age, and her teeth aren't all jacked-up or anything. So honestly, we have no plans to try to make Linna give up her beloved "wah". At this point, Linna might be in kindergarten and still sleeping with her pacifier.

I'm cool with that.

We're taking Linna to her first dental check-up next month, and if the dentist isn't concerned about our "wah situation"... I'm not concerned. Really, it was never a "situation" until someone asked me a question, and I got defensive about it. Secretly, I'm praying that the dentist gives us the thumbs-up to continue our current pacifier routine. I sure don't want to be the one to have to take it away! We'll leave that job for Papa Saigh;)

To sum things up, I'm basically going with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" method. I truly feel that if something works for you and your little one, and it's not harming anyone in the process (other than the "judgers")... just keep doing it. If something is giving you some sanity in your life when it comes to your kids, and you're not harming them or yourself... just keep doing it. The "f" with what everyone else thinks!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

We are a favorite in singapore.

Some exciting news for our Minnesota Baby blog!

We were chosen as one of Expat Focus' Top 5 Blogs in Singapore:) I'm feeling so humbled to be recognized in the expat community. It's crazy to think of where our family is at now, just 2.5 years after Linna arrived... and I'm even more excited to see what the future has in store for our family.

Thank you Expat Focus!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Stroller-friendly walk on the southern ridges of singapore.

This is one of our new favorite spots in Singapore. The Southern Ridges is almost 6 miles (10 km) of green, open-spaces connecting Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, Hort Park, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve. Not all of it is stroller friendly, but we found the connecting parts that are! It's a scenic, elevated, walk through the jungles of Singapore, where you might even spot a wild monkey, AND get some exercise while you're at it. There's even a playground pit-stop for the kids! Linna and I both loved our evening stroll, and can't wait to bring Papa Saigh this weekend.

We started our approximately 1.5 hour adventure at Hort Park, where we found great playgrounds and gardens for kids of all ages...

I love this little play house in Hort Park.

Then, we took the walkway up to the Alexandra Arch...

Quick 2 minute walk over busy Singapore's streets. Lots of runners and walkers!
The Alexandra Arch connects to the Forest Walk. Lots of elevated walking, but great views! Plus you're inside the jungles of Singapore. Linna got to run free!

My little explorer.

We could hear the monkeys, but didn't see any!

Next, we followed the signs on the ground, leading us to Henderson Waves. This is a wood-paneled bridge, and it's the tallest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. Linna was tired by the time we reached this point, but there were tons of kids running around on the bridge. It's really cool at night, as it's lit up by LED lights...

View from Henderson Waves right before the sun sets.

Henderson Waves.
We could have turned around to walk back to where we started, but we were tired after walking for an hour and a half. So, we collapsed the stroller, and walked down a pretty steep flight of stairs to catch the bus to go home. This is definitely one of those "must dos" in Singapore... and the best part is that it's FREE! Don't forget to bring lots of water, snacks, and be prepared to SWEAT!

FYI, we didn't see any restrooms along the trail, so go potty before you begin your journey:)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Valentine's day gift ideas.


BITSY BLOSSOM WINNER: Congratulations to SEAN KOH! Please email us ( with your address and phone number, so we can verify and get your Bitsy Blossom Handmade Shoes to you. Thanks for participating everyone!

Adorable handmade shoes for your little Valentine by Bitsy Blossom.
I shop Etsy often, and fell in love with these little pink shoes that I found. They're handmade/designed,
and you can find many different styles on this Missouri mom's Etsy page. Our 2-year-old daughter
Linna will be wearing a pair for my brother's wedding in October!
Price: $36+ USD

Mommy-daughter shoes in Singapore by Marcha Ballerina.
I found this kiosk at Raffles City that sells comfortable and stylish ballet flats for moms
and their little ladies. I picked up a pair of black flats for my daughter and I, and we wear them
all the time. This would be a great Valentine's Day gift idea for dads to give to the special
ladies in his life. Your girls will swoon!
Price: $30+ SGD
Kids clothing at price we love, by RUUM.
This company is always having a sale, so you can get a lot of clothing shipped to your home
for very little. RUUM has a store at Minnesota's Mall of America too, with great styles for boys and girls!
Check their website often for fantastic deals. They offer free shipping often too.
Price: Varies by size and style
Books about love for you and your little ones.
I'm such a sap when it comes to reading books about love with our 2-year-old. Three of our current favorites are Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, Love Monster by Rachel Bright, and Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman. Our 2-year-old has at least one of these books in her stack for bedtime reading!
Price: $16.99 USD
(Check online for deals on Amazon and Barnes & Noble)

Days of the week panties for mama.
Is it weird that I've always wanted "days of the week" undies? This collection of eight, 100% Italian cotton modal and lace, pastel-color panties are so comfortable, and they don't have any lines! You can buy just one pair, or the entire set, and they come in a range of colors. They may not be cheap, but they're a sexy and practical Valentine's Day gift idea for moms!
Price: $20+ USD ($95 USD for the set)
Fresh face for Valentine's Day... and all year long.
This little skincare device is a pretty powerful microdermabrasion system. I actually gave
the DDF Resolve 500x Micro-Polishing System to my future sister-in-law for Christmas, and
she told me that my brother even uses it to clean his face every day! For less than the cost of one
microdermabrasion treatment at the dermatologist's office, you can get a 360-degree oscillating brush,
micro-derma polishing crystals, exfoliator, two cleansing brushes, plus batteries. She'll love it... and so will you!
Price: $139 USD (includes free shipping) 

Parents want a good nap.
Ask any parent what their idea of the perfect Valentine's Day consists of, and chances are, a good nap is on their list. Aden + Anais is known for their amazing baby swaddles, but did you know they have blankets for big people too? The Daydream Blanket is made of four-layers of 100% cotton muslin, and it's perfect for cozying up during quiet time, enjoying family movie nights or just as an added home accent. After all, grown-ups deserve a little luxury too!
Price: $125 USD

My husband wants beer.
I let my husband choose a great gift for dads on Valentine's Day... and he chose beer. What kind, you
ask? He says that one of his favorite IPAs is Chasin' Freshies by Deschutes Brewery. It's a fresh-Hop IPA,
and it only comes out once a year. I must say that I love this beer too! If only they had it in Singapore.
Price: Depends on where you buy it. Available at Whole Foods and Lunds in Mpls, MN.

Monday, February 3, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Disney on ice.

Congratulations to LIZ DANNA of Shakopee, MN! You're the winner of 4 tickets to Disney on Ice Presents Let's Celebrate at the Target Center. Please email us ( with your phone number and address, so we can verify and get you the tickets. Thanks for participating everyone, and stay tuned for another giveaway coming up very soon!

There's two ways to enter for a chance to win 4 tickets to see Disney on Ice Presents Let's Celebrate at the Target Center:

1. "Like" the Minnesota Baby Facebook page, and share the contest post with your Facebook friends (you must click "share" under the "Disney on Ice Presents Let's Celebrate" contest post on our Facebook page).

2. Comment on this blog post (below) with your first and last name, along with city you currently reside in.

Two simple ways to enter, and if you complete both ways, you'll double your chances to win! You must enter by Friday, February 7th at 8 p.m. to be eligible, and this contest is only open to US residents. One winner will be randomly selected to win four tickets to see "Disney on Ice Presents Let's Celebrate", which runs February 27th - March 2nd, 2014 at the Target Center. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on this blog. Good luck everyone!


It’s one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends! Join Mickey and Minnie Mouse as they celebrate a very merry un-birthday party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; Mardi Gras with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen; a Royal Valentine’s Day Ball with the Disney Princesses; a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear; a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains and more in a magical medley of holidays, celebrations and festivals from around the globe. Show runs February 27th through March 2nd, 2014 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, and tickets start at $16.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sunday brunch at the fullerton hotel's town restaurant.

Bug in her Sunday best for brunch at The Fullerton.
We have been to many Sunday champagne brunches in Singapore. Every so often we're completely "wow-ed" by our experience, and our visit to The Fullerton Hotel's Town Restaurant last Sunday was one of those moments. My husband says that this was "hands down" the best Sunday brunch he's experienced in Singapore, while I have it as one of my top two spots.

First of all, when you have a toddler and no helper or family members in Singapore, childcare is key when finding a good Sunday brunch spot. Town Restaurant at The Fullerton Hotel has this! Kids can play, eat, and watch movies downstairs in the supervised playroom, while parents dine, sip on champagne, and relax upstairs in the dining area. This brunch also goes from 12-3:30 p.m., so my husband and I got to enjoy a little over three hours of "couple time", once Linna finished her brunch with us and then went downstairs to play. Loved this!

Supervised children's play room.

Linna enjoying her brunch with Mama and Papa Saigh.

Food in the children's play room.

Linna enjoying herself in the children's play room.

Second, the food at Town Restaurant's Sunday Brunch is spectacular. They have so much to chose from (salads, seafood, breakfast dishes, Indian food, fruits, imported cheeses, pastas, sushi, meats, deserts... the list seriously goes on and on), and the best part is that it's all very spread out around the restaurant. We never felt like we were waiting for food, or crammed in a small area with too many people. The chefs were also very friendly and helpful when we asked questions about the food too! I've never seen so many different types of delicious cheese from all over the world in my life. The seared scallops were one of my favorites, along with the curry at the Indian food section. They also had the most AMAZING truffle risotto, and truffle mashed potatoes, that my husband and I couldn't get enough of! I still drool when I think of those tasty dishes.

The most amazing cheesy, truffle risotto... in a giant bowl carved out of cheese!

Part of the spread.

They had butter chicken curry. Nom!


Linna of course went straight to the chocolate fountains, to load up on fruit and cakes that she could dip into her chocolate. Mama and Papa Saigh loved that our champagne glasses were always topped off:) PLUS... beer, wine, coffee, soda, margaritas, and other fun drinks were included in the brunch. Our tummies were completely satisfied!

What really sets this Sunday brunch apart from others in Singapore, is the location, atmosphere, and the entertainment. I loved that we were spending the afternoon at the Historic Fullerton Hotel in Singapore, and while it's not very common to find fun, live music at a swanky Sunday brunch in Singapore, Town Restaurant had two guys playing guitar and singing some great upbeat music. I think this is why my husband says this was his favorite Sunday brunch experience. The musicians made the atmosphere seem less "stuffy" than other Sunday brunches we've been too, and EVERYONE was having a great time. People of all ages were dancing and singing along to the music! We were having SO much fun, that we decided to pick Linna up from the play-area early so she could dance and enjoy the music too.

Young and old enjoyed the musical entertainment!

When it comes to the overall experience (food, drinks, childcare, atmosphere, service, location, and entertainment), the Sunday Brunch at The Fullerton Hotel's Town Restaurant is one of the best family-friendly Sunday Brunches in Singapore (if not THE best, according to my husband). Yes, Sunday champagne brunches are not cheap in Singapore, but when you find a good one, it's well worth the money, if you ask us. We will be back to The Fullerton Hotel, and next time we're bringing friends!

Cute mommy-daughter shoes.

I will never be "that" mom. You know, the mom that coordinates her outfit to match her daughter's outfit from head to toe (my mom did this to me and my sister on Christmas when we were little)?! However, when I find little accessories, shoes, or pieces that are similar for both me and my daughter... I'm all over it! I found this cute little shoe "shop" (more like a kiosk) inside the Raffles City Shopping Centre in Singapore called Marcha Ballerina, that sells ballerina flats for mamas and little ladies. They have all sorts of colors, designs, and textures, and since they were reasonably prices compared to other shoes I've found in Singapore, I picked a pair up for me and the little lady. I got myself a pair of the solid black ballet flats that have a really nice basket-weave texture, and I got Linna a pair of the black and silver glitter flats. They are so comfortable!

You can find Marcha Ballerina at Raffles City Shopping Center, and Wisma Atria in Singapore. They'll soon be opening at Changi Airport and Vivo City! They have European sizes 26-41, as well as little girl sizes. Their kiosks are set up like a little shop in France, stacked with wooden vegetable boxes that are filled with the assortment of shoe colors and styles. We were handed a weaved basket to pick and fill up with our selected shoes, and they wrapped our purchase up like a French baguette. Something a little different than your "everyday" shopping experience in Singapore. Their shoes are under $40, and they'll soon be launching a new website where you can order the shoes online, with FREE delivery (I'm assuming this is just in Singapore)!