Monday, June 30, 2014

Single mamas and preschool teachers are saints.

Ready for school after the long June holiday.
I feel like today is a national holiday for many mamas in Singapore. School is back in session!

Praise Jesus.

After having my 2.5-year-old on school holiday for the month of June, and Papa Saigh traveling for work, I have been NEEDING today to come. For almost two months, Linna and I have been in and out of doctor's offices in Singapore, trying to figure out why we've been so sick. This morning, I got a call from my doctor to confirm that my blood tested positive for Mycoplasma. I have been so run down, Linna has been all out of sorts, and we've both been on countless medications to treat our symptoms. This diagnosis is a sigh of relief. While I thought we just had a bad bug that would eventually run its course, I knew something just wasn't right. With a recommendation from another mom here in Singapore, I finally found a fantastically helpful doctor who took the time to figure out what was wrong with us. Last week, he sent me in for a blood test, put both Linna and I on our second round of antibiotics which we'll continue for another week, in hopes of us finally being healthy again.

While battling this sh*tty infection, I've been with Linna almost every second of every day for an entire month. We've dragged our sick selves on our daily errands together (usually resulting in public meltdowns), I've been up with her at all hours of the night, dealt with some fun symptoms such as diarrhea, green snot, stomach aches... the list goes on and on. At times I've felt like I have a newborn again due to our lack of sleep. I needed this three-hour school day so I could breathe. Single mamas and preschool teachers are absolute SAINTS in my eyes. There should be some kind of global medal for the sh*t these super humans have to put up with... EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

I know that I am very lucky to be able to stay home with our daughter, but I am SO not cut out to be a single mama. While Papa Saigh has been very busy with work and traveling out of the country for the next month, I've been "on my own" for about a week, which is enough to make me want to pull my hair out. When my husband isn't traveling for work, I have my co-parent (my wonderful partner) there to step in when I need a break. When I say "break", I don't mean a trip to the spa. A "break" is being able to go grocery shopping alone, cook dinner without having a little human hanging on your leg demanding you to play with them, and a chance to have a couple kid-free hours to catch up on cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.

I love being a mama, but I'm not cut out to play with a 2.5-year-old... ALL. DAY. LONG.

Preschool teachers that have the patience to deal with these unreasonable, sometimes annoying, yet adorable little people that we call our children, are my heroes. How they all don't have serious drinking problems is beyond me (I'm kidding... kind of... but not really). And the single moms that do it without much or any support... you deserve some kind of global recognition (and a lifetime supply of Fat Bird).

This face says it all. Being sick sucks.
This month, I found myself seriously losing it with my kid. When I say "losing it", I don't mean physically harming my kid, but I've honestly been very close to the edge. Call me a "sh*tty parent" for admitting that, but I know I'm not the only mom who has been there. I've always told myself that I would never become "that" mom. You know, the mom that becomes easily frustrated, annoyed, and impatient with their kid(s). Well, I'm speaking from personal experience when I say that when you're with your kid ALL day, EVERY day, without family or a co-parent to step in to give you some relief, you start to become "that" mom. When my 2.5-year-old recently started telling me, "don't be angry" or "don't be frustrated", after I'd completely overreacted to a mess she made or a tantrum she was having, I knew something had to change. I'm supposed to be her role model, teaching our kid the proper way to react in these types of situations. My stressed-out displays of frustration are NOT the example I want to be setting for our daughter.

I learned a HUGE lesson after my struggle with postpartum depression when Linna was a newborn, on how incredibly important it is to admit when you need help from others. Every mom needs a break every now and then. Even when my husband wasn't traveling for work, I hit a "mommy wall" when we first moved to Singapore. Before we moved to this foreign country, I had my parents, in-laws, siblings, and husband around ANY time I needed help. With my husband now traveling for work and my family (my support-system) back home in Minnesota, my husband was fantastic enough to demand that I hire a babysitter, a cleaner, or to simply order take-out. Although he's currently in a different country, he could see that I needed a break, and he didn't make me feel guilty about hiring someone to help me out. I know that spending money on "relief" isn't always an option for many families, but thankfully I have this support. My brother and I were raised by an incredible woman, who worked 60+ hours a week to support us as a single mom. My mom's parents weren't right down the street and she didn't have a co-parent in the picture when we were younger, so she had to rely on daycare, and actually took us to her office when she had no other options. My brother and I spent a few summers living with my grandparents, aunts, and uncles in Worthington, MN (three hours from where we lived), and I now completely understand why she sent us there. She was overwhelmed, had reached her "limit", and she is such a good mom for knowing when she needed a "break". I am so thankful that she reached out for help.
Passed out, waiting to see the doctor. Poor girl!

We're not a bad moms when we become "that" mom. Unless you're Jesus, or Mother Teresa, it happens. Whether you're a single mom, full-time working mom, stay-at-home mom, work-from-home mom, we've all been there... and if you haven't, well... good on you (PLEASE teach us your miraculous ways). It takes a GOOD mom to realize that you're teetering on the edge, and to ask for help from others, because you have your kids' best interest at heart. While this may seem pathetic to some people, I seriously have to remind myself some days how lucky I am to A. be a mom to an incredible kid, and B. not have to work (although I do work part-time), and be able to stay home with her. I know I have it easier than a lot of other moms out there, but I'm still a human being with limits. Nobody should ever make a mom feel like she should just "suck it up" because there are other moms out there who have it "way worse". Shame on anyone who belittles a mom's struggles, no matter how "small" you might feel your problems are. As long as you know how incredibly lucky you are to be a mom, there's no reason to ever feel ashamed about needing a "break". While we may feel sh*tty about not being able to "do it all", just know that NO ONE can do it all... and those that "can" are probably heavily medicated.

I, for one, would have to be.

It's amazing how rejuvenated I feel after today's break away from my kid. This much-needed few hours alone made me realize how sad I'd be if I didn't have the opportunity to stay at home with her. I needed this kid-free time to make me feel like my job as a mom isn't a "chore". Being a mom should be enjoyable. When it becomes a "chore", it's time for a break. Our kids will thank us for it one day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Linna can spell her name.

Tonight as we were getting out of the shower, Linna decided to show me that she could spell her name. We're both THRILLED as you can see from the video!

Monday, June 16, 2014

BOOK GIVEAWAY: Paw prints and the itchy spots.


*** Congratulations to LEXI DEANS! You're the winner of the Paw Prints series of books. Please email us ( with your address and phone number, so we can verify and ship your books to you. Thanks for participating everyone, and stay tuned for another giveaway coming really soon! ***

One of Linna's favorite books (Purple Paw Prints on the Magic Sofa) has a new "friend" to add to its series. We recently received the new book Paw Prints and the Itchy Spots as a gift, and once again... it's a hit with our 2.5-year-old! The author of the Paw Prints books is Sarah Mounsey (a mom of three boys), and she and her family currently live in Singapore. In the latest book in the Paw Prints series (Paw Prints and the Itchy Spots), the main character Eddie is covered from head to toe in itchy red spots. How did they get there, and how can he stop scratching them? His mischievous friend William and his lovable dog Oscar come to the rescue again. But how long will it take them to itch their way out of another spot of trouble? We are thrilled to add this book to our Paw prints collection, and we're giving this fantastic collection to one of you!

There's two ways to enter for a chance to win all three Paw Prints books:

1. "Like" the Minnesota Baby Facebook page, and share the contest post with your Facebook friends (you must click "share" under the "Paw Prints" contest post on our Facebook page).

2. Comment on this blog post (below) with your first and last name, along with the city and state, or area of Singapore 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 Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 at 8 p.m. (CST) to be eligible for a chance to win. One winner will be randomly selected to win all three books from Sarah Mounsey's Paw Prints collection. The winner will be announced on this blog. Good luck everyone!

(Video from September 2013 of Papa Saigh reading a Paw prints book to Linna)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Exploring nature's design & the human body experience.

This past weekend, Linna and I checked out two new exhibits at the Singapore Science Centre: The Human Body Experience and Exploring Nature's Design. Both exhibits are temporary exhibits at the Science Centre. While a lot of the slightly older kids enjoyed the Human Body Experience, our 2.5-year-old was a bit overwhelmed by the experience. I thought it was very interesting and educational, but I can see how Linna became a bit frightened by the tight, dark spaces, and flashing lights. She LOVED the Exploring Nature's Design exhibit though. She had so much fun doing sprint races, tinkering with craft projects, and exploring all the educational and hands-on activities. She learned about insect and animal speed, how living things grow, and she even got to play with "larger-than-life" Legos and building blocks. The staff was great with all of the children, and took time to explain how and why things worked. They really made learning, fun!

Entrance to The Human Body Experience.

Building things in the Exploring Nature's Design exhibit.


Goofy girl.

There a lot of events and activities coming up at the Singapore Science Centre in July and August for the Singapore Science Festival 2014. We are also excited to check out the brand new KidsSTOP at the Science Centre, which just opened this month. It's a special area for younger kids, with tons of hand-on learning activities, as well as play areas. I looks like a great alternative to the soft-play gyms that you can find all over this island. I think we'll be going there next month, so we'll let you know what we think!

Sprinting in the Exploring Nature's Design exhibit.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Making it until wine o'clock.

We've all been there. Those days that just seem to drag on, and you literally find yourself counting the minutes until bedtime (AKA "wine o'clock"). Some weeks seem to have more of these painful days than others, where patience with our whining, temper-tantruming, inconsolable little people is slim to none. Yesterday, I had one of those days. One of those days where 11:30 a.m. sounded like a good time for a cocktail, or a mild tranquilizer (for me, not the kid... or whatever). My 2.5-year-old has been sick with a bad cold, she's off nursery school for the entire month so I literally have NO kid-free time to clean, cook, do laundry, grocery shop, etc., and my husband has been working long hours. Yesterday, I had to go to the post office and grocery store, and I obviously took Linna with me. We literally got two steps out the door, when Linna decided to throw one of her most impressive temper-tantrums to date.

We don't have a car in Singapore, so we usually take the bus or a taxi. Since I was dragging my stylish "granny cart" (shopping bag with wheels - yes, I have one) along, Linna would have to walk. We've done this before, so she knows the drill. But yesterday, she decided that she wanted me to carry her.

Seriously Linna?! You're almost 3 years old, you weigh 30 lbs., and it's 100 degrees outside. I'm NOT carrying you. This whole "Mama carry me!" meltdown has become Linna's new "thing" recently, since it worked last week when she wasn't feeling well. I decided to NOT carry her, and I tried to make our walk down to the post office a fun "adventure". That went over well... or NOT! She screamed the entire way, and her dramatic meltdown continued as we walked inside the post office. I finally picked her up to calm her down, all while trying to address packages/letters with my free hand. She was so worked up that she almost puked. Awesome. I could feel the harsh judgement from all locals in the post office.

Alright. Onto the grocery store. This should be a treat.

I was finally able to calm Linna down, and I explained to her that I wasn't going to carry her through the grocery store. She agreed. But, of course, the moment I tried to put her down to walk through the grocery store, Act II of her incredible meltdown performance began. She screamed, she threw herself onto the floor (in the seafood section nonetheless), she clung to my leg and became dead weight, and I could have sworn I saw her foam at the mouth. I could not get out of the store quickly enough, but when I did, Linna threw herself onto the ground for her grand finale. Why?! Because she "didn't get to put a coin into the thing" (donation slot box for some non-profit). HOW could I BE so stupid, and NOT be able to read her mind?!

Is it wine o'clock yet?!

On this particular evening, I had booked a babysitter to come play with Linna until Papa Saigh was able to leave work. One of my girlfriends here in Singapore organized a "ladies night", and I desperately needed a night out with the girls, as we've been trapped in our "germ house" for over a week. I told one of my friends that after the day I just had, I wouldn't think twice about leaving Linna to fend for herself if the babysitter canceled for some reason. I was joking... kind of.

This whole situation brought up a good question from one of my mom friends back home in Minnesota. How do parents deal with stressful days at home with the kid(s), and find the patience to deal with their little ones peacefully... ESPECIALLY when you don't have a babysitter coming to give you a "break"? Jokingly I told her, "One word... booze.". Again, I was joking... kind of. But really, I think this is a great conversation that parents need to have with other parents. We've all been there, and it's helpful to hear other parents' stories and advice on how to deal with these situations. Although it's easier said than done, I try to remind myself of the following when I'm about to lose it with my kid...

1. Little ones don't know how to communicate their anger very well, and it's our job to teach them. Put yourself in their shoes.
2. Meltdowns suck, and public meltdowns are even worse. DO NOT worry about what other people are thinking, because EVERY KID DOES IT!
3. Before you know it, your kid won't think you're cool anymore, and you'll want your clingy baby back.
4. I am very fortunate to be able to stay home with our kid. While many parents HAVE to go back to work, I have the ability to be with my kid every day.

And if all else fails, just remember that you're getting closer and closer to wine o'clock. Parenting is much easier with a socially-accepted glass of vino in your hand... as long as you can hold off until wine o'clock;)

What time is your wine o'clock, and what do you do when you're about to "lose it" with your little ones? How do you handle the stress, and "peacefully" deal with your kids?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Week in review.

This week has been a "rough" one in the Saigh household, as both Linna came down with a really nasty cold, and then passed it onto Mama Saigh. Papa Saigh slept in the guest bedroom all week so he could be well-rested for work, while Mama Saigh and Linna tried to contain their germs to one room in the house. Trying to keep a sick, coughing, runny-nosed, congested, and achy 2.5-year-old busy and happy all day long for a week straight (she's on school holiday this month), while I'm coming down with whatever she has as well, sure isn't easy... especially when I don't have her school "break" in my day to do the cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, etc. Papa Saigh had to work a few longer days at work this week, which was an extra bit of a challenge for me, but it was nothing a bottle of Fat Bird couldn't fix;) Here's a few highlights from our week in the "germ pit"...

Lovely green snot.

But no amount of green snot can keep this 2.5-year-old from
singing her favorite songs from her favorite shows!
"Friends help each other, yes they do, it's true!" - Daniel Tiger

We got our first delivery from iHerb this week (life changing), and with some paint,
scissoring, and a little creativity, we turned our iHerb shipment box into a homemade airplane.
Don't you just love the sickness in our voices?!

Linna started writing her name... kind of. The photo on the left is
how Linna wrote her name, as I showed her how to do it letter by letter.
The photo on the right is how Linna wrote her name all by herself.

Both Linna and I are on the mend (I hope), so here's to a healthy week ahead!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat


Congratulations to CAITLIN LOSURE! You're the winner of four tickets to a July performance of "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat"! Please email us ( with your address and phone number, so we can verify, and get your tickets to you. Thanks for participating everyone, and stay tuned for another giveaway coming very soon!

There's two ways to enter for a chance to win 4 tickets to see a July 2014 performance of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat at the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN:

1. "Like" the Minnesota Baby Facebook page, and share the contest post with your Facebook friends (you must click "share" under the "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat" contest post on our Facebook page).

2. Comment on this blog post (below) with your first and last name, along with the city and state 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 Monday, June 9th, 2014 at 8 p.m. to be eligible for a chance to win. One winner will be randomly selected to win four tickets to see a July performance of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat. The winner will be announced on this blog. Good luck everyone!

Note: Winner's tickets are valid for July 2014 performances only, and cannot be combined with any other offer. Other restrictions may apply.

May 22nd - July 20th, 2014
Children's Theatre Company
2400 3rd Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Tickets: -OR- (612) 874-0400
Grades Pre-K+
The show runs 50 minutes with no intermission