Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Medela freestyle double electric breast pump.

If there's one thing I spend more time doing than anything else these days, it's pumping. Since having Baby Jimmy six weeks ago, I've decided to exclusively pump and bottle feed, just as I did when Linna was a baby. For some women, nursing is the best option, but I prefer the convenience of grabbing a bottle out of the refrigerator or diaper bag. Plus, I'm still giving my baby all the nutrients and antibodies he needs from my own body.

Since I pump every three hours, and want to make this breast-feeding experience a successful one, I got my hands on a Medela Freestyle Double Electric Breast Pump and Easy Expression Bustier. I saw an Instagram of Kourtney Kardashian wearing hers, and loved that the pump clipped right onto whatever she was wearing. Not only can I be hands-free while pumping, but I'm not attached to a wall outlet. I seriously walk all over my house when I'm pumping, and half the time I forget that it's even on. It's honestly the best breast pump I've ever used. It has a 2-phase expression technology, and the pump is so small and lightweight. It has a backlit digital display that allows me to customize the strength of the pump's expression. I currently pump at a level 6 for 10-12 minutes, every 3-5 hours, and am pumping about 8 oz. of breastmilk during each session. I have saved SO much milk in the freezer!

Kourtney Kardashian using her Medela Pump.

My Medela kit came with a black bag, cooler set, extra bottles and nipples, and of course the pump itself and all the needed accessories. I got the hands-free bustier separately. The only inconvenience I find about pumping, is having to wash the pump out every time I pump, as opposed to just sticking a boob in my baby's mouth when he's hungry. But let's be honest, breastfeeding isn't easy for every mom, and sometimes it just doesn't work. While the Meleda Freestyle Pump isn't cheap, it's much less than I would spend on quality formula to feed my baby over the next year. Plus, pumping helped shrink my uterus back down pretty quickly, and I love that I'm burning an extra 500 calories a day by pumping. I pump in the car, in bed, and can chase after the 4-year-old when I'm pumping. This pump is one of my "must-have" products, especially for moms with multiple children.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Baby jimmy: The first 6 weeks.

Jameson on the night before he turned 6 weeks old.
I'm sitting down to write this, after spending Christmas with our incredibly helpful family on both sides. I've had a few days to catch up on sleep, and watch our kids enjoy spending time with cousins and extended family in Minnesota and Iowa.
Now, I reflect.

To say that going from one to two kids is "tough", would be a major understatement. These past six weeks have been six of the most challenging, exhausting, and emotional weeks of my life. I am still figuring out my "groove" as a mom of two, which has come at a time of SO much change in our family. We've been living in a constant construction zone, as we're remodeling our house. We moved back to Minnesota from Singapore. Papa Saigh started a new job, which has him traveling and working long hours. All of this, on TOP of welcoming a newborn into our family.

The past six weeks have been anything but easy.

While I'm loving every baby snuggle, and I'm trying to savor every precious moment with our new baby boy, I struggle with how to "manage" the 4-year-old. Linna turning four, came with a whole new set of challenges. She's seriously like an emotional teenager, with the energy of a puppy. I now know what it feels like to be called "the most horrible mom in the world", have a door slammed in my face, and be screamed at in public... By a FOUR YEAR OLD! The "f*cking fours" (as I've heard that this age is referred to) have turned our angelic, happy, and sweet girl, into a challenging little human. She knows EVERY one of my buttons, and pushes them often. On more than one occasion, Linna has sent this sleep-deprived and hormonal mama, running to the bathroom in tears. Add my leaking, sore boobs, and a crying, poop-exploding newborn into the mix, and you can see why I'm typically seen looking like a walking zombie.

Linna, pushing her baby brother in the Doona carseat/stroller into school. I don't know
how I'd survive without this thing, having two kids.

So tired, but so cute in their Hanna Andersson Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve in Iowa.

My loves.

The stress of the holidays, our home construction, pumping my massive boobs every three hours, trying to heal my nether-regions, driving the 4-year-old to preschool and her overwhelming number of activities, keeping on top of the laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, etc., all started to get to be a bit too much for this mama to handle. I started taking my frustrations out on Papa Saigh, who I should be looking to as my teammate. My patience with the 4-year-old was slim to none, and I found it difficult to even enjoy my baby boy. I felt so much guilt for not being able to give all my attention to the 4-year-old, as that is what she's used to. I needed some help before I went down the postpartum depression path a second time, and had to surrender to the realization that I can't do it all.

While I still struggle with asking for and accepting help, I've been leaning on family a lot to help with Linna. I've realized that when she and I are together for too long, we don't enjoy our time together. I don't know what it is about age four, but it's just not my favorite age. I'm so thankful to my mom for driving Linna to and from preschool some days during the week, and taking her back to their house for some grandparent time. Linna LOVES going to her Nana and Bompa's house, and this time spent apart has been really good for both of us. I can spend that time enjoying Baby Jimmy, while Linna enjoys time with other people. I'm still struggling with the "guilt" I feel when I need time away from Linna, but I know it's normal. We also hired a cleaner to come to the house every two weeks, which has been a BIG help. I'm a complete "neat freak", so I'm slowly (VERY slowly) learning to not sweat the small stuff when it comes to everyday messes and organization. Again, another big struggle for me, but I need to let our kids be kids, enjoy my time with them, and worry about the messes later.

I've had a meltdown or two with Papa Saigh, and have had a few ugly cries while laying in bed with the four-year-old, or Baby Jimmy. These cry-fests come out of nowhere, but I feel so much better when I just let it all out.

Mama Saigh wearing Baby Jimmy while organizing our disaster of an unfinished basement.

Papa Saigh and Jameson relaxing.

Though the last six weeks have been pretty chaotic, Baby Jimmy proves to be the most easy-going little guy. His big sister was the exact same way when she a baby, which I am SO thankful for. I need to remind myself every day how lucky I am to have a 4-year-old who absolutally loves her baby brother, and a baby boy who just goes with the flow. I'm learning to relax when Linna wants to hang ALL OVER her baby brother whenever the attention is on him. She really is the best big sister. However, I am beyond ready for kindergarten to start in August:)

At six weeks old, Baby Jimmy is sleeping four to six-hour stretches at night, and eating about three to four ounces whenever he's hungry. I'm pumping and bottle-feeding him, as I did with Linna (my kids just don't like to eat straight from the source, I guess). At two-weeks old, Jimmy was 8 lbs. 10 oz., and he'll have his next weigh-in at his two-month pediatrician visit. He's an absolute tank, and loves to eat, sleep, and poop, so I'm guessing he's around 12 lbs. We've started transitioning him to the Bassinest when he's sleeping at night, but he's been sleeping with me in our bed, while Papa Saigh sleeps with Linna in her bed. There have been a couple nights where Linna has missed her mama at night, so I sleep with my two babies in our bed. While I love having my babies in bed with me, I hate that Jimmy wakes Linna up when he gets up around 4 a.m. to eat. She wants to help me with the baby, and gets super upset when I tell her that she needs to go back to sleep. There's been a lot of Mama and Papa Saigh playing musical beds over the last month. Baby Jimmy is also still sleeping a lot during the day, and grunts a when he sleeps at night (he's a gassy boy). Linna goes to bed at 6:30/7 p.m., and I go to sleep with Jimmy around 10:30/11 p.m. Whenever he gets up to eat (usually around 4 a.m.), I pump while I feed and change him, and he usually falls right back to sleep until we all wake up around 7:30 a.m. (Jimmy sleeps in until about 9 a.m. or so). Over Christmas, I took advantage of my in-laws offering to wake up with Jimmy, so I could sleep with Linna and Papa Saigh.

I can honestly say that I was SO much more stressed out as a new mom when Linna was a baby, but I've relaxed about some of those stresses when Jimmy was born. I don't freak out if I don't pump EVERY three hours, I don't stress about every rash Jimmy gets, and I've become less of a helicopter mom with Linna (I've had to because I don't have time to be). Going from one to two kids forces a person to let go of a lot of things, which has been a big struggle for me. While I eventually want to go back to work, I'm still trying to figure out how to get to that point. I honestly don't know how working parents do it. I'm so thankful to have a husband that works his ass off to provide for our family, allowing me to be home with the kids.

Jimmy's first visit with Santa. Linna is a pro!

Both of my babies in the same pose at just a few days old.

I'm sure that with time, things will become "easier". But right now, I count down the minutes until "wine-o'clock" and bedtime. Let's face it, sleep is hard to come by these days, and when I find time for it, there's a million things I could be checking off my "to-do" list during that time. I learned quickly after having Linna that sleep is incredibly important, so I'm taking every bit of help that's offered to me these days. Papa Saigh and I are trying our best to take time out for each other, and appreciate what each of us is doing for our family every day. Again, not an easy thing to do when emotions are running high, our house is in a constant state of construction, and there's two little ones that need our attention. I just have to keep remembering that before we know it, we'll have two grown kids, and we'll be wishing for just one more newborn cuddle, or funny 4-year-old story. They grow up way too fast, and I need to remind myself to live in the moment, and just let go and ENJOY the craziness.

PS, please send food... and wine.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


I found so many great options for both kids!
Now that our 4-year-old will soon be entering kindergarten, I've been on the prowl for deals on school clothes, and ideas for school/class fundraisers. Recently, I was introduced to a program called Schoola. It's an online shop that recycles brand-name women's and children's clothes, with $2 of every $5 spent going to fund school programs. They recently launched a baby and maternity collection, and they even offer new-with-tag pieces for sale. These pieces are 70% off retail, with 40% of the proceeds going to help the Malala Fund.

After searching through their online site, I not only ordered brand new Tea collection clothes (quality, simple, comfortable children's clothing) for Baby Jimmy and Linna, but I also found some other great name-brand pieces as well. Plus, I love that the money spent is going to help fund school programs.

Since I just had a baby and am still "between sizes", I'm not quite confident ordering clothing online for myself, but this site looks like it has a lot of great options for women. I'll definitely be suggesting Schoola as a fundraising idea once Linna starts full-day school in August!

Video explaining how the program works: https://www.schoola.com/how-it-works

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Linna's holiday dance show.

I'm so thankful for people in my life like my sister and my mom. They have helped me out so much while I find my groove in this transition from one to two kids. Last night, they both came to watch Linna at her dance school's holiday "show". They were there to not only cheer her on and make her feel special, but to also take care of Baby Jimmy so I could focus 100% on my 4-year-old. I'm sure it hasn't been easy sharing the spotlight with her baby brother, so I cherish moments like last night, where I can make her feel important. Here's some video from last night's little show at Linna's dance school...

My mom, Baby Jimmy, my sister, and Linna.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sibling photos, holiday cards & birth announcements.

Photo by Kinderbella Photography, and holiday card by Minted.
One of the best things about having a baby around the holiday season, is having your holiday cards double as your baby's birth announcement. When Baby Jimmy was just 6 days old, I took him and our 4-year-old to Kinderbella Photography to have their sibling and newborn photos taken for our holiday cards and birth announcement. I was beyond blown away by what our photographer Heidi was able to accomplish with our kiddos. I can't stop looking at the photos she captured of our beautiful babies!

For our holiday cards and birth announcements, we decided to order from Minted this year. They always have fun and new card selections, and I've never been disappointed by the quality of their work. Since the photo of Linna and Jimmy that I'm in love with has a soft pink undertone, I customized the "Handlettered Charm Foil Pressed Holidays Cards" in the rose-gold foil option. Minted gave me the option to add another photo of Baby Jimmy on the back of the card, with a birth announcement and update about our family. They even gave me the option to have my envelopes addressed to our friends and family for free! I completed the cards by adding a sparkly gold envelope liner, and had Minted include our return address on each envelope. I will literally just have to throw a stamp on each envelope, and pop them in the mail. Plus, I ordered during a sale, so I got 20% off our entire order.

I am so excited for our family and friends to receive our holiday cards this year! Happy holidays, everyone.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Rec room makeover.

Ever since we moved back home to Minnesota, Papa Saigh has been very impressive in the DIY department. In October, we moved into our new home in Victoria, Minnesota, and have started a few updating projects. The two biggest projects that we're currently working on are the rec room, and kitchen makeovers. Here's a photo of what our rec room looked like when we bought the house...

Rec room before. It was a maroon color with a hideous wallpaper boarder.
This room is huge, and we've turned it into the TV/rec room. Papa Saigh installed pine wood floors by hand, I peeled the ugly wallpaper boarder off the walls with the help of my mother-in-law, and Papa Saigh repainted the walls with the help of his dad. We aren't "carpet people", so we tore out the old carpet, and are slowly changing out the light-colored wood baseboards, doors, and window frames to white wood. Here's what the rec room looks like now...

Rec room after.

We went with Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy paint color, and we absolutely love it. The floors will need to be sanded down and sealed again, since we'll have a little crawler by the summer I'm sure. But we love the "rustic" look of these floors.

Papa Saigh's pine wood floors.
We also had a photo that my friend Kylie Petts captured of the Singapore skyline, turned into a large wall canvas. Kylie is the photographer behind all the beautiful WonderLight Photography images, and I love having a piece of her work in our home. She's from Australia, lived in Singapore while we did, and now lives in Vietnam. We ordered this photo as Shutterfly's Three Panoramic Spread, when they were having a really great sale (like 40 or 50% off retail)! We love how the wall canvas turned out, and Shutterfly's turn-around time was less than a week. They have many wall art and home decor options to choose from, to give your home a personalized and finished touch. We've always been happy with our purchases from Shutterfly. Our canvas hangs above our sofa, and every time I look at it, I'm reminded of the many fond memories of our time spent in Singapore.

Photo by Kylie Petts of WonderLight Photography, turned into a Three Panoramic Spread from Shutterfly.

This entire room was painted and re-floored for well under $500. We still have some finishing touches to add, but I'm super impressed with my handy husband. This room is where we spend a lot of our time in the house, and I'm excited to watch it come together. Now, onto the kitchen remodel...

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cozey 7 for little ones.

We find some of the most innovative products on Kickstarter. Recently, I was introduced to an adorable new line of cozy, outdoor-wear for little ones. Cozey 7 is a line of high-performance outerwear for kids, designed by a grandmother in Colorado. Jill Winckler and her son Jake have teamed up to design a line of high-performance body suits, that can be worn over your kiddo's regular clothing. These suits give little ones added layers of warmth and protection from outdoor elements, and are super easy to slide on and off. We ordered a blue Cozey 7 for Linna, so she can run and play outside in Minnesota's unpredictable weather conditions, and we'll be able to hand this Cozey 7 down to Baby Jimmy.

Linna is used to playing outside every day in sunny Singapore, and we want her to do the same here in Minnesota (as much as we can, minus the freezing, cold, snowy days). Even during Minnesota's most chilly days, it's important to us to let our kids get outside to play, and get some vitamin D. Cozey 7s makes this possible, without weighing our kids down with bulky winter coats during the fall and springtime. Check out the Cozey 7's Kickstarter page, and consider contributing to their development plan. They have just over 2 days to reach their goal of raising $7,500.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

One week of baby jimmy.

Mama Saigh loving every newborn snuggle.
It seems like yesterday that I was walking around with a gigantic pregnant belly. Now, Jameson (AKA Baby Jimmy) is already a week old, and time is flying by.

For those of you who have asked, Jameson Marshall Saigh was named after a few people. My dad's middle name is James, Papa Saigh's grandpa's name was Jimmy Saigh, and we have always loved the name Jameson. Marshall is Papa Saigh's dad's name. So, Baby Jimmy has a lot of love and background behind his name. Although we've had our challenging moments with Linna, and we're slowly adjusting to our new life as a family of four, I am honestly enjoying every moment. Baby Jimmy is the sweetest little boy, and his big sister loves him so much. I just wish I could freeze time.

While I'm still adjusting to my new sleep schedule, I'm also adjusting to a new life of changing diapers that involve a tiny penis with a mind of its own. Up until a few days ago, I was going though at least 2 diapers, 10 wipes, and at least one clothing change per diaper change. Baby Jimmy is exclusively fed breast milk (via pumping and bottles), so his poop is super seedy and runny. Getting all of the poo out of his little privates, while trying to control his crazy legs, and avoiding a huge mess from his sporadically peeing penis, has been a whole new challenge. We decided to not have Baby Jimmy circumcised (more on this later), which I'm thankful for, because I can't imagine having to deal with that healing on top of this new diapering adventure. I'm slowly mastering a diapering "plan of action" that works for us, and have to make diaper changes quick because Baby Jimmy HATES being cold (it's the only time he really cries).

Happiest big sister with her baby brother.

Baby Jimmy in the Moby Wrap, while Linna takes a bath.

Can't get enough of this little man..

Jameson is pretty much on his own schedule. He sleeps a LOT, and eats, pees and poops when he feels like it. I think his days and nights are backwards, because he'll sleep 4 to 6-hour stretches during the day, but just 3-hour stretches at night. Last night, however, Baby Jimmy gave me TWO 4-hour stretches of sleep. It was fantastic. I pump about every 3 hours, but will go up to 5 hours if I'm out doing something, or sleeping. I'm pumping about 6-8 oz. each session, while Jameson eats about 3-5 oz. every 3 hours, or so (I'm already freezing my milk). We don't wake him up to eat, but let him eat however much he wants when he's hungry. Baby Jimmy sleeps with me in the master bedroom, and Papa Saigh is sleeping with Linna in her bedroom. We are so proud of Linna because she goes to bed alone in her room every night (we read and lay with her for a few minutes). One night last week, I told Linna that Baby Jimmy could sleep in the Bassinest, so she could sleep in our bed with me. But, the thought of having Baby Jimmy waking her up at night sent her straight back to her own bed. My sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and Papa Saigh have been extremely helpful getting up with Linna between 7 and 7:30 a.m., so I can sleep in a little bit, since I'm up at night with Jameson. After experiencing postpartum depression with Linna, I realize how important sleep is. So far, I feel pretty well-rested, going to bed around 10 p.m., waking up a couple times a night to pump, feed, and change Jameson, then getting up around 7:30/8 a.m.

Big sister snuggles after The Wizard of Oz show.

Baby Jimmy loves his hand-me-down Wubbanub from his big sister Linna.

First bath after his umbilical cord fell off.

Baby Jimmy is still in his newborn clothes, and went from his birth-weight of 7 lbs. 12 oz., to 7 lbs. 4 oz. at his 1-week pediatrician check-up. His umbilical cord fell off at 8 days old, and I'm slowly realizing that his newborn days are numbered, which makes me SO sad. I've had my emotional moments, but allowing people to help me this time around has really made a difference in the "sanity" department. I struggle with my doctor's orders to "take it easy", but when I don't listen, I feel it... BIG TIME. I'm still healing, which is tough when you have a 4-year-old, a newborn, and a house to take care of. My sister-in-law, Holly, gave me one of the greatest gifts, cooking and preparing our family freezer meals that I can just pop in the oven or crock-pot. Not having to cook or menu-plan during the first week has been an incredible help. My mom has also been helping me out by picking Linna up from school some days, and taking her for the afternoon. My sister, sister-in-law, mother and father-in-law have also been incredibly helpful with Linna, and the household chores. I am so thankful for all the help from everyone, so I can spend time bonding with Baby Jimmy. I honestly couldn't do this without all the help.

Papa Saigh listening to blues music with Baby Jimmy, just like he'd do when he was in my belly.

Another perfect Minnesota Baby.

I know we're just at the beginning of Baby Jimmy's life, but I am loving our life as a family of 4. I know I said I was "done" having babies just a couple weeks ago, but I want 5 more (Papa Saigh, are you game?!)! Here are a few of my favorite baby products/gear that have helped us through Baby Jimmy's first 12 days...

Boudreaux's Butt Paste - With all Baby Jimmy's pooping, we ran into a little bit of a red bum. I'm not joking when I say that this thick paste cleared things up in a day. Plus, it's only about $5 at Target,

Kiinde Bottle System - I will write more about this amazing system later, but this bottle-system is a game changer. I can literally pump into the Kiinde bags, and the bags pop into a fast and easy bottle-feeding system. I can freeze the bags of breast milk, or feed Baby Jimmy right away after pumping. These bags can also be used as pureed food squeeze-pouches when Baby Jimmy gets older.

Moby Wrap - I don't know why I didn't use this baby carrier with Linna more often. I love snuggling Baby Jimmy, but I also have a 4-year-old to pay attention to, and work to get done. The Moby Wrap allows me to get things done around the house, while holding my baby close. Love being hands-free!

Zutano Booties - Baby Jimmy's tiny feet and ankles don't hold socks or booties very well, but Zutano's booties are one of the only booties that will stay put. I'm so glad I ordered a couple pair of these booties, because Jameson is in them all the time.

Medela Freestyle Double Electric Breast Pump - This breast pump is worth its weight in gold. Since I am exclusively pumping and bottle feeding (Jimmy can't figure out how to latch onto Mama Saigh's enormous boobies), this pump allows me to be completely hands-free while pumping my liquid gold. The pump is so small and powerful, and attaches to my clothing, or my hands-free pumping bra. At 12 day postpartum, I am pumping about 6-8 oz. per session.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

GIVEAWAY: The wizard of oz at children's theatre company.

4-year-old Linna and her baby brother Jameson (Baby Jimmy) at The Wizard of Oz.
We are so excited to give away a family 4-pack of tickets to the Children's Theatre Company's production of The Wizard of Oz! We had tickets booked to see this show last Saturday, but my water broke and I was in the hospital having our little Baby Jimmy. The staff at the Children's Theatre Company was nice enough to rearrange our tickets, so I could take the kids this past weekend instead. That's right, I took the 4-year-old and the 1-week-old to see The Wizard of Oz... By myself.

The show is super cute. It was a little scary for Linna whenever the Wicked Witch of the West made an appearance, but the more the witch came out on stage, the more relaxed Linna became. Linna loved all of the munchkin scenes, seeing Toto on stage (a real dog), and all of the music during the show. I thought the two stand-out characters were Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion. The actress who played Dorothy was a great singer, and did a great job making Dorothy her "own" character. The actor who played the Cowardly Lion was hilarious. He had both Linna and I laughing, and I couldn't get enough of his accent.

The show runs about two hours, and there were points in the show where my 4-year-old lost interest. However, seconds later a song would start, grabbing her attention again. We also had to miss the last 10 minutes of the show because Linna got a stomach ache from eating too much junk food the day before. Since I was in a rush to get her to the bathroom, I left behind my cooler and a bag of breast milk in the theatre, which was such a bummer. But overall, I really enjoyed my morning with my babies at The Wizard of Oz.

If you go see this show, allow at least 20 extra minutes for parking, because 15 minutes before the show is CRAZY with last-minute arrivals (especially on the weekends). We missed the first 5 minutes of the show because the ramps near the theatre were full, and we were running late. One thing about our experience that kind of threw me, was that fact that I was charged $5 for Baby Jimmy to enter the theatre. Apparently, there's a "lap ticket" that must be purchased for any child sitting on an adult's lap, even if the child is a week old. This small $5 fee was a little frustrating, but once we got into the theatre, we all enjoyed our experience.

We probably would have had better luck taking a photo BEFORE the show. Linna had
a tummy ache at the end of the show, so we had to leave 10 minutes before the show ended:(

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A FAMILY 4-PACK OF TICKETS TO THE WIZARD OF OZ... Either "like" and share our contest post on Facebook, or comment on this blog post with your first and last name, and city you reside in. If you do both, you'll double your chances to win. All entries must be received by Thursday, November 26th at 9 p.m. One winner will be randomly selected and announced on this blog on Friday, November 27th. Good luck everyone!

The Wizard of Oz
Children's Theatre Company
2400 3rd Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 874-0400
Show runs through January 10th

Monday, November 23, 2015

Maternity photo-shoot with robert evans.

Baby Jimmy is now a week old, and I'm already missing my baby bump. It's incredible how I've gone from "This is my last baby.", to "Let's have five more!", in the matter of a couple weeks. During my pregnancy, I found an amazingly talented photographer to capture the final weeks of my growing belly. Robert Evans of Robert Evans Imagery captured the most beautiful photos of my first baby, Linna, and her baby brother in my belly when I was about 33 weeks pregnant with Baby Jimmy (at the time, we didn't know if he was going to be a boy or a girl). Minnesota is pretty lucky to have this talented photographer living and working right here in the Twin Cities, because he has quite the extensive portfolio.

Linna, Mama Saigh, and Baby Jimmy in my belly.
Mama Saigh and "the bump" in our unfinished basement of the new house.
Robert is the photographer who captured all the of wedding images for Katie Holmes and Tom CruiseBrad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, and Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton. I feel beyond lucky to have found this talented man to capture this special time in our family's life. Robert made our entire shoot so easy. He came to my home, which was great because I could just pop into my closet to select wardrobe choices for each shot, instead of having to lug everything to his studio. Robert made me feel incredibly relaxed, and had our 4-year-old daughter in and out of shots when her short attention span would allow for it. His photography partner, Nate Anderson, was also on hand to shoot video of this experience. The three of us had so much fun during our two-hour shoot, listening to Robert tell us stories from his celebrity photography experience.

Mama Saigh and baby.
I love this photo because I'm sitting on the same chair that I took all of Linna's monthly
and yearly photos in, as she was a little baby!
I received my images from Robert within a week of our shoot, and was blown away with how the photos turned out. He captured the developing bond that was forming between me, my daughter, and the growing baby inside my belly. While I was feeling swollen, uncomfortable, and just plain large during this pregnancy, Robert and Nate made me feel beautiful. It's fantastic how Robert turned simple spots in our newly purchased home, into gorgeous backdrops and settings for each photo. We had just moved into our new house the day before this shoot, and now, I love looking back on these photos to see how far we've come making this house our home.

Linna resting on Mama Saigh's baby bump. She's SO excited to be a big sister!

We had some fun during our shoot too!
It feels like it was just yesterday that I had Baby Jimmy in my belly, but now he's here and we're loving every cuddle, newborn cry, and sweet newborn smell. I'm so excited to, one day, explain to my kids that they were photographed photographing moms, moms-to-be, and families in the Twin Cities, so take advantage of this while you can, because he's sure to book up quickly!
by the man who photographed some of the biggest celebrities in America. The moments Robert captured of me and my babies will be something I will always look back on, because this pregnancy really did fly by. Robert Evans is now

Robert Evans Imagery
Email: Hello@RobertEvans.com
Phone: (818) 206-4243

Nate Anderson, Robert Evans, and Mama Saigh.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

VIDEO: Linna meets baby jimmy for the first time.

This is video of Linna, her MeMaw and PeePaw meeting Baby Jimmy for the first time, just 30 minutes after he was born. We had them come to the hospital without knowing if Baby Jimmy was a boy or a girl. I love Linna's reaction. Etta was our girl name.

Bringing baby home & getting hit by the "feelings truck".

3-day-old Baby Jimmy and his Big Sister Linna. So much love.
Monday afternoon, we brought Baby Jimmy home from the hospital. We spent two and a half days at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, and when we got home, I was hit by a truck of emotions.

I'm being very careful about watching for signs of postpartum depression this time around, as I had it pretty bad with Linna. But last night, I don't know if it was the hormones, the fact that we were finally home, the exhaustion, or the overwhelming amount of love I was experiencing, but I had a good, long cry.

Papa Saigh and his mom took Linna to dance last night, so Baby Jimmy and I curled up in our bed, and I just let the tears flow. I was feeling EVERYTHING. I felt sad when I looked in the mirror, and didn't see my big pregnant belly. I felt overwhelming happiness watching our 4-year-old love up on her baby brother. I felt frustrated and annoyed by all the unfinished projects we have going on in our house. I basically just... FELT.

There's something about birth that unleashes an incredible amount of emotions in me. I wasn't a very sensitive person before I had my first baby, but these babies have turned me into a puddle of mush. Last night, Linna was being difficult around dinner time (she's been "challenging" since she turned 4), so I made her leave the table and go upstairs. She threw a fit, pushing all of my buttons, and I completely lost it with her, raising my voice more than I would have liked. Ok, I yelled at her. I made her go to bed early, but laid with her for a few minutes like I always do before she goes to bed. As we laid there, she put her hand on my face and whimpered "I love you, Mama. More than anything."

Cue Kim Kardashian ugly cry.

I laid with Linna in her bed, and cried. I cried because of the way I yelled at her. I cried because of how sweet my baby girl is. I just cried. Every emotion I was feeling came pouring out in the form of tears, and I told my daughter how much I loved her. I told her that the tears I was crying were happy tears, and that she and her baby brother made my heart feel so much happiness. I laid with her until she fell asleep, and then made my way to the bathroom to finish my cry in the tub.

I needed that cry.

I feel ya, little guy. Just cry it out.
I felt so honest with myself. I could breathe, and felt like a new person. I know my hormones are all over the place, and talking with other moms who experienced this same wave of emotions has been comforting. Unlike when Linna was born, I'm accepting the help that's being offered to us, and think I am so much more "relaxed" this time around. Finding our family's new normal has been challenging, but I am feeling so incredibly lucky to be the mama of a perfect baby boy, and one amazing little girl.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Jameson marshall saigh is here.

As I sit here in my hospital bed writing this, my precious and perfect baby boy is sleeping soundly right next to me. I know I should sleep when the baby sleeps, but I just can't stop starring at this little man. 

Jameson Marshall Saigh, AKA Baby "Jimmy".

Jameson Marshall Saigh (Baby "Jimmy") made his grand entrance at 2:41 p.m. on November 14th. My water broke at home at 7:40 on Saturday morning. I was laying in bed, having irregular contractions and slight back pain, and Papa Saigh and I were discussing whether or not we should ask his parents (MeMaw and PeePaw) to head to our house from Mankato (my parents are currently in Florida). We decided to call and tell them not to hurry, but to head to our house whenever they could, because we might head to the hospital if my contractions kept progressing. Ten minutes later, we were calling to tell them to hurry and get here, because my water broke and I was bleeding slightly (pink blood in the fluid). We decided to take Linna to the hospital with us and have MeMaw and PeePaw meet us there, because I started having pretty strong contractions at home.

(VIDEO: Telling Linna that my water just broke, and that the baby is probably coming today.)

I was immediately admitted to the hospital, gave Linna a hug "good-bye", as she was off with her MeMaw and PeePaw. I decided to start some IV drugs right away because I was already dilated to 4.5cm and 80% effaced, and we had the epidural guy on stand-by. And now, the worst part of my entire labor experience. The nurses tried to administer my IV not once, not twice, but THREE times... AND they weren't successful until the FOURTH attempt. I hate needles, so along with a lot of tears came a few f-bombs (and some other words that don't need repeating). I was so upset. I had to get into the bathtub to remove myself from the situation, and try to relieve my back pain. Once the nurse successfully administered my IV drugs, I had an epidural started as well. My epidural with Linna went very smoothly, and other than a little bit of pressure, I didn't feel any pain during her birth. This time around, was very different.

Last "bump" photo, in the elevator at the hospital.

Last pic as a family of three.

From the very beginning, my epidural was "odd". I literally felt so high, and was not only numb from the legs down, but from my chest down. I couldn't keep my legs from falling off the bed (which, of course, I found hilarious in my "high" state), but I also couldn't cough properly, which was extremely frustrating. I went from 4.5cm, to 6cm, then 8cm, in about an hour. When I got to 8cm, they called the doctor to come in, because I was literally crossing my legs to keep from pushing the baby out. I can't tell you how difficult this was. When the doctor finally arrived, they set me up to push, and I immediately knew that this birth experience would be different from my birth experience with Linna.

I could feel... EVERYTHING.

Snuggling my little man.

Baby Jimmy isn't sure what to think of his new world.

The doctor game me a local anesthetic to make the experience a little bit better. The pain wasn't excruciating or anything, but the pressure was intense! Papa Saigh and I were able to watch the birth from a mirror that the nurses set up, which again, was an incredible thing to see. While I probably would have rather been a little more numb, I felt pretty amazing after experiencing the feelings of pushing my baby out. I only pushed for about 20 minutes, and when they placed the baby on my chest, I immediately asked what it was. Papa Saigh said, "it's a boy!", as his eyes filled with tears. I couldn't believe it, and I still can hardly believe it. Baby Jimmy had a great set of lungs, and didn't stop crying until they brought him back to me after they weighed him and checked his vitals. I fell in love from the moment I looked at his full head of hair and perfect little face.

We called MeMaw, PeePaw, and Linna, and told them to head to the hospital, without telling them if the baby was a boy or a girl. Linna was beyond excited to meet her new baby, but when we told her it was a boy, she said, "but I wanted an Etta (our girl name)". Her disappointment didn't last very long, as she cuddled right up to her baby brother. Watching the two of them together has made my heart double in size. I can't believe I am the mama of TWO babies... A gorgeous little girl, and perfect little boy. I was pretty worried about how I'd ever love another baby as much as I love my first born, but it's unreal how much love is pouring out of me right now.

My heart.

Baby Jimmy after his first bath. Look at all his hair!

I seriously can't stop cuddling and starring at Baby Jimmy. He is unbelievably cute, and beyond sweet. I love his newborn cry, and his precious whimper when he sleeps. He's not even 24 hours old yet, and he's already pooped twice, figured out how to latch on to my massive boobs (with a nipple shield), and is pretty alert when he's awake (although he sleeps a lot). I'm pumping a good amount of colostrum with my new Medela breast pump, and feeding it to Baby Jimmy via a bottle. He's taking a pacifier, bottle, and the boob with no nipple confusion. He is absolute perfection, and I want five more of him. Man, how things change!

Papa Saigh is staying with me and Baby Jimmy in the hospital until Monday, and I am enjoying every minute of my "vacation". I think I desperately needed a little bit of a break from the 4-year-old, and I know it's just a matter of time before I have to go back to "real life" as a new mom of two (with no nurses to help). I am soaking up this precious time with my little man, because I know he's going to grow up just as fast as Linna has. We are so thankful for all the love we've received from all of you, and I am feeling like the luckiest person in the world right now. 

Now, time to enjoy some more snuggles with my little guy!