Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Baby saigh #2 pregnancy: 13 weeks.

Baby Saigh #2 at 13 weeks.
I'm in the final week of my first trimester! Not a lot has changed. My boobs are still crazy huge and sore, and I'm still hungry all the time. I went to the doctor this week for some genetics testing in Singapore, and found out that I gained 3 lbs. in 2 weeks. Oops! I'm really trying to keep my cravings at bay, but still indulging every now and then (...and then some). I had a scan during the genetics testing appointment, and Baby Saigh #2 is growing right on track. The heartbeat was 154 beats per minute, and the initial scan didn't show any markers for Downs Syndrome. They also took a sample of my blood, so I'll have the complete results back on June 4th. The baby was very sleepy, and kept his/her hands up in front of his/her face. I noticed, however, that this kid has what appeared to be a really long body, arms and legs! Papa Saigh and I are not the tallest people, and we don't have what you'd consider to be "long" extremities, so I'm not sure what's happening here. Also a few weeks ago, I swear I could feel the baby moving around, but I haven't been feeling much of anything (other than "pulling" sensations in my abdomen) in the last few weeks. I'll feel a little something every now and then, but it is still early. No "real" kicks or jabs quite yet.

Papa Saigh and I have also been taking turns sleeping in the guest room. Linna has worked her magic on us, and now sleeps in our bed. So, one of us is sleeping with her, while the other sleeps in the guest room. Judge all you want, but the three of us are sleeping like champs! I toss and turn all night to get comfortable (plus I have my huge pregnancy pillow in the bed), Papa Saigh likes to steal covers and take up 3/4 of the bed, and little Linna likes to sleep horizontal in the bed (imagine the three of us in an "H" shape). Even though we have a California king-size bed, it just doesn't seem big enough for the three of us. Keep on judgin', but this sleeping arrangement is working for us at the moment.

That one time you had a pregnancy craving for cinnamon rolls,
but you completely lost your appetite after seeing the price of
a roll in Singapore. Can you believe it?!

Every week, I look back at my blog and compare this pregnancy to my pregnancy with Linna (here's a link to my 13-week update with Linna). These pregnancies were VERY different at first, but now I'm starting to see similarities (pregnancy acne, huge appetite, naughty food cravings, etc.). Linna is so excited about being a big sister. She rubs my belly, talks to the baby, and tells everyone that there's a baby in my tummy. I'm actually kind of thankful for her forwardness, as she's like a mini "ice-breaker". It's always awkward when you kind of figure that someone is pregnant by the looks of them, but you don't want to say anything and offend if it's not the case. Gotta love her enthusiasm. Can you believe that Baby Saigh #2 is the size of a pea pod, and weighs nearly an ounce?! Onto the second trimester!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Little passports.

Linna, engaged with her first Little Passports package.
I've seen a few of my friends post photos of their kids' using the new Little Passports subscriptions on social media, and the idea really caught my attention. So, I decided to order a 3-month subscription to Little Passports for our 3.5-year-old daughter Linna. I'm always hesitant to purchase these types of things because, at this age, their attention span is so short. However, from the moment Linna opened her first Little Passports package, she was hooked! I sat down with her and went through all of the package's contents: An adorable suitcase with a "passport", large map of the world for her bedroom, passport stickers, suitcase stickers, and educational activities. We hung the large, bright, "kid-friendly" map on the wall in her room, and I showed her the color-coded continents. She, of course, was overly excited about the stickers. In an effort to detour her from simply sticking the stickers wherever she pleased (as she usually does), the two of us sat down and went through the passport's activities. Linna quickly became enthusiastic about all of the educational activities, which helped her learn each of the 7 continents in a mater of minutes.

To be completely honest, I ordered Little Passports to give Linna something to do on her own, giving me a little extra free time. However, I found that I enjoyed explaining and doing the activities WITH her and watching her learn! She carries her new Little Passports suitcase with the passport inside everywhere we go, and works on the activities even though they are already completed. The only thing I'd change about the first package we received, would be even MORE activities included in the passport book. Linna wanted to keep learning, even after all of her activities were completed. She loved all the matching, "find the continent's landmarks", counting, and searching activities that were included in her passport. I guess she has something to look forward to next month!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Baby saigh #2 pregnancy: Weeks 11 and 12.

My friend Renee (Mama Bryce) and I at Mother's Day Brunch
at Prego in Singapore. Mama Bryce is 34 weeks in  this photo,
while Mama Saigh is 11 weeks.
11 Weeks Pregnant

Well, my boobs still hurt, I'm still tired, sooooooo thirsty, but my nausea has really lightened up. I'll get a wave of nausea every so often, but nothing bad at all any more. I am still getting up at least twice a night to pee, which is not helping me in the "rest" department. I started taking Unisom before bed at night (my doctor says it's "safe" for pregnant women, and I have pregnant friends who swear by it), and the first night that I took it I slept from 8:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. However, the second night that I took it, I had crazy dreams, was awake every couple hours, on top of having to pee every few hours. I think I'll start taking it every few nights, instead of every night.

We celebrated Mother's Day this weekend too with a beautiful brunch at Prego at the Swissotel in Singapore (very appropriate, huh?!). I did a couple "naughty" things at brunch over the weekend, like eat oysters, and enjoyed a few sips of Papa Saigh's Prosecco. Even the thought of drinking a glass of wine or champagne has made my stomach turn recently (I know, it's like a sign that the world is ending), but I wanted to enjoy a few sips on Mother's Day.

I have also been CRAVING oysters since finding out that we were going to have brunch at Prego. So, I'm satisfied with my indulgences. I was also craving this Minnesota hotdish that my mom makes, so I ran all around Singapore to find the ingredients to make it. The hotdish looks like cat "sick", but it is soooooooo good. I'll have some genetics testing done on May 21st (13 weeks pregnant), so please keep Baby Saigh in your thoughts!

12 Weeks Pregnant

My nausea came back a bit this week. It happens mostly in the morning, and still nothing awful. I can't believe how hungry I've been. Seriously, it's like I'm pregnant with twins! At this rate, I'll be 700 lbs. by the time I pop this baby out. I'm pretty sure this is due to my excess appetite, but I have acid reflux pretty bad. Taking TUMS keeps it at bay, but woof. Still super thirsty, so I'm drinking a lot of water. My boobs still hurt, and my nips look disgusting... So there's that (seeeeexy!). I wake up to pee like a half-dozen times at night, which isn't helping my sleep situation. The good thing is that I go to bed these days by 9pm, and wake up with Linna around 7am. I wonder if it would be weird if I started sleeping in a diaper so I could get a full 8 hours of sleep?! I got a pregnancy body-pillow this week too, because the body pillow from my pregnancy with Linna is in storage in MN. I purchased a LeachCo Snoogle maternity pillow in Singapore, and it's been a lifesaver. Linna calls it the "big C pillow" (haha, it does look like the letter "c"). I'm at that point in my pregnancy where people look at me, and I swear they must be thinking, "Is she pregnant, or did she really just let herself go?". My belly has definitely popped, but it's at that "Is she pregnant, or just fat?" stage. Almost into my second trimester! Can't believe the baby is already the size of a lime. We found out that our insurance won't cover the Harmony testing as I previously thought, so I'll just be doing the regular genetics testing on May 21st. Looks like we'll have to wait to find out the baby's gender... that is, if we DO decide to find out before the birth.

To the lady that "shush-ed" my 3-year-old on the bus.

3-year-old Linna on her Nabi tablet.
I'll admit it. I was a completely different person before I became a mom. Before kids, I was that emotion-less person who rolled their eyes and grunted about noisy children on airplanes (why would a parent travel with a child anyway, right?!). Now, I give that mom who is struggling to get her temper-tantruming child back into the shopping cart an empathetic smile, and I have a laugh when the kid behind me on an airplane is talking about penises and poop. I've been in that mom's shoes before, and in more ways than one, having a kid definitely changed me.

Yesterday, I was on a public bus in Singapore (SMRT) with my three-year-old. We were traveling from the West Coast to Robertson Quay to run errands and go scooting, which is a good 45-minute bus ride. During these long trips, I usually give my daughter the iPad or Nabi to keep her busy. On this particular trip, the bus way pretty full, so we found a seat on the top section of the double-decker bus. Linna turned on one of her favorite iPad apps (Fisher Price's Little People), and I turned the volume to low (I forgot her headphones at home). The volume was loud enough for both her and I to hear it, but quiet enough to get drowned out by the other noises/people on the bus. Linna decided to play a few of her favorite music videos, and sing along with them. I love when she does this.

Just like her Mama, Linna is not a quiet kid. She was singing happily and at her usual volume (not shouting or screaming, but definitely not whispering). For a second, I thought to myself, "I could ask her to sing more quietly", but I'd then run the risk of...

A. Hurting her feelings (she was singing beautifully, and I like to compliment her on these types of things).
B. Confusing her (why would I ask her to be quiet, when she was doing something sweet).
C. A complete threenager meltdown (I avoid even the possibility of these nightmares at all costs).

I chose to let her singing continue, especially when I received a friendly smile from the mom sitting across from us. Moms always think a singing child is cute, right?!

*** SIDE NOTE: For the record, I don't ALWAYS think my singing kid is adorable. And, let's be honest, a 3-year-old's attention spans about 5-10 minutes, so the chances of her singing continuing past then was slim to none. Ok, continue...

Five minutes into my daughter's singing, an old woman sitting behind us tapped my 3-year-old on the shoulder, and with an angry look on her face the woman "SUSH-ED" my kid.

That's right, she "SHUSH-ED" my 3-year-old, singing child.

I don't know if it was the startled and confused look on my child's face, or the fact that this women had the audacity to not only touch my kid, but "scold" her right in front of me... but mama bear LOST it. While I am usually incredibly respectful of my elders (especially elders in an Asian country), this lady had approached my bear cub, and mama bear went on the defense. So, what did mama bear do? I turned around and "shush-ed" the lady right back (I believe I specifically told her to go "shush" herself).

While I have no idea if the woman even spoke English, I pointed out the man a few rows back, who had been speaking on his cell phone at a volume that FAR exceeded my daughter's singing. I also pointed out the man at the back of the bus, who was disgustingly hocking loogies every two minutes into God only knows where. Why didn't she "shush" them?! The women then proceeded to (I can only assume) bad-mouth me in Chinese to her very silent friend sitting next to her. The two exited the bus a couple minutes later. Linna kept on singing, the man on the phone kept on talking loudly, and the man at the back of the bus kept hocking up his phlegm. God I love Singapore.

Clearly, Mama Saigh acted on her emotions in this particular situation. While I'd like to think that I'd be able to hold my tongue in situations like this, my "mama bear" instincts took over. When I look back on the situation, I don't think I would have done anything differently. Who was my 3-year-old's singing really hurting anyway? She wasn't crying, having a tantrum, whining, kicking the seat in front of her, running up and down the aisles, or climbing over the seats, as I've seen other children on the bus (including mine) do. If the singing was really bothering that woman, she could have politely tapped me on the shoulder and asked (with a smile) if my daughter could kindly keep it down a bit. I then might have assumed that this woman had worked a long day, was tired, had a headache, and I could have approached my daughter MYSELF to explain the situation. I would have appreciated the fact that she approached me... not the kid.

For those who want to tell me that I'm a guest in an Asian county where children are generally "seen and not heard", I can tell you that this is far from the truth in Singapore. Singapore is a beautiful melting pot of many different cultures, races, and religions, and all of them include children. While some individuals may feel that children should be "seen and not heard", I think that generality completely disrespects the reality of Singapore. We've lived in Singapore for almost three years, and if this was a country that wanted children "seen and not heard", we would have been gone a long time ago. We love all that Singapore has to offer children, and how child-friendly this country is.

My point is simple: Don't mess with mama bear. Am I right?!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pregnancy has made me dumb-er.

Linna (the "original" Minnesota Baby) is excited about
becoming a big sister in November.
If you've ever wondered whether or not "pregnancy brain" is a real pregnancy symptom, let me tell you straight from the pregnant lady's mouth... It is (although WebMD says Pregnancy Brain/Momnesia is NOT real). Let me start out by saying that I do NOT think that I am a stupid/dumb person, but if you know me at all then you know that even in my non-pregnant state, I tend to say/do things that wouldn't necessarily be classified as "intelligent". But hey, that's just me. Love it, or leave it. However, since finding out that I'm pregnant with Baby #2, my brain has honestly become mush. I don't know if it's the lack of sleep, pregnancy hormones, or something else, but I honestly sometimes find myself having "out of body" experiences. Like when I'm doing or saying something, it's as if I'm watching myself thinking, "oh my gosh, WTF is she doing right now?!". Examples...

1. When I was about six weeks pregnant, I took yogurt and milk out of the refrigerator for our 3-year-old's bedtime snack. Instead of pouring the milk in the glass, and putting the yogurt in the bowl, I put the yogurt in the bowl and poured the milk on top of it. Really?!

2. This was an actual conversation between me and Papa Saigh a couple weeks ago, while watching a movie at home...

Mama Saigh: "Is that the guy from Lost?" (Jorge Gargia)
Papa Saigh: "Yes."
Mama Saigh: "So, he's like an actor now?!"
Papa Saigh: "He was an actor when he was on Lost."

(Pause for 5 seconds...)

Papa Saigh: "Did you think Lost was a reality show?"
Mama Saigh: "Shit..."

When I was having that conversation with Papa Saigh, in my normal mind I knew that Lost was a TV drama series. But for some reason, at that moment I thought it was a reality show. And three seconds before I poured the milk on the yogurt, I remember thinking to myself, "Pour the milk in the glass". You see?! Pregnancy brain is a real thing! I don't remember having it with Linna, which is yet another reason why I'm convinced we're having a boy. I'm hoping my self-diagnosed "Pregnancy Brain" cures itself in the coming weeks, because I'm seriously concerned that I'm going to forget Linna at home one day while I go do a grocery run. Gahhhhhhhhhhh!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Family vacation in lombok and gili islands.

Linna on one of the Gili Islands.

In March, we took a 5-day/4-night vacation to Lombok in Indonesia, along with a visit to the beautiful Gili Islands. Linna was off from school for 2 weeks, and Papa Saigh needed a break from his busy job, so this getaway was exactly what we all needed. I was a little anxious about traveling, as we had recently found out that I was pregnant with Baby Saigh #2. Lombok is an island next to Bali in Indonesia, and just a 2.5-hour flight from Singapore (plus a 1.5-hour drive from the airport to our resort). While Lombok and the Gili Islands are beautiful on their own, I honestly feel that the resort we stayed at made all the difference.

Tugu Lombok.
Linna on one of the daybeds on Tugu's private beach.
So beautiful - Tugu Lombok.
We booked an Aloon-Aloon Villa at the spectacular Tugu Lombok, and the accommodations were perfect for our family of three. When we arrived at the resort just after 8 p.m. via car service (booked through Tugu), we were a little skeptical of our decision to stay at Tugu, as we found ourselves in a very remote area. Plus, it was dark outside, so we couldn't see anything. A very friendly staff member ("Uncle" Henry) greeted us, escorted us to dinner, and then to our villa. The villa was absolutely incredible! We were given a key with a HUGE wooden bird on it (you won't lose it), that unlocked the door to a beautiful private garden that led into our spacious accommodations. There was a double lounge and eating area outside in the garden, and inside was an over-sized king bed, another sitting area, lounge bed, separate dressing area, and gigantic bathroom with an amazing round copper tub and an over-sized rain shower. The room was air-conditioned and incredibly lush, while still giving us the feel of being a bit rustic. I've never experienced a villa quite like this one!

The garden area of our villa.
Entry to our villa.
Sleeping area of our villa.
Dressing area of our villa. How gorgeous is that mirror?!
High ceilings and copper tub in our HUGE bathroom.
From the hotel staff. Cute!
The three of us slept peacefully in our huge, comfy bed, and awoke very well-rested to the gorgeous views outside our villa. Papa Saigh walked down to the beach to catch photos of the sunrise, while I took in the tranquility that is Tugu. Honestly, we thought we were the only ones at this resort because it was so peaceful and quiet, when in reality the resort was at 70-percent occupancy. When we walked to the Bale Kokok Pletok for breakfast, we found children playing in the beautiful infinity pool while their parents and families ate breakfast. Breakfast was included in our accommodation package, and we were astonished to find out that there was NO specific time-frame or location for breakfast at Tugu. Seriously, we could wake up whenever we wanted and have breakfast served where ever we wanted! What a welcome change to the 7 a.m. - 10 a.m. hotel breakfasts we're used to. We each ordered breakfast off the menu, and they had options for each of us, which included a fresh fruit smoothie, coffee, or tea, fresh fruits, baked goods baskets... and that's just to start! Linna would usually order the banana pancakes because she enjoyed smothering them in chocolate and syrup, while Papa Saigh and I indulged in things like the traditional Indonesian breakfast, or french toast, bacon, eggs, etc. They also have a homemade yogurt which is really different, but really good topped with fruit.

Linna and Papa Saigh enjoying afternoon tea at Tugu.
Fancy pants.
Mama Saigh's GoPro selfie in the pool at Tugu.
Homemade yogurt and fruit at Tugu.
We would get one of these personalized leaves every day during our meals. So sweet!
Traditional Indonesian Breakfast at Tugu.
After a two-hour, relaxing breakfast each day, we'd make our way down to the beautiful beach, or just hang out at the pool. The resort had a big bucket of kid's toys for Linna to play with in the sand by the beach, which was really nice. I had a couple massages at the resort, right on the beach during our stay. They were incredibly relaxing, enjoyable, and exactly how a massage should be done. Since the beach at Tugu is private and pretty quiet, I didn't hear anything during my massages, besides the sound of the breeze and birds outside. I felt completely revitalized after both treatments!

On the second day of our vacation, we woke up at 5:30 a.m. to take a Sunrise Breakfast on Tugu's Dragon Boat Naga Mesem. The sunrise was absolutely gorgeous, and the boat ride was incredibly relaxing... even with the 3-year-old. While Papa Saigh and I were taking in the beautiful views of volcanoes, mountains, and villages, our 3-year-old was asking for the iPad. Does she realize where she is right now?! Papa Saigh and Linna went in the water during the boat trip as well, and Papa Saigh even went snorkeling, where he got to see puffer fish and other beautiful sea life. He did, however, get very sick later that night, and we assume it's from all the water he swallowed during his excursion. I'm so thankful that my pregnant self decided not to go snorkeling, even though I missed out on what Papa Saigh said were some incredible underwater sights. I'm also thankful that the kid didn't get sick, but she really didn't do much actual snorkeling.

Beautiful Lombok.
Bug and Papa Saigh before the Dragon Boat Sunrise Cruise at Tugu.
Linna loves taking photos. Haha!
A little boating village off Lombok.
Papa Saigh snorkeling off Lombok.
Linna wanted to join her Papa in the snorkeling fun.
(Dragon Boat Sunrise Breakfast Trip at Tugu)

We also took a half-day boat trip out to the Gili Islands during our trip. The Gili Islands are three small islands (Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan) off the coast of Lombok (just a 20 minute boat ride from Tugu), where cars and motorbikes are not allowed. While all three islands' beaches are beautiful, Gili Air was our favorite. The water off Gili Air was crystal clear, turquoise, and calm. All three of us swam in these waters, and Linna absolutely loved it. There are, however, sea lice that do sting... and they hurt! Papa Saigh and I got bit/stung by what we thought were sea jellies, but our boat captain told us that it was just sea lice. How Linna didn't get bit/stung, I'll never know. But those little buggers definitely know how to ruin a piece of paradise! Linna also got to release a sea turtle back into the water on Gili Meno. There's a small turtle sanctuary on Gili Meno, where you can select and release a turtle for a small donation (like $15 USD - we gave more) to the worthwhile cause of keeping sea turtles alive and well in these waters. Linna was a little apprehensive about holding her sea turtle, and the sea turtle was a little unsure about diving into the large, open waters, but we all loved releasing this wild animal where it belongs.

We wanted to release every single one back into the wild.
Sea Turtles.
Linna checking things out with the helpful Auntie.
She didn't want to hold it because it was too squirmy.

Farewell little turtle!
(Linna releasing her sea turtle in the Gili Islands)

Our entire vacation was basically spent eating, drinking (Papa Saigh did all the drinking on this trip), sleeping, relaxing... and more eating. The food at Tugu was very good and very reasonably priced. I REALLY loved their pizzas, spring rolls, and fresh fruit. Every afternoon, the resort hosts a tea for its guests, with cakes and a delicious house tea by the pool. They also have a yummy satay on the lunch and dinner menu at the Bale Kokok Pletok restaurant (pool restaurant), which comes with lamb, beef, chicken, etc., and a variety of dipping sauces. I ordered this twice!

This trip was truly spectacular, and our resort played a big part in our wonderful experience on Lombok. When we departed Tugu, the staff was waiting for us to say goodbye and wish us well. This small act made a lasting impression on all three of us. Linna still asks about "Uncle Henry" (a staff member that Linna was always on the lookout for), and we are so appreciative of the service we received at Tugu. On the drive to the airport, we got to see tons of wild monkeys just hanging out in the streets. It was like they all came out to say goodbye to us too! We would highly recommend a visit to Tugu Lombok, and we hope to be back one day soon.

Linna relaxing in a hammock on Tugu's beach.
Playing with the resort's toys on the beach.
Flight: We flew Silk Air, which we would recommend. It cost about $1,200 for the three of us to fly from Singapore to Lombok. The flight days/times were a bit conflicting with Papa Saigh's work schedule, but the seats were comfortable, food was decent, alcohol was included, and the staff was great with our 3-year old.

Tugu staff, coming out to say farewell.
So happy in paradise.

Mama Saigh and bug in the waters of the Gili Islands.
Papa Saigh and Linna relaxing.

Monkeys on the road on the way to the airport.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Baby Saigh #2's 10-week ultrasound scan.

(Baby Saigh #2 at 10.5 weeks. Ultrasound done at NUH Singapore with Dr. Chew.)

How funny is my doctor's play-by-play commentary?! I had my 10-week ultrasound done today, and Baby Saigh #2 is measuring right on track. I'll be 11 weeks this Thursday! I'll do a first trimester screening in two weeks, including the Harmony test. I'm feeling better this week too. I still have sore boobs, but I'm not as nauseous, and not as exhausted. Certain smells, however, really get to me lately. Things that used to smell delicious, now make me want to vom. Papa Saigh makes a very fragrant pasta, using olive oil, garlic, and hot peppers, but he's had to stop making it because the smell is just too much for me. These weird food aversions happened when I was pregnant with Linna too. I couldn't stand the smell of cooked chicken, or anything with red sauce (like lasagna). So crazy. 

Papa Saigh and I were shocked to see how much the baby actually looks like a baby now, instead of a blob or a tadpole. We also told Linna this weekend that she is going to be a big sister in November. I think she was becoming frustrated at all the "baby talk" that she was hearing behind her back, because her behavior started getting a little questionable. Three-year-olds aren't stupid, and she totally knows what's going on. Linna loves rubbing my belly now, and is always asking questions about her baby brother or sister. I'm loving it!

Now, I'm off to watch Baby Saigh #2 dance around in this ultrasound video for the hundredth time...