Tuesday, June 30, 2015

FOX 9: Summer travel with kids.

Quinny Yezz: This is one of my favorite strollers for travel. We've used our Quinny Yezz for over a year in Singapore, as we had to rely on public transportation. It's a well-made, quality, umbrella stroller that will LAST! The stroller collapses and folds up easily with one hand, and folds down into a compact design that you can carry over your shoulder. It comes in a variety of colors, and is meant for children age 6 months to 3.5 years old (15kg/33lbs). The stroller itself weighs just 5kg/11lbs, has a water-repellent fabric, will stand upright on its own, and has a storage pouch on the backside of the seat. The wheels are like the wheels you'd find on Rollerblades, making for a very smooth ride. This is Papa Saigh's (my husband) favorite strollers when he's out and about with our 3.5-year-old. The Quinny Yezz retails for $279.

RideSafer Travel Vest: The RideSafer Travel Vest is a convenient, safe, portable, and legal way to transport your child safely, when a car seat just isn't an option. It's crash-tested and suitable for kids as young as age 3, and at least 30 lbs. I carry our Travel Vest in my bag when we're in Singapore, as we have to rely on taxis for transportation. It's a great option when traveling with children to cities like New York, or places where it's inconvenient to lug around a bulky car seat. The Travel Vest slips on like a jacket, and the seat belt is easily threaded through the shoulder and lap straps. The RideSafer Travel Vest retails between $110 and $149.

Buggy Board: The Lascal Buggy Board attaches to 99% of strollers to create a practical way to transport tired toddlers. Give your little walker the option to run around, or hop on the Buggy Board for a stress-free outing. The Buggy Board also comes in a Mini-Buggy version. We're excited for the release of the new Buggy Board Saddle, which is expected to be released in the fall of 2015! Buggy Boards retail for $89.99.

Tiggly Learning: Tiggly Toys have silicone touch-points, so your tablet reacts to them just like your fingertips. Just tap the shapes, letters, and counting toys on your tablet, and watch your children play and learn. All you need to do is download the free apps, and then your kids can learn and play without using wifi, batteries, or bluetooth (just keep your tablet charged). The Tiggly Shapes system is meant for children age 2-5 years (4 toys and 3 apps included), Tiggly Math is for children age 3-7 years (5 toys and 3 apps included), and the Tiggly Words is for children age 4-7 years (5 toys and 3 apps included). Your kids can use the Tiggly Learning apps without the toys as well. Our 3.5-year-old uses her new Tiggly during our long flights from Singapore to Minneapolis, and back. Tiggly retails for $29.95 and can be found at some Minnesota Apple stores, Kiddywampus, The Minnesota Children's Museum, Pacifier, Walker Arts Center Shop, and the Nicollet Mall Target.

1st Class Kid: This amazing contraption turns your airplane's economy seat into a first-class seat. The 1st Class Kid inflatable travel-pillow was created by a New Zealand Mom who is now living in Las Vegas. The travel pillow inflates by using your own air (mouth), or the airplane's forced overhead-air after take-off, allowing you and your child to stretch out your legs, relax, and hopefully fall asleep. The 1st Class Kid deflates to a small square that can easily fit in your carry-on luggage (we fit two in our carry-on bag very easily). Parents can fly "stress-free" knowing their children are buckled safely in their seatbelts, while sitting comfortably on the airplane. The 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow retails for $29.95, and you can purchase them online.

Usborne Children's Activity Books: Usborne books quite possibly has the best selection of children's travel books around. Our 3.5-year-old loves all the activity packs and dry-erase activity books, that keep her busy for hours during long flights and/or car rides. If you live in the Twin Cities, check out the really fun Usborne Books Storytime every Monday at 11:15 a.m. at the Play and Learn CafĂ© in Minnetonka! For just $5, your child can listen to storytime, make a craft based on the book of the week, and this price includes your play-area admission for the day.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

FOX 9: Parent helpers.

On Wednesday, Mama Saigh is on the FOX 9 BUZZ with some helpful products that will make any parent's life a little bit easier. Check them out...

It's so frustrating to be in a hurry, trying to print something off the computer quickly, only to realize that your
printer has run out of ink. Now, by paying a monthly fee, HP will ship you the ink you need right to your home,
BEFORE you realize you've run out of ink! Your printer actually tells HP when you're running out of ink.
HP Instant Ink plans start at $2.99/month.

The new Newton Crib Mattress is a breathable mattress with a core made of 90% air and 10% food-grade polymer,
without any foam, glue, springs, or latex. This means your baby's crib mattress won't give off any toxic chemicals or
allergens. The best part is that the Newton mattress is completely washable... That's right, this mattress loves taking
a bath! A complete Newton Mattress retails for $295, and you can try it for 100 nights for FREE!

Having a tough time getting your toddler to stay in his or her own bed?! Join the club! Aden + Anais recently came out
with a new line of toddler bedding that creates a perfect sleep space for your little one, where the fitted and flat sheet are
sewn together. The 100% cotton muslin will keep their toes toasty warm, ensuring a good night sleep. The bedding comes
in organic cotton as well, and the sets start at $149.95.

The Mimo just may be the world's smartest infant monitor. It's a small, soft, wearable "turtle" piece, that clips onto your infant's onesie, and monitors breathing, sleep patterns, skin temperature, and you can receive real-time insight about your baby on your smartphone. The Mimo is great for working parents, who want to stay connected to their child when they are in the care of another person. The Mimo can be customized for twins, triplets, etc., and a set of onesies and monitor start at $199.99.

My sister recently told me about these amazing brushes, and then I saw them on display at my daughter's swim school (FOSS in Chanhassen). So, I decided to pick one up. Oh my gosh, the Wet Brush is a little miracle-worker! If you have a child like mine, who is always complaining about how much "it hurts" when I brush her hair, trust me when I tell you to
pick up a Wet Brush. I have yet to hear my daughter complain when I brush through her hair with a Wet Brush. They come in baby, shine, and men's brushes as well, and they aren't lying when they say this is "The Best Detangling Brush Ever"! You can buy the Wet Brush for under $15 at Foss Swim Schools, Target, Amazon, Sally's, etc.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Last day of nursery at dulwich in singapore.

We could not have asked for a better year, or better teachers than the ones we found at Dulwich College in Singapore. Linna had her last day of nursery today, before the class spends two months on summer break. Next year (August), the class will be broken up into separate classes for reception (British version of the American Pre-K). We were so sad to say our farewells today, but very excited to jump on a plane tomorrow to fly back to home to Minnesota for the summer!

(Linna says "happy summer break" to her nursery friends at Dulwich.)

(Linna's last walk to the bus stop as a nursery student.)

Linna heading to her last day of nursery at Dulwich. Non-uniform day!

Mr. See (Linna's Mandarin teacher) and Linna. Mr. See says
he will miss Linna asking to  hold her hand when they walk to the library;(

Linna and Miss Wallace - THE best teacher ever!

Linna and Mrs. Najib (assistant teacher). Linna says she will
miss Mrs. Najib's cuddles.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Baby saigh #2 pregnancy: Weeks 16 & 17

16 Weeks Pregnant

I have been fighting an awful bug all week. I've been congested, tired, and a bit nauseous for a week, and one night it all came to a head. My entire body ached, but I didn't have a fever. I've never felt so stuffed up in all my life, and couldn't seem to drink enough water and "steam" enough in the shower. I'd get winded just walking a short distance. I had "cold" symptoms when I was pregnant with Linna, but this is much worse. I finally went to the doctor, and while my doctor said that my ears, throat, and lungs looked/sounded like I just had a viral infection, I also had my blood tested for Mycoplasma (walking pneumonia). Sure enough, I've got it AGAIN. Linna and I have had it twice since moving to Singapore, so this makes three! I've had it TWICE during this pregnancy alone (once at 8 weeks pregnant). It sucks not being able to take anything to treat these symptoms when you're pregnant, but a few things have worked. Steaming helps relieve my sinus pressure, Fluimucil helps break up the phlegm, and Unisom and Acetaminophen help make it easier to fall asleep (I've been told these are all safe to take when pregnant). I'm on a safe antibiotic for pregnant woman (z-pack), that will treat/kill the Mycoplasma. I've also started getting heartburn with this pregnancy. I had it really bad when I was pregnant with Linna, but TUMS seem to keep everything under control with this one. My belly is also starting to feel pretty tight, like it's stretching. One night, I could feel these sharp, quick pains in my abdomen that would come and go. Nothing horrendous or really worrisome, but definitely noticeable. The baby is the size of an avocado this week, weighing about 3.5 ounces! I have an ultrasound scheduled on Monday next week, and we should be able to find out if we're having a boy, or another girl!

Mama Saigh, Linna, and "The Bump" at brunch for Father's Day. Papa Saigh
"loves" being in photos, so we let him sit this one out. It was HIS day!
17 Weeks Pregnant

Remember how I said we were planning on finding out the gender of this baby? Well, a beautifully, emotional experience this week, completely reversed that decision. You can read more about what happened in this blog post, but we've decided to wait until the birth to find out whether this baby is a boy or a girl. Crazy, right?! We were 110% certain that we wanted to find out this baby's gender, but I ended up canceling my doctor's appointment this past Monday (it was only an appointment to find out the baby's gender, not a regular check-up). I can honestly say that I will be able to wait until the birth for the big surprise. Other than this big turn of events, I'm happy to report that my boobs aren't completely swollen and sore anymore! On a lighter note, I have to be super cautious whenever I sneeze of cough (if you know what I mean). I've seriously started wearing pads, for fear of pissing myself in public. I'm sure this is TMI for some people, but I honestly have to pee every half-hour. I've been drinking a LOT of water because I'm incredibly thirsty, which I'm sure is contributing to my current bladder-control problem. I'm like a 90-year-old woman (where's my Depends endorsement?!)! The good news though is that I don't have to wake up multiple times at night to pee! It's these little milestones that make a pregnant lady happy. My stomach also gets REALLY tight and a bit "crampy" whenever I bend forward. Nothing alarming, but definitely noticeable. I experienced this same thing when I was pregnant with Linna. I haven't had many weird cravings lately, but I'm still hungry a lot of the time. It is also disgustingly hot in Singapore currently (average "feels like" temperature of 100-degrees, with 60-70% humidity), so I've been spending a lot of time in the pool and indoors. The heat and humidity make me feel and look like a swollen mule. I am so excited to be back in Minnesota this summer! Linna, "the bump", and I will be flying back on Friday, and will stay in Minnesota until mid-August. I'm looking forward to our parents being able to see "the bump" in-person for the first time. The baby is almost 6 oz., and is the size of an onion! Can you believe we're actually going to WAIT to find out this baby's gender?! See you soon Minnesota peeps!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Waiting to find out baby saigh #2's gender.

Is Baby Saigh #2 a boy or a girl?! Photo taken at
Singapore's Raffles Hotel by Kylie Petts
of WonderLight Photography.
I can't believe I'm actually typing these words, but we are going to WAIT to find out whether Baby Saigh #2 is a boy or a girl. If you know me at all, you know that I am a "type A", impatient, planner. Our first baby's gender was revealed before I was 20 weeks pregnant, her name was decided on as soon as we found out that she was a girl, and her nursery was completely ready to go just a few weeks later. So, why would we wait to find out this baby's gender?!

Well first of all, I use the term "we" very loosely. Both Papa Saigh and I were determined to find out Baby Saigh #2's gender as soon as possible, and I had an ultrasound scheduled for Monday morning (today) so we could do just that. However, this past week, I experienced something that was beyond amazing... Something incredible enough to make me completely change my mind.

Last Thursday, one of my very best friends here in Singapore gave birth to her fourth (yes, FOURTH) baby. This woman (Mama Bryce), has naturally birthed all four of her babies WITHOUT pain medication, and waited to find out the gender of each one until the day they were born. Our daughter, Linna, has become best buddies with the Bryce girls, and all of us eagerly awaited the birth of her fourth baby.

The plan was to have me and another good friend (Mama Petts) in the delivery room when this baby was born. When I found out that Mama Bryce was in labor, I raced to the hospital (her doctor said the baby would probably come really fast), and was greeted by Mama Bryce's husband in the lobby. I asked him a million questions during our ride up to the delivery room, as I was so excited to welcome this baby into the world.

You can imagine how shocked I was to open the delivery room door, only to find Mama Bryce holding her brand new baby in her arms.

An unbelievable wave of emotion came over me, and I broke down into tears of happiness. It didn't even phase me that I had missed the birth. I just couldn't believe that this baby was here! A million questions shot out of my mouth, but my main concern... "What is it?!".

"Well come over here and find out," exclaimed Mama Bryce.

Photo by Kylie Petts of WonderLight Photography. This was the moment I walked into the room.
I wish I would have showered/wore make-up/etc... Story of my life.

Completely emotional.

Holding beautiful Savannah Eliza Bryce, just 20 minutes after she was born.

I quickly washed my hands, wiped my tears, and lifted the baby's blanket to see that Baby Bryce #4 was ANOTHER girl! I felt like I was in a dream, and living a surreal experience.

I can't explain why the birth of Mama Bryce's fourth baby had such a profound impact on me. I was convinced that she was going to have a boy this time around, so maybe the surprise of this baby actually being a girl was a shock to my system. Whatever it was, it was enough to make me want to experience this magical surprise during the birth of Baby Saigh #2.

Again, I use the term "we" very loosely. When I told Papa Saigh my feelings about wanting to wait to find out this baby's gender, he basically said, "Whatever you want". I think he's learned that whatever makes me happy, makes his life easier... and what's a few months anyway, right?!

So, yeah. "We've" decided to wait to find out the gender of Baby Saigh #2. This will be a completely different experience than my pregnancy and birth with Linna. Everyone that we've told has asked, "Do you REALLY think you can wait?!". People know me all too well, and I doubted my self-control too. But I can honestly say that I am happy and confident with this decision to wait this time around. There are so few "happy" surprises left in this world, right?! I can't tell you how excited I am for our little family of three to experience this one together.

Welcome to the world, Savannah Eliza Bryce!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Father's day idea.

Papa Saigh is a very simple dude. This year, instead of buying a Father's Day gift, I decided to focus on (appropriate) things that REALLY make my husband happy (remember, I said APPROPRIATE things). The top things I could think of were...

1. Not spending money.
2. Not being hot.
3. Food.
4. Sleep.
5. Spending time with his girls.

So this year for Father's day, we're going to spend the afternoon at an air-conditioned movie theater watching a movie that the 3-year-old and the parents would enjoy (the new Minions movie). Linna and I are also making Papa Saigh one of his favorite deserts (homemade apple pie), while we let him sleep in on Sunday morning. Instead of buying a Father's Day card, I helped Linna make this...

This is something that is easy for a grown-up to prepare for the little ones, so the little ones just have to fill in the blanks.The big kids can do it all on their own. It's more meaningful that an expensive store-bought card, and allows your kids to put their personality into it. The best part is that it doesn't cost a thing! This weekend is actually our last weekend together in Singapore before Linna and I fly back to Minnesota for the summer (Papa Saigh will be joining us in August), so we want to spend as much time together as possible. Otherwise, I would have given Papa Saigh a bottle of Jack Daniels, and sent him to the movie theater alone for the day:)

Happy Father's Day to all the deserving Dads out there!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bedtime with a silly and tired 3-year-old.

Somehow, our dainty little princess, turned into a poop, booger, and bodily-function obsessed 3-year-old. Lately, Linna can't stop singing about "poo", thinks it's hilarious to pick her nose and eat her boogers, and turns into a giggly mess whenever she farts. When she's tired, her silly "poop talk" gets even more obnoxious. What happened to my twirling, dancing, singing about love, little lady? It's so hard not to laugh when she's cracking herself up while singing her latest "poo poo" song (it's pretty cute, right?!). I know it could be much MUCH worse, but seriously... How much can a child talk about poop, farts, and boogers?! I think someone up above is preparing me for a boy. That, or she's becoming even MORE of a spitting image of her Papa. Here's how bedtime went tonight...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Baby saigh #2 pregnancy: Weeks 14 & 15

14 Weeks Pregnant

Linna, "The Bump", and Mama Saigh (14 weeks pregnant) at
Radisson Blu in Phuket (Thailand).

I'm officially into my second trimester! You guessed it... my boobs are STILL swollen and sore. On a positive note, my nausea has virtually vanished. Hooray! I totally "feel" pregnant this week. Although I can't feel the baby kick quite yet, I can feel him/her swimming around in my belly... especially if I'm on my side, or have a coffee or soda on an empty stomach. We went to Phuket this week for a 4-day family vacation, which was very relaxing. I had two pregnancy massages, ate, and relaxed the entire weekend (the hotel in Phuket had a kid's club for the 3.5-year-old). I couldn't eat enough of the fresh, sweet pineapple they had at our hotel. It was also very HOT in Phuket, and when we did a lot of walking, my belly would get hard and stick out really far. At times, I swore I felt a foot or an elbow poking into my sides, but I know it's too early for that. The plane ride home was super uncomfortable, and I could barely stay seated during the short 1.5-hour flight. My ankles became pretty swollen on the plane, my back hurt, and I felt like I had restless-leg syndrome. It was a late flight too, so I was exhausted. This week, people are actually starting to ask how far along I am. Thank goodness I'm pregnant, because people sure do have "balls"! I'm still super hungry throughout the day, but I'm trying to keep my indulgences at bay (our trip to Phuket did NOT help my weight-gain situation). I have a doctor's appointment on June 4th, so I'm anxious to see how much weight I've gained. The baby is already the size of a lemon, weighing 1.5 ounces! We may be able to find out whether Baby Saigh #2 is a boy or a girl at our 15-week doctor's appointment. Being the patient people we are, we have decided to find out the baby's gender before the actual birth.

My sexy Dr. Scholl's compression socks to help reduce ankle
swelling during airline travel.

15 Weeks Pregnant

Mama Saigh (15 weeks pregnant) and 3.5-year-old
Linna at Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Photo by Kylie
Petts of WonderLight Photography. She took this on
a whim at our friend's baby tea!
Every inch of me is growing, and there's no sign of stopping. I think all my bacon, bagels and cream cheese, and donut consumption has finally caught up with me... Yikes! While my "naughty" food cravings have slowed a bit, I can't seem to eat enough fruit these days. Whether it's blueberries, strawberries, grapes, apples, pineapple, or mango, I could eat bowls of fruit, multiple times a day. Looking back on my pregnancy with our now 3-year-old, I remember that I craved tropical canned-fruit. The further along I get into this pregnancy, the more similarities I'm seeing to my pregnancy with Linna. I have pregnancy acne with this baby, and I recently came down with a cold, or something that is making me all stuffed up. I dealt with both of these issues (acne and a pregnancy cold) around this time when I was pregnant with Linna. I am also feeling Baby Saigh #2 move around both on the inside AND the outside of my belly! While the outside movements aren't kicks or punches yet, I can feel him/her rolling around from the outside of my belly. The feelings are so incredible, and it makes me realize how long it's been since I've felt these amazing movements (I haven't been pregnant in almost 4 years)! Linna loves talking to her brother or sister through my belly, and is enjoying all of the "big sister" attention she's getting from people. She also likes telling me where the baby is located at in my belly ("The baby moved over to this side, Mama!"). She is such a sweet girl.

While I'm not enjoying my clothes not fitting me, the pregnancy acne, and this pregnancy "cold" that I've come down with, I really do love being pregnant. Baby Saigh #2 weighs about 2.5 ounces, is the size of an apple, and his/her heartbeat was strong and healthy at my doctor's appointment this week. I also didn't gain any weight over the last couple weeks (HOLLA!). My doctor suggested that I get compression socks, after my feet and ankles swelled up during our flight from Phuket to Singapore. I got a pair of the thigh-high Dr. Scholl's compression socks at Watson's in Singapore, and while they are completely unattractive, they work really well. All of the genetics testing I did a couple weeks ago came back "normal", and while we didn't have an ultrasound scheduled this week, we have one scheduled for the week of June 22nd. If the baby cooperates, we may find out the gender... Just in time to tell our families in-person when we land in Minnesota on June 26th!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

My 3-year-old's dreams.

Linna is at a fun age in terms of the things that come out of her mouth. The stories and imagination of a 3-year-old are enough to shock and melt the heart of any parent. Lately, when our 3-year-old wakes up in the morning (yes, she sleeps in our bed), the first words out of her mouth are, "I dreamed about...". Her dreams are often about the people in her life, or animals, and sometimes her dreams are a bit "scary". Since I'm pregnant and restless at night, and the 3-year-old likes to sleep in our bed, Papa Saigh and I take turns sleeping in the master bedroom with the kid, while the other sleeps in the guestroom. One night, Papa Saigh told me that Linna woke up crying and saying, "I had a very scary dream. It was just so scary!"

I wish I could hop into that little brain of hers, and see exactly what hat she's seeing in her dreams. She goes to bed these days at 6 p.m. (she has to be up "early" for school) and wakes up around 6:30 or 7 a.m., so she has a lot of time to let her imagination run wild. Over the last couple weeks, I've jotted down exactly what Linna tells that me she dreamed about in the morning...

Night #1: "I dreamed about flamingos biting me."
Night #2: "I dreamed about Nana and Bompa, and I ran up to them and hugged them."
Night #3: "I had a dream about you, Mama."
Night #4: "When I woke up, I had a tear in my eye." (3-year-old)
"Oh no, what did you dream about?" (Mama Saigh)
"I don't remember." (3-year-old)
Night #5: "I dreamed that someone snatched my toy." (5am wake-up, crying, then back to sleep)
Night #6: "I dreamed that a porcupine was poking me."
Night #7: "In my dream, I was holding a porcupine. It was so tiny and cute."
Night #8: "I dreamed that I was inside a fish tank last night, and the fish were around me going like (clap, clap, clap...)!"

It's these little things that I never want to forget.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sports day at dulwich.

This morning, Linna had her first "Sports Day" at her school in Singapore. All of the nursery students got to show their parents and spectators what they've been learning this year in P.E. at Dulwich College, and the event was SO incredibly cute. The kids showed off their sprinting, hurdling, tossing, and jumping skills, while the parents cheered them on from the bleachers in the school's gym. Linna participated in every event, and was so proud to show off her athletic side and achievement stickers to her Mama and Papa. While she wasn't the fastest, or the "best" at every event, we couldn't be more proud of our little girl! Her gorgeous face beamed with pride as she participated in every event, and she loved having her parents there to support her. We can't believe that we have have a kid who is old enough to participate in school events like these already! Where does the time go?!

(Linna doing her first hurdles at Sports Day.)

(Linna doing her first sprint at Sports Day.)

All the nursery students ready to show off their athletics skills.

Competing in the "sprint" event.

Bean-bag toss with Mr. See.

The long jump.
(Video of Linna doing the long-jump.)


"Check out my stickers!"

Mama Saigh, Linna, and Papa Saigh at Sports Day.

So proud of our little athlete!