Friday, July 31, 2015

Linna's first dance camp "show".

This summer, we put Linna in a 4-day Princess Dance a Camp at DanceXChange in Edina, MN. It was a drop-off camp from 9 a.m. to Noon, Monday through Thursday, and ended with a cute "show" on Thursday for parents, friends, and relatives. Our 3-year-old loved this camp, because the little dancers got to do crafts, dance, and have snacks together every day. I loved that she came home knowing new dance terms every day, and showed us what she had learned at camp. My parents were even able to come watch Linna dance in the show this week!

(Part 1)

(Part 2)

(Part 3)
My big girl!

Linna with her Nana and Bompa.

An "All About Me" paper that Linna did at dance camp. Cute!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mini-hawks sports camp in hopkins.

While we are home in Minnesota from Singapore, I signed our 3-year-old up for a few activities to keep her busy and moving this summer. Other than dance, Chinese class, and swimming, I signed Linna up for a one-week sports camp through Skyhawks Sports Academy and the City of Hopkins. The Mini-Hawks Sports Camp covered basketball, tee-ball, and soccer, and ran Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. It was held outside on good weather days, and inside the Hopkins Pavilion on bad weather days (although they didn't have one bad weather day during the five days of sports camp).
All smiles at drop-off!

Group chat about sportsmanship and teamwork at the end of the day.

Batter up!

Working on throwing. Still lots to work on:)

Linna LOVED this sports camp from day one. It was a drop-off camp, but I stuck around for a majority of the first day, but then left her with her coaches during the rest of the camp. Since camp was so close to my parents' house in Hopkins, Linna's Nana and Bompa were able to come watch almost every day. We only had one day of tears on the second day, but it was only because Linna's mosquito repellent patch had fallen off, and apparently that was enough to set her off. Other than that, she loved playing games, running around, and learning new sports skills with her two coaches and the other campers. Her coaches were really great with all of the kids' different personalities as well, and I felt safe leaving Linna in their care each day.

Team huddle during the "game".

Feeling things out on the first day of Sports Camp.

Every day, the kids would start the morning off with a game like tag, and then they'd move onto their sports training. The coaches made sure the kids had enough bathroom breaks and water, and everyone took a shaded snack-break each day around 11 a.m. (parents provide the individual snacks). I made sure to lather Linna in sunscreen and bug repellent before I dropped her off each day, and sent her to camp with a baseball hat as well.

(Linna's first tee-ball "game" at Sports Camp.)

(After the "game" high-fives.)

At the end of each day, the campers sat with their coaches to go over the "lesson of the day" (mostly about sportsmanship and teamwork). Each camper got to go home with a Mini-Hawks tee-shirt, merit award, and a soccer ball, and all the parents came to watch a tee-ball "game" on the last day of camp (Tournament Day). The tee-ball game was so adorable, and basically consisted of each kid hitting a ball off a tee, and running all the bases while the outfielders scrambled to get the ball. Linna had scraped her knees earlier in the day, so she was a bit whiney during the game. We'll have to work on getting her a little more tough for these types of sports. Linna does NOT like ANY type of scrape, dent, or alteration to her body:)

Playing "toilet tag".

"Wacky Wednesday" at Sports Camp.

So emotional about her last day at Sports Camp. Just kidding, she scraped her knees:)
I would absolutely sign Linna up for this sports camp again next year. For about $100, the entire experience was well worth it. She loved it, I loved that she was getting tons of exercise while learning some new sports skills, and let's be honest... the free-time for Mama Saigh was amazing!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Baby saigh #2 pregnancy: Weeks 20 & 21.

Another couple weeks that have sort of just blended together. Linna and I have been keeping busy in Minnesota, visiting with family and friends, participating in dance, Chinese, swimming, and sports camps/classes, while driving back and forth between Hopkins and Mankato (my parents and my in-laws' homes). Although I love being back in Minnesota, I'm finding it really difficult to live out of a suitcase in houses that aren't my own... especially when I'm pregnant. I've been pretty emotional this past week, find myself missing Papa Saigh, and desperately needing my own space (yes, I feel fortunate to have two loving families that allow us to stay in their homes). It will be tough to leave Minnesota on August 19th, but at this point I'm excited to get back into my own house. Trying to figure out how we're going to get all of our baby gear, etc., back to Singapore will be a job in itself. It stresses me out just thinking about traveling again.

20 weeks pregnant with Baby Saigh #2, wearing a
maxi dress from Stitch Fix.

Baby Saigh #2 has been moving around a lot more lately, and I'm feeling pretty good. I've felt some pretty strong jabs and punches here and there, which makes getting comfortable at night a little tricky. I've been dealing with some acid reflux issues every afternoon, but Ranitidine really helps keep it under control. I'm always wanting to nap around 3pm, but I just bust through the tiredness and go to bed early around 9pm every night. I left my maternity pillow in Singapore, so I have to prop my body in a nest of pillows in order to fall asleep. I've also been waking up randomly in the wee hours of the night, but slowly fall back asleep. I sleep with the 3-year-old at both my parents and my in-laws, which I love, but my growing belly makes this a bit difficult at times.

I had an interesting (worrying) experience this week while hanging out with some friends at the pool. One of my friends has a 14-month-old little boy named Jake, and every time I went to pick him up, or play with him in the pool, Linna was ALL over me. I think we're going to have some issues dealing with a jealous little girl when Baby Saigh #2 makes his or her entrance. She is still so wonderful about telling everyone that she's going to be a big sister, hugging my belly and talking to the baby, but when I give my attention to another kiddo... Woof! I've also noticed some "only child" tendencies in Linna lately. While she is a super sweet girl and has loads of experience sharing and playing with her classmates at school, she's been very territorial about her belongings. It's like we've reverted back to having a 1 1/2-year-old who has no idea how to share. I'm thankful, however, that these behaviors are showcasing NOW instead of when the baby arrives, so we have time to work with Linna on these glorious outbursts. They always keep us on our toes, don't they?!

21 weeks pregnant with Baby Saigh #2, wearing a pair of maternity jeans and
tank top from Stitch Fix. The sweater is from my pregnancy with Linna.

This past month, I've been trying to be a little more active. I try to walk every day, and do some lunges here and there. This past weekend, I did a lot of walking during the Hopkins Raspberry Festival, as well as walking Linna to and from her sports camp. I wouldn't consider my lifestyle to be super active, so all the walking and chasing Linna around caused me to do something to my right leg. It's like I pulled my hip and crotch-bone ligaments, because I've been limping around the last couple days. One day, I literally had to drag my "lame" leg up the stairs. My mom said that the pain could be from the baby sitting on something, but Papa Saigh told me to give it a couple days to see if it started to feel better. Wouldn't ya know, it has (you're so smart, Papa Saigh)! While my old joints are feeling better, I am starting to struggle to bend over and/or squat down to pick things up, as my belly is already so big. Baby Saigh #2 is the size of a carrot and weighs almost a pound now at 21 weeks! I can't believe we'll have a newborn again in about 4 months. So exciting!

21 weeks pregnant with Baby Saigh #2, and not at all interested in doing my hair
and make-up. Another new top from Stitch Fix! Loving the color, fit, style... AND
the fact that I can do my maternity clothes shopping (with help from a stylist) from home.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Two free things to do in mankato.

Papa Saigh's parents live in Mankato, so when we're home from Singapore, we go back and forth from the Twin Cities pretty often. This past weekend, we took Linna to Sibley Park and Sibley Farm, as well as the North Mankato Public Library for a storytime. Both places were excellent and FREE for our 3-year-old. Let's start with the Sibley Park and Farm...

Sibley Park in Mankato.

Linna swinging with her MeMaw and Auntie Lisa. So high!

The cute, farm-themed, Sibley Park.

Located at 900 Mound Avenue in Mankato, Sibley Park and Sibley Farm are two Mankato spots (well, it's actually one spot) you must visit if you have kids. The playground is farm-themed, and there's also a petting zoo located around the playground. There are things to do for kids of all ages, including short and long slides, infant and big-kid friendly swings (key for our 3-year-old's enjoyment), bridges, climbing areas, monkey bars, and multi-level playing areas. The park has many shaded areas to sit and relax, while the kids play as well. Bring your mosquito spray though!

Other kids used this as a step to get from one platform to the next.
My 3-year-old used it as a swing. She LOVES swings!

The Sibley Farm is super cute and fun. They have ponies, a pig, llamas, a rabbit, lambs, a Koi pond, and other animals. The entire park and zoo is laid out just beautifully, and you can tell it's pretty new. There are a few machines where you can buy ($.25) food pellets for the animals, so your kiddos can hand-feed the animals. All of the animals are in enclosures, so kids aren't running farm-free or anything, but they can pet some animals like the ponies, lambs, and llamas.

Thank goodness for the hand-washing and sanitizing stations!

The first thing I said when we arrived to this park was, "Wow, this would be a great place for a kid's birthday party." Sure enough, there's a nice-sized barn to host a birthday party in. There was a woman setting up for her child's party when we were there, and she told me she paid $55 to rent out the barn for the entire day. I would absolutely consider hosting our child's party here, if she was interested in something farm-themed.

Barn facility at Sibley Park that you can rent for kid's birthday parties!

Next up, storytime at the North Mankato Library...

Every Monday at 10 a.m., the North Mankato Taylor Library has a free storytime for little ones. There's a different special guest there to read stories to the kids each week. During our visit, we got to learn all about the milk cows produce, from a Nicollet County Dairy Ambassador. Linna got to touch and see the food that cows eat, listen to stories read by the Nicollet County Dairy Ambassador about cows making milk, and we even ate some string cheese afterwards. Storytime lasted about 15-20 minutes, and then we headed into the children's area of the library for some more reading, and hands-on activities.

Nicollet County Dairy Ambassador reading books to the kids.

Feeling the food that cows eat.

Magnet learning board at the North Mankato Library.

Fine motor-skill learning.

Activity table with iPads for kids.

The North Mankato Public Library's Children Area.

Other kid-friendly Mankato spots we enjoy:

Tourtellotte Pool
WOW! Zone

FOX 9: Getting outdoors with the kids this summer.

AshleyGabby Indoor-Outdoor Canvas Play Tents
Doona - The Next Generation Car Seat
RoseArt Washable Sidewalk Chalk Paint
LILLEbaby COMPLETE All-Seasons Carrier
Airhead EZ Wake Trainer
Airhead EZ-Ski Trainer
Handcrafted Hammocks by Sluice Gear
Get 15% off your purchase by using the code MNBABY.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Linna at dance class.

Here's a couple videos from our 3-year-old's first day back at dance in Minnesota...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Baby saigh #2 pregnancy: Weeks 18 & 19

Baby Saigh #2 at 19 weeks and 5 days (profile).
I'm going to be completely honest. These past two weeks have completely blended together. Between a 20-hour flight from Singapore to Minnesota, trying to get TV segments put together, see family and friends, cabin and Mankato visits, Linna's activities, etc., I barely know what day it is. Sometimes, I completely forget that I'm even pregnant! Other than some acid reflux, tiredness, and being a bit uncomfortable when trying to fall asleep, I'm am feeling really good. My boobs are gigantic though, and the bump just keeps growing (along with my appetite).

I went in for my 20-week ultrasound and doctor appointment this past Tuesday (19 weeks and 5 days pregnant), and Baby Saigh #2 is measuring right on track. I'm actually 20 weeks today, so half way there! We did a really thorough ultrasound, where the technician checked for the appropriate number of heart chambers, brain development, weight, etc. I was very clear with every nurse, doctor, and technician that I talked to, about NOT wanting to find out this baby's gender. I actually think I would have been really upset if someone would have slipped up and told me. But everyone did a really great job, especially the technician, as she told me to look away every time she scanned over the baby's nether-regions. I emailed the ultrasound photos to Papa Saigh after the appointment since he's still in Singapore working, and he says the baby is, "totally a boy". I feel like I saw some baby balls at a couple points during the ultrasound, so I'm still convinced that I'm having a boy. I asked the ultrasound technician about a million times if she knew what the baby's gender was (but not to tell me the gender), and at the end she said she was about 99% sure she knew what it was. I hated that she knew and I didn't... haha! But I seriously have no desire to find out this baby's gender. When the technician tried to get a profile shot of the baby, Baby Saigh #2 was actually standing up. We both laughed about it, and I asked if I could get video, but this OBGYN doesn't let me record video or take photos during the visit. The baby was moving around a LOT too during the visit, and he or she is SO cute!

My new favorite maternity pants/leggings from Stitch Fix. They're Rune
Navy Maternity Leggings. I need them in other colors!

I received my first maternity package in the mail from Stitch Fix, and I am in love with their new maternity clothes. I'm pregnant at a tricky time because I'll be REALLY big in both summer and fall, so buying clothes had been a process. Stitch Fix is really helping with that though, as they send a lot of options for both hot and cooler months. Linna has been great throughout this pregnancy too, and she's always hugging my belly and telling people that she's going to be a big sister. It's tough being away from Papa Saigh as my belly continues to grow, but he'll be in Minnesota before we know it!

Baby Saigh #2 with his/her mouth open. Looks like an ape!

Baby's hand up near his/her head. So cute!

Linna, "the bump", and I are really enjoying our time in Minnesota. The weather couldn't be more beautiful, and I love seeing Linna with her cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. It's going to be REALLY hard to go back to Singapore after this trip.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Visit to the play and learn cafe in minnetonka.

Play-area for toddlers and "bigger" kids.

Since it was rainy all morning, today was a perfect morning for our first visit to the Play and Learn Café in Minnetonka. It's a supervised play-area and foodie café for parents with kids age 6 and under, that also offers enrichment classes, children's events and activities, and birthday parties. We have heard so much about this place since they opened earlier this year, and have been so excited to get back to Minnesota for our first visit. I was honestly so impressed with everything from the food and play areas, to the children's activities and cleanliness of the bathrooms.

A look at the front of the Play and Learn Café. This is where you walk in, order food,
and can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee, snack or meal from the Café.

Linna playing with a doll house in the play-area.

Busy kiddos in the play-area. Love the smaller and shorter slides for the little kids,
but they have a bigger, tunnel slide for the "older" kids.

Our 3-year-old busy tending to the cash register at the grocery stand.

The Play and Learn Café was pretty busy when we arrived this morning around 10:45 a.m., but it wasn't crazy or chaotic. We were greeted by the owner, Sara, and another staff member, Mary, and they told us how the process worked (even though it was clearly displayed on the wall when we walked in. It's $5/child to play, but our 3-year-old played for free since we ordered $20 worth of food/drinks during our visit.

A view of the infant play-area gated off from the bigger kids' play-area.

Linna playing with the pulley system on the playground.

After we put our socks on, Linna ran into the play-area to explore all the fun toys they have set up. She loved the cash register and grocery store set-up, as well as the sand play-area and playground. She also like watching the babies play in the infant-area from behind the gates (the infant area is now completely separate from the older kids' play-area). After Linna became comfortable playing on her own, I was able to walk over to the Café to order lunch. I liked that I could watch Linna playing, while I ordered our food and drinks. I ordered a vanilla latte (very good), a small beet, goat cheese, and candied-walnut salad (delicious), and a sun butter/jelly sandwich (the Play and Learn Café is peanut-free) with yogurt and sprinkles, and a milk for the 3-year old (she loved her meal). We were given a letter ("N") and asked to find a table, and a staff member brought our food/drinks over to our table. Linna got to write on the chalkboard wall with chalk while we waited for our food. Once our food arrived, Linna would take a bite of her meal, and then run off and play, while I enjoyed my latte and watched her play from behind the Café wall. The play-area staff did a nice job of keeping the toys in their appropriate areas, while playing with the kids. Since we visited on a Monday, Linna got to participate in the weekly Usborne Books Storytime at 11:15 a.m.

Play and Learn Cafe's new menu. Yum!

Our table next to the chalkboard wall.

Usborne Books Storytime... Every Monday at 11:15 a.m.

Linna adding sprinkles to her organic yogurt.

My yummy goat cheese, beet, and candied walnut salad. So good!

I was pleasantly surprised by how clean the staff kept the Play and Learn Café. Even the bathrooms were spotless when the Café was really busy. There was a seat in the family bathroom for kids to sit while their grown-up uses the potty, as well as a changing table for infants. I am so happy that we decided to book Linna's 4th birthday party at the Play and Learn Café next month (she chose the "Art" theme). I think we'll be signing her up for some classes at the Play and Learn Cafe this summer too. We're definitely looking forward to visiting more this summer, especially on hot or rainy days. The Twin Cities was desperate for a place like this, and we're excited to become frequent visitors. We hope to see you there!

Toddler-size potty and an adult-size potty in the family bathroom.

Love that the family restroom makes it easy for growing kids to independently use
the toilets and sinks. Well done, Play and Learn Café!