Monday, September 18, 2017

We had "the talk" with our 6-year-old.

Ohhhhhh I can just feel all the judgment and opinions after this blog post. Yes, you read it right. We (ok, I) had "the talk" (AKA "the sex talk") with our 6-year-old. Was this something we planned on doing.

Oh no.

But a recent conversation that I had with one of my well-respected mom friends, and some research on my part, had me rethinking our whole outlook and "plan" for having "the talk".

(This video cracks me up, because I can see
myself in every single one of these parents.)

In our house, we talk about penises and vaginas as if they were an arm or a leg. Has it always been this way?


For the first three years of our now 6-year-old's life, we referred to a vagina as a "who-ha", and a penis as a "pee pee" and/or "wee wee".


Lesson learned, and we now refer to these body parts by their proper names.

So, why did we decide to have "the talk" with our 6-year-old? I mean, 6 is REALLY young, and does she even need to know what sex is at this age?! It seems like a little bit of a mature subject matter for our "baby".

I was actually at a playdate with a couple moms, one of whom is a psychologist and just an all-around amazingly intuitive human being. She's married and has two kids, who are both fantastically well-rounded little humans. She told me about a seminar she recently attended, where the speaker talked about having "the talk" with your kids between the ages of 5-7. The reason: Kids get the "gross out" factor, and start tuning parents out once they reach age 8. At age 5-7, kids are genuinely curious, and are able to absorb and retain facts, without getting "grossed out". Plus, the older they get, the higher the risk of having your kids hear about sex from their peers, which is almost always the wrong information.

So, when our 6-year-old (who, mind you, JUST turned 6) asked on a car ride home from Target, "Mom, how did the baby in your belly, get there?", I knew this was the point of no return. I could either give her the "God gives us babies" talk, or have "THE talk". I choked back my nerves, and gave her a boatload of information. Now, THIS is one of those moments when I wish my life was a reality show, because I'm sure all the flies on the wall were having a joyous time watching me TRY to keep my composure and act mature.

Baby Saigh #3... The little one who sparked this BIG conversation.

6-year-old: "Mom, how did the baby in your belly, get there?"

Me: "How do YOU think it got there?"

6-year-old: "I don't know, that's why I'm asking you."

Me: "{Dammit} Well {deep breath}, babies are made when a mom and dad who truly love each other, have sex. Do you know what sex is? {Errrrr mah guuuuuurd, is this really happening?! There's no turning back now!}

6-year-old: "No."

Me: "Well, sex is how a baby is made. When a married couple who really love each other are ready to have a baby, they have sex. The dad puts his penis into the mom's vagina, and the dad's penis releases tiny sperm. The sperm kind of look like tadpoles, but are very tiny, and they swim to the egg that's inside the mom's body. The sperm fertilizes the egg, and that egg grows into a baby. Isn't that amazing?! {I was literally dying inside, and seriously wanted to drive off the road.}

6-year-old: "But how does the penis get inside the vagina?"

Me: {OMG, I can't.} "Well the dad's penis just goes in there. But that is only ok when a mom and a dad are in love, want to make a baby, and they're married. {Changing the subject} You know what's really cool?! Every month, a mom's body releases an egg... A tiny egg that you can't see without a microscope... And that egg can turn into a baby. Isn't that amazing?!"

6-year-old: "So you lay an egg like a chicken every month?"

Me: {THANK YOU, my darling 6-year-old for lightening up this awkward conversation!} "Hahahaha, no, but wouldn't that be funny?! Actually, the tiny egg just comes out in my pee if it doesn't turn into a baby." {I'm choosing to tackle one subject at a time. Periods and "the change" talk will come later.}

As we drove home, the two of us laughed at the thought of me laying eggs like a chicken each month, and I let Linna ask me any follow-up questions she had. Her questions were all about the size of a mom's eggs. She wanted to know EXACTLY how big they were. She didn't have any other "how does 'that' get in 'there'" questions... PRAISE SWEET BABY JESUS!

I made sure she knew that sex is something we talk about at home, and that it's NOT something we talk about with our friends, cousins, etc. I reiterated the importance of keeping private parts, private, and how no one is ever able to touch her body in a way that makes her uncomfortable. This is SUCH an important conversation to have, as often as you can. I also made sure that Linna knew she could always feel comfortable asking us about anything, and that she should never feel embarrassed to talk to us about whatever is on her mind.

I have to admit, although I was incredibly uncomfortable having this conversation with my 6-year-old, I'm SO happy that I did. I'm pretty sure Papa Saigh is even happier that he didn't have to be a part of it. However, after our "talk", I did have Papa Saigh let Linna know that she could ask him about anything, anytime.

So, there you have it. I know there are going to be a hundred different opinions on this subject, and even a hundred more judgments about how we decided to tackle "the talk". But, here's the deal: Sex shouldn't be a topic that's avoided (even though it's SUCH an awkward conversation). Especially if you want your kids to be able to come to YOU when they have questions about things they are hearing at school. As much as we want the topic of "sex" to stay within the confined walls of our homes, that's just not going to happen. Kids talk.

One of my mom-friends uses the term "fairy eyes", which I think is incredibly precious. Trust me, I'd love for my children to waltz through this world with "fairy eyes", but that's not reality. And, in the long-run, it's doing nothing to prepare them for their natural curiosity. When my kids get curious, I want me or Papa Saigh to be the first person they come to.

According to Deborah Roffman, the author of "Talk to Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids' Go-To Person About Sex", kids have 5 core needs when it comes to sexuality: Affirmation and unconditional love, information about healthy and unhealthy behaviors, clarity about values such as respect and integrity, appropriate boundaries and limits, and guidance about making responsible and safe choices. This isn't rocket-science, but great things to keep in mind as our kids grow up right before our eyes.

So, have you had "the talk"? How did it go? Or, how do you plan on handling the topic of "sex" with your kids?

* Note: I'm not an expert (duh). I'm just a mom trying to survive motherhood, one difficult topic at a time. Where's the wine?!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

SURPRISE: We're expecting baby #3.

That's right, our little family of four is growing! While I am beyond excited about our completely shocking news, Papa Saigh is slowly digesting the fact that we will welcome another baby into our family.

Holy sh*t, is right.

I'm sure you're wondering if this was planned.

Um, not one bit. However, if you know me, you know that I have always wanted a dozen children. Papa Saigh on the other hand, has always been content with two. I've been trying to convince Papa Saigh to try for a third for over a year now, while he's been busy researching vasectomies.

Oh, the irony.

But here's the thing... We haven't been using birth control since we had Jimmy. So, while the news of Baby Saigh #3 was a huge shock, it's not like it was an immaculate conception.

I'm currently 10 weeks pregnant, and our new little love is due on March 23rd (my brother's birthday)! I've been blogging since the day we found out about Baby Saigh #3, and now that the dust has settled, we're so excited to share our news!

5-6 Weeks Pregnant

I got what I thought was my period, and then it stopped. I didn't really think anything of it until about a week later. I was getting ready to go work the red carpet for the Starkey Gala, when it dawned on me that I still hadn't gotten my period. I had a random Dollar Store pregnancy test from a TV segment on The Jason Show (random, I know), and decided to pee on it. Within seconds the second line showed up.

Papa Saigh made me buy a second pregnancy test to make SURE the results were accurate.

Holy sh*t balls.

I seriously had to think back to figure out how this was even possible. Then, I had to figure out how I was going to tell Papa Saigh. He was sleeping (it was his morning to sleep in), and I couldn't keep it in any longer. So, I woke him up and said, "Good morning! I'm going to give you this (pregnancy test), and let you just absorb it all...".

He looked at me in bewilderment and said, "You're kidding right? We can't do this."

Well, Papa Saigh, we're doing this.

In all honesty, it took Papa Saigh a good week before he started to see the silver lining of this shell-shocker. I don't blame him. It's a total game-changer. While we're still figuring out how we're actually going to handle life with three kids, we're both pretty excited about Bub #3. We decided to wait to tell Linna, even though she saw and picked up my positive pregnancy test and asked what it was. I told her it was a water quality test.

Now that's quality parenting at its finest.

7-8 Weeks Pregnant

Well, I feel like I'm carrying twins. My stomach is swollen, I'm starving, nauseous, and so tired. I went in for an ultrasound and got to see our tiny little surprise. He or she had a heartbeat, and everything looked great. The best news that I got to deliver to Papa Saigh after that appointment... It's just the ONE baby.

My boobs are starting to get even bigger, and they're incredibly swollen and painful. Not as bad as I remember with Jimmy, but taking my bra off is no longer the highlight of my day. During week 7, I started having some brown discharge when I wiped, which totally freaked me out. A few of my mom friends told me they had the same thing happen to them, and when I called my OB they assured me that what I was experiencing sounded normal (no cramping, red blood, back pain, etc.). The discharge stopped after a couple days and hasn't returned. I remember having something similar happen when I was pregnant with Linna, although it was later in my pregnancy, and it turned out to be a kidney/bladder infection.

All I want to do is nap, which is a little hard while I'm chasing two small kids around this summer. I'm also dealing with a very painful Planter Fasciitis in my right foot. I need to get that sh*t figured out before my belly starts throwing me off balance. Yeesh.

9-10 Weeks Pregnant

Baby Saigh #3 at 10 weeks.

I'm still super tired, but at times my pregnancy symptoms have seemed to disappear for days, and then return. This, of course, freaked me out, but then I'd bite my tongue when my symptoms returned.


I feel like I was more pukey when I was pregnant with Linna, but my boobs were sorer and I was more exhausted with Jimmy. So again, this pregnancy is different than my other two pregnancies. Maybe I'm having a puppy this time?!

When Jimmy goes down for his nap, I lay on the couch with Linna and close my eyes for 15 minutes. That's all I need, and Linna watches a show when I do this. I'm also overly emotional this week. I was listening to "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys in the car the other day and started tearing up, thinking about my oldest being a "strong young lady". I'm typically an emotionless human. I also got emotional thinking about telling our kids about this baby. Everything is making me sappy these days.

We decided to tell the kids about their new sibling this week. I put the 7-week ultrasound photo in a frame, wrapped it up, and wrote a message from #3 to Linna and Jimmy. Here's the video of how it all went down...

I'm pretty sure Linna thought the gift she was getting was a pool, and she was WAY more excited when we told her that she and Jimmy would be getting bunk beds next year after the baby is born. Jimmy was more interested in his toys. Go figure.

I had my 10-week ultrasound on Monday, and the baby is measuring 10 weeks and 4 days. His or her heart-rate is 175 beats/min. Linna got to come with us to see her new baby brother or sister. She said the baby looked like jello.

Linna has been really excited to tell people about her new sibling, followed up by the even MORE exciting bunk-bed news. I'm definitely showing, so I'm actually relieved to FINALLY let the cat out of the bag.

Here we go!

* Make sure to follow our InstaStories (@MelissaSaigh) for daily updates on this pregnancy, and the craziness that is our everyday lives.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Linna's final thoughts as a 5-year-old.

Every year (starting at age 2), I've recorded a video of our oldest right before she goes to sleep on the eve of her birthday (I'll do this with Jimmy too). I ask her questions about her current favorite things, and then ask her to give her "final words/thoughts as a __-year-old". She loves going back to watch these videos, and so do I.

Here are the videos starting from age 2, through age 5. Her little voice has changed so much!

Happy 6th birthday, Linna!

(Linna, age 5)

(Linna, age 4)

(Linna, age 3)

(Linna, age 2)

Monday, August 7, 2017

To my almost 6-year-old.

My how time flies. Tomorrow, our first-born will turn 6 years old! And this fall, our baby girl will be in first grade. She's the little love-bug that inspired this blog nearly 7 years ago, when we found out that she was growing inside my belly.

Miss Linna, you are a sensitive, creative, sassy little lady, that truly keeps us on our toes. This year has opened my eyes to the reality that you are 100% your mother's daughter. Your wit, sass, and argumentative personality will serve you well in life, but also drives your mama crazy. You are quite the little diva, but also have an incredibly loving soft-spot for your baby brother. I know how much he annoys you, but your love for him is truly heart-warming. Your baby brother is your biggest fan, and you are his first role-model, teacher, and best friend. I wish you could see how lost he is when you aren't around.

Your love for learning, curiosity, and desire to follow the rules, while still pushing the limits, will take you far in life. You're so kind to everyone you meet, and I hope you continue to spread that gift. The giggles and laughter that come out of you every day are infectious. Your jokes and stories are always surprising, and give life to our home and family. I love that you want to marry me and live in our house forever. I hope this never changes.

I think you're really going to find your place on the dance stage this year, as well as in the classroom. While you're losing a handful of your kindergarten classmates to different teachers this year, I have no doubt that you will make new friends, and keep the old. You'll all be back together sooner than you know. I am so inspired by your thirst for knowledge, and your interest in the Chinese culture and language. You're the "spice" that brings together our "Asian-American" family.

Look how much you've grown, kiddo!

We are so proud of the little lady you have become, and are anxious to watch you grow even more as a 6-year-old. But seriously, slow down. How are you 6?! I hope you always keep your innocence, your baby face, and your love for your family... Especially the love you have for me.



Thursday, July 27, 2017

2017 back-to-school fashions.

Click the photo above to watch video of this entire segment. The below post contains
affiliate links. However, all thoughts are my own.

When it comes to back-to-school fashion, getting more "bang for your buck" is always the way to go. While I love shopping at second-hand stores like Once Upon a Child, Children's Orchard, and even garage sales, it's always nice to be able to buy our kiddos a few brand new outfits to make the start of the school year a little more exciting. There's some good sales happening right now, and all prices (below) are accurate as of the publish time and date of this post. I was so excited to be back on The Jason Show this week with our soon-to-be first-grader, and a few of her buddies/cousins, to showcase some of these great looks.

Cute kiddos on The Jason Show

Happy shopping!

Dress by Crazy8 : $17.42
Tights by Gymboree: $9.71
Ankle Boots by Gymboree: $29.96

(GymBucks: Save $25 on every $50 spent, through 7/31/17)

Shirt by Cat & Jack for Target: $8.99
Jeans by GAP Kids: $24.00
Hat by Cat & Jack for Target: $5.99

Short-sleeve "Meow" top by H&M Kids: $4.99
Joggers by H&M: $14.99

Ankle Boots by Gymboree: $29.96
(H&M: Get 20% OFF a $60+ purchase online, 7/31/17 - 8/6/17, and in-store through 8/13/17)

(GymBucks: Save $25 on every $50 spent, through 7/31/17)

Hoodie by Cat & Jack for Target: $10.00
Patchwork Jeans by Cat & Jack for Target: $17.99 
Backback by Gymboree: $27.71
(GymBucks: Save $25 on every $50 spent, through 7/31/17)
Head-to-toe look from Crazy8

Denim Jacket by Gymboree: $28.79
Dress by H&M Kids: $17.99
Purse by H&M Kids: $12.99

Ankle Boots by Gymboree: $29.96
(H&M: Get 20% OFF a $60+ purchase online, 7/31/17 - 8/6/17, and in-store through 8/13/17)
(GymBucks: Save $25 on every $50 spent, through 7/31/17)

Star Dress by Gymboree: $26.21
Sparkle Tights by Gymboree: $9.71
Headband by Gymboree: $6.71

(GymBucks: Save $25 on every $50 spent, through 7/31/17)

Dress by H&M Kids: SOLD OUT
Boots by Cat & Jack for Target: $24.99
Purse by H&M Kids: $12.99
(H&M: Get 20% OFF a $60+ purchase online, 7/31/17 - 8/6/17, and in-store through 8/13/17)

Poncho by GAP Kids: $44.00 (sale price)
White Stain-Resistant Skinny Jeans by GAP Kids: $29.99 (sale price)

Entire Outfit by Crazy8

Entire Outfit by H&M

Entire Outfit by Gymboree
(GymBucks: Save $25 on every $50 spent, through 7/31/17)

Entire Outfit by Cat & Jack for Target

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Our experience with hellofresh.

A couple months ago, we decided to give HelloFresh a try, after my sister and brother-in-law raved about it and gave us a free (three-meal) trial. For the first time in almost six years, I started working full-time (for six weeks), so I needed to figure out a way to make our dinner-planning a little bit easier. Here are the pros and cons of our month-long experience of the HelloFresh meal-delivery service (and yes, we're still using it)...

Crushed Peppercorn Steak


Convenience: I downloaded the HelloFresh app to my phone, and I'm able to skip weeks, select my weekly meals, etc. It couldn't be easier. We selected the two-person (three meals per week) plan. Now that our almost six-year-old is becoming interested in the dinners we're eating, we might need to think about upgrading to the family meal-plan.

Ease: Our meals are delivered to our doorstep on the first day of the week, and I put the boxes right into our refrigerator. All of the ingredients for each meal come in a box that fits nicely in our refrigerator, and I put the protein (meat or fish) in our freezer or fridge. While I do need to chop all of the veggies, garlic, etc., all of the ingredients are fresh, and come portioned and packaged, which makes dinner-prep very easy. Plus, I do like prepping meals in the kitchen, but I don't like doing ALL the work.

New Go-To Recipes: I'm always looking for new, healthy, easy recipes for family dinners. So when I prep and cook a "winning" HelloFresh meal, I add it to my recipe book, and shop for the ingredients myself without having to use the HelloFresh service (which is more cost-effective). We've added so many new recipes to our meal rotation after starting HelloFresh.

Taste/Portion Size: While we've had one or two "eh" meals, a majority of the meals we've tried from HelloFresh have been really tasty. A couple of our favorites are the Speedy Springtime Pasta, Montery Jack Burger with Red Onion Marmalade and Crispy Zuccini Fries (this one is SO good), Crushed Peppercorn Steak (I loved this, but Papa Saigh wasn't a fan), and Crispy Chicken Milanese. When you look at the ingridents that come inside each box, you might think to yourself, "this isn't going to fill us up". However, Papa Saigh and I have been completely satisfied after finishing our HelloFresh meals (and we are big eaters), even after the almost six-year-old samples what we're eating for dinner.


Immediacy: Because of the freshness of the ingredients, you need to cook your meals sooner rather than later. We actually freeze the meat/fish that won't be cooked until day three, so it won't go bad. However, if you know you're going to be out of town, eating out, etc., you can always skip a week (or as many weeks as you'd like), so you don't waste food.

Cost: While I don't think the cost of each HelloFresh meal is extraordinary, it is less expensive to grocery shop and meal-plan on your own. However, I often find that when I try to save money by grocery shopping and meal-planning, I usually end up going the easy and unhealthy drive-through route, or order in pizza. This adds up, and often ends up costing more than the cost of our daily HelloFresh meal.

Dishes: HelloFresh needs to come up with a way to send a "dish fairy" along with each delivery. While prepping and cooking our HelloFresh meals is pretty easy-peasy, there are dishes to be done after the meal prep.

Overall, we are happy with our experience with HelloFresh. There's no commitment, so you can skip as many weeks as you'd like (at no cost), and cancel anytime. Here's the best part: You can save money on your HelloFresh weekly deliveries by using our code F476HG. This link/code will get you $40 off your first HelloFresh delivery. Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

DIY with mama saigh: Pool noodles.

They're a buck at the dollar store, and they're more than just a pool floatie. A pool noodle can be turned into so many different things, and I was asked to show some of these clever ideas on The Jason Show this week. Check out the video from my segment for even more simple ideas!


Our adorable neighbor, Kate, floating in the DIY pool noodle chair.
You'll need two pool noodles for this project, as well as 7+ zip-ties and a mesh laundry bag (all found at the Dollar Tree).
Start by cutting one pool noodle in half , leaving you with two equal parts. Then, make a half circle with the full pool noodle, and use zip-ties to secure one of the half noodles to the full noodle, on both ends. With two more zip-ties, secure the other half-noodle on top of the ends of the full pool noodle. This is the base for your pool noodle chair.

Next, remove the string from your mesh laundry bag, and fold the bag in half (length wise). Drape the bag over the lower, shorter pool noodle, and then secure the ends of the bag to the curved side of the full pool noodle, using zip-ties.

Cut the excess plastic off the tip-ties, and VOILA! A pool-chair floatie for $4.


This is an easy, practical, and adorable party favor to send your guests home with. All you need is a pool noodle (for each pony), ribbon/rope, ribbon for pony's mane (curled with scissors), googly eyes (or eyes you can print off Google images), and some party hats. You can make these party favors look like unicorns, or ranch horses. Just use your creativity! For our daughter's 6th birthday party in August, we're sending each kiddo home with one of these gems!


Marble/Car Races.


Cut a 3/4 to 1-inch piece off a pool noodle, to form an "O". Using a sharp knife, slice a length-wise slit at the top of the piece. This will be where you insert the cards. This is a great way for little hands to be able to hold a hand of playing cards!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Review: Nucleus

We were so excited when we were asked to review the brand new Nucleus system: A home intercom system that works on wifi, and connects families all over the globe using a mobile smart-phone app. We have a 5.5-year old (going on 15) who is consistently asking for her own cell phone, and while that isn't an option, we thought that the Nucleus system could be a "happy-medium".

So, what exactly is the Nucleus system?

Nucleus is a video monitor that you set up in any rooms in your home. They can be used as video security when you're not at home, a home intercom-system, baby monitor, and a way for you and your family to connect face-to-face at your convenience. You give access to anyone you'd like, and set the security level at your discretion.

We received three monitors and set them up in our 5.5-year-old's bedroom, the family/rec room, and main floor of our house. Setting these devices up was super simple, and our kids were excited to get involved too. I just followed the step-by-step instructions on the monitor, typed in some codes, hopped on our wifi connection, and TA-DAH! I then sent our access code and Nucleus app link to our kids' grandparents, aunts, and uncles, so they could download the Nucleus app on their smart phones, and have access to our Nucleus systems. Basically, our daughter could video-call these family members from the Nucleus device in her room, whenever she'd like (although we are able to set the security and privacy for the monitor), and these family members can video-call her Nucleus monitor in her room whenever they'd like. We are able to set the monitor on "private" at night, or whenever we didn't want her using it. Each contact/person has their photo next to his/her name, and connection is made with the press of a button. As parents, we have complete control of the security and privacy of these monitors.

Linna and Jimmy making a Nucleus video-call.

I loved having these systems in our home when I was working full-time for six weeks outside the home. During this time, we had some amazing in-home childcare, and our Nucleus systems allowed me to connect with my home and kids at my convenience/discretion. As an "admin", I would set the systems to ring before they automatically connected, or enable the person at home to answer the device before it connected. Our kids could video-call me as well while I was at work, which they did often (and I loved seeing their little faces). We did, however, run into a "mishap" one day, when my daughter decided to video-call me on her Nucleus, after our nanny had told her that she was supposed to be in her room having a "quiet time". As a result, we ended up taking the Nucleus out of Linna's bedroom until she could earn it back... Which she has.

Overall, I love having the convenience of monitoring our kids when they're in another room (especially the toddler, as he's into EVERYTHING), and monitoring our home when we're away. Our family members like having the ability to video-call the kids, without having to call my phone first. It gives our oldest a little slice of independence, while I'm able to monitor it all. I know that kids these days are getting cell phones at younger ages, but there is not a chance that our soon-to-be 6-year-old is anywhere near ready for one. Every once in awhile, we'll get really crappy video clarity on both ends, but this is due to us living in the boonies, where we have a very slow wifi speed. We're working to get a better one.

Our Nucleus on our main floor.

We haven't done this yet, but Nucleus can connect with Alexa (Amazon's cloud-based voice service) to give you news/weather updates, play music, and control other smart devices in your home. I need to get on that one, STAT! While the cost of a Nucleus system isn't "cheap" ($149+), you can try it for up to 60 days with easy returns. There's no "monthly fees/costs" involved once you've purchased your devices, as they just run off your home's wifi. It's totally worth giving it a try, because you really don't have anything to lose!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Jimmy says "no way".

At 19 months old, this kid is surprising us every day with new words and phrases. Here's Jimmy's latest...

Friday, June 16, 2017

DIY with mama saigh: Dollar-store hacks.

Man, this blog sure has been neglected with me working full-time over at The Jason Show. Between "mom-ing", working, and trying to keep my sh*t together, I haven't gotten to take much time for myself.

But today, I'm back on-air with a fun segment featuring dollar-store hacks!

My family and I got to spend some time together this past week, prepping for this segment. While you can find everything from party supplies to pregnancy tests at your local dollar store, I've put together some easy DIY projects that can help organize your home, and keep the kiddos entertained.

Yep, this was our food pantry BEFORE I found these little plastic gems at the
Dollar Tree. Open food boxes and packages in complete disarray, annoys be beyond belief.
But now, the little snackers in our family can see their options before they more things
around, and turn our food pantry into total chaos.
After many failed Pinterest projects over the years, these little animal book-ends are
a Pinterest win! I found a couple plastic giraffe toys at the Dollar Tree, and super-glued them
onto a small piece of wood that my husband cut for me (from spare wood we had in the garage).
Then, I spray-painted everything white, let it dry for a day, and gave it one more coat. TaDa!
These book-ends look so sweet in a nursery, or a child's bedroom. Total cost: A little over $1!

This is my friend's baby girl, Emeryson, wearing a pair
of Dollar Store leggings that I made in 10 seconds. I found these retro-looking
tube socks at the Dollar Tree, and just cut the foot off of them to create baby leg-warmers.

For two years now, my jewelry has been a tangled mess, inside one box on my closet shelf.
So, I picked up a couple white plates and a candle-holder at the Dollar Tree, spray-painted the candle holder white, super-glued everything together, to create a sleek-looking jewelry tray for my bedroom dresser. You can also use the
clear-glass plates from the Dollar Tree, along with the clear-glass candle holder, to create
an antique-looking, tiered party-tray for your next get-together!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Favorite things: Convenient, on-the-go snacks for kids.

We are seriously never home. With two kids and busy schedules, our kiddos are regularly eating in the car, or on-the-go. Since it's difficult to get my kids to stop and refuel, I'm always looking for energy-packed, dense snacks that are packed with healthy-calories, and easy to take on the road. Here are a few of my favorites for our toddler and kindergartner...

1. Bananas: Cheap, dense/filling, healthy, and no packaging or ice-packs necessary.

Make bananas FUN by dressing them up, or writing
a message on them for your kiddos!

2. Smoothies in The Original Squeeze: We are loving Chef Marshall O'Brien's Mood Boosting Smoothie, and Blueberry Smoothie with Flax Seed. I put the ingredients in our Magic Bullet, blend in the morning, and take them on-the-go in our Original Squeeze Pouches. While these snacks/meals need to be chilled if not consumed right away, they pack healthy calories/energy, and keep my kiddos fueled. I give our toddler smoothies in the Spill-Proof Spout, while our kindergartner stays mess-free with the Original Squeeze Pouch's Free-Flow Spout.

We love putting smoothies in our Original Squeeze Pouches!

3. CLIF Kid Zbar: My kids think these are a treat, as they come in a brownie, chocolate chip, and oatmeal icing flavors. These bars are made with whole grains, and are loaded with carbohydrates, making them a dense and filling snack. We buy these bars in bulk at Costco, which keeps them affordable.

4. Mini Babybel Cheese + Pistachio Nuts: Again, we buy these items in bulk at Costco, to keep them affordable.

Our toddler LOVES these calcium-packed cheese snacks!

5. Disposable Food Pouches: When it comes to a quick and convenient snack, our kindergartner is completely happy with the inexpensive/generic, organic applesauce pouches from Costco (Kirkland brand). But when I want to pack as much nutrition, healthy calories, and energy as possible in these convenient little pouches, the Plum Organics Grow Well DHA, Muscle, and Tummy pouches (90-100 calories per pouch), and the Beech Nut Breakfast-On-The-Go, and Banana, Blueberry, and Avocado pouches (80-90 calories per pouch) are my go-tos.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mama saigh is going back to work.

I've been keeping my "big" news under wraps for a few weeks, but now, the cat is FINALLY outta the bag! Starting May 22nd, I'll be joining The Jason Show over at FOX 9, during their national test throughout the month of June. For six weeks, I'll be a full-time working mama, returning to my TV roots.

Am I excited?! Oh, HELLS yes!

After the birth of our first kiddo, I left my job at Twin Cities Live (KSTP) to be a stay-at-home mom. I worked at TCL ever since the show first went on the air in 2007, and it was the best job I've ever had. Leaving my family at TCL was one of the most difficult decisions I've had to make. However (at the time), it was the right decision for me, and (most importantly) my mental health (I suffered from postpartum depression after our first baby was born). Since then, I've always had a strong desire to return to my career in television.

Me, E-Ries, and Em, back in my TCL days. These two are still shining stars on the show!

For the last five-and-a-half years, I've been the stay-at-home mom for our two kiddos (Linna and Jameson). While it's been the most exhausting, challenging, and stressful job of my life, my decision to become a stay-at-home mom allowed for the opportunity to move our family to Singapore for three years (2012-2015)... And what an incredible experience that was for me, Papa Saigh, and Linna!

Me and Linna in Asia.

But now, five-and-a-half years, and two babies later, I am SO excited to have the opportunity to go back to the grown-up world that I've so desperately missed. And, for six weeks (this isn't forever... or is it...?!).

I seriously feel like I'm going on a six-week "vacation" (FYI, stay-at-home-mamas, you know it's time to go back to work, when you start to view work as a "vacation"). For YEARS, I've never been able to understand why some women are able (and WANT) to dive back into their careers, post-baby, while leaving their baby/kids in childcare.

Trust me when I say that "I GET IT" now.

A). Stay-at-home-mom life is a luxury (for those who want it), but it's NOT for everyone.
B). Kids are as*holes, exhausting, and COMPLETELY unreasonable.
C). Money is nice.
D). A job/career is an "escape" from the real-life known as children/family.

All of the above have me leaping toward this opportunity at The Jason Show.

My work-hours at FOX allow me to pick up our kindergartner every day after school, and spend my afternoons with both kiddos. While I'll have to be up and at the studio before the birds even start chirping, it's the perfect "trade-off" for me and my family. This opportunity couldn't have presented itself at a better time, and I am SO ready to dive right in.

Am I going to miss my kids?

Honestly?! No. (LOL - Don't judge me!).

While I'm sure part of me will miss my little monsters when I'm at work, you will find me skipping (proudly) out the door at 5:30 a.m. on Monday, May 22nd. I have been incredibly lucky to be a stay-at-home mom for the last five-and-a-half years, but there comes a time in every mom's life when she has to do what is right for her. My passion for telling stories and producing TV segments, has been calling out to me for a while now.

And this time, I'm answering.

This is going to be a HUGE transition and learning-opportunity for our family. While we have amazing care-givers for our kiddos while mama and papa are working, I'm sure both Papa Saigh and I are in for many major challenges.

We have NEVER experienced life as two, full-time working parents. While this is how the majority of households in America run, it's a brand new world for our family.

We're going to tackle it together.

I am so thankful to be a part of the incredibly talented team at The Jason Show (thanks, Jeff & Carl!), and even more thankful to my husband for supporting me in this adventure.

Stay tuned, because WHO KNOWS where this opportunity might lead...

Monday, May 8, 2017

Ticket giveaway: A year with frog and toad.

We're giving away 2 tickets to the Children's Theatre Company's performance of A Year with Frog and Toad! This show runs through June 18th, 2017. Here's how to enter for your chance to win...

1. Share our giveaway post on our Facebook page.
2. Comment on this blog post (below) with your first and last name, and city you currently reside in.
3. Comment on our giveaway post on our Instagram (@melissasaigh) page, tagging three friends who you think would like to see the show.

Complete all three to better your odds of winning! One person will be randomly selected to win two tickets to a performance of A Year with Frog and Toad at the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis. The tickets can be redeemed for any performance with available seating. Entries must be received/completed by 8 p.m. CST on May 9th, 2017. The winner will be announced on our Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as on this blog post. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Jimmy says "baby owl".

I feel like Jimmy went through a language "explosion" when we were in Florida last month over spring break. And his words just keep on coming at 17 months old. This morning, when I got him out of his crib, he picked up a stuffed owl and said "baby". I replied, "Yes Jimmy, that's a baby owl. Whoooo-whooooo!". Sweet Jimmy then said, "Baby owl. Whoooo!".

And, melt...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 2017 vlog.

Just in case you're not follwing our InstaStories (@melissasaigh on Instagram), here's a video montage of my vlogging from the past few weeks...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring break in florida.

What does every Minnesotan look forward to after three months of winter?!

Some fun in the sun.

This year, during our kindergartner's school spring-break, our family of four headed down to Florida for a little visit to Walt Disney World. My parents have a house near Fort Myers, so we stayed with them for a few days too. We soaked in some sun at their pool, hung out at the beach, and took on Disney's Magic Kingdom during the peak spring-break season. The word "peak", isn't big enough to describe that craziness that is Disney World during spring break. Let's just start there...

The 4 of us in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

Linna and Jimmy with their Nana and Bompa. Jimmy's face says it all.

While we had an absolutely magical time when we took our then 3-year-old daughter Linna to Disney World in December a few years ago, this year's trip was not the same experience. Don't get me wrong, the Magic Kingdom is spectacular. However, in my opinion, it is NOT a fun place to visit during spring break. It was over-crowded, hot, and those two things don't boast well with a 16-month-old who has an agenda of his own.

This was Jimmy's first visit to Disney, and while we loved having our family together, it was a little overwhelming and stressful having the toddler with us. He wanted to get out of the stroller and run around, but the streets and sidewalks were packed with sweaty, crabby, and stressed-out parents pushing strollers, chasing their toddlers, and rushing to their next hour-long wait in line. I'm pretty sure that Papa Saigh and I were in the same "hell" as many of the other parents during our visit, judging solely by the distressed looks on their faces. We knew that this was PEAK season at Disney, but holy sh*t.

When you decide to take the plunge and bring the kids to experience the magic of Disney World, you go into it knowing 3 things...

1. You're going to spend $$$.
2. It's going to be a long day(s).
3. You're going to wait in long lines.

However, if you go to Disney World during spring break, the above mentioned are even more intense.

Much more intense.

My dad, Linna, and the Magic Kingdom fire chief. My dad is
the fire chief of our hometown of Hopkins.

Linna in front of Cinderella's castle.

Mama + Papa Saigh with Linna standing in another long, hot line.

Even if we wanted to spend the money to sit down for a decent meal in an air-conditioned restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, we had to wait an hour or more with our name on a list... And that's only IF the restaurant had room for customers outside the existing reservations. We saw so many people sitting on the ground under the hot sun, choking down a hot dog, or some other over-priced fast-food. Plus, we spent over $30 on bottled water, as the drinking fountains inside the Magic Kingdom were either not working, or dripped out warm water. To Disney's credit, they do allow you to bring your own food and drinks inside the Magic Kingdom. However, it was pretty disappointing to not be able to experience the amenities of Disney World, even when we wanted to drop the $$$.

How do people do Disney on a budget?! I'm guessing they don't go over spring break.

On a positive note, our 5-year-old had a wonderful time during her second visit to the Magic Kingdom. She ate cotton candy, rode some of her favorite rides, and even rode her first roller-coaster! Linna is pretty apprehensive when it comes to thrill rides, so we were shocked when she decided to ride the Barnstormer TWICE with her dad (this is a great "first" roller coaster for kids, by the way). The enjoyment we got out of this Disney visit, was seeing the excitement in her eyes with each of the new things she got to experience. Both of our kids even stayed up to watch the fireworks over Cinderella's castle at 9 p.m. We decided to watch from the front of the Magic Kingdom, so we could try and beat the rush to the ferry at the conclusion of the show. Thankfully, we made it on one of the first ferry boats, so we were able to get on the road back to our hotel by 9:30 p.m.

(Linna's first roller coaster ride EVER!)

Since we rented a car and drove from Fort Myers to Orlando, we decided to stay at a resort off the Disney Property. The Wyndham Orlando Resort on International Drive was a great fit for us. My parents and sister came along to Disney with us, so we stayed in a family suite with the kids, and booked an adjoining room for my parents and sister. The family suite was PERFECT for the four of us! The hotel staff had a travel cot set up for Jimmy to sleep in, and Linna slept on the bottom bunk of the bunk beds in the room. Although Linna and Jimmy were passed out by the time we arrived at the hotel, they were so excited when they woke up to see the bunk-bed area, which even had a separate TV just for them. In the morning, the kids played on their side of the room, while Papa Saigh and I laid in bed watching the Today Show. After a little breakfast at the hotel's restaurant, we put on our swimsuits and spent some time in the pools. This resort has two great pools, and neither were busy during our visit. This was a much-needed change of pace after the craziness that was our Magic Kingdom experience. The Wyndham Orlando Resort was affordable, quiet, and a good fit for a stay off the Disney property.

(Video of our stay at the Wyndham Orlando Resort.)

The rest of our vacation was spent at Fort Myers Beach, shopping at the Miramar Outlets, a Twins game, and soaking up some vitamin D at the pool. Traveling with two little ones isn't the easiest thing, so the beautiful Florida weather made up for any stresses during our spring break. It sure makes me look forward to the end of our winter, so bring on spring!

Linna and Jimmy in Nana and Bompa's Beach Wagon.

Our sassy 5-year-old at the pool in Florida.

Jimmy found his heaven on earth, with all the tennis balls on the tennis court
at my parents' house in Florida.