Monday, January 29, 2018

Organizing kids' rooms with the neat method.

With the arrival of Baby Saigh #3 just around the corner, we needed to get our two oldest kids (ages 6 and 2) into one shared bedroom, and transform our youngest's bedroom into the baby's nursery. Since we have our hands full right now, we sought out some help from the Neat Method Twin Cities to lead us in the right direction with our organization, bedroom-merging, etc. I am still in shock with what Lauren and her team were able to do in the little time they were in our home. This week, I was back on The Jason Show to share some of the simple ideas that you can do in your home.



The first thing we did when we decided to merge Linna (age 6) and Jameson (age 2) into one bedroom, was purchase bunkbeds from Wayfair. The treehouse design by Birch Lane Kids that we chose had our oldest super excited about sleeping in the top bunk. The top bunk is her own personal space, and we even added a shelf from IKEA, and baskets from The Container Store for Linna to keep her "special belongings" (AKA, her "nick-nacks") in.

Our oldest, Linna, in her top bunk.

The Neat Method advised us to purchase a second rack for the kids' closet, which made a huge difference. I also got some sleek and adorable children's clothing hangers from IKEA, to make the closet look neat and uniform. Linna loves that her clothes are now at her level, so she's able to pick out her outfits for school in the morning. I love the baskets from The Container Store used to organize our oldest's shoes and other belongings.

Linna's closet BEFORE the Neat Method helped us. Yikes!

The kids' new closet AFTER help from the Neat Method.
Both of our kids' clothes and belongings are in here now!

We also removed all the toys from the kids' new bedroom, and focused on making this room a changing, reading, and sleeping room. Toys were moved to our main living areas (rec room and living room), and organized in labeled baskets. Lauren labeled the baskets with chalkboard tags from The Container Store, using a wet chalk-marker from Amazon. Now all of the toys in our main living areas have a "home" so they're not laying out all the time, and the excess toys are in our unfinished basement (a place that no one sees).

Linna's room BEFORE, with toys and clutter galore!

The kids' room AFTER, with dressers and a simple teepee tent for their reading area.

Two IKEA dressers were added to the kids' bedroom to hold all of the clothes that aren't hung up. Lauren taught me a fantastic folding technique that maximizes the space in our kids' drawers. Plus it makes it easy the kids to see all of their options when picking outfits in the morning.

Finally, we added a DIY bookshelf to the kids' room that we made out of an old pallet. It's under a window, so it's easily accessible to both of our kids.

DIY bookshelf from an old pallet, step 1.

DIY bookshelf, step 2. Just needs paint!

DIY bookshelf from an old pallet, hung under the kids' bedroom window for easy-access.


Isn't it funny how kids will play with their old toys as if they're brand new, ONLY if they're neatly organized?! We spent a lot of time "editing" the kids' toys, matching "like" with "like" (cars and trucks with trains and planes, figurines with "little people", etc.), and then placing those toys in labeled baskets from IKEA for easy access, and most importantly, easy clean-up. We plan to rotate toys from the basement, as the kids get bored with the toys in our main living areas.

Arts & crafts area.

The Neat Method also helped us create special areas for arts & crafts, and dress-up play. Our daughter is obsessed with the clear paint cans from The Container Store that she can put her supplies in, and I'm obsessed with the price of these adorable containers. These containers add an organized pop of color to this area of the house.

Papa Saigh also built a super-simple dress-up rack for the kids to hang all of their costumes and dress-up clothes on. For this DIY project, you'll need 4 equal-size pieces of wood, a wood dowel, thick string, and 4 screw circle-hooks. It's literally as easy to make as it looks!

If you want The Neat Method Twin Cities to help organize your home, book a consultation with Lauren and her team by February 14th, 2018 and mention The Jason Show, or Minnesota Baby, to get 15% OFF your services!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Gestational diabetes diagnosis.

I am literally sitting in my exam room of my OBGYN, just 20 minutes after I found out that my first and second blood-draw levels during my 3-hour glucose screening came back elevated.

Cue hormonal, ugly cry.

The dreaded drink.

I am 31 weeks pregnant with Baby #3, and had to schedule the dreaded 3-hour glucose screening test after I failed my initial screening. I passed the initial glucose screening with my first two pregnancies, but my doctor says every pregnancy is different. Plus, I'm 35 years old this time around, and have gained a lot more weight with this pregnancy.

The 3-hour test sucks.

I had to fast for 8-10 hours before the test, slam an orange drink with 100 grams of glucose (2X the amount of the glucose in the initial-screening drink), then have my blood drawn every hour (total of 4 blood draws). Plus, I couldn't eat during the test. So, here I sit, waiting for my fourth and final blood draw, even though I now know I had elevated blood levels in 3 out of 4 of my blood draws (AKA, I failed the glucose screening, and have gestational diabetes).

(Videos from our InstaStories the day before, and day of
the 3-hour glucose screening. Follow us on Instagram: @MelissaSaigh)

My glucose levels were...

1st blood-draw (before glucose drink, and after an 8-10 hour fast): 102
2nd blood-draw (1 hour after glucose drink): 230
3rd blood-draw: 188
4th blood-draw: 119

Here's where normal levels should to be...

1st blood-draw: 70-94
2nd blood-draw: 70-179
3rd blood-draw: 70-154
4th blood-draw: 70-139

While I had big plans for driving over to Bruegger's to get a bagel and cream cheese the size of my head following this test, I'm now waiting on hold to schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist. I met with my doctor in the midst of waiting for my 4th and final blood-draw, and unleashed the pregnant-lady ugly cry. While he assured me that everything will be just fine, all I can think about is how much it's going to suck to have to monitor what I eat and drink during the last couple months of my LAST pregnancy.

How depressing.

Last night, my "last supper" was a steak and a lettuce salad. One of my mom-friends told me that's what she ate before she took and passed her 3-hour glucose (she has 4 kids, and failed 3 out of 4 of her initial glucose tests, but passed the 3-hour test each time). My cousin, who is a doctor, assured me that no matter what I ate the night before, it wouldn't alter my test results (AKA, if I have GD, then I have GD).

Oh well, it was a delicious try.

Now, while I wait to meet with the endocrinologist, I need to watch my carb and sugar intake, and focus on eating more protein and vegetables. Not what I want to be doing during the last few weeks of my pregnancy. However, I only have a few more weeks. At 31 weeks and having GD, my doctor will induce me at or before 39 weeks to make sure the baby doesn't get too big. I'll most likely have an ultrasound around 37 weeks to measure the baby, and I'll be seeing my OBGYN every two weeks, unless something changes.

While I do my best to stay positive, does anyone have any delicious low-carb/low-sugar recipes, snacks, or food that they'd like to share with this VERY hungry and VERY pregnant mama???

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Baby saigh #3 pregnancy: 29 weeks.

This week, I jump into week 30 of my final pregnancy. I can't believe how quickly this pregnancy is moving along. While I'm super uncomfortable and tired, I'm not ready to be done... Nor, are we even close to being ready for the arrival of Baby Saigh #3. Baby clothes (the few items I saved) are still in bins in the basement, we haven't transitioned Jimmy (age 2) into Linna's (age 6) room yet, and we're still ordering and collecting the baby gear we got rid of after Baby Saigh #2. But honestly, I feel like I'm in a super "chill" state of mind this time around.

28 weeks pregnant with Baby Saigh #3.

With my other two pregnancies, I became obsessed with having everything perfect and in place MONTHS before the baby arrived. After the birth of my first two babies, my expectations weren't met, and things didn't always go as planned... Which is expected. But I wasn't ready for things to not go the way I planned, and my feelings of "failure" led me down a dark path to postpartum depression and anxiety. A place I never want to end up again.

So, this time around, I'm taking the "chill" approach. Because let's be honest, all babies really need is a safe place to sleep, a boob or bottle to eat from, diapers, warm clothes, and lots of snuggles. While I'll be working on gathering all the other baby "fillers and fluff" over the next couple months, I'm sure we'll be set once this little one makes his or her debut.

Third kid means a third-row vehicle. I'm loving my new Volkswagen Atlas.

Our Christmas card this year. Photo cred: Jayme Peterson

My hips are incredibly sore, and sleeping has become a struggle since I can only sleep on my sides. I waddle, I take a hot minute to stand up or get my pregnant self up from the floor, and I desperately need to start going to yoga. I also have horrible acid reflux at night (and all day), which I try to keep under control with Ranitidine (150 mgs, 3X/day). It often gets so bad that I literally vomit in my sleep, and choke on it.

I know, it's disgusting, right?!

This week, I started sleeping alone in our oldest's bed, while she sleeps with Papa Saigh in our bed. Our bed has become super uncomfortable for me and my ol' hips. I'm also waking up 2-3 times/night to pee. The baby's moves have recently become jabs and punches that often take my breath away. I'm anxious for my exam next week, because I feel like this baby is sitting really low in my pelvis. I can literally feel sharp movements in my nether-regions, but I remember feeling this type of movement at this point during my other two pregnancies. I also failed my glucose test last week, so I have to do the 3-hour test next week to see whether or not I have gestational diabetes. I passed the initial test with both of my previous pregnancies, but I've gained a lot more weight and have been eating poorly this time around. Whoops!

Enjoying a nap with my current baby.

Jimmy getting in some "big brother" practice with my friend's baby Everly.

We're still waiting to find out the gender of this baby, and at this point we don't have a boy or girl name picked out yet. The "plan" is to go into the hospital with a list of options, and wait to see what the baby looks like before we name him or her. It should be interesting around the time of my due date, because my parents will be in Florida, and my mother-in-law will be recovering from knee surgery. My sister is "on-call" when I go into labor, and other than that, we have no plan. Since Papa Saigh works a lot, I'll be searching for someone to come in and help me during the first few months after the baby is born. While my doctor and I have a plan to prevent a third round of postpartum depression/anxiety from happening, I know that asking for and receiving help is KEY when I'm healing and trying to figure out my groove as a mom of three. I'm not setting any expectations for myself, my kids, my husband, or the new baby, and I'm committed to working with whatever comes our way. Most importantly, I'll be taking things as slow and relaxed as possible.

Our kids in their new bunk beds (by Birch Lane).

Oh, and I just realized that my due date lands right around our first-grader's spring break at school. So, if the baby arrives "on time", I'll have all three kiddos home for a week... All. The. Time.

Should be interesting.

We'll be spending the next couple months prepping for the arrival of Baby Saigh #3, but I'm also trying to enjoy every kick and movement in my belly... No matter how uncomfortable they might be. I'm so thankful for this little person growing inside me, and still can't believe we'll have a third child in the house. We can't wait to meet you, Baby!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Ridgedale center indoor play-area.

A few weeks ago, the 2-year-old and I checked out the brand new indoor play-area at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka. This FREE, 6,000 square-foot, enclosed play-area has something for everyone (under 52" tall). First of all, I loved the clean and modern design of this facility. It's also located on the second floor (near Nordstrom), and easily accessible to restrooms. If you're looking for a play-area in the middle of a mall, you won't find one here. This play-area is nestled in between storefronts, with fancy illuminated letters telling parents and kids to come and play.

My 2-year-old didn't want to leave. He moved from the giant train table, to the apple tree climber, then over to the fishing pond, and then back to the blocks, cars/spaceships (what are these things, anyway?!), and into the padded fun space. There are so many hands-on activities for little ones to keep busy, and there's even a specific enclosed area for babies under the age of two.

Huge train table

Giant apple tree climber

The two things I didn't love about this place are the layout, and the chaos when it gets busy. The floor plan of the play-area is in the shape of an "L", and there's an exit door around the corner toward the back of the play-area. This makes me nervous in the off-chance that a kid figured out how to open the exit door, or if a creeper makes his/her way into the play-area and takes off with a kid. While this isn't likely to happen, it's something I keep in mind when my kiddos make their way toward the back of the play-area.

When this place gets busy during peak hours, it's a nightmare. If you're one of the first visitors to arrive and park your stroller in the lounge area, good luck getting your stroller out. We watched parents attempt to get their strollers out of the lounge area with little to no success. So, you may want to think about parking your stroller toward the front, or even outside, this play-area to ensure easy access when you're ready to make your exit.

Fishing pond

There's also a party room, and the owners of InnerActive offer party packages starting at $175. The Ridgedale Center website says that classes will begin in January 2018. There's also a sitting lounge with vending machines, and all kids and adults must wear socks and remove their shoes before entering the play-area.

Overall, we love this new play-area... Especially during freezing cold Minnesota winters. It's clean, new, open, and educational for little ones. Our 6-year-old came with us during one visit, and enjoyed playing with her 2-year-old brother. But I'd definitely say that this facility is intended for kids under the age of 5.