Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Heart Las Vegas!

Those of you who know me well know that I masquerade as a very adventerous person, but I really am the most content in the comfort of my own home. I usually think I like to travel, but when I travel, I am usually missing home. This is NEVER the case with Las Vegas. I love the hundreds of restaurants to eat at within a mile. I love the lights, the shows, the days you can spend walking around the casinos and still have never run out of things to see! I love the over-the-top glamour. The overdone casinos. The quarter Roulette machines. I love it all!

Tommy and I arrived late on Wednesday night. (Love the direct flight from Des Moines to Vegas on Allegiant Sure its annoying not having a reserved seat and paying $2 for a can of coke on your flight, but you cannot beat the $109 direct flight price). We visited with his parents before heading to bed. We stayed at the MGM Signature. It was a great hotel to stay at. Seriously, how many hotels do you know that come with a Chinese Baby Gender Predictor? That's what I thought!!

On Thursday, we wondered around for awhile. You would hardly know it was Thanksgiving Day because EVERYTHING was open. The only sign of a Holiday was that the Mexican dudes that hand out the prostitution cards on the side of the street were not there on Thursday. I thought it was nice they spent the holiday with their families.

We ate at the Bellagio Buffet for Lunch/Dinner. I say Lunch because we got in line at lunch time but did not actually eat until dinner time. Yes, it was about a three hour wait to eat, but it is like a once in a lifetime opportunity, right?

The food was fantastic. I actually took time to take some pictures of the food (well, of two of the probably six plates I had). We had prime rib, turkey, beef wellington, crab legs, sushi, potatoes, yams, stuffing, more prime rib and more crab legs. Oh, and did I mention I had eight different types of dessert? I know that seems excessive, but they had over 30 to choose from!

Officially I am telling people the baby grew a lot while in Vegas. Unofficially I think I ate too much!

Note to Self: Do not wear maternity clothes to buffet!!

On Friday Tommy and I went shopping early. We really did not find much for ourselves (other than what we had already purchased online). We did find some great things for BGT including a purple tutu skirt and some cozy jammies! Isn't amazing how different your life is with kids? We do not even have our child yet, and even our shopping habits have changed. We are now most excited to go to the Children's Place and Baby Gap!

On Saturday we saw the show, Le Reve. Amazing!!!! It is from the same producer of Cirque du Soleil, but a million times better than the Cirque show we saw in April. The seats were amazing (there is not a bad one in the theatre), the performance was fantastic. I highly recommend this show to anybody!! I am not a typical show person, but Tommy and his parents wanted to see something, and I was blown away! The theatre is built around the circular stage. The stage is basically a pool that ranges in depth throughout the performance from one to twenty-six feet. The performers are all scuba certified. They did high flips, dives, synchronized swimming, the works. I am not doing this show justice with my explanation. It was simply just Amazing!!! At one point in the show I thought "Wow, I wish I could take the baby out so she could see the show too!"

Saturday morning Tommy and I had breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi, which is a restaurant in front of the Paris Hotel which over looks the Bellagio Fountains. The food was amazing. As I sat there and enjoyed my hubby's company, I couldn't help but savor the moment as one of our last vacations together before we become a family of 3!! (Note: Even though Tommy and I were in Vegas in April, I wanted to go back so soon again because it did not strike me as a place I wanted to bring young kids. While in Vegas I was stunned at not only  how many people brought there young kids with them to Vegas (think age 3 and under) but how late they were out, how they had them in the smoke filled casino, and help them while they gambled. I'm still not convinced Vegas is a kid friendly vacation city, but it appears most visitors would disagree). 

On Sunday we rented a car and did a day trip to Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. I'll post about that later. Notice how there is nobody by this famous sign but Tommy and I? That is what happens when you leave for a road trip at 6am! Brilliant!

On Monday afternoon we headed back to Iowa. I was disappointed to come home. Vacation went too fast. It was just not enough time with my husband. And as Tommy says, only nine more weeks until BGT is here and that is just too soon! I'm very excited for BGT's arrival but am savoring these last days of our "easy" life.

I am just not sure I have ever had this much to be thankful for...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Asian Heritage

Most of you know (because I think I blogged about it and am mildly obsessed over it) that I have been trying to come up with a formula to determine the gender of an expectant baby. For me, both the heart rate (over 140 = girl; under 140 = boy) and the Chinese Birth Chart told me that I am having a girl. I had to alter the formula when my sister was pregnant and the heart rate was over 140 but the chart said boy. Easy enough. Chart trumps heart. I am somewhat concerned that this formula is not sound proof. I am anxiously awaiting to hear of a few friends who are expecting to find out if my formula needs to be altered. That is, what if one o my preggo friends finds out the chart is wrong?!

Problem solved!

Tommy and I are in Vegas right now. I was helping myself to some snacks in the gift shop when a nice Chinese Lady walked up to me and asked "When is the baby due?" I said February 4 (hoping if she was judging by the size of my stomach I added the exact date). She then asked "How old are you." I thought the question seemed a little personal, but I complied and told her I was 28. She then asked when I will be 29. I told her April. She said "Oh, how wonderful! You're having a girl!" What?! Did God himself send this Chinese lady to me to resolve my problems- I was curious so I told her about my sister. She is 31 now, will be 31 when the baby is born and the due date is March 27 (I think- its end of March- I"m a shitty Aunt- I digress). She said "Its a girl too!" I apologized to the Chinese lady that her formula was wrong. It is a boy. The lady then told me "She's not having the baby until April. Then it is a boy." I texted my sister with this wisdom, but I'm not sure she appreciates it as much as I do.

So here is the formula:

Add Mother's Age at birth to the month in which the baby is born. (January is 1, February 2, March 3, and so on). If this results in an even number (like me: 28 + 2 = 30) then it is a girl. If it results in an odd number then it is a boy. HOWEVER, if BOTH the baby and the mother's birthdays are after June then you must add 1. I was so glad she clarified this rule because Anthony was born August 3. Erin was 26 (turning 27 just 10 days later). 26 + 8 = 34. However, since they both have birthdays after June then I added the one to equal 35 to find it is a boy!!!!

Now that I spent all the time typing this blog I just calculated my sister and my birthdates with this predictor and realized that we are both boys.... Hmmm.... back to the drawing board.....

Black Friday?!

How was your Black Friday Experience?

Mine went something like this:

Computer - Check. Did a last minute change and bought one from Sam's Club online instead of Costco. Tommy and I decided in our old age it is better to get a 17 inch screen rather than a 15.

Camera - Check. We found this at American TV. We were going to buy it online but found out it was $30 cheaper in store and came with a $25 gift card and memory card if you bought in store. Thanks to my mom who picked it up for us while we are out of town. And happy they still had the camera at 8am!

Snow Blower - Nope.

Unnecessary Items - Check. We, of course, went out at 6am to join the crazies in Vegas. However, there were not as many crazies as in Des Moines. The stores were relatively quiet and easy to navigate. When you are seven months pregnant its hard to find anything to buy. I did get some new jammies (admittedly not as cool as the sushi jammies) and some cute new outfits for BGT and BBA (Gap and Children's Place). The mall we shopped at was giving 10% back on all your purchases over $100 at the mall; however, we didn't even manage to spend a Benjamin.... there.

Given the nature of the violence of the Black Friday Experience in Des Moines (per www.dmregister.com), I wonder if I'll go out next year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I am T minus three hours from spending the most non-traditional Thanksgiving with my in-laws that I can imagine, and I CANNOT wait.

In just a few short hours Tommy and I will be boarding a direct flight to Vegas, staying in the beautiful MGM Signature, eating Thanksgiving Dinner at the Bellagio and finishing up our last minute plans for our Friday shopping.

I read an article online that stated that the sales are supposed to be up several million dollars this year for Black Friday. The only reason I can imagine they would be is because everything cost way more this year than in years previous.  We had three big purchase items for this year. We are definitely purchasing a new laptop on Friday at Costco.com.  It is a bit more than we wanted to spend, but it has all the bells and whistles that we want. We are probably not going to buy a snowblower. Mostly because they really are not on sale. They were 10% off a few weeks ago at Lowes. In the meantime we picked up another 10% off coupon to Lowes, so we could get nearly 20% off on any day of the week. This appears to be better than any deal for Friday. I am hopeful we still find a camera to purchase. We have been a little more particular about finding one just because we plan on taking lots of photos of BGT and if she is a quick mover then we want to have a camera that will be good for kids photos. With so many options its hard to determine what features we need and what we do not. I leave the electronics to my savvy Asian husband. Fingers crossed we find something. Other than that, Friday shopping will just probably be a quick trip to the Fashion Show Mall (Probably 5am to 8am) and pick up a few things we do not need.

We also have plans on going to the Grand Canyon. I am very excited about this! I am excited to see my in laws (hard to believe, right?!) and I am excited to spend lots of time with my hubby!

Today I finally ordered new carpet for the upstairs bedrooms which will be measured while I am in Vegas. I picked up the paint for my bedroom (Behr's Polar Drift) and BGT's nursery (Behr's Lilac Champaigne). I am excited to show you before and after photos. Here is hoping the crib arrives soon! I am glad things are coming together since BGT's arrival is only ten weeks away.

Above all, I'm so thankful for wonderful family, healthy pregnancy, a job that provides well for my family, my truly wonderful and amazing friends, and my very patient and kindhearted husband!! Remember to be thankful for everything you have!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Tommy and I are headed to Vegas on Wednesday and will not be back until Monday. The following weekend we are headed to Clear Lake for "Christmas on the Lake." (Note: I think I am taking the "on the lake" too literal because it seems that the lake wont be frozen. I'll let you know). Anyway, telling you all of this is supposed to excuse the Takekawas from putting our tree up before Thanksgiving. We would have put it up today even if we were not going out of town.

Last year we used our 6 foot tree that we had at the townhouse previously. It looked ridiculous in the new house. I was going to buy a new tree last year after Christmas but then I found out my mom was throwing away her tree. Many of her lights did not work, and she did not have the patience to fix it. My mom's tree is beautiful so I was appalled that she was tossing it. I asked her if I could have it instead. It sat in our basement until Tommy lugged it up the stairs on Friday night.

I had a plan, and it was a good plan. (The original plan was to cut off all the old lights and replace with new strings of lights. When we plugged in and saw how many lights did work (about 3/4) we decided to alter the plan. We went to Home Depot and purchased a bunch of replacement lights. (We went back two more times because I forgot to do my math of what is 25% of 800 lights). We ran into a snafu in hour two. As we plugged  a new light in, the entire strand went out. My determined husband continued to work on the strand for an additional 2 hours dispute my frequent pleas to move back to my plan of stringing the section with new lights). We went to bed with not much done. We woke up this morning and continued our work. 

The next two sections did not give us too many problems, but Tommy kept insisting in making sure EACH and EVERY light was lit for the most perfect tree (and you thought I was obsessed with details?!) While he worked on these two strands that would not stay lit I managed to change out all the lights on the working strands. (As my mom noted about us: It sucks to be stubborn and cheap). Two Four hours later, here is the result:
 I would say it turned out pretty good! Because we had tree half the size previously, we do not really have enough ornaments to fill the tree. We went to Hobby Lobby and Sams Club to find more, but we didn't find anything that we loved. So this is the finished project. I am really glad that we worked hard to make this tree work because as we shopped at Hobby Lobby and Sam's, I could not believe how much these trees cost. Besides, who knows if we will go out to a tree farm next Christmas once BGT is here (I asked Tommy if that is a tradition he would want to start. He said "What's a tree farm?")

At Sam's and Hobby Lobby I did find this cute wrapping paper,
Tommy did not want me to buy the pink paper. He said it did not look like Christmas wrap. I reminded him that it said "Seasons Greetings" and "Happy Holidays." He said "But what if we have non-English speaking/reading people at our house." When he failed to name one person we knew that was non-English speaking or reading, I placed the paper in the cart.

Merry Christmas!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Funny Conversations

Here are more funny conversations I have heard or been a part of recently:

Tommy: "Wow, it smells like dog sh*t in here!"
Me: "Dog sh*t or dog urine?"
Tommy: "Does it really matter?"

Me: "Isn't it crazy how obsessed people can get with their dogs?"
Mom: "What's crazy is when they bring the dogs into the car with them and then don't buckle them in."

Me: "Why does dried beef taste so salty."
Tommy: "Honey, its because they make it like the Pilgrims made it. You should know this."

Mom: "Menards has car seats on clearance."
Tommy: "I don't want a clearanced car seat for my daughter."
Me: "Its not like they remove safety straps so they can clearance it."

Homemaker's Employee: "Do you want me to tie this mattress onto your vehicle?"
Dad: "Does a bear s**t in the woods?"
Homemaker's Employee: "Huh?"
Dad: "Yes!!!"

Me insisting to my dad for 2 minutes: "You can check Fareway, Walmart and Target, but I'm telling you, only HyVee sells Cinnamon Ice Cream."
Dad calling 5 minutes later after going to Fareway instead of HyVee: "I found Cinnamon Ice Cream at Fareway."
Me: "It should taste real good with that s**t eating grin you have on your face."

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Have you ever wondered what your kid is going to look like when they are born? Have you ever wondered if they will look more Caucasian, Asian or Hispanic? I have!!

I have high hopes for BGT because she has two cousins who are absolutely adorable.

Here is a picture of her cousin, Anthony, my sister's child. This is from 2010 Halloween. I know it is outdated, but it was my favorite picture that she has on her facebook page that I could copy.

Here is BGT's other cousin, Farah. Farah is Tommy's brother, Yoshi's, child. Tommy and Yoshi look a lot alike. Yoshi's wife is Caucasian, has blonde hair and very blue eyes. Farah is all Yoshi if you ask me!

If BGT were born today, she might look something like this. These are pictures of Mindy's babies that were born at approximately 28 weeks, which is approximately where I am at in my pregnancy!

I'ts hard to believe that BGT's feet are only this big. Sometimes she feels a lot stronger than that. Last night Tommy wanted to feel her move. She was not cooperating so I suggested that he rock my stomach a little bit. He was quite surprised when she gave a few hard kicks back! It was pretty funny!

And just for fun: here is a picture of Tommy and Yoshi when they were young. Tommy is the older child. The lady in the picture is their Uncle's wife.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for daylight savings. I have been going to bed around 9pm all week, and it has been great! Also, I love waking up before my alarm and staying snuggled in bed. (I do not enjoy that it is dark before I leave work, even if I leave work at 5pm).

I am thankful that I had some time off today to get caught up on some things. I had quite the list of things to do today. Although I did not get it all done, I feel good about the amount of work I did accomplish. I am also thankful that Friday is a holiday so Tommy has the day off. My plan is to take Friday afternoon off too! (Though things usually do not go as planned).

I am thankful that I have already found (but not purchased) two of my "big ticket" Black Friday items. I found the computer at Costco that is offered online starting Thanksgiving Day. I also found the camera I want to get at Costco, though its only on sale through November 21. I am pretty confident about the computer. I am somewhat confident about the camera. I have not found a snowblower yet. I think it is because I plain do not care. It is hard to get Tommy interested in finding a snowblower. He doesn't like to think about the snow. Also, he doesn't have much experience with the snow because it is generally too painful for me to watch him shovel the driveway that I go out and do it myself (oh how times will be changing very soon!).

I am thankful that Tommy and I have worked out our holiday plans again this year. Luckily we are on a rotating Thanksgiving schedule. We have been going to his family in odd years since 2007. Since it is an odd year, we are meeting up with his family. This year, however, we are meeting them in Vegas. Yes, we were just there six months ago, but we couldn't resist. One of our favorite vacation spots during our favorite time of the year! Of course we just bought our tickets yesterday. Hotels are SO cheap compared to April that we are really feeling spoiled now! I am thankful this getaway is only two weeks away! PS- Aunt Nita or Aunt Bonnie- could you be so kind to extend an invite to my parents for Thanksgiving? In odd years Erin and I are both with our in-laws and it breaks our hearts to think of them alone on the holiday.


I have had a few small panic attacks over getting stuff done at my house. With September and October being so busy at work, it is hard to believe its mid-November already. I wondered if my new desire to get so much done around the house was due to the phenomenon of nesting. I decided to google it. I think my desire to get so much done has to do with my OCD personality more so then it does with nesting.... or at least I thought.

On the website I was reading about how expecting moms would do things like take all the screws out of walls and wash them with soap and water. I also read that these nesting symptoms would be accompanied with sudden bursts of energy. Well, I knew then and there I was not nesting. In fact, as I enter my third trimester, it is amazing how tired I have become again. Also, I could cry at the drop of a hat. I can hardly watch any tv or movies without holding back tears.

Most of my "To Do" list is organizing closets, making a run to donate clothes at Goodwill, cleaning out the pantry, finishing my FALL/WINTER projects (I think I have 3 left?!). I do have a few extreme things on my list like getting new carpet for the upstairs bedrooms and painting two bedrooms (Sorry, Mom!) but those things were on my list long before I was pregnant. In fact, those are on my list to get done yet this month, as my furniture purchases are set to be delivered December 2. I did notice my desires getting somewhat out of hand when I started a discussion with Tommy about changing the ceiling fans in the bedrooms around. I suddenly remembered the article I had read after googeling nesting and realized that I was at risk of becoming crazy crazier.

I did take a tip from one of my friends who states that if a task takes less than five minutes then there is no reason it is not done immediately. It is surprising how so many tasks seem overwhelming but can really be done quickly. Now, back to work!

Date Night

For months now Tommy has been asking to go to Stimulus Tuesday. Before you get carried away, let me clarify that this is an event held at the Wynnsong 16 movie theatre in Johnston. Every Tuesday all movies are $6 and soda and popcorn are $1. I was having a moment of panic earlier in the week realizing that my child was going to be here soon, and we should do things now that we will not be able to do (or at least as easily) come February. (See upcoming post regarding our Thanksgiving vacation we booked this week).

So last night we both hurried home from work, put on our best sweat pants and sweat shirt, headed for a quick dinner at Texas Roadhouse, and sat down just in time for the start of the movie MoneyBall. Considering Tommy didn't get home until 6:15, we were in a huge hurry to eat and make it to a 7 o'clock showtime. We made it to the theatre by 7:10 and still sat through 10 minutes of previews. The movie was excellent. Time with my hubby doing something he always wants to do was amazing. And dinner was delicious. Being the dutch girl that I am, I was most pleased by the fact that our date night cost only $30. We shared a steak meal at Texas Roadhouse so our bill was only $15. Our tickets to the movie were $12 total. We shared a popcorn and each  got our own soda.

If you are looking for something fun to do with your special someone during the week, I highly suggest Stimulus Tuesdays. Tommy is already asking me if I want to go again next week. :-) Maybe we'll see you there...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for my sushi pajamas. In my effort to acclimate to my husband's culture I picked these up at Dillard's last year. It doesn't matter how bad of day I had, when I can come home and put these jamies on, I instantly feel better. I also love that after a year of having these, Tommy still smiles every time he sees me in them.

I'm thankful for the morning I choose to stop and get this:

I stop and get one of these once a week. I usually get the White Chocolate Mocha made with skim milk and no whip. A tall is a perfect size. It is also nice that since I've been pregnant I've cut back on these which could explain why my weight has not increased and my bank account has not decreased.

I am thankful that I passed my second glucose test. I was also going to be thankful that my belly wasn't looking huge, but I asked my secretary to take a picture of it for me and was quite surprised by my belly size. Here she is...

I laugh so much when I see this picture because I have been telling so many people how I don't even look that pregnant. LOL. No wonder they don't agree!!!

I'm thankful that when I checked the NFM website today there was another sale posted, and I got some more money off my furniture purchase!

I'm thankful tomorrow is Friday. Tommy doesn't have to work this weekend. I'm looking forward to spending some quality time together. (ie- carpet shopping, mattress shopping, costco, grocery store, tj maxx.... the usual).

I"m thankful that you can sample songs on Itunes so I didn't waste a cent on Justin Bieber's new Christmas album. I'm thankful I get to play Christmas music soon! I'm a sucker for Jessica Simpson's Oh Holy Night. Best Song Ever.