Friday, December 30, 2011


December 29 was my mom's 50th 60th Birthday! To celebrate we had a party at my house with my sister's family, grandma, aunt, uncle and cousin!

December 30 is Tommy and my 10th 3rd wedding anniversary! To celebrate we waited patiently for our baby furniture to arrive from Nebraska Furniture Mart; patiently  waited on hold with medicom to fix our dvr service and internet service, had a argument discussion about whether to make the bed up in the spare bedroom; and washed, dried and folded four loads of laundry. It's not even Noon yet! Who knows how we'll spend the rest of the day!

Here are some photos from our wedding day:

Tommy's eyes are closed in this picture because he is trying so hard to hold back tears of joy and excitement. This is not a problem for him today!

Funny Conversations

Me: "I cannot believe that I am not looking fatter at 8 months pregnant."
Anne (the receptionist at my office): "Yes, my daughter went through that stage of denial, too."
Me: "No, really! People tell me all the time they cannot believe I do not look bigger!"
Anne in complete disbelief: "Who tells you that?!"

Me after grabbing a big piece of birthday cake: "I think my eyes are bigger than my stomach."
Dad: "Uh.... I don't think so...."

Hickory Park waiter to himself after singing Happy Birthday to my mom with two other waiters who were not singing as loudly: "Wow. That was a great solo."

Tony while visiting me at work: "I want to go to Auntie Dawn's house!"
Grandma: "No, Auntie Dawn has to work."
Tony: "I want to stay with Auntie Dawn at her office."
Grandma: "No, Auntie Dawn has to leave her office and go downtown."
Tony: "I want to ride in Auntie Dawn's black car with her."
Grandma: "Tony, you are coming with me!!"

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

It's hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone, and in less than ten hours I will need to return to work. It does not seem like I should have to go to work tomorrow, but I checked my calendar three times today, and all signs pointed to yes.

I planned on working only a half day on Friday, but as usual, I ended up working until 4. Tommy had to work on Saturday morning, so I went with my mom to pick up my Grandma and bring her to my parent's house. On Saturday night we had a nice church service (how many times have a mentioned that O Holy Night is my favorite Christmas song? The only time it gets better than Jessica Simpson's version is when we sing it at church with the candles lit).

On Sunday, my parents, grandma, and sister's family came over for Christmas. I must say that I was extremely impressed with my family's gift giving this year. My parent's got Tommy a new basketball hoop (he loves shooting hoops in the driveway, but our backboard broke in a storm this past summer). They also got us a new deep freeze (due to my recent understanding that breast milk can only be stored in your kitchen freezer for thirty days. Who knew?!). BGT was the recipient of some cute outfits as well as Sophie the Giraffe (I'll post more about this later- under "A Very Pinterest Christmas!"). I had not put as much thought into my gift giving this year as I had in years past. I did score lots of points from my nephew with the gumball machine I got him!

Also, the other day Tommy and I were out to breakfast and saw this sign and knew we had to get it for me mom. It fits our family humor perfectly! It says "Remember, as far as everybody knows, we have a nice normal family."

Our Christmas Meal was absolutely delightful. Tommy had suggested that we make prime rib. I was worried that it would be disappointing compared to the prime rib we had in Vegas over Thanksgiving, but it was not. It was wonderful! If you have a special occasion that you want to cook something different I will provide you this recipe. So easy and so delicious! We also made our famous Cornbread Stuffing, rolls with honey butter, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a few other random side dishes/appetizers. My mom made her excellent cheesy vegetables. My sister found an excellent pecan pie at Costco. I must say, it was one of the best meals we have ever had!

Initially, Tommy and I had decided we were not going to get each other anything for Christmas this year. Between the laptop, camera, snowblower, and all things needed for BGT, it seemed like we had more than we ever could ask for. (And I was too lazy to wrap any of these items up to put under the tree). However, as Christmas neared and the tree looked to bare, we decided to each spend $100 on one another and totally surprise the other person with the gift. This task proved to be much more difficult than I had originally imagined. For one, most items that cost less than $100 we just go out and buy if we really want them. Also, we generally discuss EVERYTHING that we purchase. It was difficult to know whether he would really want any of the items I was thinking, but I also did not want to ruin the surprise. I was somewhat happy with the items I found for him (DVD- Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas; basketball net for his new back board; pair of nike sweat pants; shoe grippers for when he is removing snow on the driveway; a new caphalon pan; and a Calvin Klein tie). Yes, I got that all for $100! I think he appreciated the items I got for him, but I do not think he was totally impressed with the gifts. Tommy also had a problem picking out a gift for me. His problem was twofold: failing to stay within the budget and failing to surprise me! I suppose I did say that we were to spend $100 per person, I just was only referring to myself and not to BGT. I am very pleased with what Tommy got me (he asked for my approval before he placed the order), and I know they will come in handy! But mostly, I was impressed that he was able to order them independently and have them shipped in time for Christmas. Tommy has been sick for the past several days, and I knew ordering my gift may not be on the top of his to do list- so I was quite surprised when they arrived via UPS at 2pm on Christmas Eve! He even wrapped them himself!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful it's Thursday.

I'm thankful that my trial on Thursday is the last big thing at work before I go on maternity leave.

I'm thankful that I'm prepared and ready for trial.

I'm thankful for my generous bosses who passed out some gifts at work (Note: I am still thankful for their generosity even after one of my bosses stated that I should name my kid "Ocho-Chinco." Seriously, this person is in management!?)

I'm thankful I've mastered a nervous uncomfortable laugh when people say inappropriate things to me (see above).

I'm thankful that my ultrasound is on Friday. I cant wait to see BGT again. Its been 15 weeks since I saw her last!

I'm thankful for all my awesome blog friends who have been so good at updating their blogs and giving me lots of fun things to read about!

And more than likely, I'm thankful for you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Maternity Pics!

(I hope this link above works! This is the third time I tried, so I apologize for those of you who may have gotten notice that my blog updated so many times! Technology is not my forte.)

On Sunday, my friend, Caprice, came over and took some pics of Giuliana. Tommy and I were allowed in the pics too! This was not an easy task, and I am so grateful for Caprice. I did not care to have professional photos taken, but I felt like if I did not have any photos, I may regret it. While I hope that I have more than one child- I never know what God has in store for me.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Magic of Christmas

Today could have been really average and in many ways it was. I didn't sleep well, was behind on work, stressed out by an upcoming trial this week, disappointed by people's actions and worked later than I wanted. But as I drove home I could not help the feeling of happiness I had inside. My favorite Christmas tune filling my car (O Holy Night). As I got out of the car and into the house, I continued humming the music. ("A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices"). I could have been disappointed that Tommy wasn't home from work yet, that I did not get all my house work done over the weekend that now needed to be done, or that my US Weekly magazine still has not come in the mail eliminating the prospect of having a nice warm bath with a good magazine read this evening ("For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn").

Instead, I continued to hum my Christmas music ("Fall on your knees! Oh hear the Angels' voices!"). I wrapped Christmas gifts, I changed into my comfy jammies (you know the ones!), enjoyed the soothing movements of my daughter moving around in my belly, baked, yes baked, a yummy Christmas snack,

and enjoyed the new view outside my front window:

Look who fixed their Christmas lights today! (Cue nervous laugh as we all wonder if my neighbor reads my blog or if it was pure coincidence that after three weeks of not having all the lights working on the house they suddenly do today).  I think it's the Magic of Christmas. ("O Night, divine!").

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Life Lessons....

I am trying this new Blog Title because I often find little lessons I learn or am reminded about in life.

Here are a few life lessons I have been reminded about recently:

"Why Be Something That You Are Not?"

One thing (among many) that I am not is a baker. I generally acknowledge this but in my heart I hope that I am more of a baker than my head tells me I am. Tommy told me that he needed to bring treats to work on Friday. What I should have done was immediately drive to Costco and pick up one of their wonderful desserts. What I did was sat on the couch and procrastinated all night. Tommy told me that he wanted me to make puppy chow, but I did not have all the ingredients. Instead of driving the .3 miles to Dahls to get the ingredients, I instead looked up recipes for items we did have. (If you saw my kitchen pantry you would understand that this was the second poor decision of the evening). At 9:55, when I realized that I did not have ingredients to make ANYTHING, I drove the .3 miles to Dahls. (Note to self: Dahls closes at 11pm, not 10am. Next time change out of pajamas when going in public before 11pm). I grabbed the ingredients to make scotcharoos. I had been craving them ever since my friend, Laura, made some in August. As I drove back home, I realized that since I went to Dahls anyway, I could have gotten the missing ingredient for Puppy Chow as my husband had originally requested. I think the whole experience of trying to be something I am not made me lose all my common sense.

Here is another example: My neighbor, should not be a Christmas Light Decorator:

Here is another Life Lesson:

"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get."

I have many friends that constantly remind me of this lesson. It is not that they repeat it to me- they just live it. The ironic thing is, many times I remind others of this lesson, but do not apply it to myself. Case in point: I was buying a gumball for my nephew. Of course we did not know what color he was going to get, and he kept telling me that he wanted a yellow one. I looked down at him and said "You'll get what you get. Just be happy I spent 25 cents on this overpriced gumball."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful that the weather has been nice, and I have not had to make my way through the snow (although Tommy is not thankful as he would love to try out our new snowblower!).

I'm thankful for the fun weekend I had last weekend with my lovely friends and their lovely husbands. I keep thinking back to the guys playing Rock Band and cannot stop laughing!

I'm thankful for some fun projects I have found on Pinterest. I'm going to take a stab at some more this weekend and wrap them up as Christmas gifts. (Isn't my family lucky?)

I'm thankful that BGT is just growing right along.

The first photo is me at 28 weeks:

The second photo is me at 33 weeks!

I have an ultrasound on the 23rd. My belly is measuring a few centimeters big. Nothing to be too concerned about. I think the doctor was just sick of me complaining about not getting another ultrasound.

I'm thankful that my Christmas shopping is almost done.

Check out this cute outfit I found for my niece:

My dad said it looks like a little outfit a girl would wear in Mexico. I found it at the Gap. I think it was made in China. And, no, my dad has never been to Mexico.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Funny Conversations

My conversation excitement never ends! Here are some more:

While Erin and I are looking at my newly acquired breast pump, Tony sees the following piece and asks "Is that for hearing?"

Dad to the MidAmerican Employee after experiencing a power loss: "The lights go out more here then they do in Baghdad."
Me to Dad: "You've never been to Baghdad."
Dad to Me: "Well, I've talked to people who have been there."

Tony: "Auntie Dawn, I love the new [ball] you bought me. Where did you get it?"
Me:  "Michael's"
Tony: "No, it's not Michael's, its mine!"

My Boss: "When are you going on maternity leave?"
Me: "When my baby is born."
(Conversation ends).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What's In A Name... Part 2

I'm not going to lie, I was a little bit nervous to post some of our baby names on the blog yesterday out of fear of what people might say. Either Tommy and I did a wonderful job picking out some names or everybody was really respectful in responding to the names we picked.

Are you interested in knowing the general consensus on the names? Sofia was BY FAR the favorite pick. Many of you mentioned that you liked the idea of spelling with "f" rather than "ph."  I was surprised that many of you were not concerned by the popularity of that name. In a three way tie for second is Emme, Claire and Giuliana.

Lilian received zero votes. And Isabella, Chloe, Gabriela and Valentina all fell in the middle to end.

Tommy found this really interesting website. It can be found here. Basically you type in a baby's name in the website and it provides a ton of information about the name including how often its misspelled, mispronounced, common nicknames, opinions of people who have that name and so on. So, let me tell you what I learned about the top 4 choices:

Sofia:  "Wisdom."

Of the people who took this survey who are named Sofia, they responded as follows:
- 80% of Sofia's would recommend that somebody name their child Sofia.
- Its pronounced correctly 68% of the time.
- Its spelled correctly only 20% of the time.
- 80% of people were never teased in particular because of there name. Some of the complaints of the 20% that were teased included being called "Sofa" for a fat little kid. (laughing so hard about this right now).
- 83% of Sofia's really like their name.

Emme: "Blessed with Beauty"
* Note that "Emme" was not in Survey so I had to use alternate spelling of "Emi."

- 76% of Emme's would recommend that somebody name their child Emme.
- Its pronounced correctly only 50% of the time.
- Its spelled correctly about 50% of the time.
- 84% of people were never teased in particular because of there name.
- 80% of Emme's like their name.

Giuliana: "Down-Bearded Youth"  HUH?!

- 84% of Giuliana's would recommend that somebody name their child Giuliana.
- Its pronounced correctly about 60% of the time.
- Its spelled correctly only about 5% of the time.
- 73% of people were never teased in particular because of there name. If they were made fun of, it was because They would be callled "Guiliana or "Giuliana Banana."
- 84% of Giuliana's like the name.

Claire: "Clear, Bright, Famous"

- 76% of Claires would recommend that somebody name their child Claire.
- Its pronounced correctly about 85% of the time.
- Its spelled correctly about 40% of the time.
- 81% of people were never teased in particular because of there name. If they were, they are called "Claire Bear."
- 70% like their names.

I'm so happy that I posted those names yesterday because it has helped Tommy and I gain some confidence in some of the names that we like. Also, we have a good 3 names that we will keep in mind. People keep telling me that I will know when I see her what her name should be. I do not think I'm going to try to narrow it down to one before she arrives, but don't be surprised if a post shows up the day she is born that reads "Does this baby look like a "Name A" "Name B" or "Name C?" :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What's In A Name?

T less 59 days until BGT's arrival. We still have not agreed on a name yet. It isn't so much that we haven't agreed, we are just not satisfied with the few that we are tossing around. Here are the names that get thrown around the most (and in no particular order).

Isabella Takekawa
Giuliana Takekawa
Claire Takekawa
Sofia Takekawa
Chloe Takekawa
Valentina Takekawa
Emme Takekawa
Gabriela Takekawa
Lillian (maybe just Lily) Takekawa

I know that you all know what our last name is, but I think it is important to put our last name with the first name so you can notice that it appears any more than a five letter first name appears to be just too much. Tommy and I LOVE Giuliana but it is way too much with the last name Takekawa. If our last name were Smith- It'd for sure be Giuliana Smith.

Also, I was reading on the internet that if your last name ends with a vowel then the first name should not. Great....

I was surprised to read that this website recommended that you name your child a popular name because the child will feel like they fit in more. A suggestion they had would be to spell the child's first common name in a unique way (Sofia rather than Sophia). But really we like the hispanic version of Sofia better thant he white man's version.

Of the names I posted above, I believe that Isabella, Sofia and Chloe are all top ten names for 2011. I know a few Isabella's under the age of 4. I do not know any Sofia (or Sophia). Do you? I like Valentina, but I prefer my kid's nickname to not be Val or Tina.

I have always felt like her name should be Emme. Tommy doesn't care for Emme that much. Interestingly, Emme is also a Japanese name when spelled Emi. I think I like the spelling Emme better though.

I have been surfing the net to find other names to add to the list, but I just cannot find anything I like. Who knew naming a baby was so complicated? (Who also knew finding a daycare that takes new borns would be too- but that is for a different post).

If you want to have an opinion about it, I'd be glad to hear it, subject to the following rules: You cannot email me and tell me you hate any of the names because my kid may have that name in the future. You can email me and tell which three names (in no particular order please) are your favorite. or

Also, if this factors into your opinion at all, the baby will probably have a really common and simple middle name... think Marie, Dawn, Joy....

Here is hoping she does not come early!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas By The Lake

Saturday was Christmas By The Lake in Clear Lake.

Tommy and I headed up to Clear Lake on Friday afternoon after work. We rented the movie Crazy Stupid Love (or as Tommy said when he was asking me what I rented and reading it upside down "Crazy Stupid Story). It was actually very good.

On Saturday we went to our favorite Cerro Gordo County hotspot, Mason City HyVee, for breakfast. I totally got cut in line by two old people. I called them out on it, but they didn't care. They were kind of just confirmed what I thought about people from Mason City in general.

In the afternoon, we headed to the events for the day. This included a Chili Cooking contest where the public tasted, a hot cocoa stand, carriage ride, Santa's Workshop, S'mores, Trolly Rides, a Christmas Parade and Fireworks. We left the house around 1pm and didn't get home until 6pm. We didn't get to all the events, but we sure had a great time. There were Charles Dickens characters roaming the streets. With the fresh snowfall and small city square, you couldn't help but feel you were living a Christmas Carol. The fireworks display was very impressive. I was surprised about how close people were to where they were being shot off, but nobody else appeared to be alarmed. There was a scary moment when one of the fireworks appeared to blow up improperly. You could feel the heat from it. I was ready to run, and I think I even heard my brother-in-law scream "RUN!" but apparently that was just part of the show?!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day:

Now I'm cozied up with in some warm jammies getting ready to sample a new recipe I got off Pinterest. Yep, after hearing so much about Pinterest I finally got on to that website today. I can see why its so popular. I'm addicted!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Grand Canyon Adventure

Last Sunday whilei n Vegas we took a road trip to Hoover Damn and the Grand Canyon. We left Las Vegas aroun 630am and hit the Hoover Damn first. It was nice being there so early because there was no traffic or people. We were able to take our time looking around before moving on to the Canyon.

The trip from Hoover Damn to the Grand Canyon was only about three hours. It was a bit more confusing when you factor in switching from Pacific Time to Mountian Time and trying to decide whether we were or were not observing daylight savings.

Of course, in true Takekawa Road Trip fashion, Tommy drove while I napped. I felt somewhat guilty for complaining to him about going 85mph in a 75 zone after witnessing my father-in-law going 85 mph in a 55 zone! Now I know where Tommy gets it. Tommy was asleep in the back seat. We were on a two lane highway going that fast, passing people left and right. I thought about speaking up and saying something, but I realized the only spanish word I knew involving speed was rapido. Looking back I suppose I could have said "No Rapido" but while in the stress of the situation that did not occur to me.

Nonetheless, we had a WONDERFUL time at the Canyon. I am glad that we went to see it. Sometimes I wish I would have never seen pictures of things before I see them. While the Canyon was beautiful and amazing, it was totally what I had expected. Can you imagine how amazing it would be if I had never seen a picture of it previously? I remember the same feeling while traveling in Europe.

Here are some of my favorite pictures:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Funny Conversations

Me to Tommy while walking around at the Grand Canyon: "Honey, will you carry my water, map, phone, coat and camera?"
Tommy: "Aren't you going to carry anything?"
Me: "I'm carrying your baby. I think that's enough."
Tommy: Silence

Tony running up to me after not seeing me for a few weeks: "Auntie Dawn! Is that a baby in your stomach?!"
Me: "Yes, it is!"
Tony to my stomach: "Hi Baby!!"

Me after reading a letter a customer wrote my mom wherein he complains about my mom and mistakenly refers to her as Pam: "Wow, that Pam sounds like a real b!tch!"
Mom: "Takes one to know one!"

Me to client: "do you have any other questions?"
Client: "do you know the lord as your savior?"
Me: "yes, I do. Thanks for asking."
Clients wife: "I knew it. I could tell just looking at you!"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful it is December! All we need is a little snow on the ground, and I will really be in the Christmas spirit!

I'm thankful that this week at works has been relatively quiet. I have been able to get a lot done. I'm hoping to finish up a few things and then really clean out my drawers and filing cabinet. (Nesting?!)

I'm so very thankful for my mom who not only painted the nursery while Tommy and I are in Vegas, but she is at our house right now painting the master bedroom before our new furniture is delivered tomorrow! Yes, this is the second time she has painted both of those rooms since Tommy and I moved in! She is so wonderful! I'm also thankful I recently found some pics from when Tommy and I moved in because I still have dreams of posting before and after pictures on the blog!

I'm thankful for exciting news from my friends! I have a few friends who I recently found out are expecting, and I am overjoyed for them and their families!

I'm thankful for some time up at the lakehouse this weekend with my family.

I'm thankful that it appears my nursery furniture will be here this month afterall! Also, I just finalized the purchase and set the install date for new carpet. It will be installed later this month! It will be nice to have everything somethings in order before the end of the year!

Happy Thursday!