Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Confucius Says...

In an effort to make my blog more interesting Asian, I've changed my "Life Lessons" titles to "Confucius Say..."

Confucius says... Silence is a true friend that never betrays...

Before I had a baby there were so many things I heard moms (in general- not mine in particular) say that I thought was so stupid surprising. I hope I bit my tongue when I heard these moms speak because now I'm realizing that these ladies are right.

For example- I could totally use 4 arms and hands. While I've mastered being able to feed Emi while only using one hand- its my right hand I still use when feeding her. And, as it turns out, my left hand/arm is completely useless. I am trying to be better about being patient while feeding Emi and really enjoy the bonding time, but after 8 hours a day, you are bound to get bored. I mentioned to my mom the other day that I wish I had scotch tape to tape Emi's pacifier into her mouth so I didn't have to reach down every 30 seconds and put it back in her mouth. My mom looked at me appalled as if I must not love her if such a thought had crossed my mind. She later than maneuvered Emi's blanket over her pacifier to hold it in. Same difference, right? Well, after being concerned about the blanket suffocating Emi and seeing my mom's reaction to the tape idea, I've now taught Emi to hold the pacifier in her mouth herself. She hasn't perfected it yet, but she is getting quite good!

I also hated the comments that moms make about not being able to be away from their children or catering to their kids needs. I always thought to myself when I heard these ladies "Oh, get a grip!" Well, today I needed to get a grip. I finally hooked up the baby monitor in an effort to get Emi moved into her nursery. I was on the main floor getting ready to clean up the kitchen. Emi hadn't slept well earlier in the day so I thought if I put her in her nursery (you know, the beautiful nursery I spent so much money time putting together for her to enjoy) that she would sleep just perfectly while I got the houeshold things done. Well, I hooked up the monitor (its a video monitor) and went to go to the dishes. Well, as I stood there with the water running I could only watch her in the monitor. She had moved her hand and therefore lost the pacifier out of her mouth. She wasn't happy and was moving around uncomfortably. I thought "just be patient, Dawn. She will settle down and be asleep in moments dreaming about owls and humming birds and butterflies." So I waited, and I waited, and I waited... at least 15 seconds... I couldn't take it anymore. I ran up there as fast as I could. I tried rocking her and getting her to go to sleep. Since she wouldn't fall asleep I brought her back downstairs with me with the bright lights, loud tv, banging dishes... and in five minutes she was asleep.

The last example I can think of is how parents would let their kids control their life. That was not going to be me! Well, had I attended a breastfeeding class I would have realized before Emi was born that she was totally going to control my life. And I find the more I try to have her not control my life, the more it backfires. Don't get me wrong- I LOVE being a mom.If I put it in capital letters it makes it more believable, right? I think I just thought I'd have a little More control over our schedules. Man, can you imagine what this blog would say if I didn't have one of the world's easiest babies? I guess God really only does give us what he knows we can handle...

In other news, on Sunday we went on our first walk with Emi. It was a good time! With the gift cards we got from our friends and family we were able to purchase this jogging stroller. We didn't take Emi for a jog yet, but we did have a nice walk. It was a lot of fun!

I've had to stop putting Emi in outfits that have buttons all the way up. After seeing the new "Leg Bomb" trend made famous by Angelina Jolie at the Academy Awards... she keeps sticking her leg through the holes between the buttons. We are team Aniston in this house!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for all the new TV shows that have started this week (Bethanny Ever After, Real Housewives, Khloe & Lamar, Celebrity Apprentice, Amazing Race...) It provides for more entertainment while I feed Emi. Also, Dancing with the Stars starts soon, and I'm very excited for the new season of Bachelorette that will start in May and feature Emily Maynard.

I'm thankful for my girlfriend, Caprice, who came over and took some amazing photos of Emi. Hopefully you easily accessed them on my blog a few days ago. (No Fear if you were not able- I've posted some of my favorites below). Aren't they to die for? I'm also thankful that Shutterfly read my mind about ordering photos and sent me a coupon in my email. You know I love a deal- and I got free shipping, 5 free photocards, and 25% off my purchase! I can't wait to get my photos in the mail so I can get photos of Emi all over my house, my parents' house, my office and Tommy's office.

I'm thankful that the weekend is so close!

I'm thankful that breastfeeding burns so many calories- I feel so much less guilty about all the Easter candy I have consumed lately.

I'm thankful that God gave me the "mom" gene. You know, the one that doesn't make you gag when you smell your baby's poop. The one that doesn't think your baby's spit up is gross.. Last night I even considered wearing a shirt to bed that Emi had peed on earlier. 

I'm thankful for the moments after I'm done feeding Emi and put her on my shoulder to burp her and she turns her head up to me and just looks at me while I feed her. I'm thankful for the phone calls from Tommy during the day to check up on Emi, and the excitement in his voice when he hears her grunting in the background. I'm thankful for the little grunts, groans and purrs that Emi makes during the day and night that you can't help but smile when you hear. I'm thankful for all the time I get to spend with Emi, and I am so glad that I do not have to count down the days yet to when I have to bring her to daycare and go to work without her. It seriously makes work so much less stressful to know I can have her with me for awhile.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This Week In Numbers

Four. The number of times Emi has peed on me while I was changing her.

Six. The number of times Emi has pooped on me while I was changing her.

Eighteen. The number of days old Emi was before I had to say to my mom "I'm her mother."

Zero. The number of days old Emi was before I had to say to my mother in law "I'm her mother."

Three. The average number of loads of laundry I did per week before Emi was born.

Eight. The average number of loads of laundry I do per week now.

Seven. The average number of hours I spend a day feeding Emi.

Twenty-Five. The number of pounds I have lost since giving birth to Emi.

Eighteen. The number of pounds I would like to lose yet.

Two. The number of times Tommy or myself have made plans to do something while forgetting we had a child and could not do what we had planned.

One. The number of times I have dropped Emi (more on this later- but before you call DHS know that it was approximately six inches and it was from my arms onto the bed).

Twelve. The average number of times a day I ask Tommy "Don't you just love Emi so much?!?"

Every Time I look at Emi. The amount of times the thought of "Ohmygod, I'm responsible for her!!" enters my mind.

Life Lessons...

Life Lesson: Maybe Ignorance Really is Bliss...

I received a text from my girlfriend the other day. It said: "Had my first birthing class tonight." I replied:  "I'm interested in hearing what they teach in those classes." Given that I completed just a few weeks of my online birthing class, none of which really came into play in the labor and delivery of Emi, I wondered if my labor could have been different had I attended this class. My friend has only completed one week of this course and is already having dreams nightmares about it! In the first class they were already freaking people out about the water breaking and then the baby's umbilical cord or limbs hanging out of your body. Considering that apparently only 10% of womens' water breaks naturally and that the umbilical cord shows in like less than 1% of those instances.... is this really something that needs to be covered? My poor friend now had a dream that she was in labor and her baby's arm was hanging out of her body and resting on her stomach!

Maybe I should teach one of these courses. This is what my course would look like:

1. Make as short of birthing plan as possible because you are going to throw it out the window anyway;
2. Rehearse a heartfelt speech for the nurse for the situation in which they tell you your contractions are not close enough to admit you to the hospital. Mine went something like this: "Ohmygod you cannot send me home in this much pain! Please do not send me home! I need to have this baby! Please!!!! If you send me home I'm just going to turn around and come right back!";
3. Even though the hospital list says pack one blanket and one pillow- pack two so that you will still have one when your husband steals the first one you brought;
4. Swear your husband to secrecy regarding any events that happen during the delivery. Remind him that if you ask if that actually happened during delivery he should, on no uncertain terms, tell you "no!"; and
5. Get an epidural.

If all else fails- forget steps 1-4 and remember step 5- it is the most important.

On a related note, my hospital bills are starting to be submitted to the insurance. My insurance hasn't processed them yet to tell me what I owe, but this is my thought...

The bill: $8,158.80 for "Room and Board" and Methodist Hospital for 2/3/12-2/5/12. My thoughts: Room and board? Is this college? No wonder the food tasted like crap! And this makes my "room and board" at college look very inexpensive!

The bill: $2,856.00 for "Surgery performed by A. Bingaman" aka: Delivery of Emi by Dr. Amy. My thoughts: Wow! I saw her for less than an hour! Oh... is this the same shock that people feel when they get my bill in the mail? Well, she sent a nice note after the delivery so I guess she was worth it.

The bill: $3003.21 for "Initial examination by Dr. Rinderknect" My thoughts: Well, I guess he saw her three times at the hospital which makes his rate lower than Dr. Amy.

The bill: $1,491.00 for "Related Medical Services" aka: Epidural. My thoughts: Wow! Is that all that costs? I would have paid ten times that- insurance or not!

Even though its not Thursday... I am beyond thankful for insurance!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Emi's First Doctor's Appointment

Emi had a busy day today. I had to run by the office quickly to finish up a few things. Tommy and Emi went with me so that Tommy could wash the car and stop by the bank. I was planning on taking Emi inside my office with me, but as we were driving to my office I said to Tommy "Don't you just love being a dad? I love being a mom." Tommy said "Well, I feel like you get to experience being a mom more than I do a dad." I instantly felt a little guilty. Am I hogging too much time with her? Should I be delegating more tasks to him? Since Emi is strictly breast fed then I obviously get more time with her because I am feeding her at least 8 times a day and a feeding takes a minimum of 45 minutes. (Who knew breast feeding alone was a full time job?) Tommy is somewhat anxious for me to start pumping so that he can bottle feed her with the breast milk. I'm not quite as anxious as he is, but I think he knows what special bonding time Emi and I have when I feed, and I think he wants to experience that too! So while I went into the office Emi stayed with Tommy and they ran errands together.

We stopped by my mom's house for a special lunch date with my mom, Anthony and Angie. Angie LOVES babies, and she enjoyed holding Emi and Emi enjoyed being held by her. Angie was a bit upset when it was time for me to leave as there was a bit of a struggle to get Emi out of her arms. Angie kept asking my mom "Pauline, can't I hold her a little bit longer?" As if my mom had the authority to trump my decision making power over Emi. It was really sweet. Also, it was nice that Anthony seems really fond of Angie, and Anthony usually isn't fond of anybody. He was asking Angie all sorts of questions and asking her to play cars with him. It was a fun lunch! Also, Anthony also gave Emi two kisses on the forehead. Talk about major progress! I wouldn't say that Anthony loves Emi yet, but he is super sweet to her.

We made our way out to Dr. Rinderknecht's office in Waukee for Emi's appointment. This was like the first test to see if they really should have let us take Emi home from the hospital. I enjoy breast feeding, but there is a certain element of the unknown that comes with it that drives me a little nutty. (On a related note: do you know those type of people who do not find out the gender of their child until birth and they act like they are just a little bit better than those who do find out the gender? Come on, you know those type of people. Well, I totally feel that way about breast feeding. I totally have my nose up in the air about breast feeding Emi, and actually being good at it. Yah- hate all you want!). Anyway, they say babies are supposed to be back to their birth week by two weeks. Emi was born 7-13 and today she weighed.... 8-5!! As the Doctor said "Well, it looks like your breast milk came in just fine." Also, I remember my mom telling me when they measured Emi at the hospital that they did a piss poor inadequate job measuring her. Unless Emi grew 2 inches since birth, my mom is right. Today she was 22 inches long. She was measured at 20 1/4 at the hospital.

I absolutely love Dr. Rinderknect. I love how the nurses in the office wanted to hold Emi like they don't see a new born everyday. I love how before Dr. Rinderknecht came into our room I heard him say to the nurse "Oh, I've met Emi before!" Seriously, this guy sees tons of babies at the hospital each week and he remembered our little Emi!! He keeps a straight face when Tommy asks him why some of Emi's poop stinks and some doesn't (kudos to my hubby for sniffing her diaper... in my opinion, they all stink, and I don't need to sniff them!) He does a really thorough job answering our questions and taking care of Emi. It is so nice to have such a great caregiver for her! And when we leave the office he says "Well, take care of this little gal, and we'll see ya again in 6 weeks!" Will do, Doc! It also doesn't hurt that the nurses kiss your butt compliment your child by saying "Wow- she is so alert for a 2 week old!" We were beaming the entire appointment!

I found the questionnaire that they asked before the appointment a little confusing. For example, it asks "What new things is your child doing." Um.... she is two weeks old. Everything she is doing is new! They also asked random things about your child like whether she lifts her head at all while laying on her back, whether she makes eye contact with you, and whether she turns her head to noises. Well, if I knew I was going to be quizzed about this then I would have been paying better attention. I mean, I think we are making eye contact, but I'm not really sure if she is looking at me. I found the most humorous part of the survey where it asks you to mark either "not stressful" "slightly stressful" or "very stressful" to some questions. The questions included "I find taking care of my new baby..." or "With a new baby, I find my homelife is..." I marked both questions "slightly stressful." Um... isn't taking care of a newborn and adding another family member to your house stressful regardless of how well it is going? I wouldn't call it a bad stressful, but it definitely changes the dynamic. Tommy must be living in a different household because he reviewed the questionnaire and changed my answers to "not stressful at all." So says the dad....

Because Emi is over 8 pounds now she gets to use her new bouncy chair! It was a hit, but at the end of the day she just loves to be held by anybody her mama!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


A while back I skimmed read a book "Spousonomics." The point of the book was how to divide up life tasks in your marriage. Specifically, the book focused on how in your marriage you should not divide up tasks 50/50 but rather you should each find the tasks that you either enjoy or are efficient at and complete those tasks. When each partner finds the tasks they are good and efficient at it results in more time for the spouses to take on fun things together rather than completing tasks. (Note: the book did not really address how to handle the situation when you are better and more efficient at almost everything than that of your spouse- talk to me about this in private.... just kidding.).

Tommy and I are usually pretty good at dividing our tasks based on strength, importance of tasks to each individual, and overall efficiency of the household. For example, I do not mind doing laundry, and I prefer to do laundry so that Tommy does not accidentally dry something I do not want dried. I am not that good at folding, and neither is he, but this is generally a task we do together. Tommy irons/steams his own dress shirts because I do not find that as important as he does (just wear a sweater of it). Tommy is a better cook than I am so he generally takes on that roll. He is also good and picking up dinner to go.

On a day to day basis, I would say the Takekawa's have a pretty strong economy. There are a few things that Tommy and I both fall short on. And thanks to my girlfriend, Laura, we will soon be resolving that issue by hiring a nice lady named Erma to come vacuum and mop our floors and clean our bathrooms. The book, however, would disagree and state that the Takekawa economy is not that strong. Here is a perfect example: the book says that if you have a light bulb that remains burnt out for a long period of time that would be a sign that your household is not functioning efficiently. I have had a light bulb burnt out in my bathroom for probably 3 8 months. In fact, now there are three light bulbs burnt out in my bathroom. However, neither Tommy nor myself care enough to walk downstairs (or go to home depot) to pick up the light bulbs. There are still 8 other lights that work in there. We can see just fine (or maybe not if you are thinking back to my post about my bathroom mirrors reflecting a much prettier person than my camera). I would contend that the book is wrong is stating that this is a sign of a failed household economy. We are saving time by waiting for more light bulbs to burn out. Also, if that inefficiency is not important to either of us should we really care? Ironically, I think about this every morning when I turn on my my bathroom light and see the bulb burnt out.

There is a time every year when our economy is reviewed and a deep discussion takes place about household tasks. The time of year always seems to coincide with a visit from his mother. See, Tommy's mom is good at cooking, cleaning up the dishes, and being a very traditional housewife (when she is at her own home). This is not my forte. While she is at our house the differences in our strengths (or what things she is better than me at as we would never discuss what I can do better than her) are highlighted. I can see the disappointment in my husbands face when he realizes its dinner time and not only have I not prepared anything but there is nothing in our kitchen to prepare. I think he is somewhat embarrassed that this is not a task that I am good at or even care to be good at (even though he always says he didn't marry me for my cooking). I, in turn, hate feeling like I have no worth in the Takekawa economy because I did not prepare or even attempt to prepare dinner (nor lunch nor any other meal for that matter).  In my mind I am thinking "yes, while I am not a great cook, I am good at earning money that can buy us better tasting food, and we can spend the time we would otherwise preparing it just spending time together."

So again last night we discussed our economy. And we came to the same conclusion that we always do...  our economy runs well the way we have it. It does not make sense for us to change tasks, and we do not think that we would have a happier life if I in fact was able to cook a meal every night. It is a good reminder that you cannot measure the value of one spouse based on one factor in the marriage. Just because one person does not work, does not cook, or does not clean does not mean they do not play an important role in the economy. You have to do what works best for your household and not compare your economy to anybody else's.

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for this beautiful weather. Even though I haven't gotten out much, it is nice to have the sun shining bright through the windows. I really want to take Emi out for a walk, but I cant decide whether its still too cold for that or not. Google says it would be fine.

I'm thankful that our first doctor's appointment for Emi is tomorrow. She has been having the hiccups quite a bit, and I am anxious to talk to the doctor about that. Also, there has been some discussion regarding the number of hours she sleeps without a feeding and whether I should let her do that. Ironically, two nights ago she went two five hour stretches without eating. It was bliss. However, when people find this out they seem to be jealous appalled, making me feel like I should be waking up my perfectly content baby to have her barely eat. Emi must have felt my inner conflict about that because last night she woke up every two hours to feed! Oh, what a night! I will be glad to know that she has gained weight and relieved when the doctor tells me I can continue to let her sleep.

I am thankful that the cute little hat I ordered already arrived. Emi has an upcoming photo shoot, and I really wanted her to be able to sport this hat:

Lastly, I'm thankful that Emi's newborn photos came in the mail today (the ones the hospital took). When Tommy and I ordered the photos we were under the impression we had just ordered one picture for three different poses. We were pleasantly surprised when the pictures arrived and we had two pictures each for the three different poses.

Last night Tommy and I gave Emi a bath. I love how soft her hair is after I wash it. Emi and I are going to have to discuss how she wants her hair styled!
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Happy Valentine's Day!

We have had a fairly typical  new typical type of day. Emi slept pretty well last night, but we still took our time getting out of bed this morning. Grandma Van Wyk brought us over some Jimmy John's for lunch, and Anthony came along and gave her a Valentine's kiss! This is progress for Anthony as he pretends like he likes Emi, but it is obvious he doesn't really care for her. When Anthony saw Emi in her Valentine's outfit he declared "What a Cutie!" I agree, Anthony!

We bought a new camera for Christmas, but I haven't had time to learned how to use it. Plus, I'm generally against reading user's manual. I was messing around with it today and found this "softening" feature. I love this picture it look of Emi.

Tommy took his mom to a movie for the evening. I'm staying at home working on Emi's baby book and finishing up a few things around the house. This is Emi's expression when I told her Daddy took Grandma Takekawa to the movies for Valentine's Day and left us at home.

This is Emi listening to me telling her that it is okay that Daddy took Grandma to the movies. This means we get to take a nap together and shop online for our own Valentine's day presents!

This is Emi five minutes later. She always falls asleep in my arms and makes it so tough to put her down to get things done. I just end up watching hours of tv so I don't have to disturb her. She says "Mommy, can I fall asleep in your arms so that I don't get one of those bald spots on the back of my beautiful dark hair?"

Okay, after an hour I finally put her down so I could get some stuff done. What is crazy is that the first week when I was home with her I didn't have any problem putting her down and handing her off to somebody to get stuff done. (I think I was just happy I could finally move around normally again and had some energy!). Now, I never want to put her down or give her up!

Monday, February 13, 2012

10 Things...

Here are ten thoughts from today:

1. I love E! Channel! You know how much time I can waste a day watching that? Fashion Police, E! News, Kardashians, E! True Hollywood Story! I'm now finishing up a special of Hollywood's 15 Most Tragic Deaths. On a side, did I ever tell you that I have always felt my calling in life was writing in the entertainment industry?

2. My Trickster Daugther! There is not much I know yet about being a parent, but one thing I do know is when my daughter is hungry. See, she feeds between 8-10 times a day and considering that she is 10 days old... I've fed her anywhere between 80-100 times already. Still, my mother in law insists that I am not feeding my child enough because she moves her head around as if she is hunting for my nipple. Ironically she only does this when she is down in the living room with my mother in law and I am up in the bedroom. Tommy will then bring Emi to me and say that she is hungry. Emi will then sit contently on my chest and fall asleep... not needing a thing to eat. I contend she just wants to be by mommy so that is her way of manipulating the situation. Well played, Emi. Well played.

3. Isn't the female body (not mine in particular- just in general) pretty amazing? Below are pics of me at 39 weeks, 36 weeks, and 10 days post birth? I can't believe how much my body has changed over the last 6 weeks. More so, I cant believe the work that my body did to produce such a little miracle and the work that it is still doing to provide for her.

4. Candy. Have I ever told you that my favorite candy is Easter candy? I was so thrilled when I was at the store the other day and saw the Easter candy out. In the meantime, I'm enjoying my Valentine Malted Milk Balls. These treats are amazing. They have "milk" in them so they must be healthy, right?

5. Okaboji Bar and Grill. I do not like this place; however, on Mondays they have $5.99 burger baskets which are very good. There is also one about 1/2 mile from my house. For the quality of food and the price, it doesn't get much better than that. Especially when you get to take it "to go."

6. Winter Projects. Don't think this new mom has forgotten about her winter project list. Remember the ten things I wanted to accomplish before the winter season was over? Last night my mom picked me up and we went out to Menards. The door levers I need were on sale plus right now Menards has an 11% rebate on everything (including the Easter candy I bought!). While the door levers are still in their box, buying the materials is often half of the battle. I still may get my list accomplished prior to Spring!

7. Emi's photo. Remember those cute owl pic stickers that my sister got Emi for Christmas? Here is her newborn pic. Such a cutie!

8. My Crazy Mind! So I told Tommy last night that I was totally ready to have another baby once my stitches heal. He looked at my kind of surprised: "Don't you remember the labor?" Hmmm.... I must not. I also learned that Tommy actually did not see her delivery because he was so worried about me and was only paying attention to me. And that would be the last time he worried about me before Emi...

9. Tommy and I swear that Emi smiles at us already. I've researched this on the Internet and they confirm its not possible that she is smiling socially and rather it is a reflex that she has. Regardless.... isn't this face to die for?!

10. We LOVE visitors here! Great Grandma stopped by yesterday with Uncle D and Auntie B. Its always a treat when Great Grandma is here. Last time she panicked us by saying "Hey, I don't think this baby is breathing!" She was just fine. Lol. Yesterday she told me that I was doing a good job feeding Emi because "this baby already has a double chin!"

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mail Bag....

I LOVE getting the mail on Friday and Saturday. Generally it is because this arrives in the mail:

I love getting my US Weekly magazine because I know a nice hot relaxing bath with a good read is in my near future.

Today in the mail I also got a few additional surprises.

First, Emi got her first Doctor's bill. I have two thoughts about this. One, it is really crazy to see "Emi Takekawa" on the bill. Second, if you have thirty days to add somebody to your insurance, why do all the doctors' offices immediately send out bills without even attempting to run them through insurance. It seems like a big waste of mail to me.

Here is Emi's first bill:

Emi hides her eyes as Mommy opens the bill. Don't worry, Emi. Mommy will take care of it. This bill brought me back to the Doctor's office visit on Thursday when I took on my first "official" mom duty by signing as Emi's parent. As I signed these forms for her, I didn't feel nearly responsible to be her parent, but I sucked it up, signed my name, and didn't call my mom.

But the most special thing that arrived in the mail today was this:

This is a letter from "Dr. Amy" the Doctor who delivered Emi. In case you can't read the picture, this is what it says:

"Dear Dawn & Tommy,
It was a pleasure to meet you both and an honor to deliver your beautiful daughter! I wish you a lifetime of joy!
Dr. Amy"

I had to hold back the tears as I read this little note from Dr. Amy. I realize that her and I only met briefly and that if she remembers me its only because, as she described to the PA Student with her, I had an unusually long umbilical cord, but I just find it so special that she took the moment to send this little note!

Friday, February 10, 2012

I love being HER dad....

Hmmm.... I'm thinking long and hard about a title for this post that doesn't say "Emi." I also am trying to think of a story to tell you that doesn't include Emi so it doesn't look like I'm one of those crazy moms who only talks about their kid all the time.... this is the best I can do....

Today my mom and I went to Costco to grab some much needed items. As we made our way through Costco we joked to each other that we were going to head to the bakery and buy some Tuxedo Cake. If you recall, months ago Costco had Tuxedo Cake which was the best cake I've ever had. Seriously. And then one day they just stopped carrying it. For months we have been begging the bakery to bring back the cake. Alas, today they had it!! What a pleasent surprise! We even bought an extra to freeze.

On another note, Emi and I had a great day. Letting her go 4 hours between feedings has made my nights better. Last night I fed her at 1130. Then I fed her again at 330 and 730. So really I only had to wake up once during the night. Since she goes back to sleep right away and doesn't fuss, it has made life even easier. I am finding I need to be more patient in burping her. And really, even me remembering to burp her is progress because I kept forgetting the first few days. My mom would send me texts to remind me, and I would secretly pretend like I already knew and she was treating me like an idiot. The truth is I was so overwhelmed with breast feeding that I had forgotten such an important step and was thankful for the text reminder.

We had some more visitors today which was a lot of fun. My friend Katie and her daughter Ellery stopped by. Ellery is excited to teach Emi everything she knows. Ellery had been practicing her name all day and was so proud to tell me.

Here is a pic of Ellery holding Emi:

I think Ellery is ready to be a big sister! She did a great job with Emi!

Katie Emi's Yoga Instructor also stopped by for her first Yoga lesson. Emi loved it!

 Here is a pic from the doctor's office yesterday: Her shirt says "Daddy's Favorite Girl." The shirt was too small for me so I let Emi wear it.

And just because she looks so cute as a polar bear, here is a pic of Emi dressed and ready to go on her outing yesterday.

This morning after I got done feeding Emi and handed her off to dad to burp. As Tommy sat and looked at Emi while he burped her I said "Do you love being a dad?" Tommy said "I love being her dad."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful that our first outing went well! I was a bit nervous getting Emi for her first day out. Mostly I am just nervous about when to feed her and where we will be when she wants to eat. Since I now live my life in three hour intervals I love the moment she is done feeding because I start the clock at three hours and know I have time to get stuff done. I was a bit frustrated when Emi was done eating at 745am as I wanted a bit more time for my three hours as her doctor appointment was at 1020. Turns out, Emi knows best.

Wow- does it take a lot to get out the door with a baby. We managed to make it to my office by 915 to show her off to all my coworkers. In typical Emi fashion so was peaceful and perfect the entire time. I was also able to get a few things done for work which was nice to cross off my "to do" list.

After we left my office we got Emi to the doctor. Tommy and I were so impressed with the Doctor that saw Emi a few times after she was born that we are considering seeing him rather than the Pediatrician we had picked out. We are somewhat hesitant because his office is in Waukee and that just seems silly, but after our experience today in the Ankeny office I think we will be going to the other doctor. Sometimes I think I must be really hard to please, but I dont think that was the case today. First, we didn't actually see the doctor, which was fine; however, it was not fine that every question we had for the nurse (which I imagine are typical questions for first time parents) she seemed beyond clueless. Here is an example:

Me: "At the hospital they said I need to get her up every 2-3 hours to feed for the first week. Now can I go longer between feedings if she is not hungry and asleep?"
Nurse: "Well, how long do you think she would go?"
Me pretending like I've never let it happen; "Oh 4-5 hours."
Nurse: "Oh yah, that is fine."
Me: "Okay if she is not hungry then I wont wake her up just to feed her unless its been 5 hours."
Nurse: "NO! Never let it go 5 hours! 4 is the maximum."

Now you can imagine what is going through my head considering ten seconds earlier she had told me it was fine, and considering what her nurse friends did to my angel the second night in the nursery at the hospital. Anyway, she failed to answer really any other question we had either. Now this could have happened at any other office, but I just feel like its a sign we should go to the Doctor in Waukee. (Oh, I am so that Mom that I never thought I'd be...)

I'm thankful that Emi has gained some weight. Breastfeeding can be stressful not knowing if your child is getting enough to eat. But Emi is doing great! She was born at 7 - 13. When we left the hospital she weighed 7 - 5. When we weighed her today she weighed 7 - 9. Tommy asked this same nurse when we could start using a bottle. The nurse said "I thought you were breast feeding." Tommy reminded her of the invention called the breast pump in which you could extract breast milk from the mother and feed it to baby via a bottle days later.

I'm also thankful that Emi took a nice crap on this nurse. I'm totally not kidding either. As she picked Emi up to carry her to the scale she let loose. She still had her diaper on loosely so it wasn't quite the mess I would have loved, but it was great to hear the nurse scream "Oh, its runny! Hurry!" Um... no shit.... (no pun intended).

After the doctor we stopped at Grandma's house (because according to Anthony- its Grandma's house and Grandpa just lives there). We ended up staying there until 5pm. It was nice to get out of the house for a few hours. It was also nice to feed her somewhere else than my home to see that we could accomplish that.

I can tell how much our lives are changing now. As Tommy and I realized we needed to pick up a few groceries I quickly ran into HyVee on the way home while Tommy stayed with Emi in the car, grabbed the items that were on our list (which managed to be a cart-full) and made it back out to the car in less than 10 minutes. Normally I would not buy so many groceries at HyVee, but we didn't want Emi to have to wait around for us, and I was worried that she was going to be really hungry again soon.

Lastly, I'm thankful for such a wonderful first week with Emi. Last night after her bath I fed her and she fell asleep on my chest. I fell asleep too. It was experiencing a little piece of heaven...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Emi Update

Here are some random thoughts since Tommy and I have become parents:

- Apparently I am bilingual. I speak "Baby." Tommy does not. Me: "Can you grab me a onsie?" Tommy: "I don't know what that is." Me: "You know... the little t-shirts that you put on as the first layer for the baby." Tommy: "Oh, I thought those were called t-shirts."  Or there was this conversation: Me: "Can you grab me the boppy?" Tommy: What the h*ll is the boppy." Me: "The little green pillow in Emi's nursery that I use to feed her." Tommy: "Why don't you just call it the green pillow." And the list goes on. On another note, Tommy is speaking Spanish and Japanese to her all the time. I have no idea what he is saying to her, but I just wait to hear "mama" and then know the baby is coming back to me. I've got a lot to learn.

- I am SO glad we did not name Emi "Giuliana." This occurred to me when I called to schedule her first doctor's appointment. After spelling her last name not less than 5 times to the receptionist, I was so thankful that I only had to spell her first name once, and was even more thankful it was only three letters!

- I have always heard that the Asian gene is a very strong gene. I did not believe it because I always thought Tommy looked equally Asian and Hispanic. Well... Emi has confirmed the strength of the Asian gene.

- After I feed Emi she lays on my chest and we reminisce about the good ol' days when we went and got coffee together in the mornings and went everywhere together!

- I feel guilty for saying this because I know so many new moms struggle with difficult babies- but Emi is really easy going. Last night she must have cried for two minutes which was a new record for her. She only fusses when she was struggling to feed and its usually for less than 30 seconds. It didn't bother me that much but when Tommy woke up this morning he said: "Last night was horrible! She cried for almost two minutes!" Most of the time we just sit and look at each other. She sleeps all the time and when she is awake she just looks around just as happy as can be. Getting up every two hours to feed her last night was a bit exhausting- but I keep wondering when/if it is going to get more difficult. (I also know that it is easier with Emi since Tommy and my mother in law are here. After I feed her I can hand her off to one of them to hold her and love her for awhile so I can get other things done). It's nice not to have to worry about her.

- I am surprised how Emi knows the exact moment I remove the dirty diaper to put a clean one under her and uses that moment to relieve herself. Tommy keeps telling me he is surprised I haven't learned my lesson yet and found another technique.

Here are some updated pics of Emi:

Looks like mama needs to invest in some tanning minutes.

 Grandma Takekawa brought home these cute Japanese baby clothes when she was in Japan in December. Emi models them quite well.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Funny Conversations... BGT Delivery

Erin: "People who don't get epidurals are just trying to be heroes."
Silvia (Mother-in-law): "I didn't have an epidural."
Erin: "Well, you're a hero."

Erin: "I just walked by the nursery and there was only two babies in there."
Me prior to epidural: "I wish mine was one of them!"

Nurse as I started to push: "Wow- you're daughter has lots of dark hair."
My mom: "Oh shoot, the video camera wasn't running. During her next contraction can you say that again?"

Nurse: "Do you want a mirror to watch the delivery?"
Me: "NO!!!!"
Nurse while I am pushing: "Do you want to reach down and feel her head?"
Me: "NO!!!!"

Laura after delivering Emi: "How was it?"
Me: "It was miserable but it is over."
Laura: "Yah, don't tell Kimber (our first time 6 month pregnant friend)!"

Mom: "Good thing you didn't schedule your highlights until after the delivery. You are going to have to take Emi with you to get a perm!"

Laura referring to some surprising news and laughing "God! I love it when stuff like that happens to people that are not me!"

February 3, 2012

(Note: You may find this blog long and boring, but I wanted to document everything from the day she was born so I could remember it later! I'll post some more interesting and entertaining blogs that you may want to skip to).

On February 2, 2012, I had been having contractions all day long. While they were mild and about 15 minutes apart, I knew BGT was well on her way. All through the day I kept telling Tommy I was going to be having her soon. Tommy's mom arrived in Des Moines on February 2 in the evening. We went out to dinner with my family. I noticed during dinner that the contractions were getting closer and closer. I told Tommy, but I think he thought that because I had been saying it so long that it was reallly going to be awhile yet (maybe this is where a What to Expect: Daddy's Version would have been useful). Silvia (Tommy's Mom) had already taken a good look at me and decided that the baby was not low enough to be born anytime soon. In fact, we made a bet. I bet that the baby wouldbe here by the 5th- she said the 10th.

We Tommy went to bed around 11pm. I could not sleep. I had downloaded the contraction timer on my phone and was keeping track of the time between contractions. A little past midnight the contractions were now down to about 9 minutes apart. Then, at around 2am, they were about 6 minutes apart. They had also been increasing in strength. I figured if they had progressed that quickly in two hours it was time to go to the hospital. I called the doctor's office, and they agreed and told me to go to the hospital.

I woke up Tommy and told him it was time to go. I had already showered and finished throwing the last things together into my hospital bag. At some point in the evening, there must have been a conversation between Tommy and his mom that I would not be having this baby because he did not want to take me to the hospital. I cant remember if I told him that I would drive myself then or he just decided that maybe I actually knew what was going on when he complied. As I grabbed my hospital bag for Tommy to carry to the car his mom informed me I did not need the bag because I would be coming back home. Using my advanced degree, I decided that we would take the bag along, and if we did come back home still pregnant we could bring the bag back with us.

We got to the hospital a little before 3am. They checked us into triage. There they monitored my contractions and performed a Non Stress Test on BGT. They also checked to see how far I was dilated- just a 4 ( I was a 3 the week prior). Ironically, a few days before I went into labor, my friend, Katie, and I had discussed her labor experiencing and how she went to the hospital two times prior to giving birth. In my head I was so shocked to hear that somebody as bright as Katie would not know when she was in labor. Well, I learned that I might soon be eating those words. As they measured my contractions they started to decrease in time and severity. Don't get me wrong- I was still in at least what I thought was a considerable amount of pain. I kept thinking to myself- there is no way they would send me home when I'm in this much pain, right? They suggested that I walk around the hospital for an hour or so and then they would measure me again and decide what to do.

Before I could walk around the hospital BGT had to pass her test. To pass the Non Stress Test, BGT had to increase her heart rate up 15 beats for 15 consecutive beats (Her resting heart rate ws 145 so for 15 beats she needed to measure 160 or above within 90 minutes). Usually babies do this within 30 minuntes. The nurse tried everything to get her heart rate up. She gave me juice and zapped BGT with a stun gun, but nothing did the trick. A few times BGT got close but never succeeded. The nurse spoke with the Doctor (Doctor Erin Lehman "Dr. Erin") who decided that becaues I was 39 weeks and 6 days, it was better to admit me and have the baby than to send me home.

I was admitted into the hospital at about 6am. I was assigned to a nurse, Ashley, would I had no idea would be sticking with BGT and I through delivery. She actually had no idea either- informing me early in the morning that she was off at 3pm, but would come visit me and the baby the next day since I will not have her by 3pm. At 630am they broke my water.  They told me they would monitor my contractions and decide whether I would need pitocin. At 930am they administered pitocin. Everything went downhill from there. The pitocin speeds up labor and is used to induce mother's into active labor. And that it did. However, by 1130am I was still only dilated to 5. When Dr. Lehman broke my water at 630am she had told me I could have an epidural at anytime. I was surprised that she had mentioned that so early. By 1130, I couldn't take it any longer. I told Ashley I was ready for my epidural. She acted surprised that I wanted it so early. Honestly, it was the best decision I ever made.

I remember as I was sitting there waiting for the doctor to administer the epidural, he was going through a list of things that could result from the epidural- including paralysis. I also remember at the time thinking that any of the side effects of the epidural would beat going throguh another minute of this labor. I must say that I cannot believe that moms do this without an epidural. The pain was so signifcant that I thought for sure I would never have another child again.

While the pain subsided after the epidural I shook so bad after that. I remember just laying on the bed shaking uncontrollably. I kept thinking that surely this was not right, but Ashley and the doctor did not seem concerned at all. I felt hot and cold at the same time. It was pretty miserable. Ashley told me to tell her when the urge to push was so strong that I could not resist it any longer. I told her immediately. She checked and I was alread dilated to 8 at about 1pm and by 120pm I started pushing. I also remember asking each nurse that walked in whether they were concerned about BGT not passing her Non Stress Test and whether everything was okay. Everybody told me that she was fine, but I was so worried about her.

Now I was under the impression that pushing would take hours. Maybe this was the best misconception that I had about labor. Ashley called Dr. Bingaman (Dr. Amy) and told her I was ready for her. Unforteunately, Dr. Amy had overestimated the amount of time that she had to do a circumcision down the hallway. I could overhear her on the phone with Ashley stating "I thought she was only at an 8!"

I dont remember what time Dr. Bingaman got into the room. I just remember that she sat down and was ready to have me push but then suddenly realized she didn't have any booties over her tennis shoes. All I could think is "Lady, I'll buy you a new pair of shoes just get this baby out of me!" Unforteunately, with me shaking so bad I could not really speak. I was able to manage one word during the pushing phase. Apparently when moms get the baby's head half way pushed out they have the option to feel the child's head. I remember Dr. Amy asking me if I wanted to touch her head. What I thought was "Are you kidding me?! Get her out! Why waste time touching her? I'll hold her when she is out." What I said was "No!" I remember all the nurses and Tommy laughing in shock that I had denied the request. I also felt guilty then that I didn't want to touch her head. At 154pm on February 3 BGT was born. She weighed 7 pounds 13 ounzes and was 20 and 1/4 inches long.

Right away they handed BGT to me. These were the thoughts I had running through my head:
- Wow, this baby has a lot of hair. I'm surprised I didn't have heart burn.
- Oh no! This baby does not look like an Emme Kay. I'll wait to see what Tommy says.
- Is she okay? Shouldn't she be crying more?
- Thank God that is over.

I yelled to one of the nurses- shouldn't she be crying more? The nurse immediately reached down to BGT and irritated her to get her to cry more. After a few minutes they took BGT from me and checked her out. Girl got a 9 on her APGAR score. So proud! It just so happened that the pediatrician was available immediately to see BGT so Tommy cut her cord and took her to see the Doctor. At some point during the day BGT's cord detached from the placenta. The cord was also loosly wrapped around her neck. Nothing serious- but I was glad that I had gone to the hospital and that they induced labor.

Once the excitement of labor was over the pressure was on to name BGT. I was so certain in the weeks leading up to her birth that she would be Emme Kay. I became somewhat concerned when I looked at her and it didn't seem like her name. I kept quiet waiting for Tommy's suggestion. I ran through the other names in my head- but none of them seemed to fit her either. Thankfully Tommy's mom had done some research and come up with some names that we should name her- including Ayako or Risa. She hates the name Emme. Tommy and I strongly considered the name Maia (pronounced Maya) which to do this day I still like, but I could not name her something I had just heard of. It did not seem to fit her either.

BGT would remain that- BGT for a few more days until we decided what to name her. The next two days at the hospital were pretty uneventful.  BGT proved to be very easy going. I struggled a little bit breast feeding, but have learned with some patience we both get through it. BGT would hardly cry. She would just chatter a bit. In fact, she soon became the most popular in the nursery at the hospital. During the day I kept her in the room with me. The most difficult thing about breast feeding is the feeding every 2-3 hours for the first few weeks. I hate having to wake her up to feed when she is so peaceful. In fact, at one point, I had not fed her for 4 hours because she was resting so easy. I was then promptly bitched out reminded by a nurse that I could not go that long. I was mindful the second night at woke up just minutes before expecting them to roll BGT in for a feeding. I waited and waited and waited. Finally after about 5 hours since her last feeding I made my way to the nursery. There were all the babies laying peacfully in their cribs and BGT's crib was empty! I banged on the nursery door to see all the nurses standing around in a circle chatting and one of the nurses holding BGT. Apparently while BGT looks nothing like me she has many of my personality traits including loving a good chat session with the girls. However, remembering how the nurse made me feel so guilty about letting BGT go 4 hours without feeding, I bitched reminded the nurses that BGT hadn't eaten for 5 hours and just because she was so easy going and not fussy they still had an obgliation to check her chart! BGT would not return to the nursery! (In defense of the nurses- possibly they were holding BGT because they were so concerned that so much time had gone by and she was still not named!).

While we were ready to go home on Sunday, I was nervous because that meant the deadline had come to name BGT. I waited for Tommy to bring it up. I had thought and thought and thought about it and had come to the conclusion that she must be Emme Kay because she was nothing else. As I suspected, Tommy was hesitant about naming her Emme because his mom hates the name. However, Tommy agreed her name was definately Emme. We talked about it a little longer and Tommy said that we needed to spell her name "Emi." Of course! (Note: Tommy's mom also hates the name "Emi"). Why hadn't I thought of it sooner? She was totally an "Emi" but not an "Emme." Now... for the middle name. I employed a technique I invented in law school when my friends and I could not decide where to eat. We would each suggest a restaurant and one of us would suggest two. Then we would go around the room each person crossing off a restaurant until there was only one left- and that was where we would go. So Tommy and I came up with this list:

- Emi Marie
- Emi Sofia
- Emi Leah
- Emi Ai
- Emi Kay

I crossed off Leah and Ai. I hated Leah and Ai was just Japanese overload. Tommy crossed off Marie and therefore had the choice between Kay and Sofia. He choose Sofia. It is so her. I cant imagine that we would have named her anything else. I'm glad that I was patient in coming up with the right now.

As we headed to the nursery to see the doctor one last time we took notes of the other babies' names. They were: Charlie, Noah, Josiah, Rachel, Levi, Kenzi.... and Maya. Tommy freaked out when he saw the name Maya and said "Oh, I'm so glad we didn't name her that!"

We left the hospital around Noon. As we got into the car Tommy said to me "This is the new me" as he drove the speed limit all the way home while we both freaked out about the way people were driving around us on the interstate (which was probably pretty normal).

I think one of the most amazing things about having a child is that the labor was probably one of the most miserable experiences of my life, yet only a few hours later while I remember how painful and miserable it was- it really doesn't bother me at all- and I would do it again in a heartbeat in another few years.

We have been enjoying our time at home. Emi has been so peaceful and wonderful. She really is a good baby, and we feel so lucky to have her. Every time I hold her I have the same feeling I do when I am on vacation- I never want it to end.

And, in case you were wondering how my three part birthing plan went- well- I deviated from the plan. I did have the epidural. But I also allowed my mom and mother in law in the room. Honestly, I am glad that I did. While I was glad to have my husband in there, it was really really nice to have my mom there too- even if she was answering my phone and sending random text messages from my phone as I laid miserably shaking on the bed.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Emi Sofia Takekawa

I have lots to blog about, but with only two arms can only get pictures posted for the time being. Enjoy!

When I look at this photo I only see the blood pressure machine. My blood pressure was extremely low and it was taken every minute. It was miserable!

 He gets the easy part!

7 pounds, 13 ounzes!

 My favorite part about this photo is that Tommy is just happy as a clam carrying his daughter around while the doctor still is still fixing me in the background.

That's nice my mom can still smile at Emi like that after watching the birth. It was videotaped. I have PTSD and wont be watching it anytime soon.

Emi is a little chatter box. Tommy loves listening to her so he holds her extra close to his ears.

 Emi is skyping with Grandpa Tomio.

The answer is Yes. The question is: "Does that baby look more Japanese than Tommy?"

Anthony likes to smell her. He also likes to listen to her make noises!

She sported some nice trendy clothes at the hospital.

She is pretty cute!

They let us take her home!

 Yikes! I still look a little swollen!

Her first bath! Wow- I cant believe how much she changes every day!