Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Growing up in Ankeny, Iowa meant that Beggar's Night was always October 30. This mistakenly lead me to believe that Halloween was on October 30. I swear it was not until I was in my twenties that I realized this mistake. (I think for a period of time I thought Halloween was 48 hours). In light of this, here is my Halloween post:

I felt a lot of pressure to make sure Emi looked a-maze-balls for Halloween. I had bought two different costumes because I just wasn't sure. Luckily some friends were over a few weekends ago and assured me to go with this:

Here is Emi with her cousins:

There is only one thing better than cousins. Cousins that are the same age! These two are besties already!

Last year we were informed by our "diverse" neighborhood that jokes were not necessary to receive treats. This year Emi has her joke ready anyway.

Why does everybody call my cousin Sam "Oscar"?

So my Grammy (Grandma) has a Tony (Tony), Emmy (Emi) and Oscar (Sam).

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Saturdays with Emi

This is a typical Saturday morning with Emi.

After she wakes up for the day she is usually ready for a nap in an hour or two (unless of course she just forgets to wake up and sleeps in until 10am- she is seriously amazing!).

When she is ready for her nap I lay her in her crib, turn on the baby monitor and head downstairs. By the time the baby monitor is on this is what I see:

"Hi, Mom! I'm awake come get me please!"

She attempts to get me to come and get her not by crying but to looking directly into the monitor camera and talking to me. (I can't quite understand what she is saying). Once she realizes I'm a lost cause she plays with herself.

"Oh, that looks like something I could pull down."

So she work and works and works and finally gets its:

And then she falls asleep.

Love her!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Barkeeper's Friend

Let me introduce you to my friend:

The one on the right that is (of course you met my skeleton friend this time last year).

Honestly, Barkeeper's friend is a gift from God. My dad told me about this product a few years ago. This stuff works great on glass top oven, stainless steal, and most recently, my tile floors.

I had been contemplating hiring somebody to professional clean my tile floors. They have been beyond dirty since before I moved into this house. At $500 a pop, I couldn't splurge for professional cleaning.

As luck would have it, I was cleaning out underneath my kitchen sink when I re-found this product. I had kind of forgotten about it. It occurred to me that I could try it on my tiles floors. And I did. And it worked wonders. And it didn't take long to clean it either.

Here are some before and after pictures.



Perhaps the professional cleaning would make the floors look more amazing. But this cost me $3.99 and took about 15 minutes of my time. Gentlemen, you can find this product at Menards or Lowes. The perfect stocking stuffer for your loved ones!



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Perhaps you are starting to wonder if I am no longer thankful on Thursdays. I am. Maybe not as much as in the past this week, but I can always find something to be thankful for.

Lets give it a try:

I'm thankful for cute babies in skeleton jammies!

I'm thankful for quick babies who look so cute crawling. How sweet it is to be in one room with your baby and then have her follow you to the next. Emi is also getting pretty good on her feet which results in some hugs to me. They are more like unintentional hugs only not awkward.

I'm trying to be thankful for my new ipad. It is taking some getting used to. I did facetime for the first time the other night which was fun.

I'm thankful that tomorrow is Friday.

I'm thankful that when I woke up at 530am and couldn't fall asleep, my baby and husband didn't fuss when I woke them up, insisted they get ready for the day, and joined me for breakfast and HyVee. Unexpected moments like that the best even if it means Emi went to bed at 715pm tonight since she was up so early.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Apple or Pumpkin?

I went to a conference the other day. "In A Bag" A corporate lunch service company, provided sack lunches for the event. At the bottom of my bag sat this:

I made mention to my coworker about this apple pen. She said "That's a pumpkin." I was stunned. Is she blind? She kept insisting it was a pumpkin. It got worse. People agreed with her. I did a silent poll at the office that looked something like this:

To resolve the issue, I looked up the phone number for In A Bag and one of the secretaries called it.
ITB: "Hello, In A Bag."
Secretary: "Yes, you know those pens you serve in your lunch bags- are those apples or pumpkins?"
ITB responding like this was a total normal question to call in about: "It's an apple."
Secretary: "Okay. Thank you."

My coworker then turned to me and said "But how'd you know that was an apple?"
Me: "Because it is red and shaped like an apple."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Disability Insurance

Today Tommy and I met with a gentlemen regarding obtaining some life insurance and disability insurance. Shockingly, one of my benefits from working at a law firm does not include disability and or life insurance. Tommy and I really started thinking about life insurance when I was pregnant with Emi. Of course, at that time, I was unable to obtain any insurance. Tommy already has a decent life and long term disability plan through Wells.

Today while the gentlemen was explaining the disability insurance he told me I would disabled once a doctor determined I could no longer be an attorney.

A few hours later I got into the office. I had spent the morning at home and within ten minutes of getting into the office I already regretted that. A few things had come up that I wasn't there to deal with causing other people to get involved in it which is always annoying. This was followed by an extra annoying conversation with my boss and an email from a former client informing me of some incredibly serious legal troubles involving her daughter. I like this client, a lot, so I felt particularly upset to hear this news. (Even though I get paid to deal with my client's legal problems, it doesn't mean I like when my client's have legal problems. It's quite the opposite.)

That is when I sat down at my desk and as some tears formed in my eyes I thought "I can't do this anymore."

I'm thinking this is not what the gentlemen had in mind when explaining how to qualify for the disability insurance or surely it'd cost more than $60 a month.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

10 Things....

Another 10 random thoughts for today:

1. I find that just when you find yourself content your world gets shaken up a bit. Or a lot.

2. I had this conversation with my sister today: Me: "Your last name has a lot of letters for only two syllables. Mine has just one more letter but two more syllables." Erin: "We're more speak'n people then writ'n people."

3. I voted in the 2012 general election today, but I'll still watch the debate tonight. Hope it doesn't change my mind!

4. I love dancing with the stars. Shawn Johnson is so good this year! You must tune in!

5. I would like to know if they make any good movies anymore!? I feel like I haven't seen a good movie in ages. Redbox looks like another dud this week.

6. I had three people contact me today to represent them in various matters. The only problem is the people these three people were looking to sue are already my clients. It's still good for business, I guess.

7. I'm getting an Ipad tomorrow. Random, right? We had the opportunity to purchase one 20% off, and we just couldn't pass that up.

8. If I could earn money trying projects on Pinterest, I'd retire my law license now.

9. Is it Friday yet?

10. Emi's the best! Honestly, she is.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Is That Really Necessary?

Can you believe the things that we lived without ten to twenty years ago that you cannot imagine your life without now? Examples?

Target! (Remember when the only one in Des Moines was in North Des Moines and you had to pack heat just to shop there?) Now you can't drive more than ten miles without running into one in Des Moines, and the neighborhoods are much safer.

High Speed Internet. Proudly the Van Wyks were one of the last to switch over from dial up to high speed. Seriously, I think it was only like 10 years ago when they finally got highspeed.

GPS. Perhaps they used to build streets straight and logically and with the invention of amateur develops came the need for GPS. Even though we don't use ours everyday, I cant imagine going on a roadtrip without it. I seriously have no idea how people use to get places. Perhaps gas attendants were more knowledgeable back then.

I could go on.... smartphones, redbox, facebook...

Although we had heard of these things, the popularity was not there like it is today. Now we can't even imagine our lives without it.

Here are the things that although some people have, and most of us have heard of such a thing, will be a necessity in 10 years.

Ipad. I know Ipads are so popular right now. But I think they will be mandatory. I think they'll run our houses (thermostats, home security systems, steros, etc) and I think we'll look back and think "Remember when we had to worry whether we shut our garage door? Now we can just close it on our Ipad." And that will be normal).

Smartphone Banking. Could it be that it wont be that we even need to go to the bank? Somehow we'll figure out a way to deposit checks (for those of us who have bosses that still cut paper checks) on our phones. I think this exists already, but I know little about it.

Double Wash Machine Set. I remember before I had Emi people would tell me that having a kid doubles the laundry. I just thought those people were dumb and inefficient. I love having a high efficiency washer and dryer, but seriously, I can't have each load wash for over an hour when I've got nearly ten loads to do (Whites, Darks, Towels, Reds, Emi's Clothes, bedsheets, Emi's every day blankets and highchair/shopping cart cover, delicate sweaters, and regular blankets).
I cant even believe I live in a house that only has one wash machine. And a year ago I would not have dreamed of saying that....

What do you think is going to go from luxury to mandatory in the next ten years?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Eight Months!

Every time I pull open the drawer to get a new sticker, I cant believe how much time has past since I grabbed the last. I often find myself thinking it must be May or June because Emi is only a few months old.

I can't even remember what Emi was doing at seven months to tell you what has changed. I'll tell you that at eight months Emi:

- Still is awfully close to crawling, but is mostly just perfecting the army crawl. She can get where she needs to go. she can do a real crawl for about two or three movements before she falls flat on her face! Poor thing!

- Loves food and is backing way down on formula. I started her late on food, but she still loves it. Fruits or vegetables, it doesn't matter- as long as it's not peas. Right now, she has about 15-20 ounces of formula with 2 jars of food a day.

- Is still making lots of different sounds. Just yesterday she was messing around in her crib. I saw her on the video camera and used the speaker function to tell her to go to bed. She looked up over the crib and said "mama?" Then yesterday she saw Tommy coming down the hallway and she said "dada!" I know what you are thinking.... I must be full of it. I might be....

- Still loves her learn and groove table. She is in to some of her other toys too- like the crawling ball, sophie, around the world thing (goodness, I don't even know the names of her toys!

- Still has the same sleeping habits. Goes to bed around 830 and wakes up at 7 and rarely makes up in the middle of the night.

The other day I was playing with Emi, and she was being her adoring self and I thought "I could never have another child. My heart would just burst if I had any more joy in it."

She's something special.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hello, Monday! Love, Emi

Why hello, Monday! I usually don't love you that much.

But Mom bought me a new outfit:

Oh, you say its a bit cold. That's fine. Dad talked Mom into a matching hat!

I'm having fun playing with the new toy Mom and Dad got me.

But I'm starting to get a little tired.

See you next week!

Love, Emi

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Roadtrip Takekawa Style 2.0

Remember, friends, when I advised you of how to plan a perfect road trip? Takekawa Road Trip 1.0, as I have learned, is designed for individuals without children. May I introduce to you, Takekawa Road Trip 2.0.

Rule 1: Never plan road trip in advance. This is the same rule in 1.0.  So long as you're parent who always carries enough food, diapers and clean clothes, then you need not decide but moments before you leave.

Rule 2: Find relative nearest to the desired destination.  After all, my friends, this is still Takekawa style which means you must not waste money on a hotel.  No more are the 5am to Midnight trips. With a child you will likely have to spend the night somewhere. I understand this also triples the amount of the items you may need for your child. Our chosen destination was Minneapolis. We stayed over night with my parents in Clear Lake. Fortunately my parents have a pack and play for Emi up there. But last night, Emi was in full drama queen mode. She refused to be put in the pack and play which means she slept in the middle of the bed, Tommy slept uncomfortable on the bed with Emi with the little room she left him, and I slept on the couch.

Rule 3. Don't forget the Internet. As you will recall, Tommy and I purchased the Verizon hotspot about a month ago. This means we could take our Internet with us!

Rule 4. Find your nearest Costco.

Rule 5: Go with the flow. Gone are the days of achieving amazing amounts of things in such a short period of time. But now are the days of experiencing amazing amounts of joy from your daughter. Sure she slowed us down, but her coos, smiles and buying things for her was the best part of the trip!

Rule 6: Try something new! I am guilty of finding something I like and sticking with it. (This is a totally random story but illustrates my point well: I remember one time Tommy wanted to try Trostel's Dish. We had never been there. I was fine sticking with the sure-thing Wendy's, but Tommy insisted going to Trostel's. There are a few things Tommy and I recall from that experience: a) we paid a significant amount of money for that dinner; 2) we were served incredibly small portions of food; c) we went through the wendy's drive-thru on the way home; and d) we vowed never to eat there again).

Today our chosen destination was Minneapolis. We decided Friday when Tommy and I got home from work and immediately headed to Clear Lake.

We stayed over night with my parents in Clear Lake. Fortunately my parents have a pack and play for Emi up there. But last night, Emi was in full drama queen mode. She refused to be put in the pack and play which means she slept in the middle of the bed, Tommy slept uncomfortable on the bed with Emi with the little room she left him, and I slept on the couch.

I am blogging in the car on our way back to Clear Lake. Love! (I'll love it even more when I get that ipad I've been eyeing. Unfortunately we did not have time to stop at Costco in Minneapolis, due to some other activities we chose that we hadn't done in awhile, but I still recommend you keep Costco on your itinerary.

We went to the Mall of America which I hadn't been to in nearly a decade. I was under the impression that the mall was basically dead and wasn't worth the stop. I really do not think that was the case. The place was absolutely packed! We ended up only shopping 2 of the 3 floors! And I consider myself an incredibly efficient shopper!

Our new try was a place called The Magic Pan. Tommy and I shared a banana chocolate crepe- it was fantastic!

We had a great time. I know Emi is going to want to go back sometime to build a bear and The American Girl store. I don't know what that American Girl Store is, other than a big deal.

So go ahead. Plan your next road trip. But remember, don't plan it too soon!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Center Grove Orchard

We headed out on a family field trip to Center Grove Orchard in Cambridge with one of Emi's besties, Carter.

If you haven't been here with your family- its a must! Even though Emi is a bit young for all the kids' acitivity and slept through much of the excursion it was still a good time! It's never too young to start traditions. And the truth it, I've wanted to go to a pumpkin patch, well, forever basically.

Here are some pics from our fun day!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

10 Things...

It's been a busy last week. I have trial tomorrow, but I see that I haven't blogged in a week... so I wanted to write a quick 10 Things post.

1. Today I spoke to a client on the phone and explained to him an unfortunate set of circumstances that was his divorce. He responded by telling me "It sounds like a win-win situation." I responded "I believe they actually call that lose-lose."

2. Tomorrow Emi will be 8 months! I will be excited to take a picture and give you an update about my little girl!

3. Tommy and I are refinancing our house to a 2.5% rate. Incredible, right?!?

4. Tommy and I switched from Medicom to DirectTV. Its been amazing. What is even more amazing is that they are giving us a free week of an upgraded plan which includes the Style Network. This means I get to see the premier of Giuliana and Bill tonight!!!

5.  I'm loving the All Star season of Dancing With The Stars!

6.  My pool is being closed for the winter next week. We havent used it since the beginning of September, but I just love looking out and seeing the beautiful pool water rather than the pool cover so we kept it open longer.

7. We went to the pumpkin patch this last weekend with some friends. I'll have to post some pictures soon (after trial). We had a great time! I highly recommend!

8. I love Fall. I forget how much I love it until it is here. I really love it. I also love the deal I scored on some new Yankee candles this weekend featuring fall scents.

9.  Again, I'm totally struggling to list 10 things. I swear I should switch this to "9 Things!"

10. I opened up google reader today to read some Thankful Thursday blogs. Then I realized it was Tuesday. That was a bummer.