Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas by the Lake

It was the Van Wyk Family's Third(!) Christmas by the Lake experience! It was far better than last year (remember, when my car was broken in to, my purse stolen, and my Northface vest burnt from firework debris!)

It was pretty cold out (windchill negative digits), which kept most people away, but not us! I wasn't too worried that Emi was cold since she fell asleep in her stroller. We skipped the parade and fireworks this year (last year's experience is still too raw in my mind).

 Emi hated the animals, so I was worried how it was going to go with Santa!

 Nice and bundled up! Don't think I'm a bad mom for not putting mittens on her. I tried, but unless I cut off the thumb on the mitten so she can still suck her thumb, it isn't happening!

 The Ringleader!
 Thanks Tony and Sam for trying to hold Emi up on Santa's lap!
 Emi about two seconds before she fell asleep!
 So Tommy and Emi didn't go on the carriage ride, but it didn't stop us!

Back at Grandma and Grandpa's for a snack!

We also watched the movie "We're the Millers" which was very very good!! I highly recommend. We I built towers with the large legos and I we drove the remote control car into it until we knocked it down! I love seeing Emi play with her cousins, and she loves her cousins so much!

I was a little worried about the drive home with the snow, but we got home safely. And the icing on the cake was Tommy being able to start the snow blower without having to call my dad!

Tis the Season!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween

I was a little nervous when putting Emi's costume on tonight because I never even tried it on her. Normally she hates things on her head, but she soon got used to the headband, and she loved her costume! I think she looked pretty cute!

 I went trick or treating directly from work so I gave Tommy strict instructions on what to do at the house. "Turn the outdoor lights on and put the candy on the step." I must have told him two or three times.
 We stopped at Aunt Erin's to see Tony and Sam Batman and Robin! What cuties!!
 Grandma looks like she is on cloud nine!

Then we stopped by Aunt Nita and ran into more cousins! We ended up going trick or treating with them. They taught Emi just how it was done. Kennedy reviewed the rules with us "Only those houses with their porch lights on are the ones we get candy from. Landscaping lights do not count." Little did I know that this rule was useful for adults, as Tommy leaned and said to me "So the lights are how you know the house is handing out candy?!" I think Emi was trying to steal the other kids' jokes by the end of the night. After a few houses Emi was walking up to the door and saying "here you go" while sticking her hand out, so the people knew just where to put the candy! 

Emi had a great time, and we did too! 

And as I pulled into the driveway as Begger's Night was coming to an end I saw that our porch light was not on! I'm thankful Kennedy informed him of the rules. Maybe next year he will listen to me when I tell him to put the porch light on. Oh, and the candy. Yah, he did put it on the step...behind the pumpkins!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

On Acceptance

I recently met up with a friend from law school. This girl is one of those friends that you may go along time without seeing each other, but when you do, you start right from the last place you left off. We have had a lot of similar things happen to us in our lives. And as we sat there that morning and I poured out everything that was on my mind and all the fears that I had about life she reminded me of one important thing. The power of acceptance.

Many circumstances in my life havent been how I would choose if I were in charge. But the point is, I am not in charge. But what I can do is accept situations for what they are. Accept that they aren't going to be what I may choose them to be. And though the circumstances may be different. There are good things about those different circumstances. You can learn to appreciate those other things. But first you must accept it.

So this means two things:

1. No longer feeling like this:

2. And two. This blog is about to get a lot better. You're welcome. :-)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Braggin' Time

Emi is 20 months now. When I look at her I see no resemblance  of a baby. She is a girl. 100% girl. 

The other day Tommy and I played a game where we quizzed how well we each knew Emi. First, we thought of a her three favorite toys, and then see if we came up with the same items. We did! Emi's three favorite toys are: A ball, her stroller (to push the baby of course!) and puzzles!

Then we asked what ten words does she say the most. They are: 
1. Please
2. Mas (more!)
4. Thank you!
5. Hi
6. Bye
7. Yah
8. See ya!
9. Aqua (water)
10. Up

This girl is so musically inclined. She recently learned twinkle twinkle. She will sing the abc words to the twinkle twinkle tune. It is amazing!

She counts to ten. Well, technically she counts to eight because she skips nine and says ten twice. 

She wants what she wants. And she knows what she wants. Don't even try putting on any shoes other than the ones she brings to you to help her put on. And any tv shows- you need to read her mind to know which to put on. You will hear it if you guessed wrong.

And did I mention her hair can be put back into a full pony!

I'm fairly certain Emi asked me today "What's happening now?" Was she listening to Nelly today at the sitters?

And right now, she is sitting in the bath tub saying "hooray" over and over and over. 

I love it. Absolutely love it. And I will reread this post in an hour when it is time to put her to bed and she starts screaming "No!" while taking a few swings at me.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Church Songs

I had this really interesting entry I was going to write about people's crazy perspectives, but instead I decided on this:

If you grew up going to church than surely you have giggled once about the song "Low In The Grave He Lay." Of course you sang it "..low in the gravy lay Jesus my Savior!" Seriously, my dad still says the lyrics that way just to get a little laugh (because of course we are picturing a Jesus figurine laying in Grandma's gravy sauce."

I listen to the Christian station in Des Moines whenever I am in the car. A song that is always played is "There Will Be A Day." Lyrics in the song go "...there is no other name by which I am saved" but what I often hear is "... there is no other name- bitch I am saved!" Its Christian Music meet alternative. 

But I can't sing along to those lyrics. Why not? Well because the other day I asked Emi a question and she responded with "Hell Yah!"

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Center Grove Orchard

On Sunday we took our second annual trip to Center Grove Orchard. It did not disappoint. While the weather was a little chilly, it was totally Fall, which made it great.

We picked our pumpkins in the pumpkin patch. This is another lifetime dream fulfilled! We jumped in corn pools, flew down slides, smelled farm animals, and ate apple butter. Can't wait to go again next year!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

My Mini Me!

Ever since I found out I was going to have a girl, I dreamed of painting my toe nails a matching color as my daughter's, and today that dream came true!

I went with "I'm India Mood for Love" which is my second favorite color (Cha Ching Cherry is my favorite!).

Emi loves swinging, hot pink and sweat pants!

Whenever I bring work home and do it at the table, she insists on sitting next to me at the table to do her "work." I think that day she was watching Little Einsteins.

How irresponsible cool of a mom am I that I let my daughter ride in this cart at the store? (PS- I know my mom is so unimpressed right now!)

 Oh, and she loves the seasonal jammies just like me!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

10 Things...

1. I'm not a hugger. But when my co-worker followed me out of the restroom the other day and noticed my skirt was tucked in my undies, I gave her a hug after she gave me the heads up!

2. Last week I started Kosama. I go with one of my friends every morning at 6am. I hate going, but I feel great when its 7am and my workout is done for the day!

3. Tommy is working tonight. It is funny how little I think he does until he is gone. So far tonight Emi managed to color all over a pillow case (while I folded laundry 2 feet away and didn't notice) and I have contemplated a trip to the ER after she fell on a wet floor.

4. I've been so tired lately that I've been in bed before 930pm every night.

5. I wonder what I used to watch before BRAVO network.

6. I knew I didn't need to take Emi to the ER when I was going to google when to take a child to the ER. I figured if I have to google it, then she doesn't need to go.

7. I'm loving this nice weather, but want to go Emi into her fall Halloween attire!

8. Emi says the word "Ipad" better than she says "Mommy!"

9. I rotated my desk in my office. I'm hoping it will lead to more productivity. I'll try anything.

10. I havent noticed that the government was shut down. Have you?

Monday, September 9, 2013

I Hope I Never Forget...

I hope I never forget...

... how Emi answers "yah!" to every question she is asked.

... how when I tell Emi that it is bed time she runs and hugs her dad in hopes he'll save her from her dreaded bed time.

... how when Emi is running away from me she turns around to see how close I am and then turns around and continues running.

... how she sings! oh does she sing!

... her sweet first words and sentences. "I wuv you." "eese (please)" "Honey!" "mas (more)" "Aqua (water)" "I want my mommy (only screamed from her bed when I first put her down).

... how she turns every object into a phone so she can talk on it and say "Ok, Honey! Bye Bye."

... how she does something so cute that my husband is nearly in tears over his love for her.

... how when I go to get her out of her crib in the morning she firsts grabs all her animals and hands them to me to bring them to our room with her.

... she cuddles on my lap like she never did when she was younger so we can spend some quiet moments together before she flips out when I put her in bed.

It can't get any better than this.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

10 Things...

1. In case you are wondering, an EKG costs approximately $248- before insurance.

2. My daughter can spell two words! So what if it is m-i-c-k-e-y m-o-u-s-e!?!

3. I am still amazed by my ability to piss other drivers of on the road without any knowledge of what I have done!

4. Sarah, you know you are having a boy, right? I'm confused why you keep acting like you don't know!

5. Somebody told me the other day that they were okay with their ex husband illegally claiming their child for food stamp purposes because then she qualified for free lunch and she viewed that as a way he contributes. Um, unless he is funding the tax dollars that pay for the free lunch (which by definition he is not) then why is this person telling me that she is illegally obtaining free lunch for her daughter and stealing money from the taxpayers?! (aka: me and you!). I genuinely think people do not understand the term "public assistance."

6. I'm so glad I blog otherwise I would have completely forgot how I threw up outside of Younkers a few months ago! LOL!

7. I can't wait to go to the store and buy a mum and pumpkin! Oh, and to burn my "Autumn Wreath" Candle! (I'll regret this comment come December).

8. This is a PSA: Apparently it is not common knowledge that those little key pads on the side of garages cost about $25 and take 10 minutes to install. If you don't have one, you must get one!

9. In an effort to eliminate stress in my life, I am no longer coming up with ten things. But I think the sound of "10 Things" over "9 Things" so I am not changing the title of my post.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Some ER Advice...

A few weeks ago my cousin was sharing with me her recent ER visit. It was the typical story you hear from the ER... long lines, no sense of urgency from staff, surrounded by drug abusers... you know. She had messed up her hand pretty bad, and it wasn't but many hours later that she was finally tended to and sent home. She gave me some, what I thought was, excellent advice.

"Anytime you need to go to the ER, when you check in tell the that you are having chest pains or short of breath."

Little did I know that advice would come in handy so soon. It wasn't but that night that I woke up with awful pain. (Note: Ever since Emi was born, I have been suffering from this awful pain. I've never done anything about it because it would always happen in the middle of the night, and I was never in the mood for an ER visit). I suffered through the pain all night, all morning (while attending my Grandma's funeral), and as my hubby drove me back to Des Moines (where the real doctor's practice). As we entered the ER I announced "I'm having chest pains!"

And just like that, I bypassed the long line of uninsured people, drug abusers, and uninsured drug abusers, and they hooked me up to the EKG machine. I sat proudly hooked up to that machine thinking about all the losers sitting out in the waiting room. That was until they determined I wasn't having a heart attack, and they sent me out to the waiting room. With the uninsured people. And drug abusers.

A few hours later, they wheeled me down for some testing and my pain disappeared. Figures. After my testing they found out I had enough gall stones to landscape a small garden (or perhaps my dad said that). And then, after my pain was completely gone, they offered me some pain medication. Ugh. And then my mom rubbed it in by reminding me that I just paid for an EKG I didn't need.

So, my friends, my advice to you: If you go to the ER, tell them you're short of breath. After all, that should be easier to fake, right?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ten Things....

Here are ten things I'm mad irritated about:

1. I'm mad irritated that nothing has been invented to keep beverages cold 24/7. You know how many times I want a cold water/soda, and open the fridge to find none there. I go outside to the garage to get a bottle, and feel the luke warm room temperate beverage which instantly kills any desire I once I had to drink it. Why is it there is never anything cold to drink when I am always responsible enough to fill the fridge up!

2. I'm mad that when people do come up with good inventions, like google reader, they then take it away. Google Reader died on July 1 and I haven't found a replacement. Which pretty much means I rarely read blogs, and never conveniently. And that sucks.

3. Speaking of death, now that is something I'm just mad about. I'm mostly just mad about how it comes to an end, not that it does, just how it does.

4. I'm mad irritated with grumpy people. Over the last few days people haven't seen my always present fake smile. And then they look at me like "well, what do you have to be irritated about?" like there lives are so much worse and I could give them the courtesy of a fake smile. Ugh. People are such grumps.

5. I'm mad irritated with the Urbandale cop running radar on the interstate today. Seriously, its Monday morning. Can't you give people a break?! That shenanigans should be left to a Thursday or Friday when people can handle it better. On a side, I'm totally happy that he caught the guy right behind me, and not me!

6. I'm mad irritated with 18 month old shenanigans. I miss my beautiful daughter all day. And as I come home to give her a hug and a kiss, she smacks me right in the face. Twice.

7. I'm mad irritated that God only puts 24 hours in one day. I could waste so much more time get so much more done with just an extra like 45 minutes. Seriously, I'm not even greedy!

8. I'm mad irritated that I brought a bunch of work home with me and didn't get it done. It's a lose-lose situation when I bring it home. Had I left it at work it would not have gotten done, but I wouldn't have thought about it all not. Now it's not done and I have sat and thought about how its not done which has helped to ruin my night.

9. I'm mad irritated with the IT people at my office. I ask them to fix one thing. And they do. And now eight other things don't work. Ugh.

10. And lastly, I'm mad irritated I can't think of a tenth thing to be irritated about!

Monday, August 5, 2013

18 Months Already!

Emi celebrated her half-birthday on Saturday (which also happened to be my cousin and nephew's birthday as well as the day of my grandma's passing- but more on that later).

We went up to Minneapolis (totally unplanned) and spent the afternoon at the Mall of America. I used to hate the Mall of America, but in the last two years have grown to love that place. (Yes, we go there a lot. We go to Clear Lake a lot and if it is raining we just get in the car and drive to Minneapolis!).

We did a little something different this time. (Well, besides a trip to my beloved Nordstroms and Macy's!) First, we spent what will come to be the first of many trips to the American Girl store with Emi. She already has her Bitty Baby (Molly) who she drags with her everywhere! It was about time that Molly got accessorized. So after letting Emi play around in the store, we found the stroller would be just perfect! And it is! She loves pushing it all around the house. So sweet!

We then decided to take Emi to the aquarium in the mall. So much fun!

And last, but not least! A ride on the Carousal! Emi's Favorite! (I was just glad she didn't cause too much of a seen when it was time to get off!)

All in all, a wonderful half birthday for my darling!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Funny Conversations

Client: "How does the fact that my ex and I have merengue with my current girlfriend affect my child custody case?"
Attorney "What are meranges?"
Client: "You know, sexual relations with all three of us together."
Attorney: "I think that's called a menage -a- trois."
Client: "I knew it was some French word."

Colleague: "Did you meet your husband while on vacation?"
Me: (dumbfounded)

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Original Grandma Van Wyk

Long before my mom became "Grandma Van Wyk" there was this Grandma Van Wyk:

(On a side, how funny is it that you are eventually going to be known by your mother-in-law's moniker?!)

While we were not particularly close to my Grandma and Grandpa Van Wyk growing up (my dad was the oldest child) I have a lot of memories of my Grandma and Grandpa Van Wyk. I believe my love for Christmas Stockings comes from Christmas Time with the Van Wyk side when Grandma Van Wyk would fill our stockings full of crayons, notebooks, coloring books, and those little candy buttons. Plus, to say I adored my cousins (I am second to youngest) is an understatement, so spending time with Grandma meant spending time with cousins.

My Grandma Van Wyk is probably the craftiest person I know. Growing up she would make us dolls, bookmarks and stamp collections. I really did enjoy making crafts at Grandma's.

Some could say my vulgar mouth comes from my Grandma. I distinctly remember a conversations she was telling my dad about a lady at church she was angry with. Apparently the lady told my Grandma "I need to pee so bad I can taste it." And my Grandma said "Well, why don't you eat it?!"

It's been nearly twenty years since I last dealt with a sick family member. My Grandpa Vos died just two days after my 12th birthday? So when my Dad called me this week to tell me I needed to go visit my Grandma if I wanted to see her one last time, it felt very surreal. While we all know death is a guarantee in life (much like taxes) there is still a level of denial. In fact, when my dad informed me they'd be moving my Grandma to hospice in the next few days, I reminded my dad how they sent Aunt Gerdy to hospice earlier in the year and she walked right out of there! My dad reminded me that Aunt Gerdy was the only person he ever heard of to walk out of hospice.

So the Takekawa's made the trip to Mahaska County Hospital (interestingly the location of both my parent's births and my Grandpa Vos's death). I asked the nurse for my Grandma's room. I peeked in the door and did not recognize the lady laying there. I went back to the nurse to get the correct room (afterall they did send me to room 207 which was on the third floor) and she looked at me with sad eyes to inform me that was the correct room.

I walked into the room and she instantly said "Dawn!" While we didn't have very engaging conversation (In her words "[she] doesn't know anything") she tell remind me of a few important things.

1. What beautiful is today is not what beautiful used to be.
2. I have the most sweetest pretty baby she has ever seen!

Emi blew her kisses the whole time we were there. My Grandma loves babies, and I know having Emi blow her kisses over and over filled my Grandma's heart with joy. In fact, my Grandma then moved a bit to blow Emi a kiss back!

As we walked out of the room, I told Grandma I loved her. And she told "[she] would see me again ... hopefully."

I hope so too!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cable TV, Unicorns and Ice Cream Trucks...

Cable TV, Unicorns and Ice Cream Trucks. What do these three things have in common? They didn't exist in my childhood. In fact, I can remember the day in 2002, I was visiting a college friend who resides in Kansas City. As we were sitting on her front porch I heard some familiar music growing louder. Suddenly, before my eyes, like straight out of Hollywood, was an Ice Cream Truck! I couldn't believe my eyes, for I thought this took place only in the movies, and here I was in the Midwest ready to order an ice cream cone from the sweet little truck with a bunch of 6 year olds.

I called my mom is excitement. "Ice Cream Trucks really exist, Mom!!" My Mom calmly replied "Yes, they exist here in Ankeny too. When we lived in town we could not afford ice cream from those trucks so we brought you girls inside." What?!? (Editor's Note: My parents broke down and purchased cable tv when I was about 10. The Van Wyks were the last residents in Polk County, however, to switch to high speed internet from dial-up).

The other day we were visiting Clear Lake when the familiar sound of the ice cream truck sounded. I sprinted to my car, grabbed a few bucks, and danced with Emi all the way down the street to buy some ice cream.

Emi loved it! (Despite my Mom's request "Who wants to buy ice cream from a freezer in a truck that has been driving around town all day? Lets go get some real ice cream." But real ice cream places don't play fun music. And they don't pull up to your driveway. And real ice cream places existed in my childhood.

Now on to my search for Unicorns....

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Revenge is Best Served....

The other day I was telling my mom a story about somebody who has constantly done incredibly rude things to me. I told my mom how little I was concerned about this person's behavior because "revenge is best served..." And suddenly I couldn't remember just how best revenge was served. So I googled it, and this is what I found:

"Revenge is a dish best served cold" the best payback is the one that comes with planning, and that brings the most horrendous pain to your enemies when they are not expecting and are just enjoying the fruits of all the dishonor they brought upon you. One must wait so he can really inflict pain to those who wronged him. Careful planing is necessary so your enemies will suffer terribly, but you won't be harmed by the Law or by your enemies' allies.

After reading this I thought perhaps this coldness was too much for me. Maybe.

10 Things....

1. I haven't blogged in so long I hardly remember how to do it.

2. Do you ever dread looking at something because you think you messed it up. There is nothing like the feeling of being pleasantly surprised when you see you didn't mess anything up at all!

3. I'm so guilty of wishing time away. Today as I felt the nice cool breeze I couldn't help but look forward to Fall! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4. I became a shareholder at my office on March 1. I have been referred to more as an "associate" than a "shareholder" by them since that date. Bummer.

5. My housekeeper, Irma, started today. I can tell we are going to become really good friends.

6. After I get done working I am going to download some new episodes of Giuliana and Bill!

7. I'm dying to hear what the new royal baby is named!

8. Ever since Google Blogger stopped working I have lost interest in blogging because I can't easily access my friends' blogs. Somebody bring me up to speed with a new app!

9. The other day I walked into somebody's home and it stunk of weed. Weird.

10. Watch What Happens Live is still my favorite show!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Ten Things... Emi Edition!

(Because who doesn't love an Emi edition?!?)

1. Did I ever tell you what a singer this girl is?! Not only has she still not stopped singing a lullaby song she learned from Grandma Takekawa in May (while rocking her baby of course) but she also now sings La Bamba. Okay, she doesn't know all the words, but who does?! She has the sweetest voice!

2. Emi loves the pool. She sees her cousins (first and second) jumping off the diving board and thinks that she can do it too. Sometimes I wish she were just a little more timid.

 3. Okay, Mom's of babies who don't sleep- skip thing number. At bed time, I simply say "Night Night Time." Emi gets up, walks up to her bed, says "Up", cuddles with her baby, sticks her thumb in her mouth, and is out for the next ten hours.

 4. I did it! Pig tails!

5. In the mornings while Tommy and I get ready for work, Emi watches The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Which means its in my head the rest of the day. But watching her hot dog dance is worth the annoyance of that song!

6. Ever since Emi got back from Houston, throwing a ball around is almost as fun to her as taking care of her baby. She actually has a pretty good arm!

7. Emi's got a great tan going on. Especially when she dresses in white.
 8. Every time we are in the car and arrive somewhere. Emi screams and claps in excitement. I guess she doesn't love her carseat so much these days...

9. I can't decide which is better- when Emi leans in and goes "mmmmmm" because planting a kiss on my face, or when I pick Emi up and she pats my back a few times... like she is comforting me.

10. Yep, being a mom is the best. No doubt about it.