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January 19, 2004

Kate Goes to College

Okay, so you may need to wait another 18 years to read the teary-eyed narrative of my baby girl going off to college, with pictures of course. Nonetheless, Ken and I need to start preparing ourselves financially -- as well as emotionally (haha) -- since it's never too early to start saving. We want to make sure our baby can afford Yale once she's accepted. ;-)

So, last month Ken and I opened two funds for Kate. One is a 529 College Saving Fund and the other is a Uniform Transfer to Minors Act Fund (UTMA). In addition to any money Kate receives as gifts from family and friends, Ken and I will also be contributing a minimum of $25 each month to each account. We're hoping she'll have a nice little nest egg for when she starts her life as a young adult.

The 529 will very obviously go to Kate's college but the UTMA can go to anything, from a new car or a first home, to a new business investment or an early retirement. An UTMA is a little like a trust fund that Kate will get full ownership of when she turns 21. Let's hope we've taught her well by then, and that she doesn't go blowing it all in one place, like the shoe department in Bloomingdale's.

Bob Bobala at Fool.com wrote a great article about how an UTMA can make your kid richer than you ever were: Turn $1,000 Into $1 Million. Gone are the days of filling pink ceramic piggy banks with spare change and giving gifts of savings bonds with low rates of return. This new generation will prove to be a group of savvy investors discussing their diverse portfolios at middle school show and tell...with a complete interactive PowerPoint presentation no doubt!

January 16, 2004

Kate's First Pair of Jeans

Here are a few shots of Kate modeling her first pair of jeans, given to her by her great aunt Monika. She couldn't be happier in her hot and trendy denim. It's all the rage this season. All the babies are wearing them.

And getting ready for the the big day of love, Kate already has her holiday bib. Are there any eligible baby bachelors out there? Oh that's right. Her daddy won't let her date until she's at least 40. Too bad. That's probably the reason for the frown in that first picture. Hey! I wonder if she realizes that those conversation hearts on the bib are not as tasty as the real ones?

January 14, 2004

A Little Tummy Time With Daddy

As Kate gets older, she also gets stronger. We try to give her as much tummy time as she'll stand each day. Sometimes it requires us to get down there with her for her to enjoy it. And other times all it takes is a little motivation, like her beloved pacifier, to get her up and looking around.
Posted by Jean-Marie at 01:34 PM

January 13, 2004

Third Monthly Check-Up

Today was our regularly scheduled, monthly visit to the pediatrician's office. Luckily we only had one shot -- another hepatitis B vaccination. As always I was the one cowering in the corner while Kate took her shot like a big girl. Of course she cried, but quickly recuperated following a quick nursing. By the time dad was finished burping her, the pain from the shot was a distant memory.

This was our first time in Exam Room #1 and Kate was completely mesmerized by a picture of animals in the jungle. We think she was attracted to the shapes and colors in the picture. While we waited for the doctor, I pointed out each of the animals to her delight. And after being checked out and getting her shot she was all too happy to study the picture once again. (In the first picture below you can see the little band aid on Kate's thigh where she just got her shot.)

Dr. Sanchez said that Kate is doing "excellent." He said that she is what most women want to be: tall and thin. Today she weighed in at 12lbs 2oz (60th percentile) and 24-3/4" (95th percentile). One of our lengthiest discussions with the doctor today involved feedings. Although she is thin compared to her height, Kate is still doing well in the weight department, a big concern for me since she is 100% breastfed. I always want to make sure she is getting enough. Must be the Italian Mama in me.

Also on this same topic, we discussed feeding Kate solids, starting with rice cereal. As new parents, we are frequently asked the question when we will start feeding Kate solid food. Oftentimes it feels like more of a suggestion than a question. Considering Ken and I were both bottlefed and given solids within the first few months of birth, it almost sounds insane for Kate to wait the 4 to 6 months recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP). But Dr. Sanchez completely agrees to the wait and suggested to start solids some time in the fifth month. I guess our little Goldilocks has something to look forward to in about 2 more months.

January 11, 2004

Oh Delight! A Little Giggle!

Tonight after our last feeding of the day, Kate was a bite more alert and smiley than usual, so I decided to read her a story before bed. I sat in the glider in her room and she sat on my lap facing outwards...looking towards the book. This is the position we assume every morning after her 6 a.m. feeding when we read Green Eggs and Ham. She likes this set-up because not only can she look at the pages of the book as I turn them but she can also look at her latest passion...the ceiling fan. She just LOVES ceiling fans (but I'll save that for another post).

Anyway, tonight I was reading Oh, the THINKS You Can Think when, no sooner did I finish the first page, Kate started laughing. And her laugh quickly turned into a giggle.

After getting over my initial shock I called out to Ken for him bare witness to this cool little event...Kate's first laugh. Unfortunately, Kate had already finished her giggle by the time Ken got there. BUT it was amazing...the cutest little laugh and giggle I've ever heard! Oh, I just can't wait for her to do it again!

Now if I can just figure out if she was laughing at the book, me reading the book, her good friend the ceiling fan or a combination all of the above.
Posted by Jean-Marie at 11:26 PM

January 09, 2004

The First 3 Months - A Mom & Dad Perspective

Now that our first three months of life together have passed, I feel we can all breathe a sigh of relief. I can say in all honesty (not like I would ever lie) that each month has gotten progressively easier for all of us. During that first month it was quite a challenge for me and Ken to figure out what Kate wanted. Quite frankly, I'm not even sure she knew what she wanted. A pacifier? To suck on her hand? To suck on our hand? To feed? Now when Kate tries to communicate, we're all 99.9% sure of what it is that she wants or needs.

Although every baby is different and Ken and I certainly do not proclaim ourselves to be baby experts, we have put together a list of the good, the bad and the "thank goodness someone invented this" for our first 3 months as parents. We hope that this list may help other parents in similar situations searching online for solutions OR that it may help refresh our memories should Kate have a little brother or sister come along at a time FAR FAR away.

By the way, you may (or may not) be surprised at how many people use the internet to find answers to similar situations. I know I found solace in the fact that another couple's newborn would only sleep in his car seat. Yes, every night they would put him to sleep in his infant car seat and then put the car seat in his crib. I read this on a message board somewhere; and by comparison, Kate snoozing away in her swing wasn't quite so bad.

Read the review of our first 3 months!

Posted by Jean-Marie at 08:34 AM

January 07, 2004

Happy Birthday

Happy 3-Month Birthday Kate!

Posted by Ken at 03:19 PM | Comments (1)

January 04, 2004

A (First) Walk In The Park

It was such a beautiful day in South Florida that the opportunity to have some fun outside was hard to pass up. So, we packed up the car and headed out for lunch at Quarterdeck Sawgrass. As the link suggests (although this review is for the Davie location), dining on the outdoor deck is "the thing." It was definitely a thing for us because Kate REALLY enjoyed the back and forth sway of the gliding picnic table. So much so that it made a good place for a lazy afternoon Kate-nap.

Next, we headed off to Welleby Park in Sunrise and took Kate for a nice little walk in her stroller. The part that Ken and I enjoyed most about our visit to the park was, of course, Kate. She was too funny being push around in her "carriage" while she leisurely reclined in her seat with her feet up on the handle bar. She was such a hoot! And it was lots of fun watching her look around at the beautiful outdoor scenery.

Although Kate is still too young, there is also a pristine children's playground at this park. It is a covered area; all of the equipment is like new; and the ground cover is rubberized. This may be a primo location for a first birthday party if weather will permit it. Regardless, the close-to-home location warrants several more play trips to come!

January 03, 2004

A Little Saucercize

Today we introduced a new toy to Kate. The Evenflo Portable Fun Ultrasaucer is really for babies 4 to 12 months old, but Kate has been doing so well with supporting her own head that we thought we would put it together a month early and give it a whirl. Like always her attention span is a little short for new toys but she certainly gave the very stimulaing saucer a full look-over. From first impressions this appears to be a "happy place" where Kate could have quite a bit of fun. We'll have to give another update on this one in a month or two.

Also, I'm not sure if you can tell from these pictures but Kate is wearing the cutest little Peter Rabbit PJs compliments of Grandma Clarissa. The best part of these PJs is the bunny feet. Can you see the little pink ears on her tootsies?

January 01, 2004

Happy New Year!

A few years back Ken and I decided to follow the tradition that whatever happens on the first day of the new year will happen the rest of the year. Therefore we always aim to enjoy our day, while also trying to ensure that the small luxuries of life continue to come our way. Luckily, the three of us were all in good health today; and this year Ken and I feasted on tasty steak dinners and made deposits into our bank accounts. Whatever works, right?

Kate, on the other hand, should look forward to a year full of good eating, good sleeping and good playing. Oh yeah...and 365 days of looking cute in her adorable wardrobe of clothes.