Daddy Duty

Sleep, Eat, Diaper Change. Repeat.

4 Teeth Meetings

JJ just turned 8 months on the 3rd and I’m equally amazed I have an 8 month old and that I’m a parent at all. I’ll admit there’s been a time or two where I’ve prepared to walk into a store/restaurant only to be reminded that I forgot to get JJ out of the car. Whoops! I have lived more of my life without him than with him, right? I promise it only happens when I’m either really hungry or there’s a huge sale going on. Smile

Let’s start with an update:

  • NEW SKILLS: Shaking and banging toys together, turning side-to-side, lifting himself up in the bathtub, standing as long as he’s holding onto something/somebody, going from sitting to crawling;
  • FAVORITE ACTIVITIES: The above; Sucking on his hands; Jumping; Eating his Donuts Rings and putting his arms through them; Singing with Mommy; Reading with Grandma;Flying with Daddy; Video chatting; Cell phones; Laughing; Trying to Eat and Taste EVERYTHING
  • DIAPER SIZE: still wearing 3’s, but we added in the swimming diaper a couple of months ago. For those without babies, a swimming diaper is supposed to keep everything in the diaper even in the pool and costs about 5X a regular diaper. Not that it’s been tested, but I do wonder how well they work in a real “situation.” I’m tempted to strap 4 regular diapers to him and would bet we’d have equal if not better “protection.”
  • CLOTHES SIZE: 6-12 months depending on brand. With the increased movement, he’s lost weight, but is getting taller.  There was a time when his thighs wouldn’t fit in his Bumbo chair, but they’ve slimmed down and fit in again!
  • WORDS: Ma ma, Da da, Sssssuh.  He goes between all of these. Sometimes he’ll switch words throughout the day and other days he’ll only say 1 and keep repeating it over and over.
  • DROOL: None
  • DANGERS: Falling and knocking things over. We’re in the process of baby-proofing the house as walking is right around the corner.
  • SICKNESS/RASHES/ETC: None
  • SLEEP: When he first started teething, it was getting rough (~month ago). We were continually waking up to rub gel on his gums as he was obviously in pain. Within the past week, we’ve re-established his sleeping schedule and he’s getting upwards of 12 hours with a feeding break in between along with a long and short nap. Plenty of time for his little brain to rest.
  • FOOD: Claire is still pumping and will probably continue until at least 1 year old. We’ve added in mushed up fruits, oatmeal cereal, rice cereal, and applesauce into his diet.

If you haven’t met JJ or haven’t seen him in a while, he’d like to see you. He loves seeing people and is still very comfortable around “strangers.” As an aside, 2012 is appearing to be a really neat year for reunions.  I’ve seen more than 2 handfuls of my high school friends from Texas, college friends, and other friends I’ve met over the years.  We’ve been in touch in some form or fashion (usually Facebook/Text), however, this year, they’re all visiting Vegas! It’s been great!

One of our close friends just gave birth to a 7 pounder and I couldn’t believe how small she was. My “oldtimer” mind is at a loss when trying to remember JJ that small. I see the difference in pictures, but seeing him everyday makes it hard to tell the difference in person. When we went to visit her, her 9 month old niece was there and JJ was just fascinated with her. They both had 4 teeth and it was so cute watching them interact together. Below is a picture of the friend who just gave birth. We saw her the day before she delivered! I’d love to post a pic of the 9 month old, but that photo isn’t on my computer yet.

2012-07-21 13.10.20

NERD RANT, Feel free to skip this section if you’re not interested in technology. So, I love a service called dropbox. I use it to sync my files across computers (home laptop/desktop/work computer/phone). The latest feature I’ve fallen in love with is where it automatically uploads every photo I take on my phone to my computer wirelessly over the air.  I don’t need a cable, I can’t forget, and it’s easy, automatic and free. I can then get on a computer and see all of my phone photos to either organize, edit, upload ,etc. The reason I bring it up is that on my Android phone, it’s as easy as I just described.  I take the photo, it uploads, I find it in a folder on my computer.  However, on my IPhone, the App just sucks.  It only uploads in batches and seems to take forever. Hence, when I’m trying to post a pic I took yesterday, it hasn’t uploaded yet so I can’t share it with you.  Sure, I could go find a cable and upload it, but I’m lazy.  Android totally wins on this one.

OK, back to JJ. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess he’s left handed.  I’m not sure yet, but I see him reach with his left a lot so that’s my first guess, but only time will tell. 

My new after work activity is to take JJ swimming. He’s always liked being in the water (bath time) and swimming has been a real joy for both of us to play, exercise, and have fun. With any luck, we have a future Swimming Gold Medalist in the house.

In the mean time, Claire and I just medaled in the shopping Olympics. As I mentioned 2 weeks ago, Claire and I have been waiting to go to the As They Grow Flash Consignment sale held this weekend. The short of it is we spent $350. We heard the high was $1,400.We went the 2nd of 5 days and then followed up on the 5th day as many of the items were further marked an additional half off.

Consigning is a great way to make some $ from your unwanted stuff without going the Craigslist/EBay route. However, I really think the key to the success of this event is the short time line creating urgency for buyers and sellers alike.  Literally 10’s of 1000’s of items change hands in a weekend with 3 pre-sale days.  As JJ gets older, I look forward to selling this stuff and letting a younger tike enjoy it at a heavily discounted price.

As we already have a lot of clothes and hardware (strollers/crib/bouncers/etc), our main focus was really the toys. He now has all manner of toys that blink, make noise, hop, jump and skip around to his amusement.  I’d say the retail value of what we bought is probably 2 to 4X what we paid so it was a great event even if we did spend more than we thought we would. Isn’t that how it always is?

Time for some pictures:

2012-08-05 14.13.542012-08-04 14.54.262012-08-04 14.36.532012-08-04 13.40.422012-08-04 12.52.332012-08-04 12.51.542012-08-04 12.51.102012-08-03 17.08.282012-08-01 17.16.522012-07-26 19.26.562012-07-24 11.28.132012-07-24 11.27.482012-07-22 12.35.522012-07-21 22.48.202012-07-21 17.56.172012-07-21 17.54.412012-07-21 17.36.26IMG_0476IMG_0474IMG_0473IMG_04672012-07-15 12.54.342012-07-13 11.29.492012-07-13 11.28.452012-07-13 11.28.24-1jj duck face at wynn

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2 weeks later…

So, I am most sorry to my loyal blog readers for such a delay in posting. Unfortunately, I’ve started a new job and can’t promise that I’ll be posting any more frequently. If anything, I may have to have my assistant post on my behalf as I dictate stories and thoughts! However, I actually really enjoy doing it personally as a way to document milestones as well as share and relive the moments.

In case you do enjoy these posts and are interested in hearing what JJ’s up to, click the bottom corner of your screen where it says “follow.” Type in your email address and you’ll automatically be updated when I post saving you the need to continue to visit this site with unrefreshed data. You could always add this to an RSS feed, but it’s probably not worth it.  Add yourself to the email list and be done already!

Let’s start this off with some pictures we took of JJ for Father’s Day:

I have the cutest kid.  I’m not sure how it happened, but I’m sorry to all of the other confused parents out there as I have the CUTEST kid ever. JJ is just so fun and adorable and Claire and I love him to death. I’m pretty sure he knows what a camera is and what it does as he can pretty much smile on cue now.  He is on the way to teething, but no teeth have appeared yet.  He’s is just biting everything in the world and chomping his gums a lot.  He’s also starting to say the makings of words which is an improvement from the random sounds before.

He can go anywhere he wants as long as his destination is behind him (he crawls backwards at the moment). Although he can roll, he doesn’t do it often.  He’ll usually just go from on his back to tummy down and then start pushing himself backwards.He’s ticklish now and still smiles a ton.  His sleep schedule isn’t as perfect as before our trip a few weeks ago, but it’s not bad (6-8 hours at a stretch as opposed to 12).  He is still comfortable around strangers which has unexpectedly gotten us some “free” babysitting by the waitstaff of a couple of restaurants around town. I have a short list of baby friendly fine dining places where JJ is welcome and adored.  My wife and I can enjoy a quick dinner while the staff watches JJ.  We’re happy to tip for those few minutes of uninterrupted eating and time together!  There are equally unfriendly restaurants, mainly at the Wynn where we can only bring JJ if we book a private dining room.

The main fears we have now are regarding teething and walking coming up.  Teething will be painful for him and walking will tire us out.

In addition to very kind wait staff, it never gets old having people approach us wanting to say hi to JJ, complimenting him, or interacting with him.  The cutest people are the random grandparents who either (1) just like babies or (2) miss their own grandchildren or (3) whatever. They are the warmest and JJ picks up on it and just beams in their presence.  In addition, people are still doling out advice.  I still can’t get over the people who insist on something being done a certain way. I then look at their kid who’s probably picking his nose or licking the floor. Ugh, thanks but no thanks, I’ve got it under control.

OK, that’ll have to suffice for now as I’m tired and need to prepare for work tomorrow.

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On Being Small

I was giving JJ a bath the other night and couldn’t get over how incredibly happy he was to play in the water. I think he’d stay in his tub all day splishing and splashing if I let him. It’s truly remarkable when compared to the speed showers that adults do (1) to conserve water and (2) to get to the next thing on their to-do list. He could care less about taxes, a mortgage, insurance, blood pressure, cholesterol, cancer etc. He is so care-free and I love and appreciate it.

Then, when I took him out, I was reminded that despite all of his growth, I could technically wipe his whole body down with an absorbent face towel, not hand towel, face towel. Also, being small, his closet always looks empty despite his numerous outfits. I’d guess he has 50 outfits hanging in various sizes, but they hardly take up any room since they’re all so small. Furthermore, I can’t tell you how much baby lotion and shampoo I’ve mistakenly wasted when I squeeze out the adult sized squirts out of habit.

Another facet of being small is that you have an excuse for everything and people even find a lot of  your otherwise repulsive behavior enjoyable. His burps, farts, staring, at times rude interruptions, and sleep episodes mid-conversation are cute. Ahhh, the life of an infant.

It’s so cliche, but there are days Claire and I never want him to get any bigger. He’s at an age now where he’s curious and smiles, but lacks the mobility, skills, and energy to cause any damage.  It’s a ton of fun playing with him in spurts until he tuckers out and rests giving you a break. As we’ve seen with friends’ children and obviously anticipated, we have a wild ride ahead of us. From walking to running to jumping to driving, oh my, driving-tear, tear, it’s going to be a wild ride for sure.  Yet, such is life. As a parent, we obviously look forward to being with him for his first steps all the way to his globe-trekking, but there is something so beautiful at this age that I just wanted to notate it.

Today, JJ can officially roll and scoot himself around. We used to be able to put him on our bed and let him play by himself with minimal supervision. With his increased muscle strength and mobility, he can now move to the point where he’ll fall off the bed without supervision. This means that we won’t be getting any rest anytime soon. 🙂 We’ll be okay as long as he keeps smiling at us!

One more thing, regarding JJ’s smile, he loves to study other babies. So, if you have a baby, let’s hang out.  If you don’t have a baby, we can still hang out, but JJ may not be as interested in you. We fear he may be looking for a girlfriend! Also, have you heard of baby sign language? My good friend just told me about it. Basically, babies can sign before they can speak, so if you teach them to sign, they can “tell” you when they’re hungry etc. I don’t know much about it, but I can’t wait to learn.

Ok, one more last thing.  It’s teacher appreciation week. As my mom’s a retired teacher, I have a lot of respect respect for all teachers in whatever form they come in. It’s hard work and they deserve to be appreciated so do something nice for the teachers in your life. In case you didn’t know, money can buy happiness.  The twist is that you will be happiest when you use your money for other people according to this TED Talk. I completely agree!

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How does it feel to be a Parent?

NOTE: If you remember nothing else from this post, just keep this top part in mind. Claire and I are happy parents.  We are very happy to have JJ and consider it a very (bitter) sweet experience.  Like all things, it has its highs and its lows, but we’re adjusting well to our new roles and are happy to have JJ in our lives. Really!

Lately, when I’m asked how parenting is going, I have a few general responses depending on the day:

  1. Tired. Tired. Tired. Why’d we do this? What’s sleep? We should have waited.
  2. Great. Fantastic. Amazing. It’s just wonderful. It’s so fun!
  3. A combo of the above two with “I have a new found respect for all of the parents in the world” added in.

I’m torn at times as to how to answer as I feel that people really don’t always want or tell the truth. My most truthful response is: “Parenting is really hard. When he smiles at us and learns a new skill or grows, it’s the most fun in the world. Literally nothing in the world could take our attention away from him and there’s nothing that we wouldn’t do for him. Yet, when he cries wails, hits us (intentionally or not, we’re still not sure), or excretes on us, parenting isn’t so fun. It’s just not.  It’s also challenging, hard, and turns your world upside down. Oh, and did I forget to mention that babies are expensive?”

For some people, if I mention the slightest issue, say “JJ slept 1 minute less than normal,” they jump to say it’s because _____________. For good measure, they’ll also probably say that their little Johnny never did that. I’ve learned to stick to response 2 with this group.

For others, if we mention a problem or a tough time, they assume we have post partem depression and want to call the number on us. They can’t fathom that we didn’t enjoy that we got spat up on and are late to everything. With them, it’s best to stick with response 2 also.

We also have friends who are considering having children or are already expecting and we’re torn between encouraging them and warning them simultaneously. I know the truth scares some of these people, but it’s also good for them to learn from our experiences so we’re torn.

So, why is parenting so hard?

  • Especially as a new parent, you think and re-think things so as not to make a “bad” choice.
  • You constantly think about the repercussions of every action you make as it will impact your child one way or another.
  • Babies don’t come with a manual.
  • Babies don’t care about your work, deadlines, schedule, appointments, or anything. Just plan on being late to everything.
  • Techniques that may have worked for _____ in the past, may not work now. Babies are constantly changing, growing, and learning.
  • You’re forced to think more while simultaneously being more sleep deprived.
  • You’re simply having to juggle more.
  • You lose your freedom as babies are dependent on you for everything.

Loving and caring for JJ while balancing our normal lives literally wears my wife and me out on a daily basis. I have seen many an acquaintance breeze through parenthood with the help of an ipad, cartoons, rice cereal, a pacifier, and a rocker while they played Playstation. I’ve also seen that their children are cross-eyed, have indigestion, are dirty, and have missed nearly every milestone on the growth chart.

My wife and I made a conscious decision to bring JJ into this world and we are conscientiously and methodically doing our best to bring up an upstanding citizen full of hope, pride, love, and joy that we can all be proud of. His future successes will not be a fluke as they will be the culmination of a village’s love, sacrifice, and care!

As for those considering having a child, take a step back for a second and think long and hard about your decision. Just for kicks, do all of these things and ensure you won’t miss them when you have a kid:

  • Go see a movie
  • Eat at a fancy restaurant (The Wynn forbids children under 5 from eating at any of its fine dining)
  • Take a quick weekend getaway using only a carry on
  • Drive a convertible/coupe
  • Sleep in
  • Be on time
  • Watch something scary on tv.
  • Drink coffee/caffeine/alcohol (frowned upon for breastfeeders)
  • Eat spicy/gas-producing foods (frowned upon for breastfeeders)
  • Stay out late (past 7/8 PM), actually just go out

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s what’s on the top of my mind. Having a kid doesn’t completely end your life, but it takes a lot more coordination to get out and do anything with or without your child once you have one.

In this age of pedophiles, thieves, and who knows what, it’s not as easy to simply entrust your most precious flesh and blood into the care of someone else. It can obviously be done, but you have to be careful. It certainly doesn’t help that Claire and I are CSI and Criminial Minds fans. When you’re childless, you’re free to do as you please when you please.

Oh, and for the women planning on getting pregnant, remember that during the 9 months of pregnancy, you shouldn’t eat raw food, lunch meats, caffeine (high amounts), most seafood, and you can’t drink alcohol either. Also, don’ forget about the joys of weight gain, cramps in unexpected places, general discomfort, the actual delivery process etc. Pretty picture, eh?

Having said all of this, having your child smile at you makes it all worth it. You certainly don’t forget the sacrifice, but it sure numbs the pain as you smile back at him and know that there isn’t a thing you wouldn’t do for him and that all you want in the world is for him to have a happy and healthy life.

P.S. I fear the day that we will fight. I fear the day that I’ll need to reprimand him. I also fear the day he’ll say something like “I wish I was never born,” “______ is a better father than you, ” etc. With anyone else, I can imagine unleashing a war like no other. However, I already anticipate biting the bullet for the love of my child. Welcome to parenting!

 

 

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JJ Update

  • He’s awake and ready to go at 7 AM
  • Size 3-6 months clothes
  • He smiles a lot now and laughs periodically
  • He can semi-roll depending on the starting position
  • He’ll sit in the glider, but he doesn’t look like he’s enjoying it.
  • He’ll grab books, rings, and toys, but isn’t fully interacting with them yet so they don’t hold his attention too long.
  • His neck is strong and stable and he loves to look at himself in the mirror.
  • His latest joy is looking at pictures of himself on 2 photo frames set side to side. It’s funny because he’ll go from screen to screen as he waits for the other screen to advance.
  • He shrieks.
  • When lying down, he likes to grab his feet.
  • He’s like a rubberband-extremely flexible.
  • As he’ s still exclusively breastfed, his poop doesn’t stink. TMI?
  • About 8 diapers a day
  • Size 2 diapers

 

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When are you having a second one?

Calm down, there’s no announcement in this post.  I’m just putting it out there since we’re getting asked this a bunch.

Speaking of which, I don’t mind you asking in general. It’s a simple enough question. My typical response is usually light-hearted and will come to the tune of “It’s up to my wife,” “We’ve got our hands full at the moment with JJ,” “We’re not sure,” or “Tomorrow.”

However, sometimes, some pushy people are just plain pushy and aggressive about it like we need to have one now because they said so. With these people, in the far, far back of my head, I’m thinking:

  • “Are you looking to help pay for tuition?”
  • You’re not even married yet/Your child’s not married yet/You don’t even have 1 kid yet/Your child doesn’t even have 1 kid yet and you’re pushing me?

Where to begin? Before we ever had JJ, we had discussed and assumed we would have a couple of children. From my simple perspective, two kids is best somewhat solely based on my own experience. One child seems lonely. Three children results in 2 ganging up on 1 and four just seemed like too many. Heck, when you have to have a special car to transport your family, there are too many. That’s not to say that having more kids wouldn’t be without its joys, however, it’s tough. Just take a look at the Duggar’s grocery stats from TLC’s “19K ids and counting.” They spend $3K/month on groceries alone. Yikes!

Expanding on my own experience, my sister is a mere 11 months younger than me and we’re like 2 peas in a pod.  There’s something to be said for how my parents had the two of us one after the other and basically got the diaper/feeding stage/potty training over with at the same time. Part of me simply wants to replicate this out of sheer convenience. I can’t imagine having JJ potty trained and sleeping through the night later on only to become a zombie all over again with a newborn.

However, there’s another side of me that wants to simply grow into my current role with JJ and put a gap before the next child. This will also give us a chance to rest up and prepare for a second as well as some additional time to sock away the additional funds required.

Did I forget to mention that I’d still obviously need my wife’s consent. Carrying another kid for 9 months and then the great process of labor and delivery-I still don’t know how women do it. Superheroes I tell ya!

For now, let’s leave it at we’re thinking about it and are simply enjoying our time with JJ for the time being.

DISCLAIMER: all of the people I talk about generally here are not part of my family. Apparently, I created quite a stir with my pet peeves post as different family members started pointing out other family members doing those behaviors. Haha! This is not meant towards close friends and family. I’m happy to joke, be frank, and openly discuss and kid around with those close to me. However, the people I’m talking about aren’t close to me, nor are they computer literate and will never find this blog.

P.S. As JJ isn’t sleeping through the night yet, it’s starting to get annoying hearing people ask if he is. That’s probably the one question I can’t stand because it reminds me of how sleepless I am and makes me feel like a parental failure with a bad kid despite my best efforts. When he’s sleeping through the night, everyone will know it. We’ll all be happier. I guarantee it! FYI, If you do ask, I won’t get mad. I’ll answer truthfully and then put my head down in shame. J/K It’s ok.  I’m not that sensitive.
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Junior’s College Tuition

Before I get to carried away, my wife keeps reminding me that JJ is only 3 months old. I keep reminding her that I’m a planner with a big picture outlook. As an old mentor once told and instilled in me, “If you do what everyone else is doing, you will receive everyone else’s results. If you want extraordinary results, you need to do what no one else is doing.”

At this point for me, this means considering the possibility of paying JJ’s college tuition 18 years early instead of praying for a scholarship when he’s in high school.

The idea has lingered in my head because of a meeting the other day with my good friend who happens to be a Trust Attorney and Wealth Manager. She told me that she had just pre-paid her young daughter’s tuition and told me that I could pre-pay 4 years of University in Nevada for JJ for $22,150.  There are options to either pay in a lump sum, over 5 years, or over 18 years with the installment plans incurring ~4% interest. I think it’s safe to say all parents want their kids to go to college and who can deny the fact that tuition is always on the rise. UNLV, my old stomping ground, has gone up 6% a year over the past 13 years. With that in mind, I felt this was a good topic to bring to light for the parents out there as we all seek the best opportunities for our children and who doesn’t want to save a buck.

_____________________________________________

Here are some initial thoughts that came to mind:

  • Can you use a credit card? (That’s be a ton of miles)

Visa and Mastercard are both accepted.

  • What if he doesn’t want to go to a Nevada school?

The state will apply the then going rate for 4 years of tuition in Nevada to any accredited school in the country. AKA 4 years at UNLV is $100K in 2029, but JJ wants to go to UCLA and it costs $150K. Nevada will contribute $100K and we will need to come out of pocket for the difference.

  • What happens if he gets a scholarship to somewhere else?

Depending on the amount, you could simply cancel your plan 18 years later and receive our money back or you could transfer the plan to another child. Not having reviewed the contract, I’d be wondering if you could also sell the contract.

  • What happens if he doesn’t want to go to college?

As above, JJ would have 6 years following graduation to go to college or the plan would need to be cancelled or transferred.

_____________________________________________

I was still comfortable with the program after that. I would have been inclined to sign JJ up as a hedge against tuition inflation with the general overview presented so far if it was as simple as that. However, I then did a little bit of web research (I still need to do more) and learned more about these types of programs and have some reservations. Here are my main concerns:

  • The Nevada funds are basically pulled into a large fund. The Nevada fund happens to be 106% funded today showing a solid performance, however, as with all portfolio performance, the markets can be volatile and this one snapshot doesn’t mean anything in a double/triple/quadruple dip recession.
  • The program is not backed by the finances and taxing ability of the state. If for whatever the reason the funds were mismanaged or had poor performance, the State Treasurer could disband the program and simply make distributions of what’s left which could be far less than 4 years of tuition.
  • Almost all states have some version of tuitions plans.  However, only FL, IL MA, MD, MI, MS, NV, PA, TX (closed for enrollment I believe), VA and WA still have pre-paid tuition plans. article here The other states are basically tax advantaged savings/investment account, but lack any assurance that the amount invested will cover future tuition costs.
  • MA has a neat hybrid plan that is based on a percentage of today’s costs that can be used at participating private and public schools. outside of NV, I think MA is the next appealing personally.
  • As much as I have loved being abroad, I can’t help but think that JJ may one day be educated in another country.

In my limited research, I believe my dream plan would have flexibility (any school), lock in tuition at today’s prices or at some premium on today’s prices knowing that what I pay today guarantees payment in the future, and is guaranteed somehow. I haven’t had a chance to look at the different states’ plans to see if there’s a match, but I’m doubtful as one other caveat is you have to be a resident of the state to join the plan (Not for 529s in general, but for 529 prepaid tuition plans).

Going back to the Nevada plan, it’s open enrollment for newborns until June 30, 2012 at these prices and will (probably) go up minimally next year in case I don’t sign up this year. I’m on the fence for now while I decide whether I can “out-invest the fund.” We have been so fortunate that our friends and family have already helped quite a bit towards paying the fee with birth presents and Christmas money, so the decision’s slightly easier to make. It would feel great and be quite satisfying to know this was already taken care of, however, with all money, it’s just a matter of figuring out it’s best use at the time. How are you planning on paying for your child’s tuition?  Money under the pillow? Pray for a scholarship? 529 plan?  Let’s talk about it!

P.S. Not that I advise this, but if you were a gambler with good credit and didn’t want to commit your money to Jr’s education, you could enroll today with a mileage earning credit card and collect the miles. Then, continue to transfer the balance between 0% interest credit cards to effectively get a “free” option that tuition will increase in price. To do this, you’d need perpetual interest free cards which are always in the mail if you have good credit. Again, I never advise this, but doing it for education and not a big screen tv seems to make a better case. If tuition never went up or you ran out of 0% cards, you could cancel the plan and be out a ~$100 termination fee, but you received an option to lock in the plan if tuition went up significantly. FYI, when banks used to pay interest, not .01%, I knew people who used 0% cash advances, invested the funds in CDs and would add thousands a year to their bottom lines for free.

P.P.S. This one is way off topic, unethical, and not even worth the time, but I present it to keep your brain flexible and to think about the opportunities. In theory, if you had a Schwab card earning 2% cash back, you could prepay Jr’s tuition, earn ~$400+, then cancel the plan minus the $100 termination fee and make $300 for an hour of paperwork.  Interesting, but unethical and not worth it.

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The 10 month pregnancy

Don’t really want to dwell on this too much, just wanted to bring it to your attention as it was news to me at the time. A lot of times at the Dr, they would refer to the 10 months of pregnancy despite everyone always hearing about carrying a baby for 9 months.  Saying 40 weeks for full term pregnancy is probably the least controversial, however, in case you hear 10 months, they’re basically using lunar months of 28 days like this:

4 weeks: 1 month
8 weeks: 2 months
12 weeks: 3 months
16 weeks: 4 months
20 weeks: 5 months
24 weeks: 6 months
28 weeks: 7 months
32 weeks: 8 months
36 weeks: 9 months
40 weeks: 10 months

Another fallacy to me in determining the baby’s age and due date is going off of the date of the last menstrual cycle. The clock for 9/10 months starts clicking from that date even though the baby had probably not even been conceived yet by that date. Confused? That’s why I didn’t want to dwell on it too much.

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At Your Service, Sir

My son is living the life of Riley as far as I’m concerned. What on Earth could he possibly be worried about?

“When’s my next meal/diaper change/nap?” Oh, and who’s going to hold me and keep me warm? I think I may be envious.

Haha, anyway, I was pondering this the last time JJ threw up. At the first sound of a bodily noise, my wife and I spring into action like a super, coordinated and experienced pit crew to clean him up as if it never happened. It’s funny to think how much faster we’ve gotten in our time with him. I swear diaper changes must’ve taken a half hour beforehand, whereas we can be in and out in a couple of minutes now.

I wanted to let you in on our little joke of a diaper rating system based on the number of wipes needed to clean him up.

1 wipe: pee and minor mess

2 wipes: poo

3 wipes: explosion

Also, just wanted to reiterate as I’ve mentioned in a previous post that the wipe warmer has been a lifesaver for middle of the night changes in the Winter. In my attempt to minimalize my lifestyle, I’ve tried to eliminate non-necessities. When we did the baby registry, I figured a wipes warmer was just a gimmicky, unnecessary item. Fast forward to after JJ came out and hearing him wail in the middle of the night when a cold wipe touched his skin and suddenly I hustled to buy one. Guess what? They work. For $30, JJ is more comfortable and isn’t shocked by the cold wipe allowing him to fall back to sleep faster. Get one today!

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The Emperor’s New Clothes

Claire and I are trying to help the economy one swipe at a time.  We’re also trying to get more airline miles.  So, even before the baby shower and other baby gifts came, we had been building JJ’s wardrobe. My wife and I are suckers for animals on the butt, cute feet, and cute sayings. It’s amazing at how big his closet is and how many clothes it fits since his clothes are so small.

Despite all of the clothes we had, we hardly had any newborn clothing when he arrived as we had jumped straight into buying 0-3 months on friends’ recommendations. So, when we got home the first night, I had to run out and buy some newborn onesies immediately so the emperor had new clothes.  I wrote this post as JJ if officially filling out his newborn clothes to the max and we’re packing them away as we transition to the 0-3 month clothes.

The other tough part about his growth and clothing is forecasting his size for the right season. In reviewing his wardrobe, I’m already seeing some poor planning on our part as we have some fleece onesies for 6-9 month olds. That’ll be summer time in Vegas.

Random note: boys’ clothing seems limited compared to girls as the only choices seem to revolve around cars, sports, and animals.

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