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AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 06-07-2004, 10:02 PM   #1
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AAAAaaahhhh!

By the way, that would be the incorrect response.

Looks like the stork will be visiting our house in about 7 months. Maybe its a cabbage leaf thing out in the yard somewhere...that class they gave us in high school wasnt particularly clear...

So how long does it take for this "morning sickness" thing to subside, and will I be sent out for a jar of pickled ginger again anytime soon? I was ordered to make steak and eggs this morning, which is interesting because we're mostly vegetarians. In a rare moment of clear self preservation and based on the burning glare and jabba the hutt sounding voice, I went to the store and bought a steak and a dozen eggs.

Anyone have a running budget for childcare, in years?

Wow, I wish I had some money riding on this, I think the odds were huge!
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Re:  I guess this should be posted under...
Old 06-07-2004, 11:34 PM   #2
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Re:  I guess this should be posted under...

... "But what do you DO all day?!?"

Congratulations!

"What To Expect While You're Expecting" (it's probably a multi-volume set by now), and a subscription to "Parents" magazine.

And LOTS of patience.

Most morning sickness fades by the second trimester. Considering the morale at your house right now, we're not going to discuss the rare exceptions to that guideline for a couple more months-- no doubt the OB/GYN is all over it.

Lemme take a look at our child-raising budget. In a stunning coincidence, I went to Quicken a couple months before we went to the hospital. I don't think I broke diapers out as a separate category, though...
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 06-08-2004, 12:08 AM   #3
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

Wow! Congrats to you and the shotgun bride, TH.

Take a Lamaze class. The things they teach you are mostly worthless, but it makes you feel less unprepared, which is priceless.

We're 1.25 years into the kid thing. The expenses aren't that bad. The birth process and the initial months of sleeplessness are pretty bad, but luckily we're prewired to forget that trauma pretty quickly.

And thanks for contributing to my future social security benefits. I really appreciate the effort.
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 06-08-2004, 04:44 AM   #4
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

Congrats to you and the 'little woman'.

NOW - don't forget to start the the little tyke's ER fund - you know - running start, time in the market, power of compounding, etc., etc,.
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 06-08-2004, 05:50 AM   #5
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

Congrats, TH! (I think : )

So much for the "separate houses" arrangement!
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 06-08-2004, 11:04 AM   #6
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

Morning sickness can last as long as an expectant mother wants it to last. She has that right. You are at her mercy.

Have fun.

John R.
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 06-08-2004, 12:22 PM   #7
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

Congrats, TH!

Is this your first child? It's a lot of work when they're little, but once you get into a routine, it's not too bad. Altogether it is a terrific experience. My kids have added a depth and dimension to my life that has been wonderful. I hope you have the same experience.
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 06-08-2004, 12:46 PM   #8
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

Shotgun bride is right! Looks like we're getting married in August. She takes the month off every year, and we have our birthdays 3 days apart in august. She's 3 days older than me, so imagine the never ending series of "cradle robber"/"younger man" jokes I get to work with. I have a really nicely landscaped yard, so we're going to have a small, immediate family only ceremony right here.

Its a first for both of us. I've never even picked up an infant in my life...mostly for fear of contagion

Already started thinking about college and ER funds. I think I said once or twice here that I'd probably lean towards creating a trust for my kids to receive at 40 when they're settled down and the money will really help them rather than a college fund.

I figure the costs are manageable. I'll have to take a walk down the baby aisle sometime soon. I've considered it taboo land up until now, including the requisite snake rattle when I walked by. At least one of us will be home full time and I'm sure making baby food isnt any more complicated than anything else I throw together.

In fact, once we're married she can put me on her health/dental plans, and she's already fully covered. Doesnt hurt that she works at the local hospital and knows who the good doctors are. I guess working until she goes into labor is also a good idea, as she'll be in the right place when it happens

The sleep thing is probably going to be the biggest problem. I'm a total insomniac. My dad says an anchovie farting in alaska wakes me up and it takes 2 hours minimum for me to get back to sleep.

John - no adjustment necessary. I've always been at her mercy.

And dont I have an answer the next time someone asks "what do you do all day?"

Well lets see, we have her house half torn apart in a full exterior/partial interior remodel, I just finished up an IRS inquiry and a $400 traffic ticket/traffic school, we had to fire our contractors and get some new ones in to work on the house, and I'll be planning a marriage and my wife having a baby soon.

Holy cow, damn good thing I dont have a job...
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Re:  Cheap baby equipment
Old 06-08-2004, 03:46 PM   #9
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Re:  Cheap baby equipment

Well, I guess we know who'll be doing the night feedings & diapers!

As I look over the kid budget I'm reminded that we raised ours on Goodwill & garage sales. Baby furniture & equipment is everywhere on the secondary market and there's no reason to pay retail. You'll quickly figure out what ancient cribs & toys are considered hazardous, and the rest of it is selling for about 25 cents on the dollar. Retail may be worth it if you're planning on siring a soccer team but otherwise...

Your car insurance company may sell you a very inexpensive car seat, or they may be able to refer you to the latest deals. You can also find these at garage sales but it takes more effort.

Childbirth classes are great. My wife went into labor at the final class and we almost became the practical demonstration. But our skills were current!

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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 06-08-2004, 08:41 PM   #10
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

Holy smokes!

Congrats! Glad to see you tossed the devil icon in favor of this one. My experience is that you will be humbled by others generosity and interest. You will also be on the receiving end of seeming endless advise. A co-worker gave me almost 18 months worth of clothes for our first child. The items were like brand new. Relatives and friends bought us nearly everything but diapers and formula for the first year. Maybe, we spent $300 on baby care items.

I see you haven't gotten any real budget numbers. All I have is from the first two years (well, 23 months) and some is from memory. The only data that will translate is diapers and formula, IMO. Diapers will run just over $35/mo. Formula (the Costco brand) is $18/week for the first 6-7 months or so. If you don't go overboard, the jar baby food is fairly negligible in the food budget.

Our eating out expenses nearly vanished. We don't miss going out very much (smoking and long waits are common here in Detroit - we don't enjoy either). Some baby items that fall into the "other" category are home remodeling. Don't underestimate her (or your) nesting capability. It may cost your thousands.

Enjoy and best of luck to you,

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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 06-09-2004, 10:17 AM   #11
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

TH,
First of all, congratulations! I'm curious as to your ages. I've gathered you are already retired. My SO and I are 36 and have been debating having children. We know our ER plans will be more easily acheived if we choose not to have any children, but we're not sure it's an experience that we want to miss and as you will attest, accidents do happen...
I'm curious about people's experiences with starting a family a little later in life and still trying to achieve ER...
Thanks!
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 06-09-2004, 10:28 AM   #12
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

TH was a dot-commer who smartly sold his vested options instead of shooting for the buy-the-tropical-island forutne most surely thought they'd get. If I recall he's in his late 30's or early 40's.

I'm piping up because I'm 34 and wanting to ER but would also like to have kids. I don't have an SO right now so it's not an immediate decision, but the kids-versus-easier-ER dilemma is still something I think about periodically.

By the way, Nords is absolutely hilarious in this thread.
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Re:  Thanks, BMJ.  Kids are probably worth it.
Old 06-09-2004, 10:51 AM   #13
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Re:  Thanks, BMJ.  Kids are probably worth it.

This is as close to stand-up comedy as I'll ever get.

Spouse and I, then in our 30s, started our family as I was rotating to shore duty. It seemed like quite the logical thing to do at the time, while in retrospect I realize that logic has nothing to do with starting a family.

I remember thinking "Well, having kids probably makes us better human beings than not having them." (OK, actually I was thinking "Woohoo!! UNLIMITED SEX!!!") Watching our childless siblings on both sides of the family tree today, I think we've made the right choice. The grass is certainly greener when the childless ones are jetting off to Vegas or partying it up with friends. But when the aunties/uncles visit us, their wistful looks & showered affection speak more than words can say. They spoil the kid rotten (as well they should!).

Having said that-- parenting is a life sentence with no parole, and we're outmanned, undergunned, & woefully overtired (12 hours of labor). I completely understand the metaphor "It takes a village". The kid adopted a two-hour sleep cycle and didn't reliably sleep through the night for over six years. At age 11 we're just beginning to see a brighter future. Many times the sleep deprivation was so severe that God probably took pity on us, ripped a couple pages out of the back of our Books of Life, and just reset the sleep meter. I've been awakened for far more parenthood midwatches & casualties than I ever saw on sea duty. And this kid is a healthy, "normal" one!

I hope no one ever needs it, but William Sears' "Your Fussy Baby and High-Need Child" was a lifesaver. I thought they'd been following us around to write the entire book. One day we discussed enlarging the family (we must've been severely sleep deprived!). The conversation abruptly terminated when spouse asked "What if the next kid is like this one? What if it's worse? What if it's triplets?!?" I had my vasectomy a month later... I wouldn't have missed this experience for all the ER money in the world, but I'm not going to repeat it. (My spouse can make her own choice!)

Sociologists regard older parents as generally more mature, more financially stable, and more patient. Unfortunately older parent wannabes also tend to be less fertile, beginning as young as the early 30s. We know several couples who played the fertility game for years-- some successfully (twins) and others giving up. I think many bright career people, especially women, are deluded by the workplace & fertility technology into thinking that it'll be no problem having kids in the 30s. A significant minority of them have their dreams shattered.

So I'd wait until after 25, but then I'd have a plan-- or at least a clue! And after 30 I'd be very patient.

Hey, BMJ, you don't have to find a SO for this project. You can always buy them on the street. Go ahead-- make me an offer-- how much do I have to pay you to take my kid? Please!!
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 06-09-2004, 11:33 AM   #14
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

(OK, actually I was thinking "Woohoo!! UNLIMITED SEX!!!")

That's what I thought too. But the pressure to perform when the stars are aligned for fertility can take some of the fun out of it. If you have to do anything, it almost *just almost* can become work

William Sears' "Your Fussy Baby and High-Need Child

Yes, a wonderful book. Now she's 8 - and no less fesity. And her equestrian habit is a significant barrier to my early retirement plans! I'm going to have to work to feed two kids, and a horse!

We had both of ours before 30, so in theory, they will be out of the house about the time we turn 50. I've got EA on target right now for 55, although I'm joining another start up so if all goes well I may get a stock option acellerator to the plan in a few years. But I know better than to count on it.
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 06-09-2004, 01:06 PM   #15
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

A lot of terrific help, humor and support. Thank you.

Thanks especially to Chris for the numbers, and Nords for the laughs. I was thinking that diapers might cost tens of thousands of dollars for all I know...

We're both going to be 43 in august. She's 3 days older than me. Yes, cradle robber jokes are common. Pretty late for this sort of thing, but its kind of "now or never" I suppose. I've been thinking lately that if I never had kids I'd probably regret it. I guess this is what I get for having those kind of thoughts.

She's wanted kids, and her sister and brother have a substantial brood which certainly creates more thoughts around the hollidays. Probably one is all we'll be able to muster though.

The sleep thing is going to be big. I'm a huge insomniac. She works 10-12 hour shifts at the hospital in the emergency room; basically when you come into the hospital, she's the first person you meet. If you're breathing, she makes sure that keeps happening, if you arent, she gets you started. She LOVES the job and the night shift: no bosses, just a handful of co-workers, and all the patients are asleep, and she gets supervisors pay for watching a couple of people who have been doing the job for a long time and need no supervision.

However, I'll be here alone with the baby and a pile of dogs and cats, from either 10pm-8am or 6pm-6am and then i'll have to keep all of them from waking her up for 6-8 hours after that.

Its challenging enough just to keep the dogs from bugging her.

Compound this with the fact that I was the child from hell. Never slept, threw food, got into everything, regular trips to the emergency room, etc.

So I know what I have to look forward to with regards to a little "th". A little "th-ette" would be worse...I'll end up going to jail for murder 2 the first time she brings a boyfriend home and he puts a hand on her. I suspect he wont even know what hit him. (credits to anne for the "th/th-ette").

Oh crap, and I have to come up with names. My family is big on carrying forward grandfather/great grandfather names. I'm named for my great grandfathers on my dads side. My choices would be "clayton", "francis", "salvator" and "edmund".

May be time to break with tradition...

Oops, gotta go...she's awake...a cry of "Do we have any eggs?" just came out of the bedroom...I supressed the urge to reply "apparently so...".

Off to make breakfast...
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 06-09-2004, 01:23 PM   #16
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

TH,

Congrats! One of the nice things about having
a child when you are "older" is that it helps keep
you young (if it does not kill you first). I had my
first at 32. Sometimes it seems a little strange
attending PTA and realizing you are the oldest
person in the room (by far). It is harder to keep
up with the younger dads at soccer practice when
you scrimmage with the kids. It will definitely change
your life, but you will love it and never regret it.

Cheers,

Charlie
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 06-10-2004, 07:29 PM   #17
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

A good book on the science of child brain development is What's Going on in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life. Among other things, it'll reveal to you the evolutionary advantages of "morning sickness."
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 09-07-2004, 01:38 PM   #18
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

Just a quick update. We got our first ultrasound a few days ago, and I was shocked to discover that Wendy is housing one of the Alien monsters!

Just kidding. Everythings good and healthy and all the parts are there. I just wish they'd render the ultrasound in a color other than red...

It appears we're having a boy, although they couldnt tell for sure. Little guy was hiding his gear by holding the umbilical cord between his legs. My first reaction was "My god! He's hung like a bear!". From the ultrasound techs "hu hu hu" I believe she's heard that one before.

He also didnt stay still for more than 2 seconds, so he's taken at least a little of my DNA.

We're on track for a january delivery. I've already advised wendy that if she delivers on a sunday or a monday night, that i'll have to have a video feed brought in from the hospital and put it into picture-in-picture on the tv along with the football game. However I refused to disclose which one would be the little picture and which one would be the big picture.

Her response was a very reasonable "You can bring a little tv with you if that happens, but I better not catch you looking at it..."
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 09-07-2004, 02:02 PM   #19
 
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

Quote:
He's hung like a bear!". From the ultrasound techs "hu hu hu" I believe she's heard that one before.
Probably Hung like a Hamster as we used to say!
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!
Old 09-07-2004, 06:45 PM   #20
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Re: AAAAaaahhhh!

Good thing you're not planning a January birth in New England. You don't get major blizzards in Yuba City, right?

OTOH, pregnancy in the heat is a bear. Wendy is past the morning sickness, I hope?

Glad to hear all was well on the ultrasound. Waiting around to be told your baby is okay was the absolute worst part of giving birth at an advanced age, for me.

To an easy labor and a happy baby!
[raises glass]

All the best,
Anne
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