Sunday, June 20, 2004

Freshly prepared organic baby foods 

Check these out! They say they can be ordered online and sent anywhere in the country.
Homemade Baby
Bohemian Baby
Little Potatoes
Loving Spoonfuls (Mill Valley, CA)

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Good quote 

"In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."
- Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Here's me 

...right before Rich and I go out on our first date alone after baby to celebrate Rich's birthday. Isabella slept the entire time! Her Grandma who babysat was amazed.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Estate planning 

Now that Isabella is in our lives, we are setting up a living trust. My sister Anna who is a lawyer is helping us with this. She says they typically cost about $1,500 to set up, and is recommended to avoid probate which supposedly the probate lawyer gets 4% of your assets - ouch!

Here are some notes from setting up a living trust with a lawyer:

A living trust is a revocable trust that is commonly used (especially in CA where probate is particularly annoying or expensive) in conjunction with a will to make it easier for one's heirs to receive their inheritance. Basically, you transfer assets to the trust and the trust has beneficiary clauses that say who gets the assets if you die. These assets don't have to go through probate (which is expensive), and the distribution and value of the assets is not a matter of public record as a will is when it is executed. In general, people should still have a will since they will always have some assets that have not been moved into the trust. You can pull the assets back out of the trust or dissolve the trust at any time.

It's pretty standard for estate attorneys to charge a flat fee for a package that includes a living trust, will, and health/medical stuff (advanced healthcare directive, or health care power of attorney and living will, the latter not to be confused with living trust). Many financial planners and others have advised doing all of these even for simple situations with no particular reason to delay.

Steps you have to take to start a living trust:

First make a list of all your assets. For the list of assets, you could just write a description, i.e., Wells Fargo checking account, Schwab brokerage account, furniture, etc. for now.

Second, think of who you want as Trustee of your living trust. The trustee will be the person handling the assets in case something were to happen to the two of you. You can also name an alternate trustee or co-trustee (two trustees). When you set up the trust, you and your spouse will be the original trustees. You will be in charge and control of your own assets. Only if something were to happen to the two of you is when the successor trustee steps in. The successor trustee can be anyone close to you that you think has a good head on their shoulders and you feel is trustworthy. It would help if they have some experience with living trusts, cuz otherwise they would probably have to hire an attorney to assist them. The trustee will be the person who will in charge of handling and transferring your assets to who you designate to be your beneficiaries. You don't have to have an attorney as trustee, it can be anyone you think is reliable and trustworthy and intelligent that is good at taking care of details and getting the job done. It also helps if they've been a trustee before, or is an attorney who has done it before, but it doesn't have to be, since they could always consult with or hire an attorney if they need help.

Third, you also want to name a custodian for your children, and preferably an alternate custodian. Then decide who your beneficiaries are and how you want your assets distributed. For custodian, it's probably better to name a family member. The
custodian will be the person who will be the guardian of your child (taking care of
your child).

Your beneficiaries are the recipients of your assets.

You would want to set up a trust for your children in case something were to happen to you when your children are still minors. You and your lawyer could also set it up so that someone would handle the children's financial affairs until they reach a certain age, i.e., 25, 30, whatever you feel is appropriate.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Colds while nursing 

How annoying! I haven't been sleeping very well, so my immune system is definitely down. I've caught a bad cold in... June??!

Colds are viral so there are no antibiotics to get rid of the germs. You can only let the virus work its way through your system. You can quicken this by drinking lots of liquids and resting as much as you can. All colds go through the same cycle which takes about 7-14 days to recover: sore throat - tiredness - nasal decongestion - coughing.

Here's what the doctor said can be taken while breastfeeding:

Weaker solution:
- Sudafed 600 mg - nasal deconfestant; pharmacist suggested trying 300 mg first before moving up to 300 mg because sometimes people get stimulated with 600 mg
- Afrin nasal spray
- need to drink TONS of liquids

Stronger solution:
- Mucinex - expectorant; basically is an extra strong Robitussin
- Aleve Cold & Sinus - pharmacist said was unnecessary to get all this

Gargle with salt water (1 tsp per 8 oz glass)
Throw away toothbrush upon recovering
Drink tons of liquids (soup, hot water + honey, juices; Mom's favorite is potato soup with minced pork)
Turn on humidifier / enjoy the steam from the shower

OK to use also:
throat lozenges
throat sprays