Juan Carlos Soriano called the Dec. 31 birth of his daughter Yahayra Kimberly a "New Year's gift." But the present doesn't stop there.
For the fourth year, the Western Nevada Cattlewomen's Association has promised a $50 gift certificate from Butler Meats to the parents of the last baby born of the year.
Rosa Soriano, the baby's mother, was appreciative of the donation.
"That's the first thing the doctor told her is to get lots of protein for breast feeding," said Sylvia de Bravo, Soriano's cousin who came up from California to help with the new baby. "He said to eat lots of red meat."
Yahayra Kimberly was born at 8:10 a.m. -- missing the new year by 14 hours. Although her parents were hoping for the first baby of 2002, they're just as happy with the last one of 2001.
But her 1-year-old sister Shykayna Julissa is a different story.
"No la quer'a (she didn't want her)," Rosa said.
"She was jealous, but now she's coming around," de Bravo explained.
Juan Carlos and Rosa met in Le-n, Mexico, when his brother and her sister were married.
Juan moved to Carson City 18 years ago and the two remained in contact. She came here four years ago, and a year later the two were married.
"We came for a better life to give to our children," Rosa said in Spanish. "Here, there is more opportunity to be educated."
De Bravo, who was born in the United States, agreed.
She explained that in Mexico, free education only lasts until the sixth grade then students are expected to pay for books and classes. High school ends with the 10th grade.
"Many families cannot afford the books," she said. "It's not that they don't want to go to school, they can't. They come here to get out of the rut."
Rosa said she is happy with the life they have built in Carson City and happy with her husband, who works in maintenance at Harvey's Casino at Stateline.
"The two girls are everything to him," she said in Spanish. "He thinks of nothing but his babies and his wife."
Her husband speaks English and she also hopes to learn it. They plan to raise their daughters bilingual.