"You look FABULOUS!"

We went to Costco about 2 weeks ago, and the funniest thing happened.

First, Jane's aunt just bought her about half a dozen super gorgeous dresses! Those, combined with the many pretty dresses both her grandmas have gotten her, are hanging in her closet which doesn't have a door. So she sees them. And she LOVES them.

I got up the other morning and said to Jane, as usual: "It's time to put on your clothes!" I went over to the dresser. She stood up and said, "NO!" This took me back, since she can only barely say no! She marched over to her closet and pointed decidedly at her dresses. "Okay then!" I put her in a fancy party dress, with fancy socks and shoes, and bows and pigtails. She was way overdressed for what we were doing that day, but she was so cute.

As a side note, I've found that it's way easier to deal with grumpy toddlers if they are cute (and my cute I mean well-dressed) grumpy toddlers.

Later that day we were at Costco, sitting like in the photo. Me nursing Dan. Jane on the table shoving her face full of $1.50 hotdog.

A man came up to us. At first we were worried that he was an employee of Costco or something, coming to tell us our baby couldn't sit on the table. But then he said:

"Oh. STOP. She looks FABULOUS! And when a gay man stops to tell you you look fabulous, YOU LOOK FABULOUS!"

Then he walked away, and Danny and I looked at each other and burst out laughing.

Does being deaf make you "handicapped"?

This is an interesting question that Danny and I have discussed several times. He always argues that being deaf is a disability, and I always argue that it isn't. The latest discussion we had about it was really, really fascinating, and I want to share the main points from it.

Danny says that to him, the definition of "disabled" is any physical or mental handicap that keeps a person from functioning in a mainstream way, as well as something that will be changed when a person's body is resurrected.

I say that labeling a person as "disabled" just because they are different is not useful because it makes the world see them as people who can't, when the truth is that many so-called disabled people have abilities that the mainstream people lack. I also say that we don't know enough about resurrected bodies for that to be the standard by which we should judge our mortal bodies.

Danny says we do know some key things about resurrected beings: when Christ was resurrected, he could eat, he could talk, he could touch, and he could hear, among other things. He pointed out numerous references in the scriptures. He says that since we are made in God's image, our resurrected beings will be like God's, with the ability to hear.

I say that in my ASL 101 and 102 classes at BYU, the professor said that deaf people do not believe that being deaf is a disability or handicap. They find that label insulting because they can do anything that a hearing person can do, except hear.

Danny says that hearing is a big deal, and just because they accept deafness in their community does not mean that it is not a handicap in the mainstream. For example, to communicate with most people, a deaf person will have to resort to irregular, difficult methods because most people can't sign.

I say that I guess whether or not someone is disabled or handicapped has a lot to do with the community in which they live. We then started discussing blind people. I guess I hadn't realized it before, but I definitely believe that blind people are "disabled". Danny wondered how that differs from deaf people. I'm not so sure that it does, except that there aren't large communities of blind people the way there are of deaf people.

When a deaf child is born to deaf parents, everybody celebrates. This is a pretty rare occurrence. Even though cochlear implants can usually "cure" deafness, people in the deaf community voluntarily choose not to have them put in. I'm not sure about all of the nuances of why this is, or how they view them; I just know that deafness in the deaf community is celebrated, and outside it is labeled a misfortune.

Probably the reason I have a problem labeling deaf people as "handicapped" is because that label implies lost opportunities, inabilities, and yes, misfortune. But the only thing they can't do in life that other people can is hear. And while I understand that not hearing means no music, difficulty communicating with the non-deaf, and constant adjustments while in the hearing world, it does NOT mean that these people should wallow in misery and live hollow, boring lives focused on some label affixed to them by society. My point is: deaf people have just as much of an ability to lead happy, fulfilled lives and be in happy, fulfilling relationships as non deaf people, so what is the point in calling them "handicapped"?

In fact, what really is the point of calling anyone "handicapped"? Doesn't everybody have something wrong with their body or mind that will not be present when we are resurrected? Doesn't everybody have something wrong with their body or mind that separates them from the "mainstream"? Who among us is wholly "mainstream"?

I can see how giving certain people handicapped stickers in their cars is a good thing. I think our society has come a long way; now businesses and schools are required to have ramps for wheelchairs nearly everywhere. That's not even something I used to think about before I had kids to push in a stroller.

Speaking of strollers, I once pushed my kids in their stroller past a man in a wheelchair being pushed by a younger person. I couldn't help but think, "You know, I used to think of people in wheelchairs as being "handicapped", but there's no way I would label my babies that way. Yet they need the same kind of help because neither of them can walk perfectly well yet/anymore."

I guess it's somewhat hypocritical that I consider blind people "handicapped," but not deaf people. I think in the end, both Danny and I agreed that the truth is that everybody is "handicapped" to some extent, but the label carries such a bad stigma that it should be avoided when possible.

Side note: in the book I just read about kids with disabilities, a deaf girl was born to hearing parents, and the parents gave her cochlear implants. Clearly, to them, she had a disability. I'm pretty sure if we have a child born deaf, we will do the same thing. But I can see why a deaf person might not.


"The Elephant in the Playroom" by Denise Brodey

The rest of the title didn't fit up there so here it is:

"The Elephant in the Playroom: Ordinary Parents Write Intimately and Honestly About the Extraordinary Highs and Heartbreaking Lows of Raising Kids with Special Needs."

I asked my friend Jessica, who is an Early Childhood Education major specializing in Special Education, about if she would prefer to have a child with special needs. I mean, obviously everybody wants perfect children, who are always perfectly healthy, but does part of her want to use her unique talents for relating to and teaching kids with special needs? I don't remember exactly what she said. I'm interested in knowing what others think of this.

This book is written in brief essay form by the parents of kids with a very wide variety of special needs, from ADD to severe autism. Reading the parents' points of views, I started to address the question: "How would I deal with raising a child with special needs?"

My aunt once turned to my mom when she was pregnant with my brother and asked her, "So, what are you going to do if he's born retarded?" My grandma stepped in and said, "Then we're going to take that child, and love that child, and make that child our own." My mom was extremely grateful for this comment, because she herself had never thought much about it. But besides a strong knowledge that I will love all my children regardless of their abilities, I haven't thought much about the mechanics of raising a child with problems.

Like, for example, one major theme that this book addresses is how the parents figured out that their child was different. The pattern for many families seems to be that they have their first child who is a terror, or behaves strangely, or whose milestones are wayyyy off, and they don't even realize anything is wrong until child number two comes along, and they have something to compare with. I think many parents end up in a trap of feeling like they are somehow responsible for their child's disability. It's so weird that this is how our culture is; I mean, it's a bit odd when parents feel guilty about physical disabilities their children have, so why should mental illness be any different?

I never had considered that babies don't come out of the womb with a label on their head saying, "I have autism," or, "I have sensory learning disabilities." I suppose my own babies could have these things. We will have to wait and find out, I guess. (I'm mostly positive neither of them has an extreme case of a mental illness or learning disability because they are either at or above average with all their growth milestones).

Many children in the book had mild cases of asperger's syndrome. Some had ADD. I found them all fascinating to read about. All of the parents had a difficult time.

There was one particular parent with whom I totally disagreed. Her son had a mild form of autism, if I remember right. She was upset when the teacher at the school couldn't get him a one-on-one aid, or pay enough attention to him, or something. I think he was in a classroom of 5 or 6. She was explaining her frustrations to her friend (who was a teacher), and the friend said, "Well, the teacher has to think about the other kids in the class, too; she can't just focus entirely on your son." The mom of the autistic kid got so offended by this comment she almost completely cut off her friendship with the teacher lady. Seriously? I mean maybe I'm just sympathetic because I have had autistic students in my classroom before. She shouldn't have gotten offended; it's the truth! It's certainly too bad that it's that way, and obviously we're missing the tone of the conversation, but if the teacher friend was just making an observation about how the teacher had to pay attention to the other students, I think, "Well, duh!"

There were several other times in the book where I seriously wondered if I would have handled the situation the same way. Truth is, I'm not sure.

One thing I am sure about: parents of kids with special needs have a much harder time of parenting, and my heart goes out to them. It seems like it is a difficult, but extremely rich and rewarding experience. One that I'm not sure I want to have first hand!

"Plain and Simple: A Woman's Journey to the Amish" by Sue Bender

I finished this book a few weeks ago. I read it during Dan's night nursings. Maybe that influenced my opinion of it? All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed all the parts that weren't whiny self-analysis, so like 20% of the book?

I guess it didn't help that it was hard to respect a woman who would leave her husband and kid for weeks and weeks at a time on some strange unexplainable quest to live with Amish people. Even if she gained invaluable understanding about herself, even if the way it influenced her art was immeasurably good, for me at my current stage of life it is SO impossible to relate to even coming close to wanting to be apart from my family for that long. And then, there's the gaping hole in the story where she never, ever discusses that. I mean, she mentions her husband a grand total of once during the whole story? I'm sorry, if the book was supposed to be about your wonderful eye-opening experience, wasn't that part of the experience? And a significant part? Maybe not for her, but it would have been for me, I think.

I knew next to nothing about Amish customs and culture before reading this book. And honestly, although I learned some interesting things about them that parallel Mormonism, I was highly disappointed in the lack of basic information about them. I guess that's not what the book was intended to be, but I would have found it more fascinating than the inner thoughts of an artist living among them.

It's a non-fiction memoir type book, written by a clinical psychologist, so it's not like there really was much "plot" to expect, but here's the basic gist: woman feels drawn to the Amish, drops everything and goes to live with some for a while, experiences multiple epiphanies about life, comes home, repeat.

Maybe I just felt like she was whining when really she wasn't, because most of her "whininess" revolved around things that I must do every day in order for our house to function; things like the dishes and the laundry. I'm pretty sick of women complaining about things like that. Especially because recently I timed unloading the dishes, and it takes less than five minutes people! Quit complaining, it's annoying.

I also found her repetition annoying. I felt like in every chapter she came to some kind of life-altering epiphany about how to relax and enjoy the boring parts of life. But frequent epiphanies lose my interest quickly because they are mundane and hard to believe.

I think this *may* be an interesting book for our Relief Society book club. The other women might have insight on Bender's thoughts that could help me appreciate it better. All in all, this seems like a book which is better when read as a group (and not necessarily all of it!) and then discussed than read by one's self quickly.

Although, my opinion of Bender and her epiphanies increased significantly when, at the end, in the epilogue, she says that her experience with the Amish changed her but didn't make her want to be Amish. It was nice to know that for all of her epiphanies, she is still human and not able to completely change, even if she had a major, life-altering experience.

Mostly, the book left me with an extreme curiosity about Amish Quilts. I wish she had included better photos than the one on the front cover! I'd like to learn more about their quilts, as well as their dolls. Actually, I'd like to learn more about the Amish in general!


Juan Williams deserved to be fired

He used to be an NPR news analyst, but he was fired yesterday after a nasty comment he made on Fox.

This was the comment he made on the O'Reilly factor: "Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

You can't say something like that, Mr. Williams, and expect not to be fired. And to claim it is not bigoted is just ignorant!

Sure, he's allowed to have an opinion. But he is supposed to be a news analyst. I totally agree with Vivian Schiller, NPR CEO, with the idea that as a news analyst you aren't supposed to comment on the news you report.

I don't think it's at ALL a story about censorship, either. He violated NPR's code of ethics. NPR has the right to fire somebody who makes bigoted comments in a news medium. He is still Juan Williams; wherever he speaks he becomes a spokesperson for NPR.

I'm fairly certain this whole thing was prechoreographed, since he is now working for Fox under a $2 million contract.

As for NPR, obviously no news organization is going to be completely objective. Danny and I just plain disagree with how we prefer the news to deal with this: he likes Fox because it doesn't pretend to be objective. NPR annoys him because they pretend to be objective, and it comes across as pretentious and "smooth 'n smarmy." I hate listening to Fox and don't even view it as a legitimate source for news because it is so blatantly tainted with opinions and people shouting "I'm right, you're wrong, I'm right, you're wrong, I'm right..." And this is on their "news" shows, not their opinion shows!! Plus Fox "news" doesn't ever pick stories that are relevant to my life. If I wanted to hear about how so-and-so chopped up his mom into little pieces, or murdered their children in a bathtub, or whatever, I'd listen to it. But frankly, those kinds of stories have no relevance to my life and do nothing but make me wallow in misery about the state of humanity. NPR picks interesting stories. Sure, they are biased, and usually the bias is in varying degrees of left-wing liberalism, but the analysts themselves don't comment on the story. I appreciate that. Fox is great for entertainment, but when I actually want to listen to news that doesn't make my head hurt, or stress me out, I will always pick NPR hands down. I think Fox's goal is to inflame people while NPR's is to inform.

And I don't always agree with NPR's news coverage. I can see that it is biased. I just appreciate that the news analysts themselves, the anchors, the interviewers - whatever - THEY aren't the ones blatantly expressing the opinions. Sure, the questions they ask show their politics, but in my opinion asking questions is totally different from slamming YOU ARE A STUPID LIBERAL WHO IS WRONG WRONG WRONG down one's ears.

I guess the issue is should NPR receive federal funding if they aren't going to allow their news analysts "free speech." Pff. They only get like 2% of their funding from taxpayers, some of whom are Muslims! It's not acceptable for news analysts to say bigoted things and receive public money while doing it. The government is not supposed to have an opinion on what religions are okay and which ones aren't.



My brother (unbeknownst to him) convinced me to commit my soul to NaNoWriMo next month.

National Novel Writing Month is November, and nanowrimo is basically an online network of people who decide to write a 50,000k word novel in one month. That is pretty short for a novel, but pretty long for a one month ordeal.

How this is going to happen with 2 under 2 I have not yet figured out. What I am going to write about I have not yet figured out. I'm not allowed to start actually writing now, but I CAN use an outline, so I think I'll start working on that.

I've always wanted to write a novel. My brother is doing nanowrimo. Granted, he's like, a serious writer. I just blog. Until this November, I guess!

What have I committed myself to doing??? I wonder if this is even possible. The past few days Dan has nursed nonstop so I've been blogging a ton. But usually it's hard to get an hour of uninterrupted time for myself. And Joe says it takes him about 2 hours to get 1.5-2k words, which is what I will have to average in order to accomplish this crazy goal.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah okay. This is going to be fun!

"Invasive Procedures" by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

Okay so I have about 10 books I haven't written a review for yet. But I just finished this one, so I am going to review it now.

All in all, it was okay. An entertaining read. Predictable. Slightly boring. He could have taken things to a much more exciting level. But then he didn't. For Orson Scott Card, it was disappointing. Of course, you can't really hold everything up to "Ender's Game" or you'd never appreciate any of his other work. Although, you'd think the editors would have caught the three glaring typos I found. It's a HUGE pet peeve of mine when I find typos in a book. I know there are typos on my blog, so who am I to judge...I guess it's just...sloppy...and if you're making a living at it, instead of a hobby-while-the-baby-is-nursing thing like my blog is to me, well, I think you should be able to avoid 99.9999999% of typos. One is forgiveable. Two is a bad editor. Three? Unacceptable.

Maybe I found this book boring because my husband and I talk a lot about DNA. Maybe if I weren't married to somebody working on the Thousand Genome Project, this stuff would have been more interesting. The whole time I was reading the book, I kept hearing Danny's laughter, "ha. Yeah....right." Basically, it's a crazed-scientist-wants-to-take-over-the-world plot, but involving some facts about DNA mixed with a lot of fiction. And homeless people and a scary, weird religion. And an "obedience drug" which is never explained or elaborated on. And a Mary Sue main character.

I guess what really sums up how I feel about this book is how I read it: I got it out of the library a few months ago, read the first three chapters, renewed it the maximum amount of times but then had to return it. It wasn't in the library the next time I went, or the next, or the next...I always checked. My library lets you request books and they will hold them for you. I didn't get around to doing that. But I always checked. I wanted to finish the story, just not THAT badly. And when it finally was there, I got it out and read the book in a few days.

I think it would make a good, entertaining movie. Kind of the equivalent of "Cellular". That was a fun, successful thriller that was never a huge blockbuster success. It isn't the next "Inception". The book reads like a movie.

Danny will enjoy it, I think.

Making Baby Murray

We just had a baby, and it was expensive.

But if you compare our bills to my sister in law Mary Lynn and her husband Dane's, it's completely dwarfed. That is because in order to even have the possibility of conceiving a child, they have to undergo extensive and invasive infertility treatments.

I think this situation is massively unfair. Mary Lynn and Dane are great people. They would make amazing parents. I don't get how some people who don't want to be parents end up having children, while others who truly deserve them can't.

But what is really frustrating is that on top of the physical difficulties of conceiving, there is a whole other set of financial difficulties for them to manage. And keep in mind, this is before they will know if it will even work out!

I think most of you reading my blog don't have the foggiest clue who these people are. Let me try to describe them:

They are both faithful, temple-going LDS people. They met in High School where they dated for a while. Dane converted to the church while he was at the University of Denver. I don't know all of the details of how they figured out that they wanted to get married, but somehow they did, and were married in 2004 in the Denver Temple. Mary Lynn decided while at BYU that she wanted to become a hair stylist, so she went through all of that training and now owns and manages a successful salon in the Denver area. Dane got his degree in Microbiology and now works in the Denver area as well.

When I was dating Danny, and was soooo nervous about his family accepting me, Mary Lynn always helped me to feel at ease and comfortable. She would always smile and laugh at my attempts at jokes. She has done my hair many times, including for my wedding, after I had stupidly cut it chin-length just a few months earlier! She made me look and feel gorgeous. She is one of the most beautiful people I know, probably because she's always got a smile on her face. She is cheerful in the face of enormous challenges. I admire that so much.

Dane is an adventurous, fun-loving person who has always treated me like a little sister. He's relaxed, funny, and very smart. We have a Massachusetts connection, since his family is from Boston. He loves doing adventurous outdoor things like mountain biking and skiing.

These two would make great parents. They are devoted to each other, as well as to their faith. The children they raise will be very lucky. They have been hoping to have children for years, without success so far. Their only chance to have their own genetic offspring is via expensive reproductive technologies.

I've been wishing for a long time that there were something we could do besides pray for them. Now there is. My other sister in law started a facebook campaign to help raise funds. The goal is to raise $2,000 - and YOU can help! It's not much, but every little bit will help. If every person who reads my blog each month were to contribute just $5, that would be $2,000 to help them achieve their dream. I wish that I were richer and could give them the tens of thousands of dollars it is going to take to pay for their baby. This small campaign is not much, but it is something, and together we can really make a difference in their lives.


I wish that nobody would have to go through infertility. I hope that by raising some funds for them, we can help ease their burden a little.

Why I wish the Brothers Chaps would have spoken at my College Graduation

If I were in charge of lining up speakers for a College graduation, my first choice would be Mike and Matt Chapman aka "the Brothers Chaps."

I don't actually know that much more than what the Homestar Runner Wiki says about them. I wish I did. If they had a published biography, I would buy it.

Why? And who are they?

These are the creators of Homestar Runner, an online web comic. It is hilarious. It is clean. It is also something that Danny and I have watched for hours and hours and hours together, since before we were married. Most nights when we are procrastinating going to sleep, one of us will type "h" in the link bar in the browser (what is that thing called?). Homestar Runner is the first site that pops up. Always.


It was just starting to fade in popularity a little when I was in college. That is where I learned about it, when a TA for my Computer Programming 101 class let us watch a clip. I didn't think it was that funny at the time, to be honest. In order to appreciate the humor, you have to really watch many, many episodes.

Literally, Homestar Runner has become a giant inside joke that I share with Danny. Sometimes I will quote it without remembering it is from Homestar Runner, and not something that actaully happened to us.

Back to the Bros Chaps: here is why they are ingenious.

They started the homestarrunner.com website as a hobby, never thinking it would take off like it has. They wanted to share with a few family/friends. It became a smashing, worldwide success. It is a highly trafficked site. And what became of them? They are almost definitely millionaires because of it. How? Their fanstore. Yup, they became millionaires by selling college kids and teenagers trogdor t-shirts.

Figure it this way: If they sold 5 million t-shirts per year, and made a $1 profit on each of those t-shirts, and they put the 5 million in a mutual fund that gives at least 5% interest, that would be $250,000/year. From the interest. Without ever going to work. And that is a mighty conservative estimate since they sell way more than t-shirts in the store, and probably more than 5 million/year. For the record, Danny and I both have at least one Homestar Runner t-shirt each, and Jane has the "Poopsmith" onesie.

So they are rich, and famous, but not really THAT famous. Danny thinks they have attained the perfect level of fame: they have fans, but their own faces aren't that recognizable (they are sometimes featured on the site, but it is rare). Lots of people don't even know what Homestar Runner is. If they were the creators of "the Simpsons" then everybody would know who they are and what they have done. But the Brothers Chaps have become famous without becoming too famous, leaving them true freedom to enjoy their lives uninhibited by screaming, devoted, papparazzi-ish masses.

And they love what they do! "If you came over here and hung out with me and Mike while we're "working" for a couple days you'd just be like, "What are...what do you guys do?", "How do you...you're making money at this?", "What are you doing?" ...So, it's...pretty awesome." said Matt in 2003. They haven't updated their site for a long, long, long time. We know because we check nearly daily.

Rich, famous, and lovin' the job which they do when they want, and they neglect when they want. I'm not sure exactly how old they are, but I'm guessing early to mid thirties at oldest. They are both married and one of them has a kid.

So, they are my and Danny's exact definition of "success." They are also hilarious. Please, please, please, next time I graduate college, can you be the speaker? Then I would probably pay attention!


Swimming Pools and Young Children: Are they a good or bad thing?

At a playgroup a few weeks ago, the topic of swimming pools came up. Fairly early in the conversation it was established that it is better not to own a swimming pool if you have young children in the house.

What I heard was interesting. Here were the main arguments against owning a swimming pool when you have kids around:
1. They will always find a way to get in
. Lock the door, they'll unlock it. Cover the pool, they will uncover it. Fence it, they will jump the fence. No matter what you do, you can never completely eradicate the hazard of drowning, unless of course, it's never there to begin with.
2. Any and all children always have a high risk of drowning. You can't teach a child to swim well enough to completely eliminate the hazard of them drowning, so why bother?
3. All children break the rules sometimes. Establishing pool rules is not enough to keep children in check all the time.
4. It's a lot of expensive maintenance, potentially involving dangerous chemicals. If you clean the pool yourself, you have to store the chemicals somewhere. Those chemicals are poisonous to curious children, and did I mention they aren't cheap? You can pay extra to have someone else come do it for you. But it will add up quickly.
5. Kids can learn to swim at the local public pool/rec center just as well as they can learn to swim at home. At this point in the conversation, everybody started comparing the pros and cons of the local swim classes and teams.

They made some great points. To be fair, none of them currently owns a pool, and it also seemed none of them had grown up with a pool. So, they are making their judgments with the best information they have, and surely they know better than anyone what is best for their own families.

However, I disagree with the blanket assumption that it is always better not to have a swimming pool when you have young children at home.
1. A good barricade CAN keep out very young children. Jane is a young child. She can't get in the pool when the fence is up. My personal opinion is that by the time she is big enough and smart enough to drag a chair over to open the gate, or jump the fence, she had better know how to swim! My point is, sure, your preschoolers and older aged children will always find creative ways to get in, but the infants and toddlers really can't.
2. Pool owners are better able to teach children about water safety. Fear of the water is a huge cause of drowning. Sometimes children drown in the shallow end because they are afraid of the water, when they have the ability to stand up! Spooking children into believing that a pool is a terrifying, dangerous place increases the likelihood of drowning.
3. Children who can swim well have a low risk of drowning in a pool. Obviously, all young children should always have adult supervision when swimming. But if they happen to break the rules, if they can swim, their risk of drowning is very low. However, their risk of getting the maximum severity in punishment suddenly becomes very high.
4. Children learn to swim MUCH younger when they have a pool at home. Sure, you can eliminate a pool in your own backyard. But what about your neighbor's? If a child goes in the pool every fair weather day of the year since before they turn one, they won't need expensive, troublesome swim lessons when they are three, four, five, sometimes six...Teaching your child to swim when they are little is accident prevention. If you have a pool, your child can easily learn to swim by the age of two, and by three they can swim the length of the pool and back without trouble. We are talking sans floaties. You could throw my sister in law Ella in the pool at the age of two, and she could swim to the side no problem, if she didn't panic. Which she usually didn't because she was accustomed to swimming.
5. You must store all your chemicals/hazardous substances safely regardless of whether or not you are a pool owner. Do you allow your young children free access to the paint, thinner, gas can, fertilizer, etc.? No, you store these safely in the garage. Chlorine is bleach (in a more solid, stable form!), which you know you've got a bottle of somewhere inside the house, where the child has freer access.
*6. Yes, having a pool costs money. Only you can decide if this huge investment is worth it for your family. We believe the learning, fun, and family bonding that can happen in a pool outweighs the cons. Later, when kids are older, having a pool means having your kids and their friends hang out at your house instead of somewhere else. Personally, I see this as a major benefit to pool ownership. But that is for another blog post.

To conclude: I think this goes back to that principle in "Finding Nemo", which is, "If you never let anything happen to him, then nothing will ever happen to him." I think the truth is that there is a wide spectrum of risk tolerance out there for parents. Having a pool with children around requires extreme caution and preparation. But I disagree that it is never a good idea.


Differences between Jane and Dan

Dan's spit ups are usually not digested milk. I guess he just gets a lot during his feedings, or something. I did some research and it isn't a health problem, it's a laundry problem (since he's gaining weight and happy). But it sure is annoying, and I think he goes through about 4 outfits per day. Jane only ever went through like, 2 max per day!

Dan has almost outgrown SIZE ONE diapers. What!? Granted, Jane was in the Costco size 1-2 forever, so maybe they are bigger. But we got a bunch of size one Huggies and Pampers at his baby showers (yes, two, awesome huh?) and now he is almost too big for them! And he's only a month and a half?

Yesterday he weighed 11 lbs 3 oz. Am I just not remembering Jane at this age? It seems like she grew much, much slower than he is. But maybe I'm having selective memory.

Jane never smiled until 3 months. Dan is a smiley baby.

Jane slept 12 hours after about 2 weeks. Dan's workin' up to it. A few nights ago he slept 7 hours straight! But mostly he just averages one stretch of 3-4 and another of 5-6. This is okay by me; I can function this way. I don't know how people who have babies who only sleep 2 hours at a time get enough rest to even think, let alone do things like clean the house or cook dinner.

When Dan cries and he's hungry, it's a very distinct cry. Jane's...I couldn't really tell. When Dan cries and he's bored, it's also very distinct (and very funny, because it's just so pathetic! "wah. [pause] wah." and then he gives up.

There are some obvious differences, like the fact that he's a boy and she's a girl...but that seemed too obvious!


Unconnected Hysterically Funny Things

Kate: "Hey, here's the frame I got for your diploma. Do you want me to put it in there, so you can take it and put it up at work?"
Danny: "Well, that would be laughable!"
Kate: "Why?"
Danny: "Because! I'm the only one at work that doesn't have a pHD! It would be like displaying my kindergarten graduation certificate."

Pandora: "And someday we might, produce our own satellite! Let's go swingin' on the moon!"

Kate: "It's not Istanbul, it's Constantinople, not Istanbul, Constantinople where it sits...puttin' on the Ritz!"

Danny: "Pushin' out the..."

Kate: "Peas, Peas, the wonderful veg-GEES, the more you eat, the more you sneeze!"
Danny: "Peas and Veggies don't even rhyme."
Kate: "They aren't Veggies, they're Veg-GEES!"

[After watching 'A Couple of Song and Dance Men' on YouTube]
Danny: "Isn't that like, the EXACT same plot as 'Holiday Inn'? Wait, who are the guys in 'Holiday Inn'?
Kate: "Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire!"
Danny: "What!? The same two guys!? Don't they get tired of acting the same character? The producers must have been like 'Nonono, THIS time, it's NOT at a Hotel!"