Category Archives: family

Baby D.

Baby D has not yet been born… yet I’m fairly certain he already owns more clothes than I do.

That said, I don’t think the┬áratio of his “Clothes with dinosaurs on them”/ “Clothes without dinosaurs on them” is as high as mine.

Avocado at 16 weeks? No. 11cm at 14 weeks.

There are a lot of weird things about having a pregnant wife. I’m sure anything I find weird pales in comparison to what Jen is experiencing, but there are two things that absolutely baffle me:

#1. The strange obsession with rating a fetus to the size of a food
A food? I acknowledge that food size is almost universally understood as a convenient unit of measure. But you know what’s also universally recognized and way more precise? The International System of Units. How big is a papaya? What a strangely uncommon fruit choice to use as a measurement comparison. And what about variations in vegetable size? A potato? Potatoes can vary in size considerably. NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT WE EAT FOOD. How big is your unborn child? Oh, about the same size as the apple that you’re chewing on right now. That weirds me out. I’d prefer centimeters and kilograms thankyouverymuch.

#2. 40 weeks isn’t 40 weeks. It’s 38. Stop lying to us OBGYNs across America.
This one bothers me more than it should. According to general practices the age of a fetus is calculated from the end of the menstrual period prior to conception. Typically, conception takes place two weeks into a cycle. That means that at the moment of conception, it (zygote, morula, baby, whatever you want to call it) is ~two weeks old. This is stupid. In a way, one could argue that if you’re a woman within the first two weeks of your cycle you are pregnant. Some websites actually describe the first two weeks as “Pregnant, but not.”

“But wait!” I thought, “Maybe this is just a better safe than sorry method to keep track until the OBGYN can more accurately gauge the age of fetus. It’s gotta be hard to determine exact conception dates, but humanity has developed amazing technologies that do a great job of determining size and progress of an unborn kid! That’s gotta be it. I’m sure it will be updated after the first ultrasound.”


The age in weeks is never corrected. This gross approximation is carried all the way to the delivery room.


Our First Robot.

LUXURY ITEM ALERT! Jen and I just bought a Roomba! DAAAAANG! – (don’t worry, we used a coupon.)

Jen is a stickler for clean floors so we decided to get all crazy like and buy a robot to save some efforts. He docks under a hutch and comes out every other day to clean the place. The cleaning power is notable, but the random-sauce method that he navigates the rooms is bizarre.

We need a name for our robot.

We also need a name for our son who will be born in early May, but priority is on the robot.

The Color Purple

Recently we were FaceTiming with our niece Sylvie. At about 18 months she’s been learning words and the whole family has been encouraging her whenever possible. She wore a purple sweater for our conversation.

Mike D: Sylvie, what color is your sweater?
Sylvie, looking down and touching her sweater with her tiny hand.
Sylvie: Purple!
Mike D: Wow! Good job!

moments later, Alicia returned.

Mike D: Alicia! Sylvie knew her sweater was purple!!
Alicia: Actually, that’s the only color she knows. Sylvie, what color is a lion?
Sylvie: Purple!
Alicia: What color is grass?
Sylvie: Purple!

Oh the joys of childhood when the whole Earth was purple.

An Unexpected Message from My Grandmother

Three and a half years ago, on September 20th, 2010 at age 94 my grandmother passed away.

She contributed to a very specific part of my development providing me piano lessons and treats/baked goods a-plenty for most of my life. I remember Christmas carols at Christmas, making homemade doughnuts with her, and playing with marbles that she kept by the kitchen. My memories of her are all positive: She was clever, witty, and warm.

When Mom & Dad D dropped off a few items at the new home last week, they also passed me an envelope that my family had found in some of my grandmother’s items. It had my name on the front. At first I didn’t recognize it for what it was, Time had colored the envelope, it’s edges worn. I opened it to find a letter my grandmother had signed for me but never sent – a belated birthday card.



It’s nothing our of the ordinary. It doesn’t have any special message or touching story. Just a belated birthday card with a technology joke to me from an older generation. But perhaps it is its commonality that makes it so powerful. It is a matter of fact letter signed and sealed with care by someone who loved me.

For me, opening that letter was a very brief visit to Grandma’s. Complete with a piano lesson and homemade doughnuts.


This past weekend Jen and I took the Parents D to see a play at the Bushnell in Hartford. It was Mom D’s birthday a few weeks back and what’s better than a theatrical production? Nothing! The choice? War Horse – complete with puppets and horses!

Gad zooks that play is dark.

I was completely unprepared for the carnage and emotionally draining plot. Sure, with the word War in the title I was expecting some level of seriousness – but there was death and destruction beyond my greatest expectations!

The production was amazing, use of sound and light were stunning, and of course the Horse puppets were awe inspiring. The puppeteers weren’t really hidden at all, but it eventually got the point where we no longer noticed them. In fact, the first half of the play was a bit slower than I would have liked… but you know… character development and stuff.

Overall, I’d give War Horse 4 stars. And despite the perhaps less than lively juxtaposition with my Mom’s birthday, it was an amazing experience. Unfortunately, the show is no longer available in Hartford – but I’d certainly recommend you go to check it out if it comes to your area.