Sunday, March 25, 2012


Two days ago, on March 24th, Uncle Richard turned 70.  Unca, as he has come to be known by all of his nieces and nephews, is Mum's oldest brother.

Uncle Richard, Nettie, Teena, Mum and their parents, Ed and Grace (who we called Pum and Grandma) on Christmas 2000

Mum and Dad were in Australia with all of Mum's side of the family to celebrate Uncle Richard's 70th birthday.  While we couldn't be there, we were able to pass along our best wishes via Skype and Jim and I raised glasses of champagne in Unca's honor at dinner.  I haven't seen Uncle Richard for close to 12 years, when the above picture was taken, while we were in Australia for Christmas my sophomore year of college.  Chatting with him briefly on Skype the other day revealed my uncle just like I remember him.

Growing up, Unca would always always threaten to eat my teddy bear.  You can see my teddy bear and me below, while he was new and still had all his hair.  He's currently a very old, hairless teddy bear.

My teddy bear was as special to me as Lilly's one is to her, so Unca's threats caused many squeals--part laughter, part fear--whenever I was with him.  I would hide my teddy before he came over and he would send me pictures of teddy bears between two slices of bread, much to my horror.  It was a relationship very similar to the one that Dad has with Lilly and her one.  Even as we were talking on Skype a couple of days ago, a teddy bear "magically" appeared in the corner of the screen, followed closely by a grinning Uncle Richard.  

I wanted to send Unca something small and meaningful for his birthday, so this is what I came up with.  

Twenty years later, the name "Uncle Richard" still brings fear into the hearts of teddy bears everywhere.  Even 15,000 miles away, in Connecticut.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I can't believe it's taken me this long to start utilizing Instagram on my phone.  I love my iPhone.  Over the past three and a half years, I've downloaded hundreds of apps and deleted just as many.  I've learned there are more useless apps than ones that actually serve a purpose.  Between Joseph, Edward and Jim, I think I've seen them all.  An app that make obnoxious vuvuzela noises; one that allow you to virtually toss pieces of paper into a trash can; one that has an infinite number of "yo mama" jokes; an app that lets me turn Joseph into Bob Marley or a chicken or his favorite person, Justin Bieber; there's even an app that makes fake office noises (paper crumpling, keyboard tapping, mouse clicking), so that you can nap in your cubical at work without the people around you knowing.  Just google "useless iPhone apps" and the list is endless.  Amidst, all those ridiculous apps, I've discovered ones that I love.  Most have to do with music or photos...and most recently, Ellie told us about an app that lets us text with her in Guatemala without actually sending international text messages.  We have a family chat going, which according to Jim is, "a waste of the internet".  We don't always have the most intellectual of conversations, but it makes it feel like Ellie is back in the country.

Well, this week, I discovered Instagram.  It's a photo app that lets you choose different filters to transform photos taken with your iPhone and I love it.  Here's our week in photos.

A late afternoon walk

Using a pump for the first time (or as Lilly says, breathing smoke) and watching Dora

Did any ice cream actually make it into Lilly's mouth?

Visiting Jim at UBS

2 going on 16

Two cuties who seem to come to the park to snack

Loving our Thursday mornings at the park!

Happy little Margot

First day of spring...70 degrees in Connecticut!


This little guy can't get enough of his thumb.


Monday, March 19, 2012


As Jack turned five months old earlier this month, we decided that the time had come to make the move.  It was time for our little ones to start sharing a bedroom.  Jim and I want our children to grow up sharing rooms--we both did and have great memories of the conversations and mischief that comes from sharing a bedroom.  We have been shuttling Jack back and forth between our bedroom and the living room long enough, so this weekend, Jim reassembled the crib and we set it up in Lilly's room.  After an entire morning of rearranging furniture and trying to get everything to fit in a relatively small bedroom, Lilly had  a new roommate.  Just as she did when we took the crib apart, Lilly "helped" every step of the way.  She asked Jim what he was doing every few minutes.  She took all the screws and put them in a "secret hiding place."  She constantly asked what she could use the hammer on.  (The answer was always, "we don't really need to use the hammer for anything at the moment...")  She sat inches away from where Jim was trying to assemble the crib.  She undid all the piles of books and toys that we were trying to organize.  All in all, I have no idea how we accomplished what we did on Saturday with so much help from Lilly.

I came in and Lilly declared she was hot so she didn't want to wear her pajama pants.  Ahhh, to be so little :)

We kept them in separate rooms on Saturday night because Jim and I went out to dinner and didn't want to try it for the first time with a babysitter, so last night was night number one of sharing a bedroom.  It started off with more excitement than we would have liked.  We put Jack to bed in his new crib at 6 and he went to sleep like usual.  Lilly was intrigued by the fact that he was sleeping in her room.  She kept saying, "I'm so proud that Jack is my roommate!" Lilly says she's so proud when she's excited about something, so things seemed to be going well.  She went in to check on him a few times and loved using the remote to turn his mobile back on when it went off. Then, we had dinner and went on with our usual nighttime routine.  When it came time for Lilly to go to bed, Jim took her into our bedroom to read books, and then into her room to put her to bed.  We had talked to her about what to do if she heard Jack crying in the night.  She knew to roll over and go back to sleep, and she seemed okay with that.  We had no idea how the next part of the night was going to go but figured that if we could get them both to sleep in the same room, the rest of the night would be fine.

The excitement began when Lilly "whispered" that she would like to sing songs once she was in bed.  And Lilly has inherited Jim's whispering skills...or lack thereof :)  So the "whispering" and singing woke Jack up.  He started crying and Lilly was not happy about the fact that she couldn't sing songs in her room, so Jim and I did what all responsible parents do--we kissed them both goodnight and left the room.  I wish we had recorded the next 15 minutes.

Jack cried on and off with Lilly saying, "It's alright,'s alright, buddy...Jack, it's alright" over and over again for a solid 5 minutes.  That just made him cry more!  Jim and I were in the living room, and we just looked at each other and laughed.  There was nothing else to do.  After a few minutes, Jack's crying tapered off and we thought we were in the clear.  5 minutes later, Jack started crying again, and this time, Lilly started saying, "Jack, it's sleep time.  It's not time to cry.  It's time to go to sleep."  At the end of those 15 minutes, we had two sleeping children.  In the same room.  It was one of those proud moments where we felt like we had accomplished something pretty important!  This morning, Jack got up to eat at 4 (without waking Lilly), and then went back to sleep until 7:30 when I went in to check on them and found him playing with his feet.  Jim scooped him up while he was happy so that he didn't wake Lilly up...who emerged at 9 this morning!  She is not going to know what hit her when she starts school, but she is certainly taking advantage of lazy mornings while she can.

I'm sure the adventures of having two little ones in the same room are just beginning.

    Our two sleeping "roommates"