Thursday, March 31, 2011


When I found out that there were live bunnies at the mall for photo sessions, I just couldn't resist. I did purchase some pictures, but not the bunny ones, so you'll have to excuse the poor quality of the proofs. Ella was really cute though and was asking to kiss the bunny. She didn't like it when the twitching nose and whiskers touched her though and she pushed it away.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Not enough snow

Last week, we had snow flurries a couple days despite that it is officially spring. Ella kept going back to where we keep her sled and asking to go for a ride. Poor girl, there just wasn't enough snow. She'll have to wait until next winter!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011


I know I am biased, but what could be cuter than this?!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Outdoor Art

Ella has discovered a new art medium of sidewalk chalk. We need to get some fatter pieces though, the regular chalk just breaks outside...  

Admiring her artwork!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Extended Family

We were able to spend last weekend in CT to visit Grandma Fran one last time. We were also able to get together and introduce Ella to her 2nd cousins! It was pretty hectic, but Ella held her own as the youngest amongst some lively boys all wearing padded superhero costumes! We'll see if we can get them all to sit for a picture this weekend...

We also spent some time watching Harris home video. There was a video of Thanksgiving one year where Grandma Fran had brought a cake for Kate to decorate. While Ella and I were at the grocery store, the cake decorating supplies caught my eye, so we decided to bake and decorate one to bring with us. I think that she would have been impressed with Ella's decorating skills... this is kind of a lengthy video...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ella and Grandma Fran

Here are another couple pictures of Ella with Grandma Fran that we found. Ella eventually got a little too squirmy for Grandma to hold, but I think that they both still enjoyed their visits together.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Goodbye, Grandma Fran

My grandmother, Frances Gandini Morin, passed away last night. She was 88 years old.

Grandma Fran (I'm still not sure why she let small children start calling her that) shone in a life that would have destroyed many people. She didn't find out until years later that her biological mother had died only days after giving birth to her. Grandma Fran was an only child. The woman who had raised her, and who was in all respects her mother, was in fact one of her older cousins.

Fran grew up, became a secretary, got married to my grandfather George, and had three kids. One March, when the youngest (my mom) was twelve years old, a late season storm dumped several inches of snow on the ground. When my grandfather came inside from shoveling, he sat down in a chair and died. Grandma Fran was instantly a 42 year old widow. She never remarried, or as far as I know, dated anyone else. (If you know otherwise, please don't tell me.)

Though she must have been more heartbroken and frightened than I can even imagine, she let herself and her young family mourn for just about week before announcing to the kids that everyone was going back to business as usual. She returned to work and spent the next several years raising her kids alone. Though she always enjoyed talking about Grandpa George and loved telling us grandchildren what he was like, she never dwelled on the tragedy in her life. She was matter-of-fact about the awesome responsibility of being a single parent--a responsibility that was thrust upon her but that she had unquestionably met.

It was probably that same toughness that kept her from being a grandmother cliche who bakes cookies and hugs you all the time. Instead, Grandma Fran would give you watered-down cranberry juice (the real stuff was "too tart") and snap at you to "stop crying" if, like me, you got scared the first time you watched Ghostbusters. To be fair, she did give you a grandmotherly hug when you showed up at her apartment. And she did perpetuate the stereotype by keeping her apartment at a balmy 85 degrees.

In the end, Grandma Fran died surrounded in her sleep by the ever-growing family she built from almost nothing. All three of her children took turns sitting with her from early in the morning until late into the night. Her eight grandchildren crowded into her room at the nursing home and told stories about her and laughed. Her seven great-grandchildren played around her. The oldest was probably already sick of hearing all the classic "Grandma Fran" stories dozens of times, just all of them and their own children will be in time. The youngest (Ella) was just happy to yell "Love you, Fran!"

You can see an obituary and sign a guestbook for Frances Morin here. We miss you and love you, Grandma Fran!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Friends with benefits

We have really started taking advantage of opportunities to play with friends who have backyards and swingsets! We had a blast playing with Ryan and Eden on St Patricks day! It was so nice, I had my first ice coffee of the season, and we all took our coats off!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rockin' and Readin'

Besides reading books to herself now, Ella has given us some nicknames. She calls me "Honey" and Nate "Pumpkin". It is really pretty hysterical. She is having a little trouble saying "grandma" and instead calls Nate's mom "Reba"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Enjoying warmer weather

Auntie Kate came to visit, so of course we took her to see our favorite playground!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nantasket Beach

First trip to the beach this year!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Lauren and I braved a long drive to CT with all the kids in 1 car to visit with Jen, Emma and Amelia. We had a great time visiting, playing, eating pizza, and doing arts and crafts! Thanks Jen, it was great to see you all!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Icy Day at the playground

It was a nice 60 degree day, so we decided to head to the playground. The big slide was the only real usable thing though because there was still so much ice!

Nate braved the icy tundra to put Ella on the swings though!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Spring! (almost)

Nate is very concerned about Ella knowing how to play outside! In the fall, he would bring her outside and complain that she didn't know what to do out there and was too much of a "city girl". I would remind him that she was just learning to walk still, so what did he want her to "do" outside other than walk around while trying not to fall down? Well now the snow has melted so every chance they get, Nate and Ella go outside. Her balance is much better outside, but she still falls a lot with all the distractions of outside (residual snow piles, sticks, lamp posts, pine-cones, birds, trees, fences, rocks, etc). Plus while trying to run around she wants to talk about all the things that she sees and also to collect and carry them around. She loves to throw a ball, and will sort of half kick one too. She loves to be chased and will say "Catch You" and run away if she wants you to chase her. When she falls down she will always ask for a hug, and no better where her booboo is, she wants you to kiss her finger. She still has a little work to do to meet Nate's outdoor playtime expectations, I think, but she is getting there!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Her own rain boots!

I bought Ella a pair of rain boots, and figured they would be a big hit. I have to hide them in the closet or else this is what she would do ALL day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tent Bed

Ella loves to pretend she is sleeping, especially on the pillows in her tent!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Home remedies

Nate has had an issue with chronic and frequent sinus infections and his doctor has recommended the sinus surgery to help improve drainage, and he has been doing everything possible to avoid this including looking up home remedies on the internet. This is him steaming himself with eucalyptus oil and boiling water. He also has been drinking cider vinegar which is disgusting if you ask me (or him). However the combination of these two things along with the tried and true nedipot have seemed to do the trick this time...

The eucalyptus steaming is pretty nice actually, I tried that one too.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Virtual Painting

Nate tried to teach Ella how to "paint" on the computer.... She didn't buy it that this counts as "painting" (which she asks to do daily now...)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Time for a cabinet lock!

My blowdry took about 2 minutes too long....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

baby dolls

Note how she makes her baby sign "more" about 1/2 way through the video.... she does this all the time. It is pretty funny and especially when she tried to make it seem like the baby wants to watch TV!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Great Nanny and Great Pop

Ella has been a little apprehensive of anyone with white hair lately, but she did warm up to her great grandparents this visit.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

These boots were made for walking...

Ella loves my boots and always wants to put them on and walk. Finally she can take a few steps without falling down!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Let her eat cake!

Immediately after her friends birthday party, we headed to CT to celebrate Omi's birthday. Can a girl have too much cake?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Maeve's birthday party

Ella and the birthday girl

Ella and another little girl at the party almost had a brawl over the cozy coupe. There were 2, a traditional red and blue model, and then there was this fancy pink one. Of course the girls both wanted the pink one. The other girl was 2, so about 6 months older, faster, and sneakier than Ella... The girl was in the car and Ella wanted it, so we told her she had to wait, but could use the red car. She used the other car and climbed on the other toys, but always keeping her eye on the pink car. Well the other girl got out of the car and was doing something else, so Ella made a beeline for it. Unfortunately for her, she went to the side without the door to try unsuccessfully to open it. The other girl, seeing that Ella had moved in on her car, quickly ran to the correct side, got in, and closed the door before Ella could get there. There were tears. It was very sad.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Future WNBA star?

Ella couldn't get enough of the basketball hoop at her friend Maeve's birthday party!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hide and Seek

It totally surprised me that she will pay attention this long to try to find whatever it is that Nate hides for her!