Putting a Spring in Tommy’s Step

I’m sitting at my computer in Dublin today, working on papers for two different conferences. A video just appeared on my Facebook feed to brighten my day! My nephews Christopher and David are helping their little brother Tommy shore up his walking skills. Tommy took his first steps just about an hour after we left their house one week ago. Interestingly, Christopher did the same thing two years earlier–taking his first steps while we were in transit home.

The boys are clearly delighted with Tommy’s new accomplishment! Lucy sent me a copy of the video so I could share it with you:

The boys also wanted to say ‘Hi!”

Setting the Pace for Tommy

Tommy with big brother David.

Tommy with big brother David.

David and Christopher and I have been viewing the Chance Christmas blogs.  They’ve decided they want to post one about their baby brother, Tommy.

David says to let you know that Tommy wants to go to school.  Tommy will go when he’s four, in three years, David explains, just like David does now.  When Tommy gets there, he will play.  David is sure he’ll be helpful, too.

Sometimes David’s teacher needs David to do things, like make things for his mom and dad. Sometimes the teacher sends homework. Other days, she sends a project home for him to do, like the Easter gift they made for his mom.

Most of the homework, David says, has been fun!

Fabulous Four

I’ve adored baby David since the moment I heard he was on the way.

Now that he’s four years old, young David is one of the kindest people I know.  He’s a genuinely sweet kid who loves being a big brother.  He tries to help out around the house and be a good example to the two younger kids in the family.

He enjoys learning new things and receiving interesting gifts from afar, like foreign currency and the skeleton keys Uncle Dave and I brought him from France last summer.

Revising and Rewriting

Gavin's curious five year old...

Gavin’s curious five year old…

Writing can be such a painful process. A few hours ago, I received critique from my two co-authors.  They recommended an entirely new structure; so I feel as if I’ve got to start over from *zero* with just two weeks until our deadline.

Such is the life of an academic.  The rug always disappears from under you at some point when you’re writing a journal article.  You just never see it coming in the way the way it actually arrives.  When it does, you have to I hang on for dear life — by whatever threads are left — in hopes that someday that paper will be good enough for people to want to read.

The notes I received were a bit cryptic, so I rang up Gavin, using Skype.

The best part of the call was that was I got to meet Gavin’s five-year-old son — yay!  Seeing how curious this little guy was reminded me that I can’t wait to see my five nephews next week!

…It’s just that I’ll just have to squeeze in lots and lots of paper writing in the meantime….

...interested in hearing about our work.

…interested in hearing about our work.

My Kiddies

Jerry thought all the boys on my blog photos were *my* kids and I’d left them all home with Dave!  Hee!  Hee!

No, such is not the case.  Dave and I have five wonderful *nephews*!  We ourselves only have kats, not kids.

Here’s introducing the whole furry Chance family… we named them for Italian cities.

They are looking forward to seeing their mom (that’s me) in just three days!

Siena, Pescia, and Pisa Chance in formation.

Siena, Pescia, and Pisa Chance in formation.

Lucca Chance, chilling in Dave's office.

Lucca Chance, chilling in Dave’s office.


Coloring the World

I love to see colors spread across this blog map.  Today they string all the way across.  They move left to right during the day–in direct relation to the sun.  I wish I got more colors south of the equator, but I’ve only been south of it three times myself, so perhaps that’s why. When Canada and Russia click onto the site, the map lights right up.

Interestingly, my stats always shoot up when I blog about Dave or the nephews.  I guess people like to see cute boys.  The minute I posted about Dave’s studio today, I got 17 views.


Map View 2012-12-12 at 6.02.25 PM.

Map View 2012-12-12 at 6.02.25 PM.

Pages viewed 2012-12-12 by 6.02.25 PM

Pages viewed 2012-12-12 by 6.02.25 PM

Conner’s Fifth Birthday

This marks the third family birthday party I’ve missed in as many weeks.  Yesterday the family back home celebrated my nephew Connor’s fifth birthday.

Since he’s older than his brother (who recently turned three), the event included organized games.  Thanks to the Internet, we can all enjoy being part of the festivities.

I’ll get to see this crew in just a couple of weeks.  Yeah!!!!!

From Across the Atlantic

Dave sent me a view of our weekend FaceTime session–as seen from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

This is Christopher Chance, our very energetic three-year-old nephew.  He was quite enthusiastic about talking with me, and I have to say his speaking abilities have developed at warp speed while I’ve been away.

Christopher on FaceTime

Meet Dave Jetson!

Callista Brien’s talk on Social Media for Engineers Ireland.

Meet George Jetson! (Image from the blog Dark Horizons).

Meet Dave Jetson!

His nephew David!

Luc, his sis!

Whoever though that we’d live the Jetson dream so soon in history?  Certainly not I!

A few weeks ago, at an event hosted by Engineers Ireland, Callista Brien discussed how social media is changing the way we think and act.  This was part of a seminar about project management.

And Callista was right.

FaceBook and FaceTime are amazing and they’re making my life richer.

Look how excited Lucy’s kids got when I rang in using FaceTime a couple days ago.

The Chance family keeps in touch with me via Facebook, iMessage, and the occasional FaceTime call.

And so, some days, life seems like a futuristic movie.

These tools keep Dave, Christina, Matthew and Lucy, David, Christopher, Tommy, Michael, Julia, Conner, and Evan Chance as central characters in my life, even when we’re far, far apart.

Dave with Lucy’s gang.

Awesome brothers!

“Aunt Shannon, I fell down!”

Just My Size

Chris in a box.

Shannon at work on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Sometimes you just need to find a comfortable little space where you can settle down and get some learning done.  That’s what I and my nephew Chris did today.

Here’s a photo of Chris in his little hide-away in Maryland today.

And a photo of me in my little hide-away in Dublin.

And the photos of the raucous that ensued in Maryland before quite time….

Looks like Uncle Dave has his hands full!

Dave under two of his nephews.

Uncle Dave with “little” David.

Chris reading.

Chris making mischief.