Wednesday, February 29, 2012


A new baby in a family brings reality immediately. Diapers are necessary in a civilized society. I certainly should not ignore this subject by taking it for granted in this blog.
Even though pampers were developed early in 1961, it was not until 1969 that they were sold in the US nationwide - just in time for Margaret’s new life. They were, however, quite expensive in the beginning. We subscribed to a diaper service at first. This company would deliver a couple of dozen fresh diapers every other day, and then collect the dirty ones for cleaning. It was very convenient. Since we were planning to visit my parents in the summer, for the first time since I  left Taiwan seven years earlier, the reality of how to face the diaper problem was on our minds. Sears came to our rescue as it started to sell disposable diapers just at that time. After Margaret got home, and she was just a few days old, we bought three months of these new “great” supplies and had them shipped immediately to Taiwan, as it took more than one month to ship packages via the sea route.
On this unusual day, we only get this day once in four years, it’s kind of nice to talk about this very usual subject!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Margaret’s Baptism

Margaret was baptized more than a week after she came home from Carle Clinic and before Ginger went home.  There was a huge number of gifts which arrived during the week, more than one hundred and fifty! we ran out of space in the baby book to record all the names.

The baptism was on a Saturday afternoon, so we could have a party with close friends afterwards. It was a beautiful sunny day in the spring. Everyone was excited about our new member in the family!


We certainly were very proud parents!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Welcome Home!

When you have a newborn, everything is new, everything happens for the first time. On her second day, Margaret was already very alert and comfortable with her new place, and Janice had definitely recovered from her tiring effort.  On the third day after Margaret’s arrival, she came back to our small apartment. it seemed to make our first home more complete. There were a group of people gathered together to celebrate this home coming event. Most importantly, Ginger came to live with us for the first couple of weeks, so that she could help Janice to handle the adjustment. After the nurse handed Margaret to us outside the Clinics (yes, the rule that the nurse had to carry the baby out was already there), she was officially ours to worry about!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

“It Is Your Day!”

Before going to the hospital, Janice had already chosen the names(with my consent, of course) for our first baby, whether it was a boy or a girl. So the process to register the name was very quick. Since Margaret was born early in the morning, Janice took advantage of the calm at the Carle Clinic to take a much needed rest by going into  nap mode quickly. I was out on campus, keyed up to find something to do. So I went to document our special day by taking some pictures (actually they were slides) for “It Is Your Day!” on this first day of Margaret’s life.  From the grass to buildings on campus, I recorded that day, including students enjoying the weather! Years later, I still  had fun seeing these slides and they renewed my feelings at the time. As you can see, it was a beautiful day in spring on campus!margaret-daymargaret-day5margharet-day

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Welcome, Margaret Lucille

Finally, our waiting was over! We rushed to Carle Clinic in downtown Urbana - in the middle of night, of course, - to wait there for about eight hours. The husband was allowed to be present in the delivery room, a new option for the time and place. I was very lucky to be at the right time and place so I could personally welcome our new daughter, Margaret Lucille. There were very few people in the clinic. Dr. Stevenson was the only other person in the delivery room most of the time. Margaret came quickly, Dr. Stevenson shouted out “it’s a girl”, and then he had to hold her for a minute or two so that I could get my flash for my camera working properly. Yes, I took quite a number of pictures, one almost every minute! I will let you see a few below:


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Expecting our First Baby!

On this Valentine day of 2012, I still feel the intensity of our excitement as we awaited our first baby during the nine months when Janice was pregnant. Of course, we did not know the sex of our first baby, and we had no intension of finding out anyway. (The technology to determine sex before the actual birth was just becoming available at the time.) All the gifts we received were “neutral”. Four weeks or so before our expected date, Janice had already packed her bag, of course. I needed to take a picture to remember this. Janice was a good sport to let me show my excitement via photography!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pregnant Janice

If you use “hiking” to simulate our life experience, in the earlier years you would enjoy everything and you would learn from everything you encounter. You get excited with every new “hike”.

When Janice was pregnant again, in the summer of 1968, after we had experienced disappointment when she had an early miscarriage during her first pregnancy, we got very excited to prepare for this new “hike” in our lives. I am sure that we had different kinds of experiences in preparing for this new happening in our lives. (Janice was NOT thinking about hiking!) We started to change our lives to prepare for the unexpected. The excitement for me is not easy to describe, since I did not even know what questions to ask. It was impossible to anticipate what you would see or feel about this new “hike”. Janice read as much as  she could and tried to pass information on to me. My postdoc work was not as demanding as before, and Janice was working as an advisor in the College of Arts & Sciences, not teaching in a classroom. We surely had a lot of time to make our preparations. In October, 1968, Maria and Dean had Deana, which excited us even more and certainly increased our emotions as we waited for our own new baby to arrive!

We were very fortunate to live in this college town, Champaign/Urbana, as we had outstanding medical services. Not only did we have good doctors and nurses, we had up-to-date modern equipment and hospital facilities.

The pictures below were taken so you could definitely see “Janice was pregnant”.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Our Garden

With the permission of our landlord, we started a garden on the side of our apartment building. Illinois is famous for its rich, black soil, good for growing things every where. Indeed it was quite an experience to find out just how rich the soil was! I was surprised at how the garden grew without much attention. We certainly enjoyed our tomatoes, cucumbers, and some Chinese vegetables.our-garden-2our-garden

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lake of the Woods

The University of Illinois was and still is a famous institution of higher learning. When we were there, we immediately learned that we were surrounded by corn fields. There were no known scenic spots around, no national or state parks, forests, wildlife preserves, etc., nearby. The only somewhat scenic spot within half an hours drive is called “Lake of the Woods”, where there are some small (very small) hills. Believe it or not, Illinois is so flat that a highway overhead exchange is considered a “hill”!. And there are some small ponds with beautiful trees scattered in the area. There was a pavilion with tables and chairs for a group get-together, so that the Folk Dance group could use it for retreats and workshops.

We loved this place! Whenever we had visitors, we took them there. The following picture was taken there with Janice’s friends who were her Brown University dorm mates: Elizabeth and Elaine, and Elaine’s friend, Judy.lake-of-woodslake-of-woods-2