FaceTime: Closing the 650 Mile Gap

When I found out I was pregnant of course everyone was super excited. But there was one catch. My younger sister did not live here. She was worried that she would become some long distance relative that my daughter didn’t know. You know the relative, the one that you got a card from on holidays and got to see only on occasion? They tell you how big you have gotten, but you are not sure what the exact family relation is because they have been involved in your life very little.

But in this amazing day in age, long distance relatives don’t have to be so long distance. This is a huge blessing in our family, and I am sure in many others. Skype was great, but FaceTime has really changed how often we see my sister.

Even though she is a few states over, we get to interact with her every night. Nanny Mouse, as my daughter calls her, has been on hand since my daughter was born. But their quality time is not any ordinary sitting in front of a screen visit while they spend time together.

Their relationship is very interactive, as my sister wants to be a part of it all as she would if she were here. My sister gets to experience bath time, plays hide and go seek, never misses her blowing out her birthday candles, and they even eat dinner together.

It is really amazing that one little app has allowed them to build such a strong relationship. My sister even gets to take part in every day activities that she would otherwise miss out on by not living in New Orleans.


A random weeknight bedtime routine is no problem to do by distance. My sister and Annelise each have a copy of Good Night NOLA. My sister will read her copy of the book while Annelise sits with her book and flips the pages as her aunt reads to her. Adorable!

One of their favorite things to do together is what Annelise calls “dance party.” I will put the Disney Pandora station on really loud and I prop the iPad up on a chair. Then the two of them, in their respective cities, show off their dance moves to each other. They laugh, they giggle, and they are making memories despite the 650 miles between them.

Now, there are some issues such as when my sister comes to town or we go visit her. Annelise is not quite sure how all of the sudden she can touch Nanny Mouse. But, my daughter rolls with it and they resume their normal relationship and conversations between the two of them. They never miss a beat or a milestone.

Technology is amazing in so many ways, but I love how it has helped to form a relationship between my daughter and her aunt that I know will last a lifetime.

In my sister’s case you can take the girl out of NOLA but you can keep her here virtually!

Does your child keep in touch with loved ones virtually?


  1. love love love this! I rarely get to see my sister (who only lives about 30 miles away) because of other stuff going on, and now I’m dying to do this with Andrew so that he can see her and talk to her more!!

    what a great idea!

  2. As a military brat (with siblings who also joined the Air Force), my immediate family all live in different states (and countries!). We have loved using Skype and now FaceTime to keep in touch. My brother is stationed in England and it’s been a year since we’ve seen him, but my kids are able to keep in touch with FaceTime – and we were even able to talk on a regular basis “face-to-face” when he was deployed to Afghanistan. My parents also get their grandkid fixes via FaceTime on a regular basis – and I love that my mom can play “Happy Birthday” on the piano in her house for everyone while we watch her play from states away. I may encourage more story time for everyone in the future – because that’s another great way for them to stay involved in my kids lives. Thanks for the post!

      • The crazy part is that my kids probably know the relatives they FaceTime with on a regular basis better than the ones they only see a few times a year. We also used FaceTime the night my oldest lost his first tooth. He called all his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even a few friends who live in town to show off his new gap. We didn’t have to chat for long – but I love that technology allowed him to share that experience with everyone in real time. 🙂

  3. We LOVE FaceTime! My parents & both my sister & brother live in Indiana so it’s the best way to have Addison get to know them. We used to have a standing Saturday morning date on FaceTime but life got busy. We’ll have to get back to that! What a great idea to have your sister read stories to Annelise! Love it!

  4. I LOVE FACETIME! We try to do FaceTime with my family at least once a week. I am the oldest of 3, and I have the first baby in the family. My sister lives in Atlanta, Dad and brother in Mexico and Mom in Nicaragua. The from my husband side, his mom is in New York. They all get to talk to him and play through FaceTime. I like the part about reading a book and dance parties. I need to try this with my sister.


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