On the table, Tina Dugard said, sat a still-wrapped Barbie doll Terry Probyn bought for Jaycee for Christmas the year she was abducted, a symbol of a childhood stolen.
"We are all so overjoyed. My sister has spontaneous moments of joy. We'll be talking, and she will just suddenly burst into happy tears, with a big smile on her face," Dugard told the Register.
For five days Dugard, Probyn and Jaycee and her daughters, allegedly fathered by Garrido, spent time laughing, crying and holding hands, doing "normal" family things.
"I remember thinking, 'Wow, she's French-braiding Jaycee's hair for the first time in 18 years,'" Dugard told the Register.
Despite being held in captivity with meager resources, Tina said it appears Jaycee Dugard was able to home-school her two daughters, 11-year-old Angel and 15-year-old Starlet, who appeared "educated and bright."
"It's clear they've been on the Internet and know a lot of things," Tina told the Register. "It's clear that Jaycee did a great job with the limited resources she had and her limited education."
The girls could name the constellations and plants around the home, Dugard said.
According to Tina, there was an "instant connection ... it was almost genetic ... an instant sense of family for all of us," the Register reported.
"Right now, it's about reconnecting," she said.
Tina's comments were reported a day after it was revealed that Nancy Garrido, the wife of Jaycee Dugard's accused kidnapper, apparently kept the girl prisoner for a five-month period while her husband Phillip Garrido went to prison for violating his parole, her lawyer acknowledged Wednesday.
But Nancy Garrido's lawyer suggested that she was powerless to free the girl because she was under the control of Phillip Garrido.
"If she's being controlled, he doesn't have to be there physically. If she's being controlled, she's being controlled," Nancy Garrido's attorney Gilbert Maines told "Good Morning America" Wednesday.
"I guess I would say she's a victim," he said.
Maines said he has only had the case for five days and has met with Nancy Garrido twice. So far, he has not seen "any evidence whatsoever" in order to formulate a defense for his client.
Nancy Garrido faces the same 29 felony charges her husband does for Dugard's abduction. During her arraignment last week, she repeatedly put her face in her hands and sobbed.
Maines said Wednesday that Garrido remained in an emotional state and said she missed the two girls, Angel and Starlet, that her husband allegedly fathered with Dugard.
"She was distraught. She was frightened. She seemed a little lost, all of those things. She seemed to be like a ship without a rudder, but she understood why she was there," Maines said.
One of the many legal dilemmas Nancy Garrido faces is what she did during the five months when Phillip was serving a prison sentence for violating his parole in 1993, two years after Dugard was snatched off a school bus stop. Dugard was still only 13 when Phillip Garrido was returned to prison.
But Nancy Garrido clearly made no effort to send Dugard home during that time, officials said.
"If she was there alone with the girl for an extended period of time, then it would defy logic and common sense for her not to know that this is a stranger in their home and you know criminal activity is afoot," said ABC News consultant Dana Cole.
Maines said he talked to Nancy Garrido about life in the Garrido home.