I will admit that I’ve always been a bit jealous (no, a lot jealous) of the pictures I see on Facebook full of little kids who are all members of the same extended family. I didn’t have a big family growing up, and only saw two of my cousins regularly. I so want Charlotte to experience lots of “cousin time,” but so far she’s the only grandkid on either side (no pressure Joe and Lisa :)). Still, she does have lots of second cousins, and we had our first “cousin visit” this past weekend. It turned into a mini reunion of sorts, since my parents also came, along with my aunt and uncle. We all met up at my cousin Amy and her husband Scott’s home in Maumelle Arkansas. It was one for the history books. We hadn’t gotten together since before our Charlotte and Amy’s youngest, Lilly, were born. There was so much love and laughter and passing around of babies. Charlotte is the youngest at 3 1/2 months, followed by Lilly at 6 months, then Raelyn at 2 years. Needless to say, there was an overabundance of cuteness and girl drama (this, as Charlotte has proven, begins at birth).

Amy and I swapped war stories while my mom and aunt added their own anecdotes, and the men grilled out and shouted rude remarks at the unfair judges or refs, depending on what Olympic sport was on. Amy fought a losing battle with Raelyn over keeping her clothes on (Raelyn had recently learned how to remove every stitch of clothing, and was bound and determined to practice this new skill at every opportunity). Lilly proved to be quite the speed demon as she zipped around the house using her unique brand of army crawling. She definitely had a stealth mode too. No sooner than I would I put Charlotte down Lilly would appear and try to grab her hair (Charlotte has an abundance, as you’ve seen, and Lilly’s is still a bit sparse, so I’m sure she just thought that as a good guest Charlotte should be willing to share). Raelyn was also quite taken with her cousin, and loved to “tickle” her belly or pinch her cheeks (we vigilantly reminded her “gently,” and I don’t think Charlotte ended up with any bruises :)).

Both Amy’s Scott and my Chris are avid photographers, so between their SLRs, Amy’s and my point and shoots, and various camera phones, we ended up with a few thousand pictures to document this epic visit. Here are a few of my favorites:

Lilly: “What a pretty dress your mommy made you Charlotte! Can I try it on?”

Introducing Raelyn to her smallest cousin

I made an instant friend when I let Raelyn play with the doodle app on my iPhone. So she’s not supposed to play with the phone very much. Oops.

Aww, Charlotte with her great aunt Janet. Isn’t that sweet.

Lilly’s on the move!

Three generations of women…poor guys are so out numbered
Thank you Raelyn, but Charlotte doesn’t like having her nose picked.
Lots of cousins (Scott, Raelyn 2, Amy, Lilly 6 mo, Dana, Charlotte 3 mo, Chris)
Charlotte: “No really, I’m not sleepy…don’t put me down or I might miss something!”
Cousin wrestling match!

Charlotte pins ’em both! Just wait ’til next time girls, once I can move around I’ll really give you a run for your money!

I can’t wait until we can get together again. Scott and Amy have talked about coming up this fall…I’m going to hold you to it guys! We just can’t deprive these girls of each other for very long! 🙂 Besides, it totally fulfills one of my secret dreams if they can grow up together!

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