Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cousins, Cousins, Everywhere!

While we were in Florida, Ellie was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet all of her (second) cousins on my dad's side of the family. A couple of months ago, I reached out to my Baird cousins and invited them to Florida for Ellie's baptism (which I will be talking about later, so stay tuned for that!). Not only did I want them at the baptism, of course, but I thought it would be wonderful for our grandmother to have all of her great-grandchildren together at once. I was so thrilled when people started actually booking travel to be there - what a great gift for Ellie, me and Grandma!

Ellie first met everyone at her baptism and the party afterwards, on Sunday, July 29th. In attendance from the Baird family were: my Aunt Jean and cousin Matt from Cleveland; my cousin Erin, her husband Brian and two kids Ben (a little over two years old) and Violet (who was born about a month before Ellie) from Richmond; and my cousin Beth, her husband Kevin and their son Alex (born almost exactly a year before Ellie) from Michigan. To commemorate the occasion, Erin had matching T-shirts made up for all the kids that said Biggest, Big, Little and Littlest Cousin on them. They also had a little four-elephant parade on them, because my grandmother loves elephants. As Ellie's baptism party wound down, we tried to get a good photo of all four Baird great-grandchildren together. Of course, with so many so little, it was a challenge, but boy, are they cute.

Ben, Violet, Alex and Ellie. Poor Alex wasn't feeling well so he was in no mood for a photo shoot!

Ben and Violet

Violet and Ellie

My grandmother with three of her four great-grandchildren

The next day (our last full day in Florida), Erin and her family came back over to my dad's house in the morning so all of our kiddos could go swimming together. It sure was fun to have all those kids in the pool, and it was great to spend some time chatting with my cousin and getting to know her family!

Ellie, Violet and Ben getting to know each other

Everybody in the pool!

Ellie did a little better in her pool float this time around.

Left: Is Violet under there somewhere?!
Right: Ellie enjoyed the pool so much the second time around, she stayed in long enough for her feet to get pruny!

Left: Violet is just so chill.
Right: Me with my girl!

After swimming, Erin and her family left to go back to where they were staying to try to get some naps in. We got a little nap in for Ellie as well, and then the plan was to meet up at my grandmother's house for one big get-together. On our way up to her house, we stopped by Eric's grandmother's house for one last quick visit with his mother and Gramz.

That baby is just always the center of attention!

Ellie and Nonnie

Ellie and Great-Gramz

Then it was off to my grandmother's house, where we basically turned her living room floor into a children's play area. There were just kids and toys everywhere. The older boys did some coloring and sharing of toy trucks and cars, while the little girls pretty much just contentedly rolled around on the floor.

Left: Kids everywhere!
Right: Erin and Ben

Kevin and Alex, Ben and Erin, Ellie and me

Brian and Violet

Nope, we're not related, why do you ask? It's purely coincidence that we're making the exact same face. Mmm hmmm.

Ellie with her Great Aunt Jean. This visit went much better than last time!

My dad, Ellie and cousin Beth

My grandmother also got the chance to hold Ellie, and we were able to take yet another four-generation picture. I just think Ellie is so lucky to have four great-grandparents around to love on her. That's a really cool thing.

Ellie and her Great-Grandma

I love this picture of my grandma admiring Ellie

Four generations!

Unfortunately, we could only stick around and visit with everyone for a couple of hours before we had to head home so we could pack up all our stuff to get ready for our early morning flight back to New York on Tuesday. I am happy to report that our return flight also went very smoothly, and aside from a minor puketastrophe shortly after takeoff, Ellie was as good as gold once again. Well, until we got to NYC, to the PATH train - our last (of three) trains to get us home from the airport. It was then that she LOST HER EVER-LOVING MIND. Poor thing was just DONE. But as soon as we walked into our apartment, she was all smiles. She was just ready to be home!

Watching the Olympics with Daddy on the flight home

Tired travelers...this was taken after Train #2, so only a matter of minutes before The Great Meltdown of 2012.

And thus ended the Family Meeting Marathon: Part 1. Ellie would get one day off before we hit the road again, this time to Cleveland for my family reunion (and thus, Family Meeting Marathon: Part 2!). That will be coming up soon!

A huge thanks again to all of my family who made the trip to Florida for Ellie's baptism and to make this little reunion happen. It was so wonderful to see all of you and we were so thrilled that you could make it. We love you!


Lauren said...

So cute, your family is full of babies and kids now :-)

Dad/Grandpa said...

What a spectacular time!!