Monday, October 25, 2010

Cousins, cousins, and coming soon, even more cousins!

Over the weekend Renee and I went to my cousin Rachel and her fiance Lindsey's baby shower.  They're going to have a baby boy, and his name is going to be Jaden!  There are actually three babies due on that side of my family (my cousin Jennifer is having a girl and my cousin Maryann is having a surprise), and they are all due within the next 3 months!!!

Renee and her great-grandma Ferguson.  And that's Rachel and Lindsey in the background :D

Renee and her cousin Ashley at Rachel and Lindsey's baby shower.

On top of that, Jeff's brother Eric and his girlfriend Veronica just had a baby boy, Baby Eric, a month ago.

Me holding baby Eric, and Veronica's cousin holding Renee.
All of these babies being born are in some form or another cousins to Renee.  So, I started thinking about how many cousins she actually has?  And the answer is A LOT!!!  I had to make an Excel spreadsheet to count them all and keep their exact cousin titles straight, and these are just the ones that we stay in contact with.

Here's the count:
1st Cousins: 1
1st Cousins, once removed:  25 
2nd Cousins: 4, soon to be 7
1st Cousins, twice removed: 2
2nd Cousins, once removed: 3
3rd Cousins: 2

Grand Total: 37, soon to be 40 cousins!!!  Eight of which will actually be around the right age for Renee to play with at family functions.  Pretty crazy!  And there are more out there, many more, we just don't keep in contact with them, so I'm not counting them.

Oh, and if you're not quite sure what all the cousin terminology (once removed, twice removed, etc.) means, check out this site:  Cousin Relationships (I'm always explaining it to people, but this site has a good visual lesson).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Toys, unfortunately, are a necessity.

Before becoming a parent, I always had this idea that I would not overwhelm my child with a million toys.  Our friends and family who had children before us seemed to lose their house to an avalanche of toys.  Everywhere you looked was another annoying blinking noisy plastic thing!  How?  Why?  No, that would not be us!!!! I will just let my child play with kitchen utensils and cardboard boxes.

Then came Renee.  Our beautiful, precious, darling angel.  Our princess.  Our love.  Our slap in the face reality check.  And finally, after years of wondering, I understood.  If you give the baby an annoying blinky noisy plastic thing then you can get the dishes washed, or you can take a shower, or maybe, just maybe you can write a blog post (something which seems to always be last on the "to-do" list)!!!  And then the toys are no longer annoying; they are magical, they are amazing, they are life savers.  Alright, maybe I'm being a little dramatic here, but I think you get my point :D

Don't get me wrong, kitchen utensils held their ground strong for a long time in this house.  Renee enjoyed many hours of sucking on, waving about and banging the array spoons, spatulas, whisks and measuring cups that call our kitchen drawer home.

But, those have become old news to her and so last weekend I went to a local children's consignment store and bought her some used (well, new to her - and that is all that's important) toys to play with.  And she loves them!!!  And I love them!!!  And Jeff, well, he's still concerned that our house is going to be overrun with toys.  And maybe it will, but we'll worry about that when we get there.