When Evie was born, my sisters kids were obsessed with her. Especially Keith. He would constantly ask if Evie could sit by him and he was always holding her hand or sharing his toys with her. It was so sweet to see how my sister's kids reacted to having a cousin (they already had cousins on the Burnett side, but I'm talking about witnessing it first hand). More quickly than I'd like to admit, "Baby Evie" turned into just Evie and there were no more babies for us to hold.
Of course Cole, Keith and Ally still loved Evie when she was no longer a baby, but there is something really special about watching kids admire a precious baby. Its like witnessing one perfect thing appreciate another.
When Anna was born, I knew Cole and Ally would love her. And if Keith were here, I know he would probably love her the most, just like he did Evie. Throughout my pregnancy, Cole and Ally were more than happy to suggest names for Anna. Some included: Corny, Lily, Frances and Ninja Force (I bet you can't guess who suggested that). A week or so after Anna was born, Darc drove her kids down for the day to meet their new cousin.
We didn't name her Frances, but Ally loves her still the same.
We jokingly refer to Ally as the "Mother Hen," because she is a little nurturer. She is in love with Anna. She's always helping me change her diaper and she even insists on helping pick out her clothes so she can help get her dressed. She is the first to give the play-by-play and always tells me whether Anna is awake, sleeping, crying, etc. Once while visiting my parents two weeks ago (more on this later) I asked Ally to "watch" Anna while I took a shower. I left the bathroom door open and Anna was right outside of it on a blanket. Ally did not leave her side, except to give me 30 second updates about what Anna was doing.
"Sydney, Anna is still awake, but she's not crying!"
"Anna just opened her mouth!"
"Anna is swinging her arms!"
"Sydney, Evie tried to touch Anna."
"Sydney, Anna is crying!"
"She's not crying anymore."
As you can tell, Ally is very helpful.
And Cole. He is the most thoughtful, kind and protective cousin. We all watched him look after Keith and there has been no doubt that he was meant to be Keith's twin, but what isn't mentioned often, is how he is that way with everyone - especially people he loves. Cole is a loyal little guy. He will wipe the bubbles off Anna's mouth, put a blanket on her if he thinks she's cold and he's always got a watchful eye on her.
Anna (and Evie) are so lucky to have Cole, Keith and Ally for cousins.
I hope we always live (relatively) close to our cousins so that they can be friends.
Nothing beats bonding with your cuzzies.
Ally's personality lights up a room.
Never a dull moment when she's around. Just don't let her get ahold of your phone or she will take 341 selfies and not tell you about it.
About two weeks ago my sister mentioned that she was driving to Yakima for a couple days. Nick was super busy with school, so the girls and I had Nick drop us off in Portland so we could hitch a ride with the Burnetts to Grandma and Grandpa's house.
We were packed like sardines in Darcee's pilot (two carseats and two boosters PLUS two crazy moms) but the drive went great. Cole watched over Anna in the front seat and Evie and Ally played in the way back. It was a Griswald-eque road trip for sure.
As usual, Grandma and Grandpa Smart were ready for us. Grandma had clearly spent all day baking and cooking as the house smelled heavenly and there were not one, but THREE pans of treats on the counter waiting for us, not to mention dinner. Grandpa had waited to smoke out his bees until Cole got there so he could help. How many Grandpa's have child-sized beekeeping equipment?
Only the coolest Grandpa ever.
What I love about kids asking to "hold" a baby is that what they really mean is for you to hold the baby on their lap. That said, Ally is very good at holding Anna.
Grandma had Thanksgiving crafts planned for the kids.
Cole loved it and was a natural...and Evie and Ally mostly ate an entire box of Oreos.
Seriously, Cole was so focused and his turkeys turned out great.
Darc was amazing and basically took care of Ev so I could sleep in a little each day.
Ev LOVES her aunt Dot. Whenever I tell her that we are going to Cole and Ally's, she always says, "And Dot!"
All the suitcases packed and ready!
This picture really makes me miss Keith. I wish all the cousins could be together.
Thankfully, we know that they can someday.