We are family...
...I got all my sisters with me!
Okay, so Jay doesn't have any sisters, and neither do Derek or I. But we've got all the brothers, cousins, uncles, grandparents and great aunts that a kid could want. And this weekend, Jay got a chance to hang out with almost all of them.
This was Jay's first chance to interact with the entire Perry clan. Growing up, most of my holidays were spent at Appie & Papa's house with my mom's extended family. She's one of 5 children, and when the whole clan gets together, it's quite a party. I've seriously never interacted with so many people who each think that they are the funniest person in the room. (Truth is, if they weren't all in the same room, they each would be the funniest!) Her siblings are hilarious, and they love to tell stories. The louder the telling and the funnier the story, the better. (I think they nearly scared Derek off the first few times he met them, but my smashing good looks kept him around in spite of my family.)
On Friday afternoon, we headed to Asheville to celebrate Aunt Kylie's graduation and reunite with most of the Perry clan. (Jen's first cousins, while technically "first cousins once removed" are going by the "Aunt/Uncle" titles.) We caravaned with my parents & brother and made it after only 2 baby-feeding, gas-getting, bathroom breaks. He really is a great little traveller - as long as mom kept singing "She'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes" to him, he was perfectly content. We only had to make up a few verses to the song. The trip was uneventful, and as soon as we got there Jay got loved on by all of his cousin-aunties, especially Aunt Kelsey. She was great with him and has already mastered "The Bounce." As long as he's bouncin', whether in the stroller on a bumpy road or in your arms as you dance around, he's usually pretty content. And in her arms, he was pretty happy.
He had a great weekend. He didn't seem a bit bothered by all the passing around or the noise of the crowd. Great Aunt Beth (aka GABby) spent most of the day Saturday snuggling with him, and that gave me and Derek the freedom to do a little exploring in downtown Asheville. Yahoo! Luckily, I believe that we rescued him before she had a chance to teach him the UNC fight song... that was a risk leaving her with him unsupervised, but he was still wearing Wolfpack red when she returned him to us, so I think we're safe.
Then, on the way home, we took a brief stop in Mocksville to give Jay a little time with his Granna and his Great Aunt Bonnie (guess she's a GABby also?!) and his Mammaw, his only great grandparent. Family time all over the state! He showed off his biggest smiles for Mammaw, and I think it was about as good a Mother's Day gift as she could get. Then he pooped in her lap, and while not the best Mother's Day gift, it was entertaining.
I only wish that Jay's other great grandparents could have had the chance to meet him. Derek and I were both unusually close to our grandparents, and we lost 4 grandparents in 6 months last year - both of my mom's parents and both of his grandfathers. It was a really tough time, but we know that they are all looknig down our little cutie and cheering us on from above. We miss you guys!