It sounds a bit like an LSAT question about kinship–figuring out the proper terminology for the two little girls dipping their bangs into the pool on the steps. Poolside last night, our wee ones colored, ate, swam, and played tag with their cousins, lots of cousins. There’s my first cousin Vanessa, her husband Adriano, and my first cousins (once removed), their four little ones: Sophia, Christiano, Nicholas, and Alexandra. So Lucas and Abigail didn’t just have their first cousin (once removed) Vanessa, but also their second cousins with whom they share a great-grandparent, my and Vanessa’s grandmother Yiya, whom we’re heading to visit in Delray today.  I still have a bit of a food coma from last night’s burgers, hotdogs, salad, ziti, three pies and a cake fiasco. I have to say, I do wish we lived closer to our cousins, and I missed not having Damien and (big) Nicholas there with us (Vanessa’s brothers). There’s just something to be said for family and alcohol. And I’m really thankful for both.


A YEAR AGO: Fraidy Cats
3 YEARS AGO: Celebri-Trees, Yes, Another Post About Babes in My Toyland
5 YEARS AGO: Things That Go Bump in the Night



  1. Yay! I’m so glad somebody else out there knows how to use the proper terminology for cousins. My grandmother was a genealogist, so I always knew the exact relation of all of my far-flung relatives, but people look at me like I have an extra head when I refer to my “second cousin once removed”.

  2. I have scads and scads of cousins – many (most) of whom I wouldn’t (and don’t) recognize if I fell over them, and it is only through a series of 2-3 questions that we figure out our relationship. Growing up, a huge horde of strangers would descend upon our peaceful village a few times a year. I would watch with wonder (bordering on horror) as our seemingly blissful home was invaded by loud, obnoxious, whiny, ill, preachy, pompous, disdainful, loving, noisy, energetic or lethargic people, all claiming to be ‘relatives’.

    As we get older, and the siblings of parents die off, the offspring of said siblings make a half-assed attempt at ‘family reunions’, but the common thread of ancient grandparents is disintegrating, and frankly (especially because we have the stories of these grandparents well documented and preserved), I think we’re all relieved.

    The chasm of life’s choices – to remain religious, to become atheist – to stay conservative or venture into liberalism – to have a million children or choose to have none – have given us that much-needed excuse not to get together. I, for one, give thanks for that.

  3. Cute pictures of the kiddos, but where are your Thanksgiving pictures?? I want to see all that food!! :)

    By the way, I’m assuming these are your Greek cousins?? (Since you call your grandmother Yiya)

  4. Heya.
    So the new Mary Karr memoir is out…Lit

    anyway I went to Books a Million last night to pick out her book and saw both your books in the bio section. Thought I’d tell you they are finally placing your books in their correct home on the shelves :D

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