This post is the 2nd part of a 2-week series about my recent vacation in New York.

I love family reunions – and this visit to New York is a family reunion. Never thought my siblings and I would end up being scattered – My sister and I live in Illinois, my brother lives in New York, and my mom still resides in the Philippines. Because of this, get-togethers become all the more important to maintain an unbreakable family bond – especially as our family stems out into the next generation.

Mica, Rinoa, and I have actually been anticipating this reunion because it’s the first time we’re going to see my new niece, Jessi. And what a delight! My two girls just adore their cousin!

A few things I realized:

  1. Jessi loves putting her whole fist in her mouth – I guess thumb sucking is old school.
  2. Mica definitely loves kids. When we visited my friend’s family last year in Vegas, she took charge of watching over my friend’s toddler. This time, she jumped at every opportunity to take care of her cousin. (Although she still walks away at the site of poopie diapers. Didn’t say she was the perfect babysitter yet.)
  3. Next to a 3-month old baby, it really shows how much Rinoa has grown and matured. She’s not my baby anymore. Sob! Sob! (Next thing you know, my two girls are off to college — Whaaaa!)

Like I mentioned yesterday, two of my aunts and a cousin from California and Texas were also able to visit – so we had a blast. I’m sure it was a challenge for my brother and his wife to house so many guests. But it just adds to the fun – all packed like a sardine in one house.

My two aunts are awesome. I always have a great time with them. You see how cool Tita Liwie is – doesn’t even care that she’s still in hair rollers in the photograph. And Tita Maricor is the epitome of homeyness – she always brings homebaked cookies and other goodies whenever she visits family. This time, she even brought some fresh produce from her garden.

This is my cousin DJ. Love love love my cousin. He’s such a hoot – there’s never a dull moment with him. He’s probably going to strangle me for posting this picture of him but it makes for an interesting subject. That morning, my brother’s neighbors were violently arguing outside that I almost called the cops. They were so loud but my cousin, being a heavy sleeper, was not disturbed a bit – didn’t even have a clue on what happened.

This is my sister’s best friend, Madz, with Rinoa. She’s been friends with my sister for so long that she’s become part of the family. I’m glad she was able to join us.

And here we are playing cards – a staple in our get-togethers. Not for the faint of heart though as these games heat up pretty fast. Unfortunately, after that weekend, everybody else had to fly back home to go back to work.

More family affairs in this 2-week series coming tomorrow. If you want to read the first part of this series, please go here.