Cue the music: We are family ...

There's just something about family that puts the pieces together.

Sure, it can be stressful. It can uproot you a bit. It can throw a wrench in your plans, spill juice on your carpet, spit up on your best dress and have a giant poo explosion 15 minutes into your road trip. But that's the thing about family. It doesn't matter how much they destroy in their path, as long as you're traveling it together.

Seeing Pearyn interact with her cousins is bittersweet. While watching them explore each other and a good part of our house together is incredibly humbling and amazing, it gets harder every time to see them leave. Having my brother and his family all the way in Missouri became a million times harder at about 5:25pm, May 10, the day Pearyn was born.

It's hard to know Pearyn won't spend her summers going to the movies with her cousins, playing hide and seek or running through a sprinkler. One of the best things my parents did for me as a child was moving to Ohio. I was lucky enough to spend my three months of freedom, in addition to holidays and some vacations, with three cousins on my father's side.

But because of the economy and workforce, it's just not plausible for all of us to be in the same borders. So now, it's up to us to build a family for our daughter. Between second cousins, great aunts, guideparents and friends, we'll slowly and carefully create a network for our little girl ... at least until we can give her a few siblings of her own or move closer to her twin cousin and rambunctious nephew (whichever comes first).

I think we've done a pretty good job so far, but we're far from finished. She still has an entire clan of T's to get to know on my husband's side, has a mess of playdates she still needs to go on and finding a few veg families wouldn't hurt. I want Pearyn to have influences from all different places, which is why it's important to get to know family, go on playdates with the kinds of kids she'll go to school with and find a few friends who will eat tofu just like her. Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on ... even a nine month old.

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