Have You Cuddled Your Otter Today?

18 July 2009

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This is our new friend “Snork”.  He is an Asian Small-Clawed Otter, and he made my day.


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He’s horribly cuddly and makes funny “snork-y” sounds continuously while he snuggles.


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He  loves to snack on ice cubes, likes swimming in cool water and is a great kisser.  He’s looking for love in the Nevada desert.


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Snork has some very nice Kangaroo friends.  They all live to together, with about 150 other wild animals at Roos ‘n’ More, a zoo / animal rescue north of Las Vegas. 


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This coatimundi decided that just wasn’t enough friends and wanted Lillyan to join their group.


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The two-toed sloth gave Lilly the eye from upside down.  He was interested, just moving a little slowly. 


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And the Bactrian camel was much more interested in Lillyan than she was in him. 


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Daddy was all about this “Zee-donk”, but he apparently already had enough friends.


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A little girl who believes you can never have too many friends, though, is this little Capuchin monkey “Caico”.  Our friends invited us on this adventure — I think mostly to get to spend more time with this monkey.  Caico could not get enough of Mrs. D.  I’m sure Mrs. D would take Caico home, given the chance.


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I’ll tell you what WON’T be coming home with us, and that’s this African crested porcupine.  While they are friendly and curious, their cuddle factor doesn’t quite match the otter’s.  And I’m afraid that’s one family adventure that might have a bit of a sticky ending.


The First Hair(s)cut

17 July 2009


haircut 1

By two-and-a-half, Lillyan finally needed a haircut.  It’s not that I was at all sentimental about her first haircut and couldn’t part with her baby locks — it’s just that her hair didn’t grow long enough to warrant cutting until now.

It may be a little crazy, but Lillyan and I both get our hair cut in Kansas.  We can pay for plane tickets to Wichita and our haircuts for the price of stylist visit in Las Vegas.  And we like our stylist in Kansas.  She’s Daddy’s cousin Kaylee. 

Lillyan has seen Kaylee do my hair so many times that just before Kaylee started cutting, Lillyan asked, “But can you please wash my hair in that sink first?”

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Apparently, Lillyan enjoys the shampoo as much as I do.

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I’m not sure if it was because she’s watched me get my haircut so many times (Kaylee is always happy to let her hang out in the shop and hold the dustpan for cleanup) … 

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… or because she has learned to sit still when necessary …

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 … or because she just enjoys the pampering, but Lillyan was a professional haircut-ee.

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Kaylee even styled her curls with the blow dryer, which is a rare treat for a curly-headed girl (she gets those curls from her Daddy, obviously, not from me).

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“Just a little trim” and “no more little baby hairs” — those were the instructions Lillyan gave Kaylee from the start.  Looks like Kaylee followed the instructions beautifully.  Here’s the before and after …

haircut before after 

Just ask for Kaylee — but book ahead — her schedule’s pretty full.

Five Generations

16 July 2009

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This composite photo hangs by my front door. More people comment on it than the huge photograph of the Sangre de Cristo mountains above our couch or the Emmy above the television.  And well they should.

This photo is of the five generations of women in my family.  Our mothers.  Our daughters. The last three of us firstborns.

The other four women in this photo have had a profound and lasting impact on my life that can never be replaced, forgotten, or matched.

These photos were all taken on the same day, just before Lillyan turned one year old. Most of us look the same, now a year and a half later, and Lillyan looks even more like the rest of us.

If you’re having trouble with the math, that’s Lillyan with her mother (me), her Grandmother (GeeBee), her Great Grandmother (who we all call Grandma) and her Great Great Grandmother. Yes, you read that right. Lillyan is blessed to have her Great Great Grandma around to laugh and giggle and tickle and love on.


great grandma lillyan kiss

Here they are sharing a smooch at our cousin Jamie’s wedding. Lillyan and her Great Great Grandma make each other very happy.

grandma and lillyan kiss

This lady is one of Lillyan’s favorite people on the earth (mine too, truth be told). She’s not the kind of grandma that takes you shopping for school clothes or pays your way for cooking lessons or sends you a check for your birthday. She’s the kind of Grandma that is there for every single one of your ballgames, plays, forensics meets, and silly programs. Her rule for cooking is this: As soon as you’re big enough to sit up by yourself, you’re big enough to sit on the counter beside the mixing bowl. She’s the kind of Grandma who makes cinnamon rolls and chocolate chip cookies so scrumptious that your grade school friends are still talking about them and your college friends are still begging for her to send them some.  She’s the kind of Grandma who will spend tireless hours entertaining your own daughter (Lillyan) with books and baking and pretending and singing songs about Jesus. She’s the kind of Grandma that no one would ever guess that she has Leukemia and has been on chemotherapy treatment for a year and half.

If you think about it, say a prayer for God’s healing hand on my Grandma today. She now has a blood infection that’s keeping her in the hospital. If you talk to her, though, she’ll tell you she feels great. She probably does.


five generations at wedding

Daddy Day and GeeBee’s B-Day

21 June 2009


Daddy’s Father’s Day present, framed for his desk:

father's day 2009


GeeBee’s Birthday present (Kymberly’s mom):

geebee bday 2009

A New Cousin

15 June 2009

j&k wedding 1Lillyan’s cousin ‘Manda (Amanda, to the rest of us) is one of Lillyan’s favorite people.  In this photo, ‘Manda is trying to do a very important job, but Lillyan still thinks she should have all of ‘Manda’s attention.

Amanda is the maid of honor at her sister Jamie’s wedding (also our cousin, of course).


j&k wedding 2Our cousin Jamie married this guy:  Kevin.  That makes Kevin our new cousin.  New cousins aren’t always babies, you know.  Sometimes they are big strong farmers from Western Kansas who take our other cousin away to be a farmer’s wife.  We’re not sad though, because we got a new cousin we like.  And they come to visit us in our desert sometimes (like to get engaged and stuff like that).


j&k wedding 3Lillyan sures likes her new cousin.  She likes him enough to cut in and ask him to dance, all by herself.  She didn’t mind much when the bride came back to share the dance, too.  (Here is where all of you make comments about how cute they look with a little girl between them.  And Lillyan looks very much like Jamie did at that age, so let your imaginations run … but give them a second, they just got married.)


j&k wedding 4I know Jamie’s Daddy remembers when he could cuddle his little girl like he is cuddling Lillyan.  Luckily, Lillyan’s Daddy wasn’t at this wedding to have to think about those kind of growing-up things.


j&k wedding 5There were other little girls at this wedding.  They brought their baby dolls and teddy bears, etc.  In true Lillyan fashion, she chose to bring these two fishing lures.  They are big and bright and floppy and slimy and sticky.  And they went everywhere with her at this wedding.  Here, she’s showing them off to the bride’s momma.


j&k wedding 6GeeBee and I were responsible for decorating the cake and memory tables.


j&k wedding 7Notice everything going on in this photo:  the pretty cake table, the bride and groom feeding each other cake, Lillyan being amused by these odd traditions, and the ever-present lime green and blue fishing lures.


j&k wedding 8Perhaps the most odd of all these traditions (imagine if YOU had never been to an American wedding before, you’d be confused too), was when they announced that any ladies who were not married should come out on the dance floor.  Onto the dance floor she trudged, willingly.  Lillyan and her fish almost got trampled in the midst of the crazy single ladies, trying to catch flowers flying through the air.  Let’s hope it’s 30 years before she ever catches those flying flowers.


“My Britches are Falling Down”

11 June 2009

Hi. My name is Lillyan. And I have a problem.

My britches are falling down.

I used to be a cute little round butterball of a child, but now I’m growing taller and more slender, and my britches are falling down. (I call them britches because that’s what my Kansas Pappy calls them.)

So, what’s a girl to do?

According to my Pappy, I need some SUSPENDERS!

We looked high and low for suspenders for a two-year-old, and my GeeBee finally found some for me at a little Western wear store in Colorado.

Check ’em out …

suspenders 01

They are still a little too long. GeeBee says she will fix them for me when we get back to Kansas.

Are they doing the trick?

suspenders 02

Hmmmm…. not quite.

Pappy’s suspenders seem to be working more effectively.

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I really need GeeBee to help me out here. There’s a lot of work to be done on this ranch, and it’s hard to get your work done with your britches falling down.

suspenders 04

Teething (again?) at Two

10 June 2009

dentist 1

Lillyan has a bit of an advantage.  While most kids are a bit nervous of the dentist’s office, she wants to go there all the time.  Her grandmother is the office manager there, and it’s a fun experience every visit — even the ones where you actually get your teeth examined.

dentist 2Lillyan loves the fun moving chairs, and she’d been talking for weeks about having Mrs. Natalie polish her teeth when we got to Kansas.

dentist 3Mrs. Natalie explained each instrument first, and, of course, Lillyan had plenty of questions and was very interested in the mechanics of the whole thing.

dentist 4First, Mrs. Natalie counted Lillyan’s teeth.  Right now, as we speak, Lillyan is in the process of getting FIVE new teeth.  That will put her at the full twenty (no more until she’s about six, thank goodness).  Maybe getting five new teeth at once explains a little of the grouchiness lately.  I guess I’ll cut her some slack.  But only until the teeth are in.

dentist 5Here is Lillyan trying out the air-water syringe.  She didn’t mind the water, but wasn’t interested in having the suction hose in her mouth.  She told Mrs. Natalie she could just do that part herself.  “Slllluuuuuuurrrppppp.”

dentist 6It was finally time for the much anticipated POLISHING.  Amazingly, she held still for Mrs. Natalie to polish every one of those 20 teeth.  The principle is that if she starts to be accustomed to it now, dentist visits should continue to be a pleasant experience.  Let’s hope that principle holds true.

dentist 7All done!  And not a tear was shed or a fuss was heard.  One dentist appointment down, 199 more to go.