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


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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.


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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