Sunday, July 20, 2008

You've got to be kidding me: Cutest baby animals ever

Here is an alphabetical list with photos of baby animals.

Click HERE for the supreme cuteness.

Is that baby iguana kidding me?

It's hard to believe some of them are capable of ripping your face off.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Summertime, part 2.

I had a great sleepover with my nephews, Anthony and Lucas, last night.

After taking a nap to recover this afternoon, we ate a dinner and then Claire went into her room and shut the door. After a few minutes, she emerged, announcing she was heading to "the ball." (At first I thought she said "the bar" and had a mild heart attack.)

The the three of us headed out for bike riding practice. Having accidentally skipped the tricycle and big wheel stages, she's still trying to get the hang of riding a bike, which she got last year from Santa. Thanks to her big noggin, the helmet she got doesn't fit and we still need to go shopping for another -- thus, Dan's close hand.

We took Claire and her pink and purple girly bike over to the park, so she could have a wide open space to practice pedaling and steering (the real challenge).

The original plan was thwarted, though, when we got to the park and all that fun nearby was too much. Claire opted for slides and swings instead of spending too much time on the bike.

Despite the wind, the weather today was near perfect. I wish summer could last forever.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


A few weeks ago, Claire and I found ourselves on a hot Sunday with not much to do. With Dan away for a few hours I certainly didn't want to hole Claire up in the house all day and at the same time I wasn't sure I had the energy to do any heavy park-playing or anything like that.

Then it dawned on me -- kiddie pool time! Without telling her why we were going (on the off chance there were no affordable pools, I didn't want to break her perfect heart) we headed off to Meijer. Sure enough -- big inflatable "family pool" -- on sale for $15. Pretty little rainbow bathing suit -- on sale for $5.99. Air compressor to blow up pool -- $10 (although Claire didn't understand why I couldn't just blow it up myself as I searched and searched for a reasonably-priced compressor).

While she was taking a nap I got the pool filled up with air and water. It was too cold, so I spent about an hour taking pots full of hot water outside to the pool, lest Princess Claire catch a chill.

So she played outside the pool for a while, until it warmed up enough.

But all of the above -- more than worth it. The pure joy that emanated from this child on this day -- priceless. Not to mention we had an awesome girl day.

At one point, her old soul kicked in and Claire magically became 20.

But before I knew it, she was back to being 5, practicing her best Charlie's Angels moves.

After a while, Dan arrived to find his babes in bikinis. And, smart man that he is, he decided to join in the fun.

Life is good.

Monday, July 7, 2008

10 years

Ten years is a long time. Ten years ago, I was....about to turn 20. I was working in Petoskey at my first real internship. I was living alone for the first time. I was in a town with no family or friends for the first time. I was immersing myself in Vonnegut. I was ready to leave my teens.

But this post isn't about me. It's about some friends of mine who just celebrated a pretty monumental anniversary. Ten years ago, Jason and Jay were newlyweds. They had no idea they would become parents to musical and artistic wonder Kiran and sweet and free-spirited Ari. That the planets would align just right so they would be able to buy a house with a ton of windows and a big back yard, perfect for barbecues and fire pits. That they really would get to live happily ever after.

I decided that the Lantrips, who do so much and are so much, deserved an anniversary party. I have to say, I think we got 'em pretty good.

This is us walking through the back door of Beggar's Banquet in East Lansing, with their two kids exploding toward the door. Also pictured is Jason's boss, Kirk, who was instrumental in getting Jason out of work at a decent time that day and inviting his Foods For Living co-workers and his wife, Elyse, who came even though it was her birthday.

Dan and I came to town and said we wanted to buy them dinner for their anniversary -- which had been a couple of weeks earlier, around Memorial Day. I figured by offering to buy, they couldn't argue about where to go to dinner.

I was going to buy a cheesy banner that said "Happy Anniversary" but Dan insisted he make a homemade one -- which only makes sense if you know Jason and Jay.

Carmen and I made a table full of desserts, I provided a few appetizers and we had our own bartender and waiter.

We made a card box so people could make contributions to their upcoming trip out west -- which I feared they wouldn't actually do without a little help. You see, they haven't actually been on a trip, together, outside of Michigan, since they eloped in Vegas.

It's about damn time.

They were very surprised and Jay just kept saying, "I'm so happy."

Family and friends came from near and far and I think everyone had a great time.

After the kids left with Grandma and Grandpa and the rest of the babies and parents went home, we all headed to good ol' Dagwoods. This is where the night gets a little fuzzy for me. But we sure look like we're having fun...

A couple of us I think had too much fun, but, then again, you only have your 10-year anniversary once. Jason and Jay had a great time, one night surrounded by their family, friends and even their kids (who were on kid crack for having had a secret from their parents for a few hours).

They were happy (as Jay expressed so nicely on her own blog) so I am happy.

Happy Anniversary, Lantrips!