We have a thing for giraffes around here. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true. It’s not like Steven and I are obsessed with giraffes or anything. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve really given this animal more than a second thought over the years. I mean, yeah, they’re majestic creatures, but neither of us has a hidden collection of giraffe figurines on display.

That being said, I should probably admit that we have an over abundance of giraffe toys, stuffed animals, blankets, and baby clothes, and now a 4-foot-tall lighted giraffe decoration for our yard.

It all started about three years ago with our friend Foerth. I’ve already written about him at length in several other blog posts, so most of you are probably pretty familiar with the stories. I can’t remember exactly how it all started. It was just one of those lazy days we were spending hanging out with Foerth, watching TV, bantering over movies and sports. As always, Foerth was getting all riled up about something. And, as always, as soon as Steven and I noticed his agitation, we started focusing our attention on irritating him. It was just some weird coincidence that a commercial with a giraffe came on right when Foerth was reaching is boiling point. In his exasperation, he stood up and declared,

“I’ll have you know, that the giraffe is the most feared animal in the animal kingdom!”

Then he stormed into the kitchen, grabbed another beer, and slammed the fridge closed.

Steven and I laughed until we nearly puked. Then, we started in on a whole new line of harassment.

“Oh really?” Steven asked. “So a giraffe is higher on the food chain than, oh, say, a lion?”

“Yeah Foerth,” I continue. “I guess that’s why you always see so many of those ‘When Giraffes Attack’ videos, huh?”

This went on for hours, days, weeks. Hell, we still like to bring it up every now and then, just to watch Foerth squirm.

Around this same time, I found out that I was pregnant with Cadence. Maybe it was something about the timing of it all. Or maybe it was that I could hardly get the story out I was laughing so hard. Whatever it was, something about the giraffes hit home with my friend and co-worker Nikki. One day, I walked in and found a little giraffe bib hanging on my computer. A few days later, there was a fuzzy giraffe blanket sitting on my chair. Then there were rattles and musical toys and onesies. There were stuffed animals–dozens of stuffed animals, big and small. It was as if Nikki had suddenly begun to see giraffes everywhere, and couldn’t keep herself from delivering each and every one to our doorstep. Soon, our house was filled with giraffes, and each time a new one would arrive, poor Foerth would just shake his head, knowing that there was no way he was ever going to live this one down.

Last week, when Mom and Dad arrived to spend the night before heading to Omaha for Dad’s surgery, they brought along a few extra strands of lights to help Steven get started on our Christmas decorating. They also brought along a 4-foot tall giraffe decoration that Duane had seen in Wal-Mart and couldn’t help but to buy for Miss Cadence.

Yeah, you know the first person he though of when he saw it was his favorite Father Foerth.

Right now, the giraffe, which I’ve named Nelson (don’t ask me why; I just think he looks like a Nelson) is still sitting in our living room, waiting his turn to be relocated to the front lawn for our Christmas display. In the meantime, he’s been getting plenty of attention from Miss Cadence. (She likes to pet him and bring him plates of imaginary food that she prepares in her kitchen). And even from little Cosette, who decided this morning that she wanted Nelson to give her a ride. So, when we woke this morning, this is what we discovered…





At first, Miss Cadence didn’t even notice Cosette playing cowgirl. She ran through the living room, dining room, and kitchen asking, “Where is Cosette? I can’t find her? Where is she?” until I told her to come back in the living room and see what Cosette was up to.



Then, she spied her silly little elf…


Haha! Crazy Cosette! What will she think of next!?


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