Thursday, February 7, 2013


I've written before about Giraffes being our special little thing for Virginia.

It  all started with Virginia's high tech isolette, her home for over 2.5 months, which was called the giraffe bed.  Then there were the uncanny amount of baby cards that we received that had giraffes on them.  But the real connection came from the 4.5 foot giraffes that were always in the hospital gift shop.  Heath and I often took a break from the NICU in the evenings to go down to the gift shop for a rice krispie treat and a pack of cherry life savers.  It was our routine and each night the giraffes peered over us as we picked out our snacks.  After a few weeks we noticed that people actually purchased these enormous stuffed animals.  We were incredulous that people actually purchased them and carried these laughably large stuffed giraffes through the hospital to greet a patient or newborn baby.  We decided that we HAD to have one.  One day, someday, on discharge day we would walk out of Yale New Haven Hospital with Virginia and the 4.5 foot giraffe in tow.  It didn't exactly happen that way and Santa actually delivered an identical one to our house (wink wink; Amazon had them on sale), but from then on giraffes became our thing.

We started to get lots of giraffe gifts for us and Virginia.  They are all very special to us.  We now have many stuffed giraffes and figurines, a giraffe photo frame, giraffe outfits, a giraffe hair clip,  a giraffe bank, a giraffe tapestry (from Africa!), and even a beautiful giraffe wine stopper (we needed it!).

The most special giraffe of all is a small beanie baby  from my Aunt Karen.  Initially it looked like another cute addition to the shelf of small giraffes that we had acquired, but then I curiously opened the tag.  I knew from my beanie baby collecting days of the early 1990s that all beanie babies come with a name and a birthdate, which can be found inside the small tag attached to their ear.  This one was named Topper, cute!  Then I scanned down to look at the birthdate and instantly got goosebumps.  May 28, 2007... what would have been my Grandmother and our little Virginia's namesake, Virginia Klem's 92nd birthday (her first after her passing on November 28th 2006).  Ironically I also found out I was pregnant with our little Virginia on May 28, 2011.
I can feel big Virginia smiling every time I arrange Topper just so on the shelf beside Virginia's crib.

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