Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Goodbye turtle wurtles

After about 6 years with our turtles Bulbasaur, Mervin, and Nervin, we decided it was best to part ways with them.
The biggest reason is that babies and turtles don't mix.  Turtles have salmonella and babies are intrigued by turtles.  Babies constantly try to touch the water, lick the tank, or stick the turtles in their mouths.  Last thing we want is a baby sick with salmonella poisoning.  The next biggest reason, is that it simply felt like a drag taking care of them.  After a long day of taking care of Caitlin and the piggies, I never wanted to feed the turtles or clean out their filter (which kept getting clogged) so as a result, all those responsibilities fell on Jeff.  I felt bad, but never bad enough to volunteer to do it.  lol.  I really thought that the turtles would really benefit going to a different home.

                                                             The turtles when they were babies.  VERY TINY!

After several months of asking people if they were interested in adopting our turtles, and dealing with flaky friends that said they will come take them but never show up, I finally decided to consider other options.
One option was to set them free at a turtle pond -- the one I had in mind was Heavenly Pond, located in the Franklin Canyon Park in Beverly Hills.  I honestly think my turtles would do fine in the wild with other turtles, as long as it was during the warm summer when introduced. Unfortunately, we are in the middle of winter right now and I didn't want to wait until summer time.
The only other option, was to find someone online, like a turtle rescue or Craigslist.  I did a quick search on my iPhone one afternoon and found a place called CTCC (California Turtle and Tortoise Club). There was an email link to a person for questions about re-homeing turtles and adopting.  The person replied back quickly saying that the Long Beach Chapter may take my turtles and to give the woman a call.

I called and this old, hoarse, senile-sounding woman answered and immediately said she could take my turtles, no problem. I was a bit surprised.  Usually, with shelters and rescues, like for dogs and cats, they are always flooded with surrenders and cannot take in more.  But this woman was all "sure, bring them over whenever. k thx bye". Ok, maybe that was an exagggeration, but that was the feeling I got from it.  She also suggested contacting the Pasadena CTCC chapter, since they are located a bit closer to me (than Long Beach).  I googled for the Pasadena chapter's contact info, only found an email address, sent an email, and got no response.  So I called back the Long Beach chapter a week later and set up a date for the turtle drop off.  We set up for this last Saturday (Jan 26). 

We we arrived at the woman's home, it was easy to tell which house was hers... it was the house with a ton of turtle paraphernalia strewn all over the front yard.  On my drive there, I envisioned that the woman would be like a stereotypical "cat lady", but with turtles. 
Think I was correct.

Turtle crap everywhere. the sign says "The Nichol's Turtle Haven"

The front gate was locked but the woman emerged from her home, telling us to simply place the turtles and their stuff over the fence and she will take care of it.  I guess she doesn't want strangers entering her home, makes sense.  We learned from her that she has been saving turtles for over 60 years.  We also learned from her that our turtles were all boys and that she can easily find them a new home because CTCC gets hundreds of adoption requests.  Then she shared stories about turtles, like a funny story about her taking care of a 100-pound tortoise that knocked her over.  And that tortoise eventually got adopted by a guy that already owned ten 100-pound tortoises.

We left shortly after the turtle drop off.  It was bittersweet.  We've had the turtles for so long and I always thought I would keep them for much longer than 6 years.  But at the same time, it was a relief to no longer have to take care of the turtles and to constantly keep Caitlin away from them.  And I know surrendering the turtles to CTCC was the best option.

The turtles, the day before the drop off.

I wonder what the Bulbasaur, Mervin, and Nervin are doing right now. 
Probably sulking in a corner as always.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The playroom is complete!

Caitlin's dedicated playroom (which is actually a play area, since the room is sectioned off into 2 parts) is complete!  It was actually complete back in mid-December but I forgot to share about it til now!

We bought a storage rack to store a lot of the big items that used to be strewn on the floor in this room.  Aunt Grace and Uncle Kevin also got Caitlin an alphabet play mat so playtime can be less painful when she clumsily falls on her head (thank you Grace and Kevin!). I really think the alphabet playmat is really what "makes" the playroom.  Without it, it would just look like a messy room where we forgot to put her toys away.  With the play mat, it looks like all the toys belong there! 

We are very happy with the play area.  Caitlin has a clean area to play, we are finally optimizing the space in that room, and our living room no longer looks like it's been taken over by toys.  The guest area is a tad small but it's not often that we have guests anyways.  For the amount of time Caitlin spends in that room, versus the amount of time we have house guests, I think we have split up the room appropriately.

I think in the future, if Caitlin's play stuffs ends up taking over the entire room (which other people said would eventually happen), I think what we will end of doing is get rid of the spare bed for good (it's a crummy old full sized bed anyways), and just invest in a really nice queen sized air mattress.  Then when we have guests, we will pull out the air bed and make space in the play room as needed.  That seems to be what other families with kids do, and it makes the most sense!

Here are photos of the play room from mid December, right after the play area was complete. 
Sorry for the crummy lightning, I need better photo-taking + photoshop skills, but not willing to invest the effort.

Caitlin's play area.  Our new storage rack in the back.
By the way, we are selling Caitlin's exersaucer (in the back, next to the office chair).  $25!  Any takers?

A view of the guest area to the right, behind the baby gate.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

Happy 2013!
While 2012 was a great year for us, I hope 2013 is even better. 
I also hope that it moves a lot slower than 2012 (where did the year go?  Last time I checked, it was March 2012.  What happened to the remaining 9 months?).

Last night was the first time in looong time where we did not stay up until midnight to ring in the new year.
We were all exhausted, can you blame us? =)