Sunday, January 29, 2012

A New Addition!

Remember our baby turtle named Higgins? That we released back into the wild, because it was the right thing to do?

(well, mostly because he wouldn't eat. but also because it was the right thing to do.)

Well,we missed him. A lot. So after a few weeks, I went online and found a reputable breeder. Which is how we got:


This little guy stole our hearts.

When we ordered him from the breeder in Arizona, he arrived overnight through Fed Ex's Reptile Shipping Service. They have a whole department devoted entirely to live reptile delivery.

Who knew this was such a big market?

We had the option of shipping him overnight for $48.00 BUT for an additional $2.50, they would gaurantee a live delivery.

Um, yeah. We splurged on the extra $2.50.

Our little Finnegan is the exact same variety of Diamondback Terrapin as Higgins. He is supposed to be semi-aquatic, but he thinks he is fully aquatic. He never wants to leave his water.

He even sleeps underwater. Freaked me the hell out the first time I saw him floating at the bottom with his eyes closed. Every 10-15 minutes, he slowly floats to the surface to breathe, and then sinks again in his sleep. Little weirdo.

Most turtles I've seen are lethargic, and don't really do much. This guy? Is like a puppy. He gets SUPER excited to see us walk by, and swims up to say hi (and beg for food).

He is like our child. Kurt and I talk to our friends about him, like doting parents to a slightly-disinterested audience.

"And then, he walked away from me! It was so funny!!"
*polite smiles from friends who don't really care*
"Isn't that just so cute??"

 And he is, you guys. He really is so cute.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A big surprise!

Kurt walked casually into the room.

"Oh, hey. look what I did."

He handed me a paper. And on the top of that paper it said:

Cruise Itinerary


"Yeah, I booked us a cruise."


"For a week and a half from now."



Who does that, you guys? No one. No one but the guy I married.

So all those weird, annoying,and creepy things he does, just to drive me crazy...? This makes them all worth it :)

(Yes, my affection is for sale.)

We leave tomorrow :)


Saturday, January 14, 2012

A classy moment at the gym.

Kurt and I made very original resolutions this year. Involving getting in shape. And the gym.

We flock to Planet Fitness a few days per week, where Kurt starts grunting and sweating like a madman, while I half-heartedly try out all the fun machines. And I love it.

This week has been a little more rough, because I have what I fondly call "THE COLD OF DEATH."

It's the kind of head cold where you call your boss to see if they need you to come in for your on-call shift at the baby clothes store, and she says "NO. You sound awful. Don't you dare come near this store with those germs."

In between 18-hour bouts of sleep, I headed out the door with Kurt, because raising your temperature on a treadmill can actually help kill off some of those germs.

Plus I needed a reason to shower. It had been a while.

That's where we were tonight.

I climbed off my treadmill and walked towards the cleaning station. I just wanted to wipe down my machine. Then I felt it- my stuffy nose was about to leak.

I was reaching down to grab my tissue when a big, fat drip of snot splashed onto the floor.

I stared at it for a second in surprise. Then I looked up- into the grossed-out faces in the line of treadmills behind me.

Did they see that it was snot? Or did they think I was drooling? Either way, they were not amused.

Thank goodness half of them won't be here past February.

And Planet Fitness? Just got a little bit classier.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A tiny baby turtle named Higgins.

In August, we went to Outer Banks. Where we found a baby turtle.

But wait, let me back up. One of the Wives had planned this trip a year ago. I've never planned that far ahead for anything. Not my wedding, not college, certainly not a vacation. So marking something on the calendar that far in advance...It was just too responsible of me, you know? I'm more of a last-minute kind of a girl.

BUT THEN. Hurricane Irene struck. And Hatteras Island, where we had rented that beach house a year in advance, was inaccessible.

No, really. Look.

(Photo from a Chain Email sent by My Father)

Thank goodness Jamie made us pay for renter's insurance. So Kurt and I, and the other 7 families, were able to get a reimbursement, and find another house that same week, in Duck- 57 miles away, but also on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Always get the insurance.


One morning, Kurt came running back from the beach. It was incredibly early, and I was still sleeping (we're talking 9, maybe 10am). In his hand was a large shell. And in that shell was a baby turtle.

"Do you think he is ok? I thought he might be a sea turtle. How can we tell? What should we do?"

He had been searching for shells in some seaweed along the shore, and he saw a really pretty one. But when he picked it up, he realized it was a tiny, tiny baby turtle. Not even 2 inches big. He filled a shell with salt water, stuck the little guy inside, and ran back up to the house.

"Google," I said. "Google will know what to do."

And I found this: Hurricane Irene Brought Me a Visitor. What kind of turtle is it? What do I do with it?


Turns out this little one is a Diamondback Terrapin hatchling. Not a sea turtle, but a semi-aquatic little guy who is found on Cape Hatteras (they are found all over the coast, but this particular kind is found there). Irene had taken him for a ride.

Funny, right? Without the hurricane, we might have found him anyway, only in his original home.

We called the number, and asked what we should do. When they determined he wasn't a sea turtle, they said "Oh. Then it really doesn't matter."

Harsh, huh?

We loved our little guy. And he loved digging in the pillows, riding around in our hands, swimming in a pyrex bowl, and jumping off big cliffs- like the edge of the bed (we became very good at base-jumping-interventions).

The only thing he wouldn't do was eat.

In the end, we had to let him go. Because if we got all the way back to Pittsburgh, and he still wouldn't eat, it's not like we could say "Oh well, let's just take him back." (it was an 8-hour car ride)

It was really hard, though. We loved him a lot.

We did more research, and found out his ideal habitat- marshy, brackish water, with plenty of snails, worms, crabs, etc (he's a vicious little carnivore). He likes mud. And sunshine.

On the last day, we drove him back to where he had come from. We stopped and checked out lots of places, but none of them felt right.

And then we found it. A perfect, marshy embankment. With an adult terrapin swimming by.

We knew this was it.

So we knelt down, and stick him in the water. He swam back, and started digging happily in the mud.

He loved being all dirty.

We picked him back up before he could disappear, and said goodbye.

Then we set him down, and he started digging a little cave. In minutes, we couldn't see him anymore.

We sat there for a long time.

"I miss him."

"me, too."

"We did the right thing."

"I know."

And then we cried.

His name was Higgins.


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