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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Turtle Tales

To My Grandson Dallin That Loves Wildlife
and at 9 Years Old, Still Believes In Santa Claus


My daughter Marnie and her family have started this tradition to go to Big Bear for the week before Christmas. It's a wonderful time to play in the snow and see the glistening lights and just be cozy for a week. However, to do this Marnie and Steve have to be done with all their shopping, wrapping, giving, visiting teaching...everything! And of course, that includes someone to take care of their "menagerie"  and this year Marnie delegated jobs out to a number of different babysitters. I seemed to be blessed with the sweet new Christmas present, the turtle. It's actually a tortoise, but for the sake of 'easier for me' I'll be calling it turtle or Herman. I did call it Herminee, but because I really have this deep feeling that Herman is a boy. Again for this post since it is Dallin, my grandson, who's receiving this super, stunning, little, baby turtle, I'll just refer to the turtle as a boy, Herman.

The New Baby!
 I know that Marnie knew that I would just smother her little present (Herman) with tons of attention and I was excited to learn how to care for such a sweet pet. We did notice a bit of jealousy between the the new baby hamsters and Herman.


"Do You Want To Babysit?"

Me With Herman
 Marnie texted me and I texted her to let her know just how Herman was getting along in a strange home. He is so cute. I just wanted to remember how fun it was to have adventures with Herman through Internet photos. Most of the photos I didn't even take or invent, but there are some great turtle photos on the Internet and gave us loads of fun with our adventures.


Marnie: "That's funny!" "Silly pictures. Is he being a pain in the neck?" "Thank you for watching him." "Is he okay?" Marnie was really worried that he would turn on his back and die. I was worried, too. I was so scared that got-up during the night to make sure he wasn't upside-down. It would be so disappointing for Marnie if her little Herman died. I can tell she really, really loves him and me...I would cry because I ruining their favorite Christmas gift.

Me: "He's in bed with me he's freezing." "I think Herman needs a heat lamp." We had some cold weather and he was just staying in his little house and I was so worried he would go into hibernation and then again the threat that he would die. I did hold him and put both my hands around him until he started to really move around. He was mad at me because I started touching his closed eyes and pulling at his little toe nails. He woke-up grumpy.

Marnie: "Really, I have one (a heat lamp) I just didn't want to bother you with this." "Is Dad home?"
Marnie: "After Herman is warmed-up he'll probably eat better" "Thank you for warming him up again."
Me: "Yes, Dad's outside."
Marnie: "Okay, If you want you can put the turtle outside. I just don't want the cats to eat him."


Ahhhh, Our cats love turtles.

What happened here?
Marnie: "The lamp is on Steve's work bench it has a stand."
Me: "Okay, we'll definitely get the lamp." "Thank you, Herman Ninja in my bed, again."
Marnie: "I love you mommy, thank you again and goodnight."

Marnie: "You're nursing the baby turtle, right?" "Ha! Ha!" "You're having bonding time."
I did laugh very hard at that statement because it's a running joke in our family. I start holding my new grandchildren and I'm so pro-nursing that they tease me that I'm going to just nurse ANY newborn which has now morphed into all baby animals. The thought of nursing a turtle with a beak like, Whoa! Crazier than a real baby, with a mouthful of vampire teeth. Yikes!


Marnie: "That's crazy looking." Me back:"Well it's your baby turtle." "Didn't you notice this?"
Marnie: "I guess I missed THAT SIDE of him." "Mom, your fun!" "Did you get the light?" "Melissa can help you get in because she's getting the stroller and maybe she could get the light, too?"

Herman Is Cold and He's Got His Turtle-neck On

Me: "Okay, I would like that" "We need the heat."
Marnie: "I will let your know if she's coming." "Herman will not want to come home to us,"
"Oh good, I'm glad he woke-up and tell dad thanks for getting the light."

Me: "Dad just got back and have a good night."


Marnie: "I hope he enjoys the light-is he happy now?"



Me "It seems eating is his favorite activity when he's warm." "He gives me a big smile!"


Marnie;"So he finally ate?" "Is he really eating all of these things?"

Marnie; "Dallin loves them, too."
Me: "I do not like those kind of salamanders." "They're very strange!"


Me: "This morning Herman told me he was bored and I know, I know!" "I guess I over-did it yesterday."
 "B-O-R-E-D!" "I let him take his snail-friend for a ride but she started upsetting him, I don't know why... but she slipped-off the back and hid under the water fountain." "Herman's really sad."


 "I had to make candy again and help mom." "Herman doesn't get it, he thinks grandma should be entertaining HIM." "Your dad helped me make this costume and spray-painted it to match your turtle." "He needs a friend that resembles a turtle." "The costume is claustrophobic"

"Oh my gosh!" "I would hate to be to be a turtle and claustrophobic." "I guess that doesn't happen much because we don't see a lot of naked turtles running around."

Marnie: "That's crazy-looking!"

Me: "I painted the turtle and now I'm getting bored." This could make Kenna so happy." "Hope you don't mind because I painted him with fingernail polish." "I still had the black toe-nail polish from Kiely's Bachelorette's Party." "Oh no, Dad just left for the fingernail polish remover at the drug store." "He's getting worried that the paint may get-down to his skin through the shell and burn him."

Marnie: "How's the little turtle doing?"
Me: "For future reference Herman really, really likes his stomach scratched."


"And! Did you know his hobbies are cars and jets? "Maybe he IS a boy, Marnie."



Me: "It's seems wheels and turtles don't go well together." "I can't believe the driveway is so steep." "We were going to go up to the mailbox but changed our minds. He would've really been hurt, probably flipped." "Herman got already scuffed-up as you can see... and I know they're just surface burns, but ouchie!"

Me: "Today Herman and I had a long talk (turtle whispering) anyways, I told him how I loved my Chia Pet turtle so much and wished he was real."

"Herman thought the idea of growing grass on a real turtle was gross." "I explained that it does happen and works well and he could grown his own food." "I had to show him the underwater turtle and it freaked him-out."

Me: "Oh yeah, this picture really shocked him." "So Herman let me do a scaled-down version."
"I'm looking silly, huh?"

Me: "After all the humiliation that I put Herman through yesterday, I guess I gave him a bad dream and he had to tell me who he really is-It was a secret in his family." "Herman comes from a famous line, not the dumb, big, flippered, surfer dudes in the ocean or ponds." "He has this calling in his life."

Me: "Herman had all these special fighting tools in his pocket under his shell. the secret identity came right out." "It was that he is a Ninja Turtle." The weapons had to come out anyway-- they were giving him a rash." "Herman's father's name was RAPHAEL and who'd guess this was true?" " "It just could have been dress-up but his weapons are real." "He even had one of those Ninja Stars!" "Scary!" "Herman does have a family picture of himself and all his cousins." "Herman is on the lower left."



"I can see that he is really special, but you knew that deep in your heart." "I also found out that he sometimes works as a double on this "pet rescue show" on TV. and showed me a portfolio picture of himself that he hands-out for autographs." "Did you know all this?"


"Don't DO THAT Again!"
Me: "I had to get Herman in the house because he was throwing a big fit and had his own SCREAM-FEST" "All the animal's were looking at him in shock." "Herman has seemed to be so mellow." "He certainly has a little temper!"


Me: "Herman ran-away, dang!" "He's missing--I'm so sorry Marnie." "Can you get another turtle?"

Dec. 23rd
Me: "We found lil' Herman." "He ran off to find some flowers to make friends again with his snail friend." "Her name is Slowee the snail, she was gnawing on his shell and he yelled at her and it hurt her feelings." "Herman went out to find her some flowers." "How cute, huh?"
Me: "I guess Herman is still young and he got side-tracked because after visiting with Slowee he decided to go to take some laps in the pool." "Kids are so naive!" "Herman can't swim, he doesn't even have webbed feet and he hug all around the edge all day trying to get out." "No wonder I couldn't find Herman." "I don't speak Turtleese very well but learned that 'Hissss, snap-snap!' 'Hissss, snap-snap!' means HELP." "You may need this information for later.



Me: "Herman is trying to do his dress-up daddy-style." "He wants to fit in your family and asked me if this was a good SWAT-LOOK?"


Me: "This is Herman's Dallin-look" "Silly-guy!" " He's really hoping for the blue uniforms this next year and already bought the ball-cap."

"Do I look Cool?"
Dec. 23 Evening
Me: "Herman drew a picture of himself." "He getting nervous about Christmas and is very excited."
Marnie: "That's awesome!" "How did he do today?"

Me: "Herman saw Dustin's old thumb skateboard and I had to let him try it, but no rolling down anywhere just flipping around in the kitchen." "He did hit the wall and a chair leg, but no damage and now he thinks he's neat and wants to try-out the skate park with Dallin as soon as it warms up a little."


Me: "Herman's eating right now." "I gave him some rose petal leaves and he's devouring them, like a pig." "I think he needs a good soaking and he's probably thirsty from all the skate boarding today."
Marnie: "Sounds good and we can soak him when we get home." "Thanks-I love you."

Dec 24th
Herman through Internet Translation Services: " I'm so happy I get to see my family today." "Yay!" "Bet you didn't know I'm a disco-dancing Ninja Turtle." "I also do Salsa dancing, Murango, Foxtrot, Rumba, Shufflee, and I Boot Scoot to slow dances and my best moves are Break-Dancing. I spin like a top!" "Whoot!" "Whoot!"

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