Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Simple Gift

This year we decided to go small for Oliver's birthday.  We told him he could pick out one toy from Target.  Yesterday we went to Target and Oliver had a great time scanning the aisles.  He finally spotted his dream toy: a frog habitat.  I was happy Oliver picked an animal habitat rather than a weapon, but I was slightly weary about adding another pet to the mix.
Glenn and I assumed we could catch a tadpole outside, watch it turn into a frog, then release it back into the wild. We agreed to buy the habitat.  When we got home, I opened the habitat and read the instructions.  The instruction manual said we would be very bad people if we went out into the wild and stole a little tadpole (they may have worded it differently).  Instead, we would have to buy one of four different frog species or tadpoles.  Glenn did some research and found a low-maintenance frog to buy.  My mom got on board and offered to buy the frog for Oliver's birthday.  This is the fire-bellied toad (it is called a toad but it is really a frog) we decided to buy.
Off we all went to the pet store this morning to buy a seven-dollar frog.  First we discovered we would need to provide the frog with a heat source, so Grammy offered to spring for the 13 dollar bulb.
Then we asked about frog food.  Our frog would need to feed on three to five live crickets a day.  Each tiny cricket would cost us 12 cents.  TWELVE CENTS (and that is with the Petco card discount).
Not only do we have to buy these little creatures every couple of weeks, we have to feed and house them as well.  We added cricket food to the bill.  I set up our empty aquarium with cricket food, water and amenities.  Cricket watching is almost as enjoyable as frog watching.
Pearl was determined; if she wasn't going to be able to eat a cricket, at the very least, she would sample the cricket food.
We found out fire-bellied toads like to live with other frogs, so we purchased two instead of one.  Welcome to the family Prince Zuko and Princess Azula.
These frogs have a life span of up to 15 years.  I shudder to think of all of the crickets we will have to purchase in that time.  Plans are also being developed to increase the habitat size.  I believe this is the most elaborate simple gift I have ever purchased.  Happy Birthday to our sweet boy.  You are worth every penny.


  1. Happy Birthday Oliver! Looks like your sister is enjoying your birthday gift as much as you are. I did the math, that is a very elaborate Birthday present. Maybe they'll babies, Jess, and then you can maybe add cricket breeding to your to-do list.

    I am wondering if it would not be cheaper for you to purchase your crickets by the bucket at a bait and tackle shop. They sell them here at Bank's Lake for the fishermen and they are way less than 12 cents each. Just a thought! At least I heard crickets in the house bring good luck!

  2. p.s. my friend Sandy, who runs the Bank's Lake Outpost (where she sells the crickets for the fishermen) always puts lots of orange slices in the cricket housing (of course she keeps more than just a few dozen) and the crickets really suck them them water and energy. Since you live in California, you probably have a few orange trees on the property, just thought you might want to know. No reason the crickets can't have a good time till they become dinner, right?

  3. Thanks for the cricket ideas, Doris. I couldn't find any at our local bait shop, but we are still looking for a good deal!

  4. OK, I tracked down your website and Meredith and I read it. She made sure I knew who was in each picture and if she did not know she asked me. Lovely people you are.