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Presents for the kids - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
Presents for the kids
My nephew's letter to Santa:
Dear Santa, Please tell Rudolph that I said "hi" to him. For Christmas I want a medium live crab, and a gumball machine where each piece of gum costs $25 and only I have the key. My name is Will Wasielewski. I also want a Nerf gun with an aimer that you can take apart. Love, Will. P.S. Please write back. P....P.S. Dear Santa, you can put any candy in my stocking because I am not allergic to anything.

My brother goes on to note: "He originally did ask for a giant crab. I told him a giant crab could be bigger than him. He denied the possibility. I told him they could definitely be pretty big. He settled on a medium sized crab."

Will is almost seven. I thought it would be fun to get him a hermit crab plus crabitat and accouterments for Christmas this year. I checked with my bro, and he and his wife talked it over and agreed that it would be okay. This will be fun! Remember good ol' Lobster, my office hermit crab? Well he is sadly long gone, but at least his memory can live on.

I don't actually know much about buying hermit crabs and accessories. Everything that a little boy will need to raise a pet crab and keep it happy. I'm going to try to find a good local fish store or pet store - though I've been warned away from big pet supply stores. I'm also open to suggestions from the internet; I know there are a few fish/crab/animal lovers on my friends list. What should I get, and where should I get it??

My niece's letter to Santa:
To Santa The red stocking belongs to our dog Rufus. Rufus would appreciate some chew toys, a bone, and some treats. I would like a Barbie three musketeer doll, a toy pony, and a cupcake machine. I would also like a Cinderella doll with a Sparkling dress. Thank you. Love Tilly. P.S. I will leave you cookies and milk.

Tilly is almost four. Do they still have those baking lightbulb things? I wonder if she might be too young for one though. I might look for a toy pony. Also she loves dancing, so I'm hoping to find a dancing doll of some sort. I saw a dancing Dora the Explorer on the internet; maybe they have those at Target.

Off to go toy shopping.... hopefully the crowds won't be too overwhelming! Fortunately buying kids' presents is fun.

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Comments
pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: December 19th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Do they still have those baking lightbulb things?

ITYM "Easy-Bake Oven". And yes they sell them, but, no, they no longer involved a light bulb, or anything vaguely involving baking.

Instead, you just mix some powder with water, slide it into the "oven" were the cupcake sets, kind of like Jello, except at room temperature. Quite nasty.

Why do I know this? Niece.

I recommend just buying various decorative icing sprinkles and such, and having your niece help ice/decorate some cupcakes that an adult has baked.
delosd From: delosd Date: December 19th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Easy-Bake Ovens don't even have *heat* anymore?!? It was bad enough when they stopped making them look like ovens and started making them look like microwaves - but no LIGHT BULB?!

What is the world coming to? Pitiful, I say, pitiful...
renniekins From: renniekins Date: December 22nd, 2009 03:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I settled on dolls and books.... the cupcake maker didn't seem like that great of an idea.
hannunvaakuna From: hannunvaakuna Date: December 19th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh yes, i had my niece shopping adventure last night and now my living room looks like there was an explosion of pink and princess crap EVERYWHERE!

so much fun! (:
hannunvaakuna From: hannunvaakuna Date: December 19th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh yeah! we need to figure out a meetup so i can get your laptop back to you before you head out of town. <3
renniekins From: renniekins Date: December 22nd, 2009 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Ack! I forgot all about it. I'm leaving wednesday morning... hmm. probably easiest to not worry about it, I'll just take my bigger laptop to Chicago. Not a big deal.

Would love to get together when I get back though! I'll be gone wednesday thru saturday, then sunday is Christmas with M's family.
ms_hecubus From: ms_hecubus Date: December 19th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hermit crabs live in colonies so it would be better to get him two.

10 gallon tank
All glass hinged lid* (sold with the aquarium hoods)
Undertank heater
Substrate (A mixture of sand and eco earth are great for holding moisture)
A thermometer and hygrometer to measure heat and humidity
Extra shells
2 water dishes -one for fresh and one for salt
Small box of instant ocean for mixing salt water (lasts longer and the premixed stuff is junk)
Driftwood for climbing
Any other tank decorations you'd like

A light isn't neeed but can help for heat. As long as the tank is staying 75 degrees or more you can just use an aquarium hood light for viewing. If it's getting colder than that you will want to get two reptile clamp lights, one with a daylight bulb and one for night.

Check out www.hermitcrabassociation.com. They have excellent care sheets.

They're in Chicago, right? I'd buy the supplies here and take him out to buy the crabs when you get there. They're kind of delicate creatures and this weather won't be kind to them.

If you want I'd be happy to help you go shopping. Pet shops will try to sell you a bunch of stuff that's pure junk.

*Screen lids are bad for crabs since they use a modified gill to breath. They need a lot of humidity in the air to get the oxygen. Opening the lid to take care of them will give them more than enough fresh air.
ms_hecubus From: ms_hecubus Date: December 19th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, most commercial hermit crab food is kind of junky. Get him a small container, but encourage him to suppliment with shrimp (the freeze dried kind sold for fish are good), unsweetened coconut or walnuts contain needed nutrients and other fresh veggies are good.

As to where to buy. Honestly, Petco has good policies in crab care and since all crabs are wild caught it's not like you're supporting big crab farms or anything. The aquarium shop on Woodward takes good care of their crabs, but Best Pets on Dequindre is a death trap. Petsmart is OK, but they're not consistent in how they treat their animals. Pet Supplies Plus on Telegraph has had healthy crabs when I've been there. Premier Pet Supplies on Southfield is another place that is pretty good but not great.
ms_hecubus From: ms_hecubus Date: December 19th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
PS: I forgot to put dechlorinator on the list. The kind they sell for hermit crabs isn't the best. Get it from the fish department. Just avoid the ones that say they have an added slime coat.

Seriously, you can call me and I'll go with you if you want. 248-890-9343. I love shopping for pet supplies.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: December 22nd, 2009 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for all your advice and suggestions! I've been reading them carefully. I wish I'd had more time - if so I'd take you up on your offer to help me shop. Sadly I'm leaving wednesday morning, so went to Petco this evening.

I bought a bunch of accessories but no crabs. I have to figure out when's the best time to get the crabs themselves. We're driving to chicago wednesday morning, and I'll probably pick some up either near or in the city.

Anyway I spent lots of money on some fancy crabitat accessories. Got almost everything you've listed here except the heater (and the crabs), but I did get a thermometer and hydrometer so we can add a heater if it proves necessary. The guy at the store insisted a heater wasn't necessary. We'll see....
larcb From: larcb Date: December 19th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
You are the Aunt of Awesome. Also, do you have a relative who was a principal in Hamtramck? My first principal there had the same last name as you, although I am stupidly blanking on his first name.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: December 22nd, 2009 03:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Nope, probably not related to me. My family didn't grow up in this area. However actually my last name is not a uncommon Polish name. It means something like "Prince's son".
ellalthea From: ellalthea Date: December 20th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
omg those letters are so adorable!
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