Santa Claus and the Bearded Dragon: I Believe

My daughter wants a bird for Christmas this year. I told her no, but remembering what happened last year maybe I should start shopping for a cage. Here’s the story.

bearded dragon

(Originally posted March 26, 2012)

This was the conversation between me and my 8-year-old daughter right before Halloween:

Her: I want a lizard for Christmas.
Me: Um, no.
Her: Please mommy.
Me: No. No way. No way in H-E-L-L.
Her: Why?
Me: Because they’re yucky and icky. And because I said so.
Her: Fine, I’ll ask Santa for one.
Me: Santa doesn’t bring gifts mom and dad haven’t approved.
Her: You don’t know about Santa or lizards mom. I’m asking him for one!

Now repeat this conversation each and every day for the next month or so, which puts us somewhere in late November. I’m at a neighbor’s house (a neighbor who knows nothing of the convo between daughter & me) for a fund-raiser/party when she pulls me aside to show me this “crazy new thing” she has. I follow her into the next room and find myself face to face with a large, scaly, beady-eyed bearded dragon lizard.

Me: WHUCK?!
Neighbor: It’s not mine. A friend found it abandoned in one of his rental properties and couldn’t leave it there to die so he brought it here. I don’t know what to do with it. If you know anyone who wants or needs a lizard, let me know.
Me: (Insert stunned silence here.)

Folks, I’m not a religious person but I think my little girl must have been praying every single night for Santa to bring her a lizard. Praying hard. And since I’m too smart to spit in the face of divine reptilian intervention, Santa brought¬†a bearded dragon to our house on Christmas morning. Her name is Elizabeth, Lizzy for short, and it took about a day for her to melt my heart. I’m not ashamed to admit I was wrong – she’s not icky or yucky. I love her. When I pet her I’m reminded that Christmas is a magical season, that you’re never too old to believe in Santa, and that my youngest daughter is a powerful force to be reckoned with.

bearded dragon

A is for Aquarium Stand: A-Z Blog Challenge

Santa brought my daughter a lizard for Christmas last year. It lives in a 50-gallon aquarium tank in my living room. Did you hear me? I said there’s a 4-foot freakin’ glass box sitting in my living room. With a lizard in it.

My challenges:
1. Find a piece of furniture that makes this tank look good incredible.
2. Make it look like it belongs in the room/fits with my decor.
3. Incorporate storage to hide things like live crickets and freeze-dried crickets grasshoppers.
4. As always, do it for cheap.

I searched high-and-low for traditional aquarium stands that fit these criteria. All the options were either too ugly or too expensive. So I turned to my good friend, the Salvation Army. It was there I found this lovely for $60.

A is for aquarium stand

Perfect. I knew as soon as I saw it. And yes, I realize it’s a china hutch, not an aquarium stand. After a lot of demo, sanding, sweating, and painting it was transformed into this.

A is for aquarium stand

A is for aquarium stand

A is for aquarium stand

A is for aquarium stand

A is for aquarium stand

Beautiful, yes? I included a couple close-ups of the distressing since you can’t see it very well in the other shots. My favorite part is the faux stainless steel base/stand that, ironically enough, matches the base of the china hutch in my dining room. Confession: I’m not in love with the feathers on the doors but I can’t make up my mind what else to do. Those flat panels are screaming for a painted pattern of some sort but there are so many great options, I just can’t decide. Here are some of my favorite inspiration pieces.

A is for aquarium stand

A is for aquarium stand

A is for aquarium standA is for aquarium stand
In the end I want the doors to make a statement, but not a “high-five you in the face with a hammer” statement. I’ll be sure to post an update if I ever make a decision. Of course your ideas and suggestions are welcome.

This post is the first in a series of 26 inspired by the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Click over and see all the amazing bloggers working their way through the alphabet in April.