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Re: It's been 3 months!!

PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:48 am
by SHBailey
Spike may be experiencing a tiny bit of "relocation stress" since you moved her enclosure -- that could be why she skipped a meal, and maybe why she's been more active too -- could be exploring to try and figure out where everything in her world is located now. :? My guess would be that it will probably be short-lived, since she's still in the same house with the same humans, so it shouldn't take her long to figure out that everything is still ok. :)

Re: It's been 3 months!!

PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:00 am
by smackey2
She didn't have a problem eating lunch for me. She scarfed down 10 dubias. :) And then dinner she ate 2 more hornworms. There are only 2 left, but they are considerably smaller than the other ones were so I am going to try and let them grow a little bit more. I am just glad that she actually liked them. I was afraid that I had bought them for nothing. I like being wrong, sometimes. Haha.

She seems to be a little off on her feeding schedule. Normally, I would feed her at 9:30 as her lights come on at 8:30 now. Someone is not an early dragon and was always grumpy when her lights came on at 6:30 am. So, I did a little experimenting and she seems to be a lot happier to sleep in a few more hours. I am not a morning person either, so I can't say I blame her.
Now, she is wanting to eat around 11:30 am instead of 9:30 (and is basking/warming up a lot longer in the mornings) and again at 6 pm, which has always been her normal dinner time.

I like to have a schedule, but Spike is playing by her own rules a bit. Lol. I don't mind, just as long as she is still eating.

Also, apparently I can't seem to keep my days straight... yesterday made 4 months since Spike became part of the family! So, she is now, roughly, 5 months old! :D

Re: It's been 4 months!!

PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:19 am
by smackey2
Someone ate 12 dubias for breakfast!
And I thought I would take a few pictures while I was at it.


Spike's back legs and one foot are finally peeling. :)

Re: It's been 4 months!!

PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:50 pm
by SHBailey
She looks like she's doing well and growing nicely. :D

Our reptiles' lighting schedule is driven by my husband's work schedule, since I need too much of his help taking care of them because I'm not always up to doing everything they need, so we just have to adapt. We started out with lights on 6am to 6pm, but now we're doing 9am to 9pm. But it's just as close to the natural day and night cycle either way, because the clock time in Anchorage is off by 1-2 hours from the sun time, depending on whether or not we're on daylight savings time. Right now, solar noon happens at around 2pm. Alaska once had 5 time zones (they get smaller like pieces of a pie toward the poles), but they cut it down to 2 time zones to make things easier. I like it this way because we have more daylight in the evening. At this time of the year the sun doesn't go down till after 10 pm, so I can read a book in bed without having to turn on a lamp. Of course, it does make it a little difficult to get the diurnal beardie to settle down and go to sleep at bedtime when the sun is still up. Sometimes we take him into a dark room for his bedtime cuddle, and we put a dishtowel over the terrarium when we put him back in.

Some people think it's ridiculous for Alaska to go on daylight savings time because we have so much light in the summer and so little in the winter that it really doesn't make much difference, but it does make it easier to stay in sync with the rest of the country, and I actually like the time change, especially in the spring. :wink:

Re: It's been 4 months!!

PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:21 pm
by smackey2
I have never been a morning, get up and go, kind of person. And I need a lot of coffee before I can even begin to function. For the longest time, especially before the hubby left for deployment, I worked 7 pm to 7 am in a nursing home as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant). I worked 4, 12 hour shifts one week and then 3, 12 hour shifts the next week, rinse and repeat. There were even weeks were I was pulling 100+ hours because of being short staffed. Let me just say, my feet and back were not very forgiving when it came to 16 hour shifts.
The hubby is the complete opposite. He was getting up at 4:30 am every morning even though he didn't have to be at work until 7.
Our oldest can get up and ready for school without an issues.
Our youngest.... well, he is a cranky little guy if he doesn't get to sleep past 8-9. I learned to not wake him. I can only imagine what he is going to be like when he goes to school.

Spike's lights are now set for 9:30 am to turn on and off at 9:30. It doesn't start getting dark here until around 9:15. And since she is in the computer room, where I am most of the time, I hated trying to sit on my laptop with the lights off when her lights would go off around 7:30. Plus, she was never ready for bed. So far, this way seems to be working quite well; not just for her, but me too. Haha.

Spike's tummy isn't quite as chubby anymore, but she is definitely growing. It seems weird that her belly barely fits in my palm now, especially considering basically every part of her fit in my palm when I brought her home. Well, all but some of her tail.

Re: It's been 4 months!!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:01 am
by smackey2
I have an oddball of a dragon, it seems.

I have no idea how that could even be comfortable, but apparently it is. :/

Re: It's been 4 months!!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:58 am
by SHBailey
They do seem to be able to get themselves into some weird positions -- I'm guessing she's up against the glass? :?

Sounds like Spike is losing some of her "baby fat" and getting focused on growing longer for the time being. She still looks healthy to me, oddball pose notwithstanding. :)

We have a family of 4, 2 humans and 2 reptiles, and one of each kind:
The bearded dragon is diurnal (active in the daytime).
The corn snake is crepuscular (active at morning and evening).
The male human is nocturnal (stays up all hours of the night when he gets something going on the computer, although he does that all day at work too so you wouldn't think he'd want to do it so much at home).
The female human (that's me) is "cathemeral" -- a new word that I learned from a recent issue of Reptiles magazine, also called "metaturnal". It means "irregularly active at all hours of the day or night depending on circumstances" and in my case I would add "depending on energy levels that are not reliable". In other words, my circadian rhythms are all mixed up and apparently don't belong on this planet. I think maybe I was borne with "NiCad" "batteries" -- the kind that get to where they can't hold a charge anymore after only a fairly short period of "normal use". :roll: They were popular in the 80s and 90s if I remember correctly, but have been mostly replaced by the Lithium Ion types nowadays. Unfortunately, I don't get an "upgrade". :( So I do what I can when I can and rest when I'm tired, which is way too often these days, and keeps getting worse. Maybe it's a good thing that my husband is allergic to cats and dogs because they're much harder to keep up with than reptiles.

I look back on my freshman year in college when I was carrying a full course load and working two part time jobs, one on campus and one off campus, and I really don't know how I managed to squeak by with a halfway decent GPA, except that I was over 40 years younger than I am now. I've warned my husband that whoever said "Grow old with me, the best is yet to be" was out of touch with reality. :wink:

Re: It's been 4 months!!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:45 am
by smackey2
I just don't understand how some of the positions she ends up in can be comfortable? I don't know if it is a Bearded Dragon thing or just a reptile thing in general, but it just always looks painful to me.

Yes, she smashed herself up against the front glass of the tank and underneath one of her logs. I just happened to turn around so I could go get some more coffee and there she was. Haha. She seemed quite comfortable and content there, but I wanted a picture anyway.

I don't know if she is growing out of her 'baby fat' stage or if it is just because she isn't stuffing herself to oblivion anymore. Maybe a bit of both, perhaps. She is cutting back on her roaches all on her own. In the mornings she would eat anywhere from 12-15 and the evening another 12, at least. Now her normal is becoming exactly 10 in the mornings and 8-10 in the evenings, sometimes stopping at only 5 or 6. I even offer extra, but she isn't interested and turns her nose up. I'm not complaining. Her little tummy was starting to drag the ground a bit when she was pigging out. Not anymore. And she seems to be able to climb a lot better. I am glad she is cutting herself back, honestly. I don't want her to become obese as an adult or anything that might cause her health problems that could have been prevented.

I loved my job in the nursing home, my residents especially, and my night shift coworkers were amazing. I haven't worked since March on this year as I took time off to spend with the boys and hubby before he left. Looking back now, I have no idea how I pulled all those hours. My body constantly ached, I could never relax or rest properly, I rarely saw my kids for more than a few hours out of everyday, and the hubby only on the every other weekend I had off.
I definitely couldn't take care of Spike and meet her needs before then, that is for sure. And now that we added Tweety to the family.
Honestly, I do miss working and the extra money coming in, but I don't think I could go back to that, at least not the hours I was pulling. I wouldn't mind like part time, but I don't even think I would want to go back to 12 hour shifts every time.

I tried college. I hated it, or at least the one I went to. I think it was the wrong choice for me. I definitely want to go back to get my RN, but it won't be for a few more years. I want to watch my babies grow up, human and animal wise, first.

Re: It's been 4 months!!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:37 pm
by smackey2

My youngest son has taken to calling Spike "Smiles" or "Smiley" because when he walked by her tank earlier, it honestly looked like she was smiling at him.
My family and friends on facebook have even commented about some of the pictures I take of her.
Hm. I that might end being a nick name for her, especially since my youngest seems stuck on "Smiley lizard!" Haha.

Re: It's been 4 months!!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:00 pm
by SHBailey
Yeah, I'd wake up stiff and sore if I slept in some of the positions I've seen our bearded dragon sleep in. I think it's probably a reptile thing. :?

Spike does look like she has a bit of a smile in the latest photos, but I think color is a better indicator of whether or not a beardie is happy than a "smile". It does make a cute picture though. :)

Is she eating veggies yet? At some point they're supposed to cut back on bugs and start getting most of their nutrition from veggies and greens, and you're lucky if you can get them to do it on their own, but tell that to our beardie. He's 5 years old and still thinks he's supposed to be a carnivore. At Spike's age you can start putting a daily salad in her enclosure so it's available whenever she decides to try it, if you're not doing that already.

The world needs more people like you to work in nursing homes -- the ones who really love the residents. My father-in-law is very unfortunate to be a prisoner in his own body with Parkinson's disease and dementia, but he's lucky to have caretakers at the nursing home where he lives who really seem to care about him. One of them even said he was "a joy". He's still in there, and once in a while his old personality, including his sense of humor, makes an appearance, but he's fading away. It's really sad. :cry: It takes a special kind of person to care for people in that situation and to make whatever time they have left as comfortable as possible.

I suppose I'm old fashioned in my belief that staying home to raise your kids (and take care of your critters) is more important than a career, especially when they're young. You don't get those years back if you miss them.

I loved college, but I made the mistake of running around like a little kid in a candy store scarfing up on all this knowledge, and when I got out I couldn't find a job in my chosen field -- overqualified by education but they still wouldn't hire me because I had no experience, so "B.S" was all my degree ever amounted to in terms of a career, although I don't regret that I got the education. But I often advise young people who are thinking of going to college to get into one of those internship programs where you work for school credit, and that does two things for you -- it gives you something to put on your resume' in terms of work experience in your chosen field, and it also gives you a chance to find out if you really like doing that kind of work. If you find out that you hate it, you're still young enough to go back and change your major. :wink:

Re: It's been 4 months!!

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:41 pm
by smackey2
Some of the positions I have found Spike sleeping in makes my back hurt just looking at her.

As for color, Spike is rarely ever dark and when she is, that is mostly in the mornings when I wake her up. After about 20-45 minutes of basking she is right back to her normal color. I honestly don't know what color to call her. She is kind of like a pale yellow in places, but orange and red in others, but also has this blue/purple coloring that is becoming more noticeable on her back. It seems to become brighter after every shed.

Speaking of shed, her head and now around her mouth has exploded and her one back foot and leg has mostly peeled off. Slowly, her left front leg is peeling now, too.

And she has had quite the appetite for the past couple of days. And is no longer spitting out the bugs dusted in calcium like she was. Now, she is snatching them from my fingers faster than I can blink. I don't know what changed, but I like it.

And salads are mostly a no. I have caught her nibbling here and there, but it is far and few between, at least for now. I hope that changes as she gets older.

I loved being in the nursing home. The facility I was in there were only 43 residents. The max capacity was 53, but we never made it there. We weren't in a hurry to fill up the building as a new one was in the process of being built.

I had the wound/behavior hall way, as we all referred to it. When I first started, NO ONE wanted to work that hall way. It was time consuming with treatments and wounds where you would have to help your nurse, lots of Hoyer lifts (full body), those who couldn't ambulate without assistance, those who couldn't go to the bathroom by themselves, those who needed 'total care', even one person who had a colostomy, and those who liked to push the call light 73 times in one night (true story, in a 12 hour shift.) The list goes on and on. But truthfully, I loved that hallway. I had my routine and knew exactly what I was doing. Don't get me wrong, we were trained to work the whole building and any hallway (there were 3 altogether) but everyone had their favorites and had specific hallways that we preferred. I liked walking in to work at 7 pm and having a few specific people (those that were mostly in their right mind and who could) give me hugs and tell me how happy they were to see me. It warms the heart and soul.
I had one guy, a Korean vet, and he is still there too, who always complained that no one let him walk anymore. (We didn't have much in the way of therapy). Well, I did. He could ambulate, but was mostly confined to his wheelchair. Every morning before breakfast, that I worked, I would help him get up, dressed, do everything he needed before heading out of his room, and I would get his walker and let him walk all the way up the hallway, following closely behind with his wheelchair (I usually had someone pushing it so I could hold on to him), and he absolutely loved it! He always had the biggest smile on his face and a sense of accomplishment that just radiated off of him. Afterwards, granted, he was tired and needed his wheelchair, but still. To this day, I am a very firm believer that residents should be aloud to do as much for themselves as they can. Too many aides want to do things for them, so they can rush and not have to spend so much time, but what they fail to realize is that they are taking away that residents independence.

I do agree. I am realizing all of the things that I missed with my boys while I was working so much. Granted, now that everything is financially secure I do not have to work, but I do miss it and I do want to go back into the medical field.
I think I want to try college again. In a city over, they offer a 2 year RN course. I really want to give it a try. I am only 26, almost 27, I have a lot of time left.

I have wanted to be in the medical field since as far back as I can remember. This might be too much info, but I will explain why. My Mom was 33 and Dad 35 when I was born and I was 2 months early. I weighed 4 lbs and some odd ounces when I was born. My heart was beating 420 times per minute and had to be taken by emergency c-section. I had 2 holes in my heart; one repaired itself before I was born, but the second one had to be surgically repaired. I had open heart surgery when I was 18 months old. And due to that repair (ASD- Atrial Septal Defect repair) I only have one atrium, the right. I do not have a left atrium so therefore it takes my heart longer to pump blood to the left side of my body. My blood pressure and my pulse are only accurate on the right side of my body.
If it was not for my doctors, I would not be here. My cardiologist described me as a miracle baby, whether true or not, I am still here. If anything, my doctors were my miracle. If not for them, I would not be here.
I don't have a desire to become a doctor, but an RN. And if/when I finish college, I want to go straight back to the nursing home.

And on a different note, I thought I would make a grid picture of Spike.
I got Spike on March 26th, but didn't think to measure her and document it until April 18th. If I had to guess, I would say she was roughly 7 inches when I brought her home, give or take a bit.
Still a slow grower, but growing nonetheless! 5 months old!

Re: It's been 4 months!!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:50 pm
by smackey2
Weigh in and measuring!

She was a little wiggly, but i was still able to get it done.

She is now 12 and 1/2 inches instead of 12 and 1/4; and went from 118 grams to 126 grams!
My little one is growing! :D

So, literally every part of Spike has shed except her back and tail. Her head is mostly done, but now her beard and mouth are peeling.

This little booger is snatching roaches like crazy from me! Normally, I would have to put them up to her mouth because otherwise she wouldn't open, wouldn't try to catch them, nothing. Now, I barely get it near her face and it is gone! JUST VANISHED! Haha. I don't know what sparked her change, but I like it! She is getting more aggressive, not in a mean wanting to bite way, but just with her food. It's gimme gimme gimme and a whole bug eyed reaction like she has never seen a dubia before. lol.

Re: It's been 4 months!!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:35 pm
by SHBailey
Sounds like Spike is working on another growth spurt with the new eat-every-bug-in-sight attitude. And she still has plenty of time to learn to like greens. Some beardies take to salads nicely when the time comes, and others (like ours) are more difficult. Puff probably wouldn't eat any greens at all if we didn't slip them in his mouth while he's busy chewing on a bug. :roll:

Wow. I didn't realize you were so young, or that your life had gotten off to such a rocky start. I'm 60 and my mother was 38 when she had me, third child of an Rh negative with two older sisters, one Rh negative and one Rh positive. I was glad to find out that I'm Rh positive back when I was still hoping that I might have children someday (it didn't turn out that way), but I guess I'm lucky that I didn't need a complete blood transfusion at birth. Maybe I got away with it because I was only her second Rh positive child.

My career ended early, 15 years ago, and my formal education ended a few years later. I took classes at the local university for several years, most of them for audit, but I knew I was never going to be able to go back into the workforce, so there was no real reason for it other than that it got me out of the house and kept my mind active, but that eventually got to be too much for me as well, not to mention the fact that they kept raising the tuition and it got to the point where we just couldn't afford it anymore.

The place where my father in law lives only has 5 residents, so it feels very homey, and it has a nice long deck where they take him for walks on his good days, but it's not his own home so he's really not happy there. We visited for his 80th birthday last month and we all had cake and ice cream, although he had to be spoon fed some of it. They do the best they can to make it as pleasant as possible for him under the circumstances.

Re: It's been 4 months!!

PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:29 pm
by smackey2
Spike's appetite has hit over drive, or something. Haha. She is a little bug eating machine. She did eat 3 times for me today and each time she ate 10, 5/8" dubias roaches, so 30 altogether.
I don't know what changed, but lately, she hasn't been wanting to eat her bugs unless they are dusted. Which is odd, because before, she would ALWAYS spit out the dusted ones and refuse to eat them. I am glad she is now eating her dusted roaches, but not a clue what sparked it. I didn't change the powder or anything. Maybe her taste is changing as she gets older? Who knows.

Most of Spike's shed is also now off. She rubbed her face like crazy against her rock after I gave her a bath this morning and just about all of it, but a little sliver around her mouth, has come off. Her tail looked a bit pale in color this evening, so I am curious to see if it will shed next.

I still have a few little hiccups with my health, but for the most part, I am healthy. My immune system isn't near as strong as it should be, but other than that. According to my doctors, I am good to go. I now only have to see my cardiologist every 2 years now instead of every year; unless something comes up and I call to make an appointment.

I definitely want to go back to school, but it'll be another year or so before I even attempt it, especially with the hubby gone right now. Math is going to be extremely difficult for me. Math and I just do not get along. :/

I know most places try and make the facilities feel as homey as possible, but I don't think it even compares to being in your own home, with all your own stuff, doing what you want when you want. Most people strive so much to have their own home and not being able to stay in it, live in it, has to be painful, depressing, and even aggravating. I know I wouldn't want to give it up, that's for sure.

Re: It's been 4 months!!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:19 am
by SHBailey
Maybe Spike needs a little extra calcium and vitamins and whatever you're dusting the bugs with for the major growth spurt she's working on, so perhaps she's craving it now? :? Or maybe she's just developed a taste for it -- go figure. The idea of "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" may be relevant here. :wink:

I've almost never had anything to worry about when it comes to my heart (so far, "knock wood"), except that the doctor who examined me for college entrance when I was 18 said that he heard a slight heart murmur that was probably related to the fact that I was "overweight" (I've been fat for almost all of my adult life), and he wasn't going to put it down on the form because if he did they'd make a big deal out of it. But then I made the mistake of putting that down whenever I filled out a medical history form, and one of my dentists insisted on medicating me with penicillin before and after cleaning my teeth. No problems with my heart, but I went and took the second dose before I realized why I was breaking out in a rash all over my body. No doctor has ever heard that heart murmur ever since, but I found out I'm allergic to penicillin, so maybe at least that was good to know. :roll:

I'm a little mathematically challenged myself, although I can do it if I really really try. One math class and I wouldn't be able to have a life for the duration of the semester if I wanted to get a halfway decent grade. My husband, on the other hand, is almost a genius when it comes to math and logic. He can do calculations in his head that most people need a computer to do.

My husband and I have had some long talks about what we're going to do if one or the other or both of us ever gets to where we can't stay in our own home -- at age 60, I'm starting to foresee the possibility, and it scares me to death. Exactly as you say -- need to be with my own stuff doing what I want when I want. The one thing that doesn't seem so bad is that a number of them allow pets nowadays, and the idea of being able to have a critter or two with someone else to help take care of them on my bad days when I'm not up to it, so they don't get neglected, is actually pretty appealing. For now, my husband is filling that role and is willing and able to do most of the "hard" (for me most of the time) work when it comes to taking care of them, and also willing to put them in my arms for cuddles when I don't have enough energy to haul my fat lazy body out of the bed or the chair and do my fair share of the work. :oops: So for now, I'm lucky that he's still willing and able. We've promised each other that I won't put him in a nursing home against his will and he won't put me in a nursing home against my will, but that makes it the responsibility of each of us to make that choice for ourselves, and also to be honest with each other when we get to the point where we just can't do everything that needs to be done anymore. Depressing to think about, but we're trying to be realistic about preparing for an unknown future, and making sure that Puff and Squirmles get adequately taken care of in the process.