A Toad Abode

This past weekend, we made a super quick trip to our hometown of Pensacola, Florida, to celebrate the 80th birthday of Chris’s grandmother, Grandma Brown.  Grandma Brown has been in my life since I was 15 years old.  She is very special to both Chris and me, and it was so nice to be able to celebrate her with family.


We saw family members we hadn’t seen in years.  Unfortunately, I was having such a nice time talking to everyone that I didn’t take a single darn picture.  Chris’s aunt sent me this super cute one of the kids with Grandma Brown, but that is literally the ONLY picture I have from the night.  I’m a terrible granddaughter.  And blogger.


The birthday party was held at a yacht club on the water, which was perfect for the kids.  When things got a little too adult-y for them, they just ran outside to play along the jetty and the boat slips.  I noticed them running in and out of the party room all night long, and was happy they had found something to occupy their time.

A little ways through the party, I noticed the kids hanging around my purse.  They were digging through it and then running back outside.  Then, coming back to my purse again, digging through it, and then running back outside again.  I broke away from talking with family for a minute to go poke around my purse.

“What are you guys doing?” I asked the kids.

Their eyes were as wide as saucers and neither of them said a word.

“What’s going on in my purse?”


Finally, I started digging around in my purse to see what the fuss was about.  I found a handful of seashells in the bottom of my bag and pulled them out.  “You’re collecting seashells?” I asked, happily.

“Well…” said Bean.  “They aren’t just seashells…”

Hermit crabs.  There were seven hermit crabs in my purse, y’all.

I made them put all of them back except for two.  They each got to keep one, and we took them back to Chris’s mom’s house after the party.  We put them in saltwater, poked holes in the lid, and went to bed.  But we woke up the next morning to find that the hermit crabs had not made it through the night.

(Sorry we killed your crabs, God.)

We drove home on Sunday afternoon, and by Monday afternoon, the kids were floating in the pool, enjoying the peace and quiet of being back home.  That is, until Gracie came face to face with a giant toad swimming along next to her.

She and Bean carefully saved the toad and kept him in a little box all afternoon.  They were so excited to have another chance to keep a new pet.  We got out Bean’s book on frogs and toads and did some research to find out what kind of frog it was.  Turns out, it’s an American Toad and they make great pets!  Who knew?

I told them if we were going to keep him, we had to make him a real home so that he was comfortable and happy.  Thankfully, Chris came home right then and was able to help us.  He and Bean made a screen lid for the 10 gallon tank we had out in the garage.





We filled it with dirt from the backyard and put some rocks in there for him to climb on.  I read online that they need a bowl of water to swim in and that they like to have places to hide.  So, Chris cut a hole in one of our sand toys and we gave him a little Toady Castle.


So, meet our toad.  Captain FroggyPants, or Captain for short.



Welcome to the family, Captain.

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3 Thoughts to “A Toad Abode”

  1. Awww, love their love of nature! And that little castle! Adorable.

    I’m positive you already know this, but just in case some other readers get inspired to adopt amphibious wildlife after seeing this, the science teacher in me has to warn everyone that animals like toads (and turtles, and other super-fun-to-hold critters) can carry salmonella on their skin – so be sure to vigilantly wash all hands after holding them! :).

  2. Rachel

    My kids had a frog for a pet one winter. His name was Hopper. He would only eat live crickets, which I had to purchase at the pet store on a weekly basis. It got to the point when I would enter the pet store, they would ask “One dozen or two?” kind of similar to on Cheers when Norm would enter the bar & everyone would shout his name. =)
    PS, if he dries out because he ran out of water, and looks like it’s time for his funeral, try splashing water on him & re-hydrating him… don’t ask how I know this works, lol.

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