How Cats and Babies are NOT Alike

I mentioned last month that my husband and I adopted two kittens.  We’re very excited about our new furry family members but we have to watch how often we tell stories about our cats.  You see, most of our friends have young children.  Consequently, if we go to a group gathering there are babies everywhere.  Babies on laps.  Babies on the floor.  Babies on the mind and in the conversation.  If my husband and I try to tell anecdotes about our kittens among the discussions of child-rearing, we come off as the type of people who think their pets are equal to children.

I know I’ve made the comparison between cats and babies before, but really, we don’t think pets are equatable to children.  It’s just difficult to contribute to a conversation about children when you don’t have any.  To prove that we know this, I’ve created a list of some of the many differences between raising cats and raising children.

1.  You can leave cats alone at home.  You should not leave babies alone at home.

leaving aloneAnd you really shouldn’t lock babies in the bathroom if they are being a pest.

2.  Cats are trained to use the litter box.  Litter box training is not a suitable substitute for potty training.

kitty litterI know that diapers are expensive, but in the long run it will be to your benefit to potty train your child–it’s a pain to bring kitty litter with you everywhere.

3.  You can fee cats out of bowls on the floor.  You should not feed babies out of bowls on the floor on a regular basis (even if they would be perfectly content to do so).

eatingIn my opinion, floor feeding is okay every once in awhile.  Goodness knows that both creatures eat things off the floor anyway.  Just don’t make it a habit for a baby.

4.  You can train cats not to do things by squirting them with water.  It is frowned upon to train babies by squirting them with water.

disciplineTo properly train a baby, you firmly tell them “No” and keep repeating this step as needed for 5-20 years for the lesson to fully take effect.

 

5.  Cats can hunt and eat mice.  Never let a baby hunt a mouse and most certainly don’t let a baby eat a mouse.

hunting

I think it’s nice that cats have a practical function of helping keep your home rodent-free.  I also think it’s nice that babies don’t eat rodents.

So, there you have it:  Several examples proving that my husband and I do know that there is a difference between raising cats and raising children.  So please don’t be offended if we start talking about our pets while you are talking about children–it’s just that we can’t relate to your stories about middle-of-the-night feedings and blowout diapers.

Without further ado, here’s a cute kitten picture!

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A Positive Customer Service Experience

At the beginning of December, I ordered my husband’s Christmas gift from ThinkGeek.  A few days later I received notification that my order had been processed and would soon be on its way.  I clicked on the link that took me to UPS’s tracking site, saw that my package hadn’t shipped from there yet, decided to check back in a few days, and then promptly forgot about the gift.

On Monday I realized that I hadn’t gotten my order yet.  When I checked the tracking site again, I saw that there still wasn’t a delivery status posted.  Since it was well beyond the 24-48 hour period, I e-mailed UPS to find out what happen to the package.  I still haven’t heard back from them.

On Wednesday, I called ThinkGeek’s customer service number to see if they could do anything about the missing order.  In less than 2 minutes I was talking to an actual person and not just pushing numbers on my phone.  The service rep. checked the status of my order.  Since he didn’t know what went wrong, he said that he would put in a replacement order for me and make sure that it got there by Christmas.  When I told him that my husband and I were leaving town before Christmas, he arranged to have the order delivered by Saturday.  My husband’s Christmas gift arrived yesterday.

It brightens my week that not only was I able to talk to an actual person about my order issue, he promptly fixed the order without trying to pass along the problem.  So, thank you ThinkGeek!


Winter Clothing

Ladies and gentlemen, you may not have realized this, but in the Midwest we have the winter season.  With the winter season comes freezing temperatures, blustery winds, and even snow.  Winter comes every year, so obviously it should take us by surprise.  I think we should all be flabbergasted when it snows in December.  “What, it snows?!  Since when?  It didn’t do this in June!”  Same with freezing temps.  “Since when does it dip below 20 degrees?  Just 4 months ago it was 90 degrees!”

Since we obviously can’t remember what happens in winter, it’s no surprise that many of us can’t remember what to wear when the frigid winds blow.  But have no fear, I have taken the time to illustrate how to properly dress for the cold.

1.  Coat

coatYour winter coat should be warm (which would seem obvious, but you’d be surprised what people try to pass off as winter coats).  It should close tightly and should zip or button up to your neck.  Also, it should be long enough to cover at least part of your rear–unless you like having a cold butt.

2.  Mittens or gloves

mittensMittens and gloves stop your hands from getting that tingly feeling when your hands get too cold.  Mittens are actually a better choice for warmth, but gloves make for easier mobility.  You should own at least one pair of waterproof mittens or gloves.  NEVER buy gloves for young children, especially if you send them to daycare or preschool–getting their tiny fingers into the tiny fingerholes is a nightmare.

3.  Hat

hatA hat keeps your head and ears warm.  What about earmuffs and headbands, you ask?  They don’t count.  Not only does a hat keep your head warm, it also keeps body heat from leaving.  And I know that hats give you hat hair, but deal with it.  It’s winter–you can either be fashionable or warm.

4.  Boots

bootsA good pair of snow boots keep your feet warm and dry during the coldest and snowiest days.  Snow boots should be at least water resistant, if not waterproof.  Ugg boots do not meet this standard.  Likewise, they should have a good tread so you don’t loose your footing on ice.  I learned this the hard way.

5.  Scarf 

scarfA properly worn winter scarf (none of this decorative scarf made of thin materials nonsense) will keep your neck and lower half of your face warm.  Scarves are pretty much guaranteed to make you look ridiculous, so you might as well have fun while wearing one.  For the Doctor Who fan, you can always go with the Tom Baker look-alike scarf  (a bit pricey for my taste, but some people enjoy this sort of thing).  Today at church, I saw two little boys with scarves in the shape of snakes.  Personally, I went with the ninja look in college–black coat, black hat, black scarf.  Hiii-ya!

When you combine all of these pieces together, you’ll look something like this:

full outfit

Additional accouterments include long underwear and snowpants.

 Will you look like an idiot?  Yes.  Will you actually be an idiot?  No, because you’ll be dressed warmly while those “cool” looking people will actually just be cold.

Oh, and never, under any circumstances, should you go out in winter like this:

bad idea

I don’t care if all the other college girls at the bar are dressed like this, your Ugg boots are not going to keep your entire body warm if you pass out in an alleyway.


Introversion, Shyness, and the Pastor’s Wife

A Facebook friend had posted this on her wall today.  I was uncertain how this article about helping the pastor’s wife would come across, but his list actually proved to be insightful and clear.  To be honest, I don’t know who the author of this blog is and what denomination he belongs to (or even if his other writings are complete rubbish), but he mentioned many of the stressors that pastor’s wives can face.  #3 rang especially true for me:

No two pastor’s wives are the same. Some love having others in their homes. Some sing or play an instrument. Some love shepherding the women around them. Some are extremely outgoing. Interestingly, those tend to be the expectations that are placed on all pastor’s wives. The problem is that some pastor’s wives are very shy. Some don’t like large groups. Some find it difficult to build relationships. Pastor’s wives, just like every other group of people, are different. Have realistic expectations. Some people expect their pastor’s wife to be someone God never intended her to be. This is simply unfair. Have realistic expectations of your pastor’s wife.

I’ve heard over and over again that I don’t have to do anything I wouldn’t want to do as a layperson, but this is one of the few times someone has mentioned personality in relation to the role of pastor’s wife.  It gave me a little hope during what is proving to be a fretful month.  And hurrah, I’m not the only one who is shy, doesn’t like large groups, and find it difficult to build relationships!

Do you have a pastor’s wife who doesn’t fit the “traditonal” role?  What do you like about her (I’m trying to be positive here)?  Are you a pastor’s wife with a personality that doesn’t meet the “traditonal” expectations?  How do you help congregation members understand this?  


Expanding my “Art”

I’ve exploring other forms of stick-figure drawings beyond my usual Microsoft Paint medium.  I’m now doing commissioned crayon drawings for a certain toddler:

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The toddler helped with this drawing.


Sometimes When I’m Morose, I Feel Silly

Yesterday I was working on putting away the autumn decorations.  After three years, I have finally collected enough fall decor for it to have its own box (I had been putting the autumn and spring decorations together).  This meant I could immediately close up the box for our next move.  As I carefully packed away the decorations, I realized with a jolt that I did not know where we would be the next time I opened the box.  We could be anywhere, I thought to myself, but it most certainly won’t be here in our quirky farmhouse.  Such sadness, such nervousness, such moroseness.  Blah, blah, blah, deep feelings of melancholy as I put the box into the storage room.

Then a half hour later I found some fall decorations that I forgot to put away.  I guess I will be opening the autumn box in our quirky farmhouse after all.  What a waste of a perfectly decent bout of gloom.