Babies From A to Z: At Least How We Experienced It

When you become a parent, your life changes dramatically. You must begin to consider things like school, doctor’s appointments, and bedtimes. You must also be more cautious about what you say and do, because your children are constantly watching and learning from you. I learned all of these things along the long road of motherhood, some the easy way, some the hard way, but all of them were rewarding.

It would be an understatement to say that this is not the case. After a certain age, most of us have the observational skills to recognize that there are numerous changes that occur when you become a parent. Some of the more noticeable changes are that you have less time for yourself, that you must budget your time and money differently, and that your priorities shift. However, there are numerous less visible changes that occur. For example, you may discover that you are more patient, organized, and understanding. Parenting is a big responsibility, but it can also be a lot of fun. If you’re considering becoming a parent, be ready for significant changes in your life.

While eFrog and I have those ever so precarious baby steps behind us, my sister and her wife are just getting started. So today, I thought that I would write something for them.

I was in charge of organizing my sister’s baby shower. I wanted to make sure it was perfect, so I made sure to include all of her favorite games and foods. We started off with the classic “Guess the Baby Food” game. We had a variety of different foods, ranging from sweet to savory. My sister was able to guess all of them correctly. For the main course, we served a variety of finger foods. My sister’s favorite is chicken salad, so I made sure to include that. For dessert, we had a beautiful three-tiered cake. It was decorated with pink and blue icing, to represent the upcoming arrival of my sister’s baby girl.

The next game we played was the “Guess the Baby’s Gender” game. We had a few different ways for people to guess, including a “predict the size of the belly” game and a “guess the number of diapers in the box” game. My sister was able to guess the gender correctly. She is having a baby girl! We were all so excited for her. For the final game, we did a “guess the baby’s name” game. My sister had a list of names that she and her husband had been considering. We all took turns guessing which one they would ultimately choose. It was so much fun!

If you ever find yourself in the position of organizing/hosting a baby shower I can only offer a couple of tips that made it easier for us to make sure everything went smoothly. First off when it comes to anything like this you need to have a guest list pretty early on. As you have already read, we did the whole gender reveal thing per my sister’s wishes. That meant both men and women were invited, though I don’t think that that is a feature of this type of celebration alone, but my sister wanted her husband there, and he didn’t want to be the only man.

Get your guest list together as early as possible. This will help you determine early on the number of guest you intend to invite and what type of food to serve.

Next, you need to decide on a theme, of course our theme was the reveal and I styled everything around that including the games that I have already mentioned. This can be anything from a classic baby shower to a more unique theme, like this one where we revealed the gender at the end. Then you need to pick a location. This can be anywhere from your home, their home, your mother’s home or something more involved like a park pavilion or a rented hall. And finally, you need to decide on a date. This is important so that everyone can clear their schedules and be there to celebrate the new arrival.

Once your have that done you can go about picking out invites and either have them printed like we did or do it yourself. Since my sister wanted the whole reveal thing to be incorporated into the party we spend an entire Saturday afternoon looking through designs online. I was glad when she finally settled on one and honestly, I think she was too. But that has never been my thing and I was relieved when she said “here it is” since it was getting stressful looking at them. They honestly all look sort of similar, at least to me. She was of a different opinion, obviously.

From my experience games are one of the most important parts of the shower – regardless of the theme or people attending – because they help break the ice and get everyone involved.

Parenting Changes Everything: How Becoming a Parent Will Surprise You

Parenthood is something for which one is never truly ready. You believe that you are, but the truth is that you are not. When you have children, your life will go in so many different directions that it’s hard to keep track of it all. The following are the three most surprising things that change over time:

Suddenly You No Longer Have as Much Free Time (At All)

Do you remember when you used to have an almost unlimited amount of time at your disposal (after work, chores, and such)? Those times are distant memory when you have children. Since you became a parent, you no longer have complete control over your time. You have to plan everything around your child’s schedule and their requirements. It is not always simple, but it is well worth the effort, at least for us it was.

As a Parent You Have to Be Much More Organized

Parenting requires a lot of organization skills. And while you might not have them at first, you quickly pick them up through your sudden on the job training. How hard can it be? Well, if you are organized it isn’t and that is the point. But you have to keep track of things like: their doctor’s appointments, your child’s school activities, food – clothing – shelter, and everything in between. If you’re not organized, it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks.

This goes for anything in life really, but when things slip between the cracks when you are busy as a parent you run the risk of disappointing them. While, life can be full of disappoint if you let it, keeping an overview of everything can help make things run smoothly in your household. That is why I am an obsessive list maker. BUT, nobody has ever complained about forgetting their toothbrush when we go on vacation so there is that!

You Become More Patient, Seriously Zen, Patient

Being a parent requires a significant amount of patience. There will be times when you question your mental stability, but you have to keep in mind that this is merely a passing phase in your life. It’s not going to be like this forever. You have to maintain your composure and ride out the storm.

The experience of parenting is one that is fraught with difficulty but rich in rewards. It is not always simple, but it is well worth the effort. When you become a parent, you’ll notice changes in many unexpected areas, such as the ones listed above.

When you have children for the first time, it is a completely new and extraordinary experience for you. You are instantly responsible for another person’s life, which can be a frightening as well as a rewarding experience. Some of the joys of becoming a parent for the first time are being able to witness your child’s development and growth, to see them accomplish their goals, and to simply take pleasure in their company. It has the potential to be a wonderful and memorable time that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

Being a parent for the first time is not without its difficulties, that much is obvious. It’s possible that you constantly feel tired, that you worry about whether or not you’re doing everything correctly, and that you have the impression that you’ll never get a break from your responsibilities. However, these obstacles are all a necessary part of the journey, and they will make the rewards that much more satisfying when they are overcome.

Therefore, if you are a parent for the first time, I hope you enjoy the ride! It will be one of the most challenging and difficult experiences of your life, but it will also be one of the most rewarding.

Read More

So here is the thing

adorable cat

I am not one of those people that likes to write a lot about themselves, I am sure you know the type of person I am talking about. If you want somebody that does that then you will have to look further. That is why the closest you’ll come to an about page is here and I may delete the thing anyway. I am undecided.

I enjoy the type of site where you can relax with some coffee and a few minutes turns into a few hours of browsing, reading and enjoying what you happen to find. That is what I want for this site anyway.

Up until today I wasn’t sure what the site would focus on. I was sitting there racking my brains trying to come up with the perfect topic. And then it hit me. This is your blog, just make it about yourself. I know that that must sound incredibly arrogant to some of you. And it wasn’t meant in that capacity, it was more like, “just be yourself.” You know that thing that thing that TV parents always say, the thing that your parents assumed you already learned. So that is the topic for my site. And if that means cats, then cats it shall be.

And if it means that I take a different direction then it will be a different direction.


Read More

More Cat Photos

So I am sitting here and I should be out the door, but I decided to post this quickly. I had it sitting in my drafts since last night but didn’t publish it because I didn’t want to make you sick. Not that you would get sick of seeing cat pictures. But I have posted a lot of photos in the last couples of days.

Here is a new gallery of adorable fur balls that I thought you would/should enjoy.

I know I did/do.

cat picture

Image source:

cat picture

Image source:

One of the commenters made a reference to the movie Step Brothers: “Look how much room we have for activities!” And the funny thing was, this was my first reaction as well. It really is a great idea.

cat picture

Image source:

cat picture

Image source:

cat picture

Image source:

cat picture

Image source:

cat picture

Image source:

cat picture

Image source:

cat picture

Image source:

cat picture

Image source:

Each photo has a link back to the source. I hang out on imgur quite a bit, mostly because they have so many cat photos. I have found some that were just too cute. The cats sneezing, cats jumping and other adorable cat photos I have posted here on erraticfrog are just a samll sample of what makes my day go round.

Read More

Cats Jumping (Photo Gallery)

Following on yesterday’s photo blog of cats just about to sneeze, or cats sneezing I thought that I would put together a fun set of cats jumping. And if that sounds boring, you just need to take a look at these incredible pictures of cats in the air.

cute kitten jumping in the air cat jumping in the air cat jumping in the air cat jumping in the air cat jumping in the air cat jumping in the air cat jumping in the air hover cat another hover cat cat jumping in the air

I’m sorry that I didn’t go and label them like I did with the previous set. I didn’t have time today. And I need to leave in a couple of minutes so my commute to work isn’t too nightmarish.

erratic frog

Read More

20 Adorable Kitty Photos

Yesterday, I wrote about the Kitty Convict Project that is attempting to bring more lost cats home. More than 95% of lost cats never return home to their owners.

Today I wanted to post something a little more light hearted before I head off to work. And what could be more light hearted than a collection of cute kitties?

Caught in the Act

This cute kitten got caught on film licking its adorable little paw. The pink tongue turned out vivid and soft, but the eyes are what make this so classic cute.

kitten licking paw


Christmas Spirit

Isn’t this always how it goes. No less than an hour after you have your Christmas tree up and your adorable little friend has taken up position, nesting in the secret heart of your festive joy!

cat in chrsitmas tree


Hi, How Are You Doing?

One thing we love about our little furry friends is there fun and often silly personalities. This little kitty is at home playing on your sofa.

kitten playing on sofa


Designated Driver

I don’t know about you but I think that it is safe to say we need to pick another designated drive. This adorable little kitten fits perfectly into a wine glass.

kitten in wine glass


Nap Time

Sometimes I think that I would enjoy being a cat, doing what I want, sleeping all day, and of course those intense snuggles that they seem to get when they want them.

two cats asleep on bed


Fur Ball

Cleanliness is also an important part of a cat’s life. This little kitten is perfecting its skill early on, and I have to admit that it is priceless.

kitten tucked in a ball cleaning paws



Not all cats are as concerned with cleanliness, this cute kitten got a face full of milk. It looks like somebody needs to perfect their drinking skills.

kitten with milk on face


The Exotic

This exotic Savanna is on the lookout for fun. I love the large ears!

savanna cat


Kitty Burrito

This cute kitten makes an absolutely adorable burrito. I get the feeling it isn’t quite sure if we can see it or not. In any event it thinks it is being rather sneaky hiding in the blanket!

kitten wrapped in blanket


Crash Time

This cute kitten is giving us all a lesson in what it means to be a cute kitten.

kitten asleep on sofa


Sad Times

We hope that this kitten really doesn’t look as sad as it appears. If it did it would also make you want to cry. Cheer up, you are in good hands!

kitten that looks sad


Good Hands

And so is this cute little princess! Those eyes are absolutely adorable. Did I just say adorable, again?

cat in car


Forest Cat

This cat is right at home in the forest. With it’s long fur, and alert eyes it is on the hunt for fun.

Norwegian forest cat


Book Worm

This little kitten is right at home in a good book!

kitten hiding under book


Home, Sweet Home

And this kitten wants back inside its home. Those eyes are what make a cake what it is. Too, cute!

kitten at the door


Nursing the Sick

There is a sweet story that goes with this photo. The black cat you see in the photo comforts and nurses the other animals that come into the vet. This gallery is definitely one to check out.

cat caring for other animals


Mom-ma Duck

This cat has adopted a set of ducks. Another beautiful story, and a really nice gallery.

cat warming ducks


Deck the Halls

What did we say before. Here is another great shot of a cat climbing through the bows of holly. Though I am not sure if the tree can withstand a kitty of this magnitude.

cat in chrsitmas tree


Give Me Five

This kitten knows how to have fun.

kitten playing with hand


Time for a Catnap

And now, unfortunately, you have reached the end. And if you’re like me it is time for a catnap. Or work. Whichever you prefer.

cat asleep under blanket


Read More

The Kitty Convict Project

There are 7 million pets reported lost here in the US. And that is each and every year! Out of those pets 26% of the lost dogs are returned home. However, for cats that figure is less than 5%, that is a low, staggering number. Only 4 out of a hundred kitties are able to return home to their families. But there is a project that intends to change that. I have uploaded an info graphic for you to get a better idea of what the Kitty Convict Project is all about.

The Kitty Convict Project Info Graphic Kitty Convicts

If you’re like me though, and do much of your web browsing on your iPhone you might not be able to read everything, for that reason I have created a condensed transcript of the fine points.

The Kitty Convict Project is from the creators of Exploding Kittens. Don’t let the name fool you, they have a lot of love for those lovable little fur balls.

Why Are More Lost Dogs Found Than Cats?

For those of you asking why more cats stay missing, here are a couple of answers for you to think about:

  1. Dogs wear more ID collars than cats
  2. Cats have a natural tendency to hide
  3. People don’t immediately assume a cat is lost when they see it walking around the neighborhood

How can we raise the number of lost cats that get found?

Ways to Improve These Figures

The Kitty Convict Project has an interesting idea that is both easy to implement. It is more of a standard than a solution. Which if implemented over a longer period of time could in fact bring the number of escaped cats back into custody. And as you might have guessed the idea comes from escaped convicts.

  • Dress your cat in orange: a collar, scarf or other orange article of clothing. Just make sure that it is orange. The initiative attempts to set a standard for indoor cats that have gotten outside. The orange color is the symbol.
  • Make sure your indoor cats has an ID tag. This is probably more important than the bright orange marker right now. Since most people don’t realize the importance of the color yet the ID is a way for them to help your cat find its home.

So remember if you see a cat running wild with an orange collar it has broken out and it is your duty to bring it home.

If you are a cat owner put an end to cat nudity, give your kitty an orange collar and an ID, because cats are part ninja and they will disappear when you least expect it.

For anyone who is reading this please, if you love cats, like cats or find them mildly cute spread the word about the Kitty Convict Project.

Read More