Celebrations, Children

Holiday Patience! Let Little Chicken Be Your Guide

Little Chicken's Big Christmas

Need a little patience? Or better yet, do the folks around you need a little patience? Download Little Chicken’s Big Christmas. (And of course, this post is especially for you grandmas, moms, aunts, and teachers out there.)

Writer and Illustrator Katie Davis tells us the story behind this brand new holiday picture book:

My husband Jerry and I decided to follow our traditionally published picture book Little Chicken’s Big Day with our indie published Little Chicken’s Big Christmas for a few reasons.

An indie book can be done quickly, and that worked for us in this case.

It’s a holiday book, so we had to get it out fast. I suddenly had this vision of Little Chicken in a Santa hat and I just had to get him out there! A traditional publisher couldn’t have done that in this time frame.

I asked Jerry to tell me why he loves Little Chicken so much and he said, “He has a lot of attitude.  He’ll go along with his mom’s agenda, but his patience wears thin in about a nanosecond. And from a kid point of view, the holiday season involves all this adult craziness while kids are focused on the presents. So it was fun to imagine Little Chicken amid the holiday bustle.

Of course he’s impatient at times, but he can’t help enjoy the traditions in spite of himself.

When we discover that Little Chicken’s impatience comes from a purely loving and selfless place, we get to underscore the importance of giving and expressing love during the holiday season, no matter how crazy things get.”

The link to get Little Chicken’s Big Christmas is : http://amzn.to/1dktx0S .

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still get it because there’s a free Kindle for Mac app available right on that page which you can download for your iPad, laptop, or desktop.

Plus, if you buy it between Dec 5-12 and submit your receipt to support@katiedavis.com, you will get a gift with every purchase: a downloadable Write Your Own Coloring Book version of the book! We’re having a different enticing promotion at different times through Christmas. You never know what you might get and nothing will be repeated, so you’ll have to take advantage if you like what you see at the time!

Bookmark: To download and color!

Little Chicken Bookmark

Katie Davis has written and/or illustrated 10 books for children, and two marketing guides for writers. 

Katie’s a “writerpreneur,” a writer in business helping other writers. She does this through her newsletter, products, courses, and #1 podcast, Brain Burps About Books.

After winning the School Library Journal Trailee Award, Katie launched Video Idiot Boot Camp: For People Who Think Videos Are Hard To Create. She’s passionate about the power of video to connect writers to their communities.

Katie has been honored to speak everywhere from a maximum security prison, to schools around the world, to keynotes at conferences and fundraising galas.

Learn more about Katie on her website, Katie Davis.com

Katie Davis

Children, Grandchildren, Grandmother, Grandparents

Grandma Update: Mazen’s Favorite Toys

Toys A guest post by my daughter, blogger Kath Younger, for those of you with babies and toddlers on your shopping list:

1. Tegu Blocks. We went to our local toy store, Shenanigan’s, looking for first birthday gifts and I asked the woman: “Of all the toys in the store, what would you buy for a one year old?” Without hesitation she recommended these magnetic wooden blocks from Honduras. They are sustainably sourced, non-toxic, and made by a company with many honorable missions. M loves to carry them around the basement and smack them together. Someday soon he will be building towers like his dad! They are a bit pricey, but they seem like they will last – both in quality and in interest.

2. Manhattan Toy Stow and Go Cart. This cart is perfect for learning to walk, pushing around the yard and giving Pumpkin rides.

3. VTech Baby’s Learning Laptop. Karen, my mother-in-law, bought Mazen this laptop when he was young and it’s been one of his most beloved toys. When he was just learning to sit up he liked to open and close the lid over and over, and now that he can stand he dances to the music it plays! I don’t think he has written any blog posts on it yet…

4. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb. Our current favorite book! Matt taught M to pat his tummy as the drum, and now if you show him the book he pats his tummy on command. He smiles his way through this one.

5. Kidoozie Funtime Tractor. This one was another first birthday gift from us and M LOVES it. So do most kids who come over to play. The animals and Old MacDonald make noises when you push them, and if you touch the orange button in the front the whole tractor moves forward. Pumpkin likes to ride on it! What a clever toy this one is.

6. Kid-O Tip Truck. M loves this truck and also has the red car of the same brand. They have a timeless quality about them, and they are fun to roll on the ground.

7. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper. M didn’t quite get this popper until he could walk, but now that he can it’s one of his favorites. He pops it all around the house!

8. Orange Tabby Kitten Puppet AKA PUMPKIN! I can’t believe Pumpkin is on Amazon! We bought M this cat puppet after he fell in love with it in a toy store. Of course she is named after our neighbor cat of the same color. M hasn’t shown much interest in any stuff animals except this one. He has started to cuddle with her and pets her. And he loves to walk around holding her by her tail.

Maze and Cart

 Kath  Younger writes a healthy food and lifestyle blog read by over 15,000 visitors a day from around the world. Kath Eats Real Food, which you’ll find at www.KathEats.com, is a celebration of life through the lens of food. Kath writes about everything from recipes to organization tips to encouraging readers to try new “real” foods, including wheatberries, kale chips, chia seeds, and her famous whipped banana oatmeal. Having lost over 30 pounds after graduating from college, Kath is a Registered Dietitian and owns a Great Harvest Bread Company with her husband in Charlottesville, VA. She has been writing KERF since 2007. She also writes at Baby KERF documenting her journey to motherhood. Follow @Katheats on Instagram and Twitter.

Maze and Kath

Children, Grandchildren, Grandmother, Grandparents, Menopause

Grandma Versus Gen Y


A guest post by my daughter Laura Allen:

“If you don’t find a job after a couple of months in Dallas, you could always get going on starting a family.”

These were my mom’s words right after I got married and settled into my new home in Texas.

A bit annoyed that she’d mentioned this yet again, I responded, “And where would I put a baby in my small apartment? In the kitchen? Babies need space and cost money!”

My mom was blessed with her first grandchild last year, and she is head-over-heels.  I can definitely see why, as my nephew only gets more adorable every week.

But, me?  I’m only 28! I’m a newlywed. I need to have a career, a savings plan, a house. I need to go back to Europe!!

What is it about my generation that makes us think there is a perfect time to start a family – that all these external conditions need to be met before having a baby?

In my mom’s day, it sounds like the only requirement before trying to start a family was a husband.  But my generation seems to think we need to have it all. We want more than the American dream. Some have even called generation Y entitled.

I like to think we are just fortunate enough to have options.  Sometimes, though, there are so many choices, that it’s impossible to make decisions.  I’m hoping that the decision to start a family will just happen one day. That I will have a birthday, eat cake, and think ‘This year, I’m ready for a baby!’

Who knows if I will ever truly feel ready or if I will even be able to produce offspring.

One thing’s for sure though. If Matt and I have a baby on the way, my mom will be one of  the first to know, but only if she stops bugging me now!

Laura Allen was recently married on Bald Head Island and lives with her husband in Dallas. She hopes to continue her career in education and enjoys exploring new restaurants, cooking, and blogging in her free time.

Laura and Me

Photo Top: Laura and nephew Maze during wedding week on Bald Head Island.

Photo Bottom: Laura and I before the wedding.  Photos courtesy Katherine Younger. 

Aging, Children, Grandchildren, Menopause

Am I Too Old? Part One: The Water Slide

Water Slide

Last week in Charolottesville, Daughter Kath and I took Mazen to the waterpark.

That baby splashed like he was training to be Michael Phelps.

We played “Motorboat, Motorboat” while Kath took a whirl down the slide.

“It’s a really fast, cool slide,” she said upon return. “You need to try it.”

I do?

First thought:  I’ll feel silly walking up the tall slide steps at my age.

Second thought:  I’ll twist my back or do some other you’re too old damage.

My daughter, as kids learn to do from about age two, noted my hesitation.

“You used to love water slides. Go!”

I looked at Kath.

I looked at Maze.

I looked at the slide.

In my forties, I rocked fast slides, impressing my kids and my husband, who don’t impress easily.

I took in the moment.

I could say, “Nope. Been there done that. Too old.”

After all, age has her privileges.

Or I could grab the gusto.

“Any techniques?” I asked  the lifeguard when I reached the top.

“Just stay flat,” he warned.

Going down a water slide, comes back to you, mostly because you don’t have any choice.

The slide is the boss.

But whoopee!

Kath was right.

What a great slide.


I hit the water with such force, I thought I would either drown or decide for sure I was too old.

But then I surfaced, feeling oh so proud of my decision.

Buzz and Maze

Maze and I are training to take on the waterparks of the world.

What about you?

Any decisions to go with the gusto of your youth lately?