Custom Made Sailboat Mobile

A very nice Facebook friend of mine (Leslie Everest – The Cracked Pot Handcrafts) made my baby boy a cute baby mobile. She made it sailboat themed and I didn’t even know what it was she was sending me. It turned out really nice. It’s a really nice surprise baby gift. See the pictures in this post below. If you have been following along my journey as a children’s book author, you will know that this goes with the theme of the first book I wrote.

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Photos were taken by me, Kathleen Ivan. The baby mobile was handmade by Leslie Everest who runs a page entitled The Cracked Pot Handcrafts. To see more of Leslie’s creations, see her facebook page. The link to her facebook  craft page is  https://www.facebook.com/thecrackedpothandcraftslke/

My author website: www.kathleenivanchildrensauthor.com

 

Kid-Friendly Businesses?!

Today’s businesses are often trying to be kid friendly so that they won’t lose a large part of a possible huge customer base. However, kid friendly is way different than breast feeding mom friendly. The kid friendly places are often for kids who aren’t breastfeeding anymore and can eat “adult” food. I realized this the other day when I took my nearly three month old baby boy with me on a one hour plus drive to the “big city”.

Once we got to an area where there were a bunch of stores and restaurants, we decided to stop and eat and feed the baby. My sister thought Dairy Queen might be a fast but okay place to stop. However, we were wrong. It was a very tiny place, it had loud music playing, and it did not have a bathroom. What kind of eating establishment does not have a bathroom?! So, I told them such and we walked out.

Next, I saw a McDonald’s and I thought that for sure they would have a bathroom, it would not be playing loud music, it would be air-conditioned and that it would have a booth where I could sit and feed baby with my nursing cover over him. It turned out to be air-conditioned, but it was still hot in there so baby was too hot to want to eat. There was also no booths….they only had chairs. At least there was no loud music playing. However, baby was crying and hot and didn’t want to eat in such a condition. If I kept the nursing cover over him he would be burning up.

Finally, at my limit, I got up from the table in the restaurant cussing that it was way too hot. My sister suggested trying the bathroom so that’s what we did. It was only 5 or so degrees cooler but at least I didn’t have to use my nursing cover in there.Thank goodness for a women only bathroom! But then someone went to dry their hands and there was only a blower in there and no paper towels. So, it was louder than a vacuum and baby started crying again. However, he got a little used to it after that and kept on nursing.

I was so mad at the conditions I had to deal with just to be able to sit down and feed my baby. A too hot place, no booth for ease, and a loud environment. I didn’t have a place to sit in the bathroom either so I was sitting on the icky floor. They didn’t even have a diaper changing station in there. In a McDonald’s…..it’s supposed to be kid friendly I thought. Well, evidently this one was not.

Seriously, more things ought to be done to accommodate us nursing moms who would like to take our kids out and not stay in the house and be cooped up for 4-6 months. That’s my opinion anyways.

Overlooking the Obvious

So, when I learned I was pregnant, I was feeling a lot of feelings. Didn’t really expect to get pregnant after 4 years of marriage. I figured it wasn’t in the cards for me, so it took me by surprise.  I thought I would read up on things to be prepared for whatever came my way. I even took a few classes at the hospital where I would deliver the baby. So, I figured I was pretty set to go and I knew the basics to get by with whatever happened when we took the baby home from the hospital. –

Well, I overlooked a few things.  I saw how it said that baby needs to be fed  8-12 times a day for about 4 months. I knew this would be a pain trying to wake up and feed the baby at night and all day every few hours. However, I thought it would just be a 15-20 minute session. So, I figured it wouldn’t be too bad. However, I forgot to add in the time it takes to burp baby and change his diaper. I also forgot to add in the time it would take to get baby to sleep again. Now, I know on a good day that it takes at least an hour to get a feeding session done. However, most times it takes up to two hours because baby is growing and feeds from both sides. He is also picky about how he goes to sleep. It has to be his way or no sleep…come what may. I remember how the lady at one of the classes said that sometimes baby will want to feed for 45 min. I thought this was the exception and just a “sometimes”. Evidently, the lady was just glossing over this fact or making it sound not too bad on purpose.

So, there I was concerned about the actual labor part of having a baby. Yet, that wasn’t the worst part. It was what I wasn’t concerned about that “got me” in the end. It was the breast feeding that took me by surprise even though  I was given little warnings and clues.

Our little boy is growing into a big boy fast. At 4 weeks, he wants to feed every two hours most of the time during the day. Sometimes, it is every hour. So, we just decided that we needed for sure to get formula because his eating needs are demanding. I need time to eat, go to the bathroom, sleep, shower, etc. Can’t do that with a baby who wants to eat all the time unless we have formula to give him in the meantime. We also have started giving him a pacifier and that helps a lot too because sometimes he just wants to suck and not really eat.

Oh, the joys of breastfeeding!

 

Book 1 & Book 2

Book

I have been putting a lot of work and time into my new book which I want to have published by this fall. It didn’t take this much work and time when I published my first book. It took a few months to publish my first book, A PinkBoat Adventure. If I am calculating correctly, it will take me about a year to publish my next book, A PinkBoat Adventure – Part 2: “Kathlean’s Bad Day”.

The new book is coming along just fine in my estimation. I have 21 colored illustrations for inside the book. I also have about 21 pages of text to go along with those illustrations. However, I am going to do some two page spreads for some of the illustrations. That still adds up to at least 42 pages of story/illustrations in the book. My first book, A PinkBoat Adventure, had half as much story/illustrations. There will also be twice as much text/reading in the new book than in the first book. So, this new book will satisfy those children who need “more story to read”. I have also let contractions be used in the story. In the previous book, I avoided using them. So, there are a number of differences in the way the book is being composed and put together.

I am using lulu.com to publish my new book. For my first book, I used Authorhouse.com. There is a big difference between these two companies. I can choose to do all the work with formatting the book using lulu. With Authorhouse, I had them do all the formatting work and a majority of the illustration work. Since I’m doing all the formatting work with lulu, there will be a large difference in the cost it will take to have the book published. With Authorhouse, it was a few thousand without advertising. With lulu, it will be a few hundred without advertising.

I thought you might like a little look behind the scenes of my two books to see how the book world works. Even though it is taking me longer to publish my second book, I really do enjoy doing the work. I like creativity and being a children’s book author is a really good outlet for such.

www.kathleenivanchildrensauthor.com

 

 

 

Sleep and Progress

Girl Sleeping

It’s a little hard to get things done when u don’t get enough sleep. I should know since I’ve not been getting as much sleep as I would like. Usually, the white noise machine I have works to get me to sleep. However, it doesn’t work as good lately. Sometimes, it is because I have to get up and go to the bathroom every few hours. Other times, it’s because I have too many things on my mind that I’m thinking about. Last night and the night before, it was because I was having problems breathing. I had to prop myself up with an extra pillow to actually breathe better and be able to fall asleep. I attribute all these reasons for not getting enough sleep to the baby that is due mid May this year. Yep, it’s nice to be able to blame someone else for once…..LOL.

So, since I get tired easier, I have been slow on my book illustration process. Yes, all the images but one are colored. However, I noticed some defects in a good number of the colorings. Some spaces, when seen in an 8.5″ x 8.5″ format are not with color. So, since my book is going to be an 8.5″ x 8.5″ format I need to fix these issues. I also noticed the lines for the images are not as clear for this size as well. So, I am doing the lines over so they are bolder and the image is much more enticing. I am on image #9 right now regarding these corrections.

After this book is finished, I am going to do another children’s book that is for either boy or girl. I already know the subject matter I am going to put in the book as well as the images. Yep, I’m always trying to think one step ahead even though I’m not there yet.

 

A Cute Afghan

Me and Afghan - 29 Weeks IMG_3284

I received this cute afghan from Leslie Everest last month. I had sent her a pink, wooden sailboat model because it was the prize in a giveaway that I was doing. I didn’t know she was making this. She made it and sent it to me. I like it and it goes with my first book, “A PinkBoat Adventure”. It’s nice and soft as well as warm. So, I have it on the couch in the living room till it gets to summertime weather and it’s too hot for afghans.

I took this picture yesterday. I’m at 29 weeks in this photo and I’m going into 30 weeks in a few days. It will be a boy, so it’s sort of funny that I’m sitting by a pink afghan. But the picture was meant to capture the nice afghan. Nevertheless, it’ll still be a fun picture some day in the future to show to baby. 🙂

www.kathleenivanchildrensauthor.com

 

 

Bad Example Books

It always gets me annoyed when I read in children’s books how kids/teens are disrespectful towards their parents or other authority figures. You see this everywhere actually. That includes the television. But I’m concentrating on the books because adults are creating these books for their young audiences. It’s rather criminal…especially if the author is a parent themselves.

Whenever I have read a book, it was for fun. I always liked reading mystery and adventure books when I was younger. I never liked books that had bad behavior in them because it ruined the book for me. When I was school aged, these types of books that had misbehaved children/teens actually bored me. Now that I’m an adult, these types of books get me annoyed when I read them to do a review. A book should be fun, not include examples of bad behavior for the child to learn.

Now, I like reading factual books that help me to learn something. I’ve read books on understanding childhood behavior, books on understanding adult behaviors and habits, books on religious matters, and books that show me how to do things (like Photoshop). I still like reading mystery/adventure stories but there aren’t many good ones out there anymore. The majority of them include bad adult behavior like murders, infidelity, etc. So, I’ve given up on reading mystery/adventure books for adults. They just don’t cut it with me with the bad behaviors they promulgate in the books. Anybody got any references for adult mystery/adventure stories that don’t include such bad behavior in them?

Yep, books have come a long way. It’s too bad the path that they are taking is one going downhill. My intention in being a children’s author is to create books that don’t have bad behavior in them. My first book was a mystery/adventure. My second one that I am putting together is somewhat of a mystery book, but you don’t realize it until the end of the book. If you are a critical reader, u will see the clues as the story progresses. However, many children today (sadly) aren’t critical readers.

I am going to end on that note.

Later,

Kathleen Ivan

www.kathleenivanchildrensauthor.com

Too Many Thoughts in my Head

Today’s a blah day today.

My brain is on overdrive, but I slept till ten today so it’s playing catch up.

I have too many thoughts in my head to concentrate on one.

I’m thinking about my trip to the mid-west coming up soon.

I’m going there to visit family.

While it will be fun, it still takes some planning.

Of course I’m gonna be taking some pictures while there.

I will be there about a week.

I’m also thinking about my new book I’m writing and illustrating.

I’m thinking about using my niece as reference pictures from which to draw from.

I’m also trying to decide if I should hurry up and publish the book by September.

Or should I wait and take my time to publish it.

I’m sort of thinking on getting it done by September instead of taking my time on it.

These are only two of the various thoughts in my head.

I think I can handle up to three thoughts in my head at one time.

So, I think I have over three thoughts banging around in there.

I feel like I have a subdued  brain freeze.

So, I’m not gonna post a picture for my post here.

Usually I do, but today can be different.

If you would like to sign up for monthly email updates regarding my work as a fledgling author. Or if you would like to take a look at my website, see the following link. It is a website created by using wix.com.

www.kathleenivanchildrensauthor.com

Egg Sandwich on Raisin Bread!

I don’t like eating the same things all the time. So, I switch it up. So, one morning, I decided to try something different. I tried some cinn-raisin bread instead of my normal rye bread. Yep, I used it as part of my egg sandwich.

I started off by making an over-hard egg. Here’s what my cooking an egg looks like. I add salt and pepper while the egg is cooking and before I flip the egg. I cook my eggs on really low and I cover them with a lid as they cook.

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I put some mozzarella cheese on the sandwich. I get the mozzarella balls and slice them. Here is the bread and cheese waiting for the egg.

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I always put the egg on top of the cheese so that the warmth will start to melt it slightly, but not completely. I don’t like completely melted cheese.

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Then, I add some blueberries and cut my sandwich into two triangles. It’s more decorative and looks more tasty to me that way.

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It really tastes delicious. I was surprised at how good it tasted when I first tried it.

I had some Honest Tea – Peach with it that day. I like their peach tea.

Calories

Cinn-raisin bread(Sun-Maid)                        180 (90 per slice)

egg                                                                60-70

mozzarella cheese                                         70 ( I used half this on the sandwich)

blueberries                                                     30 (2 oz)

Honest Tea                                                    80 (16 oz bottle)

                       Total Calories       430

Summary statement:

Try something different. You may like it. 🙂

Bird of Red

Poems aren’t for everyone. However, if you like poems, feel free to read away. If you like it, let me know.

I sat and I read.

Out in my garden homestead.

But then I put up my head,

To see a bird of red.

Then another flew in its stead,

Driving the bird of red

to emit a sound of dread.

Yet…..away it sped.

What is this?

O, thought, later in my head.

A bird of red.

A thought with me to bed.

Is there no other thought good instead?

Rather than a bird in red?

written by Kathleen Ivan

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