Friday, October 30, 2009

On Multitasking

Have I mentioned lately how BUSY it's been around here?

It's all good stuff (well, mostly good stuff). There's just a heck of a lot of it. And it's not that I'm not used to being busy - you don't spend years and years working in advertising agencies without thriving on it. But every once in a while, you need a weekend. And it turns out that 'weekend' is a concept that must be deleted from my hard drive, at least until Briony is significantly older.

If there's anything I've learned about multitasking over the years, it's this: ONE THING AT A TIME. If you try to tackle too many things at once, you're not going to do a good (or efficient) job at any of them.

I'm just trying to figure out how this applies to someone who's simultaneously attempting to be a wife/mom, go to school, and start a business. Because I'm sure as heck trying to do well at all of those things.

But lists are my friends. So are calendars. And so are my friends (yeah, I said it) - because I've cancelled on SO MANY of them lately. You know who you are, and I love you. I loved you before, but I love you extra for loving me enough to let these things slide sometimes.

The craziest part is that I find myself wishing for just one more good client... The past two weeks have been great, and if we can sustain something close to this, I'll be a happy girl. But it's all just so very unpredictable.

Yes, the girl who chose to go freelance just complained about unpredictability.

Yes, she realizes how stupid that is.

No, she doesn't want to edit this post. She stands by what she wrote (typed).

And maybe she should go do something else for a bit. This third person blogging thing is getting kind of weird.

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What A Way To End A Week

I'm drinking tea and invoicing, my responsible but seriously DULL afternoon activity every other Friday. Not my favourite thing to do because of all the math involved, but something I do anyway because emailing out invoices = getting paid soon. And it was a solid two-week period for my little freelance writing business. YAY.

Went to yoga this morning. A 09.30-10.30 yoga class is pretty much the perfect way to kick of a Friday as far as I'm concerned. Awesomeness. I don't know why I waited this long to start going again. I am really, really liking this new instructor. And I switched from my former yoga studio which means (a) it's significantly cheaper, and (b) I can walk to class. Cool.

Geoff, Briony, and I hit up a dollar store to finish off our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes today and followed it up with lunch at Nikos. How can I *not* be happy?

Well, I have one reason: I totally broke even on weight loss this week. Nothing lost. (But nothing gained, either). Ordinarily, it wouldn't bother me this much except that I checked on Wednesday and I was down three whole pounds. I blame last night's celebration of Christine's birthday - and Dolly's calorie-laden attempt at making some sort of whipped cream-inspired substance :)

I'm over it.

Still on the agenda for tonight:
- Ordering our next book club selection!
- Family pumpkin carving!
- Last night's episode of The Office!
- Bubble bath for Lindsay!
- More Christmas shopping brainstorming!

Oh, and finishing these darn invoices.

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Friday Smile

This is *so* going on my Christmas wish list...

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Briony vs Extreme Cuteness

Every once in a while, we manage to get a video that just totally and completely captures Briony at her current age. This is *so* Briony at eleven months.

Whoever thinks that reading is a 'quiet activity' has not met my daughter :)

Make an on-line slide show at

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How much does a good hooker go for these days? (Seriously. I'm kind of curious.)

I'm pretty sure that I managed to be more profitable this afternoon. Copywriting, not turning tricks. I love those kinds of afternoons - and I may as well appreciate them, because they sure don't come around every day :)

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That's Mrs Wright To You

Emily, Darcie, and I were having an interesting conversation during our pedicures last night that I'm still thinking about today. Then I went online today and saw this Momversation on exactly the same topic.

So what do you think?

Should kids address adults formally?

Do you think this influences how they respect adults?

What were you expected to do when you were a child?

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Friday, October 23, 2009

The Amazing Crimefighting Baby

Okay, pour yourself a cup of coffee for this one.

Briony's still sick. Yesterday was no fun. I finally decided to call her pediatrician around 4 pm and got an appointment for this morning - just to be sure. My mommy-powered spidey senses were telling me that it was time (pretty cool that I have those now, hey?). So we powered through another evening, another night, and were just about to finally collapse into bed around midnight when Briony started crying again. I checked the clock and it was time for more baby drugs, so I kicked Geoff in the general direction of Briony's room to go and take care of it. He did, and stopped by the bathroom to wash his hands when he noticed our backyard light go on. We've been trying to figure out what kind of neighbourhood creature has been tearing up our garbage, so he looked out the window - and was more than a little surprised to see that it wasn't a raccoon (my theory) or a badger (Geoff's totally WRONG theory) that was activating our motion light. It was a guy in a black hoodie trying to open our back door.


The door was locked, so the dude in the hoodie gave up, turned around, and exited through our back gate - pausing to see if my car was locked. Then Geoff watched as he kicked in the neighbour's garage door and started using a flashlight to look around in there. By this time, Geoff was in the middle of a 911 call, and gave them a play by play as this hoodlum moved through our neighbours' backyards and stayed in one - presumably trying to get into that house too.

Within minutes, the cops were here and taking Geoff's statement. All of a sudden, there was a flurry of radio activity and the cop in our house lunged for the door and ran outside to join a bunch of fellow cops (and a canine unit dog) in chasing down and tackling Hoodie Dude, who had just snuck through between two houses.

So they got him. He apparently didn't really stand a chance because it was an extraordinarily slow police night. There was a cruiser already in our area, with within just a few minutes, they'd quietly blocked off our entire block - so there was no way he was going to walk off without encountering the cops.

The weird thing is that I totally saw him earlier in the day. Some guy came to our front door selling coffee and all my common sense-powered spidey senses were just OFF. I made a few mental notes about the time and what he looked like. And when I mentioned all this to the cops, they wrote it down and then looked at me and said that my description was a dead match with the guy they'd just arrested. So he'd been casing the neighbourhood ahead of time.


What gets even weirder is that I'd been kind of freaking out about a break-in all week. I don't know why. It generally doesn't bother me when Geoff works nights, but I was super nervous and extra vigilent during his night shifts this week - and woke up more than once after dreaming that someone was trying to break into our house. Yucky.

Anyway. By 2 am, the cops were done with their questions and paperwork and all the members of our little family were safely back in our beds. Oh, and very grateful for our baby who woke us up to be able to witness all of this. It was a ginormous pain in the ass to be the ones who had to deal with all the police stuff, but so very cool that our dramatic little story had such a happy ending - with amazingly fast response time and an arrest.

So after a couple of hours of sleep, we woke up to a still-sick baby. I very sadly and reluctantly cancelled Katie Day - and yoga - and Geoff called in for a 'family sick' day. We took her to the pediatrician and discovered that Briony has a double ear infection. Apparently, we caught it very early and so the antibiotics should do their thing and start helping very soon. As traumatized as I am about having such a sick baby girl, it was a good mommy validation moment to know that I'd called the doctor at exactly the right time and done exactly what I needed to do as a mommy to take the best care of her possible.

We're settling in for a long weekend here. Briony's still a very sick little girl. I'm actually barely hanging on myself, with lots of the same symptoms that she has - and majorly behind on sleep. I have a couple of client projects, a school project, and some business stuff to get done. And Geoff's being a pretty good sport about all of it - even watching Briony so that I didn't have to cancel my massage this afternoon.

We'll be fine. It's just no fun. But we have a duty here to nurse this tiny crimefighter back to health, for the sake of world safety :)

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sick + Tired

Wow. There is nothing like a sick baby to make you feel like a total failure as a mother.

There's nothing more I can do for her... And the nurses at Health Links confirmed that for me last night. Twice. (God, they must LOVE first-time moms, hehe). I haven't slept this little since I had a tiny newborn. Of course, we're still talking about Briony here - so although she was sick and awake for oh so much of last night, she was playing more than she was screaming. She even danced while I was changing her diaper at 5 am. She's a trooper. I'm just not quite so sure about her mommy.

Can I go back to my job in advertising now? I didn't mind the mommy stuff, but this nursing thing kind of sucks.

Actually, I *am* working. I've hit three deadlines today for clients (one that required a telephone interview) and have an assignment due for school in the morning. But don't be too impressed... I'm back to microwaving coffee. SIGH.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I refuse to be That Mommy Freelancer who calls with a fussy baby in the background.

It's a noble goal, but a tricky one, because it basically involves scheduling EVERYTHING around (a) naps, (b) Geoff's work schedule, and (c) Katie Days. Geoff's sleeping off an extra-long night shift today. And it's NOT a Katie Day. And my baby decided to skip her morning nap and then nap during lunchtime - when everyone I need to call for interviews is gone for lunch. The project is due tomorrow, so I may be forced to make calls with a Background Baby this afternoon. Argh. And I'd done such a good job of being a Professional Freelancer up until this point (officially one week + one day, for those of you keeping track).

The very worst part is that I used to get those calls - particularly from freelance magazine writers. And I would bitch them out behind their backs, super annoyed that they'd had the balls to call me and waste my time with an inefficient interview. Or even worse, an inefficient SERIES of interviews, because sometimes they'd need to call back a couple of times in between the crying fits.

And what am I working on this week? A freelance magazine article.

Oh freelance gods, how you mock me.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

On Notice

Consider this your official notice that I'm in a lousy mood today.

I'm leaving for a walk with Briony in a minute in an attempt to fix that. But it doesn't change the fact that I had a bad start to my day today. I'm working very hard to choose to turn my day around right now. Blech.

This weekend is overwhelming me. It's way too busy, busier than I would EVER plan if such things were up to me. And clearly, they are not. I never let our schedule fill up like this because I know what it does to me. I'm crashing a little bit here, and we're barely getting started. So naturally, I asked for help. Twice. And heard people say NO. Twice. Now I'm overwhlemed and panicking, which is a classically awesome combination.

Hoping that a walk will help. Even though I should be hammering through my list of things to do here at home. But I think I can be much more efficient - and much less stressed - about them if I pause now to do some course correction on my day. It's worth a shot.

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Week 2 Recap + Weigh In

Okay, so we've officially wrapped up Week Two of our Biggest Loser Challenge.

How's it going? It's going. Another tough week, but I'm proud of what I've accomplished. I did a bunch of extra walking - adventuring with B and walking to a few appointments instead of starting up the car. I branched out even farther and did my first private yoga class ever. Um, AMAZING. I'll never be content to sign up for a class again. The instructor has a masters in occupational therapy and was really great with showing me modifications that resulted in a 90 minute yoga practice that totally pushed me but left me feeling awesome after - and hardly stiff or sore at all the next day. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Oh, and I survived Thanksgiving Dinner 1 of 3. Two more on their way this weekend...

Again, we're going to call it a good week. No earth-shattering results (like Shay on the *real* Biggest Loser who dropped an astonishing 16 pounds this week). But slow and steady wins the ability to wear non-stretchy pants :)

Short-Term Goals (Week Two):

1. Drink 2L of water every day.

I kept up with my trick of putting out a jug of water in the morning and working at it during the day - trying to use it to refill my water bottle when I'm heading out. Again, it's a HUGE challenge when I'm not at home... This will be a work in progress throughout the challenge, I'm guessing.

2. Be active in some way every day, even if it's only a walk around the block on a flare-up day.

I missed two days this week. Given the week that I had, I'm calling it a moderate success.

3. Start a folder of only healthy recipes that I can build on between now and Christmas. Find and try two new recipes this week.

Still researching and collecting... I made two different healthy soups this week - enough to freeze some for future meals. They both turned out perfectly, and will make great additions to my folder.

4. DO NOT STEP ON THE SCALE AT ALL until the end of the week.

I did once in between. It's all Geoff's fault.

5. Cut out caffeine after 4 pm.

I sucked at this. I will try harder next week. That's all I can really say about that.

New Goal for Next Week:

6. Eat breakfast 5 out of 6 days.

Weight Loss Progress (Week Two):

Goal: Lose 15 pounds between October 2 and December 23.

Lost This Week: 2.5

Progress to Date: 4 / 15


Friday, October 16, 2009

A Good Start

Yesterday, I had a great meeting with an existing client, a mediocre meeting with an advisor, and then an abysmal meeting with a potential new client. I thought for a second that maybe my sinking mood was affecting the outcome of my meetings as the day progressed (actually, what's the opposite of 'progressed'?). In the light of a new day, I realized that my middle meeting was truly mediocre and my final meeting of the day was just a Bad Meeting. And that's okay. I don't have to do work with them. And I won't.

Today, I had another potential new client to meet with. I think that I went in with a little bit less enthusiasm than yesterday. And you know what? It was a Good Meeting. I'm new to this whole freelance thing, but I'm pretty sure that a cold email that leads to a coffee introduction meeting that leads to a contract and a first project is a Good Meeting, right? :)

YAY me. And YAY for my baby freelance business.

My day is off to a much better start. Briony even woke up happy this morning after spending yesterday evening in off-and-on teething-induced hysterics. (MY GOD can that girl scream when she's not happy.) Now I'm off to Tiber River to get my eyebrows done and then Oz to get my hair cut before I'm a single mom again for one last night shift before the weekend.

And did I mention that work officially begins on my new logo next week? I'm excited. This is all *so* much work, but I know that the payoff comes soon. My new life is starting to take shape now. I can peek into our future just a little bit, and I couldn't be happier about what I'm seeing.

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This One's For The Girls

It's that time of year again, my lovely lady blog readers.

DO NOT skip over this post. I know you want to. But DO NOT.

Now answer me honestly... When was your last Pap Test?

If you don't know the answer:
That's totally okay (and let's face it, it's not like you threw a party and made it a big occasion to mark on your calendar). Call 1.866.616.8805 and they can tell you, because all Pap Test records and results are catalogued by the Manitoba Cervical Cancer Screening Program. Then you can sort yourself into the appropriate category below.

If your answer is 'more than two years':
Okay. No sudden movements. Take a couple of deep breaths. We can still be friends. But I want you to remove your hand from your mouse, reach over and grab the phone, and book a damn appointment already. Now. Your friends and family love you too much for you to put it off any longer.

(I'm assuming that you're fully aware that the reason for regular Pap Tests is to help prevent full-blown cervical cancer. Did you know that 80% of cervical cancer is diagnosed in women who haven't had a Pap Test for more than five years? Scary stuff because we live in a country with a pretty sweet health care system.)

Don't like your doctor? Don't HAVE a doctor? Totally okay. I'll let you put that hand back on your mouse and click here to visit and find a clinic close to your house that is offering walk-in appointments for Pap Tests next week - October 19 to 23.

If your answer is 'less than two years':
Congratulations! You're officially awesome. But you're not off the hook. Now I want you to pick up the phone anyway, and call a woman who you love - a friend, a sister, your mom - and ask them the same question I just asked you.

I know it's kind of weird and maybe awkward to talk about, but WE ALL NEED TO GET OVER IT. It's too important not to.

So my last Pap Test was in March 2009. When was yours?

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Good Very Bad

So I have two client meetings and a meeting with a business analyst at the Women's Enterprise Centre today. I also have a teething baby who is THIS CLOSE to cutting her next two teeth - I could see them poking through a little bit yesterday. I feel *so* lousy for leaving her when she's so obviously not herself right now.

And did I mention that I'm sick too? Doesn't really matter, I know. A mommy getting sick is like a tree falling in the forest. Except that I called MY mommy to complain about it :)

I know that I'm a good mom for going and doing my business thing, I know. But I'd be a good mom to stay and take care of her too. So the net result is that I feel like a terrible mom no matter what. UGH. Not even Starbucks (or Katie) can heal my wounded heart today.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Next Project

Okay, so I think that our next project Chez Wright Family needs to be a guest space in our basement. All we're really lacking in a bed (or a super-comfy futon, I guess, if that's not a total oxymoron). We don't want to spend a fortune, but we do want a place where a friend or family member could comfortably stay for a night or two - especially with my gallbladder surgery coming up. Just putting it out there, in case any of my lovely blog readers happen to have one that they'd like to donate or sell for a reasonable price. Thanks!


Friday, October 09, 2009

The Thanksgiving Elf

Okay, so despite the smile on my face, it was a rough morning. I was awake and dealing with gallbladder issues for most of last night and ended up getting around 3 or 4 hours of sleep. That is NOT enough to function properly. But I dragged my weary ass out of bed this morning and got myself ready to go. About 20 minutes before Katie was scheduled to arrive (so that I could leave for my doctor's appointment), my phone rang. It was Katie's number. My heart dropped into my stomach. Maybe lower.

Lindsay to God: Are you kidding me??? I NEEDED her today, and now she's calling to tell me that she's sick.

Lindsay to Self: DO NOT CRY. DO NOT CRY. DO NOT CRY.

Katie to Lindsay: Hey, I'm just at Starbucks and wondering what I can pick up for you.

Lindsay to God: Are you kidding me??? Why do you take such good care of me? And why do I always doubt that you will?

Lindsay to Katie: Yup. A double tall nonfat caramel macchiato, please.

It was such an extraordinary little moment that I determined to spend the rest of my morning making other people happy. I went to my appointment and then ran a crapload of errands (without a baby! crazy efficient!), but made sure to smile and make conversation and wish everyone I met a happy thanksgiving. I even stopped to pick up some flowers and made three quick stops to drop them off at the homes of a couple of people who I love and who I knew needed something to make their day just a little bit happier. I felt like a little thanksgiving elf. Except that I tried to be super-stealth about my drop-offs, and totally failed. Oh well :)

I got home to a sleeping baby, a Katie who was washing my kitchen floor, and the email I needed from a client sitting in my inbox. I sat down to get an hour or two of work in before Katie Day is over, and while I worked I got an email from a media contact (who's usually the dictionary definition of a crotchety old man) telling me that it was great working with me on the campaign we wrapped up today. And then I got TWO emails from TWO potential new clients who would like TWO meetings with me next week to discuss working together.

How cool is that? :)

Wishing you all a Thanksgiving weekend full of the same smiles and surprise blessings that I've experienced today. You all deserve it. And you're each just a couple (hundred) of the reasons why I'm thankful this year.

(Here's two more reasons:)

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Friday Smile

I woke up smiling today. Do you know why? I would love nothing more than to make you all guess indefinitely, but I'm not that mean (or - let's face it - that patient). So I'll tell you.

I'm smiling because today is our first Katie Day.

Starting today, Katie - Briony's super-amazing babysitter - is going to be coming one day a week to help us out. Can you hear it? Yup. That's the sound of angels singing. Jubilantly :)

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Week 1 Recap + Weigh In

Okay, so we've officially wrapped up Week One of our Biggest Loser Challenge.

How's it going? Umm... It's okay. It's actually been kind of challenging for me so far. This ridiculous weather change that we've had here has me really flared up, and once you factor in some whiplash from our car accident and a gallbladder attack... Yeah. Clearly, the universe doesn't want me to be working out. (Good thing I don't have a whole lot of respect for what the universe wants.)

I did the best that I could with what I had to work with - and really, I suppose that's all we can really hope for. I would have loved to pull a big number to start off with and really encourage me to stick with this. It didn't happen. But I didn't gain weight, and I didn't stay the same. Actually, I'm right on track for my moderate weight loss goal at the end of this whole project. So we're going to say that it was a good week.

Short-Term Goals (Week One):

1. Drink 2L of water every day.
I actually did better with this than I was expecting. On the days when I was at home, I did AWESOME. I just filled up a 2L jug with water (and lemon) in the morning and left it on the table. On the days when we were out, I didn't always totally finish the jug, but I made a decent dent in it. I'm going to keep this goal for Week Two and try for an even better success rate - even when I'm out during the day.

2. Be active in some way every day, even if it's only a walk around the block on a flare-up day.
Again, this wasn't a total disaster. There was one day when I just could not get those running shoes on. But on another day, we did Run for the Cure (5K!!). And I hauled out one of my Jillian Michaels DVDs on Thursday (she totally kicked my ass). So I'm going to count this as a moderate success as well, with room for improvement.

3. Start a folder of only healthy recipes that I can build on between now and Christmas.
I started thinking about this and collected a few, but I haven't really done anything with them yet. That's okay. I don't want to be a total overachiever, hehe.

4. DO NOT STEP ON THE SCALE AT ALL until the end of the week.
I actually did this. YAY ME!

Weight Loss Progress (Week One):

Goal: Lose 15 pounds between October 2 and December 23.

Progress to Date: 1.5 / 15


Briony vs Paparazzi

I waited until Geoff was home to watch last week's SNL. We finally got around to it on Tuesday afternoon and Briony settled in to watch with us (I know, I know - we should win an AWARD for awesome quality family time). She was kind of half-interested until Lady Gaga showed up to perform. And, well, you can see what happened next...

It's hilarious to me that she's looking at us like 'What's up? Why aren't we ALL dancing to this awesome song?' Little does she know that we're barely holding it together, trying not to react or laugh so that she won't stop her own little private dance party. This chick danced through the entire song. And then we backed it up and played it again. And she rocked out again. 'What? We totally just heard this song... Whatever. It's all good. Let's go!'

OH MY GOD, I love this kid.

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Not Feeling Very Optimistic

So, Week One of our Biggest Loser Challenge is coming to a close. Tomorrow is weigh-in day... SHUDDER. I'll post my Week One recap tomorrow, but I don't have a good feeling about it :(


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Coming Soon To A Christmas Card Near You

Just a couple of highlights from yesterday's photo shoot with my sister Jessica. And yes, Briony was smiling that larger-than-life toothy smile in pretty much every single shot. And definitely yes, that's exactly why Geoff and I are totally crazy about her :)

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Run For The Cure II: Remission Accomplished

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Monday, October 05, 2009

The Best Chicken Soup Ever

Yeah, that's right. I said it. I make a MEAN chicken soup. And it's easy too. I'm sitting here surrounded by Kleenex and Tylenol Cold, enjoying yesterday's leftovers for lunch today, and realizing that I probably have some sort of social obligation to share it.

Bring to a boil:
2 cans condensed chicken broth
1 cube vegetable stock
6 cans water

While the stock is heating, chop:
1 cup chicken
2 cups vegetables (onion, carrots, and celery)

Add chicken and veggies - along with 0.5 cup pearl barley - to the stock. Simmer at least an hour. Add other seasoning (thyme, poultry seasoning, pepper) to taste if you want to, but it's pretty darn good as-is.

A few notes:
- Superstore sells a really great - and inexpensive - organic chicken stock.
- Be sure to read the ingredients carefully on the vegetable stock. A shocking number of them contain MSG (ew).
- Barley expands like crazy, so 0.5 cup is lots.


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Welcome to Business

Today was exciting and scary and stressful and stress-relieving and about everything else in between.

For starters, I sent in my official, in-writing notice that I'm not coming back to work when my mat leave ends later this month. Well, actually, for starters we took Kevin out to lunch for his birthday and then I went and got a cleaning and check-up with a new dentist. But then I sent in my official mat leave letter (email). I didn't cry. I thought I would, but it makes a huge difference that I'm still working with them in my new, less-traditional capacity :)

And then I headed over to a 'Welcome to Business' workshop at the Women's Enterprise Centre. I won't lie... It's incredibly scary to start a business. Even scarier, I think, when you are doing it knowing that its success will bring stability and opportunity into the life of one very adorable ten month old baby girl (note that failure is NOT an option).

I feel like I'm getting a better idea of what I need to do to make it legitimate and grow it from there. It's going to be a heck of a lot of work. But I'm ready. I have to be, because I think I have a grand total of TWO mat leave cheques left. Um, YIKES.

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