Back A Dream in Honor of International Women’s Day
Mar 3 2015

I don’t often publish promotional content on my blog, but when someone reached out to me for this campaign that goes through the end of March 2015, I thought it was worth sharing.  You can help an entrepreneurial woman towards achieving her dream by checking this opportunity to help via Kiva.org out.  Please watch the video and read the information about how you can participate below.

More than seven billion people live on Earth. That’s seven billion hearts beating. Seven billion bodies breathing. Seven billion minds creating thoughts and ideas all over the world. Yet, so many face struggle everyday all around us. Even so, there is one thing that will never cease to be created regardless of the struggles: dreams. Dreams created from the the slums of a bustling gray city, to the parched land of a an isolated farm, to the refugee camps of a war-torn nation.

On March 8, we honor the dreams of a group of people who have been told not to dream. A group of people who have been told “they can’t” more times than they have been told “they can.” A group who has faced abuse for being born the way they are. A group of people commodified and enslaved. A group who brings life into this world, but who are often powerless over their own. We honor women.

To celebrate International Women’s Day – and the days that follow – Kiva has launched Kiva.org/Dreams to spotlight the power of women because it’s their dreams that make our world better.

By visiting Kiva.org/Dreams, you can back a dream by choosing a woman whom Kiva should lend $25 to. There is no cost to you. By choosing her, you help her to follow her dream of starting or growing her business, sending her children to school, and ultimately, gaining financial independence.

When women have the resources to make their dreams a reality, the world changes. More children go to school, more food is grown, and nations are more peaceful and prosperous. A case in point: if women farmers had equal access to farming assets and finance, they could increase their crop yields up to 30% and 150 million people who go hungry every day would be able to eat.

Kiva.org is the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Since 2005, Kiva and their growing global community of 1.3 million lenders have crowdfunded more than $675 million in microloans, backing the dreams of 1.6 million people.

By contributing to the success of an entrepreneurial woman who has overcome obstacles, we discover so much more about our own resiliency, possibility, and potential. Each of us has a part to play.

Together we can make dreams a reality for thousands of women around the world. So in honor of International Women’s Day and the power of women, back a dream at Kiva.org/Dreams.

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Entrepreneurial Traits and Multi-tasking
Jan 15 2015

Happy New Year!  I thought I’d get a new post out before the 15th of January, but here we are half way through the first month of 2015!

My boss shared this link: The 7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs (Tenacity, Passion, Tolerance of Ambiguity, Vision, Self-belief, Flexibility, and Rule-breaking) with our team a while back.  I was surprised that they said most entrepreneurs weren’t neurotic.  I’ve met more than a few neurotic entrepreneurs and have felt like one myself at times…maybe they define it differently than I have seen others exhibit it.

There are so many moving parts to a new business that I think it helps to be able to multitask, but sometimes it hurts a business too.  A friend sent me the article below about the Supertasker test that helps you figure out if you are one of the 2% of the people in the world who can actually multitask vs. ineffectively task switch.  It made me wonder who those supertaskers were and if they could do the same thing they were able to do with two kids in the back seat asking you every 5 minutes to look at something, change the radio station, or telling their sibling to quit making some noise or the other. :-)  Check out these articles:

Only 2% of People Can Multitask Successfully [INFOGRAPHIC] – Mashable

Take The ‘Supertasker’ Test To See If You’re A Genius – lifehacker

Is Your Brain Multitasking – Psychology Today

How (and Why) to Stop Multitasking – Harvard Business Review

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InnoTech Women in Tech Summit – October 15, 2015
Oct 12 2014

I was fortunate enough to be invited to be one of the coaches at this year’s InnoTech Women in Tech Summit event.  InnoTech Austin, presented by Presidio, returns to the Austin Convention Center on October 15, 2014. The 11th annual event will include all new topics and speakers for a fresh and exciting conference.

I have not had the opportunity to attend InnoTech in the past. I’m looking forward to the experience and to networking with a bunch of new and interesting people.  For those of you in Austin, I look forward to seeing you there!

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Happy Mother’s Day 2013
May 12 2013

mothers-day-rosesAnother year has passed and another Mother’s Day is almost over.  Apparently my Happy Mother’s Day 2012 – Keep Up The Good Work post had several hundred views the last few days via google searches.  I still find that “greeting” card I took a picture of and put in that post humorous in an ironic kind of way…not even sure that makes sense or not.

This Mother’s Day, we find ourselves living in an extended stay hotel for a couple of weeks while we wait for our new home to be ready.  We’ve already had several friends over to eat and swim with us. Our new home was supposed to be ready in January, and we are crossing our fingers & toes that we will be able to move in soon.  So many amazing things have happened on this journey and invariably they involved wonderful people with big hearts who have gone the extra mile to make this transition as smooth as possible given the other unexpected changes in my life.  I really can’t thank some of these people enough.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be a grandmother with some of the best First World war stories ever!  :-)

So today for Mother’s Day, my son played soccer, the kids did their homework, they took me to Firebowl for lunch where mom’s ate free, we saw The Croods, they went swimming in the heated & nicely shaded hotel pool, they took me to Macaroni Grill for dinner (using gift cards the buyer’s of our house gave us), and they listened to me 90% of the time without me having to repeat myself multiple times.  All in all I’d say it was a very good day with the only downer being me having a cold.

I told the kids that I would share the fortunes (or statements) from the fortune cookies we chose at Firebowl in this post, so Happy Mother’s Day and here they are :

  • Embrace change, don’t battle it.
  • Don’t be so critical and overly concerned about details.
  • Don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens.
  • Drastic means are not as necessary as you think.
  • Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.
  • Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent.
  • Help people reach their full potential.

 

Author: | Filed under: mom, mother, mother's day, movie reviews, parenting, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Much Ado About Women
Feb 27 2013

teach-to-fish-400x478There have been some interesting articles floating around about women and our roles in business and leadership lately.  I’ve posted a few on facebook and wanted to share here:

Richard Branson on Why We Need More Women in the Boardroom (a.k.a. 12 Angry Men) – Entrepreneur

Sheryl Sandberg’s Radically Realistic ‘And’ Solution for Working Mothers - The Atlantic

Are our colleges equipping women to be leaders? - Washington Post

Why I Was Never a “Feminist” – Stealthmode

Why Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s work from home ban is the wrong approach – The American CEO

4 Reasons Marissa Mayer’s No-At-Home-Work Policy Is an Epic Fail - Forbes

Yahoo Orders Home Workers Back to the Office – New York Times

The Most Powerful Women in Tech – 2012 – Forbes

There are have been many advancements to support women in the workplace and yet women still don’t have equal representation in many areas of senior leadership.  For the first time ever, women are earning more college degrees than men.  Yet at the senior level of most organizations, women are not very visible (i.e., “heard”) and sometimes their actions are deeply scrutinized by both men and women.  It seems to be the ongoing price of progress, and I’m glad I’m living in the year 2013 versus 50 to 100 years ago.  I think women have clearly demonstrated their value in the market place…now if they could earn equal pay for equal work across all job functions, that would be another step in the right direction…

To those men and women who take the time to teach women and young girls how to be leaders and provide them support as well as access to your networks to help them grow and learn from their failures & mistakes, thank you for your foresight, interest, and encouragement!  “Give a man/woman a fish, he/she eats for a day. Teach them how to fish, they can eat for a lifetime.”

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Imagine That. It’s 2013!
Jan 6 2013

Happy New Year!   From what I’ve observed at this point in my life, it seems to me that there really is no telling what awaits around the corner with regards to jobs, kids, health, love, or whatever, so I’ve given up on resolutions for the time being.  We are living in interesting times, and I have been fortunate/unfortunate enough to experience many things…some of my choosing and most not of my choosing.  Maybe I will live long enough and happen upon the right muse(s) along the way to enable me to write more about it…

So in 2013 I’ll just do my best to breathe deep, laugh with my kids, and spend time with people who support/love me & my kids (i.e., no fair weather friends or family).  I’ll continue to do my best at whatever I’m attempting to do and support others even if I find myself in less than ideal circumstances or around negative people, which seems to be happening less and less.  I also will continue to come to grips with the reality of my busy life (e.g., it took me close to 5 days to actually finish writing this short post because of work, facebook, watching TV, words with friends, going to the movies, spending time with real offline friends, downtime, and kid stuff!). :-)

May you experience the most peace, love, and joy possible in 2013!

Author: | Filed under: blogging, holiday, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

BiG HealthCARE Opportunities Summit
Sep 28 2012

BiGAUSTIN is excited to begin the Small Business @ Work series with our first event, BiG HealthCARE Opportunities Summit on November 1st, 2012. BiG is teaming up with The Seton Healthcare Family to educate and inform women and veterans about the advancements, changes and opportunities within the healthcare industry through panel discussions, breakout sessions, and workshops.

Participants will be able to gather information on HealthCARE and have the opportunity to network and learn about available self-employment as a CAREER within the healthcare community, have ACCESS to healthcare providers, be able to attend economic RECOVERY breakout sessions for personal needs, and learn what every ENTREPRENEUR should know about the new policies, healthcare acts and how these initiatives will affect their day to day business.

The BiG HealthCARE Opportunities Summit’s keynote speaker, author and small business person of the year 2007: Ms. Colleen J. Payne-Nabors, will share her experience and struggle as she built a multi-million dollar business in the mobile cardiac imaging business

For more Information go to: http://bigaustin.org/healthcareopportunitiessummit or email them at info@bigaustin.org

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Perspective 2012
Mar 20 2012

When I wonder what it’s all about, why I am where I am, and whether all my decisions or in/out-of-control direction changes in life were good ones, I usually need to drink lots of red wine and stay away from the hard liquor!  When my 6, soon to be 7, year old daughter tells me to take a break from cooking dinner and see what she made  and affixed to my home office desk (photo to left), everything makes sense for a few moments.

I tell her that I need to save all these precious notes and drawings she makes me because when she’s a teenager she’ll want nothing to do with me.  She denies it adamantly and tells me she will always love me.  I tell her I know that’s true but she might not express it the same way as she does now, but I will always love her which thankfully she believes. I doubt she’ll be writing me the same heart warming notes and drawing me butterflies when she’s 16, but the fact that she thinks she will is sweet.  Although I’m sure her peers and society might think it weird if she’s drawing hearts to her friends and mom when she’s older, I hope she continues to be comfortable expressing her love for people because it’s not an easy thing to do without judgement when you get older.

I don’t recall my now 9 year old son writing too many “I love mommy” notes when he was 6, but I do have a few of those that I’ve saved and stuck to the fridge or put in his box.  He mostly wants to play with my iPhone and the Wii runs into me to show his affection and randomly hugs me sometimes in odd places like Office Depot.  He still likes me to sit next to him when he’s watching TV and cuddle with him for a bit before he goes to sleep.  When I ask him why he is hugging me in a superstore, he says “I don’t know, I just wanted to.”  I sigh, laugh, roll my eyes a bit and say “Ok sweetie, I’ll take it when and where I can get it,” hug him back and muss his hair.

I’m so lucky when it comes to my kids (knock on wood) and I guess I am where I need to be right now for them.  If I’m penniless in my 80s, I’ll show them the notes and see if they remember writing them and the feelings they were trying to express at the time.  Deep stuff, I know.

Author: | Filed under: parent stories, parenting, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments »

Motherhood Is The Necessity of Re-Invention
Jan 15 2012

Other ways to say this that might make more sense to a brain that doesn’t have little kids around the house:

  • Necessity is the Mothership of Re-invention
  • Necessity is the mother of invention – most popular
  • Motherhood/Parenthood/Fatherhood necessitates constant reinvention
  • Working Motherhood/Parenthood/Fatherhood requires you to try touching your elbow to your ear (yes, I tried it to make sure it was near impossible to do so) on more occasions than you’d like to admit

I hope in all this living around parents with an accidental (prone to earthquakes) entrepreneurial foundation, my kids are learning that they have to whine a little, adapt a lot, smile, try a bunch of different things, have faith that things will turn out as they should as long as they work hard and are kind to others…including animals and a select few insects like butterflies.

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Knowing What You Want
Dec 11 2011

Grand Canal - China

Knowing what you want is a blessing and a curse.  If you know what you want, then you know the usual paths of achieving it.  You can improvise along the way, but if you know you want to be a singer, doctor, lawyer, teacher, pro football player, screen writer, monk/nun, landscaper, etc. you follow a prescribed path for the most part.  It’s a curse because a) someone can decide you aren’t good enough, b) you actually aren’t good enough, c) you weren’t born into knowing the right people, or d) you always seem to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.  Most people do not become world famous singers, athletes, novelists, or movie directors.

Not knowing what you want is also a curse and a blessing because you can drift aimlessly wondering where you belong and in what you might be phenomenal.  You can be strong at many things but unless you know that you want to be an entrepreneur, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Martha Stewart, Dilbert, a world class surgeon, a lawyer, etc., what you end up doing probably won’t feel like a custom made glove.  The blessing part of not knowing what you want to be when you grow up is that you never had a burning desire to be  Lady Ga Ga, so you aren’t as disappointed when you roll out of bed and you aren’t her.  The blessing is also that you can decide to like what you are doing and find ways to make a difference and change the world in your own little non Lady Ga Ga like fashion and still have people think you are pretty cool.

My son says he wants to be a soccer player and my daughter says (only recently) that she wants to be a singer.  I’ll see if I can steer them towards being a soccer playing physicist and a singing doctor.  I wonder how that will work.  Despite our best voluntary & involuntary attempts at showing them the life of an entrepreneur is not laced with candy, they might be crazy like us and commit entrepreneur-icide.

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Thankful – 2011
Nov 27 2011

Dragon in China

The Thanksgiving holiday just passed here in the US.  It’s a time where we reflect on all that we are thankful for and, of course, eat turkey.  I was thankful I was able to spend it with family (new and old).   We had turkey and lobster which was a very nice combination.

I’m thankful for so many things and I, like others, lose sight of how lucky we are to live in the time we live, have the things we have, are for the most part healthy, etc.  I think I need to record the things I’m thankful for and play them back to myself every day, because like so many I get caught up in the day to day stresses of life and forget to be grateful for what I do have.

Thank you to all my loyal readers who have stuck around despite my inconsistent blogging and my often random topics.  I am in the morass of a full life right now.  I am still trying to find my way while at the same time helping two little kids find their ways… :-)

Author: | Filed under: holiday, working mom, working mother | Tags: | 1 Comment »

Roller Coaster Of Life
Sep 20 2011

I used to like roller coaster rides when I was young and then some time in my teenage years, they started to make me nauseous and I didn’t like them.  Many of my friends have told me that they experience more motion sickness in rides now than they used to.  This may be part of the reason I’ve never taken my kids to Disney Land or I never went as a kid.  I know, I’m un-American and deprived.

Well business people, entrepreneurs, and parents all experience ups and downs.  The best we can do is count our blessings during the down times and make sure we don’t forget how blessed we are in the up times.

My life, personal and professional, is novel worthy.  I just hope I’m not too sea sick when I actually have time to write that novel…

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The Robi Comb – Amazed And Stunned
Sep 15 2011

I get many people asking me to blog about their products.  Some even offer to pay me.  Most of the requests I ignore as I don’t feel the products are relevant or I don’t have much to say about them.  But when the PR guy for the Robi Comb reached out to me, it piqued my interest.  My kids got head lice for the first time last Spring and it was icky, tiring and awful.  It seems like more than half the kids in the school got them.  We did environmentally friendly, non-toxic treatments that took 4 hours and they had to sit around in caps until late into the night (i.e. past their bed times and past mom’s patience).  Then my son got them again in summer camp.  I was less mortified but still very annoyed.  I remember getting them as a kid when I went to visit Sri Lanka and the stuff they put on our heads was kind of like kerosine.  This is America, not a third world country, so as any American full time working mother would do, I freaked.  The non-toxic treatment stuff they have these days smells like a caramel frappacino.  I was tempted to make my kids smell something nasty so they could experience the same need to run around outside without stopping until the treatment was done, but I let them enjoy the smell of eucalyptus spray and coffee smelling gunk.

They sent me the following write-up (in italics below) and a free Robi Comb.  I was hoping that I’d never have to use it as certainly my kids were done with that craziness, but lo and behold, it happened again recently.  After asking my son who the heck he was hanging out with (because my daughter escaped them) and they take a bath every day, I used the Robi Comb on him.  It had been sitting on the counter for several weeks and they were curious about it. My son said his head was itchy and I figure he just wanted to use the comb so he was making it up.  I told him that he simply could not have head lice again.  My daughter and I looked in his hair fairly thoroughly with a flashlight and saw pretty much nothing.  Even the things we thought could be nits weren’t.  He has brown hair so it’s easy to see nits and I figured I’d see any stupid lice crawling around.  At his head scratching insistence, I used the comb and I was shocked to discover it found 7 lice.  I swear I saw nothing and everything in my being did not want to believe him when he said he thought he had lice. I guess it was a good thing I listen to my kids most of the time because after running it through his hair several times and changing the sheets, he can go to school without a 4 hour treatment followed up by multiple combings and daily hair spray-ings because 7 lice do not constitute an infestation.  But I decided to use the Robi Comb for a few days just in case and no more were found.  I still sprayed his head with eucalyptus spray and made him use lice shampoo to repel them.  I was impressed with how easy it was to use and how quickly it found them!

As back to school time approaches, so does the head lice boom. Lice, the ultimate creepy crawler, will find its way onto millions of children’s heads this fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year among children 3 to 11 years of age. However, with the recent increase in head lice breakouts this past year, it’s imperative that all parents be prepared to tackle this common nuisance. This increase has even prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to amend their “No Nits” policy regarding withholding children from public schools who might still have nits, otherwise known as head lice eggs, present on their scalp. The amended policy says that children with nits do not necessarily pose a risk to the rest of the schools population.

This amended policy has many parents nationwide scratching their head, as they do not want to put their children in any “unnecessary” risk by sending them to schools recently affected by an infestation. As evident by this policy’s amendment, head lice is not so much of a health or hygiene issue; however the way these pests are commonly treated is of greater concern. In the past, the only way to effectively treat head lice was with dangerous toxic shampoos, chemicals, gels or oils; many of which use Pyrethrum or Permethrin, the same pesticides found in household bug killers. Today more than ever, there is a growing concern of the health effects of putting toxins and chemicals such as these on a developing child’s head and the negative long term effects these poisons may have. Aside from being toxic, many of these “traditional” treatments have also been widely reported to not even work, as the lice, in most cases, have built up a resistance to the pesticides used rendering them essentially useless.

In the event your child brings home more than just homework this school year, the Robi Comb from LiceGuard is an ideal product for ridding their scalp of lice without the use of harmful chemicals. The Robi Comb is a non-invasive electronic lice comb powered by a single AA battery that detects and destroys lice on contact simply by combing it through dry hair. When the Robi Comb’s metal teeth touch lice, the lice get zapped, die and then get combed away. Unlike chemical treatments, the Robi Comb can be used as often as you like and can be used repeatedly by the entire family. The Robi Comb lets you know by an audible signal whether or not head lice are present, so it can be used to detect an infestation as well as treat it. In fact, many school nurses are now using the Robi Comb for exactly that reason. School nurses report that Robi Comb is able to find lice which they have missed when checking visually. More than 3,000 school districts in all 50 states are now currently using the Robi Comb. This innovative product is available for purchase for $29.99 at major retailers such as Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid, as well as thousands of local pharmacies across the nation.

Author: | Filed under: FYI, parent stories, parenting, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A Journey Of A Thousand Miles…
Aug 14 2011

Begins With A Single Step.  This quote brought to you by Lao-Tzu, famous Chinese philosopher.  I’m starting a new journey this week.  Here are some other interesting quotes by him and you can see even more here: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/l/lao_tzu.html

“I have three treasures. Guard and keep them:
The first is deep love,
The second is frugality,
And the third is not to dare to be ahead of the world.
Because of deep love, one is courageous.
Because of frugality, one is generous.
Because of not daring to be ahead of the world, one becomes the leader of the world.”

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

How many journeys have you started?  I’ve lost count of how many I’ve started.  Some led to interesting discoveries and some led to dead ends, but as they say it’s the journey that matters, not the destination.  However, I’m still hoping that there’s a small pot of gold at the end of this one though…

Author: | Filed under: Just For Fun, random stuff, working mom, working mother | Tags: | 2 Comments »

How Dooce Changed My Twitter Reputation
Apr 8 2009

dooce-8apr09I went to Heather Armstrong’s (a.k.a. Dooce) book signing for It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margaritatonight only because one of the interns, Laura Benold, at my day job happened to tell me about it.  She’s been following Dooce since she was 18 years old.  She’s not much older now, but still.

Yes, I was feeling kind of pathetic since I’m sort of a mommy blogger and Dooce is the top mommy blogger on the planet making reportedly up to $500K per year from her blog.   I am grateful that Laura took an interest in what I was trying to do with Babble Soft and asked me if I knew about it.  And my lame excuse is I’m doing way too much, have two kids, thankfully no pets, and I haven’t found a way to get her blog to come to me in email form like the other blogs I read.  Believe me I have tried several times to figure out how to get her blog in email…I’m going to blame it on the proverbial ‘mommy brain syndrome.’

I almost didn’t make it because our son has been home sick the last couple of days.  I was thinking about taking him and our daughter with me and I am SO glad I didn’t.   Fortunately their dad was able to rearrange his schedule to watch them.  It would not have been fun at all because they would have lost their patience and my son would have been worn out in say 20 minutes.

Heather is an awesome and hilarious writer!  She curses profusely, swears, and talks about all the things people don’t talk about but should on the topic of motherhood and life.  So I began tweeting about some of the things she was saying and reading from her book and here are some of the more colorful tweets (corrected for iPhone typing errors):

@dooce about to talk about sex after vaginal birth.

Took 7 months after baby born before they had sex. 6 weeks is bs. Says @dooce

Her vagina was ready after she wore a tampax and her husband wrote a thank you letter to them.

Then @dooce says she got a urinary tract infection.

@dooce now talking about her dog called Satan and when they took the dog coco hunting.

All of a sudden I started getting tweets and direct messages on twitter asking what was going on with me.  A few people thought my account was hacked since the tweets were very out of character for me.  I was sure I had lost some followers, but I think I actually gained a few.

I’m so glad I went!  I met her husband Jon (@blurb on twitter) and chatting with him for a while.  He is on tour with her and manages the back end of her website.  He was so cute and funny about how he took pictures of her and then sat in the audience listening to what I assume has to be the umpteenth time she’s spoken at a book signing on this tour.  He participated a bit in the Q&A portion and then stood off to the side while she signed books.  I checked his twitter stream when I got back and saw that his two tweets were:

@dooce is lookin fine. Damn fine.

@dooce kicking ass! http://twitpic.com/30ynn

I went to chat with him for a while and gave him some gift subscriptions to Babble Soft web and mobile software (which is iPhone ready – I noticed Heather was reading something to the audience from her pink cased iPhone), and he seemed genuinely interested in checking it out.  I gave him extra ones to give to any of their friends or readers if they wanted to.

I was in the 3rd group of people to get the book signed and somewhere around 8:30 p.m., I knew I was not going to make it to 9:30 after having been most of the day with a sick kid, and I started to leave.  I was almost out the door when I said to myself, I don’t really want to leave without a signature at all do I?  So I went back up the stairs and asked Jon if he would sign it since I had to go, and he graciously did!

So I’m wondering how many people have a copy of It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margaritasigned by Dooce’s husband!  That’s got to be extremely valuable. :-)

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneurship, working mom, working mother | Tags: , | 9 Comments »