What Hike Likes: Perseverance

September 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

You might not be a big fan of weeds, but it’s hard not to root for one showing such determination.

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Shame On Me

September 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

Usually when I hear grunting sounds coming out of Hiram, it’s not a good thing. It either means Hiram is pooping (preferred) or climbing onto something he shouldn’t and is within seconds of falling onto his head. So this morning as I was simultaneously brushing my hair, packing my lunch, chopping up a “nana” and getting dressed for a day at Target, grunting was the last thing I wanted to hear from Hike’s bedroom.

But alas, that is what I heard. And so I ran to his room to prevent a catastrophe and found him doing this: 

Dance With Me

September 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Yesterday, I was sick. Just yesterday though. Today I’m fine and Sunday I was fine but yesterday I was as sick as a dog. Luckily, this post is not about my myriad symptoms but about how Hike can make me happy when almost no one else can.

After a long, long night, I was exhausted. I had already decided to shorten our morning routine to the bare minimum so I could get myself back to bed as soon as possible. So, after dressing him in the first pant/shirt combo I could find (complete with the most convenient socks which didn’t match) we set off for daycare.

When we arrived, Hike noticed a brand new tumbling mat just outside the door of his room. His eyes lit up as he ran over, stood smack in the middle and started dancing. Then he looked at me as if to say, “Mom! A dancing mat! Come on!”

It hurt like the dickens, but I can’t resist an invite like that. Hiram got me dancing. And smiling a little bit too.

A Weekend Stroll

September 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

More and more, my weekends are spent trying not to hyperventilate as my two thrill seekers enjoy each other’s company. Here’s a typical scene from this past weekend (with a cameo from Aunt Linda.)

My favorite part is that throughout all this, Hike never let go of his leaf.

I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough…

September 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

It’s the first Friday of my new plan to spend Fridays only writing. So far, I am not doing very well at this considering these are the first words I’ve actually written today and it’s already after noon. But now I’m just going to say that for today, I will spend the afternoon only writing and next week I will not fall for the laundry/e-mail/everything trap.

I keep wanting to sit down and tell you about the experience I had at an event called “Birth of a Book!” at the University of Minnesota. I know I already mentioned attending this event, but what I didn’t get to tell you about was how useful it was to me. Not because the author told me the secret to getting my book published. More because by listening to her, I realized that there isn’t really one single secret.

The author, Barbara Joosse who wrote Higgledy- Piggledy Chicks came up and introduced herself to me before the event. Right away, I felt her “authenticity”. This is a trait I admire so much. I mean, it’s kind of hard to resist someone who is just happy being exactly who they are.  Try resisting them. You can’t.

In business, there is this thing called a Sustainable Competitive Advantage which is basically just “the thing” that makes your business extremely difficult to replicate. The trick to getting a sustainable competitive advantage is to pick something and then base every future business decision on whether or not it lines up.

Sometimes, this thing is mushy, like “friendliness” and sometimes it’s concrete, like “on time.” Whatever it is, “all” you have to do is reinforce it. (What would be the friendliest way to deliver an invoice? What would be the friendliest way to make a sale? Etc.)

The best part about having a solid sustainable competitive advantage is that anyone who tries to copy you looks like a tool. For example, just think about a business that is always “right on time” trying to compete by being very friendly. To be on time, they might have trained all their sales people to be blunt. And sometimes being blunt isn’t that friendly. So then they try to change their sales people to be friendly but then the box gets shipped without a nice note. And no note is NOT friendly. See how tricky it can get?

That’s why it’s important to figure out your thing and then go with it. In business…but…also…in life! OMG. This couldn’t be more obvious I guess. But it also couldn’t be more true. And especially true if you are trying to sell a certain children’s book that only you can write.

Ironically, after figuring this out, I still wanted to know exactly how Ms. Joosse develops her books, what she thinks about when she writes and basically why she did every single thing she did. At one point, she told us she writes all day every day and I felt completely discouraged because I don’t write all day every single day.

But then I realized that luckily, I don’t write all day every single day!  Otherwise how could I write the book that has been written by a woman who writes as much as she can and also plays with her baby boy and spends time with her husband and works on tough business problems and eats organic vegetables? I couldn’t. Because SHE doesn’t write all day every single day. 

See how awesome this is?

Five Down, Seven to Go

September 23, 2010 § 1 Comment

First things first. Brad audited me this month. Here’s how it went down:

Hadley (happily slurping soup): So, this is the first month I exceeded the income I used to make!

Brad: I don’t think so.

Hadley: Yes! I have a spreadsheet!

Brad: Then your spreadsheet isn’t right because… (insert intelligent rationale here)

Hadley: Oh.

He was so obviously and clearly right. If I would have just thought about it for two seconds, I could have spared the drama of being disappointed for no reason. But I did not. And if you are highly astute, you will notice that my red bar has been adjusted for this and all prior/future months, which makes my income look worse. But at least I’m not a liar anymore.

Luckily, my income continues to climb and that’s great news.

My other indices are looking good too!

And, a few things I am particularly proud of: 

  • Adding Target to my list of clients
  • Making the best of it at the Creative Connection (where we handed out at least 300 Commemorate the Date brochures despite horrific attendance)
  • Celebrating four years of marriage to Brad
  • Transitioning Hike to the toddler room at school, buying him big-boy shoes and letting him fall on his face because, “he needs to learn to make mistakes.” (Note to self: learn how to do this without having a conniption.)

What Hike Likes: Canoes

September 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

Here’s something Hike Likes: Canoes. I might be smittin’ with my (one and only) Loonacy, but this here’s a happy bunch too. Hike went along and gave each one an enthusiastic toddler pat and we found out they each make a slightly different sound. 

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