Things and stuff

I think it’s time for another blog post full of randomness.

Like…

My sabbatical starts in 32 days, 7 hours, 41 minutes, and 43 seconds! (A bit less by the time I actually post this, of course.)

And our cruise is coming up fast (don’t bother robbing us while we’re gone, we’re going to have a house sitter. Plus we have nothing to steal unless you like fabric. Please don’t steal my fabric.) and I’m working on shorts for the boys.

After the cruise is the boys’ school Winter Fair and my friend Bea is having a booth and she’s letting me sell some of my bags! So exciting! So I uh, need to make some bags. I wish I could bring my sewing machine on the cruise. Hmm.

Remember when I tripped and skinned my knees like a little kid in my friend’s backyard way back in August? (I may not have mentioned it here.) Well, I also hurt my right foot a bit at the time, but not a ton, but it’s just been bugging me ever since. I finally went to my orthopedist and he confirmed it was nothing major, which was a relief. It’ll just take a while to heal, and it’s fine to continue exercising and not do the things that make it hurt (mostly lunges and burpees OH DARN and anything that causes me to flex my toes.)

But what I found out that was interesting is that I have extra bones in my foot! Under my toes! And they’re all broken up! Most people only have this tiny bone under their big toe, but I have them under all of my toes, and they should be in one piece, but they’re in a few pieces. He said that is due to some old trauma, and it wasn’t causing my pain, it was just an interesting discovery that we found because of the x-rays I had.

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Yellow arrows point to normal (broken) bones. Red ones are bonus bones!

If I had to guess, the “trauma” was running two marathons and 13 half marathons overweight. Whatevs.

In other news, competitive soccer is done for the fall, but school soccer has begun! It’s not as time-consuming, though. But I do have to pick them up from school a couple of times a week. But that’s okay, I guess.

OH, this is exciting – I have been wanting to volunteer in a NICU starting during my sabbatical but I hadn’t had much luck getting into any of the programs in local hospitals. Finally, I got a call back from two hospitals, even though neither of them had openings in the NICU. I chose the local Children’s hospital because it’s smaller. I went to volunteer orientation, got my TB test (negative, whew) and some other tests, and I’m just waiting for an interview now so I can be put on the schedule. To start, I’ll be walking people around the hospital so they don’t get lost (it’s kind of a maze) but at some point, I’ll get into the NICU to rock babies. I’m in this for the long haul, so no rush. I can be patient.

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That’s where they injected tuberculosis into me. Or something.

So sabbatical plans:

  • Organize house (i.e., throw away a lot of stuff)
  • Sew!
  • Volunteer at hospital, hopefully get to rock some babies at least
  • See Kiki at some point
  • Work out a lot, make muscles bigger

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    It’s a start.

Pretty low-key.

In yet other news, my lemon tree might be dying. My black thumb strikes again. I’m so sad. It was full of lemons, but they abruptly stopped growing at some point, but ripened really fast, and ended up the size of ping pong balls instead of grapefruit like last year. The leaves on the tree are all withered and it’s v sad. It doesn’t look good.

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This is a shoebox.

My theories are either that the Bradford pear next to it is stealing all the sunlight (but surely it wasn’t that much shorter last year?) or something to do with fresh, healthy lemon tree growth at the base of the tree? Sapping all the nutrients from the rest of the tree? I have no idea.

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Sad leaves (from before I picked the lemons). Not the big, healthy, glossy green leaves I’m used to. 😦

Anyhoo, that’s about it for now. I’m sure I’ll think of more as soon as I hit “publish” but I’d better do it before I have to change the sabbatical countdown at the top of the post again.

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Marathon #3!

Okay, not really. But you know I work out at Orangetheory and I usually go three times a week or so, four if I can swing it. And in April they had a marathon challenge where you added up your mileage from the treadmill from all of your workouts and tried to hit 26.2 miles.

Now, the sensible thing to do would have been to sign up for the half-marathon, especially considering I knew I’d be traveling for a week of the month. And with the garage sale weekend right before my trip and jetlag and having to attend a funeral right after I got home, it meant I was really out for 13 days! Almost half of the month. But by golly, I was going to do the marathon and get the dang t-shirt!

This may seem not too hard, but consider an OTF workout is about 55 minutes, and at most half of that is on the treadmill. So I have about 25-27 minutes to get in my miles. Oh, and I’m not exactly a speed demon. On average, I can do between 1.75 – 2.25 miles in a workout. So you can see how it can be problematic to get 26.2 miles in 17 days without killing myself. By the time I got back from Singapore, I had 10 days to get about 16 miles. So that means I basically had to go every day. Yikes!

When I remembered that April 2002 was when I did my first (real, actual) marathon, I was especially motivated. It just seemed fitting.

Well, I’ll wrap up this long story now with this…

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I got it!!!!

10 years, 2 months

I almost forgot today’s picture (gasp!) Between Mardi Gras and three sick children, it just slipped my mind until this evening, when Miles reminded me. So that’s partly why the picture was taken in the living room instead of outside. But I may have changed the location anyway since no one really felt like doing much today anyway.

Look at those rosy cheeks…

As of right this moment, they seem to be on the mend, but after battling vomit, asthma, ear infections, congestion, coughing, headaches, and fever for the last week, I just give up.

2017 in review

Years that end in 7s have typically been pretty eventful for me. Well, at least two of them have. I spent a good chunk of 1997 in London, which was life-changing for me. And 2007 brought a trio of little clones into our lives. So I expected 2017 to be equally eventful for me personally. I mean, hey, it was also the year I was 42, so expectations were high.

But it didn’t end up being particularly noteworthy, at least not for me. In fact, generally speaking, I’d say it was not a great year overall. But for our family, it was fine. Let’s recap. Continue reading

Goings on

It’s been a while since I wrote a regular old boring blog post, so here goes.

The boys had their third guitar lesson yesterday. They still like it! Ha! They’d better, at what it’s costing me. There’s still some frustration about getting chords right and finger placement and finger (it hurts to press on the strings!) but no one has given up yet. Ha.

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I say “boys” but really it was just Oliver and Miles. Linus is still sick from whooping cough. Even though they had all of last week off, he’s still getting sent home from school every day because of the cough. It doesn’t sound good, that’s for sure. I’m so ready for this to be over. I’m so ready for him to complete a whole day of school. Especially because the nurse said she’d bake us a cake when all three made it through a full day. I’m thinking yellow cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles? Yes?

img_9429-2Also next week is the big standardized testing week so he has to stay in school all day. I can’t have one triplet repeating third grade! (Don’t worry, that won’t actually happen.)

On Sunday, I accidentally signed up for two Orangetheory classes in a row. I figured, why not just do it? (The alternative being to pay a $12 cancellation fee.) Everything was going swimmingly until the point when my back seized up and was like “nope.” So now I am in pain but got a massage yesterday which helped but thank goodness for leftover painkillers from surgery is all I can say.

I’m excited for this summer. The boys and I are spending a couple of weeks at the beginning in Austin, housesitting with Deborah and her kids. It will be fun! We’ll be able to work together and the kids can all play and we can go swimming and all sorts of fun stuff.

And then there will be a work trip to Orlando, and some Kiki visiting, and possibly a trip at the end of the summer to DC to see Aunt Jenny’s giant house finally. We’ll see.

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Scary!
We’re really enjoying the patio. The giant piles of dirt are finally diminishing, and once my back is better I hope we can get some hedges in. I’m also dreaming of a hydrangea bush, but I’m not known for my green thumb so it might not be the best idea. But maybe.

Ooh, this is exciting! The movie Miles filmed last year finally has a release date! It’ll be in theaters in June and then it also have a VOD (video on demand) release date a few days later. I’m really hoping it will be playing in a theater in Austin while we’re there. The production company that made the movie is based there, so I’m hopeful. We’ll see. Fingers crossed! (I won’t be taking the kids to the theater, but at least we can show them Miles’s parts on demand a few days later.) I also hope his part wasn’t left on the cutting room floor. Hmm.

Anyway, I’m not such a huge fan of horror movies, but hopefully this one won’t give me nightmares. Sure, why would seeing my kid play dead give me nightmares?

IMG_0176In happier news, two of my baby cousins are having babies! I mean, they’re not exactly babies anymore, they’re grown women, but they’ll always be my baby cousins. They’re due a month apart, and neither know what flavor baby they’re having. How is it that I had no problem not knowing the sex of my babies, but when other people do it I get wildly impatient?

Anyway, they’re adorable, and I can’t wait to take lots of pictures of their squishy babies! (I’m convinced both are boys. Well, at least one is a boy I’ll bet.)

Quick rundown of other things…Ziggy is free of heartworms, we got a new fancy thermostat (not Nest, but like Nest), sno-balls are yummy, I got to drive a fancy Corolla for a week, Miles and I had a streetcar/beignet adventure last week, and we played Monopoly.)

 

 

Cough, cough, cough (times infinity)

Other suggested post titles:

“The Sicklets”

“Whooping it up!”

This has been a terrible year for sickness. I don’t know why. I thought the boys got all the sicknesses out of their systems when they were younger. We had a great run of it for a few years, but this year has been constant. There was the coughing and asthma from the fall that lasted three weeks, then the barfing in the winter, and now this.

“This” is Whooping Cough. Wait, what year is it? 1938? No, it’s 2017, my kids are fully vaccinated, and they were diagnosed the other day with pertussis, more commonly known as Whooping Cough.

Well, I say “they.” Not really. But let me go back to the beginning…

February 28, Mardi Gras day: I took Oliver to a parade, but George called me because Miles had a fever. We headed home and I took Miles to Urgent Care, where he tested negative for strep (which was my guess) but was given a z-pack (azithromycin) anyway. The doctor thought it was some kind of throat infection.

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Infecting the whole Smoothie King Arena at the twenty one pilots concert!

March 5: Oliver has been coughing a little bit, but it’s not terrible, and I go to Australia/New Zealand.

March 15: I arrive home, and Oliver is still coughing.

March 16: I get a call from the school nurse. Need to pick up someone (I can’t keep track) because of coughing.

March 17: I get a call from the school nurse. Need to pick up someone (I can’t keep track) because of coughing.

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Spreading disease at the Aquarium!

March 20: I get a call from the school nurse. Need to pick up someone (I can’t keep track) because of coughing.

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Ha ha ha ha ha yeah like that was gonna help.

March 21: I get a call from the school nurse. Need to pick up someone (I can’t keep track) because of coughing. I take Oliver to the pediatrician because his cough is not getting better. But he’s showing no other symptoms. He had a very mild (like 99 degrees) fever, though. The doctor suggests maybe it’s a post-nasal drip from a sinus infection, so she prescribes a z-pack.

March 22: I have to work at a conference in town, so George stays home with all three kids.

March 23: The boys go back to school, and that afternoon I triumphantly post on FB that I didn’t have to pick up anyone from school! My triumph is short-lived, though.

March 24: I get a call from the school nurse. Need to pick up all three because of coughing.

March 27: Me and the school nurse are buddies by now. But the kind of buddies you dread hearing from. I really do like her. But I hate it when she calls. When I go pick up Oliver, she says, “this is going to sound crazy, but it might be Whooping Cough.” I poo-poo the idea. He’s vaccinated, after all!

March 28: I volunteer as a chaperone for a field trip in Miles’s class. This way I know I can give cough syrup midday to all three, so maybe we can make it through an entire day again! I dose up Miles and Oliver, but when I get to Linus’s classroom, he’s already been sent to the nurse’s office. Sigh. I take all three home.

March 29: I keep all three home from school. WHAT’S THE POINT? Meanwhile, I desperately make an appointment with the pediatrician, who agrees it can’t hurt to test them for pertussis. That afternoon, we head to Children’s Hospital to get the test. It involves shoving a thin tube up the boys’ noses after squirting saline up there. There is a surprising amount of laughter while they have it done, even though it’s definitely not pleasant.

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At the doctor’s office. Notable because they’re reading!
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Waiting to get a tube shoved up their noses.

That evening, I get a call from the doctor. “Are you sitting down?” she asks. “Linus tested positive for Whooping Cough. The other two were negative for that, but positive for rhinovirus.” (Which is just a cold.) Dr. Google had already told me that the treatment for pertussis is a course of antibiotics. As it happens, a z-pack. We realize that must be why Oliver tested negative – he had a z-pack the week before!

But what about Miles? We were going to have this in our house forever. Do you know pertussis is called the “100 day cough”? Yeah, I believe it.

But then it hit me – Miles did get antibiotics, for the mysterious illness he had on Mardi Gras day! It’s only a theory, of course, but it makes sense…Miles was Patient Zero! We got, dare I say, lucky, that we treated him unknowingly. And correctly. Never have I been so glad that the boys have a penicillin allergy! Z-packs FTW! And Miles finished his antibiotics before he went back to school after Mardi Gras break, so at that point he was no longer contagious.

So here it is, March 31. Linus is on antibiotics. I am on antibiotics (preventative.) I sent Oliver to school this morning because he seemed to be feeling okay. (And is no longer contagious as he finished his z-pack already.) But right on schedule…

I get a call from the school nurse. Need to pick up someone (I can’t keep track) Oliver because of coughing.

When I go to pick him up, the nurse’s office is filled with third graders. Earlier today, I got a call from the state Department of Health about the whole situation. I’m really glad they’re tracking it and everything. But it really hit home when I got to school to pick up Oliver. Every parent of a coughing third grader was getting a phone call with a recommendation to start antibiotics. If they weren’t vaccinated, they have to stay out of school for 21 days.

A little while ago, a letter went out to the whole school saying there’s an outbreak of Whooping Cough in the third grade. Ugh. We’re not named in the letter but it’s obviously not a secret since I’m blogging about it.

I feel irrationally terrible. I know it’s not our fault. We had no idea. We don’t know where we got it from. We vaccinate our kids. We get vaccines ourselves. Who would have thought we’d come down with some preventable disease? But we have friends with small children. The boys were at school all month with this. They’ve been in public. They’ve played with friends. We went to a one year old’s birthday party!

We may have weeks of coughing ahead of us. It’s “only” been four weeks. We could have another month of this.

Here’s what our house sounds like now…

Send wine.

15 minutes x2

Yesterday was (relatively speaking) exciting. First I got a text from my cousin’s wife who works at a local tv station. The medical reporter was looking for someone to talk to on air about the stomach bug that’s been going around. Katie knew we’d battled it, so, well, long story short, this happened:

The house was a mess and I was in the middle of interviewing someone and they wanted to come over right away, so I called Terry and yelled, “COME OVER RIGHT NOW” and she got the boys’ beds made up (I knew they were going to film them, as they had been the scene of one of the crimes, as it were) while I frantically put on make up in between asking questions.

After Terry left and I was waiting, I got a message from a reporter who wanted to interview “normal” parents of triplets after some famous people announced they just had triplets. So I sent over answers to her questions and voila:

30 Fingers and 30 Toes: These Moms Talk What It’s Really Like To Have Triplets

Good, bad, and ugly

Good:

The boys had their slumber party (now over a week ago!) The cake was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Love so much. They had a great time, and most importantly, I survived a night with nine 8 and 9 year old boys.

Oliver had his last day at the zoo classroom. Got to watch him in a movie and he gave a presentation on endangered species.

Oliver’s new purple hair:

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Miles got his roots done:

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Bad:

How I felt the day after we went out for tiki drinks. But it was totally worth it. 🙂

Linus is currently sick. His asthma is acting up. We’re leaving soon for our trip, so I really need everyone to be healthy again. Yeesh. I mean, look how sick:

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Ugly:

Ziggy has heartworms. 😦 I was so upset when I found out, but I’m a bit calmer now, after doing some research. We seem to have caught it pretty early, thank god. Not looking forward to keeping him still for two months, though.

These sweaters:

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Weekend and things

Had a lovely weekend. Went to Orange Theory Saturday morning, then took Oliver to Target to get a pair of pajamas (in theory they all have pajama day this week, but I haven’t actually heard anything about it from their teachers, but it’s not like he’s not going to wear his new pajamas that have the design of some YouTube dude he admires. [WTF, btw. A guy who makes YouTube videos has licensed stuff like pajamas. Also he has blue hair. That is not a coincidence.])

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After the pajama trek, I went and drank wine in Heather’s backyard, and was in theory going to only be there for an hour or two but that turned into coming home at midnight. Ooops. So didn’t go to OTF on Sunday as planned. Instead, made these delicious chocolate chip cookies to bring to my cousin Lisa’s house.

Going to Lisa’s house is always fun. The boys love her boys (who are not really boys anymore, but legit grownups) and there’s always delicious food (some insane corn dip yesterday is something I need to eat every day except not really because it has mayo in it) and Lisa and her husband are super laid back, so it’s just nice.

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They are very comfortable at Lisa’s. Maybe too comfortable.
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Eli and the boys. Awww!

But the best part is they have a deck along the back of the house, which makes the perfect stage, so now you have to watch this play the boys put on. JK you only have to watch it if you’re related to us.

After the play, snowballs!

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Want to talk a tiny bit more about OTF – I’ve been going a bit over a month now and it’s exciting because I can see muscles that were not there before! Today I was doing this arm exercise thingy, and I couldn’t take my eyes off some muscle, while sweat dripped down my nose. Tomorrow I have an appointment for an assessment with one of the trainers, and I really wish I’d done that before I started. But it’ll be interesting to see my progress from here on out.

Random cute picture of Miles and Ziggy:

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It’s the last week of second grade! I can’t believe it. I’ll be glad not to have to do the drive to school every afternoon, but I don’t think I’m ready for third graders.

Good stuff

Here are some good things:

Future lemons and also jasmine

I’m going to have SO MANY LEMONS at the end of the year! Also, my jasmine that I planted last year is growing nicely. I stopped by Home Depot the other day to get some more (trying to cover our fence for privacy) but they didn’t have any. Hmmph.

Orangetheory

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Need to get more in that orange zone, yall.

I’m still not dead. I’m starting my third week working out there and my legs definitely feel stronger. I’m not burning as many calories as I think I should be, but I also don’t know if I can work harder without dying. Oh well, keep on keepin’ on.

I do feel really great after the workouts, I have to say. Endorphins are real!

Doing fun stuff for good

Saturday, I’m doing two fun things for a good cause. In the morning, the Pink Bra Run, a 5K to benefit breast cancer. I ordered a hot pink sports bra to decorate (and wear over my clothes, dear god I’m not going to leave the house in just a sports bra)  and I’ll be doing it with my girls, so that’ll be fun.

Later, I’m taking the boys across the lake to a crawfish boil to benefit…something good. I should be ashamed that I don’t know exactly what it’s benefitting, but it’s crawfish! And I’ll get to see Ren!

Reading children

I allowed a production company to use the boys’ ultrasound video (that thing is really making the rounds) and since without them, I wouldn’t have an ultrasound video, I decided to spend the check I got on them. But not on video games. Instead, we went to Barnes and Noble and I let them get whatever they wanted without even looking at the prices. Miles picked out a novelization of The Jungle Book (yeah, I know that’s a book, but we flipped through it at the library, and, well, no, not yet), Oliver got The BFG, and Linus wanted Charlotte’s Web.

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Also I’m happy with Costco Tires. I got a flat tire right as I pulled into the driveway the other day, and it only cost me $37 to replace it. On the other hand, I got a water bill for 4 times what it normally is, so…sigh.

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Linus showing Daddy how to put the spare on

I know there are other things making me happy. My job, for one. Ziggy, also. Yeah, really! Seeing the boys interact with him makes everything else worth it. Wine also makes me happy. Snowballs on the way home from school. Good stuff.

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That 366 project

No, I’m not giving up on it like I did last year. But I am definitely being lazy about it. Here are a bunch of pics in gallery format to make catching up easier.

The 9th through 15th are covered in my Austin recap post. I mean, I’m pretty positive I posted at least one picture from each day I was there. Let’s just say I did, mmkay?

So now for the 16th – 25th:

Okay, yes, I missed a day in there. Whatever. I’m being nice to myself and not obsessing over it.

We had a nice weekend in Baton Rouge. My mom and Larry hadn’t seen all three of them in a while. (Miles and I had seen them after his second day of filming.) There was hula-hooping and playing on a playground and going out to dinner for pizza. Sunday I was able to sneak off for a bit to buy some new workout clothes which was nice. We also made some more homemade cupcakes – lemon cupcakes with strawberry buttercream this time, but I don’t know if we should be making a habit of Sunday cupcakes. Well, we still have to make chocolate, so this isn’t the right time to be making a decision.

Speaking of my new workout, I’m really liking it. I am sore, but not like so much that I’m debilitated. It’s more like the “oh right, I have muscles there!” kind of sore. I’ll admit a big part of my motivation is the trip to Europe I have in June where I’ll be up on stage with my beautiful colleague Erica. There will be video of our talk. Need I say more?

Okay, on with the week!

 

Accountability and public speaking and green hair and other things

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted a real post. The kind with words and stuff. I feel pretty bad about just posting a bunch of pics about Austin, when I have lots of great memories that I really should be writing down. Let’s just hope the pictures help me remember them later. Or maybe I’ll end up editing that post with more details. We’ll see.

I think the best way for me to organize my thoughts is with bullets, since this’ll be all over the place.

I’ve been thinking for a long time about doing some kind of bootcamp fitness program, but I’ve been unable to find one that was at the appropriate times, etc. I was talking to someone a few weeks ago and she mentioned she was going to Orange Theory Fitness so I looked into it and ended up going to a class yesterday.

It was tough, I gotta say. It’s funny, you think “I can run a few miles at a time, and I can do half marathons without dying, so I must be in some kind of shape” and then you do a class like this and

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It’s high intensity interval training, and there are treadmills and rowing machines and weights and floor exercises and wow, when I got off the rowing machines after a few minutes my legs were like jelly.

So I signed up to go as much as humanly possible and try to get really fit over the next two months (and beyond) because in two months, this is happening…
Say hello to our next group of #WCEU speakers!

Yes, my coworker Erica and I are giving a talk at WordCamp Europe in front of, oh, I don’t know, more than the 20 people I spoke to at WordCamp Dayton. At least I can hide behind Erica, except she is tiny.

Anyway, my only point is that I want to feel good about myself before getting on a stage in front of more than 20 people.

In non-me related things, I continued to allow my children to really express themselves through their hair. I mean, it’s not hurting anyone. It’s temporary (ish, I mean, I did have to bleach their hair to get it this vibrant, but hair does grow) and if you could have seen how happy Linus was after we made his green, well, any doubts would have been wiped away.

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Miles wanted to be in the picture too. He of course also now wants to dye his hair, but I pointed out that his acting career might suffer if he does. So we’re leaving it as is for now. Anyway, if I have to end up dying Linus and Oliver’s back, I’ll need a reference for the original color. Ha!

I had a really fun weekend with the boys, not just dying their hair. We saw Jungle Book (really good) and watched a bunch of baking shows on Netflix. MilesCupcake Wars in particular inspired us to whip up a batch of homemade vanilla cupcakes and vanilla buttercream frosting. I even scraped seeds out of vanilla bean pods, that’s how serious we were. They were deeeelish, in spite of the fact that I apparently left a box of powdered sugar at the grocery store after paying for it, so our frosting was more butter than anything. Nothin’ wrong with that

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Miles approves of my frosting recipe.