Bug turns ELEVEN! (and gets blue hair!)


Can you believe Bug is ELEVEN?!!! Of course you can’t. Neither can I. It was like yesterday when she was born. I get heart palpitations every time I take a picture of her and she looks like a teenager already. But I can’t stop time and I can’t stop her. This girl is a powerhouse and she just keeps growing up every day!


Bug has wanted to dye her hair blue for about two years. Her cousins constant chameleon hair-change-ups might have something to do with it and her obsession with anime and changing her minecraft skins etc… If you know Bug you know how she is about color. Color is her thing and she has strong opinions.

Of course I told her that dying her hair was a silly idea and gave her about a thousand lectures on how pretty her hair was naturally. But as you can see she wore me down. And wore me down some more. Because I love my crazy girl and I really wanted to give her a present that would make her really really happy. I caved!


Off to the salon we went! Bug has a favorite salon and a favorite stylist. She’s way more loyal to her stylist than I ever have been. It might have something to do with her stylist being 24 and a really cool surfer dude but he always does a really good job with her hair and we make a special treat out of it when we go. You know, macarons at Lette, hotdog from the hotdog stand. It’s our bi-annual thing.

At first, when we started to take the hair-coloring subject seriously, I thought we’d go to a beauty college and save some $$$ but then I got worried that I might fry her hair and I’d ruin her (red flag number 1). So we opted to ask her stylist for a recommendation and he recommended Ally.

We set the appointment and waited for the day with great anticipation. It was crazy how excited we were. Then the day came and the bleaching began. BLEACHING. Oh-my-goodness. I bleached my daughter’s beautiful long healthy honey-blonde hair?!!! Who am I? This so wrong on so many levels. (Red flag number 2.)


The plan was to lighten Bug’s hair to a white blonde and then apply a blue-indigo ombre effect to that white blonde. It was a great plan. But then as Ally started blow-drying out the blonde, Bug and I both gasped at how pretty it was. It was this amazing out-of-the-bottle blonde color that every Californian aspires to. We thought, maybe we should keep the blonde and just apply the dark ombre indigo-teal color to the underneath in a cool peek-a-boo effect. In fact, that idea sat with me even better because the blonde was more natural, right? (Red flag number 3 with blinking lights and a siren!)

But then as she finished blow-drying and I saw the blonde getting brassy all the way up to Bug’s eyes, I started to feel anxious. I couldn’t ignore the sirens going off in my head any more. My kid should not look like this. This is the kind of blonde ombre effect grown women on Real Housewives of Orange County have. I started to feel sick to my stomach. But Bug loved it and was over the moon! Ally curled it all pretty and Bug felt like a golden princess. I was a ball of mixed feelings with alarms going off in my head.

By the time we got to her Dad’s house (she was at his house that week) I was experiencing a full panic attack over her hair. Sweating, my heart hurt… How could I have done this to my child! She looked like Iris from Taxi Driver and it was just wrong. Poor Bug had no idea why I was getting so upset. She started crying and I was crying.  It’s amazing I could even drive. We were a mess.

Thankfully, Toby didn’t lose his marbles over my mistake when we got to the door and I exploded all of my worries and concerns. He agreed it didn’t look right for an eleven-year-old and we all decided we’d go back to the salon to fix it as soon as possible and stick to the original blue plan.


But Bug loved her blonde hair. It was such a mixed bag of emotions. On the morning of her next appointment Bug and I took an early morning walk with the dogs. She wore her rollerblades (her favorite accessory these days) and I took a few photos (with the dogs pulling me this way and that)  just so we could remember how pretty it was. We put her hair up in tight Princess Lea buns so the swirls of blue showed through. It didn’t seem quite so offensive. I wanted to take more photos but we ran out of time. I’m glad we have these though.

It was such an emotional experience for both Bug and I, I know we will remember it for years. Someday we’ll laugh about it.Bug-turns-11-blue-hair-5

Back to the salon we went. This time with strict instructions to be pastel blue, indigo blue, and teal blue and nothing else. Everyone at the salon totally understood our concerns and they happily fixed her up into the prettiest mermaid princess you have ever seen. Bug was sad to see her golden locks wash down the drain in a puddle of purple but it was best. And we know the blue will wash out over time and the blonde will come back slowly and not so shockingly. AND best of all it’s just hair. It will grow back to her pretty honey blonde someday. And no she’s not getting another hair-dye-job as a birthday present ever again.


The blue turned out to be so much cooler in the end. I feel like I have my eleven-year-old back again. My crazy, cool, color-obsessed eleven-year-old. This is just so Bug.


I love you to pieces, you big blue smurf-head. Which Bug is quick to correct and let me know that smurfs have blue skin NOT blue hair. (eye roll)

Busy Season: business trips, Christmas prep and a winner (chicken dinner!)


Last week was crazy busy for me. My Mettaprints partner Teri and I took on a huge spray-painting of silver snowflakes job for a big event in Santa Clara. Every year we vow not to do these kinds of jobs because they are so much work  and every year we somehow get amnesia and decide that we should take on another job like this because we are crafty and fun! And that is all very true but crafty and fun with spray paint for four days straight can get very old and tiring. Let’s just say it’s a good thing Teri and I are great friends and we always have a fun time together. Even when we are in the trenches.


On the bright side, who can complain about working in these conditions? I mean trees everywhere like that? Have you ever seen a prettier place to work? I guess an ocean view would be nice but the canyon is just drop dead gorgeous. I love it there. I wish it wasn’t a 30 minute drive for me or I would set up office in Teri’s downstairs permanently.


We worked for four days straight and then early Monday morning, at the crack of four am, we loaded up a rental van with all our pretty snowflakes and embarked on an epic Mettaprints trip. We worked too hard on those snowflakes to trust shipping them and after all, Santa Clara is just a four hour drive away. We figured, no sweat! Let’s make a business trip out of it!mettaprints-to-santa-clara-1

Except we both had so much going on this week that we decided to do all the driving in ONE DAY so that we could get back home quickly. We are lunatics but we also have a great work ethic.

I woke up at 2am on Monday morning, so worried I was going to be late and didn’t go back to sleep until 2 am the next day. I guess doctors can stay up for 48 hours straight but I am no doctor. I was wrecked. It was super fun while we were driving. Teri and I talked a blue streak both ways but the next day on no sleep I was a basket case! It’s funny how a lack of sleep can seriously alter your brain chemistry. I actually felt like I had really bad PMS and broke down crying four times over the stupidest things!  We probably should have stopped somewhere and spent the night but it is what it is and the snowflakes made it to their destination!


There we are at the Levi stadium! I don’t know much about the client or the event these snowflakes were for (that’s Teri’s job) but it was pretty cool to drive around to the back of the stadium to their super security-guarded loading zone and have a bomb sniffing dog go through our van.  Then we loaded everything onto golf carts and kissed our hard work goodbye with worried visions of our snowflakes sliding off the golf carts and onto the ground, crushing their delicate snowflake corners. The guys working there humored us with promises to be careful while they inwardly rolled their eyes. But I think everything turned out okay.


Then back home we went to our regularly scheduled programming: Christmas! Actually these photos were taken before we left but I wanted to get that story out of the way first since it was big news around here.

I had so much fun decorating the house with the kids this year. It’s our second year together as a family and things are starting to feel normal instead of new. I love that we have traditions now. We have a fake tree (that I resent because it doesn’t smell pretty like a real tree but I love because I hate paying $$$ for a real tree and I hate that a real tree has to die etc.) and we have special ornaments that we love. I was busy putting up my milk carton village so I didn’t do much with the tree but Payam put it up and fluffed it and all that and the girls decorated in between phone sessions. decorating-for-xmas-2016-2

You know, because phones are like life support these days. I can’t criticize though. They love their phones just as much as Payam and I love ours. It’s just the new normal. We are constantly checking ours too. They don’t have phone service yet but they manage to have just as many things to check as we do with just wifi.


It’s our first Christmas with the dogs! Good times! As you can see we haven’t really figured out how to keep Cody from eating all the ornaments yet or Whiskey from darting under the tree to hunt the cat that he thinks is there but is not.  The dogs are crazy but we are starting to turn a corner on training and they actually do listen when we tell them no now. We let them roam the house more and more so they aren’t quite as crazy bananas running all over stealing things to chew on as much as they used to. Of course we still have our trouble spots (i.e.: laundry, cloth napkins, hand towels, Bug’s stuffed animals…) but they are getting better.decorating-for-xmas-2016-4

And really, is there nothing so cozy and Christmassy as a Dog sleeping next to your tree? I think it completes us. We did buy another dog fence to put around the tree so we can actually have a fire in the fireplace instead of cardboard from mettaprints blocking it. I plan to break out the camera many more times and get some pictures of the dogs, the tree, the kids AND a fire in the fireplace. I’m really happy with Christmas this year. It’s going to be a good one I think.


And last but not least, I have winners of the mom’s magical headache cure bottles! Payam picked them. You can yell at him if you didn’t win.

The winners are:

  1. Ines!
  2. Heather!
  3. Jennifer Krause!
  4. Susie! and…
  5. Tamara Lang!

Get me your addresses via email (secretagentjo@gmail.com) and I will ship these out. I’m not promising any timeliness with my shipping but the little bottles are sitting on my desk taking up space and bugging me so I think I will be not forgetting about them. I also want to note that I made this concoction on the weak side just to be safe so if it doesn’t work magically for you, do not give up on essential oils. You might just need a stronger solution.

Bug took her’s to school on frog dissection day because she has a phobia of people puking.  She played nurse all day running around letting her classmates sniff her peppermint oil and it worked for them so I’m thinking you will find many uses for your winnings!  :)

That’s all! Happy Christmassing! I am a wrapping fiend these days, you?