Wednesday, December 29, 2010

planning ahead

We have lots of things to do.  Some are fun, some are not.  With 4 children in tow, planning ahead is essential.  3 times in the past 2 days, planning has saved me/us tons of time.

#3 and I had to have some blood drawn.  I found the lab online and they had a link for "make an appointment".  Well, duh, I clicked to make an appointment for both of us.  This was a pediatric savvy lab, which we needed.  I wasn't sure how to note that we both weren't ped patients, but the site took care of it.  We had 2 appointments booked, back to back.  When we showed up for our appointment, the waiting room was full.  There was only 1 person working and a room full of semi-patient people.  One woman was saying to another how she drove over 2 hours to come to this lab.  Who on earth drives 2 hours somewhere without an appointment?  How could there be a room full of people without appointments?  It made me nervous to think others had appointments and we would have to wait a long time.  After the 1 worker finished with a very long appointment and started to help the next, I went up to ask what our timing would be.  Having us hang out in the waiting room was not optimal.   If we needed to come back, it might be best.  She said since we had an appointment she'd see us next.  Boom, we were out of there, complete, in 10 minutes; only 15 minutes past our second appointment time.

The next day took us to a joint family playdate at a trampoline place.  Luckily our friend made reservations because they were booked solid for 6 hours.  They wouldn't even budge for an extra part of a group.  Yikes, who would bring their kids to a kid place that was sooo new and sooo popular without making a reservation?  Talk about setting them up for disappointment.

Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead.  I can't say it enough because without it, it has the potential for disaster.

Our last appointment was at a local nail salon.  They are hard enough to book with for 1 adult appointment, let alone adding 3 little girl manis into the mix.  I must say that this place is not good about honoring appointments, but I feel without one I would have no room for questioning them.  Even though I had to wait, they worked nicely on each of my girls with each of their requests.  I think I even scored a free neck massage for being so patient.

In my head, the word patient does not describe me well.  I get irritated when people are trying to use the customer service line as a personal check-out just because they returned a bottle.  Part of it is the process of the store, but the other part makes me irritated when people are taking advantage at the expense of my time and patience.  Return your bottles on your way in and then go about your business and shop and check out like a normal person, please.

Having a larger than normal brood, I feel it is my duty to minimally disrupt those around us when we have to wait.  It may mean bringing activities, snacks or coming up with ad-hoc games.  Regardless, if someone gets antsy, I have to minimize the drama to save everyone around us.  For the most part, my guys are good in public.  They are way better with their choices and pestering than at home.  I think I'll take the credit and say it is because I try to anticipate problems and plan ahead.  When it goes wrong, I'll blame it on those that don't plan accordingly....or just run for the hills and regroup.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


No, this the title "piercing" doesn't refer to my daughters' blue eyes!  It has to do with ear piercing.  If I had my way, my girls, as babies would have had their ears pierced.  Hubby didn't see things the same way.  He felt they should be old enough to choose.  Since he allowed me to be the naysayer for our son playing football, I'd let him have this one.  Until this year, that is.

#2 (daughter #1) was interested in the concept at age 6, but decided to wait until she was 7, then 8.  #3 always thought this sounded like a great idea and didn't want to wait until she was 8.  #4 has been fascinated with "earrings", the sticky pretend type since she was 2.  She never understood why they didn't stay on her ears and got stuck in her hair within 15 minutes.  I felt this was as close to a consensus as we would get among the girls and took the opportunity to move forward with the idea with hubby.

I am not stranger to piercing.  My most current piercing, 5 years ago, was a nose piercing.  I was wanting to switch it from a stud to a loop for a while.  I was also most impressed with the meticulous nature of where I had it done.  Body Manipulations pierces with needles, is very careful in their placement and more sanitary than a hospital.  This is where our journey would take us.  Their website had even been updated with a kids tab explaining the necessary documents to prove they were my kids and the process.

So, on a rainy Sunday, after a piano recital, the girls and I trekked to the city.  #4 decided she wanted to go first.  #3 would go second.  #2 was reluctant and wasn't sure if she would even have it done at all.  She was worried it would ruin her tomboy image and that the boys would laugh at her.  I reminded her that this wasn't permanent and she didn't have to have it done if she didn't want.  She could go last and changer her mind at any time.  I also decided to have a 4th piercing in my left ear and along with switching the nose piercing from a stud to a hoop, add a small stud next to it.

Friends I told of our intent weighed in with input.  One set had a daughter that wanted to have them now, dad said 10 and mom said 9.  I've seen it tied to behavior, by having it needed to be earned.  I already misused food as motivation and didn't want to start with piercings.  I think my mom was going to make me wait until I was 13 or 16, but when we were in Holland for a summer (where my dad was working), she had my ears pierced.  I have no idea what made her changer her mind, but just remember that is when it was done.  I also don't really remember when my 2nd set was done and my 3rd on my left ear.  My last confirmation of my plan was when we met new friends with 2 daughters who had their ears pierced at the same place I wanted to take my group to.  Other than saying no babies or marriage until after college, and legal year marks (16 to drive, 18 to vote, etc...), I 'm not one for birthday deadlines.  I had no expectations for marriage by a certain date or babies by another.  Life will impose its own plan as we go along.

For me, it was always a personal decision.  I had an image in my mind of my piercings and how they would look on me.  It was spurred by seeing piercings I liked on friends and peer imaging from there.  It was similar to haircuts and color.  Nothing impulsive, all very thought out.  Some people keep their hair the same for years, I am not one of them.  Some color their hair to look different, I have been known to add color.  To me piercings are just another extension of self-expression.  If my girls, and even boy for that matter wanted to pierce their ears, I was okay with it.  Since this was their choice, hubby had to be okay with it too.  And, at this point I got to pick the place and set the limits.

#2 (girl #1) was starting to try to negotiate.  If I don't like them, and take them out, can I get the again in a couple of months?  "No," I said, "It would be a couple of years before I'd let you do it again."  All the girls watched as Jamison pierced my nose and ear.  #3 decided to go next.  #2 made her decision and went after her.  #4 was busy being distracted by my phone.  She went last.  #3 left the area when #4 was being pierced because she was afraid she'd have to hear her sister cry.  Both older girls sat straight, didn't flinch or utter a peep.  #4 was a bit too wiggly and had to recline on the table to keep still.  She's just a wiggly sort of girl, and this was no exception.  She said, "ow," which is what I think the other girls were thinking, but got the job done.

At the end of 2 hours or so, #2 had tiny tiny blue gem studs.  #3 went for tiny blue gem studs and #4 went for stainless hoops.  The studs are the coolest things.  They are titanium posts mounted to a small ball.  The ball is the back and is put in the hole from the back.  The gem inserts and snaps into the post.  No pokey posts scratching necks behind these ears.  No earring backs to be lost.  The hoops are cool too.  Small for an adult, perfectly sized for a 4 1/2 year old.  Gone are the days of neosporin or  hydrogen peroxide.  No twisting either.  Only touching them when you wash them with anti-microbial soap and warm sea-salt soaks twice a day.  That's it.

Our timing was planned because it was no longer soccer season and was before baseball season.  It was not beach season and only one girl was currently in swim lessons.  So far so good.  Only a few snags here and there.  A bit of hair caught every now and again.  We just have to make it to February and then we should be all set.  They look awful cute and are so proud.  It worked for our family.  Hubby/Daddy even likes them and mine.  And, No, I am not changing my mind on football for our son.  Again, it's a family decision.