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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Why I took my 1st grader to a tattoo parlor

Violet has been talking about getting her ears pierced for a while, and recently she got pretty serious about it. Being the somewhat alternative mama that I am, I did some research about what was best for my child rather than going the conventional route.

So many things about piercing guns seem wrong. Do you really want to let a teenager punch a hole in your body with a semi-blunt object? Or would you rather visit someone who has spent a lot of time training on piercing earlobes and much more complicated piercings? My gut told me to go to a professional piercer.

A little internet research, coupled with my own memories of simultaneous gun piercings as a child, made me increasingly determined to have my daughter's ears pierced with a needle. If you take a piece of paper and punch through it with a semi-sharp pencil and with a hole punch and compare the results, you'll see the advantage of piercing with a hollow needle. There is far less trauma to the tissue.

A few friends recommended a shop in the area, and I found out one of the piercers there pierced children's ears. (Not every shop or every piecer will pierce minors or they may have a minimum age--do your research.) I called the shop and asked some questions, and when Violet was still ready to have her ears pierced, we called and made an appointment.

We did a lot of talking about what would happen, and also about how it would hurt, but only for a moment, and she was going to be brave and do it again for the second ear. I was mentally prepared to leave with one ear done if need be, but I didn't think that would happen. We also talked about how the experience would be different from what many of her classmates had done, but we felt this was better for her than going to the mall. Her earrings would look a little different, but there were a lot of pretty options to choose from.

It was no surprise to me that she chose the purple simulated opal jewelry. It was one of the most expensive options, but she'll be wearing these earrings for a while, and I felt it was worth an extra $20 to have her wearing something she really loved.

Yes, she was nervous.
After we signed the consent forms and picked out her jewelry, we had a few minutes to wait and she commented on some "disappropriate" artwork on the wall that showed someone's bottom. Then we went into the piercing room. My daughter was nervous and clutched the stuff animal she brought to hug. She would have been every bit as nervous with any piercing experience. All of the careful disinfecting and preparation done by the piercer prolonged the nervous anticipation.

Jeremiah clamped her earlobe and she shot me this look like aren't we going to get on with this and are you going to keep taking pictures? I knew she just wanted to get it over with, and a moment later, her ear was pierced. It really shocked her and she cried when he did it and when the jewelry went in. (I went into full Mama mode and was not taking photos!) She took a few minutes to calm down and the piercer let her look in the mirror and admire the one earring that was done. When she was more ready to get the second one done, he quickly clamped her earlobe and pierced it before she could think about it. She reacted far less and was so very relieved that it was over. The anticipation had been the worst part for her.

The needle
I snapped this photo while the piercing needle was in her ear, hanging out for a moment while the piercer got her jewelry ready. She was so calm at this point, because the worst was over! I took this photo primarily to show her later, because I knew she'd be amazed at the size of the needle. She felt extra brave when she saw the photo that night. I also include this photo to prepare needle-shy parents who are considering taking their children to a professional piercer. 

Her ears didn't feel great at first, but it was very short-lived. I couldn't believe how quickly she was bouncing around and feeling fine! She felt like a superhero after getting her ears pieced. She was so confident and proud of her ears!

That night and afterwards, her ears didn't hurt at all, unless they got bumped or caught on something. We bought some H2ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray for aftercare and it is very gentle on her fresh piercing and convenient to use. She complains that it is cold and wet, and I think about how much more gentle it was than the aftercare routine I used almost 30 years ago!

With the high quality titanium piercing jewelry, we leave her ears alone to let them heal. No turning jewelry. (I have such horrible memories of the pain when we had to turn my earrings, when my ears had been healing and adhering to the earring post and back!) Her earrings are a short barbell, with a little silver ball in the back and a pretty bezel-set cabochon in the front. I watched some youtube videos to prepare myself for the experience and most of those girls got captive bead rings. Our piercer did not recommend them for her, because they are more likely to be played with or bumped. Going with the barbell or labret style jewelry was definitely easier for her while healing than a CBR would have been.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

here we grow again

These kids of mine have grown up quite a bit since I last blogged. My babies are no longer babies! We've had new adventures, and I'm looking forward to sharing more of them! 

The photo above was from this past summer when we got new bunk beds! My big kid slept on top, and for about a month her younger brother slept on the bottom bunk, and they were loving sharing a room, at least for sleeping. The novelty eventually wore off and he was happy to go back to his own room. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring Shoe Shopping

It's that time of year again...time for sandals and other fun summery shoes! We love shopping at for sandals, because they have the best deals I've found for Keens and other brands we love like Merrell, Stride Rite, and New Balance.  We made a trip to the local shoe store to get some sale sandals for Violet (last season's models, crazy bright colors that don't appeal to most people = perfect for us!) and I was drooling over some new sandals for me. I might even splurge on a refresh to my favorite sandals, Naots, now that I see I can get them on Shoebuy! To get the best deal right now, go through my text link above, then when you check out, enter coupon code SPRING20 at checkout, and if you haven't already, create an account with them. It's been a while since I created my account, but when I did, I saved an additional 10% off my order, and an extra 10% on orders placed within 60 days of another order.

I love getting an assortment of cute, discounted, quality sandals delivered to my door and trying them all on in the comfort of my home and returning the ones that don't work!

(I really need to remember to take photos and download them before I decide to blog, eh? Sorry for the lack of graphics!)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Coupon Bliss

I am in the middle of a long-overdue coupon clipping and sorting session, which will be followed by a massive shopping trip or two. I'll be hitting Target, where I save 5% every day with their credit card, and I have an extra 5% off I earned with their Pharmacy Rewards program. Add the ability to stack a Target coupon with a manufacturer's coupon and I'll save a lot of money as I replenish our supplies of pantry staples, personal hygiene products, and more. I was especially excited to see a coupon for Eggo waffles, a family favorite.

I'm also printing coupons from the banner at the top of my website. They have Pampers coupons that are much better than the ones that were in Sunday's P&G brandsaver. Right now you can print out a coupon for $1.50 a single package of Cruisers or Baby Dry diapers and 75 cents off wipes. Compare that to $1 off two packages or one box and $0.50 off wipes from the P&G insert. I love to take $0.75 coupons to my local grocery stores that double coupons and save $1.50 total. I can't wait for hubby to get home so I can finish my couponing and get ready to go on a kid-free (or at least toddler-free) shopping trip. I save so much more money without a little one with me!

This week is extra-fun because of all the coupons for chocolate I printed off of Target's website. The ones I just checked are good past Easter, so I know where I'll be Monday morning! Post-Easter sales are also when I indulge my obsession with Cadbury Creme Eggs. Mmmmm....

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Woot Woot...and Shoes!

I love my deal-a-day sites like Woot: One Day, One Deal.. They've expanded their offerings to include subcategories, including my personal favorite, Kids.Woot: One Day, You'll Understand.

For a wider selection of items to choose from, these days I'm turning to my favorite online shoe source as we think about sandals for the kids and extra extra wide sneakers for my husband. We've gotten Keens there in the past, because their coupon codes don't exclude them like some other sites do. Shipping to you is free and return shipping for items that don't fit or just don't work for you is free as well. Here's a coupon code for you, and as always, I really appreciate it if you buy through my link! $5 off any order of $50 or more at plus Free Shipping! Simply enter 'BUY5' at checkout to redeem.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What a stitch!

Some of those annoying stitches finally came out yesterday. That figures, right before my second post-op visit when the doc can remove them, right? WRONG. Thank goodness those three came out, because the doctor said he couldn't do anything about the ones that are remaining. I have to wait for them to dissolve on their own. Bah.

The good news is that I can breathe much better now! The doc vacuumed the last of the packing and some scabs and other yuck out of my nose. I no longer feel like I'm trying to breathe through a straw, and things should continue to improve over the next few weeks. Yay!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Is that a monster nose hair or did you just have a septoplasty??

Two and a half weeks post-op, I still have "dissolvable" stitches in my left nostril. They are far less annoying than the huge plastic splints that were in my nose for the first week, but I've been looking forward to them dissolving since the splints were removed.

At best, the stitches are pokey with a light glazing of nose crud. At worst, they anchor massive amounts of dried crud to the sensitive, still-healing skin inside my nose. Have you ever hand-dipped wax candles? The layers of wax build up to make something larger. That's what these stitches remind me of.

To make matters worse, perhaps they've loosened a bit, because I don't remember them being quite this low. I'm tempted to take scissors and snip the ends...they are that accessible. I'll be having my second post-op checkup soon and cannot wait to have the rest of the surgery leftovers removed from my nose.