Friday, August 12, 2016

Heeeeeere's Johnny!!!

I belong to several Ichthyosis support type groups on Facebook.  So sometimes, I scroll past some of the random posts that pop up from them.  But one day I could help but take a pause over one of the posts I saw with the cutest little puppy on it.  The owner of a rescue group in California had reached out to an ichthyosis contact of his in hope of getting help finding a forever home for a little guy they had taken into their group named Johnny, with a form of canine ichthyosis.  I read through it, smiling at the pictures thinking they would have no problem finding a forever home for this cute little guy.  I just didn't think it was going to be with us.

The picture that stole my heart
About a week later, I revisited the post, just curious to see if they had found a loving home for him.  They hadn't.  And even worse, Ashlynne had seen the post.  This was bad news for me.  See, it combined two of my biggest loves:  my ichtyosis community, and my love for animals.  It broke my heard that no one wanted this little guy simply because he had the same genetic disorder that my Ashlynne has.  So I inquired, figuring there was no harm in just checking into it, and I put it out there to Russ, who wasn't completely opposed, but he had the same question I did.  How were we going to get this dog all the way from California to Kansas?  I had just left California from the Ichthyosis conference, and he couldn't take any time off of work right now.  Unbeknownst to us, Ashlynne had taken it upon herself to inquire as well.  She had gotten the phone number off of their website, and called them herself.  She was disappointed when the man told her that just that morning, Johnny might have been spoken for.  But her disappointment turned to joy when the man on the other end of the phone told her that the man that had called asking about Johnny was named Russ.  She came running downstairs yelling that "Pops" had called the rescue group and asked about Johnny.  "He's going to let me get him!"

We explained to her the logistics of it all, about getting him here, and also the fact that the rescue group preferred a couple of overnight visits with the adoptive family to see if it was a good fit.  All of this was going to be very hard considering we were half way across the country.  She begged and pleaded, she promised she would help take care of him (I know, I know, all kids promise to help take care of the puppy they want), and he was JUST like her (her words, not mine).  And as we were discussing it, I hear from the other room, from what I thought was a sleeping Breckyn, "heeeeeeere's Johnny!".  Mic drop.  How does this kid even know that line?

So we contacted Nobody's Perfekt Dogs and pleaded our case.  We explained the situation with Ashlynne, and explained my immense love for animals, and the man decided it was worth giving us a shot. And at the end of August, he would be bringing his son this way on his way back to college, and he could meet us just three hours from our home.  It was all falling into place.  How could Russ say no now? Game over.

So on August 19, we will be welcoming Johnny, a cocker spaniel/Chihuahua mix, into our home.  I'm so excited for our next venture, and will be sharing plenty of Johnny stories with you all along the way.  I just hope Zailey can adjust to not being the only dog in the house again!  Russ and I have always said that if we ever heard of a baby that was up for adoption with ichthyosis, we would try to adopt the child.  We just never dreamed it would be a fur baby.  Johnny's skin regime will be much different that Ashlynne's, considering applying lotion all over his body, and soaking him in the tub for an hour and a half a day isn't really an option.  So we will apply ointment to his eyes, and a vitamin A supplement in his food, along with weekly medicated baths.  I will also apply Vaseline to his paws, which gave me an excuse to buy him some cute little booties.  I had decided in March, after our Hurley passed away, that once Zailey passed, I would never own another dog.  They just break your heart, they don't outlive you.  But it looks like God had other plans for our family!  I think Johnny will be the "perfekt" fit for us!

Look at this face!!  How can you resist?!
I think this is going to be one spoiled pooch!

Monday, August 1, 2016

To my sweet baby girl, as you start kindergarten

To my sweet, sweet baby as you get ready to start kindergarten,

Breckyn's pre-school graduation
It can't be time.  How can this be possible.  You are the baby.  Time wasn't supposed to go this fast with you.  I know it sounds so cliché, but it seems like just yesterday we brought you into this world.  Where has the last 5 years gone?  With your older siblings, I was excited for this milestone for them, and for you, I am just sad.  Because I look back and once they started kindergarten, time just flew by.  Everyone warned me, but you can never really fathom how fast it goes until you are in the throes of motherhood.  Now, your sister is starting her last year of middle school, and your brother, his last year of elementary school.  And before long, that will be you.  I promised myself with you, I wasn't going to make the same mistakes I made with them.  I was going to stop and enjoy the little things.  I wasn't going to be too busy to play board games.  I wasn't going to take the little moments that are fleeting, for granted.  I was going to soak up these years before you start conquering the world.  I was going to stop and smell the roses, per se.  I did.  And it still flew by too fast. 

I know you are busy, but will you please take just a second to crawl onto my lap and cuddle? Will you please just humor me?  I know you have things to do, and I know you want to go outside and play with your friends, but I just need a moment.  I want to kiss your baby soft cheeks.  I want to hold you until you fall asleep.  I want to listen to the soothing sound of you breathing.  I want to give you butterfly kisses, and hear that innocent, unapologetic laugh.  Because before long, the nights on the couch watching Nick Jr. will be replaced by sleepovers with friends, boys, school dances, and you hanging out in your room, rather than with Mommy. 

Most would say you are my karma, my mini-me, my payback.  Papa would say you are exactly like me at your age.  Maybe that's why I understand you so well, why I seem to "get it".  I want you to understand that all of those days, where I seemed frustrated, and where I was lucky to even get in the shower, I treasured those days too.  I am so grateful for every moment I get with you.  Don't get me wrong, your strong will has pushed me to the brink of insanity, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.  I know that some day, the house will seem to empty when I am not yelling at you to pick up your shoes, or tear down the blanket fort you have left up in the dining room for 2 days.  And the thought of those days haunts me.  For I know that it is on the horizon. 

You are my fashionista, my diva.  I know we will fight about what you are wearing, and letting me do your hair.  I know you will want to do it yourself.  I know we will fight about you getting up in the morning, and you will beg me for your signature "5 more minutes".  And I know this will continue through your teenage years.  I know this is exciting for you, and I want this for you.  This is natural.  But please be patient with me if I am a little sad.  If you are prepared, I am doing my job.  This is what I was put on this earth to do, to be a mom to you and your brothers and sister.  To prepare you for this big, crazy, sometimes very scary world.  I will try to put on a smile when you are modeling your new school clothes, and your new book bag, and at times, it will be a genuine smile.  But this is so bittersweet.  Before long you won't need me, but it is my hope that one day you will want me. 

Here are my hopes for you:  I hope no one ever clips your wings.  Fly baby girl.  You are my free spirit, my wild child.  But remember, not all who wander are lost.  Let that free spirit of yours guide you through great adventures in this life.  I hope you explore every inch of this world possible!  I hope you accomplish all you set out to do in this life.  I hope use your strong will for good.  You always seem to have a twinkle in your eye, I hope you never lose that.  I hope you always stand up for what is right or wrong.  I hope you are kind.  I hope I have set a good example of that.  I hope you are happy.  I hope you find your passion, and I hope you chase it, along with your dreams.  I hope that one day, you will experience the love I have for you, when you look into the eyes of your own baby, and see a reflection of the child you once were.  But most of all, I hope you know that I have poured every ounce of love I have, every fiber of my being, into being your mommy.  And I hope that you understand, that no matter how many years pass, you will always be my baby.   

Love Always,
Your Mommy

Sunday, July 3, 2016

FIRST National Family Conference 2016, and Mom rides the trolley...

I realize I am SUPER late on posting more updates about the FIRST Conference in San Diego last week, but any spare moment I have had had this week has been dedicated to trying to catch up on sleep.  I promised updates of shenanigans, and let me assure you, shenanigans were had, mostly involving my mother.

On Fridays at the conference we always have a free evening, where we are on our own to sightsee, eat dinner, shop, whatever we want to do.  So Jordan and I decided we wanted some real, authentic Mexican food, and the best place to get that in San Diego is Old Town.  So we set off on the trolley, where Old Town should have only been about a 10 minute ride from our hotel.  About half way there, mom realizes she left her cane sitting at the trolley station, and has to go back to get it or she wouldn't be able to get around without it.  So she and Gavin waited for the next trolley going back to the hotel stop, while Jordan, Sadie, Ashlynne and I took off for Old Town in search of promised good food.  We settled on a place that looked very authentic, so it had to be good.  I wasn't very hungry, so I just ordered some queso, I love the white queso that you can get at "real" Mexican food restaurants.  When the food finally came, my queso was sat in front of me, and I asked for some chips to go with it.  The waitress looked at me like I grew a second head, and brought some back.  I went to dip my chip, and it broke.  My queso was a semi melted block of cheese.  I lost what appetite I had, so Ashlynne proceeded to embarrass me by molding the cheese like it was a glob of play dough.  We met up with my mom and Gavin after they arrived and ate, and my mom said her cane was sitting in the exact spot she left it, just standing up.  She was laughing so hard she was crying... Oh the little things.

Here's the culprit.  The walk of shame
after her fun night on the trolley
Leaving Old Town involved another incident with the trolley.  As I boarded the train, and turned around to help Jordan lift the stroller up, the doors shut, leaving Jordan and Sadie, my mom, and Tracie, another one of our FIRST friends.  So we take off for the hotel, and decide to just wait for them at the trolley stop.  About 15 minutes later, I get a text from my mom, "Unbelievable, they left Jordan and Sadie again!".  At the same time, the trolley arrives with Jordan, Sadie, and Tracie all getting off.  So I decide I better call my mother, when I find out she is on the first car of the train that has just left our stop, not realizing they all got on, and got off of the second car.  I explain Jordan and Sadie weren't left, they're standing right by me, and where is she?  Well, she didn't get off because she was so upset that she thought they got left again, that she didn't even realize the train had arrived to Rio Vista Station.  She was just toodling along on the San Diego trolley, with no clue where she was.  I explained to her she would need to get off at the next stop, and ride the next train back, because she only had 20 minutes to make it back before the train stopped running, and she would be stuck wherever she ended up.  Eventually she made it back, but she spent more of her "free evening" on the trolley, rather than taking in San Diego.

Sleep evades me at the conferences because I am normally up late talking with everyone, and having our little pow wow's in the lobby.  This year however, sleep evaded me because of the snoring taking place in the bed next to me.  I have spent nights in hotel rooms with my dad before that I thought were miserable, but let me assure you, Mom puts him to shame.  It sounded like someone was starting up a chain saw.  I'm pretty sure it was incorporated into a nightmare I was having involving Leatherface.  I remember yelling in the middle of the night for her to turn over multiple times, and at one point I remember tossing a pillow in her direction.  This led to her going to sleep in the other room.  I felt bad about that, honestly, so the next night I decided to sleep with my Beats on, and call it good.  No wonder my dad is always tired!  (Love you, Mom!)

Before we lost Grandma at the beach.
Gorgeous :)
And last but not least, I lost her at the beach.  Ashlynne wanted to play games on the boardwalk, and
Gavin wanted to go to the water, so after Mom assured me should would keep her phone on her and answer it, we decided to divide and conquer, she stayed with Ash, and I went with Gavin.  After taking pictures, my phone battery was getting low, and I decided I better meet back up with mom so that we could call the Uber driver.  I called.  She didn't answer.  I called again, she didn't answer.  Repeat this several times.  Finally, after walking the boardwalk twice, we decided to check behind some of the buildings.  There she sat.  Just chillin on a bench, phone in her purse, oblivious to the fact that it had been ringing off the hook.  So after the troops were rounded up, I sent for the Uber driver, where immediately after, my phone dies, and we miss our ride.  I'm gonna make this long story short, and cut out how mad I was, and just sum it up by saying I downloaded Uber onto Ashlynne's phone and got another ride.  She, of course, rubs it in my face by saying with a smug smile, "Aren't you glad you finally got me that smart phone?".  Good point, Ashlynne.

But the actual conference was amazing, as always.  I don't think these things can be bad.  Once every two years, these kids, and adults, get to see other people that not only look like them, but that also know exactly what they go through, both physically, and socially.  That's a lot for me to wrap my head around.  I can't imaging how isolating that must feel during those in between times.  So it is during these conferences that I see my child, and others, thrive.  I see their guards let down, and it is their time to shine.  I never leave without shedding my body weight in tears.  It warms my heart to know that the FIRST Foundation has created a safe place for these kids.  I don't know if the women of this organization realize how much they have changed all of our lives.  They pour their blood, sweat, and tears into these conferences, and an organization, and none of them have ichthyosis, nor do they have any family members that have it.  That is dedication.  They provide us with resources, samples, genetic diagnoses, and support that we wouldn't have without them.  So Jean, Chris, Moureen, Mo, Lisa, and Madeline, thank you so much.  Thank for you changing our kids lives, and giving them hope, a safe place, and a network of support that they never would have had without you.  You are our Angels!  No words can express what you have done for our family.  So I will leave you with this, smiles from two of the most beautiful people I know, and just two of the lives you have changed with your work!  Love to you all!

Ashlynne and Bailey, waiting for Grandma to
return on the trolley


Thursday, June 23, 2016

F.I.R.S.T. National Family Conference 2016- Day 1


And we're off!!
Well, last night my mom, the kids, and I started out for our third trip to the FIRST Family Conference. The bi-annual conference takes turns where it is hosted, this year being held in San Diego. Normally we drive, and just make a vacation of it on the way, but there was no way I was going to attempt this drive knowing I would have to be doing a majority of the driving. So Delta it was!

The first leg of our trip has been pretty uneventful so far. We had to be up and at the airport for our 7 AM flight out of Kansas City. It was Gavin's first trip on an airplane, so sleep seemed to evade him, and the giggling prevented me from getting much sleep. I was a little worried about how Mom would maneuver through all of the crowds and the airport with her leg since her accident, but she kept up pretty well! The only thing rough about the flight was the gas that someone was nice enough to keep sharing with the rest of us. By the end of the flight my senses were so offended, I think I had gotten used to the smell. Apparently it wasn't turbulence, so much as flatulence we needed to be concerned with.

After being stuck on the tarmac for over 45 minutes when they told us it would be about 5 minutes before we could taxi, my back teeth were floating, and my kiddos set foot in California for the first time. During our 3 1/2 hour layover in LA, during which we could have driven to San Diego, they entertained themselves by seeing if they could spot any celebrities... mostly the YouTube stars they follow. No luck. I told them they were lucky enough to be in my presence every day. That, however, didn't seem to cut it. But, after 20 minutes in the air, we landed safe and sound in San Diego.  We hopped in a cab, where I'm 99% sure I saw the cab driver eat his own booger, and headed to the Mariott, where we were greeted instantly with friends, lots of friends!  Many we keep in regular contact with, but others we hadn't seen or talked to in two years. It's like a giant family reunion! Except without the hidden drama
The view from my balcony for the next 4 days

It takes me back to the first FIRST conference we attended in Denver 4 years ago, when I saw Ashlynne actually be herself for the first time outside of our home. I had never seen my child so relaxed around people as she was that week, and we get to revisit that feeling every two years. Once again, I see my kid at peace, I feel supported, in the presence of other parents watching their kiddos struggle, and in just a few hours, it will all officially begin when the registration reception starts.

The classes are always so informative, and very often pretty emotional. I love everything I get out of these gatherings. They feel less like a "conference", and more like a class reunion, or a gathering among family and friends where we throw in some medical advice, and a whole lot of support. I so love this family that we have all formed, and am so excited to see what this year holds for us, and what new connections we make! !

We are patiently waiting for Jordan (aka, Sister Salmon) and Sadie to show up, but it's hard to wait to get my hands on my precious little "niece". So we are trying our best to kill time. So far, the kids have found the pool and hot tub, a killer pizza restaurant, and of course, a gift shop, and I have stained one pillow with my fresh hair color. I will be posting more updates along the way, with many shennanigans to follow (I'm sure!). I have joked several times that we will see if either my mom, or I, comes back from this alive after traveling with the kids, and spending this much time in a hotel room together... because chances are, only one of us will make it out unmaimed! So hang around and I guess you will see!  Stay tuned, folks!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ichthyosis Awareness Month 2016: Ashlynne's point of view

Every year for Ichthyosis Awareness Month I write a blog (or a few) from my perspective.  I write about what Ichthyosis means to me, how it has affected MY life.  But I can't tell you how it feels to be the one that actually lives with it each day.  So I figured, why not go directly to the source? So here is Ashlynne's story, from Ashlynne's perspective.... Enjoy :)

"Hi, my name is Ashlynne and I'm 13 years old.  I have ichthyosis.  I've had ichthyosis my whole life, so I don't really know what it feels like to be normal.  I want to know what it feels like to be normal.

Ichthyosis makes my skin red, dry, and flaky.  It makes it really hard to bend my knees and my arms.  Sometimes my tummy is tight too.  That just depends on the day.  I also get hot a lot easier.  And I can't sweat, so that really sucks because I can't cool myself off.  I don't get to do a lot of things that other kids get to do because I might get too hot, and because I don't bend very well, like Gymnastics.

I don't like having ichthyosis.  I have to take really long baths every night.  I hate to take baths.  And I hate how long they take.  I would rather take showers.  But I don't get to take showers very often because my mom said its not as good for my skin.  And I have to eat a lot because I need a lot of calories for my skin.  My mom is always yelling at me "Eat Eat Eat!", but I'm not always hungry.  I think Ichthyosis keeps me from making some friends.  Like, the popular girls may not want to be friends with me because they don't think I'm as pretty as they are.  I also hate it when people stare at me.  Sometimes when kids stare, their parents don't even do anything about it, and that's just rude.

But there are some good things about having ichthyosis.  I do have some really good friends.  And we get to go to conferences every other year.  This year, we get to go to San Diego!  I'm really excited about that.  At the conferences, I get to meet people like me, and I get to see other people that I already know, like Jordan, Abby, and Bailey.   And some times I get seconds at school lunch.  And also, sometimes, when people stare, I make crazy faces at them, and I know I wouldn't get away with that if I was normal. Someone has to teach them not to stare!  And a couple of weeks ago, there was a show on TLC called "Two in a Million", and that week it was about Ichthyosis.  It was really cool to see people that were like me on TV. 

What I want people to know about me is that I am normal on the inside.  I may look different on the outside, but I'm really just like them.  I have feelings too.  I love my friends, and my family, and my dog and cat.  I'm a big sister, and a good friend.  I like Slim Jims, and doing things that other, normal 13 year old girls do.  I LOVE Miranda Sings, and her husband Joshua David Evans.  They're YouTube stars, if you don't know who they are, go check them out!  I also really love reborn babies.  They are dolls that look very life like.  I like when I am out in public, and I have one of them, people stare at the doll instead of me.  Also, I don't want people to feel sorry for me.  I don't like it when people say "Oh honey, you poor thing!"  That's rude too.  And you shouldn't be rude.  In the words of Joshua David Evans, be nice to people!"

Sunday, March 20, 2016

All dogs go to Heaven, at least mine do

My fur baby, Hurley
Nothing will rip your heart out quite like losing a pet.  Those little furry animals that can drive us crazy getting into the trash, or chewing up our kid's toys,  or taking an occasional dump at the top of the stairs, leave a huge whole in our lives when it's their time to go. 



Hurley was six on New Years Day this year.  She was a puggle, a pug/beagle mix, the kind of dog I had wanted for years. We got her on a whim on a trip to Kansas City on a weekend in March of 2010.  It was slushy out, and my car had slid into a ravine, and gotten banged up a little on the way down, so I was a little down in the dumps.  Russ, not knowing how to cheer me up any other way, told me we could go look at puppies.  I don't think he realized at the time I would have my heart set on coming home with one.  So my friend and I set off to the mall, and in Petland, there was a puggle up for adoption.  My heart was hooked.  I went back to our friend's house, where Russ was waiting, and pulled up Puggle breeders in the Kansas City area on line.  After calling several, we found one that had one male left, ready to go that night, and the price was considerably less than any of the others.  Bingo, there was my dog.

So my friend and I took off to meet the breeders at a half way point, leaving the guys back at the house.  The halfway point was a casino called "Terribles".  The lady told us to meet her at the very back edge of the parking lot.  While waiting in the pitch black parking lot, and making many references to "The Hill Have Eyes", a van that I was surprised was even able to travel at highway speeds pulled up, and out stepped a little old lady, rollers still in her hair, ready to hand off my puppy.  She opened the back of that van, stuffed full of dog kennels, and pulled out the cutest puppy I have ever seen.  And when she handed him over, the smell hit me like a brick wall.  This dog smelled like it had been rolling around in a pile of dead carcasses. 
The cutest, smelliest puppy I had ever seen

Straight to Wal-Mart we went to buy dog shampoo, a collar, and other puppy essentials.  But we couldn't leave this new puppy in the car alone... thank God for big purses.  My friend cleaned out her purse, in went the puppy, and in we went to Wal-Mart.  The only problem was the still un-named puppy didn't realize that barking and whining was not supposed to be coming from the inside of that purse.  We got some rather strange looks from strangers as we were walking through the aisles getting what we needed, and even more looks when the smell would hit the passer-byes.

The bath was the first thing in order as soon as we got "puppy" home.  The name could wait.  This smell was a dire situation.  Several shampoos later, "puppy" smelled better, but there was still a faint stench.   What did this crazy ladies with the rollers in her hair keep these puppies in?  And after several names tossed back in forth, we somehow settled on "Hurley". 

The kids were so excited when we brought this puppy home.  And even my dad, who was pretty convinced I didn't need another dog, could help but fall in love with this dog.  He just kept laughing and saying "Yup, that sure is a cute little BOY", and stressing the last part.  I didn't know why he thought it was so humorous that I got a male dog.  He decided that instead of calling her "Hurley", he was going to call him "Himley".  After about a week of letting us wonder what was so funny, he decided to let us in on the joke.  "Did you ever notice your dog squats to pee?"  Well ya, but "he's" a puppy, so he just doesn't lift his leg yet, I've seen other male dogs do that... But he picked Hurley up, and pointed her belly at me, and proceeded to point out that what I thought were Hurley's "balls" was actually a hernia... "Her" privates were definitely innies, not outies.... We had a female.  The vet confirmed it a couple of days later.  But we already loved her, there was no way we were sending her back.

So she weaseled her little way into my heart.  She was Russ's first pet, so she got rather spoiled there.  She was too cute to resist.  And she knew it.  While trying to housebreak her, one night she jumped onto my bed, looked me dead in the eye, and took a dump right in the middle of the bed...  She was bold.  She was going to be noticed, and this never changed.  She always made sure everyone knew she was in the room.  And if you turned your back on her for a second, she was either in the trash, or into something that she shouldn't be. 

Over time she got increasingly fat.  We even discovered if I picked her up and squeezed her, she would fart.  And she regularly got the walking farts.  She fill a room with love, but she could clear one with her gas in no time flat.

Hurley and Zailey waiting for their treats
Then Friday, I got home from work, and she was just gone.  She looked like she was just sleeping in her kennel.  I knew when she didn't jump out at me like she always did that something was very wrong.  My heart broke instantly.  Then I looked over at Zailey, our other puggle, and she was just staring into Hurley's kennel, whining, and all of the hair on her back was raised.  She knew.  She had just been to the vet this fall, where they said she was healthy, just needed to lose a little weight.  I don't know what happened, all I know is that my heart is broken.

We buried her next to Bill, my 15 year old min pin that passed in January.  I still have Zailey, who is getting very spoiled, but I don't think I will ever get another dog.  They just break your heart when they leave.  They fill it while they're here, but there's a huge void when they're suddenly not.  They're not "just a dog".  They're a part of the family.   A huge part.  They play their own little role just like the rest of us.  And for those that say that dogs don't have souls, I think you're wrong.  I think they have more of a soul than most of us humans.  And I don't want to picture a heaven without dogs.  Especially without mine that I have lost.  Hurley is up there waiting for her humans along with Bill and Annie (my boxer that passed in 2011).  My heaven will definitely include them.  I wouldn't have it any other way.
I'd like to think that these 3 are up there playing together again,
waiting for the day their "humans" join them

Monday, February 15, 2016

Happy Wife, Happy Life? I say "Happy Hairdresser, Happy Life"

Ever heard the saying "Don't piss off your hairdresser" or something along those lines?  I hear it all the time, jokingly, from people sitting in my chair.  However, after 13 years in this industry, I have realized this actually holds some water.  The sad reality of it is this:  Many people (waaaaay more than you would ever think), don't understand common courtesy in a salon.  So, here, my friends, are a few little tidbits I'm going to toss out there to help you avoid finding yourself in a situation where you have just made someone angry, who just so happens to be holding very sharp shears. 

1.  Put your cell phone down.  The other day I did an entire eyebrow and lip wax on a woman who was talking on her cell phone the entire time.  She was on it when she walked in and made the appointment, she was on it when I took her back to be seated, and she was on it the entire time I was applying hot wax to her face.  Seriously woman, put the phone down, or next time, I'm waxing around it.  So rude.  There is nothing that is so important it can't wait the 30 minutes that an average haircut takes.  And if something is that vital, you need to be off dealing with that, and not sitting in my chair.  But the next time someone comes in, talking about the guy they met on Match.com and refuses to put the phone down... I'm serious, I'm cutting and or waxing around it.  Consider yourself warned.

2.  Don't bring your children to your color appointments.  Many hairdressers have children as well, it's not that we aren't sympathetic to you trying to squeeze your appointment into your busy schedule.  We actually very much appreciate that you are making time for us.  However, I personally, come to work as a break from my kids on some days.  It can be an escape from all of the craziness going on at home.  Many other guests in the salon at any given time are also doing the same.  None of us have time to try to entertain your child while we are working.  I LOVE kids, LOVE THEM, but when I have my hands covered in color and lightener, I can't play with your child.  Nor can I have you turning your head, and moving all around trying to see where they are, or what they are doing.  Your hair WILL BE tiger striped if you do this.  Promise.  And it won't be my fault.  Also, do you know how expensive those hydraulic chairs are?  The levers are not mini trampolines.  And let's be honest, a 2 hour color appointment is a LONG time for a kiddo.  Unless your child is getting their haircut too, I pretty much guarantee they aren't having any fun either. 

3.  Do NOT ask me if I am any good at my job.  Rude.  That's all I have on that one.  Oh, and most hairdressers I've met that aren't any good, don't realize it, so you're not going to get a "Yes, honestly, I suck" answer.  It's not going to happen either way. 

4.  Find a girl (or guy) and stick with them.  Attention picky clients!!!:  If you are that particular about your hair, and you want it done JUST like the lady did it last time, go back to the same lady!  I am not her, she is not me.  We are going to have different techniques, no two hairdressers are the exact same.  I can do my best, but more than likely I will not be able to duplicate someone's work.  Be loyal.  Pre-book your appointment before you leave each time.  It will get you further than you realize.  If I have to hear the entire appointment, about how great "Judy" was last time, and how I'm not doing it just like she did, you're probably NOT going to get my heart put into that haircut.  NOT saying that I would ever mess it up intentionally, but if I already know my best won't be good enough for you, then I'm probably just going to do my best to just get through the appointment.

5.  Don't put your hands in your hair while I'm cutting.  Piggy backing off of that last one... Please DO NOT try to check my work while I am still cutting your hair.  Do you realize how sharp my shears are?  That's a quick way for one of us to lose a finger, and chances are, it won't be me.

6.  Don't try to help me at the shampoo bowl.  Getting your hair shampooed is a way for you to sit back and relax during any service.  Just let me do the work.  So many people try to "help" by lifting or tilting their head when they are trying to predict where the sprayer is going next.  Do not do this.  More often than not, this is when you see people with water down their backs, or in the worst case scenario, when you see one or the other of us, if not both, get sprayed in the face.  I appreciate your eagerness to help, but it is absolutely not helpful.  And if I get sprayed in the face... I'm mad.  Promise.

7.  Just remember we are people too.  We have our good days and our bad days, and as much as we try to leave our problems at the door, you never know what someone is dealing with behind closed doors.  We try to conduct ourselves in the most professional, courteous manner, and we would appreciate the same from you.  Don't take your bad day out on your hairdresser.  In fact, if you've had a bad day, in all honesty, that's one of the worst days to come to the salon.  See Below:

8. Don't make drastic hair decisions on bad days.  When I went through my divorce, my hair went through a transformation.  I went from long, gorgeous blonde hair, to short, chopped 2-toned reds.  That day, I loved it.  Looking back, I ask myself what I was thinking.  If you want to change your hair because your life is changing, awesome.  I'm all for drastic changes, in fact, it's an adrenaline rush for me.  But the last thing as a hairdresser that I want, is for you to hate your hair.  So please, don't come in and chop all of your hair off because you are mad at your boyfriend, and he likes it long.  You WILL regret it, and chances are, you will be mad at me for letting you do it. So please, just don't put either one of us in that position.  There's a saying "A woman who is about to change her hair, is about to change her life".  Let's just work together to make sure that's a positive change!

Seriously, there's clip art about this?
Bring a picture, then!!
9.  Bring a picture.  If you are going for something "a little different", please have a point of reference.  Nothing will irritate a stylist faster than you expecting us to read your mind.  Just remember, "a little off"  to you, could be way different to me.  With Pinterest and Google, there is no
excuse for not having a picture with some general idea of what you want.  Not mind readers here...

So, there it is.  Just a FEW tips on how we can all peacefully coexist.  I love my clients, and I don't think any of them would intentionally do anything that they would consider rude.  However, there are different professional courtesies from industry to industry, and how is everyone supposed to know if we don't enlighten them?  That's what I'm here for folks... Until next time...