JCP, or Why I Have Gray Hair

So, every month for the kids’ first year I get their pictures taken. We “invested” $19.99 to become members which gives us a free sheet each time we come in, “Smiles by Wire”, which is a fancy way of saying they send it to your email address, and, of course, free sittings. Their second year we go every 3 months, their third year we go every 6 months, then after that, they go every year on their birthday.

Guess how many months I missed with all three kids? ZERO!! I’ve been to JC Penney Portrait Studios 44 times in 4 1/2 years. Wow. Good news is, they send you nice coupons in the mail, and fancy dancy “coupons by wire” to use as well. Their package is $7.99 which includes just enough pictures to keep the relatives happy. Also, on each envelope of pictures you get back, you can take a survey and get an additional $3 off, and if you take another survey, you get 15% off. Grand total for pictures each month? Priceless, er, I mean, $4.24. Reasonable, huh?

The folks that we had in St. Louis were unbelievably good at taking my kids’ pictures. We had this one lady named Jannelle, and every time she saw us she said “Hi, Peter!” She just knew us and she knew what I wanted.

Now we’re in Lincoln. I don’t like the JC Penney studio here in Lincoln. I’ve had nothing, and I mean NOTHING good come out of the studio in Lincoln. It seems like every month we get pictures I end up saying, um, I guess that one. I’ve actually had to request to not have someone do the kids’ pictures because I have ended up in tears. Who wants to be crying at pictures?! That’s sill, right? You’ve never had the people I had, then.

So last week it was time for Tess’s 8 month pictures. I called in, made sure that so-and-so wasn’t going to be there so I might get some decent pictures. She’s no longer with the studio.

Squeaky wheel gets the oil, I guess.

They were having some promotional day, which basically meant that I had to do Tess’s pictures with a Fourth of July theme. No problem. I love America, God bless her.

Also, JCP is moving up with the times…they no longer have the boxes that you put a dirty rug over and then actually sit your precious, clean-for-pictures baby on top of. The kids sit on the floor and the photographers move with your kids. It’s just like Portrait Innovations (which we love, but you can only get their “special” deal every three months, and although they don’t track it, I would probably have a heart attack trying to pull one over on them) or Picture People (nice pictures, but ridiculously expensive). They were still working out the kinks, like half of our session was lost, but, hey, you get what you pay for, right?

The pictures weren’t too bad. Better than usual, I would say. Tess is at that hard phase where she doesn’t stay still and you can’t really make her stay still so you put her down and she crawls away. Doesn’t make pictures easy.

So we go to order the pictures and they tell me that it’s going to take 15 minutes for the pictures to upload. Fifteen minutes?! They took like 20 pictures, and there was nobody before me or after me. Well, fine. I’ll carry Tess and try to hold Pete and Elsie’s hands and walk around JCP. No stroller, and it’s 12:45. It was a meltdown waiting to happen. We head back about 20 minutes later and they inform me that the pictures haven’t been uploaded because the second batch of pictures got lost. No problem. There were plenty of other ones to choose from. So, we wait. Again.

I peek around the corner to see what in the world is taking so long. I see the girl that’s our photographer basically playing around with JCP’s version of Photo Shop. I’m thinking, “It’s after 1 o’clock. The kids haven’t eaten. I’m only getting the basic package. Come ON!” But on the outside I’m trying to be nice, for the kids’ sake.

25 minutes later, she calls us back. Sister, I only wish I were joking. This is a good 50 minutes after we were done taking pictures. I tell her that the “special” pictures with fancy (ugly) fading and what not look great, but since I come every month I would just like to get the basic package for $7.99. She tells me that since it was a promotion day, the package, which included way fewer pictures, was $29.99. I tell her that I wasn’t aware of that and I wasn’t about to spend $30 on pictures that I don’t even really like and that we’d just reschedule (Mommy hasn’t eaten yet, either, and the kids are fighting. Loud.). She says, oh, then I guess we can give you the $7.99 package.

Little did she know that I was going to get 15% off and an additional $3 off. Tee hee.

But that, my friends, or something very similar, is what happens EVERY SINGLE TIME I go to Penney’s here in Lincoln. The price is right, but I don’t know if it’s worth my sanity!

Enjoy these proofs of Tess’s 8 month pictures.

Can you guess which one I got for the package? Do you see what I mean about the goofy fake Photo Shop images?

Now We’re All in Big, Big Trouble

Tess can crawl.  I mean really, really crawl.  She will not stay in one room anymore.

She also loves to eat paper.  That means I have to sweep about 4 times a day now.

Boxes?  They count as paper, too.

I snuck up on this in the living room.

It was really funny.  The box she was on is about 5 inches tall.

Back to work, eating a box.