I had my earlobes pierced at 10g by Craig Cutler at Trouble Bound Studios in September of 2005. My intentions have always been to stretch my lobes, but I never had an end goal in terms of the size. I just wanted them BIG. At least one month between stretches is generally recommended in order to minimize any damage to your piercings (also cat butt) and just generally keep them happy and healthy. I think I waited about a year between my first couple of stretches though (10g-8g, and 8g-6g). I used a taper for those, and then I switched to using teflon tape. Last fall I was at 0g. They've shrunk a bit since, and now they're back down to 2g. In fact, I had a bit of trouble getting my 2g tunnel in lefty today. That's the result of leaving my funky water buffalo horn jewelry out for days at a time. It's just a little shrinkage though, which is probably good for the overall stretchage.