Category Archives: Family

FFS School Photographers, we are living in the digital age.

The kids came home with their order forms for school photos last week.
Have you seen the price of these fuckers?

First Day of School.

First Day of School.

The cheapest option is to order a $26 group photo and if you have three hundred  twelve relatives who you would like to piss off impress by giving them pics of your offspring dressed in their finest school colours, then you are welcome to fork out $44 per child for the Premium Pack. But that’s not all! If you purchase one of the above packages you can also purchase an additional $15 gift pack including 3 bookmarks, 3 more photos, a door hanger, a calendar and, wait for it, 4 photo gift tags emblazoned with the face of the fruit of your loins.

But wait there’s more! As the parents of two school age life suckers children, we can choose to opt in for a family photo. I have no idea what this costs, because, if we want to go down this path, we have to pop into the school office and grab a different order form.

The thing that really gets on my goat when ordering school photos (that are yet to be taken) is that I don’t have a clue what they will look like. Has the photographer captured the kindness in our daughter’s heart? Have they captured the twinkle in our son’s eyes? Is his shirt still clean after fruit break? If I pay another hours wages to get a pic of them together will they look like they like each other? Or will the photographer be so fried after dealing with 400 plus kids, that it comes home looking like they are throwing daggers at the camera?

Then there is the question of what we do with them once we get them home? I don’t have a wall or a  shelf covered in family snaps, I should, but I’m too lazy, and if I did, they would be of fun and exciting adventures. So, I shove those school pics up in the top of the cupboard where they will slowly age until a time when the children leave home and I decide to make let them store them in their own cupboard or a school reunion happens and they suddenly want to remember who that kid was they were friends with in grade 1.

Photographers, I know you are trying to make a living, and I’m guessing you are doing OK based on this formula. 400* children’s parents buy the group photo at only @$26. That is $10,400 before you deduct your costs and I hope give the school a donation for their fundraising. Good on you, I hope you love swimming in your private pool filled with the tears of parents who have gone broke paying for school photos unicorns.

Looking for a pic for this post I found quite a few (hundred) photos of my kids wearing their school uniform performing a range of tasks either posing or just being themselves. It’s not like the old days when lots of people didn’t have a camera to take their own photos. In this digital age we can get decent quality pics for under $1.

The best system I have seen is when BC5 was at daycare/kinder. The photographer came in and took the photos, sent home proofs and we ordered what we wanted. I happily paid $9.50 per shot for three gorgeous pics of our kid and one group photo, and left the not so gorgeous ones for the photographer’s bin.

What do you think? Do you think the cost of school photos is over the top?

Have your opinion using this anonymous poll.

 

 

Nan couldn’t have picked a better time to call…

I was locking up tonight after doing RSA training. I had everything packed and grabbed my take home pile and, you guessed it, checked my phone. 5 minutes before was a missed call and message from Nanna.

Instead of going straight home I locked myself in and rang her back.

Best decision ever! We talked for 20 minutes about all sorts of stuff. My favourite topic of conversation being the two occasions Nanna got a bit tipsy.

The first story was back when it was 10 o’clock closing and they were at a Lounge bar for a fire brigade do.  Before 10pm, as was the norm, everyone stockpiled their drinks.  Nan had been drinking squash, but the friend who went to the bar got her gin squash, assuming this was what she’d been drinking all night. When Nan and Pa finally left at 2am she had finished all three stockpiled drinks, not tasting the gin. She was a little unsteady on her feet, as was Pa. They held each other up and made it home safely.

The second story was after golf. They’d won because of Nan (I hope I got this right Nan?) The team persuaded Nanna  to have a sherry to celebrate. Before she knew it one of the ladies had grabbed Nan’s hand and pulled her up onto the tables as they were dancing the night away Nan looked over and saw <forgotten his first name> Plum looking over the bar. She’d been caught by a neighbour.

Unfortunately we also talked about grief and sadness. Last week Pa would have turned 90, my uncle has lost a best mate to cancer and one of my best friends lost her sister who had also battled the big C. Pa and her dad were first cousins. Life can be tough when the inevitable happens.

The older I get the more I cherish every single conversation I share with both of my grandmothers. I love that Nan never felt the need to drink to have a good time. She is fun and full of life with a cheeky sense of humour without it.

I wouldn’t even need to teach RSA if the world was full of Nan.


How a Game of Football Gave Us a Spark.

 

wp-1486523804185.jpgLook at this photo and you will see what most Aussies see, a game of country football. But what happened here in Yarrawonga on Saturday was a lot more than that here at our place.

The things we do for charity! 

If you follow this link you will find the Dolphin Charity Football Game Facebook page. In short, the teams consist of generations of members of one family, the Runnalls, or the “Dolphins” against as many old buggers they can rope into playing “The Superstars”. The proceeds of the day go to the Yarrawonga Hospital Palliative Care Unit.

Until two days before the match we intended on going and supporting this great cause, but I had run into the main organiser in the street and he said, “Why didn’t I ask Fuzz to play?” Bloody good question young man, why not?

So I went home and told my hubby that he was to take his runners and a footy jumper down to the J.C. Lowe Oval for the match, not to worry too much, he would be only sitting on the bench. His initial reaction was immediate divorce. He instantly hated me for dobbing him in. He is 46 years old and has not played a game of football since 1993. Yep, half a lifetime ago.

I jibed him and told him he was a big sook, but in my heart I knew that he would love it! Every year as footy season approaches he tells me how he is going to make a comeback, he is at least going to train, or so he says. We have been together almost 13 years, and he has only ever talked about it.

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All stand for the National Anthem

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He did it. He ran out onto that ground, some kgs overweight, and he played football. I was amazed when he set up a goal in the first quarter, he looked like he knew what he was doing, and of course in his mind he did know what he was doing. The bench, in this instant, was designed that nobody would have to spend much time on the ground, and it was in the third quarter he returned to the field.

Of course by now we were expecting greatness, and when the ball came near him again, he believed it too. He saw that ball and had it in his sights. He felt 21 (his words) and he knew exactly how to pick that bit of pigskin out of the air. As he made his move, his age and fitness caught up with him and twang, his hamstring was strung. From the sidelines we knew he was a goner as he limped off.

But the thing is he did it. Our kids have never seen him play anything except some backyard antics. wp-1486523704293.jpg

As I iced his legs and fetched his beer that night I told him proud I was. I meant it! He got of his arse and off the iPad long enough to have a great day out. His kids saw a man they had never met and we had something to laugh about.

A few beers later and he thanked me for “making” him do it. He admitted that he has wished to have a reason to run out on the field one more time. He felt freaking awesome and we had shared something we can laugh about for a long time.

Isn’t it amazing how a few beers and a shared experience can add a little spark to our world?

P.S. There was over $12,000 raised. A fantastic result for all those involved. Congratulations to the organisers.

 

 

 

Back to School Routine. The bad, the good and the ugly.

stay-at-home-mumThis year I’ve been a stay at home mum for the entire summer break. We have gone to bed late, got out of bed late and eaten whenever we were hungry. Even though we have had an awesome summer, I was very excited yesterday to drop my kids at school for their first day in 2017.

GC8 is beginning grade 3 and BC5 is beginning grade 1. They were both a little concerned the night before about where they had to line up in the morning but both of them did as they should ate breaky,  left me at the gate with a kiss and a wave and went about their day.

I read a lot of comments on social media about how people hate school lunches and routine. I don’t hate either. I kind of try not to be a hater. I thought we had nailed that first day, and we were going to slip back into routine as naturally as a fish swims in the water.

But, parenting wouldn’t be parenting without a couple of fails…

  1. I put butter in CG8’s sandwich. Did I know I wasn’t supposed to? No, nope, narda, not at all. I copped some eye rolling about how dumb that was after school.
  2. I wouldn’t let her take a pencil case the first day, waiting to see what the teacher required. WELL….pencil cases are allowed, we don’t have shared cups of pencils any more, I’m in grade 3 you know.
  3. I hadn’t ironed the new school uniform and made her wear last years. She got it dirty. I swear she just got it dirty to spite me and make me iron the other one (I try not to hate, but I hate ironing).

But it wasn’t all bad. BC5 had a brilliant day. He has been running his own competition over the holidays called Child of the Day. Each evening I have to pronounce which one of them has been a better kid. He is still trying for that so…

  1. He ate every bit of his lunch, and loves butter, and I can do no wrong.
  2. He has shared pencils, just like last year, and it will all be good.
  3. He also came home dirty, but as he is a Boy Child, I am quite used to only getting one wear out of his t-shirt.

This morning is day 2 and we are back into routine.

  1. The children are not listening and wont eat their fucking (cooked) breakfast.
  2. The dress wasn’t ironed last night because the ironing fairies forgot to come as they were drinking red wine and eating gourmet dinner.
  3. I nearly put butter in the cucumber sandwich…again!
  4. When told to get dressed while I iron the stupid dress, they are busy looking for a particular Pokemon rubber off a pencil that wasn’t packed in the pencil case last night. It has to match the pencil, it can’t just be any kind. They are hanging out naked when I emerge with ironed dress.
  5. I start screaming for them to forget the fucking pencil, put on shoes, brush teeth and get in the fucking car in order to alert the neighbours that everything is back to normal.
  6. We almost forget drink bottles as they were getting filled when the dress crisis occurred, and I haven’t screwed on lids yet.
  7. As we drive to school GC8 tells me she hates me and  I respond in kind.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that we have our routine down pat after only two days?

“GAME of WAR” Widow

I Game of Warhave lost my husband. My kids have lost their dad, but before you start sending us letters and cards of sympathy, you should know, he is not dead. No. He is away battling others in an app. A very popular app which consumes so much of his time that our kids now roll their eyes and say shit like, ‘Dad wont do that, because, Game of War”.

From the minute he wakes MY (work) iPad is taken outside for his morning coffee and smoke. It then travels to the toilet to do whatever it is that makes men sit for so many minutes- WTF is with men and toilets?  When he returns from work there is a repeat of this action, then he sits in his “spot” outside, or has Doctor Sheldon Cooper would say in Big Bang Theory “single point of consistency in an ever changing world”, where he continues to communicate with his allies and plan strategies to attack their opponents, thus stripping them of hundreds of dollars worth of in app purchases which can never be recovered.

According to Wikipedia

The best you can do is not lose”, because a single attack can “destroy so much that it would take months of gameplay to recover… or 100 bucks”, , in contrast to other MMO games where players who spend money receive benefits that are permanent.

God help us if we need something done and the “Alliance” is about to attack another kingdom. We may as well be poo on the bottom of your shoe. It is real. The troops cannot be left alone. They could all die if he is not in attendance.

Aside from disinfecting the iPad regularly with Glen20, I am now weeding the vegie patch, which isn’t doing so well because in his words “I didn’t really care that much about preparing the soil this year” as well as other Gardening activities, which, in our marriage agreement were to fall on his shoulders as I HATE gardening.

GC8 says “if I ask Dad to make toast, he says one sec, and it takes him 30 minutes”. BC5 concurs.

He seems to know more about his online community than he does his Mates. He shares what we are having for dinner much as I do on Instagram and Facebook, but he shares with people he has never met and has never even had a Facey account. I am ‘Facebook friends’ with his friends and family just to keep them all in the loop as to what the children and I are up to while he is playing GoW.

The upside is I get to look at food pictures from around the world and occasionally one of his “friends” will share information that might spark some very welcome discussion (I am a talker, that’s why I write).

If you are also feeling a void in your life due to some type of app-diction, I want you to know you are not alone. I am here for you. In fact, I’d love a chat about your situation if you would like to have one.

Disclaimer; this content is not intended to cause haters against my husband. He is a loving and caring man even if he can be a bit slow to butter the toast.

 

An Outfit for Every Occassion

Fun in the SunI laughed my arse off when Miss 8 asked her father for a wrestle in the backyard. Not because she asked, nope, this is a very regular occurrence at our place. I laughed because he told her to go and put her wrestling gear on.

“What wrestling gear?” I asked, “is it because she has a skirt on?” At this point I am thinking shit like how weird, what a prude not to let her wrestle in a skirt or in her undies if that takes her fancy, you prick for contributing to the washing pile without contributing to the actual act of doing the washing. It’s too fucking hot for clothes…

His reply “No, nothing to do with a skirt, just delays it for another 5 minutes”.

Most probably had to make sure his allies were all in the right place before he could leave his Game of War for the 15 minutes that he will hold their attention. Gotta get the work/life/app balance right after all.

Fuck You Book Week and other stories.

Wally Hat

Wally Hat

I love book week. What a brilliant concept, educating the masses that reading is fun and giving all the little people who are at school a chance to dress up as their favourite characters. I have even been the volunteer who sits in a shop and reads to the gorgeous ones as they do a tour of the street, showing off their costumes on one special day.

This year I did my best to be ready for book week well before the eve of said dress up day. But being prepared reared up it’s ugly head and bit me in the arse.

Firstly, let’s go back to March when I tried to buy outfits in Bali, what a time and place to shop the costume store. There were many a silky princess dress to be found. Alas, we did not purchase a princess dress, because miss pooh head wants to be Holly O’Hair (Rapunzel’s daughter in the Ever After High series) and none of the dresses were quite (let’s say) purple enough. I left the gorgeous (cheap) shop with a pirate outfit thinking that master good child could go as Tough Boris, and a knowledge that come August I will be wishing I had just sneaked a purplish dress into the shopping and pulled it out in surprise at a later date.

But good children often turn to shit, and now that the time is here, he hates Tough Boris and LOVES Where’s Wally. So Saturday I left our little town to shop the shit out of the next bigger city where Spotlight, Kmart and Big W are found. I knew in my heart I was going to be making a skirt for a princess, and creating an outfit for an adventurer so off we set to find the perfect costume pieces.

In Big W I could be heard yelling across the toy section to focus on the job at hand. I could not give two fucks what toys you guys ‘want’, I can barely find the floor in three rooms of the house as it is. Where the hell are the dress ups? We did three laps of the store, including two toilet stops within 10 minutes of each other, looking for something Wallyish, at least Wally Watcherish. I had several discussions with other parents, all on the same mission, apparently Kmart only have small sized outfits left, there’s not much variety here and the costumes are over that way. I walked over that way, and just as I was about to give up, asked a store attendant where are the fucking costumes? Just down the aisle with the coke at the end, with the party stuff. Right, of course, that’s logical (not). Nothing ready made was what my cherubs were after and I couldn’t even find a pair of Wally glasses. As we walked out with our new shoes, toys and other crap, I finally found a ladies t-shirt of the red and white striped variety. Plan B was found.

Holly's Skirt

Holly’s Skirt

Next stop Spotlight to find some floral fabric for this skirt. Not too painful. She chose reasonably quickly, but I couldn’t help but notice the madness that this costume shopping had created. Parents everywhere were looking harried. They had a rep to uphold as the crafty parent who had this costume shit covered. Staff were dressed as characters from Alice, the cool Cheshire Cat cut us some not floral fabric and binding and sent us on our way. As we browsed our way out the potential princess muttered something I couldn’t hear and would not repeat the statement, based on how I wouldn’t get it anyway. Blood pressure climbing I bit my tongue as I waited not very patiently in line at the checkout were the lollies were at eye level and I had to continually say no. No, not that one either. What part of no don’t you understand?

 

As we drove to Kmart for the one toy that could not be purchased anywhere else, I made the rules. We go in, look exactly where it should be and then leave if we can’t find it. I need lunch.

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Wally

A quick trip back to Big W where I flew in and purchased the t-shirt I should have bought two hours ago and an executive decision is made. I choose where we eat.

We went to a nice hotel for lunch. Somewhere they sell wine and delicious offerings. I ordered a pasta to level my mood and a glass of Sauv Blanc to compliment it. Both offspring managed to eat, drink and behave beautifully, and the result was a calmer mum who loves book week again.

A bit of fun with the sewing machine and making a pompom on Sunday and I am all ready for Thursday’s parade. I even found nerd glasses for Wally in the junk shop. My offspring are grateful for the time I spent and are kind of surprised how clever I am. We had lots of cuddles Sunday night and watched a movie together as I was too tired to read them a book.