Monday, 23 July 2012

Like fishing with a jelly snake

Mum joined Facebook last night.

Right now I have my phone tucked under my left ear in a supremely agonising position, cast in the role of tech/moral/oh god what did I do? support.

I keep trying to explain how to do things things but it's kind of like trying to hold an elephant up with fairy floss. 

(Just like me when I first joined the world of the interwebs.)

What does this do? Why do I need to tell you what's on my mind all the time? My GOD she/he has got fat! Oh damn she hasn't. Ooooooh look someone selling fabric!

Please... for the love of fairies... don't anyone tell her there are games on there...

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

I Should Have A Bucket List

Because lately I've been managing to do so many things that make me feel more and more like a "grown up". Things that I've wanted to do for a long time, and a lot of people have done since childhood and I just felt like I was missing a bit of knowledge and experience I thought I should have.

In the last few months I've:

Moved away from my childhood town 

Taught myself to wax my furry legs 

Mastered my blowdryer and discovered how gorgeous my hair can be

I've been interviewed and photographed for the paper (more about that next week!)

And this weekend I went to my first ever AFL match!

I've wanted to "go to the footy" ever since I was a young girl. Unfortunately Hicksville was just too far away - by the time you added travel, accomodation, food etc to a couple of tickets it was something my parents were never ever going to be able to afford, and not something that would ever have come high on their priority list.

This weekend we were given the chance to attend thanks to free tickets from My Budget and Balls For Life.

So these four little Bombers supporters rugged up and headed to AAMI Stadium on Saturday.

The highlights for me:

 Seeing Hirdy! In real life as opposed to on a tv screen! Admittedly he was several feet below  us as we were in the northern grandstand but WOW!

Shouting and cheering with a crowd of Bombers supporters - the adrenalin rush from being there in the middle of the excitement and noise is amazing.

The family in front of us whose son ran out with the team and could not possibly have been more excited, he looked like was going to burst!

His dad who was convinced the umpire in front of us was legally blind and offered his dog.

Watching our team get up and WIN!! It can't get any better than that.

So there you go, I've been there. I'll definitely be going back again.

I'm going to put Official Grown Up on my contact cards now.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

STUFF does not = LOVE

The My Budget Money Talks latest blog post - "Are We Spending Too Much On Our Kids?" - just dropped into my inbox and the timing could not be more perfect.

I've been in a few shopping plazas over the last two weeks, smack bang during the toy sales. 

It was overwhelming, headache inducing, and watching the people around me I could have sworn I'd fallen into a parallel universe where things like the GFC haven't happened. 

My "excitement" over the annual toy sales was best summed up here:

That's right. I did.

To be fair - I buy my kids toys for their birthday, or Christmas. Sometimes I give them little "just because" presents. 

But I don't rush out and spend a months grocery money on a trolley full over overpriced plastic, beeping, electronic, brain melting petroleum products in the hope my kids will think I'm awesome.

Frog does have a fair few toys - but when you look closely you will see that they are mostly inherited from her big sister, or even began life as MY toys. I had to wrack my brains to decide what Father Christmas was going to bring because we already had plenty. 

According to reports, kids are increasingly costing their parents crazy amounts of money. 

Anywhere between the base figure of approx $400K and anywhere up to $1M to get from baby to age 18. 

Holy. Cow.

Food, clothes, dance lessons, football boots, driving a squillion miles a year to ferry them around everywhere. It adds up before you can blink. And mostly, I can understand the figures.


How much of that is inflated by the fact that kids "must" have absolutely everything?

Every child I saw over the last couple of weeks was whinging, whining, screaming, hitting, kicking or having a full scale meltdown because "I WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANT IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT TOOOOOOOOOOOO MEEEEEEEEE!!"

And every time, without fail, the offending item was added to the overflowing trolley.

Kids are growing up being indulged constantly, and are going on into adulthood with a massive, and misplaced, sense of entitlement that will do nothing but cause them grief, whether financially or emotionally later in life. 

Parents are hurling themselves into unmanageable and crippling debt year after year to provide a mountain of presents bigger than the Christmas tree. What is wrong with one present?

Can someone tell me why a three year old needs their own iPad? I saw a woman getting shouted at by her tiny dictator because she wanted a pink cover, not a purple one, for her brand spanking new iPad3. I shit you not.

And for the cost of that iPad, four children could have access to a basic education they otherwise wouldn't. I bet those children aren't shrieking about it and stomping their Mini Choo clad feet.

For me, the answer lies in a basic formula.

STUFF does not = LOVE.

You are not doing your child any favours by teaching them that money never ends.

Do you really want to be unable to retire because you are still paying your little spoiled darling's credit card bill every month?

Talk to your kids about money. 

Teach them to save, teach them to budget.

Teach them not to expect everything and give nothing. 

Give them the gift of a financially stable future for you and for them.

Love them enough to say no.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Shiny Things Saturday

I'm stealing this idea from Mrs Smyth Gets a Life, who always adds some shiny things to her FFS Friday posts. 

I also don't want you to think my life is one long combination of FFS moments. Sure I have them, and plenty! But it's not our whole lives. 

And if it weren't for the shiny things it would be a pretty miserable existence, no?

 So here's to the shiny tinfoil of life:

Forking over $60 for a haircut and realising that every cent was worth it.
Picking up a $30 Big W dress and only paying $20 at the checkout. And then looking THIS DAMN GOOD in it.
Discovering little vintage heavens everywhere I go
We live in the best wine district.
Frog has an amazing capacity for fun and laughter in the dreariest places. I hope we can never lose the fun in life.
Train days. And sunshine.
Not being able to be mad at my breakfast thief because she's so darn cute.

Finding funny stuff absolutely everywhere.
Finding out Tiger loves sewing as much as I do.

Never forgetting the simplest things can become something great.
There's plenty of shine if you remember to look.

 I just need to open my eyes.

Friday, 6 July 2012

FFS Friday

Dear Baby G and co are at it again with their weekly first world whine... so let's get into it shall we?

Blogger wants me to switch to Google Chrome and is driving me mad with the constant pop up telling me so Every. Single. Time. I Click. On. A. Page. When I clicked Dismiss the first time, I meant it. Bugger off Blogger. FFS.

WonderMan cost me more money than I made last month. This is what in financial terms is called a liability and should be culled. The banker in me is nodding her head vigorously. So is the shoe shopper who has worked herself into the ground for the last four weeks. I am so damn over working for nothing. FFS.

I'm getting the guilt trip from SuperGranny for sending Tiger to her house sick. 
1) She wasn't sick when I sent her. 
2) SG would have ripped my head off if I thought she was sick and cancelled her trip.
 I cannot win. FFS.

Tiger's school photos came back and she's making a face or chewing her lip or something. Surely they can fucking take a second fucking picture?? Especially when charging $50 for the privilege of having unusable pictures. FFS.

I am three weeks away from a month with no work. Being a temp sucks big hairy fucking balls. FFS.

I said something on an online forum and now the paper wants to do a story on our family, including photo. To say I am slightly freaking out is a lie. I am terrified. FFS.

I could not remember writing it at all, and had to print out the discussion so I have some idea what I'm supposed to say. FFS.

We have to wait for TEN payment summaries before we can do our tax this year. I forsee completion of said tax return sometime in the year 2020. FFS.

The $100 light on the turtle tank has stopped working. FFS.

It got so cold last night the ducting wouldn't work and the gas heater starter stopped sparking. FFS.

Frog got into my bed in the middle of the night and put her freezing cold icicle feet on my legs and her icy hands around my neck for a cuddle. FFS.

 I haven't been blogging or hanging around Twitter too much because I spend my days perpetually angry and about to lose my shit. Right now when I need you all the most, I can't trust myself not to explode and shower you in my bullshit life. FFS.

Please send rainbows and unicorn farts by express post.


Dear Baby G

Monday, 2 July 2012

I've Become My Mother's Mother

On Friday I found myself baking stuff for Tiger to take with her to SuperGranny's house.

And decluttering Frog's wardrobe so she would have "daycare clothes" for the ever growing Baby Niece.

I'm a constant source of "motherly wisdom" despite the fact that I'm still blundering through the first five years myself.

I am confidant, sounding board, a shoulder to cry on.

But by far the biggest change has been in our reversal of organisation, and planning.
The busier I get the further ahead I plan. I have to be on the ball because I could end up like last week and get called into work every day. If I don't want my family to starve and my house to be declared a biohazard zone I have to be ready.

So you can imagine how frustrated I was by the time she rang me on Friday to tell me we would meet on Sunday. But couldn't tell me what time, or where, or anything, because "it was too far away". I wasn't aware that the principles of time dilation applied to Hicksville, but apparently they do.

Saturday afternoon she rang me to organise a time and place to meet her on Sunday. It was like trying to find out when you're teenage son is coming home tonight, only with less "whatev's" and "dunno's".

ME: What time does Baby Niece usually have her morning sleep? We want to leave approximately half hour before you because we have a slightly longer journey, and we will both be there at close to the same time.

SG: Sometime in the morning. Oh and I have to organise to pick up (Annoying) Friend A, because your father can't come, he has to cut wood.

ME: And you need to bring AFA because?

SG: I don't like driving by myself with Baby Niece, I need someone to entertain her. She might cry.

ME: Oh for heavens sake... you need to toughen up princess. 

SG: Well I don't like it, so AFA is coming. 

ME: *sigh*

SG: And we have to see your sister.

ME: *barely muffled scream* You know you really need a cup of cement.

SG: Anyway I thought we would meet at Big W.

ME: So where's that?

SG: Don't you know?

ME: Mum, Murray Bridge is not a place I choose to, you know, be in any longer than absolutely necessary, as in driving through it is too long. I have no freaking idea where you mean. 

SG: Fair call. So it's down here and turn there...

ME: So are we going to meet for lunch, or just do coffee? 

SG: Oh I don't know, I suppose we will do whatever when we get there.

ME: Which will be when exactly. 

SG: Oh I don't know, around lunchtime.

ME: Oh now you sound like the MIL. Her lunchtime was four in the afternoon.

SG: Don't be ridiculous.

ME: I'm not being ridiculous, I'm trying to organise a seamlessly executed child holiday handover so I don't waste all my time waiting for you when I could be buying shoes. And you are being vague and unhelpful.

So after finally nailing her down to a time we arrived in the car park within three minutes of each other. 

And she still thinks I'm being ridiculous.

Mothers these days...