Let The Fun(draisers) Begin

Do you know what school starting back up is synonymous with? Aside from early mornings where everyone bitches, doesn’t eat their breakfast, and then whines about being hungry? And also loses the mate to every single pair of shoes they own?

Fundraisers!

I’m pretty sure they shove the fundraiser forms at kids the second they enter school on their very first day. Forget school handbooks, emergency contact forms, and all that crap — fundraiser forms are priority number one. This means that basically from late August until mid May, anyone with a child is a social pariah. People will go great lengths to avoid being asked if they want to support Little Johnny popcorn or fruit crate fundraiser.

I hate school fundraisers almost as much as I hate zucchini, and that’s saying something. It’s like that song from Annie, It’s A Hard Knock Life, where the little orphans are singing about all the shit Miss Hannigan makes them do, but with adults and selling useless crap instead of cleaning.

It’s the hard-knock life for us
It’s the hard-knock life for us
Always making us sell useless shit
To buy more cheap Chromebooks for your kids
It’s the hard-knock life!

(Excuse me while I go rewrite the disgruntled parents version of Annie.)

When I was a kid, we had one big fundraiser for school where we sold wrapping paper. Apparently at Christmastime, there was a massive shortage of wrapping paper, so it was crucial to sell the same thing you could buy at Walmart at a 300 percent markup. And then there was a fundraiser with the softball team where we sold candy. Candy wasn’t a problem, since most people didn’t cringe when they saw you coming their way with those big boxes of M&Ms. Except for that one lady who yelled at me for trying to kill her because she was diabetic, anyway. (That’s every 10-year-old’s dream — to rid the world of the diabetics. Sigh.)

Things are different now. They sell lots more useless crap now, and depending on which school your kids go to (not the boy’s), the kids who sell the most useless crap are treated like celebrities for a day. One year there was a limo ride to a local pizza place, followed by playing in a bounce house rental. I think that was the same year, at least.

There’s also the “Fun Runs.” Little Man has repeatedly asked what the heck is supposed to be so fun about these Fun Runs, but I’m not really sure.

Maybe an inflatable obstacle course would be lots of fun, but jogging around a track or inside of a gym isn’t anyone’s definition of fun. Some years they do Color Runs, which I have a love-hate relationship with. On one hand, it’s fun to squirt my kid in the face with the colored chalk stuff, but on the other hand, I have to let him ride home in my car. We’ll call that the Sorta Fun Run. (By the way, I was so disappointed at the first Color Run. For whatever reason, I thought we got to throw large paint balls at the children. We did not.)

It is my dream that one day the schools will have fundraisers that the parents will actually enjoy. Instead of being forced to wait tables for a night at a restaurant so the school can keep the tips (whoever the fuck came up with this horrible idea for a fundraiser can go straight to hell) or harass coworkers to buy garbage, we need fundraisers that are actually fun. There has to be a way  a person can raise funds while not hating their own existence, right?

Ultimate Dodgeball

There are two ways you can go with this. First, parents vs. other parents. Charge $10 per participant and have fun launching balls at the heads of the other parents you loathe for an hour. Second, parents vs. kids. Same idea, plus you get to unleash some of that pent-up aggression over certain individuals leaving messes all over the house again. Borrow balls from the school, meet in a public space, and it’s all profit.

Drink-A-Thon

Instead of getting people to pledge a buck or whatever for your kid to walk a quarter-mile, how about getting people to pledge money for each glass of wine or beer you drink? Some of the…more seasoned…moms would probably be able to raise the rest of the funds needed to build the new playground in no time at all.

And if you aren’t a drinker, then get people to pledge money for each glass of water or Coke you drink. You’re with other adults, kid-free, having fun, and raising money, so it’s a win-win situation.

Adult Fun Raffle

Some schools have Fundraiser Raffles where they get people and companies to donate all sorts of stuff, you buy a bunch of tickets, and then you put your ticket in the bag for whichever item you want. Some of the items at these raffles are neat, but others just blow. (Why the hell would I want to put my ticket in the $1 oven mitt raffle vs. the beach weekend raffle?)

At the Adult Fun Raffle, there will be no oven mitts, kiddie art classes, or coloring book sets raffled off. Gift cards for the local pub, babysitting vouchers, date night supplies, etc. will all be raffled. Baked goods — but not the kid-friendly kind — will be raffled. You get the idea. We’ll even let Karen raffle off the rest of her Pure Romance stock, and we’ll take her word for it than everything is unused.

See? Fundraisers really can be fun. Or at least not kill-me-now painful.

If you could come up with a fun fundraiser, what would you choose?


Good news on the book front — I finished the rough draft. Anyone who emailed me about being a beta reader for the book can expect an email soon with a PDF file of the book. If anyone would like to be a beta reader and hasn’t already gotten in touch with me, email dorkymomdoodles@gmail.com.

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Update

I thought things would slow down when Little Man started school, but not quite. He is in a play and has been practicing three times per week in the evenings, and then all week this week, so that has eaten up a lot of “free” time as far as being home and getting things done goes. Not that I mind, of course, but I am super excited about the plays! This is his first time acting, and it’s been so awesome to watch him progress.

Also…I’ve been working on the book. I finally got bitten by the writing bug that I was hoping to be bitten by over the summer. I finished the first of nine sections on Monday, and then kicked it into a higher gear and am now done with the writing part. (Early mornings and late nights, so I’m running on fumes.) Of course, many stories are repeats (now I’m looking at roughly 35% new content), but the old ones had to be rewritten to a degree to make them tie together with the theme of each section.

Next comes editing existing doodles and creating new ones. Needless to say, things won’t be slowing down much. Not that I’m complaining, though, because I’m glad that the finish line is finally in sight!

After I finish it, I will need a few people to read it and give me their feedback. If anyone wants to do that, shoot me an email at dorkymomdoodles@gmail.com. It’ll be a few weeks or so before I get to that point, since I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to create a hundred or so new doodles overnight, but if there is any interest, just email me.

In case you’re wondering what the structure of the book will look like, I have it in nine chapters, with stuff like The Boy or The Struggle Is Real In Parenthood being the theme of each chapter. Two sections will consist of material that hasn’t been published on this blog before, and another section will be mostly new material. And the other six sections will be around 25% new material.

So…that’s where I’m at. I promise, I’m gonna catch up on the blog stuff one of these days! I always feel like an ass for posting something when I haven’t caught up on reading everyone’s blogs, but here I am anyway.

Now, everyone wish for Little Man to break a leg tomorrow night, since opening night is tomorrow! ❤

Help! Take this poll and give me some feedback.

So, I’m trying to put together a book for Dorky Mom Doodles. As with any project I undertake, the odds of finishing are low, but I’m trying. The intro and some other section openings have been written, so that’s something. I’ve been making a list of the stories that are already on this blog that I want to include, plus I’m working on themes for each section to put the stories in.

Here’s where I need your help.

If you were to consider buying this book, how much new material would you expect? Let’s say that I go with 50 stories — and it may be less, depending on how many images there are per story, since I don’t think I’d want to go over 250 pages for this type of book — how many would you expect to be brand new?

A little more info — I won’t be just copying and pasting blog posts in the book. Sure, the stories will be there, but I will make changes to make things fit better. That’s why I’m doing sections in the book (like “Out and About”), where I’ll kind of write about that theme and then tie in the stories to it.

Any sections in particular that you’d like to see? Any feedback would be appreciated!

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

I know what you guys are thinking right now. “Your slack ass is going to sign up for a month-long blogging challenge? Ha.”

I’ve done the A to Z Challenge for the past three years, so obviously I’ve gotta get on board for this one, too. Time might not be plentiful at the moment, but I’m gonna do my best with it, anyway.

Always a day or two late to the party…

My theme for the A to Z Challenge this year is:

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(Had to be a little bit dramatic with it, right?)

A Blast To The Past

So, for the month of April, I will be choosing certain historical events to create crappy doodles of. The American Revolution? Doodled. Jesus ascending into heaven? Doodled. The Hindenburg disaster? Doodled.

Before you click the “X” and think, “Ain’t no way I’m signing up for this,” this is the part where I tell you that I’m kidding. While “A Blast to the Past” is definitely my theme, I’m staying as far away from historical events and figures as I possibly can. Outside of WW2, history makes me snooze, so no doodles of beheadings or whatever from me.

Instead, I’ll be doodling things that have happened in my life, my kids’ lives, etc. Some of the posts may be doodles you’ve seen already (depending on whether I’m running behind or need something to fit a certain letter for a day), and others will be brand new material. Just so you know, the past can be anywhere from when I was a kid until last week.

So, now you know the game plan. Hopefully it won’t be as tough as last year, when I did the “Things Kids Say” theme and ended up changing half of my pre-planned topics! At the end of April, I’ll reveal something I’m working on blog-wise that will probably make this whole “slack blogger” to “blogs every day blogger” transformation make sense even more.

Now…who else is doing the A to Z Challenge? Where my people?

Leveling Up In Parenting

Much like a video game, there are times when you’ve improved/accomplished enough that you can move up to the next parenting level. That doesn’t happen often for me — out of the ten established parenting levels, a two is usually my baseline — but I did level up recently. It was pretty much an accident, but I’ll take it.

Baby Girl wanted me to play hide and seek with her one day. I’m not too wild about playing hide and seek with her because of how she plays. Her “tactics” were cute when she was one, but now they make me fear for her a little bit.

See? Literally this is all she does — she puts her head under a pillow or blanket and yells for me to come and find her. That’s it. Like her face being hidden is enough for the world to suddenly not know where she is. (This was especially amusing the time she decided to “hide” after she got undressed for her bath and I found her with her bum sticking up.) Usually I’m still sitting beside of her when she hides and says she’s ready for me to find her. Rarely am I allowed to hide, and when I do hide, she wants me to hide under a cover or a blanket on the bed, and then declares that SHE is hiding and I’m to find her instead, two feet away from me, partially under a blanket. She’d be the first to go in a horror movie.

At this point we’re kind of wondering how much longer we’re going to have to keep pretending that she’s a) hiding and that we’re b) finding her. I wonder if on some level if she’s just screwing with us, to see how long she can keep it going, but then that’d make her a little evil genius, and I’ve already got one of those in the house.

But when Baby Girl wants to play hide and seek, usually I do. The time that I leveled up, I tried again to encourage her to for real hide and for real seek. On her turn, she went straight to the bedroom and partially hid under the blanket. On my turn, I made her count and went and hid in the laundry room. I waited and waited and waited. And then my husband knocked on the door.

Oops.

A light bulb went off over my head — I can now hide all I want and she can never get to me. And considering how small her hands are, I could probably do this forever. (Really, though, my MIL is tiny like Baby Girl, and she can rarely open the doorknobs at our house because her hands are so small.)

Yep, parenting level up.

And then I leveled back down when I blurted out “That’s what she said!” in response to a comment Little Man made. Oops again.

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Harry and Me are on Parent.com!

Fellow blogger Max has been published on Parent.com. Do take a minute to check out his blog (the link to his piece is there); I think you’ll enjoy the piece and his blog posts as much as I do.

Breakfast With Harry

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Hello, if you’re so inclined, please click here and read an essay of mine that Parent.com was good enough to publish this week. “Love by Numbers” is about Harry tearing open a bunch of the 277 letters I’ve spent years writing to him, and how I, a lifelong OCD sufferer, handle that. I’m pretty proud of the writing, and I think it has a “message,” but I’ll let you (potential reader) decide want it is.

Oh, if you enjoy “Love by Numbers,” do me a favor, and share it on social media. If the piece gets enough shares, I get a cash bonus.

End of shameless self-promotion.

Max

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Monday’s Mama is Two-Dimensional AF.

Thanks to Darlene for having me participate in her Monday’s Mama feature! There’s a petition, too, so check it out.

BabyCostsMoney

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in James’s Giant Peach? Or maybe Toontown? Or a Cool World?

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Erika from Dorky Mom Doodles totally lives in that world with her family. At least, she lives there on the internet (where you can be anything you want to be especially if you want to be mean in the comment section which Erika is decidedly NOT).

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Erika is SUPER nice. A super nice cartoon mom that shares all of the hilarious things her cartoon family does with all of us three dimensional people. She’s basically the Matt Groenig of Mommy Blogs and EVERYONE loves the Simpsons.

If you haven’t seen Dorky Mom Doodles, go check her out now. I’ll wait.

You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. She isn’t on Instagram anymore but she TOTALLY belongs there. Doodles belong in squares!!…

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Dumbass of the Day Award

This one goes to me. I was setting up a page to promote my Etsy shop and part of that page talks about how I’m not one to really post stuff for sale on a blog post. It doesn’t really fit in with my content. I was just going to put it in the menu bar, out of the way (but hopefully noticeable).

And then I hit “Publish,” attempted to add the page to my menu and discovered that I hadn’t created a page, but a post. Which was sent out to y’all.

Egg on my face.

I swear this wasn’t planned to promote without promoting. (Or something like that.)

Now I’ll go put my Dumbass of the Day Award on my shelf next to my “Okayest Mom of the Year” award. (And maybe I’ll even do a doodle for this new award later tonight or tomorrow morning, because why not?)