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 hell 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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Open House Bingo

Remember the Parenting Drinking Game? The one where we got to take drinks for things like the kids tattling or fighting?

Well, now there’s Open House Bingo! Simply keep this bingo card on hand and mark off squares for when certain events happen at Open House Night. At the end of the evening, you get rewarded depending on which bingo pattern you end up with. This game is guaranteed to make dealing with crowds, dodging sign up sheets to volunteer for doing all the things, and ignoring passive aggressive comments slightly less painful.

(Assuming you don’t have superhero vision, you can open this image in a new tab or zoom in to read the small words.)

(In case it isn’t obvious…you’ve got any five in a row, five diagonally, an X, four corners, and full card. For the love of God, if you get the last one, get the hell out of there.)

Based on past Open Houses, how do you think you’d do? Is there anything you’d add to one of these squares?

And We’re Back

Am I too old/mommyish to add “like cooked crack” to that title? Probably? Very well, then, I’ll just leave it at, “And we’re back.”

We got back from our Carnival cruise on Saturday, but shortly after getting home and taking a shower (and shaving my legs, which was the main thing), I was off to the urgent care to get my ankle and leg X-rayed.

This is how the second day of vacation went:

I slipped in the water area and slammed my leg on a stone tile corner and twisted my ankle. Ouch. (For the record, there were probably 100 people out there on their lounge chairs, but since I avoided making eye contact with anyone after that fall, I’m not doodling them.)

I’m the Queen of Clumsy, so wiping out wasn’t much of a surprise. I was able to get around okay during the vacation (largely due to the part of my leg that I fell on remaining numb the whole time, which is wearing off now). But by the time I got home, the swelling in my leg was so bad down to my ankle that I couldn’t get my Crocs on all the way and between that and the numbness that remained in my leg, I was encouraged to get an X-ray. The doctor initially thought I had a fracture and put me in a walking boot, but messaged me later and said it might be something else and to wear the boot and follow up with Ortho. So that’s what I’m doing.

That aside — and a few Baby Girl tantrums aside — the vacation was a blast. We went to the Bahamas again and had a stop in Princess Cays (very pretty) and Nassau. Little Man and I had booked an excursion to swim with the dolphins at Balmoral Island, and I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to do it because of my leg/foot at first, but we made it and had fun. Balmoral Island was absolutely beautiful with crystal clear water, so hopefully we’ll make it back there soon!

Baby Girl loved the “Mahamas” as she called it, even though she was a little confused on what, exactly, the Mahamas were. At first she thought it was Charleston, and then she thought it was the cruise ship, and then she thought it was Fort Moultrie or Sumter (out of Charleston Harbor).

I also had a bit of confusion myself as we left Charleston. I saw a boat pull up alongside us and spotted a big gun, which I loudly announced.

I had visions of modern-day pirates running through my head, but as my husband pointed out, it was just the Coast Guard. Sorry for the alarm, fellow passengers (who still aren’t doodled).

The kids really enjoyed themselves. Between the pool, water slides, arcade, and other stuff, they didn’t complain about being bored or whine about screens a single time. Baby Girl loved being able to get ice cream 24/7, too. One morning we did the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast, which was really cool. Little Man was the only one brave enough to try the green eggs, though! We took the kids to a couple of the PG rated comedy shows, and Baby Girl almost made one of the comedians lose it when she did an extremely loud fake laugh after everyone else finished laughing a few times. Lordy.

Usually I’m glad to be back home by the end of the vacation, but that’s not the case this time, which is a testament to how fun it was. Also, Laundry Mountain is back, and I really don’t wanna fold clothes. (And, since I’m writing this post three days after getting home, it should really all be taken care of by now.)

So, yeah…good times, great memories made!

I’ve got over 100 emails from blog subscriptions to catch up on, so I’ll be dropping by soon. I’m glad everyone seemed to enjoy my throwback posts from last week! 

Force Sun Ray Attack

My husband and I went away this past weekend to celebrate our upcoming anniversary. The anniversary isn’t for a few more days, but we’ll be going on our family vacation right after our anniversary and didn’t want to do that much driving back to back. After much talk, we ended up going to Myrtle Beach, which is also where we’re going for our vacation — clearly we aren’t “variety is the spice of life” people.

One thing that you should know about me is that I’m pretty white. Casper looks like he’s been hitting up the tanning bed compared to me. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but trust me — the non-freckled over parts of my body definitely have a ghastly pallor. It probably goes without saying that I burn very easily. Sunscreen, cover-ups or t-shirts, and shade are absolute musts for me at the beach if I don’t want to be slathering bottle after bottle of aloe vera gel all over my body later. (The shade is also a must if I want to hang out on the beach for more than 15 minutes without feeling like I’m going to puke — I don’t do heat very well, which can be rough living in the South.)

You’d think that between the umbrella, cover-up, and dusting of sunscreen so thick that other people gagged when they passed by the fog, that I’d finish the beach day unscathed. But, much like my ovaries, the sun hates me and was determined to find a way to mark me.

See all that lovely shade? Not pictured is the sunscreen fog, which I made sure to apply routinely. Also not pictured is my husband with the darker skin that doesn’t burn (not that I’m jealous), because I’m lazy and didn’t want to draw two people.

Those preventative measures were no match for the sun.

Forget force lightning attacks — we now have force sun ray strikes.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and clearly the Evil Kool-Aid Man sun was dead set on getting at me.

Technically the burn is on the inside of my left leg (which is even more in the shade), but that wouldn’t show up so good on the drawing, so artistic license and all that.

First things first — that isn’t much of a burn. I’ll acknowledge that straightaway. It stung like hell in the hot tub, but that’s about it. So, as someone who has had severe sunburns in the past, I know that I made out pretty good on this beach trip. But that’s not really the point. The point is — look at it. That leg was under the umbrella and multiple coats of sunscreen. Yet the sun worked its mojo and gave me that odd burn that looks like I’d broken out into hives or something. This is what happens nearly every time I go to the beach — lots of skin safety measures taken and lots of funky, splotchy burns.

All the sun silliness aside, we had a wonderful and relaxing time. It was nice experiencing what the beach could be like without two kids who are determined to stuff sand in your mouth and complain about the salt in the ocean water nonstop. I’m mostly kidding — I know we’ll have a wonderful time with the kids next week — but it was nice to get a break.

Did y’all have a nice weekend? 

#AtoZChallenge: V is for Vader

It’s no secret that the people in the Dorky household have quite a love for Star Wars. I remember the first time I watched Star Wars — when I was 20 — with the guy I was dating who would later go on to be my husband. I was in hysterics over the special effects (we watched an old VHS copy that hadn’t been remastered), and didn’t care too much for the whole space thing at first. (Despite my fascination with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, I’m not generally a fan of the sci-fi or fantasy genres.)

But, that changed, and I became enthralled by the story. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve watched various episodes since then, but it’s been a lot. Naturally, we passed this love on to the kids.

Little Man got his first light saber when he was three. We had banned guns, but thought the light saber would be fine. As it turns out, being cracked across one’s knuckles with a light saber does a bit more damage (hello, burst blood vessels) than a toy gun. (Except for the time I shot my husband in the eye with a Nerf gun, anyway.) We let him watch bits and pieces of the Star Wars movies around that time, and Little Man quickly became obsessed with Darth Vader, but later moved to Luke, and now has focused his interest on Princess Leia. Cough, almost tween, cough. Baby Girl also loves Star Wars. I have an adorable video of her when the opening crawl comes on and she starts shouting “Star Wars! It’s Star Wars!” and dancing. She’s also pretty good with a light saber.

For today’s doodles, I’m going to share a couple of things that the kids have said.

Right, the heat from the food was exactly like that.

Baby Girl’s love for Darth Vader isn’t as great as her love for Batman, but it’s still up there. You can sometimes hear her marching around the house humming Imperial March, and she goes all fangirl whenever Vader appears on the screen.

One day she’ll figure out that things don’t usually end well when that red light saber appears.

Are you a Star Wars fan? Which movie was your favorite?

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Should’ve Bought The Bread And Milk

The last time the weatherman called for snow, we expected to wake up to a few inches. Instead, there was nothing. Later that morning, we got the smallest of dustings, but that was it. We were pretty disappointed, but not surprised, since in SC, winter isn’t winter so much as it is fall-spring-summer, with a handful of days cold enough to wear a fleece jacket and maybe a day or two where it’s so cold that school is called off. It’s all over the place.

The weatherman has been talking about snow this week, but my part of SC wasn’t expected to get more than a dusting if we were lucky. I didn’t think too much about it because of last time. So, I didn’t join the horde of people at Walmart going on a bread and milk run last night. Nor did I buy booze.

And then I woke up to this.

We’ve gotten about four inches so far, which is the equivalent to 18 inches elsewhere, so boom.

And, as the picture shows, it was mid-70s earlier in the week and now it’s Snowmageddon!

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