Saturday, December 31, 2011

The thought that counts...

At 4pm, when I should be in the school run, I’m actually gluing the beak back on a tiny penguin.  Having already stuck the belly back on a humpback whale, and the ears on a panda. It’s a long story. 

In the countdown to Christmas, Lucie’s 4th Birthday, and half her other pals’ too, I need presents! MORE PRESENTS!

I also need treat bags. A tradition I only recently learned about, along with other mysteries like school holidays, teacher’s gifts and so on, I am assembling Lucie’s birthday treat bags for her class-mates tomorrow, and after calling the pre-school I’m faced with the hard fact that I need TWEN-TY-ONE!!!!!  

So each bag has a balloon, a Chuppa-chup, a Kinder chocolate, a whistle and I found these cute little rubber animals (they’re actually Japanese designed collectible erasers).  But realising I would come up way short, I bought a five-pack of cheaper imitations that looked exactly the same…until you open the packet and they tumble out in pieces.
What would I do without superglue?

Just another of those random tasks that falls to a mother that she can’t remember when other women ask “what do you do with your time? why are you always so busy?”

Other random tasks that fell to this mother during the week were nine pre-school teachers to buy gifts for; four really special ones for her teachers for the past two years, three less special ones for her new teachers and little presents for all the casual staff who also do an excellent job
Then there are the afore mentioned take-to-school birthday treat bags to assemble, another twelve on-the-day-birthday party bags (where I went way overboard), gifts for our elderly ex-neighbors, a total of six kid's birthday parties to shop for and attend.. then there was Lucie's first ever birthday party. And this is all outside of the normal run-of-the-mill Christmas shopping which I haven't started.

I realised that I was getting a bit gift-obsessive when I started looking for ideas for the council guys who collect our garbage... I know they do a fab job and they're always very forgiving when I wave them down because we've forgotten to put out all the bins. But what did I think I was going to do? - stand on the curb at 5am wearing PJ's and a Santa hat with an arm full of parcels? 

Hey, it's the thought that counts, right?


And how's this for recycling? 12 failed attempts at a passport photo became this years christmas card!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

DIY passport mugshots

DON'T try this at home..

My husband says "just sit her on a stool with the white wall behind and take her photo".. yeah right!

We have a trip to India planned for the new year, but for some reason, being allowed to holiday in a third world country involves more paperwork than your average mortgage application and ID checks that would do the FBI proud.

(There must more illegal immigrants from Australia than I imagined) So despite our good current Aussie passports, we apparently need some heavy duty visas and that means more photos.

I was actually hoping to avoid the whole passport photo thing for another year, when Lucie’s passport needs renewing. I imagine her being more of an age then, where I might be able to ask her to sit still for a nanosecond and have her oblige.

The first time around for passport photos I was given some pretty tough instructions:
Show the baby awake, looking straight at the camera, both edges of the face clearly visible, with a neutral expression, mouth closed, and no pacifier.  

I thought “but she doesn’t have head control yet and you want me to tell her to keep a neutral expression? Are you insane?”  I was also told her neck had to be visible, which sent me into a complete tail-spin, but fortunately that wasn’t correct.

But a very helpful photographer gave me a tip that worked out fine; ‘Lie her on a white rug on the floor, put a rolled hand-towel under the rug under her neck then take the photos from above her’.  Good tip – saved my life.

Young as she was, Lucie did have a considerable repertoire of ‘other’ facial expressions that apparently needed to be expressed first, but in the end after about 30 mug-shots, she tired of face pulling and I achieved that elusive ‘neutral expression’.

Nowadays Lucie is about as helpful as the dog in front of the camera. (He’s like a canine version of George Clooney but wont sit still for a heartbeat – it’s a total waste of a gorgeous face)

Ok so Lucie’s not a supermodel. She is however, still very partial to pulling faces. To make matters worse (for me) having a warped sense of humour (where did she get that I wonder?) she also enjoys my frustration to the point where she cracks up laughing at me the more stressed I get and the more begging I do.

Again, after a lot of shutter clicking, I emailed one borderline-acceptable-photo ot the travel agent, but the jury’s still out on whether it’s up to India’s Secret Service’s standards.

If they reject this one, I am going to bite the bullet - fight the chaotic Christmas traffic, the parking pandemonium and hand her over to a professional passport photographer. Let them deal with her antics before mummy develops Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from pressing the shutter button.