Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Today we are going down to the school to get Griffin his Intermediate Uniform.  It's quite exciting... both of the kids will be in Intermediate this year.

Not little kids anymore.  Getting to be big kids!

I think they are both looking forward to school starting again.

*** warning...little rant ahead....

For me... I'm not really.   Sure I'd like them out from under me feet all day... but I'm not looking forward to the endless notices, fund raising activities, sausage sizzles etc.   Having to come up with money for this and that ALL THE BLOODY TIME.  

If it's not a mufti day requiring money, it's a sausage sizzle, or a gold coin donation for something or other, or money for trips, swimming, 'wet day', 'bike day', 'dress up day',  bla bla bla.  I've never known a school to have so many 'special days' that require us to pay for our child to participate in!

Does me head in.  This year I am going to keep a record of every single cent I am asked to cough up, and what for.

For a start, the uniforms.  We are urged to buy them THROUGH the school, not the uniform shop down in Manurewa.   The Manurewa shop is cheaper.  BUT the School tells us that the uniform they sell is the ONLY "Official" uniform available.   One has to wonder why they insist you buy the uniform from the school?

I am buying Griffin's Uniform from the school because I'm worried that they won't let him wear one bought from the Uniform Shop in Manurewa.  There will be some subtle difference between the two suppliers I'm thinking?

Next:  Stationery.  We are URGED to buy the 'Stationery Pack' from the school or it's 'Official Supplier'.  Last year I bought them, and Griffin used probably 4 of the exercise books in it.  We had all the other stuff like pencils, pens, rulers etc.

So this year I refuse to pay upwards of $50 for their 'Stationery Packs'.   I am going to insist on being given a list of what they need, and I will source it and buy what they actually NEED.  

The next hurdle will be meeting Griffin's teacher and finding out what he/she knows about Griffin's specific learning needs?  Is he going to be catered for within the class... or is he going to fall further behind because he cannot keep up?  This worries me so much.  Last year we were promised a Teacher Aide to help him within the classroom, but it never happened.

I got the impression (rightly or wrongly) that as I was taking him to private lessons with a Speld Teacher, they felt they didn't need to do anything with him.

I wish we had more options for his learning, but we don't. We are not rolling in the $$$$$'s enough to send or take him to a school that might cater to his needs better.

Clearly I made a huge mistake thinking getting the kids into a Decile 10 school would be good for them.
If I'd taken them to a lower Decile school, they would have been in a better position to help him, as a lower decile school gets more government funding for special needs etc.

I am hanging out for him to get to College, where he will most likely get more help. ???  I wish I knew what to do now though.  I can't see us taking them out of this school now, as it's where they are settled.  Dammit.

Right, time to snap out of it... here's some darling photos I took last night:

ABOVE:  Griffin was highly amused when Dante stuck his finger up his nose!  *smiles*

 ABOVE:  Darlings, both of them.

ABOVE:  While Griffin is very relaxed holding Dante (probably much to Bex's consternation), Brylee is a bit more like... shit, am I doing this right?  Will it break? 

ABOVE:  she does  love holding his though.  Dante... well he doesn't care. As long as he's fed when he's hungry, he's a dream baby.

Bex and Steve had amassed a HUGE amount of baby clothes for Dante, along with what they were given as gifts, and ... Dante has worn almost NONE of it!

He lives in a nappy and a very light muslin wrap.  That's IT.  

It has been so hot this summer he simply does not need any clothes on.

He's going to be shocked when he finally does need some clothes on, cos he is not used to them.

Right, off to start the day... 


So... got half of Griffin's uniform today... have to go back on Thursday to get the shorts.  They didn't have any bigger sized ones there today.

Dropped all the 'old' toys down to Manurewa Hospice, went to Medlab to have my next blood tests, but once again it was full to max, so I'm going back this afternoon when it will be quieter.

Then (sorry Stew) I swung by Warehouse Stationery and got a couple more cube units for my sewing area.  They won't need to be assembled until we can use the garage again.  I hope that's not TOO long.

Lacy is here ... I think she's come over to do some housework???

No housework... but Lacy and I got one big job done... we sorted out the garage so I would start sewing again.... it took a while, but was worth it.

 ABOVE:  lots of room now.

 ABOVE:  I might even get Stew to assemble me new shelving too now.  Sorry Darling!

ABOVE: all the 'other stuff' that was still in the garage just got put in a neat row down the middle... access from both sides so all good.

I will be going down to Medlab shortly to get me blood test done.  Because it is a fasting test, I've not eaten today at all... and I can't say I'm even hungry yet!  It's almost 2 pm.

Lacy was having a right bitch of a time getting Keera to settle down this morning, so Brylee held her and she went to sleep!  Got these 'Awww' photos:

ABOVE:  Keera is really TALL for her age!  Brylee is now trapped there until Keera wakes up... lol.  Speak of the devil, she just woke after about an hour long nap.  I will take Lacy and Keera home now and get me blood test on the way back....

ABOVE:  I'm all hot and bothered, can ya tell?  *smiles*

BUGGER.  Still not had me blood test!  I got down there and there was STILL standing room only, masses of people waiting... so I left again.

I might try getting down there at 7 am tomorrow morning.  *sigh*

NOW I can eat me breakfast/lunch... at 3.20 pm.

End of Day:  nice afternoon.. till I had to cook dinner.  It's like a sauna in me kitchen.  But, a lovely dinner of chicken sausages, potatoe wedges and lettuce salad.  Very nice.

nite nite


  1. OMG Dante is the cutest isn't he???

    So far, school stuff hasn't been too bad... new sandals and hopefully I can just drop the hem on her uniform for Term 1! We pay stationery and fees in one go.

    Good idea to make a note of every "extra" as there do seem to be lots!

    Have a goodie.

    Kate (444)

  2. The school wants you to buy from them because they make money from it!!! They keep all the profit!!

  3. I hear ya on the school fees Chris - We don't seem to be as bad as a lower decile school but always seem to be dishing out monies.
    College aren't that far off as well - argh -wondering about Alfriston?

  4. Actually the school where I work sells our uniform (the only place you can get it)... and the school actually makes stuff-all from the uniform sales. I can;t speak for all schools of course.


  5. I totally agree about the schools! Higher decile just means less funding and less help for special kids. Seriously, could you phone around a few schools and see if there if more help elsewhere? I agree about the stationery too - bloody rip off when you just don't need the stuff.

    Your school would have more $gold coin days too as they get less funding and need more money from the parents to operate. A friend who teaches at a low decile school says the get masses of funding and assistance. Interesting.

  6. I agree with you about the school uniforms, I fail to see how they can be so damn expensive. Intermediate is particularly irksome as it is only for 2 years too. I just got Siobhans college uniform and for 3 shirts, 2 skirts & a jersey it was $ 560.

    Our intermediate had the same policy for the stationery and it seemed to me to be bloody expensive. I got everything I needed for the kids college books (apart from a couple of workbooks which have to be from the school) but including the fancy calculator for Siobhan for around $ 90. And that is with a couple of extras and double the number of refill they say they need.

    For the school fees and extra expenses for workbooks and other course costs, I set up an AP at the beginning of the year and pay it off over about 3 or 4 months. With the intermediate I also did that for school camp and the ski trip ( I actually ended up paying a bit much so the extra covered a few of the other activities at the end of the year too).

    It does seem that the higher decile schools are harder to get funding for things as they get so much less than lower deciles and the parents end up having to pay more and more. Our schools are mid decile so are not too bad and I do find at college there does seem to be less requests for money for trips etc. I know they do include some of these in the course costs at the beginning of the year such as the drama trips and the camps.

  7. I hear you on stationery costs and uniforms! Rachel is at a Decile 8 school and it seems like every week or so we are asked for gold coins or the kids bring home things for fund raising! It's never ending!
    The school would prefer us to buy from a preferred supplier for stationery but also does give us a list so I managed to get everything that we needed for about $10 cheaper than the original source!
    We have been lucky this year re uniform but I think next year we will need new ones however unfortunately the only place we can get the dresses, jerseys, PE uniform etc is direct from the school (but you can pay it off) and they do have a second hand shop but only open 2hrs a week (while I am at work).
    LOVE the photos of Brylee with Keera! Just gorgeous! And well done to you and Lacy for the work done in the garage - hopefully Stew won't be to hot to put up your new shelving when he gets home.

  8. I love the pics of Brylee with Keera....she was probably happy to be stuck there instead of helping in the garage.

  9. I love Griffin and Dante pics, then the Keera Brylee picture oh my she may well be there for awhile!!

    I get Samuels stationary myself wait until you read this Yr 9/10 1st calculator $90 Yr 11 2nd calculator $105 Yr 12 3rd calculator $135 YES he has needed 3 different calculators maths 1 class yr 9/10 data statistics yr 11 ( D/S 1 class) YR 12 Physics a blardy Grahics calculator NOW I ask you WHY? becaus ehe has been in all the TOP classes he has needed more and more gear I was lucky with his college uniform I got half new half secondhand I have gone to office throughout the year and got cheaper shorts and tops, this year he maybe only needs 1 pr shorts I AM GOING to change my name to Sharon ( insert any school name here ) and have regular donations!!! WTF yeah right come to me!!! I seriously think it will be way CHEAPER when he leaves school/home for me!!! oh joy!

  10. I yiyi, you have a lot going on!

    I completely understand the anxiety of starting a new school with new teachers. We go through it every year with Godson. It seems every year promises for his extra assistance are made but they are only provided with a great deal of kicking and screaming by his mother. Her advice is to never stop pushing to get Griffin assistance. And as far as all the loot schools ask for- Makes me wanna scream!

    The kids are so absolutely gorgeous and growing like weeds! you have a gorgeous family.

    High five on cleaning up your sewing room. It will be such a treat when you have time to sit down and actually start to make things again... even if the sewing messes up the space, it's still sewing. I'll be watching to see what you make next.

    Hang in there and stay cool.
    xo jj

  11. As a teacher, all I can say is that if you think that you fork out a heap for your kids, you should see how much we fork out! I have just spent $400 for glue, sticky tape and crayons for my class! And that is just the start! As for help, I would love to give more specialist help for my kids, but it comes down to government allocation!! unfortunately!

  12. Anonymous5:52 AM

    I am confused on your school school schedule. Tell us how long they go before a break, and how do you know when they go up a grade. Maybe I'm confused because of our alternate seasons. In West Virginia, the parents buy all the supplies, no uniforms unless they are in a religious school. It's also hard here to get an aid for your child unless he is very challanged in certain areas. As for colleges helping?? nooooo, if you don't have good study habits before college, there is little or no help. At least no here in the states. They are totally responsible for themselves, the colleges don't care if you do your work or not. They take your money and your on your own!...debbie

  13. I hated having to buy uniforms from the school, always so much more expensive.
    Wow you have been busy lately - love your sewing area in the garage.
    Keira and Dante are getting so big - can't believe how quickly time goes by.
    Have a great week !

  14. It makes me happy to hear of you sticking up for your kids at school. When I was in school, nobody ever stood up for me. It was always the teachers against me and my parents would side up with them.
    I like the pics of the kids holding the baby.
    Follow your heart and stick to your guns!

  15. might be time you invested in an air conditioner Chris!

  16. I love these photos.

    And good grief, your schools are even worse than ours... well, except yours I don't think lock kids in closets. Ya got that much. :/

  17. Did u know Chris they can't do fasting bloods if u haven't eaten for longer than 14 hrs

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