gina valley

The Glamorous Life Of The Modern Day Soccer Mom

gina valley - The Glamorous Life Of The Modern Day Soccer Mom

Where Did My Cool Go? …Gina’s Favorites

Where Did My Cool Go? …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I’ve spelled my own name wrong three times already this morning. So, it seems fitting that my Where Did My Cool Go? post make an appearance for Throwback Day this week. Heaven knows my cool is nowhere to be found!
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Where Did My Cool Go?

I’m not cool.

I realized that today.

I suppose, on some level, I’ve known it for a while, but today it became glaringly clear. Because today, I realized I have become my father.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Where Did My Cool Go? ...Gina's Favorites

Don’t get me wrong. There’re a lot of cool things about my father. My dad is a great guy. He’s funny and smart and giving.  I’d love to turn into that part of my dad. But, I didn’t.

….

I’d just finished installing a new kitchen faucet.

We’d had to get a new kitchen faucet, because the old one had fallen apart. You had to use a pair of locking pliers just to turn the thing on, water temperature was a gamble, and it vibrated so much when the water flowed that dirty dishes kept bouncing off the counter.

So, we’d headed to our friendly, neighborhood, giant home improvement store (I’ve always thought running water in the kitchen improved any home) to get a new kitchen faucet set.

Some of the faucets were so expensive I wondered if they magically cleaned dishes all by themselves. The Professor took one look at the wall of water wonders, and announced he refused to pay more for this faucet than he did for his first car.

We picked the one that was in our budget, and looked like it could handle having our kids tie the dog to it without breaking off. The fact that it supposedly had an anti-fingerprint finish just made us giggle. I was sure our kids would accept that challenge. They’re very competitive. No faucet was going beat them.

….

So, there I stood in our kitchen, putting away my tools and looking at our newly installed faucet, when I heard someone say, “That’s a beautiful faucet.”

I looked around, and realized I was the only one there. And, not only had I said, “That’s a beautiful faucet,” I really thought that faucet was beautiful.

I flashed back to holding the tools while my dad installed a new kitchen faucet in my childhood home when I was a teenager. I remembered him saying, while he polished it with a cloth, “That’s a beautiful faucet.” I remembered thinking how that was further proof my dad was totally uncool.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Where Did My Cool Go? ...Gina's FavoritesAnd, here I was, decades later, riding the same train of uncoolness. Today’s stop was “Admiring household plumbing fixtures.” I could only wonder whether tomorrow’s stop would be listening to Muzak, wearing sensible shoes, or buying high-waisted, polyester pants (as I typed that I thought, “at least those things don’t ever wrinkle,” and felt myself drift ever further away from cool).

When did this happen? When did I lose my cool?

I related my tale of uncoolness-woe to my friend, Vernice. I told her that I felt disheartened and aged beyond my years, because I found new kitchen plumbing fixtures exciting. I wondered aloud if it was because I have children. Had they taken my cool as well as my last functioning brain cell? Vernice nodded along, sympathetically.

“Well, you know…,” my wise friend began.

I can always count on Vernice, and her sage advice to keep me on course. I knew she’d know just what to say to help me get my cool back.

“…that really is a beautiful faucet.”

Apparently, Vernice has turned into my father, too.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Do you feel less than cool? Have you surprised yourself lately? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Stuck In the Car All Day

Stuck In the Car All Day

by Gina Valley

I’m hanging out with the fun folks over at Voiceboks today, laughing about what transpires when we’re stuck in the car all day with our family on a road trip. I hope you’ll click on over and join me there.

Here’s snippet of the giggles you’ll find there:

Great Things About Being Stuck In The Car All Day

School starts soon in our neck of the woods. I thought it’d be fun to squeeze in a quick, end of summer road trip to see the actual woods before school slips fully into gear. So, we, my pack and I, will be spending a couple days in the car.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Stuck In the Car All Day Road TripSome people complain about being stuck in the car all day. In fact, many of the people in our car complain about being stuck in the car all day. And, I’m not just talking about the kids.

But, I consider myself to be a positive person most of the time, or at least when I’ve had enough sleep, or have mysteriously lost a pound, despite eating more chocolate the night before than I’m willing to admit to. And, positive person that I am, I can see many great things about being stuck in the car all day.

First of all, there’s no need to nag children to do their chores. They have no chores. They’re stuck in the car. It’s wonderful to have a break from that source of stress. Now granted, there are still a few things that need to be done, even when we’re in transit all day. But, the closest thing we have to doing dishes and vacuuming is throwing out Happy Meal bags, and brushing crumbs off of the seat and out the door.

Plus, when you’re in the car all day you get to play everyone’s favorite travel game Guess Which Side The Next Nose-Picker Will Drive By On. This simple game is great fun for all ages, from toddler to grandparent, and everyone in between. It does require some concentration, as nosepickers tend to race by at top speed (Why are nose pickers always in such a hurry? Is there some sort of Nose Pickers Anonymous meeting they’re all late for? I hope they don’t greet each other with a handshake).

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Stuck In the Car All Day Road TripWhen you spend all day in the car, no matter where you go, eventually you’ll see some cows. I think the highway department sticks a herd out next to the highway every hundred miles or so to help keep things interesting. But, the great thing about cows is, if you do it just right, when you moo at them, they’ll moo back at you.

I learned that as a kid. We took lots of road trips. My dad would moo at the cows every time we saw some. Every time he did it, the cows would moo back at him, and my mom would say, “Stop that, Gino! You don’t even know what you’re saying to them.” From the way he’d smile, I think maybe he did know.

Spending the day stuck in the car is also a great way to ensure your children will behave well…a few years down the road. At some point during any all-day driving experience, every child falls asleep. If you make a point to snap tons of great Look How Funny You Looked Sleeping Sitting Up pictures, you’ll find them to be very useful for blackmailing your children when they become teenagers…

Click on over to Voiceboks to see all of my Great Things About Being Stuck In the Car All Day post.

And, remember, as always, the extra click to counts as cardio.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What “games” does your family play while stuck in the car? Do you have a favorite road trip memory? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

How To Make The Teacher Hate You …Gina’s Favorites

How To Make The Teacher Hate You …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

School officially kicked off for my kids this week. If your children’s schools haven’t started yet, I’m guessing they will soon. So, I figured my How To Make The Teacher Hate You post would be perfect for this week’s Throwback Day.

Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

How To Make The Teacher Hate You

Wondering how you can make an impression on your child’s teacher this year?

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How To Make The Teacher Hate You ...Gina's Favorites Back To SchoolNo worries – I’ve got you covered!

Encourage your child to change his name every day.

Be sure to point out repeatedly your child has received high marks from every one of her previous teachers. Also, be sure to mention that several knowledgeable people have suggested your child could probably just skip this year’s grade, as she is so gifted.

Pack something leaky in your child’s lunch every day, preferably a sugary substance to maximize ant and roach attraction potential.

Make cookies or candy for your child’s teacher, and include a note mentioning how she “looks like someone who really likes dessert.”

Insist your child wear a new, expensive designer coat to school. Make sure you don’t label it with his name. Then, insist his teacher locate the coat when your child comes home without it and can only remember he had it on somewhere near the basketball courts. Harass the teacher daily about this expensive wardrobe loss. Weeks later when you find the coat jammed behind your child’s headboard, don’t mention it to his teacher. You don’t want to embarrass your child.

When you send in snacks for the entire class feel free to ignore the Classmates Allergies List. Assume the teacher is skilled at Epi-Pen usage, and would welcome the opportunity to put her skills on display.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How To Make The Teacher Hate You ...Gina's Favorites Back To SchoolSend a note daily explaining how it’s the teacher’s fault your child was unable to complete his homework assignment. Again.

Make surprise, live animal donations to the classroom, such as snakes, tarantulas, and macaws. The kids will love them and the jungle atmosphere it creates, along with the care and feeding of these critters, is sure to help your child’s teacher relax.

Point out every single tiny, insignificant grading error that is not in your child’s favor. Your child’s teacher will appreciate your efforts to help him raise his skill level.

Send in permanent markers with your child. Insist she is too talented and mature to be using those infantile, washable-type art supplies.

When your child uses the permanent markers to set up a face tattoo business at recess, her teacher will undoubtedly appreciate her initiative and will gladly explain to the other parents how vital your child’s entrepreneurship is to everyone’s growth and development.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How To Make The Teacher Hate You ...Gina's Favorites Back To SchoolDon’t bother your child’s teacher with concerns about happenings or polices in his/her classroom. Rather, take these directly to the school principal or even the district superintendent.

Send something smelly, liquid, or live for every Show & Tell time.  Bonus points to you if it’s all three!

Be sure to let your child’s teacher know right away that your child is perfect, and that, if he is acting up, it’s just because he isn’t being challenged  by her teaching methods. It’s extra helpful if you bring in brochures for seminars your child’s teacher can attend to learn the proper way to teach a child gifted such as yours is.

Order a margarita machine for the classroom Christmas party.

Have your child panic when he loses his tooth at school and can’t locate it. Only after his teacher has searched for the AWOL bony appendage for a minimum of 45 minutes should your child check in his own mouth and realize he hadn’t lost the tooth at all. (Credit to Abe Yospe ‏@Cheeseboy22, who is an awesome 1st grade teacher and a very funny guy)

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How To Make The Teacher Hate You ...Gina's Favorites Back To SchoolShow up at the end of the school day, as your child’s teacher is helping all of the children get ready to go home, and explain to him you’ll need all of the class lessons and homework for the following two weeks immediately, as you and your family are flying off to Aruba and have to be at the airport in less than an hour.

While you’re on the trip, don’t have your child complete any of the assignments, and be sure to lose at least one of the textbooks and to get water damage on the others.

Make it a memorable year!

Remember, No Teacher Left Behind!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What else should I add to this list?  Shoot me a comment – I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Top 10 Signs It’s Time For Your Kids To Go Back To School

Top 10 Signs It’s Time For Your Kids To Go Back To School

by Gina Valley

The signs are everywhere. And, most of them have apples on them.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Signs It’s Time For Your Kids To Go Back To School

Your kids have already qualified for The Olympic I’m Not Touching You! Team, twice, and have now started a Who Can Make Mom Scream The Loudest? tournament.

Even though you made it a point to get them an extra size too big, your 15 year old has already out grown the shoes you bought for him last week.

And, whenever one of your children passes into your line of sight, you have a nearly overwhelming urge to holler, “We’re late!” and to rush him to the car.

You think it’s time. Here’re 10 signs to help you be sure.

Top 10 Signs It’s Time For Your Kids To Go Back To School

#10.  Your dog is hanging out with the couple in their 80’s two doors down every afternoon, just so he can take an uninterrupted nap.

#9.  The stores have started putting up their Christmas decorations.

#8.  You’ve locked yourself in the linen closet to try to get some alone time three times this week.

#7.  Your kids have brought so much sand home in their swimsuits from your weekly trips to the beach that the county hired an erosion control specialist to rebuild the shoreline.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Signs It’s Time For Your Kids To Go Back To School#6.  Your cat tries to bury your kids whenever they’re in the yard.

#5.  Your children have hidden your calendar.

#4.  Your neighbors have threatened to file an injunction if you allow your children to set up just one more lemonade stand.

#3.  You’ve found the perfect “Welcome Back!” gift to make out of stuff you have around the house for your child’s teacher on Pinterest, and all you need is a paper towel tube, 4 rubber bands, and $96 worth of supplies from the craft store.

#2.  Your children have accidentally flushed swim goggles down the toilet, while attempting to see what a whirlpool looks like underwater, so many times that your plumber wrote them a thank you note.

#1.  A now 7-legged spider made a cobweb in the corner of your dining room that reads, “Isn’t it about time for them to go back to school?”

Yes. Yes, it is.

Take my kids. Please.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What are the signs around your home that your children are ready to head back to school? What will you miss most once school starts? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Please Schedule Time To Panic!!!

Please Schedule Time To Panic!!!

by Gina Valley

This week I’m hanging out with the great folks over at the newly re-launched VoiceBoks laughing about the three p’s:

Parents, Plans, and Panic.

Here’s a snippet of the giggles you’ll find when you click over there:

The key to successful parenting is planning

And, the result of planning is nothing going according to plan. So, particularly as a parent, it’s vital to remember to schedule time to panic into your plans.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Please Schedule Time To Panic!!! Parenting Soccer

Take yesterday, for example. We planned to get our kids’ gear ready for today’s first soccer practice of the fall season. Sounds simple enough.

One might wonder why one would schedule time to panic when the plan is to accomplish something so simple.

Clearly the one whom wonders that either has no children, or is still suffering the effects of the concussion received when one collided with the playground equipment while trying to catch one’s 2 year old, who had, in the span of less than 30 seconds, pooped in her diaper, stripped down to nothing, and taken off running across the playground. For the third time. This week.

There’re two things I’ve learned as I stumble along, trying to parent my 7 children. First, there’s no such thing as too much chocolate. And, second, one must always schedule time to panic.

With soccer starting for 5 of my kids today, that goes double.

My children are each very different people, but my whole pack has one thing in common. They all love soccer. From the time they could crawl, each and every one of them chased after that ball.


And, somehow, despite my complete lack of coordination (I’ve fallen just thinking about watching them play) they’re all gifted players. I guess I’ll have to wait to see how their kids play to know whether that’s because soccer skills skip a generation, or because mixing two science geeks, who met at a marching band concert, spontaneously creates major soccer skills in their children.

Either way, my pack is filled with amazing soccer players who excel in every area of the game, except one:

They can’t keep track of their soccer stuff.

I have lost count of the number of shin guards I’ve purchased because someone could only locate one, which, for you non-soccer people, let me just say really doesn’t work out well.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Please Schedule Time To Panic!!! Parenting Soccer

We’ve had cleats disappear, never to be seen again, before they even made it to their first game.

Socks and shorts are forever going on the lam. The money I’ve spent replacing them could have paid for our own private soccer field several times over.

Today being the first day of practice, I wasn’t the least bit surprised to find out half of our kids’ shin guards and a couple of cleats were AWOL.

Somehow the soccer season and the accompanying need for gear take my family by surprise every year, despite having been on the calendar for months. And, as usual, we also forgot to schedule time to panic about the missing gear.

This panic, as it always does, caused our home to be filled with the relaxing tones of “patient” prodding as their dad, The Professor, attempted to “encourage” the kids to find their stuff.

I don’t understand what he’s so upset about. After all, during the panicked process, he found his left cowboy boot, 3 cordless phones (only 2 of which belong to us), his jigsaw, and what was either formerly a banana or a crayfish.…

…..

Join me over on VoiceBoks for the rest of the laughs.

As always, the extra click to get there counts as cardio!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What disappears around your house? Do you schedule time to panic? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Glue Sticks Are The Devil!!!

Glue Sticks Are The Devil!!!

by Gina Valley

If there’s a greater minion of evil than the glue stick, I have yet to come across it.

Like Satan himself, or “Stan” as my youngest calls him (my apologies to anyone named “Stan.” I’m sure you’re a wonderful person, Stan, and not at all the leader of all that is evil in the Universe. But, my youngest just can’t seem to pronounce that word any other way), glue sticks seem to be, upon first sight, beautifully helpful items.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Glue Sticks Are The Devil SchoolThen, they steal your soul.

Or, at least your will to live.

You first spot these innocent-looking shafts of stickiness, neatly packaged, in large bins at the front of every big box discount store on the planet. They’re displayed in this prominent manner for weeks on end, all through the summer school break, right up until you decided it’s time to purchase some for your kids for the upcoming school year.

At that point, the glue sticks instantly vanish. The only evidence of their existence left behind is a tiny, empty space on the office supplies aisle, labelled with a price tag 10 times what it was when the glue sticks congregated in the giant bins.

I assume the price increase is due to the tremendously labor intensive process required to remove the packages from the bin, transfer said packages through the store to the office supply aisle, and to slide the metal bar on the display rack into that triangular hole at the top of the package. I’m sure that’s a lot more difficult than it looks.

If you do manage to spot a few stragglers, left behind as the herd made its rapid retreat, grab as many as you can. It’s not a matter of how many you need. It’s a matter of how many you can get. It’s kind of like canned goods hoarding on The Walking Dead. Just get as much as possible. You can figure out what to do with it later.

You’ll notice a couple basic differences among the glue stick quarry you happen to catch. There are large and small glue sticks. Most of the glue sticks are small. As a kid-wrangler, you’ll immediately recognize the purpose, then, of the large glue sticks is to cause your children to get into a fist fight over who gets the large glue sticks, and who gets stuck with the clearly inferior, easier-to-actually-use, smaller glue sticks.

Perhaps, if you’re terribly unlucky, you’ll bag one of the rare, glittery glue sticks. The purpose of these sparkly sticks is to cause your child to have a major meltdown, followed by an epic tantrum, when you attempt to explain to him that you’re not going to spend 6 times as much for a glue stick with glitter in the glue, because you won’t be able to see the glitter anyway when it is used to glue 2 pieces of paper together.

Be prepared for this fit by bringing along some tissue.

And, Xanax.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Glue Sticks Are The Devil School

The last major difference between glue sticks is the color of the actual stick of glue. Most are white. Some are purple. At first glance, the color difference may seem like a re-run of the glittery glue stick battles waiting to happen. But, au contraire.

The purple color in some of the glue sticks is evidence the glue stick syndicate actually listened to some parents or teachers, and attempted to make glue sticks a bit easier to use. When the purple glue stick is rubbed on paper it’s easy to see where it’s been applied. Not so with the transparent glue from the white glue stick.

With the advent of the purple glue stick, gone are the days when kindergarteners would continue to rub glue stick onto the back of paper until the glue was completely gone, and the plastic base was tearing holes into their artwork. This diligence was necessary to be sure they’d covered the entire piece of paper, themselves, and their desk with a thick layer of stickiness to guarantee their artwork held together for all of eternity.

The only trouble with the purple glue sticks is getting your child to believe the purple color will disappear from their artwork as the glue dries. It’s not an easy sell the first couple of times. Bribing might be necessary to convince your 5 year old to even try it.
Your 3 year old, however, will need no convincing. She’ll love the purple glue sticks so much that, while you’re still busy trying to convince your 5 year old of its merits, she’ll open a package, right there in the big box store, and apply the purple glue stick to her lips.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Glue Sticks Are The Devil School

Upon seeing her purple lips you’ll immediately panic, thinking she’s experiencing a serious circulatory problem. Hearing her mumble, apparently unable to open her mouth, your panic will likely increase.

But, when you notice her lips are significantly stickier than usual, and see the glue stick with its purple-ness in her hand, you’ll realize what’s really happening. You’ll understand what she’s been trying through her sealed lips to say all along:

She’s wearing “wipstick.”

Seeing teeth marks in the tiny remaining piece of the glue stick, you’ll frantically search for the package, hoping the glue stick isn’t poisonous.

Usually about the time the Poison Control Center places you on hold, your 4 year old will pull the package out of his pants to start gnawing on it. You’ll be relieved to see that it’s labeled “non-toxic” (the package, not his pants), and breathe a sigh of relief.

You’ll calm down, and your mind will slip back into normal parenting mode.

You’ll wonder whether your 3 year olds lips are permanently sealed together.

You’ll wonder whether that purple color is going to fade before your mother visits.

And, you’ll wonder whether, since she already ate the better part of a glue stick, you still need to feed your 3 year old dinner today.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Has your summer flown by? When do schools start in your area? Anyone consuming school supplies in your neck of the woods? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

It’s Different When You’re Married!!! …Gina’s Favorites

It’s Different When You’re Married!!! …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

The Professor and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this week. We were in different states on the actual day, as we often are due to our travel schedules. Being apart on important occasions was a big deal before we were married. But, neither one of us considers it a problem now. We just celebrate when we’re again in the same time zone.
That being the case, I thought it fitting to have my Marriage Changes Us post be our source for Throwback Day giggles this week.
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Marriage Changes Us

A friend mentioned to me that his wife had finally agreed to let him set up a video camera in their bedroom. I was a little surprised he was sharing that until he explained the reason for the video camera was to determine once and for all who’s snoring and stealing the covers.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley  It's Different When You're Married ...Gina's Favorites Marriage

That made me literally laugh out loud. I couldn’t help it.

I told him how surprised I was that his wife was willing to let him set up a video camera in their bedroom and that was what he wanted to do with it.

That conversation didn’t just make me laugh.  It made me think about how marriage changes us.  I’m not saying that’s bad.  Not saying it’s good.   Just saying it’s different.

It’s really different.

And, it’s funny.

Pre VS Post

Video cameras in the bedroom

  • Pre – night to see who’s the most adventurous
  • Post – night to see who is snoring and hogging the covers

She says “I’m hot!’

  • Pre – he tears off his clothes and jumps into bed
  • Post – he jumps out of bed and turns on the fan

Friday night

  • Pre – standing date – dinner at a hip new restaurant and then seeing the latest hot movie
  • Post -standing date – samples at Costco for dinner and then seeing if you can get the hot roast chicken home without it leaking all over the car

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley  It's Different When You're Married ...Gina's Favorites MarriageNail polish

  • Pre – trying to impress him before each date with perfectly polished toe and fingernails
  • Post – pressing him into painting her toenails for her so she’ll look nice for her night out with the girls.

His Gut

  • Pre – sucking it in every time she so much as glances his way for the duration of the date
  • Post – asking her to watch as he tries to push it out far enough to use it to operate the TV remote control

Dinner

  • Pre – she cooks her special spaghetti and meatballs dinner for him
  • Post – she over-cooks water until it burns, then calls to ask him to pick-up pizza on the way home.

Children

  • Pre – dreaming about the exquisite, perfect geniuses your progeny would be
  • Post – never dreaming because your progeny never let you sleep

Sub-wardrobing

  • Pre – Her skivvies are beautiful and matching
  • Post – if her skivvies are both clean she calls that a match

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley  It's Different When You're Married ...Gina's Favorites Marriage

Underneath it all

  • Pre – he slips into silk boxers he bought because they’re her favorite color
  • Post – he slips into a pair of his Walmart cheapos that he found on the bedroom floor

Movies

  • Pre – He asks her what her favorite part of their shared favorite movie is
  • Post – He asks her if he has seen the movie they’re currently watching, and, when she says that he has, he asks her if he liked it.

Shaving

  • Pre – everywhere everyday just in case
  • Post – only the basics without a two day advanced warning.

Candles

  • Pre – candles burning in the bedroom to set the mood for romance
  • Post – candles burning in the kitchen to cover up the stench created when someone didn’t take their turn at doing the dishes.

Which reminds me – it’s my turn today for dishes.

I wonder if we have any candles.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What changed when you walked down the aisle?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Top 10 Lies Depression Tells …Gina’s Favorites

Top 10 Lies Depression Tells …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I’m traveling this week, and have met several people who’s lives have been deeply impacted by depression. In getting to know them, and spending time with family members who also suffer from depression, I realized it’s time to review the important truths discussed in the Top 10 Lies Depression Tells.

Top 10 Lies Depression Tells

Depression runs deep in my life. Many of the people dearest to me suffer with depression. It’s climbed through much of my family tree. It’s sunk its claws into many of my friends. It has taken the lives of many people who were dear to me.

Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Lies Depression Tells ...Gina's FavoritesWhen I drive by a particular freeway interchange I think of someone I love who told me that, while in the depths of depression, it was the spot he’d picked out to end his life. There’s a bridge I pass every week from which a neighbor ended her life.  And, I’ll never forget the wails of grief I heard after informing the parents of a friend, who’d been in our wedding party, that he’d taken his own life.

Depression is many things. It’s a serious mental illness, and needs to be treated as such. It’s a chameleon, which appears in different forms and at different levels in different people. It has many different causes and, sometimes, no known cause at all.

Most of all, depression is a liar.

A big, fat liar.

Listen for these lies if you or someone you know suffers from depression:

Top 10 Lies Depression Tells

Lie #1:  This feeling will never change. – Truth #1:  Yes, it will. This feeling will change. You will not feel like this forever. Everything changes. Things always change. Hold on. Don’t give up.

Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Lies Depression Tells ...Gina's FavoritesLie #2:  Everyone would be better off without me. – Truth #2:  No one’s life is going to get better because you kill yourself. Quite the opposite will happen.  Family members, particularly your children, siblings, and parents, are much more likely to suffer from depression and to kill themselves, if you kill yourself. Close friends are similarly impacted.  One of the primary reasons for this is the despair experienced when someone we are close to takes his or her own life.  Hang on for them, if hanging on for your self is not enough. Don’t give up.

Lie #3:  No one will miss me. – Truth #3:  The aftermath of a suicide is horrendous. There is no funeral sadder than that of a suicide victim. I’ve been to many of them. At every one, the same phrase is heard over and over: if only he/she knew how many people cared about him/her. You have no idea how important you are to some people. Don’t leave them missing you. Don’t give up.

Lie #4:  I don’t matter. – Truth #4:  Yes you do. You do matter. You are valuable simply because you exist. You have amazing potential. Every day, every breath is a miracle, a chance to reach out and up and to do something no one but you is in the position to do. Don’t give up

Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Lies Depression Tells ...Gina's FavoritesLie #5:  It’s my fault I feel this way. – Truth #5:  Depression is an illness, just as the flu and cancer are illnesses. It’s not your fault you have depression, just as it’s not your fault if you get the flu or cancer. Just as you would seek treatment for any illness, seek treatment for your depression. Don’t give up.

Lie #6:  No one cares. – Truth #6:  Many people care. But, people have to know you’re suffering before they can express that caring. Talk to the people in your life. Be honest. Be direct. Don’t expect them to know what you mean or what you are feeling. Tell them plainly. Ask for the help you need. Keep talking to people until you find someone who you feel cares and wants to help you. Don’t give up.

Lie #7:  Nothing can help me. - Truth #7:  Research into depression is vast and ongoing. Treatment options are huge and varied. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else, or a combination of things. Effective treatment is available. Psychiatrists, psychologists, peer-counselors, support groups, medication, eating plans, exercise plans are some of the many possibilities to consider. There is effective help available for you. Keep looking. Don’t give up.

Lie #8:  No one will listen to me. – Truth #8:  Yes, they will. Keep talking. Someone will listen. Keep looking for that someone. Friend, neighbor, pastor, doctor, nurse, teacher, counselor, social worker, police officer, parent, coach, etc. Don’t give up.

Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Lies Depression Tells ...Gina's Favorites Lie #9:  They’ll lock me up if I try to get some help. – Truth #9:  If you seek help, they will help you. No one is going to lock you up for seeking help. If you are a danger to yourself, more intensive help might be called for. Don’t fear that.  You are suffering from an illness. Get the treatment you need to feel better. Don’t give up.

Lie#10:  If I just thought more happy thoughts, this would go away. – Truth #10: Happy thoughts don’t cure illnesses. A positive attitude is always a good thing, but it won’t cure illnesses, not the flu, not cancer, not depression.  Do try to find some happy thoughts to entertain, but most importantly seek medical treatment.  Any doctor can help you get access to people who specialize in helping people who suffer from depression, people who can work with you to determine what you need to help you get well.

Don’t believe depression’s lies.

And, don’t give up.

-gina

In the US, The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

If you think you’re having a psychiatric emergency call 911 (If available in your area, or your local emergency services telephone number, if it is not), or go to the nearest emergency room.

Do you suffer from depression, or have you in the past? Who did you talk to about it? Do you know someone with depression?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

We Can’t Have Nice Things!!!

We Can’t Have Nice Things!!!

by Gina Valley

Today, I hope you’ll join me and the fun peeps over at VoiceBoks to laugh along with my How NOT To Install A Water Feature. Here’s a snippet of what you’ll find there:

My teenage son decided to simplify cleaning his fish tank yesterday by using our wet/dry shop vacuum to remove most of the water from the large aquarium in his bedroom.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley We Can’t Have Nice Things

I would like to note, for the official record, I was unaware of my progeny’s plan to mix water, electricity, and non-marine biology. Had I been made aware of his intentions in advance, I would have vetoed his plan, which is probably why I was not made aware of his intentions in advance.

He shooed his fish to one end of the tank, and put the vacuum hose into the water at the other end.

He seemed quite confident his little aqua-animals would be frightened by the vacuum hose, and choose to stay at the other end of their aquarium home. He was right. That’s exactly what they did.

Unfortunately, what I’m sure was a vitally important text message came through on his phone, momentarily distracting him from the task at hand. As he turned his attention to his electronic addiction, he relaxed his hold on the vacuum hose, just a little.

The vacuum hose, no doubt intoxicated by its new-found freedom, took the opportunity to…

Join me over at VoiceBoks for the rest of the laughs. As always, the extra click counts as cardio!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Any free range water features in your home? Are your family members helpful when they help? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

A Day At The Beach Is No Day At The Beach!!! …Gina’s Favorites

A Day At The Beach Is No Day At The Beach!!! …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

We’ve been spending a much time as possible at the beach this summer, so I figured my A Day At The Beach Is No Day At The Beach!!! post would be just right for Throwback Day this week.
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

A Day At The Beach Is No Day At The Beach!!!

Some people travel to the seashore to breathe in the salt air. Some, to watch the majestic waves crash onto the shore. Others, to relax on the warm sand.

We go to the beach so our kids will have a new place to whine.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley A Day At The Beach Is No Day At The Beach!!! ...Gina's FavoritesThese same children who have been whining about wanting to go the beach every day since we left there last week, began whining, “How long do we have to stay?” and “It’s so cold!” before we’d even finished hiking from our van to the sand today.

Granted, the wind was a bit chilly, and there were small icebergs floating around in the water, but that’s why everyone is supposed to bring a sweatshirt. Or, a parka. Whichever. Weather at the shore is a bit unpredictable.

We visit the beach weekly during the summer, but somehow my kids are not only surprised, but actually disgusted by the sand that tends to be pretty much everywhere. I’ve never understood this. I’m fairly certain it’s the sand that makes the location a beach in the first place.

My children nearly will themselves to hover in an effort to avoid touching the offending grains. Naturally, these same children are the ones who shower everyone nearby with a sandstorm as they repeatedly shake out their towels in a quest to create the perfect, lump-free sunning zone. The sand shower recipients then feel a responsibility to whine about their sandblasting to everyone within earshot.

Not to be limited to the sand medium, my kids charged into the water, where they found all sorts of additional material to add to their whining repertoire. Naturally, the water was too wet and too cold. But, they also wove complaints about slimy seaweed chunks, possible shark sightings, and arguments about who caught the largest wave on their boogie board into the mix.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley A Day At The Beach Is No Day At The Beach!!! ...Gina's FavoritesMy kids, as they always do, drifted farther and farther down the coast, away from me. I like to maintain the illusion that, were they to run into trouble in the water, I could dash over, dive in, and swim to their aid.  That illusion is tough enough to sell when they’re bobbing 50 yards out in the water, straight in front of me.  It’s nearly impossible to pull off when they have drifted down the coast into the next county.

Plus, they use the 6 miles of waves and seaweed between us as a convenient excuse to pretend they can’t hear me when I’m asking them important questions, like “Are you cold?” “Did you unplug your curling iron before we left?”, and “Where is your bathing suit?”

Fortunately, we were able to find a spot right next to the life guard shack.  This provided me with a feeling of security. In the event my kids needed rescuing and I were to charge off to save them, it’s good to know someone would be available to drag me back to my towel after my legs cramped up and I fell flat on my face into the sand before even reaching the water.

My daughters watched the lifeguard with the intensity of Olympic judges. Or, giddy teenage girls. The whole curling-of-the-hair-before-going-to-the-beach thing started to make sense. I guess we all prepare for possible emergency situations in our own way. Who am I to judge? I carry a snake bite kit in my purse & we live in the middle of a major city.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley A Day At The Beach Is No Day At The Beach!!! ...Gina's FavoritesWhen my seafaring sons returned to our towel-based, base-camp they took great pride in including their sisters in their ocean adventure by splattering them with cold ocean water. Of course, this triggered an onslaught of whining about being cold, being wet, and having perfectly curled hair get messed up.

Not to be out whined by their sisters, my sons began their own whiny chorus to draw attention to the fact that they were “starving!”  They, then, proceeded to inhale all of the snacks and sandwiches we’d brought. In their haste, they also scarfed down two towels and a flip flop.

My announcement that it was time to pack up to head home was greeted by the expected whining about wanting to stay longer and why did we park so blasted far away.

I managed to not only not whine about all of the whining, but to even smile about it.

After all, at least it’s something we can do together as a family.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What triggers whining in your family? How do you handle it?  Shot me comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission