gina valley

The Glamorous Life Of The Modern Day Soccer Mom

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Time To TOTALLY Over Do It!!!

Time To TOTALLY Over Do It!!! …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Enjoy some sugar-laced laughs in this Gina’s Favorites post I wrote about one of our past Slurpee hunts.

How To TOTALLY Over Do It

There are a million different places you can go for advice on sensible eating.  This is NOT one of them. But, I can give you advice on how to totally overdo it! Overdoing it is important, too!

I am a big believer that everything should be done in moderation, including moderation. Sometimes, just for fun, just for laughs, just for memories, you NEED to overdo it. We over did it. And, it was great!

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 Time To TOTALLY Over Do It!!! ...Gina's Favorites Slurpees

It was July 11, 7-11, the day the 7-11 company celebrates its birthday. 7-11 stores across the United States and Canada gave away 7.11 ounce Slurpees.

My kids love them, so we were not about to miss this opportunity. But, when we do something, we rarely go about it half way. We are “all-in” kind of people (that’s why our poker tournaments end so quickly!). So, we went out in search of “all in,” as in Slurpees, Slurpees, and more Slurpees! We decided to hit all 6 of the 7-11’s in our neighborhood.

‎The first stop, at 7-11 #1, was the bumpiest. I think that’s true of any quest. Like a thirsty herd arriving at the watering hole after a long day in the sun on the savanna, my pack pushed and grappled with each other to be first to fill their cup with frozen, slushy goodness.

When we got back to our van “someone” gave them a quick “if you won’t behave kindly in these places of business, I will not allow you to gorge yourself on nutrition-less frozen-sugar any further.” Might have been me. Sounds like something I’d say. Either way, it worked. They were all on their best behavior throughout the rest of our sweet hunt.

At 7-11 #2, I could hear my kids discussing Slurpee strategy. Some were going for different flavors. Others were planning to have the same flavor every time. There were even straw strategies. The single color straw fan. The alternating color fan. Several different colors at every stop fans. Cups were full, but not over flowing like at the first stop.

By 7-11 #3, style and skill had been acquired. I noticed artful twirls and twists at the top of each kids’ Slurpee. Sons#2 showed me that he’d figured out how to mix the different colors as he filled his cup so he ended up with a heart shape at the top. Someday I predict that being a cute ending to a date after-party. Some day. Someday far, far away.

We finished the first three stops in under an hour. As we were driving toward stop #4, I said to myself, “They aren’t gonna need dinner, are they?”  Most had inhaled at least four different colors of Slurpee already.

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 Time To TOTALLY Over Do It!!! ...Gina's Favorites Slurpees

Sounded like a complete food pyramid to me. I figured the rest of the upcoming Slurpees on our afternoon trek would serve as dessert, and to ensure that no one wants another Slurpee again for at least a year.

As we pulled into the parking lot of 7-11 #4, we noticed a familiar red truck pulling out. It was the same Red Truck With Man & Daughter that we had seen at the previous stop. I looked around the parking lot and realized several of the cars had joined us at our previous stops. Truly, this was a Slurpee Fan Community Caravan.

My pack’s discussions at 7-11 #4 showed the sudden 7-11 efficiency experts they had become. They had suggestions for improved in-store traffic flow, for flavor machine order, even for straw dispenser location. I noticed that no one filled their cup all the way to the top.

Red Truck With Man & Daughter beat us to 7-11 #5. It had been a long journey. We were all exhausted. Well, actually it had been a short journey because we were riding in our van, but it felt long. And, we weren’t so much exhausted as full. But, either way, our spirits were low as we piled out of the van and dragged ourselves toward the door of 7-11 #5.

A couple kids mentioned that they were starting to feel a bit sick. We’d already hit 4 out of the 6 local 7-11′s. I reminded them that this was a marathon, not a sprint. It was time to push past that sick feeling, to grab another Slurpee, and to suck it up.

Just as we passed Red Truck With Man & Daughter, the window went down. We all stopped to see what was going to happen, which was easy to do because our kids were too full to move quickly.

Man spoke to The Professor in a voice that was quick, excited, and had clearly eaten way too much sugar. “There’s another one.  A seventh one! I just heard about it. There’s a seventh! A friend called and told me no one is there. It’s right by the freeway. And, it’s the one that crazy guy robbed last year!” Man blurted out all in one breath.

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 Time To TOTALLY Over Do It!!! ...Gina's Favorites Slurpees

Well, this exciting news perked up our whole Slurpee Speed Ingesting Team. Not only was this a quest stop with no line, it was a crime scene! Who would want to miss that?!?!

Our whole pack made it through the line at 7-11 #5, although I noticed a couple hobbling as they emerged with their half-filled Slurpee cups.

All that stood between us and following in the crazy robber guy’s footsteps was 7-11 #6.

7-11 #6 nearly spelled the end of our sugar rush pilgrimage. Everyone was feeling sick as we piled out of our van. A couple kids asked if they had to go in (“Of course you do. You just don’t realize how much fun you’re having because you feel like you’re going to barf!”). I was feeling a bit nauseous myself, even though I’d yet to have a Slurpee, because the too-sweet smell of them was permeating our van.

It was time for a pep talk.
We stood in a circle outside of 7-11 #6. I talked about team work. I talked about being together. I talked about how we had dragged ourselves this far, so we might as well finish the journey. We were so close.

I told them about the “wall” long distance runners hit as they compete in the Olympics, and that somehow they still manage to overcome and make it back into the stadium. “We shall overcome!” I assured 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 Time To TOTALLY Over Do It!!! ...Gina's Favorites Slurpees

I also pointed out that they could still claim victory over Slurpee #6, even if they only put a little Slurpee in their cup.

Everyone dragged themselves into 7-11 #6 on our Slurpee Quest Tour. I noticed that only Son#2 filled his cup more than ¼ of the way full. No one looked too happy piling back into the van. But, even before we were out of the parking lot, a remarkable transformation began to take place. There was renewed giggling and chattering as we started off toward 7-11 #7.

The sugar had arrived in their bloodstreams.

I’m not saying 6 Slurpees is too much sugar, but by the time we hit the freeway for the quick hop over to 7-11 #7 my kids were having tongue trilling contests, for both duration and volume, as we drove. That wasn’t annoying. Not at all.

The lack of crime scene tape or any other post-crime paraphernalia disappointed my pack as we drove up to 7-11 #7. I reminded them that the robbery had taken place a year earlier, but they felt there should have at least been a police car parked nearby.

Happily, my pack had pushed through their Slurpee “wall,” and practically ran through the door of 7-11 #7. They were happy little slurpers again as they emerged smiling. They returned home with stacks of paper cups and straws in their hands, and, hopefully, an understanding about the day’s deeper meaning in their hearts.

It was not just a Slurpee – it was an adventure!!!!!!! Well, 7 adventures.

BTW – everyone was “starving” for dinner when we got home. But, no one wanted any dessert!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Set off on any quests lately? Have you tried the Blue-Raspberry flavor? I’m looking forward to hearing all about it! Be sure to leave me a comment with all the details!

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Does This Sunscreen Raise Cholesterol?!?!

Does This Sunscreen Raise Cholesterol?!?! …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

Will This Sunscreen Raise My Cholesterol?

We’ve had 4 graduations this week in our family, and I’m just about graduation’d-out.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through all of the Pomp and Circumstances and endless motivational speeches, it’s that I don’t know how to put sunscreen on properly.

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 Does This Sunscreen Raise Cholesterol?!?! ...Gina's Favorites Sunscreen Graduation

Remember those pink tablets we’d chew after we brushed our teeth when we were kids to see where we missed brushing? You know the ones. This hideous pink color would stick to your teeth where ever you hadn’t properly attacked the plaque. Well, I have bizarre pink splotches all over me. I look like someone did a poor job of brushing me. Very poor!

I wear sunscreen every day. I’m not particularly interested in getting skin cancer, so I do what I can to try to prevent it. No matter what I have planned, even if I’m not planning to go anywhere, immediately after my shower, I put sunscreen on my face, neck, arms and hands. Every day. For the last couple decades.

You’d think I’d be good at it by now.

You’d be wrong.

Even when I apply extra sunscreen in anticipation of a particular UV-heavy day, like visiting the surface of the sun or attending a spring graduation ceremony (same thing, really) I still never get it right.

After a day in the sun, somehow, I always end up with a bright red stripe of sunburn right across the top of my forehead. I don’t know why.

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 Does This Sunscreen Raise Cholesterol?!?! ...Gina's Favorites Sunscreen GraduationMaybe I don’t realize how tall I am. Or, maybe the sunscreen makes my forehead grow while I’m applying it. I don’t even know what’s in that stuff. Is it some sort of forehead fertilizer? Is it just mayonnaise? Has anyone ever even checked?

Maybe I need a GPS to direct me while I’m applying it. “At your earliest convenience, turn around. You missed half of your forehead, you moron,” it would tell me in its sort-of-British, totally-condescending accent.

At least this time I seem to have overcome my inability to find my own nose. Usually after a day at graduation or any other all day activity early in the “time for sun” season, I can outshine Rudolph with his nose so bright. I can guide sleighs, reindeer, or 18 wheelers through the densest fog, which, incidentally, must have come over my brain when I was trying to cover my nose with sunscreen.

How hard is this to get right? I mean really?

It’s not rocket science. Heck, I’ve done that, and I never had trouble locating my nose while I did (well, maybe once, but we’d been playing Tetris for nearly 5 hours straight and it was kind of hard to focus my eyes or to blink at that point).

I think God gave me brown children because he knew I’d be sunscreen-impaired. Even when I remember to put it on my pack, and can catch them and pin them to do so, I always miss spots. And, by “spots” I mean a whole limb or face or something.

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 Does This Sunscreen Raise Cholesterol?!?! ...Gina's Favorites Sunscreen GraduationMy pack is no help, either. I’ll ask, “Did I put any on this arm yet?” and the answer is always, “I don’t know.”  To which I mentally say, “It is attached to you, isn’t it? Shouldn’t you know if someone just rubbed what could very well be coagulated salad dressing all over it?”

But, I don’t say that out loud, because if I did, my precious progeny would answer, “Well, shouldn’t you know what you rubbed on someone and where you rubbed it?”

Fortunately, my pack members don’t burn, so my only partially marinating them doesn’t seem to create much of a problem.

Besides, I’m pretty sure sunscreen causes high cholesterol anyway.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Are you a skilled sunscreen apply-er?  How do you make sure you don’t miss a spot?  How do you catch your kids to slather them up?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Thank you for reading and sharing my work on your with your friends and family.  I appreciate your support!

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Please DON’T Paint The Dog!!!

Please DON’T Paint The Dog!!!

by Gina Valley

I wish my kids were bored.

My friends often lament the frustration of dealing with their children’s boredom during school vacation. I try to be sympathetic, but I really don’t understand it.

My kids aren’t bored.

My oldest daughter isn’t bored, because she’s been busy coloring her hair with purple Kool Aid.  She‘s determined that Kool Aid is an excellent, non-toxic dye. It sticks to, and permanently stains, anything it touches, including the new bathroom rug and matching shower curtain, the freshly painted bathroom walls, the white bathroom countertop and cabinet, the wood floor in the hall, her bedroom ceiling fan, the desk in my office, and one of her guinea pigs.

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 DON'T Paint The Dog!!! Summer

In fact, the only thing the purple Kool Aid didn’t color was her hair.

One of my children is not bored, because he or she (no one has yet taken credit for this anti-boredom activity), figured out how to, perhaps in honor of the upcoming Independence Day festivities, produce an impressive fireworks display, using only a ball of aluminum foil, a magic marker, and our brand new microwave oven.

He or she also figured out how to fill the entire house with toxic smoke, how to keep the local firefighters from being bored, and how to destroy a brand new microwave oven.

My two youngest sons aren’t bored, because they’ve been busy proving I was wrong, and testing the Law of Gravity. They determined they could, in fact, get a bike up into their treehouse, even though I said that I didn’t think that was possible. And, they reconfirmed the overwhelming, unbending Law of Gravity by attempting to ride said bicycle down the slide from their treehouse and into the wading pool.

They did, however, find that the Law of Gravity prevented them from splashing down into the wading pool, and instead landed them in the emergency room, where one of them got 7 stitches in a very personal place.

My youngest daughter isn’t bored, because she’s been busy combing through the shrubs around our house for lizards. She’s also discovered that if she brings in one of her new found reptile buddies, and drops it on my desk when I’m not paying attention, I’ll be quite startled, and have to put more than enough dollar bills into the swear jar for all of my children, and most of their friends, to get an ice cream from the ice cream man every time he rolls by this week.

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 DON'T Paint The Dog!!! SummerOur 5 year old isn’t bored, because he is currently spending every waking hour perfecting his Hide-n-Seek game. It’s with great pleasure and pride that I’ll be able to tell his kindergarten teacher he has, in fact, developed his fine motor skills to such an extent that operating scissors is no longer a problem.

The eye holes he cut in the curtains of every room of our house so that he could see out while hiding behind them, however, is a problem.

One of my daughters is not bored, because she’s been very busy “re-styling” our dog. Our big, male Labrador is currently sporting dangly pearl earrings (which I was relieved to find are clip-ons), a coordinating 3-strand pearl necklace, a pink bow above each of his floppy ears, and bright purple nail polish on most of his toenails.

I wondered if it would’ve made more sense to paint our girl dog’s toenails.

I was wondering why I thought it made sense to paint any dog’s toenails when my daughter commented that our nearly white, now fashionisto Labrador would look just like a zebra if he had black stripes.

As she ran off, followed closely by our now extra-stylish dog, a wave of panic swept over me.

I hollered after her:

Please, don’t paint the dog!”

I really wish my kids were bored.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Is it summer break in your neck of the woods? Are your kids bored? Do you wish they were? How about your neighbor’s kids? Are they climbing the walls? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Dreamstime.com – Used with permission.

 

Death By Folding Chair – Perils Of A Graduation Audience

Death By Folding Chair –Perils Of A Graduation Audience …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

It’s that time of year again.
Time to shake and bake while our loved ones stride across the stage. Join me for some graduation giggles in this Gina’s Favorite’s post.

Death By Folding Chair – The Perils Of A Graduation Audience

So, you want to be a graduation audience member?  Let’s see if you’ve got the endurance, savvy, and possibly even stupidity necessary to make the grade.

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 Death By Folding Chair –Perils Of A Graduation Audience ...Gina's FavoritesAhhh – the audience – that group of adoring fans that entertains delusions of homicide as the ceremony plods along.  At least a lot of them are darn entertaining, even if it is for all the wrong reasons!

By the end of the ceremony those of us in the audience who have survived have bonded like hostages being held in the desert.  We are hesitant to leave our new found friends, and yet sick of the sight of each other.

A few questions pop into my mind as I consider that ragtag group of sweaty individuals sticking to the chairs behind the graduates.

Is there some reason that people understand they need to dress up to attend a graduation ceremony, but apparently think bras are optional?  If you are over 25 years or 120 pounds, you know that a bra is your friend, don’t you?  Do some of you more “gifted” guys realized this applies to your upper ailerons, as well?

You do realize people at graduations are bored and overheated, but not blind, right?  Why are you punishing them?

Isn’t it bad enough that to graduate Junior has to sit there in an asbestos lined dress wearing a funny hat for 3 hours? Should he have to also suffer through having granny’s bobbing hooters knock over one of his friends?

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 Death By Folding Chair –Perils Of A Graduation Audience ...Gina's FavoritesDo you realize that kid could lose an eye?  Heck, don’t you think that everyone in a 50 foot radius is probably considering scratching theirs out?  Why don’t you get it together and rack ‘em up, or lock-n-load, or something?!?!  This isn’t the state fair, you know?

If you chose to wear low rise pants why didn’t you also choose to wear underwear? And, must you sit in front of me and bend over constantly?  Can’t you see the wisdom in having some secrets? Do you realize how hard it is to keep a 2 year old from tossing raisins into what looks like a perfectly good target from where she stands?

Instead of programs, why don’t they hand out deodorant to the audience members?  They know there won’t be a breeze, so isn’t it worth the effort even if it saves only a few lives?

And, if you’re the only one sitting in an audience of thousands holding a balloon bouquet, doesn’t it occur to you that something might be amiss with your celebratory gift choice?  Do you realize those balloons are not transparent and the people around you don’t have x-ray vision to see through them? Do you realize the knives being thrown were half attempts to pop the balloons and half attempts to take you out of the gene pool?

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 Death By Folding Chair –Perils Of A Graduation Audience ...Gina's FavoritesYou do understand that it’s standard protocol for me to snip the string of any balloon that smacks my head, right?  And, that if I’m smacked twice, I have the right to smack you with whatever I brought (FYI – I’m bringing bricks to the next graduation)?

Is there some reason those of you with air-horns, classy and elegant as those are at a University level function, have to point them at my ear prior to firing off that delightful, fun, audio enhancement?  Don’t you realize that I would keep my hearing and you would get better sound if you would raise it over your head?

And, once you’re seated, can you please stay seated?  What is the deal with the people that sit in the exact center of the 100 person long row and then climb out over everyone every ten minutes?  If your bladder is that small, shouldn’t you skip drinking, sit on the aisle, and possibly see an urologist?

When the endless ceremony ends, is there a chance we could maintain a little decorum?  Must you stampede out over other audience members the second the recessional is finished?  Did you think you were being chased by the bulls in Pamplona?

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 Death By Folding Chair –Perils Of A Graduation Audience ...Gina's FavoritesAnd, much as I hate to mention this because I found it extremely entertaining to watch each and every time it happened, I feel in the interest of public safety I must ask, “Is everyone now aware that we are sitting on folding chairs at graduations?”  Did you not think about what would happen to you when you stood on a folding chair to take a picture?  Are you familiar with the term “That’s gonna leave a mark!”?

Did you realize that your scream, the ensuing laughter from those around you, and the siren of the approaching EMT’s would drown out that sound of the graduates’ names being read? More importantly, did you not see the 11 other people who tried and epically failed at the same stunt you decided to have a go at prior to your grand chair adventure?  Did you really think you could succeed where they had failed?  Did they use the actual Jaws of Life to extract the chair from your body?

Is there some law of physics that requires that 2 and 4 year olds, who were hyper and cranky throughout the entire ceremony, must fall asleep as the last name is read?  And, what causes their body mass to swell to nearly 5000 lbs as we attempt to carry them on the 2 ½ mile trek to the car?  And, which car did we bring?

Did you know if I see another folding chair anytime soon I may have a post audience member traumatic episode?

Can I get some iced tea STAT?

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

My previous post was directed at  at graduations.  Be sure to check out my The Platform Party and The Graduates posts for more graduation giggles. I want your graduation knowledge base to be complete!

What is the goofiest thing you’ve seen in an audience?  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it, so please drop me a comment!

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Don’t Make Me Back Up This Car!!!

Don’t Make Me Back Up This Car!!! …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

Don’t Make Me Back This Car Up!!!

My soon-to-be high school graduate brought home his robe today.  Apparently, the robe company stores these things by wadding them up into a little ball and parking an SUV on top of them.

Even the wrinkles have wrinkles.

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 Don't Make Me Back Up This Car!!! ...Gina's Favorites Graduationu89yI told him to hang it up, and, hopefully, I will be able to get most of the wrinkles out of it before tomorrow night’s ceremony. He said that I didn’t need to worry about because “it’s just high school graduation, and it’s not that big of a deal.” This from the kid that would not wear a t-shirt to school any day during his four high school years if it hadn’t been properly attacked by a lint roller.

I asked how he had done with securing enough tickets for our family. He said that he was still 2 short, but that he had three people in mind to hit up tomorrow who said that they had extra tickets he could have.  He doesn’t understand why it is important to me that all of his brothers and sisters be there to see him graduate.

He says that his sisters and brothers would probably have a better time sitting in the van playing video games while his dad and I attend his graduation ceremony. That’s ridiculous.

Of course, they would have a better time sitting in the van playing video games. A much better time. Anyone would. Heck, they’d probably have a better time sitting in the van even without video games. But, we’re not there to have a good time. We’re there to mark this rite of passage with him.

He told me that someone had offered him $40 for 2 of his tickets. I got very serious, as I know where this profit minded teen’s mind wanders, and said, “Don’t you dare sell any of those tickets. We don’t even have enough yet.  And, if we did, you still shouldn’t sell them. That’s just wrong.”

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 Don't Make Me Back Up This Car!!! ...Gina's Favorites Graduation“But, mom,” he countered, “it’s only high school graduation. It’s not that big a deal.  I could get a lot of money for those tickets.”

“Look,” I explained to him, “we’re looking forward to being crammed together like sweaty sardines with a bunch of pungent strangers, listening to endless, pointless speeches, sweating to the point of dehydration, and listening through more than 500 names being read in hopes of getting to hear yours called. If you sell those tickets and deny us that privilege, do you know what I will do?”

“Yes, mom, I do,” he answered. I could feel his eyes doing a hidden internal roll, even though it was not visible outside of his head. “You will run over me with the van. Then, you will back up and do it again.”

“That’s right!” I said. “And, do you know why I would do that?”

He couldn’t keep himself from smiling, as he answered, “Because you love me.”

Yep. He’s ready to graduate.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Are any of your dear ones graduating from something this year? What do you remember about your past graduations? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Please Leave Your Forks In Your Car!!! …Gina’s Favorites

Please Leave Your Forks In Your Car!!! …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

Please Leave Your Forks In Your Car!!!

Welcome to Graduation!

Please leave your forks in your car.

Because, let’s face it, you will want to stab someone, and all that just ruins the post-graduation family photos, not to mention what it does to your chance of getting to The Cheesecake Factory before the wait for a table starts pushing 3 hours.

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 Leave Your Forks In Your Car!!! ...Gina's Favorites GraduationYou will need a chair. Fortunately, chairs have been provided for you.

Unfortunately, the chairs are 6 inch wide, folding chairs, made out of cheap plastic. Their plastic becomes pliable during the requisite 1000 degree graduation day heat, and thus the chairs are prone to give-way and collapse with no warning.

Not only does the heat increase the chairs’ “likeliness-to-suffer-structural-failure” quotient, it also makes the chairs cranky, resulting in a high incidence of chair-on-sitter violence, manifested as frequent incidents of spontaneous chair foldings.

This ensures that occupants of those chairs which do not suffer a sudden collapse due to structural failure within the flimsy plastic architecture will still possibly have the joy of experiencing a spontaneous self-folding of their chair the exact moment they sneeze, reach for a camera, or have a butterfly land on their leg.

It’s really a race to see which happens first: self-folding or total catastrophic collapse. If you look around the audience carefully you’ll notice people placing bets on the outcome of that race, particularly if the chair occupant is one whom is gifted with larger than average gravitational attraction.

There will be a sea of these low-quality, miniature, self-folding, likely-to-collapse chairs from which to choose. You will spy this vast bastion of seatishness as you approach the designated graduation area, after having completed your mandatory 4 mile hike in from the “Convenient Graduation Day Parking.”

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 Leave Your Forks In Your Car!!! ...Gina's Favorites GraduationPlease note that the touted “Be Sure To Carpool and Catch Our Shuttle To The Actual Graduation Site” shuttle is either an urban legend or invisible. No one has ever been able to find, much less catch a ride from, this mysterious, elusive machine. Plan ahead and wear your hiking boots.

As your gaze sweeps across the expanse of chairs provided for you and the other culmination hostages, also known as “audience members,” it will likely fall upon areas of what appear to be unclaimed seating bounty, some in the most prime seating locations. Do not fall victim to this clever deception. As you attempt to occupy these plastic oases, you’ll find they are already claimed, and seriously guarded, by everything from a strewn sweater to a package of gum to a rabid grandmother.

Perhaps, you’ll wonder how these people managed to secure such excellent seats, seats from which the stage and its occupants are visible. The answer is fairly simple. These people arrived before graduation last year, and simply refused to give up their seats.

Those who were too short-sighted to be on-site 12 months in advance generally secured their seats by gaining employment with the chair rental company, and scheduling themselves to be delivered, already seated in and firmly attached to their chair.

But, don’t worry. There will be plenty of available chairs. Try looking behind any nearby trees, behind the idiot who brought a bouquet of balloons, and behind the basketball team. The seats surrounding the guy with an air-horn, the deodorant deficient dude, and the life insurance salesman are also generally available.

Vendors will be conveniently available around the audience area. Remember, they only take cash. Feel free to bring that $100 bill the grocery store refuses to break for you, because nothing is priced less than $100 anyway.

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 Leave Your Forks In Your Car!!! ...Gina's Favorites GraduationUnfortunately, the vendors sell useless items, such as teddy bears, flowers, and t-shirts. They will not have the basic graduation ceremony survival items you truly need, such as an extra-large can of Red Bull to help you remain conscious while the keynote speaker waxes on for 3 ½ hours about his vital contributions to the world changing field of blueberry color stabilization.

Or, a gallon jug of Febreze to spray the deodorant deficient dude.

Or, a set of blow darts to take out that giant balloon bouquet the moron four rows in front of you brought, that’s blocking the view of stage for everyone in your section.

Bathrooms are conveniently located 2 miles away, in the direction exactly opposite to where you parked your car. Don’t worry, though. Thanks to your long hike and the heat, you’ll probably be suffering from dehydration and won’t have need of facilities for at least a couple days after the graduation is complete.

When you hear the distant sound of speaker feedback and clarinet music, you will know that the graduation has begun. You’ll see a wave of people filing down the center aisle of the graduation seating area. Several of them will be melting in their asbestos robes and funny hats, and will be dragged down the aisle by other graduates.

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 Leave Your Forks In Your Car!!! ...Gina's Favorites GraduationThe matching goofy graduate garb and giant guy sitting next to you will work together to make it highly unlikely you’ll spot your graduate during this processional. Nonetheless, social mores require you to stand, bobbing and weaving, in a futile attempt to get a clear view of the processional-ists to prove your devotion to your graduate.

But, don’t worry about not spying your graduate on his or her way in. You will, assuming the keynote speaker ever finishes speaking, get to see your graduate march across the stage after his or her name is read. Please note that in this context “read” means “completely mangled and mispronounced to such an extent that even your graduate is not sure who the name card reader is talking about.

Naturally, your efforts to capture forever that look of confusion on your graduate’s face will be hampered by a full memory card, a depleted battery, or both. Fortunately, a professional photographer will be stationed at the exit point of the stage to snap a charming candid photo of your graduate sweating and clutching his or her fake diploma. For only $87.63 you can purchase 2 wallet-sized prints of that photo.

The ceremony should take less than 3 days. Hopefully, you packed a canteen and a snack.

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 Leave Your Forks In Your Car!!! ...Gina's Favorites GraduationYou will know the ceremony has ended when the army clad in asbestos begins to march out of the designated graduation area, and people around you begin yelling into their cell phones, “I don’t see you. Do you see me? I’m waving. Do you see me? I don’t see you…”

This is the point in the day when you’ll wish you had set up a predetermined meeting point with your graduate. Some families spend more time trying to find their graduate after the ceremony than it actually took their graduate to complete his or her course of study.

This delay in departure is a critical issue, because for every extra minute that passes before you get to The Cheesecake Factory, the wait for a table increases by another hour.

Of course, if you’re really thinking, you’ll decide to remain in the designated graduation area.

After all, that’s really the only way to get a good seat for next year’s ceremony.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Did you attend any graduation ceremonies this year? Did your chair try to eat you? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Where’s The Sparkly?

Where’s The Sparkly?…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

We’re wrapping presents today. Seems like a good time for this Gina’s Favorites post. Giggle with me.

Where’s My Sparkly?

I’m a bit distressed this morning because I can’t find the little velvet-covered jewelry box that holds my favorite sparkly.

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’s The Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day GiftI keep it in my china hutch in our dining room.

Yes, I know that’s strange.

What kind of nut keeps a jewelry box in the dining room? This kind.

I received the tiny, blue velvet-covered hinged box with the shiny treasure inside it for Mothers’ Day from The Professor a couple years ago. I treasure it. It’s one of my favorite gifts.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that celebratory days, particularly Mothers’ Day, seem to have degraded into a battle over gifting styles.

Personally, I don’t understand what the big problem is. If you’re a kid, make something. Anything. She’ll love it and keep it forever.

If you’re an adult, think about what she likes. Give her something you know she likes. If you don’t know what she likes, either ask her, or re-evaluate your relationship to figure out how you don’t know what someone you are supposedly close to wants.

No big deal.

That being said, however, The Professor does not agree.

He finds gift selection and giving mind boggling, despite the fact we’ve known each other for 2 decades. I have to admit that my life partner is, in general the worst with gifts.

I think it was Lucy Ricardo who said, “It’s not the gift, it’s the lack of thought behind it that counts.” I live that.

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’s The Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day GiftBut, sometimes he has a moment of inspiration, and not only gets me a gift, but gets something I’ll love. Like the year he had his classes do group projects for a week, so he could spend every second working on crafting a bouquet of red duct tape roses for me. The effort was the gift. I treasure those everlasting flowers because of it.

Or, this year, when he picked out a stunning necklace well in advance of Mothers’ Day (because I will be performing on Mothers’ Day) that’s just my style.

Or, the year he gave me the sparkly in the little blue velvet box.

That year had been a tough year.

My pack had been particularly emergency room prone. It seemed like I was taking someone to the ER to get stitched up, pumped out, or otherwise repaired a couple times a week. We were in the midst of an epidemic of smashed fingers, cut feet, and poked eyes.

The most frustrating part was that most of the trips for emergency medicine were the result of a pack member doing something dumb.

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’s The Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day GiftLike when Son#2 tried to bounce off of my exercise ball and missed, instead bouncing off of his brothers dresser and slicing open a 10 inch long gash on his back. And, then tried it again the next day and broke his tail bone!

Or when Daughter#3 was giving Son#3 a ride on her shoulders, and dropped him, resulting in a concussion for him.

The list was endless. Every couple days someone would do something they shouldn’t have been doing, and I’d get to spend the night in the ER with the victim.

So, it wasn’t a total shock to me one evening when Son#3 came rushing down from the room he shares with Son#4, after they had supposedly been sleeping for an hour.

“I swallowed a Magnetix,” he practically screamed.

I took a calming breath, all the while thinking, “Well, of course you did.  I do that all of the time while I’m sleeping.”

Do you remember Magnetix sets? They don’t sell them here anymore, probably because kids swallow them. That’s unfortunate because they were really cool building sets. There were small rods and marble sized metal balls.

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’s The Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day GiftAll of the pieces were magnetic, which allowed one to build some amazing things. They were also small, which clearly allowed one to swallow some amazing things, too.

Now this was not my first time at the “I swallowed something” rodeo, so I knew what to ask.

“Are you sure you swallowed it?” At least 3 times we’d rushed pack members to the ER only to discover the supposedly swallowed, panic-inducing item in the panic-stricken child’s clothes or to have it fall out of their hair while the ER doctor was examining in them. Even if you find the item outside the child’s body while you’re there, you still have to pay for those ER visits.

“Yes, I’m sure,” he answered.

“What kind of a piece did you swallow?”  I inquired.

“One of the metal balls,” he provided. “Like this one,” he said, handing me one of the familiar reflective, metal balls.

I was relieved that it wasn’t one of the 4 inch rods. Small round objects travel quite well through our children. We’ve ran that drill a dozen times.

“How exactly did you happen to swallow it?” I asked. He was 8 at the time, hardly an age where you worry about them sucking up toys.

Son#3 explained in great detail that he and Son#4 were not so much trying to sleep for the previous hour. In fact, they weren’t even in their beds. After they’d been tucked into their beds, they had both gotten up, and proceeded to have a magic show.

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’s The Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day GiftSon#3 was trying to “fake out” his younger brother by pretending to swallow items.

That’s right.

You see where this is headed.

When Son#4 refused to believe that Son#3 had swallowed the metal ball that Son#3 was pretending to swallow, Son#3 upped the convincing fake swallow, and accidentally swallowed it for real.

A giant sigh escaped me at the end of his long description, as the prospect of yet another night hanging out with the ER staff was exhausting to even think about. Nonetheless, that’s where we were headed.

I wasn’t worried about the shiny sphere lodging somewhere along Son#3’s exit lane. We’d had too many instances of similarly sized and shaped marbles and rocks ingested to even wonder about whether there would be any exit problems. There would not.

I took him to the ER because I was concerned about the chemical make-up of the metal ball. I was concerned that it might be reactive or poisonous once it reached the inner workings of my boy.

I think the ER doctors were appreciative of our odd swallowing incident.  None of them had ever dealt with this particular item.  After many consultations with the Children’s Hospital and phone calls to poison control, the medical team determined that the metal ball was likely non-reactive.  They sent us home with the customary, “It’ll probably be out in a couple days. If not, come back and we’ll do another x-ray.”

When we were back in the car, Son#3 asked, “Does he mean I’m gonna poop it out?”

“Yes,” I said, “that’s exactly what you’re going to do.”

“But, how will I know when I do?” he asked. “Won’t it be all covered with…you-know?  How am I going to know it even came out?”

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’s The Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day Gift“Trust me, you’ll know,” I reassured him.

Turns out we all knew, as at the time of exit, Son#3 had failed to shut the bathroom door and the “Clank!” of metal hitting porcelain carried through most of our house.

“Nobody flush this.  I want to show Dad,” my little poopoo engineer hollered out from the bathroom. And, nobody did.  Of course, nobody ever flushes the toilet around here anyway.

When Mothers’ Day rolled around about a month later our spate of ER visits had, thankfully, lulled.

I was surprised when the Professor presented me with the small, blue velvet hinged jewelry box, with a gold ribbon tied into an artful bow wrapped around it. Bad as The Professor is with gifts, he’s even worse with wrapping. This year he wrapped my necklace in the puppy paw print paper I purchased to wrap Daughter#3’s birthday gifts in next month. So, the lovely presentation surprised me, and further piqued my curiosity.

I slid the ribbon off of the box, and gently lifted the lid. The hinge squeaked ever-so-softly.

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’s The Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day GiftInside was a sparkly that I never would have expected. It was resting on a tiny blue pillow, looking quite comfortable. It looked like a large black pearl, with a soft, silver patina.

Next to it was a small label with fancy script writing that read “In April 2. Out April 5.”  I laughed out loud when I read it. Here was the Magnetix that Son#3 had swallowed, beautifully presented as a keepsake for his mom.

It was almost perfect.

Beaming with pride, Son#3 said, “Don’t worry, mom.  We wore gloves, and we soaked it in bleach 3 times.”

That made it perfect.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have any of your family members swallowed something they shouldn’t have? What’s the most bizarre gift you have given or received?   Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Top 10 Worst Gifts For Mom …Gina’s Favorites

Top 10 Worst Gifts For Mom …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.
And, have a Happy Mothers’ Day!!!

Top 10 Worst Gifts For Mom

If you think it’s stressful trying to get the mom in your life the right gift, you should try being the mom.

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 Worst Gifts For Mom ...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ DayThanks to Facebook, InstaGram, and the entire host of internet life invaders, the pressure to receive the perfect physical manifestation of appreciation for all that you do as the mom has been bumped up to nearly unreachable heights (do not give mom a step stool to help her reach unreachable heights).

Come noon (do not give mom a watch, so she’ll know when it’s noon) (unless it’s jewel encrusted and returnable) on Mother’s Day any mom without a photo of a hand-drawn card or beautiful bouquet of flowers or artful plate from a fancy buffet to post is all but facing certain ridicule from the mom community.  I can’t be posting a pic of an ironing board cover or a hedge trimmer or a plate from The Trough without facing some serious social media shaming.

I know my family means well, but sometimes they seem to forget who I am and that they know me.

So, to help my family out, here’s some things they can cross off their list now.

Top 10 Worst Gifts For Mom

#10.  Breakfast in bed – It’s awkward. It’s messy. And, even if you were a 5 star chef (which you are not) or our kids were child chef prodigies (which they are not), I still wouldn’t want breakfast in bed. In fact, I don’t want anyone to cook anything for anyone. Cooking equals mess, and I don’t want the mess (if you want to spend time in the kitchen, after you order in dinner and make brunch reservations, feel free to clean out the fridge. I do recommend a HazMat suit, though).

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 Worst Gifts For Mom ...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day#9.  A Chihuahua – No puppies. No kittens. No freshly caught tadpoles. Not even a cricket for luck. No pets of any kind. If I wanted something gross to clean up after I’d have kids. Oh, wait…

#8.  A Rhododendron  – Yes, it’s lovely. Sure, it seems like a plant I can put in the ground, and have forever, is a much more sensible choice than a bouquet of flowers I’ll toss in the trash in a week. BUT, getting to toss them in the trash in a week is the second best thing about a bouquet of flowers. I get the beautiful, but I don’t get saddled with the responsibility of something else to take care of. I’ll take the love-it-then-toss-it bouquet anyday.

#7.  A Goat Bra – Giving any lingerie to a woman is really a gift to the man who presents it to her, and a big mistake. BUT, a goat bra is even worse. A friend of mine received one of these for Mothers’ Day from her well-meaning, but clueless husband. Her pet goat was pregnant at the time, and the feed store guy had advised her husband that the goat, for its comfort and protection, would be needing some support wear. Her husband decided it would be a delightful, practical gift. Turns out, it was neither. Even the goat didn’t like it. No mother, of any species, wants  gift of lingerie for Mother’s Day.

#6.  A “Fun” Outing For The Whole Family - When Jerry Seinfeld said that there is no such thing as fun for the whole family, he was right. Do not take me to the zoo or Disneyland or the beach for Mother’s Day. I’d love to go some other time, but not on “my day.” No family outing is a celebration for mom. It’s another work day for mom. If you want to take our children, though, and leave me home to nap in peace, go for it.

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 Worst Gifts For Mom ...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day#5.  Glow-In-The-Dark Organic Cleaning Solution – No matter how cool, no matter how cutting edge, no matter how much I swore I wanted it when we saw the infomercial in the middle of the night after that Bono concert, do not get me that magic vacuum or space age dust rag or glow-in-the-dark organic cleaning solution or any other item to clean anything. Feel free to give me that on National Dirt Day or even on a Tuesday, but never on Mother’s Day.

#4.  That Necklace Your Mother Says I’d Look Great In - Anything your mother (or sister or anyone but you and our kids) picked out is a big no-no. There’s nothing worse than enjoying something I think you chose for me, and hearing your mother say, “I told him you’d just love that.” If you don’t want to make the effort for me yourself, I don’t want you to present me with the gift. And, believe me, you don’t want the resulting cold front I’d be presenting you with in return.

#3.  A Photo Of The Whole Family – I want to pick out which picture to enlarge of our family. A framed blow up of that horrible family photo my cousin took of us last Christmas where I look like a cow chewing its cud is not my idea of a charming family memento. You might as well get me a case of SlimFast Shakes. Which reminds me…

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 Worst Gifts For Mom ...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day#2.  A Case Of SlimFast Shakes – Yes, I might buy something like this occasionally. Yes, I mentioned I need to get a new FitBit, since my last one seems to have been less than sturdy (apparently, stomping on those because you only made 5083 steps that day breaks them. Who knew?). Yes, my gym wear is so worn out people occasionally think I’m homeless. BUT, if you give me anything fitness related, even though you’re sure I’d love it or I’d buy it for myself anyway, I can guarantee that my next cardio activity will be making sure you won’t live until Father’s Day.

#1.  A Hooked Rug Maker – Anything with the word “Maker” in the name is a huge fail in the gift world for me, because it’s a lie, and I hate lying. It’s not a Cake Pop Maker or a Quesadilla Maker or a Hooked Rug Maker. It’s a Spend All Day Trying To Make Cake Pops Maker or a Spend All Day Trying To Make Quesadillas Maker or a Spend All Day Trying To Make A Hooked Rug Maker.  I do not need something else to do. This is not a gift. It’s a chore. Leave it at the store.

Remember, all I really want is for my kids to make me a card, anyway.

And, a sparkling, clean house.

And, for everyone to get along.

You know, simple stuff.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have you ever gotten a real doozy of a gift?  Have you given a crazy one? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Top 10 Reasons My Kids Can’t Help In Our Garden

Top 10 Reasons My Kids Can’t Help In Our Garden …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

As I prepare to inform my family they have the privilege of helping me clean up our front and backyards this weekend, I thought this Gina’s Favorites post was a timely place to find some giggles. Laugh along with me.

Top 10 Reasons My Kids Can’t Help In The Garden

I bought a couple flats of flowers this week.

My mom is coming to visit next week, and I want our yard to look less like the local plant graveyard while she’s here. Assuming we get all the flowers planted, surely even I, with my two black thumbs, can keep them alive for the week of my parents visit.

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 Reasons My Kids Can’t Help In Our Garden ...Gina's FavoritesThe Professor reminded me that I’ve killed artificial flowers in less time. I reminded him that I can start cooking vegan-only again anytime. He, then, told me that I’m smart and I’m pretty.

He really hated my vegan era.

Due to our long standing agreement to never work on the same DIY project at the same time together (one can only imagine how many murders and trips to the divorce attorney this policy has prevented in our home), The Professor was off the hook as far as helping plant the flowers.

He muttered something about needing to grade midterms and taking his car to the mechanic because it’s making a new, weird sound, just to be sure he was able to dodge the draft he knew was coming.

I didn’t really want him to help plant the flowers anyway. He always ends up dissecting the plants to show our kids the different parts. The plants do not like to be dissected and make that clear by, not only dying, but encouraging their friends to do the same.

The last thing I need is more help killing plants.

The other members of my pack, however, were all eligible to be drafted into service. Somehow, though, the little draft dodgers did not agree, and came up with a myriad of excuses.

Top 10 Reasons My Kids Can’t Help In The Garden

#10.  ”I’m watching a live feed of a giraffe giving birth” (he was, and, ewww!).

#9.  ”I just put a new stick of gum into my mouth.”

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 Reasons My Kids Can’t Help In Our Garden ...Gina's Favorites#8.  ”I already took a shower today and I’m not taking another one.”

#7.  ”When I wear shoes my feet can’t breathe.”

#6.  ”I’m allergic to dirt” (this from the teenager whose dresser is covered in a layer of dust thick enough to plant vegetables in).

#5.  ”That bug is looking at me” (yes, the bug was looking at him).

#4.  ”I’m thinking about doing my homework.”

#3.  ”The dog is asleep on my foot.”

#2.  ”I have to watch this program so we can erase it from the DVR.”

#1.  ”There’s no Wi-Fi out there.”

They did all end up rushing out to help me plant the flowers after all, though.

It was just after I announced that the last one ready to help had to clean all the toilets.

Not my first time at this rodeo.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Any less-than-eager helpers in your house? Does your family find chore time a great time to practice Hide-and-Seek? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Shunning The Dog

Shunning The Dog

by Gina Valley

Our dog’s developed a super power.

It’s not a particularly enjoyable super power for the rest of us. I wish he’d developed the ability to fold laundry or to load the dishwasher, but he did not.

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 Shunning The Dog Dogs Pets Training

Dog experts call this new super power “rude”, in that he is “barking” at us when he wants something. Of course, “barks” is a significant understatement about what he’s doing.

It used to be, when he wanted something, he would just sit near whatever it was his request centered around. He’d sit by the back door when he wanted to go out. He’d sit by his food jar when he wanted to eat. He’d sit on my bed when he wanted to shed a ridiculous amount of hair.

But somewhere along the line he decided, probably after observing my children, that making some noise might speed up the process a bit. So, he got in the habit of emitting one “huff” when he sat down near something he wanted.

At the time, I thought it was kind of cute. It was actually helpful, too, because sometimes, even though he’s a hefty 100 pounds, I can’t hear him sit down. And, our rugs and I both want him to get outside whenever he feels the need to go.

He changed the huff to a quiet bark after a couple of weeks. Just one soft one, but definitely a bark. It was sweet. Kind of like when your baby learns to say “baba” or “mama” or “TV,” and you’re proud she can say what she wants.

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 Shunning The Dog Dogs Pets TrainingShortly thereafter, however, he changed his one single bark to one single sonic boom. It was so loud it shook every window in our house. We decided, as responsible dog-parents and window-owners, that something had to be done.

So, we told him “No!” each time he did it.

Then, dog-behavior-experts that we are, we got up and quickly took care of whatever need he was communicating, lest he be prompted to let out the super bark again, and shatter every window in our house.

So, yes, our dog successfully trained us to meet his every demand quickly and efficiently.

Then, apparently, our dog decided that either we were too slow or he wasn’t being clear enough with his directives, because our jumbo furry family member ceased his one bark air raid behavior, and resorted to a more-is-better campaign, which included a window-shaking bark every second or two until his demands were met.

We consulted a dog teacher for the sake of our ears and our window panes. (He is not a dog trainer, mind you. He is a dog teacher. He explained this to us several times. “Trainer” implies our dogs are mere pets. He “teaches family members.” Funny, but he didn’t seem the least bit interested in “teaching” our 13 and 14 year old non-furry family members to stop “barking” at each other while they played HALO.)

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 Shunning The Dog Dogs Pets TrainingThe dog teacher explained to us the best way to get rid of this window-endangering barking was to reward our dog’s good behavior, and to ignore his “less desirable” behavior. He told us not to do anything for our dog while he barks at us, but to instead wait until he silently sits near whatever it is he wants.

Further, we were to “deny him socialization while he is being rude.” How, one might wonder, does one go about denying a dog socialization? And, one might also wonder, how does a dog know what socialization means?

The dog teacher said we should turn our backs to our dog until he stops the behavior. I think they call that shunning in Amish areas.

If turning our backs is inconvenient, like when we’ve finally got the kids to stay in bed and actually get to sit down, and there is virtually no chance we’re going to stand up and face the wall in an effort to teach the dog to stop barking about the package of Snicker bars on the kitchen counter, we should cover our faces so the dog cannot see them.

This explains why my husband and I were both sitting in our family room with our faces hidden, his beneath a Macy’s mattress sale flier, and me with the front page of The Times draped across my upper body, when our eldest son walked into the house with his new girlfriend.

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 Shunning The Dog Dogs Pets TrainingWe hadn’t met her yet. I feel like we still haven’t.

All I could see with the newspaper over my head were her shoes, and what I am hoping was a photo of Donald Trump’s hair. I couldn’t hear a thing she said the entire time, as the dog was not even a little phased by our ignoring him, and continued to bark non-stop.

We offered her cookies, a lovely beverage, and the business section to put over her head.

She looked quite confused.

I guess some people just don’t understand dog-teaching.

Or, super powers.

Laugh out loud!

-gina

Are your furry family members well-taught? Or, have they trained you? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Dreamstime.com – Used with permission.