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The Glamorous Life Of The Modern Day Soccer Mom

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An Automatic Sock Matcher #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas

An Automatic Sock Matcher #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas

by Gina Valley

I want an Automatic Sock Matcher for Christmas.

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 An Automatic Sock Matcher  #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmasNothing makes me feel my life slipping away quite as thoroughly as time spent matching socks.  It makes cleaning out our refrigerator or waiting in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles sound like fun.

I’ve tried to beat those shifty socks at their own game by purchasing packs of 12 identical pairs for my kids.

But, socks are a crafty lot.

I can throw all 12 identical pairs of socks into the washer, and by the time I pull them out of the dryer, they’ve become 19 completely different socks. They grow. They shrink. They change color and shape. Matching them is impossible, and I tend to go with the “Eh, close enough” system more often than the OCD in me wants to admit.

The only thing worse than matching socks myself is listening to my kids matching socks. They’re in training for the Olympic Whining & Bickering Team. Being assigned sock matching duty brings out their gold medal level skills in both areas.

Hopefully, the Automatic Sock Matcher will have an anti-bickering switch and volume control for kids.

After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What’s your sock status? Do you match them or does someone else have that joy in your family?  Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Seriously Today – When It’s NOT A Happy Holiday

Seriously Today – When It’s NOT A Happy Holiday

by Gina Valley

For most of us, this is a joy-filled time of 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 When It's NOT A Happy HolidayAnd, for nearly all of us, it’s also a stressful time of year.

But, for many, it’s a time of year that blackens an already dark world. People who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses, and their loved ones, often find holiday times to be particularly difficult.

I encourage everyone to make a special effort to consider everyone around them this time of year, and to reach out to those who need help.

Love!

-gina

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.

When 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.

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 When It's NOT A Happy HolidayDepression 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.

Lie #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.

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 When It's NOT A Happy Holiday

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

Lie #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.

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 When It's NOT A Happy Holiday

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.

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.

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 When It's NOT A Happy Holiday

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

Top 10 NON-ORNAMENTS Found On Our Tree

Top 10 NON-ORNAMENTS Found On Our Tree

by Gina Valley

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Sort of.

Our tree is up, and that’s something.

Most of the rest of our decorations will make their grand entrance this weekend, giving my older kids time to finish their final exams at school, and everyone time to catch the chest cold that has started running through our family.

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 NON-ORNAMENTS Found On Our Tree

We should be able to cough Jingle Bells as a family by Sunday night.

With our tree up and decorated, at least it looks like we’re well on our way down the road to that magical Christmas place, touted by Martha, HGTV, and every ad on television.

The thing is, though, I’m not sure all those stylists of the holidays, all those cliché’rs of culture would consider our tree the iconic centerpiece of our holiday home they say it’s supposed to be.

Sure, it’s covered with shiny ornaments and garlanded in elegant ribbon. Yes, it’s got the requisite train track running around it (although no one seems to know where the actual train disappeared to). It’s even got the lovely embroidered skirt my sister-in-law got us in Italy wrapped around its trunk.

But, this morning, as I clicked on its lights and stood back to admire its loveliness,  I noticed our tree has a few added “flourishes” sprinkled amongst its bobbing branches that might give those professional holiday stylists pause, if not lumps in their egg nog.

Top 10 NON-ORNAMENTS Found On Our Tree

#10.  Slim Jim Wrapper – The nasty supposed-to-be-meat-but-I-suspect-nothing-in-it-was-ever-alive-product stick is missing, but its charming packaging is snuggled into a branch 2/3 of the way up our tree, gleefully reflecting the twinkling lights.

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 NON-ORNAMENTS Found On Our Tree#9.  Marshmallows – I think someone was trying to make it look like our tree had snow on it by distributing the white fluffy treats all over it. It probably would have been more authentic looking if they hadn’t used the giant marshmallows I bought to use to make S’mores with. Some of them have bites missing, too. I guess “Mother Nature” was hungry.

#8.  Daughter#3’s Math Quiz – The grade at the top of the crumpled paper, shoved into the lower branches, reveals she scored an 82%. Therefore it might just be a Christmas miracle, since her current average in that class is about 20 clicks south of that score

#7.  Gobs Of Dog Hair – It looks like the bottom couple of feet of our tree has been flocked. However, upon closer inspection, one sees that it’s not artificial snow, but rather real-life blonde Labrador hair. Bear, our giant yellow lab, finds the tree a convenient scratching post, and makes a furry deposit every time he has an itch.

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 NON-ORNAMENTS Found On Our Tree#6.  The Black Xbox Controller – Son#4 was trying to hide said controller from Son#3.  But, Son#3 found it and decided to relocate the treasured controller (yes, we have 4 others, but somehow this one is “the best”) from where Son#4 had hidden it (inside the box of paper towels, underneath the powder room sink) to a top branch on the back of our Christmas tree.

It’s hard to spot as one gazes at our Tannenbaum in all its glory in our living room, but clearly visible to anyone who walks across our front patio and happens to glance at our front window. If only my kids would apply these skills to locating their shoes when we’re late for school in the morning.

#5.  A Tiny Milk Carton – It’s one of those small milk cartons from the cafeteria at school. Son#4 was supposed to adhere graham crackers to it with frosting to make a gingerbread-esque Christmas ornament, like the rest of his class did last week, during their arts and crafts time. But, Son#4 ate all of his frosting and most of his graham crackers, while waiting for his teacher to finish giving the instructions to complete the cracker-based architectural wonder.

His teacher didn’t have any extra supplies, so, quite unfazed, Son#4 attached the ornament hook to the top of the carton and called it “Done!” His teacher was horrified that he’d bring something home like that. I wonder what she’d say if she knew he hung the little, naked, still-somewhat-stinky milk carton on our tree.

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 NON-ORNAMENTS Found On Our Tree#4.  Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Splatter – Daughter#2 “accidentally” tripped Daughter#3, who then fell into the tree, losing her cup of ice cream deep within its ever-green, now ever-sticky, branches. She eventually retrieved the cup, but the thick, sticky delightful dairy treat hardened and remains, solidified in a dripping pattern, as though the scientists from Jurassic Park will be arriving any second to check it for dinosaur DNA.

#3.  A Large, Long, Bright Yellow Automotive Oil Change Funnel – We usually use that funnel to water our tree, but this year we’re using our artificial tree, making watering it less than necessary.  But, Son#2, who in general “could  live without this whole ‘decorate everything’ thing” said that it wasn’t Christmas without the giant yellow beast, and placed it prominently among our petroleum-products-based tree’s many boughs. I’m not sure “Christmas” is the word that springs to mind when you see it, but I know the word “classy” definitely is not.

#2.  The Professor’s Cell Phone – He rarely makes it out the door with his cell phone, and when he does, it’s either uncharged or turned off, rendering him quite unreachable either way. The monthly fees for that communication device are clearly money well spent. When I saw it there, my first instinct was to call him to relate the latest “Where’s Waldo?” about his phone. At least I realized my goofiness before I started dialing. This time.

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 NON-ORNAMENTS Found On Our Tree

#1.  A Santa-Hat-Shaped Ceramic Plate – It’s the plate we put cookies and carrots on Christmas Eve to leave out for Santa and his reindeer (The Professor gets the cookies. I get the carrots. Dang, low-carb lifestyle). We can never find that blasted thing on Christmas Eve.

Frequently, we’ve had to make do with some less than acceptable substitutions: The box the rolls of tape came in; a slightly-used paper plate (“Santa’s not going to care. He’s not real anyway. It’s just dad eating the cookies and he doesn’t care if his dishes are clean, right?” as Daughter#2 put it); the lid from the shoe box I was hiding the latest Halo game in for Son#1; etc. So, I told one of my pack members to put the plate where we could easily find it, and, apparently, that was the place selected.

Could be worse, I guess. At least we don’t have any squirrels living in there.

Probably.

There’s no place like home for the holidays.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Anything interesting made its home amongst your holiday decorations? Any squirrel squatters? Shoot me a comment. You’re already here, and I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

A Foot-Mounted Lego Detector #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas

A Foot-Mounted Lego Detector #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas

by Gina Valley

I want a Foot-Mounted Lego Detector for Christmas.

I have a special talent. If there’s an AWOL Lego piece within 50 miles of me, I will find it with my bare feet.  If it’s dark and I’m in my sons’ room, I’ll find all its friends, neighbors, and cousins, as 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 A Foot-Mounted Lego Detector #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmasI once stepped on a rogue Lego piece in the auditorium at church. You know, the place where songs are sang, sermons are given, and there is no logical reason why a Lego would be present. It was a backwards Lego-miracle, a Lego-badacle, if you will.

I’ve stepped on those minions of evil so many times that I have permanent Lego-shaped impressions on the bottoms of my feet. My kids thought they were tattoos.

I told them they’re a sign I have children.

Like stretch marks.

Just once I’d like to be able to walk across a room in my bare feet without the nervousness usually reserved for landmine hunters.

Or, for a parent trying to unwrap a Snickers bar without alerting the children.

Hopefully, there’s a setting on the Foot-Mounted Lego Alarm to help with that, too.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Be sure to hook up with me on Facebook and Twitter  and Pinterest so you can see all of my #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas posts.

I’m looking forward to reading your #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas posts, too. Shoot me your Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest links if we aren’t already connected. I’m looking forward to giggling along with you!

Be sure to invite your friends to join in by sharing my And Now For Something Completely Different…Sort Of post with them on all of your social media spaces.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Top 10 Signs It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…Gina’s Favorites

Top 10 Signs It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

For Throwback Day this week, laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

Top 10 Signs It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

If you’ve interacted with anyone, on-line or IRL, recently, chances are that someone asked you, probably in an overly giddy fashion, “Are you ready for Christmas?!?!,” likely followed by a giggle and a tee-hee.

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 Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…Gina’s FavoritesI want to bop those people on the head with one of those giant candy canes, and say, “No, I’m not done shopping, our tree only has lights on one side, we haven’t even taken the photo for our card yet, and there’s still 2 pumpkins and 5 gourds on our mantel that I’m hoping guests think are just oddly shaped Christmas ornaments.”

So, no, I’m not ready for Christmas.

But, ready-or-not, even though we don’t get any snow (it was 80 degrees F here in Los Angeles today), I can tell Christmas is getting close.

Top 10 Signs It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

#10.  We’ve finished eating all of the candy “Santa” bought to stuff the stockings.

#9.  The dog is now producing pine needle-laced poop.

#8.  Our Christmas tree has been knocked over 3 times, fallen mysteriously twice, and been dragged across the living room once by our girl puppy.

#7.  Our refrigerator has started making grinding, “I will die if you store Christmas dinner for 30 in here” threatening sounds to mock me.

#6.  All of the red bulbs, and only the red bulbs, on the strands of colorful lights decorating our roof line have stopped working.

#5.  We’ve received touching, heart-felt Christmas cards from each and every realtor within a 50 mile radius from our house.

#4.  My kids are completely covered by a thin, sticky layer of candy cane residue, and they think they have super powers because everything sticks to them.

#3.  My youngest son came out of my bedroom, and announced, “I did not peek at the presents.”

#2.  My pack wore our Christmas stockings to school last week, because I forgot to throw the load of socks into the dryer.

#1.  I’ve spent so much time with the Amazon delivery guy that I think I’m now his common law wife.

I assume he’ll be delivering any children our marriage produces.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Is it looking like Christmas in your neck of the woods?  How can you tell?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Tuesday Tickles – dovc

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 Twitter Tuesday Tickles – dovcTuesday Tickles – dovc

Complied by Gina Valley

I love to share giggles.

Here’s some of the tweets

that made me laugh in the last week.

 

Great tweets from great tweeps:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to follow me on Twitter so you don’t miss a laugh!

Don’t miss a giggle.  ”Like” up my Facebook page, and share it with a friend.

Laugh Loud Out!

-gina

What makes you smile?  Where do you turn when you need a giggle?  Do you have a favorite tweeter?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Toilet Paper Deficiency Alarm #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas

Toilet Paper Deficiency Alarm #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas

by Gina Valley

I want a Toilet Paper Deficiency Alarm for Christmas. It been since before most of my children made their grand entrance into my life that I last waltzed into our bathroom, and was not greeted by a naked tube in the toilet paper dispenser.

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 Toilet Paper Deficiency Alarm #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmasApparently, I’m the only member of our household who can actually see when the toilet paper tube is empty. I think they all have some sort of Toilet Paper Tube Blindness (TPTB) (no, I did not look it up on WebMD. That would just tell me the toilet paper tube has cancer or Ebola, and I’m sure my family has TPTB).

I’d like a Toilet Paper Deficiency Alarm for every bathroom in our house, but I’d be happy with just one for our powder room. It’s the only facilities we have downstairs for off-loading, and, as a result, sees a lot of traffic. Anyone downstairs with even a semi-urgent offloading need, or a touch of laziness, completes his or her transaction in that tiny room.

My children, neighbors, schoolmates, occasionally the FedEx guy. Everyone.

And, not a one of them has ever been able to see the empty toilet paper roll while they were in there.

I don’t think I’ve ever gone into that service center and NOT found supplies to complete the paperwork lacking.

I always pray that the person who last exited had just enough paper to complete his or her transaction in a thorough and business-like manner, and that the roll hasn’t been empty all day. I don’t even want to think about how many visitors to that facility might have selected drip-dry as the final step in their off-loading procedure.

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 Toilet Paper Deficiency Alarm #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmasThe alarm could start with a gentle warning to the bathroom visitor that supplies are approaching a critical level. Perhaps, a soothing tone or calm voice. Nothing like the ear blasting, nerve wracking beep our van emits when its gas gauge drops below ¼ tank. Although, if you are going to get startled to the point of losing control of your faculties, I suppose the bathroom is the best place to do that.

Then, should the facility visitor fail to rectify the provisions problem, warnings could increase in intensity and volume.  The possibilities are endless, really.

Perhaps, an alarm could holler out from inside the dispenser, “Don’t leave me! I’m naked!” when a facility user tries to leave behind an empty tube while exiting the off-loading station.

Or, maybe, an effective way to encourage the loo lazy to replace the roll before making their escape would be for the alarm to use the moment the user’s hand touches the doorknob when the roll is empty to deliver an electrical shock.

It’d just be a small shock.

Probably.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Does your family suffer from Toilet Paper Tube Blindness (TPTB)?  Do you get stuck with re-stocking the loo, too?  Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Be sure to hook up with me on Facebook and Twitter  and Pinterest so you can see all of my #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas posts.

I’m want to read your #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas posts, too. Shoot me your Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest links if we aren’t already connected. I’m looking forward to giggling along with you!

Be sure to invite your friends to join in by sharing my And Now For Something Completely Different…Sort Of post with them on all of your social media spaces.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

I Thought YOU Had The Worms

I Thought YOU Had The Worms

by Gina Valley

Today is my dad’s birthday.

He’s the first man I ever loved, and he’s a tough act to follow.

He’s set an example of hard work, giving back, and kindness that is an inspiration to everyone who knows him. And, to keep us from being intimidated, he consistently forgets to bring the bait when we go fishing, and joins in when we laugh about it.

In honor of him and his birthday, here’s one of my favorite posts inspired by my dad.

Who ARE These People?

by Gina Valley

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 I Thought YOU Had The Worms

I try to take my kids the 1300-ish miles to visit my parents a couple times a year.

But I can’t.

We can go to their house. We can visit the people who live there and look just like my parents. But they are not my parents.

I don’t know who these people are, but they are definitely not my parents.

My mom never baked a “Cake of the Day,” or, right before bedtime, or anytime for that matter, never encouraged us to “Have another big piece of cake or two to finish it up” because there’ll be a new cake baked in the morning.

Today’s Cake of The Day was chocolate, by the way.

My parents never let the dog sleep in our rooms, much less our beds. Heck, our dogs were rarely allowed to hang out indoors at all. I know my parents would never let their giant golden retriever beg for and receive food from the dinner table. And breakfast table. And lunch table. And snack table.

My parents never said that we could “watch whatever you like” on TV, or “Let’s watch another movie. You can sleep in if you’re too tired in the morning.” I grew up under the impression that staying up late and sleeping in was a character flaw. These people encourage everyone in the house to do it, and occasionally join in themselves.  Who are they?

My parents never loaded us into the car for a trip, be it to Grandma’s house, Disneyland, or the mall, after 5:00AM. Usually, 4:00AM was the goal. We were told we “have to get an early start” so often that I thought it was a federal law. These people scoffed at the idea of waking my kids before 8:00AM to start packing up our van for our trip. “Let them sleep,” they said. “They’re young.  They need to sleep.” What?

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 I Thought YOU Had The WormsMy parents would never hire someone to bring in a crane to remove a couple of the 150 foot tall pine trees in the forest in their “backyard” to make a better sledding run. I believe we were told to “steer around” any obstacles in our path while sledding. Steer around? How do you steer around? Does that mean bounce off? ‘Cause that’s what we did!

My dad would never make a tool for girls who don’t want to touch the fish they just caught, so they could hold up their quarry for a photo without having to touch the slimy, flapping thing. I was told that slime was good for my skin and would keep them soft. As I recall my soft hands stank for a week after each fishing trip.

My parents would never say that children shouldn’t help with chores while they’re visiting their grandparents. I don’t know who these people are who keep singing the “They’re on vacation. They don’t have to help,” refrain every time I tell one of my kids to take out the trash or to clear the table, but I know they aren’t my parents.

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 I Thought YOU Had The WormsMy parents would never have a candy dish they constantly refill throughout the day, so as to ensure children had an unending source of sugar readily available to them. Who are these people who laugh about the trail of candy wrappers through their house, and say, “Isn’t that sweet?”?  Isn’t that sweet? I don’t know. I’m too confused to think.

They don’t mind feet on the couch or toys everywhere, and they just said, “We can vacuum tomorrow!”

Who are these people?

And, can I get that chocolate cake recipe?

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Did your parents disappear, too, when they became grandparents?  Were they replaced by look-alikes who have a totally different attitude? Shoot me a comment.  I’d love to hear all about it!

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Top 10 Ways to Be A REAL Dad…Gina’s Favorites

Top 10 Ways to Be A REAL Dad…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

My dad’s birthday was this week, so I figured my Top 10 Ways To Be A REAL Dad post would be perfect for Throwback Day this week.
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorite post.

Top 10 Ways to Be A REAL Dad

My dad’s a pretty amazing guy.  In fact, the older I get, the smarter he gets!

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 Ways to Be A REAL Dad...Gina's FavoritesHe’s truly got this whole dad-thing down.  In fact, you can’t find a better example.  If you’re wondering what you need to be a real dad for the long haul, let him help you out:

Top 10 Ways to Be A Real Dad

#10.  You’ll need to develop a unique linguistic style.  My dad has his own language.  He’s the only person I know who uses phrases like “Dab gum it!” or “Don’t be a panty waist!” (I’m still not sure what that means exactly, but I always took it to mean “Quit your whining and move your arse”).

#9.  You’ll need to be consistent.  Every April 1st my dad goes out to check my mom’s car’s tires, because every April 1st my mom tells him, as an April Fool’s joke, that her car has a flat.  Even though he usually remembers it’s April 1st long before he gets to her car, he still checks.  Just to be sure.  Then, he goes back in the house and plays a joke on my mom. I’m predicting fake dog deposits this year, as they have a new puppy.

#8.  You’ll need to develop quality control systems.  My dad reloads the dishwasher after I load it. Every time.  Even at my house.  Of course, I do the same thing to him.  Apple.  Tree.  All 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 Top 10 Ways to Be A REAL Dad...Gina's Favorites#7.  You’ll need to find your center.  My dad is the most even keeled guy I know.  I’ve seen him get his finger caught in an electric auger and barely raise his voice. I screamed at my kids for letting the dog eat the Parmesan cheese last night (in my defense, the dog had run all over our house shaking the container as he went, thoroughly garnishing our home with a fine cheese coating. Nothing like a well garnished home to produce a “scream at someone” kind of moment).

#6.  You’ll need duct tape and a tool belt.  My dad can fix anything.  Anything.  If he doesn’t have the needed tool he’ll get it.  If they don’t make the tool, he’ll make it himself.  I’ve never heard my dad say “I can’t fix that.” He looks at stuff differently, through Dad-vision glasses.  I might see a former seating device, he sees a perfectly good chair that just needs 2 legs, an arm, a back, and a seat.

#5.  You’ll need a rod and reel.  My dad’s an amazing fisherman.  If there’s a fish in the lake, he’ll bring it home for dinner.  I’m a pretty amazing fisherperson myself.  If there’s wild caught salmon at Costco, I’ll wrassle a package into my cart every time.

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 Ways to Be A REAL Dad...Gina's Favorites#4.  You’ll need to speak “auto” and carry a big wrench.  My dad is The Car-Whisperer.  He’s rebuilt engines himself, left out a couple pieces, and still made it hum like new.  I, on the other hand, am The Car-Killer.  I’ve had cars burst into flames just because I thought about being on time to a meeting.

#3.  You’ll need to be a nutritionist.  My dad always makes sure people get just what they need to eat.  When my eldest child was only a few months old, my dad knew he needed some ice cream, and made sure he got some.   I admit I wasn’t completely supportive of the idea at the time, but the fact that he chose Rocky Road to feed my little toothless wonder might have impacted my opinion.


#2.  You’ll need to be a chef of haute cuisine.
  When I was a child and my dad would cook a meal, he always cooked everything in one pan.  When we’d ask why he didn’t use separate pans for different foods, he’d reply, “Why? It’s all going to the same place.”  Often, when I survey the mountain of pots and pans I’ve dirtied making dinner, I see the wisdom in my dad’s method.

 

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 Ways to Be A REAL Dad...Gina's Favorites#1.  You’ll need to realize that your kids will always be your kids.  My dad still dad’s me to this day, even as I have kids of my own.  He makes sure I have a coat on when it’s cold.  He reminds me to drive safely.  He tells me I need to eat more protein.  In other words, he loves me.

 

Take a page from my dad, and you’ll be amazing.

And, no, you don’t have a flat tire.  Probably.

Well, you better go check.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What do you see in the dads in your life?  What dad-isms should I add to my list?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

I Want A Kids’ Shoes Tracking Device #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas

I Want A Kids’ Shoes Tracking Device

#25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas

by Gina Valley

I want a kids’ shoes tracking device for Christmas. We, as in me, spend more time looking for my kids’ shoes than for anything else.

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 I Want A Kids’ Shoes Tracking Device   #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas

Hopefully, the tracking device will come with a setting to help me locate my shoes when one of my kids has “borrowed them” (my black suede boots are particularly prone to “wandering” this time of year, apparently drawn toward the dangerous mystique that is my daughters’ closet).

If the tracking device also has a setting that allowed me to determine whether a child’s missing parka was left at school or on the soccer field, even better.

But, I’d be more than happy with a basic kids’ shoes tracker.

I’m betting Santy Claus has an amazing shoe tracker to keep track of all the elves’ shoes. He could pass that on to me. I don’t mind a little wear and tear, as long as the tracker works, and finds shoes, even if they don’t have pointy toes.

The Jolly Guy needs to realize I’m ready to put out for this, too. And, I’m not just talking cookies and milk.

I’m willing to throw in some very fancy egg nog with a big splash from a very old bottle, just the thing to put some spring back into his step on a long night of deliveries.

As long as I can find the bottle.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Be sure to hook up with me on Facebook and Twitter  and Pinterest so you can see all of my #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas posts.

I’m looking forward to reading your #25daysofwhatIwantforChristmas posts, too. Shoot me your Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest links if we aren’t already connected. I’m looking forward to giggling along with you!

Be sure to invite your friends to join in by sharing my And Now For Something Completely Different…Sort Of post with them on all of your social media spaces.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission