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The Glamorous Life Of The Modern Day Soccer Mom

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

It’s Different When Mom Gets Sick! …Gina’s Favorites

It’s Different When Mom Gets Sick! …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I’m taking this week off to deal with some family issues, so I’ve lined up some of my favorite posts to keep you giggling.
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

It’s Different When Mom Gets Sick

It’s different when I get sick. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m the mom or because I’m the primary caregiver or because I have the bad timing to take ill when the planets are aligned funny. But, whatever the cause, it’s different. Definitely different.

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

When one of my pack gets sick, I take his temperature and bring him juice.

When I get sick I take my own temperature, and am woken up by pack members who want juice, but can’t locate it in the refrigerator. Sometimes, they also want help locating the refrigerator.

When one of my pack gets sick, I put a clean, extra soft blanket into the dryer to warm it up for her.

When I get sick, my 4 year old uses the dryer to heat up her grilled cheese sandwich.

When one of my pack gets sick, I bring her meals to her in bed on a tray.

When I get sick, my pack assumes it’s “starve a fever AND starve a cold.”

When one of my pack gets sick I give him a chilled bottle of water with a sports top so he can drink without spilling while lying down in bed.

When I get sick, my pack runs the garden hose through my bedroom window to my bed so they won’t have to come up the stairs.

When one of my pack is sick, I bring her books, art supplies, and a portable DVD player to help her stay entertained.

When I get sick, my pack brings me buttons to sew back onto jackets, laundry to smell-check for re-wearing, and quizzes me about where their cleats and library books are currently located to keep me entertained.

When one of my pack gets sick, I keep the house quiet so he can sleep.

When I get sick, my pack takes turns waking me up every 15 minutes so I will feel like I’m in the hospital.

When one of my pack gets sick, I walk her down the stairs when she is feeling good enough to be up and about.

When I get sick, my pack panics when I start to feel like being up and about and asks me to give them a 30 minute warning before I come down the stairs, presumably so they’ll have time to call in a bulldozer to help tidy 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 It's Different When Mom Gets Sick ...Gina's Favorites Mom SickWhen one of my pack gets sick I know he’s done being sick when all the extra sleep and focused nutrition have filled him with renewed energy.

When I get sick, I declare myself done being sick when the sleep-deprivation and concern for the state of my kitchen push me too close to the edge of permanent insanity.

When one of my pack has been sick and announces she is well, I tell her that I am so glad she is well, but that I want her to rest a bit extra for the next few days to get her strength back up.

When I have been sick and announce I am well, my pack tells me they’re hungry, the toilet is backed up, and they need to finish a report, including a full color 3-D poster, about Koalas before school the next morning.

It’s just a bit different when mom gets sick.

Laugh Out Loud!

gina

How about you?  Is it different for you, too?  Tell me all about it.  I’m looking forward to hearing what you think. Shoot me a comment with the details.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

If It’s Wednesday & My Boot Hurts It Must Be Monday!!!

If It’s Wednesday & My Boot Hurts It Must Be Monday!!! …Gina’s Favorites

I’m taking this week off to deal with some family issues, so I’ve lined up some of my favorite posts to keep you giggling.
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

If It’s Wednesday And My Boot Hurts It Must Be Monday

My left boot felt a little snug all morning.

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 If It’s Wednesday & My Boot Hurts It Must Be Monday!!! ...Gina's Favorites ConfusionI was especially surprised by this because my right boot, in keeping with my latest weird trend was feeling slightly too big.

(Note: My latest weird trend is my feet are shrinking or my shoes are growing.  Either way, all of my shoes are a bit loose suddenly.

I thought your feet got bigger as you got older, kinda like noses and ears. I didn’t know they shrank.  I wonder if any other body parts shrink as you get older.  I know things shift, but do they shrink?

I don’t really want my feet to shrink.  I like them the size they are.  I know they are above average size, but I figure that gives me some extra help in keeping my balance.

It’d be cool if I could pick the body part that shrinks.  How about my rear?  I’d be ok with that shrinking significantly.  The other day I wondered who was standing behind me, and it was me.

I have volunteered repeatedly to be a chub donor, but they haven’t needed me so far.  Apparently, there is no shortage of people willing to donate body fat.  Who knew Americans could be so giving, so selfless?).

So anyway, my left boot felt snug.  Not really uncomfortable, just snug.  I drove the kids to school.  I walked my eighth grader to class (how much she “appreciates” and “enjoys” that is a topic for another column). I walked back to the van. I drove home.

All with a snug left boot and a loose right boot.

I went on about my business. Did my work.  Went to meetings. Didn’t think too much about the snug boot, except that it was odd that one boot was snug.

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 If It’s Wednesday & My Boot Hurts It Must Be Monday!!! ...Gina's Favorites ConfusionSo, lunchtime rolls around and I’m home and alone, so I decide to put my feet up and relax while I eat.  All you ladies will attest to the fact that boots are not easy on and off footwear.  They aren’t like pumps that we slip on and off a hundred times during a five minute phone call.  Removing or donning boots requires a bit of time, so we don’t engage in boot location transference lightly.  It is an investment in time and effort which must be given careful consideration.

But, as I realized I would be working at home for the following couple of hours, I decided it was worth the effort to remove, and later reapply my boots.

After I pulled off my boots, I wiggled my toes, as I think you are required to do by law.  They were still feeling plenty warm, each snuggly cocooned in a trouser sock, which I generally wear with boots.

But, I noticed that the toes on my left foot seemed to have an odd deformity.  As I wiggled them more and looked closely, the deformity fell off.  I realized that it was another trouser sock, scrunched up and stuck to the end of my toes. No wonder my left boot was snug. That sock had been crammed into the toe of it.

Well, duh!  If I’m wearing three socks, it must be Monday!

And, then I realized it really was Monday.   I had been mistakenly thinking it was Wednesday all day, and it took a rogue sock to get me onto the right track…er uh…day.

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 If It’s Wednesday & My Boot Hurts It Must Be Monday!!! ...Gina's Favorites Confusion

Because doing something stupid is more fun when you share it with the people you love, when Son#1 got home I told him how funny I thought it was that it took an AWOL sock for me to realize it’s Monday, not Wednesday, as  I had been thinking it was all day.

He gave me his patient smile and said, “Maybe you should check the other boot for stowaways, too.”

“Why?” I asked.

He called back to me over his shoulder as he headed for the kitchen to begin his daily afterschool cookie hunt, “Because it’s Tuesday, mom.”

I think he may have already picked out the home.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Ever get that day of the week-impaired feeling?  Shoot me a comment.  I’d love to hear how your week is going.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Top 10 Reasons My Teen Freaks When She Has To Empty The Vacuum

Top 10 Reasons My Teen Freaks When She Has To Empty The Vacuum …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I’m taking this week off to deal with some family issues, so I’ve lined up some of my favorite posts to keep you giggling.
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Top 10 Reasons My Teen Freaks Out When She Has To Empty The Vacuum Cleaner

It’s a terrible burden.

In our house, before you vacuum, you have to empty the vacuum cleaner canister. Every time.

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We tried using the “empty it if you find it full” rule, but, even when it was overflowing and dirt was flying out, no one ever thought it was full.  So, we now have the “always empty it before you use it” rule.

My teenage daughter just went out to dump the vacuum cleaner canister contents into the trash can.  She was so happy to do it.  And, by “so happy to do it” I, of course, mean “not happy at all.”  I think I can still hear her mumbling about it.

It’s such a quick, simple task, but she pitches a fit every time she has to do it. “Why?” you might wonder. I’m so glad you asked.

Top 10 Reasons My Teen Freaks Out When She Has To Empty The Vacuum Cleaner

#10.  All those spiders we’ve been sucking up all week  – they’re in there & they’re mad.

#9.  One of her friends might see her and know that she has a family (talk about embarrassing!).

#8.  It’s windy outside and she just finally got her hair to, like, work.

#7.  She’s texting with her friend, Milly, who just got dumped by her boyfriend, who BTdubb’s is such a creeper, and she can’t just keep her waiting.

#6.  Our weird neighbor is standing on his roof with his leaf blower cursing at the leaves up there while he blasts them. Again.

#5.  She’s wearing her brand new combat boots, and doesn’t want them to get anything on them that looks even the least bit combat-like.

#4.  The raccoons in our trees throw stuff at you when you go into our trash can area (they really do. And, I think they’re laughing while they do 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 #3.  She is not our maid (we knew that, being as we don’t have a maid [like anyone would take that job!], but she made a point of telling us, just in case we were a bit confused on that point, I guess. Teenagers are thoughtful like that).

#2.  She always has to empty the vacuum cleaner canister (in a related note, she also pointed out that she is the only one who ever does anything around here) (in another related note, I’m laughing, I might be rolling my eyes, and I emptied the vacuum canister yesterday. And, picked up the dishes she left in the bathroom) (that’s right, the bathroom).

#1.  It’s so disgusting! (Just wait until next week. She’s on bathroom cleaning duty).

Teens! Gotta love ‘em!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Do you have a chore you particularly hate?  Is there a chore your family hates?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

C Is For Can’t Remember The Alphabet…Gina’s Favorites

C Is For Can’t Remember The Alphabet …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I’m taking this week off to deal with some family issues, so I’ve lined up some of my favorite posts to keep you giggling.
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

C Is For Can’t Remember The Alphabet

I’m appalled at how often I catch myself reciting The Alphabet Song when my kids aren’t home.

I can’t even fib to myself that I’m helping them with their memorizing to improve their academic experience. Nope, I just have a heck of a time remembering the order unless I run through the whole flipping thing.

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 C Is For Can’t Remember The Alphabet ...Gina's Favorites Memory

Geez.

How many times have I had to sing A-B-C-D in order to figure out the whole G-H-I-J-K fiasco?

And, what about that T-U-V  W-X-Y-Z mess? Is that even knowable without the Q-R-S?

Is there anyone who doesn’t need the L-M-N-O-P to get to the Q-R-S thing in the first place? Is it just me?

I have a college degree. I’ve done post graduate work. I’ve read uncountable pages. Why don’t I know the alphabet?

I once came up with a Jesse Owen costume for Son#2 with only 30 minutes’ notice. I figured out how to make our Christmas tree spin years before you could buy them that way. I know where to park at the Ducks’ games so we don’t have to wait in line to exit the lot and are already in the correct lane for the freeway on ramp that’s 3 ½ miles away. Why don’t I know the alphabet?

I can pick most locks. I do our taxes (I’m talking the long form with lots of schedules) by hand. I can paint walls and ceilings without dripping any paint. Why don’t I know the alphabet?

I speak several different languages (cussing and sarcasm count, right?). I make pancakes and cornbread from scratch. I can change the oil (including the filter) in my car. Why don’t I know the alphabet?

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 C Is For Can’t Remember The Alphabet ...Gina's Favorites Memory

I made my daughter a princess castle cake with a working drawbridge. I taught our dog to wipe his feet. I can tell a kid is lying before he even speaks. Why don’t I know the alphabet?

A friend of mine, Carl, knows the alphabet so well that he can say it backwards at full speed starting at any letter. My youngest son thinks that’s the most impressive thing in the world.

I’m not jealous. Usually. Sometimes.

But, when I am jealous, I remind Carl, that even though I can’t compete with his alphabet skills, I can build people.

He, naturally, then reminds me, that he hopes the people I build don’t need to know the alphabet.

Touché, my brother. Touché.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Are you Alphabet Song-dependent?  Is there some simple thing you mess up consistently?  Is it just me flailing around out there?  What color is your toothbrush?  Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

And, thank you for reading!  I am so thankful for the time you spend with me.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Stop Licking The Dog!!!…Gina’s Favorites

Stop Licking The Dog!!!…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I’m taking this week off to deal with some family issues, so I’ve lined up some of my favorite posts to keep you giggling.
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Stop Licking The Dog!!!

“Stop licking the dog.”  Did I just say that?  Again?

They told me that after I had kids I’d never sleep again. I believed them, but for the wrong reasons.

I thought the baby would fuss. The toddler would call out. Nightmares, bathroom needs, and barking dogs would all work together to prevent any semblance of a good night’s sleep during my parental years.

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 Stop Licking The Dog!!!...Gina's Favorites Parentisms Duh! Moments

And, they do.

But, those disturbances are small potatoes compared to the true parental sleep depriver.

The words.

The sentences.

Those thoughts that somehow made sense at the time when they passed through my lips, but return like ghosts to haunt me in the night.

Did I really tell my daughter to “Stop eating if you’re hungry,” to “Try to be a better liar,” and that “I don’t care what the dog thinks, I’m turning the channel,”?

Did I imagine asking my son “Why are you wearing 9 pairs of underwear at the same time?” “Are all orange foods poisonous?” and “Why is it raining in our dining room?”

Was that me explaining to my own progeny that “Wearing a coat is not a punishment,” and “Cheese is not worth screaming about,”?

Was I the one I heard telling my children “If you break a leg, you’re grounded,” “Wear something light, so the dog hair doesn’t show,” and “Putting the cookies on a plate does to make them homemade,”?

How come I can’t get rid of the image of me explaining yet again to my 8 year old “Needing to wear shoes to school should not be a surprise every day,”?

Did I announce “A flip flop is not a plate,” “Some people do not liked to be sniffed,” and “Sandwiches are not allowed in the bathroom,”?

Was it me who asked “Which parts of your sister are glued together?” “Who dressed the vacuum cleaner?” and “Why is there a taco in your closet?”

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 Stop Licking The Dog!!!...Gina's Favorites Parentisms Duh! Moments

Could I have actually ordered my children to “Stop speaking English. You’re American,” to “Stop putting rocks in the refrigerator,” and to “Stop making fun of your brother’s cornea,”?

Why did I need to ask “How come someone stapled these waffles?”, “Who woke up the frog?”, and “Why does this bread taste like pencils?”?

Did I actually say “You can’t waltz right now. We’re late,” “I don’t care whose it is. Flush it,” and “I’m sorry someone moved your dirt,”?

Yes, they were right when they told me I’d never get any sleep as a parent.

But, they didn’t mention that it’d be because I had to tell someone to “Stop licking the dog!”

Three times.

In one day.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have you been startled by the nonsense that made sense at the time flowing out of your mouth? Have you received knowing looks and stares from nearby parents after blurting out a real gem?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

The Screaming You Hear Is Me!!!…Gina’s Favorites

The Screaming You Hear Is Me!!!…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I’m taking this week off to deal with some family issues, so I’ve lined up some of my favorite posts to keep you giggling.
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

The Screaming You Hear Is Me!!!

Do you hear screaming?

I have a random number generator built into my computer.  When he put it in my IT guy asked if I knew what it was for.

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 The Screaming You Hear Is Me...Gina's Favorites“A random number generator? For filling out my taxes?” I guessed.

That was apparently not funny.  Random number generators are not funny.  I know this because my IT guy gave me the “That’s not funny” stare of death.

He explained that the random number generator was to aid in my fight for cyber security.  I said that I think I have an ointment that treats that.  He gave me another stare of death.

Computer security is serious business.  I know this because he told me, “Computer security is serious business.” (I wonder if he ever reads this? If so, I’m so gonna get the stare of death again on Monday!).  He went on to explain that the random number generator would spit out random numbers which my computer would then use to decide what passwords should be and when to change them.

I suggested that it would be a good idea to change them at the end of every quarter.  I was wrong.  That is NOT a good idea.  I know this because my IT guy said, “That is not a good idea.” And then, looked very serious.

I, fool that I am asked why that is not a good idea.

My IT guy said, “You can’t change them at the end of any quarter. It’s too predictable to change them on days like that.  Hackers will know when the passwords they have don’t work anymore.”

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 The Screaming You Hear Is Me...Gina's FavoritesNow, call me crazy, but won’t they pretty much be able to figure that out anyway no matter when I change the passwords? I’m no hacking expert, but won’t they know it doesn’t work when they try it and it doesn’t work?

So, as I understand it, my random number generator is constantly generating random numbers at random times.  When it generates a particular random number, or when it just happens to be an especially bad day for it for me, it resets all of my passwords to new random “words,” which are composed of a string of random letters, numbers, and symbols of random length.

It’s a technological miracle. It’s amazing. It’s awesome, if by awesome you mean “makes you want to die because you have to relearn every password to even be able to pin that cool looking chocolate, chocolate cake onto your ‘If Calories Didn’t Matter ‘ Pinterest board” (BTW – I have the coolest chocolate, chocolate cake on my “If Calories Didn’t Matter” Pinterest board.  Now that I think about it, chocolate, chocolate cake sounds pretty good right now.  Hmmm).

Anyway – every time it resets all my passwords it makes me think I have suffered a case of instant dementia or amnesia or whatever it’s called when your brain instantly ceases up and refuses to process even one more thing.

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 The Screaming You Hear Is Me...Gina's FavoritesAnd, I’m not allowed to write them down.  That would undermine the integrity of the whole process.  I know this because my IT guy told me, and continues to tell me every blasted time he sees me with anything resembling a writing instrument in my hand, “You must not write them down! It undermines the integrity of the whole process if you write them down. And, no iPhone-ing it either!”

So, every so often, after a random amount of time has passed since the last time, you will hear me screaming because just as I finally got them all memorized and I am invariably working on a deadline, all of my passwords will change.  Randomly.

So I scream. Randomly.

I have to scream.  I can’t cry.  My IT guy said, “No liquids by the computer!”

At least this time my IT guy is screaming, too, because the computer randomly selected today to select new random passwords.  And, today is the last day of the quarter!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Are you screaming, too?  How do you remember your passwords?  I look forward to hearing all about it! Shoot me a comment and share the scream!

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Top 10 Things I Did NOT Know About Parenting…Gina’s Favorites

Top 10 Things I Did NOT Know About Parenting…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I’m taking this week off to deal with some family issues, so I’ve lined up some of my favorite posts to keep you giggling.
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Top 10 Things I Did NOT Know About Parenting

They don’t tell you a lot about parenting before you join the cult.

People joke a bit about losing most of your sleep while your child is an infant, and all of it when your child becomes a teen.

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 Things I Did NOT Know About Parenting...Gina's FavoritesThey point out the baby fat they’re still carrying from their now 264 month old child.

But, no one mentions the truly mind boggling aspects of parenthood.

Here’s some of the things I did not realize would happen when I became a parent that keep my head shaking and my eyes rolling more often than I care to admit.

Top 10 Things I Did NOT Know About Parenting

#10.  How often I would step in something wet – from the benign puddles of melted ice cubes and dribbled milk to the nefarious spectrum of bodily productions, which mysteriously appear where they never should (this job really should come with galoshes).

#9.  How often someone would scream at me that he or she was not tired or grumpy and did not need a nap (funny how I always need one).

#8.  How every semblance of sophistication would be quickly and completely stripped out of my life. Leaving the house in unstained clothes, arriving on time, a clean car, an uninterrupted thought, all gone.

#7.  How often I would utter the phrase “I’m not missing any of this movie to take anyone to the bathroom, so you better go now.”

#6.  How I would cave in every time & take every kid to the bathroom during the movie (I get more steps in during a movie than at the gym in an hour on the treadmill).

#5.  How often I would offer bribes to small people to poop or sleep. Or, to let me poop or sleep. Alone.

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 Things I Did NOT Know About Parenting...Gina's Favorites#4.  How much time and effort other people’s shoes would suck out of my life. Explaining why shoes must be worn. Again. Asking where the shoes were last seen. Again. Hiking halfway back to the waterfall in the dark by the light of my cell phone to retrieve a shoe. Again.

#3.  How much time I would spend admiring captive insects, and negotiating for their release back into the wild.

#2.  How many times I would give up my jacket, my water, my snack, my sanity to the child I reminded not less than ten times to bring his or her own, who, nonetheless, forgot to bring it.

#1.  How great I would get at silently opening crinkly candy wrappers so as not to tip off my children to my clandestine date with junk food.

I don’t share chocolate.

It’s really for their own protection.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What aspect of parenting surprised you once you were actually in the trenches? What’s harder than you imagined it would be?  What’s easier?  Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Top 5 IDIOTIC Things I Do When I Forget My Phone…Gina’s Favorites

Top 5 IDIOTIC Things I Do When I Forget My Phone…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I’m taking this week off to deal with some family issues, so I’ve lined up some of my favorite posts to keep you giggling.
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Top 5 IDIOTIC Things I Do When I Forget My Phone

We were running late.

We’re always running late.

I should just say, “We left.” Everyone knows the “We were running late” thing is implied by the whole “We left” thing in the first place.

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 5 IDIOTIC Things I Do When I Forget My Phone...Gina's Favorites Cell Phone

I’ll start again.

We left.

In our rush to leave not even close to on time, I diverged from my standard packing protocol, and forgot to put my phone in my right pocket.

I always put my phone in my right pocket. Always. I won’t even buy clothes without pockets there anymore. I need that pocket for my phone.

I’m sure some are thinking that perhaps I don’t need to have my phone with me all of the time, and perhaps you’re right. But, I like to keep it with me all the time if any of my kids are not with me. I like knowing they can reach me if they need to.

Plus, I’m a little OCD (by “a little” I mean “a lot”), and I have to put stuff in the same place every time or I’ll freak out.

And, of course I just need to have my phone with me all of the time, just like you need yours with you all of the time. Because we’re normal. Or, maybe because we’re not. I’m a little fuzzy on that.

Either way.

We were 10 minutes from home, already running 20 minutes late for my daughter’s treatment appointment, when I realized my phone wasn’t in my right pocket.

So, I morphed into an idiot.

Top 5 IDIOTIC Things I Do When I Forget My Phone

#5.  I lose my mind - I try to use my phone because I don’t have it. The second I realize I’ve left my phone at home I decide to use it to call home to tell my family I left it at home. That’s one of those moments when I’m glad my inner thoughts aren’t being broadcast to the universe.

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#4.  I turn into The Town Crier - Finally, having accepted that I don’t know where my phone is, I feel the need to share that important bit of news with everyone I encounter, as though it’s a cross between winning the lotto and being stuck in quicksand.

Amazingly, upon hearing about my phonelessness, people treat me like I’m recovering from major surgery. “You forgot your cell phone? You poor dear. You better sit down and rest. Would you like a cup of tea? Is there anyone we should notify? Shall we call your pastor?”

#3.  I turn into timeless traveler -  I hear myself constantly asking people, “What time is it?” “What time is it now?” “Really? Only 3 minutes have passed.” “Now what time is 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 5 IDIOTIC Things I Do When I Forget My Phone...Gina's Favorites Cell Phone#2.  I join the cast of Happy Days – With my dear phone AWOL I slip into thinking that not having a cell phone must be what it was like to live in the 1950’s. I think to myself, again thankful these thoughts aren’t headed out over Wifi, that maybe they didn’t have cell phones then because all the hair goo they used would wreck them. Plus, who’s ever seen a poodle skirt with a pocket? Pretty soon I’m doing a Fonzie impression, looking for a jukebox, and wondering if I could put a carseat on a motorcycle.

#1.  I feed my inner-paranoid - I imagine all sorts of horrendous emergency situations are about to happen, which I could’ve easily escaped if only I had my cell phone with me. Bank robberies. Swarms of locusts. Yeti sightings. Granted none of these situations have ever happened to me or anyone I know, but when I forget my cell phone, I leave logic at home with it, so it won’t be lonely. I’m a giver like that.

I did find my cell phone later that night.

It was in the right pocket.

But, in the pants I changed out of right before I left.

A rookie mistake, really.

There should be an app for that.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

How do you handle it when you misplace your cell phone? Have you lost it recently? Have your kids ever tried to flush it? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Stupid Fun Stuff I Do With My Kids…Gina’s Favorites

Stupid Fun Stuff I Do With My Kids…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I’m taking this week off to deal with some family issues, so I’ve lined up some of my favorite posts to keep you giggling.
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Stupid Fun Stuff I Do With My Kids

You’re never closer to cardiac arrest than when you realize your child is about to describe you from his or her point of view to other people.

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This week I overheard my daughter describing the roles of her dad and I in her life.

“My dad?  He takes us to the dentist.  My mom?  She tells the jokes.”

It’s a strange, hold your breath, pray for the best sensation waiting to hear what your child will say about you.  In this case, I was happy with what I heard.  Every time I make my kids laugh, to me, that’s a win.  And, I really do hate going to the dentist.

I like that my kids see me as a source of humor.  I spend a lot of time crafting humor as my job, but sharing humor with my children is much more important to me.

I have never found parenting to be easy.  It’s simple, yes: be the grown up, do what’s best for them, set appropriate boundaries.  But, easy?  No.  Rarely, maybe never, easy.

We’ve had very difficult moments, painful times, tough realities to deal with.  I suppose every family does.  And, being able to grab a little breath of fresh air by laughing about something has often made tremendously heavy loads bearable.

I try to make sure we laugh every day, and I’m not above using cheap tricks and bad jokes to do it.

We make fake poop and leave it in places to freak people out.  I’ve taught my kids to employ a variety of mediums when working in the poop genre.  Brownies, chocolate sprinkles, melted chocolate, a perfectly shaped wooden stick, and, of course, the every resilient Tootsie Roll are all in our pot of tricks. Pun intended.

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We’ve left creations for grandma and grandpa, their dad, friends, neighbors, even many of them.  It’s a hoot.  Fake poop is always good for a laugh.

We share a joke of the day.  Anyone can come up with it.  The cheesier the better.  I have a joke about a time traveler that I don’t even have to tell anymore.  If I just say “Time traveler says” I’m met with a chorus of giggles and groans. When my youngest son’s band teacher started their first class with a joke, my son instantly thought of him as family.

We laugh about my irrational fears.  Monkeys, clowns, and spiders freak me out, and, not only have I been honest with my kids about that, I encourage them to make light of it, in a kind way.

We laugh about my OCD.  I like the forks sorted by size.  I hang coats by age.  My shoes have to point the same way in the closet.  I hate touching cheese puffs. My goofiness is an endless source of giggles.

We give voices to our dogs.  When one of our furry family members is staring at someone or something, someone will invariably, speak thoughts for them, i.e. “Give me your cookie.  Just put the cookie down and back away slowly.” Or “I pooped in your shoe.  I’m very sorry.  It was just such a lovely place to poop.”

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We short sheet beds.  If you haven’t taught your kids to do this, get on it.  It’s a life skill everyone needs to have.

When we leave a hotel room, after putting the towels in a neat pile and the trash in the can, we arrange the covers so it looks like someone is still in bed.  We stick Post It notes with messages under the toilet seat for the cleaning people, such as “We enjoyed our stay here.  This place is filled with class.  Thank you for keeping it clean and fresh and lovely for our…”  Well, you get the idea.  Yes, we leave a tip.

We toilet paper anyone who falls asleep on the sofa.  If a sound sleeper and barefoot, he or she might wake with painted toenails, as well.

We move your plate if you walk away for a moment while eating or preparing food.  Sometimes we completely hide it.  Sometimes it’s just shifted.  Always it throws the plate owner for a loop.

I will turn on loud party music and we will take a 3 minute Dance Party break, for no particular reason,.

I will suddenly holler, “Oh my gosh we’re late! Quick! Get in the car!” for no reason whatsoever.  Then, after everyone has rushed out and buckled up, we’ll go back in our house and have ice cream for dinner, or head out to a silly movie.

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When someone leaves the table to go to the restroom at a restaurant, we’ll switch tables.  If the movie isn’t going to start for a while, we’ll do that at the movie theater, too.

The first question I ask each child after we have been apart is “What funny or weird thing happened today?  Did anyone fall down?”  I’ll never forget when my now 17 year old son was only 10 and uncharacteristically ran full speed out to my waiting car after school. He threw open the door and burst out with, “Somebody fell down today!!!”  His friend, Ryan, had slipped on a dropped squid part during a science dissection.  He was unhurt, but slimed.  We still laugh about it.

We make it a point to take pictures of goofy things and to show them to each other.  My older kids have cell phones and iPods now, so we send each other goofy pictures in text messages.  But, even my youngest charges know to grab the nearest camera or phone when the dog is snoring, we pass a sign that says “Haircuts While You Wait,” or a squirrel has its head stuck into a pumpkin.

And, speaking of pictures, we take lots of silly ones on purpose.  Every time we take a formal “Everybody look at me and try to look happy” kind of picture, we follow it up with a “Do something funny” shot.  Those are often the best pictures of the whole photo shoot.

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I think I got the whole “Share Laugh With Your Kids” thing from my parents.  My mom used to include us kids in playing jokes on my dad.  She’d let us help pack plastic fruit in his lunches, or help us fill the cookie jar with dog biscuits for an after dinner surprise.  She’d fib to us all day on April Fools’ Day.  And, she still puts a rock amongst the baked potatoes every time she serves them.

My dad liked to wake us up early and tell us we were running late for school.  On Sunday.  We fell for it every time.  He also liked to join in on water fights.  Long before Super Soakers, he’d use a giant (and clean!) oil changing gun to blast us with water from 50 feet away.

Of course, what goes around comes around.

When we drove away from my parents’ house after our last visit, I giggled thinking about the realistic-looking poop sculpture we’d left on their bed.  I was sure they’d be expecting a parting joke.  But they have a new puppy, so I knew we’d have them going for a while with that one.

The family that laughs together, lasts together.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

How does your family get its giggle on?  What do you remember laughing about as a kid?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Why Aren’t My Kids Better Liars?…Gina’s Favorites

Why Aren’t My Kids Better Liars?…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I’m taking this week off to deal with some family issues, so I’ve lined up some of my favorite posts to keep you giggling.
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Why Aren’t My Kids Better Liars?

Why aren’t my kids better liars?

It’s not like they don’t practice.

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I feel like such a failure.  Clearly, I’m not providing them with the deception training they need to develop into the amazing liars I know they could be.

Maybe I need to call in a professional to provide private coaching, like a politician or a used car salesman or a weight loss counselor.

Consider yesterday’s example:

I asked Son#3 & Son#4, “Did you finish cleaning your room?”

“Yes!” they answered in unison, already opening the cabinet to access the Xbox.

“Is it actually clean, or did you just stop working on it?”  I asked to clarify their answer.  I watch Law & Order.  I know how to interrogate.

“It’s clean!” they answered in unison, sticking to their story, while they tug-o-war’ed with the favored XBox black controller.  They’ve been watching NCIS for denial tips.

I totally support a “Trust but Verify” policy in both international relations and child proclamations, but yesterday that policy was frustrated by a case of the dizzy, nauseated thing going on, which made me running up and down the stairs every 5 minutes to check on my minions somewhat problematic.  I had to continue my investigation verbally

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“Are you sure?” I asked, carefully maintaining eye contact to watch for hints of deception.  That’s what Patrick Jane does.

“Yes!” they again answered emphatically, in unison.  Son#3 had somehow managed to wrest the coveted black controller away from Son#4.  I was surprised that Son#4 wasn’t complaining about being stuck with one of the less loved light colored controllers, but I didn’t allow it to get me off track.

I gave them both “The Eye,” and asked, “Could a blind guy walk across your floor without getting hurt?”  Sometimes you have to get specific to eliminate semantics.

“Yes,” Son#3 answered slowly. “He’d be wearing shoes, right?”

“He should probably wear boots,” Son#4 offered, while lining up their Skylanders.

“Clean your room!” was my closing argument.

Or, perhaps consider Daughter#3’s poor performance last month after she walked past my office with perfectly curled tresses rather than her naturally straight hair:

“Did you use my curling iron?” I asked, knowing the answer, as it’s the only one in the house since the “Why is the mattress on fire?” incident of 6 months ago.

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“No,” she said, picking up speed a bit in a race to hit the stairs before I hit her with the next question.

I can move fast, too, and darted out into the hall to ask, “Then, how did your hair get so curly?”

“I must have slept on it funny,” my 3rd born, feminine-flower answered.

“You slept on it funny?  It doesn’t look funny.  It looks curled. You’re supposed to ask before you use other people’s stuff and you know it.”

“I must have twirled it around my finger a lot in my sleep,” she suggested, clearly thinking my mind had twirled out my ear in the middle of the night.

I couldn’t help but do a brain revealing eye roll.  I hollered down the stairs to her, “Put my curling iron back in my bathroom right now, before I twirl you around something.”

And, who can forget last week’s record grounding-inducing, pathetic attempt by Son#2 when I came upon him entering the house as I was on my way out at 6:00AM on a Saturday morning:

“Why are you up?” I asked.  Seeing him awake on a Saturday at 6:00AM usually means I forgot about a 7:00AM soccer game, or the world is ending.

“I got the paper,” he answered holding up the newspaper he had retrieved from our driveway.

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“I see.  And, you needed a car key for that?” I asked, pointing to the key in his other hand. I’m sure Mr. Jane would have been proud of me.

“Uhhh,” he began.  I was tempted to sit down, as I recognized that a show was about to begin.  “I went out to get donuts for the family.”

“Really?” I like to play along.

“Yeah, I figured I better go early, so there was a better selection,” Son#2 continued.

“How thoughtful!” I said.  “Where are the donuts?”

“Uhhh, I didn’t have any money in my wallet to buy them,” he continued.  “So, I went to the bank to cash my paycheck, but I couldn’t get the machine to work and they weren’t open, so I just came home.”

“Give me your keys.  You won’t need them for quite some time,” I said more calmly than I thought possible, considering my mind was running through all of the different ways to strangle a person at the time.

“Why am I getting in trouble for trying to do something nice for the family?” he scoffed, clearly wounded by this perceived injustice.

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 Why Aren’t My Kids Better Liars?...Gina's Favorites Lying“You weren’t trying to do something nice for the family.  The closest you got to buying us donuts this morning was driving past the mini mall on your way home after sneaking out to play video games at you friends’ house all night.  And, if you say one more word, I will take you down to the bank when it opens, and have them show you the video tape of you not trying to use the ATM to cash your paycheck, which by the way went through the laundry last night because you left it in your jeans pocket.”

You know, it’s not the lying so much as the lack of effort behind it that really bothers me.  I mean, come on, if they’re going to be dishonest, couldn’t they at least make an effort?  I’m not a complete moron.

How about even a little effort? Couldn’t my kids at least wipe the chocolate off their faces before denying they ate my chocolate bar?

How about showing some respect?  Is it too much to ask that they at least hide my suede boots after wearing them out in the rain, rather than sticking the mud cover things back on my shelf?

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I worry for my children.  They seem to be lacking such basic level dishonesty skills, and they aren’t putting in the hard work necessary to become quality deceivers.

How will they be finesse-filled spouses or skilled parents or Christmas character supporters?

How will they successfully apply for a mortgage or negotiate for a car or eat dinner at their in-laws house?

I realize now that I should have set a better example.  I should have been lying to them all along.

But, it’s never too late to start.  I’ll change my ways.  I’ll make a difference in their lives before it’s too late.  I’ll start today.

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I’ll tell them I’m in the kitchen making dinner, when I’m actually in the kitchen snarfing cookie dough.

I’ll tell them I went to the gym, when all I actually did was stop by my friend Jim’s house to return a book.

And, I’ll tell Son#3 that he can borrow my car, and when he heads for the door, I add, “but you may not” just to help them work on those semantics.

I know there’s still hope.

If I really focus, I may be able to raise a pack of skilled liars yet!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Anyone told you a real whopper lately?  What was it?  What did you do?  Did you ever feed your parents a pile of bologna?  What happened?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Oh yeah – I just wanted to remind you – if you haven’t hooked up with me on Facebook or Pinterest or Twitter, I hope you will today.  I want you to be in on all the giggles.  Plus, it’s always fun to hang out with you!

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Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.