He Answered To “Easter Basket”

He Answered To “Easter Basket”

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 He Answered To "Easter Basket" Pets Dogs EasterJust ’cause we love ’em doesn’t mean they’re smart.

We had a dog named Douglas. We loved him all very much.

But, and I mean that in the nicest possible way, Douglas was an idiot.

Often when I’d look at Douglas I’d say to him, “It’s a good thing you’re pretty.”

He was pretty. He was a lab and saluki mix, with shiny black fur that was soft like a rabbit’s. His mouth was always smiling. He had a long tail with a dangling, silky fringe that that never got tangled. He was lean, and looked like he could run down a cheetah. He really was a pretty dog.

He was also pretty dumb.

Douglas joined our family when he was 9 months old. His first family had named him “Douglas,” after the black train on the Thomas the Train TV show. We opted not to change his name because we didn’t want to confuse him. If we knew then what we know now, we would have just laughed and laughed and laughed at the idea of not confusing him.

Douglas, who was sweet and wonderful with children, despite his enormous size, lived in a constant state of confusion. I swear sometimes the other dogs were laughing at him. I sometimes scolded them for that. Apparently, he wasn’t the only confused member of our family.

It took nearly 2 years to teach Douglas to “sit” on command. It took nearly 4 years to get any kind of acknowledgment from him that when we hollered “No!” we are not happy with what he is doing, and he should stop. Even then, sometimes all he did was pause.

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 He Answered To "Easter Basket" Pets Dogs EasterHe didn’t wag his tail like normal dogs. He had an asymmetrical pattern when he put his tail into motion. When he was especially excited about something he’d do what we call “helicoptering,” which was when his tail just made continuous, enormous circles.

But, it was his seeming inability to understand what his name was that was the source of most of our head shaking and giggles.

For the first two years after he joined our family, we would call out, “Douglas!” to get his attention, and then, having received no acknowledgement whatsoever again, we would call out, “Trixie!” to get Douglas to come to us (you might remember Trixie was one of our other dogs who, sadly, passed away a couple years before Douglas did). Douglas would see Trixie run up to us, and he would follow her. The funny thing was he would run up to us if we called out, “Trixie!” even when Trixie wasn’t home.

But, that was OK. At least we knew how to get his attention.

And, he was very pretty.

Even though it usually received no acknowledgement from him, we consistently call Douglas “Douglas.” We were ever hopeful that he’d catch on to his name. But, at 13 years old he still hadn’t.

For almost 6 weeks one spring he answered solely to the name “Easter Basket.” Daughter#1 was in a conversation, and when she said, “Easter basket,” Douglas charged across the house, giant paws slipping and sliding, long legs flailing, right up to her. We thought it was a coincidence.

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 He Answered To "Easter Basket" Pets Dogs EasterIt was not unusual for Douglas to make a sudden mad dash through the house for no apparent reason. We didn’t even answer the door if he ran up and barked at it unless the other dogs did, too. He had excellent hearing. He even heard, and I think saw, invisible people.

So, scientifically minded family that we are, we tested “The Easter Basket Moniker” Theory later that day. We had Son#3 sit on the sofa in the family room with no food nearby, as we wondered if Daughter#1 being in the food-centric dining room earlier had been the reason he had made his mad, well-timed dash. Son#3 called out, “Easter Basket!” Douglas came running.

I’m not sure if Douglas thought “Easter  Basket” was his name, or if he had associated “Easter Basket” with candy, and was hoping to get some (my dad also came running at the phrase “Easter Basket.” He loved him some candy!), but for whatever reason, for the first time in his near decade as a part of our family, we had a reliable way to call that dog to us. Gotta admit it felt a little weird hollering it out at the dog park, though.

After the end of his “Easter Basket” phase, we went been back to calling him “Douglas,” while he went back to having no idea that we are talking to him.

Until one fall day.

That day ‘Ole Easter Basket amazed me.

I called out, “Douglas!” and he tore through the house and ran right up next to me, looking at me expectantly. I was so shocked that it took me a minute to remember I was calling him to see if he needed to go outside. He went 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 He Answered To "Easter Basket" Pets Dogs EasterTwice more over the next couple hours I called out “Douglas!” and he ran right up to me. I was so excited that at nearly 10 years old he had finally learned his name. Sometimes you lower your expectations for certain individuals. I could hardly wait to show my kids.

When my pack got home around dinner time, I called out “Douglas!” to give him a chance to show off his new found brilliance. No reaction.  I tried several more times. I even tried with a Scottish accent. No dice. He didn’t even look at me until I walked over to him and petted his head.

Whatever iceberg had popped through the surface of that vast empty ocean that was his brain had sunk back down into the depths.

But, that was OK.

And, luckily, he was very pretty.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Know anyone whose wheel is spinning, but you suspect the hamster fell off long ago? Ever have one of those “what’s my name again?” days?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

This column first appeared right here on ginavalley.com on as If It Answers to “Easter Basket” It Must Be Our Dog, August 23, 2012.

Socks ARE The Devil!!!

Socks ARE The Devil!!!

by Gina Valley

They’re trying to drive me insane.

No, not my pack.

Well, them, too, but I’m talking about those knit, Ninja-skilled, foot festoon-ers.

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 Socks ARE The Devil!!! Laundry SocksIs there anything more futile and infuriating than trying to keep a supply of clean, paired up socks?

Oh. My. Gosh.

Why is that absolutely impossible to do?

Socks seem to disappear at our home right before our eyes. I’m not sure whether to call it a miracle or a curse, but whatever it is, I can’t seem to stop it.

Once I bought a pack of 12 pairs for Son#4 at the Big Blue store. By the time we got to our van in the parking lot, the package was down to 10 pairs. By the time we got home, it was already down to 8. And, he hadn’t even opened the package yet.

Chances are, of those 8 pairs, only 3 pairs actually made it to the laundry room for cleaning and re-wearing. The rest of them likely took off to live stinky, free-range lives under the bathroom cabinet, in the back of his closet, or in our breakfast cereal cabinet.

Why can’t my family get their dirty socks off of their feet and directly into our laundry room, without a 3 day layover in our kitchen or on our dining room table? I’d have the socks complain to their travel agent, if I thought it’d do any good.

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 Socks ARE The Devil!!! Laundry SocksWe have a bucket in our laundry room that dirty socks are supposed to reside in. It’s actually more of a tub. It’s hard to miss. I keep getting larger and larger tubs, because I think the socks are climbing out and making a run for it, causing our supply to constantly dwindle.

Why does my pack refuse to corral the socks we can actually find? If they would just drop their used socks into the bucket, I could work my over-bleaching magic, and produce clean, slightly transparent foot cozies for them on a regular basis.

Maybe they’re afraid to have them washed because they know how socks in our home use laundry day as a starting point to begin world travels.

My dryer doesn’t just eat an occasional sock. No, it’s apparently running a complete sock protection and relocation program, sneaking socks across borders and in and out of houses throughout the world. I caught an argyle with a tiny Scottish passport in the last load I pulled from the dryer.

Of the 6 socks that made up those 3 identical pairs from the same package that I bought for Son#4 that day, only 3 socks will emerge from the laundry. And, not a one of those 3 socks, which were identical when they entered the washer, will look even slightly like a relative of the others as they exit the dryer.

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 Socks ARE The Devil!!! Laundry SocksHow come when I buy new socks and wash them, even though they all came out of the same package, when they come out of the dryer they’re invariably all different sizes, shapes and colors? What’s up with that?

The military should have such shape-shifting and camouflage technology!

After washing a full load of more than 50 pairs of socks, I end up with about 57 individual socks, and not a matched pair in the bunch.

I‘m considering moving to Hawaii, solely so that my pack won’t have to wear socks.

I’m pretty sure the savings in sock money for the first year alone would pay for the move.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Is your home a hideout for sock fugitives, too?  Do they disappear before or after you try to wash them?  Shoot me a comment with all of your suggestions for sock containment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng, metmuseum.orgDreamstime.com – Used with permission.

This column is based on Socks Are The Devil, which first appeared on ginavalley.com/ January 15, 2013.

I REALLY Need An Intervention!!!

I REALLY Need An Intervention!!!

by Gina Valley

The Food Network is like crack.

I know it’s bad for me, but I keep going right back to it time after time after time.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like to cook. I love to cook, actually. But, watching the Food Network makes me yearn to cook like they cook. Nothing else will do.

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 REALLY Need An Intervention Reality TV Food NetworkI look at my cooking scenario and nearly scream, “I can’t work like this!”

The Food Network makes me realize to prepare a proper piece of ingestible artistry I need my children off in a mysterious, unspoken wonderland, my kitchen pristine, and all of the ingredients pre-measured into those cool, little, clear glass bowls.

I’m pretty sure my kids broke all of those bowls. And, even if we had any, it would take me more than the hour long program to find them. Half the time I can’t even find our carton of eggs.

How can I possibly create amazing culinary delights in my chaotic life after watching cooking Utopia?  It’s too depressing. I don’t even have that magic sink you drop dirty dishes into which makes them disappear during the commercial break.

I wish they would do cooking shows for real people. I don’t mean those reality shows where contestants are given cactus chunks, a tomato, 6 artichokes and an unlabeled can, and told to prepare a meal for eight cowboys in under one hour.

How about a real show with real people showing real solutions to real problems?  Really.

How about a show where contestants must prepare a week’s worth of meals for preschoolers without using chicken nuggets, string cheese or Cheerios? No fair reminding them that Jonny currently refuses to eat anything orange (color, not flavor) or that Lily will “die” if any of her different foods touch.

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 REALLY Need An Intervention Reality TV Food NetworkHow about a show where the host has to paw and burrow through a real home’s cupboards in an effort to find the ingredients and the pan to make meatloaf before a 3 year old wakes up from her spontaneous nap, which can only mean she’s getting sick, all while helping a 14 year old with her algebra homework and showing a 10 year old how to make a Diary Of a Wimpy Kid diorama.

How about they show us how to make that cream puff tower surrounded by spun sugar while a mother-in-law hovers over every move, constantly repeating in a heavy, old world accent, “Oooh, the next time you see me, I’ll be dead,” without the chef engaging in any eye-rolling or snappy comebacks, such as, “Don’t make promises you aren’t going to keep!” That would be holiday magic.

How about they show us what to make when your stockyard-owning friends from Texas and that nice vegan couple with the peanut and soy allergies you met at the soccer tournament in Malibu both come over for dinner on the same night. Surely, there is something that can be made for them all, besides reservations.

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 REALLY Need An Intervention Reality TV Food NetworkAnd, how about a show where they make dinner with what we have when we have neither the basics nor time for a trip to the grocery store? I’d love to see them come up with something yummy using only the slightly wilted lettuce, 2 cans of garbanzo beans, a half used tub of fromage blanc cheese, and the pound of ground meat left in the back of our fridge at the end of the week. Now that would be a challenge.

Especially since I think that ground meat might actually be spinach from last month.

If you need me, I’ll be hiding from my kitchen. And, the meat/spinach.

I’ll probably be watching The Food Network.

I need an intervention.

Laugh  Out Loud!

-gina

Do you watch The Food Network? Do you have a favorite show you love or love to hate? How about the other “reality” networks like HGTV or DIY or Lifetime?  Do you find inspiration or frustration? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

This piece is based on a column which first appeared as I Need An Intervention here on ginavalley.com on November 28, 2012.

You May Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot

You May Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot

by Gina Valley

Sometimes, I do something I’m proud of myself for doing.

This was not one of those times.

I was at the hair place today for a much needed session with The Hair Whisperer. After she thoroughly coated my hair with some sort of magical goo, The Hair Whisperer had me sit under one of those giant, chair-mounted hair dryers.

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 You May Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot!!! Embarrassing Everyone knows the dryers at a hair salon are akin to Sanctuary, and no one under a dryer is to be disturbed. Besides, you can’t hear what anyone says to you when you’re under one of those giant heat spewers anyway.

I planted myself under Dryer #1. I was alone in the dryer area for the first few minutes, then a woman I’d never met planted herself under Dryer #4. Consistent with the Rules of Sanctuary, Woman Under Dryer #4 and I did not interact.

Now, I don’t know if God was testing me, or he just wanted to share a laugh, but at the very moment I happened to turn my head toward Woman Under Dryer #4, she sneezed.

It wasn’t a dainty little sneeze like many women do. Nor, was it a more feminine version of the male free-for-all explosion. No, this was more along the lines of what a blue whale does when it suddenly needs to clear its blow hole after 2 hours beneath the waves.

The force of her sudden nasal explosion created, as all the physicists might have expected, an equal and opposite reaction, causing her head to make a rapid acceleration toward the back of the dryer.

It didn’t even take a second for her velocity backward to be suddenly, and noisily, stopped by the back of the dryer hood, as signaled by a loud “thunk!” and a tremoring of the drier and chair.

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 You May Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot!!! Embarrassing Before I could open my mouth to ask if she was OK, the force of her head hitting the back of the dryer resulted in what I can only assume was some sort of rebound effect, causing her head to jolt forward, where it, predictably, collided with the front of the drier hood, as signaled by another loud “thunk!” and an increase in the tremoring of Dryer Number 4 and its chair.

I’m not proud to admit that every fiber of my being screamed out for me to laugh.

And, it was not just tempting to laugh. It was almost impossible not to. After all, a sneeze-induced, double head whacking is way past funny. It’s hilarious!

I tried not to laugh. Really, I did. I bit my lip. I thought about that horrible commercial about the abused animals. I remembered that time my grandpa wore his Speedo to the beach. But, nothing, no matter how sad or horrifying, could remove my need to giggle.

The more I tried not to laugh, the more I felt my body shake. Soon, tears were escaping my eyes. The fact that I shouldn’t laugh was making it nearly physically impossible not to do so.

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 You May Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot!!! Embarrassing The shell-shocked Woman Under Dryer #4 wrangled out from under Dryer #4 without touching the hood. I couldn’t help but think she had developed a fear of it, after having suffered through 2 rapid-fire collisions with the plastic crown. I wondered what the word was for a fear of hair dryers. This caused my need to giggle to increase even more.

At that point I realized The Hair Whisperer had returned to check my warming tresses. She was standing next to me, her mouth gaping, a clear indication she had witnessed the sneeze-off, as well.

I knew if I made eye contact with The Hair Whisperer I would dissolve into a laughing heap, so I focused on the floor and continued to bite my lip in an effort to maintain control until Woman No Longer Under Dryer #4 was well out of earshot.

As Woman No Longer Under Dryer #4 crossed in front of me on a trajectory toward the restroom, I lost my mind. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m sure, looking back, if I had simply followed the rules of Sanctuary, everything would have been fine. But, I couldn’t do it. I don’t know why. I just couldn’t help myself.

Barely able to contain my laughter, I heard myself, in what must have been a completely involuntary action, say to Woman No longer Under Dryer #4, “Bless you.”

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 You May Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot!!! Embarrassing She stiffened, and glared at me.

I might have been more taken aback by her giving me the evil eye had I not been so distracted her smock.

The salon staff outfits each client in a black smock upon arrival. The smocks make you feel like you’re at the height of fashion, and they’re great at hiding any wayward blobs of goo during the miraculous transformations the various aestheticians wrought.

When Woman No Longer Under Dryer Number 4 turned to give me the look I suddenly became aware of another effect of her nostril work out. Not only had the explosion released a tremendous amount of energy, resulting in her double-head-whacking, it had also apparently released an artful display of her nasal…er uh…productions.

It looked as though someone had airbrushed a delicate, glistening map of the cosmos on the front of Woman No Longer Under Dryer #4’s smock, and had dropped a couple big planets into the mix. The bright lights shining from the ceiling made the strands and blobs glisten against the black background.

I almost expected to hear Carl Sagan telling me which heavenly body each splotch on her smock represented.

#Funny You May Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot!!! – Laugh All About It!!! http://ginavalley.com/ #Humor #embarrassing But, I did not expect to hear The Hair Whisperer whisper in my ear, “I think we might need to throw out that smock.”

But, she did, and I’m not proud to admit I lost the battle to keep from giggling. I lost it big time. I didn’t just giggle. I laughed. I snorted. I guffawed. I laughed again. I hee’d. I haw’d. I totally dissolved into a shaking, crying pile of hilarity.

I never saw Woman No Longer Under Dryer #4 come out of the restroom. That might be because I was nearly blind from crying due to laughing so hard. Or, she might still be in there. It’s a shame, though, because I wanted to apologize to her.

So, Woman Under Dryer #4, if you’re reading this, I apologize for laughing during what was likely a mortifying and traumatic experience for you.

I admit I thought it was funny at the time.

But, I see now that it’s snot.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have you ever done something totally embarrassing in a public place? Have you witnessed someone else embarrassing themselves? How’d you handle it? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Be sure to get first notice about my humor writings by subscribing to my email notices by clicking that lovely box at the top, right of this page. You’ll receive convenient updates when I post on this website. I promise not to do anything weird or annoying with your email address.

And, as always, thank you for sharing my humor with your friends and family on your social media platforms. I already paid for those share buttons at the bottom of the page, so I’m happy when you use them.

And, as always, I appreciate all of your support.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission
This post originally appeared here on ginavalley.com in March 2014 titled You Might Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot.

I Want A Kids’ Shoes Tracking Device #whatIwantforChristmas

I Want A Kids’ Shoes Tracking Device

#whatIwantforChristmas

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.

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).

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 #whatIwantforChristmas Holidays Gifts Christmas

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 eggnog 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 #whatIwantforChristmas posts.

I’m looking forward to reading your #whatIwantforChristmas 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 What Do YOU Want? post with them on all of your social media spaces.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

What Do YOU Want?

What Do YOU Want?

by Gina Valley

We all know and love the Facebook November “What I’m Thankful For” schtick*

*depending on your point of view that may or may not be typed in the sarcasm font

Now let’s go with something a bit more down to earth and realistic. Let’s call it:

What I Want For Christmas

#whatIwantforChristmas

Note the cool matching hashtag.

Let’s get this trend to sweep some extra fun and frolic across Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. It’ll have all of the fancy bells and whistles of a full throttle Facebook trend, plus be compatible with Apple, Android, and Google. I’m not sure about LinkedIn. No one’s sure about LinkedIn.

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 http://ginavalley.com/

Join me for #whatIwantforChristmas. It promises to be great fun, if we all take it lightly. It’ll be a steady a source of eye rolls, if taken too seriously. And, it’s not nearly as creepy as that freaky elf on the shelf dude. <shudder!!!>

I’m sure you’ve already figured out the idea is to post about things you want for Christmas leading up to Christmas on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or all of them, but let’s fine tune this sucker a little before we get too wrapped up in tinsel and cinnamon sticks.

What you want for Christmas does not have to be a material or physical thing. For example, I ask for the same thing from my family every year for Christmas: a clean house and obedient children. I think they’ve never given me that because they aren’t sure how to wrap it.

Each thing you want for Christmas should be something somewhat unique to you. For example, we all want Peace on Earth and an end to world hunger. No fair putting that sort of stuff.

And, please, no political gift requests. Sorry, but that’s been done to death, or at least the point where people start to yearn for death.

You can post about anything you want, but that doesn’t mean you should. My sister once posted about wanting spatulas for Christmas. She received over 200 spatulas from friends and acquaintances, and has enjoyed years of ridicule about “aiming high” from me ever since. So, before you post about your love of tube socks, or anything “fellowship” related, think twice.

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 http://ginavalley.com/ What Do YOU Want? #whatIwantforChristmas

Got it?

Good.

So without further ado, mainly because I’m not sure what “ado” is, here is something I want for Christmas #whatIwantforChristmas:

(you can insert a drumroll here if you’re someone who is into flourishes)

I took the most glorious nap today, and all I want for Christmas is another one!  #whatIwantforChristmas

It was the most wonderful thing. I actually got to sleep. Sleep!

Usually I spend the majority of my “nap” hollering at my off spring to stop bickering, sniffing because it smells like something is burning, or stomping toward our back door to let the dog in, as I am, apparently, the only person in our house who can hear our dog barking.

To actually choose to lie down with my eyes closed, to then drift off to Dreamland, and to sleep until I woke up gently and well rested is perhaps the most decadent thing a parent can experience.

Please, Sir Jolly, may I have a another?

I’ll be leaving out extra cookies for Santy Claus in hopes of scoring this gem this year.

I don’t even care he wraps it.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Be sure to hook up with me on Facebook and Twitter  and Pinterest so you see all of my #whatIwantforChristmas posts. I’m looking forward to reading your #whatIwantforChristmas 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 this post with them on all of your social media spaces.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng & Dreamstime.com – Used with permission

Top 10 Topics My Sons Are Bickering About

Top 10 Topics My Sons Are Bickering About …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Listening to a couple of my kids argue about which side of the field had the greenest grass while we waited for their brother to finish at soccer practice yesterday brought this piece to mind. Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Top 10 Topics My Sons Are Bickering About

They say children help you live longer. I say it just feels longer.

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 Topics My Sons Are Bickering About Sibling RivalryTake Sunday afternoon, for example.

Please, take it.

I had planned a relaxing afternoon for our family. Unfortunately, I neglected to consult the Calendar Of Childish Insanity prior to making my plans.

If I had consulted it, I would have been advised that my 2 youngest sons were scheduled to slip into grumpy-old-men mode and to bicker all afternoon.

What did they bicker about? “What didn’t they bicker about?” would be an easier question to answer. But, here’s a few of the vitally important topics they decided to debate in a seemingly unending manner:

Top 10 Topics My Sons Are Bickering About

#10.  The correct way to pronounce “era.” It’s ear-uh! It’s air-uh! It’s ear-uh!! It’s air-uh!! It’s ear-uh!!! It’s air-uh!!! It’s enough to drive everyone around them insane.

#9.  Is it ok to eat the bread (cracker piece) before the wine (grape juice) when you’re taking communion. Yes, that was the argument they were having when our pastor had to stop preaching to shush them. Twice.

#8.  Whether trumpets or saxophones are better…for killing zombies.  I guess they want to be prepared in case zombies show up at their next band concert.

#7.  Which of our dogs is smarter. I’ve got news for them – I don’t think either dog is going to be asked to join Mensa anytime soon.

#6.  Whose turn it was to tell their sister that it’s her turn to take out the trash. I think I saw the cat roll his eyes before burying his head under a pillow during this exchange.

#5.  Whose boxers are on the floor in our dining room. Yes, dining room. They argued about this for half an hour, and then decided the boxers did not belong to either of them. Apparently, they believe our neighbors are dropping by in the middle of the night, and leaving underwear in our dining room.

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 Topics My Sons Are Bickering About Sibling Rivalry#4.  Why a pencil is called a “pencil.” Seriously. This banter was so horrible it even sucked the life out of our few living houseplants.

#3.  Which of the twin brothers who are teachers at their school looks more like “that guy in that movie.” That’s right, they couldn’t remember the guy’s name or the movie’s name, and were undeterred by the fact that these 2 men are identical twins.

#2.  Who should have to get out of our van first. Keep in mind this lovely discussion, complete with insults and whining, took place while the two boys, who normally race to see who can get out first, were seated exactly equal distances from the door, both, apparently wanting to live out their days inside of our van, subsisting on the plentiful supply of stale Cheerios and petrified chicken nuggets crammed down the seats.

#1.  Whether some guy, named Zak, cheated when he ran a 6 minute mile in PElast yearThey nearly came to blows over this one, and, frankly, I don’t even know who the heck Zak is, much less care if he cheated.

Now, where did I put those boarding school brochures?

And, do they take moms?

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have you been witness to a marathon bicker-fest in your family? Anyone grumpy in your neck of the woods? How do you handle it? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng & Dreamstime.com– Used with permission

That’s NOT A Kodak Moment!!!

That’s NOT A Kodak Moment!!!

by Gina Valley

It’s that time of year.

I’m a bit envious of all the Hallmark and Kodak moments everyone seems to be having. It’s even worse now that they arrive via email and Facebook, along with the ever faithful snail mail batches.

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 That’s NOT A Kodak Moment!!! Holiday Cards Family PhotosYou see, we don’t have Hallmark moments or Kodak moments.

What we have is closer to America’s Funniest Video moments, except that, of course, no one brought the video camera, and even if they had, it’s not charged and the memory card is full.

We have moments like when I noticed my youngest son had something brown running down his leg when he got out of our van in the school parking lot. Keep in mind his leg was in pristine, post-shower condition when we left our house, so the mystery substance was somehow acquired en route to school, while in our van.

My husband gave me the “Don’t ask! Don’t tell!” look that parents often exchange when they know there is no way the answer can be good news. I, fool that I am, ignored him and asked our son what was running down his leg. He shrugged, and said, “I dunno.” Then, he stuck his finger in it and tasted it, before pronouncing it “Bar B Q sauce!” I had an “I’m Not Sure Whether I Should Throw Up Or Laugh” moment.

We have moments like when my oldest daughter over-slept, and we were all in our van waiting none-to-patiently for her when she came dashing out of our house, dressed in her school uniform, and practically threw herself into our van. She was carrying her shoes and backpack while she frantically brushed her hair and tucked in her school uniform shirt.

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 That’s NOT A Kodak Moment!!! Holiday Cards Family PhotosI immediately drove off, as we were so far past late at that point we were almost early for the next time. As I pulled into the church parking lot, she asked, “Why are we stopping at church?” to which her oldest brother replied, “because it’s Sunday morning, smart one. Nice outfit, by the way.” My daughter, then, had an “I Need A Hole To Crawl Into Now” moment.

We have moments like when I went to have the nail lady make me look like a grown up again (I really should not be allowed near nail polish. It’s not my gift) & our boy puppy, (despite the fact that I gave him his medicine, which has the side effect of making him sleep for a couple hours, before I left) apparently only slept for a couple minutes, got bored, and shredded everything he could get his paws on in our family room, including all of the empty gift bags I had bought the day before to use for Christmas gifts.

As if his destruction was incomplete, while I was gathering up the tattered remains of the formerly beautiful gift bags, our puppy stood in the middle of the mess and started to make that sound that every dog owner dreads: the sound that signals something is about to make a reappearance that should not be making a reappearance. The sound that something evil this way comes. The sound that triggers screaming and the rushing of the canine out of the house.

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 That’s NOT A Kodak Moment!!! Holiday Cards Family PhotosBut, he’s young and pliable and quick, and I couldn’t catch him, much less relocate him, prior to his completing his re-visitation with the ingested gift bag parts. I braced myself in anticipation of his “I Ate Too Much Shredded Paper” moment.

Turns out, he didn’t have an “I Ate Too Much Shredded Paper” moment.

No, he had an “I Ate Too Much Glitter…And Someone’s Glove” moment.

I, then, had a “Yet Another Reason I Hate Glitter” moment.

Immediately followed by an “Oh Crud, That’s My Glove” moment.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What kind of moments are you having? Is your family more Kodak or crazy moment prone? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

STUPID Stuff I’m Thankful For

STUPID Stuff I’m Thankful For

by Gina Valley

Maybe the reason I’m so bugged by those 30 Days of Thankfulness lists is that I don’t have such a grandiose collection.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly thankful for the biggies: health, friends, family, and my Savior.

But, most of the time, when I hear myself offering up spontaneous thanks, it’s for much less impressive stuff. Stuff that’s less oh wow! and more oh duh!

You know, stupid stuff.

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 STUPID Things I’m Thankful For Thanksgiving

I’m thankful a cup of tea doesn’t turn into Jello when I reheat it for the 47th time in one day, because I can’t seem to remember to drink it during that 3 second period when it’s between scorching hot and ice cold.

I’m thankful my thoughts are not broadcast to the world during my time in the morning carpool line at the middle school…or during the last PTA meeting.

I’m thankful it makes me smile when I look at a digital clock and it’s 11:11.

I’m thankful for the rare occasion when the doorbell rings, and there isn’t any AWOL underwear lying under our dining room table…or on it.

I’m thankful my daughter told me her friend’s mom is more unreasonable about wanting her house clean than I am. If I’m going to be categorized as unreasonable it’s nice to know I’m not the most unreasonable parent on the planet…yet.

I’m thankful our dogs cannot speak to me… or about me. It really would ruin our whole relationship.

I’m thankful I was on the phone with her, so she couldn’t see the expression on my face, when my Great Aunt Celia told me she doesn’t think deodorant is safe, has decided to stop wearing it, and wants me to check to see if she smells bad the next time I stop by

I’m thankful Amazon stocks 1876 natural, organic, safe deodorant products and will ship 780 of them in two days or less for free.

I’m thankful socks aren’t foot dependent, as far as which to apply them to. Shoes give me more than enough trouble in that department.

I’m thankful my son told me the chicken I made for him to take to his Friendsgiving Dinner was so good his vegetarian friend ate a couple pieces.

And, if these made you smile, I’m thankful for that, too.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have you made a long list of your thankfulness-es? Or, do you keep it spontaneous?  What stupid stuff are you thankful for? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking thankfully forward to hearing all about it.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

I’m A Horrible Person!!!

I’m A Horrible Person

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'm A Horrible Person Thanksgiving thankfulness

I’m a horrible person. I admit it.

I hate those November Daily “I’m thankful for…” posts.

I know that’s terrible.  It’s such a nice thing for people to do.  I’ve even complained about people’s general lack of gratitude on several occasions.

But, I can’t help myself.  I hate those.

I don’t know what exactly it is about them, but the second I see one my eyes involuntarily roll so hard I can see my brain.  If they’re numbering the days then I get a solid two rolls in.

I’m especially horrible because I have done the whole November daily “I’m thankful for…” thing myself before, and even then it irritated me.  That’s got to be more than wrong.

Why can’t I rejoice instead of grimace when Lisa broadcasts how thankful she is for all her Great Aunt Marge has done for her?  You remember Aunt Marge.  She’s the one who ran over Lisa’s foot with her car last year, and then set fire to Lisa’s Christmas tree after Lisa brought home a brochure from Golden Acres.

Maybe Lisa ought to be expressing her thankfulness for quality insurance coverage and a low deductible!

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'm A Horrible Person Thanksgiving thankfulnessHow come I have trouble swallowing Michelle’s expression of thankfulness for “everyone in my life – you know who you are!”?  Obviously, Michelle is happy to share her feelings about people, since 3 weeks ago she pointed out that she has been stabbed in the back by “everyone in my life – you know who you are!”

Michelle ought to be expressing thanks for not getting a gnarly whiplash from that mood swing.

And, much as I am rejoicing along with Amy that her little Ethan has overcome his biting habit and moved on to “bigger and better” things, I’m not sure that goosing his teacher every time she walks by is truly bigger or better.

Perhaps Amy ought to be grateful Ms. Spritz is not litigious.

Maybe I’m just envious because no one wants to hear that I’m thankful we figured out a way to make concrete at home, which involves running a full canister of oatmeal (quick cook or regular) through the dishwasher. Twice, apparently.

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'm A Horrible Person Thanksgiving thankfulnessOr, perhaps I’m jaded because no one seems impressed that our dog has finally figured out which door leads to the outside, and no longer mistakenly goes into the bathroom or  garage while trying to get out of our house. Most of the time.  Well, more like 50/50, but still an improvement.

I don’t know why I can’t seem to bring myself to be wholeheartedly-supportive of the Facebook-y thankfulness efforts of others.  I really should figure out why that is.

But not right now.

Right now I’ve got to update my Facebook with “I’ll be thankful when these stupid ‘I’m thankful for…’ things are done.”

I mean that in a thankful way.  Of course.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

How do you feel about those November daily thankfulness posts?  What do you feel guilty about being irritated by?  Are you a horrible person, too?  Should we get matching t-shirts?  Nothing white, though.  I’m a spiller!  Shoot me a comment.  I look forward to hearing what you think.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission