To Be Young…Or Godzilla!!!

To Be Young…Or Godzilla!!!

by Gina Valley

I took two of my sons with me to the gym today.

They wanted to go.  I should have realized that was a bad sign.

I’ve been wanting to take them with me for a while now, so I could teach them how to use the equipment correctly.

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 Only I Was Young…Or Godzilla!!! Gym Working OutSo they would be safe.

So they would be knowledgeable.

So they would not need to go to the Emergency Room.

It seemed like a good idea.

The only problem was they didn’t seem to realize what a truly horrible place the gym is.

They had a great time.

I tried to explain to them that it is not a fun playground, no matter how much fun they thought they were having. I reminded them that gyms are such accursed places that they put them in prisons.

They are, apparently, too young to realize that the elliptical trainer is not a fun racing simulator, but actually punishment  for years of starting dinner with Oreo’s instead of salads.

They thought weighing themselves on the super accurate, right-there-in-front-of-everyone scale was a hoot. They even tried standing on it in different ways in an effort to make themselves heavier. Heavier.

I wouldn’t weigh myself on that scale even if there was a blackout and everyone in the gym was blind.

They weren’t the least bit self-conscious or uncomfortable, as they climbed onto the leg press machine, despite needing to contort themselves into what appears to be a gynecological exam position, with their knees nearly in their ears.

I blush every time I use that machine. They laughed and discussed whether tooting would provide them with enough jet propulsion to lift another 20 pounds (I’ve been victim to their tooting. It could easily lift another 40).

I came home feeling like I was dying and wishing I could take a nap. I wondered if I could just melt into our sofa.

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 Only I Was Young…Or Godzilla!!! Gym Working OutThey came home energized and ready to go for a run. They jogged around our block twice before coming into our house.

I was too tired to even mix my protein drink.

They made it for me, and then dashed out to re-arrange our garage. They were excited about doing some more lifting.

I could hear them laughing and joking as they moved around the heavy boxes and tools.

When they came in, they asked me if we could go to the gym again tomorrow.

Before school.

When it opens.

At 5:30 AM.

I think this is why Godzilla steps on young people.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Do you have any overly enthusiastic gym-mates? Do your children like to work out? Does lifting a fork full of food to your mouth really burn calories?  Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it. And, I can’t get off of the sofa.

Photos courtesy of Dreamstime.com – Used with permission.
This post originally appeared right here on ginavalley.com titled Oh To Be Young…Or Godzilla!!!
on February 9, 2015.

Don’t Make Me Back Up This Car!!!

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

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

Don’t Make Me Back This Car Up!!!

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

Even the wrinkles have wrinkles.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Don't Make Me Back Up This Car!!! ...Gina's Favorites Graduationu89yI told him to hang it up, and, hopefully, I will be able to get most of the wrinkles out of it before tomorrow night’s ceremony. He said that I didn’t need to worry about because “it’s just high school graduation, and it’s not that big of a deal.” This from the kid that would not wear a t-shirt to school any day during his four high school years if it hadn’t been properly attacked by a lint roller.

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

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

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

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

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Don't Make Me Back Up This Car!!! ...Gina's Favorites Graduation“But, mom,” he countered, “it’s only high school graduation. It’s not that big a deal.  I could get a lot of money for those tickets.”

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

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

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

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

Yep. He’s ready to graduate.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

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

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Top 10 Rules When Mom’s Out Of Town

Top 10 Rules When Mom’s Out Of Town …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I got home this past weekend & it’s already time to pack for my next business trip. While I was writing out instructions for my pack, this post came to mind. Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Top 10 Rules While Mom’s Out Of Town

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 Rules When Mom’s Out Of Town ...Gina's Favorites Travel

I have the privilege of hanging out with some amazing writers next week at a conference on the other side of the country.

I’m looking forward to meeting people whose work I have long read and admired, and to laughing with new friends, as well.

I’m not looking forward to trying to parent my 7 children from 2200 miles away.

I travel twice a month, so I know my family needs more specific guidelines than “be good” and “don’t burn the house down.” I’ll be leaving them a list of rules.

Top 10 Rules While Mom’s Out Of Town

#10.  Call me only if there’s an emergency. An emergency is when someone or something is on fire, or someone is bleeding profusely from the head.

#9.  No one may make any flame of any kind in any way at any point for any reason. If there is a power outage, birthday, or zombie apocalypse just sit there in the dark until I get home.

#8.  Feed the dog only dog food. Yes, the dog likes ice cream, candy, and pizza, but ice cream, candy, and pizza do not like the dog, as evidenced by the projectile diarrhea he produced during my last trip.

#7.  The dog having projectile diarrhea is not an emergency. Do not call me to tell me about it. Do not send me pictures.

#6.  You must wear shoes to school every day, and they must be shoes that fit you, belong to you, and were purchased by me for 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 Top 10 Rules When Mom’s Out Of Town ...Gina's Favorites Travel#5.  Your dad is not allowed to play basketball with you. The last time he played basketball with you he broke his ankle. The time before that he dislocated his hip. If your dad is on crutches when I get back, you’re all grounded. Including your dad.

#4.  The babysitter feeding you jar spaghetti sauce is not an emergency. Do not call me to complain about it.

#3.  Stay out of my room.  If you think you need to go in my room, stay out of my room. If you absolutely, positively must go in my room, stay out of my room.

#2.  Wanting to go in my room is not an emergency. Do not call to ask me if you can go in my room.

#1.  If it involves the phrase “Watch this, you guys!” don’t do it.  Don’t even think about doing it.

In other words, be good.

And, don’t burn the house down.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What instructions do you leave for your family when you travel without them? Do they give out your cell phone number to salespeople who call? Has your family done something goofy while you were away? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break …Gina’s Favorites

Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break

In about a week, I’ll be under full time siege.

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 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break ...Gina's FavoritesThat’s right.

My kids will be on summer break.

I love having them home. I love getting to hang out with them. I love not having to mess with homework.

But.

A few issues have come up in the past during the summer occupation, so I know I need to be proactive and take vital steps before my garrison of gigglers ends its daily constitution in the halls of education.

Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break

#10.  Round up a dairy cow – On a hot summer day 6 gallons of milk is easily inhaled by my kids. When their friends have joined our circus we need a keg of the white stuff daily. I figure having our own cow has got to be cheaper than buying jugs by the pallet full at Costco.

#9.  Get a HazMat suit – And, it needs to include asbestos gloves and a breathing apparatus. I don’t know how bathing suits and towels used in a chlorinated pool turn into alien life forms so quickly, but they do. It’s like my off spring drop their bathing suits and towels off into a pile, and the fabric springs into an instant mildewy mess.

#8.  Remove the doors from the refrigerator & freezer – They aren’t shut once the entire summer any way. At least this way there’ll be fewer heads and fingers slammed in them. It’s worth the perpetually melted ice cream if it saves me even one trip to the emergency 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 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break ...Gina's Favorites#7.Hook the power car washer onto the hose to shower the kids – When it’s light until well past a decent bedtime, no one wants to come inside, much less do so to bathe. This way I can do a quick turbo wash as they run by in the midst of a game of tag. I might get the wax cylinder to, so they’ll be extra shiny and water repellant.

#6.  Stock up on swim goggles – I’ll start with about 50 pairs. That should almost last us through the first week. Where do all the goggles disappear to? If we ever move I think we’re going to find a hidden room full of swim goggles. And, how come my kids consider diving into mud puddles totally hygienic, but need protection from the clean, bacteria-free water in a pool?

#5.  Purchase 3 identical pairs of flip flops for each member of my pack – That way they should be able to come up with at least one pair of shoes when required to. It’s ok to wear flip flops to a cousin’s black tie wedding as long as they’re sparkly, right?

#4.  Hide the snow parkas – Why does someone always think it’d be cool to play Arctic Explorer in the mid-July heat? And, why do they think rolling around in a giant mud puddle in their dry clean only parkas simulates the arctic? I think the school district should be held responsible for that dry cleaning bill.

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 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break ...Gina's Favorites#3.  Install revolving doors at all entrances – It’s our only hope for having even a semi good chance at a closed door. It’d be nice if we could at least keep the dumber mosquitos and June bugs out.

#2.  Procure a case of MRE’s – Or, maybe several cases. Those nasty nutrition packs from the military surplus store are “Meals Ready To Eat” (also known as “”Meals Refusing To Exit,” according to some of my favorite soldiers). Hopefully, they’ll be better than the nothing I’ve prepared on those many nights when I forget to make dinner because it’s light until nearly 9:30pm. Who thinks about dinner while it’s still light?

#1.  Buy snow boots for everyone – This is the only time of year stores in SoCal have them in stock. Gotta get ’em while it’s hot.

Now that I think about it, I should probably stop by Costco for a barrel of sunscreen, even though I know my kids will refuse to use it all summer.

I wonder if they make a sunscreen cartridge for the power car washer.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

How do you prep for the summer? Did you miss school during the summer when you were a kid?  Shoot me a comment. You’re here anyway, and I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Stop Stepping On Their Heads!!! …Gina’s Favorites

Stop Stepping On Their Heads!!! …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

As we celebrate Memorial Day, laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

Stop Stepping On Their Heads!!!

One year we decided, because we are stupid, stupid people, that it would be fun, educational, and inspiring to take our 7 children, 6 of whom were 6 years old and under at the time, to the Veteran’s Cemetery for the Memorial Day service.

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 Stepping On Their Heads!!! ...Gina's FavoritesEach Memorial Day Boy Scouts place a flag on each and every grave there.  You have to see it in person to grasp the grandeur of the gesture.  It gives you pause.

But, let’s be honest, nothing gives a preschooler pause. Preschoolers don’t pause.

I don’t know why we were thinking our littles would somehow undergo a miraculous, if temporary, transformation, into people with the desire to sit still and do as they’re told.  We must’ve had concussions from being kicked in the head by our two year old each night, after he’d wander into our room to sleep with us “’cause Matthew’s snowin’ again.”

We should have remembered our kids have always prided themselves on taking all instructions under advisement.  Of course, they define “taking under advisement” as “ignoring.”

Standing in the center of the vast, green acres with my pack, surrounded by headstones and people there to honor what those headstones stand for, reminded me there are people, many of them in fact, who put their lives on the line for what they believe in.

It reminded me, as my 94 year old WWII veteran Great Uncle says, freedom isn’t free.

And, it reminded me to leave our kids at home the next time.

I could see our six year old eyeing the neat rows of head stones, and I knew what he was thinking before the little human monkey even said it.  There is no good answer when your 6 year old asks you, “How many [headstones] do you think I can jump to in a row without falling?”

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 Stepping On Their Heads!!! ...Gina's FavoritesI wanted to say, “Well, I’m not sure, but please don’t try it until I have one, OK?” But, that seemed inappropriate.

As the speaker mentioned soldiers “making the ultimate sacrifice” my 5 year old asked if Ultimate Sacrifice was one of the X-Men.  Before I could answer, my 6 year old blurted out, “No, Stupid. It means they’re dead people.”

“Are the dead people here?” my 5 year old daughter asked, excitement rising in her voice.  I knew she was thinking about silly zombies, like on Scooby Doo.

I noticed my 4 year old daughter, who was not at that point a fan of zombies, Scooby Doo type or otherwise, immediately pulled her dangling feet up onto her chair, and surveyed the surrounding grass for disturbances.  We were the only disturbances

I smelled a strong, repugnant odor, and immediately suspected my one year old.  Despite his loud protests and claims of innocence, I lifted him and performed the traditional fanny sniff check.  I found that he was not the offender, and slid him back into his stroller.

But, I didn’t have to wonder who was responsible for very long. My adorable 3 year old daughter, Charlotte, announced loudly enough for everyone in attendance and in residence to hear, as she pointed to the man standing next to me, “Mommy, that man farted!”

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 Stepping On Their Heads!!! ...Gina's FavoritesTo which, my 4 year old, Gemma, responded even louder, so as to call upon her full authority, “We don’t say ‘fart,’ Charlotte. That’s crass.  He tooted. He made a stinky, stinky toot!” At which point, I wondered if it was possible to enlist and ship out within the hour.

Charlotte showed her appreciation for her sister’s guidance by knocking Gemma down.  Gemma then, the more agile of the 2, wriggled out from under her bigger, younger sister and socked her right in the left eye.

As The Professor and I pulled apart our delicate, feminine, brawling flowers, we realized it was time to surrender.  We each slung a screaming sister over one of our shoulders, and each grabbed a stroller to push on the long walk back to our van.

Our 5, 6, and 11 year olds all followed along.  Our 2 year old turned and ran in the opposite direction.

I called after him to come get into his stroller. He ran faster. In the opposite direction.  He didn’t seem the slightest bit concerned that we’d started the long march back toward our van without him.

But, when I waved the bag I’d filled with Fruit Roll Ups, he came running.  He had his priorities. He might not have had them straight, but he definitely had them.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Stop Stepping On Their Heads!!! ...Gina's FavoritesOur one year old, a big fan of Fruit Roll Ups, who spoke only in sign language at the time, immediately, threw his head back, opened his mouth like a hungry baby bird, and repeatedly made the sign for food.

And, the sign for ceiling fan. He really loved ceiling fans.

I noticed that our 11 year old was slowly, but ever so purposely, moving himself further away from the rest of us.  I was glad he didn’t have keys to the van, fearing he would take off and leave our embarrassing family circus behind. Our 3 year old noticed his progress across turf, also, but she wasn’t happy with his course.

She screamed to her big brother, “Stop it!  You’re stepping on their heads!”

Every person and most of the squirrels in the entire cemetery turn in our direction.

I scanned the surrounding area, hoping to spy an open grave I could climb into.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have you ever caused pandemonium in a cemetery?  How do you observe Memorial Day? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Top 10 Rules While Mom’s Out Of Town …Gina’s Favorites

Top 10 Rules While Mom’s Out Of Town …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 Rules While Mom’s Out Of Town

I have the privilege of hanging out with some amazing writers next week at a conference on the other side of the country.

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 Rules While Mom’s Out Of Town ...Gina's FavoritesI’m looking forward to meeting people whose work I have long read and admired, and to laughing with new friends, as well.

I’m not looking forward to trying to parent my 7 children from 2200 miles away.

I travel several times a year, so I know my family needs more specific guidelines than “be good” and “don’t burn the house down.” I’ll be leaving them a list of rules.

Top 10 Rules While Mom’s Out Of Town

#10.  Call me only if there’s an emergency. An emergency is when someone or something is on fire, or someone is bleeding profusely from the head.

#9.  No one may make any flame of any kind in any way at any point for any reason. If there is a power outage, birthday, or zombie apocalypse just sit there in the dark until I get home.

#8.  Feed the dog only dog food. Yes, the dog likes ice cream, candy, and pizza, but ice cream, candy, and pizza do not like the dog, as evidenced by the projectile diarrhea he produced during my last trip.

#7.  The dog having projectile diarrhea is not an emergency. Do not call me to tell me about it. Do not send me pictures.

#6.  You must wear shoes to school every day, and they must be shoes that fit you, belong to you, and were purchased by me for 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 Top 10 Rules While Mom’s Out Of Town ...Gina's Favorites#5.  Your dad is not allowed to play basketball with you. The last time he played basketball with you he broke his ankle. The time before that he dislocated his hip. If your dad is on crutches when I get back, you’re all grounded. Including your dad.

#4.  The babysitter feeding you jar spaghetti sauce is not an emergency. Do not call me to complain about it.

#3.  Stay out of my room.  If you think you need to go in my room, stay out of my room. If you absolutely, positively must go in my room, stay out of my room.

#2.  Wanting to go in my room is not an emergency. Do not call to ask me if you can go in my room.

#1.  If it involves the phrase “Watch this, you guys!” don’t do it.  Don’t even think about doing it.

In other words, be good.

And, don’t burn the house down.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Do you leave instructions behind for your family when you travel without them? Do they give out your cell phone number to salespeople who call? Has your family done something goofy while you were away? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

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

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.

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

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

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

“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.

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

“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.

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

“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?

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 LyingHow about acknowledging my intelligence?  Why not put down his brother’s truck before denying taking it from him?

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.

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

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!

Be sure to click on the subscribe box in the sidebar up near the top, right-hand side of this page to receive all of my blog posts in your e-mail.  It’s super convenient and I promise not to do anything weird with your email address.

And, hey –Thanks for reading!  I appreciate you spending your time with me!

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Top 10 Great Things About My Kids Helping Make Dinner…Gina’s Favorites

Top 10 Great Things About My Kids Helping Make Dinner…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Two of my sons made dinner for us a couple nights ago. It was delicious, but our kitchen still hasn’t recovered, and I’m still having meatloaf-based nightmares. So, I figured my Top 10 Great Things About My Kids Helping Make Dinner post would be perfect for Throwback day this week.
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Top 10 Great Things About My Kids Helping Make Dinner

My kids are helping make dinner tonight.

Right now 12 and 13 are browning meat for tacos.

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 Great Things About My Kids Helping Make Dinner...Gina's Favorites Kids CookingYes, I made sure the fire extinguishers are ready to go.  No, I haven’t had a nervous breakdown.  Yet.

I’m trying to smile and to remain positive.  I think I’m actually grimacing and developing an aneurysm.

When I decided to insist that my children start helping more with the day to day needs of our family, I forgot that meant that I’d need to face the results of my children helping with the day to day needs of our family.

They’re still learning.  Having them more deeply involved in the processes that keep our home running has lots of far reaching effects.  It teaches them responsibility.  It reminds them about the efforts made on their behalf.  It’s raising my blood pressure.

Plus, there are some clear benefits to having my progeny help make our evening meal.

10 Great Things About My Kids Helping Make Dinner

#10.  Mystery ingredients keep your mind sharp.

#9.  No stress about washing the pots and pans.  You have to wash the whole kitchen anyway.  A couple metal vessels pale in comparison to that.  Might have to wash the whole downstairs.  One time, they even trashed our van while browning meat for tacos.  I’m still trying to figure out how that happened.

#8.  No serving dish necessary.  The food is already “artfully” presented all over the stove, counter, floor, and ceiling.

#7.  The dog has been fed.  Repeatedly.

#6.  You have no trouble limiting your serving size, as you wonder how many body parts were scratched during the dinner creation process.

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 Great Things About My Kids Helping Make Dinner...Gina's Favorites Kids Cooking#5.  It will qualify you to be an excellent candidate to appear on Kitchen Impossible or Dr. Phil.

#4.  It’s a great time to inventory your kitchen, as every cupboard and drawer, as well as the refrigerator and freezer, will be left open for easy analysis.

#3.  Dinner conversation will be effortless.  Between the I made this!’s and the What is this?’s all conversational opportunities will be filled.

#2.  Your kitchen floor will have a new, decorative design, and permanent non-slip surface. 

#1.  The following day your spouse will be much more likely to utter those three little words you so long to hear: Let’s eat out.

Maybe I’ll just have a cup of tea.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Are the helpers around your place helping?  What do you wish you had more help with?  Is there a chore you like to do?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Why They Will NOT Let Me Run The UN

Why They Will NOT Let Me Run The UN

by Gina Valley

My 2 youngest decided to have a discussion on the way to their sister’s basketball game last week.

It was a rather lengthy discussion. In fact, some (me, for instance) might say it was a marathon-bicker-fest or a non-stop-argument or a major-pain-in-the-neck-for-everyone-unlucky-enough-to-be-within-earshot.

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 They Will NOT Let Me Run The UN ArguingIf I didn’t know better I’d have sworn they’d somehow morphed into 2 little, extremely-grumpy old men.  Their attitudes had passed foul and landed on you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me.

They had bubbled close to the surface for a week before they burst into that full boil crab fest .  Just my luck that they decided to do it while we were all trapped in our van on the way to my 15 year old’s basketball game.

Now by “we” I mean me, all of my kids, and half of the basketball team. And, by “trapped” I mean we were suddenly stuck in stop and stop traffic (that’s like stop and go traffic, except you don’t go).  There was no way I could pull off of the freeway for a quick stare-of-death or MML (Major Mom Lecture).

So, as my OCD stress-level was flying off the charts, worrying that we’d not only be late for the team’s call time, but quite possibly miss the game altogether, I was serenaded by the sound of 2 boys bickering non-stop, to really push me to the edge of insanity.

What were they arguing so intensely about that they had nearly come to blows, and were driving everyone insane?

Nothing.

And, everything.

The color of the sky, how big a sea eagle is, who saw the funny cloud first, whether one of them was breathing too loudly, if trumpets or saxophones are better, long socks VS short socks, which color mouth guard works best, who woke up first, who slept on the sofa the most times, which episode of Kickin’ It is the best, what kind of stuffing is in the coats you wear to Antarctica, which flightless bird is the meanest, and on and on and on in a desperate, unending cycle of negativity that made me want to stick my finger in my eye.

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 They Will NOT Let Me Run The UN Arguing

Oh. My. Gosh.

Judging by the way they were trying not to laugh, I could tell the basketball team members riding with us found my youngest boys’ crabby antics hysterical. Clearly, none of them had little brothers or sisters.

My own children made no effort to hide their feelings about their little brothers’ behavior.  They alternated laughing at them with hollering at them to “Knock it off!”  Both reactions served to add fuel and energy to the grumps’ fire.

I was busy oscillating between shock that my sons would behave so terribly in front of “company,” and constantly recalculating what time we’d be at the game if traffic suddenly disappeared (which it never did) (until we were off of the freeway and a couple of hundred feet away from the gymnasium door).

Nothing swayed the foul tide rushing out of my 2 darling, young sons. I tried bribing, explaining, scolding, guilting.  Nothing worked.

I made them change seats, so that they were in different rows, thinking the whole “out of sight, out of mind thing” might apply to children who have lost their minds.  It did not.  Instead of creating sudden peace, changing seats just provided distance to encourage throwing things at each other, and yanking hair and seatbelts.

I hate to admit that, after one of the offenders screamed that his brother needed anger management classes, I yelled towards my spewing offspring, who were, luckily for them, seated near the rear of our van “If you don’t knock it off, I’m going to pull over and show you some anger management right here on the side of the freeway!”

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 They Will NOT Let Me Run The UN Arguing

This brought peals of laughter from the basketball team, and caused my 2 grumpy sons to sink lower into their seats.  Of course, it did not diminish their arguing.

I kept thinking “Lord Jesus, don’t come today!” I’d hate to go out on that note.

As I sat trapped in traffic listening to my 2 minions continue to grumble, I remembered a comedian saying that his dad used to keep a fly swatter in the car to reach kids in the backseat.  I made a mental note to buy a fly swatter, preferably with an extra-long extension handle, as soon as possible. I knew I’d never use it, but it would be a great “Peace through Strength” kind of thing, or, I guess more a “Peace through Realizing Mom Can Get Us While She’s Driving” kind of thing.
My boys argued the entire hour and 15 minutes we spent going to the basketball game.

They argued walking from our van into the gymnasium.

They argued through the entire basketball game (even though I seated them at opposite ends of the bleachers) (honestly, their charade and lip-reading skills, which allowed them to continue arguing from such a distance, would have been impressive had they not been so infuriating).

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 They Will NOT Let Me Run The UN Arguing

They argued walking from the gymnasium back to our van.

They argued as we drove onto the freeway to head for home.

Then, they stopped. Suddenly.

No slow down. No warning.

Just a seize and desist so sudden that all of us trapped in the van with them, me, my kids, half of the basketball team, nearly got whiplash craning our necks to see what had caused the sudden drop in din.

My young progenies were leaning against each other, hands folded peacefully in their laps, smiling, and sound asleep.

It was such an insane and sudden change that I had the urge to burst out laughing, but I didn’t dare.

My oldest son expressed what I’m sure all of us hostages were feeling, “If anyone wakes them up, I will pull over and show you some anger management on the side of this road.”

My thoughts, exactly.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have you had a meltdown in traffic? Have your kids had a marathon argument? How did you handle it?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.