Top 10 Signs This Picnic Is NOT Gonna End Well …Gina’s Favorites

Top 10 Signs This Picnic Is NOT Gonna End Well …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

We’ve been picnicking most of the weekend, as we celebrate Independence Day. So, my Top 10 Signs This Picnic Is NOT Gonna End Well post has been on my mind. Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Top 10 Signs This Picnic Is NOT Gonna End Well

There’s a whole lot of picnicking going on this weekend.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes our forays into the great outdoors are less than totally successful.

It’s usually about halfway through one of these great meetings of the lunchmeats meetups that I realize we’re heading for trouble.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Signs This Picnic Is NOT Gonna End Well ...Gina's FavoritesOr, at least to the Urgent Care Center.

Here’s some clues to tip you off that there’s trouble ahead with an alfresco soirée (you would not believe how long it took me to get the spelling correct on “soirée”).

Top 10 Signs This Picnic Isn’t Gonna End Well

#10.  You parked so far away that you passed 3 county markers and the state line walking from your car to the picnic area.

#9.  You hear someone yell, “Hey look, Cousin Bubba brought his homemade fireworks!”

#8.  The potato salad has been in the sun so long it’s developed a pulse.

#7.  Cousin Beatrice has used the word “pus” four times, and she hasn’t even started to talk about when they had to lance that giant boil on her leg. Yet.

#6.  When you try to use the weather app on your phone to see how hot it is, Siri says. “Help me! I’m melting! I’m melting!!!”

#5.  Uncle Renfro is trying to play volleyball with a watermelon.  Again.

#4.  Just as you’re frantically feeling your pockets in search of your keys, your 5 year old son asks you, “Did you shut the trunk with your keys in there so they wouldn’t get lost?”

#3.  The ants have already carried off 1 cake, half the sandwiches, and Great Grandma Yaya, and it’s not even noon yet.

#2.  The Emergency Room called and asked what time the “friendly game of softball” will be starting this year, so they’ll know what time they should have the cast room open.

#1.  There’re more seagulls lined up in the trees around the food table than in the climax seen in The Birds, and you forgot your umbrella.

Don’t worry.  There’s probably a drive-thru burger place right next to the ER.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Do you like picnics? Are you a sandwich-er or a grill-er? Did you know how to spell “soirée”?  How bad were the bugs at your last picnic?  Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Sometimes Juice Spills …Gina’s Favorites

Sometimes Juice Spills …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I picked my Sometimes Juice Spills post for Throwback Day this week, because it makes me giggle.

Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Sometimes Juice Spills

You know it’s going to be a good day when you start it off by finding a pimple the size of a can of soup sprouting out of the side of your neck.

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 Sometimes Juice Spills ...Gina's Favorites Marriage AcneWhere does it fall on the irony scale that I found the pimple while putting on my anti-wrinkle cream?

At first I thought it was a bug bite.  I was hoping it was a bug bite.  But it wasn’t a bug bite.

All doubt was removed when I found his mini-me brother sprouting up from the middle of the scar on my forehead.

If there was another one on the other side of my neck, and it was Halloween, I could have passed it off for a neck bolt.  But, just the one at this time of year leaves little option for disguise.

There is cover up. I coated it with that. Twice. It went from looking like a flare guiding aircraft landing on a carrier in the fog to more like a stubby thumb trying to hitch a ride.

A turtle neck would have covered it. Of course the 90 degree F weather around here this week would have made that less than comfortable. Plus, there’s my obsessive need to not let anything touch my neck.  I hate that feeling, so I don’t even own a turtle neck.

I guess my body didn’t hear about the “nothing touches my neck” rule before it started growing my third arm there.

But, I realized that I was probably making too big a deal out of this. We all focus on our own bodily imperfections, even though most people never notice them, much less give them a second glance. So, I decided not to worry about it and headed down to breakfast.

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 Sometimes Juice Spills ...Gina's Favorites Marriage Acne

The Professor did a double take as I sat down across from him at the breakfast table. “What the bloody ‘ell is that?” he asked, staring at my neck growth.

“I’m not sure,” I answered. “Might be a bug bite,” I suggested, hopefully.

“I don’t think so,” he said, looking intently at it.

“Does it look like a pimple?” I asked.

He shook his head.  “Not exactly,” he said.  “It looks more like the beginning of an alien emerging.”

Somehow his orange juice got dumped on his lap about then.

I have no idea how that happened.

Sometimes juice spills.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Ever been double “blessed” with the troubles of youth and the pains of aging at the same time?  Is your significant other super helpful when you’re feeling self-conscious?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Click over to my posts below for more fun with The Professor:

WHAT Is The Dog Sniffing Now?!?!

Early Morning Ambush

A Zen-Like Departure

Where’s My Sparkly?

 As always, the extra clicks count as cardio.

Thank you for reading and sharing.

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 Signs My Brain Needs A Hard Reboot …Gina’s Favorites

Top 10 Signs My Brain Needs A Hard Reboot …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

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

Top 10 Signs My Brain Needs A Hard Reboot

Bear, our boy puppy, came into our bedroom and barked at me at 3:00AM this morning.  This might not have been quite so jarring had I not been up until 2:00AM waiting for my 17 year old to arrive home from Disneyland.

I can’t sleep when my kids aren’t home. Of course, if last night is any indication, I can’t sleep when they are either.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Signs My Brain Needs A Hard Reboot ...Gina's Favorites Sleep DeprivationApparently, Bear, our giant pup, was lonely.  He finally settled down about 4:00AM, at which point his sister, Ziva, jump onto our bed. I think she was there to complain about her litter mate being so loud. Then, she remembered how much she likes to bounce on our bed, and proceeded to work on her technique, on and off, for the next hour.

At 5:00AM, our youngest son proved he was right last night when he said that he could get up early, even though he was up 2 hours past his bedtime, by climbing onto our bed to chat.  “Since we’re both awake, mom,” he said, “can you play Colossus on the piano for me again? I forgot how it goes, and I have a test on it during band today.”

I explained to my young son that, no, I would not play the song right then.

It was 5:00AM. We’d already had both barking and bouncing dogs. If I started pounding on the piano, I was sure that not only would all of his brothers and sisters turn into zombies, but that our neighbors would likely storm our house with pitchforks and torches.

I did not explain to him that I also could not play the piece right then. My lack of sleep was making it nearly impossible for me to get both of my eyes to stay open at the same time. There was no way I was going to be able to coordinate 2 hands along with my eyes to produce the song written on the page.

I tried humming Colossus for him, but it came out sounding like Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful.

A few minutes later he was blasting Colossus on our TV, having accessed the internet through the Xbox, and I was pretty sure I could hear our neighbors groaning.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Signs My Brain Needs A Hard Reboot ...Gina's Favorites Sleep DeprivationI finally got to sleep for about an hour before I had to get up to get my pack moving for school. But, an hour just wasn’t enough sleep to let my body, much less my brain, reset.

I had tossed the bowls my kids used for breakfast into the trash can, and loaded the empty cereal box into our dishwasher before I realized what I was doing.  Of course, that’s not the only telltale sign that my brain is exhausted, and needs a hard reboot.

Top 10 Signs My Brain Needs A Hard Reboot

#10.  I was yelling at my children to hurry or they’ll be late to school even though they’d already left for school.

#9.  I keep catching myself typing with spaces between syllables, instead of between the words.

#8.  I just spelled “between” wrong. Three times.

#7.  I also spelled “syllables” wrong. Many, many times.

#6.  I was yelling at the dog to come downstairs. Turns out, he was sitting on my feet, and I was downstairs at the time. I think the dog rolled his eyes at me.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Signs My Brain Needs A Hard Reboot ...Gina's Favorites Sleep Deprivation#5.  I have been seriously considering using a fork to stab the guy whose truck keeps making that stupid back up beeping noise I’ve been hearing on and off all morning. Make up your mind. Park your stupid truck, and get away from it. Some of us have had no sleep.

#4.  I was completely immobilized while trying to put on my bathrobe because a sleeve was inside out.  This is why it’s important to have 911 on speed dial.

#3.  I keep needing to Google simple facts, and then forgetting what I was gonna Google before I can open Google.

#2.  I asked a client, who I know lives less than an hour away from me, what time it is where he lives. To his credit, he immediately asked me what color the sky is on my planet.

#1.  I just now, an hour after she left, realized why I liked the black jacket my 16 year old daughter was wearing when she left for school.  Because it’s mine.

Is it nap o’clock yet?

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

How can you tell when your brain needs a hard reboot?  Have you done anything goofy because you were tired?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

These Do NOT Cause Brain Damage!!!

These Do NOT Cause Brain Damage!!!

by Gina Valley

Dear Family,

Clearly, you are safety conscious.

Very safety conscious.

Granted, you haven’t let little things like leaving skateboards on the stairs or Legos on the floor or swinging a bat inside our house cramp your style.

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 These Do NOT Cause Brain Damage!!! Chores

Nor, do you allow climbing the sides of buildings, jumping from tree to tree, or launching yourselves out of a soaring swing to give you pause.

But, I have, nonetheless, come to the conclusion that you are taking extra care to stay away from things you truly believe can cause you irreparable harm.

I used to think you were just slovenly. Now I realize you’re just trying to avoid causing yourselves brain damage.

Somehow, though, I think you’ve become a victim of misinformation, because you’re avoiding certain things in your never ending quest for safety, which, and I’m sure this will be shocking news to you, are not in fact actually harmful.

Contrary to what you have been led to believe, the following will not cause brain damage:

Changing the toilet paper roll. I’m aware that the only time anyone other than me puts a new roll of toilet paper onto the spindle is when my mother is visiting, and she swaps out that ominous paper tube for a fresh roll of derriere dabbers. But, trust me, you can do this, and do it safely.

The trick to it is to never point that spring-loaded spindle at your face. No one wants to lose an eye in a toilet paper changing accident.

Closing the refrigerator door. Perhaps this seems more dangerous to you than it actually is, because it’s a two-part task. But, once you have determined that the door is in fact open, a state notable by the light emerging from its openness, pushing the door closed is actually quite safe.

Just be sure not to allow any body parts, yours or anyone else’s, to remain inside the refrigerator while you attempt to close it. It’s already messy enough in there.

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 These Do NOT Cause Brain Damage!!! Chores

Putting a clip on an open bag of chips. The key here is to keep a firm grip on the clip while attaching it to the bag of chips, and to actually attach it to the bag of chips. Clipping your sister’s nose or your brother’s behind will not help to keep the chips from going stale.

Placing dirty laundry in the dirty laundry hamper. Contrary  to popular opinion, opening the dirty laundry hamper does not open some sort of inter-cosmic galactic worm hole and allow hostile alien life forms to invade our planet and to feast on your gray matter. There is nothing dangerous in the dirty laundry hamper. Not even dirty laundry.

It is in pristine like-new condition, as it has never been subjected to a piece of dirty laundry. It is, at least it was the last time I checked, occupied by stray Legos, last summer’s over-due library books, an AWOL lacrosse stick, and the only functioning CD player in our house. Please remove these items prior to placing dirty laundry into the dirty laundry hamper.

Deleting what you’ve already watched from the DVR. I know that ending a relationship is difficult, and potentially traumatic. But, I promise you, your favorite TV series, sports game, and or movie will not hold it against you if you delete it after you’ve viewed it.

I know that funny pizza commercial is in that recording. I know that episode has you friend’s cousin’s dog walker’s niece as one of the 200 extras in the crowd scene. I know that game has the worst call ever in the history of sports. But, you’ve got to be strong and click “delete.” After all, I need space to record House Hunters. The couples on there aren’t going to hate themselves.

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 These Do NOT Cause Brain Damage!!! ChoresFeeding our dogs dinner before they whine, bark, and chew on the kitchen table leg for an hour. Much as it will confuse them, and it will, feeding our dogs at their dinner time instead will save our furniture, your privileges, and my sanity. Your mind will likely be clearer when you don’t have to pretend not to hear them barking and whining 4 inches from your head.

Returning the gallon of milk to the refrigerator. I get it. Obviously, several of you are hoping to become artisan cheese makers, but you’ve got to trust me on this. You’re way off. Milk-congealing-on-the-counter is not the kind of cheese true artisans make.

Now, if what you’re trying to create is a new life form, you might be right on the money. I’m pretty sure that gallon on the counter right now has a pulse.

Wearing a coat on a cold day.  Wearing a coat is not a punishment. It’s not an attempt to embarrass you or to destroy the cohesiveness of your carefully selected outfit. It is, in fact, a way to keep you warm, so that your body doesn’t have to work so hard to do so. This frees up some of your body’s energy to work on other things. Like hanging up a wet towel.

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 These Do NOT Cause Brain Damage!!! ChoresPutting used paper plates in the trash can. Only very rarely has garbage flown out of the trash can when someone opened it to deposit a used paper plate. If you are truly concerned that this rare, but not unheard of in our home, phenomena might repeat itself, were you to attempt to place your used paper plate into the garbage receptacle, feel free to don the paint ball mask and a biking helmet.

And, smile, because I will totally be taking a picture of that.

Hanging up a wet towel. I understand that you’re scientifically-minded, and enjoy conducting experiments on the bathroom floor. But, I just don’t think you’re breaking any new ground with the towel-turning-into-a-smelly-moldy-heap experiment. Let’s face it, that’s been done to death. Death of our hardwood floor. Death of your favorite t-shirt. Death of the cells inside my nose.

Perhaps you’d care to investigate counter-acting the forces of gravity by hanging a wet towel on the hooks attached to the bathroom wall for just that purpose. Just don’t stand too close to the hook while you do it. We don’t want to have an ear-on-the-hook situation. Again.

Not a brain-damager in the bunch.

Probably.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What simple things does your family seem afraid to do? Do they think it causes brain damage? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

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

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

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Top 10 Things I Did NOT Know About Parenting

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

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

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Things I Did NOT Know About Parenting ...Gina's FavoritesThey point out the pregnancy fat they’re still carrying from their now 264 month old child.

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

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

Top 10 Things I Did NOT Know About Parenting

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

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

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

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

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

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

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Things I Did NOT Know About Parenting ...Gina's Favorites#4.  How much time and effort other people’s shoes would suck out of my life. Explaining why shoes must be worn. Again. Asking where the shoes were last seen. Again. Hiking halfway back to the waterfall in the dark by the light of my cell phone to retrieve a shoe. Again.

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

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

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

I don’t share chocolate.

It’s really for their own protection.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

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

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Top 10 Worst Gifts For Mom

Top 10 Worst Gifts For Mom

by Gina Valley

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

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Worst Gifts For Mom Mother’s DayThanks to Facebook, InstaGram, and the entire host of internet life invaders, the pressure to receive the perfect physical manifestation of appreciation for all that you do as the mom has been bumped up to nearly unreachable heights (do not give mom a step stool to help her reach unreachable heights).

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

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

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

Top 10 Worst Gifts For Mom

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

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Worst Gifts For Mom Mother’s Day#9.  A Chihuahua – No puppies. No kittens. No freshly caught tadpoles. Not even a cricket for luck. No pets of any kind. If I wanted something gross to clean up after I’d have kids. Oh, wait…

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

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

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

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Worst Gifts For Mom Mother’s Day#5.  Glow-In-The-Dark Organic Cleaning Solution – No matter how cool, no matter how cutting edge, no matter how much I swore I wanted it when we saw the infomercial in the middle of the night after that Bono concert, do not get me that magic vacuum or space age dust rag or glow-in-the-dark organic cleaning solution or any other item to clean anything. Feel free to give me that on National Dirt Day or even on a Tuesday, but never on Mother’s Day.

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

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

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Worst Gifts For Mom Mother’s Day#2.  A Case Of SlimFast Shakes – Yes, I might buy something like this occasionally. Yes, I mentioned I need to get a new FitBit, since my last one seems to have been less than sturdy (apparently, stomping on those because you only made 5083 steps that day breaks them. Who knew?). Yes, my gym wear is so worn out people occasionally think I’m homeless. BUT, if you give me anything fitness related, even though you’re sure I’d love it or I’d buy it for myself anyway, I can guarantee that my next cardio activity will be making sure you won’t live until Father’s Day.

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

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

And, a sparkling, clean house.

And, for everyone to get along.

You know, simple stuff.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

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

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

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

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

by Gina Valley

I bought a couple flats of flowers this weekend.

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

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Reasons My Kids Can’t Help In The Garden GardeningThe Professor reminded me that I’ve killed artificial flowers in less time. I reminded him that I can start cooking vegan-only again anytime. He, then, told me that I’m smart and I’m pretty.

He really hated my vegan era.

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

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

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

The last thing I need is more help killing plants.

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

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

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

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

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Reasons My Kids Can’t Help In The Garden Gardening#8.  “I already took a shower today and I’m not taking another one.”

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

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

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

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

#3.  “The dog is asleep on my foot.”

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

#1.  “There’s no Wi-Fi out there.”

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

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

Not my first time at this rodeo.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Any eager helpers in your house? Does your family find chore time is a great time to practice Hide-and-Seek? Shoot me a comment. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Top 10 INSANE Things I Uttered On The 1st Day of Spring Break

Top 10 INSANE Things I Uttered On The 1st Day of Spring Break

by Gina Valley

It’s only the first day of spring break and I already sound like I’ve lost my mind.

I haven’t. I just have kids.

Kids love spring break.

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 Insane Things I Uttered On The 1st Day of Spring BreakI tend to head into it under the impression I love it, too. I always have grandiose plans for what we’ll do with a week void of school responsibilities. I also, apparently, have total amnesia when it comes to spring breaks past.

This year was no different.

Being home for a week without having to drive school carpool sounded like a vacation.

I imagined all that I’d lead my pack to accomplish during this gift of extra hours.  We would clean and garden and organize. We would play board games and basketball and badminton. We would visit museums and the beach and the zoo.

But, I forgot that I live in a zoo.

Any extra hours with my kids at home with me are quickly gobbled up by the extra parenting opportunities their close proximity to me and each other all day long necessitates.

Sometimes, those extra parenting opportunities fly out of my mouth and boggle my mind.

There’s been a whole lot of that going on already, and it’s only the first day of spring break.

Top 10 INSANE Things I Uttered On The 1st Day of Spring Break

#10.  If the dog really was the one who ate all the Easter candy his poop would be sparkly.

#9.  Let go of your brother’s face.

#8.  You can’t bring that squirrel into the house, because we don’t know him.

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 Insane Things I Uttered On The 1st Day of Spring Break#7.  Did anyone realize we still have Christmas decorations on the mantel?

#6.  I doubt unloading the dishwasher is going to kill you.

#5.  Spring break is just a break from school, not from reality, not from chores, and definitely not from showers. And, use soap!

#4.  Clothes that are still on hangers are not dirty.

#3.  Do not play catch with a screwdriver.

#2.  No, milk should not be a solid.

#1.  Do not glue people together.

I love my children. I love the extra time we have together.

But…

I’m already starting to wonder…

Is it school o’clock yet?

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Is your family spring break-ing? How do you spend the extra time a break from school responsibilities gives you? Are people being glued together at your house, too? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Hide & Seek With Your Garden Tools

Hide & Seek With Your Garden Tools …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Playing Hide & Seek With Your Garden Tools

This is the time of year when many of us are busy sprucing up our gardens.  It is invaluable to have the right tools.   I recently came upon a supposedly helpful list of twenty-seven essential items to assemble prior to beginning to revitalize one’s garden for spring.

That’s right – TWENTY-SEVEN!

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 Hide & Seek With Your Garden Tools ...Gina's Favorites GardeningThe thing is, though, this list was clearly assembled by someone who lives in, well, an imaginary land where people speak “Martha Stewart” and put things away where they belong.

I don’t live there.

I don’t even live near there.

I figured many of you live in a crazy realm similar to the one I do, so I decided to adapt the list for us inhabitants of the real world.

I’ve whittled (you would not believe how long it took me to spell “whittled” correctly) the list down to the 4 most essential items, not including the phone numbers for the closest emergency room and bandage supplier.

Spring Garden Essentials Checklist:

(Don’t waste your time looking for any of these items where they belong.  You know they aren’t there.  As an experienced spring garden tool gatherer, I have provided some suggestions as to the most likely places to find them.)

A round point shovel – could be used for breaking up ground or for heavy digging and lifting if you could find it.  Probably it’s somewhere behind the garage where it was thrown two months ago after two of your sons got into an argument about who’s turn it was to pick up the dog doo, and Son#2 popped Son#3 on the head with it.

Son#2 was likely in a hurry to hide the evidence of his assault after the split in the skin above Son#3’s right eyebrow turned into something closely resembling a Venetian fountain. He likely tossed the shovel behind the garage because it was the nearest large, opaque object.  Fortunately, Son#3 had the good, although dripping, sense to rush to find you in the house, despite Son#2’s assurances that he would return shortly with duct tape to “fix him right up.”

A hand pruner – is great for snipping off small, dead branches, and is not actually intended to prune hands, despite the fact that it does seem to take pieces off someone’s finger every year.  It looks kinda like hefty scissors.  It is usually found near where a child was constructing a diorama of The Wind in the Willows at midnight the night before it was due.  After all,  she only had two months to work on it and couldn’t possibly be expected to finish the shoebox sized project, much less mention that she needed to do so, in that short time frame.

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 Hide & Seek With Your Garden Tools ...Gina's Favorites GardeningAs last minute school projects cause the immediate disappearance of all scissors, she naturally had to use the hand pruners to cut out the construction paper river, wire tree stems, and cardboard willows.  The duct tape is probably nearby as well, explaining why Son#2 was unable to find it to use to stem the tide from Son#3’s eyebrow, because glue sticks also spontaneously combust whenever a child is working on a school project after the stores close.

A leaf rake – is useful for raking up, you guessed it, leaves from the lawn or under shrubbery.  It has a wide “rakey” part at the end that, unfortunately, unscrews from the long handle.  The rakey part makes a great turkey tail or giant Mohawk and is usually found in the tree fort in the back yard or upstairs in the costume box.

The long handle is, unfortunately, quite a bit more difficult to locate.  Most years, The Professor just crawls around on our lawn muttering about how he knew he “…should have glued the bloody handle on!” as he rakes up the leaves with only the rakey part of the rake, after having searched the garage and yard fruitlessly for the handle.

The handle is a rare find, but can sometimes be located holding up the center of the blanket and chair fort in the living room or attached to the paint roller that was abandoned in the shower of the guest bathroom.  You might also want to check that space between the refrigerator and the wall, because it is sometimes used to retrieve AWOL Lego bricks from under the refrigerator.

A pair of gardening gloves – are very important to protect your hands while working in the yard.  They also work well as riding gloves while riding imaginary broncos made of picnic benches, as substitute hot pads when removing flaming roasted potatoes from the oven, and to get a grip on the radiator cap when the car is steaming mad.  Search accordingly.  Be sure that you locate at least three gloves, because if you only find two, they will be for the same hand.

After you’ve found these four basic items most of the day will probably be shot, so you won’t have any time, much less patience, left to work in your garden.  Be sure to hide them where your family can’t find them.  That way there’s a chance you’ll be able to use them next weekend.  Then, send yourself an email telling you where you put them, because if you’re anything like me, you’ll hide them where no one, not even you, can find them.

Happy Hunting…I mean…Gardening!

Laugh out loud!

– gina

What’s the most unusual place you’ve found a gardening essential?  Who puts stuff where it goes at in your neck of the woods?  Shoot me a comment.  I’d love to hear all about it!

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.