Where’s The Sparkly?

Where’s The Sparkly?…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

We’re wrapping presents today. Seems like a good time for this Gina’s Favorites post. Giggle with me.

Where’s My Sparkly?

I’m a bit distressed this morning because I can’t find the little velvet-covered jewelry box that holds my favorite sparkly.

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 Where’s The Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day GiftI keep it in my china hutch in our dining room.

Yes, I know that’s strange.

What kind of nut keeps a jewelry box in the dining room? This kind.

I received the tiny, blue velvet-covered hinged box with the shiny treasure inside it for Mothers’ Day from The Professor a couple years ago. I treasure it. It’s one of my favorite gifts.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that celebratory days, particularly Mothers’ Day, seem to have degraded into a battle over gifting styles.

Personally, I don’t understand what the big problem is. If you’re a kid, make something. Anything. She’ll love it and keep it forever.

If you’re an adult, think about what she likes. Give her something you know she likes. If you don’t know what she likes, either ask her, or re-evaluate your relationship to figure out how you don’t know what someone you are supposedly close to wants.

No big deal.

That being said, however, The Professor does not agree.

He finds gift selection and giving mind boggling, despite the fact we’ve known each other for 2 decades. I have to admit that my life partner is, in general the worst with gifts.

I think it was Lucy Ricardo who said, “It’s not the gift, it’s the lack of thought behind it that counts.” I live that.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Where’s The Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day GiftBut, sometimes he has a moment of inspiration, and not only gets me a gift, but gets something I’ll love. Like the year he had his classes do group projects for a week, so he could spend every second working on crafting a bouquet of red duct tape roses for me. The effort was the gift. I treasure those everlasting flowers because of it.

Or, this year, when he picked out a stunning necklace well in advance of Mothers’ Day (because I will be performing on Mothers’ Day) that’s just my style.

Or, the year he gave me the sparkly in the little blue velvet box.

That year had been a tough year.

My pack had been particularly emergency room prone. It seemed like I was taking someone to the ER to get stitched up, pumped out, or otherwise repaired a couple times a week. We were in the midst of an epidemic of smashed fingers, cut feet, and poked eyes.

The most frustrating part was that most of the trips for emergency medicine were the result of a pack member doing something dumb.

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 Where’s The Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day GiftLike when Son#2 tried to bounce off of my exercise ball and missed, instead bouncing off of his brothers dresser and slicing open a 10 inch long gash on his back. And, then tried it again the next day and broke his tail bone!

Or when Daughter#3 was giving Son#3 a ride on her shoulders, and dropped him, resulting in a concussion for him.

The list was endless. Every couple days someone would do something they shouldn’t have been doing, and I’d get to spend the night in the ER with the victim.

So, it wasn’t a total shock to me one evening when Son#3 came rushing down from the room he shares with Son#4, after they had supposedly been sleeping for an hour.

“I swallowed a Magnetix,” he practically screamed.

I took a calming breath, all the while thinking, “Well, of course you did.  I do that all of the time while I’m sleeping.”

Do you remember Magnetix sets? They don’t sell them here anymore, probably because kids swallow them. That’s unfortunate because they were really cool building sets. There were small rods and marble sized metal balls.

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 Where’s The Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day GiftAll of the pieces were magnetic, which allowed one to build some amazing things. They were also small, which clearly allowed one to swallow some amazing things, too.

Now this was not my first time at the “I swallowed something” rodeo, so I knew what to ask.

“Are you sure you swallowed it?” At least 3 times we’d rushed pack members to the ER only to discover the supposedly swallowed, panic-inducing item in the panic-stricken child’s clothes or to have it fall out of their hair while the ER doctor was examining in them. Even if you find the item outside the child’s body while you’re there, you still have to pay for those ER visits.

“Yes, I’m sure,” he answered.

“What kind of a piece did you swallow?”  I inquired.

“One of the metal balls,” he provided. “Like this one,” he said, handing me one of the familiar reflective, metal balls.

I was relieved that it wasn’t one of the 4 inch rods. Small round objects travel quite well through our children. We’ve ran that drill a dozen times.

“How exactly did you happen to swallow it?” I asked. He was 8 at the time, hardly an age where you worry about them sucking up toys.

Son#3 explained in great detail that he and Son#4 were not so much trying to sleep for the previous hour. In fact, they weren’t even in their beds. After they’d been tucked into their beds, they had both gotten up, and proceeded to have a magic show.

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 Where’s The Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day GiftSon#3 was trying to “fake out” his younger brother by pretending to swallow items.

That’s right.

You see where this is headed.

When Son#4 refused to believe that Son#3 had swallowed the metal ball that Son#3 was pretending to swallow, Son#3 upped the convincing fake swallow, and accidentally swallowed it for real.

A giant sigh escaped me at the end of his long description, as the prospect of yet another night hanging out with the ER staff was exhausting to even think about. Nonetheless, that’s where we were headed.

I wasn’t worried about the shiny sphere lodging somewhere along Son#3’s exit lane. We’d had too many instances of similarly sized and shaped marbles and rocks ingested to even wonder about whether there would be any exit problems. There would not.

I took him to the ER because I was concerned about the chemical make-up of the metal ball. I was concerned that it might be reactive or poisonous once it reached the inner workings of my boy.

I think the ER doctors were appreciative of our odd swallowing incident.  None of them had ever dealt with this particular item.  After many consultations with the Children’s Hospital and phone calls to poison control, the medical team determined that the metal ball was likely non-reactive.  They sent us home with the customary, “It’ll probably be out in a couple days. If not, come back and we’ll do another x-ray.”

When we were back in the car, Son#3 asked, “Does he mean I’m gonna poop it out?”

“Yes,” I said, “that’s exactly what you’re going to do.”

“But, how will I know when I do?” he asked. “Won’t it be all covered with…you-know?  How am I going to know it even came out?”

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Where’s The Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day Gift“Trust me, you’ll know,” I reassured him.

Turns out we all knew, as at the time of exit, Son#3 had failed to shut the bathroom door and the “Clank!” of metal hitting porcelain carried through most of our house.

“Nobody flush this.  I want to show Dad,” my little poopoo engineer hollered out from the bathroom. And, nobody did.  Of course, nobody ever flushes the toilet around here anyway.

When Mothers’ Day rolled around about a month later our spate of ER visits had, thankfully, lulled.

I was surprised when the Professor presented me with the small, blue velvet hinged jewelry box, with a gold ribbon tied into an artful bow wrapped around it. Bad as The Professor is with gifts, he’s even worse with wrapping. This year he wrapped my necklace in the puppy paw print paper I purchased to wrap Daughter#3’s birthday gifts in next month. So, the lovely presentation surprised me, and further piqued my curiosity.

I slid the ribbon off of the box, and gently lifted the lid. The hinge squeaked ever-so-softly.

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 Where’s The Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ Day GiftInside was a sparkly that I never would have expected. It was resting on a tiny blue pillow, looking quite comfortable. It looked like a large black pearl, with a soft, silver patina.

Next to it was a small label with fancy script writing that read “In April 2. Out April 5.”  I laughed out loud when I read it. Here was the Magnetix that Son#3 had swallowed, beautifully presented as a keepsake for his mom.

It was almost perfect.

Beaming with pride, Son#3 said, “Don’t worry, mom.  We wore gloves, and we soaked it in bleach 3 times.”

That made it perfect.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have any of your family members swallowed something they shouldn’t have? What’s the most bizarre gift you have given or received?   Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Top 10 Worst Gifts For Mom …Gina’s Favorites

Top 10 Worst Gifts For Mom …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.
And, have a Happy Mothers’ Day!!!

Top 10 Worst Gifts For Mom

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 ...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ 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 ...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ 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 ...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ 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 ...Gina's Favorites Mothers’ 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 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.

My Mom Makes Me Laugh

My Mom Makes Me Laugh

by Gina Valley

My mom isn’t one of the first people I think of when I’m thinking of funny people, but she should be.

She taught me how to short sheet a bed when I was still in kindergarten.  She’d stick plastic fruit in my dad’s lunches, and put dog biscuits in the cookie jar when we were little.

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 My Mom Makes Me Laugh Mother’s Day Pranks

She’s got a rock that looks just like a baked potato, and she serves it to unsuspecting company for dinner.

Every single April 1 she convinces my dad that her car has a flat tire, and he goes out to check it. It hasn’t been flat yet.

And, there was the fishing trip my dad took with my brother-in-law a couple years ago.

My mom, then 73 and battling Parkinson’s disease, was going to be left home alone in their remote mountain home for the week my dad was away on the trip.  Being alone for a week while my dad was gone was a big deal.

A registered nurse and a mother of 5, my mom is a detail-oriented, highly organized person.  She, realizing her personal and situational limitations, knew she had to plan and prepare.

She made a list.

She even numbered the items by priority.

What was the first thing on her list?

What was that one essential she had to complete prior to my dad’s departure to feel that all would be right and secure in her world?

Was it stocking up on groceries?  No.

Was it filling the car with gas?  No.

Was it finishing the laundry or putting emergency contacts near the phone or double checking their security system?  No. No. No.

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 My Mom Makes Me Laugh Mother’s Day Pranks

Number 1 on her list was:  sew all of the underwear my dad packed shut. Every single pair.

And, she did it.

She makes me laugh, and that is such a blessing.  It reminds me that no matter how rough a day may feel laughter will draw us back together.

Happy Mothers’ Day, Mom! I love you!

And, Happy Mothers’ Day to all of you who mother, whether you are an official mom or not.

Everything you do for the children in your world is appreciated, whether anyone tells you or not.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Visit my Who ARE These People? post for more giggles inspired by my parents.

Visit my Seriously – I Cried Today post for a poignant look at struggles my mom has faced.

Do you have fond memories about someone who mothered you?  Is there a silly story that makes you smile every time you think about it?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

 Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Where’s My Sparkly?…Gina’s Favorites

Where’s My Sparkly?…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Since so many of us are busily searching for the perfect Mother’s Day gift for the moms in our life, I figured my Where’s My Sparkly? post would be perfect for Throwback Day this week.

Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Where’s My Sparkly?

I’m a bit distressed this morning because I can’t find the little velvet-covered jewelry box that holds my favorite sparkly.

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 Where’s My Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers Gift I keep it in my big china hutch in our dining room.

Yes, I know that’s strange.

What kind of nut keeps a jewelry box in the dining room?  This kind.

I received the tiny, blue velvet-covered hinged box with the shiny treasure inside it for Mothers’ Day from the Professor a couple years ago.  I treasure it.  It’s one of my favorite gifts.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that celebratory days, particularly Mothers’ Day, seem to have degraded into a battle over gifting styles.

Personally, I don’t understand what the big problem is.  If you’re a kid, make something.  Anything.  She’ll love it and keep it forever.

If you’re an adult, think about what she likes.  Give her something you know she likes.  If you don’t know what she likes, either ask her, or re-evaluate your relationship to figure out how you don’t know what someone you are supposedly close to wants.

No big deal.

That being said, however, The Professor does not agree.

He finds gift selection and giving mind boggling, despite the fact we’ve known each other for 2 decades.  I have to admit that my life partner is, in general the worst with gifts.

I think it was Lucy Ricardo who said, “It’s not the gift, it’s the lack of thought behind it that counts.”  I live that.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Where’s My Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers Gift But, sometimes he has a moment of inspiration, and not only gets me a gift, but gets something I’ll love.  Like the year he had his classes do group projects for a week, so he could spend every second working on crafting a bouquet of red duct tape roses for me.  The effort was the gift.  I treasure those everlasting flowers because of it.

Or, this year, when he picked out a stunning necklace well in advance of Mothers’ Day (because I will be performing on Mothers’ Day) that’s just my style.

Or, the year he gave me the sparkly in the little blue velvet box.

That year had been a tough year.

My pack had been particularly emergency room prone.  It seemed like I was taking someone to the ER to get stitched up, pumped out, or otherwise repaired a couple times a week.  We seemed to be in the midst of an epidemic of smashed fingers, cut feet, and poked eyes.

The most frustrating part was that most of the trips for emergency medicine were as the result of a pack member doing something dumb.

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 Where’s My Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers Gift Like when Son#2 tried to bounce off of my exercise ball and missed, instead bouncing off of his brothers dresser and slicing open a 10 inch long gash on his back.  And, then tried it again the next day and broke his tail bone!

Or when Daughter#3 was giving Son#3 a ride on her shoulders, and dropped him, resulting in a concussion for him.

The list was endless.  Every couple days someone would do something they shouldn’t have been doing, and I’d get to spend the night in the ER with the victim.

So, it wasn’t a total shock to me one evening when Son#3 came rushing down from the room he shares with Son#4, after they had supposedly been sleeping for an hour.

“I swallowed a Magnetix,” he practically screamed.

I took a calming breath, all the while thinking, “Well, of course you did.  I do that all of the time while I’m sleeping.”

Do you remember Magnetix sets?  They don’t sell them here anymore, probably because kids swallow them.  That’s unfortunate because they were really cool building sets.  There were small rods and marble sized metal balls.

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 Where’s My Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers Gift All of the pieces were magnetic, which allowed one to build some amazing things.  They were also small, which clearly allowed one to swallow some amazing things, too.

Now this was not my first time at the “I swallowed something” rodeo, so I knew what to ask.

“Are you sure you swallowed it?”  At least 3 times we’d rushed pack members to the ER only to discover the supposedly swallowed, panic-inducing item in the panic-stricken child’s clothes or to have it fall out of their hair while the ER doctor was examining in them.  Even if you find the item outside the child’s body while you’re there, you still have to pay for those ER visits.

“Yes, I’m sure,” he answered.

“What kind of a piece did you swallow?”  I inquired.

“One of the metal balls,” he provided. “like this one,” he said, handing me one of the familiar reflective, metal balls.

I was relieved that it wasn’t one of the 4 inch rods.  Small round objects travel quite well through our children.  We’ve ran that drill a dozen times.

“How exactly did you happen to swallow it?” I asked.  He was 8 at the time, hardly an age where you worry about them sucking up toys.

Son#3 explained in great detail that he and Son#4 were not so much trying to sleep for the previous hour.  In fact, they weren’t even in their beds.  After they’d been tucked into their beds, they had both gotten up, and proceeded to have a magic show.

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 Where’s My Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers Gift Son#3 was trying to “fake out” his younger brother by pretending to swallow items.

That’s right.

You see where this is headed.

When Son#4 refused to believe that Son#3 had swallowed the metal ball that Son#3 was pretending to swallow, Son#3 upped the convincing fake swallow, and accidentally swallowed it for real.

A giant sigh escaped me at the end of his long description, as the prospect of yet another night hanging out with the ER staff was exhausting to even think about.  Nonetheless, that’s where we were headed.

I wasn’t worried about the shiny sphere lodging somewhere along Son#3’s exit lane.  We’d had too many instances of similarly sized and shaped marbles and rocks ingested to even wonder about whether there would be any exit problems.  There would not.

I took him to the ER because I was concerned about the chemical make-up of the metal ball.  I was concerned that it might be reactive or poisonous once it reached the inner workings of my boy.

I think the ER doctors were appreciative of our odd swallowing incident.  None of them had ever dealt with this particular item.  After many consultations with the Children’s Hospital and phone calls to poison control, the medical team determined that the metal ball was likely non-reactive.  They sent us home with the customary, “It’ll probably be out in a couple days. If not, come back and we’ll do another x-ray.”

When we were back in the car, Son#3 asked, “Does he mean I’m gonna poop it out?”

“Yes,” I said, “that’s exactly what you’re going to do.”

“But, how will I know when I do?” he asked.  “Won’t it be all covered with…you-know?  How am I going to know it even came out?”

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Where’s My Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers Gift “Trust me, you’ll know,” I reassured him.

Turns out we all knew, as at the time of exit, Son#3 had failed to shut the bathroom door and the “Clank!” of metal hitting porcelain carried through most of our house.

“Nobody flush this.  I want to show Dad,” my little poopoo engineer hollered out from the bathroom.

And, nobody did.  Of course, nobody ever flushes the toilet around here anyway.

When Mothers’ Day rolled around about a month later our spate of ER visits had, thankfully, lulled.

I was surprised when the Professor presented me with the small, blue velvet hinged jewelry box, with a gold ribbon tied into an artful bow wrapped around it.  Bad as The Professor is with gifts, he’s even worse with wrapping.  This year he wrapped my necklace in the puppy paw print paper I purchased to wrap Daughter#3’s birthday gifts in next month.  So, the lovely presentation surprised me, and further piqued my curiosity.

I slid the ribbon off of the box, and gently lifted the lid.  The hinge squeaked ever-so-softly.

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 Where’s My Sparkly?...Gina's Favorites Mothers Gift Inside was a sparkly that I never would have expected. It was resting on a tiny blue pillow, looking quite comfortable.  It looked like a large black pearl, with a soft, silver patina.

Next to it was a small label with fancy script writing that read “In April 2.  Out April 5.”  I laughed out loud when I read it.  Here was the Magnetix that Son#3 had swallowed, beautifully presented as a keepsake for his mom.

It was almost perfect.

Beaming with pride, Son#3 said, “Don’t worry, mom.  We wore gloves, and we soaked it in bleach 3 times.”

That made it perfect.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have any of your family members swallowed something they shouldn’t have? What’s the most bizarre gift you have given or received?   Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

What I Want For Mother’s Day

What I Want For Mother’s Day

by Gina Valley

Mother’s Day is coming, and the hunt for the perfect Mother’s Day gifts is on. It’s a yearly challenge for all hunters to come up with something that not only expresses their appreciation of the mothers in their life, but also something that those mothers would welcome as a gift.

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 What I Want For Mother’s Day I’m hanging out with the fine group of hunters over at Dads Round Table today. I’ve got my Mother’s Day wish list there in my Top 7 Things I Want For Mother’s Day post.  I hope you’ll click on over to join me at Dads Round Table.  Feel free to forward my list to the hunters in your life.

Here’s a snippet of what you’ll find in my Top 7 Things I Want For Mother’s Day post:

Top 7 Things I Want For Mother’s Day

Can you feel it?

The air is thick with tension. It’s time to figure out Mother’s Day gifts.

People who have mothers or are partners with a mother or know someone who’s a mother are all experiencing PTGSD (Pre Traumatic Gift Selection Disorder).

I don’t claim to represent the gift preferences of every mother on the planet, but a very unscientific poll of many of the moms I know showed great support for my favorite gifts. I think it comes down to the fact that we moms, just like you dads, really just want to feel acknowledged, appreciated, and loved.

Here’s a list of the top seven gifts that would help me feel all of those things. I’m willing to bet that the mothers in your life would love these, too.

Top 7 Things I Want For Mother’s Day

#1.  Something Kid-Made – A card, a picture, a sculpture, hand prints, anything. No matter what age my child is I always treasure most something they make for me. A card made for me means more to me than any gift. I save those forever. You encouraging and guiding my child to make something for me warms my heart, and demonstrates that you understand 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 What I Want For Mother’s Day

#2.  A Picture Of World Peace – By “world peace” I mean, of course, “my world” in peace, and by “picture” I mean a photograph of all of my kids. So, a photo of my kids together, all getting along, and all in the same location. Dressed nicely. Hair combed.  Even if it just lasted long enough for that one photo, nothing is more beautiful to me.  In a quality frame, ready for me to display….

Click on over to Dads Round Table to read my Top 7 Things I Want For Mother’s Day post in its entirety (you might want to send the list to the Mother’s Day gift hunters in your life). As always, the extra click to get there counts as cardio!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What gift do you want for Mother’s Day? What do you give the mothers in your life?  Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Top 10 Things I DON’T Want For Mother’s Day

Top 10 Things I DON’T Want For Mother’s Day

by Gina Valley

We’re coming up on that stressful time of year most moms I know hate.

Mother’s Day.

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 Things I DON’T Want For Mothers’ Day Thanks 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 Sunday 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 Things I DON’T Want For Mother’s Day

#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. Just for this one day. 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 Things I DON’T Want For Mothers’ 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 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 Mothers’ 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 Things I DON’T Want For Mothers’ 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 FamilyI 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 Things I DON’T Want For Mothers’ Day#2.  A Case Of SlimFast Shakes – Yes, I might buy something like this occasionally. Yes, I mentioned I need to get a new pedometer, 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.

Join me on Dads Round Table for a list of my Top 7 Things I Want For Mother’s Day. Remember, as always, the extra click to get there counts as cardio.

I Am Going To Prison

I Am Going To Prison

by Gina Valley

While you are reading this I’m probably in prison or on a transport heading that way.

It’ll be an ordeal.  I’ll wish I’d packed my coat.  But, I’ll get through it.

This all happened because yesterday I spoke at the Listen To Your Mother – San Francisco production.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley I Am Going To Prison Alcatraz Mothers’ Day Listen To Your Mother You know how they have that “no grocery bags” law in San Francisco?  Well, that has nothing to do with this, but I think that’s really cool.

I swear those plastic monsters breed in the cabinet under my kitchen sink.  I wish it was illegal for them to send them home with me when I shop in LA.  I don’t think I’ll ever remember to bring in all those cool reusable bags I keep meaning to grab from the trunk until I risk a felony conviction.

Bags and felonies aside, I’m heading to prison.

But, don’t worry.  I won’t be lonely.  I’m bringing my whole family with me.

I’m taking them to visit Alcatraz.  I’ll decide if I’m bringing them back from Alcatraz after I see how they behave.

Since I’ll be off having a much needed family time, after not being with them much on Mothers’ Day, I’m going to do a Semi-Throwback Day this week.  And, it’s going to be today.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley I Am Going To Prison Alcatraz Mothers’ Day Listen To Your Mother Below you will find the text (minus my ad lib’ing.  I just can’t help doing that) of the humor piece I performed at Listen To Your Mother – San Francisco yesterday.  I’m calling it a Semi-Throwback Day because this piece began as a post on this blog.

I re-wrote it a bit to aim it towards moms, instead of parents in general.  It’s also longer than  the original, so that it would be a good performance length when I read it.  The increased length made room for more giggles.

I had a great time performing it and hanging out with the awesome women who made up the rest of the cast.  I highly encourage you to attend one of the many Listen To Your Mother productions next year. It is a great experience for anyone who “mothers” or had a mother or just wants to laugh.

Here in its entirety is the piece I wrote and performed:

I Wish I Had Lofty Goals    

by Gina Valley

I wish I had lofty goals. 

I wish my deepest desire was to put out the next best seller or to climb to the top of Half Dome or to finally fit into those single-digit, purple pants that have been hanging in the back of my closet for 4 years.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley I Am Going To Prison Alcatraz Mothers’ Day Listen To Your Mother

But, I am a mother, and the true definition of motherhood is adjusted expectations.

At this point in my life I have adjusted the heck out of my expectations.

Much as I see the value of leading a Fortune 500 company or winning a Grammy, truth be told, my heart does not long for grand accomplishments.

I wouldn’t throw it out, but it’s not the Nobel Prize I’m craving.

I wish I had lofty goals, but honestly the thing I want most is to go to the bathroom.

I want to go to the bathroom.

Alone.

Untimed

Unharassed

Unbothered

Unquestioned

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley I Am Going To Prison Alcatraz Mothers’ Day Listen To Your Mother No tiny fingers reaching under the door.

No wet noses or fuzzy paws trying to squeeze through.

No jiggling of the knob, sliding down the door, waiting in the hall.

I don’t even mind replacing the toilet paper and filling the hand soap and picking up the towel while I’m in there.

If I could just, please, go to the bathroom alone.  Alone.

I don’t want to sign your permission slip.  Do not slide it under the door.

I don’t want to see the big, green beetle you found in your room or the hole the bird just made in your shorts or the fuzzy stuff on the cheese.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley I Am Going To Prison Alcatraz Mothers’ Day Listen To Your Mother I don’t want to smell the toy truck or your cousin’s picture book or the flower you just picked (ok, put the flower in water. I’ll smell that later).

I don’t want to braid your hair, measure the rice, or put the case on your pillow.

I don’t want to unlock the door so you can give me the cordless phone.

I do not want to answer the very important phone call from the man who has a “terrific opportunity” for me.

I don’t want to return a text to your brother.   Do not shove my cell phone under the door.  Again.

I don’t want to get the knot out of your shoelaces, the gum out of your hair, or the squished banana out of your backpack.

I don’t want to discuss what the big deal is with JFK or whether global warming is real or who invented the internet.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley I Am Going To Prison Alcatraz Mothers’ Day Listen To Your Mother I don’t want to explain why 2×2 + 7x – 6 = 0,  or why King Henry 8th went through so many wives, or why mitosis is different than meiosis.

I don’t want to know why your teacher said a cuss word or what made Evan throw up during math or how you know the lunch lady wasn’t wearing underpants today.

I don’t want to find your library book or to put the stickers on your helmet or to see what you found in your sister’s purse (well, actually, hang on to that.  I’d like to see it later).

I don’t want to open your juice box, or your crackers, or your Airheads.

I don’t want to know whose fault it is that you need the mop.

I don’t want to take the lid off of the grape juice or the peanut butter or the vacuum.

I don’t want to know what’s behind your bookcase or what’s in your fish tank or what just crawled out from under the living room sofa.  I really, really don’t want to know that.

I don’t want to know what happened when you sneezed, what you found between your toes, or what the cat is licking.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley I Am Going To Prison Alcatraz Mothers’ Day Listen To Your Mother I don’t want to paint your nails, shorten your jeans, or put the chain back on your bike.

No, I will not open the door so you can hear me better.  I mumbled that because I was cussing at your constant interruptions and I did not want you to hear it.

I don’t want to discuss what’s for dinner, where your green shirt with the little picture of a monkey on it is, or what the weather will be like tomorrow so you can pick out your outfit. 

I don’t want to talk about why you have to leave the lizard in the yard or why your arm is sticky or why LaRissa’s boyfriend is a pig (he is, but if she’s giving out the milk for free he’s never gonna….Never mind. That’s not the point here).

I don’t want to know what the dog just ate, what your brother just said or why your knee smells funny.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley I Am Going To Prison Alcatraz Mothers’ Day Listen To Your Mother I don’t want to hear you burp the alphabet backwards, explain why it’s your sister’s fault you can’t do a handstand, or hear the weird sound the hamster is making.

I don’t want to guess what or guess who or guess why.

I don’t want to discuss anything.

I don’t want to see anything.

I don’t want to do anything.

I WANT TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!

By myself.

That’s all.

May I please go to the bathroom?!?!

 

Even though I’m not actually being incarcerated, feel free to bake me a cake.

You could even put a nail file in it.

I lost mine at the hotel.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Do you get interrupted in the bathroom?  Is there somewhere else you yearn for privacy?  Have you visited Alcatraz?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!

Such Is The Day

Such Is The Day

by Gina Valley

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Stillness Sunday Such Is The Day Listen To Your Mother San Francisco Mothering Fathering Parenting Dance
Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Dance

Smiles at midnight

Two as one

Swaying gently

Rhythmic sun

Joining hands

Leaping high

Spinning round

Joy splash nigh

Twirling

Stretching

Jumping

Flash

Knit together

Memories last

-Gina Valley

 

I just got home after performing at Listen To Your Mother – San Francisco.

Well, not so much home, as hotel, but you know what I mean.  I’ve peeled off the Spankx and scrubbed off the stage make up.  My heels are back in their box and my jammies pants are on.

It was not my usual Mothers’ Day.

Instead of dinner out, I had a catered meal with the rest of the cast, my newest friends.  Instead of reminiscing about Mothers’ Days past with my pack, I laughed in the green room with the amazing group of women I was honored to perform with.

Interestingly, although there were no children in that room, there was a tremendous amount of “mothering” going on.

It was a beautiful thing.

Helping each other.  Supporting each other.  Guiding, caring, lifting, praising.  All things moms do every day.  Laughing and listening.   Assisting with wardrobe.  Checking make up.   All mom stuff.

Sharing joy.

Wiping tears.

All mom territory.

All hallmarks of mothering.

All reminders that you don’t have to be a mother to “mother.”   You don’t have to have a child to “mother.”  You don’t even need to have a child in the room to “mother.”

Mothering is about caring.

So is fathering.

I feel so privileged to have been reminded again today that it’s not so much the fact that someone is a mother that we’re celebrating on Mothers’ Day.  What we’re truly celebrating is the caring shown by that person.

I didn’t get to hang out with my children much today, although they were in the audience.  I didn’t get to see my mom.  Nonetheless, it was a great Mothers’ Day, because the true spirit of mothering was so strong in that green room .

And, now my pack and I are back at our hotel, where we will stuff ourselves with fast food, jump on the beds, and watch movies until the wee hours.

Gotta go.

I want to show them how to get enough vertical to make the jump from one bed to the other.

Love!

-gina

How do you celebrate Mothers’ Day?  Is it a hard day for you?  How do you deal with that?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Where’s My Sparkly?

Where’s My Sparkly?

by Gina Valley

I’m a bit distressed this morning because I can’t find the little velvet-covered jewelry box that holds my favorite sparkly.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Where’s My Sparkly? Mothers’ Day Gifts Magnetix Swallowing

I keep it in my big china hutch in our dining room.

Yes, I know that’s strange.

What kind of nut keeps a jewelry box in the dining room?  This kind.

I received the tiny, blue velvet-covered hinged box with the shiny treasure inside it for Mothers’ Day from the Professor a couple years ago.  I treasure it.  It’s one of my favorite gifts.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that celebratory days, particularly Mothers’ Day, seem to have degraded into a battle over gifting styles.

Personally, I don’t understand what the big problem is.  If you’re a kid, make something.  Anything.  She’ll love it and keep it forever.

If you’re an adult, think about what she likes.  Give her something you know she likes.  If you don’t know what she likes, either ask her, or re-evaluate your relationship to figure out how you don’t know what someone you are supposedly close to wants.

No big deal.

That being said, however, The Professor does not agree.

He finds gift selection and giving mind boggling, despite the fact we’ve known each other for 2 decades.  I have to admit that my life partner is, in general the worst with gifts.

I think it was Lucy Ricardo who said, “It’s not the gift, it’s the lack of thought behind it that counts.”  I live that.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Where’s My Sparkly? Mothers’ Day Gifts Magnetix SwallowingBut, sometimes he has a moment of inspiration, and not only gets me a gift, but gets something I’ll love.  Like the year he had his classes do group projects for a week, so he could spend every second working on crafting a bouquet of red duct tape roses for me.  The effort was the gift.  I treasure those everlasting flowers because of it.

Or, this year, when he picked out a stunning necklace well in advance of Mothers’ Day (because I will be performing on Mothers’ Day) that’s just my style.

Or, the year he gave me the sparkly in the little blue velvet box.

That year had been a tough year.

My pack had been particularly emergency room prone.  It seemed like I was taking someone to the ER to get stitched up, pumped out, or otherwise repaired a couple times a week.  We seemed to be in the midst of an epidemic of smashed fingers, cut feet, and poked eyes.

The most frustrating part was that most of the trips for emergency medicine were as the result of a pack member doing something dumb.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Where’s My Sparkly? Mothers’ Day Gifts Magnetix SwallowingLike when Son#2 tried to bounce off of my exercise ball and missed, instead bouncing off of his brothers dresser and slicing open a 10 inch long gash on his back.  And, then tried it again the next day and broke his tail bone!

Or when Daughter#3 was giving Son#3 a ride on her shoulders, and dropped him, resulting in a concussion for him.

The list was endless.  Every couple days someone would do something they shouldn’t have been doing, and I’d get to spend the night in the ER with the victim.

So, it wasn’t a total shock to me one evening when Son#3 came rushing down from the room he shares with Son#4, after they had supposedly been sleeping for an hour.

“I swallowed a Magnetix,” he practically screamed.

I took a calming breath, all the while thinking, “Well, of course you did.  I do that all of the time while I’m sleeping.”

Do you remember Magnetix sets?  They don’t sell them here anymore, probably because kids swallow them.  That’s unfortunate because they were really cool building sets.  There were small rods and marble sized metal balls.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Where’s My Sparkly? Mothers’ Day Gifts Magnetix Swallowing

All of the pieces were magnetic, which allowed one to build some amazing things.  They were also small, which clearly allowed one to swallow some amazing things, too.

Now this was not my first time at the “I swallowed something” rodeo, so I knew what to ask.

“Are you sure you swallowed it?”  At least 3 times we’d rushed pack members to the ER only to discover the supposedly swallowed, panic-inducing item in the panic-stricken child’s clothes or to have it fall out of their hair while the ER doctor was examining in them.  Even if you find the item outside the child’s body while you’re there, you still have to pay for those ER visits.

“Yes, I’m sure,” he answered.

“What kind of a piece did you swallow?”  I inquired.

“One of the metal balls,” he provided. “like this one,” he said, handing me one of the familiar reflective, metal balls.

I was relieved that it wasn’t one of the 4 inch rods.  Small round objects travel quite well through our children.  We’ve ran that drill a dozen times.

“How exactly did you happen to swallow it?” I asked.  He was 8 at the time, hardly an age where you worry about them sucking up toys.

Son#3 explained in great detail that he and Son#4 were not so much trying to sleep for the previous hour.  In fact, they weren’t even in their beds.  After they’d been tucked into their beds, they had both gotten up, and proceeded to have a magic show.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Where’s My Sparkly? Mothers’ Day Gifts Magnetix SwallowingSon#3 was trying to “fake out” his younger brother by pretending to swallow items.

That’s right.

You see where this is headed.

When Son#4 refused to believe that Son#3 had swallowed the metal ball that Son#3 was pretending to swallow, Son#3 upped the convincing fake swallow, and accidentally swallowed it for real.

A giant sigh escaped me at the end of his long description, as the prospect of yet another night hanging out with the ER staff was exhausting to even think about.  Nonetheless, that’s where we were headed.

I wasn’t worried about the shiny sphere lodging somewhere along Son#3’s exit lane.  We’d had too many instances of similarly sized and shaped marbles and rocks ingested to even wonder about whether there would be any exit problems.  There would not.

I took him to the ER because I was concerned about the chemical make-up of the metal ball.  I was concerned that it might be reactive or poisonous once it reached the inner workings of my boy.

I think the ER doctors were appreciative of our odd swallowing incident.  None of them had ever dealt with this particular item.  After many consultations with the Children’s Hospital and phone calls to poison control, the medical team determined that the metal ball was likely non-reactive.  They sent us home with the customary, “It’ll probably be out in a couple days. If not, come back and we’ll do another x-ray.”

When we were back in the car, Son#3 asked, “Does he mean I’m gonna poop it out?”

“Yes,” I said, “that’s exactly what you’re going to do.”

“But, how will I know when I do?” he asked.  “Won’t it be all covered with…you-know?  How am I going to know it even came out?”

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Where’s My Sparkly? Mothers’ Day Gifts Magnetix Swallowing

“Trust me, you’ll know,” I reassured him.

Turns out we all knew, as at the time of exit, Son#3 had failed to shut the bathroom door and the “Clank!” of metal hitting porcelain carried through most of our house.

“Nobody flush this.  I want to show Dad,” my little poopoo engineer hollered out from the bathroom.

And, nobody did.  Of course, nobody ever flushes the toilet around here anyway.

When Mothers’ Day rolled around about a month later our spate of ER visits had, thankfully, lulled.

I was surprised when the Professor presented me with the small, blue velvet hinged jewelry box, with a gold ribbon tied into an artful bow wrapped around it.  Bad as The Professor is with gifts, he’s even worse with wrapping.  This year he wrapped my necklace in the puppy paw print paper I purchased to wrap Daughter#3’s birthday gifts in next month.  So, the lovely presentation surprised me, and further piqued my curiosity.

I slid the ribbon off of the box, and gently lifted the lid.  The hinge squeaked ever-so-softly.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Where’s My Sparkly? Mothers’ Day Gifts Magnetix Swallowing

Inside was a sparkly that I never would have expected. It was resting on a tiny blue pillow, looking quite comfortable.  It looked like a large black pearl, with a soft, silver patina.

Next to it was a small label with fancy script writing that read “In April 2.  Out April 5.”  I laughed out loud when I read it.  Here was the Magnetix that Son#3 had swallowed, beautifully presented as a keepsake for his mom.

It was almost perfect.

Beaming with pride, Son#3 said, “Don’t worry, mom.  We wore gloves, and we soaked it in bleach 3 times.”

That made it perfect.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have any of your family members swallowed something they shouldn’t have? What’s the most bizarre gift you have given or received?   Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.