Top 10 Signs Your Kids Are On Summer Break …Gina’s Favorites

Top 10 Signs Your Kids Are On Summer Break …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Summer is in full swing around here. It must be, otherwise, I’ve lost my mind for no apparent reason.
While I look for it, laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

Top 10 Signs Your Kids Are On Summer Break

Have you developed a twitch that you can’t explain?  Has the noise level in your home risen to uncountable decibels?  Is every towel you own covered in mud?

I think I know what you’re suffering from. You might just have a case of Kids-On-Summer-Break.

Here’s some signs to check for.

Top 10 Signs Your Kids Are On Summer Break.

#10.  You’ve put green and red popsicles on the food pyramid as vegetables.

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 Your Kids Are On Summer Break ...Gina's Favorites#9.  You have no idea what day of the week it is (even more than usual!).

#8.  You aren’t sure when the last time your child took a real bath with soap and everything was, and you wonder if the time they dumped bubbles into the lake while they were swimming counts.

#7.  You think ice cream for dinner is a nice change from the watermelon your kids ate exclusively for the previous 2 days.

#6.  You wonder how many days in a row your child can wear a swimsuit before you legally have to call in the HazMat Team.

#5.  The hose in your yard has been running non-stop for more days than you can count.

#4.  You’ve hollered “When I was a kid, we played outside!” more than 15 times. In one day.

#3.  You spent $35 on lemonade making supplies, which your children made into a thick, yellow liquid, and sold to passersby for a total of $3.75, just so you wouldn’t have to answer the “Can we watch TV now?” question again for a few hours.

#2.  You dog’s coat looks extra shiny because someone covered him with sunscreen. Twice.

#1.  No one will go to bed.  Ever.

Relax. After all, things could be worse.

It could be time for Back to School.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What’s your favorite summer memory? What do your kids like to do on a lazy summer day? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

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

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

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break

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

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break ...Gina's FavoritesThat’s right.

My kids will be on summer break.

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

But.

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

Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break

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

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

#8.  Remove the doors from the refrigerator & freezer – They aren’t shut once the entire summer any way. At least this way there’ll be fewer heads and fingers slammed in them. It’s worth the perpetually melted ice cream if it saves me even one trip to the emergency room.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break ...Gina's Favorites#7.Hook the power car washer onto the hose to shower the kids – When it’s light until well past a decent bedtime, no one wants to come inside, much less do so to bathe. This way I can do a quick turbo wash as they run by in the midst of a game of tag. I might get the wax cylinder to, so they’ll be extra shiny and water repellant.

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

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

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

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break ...Gina's Favorites#3.  Install revolving doors at all entrances – It’s our only hope for having even a semi good chance at a closed door. It’d be nice if we could at least keep the dumber mosquitos and June bugs out.

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

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

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

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

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

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

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

Top 10 Reasons You Can’t Go To Work The Day After New Year’s…Gina’s Favorites

Top 10 Reasons You Can’t Go To Work The Day After New Year’s…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I’m traveling with my family this week, so to keep you in giggles, I’ve loaded up some of my favorite posts.  Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Top 10 Reasons You Can’t Go To Work The Day After New Year’s

There is nothing less revelry-like than trying to get to work after revelry-ing in the New Year. You’ve had relatives, cookies, and hyper kids to deal with.  You’ve had no sleep, a big plate of rumaki, and some iffy imbibing decisions.

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 You Can't Go To Work The Day After New Year’s...Gina's FavoritesWhat you need today is to sleep without ceasing.  But, your boss expects you to show up ready to accomplish great things.

What if you don’t feel inspired?  What if you don’t feel recharged?  What if you don’t feel your legs?

What do you say when you call in to explain, knowing your boss is ready to come back with, “You haven’t been to work since last year!”?

Don’t worry.  I’ve got your back.  I’m a giver like that.

Top 10 Reasons You Can’t Go To Work The Day After New Year’s:

#10  I was helping put the final touches on the floats for the Rose Parade, and I’m glued to a giant, purple flower-covered octopus.

#9  I ate too many Christmas cookies and I can’t squeeze my arse out of my front door.

#8  The battery in my clock is dead, so I’m still waiting for New Year’s Eve to end.

#7  I’m making my list of New Year’s resolutions and the first one is to finish my list of New Year’s resolutions.

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 You Can't Go To Work The Day After New Year’s...Gina's Favorites

#6  The hideous Christmas sweater my Aunt Sheila knitted for me got tangled in the branches when I dragged our Christmas tree to the curb, and no one can find any scissors to cut me out.

#5  My dog ate my homework (that always applies, right?).

#4  We were acting out A Christmas Story and my tongue is frozen to a pole in the school yard.

#3  My cousin Bernie put all my underwear in the freezer, and I’m waiting for them to thaw out.

#2  The ladder fell over while I was taking down our Christmas lights, and I’m hanging from the rain gutter.

#1  I started my New Year’s exercise program yesterday and I can’t lift my arms, bend my legs, or turn my head today.

I can get you a note, if you need one.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Were you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, bounding out the door this morning?  Or, were you leaning more toward red-eyed and tail-dragging, crawling out the door?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

111 FUN Things To Do THIS Summer

111 FUN Things To Do THIS Summer

by Gina Valley

Summer is always too short.

By the time I’ve got my summer bucket list written down, summer is over.

I always start with big plans. I want to organize. I want to create. I want to family-bond-it-up.  But, there’s never enough time.

My friend, Christi, ever since she was in junior high, makes it a point to get rid of one bad habit every summer. I don’t know how she does it. I’ve tried, and haven’t gotten rid of one yet.

Funny Humor Summer Fun http://ginavalley.com/   111 FUN Things To Do THIS Summer – Read & Laugh All About It!

First of all, it takes me half the summer to decide which of my multitude of bad habits to ditch. Then, it takes me a couple weeks of “just-one-last-time’s” before I truly take a stab at the bad habit. By the time I’m really ready to start stopping, summer’s nearly over. So, come fall, I still have the bad habit, and have added a side dish of guilt to it.

Nonetheless, the idea of focusing on one thing to accomplish during the summer seems like a good one to me.

So, this summer, I decided to pick one thing to do. Just one thing. Something I’ve always meant to do. As long as I get that done, I’ll count my summer a success.

I think I’m going to go with “learning to hula hoop,” but that’s not set in stone yet.

Since I’m asking my kids to each pick something for themselves to do, too, I decided I better come up with a couple of ideas to help get their wheels turning.

In my typical OCD form, I came up with more than a hundred.

Most are low or no cost.  All are fun!

How about you join us? Pick something from this list, or come up with your own. But, either way, let’s have some fun this summer!

111 FUN Things To Do THIS Summer

1.   Learn how to hula hoop

2.   Learn how to pogo stick

3.   Start a campfire without matches or a lighter.

4.   Bake cookie dough in a hot car

5.   Learn how to rollerblade backwards (or forwards, if you don’t know how)
6.   Learn how to do a flip on a trampoline

7.   Learn how to spin a basketball on one finger

8.   Make a Mento volcano

9.   Build a bat box (for the critters, not the ball smashers) (although that would be a cool project, too).

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 111 FUN Things To Do THIS Summer

10.  Take a flying lesson

11.  Make homemade ice cream in Ziploc bags

12.  Teach your dog to shake hands or to bark on command.

13.  Teach your cat how to turn off a light switch or to use the toilet

14.  Learn how to do a cartwheel

15.  Learn Morse code

16.  Learn how to change the oil & oil filter in your car

17.  Learn how to French braid

18.  Learn how to  pick a lock

19.  Learn how to palm a quarter

20.  Memorize the location of every country on a map (and the capitals)

21.  Memorize the location and capitals of all the US states (or for every nation in Africa)

22.  Build a kite

23.  Learn how to play poker

24.  Learn how to write with your other hand

25.  Make cheese (on purpose)

26.  Learn how to crack a safe

27.  Learn how to shuffle cards like a pro

28.  Learn how to bake a souffle

29.  Learn how to  draw a map of the United States (or your country) from memory

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 111 FUN Things To Do THIS Summer

30.  Learn to say the alphabet backwards, starting at any letter, very quickly (one of my friends can do this & it’s quite impressive!)

31.  Learn how to say “I only speak English” in 5 different languages

32.  Learn how to draw a horse

33.  Learn to play a drum kit

34.  Memorize all the lyrics to Born To Be Wild

35.  Learn to play a harmonica

36.  Learn how to bounce a soccer ball with your feet

37.  Learn how to bowl a strike

38.  Master free throws

39.  Figure out how to sign your name so it’s its own reflection

40.  Take a CPR course

41.  Learn to swim

42.  Learn how to chop veggies superfast like they do on The Food Network

43.  Learn how to detect a lie

44.  Learn how to ride a bike (or to pop a wheelie, if you already ride)

45.  Work up to doing 100 sit-ups in a minute

46.  Learn to play pool like a pro

47.  Learn 8 chords on a guitar

48.  Learn how to parallel park in tight spaces

49.  Take a lesson at a shooting range

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 111 FUN Things To Do THIS Summer

50.  Take a self-defense class

51.  Learn how to pick out a good melon

52.  Learn how to balance a checkbook

53.  Learn how to jump start a car

54.  Learn to type correctly

55.  Learn how to do push-ups or pull-ups properly

56.  Pump out a summary of that novel you’ve been meaning to write.

57.  Learn to speed read

58.  Grow a pumpkin (plant around July 4th for October 31 use where I live)

59.  Learn how to drive a manual transmission vehicle

60.  Learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube

61.  Learn how to whistle with your fingers

62.  Learn how to make a perfect martini

63.  Learn how to change a tire

64.  Learn how to make a 3-D sidewalk chalk drawing

65.  Learn to read music

66.  Carve a watermelon into a clipper ship (or a bouquet of roses)

67.  Learn how to do a head stand

68.  Learn how to bake a perfect baguette

69.  Learn how to spiral a football

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 111 FUN Things To Do THIS Summer

70.  Learn how to pitch a curve ball

71.  Learn how to make balloon animals

72.  Learn how to blow double bubbles with bubble gum

73.  Drive a race car

74.  Learn how to make an origami swan

75.  Plant peonies in your yard (my favorite!)

76.  Learn to tango

77.  Learn how to ice skate

78.  Learn how to fold an awesome paper airplane

79.  Fry an egg on a hot street

80.  Learn how to operate a sewing machine

81.  Learn how to juggle

82.  Learn how to ride a unicycle

83.  Learn how to knit

84.  Learn how to roast a turkey/chicken

85.  Learn some magic tricks

86.  Master the yoyo

87.  Learn how to moon walk

88.  Learn how to jump rope

89.  Learn how to increase your vertical leap

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 111 FUN Things To Do THIS Summer

90.  Learn how to tie a tie

91.  Learn how to waltz

92.  Make a piñata

93.  Build a model plane or car or train

94.  Complete a big Lego set

95.  Plan an around the world trip (even if you’ll never go)

96.  Draw a cartoon strip

97.  Write on op/ed piece

98.  Learn how to do the splits

99.  Paint a room a wild color

100.  Learn to make the national dish of 3 countries you’ve always wanted to visit

101.  Learn to tap dance

102.  Memorize the first 50 digits of Pi

103.  Rearrange your furniture so it doesn’t point at the tv

104.  Take a fencing class

105.  Take a golf lesson

106.  Switch all your accessories & photos to different rooms

107. Learn how to use chopsticks

108. Learn tightrope walking

109.  Go bungee jumping

110.  Take trapeze lessons

111. Memorize Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

Let me know what you decide & how it goes. Be sure to add your ideas for this list. Maybe we’ll have 200 for next summer.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What do you want to do?  What’s some thing you’ve being meaning to master? Is there something you’ve always wondered how to do? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break

Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break

by Gina Valley

In a couple weeks, I’ll be under full time siege.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break School Vacation

That’s right.

My kids will be on summer break.

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

But.

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

Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break

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

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

#8.  Remove the doors from the refrigerator & freezer – They aren’t shut once the entire summer any way. At least this way there’ll be fewer heads and fingers slammed in them. It’s worth the perpetually melted ice cream if it saves me even one trip to the emergency room.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break School Vacation

#7.Hook the power car washer onto the hose to shower the kids – When it’s light until well past a decent bedtime, no one wants to come inside, much less do so to bathe.   This way I can do a quick turbo wash as they run by in the midst of a game of tag. I might get the wax cylinder to, so they’ll be extra shiny and water repellant.

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

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

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

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Vital Preps Before My Kids Start Summer Break School Vacation#3.  Install revolving doors at all entrances – It’s our only hope for having even a semi good chance at a closed door. It’d be nice if we could at least keep the dumber mosquitos and June bugs out.

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

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

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

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

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

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

Top 10 Reasons You Can’t Go To Work The Day After New Year’s…Gina’s Favorites

As I’m spending extra time celebrating with my family, today’s post is one of my favorites from the past.

Top 10 Reasons You Can’t Go To Work The Day After New Year’s…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

There is nothing less revelry-like than trying to get to work after revelry-ing in the New Year. You’ve had relatives, cookies, and hyper kids to deal with.  You’ve had no sleep, a big plate of rumaki, and some iffy imbibing decisions.

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 You Can't Go To Work The Day After New Year’sWhat you need today is to sleep without ceasing.  But, your boss expects you to show up ready to accomplish great things.

What if you don’t feel inspired?  What if you don’t feel recharged?  What if you don’t feel your legs?

What do you say when you call in to explain, knowing your boss is ready to come back with, “You haven’t been to work since last year!”?

Don’t worry.  I’ve got your back.  I’m a giver like that.

Top 10 Reasons You Can’t Go To Work The Day After New Year’s:

#10  I was helping put the final touches on the floats for the Rose Parade, and I’m glued to a giant, purple flower-covered octopus.

#9  I ate too many Christmas cookies and I can’t squeeze my arse out of my front door.

#8  The battery in my clock is dead, so I’m still waiting for New Year’s Eve to end.

#7  I’m still making my list of New Year’s resolutions and the first one is to finish my list of New Year’s resolutions.

#6  The hideous Christmas sweater my Aunt Sheila knitted for me got tangled in the branches when I dragged our Christmas tree to the curb, and no one can find any scissors to cut me 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 Top 10 Reasons You Can't Go To Work The Day After New Year’s#5  My dog ate my homework (that always applies, right?).

#4  We were acting out A Christmas Story and my tongue is frozen to a pole in the school yard.

#3  My cousin Bernie put all my underwear in the freezer, and I’m waiting for them to thaw out.

#2  The ladder fell over while I was taking down our Christmas lights, and I’m hanging from the rain gutter.

#1  I started my New Year’s exercise program yesterday and I can’t lift my arms, bend my legs, or turn my head today.

I can get you a note, if you need one.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Were you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, bounding out the door this morning?  Or, were you leaning more toward red-eyed and tail-dragging, crawling out the door?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Top Ten Signs Your Kids Are On Summer Break

Top Ten Signs Your Kids Are On Summer Break

by Gina Valley

Have you developed a twitch that you can’t explain?  Has the noise level in your home risen to uncountable decibels?  Is every towel you own covered in mud?

I think I know what you’re suffering from.

Here’s The Top Ten Signs Your Kids Are On Summer Break.

#10.  You’ve put green and red popsicles on the food pyramid as vegetables.

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 Ten Signs Your Kids Are On Summer Break

#9.  You have no idea what day of the week it is (even more than usual!).

#8.  You aren’t sure when the last time your child took a real bath with soap and everything was, and you wonder if the time they dumped bubbles into the lake while they were swimming counts.

#7.  You think ice cream for dinner is a nice change from the watermelon your kids ate exclusively for the previous 2 days.

#6.  You wonder how many days in a row your child can wear a swimsuit before you legally have to call in the HazMat Team.

#5.  The hose in your yard has been running non-stop for more days than you can count.

#4.  You’ve hollered “When I was a kid, we played outside!” more than 15 times. In one day.

#3.  You spent $35 on lemonade making supplies, which your children made into a thick, yellow liquid, and sold to passersby for a total of $3.75, just so you wouldn’t have to answer the “Can we watch TV now?” question again for a few hours.

#2.  You dog’s coat looks extra shiny because someone covered him with sunscreen. Twice.

#1.  No one will go to bed.  Ever.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What’s your favorite summer memory? What do your kids like to do on a lazy summer day? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Seriously Today – That Kind Of Sucked, But I’m Still Kickin’!

Seriously Today – That Kind Of Sucked, But I’m Still Kickin’!

by Gina Valley

I planned a longer than usual road trip with my pack this summer.

That should have given us a few extra days to stop and do fun things along the way to and from their grandparents’ house, and a few extra days to stay with their grandparents.  We’d have had 11 or 12 days to hang out with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

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 Seriously Today – That Kind Of Sucked, But I’m Still Kickin’! Heart Mystery IllnessWhat is it they say about the best laid plans?

Well, whatever it is, it’s true.

Our trip started off well enough.  I even managed to re-schedule or delegate most of my work.  We took three days to travel the distance we often do in 24 hours.  We stopped at 3 zoos.  Swam at the hotels.  Tried out local restaurants.

We arrived at my parent’s home de-stressed and well rested.

But, somehow, despite all the extra rest and easy schedule, I was exhausted.

I chalked it up to the traveling.  I slept in and rested a lot the first 2 days at my parents’ house, planning to be back to my usual hyperactive self quickly.

I woke up in the middle of the second night at my parents’ house and knew something was wrong.  One of my sisters lives near them, and just happens to be one of the four doctors in their extremely rural area.

I called my sister, and told her I that my chest hurt a lot and breathing was hard and painful.  She rushed me to the closest emergency room.

I thought I was having a very bad anxiety attack.  Later, a doctor told me that when not being able to breathe causes you to have anxiety, that isn’t an anxiety attack.  That’s just what should happen.  It’s an anxiety attack when the anxiety makes you have trouble breathing.  Not the other way around.  Good to know.

If I hadn’t been in pain and having trouble breathing and wondering if my heart was about to sign off, I probably would have enjoyed the sight of the tiny emergency room.  There were only two beds, and mine was the only occupied one.

I’d never been the only patient in an emergency room before.  I’d never been one of less than twenty patients.  In fact, just over a year ago, I’d been at such a busy emergency room that I didn’t even get a bed.  I sat on a gurney in the hall holding a number so the nurses would consult the correct chart.

Everyone was polite and patient and professional at this tiny emergency facility.  After an EKG, lab work, and a myriad of medicines and tests, my symptoms had subsided, and, although the cause hadn’t been determined, at least I was reassured that I was not in the midst of a fatal heart attack.

I was sent back to my parents’ house, with a bag of prescriptions, to rest and await the results of more lab work.

I don’t remember exactly what happened after I climbed into bed there.  I know it was hours later when I woke up.  I don’t know if the frightened-looking child in my room came in to wake me up or came in because I called out.

I just know that my chest hurt so badly that I couldn’t control my hands to pick up my phone or get my legs under me to stand up.  Every tiny movement was excruciating.  It was absolutely the worst pain I’d ever felt in my life, and the only thing that kept me from completely freaking out was thinking, foolishly, that it couldn’t be my heart, because I’d just had an EKG 12 hours before.

I don’t know how I made it up the stairs and into the car.  I only remember that my normally slow driving dad was driving me to the emergency room quicker than I’d ever seen him drive.  Somehow that made me feel better.

Just a note:  If you have heart attack symptoms, in most locations call 911 or whatever the emergency services number is in your area.  I was in an extremely rural area.  Waiting for EMS personal to arrive would have taken twice as long as making the drive.  If I was home, we would have called 911 and waited for EMS to take me.

I don’t remember much about that 2nd emergency room visit.  I know there were several doses of nitro.  You let it dissolve under your tongue.  Don’t chew it.  Don’t swallow it.  Just let it dissolve.  It kind of burns.  I didn’t get the expected head pain from it.

I remember IV’s and medicines.

I don’t remember the EKG, but I know they did that.  I remember the CAT scan machine.

I remember the pain eventually subsided.

I remember being surprised when they were talking about my heart possibly having a problem, because I thought that had been ruled out.

The next morning the senior doctor explained to me that there are 2 kinds of heart attacks.  One is caused by a blockage in a cardiac artery.  The other is caused by a cardiac artery spasming to the point that it doesn’t allow blood to flow through.

I had NOT had a heart attack, but he thought I was having, among other things, cardiac artery spasms.  That explained the crushing pain and trouble breathing.  Why I was having them was not as easy to explain.  He asked whether I was experiencing any stress in my life.  I laughed.

The following morning I met a cardiologist, who travels between 8 tiny towns in the area and who just happened to be in that tiny town on the day I needed him.

He ruled out several serious problems, and made a plan for diagnosis and treatment for me, most of which, thanks to a less than flexible insurance plan, would have to wait until I was back home in Los Angeles.

He gave me an echocardiogram and a stress test, even though my insurance company said that they would not pay for them unless they were done in one of their facilities, the closest one of which was 300 miles away.  He told me that he wanted me to have the tests right then to make sure I was safe to travel, and he didn’t charge me for them.  He said that women’s hearts are tricky and he wanted to make sure I was stable.

This cardiologist was not only professional, thorough, and caring, he is truly the funniest person I’ve ever met.

He told me that he guaranteed that I would not drop dead on my way home.

I told him that I was glad to hear that because my insurance would consider that “out of area” and wouldn’t cover it.

He was right.  I’m still kickin’.

And, now that I am “in area” my insurance coverage has sprang back to life, and I have referrals and tests flying left and right.

Hopefully, within a few weeks I’ll hear great news, such as that they’ve figured out what caused my symptoms, that it’s no big deal, and that I can throw out all my new medicines.

I know I’ll be OK, I’m just waiting to hear that officially.

In the meantime, my life is different.

Perhaps, you’ve noticed some changes.

Rest is not an option for me now, so work goes unfinished, mail goes unanswered, projects sit incomplete.  I lay in bed, sleeping or not, for 9 or 10 straight hours nightly, about double what I would normally.  Someone goes with me everywhere I go.   I don’t drive.  I always have a bag of heart medicines with me.

And, because yesterday I got clearance to go for walks as long as someone goes with me, I had to teach my kids how to stick a nitro tablet under my tongue in case I’m unable to do it for myself, and what to tell the 911 operator.

And, that kind of sucked.

But, I’m still kickin’!

-gina

Have you had to deal with a nasty health scare?  Has someone close to you?  How did you handle it?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing about it.

Don’t Leave Home Without These!!!

Don’t Leave Home Without These!!!

by Gina Valley

Clothes, medicine, shoes, beach chairs – yeah, that’s the easy stuff.

We get most of that when we’re packing for a trip, although we do tend to forget at least one obvious item, like a wallet, the carsick pills, or a cell phone charger.

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 Don’t Leave Home Without These Packing Family Vacation

When I was a kid, my dad always forgot his sunglasses. We’d get out on the road in the pre-dawn dark, and as the sun rose hours later, my dad would realize he had nothing to shield his eyes. As we kids got older, we developed the habit of harassing my dad about this while we were still in the driveway.

“Have you got your sun glasses, Dad? Are you sure? We don’t want you to have to pick up another turquoise encrusted pair at the border.”

Funny thing was, we’d think he was getting mad when we teased him about forgetting his sunglasses, but almost every time he’d hop out of the car and dash back into the house, because he had again forgotten them. Par for the course, I guess.

Years of family travel have taught me that the most vital things to bring on a family trip aren’t usually on any packing list. I won’t take a trip without this stuff. You might want to add it to your list.

Chocolate covered almonds – this is not junk food.  These are child life preservation pills. Me popping a handful of these babies into my mouth has undoubtedly saved the lives of many of my family members after a long day of traveling together. Plus, since the almonds have protein, I can legitimately tell my kids they can’t have any because I need to save them for my dinner. Don’t worry. They’ll find some Skittles down the seat to get their sugar high.

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 Don’t Leave Home Without These Packing Family VacationSingles – during college and pre-married life these green backs were sometimes used to bribe a particularly tasty performer to move a little closer. Now, as a parent, I use them to bribe particularly dramatic performers into closing their show early.

When you have the cash to flash to back up the “If you will stop tooting while we’re in this store, I will give you a dollar,” or the “If the 2 of you can go 5 minutes without arguing, I’ll give you each a dollar,” it is a much more effective proposition. Just make sure your kids don’t go shoving the bucks down their shirts or pants. People will talk in these tourist traps, and you don’t want to be the next urban legend they come up with. “Hey, Vern? Remember that family of strippers back in the summer of ’13?”

A sleeping mask (or a baseball cap) – to pull over your eyes so you can pretend you’re asleep and don’t know your child when she slaps you on the arm while you are sunbathing by the hotel pool, and wants to know “How come that lady’s hoohahs stick up like that?” Granted, everyone else at the pool was also checking out Ms. SuperTan’s gravity defying, she-balloons as she floats around in the pool, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good time to talk about it.

Binoculars – useful for scanning the pool from a distance (preferably your hotel room) when your 2 ½ year old says that he pooped in his pants, and you realize that he’s standing there pants-less, and his filled and decorated drawers are floating free-range somewhere in the pool.  Discretion being the better part of valor, and all.

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 Don’t Leave Home Without These Packing Family VacationBig, hard pieces of bubble gum – be sure to bring these to pop into children’s mouths when it’s absolutely vital that they stop talking.

These are helpful at border crossings when the nice man asks if you have any fruit, and your child remembers the Costco bag of apples you bought an hour earlier, or that you mentioned 600 miles back that you forgot to bring Fluffy’s rabies certificate.

They’re also helpful when you notice your 3 year old has noticed the nice man in the next campsite over is wearing a lovely dress and has long red finger nails, but said 3 year old has failed to notice that travel trailers are not soundproof.

Happy Trails!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Are you traveling this summer?  What is that one item you always have to have when you travel?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

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!