Author Archives: ParentingIsFunny

About ParentingIsFunny

Author, wife, and mother of three girls and a boy. Although they sometimes make me want to cry, I find that laughing is much more fulfilling.

My Birthday Part 2: What Actually Happened

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One great thing from last year’s birthday that I WAS able to preserve this year was having brunch with two of my besties, including Neighbor. I checked off a minor bucket list item of finally trying an aรงaรญ bowl. It did not disappoint.

Tasty little super food, with some other yummy foods to boot, on a beautiful wooden table.

And, Neighbor got me two of my favorite guilty pleasures:

Chex Mix, OF COURSE, and also Rockstars, which I occasionally partake of when I have a martial arts class and about zero energy to make it through. (Don’t judge.) At any rate, I love how she gets me.

That evening, since my Grand Band Plan didn’t work out, I invited friends to hang out at a restaurant. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly (not in that order):

I opened the restaurant door on my foot, thus cutting my toe. I’ll spare you yet another foot injury pic. It didn’t bleed or hurt much, so whatever, but it wasn’t a terrific start to the night.

To the 20-something waitress who showed us to our table, I said, “I like your nose ring. I thought about getting one too, [note to readers: not seriously. Just making conversation.] but I do Jiu-Jitsu, so I’d have to take it in and out before and after each class.”

“Oh, yeah, and they close up so quickly,” she said. “That’s awesome you do Jiu-Jitsu. So did my mom.”

And just like that, I go from relating to a 20-something to being compared to her mom, which, to be fair, is more accurate.

We were given two outdoor tables: numbers 9 and 10, which I thought appropriate, since my birthday was 9/10. ๐Ÿ™‚

Our time at the restaurant was pleasant, and the weather was unnoticeable, which is to say, it was perfect. I was surprised that many friends gave me cards. Here are a couple (slideshow) from a fellow pun-lover and a friend who also appreciates the joy of randomness:

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My Birthday, Part 1: What Was Supposed to Happen

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My birthday last year was epic. I got The Band to play, we had an epic snowball battle with fake snowballs, my neighbor made tattoos of my face

I thought, why not repeat that again this year? If it ain’t broke, you know?

So, months in advance, I was happy to secure the band and the venue. This year was going to be even better because the band’s guitarist was graciously letting me be Birthdayzilla by requesting that certain songs make the set list, while others not so much. (“Stacy’s Mom” does not have it going on in my book.)

I also bought two of these:

A blow-up beach ball that you stick a glow stick inside. How fun for an outdoor night-time event, no?

Also, since I blew it last year and didn’t take advantage of my pull with the band by requesting “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for Neighbor and me to dance on a table to, I made certain it would make the cut this year. “Not a problem,” Guitarist had said with a smile.

All was looking golden, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Then this…

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The Return of Andre the Giant

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Those of you have been with me a while may remember “Timmy/Andre the Giant,” the tall guy who was my frequent Jiu-Jitsu partner at the 11 a.m. classes. The one who broke my foot in January. (I exaggerate. It was maybe my toe. And maybe not even, but I was limping and out of class for a while.)

My wounded foot a few days after “The Incident.”

That was the last I’d seen of Timmy until I arrived at an 8 p.m. class where the previous Master Cycle class was winding down.

“Hey there, stranger,” he said with nary a look of shock as I sauntered over.

“You don’t seem surprised to see me still here.”

“Nah, I knew you were hooked,” he said, reminding me of way back when I showed up a few minutes after 11 a.m. and he said, “I was beginning to worry.”

At the time, I told him, “If I’m not here, I’m dead.” Or, as it turns out, if I’m not here, it’s because you broke my foot.

Boy would it have been funny if I had said THAT to him.

~~~

I told SD1 that his blog nickname is Surfer Dude. He gave a big, appreciative, smiling nod. “Nice. I like it. It fits,” he said.

“And your little brother is Surfer Dude 2.”

“That’s okay. So long as I’m number one,” he said.

At a recent 8 p.m. class, there were only two students, both newbies. But SD1 and another blue belt, whom I’ll call ‘Stache,’ because he’s always perfectly clean shaven, (Just kidding. He has a mustache.) were also there.

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Betsy gets thrown

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Jiu-Jitsu was canceled Saturday because Instructor’s wife had a baby in the wee hours of the morning. When class did resume, a student, whom I’ll call Thoughtful One, slipped me a card and a pen. Many others had already signed the congratulations on the new baby card before it made its way to me. He was also collecting cash, “No pressure, though,” he said several times, to purchase a Target gift card.

I couldn’t help but feel ashamed of myself for not having been the Thoughtful One. I figured saying congratulations to his face would be enough. And it probably was, and yet… as the lone female, shouldn’t I have been the one to organize a card and gift? Yes, I know that’s stereotyping women. Still, I felt I should do more as the only mom and the student in class the longest.

So, this morning I ordered this for Instructor’s new daughter:

I’ll let you know how it’s received.

While I was shopping Amazon, another shirt caught my eye. (Oh, gosh, not THIS again!) It combines my love of Jiu-Jitsu and cats, as well as what has become my signature move, the Kimura. Last time I did it on Surfer Dude (SD1), he said, “You like that one, don’t you?”

“It’s my bread and butter,” I told him. (I don’t fully understand that expression, but it’s what came out of me at the moment.)

I didn’t buy it, though. I’m not trying to single-handedly finance Amazon’s entire line of Jiu-Jitsu shirts. (Besides, the Kimura requires two hands. Or paws.)

A couple more Instructor funnies:

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More Jiu-Jitsu Instructor Funnies

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First of all, do you ever experience a flash of emotion that is so fleeting you have to think back on what caused it?

I felt a quick surge of happiness when driving the other day and thought, “Where did that come from?” Then I realized I had passed my Jiu-Jitsu gym and had caught a glimpse of its darkened windows as I motored by.

Ah, Jiu-Jitsu.

I brought Youngest Daughter with me recently and got to relive the joy of hearing Instructor’s jokes for the first time through her laughter. She particularly enjoyed every time he said, “Motorcycle grip. Vroom. Vroom.”

There was also, “Walk your foot up like a duck, ‘Quack quack quack,'” and “Feed one hand to the other ‘Nom nom,'” as he had his hand “bite” his other wrist.

He explained Gable Grip as “double Queen Elizabeth hands.” He waved like she does, then clasped his hands together.

He also mentioned how a bigger stronger guy figures he can crush you when he gets you in a headlock. “Then you easily get out of it, and he looks confused. You say, ‘I do Jiu-Jitsu. Don’t be confused.'”

Another time, when demonstrating with a guy, he asked, “Who’s stronger, him or me?” Someone said, “Him.” Instructor paused, put a hand over his heart and said, “Too quick, bro. I’m hurt. That was too quick.” (Did I already share that one? If so, sorry.)

The Wall, with a few student cards sticking out.

At the start of a class last week, everyone stepped away from the wall to partner up, leaving me standing alone. Then Instructor’s standard demo partner, SD1 (Surfer Dude), strutted up to me with his chest out in a “You want a piece of me?” fashion. Ha! ๐Ÿ™‚

Later it was taking a while to complete the Americana armlock on him. I said, “If I don’t submit you, I might submit myself from having my nose in your armpit.”

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I’m not in California anymore.

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I’m not in California anymore.

At least, I wasn’t on my recent trip. You know you’re in Texas when everyone wants you to know they’re Texan.

Texas tattoo spotted in the Houston airport.

I texted this to my Texan friend and wrote, “I’m in your state! Can you feel it?”

He said no and texted back a pic of himself at the beach… in California!!!

I relayed this to Hubby back home, so he promptly texted this friend: “You’re in my state! I can feel it!”

We double teamed to get a good laugh out of our friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

I got to ride one of these little planes on my hop to Louisiana. Two seats on one side, one on the other. Those are fun. Also…

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Some redemption and other happy things

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You may have noticed that I’ve had fewer Jiu-Jitsu stories to share lately. I suppose my getting better at it is to blame for my lack of entertainment for you.

We all knew it was bound to happen eventually. Probably for most people, it would’ve happened months ago.

However, I did majorly screw up recently. (Let’s pretend I did it just for you.)

I was partnered with Instructor’s youngest brother, Surfer Dude 2. The last portion of class is Mount Drills, where you try to throw the other person off. I had already successfully thrown SD2 once within the 60 second allotment and was prepared to do so again with a cool new move I learned from a Jiu-Jitsu video, not from class.

Farewell, my Surfer Dude friend. You’re about to get rolled.

Suddenly, I became aware of Instructor, SD1, and another upper belt standing there cheering me on.

I had SD2 locked up and ready to roll left, yet I kept attempting to roll him to the right. In that direction, he wasn’t going anywhere.

“Toward me, Betsy. Roll toward me,” came Instructor’s voice, yet I kept pushing the wrong way. Finally, I gave up and heard a collective, disappointed chorus of, “Ohhh,” from the bystanders. One lamented, “It was all set up,” before they walked away.

I was mortified. What the heck happened?! For the rest of the day, I couldn’t let it go. Several times, I asked Hubby to assure me that they’d forgotten the whole incident. (He dutifully complied.) The next day I dropped a fork or something, and he said, “Did that happen because you rolled the wrong way?” which, though funny, brought the memory of the embarrassment crashing down again.

My next class was a week later. I brought my youngest daughter with me for a trial class. It was an unusually small turnout, with only three other students. So, when Instructor needed a demo partner, he chose the most senior student there, which happened to be me.

I gave a delighted little hop skip away from the wall when he called me up. (Obviously, I was super professional and kept my cool.)

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If at first you don’t succeed, try again in a different language.

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You may recall my failed attempt to get a reaction from my Taekwondo “Sensei” when I convinced my compatriots to count our 25 jumping jacks in Korean.

So, you know, a normal person would leave it at that.

And then there’s me.

“New plan, girls,” I told my daughters. “Sensei spent the first nine years of his life in Germany. Next time, let’s count auf Deutsch!” (I know a little German from my semester in Austria.)

“Groan,” said Youngest Daughter.

“Eh, whatever,” said Middle Daughter.

“That would be hilarious,” said Oldest Daughter.

“Yes! She gets it! Let’s do it!” Apparently one vote was all I needed.

And this time? THIS time, Sensei…

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How NOT to make churros

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The next class after Taekwondo testing is the belt ceremony. As you can guess, we get our new belts. Then we eat stuff.

I had the “brilliant” idea of making churros tied in the shape of belts. Easy peasy. My daughters helped. It probably would’ve been better had I left them to it and stayed out of the kitchen.

The recipe said something like 1/4 cup of water only.

“That’s not enough water. It’s too brittle. They’re falling apart,” said I, who has little successful baking experience.

So I added more water. Then, since I had more water in the cup, I tossed in the rest, thinking, why not?

Welp, it was no longer brittle. It was an icky sticky mess.

And, OF COURSE, the piping bag broke. One daughter shoved batter through the little pipe piece by hand.

Piping bag tip, still operational without the bag.

But you know what else works? Cutting off the corner of a Ziplock freezer bag. We eventually got there.

Anyway, the consistency was off, our fingers were a mess, getting the batter to the tip was difficult because it preferred to stick to our hands and the inside of the bag–not where the hole was. So we had to shove it down with our dough-covered fingers. Then get it back off our fingers, shove again, repeat, etc.

We eventually got them out of the bag and tied into knots like martial arts belts. Amazingly, they still sometimes broke despite my excess addition of water.

Then again, it’s not amazing since this is me we’re talking about.

Maybe they got brittle because they’re not meant to be bent. Most of them stayed intact.
I found a smaller piping tip and used that also to speed up production, yet the entire process still took beyond two hours.
They came out looking like mangled intestines.

Sensei tried to extricate one part from its “knot,” so, clearly, the desired effect was lost on him. I had to explain that they were belts.

We left some the normal color for the person receiving her orange belt. And for the four new purple belts:

The purple, via food coloring, didn’t hold for all of them. Also, they look even MORE like intestines now.

However, they did taste good despite the appearance. And one little girl was delighted to pick up a brown one and discover it was purple on the inside.
Purple surprise.

So, not a total loss. I joked with Sensei that I accidentally left the one we burnt black for him at home.

He didn’t laugh. He did eat like three of them, though.

When he was packing up his gear, I tucked another churro into the package of cookies he brought. I thought it was a nice gesture. Hubby thought it looked like I was trying to get rid of them. What do you think?

Crazy with a purple belt

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My girls and I are now officially halfway to our black belts in Taekwondo.

I thought it would be fun to jazz up our testing and surprise Sensei by counting off our 25 warm up jumping jacks in Korean instead of English.

I can’t tell you how excited I was to see his face when we began: “Hana, dhul, set, net, daseot…” I imagined him, eyebrows raised, failing to fight down a smile.

And how did he respond?

With nary a flinch. When we finished, he said, “Okay, next drill…”

Zero acknowledgement whatsoever!

I was so disappointed.

My purple belt.

During testing of the form itself, two people test at once. Because it’s always been my style to mess something up, I turned right when I was supposed to turn left. Fortunately, I had the sense of mind to course correct and continue unfazed.

On the way out, I said to Sensei, “I trust you were looking at the other person when I messed up?”

“Yes. I didn’t see your 17 mistakes.”

So he CAN still be funny.

“Furthermore,” I continued, “how can we count in Korean and you not react at all?”

“I can react with my ears. I heard you. And was that to earn bonus points?”

“Well, if it helps.”

“Do you know the next number, or did you only learn what you needed?”

“Sumul yeoseot.”

He nodded. “Good.”

If anything, I earned points in that moment.

The YouTube video that helped us learn.

BTW, I was out of town for several days. You know how when you board a plane, there’s that patch of walkway from airport to airplane where there’s no AC? When I stood in that spot, waiting my turn to board, I thought, “Whew! What is this heat?!” So I checked my phone.

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