My Teen Has Taught Me a Thing or Two Hundred


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Advice, Boys, Confidence, Connections, Encouragement, Exercise, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Memories, Metaphor, Mothering, Mothers and Sons, Parenting, Teaching, Teenager, Teenagers | Posted on 17-04-2014

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My nearly-fifteen-year-old son is awesome. And an inspiration to me. Since starting high school, he has learned a lot. And he has taught me a lot:

  1. Push yourself.
  2. Take chances.
  3. Try new things.
  4. Don’t stress.
  5. Be responsible.
  6. Make time for fun.
  7. Prioritize your health.
  8. It’s OK to be quiet.

Case in point. Earlier this year, he and I set off on an adventure: A four-mile hike. Make time for fun. Try new things.

It was a cool winter day–no rain for once. I like to hike light. No fanny packs (embarrassing!) or backpack. Just a water bottle, gum, and my phone. The essentials. My son, on the other hand, hiked heavy. Literally. Laden with a backpack full of weights–50 lbs. of metal weight plates–because football season had ended and he’s always cross training. Prioritize your health.

We traveled upwards, through a forest, until we got to a cliff with spectacular views of the river below. We took in the scenery with awe. Quiet awe–no blabbering needed. I tend to be a blabber head and he tends to be quiet. It’s OK to be quiet.

We continued onward, at his urging. Our pace was fast. We met a fellow hiker who cautioned us to turn back at the halfway point because it would be getting dark at 4:30. We chuckled. Yeah right, no halfway point for us. We’re going the full hike. No turning around. Take chances.

It was an unknown journey. We saw forests, ferns, waterfalls, moss-covered boulders, cliffs, a river. Two hours passed.

“How are you holding up with that heavy backpack?” I worried.

“Mom. I’m fine.” Push yourself. 

Well whaddya know. It was approaching 4:30 and the sun was starting to set. We were the lone hikers without any idea how much longer until we were back at the parking lot. Are we there yet?

Not even close.

The trail headed downward, with switchbacks, to the river. Surely after 30 minutes of switchbacks we would be there. Dusk became dark. It was getting cold. My map app on my phone didn’t work. Yeah, duh. No Internet in the middle of nowhere.

My thought was lions wolves and tigers cougars and bears. We had been hiking for nearly four hours. Up, down, side to side. My son led our journey, with the backpack increasing in weight as our my muscles tired.

Pitch black. No compass. No snacks. No coats. Why was his backpack filled with weights and not bananas and trail mix? Panic washed over me. What. If.

Don’t stress.

Then. Finally, we came to a road. Surely it was the road to the parking lot. No, not for another mile.

We hiked 10 miles that day. And oh, the relief when we spotted our car. Where we blasted the heat and turned on Bob Marley for the drive home.

“Next time, Mom, let’s bring a map.” Ah yes. Be responsible.

What a workout. What a relief. What an adventure. I will forever remember that day–and evening and night–with my son.

Roller Skating Then and Now


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Family, Fun, Mother, Mothering, Parenting | Posted on 07-04-2014

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I started roller skating before I could walk.

“Back in the day”on a Saturday night. It was the early ’80′s. We wore tight white jeans and feathered hair. We roller skated our butts off at the roller rink. With the disco ball whirling and Joan Jett’s I Love Rock and Roll playing loudly.

It was the best! Round and round we’d go. Looking hot. And getting hot (and sweaty). The wooden floors where shiny, and so were our foreheads.

One day recently, I picked up my kids early from school. To go to “an appointment.” Well, yeah, that’s what I wrote on the note. As if!

We went roller skating at the local roller rink. We had the whole place to ourselves! It was the best!

Besides the music changing from Joan Jett to Rihanna, it was the exact same. Same floor. Same disco ball. Same roll-the-giant-dice game. Same hokey pokey. And probably the same roller skates from the ’80′s. Yikes!






Pippi’s Pie Shop


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Baking, Dreams, Encouragement | Posted on 05-04-2014

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I may or may not open a pie shop. Someday.

I have a place all picked out. It’s a little vintage cottage, painted yellow. And it’s for sale. Right near the neighborhood park and a burger place, in the center of town. Old people, teens, couples, and families will come in droves.

I have perfected my pie crust. It was my grandmother’s recipe. And I am kinda known for my pecan pies and chocolate pies. I will expand my repertoire, don’t worry.

It’ll be a happy place, where you can come for big slices of pie. And you will be happy. And I will be happy serving you pie. My pie. Pippi’s Pie Shop will ooze happiness.

My kids are totally supportive of my dream. Except my oldest, who’s like “Costco pies are better.” What the what??

We drive by the future home of Pippi’s Pie Shop nearly every day and we all point it out, “Woohoo! There’s Mom’s future pie shop!”

This magical dream is so real, I can taste it. My daughter–who recently got hot pink highlights and now we call her Pinkie–said she wants to go into business with me. Awesome! We’ll change the name to Pippi and Pinkie’s Place. And we’ll sell pies and candy. With giant glass jars filled with every kind of candy imaginable and enormous lollipops. We’ll paint the walls hot pink and there will be Twister-like spots on the floor. Such a happy place it will be!

Awhile back I wrote about people who squash other peoples’ dreams. I call them shatterers of dreams. Or assholes. Read about them here

So the next time you hear about someone’s dream, support it. Even if it’s a dream that vanishes like…my yummy pies.



Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Babies, Birth, Boys, Celebrations, Childhood, Childrearing, Children | Posted on 02-04-2014

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As I ponder the past nine years since my son was born, one word comes to mind:


People have told me: What a character! What a sweetie! What a ham! What a sense of humor! What a talker! What a blessing! What a joker! What personality! What a cutie! What a sweetheart! What a joy!

I could go on. And I will: So friendly! So polite! So kind! So happy! So funny! So lovable! So silly! So full of personality! So much to say! So cute! So joyful!

Family, friends, teachers, coaches, strangers. They all love him.

My son is full of joy. He brings us so much joy. When he walks into a room, he radiates joy. I so proud and joyful to be his mother.

Happy 9th birthday to my joyful son! If I had to pick one picture to capture one moment in time, it would be this one. As he soared above my head. Small enough to balance on my feet. Joyful enough to think it’s so much fun. And giggly enough that he nearly fell over. On the Labrador.


I Love Booths


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Family, Food, Memories | Posted on 31-03-2014

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Oh, how I love booths. They make me so happy.

Vinyl booths in diners or family-friendly restaurants where you can order breakfast any time of the day. Not because I love breakfast, but because there are no rules.

Booth seats are so slippery and cushiony. And comforting. Because there is usually a plateful of creamers on the table. And you can order giant milkshakes. Or pie. Or tuna melts. And the tuna melts are served with parsley or kale on the side, just for loos. With a thin orange slice and a pickle.

And the waitress refills your water without you even asking.

Best of all, when you go to pay, there are mints for sale: 10 cents each.

Speculums and Pulling Taffy


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Health, Women | Posted on 28-03-2014

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Head, shoulders, knees, and toes

Eyes and ears and breasts and vaginas

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes!

It’s been a month of check-ups, head to toe. And everything in between.

Had my nose and ears checked. Whew, no salmonella poisoning or brain tumor. Read more about that diagnosis here.

Had my lady parts checked out. You know, my bits and pieces. Vagina. Ovaries. Uterus. Cervix. All the good stuff. Speculum anyone?

Had my breasts checked for lumps and whatnot. That bi-annual mammogram was super fun. Like pulling taffy. Who knew that breasts could stretch. So. Far. And they went back to their original shape, just like Stretch Armstrong. “As you were.”

Next month, it’s the dentist. I can’t wait!

Go on, get your appointments made. You deserve to be healthy. Take care of yourselves, y’all!



Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art, Childrearing, Children, Crafts | Posted on 26-03-2014

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Those crazy kids! With their rainbow looms and bands!

Despite parents’ eye rolls (and bank rolls), we are loving the creations around here. With the rainbow loom, my daughter is:

  1. creative. She made a coin purse with 2,000 bands!
  2. resourceful. She learns new techniques from how-to YouTube videos.
  3. social. She gets together with her friends, with “loom suitcase” in hand, to loom and laugh.
  4. productive. She makes me all the rings and bracelets I could ever imagine. #childlabor

When I was a child, we had looms. And we wove stupid pot holders that were made out of polyester bands and were so tiny, that when used to hold an actual hot pot, you’d burned the crap out of your hand.

Looms these days are so much more useful. I mean, rings! Bracelets for all of us! Charms for backpacks! Coin purses! A football keychain! A guy with a super large penis!





Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Family, Humor, Pippi's poetry | Posted on 24-03-2014

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Twisted, constricted, fisted

Mangled, tangled, strangled, Bo Jangled

Squeezed, teased, seized

Plopped, flopped, dropped

Creamed, cleaned, careened

Globbed, mobbed, robbed

Pasted, tasted, wasted



Cauliflower Pizza That Doesn’t Suck


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Cooking, Health, Recipes | Posted on 21-03-2014

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If cauliflower is the new kale, then this pizza is the new yummy.

I can’t promise that your kids will eat this. I mean, have you smelled cauliflower cooking? The smell is enough to quit cooking altogether and call for pizza delivery.

But if you can brave the stench and can stand crust that’s a little soggy, then this is the pizza for you.

Like how I sold it so well? Hahaha! This pizza is cauliflowericious! And packed with fiber! Did you know that cauliflower is. One. Of. The. World’s Healthiest. Foods. Read here if you need nutrition details to sell you.

Ingredients for Crust

  • Head of cauliflower
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • garlic to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 2 packs of dried crushed red peppers (you know the packets you get from–ironically–pizza places?)
  • pesto sauce or tomato sauce
  • mozzarella cheese
  • fresh parmesan cheese
  • toppings (I used chopped green onions and sliced tomatoes)

  1. Chop and grate the cauliflower until it’s “flour like” (I used my Cuisinart to grate the crap out of it)
  2. Mix in the egg and spices
  3. Microwave for 6 minutes. That’s when you’ll smell the stench.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  5. Put in a salad spinner if you have one. And spin the crap out of it. This gets a lot of the excess water out. Cauliflowers are juicy suckers!
  6. Grease a pizza stone or baking sheet with olive oil and parchment paper.
  7. Flatten the crust and bake at 425 degrees for at least 15 minutes.
  8. Top the crust with the sauce of your choice, cheese, and toppings.
  9. Bake about 15 minutes.

Enjoy! You are officially caulifloweramazing!




Playing Hooky


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Family, Fun, Memories, Parenting, School | Posted on 19-03-2014

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My children will never win a best attendance award at school.

Because of illness. Family vacations. And. Playing hooky with Mom.

I mean, when there are four feet of new powder in the mountains and it’s a Friday, uh yeah, we’re going!

Skip the multiplication. Skip the molecules. Skip the action verbs. Skip the art projects. For a day.

Actually, we didn’t skip any of that!

  • We had 80 times more fun playing in the snow than playing at recess.
  • We examined snowflakes, which are made up of molecules. This article was particularly informative about the chemistry of snow.
  • We romped, tumbled, explored, jumped. leaped, dove, rolled, snowshoed. Need more action verbs?
  • We created lots and lots of art: snow ball creatures, snow angels, crazy Godzilla-knocking-over-snow-towers videos.

To celebrate my husband’s birthday, our whole family played hooky that day. He took our two oldest children downhill skiing while my youngest and I adventured. And we may or may not have joyfully hummed the Indiana Jones theme song.



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