PeskyPippi.com Is Now Published on Medium

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 11-06-2017

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Hey! I’m now publishing on Medium. Please check me out at:

https://medium.com/@PeskyPippi

Tell ’em Otis sent you!

XO,
Pippi

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Framed

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art, Childrearing, Connections, Crafts, Decor, Family, Home, Life, Memories, Parenting | Posted on 08-05-2017

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When I think about our family, I think how different we are as individuals. And how our family is evolving.

We are especially different in how we choose to spend an evening. Not always as one family together. But as one family together, but separate. One wants to go out with friends, one wants to watch YouTube videos, one wants to do anything but watch a movie with Mom and Dad. Then there’s Otis, who is up for anything, including movie night.

But isn’t this supposed to happen? While I am sad to see my children slowly branch away, I am also learning to appreciate their separation as a healthy part of life: thriving as individuals. I appreciate each one. With their own personalities. Their own thoughts. Their own emotions. Their own interests.

But isn’t it also my job as mother to keep our family connected? I try. Family taco night is always a success. Movie night? Not so much anymore. Awhile back, I covered our kitchen table with butcher paper so we could create art together. It started with a white square tile. Add drops of ink. Swirl, mix, design. The blobs of ink expanded. The ink morphed.

Each tile transformed into a unique work of art. No two were alike. Hmmmm…kinda like children…

This art project lasted several weeks. That’s a lot of together-time!

We framed this “family mirror” with the tiles we created. It’s an excellent metaphor of our family: colorful, with individual pieces, unified as one.

It’s a mirror that represents togetherness and separation. It’s hung, appropriately, right above the kitchen table, where many tacos have been consumed together.

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Honu

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Animals, Life Lessons | Posted on 26-04-2017

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Exploring coral reefs amidst colorful fish and the ever-so-peaceful honu, the native Hawaiian green sea turtle, was how we began each day on recent Maui vacation.

Snorkeling is not something I do on a typical morning at home. More like drowning. Around here, mornings are stress filled: alarms, children, showers, breakfasts, lunches, out the door and off to school and work, go!

Hawaiians regard the sea turtle as a symbol of wisdom. They are graceful and calm and seem to know about life. They glide through the water. They go with the flow. They hypnotize you with their peaceful ways. We spotted at least two sea turtles each time we snorkeled. Each time was magical, dreamy, and meditative.

The honu is also a symbol of good luck. The sea turtle is a reptilian survivor from the age of dinosaurs and can be traced back 150 million years. Good luck indeed.

I. Want. To. Be. A. Sea. Turtle.

At home, I am not sea turtle-like. I am a worrier. A multitasker. A planner.

Vacation. It’s a wonderful thing. You take a break from real life, then you return. I have returned home with amazing family memories, a quickly-fading tan, a cute pineapple purse, and a bit more calm. More honu.

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The Towel

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Advice, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Connections, Encouragement, Family, Mother, Motherhood, Mothering, Mothers and Sons, Parenting | Posted on 30-03-2017

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There are so many things to learn! As a parent, there are so many things to teach my children!

I’m not talking about: Be kind. Be respectful. Be yourself. Have confidence. Make good choices.

I’m talking about basic bathroom hygiene teachings that begin early on:

When you wash yourself, wash all of your parts and cracks with soap and water.

Did you brush your teeth? Yes. Did you brush your teeth today?

When you spit, don’t leave a glob of toothpaste in the sink. No one wants to see that.

When you wash your hair, use shampoo first. Then conditioner. For awhile, my youngest son was only washing his hair with conditioner. He had the dirtiest-but-softest-hair in town.

When you poop, turn on the fan. No one wants to smell that.

So many things to teach. It’s a good thing we have a bunch of teachers around here.

Dad: Hey Buddy, lift the lid.

Big brother: Dude! Turn on the fan!

And then there’s big sister. Who teaches you how to make the perfect turban.

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That Brown Vest

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Advice, Attitude, Childrearing, Cleaning, Clothes, Communication, Confidence, Connections, Conversations, Daughters, Encouragement, Memories, Mother, Motherhood, Mothering, Parenting | Posted on 27-03-2017

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Every few years I get the urge to go through my closet and get rid of stuff. You can read about the last time I made such a purge here. Here is how I decreased the surplus population of my clothes. My goal is always to get rid of:

1. The ugly stuff.
2. The stuff that will never ever fit again.
3. The stuff that makes me feel uncomfortable, unconfident, and ugly.

I have had surprisingly a lot of stuff in each of these categories.

I filled three giant trash bags with jeans that are too tight, ruffled blouses that are hideous, pleated slacks that look shiny, and that sort of thing. All kinds of ugly.

I proudly announced to my daughter my feat: I got rid of all my ugly clothes!

What about that brown vest? She asked.

That. Brown. Vest?

Oh that. I guess I didn’t get rid of ALL my ugly clothes. That brown vest might be ugly, but it makes me happy, warm, and comfortable. In fact, I wore it on my last zoo outing with my youngest.

I think you look pretty in that ugly, brown vest, she said.

Well then, it’s a keeper!

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Hope and Strength

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Gardening | Posted on 23-03-2017

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Some say that daffodils are delicate and gentle.

Yes. But they are also symbols of hope and strength. Planted as ugly bulbs in the fall by hopeful people, daffodils are able to withstand the harshest of winters, emerging and blooming as cheery ambassadors of spring.

When planted, daffodils bulbs are tucked into the dirt to rest throughout the winter. Rest? No way! The bulb contains all the nutrients needed for flower production. Daffodils are hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as -15 degrees Fahrenheit. No coats required! No complaining either!

Above the soil: rain, sleet, snow, ice. Meanwhile, the daffodil develops its root systems and undergoes a chemical change to prevent it from freezing. Daffodils remain dormant underground until the soil starts to warm again. Then, daffodils begin to poke through the soil with their green stems. Bold as you please! The green stalks suddenly open with their cheery attitudes and shades of yellow, after braving the longest of winters.

Welcome!

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Everyone Poops

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Books, Childhood, Childrearing, Family, Happiness, Life | Posted on 19-03-2017

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One of our favorite family books is Everyone Poops.

In case you don’t know this book, it should be part of every young child’s library. The book tells about how all living creatures, big and small, poop. Even insects. Even snakes.

My children and I have the lines memorized:

“A one hump camel makes a one hump poop. And a two hump camel makes a two hump poop. Just kidding.”

Publishers Weekly gave the book a horrible review, “Okay, so everyone does it–does everyone have to talk about it?”

Yes!

It’s fun to poop! It’s fun to talk about poop! Poop is part of life!

And don’t we, as parents, want to raise our children to be happy and confident pooper?

The review goes on to say, “Call it what you will, by euphemism or by expletive, poop by any name seems an unsuitable picture book subject.”

Unsuitable to whom?

Unsuitable to people who have no sense of humor, obviously.

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Juicy Eyeballs

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Aging, Health | Posted on 09-03-2017

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Time for my eye exam!

They took a picture of the back of my eye and showed me so I could ooh and aah at my veins and vessels, my macula and fovea, and whatnot. I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at.

Why does everything look so shiny? I asked.

Because you eat lots of vegetables. You have healthy eyes!
They told me.

Well, whaddya know.

My vegetable consumption is paying off in health benefits. All those f’ing spinach salads and cauliflower. Read here about the wonder vegetables for healthy eyeballs.

It seems that I have hit the magic age when my face is starting to droop, wrinkles are appearing, and hairs are sprouting in all the wrong places.

So, when I heard that I have juicy eyeballs, it kinda made my day.

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Rocking the $14 Dress

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Body Image/Dieting, Clothes, Confidence, Fashion | Posted on 02-03-2017

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Confidence is wearing a $14 dress from Costco…and rocking it.

And accessorizing with $1 shell necklaces. And old tights. (Tights that you snagged when you hoisted them up and you’re hoping that the hole doesn’t show in the meeting. P.S. Why do they make tights so short, forcing you to hoist them up in the first place??)

And adding your go-to cardigan–black, of course–and comfortable square dance shoes. I wrote about those here.

Voila.

I don’t have an amazing wardrobe or sense of style.

I don’t really need either one, what with my personality, confidence, and sense of humor. Ha!

Rock what you’ve got!

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Which Way?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Life, Life Lessons | Posted on 27-02-2017

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I went snowshoeing with my buddies. And for some reason, I didn’t really care where we were going.

Here we were at the base of a mountain, in search of a lake. We snowshoed single file talking all the while, stopping for water, for a Caveman bar snack, for a laugh break. The leader of our pack had the trail map. I was last in line, bobbling along without the need to navigate.

Instead, I focused on the patterns in the snow, the crispness of the air, the snow-laden trees, the crunching of my snowshoes, the sweat building up under my armpits.

We came to a map in the path. There was no “you are here” marked. We had little idea where we were. Where was the lake? Who knows? Onward we went, until we came to a snow globe-like mountain. We were surrounded with snow drifts and trees and magic.

We never did find the lake. But we found beauty and peace and laughter.

In life, we don’t always know what will happen next or which path we should take. Right now, I am at a crossroads in my life. With my children growing up. With my job.

Which way will I go? I’m not sure. For now, I’m doing my best to enjoy the journey.

Which way? #snow #winter #nature #snowshoeing #life #decisions

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It was like being in a snow globe! #snow #winter #nature #snowshoeing

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