The Magic Jacket

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Husband, Love, Relationships | Posted on 26-04-2016

For Valentine’s Day this year, my husband gifted me a magic jacket.

It goes with everything and fits me just right. It not only repels rain and wind, but when worn, that jacket magically transports me to cool places where we have enjoyed spending time together: cross-country skiing, mountain hikes, and wintry beaches.

So it’s like a magic jacket and date jacket all in one. The perfect gift!

Unlike chocolates that may last a day (or a few hours) or flowers that may last a week, this jacket will last for many together-adventures ahead.

Except. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I may need a pair of magic sunglasses…

Seas the day! #dayoff

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Full of Pep

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Attitude, Confidence, Encouragement, Kindness, Life, Little Story, School, Teaching | Posted on 20-04-2016

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When I was in seventh grade, our teacher gave us a fun assignment. We were to write our names on a piece of paper then pass it around the classroom. Each student was to anonymously write something nice about each person: a trait, a compliment, what you like about that person. As the papers circulated, kindness filled the pages.

It was a great exercise to express the good in everyone and boost confidence. I still remember one phrase written about me:

Full of pep.

pep: noun energy and high spirits; liveliness.

I ran across this picture of me when I was in the seventh grade. Curly hair in braids, a big smile, heart-shaped sunglasses perched on my head. This was taken on our seventh grade camping trip in Yosemite. The same trip where I dared the boys to see who could stand in the freezing-cold river the longest. (Full of grit!)

The girl in the forefront is the one who wrote “full of pep.” (After we got our papers returned, she had leaned across her desk and whispered to me I wrote that. I still remember beaming back.)

Those three words written oh-so-long-ago had an impact on me and still make me smile. I will always remember my friend’s kindness and friendship…and…her accurate assessment. Wink!

Thirty four years later and still full of pep, I now have a daughter in the seventh grade. I showed her this picture and she was like, “Mom, are look the same!”

Some things never change.

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A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Stop and Help

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Safety, School | Posted on 12-04-2016

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There was a four-way stop intersection by my daughter’s middle school. Except one of the stop signs was placed really far from the corner, making it hard to see.

This resulted in many people not stopping at the corner, and blasting right through.

This put children at risk, right in front of their school.

I actually witnessed a few people running the stop sign. I once ran the stop too.

I took action. I was prepared to make a petition, attend community meetings, discuss this with my town’s politicians. Whatever it took.

I started by calling City Hall to state the problem: There needs to be a new stop sign installed by the school, placed where drivers can see it clearly, for the safety of the children.

Turns out the city department and the street department met immediately to discuss the problem. When I called back to follow up, I was reassured that this issue would be addressed.

And it was.

Within 10 days of my first call, a new stop sign was put in at the proper place at the corner. So that everyone could see it.

My daughter said I’m a hero.

Nah. I’m just trying to make the world a better place for one person. Or maybe more.

#kindness

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What Smells Like Ass?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Children, Connections, Cooking, Dinner, Family | Posted on 04-04-2016

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What smells like ass? Asks my teenager son, as he walked into the kitchen.

Um, that would be dinner.

It had been weeks since I had prepared a “proper” dinner for my family.

After watching a few episodes of Cooked on Netflix, I felt nostalgic about cooking and preparing a wholesome meal for my family. The show documents various cultures around the world about food preparation and how, in our busier-and-busier lives, many of us have lost touch with taking the time and the steps to prepare a meal. Made with good ingredients and made with love. The narrator and author, Michael Pollan, says that we all have good memories of being “cooked for” and how that makes us feel cared for and loved.

When I have the time and make the time, I do enjoy cooking for my family. It’s just that they don’t always like what I cook.

That night, I baked potatoes. I broiled some cod with fresh parmesan. I roasted broccoli drizzled with olive oil. (Fish + parmesan + broccoli = stink.)

My intentions were to invite and welcome my family to the table. Yet, the smells turned people away. Except for Otis.

He was drooling.

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You’re Pretty

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Children, Family, Love, Mother, Mothering, Mothers and Sons | Posted on 02-04-2016

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Mom, you’re pretty.

My eleven-year-old tells me this regularly.

Even when I’m not pretty. Like when I come home from a run and my face is sweaty and pink and my breath smells stale.

Or when I’ve had a long day at work and my eyes are bloodshot from staring at the computer and my face is droopy from stress.

Or when the dermatologist burned off some pre-cancer spots on my nose, causing it to blister and swell.

Definitely not pretty days.

Maybe he sees something that lies beneath the sweat, the stress, and the spots. Or maybe he knows that it’s on those days that I need a little extra kindness.

It’s now become “a thing.” Whenever he says You’re pretty, I smile and say You’re pretty, too. And he smiles. It’s then that we are both reminded that we are deeply loved.

I am always drawn with big curly hair, big smile, and big hands. #motherandson #mother #childrensdrawings

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Silly Rabbit

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Easter, Family, Humor, Life Lessons, Memories, Parenting | Posted on 24-03-2016

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The Easter Bunny has finally gotten smart around here. It has taken several years of trial and error.

One year, the Easter Bunny hid the freshly-dyed hard-boiled eggs outside the night before. It rained. And in the morning, our young son searched for white eggs.

Another year, the Easter Bunny hid the hard-boiled eggs outside in the morning. Then we let the dogs out for their morning pee. The dogs ate all of the eggs. Nary an egg to be found.

Yet another year, the Easter Bunny wised up and hid the hard-boiled eggs inside the house. Except. What happens when children don’t find all of the eggs? The big stink.

Silly rabbit.

The Easter Bunny has finally learned to hide plastic eggs inside the house. No rain. No dogs. No smell. Brilliant.

Happy Easter!

XO,
Pippi

Whoops! #Eastereggs #Easter #egghunting This was a long time ago and makes me smile.

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Breakfast is served! #Eastereggs #eggs

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Forced Family Time

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Connections, Family, Growing UP, Parenting | Posted on 15-03-2016

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So many mothers of little children complain how they want time alone. They eye roll and sigh. Can I just take a shower? Can I go to the bathroom without being followed?

I used to be that mother with nary a moment to myself.

I have a cute little picture book about a mama elephant who wants five minutes peace. She heads to the bathroom with some cake and a book and fills the tub with bubbles. She looks forward to a little time by herself, without her three children in tow. One at a time, her children come into the bathroom to talk to her, show her things, and then, splat! They all end up in the tub together laughing. Mama elephant sneaks out quietly amidst the rumpus, to eat her now-wet cake. She has a total of one minute of peace. And she savors every second of it.

Fast forward a handful of years. Little children become big children. Two of them are now teenagers. And whaddya know? My children don’t want to be with me every second. What??!!

WHY NOT??!! I AM FUN!

It’s like total role reversal. Now my children are doing the eye rolling and sighing. These days, it takes more than a bubble bath and cake to get all five of us together. I mean, we’re all together in the same house, but we’re not usually doing the same thing. At once. Together.

Forced family time. It’s something that I thought we’d never go through. Wrong!

For our family, it took a ski weekend where the five us crammed in a hotel room.

We were all sprawled out on two double beds with tired legs, worn out from the ski day. Our bellies were filled with warm chocolate chip cookies, free for the taking from the lobby. Flipping through six channels, we landed on MythBusters. We watched and laughed and commented and ate cookies.

We learned that rockets can launch from gummy bear goo. We learned that we can all squeeze into two double beds. We learned that being together is still a ton of fun.

Hotels are the best!

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Jeans and Confidence

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Confidence, Mothers and Sons, Parenting, Teenagers | Posted on 08-03-2016

My sixteen-year-old son landed his first job. A real job. The kind that takes out taxes.

I’m so proud of him. I always have been.

I took him shopping for new jeans. I wanted him to feel confident for his interview. Or maybe because I just wanted to spend time with him. C’mon! Let’s buy you some jeans!

He found the perfect pair.

Except the next morning as he drove off to his interview, he didn’t wear the near jeans. He didn’t need them to feel confident. He aced his interview and his sandwich test on his own.

I should have known. He’s been a confident little sucker for years.

He told me that he can now make better sandwiches than me. You know what? I believe him.

My 16 yo son just landed his first job. #confidence I knew he could do it!

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Scratchy Balls

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art, Attitude, Memories, Mothers and Sons | Posted on 04-03-2016

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It was a day filled with cupcakes, masks, and scratchy balls.

My ten-year-old son and I adventured to the city, just the two of us. We stumbled upon a necklace in one of the shops: a colorful necklace made from scratchy wool balls. How could I say no?

Mom, you would look so pretty in this. Seriously, how could I resist?

Since then, I’ve been wearing that necklace often. It keeps my neck warm. It goes with everything. People compliment it wherever I go. Wow, cool necklace! But mostly, I smile because it reminds me of that colorful day spent with my sweet son.

My new necklace.

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Man Shoes

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Childhood, Daughters | Posted on 26-02-2016

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When my daughter was a toddler, I bought her tutus and fairy wings and red shoes. Each day, I would help her dress and slip on her little red shoes and fasten the little velcro straps.

Now, at 13 years old, I bought her man shoes.

Her feet grew in the middle of basketball season. Time to hit the sporting goods store. In the women’s section, there were only two styles to choose from.

Try these! Too tight.
Try these! Too small.

OK, Goldilocks, do you need man shoes? Yes.

In the men’s section, there were dozens to choose from. Big man basketball shoes. She tried some on. They fit!

Ah, just right.

No longer in little shoes or fairy wings, she now flies across the basketball court wearing her man shoes. But still with that magical sparkle in her eye.

She once wore tutus and fairy wings.

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