The Sausage

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Clothes, Humor | Posted on 27-06-2016

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I’m shrinking! Not really.

But my new “slender” swimsuit? Whoa!

This one-piece swimsuit claims that it will make you look a whole size smaller.

No kidding. When you first step into the leg holes, be prepared to get sucked. Yanking and tugging the material up over your mid-section, you break a sweat. Then, there’s the stretching and pulling the suit up to your armpits. Whew, time for a water break. Finally, one arm strap then the other, and hooray! Time for the cool down. Afterward, I feel that post-workout accomplishment.

Then looking in the mirror, I’m like, damn! This suit doesn’t only make you look a whole size smaller, you are actually a whole size smaller. Because you lose a few pounds just putting the damn thing on. In the meantime, you kinda feel like a sausage.

Pass the mustard sunscreen.

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Make Someone Happy

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Happiness | Posted on 22-06-2016

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One of my favorite memes: “If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.”

One of my favorite songs is Make Someone Happy, sung by Jimmy Durante, made popular in Sleepless in Seattle. Some of the lyrics:

Make someone happy,
Make just one someone happy,
And you will be happy, too.

It was Elf who said “I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.” If Elf doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know who will.

Then there’s the woman who put on a Chewbacca mask and laughs hysterically, propelling her to Internet fame–making people happy with just one click.

Then there’s Byrdie Sue, the “crazy bird lady” on America’s Got Talent, who wore a rainbow skirt and a ribboned hat. With a personality equally as chipper (chirper?) and colorful. She whistled bird sounds to Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry Be Happy.

My daughter was watching highlights. Her eyes got big and she shrieked Mom! She reminds me of you!

At first I was like What?! No way! She’s totally wacky.

She reminds me of you because she’s so happy like you!

Whoa! What a sweet thing to say. Maybe the sweetest thing I’ve heard this month! Maybe I was being overly judgmental.

Byrdie Sue is wacky. But mostly, she’s upbeat and she makes people happy.

The world needs more Jimmy Durantes, Elfs, Chewbacca Mask Ladies, and Byrdie Sues. Don’t you think?

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Graduation

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Aging, Celebrations, Childhood, Dreams, Emotions, Encouragement, Kids, Life Lessons, Memories, Milestones, Mothering, Nostalgia, Parenting | Posted on 14-06-2016

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This time of year always makes my heart so happy and proud. And also a little sad. Graduation! I get goosebumps when I see someone in cap and gown. I tear up when I hear Pomp and Circumstance. I always cry at graduations. It’s a happy sad cry.

I could be hired to attend strangers’ graduation ceremonies. If someone needs a person to cheer, to cry, or to take proud pictures afterward, I’m your gal.

I have friends whose children just graduated from college. Just graduated from preschool. Friends whose children were “promoted” from 8th grade to high school. Others from 5th grade to middle school. My son graduated from 5th grade this week. No more elementary school. He is my youngest. Sad happy.

These are all wonderful milestones–backed by hard work and parental love and support–that deserve celebration. I am proud of everyone! I was so busy woohoo’ing when my son shook hands with the principal, that I missed the photo opportunity when he posed with his certificate in hand. Oh well, the whole gym heard my enthusiasm! Afterward, I hugged all of his friends. My support is genuine.

Graduations are transitions that symbolize growth. But also change. Sometimes change can be hard for us parents. I know many fellow parents who have that same happy/sad feeling too. Here’s a hug and some Kleenex. And some inspirational words from Dr. Seuss in Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (as quoted at the 5th grade commencement speech), words to reassure us that everything will be OK:

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Socks

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Clothes, Family, Fashion, Mothers and Sons, Relationships | Posted on 09-06-2016

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I love socks. Probably because my feet are usually cold.

When my children were little, I bought them the cutest socks. As an infant, my oldest had a pair with rattles built in and he’d bicycle kick his feet, with the biggest grin. I had read that black-and-white patterns make infants’ brains develop better, so of course they had their patterned socks. My daughter had adorable watermelon socks and ladybug socks. My youngest son had tie-dye socks I bought in Berkeley. I probably paid more for that “artisan” pair of socks than a whole pack of running socks for me!

Three years back, I wrote about our abundance of mismatched socks. How they sit lonely, unmatched in a drawer in the laundry room. Waiting, waiting for the perfect match. Then I wrote about how we turned those lonely socks into a happy Sock Puppet family. Check out the video:

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I have a pair of yellow, smiley face socks that make me happy when I’m down. My daughter has polka-dot mushroom socks, unicorn-and-rainbow socks, and sloth socks. Sloth socks? I think they are supposed to make you feel relaxed. 🙂

Then of course there are the very expensive athletic socks the guys wear these days. The socks that hit mid calf. I’m not sure what’s up with that style, but I’ll go with it. I mean, I remember being in middle school when no one wore socks. They were so uncool. You wore your Vans or Keds or Sperry Topsiders with no socks. Puberty + sweaty, unsocked feet = very stinky shoes.

My youngest son, who is now eleven years old, recently asked if he could have a pair of those guy socks. One pair, that’s it. Ah, peer pressure socks. My son is super sweet and doesn’t ask for much. So of course I bought him not one but six pairs of theses guy socks. The hugs and smile? Totally worth it! Hey, and at least they help to cut down on the stinky shoes.

It’s all about the socks.

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Boys and their socks. A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

The Ferret

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Humor | Posted on 07-06-2016

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What is 20 inches long, domesticated, brown, and weighs about 1.5-4 lbs.?

A ferret? Yes!

The clump of hair from the shower drain I unclogged? Yes!

Writing about hair clumps in the shower drain has become “a thing.” I have written about hair clumps twice before. Once, I wrote a poem about the new pet (ha!) that was the size of a hamster. Then, I wrote about an even bigger clump I named Hairy.

Guess it’s been eight months since I last cleaned out the drain, because this time, the hair clump was the length of a ferret. From its head to its tail. Ew!

Fortunately, we come from a strong lineage of thick and ever-abundant hair. Stay tuned for the drain reveal at Christmas! Pass the shampoo…

3 generations! ??????

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Sweet Talking

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Life Lessons, Little Story | Posted on 24-05-2016

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Last year, my in-laws took my youngest son on a cruise to Alaska. What an adventure! We sent him with an old iPhone so he could text us and reassure us that he was safe.

About halfway through the trip, we got a text–not from him–but from AT&T stating that we were racking up charges. To the tune of $300. Then $600. Turns out that my son was being charged international roaming charges when the ship was at sea.

I had the sinking feeling that we would be anchored with a Titanic phone bill.

We texted my son and my in-laws. Turn off the phone! We left voicemails. No answer. When the three of them finally docked in Juneau, we got through. Glad you’re OK! Now turn off your phone!

The AT&T charges finally reached $1,300.

I called AT&T and knew I had to sweet talk my way out of paying for this. I drummed up all the sweetness I could. Gosh, my ten-year-old is with his grandparents on a cruise in Alaska. We surely didn’t know about roaming charges. Oh…we needed to call you ahead of time to sign up for a special international plan? I didn’t know. Thank you soooooo much.

The customer service representative was equally nice. In the end, he only charged me $35 to sign up for the special international plan. Sweet!

Another example of how you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

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The Junk Drawer

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Family, Memories | Posted on 18-05-2016

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We have always had a “junk drawer” in the kitchen. It’s the place where we toss things that don’t really have a place to call their own.

I can rummage through that drawer and find something I need: a tape measure, an eraser, Sharpie pens, bobby pins, rubber bands, a Phillips screwdriver, a hair brush.

I can also find something I don’t need but might want: a zsu zsu pet, a Barbie with her legs askew, playing cards, silly bandz, the monkey-wearing-a-fez pencil topper.

Sometimes, I will find something that triggers a fond memory: the plastic comb the hospital sent home when my daughter was born, flash cards to quiz basic math skills, a spare key to my first car, a plastic eyeball that we always put on Halloween cupcakes.

When in doubt, check the junk drawer!

Over time, the junk drawer gets layered with new items.

It’s not a junk drawer, really. It’s a time capsule filled with the randomness of our lives.

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

If You Give a Girl a Knife

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Childrearing, Children's Books, Confidence, Cooking, Daughters, Encouragement, Food, Girls, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Teenager | Posted on 13-05-2016

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When my daughter was three, we gave her a mini kitchen with pots and pans and bins of plastic food. Pies! Peas! Corn! Sushi! Cupcakes! Fried Chicken!

She loved everything about food preparation and serving. She would “roast” a fake chicken, “bake” pies, and “chop” floppy carrots. For years, she would prep and serve us at her cafe. When she was older, she would write menus for us to order from. And she would expect payment.

Now at 13, her time spent in the kitchen has lessened and her cooking is infrequent. However, if you give that girl a knife, she’ll make a fruit plate in minutes. She chops vegetables like a Kitchen Knife Ninja.

On the sidelines at a recent soccer game, I was talking to some mothers about daughters and their lack of interest in cooking. I told my “knife story” about how my daughter is a pro with a knife.

One of the Moms looked at me like I was insane. You give her knives?? That’s scary!

Um. Pioneer women sliced open buffalo with knives.

It’s not like I handed my daughter a knife and ordered Chop Now! It began with safety skills. Duh. Don’t slice toward your hand. Watch those fingers.

Kitchen skills are about teaching confidence, self sufficiency, survival. Kitchen skills are life skills.

I mean, what would she do if she encountered pineapple?

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Happy Mother’s Day

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Children, Love, Mother, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and Sons | Posted on 06-05-2016

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At a pool, on a mountain, at a beach, on a football field, in a kitchen, in a garage.

At a park, in a garden, at home, in a city, in the snow.

In the hospital, on a dock, on a boat, in a cave, in the forest.

Here or there, Happy Mother’s Day to mothers everywhere!

XO,
Pippi

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Let That Shit Go

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Attitude, Emotions, Encouragement, Exercise, Mothering, Parenting | Posted on 03-05-2016

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I have a great and full life. I am grateful (greatfull).

But often, I am overwhelmed. How do I make time for family, work, fun, chores, exercise, “me time,” and rest? How do I find balance?

“The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it.”
-Unknown

Um, I think I’ve lost it. It’s fine time I lower some of those pesky high expectations.

Some days I’ll work long hours and kick ass at work. Then my mothering skills fall behind. And I feel guilty.

Some days, I’ll spend amazing time with my children, then my work projects fall behind. And I work late at night to catch up.

Some days, I prioritize working out then I have no time to cook. And we make scrambled eggs for dinner. We go through a lot of eggs.

Some days, I’ll spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking then I run out of time to exercise. And no one likes to be around me when I don’t get my run in.

Some days, I’ll put everything on hold in order to play for the afternoon. And work projects hit the fan.

Some days, I’ll get so many chores done. And then I resent that I spent my precious time doing chores.

Balance is certainly not about perfection and high expectations. Nor is about having everything in balance. (I picture a teeter totter.) Balance is about acceptance. Accepting that things will be askew and being OK with that. Accepting that unbalance is OK. Accepting that everything is in flux. And to be OK with that. Accepting that sometimes good enough, is good enough.

“I must remember to forgive myself. Because there is a lot of grey to work with. No one can live in the light all the time.”
-Libba Bray, author

“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”
-Alain de Botton, philospher

And my favorite quote about trying to meet high expectations:

“Let that shit go.” #letthatshitgo
-hundreds of people on Instagram

Always balancing. #life #metaphor #balance

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on