Mud Girls

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Attitude, Celebrations, Childhood, Childrearing, Confidence, Connections, Encouragement, Exercise, Family, Life, Life Lessons, Metaphor, Motherhood, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Relationships | Posted on 13-09-2016

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I can’t think of a better way to kick off Mother’s Day weekend than to run a 5K Survivor Run with my daughter, navigating obstacles, slipping and sloshing through the mud, having a blast, and learning a thing or two about life lessons.

This race–complete with obstacles, mud, exertion, and fun–is a perfect metaphor for life.

You put yourself out there. You try your best. You face obstacles and overcome them. You find support. You laugh. You get dirty. You find your strength. You fall and you get back up. You learn independence. You are reminded that you can do it. You have fun. You are empowered.

What better lessons for a mother to bestow upon her young teenager?

It was not the medal at the end that made me so happy. It was the journey through the race, together. Through the ups and downs. (Up dirt hills and down into mud puddles!)

That Saturday, we were Mud Girls. In my heart, we are forever Mud Girls. Also known as Survivors.

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Mr. Pickle

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Celebrations, Daughters, Happiness, Humor, Kindness, Playing | Posted on 08-08-2016

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I am a winner!

Actually, my daughter is the winner. She won a Mr. Pickle. At the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, she played skee ball with such accuracy that the dolphin leapt across the board into first place.

My daughter could be an Olympic skee baller.

She selected a Mr. Pickle as her prize and gifted him to me without prompting. OK, maybe a little. I could not resist his greenness, his glasses, his mustache, and his little shoes. And the fact that he was shaped like a…giggle…pickle. I gleefully accepted, squealing Thank You!

Mr. Pickle was promptly secured with a seatbelt in the back seat, as he quickly became the newest member of the family.

With a daughter like mine, I too, am a winner.

Mr. Pickles!

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I won a Mr. Pickle!

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Christmas in July

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Christmas, Holidays, Love, Magic | Posted on 30-07-2016

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Talk about Christmas in July!

On a recent vacation to Branson, Missouri, we heard there was a Santa Claus convention, bringing in jolly old fellas from across the country and around the world. In fact, many of them stayed at our hotel! Even without their red and white suits, they were easy to spot with their friendly smiles, white beards, and twinkly eyes. We proceeded to be on the lookout for the real Santa Claus.

One winked at us in the lobby. Maybe he was the one? One argued with the front desk clerk about his pillows. Definitely not him.

The next morning, one thousand Santa Clauses were to be in a special parade at 8:00 a.m.

You know how the early bird catches the worm? In our case, the early riser catches the Santa Claus. My eleven-year-old son and I practically ran, hand-in-hand, with giddiness. (My oldest son and daughter opted to sleep in instead…their loss!)

Seeing so many Santa Clauses, Mrs. Clauses, and elves was quite a magical sight! But which one was the one? It was like Where’s Waldo.

Smitten and with a bit of boldness, we greeted the nice gentlemen one by one and asked to pose for a photo. How could they so no to my sweet boy? They could not.

My son wished them Merry Christmas and many said see you on Christmas Eve. One showed my son a special Hawaiian signal. One showed my son his compass hidden in his sock. One let my son hold the special sleigh bells. One gifted him a magic candy cane.

After our encounters, we narrowed it down to three Santa Claus possibilities.

We left with happy hearts, curious minds, and shit-eating grins.

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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

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

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A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

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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Here’s to New!

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Celebrations | Posted on 31-12-2015

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New adventures.
New friends.
New experiences.
New worries.
New connections.
New chances.
New fears.
New giggles.
New places.
New surprises.
New life lessons.
New approaches.
New accomplishments.
New fun.
New frustrations.
New happiness.
New heartaches.
New messes.
New delights.
New fails.
New joys.
New faces.
New wonders.
New perspectives.
New milestones.
New opportunities.
New laughs.
New experiences.
New failures.
New moments.
New memories.
New problems.
New challenges.
New arguments.
New horizons.
New options.
New celebrations.
New ways of thinking.
New goals.
New things to learn.
New wishes.
New dreams.
New plans.
New recipes.
New traditions.
New dance moves.
New excursions.
New mistakes.
New attitudes.
New starts.
New stories.
New beginnings.

I’m ready for 2016…are you?

Happy New Year!

XO,
Pippi

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He Wore a Pocahontas Dress

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Holidays, Kids, Life | Posted on 30-10-2015

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Behind-the-scenes one Halloween.

I bought a Pocahontas dress for my youngest son. So he could match his big brother, who proudly spent his own money on the feather headdress.

We pushed “Pocahontas” in a stroller when we went trick-or-treating, refilling his hands with Tootsie roll pops, to keep him happy.

My daughter was a bunny and wore her pink cowgirl boots. We didn’t notice that they were on the wrong feet until three hours later. Clomp, clomp, clomp!

That was one Halloween. There have been dozens of Halloweens with children. Dozens before the children.

Going through old photos of Halloweens past, I enjoy reminiscing. The photos didn’t make me sad. OK, maybe a little.

Where did the time go?? They grow up so fast!! 

Adults always make those comments about children. I think those comments are irritating. I mean, time flies. Children grow. That’s how it works. Enjoy the moments. Enjoy the memories. Move on and have more moments. Make more memories.

While those October 31, 2006 moments (and the candy) were quickly gone, the memories and backstories will always remain.

Happy Halloween!

One Halloween…

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Magic Pie

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Baking, Celebrations, Connections, Cooking, Family, Memories, Traditions | Posted on 24-06-2015

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We made a magic Key lime pie. Magic because it disappeared in one day.

The making of this magic pie was a family affair.

I sent my oldest son to the grocery store with a list of ingredients. And he nailed it! (Oh, by the way, sweetened, condensed milk is located in the baking aisle.)

My daughter helped squeeze the limes and grate the zest. And formed the graham cracker crust into the pan.

My youngest son? He helped all right. In fact, he helped eat two slices.

We all enjoyed a freshly made Key lime pie, a gift to my husband on Father’s Day–a tradition of ours. Except this was the first year that everyone had a role in the pie’s creation. Perhaps that’s what made it so magical.

We made a Key lime pie. It was magic. It disappeared in one day.

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The Carpet of Many Colors

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Easter, Holidays, Memories, Traditions, Travel | Posted on 03-04-2015

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My mother and I once traveled to Antigua, Guatemala to take in all of the ceremony, spiritualness, history, and beauty of Easter Holy Week, or Semana Santa.

For me, that trip was life changing.

We witnessed the making of alfombras, “carpets” made from tiny flower petals placed in the streets. These ornate, detailed carpets were found throughout the streets of this historical town, readied for throngs of processions of the devout. Hundreds of purple-robed men would carry a statue of Jesus on the cross, high above their heads, with marching bands playing mournful music. More information about Semana Santa in Guatemela can be found here.

That was the most colorful and powerful Easter I have ever spent. Although we took this trip 25 years ago, the memories are still as vibrant as the amazing alfombras.

Today, I reflect on that holy trip and how I am so thankful for my mother and her continuous support, love, and teachings.

Happy Easter.

alfombraPhoto by Marina K. Villatoro.