That Brown Vest


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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Mr. Pickle


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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If You Give a Girl a Knife


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?

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Man Shoes


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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The Daredevil


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Daughters, Growing UP, Life, Mother, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Parenting | Posted on 01-12-2015

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My daughter is a daredevil.

At the fair, she rides the scariest rides.

When she grows up, she wants to work with lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!

One day we were talking about all the neat things you can do when you turn 18. Like voting, like getting a tattoo. She said when she turns 18, the first thing she’s going to do is sky dive.

I can’t wait.

OMG. That's my daughter up there!

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What Kind of Flower Are You?


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Daughters, Life, Nature, Personal Growth | Posted on 05-11-2015

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That’s easy. A sunflower. Because they are cheerful and strong.

I asked my 13-year-old daughter the same question. She answered: A sunflower. Because they are tall and unique.

“Happiness held is the seed. Happiness shared is the flower.”

-John Harrigan

What kind of flower are you? And why?

Sun-kissed. #superb_flowers

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Daughters, Love, Mother, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Women | Posted on 15-10-2015

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Motherhood: I went from jaw-clenching to jaw-dropping.

When I gave birth to my daughter, I clenched my jaw so tight that I developed TMJ (Temporal Mandibular Joint) disorder. This required physical therapy. More about birth stories here.

I can still make my jaw pop on command, anytime. Poppity pop.

But the second I first saw my baby girl, my jaw dropped. It was love at first sight.

Besides my jaw popping, do you know what else that girl has given me?

A deeper heart from loving her so much. Laugh lines from all the smiling and laughing. Tears of joy when I think about our sweet memories and her milestones. Bursting pride when I see her so confident, smart, strong, and accomplished. Giddiness when I greet her after school. Amazement when I see her shine, doing something she loves, trying something new. Understanding, when we talk about problems. Sadness and compassion; whenever her heart breaks, my heart breaks. Forever friendship–some people say parents can’t befriend their children. (I think that’s crap.)

Happy 13th birthday to a young woman who has already given me oh-so much.

Happy birthday to my daughter!

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Three Peas


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art, Crafts, Daughters, Gifts, Kindness, Love, Mothers and Daughters | Posted on 08-10-2014

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Four yards of fabric were required, apparently. Two yards of green fleece, one yard of green satin, and one yard of red satin. And green thread and a package of buttons.

It was to be a big project, she said. My daughter directed me to meet her in the “green section” later, because she knew exactly what she needed. She had a plan to make me a birthday present.

I did as I was instructed. Including letting her determine the amount of fabric required. Including paying $28 for four yards of fabric.

That afternoon, I heard her sewing machine humming away. All I could do was smile.

And then, on my birthday, my daughter presented me with a small package that I carefully unwrapped.

It was a pea pod with three peas smiling back at me. It fit in the palm of my hand. It melted my heart.

My daughter knew that I always likened my three children to three peas. She knew that one of my favorite Christmas ornaments is a pea pod with three smiling peas wearing Santa hats with their names written on them.

It was the sweetest, most thoughtful gift. A big and small project, made with so much love and so little fabric.

Sporty and crafty and sweet. All rolled into one.

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A wonderful present my daughter made me! #symbolism

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The Confident Tulip


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Confidence, Daughters, Encouragement, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Parenting | Posted on 28-04-2014

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When it comes to confidence, I am a late bloomer. Better late, than never, right?

My eleven-year-old daughter’s confidence, however, is already blossoming. This makes me so happy and proud! Because I think confident roots will help her go (grow) far.

She’s tall. She’s strong. She’s smart. She’s beautiful. She’s creative. She’s athletic. She’s loving. She’s lovely.

And she knows it.

We reinforce it. And role model it. (I can say this because this is now true.)

When I took this picture, one pink tulip stood out from the others.

It’s the confident tulip. It’s my daughter.

That tall pink one is my daughter. 🙂

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Still Girls


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Daughters, Girlfriends, Girls, Mothers and Daughters, Teenagers | Posted on 21-10-2013

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Golly. I love my daughter. She just turned eleven.

Still innocent.

Still sweet.

Still a girl.

At her birthday party, it was a bunch of girls like her.

One burped louder than a boy.

One said she never brushes her hair.

One talked your ear off about horses. And candy.

They all showed up in t-shirts. They all laughed heartily.

Ah. Still girls. Before the make-up. Before the boys. They were their sweet selves.

We went to a trampoline place where they jumped themselves silly.

A group of teenager girls came in. Their t-shirts were tighter. Shorts were shorter. Lots of eye make-up. They were showing off in front of the teenager boys. They wanted to be noticed.

Are we there yet? No. Thank goodness!

I’ll take the unbrushed hair, loud burps, hearty laughs, fresh faced-innocence any day!