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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Sunshine in Human Form

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Children, Children's Books, Family, Grandmother, Memories | Posted on 27-01-2016

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Sunshine in human form? That was my grandmother. She was pure sunshine.

She created miniature marshmallow happy faces in my Cream of Wheat.

She always reassured me, “Everything will be all right.” Read more here about how my grandmother and Bob Marley were alike.

She hummed while she scrubbed stains from my clothing. Her hands always smelled like Clorox.

She played her favorite hymns with gusto at the piano in the evenings.

She patted my knee when she sat by me on the sofa and always told me how happy she was to see me.

She swung on the teeter totter with me, even when we were both too old for teeter totters.

She made the perfect goose hisssssssss sound when she read Angus and the Ducks.. I always had her read that page over and over. To this day, I giggle when I think back at that hisssssssss.

The other morning when Otis and I were running, I missed my grandmother so much that tears welled in my eyes. I had to stop to cry it out. On that grey, overcast morning, the clouds suddenly parted.

The blue sky and sunshine emerged. I knew at that moment that my grandmother and I connected again. Everything will be all right.

Blues skies ahead. #positive

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8 is Great

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Family, Family Pet, Pet, Pets | Posted on 04-01-2016

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How old should a child be to own a pet hamster? The pet store said eight years old.

But my daughter was turning seven. And she wanted a hamster. (Imagine Veruca Salt, “Daddy, I want a squirrel!”)

No, my daughter doesn’t ask for much. So, we gifted her a hamster for her seventh birthday. Along with a hamster cage, a wheel, food, cedar chips, a water bottle, toys, and yogurt snacks.

It was love at first sight. She named him Popcorn.

She snuggled with him. She cooed to him. She fed him grated carrots. She built him obstacles out of cardboard boxes. She let him run free. She cleaned his cage. She let him explore her dollhouse. She gave him clean water. She talked to him in a little hamster voice.

And when she was done playing with him, she always put him back safely in his cage and hooked the latch.

Except not always.

We went out to dinner one night and came home to an empty cage. I feared the worst. Had he fallen through a heater vent? Had he crawled under a door to the great outdoors? I was about to initiate an all-family, whole-house search-and-rescue when my daughter announced that he was probably in the kitchen by the mixer.

Because. That’s where she left him. Ah, perfect seven-year-old logic.

Her 7th birthday…

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Hide and Seek

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Family, Memories | Posted on 20-12-2015

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I had announced on a whim, “Let’s play hide and seek!” We turned off all the lights and played by the glow of the Christmas tree. I remember that special night like it was last week.

Because, it was.

Dark corners, dark bathrooms, dark closets. My heart was pounding with excitement. Just like when I was a child and found the perfect hiding place, hoping to be the last one spotted. Slow your breathing. Be still.

I hid so deep in the coat closet that I touched the snow in Narnia.

When it comes to fun and games, I am like Roger Rabbit when he hears “Shave and a Haircut…” He just can’t help but yell “Two bits!”

Back in my childhood neighborhood, I was the ringleaader of fun. I’d round up all of the kids and squeal, “Let’s play hide and seek!”

We’d play outside in the evening, and into the dark. The hooligans that we were, we would scale the neighbors’ fences, hide in yards, anywhere to seek out the perfect hiding place. I remember that feeling of giddiness in my belly. Hoping I found the perfect hiding place, hoping to be the last one spotted. Slow your breathing. Be still.

If you’re ever up for a game of hide and seek, come on over! I’ll even let you have the prime spot in the coat closet. And you might want to bring your mittens.

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The Giving Sofa

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Family, Home, Life, Memories | Posted on 28-10-2015

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Once there was a sofa…and she loved a little family.

We bought a burgundy-and-green sofa and love seat–our first matching set as a married couple–at Costco. It was Navajo-ish in pattern. It was a happy sofa set. That sofa quickly became part of the family.

We lounged on it. We watched movies on it. We snuggled on it. We dined on it. And the sofa was happy.

When our first son was born, the three of us did more lounging and eating and snuggling and sleeping. You could pull out the hide-away bed for late night movies. The sofa smiled.

My baby boy grew into a toddler and we read books together on the sofa–such as The Giving Tree. He played with his toys on it. My son sipped and spilled his apple juice on it. The sofa didn’t seem to mind.

The sofa became a trampoline (when I wasn’t looking) and a dock for jumping off of (when I wasn’t looking). And the sofa was happy.

When my daughter was born, the four of us did more lounging, snuggling, sleeping, reading, eating. More sippy cups were spilled. A few pee accidents. The sofa didn’t mind.

But time went by.

We would scrub the stains. Fill the flattening cushions with fiberfill to fluff them up. We kept her looking spiffy. And the sofa was happy.

Over the years, the sofa became sorta droopy and stain soaked.

We spruced her up, I put an ad in the paper, and this guy bought the set just like that. For $500.

What a fair price for a sofa with so many memories!

When my big guy was a little guy…

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(Now when I write this, I feel like a traitor. Betraying my sofa friend. Just like the guy who cut down the giving tree until it was a mere stump, after so many years of take take take. I wrote about that here.)

 

 

 

Cookies for Dinner

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Baking, Childrearing, Children, Cooking, Family, Humor | Posted on 03-09-2015

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I always seem to find time to bake cookies but not always time to make dinner. Priorities, I guess.

Let’s see.

Butter and eggs cover the dairy.

Almond flour covers the nuts.

Chocolate chips cover the yum.

So yeah, cookies for dinner practically covers all of the food groups. Add a banana and a carrot on the side. Serve with a glass of milk, and bam! Dessert and dinner all in one!

Cookies and milk for dinner. Practically all of the food groups covered. #winning

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A Horse Penis and a Vegetable Garden

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Family, Humor, Memories, Mothering, Mothers and Sons, Projects, Questions, Summer, Teenager, Teenagers | Posted on 20-07-2015

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I get asked all kinds of questions around here.

It sure keeps things fun and surprising.

One of my sons asked me, “Would you rather get slapped in the face with a horse penis or jump in a swimming pool full of pee?”

Hmmmm…

Good question! But it didn’t really surprise me.

Then the other day, my other son asked me, “Do you want to plant a vegetable garden with me?”

How sweet is that?!

Now, this question totally surprised me. I mean, he’s a teenager and I’m sorta not cool.

How could I pass up this opportunity to spend quality time together? Planting a garden, no less. Nurturing and watching seeds grow–the perfect metaphor for life.

The answer is: I could not.

We immediately Googled what to plant in July. Lettuce, spinach, carrots, and radishes appeared to be fine crops for planting this late in the season. We were off to buy seeds. No time to spare!

Together, we tilled the soil, planted the seeds (some were the size of a pencil tip), tucked them in, and watered. We take turns watering and are looking forward to seeing the baby shoots peek out. We talk daily about “our” garden. Stay tuned for our bountiful harvest…in late November!

Oh and as for the other question? Slapped in the face by a horse penis.

I'm getting so wise in my old age. 😉

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