Everyone Poops

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Books, Childhood, Childrearing, Family, Happiness, Life | Posted on 19-03-2017

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One of our favorite family books is Everyone Poops.

In case you don’t know this book, it should be part of every young child’s library. The book tells about how all living creatures, big and small, poop. Even insects. Even snakes.

My children and I have the lines memorized:

“A one hump camel makes a one hump poop. And a two hump camel makes a two hump poop. Just kidding.”

Publishers Weekly gave the book a horrible review, “Okay, so everyone does it–does everyone have to talk about it?”

Yes!

It’s fun to poop! It’s fun to talk about poop! Poop is part of life!

And don’t we, as parents, want to raise our children to be happy and confident pooper?

The review goes on to say, “Call it what you will, by euphemism or by expletive, poop by any name seems an unsuitable picture book subject.”

Unsuitable to whom?

Unsuitable to people who have no sense of humor, obviously.

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#BigCabbage

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Connections, Happiness, Humor, Little Story | Posted on 19-12-2016

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What weighs 30 lbs., is comical, crunchy, and has its own hashtag?

#Bigcabbage.

We bought a big cabbage at the produce market for $5. Locally grown, it was a giant cabbage so big that it could be used for cross-training.

But first, we photographed it and posted its glorious girth on Instagram. Who knew that this cabbage of mine would make so many friends? Who knew that #bigcabbage could bring the world together, sharing smiles and gasps, one post at a time. I “liked” all the posts with #bigcabbage and met friends from around the world, including Japan and Kentucky, who shared the love of extraordinary produce.

My daughter carved a face in the cabbage. (She is really good with knives. You can read that post here.) It proved a wonderful, carvable canvas. We then enjoyed that head over the course of ten weeks. Did you know that the cabbage is one of the healthiest foods you can eat? A cruciferous vegetable packed with nutrients. Don’t take my word for it. Read more here.

Nutritious. Crunchy. Economical. Versatile. Funny.

There is nothing like bringing people together one cabbage at a time. #bigcabbage

Happy Monday! #bigcabbage

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Chicks, Ducks, and a Bunny…Oh My!

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Growing UP, Happiness, Ideas, Imagination, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mother, Mothering, Pets | Posted on 17-10-2016

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Who buys her daughter baby chicks, baby ducks, and a bunny…in the middle of the city?

My mother…that’s who!

Imagine the squeals of delight one Easter morning! The joy! I was the happiest of happy!

We didn’t live in the country. Nor did we have the proper pens and enclosures yet built. We housed our extended family in our laundry room off the kitchen. Added some heat lamps. Purchased feed. Received a donated rabbit hutch for the backyard.

Our farm was set!

Like Fern from Charlotte’s Web, I fed, watered, nurtured, and talked to my animal friends every day. Their peeps and nibbles and sweetness made me overjoyed. My friends thought I was so lucky…indeed, I was!

One baby duck, Quincy, didn’t make it and died after a week. It was a tough life lesson. The other duck, Abraham, thrived.

When the chicks and duck outgrew their soft downy feathers and grew into their adult feathers, it was time to move them from the laundry room to the backyard, into coops and hutches.

One chick grew into–gasp!–a rooster and became the 5:00 a.m. alarm clock for the neighborhood, with his loud cock-a-doodle-dooing. Abraham was so well mannered, that you could leash him and take him for a walk. The rabbit was simply happy with carrots and came out for snuggles.

Our menagerie of animals represented my childhood: colorful, joyful, interesting, and full of life, love, and experiences. My mother was the ring leader, with her big heart and personality, always unconventionally fun and cool. I am so lucky to be her daughter.

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Rock and Roller

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Childhood, Growing UP, Happiness, Life, Memories, Teenager | Posted on 29-09-2016

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The year was 1983.

It was a hot year for fashion. Hello, matching terry cloth outfit.

It was a hotter year for music. Here is what was on the radio. And on my newly gifted Sony Walkman:

Every Breath You Take, The Police
Billie Jean, Michael Jackson
Flashdance…What a Feeling, Irene Cara
Down Under, Men at Work
Beat It, Michael Jackson
Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bonnie Tyler
Maneater, Daryl Hall & John Oates
Sweat Dreams, Eurythmics
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Culture Club
Come on Eileen, Dexys Midnight Runners
She Works Hard for the Money, Donna Summer
Let’s Dance, David Bowie
Africa, Toto
Little Red Corvette and 1999, Prince
Stray Cat Strut, Stray Cats
Tell Her About It, Billy Joel
Goody Two-Shoes, Adam Ant
Rock the Casbah, The Clash
Come Dancing, The Kinks
Back on the Chain Gang, The Pretenders

For me, it was an even hotter year for roller skates. Those roller skates were my empowerment. I lived in a smallish town in California that was 1.7 square miles, rich in community and smack in the middle of the sprawling San Francisco Bay Area. I skated to buy doughnuts. Ten doughnut holes for a buck. I skated to 7-11 for Red Vines and Jolly Rancher sticks. I skated one mile to my bank where I maintained a modest savings account. I would sometimes deposit but mostly withdraw. Long before ATMs, I tucked my bank book in the waistband of my shorts, then walk on the tips of my stoppers to the teller and usually withdraw $10. I would fold the ten dollar bill into my skate where it would be nice and sweaty when it was time to spend it.

Ten bucks would last two weeks to feed my sugar obsession.

1983 was my freedom. Personal music. Transportation. Consumerism.

I remember those moments like they were yesterday. Skating over the bumps in the sidewalks. Wind in my big hair. The taste of a sour apple Jolly Rancher stick. And peach. And cinnamon fire.

Now, whenever I listen to one of these songs or savor a Red Vine, it takes me back to the days when I was free to skate from one end of town my world to the other, with only a pair of satin knee pads to protect me.

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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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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?

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The Box of Memories

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Children, Grandmother, Growing UP, Happiness, Life, Memories, Mothering, Parenting | Posted on 15-07-2015

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When my grandmother and I used to play the game Memory, there was always more talking and laughing than matching. We played every time I would visit. We’d get out the tattered box of Memory cards, flipped them over and start grinning. As each card was flipped, a picture rich in memories would appear.

The tiger with the eyes that resemble peas.

The girl in the blue dress, with the braids flying.

The long white rabbit.

The mother and baby owls perched.

The king with the big belly and short legs.

The triangle “quilt.”

The lion cub peeking from the striped awning.

The lion with the hairy mane and sad face.

And of course, sly fox.

When my grandmother died, I packed up the “box of memories” and took them with me. Decades later, the box itself disintegrated but the cards were intact and full of life…and memories. They cards now reside in a Ziploc bag on the game shelf and have been resurrected! My daughter and I play regularly. And we talk and laugh and have our favorite cards…

The tiger with the eyes that resemble peas.

The girl in the blue dress, with the braids flying.

The long white rabbit.

And so on.

As we play, I am filled with happiness that my grandmother’s hands touched these exact cards and laughed at the same king with the big belly and short legs.

I guess you’d say, the memories are alive and well.

Who Says Money Can’t Buy Happiness?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Fun, Happiness, Parenting | Posted on 28-07-2014

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A visit to the fabric store, with my daughter, brought sheer joy. With its reams of colorful fabric, buttons, fleece, stuffing, patterns.

Imagine the possibilities! Summer brings more time. Time to thread the sewing machine and pursue some projects. Time to be creative.

So Sew many ideas! And projects! My daughter’s head was spinning: tails, pillows, clothes, stuffed creatures.

A yard of this. A yard of that. A pound of buttons in every size, shape, and color. Elastic for enough jammy pants to clothe the Brady Bunch.

Eighty-five dollars later and we walked out with two giant bags of happiness.

My daughter sewed me a carrot. Because she's clever like that.

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She made that skirt.

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Let it Go

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Childrearing, Fun, Happiness | Posted on 10-07-2014

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“Let it go.” For someone who likes to be in control, letting go is not always that easy. But impulsively going to the lake with the kids on a hot Summer day was easier than I thought.

But I have to work. Work will be there in two hours. Let it go.

But I don’t have time to pack a picnic. Go to Subway. Let it go.

But I didn’t bring my swimsuit. No one will care if you swim in your shorts and tank top. Let it go.

But the lake is greenish and kinda slimy and chilly. It’s nearly 100 degrees. Let it go.

I let it all go. And jumped into that greenish, kinda slimy, and chilly lake. Fully dressed. With my belly full of Subway. Guess what? It was the best, freeing, unplanned afternoon of the Summer! (So far…)

That's my girl!

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Leaping!

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Bubbles

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Children, Fun, Happiness, Ideas, Kids, Parenting | Posted on 02-06-2014

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We’re too old for bubbles.

That was sorta the reaction I got when, on a sunny afternoon, I proclaimed, “Guys! Let’s make bubbles!”

Too. Old. For. Bubbles??? What the?

So I took their reaction as a cue to make up a batch:

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup Karo® light corn syrup
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) clear dishwashing liquid (I used Dawn)

Well, whaddya know. Turns out, no one is too old for bubbles.

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Who says white men can't jump? 🙂

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