Tags: family life, layers
Shrek is an onion. With layers. So am I. That’s my life.
Some people want to simplify, removing layers. Not me. I keep adding them. Marriage. Children. Work. Pets. Life. Sports. Activities. Chores. Interests. Projects.
I want to.
Milestones. Routines. Celebrations. Injuries. Accomplishments. Failures. Happiness. Sadness.
- Basketball ends, soccer begins.
- Conference calls. Writing projects. Deadlines.
- Wash a load of laundry, fold another.
- Coordinating playdates.
- When are football sign-ups?
- Family movie nights.
- Science fair.
- What’s for dinner?
- Me time. Us time. 1:1 time.
- Grocery shopping. Hello Costco.
- Working odd hours. Working out odd muscles.
- Trying new recipes. Giving away old clothes.
- Celebrating holidays.
- Did you brush your teeth?
- Sweeping up dog hair.
- Rotting vegetables in the refrigerator drawer.
- Happy hours with hubby.
- Plant new bushes, dogs dig them up. Replant.
I am told, “You need to simplify.” But why?
I like it this way. I like my layers. I like my busy-ness. I like my life.
There will be a time for me to simplify. Now is not that time.
Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Boys, Celebrations, Childhood, Family, Life, Love, Mothering, Mothers and Sons | Posted on 22-02-2013
Tags: loose teeth, son
I just love my toothless boy.
As soon as my seven-year-old son’s teeth showed an inkling of being loose, he worked and worked them until they were out. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 teeth are now gone. The Tooth Fairy has been busy.
As a result, I slice his apples for him. Yogurt and pudding are also popular choices. But I think he’s pulling my leg when he claims cherry Pop-Tarts make his teeth feel better.
My son has been sporting a jack-o-lantern grin for months now. There are no signs of grown-up teeth. And with a smile and charisma like that? That’s just fine with me.
Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Happiness, Love, Me Time, Mom Time, Personal Growth, Self | Posted on 15-02-2013
I’m kinda sick of my negative body image issues.
“But, Pippi! You’ve had three children! Each baby stretched out your belly, like three feet!”
It seems that I am running high on negative body issues and low on self-confidence. It concerns me that my less-than-robust self-confidence will mess with my ability to be a strong role model for my children. How can they grow to be self-confident if I don’t exude self-confidence?
“But, Pippi! You’re always so positive and so happy and so loving! You are a great Mom! Your kids adore you! Your husband loves you! You are surrounded by family and friends who think you’re awesome! You have a great job! And, man, what curly hair!”
Truth. Reality. I am so blessed. What am I even complaining about?
“But, Pippi, happiness is about inner beauty and needs to come from within! And not something you seek outside yourself! You know this!”
I do know this. I am my own hurdle. This. Has. Got. To. Change. I need to change this.
I read an article that brought clarity to my jumbled thoughts. It’s about finding happiness within. Gilbert Ross, the author of the How to Find Happiness, is trying to encourage people to break the negative pattern “I will be happy if…” If I lose 20 lbs…If I get a raise…Whatever the if is, it’s always something. This leaves us feeling empty and sad because we are never gonna be happy until we surpass the next hurdle. And there are always more hurdles. (I know this. I ran track and hurdles back in high school.)
As a first step, I am connecting with these negative feelings and am working to transform them. It is high time that I make peace with myself.
After all, I’m clever. I have a winning smile and personality. Golly, people like me! I have so much to be positive about and thankful for in my life.
So that I can continue to be a glass half-full person, I need to also fill my glass with self-love and self-confidence. One drip at a time.
This is something we all deserve. Fill ‘er up.
Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Friends, Holidays, Love | Posted on 14-02-2013
Tags: friendship, Happy Valentine's Day, love
Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Celebrations, Holidays, Life Lessons, Love, Marriage, Mothering, Parenting | Posted on 18-11-2012
Tags: abundance, family, health, life, thankful, Thanksgiving, to be loved, to be needed
‘Tis the season to be thankful. Thankful for dirty dishes? Thankful for eye wrinkles?
Dude! It’s all in the way you look at things. I am thankful for:
- Dirty dishes. We always have plenty of food.
- Sand in my car. My car reliably transports us to the beach.
- Dog fur on my clothes. My puppy loves to cuddle.
- Expensive grocery store bills. My kids have good appetites.
- Long work hours. I have a good job.
- An errand to Home Depot. It’s a date with my husband.
- Being a chauffeur. My kids have interests.
- A noisy house. My family is thriving.
- Dirty soccer cleats. My kids are active.
- Gloomy, rainy days. The grass is always green.
- Piles of dirty laundry. I am needed.
- Stepping on Legos with bare feet. My kids are creative.
- My mortgage. My house is my home.
- My children yelling. They are normal.
- My slow-ass jogging skills. I am trying.
- Eye wrinkles. Lots of smiling and laughing going on.
- Exhaustion. My life is full.
Life. Health. Family. Love. Abundance. To be needed. I am thankful for it all.
Years ago when I was eleven, my mother and I traveled to Greece to have an adventure.
I remember the white washed buildings with the blue roofs, the donkeys pulling carts, the cobblestone hills.
One morning while my mother was still sleeping, I gathered all of my American Express Travelers Cheques totaling $200 and snuck out of the hotel. Remember those? “Accepted at thousands of locations worldwide.”
How long does it take an eleven-year-old to earn $200? Dude. This was months and months of hard-earned allowance, birthday money, and Christmas money. Probably Tooth Fairy money too.
I meandered through the winding streets until I came upon the jewelry store with the strand of turquoise beads. Real turquoise. Chunky. Gorgeous. The necklace that had caught my mother’s eye the day before. The necklace with the pricey price tag.
Turquoise is derived from the Greek word “Turkois” meaning “Turkish” because it was first brought from Turkey. Turquoise is formed over millions of years by a chemical reaction that occurs when water leaks through rocks which contain specific minerals such as copper and aluminum. The percentage of the minerals in the rock dictates the shade of the turquoise.
Let me tell ya, these beads were brilliant turquoise. Must’ve been a lot of minerals. This piece was a gem. (Har har.)
My heart was beating fast. My palms were sweaty. I carefully counted out the ten Travelers Cheques–my life savings. The transaction was complete. The storekeeper wrapped the necklace in brown paper and I was on my way. “You vill not be disappointed,” he promised.
I hurried back, so excited!
The necklace was a “just because” gift for my mother. A thank you present for taking me with her on this trip.
I presented it to her–I couldn’t wait. She loved it. Of course. “That’s the most thoughtful gift,” she said.
Months later, when we were back home in the States, the necklace met it’s fate and tumbled to the hardwood floor, shattering to pieces.
The crash exposed white beads. White?? Was this a rare turquoise find?
No. It was an eleven-year-old who was swindled out of her hard-earned $200, to purchase crap white beads painted turquoise.
I was duped.
But my mother laughed and put her arm around me and told me that it was the thought that counts.
Yeah, my thought was that I was a stupid idiot.
Note: This photo is “simulated,” just like the faux turquoise beads I purchased.
Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Celebrations, Childhood, Children, Daughters, Love | Posted on 15-10-2012
Tags: adolescence, birthday, childhood, daughter, tween
They say a tween is the age between middle childhood and adolescence, usually between eight and 12 years old. I have one of those. She turns 10 today.
She is full of life. She is radiant. She is blooming.
In her room, you’ll find her surrounded with 52 stuffed animals that smile down on her. Bunnies, a leopard, dogs, elephants, owls, an alligator, monkeys, bears, dragons, even a sloth. An “animals of the world” wall poster takes up half her room. Where do pygmy marmosets live? Ah, now I know.
A bookshelf with Dork Diaries, Judy Moody, Judy Bloom, A Secret Garden, and old favorites Pinkalicious, Fancy Nancy, The Giving Tree, Goodnight Moon, and Curious George. Dusty soccer trophies since she was four.
Posters with horses galloping in snow, in water. One white horse smiles with a pink rose in her mouth.
A red horse stable in the corner with Breyer horses of all sizes sits next to her cash register for playing store.
On her desk is a bin with 200 markers and thick drawing pads, Origami papers for new birds to form, and a sewing machine waiting for new creations. She has mastered purses and animal tails. Tails? To pin on her skirts, of course.
Her dresser spills over with earrings. Her ears were pierced on her ninth birthday. Cute penguins, hearts, butterfly earrings. Trendy dangly feather earrings.
Her iPod is docked by her bed. My alarm skills are no longer required. Adele songs fill her playlist. She knows all of the words.
Drawers are filled with cheetah-print leggings, polka-dot miniskirts, and t-shirts with puppies. She is a colorful being with her own sense of style.
She plays with her puppy every chance she gets. She shops for new earrings. She jumps rope at recess. She draws fanciful dragons. She wears adult-sized shoes; we are nearly the same size. She bakes cookies with me. She likes to cuddle up by her Dad to watch volleyball. She dresses up in capes, wings, and tails and flies through the house with her little brother. She watches The Simpsons with her big brother. She could easily stay up past midnight on weekends if we let her. She plays an aggressive game of soccer. She makes fairy houses out of twigs.
My girl-child-tween-tween is 10 today. This is just the beginning of her blooming.
I know a sweet family that traveled to Cancun, Mexico: a woman, her husband, and their two-year-old son. A perfect little trip to paradise where they encountered white sand, aqua water, and palapas (thatched umbrellas). Like a Corona commercial.
The family brought sand buckets, shovels, and plastic sharks to spend an afternoon under the palapa. Their son was busily enjoying an ice cream, as it quickly melted down his chin. The woman massaged her feet in the flour-like sand. Talking, smiling, laughing, relaxing. It was the perfect day.
The boy grew sleepy in the warm breeze and the couple made him a bed out of beach towels. Siesta time.
The aqua waters beckoned the woman. She looked at her sleeping toddler and made a bee-line for the waves. No problem, her husband would stay with the child while she played.
Ah. Warm water. She dunked her whole body in and jumped the waves. Like a child. Happy. Carefree.
Body surfing. It was blissful.
When she peeked at her husband and little boy, she realized she was further from the shore then she was comfortable with. So, she started to swim back in. Without warning, the waves increased their volume and force.
The magnet of a rip tide pulled her out.
She could no longer touch the bottom. The reassuring sandy bottom of the ocean floor.
Her head submerged, with the waves three feet over her head. The timing of her breathing was off. She inhaled salt water. Choking. Losing her breath. Sputtering. She wailed her arms frantically.
She was going under. Only 200 meters from the shore, she was drowning.
She could still see the palapa in the distance, but it was shrinking. She could barely make out the outline of her husband. Couldn’t he see her? She tried to signal him, but her head kept going under. He was watching their sleeping child.
Choking on salt water. Helpless. Trying to tread water, but powerless. She tried to yell for help, but her voice was a salt-filled whisper. She tried to swim, but she ran out of energy and the current was holding her back. Her worst fear: she was going to drown and never see her family again.
Then it happened. The parasailing crew spotted her and signaled the lifeguard. At that same moment, her husband looked up and saw her struggling. He sprinted–with sleeping toddler, rubber-like, in his arms–yelling frantically for help.
The lifeguard swam with intensity. The waves were still crashing over the helpless woman. He draped her arms around his shoulders and pulled her in, diagonally, to shore.
Her body was shaking. Her lungs were filled with salt water. She was bawling. But she was, oh, so grateful.
To the lifeguard, she was just another woman. But for the woman, he was an angel, who saved her paradise.
When I reflect on that near-drowning experience in Cancun more than a decade ago, I can still taste the salt water in my throat.
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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Communication, Love, Marriage | Posted on 02-10-2012
Tags: birthday, children, guitar, happy birthday, husband, Kindergarten, love, Maria, music, present, supportive, talent, The Sound of Music
It was a decade ago when my husband gifted me a guitar for my birthday. It was the sweetest birthday present ever. Sweet because he was supportive of my “musical dream.”
You see, I kinda wanted to be like Maria from The Sound of Music.
Dorky, right? Are you kidding? Maria was freaking awesome.
I wanted to learn to play Do Re Mi Fa and Old MacDonald Had a Farm for my young son. I was eager to strum along in his Kindergarten class down the line, to entertain the children with my forthcoming talents.
A glistening, wooden acoustic guitar smiled at me, beckoning. With new red picks, a tuner, a guitar case, and everything!
I tried to pluck. I tried to strum. I watched the DVD Playing Guitar for Dummies.
But I couldn’t do it.
I tried. For days. Weeks.
I just couldn’t get the hang of it.
Then, I got pregnant with my daughter. And I got busy with other things. Years passed. My guitar sat lonely in the corner of our living room, gathering dust.
Years later, people would visit and see the guitar and ask, “Cool. Do you play?” “Yeah, I play,” I would lie. Because saying “No, I never learned,” sounded so lame.
I later tried playing from time to time, but I didn’t have the patience (or the skill). I tried Guitar Hero. And I sucked at that too. Red. Green. Blue. Green. Red. Red. Yikes!
Now my daughter is nine and is learning to play the “fancy guitar in the corner of the living room.” We dusted it off. Bought her some new strings and neon picks. She has the patience. And she seems to have some talent.
I smile at her enthusiasm as she strums. And I smile that it was my husband who bought me the guitar in the first place.
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