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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Full of Pep

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Attitude, Confidence, Encouragement, Kindness, Life, Little Story, School, Teaching | Posted on 20-04-2016

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When I was in seventh grade, our teacher gave us a fun assignment. We were to write our names on a piece of paper then pass it around the classroom. Each student was to anonymously write something nice about each person: a trait, a compliment, what you like about that person. As the papers circulated, kindness filled the pages.

It was a great exercise to express the good in everyone and boost confidence. I still remember one phrase written about me:

Full of pep.

pep: noun energy and high spirits; liveliness.

I ran across this picture of me when I was in the seventh grade. Curly hair in braids, a big smile, heart-shaped sunglasses perched on my head. This was taken on our seventh grade camping trip in Yosemite. The same trip where I dared the boys to see who could stand in the freezing-cold river the longest. (Full of grit!)

The girl in the forefront is the one who wrote “full of pep.” (After we got our papers returned, she had leaned across her desk and whispered to me I wrote that. I still remember beaming back.)

Those three words written oh-so-long-ago had an impact on me and still make me smile. I will always remember my friend’s kindness and friendship…and…her accurate assessment. Wink!

Thirty four years later and still full of pep, I now have a daughter in the seventh grade. I showed her this picture and she was like, “Mom, are look the same!”

Some things never change.

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Love and Rocks

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Love, Mothers and Daughters | Posted on 13-02-2016

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I am loved.

Forget the heart boxes with chocolates by the pound. I have pounds and pounds of heart-shaped rocks that I have collected over the years.

My daughter finds them for me wherever she goes. These are my treasures.

Proof. Of. Love. All. Year. Long.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Teach a Girl to Bake Cookies and You Feed Her for a Lifetime

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Baking, Childrearing, Children, Cookies, Cooking, Kitchen, Life, Life Lessons, Mothers and Daughters, Parenting | Posted on 29-12-2015

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“Pippi makes the best cookies on Earth.” Everyone agreed. My soccer team agreed. My son agreed.

After years of baking and measuring and sampling and watching and learning, my daughter has learned the fine art of baking cookies.

Check out her gems!

The cookie-baking gene I acquired from my grandmothers has been passed down. This makes me happy.

"My Mom makes the best cookies on Earth."

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The Daredevil

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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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Jaw-Dropping

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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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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.

The Gift

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Love, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters | Posted on 28-05-2015

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Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved to swim.

One fine afternoon, she adjusted her goggles and dove deep into the ocean. She swam deeper and deeper and deeper, until she reached the bottom.

When she swam back to the surface, she opened her fist to reveal a gift. A heart-shaped rock. Which she proudly and lovingly presented to her mother.

She presented me with a heart rock.

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The Spider Rescuer

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Children, Nature | Posted on 16-04-2015

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If it crawls on the walls or ceilings, hides in the corner, or has made a web at the windowsill, she rescues it.

If it has thick black legs, or long thin legs, or six or eight legs, she rescues it.

If it has wings, a thorax, antennae, or exoskeleton, she rescues it.

Whatever the type of insect or spider, upon discovering it in the house, she promptly gets a glass and gently scoops it up. She places a piece of paper at the top, and scurries outside to release the beast in the wild. Where it was meant to be.

The other day, when she was wiping down the kitchen counter with a washcloth, she accidentally killed a few ants. By her reaction, you would have thought our dog died.

That’s our girl! The compassionate, spider rescuer. (She takes after her father.) 🙂

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Take a Shot

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Mothers and Daughters, Parenting | Posted on 06-11-2014

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What do soccer and a Christmas cactus have to do about life?

I coached my daughter’s soccer team when she was four years old. I knew a thing or two about soccer. We passed, we dribbled, we took shots, we scored goals.

One of the parents gifted me a flowering plant, a Christmas cactus, as a thank you present. It was in full bloom.

The next year, my daughter joined another soccer team. Her soccer skills bloomed. And so did my plant. Every year in late October, my plant blooms magical fuchsia flowers and brightens the window sill with its beauty.

The plant is now in its eighth year of blooming. My daughter is in her twelfth year of blooming.

Though I stopped coaching her on the soccer field, I still coach off the field. I know a thing or two about life:

  • If you don’t take a shot, you will never score.
  • Try your hardest.
  • Take chances.
  • Teamwork is important.
  • Take time to celebrate.

Do all of of the above or you may stop blooming.

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