Highway Robbery


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Children, Fun, Memories, Mothering, Mothers and Sons | Posted on 12-10-2016

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On a whim, my son and I robbed a bank.

I donned my saloon-dancer dress, put on my feather boa, and grabbed my gun. My son put on his best pinstripe suit, his newsboy cap, and grabbed his gun. His Tommy gun.

We grabbed bagfuls of cash and sped away.

To think I almost passed on doing an “old time photo.” With a price of $19.95, I was like, no way, that’s highway robbery!

It took a little convincing from Clyde.

I will never forget that highway robbery…the fun of getting into character, selecting the perfect gun, and striking a pose. It was the perfect mother-son adventure. And we each have a photo in our room to remember that historic moment.

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Emotions, Encouragement, Milestones, Mother, Motherhood, Mothering, Parenting, School | Posted on 07-09-2016

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You know Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web? And how he protects Charlotte’s egg sac for months? The baby spiders finally hatch and he’s delighted! But then he’s suddenly devastated because they immediately fly away?

That’s exactly how I felt when my three kids went back to school this week. After such a fun summer being together and adventuring, then poof, they were gone.

Wilbur tearfully calls goodbye to each of them and is fraught with despair. That was me, but trying to hold back the tears, and be encouraging. You will do great!

According to Scientific American, Charlotte’s hatchlings were “ballooning,” the method that baby spiders use to disperse themselves through nature. In fact, most spiderlings, after emerging from the egg sac, spin a dragline and balloon away. I read that baby spiderlings have no wings, but can fly as high as the highest-flying insects and birds, depending on the air current and weather and such. I also learned that baby spiders are called spiderlings. 🙂

Charlotte’s spiderlings are full of hope and are excited for what’s ahead. They are ready to launch, days after emerging from the egg sac.

My three children have been nurtured a little longer than the spiderlings (ha!) and are each in different launch phases. My oldest son is now a senior in high school. My daughter is in the eighth grade. My youngest son just started sixth grade. We are done with elementary school with one and college is on the horizon for another…the other is in between. Each child is full of hope and excitement (and some angst) for what’s ahead. I am not worried about them adjusting and learning and experiencing. No doubt, it’s an exciting time! They are up for the challenges of academics and social–and everything in between. I feel confident that they are confident and prepared to launch. It’s just that their leaving makes me a little sad.

Janet Lehman, an author with Empowering Parents, emphasizes: “As parents, we really have to accept that our kids are growing into separate individuals. That’s a good thing, because that’s how they learn to function in the world.”

We want our baby spiders to “balloon,” don’t we? As parents, we want to instill in them love and support and encouragement that reinforce that they have the abilities and confidence to function, launch, and excel.

This is nature. Spiderlings venture off on their own. Each has its own path. So do humanlings. And they usually “balloon” on the first day of school. With backpacks.

Transitions are hard for me. One of the hardest is going from summer to fall. Summer, with its free-flowing fun and so much time with my children. Then, bam. Fall, with its schedules and rigidity and less time with my children. I can’t help it: I love to be with my children. Plus, who doesn’t like to eat ice cream and walk along the river and adventure in the city and play with Otis in the backyard shade?

My youngest saw my tears and said, “Mom, don’t cry. It’s not like I’m going to boarding school. I’ll be home later today!” He was right.

Chin up! As Charlotte would say.

Go, spiderlings, go! Fly free! (And I’ll see you at 3:00 p.m.!)

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The Best in the World


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Children, Contest, Encouragement, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and Sons, Sports | Posted on 19-08-2016

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I have been actively watching the Olympics each night. Actively, I say, because I yell on the sidelines sofalines. I cheer and yell loudly. My enthusiasm makes the swimmers stroke longer and the sprinters run faster.


They can. They do. And they win.

My eleven-year-old had a track meet this spring, where all fifth graders from all five elementary schools in our town gathered and competed. It’s a ritual that’s been going on for decades. They perform all of the traditional track and field events. Except pole vaulting. Oh, and the discus is a frisbee. But whatever.

But the sprints? Sheer speed. It’s a nail-biter to see who the fastest fifth grader is in town.

My son competed in the 75-meter sprint. The gun went off and he flew. I couldn’t contain my cheering: GO! YOU’VE GOT THIS!

He went. And he got it. A blue ribbon. And a huge smile.

He is the best in the my world.

When it comes to sports, do we love our children more when they win? Or do we love that our children are healthy? Or do we love that our children are becoming independent and confident?

Healthy. Independent. Confident. As a mother, I want my children to be winners on the inside. But a blue ribbon from time to time doesn’t hurt. 🙂

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Full of Pep


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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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Children, Clothes, Connections, Humor, Mother | Posted on 02-08-2014

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I’ll be brief.

So, I was in the underwear aisle at, um, Walmart. With so many choices of Hanes, this purchase was more daunting than I thought. Bikini, hipster, hi-cut, brief. And bigger than brief.

I’m usually in favor of the bikini cut. You know, enough coverage but with some zing.

The woman next to me started chatting. Because. I always seem to strike up conversations with strangers. Briefs were her panties of choice. Because they provide so much coverage.

After having children, I need to cover up all of that, she said. And she motioned around her belly and such.

Hmmmm. Something to ponder.

We instantly bonded. Motherhood. Sisterhood. It was like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties that forced me to grab the package of briefs. White, of course. No patterns anywhere.

When I got home, I excitedly tore open the package and tried on a pair.

Um. The waistband went up to my neck. Yeah, no.

Add some string and I’ve got a kite. Actually, ten kites. For $14.97. What a bargain!

I'll be brief…

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The Pair of Uggs


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Fashion, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Shopping | Posted on 31-05-2014

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A few years ago, I bought my daughter a pair of Ugg boots on a whim. Ugh. Are they expensive.

My daughter was only nine years old at the time.

Will you take good care of these boots? Yes!

Do you promise not to jump through puddles in them? Yes!

She seemed trustworthy. I dropped $120 on them and off we went. My daughter wearing her new suede boots immediately, with her old, battered, Mary Janes in the shoe box. Old and battered should have clued me in to the wear and tear a child makes on shoes. But, nooo!

The very first time she wore those boots to school, she sloshed in a puddle and muddled through the mud. What did I expect? She’s nine.

Yep, they were ruined, those boots. Ruined in a day.

So, I did like all smart shoppers do. With receipt in hand, I returned those scuffed, battered, muddied Ugg boots to where else? Nordstrom.

“Yeah, they didn’t quite work out for us,” I smiled with my perfect game face.

I got my money back. And we promptly purchased a pair of rubber boots at Target for $19.99. With cherries on them. Perfect for a girl to slosh and muddle in. And to be nine.

Just hanging around.

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Love and Chocolate (Lovin’ Chocolate)


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Children, Holidays, Love, Memories | Posted on 14-02-2014

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Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.

Except when it comes to Valentine’s Day. As a child, I always knew what I was gonna get. A box of chocolates. And not just your everyday drugstore box of chocolates. My mother always gifted me a one-pound box of See’s chocolates. Nuts and chews, of course. My favorite.

This was back when you couldn’t order See’s online. Yeah, because there was no “online.” You had to go to the special See’s store where the workers wore black and white and often had blue hair. Not because they were emo, but because they were old. It smelled heavenly in there. And you’d wait in a long line and pay with cash or check. Because they didn’t accept credit cards. And they would give you a sample chocolate. Usually a piece of chocolate with gaggy, pink filling.

But the nuts and chews–especially the chews–were the best!

I can just taste the gooey caramel. The crunchy almonds. Milk chocolate that melts in your mouth. I can hear the crinkly papers.

My very own box. Golly, my mother sure loved me! If I wanted to take to take just one bite out of a chocolate and put it back, I could. If I wanted to eat three, then four, then five in a row, I could. And did.

And if I wanted to eat the whole box of chocolates in one day? You betcha!

This picture is me with my awesome mother, when I was eleven years old and had the metabolism of a gazelle. 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! May you eat all the chocolate you want.

That's me with my mother. #love

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How You Doin’, Sexy Mama?


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Children, Love, Parenting, Relationships, Thanksgiving | Posted on 25-11-2013

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I am loved. My family loves me.

My children tell me daily. I never get tired of it!

Regardless, I have “love notes” my youngest son wrote me a few years back pinned to my bulletin board. And Instagrammed. And Facebooked.

To preserve. To remind. And to make me smile.


“I love you so so much”

Says "give flawers to Mom" Good advice!

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“Give flowers to Mom”

Yes! That!

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“How you doing sexy Moma”

Love it!

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“You are the best Mom ever”

What is Squishy and Prickly…and Smells Like Old Coconuts?


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Humor, Mother, Mothering | Posted on 31-07-2013

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According to my children, the answer is me.

Yeah, I get all sorts of compliments and, uh, comments around here.

I get a poke in the butt cheek while I’m doing dishes, “Mom, your butt is squishy.” Laughter. And then a hug. “But I love you.”

I get a pat on the leg. “Mom your legs are prickly.” Ooops, I forgot to shave today. “But I still love you,” I am reassured.

Cuddle time while reading. Then sniff sniff. “Mom, your hair smells like old coconuts.” Ah, must be the tropical shampoo I used.

Dumb jokes. Har har. Crazy dancing in the kitchen. On purpose. Silly talk in public, without worrying who is going to hear. That’s me. “Mom, you’re such a dork,” said with a chuckle.

Just imagine how my personal ad would read:

Silly dork who lives life to its fullest

Has a squishy butt, often seen with prickly legs, dancing in the kitchen;

Hair smells like old coconuts;

Gives lots of hugs, smiles too big, and answers to Mom


Shopping for Boots with Bigfoot


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Children, Fashion, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Parenting, Shopping | Posted on 29-01-2013

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It seems like it was just two months ago when I bought my 10-year-old daughter new shoes. Three new pairs in fact.

Say…it WAS just two months ago. And now she has outgrown them. “Can’t you just wear your basketball shoes to school?”

Apparently not.

My “lady girl” as I call her–is sized as a lady in clothes and shoes but is still the age of a girl–she’s tricky to shop for. She’s not ready for low-plunging necklines and low-waisted jeans. And oh the boots in her size. Thigh-high. High-heeled.

Off to the lady boot store we went. Let me tell you, when you outgrow your boots and it’s the end of January, it’s slim pickings…for an age-appropriate boot. She found the perfect pair. For a hooker.

We finally found a pair we both agreed on. No-heel, black suede with fringe…in her size!

She’s only 10 but her feet happen to be ginormous. Big feet on a woman = big brains. This I know. After all, my girl takes after her Mama. 🙂