Rob Peter to Pay Paul

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Humor, Mother, Mothering, Parenting | Posted on 15-01-2014

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Or wait.

Is it rob Paul to pay Peter?

Or is it rob Peter and Mike to pay Paul.

These past few days have been Highway Robbery. And I’m the robber.

I have three children, who always usually sometimes want something at the same time. And it usually involves me. Help with homework. A ride somewhere. Help finding something. (Such as jeans. I have no idea where my daughter’s three pairs of jeans walked off to.)

One day, my daughter needed a lot of my hands-on time with a big homework project. It was to build a game board to help second graders practice their math skills. Brilliant idea! But a lot of work for a fifth grader and her mom who had (ssshhhh) the stomach flu. (People always freak out when you have that.) Well whaddya know, it was two hours later of homework. And in the meantime, my eight-year-old son was trying to pour over his math homework and needed my help. He totally needed that game board to practice! I robbed him of homework help time in order to help my daughter. He kinda threw a fit about it. But not too much because: Mindcraft.

Another day, it was time to help my young son with his math homework. However, I had to finish some work projects and was on deadline so I couldn’t quite help him yet. And I kinda threw a fit about it. And then he sorta sulked because really, it’s no fun when your mother yells at you, is it?

Regrouping. Multiplication. Division. I didn’t have time for math fact families. But why did I have to be such a meanie?

Where was my daughter? Whew. She was at soccer. My son had my undivided attention. Until.

When out on the lawn into the front door there arose entered such a clatter. 

I sprang from my bed table to see what was the matter.

It was my oldest son who came bustling in, announcing that he had a shit load of school work and would be up super late to memorize a poem, finish a mega Powerpoint presentation on why drugs are bad, and tackle math. No math fact families for him. His was absolute value and I have no idea what that means.

The end of the semester is around the corner and my son is a responsible lad. I told him I could help him later. But apparently, he kinda needed help right then.

Ugh!

It was just too much all at once. Not really a shit-hitting-the-fan moment, but more of a Calgon-take-me-away moment. Tick tock. I could feel the pressure of my work deadline. I had promised the project to my boss by 5:00 p.m. and it was minutes away.

It all ended well (enough). My deadline was met. My young son knows a little more of his multiplication facts. And after my two youngest children went to bed, I spent two hours with my oldest son to proofread his presentation and to listen as he recited Alone by Edgar Allan Poe. That’s a hard poem!

It was after midnight before we went to bed. Despite the robberies that went on (and some Mom guilt):

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Time to have fun!

A post shared by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Where’s Paradise?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Connections, Family, Memories | Posted on 23-01-2013

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Take me home to the paradise city, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty…

And so go the lyrics of the famous Guns N’ Roses song. Which, interestingly, was playing on the radio as I was driving my kids up to the mountain for a day of snow tubing.

My seven-year-old son asks me, “Mom, where IS Paradise City?”

Brace yourself. This gets kinda sappy.

I said, “Well, I think Paradise City is where you think it is. You kinda make your own paradise, don’t you think?”

It was a Saturday; a day off. I was spending the day with my kids. We looked around: It was a sunshiny, blue-sky, crisp day. Glistening white snow banks on either side of us. The fir trees were laden with snow. We had full bellies from our stop at Subway. A day of snow tubing ahead of us. The radio blasting. We were singing along.

Yep. We were IN Paradise City.

You gotta make your own paradise, eh?

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Oh and here I am tubing. Duh! The #PeskyPippiTubingCam. 🙂

Parents Don’t Understand?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Aging, Memories, Parenting, Song, Teenager | Posted on 27-12-2012

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It seems like yesterday that I was listening to DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s Parents Just Don’t Understand.

I just googled the song to reminisce. Dude! That song was released in 1988 when I was a teenager and could relate.

Fast-forward 25 years.

Now I can relate to the parents in The Parent Rap. Yikes.

Funny how two and a half decades can transform a gal.

Got a Wicker Picnic Basket?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Family, Fun, Life Lessons, Memories, Nature, Parenting, Summer, Uncategorized | Posted on 28-06-2012

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You know those fancy wicker picnic baskets? The kind that are lined with red-and-white checkerboard fabric? The basket with the miniature plates and cups and silverware snuggled inside?

Yeah. I don’t have one of those.

Every time I see one at the store, I think I want one. Ah, the picnic. Perfected.

Well, let me tell you, the perfect wicker picnic basket is not needed for a perfect picnic. Neither are the perfect “picnic fixings.” In fact, I used to spend a lot of time making the sandwiches, chopping up a fruit salad, packing homemade cookies, adding carrots and dip and extra snacks. Then we would arrive at our destination with a frazzled (slightly resentful) mother; smashed, soggy sandwiches; limp carrots; and–oops–watermelon juice oozing all over our Igloo cooler.

Our new-and-improved family picnics are more like this.

  1. Stop by Subway.
  2. Pick up sandwiches, chips, drinks.
  3. Simple. Done.

Our family picnics are not drawn-out, check-off-your-grocery-list-kind of picnics. They are pick-up picnics. As in let’s-go-on-a-hike-around-the-lake-and-grab-some-food-while-we’re-out kind of picnics.

What’s important is who you’re with. Not what you’re eating. And it’s not about the “perfect presentation.”

My buddy @NoRegretsParent reinforces this nicely: “It’s not where you go but who you’re with and what you do there.”

With Subway sandwiches in-hand, we sit on the grass. Or the boulders. Or a park bench. We talk. Chomp chomp. We drink. Gulp gulp. We laugh. Chomp chomp. We slurp. We throw away. And head on our hike.

And you know what? No heavy-ass wicker contraption to lug around.

 

 

You Know You’re Too Busy When…

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Family, Kids, Life Lessons, Memories, Mothering, Parenting | Posted on 15-06-2012

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You know you’re too busy when…your child doesn’t have time to poop because you are rushing from activity to activity.

That’s when you know that you have too much going on. And that’s when you know you have turned into PSYCHO MOM.

School. Playdates. Doctor appointments. Extra curricular activities. Sports. Lessons.

When is enough enough?

It is enough when your child gets home from school, goes upstairs to poop, but you stop him mid-poop and yell, “HURRY UP! GET YOUR PIANO BOOKS! WE’RE GONNA BE LATE FOR YOUR PIANO LESSON!”

Do we want to speed through childhood and life? So much that we can’t even go to the bathroom?

This week was my breaking point. It is now time to reassess. And maybe not sign up for that extra summer camp.

Am I turning into the type of mother who over schedules her children? One of those psycho Moms that I find annoying? The kind whose children are so busy, they don’t have any down time to simply lie in the shade to discover that grass blades indeed make great whistles?

Summer is upon us. We need to drop something. Lower expectations. Something.

I used to believe in only one activity per child at a time. Then one activity turned into two. But does swim lessons count as an activity or is it a necessity? I care and want my children to be well-rounded and interesting and active. But I also want them to be happy. Are they happy when they are rushing from activity to activity? Their distressed faces tell me otherwise.

With three kids, there’s soccer, piano lessons, gymnastics, art class, horseback riding, football. Three kids multiplied by x number of activities. Now we’ve got an algebra problem. And I suck at math.

As a child, sure I had lessons–tennis, ballet, gymnastics, swimming, horseback riding, even drama and cooking class–but I also remember having lots of free time. Idle time. Play time.

Run-through-the-streets-to-chase-after-the-ice-cream-truck time. Time to loll with my friends in the shade and pick blades of grass to turn them into whistles.

Fast forward a few decades and now I’m yelling at my child to hurry up while he’s pooping? Yikes.

I don’t want to be THAT kind of Mom. I want my children to be happy. And have plenty of time for pooping and whistling.

Hanging out with the cool peeps at Yeah Write. Check out other cool bloggers here:

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Take Care of the Minutes

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Childrearing, Cleaning, Family, Housecleaning, Humor, Ideas, Life Lessons, Manners, Mom Time, Mother, Parenting, Personal Care, Time | Posted on 28-04-2012

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My grandmother had a needlepoint hanging in her living room that was stitched, “Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.” As a kid, I didn’t know what the hell that meant. Now I do.

It’s about being in the present. And making your time count.

With busy, overscheduled schedules, you’ve heard the phrase “it only takes two minutes.” And “there aren’t enough minutes in the day.” This refers to things such as:

  • flossing
  • hugging your children
  • doing stomach crunches
  • filling up your aluminum water bottle
  • sitting with your children and asking about their day
  • checking in with your family on Facebook
  • reading a book to your child
  • calling to schedule your mammogram
  • tweezing your eyebrows
  • making a sandwich for your child’s lunch
  • doing 50 push ups
  • writing an email to your mother
  • folding half a load of laundry
  • putting on sunscreen
  • connecting with 10 Tweeps
  • scrubbing out the toilet
  • feeding the goldfish
  • shaving yur legs
  • petting the dog
  • writing a thank you note to your kids’ teacher
  • putting on mascara and lipstick
  • making a big batch of tuna for sandwiches the next day
  • sweeping the kitchen floor
  • setting the family dinner table
  • running a vacuum across the living room
  • filling up the bird feeder
  • thawing the frozen chicken for dinner
  • emailing the latest kid’s photo to their grandparents
  • writing a nice comment on a blog post
  • taking inventory of all the things you are thankful for
  • IMing your husband some sweet words
  • watering the plants above your kitchen sink
  • laying out coats, backpacks, and shoes the night before
  • making a protein smoothie
  • sitting quietly and just breathing

That’s all fine and good. But when you add two minutes here and two minutes there, that’s a lot of minutes. No wonder we often feel overwhelmed.

The point is, you can’t DO everything. You need to pick and choose. Maybe, today is the day you pick and choose a few of the “want tos” rather than the “have tos.” Take some time for yourself. Take some time for your loved ones. Isn’t that more important than cleaning the stupid floor?

And maybe, you’ll find that that time is time well spent.

Idle Time

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Children, Encouragement, Family, Health, Ideas, Life Lessons, Love, Mom Time, Parenting, Personal Care, Reading, Sleep, Women | Posted on 23-02-2012

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While sitting on my six-hour flight from New York back home, I am reminded that I don’t have much idle time in my busy life. Do you?

You know. The time you take to read, or play Tap the Frog on your iPhone, or sit and stare out the window and think, or take a nap. And maybe while napping, you drool a teensy bit.

On an airplane, you’re forced to relax and just be.

The flight attendant recommends that adults first use oxygen on themselves THEN help their children. Isn’t that a metaphor for a busy family?

We parents need to take time for ourselves. Whether it’s reading or staring out the window or napping-and-drooling.

Take the time. Aren’t you worth some breaths?

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“I ‘Pretend Poop’ 4X a Day…Just to Sit Down”

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Children, Encouragement, Mom Time, Mothering | Posted on 15-12-2011

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When I saw this Tweet from my new friend @mamaPSU, I laughed. Then I thought about it.

Mothers of small children don’t have many breaks. With a newborn, it’s difficult to find time to take a shower or find time to work out. (When both are truly needed for self and sanity.)

I remember bringing my infant into the bathroom while I showered. Even if he cried, I would get my hair washed. Forget shaving the legs. Concentrate on clean hair.

I remember trying to squeeze in half an hour on the stationary bicycle. Now if THAT isn’t a crappy enough workout as it is. Let alone, trying to breastfeed WHILE bicycling. Yeah, I’m a known multitasker. 🙂

I also remember taking my infant into a public restroom. What do you do with your infant when you need to go to the bathroom or wash your hands and you’ve left the car carrier and stroller in the car? Do you hand him to a stranger to hold? Do you balance him by the sink and nudge him there with your elbow while you wash one hand at a time?

Just the other day, I went to lunch with my good friend and three of her kids; the youngest is a four-month-old baby. She took the two other children to the bathroom and left me holding baby boy. Since my kids are now 6, 9, and 12, I had sorta forgotten that you need to hold infants ALL THE TIME. And you learn to manage. Eating with one hand. Washing one hand at a time. And so on.

And so, when I read the locking-yourself-in-the-bathroom just to find a few minutes of quiet, and to escape. I thought:

This is something only a mother admits to and something only other mothers relate to.

May we all be Queens of Our “Thrones” for a few minutes for some much-deserved rest.

What Time is It?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Beauty, Fashion, Fun | Posted on 20-11-2011

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So I bought this beauty of a watch on eBay. Genuine diamonds. Geniune smiley face. Cheerful color. Quiet ticking. A perfect timepiece for Pippi.

And what a deal: I bought it for $15.

Then, after a week, it stopped working.

So, there ya go. I now own a bracelet. That perennially says 7:35.

 

“Sorry, I’ve Been Soooo Busy” is Not a Good Excuse

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Friends, Girlfriends, Relationships | Posted on 08-11-2011

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Are you guilty of uttering, “Sorry, I’ve been soooo busy” as your excuse for not calling or making a plan with a friend or getting the kids together for a play date? And then you ramble on about your to do list and all the crap you have had to do?

Not guilty of that? Well, goody for you.

Most of us are soooo busy. And many of us have uttered those words. Lame excuse. (Note: Friends who say they are too busy might really be just-not-that-into-you.)

I think it would be better to say, “Hey there! It’s great to hear your voice. I’ve missed you.” And leave it at that. No excuses. No ramblings. No lists.

But “busy” is just life in the fast lane for Mothers who juggle. Or Mothers who jiggle. Or Mothers who juggle and jiggle. 🙂

It’s about prioritizing what’s important in your day. We each have 1,440 minutes in a day. Make every minute count. Usually a good portion is used working or child rearing–or trying to do both. Then you squeeze in food shopping, food preparation, and cooking. For me that only takes five minutes because we like grilled cheese sandwiches around here–or “cheese on toast,” I’m told they are called outside of the United States.

Then, there’s shuttling kids to their activities. Shuttling yourself to your activities and your commitments. Don’t forget exercising. And personal hygiene and grooming (see related post on tweezing).

Oh, and housework. But, that generally drops down lower on my priority list.

So why are the all-important connections–we women need to make–also dropping down lower on the priority list? Down low, along with the scrubbing of toilets.

Pee in the toilets happen. Every day. But don’t piss away friendships. Because, without proper tending, friendships just might get flushed down the toilet.