Thursday, July 17, 2014


Oh toddlerhood, with the giggles, the babbles, the crazy logic, and the absolute certainty that with the lines of communication you can begin to educate your parents on fundamental life theories. And so it is with Pippa. Recently she has stopped listening to that old lady who is always giving commands, and has decided to fast-line me to the nursing home. She tells me when to talk, when not to talk, what to wear, what to eat, etc. It would be annoying if not for the hilarious combination of words she finds. Below are just a couple of the most recent Pippaisms we've been treated to.

This is Pippa shooting her bow and arrow as assisted by Daddy.

And have I mentioned the Disney princess underwear, phone and jump rope? We use the phone to call our BFFs Belle, Ariel, and Tangled to set up jumping dates in the garden. Then she noticed this image on her playlist.

Now she asks to hear "moozak, like Bow and Ariel kind."

And we still do potty treats. All the time. Why? Because I don't enjoy hosing down the car seat every day. The sun doesn't shine bright enough to make that possible here. So when Pippa asked for Captain Crunch cereal as a potty treat I naively said yes. I know she's not stoked over cereal and only recently began eating it. She has requested that I only pour the berries out of the box and not the cereal noodles. She just can't stand the sight of the cereal noodles and when I refused to segregate the noodles from the berries, she defiantly sat down and carefully plucked each berry out with her spoon. The berry pile on the table may have left a stain against the white paint.

She has also taken to asking that Daddy shoot anything she deems "kind a scare-wee." Tigers, snakes, thunder, mosquitos, he can hit any target she names.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


The dreaded internship started two weeks ago. It altered not only my behavior, but that of my offspring, and in ways that I am not sure are...desirable.  The time and effort required to maintain life right now means all the humor and patience I once had has disappeared. In a flash of temper I stated to my loved ones that they "WERE DRIVING ME NUTS!"

I'd like to think I said it once (really I think that's factual), but it may be those words flow freely from my lips these days. Whatever the frequency that the phrase actually occurred is not important...Fact is, the parrot of the family finds that phrase amusing and has been uttering it herself--specifically when her mother drives on winding roads.

I first heard Pippa exclaim, "Mommy, YOU'RE DRIVING ME NUTS!" while we sped along dodging squirrels. Giant squirrels with large nuts clutched in their grimy paws. I jerked the wheel in surprise as I looked in the rearview mirror at Pippa and then, thunk. 

We drove that squirrel nuts too.

Easter Revival

Hello family time! We spent Easter weekend with some of our favorite Greeks and it was fantastic!

The meeting of the P's...actually they've met before, but Pippa found a kindred spirit in Penelope. That or Penelope was the most enchanting, life-sized doll Pippa ever met. Nelly spent many an hour doing the bidding of a two-year old and for that we offer to adopt her every summer.

Bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles. The only thing that competed with the best cousin ever, was the endless bottles of bubbles that Pippa could find. She just had to step out one pesky sliding door and bubble freedom ensued.

Here the hunters sit enthralled in the red stag roar video.

Ya yai and Pippa on their nature stroll. I think Pippa thought she was being sweet to help Ya yai down these tricky gravel stairs.

Snails! We puttered along poking at every snail, rock, and stick. Aunt Kimmy and Ya yai sweetly identified each one, multiple times.

We loved our mini-reunion and hope for another in the near future!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I have officially entered the parenting phase where your "child's" behavior causes your cheeks to flame red in public. I mean, sure, I've been the parent pushing the out of control toddler in the shopping cart. I've had green goo in my hair, on my bum, and strategically placed on my shirt. My career choice prepared me for that much. In fact if she tries a full-scale meltdown I'll be able to turn it into a teaching moment for bystanders (I should probably get business cards).

So the embarrassment comes from potty training. Specifically potty-training at a restaurant on girl's night out. The GNO where you are the one mom who brings her child. And that child pees, multiple times. On you. It's a good thing she's cute and that she has a cute bum.

Because while I had tucked an extra set of clothing in my purse, (honestly I could not take a diaper bag to girls night) I did not pack clothes for myself. There were two options to my freshly wet outfit. We could freeze in wet clothes on the drive home. Or we could take the opportunity of the moments we had between ordering and the presentation of the food to wash and dry our clothes in the bathroom. I think you can guess what I chose.

Pippa's naked bum darting about the restroom seemed so natural that soon I had also stripped down. Amazingly enough, I was shocked that some stranger would enter to see this scene. The humiliation isn't so much about our nudity as it is that I have apparently lost all sense of decency.

It may be time for an intervention.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My La-la-la Ucky Girl

Pippa Bean is one la-ucky girl. Unfortunately she did not know this. She did know what ucky meant as I am constantly telling her I have to get the uckies out of her nose and that she can't play with her dirty diapers or eat something from the trash because it is UCKY!
So there stood Dad telling Pippa how lucky she was to have a mommy who insanely sewed late into the night to create the Tinkerbell birthday costume. You know, the one she desperately wanted but will not wear. Anyway, Pippa scrunched up her face at this lecture, which launched Dad into yet another lecture on how she should appreciate her mother more. By now, Pippa's lip quivered and she yelled out, "Imma no UCKY. Imma GIRL!"
Oh English how you fail us at reasoning with a two-year-old. I tried to explain luck (harder than you think) and finally just started singing la-la-la lucky. Since there was song, and a little dance, plus smiles, Pippa decided La-la-la Ucky is good. But she's quick to remind you that she is, "not ucky everywhere."
That is just a taste of the kick-off to her birthday month. On the actual day I snuck into her room at 1a.m. to hang twinkle stars from her ceiling. Because all toddlers sleep through bumps in the night. They never wake up to catch you twinkle-handed and with wide eyes and say, "Ohhhh wow Mommy! Look! Stars!" I scooped her up, shushed her and told her it was paybacks for waking me up two years earlier with intense labor pains. I am that mom.

We had the best morning swimming with friends. Now, I'll skip through the family of three party where the chocolate-chock-full-of-love cupcakes I baked gave her hives. Whoops! Instead we'll focus on the Children's Museum. She sang, she painted, she followed every pretty girl in sight. We had a wonderful time and she's asked to go back every day. Multiple times. Doesn't even matter that we do many of the same activities at home (on a lesser scale). And when I tragically explain that the Museum is too far away she asks for the next best thing, the library.
Pippa's dance moves on the big screen.

At two years of age Pippa:
Chatters constantly.
Gives kiss attacks that resemble a shark chomping at your arm, or neck, or thigh, or nose.
Loves fruits and raw veggies and pizza.
Looks up-downstairs for Daddy Boy anytime she wakes up.
Wants to be a big helper for mommy.
Green is her favorite color. Red is daddy's and mine is purple. We do not vary.
Is incredibly particular about her clothing.
Supervises the catching of her pet lady bugs like it is her job.
Acts like Slimey (Oscar the Grouch's pet worm).
Loves to eat Peacock Toast (french toast).

Happiest year Miss Pippa Girl!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Family Snowles

Our Valentine /Presidents' Day adventures captured on film.

Rough life on the road, answering so many Valentine prayers.
Slide up, slide down

When Dad wasn't immediately available we made a substitute...

And then another friend.

Wouldn't it be nice.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Blue Face FaceTime Blues

We looove to facetime with Grandma. Unfortunately, if we can see Grandma then Pippa believes we should be able to touch Grandma. When I tell her we can't touch Grandma on the iPad, then Pippa believes we should drive to Grama's hoooouse. When I tell Pippa that Grandma's house is too far away, she pouts and starts to demand we go to Grama'a hoooouse now!

I think she finally knows we won't drive her to Grandma's house. Clever girl that she is, she decided today that she could travel through the iPad. While talking to her cousins, who happened to be at Grandma's house, Pippa asked to go over to Grama's hooouse once more. When I starting shaking my head she turned and tried to back into the iPad with her shoulder. I asked what she was doing and she stated, "I'ma goin to Gramma's hooouse!"

Forging Phobias

Hello humiliation, it's been a week since we've last met.

Sometimes your daughter has an obsession. And you feed that obsession until you can no longer blow up balloons, or you lose the Super Bowl. Then you chide yourself and think that a Valentine Balloon will be the perfect solution. It pre-inflated, helium filled, and features cute animals. And your daughter giggles with delight holding the string shouting, "I got it! Pippa did it! oohhhhh!"

Never you mind that you just watched the Curious George movie and George was carried away by a balloon. Or that your daughter's favorite book tells the woeful tale of a baby that is wafted away by a bubble and plunges through the air (he lands on a patchwork quilt and giggles-good ending).

No, when you leave the store in the bitter cold and wind, you'll say, "Do you have a hold of that, because it might not end well for us" Then it's gone. The string will snap in that frosty air. Your daughter will exclaim, "Oh goodness! Oh gosh!" Your husband will run back inside at the sight of her crumbled face. While he's gone you lose your mind and remind your daughter that it's just like Curious George and the balloon flew away. She'll repeat this. Again and again and again. Then daddy appears and tells her he found a better balloon.

She'll reach for it timidly. You'll pull out of the parking lot and terror sets in. Soon your daughter is crying and tearfully asking for you to hold the balloon. Not an easy task with a stick-shift, but sure. Then once you have it, she shrieks, "No mama, no!" So you give it back and she cries harder. Your husband will look at you dumbfounded and ask what happened in the time that he was gone. You tell him that you explained the balloon flew away, like in Curious George. He'll stare at you like your crazy (rightfully so) and say, "Great so now she thinks that balloon is going to fly away with her...or you."

Yes, yes she does. The balloon is now in our house and she stares at it and cries. She doesn't want to hold it, she doesn't want to be near it. She's pretty sure our house is going to be uprooted (like the movie UP) and we will all fly away, out of reach. This day may be a parenting fail. Cheer up, the balloon will be here tomorrow.

Keeping the Peace

 Leading up to the Super Bowl...when I still had hope and spent plenty of time trash talking Skip...I also committed to converting Pippa to the Broncos cheering section. I failed to realize that the two times she'd watched five minutes of football the Seahawks had won her love. Every time I instructed her to say, "Go Broncos!" she'd pump her fist and yell, "No! Go Seahawks!" And like every class A parent I'd wear her down with a Bronco-Seahawk cheer-off until she'd finally wimper, "Mommy! Go Seahawks too!" 

That fateful Sunday, you know the one where Skip missed his team battling my team because he was flying home, I showered Pippa with orange and blue balloons and pom pom ribbons. All for nothing as she continued to insistent on something green. Green, the color of Tinkerbell and the Seahawks. Green a color that had not been picked two days before by her BFFs. She referred to all blue balloons as Kent's and all orange balloons as Owen's. Therefore she could not play with them and needed her own green colored balloon. She tore off her orange sweater and demanded the blue, purple, and green sweater instead. She chanted Seahawks until I cried in the second quarter, quickly said Broncos too, and continued with that Seahawks nonsense. 

No those weren't happy tears I shed. But I was eerily aware that Pippa had called the game. Hall boys, if you have a chance please send Pippa some game day apparel. I only have six months to get this straightened out!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Lay-ee Bug

Welcome to Land of the Ladybugs...if ladybugs were Asian and beetles.  When we first moved to Illinois Skip told me to climb a tree so he could play photographer (I later learned he had a tree obsession).  After I climbed to a very nice posing branch I noticed a 'ladybug' had landed on my elbow.  Thinking it would be a sign of the bliss to come I excitedly motioned for my photog to zoom in  and then it bit me. Three years later the bite mark (possibly just a pinch) has finally shrunk to nearly invisible. But the emotional scar remains. 
During the holidays we left the Land of the Asian Lady Beetles and in doing so removed all food, water and heat sources. So upon reclaiming our home a couple weeks later I spent a day vacuuming a large number of dead asian lady beetles. Yet I still find many of these bugs in the most random and middle of the floor places. Each new sighting brings a shriek of joy from Pippa, "LAY-EE BUUG!!!"
Really it is adorable and heartbreaking to tell her not to smash they dried carcass. So I have been quickly kicking the bugs into a corner for later removal.

Then one day the receiver of such kick moved out of the way. We grabbed a glass jar, a fancy red cling wrap lid, and scooped up our first pet. I'm not saying this is a moment Pippa will remember forever, but I was elevated to Coolest Mom Ever status (and am now documenting it). She talked to her pet Lay-ee Bug for a forty-three minutes straight. These forty-three minutes happened to overlap with bedtime so Pippa may have outsmarted me. Then every morning we would check on our ladybug, offer some new sticks, lettuce, water. Pippa would also do this without me at any moment I would come to learn. Which is how we lost our ladybug. Twice.
The first time we lost Lay-ee Bug, she flew right by my nose and landed on the curtains. I suppose the mauve hue resembled a bright flower. Sadly for her, but happily for Pippa who came bounding across the room with the glass jar, the escape lasted all of thirty seconds. 
The second escape occurred days later. The bug had been nestled into some bark for a few days. We hadn't seen it move and I was certain it had died. Then one day, "Lay-ee Bug, where are you?" Pippa could not see that ladybug and the lid had a suspicious opening in it. I pulled all the sticks out and confirmed the ladybug's disappearance as well as it's life. 
Two days later wouldn't you know that I found that silly little thing stuck on it's back, legs wiggling in the air, next to a box of markers. I'm not saying I know what happened, but I'm not saying I couldn't guess either (or that this may be just another of the many Asian lady beetles hibernating in my house). Lay-ee Bug is safely back in her jar with fresh leaves and water. Really I can't put her outside to a certain death.