Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow....

Hello everyone!  Christmas has been kicking my ass this year, which is why it's been radio silence for a month from this blog.  However, I have so many stories in my head that I had to get at least one out now.  So, I decided to do this instead of address my Christmas cards.  They might not go out until after Christmas at this point.  Whatever.  Hopefully I will have some down time over the next couple weeks and be able to write a few more stories.  This one happens to be about the latest star in our family, Sonya.

At the beginning of the school year all three girls signed up to be in the school musical.  A production of "Annie".  My friend, Elisa, who helped to bring the musical program to our school, swore Sonya would play Annie.  I was hesitant and doubtful for a few reasons.  I've mentioned before that Sonya isn't always one to get up and perform, and certainly not on her own.  She's usually good in groups and has performed as part of the chorus in past musicals, but this-this would be an entire show about her character.  As it turned out Elisa was right and the director did cast Sonya as Annie.  I honestly had no idea how this was going to go down.  

The day Sonya came home and told me she got the part she was ecstatic.  I was happy for her too, but I gently reminded her that this meant she had to sing...alone.  Was she okay with that?  She assured me she was.  I took her for her word, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous for how this was all going to turn out.   I wasn't even sure Sonya could sing well.  I've heard her sing along to songs in the car or in the shower with her sisters and she's certainly not tone deaf, but the lead in a musical is totally different.  I did have to keep in mind that this was a kids musical at elementary school and it wouldn't matter if she wasn't a fantastic singer.   Most of the kids can't sing so well, but the girl who was the lead in past plays, who recently graduated to middle school, had a beautiful voice.  Sonya had a lot to live up to.  

As the semester went on, she and her sisters, who were orphans, went to rehearsals once a week on Tuesdays, leaving me with a very long alone day.  A plus for me!  Andy and I wanted to run lines with her and she was usually hesitant, but she did do it with us a few times.  Although she didn't really need it.  She had her lines down in about the first two weeks.  I was always the same with acting and memorized lines very quickly.  

After about a month, the director gave us a CD for the girls to sing along and practice to.  I would play it in the car and they would go through "Hard Knock Life" and "N.Y.C", but anytime "Maybe" or  "Tomorrow" would come on Sonya would ask me to go to the next song.  She refused to sing alone in front of me. Now I was really starting to become nervous.  Was she going to be horrible?  Not that I would love her any less, but I didn't want her to embarrass herself.  For the life of me I will never understand those parents who encourage their children in a talent they are obviously not good at.  Like all those moms standing outside American Idol insisting the judges don't know what they're talking about, after their precious baby couldn't hit one note.  I refuse to be that mom.  Still, I didn't push.  

Then one morning we were in the kitchen and the girls were helping me clean up after breakfast on a Saturday.  Lana ran into her room to get her CD player and the "Annie" CD so they could practice.  She and Georgia were more than happy to sing in front of us over and over again.  They all went through their group songs again that I had already heard.  Then the beginning of "Maybe" started.  I told Sonya I wanted her to practice it.  So she did, begrudgingly.  All I can tell you is that it's a good thing my back was to them as I stood at the sink to wash dishes, because I was doing everything I could to hold back tears.  Her voice was better than I had ever expected.  After she finished, "Tomorrow" started and I encouraged her to sing that one to, but she told me she already knew it and moved on. 

The day of the show, Sonya was a nervous mess most of the day. There was a whole thing about her hair and the wig she had to wear, that she was (excuse the pun) wigging out about.  I did my best to reassure her and tell her it was going to be great and not to worry.  But she was worried.  How could she not be?  Andy and I were kinda right there with her.  The night of the show I was still nervous for her, but at least I felt more confident in her ability.  However, I wasn't quite sure how it was going to turn out.  Perhaps "Maybe" was the only song she could sing?  What if she forgot her lines?  As Andy and I sat in the audience, listening to the overture, waiting for the curtain to open, he leaned over and said,

"I can't do this.  I can't watch this."

"Me neither, " I told him.  "I feel like I'm going to throw up."

Having both done theater ourselves, we knew what she was feeling and we seemed to be channeling  that into a parental way.  

Within the first five minutes I knew this was going to be great and she was going to be awesome.  And I know I'm biased, but you guys she so was.  Not to mention the fact that I cried for about the first fifteen minutes as well.  This time I just let it go when she sang "Maybe".  Listening to "Tomorrow" wasn't any better for my mascara.   I can't forget about my little girls.  Lana had a couple lines she delivered beautifully and she and Georgia knew their dance steps and their songs spot on.  However, Sonya was the star.  Rightfully so, since she was Annie.  

After the show and for a week later, I had parents coming to me telling me how amazing she was and how beautiful her voice was and how long had I had her in voice lessons?  Ummm...never.  A few people told me I needed to help her pursue a singing career, but to be honest, as much as she liked doing it and had a great time, this is not something she has a bug for.  Well not yet anyway.  Who knows what the future will bring, but for now she's just a ten year old kid having fun singing and acting in an elementary school musical.  I'm not calling Broadway just yet.  But in the meantime you can check her out and see what you think.  I am so incredibly proud of the job she and her sisters did. It was one of those moments as a parent where you think, Yup.  I helped make this little person and I did damn good.  (So far.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Double Digits

My baby turned 120 months last week.  Can you believe she is that old already?  I mean 120 months is so big.  Fine she is 10.  Ten years old.  I was trying to still feel like she was little but 120 months just sounds so ridiculous.  Just about as ridiculous as people who refer to toddlers as being 39 months.  Come on!  They are three!  Don't make me do math in my head to figure out how old your kid is in years.  Once a kid gets past a year and a half the months should end.  Just saying.  But I digress.  Ten.  My oldest daughter is ten.

I'm not quite sure how ten years past so fast.  There was a time I thought ten days was taking a lifetime, but now time just seems to sprout wings and take off whenever I try to hold on to it.  It's amazing how much you learn in ten years of raising a human being.  I realized my capacity for how much I can love someone else.  Someone, who for a very long time, gave me nothing in return, but smiles and giggles.  Who would ever put up with someone in their life who took everything, and did nothing but smile at us and be okay with it?  A parent.  Although, I will say that once they leave the toddler stage the just smiling thing doesn't work all the time.  They do have to up their game with a hug or two.  

I discovered I had more patience than I imagined and how hard it is to keep that patience a good 99% of the time.  I love my girls so much though, that I have no choice but to try and harness that patience as much as possible.  It doesn't always work, as you all may have read.  From time to time I lose that patience and then I pay for it later with the other emotion that has taken over as a mom...guilt.   Mom guilt is a serious affliction and it effects 100% of the moms I know in one way or another.  It doesn't matter if you stay at home, work full time, part time or are Martha Stewart.  At some point in time, and in a lot of cases all the time, mom guilt will get you.  It is my least favorite part about being a mom and it's impossible to get rid of because of the love for your kids.  Ah! Vicious cycle!  

I've learned how to be more empathetic, trying to see things from another perspective.  Not only from my daughters' side of things, but through the eyes of my own mother who experienced many of the same things raising three girls herself.  There have been a number of "Oooohhhhh...." moments over the years, when I've thought about my own childhood and realized where she may have been coming from.  I have a feeling those moments may start to come more fast and furious now that the teen years loom ahead.  I've also developed more empathy for both of my younger sisters.  Because I'm raising three girls, I see the dynamic of their relationship from this side.  I see where I might have been somewhat of a pain in the ass big sister from time to time.  I see it in Sonya.  She is constantly saying the very cliched "You don't understand!" when it comes to matters of her sisters, to which I tell her, "Nobody understand better than I do."  I see it from all sides now and it has helped me to be a better older sister and try to teach Sonya to be better to her sisters.

Then there is the selfless part of all of this.  The putting your kids' needs above every one of your own.  That might be the hardest lesson to learn, because let's face it, we are all selfish by nature.  We all want what is best for ourselves, until we have a kid.  Then we only want what is best for them.  I suppose they are an extension of ourselves, so in a way it's still a bit selfish, but it doesn't feel like it when you give up the last piece of chocolate cake to your little one.  Dammit, you love chocolate!  Then again you don't need the calories anyway, and she looks so cute with chocolate all over her face.    Although, we know it's not just giving  up cake, but your entire life.  Sleep means something entirely different after kids.  Free time is basically sleep.  You give everything of yourself, because you want them to be as happy as possible.  Plus this helps alleviate the mom guilt.  There is that fine line of being selfless and spoiling, so you have to be careful.  Still you will do what it takes to make sure they are happy-without being to spoiled.  

My entire life I wanted to have kids.  It was never a question of if for me, but always of when, when when?  I was excited to have kids.  I thought I was going to be the best mother there ever was.  God was I deluded.  Don't get me wrong, I love my girls more than anything and would not change a thing about having them, but this job is harder than I ever expected.  Learning this much patience (even as I write this and the girls are in the other room doing exactly what they are NOT supposed to be doing), having this much empathy, trying to be's not easy.  The easy part is loving them, because you just do.  Although that can also be hard, because anytime something doesn't work out for them or hurts them, it kills you.  Plus there are the times they act like jerks and you don't like them very much, but I know I will always love them no matter what.  

So as I look back over these last ten years and see what Andy and I have accomplished as parents, I am proud of what we have done so far.  Our girls are not perfect, far from it, but most of the time they try so hard to be good kids.  They are friendly, kind, courteous, caring, loving, silly little girls. When we were in Hawaii, every place we went people told us how well behaved our girls were.  How amazed they were at their politeness.  Sonya is leading that pack.  The constantly screaming infant from a decade ago has turned into such a sweet, smart, empathetic, fun loving, kind hearted, independent, curious girl.  Yes, she has her moments where she has too much attitude or thinks she knows all about the world, but I remember being there.  All it will take is for her to have her own daughter one day to knock her down a peg or two and become an even better person.  (But not for a long long time.) 

Happy tenth birthday beautiful girl.   Who knew raising a human being would help make me a better one?  Thank you for doing that for me. 

10 days

10 years

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tell Me Lies-Or Maybe Not

A while back I told you all how Georgia was starting to lie a bit.  Well, I'd love to tell you that is all better now.  Nothing but honesty here!  But that would be a lie.  In fact she's gotten so much worse.  She lies about things that I can find out about right away.

Me- "Did you make your bed?"
Georgia- "Yup!"
Me- "Let me just go check."
Georgia- "Oh wait!  I'm going to make it  now!"

Sometimes she will recant the lie right away:

Me-"Did you make your bed?"
Georgia- "Yup! No! I'll be right back."

Then there are the lies she thinks I won't ever find out about.  The stories she tells her friends at school.  About a month ago I was at the school for one of the 40 reasons I'm there every week.  It happened to be during her recess time and I found her on the playground among her friends playing.  I waved to her and she and all of her friends ran over to hug me.  I know a lot of them from helping out every week last year in Kindergarten, so you  know, I'm kinda popular with the first graders now.  Don't be jealous.  Anyway, as I'm standing there giving everyone hugs her friend Katie says to me,

"Can I come over to your house and see the turtles sometime?"

Not now, nor have we ever had turtles in our house.  I immediately looked at Georgia whose eyes had gotten as big as saucers.  She looked at Katie white faced and said,

"Ummm..Yeah...I was just joking about that.  We don't have any turtles."

I let it go in the moment, not wanting to embarrass her in front of her friends further, but later that evening Andy and I had to sit her down and talk to her about not lying to her friends.  Especially about things they can come over to your house and find out about.  I mean really Georgia! Tell them your grandparents in Florida have turtles.  How will they ever know?  

Then there are the lies she tells because from what I can tell she is trying to feel important like her sisters.  From time to time, Sonya will come home with a problem at school.  Sometimes it's with another kid in her class.  She will tell Andy and me what is going on and then we give her advice that she usually follows and she tells us how it works out.  Georgia has been around for these stories, so I suppose she wanted a piece of the action.  

One night we were sitting at dinner and she tells me about the little boy who sits next to her in class.  Apparently, he bothers her from time to time and says things about Lana to her.  Why Lana? I don't know, but according to Lana that part is true because she has heard it.  I told her to talk to her teacher about it, because if he's really bothering her during class and affecting her learning then that's a problem.  She told me okay.  The next night we are sitting at the dinner table and she says to me,

"So! I talked to Mrs. Shah about Sebastian today."

"Oh good!" I said. "What did she tell you?"

"She said I should just put my hand up like this when he says stuff to ignore him." She shows me how she has her hand covering the left side of her face to shield her eyes from the boy sitting next to her.

"Oookkkaaayyy," I said.  "Did she say she was going to talk to him?" I asked.

"Ummm, I think so," she decided.  

I thought it sounded kind of odd, but she seemed satisfied with her results, so I congratulated her on taking control of her problems like Sonya does and she was happy.  

The next day I was in the school (I swear I should be getting paid for some of this) and Georgia's teacher walked into the room I was working in.  I said hello to her and then said,

"Georgia told me she talked to you about Sebastian yesterday."

Mrs. Shah gave me a quizzical look and then said, "Huh, I'm not remembering this."

"Oh it wasn't a big deal, she just said he was bothering her sometimes and you told her to put her hand up and ignore him." I said trying to jog her memory.  Then I realized she didn't have this memory because it NEVER HAPPENED.

"Well, I don't remember that, but that doesn't mean anything.  Let me talk to her and find out," she said.

At this point I knew I had caught Georgia in another lie.

"No, actually, don't worry about it. I'm pretty sure she didn't say anything to you.  She has been having a bit of a lying problem lately.  I will find out what's going on.  Thanks though." I told her a tad embarrassed.

That night I confronted Georgia, and at first she refused to talk to me about it.  Then when she realized she was caught, she cried and cried.  I comforted her and assured her that I still loved her, but that she can't lie like that and then I gave her a punishment.  I had to.  I mean that was a big lie where I ended up looking like an asshole because I talked to the teacher about something that never even happened. She ended up having to do extra chores that night.  In all honesty on my part, I'm not sure that even worked.  I have caught her in other little lies and now when she tells us things that are going on at school I'm skeptical.  The problem is she is GOOD at it.  She completely makes you believe her, because I think she convinces herself.  I know she only wanted to feel important when she told the lie about the kid at school.  Like she had some kind of problem she needed help with like her sister.  I mean I'm not fine with her lying but it makes sense.  What scares me more than anything though is the thought that, if she is that good at lying at six, how skilled will she be at sixteen?  Why?  Why does the Universe hate me?  

Monday, October 13, 2014

An Answer To Everyone's Burning Question

Ever since the girls all started school full time, the number one question I get is, "So what are you doing with all your free time?"  "Who me?  Why I'm just sittin' at home watching my daily shows and chomping away on some bon bons!"  I'm just assuming that's the idea that people have of what I'm doing.  Instead my real response is, "what free time are you referring to and where can I get it?"

I guess if I was a different sort of person and  a different sort of mom,  I could indeed just chill out and do nothing all day.   I suppose that can be said for anyone who has a paying job too.  You can either do your job and do it well, or you can half ass it and still get what little you need to get done, done.  I happen to be the type of person who wants to do things well.  There's cleaning to be done every day and not to mention the cooking.  I am the type of mom who cooks.  Not pick up something up from Costco and heat it up type of cooking mind you, but pick out a recipe every day and make it from scratch type of cooking.   Do you know how long it takes to plan meals and then make them almost every day?  It's a huge chunk of my day, but I want my family to eat well and eat healthy and cooking myself is the best way to do that.  

I am also the type of mom who gets involved at school.  For the first two months of school I felt like I had a part time job there.  I was there every day making copies for this or getting approval for that. I have volunteered for two positions that took up a lot of my time at the beginning of the year.  Right now it is a bit more manageable, but eventually I will have more to do with both of them again.  I also help out in the girls' classes whenever I can, because I can.  Because I don't have a job, I feel it's important to volunteer my time to the school where they need all the help they can get.  It's not like when we went to school and every teacher had an aide and there were extra aides wondering the halls to help out with whatever.  The staff is bare minimum these days.  There are teachers and the ladies in the front office. That's about the extent of the staff.  Oh and the janitors.   Other than that, there are the parents who help for free.  It's usually the same ones I see every day.  We are lucky enough to be able to stay home, but give what we can of ourselves to the school.  Some of those parents really should be making some kind of salary for all the time that they are there.  

I was sorta feeling guilty about the fact that I stay home a good chunk of the day with no kids now and people are questioning what I'm up to.  I mean I do have 6 hours alone, but the day goes by in a blur and before I have time to wipe down a counter it's 2pm and I have to start pick ups from school. I  don't even have time to keep up with this blog anymore.  Not because I don't want to, but because there just isn't enough time in the day.  I'm always so busy with other things.  Then my sister sent me the link to this article last week, and after I read it I thought, "exactly".  

This is exactly why I stay home and take care of the cooking, cleaning, shopping and all the other crap errands that we don't really want to do.  Then on the weekends, my husband and I aren't both running around doing those tasks.  We can actually spend quality time together as a family.  He doesn't have to worry about what needs to get done for the most part.  I run this house and I believe I run it well.  I have friends who both work and they spend the better part of their weekend getting done all the menial things I do during the week.  Add to that their obligations to their kids soccer or baseball games and birthday parties, and your weekend is completely destroyed every week.  I'm glad I don't have to fall in that category.  I like that we get to spend weekends going on family bike rides or to the farm.  Sometimes we can even just hang out and play games all day if we want.  Sure we have our obligations to go to baseball and birthday parties, but they are not squeezed in between grocery store and Target runs.  So what I do with all my time is take care of things that need to get done, so I can take care of my family on the weekends.  With running errands and all the help I do at the school and I have a pretty full schedule.  

As I said, it's all of my doing.  Of course I could sit around and eat bon bons all day, but I'm not looking to gain 100 pounds and get divorced.   I will admit I take the occasional time for myself.  I did sneak off to see a movie alone one morning last week, and proceeded to feel guilty about it all day.   I also know that when I was working a desk job there were plenty of hours that I didn't have much to do and surfing the Internet became my job.  I'm sure there are those of you out there who have days at work where you do nothing all day.  Well, that I can't do.  Even if I do nothing all morning I still have kids that come home by 2:30 who need running around to different activities and insist on eating a full meal in the evening.  My slacking off can only last for so long.  I know how lucky I am to be able to stay home and do these things, but I also realize now that my family is just as lucky that I'm willing to stay home to make their lives easier.   I'm sure as they get older I will find myself with even more time, which means eventually I will find someone to pay me for whatever skills I can offer.  For now though I like being the CEO of the Dadekian corporation.  Even though the monetary pay is really shitty, the emotional pay is more than I can ask for.   So what am I doing with all my free time?  I run a major household corporation that keeps four other people alive, happy and thriving.  Not bad work if you can get it.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Surprising the Hell Out of Me

Last week, on September 11th, the girls' school had a little assembly, just for the kids, in remembrance of what happened 13 years ago.  Wow.  13 years.  None of the kids at the school were even born then.  For them the events of September 11th are what Pearl Harbor is to a lot of us.  It's difficult trying to explain it to them at this age, but we do in a very factual no details sort of way.  They get the idea of it and understand that it's a day where we come together as a country and mourn  the loss of those who died and a bit for our sense of safety.  

During the assembly they do the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the Star Spangled Banner.  I had totally forgotten that they do this assembly until I was headed into the school later in the morning.  

Side note-since I've had all 3 of them in school I have been working for the school part time.  Without pay.  I say that because I have volunteered for a few things that required a ton of my attention this first month of school.  All those closets I thought I'd have cleaned out by now with the girls in school all day, continue to need cleaning out.  I don't know if I will ever have time for anything other than school and Girl Scouts.  Everyone keeps asking me, "What are you doing with all of your free time now?" Yeah-what free time?  Admittedly I do it to myself, because I can't just be one of those moms who drops off her kids and then sits at home watching TV for hours.  So I wanted to help out more.  However, I need to learn when I'm overdoing it.  Of course my mom has never figured that out and she's 63, so I might be  in trouble.  Moving on!

As I was walking into the school, the principal was on her way out.  She knows all three of my girls and, since I'm so involved, me as well.  She stopped me on my way into the school to let me know that Sonya sang the Star Spangled Banner in front of the entire school.  Huh?  MY Sonya?  Long blond hair, 5th grade, "I'm not one for performing" Sonya?  Yup.

Apparently what had happened was this.  Ms. Taylor (the principal) asked Sonya's teacher if she could have a couple of the 5th graders lead everyone in the Pledge.  Well Sonya's teacher immediately picked out Sonya and her best friend Charlotte who are two smart, very well behaved girls.  When they got up there to lead the Pledge, Ms. Taylor joked that afterward they were going to sing a solo of our National Anthem.  Then she laughed it off, but Sonya said "OK".  So they did the Pledge and with microphone still in hand, Sonya went into her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.  In all honesty I wasn't even aware she knew all the correct words to it.  

According to Sonya, she thought Charlotte was going to sing with her, but when Sonya tried to hold the microphone between them Charlotte pushed it back Sonya's way, so she shrugged it off and kept going.  Now I wasn't there to witness this, and I have no idea how she sounded, but who the hell cares?  I was absolutely shocked that my child who tends to embarrass easily and worries what other people will think, got in front of her entire school to belt out a song.  I was also extremely proud of her.  Proud of the fact that she knew the song well enough to perform it and proud of the fact that she had the guts to get up there and sing it.  

It's so interesting to watch your kids get older and turn into these people with their own thoughts, feelings, and ways about them.  This wasn't something I prepared her for or even suggested she do.  It was something she chose to do on her own.  It just shows what an awesome girl she is becoming.  Well, despite the fact that I still get a daily eye roll and a sarcastic comment thrown my way from her most days.  I blame that on the impending hormones.  Hearing about what she did  makes me feel  that Andy and I are doing a good job raising her as a confident, smart, self sufficient young lady.  To go from coaxing her to take a part in the Jungle Book in second grade to her stepping up to sing on her own 3 years later.  It makes me excited to see what she might do next.  Okay and maybe a little nervous, but mostly excited!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Technology Talk

A few months ago we were running out of the house to take the little girls to gymnastics.  At the time, Georgia was on the laptop playing one of the educational games from school.  Either Ticket to Read or V-Math Live.  Either way, she was very involved in the game and not only do I not mind them playing those games, but I encourage it.  Knowing this, she asked me if she could take the computer in the car with her.  

"Well you could, but it's not going to work in the car," I informed her.  

"Why not?" She wondered.  

Then I proceeded to explain that the game was on the Internet and in order to have the Internet you had to have a connection.  She wasn't quite sure what I was talking about so I tried to break it down as best I could for a 6 year old.  

"You see, we have something at our house that is called Wi-Fi.  That keeps us connected to the Internet and hooked up to your game.  When we leave the house the Wi-Fi connection stops and so does the Internet. "  

"So you can't use the computer anywhere else?" She asked.  

"You can, but it has to be someplace else that has a connection to the Internet and they have to let you use it.  There isn't a connection in the car driving around.  Once we get to gymnastics there is a connection there, but you have to do your gymnastics so you won't be able to use it then anyway."

"Can't I just try?" She asked.

Now I could have argued with her and told her no, taking the computer away, but sometimes it's better to let them figure it out for themselves.  Especially when I am already running my typical five minutes late.   So I told her sure, and carried the laptop out to the car where she sat with it in her car seat.  She continued to play her game until we drove two houses down the street and she said, 

"It stopped!"

"Yes, because we are to far from our house and there is no more connection for the Internet.  You understand now?"

"Yeah," she told me.

"That's what I was trying to tell you.  It will only work where there is a connection."

"Ooohhh  Okay!" She said.  I felt pretty confident that she finally got it, but wanted to make sure there weren't any lingering questions so I said,

"Do you have any questions about this?"

"Yes!" She said.  "Just one."

"Okay what?" I asked.

"Why doesn't it work?"

I'm thinking that she might not be headed for a career in computers.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Pie in the Face For Ben's Buddies

Last year around this time, I wrote a post telling you all about my nephew Ben being diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  In the past year, my sister has gone through the heartbreak and the grief of learning what was in store for her son and her family.  She went through a bit of depression about it, because it wouldn't have been normal for her not to have gone through it.  She's better now and she and her husband have accepted their reality and faced this thing head on.  They attended a conference for Muscular Dystrophy this summer in Chicago, helped to raise money through Run for Our Sons and have taken Ben to the best doctor in the country for his disease.  My friends and family are constantly asking me about Ben and how he is doing.  The answer for that right now is, he is fine.  He is delayed, sure, but right now he is a normal kid.  He can't keep up with other kids his age, but he does his best and most people wouldn't realize there is something wrong. Not yet. The disease won't really start to effect him for another 4 years or so.  Hopefully with the steroids he's on now, even longer.  My sister is hoping that there will be new treatments soon, and if there are, Ben is a good candidate since he is still so young, and the disease hasn't had a chance to completely get to him yet.

Of course in order to find new treatments there has to be research and testing.  In order to have research and testing there has to be money.  It always comes back to the damn money.  If only everyone had Bill Gates money in the bank.  Unfortunately, 99.9% of us don't.  So in order to get money for things like this we fund raise.  This Sunday night is the MDA telethon on ABC.  Looks like it might be quite entertaining this year, so check it out and  pick up the phone and donate a few bucks.  OR....

I know by this point all of you have seen the ice bucket challenge.  I mean you have to be living under a rock to NOT see it.  I know others have come up with different challenges now for different charities.  My sister, Beth, came up with this one for MDA.  Personally I think it's better than the ice bucket challenge because you're not wasting water(especially if you live in drought land SoCal like me) and it's way funnier. Plus it's not dangerous.  Have you seen some of the ice bucket challenges gone wrong?  Anyway- it's called the Pie in the Face challenge.  Fairly easy and the same concept as the ice bucket.  Get a disposable pie plate, fill it with cool whip and have someone smash it in your face.  Make sure to nominate other people to take the challenge for MDA, post on Facebook and go donate to Ben's Buddies for Muscular Dystrophy.  I'm posting the three my girls did last week.  You can hear from all our giggles how much fun we had.  And oh poor Georgia!

See?  Funny!  So I encourage all of my readers out there to share this post on your FB page and then go do the challenge yourself.  I officially challenge anyone who reads this post to do the Pie in the Face challenge for Ben's Buddies and MDA.  Let's make this thing bigger than cold water being splashed on people and raise just at much money as that cold water did for ALS.