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.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Those Damn Four Letter Words!

Now that we are back to school, we are doing our best to get into the routine in the morning.  Usually the girls are good the first week and then they backslide in the subsequent weeks, but it has been a rush every morning since Monday.  I'm thinking we may need to start at 5AM soon.

Yesterday morning, the girls were getting ready to brush their teeth when Georgia brought me her toothbrush and said,

"I need a new toothbrush."

"Ok," I said, " I will get you new one the next time I'm at Target."  Apparently she meant she wanted a new tooth brush right THEN.

"Look at this one!" She yelled.  "It's all messed up." She help it for me to examine.

"Yeah, that's because you always chew on it," I explained.

"But it's all pushed down!" She protested.

"Georgia, I see that," I told her.  "Stop chewing on it and they won't get like that anymore."

"But I need a new one, Mommy!!"

"Listen," I said, summoning the very little patience I had at that point.  "You have to leave for school in 10 minutes.  Can I get you a new toothbrush and have you brush your teeth in that time?"

"No," she admitted.

"Then I will get you a new one today at Target and you will have it for tomorrow, OK?"

"Ooookkaayyy..." she finally agreed.

She huffed her way back to the bathroom, aggravated with me.   Lana was already in there brushing her teeth and Georgia wanted to let Lana know,

"I am so PISSED OFF right now!!!"

As a parent, when you hear your kid say a bad word a few things happen.  First you think-did I just hear her say that?  Then when you realize that is exactly what you heard you think-just where in the HELL did she hear that FUCKING word?  Then you realize you just answered your own question.  Lastly, you fight the urge to just start laughing, because really, it is pretty damn funny when you hear a six your old say a bad word, especially in such a perfect context.  However, I try to be a good parent and although I apparently let bad words fly out of my mouth for them to hear from time to time, I don't want them saying those words themselves.  I know, I know-do as I say blah blah.  But sometimes I like to swear and I forget that they might be listening to me.  I'm working on it, OK!  

From the living room I yelled, "Georgia!  What did you just say??!"

"Ummmm....." was all I heard from her.  She knew she was busted and wasn't sure how to back out of it.  I walked in to the bathroom and asked her again.  

"Nothing..." she tried.  

"Oh no!" I told her.  "You said a bad word.  Where did you hear that?"

"From you," she replied without missing a beat.  She couldn't have even thought about it for a minute?  Give the illusion she may have heard it from another source?  I know it's something I say, but never TO the girls.   I guess they overhear more of what I say than I thought. OK!  I KNOW!  STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT!  Anyway....

It was at this point Andy heard us and wanted to know what she said. I marched her into our bathroom where he was shaving and made her repeat it.  It was not something she did immediately, because she knew she was in trouble and once Daddy knew, she was afraid it would be more.  She repeated it for Andy, in a more quiet less pissed off kind of way.  Andy feigned shock with a, 

"Georgia!  We don't say those words!"

"I know!" She told him and then ran back to the bathroom to finish getting ready. 

Fortunately for her we let it go this time with a warning.  She was worried enough from me catching her to most likely not do it again, so I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.  I did let tell her that if she said a bad word again there would be a punishment, and it would be severe.  Like sucking on a bar of soap.  Okay not really, but I did say that. Does anyone even do that anymore?  Seems kind of archaic.  I'm sure I will just take dessert away, which for her might as well mean I've taken away food for a week.  That will probably just piss her off even more.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bug Invasion

A few weeks ago Andy and I were sitting on the couch after everyone had gone to bed chatting when he looked up at the wall behind me and said,

"What the hell is THAT?"

I turned around to find the biggest, weirdest, green bug crawling slowly toward the ceiling.  It wasn't moving fast and it didn't look like a flying variety of bug.  Andy and I stood there in our living room staring at it and assessing how we were going to get rid of it, and trying to figure out what the hell it was.  I thought it looked like a praying mantis, but Andy pointed out it didn't have the front legs for a praying mantis.  He thought maybe a grasshopper, but if it was, it was the biggest one I'd ever seen.  Plus he was crawling and not hopping.  Either way, we couldn't leave it there, so what to do?

Squish it?  No way.  It was too big and it would have made a gross mess.  Suck it up in the dust buster?  Andy thought it was to big for that too.  Plus I didn't really want to kill it, because I got the feeling he was kinda harmless.   Then it was starting to become out of our reach as it made it to the ceiling, so we opted for trapping it.  I found a tall plastic cut to put over top of it to trap it and try to get it inside.  I handed it to my very brave husband who looked at me and said,

"I'M doing this??"

Um YEAH! Okay, I love my husband very much.  He is a great provider, wonderful father and he make me laugh all the time.  But here's the thing about my husband and bugs,  he is a bit of do I put this delicately?  Well, he's a pussy when it comes to bugs.  Always has been.  He hates how they squish when you kill them.  He will kill a fly, no problem, but crawling bugs and spiders.  Forget it.  I don't need him for the flys though, because we have a cat who doesn't let a fly live more than five minutes in our house.  For the most part I don't kill spiders, but pick them up in  tissue and let them free outside.  Unless they're really big, then they might be goners.  Other crawling bugs I usually squish, but yeah, it's the mommy show when it comes to bug wrangling/killing in this house.  However this was one bug I was not touching.  I carried and birthed three kids.  He could trap one weird giant green bug.  I felt that was fair.

"Yes,  you're doing this," I told him.

"But my back...if I step on the couch wrong or something what if my back  goes out?" He was trying to make excuses and I wasn't buying.

"You'll be fine! Now man up and get the damn bug!" I encouraged.

So he reluctantly stood on the couch and put the cup over the strange insect.  It immediately did what we wanted and crawled inside the cup.  Andy took a magazine and placed it on top so he couldn't escape, or fly if he could.  Then we looked at it for a few minutes trying to figure out what kind of bug it was.  Neither of us knew.  It was some weird hybrid praying mantis, grasshopper looking thing.  Andy took it outside and let him free in the front yard to go live again and invade a neighbors house perhaps.  

The next morning I was getting the girls ready for swim lessons.  My in-laws were here and I was telling them our creepy bug story from the night before.  The girls were listening while I was describing the bug and Georgia all of a sudden piped up with,

"Oh!  That's a leaf bug!"

Uh-huh.  Okay cute little girl.  Suuuureee it was green leaf bug.  I thought for sure this was something she made up, especially because she is really good at making things up. 

"Oh, I'm not sure what it was Georgia," I told her.

"It WAS Mommy!  It was a leaf bug!" She insisted.

Then Lana asked, "What did it look like again?"

"Kind of like a praying mantis, but it had long antenna..."

"Oh yeah," Lana said very sure of herself.  "That was a leaf bug."

"What?  Are you guys making up a name for bugs now?" I asked.

"No!  Dat's what it is!  I've seen it at school," said Georgia.

"Yeah, there was one on our wagon one time too," Lana informed me.  

If only there were some device to look up things like "leaf bug" and see if they were indeed correct...Good thing my father in law was there, because a few taps on his phone and he found the exact bug that invaded our house.  Behold!  The leaf bug!  That is the actual name.  

This looks like  the one we found, but if you google leaf bug, there are a whole slew of weird looking ones out there.  You can see why I wasn't going anywhere near that thing.  

So I learned two things that day.  One-I learned about a new insect I had no idea existed, and two-Age 6.  Age 6 is the age when your kids start to become smarter than you are.  Fan-freaking-tastic.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Gene That Skipped A Generation

I like to have a neat and clean house.  I, however, do  not like to do things that I have to do to keep that house neat and clean, yet I do it anyway.  You see I was raised by Ann Taylor.  A woman who not only likes things to be neat, clean and orderly, but ENJOYS doing the cleaning and the organizing.  Yeah.  I know.  Crazy, right?

 My mother LOVES to clean.  I mean she really does.  When she's mad, she cleans, when she's nervous she cleans, when she's excited or happy...well you get where I'm going here.  It's her meditation of sorts.  We always like to hear the story of how she was up in the middle of the night before she and my dad got married scrubbing the floors of her mother's house. See what I mean? 

 When she and my dad came for Christmas this past year, I gave her the green light to clean out whatever she wanted, while Andy and I went to get massages.  You would have thought I handed her a giant Publisher's Clearing House check.  She was so excited.  And here is the even crazier part.  She is so damn fast.  In the three hours Andy and I were gone, she had cleaned out my pantry, kitchen drawers, cabinets in the bathroom and the laundry room and still had time to make a home cooked meal with pie for dessert, while doing a fun craft with the girls.  THREE HOURS!!  I can't even change all the sheets on the beds in that amount of time!  I just don't get it.  I swear there is a clone of her she hides somewhere. 

It is unfortunate that I did not get this love for cleaning gene.  I would rather give birth again than clean out someone else's kitchen, let alone my own.  I'm assuming it skips a generation, because as far as I know, my sisters are not so fond of doing the actual work it takes to get things to where they like them to be either.  We all bitch about cleaning and clutter on a daily basis.  There is one girl, however, who does seem to be a little more like her Nona, (my mom)  in my house.  My little Lana.

The day that my mom cleaned out all of those things in my house, Lana was right there to help her out.  WILLINGLY.  One of Lana's favorite things to do is clean out her closet.  I'm not kidding.  She will come to me on a random Thursday afternoon and ask if she can clean out her closet.  Ummmm....let me think about that a minute....Hells yeah!  Okay well maybe I leave the "hell" part out but you get it.  And she will not just reorganize things.  No, no.  She will take every last shoe out of that closet, dust bust any dirt and yuckiness left behind and put them all back in very neat pairs and rows.  Amazing.  Again -ALL ON HER OWN.  Now this is not something I have ever taught her or she's learned from her big sister.  Definitely not from Sonya.  Sonya is completely opposite.  Sonya hates to clean and organize and to be quite honest, doesn't understand why that pile of papers building on her desk since last August just can't stay there.  What?  It's her desk.  Those papers aren't bothering anyone. Sometimes she doesn't even see the clutter and mess I point out to her in her room.  

You think I'm exaggerating?  The child is thisclose to the Hoarders people coming in and taking over her room.  I finally decided at the beginning of the summer to try and put a stop to it.  As much as I wanted to be on TV at one point in my life, I don't want it to be because my daughter can't leave her apartment due to the newspapers piled up in front of her door.   I knew I had to teach her how to clean things out, and not just do it for her like I have in the past.  I had to teach her the ways of Ann Taylor, since she wasn't born with it like her sister. 

I set aside a day for us to clean out her room at the beginning of June.   Silly me thought it would take only a day to clean her entire room.  I had forgotten just how much crap she keeps.  It ended up taking us over a two week period.  Not every day mind you, but a day here and there.  I would say 4 1/2 days total.  I had to break it up for her, because you would have thought I told her, "Time to hang you upside down by your toenails for four hours!" the way she moaned and carried on.  Everyday we cleaned out a  different part of the room.  Bookshelves were one day, closet and under the bed another, and the desk needed a full day of love.  In the end we had three garbage bags of crap and two of things to be given away.  The good part was she LIKED  how her room looked after all was said and done.  She loved how neat it was and how everything had a place.  It was something she begrudgingly admitted to me of course, but admitted nonetheless.  Of course that did not stop her from immediately not putting things away in the right place just two days later.  Baby steps.  

Lana, however, is the kid who had a breakdown three weeks ago, because her clothes drawers were a mess and GG doesn't keep them neat after she fixes them and how is she supposed to put clothes away when they are always messy and what's the point of fixing it if GG messes them up again???  This was the exact thing she said to me.  Oh do I feel her pain.  Yet she turned around and organized them again anyway.  

So on Monday this week I told the girls we were cleaning the house.  My in-laws were coming on Tuesday and I've been wanting to clean out Lana and Georgia's room this summer, but just haven't had time.  No surprise since this is the first you're hearing from me in about a month.  Sonya immediately started whining and complaining, because she didn't want to.  Her desk was spiraling out of control again, but since we had just recently cleaned everything out, I knew it wouldn't take long to get it back to where it was.  Lana was excited and ready to get started.  Georgia falls somewhere in the middle right now.  She wants to be with Lana on this because they are so close, but she's not much for the hard work so she chose to pick a fight with Lana instead.  I ended up banning her from the room so we could get some work done.  She kinda got out of doing most of the work, which at this juncture was fine with me.  I will work on her next summer.   

Lana helped me clean out the toy box and then did the entire closet as she always does.  After her initial complaint fest, Sonya went into her room and did her desk all on her own.  She was even proud of it! It looks like I might have taught her something useful!  Those are always great moments when you realize that they took something from what you were trying to teach them.  I was so proud of her. I'm also so grateful that I have Lana who won't fight me on doing these things and in fact enjoys them.  

Later that night at dinner I commended everyone on the great job they did helping me out that day.  I said how much I appreciated them chipping in to do all that work, how great everything looked, and how impressed their grandparents would be.   Then I said something to Sonya about it not being all that bad to do the work if the final product looks so good like her clean desk.  She admitted I was right, but also said she still hated doing it.  

"I'm not like Lana, mom," she told me.  "She LIKES to do that stuff.  Lana has the gift of Nona."

Yes, I guess she does have the gift of Nona.  Which is good news for me because I can look forward to organized kitchen cabinets and closets in just a few short years without having to do the work myself.  And with the way Lana gets angry and upset, she may just have a career in cleaning out other people's crap.  Thanks for passing on your "gift" to my daughter mom!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Her Idea of Bad

Last weekend we were all in the car coming back from somewhere.  Don't ask me-I can't remember those details.  Anyway, we passed by a billboard for that new movie Tammy coming out in a couple weeks.  Melissa McCarthy plays the main character-I'm assuming Tammy.  Georgia read the name of the movie out loud as we drove by, and Andy kind of scoffed at the movie.  He said something about her being okay in small doses like in Bridesmaids, but that she's not good a lot of the time.  Meaning-she does the same thing over and over again and to carry a whole film and then multiple films playing the same character just gets old.  I can't say I disagree with him.  However, from the back seat all Lana heard him say was that she wasn't good.  Lana was quick to qualify what he meant by "not good."

"You mean like she smokes?" She asked him.

"No, Lana.  I...." Andy didn't have time to answer because Lana jumped in with.

"Ooooh, like she kills people," she said.  

"No. Lana.  She..." and then we started laughing.  Because really my daughter's idea of someone who is not good is either they smoke, or they kill people.  The jump from one to the other is what I found most amusing.  Eventually we explained that he meant she wasn't good in the movie, but I'm pretty certain she still thinks Melissa McCarthy smokes while killing people.  Sorry Melissa.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Aloha (One Month Later)

I feel like lately my life have been in a constant state of go, with about six hours of sleep.  Because if I don’t at least get those six hours, the go is going to completely stop.  That is why I have slacked on my writing the past six months or so and I hate it.  I love to write and love to tell the stories about the girls, but the constant state of having something to do makes it hard for me to find the time.  It's summer break now, which I though meant I'd have more time to write but as it turns out, no.  I do not.  In the two weeks that the girls have been out of school we have gone to the Natural History Museum, the beach- twice,  the zoo, the farm to pick strawberries and other produce, and the Federal Reserve.  A field trip we took with Sonya's girl scout troop where I saw more money than I will ever know in ten lifetimes.  At one point I was trying to figure out who could help me with the biggest bank heist ever.  Turns out I don't have those kind of people in my life.  I digress.  So finally after the first two weeks of school being nonstop, I have all three girls in day camp this week until 1pm and I have time to poop in peace, both in writing and well, for real.  

I have a build up of stories though, so let's just go back to the beginning of May when we did get a short respite from all the craziness of our life in the form of a trip to Maui.  Yes that's in Hawaii.   And yes, it was just as amazing as you imagine  it to be.  And yes there were some antics along the way.  Where to start?

Well, let’s start with the fact that we would never have gone on vacation in the middle of May when we had to pull the girls out of school by choice.  However, one of Andy’s best friends and Godfather to Georgia, Jamie, was getting married.  He and his fiance, Monique, decided on a destination wedding in Maui.  I think I did mention them getting married when I talked about the fact that Georgia was going to be the flower girl and also Andy was officiating.  This is now the third wedding he’s done.  It’s quite the little side business he’s got going.  Except for the not getting paid part.  But we get to go to some awesome weddings in some great places and this one was the best.  I mean you can’t really beat Hawaii.  No offense to the other 2 weddings he's done.  So this wasn’t just a wedding we were invited to, but one my family was an essential part of.  Oh darn, we were going to HAVE to go to Maui.  What bad luck for us.  

Since we were going during the school year, I had to talk to all of the girls’ teachers and the principal to let them know why they were going to be gone.  They were all excited for us.  I know the district will not be when I get that nasty-“your kids have six unexcused absences” letter, but I don’t really care about them.  They are just mad because they did’t get their money for my 3 kids for those 6 days.  Oh well.  

As fantastic as Hawaii is, the time change is hard to get a grip on for some reason.  We go back east from time to time and don’t seem to have a problem when we go that direction, but I knew we were in for fun time when Georgia came into our room the first day we were there at FOUR AM and said,

“Mommy?  Is it time to get up?”

Well yes if we were in Burbank where it is 7AM but not here where the sun isn’t even thinking of breaking yet.  I explained to her that she couldn’t get up until it started getting light out.  That would buy me at least two hours right?  Sure, if you're talking to a 12 year old, but not at 5.  For the next two hours she came to my bed wide awake to tell me, "I need a drink of water, I have to pee, I think it's starting to get light outside- (it wasn't), Can I watch TV?"  So yeah.  Sleeping was not happening past four.  Around 5:45 we were just beginning to see some light from outside and Georgia took that as her cue.  She went around and opened every blind in the room yelling, 

"It's morning! It's morning!"  

It was going to be a long day.  

That first day we took it easy and hung out at the beach that was literally, 100 steps from where we slept.  It was awesome.  It was a gorgeous day and we just relaxed swam, ate, and drank happy hour beach bar Mai Tais.  Well I did anyway.  

The view from our room.

The next day we decided to go to the volcano on the island.  Most people get up at 2am and drive up the volcano to watch the sun rise.  This was something Andy and I had done 10 years ago when we were childless.  We weren't going to punish ourselves with that adventure this time though.  No instead we figured we would just drive up, look a the crater, take some pictures and be done.  Easy peasy.  Sure, it would have been had Andy not thrown out his back 20 minutes before we were going to leave. 

We thought about not going at all, but Andy was determined that this was his vacation and it wasn't going to get ruined by his faulty back.  So he took some muscle relaxers and we decided I would just drive.  Totally fine, sure.  Except have you ever driven on a windy, narrow, the cliff drops off below you, moutain road? Yeah I haven't done too many of those and for good reason.  They FREAK ME OUT.  Not to mention the fact I was driving a rental jeep, a car I wasn't even the least bit comfortable in.  I was fairly certain our death was imminent.  I felt bad that Jamie and Monique's wedding would be overshadowed by the tragedy of the entire Dadekian family falling off of the volcano.  But somehow we made it to the top even if it was only going 20mph.  We got out of the car, Andy feeling completely stiff, Lana a bit green from car sickness, me deep breathing out my anxiety and the other 2 completely oblivious.  

It was beautiful when we got to the top and the girls enjoyed the volcano crater with the exception of Lana who wanted to see a "real" volcano, which meant one that was actually erupting.  We tried to explain to her how bad it would be if this one were erupting, but she would have none of it and continued to whine for about 10 minutes about her unhappiness. 
At the crater. Picture courtesy of Georgia.

 After a few pictures we decided we were done and ready to head back down.  Crap.  I had to drive down.

Driving down was so much more hellacious than driving up, for a few reasons.  First, you're going down which means pretty much riding the break the whole way unless you want to fly off a cliff.  Second, they have this great adventure in Hawaii where you take a tour and go look at the volcano and then bike down the whole thing!  Something I might have considered in my younger years, but I don't think you could pay me to do it now.  Biking down that narrow steepness and having to make sure you don't get hit by some idiot driving down like me? No thanks.  Especially when you add number three in-the fog.  The fog that was so foggy I couldn't see the fog two feet in front of me.  It was just plain old scary.  Andy had been encouraging me on the drive up and started to on the drive down.  I guess I should mention I am not the main driver in the family.  Whenever we go somewhere together he always drives and it's the way both of us like it.  Sometimes, when I do have to be the driver in the car with him, I feel like I'm 15 again and my dad is telling me what to do.  So this was extra fun for both of us.  

When we got to the part where there was fog AND bikers, I had no idea what the hell to do.  I was constantly turning a corner, and didn't want to get over in the other lane to pass the bikers for fear of being hit head on by a car coming out of the pea soup fog.  So I just passed the bikers getting really close to them but not to close.  I guess Andy thought it was to close and yelled at me at one point, 

"You're too close!! You're too close!  You can't pass them on a turn!!"

To which I yelled,

"If I don't pass them on a turn, I'm not going to be able to pass them at ALL!!!!"

I'm happy to say we made it out of the fog and off the volcano with no bodily injury to others or anyone in our car.  Phew! I did sort of feel accomplished later, like I had faced a fear, so that was good.  The great news was we made it back to the beach by 3pm, just in time for my Mai Tais.

The rest of the week wasn't quite as stressful.  We did the Road to Hana the next day, after which point we decided we were done with the sightseeing.  Don't get me wrong, it's a gorgeous drive, but being in the car with the girls right next to each other for 2 full days had led to a handful of fights between them and Andy and I were on the verge of throwing them in to the crater of the volcano.   We decided that we were going to beach and pool it for the rest of the trip, which the exception of the wedding festivities.  And that's just what we did. Oh!  We did go to a Luau one night too, which was also a lot of fun.  Typical Hawaiian tourist stuff, but a great time.  

Hike through the rainforest on The Road to Hana.

At a Waterfall off the Road to Hana.  This was moments before Georgia FREAKED out about a lobster like thing I pointed out that was in the water.  That's a story for another post.

Learning about items used in the Hula.

Learning the Hula

I swear that is not a backdrop, but the real sky and water.  So amazing!

The wedding was beautiful and Andy did a great job with the ceremony.  Georgia was absolutely adorable and took her job so seriously.  She even got her hair done and looked like she came straight out of Mad Men.  She loved all the attention she was getting all day and at one point Andy had to remind her that it wasn't her day, but Monique's.  That didn't stop her from enjoying all the adoration she was getting from all the bridesmaids and party guests though.  

Georgia and her "Mad Men" hairdo.
Oh and then there was this that Monique gave Georgia as her gift for being in the wedding.  Needless to say I cried.

Andy marrying the happy couple. Picture courtesy of Sonya.
After the ceremony.

Our last full day we were there, it was supposed to rain all day.  Something we were dreading would happen.  So in the morning we went into town to buy some souvenirs.  By the time we got back to the hotel all of the angry dark clouds were north of us and we had nothing but sun.  So we spent the rest of the day on the beach.  We stayed all the way until sunset, because even though the weather was nice the whole time we were there, the sunsets always got lost in some lower clouds.  Not this time though.  It was the prettiest one I've ever seen.  I took a bunch of pictures and captured what has now become my favorite picture ever.  (see below)

Wine in a plastic tumbler at sunset.  Don't get better than that!

My favorite picture of all time.  Sonya and Andy-sunset chat. 

It was an amazing week in a beautiful place.  I love that I got to go there and spend that time with my family and not worry about cooking, cleaning, PTA, Girl Scouts, or even working out.  I let it all go.  I got to be fun mommy because I could.  When we were trying to decide months back  if we were going to be able to pay for this trip I told Andy we should just do it.  Yes, it will be expensive and no we will not be able to do any other trips this year or do anything new to the house, BUT we will be making memories together as a family.  Something that can never be taken away.  Money will always come and go, and taking this trip would hurt a bit financially, but not break us.  You know what?  It was all completely worth it.  Ten fold.

Thank you Jamie and Monique for having your wedding in a beautiful place and making us a big part of it.  All the best to you for many many years to come!

Fun times at the beach!