Something is rotten – Pepsi Pups

The first volume of this book is closed. It closed when we came full circle and once again announced the amazing news that Faith would be blessed with a service dog.

This time it was for real though.

So why can’t I let this Pepsi Pups Scam rest for a moment?

Because I can not sit quietly when I see an injustice.

And this is an injustice.

There are so many wrongs here that I have decided to take one post a week to focus on a small aspect of it.

Have you ever heard of the Pepsi Refresh Grant? It is a contest that allows individuals and groups to compete for money to fund their ideas. The amounts that can be won vary from $5000 to $50,000. Once an idea is submitted it is SUPPOSED to go through careful vetting to assure that the idea is feasible.

First issue – How did the “idea” of Lea Kaydus’s grant pass vetting? If Global Giving was not able to fund the intangible cost of “training for 10 service animals”, why was the grant proposal not changed before it was brought to voting. (From the Pepsi Refresh Project website) During the Moderation Stage, Sponsor and/or its designated representatives will review each Eligible Selected Application to determine if it meets the Grant Program Guidelines (the “Moderation Stage”).  If the Eligible Selected Application meets the Grant Program Guidelines, it will be posted for Voting in accordance with the timing listed in the Application Entry Table above.  …….. All Applications will be reviewed for compliance with these Official Application Guidelines before being posted to the Website for voting as set forth in the Application Entry Table above; however, such review does not relieve Participant from responsibility for compliance with these Official Application Guidelines.

a. Applications MUST:

  • be in English;
  • have one (1) photo as the profile photo
  • be received in accordance with the Application Entry Table in Section 2 above; 
  • describe a project to be carried out for charitable, community or educational purposes within one of the Categories of the Grant Program;
  • describe a project to take place/benefit persons only within one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia;
  • describe a project that is capable of being completed within 9 months from the first date of funds disbursement; and
  • provide a level of detail sufficient to show each of the specific activities to be carried out by the Participant and others, if any, necessary to achieve the principal goal(s) of the project.  
So, just as a recap, here is exactly how the Pepsi Refresh Grant that was submitted by Lea Kaydus looked:
This is what was voted upon. This is what “won”. If THIS was not able to be how the funds were spend, HOW did it reach the point of being voted on. I think it is a straight up disgrace that Global Giving forced the grant to be changed AFTER the voting was complete.
By Lea Kaydus’s own words, Global Giving required her to change the voted upon grant from funding the training of 10 service animals to “tangible goods” such as her awesome facility.
Had the grant read “build a facility”, I can almost guarantee you that pretty much everyone I pestered repeatedly to vote, vote, vote….would not have.
If a grant could not be dispersed as written when it was in the moderation phase, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN CHANGED THEN. Not after it was declared a winner.
Who dropped the ball on this one?
How many other Pepsi Refresh Grants are being voted on that are then being drastically changed?

It feels awkward so….

…I am only going to mention this a couple of times.

We have created a ChipIn account to help with the travel expenses we will incur while training with Faith’s service dog.

We will be traveling, probably by plane, to Ohio. We will then need to stay in a hotel for two weeks while we  train with Faith’s new canine partner and learn to work together as a team.

I will have a little widget thingy on the side bar of Mommy Rambles….scroll down a bit to see it.

You can also access the page directly through this link:

4 Paws 4 Faith Chip In Page

Thank you.

Turn the page – Pepsi Pups Mess

Have you ever read a book that was so engrossing, that held you so riveted….

…..that when you hit the last page….

… sat there, looking at that last page….

And all you could think was “No.” This can not be over. I still have questions. I want to know what happened next!

So you toss the book aside and swear never to read another book by that author because how dare they leave you hanging like that! Then you stomp into the other room and complain to your husband about how unfair the book was to end like that!

Ok, maybe that last part was just me.


I think we are reaching the end of the Pepsi Pups book. Unfortunately it’s not a clean ending. There are way more questions than answers.

Answers seem hard to come by when dealing with Multi-billion dollar companies or a woman (remember kids, she applied for the $50,000 grant as an individual, not as Animals For Autism) who falls off the grid when it comes to communication.

Pepsi, well they don’t really give a darn. Really, it’s just $50,000. And regardless of HOW Lea Kaydus spent that money, they still get the same tax write off. It doesn’t matter to them that the voted upon grant was for training to place 10 service animals. It doesn’t matter to them that Global Giving, by Lea’s own written statement, REQUIRED her to change the grant after voting to fund tangible goods such as a facility.

Global Giving, well they don’t really give a darn either. Service dogs? That’s not in the funding any more. Lea is building her facility just fine. According to Lea’s Facebook status’s (before she took that down, just like her website. Oh, I’m sorry, that is right! That was never her website. It was just donated space from Siberian Snow Babies…..which is her website.) Global Giving MADE her change the line by line budget to cover the tangible goods. And since the tangible facility is all fine and good, well, who cares about the voted upon original grant’s families. Remember them? The families? Apparently not. No service dogs? No problem. The facility is right on track.

Too bad almost everyone we have talked to would NOT have voted on a facility.

Lea Kaydus?

Disappeared again. Of the original 13 families, out of the 9 I was able to check in with, NOT ONE has heard from her.

Poof. Gone.

And all the powers that be are a-ok with that. After all, it’s just $50,000. Oh, and the hopes and dreams of 13 children.

I’m not ok with this. The parents I am in contact with, who were promised well-trained service dogs for their children – delivered in Spring ’12 – are not ok with this.

Our story part one – CLICK HERE 

To have your heart-broken, and understand why this makes me so mad – CLICK HERE 

Our story part two – CLICK HERE 

(even more information, spanning the last year can be found HERE.)

I think I will be calling this post – The Last Page.

But this is not the end. It is only the end of this volume.

I hope Book Two will have more answers.

Advocare 24 Day Challenge – Day 15

See my eyeballs?

Still vibrating.

Today marks my 5th day on the second phase of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge. (Previous Posts: Day 1, Day 6)

Two carry overs from the first part of the Challenge are the Spark Drink and OmegaPlex.

I am still amazed at my energy level after drinking a Spark. Yowza.

One new addition is the Meal Replacement Shake.

I used the replacement shake at breakfast. Mine was vanilla.

Another new addition to this part of this phase is MNS Max 3. This consists of a “strip” of supplements that you take at different times during the day. There are 4 separate pouches that you take.

It’s a lot of pills. LOL

Included in every strip pack of MNS® Max 3:

MNS Max 3 Contents:
Before Breakfast Color Packet
Calcium Plus – 2 caplets
ActoTherm SR – 1 caplet
ProBiotic Restore – 1 capsule

Before Lunch Color Packet
Calcium Plus – 2 caplets
BioTherm – 2 capsules

White Packet
CorePlex – 3 caplets

White Packet
OmegaPlex – 2 softgels
Amplify A.T. – 1 softgel

ActoTherm: Based on an exclusive blend of botanicals including cinnamon, gotu kola, ginger and peppermint, this time-honored AdvoCare original product has been reformulated. This new version features a sustained-release to aid in preventing a spike and drop-off of energy throughout the day.*

BioTherm: A unique weight-management aid developed by AdvoCare that combines oolong tea, effective botanicals and B vitamin, biotin, to support weight control.*

The synergistic combination of ingredients in BioTherm helps your body convert fat into energy.* biotin is also used by the body to facilitate the conversion of food to energy. It acts as a coenzyme in several metabolic reactions that aid in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and the conversion of amino acids from protein into energy.*

CorePlex®Supplementation with an optimally-formulated multivitamin can help decrease the prevalence of insufficient vitamin and mineral levels in adults, improve their micro-nutrient status to levels associated with a reduced risk for chronic diseases, and improve their quality of life and ability to perform daily tasks.* CorePlex is an optimal formulation of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and trace elements needed by the body to promote and sustain long-term health and well being.* By combining this synergistic blend of 36 nutrients, CorePlex supports healthy bone structure and growth as well as provides optimum nutritional support for healthy muscle, connective tissue and skin.*

OmegaPlex®OmegaPlex Omega-3 Fatty Acid Dietary Supplement is a safe, convenient and easy way to get the omega-3 fatty acids that may be missing in your diet. OmegaPlex contains a concentrate of at least 500mg long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, 300mg EPA and 200mg DHA. omega-3 fatty acids such as those present in OmegaPlex help support cardiovascular health in combination with a healthy diet and exercise.* These critically important oils even help regulate the body’s inflammatory processes, support healthy joints and are important for the maintenance of healthy skin.*

ProBiotic Restore™ ULTRAProbiotics are beneficial microorganisms that confer health benefits on the host. Our bodies must maintain a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria and harmful bacteria to work at its best. When this balance is disturbed, it can have significant negative effects on our health including poor digestion and absorption of nutrients. Our immune systems are under daily assault from environmental factors, physical and emotional stress, inadequate rest and poor nutritional status. Additionally many individuals do not consume adequate dietary fiber, drink enough water or exercise regularly, which often results in occasional problems with elimination. Even though some individuals supplement their diets with probiotic products, all probiotics are not equal. The multi-strain probiotic complex in ProBiotic Restore ULTRA provides six high potency strains – three species of Lactobacillus and three species of Bifidobacterium. Two billion colony forming units (CFU) ensure full coverage of both the small and large intestines. ProBiotic Restore ULTRA helps replenish normal beneficial intestinal microflora to support healthy immune and intestinal function, while aiding good digestion and enhancing weight management programs.*

Calcium Plus: Bones and teeth need far more than calcium alone to stay strong and healthy. They need a balanced array of minerals including magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, silicon and potassium plus vitamins C, D, K and more. Calcium Plus is an incredibly effective way to ensure you receive enough calcium to keep bones and teeth strong and healthy.* Calcium Plus delivers two types of highly absorbable calcium, combined with other minerals, vitamins and botanicals.

Amplify A.T.: A revolutionary formula that combines two potent and unique natural ingredients that produce advanced nutritional benefits.* These two super-nutrients, astaxanthin and tocotrienols, are the real secret behind the power of Amplify A.T. For anyone who wants to fight the aging process, Amplify A.T. can help by strengthening the immune system, maintaining healthy blood pressure levels already in the normal range, and providing excellent nutrition for joint health and mobility.* It provides excellent support for skin too, by vitalizing the appearance of skin, helping to reduce the formation of wrinkles and maintaining healthy skin tone.* Its ability to help reduce muscle fatigue and muscle damage while enhancing muscle recovery provides an edge to any athlete.*

Now on to the nitty-gritty. The scale has not moved since my last post. I am still hanging at 149 lbs. But…

My clothes are fitting better.

I have a ton of energy.

And that is awesome.


Thursday Thinking

This is a weekly series that I hope you will take part in. Basically, I will ask a question, you answer. Easy-peasy. ;) Sometimes the questions will be very simple and easy to answer in one word. Other times they may be more controversial and require a bit of thought on your part.


What are your top 5 favorite movies?

(in no particular order…except #1…because it is my #1!)

#1 Twister


Emperors New Groove

Men In Black


Breakfast Club


And a new chapter begins

Regular readers of my blog are very familiar with the trials my family, and the rest of the Pepsi Pups families have been put through in the past year. It has tested our resolve, our strength and our personal determination.

While I do wish I could report that justice has been served, alas it has not.

A few months ago we learned the amazing news of a Pepsi Pups family in Ohio. They were blown over by the news that Karen Shirk from 4 Paws For Ability was stepping up where Lea Kaydus – Animal for Autism, Pepsi and Global Giving failed. 4 Paws For Ability was offering this family a much needed service dog, fully funded! What an amazing lifeline, tossed by someone who could have simply looked the other way but chose not to. Who saw a wrong and made the decision to make it right. October they will be blessed with a service dog.


A few weeks ago, another family devastated by the Pepsi Pup scam was contacted by 4 Paws For Ability. Karen once again could not let the mess wrought by  Animals For Autism, Global Giving and Pepsi quietly be swept under the rug. She once again offered a lifeline to a family with little hope left. The news that she was offering another, fully funded, fully trained autism service dog to this Florida family brought much joy! March ’13 they will be blessed with a service dog.


This morning I woke up to an email from Karen Shirk at 4 Paws For Ability.

(edited a bit…..)

Faith will be in our January 2013 class to get her new service dog (YES FOR REAL ;0)   I will be able to tell you who to thank in a bit.  

It is a true sin what Lea did and we are happy to be able to bring some good to the end of the story at least for the three families we are able to help :0)

Karen Shirk, Executive Director 4 Paws For Ability, Inc.

I am humbled and tearful. I am almost speechless.

More when I can type without crying…..

Brush it off

I need your help.

Imagine you have a special needs child.

She has autism.

She has some pretty severe sensory aversion.

She has some fears.

She has super, crazy, thick, wavy hair.

She is going through a “water near the head equals screaming unless I’m in a pool” phase.

She also has severe dandruff.

And her hair is black.

Faith has been in a bit of a challenging phase lately. She does NOT want her hair washed. By that I mean that the sight of the shampoo can result in screaming, thrashing and throwing. I have tried almost every trick I know of. We have washed Daisy together, we have washed her stuffies, I have brought her in the shower with me. We have tried using the sink. We have read social stories. We have watched cartoons. We have watched Elmo’s world. We tried “dry” shampoo.

I KNOW eventually we will move out of this, but I need some advice for the here and now.

Her hair is a mess.

The dandruff is awful.

How awful?


I brush her hair several times a day hoping to help loosen it and help it fall out. We have had a nylon bristle brush, but she said it was too scratchy and hurt. It also didn’t seem able to penetrate the thickness of her hair. She is ok with my using a plastic ball tipped vent brush, but it does not seen to help bring the flakes out of the hair.

Has anyone ever used a boars hair bristle brush. Are the bristles softer than the nylon bristles? They are kind of expensive but if they can get through the hair and help get the flakes out, I’m willing to buy one.