Wednesday, July 27, 2011

OH CANADA....Nova Scotia how I LOVE thee!

I cannot express how much I LOVE my home province and more specifically my hometown of Havre Boucher. Growing up I couldn't wait to grow up and leave this place. I remember sitting on the swings behind the school with my BFF Pauline and dreaming about where the future was going to take us. Years later we happened to be home visiting at the same time and went for a walk around the village together. We stopped at those same swings and our conversation turned into how much we love being here now and coming home.

Everytime I mention my hometown...or rather, village...to friends in Florida, I have them all convinced that their next vacation is going to be to Havre Boucher. I paint the most idyllic picture of this little seaside community and turn it into a Norman Rockwell painting...in their eyes! In fact I did have 2 friends from Florida fly up 4 years ago and they have often told others it was the most beautiful, relaxing vacation spot they have ever visited...so there!!

There are MANY reasons why I love coming home but I will pull a Letterman and do my Top 10 Reasons!

1. The grass is green and the sky is blue. Well it is in Florida too but you don't notice it as much living in a city because of all the buildings and cement. This is the first thing I notice as I make my way home from the airport. How green the trees of the countryside are against the vast blue of the sky.

2. The water is sooooo cold at dads house that my fillings ache when I brush my teeth. I love it. BUT....on the other hand the water is sooooo cold at the beach, that there is no way these Floridian peeps are venturing out further than our big toe!

3. My menu is planned the night before and my personal chef prepares it the next day. All my old home cooked favorites are on the list and my daddy lovingly makes me everything....from his famous roast beef, to hodge podge to homemade biscuits for strawberry shortcakes. YUM-O. And don't get me started on all the free food from Shaws family restaurant!
4. Driving off the transcanada highway into the village is like stoping time. Nothing has changed from when I grew up. The old church and elementary school are gone and a new church and community center are now built, but on the whole the houses are all still the same and the place is exactly the way I remember growing up. It's a nice change from the ever constant growing and changing city I live in. Where everytime I drive down the road something new and bigger is being built.

5. CIGO and CJFX the 2, yes I repeat only 2...radio stations play Bye, Bye, Bye by N Sync and Dressed for Success by Roxette like it's a Top 10 recent hit. With all the new songs out there they are stuck in a rut playing these oldies. But don't get me wrong....I'll be the first to crank up the radio and belt these tunes out at the top of my lungs while crusing into town.

6. Number 3 was about food and now number 6 is going to be about food again....Is it any wonder I gain 10+ lbs every NS vacation. But how can I pass up any opportunity to chow down on a coffee crisp, sour cream & bacon chips, smarties, wonderbar, any and all vachon cakes oh and ketchup chips too. They are Canadian favorites and unfortunately cannot be bought in Florida...anywhere. I once saw a coffee crisp bar at the Dollar Store and bought all 11 of them. I was like a madwoman grabbing them off the shelf for fear that someone else would eye them and want one. And no I didn't share...not one!

7. Pot holes. Trans Canada highway in general. I'm not sure how anyone has a car left to drive, these highways are so horrendous. I guess its not one of my top 10 reasons why I love it here...just thought I'd throw it in!

8. Speaking of highways...I am constantly on alert when driving here. At night it is sooo dark I become mesmerized by the dotted white middle line flashing by. I drive at night in Florida but I live in a city so it's always lit up. Also the highway here is turned into an obstacle course with deer dodging off and on the highway and dead porcupines littering the side and sometimes middle of the road. Since all my senses are on high alert I become a better driver here paying closer attention to the road. Also the no-talking-on-your-cell-phone law helps too.

9. Oh the eau du skunk. Such a lovley smell for the nostrils. An animal that we don't have in Florida fortunately. Well maybe there are some in the country but not in the city where I live. And cow poo. Another lovely smell for the nostrils. I'm joking here people but a smell that I do love is the smell of freshly cut grass. There is so much of it here that the smell is intese. In the city where people have a 5' by 5' lawn...there is no lingering cut grass smell. One of the smells that reminds me I'm back in the country.

and number 10.....Mamma always gets a new tattoo. Shaw once joked that he wasn't going to let me come home anymore because everytime I returned to Florida I had a new tattoo. Wait until he sees what I have in store for him this year when I return!!!

City living is where I chose to be but I'll always be a country girl at heart. Like Dorothy said...There's no place like home!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Birds and The Bees

Sorry I have been neglecting you my friends. Seriously though, between baseball games, practices, tournaments and end of the year team parties.....I have about 2 hours of the week left to myself! It has finally ended for Brooklyn and her Bulls softball team and Madden and his Reds T-ball team. So now we are focusing on Dallas and getting him ready to head to Georgia with his All Star team. 4 days a week....10 hours of practice....I might as well install a cot in the dugout and call it home, since I'm at the field more than I'm at my real home!

But in between those baseball hours we are home and finishing up the school year. A month or so ago Brooklyn brought home from school a note for the parents, telling us that a Personal Health and Body Lesson was going to be taught in the classroom. There wasn't much more info on it, so being the crazy mom that I am, I immediately emailed her teacher to find out what exactly was going to be taught to my little naive 5th grader. She wrote back informing me that a parent information night was coming up and everything would be explained then. So I marked it on my calender and shuffled kids around that evening so that I could make it to this info session.

Now, I may be 34 years old. I may have given birth to 3 children. But get me in a room with strangers, looking at pictures of sperm and eggs travelling down the fallopian tube and talking out loud about vagina's and the penis...I start breaking out in hives. Normally, this stuff doesn't bother me and I'll be the first to talk about vagina's...actually I think I did talk a lot about mine in this post...but when I think about having to talk out loud about this stuff to my daughter, the itchiness and blotches start.

So the info session was OK. They brake it down into 5 1 hour classes. Boys and girls separated. And it starts with puberty, goes into the male anatomy, then the female anatomy, menstruation, and then BAM....straight into talk about AIDS. Whoa....back up some. Is there any information taught about sexual intercourse, how babies are created or how AIDS can be passed onto others, other than through blood transfusions. NOPE. I guess they have to guess, or the best answer....Go Ask Your Parents.

So overall I'm OK with what she is going to learn in this class. But for the most part, she already knows this stuff. Its the actual baby making act that she knows nothing about, and quite frankly I'd rather her not know. But since she is going into middle school next year, I feel I need to educate her on this before her classes in school starts, so she's not sitting in her desk confused as ol' hell.

I don't remember my parents sitting me down and talking to me about this. I do remember a very graphic book that mom gave me to read and I very vividly remember my father...who also happened to be my 6th grade teacher....teaching the 6th grade girls all about this. Oh how I wanted to die from humiliation. I slumped down as far as I could in my desk....in the back of the class....as far away from my dad and his pointer stick....pointing to the slide show of vagina's and penis'. He should have realized my uncomfortableness and asked to teach the boys. But he didn't and that's how I learned.

Shaw is the P.E. teacher at his elementary school in Tampa and he also teaches this class to his 5th graders. So I pleaded with him to take his vast knowledge of this subject and to enlighten our daughter. He laughed in my face. So with that, I drove over to Borders and bought a book called It's So Amazing. Seriously, a fabulous book. Funny and to the point. I was busting a gut curled up the children's section of Borders reading this book. Bought the book and drove home, giving myself a little pep talk the whole way home, You can do it, you can do it!!!

I walk in the door and Brooklyn is all ready for bed curled up, reading a funny Judy Moody book. I ask her if she would like to read a better book than that!!! Haha. She looks up skeptically. So I start with my prepared speech about the lessons that are coming up in school and she puts her hands over her ears and like a little 5 year old says 'lalalalala....I can't hear you'! This is starting off great! So I pull her hands down and tell her if she doesn't hear me out, then I'll have to get her father in here to read the book out loud to her! That quickly gets her attention. So I show her the book and how its broken down and I tell her to read away.

I keep peeking around her door frame and she seems to be totally engrossed. Every once in awhile I holler out...'Got any questions'? and she hollers back...'Nope, I'm Good'!!! Phew, this is going better than I thought. Then I hear....'Mom, I got a question'. Oh crap. 'So does the mans penis actually go into the vagina'? Nothing like getting right to the point and there I stand rooted to the floor. The one question that has haunted me since the day I gave birth to her. 'Um, yup....it actually does'. 'And does it hurt or feel good'? Oh good lord, shoot me now. I can't even tell you what I answered her with because there was a lot of stuttering and incoherent mumbles. I wanted to tell her it hurts like hell and to run as fast and as far as you can when that time comes. But I didn't.

So she finally gets to the end of the book and aside from a few other questions about homosexuals and the XY chromosomes that determine the gender....we were DONE. So now she is all knowledgeable and I'm breathing a sigh of relief. That is until it comes time to teach Dallas all about it...But I still have a few more years before the toture begins again.

I'm not sure who gave this subject the term 'Birds and the Bees'. It should be called 'The Monsters and the Goblins' because that is some scary stuff right there.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Give yourself a KitKat...Give yourself a (Facebook) break!

So while I was on a break from facebook, I came to the realization that I do have more willpower than I thought! While I did cheat here and there and peeked on facebook sporadically....I did restrain myself from posting or liking or commenting on anything. SO to anyone who had a birthday...happy belated birthday. To anyone who got married, engaged, had a baby, completed a course or class.... Congratulations. And to those of you who updated that you were sick or tired or bored....who cares!!

5 things that I have realized over the past 40 days.....

1. DO NOT drive through a yellow light at 66th Street and 46th Ave. in Pinellas Park. I did and saw the bright flash of the camera snapping my licence plate. Sure enough....I received a lovely red light violation ticket in the mail to the tune of $158.00. Not a "this is your 1st warning" ticket. A Mo#*er F*^~ing $158.00 ticket. Suffice to say Shaw was NOT happy about this. I will be performing favors for payoff of this ticket for a looooong time.

2. I would like to quit my job and become a professional vacationer. Oh wait, I don't have a job, well a good paying one. And I go on so many vacations that I probably could put it on a resume as a professional job. Crusin' to Cozumel with my peeps (peeps meaning friends and not hubby or children) was amazing. Sleeping in, laying on the pool deck sunbathing while Svetlana from Sweden served me frozen slushy drinks with fancy little umbrellas, being rocked to sleep by the gentle waves (or was that just my head spinning from all the wine consumed), having 5 or 6 options to choose from on the dinner menu and eating it while its still hot....I could soooo get used to that. Got home and 5 days later took my kiddies on a plane to visit my sister in law and her 3 kiddies in Indianna. Now while  realized I did that backwards (because I needed a cruise to relax after 5 days with 6 screaming kids) it was fun and we all had a memorable time together.

From this...

And this....

Too this...

And this!!!

3. I have gotten serious in my weight loss goal. My new motto is "If I don't do it, nobody else is going to do it for me" Meaning....get my fat ass off the couch and outside to exercise! So I have bumped up the healthy eating regime and started back running. I'm up to running 2 miles and walking a mile. 2-3 times a week. My knee is still killing me and I have another Dr. appt for it next week but I enjoy putting on my sneakers, cranking the tunes on my ipod and just getting outside and running. Weighed in today and lost 3.5lbs this past week. That makes me feel good about my efforts. On my way to skinny bitch status. 

4. As a motivator for losing this last bit of weight I have given myself an "end of the tunnel" reward which I cannot wait to claim. A new tattoo. My fabulous tattoo artist Jamie has me on the books for August 1st. So first I have to lose 20 more pounds and second I have to get to Nova Scotia this summer. Being invited to Will and Kates royal wedding seems more probable at this point than either of the other 2....but I'm gonna keep plugging away. At the weight loss AND at Shaw to allow us to fly to NS this summer.

Tattoo that I'm a gonna get on inner left forarm with seeds "blowing" down my inner arm to wrist. (Minus the writing!)

5. I have alot of great friends. You all really missed me while I was gone. Ok, well maybe you just missed my funny status updates and my witty blog posts....but it made me feel really good to see the "Welcome Backs" from everyone after just one day back! While I have over 700 facebook friends, I really only connect with a quarter of you on a daily basis and I'm truely thankful for this social network that allows us all to connect with one another even from different countries.

OH.....one more thing I realized....don't answer the door to the FedEx man with just a robe on. You may happen to have a 3 year old, next to you,  pulling the sash untied and exposing body parts that should never, ever see the light of day. Wardrobe malfuntion. And a happy day to you too Mr. FedEx man!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bragging Rights.

Having kids means I get to become that obnoxious in your face-i think my kid is better than your kid-bragging kinda mamma! It's a good thing I only have 3 to brag about. Any more and it would turn into a full time job.
This photo cracks me up every time I see it. Our attempt at a family picture and my 3 fabulous kids are all looking a bit wonky!!

My oldest and only daughter truely is the ray of light in my life. She is the kindest, sweetest most lovable kid ever. She has a mothering instinct and is always there to help me with Madden or any other kid that is around. She insists on a hug and a kiss every night and as soon as she wakes up in the morning...I sometimes don't even get that from hubby! She has an innocence to her that I wish would last forever but unfortunately won't. Especially since she is going into middle school next year which means this summer I have to stomp on and squish every  belief she had...and in some cases, still has...about Santa, the Easter bunny, the toothfairy and...insert hyperventilating and sweats here...I have to have the "Talk" with her. The birds and the bees can't be put off any longer. OMG....I'm having a panic attack just thinking about it.

But until then I'll keep her in the dark as much as I can...because that's the kinda mamma I am! Any suggestions are appreciated and wanted!!  She has become quite the little pianest and I know her Nana..the former choir organist and piano teacher...is smiling down from heaven on her when she plays! She truely has an ear for music and picks up pieces after hearing them only once.


Keeping with her musical talents she also loves to sing and she auditioned and made the All County Chorus. There were 3 girls that made it from her school. Many days of afterschool practice and evening rehearsals finally ended when over 200 students from Pinellas County came together for the performance. It was amazing and was televised on local tv.

Brooklyn, Isis, Rachael and their music teacher ( Mrs. DeCosmo) and Principal (Mrs. Pitts)

She works very hard in school and brings home report cards that are verrrry different from mamma bears old report cards!! All A's. She gets Citizen of the month awards and because of all her hardwork she is in the gifted program at her school and this allows her to go on special field trips.
Smartie pants holding up their Principal List certificates for having all A's.


Citizen for the month of March.


Fieldtrip to Epcot because her gifted class was learning about China.

She recently did something to help others and it was by chopping of her locks. She voluntarily chopped off 10 inches so she could donate it to Locks of Love. This is the 2nd time doing it and I'm very proud of her for thinking of others in this way.

You would think her talents end there....but nope, she has more!! Aside from being academically gifted she also loves to play sports. While she doesn't play ball at the level of her younger brother, she puts her heart into the game and gives it all shes got.


Now onto bragging rights for child number 2. I guess it would start with his baseball playing ability. I have never seen a kid his age play they way he does. My nick name for him is little Babe Ruth. Seriously...all the kids that he plays with on his two teams have this uncanny knowledge of baseball that seems unrealistic for their age. He proved his baseball playing ability by making the All Star team last summer and heading off to Tennessee to play in the World Series. His team came 7th out of 52 teams. Not too shabby.

Poor little guy, so upset they didn't come in first place. Broke my heart. But they played AWESOME.


Winning the State Championship.




My Shark pitcher.

He also can break boards!! Don't mess with my Kung Foo Panda!
video

His athletic abilities aren't his only redeeming quality. As you saw in the picture earlier, he got all straight A's on his last report card. For his Thanksgiving concert at school he was chosen to be the Chief.

He also has the artistic gene passed down to him from Pappa and Nana. His painting "Sunset Palms" was selected to be displayed in the Pinellas County Administration building this whole school year.



He also is fearless. Not sure where that comes from... He decided to not only jump from the high diving board during swimming lessons last year...but he flipped off the diving board too. I can barely jump in the pool while just standing on the side. This pic is of him taking the plunge.


Now let's get to my most talented child!! Mad man Madden. While he has yet to perfect any one activity...I know that with time and practice he'll surely rise to great hights.


Third baseman! Way to catch those balls.



Future swimming olympian...in training.

Videographer?

D.J.?


Dancer...Performer?


Musician?

Taste tester?

Stay at home dad? Those are mad folding skills!

Speed skater?

Computer programmer?

Cross dresser?

Artist?

Oscar the Grouch?

Fisherman?

Archeologist?

Tattoo artist?

Whatever talents my little mad man chooses to perfect will be ok with me. In fact, whatever any of my children choose to do in life, I will always stand behind them 110%. As long as they are happy and trying their hardest I'll be one proud momma. OK....That's it. I'm sure you all are ready to barf at this post and all my mommy bragging but it's my blog and I can post what I like. Go get your own blog and start bragging.


 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why the hell didn't I think of that???

There are a few items that I have found in my life, that the minute I see it I think...."why the hell didn't I think of that?" Such a simple thing...yet once discovered, something I can't live without.

When my daughter turned 10 she asked for an American Girl Doll. Now if you have never heard of these dolls, then you are not alone...but you are in the dark. I had heard about them but assumed they were your typical, run of the mill doll. NOT. These are beautiful, expensive, popular, expensive...did I already say expensive...dolls. And they are such a money maker that it's one of those...Why couldn't I have thought of that...ideas! Is there a Canadian Girls Doll out there? Hmmmm.......

Brooklyn designed hers to look just like her from the skin color, to the brown eyes to the shade and length of her hair. She cost a whopping $100 and I thought...how ridiculous to pay that amount of money for a doll for a 10 year old to play with for a few months until the novelty wears off. But the more I thought about it.....I decided if she wanted to still play with dolls then I would get it for her because before I know it my 10 year old will be 16 years old and wanting to play with boys. If she is still playing with the doll at 16...I'll start to get concerned then!

So her American Girl doll came and she named her Alyssa. Along with the doll came a magazine. Now the AG magazine for a 10 year old is equivalent to the Sunday Target ads for me!! She locks herself in her room, sprawls across her bed and starts scrolling through and circling everything that she wants. You seriously can get ANYTHING your little heart desires for your doll. One look at some of the prices of the items she circled and I almost had a mini stroke. The only thing I could possible afford for her was a hair brush! But Sucker that I am (and Sucker with a capital S) I caved and bought her an outfit for Alyssa that cost almost as much as my wedding dress. The only good thing is that whenever her aunt or Godmother asks what they can get her for a gift...I always have a list of clothes, accessories and pets that Brooklyn has complied in hopes of furnishing her American girl, Alyssa's, rockstar lifestyle!

This week for Spring Break we flew to Chesterton, Indianna to visit with Tracy, Scott and the other Webb kiddies. Saturday we decided to leave the boys with Scott and take the girls...Brooklyn and Sydney...into Chicago to the American Girl Store on the Miracle Mile in downtown Chicago.




She was sooooo excited. I lost track of the number of times she told me "Thank You mommy for taking me here." Then she looked at me and said..."I never thought this day would ever happen!" We strolled through the store looking at all the Historical Girls and all the Girls of the Year. There are sections dedicated to each girl with all the clothes, furniture and activities pertaining to each girls specific year. It was all overwhelming! There was a photo studio where you could have a studio session with your doll and get a photo package. There was a whole library of all the AG books and movies for you to purchase. There was a hair salon...for the dolls. You could choose your style and then have a stylist create the updo.

There was also a doll hospital. We checked it out, because if you recall from facebook posts awhile back.....little brother Madden decided to use Alyssa's bum as his canvas to reveal his hidden artistic abilities!!!


Upstairs...yes, I said upstairs meaning that there are 2 whole floors dedicated to the dolls...was where you could purchase all the outfits and accessories for your custom created doll. I forwarned Brooklyn that I wasn't going to spend a months salary in here and that she could pick out one thing. She already had decided earlier on what she wanted. Matching pajamas. For Christmas she got the Sweet Treats doll pajamas and I guess wanted something for herself!

I bought them a size larger than what I normally would for her because for the price I paid for them... they are going to fit her until she leaves for University. I don't own anything, even from Victoria's Secret, that came close to what I paid for these pink p.j's!!

The night before, Tracy and I had checked the availability of lunch spots at the AG Cafe, but unfortunately (or fortunately for our wallets) there were no open spots left. When we got there, Tracy sneakily wrote our names on the waiting list for the 11am brunch. At 10:50am I get a call from her (since we were seperated in the store) that there was a no-show and we were going to eat there. Brooklyn near peed her pants on the spot she was so excited. So we plowed through everyone and made our way upstairs. Adorable isn't even a good word to use to describe our eating experience. The AG dolls had there own hairchair attached to the table. We got to choose from a varity of items on the menu, plus a drink and a super cute dessert plate. Sydney and Brooklyn had the best lunch ever and well Tracy and I really enjoyed ourselves too.








So I can honestly say Brooklyn's first...and probably ONLY...American Girl Store experience was surely a memorable one. The girls played the whole rest of the week with their dolls!


I won't write another blog about it, but let me tell you about this place called Build-A-Bear........




All 3 kiddies now have a Build-A-Bear. Brooklyn named her Bear....Coco. Dallas named his Polar Bear....Pokey and Madden just got his first Monkey and named him Bananas.

That about sums it up and should be my nick name when it comes to pleasing my kids with these money making ideas.... Bananas.

Bananas Sucker Webb!!!