Monday, January 31, 2011

Bon Voyage

Here in the Florida school system there is a phrase that states, "No child Left Behind." It has something to do concerning the education of children in public schools. But here in the Webb house "No child Left Behind" takes on a whole new meaning! Poor Madden.

This past weekend Shaw had a P.E. conference that was held in Jekyll Island, Georgia. The first year he attended, we all tagged along. It wasn't the greatest mini vacation because Madden still was not walking and still took 2 naps during the day. He went to bed early so that meant we all had to be quite and go to bed early....looking back I can sucked. Last year we decided to tag along again but this time Isabel offered to keep Madden in Florida and watch him. Well, it was the right move because we enjoyed every minute of our trip. While Shaw was in his conference...Brooklyn, Dallas and I biked 11 miles around the island, stopping to look at the old plantation ruins and cemetery's. We walked through the museum, frolicked on driftwood beach, played 2 rounds of mini golf....and we stayed up late and made as much noise as we wanted! This year again we tagged along and once again Isabel offered to watch Madden. Now he has grown alot in the last 2 years and he might have been enjoyable to take this year but I figured...ahhh, why bother! Isabel offered to watch him, so I accepted. And once again, we biked around the island, and did all the same things as last year and more. Plus as an added dad tagged along with us so we got to give him the Jekyll Island tour being as he's never been there. He loved it and we all loved spending time together.

Now all my friends when they find out that I've once again gone on vacation and left Madden behind say, ahhhh.....poor little guy. BUT if they were really my friends and if they really knew how he acted in public sometimes they would instead say, made the right decision!! Mad man has been left behind to play with Nanabel when we have gone to Jekyll Island, Arizona, Michigan, Key West and I'm sure many other one night trips that I can't remember at this time.

This weekend coming up we are going on yet another mini vacation to Orlando. This one is actually for Maddens birthday. Instead of having a party this year I decided to take the family to Magic Kingdom on Saturday and then have breakfast on Sunday with all the Characters. So for this...I think we'll have to take him with us!!!

In March, 3 friends are going on a 4 night/5 day cruise and they asked me if I would go with them. Now the ironic part of this offer is that they are all teacher friends of Shaw's, yet I was the one invited!!! I'm not sure if they even asked him to go or not! But Shaw agreed that I could go with them before they even really asked me!! So on March 17th I will be saying Bon Voyage to ALL my children and heading to the high seas for some sun, drinks and relaxation.

Now here is where I really have to work my magic...on my husband! I get home from my 5 day cruise (tanned, relaxed and stress free) on a Monday. That Friday (4 days later) the kids start their Spring Break for 1 week. My sister in law,Tracy, her husband, Scott, and their 3 kids moved to Chesterton, Indiana last year and have a really big house......can you see where I'm going with this???? So I'm trying to work out details that will get us all up there for Spring Break. Now Shaw will still be teaching that week because unfortunately his break is the week after. Now the problem lies in....should I just take Brooklyn and Dallas up and leave Madden behind with Nanabel? OR.....should Nanabel AND Madden fly up with us too? Tracy is allowing all of us to invade her home for the week so that's not an issue. My brother in law, Mike, works for Alligiant Airlines, so we get tickets almost for free (we just pay the $27 tax on each ticket) so that's not an issue. The issue I really want to take Madden up there and entertain him for the week.

When I had Brooklyn I would think it was such a hassle to do anything with her. For example, go to the mall. I had to pack a diaper bag, get bottles, bring the stroller, etc. After I had Dallas...I thought, WOW having one wasn't such a big deal and I would welcome the opportunity to leave one behind and only take one to the mall. Then baby number 3 came along and well, if 2 used to be a I welcomed having to only take 2 instead of 3 anywhere! So this is how I feel about travelling with 3 children. Two is better than three!

Growing up my family went on vacations every Spring break. Being from snowy, chilly Nova Scotia our Spring Break vacations always were down south... Florida, Memphis, New Orleans, California, Arizona. And every summer we travelled as well. If it wasn't all around Nova Scotia to different places,we flew to Vancouver, Quebec, Michigan, Maine, England. Never did my parents pick either me or my brother to go with them. It was always as a family and I look back on those vacations with the fondest memories.

So I think now that Madden has turned 3, is potty trained, speaking and not throwing his famous temper tantrums....I'll start dragging him along on all our family vacations. With our Spring Break vacation up north being planned right now, I think I'll agree to letting both Madden and Isabel go with myself, Brooklyn and Dallas. After all......she'll make a wonderful sitter for all 6 kids when Tracy and I decide we need a mommy day of pedicures and martinis!!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Day of birth Mr. Mad Man

This time 3 years ago I was holding my precious newborn bundle of joy in my arms and, now we did it. We are officially outnumbered by our children. This whole last pregnancy was anything but easy. When I was 15 weeks along, we went to Nova Scotia for our annual summer vacation. I developed a rash all over my body that had me in and out of the Dr.'s office. It was the most painful, itchiest rash that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I had welts and bumps in places on my body where welts and bumps should NEVER be. If you happened to me scratching out in now know why!

That summer my mom unfortunately fell and broke her hip. Back and forth, in and out of the hospital she was and so were we to visit as often as we could. Needless to say it was a stressful summer. At 6 months pregnant, mom landed back in the hospital and I knew in my heart, that this was the countdown to her time remaining on earth. Her cancer had spread throughout her whole body and she was deteriorating quickly. So back home to NS I flew. The single most heart wrenching visit, saying goodbye to her in the hospital the day before I had to fly back to Florida, knowing that I was never going to see her alive again.

And so they day finally came when she took her last breath. December 6th, 2007. I was 8 months pregnant and once again enroute to NS. Under Dr.s orders not to fly, we packed the van, and drove up. 3 days of bathroom breaks every hour, 3 sleepless nights in hotels. Made it there and said goodbye to the woman who gave me life. One of the strongest ladies I have ever known. She was now comfortably resting in heaven smiling down at us...our personal guardian angel. The weeks that followed, we were able to stay and try our hardest to enjoy Christmas with my dad. All was fine until I decided to fall down the stairs on our way out to dinner Christmas Day. I was able to stop my fall by bracing myself with my the process spraining my wrist. Geesh. Klutz.

Now my time to deliver is getting closer and closer and all I can think about it holding that baby in until I at least cross over the Canada/USA border. I need to have an American baby so as to avoid all the paperwork that I would have had to fill out!! Finally we pack up and head back South. We cross the border and I breathe a sigh of relief. Now just get me home so I can deliver in my hospital with my midwife. Every State that we cross into has me offering up a little prayer of thanks for getting us that much closer to home. Nights were hell. Pacing the hotel room floor. Contractions. I'm not sure how I didn't deliver on the floor of that Super Eight hotel in North Carolina....must have been my guardian angel watching over me.

FINALLY make it home to Florida and the stubborn baby has decided he's not going to arrive for another 3 weeks. Any time now. The morning of my scheduled induction arrives and off we go at 4am to the hospital. 6am the Pitocin starts flowing. 8am my epidural kicks in. 10:15am baby boy arrives into the world. My fabulous midwife Lucy decides that she's going to let Shaw scrub in and deliver the baby!! Whoa. What? Here is where I wish I had the camera and was taking the pictures of Shaw because he was blue the whole time. I think he forgot to breathe while he was busy extracting baby's head and shoulders from....well, you all know where baby's come from!

Welcome to the world. 8lbs12oz. 22inches. 10 fingers. 10 toes. Perfect.

These last 3 years haven't been easy with him. He's been much later to start everything than the other 2. His speech was delayed and I was very concerned so I took him to a Speech Therapist at All Children's. Turns out he was just lazy and wanted Brooklyn and Dallas to do all the talking for him. Everyone said, one day he'll just start talking and he won't shut up. Well, they were right! He loves hugs and he makes even my most miserable day better when he just walks up to me and says, "can I have a big hug mamma? Big kiss?" At night when he says... "I love you mamma. Lay down"...I could stay curled up with him forever. His latest accomplishment has been staying dry all day in his big boy under ware. I was so stressed out about his lack of commitment to the cause a few months back, that I just gave up completely trying. I figured he wouldn't be going to Kindergarten with diapers still on, so I still had time and I wasn't going to stress out about it. And it worked. He decided on his own that he no longer likes diapers and wants to be in under ware all day. But that also means staying dry!

My baby boy is no longer my baby. I know that my mom is smiling down on us today, wishing she was here to give him a big birthday hug and share some cake. I also know that no matter where Madden goes, he has his own personal guardian angel sitting on his shoulder. Love and miss you mom. Happy birthday Madden. Kisses and hugs to you both xo.

Lyrics to Lightning Crashes
Lightening crashes, a new mother cries
Her placenta falls to the floor
The angel opens her eyes
The confusion sets in
Before the doctor can even close the door

Lightening crashes, an old mother dies
Her intentions fall to the floor
The angel closes her eyes
The confusion that was hers
Belongs now, to the baby down the hall

Oh I feel it comin' back again
Like a rollin' thunder chasing the wind
Forces pullin' from the center of the earth again
I can feel it

Lightening crashes, a new mother cries
This moment she's been waiting for
The angel opens her eyes
Pale blue colored iris
Presents the circle
Puts the glory out to hide, hide.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Van Gogh, Picasso, Dali and Rachelle

What do these 4 people have in common? We are all artistes extraordinaire!!!! Well in my fantasy world that I live in, I consider myself in the same league as these 3 fabulous painters. Painting for me, as I'm sure it was for them, is a way to relax and calm my frazzled nerves. I get my canvas and easel set up, my paints laid out, my brushes prepped and I'm ready. Oh wait....I have 3 screaming kids running around me asking.... "can I paint, can I, huh, huh, huh??" So how exactly is painting calming?

Both my mom and dad painted. I remember my mom would get her supplies together and every Monday night she would go to the Seniors Club house and paint with a group of people. She painted with oils.

Painting mom did for me. Now hanging in Maddens bedroom.

My dad had an area set up in our study downstairs with all his painting supplies. It looked so pretty and professional. A huge work table with an overheard lamp. His canvas in a stand, all his brushes in a pretty purple vase. Never was I allowed to touch anything on that table!! So considering that they both painted, I must have inherited some pretty awesome artist genes!

Pencil crayon series dad created. Still looking for a place to hang them.

When I was pregnant with Brooklyn (and living home with mom and dad, if you remember) I was so bored! One day I decided that I was going to break out moms old oil paints and paint. What a time to start breathing in all those obnoxious fumes!!! Well I got everything out, ran into town and bought a canvas, set it up on a table in the garage, opened the garage door to let some fresh air in so as not to warp the development of my unborn child with fumes and began painting. Did I have a picture to follow? Had I seen something pretty that I wanted to copy? Nope. Just started splattering paint on the canvas. Blend a little here, smudge a little there and VOILA!! My first painting finished in 15 minutes. I'm not kidding. My mom came downstairs, out to the garage to see if I needed help setting up and I was already finished my painting!!! Check it out!

So now that we have unanimously decided that I am going to be famous, if not for my Rock star blog, then for my artistic are 2 more that I did.

My 2nd painting, from a picture my dad took.

Painted for Maddens jungle themed bedroom.

It would be my dream to have a bigger home, not only for the extra space so we are not on top of each other constantly, but so that I could have a spare room to convert to a studio. Well in reality it would be converted to a studio, craft room, spare bedroom, computer room, playroom and junk room. But somewhere in there I would like a tiny little space to be able to set up my art supplies and be able to leave it there... untouched.

This past weekend I saw on a friends face book page that her brother had painted some cute small paintings of Elmo and Grover and I thought...I should do that for Madden, considering his obsession with Sesame Street. So I ran out, got the supplies I needed and VOILA....produced these bad boys Sunday afternoon!!! I know, I'm THAT good....3 in one day!

So folks...if you didn't know this little fact about me, now you do. But like most starving artists, my talents will probably go unnoticed until I die and then suddenly out of nowhere, some big shot will see and buy one of my hidden paintings and I'll become a millionaire. So be sure to grab your one of kind, autographed treasures...before that happens. Please...don't everybody rush at once!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Welcome to the Sunshine State

I really take living in this beautiful State for granted.Well no, let me rephrase that. When I hear friends facebook posts about the mounds of snow in front of their living room window, or how they shoveled their driveway for 2 hours this morning, or how it's -45 degrees with the wind chill factor, or how the freezing rain-turned to ice knocked out power for 48+ hours.....I DO NOT take living in Florida for granted!!! I thank a higher power for dragging me down here 11 years ago.

But there is so much to see and do here in this beautiful State that we don't take advantage of because we do live here and think...oh it's always going to be there, we can go visit later. Take Busch Gardens. I decided yesterday to take my kids to Busch Gardens for the afternoon. This park is about a 25 minute drive from my house, yet my children have never been there. Well Brooklyn did go on a field trip there last year, but time was limited and the students weren't allowed on the rides. I wanted to go for 2 reasons. A: being that we are Florida residents, we can buy an annual pass for the same price as a 1 day pass. HELLO....who would pass that offer up. I wanted to go early in the year to take full advantage of the many free returns. B: Madden is 2 years old and idolizes Elmo and the Sesame Street characters. His birthday party last year was Sesame Street themed and every toy he gets is either Elmo, Cookie Monster or Grover. So I wanted him to experience seeing these characters and interacting with them now...while he loves them. Not in 2-3 years when the phase is over.

So we packed a backpack and took off for the day. It was beautiful weather outside, not too cold, not too hot and the park was deserted. Seriously, nobody was there. We would ride the Flying Grover rollercoaster...get off and get right back on without waiting 30 seconds! Needless to say we rode that ride about 15 times! When Madden saw the Characters his whole face lit up and he went running over to them for hugs and high fives. That right there...made my whole day worth it! During the show where the characters perform and sing...Madden kept hollering.."Hey Elmo, over here!" and waving to get Elmos attention!! My older two even enjoyed the whole Sesame Street experience. Especially the 3-D movie.

In 2 weeks we are taking the kids over to Orlando to visit Mickey Mouse and friends at Magic Kingdom. This will be Brooklyns 5th time, Dallas' 2nd and Maddens 1st. I'm excited to see how much he loves Mickey, Pluto, Donald, etc. Since his birthday is this month, I decided to not throw him a birthday party and instead we are going to dine with the Characters. I'll order a cake and we'll get to eat with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto. Seriously, how cool is that? Tops any birthday party I've ever been to.

But these parks are here...less than 2 hours driving time, for unforgettable memories. Now I do know the reason we don't take advantage of them as much as we because you have to re-mortgage your home in order to go to these places. The cost is sky high to get in and once inside you then have to start selling body parts for a tub of popcorn or sell your first born for a bottle of water. It is so ridiculously over priced. Thats why folks you carry a backpack or a big ol' purse like me, stop off at Walgreens and fill that sucker up with treats!!! ps....also works for the Zoo, Movie theaters and Childrens Museums!!!

I'm sure there are some FREE wonderful places to go in Florida. Take for example the beach! We do have some of the most breathtaking coastline and sandy beaches...and those are free (well except for the parking meters). Last year I took the kids to the opposite coast and we watched the Shuttle blast off from Kennedy Space Center. That was free (well except for the gas I had to put in my gas guzzling van). I would like to take advantage of some of the other beautiful places Florida has to offer....St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, Cocoa Beach and visit them all one day.

 But until I can afford that, I'll stay here in my beautiful neck of the woods and try to pay off the small loan I had to borrow from the bank so that I could buy ice cream for my kids at Busch Gardens yesterday.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Monster In Law

When I first met Shaw I was in Nova Scotia and he was in Florida. He spoke with his mom (who was also in Nova Scotia) on a weekly basis. On one particular Sunday conversation he happened to mention that he was in love. His mom, Isabel, laughed and said, "How can you be in love? I talked to you last weekend and you didn't even have a girlfriend!" When she found out I was a waitress at the restaurant and a local gal she was instantly in love...with the fact that I had ties to the area and that I wasn't from some remote village in Kazakhstan. I was a bit nervous meeting her the first time at the restaurant but turned out she was a sweetheart and I had nothing to worry about. YET.

As the story goes, I moved to Florida with Shaw and she was still in NS so our contact was over the phone during his weekly calls home. Fast forward a few months......I find myself pregnant and illegally in the USA. To make a really long story short...I have to move back home with my parents in NS so that I can take advantage of the free health care system. This move also puts me back in my old bedroom at my parents home and closer to my in laws to be. Lose Lose situation...for me.

Here is where things quickly start swirling down the toilet. I'm back to working at the restaurant...which isn't so bad really. I enjoy having my own spending money again. But I am now 3 hours away from the closest maternity clothing store, and now that a belly is popping out my low cut jeans and tight tees aren't going to cut it. Plus it's really cold there...and I was really starting to like Florida's warm weather. But all that I can handle. It's my mother in law to be...that I'm not sure I can handle for the next 7 months. She has decided that baby can hear her when she sings to it. Which may be true and may be fine for some people. But for me...hardly knowing this woman crooning away to my belly was a bit weird. She also took every opportunity to rub my baby bump. Which also may be fine for some woman...but I enjoy my personal space and unless I invite you into it, stay back.

So lets fast forward 7 months and I'm as big as a whale...this is no joke..and getting my birthing plan in place. I have decided nobody but Shaw and I and my Lamaze coach and friend Vanessa will be in the delivery room. M-i-L (to be) keeps telling me at every opportunity that she will be in that room....even if she has to wear a mask, disguise herself and pretend to be a nurse. So not funny. Contractions start...we make it to the hospital, and we're all there including now my mother who I also swore wouldn't be anywhere near that room when delivery time came...but when when children are hurt or sick...who's the first person they call for? Mommy. I crawled into her room, waking her up at 2:30am begging her to come with me to the hospital. Well things happened quickly and we didn't get a chance to call anyone until I was pushing baby out and by the time everyone arrived, I already had baby in my arms.

So now I am settling down into motherhood...but still at my parents home in NS. Looking back I wish I could have been there afterwards for each birth because the support I received not only from my mom and dad but also from Isabel was so very helpful to my sleep deprived sanity. But I was a new mom and surprisingly I knew EVERYTHING about newborns and didn't need any unsolicited advice.

2 months into mommy hood I move back to Florida so we can be together as a family. Me, Shaw and Brooklyn. During the next 3 years I seriously have a love/hate relationship with my mother in law. I feel that she is pushy, overbearing, demanding, bossy.....wait, am I describing her or me? Ah ha! Light bulb moment! We are peas in a pod. All my strong characteristics are being revealed to me in the form of my mother in law. There is no room for the both of us.

Fast forward again and Dallas is born. I deliver him 10 days early so my mom, unfortunately, is not in Florida yet. She is getting ready to leave Nova Scotia to drive down for the winter. I leave the hospital with Dallas and head home to be mommy extraordinaire, now of 2 kiddos. Day 6 or 7 home and knock, knock...someones at my door. Last time that happened (read this blog post: I was in for a good surprise. This time, not so much. WOW. It's my mother in law, with all her bags. She's come to stay with me and help. Now for some that may be a great surprise, but for a mom extraordinaire like me, I didn't need any help! I was devastated.

My mom shows up a day or two later and I'm so so so happy to see her. Relationships with moms are one in a million. I finally have a nervous breakdown, spilling to my mom that I can't continue to pretend to be pleasant to Isabel. In her words of wisdom, she tells me how selfish I am....among many other things. I listen. I contemplate. I start to understand. Shaw is so tired of hearing bickering from both sides as well that he adds his two cents. I think. I think some more. Time for a serious law chit chat.

It starts off calmly enough, voices start to rise, some sighing and eye rolling, a bit of blaming each did this and I didn't appreciate it, well I did that and you didn't acknowledge it, tears, more sighing, beer break, more tears. This continued for over an hour. When the conversation finally started to near the end, I had the most amazing feeling of being free. Everything was off my chest, I laid it all out there on the table and there was a chance for us to start all over.

I realized a lot that day. Everybody has their own ideas and views of family and how members of a family should interact. It's not always going to be my way, as much as I would love it to be. By giving these two families a grand baby we were now linked together as one family. I realized that I may not always see eye to eye with everything my m-i-l is going to say and do, but that I will listen, seriously consider her opinion and then shoot it down.

That was 7 years ago. Today we have a great camaraderie. I value her input and ideas. I appreciate all the time she dedicates to watching my children. I understand that the relationship she is building between herself and her grandchildren is priceless. I love how she finds everything my children do and say to be funny...whether is it or not is to be decided. I'm in awe that she was able to raise 4 great sons...well 3 I'm still not so sure about! I have grown to love my mother in law and now that I no longer have my own mother around shes a wonderful stand in.

Moral of the story...when Dallas and Madden grow up, get married and start having babies...I'm going to be the most FABULOUS mother in law...ever! I'll know when to be there, when to give them their space and when to not croon lullabies to my daughter in laws belly!  Ha ha...who am I kidding. I'm going to be the most annoying, in your face, overbearing, bossy monster in law...ever!!

Friday, January 14, 2011


So I haven't blogged in the last few days because I have been sick. And when the mamma is sick watchout. The world or at least this gonna fall apart. It started with Madden having a sniffly nose and cough Tuesday night. As I gave him a slobbery kiss goodnight all I could think was...oh baby, I did it now. All those germy germs are now coursing through my body waiting to attack my healthy cells. Ever watch the movie Osmosis Jones, where the whole inside of Bill Murrays body is brought to life? Thats what I think of when I feel myself starting to get sick and I'm praying that Osmosis Jones (played by Chris Rock...I think) is working overtime to kick the crap out of the invading germs! Woke up Wednesday morning and it felt like my throat was on fire. I didn't want to hollar at the kids for fear that fire would come flaming out of my mouth. My mother in law and her faithful sidekicks...her Woo-Woo sister and Trailer Trash Diane were expected to arrive in Pinellas Park Wednesday afternoon after travelling the last few days from Nova Scotia. Being the ever so wonderful, fabulous, magnificant,awes.....ok, ok....daughter-in-law that I am...I invited them all over for dinner at my house when they arrived Wednesday evening. Honey glazed salmon, steamed fresh green beans, rice and warm just out of the oven....banana bread. Who wouldn't drive a couple thousand miles for a homecooked dinner like that. Well, let me say....I'm just glad I didn't sneeze in the salmon or that my nose didn't drip in the rice because I felt like complete doggy doo-doo...and thats glamorizing it! But I trodded on and served them, smiled and even cleaned up. They had to leave right after eating due to the time of day...and having to unload the van...but I didn't need to hear any apologies. The faster they left, the faster I could clean up and go to bed. But my night is still not over because I'm a MOM and moms never get time off. So.....3 kids in the shower/bath, pajams on, teeth brushed, homework completed, lunches made for school the next day, bedtime stories read, some rocking chair action with Madden, tucking them into bed and then I can FINALLY call it a night...and get's only 7:15pm!!!! I convinced them it was 8:45 and bedtime!!!! I should get an award for that finely finessed deception!!! So I feed Osmosis Jones some Tylenol Night time medication, layer myself up in clothes (because now I have the chills), shove a tissue up my nose (because I have that uncontrollable drip) and get myself in bed by 8pm!! YEAH ME!  Woke up yesterday still feeling like doggy doo-doo. And of all days, I have volunteered myself to go on a field trip with Brooklyns class. But not any field trip where I could just sit back. This was an intese, all-day, be there for training at 7:45am, busy field trip to Enterprise Village. But I managed to plow through the day without sneezing in any of the kids faces. Leftovers for supper, early to bed and today I feel like a human again. Well not quite human...more like human, half walking germ. But I'm functioning quite well today and I can talk to people knowing that snot is not going to spontaneously drip from my nose. I just wish Osmosis Jones would hurry up and find those lingering germs and kick their ass so I can go back to being 100% better.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My BFF's

I have to say I have been very lucky in the friendship department. I'm not sure how I've managed to keep the same great group of girlfriends that I had growing up since Primary. Especially when they all tell me how mean and bossy I was back then. Me? Mean and bossy? I can't see it! In elementary we all hung out together. I grew up in a small close knit community. All the other girls my age were with me in brownies/girl guides, figure skating lessons, piano lessons, singing lessons, dance lessons, (seriously, I think I tried everything that was offered!) and gymnastics. As we moved up to high school we merged with other students from neighboring communities. But throughout our highschool years we still managed to stay together and graduate together. Off to University we go...or wherever else our life seems to flow. But yet we still manage to make time for phone calls, emails, and weekend visits. During this time we have met and have become friends with other gals and guys and so now our group has expanded as we each introduce the old friend to the new friend. Graduation day from University and now onto and into the real working world. Some have spread out across Canada. Some have gone to teach overseas. Some have stayed in the community. Some have gotten married and are having children. Some have gone to other countries. But throughout all this hustling and bustling about we are still friends. Facebook has reconnected alot of us together again. I for one love finding old friends and taking a peek into their lives now. What they are doing, where they are living, how many children they have. I am thankful for all the wonderful relationships that I have kept and made with old and new friends alike. It doesn't matter how busy I am or how long I go without talking to a soon as I pick up the phone and reconnect with's like no time at all has passed between us and that is true friendship. So to all my old and new friends alike......(with the exception of the friends I made during my stint in Juvy) thank you for many years of past friendship and to many more years ahead!! (All 657 of my best Facebook friends!!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Henry viii I am I am....Henry viii I am-not!

When I was a little girl I used to line my dolls up and name them. There was Christina Victoria. And Elizabeth Margaret. There was Veronica Patricia and my Cabbage Patch doll that came with the name Rudy Haley. I'm not sure why or how I chose these names, but I liked the longer, flowing more regal sounding names. I would make lists of how many children I was going to have and I would choose names for all these future children. I remember when my friends and I would go swimming we would choose make believe names and call each other by our fake name at the pool. I always wanted to be Madonna. My parents...for reasons unknown...named me Marie Rachelle. I went by my second name Rachelle. I HATED that they did this. Whenever we had a substitute teacher, they would do roll call and scream out Marie DeCoste. When I went to the doctor or the dentist was always Marie DeCoste. I didn't know anybody else that went by their middle name. Why did I have to be so odd? Then I met Shaw and guess what's his middle name! He's actually Alan Shaw Webb. My soul mate? Perhaps! When we eloped (another blog post...I promise!) we were standing in the tackiest of tiny rooms at the St. Pete courthouse and the Justice of the Peace was reading her marriage blurb to us. When she came to the part for us to say I do...she read off the paper...."Do you Alan take Marie to be your wife?" We took one look at each other and burst out laughing. I'm sure she thought we were the most immature people she had ever married! There are times though now that I am glad that I go by Rachelle and not Marie. When the phone rings and someone asks to speak with Marie or Alan...we know they are a telemarketer and I say, "no sorry Marie is not home!" or Shaws favorite..."I'm sorry, Alan has passed away" Really? He says that!!! So when I found out I was pregnant the baby name books came out. Lists of names were made and then crossed off. I didn't know if we were having a boy or girl, so I had to have 2 lists. I knew I did not want to name my child after dead relatives or even after Shaw himself. Shaw Jr. Nope, not here in this house. There were so many other names to choose from to give our child their own identity, was how I looked at it. Finally we settled on Cade for a boy and Olivia for a girl. Then just a few weeks before I was due I heard the name Brooklyn and fell in love. After many horrendous hours of laboring, we had a baby girl. Brooklyn. Now to choose a middle name. I had heard Channing and loved that. Only problem, Shaw loved it so much he wanted is as her first name. So for the first 3 days in the hospital I would call our baby girl Brooklyn and Shaw would call her Channing. Then he suggested naming her Brooklyn Channing and calling her Channing. Are you CRAZY? No way was I going to put her through that torture! So Brooklyn Channing it was to be. 2 years later I find out I'm expecting again. This time I am going to find out what I'm having to make it easier to have a name chosen before the big day! For those of you that don't know this little fact...Shaw is the worlds biggest Dallas Cowboy football fan. So we agreed that boy or girl we would name 'it' Dallas. I really liked Jayden for a girl but alas...we found out we were having a boy so Dallas it was to be. I heard the name Breton when I was home visiting and it had some significance...since I grew up close to the Island of Cape Breton. So Dallas Breton was born and named. One last time I get knocked up. We again find out that we are going to have a boy so I throw my chosen girl name away...Salem. I decide that I love Sawyer and Sawyer it is going to be. Shaw decides that he hates Sawyer. So we are in battle. One night we are watching TV and John Madden comes on to speak and I say without thinking..."Madden is a nice name" Oops, wrong thing to say. Shaw has now decided thats our unborn sons name. So unfair that I have to do all the work for 9 months and don't even have a say. About 6-7 months into my pregnancy we go out to eat at our favorite restaurant and Shaw has one too many to drink. When that happens he turns into Chatty Cathy. So he has decided to take a poll and ask the waitresses what they think. Unanimously they all like Madden over Sawyer. So I tell Shaw that he's going to have to pay me in order to sway me. Money talks! So he forks over $300 and I give him rights to Madden!!! This is NOT a joke! Now comes a middle name. Geesh. This is getting old. I'm glad I stopped at 3 kids. I don't like anything and can't think of anything that goes well with Madden. Shaw suggests Cooper. The lady at the hospital filling in the paperwork has already come into my room 4 times wanting to know if I've made a final WHATEVER. I say...go ahead, put down Cooper. So there you have it folks. Brooklyn Channing. Dallas Breton. Madden Cooper. Many people have asked me why city names for the first two and not the third. One day I got curious and googled it and yup...up came a city in Wisconsin named Madden. So there...all 3 named after cities. Others have asked if they were named after the place they were conceived in. Really? You are going to ask me where Shaw and I had sex? How does one know the exact nano-second of conception? So I tell them, "Yeah...thats EXACTLY why they are named after a city." The next question...."So why Madden? That's not a place." To which I reply....."Well I very well couldn't name him Ford F-150 now could I?" WHAT? You wanted to know!
Brooklyn Channing...10 years old
Dallas Breton...7 years old
Madden Cooper...2 years old

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pack your bag kids, you've won a trip to.....Boarding School!

Is it just my kids that constantly fight? From the minute they wake up to the minute they close their eyes, it's constant nit-picking. Hitting, pinching, slapping, karate chopping, hair pulling, tripping, biting, name name it, it goes on in this house. Poopy butt face is a favorite in this house! It's not like Shaw and I do those things to each other and my children don't do these things to their why are they constantly at each others throats? Throughout the year I threaten them with.."The easter bunny is watching you." " You're birthday is coming up, do you want me to give ALL your gifts away?" "Santa sees you at the North Pole" and my favorite.... "Pack your bags, I'm driving you to boarding school" These empty threats usually work for the hour...if I'm lucky, the whole day. But they eventually revert back to their scrapping ways. For Brooklyns first 2 years of life I never once raised my voice at her. She was the perfect child and life was so stress free. Then the day she turned 3, she turned into this child I didn't recognize. Maybe it was jealously because 2 months later we welcomed Dallas into our family. Oh boy, if Dallas had been my first born, I would have stopped after 1 child. He was a piece of work! Madden eventually makes his appearance into the Webb family and life became even more crazy. This past year has been my most trying one as a parent. With 3 kids, 2 of them in school and sports, I'm being pulled in every direction. Trying to find time to get them ready in the morning and out the door on time, picking them up from school, helping each with their homework, trying to make something delicious and nutritious for supper, chauffeuring them to all their sports games and practices then finally back home for shower time, snack and bed. One would wonder where they would have time to fit in physical assults on each other. To make the situation even better Madden is like a sponge parrot. He sucks up everything he hears and sees and then repeats it. So now I have 3 siblings fighting. Last week the screaming and hair pulling came to a sudden halt when I walked into the bedroom, plopped a suitcase on the bed, opened it up and silently started putting clothes into it. They stopped, looked at me and asked "where are we going?" I reply, "It's not where are WE going, it's where are YOU going. I booked you all rooms at a boarding school in Orlando. They are expecting you tonight. Daddy and I will pick you all up on our way back from Georgia at the end of the month." Noooooooooooooooooooo. We promise to stop, promise, promise, promise. Dallas immediately jumps up and starts making his bed. Brooklyn grabs the laundry basket and starts folding clothes. Ahhhhh, silence. My threat has worked. For how long, I'm not sure, but in the mean time I'm going to sit back and relax and enjoy. It doesn't last long and soon they are at it again. Its a beautiful day outside and I actually have all 3 front windows open to let the breeze blow into the living room. But, Oh no, there's my neighbor outside, trimming her trees. I have a sinking feeling that she is going to call DCF (Department of Children and Families) on me, so I quickly shut the windows! There is no such thing as an indoor voice in this house. Everyone screams. I remind them of the room waiting for them in Orlando. There doesn't seem to be any relief in sight of this constant bickering. I have tried rewards, charts, bribery and threats. I have a feeling it will finally stop when they have left the house and moved on to university, emerging themselves in classes, parties and therapists... trying to find the root cause of their irrational fear of suitcases. Me, I'll be all alone in my quiet house wishing I had them all here fighting and screaming!

Friday, January 7, 2011

How I met your Mother

So because I can't be witty and inspiring everyday I thought today I'd tell ya'll how Shaw and I met. It's actually pretty crazy and I never thought about it until yesterday. I had a piano tuner over here tuning Brooklyns piano and man was he ever a talker. Somehow we got on the topic of marriage. He mentioned that he was 67 and had recently got married to a lady he met while playing in a piano bar. She requested a song and he fell in love! I thought how sweet. Shaw and I have a similiar sweet, sappy story and it's mine to share. A long time ago....really it seems like a long time ago, but it was only 12 short years ago...I was a waitress at Mother Webbs. And so the story begins....I had been waitressing for almost 3 years there and worked for Shaws dad, Jerry and brother, Scott. His 2 other brothers Mike and Todd also worked in the restaurant and his mom, Isabel sometimes came in as a hostess. It was and still is a family run business. Four days after Christmas in walked this great looking guy and sat down to eat with Jerry, Scott, Mike and Todd. Someone told me that was the 4th brother, Shaw. I struck up a conversation with him and we most definately were flirting...I'm the master flirter! Every day after that I worked, Shaw would come in and if he wasn't sticking around to eat with his folks, he would just order a coffee to go and leave. I later learned that he didn't even drink coffee. He would pour it out when he got home. It was his excuse to come in and say hi! So to make a long story short, we hooked up (use your imaginations) and he was to leave the day after. I get a call from him later the next afternoon and he tells me that he has decided to cancel his flight and he's going to stay another week. WTH??? It wasn't suppose to be like this. This was a fun, spur of the moment decision and he was supposed to go back to USA. I thought, this guy is nutso. Anyway, we took advantage of the days we had together that week and I started to like him more and more. He FINALLY left a few days into January and we had a phone relationship for that whole month. I would rush home from classes at X to talk to him, or rush home after working the night shift at Mother Webbs to call him. He worked on the road as a construction worker, at that time, and it was hard to track him down. But we eventually connected and burned the phone lines up for hours. On Jan.31st I was working a day shift at MW's and 2 dozen roses were delivered to the restaurant. All the girls wondered who they were for and who they could be from. Lo and behold they were for me from Shaw. I hadn't told anyone that I worked with about our ongoing relationship so everyone was a bit shocked...umm, especially his 3 brothers that worked there! I just played cool. The next day Feb.1st, I'm working again and de ja walks the same florist with another 2 dozen roses. this is getting just crazy. I must have rocked his world the week he was here! It has now become a joke amongst the waitresses. I take my flowers and go home. Feb birthday. He calls me in the morning to wish me a happy 21st birthday and I go down to my parents house in Havre Boucher. My mom is already in Florida for the winter but my dad is taking me out to dinner. As I'm lounging around watching tv, the phone rings and it's Shaw. He asks if I got anything delivered to me today? I tell him...I do not need anymore flowers!!! Ding-Dong. There goes the doorbell. "I'll wait" he says, as I go answer the door. OMG...more flowers and a teddy bear and a card. This is insane. My dad lives 30min out of town and it's the same florist. So I get back on the phone and I'm laughing and he says "Who was it" Well DUH....So he says, "is there a card?" Yup...I begin to read it. When I get to the spot in the card that says...wish I could be there with you....DING-DONG...the doorbell rings agin. At that moment I thought...there is NO WAY he is at my front door! I fly down the stairs and push my dad aside as he's about to answer it and yup...there is my knight in shining armour (well actually it was sweat pants, sneakers and a ball cap...but who cares!) So as my dad is standing there watching me kiss this stranger (Akward) I introduce Shaw...who I had never once mentioned to my parents. My dad just looks at him and says..."You're either crazy or in love." and walks away!!! Hahahah. So for the next 2 weeks I have Shaw all to myself. It is now public knowledge to all Mother Webbs staff that we are an item. When I'm not there working, I'm there eating with him! He elaborately wines and dines me Valentines night and then leaves the following day..back to Florida. I pack my suitcase and off to Cuba I go with many University friends for Spring break. It was a super fun time but I really wished I could be there with Shaw! I get home from Cuba and unpack, wash my clothes, repack and the following day I'm on a plane to visit him in Florida. The fact that I'm missing classes and mid-terms means nothing to me!! I stay the week bopping between his house and my parents rented condo on the beach. I'm sure they wanted to talk to me about the birds and the bees case I forgot...but I'd be off and running with Shaw before they could open their mouth! A week went by too fast and back to reality and classes and working. I get a call from Shaw about 2 days later telling me that he's quit his job on the road....he's packing up...renting out his house...and moving up to be with me. Remember folks this is just 2 short months after our first encounter. So up to Nova Scotia he moves. Right then and there I knew he loved me. To move from Florida to Antigonish in the dead of me equals true love! So we live, work, sleep, eat, play, together for the next 2 months until I graduate from St.F.X in mid-May. I think, this is where I have to choose my next path in life. So with alligator tears and a snotty nose I say goodbye to my mom and dad and hello to Florida and to the next chapter in my book of life.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Shop till you Drop

I don't know why I cannot walk into a store and buy ONLY what is on my list. I try and I try but time after time items that I never even thought about needing until I spied them...continue to jump into my cart. At least that's what I tell my manager hubby when he asks "why did you get that?" "I don't just jumped into my cart!" The look he gives me is usually one of disbelief. I don't know why he doesn't believe! Yesterday I went to Target...oh boy. There are a few stores that I can walk into, purchase only what is on my list, and then walk out. Wal Mart...only because I want to get the hell out of there as fast as possible. Sears...the ONLY time I go there is for something specific that I'm looking for. Music Store...only to buy the piano book Brooklyn is needing at that time and the XXX Adult Store...(that's a whole other post!!) Get me into a Target, Dollar General, Barnes & Nobel, Marshalls, Publix, Michaels....I can't leave without spending half of Shaws paycheck. So back to Target. I went in yesterday for 4 things. A body pillow cover, a black dry erase marker, wireless mouse and face wash. At the most my total should have been maybe $35-40. But I walked out with a bill of $155. How in the hell am I going to hide this from Shaw? One of the big things I bought was a metal wall decoration. It was 3 panels of metal with flowers cut out of the metal. Super cute and perfect for my wall. I thought in my head I could get away with telling Shaw that it was to be an early birthday present. Then I noticed the cute throw pillows and decided that I had to have a new one for my rocking chair. As I strolled past the bathroom section I realized I needed new hand towels to match my new bathroom decor I bought a few weeks ago. Hand towels and the Webb children do not get along, so I had to buy 7...a new one for each day of the week. Thankfully all the Christmas decor was gone. How can you pass up 75% off wrapping paper? I would have loaded the cart with items I thought I might need for next year. The electronics section isn't all that exciting to me, so I chose the wireless mouse I wanted and headed for the jewelry department. Now we're talking! As I looked around and bit my nails, I wondered how I could convince Shaw that the necklace I was eyeing was already a part on my collection rather than something I just purchased....hmmm. Whatever...into the cart it went. I'd deal with it later!! So all that along with socks, a tee shirt for Madden, a white binder, shampoo, conditioner and 2 birthday cards and my bill spiraled out of control. Luckily for me I had 2 gift cards with a little bit of moola on that brought the total....the price that Shaw will see when he opens the online bank statement....down some! So now I'm home with all my purchases, quickly ripping tags off and shoving them deep into the trash bag, and I'm eager to see what my early birthday gift is going to look like on my living room wall. Unfortunately the space is too small for it. There is no where else I can hang it. I needed something on the wall between my front door and front windows and that was supposed to be perfect. So back to Target I'll have to go this afternoon to return it. I just hope nothing decides to jump into my cart while I'm there.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Skinny Bitch

So aside from dreaming about being a Rockstar...I also like to dream of one day being one of those girls that everyone says..."You skinny bitch!" Seriously...I would take it as the biggest compliment and hug them! I am so totally obsessed with my weight and it's such a constant source of nitpicking..on my part. When I tell people how much I weigh, they look at me and say, NO WAY, you don't weight THAT much. But I do. Somehow I make it look like less. I mean I avoid clingy tops that highlight my muffin top and I avoid shorts that somehow point out all the cellulite on my thighs. I love wearing cute dresses bc they are very forgiving and don't cling to my unwanted curves. My manager hubby is always printing out pages that pop up on MSN....5 tricks to a flat belly or 10 foods to avoid while dieting or 2 simple exercises to drop 2 dress sizes. I know he is doing it because it is ALL he hears about from me and in his own mind this is something that he's doing to help me. But seriously...knock it off, or I just might have to fire you! After I had my last child I went on a weight loss program and instantly dropped 30lbs. I took an appetite suppressant daily and went in for weekly B-12 shots. I LOVED how quickly I lost the weight without having to get off my lazy ass and exercise. I didn't like that I had to cut out carbs from my diets because I'm a cereal, pasta, bread loving gal. But that weight slowly crept back on. Then last year I joined Weight Watchers and LOVED how I was able to eat anything as long as I stayed within my daily points range. It slowly took off the lbs but as summer approached and we went away on vacation, first to Tennessee and then to Nova Scotia, fast food and snacks took over my life. So now a new year has started and I jokingly stated on Facebook that my 2011 goal was to gain 15lbs. This is about what I average per year, so I've decided to set myself up for success. Weight loss resolutions only result in disappointment and low self-esteem, and really, who needs that? I'm really joking. I'll become a sweat pants, pony tail wearing hermit if that happens. I was attending a boot camp at Seminole Park. And Lisa the instructor was awesome, but lately I have a messed up knee and exercising is not an option until I can get it straightened away. So Hi-Ho,'s back to Weight Watchers I go. I have nothing on my calendar for the next few months, so I am going to take this weight loss seriously and change my nasty fast food habits once and for all. If you see me around please don't flaunt your bag of chips or chocolate bar in my face. But if you do see me in a few months from now and I've dropped 20lbs or so please feel free to call me a Skinny Bitch. I'll smile and give you a hug!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hello my name is Rachelle and I'm an addict.

If they had a support group for this....I would stand up and say, "Hello. My name is Rachelle, and I'm an addict." No I'm not addicted to chocolate, nor to alcohol. Some would say I'm addicted to Facebook...but I'm really not. I can go days without logging on if I'm not around a computer and I don't break into sweats and salivate at the mouth. People... I'm here to share with you that I'm addicted to my Black & Decker Dust Buster. There is a show on TLC that I watched the other day and one lady was addicted to sleeping with her blow dryer. Seriously folks, she would turn it on low and cuddle up next to it in bed and this has been going on for 23 years. Now I'm not to that extreme...yet! I think I have a mild case of OCD because I NEED to have organization and order in my house at all times or else I go all nutso on everybody. I cannot walk past the beds without smoothing the comforter. I cannot walk past the rocking chair without fluffing the cushion. I cannot walk past the bathroom with out peeking in and straightening the hand towel on the rack. I really wish that sometimes I could just relax and not give a shit about it. There are many days that I do just that and end up going to the extreme of not cleaning anything and it may last for a day or two. Dishes pile up in the sick and the counter top, the kids toys from the playroom are scattered throughout the house, 3-4 laundry baskets are overflowing with clean clothes that need to be folded and put away. I will admit that when these days occur...I am smack into the middle of a fabulous book that I cannot tear myself away from, therefore all things in life get neglected until I turn the final page! I am trying to give my 2 older children some chores throughout the week to help with the housekeeping but I'm so anal retentive that I end up remaking their beds or refolding the clothes. I complain to Shaw all the time that I NEED a bigger house. We are all on top of one another in this house and I know I would like my family a whole lot more if we had more room to spread out. But a bigger house would mean more cleaning and more anxiety attacks. Back to my faithful Dust Buster. If I could invent some type of holster to carry this thing around all day I'd be in heaven! I could whip it out and suck up the glitter Brooklyn leaves all over her bedroom floor from all her tee shirts. I could suck up all the leaves and acorns and sticks that Dallas tracks all over the house from his shoes. I could suck up the chips, cereal, bread crumbs, etc that Madden spills 24-7. I would be a blissfully happy woman. I wonder what kind of feelings that crazy lady gets from sleeping beside her blow dryer? Maybe I should snuggle up with my Dust Buster tonight. Hey...don't judge!

Monday, January 3, 2011

So much to little time

All the Christmas decorations have been removed from my house. The tree is down and now it is all stacked in my playroom...where it will probably stay for a few months before being moved to another location..closer to the shed...until finally it will be moved into the shed. Around here nothing gets done in a timely manner. Now as I look around my bare house, I see all the little things that need to get done. Paint touchups on the walls and kitchen cupboards, replace a ceiling light fixture that fell off the ceiling and shattered into a million pieces, find a coat rack and shelf for my living room, clean out and organize a corner of my bedroom that has turned into dump central station, remove wallpaper border in the kids bathroom and paint those walls, find my laundry room. I'm not kidding...I need to find it before I can organize it. Last year we bought a mac-daddy front loader washer and dryer. I was sooo in love, I vowed to do laundry everyday until death do us part. After about 2 months...I quickly decided I needed a divorce. I no longer loved this machine. But it's still there in the laundry's just that someone from the TV show "Horders" moved into that room too. So my honey-do list just keeps getting longer. My 2011 major home reno is going to be getting rid of the nasty ass, stained carpet in my living room and replacing it with hardwood floor. Since hubby works 2 full time jobs and refuses to hire someone to do it...(he installed the wood floors in the 3 bedrooms)...I'm not going to hold my breath on getting this scratched off my list. All in all, I don't think this list is over the top. Everything on it is due time. For now I'm just thankful that the old, broken-down toilet is gone off my front porch. It has been moved to the side of the house...behind the fence...but it's off my porch. And that's all I can ask for!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Welcome aboard

Well here I am. Now I know you all read my daily posts on facebook, but I thought I'd like to start a blog so that I can write everything that happens in my life down twice...because I have sooo much extra spare time in my day!!  I like to think of my self as a rockstar but the sad reality of it is...I'm a boring stay at home mom. BUT when I go back and read my ramblings that I post daily on ..once again...facebook, I realize that yes, I am a stay at home mom...but no, my life is ANYTHING but boring! This is due to the fact that I have 3 crazy kids and a husband that works not 1 but 2 full time jobs. Every single day something happens in my life that I consider normal, routine behavior...but it honestly makes everyone else pee their pants....(well actually, that's something that I do on a daily basis, but I'll post about that later!!)

So welcome aboard the SS Rambler.