Monday, February 28, 2011

Life's A Beach

I am a self proclaimed Beach Bum. Growing up in Florida, Shaws parents owned a condo on St. Pete Beach. They eventually sold it and everytime we drive by it, I sigh and tell Shaw, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if you still had that condo." And he looks at me like I'm crazy, like he can't fathom why I would ever want to live on the beach. Oh like Pinellas Park is sooooo much nicer.

Growing up I did live close to the beach. Cape Jack Beach. When I compare the beach close to me now...St. Pete Cape Jack Beach, I have to laugh and wonder if I should even call Cape Jack a beach. But for me back then, it was just as much a magical place as SPB is to me today.

This past week has the Florida temps in the low 80's, No humidity. Blue skys, ocean breeze. This is the Florida I LOVE. So needless to say, I've been at the beach many times over the past few weeks. It really is a hassle trying to get everything and everyone organized and out the door. Making sure I've remembered sunscreen, life jacket, sand toys, drinks, snacks, coins for the meter, lawn chair, sunglasses, magazine...and oh, my list goes on! Then once there to try and coax the kids to each carry something down to the water where we'll plop for the afternoon. But once we are set up and slathered with SPF50 my blood pressure drops back to normal and I begin to enjoy myself.

It seems the kids have endless energy when it comes to playing in the sand and surf. In the water, out of the water, in the water, out of the water. Jumping in the waves. Boogie boarding. Making sand castles. Digging deep holes. Me?.....I'm just happy to sit down in my reclining beach chair, look at the sights around me and let the suns rays destroy my skin.

I can remember as a little girl the summers spent on Cape Jack Beach. There were the days I was enrolled in swimming lessons and holy crap was the water COLD. The waves knocking me over. Dislike. But then there are my memories of packing a cooler...usually crackers and jam, homemade cookies and some grapes....filling a big green thermos full of lemonade or peach juice...and off to the beach we went. Me, mom and my brother. There we would meet up with 75% of the community if it was a beautiful summer day. Some summers someone would build a raft and anchor it out a ways and oh what fun to swim out to it and climb aboard....only to be pushed off repeatedly by older boys....that we were trying to swim out to flirt with in the first place. Before the warf was destroyed, I can remember being a teenager and biking down to it. Laying our towels out on the hot cement of the warf and jumping off the side. Oh how I wish I could snap my fingers and go back for just one day. And then at the end of the day, going home and walking in the door just as supper was being set on the table. Stuffing my face then hopping in a cold shower. Dad never went to the beach. I can't ever remember a day that he ever came down with us. Now......he's become a Florida beach bum....I think he even has me passed up!

Cape Jack beach sure has taken a beating over the years. It's mostly rocks on the shore now with a patch of sand here and there, if you're lucky. But still, every summer that I go home...Cape Jack beach is where we head around 11am and stay until 5pm...when we rush home to supper on the table and a cold shower. My kids sure don't act like little Floridians when it comes to jumping in the artic waters. I'm lucky if I can get in past my toes. Beautiful sunsets and bonfires at the beach are mandatory on vacations home. I'm hoping that my kids will look back on our summer the place I grew up...with fond memories of how fabulous Cape Jack Beach was, and is.

But since we are nowhere near Cape Jack Beach this time of year, thankfully, we will continue to bum ourselves out on SPB.

Life is rough....but somebody's gotta live it!!!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

All tatted up

Can I get a woot, woot for the bee-u-tee-ful weather we are having. OMG....I don't want to brag too much about it because I know how extremely jealous all my Northern snow stranded friends are!!! But seriously.....I LOVE this time of Florida. I hate, let me repeat, hate....the weather here May through September. It is waaaaay toooo hot for my liking and it makes me sweat and I don't like to sweat. Ladies glisten. That's why in my rockstar world as soon as school is out for the kidders, we pack it up and head to Nova Scotia for the beautiful weather they have there for July and August. I really do have the best of both worlds. Hmmm...that could have been a blog name. Best of Both Worlds. Oh wait....isn't that Hannah Montana's slogan???

But with this awesome spring weather we are having, the layers of long sleeves and woolen sweaters are being shed and some skin is peeking through and this is the time of year I start to get the itch. No, nothing that canesten cream is gonna cure....I get the itch to be inked. I usually start thinking about something that I want done and give a call to my man Jamie back home in NS and get him to book me for a summer slot. This guy is so freakin fabulous, words can't describe his work. He started out of an area converted in his basement and grew to be so popular and busy that he moved his business into an empty shop in downtown Havre Boucher. Now this in itself is funny to me, because if you have ever been to Havre Boucher you know not to blink or you'll already have driven past it! So the local tattoo parlor is located on the main strip...the only strip...smack in between the post office and the senior citizen home!! And when I say he's booked solid...I mean I'll be lucky...if I call now, in February...and he has a spot to fit me in, when I go home in July. Serious. Some of his work:



These are just a few of my favorites. Check out his facebook page Sacred Temple Tattoos.

So now that you see just how awesome Jamie is, and now that you know I have the ink itch, next step is to decide what I want. Right now I have a few tats and each one was carefully thought out. Well, actually the first two weren't! Number one was a spur of the moment decision. My BFF and I drove to New Glasgow, walked in to the tattoo parlor and basically froze at the sight of  this crazy looking, bearded, tatted up guy and pointed to the first design that we both agreed upon!! After it was over we actually liked our matching tats. For the next few years we still liked our matching tats. Then I got pregnant and check out our matching tats now.....

Next came a second tat....another spur of the moment idea, hung over, the morning after partying at Acadia University with my BFF and friends. Don't even know where or who did this one!
Don't ask me what the symbol means, because I haven't a sweet clue. My third tat is of a Celtic cross. I had a cross pendant on a chain and loved it so much I had a guy from Lou's Tattoos on Madeira Beach draw it up and ink it on the inside of my right ankle. I can't get a good pic of it at the moment. The next tat also came from the same guy and it's almost as bad as a tramp stamp. It's actually designed to look like a stamp of a maple leaf and around it, the text says.."Made In Canada" Can you guess where this 'stamp' is located??? On my buttocks!!! proud of that one!!! No picture included!

Next one is the outline of a sun, in the middle of my back and inside the sun I have Brooklyn and Dallas' name. Because they are the sunshine of my life...get it?! Well along comes Madden and there is no room for his name. Now to be fair I have to ink his name somewhere because he too is the sunshine of my life, so I decided to create something on my own. This is right after my mom died and I was thinking of getting something in her memory and not the traditional rose with 'Mom' or 'Evelyn' written in script across a banner. Moms favorite game was Scrabble so I dusted off her scrabble game box and started fooling around with the letters of my kids names and this is what I came up with:

My man Jamie did this one and I was blown away when I saw it. Don't they seriously look like scrabble tiles. This was one painful piece to sit through. 3 hours. Down my left ribcage. Ouch. So now I have no use for 2 out of 3 kidders names inside the sun so I decide to fill it in, oh and while you're at it...why don't you add some swirly stars. So this is what Jamie free handed.....

I'm loving the new look of this tat. But it's not enough. It's never enough!! After mom died, my cousin gave me a pewter angel to hang in my window and on its wings were an inscription. The more I thought about this inscription, the more I wanted it inked on my back next to my sun and stars. So 10 min after I sit down in the tattoo chair, this is forever etched on my back:

So those are my tats. Let me tell you how many hubby has. Zero. He doesn't like them. He doesn't want one. Go figure. They are addictive. Let anyone tell you that once you get one....2, 3, 4 will soon follow.

So, like I said before...the itch to get inked it back. I'm not sure where. I'm not sure what. But I am sure that there will be another. Maybe I should get Jamie to ink Willie Nelsons portrait on me. Wouldn't that be cool. I love Willie. I also thought about getting the word 'Patience' inked somewhere I could see it, maybe inside my wrist. So as I'm loosing my cool with the kids, I can stop. Count backwards from 10 to 1. Breath. Look at my tat. And all will be well again. If only it were that easy.

At any rate. I should call Sacred Temple Tattoos and book a spot now for when I go home in July. I'm sure by then I'll have one designed and ready to be permanently inked on my rockstar bod. Kat Von D.... eat your heart out!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tweaking the leaky pipes....

As most of you know I went into the hospital on Friday morning for some nip, tucks and tweaks. Now I would love to report back to you that I increased my rack size or that I decreased my tummy size but such was not the case. Although Shaw did tell the kids that mommy was in the hospital to have a butt reduction. I wonder if they mentioned this to their teachers......

What do sneezing, coughing, jumping, dancing and laughing all have in common???? Well every time I did any of those things I peed my pants. Oh and let's not forget hopping on a trampoline. There is a saying...."I laughed so hard I peed my pants" Well in my case if I ever said that, then chances were I wasn't lying!! Having delivered 3 kidders naturally puts a woman's body through the wringer and after baby number 3 there were parts of me that were drooping and I don't mean my ta-ta's. They miraculously stayed perky!

So after many doctor consultations I decided to go ahead and get the transorbital sling surgically placed inside me to life up my bladder to stop the leaking. First doc visit we had to figure out if I had stress or urge incontinence. After the very humiliating tests were complete it was decided that I had stress incontinence and that surgery was the only option to fix this problem. My doc asked me if I wanted to try a few months of kegel exercises......puh-lease. I had been doing them on and off for the last 10 years, I was waaaaay beyond kegels fixing my problem. I was moving into the Depends stage of my 34 years old.

So now to try and figure out a good time in my life to fit this surgery in. Especially with an overnight hospital stay, one week of no driving, heavy lifting or stretching and six weeks of laying low. Finally it was decided that February was a good time. Isabel was going to be around to help me with the kids and housework and taxi-ing. So Friday morning I was at the hospital at 5:30am.  Forked over $500 to the ladies in Admitting for my co-pay, signed my life away to the nurses in pre-op and said a prayer. I derobe and put on the starchiest johnny shirt, mesh cap and booties. Bummer.... I had just gotten a pedicure too the day before just so my surgeon could look at my pretty toes and now they were going to be covered up with blue paper booties. What a waste of $30.00. The anesthesiologist came in and asked me a hundred and one questions. I sounded like the healthiest person alive answering them. When he asked if I had any questions for him, I just said, "make sure you knock me out good!" Gave a kiss and a wave to Shaw who went off to look for a Starbucks and was wheeled into the OR. I kept thinking, this is the real life Greys Anatomy. I started to say a little prayer to my guardian angel and then all went black!

I groggly woke up to "Mrs. Webb? Mrs. Webb...can you hear me?" oh my god. My throat felt like something had been jammed down it...which in fact, a breathing tube was jammed down mouth felt like I was sucking on dry cotton balls and my va-j-j felt like it had been hit with a sledge hammer. Good times. Eventually I was wheeled up to my room on the 6th floor where Shaw was waiting for me. Slowly I was waking up and in tune with my surroundings. Shaw stuck around for 2 hours and then my BFF Kris played hookie from work and came to visit me for the afternoon. It was then they tell me that I cannot have anything to eat or drink until 4pm. Are you kidding me? I last ate and drank something at 7pm Thursday night. So I get this lovely pink sponge on a stick that I'm allowed to wet and swab my mouth. Wow. Thank you so much!

Not a pretty site! I nicknamed my first nurse, Emeril was really Julie. Every 4 hours there she was...BAM....stabbing a needle of morphine in my ass cheek. Around 5pm I finally get to drink some apple juice and man it tastes good. 9pm I try some jello and near about puke. Guess that's why they didn't want me having food all day. I don't even attempt to get up this day at all. They tell me to relax so that's what I'm gonna do. I doze off around 10pm. I wake around 3am and can't get back to sleep so I turn on the tv and watch Mr. Holland's Opus until 5am. I am awakened around 6:30am to the most gorgeous sunrise over tampabay and the Yacht Club. What a view. I could get used to this!

Day 2 is much better than day 1. I am able to move my legs around without pain shooting up my who-ha. They try to move me to the chair and I feel like I'm gonna pass out. Deep breaths. Not working so back to bed I go. Nurse number 2 is nicknamed the's really Tammy.... because she tells me she is going to remove the gauze packing that is inside my who-ha. I look down and seriously she looks like a magician pulling that multicolored never-ending ribbon out of a hat. It went on forever. Finally about 35 feet has been unrolled out of the va-j-j. Catheter is also removed and now I have to go to the bathroom on my own. I get up, nope not gonna happen. So a porta potty is rolled to my bedside. When you go into the hospital for surgery of this nature you have to check your modesty at the door b/c even if you try to be discreet, it's all there....for all to see! Back in bed. Back in goes the catheter. So fun. Blood pressure check for the thousandth time....which happens to be really low all day. 79 over 59....whatever the heck that means. One of these days I'm going to google it and learn what those numbers mean. Lunch time. Oh my god....on the menu for today is regurgitated hamburger helper with a side of vomit. I eat the bowl of mixed fruit and wait for Shaw to arrive with my Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich, waffle fries and lemonade. Much better. Nurse comes in and tells me I have to get up and go for a walk. Ok. I'll try. I make it to the door and look out....holy mother....the hallway is infinite. I make it 3 doors down and get light headed. Back to bed I go.

6pm. My FABULOUS third nurse Jen asks me if I feel well enough to go home. By then I'm feeling good and ready to get home in my own bed. So out comes the catheter and the I.V., on goes my comfy clothes and in the wheelchair I go downstairs to be sent on my merry way.

Day 3 and here I am locked in my bedroom with my laptop and a nightstand full of some good drugs. I woke up at 6:30 and couldn't fall back asleep so Shaw decided to help me take a shower. He hopped right in with me.....wasn't that nice of him! He said he was doing it so that I wouldn't get lightheaded and fall. Well, no funny business is allowed for 6 weeks so I had to make sure his intent was honest enough. Get through the shower and back he helps me to bed. He helps me dress right down to my undies and socks because it's hard to bend. Then I get served breakfast in bed and my concoction of juice and drugs. I fall back to sleep for a few hours. Oh joy....the kids are up and screaming. I'm sure Isabel or Shaw has everything under control out there. I'm afraid to get up and see! So for the next week...this is my safe haven. I will not venture out into the jungle that is my living room, playroom, kitchen because I know if I do my OCD will kick in and I'll want to clean and organize. So if you would like to stop by and visit, be prepared to snuggle up on my bed with me!

Hopefully all this pain will be worth it in the end and that my internal plumbing will be fixed and the leaky pipes corrected. I'll blog about it in a few months when the Doc told me is around the time I'll really start to see results. Crossing my fingers the Depends stage of my life has been put on hold for at least another good 34 years!!! 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happiest Place on Earth

Disney World claims the distinction of being known as the Happiest Place on Earth. Really? I can think of much happier places that I would rather be, like.....Marshalls with an unlimited spending amount on the credit card or Nova Scotia in August with balmy ocean breezes and no children or in the dentist chair getting a root canal....oh, wait a flippin minute...the wires in my brain just got criss-crossed!

Ok, I do have to say that I had just as much fun as my children this past weekend at Disney. Like Busch Gardens and Elmo, I was super excited to see Maddens reaction to Mickey Mouse and the Clubhouse gang and I was not disappointed!  Friday night we took the wrong exit off  I-4 trying to locate our hotel, but as it turned out, we drove right past Downtown Disney. So rather than check in at the hotel and THEN head downtown, we swung the swagger wagon into the parking lot and unloaded ourselves. Headed straight to one of the tens of thousands of stores that all sell the exact same things and bought Madden an autograph book and pen for almost $20.00. I could have bought something similar at the Dollar Store before leaving Pinellas Park...but that would have ruined the whole maxing out the credit card weekend extravaganza experience! Since it was an hour before the dinnertime rush we decided to check out the T-Rex restaurant and see what kind of line was waiting to get in to eat the overpriced delicious food. No wait. Lucked out. This restaurant is fabulous. Seriously...I couldn't stop looking around. It was like I was telatransported back in time to the Mesozoic era. Madden was a bit freaked out by the loud dinosaur rawrs and teradyctal screechings but overall enjoyed it.

So now that we have eaten enough food to make even a T-Rex full we stroll around Downtown Disney and then head to our hotel to check in. When booking this mini vacation I tried to be as cost efficient as possible and got us the cheap-o hotel. It actually is owned and operated by Disney, it just is called their Value opposed to the sell-your-first-born to pay for an over the top room at the swanky Disney resorts. Since Shaws mom came with us, I booked 2 rooms side-by-side. So I shoved Madden and Shaw in a room and me, Brooklyn and Dallas got on our swimsuits and headed out to look for a hot tub to relax in. WHAT? No hot tub. You have got to be kidding me. The ONE thing I've been looking forward to all night. Oh well, the kids jump in to the pool but being the Florida girl that I am, the water was waaay toooo chilly for me! Back to the room and to sleep.
   Up and at 'em at 7am. Breakfast in the bedroom...$1.00 cereal boxes that I pre-bought at Publix to help keep the costs down.....but then Shaw had to go buy some milk at the hotel restaurant and 5 boxes of milk cost him $10.00!!! Oh well...I tried!
Off we go. We take the resort bus to the Magic Kingdom and then enter the Park as it is opening. The Mayor of the Park welcomes everyone and there is dancing and music and the characters arrive by train and it all is so happy and magical....ok, so I'm a little emotional here because the happiness on my kids faces is priceless! Being the anal retentive OCD organizer that I am...I have the whole park mapped out and know exactly where we are heading. Hurry up kids...keep dilly dallying. It's a Small World is our first ride and guess what....we are the 1st park visitors of the day on the ride. No prize for us unfortunately, but we did have the whole ride to ourselves. No smelly, sweating co-riders here! From there we hit all the fun rides, saw Pooh and Tigger, hopped on more rides and got some autographs. Of all my visits, it was by far the best weather day ever. Overcast....not too hot, a breeze, PERECT. Madden was such a trooper. He went full tilt until 9pm when he crashed hard on the bus ride back to the hotel. A few minor meltdowns but nothing serious that a kiss and ice cream cone couldn't fix. There were 2 rides he didn't like. Lilo and Stitch....which was stupid anyway and the Haunted Mansion. Shaw took him out of Lilo and Stitch before it even started but once we made our way into the Haunted Mansion there was no turning back. So while he started whimpering that he wanted to go home, I whipped out my camera and gave it to him to look at the pictures. Shaw took his sweater and covered us up on the ride so we couldn't see anything. Only problem was that Madden was still moaning and groaning. I'm surprised we weren't caught on tape, a security guard mistakenly thinking Shaw and I were making out! If I had to rate this day I would give it a 10 out of 10....seriously, that great!!!

Day 2 and we have decided to take the kids to Chef Mickey.....well I have decided this and Shaw has no choice but to go along with my wild schemes! So once again we hop on the bus that takes us to Magic Kingdom. From there we hop on the monorail that takes us to the Contemporary Resort. We give our name and wait about 5 min and we're called back to a table. Walking by the buffet and my mouth starts to water...I think I have saliva dripping down my chin everything looks so good and it is after 11am....way, way past my normal 7am breakfast hour! We get settled in and go to load up our plates. I'm a bit embarrassed at the amount I piled onto my plate...after all it was a buffet, I was allowed to go back for 2nds even 3rds or 4ths if I felt like it! I get back to the table and oh's Chef Mickey making his way to our table.

The fabulous part of this breakfast is that the characters all come to your table one by one so you get their undivided attention! So we get autographs and some pictures and then start to eat. You have got to be kidding breakfast is now cold. Oh well...I eat some things and then go back and fill up my second plate. No longer embarrassed because everyone else has way more than me on their plates. Get to the table and oh's Chef Goofy!  

So needless to say that even though I filled my plate about 5 times...I never was able to sit down and actually enjoy it while it was still hot! BUT my children had an amazing time, got pictures and autographs with Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald Duck and Goofy, they ate brownies and chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, they told me they loved me and thanked me for the weekend so THAT right there was totally worth the $175 we payed for a cold breakfast.

It was a fabulous fun filled family weekend that I wouldn't trade for anything. So even though Shaw puts a price tag of $910.00 on the weekend my price tag reads PRICELESS!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My 34th year of life...starts NOW!

My birthday is seriously the best day of the year. It is the only day that is totally ALL about to my wedding day which was also ALL about me, not US, but me!! I don't get that excited belly feel any more when I wake up on my birthday but I do get excited knowing that anything I do or say can't be held against me in a court of law...because this is the one day that's all mine.

Yesterday, after hearing that Pawksatawny Phil predicted Spring to be right around the corner, I started about my day. Now just because I am Queen for the day doesn't mean that the laundry will fold itself, or that the dishes will put themselves away, or that the beds will magically get I still had to do all those unpleasant chores before the fun could begin. I had a wonderful-too short-visit with my friend Stephanie who brought me over some fabulous smelling soap and lotion and to-die-for turtle brownies.

After Steph left for work,  I decided to color my own hair. Now being that it was my birthday, you would think that I should have relaxed at a salon for the afternoon having someone else do this. But A: I didn't have the time and B: I didn't have the money. So, a do-it-yourself  $9.99 hair color kit from CVS would have to do for now....and it turned out great. I love my new darker do....I feel so mysterious and sassy with it!

Now it's off to lunch with my dad. I decide to pick a somewhat healthy restaurant since I know I'm going to be consuming way too many calories on the chocolate cake, so I choose Jimmy Johns Subs. YUMMY! Then dad says he'll take me on a mini shopping trip. Well.....what exactly does mini mean? Because my version of mini probably differs greatly from your version of mini!! To Target we go and I choose a much needed and wanted wireless printer. From there we drive to Visionworks where I try on many different pairs of glasses. The last time I got new glasses was 6 years ago so I'm due. Shaw once bought  a pair for reading and he waited until there was a sale...Buy 2 pairs for $49.99!!! He asked me if I could get that same deal? HA. Silly man. Finally I decided on a pair of GUESS glasses that would have cost $390.00 but I had a 50% off card so I only paid $185.....that's pretty close to $49.99...isn't it???

After Dallas' ground hockey game and Brooklyn's piano lessons....which I still had to play taxi driver, even though it IS my birthday....we came home and ordered pizza. No way was I cooking on MY day. Then I had invited Dad, The Woo-Woo Sisters (Isabel & Laura) and Trailer trash Diane to come over for some cake. I told them....just cake, no gifts. But thankfully they didn't listen. They all brought me over something. I love getting gifts!

Seriously....I LOVE getting gifts. I'm worse I think than my children when it comes to opening presents. Shaws birthday was last week and I asked him what he wanted and he said, nothing really. So I didn't get him anything! Ok, ok I did get him a bag filled with all his favorite snack treats. But I told him....."that's fine, but on my birthday I want something!!" My thing turned out to be my new glasses... which in our cash strapped life, I'm fine with them being a gift! My fabulous friends Margy and Tracy had taken me out to dinner a few weeks ago to Ceviches....thank you. My crafty friend Tiffany made me a super cute headband and candy cane lollipop...thank you. My brother-in-law brought me over a booklet that he swiped from the Church of Scientology called "The Way to Happiness. A Common Sense Guide to Better living"....shithead. My sister in law Tracy sent me a labeler. This folks, has to be my number one gift. I'm going to have everything in this house labeled. Fridge, fireplace, toilet, nightstand....if you come over to visit...don't judge!

I still remember birthday parties and gifts I had growing up. On different years I got a beautful wood desk for my bedroom. A mini pops album. A camera....the long, slim kind with 110mm film!! A shiny blue walkman. A ghettoblaster with The Bangles tape....."Just another Manic Mondy...ohhh, ohhh!!"Oh the memories.

But seriously....aside from all the, cake, lunch friends and family are the people that make this day extra special. Getting to spend the afternoon with my dad...priceless. All 208 birthday wishes from facebook friends...priceless. And my hubby and children who will undoubtably make my 34th year of life a living hell dream.....priceless.

To sum it up....the card my children picked out and gave me was the best gift I could ask for. It said:
You're the BEST mom!
Boo-Boo kisser
Burp dismisser,
Dream Inspirer,
Goal Admirer,
Manners Teacher,
Proverb Preacher,
Hug Supplier,
Teardrops Dryer,
Lie Detector,
Health Inspector,
Smart-stuff Knower,
Good-Kid grower,
Do-good deeder,
Best Cheerleader,
Like NO other!!! #1

And although it nearly killed Shaw to have to pay $4.00 for this is by far, the BEST gift EVER!