Erica online

Thursday, September 30

My Kid's Kutism:

Today at McDonald's playland, Rebecca went up the playstructure only to discover she couldn't climb back down. She stood at the top of the slide calling me to come up and get her.
I told her I was too big to fit in the tunnels, and that she could just slide down the slide and I would catch her at the bottom.

Normally, she wants to be a "big girl" but she kept arguing with me that she couldn't go down the slide by herself because she was too little and needed to me to get her.

I coaxed her and telling her what a big girl she is etc. but she wouldn't have it, she kept insisting that she was too little to do it by herself.
She was quiet for quite a long while. So I called up again, "Rebecca are you coming down the slide?"
She yelled back, "I'm waiting mom"
"Waiting for what?" I replied.
"I'm waiting to get bigger!"

hee hee

They grow up so quickly and want it to go even faster. Eventually, she came down the slide.
By herself.
Erica at 10:40 PM

Wednesday, September 29

There are early mornings, then there are early mornings.

This morning (3:55 am) I woke to Isabella's little voice calling, "Mommy, mommy".
I went to her room to find her fast asleep, talking away in her sleep.

I went back to bed and carried Rebecca back to her own bed. She had climbed in with us around 2:00am. By then, I was wide awake. Dang!

So, I got two hours of paper work done, and had nothing left to do. It is now 6am, so I thought I'd go back to sleep. No go, Rebecca came back to bed with us.

No more complaining about getting up at 7am for me! Getting up at 4 am is much worse!
Erica at 8:57 AM

Tuesday, September 28

The good 'ole YMCA!

Tonight I overheard the most hilarious conversation at the Y when I took Rebecca swimming.
Okay, the conversation itself wasn't hilarious, it was more the context.

Two seniors were sitting in the lobby discussing important, current events. This 60-65 year old man and 60 year old woman were talking about whether or not Britany Spears and Kevin Federline should get married!!! Seriously!!!

They were talking about the details, "he has a child with another woman who is pregnant with his baby", "she is not mature enough to handle marriage" etc...

I couldn't believe my ears. Do seniors seriously care about this? I don't even care about this.
I laughed so hard. I know I should respect my elders, but that is just funny.
Erica at 8:38 PM

My kids have the cutest bums.
I took pictures of them "swimming" in the tub this morning.
Unfortunately I can't post them as the world is full of perverts and sickos.

But trust me, they have cute little butts.

Erica at 10:03 AM

Monday, September 27

I have never in my life done any sort of drugs.
No acid, no marajuana, no cocaine, nothing.

But this morning, I began to wonder if I ever mistakenly taken anything.
Perhaps someone slipped something in my drink and I had never noticed.

Why would I wonder such a thing?
Because I was sure I was having some sort of flashback.

My kids watched a show this morning call "Boobah".
I have never seen anything so weird in my life.
I would imagine that's what the world would look like if you were high all the time.
Too weird.
Even for me.
Erica at 9:08 AM

Sunday, September 26

We are now connected with a link to popular culture!
Yes, we have cable again.

Wow! What a small and large change in our house.
We got it on Thursday afternoon, and the kids watched Treehouse on Friday morning.
Then we were gone to the lake, so tonight was the first time I've had a chance to watch t.v.

I sat down to watch Extreme Make-over Home Edition (which totally made me cry).
It was very sweet and touching.
Then I just relaxed and vegged and watched something called "Wife Swap".

Then I looked at the clock and realized it was 10pm!!!!! I didn't DO anything!
I just had 3 hours sucked out of my life and I didn't accomplish anything.

I could see this being a good thing if I were overwhelmed. It could be a good de-stressor every once in awhile. But this is not a habit I want to get into. I can see that it would be easy to do.

If I can't handle the temptation, we may have to cut the cable off again.
It'll be like all those reality t.v. shows. Can Erica handle the pressure of leaving the t.v off and doing her housework or paperwork for her job? Or will sit on her butt all evening eating?
Stay tuned to find out.

Erica at 10:38 PM

Friday, September 24

There is a quote by Hodding Carter that is very appropriate in my life right now.

"Two of the greatest gifts we can give our children are roots and wings."
-Hodding Carter

I am finding as Rebecca explores more of the world beyond the boundaries of our home, there are adjustments to be made. Her time in pre-school is very much apart of "her" world and not mine. She may choose which information she wants to share with me, and keep back whatever she doesn't want to talk about. (Although I'm asking an awful LOT of questions)

It is hard for both of us for her to pull away from mom and dad a little more. I want her to have wings to go out and fly in the world. I want her to discover who she is, and all the things she can do, with or without her anxious mother watching. But in between flights, its really nice when she comes back to me, and sees who she is to me.

NOT that I can hand her an identity, but I can show her how much value she has to me and her family. I feel like this is important as she is addressed with the reality that there are other kids with a will of their own, and other little people with which she must contend for attention and position.

I have found lately, she is coming to me for lots of cuddles and asking me questions about who she is to me. "Am I still your baby" kind of questions. My first reaction to this was to say she could stay home from school if she wanted (she is only 3) but that was a definite NO. She loves school, its just an adjustment.

She is figuring out the limits and boundaries of her own roots and wings, and I'm trying to figure out how to be a tree!
Erica at 4:18 PM

Wednesday, September 22

Every attempt at potty training I've made (maybe two) with Isabella have been met with disinterest.

This morning when I asked what she wanted to do today, she said, "Go pee on the potty."

After the potty, (where nothing happened) I told her we'll get her dressed. But she didn't want a diaper today, she told me she wants to wear panties now.

Could it really be this easy?

We shall see....
Erica at 8:38 AM

Tuesday, September 21

Clean, clean, clean.

Today I did the pantry and the fridge. I took everything out, cleaned it out with bleach water and organized it all again.
Feels good to get rid of junk.

This evening, after Rebecca's swimming lesson, my whole family came over for one last BBQ.
Did you know today is the last day of summer?

It was great to be together with everyone. Catch up on people's lives and watch the little ones play with their cousins.
I rocked my 3 1/2 month old nephew to sleep. Holding a sleeping baby is so special. Peaceful. Soft. Warm. And they smell so good... Mmmmmmmm.....

I ate too much but that's okay because tomorrow I'm going to run 3 miles.
Sheeeeee-yah! And monkeys might fly outta my butt!

But seriously I should DO something, we had CHEESECAKE for dessert.
Erica at 10:14 PM

Monday, September 20

When Isabella asked me this morning if we could go to McDonald's I told her we could. She was so happy, and she said, "Mommy yer da bess."

What makes me the "best"?
Is it the unconditional love I give her?
No....its the McDonald's.

Is it the sleepless nights spent cuddling her when she is sick?
No, its the McDonald's.

Is the food, clothes, care, diaper changes, laundry, baths, hugs, or playtimes?
Its the McDonald's.

Never underestimate the power of McDonald's. ha ha ha

If I ever start a business, guess who I want to do my marketing for me?
You got it.
Erica at 10:09 PM

Saturday, September 18

I saw this picture the other day and it made me laugh.

Erica at 10:34 PM

Every morning I ask the same question, "Rebecca, what would you like for breakfast?"

Every morning the same answer, "Peanut butter on toast."

Her answer THIS morning?
"Pate on crackers"

Ha ha ha

If she starts asking for a martini with an olive instead of chocolate milk, I am going to start worrying!
Erica at 9:10 AM

Friday, September 17

I'm going mad with organization.
Getting ready for winter I guess.

I've been cleaning, organizing and storing away summer stuff all week.
And Cindy.....yes, I'm de-cluttering!!!

Aren't you proud of me?
Erica at 11:11 AM

Thursday, September 16

Knowing when to Draw the Line...

While it is great to encourage my daughter's in their spirituality and desire to pray, there is a point where I need to recognize nighttime prayer for what it is.... a delay tactic!

Tonight while putting Isabella to sleep, I drew the line at her right arm.....
When we pray at night, we thank Jesus for our family. With Rebecca I say thanks for mommy, daddy, my little sister and for making me a sweet princess. With Isabella I say, thank-you Jesus for mommy, daddy, my big sister and for making me a sweetheart little honey.

Well, tonight we also had to thank Jesus for her blankie, her cup, her curtains, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, the other Mickie Mouse, Tigger, Pooh Bear, and Piglet. Then she went on to her body parts, thanks for my leg, my left arm and my right arm etc....

That's where I said "good-night" and left her to it. There is spiritual training and then there is just fighting sleep, and God grant me the wisdom to know the difference!
Erica at 7:16 PM

Wednesday, September 15

My good friend (from when I was really little) Sean came over for a visit last night.
Sean, D.J. and I sat around and chatted for a long while.

While new friends are great (exciting and all that) there is something about old friends that is really special. A sort of comfort and unspoken understanding that allows you to let go and speak your mind without being guarded. It is very relaxing and pleasant.

You don't have to see each other for weeks, months or even years. And in minutes, you're up to speed again. Old friends have that special place of safety.

Kindred spirits are rare and wonderful gifts. They should be treasured.

Erica at 10:06 AM

Tuesday, September 14

Well... Paint Me Proud And Call Me Mommy!

Today was Rebecca's second day of pre-school. I was there to pick her up early (with all the other neurotic mommies). As we were early, it was before the rush of kids let out so the teacher had time to speak to each mom as we came in.

Mom#1: The teacher reassuringly told her that things went better than last time. Nervous mother one seemed relieved, as the teacher detailed how long he cried etc.

Mom#2: The teacher said that they needed to sit and meet to talk about the little student's shyness and anxiety about leaving mommy and daddy. Could they set up a time to meet?

Me: The teacher has this HUGE smile and tells me what a joy Rebecca is to have in her class. She starts to bubble over as she tells me how sweet, and cute Rebecca is (like I didn't know). She continues, "you should see her in the little kitchen, she invites all the other children to come and sit at the table and then she serves them pizza and was so adorable."

While I am beaming with pride, I nod in agreement about what a generous, sweet girl Rebecca is never letting on that I know there is also another motive at work.
Rebecca must just be just thrilled that she has a bunch of kids doing what she tells them to do. Don't get me wrong, she is sweet and lovely but she also is a FIRST born. I can just see her organizing the other kids into chairs while she serves them!

what a girl!
Erica at 2:08 PM

Monday, September 13

Comedians always have a "set" which they use as their material for the audience.
Isabella is always working on her set. Instead of getting a summer job at McDonald's when she's a teen, I'll be booking her at Rumor's.

Yesterday, she was working on the Farmer in the Dell set. This is where she replaces the word with various other locations (eg. the farmer in the cabin, the farmer in the grandma etc). This is hysterical to Rebecca. So Isabella just keeps it coming until Rebecca is laughing so hard she almost barfs.

Well, this morning Bella was feeling particularly energetic. She had Rebecca in stitches before 7:30 am! She started her set with a little of the P.J.s bit. This constitutes doing a silly dance while singing "I'm in my p.j.s, I'm in my p.j.s". Trust me. Classic bit.

Then she threw in some of her "Farmer in the Dell" material from yesterday, and added some of her stinky feet, stinky feet stuff from early summer.
It was quite a successful set. The audience (Rebecca) laughed to point of hurling. (almost).
Now all I need is a little microphone, a baby stool and a tiny brick wall and we're in business!
Erica at 9:24 AM

Saturday, September 11

I had my yearly physical this week with my doctor. The first thing they do is weigh you.
You know...start things off on a positive note!

I was a little stunned as I saw the nurse moved the wieght thing further and further and FURTHER to the right. Oh my goodness!!!

Let's just say there was a bit of a discrepancy between the Dr.'s scale and my bathroom scale.
A LARGE discrepancy! More damage than a chocolate bar or a piece of pie. We're talking the difference a large Moxie platter, a dozen donuts, a milkshake, and a whole cheesecake kind of difference! Whoa!

Then I calmed myself down, who's to say the Dr.'s scale is right and mine is wrong? Maybe her scale is out by 10 pounds! Afterall, she's a doctor. She's busy. People's lives hang in the balance based on her decisions, she doesn't have time to calibrate her scales. Yeah, that's it!

Yeah, and maybe the dryer IS shrinking my jeans and my shirts. It couldn't be that I have put on 10 pounds over the summer! Summer is the time when we're outside, sweating and too hot to eat! Summer is when everyone LOSES weight! But the weather this summer was cold so no sweating, no outdoors and lots of eating.

Conclusion: I DID gain 10 pounds this summer! I'm not in denial BUT its not my fault. Its the weather's fault. However, the weather isn't going to get off the couch and run around the block now is it? No, that'll be me. The weather isn't going to watch what it eats for the next six monthes, no that'll be me! Highly unfair. My nose is officially out of joint.


Erica at 3:12 PM

Friday, September 10

Moving on....

I spent time last night showing Sarah the ropes for running the drop-in.
This morning I did the same with Karen, training her to run the girl's program.

Now I officially have no job.
I'm free as a bird. It feels exhilarating, scary, freeing and sad all at the same time.
What a time of change.

Erica at 3:29 PM

Thursday, September 9 frustration has subsided, I can blog again....
(if you don't know why I was frustrated, see my last blog)

We took Rebecca to her first day of pre-school and she was so excited. She dressed up in her prettiest ballet dance (dress) with pink and fuscia flowers on it. She wore her new pink Cinderella back pack and was raring to get there. She was all aglow with excitement, and the pink matched the color of her daddy's bloodshot eyes. Her excitement was matched by her parents anxiety, with her loving daddy close to tears all morning.

We took the traditional "first day of school" picture and she looked adorable. The teacher took us into the classroom which was lovely, miniature versions of everything you can imagine. The whole room decorated in bright, clear primary colors. The huge windows and sky lights provide natural light and everything looks bright and clean. Every toy and imagination station you can was an overwhelming wonderland for Rebecca. She looked around the room with a huge grin on her face.

We nervous parents offered to stay with her until she was comforable in her new surroundings. She replied, "No. Go now. You can go home. Bye. See you later." As she led us to the door.
She is ready to embrace her independence and life with the kids and all that school entails.

With teary eyes we went out of the room to fill out the forms, then went to look in the "spy" window provided for anxious parents who want to see how their child is interacting without being seen by said child. We watched her during circle time, dancing and singing with the other kids like she'd been doing this her whole life.

When we'd finished the forms, the teacher came out a little pink cheeked and laughing. She explained Rebecca had been painting a picture so the teacher thought she'd interact with her.
The teacher said to Becca, "I'll put your name on this painting so we'll know its yours. See? This is your name. R-E-B-E-C-C-A"
Rebecca looked her and said very sincerely, "Good job!" to the teacher. (as in I'm so proud of you for being able to spell my name)

The teacher thought is was so cute but a little embarassed at being encouraged rather than being the encourager.

That's my Rebecca, always the little adult.
We left her for the two hours and came back to find her engrossed in play and loving it. We had a harder time with Isabella, who missed her sister desparately.

Life is just clicking along and we passed a milestone, so I am thrilled, anxious, excited and fearful all at the same time...but the look on Rebecca's face tells me this is the right thing.

Erica at 8:43 PM

I wrote this big, LONG blog about Rebecca's first day of school.
It was clever and witty and touching.
You would have laughed, you would have cried, and you would NOT have hurled.


I'm too upset to re-write it now. It wouldn't be touching, and nobody wants to read
an ANGRY first day at school description so I'll go cool off.....

Erica at 3:16 PM

Erica at 1:47 PM

Tuesday, September 7

She did it! My big girl did it!
Rebecca had her first day at Pre-school this am!

Erica at 1:44 PM

Monday, September 6

My Rebecca is growing up so quickly, this weekend there were lots of things she didn't want mommy's help with anymore. "I'm BIGGER!" She keeps telling me, I'm having a harder time letting go than she is! That's healthy I think!

When she clears things off the table to put them in the fridge, I can't open the fridge door for her anymore. "I can do it by myself!

When she walks through the little stream in the ditch in her tiny rubberboots, I can't hold her hand anymore. "I won't fall mom and I won't get a booster!" (booter)

She had her first shower by herself yesterday, and she was so happy to do it by herself.

When they come in from outside, Isabella belts out, "Rebecca will you help me with my gubbberboots?" And Rebecca bends over and helps her sister with pride. Then she offers to help her with her jacket too, and fusses over her sister like a "big mama". Bella admires her big sister so much.

At night she still likes me to tuck her in and sing to her but the storytelling she is taken over. "Now I'll tell you a story mom"

Here is last night's story:

R: There is a girl that's a big red chicken, her name is Jenna. She fell down but its okay because she found a happy heart. Then she was rabbit.
E: Wait. You said Jenna was a big red chicken and now she's a rabbit?
R: No Jenna is a goose.
E: Jenna is a goose now?
R: Jenna is a goose and she has to go to cowboy camp. She goes out and all the babies are ARCTIC animals.
E: Oh!
R: And then the arctic animals, no I'll do a different one story. This story is SO WEDGIE!
E: (laughing hysterically) Its so wedgie???? ha ha ha ha

I guess wedgie is the best nasty word that she knows. So funny.

Erica at 9:09 AM

Sunday, September 5

This morning we went for brunch at Pinewood Lodge in the Whiteshell.
It was unexpectedly charming.
Here in the middle of the woods with "cabin folk" as I like to call them was a touch of class!

The room was beautiful and emmaculately shiny. There was a grand piano in one corner with a lady playing various slow and elegant songs. There was great service, with all staff attired in white tops and black slacks, including the youngest member of the owner's family. A little blonde girl of about 5 or 6 years old was clean and professionally attired as she served the hashbrowns. She stood on a stool so she could reach above the table. Very cute. It was lovely with carved wood and handmade stone work, as well as two stainglass windows done by local artists. It was very charming.

The "cabinfolk" came in droves and wore their Sunday best, well cabin Sunday best.
It was refreshing and different.
I'd definitely try it again.
Erica at 4:20 PM

Saturday, September 4

Very productive day here at the lake.
It was kind of yucky and rainy out.
SO I spent the day catching up on paperwork for my job.
I just added it up, I spent 8 working while DJ and his family watched the kids. What a switch!

I got lost in my work, and it felt great to be productive but I was surprised at how much I missed playing with my girls. I'm a lucky girl to be able to stay at home with my little ones. This truly is the best time of my life.
Erica at 9:24 PM

Friday, September 3

Here is the latest score:

Erica - 1
Apples - 0

Yes, I'm winning the war on apples. Getting them baked up faster than they can rot. Go team!

At last count I made:

10 apple pies
2 apple platzes
24 apple muffins
2 apple loaves

I've also peeled and cored numerous apples to freeze for the winter.
We still have a full rubbermaid container FULL of apples. Ahhhhhh!!!

Next up:
Followed by:
Applesauce, the sequel.

Erica at 8:28 PM


Welcome to the inaugural day of my newly designed blogsite!
(Courtesy of the web-goddess herself, Dame Yvonne of Alverstone. Her ladyship will be signing autographs this evening following her lecture tour at the concert hall.)

Its so great. I just love the picture. To me it says..... its a new day, an empty volleyball court full of potential and a chance for glory once again....anyone can win.... who is willing to accept the challenge?

That's what I love about sports. Its a challenge, a chance to dig deep and see what undiscovered abilities lay below the surface. It reveals character.

Every new game starts off on equal ground. Each team has the POTENTIAL to win, and its not just about who is stronger or faster. I've been beaten by lesser teams and I've won against teams that were superior to me. There are so many factors involved which is what makes it exciting everytime.

Determination is a key factor. Lance Armstrong beating cancer and going on to win the Tour de France six times! That is admirable. Who wants it the most and is willing to push themselves and not give up. Its about character.

Training and technique. Being committed to putting in time to practice and run, and train your body to do it right. Its about dedication.

Having a positive attitude when you face a team who has the ability to crush you, and you know it and they know it. Facing Goliath and saying, "I'm a winner and even if the score doesn't reflect that, my actions will. This will be the best game I ever played."
Its about dignity and passion for excellence.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah....sports good...blah, blah.....why the speech Erica?"

Here is why I say all this:
I grew up in a church environment (for which I am eternally grateful) where often my love of sports was misunderstood. Sports were considered competition (and therefore considered by some to be inherently evil).

For me, sports has been training ground for character. I learned about my natural limitations.

I also found a "Tough Erica " who can be determined, assertive and even aggressive. This person didn't exist outside of the gym, and I can leave her there when I need to be sensitive and compassion. But its good to know she is there. I became able to transfer that characteristic in other areas of life. It empowered me!

It was always one area of my life where I felt on equal footing with other people. In the gym, there are no subtle social graces to manuever around. What you see is what you get. You either do it right or you don't. Its simple, unlike dealing with people. Conquering the world of relationships with all their intricate complexities seemed far more daunting to me.

In my adolesence I was saddled with social and cultural differences to overcome. I felt inferior to the kids who had never known rejection, and walked with a confidence so foreign to me. Their life experiences were so different from mine, I often felt like an alien. I endured many awkward silences after doing or saying something culturally innappropriate.

But during that difficult time and place, I found something that let me shine. I had coaches who saw potential, added some encouragement and got a kid who would run miles for them.
I found out that I had POTENTIAL and what I did with that, was up to ME!
(An empowering revelation to a 13 year old girl! )

Volleyball isn't just a passtime to me, it was a part of my growing up. Sports aren't stupid or evil, they are as valid to Christianity as music or dance lessons. What happens in our hearts while we create art is what matters most to God. And volleyball is my artform.....

Erica at 9:02 AM

Thursday, September 2

I know awhile ago I said my brother had starting blogging and I added his link to my site.
Then he didn't update for eons.
Frustrating for all.

So.....I had him thrashed. And now he updated frequently and regularly. I am the bran of his blogging. He is now regular, and deep and honest all at once.

So if you want to see into the mind of a single 24 year guy....he's at

Erica at 4:23 PM

Peel, Slice, Bake, Repeat.

Yesterday I picked all the apples off of our apple tree. We got two large rubbermaid containers FULL so I'm baking away trying to use it all up before they go bad. I've already given a bunch away and I'm sure I'll give away more yet.

So far I've done 5 pies and 2 apple platz. Platzes?

For the semi-mennonites out there its apple platz. For the pure-bred mennonites, its obstkuchen. For the non-mennonites, its dutch apple cake.

Next on the list is apple loaf, apple muffins, and apple cider. (If I can find a decent apple cider recipe---- anyone? anyone? Buhhhhhh-ler?)

The platz/platzes and pie all look and smell delicious. I need to give them away before I eat them. AHhhhhhhhh! Get it away from me!!!!!

Back to the kitchen......
Erica at 9:22 AM

Wednesday, September 1

You decide.

Last night was a testiment to the adversity and hardiness of Manitobans. Yes, they sit in the rain at Bomber games.....Pish Posh! So they play sports in the rain.....child's play!

Last night we arrived at our "BEACH" (I use that word lightly) volleyball play-offs to find the courts completely flooded and the community club unable to extend the season any longer.

So....we had to finish the play-offs in the SWAMP. We ran through ankle deep water, the hardiest of characters even dove in the swill. Some people would have considered these conditions akin to boot camp and left with their dignity in tact. But for most the competitive edge won out over common sense. We played in the cold, muddy pits for FOUR HOURS!!!

After my partner and I lost our first game...we celebrated! Let's get out of here! But it is double round knock out and that was only our first loss so we had to lose one more time to go home!

We went to our next game wet and cold, but determined to suck it up! Well, all of a sudden we started clicking and WINNING!!! A couple hours later we were still playing, and found ourselves moving back up to the A-side to the semi-finals. What are we doing????

Three hours later we had won the semi-finals and were on our way to the finals. It was comeback story. It was an example of hard work and determination. It was true grit in two prairie girls who wouldn't give up. It was cold and wet and stupid. Our muscles ached, our feet hurt and we were tired from playing the last three hours.

Given the choice to play the finals right then or postpone to next week. Given how tired we were, and cold and wet and achy we made the right decision. Let's DO THIS THING!!!

So three and half hours later, we fought it out. Tooth and nail, point by point. We won the first game....CRAP!!! That means we have to keep playing them. (they were undefeated in the double round knock out so to win, we would have to beat them twice! Yes, two best of three matches at 10:20 pm in the cold mud pits).

Thankfully, we lost the second and third games so we could go home to a hot shower. But we got second place and some slick prizes, but more importantly....we showed true grit.

Two tough prairie girls sat down in the car, and started feeling our feet, hands and every tendon start to seize up and begin the ache that was due them. And we smiled and laughed. Maybe we'll have more sense next year, and get knocked out in the first round. But probably not.

Erica at 9:19 AM