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Thursday, December 30

Pee Pee Prodigy

The other night I was thinking that Rebecca will be four in a few months so it might be time to begin night training. That way, if it takes a couple months, she'll be ready by her birthday.

So, I sat down with her and told her that big kids don't wear diapers at night, they wear panties. She asked me what adults do. I told her we get up and go to the bathroom at night instead of wearing diapers. She seemed to mull it over, and went to bed.

That night, at midnight she woke up and took off her diaper and went to the potty. In the morning she was dry. So we figured, could it be this easy? The next night, we put on panties and training pants. She woke up at 1 am and 4 am to pee and stayed dry. Amazing!

What we have here ladies and gentlemen is a pee-pee prodigy. She potty training in a day, and night trained after a conversation. Sheer pee-pee genius! I'm so proud of her!

Now I have to work on Miss "I didn't poop in my diaper" as she runs around with a full load.
Very different children!
Erica at 10:21 AM

Wednesday, December 29

Computer Hog!!!

D.J. has been home since Christmas Eve so I haven't been able to update my blog very often. He's on the computer alot!!! Computer Hog!

He just walked in the room, and saw what I was writing. He told me to go buy my own then!!! Fine! He asked for it! I will buy my own and it'll be a good one! Better than his! Ha!

Just kidding. I'm too cheap to go blow money on something like that. Besides we can learn to share.....I think.

Hmmmmm...maybe if there was a SALE that was a great deal, then maybe I'd buy a computer.


Erica at 10:18 AM

Sunday, December 26

Merry Christmas!

Have a great Boxing Day!

Erica at 1:14 PM

Friday, December 24

Just Keep Swimming!!!

As the marathon of shopping, cleaning, wrapping, that is Christmas rolls on out of control....I just tell myself. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming.....

Its been a crazy couple of days and we are only at the starting gate!!! Two more days of insanity and then a few more family gatherings after that. I will try to enjoy visiting all the people, and not think about wanting a nap.

We're almost through...just keep swimming!!!

Note--if you have never seen Finding Nemo, this post will make no sense what-so-ever!!!
Erica at 3:04 PM

Wednesday, December 22

"A Mini-Break Means True Love!"
(For all the B.J.D. fans)

D.J. and I went away to Rochester, MN for four days. This is the first time we've been away together for that amount of time since before we had kids. It was a wonderful get-a-way.

We have friends down there who own a couple of hotels and a restaurant so we went to visit them. Their generosity was overwhelming!!!! They gave us free accomodations at their hotel, free meals in the restaurant and paid for our meals when we ate out (at fabulous places!!!). It was quite incredible to be treated with such kindness and generosity, and from people who clearly derive pleasure from giving. They were most astounding people!

*Now for those of you who have strong opinions on materialism, commercialism and capitalism being the foundation of societal decay, please avert your eyes and read no further. The following section is intended for shop-a-holic, bargain-hunting, material girls only. Like me and Yvonne*

After spending four hours at IKEA, I still wasn't shopped out. We went to a place near Minneapolis that I can only describe at as a shop-a-holic's Mecca! At first sight, when the car pulled up the song began to play in my head...."Almost paradise! We're knocking on heaven's door.....Almost Paradise, How could I ask for more...."

Its called the Premium Outlet mall in Albertville MN. Its a dream come true for people like me!
It is high end outlets all attached together, with HUGE discounts just waiting for me to come and adopt clothes, shoes, linens, you name it.....waiting for me, with large RED TICKETS saying beautiful things like.....50-70% OFF and 60% OFF and the elusively sexy tag 90% off.

The stores are Nike, Old Navy, Gap, Guess, Levis, Dockers, Osh Kosh', Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Eddie Bauer, Reebok, Oakley, West Nine...etc...stuff that I could never afford in the real world. But paradise.....I could afford to shop, with tears of joy, I flitzed and pranced from shop to shop.

I rescued some pretty tops from the clutches of the evil Levi Strauss. I saved some fleece sweaters and tees from Old Navy. I even adopted a pair of knee-high suede boots. It was beautiful sight, I took all my treasures home to live happily ever after!

By far, my greatest conquest has to be my Polo (Ralph Lauren) sheets. Queen size, beige with a gold trim, 250 thread count, regular price $48.99....I paid $1.99!!! No, I am not making this up! Oh, and my designer pill shams for $.99 was pretty thrilling too. I gotta say, there were endorphins pulsing like I never knew could happen from a shopping trip.

Now, if I ever in a situation where I need to "find a happy place", I know where that place will be, the outlet mall in Albertville, MN.....

(You can all pray for my capitalist, materialist, commerical-driven, shallow soul now!!! ;)
Erica at 7:55 PM

Friday, December 17

I would have kissed Bob Barker!

Have you ever watched the Price is Right? Its okay to admit it, we've all done it, even inadvertently. Don't feel bad if you couldn't turn away, watching the Price is Right is like passing the scene of an accident, its hard to look away.

Anyway, I digress. Yesterday I got home from all my outings to find an exciting message on my answering machine. I had entered a contest while out shopping and I won! I won! I won!
(I won a $100 shopping spree)

It was funny, I was sooooo excited. I've hardly ever won anything before and I won!
I've always said those women who run up to the stage on the Price on Right and kiss Bob Barker are seriously deranged. Firstly, the bacteria on that man's cheek must be powerful enough to make cheese by now. Secondly, ewwwwwwww......he's Bob Barker. If it was The Price is Right with Brad Pitt, I could understand the magnetism but I don't get it with B.B. (although he was pretty funny in Happy Gilmore).

But the thrill of winning had me jumping up and down. I think if Bob Barker had been standing in my kitchen, I might have kissed him on his germy, bacteria-laden cheek! It was quite a thrill for me!

Now I can no longer say, I never win anything because I did! I won! They picked me! So from now on, winning is my thing. "Oh yeah, I win stuff." "I win stuff ALL the time." "Yeah, I'm a winner." "What can say? I'm just a winner!"
ok...maybe that's a bit much but I won! I won! I finally won something! Now all I need is Bob Barker to stand in my kitchen and shout "AAAAAAA NEWWW CARRRRR!!!!"

Erica at 9:04 AM

Thursday, December 16

Socially Retarded....

I know that growing up where I did has had some lasting effects that I have had to overcome.
One area that I'm still working on is the whole social small talk area.

I'm not good at it, and often I feel socially retarded. This morning as I dropped my daughter off at pre-school, I looked at this one mom, smiled and kept walking. She snapped "Good Morning" in an unfriendly tone. Like "okay retard this is the part where you say good morning".

I forget that all the time. The whole "good morning" "hi, how are you?" (which, unless people really mean it, annoys me because its false) and all that small talk stuff is weird to me.

Luckily, my whole family is socially retarded so I don't have to do small talk with them, which makes me feel so much more comfortable.

This is also reason I find church uncomfortable, I'm forced to talk to people and I'm not entirely sure how much detail/vulnerability/being real is appropriate. When someone says "how are you" do they really mean it? DO they want to know? or is it the polite "How are you" is what I have to say to you but I don't have the time or inclination to listen to the answer "How are you".

So there you have it. I am socially retarded. OR socially handi-capped? I'm not really sure what handi-capped means. I'm not familiar with the word "capped" and are there other ways that you can be capped besides handily? Its a strange word.

Erica at 9:49 AM

Wednesday, December 15

I don't get it...

Twice now I've made plans to go to IHOP with close friends. Twice, something has happened so it couldn't work out.
Very frustrated.
I don't get what's going on.
Would like some explanations.
Don't have any answers yet.
Still asking.

Don't really want to talk about it.
Feeling rather sad.

Erica at 8:23 AM

Monday, December 13

Horse Tranquilizers????

Yesterday I slept all day. We missed church, as I was sleeping all morning. We managed to go to Costco for half an hour and then I went back to bed.

I feel like someone has been slipping horse tranquilizers into my tea. Everything feels heavy and slow, and I'm dizzy. Sort of like being drunk. Not that I would know anything about that! ;)

If I was a scientist, I'd name this virus Vodkosis. Or maybe the Tequila Flu.
"Sorry I can't come into work today, I've got the Tequila bug."

I'm going back to bed......
Erica at 1:43 PM

Saturday, December 11

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

What are you gonna do on a Friday night when the kids are in bed and you're too tired to go out?
No! NOT that!

You buy blonde in a box, and do your roots. Well, that's how it started!

First you have to brush out all the tangles and separate your hair into sections (according to the package). But what if you haven't had an official haircut in like a year and your ends are so damaged you can't even brush out all the tangles?

Desparate times call for desparate measures.
"Oh Honey! I need some of the dead ends cut off my hair, could you give me a trim?"

Whoa! Hindsight is twenty-twenty. Reasons my husband shouldn't cut my hair:
1. He is not a professional stylist.
2. He is not gay.
3. He has never cut hair in his life.

Right! Those thoughts didn't occur to me last night!

So I say, "just take off one centimetre to half an inch".....(this is where the sentence should have stopped)....."you know the part that looks dead and dry".

He says, "well, there's alot of that!"

So an inch and a half to two inches later! Yikes!
But in the end, it turned out okay. Shorter than I planned but okay.
Its straight and short. He actually did a good job! And through God's grace we'll stay married!
ha ha ha
Just kidding, it was actually kind of fun, and I think it looks pretty good. Short! But good!
He was pretending he was my stylist (who is very gay b.t.w.) and making me laugh, so if some of it is crooked, its my fault for laughing too hard. I have a great guy!

Erica at 11:11 AM

Thursday, December 9

I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and Gosh Darn It! People like me!

I think Stewart Smalley had the right idea. Sometimes you just need to say that to yourself as a reminder. It helps keep us from "stinkin' thinkin'" as S.S. might say.

I've been doing too much again, and spreading myself too thin. After a week at this pace, it starts to feel like I'm not getting it ALL done as well as it could be, then comes the stinkin thinkin. I start getting down on myself for my lack of perfection. I start to see the rips and holes in my superwoman cape, and once you see the holes in the cape, you start losing altitude pretty quickly.

But as S.S. would say, don't give in and fall into a "shame spiral". So, I won't fall into the "shame spiral" but instead I'll remember the three C's. Except I can't remember what the three C's are right now. So I'll just suck it up!!!

DISCLAIMER: Please note that this post is completely sarcastic, I do not endorse Stuart Smalley as a licensed therapist of any kind. Please do NOT run out and base your life on any of his teaching, unless you are seriously messed up in which case he MIGHT be helpful. His books are good for a laugh however.
Erica at 1:53 PM

Wednesday, December 8

If I Only Had a Brain.....

So its 3:30 am and I'm working away on my job. Its good to find the time and energy to get things done but you also have to know where to draw the line.

Tonight as I was doing the minutes of some of the meetings I found myself giggling as I was typing. How do you know when you're too tired to keep working?
Here's a hint....

When you type the words "facility availability" and start laughing uncontrollably because the words rhyme, you should go to bed!

Trust me on this one!
Erica at 3:36 AM

Sunday, December 5

If I Could Dance.....

Lately at church we've had some dancers who have been coming out into the open. They have presented us with dance performances that have left me "emotionally volatile".

I stand there watching, holding back tears, wanting my feet to dance, knowing they are frozen in fear and shame. I'm afraid of the uncoordinated mess that would result in my attempt at graceful movement. I'm ashamed of my fear, shallow as it is. Suddenly I am aware of the huge disconnect between my physical body and the person I am in my spirit.

My body is still obeying the dictates of the "good girl" church mandates of my childhood. My mennonite blood boils when I try to dance in my kitchen, alone. The childlike, mechanical movements bring me to my knees in frustration, as my Father is pleased with my attempt. The battle between natural and spirit realms rages on.

Fear. The fear of the church leaders who didn't want people to move on the stage for fear of sensual movements that would give the wrong impression. Eyes blind to beauty because they could see dance only as evil and sexual. The righteous protection of the church? What if there was a possibility of a dance that was pure and free? Where did it belong?

Now I can see the lies, now I can feel the regret. Now I'm battling again for what might have been, for what I could possibly be.

If I could express what is in my spirit....the loveliness and grace still lives. The dancer moves with grace, intensity, passion, emotion and depth. I can float on air. I can express my love and please the heavenly realms with passionate love poured out. I can dance over people, I can war, I can prophesy and bless with gentle abandon. I can dance.

But for now, I am blessed to watch the dancers release freedom. For now I will let my spirit dance and I'll pray for freedom. I can see it coming, as much for me as for "the body".

Erica at 5:13 PM

Thursday, December 2

I'm baaaa-aaaack....

We're back from our little jaunt down to Grand Forks. It was alot of fun and the girls got to swim about 10 hours. I was worried about them being able to sleep at night because of all the people in the room, but they sacked out right away. All the swimming got them plum tuckered out!

Rebecca enjoys playing with her cousin Conlan. The two little buddies looked so cute running around the pool area in their life-jackets. At one point, they sat side by side on the step of the hot tub. So cute! In the beginning, they worked their way around the pool hanging on to the edge, then slowing got more and more brave. By the end of the day, they were bobbing along together in the middle of the big pool, "just like the big kids"!

Isabella liked playing with her Papa (my dad) in the kiddie pool. She had some pretty sadistic games to play with him. She liked filling up a cup and pouring it over his head or throwing a ball at him. Once when she threw a ball at him, he said, "hey you splashed me!" and she shot back, "It's only a ball!"
Another game involved my dad doing the dead man's float and Isabella smacking him on the head and yelling, "Get up! Wake Papa and come up here!" Then he would jump up and she squealed with delight. They had lots of fun together.

I sat in the hot tub, played with my kids, went shopping and napped. All in all, a pretty great way to spend a couple of days.

Thanks for the treat mom and dad!
Erica at 3:30 PM