Erica online

Friday, July 29

Blog Tag...

I was tagged by Lynne the other day. So I'll play along.

10 years ago today-> I was in 1st year university, trying to figure out what to do with my life, and pushing myself very hard to get good grades, I was playing volleyball on a new team, staying in touch with high school friends, and I had just met a (male) friend at university who would NOT leave me alone...little did I know, he would turn out to be my husband and a gift straight from God!

5 years ago -> I was just pregnant with my first born girl, I was feeling nauseous and hungry, and I was in BC at this time visiting my Grandparents and relatives

1 year ago-> I was trying to keep up with a two year old and three year old on the beach, and coordinate nap times at the cabin

Yesterday -> I had a mini-emotional "event" after a tiny fender-bender

Tomorrow -> I will be laying on the beach at the lake with my little girls (well, they won't lay, they will run and play...hey, that rhymed!)

5 snacks I enjoy -> ketchup chips, pistacchios, pickles, garden vegetable cream cheese on crackers, and baklava (kind of a dessert but I'd snack on it if I could)

5 adult beverages I enjoy -> margueritas, daiquiris, screwdrivers, paralyzers, and wine

5 bands I know the lyrics to-> ABBA, (YES! ABBA!!!), Creed, Moxy Fruvous, U2, and a bunch of CDs by Julie Meyers who is not band but I like her CDs

5 things I would do with $100 000 000 -> travel, buy out my families mortgages and then buy them new houses and vehicles, pay for my sister's university, and travel some more

5 locations I would like to run away to -> Mexico, Caribbean, Italy, France, Argentina

5 bad habits I have -> procrastinating, over-eating, over-sleeping, daydreaming, avoiding conflict

5 things I love doing -> worshiping, playing volleyball, watching my kids laugh, shopping, and having heart to heart talks with people who get me, and who I get in return

5 things I would never wear -> a mu-mu, spandex, a halter top, thong bikini, platform shoes

5 tv shows I like -> Friends, Seinfeld, The Sopranos (I know its bad but the writing is good), The Daily Show, Simpsons

5 movies I like-> I like more than 5 but my favorites are Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma (all Jane Austen novels), Anne of Green Gables (NOT the continuing story tho) and When Harry Met Sally

5 famous people I would love to meet-> Jesus (I know it seems a cliche but I really would love to meet him for real), Princess Diana, Tom Cruise (just to ask, "what are you thinking"?), Oprah and Kevin Spacey (he seems really smart)...maybe Edward Norton (he seems smart but pretentious so he only gets the #6 spot on the list)

5 biggest joys at the moment -> Watching my kids interact with each other, make each other laugh, reading a novel, blogging, sleeping

5 favorite toys-> digital camera, keyboard, computer, washing machine, dish washer

5 people to tag -> Rebecca, Bev (mom), Cathy, Cindy and Kristi
I would have tagged Sean but he might think this is too girly for him to do!!!
Erica at 12:25 PM

Thursday, July 28

Fringe Festival...

We got the girl's faces painted yesterday. Isabella asked for a cute care bear face.
Rebecca asked for the Hulk!!! The face-painting person said it was the first little girl
she had ever ask for the Hulk! Leave it to Rebecca to be original! She's one of a kind!

The Hulk
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The Care Bear
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Erica at 9:33 AM

Wednesday, July 27

Recovery Time...

I haven't blogged in a few days. Some of the days were recovery from the excitment of the birthday party...
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We've now had many new toys in the house for a few days. The girls have no desire to leave the playroom. Isabella got lots of great gifts, and she is very excited about her new Cinderella outfit...
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This afternoon we went to the Fringe Festival downtown. The girls enjoyed pony rides, balloon animals, some seriously hyper-active children's entertainers and face to follow!
Erica at 5:58 PM

Saturday, July 23

Count Down....

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My Baby is THREE years old today!
Happy Birthday Bella-Boo-Bear!
Erica at 8:51 AM

Wednesday, July 20

Sleep-Over = Sleep-In!!!

My sister rocks! She took my kids tonight for their first sleep-over at Aunty Cheryl's!
They were excited to have their first sleep over and handled it with excitement and bravery. The girl's parents did alright (called about 4 or 5 times!) but they are learning!

It has dawned on me that I can sleep in tomorrow! No children will wake me up, and I can just laze around until I am hungry or until I want juice or until I need my bum wiped. Whatever happens, it'll be all about me!

But here are my thoughts on sleeping in for a mother of small children. Since it happens so rarely it should be done properly, with much self-indulgence.
This is how I feel about my opportunity to sleep in: DON'T WAKE ME UP!!! FOR ANYTHING!!!

If my hair is on fire? --just leave it alone! I'll smell the smoke eventually and turn over. I'm already stopped, I don't need to drop, I'll just roll. Don't wake me up!

If the house is being robbed? --Call the police and leave the premises. Protect yourself and the jewellery, they won't steal me, I don't pawn well. Just don't wake me up!

If I am bleeding from the head? -- don't worry! Its just a head wound. It happens! And if I bleed to death, well, maybe it was just my time to go. Don't wake me up!

My bed is calling, I must go sleep.....
Erica at 10:56 PM

We have a tradition now where our kids go out for dinner with their grandparents before their birthday. This Monday, Isabella went to Applebees with her grandpa and her three grandmas. This is a little clip taken of the wait staff singing her happy birthday as she looks on, feeling a little stunned. (forgive the quality of video, it was taken with our digital camera)

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Erica at 12:22 PM

Tuesday, July 19


Today was an UGH! day.
My husband is stressed from work, and finances.
My kids are sick, tired and cranky.
I am tired and need to sleep.

I hope tomorrow will be better.
(and I also hope the anti-biotics my daughter are on, don't give her the runs too badly..Yuck!)
Erica at 9:05 PM

Monday, July 18

Kute Kids Kwotes...

Lately Rebecca has been having some entertaining thoughts, here are some examples.

"Mom, there are a lot of neat things down by the bay, eh?"
"What do you mean?"
"You know, where the watermelons grow. They have creatures, critters and the bear without any hair...." etc, etc...

"Hey mom I have a joke."
"Okay, what is it?"
"Knock, knock"
"Who's there?"
"Poo who?"
"I have to go poop now" (bursts into fits of laughter)

"Rebecca, look! I have new outfit for you to wear! Its very pretty."
"I can't wear that!"
"Why not?"
"Its pink! Everyone will think I'm cute!" (bursts into tears)

"Mom I can't wait until I have a husband, then I can name him."

"Mom I'm going to have a baby girl."
"You keep asking for a baby brother, I thought you wanted a baby to be a boy."
"No, not a baby brother! I'll have my own baby for myself! You won't do it!"

After watching Prince of Egypt:
"I only like Ziporah and Moses. I don't like Aaron in this movie."
"Why not?"
"He has such a squished up face!"
(the animators made Aaron with a long thin face!)

She cracks me up!
Erica at 12:34 PM

Saturday, July 16

Water Hazard...

We spent all day at the beach today. We have friends visiting from the States who have a daughter the same age as our four year old.

Rebecca had such fun jumping off the dock (water is 30 feet deep) with her little lifejacket on and dog-paddling back to the ladder. The visiting girl has not been around the lake that long. I encouraged her to jump in (with lifejacket) and try it, she was nervous so I got in ahead of her so she could swim to me. Little did I realize the shock of the cold water and her nervousness would result in her trying to climb up to safety on top of my head. Eventually she calmed down and her attempted at drowning me, lessened. All in all, an exhilarating learning curve for both of us!

A little later she wanted to swim with her mom. Things were going well, the mom was using a floatation device to keep her daughter from drowning her as well. I watched from the beach-just in case.

As I watched my daughter play in the sand, I noticed the flotation device got away from the mom so she started to swim after it, with her kid still in her arms. I watched as she kept swimming farther and farther away from the dock just arms length away from the flutter board, not realizing how far she was getting from the dock. I saw her look back, hesitate and decide to head back to dock but she was tiring and going very slowly. Her daughter was wearing a life jacket but she wasn't.

Suddenly, as if I wasn't in control of my own body. I jumped up and yelled at Rebecca to stay on the sand. I ran down the dock at full speed, ran to the end of the boat launch and dove off with speed I didn't know I had in me. I swam so fast for the flotation device, I reached it in a matter of seconds and swam over to the mom and little girl. I gave the mom the handle of the flotation device and swam them both back to the dock. I was amazed at how effortless I could swim against the waves which were very high and frightening the little girl who swallowing water as I towed them. There was so much adrenaline in my body I had three times my normal strength in the water. My heart was beating so fast I could feel it in my chest, and hear it between my ears. I pulled them up to the ladder and got out.

The mother was embarassed but thankful, she hadn't realized how tired she was or how far from land. My reaction surprised me. I snapped at her! I said, "never go after a toy with your kid in your arms!".

I realize I was full of adrenaline but one of my basic tenets in life is to never hurt anyone. I would never want to offend anyone, or hurt their feelings. I love people, and I knew she didn't have much experience around water. But something about the reality of the danger of the water and the thought of what might have happened overwhelmed me. I was terrified!

I love being at the lake but something about this situation just set something off in me. I'm still reeling. My head is rationalizing...if I had done nothing, probably nothing would have happened. They would have let the toy go and just swam slowly back to the dock. What is the big deal? But there is something else my heart (and my body) responded to that tells me something more was happening.

Only one other time have I experienced my body going ahead of the rest of me. Once my foot hit the brake on the highway about a full 4 seconds before my eyes focused on a deer in the middle of the road. I knew it was angels pressing on my foot. The three passengers in the back were asleep and not wearing seatbelts.

This situation feels like that, even though my mind is telling me it was nothing....such a strange feeling.....
Erica at 9:14 PM

Friday, July 15

I just lost a GREAT post!

I hate Blogger sometimes!
Erica at 10:31 AM

Thursday, July 14

Kkgnaaa, Kkgnaa, Phooooooooooo....

The night before last I was awakened in the early hours by an annoying bug; in the wee hours of this morning I was awakened by my husband.
***I won't make a joke here, its too easy...but feel free to fill in your own***

My husband has a talent for snoring that is quite remarkable. Its not just your run-of-the-mill "KKKKNNNNAAAAA" kind of noise. Just your regular pulling air through your sinuses and rattling your throat. That is for amateurs!

My husband's snoring has a sort of melodious beat to it. I'll try to write this in words...its difficult to explain. He draws air through his nostils in two short tugs, it vibrates in his sinuses and throat for a second and then he blows it out through his mouth in one long breath.

Its like a short-short-long rhythme. If I knew how to dance I might Cha-cha to it.

I lay awake listening to his unique music for awhile, and tried making up little songs to the rhythmes he was creating.
But I must remember something as I create. True creative genius is not appreciated until after the artist is dead. I must be patient before I release this new wave of snore music. The world just isn't ready for snore music. But someday....someday....
Erica at 9:13 AM

Wednesday, July 13

Dances With Mosquitos...

When we are at the lake I spend many hours at the beach watching my daughters play in the sand. It is a task that requires minimal concentration and the occasional "Mmmmm! Chocolate cake! My favorite! More please!".

With my children occupied and my mind left free to wander, I have often stared across the lake at "Indian Beach". Directly across from our beach, on the other side of the lake, there is no development. The trees, sand and shoreline remain the same as they have been for the last thousand years, give or take. The beach has been a site where conservation has collected arrow heads, pottery from cookware, and jewellery from the aboriginal people who once made Lake Nutimuk their home.

This knowledge coupled with my otherwise unoccupied mind have proven fodder for a vivid imagination.

Countless times I have daydreamed about little brown children in leather apparel splashing in the water along the beach. Women with long, shiny black hair laugh as they boil rabbit meat for the afternoon meal. The young women gather the wild strawberries that grow amongst the foliage on the shoreline. They are careful with their hands, making sure to pick only the strawberries and not touch the poison ivy that grows along side the berries. They will take their chances with the poison ivy, happy to be free of the rice harvesting for an afternoon. What is a little itchy skin compared to the aching back after a day of gathering and preparing the rice.

A little boy with lovely dark skin ties back his thick, black hair with a leather string. He is preparing for the task at hand which requires full concentration, not even the wind blowing his hair must distract him. It had been a week now that he had been hunting down the black crow that woke him in the wee hours of every morning. He looked at his weapon, a birch branch arched perfectly and strung taught with a long piece of dried deer sinew. His father had given him this gift before he left on the hunt with these instructions, "If you don't want to wake before dawn, make your crow friend find another place to live." He handed the boy the bow with a smile and a gentle tap on the head.

The arrows he had made himself with shafts that had he spent hours chosing, they had to be perfectly straight or his aim would miss the mark. He crept down low in the brush near the crow's favorite perch. Every day he had patiently waited for his enemy, everyday the crow arrived with loud volleys of cawing that reminded him of the crow's sunrise ritual. The boy gritted his teeth, pulled back on the bow and let the arrow fly. The arrow zinged off in the direction of the bird but missed by several inches. The crow squawked loudly and flew up the spruce tree to a safer distance where it could continue its indignant crowing at the boy.

The boy lifted his head at the sound of girlish laughter from down the beach. Two young girls had taken a break from their berry picking and had watched the whole scene unfold. They now stood doubled over, laughing at another victory for the crow. The shorter girl shouted, "He'll live another day to say good morning to you once again." Her taunt was followed by more laughter. The boy tried to muster his dignity as he shot back something about the wind blowing the arrow and stalked off into the woods to escape the laughter of the girls and the crow.

I sit and imagine life before time was measured in anything less than an afternoon. I imagine lives that revolved around nature, food, good stories and laughter. I imagine what it would be like to live with people to whom you are connected by the need for survival in a harsh land. I imagine families, feasts and bonfires.

I can only stay in my imaginary land for awhile there, because even there my reverie is broken by the buzzing of a mosquito flying around my ear. I remind myself that there is no time but there is also no deet. If I were to live in that time, I would be known as "Crazy, Scratching White Woman". Perhaps if I had one of my pattented freak-outs where I growl and slap at the bugs around me, they might call me "Slap Happy Bug Killer". If I were fortunate enough to have earned any respect among the tribe, they might give me a more dignified name like, "Dances with Mosquitos".
Erica at 6:21 AM

Friday, July 8

Here's How It Went Down....

Two young beach players with taut muscles, raging hormones, endless energy and fire in their eyes showed up at their volleyball match. They arrived early to ensure enough warm time, their top spin had been a little weak and they wanted to be at their best.

They took turns hitting as they anticipated their next challenge, which was now approaching in the distance. Turning their attention from their dedicated practise, they stood with mouths agape as they sized up the competition.

A middle-aged couple in outdated clothing came slowly lumbering across the sand, carrying beach chairs, pails and buckets, a big bag full of juice boxes, sunscreen and bug spray. Two small girls followed the pair shouting, "Yeah! Balleyball! Let's go!" The dad who had a slight pot belly, slowed his pace to help his daughter with her sandal.

While the parents got the children settled with chairs, drinks and sand toys on the side of the court, the teenagers smiled. It was the same grin which appears just before one devours a delicious meal, in fact , they may have salivated just a little. Just what they needed, a couple of chumps for an easy game so they could work on some of their more sophisticated plays.

The first game was a little tougher than they had imagined. Although the old guy didn't like to run very much he was surprisingly agile, and he hit disturbingly hard. The mom could keep her attention away from her kids just long enough to find the empty spots on their court. Although it was tough, the teenagers had their egos sated by winning the match. They shook hands and said "good game" as they should, and began to plan the next attack. The strategy included a few easy dumps, hitting harder and being sure to get their digs up high. With any luck, they'll have the game finished off in 10 minutes and could get home in time for the new episode of "Punk'd".

Their plan was foolproof! Except for the few glitches that the young don't yet consider. While the young begin to tire after one match, the older players begin to warm up. The stiff joints and aches of years of play get washed away in a tidal wave of adrenaline which is quite relaxing. Suddenly, the older players started to laugh, then they began to run, and then they started to shout things the youngsters hadn't heard before.

The young players had a will of iron, they buckled down with fierce determination. They ran hard for every ball, they yelled out every play, and yelled at each other. As the imaginary points they had already counted began to vanish, so did their smiles. How could this be? What are we doing wrong? We can't lose to a couple of old farts! Come on! Pull it together!

The second match ended with frustration, and a sense of indignation. More strategic planning helped bolster the dwindling spirits of the youngsters. The older couple got their children drinks, and gave each other five. As they spun the ball to begin the tie-breaking match, they whispered something to each other and smiled. What were they saying?

With nervous energy and trepidation, the teenagers began the final match. The youngsters pushed harder than ever trying not to lose, while the older couple laughed and tried to play their best. From the teenager's court one could hear the grunts of frustration, which almost drown out the giggling from the older couple.

As the final serve landed on experienced arms, the set was made and the ball hit the sand with a thump that spelled defeat for the young players.

The old couple came over to shake hands, which the teenagers did with reluctant, forced smiles. The old man said, "don't worry, you played well." The mom said, "you did well, keep at it" and she smiled a little too wide for the teenagers liking. The teenagers went to their water bottles, to talk about the game and discuss their weaknesses. They picked up their ball and went back to their practising. As they hit, run, and passed the ball to each other, their determination began to eat away at the dark cloud of loss hanging over their heads. They began to sweat, and ache and smile again.

The older couple gathered up their children, toys, and other luggage and began to make their way home. They walked away slowly as the rush of adrenaline wore off, and they could feel reality creeping into their joints again. Just as they walked off the sand, onto the concrete that would take them home, the mother looked back one more time at the determined teens and smiled. That's what she would have done...a few years, and another lifetime ago.

PS...We beat them! We beat them! Ha! Ha! Ha! Am I proud of beating up on poor little 16 year olds? You bet your butt!

Erica at 10:43 AM

Wednesday, July 6

The Tour Begins....

We are fortunate enough to live in a home where our backyard backs onto a big park with a city-run wading pool. Its been great, as we could go to the pool and be home in 10 seconds if the urge to nap or eat hit without warning.

Now that the kids are older, we're ready to expand our territory.

While it nice out (in Winnipeg, you gotta take each nice day as it comes, it may be your last!) we'll be touring different wading pools around the city.

I'm really excited! The kids haven't figured out what I'm talking about yet.

Today is day one! Its supposed to be 26 degrees! Carpe Diem!
Erica at 8:24 AM

Saturday, July 2

Too Cute...

Last night we put the girls into their beds, and they felt a need to cuddle.
Rebecca crawled into Isabella's bed and they fell asleep together.
This is how we found them when we checked on them...

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Excuse me while I go mop up my heart, I do believe it has melted all over the floor!
Erica at 10:56 AM

Friday, July 1

Tooth Fairy Dreams...

The other day the girls had their first visit to the dentist.
Since that momentous occasion, Rebecca has been very consious
her dental hygiene. The cleanliness and shininess of teeth is priority one.

Once again I walked in on her staring into the mirror, mouth
WIDE open examining her pearly whites, making sure they are still
pearly white!

She offered to check the cleanliness of my teeth as well. I had a quick flash of her in a white lab coat with Dr. Seales written on the name tag so I consented to her inspection.

Upon seeing my fillings, she let out a sigh and exclaimed, "Mom! I hope when I'm bigger I can have jewellery for my teeth too!"

Hee hee hee
I knew there was a bright side to cavities...tooth jewellery!
Erica at 5:36 PM