Erica online

Thursday, November 30

New Clothes...

My lovely friend Leanna who lives near Seattle saw these outfits in a shop. In a fit of generosity, she bought them for my girls and shipped them to Winnipeg. The girls look like they are ready for a night dancing at the clubs! Cute now but in 15 years --not so cute!

Quote of the Day
"Do you know what's great about when you fart in bed at night and you're all alone? You don't have to say 'excuse me' because no one else is there."
-Rebecca Seales Aged 5
Erica at 8:27 AM

Tuesday, November 28

Isabella's First Crack at Photography...

Erica at 11:32 AM

Sunday, November 26

I Want My Baby Back...

Rebecca was my first born, and has always looked like a little doll. She has always been an independent girl who wanted to "be big" as soon as she could. I know all mothers say that their children are growing up too fast but this is ridiculous.

Rebecca LOVES teenagers and endeavors to act like them whenever possible. Since before she was even born, I've always had jobs working with youth so she has grown up hanging around teenagers.
Some examples of her teeny-bopper antics?
  • "Mom!!! I can't get dressed, all my GOOD jeans are in the wash!" ( at 3 yrs old)
  • "Hi teenagers! (to a group of 8 high school students) Do you like my hat? Pretty cool huh?" Do you think I'm cool? I think you're cool!" (at 5 years old)
  • Said to a 16 year old high school student "I have two boyfriends you know!" (at 4 yrs old)
  • Angrily slamming her door, "When Daddy gettin' home!" (mad at me when 2 yrs old)
This weekend the littlest teenager struck again. I thought I would let my sweet little 5 year old have a playdate with a little buddy from kindergarten. The other little girl had called and asked if Rebecca could play so I agreed. I picked up the other girl to take them to play structure.

What do I hear from the back seat of the van from my sweet little girl?

"We're going to go play now because its the weekend, and we have NO school. High five for no school!" The girls then high five each other.

I'm thinking, what happened to my little girl who was so excited to ride the bus to kindergarten, now she is high fiving no school?!?! As I'm grappling with this information Rebecca yells from the back seat, "Hey Mom! Turn on the radio, we wanna listen to some rock n' roll music!"

Who is this freakin' kid? Skipping school and rock n' roll music should be on the "cool" radar when you are in kindergarten. But that's not all, in the course of my conversations with her and this other kid (who is six by the way....clearly a bad sign) I find out how the other kid came to call our house.
The girls decided at kindergarten that they should hang out on the weekend, so Rebecca gave the other girl her phone number all by herself and the kid called without the other mother knowing anything about it! The first phone call was not initiated by either parent.
She is setting up her own playdates!
Where will this madness end?

I want my baby back!
Erica at 5:24 PM

Friday, November 24

Lady Bug...Fly Away Home...

The other day Rebecca found a lady bug crawling along the sidewalk (since there was NO snow yet!). She took it home with her and made it a little home.
The home was full of leaves and twigs. Despite her efforts at hospitality, the lady bug flew away home to that great lady bug cloud in the sky. That is to say, it kicked the proverbial bucket.

So we left the spotted corpse in our front garden. This morning we arose to find it had snowed last night covering our garden with a fresh white blanket. Rebecca was frantic. Her poor little lady bug was covered in snow and she would be cold.

I explained that all that remained of her lady bug was a body so the bug would not be cold. The part of the lady bug that had life and feeling had moved on!
"Is it in heaven?" she asked.
Now I don't know if there is a lady bug heaven but death makes me uncomfortable and in the interest of ending this conversation I said, "Yes. Your lady bug is in lady bug heaven."

This did not end the conversation or my dicomfort with the topic of death.

Rebecca asked if she would someday die and see her ladybug again.
I said, "sure".
Isabella then pointed out that there was only one way to get to heaven, and that is...

Suddenly all the times I had said, "don't run onto the street, you could get killed by a car" came rushing into my mind. Ohhh! Hit by car = Die = Heaven.

Without thinking I corrected her, "No there are lots of other ways to die".

Both girls looked at me, "like how?"

I was like a ship rat on a sinking ship, my mind scurried around in a panic looking for the quickest way out of the conversation. I don't want to make my kids fear death or list off hundreds of ways you could possibly die...Mayday! Mayday! Get me off this topic!

"Well..." I paused as I tried to think of what a responsible adult might say, "Death is something that happens to everyone at some point. It is a part of life. " (Good recovery, sounds very official and they are still listening...keep talking...)
"You can die from being old when your body starts to wear down."

Isabella interrupted me here, "No mommy that's not true. Gigi is old and she doesn't die!"
Rebecca added, "Yeah!"
And they both left the table and went to play with their dolls.

Phew! They think I'm full of shit. Thank goodness. I don't want to be the one who explains life and death to them - what do I know about that stuff?

Now I have to go pray and ask God not to let Gigi die for at least another 20 years. By then I think they could handle it. And so could I.

Erica at 11:07 AM

Wednesday, November 22

Lost and Found...

A few weeks ago I attended a conference with 500 other people who all work in the area of community development. It was a ballroom filled with people who want to make things better-- for children, for the poor, for the disenfranchised, for chronically ill, basically for anyone who had needs that were not being met. They were good people with good intentions.

Much of the time, there was discussion about the barriers people were facing as they attempted to change the world one piece at a time. The desire to make a difference is not always met with the passion we hope for and conversations often turned to negative as we discussed the state of health, children and families in Canada, and more specifically in Manitoba.

The night after the conference I dreamed a dream about things that have never happened to me. It was like a stobe light of images flashing through my mind while my emotions remained steady in a haze of peaceful calm. It was like a slideshow of photographs of myself and my daughters with powerful images that could haunt a person but it wasn't frightening.

The dream changed and the this surreal dreamy powerpoint played again in my mind but this time, there was a voice accompanying each photograph. The voice said things like:
  • You have never had to sell your children because you could not afford to feed them
  • You have never lived in fear that your neighbors would turn you into the police
  • You have never watched your child die because there was not enough food
  • Your circumstances have never made you powerless to protect your children from abuse
  • Your daughters are receiving the same education as all the boys in their school
  • Your daughters are loved and valued regardless of their gender
  • You have never known the pain of war
  • You've never had to physically struggle just to survive from day to day
  • You've never known the terror of a bombing, or of soldier's with guns in the street
  • You've never had to bribe the police so you could keep your car, your house or your child
  • You've never watched your child die from an infection
  • You've never questioned if your children would return home from school day to day
This went on for awhile, and with each picture and each statement there grew a sense of calm and peace.
It wasn't joy.
As I began to understand where I had been ungrateful that there are others in the world who are not as fortunate as I am, this brought with it its own sadness.
It was more like an intense sense of gratitude that felt almost like intimate favor with someone you love.

I woke up with this strange feeling and began to think over the conversations at the conference again with an entirely new perspective. I remembered all the complaints and frustrations that were expressed, and I thought they are right. Canada is not perfect. Manitoba is not perfect.
But what an incredible place to live! The social programs we do have were assumed to be basic, but compared to what was (not that long ago) and what is...we are not so bad off.

Canada offers so much freedom, protection, wealth and assurance of life that we take for granted everyday. We tend to forget that as we forge ahead into the steps of building community and making things even better, that we are sooooo blessed to live in Canada.

One of the most beautiful things about Canada is her obsession with justice. She always strives to right injustices and meet the needs of the poor, and needy. Part of that passion requires looking at injustice because how can you deal with issues unless you look at them?

But it is not healthy to focus always on what needs to be done, and how far we have to go. There is something to be said for looking at how far we come and celebrating the good that has been established in Canada. If you blessed to be born in this nation, you have cause to celebrate.

So the next time the news tells me the country has gone to dogs, I won't believe them. I know what freedoms I enjoy, and the blessing that I live under because I am Canadian.

What is Lost and Found?

Lost- a sense of despair over the state of Canada's health, education and justice system
Found - a sense of gratitude for a nation that has enough integrity look at the injustices that exist in "the system" and desires to do something about it.
Erica at 11:52 PM

Tuesday, November 21

New Photographer...

At our lake, our neighbor has a daughter who is a budding photographer. In the summer time she took some pictures of our girls, and she just sent them to us. I think she did a good job and we are considering hiring her to take our family Christmas portrait this year.
Have a look at her samples and give your opinion- should we hire her?

Erica at 9:13 PM

Monday, November 20


I have been abstaining from blogging and reading blogs as my body has temporarily crashed.
The first virus was a head cold, and it managed to take out the main brain system. While the firewall was down, a flu virus managed to get in and messed with the system. Much of the data banks have been flushed!
I tried to reset the whole system by flushing it out with lots of liquids and putting the monitor on sleep mode.
This effort failed as the security system hadn't been reset and the whole system was infected by another cold virus.

When my system is up and running again with improved immunity functioning in the firewall, I will reconnect to the blogging world.

Until then...
Erica at 1:57 PM

Thursday, November 16

Deja Vu All Over Again...

I remember when Rebecca was 4 ish and gaining more independence when she was in the "big kid" class at pre-school. She would come home from school and go mental and take me with her.
There was alot of boundary pushing, testing and busting. There was some hyper-lunacy immediately following pre-school pick-up. There were many time-outs right after school. I think it was a combination of fatique, indepence, excitement and the transition between school and home that created a great big ball of crazy.

Isabella is now 4ish and she is in the "big kid" class at pre-school. History has a way of repeating itself! God have mercy on me!

I do not look forward to pre-school pickup.
I make go shopping for a mild tranquilizer dart.
Erica at 11:20 AM

Wednesday, November 15

Regarding the Poll on the Side...

Do 28% of the people who voted really believe that D.J. and I should not have more children?
Well, here is some interesting information.
Of the 8 people who voted Absolutely Not , I was one vote and guess how many times my mother in law voted?


ha ha ha

Guess who babysits my kids while I am at work?
ha ha ha
Erica at 4:45 PM

Monday, November 13

Travel Bug in Coma...

We returned last night from our sojourn to Regina. We went to a church we like there for a conference. A lot of very excited people who were very wild and not too concerned about how it looked from the outside.
Let me tell you, it looked mighty silly from the outside but who asked me right? I admire their life and excitement. Kinder, nicer, more welcoming people, you could not find. It was a treat.

As I said, we returned late last night and took this day to recooperate as a family. We locked the doors and stayed in together playing games, painting, doing puzzles and reading books. Family time with no agenda and as Bella put it, "its so nice to not work, work, work!" Tomorrow we will have to go back out and face the world-work, school, meetings- but for today it just the smell of chicken noodle soup, and the four of us cuddling in our p.j.s together in our big bed.

It is so nice to be home. We travel alot and take our kids who love to travel as well. They are always saying, "where are we going this week?" I love their sense of adventure as much as I satiate my own with road trips, camping and jaunts here and there.

But this time, returning home felt different. There was no thought of the next trip or any fear of monotony. It was a sense of peace and relief. I was glad to be home and I still am.

I'm not saying the travel bug in me is dead. Just in a coma. For now.
Erica at 4:59 PM

Thursday, November 9

In Need of New Tricks...

A few months ago I posted about playing Hang-man with my kids. At that point it was easy for me to play as they only knew how to spell three words.
The answer was always either Rebecca or Bella or Mama.
Needless to say, I was never "hung".

That free ride is over!
Rebecca discovered she could find words all over the house. She now copies down the word, makes the appropriate number of blanks to fit the word and then draws the hang-man's gallow on the paper. She then brings it to me, and we play with her filling in the blanks with one hand while using the other hand to cover up the word so I can't see the word.

She does it right, and filling in the blanks accordingly with her word --which she can't read so she doesn't even know what it is until the game is over but she plays the game correctly.

I am now executed quite regularly.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to guess words like Shreddies, Hoover, and President's Choice?
Its not easy. She has also figured out that the more letters you find and copy, the harder it is to figure out. I was hung by Barbie Swan Lake yesterday.

She is getting too smart for me already, my hang-men will have no hope of a pardon once she learns to read!
Erica at 10:35 AM

Monday, November 6


Since it was just Halloween, we have a lot of extra candy floating around the house.
I found one good thing about candy is that captures your child's attention so its a good
time to teach new skills.

I've been using rockets to teach my kids math. Here is an example, "I have 3 rockets and I add 3 more rockets, how much does that make?" The girls say "Six!" I reply, "Right! So 3 plus 3 makes 6. That is adding."

We continued on with this game for awhile, I would take the rockets and make new piles they could add together. After awhile, I thought they deserved a reward so I told them I would teach them subtraction next.

Here is an example, "I have 5 rockets and Isabella eats 2 rockets, how many rockets are left?"
We did a few more examples until all the candy was gone.

The next day I asked if they wanted to more math, and they got all excited, "Yay!"
I started with the problem, "if I have 2 candies and I add 1 more, how many do I have?"
Isabella interrupted me, "No mom! Not the plus math! I only like the minus ones!"
(when they minus they ate the candies)

Ahhhhhh! The thrill of new intellectual fodder was not the attraction. Silly mommy.
Erica at 7:38 PM

Saturday, November 4

Poll Update...

Its time to update the poll on the sidebar again. The information from the last was poll was very interesting to me.

42% of voters felt that Finding God was the most life changing event
39% of voters felt that Becoming a Parent was the most life changing event
The Death of a Parent was voted as life changing more often than Getting Married.
Apparently getting married is very common place!

Thanks for voting.
And remember, no negative campaigning, its ugly and nobody wins. Seriously are all American politicians high? How does bashing the competition make you look like the good guy?
Erica at 6:10 PM

Friday, November 3


I sat here this evening wondering why I am so tired. I haven't blogged much in the last little while, except to play around with some pics of my kids. So I thought I'd recap about what October was for the Seales family...what have I been doing?
  • Went to a lovely evening of song, prose and entertainment by Steve Bell and Adrian Plass with my equally entertaining sister
  • Visited with Rebecca and shared a plate of fries `a la Lynn Lake, and of course I met the lovely Little Miss She aka Chocolate Button and chatted with Erin
  • Chatted with my own mommy going for coffee and meals to have some face-to-face
  • Went to a movie with mom, we saw "The Queen" (interesting perspective)
  • Played several games of volleyball which had my body communicating with my brain "STOP!! Stop now you freak! Do you know how OLD you are???"
  • Went on two field trips to the Children's Museum -one with each of my daughter's schools
  • Baked various cookies, muffins, cakes and other yummy things
  • Went on a 10 hour drive to visit my mom's family for Thanksgiving and caught up with cousins I hadn't seen in 10 years
  • Wrote in my journal and pondered about God and the church
  • Wrote grants to fund community programs (all of them were approved--Yippee!)
  • Facilitated a Couch Potato Race (yes, couches on wheels with people racing each other) , actually I did that twice!
  • Took my kids to their swimming lessons
  • Read my kids more Robert Munsch books than I care to count
  • Cleaned my house again and again and again and again, and I'll do it again tomorrow
  • Took 44 Grade two kids on a bus ride to the wilderness to go for a hike
  • Trained high school students to work with pre-schoolers -TWICE!
  • Interviewed, hired and trained staff for different youth programs
  • Went to a forum which discussed the state of health in Manitoba schools
  • Fundraised for BOTH daughter's schools - thank goodness for grandparents!
  • Big step - both daughters now have their own library cards! Whoa!
  • Had a play-date with a close friend and her daughters
  • Went for lunch with an old friend from high school
  • Attended more meetings than you could shake a stick at
  • Did dishes, cleaned clothes, vaccuumed floors, and cooked meals
Phew! No wonder I'm so tired. I'm glad October is over. It was busy month. Now we can all rest and let life get back to "normal". What is normal again?
Erica at 5:41 PM