Tag Archives: eric

Happy Birthday Eric! And the last of my mom’s visit

This week has been a bit nutso, so just a few things before it has been too long since my mom left and it is weird to talk about.

But first, happiest of 21st birthdays to my baby brother Eric!

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The first time I held him. He was a HUGE baby.

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21. 21 years have gone by since that cheeky cat was born. I can’t believe it. I remember when I was eagerly anticipating his arrival and drawing scary clowns to be posted on the walls of his nursery that said “TO BABY!” all over them (not kidding about that, my mom saved one of the clown posters that I drew and it is terrifying. Poor guy). I have a lot more to say on the subject of having a baby brother…I also found a speech that I wrote about little brothers when I was in Grade 6 and it does not paint Eric in the most flattering light (direct quote: “I like him when he is sleeping and when he is playing in his OWN room with his OWN toys. I do not like it when he comes into my room and gets into all my stuff. And forget about putting up a barricade because Eric will just smash through it.”) I think I will have to write more about that speech later…

Anyway, he did turn into a shining, respectable young man. So happy birthday Eric, I love you!

Last weekend when my mom was still here we did the rounds of visiting her old friends. And we dropped in to see my lovely Nana.

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I still cannot believe she is 100. And she is still so with it, asking my mom all the questions about what she has been up to. Nana is my dad’s mom, but my parents were married for 20 years so was obviously a big part of my mom’s life. Nana was just thrilled to see her. She is still calling me and raving about our visit and how happy she was to see my mom doing so well.

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She’s a sweetheart that Nana. Her annual Elvis impersonator barbecue is coming up and I cannot wait.

Aside from family and friends visiting, we ate a lot. My mom made her famous chicken soup that I love so much.

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My friend Melissa was telling me that the reason she loves soup so much to this day is because of my mom and the soups she used to make for us when we were growing up. I totally agree. I never thought about that before but I’m pretty sure that is why I love soup so much now too. I can always go for some soup.

Evan also made his delicious lentils and red curry chicken for my mom, and it was her first time eating anything like that.

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With spicy pickle and Evan’s cousin’s chutney and popadoms. My mom loved. I loved! I want to eat that every day!

Evan cooked for us a lot actually…

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I’m sorry but sausages are just not photogenic, no matter how you photograph them.

I was happy my mom got to experience Evan’s cooking, because it is dynamite.

Evan and I also took my mom to the flea market last Sunday so she could experience that randomness. And we went to amazing crazy food court with all the foods of the world, and what made the experience for me this time was this pork rice from the Columbian food stall.

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It is cooked inside sewed up pork skin and it was incredibly amazing. We all loved it. My mom and I also shared a quesadilla from the Mexican booth, but not even worth taking a picture of, I was too into that rice.

My mom hung out a lot with this little minx.

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My mom was Winnie’s first owner. I think Winnie remembered her! She slept with her every night and has definitely been missing her since she left. My mom could not believe how much she still acts like a spry young kitty, and she is turning 21 this October! I haven’t been posting a lot of pictures of Winnie since Bolt’s arrival, but rest assured she is and will always be my number one. She is my favourite.

Other than that, a lot of hanging around and chatting in the condo. Evan and my mom really like each other.

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Brotherman came over for dinner a few times and he and my mom really hit it off as well.

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I know she had a really great time. I was so sad to see her go. We are going to miss her around here. But I am very happy knowing that Eric (and Kenya and Dixon!) are taking such good care of her in BC.

Have a great weekend!

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Banff Gondola, Geode-Cracking, and Heather and Brent’s Calgary Abode

This post might be long, I am sorry. But there are lots of pictures! So if you don’t like reading you just persevere, you’ll get through it.

After Lake Louise and the Banff Reunion with my lovely friennnnnds, the six of us got up the next morning, checked out of our hotel, and went to breakfast. Since Crystal and Lisa live in Calgary (ie not far from Banff and they are there often), we relied on their recommendation. And they did not lead us astray. We went to Coyotoes Southwestern Grill and here was my breakfast.

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The huevos rancheros. I don’t even really know what that is, but it had a lot of cheese on it and cheese makes me happy so, j’adore. And there were a couple of tostadas (I actually upgraded to an extra tostada on Lisa’s rec), eggs, black beans, salsa, green salsa, sour cream, avocado. Delicious. We had a big day ahead of us and that was a good start.

After breakfast it was GONDOLA TIME!!!

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Lisa and Crystal are seasoned gondola pros and sat this tourist activity out, it was just the four of us. I totally understand, it’s expensive, and if I lived in the area it’s not something I would do every day. But you do have to do it at least once. Have to. Because it’s insane.

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The views are so ridiculous. It doesn’t even feel like real life. Look at where we came from!

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Evan and Kenya both have a fear of heights (Evan was not down with the glass floor at the CN Tower you may remember), but they were both okay on the gondola. The car follows the mountain up, so you don’t feel like you’re up as high as you are. Unless you look back. Which Evan avoided doing.

The gondola takes you to the very top of Sulphur Mountain (you can also hike up and take the gondola down if you like, next time!), and at the top of the mountain you are bombarded with panoramic mountain views. I don’t have a lot of commentary about this. It’s just breathtakingly beautiful. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

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(alright so this photo was kind of staged, but at least I’m not doing yoga)

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There are several lookout decks on various levels.

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The feeling of being up there was just incredible. I can’t explain how nice it was. I never wanted to leave. I want to live up there! And actually, maybe I could?

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That is the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station, one of Canada’s nine sites to study cosmic rays. Apparently the most important one, because of its elevation (2383m, you can read about it here if you are interested).

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I have been up the Banff gondola one time before with the Bestie, in the winter a few years ago.

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Same view, just more snow. And when we were there that time only the main observation deck was open because of all the snow, so we couldn’t wander around like our group did this time.

After exploring everywhere we could, we eventually took the gondola back down.

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And as we did we listened to the soundtrack of our vacation, the trololo guy. It was one of my favourite moments of our trip. I took a video of it and put it on my Facebook page, so you can watch it here if you want.

When we got down to the bottom we met back up with Lisa and Crystal. And sadly, it was time to say goodbye to Eric and Kenya.

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I am going to miss them. I am so glad we got to spend as much time with them as we did. Originally Evan and I were going to rent a car and drive to Banff ourselves, so I’m glad it turned out the way it did. I just love my baby brother. He really has grown up into the kindest Master Creature.

After the goodbyes, the four of us toured around Banff a bit longer. That town is just adorable.

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Cool as a MOOSE! (we actually saw a moose, there was a moose with its calf RIGHT behind Eric’s car while we were stopped in town. We were all too excited to get a pic.)

And everyone who lives there seems to be from Ontario. I don’t know what that says about my own province…

There was one thing that Evan stumbled across and really wanted to do. Geode-cracking.

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You buy a little geode, which range in price from $10 to $200 (Evan just got the $10 one)…

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And there is a machine where you can crack it open right there and see what kind of goodness is inside.

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Evan scored. His geode was pretty sweet.

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Lisa and Crystal were very excited about this and immediately got in on the action. This was really funny to me because I distinctly remember Crystal and her love of rocks. In Grade 6 she got a rock tumbler and used to make all these cool things with the rocks she tumbled. I remember waiting for the bus after school, she was standing in front of me and her hair was half up held with the COOLEST turquoise rock clip, that she had made herself in her tumbler. I was so incredibly jealous. I will never forget Crystal and her love of rocks.

She still likes her rocks.

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And Lisa just likes to crack things open.

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In the end, Crystal had the nicest rock, Evan’s was slightly less awesome, and Lisa’s didn’t really look like anything special.

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But the lady who worked there immediately tried to make her feel better about it and was all “Oh but you got the cool smoky one!!!” Pretty sure she was just humouring her. But it’s alright, still cool.

After the geode-cracking we piled into Crystal’s jeep and headed onto the next leg of Evan and Evanoff’s Excellent Adventure: Calgary.

First though, we stopped in Canmore at the Grizzly Paw Brewing Company.

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(Canmore is a lot like Banff, but smaller)

I ate my very first elk burger. ELK!

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It was DELICIOUS. And much leaner than beef. My salad wasn’t bad either. It had goat cheese, so I was immediately sold on that. I also ordered a pint of raspberry ale. It was refreshing and delicious. I loved.

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When we finally made it to Calgary, we dropped off Crystal, picked up Lisa’s boyfriend Mackenzie, and all went to Lisa’s sister Heather and her boyfriend Brent’s place for a barbecue. I love Heather! (and Brent too)

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I will never forget our night with her at the Blue Jays game last summer. I’m so happy we got to see her and Brent while we were in Calgary.

She made us the best barbecue fare, which, after my day of eating (who am I kidding, week of eating), I was really excited for. I wanted healthy things. Or moderately healthy at least.

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We just had an excellent, excellent night catching up. The best segue into the Calgary party times that were ahead of us.

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Such a good night with these two:

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And these three:

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(Mackenzie, Brent, Evan)

And times around this fire:

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This was the moment I realized that our vacation was made because of all the cool people we got to hang out with along the way. Just a time and a half.

Evan and Evanoff’s Excellent Calgary Stampede Adventure is up next.

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The cottage weekend of brothers and lovers (it’s not as weird as it sounds)

This past Monday was a Civic holiday in Ontario, which, I don’t even know what that means… But it does mean no work, so whatever the reason for the holiday, a day off is a day off, and this meant on Sunday morning I still had two full days of glorious weekend left.  Yes yes.

Some of the girls and I stayed in a hotel after our Big Chief adventure, and we were so dead from our day in the sun (I started drinking at 11am…) that I was asleep by 10pm that night. So when my alarm went off at 6am on Sunday I was able to drag myself out of my hotel bed without too much effort (it wasn’t ideal, but I managed). I was out of our room by 6:15, back at my apartment to pick up Eric and Kenya by 8, and were on the road to Evan’s cottage by 8:30. Even I was impressed by my timing. Really not sure how that happened.

Waking up at the cottage is always the best, but we arrived early enough to have the entire day there.

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Eric and Kenya had a day by themselves in the city on Saturday and they had a fun time at the CN Tower, but since they both live in middle-of-nowhere-BC, I think they were excited for a couple of relaxed days at the cottage.

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My brotha!

Evan and his Brotherman had been there since Friday afternoon and had this sweet paddle boat all ready for our arrival.

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They attached an electric motor to it, so no pedaling required. Laziness for the win. It went just as fast as it would if you were actually pedaling though… We all immediately took it out for a ride.

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And after the boat rides we got settled into the leirsuring.

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Yep, Evan is reading Harry Potter. Guess who got him into it? I actually read the first few books to him (I know, cheesy, I know, don’t harass me), and then he just continued on his own because he liked it so much. He’s on the fifth book, so is currently reading all about Harry’s teenage angst and how his scar hurts and no one tells him anything. Poor Harry. Life is just so tough.

Anyway, we couldn’t leisure for too long because we had plans in the early afternoon. My dad and Mona have a trailer (well technically it is a 5th wheel) near Evan’s cottage so we all headed there for lunch.

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Some trailer eh?

It’s actually pretty awesome. It is in a trailer park with a bunch of other trailers (usually that’s what a trailer park is), and you should see the set up some people have. A few people had built an actual HOUSE around their trailer. My parents just had a deck and I felt like that was even elaborate. I love a good deck.

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Mona, by the way, is decorator extraordinare and will decorate every square inch of everything. Bare wooden beam? It needs a picture frame on it. She does a really great job though. I’m jealous of her decorating skills, because my own are lackluster to say the least. I have a hard enough time dressing myself, so decorating my living space? Forget it.

The inside of the trailer is surprisingly spacious!

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I see something like this and I kind of fantasize about living there and just driving around and traveling the world. Actually wait, no, I want a boat. I’ll live in a boat and travel the world.  One day when I’m rich. I’ll blog about it, don’t worry. You’ll be able to live vicariously through me. You can come visit me on my boat if you bring good snacks.

Speaking of snacks, I was basically dying of starvation by this point and my hunger monster was about to come out with a vengeance. Luckily Mona and the Bobster (my dad) grilled us up a fabulous lunch.

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Mona had tzatziki sauce and feta cheese out for the burgers in case we wanted to make a Greek burger, which actually looked amazing. But I stuck to boring burger condiments because I just love the combination of beef and cheddar cheese and Ketchup, mustard, pickle and red onion so much. I can’t make myself stray from it. But I appreciated having the option.

For dessert we had pie with whipped cream and possibly the best brownies I have ever had in my life.

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This is not a flattering photo of them, so you’ll just have to trust me.

And then we headed to the “pond” that is inside the trailer park. It was huge though and seemed more like a small lake to me.

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My dad always dresses like he lives in Florida year round.

And then we went back to Evan’s cottage for more leisure time.

We introduced Eric to frisbee cup.

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But our frisbee was from the 70s and had dog bite marks all over it, so it wasn’t exactly under ideal circumstances.

We had sun time.

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Eric is saying “Ahhh bliss”

We went fishing.

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Evan and Brotherman

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Lots o’ fishing. Did not catch anything.

We read our books.

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Just lots of hammock time in general.

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And we had a bonfire!

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And we repeated all these activities on Monday. Minus the bonfire. And plus a dynamite breakfast made by the lovely Evan and I.

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And more burgers for lupper (linner?).

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I used to really dislike olives. I’m talking detest. But I always wanted to like them so I would try them all the time hoping that this time, it would be it. I would like olives. But nope, no dice. And then one day I ate this amazing tapenade that was full of olives and I LOVED it, and ever since then something  has been happening. My tastebuds are evolving. Over the past couple of years I’ve been starting to open up to olives a little bit. And lately I don’t know what’s been going on but I just can’t get enough of them. So salty and delicious. I want them on everything.

So that’s about it. It was just a really nice and relaxed weekend with my lover and my brother.

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And my brother’s lover. And my lover’s brother. Can you keep that straight? Lovers and brothers.

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I’m gonna miss my little brother!

 

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Island Times with Eric

My baby brother is here!

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Eric lives in BC with my mom, so I usually only see him once or twice a year, which makes me sad. We are close despite the distance, and we make sure to pack in the adventures when we do get to see each other (last year we had some pretty fun adventures on Vancouver Island). This year Eric brought his girlfriend Kenya to visit, who has never been to Ontario before. I met Kenya last year while I was in in BC, and the first time I met her I made her climb a mountain in the pouring rain for hours, and she never complained once even though it had to have been the coldest and wettest moment of her life.

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Me, Kenya, Eric on the mountain in the rain

So I knew she was a good time.

Lisa was still here as well, so on Friday we took Eric and Kenya out for a day on the town (Lisa has known Eric since he was born!).

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Look at those lovers ready for their adventures.

We started out downtown and had a leisurely lunch on the Joe Bidali’s patio on Front Street.

We all got lunch-sized pasta and Caesar salad and it wasn’t bad.

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At first I was giving the pasta side eye because the portion looked too small and I was hungry, but I ate it all and felt full, so I guess all good. I am really big on cleaning my plate, so had the portions been double that I would have eaten it all anyway, and then I probably would have been too full and gross and someone would have had to roll me out of there. Everything happens for a reason. Also, people tell me all the time that it’s weird to order pasta when you are out at restaurant, but I don’t care. I love pasta, I’ll eat it anywhere, and sometimes a salad or a sandwich just isn’t going to cut it.

After lunch it took us a while to decide what to do. We were thinking of going to Toronto island, but it looked like it might rain and we didn’t want to get caught in a storm. So we wandered aimlessly downtown for about an hour (which was still fun) while studying the clouds and asking each other repeatedly “Is is going to rain? Should we go to the island? Do you think it’s going to rain?” Eventually the island won and we boarded the ferry. We decided if we got caught in the rain, we got caught in the rain (spoiler: we got caught in the rain).

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The island just has such amazing views of Toronto that I wanted to take these two cheeky tourists there (well Eric grew up here with me, but he has never been to the island).

We did avoid the nude beach though. I have corrupted Eric enough over the years (I knocked out his teeth, remember), so I think he was okay skipping that. Instead we made our way over to Centreville, a little amusement park in the middle of the island.

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I have not been to Centreville since I was really young and I barely remembered it. But it was really cute and super fun.

Recently I was watching the movie Take This Waltz with Michelle Williams and Seth Rogan and there is a part in the movie where Michelle Williams is on this indoor disco Scrambler (the carnival ride) and Video Killed the Radio Star is playing.

I really liked that part in the movie. It was filmed in Toronto and I looked it up afterwards and saw that actual ride is at Centreville, and that part was filmed in there. We came across it and I remembered that clip and was so excited to go on it.

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And it played Video Killed the Radio Star! It was EXACTLY like that clip, except more dance party and more screaming the music at the top of our lungs in our car.

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Lisa said it was the highlight of her trip. It may have been one of the highlights of my life! I don’t know how one song and a bunch of disco lights can make a carnival ride a million times more amazing, but it sure can. It would have been impossible not to have fun. I never wanted that song to end, and if it didn’t cost $5 each time I would have gone on it repeatedly. Maybe we were in the same car as Michelle Williams and her scandalous lover!

We also walked around through all the gardens and took a bunch of pics…

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You don’t even want to know the harassment we put up with from Eric from ages two to four. He’s lucky we like him now.

And we rented a bicycle built for four and toured around the island singing “It won’t be a stylish marriage, I can’t afford a carriage, but you’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for FOUR!”

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I love that thing. But we were having some bell issues so we couldn’t ring it at the people we were passing as much as we would have liked. We still waved to everyone and yelled “HEYYYYYY.”

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Good times.

It was a great day with my brother and his lover and my bestest.

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And then it rained so we headed back to my apartment and ordered pizza and watched Warm Bodies to rest up before our shenanigans on Saturday.

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Eric’s Teeth

My brother Eric is 10 years younger than me. You may have noticed in pictures that I have posted of him when he was young, that he had no front teeth.

Here is the story of how Eric lost his teeth (and man, he was a happy child!).

I was super excited when Eric was born.

Obviously. I mean, look at the fancy dress I wore to the hospital. I was excited to meet him! I stayed at my friend Melissa‘s house the night he was born, and I can remember just dying of excitement. I didn’t even know if he was going to be a boy or a girl!

I had always wanted a sibling, and finally at 10-years-old, I was getting one. Because my parents waited so long to have another baby, and I was so old by the time he came around, I was automatically the built-in babysitter.

The “have experience with newborns” on our babysitting flyer? Yeah, that referred mainly to having experience with Eric.

Babysitting him was actually fine with me. I loved looking after my little brother. I can remember holding him in my arms and singing him lullabies (aww), and reading him stories, and prepping him to be my partner in crime.

But of course, I was his sibling, and it was not all sunshine and rainbows. He could be super annoying also. And you can ask any of my friends about that.

That would be my Bestie Lisa with Eric (she was so young!), and she is kind of smiling nice for the camera, while also looking like she hates him a little bit.

He used to terrorize us so badly. Usually if I was babysitting him I could keep him in check by pretending to call Santa in the North Pole if he acted up. I’d pick up the phone, pretend to dial, and be all “Hi, is Santa there?” And Eric would panic and be all “NOOOO! Don’t call SANTA!!!!!” and then he would be a little angel for the rest of the evening. It was a good plan. If you babysit now, I’m telling you, use that. It works beautifully.

Anyway, I liked to roughhouse with Eric a little bit. I was a pretty good tickle monster, and we regularly played Superman. I would lie on my back on the floor and make him put his stomach on my feet and raise him in the air above me. He LOVED it. Superman was his favourite.

That is Superman. I don’t have a picture of me doing it with Eric, so that will do. I’ll still do Superman now, pretty much with any child who will let me.

I also used to regularly hold onto his hands and swing him around the kitchen, which he LOVED. It was a good time. But it led to his downfall on the tooth-front.

One time I was babysitting Eric when he was just under two, and I decided to step up the swinging and hold Eric by his feet instead of his hands.

All was going well, I was swinging him around by his feet, and he was loving it. Best time of his life. And then I don’t know what happened. Somehow his ankles slipped out of my grasp, and the next thing I knew Eric was flying away from me, across the kitchen, and I watched in almost slow motion as he rotated like a helicopter and landed on his face on the kitchen floor (this image is still burned into my brain).

I was horrified. He began crying immediately, and as I rushed over to pull him up, blood was spewing from his face. It just covered the floor. It was EVERYWHERE. And then I saw his front teeth. Both of them. On the floor, in their entirety. Root and all. His poor little baby teeth.

So I called my parents, and held towels against his mouth to stop the bleeding while I waited for them to come home and drive us to the hospital.

Eric was fine. For landing on his face, he took it well (much like I did). But for most of his childhood, he had no front teeth.

Probably the funniest thing about this was, this happened when Eric was still too young to be able to talk properly. So he couldn’t tell my parents what had actually happened…

But I sure could. I didn’t want to get in trouble, so I didn’t tell my parents I was swinging him around by his feet. I told them that Eric had just been spinning around the kitchen by himself and accidentally fell. This was very plausible because I used to spin around the kitchen pretending I was skating and I was Kristi Yamagouchi (pretty much my girl crush). So Eric wanting to copy me was not very far-fetched.

But then a little while later, when Eric could actually talk, he remembered what happened. And I’m pretty sure his first coherent sentence was “Lindsey dropped me!”

Dark times. I was caught. And it was not good.

But despite me dropping him on his face and knocking out his front teeth, we are close now. So close we accidentally match at weddings (<- best wedding of my life).

He has forgiven me.

And eventually his adult teeth came in and all was well! He is beautiful, with beautiful teeth.

And all I have to say about that is luckily!!!!

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Today I am a Proud Big Sister

A HUGE congratulations to my baby (okay, 17-year-old) brother Eric today!


He just graduated from high school yesterday!  That is a BIG DEAL.

He's a GRAD!

Go Eric! (or E-Rock, as I like to call him ;)).

I know people say all the time “where has the time gone?” but seriously, WHERE has the TIME gone?!

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It seems like just yesterday I was holding baby Eric in my arms and singing him to sleep.  Aww, cheesefest.

It also seems like just yesterday he was dumping an entire bottle of my mom’s perfume on the cat and throwing our TV remote into the fish tank…

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(You’ll notice he is missing his two front teeth… I accidentally knocked them out… but that is a story for another time.)

And it seems like just yesterday we were on a four-hour car ride on our way to camping and I had to listen to his Little Yellow Bus tape over and over again.

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(my shirt is super cool, I’m aware.  And check out that speedo!)

And I also had to listen to his cheesy personalized tape with his name for a millions hours, and the part with his name was in an entirely different voice.  “We’re gonna sing about… ERIC.  We’re gonna sing about… ERIC. ‘Cause he’s a special… BOY

I still know all of the songs by heart.  And so does my Bestie Lisa, because she was usually with us (I remember our fave song Lis, “He’s the newwww Otto, the Rock ‘N Roll Hippo, he’s absolutely fab-u-lous, THAT’S RIGHT! He put the hip in hippopotamus! “)

Anyway, he was a little spaz (and that is an understatement), but he has grown up into a smart and respectable young lad with a good head on his shoulders.  I cannot believe he will soon be moving on to college, and moving out, and taking on the world!

Photo creds: one of his friends’ Facebook pages.  Sorry, I’m a stalker.

I was 10 when Eric was born, and I always joke about how my parents conveniently waited until they had a built-in babysitter before they had another baby.

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But in truth, I am thankful for our age difference.  It is too big for us to fight, and sometimes I really do feel like I am a second mom to him.  I remember nearly every minute of the day he was born 😀

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When my parents were going through a hard time (and ultimately split up), I feel like Eric and I could talk about the things together that neither of us could talk to our parents about, and it made us grow closer (like how crazy they were acting, and sorry Mom and Dad, I’m sure you’ll read this, but ya’ll were craycray ;)).

I will always be a protective big sister, and I hope that he will always be able to look up to me.  He did not have the easiest childhood, and despite all of his hardships, he has learned the right lessons, and made the right decisions, and I feel like he is on the correct path.

Eric and Nana

Unfortunately, my mom and Eric live in BC, so I was unable to share his special day with him.  But he is coming to Ontario in just over a week and he will be staying with us, so that makes me excited!

Congrats Eric!  I’m so proud of you!

Hooray for Eric!

Hooray also for three-day weekends!  Hope you all have a great night!

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