a peek inside the fishbowl

15 May, 2006

What a weekend (caution: longish and photo heavy)

Posted by andrea in: Misc. life|Oh! Things!|Photography

Somehow it seems fitting that seven years ago today I was labouring away with Emma, my firstborn. Little did I know that the epidural would make my lower half feel like a slab of roast beef and all my huffing and puffing would result in a brand new 10 lb 3 oz little girl.

I remember Emma being plopped down on my belly, all wet and squirmy. All of us in tears.

It’s a girl! they shouted.
Pardon me? said Mark. I was equally disbelieving. Not that we had any scientific proof, but we were expecting a boy.

The nurses weighed her. She’s a big one! They talked excitedly among themselves. It was almost as if the triumph was their own. Over ten pounds! I remember feeling really proud that I somehow managed to squeeze out this watermelon of a child…

Someone asked me if it hurt. Uh, YEAH. But I had nothing to compare it too, so it wasn’t something I could exactly quantify. I remember shuffling painfully ever. (ouch) so. (ouch) slowly. (ouch) down the hall. The nursery was on the other side of the building.

That was at the Grace, a hospital that now exists only in the local history books. It was torn down a few years ago.

And here we are today. This weekend was non-stop. And I’m totally wiped.

Emma had a birthday party on Saturday. We invited seven little friends for a pool party.

The plan was to start here at the house with a small lunch of hot dogs and chips.

“Who likes hot dogs!” I shouted. This was a purely rhetorical exclamation. I wonder why I even said it. Sometimes tacking imaginary exclamation marks on the end of your sentences generates excitement. Perhaps I was trying to liven things up. Not that this gaggle needed more prodding.

I thought the kids would throw their hands in the air. Me! Me! Me! The answer I received wasn’t exactly what I expected. Two of them didn’t raise their hands. Instead, they threw me a pair of serious pre-tween expressions and politely informed me they were vegetarians. Do you have veggie dogs, they asked.

Uh. No. Sorry. Had I known I would have bought some.

Mark remembered there was hummus in the fridge. And I had put some pita in the freezer. I offered this as an alternative, but in the end it didn’t matter. The vegetarians filled their plates with potato chips.

As the food was being prepped I amused our young charges with the one balloon animal I knew how to make:


Mark, on the other hand, knows how to make all sorts of four-legged creatures – cats, dogs, giraffes – different species that somehow manage to all look the same in the end. :)

After lunch we walked to the local rec centre. We had booked half the pool. Lucky for us there was no one in the other half. So we had the whole place to ourselves. This will give you a better idea of what I mean:


And here’s Sarah:


We bought water squirters the night before (picture nine very large turkey basters) and each child was given one to keep. They were a huge hit. The kids loved squirting Mark in the head.

I have a really cool series of photos of each kid posing menacingly with their colourful weapons. Here’s a not-so-menacing birthday girl:


We had the pool for an hour. Afterwards I took the girls in the fitting room and helped everyone get dressed. I did each girl’s hair, decorating their “do” with fancy hair elastics with giant fuzzy pompoms attached. We all walked back home for cake and ice cream.


Emma opened her gifts after everyone left.


Here she is, hugging her Skip It.


At the end of the day she proclaimed it was the best day of her whole life.

Mother’s Day was low key. I received my much-coveted breakfast in bed.


And here are some shots of the new dishes.




I love them. But Debbie, could you have designed them so they were a little bit smaller? And fit into our dishwasher a little better?


Here’s the old stuff I mentioned:


Now the problem is… what to do with our old mugs? Mark certainly won’t want me to banish his faves to storage.


And this is my favourite one. There’s something about diner/coffeeshop mugs that is pleasing in the hands and on the lips. Don’t you think?


We spent the bulk of Sunday at Mark’s parents, where he and his dad made a steak dinner for all of us.

The celebrations continue today. Emma got breakfast in bed this morning. And we are going out for a special dinner tonight. She got to pick the restaurant. More on that later. :)

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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