a peek inside the fishbowl

18 Aug, 2007

Signs that summer is coming to an end

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Ottawa

Sarah on the merry-go-round

1) Back to school shopping
2) Ottawa SuperEx

We have officially covered them both.

We did the bulk of our back-to-school-wear shopping earlier this week.

Thankfully, our school doesn’t require us to buy school supplies. We pay a supply fee at the beginning of the year. It’s great. Seriously, all schools should do this.

This way:

1) The parents don’t have to spend time trying to find each item on a lengthy list.

2) The school buys it all in bulk, so not only are the savings are passed down to the parents, but it probably cuts down on the amount of wrapping/packaging all of this stuff uses too.

3) All the kids end up with the same supplies. Johnny won’t be feeling all superior because he’s got an expensive set of markers while Jill is stuck using a hand-me-down package of broken Rose Art crayons.

During the year we are occasionally asked to donate bottles of hand sanitizer, glue sticks and tissue boxes as supplies run thin, but I would much rather do this than run around the city trying to find the “right” kind of pencil erasers the week before school starts. Wouldn’t you?

All our school supply related savings get poured right back into clothing. The girls were bought a whack of new clothes (thanks Mary!) and we’re all pleased as punch. I also bought Emma a new pair of runners, which, believe it or not, I don’t know how to tie in the same way that all the cool kids do. (My my mother will find this very funny.) They’re skater shoes, and the bow isn’t supposed to show. What’s even more challenging is that each shoe appears to use two different laces, so there are four in total. How is someone older than nine supposed to figure that out? I am going to have to do some serious Googling.

At one point during our spree we were walking out of Winners, loaded down with bags (and we had only just begun!) when I suddenly heard someone calling my name. The voice was tentative, female, and had a question mark appended to the end of it.


I turned to see a bevy of women sitting outside a coffee shop, looking at me. And there was BeachMama! She was all smiley, looking totally gorgeous and happy – you know how glowy those pregnant women can get, right? Funny … she didn’t recognize me, she recognized the girls. I didn’t realize they were that distinctive. :)

It was great to see my bloggy friend. I just wish I could have chatted for longer.

Much later, after we had recuperated from our shopping trip, the four of us went to SuperEx. It was a special media preview night, which meant we got beer and pizza, AND our invite covered parking, admission, and rides. We got to go on all the rides we wanted. As many times as we wanted too, which was great, except that the beer and pizza didn’t sit well with me.  I was very close to losing it at one point so I had to limit myself to the kiddy rides and the fun house.

This VIP treatment* was all wonderful and everything, but we were (a) sad that the concessions weren’t open (it’s not the Ex without cotton candy!) and (b) frustrated by the fact that all of the porta-potties were LOCKED. Yes. Locked and Therefore Unusable By People with Full Bladders. I know for a fact that other people needed to go at some point during the evening. I know because I saw multiple people - like us – running for the main building to find the bathrooms. Crazy huh?

* Emma is letting VIP status go to her head. “I like being a VIP,” she confided. (We’ve been more to one of these things.) “We’re like the SPECIALIST FAMILY IN THE WORLD!”

Anyway, we all had a great time. Got home exhausted. And now I have to go find myself a Tylenol. I think I got a speck of whiplash from one of those kiddie rides.

3 Responses to "Signs that summer is coming to an end"

1 | Gliding through motherhood

August 18th, 2007 at 8:13 pm


Sounds like a fabulous day!
And how fun to run in to fellow bloggers. I read about these blogging groups in other cities like Toronto and Chicago and it would be so much fun if there was somewhere for Ottawa bloggers to connect. Or is there and I just don’t know? :)

2 | BeachMama

August 19th, 2007 at 6:07 pm


Glad you got all your shopping done! And I think that what your school does is very cool, all should do it that way.

And truthfully, it would have been hard to recognize you from the back as your hair was lighter and I couldn’t see your face :). So it was the girls and their super gorgeous curly hair that grabbed my attention! It was wonderful to say hi and continue on with all the shopping needs.

… and no, no baby yet…

3 | DaniGirl

August 20th, 2007 at 8:03 am


Oh, after the bundle we spent at the Ex on Saturday, I sure would have appreciated one of those media VIP packages! Very nice!!

I think the idea of the school-supply fund is a great one, too. I think I’m still lucky this year with only having to supply some ziploc bags, some hand sanitizer and my week to make the play-doh… but I’m a-feared of the future after reading this!

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  • Arif: Hi Andrea, Just wanted to say thankyou personally for blogging about my sandwich and menu. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed it, and hope to see you soon
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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (16) and Sarah (14). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times, and a regular contributor to MediaSmarts.ca. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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