a peek inside the fishbowl

10 Aug, 2007

What did I expect? I’m a coffee addict

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Misc. life

Alternate title: what to do with your kids over summer holidays.

Unfortunately for me (and thusly, my family) I’ve been going to bed around midnight and getting up around 8 a.m. every morning for the past week or two.

On the surface it seemed I have been getting enough sleep. Eight hours is pretty good. But I was convinced there was something terribly wrong. Every day between three and four I felt like a miserable sack of sh*t. I could not muster the energy to do anything during this time. I was lucky if I was able to pour candy-coated Easter chocolates in my mouth and trudge (with girls in tow) to the wading pool and collapse on the grass. I felt so awful, drained of very single crumb of motivation.

I was no good to nobody. I thought, I need to eat better! I need to get more exercise. I need to drink more water. And then I figured it out. I had been skipping my usual after-lunch cup of coffee. THAT’S why I had been feeling so crappy! Because I’m addicted to coffee! Now I’m back on the bandwagon and I am feeling better. I still need to eat and drink and exercise, but at least it doesn’t hurt to think anymore.

Civic holiday Monday I did pretty good energy-wise. The girls and I:

- drove downtown
- parked at the National Gallery
- saw the special Renoir landscapes exhibit at the National Gallery – kiddie style – meaning we browed faster than a normal art-admiring adult would browse
- walked toward Sparks St. through Confederation Park (or is that Major’s Hill? I keep getting the two mixed up)
- walked past the War Memorial to observe the ceremonial guard and chase a phantom bagpiper down the stairs to the canal
- walked along Sparks St. to take in some of the Busker Festival
- got a bagel at Tim Horton’s
- walked back to bridge beside the Chateau Laurier to watch the boats in the locks.
- walked back past the National Gallery, walked the bridge across the river to Gatineau
- waved to a large river boat as it traveled under the bridge, and jumped for joy as the captain honked and waved back at us
- walked back toward the Gallery, took the path up to Champlain Lookout
- looked out
- walked back to Gallery, got a drink at the fountain, found our car and drove home
- had dinner at The Works.

It was well-deserved, after the long day we had.

It’s tough to be creative about kid-care over the summer months. I don’t have much advice to share, only this, I try to do at least one fun thing every day. I’m not into scripting and filling every single waking minute. Right now, for example, they’re colouring in the kitchen. And then we’re going to walk to the grocery store to pick up stuff for dinner.

I find the “one good thing a day” gives them something to look forward to, and it makes us all feel like the day hasn’t been wasted.

These things don’t need to involve packing and traveling to exotic locales. Children of a certain age are easily amused. The other day we went to the wading pool. Yesterday we had a picnic lunch at a nearby park that is walking distance but don’t get to often enough. We’ve done the library thing and also went out to breakfast. A couple nights ago – after the kids had a bath and had changed into their pjs – we took them for a “night walk” around the block. It’d been hot that day, and the cool breeze and the crickets were almost as soothing as hot milk and a bedtime story.

What I’m trying to say is that activities can be free (or very cheap), close to home, and still be a lot of fun for everyone involved, AND it doesn’t need to include the b00b tube and/or the computer.

We’ve done a lot this summer, but some of the other things we’re planning on:

– Dino movie at the Museum of Civilization
- Lumiere Festival (it’s tomorrow night and we still need to make our lanterns!)
- a visit to Chantal’s!
- Rainbow Cinema at St. Laurent
- the drive-in theatre around Smith’s Falls (!)
- bike trip/dinner at Westboro Beach
- city splash pads
- Greek Fest
- Farmer’s Market at Landsdown
- Super Ex
- Loblaws cooking classes for kids
- end-of summer party

How have you guys been filling your days?

5 Responses to "What did I expect? I’m a coffee addict"

1 | roz

August 10th, 2007 at 11:14 am


geez! that was a full day!

Oh, and Major’s hill is the one behind chateau laurier, and confederation park is the one across from city hall :)

2 | BeachMama

August 10th, 2007 at 12:15 pm


Wow you had a great Civic Holiday!!

We have done pretty well up until last week and that is not anyones fault but mine. I can barely walk now and taking J somewhere fun is a real chore, so he is amusing himself here at home and I try to get Hubby to do something really fun after dinner, like swimming, walk in the woods, etc…

I love your list of stuff left to do and only wish that we could fit all that in as well. The Greek festival started last night and I would so love to go this weekend, but will have to see how I feel. And I remember you going to the lumiere festival last year, that would be cool too. For now, our only plans are a local fair on Saturday (family day or kids day is what it is called I think) and a bday party for my nephew. Otherwise we are in waiting mode…

3 | The Veggie Vixen

August 10th, 2007 at 1:11 pm


Maybe we’ll see you at the Festival. We didn’t make a lantern though but I’m dressing the girls up. What a great time.

4 | Christy

August 10th, 2007 at 5:08 pm


Just stumbled across your blog, and I have to say that sounds like one very busy holiday!

I also think I have been enlightened as to way my afternoons are so incredibly unproductive….I need Coffee! Thanks.

5 | Miss Vicky

August 11th, 2007 at 10:27 am


How about an excursion to the MacKenzie King estate in the Gatineau park? Dress up and bring along a picnic tea party.

Gordie is a little young for that yet but it’s something I would really like to do someday.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark. We have two daughters: Emma (19) and Sarah (17). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. 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, 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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