a peek inside the fishbowl

13 Jan, 2008

travel plans have snuck up on me (and now you can win a book!)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

I’m going to Jamaica in less than a week. (!)

Today I have assigned myself the task of going through my closet and picking out the clothes I want to bring with me. I have a tendency to overpack, and I really don’t want to overpack.

My to-do list is growing:

– get my watch fixed
– buy a new bathing suit (an essential purchase, trust me on that)
– get my documentation in order and make photocopies etc.

I am hoping Mark will blog about singledadhood while I’m away, but I think he might need a little boost of encouragement, and some convincing.

So. Is anyone out there interested in what my dear husband has to say? Any topics you’d like to see him cover while I’m gone? ;)

** Everyone who makes a suggestion about something Mark can blog about while I’m lying on a steamy beach sipping something frothy and delicious will be entered in a random draw.

I will send the winner a copy of Toddler: Real-life Stories of Those Fickle, Irrational, Urgent, Tiny People we Love by Jennifer Margulis. OR, if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, how about a copy of Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer?

Don’t let me down folks. Give the guy some fodder. And please try and keep it clean, would ya? ;)

Ready? Set? Go!

14 Responses to "travel plans have snuck up on me (and now you can win a book!)"

1 | Bob LeDrew

January 13th, 2008 at 3:11 pm


Don’t know if you’ll have time for this, but I can tell you that Forbie Active Wear at Richmond & Churchill make wonderful custom bathing suits. My partner swears by them, and their prices are EXCELLENT too.

2 | robyn

January 13th, 2008 at 8:54 pm


With regards to overpacking:

My favourite travel tip: Don’t bring *anything* that you don’t already love wearing or think you look totally great in. You will leave it in your suitcase / drawer / crumpled in an “I hate you why don’t you look good on me” heap on the floor.

Have a fantastic trip!

3 | Julie

January 14th, 2008 at 9:09 am


Okay. Speaking as a woman whose husband is the “bring home the bacon” type, I would see the value of listing some ways (activities, games, etc…) during which fathers can connect with their children. My husband is often away, and he sometimes seems lost when he’s with them… maybe a little help is in order (because watching a movie together just doesn’t get them talking – or out of the house).

4 | DaniGirl

January 14th, 2008 at 10:30 am


Funny, I’m putting up a post later this week pleading for post ideas for myself when I’m on mat leave, so I’ll leave a few for Mark if one of the two of you will return the favour!

I’d love to see his take on:
– sharing the bathroom with three women
– whether he sees himself as a feminist and whether this has changed since the girls arrived
– things dads can do with kids
– are there rules that slide when mom is out of the house?

Bon Voyage!!! (I think I’d rather be packing your travel bag than my hospital bag – what fun!!)

5 | Marla

January 14th, 2008 at 11:08 am


I’d like a paragraph on why he likes those weird nougat candy bars so much, which has nothing to do with single dadhood, yet I wonder about that frequently enough that I MUST ask. I mean, is it pure nostalgia? A texture thing?

As far as being on his own with the girls, I don’t really have any questions from him. I’d rather hear what they have to say about how they would compare and contrast Mark’s time alone with time with yours. Though, on second thought, I’d like to understand how HE thinks his care is different than yours.

For example, Steve thinks I don’t play with Josie as much as he does, whereas I contend I do – but I multi-task. He’ll play with her intensely, as long as she’d like, and follow her lead entirely. I’ll jump up to do laundry, and introduce concepts into the imaginary play like manners or financial transactions or time limits. Guess who she likes better? Right. So she asks him to play more often than she asks me.

6 | Miss Vicky

January 14th, 2008 at 11:59 am


I just want to get a sense of just who this Mark fellow is, anyway.

The Webgeek’s best contributions to my blog have been stories from day-to-day life (like his adventures riding the number 2 bus), but he has also written about vacation adventures (the Webgeek’s big day out in St. John’s). And occasionally he gets inspired by a news item – like the “I think my toddler might be in a gang” post about the Ottawa Police’s advice to parents about signs of gang membership.

When i have been away in the past he’s just read the newspaper and found things to post about. Kinda like what I do if I am looking for inspiration.

7 | Jen_nifer

January 14th, 2008 at 1:46 pm


I would love for Mark to post here about the same things you do, but in his own voice. I want to know what activities Dad does with the girls when he gets one on one (or one on two) time with them. What activities was he most excited about and what activities were the girls most excited about.

And what outfit did he wear to that Christmas party you were fretting about? :)

P.S. Would love the book, as my son is almost 26 months and has just hit the “not-so-terrible” twos.

8 | Carrie

January 14th, 2008 at 5:50 pm


I would love to hear about how his week alone meets or doesn’t meet his expectations – what it is about 24/7 single parenthood that surprises him most.

9 | Lynn

January 14th, 2008 at 7:16 pm


I’d like to know what he’ll be watching on TV this week, while he has complete and utter domination of the remote control. Will he leave it on TSN all the time? Or will he sneak in a viewing of Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday?

10 | anne turner

January 16th, 2008 at 1:25 pm


Being the only double x-chromosomed person in my house, and learning things about boys and men through my husband and by raising our two young boys, I would be interested in Mark’s experience being the only male person in your household. Has he learned anything he didn’t know about girls, have any ideas about what his continually evolving role as their father requires? Also, what has he found most fun about raising daughters? What has been most surprising to him? What has he learned about himself during this. That’s all! (Tall order, I know!) Thanks.

11 | Cath

January 16th, 2008 at 3:20 pm


I”d love to hear about his experience with the shopping embargo (so would my husband!).

Having just left my daughter overnight for the first time, I’d also be interested in what changes he observes in the girls when you’re away, and how he deals with it.


12 | Katie

January 16th, 2008 at 4:16 pm


Whenever my mom would leave when I was a child, my dad would clean out the pantry and freezer. He made the most disgusting combinations like rhubarb sauce, canned spinach, and plain noodles for dinner. I’m most interested in seeing how Mark handles the adventures of deciding what’s for dinner for his children.

13 | porter

January 16th, 2008 at 8:02 pm


I almost forgot to comment on this post……….I’m so excited at the possibility of Mark TAKING OVER THE BLOG while Andrea is away!!!!!!!!!!
Mark if you would please be so kind as to answer the following burning question….’in your own words, could you please describe the Andrea YOU know and love?’.

14 | mommyknows

January 16th, 2008 at 11:48 pm


I’d like to know what is the most difficult to deal with when you are away, and what is the the best part (eating in the living room, staying up too late .. . etc.


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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 daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). 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, 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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