a peek inside the fishbowl

13 Apr, 2008

Birthday recap (and it’s not even over yet)

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

Birthday celebrations tend to stretch out over the course of a few days here at casa Fishbowl. It’s Sunday, and it’s still going strong.

Friday, Mark arrived home with a bouquet of balloons:

 Sarah's balloons

Friday was the actual day of her birthday so Sarah got to open her gifts. Emma got her a Webkinz mouse.

 Sarah's new mouse

She loves all things mousey. This one is now named Teacup.

Here is the before shot of one of our gifts for Sarah.

Wrapped for Sarah

Here she is opening it:

Gift opening

We got her some Playmobil. Mark and I picked out a cute forest set. It wasn’t until after it was wrapped that Mark realized the thing we bought was actually depicting a hunting scene. We’re not big hunters around here.

So we told Sarah the man was protecting the animals from his treehouse. (Hey, it turns out we weren’t incorrect. I just checked Playmobil.com and he’s actually a forest ranger. See?)

We also got her some new sheet music …

Sheet music 

… for her little harp.

Sarah's harp

And a sweet little locket off Etsy that hasn’t arrived yet. :(

We asked Sarah what she wanted for her birthday dinner on Friday night. Her answer: sushi. And so it was. She brought her own chopsticks.

 Sarah's birthday dinner of choice

 Emma does not eat sushi. She ate a lot of fried stuff instead.

Emma likes fried

Here’s a tip, if you’re ever at MHK Sushi, order the fried bananas. You won’t be sorry you did. 

The big party was Saturday morning. Everyone came at 10:30. It was Ca-RAY-Zeee. Fortunately, Mark and I each popped a pre-emptive Advil.

Funny thing, at one point I found them dancing around the Elefun while Sarah played her harp. That was pretty much it for sweet and quiet activities.

The calmest moment all afternoon

I hid in the kitchen a lot of the time.

I secretly hoped they’d take it down a notch while they ate lunch. But that didn’t really happen.

How can nine little girls shriek and make so many fart jokes while they’re eating? Well, they managed just fine.


Sarah eats pizza

We did a lot of crafty stuff during the party, because Sarah really likes that kind of thing. They cut wings and spots for ladybag beanbags (tutorial coming!), and decorated flower pots which Mark then filled with soil and mini-daffodils. I was going to have the girls fill them with dirt themselves, but Mark turned to me and said “would you look at them? Are you sure you want them doing anything with dirt?” and since my answer was “no” Mark did it himself. He’s so smart.

This was the result:


And the birthday cake? It was a ladybug. Of course. But I forgot to take a photo of it. Here’s the best I could do:

I forgot to take a photo of the cake!

It turned out really well, thanks to a very easy and yummy icing recipe from the local queen of cupcakes. (Thank you!!)

The kids all left around 1:30 and we were left with cake on the carpet and although I had a sick feeling that I would find red food colouring smeared on our cream-coloured dining room chairs I realized the only thing that was dyed pink was my own tongue.

The kids went home with their flowerpots and a little woven basket with an extra cupcake in it (which I accidently gave to a girl who is lactose-intolerant, whoops, so sorry!), some laybug antenna, and their little beanbags. For the most part Sarah enjoyed her party. I think she was a bit overwhelmed by it. So perhaps a better idea would be to have fewer people next year. Or have it in a bigger space somewhere else.

I, for one, took a 45 minute nap when it was all over.

The party continues today at Nana and Papa’s house. This time it’s hot dogs for dinner… by special request. Sushi and hot dogs. Go figure.

3 Responses to "Birthday recap (and it’s not even over yet)"

1 | BeachMama

April 14th, 2008 at 7:13 pm


Wow, that sounds like a perfectly fun birthday party! Every time I read about one of your parties, I want to have one here, we have to wait until August though ;). And I love that icing, grrrl saved me when I made the cake for J’s school.

Hope Sarah had a wonderful birthday weekend!

2 | J.

April 16th, 2008 at 10:08 am


amazing birthday party. Wish I could have been there to participate. Those flower pots look like so much fun to make

3 | Giving the lootbag the boot >> a peek inside the fishbowl

April 7th, 2009 at 7:45 am


[…] Last yearfor Sarah’s birthday the kids went home with a bunch of stuff they’d made during the party: potted plants with kid-sized gardening gloves tied together with raffia, beanbag ladybugs, frosted cupcakes tucked into easter baskets… At the very end one child asked that dreaded question (dreaded to me at least): […]

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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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