a peek inside the fishbowl

21 May, 2008

recap: Emma’s birthday weekend

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

I am sick. My body has been fighting off a wicked cold or something. I spent most of yesterday sleeping and/or in a feverish stupor. Thank goodness for Mark and my girls. I am so lucky. Mark picked the girls up from school and went out of his way to buy me some soup from a local Vietnamese restaurant. The girls brought me toast and pineapple juice on a tray. Sarah refilled my water glass. Emma loaned me a tulip she’d been given on her birthday, and they both made me a get well card. The girls hovered and stroked my feverish forehead when they weren’t playing quietly or reading to themselves. It was all so sweet and tender it brought tears to my eyes.

Anyway, my day so far has been like this:

Wake up.
Have breakfast.
Have shower.
Put in load of laundry.

You get the picture.

Anyway, I am here (between periods of rest) because I don’t want to go any longer without a little write up about Emma’s birthday weekend.

Her actual birthday was on Thursday May 15th.

Family tradition dictates we go out to dinner on the actual birthday, the location of which is up to the birthday person. Emma chose Boston Pizza. I have a feeling she picked it because (a) staff sing a birthday song and (b) the birthday girl gets a giant brownie for dessert. Here she is, while the wait staff were singing:

 The birthday song

Afterwards we went to Mark’s parents to open gifts.

The birthday girl

Sarah gave Emma some Sea Monkeys, which worked out well because this is something we’ve all been desiring for a long time:

It's .....

I picked up some new comic books for her (er, graphic NOVELs as they are properly termed) at a local comic book shop. Two of them cost me $24.00. After I bought them I went down the street to ValVill, where I bought a stack of books (including a comic book) for under ten bucks.

The girls are obsessed. They can’t. ever. stop. reading … not even when they’re in the middle of opening gifts:

Can't help reading

Emma also received Dance Dance Revolution for the Wii. If I wasn’t feeling so ill I’d be dancing right now.

Emma’s actual party was on Saturday.

I baked the cake the day before and decorated it on Saturday afternoon. This is Emma’s “Candy Cake.” Two layers of marble cake, vanilla icing, strawberry & cream jellybeans and candy strawberries:

Emma's birthday cake

Parents dropped their kids off here at four. We had a quickie dinner of hot dogs (veggie and non), veggies and dip, chips, and pink lemonade) and walked to the Ottawa Gymnastics Centre, where we had booked our party.

For the walk, the girls drew names for “marching gifts” (this was in lieu of loot bags) such as fancy bubble wands, long ribbons and skipping ropes. Each also received a noisemaker, a lolly and a candy bracelet for the walk. It was quite a sight as we walked through Westboro village.

The group (there were 8 girls) had two hours, 45 minutes of which was reserved for the birthday cake and the unwrapping of the gifts. It was perfect. There was an instructor who guided everyone through the various equipment. By the end of it the girls were worn out, red-faced, hot and happy. Where else does one have an opportunity to jump, climb, leap, and roll like this?

Emma rolls

Sarah jumps

After all this action they were more than ready for cake and ice cream:

time for cake

They ate it in near total silence.

We ended a few minutes early, giving us just enough time to play in the park. 

The parents picked the kids up at 7:30. Happy and exhausted, we all went home.

As for Sunday? That is a whole different post and I’m too beat to write any more. I will say this however:  I ate well, I bought stuff, and I might be on TV in 91 different countries. More on that later. ;)

4 Responses to "recap: Emma’s birthday weekend"

1 | Chantal

May 21st, 2008 at 10:26 am


OOH looking forward to hearing more. Sounds like it was a great birthday all around :)

2 | Shan

May 21st, 2008 at 10:47 pm


Looks like a great party. Hope you’re feeling better.

3 | Some great ideas for kids birthday parties in Ottawa >> a peek inside the fishbowl

February 23rd, 2012 at 4:40 pm


[…] place for a kid’s birthday party here in Ottawa? Inquiring minds want to know! (Swimming? Gymnastics? […]

4 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive A 19th birthday celebration in ten easy steps (Ottawa style!) - a peek inside the fishbowl

May 16th, 2018 at 2:32 pm


[…] night the eldest and I browsed a few past birthday–related posts here on the blog. I tell ya, celebrating 19 years is pretty […]

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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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