a peek inside the fishbowl

26 Dec, 2010

Christmas 2010 – action packed and photo-heavy, to say the least

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

Christmas Eve turned out to be a beautiful sunny winter day here in Ottawa. So we went to Westboro Beach for a round of sledding. (Which, by the way, is a very pretty place to go, with an easy hill for young kids.) Here’s a view of the river:

Westboro Beach in the winter

The view is pretty here, across the river.

Sledding at Westboro Beach

Sledding at Westboro Beach

Sledding at Westboro Beach

Sniffing around

No dogs allowed at Westboro Beach, sorry.

It was fun, for awhile, but then something happened that turned the day around for us, and not in a good way either.

In hindsight I wish I had shouted “let’s go home now” instead of “one more run,” because in a very short span of time two things happened.

First, we were all down by the (frozen) edge of the water when suddenly Piper started doing this weird thing with her mouth. It was wide open, and she was pawing at it desperately. I screamed at Mark, something’s wrong with Piper’s mouth! He picked her up, reached in her mouth, and fished out an inch-long twig that was totally lodged in her throat. Oh my freakin’ lord.

A short time later (after the actual Calling of the Last Run) the girls were at the bottom of the hill, sitting on the ground, when Piper, who is on a long retractable leash sped ahead and then ran around the girls. The leash, which is a very tight little rope, pulled and scraped across Emma’s EYES. Oh my god. It still makes me cringe to think about it. She started screaming. I ran, in horror, thinking that our kid was surely blinded by rope burn caused by the leash that I was supposed to be in control of. Fortunately, Emma had closed her eyes at the last second and her eyeballs were not torn by the rope. Poor kid. We went home and iced it. Turned out she was ok, but there is a burn mark across the bridge of her nose and one eyelid. Gah. Can you believe it?


Our dinner guests couldn’t make it for Christmas Eve dinner because of illness, so we were on our own. On the menu (which I thought was a big success):

After dinner we watched this version of A Christmas Carol (which I totally recommend, but not so much for kids under 10), and did our annual reading of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. The girls got their Christmas PJs (another annual tradition) and went to bed.

I’d wrapped the majority of the gifts that week, so I was thankful there wasn’t much of that to be done for a change. Mark and I went to bed around 11:30, and were waken up by Sarah at exactly 6:30 a.m.

Christmas Day

I took a photo every hour on Christmas Day. You can see the results of that here.

Otherwise it looked kind of like this:

Tree 2010

Stockings first!

early Christmas

art supplies


Santa was good this year, as he always is.

The girls were thrilled with the Harry Potter lego they received. I picked out The Burrow and a smaller set for them to share although I wished there was $$ in the budget to buy Hogwarts and the train too. They’ve already spent a couple of hours with it and I predict there will be many more.  Sarah received Scrabble Flash (a GREAT game, you can read a review about it here), a shiny red ukelele Mark picked out from Steve’s Music, a “test tube” science set, Djeco sand art kit, a silver necklace, and a lot of books.

Emma received a Lego game, a really lovely Djeco art set, a Little Pet Shop toy, a pretty Roots digital watch, and more books. Their stockings were bursting with fun stuff too … too much to mention.

I got a really sweet necklace I fell in love with when I saw it on Etsy (pictured here on the vendor’s site), and the biggest surprise, some photo lenses for my iPhone (!) …  a fish-eye, a wide-angle, and a macro. Now I just have to figure out how I’m going to carry them around with me. The girls picked out a very pretty bracelet for me from Bija on Wellington too. See?


When our unwrapping was all over we packed up and went to Mark’s parents. This was, as I like to refer to it, Operation Christmas Part Two. We ate, we unwrapped, we ate some more, and played new games on the Wii, most notably Wii Party, which was a lot of fun.

Here is a visual survey of The Unwrapping:

a survey

new robe!


Piper got a rubber chicken and some other things too:

rawhide pop for the pup

Here’s a peaceful view of the table:

the table is set

… and the centrepiece, which is an edible thing of beauty from Urban Baking Co. (Sidebar, I had the opportunity to do some photo work for Urban Baking awhile back, at which point I got to sample her goods. They are as yummy as they look.) BEHOLD:

pretty and EDIBLE centrepiece!

As for today, I am nursing a cold (I’m not sure if it’s the old one or a new one) and feeling generally nauseous and weak. Time for a nap.

Next post: the Shopping Embargo.

4 Responses to "Christmas 2010 – action packed and photo-heavy, to say the least"

1 | Amy @ Muddy Boots

December 26th, 2010 at 1:24 pm


Merry Christmas, Andrea!

2 | Jen Hughes

December 27th, 2010 at 12:49 am


Very pretty jewels. I love Bija. I started a wish list there a few months back, but forgot to tell my husband. D’oh!

3 | Carly

December 27th, 2010 at 11:17 pm


So glad Emma and Piper are okay and that you had a lovely Christmas. Thanks for stopping by “The Tree” to see my hourly Christmas photos. Merry, merry!

4 | Embracing winter, and trying our hand at cross-country skiing >> a peek inside the fishbowl

January 9th, 2011 at 10:25 pm


[…] left to take a few trips down the sledding hill. (The same one we visited over Christmas. Remember the eyeball incident? […]

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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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