Our Summer So Far

Gal Smiley brought home about 40 pencils on the last day of school. They’re all dirty half-used stubs and every single one of them has the eraser chewed off – ew. Even grosser: apparently they were all chewed off not by Gal Smiley, but by some other boy who sat at her table. EW.

So, what to do, what to do. Pencils are a highly valued commodity in some places of the world. It seems beyond wasteful to just throw these away when I actually donated money to UNICEF at Christmastime specifically to buy pencils for schoolchildren in Africa. And yet, when you add her 40 icky pencils to the approximately 300 pencils we already have (most of which are crappy dollar store quality, but at least still have their erasers), we are bursting at the seams. Soon I will be able to build a second house out back made entirely of pencils.

Perhaps that is the Gal’s secret plan.

I wonder.


So we went downtown for Canada Day. If you read my post over at Kids in the Capital, you’ll know we were planning on taking the bus. However, the Captain got sick and since he and Sir Monkeypants were staying home, I was too chicken to brave public transit with both girls, a stroller, a cooler, and a backpack. So I drove, and it turned out to be a total non-issue – we easily got parking at around 10 in the morning at the Rideau Centre, and when we left around 4 there was still plenty of parking to be had. So I think the city’s dire warnings to not drive downtown are unfounded, unless perhaps you are staying for the fireworks – can’t imagine how you would ever get your car out of the downtown area at 11 p.m.

But for daytime visitors, it’s fine. And worth it.


We were not intending to try to see the Prince and Princess at all, but by 10 in the morning they’d already blocked off dozens of downtown streets marking their route to the hill. As a result we got fenced in on the market side and physically could not get across to our intended destination, Jacques Cartier Park, for hours. In the end we gave up and stood behind crowds eight deep right by the Art Gallery and saw this:

Prince and Princess

Well, we kind of saw it – my camera saw it as I shoved it through the crowd and snapped wildly with one hand, while my other arm held Little Miss Sunshine who was complaining loudly that she COULD NOT SEE. It was all very glamourous.

Then we waited another half hour for them to take down a single barricade so we could cross the freakin’ street. Royals! It’s like they think they’re more important than us! Am I right, or am I right?


Yesterday was our first real day of summer vacation since we were away for the rest of the weekend visiting family. I heard the world “Mom” about 3000 times. I think we did every single craft in the house and played with every single toy. We spent 15 minutes in the wading pool, 10 minutes doing PlayDoh, 20 minutes baking. By the end of the day I was exhausted, the house looked like a hurricane hit it, and I was considering changing my name to “Freida” and moving to Iceland.

How many more days of this?


Tomorrow is the third annual Blog Out Loud. Am I usually this nervous? Probably – I always fear that no one is going to show up, then the more I think about it I panic that too many people are going to show up, then I worry that the exactly right number of people will show up and they will all be talking about the fact that I did not put polish on my toenails. Aye aye aye. I still have some last minute details to take care of, which is putting a damper on my Summer of Awesome plan for this week, but we will be in full swing next week for sure.

I hope you’ll all be there tomorrow night, and that you’ll all come over to say hello. This community we have here in Ottawa is so warm, and friendly, and smart, and funny, and kind, and it’s a privilege for me to be a part of it. I’ll be the one hyperventilating in the corner – the one with no polish on her toes.

See you there!

8 thoughts on “Our Summer So Far

  1. I’ll be there, closer to 9:00 though. I’ll say hi and I will leave my old, chipped toe nail polish on in solidarity. I think it will be great 🙂

  2. You were lucky to get a clear shot of the couple. Sounds like it was pretty crazy downtown!

    I’m looking forward to BOLO and seeing you again! 🙂

  3. Don’t stress – it’s going to be fabulous! I did get my toes done, only incidentally, but my orthotic sandals are butt-ugly, so I’ll be happy to say something stupid or offensive every time it looks like someone’s gaze might stray to our toes.

    Also, let me bow down before you, She with the guts to venture downtown on Canada Day with two kids and no husband. *visceral shudder*

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