Regan's blog

Just Three Days

With three days to go the Unbirthday party is now going to happen whether we want it or not. I have enough juice, roses, cakes for most of the kids to have a decent time. I have guest gifts for half of them, packs of cards for everyone. At the very least, we can sit around and play Snap. We could also make crepe paper roses, because both Katie and I can knock those out pretty well now. I think what I really need is some sleep!


Oh right. We did know that, actually.

Katie and Buffy are watching Total Wipeout, which I think is called Wipeout in the States. It's a bunch of comparatively sporty people flinging themselves across a giant inflated obstacle course over pools of thick, oozing mud. They usually spend more time in the mud than leaping the obstacles above. Buffy, on her first ever viewing of the show, has been offering advice to the competitors, "No! You've got to hold on! Slow down! Be careful! Look out!"

Enjoying her commentary very much, Andrew said, "You tell 'em, Buffy!"

To which our cheeky little girl quipped, "I can't tell them, Daddy! THEY'RE ON TV!"

A Great Greenwich Day

Today we decided to stick to Greenwich, and I am so glad we did! What a lovely day. We walked into the centre of town, stopping by La Salumeria, the great Italian deli along the way. We bought some freshly made paninis to order and some juice boxes. Now these are not ordinary juice boxes, they are just pureed juice - peach or pear. So delicious I can barely stand it.

After shelling out just over £10 for the three of us including marinated olives and some pasta for later, we walked towards the Market. We were headed straight for Mr Humbug, but got sidelined by a couple of run-ins with teachers from Halstow, which was really nice. Finally at Mr Humbug, the olde timey sweet shoppe in the market, we filled our boots. On a mission for gift bag fodder, we sampled several brightly coloured sweets and bought an awful lot of candy. No worries though, we're still spending far less than going a traditional gift bag route.

Bags filled with sweet treats, we headed towards the Maritime Museum. We stopped along the way to eat our panini, which were amazing. I love La Salumeria! Katie managed to spill blood all over hers, but we didn't mind: She'd lost a tooth! She celebrated by calling Daddy at work. He was very proud of her. Within moments Buffy notified us the heavens were opening, so we dashed inside the museum.

The National Maritime Museum is always awesome. They have a brilliant children's "Hands On" section, which was mercifully uncrowded. This meant the girls got to do everything they wanted to without dealing with queues. Just as we were thinking of heading out, the rain really started bucketing down. We found distraction in their activity room. Our mission was to go round the museum again and draw pictures of three displays, then return to the activity room and recreate the displays in our very own 3D gallery. The girls drew brilliant pictures of a stained glass window, a bunk bed and a WWI women's navy (W.R.N.S) uniform.

Back in the activity room, we drew, cut, pasted and toiled until we had something we were justifiable proud to bring home. It's in front of me now, and it looks pretty good! Katie did a brilliant WRNS uniform complete with it's own wardrobe with peephole. Buffy decorated the walls and made a sign for our gallery. I did the stained glass window and the bunk bed. All in all, highly successful.

I just love that we *live* here. We didn't have to go far afield, just stumbled out of our doorstep. What a wonderful day! When we finally left the museum, the sun was shining and we detoured through the playground. Fantastic!

8 Days 'til Party

I have finally acknowledged I need help. I have enslaved two cute and surprisingly willing little girls to do my bidding. My bidding currently entails making giant crepe paper roses. We now have nine. I have no idea how many we'll try to make, but I think we'll keep going until our (read: their) fingers give out. All of the cootie catchers are printed, but need to be trimmed and pre-folded. In my crepe-paper rose zeal, I have neglected the coffee filter roses, so there are still eleven to make. Onward, cute little slave girls!

Ten Days Left

Ten days until our Un-Birthday Party. Today we tested a chocolate bread recipe. We want to make a chessboard of sandwiches, but we needed brown bread. I figured the kids wouldn't go for pumpernickel, so we needed an option. I found a non-sweet chocolate bread recipe on Tastespotting to provide confirmation it was possible. Then we just used the recipe that comes on the back of the yeast box and added 1/4c cocoa powder. The bread is slightly marbled and not as dark as I would like, but it is a successful trial. Next time we will add more cocoa powder at an earlier stage. Even as it is, though, should be good enough for a recognisable chessboard.

I also uploaded some party planning pictures and received two deliveries - crepe paper for the giant flowers and packs of cards for the gift bags. Sweet!

Planning an Un-Birthday Party

In a fortnight the girls will be having an un-birthday celebration. It is neither's birthday, but we did very little for their actual birthdays, so an un-birthday party it is. Naturally this lends itself to an Alice in Wonderland theme, so I am indulging every creative whim I have. I appreciate this is pretty boring in a conversation, but I am desperate to talk about it. This morning it hit me: I have a blog! I can talk about my own interests at length. I just need to put it out there.

To start I am making coffee filter roses, which we will paint red. This is why it is important to use coffee filters, because they take watercolour paints beautifully and naturally. The roses should look like they are red rather than just painted red. I am not sure if this harmonizes best with the storyline, but it works for me. I now have six roses made and need fourteen more. Two weeks should be plenty of time as long as I do one a day.

I have a couple other unfinished projects spinning around. One is a cardboard dollhouse which doesn't need, but would benefit from, curtains. Katie made gorgeous windowboxes full of flowers, which lend themselves beautifully to the authentic image of a small house. The guests will sit in the house, arms and legs pouring out of windows and doors and we will take a commemorative photo. Should be very cute if it can hold up to the shenanigans of up to twenty children.

There are still things I need to buy, but I am trying to rely on a "more time than money" philosophy. As such I am printing out Alice-themed cootie catchers. A brilliant friend advised me to fold them and then unfold them so the children can fold their own without its going horribly wrong. Genius, I tell you. Same friend is also baking individual mini tiered cakes for each guest. And jam tarts for the parents. I have some truly amazing friends. Oh, I'm paying her, but still.

I'll update you on progress as I have it.

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