Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or treat?

Treat, of course. What you can't see in this photo is the green facepaint (pale green). But you get the general idea. I think the kids were spoiled by last year's Halloween in the US where every house gives out something, but still, we had a little impromptu party in the neighbourhood and fun was had by all. Somewhere around were a pirate and a spiderman, but no photos of them.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Getting very "fooky"

Pumpkin carving day today - and I always forget how difficult it is to photograph jack-o-lanterns when they are lit (which is much more interesting than otherwise). Anyway, here we have a "fider" (Mummy's pumpkin), a ghost (Sarah's, with a little help on the fiddly bits), a traditional face (Alex's, with help from Mummy and Sarah) and Olivia's - a hybrid of the traditional face type and a funkier type - so that it's eyes and the word "boo".

And here they are outside, waiting for it to be dark, so they can show off...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Kew Gardens

Went to Kew this afternoon to meet a friend and have a look at some of the Henry Moore sculpture on display - poor Olivia was trying to get a serious picture with one of the statues, but the others kept interfering. Siblings!

And here's some plants -a cool palm from above, in the palm house, and a tree with red berries, which I'm sure I've photographed many times before, but I love it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Aarg, matey, it's a pirate

Alex went to a birthday party today where there was an entertainer who face-painted and made balloon swords and hats (and probably other things for the girls). He kept telling us he was a good pirate, not a bad one, so that's alright, then.

A big day for birthdays - it's Olivia's, of course, plus she was invited to another party for a little girl in her class who actually has the same birthday, but unfortunately, she was unable to go to that as it overlapped with her trip to Disney on Ice with the Brownies. We had only 4 things we had planned or were invited to over the entirety of half-term - one was Olivia's own party on Sunday - the other three were all today, and all overlapping. Figures!

We also went and picked pumpkins today, though I forgot my camera, so there are no cute pumpkin patch pictures - probably wouldn't have been anyway, as there weren't that many pumpkins in the patch to choose from - but there were a number of cute Hallowe'en cut out boards (where you stick your head in the hole and the rest of the picture is Frankenstein's monster or whatever) so that would have been fun. We still did all the sticking heads in holes part, just no photos of it. You can use your imagination! There will be jack-o-lantern photos later, but much closer to Hallowe'en, so that they last.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Baking week

Celebratory cheesecake for Olivia & Geoff's birthdays. New York Style with a sour-cream layer on top. Mmm.

Orange Hallowe'en biscuits. Bought some Hallowe'en shaped cookie cutters from Lakeland, though the witches and ghosts are a little fiddly. Rather than the usual coloured icing, we decided to simply make the dough orange. They really are this colour - it's not a trick of the light!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Building Bears

Well, we have all survived Olivia's party - though to be fair, it was fine - her friends are all fairly sweet little girls and they had a nice time with no trouble. Most of them own at least one bear from the Build-a-Bear-Workshop, from previous parties, so we decided to have a "fashion party" which means you bring your bear along, choose clothes & get a cardboard wardrobe to take it home in, instead of a house box. One of the girls didn't have a bear, so she got a bear (luckily no one seemed to mind that she got a bear and clothes - they just wanted her to have a bear so she could be like them and pick clothes for it - see what I mean about them being nice girls?).

After the shopping extravaganza at Build-a-Bear, we went up to the food court for a lunch at McDonald's - this was actually one of the easiest parties I have ever done - the girl at the build-a-bear place did most of the work there, including keeping track of how much money each had spent and when they reached their limit. And then McDonald's did the food. The hardest part of the whole thing was finding a suitable dessert for the one girl who is allergic to milk and can't have anything dairy (most of the desserts around seemed to contain either ice-cream or chocolate). Anyway, I forgot my camera, but here's a photo of the birthday girl with her bear in some new clothes, including ice skates, and another present (from one of her friends - she hasn't had her family presents yet, as it's not her birthday until Wednesday) - a toy rabbit which moves and goes to sleep and stuff.

Kids today spend so much time trying to be teenagers or grownups, that I think it's really lovely that all of Olivia's friends are really keen on these bears - seems like a proper kid-type thing to do, you know?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ice-skating day

Well, here are some of us skating today at the Guildford Spectrum - or kind of. In the top photo, you can see Geoff, and at bottom, Alex with skates on, and Olivia in the shadows. Some videos of the girls can be seen over on You Tube... There are no videos of Alex skating because he had to be held up the whole time by me - he wasn't very keen on the whole experience as it was a bit slippy, and spent a lot of time sitting outside the rink watching and having to be dragged on for brief sessions of being pulled along. By the end of the first hour, he was ok with that, but still not thrilled, so I swapped our skates in and we went and had a coffee (or whatever) and watched Daddy and the girls from the gallery above. I'm an okay skater, but it was just easier to take Alex upstairs... Anyway, the girls have been desperate to go ice-skating, so this was their promised treat - it's not a bad rink, and not too far away, so we'll probably go again. There's also an excellent pool with slides, etc, which I'm sure we'll go back to visit.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sod's law of earrings

So why is it that when you lose an earring, it's always one of your favourite earrings? I've only lost 3 earrings in about the last 10 years, and all three of them were from favourite pairs. And it's not simply because you wear them more. I'm sure there's some cosmic punishment going on here. How come you can never lose one of the earrings from the pair that Cousin Thing gave you but you don't really like that much?

Children from Planet Weird

This is the latest creation that Olivia has been playing with. It's a tiny notebook keychain atop a purse filled with gel pens, atop a box (filled with I know not what) atop a Barbie sized skateboard, tied with string. What's the purpose of this creation (other than to clutter up the countertop)? Your guess is as good as mine.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"Friend's agen"

Olivia and her best friend have been on the outs for a few days - apparently her friend said some things about Olivia that weren't kind or something and this got Olivia all in a huff and so on. Not something I would normally worry about, as these things usually go away, but as it was persisting over several days and Olivia has been insisting that she wants to uninvite her friend to her party, I mentioned it to the friend's mum (I also had a talk with Olivia about why you can't uninvite someone once they've been invited) in passing.

This morning the friend came with a letter for Olivia, which I felt compelled to share. As neither of those girls read my blog, I'm not too worried about them being annoyed at me for this...

Dear olivia

I am realy sorry about what I said about last year. I did try and sort it out but you just Ran away from me. So I'm realy Sorry about it. my mum had a talk About it and said I should say sorry so that is what I am saying can we be friend's agen? Best wishes

[friend] xxx
p.s. pleas Reply
"oh pleas do".

Spelling and punctuation hers, of course! Olivia hasn't replied yet, but I heard them plotting out what envelope she should use and what paper and when she was going to write the reply, so I think we're fixed now. Whew. Not that I feel compelled to choose Olivia's friends or anything, but these two have been friends since they were tiny and Olivia was really distraught about the whole thing - not to mention, it will be a lot easier if they get along, as the friend will have to be here mornings & afternoons anyway (I childmind her part time)...

Oh, and I forgot to say, the outside of the letter says "To olivia/a sorry letter" on it.