This blog was a bit of an epic one to write! Even if you don't read all the text, do scroll through the pictures as there are some lovely ones of Remy's party towards the end.
And so, today was Remy's party and the children and I have worked really hard for the last two days to make sure she had a puptastic time!
We are of course celebrating Remy's good health and wishing her a speedy recovery after her operation last Monday. She's doing amazingly well. For a small girl she's got a big fighting spirit!
I thought it was really important for the children to celebrate Remy and her amazing achievement. She's got a long way to go, including another major operation, but I hope by doing this it will teach the children about compassion and respect for our furry friends, not to mention people too. Remy is an important part of our family who for the last few years has perhaps been overlooked. It's sad it has to take something like this to make us realise how much we really do love and care about her.
So party preparations began yesterday, Thursday, with a trip to the vets no less! I had to call them as we were running late to due to Jenson's enthusiasm for a Roman work sheet we had picked up at The Novium Museum last week. It was a picture of a Roman bath house and he refused to leave until he had finished colouring the whole thing in. When we finally made it to the vets they inspected a lump that had appeared after Remy's operation. They had been concerned it might need draining but it turned out to be just swelling. We returned home buoyant and in the mood to party!
First job was to make Remy's get well soon card, which Jenson thoroughly enjoyed doing. He pulled up a little table and chair to the window and busily set to work on it.
Next job was baking the pup cakes. Jenson can now recite off by heart the ingredients needed to make a cake, although the only thing able to pull him away from his Lego was the promise of licking out the bowl!
Next were the paw print jellys, which Wren helped with as Jenson was once again engrossed in his Lego!
Next was Remy's special get well soon cake, which consisted mainly of mince meat, eggs and flour. The recipe was one I got off the internet and looked pretty disgusting! I was pleasantly surprised though when I got it out of the oven.
A quick lunch break followed before we got stuck into icing the pup cakes. I'll admit to doing most of this myself while the children watched a bit of TV. They love to help but when they've finished decorating something it tends to look a bit like something Remy might have thrown up!
After I had cleaned up I got the table ready for our next activity. A few days ago the children had received their Woodland Trust Nature Detective packs in the post and Wren had spotted some bird feeders she wanted to make. It tied in well with the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch we are doing next weekend.
This is such an easy activity to do with kids, I'd thoroughly recommend it. First they chose which shape cookie cutters they wanted to use.
With one bowl each, next the kids tipped in a massive amount of lard and chopped it up. We helped Wren with hers as she was more interested in balancing a cup on her head.
Next comes the fun part: combining the lard with bird seed and mushing it up with your hands to form a sticky, gooey mess!
Once everything has been mixed together you take your cookie cutters and lay them on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper. You then stuff them with the lard/bird seed until they are compacted. We had made so much that there was enough for me to make my own design and stuff old coconut bird feeders too!
The day didn't end there. Jenson decided he wanted to play in the caravan, which sadly over the Winter has become an excellent cardboard box store for his role play activities. Jenson soon had them all spread out over the patio though and they are now stored in my office!
Finally, whilst I was at acupuncture, Simon had successfully completed the craft activity assigned to him: potato paw prints! Apparently the three of them had a great time doing it.
A very busy day on Thursday didn't end there for me. When I got back from acupuncture I made up the doggy bags for Jenson, Wren and their friend Arrabella, who was to join us for the party.
And so we arrive at today. We started the day bright and early. By 8am we had begun to spread glitter over the large letters I had drawn last night on my studio paper roll. Jenson and Wren LOVED the mess and the enourmous amounts of glitter that seemed to get everywhere, despite my best efforts to contain it!! Jenson in particular loved hoisting the paper up and watching as the glitter fell to the floor revealing the words in all their glory!
After a quick trip to the Chiropractor at 9.30am we returned and continued with our party preparations. I snuck in this shot of Remy while the kids were preoccupied doing something else, it made me chuckle!
Children have an innate ability to learn, which is why I'm not worried at all about Jenson not being in school. This is a classic example. A simple exercise in cutting out cheese shaped bones resulted in a biology lesson about the human body. It was all Jenson's idea. He was the one that thought to create a skeleton out of the bones we had cut out. I simply grabbed the book out of the cupboard and talked him through all the various bone names.
Next up we made a fire pack that would complete Jenson's fancy dress outfit - none other than Marshall from Paw Patrol! An old cereal packet, some red paint, stencil lettering and an old piece of black tube made the perfect fire hose!
We nipped off to Forest School at 1pm for a few hours, during which Jenson started to make a mini real life tree house but not before Wren started hainvg a major melt down forcing us to leave a little early.
It gave us a bit more time though to lay the table, decorate Remy's cake and get into costume for our 4.30pm party start!
Arrabella arrived and the first party activity was to make some doggy biscuits for Remy, again, from a recipe I had found off the internet.
Eating their party tea soon got under way. The children enjoyed pupcorn and hot dogs followed by delicious desserts of pupcakes and paw print jellies. They also enjoyed games that included pin the tail on the pup and hunt the bone.
It was now time for Remy to open her cards and presents. As well as Jenson and Wren's card, Arrabella had very sweetly made her one too. Remy loved opening all of her presents, which the children had a real helping hand in doing!
Finally, Jenson did the honours by helping to cut Remy's cake for her.
I hope Remy has felt super spoilt over the last few days. We all had a wonderful time getting creative by baking and making and organising lots of fun things for her.
We love you Remy. We hope you make a speedy recovery and are feeling better really soon. You are a big part of our family and we look forward to lots more fun times ahead with you.