One level down, I am battling the mold on my basement walls. I was prepared to scrub and paint last month, but when I took a look at the walls they seemed too awful. After some research and a helpful visit from a basement guy, I decided that the previous owners--who did have extensive work done inside and out to dry the basement--must have skimped on mold abatement and slapped a coat of paint up to sell the house. As it turns out, mold abatement requires more time than effort: spray the walls with diluted bleach 2-3 times a week for 6-8 weeks. Give it a couple weeks to dry thoroughly, scrape the walls, apply two different treatments and that's that. After the very first spraying the walls appeared a zillion times better. I wish I had looked into this earlier.
Victoria had a pretty good birthday party idea. I am devastated to report that she has abandoned the Japanese Game Show theme but her new idea could be cool, too. It requires collecting a whole lot of cardboard ahead of time, however, and a sunny day for the party. It's a definite maybe.