Kindergarten Play

Helen’s debut public performance as a Baker Kazoo Player was this evening, and she did a lovely job. She says she “messed up” a few times, but I think she did well anyway. She was exhausted and ready for bed by the time we got home, though — because of her excitement she didn’t sleep well last night (which meant that none of us slept well either), and so being kept up past her bedtime was a bit much.

I’m proud of her, though.

This morning, getting her dressed and ready for school (where the kindergarten would perform the play for all the other students in the school at 8:30), she asked me, “Why are YOU so excited?” Well, kid, I hope you like to perform, because I’ve found a lot of joy in it.

She likes to perform.

Heaven help us all.

Life in the Fast Lane

Now we head into almost 2 weeks solid of rehearsal. I have breaks this coming Tuesday night, and Thursday night. But that’s it until October 5. The play is going reasonably well… A little behind schedule for my comfort level as a director, but as no one else seems particularly bothered by this I’m not stressing about it. I know that I’ll learn the dances JUST in time as I always do, and it will go fine. My characters are fun, and the music is great, and the other actors are very strong. I don’t think there’s a weak one among us, and that makes me happy.

Pray for Jerry for patience and stamina with the girls as he’s the Solo Daddy during all of these rehearsals, and pray for the girls that they will be angels for him. Alice is regressing in her potty-training efforts because I’m gone so much; she is SUCH a mama’s girl. When I’m home, I make her wear Pull-ups because I’m tired of all of the laundry. She doesn’t like it. But my life is easier because of it. We’ll figure it out again later. I’m trying not to be angry about it, because I know it’s just a stress response — she was doing fine until all of the rehearsals started.

I picked up more tutoring students this week, which meant that I was able to afford the Ultimate Indulgence: Merry Maids came yesterday and made our home livable, and they’ll come again on closing day of the show. I LOVED the ladies that came yesterday. Totally the kind of women I’d like to go out for a beer with sometime. When I said that to them, they both said, “AMENNNN, SISTERRRRR!” There was lots of laughing and joy in this house yesterday. They will come every other week for a while, unless we can’t keep up with that and then they’ll come every week. It’ll take about a month or so for our house to be “party ready” but now at least I won’t be mortified if someone drops by. That’s a huge blessing.

When the show is over, I’ll decompress for a few days and then drive to Virginia with the girls for Fall Break (October 8-12) so that we can visit my grandmother (Nana, for whom Helen is partially named), since I haven’t seen her since Alice was an infant and Nana is 94 years old now. I’m looking forward to the trip, which will be a stop-and-smell-the-roses trip. We’ll go to the Knoxville Zoo on the way up, and hopefully visit with some ScrapShare friends as well. We have to be back in Huntsville on the 13th, because Helen sings in church with the Cherub Choir on the 14th and the girls have tickets to a play on that Sunday evening.

Then it’s a race to the finish to complete 2 more quilts for the quilt show the weekend of the 19th… They’re both a long way from being done, but I’m going to see how much progress I can make… If I can get them both to the handwork stage, then I’ll be able to take them to Virginia and work on them after the girls go to bed at night. Any embellishments I get completed will be a bonus; my main thing is to get them worthy of hanging at the show. They’re not TOO far from that, so it’s all good. I don’t expect to win anything anyway, since this is the first year I’m having to enter in the “Professional” category since I’ve sold several purses and a commissioned quilt now. I just want the quilts finished. The Halloween quilt in particular, since I’d love to be able to hang it in our dining room this year. It’s such a silly quilt. I did some cool quilting on it last night — it glows in the dark! Yay!

After the quilt show, I have about 10 days off in which to prepare to go to ScrapShare Texas IV, from November 1-5. This means streamlining my scrapbook necessities so that they’ll reasonably fit in a manageable suitcase, with space (and available weight) for more acquisitions while I’m down there. I don’t have an easy time packing lightly, so this was an interesting challenge last year. I plan to do even better this year, and I’m confident that I can do it.

Then my life should finally return to a normal pace after the first week of November. But the next 7 weeks or so will be quite intense around here.

Thank God for Merry Maids.

Yesterday, I did something I have never done before…

I turned down a part in a play.

Another group in town is doing “The Secret Garden” again, and I absolutely love that show. I haven’t been on stage since 2001 (and I haven’t auditioned for anything since last time I did “The Secret Garden”), so I’m a little rusty. Having children has made my voice a little higher, so I decided to try for Lily, the lead female, knowing full well that I don’t have the breath support to sing that high because being a soprano is so new to me.

When I filled out the form, I indicated that I would only accept Martha or Lily

If I had auditioned with an alto piece, I would have gotten a callback, but I didn’t. I sang one of Lily’s songs and shook like a leaf the entire time — totally terrified even though I knew everyone on the casting committee. I did the dance fine, but didn’t get invited to callbacks, which were last night. Jerry’s boss also tried out, and he was surprised I didn’t get a callback, but I wasn’t: as I said to him, I’m not strong enough for Lily and I’m too old to play Martha now.

Last night, after callbacks were over, I got a phone call from the director, asking me to be one of the chorus parts. She said, “I know you said just Martha or Lily, but I’d love to see you back onstage again, and this would get you in the swing of things again. Your voice is so good — just underused.”

I turned her down, saying that because I tutor at night, it would be too much of a financial burden to shift my schedule for rehearsals, especially right before final exams. I’d do it for a big part, but I couldn’t justify it for a small one — I’d lose about $200 in income a week.

Not to mention I’m scheduled for surgery on May 21, and I’d have to move that, too.

And the rehearsal schedule is BRUTAL — Monday, Tuesday, Thursday nights and all day every Saturday. Yeah. Jerry would so love THAT.

Took me a long time to calm down to go to sleep last night, even though I was exhausted from Paducah Day (which was awesome — I’ll talk more about that later)… I went to bed early, but probably didn’t go to sleep until just before I normally go to sleep anyway. It really bothers me to have turned down a part, even though I absolutely know without a doubt that it was The Right Thing To Do.

Sometimes responsibilities suck, you know?

Nightmare Parenting Story #563

My side of an IM conversation tonight:

I took Helen to see Pinocchio tonight, put on by the local children’s theatre organization that I have been involved with for 22 years.

Cute show. First half, anyway. (More on why I only have an opinion on the first half shortly)

One of my best friends wrote the adaptation and directed it, and a lot of good friends are in it/involved with it somehow.

Mom and Helen saw it last weekend, and she loved it, so I bought tickets to go tonight.

Today, Helen was so excited playing with Jan (internet friend)’s son Benjamin that she wouldn’t eat lunch. Then we had to talk her into eating dinner, because her tummy was unsettled from being empty.

You see where this is going, don’t you?

After intermission, Helen wanted to sit in my lap

I thought she was tired

So I let her

and five minutes into Act II she started leaning back on me, so I asked her if she wanted to go home

we were in the third row

stadium seating

two rows below us

“Do you want to go home, Helen?”

She nodded, and turned around to snuggle in more (I thought), so I hugged her and happened to have my hand over her cheek/mouth (thank God) as she puked down my shirt.


The row in front of us was spared, thankfully, because Helen was cold and wearing my jacket as a blanket, so I used that to catch it…

Our row was spared because I have spent so much of Helen’s life trying to shield the world from her projectile vomit that I have a little too much experience with this

But they MOVED out of the way so we could get out

She dropped her Croc down into the tunnel (it’s a Greek-style theatre — arena seating around tunnels that enter onto the stage), so I had to send an usher to go get it

and we squished out

I hope I kept most of the puke contained in my shirt, bra, and jacket, and by cupping Helen to me, but I don’t know

Jerry met us at the door to strip Helen and bathe her, and I went upstairs to wash it out of my hair, etc

and now I’m doing laundry

All I can say is THANK GOD I knew all of the tech crew at the top of Riser 3 who helped us get down the stairs, get the shoe from Tunnel 3, and the House Manager who asked me where we were sitting as we were leaving. I was embarrassed, but not as much as I would have been, you know?

And I’m glad I hadn’t cleaned out my car today because there were plenty of plastic bags and whatever to cover ourselves with so that the seatbelts didn’t get all coated and gross.

And since I’m leaving at 4:30 am to go to Paducah in the morning, Helen saved me some time — no need for me to take a shower at o’dark ugly, because I ALREADY DID, at 9pm!!!


Poor kid. I guess we won’t be going off the reflux meds quite yet… And we’ll have to keep reminding her that she throws up when she doesn’t eat.