Hero Update

As expected, Evelyn’s “Hero Reward” showed up last night with a vengeance. Even counting the 3 times Alex threw up on Sunday night, Evelyn’s total last night alone has far surpassed everyone else combined.

However, after about the 5th time she threw up, she just started cleaning it up herself.

Hero status: maintained.

Evelyn, the hero

Yesterday around dinner time, Sara started feeling pretty sick. Like, sick to her stomach, confined-to-the-couch sick.

“Evelyn,” she said, “I can’t make dinner. You have to make dinner tonight.”

So Evelyn started making nachos, like you do when you’re a little kid and suddenly have to care for a family, and then of course Alex was crying, so she picked him up and was making dinner while holding him, and then, of course, while she was holding him, Alex started puking.

Now, holding a puking baby while making dinner is almost the stereotype of life as a mom, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the typical day-to-day for a 3rd grader.

I wasn’t home, so Sara started texting me things like, “You need to get home before I start throwing up”, “I am going to throw up, you need to get home before that happens”, “hurry”, and “too late”. She then proceeded to text me coordinates in the house where Alex had thrown up, and whether or not they had been cleaned up yet.

Basically, by the time I got home the vomit situation in our house was roughly equivalent to one of those fountains they have in Vegas.

“Evelyn is a superhero,” Sara whispered to me. Evelyn had not only taken care of Alex while Sara couldn’t, she had also fed Oliver, gotten the two of them ready for bed, and cleaned up some of Alex’s throw up locations.

That is one amazing little girl, ya’ll. I recommend her as a babysitter as soon as she is old enough (I recommend her now, but I understand if you want to wait until she’s at least double digits).

And now, I assume she shall be rewarded with the finest award a superhero could ask for: the stomach flu. As of my writing this, the three of us are unaffected, but I can’t imagine that will hold.

I’ll be over here, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Someone’s got a new look

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The kids’ dentist is downtown in a high-rise. Last time we were there, we were looking out the window at the smaller buildings.

Me: “Look, there’s a pool on top of that building.”
Evie: “Where?”
Me: “Right there.”
Evie: “I don’t see it.”
Me: “Look where I’m pointing. It’s right there.”
Evie, following the line of my finger: “I don’t see it.”
Me: “…what do those big letters say on that building?”
Evie: “I don’t see any letters.”

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On Friday we were walking to school and I said, “You know, after you get your glasses you’ll be able to see all of the branches of that tree, instead of a big brown blob.” Evelyn laughed and said, “I don’t think that’s a thing, daddy.”

Evelyn’s Typewriter

Evelyn wanted only one thing for Christmas: a typewriter. Now mostly this was due to the fact that her parents are the worst: she wanted to type stories but was tired of having to earn computer time with chores. A typewriter is not a computer, ergo, no need to ask permission.

Now as a writer, I felt this this was a TREMENDOUSLY AMAZING idea that I wanted wholeheartedly to encourage (and honestly, felt bad to realize I was restricting her writing time so thoroughly)(and also write all my first drafts longhand, so cry me a river, sister)

“How hard can it be to find a typewriter?” I foolishly wondered.

It seems like there are two choices: pay ~$150 for a new typewriter (seriously? More than a tv?) or else go on the Internet and pay for an “antique” that may or may not work and you will probably never be able to buy ink for.

Needless to say, neither I nor Santa were able to come up with one.

Evelyn was pretty bummed out, and I was pretty bummed out, but I promised her that I would take her around to thrift shops to look for typewriters. Armed with advice from some writer friends who collect typewriters, we set out.

It actually worked out perfectly; I think it actually worked better than if I had given her one for her for Christmas. It took us 4 stops to find one, so we had to work for it, but it wasn’t impossible. I kept telling her, “Now honey, I don’t know if we’re going to be able to find one…” so by the time we found it she had already accepted that she wasn’t getting one. And then we found one, and it was only $8, and she reverently paid for it with her own money, and everything was magical.

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We stopped at another store on the way home and Evelyn was so nervous that someone was going to break into the car to steal the typewriter. After all, what could be more amazing and precious?

I was expecting more of an old dinosaur, manual typewriter, not a sleek, modern electric, but I have to tell you, I was feeling a little of the Christmas magic myself when we found it. I guess Evelyn wasn’t the only one trying to keep her hopes in check. And not only that, but I’ve been searching for the perfect alarm clock and found it for only $6. (I didn’t know I had such strong opinions about alarm clocks until I started looking and found they are all THE. WORST.)

Hooray for typewriters! Hooray for thrift stores! Hooray for the magic of Christmas!

Billy Elliot Wrap Up

Speaking of Billy Elliot, I meant to do a Billy Elliot wrap up post, but I never quite got around to it. Suffice it to say it was a fantastic show, with a fantastic cast, and Evelyn had the time of her life. Thank you to everybody who came to see the show. It was a tremendous amount of work driving out there all the time, but totally worth it.

In case you missed the show, please enjoy these pictures of Evelyn (Photos by Sally Norlie).

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Evelyn to appear on stage in Billy Elliot!

As some of you have noticed here or there, Evelyn is currently in the middle of rehearsals for her upcoming role in Billy Elliot!

For those of you not familiar with Billy Elliot:

Set in a northern mining town, against the background of the 1984/’85 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot is the inspirational story of a young boy’s struggle against the odds to make his dreams come true. The story follows Billy’s journey as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that inspires his family and whole community and changes his life forever.

Featuring a timeless score by Elton John, sensational dance and a powerful story that has captivated audiences around the world, Billy Elliot the Musical is a funny, uplifting and spectacular theatrical experience that will stay with you forever.

This role is quite a bit different than anything she’s done before, and is by far the most physically demanding (dance, dance, dance!), but she is having the time of her life, and the show is going to be really, really good.

The show runs the last two weekends in October and the first weekend in November, and tickets are on sale now ($22 if you buy before October 1st).

Two things I do want to mention, for all of Evelyn’s loyal supporters:

  1. The show is aaaaall the way up at Northbrook Theatre, just to forewarn you, and
  2. Those of you with small kids, I just want to make sure you notice this warning:

Note: Billy Elliot contains material that may be unsuitable for younger or more sensitive audience members, but please note that we have made every effort to remove the most offensive language, as permitted.

The show is pretty foul-mouthed, so if that’s not something you want to subject your little ones to, feel free to sit this one out and catch the next one (or make it a date night!)

However, if you do decide to make the trek up north, this is one Ballet Girl that is excited to see you!

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Evie’s Fish

After the whole rabbit debacle, Evelyn has set her sights a little lower. Meet the new family pet, Perry the betta fish:

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Evelyn paid for everything in the picture, from Perry himself, to the tank, heater, and little blue stones at the bottom. She feeds him twice a day, and she already has plans on how to improve his cage.

I have to say, that Perry does seem pretty happy. I’m used to seeing betta fish just kind of listlessly lying about on the bottom of teeny tiny, empty glass bowls. Perry swims around like crazy in his big tank, and honestly seems as happy as a betta fish could ever be.

We had a fish tank when I was little, and I do feel a sense of nostalgia about the whole thing. I remember going to 33 Aquarium and rifling through all the little aquarium accouterments, saving up to buy silk plants and treasure chests that opened and closed. We had a little house with a wheel that would spin around from air. I remember the way 33 Aquarium sounded, and the way it smelled. I remember cleaning the fish tank, and various fish that we bought over the years.

Anyway, hopefully Perry will bring Evelyn as many memories as our fish tank brought me (and also hopefully kill any desire for any more new pets!)

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