Hogwarts Homecoming

To the person who clipped the ad for Hogwarts Homecoming and gave it to Eve at school… thank you.  I’ll confess, however, that “thank you” wasn’t my first thought when she brought it home, beaming from ear to ear about the event and the fact that someone had thought of her and clipped the ad and mysteriously given it to her.  I had also seen the ad in the paper and NOT mentioned it to her.  Intentionally.   It sounded like a lame “church basement” sort of event.  No offense to church basement events, but I didn’t think it would entertain my child for long enough to be worth the drive.

Boy was I wrong!  The event took place across the whole village green, including multiple buildings.  They had a chance to meet the snakes of Hogwarts, learn about owls, get a wand, make potions, visit Honeydukes, do a scavenger hunt, and more.  I was amazed at how many grownups were there!  Everyone was encouraged to wear costumes, and the volunteers looked great!  I was impressed by the amount of thought was put in to the event and the attention to detail.  It was a lot of fun!  Eve and I were exhausted by the end!

Here are a few pictures.  I put lots more in a Google album: Hogwarts Homecoming

No vacancy.

Every building on the green had a copy of the Daily Prophet on the front step.

At Olivander’s, getting a wand.

Honeydukes! Yummy treats.

Divination with Professor Trelawney.

Honeydukes (again) for butterbeer. They were the first time we went through. Can you tell she’s wearing down? Can you read the posters on the back wall?

They even put thought into the decorations in the bathroom!

We passed Farm-Way on the way home!  I’ve always seen the ads and heard the rave reviews, so we decided to stop and check it out.  It’s a big store that has lots of stuff.  Including chairs for sitting in.  We were tired.

We tried out lots of chairs at Farm-Way!

Eve dozed the whole way home!

What an unexpectedly fun day!  So thank you, again, to the mysterious stranger who cut out that ad and gave it to Eve.  I take back all the negative thoughts I had about you initially. :)  We plan to go back again next year, with friends!

HPAC

Another year of the Hartford Performing Arts Camp has come and gone, and this time Eve got to go too!  Yay!  The theme was Where The Wild Things Are and they did a great job turning the sweet book into a musical show.

Lex on the glockenspiel.

Eve in the chorus. She’s the one with the light blue headband/ears.

We had the worst luck with seating this year, somehow managing to frequently be on the wrong side of the speakers from the kids.

The only picture I was able to get of them both together. Lex on the drum and Eve as a “wild thing” sneaking in front.

Eve’s friend and fellow DBS kid played Max. She was great at it! Here she is (in red shorts) arriving on the island of the Wild Things.

 

Quotable kids

Two more quotes for the neglected quotes page:  (or, what to do when you have a big paper due soon and you’re struggling to get started…)

 

“You know those toast hats?…” – Eve, 7/21/18

Eve, opens the door and yells from the office:  “MOM, how do you spell witches?”
Me: “What does it start with?”
Eve, closes door: “Echo, how do you spell witches?” – 7/16/18

YouTube-in

Hi guys!  Some of you may know that Eve started a YouTube channel awhile back.  It’s super (not) exciting, but she loves it!  This week Lex decided to start a channel as well to show off some of his Minecraft creations.  It makes me sad that most of their creative juices are going into the computer these days.   I miss having cool kid work around the house (and also at the same time I don’t miss it at all), but it’s neat to see what they are coming up with digitally.  Eve is still finding her voice online with some videos about DYI stuff, some about video games, and some about Harry Potter.  She’s been “colabbing” with her buddy sometimes too.  Lex has one video posted so far about a Rube Goldberg-style Minecraft device, and he has lots of cool things already built in Minecraft that he’s hoping to record over the next few weeks.

If you’re interested, check them out: Thunderpool and Legoman1342

 

A new lake

After a week of begging, I finally gave in and took Eve to the lake.  Um, I mean, we went to the lake today and had a great time!  We decided to check out a new (to me) lake that I’ve heard great things about.  Lex went two weeks ago on a school field trip and said it was definitely a great place to go.  Unfortunately he was in no mood to go today.

Eve, playing with the ducks. Sadly all of her friends are in camps this week and Lex wasn’t in the mood for swimming.  I did my best to be her pal, but she definitely tried to befriend the ducks too.

The ducks were pretty friendly.

The sweet beach babe had fun. We bought a float, rented a paddle boat for awhile, played on the playground, and ate unlimited SunChips and watermelon. Good times.

I snuck in a little of this too. :)

We came home exhausted and only a little bit burned. Luckily our cool house and welcoming screens were there to greet us. :)

5th grade graduation

Eve had her elementary school graduation today and now it’s official — we have two middle schoolers in the house!

Shaking hands with the principal.

Shaking hands with her classroom teacher.

Looking at Facebook just now and seeing all the pictures parents took of their kids, and their kids friends, and all the flowers and smiles, I’m feeling a little lame about our graduation efforts.  However, Eve isn’t making it easy. She has been surly and grumpy and pulling away from people for awhile now, and it just occurred to me while I watched her at graduation, that I think she has a lot more feelings about leaving DBS then she’s letting on.  I think maybe it’s a little bit of denial at work.  Also, she hasn’t been feeling well all week.  She has been super tired, she’s dealing with poison ivy on her feet and a sunburn on her face, and she has the sniffles.  I think she’s ready for a break.  Maybe I’ll get a smiling picture when she starts middle school. For now, I got this.

Go away, mom!

I hope Eve finds herself again this summer so she can start middle school with a more positive attitude.

I got a little teary-eyed during the ceremony today.  I’m going to miss this class.  They aren’t perfect, but they sure are awesome!  I’ve known so many of them since kindergarten (even some from preschool!).  We have been around for birthday parties and playdates and sleepovers.  They are a small, tight-knit group, and I think it’s going to be hard for them to be so separated next year.  It’s going to be hard for me too… but this post isn’t about me.  It was wonderful that for so many of them I was able to say “see ya later” instead of “good-bye” because I know I’ll see them around.

A little celebratory dancing.

For now, while others are having parties, we are celebrating with books and blogs and Minecraft.  Lame, maybe, but it works for us.  :)

Middle School “Meet the Teachers” Night

Middle School “Meet the Teachers” night was tonight.  This year they sent letters ahead of time to parents telling them what teams the child has been assigned to, so when we got to the school tonight it wasn’t the big reveal that there was two years ago when Lex started.  I like this way better.  Eve found out two days ago that she’ll be on team Nova and that her buddies will not.  She’s had some time to process and was able to enjoy the introductions tonight.  All the kids got Nova t-shirts and time to hang out with each other and ask questions.  She has several friends with her, just not her besties.

Parent paparazzi!  I missed the “smile” picture, but got there for the “goofy face” picture. :)

Audition Update

We got an email from the director this afternoon.  Eve did not get a callback.  :(

It was a very nice email.  After waiting excitedly all day, I showed her the email when it came in and she said, “Oh, that’s sad.  I hope Anna got in though!”  I found out a little later that Anna did get a callback, as did the friend Eve was rehearsing with last week.

I am having weird feelings about it all.  I think it’s disappointment mixed with relief.  Maybe some sadness in there.  The production schedule is insane and I don’t know that she has the stamina for it.  Or that I do.  Also, homework becomes a thing in 6th grade and it was a huge thing for brother.  I suspect it will be a huge thing for Eve as well.  New school, lots of homework, and a heavy production schedule would have made for a rough few months.  Amazing, I’m sure, but rough.

I am also fighting the urge to ask her drama teacher if Eve even has any real talent.  I think she’s a great actress and has a good voice.  Plenty of drama!  However, she hasn’t gotten a speaking part in any of the plays she’s been in and her roles have been minimal.  I sit at the lunch table with the drama teacher and listen to the conversations about kids with amazing voices, and how well so-and-so did in their leading role, and how great so-and-so will be at this or that.  Eve’s name is never mentioned.  I emailed the drama teacher this evening to let her know the results, since she was nice enough to give Eve a few pointers earlier in the week, and she responded with: “I spoke to [the director] earlier this afternoon so I already knew.”  No, “Oh, so sorry to hear she didn’t get it” or “better luck next time” or “she would have been great, but you know the competition is tough.”  Nothing encouraging at all for next time.  That said, she’s an amazing lady and it was a quick email, so obviously I shouldn’t read too much into it… but does that mean Eve has no talent?

Then I feel angry because, what the hell!?  Even if I did ask and the drama teacher said she has no real talent, what would I do with that information?  Tell a just-barely eleven year old to give up on her dreams of acting because she’s not good enough?!  At eleven!!  Why are we even thinking about whether there’s talent at this age. She’s a child!  She crawls in dirt piles and bites her nails and sleeps with a lovey.  I don’t care if she has talent.  I want her to try it all and be proud of herself.  I want her to have the confidence to give it a shot, even when she’s nervous.  I don’t want ANYONE to ever tell her she’s not good enough.

So anyway, I’m sitting here with a heavy heart; part relief and part sadness.  I guess part anger too.  And a stomach ache from trying to heal the heart with food.

At least we got some beautiful photos out of the deal.  The bottom one is what we used for her head shot at the audition.  My friend Anisha took them.  She sent six to chose from.  I like these two best.  <3

Eve and her audition

Eve auditioned for Matilda today.  It was a roller coaster 24hours.  Shortly after deciding to do it, Eve had the lines memorized and was 100% confident in herself.  She had no need to practice, no need to sing in front of people, and no need for voice coaching.  She was good.  I was nervous (for her).  I encouraged her to talk to the 4th grade teacher who runs the school drama club.  She eventually agreed and by the time we were able to coordinate schedules it was this past Thursday, just two days before the audition.  Guess what?  The teacher told her she wasn’t ready at all.  Surprise.  One of the songs she was planning to sing is Hard Knock Life, from Annie, and it turns out the version she had been rehearsing with on Pandora was slightly different than the theater version we had the sheet music for.  That threw a HUGE crimp her her plan, and confidence.  Friday night she was a wreck.  Tears, anger (at the music), and frustration (at the world).  We had a long talk about it and she eventually went to bed and passed out.  BTW – Eve is always tired on Friday afternoons and it’s never really a good time to push her.  Saturday morning came and we had another chat.  She insisted she wanted to audition and even (kind of) owned her mistakes.  We talked a lot about confidence and “fake it ’till you make it” and her thoughts on acting, and lots of other stuff.  She said practicing was making her nervous and she just wanted to go in and do it.  She listened to the music (on the app with the sheet music) several times and declared herself ready.  I went to shower and when I came back I found her dressed and ready. She was wearing sweats and a print t-shirt, so I suggested, tentatively, that she might want to wear something a tiny bit nicer. Much to my surprise, she agreed and put on a dress!!

We went out to lunch at Panera Bread because this mother knows her daughter is always more positive when she is well fed and because I wanted to make it a fun day for her.  We had lunch and got to the audition with plenty of time. In fact, we had enough time to take a walk around the block and just be relaxed.

She looks relaxed, right? :)

When it was her turn she went in and gave it a go.  She knows the director from when she did the Shakespeare in School program.  The guy is very nice and very positive.  He was happy to see her and made her feel comfortable. She did make one mistake during her Annie song, but he stopped her and had her start again and she did it right.  He gave her lots of verbal praise at the end and even gave me a hug, much to my surprise.  Maybe that means she did well?

Truthfully, I don’t care if she goes on.  I’m just so proud that she stuck with it, through the hard times, and chose to get herself to that audition.  She was nervous, she had all the feels, and she CHOSE to get herself there and audition anyway, despite the nerves.  That is a big step for her.  <3

Afterwards we went grocery shopping.  Right back to life as usual. :)

On another Eve note, last weekend she made a scavenger hunt for me.  It was very silly. I asked if Lex could come too, because I didn’t feel like wandering around outside by myself trying to figure out her clues.  She said ok so Lex and I followed her marker-on-cardboard clues and had fun.  The final clue was a secret knock, which she answered, and we found the “treasure.”

When she first asked me to do the treasure hunt and was all secret about the treasure, I reminded her that I had just eaten breakfast and wasn’t ready for cake. I had a feeling her “treasure” was birthday cake. So we got back and discovered cake for Lex and pb&j on english muffin for me. LOL.

The clues.

Arlo was sad that there was no treasure for him.

She is an amazing girl, even with all the ups and downs.

Matilda

Matilda: The Musical

On Wednesday Eve and I went to an audition information session for Northern Stage’s upcoming production of Matilda: The Musical.  This will be a professional production that runs through the holiday season.  In order to audition she needs to memorize a “cut” from one of the songs (they gave her the sheet music with lyrics), plus a “cut” from a contemporary Broadway musical of her choice, plus a head shot and a resume.  Upon hearing this she leans over and whispers, “What’s a resume, Mom?”  I think hers will be fairly short!

The schedule is grueling! 78 shows! They are double casting the kids so she would only have to do half of them — but still!!

I’m not sure she has the stamina for such an activity, and truthfully I’m not sure this family has the stamina for it either.  However, she is excited and we are going with that.  The director reminded the kids that he isn’t looking for “beautiful people with beautiful voices,” he’s looking for quirky kids.  Eve was happy to hear that.  :)

Auditions are June 2nd.