On Sunday I saw a movie in the movie theater for the first time in five years. We took the boys to a matinee of Disney/Pixar's Cars.
I feel like some sort of crazy hermit for going so long without going out to a movie, but the thing is that since we don't have relatives in town, it's a big deal for my husband and me to free up an evening. Hiring a babysitter for the evening always seems like an extravagance that should be reserved for something important, like going out to a dinner party. And on those occasions when we're visiting our respective parents and get an evening of free babysitting, I always feel like I'd rather take the opportunity to go to dinner in a nice restaurant to have a conversation with my husband, instead of watching a movie with him.
I know that seems pretty boring since I see him all the time, but he's more cute and charming while having a relaxing dinner in a nice restaurant away from the daily grind. I suppose other parents have noticed a similar effect...
We picked Cars because the kids somehow already had all of the merchandising for this movie (books, toys, etc.) -- even though they'd never seen it -- and they were all excited about the characters and story. So we figured maybe they were finally old enough to behave themselves for the duration of a matinee, and we were right. Nico gave perhaps a little more running commentary on the film than would have been optimal, and Leo fell asleep before the end, but they did pretty well for their first try, and a great time was had by all. :D
It's kind of a cute movie, and the car racing scenes on the big screen were pretty exciting. I guess that's the new thing with all of the computer-generated movies these days -- the roller-coaster ride effect.
On a related note, we've got big changes in store for our little household in September.
Leo starts school this year (here in France, kids get three years of kindergarten, called the maternelle, starting at age three), which means that we no longer need a nanny during the day while we're at work.
It'll be sad for our kids to say goodbye to the nanny who has taken care of them for four years, but it's an inevitable step and better sooner than later since we really can't afford to keep this up. We're not quite in the same category as the people Rebecca works for, who are (to put it bluntly) loaded, and can afford to fly a nanny out to interview, etc. ;^)
At the same time, I'm going to have almost as big a change as Leo. Since little kids in France don't have school on Wednesdays, I've requested to cut back my hours to four days a week so I can do what a lot of French moms do and spend Wednesdays at home with my kids. So I'll continue to be a "Senior Software Engineer" (a.k.a code monkey) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and I'll be a homemaker on Wednesdays.
My additional plan is to try to write a Java blog on Wednesdays with the intention of getting a new edition of my Java book written. I signed the kids up for two hours of art and music classes on Wednesday mornings so I'd have time for my Java book, plus time to plan and prepare for fun afternoon activities with the kids, plus some time to do some minor home repairs to try to turn around the massive entropy we've got going on around here.
(Just the other day the kids managed to pull a toy-shelf off of the wall of their room. No matter how many times we told them not to pull and climb on it, they wouldn't believe us it was precarious until the finally succeeded in breaking it. These kids seem to believe that they're monkeys -- we really need to set up a jungle-gym for them or something...)
In keeping with my new intended focus on Java writing and mommying, I'm thinking of trying to cut back my regular blogging to one long piece per week and two or three short ones. We'll see how that goes.
I was telling my mom about my new schedule the other day, and she said that this homemaking day will fill up so quickly I won't know how I ever did without it. I replied that I already don't know how I'm doing without it -- I sincerely have no idea how other families with small kids where both parents work full-time keep their house from slowly (but surely) disintegrating...
Hopefully my new homemaking day will help.
Wish me luck in my new endeavor!!!