Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I'm on the Mommy track!!!

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!!!


The Sinister Porpoise said...

By Java writing I hope you mean something different than 'programming in Java.' The computer language that is testament to the fact that you should never, ever let programmers try to simplify things. Just like Cobol is a testament that bankers should never dictate the syntax of a computer language...

C. L. Hanson said...

I mean writing a book about writing Java programs. :D

I wrote one a few years ago -- and it has done pretty well -- but I'd like to update it and make it better.

The Sinister Porpoise said...

Good gods, why encourage such a horrible computer language?

Then again, I don't particularly *like* Java, either the language or the beverage. I'm okay with the tropical island of the same name, though.

Will probably have to learn Javascript or some webscripting language other than HTML eventually though.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I'm jealous!

So you don't have to work extra on the other days to make up for the Wednesday? (I would have to work 10 hour days on the other days to get another day off).

Also glad to hear about the movie - but I'm not surprised about Nico's commentary. And I think it's great news - I think bright kids are able to process and talk about what they see in a movie or on tv.

I was babysitting a friend of mine's daughter a few years ago, we were watching cartoons - and I asked her questions about the show. She wasn't really able to process it or answer. TV was just something that was on. Anyway, I think it's a good sign for Nico.

Anonymous said...

Working 10 hour days, for days a week is pretty popular here where I work too, seems to help with all those pesky doctor/dentist appointments & stuff like that, but most people feel that way, too much stuff crammed in the day that it is exhausting, they'd rather come back to work for the rest! (government workers, I tell ya!) Great for you, though.

Cyn Bagley said...

Wishing you luck... it is hard sometimes but I can see you got the Mommy part down pat. :-)

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Sinister Porpoise!!!

Java can be kind of clunky, but I think it's a fun language. If you disagree, I'll have to not recommend my Java book to you... ;^)

Hey Rachel!!!

No, I'm not making it up other days -- I'm working one fifth less, and taking one fifth less pay. It would be more economical for us to just find some alternate child care, but my kids are small enough that I'd rather take the pay cut and spend more time with them.

It's clear that Nico followed the story. He's been telling us different things about it. Weirdly he seems to relate a little too much to the villain, but oh well...

Hey JLO!!!

With all of the stuff I have planned for my Wednesdays, it's true it'll probably be the busiest day of the week. I'm looking forward to it. :D

Hey Mike!!!

I'm glad I have the opportunity to cut my hours back like this instead of working ten-hour days all week long. This isn't a government job, I just negotiated this change with my employer.

Thanks Cynthia!!!

m said...

Java is something that you drink, and Java programs are as follows: latte, espresso, macchiato, capuccino, etc. At least in my book! :-)

The Sinister Porpoise said...

Well, I probably won't. I already have enough computer books, some of which are falling into the laughable category now, like one written in the infancy of the World Wide Web before it became a graphical interface.

That's not nearly as funny as I found my father's books on Cobol, Fortran, and IBM 360 Assembler which talks of disks storing a few kilobytes of information being in the near future.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Montchan!!!

You've got the right idea, but a gal's got to make a living, dontcha know? we've got some hungry little monkeys to feed around here... ;-)

Hey Sinister Porpoise!!!

You should save those -- they'll be valuable collector's items someday!!

Just one of many said...

I still haven't managed to add links to my blog...so all the talk about Java really freaks me out! Congrats on the mommy day! Quick question--can your e-mails be read by another outside source without you being aware? I know I am paranoid :D

C. L. Hanson said...

Thanks Joom!!!

As far as whether your emails can be read, I think to some degree it depends on what kind of email service you have. I assume some are more secure than others.

No matter what kind of service you have, however, I don't think email is normally encrypted. So -- correct me if I'm wrong any knowledgeable people out there reading this -- I'm pretty sure that a hacker can capture your emails (and IM chats) and read them if he really wants to...

The Sinister Porpoise said...

Your e-mail can be read by every system administrator it passes through on its way to its destination. I highly doubt every system administrators sits around reading other people's e-mails, though. However, if there's a reason to suspect something suspicious they ahve the ability and the duty to read the e-mail.