Friday, May 29, 2009

Private Benjamin

When I left work yesterday, it was so humid. The air was so thick you could feel the moisture as you breathed it in.

Virginia in the summer (okay, almost summer). Hot and humid. The only place I've spent time in that was worse was South Carolina. And I apologize to anybody who lives in SC and loves it, but dang, that place gets freaking hot and humid in the summer. And don't get me started on the d@mn fire ants!

Of course, I could be a little bit biased against SC. I mean I am from Seattle, and up until the point when I was shipped off to Basic Training at Fort Jackson I had never left the West Coast, with the exception of a trip to Alberta, Canada when I was 13.

I know, Cookie in the Army, pretty funny. I imagine that was a pretty amusing thing to watch. I mean I wore BDUs. And I marched. And I shot a rifle. Just picture Private Benjamin and you might be close.

Anyway, a Seattlite in South Carolina in the summer is not a good combination. Especially when it did not involve anything resembling a beach, unless you count the sand pits, which I definitely do not.


I have another shameless Amazon plug children's book recommendation. Last night one of the stories I read the boys was I Love You So... by Marianne Richmond, which is a delightful story explaining to a child how much is so much love, and that a parent's love is unconditional.

"I love you"

"How much?"

"So much."

"How much is 'so'?"

"WAY, WAY MORE than you know..."

The artwork is lovely and the prose is beautiful. Gabe loves to ask questions about all the pictures and what it means for Mommies and Daddies to love their children no matter what.


Today, I actually feel almost well-rested. Nick slept through the night. Of course, that means he slept from 7:30 to 5:00, but hey that works for me. I'm ecstatic! I guess this means his cold is completely gone. So yay! Antibiotics rock!


Last night I did my No More Trouble Zones video again. I love how much stronger I feel when I'm finished with it, even though I hate it while I'm doing it. I always feel so much better after I've completed a workout.

I really want to be consistent with exercising even though it's difficult sometimes with work, school, the boys, and Oscar. This is something that's important to me and good for my health. There is always something else I could be doing instead of exercising, but I have to make the time. I have to believe that I'm worth it.

Sometimes I have a hard time believing that.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


So Nick's new favorite word is "nack" followed by pointing at himself - indicating that he wants a snack. Of course, he means he wants a specific snack, and actually means that he wants fruit loops. He did that this morning when I was downstairs making my coffee, and of course I complied. I was rewarded with a giant grin when the requested "nack" appeared on the little red chair (there's no point in putting it in a bowl, he would just proceed to dump it everywhere).


Last night was a very unsuccessful food night. Nick, who normally is an excellent eater, wasn't interested in eating anything that wasn't a a Fruit Loop. And Gabe, despite requesting a Voila! Meal (we like the Garlic Chicken) refused to eat most of it. He doesn't eat vegetables, although we keep trying. Last night we asked him to eat one little sliced carrot.

You would have thought we were trying to poison him the way he reacted! He spent almost 15 minutes in a meltdown over eating one lousy carrot. Then he refused to eat some of the curly noodles because they had little bits of broccoli on them. Finally the chicken, which he had claimed he would eat, resulted in another tantrum. He spent so long having tantrums that he lost out on the chance to watch a DVR'd TV show before it was time to get ready for bed.


As I've mentioned before, I love story time with the boys. Last night I read a Bob the Builder story, Someday and Good Night, Grover. If you have never ready Someday before, I highly recommend it. It's guaranteed to make me tear up every time I read it, despite being about a little girl. The story is basically a mother talking to her little girl, and some of the things she will experience as she grows up. Here are a couple of the lines from the story:

"One day I counted your fingers and kissed each one".

"Someday your eyes will be filled with a joy so deep that they shine".

The book is written by Alison McGhee, who also writes the charming Little Boy.


After the boys went to bed last night, I worked out for the second night in a row. Go me! Last night I did Jillian Michaels' No More Trouble Zones and I was sweating like crazy by the end of it. My legs are quite sore this morning. I love Jillian's videos. I think she's a great trainer, and I would jump at the opportunity to have a personal training session with her.

I am determined to finish losing weight by this summer so I actually look decent in a swimsuit. We're planning a beach trip at the end of June and I hope to make good progress by then. My goal is to work out every night, even if it is just a long walk or a yoga video. I'm not sure how successful I will be, especially since I do have school to worry about.

Wish me luck!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Monday

We decided to return from the country yesterday afternoon, rather than today like originally planned. Mainly because of homework. I was having trouble concentrating and Oscar's computer decided to stop working. So was came back early, although Gabe stayed up there with my MIL. She dropped him off a couple hours ago.


We had a nice time. Shortly after we got up there on Saturday, Oscar put the little charcoal grill together and grilled burgers and hot dogs for lunch. We also had baked beans (canned) and roasted veggies (potatoes, onions, and carrots). It was very good. I had a little difficulty eating the hot dog, due to my mouth still not being 100%, but enjoyed it none the less. Afterwards, I helped Gabe roast marshmallows.

This was taken right before Gabe got bored and handed me his marshmallow to finish roasting.

Saturday evening we went out to dinner at Pizza Hut. Gabe is fascinated with ea ting in at a pizza place, so whenever we go to the country house we always take him out to dinner there. This time, in addition to ordering a Pepperoni pizza (a favorite with the men in the Cookie family), we also tried on of their new pastas - the Chicken Alfredo. It wasn't bad. Certainly not as good as the commercials make it out to be, but not bad.

After dinner we went back the country house and got the boys ready for bed. Nick was resistant to sleep, since his routine was messed with, so we took him for a car
ride into the town of Strasburg. There's a little ice cream shack in the main part of town that is absolutely fabulous. I had a blueberry delight sundae, which consisted of freshly made soft serve vanilla ice cream, cheese cake, and lots of blueberry topping. Mmmmm. So go. Oscar went with a blueberry shake.

I worked on a little homework after we got back, which is hard when you don't have an internet connection and realize that you don't have all the information you need. Luckily my paper wasn't due until Sunday. Poor, Oscar, he had tried to download AOL so he could use a dial-up connection if necessary and it totally hosed his computer. He spent all evening trying to get it to work with no success. In fact, it's still not working.


On Sunday we went for a hike in the woods after breakfast. My in-laws have about eight acres with a creek that ends in a lake, although the lake was built by their neighbors and for the most part, isn't on their property. Oscar and I talk
ed about the possibility of moving from the suburbs and building up here, but it's probably not feasible. More than likely we will just expand and upgrade the house my in-laws have to make it more pleasant for weekend trips. Here are some pictures from our hike:

The creek with the remnants of a make-shift bridge.

The lake, complete with boat.

Gabe with his walking stick.

My boys.

After we returned from our walk, we went for a drive so the Nick could take a nap and Gabe could chill and watch an episode or two of Go, Diego, Go in the car. We went and found all the local schools and stopped at the elementary school so Gabe could play on the playground, which he enjoyed. After our drive, we all ate lunch and then Oscar and I got ready to drive back home. Nick stayed awake for most of the drive, and was still awake when we reached Gainesville. We needed to go grocery shopping, and decided to stop at the Super Target there.

After Target, Nick fell asleep for the rest of the ride. When we got home Oscar and I unpacked the car and tried to tidy up around the house. Oscar also tried to get his computer to work with little success.

Sunday evening we decided to go to Outback for dinner, which was delicious. I even had a drink - a blueberry martini, which was excellent. We ordered Nick macaroni and cheese, which did not use elbow noodles, so Nick wasn't too sure about. However, he loved the bread and everything that Oscar and I were eating. The weather was beautiful, so we also went for a short walk around the block when we got home from dinner.


This morning we went to Panera Bread for breakfast, stopped to get me Starbucks, and then went for a drive so that Nick could take a nap. I love going for drives, it's one of the few opportunities for Oscar and I to talk. We came to the conclusion, like we usually do, that we are never leaving our current neighborhood, and will eventually buy a house here.

Nick woke up as soon as we got home and decided that he could not get out of the car without a pair of my sunglasses. So I took a picture of him wearing the glasses:

Any way, I need to finish my homework, so I better end this post so I'm not up too late.


P.S. Loved Sundry's entry on her weekend. I posted a comment with my input in a similar format. I think it's about halfway down in the comments.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Out of Town

I am actually doing something for Memorial Day Weekend. Go me! We're going out of town this weekend. Unfortunately it is no where exciting. We're heading up to my in-laws house in the Shenandoah Valley. They have about eight acres up there with a house. Gabe loves it. He actually headed up there today with my MIL.

Oscar and I will go up tomorrow with Nick. We both had a bunch of homework to work on, and we haven't had time this week to get anything ready for us since we'll be gone the whole weekend. If we get lucky we might even get a bonus date on Sunday. And of course, we will take Gabe to Pizza Hut, where we, the novelty, actually sit down in the restaurant!


Nick was really cute this evening, even though it was obvious he missed Gabe. His new favorite treat has become Fruit Loops. And he know where we keep them. So any time we go to the pantry he comes running up hoping he'll be given some. He's also learned how to say snacks, or as he says it "nack", which is super cute. So if you ask him if he wants a snack his face will light up in expectation of receiving Fruit Loops.

He also is fully aware of his name, and the names of many other objects, even if he can't say them. If you ask him where's Nick, he will point to himself. He can also identify most of his body parts when asked. You ask him and he'll point the right part, and then giggle, which means I end up giggling too. It's very cute.


We called Gabe tonight at his bedtime and we're told that he had ROASTED MARSHMALLOWS! And do we want to roast marshmallows too when we come up tomorrow? It was very cute. I miss him when he's not around. He's growing up so quickly. I mean in another year we have to register him for kindergarten. Kindergarten! How did he get to be so big?


In other news, I am still in pain from the darn wisdom teeth removal. Eating anything solid is still difficult, although certainly better than it was. It gets worse if I don't medicate regularly. WTF? I didn't think it was supposed to hurt this much for this long. If I'm not feeling significantly better by Monday, I better call the oral surgeon and get them rechecked.

Once they heal I can finally go in for my dental check up. It will only be three months past due. I had an appointment scheduled for the end of March and when they called me up to remind me I canceled because I wasn't going to show up still in possession of my wisdom teeth. I didn't want to have to explain to my dentist why I still had them when she had given me the referral six months ago.


Now I think it is time to go to bed. Like I meant to do half an hour ago. Nick will be up multiple times and then get up for good too early. And then we have to pack and then drive up to the country house. I will be fortified with caffeine... ah caffeine, what would I do without you?

Head Hurts

So yesterday was not a good day for the Cookie family. Both my boys managed to get minor head injuries, and if I didn't feel so bad for them, it would be comical.

Gabe's happened first. He had been downstairs with Oscar when he started doing what appeared to be the peepee dance. So Oscar sent him upstairs to go to the bathroom. He, instead, chose to run into his playroom. Being a diligent parent I went to retrieve him from said playroom.

I started off by asking him to try and go potty.

I then demanded that he go potty (I know demanding with a preschooler, what was I thinking).

I then started counting to five for him to listen and do what he had been asked to do.

When I got to five I went to reach for his hand to lead him to the bathroom.

He ran further into his playroom.

So I walked into his playroom and picked him up to take him to the bathroom. He started squirming and flailing and hitting and kicking and I lost my grip and dropped him. I screamed as he fell cause I could see him landing badly and instantly knelt down to pick him up. Oscar came bolting up the stairs to scoop him up and took him from me.

I admit that irritated me quite a bit. I mean he sends Gabe up to go potty, knowing that's a controversial issue with Gabe and me trying to enforce it (no thanks to him) is a challenge and then decides that my attempts to get him to go to the bathroom were yelling because he could hear me downstairs, and that I handled it wrong (even though he does the same things). He wouldn't even let me see Gabe.

He got called a few things I won't mention here.

Then I went into the kitchen to start fixing the boys dinner and getting my coffee together for today. I went to put the milk back in the fridge and knocked my water bottle off the shelf. It proceeded to crash to floor and the lid flew off emptying water everywhere. Nick's fridgedar goes off and he instantly comes bolting for the fridge and slips in the water falling backwards before I can stop him. He starts crying and Oscar runs downstairs and takes him from me for comforting. What an evening!

Any way. Both boys are fine. Gabe has a little bump/rug burn on his forehead and Nick is no worse for the wear.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's Been a Hard Day's Night

I'd like to know what could possibly possess a manufacturer of children's toys to create:

1) a fabric toy that plays a nice recording of classical music (as in not washable) and
2) not provide anyway to for parents to change the batteries when the music starts sound like a screechy violin; because inevitably that will become a child's FAVORITE music toy and well, you can't change the stupid batteries.

We have this collection of toys at home from the Disney Store's Little Einstein collection. They're really cute, all shaped liked musical instruments and they play clips of music that actually sound like they were played by the real instrument. And there is no way to change the batteries or clean them well. How stupid is that? Of course I'm the stupid parent who made the mistake of buying it in the first place.Nick's favorite is the trumpet. This morning he was so cute with it. I was making the bed and he brought it to me and indicated he wanted me to make it play. Then he lifted his arms up to indicate he wanted to be picked up. I picked him up and proceeded to dance with him. He loved it! He kept wanting me to do it again and again. Poor trumpet though, you can hear the tinny sounds of the little music box inside dying and we can do nothing.


I am so tired this morning. Last night Oscar and I got in a stupid fight at like 9:30, right after we turned off the lights, and so we were up until 10 arguing because the stubborn man refused to apologize for a comment that I found insulting and I refused to stop talking until he did so. Of course, he refused to apologize, claiming that by saying that he didn't mean the comment the way I took it was his apology, so I ended up huffing off and going to sleep in the rocking chair in Nick's room. A place I spent many a nights when I was nursing.

I finally came to bed around 1 and about 1:30 or so Nick decided that he needed to get up. And not go back to sleep for like two hours. The poor baby has an ear infection, we got him antibiotics on Monday, and he is really having a hard time with it. Before he got his current cold, a couple weeks ago, he was starting to sleep mostly or completely through the night.

And I was beginning to remember what it was like to sleep for more than two hours at a time.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Silence is Golden

Have I mentioned how much talking hurts? I mean physically hurts. By the end of the day, I am in so much added pain just from talking. It might have something to do with the holes in my mouth at the edge of my jaw, but I'm no expert. I just thought that four days after my teeth were removed more of the pain would be gone.

I'm already in pain and corralling Gabe and then being peppered with his never-ending stream of repetitive questions on the way to my MIL's didn't help. I'm glad he wants to know everything about everything (to quote Sid the Science Kid), but damn, does he have to ask so many questions, while at the same time not listening to half the things I ask him? I have to ask the same thing of him 20 times before it gets accomplished. Weekday mornings our big battle is about him getting dressed.

"Gabe please take off your pajamas and bring me your pull-up" (he still wears one at night to protect against leaks).

"Gabe please bring Mommy your pull-up before I'm done changing Nick."

"Gabe, take off your pajamas now, and bring Mommy your pull-up."

"Gabe, if I finish changing Nick before you bring me your pull-up, then I will take off your pajamas myself and you can go to Grandma's naked" (notice the change from a polite request to threats).

I try to hold off using the naked threat as long as possible, since I would prefer Gabe got undressed without the use of threats. However, the naked threat usually gets the desired results. Gabe tries to take as long as possible in hopes that I will dress him, rather than making him do it himself. I used to stand there in his room or bring his clothes into our bedroom and waste lots of time arguing with him and waiting for him to get dressed.

Now, when I'm ready to go downstairs, I pick up his clothes and bring them with me. I have him follow me downstairs and I had him back his clothes. I then tell him if he is not dressed when Mommy is ready to leave he will go to Grandma's naked.

This morning he was not finished getting dressed until after I had Nick strapped in his car seat and had fetched him a toy. I really feel like a broken record. Of course, Nick doesn't help matters any, since he likes to take various items of Gabe's clothing, usually his shirt, and walk off with it.

In the car is when we start the never-ending stream of repetitive questions. His latest fascination is with our GPS system, "Mommy, where is the van on the map?"

"Gabe, you know the answer to this. What is the van on the map?" Because, y'know, he's asked and received an answer to this question like a million times already.

"The red arrow. Why is it a red arrow?"

"Because that's what it is."

"Where is our house on the map?" At this point we are halfway to my MIL's, and while we have our house marked, we can't see it any more.

"Gabe, we're too far from the house for it to show up on the map."

"Why Mommy?"

"Because the map only shows a small area."

"Okay. Mommy, where is your work?"

"We're not close to my building."

"But where is your building on the map?"

"Babe, we're not close enough to my building to see it on the map."

"Oh. Mommy, when we be at Grandma's?"

"When we get there. It takes the same amount of time every day." One does get tired of answering the same questions every morning. It's like deja vous every morning.

"Mommy, what you do at work today?"

"I'm not sure, Gaby. I haven't been to work yet. I think I have a meeting to go to."

"Mommy what Daddy do at work?"

"I'm not sure, honey."

"Ask Daddy when you talk to him on your computer."

"Okay Gabe."

Throughout this Nick is either yelling ma ma ma ma, da da da da, or just talking to him self.

"Mommy, Nick is calling you. Why he be calling you?"

"I heard him. I think he just wants my attention. Hi Nick."

At last we arrive at my MIL's. I drop off the boys who eagerly run to play with the waiting toys, and eat, stopping briefly to wave goodbye to me at the window. I am now finally free to either listen to the radio in the car or drive in silence. I arrive at work and am the first one in my office, and it is silent.

I love being a mom, but sometimes it is so nice to just have silence. And small children only seem to be silent when they are sleeping.

Monday, May 18, 2009

We Can Jerk It Out

I was trying to find a fitting song title to discuss the large amount of pain I'm in from the removal of my wisdom teeth on Friday. Apparently, there is a large collection of parody songs out there. Who knew? This one is a parody of the Beatles Song "We Can Work it Out". While that is not the reason my teeth had to come out, it is funny nevertheless.

Any way... I had my last two wisdom teeth removed on Friday. My mouth is still sore from it, especially the right side. Oscar went to work for a few hours and then took the rest of the day off to take care of me. I decided to be sedated for the procedure, since I was fully aware for my upper two when they were removed in high school and found it excruciating.

I had the first appointment of the day, and then went home to take a nap. Oscar went out and picked me up some lunch - Taco Bell's pintos 'n cheese, yummy... and then we caught up on some of the season finales from the week. It was nice to just chill at home with him minus the boys. We're really trying to make an effort to spend more time alone together, without cutting in too much to our limited time with Gabe and Nick.

As of today, I am still on a diet of soft foods. Soup, refried beans, yogurt, jello, pudding, apple sauce and vast amounts of ice cream (occasionally in milkshake form). I know, that is a well-rounded diet right there. It just hurts too much to chew still. The teeth were mostly still in the gums, since I have such a small jaw, so I guess my gums are still very irritated at being cut open to remove the teeth. I suppose I should have done this years ago, but I just couldn't bring myself to allow Military Dentists to do the job.


I am in too much pain to work out. Not that I've been doing a lot of that lately any way. I had a bad cold the last two weeks... and Nick hasn't been sleeping well... and I'm full of excuses as to why I can't work out. Despite having a treadmill and a large collection of workout DVDs.

In fact, Oscar recently bought a weight bench. Not that it has been set up. It's still sitting in its box in the garage, along with the two chairs for the boys, Gabe's bed (although that is a 4th birthday present), and the bookcase we got from IKEA a while back.

I really heart IKEA. Especially the show room where they lead you on a merry path to all the possibilities. You look at all the nice Swedish furniture with all its clean lines and organization and then you go back to your house with your flat box and realize that OMG you have to put that together now and no, your house will probably never look as neat or organized as the displays at IKEA.

My BIL and his wife live in Alaska and, unfortunately for them, there are no IKEAs in Alaska. Nor will IKEA ship to Alaska. They are expecting their first child in August and my SIL made the mistake of falling for an IKEA crib. So a few weeks ago Oscar and I, along with the boys and my MIL drove an hour and a half to IKEA (why are they never close?) to purchase the crib. Oscar shipped it last weekend, for DOUBLE the cost of the crib. Oh well. It's what she wanted, and I suppose it is still a small consolation prize, since my BIL is currently deployed and will remain deployed for the birth of the baby.
This is the crib my SIL wanted. It also converts to a toddler's bed.

This weekend wasn't the best weekend for me to be out of commission; although I did my best to muddle through. Gabe had soccer on Saturday, followed by a picnic for whole league. Plus, one of his friends had her birthday party on Sunday.

I missed Gabe's soccer practice on Saturday, since I choose to take a nap instead. The pain and the medication I'm on make me very tired. Oscar did have my MIL with him, so there was someone to watch Nick and keep track of Gabe, since Oscar is the coach for the team. I think that's very sweet of him. I know how much he loves sports and is eager to share that with the boys. Although, I think he will have better luck with Nick than he will with Gabe.

I did go with them to the picnic, but it started to rain, so I stayed in the car with Nick, while Oscar quickly took Gabe out there to see what that had set up for food and activities. The food was from Moes, which is not one of our favorite Mexican places, and we had to pay for it, so Oscar didn't get any. They did have some of the players from D.C. United there to sign autographs, so Gabe did get at least one player's autograph on a poster.


We also went to a party for one of Gabe's friends on Sunday. Gabe started gym class at one of the local children's gyms shortly after he turned one and a we are still friends with a few of the people he was in class with. One of the girls turned four this weekend and had her party at a place called Jump Works, basically it was a room filled with moon bounces with a party room upstairs. Both Gabe and Nick had a great time, and the other people we're still friends with were there, as well. I felt bad for N., she is due this week with her second child, so she was exhausted.

Nick loved the slides, which he kept asking Oscar to take him on. Unfortunately, you had to crawl through some really small opening's and climb up this makeshift ladder to get to the top. It got to be very tiring for Oscar to do that while carrying a 23 lb baby. Nick wanted to go down by himself, so I was always at the bottom waiting for him.

Gabe had the most fun playing with one of his friend's older brother - this is the nine-year-old we went to the movies with a couple weeks ago. They especially enjoyed playing on the pirate ship; at least that's what I think it was supposed to be. I didn't pay much attention to what it was.

I tried to bounce with Nick a bit, but due to the pain in my mouth, it started to make me nauseous. Luckily Nick enjoyed playing with the balls they had out as much as going on the moon bounces.

Unfortunately for the kids, we only got an hour on the equipment before it was time for pizza, cake, and goodie bags. Poor Gabe, he really wanted to go back down and bounce some more. I wish we had room for one of those little moon bounces at our townhouse. Nick wasn't feeling well, so he didn't eat much pizza or cake. Gabe was more than happy to eat the frosting off of the slice of cake that Nick didn't want.

I'm really glad we've managed to find Gabe friends to hang with, who also happen to have parents that Oscar and I like. It's nice for play dates, parties, and outings to actually have people we enjoy chatting with while the kids are off playing. I'm pretty introverted, and don't have any friends locally, so the only friends I have are the parents of Gabe's friends. I know that sounds pathetic, but I'm not good at socializing, and the forced socialization of activities for the children over the past few years has really helped me out.


The one thing that does not happen at parties here is the opening of gifts. I remember that being one of the big things at birthday parties when I was little. But nobody does around here. Is this now common every where? Or just here in Northern Virginia? We opened gifts once at Gabe's first birthday party, which was at my MIL's, but by the time his next party rolled around we had been to enough parties to know that it just wasn't something people did.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day

I had a really nice Mother's Day. After we got up (way too early, as usual), Oscar brought the boys downstairs while I finished getting dressed for the morning. He had the boys both sign their car to me, which was really cute. Both of their scribbles, and then Oscar signed their names, it was sweet. Gabe has almost mastered his G, so Oscar just added the rest of his name to Gabe's almost G.

Oscar then went out to get me Starbucks, and returned with roses as well. I love roses! So that was really sweet. Nick was fascinated by them, and wanted one to play with. While I wouldn't let him play with one by himself, I did take one out and let him smell and touch it, which really made him smile. Have I mentioned how incredibly cute Nick's smile is, with his five little teeth?

I also had breakfast made for me - scrambled eggs with cheese, sausage, and waffles. The waffles were originally bought for Gabe (they're organic Sesame Street themed mini waffles), but he decided he didn't like them. I think they're pretty good, and so does Nick. My little Nick will eat just about anything. Sometimes I worry that's why he gets so many stomach aches - he eats too much.

Then again, I worry that Gabe doesn't eat enough. I often think that's one of the main things mothers do. Worry, that is.

Normally Gabe goes to church with my MIL on Sundays, but she was out of town for her brother's 50th wedding anniversary, so he just chilled at home with us. He did, however, go over to spend the night with her. Oscar and I figured that would be a good Mother's Day present for her, since she really isn't getting anything tangible for Mother's Day.

We already chipped in for her plane ticket to Alaska to visit my SIL (my BIL's wife) when she has the baby. It also covered her recent birthday and her Christmas present.

On the way to drop off Gabe, we stopped to pick up Outback for dinner, which is always a favorite. They recently redid their menu, so instead of crab cakes, they now have these humongous crab stuffed shrimp, which were fabulous. Although I will miss the crab cakes - they were one of my favorite items. I also had prime rib and mashed potatoes, both of which were very good. To be expected, they were also well-liked by Nick.

All in all it was a really nice day.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Movie Weekend

Every month Oscar and I have been making an effort to go on a date. We've been alternating between a nice restaurant and a movie. Last month we went to the Melting Pot, which was awesome. This month, as in Friday, we went to the see the opening of Wolverine. It was really good. I've been a fan of the X-Men since I was a child, so I've enjoyed all the movies in the franchise, just not all the casting choices (I'm still bitter about Rogue).

The movie theater we went to is part of a nice town center for one of the local communities and has a lot of little restaurants attached. We had a quick dinner at the Asian restaurant there, which we have never tried before. It wasn't bad, but it was no Hunan's, which is our favorite little Chinese restaurant. We caught the last matinee show, so the theater wasn't that full. There is a high school up the street, and we were early enough that most of the high school crowd was just getting to the theater as we were leaving.

I won't spoil the movie for those that haven't seen it, but it was definitely more about the action than the story. A lot of holes, for those who have only seen the previous movies and have never read the comics, were filled in. The dialogue seemed like nothing more than a way to get from one action scene to the next, but at least the action was good. The Easter egg after the credits hinted at what the next movie will be about.

I got to see another movie this weekend, as well. Two movies in one weekend is a rare occurrence, especially with kids. We met up with some friends to finally see Monsters vs. Aliens, which Gabe has been asking to see since he got his first toy tie-in from McDonalds (darn you, successful marketing ploy). I missed the last half hour because Nick started to get fussy. Also, the theater was really full. The movie has been out for a while, but we saw it on the 3D screen, and the weather was bad, so a lot of people had the same idea.

After the movie we went to Cold Stone for ice cream. Gabe had more fun playing with his friends than eating his strawberry ice cream with sprinkles. Our friends have two little boys, one is almost five, and the other is nine. Gabe really likes them both. I'm glad he had a good time. I do worry about him not socializing enough.