Thursday, June 28, 2007


Just a few short hours ago, I had the closing on Stately Wasser Manor. It's mine, baby! All mine! (And Steve's. And Jack's. But still!)

It was weirdly anticlimatic. I did this huge thing, and there was no one in the room but me and the attorney - Steve is at a writer's conference and gave me power of attorney. And the previous owners are staying in the house until Sunday afternoon, so I didn't even get a set of keys for my worries. So, I signed my name and "Stephen J. Wasser by Elizabeth A. Wasser, his attorney in fact" eighty gazillion times... and then that was that.

I didn't want to go right back to work, but what else was I going to do? Well, the only think I could think of was to buy us some really nice new sheets. And then go back to work!

After Sunday, though, things will really start rolling. The moving truck is going to get all of our stuff out of storage on Monday, and Steve and I are going to work on moving the things from Temporary Wasser Manor to Stately Wasser Manor.

The temptation is really great to just devote all of my non-work hours to getting SWM set up. One of my co-workers suggested I just take a whole lot of meth and just bang it all out. I don't see that happening, but I am tempted to just bag my morning runs, work at the house from 6:00 AM until 8:00 when I need to go wake up Jack, then stay up as late as I can stand unpacking. But I know that'd be a big mistake. Running is one of the things that's keeping me sane.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Under the Microscope

Dialogue from last night's dinner...

Jack: What doing, Mommy? Eating dinner? What that? That Mommy elbow! Jack have elbow, too. This Jack's elbow. Mommy has it water. Jack has it milk. What eating, Mommy? Mommy eating chicken, Mommy? Mommy use fork? Uh-oh! Chicken fall down!

Steve: Jack, stop analyzing Mommy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Taking Names

It seems to me as though in the past week, we at Temporary Wasser Manor have gone beyond just kicking ass. We are, in fact, now taking names.

Everything is good to go on the new Stately Wasser Manor. Our home inspection went really well, and the few changes that I requested, the homeowners cheerfully did. Better still, our bank processed the mortgage in record time, which means that we are all set to close on Thursday, as planned.

Steve found a good moving company, and they'll get all of our stuff out of storage and into the new house on Monday. At the same time, our electric, phone, and internet will get hooked up. The next day, we'll have our new washer and dryer installed, and the fine folks at DirecTV will hook up a new dish for us for free.

On Sunday, we went furniture shopping. We got such tremendous bargains that we were able to furnish and make improvements to far more rooms than we'd anticipated. Steve and I have needed a bedroom set for about 12 years now, to improve upon the plain metal bedframe for our mattress and the dresser from his boyhood bedroom. We also finally found an entertainment center to hold the Ridiculously Large TV, along with matching end tables and a coffee table. I scored a gorgeous new dining room set with eight chairs and a china cabinet. I absolutely love the slate-top kitchen table, which is going to look freaking amazing in the kitchen. And Steve is turning cartwheels over the new desk for the office, with lots and lots of storage.

We picked out paint colors for the few rooms that we're going to repaint. They're going to look fabulous.

Steve got a really great job offer for a company that is known for being one of the best employers in the area. Among his benefits is discounted daycare.

And that daycare center? Wonderful. I checked it out today, and I absolutely loved it. It was bright and cheerful, and all of the kids were having a blast. I was especially impressed with Miss Toya, who is the lead teacher in the pre-K class, where Jack will be after he turns three. She showed me her detailed lesson plans, her records on all of her kids, and appears to be some kind of magical Mary Poppins person. I would not be remotely surprised if she took Jack into a chalk painting to dance with penguins.

Jack's got cool stuff going on, too. My mom and Doug got him a bed for when he's at their house, his first Big Boy Bed. Actually, since it's a toddler bed, I like to think of it as a Medium Boy Bed, but I won't tell Jack that. Anyway, the important thing is that it's shaped like a fire truck. Jack is beyond excited about it. Mom and Doug set it up for him this morning, so he'll have the option of either there or his crib. Jack immediately put his Elmo pillow in it and turned on his sound machine so he could take a practice nap.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What Is Wrong With Me Sometimes?

Oh, Internet.

You know how I've been dutifully training for the Quad City Marathon for almost two months now?

Yeah. Turns out I can't run that race.

I don't know how I screwed this one up, but we are leaving for Disney World on the 22nd of September and the race is on the 23rd. I could have sworn that Disney was the week before. My reactions included:

Son of a bitch!
Fucking hell!
Crap in a hat!

Then, when I got over huffing all over the place, I started to think about what my options are.

I could run the race as planned, then join the boys in Disney on the 24th. But I really didn't want to do that, because that would mean doing this big, important thing without my favorite cheerleaders there to support me.

We could ALL change our plane tickets to go to Disney on the 24th, missing a couple of days of our trip. But that doesn't seem like a good idea, either. Especially because it's not just the three of us - we're meeting extended family there. It's a whole big thing.

So, yeah: Crap in a hat!

I did come up with a third alternative - run a different marathon. I did some quick research and came up with a plan: run the Des Moines marathon on October 21. Seems like the best option - I'll be able to enjoy Disney World, plus I'll have my boys to support me at the race. I'm disapointed about not doing the QC Marathon because the course is so cool, but it'll be there next year. Besides, I can probably cheer myself up with a Des Moines training t-shirt.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


or... in which Betsy admits to some seriously anal-retentive tendencies

I recently got a question in the comments section from Cherylann wondering about a comment that I made on Spin Me I Pulsate about meal planning. So, here's the deal...

I am a working mom, and I serve a home-cooked dinner pretty much every night. How do I do it? Well, I have to admit, it's not that hard for me, but it does require some planning on my part. Here's how it works:

1. Every week, I spend some time going through cookbooks and deciding what I want to cook for the week. Often, as I'm doing this, I'll have the sales circular for the grocery store next to me. I don't totally live by this, but if chicken breasts are on sale, I'll make an effort to cook with chicken breasts to save some money.

Usually I cook about three meals a week, planning for leftovers and for us to either go out one night or do something simple like sandwiches. Later, when I'm feeling ambitious (and when I get all of my books back from the storage place where they're currently residing), I'll post a list of my favorites. I am also a fan of those little cookbook magazine things that they have by the checkout line at the grocery store. It's not the most sophisticated food in the world, but it's good stuff, easy to prepare, and typically fast. I have so many of those cookbooks that I actually started ripping out the recipes that I like. Those are then collected in a little binder so I don't have to go through a zillion little books to find what I need. I also make sure I note what side dishes will go with each meal.

2. After I choose the meals to cook, I make out a grocery list. I have a Word document that has a section for each section of the grocery store, written in the order in which I walk down the aisles. I'll then go through my coupons and see if there are any I can use. If there's a coupon for an item, I'll put a C next to that item so I'll remember. As I write the list, I double check to see if there are any staples that I'm running low on -- milk, eggs, whatever. I keep a bunch of the blank lists in a drawer in the kitchen, and if I run out of something during the week, I put it on the list and post it on the fridge. I also check with Steve to see if there's anything he wants for lunches, snacks, and so on through the week, so it goes on the list, too.

3. At the grocery store, I really pretty much just buy what's on the list. If there's some produce that looks especially good and is reasonably priced, I'll buy it. Snack foods, like chips or cookies, are expensive and I don't really need them in the house, so I tend to just not go down those aisles. I really stick very closely to the list.

4. Usually I do the grocery shopping on a Saturday. Then on Sunday, during Jack's nap, I do a marathon cooking session. I cook all three meals and put them in the fridge for us to heat up and eat during the week. I tend to not cook anything that doesn't reheat well, because if it's only good for one meal, it's not the best use of my time. If Steve really has a hankering for, say, the hoisin pork chops that don't reheat well, then we'll have them for dinner that Sunday night. Casseroles and soups are especially good for leftovers.

5. When possible, I make stuff in big batches. If I'm making spaghetti sauce or chili, for example, it's just as easy to make a huge vat of it as it is just a little bit. Leftovers go in the freezer, to be pulled out when needed. Or, if I'm making grilled chicken breasts for that night's dinner, I'll grill some extra, then we'll make chicken salad sandwiches or put it on a salad. Often, we will have salad with several meals during the week. When that's the case, I will make a ginormous salad. If you put a moistened paper towel on it (re-wetting throughout the week) in the fridge, it'll keep really well.

That's what works for me. It helps that, by nature, I am an organized person. The idea of just going to the grocery store, grabbing what looks good, and hoping for the best when it's time to make dinner... I just wouldn't know how to deal with that. I have heard from other people that they couldn't operate this way because "my husband doeesn't like leftovers." Thank Yoda that's not the case in my house, because leftovers rock. It's a good dinner that you didn't have to cook! All you had to do was microwave it. You don't like it? Fine, then cook me dinner.

Anyone else got any tips or questions?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

When Jack Grows Up

I had a fascinating conversation with Jack last night. I asked him a bunch of questions on the subject of, "When You're a Grownup, Like Mommy." Here is Jack's vision of his life as a grown-up:

• He will live in a purple house.
• He won't drive a car because "that's Mommy's job." However, he will go bye-bye often, specifically to go shopping at Target and to see "Big Shrek movie."
• He will have a wife named Madison. She will be smart, pretty, and nice, and Steve and I will like her.
• He and Madison will make Shrek macaroni and cheese for dinner. He will make her pizza for breakfast every day.
• Roary will live with Jack and Madison and will sleep in their room with them.
• Sometimes, he will tell Madison that he is "a little upset" because he misses his MommyDaddy. I assured him that he and Madison can visit us whenever they want.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Marriage Tests

Things are really crazy and hectic at Temporary Wasser Manor at the moment. Shall we recap?

- Temporary Wasser Manor is only temporary, and therefore not ideal. There are times, for example, when I'd kill for a little more closet space.
- We're closing on the new Stately Wasser Manor in record time.
- We have eighty-three gazillion things to do.
- We need to spend a ton of money in a very short period of time. When we left SWM1, lots of little sundries got left behind. So now, for the first time since about 1995, I don't have any flour. Or laundry detergent. Or coffee, for Yoda's sake, to call my own. We are going to need to do some serious work to get New SWM fully operational.
- Steve is starting a new job soon.
- My own job is pretty darned new, too.
- Jack is two. 'Nuff said.
- We're in a new area, with no real friends yet.
- We need furniture.
- We need to find a good school for Jack to go to when Steve starts work.

The list goes on and on. Considering that when I'm stressed, I compulsively make lists, I have to stop myself from continuing. Suffice to say, we're swamped.

Well in the midst of all of this, the sellers of New Stately Wasser Manor offered to sell us their entertainment center. I really like what they've got, and it would be awesome not to have to spend more money buying something new, plus it's already where we'd want it to be. The issue is, would our monster TV fit in it? This TV is ridiculously big, so big that we have yet to find a non-ugly piece of furniture to house it, so big that if I tried to shove it across the floor, I'd probably hurt myself.

The TV, of course, is buried deep in our storage unit. Picture the storage area at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, only with stuff packed from floor to ceiling, with only the tiniest bit of air between items.

Still, we've got to know if this thing will work. After all, we'd be wasting our money if we bought this unit (hee, hee, unit) and it didn't work.

So, Steve and I took a break from our usual stress and took on some more stress. On a swelteringly hot day, we went to the storage space, armed with a tape measure and a flash light. I scaled boxes and rickety towers of chairs. I couldn't get to the TV itself, but I could get to the armoire that we know is just a little bit too short for the TV. We could measure that. (We did, and we found out that the new piece would be too small).

I am really proud of the fact that, despite the all encompassing stress that surrounds us at the moment, despite the incredibly hot weather, despite the scary risky box climbing, and despite the weirdness of the whole situation, Steve and I got along perfectly. No one got irritated with anybody, we didn't have a fight. It was actually kind of fun.

I know plenty of people who have had to take a class before getting married. Steve and I had to fill out some worksheets to see if our values were compatible. But I don't think that's nearly as telling as some basic real-life tests that couples encounter.

I think that before you get married, you should have to put up a Christmas tree together. A real tree, so you have to get the damned thing straight in the tree stand and get the lights on it. Then, you should have to assemble a piece of furniture from IKEA. If you still want to get married after that, then you can.

It seems appropriate that this most recent Marriage Test, one that we passed with flying colors, happened on Father's Day. I am incredibly lucky to be parenting Jack with such a great teammate. Happy Father's Day, Steve.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Running Commentary

I am getting really obsessive about the running.

In part, it's that I know I need to put in the effort if I want to finish my first marathon. But the bigger thing is that I just really, really love it.

On Saturday, Steve and I ran Race for the Cure. Techincally, I was supposed to do my long run on Saturday, and a 5K definitely doesn't cut it. But I really wanted to run the race, since it's always a fun one, so I decided the 5K would be a bonus run and that I'd just do my long run on Sunday.

Well, I really, really sucked at RFTC. I felt creeky, slow, and uncomfortable. My pace was really, really off. I tried not to freak out about it, but part of me was thinking, "If you're having trouble with a simple 3.1 miles, how are you going to do another 23.1?"

I decided to shrug it off, and Scarlett O'Hara about how tomorrow was another day. And sure enough, it was. I woke up on Sunday morning, ate a peanut butter and banana sandwich, and went on a 9 mile run. And it felt awesome. I was strong, and I felt like I could have kept on going. Better still, my pace was excellent. My average pace for the 9-miler was faster than I did for the 5K. That really did me a lot of good mentally.

And the run? So much fun. I went down to the river and looked at the Mississippi while most of the town, save a few guys fishing, was apparently still asleep. I had a spectacular mix on my iPod. I experimented with some new things I'll need as the runs get longer. I used a water bottle on a waist pack, which worked okay, and ate some gel at the halfway point. I swear to Yoda, I felt like I was powering up like in a video game. That stuff works (or at the very least, works on my brain). I'll be buying more for future long runs. I felt happy and proud of myself all day.

Monday was a rest day, and on Tuesday, instead of getting up at 6:00, I slept so Steve could sleep. By the time evening rolled around, I was itching to get into my running shoes. Ran 3 miles and it felt like nothing, just a pleasant stretch of time to myself. And this morning, I was set for a five miler. I decided to run to our new house, partially to see it again, partially to find out how far away it is from Temporary Wasser Manor. It was four miles, so I ran for five, then walked back to TWM. I'm already planning on going for another run tonight so I can have tomorrow free to celebrate our anniversary (ten years!) with Steve.

Running is definitely becoming a big part of my life again. I feel healthy, strong, and more centered for it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Happy Birthday, Roary!

Not so long ago, Roary was just a random stuffed animal floating around our house. He was a present Jack got from his Grammy and Pappy, along with a book with a tiger on the cover. Jack liked him well enough, but no more than any other stuffed animal.

But last June, Steve was away for a week on a fishing trip on Canada, and I think Jack needed a little extra love and comfort. All of a sudden, I noticed that Jack had that tiger with him everywhere. If I look back at my pictures from that time, Roary is in just about all of them.

He and Jack quickly became inseperable. Jack spends most of his time with Roary tucked under his arm. When he's tired or just needs some comfort, he rubs Roary's tail. The two of them talk all the time, Jack whispers secrets into his ear, and reads his favorite books to Roary.

Jack and Roary have been through a lot together in the past year. Some of it was funny - like the times Jack snuck Roary into the bathtub with him, the incident in which Jack found some of the backup tigers (we have four Roaries), and when Jack decided that the tigers at the zoo were Roary's "mommy-daddy."

But some of it has not been so fun. Roary was there with him when he had the stomach flu, when he had to get the stitches in his ear, on all of our vacations, and helping him adjust to Temporary Wasser Manor and all the changes that meant in his life. When Jack went in for his surgery, I honestly felt a lot better knowing that Roary was with him, even when I couldn't be. It meant a lot to me to see him, still under anesthesia, but with Roary on his chest, the two of them in matching eye patches. I find myself in the odd position of being grateful to a stuffed tiger.

The least I could do, I figured, was have a birthday party for Roary. So, the four of us (because we are really such a foursome at this point that Roary was in our latest family portrait) celebrated the day that Roary changed from being a toy to being Jack's best friend. I made cupcakes, Jack helped him blow out his candle, and insisted on singing "Happy Birthday" to Roary several times.

Happy birthday, Roary. You're the best friend a kid could have.

Stately Wasser Manor


It's a brand new Stately Wasser Manor!

Can you tell by the two sentences ending in exclamation points that I'm excited about it? Well, I am. The house is gorgeous. Steve and I fell in love with it pretty much immediately. It's in a quiet, pretty, tree-lined neighborhood, but also two blocks from a grocery store and one block from a park. There are four bedrooms, so we'll be able to have both a guest room and an office. There's a living room that will be a comfortable place to watch TV. The kitchen is freaking gorgeous, with new stainless appliances. There's a partially finished basement that we will use as a playroom when Jack gets older. The back yard is ginormous. And the best room in the house is a family room off the kitchen with vaulted ceilings, a picture window, gas fireplace, and a bright, airy feel.

Better still, it'll be ours soon. We're scheduled to close on 6/28 and move in starting 7/1.

Things are really coming together for us. Because at the same time, Steve just got a new job. I feel like the three of us are really going to start turning this into our home.

tiny procrastination...

Okay, I have a ton of stuff to write about. So, why not skip all of that for now and answer a meme?

Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so:
Momified Me
BumbleBee Sweet Potato
Spin Me I Pulsate

There are questions:

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I'd just graduated from college and was getting ready for my wedding - Steve's and my 10th wedding anniversary is on Thursday. My days were spent doing little last minute things, hanging out with family, and waiting for my friends to arrive for the wedding party fun.

Five Snacks You Enjoy:
Chocolate chip cookies
Veggies and dip
Hummus and pita

Five Songs That You Know All The Lyrics To:
Rainbow Connection, Kermit T. Frog
Dancing Nancies, Dave Matthews Band
When I'm 64, The Beatles
It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine) REM
Love Like We Do, Edie Brickell and New Bohemians

Five Things You Would Do If You Were a Millionaire:
Pay cash for a new Stately Wasser Manor
Put a huge chunk of money in Jack's college fund
Buy a hybrid car
Buy new furniture for a new Stately Wasser Manor
Go on a fabulous vacation with the boys

Five Bad Habits
Playing with my hair
Chewing my pens
Talking on the phone while driving
Picking at my fingernails

Five Things You Like To Do
Go to the movies
Play outside with Jack

Five Things You Would Never Wear Again
Tapered leg pants
A bikini (thanks, Jack)
Acid washed jeans
Overalls (which I think are only cute on little kids, pregnant women, and my grandmother)

Are you reading this? Consider yourself tagged, punk.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Local Restaurants

The always awesome WeirdGirl tagged me with my very first meme. The rules are this:

1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the city/state and country you’re in.

Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, United States)
Lotus (Toronto, Canada)
tanabata (Saitama, Japan)
Andi (Dallas [ish], Texas, United States)
Lulu (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Chris (Boyne City,
Michigan, United States)
AB (Cave Creek, Arizona,
United States)
Johnny Yen (Chicago,
Illinois, United States)
Bubs (Mt Prospect,
Illinois, United States)
Mob (Midland, Texas United States)
Yas (Ahwatukee, Arizona USA)
Alicia(Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA)
Tug(Hell, Colorado,
BondMemphis, TN, USA)
(Glasgow, UK)
(Honolulu, HI, USA)
(Henderson, TN, USA)
the weirdgirl (San Francisco Bay Area, CA,  USA (I'm still pretending to be an anonymous blogger))
CoffeeBetsy, Moline, IL USA

2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.

3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Weird Girl is right that I just moved to where I am now, but I do think I can scrape together my five favorite places of the moment. In time, I know I'll find new stuff, but here are my favorites right now.

1. Whitey's Ice Cream, various locations in the Quad Cities: It could be argued that Whitey's is not a restaurant, in that they only serve ice cream. But that person wouldn't have the same priorities as I do, because good Yoda, this stuff is so good. My favorite thing there is a shake made from kona coffee ice cream with chopped up Skor bar (an entire candy bar, in large pieces). It is completely awesome, and so thick they don't even bother to give you a straw. But even their frozen yogurt is good.

2. The River House, Moline: Great location in downtown Moline, just a block away from the Mississippi River, and right next to John Deere Pavillion, where Jack likes to look at the big tractors. They have all kinds of great food -- from bar food like burgers and homemade chips, to fish, to meatloaf. They have great outdoor seating, friendly service, and totally reasonable prices.

3. Belgian Village Inn, Moline: Belgian Village makes this killer Ruben sandwich, a sandwich I ordinarily don't even like. They serve it hot on homemade raisin bread. And the sandwich is about the size of two normal sandwiches. Steve and I split one for dinner the other night and had some left over, and the whole thing was about seven bucks. They also have really good breakfasts, including a cinnamon roll the size of a dinner plate.

4. Centro, Davenport: Very good Italian bistro with fabulous salads and pasta. It's about a block away from my office, but unfortunately the service is kind of slow, so it doesn't work for lunch usually.

5. Lagomarcinos, Moline and Davenport: Um, I must have some kind of problem, because this is indeed the second ice cream place on my list. In fairness, Lago's also serves food, so I am not completely pathetic. The place is adorable, an old fashioned soda and candy shop. I love their tuna melt, but always save room for a hot fudge sundae.

Okay, I am tagging these people: Mama Asco, Sandy, Daisy Bones, Felicia, and K.


Yesterday, I suprised Jack with the Most Awesome T-Shirt Ever. I ordered it from Zazzle, which is a site that could be very financially dangerous for me. The shirt has a picture of the pivotal lightsaber battle (or, as Jack would put it, "Battle-Fight" from The Empire Strikes Back.

Side note: I totally should have ordered matching shirts for Steve and me so that we could have the world's geekiest Christmas card picture.

Jack was so thrilled with his new shirt that he was momentarily speechless. Then, he tugged at the shirt he was wearing and complained that it was "all dirty." He's a subtle one, that Jack. Naturally, he changed into his new Battle-Fight shirt and strutted around, all proud.

He has gotten really creative with his playing. First there were the drumsticks that have been transformed into lightsabers so that he (as Darth Vader) can battle-fight me (Princess Leia) or Steve (Luke).

Jack mixed things up the other day, though. Instead of using his lightsaber, he used a blaster -- that being a Baby Shrek toy from McDonald's, which looks nothing like a blaster and gives credence to the theory that boys will turn anything into a weapon. He decided he wasn't Vader, but instead was Luke. And that Darth Vader had gotten into his crib and needed to be blasted.

Hearing Jack say, "Oh, no! Vader in my crib again! Need blaster. Pew! Pew! Pew! Got him!" is just fabulous. He is such a mix right now between baby and kid.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Twelve Sharp

I like the occasional Quarter Pounder from McDonald's. I know they're not good for me, and I know I could get a better burger somewhere else. But they're cheap and easy, and sometimes they really hit the spot. But there is the rare occasion in which you get an exceptionally good Quarter Pounder. It was cooked just recently, so it's perfectly hot and the cheese is melted just right. The condiments are distributed evenly across the burger, and the bun is soft and fluffy. It's still junk food, but it's awfully damned good junk food.

Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books are like that really good Quarter Pounder. And sometimes, on a sunny day, they really hit the spot.

The one I read most recently was Twelve Sharp. The plot is fun, since it includes plenty of Ranger hotness and a great subplot about Lula forming a punk bad with Sally Sweet and Granny Mazar. It was a fast, funny read, and I totally enjoyed it.

I Love You, Beth Cooper

In debate team nerd Denis Cooverman's valedictorian speech, he makes a bold declaration of love to head cheerleader Beth Cooper. As you might imagine, this does not result in the two of them riding off into the sunset together. For one thing, Beth has no idea who Denis is. For another, Beth's very big and very scary boyfriend Kevin is none too impressed by Denis's making a move on his girl.

The book, by Larry Doyle, begins each chapter with a quote from a teen movie. John Hughes movies are prominently featured, of course, as are Rushmore, Heathers, and American Pie. That's appropriate, because this book reads just like a really well done teen movie.

Yes, at times it's a little too cute and knowing for its own good (references to "diet Cherry Vanilla Lime-Kiwi Coke," for example), but it's a quick, fun, funny read.

Two Adults and One Child

Hooray! My boys are back home. Steve and Jack had a great time visiting my stepmom, but we all missed each other a lot. Jack gave me a mighty Flying Tackle Hug when I greeted him on Saturday, and it was by far the greatest moment of my week.

The three of us celebrated by taking Jack to his very first movie in the theater. (Because I am not counting those Baby and Me movies we went to when he was an infant.) Our choice was, of course, Shrek 3

This attempt at seeing a movie in the theater worked much, much better than our failure to see Happy Feet at Thanksgiving. Jack is six months older, so that helped his attention span, but more importantly, his Princess Fiona obsession really primed him for this movie. He sat in our laps for 95% of the movie, spending the rest of it standing just in front of us. He wasn't exactly quiet, but I didn't feel too badly about that. If you see a cartoon at 9:45 in the morning on a Sunday, you shouldn't expect a completely silent and adult atmosphere.

It made Steve and me really happy that Jack had such a good time at the movies. Going to movies is one of our favorite things to do, and it's great that Jack will be able to join us sometimes. It felt pretty big to use the phrase, "two adults and one child."