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My $45 Movie...

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Three hours of Mango's Place for toddler and baby: $39
One movie ticket to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: $6
One super yummy bento box: $0
The first time I've done something for myself in a year: priceless

Yep...that's right. I spent $45 today just so I could go see a movie. First movie I've seen in about a year.

Actually, what happened is this...

After several days of a nasty summer cold (temperature around 101 last night) my fever finally broke and I got some sleep. Emmitt decided to play nice as well and for the last two nights has gotten up at 1am and 6am, giving me about 5 hours of solid sleep each night.

I woke up with him at 6am this morning, nursed him for about ten minutes and put him back to bed. I was feeling pretty awake, so I figured why not just get up.

I headed out to the living room, checked my email and got some inspiration. An hour later, I had a full article ready to go up at Search Engine Guide. Elnora woke up about then, but still feeling sleepy simply curled up on the couch next to me to watch Clifford. Another hour after that and I'd made three more posts...pretty much wrapping up a day's work on the site.

I'd already made an appointment for the kids to go to Mango's Place today (they usually go on Tuesdays, but since I was sick, we cancelled) I decided to take advantage of it.

I dropped them off and headed to the movie theatre just down the road where I walked in to Harry Potter just as the previews were gearing up. After two and a half hours of peaceful, uninterrupted entertainment (and a super yummy bento I'd packed) I headed back to gather up the kids and head home.

What's funny is that I saw myself when I went to pick them up...

I don't mean I saw myself in the mirror, or that I had some big existential moment...I mean I saw myself in another mom.

I followed another mom and her little boy (I'd guess 15 months) into Mango's Place and waited while she filled out the paperwork to drop off her son. Based on her conversation with the front desk staff I assumed it was her first time there. The front desk worker finished up the paperwork and took the little boy back to the play room while she went to get Emmitt and Elnora.

I watched the mom look at her little boy as he walked away.

She was rooted to the spot, her eyes locked on him as he moved out of site.

"First time using Mango's Place?" I asked her?

"Yes" she responded. "I think I might have to stand here for a few minutes."

"I just brought my kids for the first time last month. They LOVE it here. My two year old talks about playing with the boys and girls whenever I tell her we're coming," I said.

"Really? They like it?"

"Yep. It's been a God-send for us. I work at home and it was getting really hard to get things done. I never wanted to use a day care, but they love it here and the interaction is great for them. Plus I can get things done now."

"Yeah...I only have my son and I can't get anything done..." she trailed off.

"It will be ok. I'll bet he just loves it here. The staff is great and I've been really impressed with the center so far."

"Really? Thank you." She looked at me, almost as if she was a bit embarrassed to be emotional.

"It's hard the first time. I remember."

"Thanks." She looked one last time and she left.

It's so hard for us, isn't it? To let go just a little bit?

But sometimes...for ourselves and for our kids, we have to.

Most days, that's going to mean giving me time to get work done, but every now and then...I think I might sneak in another movie.


  1. Blogger Eilat | 1:48 PM |  

    Congrats on getting some "you time"!

    I too went to see HP last week. First movie in 5 months, second in 22.5 months.

    Too bad the movie kind of sucked :-(

  2. Blogger Nevanna | 1:59 PM |  

    I cried the first time I dropped mine off at daycare. Of course, he was six weeks old (yikes!!)...and didn't even notice.

    While I'd never planned on staying home after the baby, I didn't plan on doing daycare until the three month mark. Of course, circumstances changed, and I switched jobs halfway through my pregnancy. (BEST thing I have ever done, BTW.)

    At nine months, he already misses going when there's a holiday or long weekend.

  3. Blogger Jennifer Laycock | 2:01 PM |  

    LOL, now see? That's funny.

    Becuause I left it thinking that it was the best of the movies. While I've enjoyed watching the other four, I really didn't feel like they did a good job bringing the books to life.

    I didn't like the scenes they chose to cut, or how they made the story flow and I often despised the character casting (I still hate the casting of Lupin.)

    This time around, I thought they did a nice job making the story flow, managed to get most of the key points across and did a decent job casting some of the new characters (Delores Umbridge was exactly what I imagined.)

    Have you read the books? Did you not like the story, or not like how it cut the books?

    Bet you are one of those wierdo's that thought they did a great job on HP 3. :-P

  4. Anonymous Anonymous | 3:26 PM |  

    Must have been a great day for relaxing. I think the movie is totally worth $45, because it is very entertaining to watch like those funny Potter picture from this crazzy German dudes

  5. Blogger Eilat | 3:30 PM |  

    OK, I confess, I didn't read the books. I tried to read the first and was bored to tears. But I liked the movies.
    The story felt totally contrived (maybe the book would have too?) and I really missed the quidditch match! (But Im told the match was cancelled in the book.)
    It was so dark too! Oh, maybe Im just a grouch. I did like 3 (The Prisoner right?) very much.

  6. Blogger sara | 3:49 PM |  

    Seeing a movie in the theater is a challenge for me too, without kids. I have to have captions or subtitles because I can't hear well enough to understand the dialog.. so that limits where and when I can go.

    I think it was HP2 that I planned a month in advance, drove over an hour each way, on a WEEKNIGHT... not to mention the fact that the movie had come out months beforehand.

    If I have kids I'll never see another movie again :) Good thing there's Netflix.

  7. Blogger K | 4:40 PM |  

    The 5th and 3rd movies are tied for best in my book. With #4 as a close second. The first two were craptastic. That hack Chris Columbus would have found a way to film the commas and semicolons if he could -- that wasn't film making so much as cinematic dictation. Blech.


    We hired a sitter on Sunday so we could see the movie, so with the tickets and all, it set us back about 45 bucks as well.

    Me time is important. I took last week off work. I may have been on vacation, but Henry wasn't! Off to daycare he went while I cleaned the fridge, sorted through the basement, and caught up on my knitting for a few hours each day! It was pretty sweet!

  8. Blogger Unknown | 4:49 PM |  

    That made me emotional reading about that woman!!! I take my kid to a FT daycare every day. The first day was pretty much the worst day of my entire life. Today (almost 1 year later), my son waved "bye bye" and blew kisses as I left.

    It gets better with time. And I'm so glad you got to go to the movies!!!

  9. Blogger Nicole | 5:21 PM |  

    I have to agree that I thought this was the best of the HP movies but I think it may have a lot to do with the fact that this is my least favorite HP book. Book 5 for me was just so depressing and difficult to get through so I think I'm not such a purist when it comes to the movie adaptation.

    As for the movie seeing in general, I have to say that my husband and I both love movies and going to see them is something we did a lot of before my son was born last December. We have still managed to see one or two a month since he was born. Usually he stays with a grandmother but sometimes I go by myself and he is with his daddy and vice versa. I guess movies are just my way of winding down so its something I still make time for.

    Now this weekend we will both be making time for some serious reading!

  10. Anonymous Anonymous | 5:56 PM |  

    Thanks for the tip on Mango's Place. I will definately be using it! Did you go to the RAVE theatre by Polaris mall?

  11. Anonymous Anonymous | 6:04 PM |  

    I'm so glad you got to go see HP! I'm still trying to figure out daycare so I can go. At least I will be able to read this Saturday for bits of time!

  12. Blogger Darlene | 6:31 PM |  

    Thanks for reminding mothers everywhere that it's not only okay to take some time away from the kids to do something enjoyable, but it may even be good for the kids as well, to have some time away from us to grow.

    Good for you!

  13. Blogger Jennifer Laycock | 7:44 PM |  


    Mango's Place is awesome. My kids have just loved it and it only took two visits before everyone there knew the kids by name. We walk in now and the workers greet the kids by name, greet me by name, etc. I've been quite impressed.

    As for the movies, #3 was actually the one I liked the least, though it was my favorite book. The casting on Lupin was just so bad I couldn't get past it.

    For me, the books go 3, 6, 5, 4, 1, 2 in order of best to worst.

    For the movies, I'd go 5, 4, 1, 2, 3.

  14. Blogger K | 5:04 AM |  

    I love the guy they have playing Lupin. I think he brings out the vulnerability of the character out so well. Gary Oldman really shined in 5 though. I did not much care for his Sirius in 3. Perhaps I was pining a bit for the actor who turned down the role -- Sean Bean. But Oldman really came through in 5.

  15. Blogger Jennifer Laycock | 5:29 AM |  

    Totally agree on Sirius. I really didn't like him in 3, but I could tolerate him as I found him infinitely better than Lupin.

    I don't know who I pictured playing Lupin, but the current actor is:

    1.) Too tall
    2.) Too skinny
    3.) Too young looking (the book says over and over how he looked old beyond his years)
    4.) Too...nerdy? Yes, he should have looked worn down, but not like a nerd.

    I liked him better in this movie, but I was quite bummed the audience didn't get to learn more about Tonks. If they haven't read the books, that's one character that they really missed out on.

    Then again, I think they could have made a whole other movie that simply followed the work of the OfTP since this book focused almost solely on the school.

    I think I may have to dig the book out and take it with me tonight. I'm headed to the lake with Emmitt to help at rifle camp and I'll have plenty of time to read during his naps. I can't find book 6, so I can reread book 5 beforeI go snag #7. :)

  16. Blogger Mom | 7:20 AM |  

    The best $45 dollars you spent in a long time, I bet. Lol I haven't been keeping up on the whole HP thing. I have all the books but haven't read them and I think I have seen the first, maaaybe the second, movie.

    I have been wanting to take the boys to Mango's for some free time but I just can't bring myself to do it eventhough I really need the time to myself. I just wish they were closer than a 25 minute drive. I remember how hard it was to drop off the oldest at the sitter's when he was a baby and my youngest has only ever been watched by my MIL. Oddly, its the youngest who would probably do the best in a setting like Mango's. The oldest was (and still is) such a high needs baby that we ran off many a sitter and he would have never been able to cope with a daycare setting. It's just hard to entrust the safety and care of your children to complete strangers.

  17. Blogger Ahmie | 8:43 AM |  

    (edited a bit to try to tone down/remove the spoilers for people who haven't read book 6)

    ok, disclosure - I'm a total Potterhead. As in co-founder (tho inactive now) of a fairly large Harry Potter fanfiction/fanart website (phoenixsong.net). Yes, I've written fanfiction myself and I'm actually proud of the fact. I've read all the books multiple times as well as listened to the audiobooks repeatedly (I currently have HBP on the memory card of my cell phone so I can listen to it on the speaker phone while I wander). I listened to HBP while I was in labor. My newborn calms to Jim Dale's voice faster than he does to his father's. Yes, I realize THAT, at least, is a little overboard.

    As for the movies.... I LOATHED the third movie and the fifth wasn't far behind. The actor who plays Lupin does a fantastic job compared to Michael Gambon, who I want strung by his toenails and force-fed to read the damn novels ala "A Clockwork Orange" (he's actually publicly admitted that he's never read the books, never intends to, and just basically plays is ***hole self in a wig). I want the director strung up with him for LETTING him "act" that way. Knighthood or not, you're still paid to do more than show up and tollerate hair and makeup Gambon you twit.

    We were REALLY disappointed that they cut the career advice scene and with the general weak portrayal of the rest of the staff. Umbridge didn't get to run rough-shod over the school like that in the books, she met (passive-agressive) resistance and MCGONAGALL WOULD NEVER BACK DOWN LIKE THAT STEPS SCENE DAMNIT! (can you tell she's one of my favorite characters?).

    Also, Gred and Forge's grand exit wasn't nearly grand enough (tho the dragon firecracker chasing Umbridge was halfway decent). And what the heck is with "Nigel"?!? The Creevey brothers have somehow been merged into this creature.

    They better not cut out all the quidditch from the next movie, I GOTTA at least hear the one female doing the commentating (hope that’s not too much of a spoiler – Lee Jordan, the kid who did the Quidditch commentary in the first movies, was the same year as Fred & George and was in his final year during the 5th book/movie, so they needed a new person to do the commentary in the 6th book – this isn’t explicitly clear in the movies).

    Luna was perfectly cast. Umbridge wasn't toady enough for us (and she's supposed to have "iron-grey curls" - why do they keep messing with the ages of the adult characters? McG is supposed to have black hair, Lupin and Snape are supposed to be in their mid-30s). Loved seeing the kids' patronuses (Patroni? can't remember the plural form at the moment). Luna's being a bunny was perfect (JKR mentioned that Ron's is a jack russel terrier and Hermione's is an otter in an interview, I *think* they were correct in the movie so I wonder about others we saw that weren't specifically mentioned in the book).

    Really, Gambon is the big problem I'm having with the movies (well, that and "wolfman" - if werewolves were THAT easy to spot in "wolf" form they'd've been hunted to extinction quite easily...). There's no way I can see him pulling off the type of relationship with Harry that is the center of HBP. He just comes across as a big jerk any time he's on the screen, and the whole "oh I'm scared now" "oh, what's Voldemort going to do next?" behavior during the fight scene was just pathetic. Dumbledore is always 5 steps ahead of everyone around him, that's what makes him so darn powerful.

    My hubby and I are planning to make t-shirts for the next movie that clearly reflect our feelings about Michael Gambon (can’t specifically mention what they’ll say as it’d be a big spoiler for those living under a rock about one of the major plot points that was all over the press after the release of the 6th book – is that spoiler-free enough, Jen? ;) ).

    Probably doesn't help my reaction to these particular films much that they were the first movies, 3 and 5 respectively, that my sons saw in theaters. We took Liam to see POA when he was 9 days old and Del to see OOTP at 14 days old (both saw the films on opening day, but no midnight screenings with newborns - we did go to a midnight screening for GOF tho and Del's going to the Deathly Hallows midnight sale with us, 3yo Liam's staying home with the grandparents).

    And I'll get Del's birthstory posted soon, I promise... hands have been a little full (though, priorities priorities, I just posted my theories about what will happen in Deathly Hallows to my DragonMama blog for those who would like to read them). To top it all off, the whole family is going to Toronto for a week - going to visit family and then Garvin, Del and I are going to Prophecy 2007 (a Harry Potter conference - see? Total, unrepentant Potterhead).

    OK, I'm an ubergeek. I know. But admit it, you enjoyed the movie a bit extra because it was kinda "forbidden fruit" - you were kinda "sneaking out" to see it. Rocky Horror Picture Show may have seemed worthy of an Oscar to me after enough time home alone with two little ones!

    Oh, and as for favorites...

    books: 3 & 6 are tied for my favorites with 6 taking the lead lately (her writing style improves so much over the course of the series - you can tell her confidence level increased after the 4th book)... then 2 (I'm a Ginny fan, even when she's possessed), 4, 1 (her writing style really was pretty immature at that point in my opinion, which weakened the first two books), 5 (I wanted to give Harry a swirlly in the toilet through most of the 5th book, he had his head crammed so far up his butt for so much of it!).

    As for the movies, I *am* a purist so I liked the first two a lot (I bounced in my seat the first time we saw the Burrow on screen, tho that line by Molly "there's only one place we can get all these things... Diagon Alley" I wanted to smack someone for that... bad writing and poor delivery, very cheesy)... I think the fourth movie is my favorite (I think it was also the only time I hadn't reread the book in the weeks preceeding the movie release, which may have helped, but I like the cinematography of that one enough to get past my loathing of Gambon and him grabbing Harry by the shoulders and shaking him after the goblet spit out his name *shudder*). And "wolfman" destroyed the 3rd movie for me as I mentioned above... so I guess my movie favorites are 4, 2, 1, 5, 3. If I had oodles of money at my disposal I'd digitally go in and replace Gambon with Patrick Stewart in wigs for the 3rd 4th and 5th movies (and POSSIBLY replace Richard Harris in the first two, more for consistancy than any actual issue with Harris). Dumbledore has always had Patrick Stewart's eyes for me (aka Captain Picard/Professor X if the name's not ringing a bell). THAT man's eyes know how to twinkle! And he knows how to pull off the "5 steps ahead of everyone around him" body language in those two other rolls... and I've seen pictures of him in a white wig and beard/mustache, he can pull it off even tho he's bald as a cueball.xh

  18. Blogger Melissa | 12:14 PM |  

    I love love love Goblet of Fire. I actually had a hard time reading OotP. However, the lady that plays Umbridge (Imelda Stauton?) was so ridiculously fabulous, as well as the girl who played Luna Lovegood that I now must see them in everything they've done! (Is it bad that I still giggle when I hear "pudding")

    I am now returng to my HP media lockdown until after finals week!

  19. Blogger Abigail (aka Mamatouille) | 11:53 PM |  

    It's about US$18 to see a movie here in Japan, so I can relate to high costs for getting out, but I think the last movie I saw in the theater was The Incredibles! Incredible.

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