So I Saw Deadpool

So I saw Deadpool today. Brian and I have been planning at least one date night out of the house each month since Eggs was born (cause if you don’t  plan it, you won’t do it) and today the date included Ryan Reynolds and a lot of penis jokes. 

You should probably know a couple things about me before you read my review. I’m not a big fan of superheroes. I love Batman, especially Christian Bale’s Batman, though I’m also partial to Adam West’s. I don’t mind Spiderman, except for the loathsome performance by Tobey Maguire. Captain America and Thor are alright. I love the idea of X-Men, but the movies were only so-so. I cannot stand the sight of Iron Man and therefore haven’t seen any of the Avengers movies and I only saw the third Iron Man movie because it was for a birthday (and I seethed the whole time).

So I was a bit apprehensive going to see Deadpool. My understanding of the overall fan reverence for Deadpool is that he can say and do whatever he wants, which is appealing to people who are tired of being polite and decent to one another (especially appealing this year with the media obsession of the ultimate douchecanoe: Donald Trump). The fans of Deadpool, I’ve noticed, are the same people who love Iron Man, a character fueled by greed, lust, and alcoholic beverages. He’s a character worshipped for his ability to once in a while overcome his complete selfishness, but only for one woman who pretty much has to mother him because he’s a giant man-child who gets to be morally bankrupt due to his wealth. Yeah, like I said, I’m not a huge fan.

I figured Deadpool was the ultimate fantasy of getting to be a jerk to people with little to no consequences. So I figured his movie would cater to those people, plus lots of nudity and dick jokes for the fourteen-year-old boys in the audience. And it was that. But I also laughed and somehow didn’t get as offended as I thought I would.

First though, THIS SHOULD NOT BE A 14A MOVIE! I’m serious. There is no way in the entire world that I would let a young teen see this movie. When I thought that, I wondered if I was just growing old and considering teenagers more like children than I ought to. So I checked out what movies were 18A (the rating I think this movie should have gotten) when I was 18. The first one I saw on a list of 2006-07 top grossing 18A movies was 300. Now that was based on a graphic novel and featured super-muscled men fighting a bunch of other men and dying gratuitously. There’s a couple of women topless in that movie and a man’s butt. There’s a sex scene that I considered pretty scandalous when I was 18. The violence is graphic, but fantastic so it’s obvious that it’s not real (focusing on battle technique rather than physical pain). It’s stylized so that it looks more like a moving graphic novel than a reflection of real life.

That movie was rated 18A.

Deadpool has full frontal male and female nudity (female nudity is in sexual context, while the male nudity is not). There’s not a minute that goes by that doesn’t have some sort of sexual joke in it. There’s enough f-bombs to destroy a small country. The sex scene is… ummm… well… it’s there. Definitely more, umm, descriptive than the one in 300. I don’t really want to go more into it since my mom reads my blog sometimes.

The violence in Deadpool was similar to 300. There was lots, but it was mostly meant to provoke laughs or to shock. There is some torture, which I had a hard time stomaching, but I’m very, very adverse to violence. Some of it was ridiculous, like when a man explodes on a traffic sign. Some of it was sickening, like nearly suffocating someone for days. I could handle the first half, but not the second. But I think the reason I could stomach the first is kind of gross. When you don’t have to witness the pain or fear in someone who is dying, then it’s easy to brush off.

The language and the sexual content were definitely what I expected in this movie. You have an idea of what you’re getting into when the movie poster is a handgun mimicking a penis with a tagline that implies that the viewing is about be giving the poster oral sex.

You thought I was kidding…

I’m not going to elaborate on the jokes and tell you which ones I thought were funny and which ones weren’t. I’m going to say that if the poster makes you uncomfortable, then I’m going to bet that the movie will too.

Now before you judge me for at least half enjoying this film, there are some things that were very well done. We all love reference jokes, that’s why Family Guy has been on the air so long. When the movie references something you’ve seen or enjoyed, you get to feel like you’re “in” on an inside joke. That little thrill of being in the know. Like there’s a reference to Liam Neeson’s Taken movies, calling him a bad parent. I’m not going to pretend I’m immune to those jokes. I love them. And since Deadpool constantly breaks the fourth wall, he can use those jokes without breaking character (and how funny is it to see jokes about Ryan Reynolds being told by Ryan Reynolds?).

Ryan Reynolds is actually one of the best things about this film. Yes, he’s super attractive, but he’s also able to deliver the fast-talking lines needed to play the “merc with a mouth.” There’s always been something about him that makes him easy to relate to, whether it’s because he can make puppy-dog eyes with the best of them or because he’s been in enough romantic comedies that when he confesses his love we all swoon, it doesn’t matter. Plus he’s Canadian, which gives him a special place in my heart.

Morena Baccarin was also flawless. When I saw she was cast as a major role in a movie that was guaranteed to do well, I was a little surprised. I mean, she’s gorgeous and funny and talented, but she’s also 37, which in Hollywood years, is nearly retired. I’m very happy she was in this movie and I wouldn’t have cast it any other way. This is not an “in spite of her age” thing. She was truly incredible. She was the perfect match to Ryan Reynolds. Funny, smart, and not the damsel I’m used to seeing in movies. She talked just as dirty, worked just as hard, and was an integral part to the film.

And she wasn’t the only woman in the film! While it did fail the Bechdel Test, each woman was important in her own right and could have easily replaced by men, which happens all too frequently. None of them were the idealized beacon of femininity either. As someone with the ability to swear like a sailor and a past that’s not too squeaky clean, I related to those ladies.

So, the big question: will you like this movie? For the majority of people that read this blog, I’m going to say no. Unless you have a side that likes nudity, bad language, and gratuitous violence. If you have kids that want to see it, maybe have a talk with them about why cause, in my opinion, it’s rating is way too low. I think you either need to be an adult or escorted by one to see this stuff.

Have you seen Deadpool? Do you agree with me? Disagree? Let me know! Just don’t post any spoilers, please.

Living Deliberately

I have a couple of very dear friends who don’t engage in small talk. Of course they’ll ask you how you are, but they aren’t content when you say, “Oh, I’m just fine.” No, they want to know exactly what makes you “fine.” They’ll follow up their question with things like “How’s your marriage?” or “What has God been teaching you lately?” or “Are you happy with your life right now?”

This is not a couple that you go for casual drinks with or chat about weekend plans with. You’d better find a comfy couch because this conversation is going to go deep.

And it’s wonderful. And exhausting.

I’ve often asked my husband how they live with themselves (in the most good-natured way, I swear!) during one of our very casual chats as we feed the kids or make dinner or watch television. It must be so tiring to be so focused all the time, to live so deliberately.

Now that Eggs has been born, I’ve been wanting to get into a routine. I need some consistency in my life. And not just that, but I want to get back into some of my old habits like writing more frequently, reading more books, and playing the piano. And, as I’m reminded every time I see a mirror, I have a desperate need to lose some (read: a lot of) weight. But how do people have time for that? If I added all those activities I wanted to do, when would I sleep? Or eat? There’s just so little time during the day and I have two kids to raise.

So I took a day to see where my time went. Almost like looking over your monthly bank statement to see where you spend your money. And I didn’t like what I found.

I slept for an average of about 7 hours a day, which is pretty amazing considering I have a new baby and a toddler.

I spent about two hours a day feeding Eggs a bottle. Monkey was a little less time since he eats three meals a day with Brian and I. Plus he can feed himself snacks that I provide.

I take a bath every night that lasts about 45 minutes.

Monkey and Eggs’ bedtime routines take about an hour.

And obviously there is play time with the boys.

But what about between all of that stuff? Clearly there are more hours in the day than what I am accounting for. Oh. My phone. Social media eats up all the time in between my activities. I have a couple of minutes so I scroll through my Facebook feed. Once I’ve seen everything there is to see there, I head over to Twitter. Then Tumblr. Then Instagram. By that point, there’s gotta be something new on Facebook so I start the cycle again. Suddenly, an hour has passed by and I’ve accomplished nothing.

So I decided to take a page from my friends’ book: to live more deliberately. This doesn’t mean that I won’t touch social media. Our world is too interconnected and I’d miss out on too much if I avoided it at all, but I vowed to not make it the default action if I have a quiet moment. I’ve only been at it for about two weeks. And what has changed?

I’ve spent a couple of hours on the piano trying to remember how to play again. This has led me to commit to playing at church every couple of months, which is a bit nerve wracking since I haven’t done any performing in about 7 years.

I’ve been reading the Liveship Traders Series by Robin Hobb. I’ve finished the first two books and am working on the third. Doesn’t sound like much until you see that each book is about 900 pages. You can get a lot of reading done if you choose to pick up a book instead of your phone.

I’ve started working out. 20-30 minutes of yoga or 15 hard minutes on my recumbent bike a day. I know that’s not much, but seriously, I haven’t gotten off my butt in years. In my last weigh in (on Monday), I lost 4 pounds.

And I’ve spent some time baking, something that I’ve found a new love for since I had kids.

It’s been wonderful. There is more time in the day than I ever thought. I’m embarrassed that I spent an entire year just wasting time. I knew I was wasting that time, but I was waiting until Brian got home from work so he could help me with the overwhelming job of parenting. Or I was waiting until the weekend when I was sure to have some company. I wasted time to make it pass more quickly and I didn’t think that I could use that time to do something useful. Shame on me.

Do you fall into this same trap as I do? Does social media steal your days away? What do you do to stop yourself from living passively?

Gingersnap Cookies

20160213_193154
Some special people are getting something delicious tomorrow!

Yum, yum, yum! I love cookies! And a special cookie that we ate many of in my childhood was gingersnap cookies! These delicious cookies were always a special winter cookie that tastes like cinnamon, ginger, and sweet, sweet sugar! Yum! My siblings and I would always steal a ball of dough from my mom’s baking pan when she wasn’t looking because nothing is better than cookie dough rolled in sugar.

We have had a cool couple of days here and both my boys were napping so I decided to warm up my house by baking. And when I’m feeling a little down (which tends to happen often when it’s cold and grey outside), I like to do something nice for someone else. So we made 7 dozen cookies to give to some special people tomorrow!

Alas I couldn’t make a cookie for every single one of my friends, so I figure I can share the recipe and, if you make them, I will take some of the credit. After all, isn’t that what friends are for?

Gingersnap Cookies

Cook time: 10-12 mins ~ Prep time: 10-15 mins ~ Yield: about 3 dozen

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar (white or brown, you choose. Brown makes darker cookies. I used white in the picture above)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (to roll dough balls in)

Cream butter and sugar together in a stand mixer. Add egg and molasses and mix well. Add flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until dough is uniform colour. Roll dough into 1″ balls and coat in white sugar (if dough seems too wet to roll, dust the dough with more flour until balls stay together when rolled in your hand). Place onto greased baking pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 mins. Let cool on a baking rack or enjoy warm.

Yum! These are delicious. You should make some to stuff your face with on Valentine’s day! They make great ice cream sandwiches with some vanilla ice cream crammed in between two of them. Mmmmmm….

The First Six Weeks Again

Bennet-17
Six weeks ago already!

My little Eggs has now been on this planet for six weeks! Hooray! It’s hard to remember how much different my life was before Christmas, but I don’t want to go back. I had forgotten how much I missed the new baby stage. Though I am really glad that the first six weeks are done. I found them very difficult with Monkey and it was the same with Eggs. For those soon-to-be-new moms, here’s a run down of what those first six weeks looked like for me:

Visitors

Once we took either of our babies home, things got very busy. We had a deluge of visitors, which was both a blessing and a curse. I loved the excuse to see family and friends and to show them the new little person I just made, but I was so so so tired. And sore. With both boys, I was awake late into the night either with labour or with the post-labour check ups so I’d had very little chance to sleep. And when I did sleep, it wasn’t very deep because I still had an IV and I was sleeping in a hospital bed where I could hear the nurses doing their rounds and the other babies on the floor. Plus my brain wouldn’t turn off because I just had a new baby!

So I was now at home and feeling a bit like I had to play hostess. No one forced that role on me, in fact, I was constantly encouraged to sit down, but I’ve watched my mother and grandmother long enough to know that no matter how you feel, you gotta host the party. I know I took it easy in the hostess role (my mom graciously took most of it from me by having visitors to her house), but I tried.

I am very lucky in that all of the people who wanted to see the new baby knew what they were doing. They didn’t come if they were sick, they played with both kids (Monkey loved the attention lavished on him), and they brought FOOD! Serious blessings on people who took the time and effort to cook stuff for me. When I’m living off what is in my freezer (which was soon down to old ice cream sandwiches and cream puffs), a home cooked meal is a life saver. We got bread and muffins and soups and lasagna and cookies…yum!

There are cons to all the visitors, for sure, but the positives definitely outweigh them. I loved showing off my peanut and getting to have all of those adult conversations (when the visitors taper off, you’ll sure miss those). I loved connecting with old friends, sometimes even unexpected people from your past who also have kids and are looking for new parent friends. Meeting with all of these people also helps postpartum depression (more on that later) because these people can talk with you through your feelings or help you see the positives of your new baby.

Your Body

You will feel like crap. There are no two ways about it. You’ll need to feed your baby every 2-3 hours, even though you’ll be sorely tempted to let your sleeping baby lie. You will be whatever is worse than exhaustion. I know there were nights I spent crying with Monkey, but the night that comes to mind easiest for me happened the first night we brought Eggs home. You see, I had gotten up Christmas morning at 5 am (Monkey’s natural wake-up time. Gross, I know), spent the day enjoying the festivities, and had a baby just before midnight. By all rights, I was tired. But you don’t get to sleep after that. I was taken out of the delivery room around 3 am and was checked up on every half hour after that. They took a break to let me sleep between 6 and 7 am so there was the first hour I’d slept in over 24 hours. Then I was up the entire next day. I was excited to go to bed that night, but I couldn’t get Eggs to sleep. He wasn’t crying, but he was wide awake. At 3 am, I finally woke up Brian, sobbed that I hadn’t slept yet and passed the baby off. So in 46 hours, I’d slept 1. Two hours later, Monkey was up for his regular day.

Lack of sleep is bad enough, but your body feels like it’s gone through a war. I can’t speak for people who get c-sections and I bet they feel significantly worse, but I definitely struggled with how sore my body was. If you’re like me, you’re stitched from bow to stern and sitting pulls on those stitches so you’d rather stand or lie down. But you’ve got a newborn to feed! So most of the time, you’re sitting on those painful stitches.

Speaking of feeding, if you’re nursing, you get cramps every time you nurse. Apparently it’s a good thing, but it does not feel that way. Add that to your sore boobs… Ugh. They’re swollen and cracked and blistered due to the intense workout your newborn is giving them. “Oh they’ll callus up,” they say. Yeah, cause that sounds attractive. Sigh.

There are a host of other fun bodily pains that come from giving birth. You’re now going to be on the longest period of your life. It’s making up for all those missed months. You’re going to dread going to the bathroom. If you have any placenta left in your uterus, it’s going to feel like you are back in the end stages of labour before you pass it. Your joints are going to ache as they tighten up.

The positive? It gets better each day. I promise. Every day is easier than the last. And while the baby is drowsy in the first couple weeks, take time in one of his or her naps to take a hot, sea-salted bath. Add bubbles. Bring a book. Take time for yourself and help your body heal a little bit. It will help. Oh, and for the love of God, don’t take a mirror down there to see the damage. Not worth it.

Your Emotions

We don’t talk about this enough. I went into labour with Monkey expecting a beautiful, loving bond with my newborn as soon as he was born. That was not the case.

Capture

No, when Monkey was born, all I felt was relief. The 24 hours of pain were over. They took him away and I didn’t get to see him for, let’s say, 20 minutes and all I really wanted was to sleep. And something to eat. They finally brought him over to me and he just screamed and screamed and screamed while I held him. I was terrified. It was nothing like how I’d imagined it would go.

The next few weeks was difficult. Monkey had jaundice because he was ABO incompatible with me so we had to go back to the hospital for a night. I also wasn’t able to nurse him, which made me feel like a complete failure. I had no idea what I was doing with this little breakable alien that had commandeered my life. The bond between mother and baby that I was supposed to have wasn’t showing up. There was clearly something wrong with me.

I cried a lot in those months. But I didn’t do anything about it. I was embarrassed about how I was feeling. Every time I went in for a check up, I was asked how I was feeling, but I couldn’t say. How could I tell them that every time I took the car out for a drive, I hoped someone would hit me? How could I tell them that I was so angry with this helpless newborn because I just wanted sleep? How could I tell them that I had so utterly failed at this motherhood thing and the kid wasn’t even six months old?

With encouragement from Brian, I did finally mention something to the nurse at my next appointment and they set me up with a counselor to talk to. And that was really all I needed. I needed someone to talk to that was unbiased, that I could trust to tell me the truth and that I could talk to without fear that they would tell someone else. Soon, the slump ended. Monkey started sleeping through the night and I started to get an idea of what I was doing. The stresses in my life started to get more manageable. And it was about 3 months before I actually felt that mother-baby bond.

Turns out lots of women feel this way, but no one talks about it because of this notion that we should just be “grateful” that we have healthy, happy kids. We should just be happy, glowing pictures of femininity. It’s unhealthy. So if you do end up feeling really down after your baby is born (and you know when you’re going into a dark place), there is no shame in getting help. Here are some resources to get you started. You haven’t failed.

And if it helps, when Eggs was born, I felt that bond right away. I don’t know if it’s because he was placed on my chest as soon as he was born, even before he was cleaned up, but I’m sure it helped. I knew that I wasn’t going to have to worry about PPD when he was on my chest content to just lie there. I held him for about an hour before they took him away to clean him up and weigh him. I don’t know why the rush of emotions was there for my second baby, but I’m glad it was.

When It’s Over

Once the first six weeks are over, trust me, you feel like a superstar. You’ve done it. You’ve passed the hardest part of having a baby (unless the baby has colic. That’s a whole different ballgame). You should be very proud. I know that I’m unreasonably proud of myself. I know things start to really change at this point, especially since six weeks marks the beginning of the first major growth spurt. It doesn’t matter though. My body is all healed up, Monkey is used to being a big brother, and Eggs has slept through the night twice already. The second time around was definitely easier than the first, so take heart my dear first time moms! It gets easier. I promise. Until then, invite me over to see your new baby and I will bring some sort of delicious food!

 

Now it’s your turn! Did you find the first six weeks as difficult as I did? What were your experiences? If you haven’t had kids, does this make you want to run for the nearest hospital to ask to be sterilized (oh boy, I hope not)?

My Favorite Board Books

Family literacy day was last week and I made sure to spend at least 15 minutes reading to my boys. I love books and sharing that love with my little ones is such a joy to me. Monkey isn’t really that into reading at the moment. He’d much rather spin around the room until he falls down, but we’ve incorporated time to read a book before he goes to bed anyways. It’s a nice way to wind down and it helps him learn language. I look forward to the days where I can read books like the Narnia series, the Harry Potter books, and Redwall to him before bed, but I know that those times are years in the future. So right now, we read board books.

20160202_120728

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about my favorite gifts to give new mothers. And one of the gifts was books. There are thousands out there to choose from, though, and it can be a bit daunting to find something that you can stand to read over and over and over and over again. So here are my top 5 favorite board books to read to a 1 year old.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Board Book

5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Yeah, this one is pretty obvious. If you haven’t heard of this book, I’d be surprised. Basically, it’s about a caterpillar who eats and eats and eats until he turns into a butterfly. Simple plot, really, but the illustrations and layout make the book enjoyable. Monkey loves playing with the pages with the holes in them when we run a piece of green yarn through them to simulate the caterpillar eating holes in the food. There is a couple of interesting learning opportunities that come with that as well. If you’re feeding baby solids, you can show him that the pear in the book is the same thing as the pear you put in his mouth.

I Love You Through and Through

4. I Love You Through and Through

This is a fun book that doesn’t have any sort of plot, but is just the narrator telling the toddler how much they love him. The single words on each page help your little one learn body parts and some body language (tears and down-turned mouth = sad). It’s short with simple pictures that your toddler will be able to understand, plus it’s pretty cute. Monkey loves to point at the little boy in the pictures and give him kissing, which I think is adorable. And I love to use the book to remind my little guy how much I love him, especially important since he became a big brother and was ousted from the centre of the universe position.

Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb

3. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb

At first I didn’t really like this book because it’s got a lot of words on each page, which isn’t really ideal for reading to a busy 1 year old, but then I watched a friend’s mother read it to Monkey and saw how much he loved it. She would bang on the pictures of the drums with her fingers until Monkey laughed. Then he would smack the pages too. The actual reading of the book is probably better for a child who is a little older, but playing with the book with my toddler has been lots of fun! I wouldn’t recommend reading it before bed though, because it tends to rile up my boy.

Time for Bed

2. Time for Bed

Yay for bedtime books! There are many books out there that are meant as a quiet read before bedtime, but this one takes the cake. The pictures are soft, dark illustrations of an adult animal and its baby. Each page has a couplet encouraging sleep. Sometimes we do different voices for the different animals (high and squeaky for a mouse, low and braying for a horse), which Monkey seems to think is pretty funny. I like that the animals are all ones that you could find in our area so that we can connect the words of the book to animals we see when we drive or go to visit family.

The Very Cranky Bear

1. The Very Cranky Bear

This is my all-time favorite board book. Monkey just got it for Christmas and if I’m reading his bedtime story that day (sometimes it’s me, sometimes it’s his dad), then I read this book. It’s about a group of animal friends that go to play in a cave and encounter a cranky bear. They spend the book trying to cheer him up. It’s an absolute joy to read this book because the words have such a great rhythm. I don’t mind reading it twice or three times if Monkey is in the mood. The illustrations are fun and are interesting enough that your toddler won’t want to flip the page immediately.

 

So this is my list of favorite books for a 1 year old. As Monkey gets older, I’m sure my book choices will change (I’ve got the Neil Gaiman board book that I can’t wait to read the boys when they’re a little older), but for now, these are wonderful additions to any new library. What do you think? Have you read any of these books or do you have others that you read to your little peanuts?