Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Goal #17- COMPLETE Top 100 Movies

More progress on my Project 101 in 1001 list. Read about my journey here. 

Goal #17: Watch ten movies off of the AFI’s list of 100 Top Movies - COMPLETE

I never did end up watching Rocky. Which is fine by me, because it was Devin's choice and I'm not the least bit heartbroken over missing that particular film. My tenth-of-ten movie ended up being High Noon because our friends Max and Alex are doing this same goal and invited us over for a western-themed dinner-and-a-movie night. Devin and I are suckers for any sort of themed or costumed event, so High Noon as number ten it was! The movie was not great, but the food was delicious (chili cheese burgers and sweet potat'a fries). I also found out that my husband makes a rather handsome cowboy. :-)

I can now say that I have watched a total of thirty-six movies off of AFI's list of top 100 classic movies of all time. But I don't feel more cultured or classy or educated. I'm certainly not an improved individual for having completed this goal. Some films did provide entertainment, but that's about it. 

Some of the movies I watched for this goal were truly painful to get through and many of them had me wondering, "How the heck did that get on this list??" How those baffling movies also won Oscars is beyond me. I suppose I just don't have the full picture of what was going on historically and socially in the film world to "get it." Oh well. I'm not in the least bit bother by that fact... only bothered that I lost a quite a few hours of my life "not getting it." 

If I could create my own Academy Awards for the flicks that I watched, here's who'd take home what:

Best Movie: Tootsie
Best Actor: Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. (He portrayed a surprisingly endearing female character - bravo to some seriously good character acting.)
Best Actress (besides Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie): Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice. While the movie wasn't my favorite (though is was one that I enjoyed, or at least appreciated, much more than others), Meryl Streep did an excellent job in this role and I'm not at all surprised that it won her a real Oscar once-upon-a-time.
Most Heart-Warming: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (but really, what else did I expect from the director and lead actor of It's a Wonderful Life?)
Most Thought-Provoking/Keep You Up at Night with the Shivers: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Good movie, but ::shudder:: creepy.
Best Dialogue: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (the witty banter between the two leads reminded me of a 1960's version of Ocean's Eleven)
Most Impressive for Its Time: Ben-Hur (even by today's standards the sets and costumes of this movie were two-thumbs-up worthy)
Give Me a Napkin to Wipe the CHEESE Award: Swing Time (terrible acting, stock-plot, disappointing musically choices, but Fred and Ginger sure can dance!!)
Good Idea, Bad Execution Award: Blade Runner (a remake of this might be a good idea)
Most Abrupt Ending: High Noon (It kinda felt like the writers couldn't figure out an impressive last line for the movie so they just ended it)
Most Mind-Numbingly Boring: 2001: A Space Odyssey (I seriously wanted to scream at how slow and pointless this film was... wait... I think I actually did scream at one point.)

And that's the end of the goal! I was a little disappointed by it - but that's okay. I think from now on I'll just stick to watching movies that I've actually heard of or, based on the trailer, think I'll actually enjoy. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

36-Weeks and Counting

I thought I should blog at least once more under the category of "Pregnant with Twins" while I still can, because who knows how soon these boys might make their grand entrance!

We've reached the 36-week mark, which is a great milestone for a twin pregnancy. I'm still up and about (however slowly, and often painfully), I'm still working 40-hours-a-week, I'm still able to get (some) sleep (somewhat) comfortably in my own bed, and while the aches and pains are increasing, every day I'm still pregnant is a day to be grateful that Weston and Isaac are staying exactly where they need to be right now. While making it to 36-weeks with twins is great, should they be born now, they would still spend some time in the NICU. I'm praying that they make it to 38-weeks as little-to-no complications would be expected at that point. 

This pregnancy had been so incredibly unusual. I don't mean because I'm carrying twins (as that is an anomaly in and of itself), but because I'm carrying twins and staying so unusually low-risk. All the ailments and complications that are common with twin pregnancy - unbearable morning sickness, bedrest, gestational diabetes, preterm labor (birth prior to 37-weeks: almost safe from that one!), uneven growth of the babies, crazy mood swings (oh, wait - that is pregnancy in general), placental abruption... the list of things that I have avoided goes on and on and on. I totally don't get it, but I feel so blessed.  

Beyond God's grace (which for some reason He decide to doll out generously in this pregnancy), I think a lot of what I've been experiencing (or not experiencing) is due largely to some of the natural child birth methods I'm been applying.  

For example, I've been on a very healthy, high-protein diet (the Brewer Diet) which seems to have kept the babies and myself healthy and growing strong. Not only that, I'm convinced that this diet has helped to keep any crazy mood swings at bay. (Interestingly, emotional meltdowns - in pregnant women, children and humans in general - are often due in part to low blood sugar and poor diet.) Though I have been making extra efforts to choose to be calm, positive and sane during this pregnancy, I think the balanced meals have helped.

Something else that has been irreplaceable during my pregnancy is the amazing care and encouragement that Devin, the babies and I have received from our team of midwives. The practice we were with for the first three months would talk very often about how "high-risk" I was simply for having twins and that caused a lot of undo stress on me, especially since there were no high-risk signs - the doctors just seemed to assume I'd be high-risk and didn't take me into consideration as an individual. 

When we switched to midwife care, there was such a drastic change in attitude towards my twin pregnancy that I was instantly calmed and the anxiety I felt over carrying twins was lifted. While the midwives acknowledged "twins can be ornery sometimes", they were also encouraging about how healthy I was, how my body was designed to bear and birth babies and just because I was carrying twins did not mean I was "high risk" unless signs of something "high risk" actually manifested. What a relief and what an encouragement not to worry so much about all the "what ifs" and just concentrate on staying healthy, being positive and growing some babies!

36-week belly picture
And growing they are! My belly is a shocking, mis-proportioned protrusion that causes eye-bugging from passer byers wherever I go. Others' reactions have been a source of great amusement for me. 

It is so strange to think that we'll be welcoming Weston and Isaac into our lives any day now. I've finally come to grips with being pregnant (just in time huh?) and feel as prepared as I can be for labor. I can even imagine what it might be like to see and hold our little guys for the first time. But when I think about bringing them home - into our apartment, our schedules, our lives forever - that is really hard to wrap my "doesn't handle change- even good change- well" mind around.  

That we are in for a life-altering adventure there is no doubt. That we will be stretched, challenged and desperately dependent on God's grace, wisdom and strength to get us through this journey - I'm convinced. I'm excited for it all and not ready for any of it, but God chose to give us these unexpected blessings and I fully trust that He'll equip us to handle these gifts. Here we go!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Goal #44 - Dates with Devin (13 and 14 of 20)

More progress on my Project 101 in 1001 list. Read about my journey here. 

Goal #44: Go on 20 of the dates listed in the books Dates on a Dime and Coffee Dates for Couples  (Please Note: I have no recollection whatsoever of what we did for the 12th date, but I know we did something because I tallied it off of The List.) 

There's nothing that can shock you back into dating your spouse quite like preparing to have twins (okay - maybe preparing to have triplets would be more of a shock...). About a week ago Devin casually commented, "Do you realize that we only have three-to-four more weekends of it being just the two of us and then we are parents forever?"  


As those words were echoing through the space between us in the car (and then came back around to smack us in the face once more) - we realized we'd better get some more dating in before our world is shifted forever. (FOR-E-VER...) 

Date 13-of-20: 
From Dates on a Dime: "Using your best china, dine by candlelight at home. Remember to keep it simple: serve a meal from the grocer's freezer case."

This one ended up being kind of a dud. There were candles, there were nice dishes, there were easy (but yummy) leftovers and their were two people sitting at the table. But romantic? Not so much. A date? Hardly. Probably due to the fact that I didn't really present it as "a romantic date at home." My attempt to create a spontaneous, romantic dinner turned out to be fifteen minutes of the two of us silently eating food in a dark room. Oh well, better luck next time. 

Date 14-of-20: 
From Dates on a Dime: "Check out your employee benefits packages. They might include special rates on theme parks, hotels, etc." 

Now we were talking! Labor Day weekend Devin stole me away (but not too far away - we needed to stay close to the hospital just in case) for a two-night stay at a lovely hotel in Scottsdale for which his FedEx employee status afforded us a discount. It was fantastic.

We were able to relax all weekend - far, far away from to do lists, obligations, and our currently discombobulated apartment. We swam, watched movies, cranked the AC to 70 degrees without worrying about the electric bill, talked about the future, slept as long and as often as we wanted to (gotta cherish that privilege while we can), went out to a nice dinner, went on a couple of coffee dates (decaf for me of course), played nerdy computer games, and just had an all-around great time spending time just the two of us. It was wonderful. (I also made daily use of the giant jacuzzi tub and boy did it help my carrying-twins aches and pains!) 

The whole weekend was romantic and refreshing and wonderful and reminded me again how much I really, really like my husband. He's pretty alright. ;-) 

Funny Side Story: The looks we received while out-and-about were amusing. The size of my belly and the fact that I'm still mobile is quite shocking to some people apparently. We walked into an art gallery and while the curator greeted us kindly, he also asked (with a slight look of concern in his eyes) if we were trying to get labor started. I imagine he was just praying that my water didn't break in his pristine showroom. 

Another time, we were out to lunch at Paradise Bakery and the couple in the booth next to us said with an only somewhat joking tone, "Now, you can sit in this booth, just don't have the baby here!" Devin tried to ease their minds by telling them we were pregnant with twins and still had a few more weeks to go until our due date. It didn't seem to help as the man responded, "But twins come early!" I hope they were able to still enjoy their lunch with the Time Bomb sitting just inches from them. :-) 

To be fair, I can't really blame people. Check out this 35-weeks-pregnant-with-twins time bomb: