November 30, 2023

Christmas film countdown: Christmas with the Coopers

Today’s review is Christmas at the Coopers. 

Diane Keaton is great. The whole cast is great.  I’m not sure I get the genre of “families that break down over Christmas” as a Christmas film.  This movie had a good amount of people from The Office and I like The Office.  I didn’t end the film feeling particularly festive or Christmassy.

Maybe that’s because my nights currently involve around 2-4 hours of sleep broken into 2-3 chunks?

I’m still sort of embracing “reflection season” and whenever I think of something I wish we could do this year but can’t I write it on next years Christmas list.

The one thing I haven’t figured out how to do with twins yet is leave the house in the car. My world has become very small. I have walked our neighbourhood every day it hasn’t rained… but now I’m getting flashbacks of Covid lockdown rules and I don’t want to relive that either.

But back to this film. It was fine if you want a good ensemble cast experiencing a series of relationship break ups around Christmas, some of which are resolved with kissing.

I give this film three Christmas trees - entirely due to the cast: 🎄🎄🎄

November 27, 2023

Babies and Time.

I realized I started this blog wanting to talk about women and technology and time and I'm currently talking a lot about babies.  Mostly because I cannot really string a coherent thought together.  However... I will try!

One topic that emerges repeatedly in discussions of women's labour is the notion that women's work is the mental load and the all encompassing bits of keeping a household running. Men block their work into chunks... women consider the million tiny and unrecognized pieces of daily life.  The common trope is that men mow the lawn - a project that may take a good hour but can be done anytime.  Women pick kids up from school, or pickup a sick kid, or remember to get bin bags, or remember to pack the right lunch or to get teacher gifts... projects that take a similar amount of time to mowing the lawn but do so via tiny fragments of time.

Babies are this.  My entire day (24 hours) is now reduced to 2-3 hour intervals between feeds.  I know when the babies need to go to sleep.  I try and fit a task or two into the potential naps.. naps which last 30 minutes to 2 hours randomly.  At night they will be awake 1 to 10 times for 1 to 10 hours. 

Babies (and children) shatter time into thousands of pieces.

Andy's time is definitely shattered too. He's not doing much fun stuff now either.  We are both in full on newborn triage mode, while also watching the big two and trying to keep them fed and moderately happy. But while his time has been fractured it's not quite as fractured as mine, because I am around these babies 24/7 and he has the opportunity to... do things.  Take the big kids to the bike park.  Go to work for the day.  

I am not trying to complain about this split - it's just different.  It's different because I'm the one at home.  Maybe it's different because I'm the mom?  It's different because of our feeding choices.  But it's still different.

I think the trouble comes when the split doesn't right itself later.  It's very easy to take this new small world of hours and minutes and make this my reality long term. It's hard to realize when life has changed and when the mechanisms needed for survival are not as needed anymore.  

I am acutely aware of my time now - but I wasn't aware of it five years ago.  If I hadn't stumbled upon the gender split thinkers and time management thinkers in 2021 I may still be living life in 2 hour increments from Isaac baby times.

Also, as I think about goals. just because something is hard doesn't mean it needs changing.  The current situation is hard.  It will eventually be less hard.  I am looking forward to using November 2024 to reflect on where my time is going and what I want for 2025.  

4 Weeks old today:

November 26, 2023

Christmas Film Countdown: Best.Christmas.Ever

Andy and I have a routine for night feeds and twins that was working well for a few days. I go to bed around 8:30pm and Andy gives twins a bottle, then wakes me up when they get hungry for their first feed. A few nights ago this was 3am! I had 6 hours of sleep!

Unfortunately tonight one twin did not settle from bottle to midnight. Andy got me at 12 and so my sleep was from 9-12. Now it’s 4am. I’ve read every NaBloPoMo blog. My Feedly is empty. I checked the news (why? Sad!). And I decided to get out of the Netflix romance algorithm so found Best. Christmas. Ever.

This film was fine. It wasn’t a romance. I like that Christmas films include STEM women and diverse casts now. This wasn’t particularly funny or memorable but if your stuck holding a Newborn that won’t seep in a bedside cot and will only sleep on you at night and you need to pass 7 hours until morning then I would definitely recommend this film as a way to pass 1 hour 40 minutes.

Now it’s 3 hours till morning… although sleepless daytime is not any different than sleepless night really, and sometimes harder due to energetic kids. Luckily babies are so random that when we do the same thing tomorrow they might sleep longer. Or less long. There is no cause and effect. 

I give this film 2 Christmas trees 🎄 🎄

November 25, 2023

Christmas Film Countdown: A Christmas Miracle for Daisy

Babies are not sleeping well. Actually, one baby is sleeping well and one baby is not and it’s not the same one each night. On the plus side I am really churning through the Netflix Christmas spread.

This is a classic cliche Christmas movie. Every house has so much decoration! So many wreaths! Everyone has massive kitchens. Also, how does a guy who just moved to a new town know enough people to throw a Christmas party?  Because that’s what happens in this film. 

I am wondering if al Netflix Christmas films will soon be written by ChatGBT? Or are they already written by AI? 

I give this film 2 Christmas trees 🎄 🎄

(because it was better than Angel Falls Christmas, which has been demoted to 1 Christmas tree rating): 


November 24, 2023

Christmas Film Countdown: Angel Falls Christmas

 For my second Christmas film I watched Angel Falls Christmas.

This was a straight up Christmas cliche movie, including weird ad breaks where people would stare meaningfully at each other or at the sky. The pros add that chad Michael Murray is nice on the eyes. The cons are the acting and the story line. And the premise. “Female doctor works to hard”? Hmm. But there was a lot of Christmas… all the Christmas… so if your looking for Christmas movie that literally has every Christmas movie thing in it (cookies! Santa! Trees! Giant houses with Christmas stuff everywhere!) then this is the perfect film for you.

I give this film one Christmas tree. 🎄
(And I upgrade Office Christmas Party to 4. I am aware this rating scale makes no sense at all) 

November 23, 2023

Thanks for thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is not really a big deal in the uk (it’s not a national day of mourning either) but this year we did manage a thanksgiving dinner on thanksgiving! Normally we celebrate in the weekend as everyone is in work in Thursday.  Since my mom is here and I’m on maternity leave we had our meal today. 

Thansgiving is my favourite holiday. Just food, family, and presents and no/minimal decorations. Lots of being thankful and lots of positive reflections. And I have a lot to be thankful for but it’s all rather cliche.

We picked Isaac up after school (instead of going to wraparound care) and lilah came home early from nursery. For kid snack I managed to make this charcuterie board which the kids (and I) loved:

Kids love well presented food.  I often forget this.  Also, one of my goals for 2024 is to make more charcuterie boards.

And then we had thanksgiving! An American friend of ours joined us and we made the following:

  • Turkey
  • Gravy
  • Cornbread
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Devilled eggs
  • Sausage and chestnut stuffing
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Pecan pie
I used the pumpkin pie recipe from trader Joes website and it was so good! It called for butter as well as evaporated milk. Yum.

I definitely went more out for last years thanksgiving, but I didn’t have newborn twins then.  And I have years of tasty thanksgivings ahead of me. For a thanksgiving with newborn twins this was pretty good.

November 22, 2023

Christmas Film Countdown: Office Christmas Party

These twins are by 3rd & 4th autumn babies, which means I’ve spent nights shushing and feeding babies for 2 of the last 5 holiday seasons. In 2018 I decided to start watching Christmas movies on Netflix during night feeds, and with lilah in 2020 I watched even more. Normally I wait until December to start, but the Netflix recommendations are already here and I don’t sleep between 2am and 7am so I just finished my first Christmas movie of 2023:

Office Christmas Party. This was surprisingly enjoyable! I was going to comment that Netflix had scored a pretty epic cast for this one but I think this may have actually been a real movie (from 2016) not a Netflix original, which probably explains the cast. 

It also had a number of different female characters in it, not all of whom thought about men all the time. It just barely passed the Bechdel test.  Jennifer Aniston is great. I thought it was somewhat funny and somewhat entertaining but the cast pulled it all together for me.

I give this film three Christmas trees. 🎄🎄🎄🎄