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1. Thanks to Wolf Totem, I am totally fascinated by Mongolia now. My husband and I just watched Mongol and were thoroughly impressed. It is an incredibly violent movie, but I was still engrossed in the story. It is the first of a trilogy of movies based on the life of Ghengis Khan. There are a lot of liberties taken with the history, but after having read Wolf Totem, which gives a very detailed account of Mongolian culture and life on the grasslands, I loved seeing a movie that had Mongolia as its setting. I can't wait for the next two films!
2. These days have been really, really hard with Calvin. Does anyone have any experience with taking children to a psychiatrist? We may not need to, but he definitely has frequent episodes where he is completely out of control of his body and emotions, and nothing we try seems to help. Other times, he is incredibly funny, sweet, creative, and in control of himself. But when these episodes occur, he is like a different child. It is unbelievably exhausting and scary for all of us. Anyone who has experience with this sort of behavior, please feel free to offer advice.
3. Linus is suddenly becoming a much less pleasant baby. Oh, that strong will. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a compliant child. I know that no children are totally compliant, but some are less intense than others. Despite his normally pleasant demeanor, Linus is showing us that we may be three for three in the strong personalities department. Lord, have mercy.
4. Despite this, things are actually going okay around here. I am trying to intentionally slow down and enjoy the good moments with my kids, even if it is just a minute where Linus is laughing at Calvin being goofy. Even if that minute is surrounded by two forty-five minute battles with Calvin and with Hobbes refusing to take rest time. I am trying to not make life always be a battle between me and these boys, trying to convince all of us that we are on the same team.
5. Having my husband working at home during this season is incredible! He can handle Calvin when he is too out of control and strong for me to contain. And he can step in when I need a break or have a crying baby and pouting Hobbes and angry Calvin. God always knows what he is doing when he moves us from one job to another.
6. It's almost Chinese New Year! What are you doing to celebrate? We are sending out our first prayer letter and doing some more purging and cleaning and generally preparation for one day leaving the country. One day before the next New Year comes around, we hope.
7. Tonight, I am escaping from this craziness and watching Julie and Julia. I love Meryl Streep, and I have loved Amy Adams since I saw her in Junebug (which is her best movie, by the way, and one you should definitely see). I may or may not let you know what I think of it.