Baby Kate

Today baby Kate is six weeks old.  Time is going by too fast, and the newborn that I knew a month ago is already gone.  She is beginning to fill out clothes that seemed impossibly big her first week of life.  Before her birth gets too far away from me here are the highlights:

Saturday October 20th I woke up super grumpy.  It was that time in pregnancy when you are just done lugging another human being in your belly.  I took myself on a small shopping trip to try and de-grump myself---it sort of worked.  I went to bed that night positive that I would wake up in the morning still grumpy and still pregnant.

Surprise!  At two in the morning I woke up to my water breaking.  I called my midwife who told me to keep her posted as to when my labor started.  Right after we got off the phone I started to experience those lovely labor pains, but nothing unbearable.  I started straightening up the house and I made Clint do the same.  I'm sure he thought it a bit unnecessary to clean house at two in the morning after being woken from a dead sleep, but he is smarter to know not to argue with a pregnant laboring woman.

By the time Rebecca got to our house it was nice and clean.  Labor progressed super quickly and Kate Rose Womack was born not even four hours later! at 5:48 in the morning.  I loved birthing at home.  This birth experience was everything I wanted; calm, spiritual, and empowering.  She started crying right away and I did as well.  I was overjoyed that I was holding my daughter and relieved that labor was over.

After bonding, nursing and Clint cutting the cord, I took an amazing hot shower.  There is something very important, maybe even ritualistic, about taking that first shower after having a baby.  Your body is once again yours and a new phase in life is about to begin.  I remembered this part of Zachary's birth and looked forward to it with Kate's birth.  After everyone was checked out and deemed stable and healthy Rebecca suggested that we all take a nap.  Clint of course fell asleep immediately (watching a woman give birth can sure tire a man out), but I was too excited to sleep.  I kept looking at this brand new addition to our family, in awe of her every perfect detail.

I eventually got hungry so I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich and marveled at how good I felt.  The recovery, or really lack of recovery of this birth has turned me into a believer.  After eating my sandwich I started to miss Zachary, who had been at our neighbors house since 4am.  It was surreal walking across the street to pick up my son, while Kate slept at our house, independent of my body.  It was only a few hours earlier that she took her first breath and became her own person.

Kate is such a sweet baby, I love being a second time mom.  The good moments are sweeter and the bad moments are less dramatic.  
Welcome to your beautiful life Kate.

Kate Rose Womack
Sunday October 21st 2012
6 pounds 13 ounces
19 inches


for the grandparents


The birth of my daughter is quickly approaching.  A part of me wants to have the baby, like right now, and another part of me wants to prolong the inevitable.  I find myself cherishing moments with Zachary, knowing that our family dynamic is about to drastically change, and worried that he is not going to be thrilled with the upcoming shift.

Sorry Zman, there is no undoing this one.

I had Zachary at a birthing center in Murray Utah.  He was born November 20th at 7pm, and his birth ushered in the first big snow storm of the season.  I remember Clint and my midwife Rebecca commenting on 'how much it was coming down' and me not caring one bit.  Who cares about poetic metaphoric moments when you are giving unmedicated birth???  It is only now that I can appreciate all the beauty and magic that surrounded his arrival to this world.

I also remember Clint and Rebecca talking about mortgage rates as I was in the pushing stage of labor and thinking 'midwifes know about low interest rates??!!!'  Which is of course completely ridiculous and illogical, similar to when I was in second grade and completely shocked upon seeing my teacher at the grocery store.....teachers buy groceries?? and at the grocery store???!!!!  Impossible!!!

I also remember thinking that maybe I should be upset that this converation was even taking place during my birth, but this is where the beauty (and the beast) of unmedicated birthing lives.  It was my expereince.  It was my pain, my struggle to get through.  It was Zachary and I in the throws of one of our first, but certaintly not last, epic struggles.  And regardless of outside static, and the shear difficultly work and pain of birth, we did get through it, and you my child, were born.

I cannot say that I am excited to go through the birthing experience again, the naivety preceding my first birth has been long shattered.  I.E maybe I will be one of those women who experience no pain.......in fact if I have no fear there will be no pain---calling b.s. on that one hypnobirthing.......)
But I am excited to hold my baby girl and smell her sweet smell and welcome her into this uncertain world with all the love and beauty that I am capable of.

Lets do this.


Dad's Workout

it really was impossible to pick just one

Here we go!!!!

Well, it has happened again. We went against everything rational and decided to do the baby thing again. I was planning on waiting a bit longer and spacing them three years apart, but in the end I started to get the itch, started to feel like something was missing, and became impatient with thinking about when?? all the time.

When I told Zachary's pediatrician that I was expecting he said

Well, two years apart is the most common spacing, but also the most challenging.

Ummm thanks alot, buddy. Couldn't you have shared that with me before the fact? I should have come back with some remark about how having eight children (he has eight!! children) is most uncommon, because it is not only challenging, but literally insane, but this man has a heart of gold, and when I was postpartum and totally still chubby he said that Zachary was lean, just like his mother.

The first trimester was awful. I was sooo sick....everyday, all day. And I learned that one year olds are not at all compassionate or sympathetic. I tried my hardest to turn Zachary into a TV watching machine, but it didn't work. That damn purple dinosaur can only hold his attention for 20 minutes.

One day I was at our local children's museum, allowing Z work out his endless energy, me slumped in a corner waiting for the day to pass, when I struck up a conversation with a really optimistic mommy of four. We started talking about how awful the first trimester of pregnancy is (she said that she at least spends a day or two crying in bed), and then with raised eyebrows said

I can't believe you are here...I mean, way to go.

And then I started crying and told her that I feel like I don't have any options, my child will not be bribed with TV and candy......and she just looked really sympathetic, which was so nice at the moment. We probably would have had more of a moment but then Zachary made a dash for a different part of the museum, and so me awkwardly crying to a stranger had an awkward ending. I did find out, however, that she is planning on having one more child.

Which is really exactly the point. Now that the first trimester has distilled down to a couple of memories, a couple of funny stories that I can smile and slowly shake my head from side to side about, I am beyond excited to meet our little baby girl.

That's right, we are having a girl child!!!!!

I can't wait to snuggle her and smell her sweet newborn smell and touch her little hands and feet.

Here are a couple of pregnancy shots that my sister took while reunioning on the Seattle coast.

Baby Girl Womack
Coming this Fall 2012


dance, dance, dance!

I have an upcoming show. I am choreographing a piece about daydreams. I have been thinking about this piece for about a year now, and have been working on it since last June. I am ready, but nervous. This is my first big piece since graduating, and for some reason it feels vulnerable to be presenting work out of the umbrella of a university student.

I have five amazing dancers that are so fun to work with. I think I have said i am seriously going to pee my pants and really meant it about 50 times. Quick blurb about each of my wonderful dancers:

Laja is pure unflinching and unforgiving physicality. She can also learn an entire solo and perform the hell out of it in about 45 minutes.

Nell has a quiet strength and natural grace that is both spellbinding and intoxicating. She is like a breath of fresh air.

Amy' s technique is clear and pristine, yet her performance quality is subtle and layered. I make her shake her hips a lot in this piece, and I would like to think that she secretly loves it, but it is very quite possible that she completely hates it. The truth is hidden in one of those many layers.

Anne has impossibly long arms and legs, she reminds me of a daddy long leg spider. With her lanky limbs she makes the most mundane movements look innovative and interesting. She dances with a slight awkwardness that is both endearing and strikingly beautiful.

What can I say about Efren? When he dances I feel something all the way to my bones. He is able to leave ego out, and channel whatever is asking to be channeled. I find myself often feeling smug when I watch him dance in this work, like 'wow! I'm really a talented choreographer!' And then I realize that it is him, not me. But whatever, I'm open to taking the credit.

This is the first piece that I attempt humor. Lisha, one of my peers, always had the most wacky hilarious works. Her work made me laugh for three years, so maybe some of her effortless way at humor rubbed off on me. I love to laugh, and after Clint pointed this out to me a couple of years ago, I now realize that I am often the loudest laughter in any particular group. I probably would have realized this earlier on in my life, but all I couldn't hear because I was laughing too loud.

This piece is called The Promise of a Daydream. I got really into daydreams after Zachary was born. All of a sudden my whole life was consumed with another little being, who happened to be very unpredictable. Having a child is the most wonderful thing in the world, but it does take some adjusting (or mild brainwashing) to realize the beauty of your new life.The thing that really helped me with this adjustment was going on daily runs with the jogging stroller. In highschool, before I discovered how much fun dance was, I was a runner. In fact, looking back, I was pretty fast. I mean not to brag or anything, but my best mile was 5:23. I don't think I will be seeing that time again.

At the moment my running has tapered off, by for awhile those runs where an everyday staple. I didn't run at any one particular time of the day (I've learned that I am incapable of a schedule), but would usually know when it was time. It was time when Z was unsoothable and I was unstable. Often the situation felt so intense and urgent that I would run out the door with little prep. I have gone on runs in nursing bras, cargo pants, and flimsy shoes that where clearly not made for running. Now that I am a well-seasoned mother I would let the child scream for five minutes while I put on a sports bra and some stretchy pants, but at the time I viewed every meltdown as a personal insult of my ability to mother.

I loved these runs because they were my time to daydream. I love daydreaming because it doesn't have to be about important things; it has no agenda. I would imagine fitting back into my favorite jeans, eating a Chipotle burrito, having a funny conversation with my husband, taking Z to soccer games one day, doing a hip hop dance in the middle of Costco and everyone loving it..........

I also love the start stop structure of daydreams. You are in class thinking about swimming with dolphins in Hawaii, and then you cue into the teacher to hear a bit about idealized Greek bodies, and then you are back to imagining making out with the slightly weird guy with big hair that sits in front of you.

I've grown into thinking that every daydream is a courageous act of hope; it is a mini declaration that although life can be a big piece of poop, things could get better.

Maybe my piece has a little bit of all that in it.

The other night I went to see Pina, which is a documentary about the amazing German choreographer Pina Bausch, with some dancer friends. The show didn't start until 9:25, which is usually about the time that I am suckering Clint into turning out my light by calling him in for a goodnight kiss. Not that I don't want the kiss, but sometimes that light on the bed stand just seems soo far away........
Every morning I am up early to teach pilates or care for a toddler that has not yet mastered the art of sleeping in, so staying out until 11:30 is kindof a big deal. It's one of those things that you know you will dearly pay for the next day, and just hope for mercy from someone, anyone. Seriously, anyone out there?

The movie was amazing. Everyone should see it. I feel in love more and more as the film progressed and even though I was so tired and had to go to the bathroom near the end, I stayed glued in my seat, worried that I would miss something really really important. The theater only had about 10 people in it, and probably half of them got up to leave before it was finished. I couldn't believe it.....were they watching the same things that I was watching?!! I guess great art is not universal to all.
My only complaint is that I wish I wouldn't have watched this film so close to my own show. When you see the work of a true master that just got it it is hard to then look at your own work without be overly critical. I do feel like I have some natural talent as a choreographer, love to create, and carry the hope that one day I could create something with as much depth, clarity, and mystery as Pina did...........but am also real to the fact that it could take a bit more experience. And maybe it would also take a nationally funded company, and an endless supply of resources to get there............

A couple of years ago I was half watching the Oscars and Miley Cyrus was being interviewed. She had just finished filming some melo-dramatic teenage movie (forgot the name) and made this comment (that only a naive 16 year old could make) that just maybe next year she would be here with a nomination. Because you know, the role that she played was really real and raw. The interviewer just looked at her and half smiled.
Well, Miley, if you are out there, I'm sorry you didn't get that Oscar nod you were hoping for, but lets say we both keep at it. Because who knows, maybe one day it will really happen.


mommy's glamour shots

During the third year of grad school all the G3s had a photo shoot at the Salt Flats. We needed promotion images for our upcoming thesis concert, and most of us needed pics for our 'look at me world, I have so much to offer' press kits.

I was eight months pregnant.

This was the most flattering image of me and the baby bump. I would show some really funny ones of me trying to jump and do other things that heavy with child women shouldn't really be doing, but my vanity stops me.

The baby bump in the context of the group sometimes added some unwanted meaning.

For example, in this photo I could be the single mom who is reflecting on what a jerk her baby daddy turned out to be, while others seem to blissfully enjoy love and companionship.

And in this photo Liz and I could be a young couple braving the world, worried about bringing a baby into the the harsh desert wilderness where the sunsets are so beautiful, yet so very hot.

Photos by Luke Isley

As the professor of one of my classes sweetly and carefully put it, "Maybe once you have the baby and get back into shape you can take some more photos....

And that is what I did.

When I first saw this picture I was surprised at how scrawny I looked. It made me want to go eat a cheeseburger and fries asap. But then I saw the next picture and thought my arms looked fat. Ahhh, the joys of body image.

Dysfunctional body image aside, I must say that having a baby did help me get acquainted with my inner chub. This chub is involuntary, like a heart beating or lungs filling with air. I remember sitting on the sofa with baby Z, his feet kicking into my soft rolly belly, almost as if my stomach could completely envelope his tiny perfect feet. When I would jog with him in those early months things jiggled in a way that was almost intriguing. What are these new body parts, and in what culture are they sexy??? At times I was frustrated with my new body, at times I was motivated to get back in rocking shape, but most of the time I was just tired.

With time things did start to sort themselves and I decided that it was now or never to get some non-prego dance shots. I had such a good time, Chelsea Rowe did an amazing job, and I was only sore for about a week after.....

I know this is a bit of a So You Think You Can Dance crotch shot, but if I told you that I am wearing really expensive heels would you think me more classy?

Just in case, I'll end with this one.


hello again

zachary and evelyn 2011

So, it's been awhile since I have posted, and I will tell you why:

When Z was about six months we decided that the joint office/baby room wasn't such a good idea. When his favorite past time became playing with the tangled mess of computer cords and opening and slamming the printer shut, we knew it was time.

We moved everything down to the basement. And this was the problem. I don't know if it is because I grew up in California where basements don't exist...or maybe it is all the haunted houses that the Hair Family cousins created in my Grandma's ultra creeeeeepy basement....... but whatever it is, I am pretty ridiculously scared when it comes to basements.

Like mad dash up the stairs out of breath scared

Then for Christmas Clint bought me an ultra fancy laptop, so now I can write from the safety of ground level.

Here are some of the highlights of the last couple of months:

I finished my first semester of teaching dance at our local community college! I loved it. It was so amazing to dance again on a regular basis. Now I'm teaching a part lecture/part movement class called Dance and Culture. I wore slacks and a button down shirt for the first day of school and had this air of importance about me. I never knew these old slacks (that I have probably worn twice) could give me so much authority and power. I guess when you have been working for the past decade in exercise clothes real people clothes can be a real power kick.

I also picked up a beginning Jazz class last minute. (Uhhh, Liz, you out there?) Someone well versed in jazz once told me that Jazz is all about buff abs and splits....so this should be a great semester. Teaching classes last minute that you don't feel quite ready for is awesome because funny ridiculous things are bound to happen.

Some of the biggest news: Zachary turned one on November 20th! We were in California for Clint's sister Kristy's wedding, stayed for thanksgiving, and threw Z a party the day after. I was going to go all super-mom and make creative invites, cupcakes with little things that stick out the tops, and Z a cake using whole wheat flour and agave nector, but in end bought hot dogs, chips, and cupcakes at Costco. There is something about going home that brings out the lazy in me.

Clint and I always have these really good T-shirt ideas that never get made. Here is the one we were going to make for the birthday party:

Year One


Happy Birthday Zachary. It has been one wild fun crazy ride. You reinvent the wheel for us.