It is that time of the year where everyone is sending out holiday cards and newsletters, and while I know some roll their eyes, I love it all.  Here is the Womack Family Newsletter for 2015:

Big news for Kate--she is potty trained!!!  When Kate was 20 months we were swimming at my uncle's pool and she suddenly got out of the pool, said "te-ee" and then peed.  And I remember saying confidently to my Mom, "I could potty train her, she is ready."  And then Sophie started crying, and Zachary wanted me to watch him do a trick, and Sophie needed to be changed and you know the revolving door of children and their needs.  Fast forward a year and change and we celebrated Kate's third birthday with cake, pizza and her still in diapers.
The breaking point of our dependency was when she demanded to be changed in the middle of the night, started crying when I tried to prevent her from cuddling with the full diaper, and came down the stairs in the morning cradling her diaper like a baby.  Creepy. And weird. And gross.

In other news, Kate loves to help make eggs and cookies and pancakes, and she loves going to preschool.  Her teacher told me she has a little friend in the class and they are always together playing dolls and dress-up.  When I asked Kate what her friend's name was, she looked at me a little bewildered and said, "I don't know."

Sophie wakes up at 5am every morning.  She doesn't take a day off for holidays, late nights or good behavior.  There is nothing I can do to gloss this over for the family newsletter, it is by far her worst trait.

Other than catching that damn proverbial worm, she loves reading books (no shows for this intellectual baby!), her bathing suit (suit-tay) and going in the hot tub (hot TAA!!). This past November we spent a week up in Park City and went in the pool and hot tub everyday.  Really it was the only thing we really did on that vacation.  I have never seen Sophie more content; warm water, cheeks flushed, round belly, big smile.

This year Zachary learned how to swim.  Or really I should say he learned how to not drown.  Learning how to swim is the next installment.
Learning how to not drown was not going well in the beginning, he was reluctant to go under, it was a pain take all the kids and then keep Kate and Sophie occupied and alive, and one day it was so hot in that indoor pool that as I started to sweat I decided that this would be our last day.
But then I found out you have to cancel four weeks in advance or pay a fee, and I am way too cheap to pay fees, so instead I called my mom and complained.
"Is this what it takes to get a kid to swim??!!!  I mean can you believe how expensive it is??!"
And for some reason the person who shelled out money for my own private swim lessons, not to mention four years of college, failed to react.  So then I had a heart to heart with Zachary and told him that I really wanted him to learn how to swim but until he 'went for it'  he would never learn, and have to wear a floaty the rest of his life.  And we talked about being brave and doing things even if you don't like them.
The next swim lesson he 'went for it.'  And every swim lesson after that he 'went for it.'  What a stud.

This past November he turned five.  I love this age and all the funny things he says.
When he failed to listen one day I said, "Zachary, you are five now. You are old enough to listen and follow directions."  And his reply was, "Dude, I am only five! Like maybe when I'm fifteen or something!"
And one day when he was acting crazy I told him, "Zacahry, I am not very impressed with your behavior." And he said, "Hmmmm that's fine.  I'm still your kid, right?"

Clint is a super-dad.  Whenever he takes a kid, (even only one of them!) to the grocery store someone confirms it.  This obviously is annoying to me because I never get those accolades.  This senario climaxed when he took the three kids to Costco one Saturday, which is impressive but something that I do ALL the time, and there happened to be a Chinese tour bus. (Why I have no idea, although now we do have the biggest Costco in the world.)  Clint came home triumphant and smug; "You are not going to believe what just happened.  I was putting the kids in the cart and like ten people from this tour bus start clapping and taking my picture.  I don't know if it was because our kids are blond or there are three of them, or maybe because I'm a Dad doing the grocery shopping with three kids??  But it was so awesome."

Besides being super-dad, Clint is still running his company, binge watching TV, and is going to start playing in a flag football league come January.  He loves his family and he loves chips.      

Now that I am officially out of the newborn stage I find that I have a bit more energy to be on a health kick.  I love eating healthy because it makes me feel so much better than everyone else.  How else could I be any more superior than when I am mindfully dining on soaked chai seeds with fruit, sipping a kombucha, and Clint walks in and pours himself a bowl of gluten and sugar with lactose???!  It's sad really, I feel bad for him.
I also feel bad for him when he doesn't get the satisfaction of seeing me hiding in the pantry eating microwaved cookie dough and ice-cream.  But that's life.

Soon I will have two years of having three kids at home under my belt (kindergarden looms in the future!), and while at times I feel that it is getting easier, there are other times I just want to lay down on the floor and give up.  So that is what I do.
Aren't you supposed to play dead when fearing for your life from certain beasts and wild animals?  This is where I took my cue, and the first time I did it it was very effective.
"Mommy is dead??!!" they all said, and there was a feeling of alarm and importance.  Clint helped, Zachary and Kate settled, and Sophie just kept wailing.  (You can't expect 100% success.  There will always be one rouge beast.)  The technique was so effective that every time I was feeling overwhelmed, I would immediately drop to the floor.  Problem is, it happened one too many times, and it became classic 'boy calling wolf syndrome.'  Me laying facedown on the floor became common-place, I was an extra piece of furniture that you now had to walk around.  It was the new normal and the demands kept flying.  Getting a new coping mechanism is my New Year's Resolution.  If you all have any ideas let me know.    

I love this time of year; the music, the gifts, the decorations, the food...everything.  I love the feeling of building traditions for my family and making things special.  Over the summer we were at my parents house in California having movie night, and while they have every Disney VHS created, their kid DVD collection is pretty slim, so the kids were watching the 'Polar Express.'  And there is this scene where the boys sees Santa for the first time and there is a feeling of awe and faith confirmed.  In that moment I felt something special, and Baby Kate, who is not the most verbal of my kids, looks at me and says, "That's Jesus."

We felt the Christmas spirit in August, and I have been actively searching for it all this month.  The hope of something better and brighter, of peace and love in the midst of darkness.

Happy Holidays to you all!!!


the womacks