-Our oldest turned 5 in January. This fall she started kindergarten. She takes dance lessons and earned the role of baby penguin and snow flurry in her dance school’s performance of “The Snowman” this fall. She loves to write and draw. Her favorite hobby is pointing out when her parents are wrong (which is often). Although her teenage years are still quite a ways off, she has been working on perfecting her eye roll and exasperated exhale; she’s a real overachiever!
-Our middle child turned 4 in August. He spent the majority of 2015 crying for any variety of meaningful reasons—once he was crying because it was Thursday, and he didn’t want it to be Thursday. Another time he didn’t want to wear socks, pants or sleeves but his feet, legs and arms were cold. When he wasn’t crying, he was busy ignoring anything and everything his parents asked him to do. He answered all questions this year with “no,” even though he usually meant “yes” (which inevitably led to more crying). He played soccer for the first time this fall, and he takes weekly swim lessons (wherein his parents spend most of the time re-fitting his goggles). He loves cars and trucks. Yellow is his favorite color. His favorite word is “poop.”
-Our youngest turned 1 in March. She still resides squarely in the agreeable phase of toddlerhood, which her parents very much appreciate. She is smart, funny and independent. She is desperate to be one of the big kids and loves to do everything her brother and sister do. Her extracurricular activities include weekly swim lessons and helping her mom with the wash. She loves flowers (“wowers”) and reading books.
-This summer we learned that Baby No. 4 will be joining us in February 2016. The 5-year-old is hoping for another sister, although she made it clear that she will not be changing any diapers. The 4-year-old assured us that he will take care of the baby—but only if it’s a boy.
-Because three kids, a dog and a new baby on the way didn’t seem like enough of a challenge, we welcomed another dog into our family this year. Asparagus Michael (Gus, for short) came to live with us this spring. He, like our other dog, Tripp, is a Large Munsterlander. Unlike Tripp, Gus has no manners whatsoever and has eaten his body weight in sticks of butter off the kitchen counter since he moved in.
-My husband and I worked diligently to keep everyone (and everything) moving in the right direction this year. My husband was fortunate enough to draw an elk tag in the Jarbidge Wilderness (which is apparently a big deal). The hunt was successful; the meat is delicious but the kids won’t eat it.
-I spent this year working, doing laundry and yelling at everyone. Because I have such an abundance of free time, I took on two writing gigs (this being one of them). I have learned from this experience, based on the comments left by readers, that parenting is actually very easy, and I’m just doing it wrong.
As we say goodbye to 2015, we are beyond thankful for our many blessings. We look forward to the adventure ahead and wish you all a very happy and healthy 2016!