It’s still barely December, right? So a Christmas card is still completely appropriate, right?

Thought so.

Er, what I meant to say was that this tardiness was a very
strategic calculation, because naturally you thought your onslaught of
Christmas greetings had ended, and so naturally this one comes as a
wonderfully pleasant surprise, and so naturally you’re going to relish
in its Yuletide message of bragging and exploitation! Yay!

2011 has been a… year.

Let’s break it down child by child, yo.

Tessa (1): Lil’ Miss T had an amazing year this
year. For one thing, she learned how to crawl and walk, which are both
pretty huge accomplishments when you consider that not 14 months ago the
only movement she was doing was swimming in a big pool of amniotic
fluid and her own urine. She also has surprised us by learning to dance.
Not joking. She actually dances. Don’t believe me? Here’s a video where
we convince her to dance by singing Christmas tunes that are so cheesy
you might be confused for a moment and think you’re on the phone waiting
to talk to a Customer Service Representative. Or perhaps in Hell.

first part, she dances a lot. Then we try to get her to dance more by
singing increasingly weird stuff. Then she dances for two more seconds
before freaking out.
walking, crawling and dancing, T also signs now. Her vocabulary
consists of one word: “More.” She’s done it approximately twice. We win the parenting prize for “most neglectful of the educational needs of the third-born.”
Viva (3): Our
little Le France had a magnificent year. Probably her greatest
achievement this year was to become a fashion snob. Don’t worry. She’s
probably only judging your fashion choices just a little bit–she still
likes you as a person despite whatever trash you choose to wear out in

As it turns out, her stylistic preferences are
pretty specific. She insists on having her hair in a pony-tail every
single day. She also wishes to wear a pink tutu daily. The same pink
tutu. Every single day. (For Christmas she got a black tutu. It
met her approval, and she squealed and squealed in delight.We considered
it a Christmas miracle.) In addition to her outfit preferences, Viva
also has decided that it’s time to accessorize. Bracelets, necklaces,
the occasional subtle drawing of “make-up” on her face with a
marker–the works. She asks to get her ears pierced at least once a
week. Then Wife tells her about how that would require a needle to poke a
hole through the flesh of her ear, and she says “how about just a

also continued her legacy of being both charming and destructive. So
far during our trip to California to visit Wife’s parents she has
systematically destroyed: a Goofy telephone, a glass Christmas ornament,
a candle holder, the actual ride Dumbo at Disneyland (seriously–she
shut it down for hours–another story for another day), the Carousel at
Disneyland (seriously, again) and, last of all, the toilet. And,
unsurprisingly, she does it all with a smile on her face so winsome that
it charms anybody affected by her destruction into falling in love with

Some things never change.  

This year, our Anna developed a thirst for blood, and we couldn’t be
more horrified or proud. It all started when a totally innocent
conversation about Disney’s Bambi turned into a chilling discussion of hunting and cannibalism.
Since then, her blood lust has emerged many times, and I think we might
have a real animal-slaughterer on our hands! Most recently, Wife and
she were riding in the car and they saw a chipmunk run across the
street. The following conversation then ensued:

Anna: Mom, will you tell me a story about that chipmunk?

Wife: Oh, sure sweety!? Would you like it to be a Christmas story?

Anna: Yes!

Wife: Okay.
I think that maybe that little chipmunk ran across the road because it
is going out looking for an acorn for his Christmas dinner…

Anna: Mommy, I want to tell you the story about the chipmunk.

Wife: Okay, sweetheart…

Anna: I want to tell you a story about a hunter who wants to kill that little chipmunk…

Wife: *look of horror*

changed the subject before Anna could complete her tale, but we’re
pretty sure it would have been filled with gross imagery of slaughter
and blood and death. We’re so proud!

Wife (33): Well, Wife, as always, reports that nothing really huge happened this year for her. (This is bull-crap, of course–the woman watches three children day in and day out
without ever, ever letting them die and also while not losing her
ever-loving mind.) She did point out that she now keeps the books for my
private practice. What this means is that our relationship has taken on
a whole new component–one in which I am the creepy, over-sharing boss
who makes bad jokes and she is the sassy young receptionist who gets
tired of cleaning up my messes. Let me assure you, this makes for some
interesting date-nights. (Thankfully, no sexual harassment charges have
been filed.) More than anything, Wife is pleased that we kept our New
Year’s Resolution of 2011: we did not get pregnant. Hallelujuh. Will we
make it through 2012? ONLY TIME WILL TELL.

 The Weed (31): quit his job as a therapist in a middle school to focus on not having insurance or retirement
meeting the needs of his private practice. It is going swimmingly.
Also, against all odds, and spitting in the very face of his ADD, he has
successfully maintained a blog for an entire year! You are reading it.
He would love you to keep reading it. If you like it. But don’t feel
pressured.  Seriously. I can see you getting anxious. *puts finger over
your mouth* Shhhhhhhhh. It’s oookay. You don’t need to feel forced. I’ll
still be your friend if you never come back here. Unless I don’t know
you. In which case I won’t be your friend, but I also won’t hate you.
Because that’s what Christmas is all about: forgiving your enemy, and
not hating those who despise your blog.
Let’s close this sucker out with a family photo:
Nothing says “Happy Holidays” quite like a random photo taken yesterday at the Mormon Battalion Memorial in San Diego!