I have no photos today. Just writing.

Last night I read the most delightful book, Hannah Hinchman's A Life In Hand. I love journaling, and I've tried my hand at several different styles; but never an artist's journal. Being too lazy to give a full description, I will just briefly say that if you like to draw, and you like to write, but do not intend to do anything with these skills except to enjoy them yourself; this is a wonderful how-to and skill-developing book to own.

It is expensive on Amazon, but I purchased my copy for less than $5 on ebay.

Today has been a stunningly dull day, which is good. I am entering the stage of pregnancy where all I want to do is sleep and/or eat and/or throw up. All the excitement of Christmas has left me drained.

Baby has been crying all day and refusing to drink anything. I don't know what he is upset over; he is eating normally, but just does not want a drink. Not plain milk, not chocolate milk, not milk with brown sugar (a former favorite) and not coca-cola (can you tell this is the fourth child, and not the first?)

I am working on a new recipe rotation. I am pleased that I have come so far mentally and emotionally that I feel ready to work on this. Yes, I realize that orchestrating a recipe rotation is NOT a big deal -- which makes my complete inability to deal with planning such a thing in the previous weeks such a stark illustration of how completely undone I have been by our move.

Last night I put together a tentative schedule for this coming "school" term. Again, something that was totally beyond my capabilities just a few short weeks ago.

We've been attending our own church, the one we left almost six years ago to move to Australia; and I have not been emotionally disintegrating upon arrival nor departure; I can almost give coherent replies to colossally stupid questions without breaking down; I feel confident enough to not put my babies in the nursery, and to do as I and hubby think best with regards to any sort of commitment at all, and I am beginning to cope without feeling resentful and wishing with all my heart I were somewhere else, where people really knew what to expect from me -- rather than what they think they recall.

Today, being the dull day that it was, dawned cold and damp; snow was blowing but not sticking to the ground -- just blowing aimlessly, around and around and around. Cloudy, dull and gray.

The temperature is dropping faster than the heat can catch up; it's barely 60 degrees in the house and we are all chilly. Hubby built a fire, which is half-heartedly burning in the fireplace and the stingy heat it is putting off barely touches the chill. Never mind; jeans, a sweater, a robe, sheepskin boots and a quilt ought to keep the cold away, even for the most frosty Mamma.

Taco Bell for dinner tonight. Mamma's pregnancy cravings are returning with their usual unconventional desires: in the previous pregnancies it was Chinese spring rolls for breakfast; Soya chicken at any time of the day or night; and never never never anything sugary or sweet. So, Taco Bell three times this week already. Always the same thing: the lovely little Beef Meximelts --taco beef, salsa and cheese in a soft tortilla. I'll have three, thanks.

Of course the alternating cravings and aversions of pregnancy have made the menu planning rather interesting: most of the recipes have a Mexican twist; and not a one of them includes ham. Just walking past the cold meat section at the store turns my stomach. No, no, no ham.

I made 6 pounds of fudge and 5 different kinds of cookies, including my most favorite crispy, vanilla-y sweet icing-decorated sugar cookies, for Christmas. Of which, since their production, I have eaten: 3 or so pieces of fudge, two sugar cookies and one of each of the other varieties. A mere taste test. I regretted each one. I guess they tasted fine, but oh -- so very unappealing. The cream cheese and sweet chili sauce with crackers, though -- hold me back, I can't get enough.

Most of the cookies are still up in the mudroom freezer; however the ones that I made up into a cookie tray sat, and sat, and sat -- until today, finally Daddy put the cookies on the dining table and said to kids: eat as many as you want because they are going in the trash.

Well, besides unpregnant Mamma, we only have one other sweet tooth in this house; and so Jr Spragus ate 15 or so of the decorated sugar cookies; and everyone else, looking without interest at the plate, regarded the disposal of the cookies as rather less than a tragedy.

Ah, it is strange to be one of the "others" in the family -- one of the ones to whom cookies and chocolate and desserts are mere incidentals.

Miss Rose sat down with her new sewing machine this afternoon. If I were to start an illustrated journal, I would have had to sketch the scene: Miss Rose at the tiny machine, Joman at her shoulder and Jr Spragus with nose above table repeating various phrases, such as "DON'T BWEAK IT!" and "CAN I TWY IT?"

Miss Rose is stitching paper. She has done well so far, working now for several hours. She is learning step-by-step from the book Sewing Machine Fun for Kids. Joman, intrigued by the operation of a real machine, has joined in this venture, and while Miss Rose takes her turn, he is in the sunroom, spraypainting his model Jumbo Jet. So, apart from the Silly String fiasco in the yard today, they are being productive, and Jr Spragus is entertained by alternately watching the process, and falling dramatically off chairs.

Daddy has given me the news that Baby has managed to successfully down a cup of chocolate milk. Yay, Baby.

Just now, the boys are layering on sweaters, coats, hats and shoes for a trip outside. It is absolutely frigid out there: but Baby is afraid of the remote control truck in the hallway; and move it outside they must. At 9pm. In the freezing, freezing cold.

Yes, Daddy is in charge tonight.

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