Believe It

The Bird is one today!

The occasion warrants an electronic voice, wounded computer or not, so I made the long trek over to Becky's house to give it one.

A dozen months to the day have passed since our little Bird flew from her world right into her Papa's hands. A few months after loss, God mercifully formed Susannah Wren; she filled her own place, and her restless kicks made me grin in the dark. Today, as she nestled into my neck, I felt her chubby hands patting my back as I've so often patted hers, and I grinned again. God is so good.

Happy Birthday, Sweetling.



I had planned to orderly string together dozens of snapshots on here today, along with pithy commentary, and if the girls slept long enough, perhaps even a wordy post for readers to scratch their heads over.

Too bad.

Yesterday, our computer died again, and now I'll wait until it spontaneously regenerates, if it does, before I post. Last night, John greeted the news with, "Well, that's a good sign." He'd intended to give up home computer use during Lent, so the timing was perfect. Although I hadn't planned on abstaining from the computer during Lent, I suppose the timing is perfect for me, too, as timing always is.

So, I'll see you around, whenever I'm around to see.


Today, Tonight, Tomorrow.

First off, a Greek meal waits for you on buildabelly. Pakistani and Italian, to come.

Second off, he's appeared. Lots of you already know this, but those who don't, go visit, and take a house-warming gift with you. (If you don't want to see Tom Waits acting like Tom Waits, just don't watch the video clip.)

Today, while making a cake, I also made a royal mess. The girls did not make a mess of their clothes, even though this picture might make you think so.

It is cold.

My lower jaw causes me great pain both day and night, even with double doses of ibuprofin (and I usually balk at taking medicine of any kind). I've decided that I have.... 1. an abcessed tooth 2. an impacted wisdom tooth 3. bone cancer 4. OR I'm teething.

My roving Heart has been gone since yesterday's lunch. We had a picnic with B.L.T.s (heavy on the B.) and Brownies at the Bus station. He is in Niagara Falls now, by way of Spike's in Buffalo, and is playing Board games. I miss him. Before he left, he gave me a Bedbug for nightime company (true). I'd post a picture of it except it's under my pillow upstairs, and I don't want to wake Susannah by fetching it. He has our phone with him, so he's been emailing us lots of voicemail messages to listen to, and they're nice and make us laugh and shout, "WE LOVE YOU, TOO!", but it's really not the same as having him.

So even with messages and even with Bedbug, I'm lonesome without a gypsy by my side, and I can't wait to drive again to the bus station for a Monday lunch reunion.

It's nearly 12:30. That means now is already tomorrow.
Good night.
Sleep tight.
I'll keep Bedbug, all right.

Clothes Don't Make the Cake

I made this today for a fundraiser toward my sister's senior trip/mission trip. Triple decker devil's food with a rich chocolate ganache filling. (My mom dropped off the ingredients, and I got to bake and dress it.) If you feel like traipsing off on a treasure hunt, the recipe is in buildabelly's September 2005 archives.


After I finished the cake, I finished this for my mom. I used the black and white doodle on the invitations for her party, but just now got around to painting the quilt. I'm getting tired of faceless people. I like drawing grumpy people, grinning people, and long, hooked noses. These people don't have any noses.

A Wild Life

John occasionally drives a girl and her mother to the middle of New York City. The girl had brain surgery and needs checkups. This means that John gets paid overtime and can send me an email when he returns telling me that he's back safely, he's bringing home two alligators from the NYC sewer for the girls, and he's bringing some alligator food for me.

And you know what? He wasn't lying.

Millie refuses to even take one nibble of hers, though she's had it for an entire week, because she loves it too much and would rather keep it to play with. Annika's alligator, on the other hand, asked me (in a voice that sounded just like Annika's) if I'd like to eat its leg or its tail or its eyes. He's pretty badly maimed by this point, thanks to the appetites of me and Annie.

My Girl

Now she knows why people don't usually do The Jumping Dance on their way to the fridge to put the milk away. It's a lesson all of us had to learn, though maybe not in as spectacular a fashion.


She stuck out her tongue.

Popsy visited.

Fuzzy baby stuck out her tongue.

Annie built, Bird inspected, and Mildred sang.

She inspected some more.

Oh. Forgive me. I forgot to mention that she stuck out her tongue.

Germy Post.

Beginning last Thursday and lasting until yesterday (I think we're done!), this house has been filled with sickies. Sicky Papa, Sicky Mama, Sicky Babies Three. We could barely set foot in the bathroom, which was filled with draped and drying bedding and clothes that I had washed in the sink, only to be met by more. Finally, I had enough and stepped next door to use Becky's machine. There were long nights of no sleep, holding a crying baby who drenched herself while listening to another baby the next room over doing the same and calling for Mama. Now we've passed the bugs along to Becky, who for the past few days has had TWO sick babies and FOUR other sick children to tend to. I'm a lout for passing on our belly-bugs so handily, but I'm glad as glad can be that we're done with this one.

Everyone staying home sick means one thing-- FRAGGLE ROCK!!!!

Millie in a trance. ("Dance your cares away....")

Even sick, I think she looked beautiful with the sun on her face.

Sicky sleeping Papa.


Ginger is good for upset stomachs. When my oldest brother went to college, my dad and I went to visit him, and I was carsick. Dad bought me sugared ginger slices to suck on, and they helped.

The day before Annie began our Week of Sicky, the girls made a gingerbread house from a kit my mom picked up after Christmas. I let them have free reign, except for the part where I "suggested" the house would look nice with icicles. Oh, and I helped Millie pipe on the windows and frost the roof.

Millie made a million little snowmen from marshmallows.

Here's one of them, melting in the hot sun.

It degenerated into this once the roof was nearly done.

Voila! Then everyone got sick, and I ate almost the entire house by myself until I, too, became ill. Ginger is good for upset stomachs, and I still don't understand why I got sick, too.

Sick Bath

Take 1.

Annie took a two-day hiatus before she began to throw up again. The day these pictures were taken, she was thrilled to take two baths, back-to-back. (Her stiff, porcupine hair from the night before needed a second washing, if you must know more than blog readers should know.)

Take 2.

Susannah Sunshine in the sunshine.

Annie was huddled under the towel. I peeked in....
She said she was too cold to get dressed.

So I helped her, and she became Beauty in the light.

I had already dressed Susannah, so while I dressed Annie, Susannah did this.

And this.

Most unfortunately, Monster needed to take a bath, too, for reasons I need not divulge.

Randomly, I Mention...

Annika wears her hooded shirts backwards, on purpose, so that she can store things in her "pouch." How handy.

Susannah likes to jabber on the phone.

Dollar Days at the Mat!

Every Wednesday....

On Wednesday, we went to the laundromat, of course.
We ate there.

We bellowed for bananas there.

We drank from Susannah's cup.

We read Little House in the Big Woods.

We were oblivious to monsters.

We talked to this raspy-voiced ex-farmer, now trucker, smoking, divorced 69-year old man with 3 children and his second grandson due any day now, who was kind enough to let Millie empty every last lint catcher, even those by his feet, while he dried his clothes.

Oh, yes. We swept. From sea to shining sea.

We....sniffed our baby's ear????

And then went home again to the duet of winter wind and swinging swoosh.

Good Ol' Bulldog Jack

I've been reading the girls Little House in the Big Woods. They love it, except for the part where I screamed like a panther. (Annie cried.) Now, during the day, they pull it down, along with their Little House picture books, and read over to themselves the parts they know.

This is Annie, looking at the page where Grandpa's chased by the panther (the same panther who sounds like a woman's scream, I'll have you know).

Pa pretends to be a wild dog.

Millie trying to sound out words.
She's a sweetie.