fall is in full swing and leaves are filling up our backyard.
so, obviously, we made a pile for the kids to jump in.
and by we, i mean derek.

contemplating their strategy.

as always, anna preferred to just sit in the leaves with her stuffed animals and bury herself and play pretend.

isaac stomped around and disrupted the state of things, and jumped off the swing.

and anna continued to play delightfully.

then there was swinging. and we threw lucy’s toys deep into the pile and then laughed hysterically as she flopped around sniffing them out. this was before she went on a murderous chicken killing spree. when we still liked her.

some high swing action. (anna has learned to swing on her own in the last week. she’s very proud of this new skill.)

and ike. trying to go as high as he could.


the obvious next course of action was to dismount from the swing at it’s highest point and learn that leaf piles are way less cushiony than one might be lead to believe.

but it made for some good pics.

and he doesn’t mind plummeting to the hard ground.

leaf throwing by anna.

and. of course derek had to blow the leaves from behind her. what good is a leaf blower if you can’t annoy your kids with it?

that’s all. super fun leafy day with the older kiddos. (hazel napped through this entire adventure).
and i’m sure there will be more next weekend.
stay tuned.

lid kid everyday life , , , ,

isaac and derek’s very first ever cub scout camping trip.

i wasn’t there. so i don’t know much. but here are the pics that derek took and shared.

the excited camper.

bidding farewell. (i was there for this).

setting up. in the rain.


i’m told isaac spent most of his spare time in the creek. and since it rained most of the weekend, it didn’t really affect the amount of wet clothes.

muddy butt.


camping neighborhood.

isaac’s and derek’s home. complete with cover, this time.


breakfast setup.


cub scout selfies.




the lego “station”.

lego selfie.

painting lego men.

the finished product.

and more lego-ing.

walking stick “decorating”. $$.

big jenga.

muddy camper.

soap carving. with a plastic butter knife.

of course, isaac made minecraft guys.

um. there was a slush puppie machine. had i known that, i would have offered to go instead.


they had a great time. good father son bonding time. and they brought me back a TON of muddy laundry to keep me busy after my nice, peaceful, quiet weekend with the girls.

lid kid adventures , , ,

four quilts for four sisters.

i’ve been on a finishing up quilts rampage this month. mostly because hazel sleeps.
and because they’ve all come together at the same time. but mostly the sleeping.

i started making these quilts for my friend brie’s THREE daughters. she had just found out she was pregnant with her fourth, so i cut and planned (under the color guidance of brie) for four quilts. i figured if she had a boy, i would just hang on to the fourth and give as a gift or something. but, she obviously had another girl, so i just chugged along.

i finished the first (just) in time for her baby shower.

the backs are all the same aside from being personalized with a monogram. i pressure brie into giving up the baby’s initial, and she finally did with about a week to spare. (m is for martha).

after i got the first one done, i took a break to finish the clothes quilts for joy and the two hexie quilts for my girls and then i got back at it.

finally, last week, i wrapped up production and delivered the rest of the set of four (and visited baby martha) (and ate delicious greek lunch with brie).

i love this pic:

since they are mostly the same (patchwork in all the same fabrics), i just took pics of the monograms on the backs.




oh. and i did take one more pic. a crooked one. on the floor in the kitchen. if you want to see the other two, just scramble the squares around in your mind, and you’ll get a good idea.

and lastly, a crinkly shot. because that’s the best.

brie has reported back that the girls love them.
and i’ve resolved to never make four matching patchwork quilts at one time for the rest of my life.

the end.

making things with my bare hands ,

matchy matchy quilts for my girlzzz

awhile back, when i first laid eyes on it, i bought a fat quarter bundle of wee wander fabric (by sarah jane studios) to make quilts for anna and hazel. i didn’t really have a plan, but i knew i wanted to make matching quilts in each of the colorways. i decided on a free pattern/tutorial for a giant hexie quilt by pieces by polly.

so, without further ado:


the pink is anna’s (she chose) and the aqua is hazel’s (she doesn’t care).

the full view.


while i was working on them, i wasn’t in love with the pink. but anna LOVES it. so, i’m good with it. i found the coordinating solids on a site that matched them up for wee wander for me (after coming up short on a day long search in my local shops).

i super love the backs. i ordered extra yardage of the border print and used it along the bottoms. i had hoped for some ikea number fabric for the top, but it’s all sold out everywhere, so i used this circle flat sheet i scored in the as-is section of ikea awhile back. for $6. i got both backs from it, with some to spare!


i quilted an all over meander, because it’s my go to. and i bound in some of the feather fabric from the line. i bought the binding long before i knew what pattern i would be using and before i chose the background fabrics. in the end, i wished i had chosen a color that would pop more, but i didn’t want to wait for more fabric. or spend more money. so, the binding is a close match to the background. i’ll live, i suppose.

anyhoooo. i’m super excited to have these quilts for the sisters. hopefully someday they will appreciate them too. (anna does, a little. :))

now, i am have three completed tops and backs to get together for a friend, and i’ll be through my pile of works in progress. (except for my feathers quilt, which is on the way farthest back backburner that ever existed).

the end.

making things with my bare hands , ,

ten months.

yesterday, hazel reached the ripe old age of ten months. i attempted photoshoots in various locations, but she is a kid on the go, so we struggled.

she’s picked up a lot of tricks in the last month. she just started responding to the age old question, “how big is hazel??” (answer: “sooooo big” with arms raised).


she can wave goodbye. and has started saying “what’s that?” and “uh oh”. so fun. and she’s fully mobile, having made the transition from an occasional walker but mostly crawler to full time walker. she’s getting faster and faster and more stable by the day. so, i suppose she’s a toddler, but i will still be calling her a baby. probably for the rest of her life. she is always on the go. she does not like to be held. at all. she’s super busy getting into and wrecking all the things. and she really is the happiest baby of the three so far.

the other SUPER AMAZING thing that has happened in the last month is…

almost overnight, she’s started taking two solid naps a day, for at least an hour and thirty minutes. we can sort of even plan around them. it’s glorious, i tell you. glorious.

and nighttime. so much better. it used to take hours to get her down. now, she has a bottle. we lie her down. and for the most part she goes to sleep. sometimes she cries a bit and we have to calm her a few times, but mostly, she’s a champ.

i think it’s a combination of things. one. our school schedule has settled in a bit. two. we moved her to our closet. it’s dark. and quiet. and i don’t hear minor noises. and she doesn’t hear or see us as we pass through. three. i had that hospitalization thing. and i think derek was more able to let her cry for a few minutes than i could ever be.

anyhow. it’s been so awesome. it was nine very long months of wondering what we were doing wrong. how long it would be like this. if we would ever get a good nights sleep or get a routine to our days. we are quite happy. i didn’t realize how stressed out i actually was about it until it was gone.

we tried for an outdoor pic…

and then with derek’s help, we took an above shot on a quilt, like the good old newborn days. it lasted about 3 seconds, before she rolled over, stood up and toddled away.

finally. a pic with the proud older sister. :)

i can’t believe it’s been 10 months already. time is flying on this third time around.

lid kid everyday life , ,

gramma schiavone. (aka: peter gramma)

the night before last, my dad called to tell me that my gramma (kay) schiavone was not doing well. and that she may not make it through the night. she had even called her kids all in and said goodbye. i knew she wasn’t doing great. that she had gone in for a knee replacement a month or so ago, and she was having trouble breathing, so they postponed it, sent her to rehab and that instead of going home she was staying with my uncle and his girlfriend as she recovered. but she always bounces back from these things. so the call was worrisome.

then. in the morning. my dad called to say that she had, in fact, passed away in the night. she was tired. and she knew.

like it always goes, floods of memories come rushing back. and i wanted to record some of them. just like i did four-ish years ago when her husband, my grampa schiavone died. that post is here.

growing up, both sets of grandparents (and some cousins and my dad after my parents separated) all lived about a quarter of a mile down the road from my house, all in a little row of houses. we spent a lot of time racing between houses and in the woods behind the houses. my gramma’s house was filled with owls. and so much seventies macrame. and velvety wall hangings. to distinguish between my two geographically close grandparents, i began to call my grampa schiavone “peter grampa” as peter was his first name. and so, naturally, i called my gramma schiavone “peter gramma”. makes total sense. don’t worry, i eventually dropped that moniker, for the more efficient “grams”.

she had the best handwriting. i remember her doing calligraphy. and attempting to teach me. all of our christmas cards and birthday cards had the most perfect inscriptions. i was often saddened in more recent years, when the kids would receive cards, with the familiar handwriting, but more and more shaky and wiggly each time.

now that i think about it, she was the original pinterest mom. she could bake and decorate cakes. crochet. cook ridiculous feasts. embroider. quilt. probably a lot more that was lost on me and my youth. she did attempt to teach me to crochet. i was super good at making one long continuous first row. i never quite managed to make a second row. (and that hold true to this day.)

when i was still pretty small, i don’t exactly know when, she and my gramps became snowbirds. they moved to florida in the winter months and parked a camper at a local campground in the summer. me and my cousins spent so much time at that campground. my gramma could take care of like 20 people without showing a single sign of being stressed. she had five kids. (within like 10 years, i think). and then each of those kids had two kids, giving her 10 grandchildren. and growing up, it seemed like there were always at least 2/3 of all of those people at her house.

as the years went on, they stopped coming up to the campground. my dad moved to florida. and i would see them once a year when we went to florida on our summer vacation. but then, even that faded. sadly, i have very few memories of her from my high school and college years. except for one year. in 1997. she pulled off an amazing feat. and got every last one of her kids and grandkids together for what would end up being the last time. on christmas, no less. it was crazy. and chaotic.

since college, i have been to florida only a handful of times. gramma definitely appeared to get older and older, but she didn’t act it. i’m pretty sure all of her joints from the hips down were made of metal. she was bionic. she survived breast cancer. but, she just kept going strong. i think that’s why this all comes as a bit of a surprise.

[side note about the breast cancer. she survived. and then went on to purchase any and all items with a pink ribbon on them. i remember she had pink handled scissors, notepads and pens. and once while i was shopping with her, she selected a (giant) bottle of wine because it came with a breast cancer key chain.]

finally, i’m not sure where this part fits into the chronological account… but i feel like it needs mentioning. it was a well known fact that my gramma loved her pink wine. there was always a box or two of franzia wine and plastic cocktail cups available for anyone to join in. it was the perfect pairing to my gramps love of cheap beer.

it’s weird. because now that i’m typing this out, i don’t have a ton of super specific memories about her, like i did my grampa. but, i think that’s because she was more likely the one always around, running the show, and he got to be the fun character who did wacky things. she was “the rock” of the schiavone family, for sure.

it’s a sad time.
and i hope she’s chillin’ with gramps, with a box of pink wine and a can of miller high life.
love you grams.

(and now. some pics.)

my gramma and gramps and their five kiddos. the little guy is my dad.

a few years later. (this was before my gramps decided that he wasn’t on board with being bald.)

gramma and grampa, chillin’ with baby me in the 70s.  note the sweet velvet wall hanging.
and the cool instagram filter inspiration.

gramps.  and his beer.  and me and grams.  :)

grams. au natural.

this pic summarizes so much of how i remember her.  she was always wrangling all of her grandchildren.  i’m not sure what this cousin of mine got into, but i can just hear gramma barking at him and telling him “i wouldn’t have to do this if you hadn’t gotten all muddy” as he complained about the cold hose water.

i forgot this part of the story.  most christmasses, leslie and i received matching gifts.  one year, we got quilted cat pillows (mine was blue and leslies was brown).  and on this particular year, it was matching sweaters, leg warmers and moon boots.  (the next picture shows the full ensemble, but please take a moment to note another velvet wall hanging and a complementary macrame, um, circle thing).

seriously.  i wish i still had this outfit.  you know.  in my size.scan0012b

(one year ALL of the grandkids got the same powder blue sweat suit. somewhere, there’s a super awesome picture floating around, of all of us on a couch, in our matchy suits and fingers and faces smeared with bright orange cheeseball residue).

grams portrait.

me and the grams.  early nineties.  velour track suit.  glass of wine.  scan0010a

derek’s first meeting. early 2004. gramps. grams. my dad. me. derek.

gramma and anna. i love this pic. this is when we went to florida in 2011 for my grampa’s memorial service.

then, we went back a year later. we were going to disney with derek’s parents, and we made a little side trip to visit family again.

she took anna on many trips around the trailer park on the walker-scooter-cart thing.

sadly, that was our last visit. sigh.

(i’m posting this without proofreading. i’m sure it will make no sense.)

we are (extended) family ,

dixie classic fair. twenty fourteen.

while my parents were visiting, we also decided to check out the dixie classic fair. yesterday was a beautiful day, so i kept isaac out of school, and off we went.

we bought the unlimited ride bracelet for the older kids. which was a little tough, because anna is about 40″ and for a lot of the rides, she needed to be 42″ to ride alone and needed an adult. and because it’s all about the dollar billz, the adult did not ride for free. thankfully, she was pretty agreeable to skipping those rides.

but, i was allowed to ride this one with her. (those girls behind us screamed the entire time).

then she rode all of the glittery kiddie rides that go in circles. planes.

and tractors.

isaac was a bit of a grump, but finally gave in and rode the bumper cars.

poor hazel just had to watch. she didn’t mind, mostly.

bouncy slide anna.

bouncy slide isaac.

merry-go-round. another ride where the parents go free. so new gramma took this shift.

ike won’t ride the horses. not sure if he’s scared or too cool.

more circular rides.

the dragon rollercoaster.

started off a little unsure, but they soon got into it.

super mario fun house. isaac was so excited.

the mega slow slide at the end of the fun house.

mario land.

the giant super high swings. after some debate (whether it was worth $5 each), my mom and i would ride this…

the view from the swings. winston salem skyline in the background. fair in the foreground. fun.

as we were lowered to the ground, we were greeted by our biggest fan.

grampa terry hanging with hazel.

anna on the happy swing.

we forgot our comfy stroller. had to rent a big plastic stroller. which turned out to be a good investment, because we could load stuff up in it. the only problem was comfort for a sleeping baby. and hazel sure was sleepy.

older kids posing with the tin folk.

petting/feeding zoo. it had a zebra. a sad, sad zebra.

feeding the sheeps.

after the petting zoo, we looked around for the chickens, but never found them. then our group collectively tired out at the exact same moment and we dragged ourselves home. approximately $180 poorer.

lid kid adventures, when people visit us , , , , , ,

patterson farms. twenty fourteen.

my parents came to town on friday morning. we gave them a day to settle in, then forced my mom to go to the pumpkin patch with us.

every year, we hit up the same place. it’s awesome.

our first pumpkin patch pic with hazel.

thanks to my mom for the family shot.

hazel and me. ready for our cow train ride.
(sorry for super tiny pic. something happened when i downloaded from derek’s photostream.)

the annababy on a pony. (my little pony, she says).

face painting.

animal feeding.

isaac and anna. posing.

obligatory height chart picture.

giant slide. (side note: every year, this place gets better. last year, there was a big gross mattress at the bottom. this year, well, there was this.)

anna and hazel. tandem slide.

corn pit. hazel was NOT a fan.

derek and the older two. isaac is grumpy because he was in timeout for some corn throwing.

piggyback with new gramma.

picture with the pumpkin princess.

king (queen) of the (tire) mountain.

my mom. tomato slingshot. she takes these things very seriously.

anna on the tractor.

ike on the tractor.

hazel napping with new gramma.

hay ride.

hay farmer.

pumpkin patch hazel.

pumpkin patch older kids.

derek took this pic of my pumpkin vision.

anna’s perfect choice.

hazel was very indecisive.

post pumpkin patch ice cream cones.

even one for the baby.

and a final pic in front of the blowup pumpkin.

super fun. as always.

lid kid adventures, when people visit us , , , , ,


it’s been a crazy couple of weeks around here.

two weeks ago, today, i went to crossfit for the first time. i was hoping to get my butt back in gear and stop being fat. the workout was mostly pullups (i got to do wussy pullups using rings), rowing, and squats. i could tell i would be super sore in the morning. little did i know what was really about to go down.

the next day, i was definitely the most sore i’ve ever been. mostly in my back and arms. and some legs. and it got worse and worse. i couldn’t straighten my arms. and i started to notice, i wasn’t sore as much as i was in pain. i was completely miserable. then, after about 48 hours, (possible TMI) i had brown urine. so, we called the doc and he ordered me straight to an emergency room.

i was hopeful that they would just tell me to drink a lot of water and send me home. but, after taking my creatinine kinase levels, it was determined i would not be going home. “normal” levels are under 450. i was over 45,000. the technical term is: rhabdomyolysis.

here’s how i understand it. i did a LOT of damage to my muscles in my workout, which releases the creatinine kinase (ck) into my blood. my kidneys would normally churn through a normal amount. but, with so much, my kidneys can’t keep up. so, the ck’s that are left just hanging out in my blood like to get together and crystallize and clump up. so, then, when it finally is their turn to be processed by my beloved kidneys, they glob up my kidneys and can cause serious damage.

fortunately, we caught it early (shout out to derek, who did some research and made me watch out for the color change in my urine, because i probably wouldn’t have noticed, or would have at least waited another day). i was admitted to hospital thursday night and would spend until the following tuesday, getting sodium bicarbonate pumped through my IV to keep those pesky ck’s from clumping (it alkalizes(?) the blood). here’s the picture version of my stay…

funny story. we went to the clemmons ER. but when it was determined i would be admitted, i had to be transported to forsyth hospital. on a stretcher. strapped down. with wires stuck to my entire body. good times. here’s my room for the next five days.

sodium bicarbonate IV.

some friends sent pretty flowers.

my kiddos took it all in stride (they never hate spending extra time at gramma’s house). the visited several times, bearing gifts.

and snuggling.

my friends kept me well fed and i almost never had to eat hospital food. kristin boone rolled in with chinese…

and her visit overlapped with jude. so, we had a photo shoot. (you’re welcome).

jude also brought delicious candies and an ornamental pepper plant. (fyi. you can’t eat the peppers).

another visit from anna. more gifts. including hand picked flowers.

hazel’s visits were tough. all she wanted to do was rip out my IV. but i sure did miss her when she was gone.

the frustrating thing was, i had no idea i would be there five days. each doc would say “not tomorrow, but hopefully the next day”. after a couple of days, i felt great. but had to stay on the bicarb. derek brought me the kindle with “Gone Girl” loaded up. i read it while watching football on sunday.

my friend, ashley, works at the hospital a couple of times a week, so on monday, she spared me from hospital breakfast and coffee and brought homemade pumpkin muffins and dunkin donuts coffee.

the floral arrangements.

also, on monday, hazel spent the day with jude. who has three older boys. she was spoiled.

more anna visits. and snuggles. and selfies.

derek brought me chipotle (more than once).

my IV set up.

everyday until tuesday, the docs came in by 8 or so, to give me my update. on tuesday, hopeful they would spring me, i packed up and waited. and waited. and waited. i was grumpy. they didn’t come in until around 1230 to tell me that i could go home. yay!!!

so. i packed up and bid farewell to my luxurious accommodations.

the end.

just me myself and i , , , , ,

30 days has september. but this post is about the first 24.

35 pictures from the last 24 days…

i’ll start off with a visit to anna’s classroom for “muffins with moms”. she is such a perfect little student. she loves school.

muffins with mom selfie.

just hazel, hamming it up.

football started. to celebrate, hazel and i took a sunday afternoon nap on the couch.

hazelbaby is a spidermonkey.

and a daredevil.

after the first miserable week of pickup line at school, we switched isaac to riding the busy. and we have super fun walking to the bus stop everyday and hanging out waiting for him.

the house on the corner at the stop is unoccupied currently, so we traipse around the yard and collect acorns.

you know. just a day in the life.

we buy a lot of stuff with amazon subscribe and every so often the stars align and we receive a bunch of giant items in an even gianter box. and the kids are so so happy. before they break out in fighting.

ok. so isaac came home from school one day telling me about his girlfriend, ella. she is a super sweet little girl who was in his class last year and we are actually friends with her family. he then begged for some pink paper and a pink marker so he could write her a letter to invite her for a playdate. i asked why he offered for me to fix her dress and he said, “i just HAVE to think of a reason to invite her over.” she’s also quite fond of him, so she wrote him back and now we are organizing the playdate. :)

this pic. anna’s bed head. the crust pile.

more terrific hair. and the introvert playing the iphone in the quiet safety of the bathroom.

anna art. this is me and a rainbow and a tree and a sun. and my “pet ghost”.

we celebrated our friend shira’s 4th birthday.

halloween sneak peek. monkey suit for the monkey.

derek found a local spot that has this delicious treat.

it’s holiday creamer time!

anna and isaac drew faces on their balloons. (and then referred to them as balloony). anyhoooo. when they deflated, anna’s was quite creepy.

isaac made a form for anna to fill out. :)

this kid is on a mission to destroy.

on a recent park trip, we found a zillion big fuzzy black caterpillars. anna is not afraid. we brought two home and put in a jar. where they died a slow miserable death and did not become beautiful butterflies.


my friend jen has a little boy named sam. and anna and sam are in the same preschool class. which gives us the perfect opportunity to have lunch dates and pretend that they are play dates for the kids. here’s anna and sam having their first of many chick fil a play dates.

anna’s school pic. so sweet and innocent. imposter.

i left anna all alone. coloring quietly and nicely. and came in to find this scene.

ahhhhhh. girls night out. at the porch. with some tostadas teddy and foothills hoppyum. mmmm.


went thrifting. found some fantastic things. orange cords for anna. tiny keens for hazel. some sweet saucony sneaks for anna in a few sizes.

um. and this super cool thermos.

isaac’s halloween sneak peek. red power ranger.

so. hazel got a mosquito bite under her eye. the next morning, she looked like this when she woke up.

and it got worse and worse. we closely monitored and a day later she was back to normal. but the whole thing made for some good pics.

busted out the autumn mug rugs.

and picked up my first honeycrisp apples of the season. mmmmm…

that’s all for now.
thanks for sticking it out.

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