december. the first half.

so busy.

we kicked it off this year with a park playdate on a beautiful day.

hazel is currently in full wrecker mode. she prowls around the house, looking for opportunities. her favorite go-to’s is the book shelf. she is fast. and stealthy.

went up to check on kids the other night before bedtime. found isaac fast asleep. holding open his book. an encyclopedia. so cute. and nerdy.

some chick fil a fun.

hazel loves chick fil a.

isaac is having a great year. so much better than last year. SO. much. here’s his most recent progress report. last year, he never had a 4. and pretty much always had worrisome comments.

here’s the instagram photo documenting the start of my pajama bottom pants making. because that’s what instagram is for.

this kid. needs to be strapped down at all times.

the christmas tree. and the primary wrecker of the christmas tree. note the disparity in the number of ornaments on the top and the bottom.

hazel’s one year well child checkup. cutie head.

another portrait of princess anna by theannababy.

anna was glad to chip in and help make hazel’s birthday cake frosting.

we made gingerbread houses. here’s the assembled decorating materials. always makes for a fun and festive photo.

decorating action shot.

mid-decorating photo shoot break. only one participant.

completed houses.

just a cute chair sitter. (in my new favorite outfit of all time).

anna’s class had their “christmas program” last week. it was sort of interactive and different from anything i expected. it was more like we followed them through an extended music class and tried to keep our crazy babies under control while attempting to take pictures and participate and hear the quietly talking older children who were telling the Jesus Christmas Story. maybe i was the only one with the crazy baby. here’s the girls waiting for the show to start.

the best thing was. anna didn’t even participate at all. she just stood like a statue. except for the wand waving.

we gave hazel a picnic basket shape sorter toy for her birthday. it’s been a hit so far. (until gramma showed up with the ball popper).

this weekend, we had a family adventure night failure. first we attempted to go to a candle tea at old salem. the wait was LONG like around the block one and a half hours minimum long. so we walked around a bit (shot this pic) and then headed over to the festival of lights. and got in line. a very long line. we traveled about 1/4 mile in an hour and needed to go another 1/2 mile or so to get to the gate, so we turned around and headed home. 0 for 2.

last up. this cute christmas card that isaac made for his teacher. “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. so cute.

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lewisville christmas parade.

yesterday was the lewisville christmas parade.
we didn’t get to go last year because of hazel and the business of her being born and all newborn and such.
but we’ve gone in most of the years past.
this year. isaac was in it, with his boy scout pack. so fun.
the weather was glorious and it was a packed house.

we had to arrive at 2:45 and it started at 3:00. and then we waited and waited and waited. there were so many floats and cars and trucks and teams and groups and so on. it was 3:45 when the boy scouts actually rolled out into the actual parade. in the meantime, i hung with these two knuckleheads.

derek and the girls drove around and around looking for a spot, before driving almost all the way back to our house and parking on the road and walking to the parade. here’s his anna-shoulder-ride selfie.

here was my view. walking straight into the sun. so many people. the onlookers were super demanding for the candy. kind of crazy. rather annoying.

derek captured this shot of us approaching his viewing area

we stopped for a photo shoot.

hazel, whose nap schedule was all out of sorts, was a disaster (or so i’m told). some candy helped a little.

we happened upon my pal, jude. she captured this mid-toss shot. :)

after we passed, derek and the girls headed home. next year we will just walk. it is ridiculous.

after we completed the route, isaac and i got to watch the last part of the parade. we saw minions, the grinch, these gingerbread dudes, and santa. then, we walked home.

i do love my little town. but, i hate that all of winston-salem piles in for the christmas parade and the fourth of july. especially when they speed through our little neighborhood while we are walking home. i guess that’s how people in tourist towns feel all the time.

anyhow. it was super fun. and isaac was a trooper. he started to complain about all of the walking when we were about 1/4 mile from home, which wasn’t bad, since we logged about 2 miles or so.

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hazel’s birthday party. (parties).

and now.
a gratuitous amount of hazel eating cake pictures.

first up. her actual birth day.
we just had a little family only cupcake party.
hazel. not a fan.
(truth be told, she was crying because we told her not to touch the flame).

she recovered nicely, and dug into the delicious frosting.


she took a cue from the older two and went in face first. they teach her all the best tricks.

the actual cake part was “meh”. she threw it overboard for lucy. i’m in agreement in regards to cake vs. frosting.

on saturday, we held her actual birthday bash, with grandparents and cousins. we went with a basic balloon theme. i bought approximately 8,000 balloons and got to work.

the doorway between the living room and kitchen.

the cake. i’m so lazy. next year, i’ll decorate for realz. i promise. but, this year, i blew up some water balloons and made this work of art.

the set up. i’m getting all the mileage i can out of that banner. i love it.

more candle and flame caution. (that’s her “just before i ninja grab the candle look”).

a little unsure that we were really asking her to just dig right in.


the whole scene. papparazzi and fellow cake eaters.

more of the same.


and then, in for the kill.



i really thought she would make a complete disaster. but, she tired quickly and pushed the cake away.

then presents. lots of brightly colored, plastic, battery operated, noisy items. the favorite was this ball popper from gramma. both older kids had one, but it didn’t survive for hazel, so a fresh new (and i think louder) one was in order. she’s a fan.

and the first birthday is in the books.
onto christmas!!

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hazel is ONE!

a year ago, at this time, i had just finished up this exciting adventure.

now. here we are a year later. and sweet hazel is one.

no longer a baby. a toddler.

she’s so different from the other two. she talks a lot more. she can say mom, dad, isaac, anna, peekaboo, uh oh, giddyup, and various sounds that she copies from the big kids.

she’s super funny. she follows isaac’s lead with the slapstick humor. and she LOVES to dance. always dancing along to any sort of music.

she is the snuggliest of the three. she gives hugs and kisses and snuggles right up on the way to and from bed.

BUT. do not mistake the snuggling for chill. she is one busy girl. she never sits still. she’s always wriggling her way free of being held or constrained. she’s a full out christmas tree disassembler (and book shelves. and diaper basket. and shoe bins. and toy baskets. she’s a wrecker.)

her doc appointment was monday. the kids’ doc moved offices and his new office JUST opened, so they didn’t have all of her shots in, so we were off the hook for shots for the time being. but, she did weigh in and measure up. she’s still the same general proportions. 21 pounds (73rd percentile). 30 inches tall (82nd percentile). and 18.5 inches of head circumference (93rd percentile).

she is fully mobile. walking. running. climbing. getting down from things. falling down stairs. (yes. sigh.). she rolls with the punches. so chill. the kids are constantly running her over. knocking her into things. she’s a toughie. at chick fil a last week, she tumble off the end of the slide and did an inadvertent somersault. she just popped up and kept going. all the other moms were in awe of her toughness.

we don’t have much planned for today. cupcakes later with family. and i’ll probably have a whole blog post full of pictures from that. and then a party with grandparents on saturday. with some cake smashing, of course.

hazel. my little busy one year old.

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mountain getaway.

last weekend, we made a semi-spontaneous trip to the mountains for a little family getaway.
we started it out by turning hazel’s seat around. she’s a few days shy of one, but not if you count from her due date. actually, i think the law might be two years old now. which is ridiculous. anyhooo… breaking the law or not, she was totally totally happy to be facing forward. and towards the dvd screen.

once we settled in, i set up shop on my sewing machine and made a practice pair of pajama bottoms for ike. i had a goal of making a matching set for all of the kiddos by weekend’s end. the test pair was to see if the size 8 in the pattern would work for him. they did. and he loved them.

on friday, we set out to do some gem mining. this giant geode was in the front lobby area of the gem mining place. crazy.

i was pleasantly surprised with the kids’ interest and attention span for this activity. anna LOVED picking out the beautiful gems. :)

isaac worked (mostly) entirely on his own. and was soaking wet at the end. :)

hard at work…

and then there was hazel. she wandered around a bit. then we plopped her down with her own box of rocks. she tasted them. and sorted through them in her own hazel way. but mostly tried to eat them.

anna said “when you said we were going gem mining, i didn’t think it would be fun. but it IS fun!!”

she took her job very seriously, checking the reference chart frequently.

hazel was willing to share her tasty treats.

all of the miners. we polished off a 5 gallon bucket and took home quite a few cool gems. rubies, garnets, quartz, turquoise and like 20 other kinds.

when we were done, we took them all inside and got a little lesson on what they all were. again. i was very surprised at the kids’ interest level. (not hazel’s. she was true to herself and had to be removed.)

we had a low key rest of the day. i managed to make the matching jammie bottoms. (stay tuned for probz like 50 pics of my kids wearing them).

on saturday, we made some perler bead ornaments, while hazel took her morning nap.

some of our perler creations.

matching jammie sisters. the older mauling the younger. the usual.

anna drew this picture of princess anna. she’s a super artist girl.

after lunch, we packed up to go see santa at the mast general store. when we got there, he was at lunch, so we killed some time wandering around and found a cute tree to take these lovely family photos…

all of us.

then i happened upon this modern maples barn quilt. which was pretty cool.

finally, we went back in to see santa. and then anna panicked. and isaac (who is a new non-believer) wanted nothing to do with the charade. and hazel didn’t really care. so this is the picture i got. hooray.

we sat on the back porch and had some giant smartie type suckers while we listened to some live bluegrass.


derek busted out a lego kit for the older two to put together after dinner. when it was completed, isaac declared he “was going to need some alone time with this toy”. anna went off to watch a movie. and isaac played for awhile by himself, before inviting derek to join him. :)

sunday morning, we packed up and headed out of town. (not without stopping at the outlets so i could by some new jeans for isaac the fastest growing boy). hazel didn’t help pack at all. she just watched tv while the rest of us scrambled around.

the drive home. sleepy baby. cute sleepy baby.

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i sucked at blogging in november.
but, aside from the barrage of posts from yesterday, here’s what else has gone down.
as per my usual, it’s mostly just instagram pics.

hazel. cute. on a quilt. in the “good natural light” corner.

lots of campfires in the chilly-ish nights.

marshmallow roaster, extraordinaire.

kitchen table quilt fortress for the girls.

anna (elsa), making individual rainbow chalk messages for each family member.

i took anna on a mom/anna “date” for pizza and cupcakes. :)

so excited for these seasonal beverages to hit the stands. we’ve been buying them up and drinking them up like crazy.

prepping for hazel’s birthday. (can you believe it?). i made her this pennant flag bunting thing. until her birthday (and possibly after) we will display it here.

isaac, the little cub scout on the far right, got his bobcat patch. with these other fellows.

there was face painting involved. he was mad. it was itchy.

i took anna to a playdate with her friend kaylin, so i could go shopping with her mom. when i arrived, the mom, stephanie remembered that there was an anna/elsa meet and greet at a nearby children’s boutique type place. so, we scrapped the plans to shop, and took the girls over to meet their heroes. anna. was. awestruck.

more campfire and camping action. derek slept in the tent with isaac. anna slept in the bed with me. hazel slept in the closet. ha.

isaac had a measuring project. he worked really hard. first, to make the lego ultra striker (or whatever it is) and then to measure various parts and document it.

and anna drew a princess. (each week at school, they are supposed to cut out things from magazines that start with the letter of the week. she insists on drawing things and then cutting them out. this week was “P”.)

the cute girlies.

my birthday celebration. :)

and then. the day after my birthday, i had jury duty. so much sitting and being bored. i was called into the courtroom, but never up to the jury box. a hard earned $12.

play doh with anna. a “bee snowman”… i like to think she planned it, but i think the eyes turned out bigger than she’d hoped, so she improvised.

my pals jude and heather took me out for my birthday. we went to small batch beer company downtown. mostly because on thursday nights, if you drink two draft beers, you “earn” their monthly pint glass. this month’s glass is a turkey. can’t believe i don’t have a pic of it. and their appetizer special was goat nachos. like made with goat meat. interesting.

hazel. red power ranger.

the older kids both had thanksgiving parties at the exact same time on the monday before thanksgiving. so i went to anna’s. where i was the craft supervisor.

the other moms did much more for the party. on mom made a class set of apple turkeys. and another made the pilgrim hats. i brought the water. seriously.

meanwhile, in ike’s class, derek chaperoned a walking field trip to lowe’s foods. the class had collected donations from parents and the teacher divided them up with a budget and they bought a turkey dinner for a family in need. what a great lesson. here’s derek’s crew on their shopping spree.

he stayed for lunch with the kiddo.

on thanksgiving vacation kickoff night, the older kids stayed up extra late and watched chronicles of narnia. hazel joined in at the beginning and i captured this sweet shot. isaac smiling for camera. anna entranced with narnia. and hazel, proud to be a member of the crew.

the day before thanksgiving. a massive cleaning and decluttering effort. even hazel chipped in.

a side project.

thanksgiving morning. anna helped with the turkey basting. (and we sang “all about that baste” until it wasn’t funny anymore).

derek’s parents, aunt and sister’s family all rolled in around noon and the festivities were under way. the kiddie table in the living room was where you could find all the action.

so. good.

hazel liked mashed potatoes. tolerated turkey. and LOVED pumpkin pie.

we had a lazy rest of the day. and then. it was black friday. anyone who knows me, knows that i cannot handle even small crowds of nice people. giant crowds of crazy people is very far out of my comfort zone. very. so, here’s how we kicked off black friday…

i made christmas shaped pancakes (and lots of dirty dishes).

and. we painted our bathroom. i will dedicate an entire post to that endeavor soon. but, the basics are. when we moved in there was horrific 90s wallpaper in the baths and kitchen. we painted the kitchen immediately. but, the bathrooms have been on hold. and ours was horrible. and now. it’s wonderful. that’s all for now.

i did head out on saturday for a bit of shopping, attempting to find a doll house at costco for anna (fail) and hoping for one misplaced box of minecraft figurines to still be at target (nope). but. there were matching jammies for the girls at target. i had passed them up once at $13 each, but now they were $9 and the ONLY ones on the rack were anna and hazel’s size. it was a sign from the jammie fairies that i had to have them. and the jammie fairies were right:

yesterday. sunday. november 30th. our christmas tree went up. with the help of this cute helper girl.

and no thanks to this christmas tree disassembler. :)

and that’s a wrap on november.

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family patchwork stockings.

ok. background story.
we have fancy cross stitch ll bean stockings for our family. except hazel.
last year. when i was deciding whether or not to get her one (because she would be born just before christmas but probably wouldn’t notice a lack of stocking), i waffled one too many times. and no stocking was gotten.
well. my quilt guild had a sew-in four days after her due date. i didn’t think i would make it. turns out, i was available. so, i packed up my stuff and made a stocking for hazel. i think it was just what she needed, because the next day, i was scheduled to be induced.

here’s the stocking.

so, this year rolled around. and i decided to make four matching stockings for the rest of us. because i have a lot of time on my hands. i got everything ready so i could make them at the sewing retreat at the beach. but, i wasn’t sure about mine. so i just made isaac and anna’s and derek’s.

i was torn. between making mine all different colors and my favorite fabrics. or sticking to the theme of one or two colors. and. after i made all of ours really scrappy, i decided that hazel needed a new, more scrappy stocking. i finally decided on grays with pops of red for mine. and stuck with aquas for hazels.

i’m super duper happy with them. the kids love them. and they are more “us” than the ll bean ones. (also, anna had recently become disgruntled that her ll bean stocking was a cardinal and she wanted a snowman).

and today. we decorated. so, here they are. in action.

and. that’s the story of the lidbom family patchwork stockings.

making things with my bare hands ,

birthday weekend at the beach. (sewing).

a few weekends ago, i went with three quilty friends to a quilting retreat, hosted by the triangle modern quilt guild. at the beach. bonus info: it was also my birthday weekend.

on the way down, we stopped at two quilt shops in chapel hill and raleigh.

upon arrival at the (super fancy pants) hotel, we immediately exchanged swap items that we had made for each other.

my open wide zipper pouches.

kim made these little items. they are pincushions. tool caddies. and thread catchers. they were perfect for this retreat.

jen made fancy drawstring bags. filled with chocolate.

casey made boxy pouches. i love mine.

here’s all of my loot.

the next day, we did a little local (wilmington) shopping and discovered this little gem of a place to eat. it’s owned by some buffalonians and had beef on wicks. WHAT?!?! i think there’s a chance that derek and i ate there once. a LONG time ago. like 10 years ago. maybe. it’s all a blur.

the beef on wick. i talked everyone into getting one and they are all now converts.

finally. after lunch. it was time to set up shop. my view.

then, of course, i had to lay out all of my fabrics from the FOUR shops we visited before we ever even sewed one stitch. it’s it pretty?

a better view of the ballroom. it was so spacious. especially after the last retreat i was at. i won’t name names. *cough* sewsouth *cough*.

my view. again. i made a lot of top secret christmas stuff that i can’t actually post yet, so sorry for the lack of finished items pics.

we listened to christmas music. made christmas gifts. bought christmas fabric. so, naturally, i ate christmas candy.

my neighbors, jen and casey.

christmas stockings for derek. isaac. and anna.

on saturday night, we went out for mexican. kim ordered a drink that was as big as her head. our waitress was hilarious. she had us cracking up all night. nancy.

nancy took a pic of our crew. (she actually took about 18).

my pile of food. so much. unfortunately, it wasn’t great. thank goodness for nancy.

we sewed until like 1 am. got a lot accomplished. then, we packed up and headed out in the morning. i was excited to get back and hang with my kiddos. they had made me this birthday “card” on the big chalkboard. so sweet.

oh. and during our stop at hobby lobby in wilmington, i happened upon this robot santa music box. i wanted it. but, i had just spent over $100 on fabric and the retreat hadn’t even started yet, so i passed. little did i know that my quilty friends conspired together and sneakily purchased it and gave it to me for my birthday. such nice girls. and it’s my new fave christmas decoration!

anyhooo… that’s the tale of my birthday beach bash. you know. where i sewed. just like how i always imagined it. i’m so old.

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open wide zipper pouches.

i’ve been on a rampage, making openwide zipper pouches (pattern/tutorial by noodlehead).

i made three for my roommates at a sewing retreat i went on. (more about that later). i wish i had better pics.


then, i fired up four for ike and anna’s teachers and assistants.

anna’s assistant teacher.

anna’s teacher.

ike’s teacher (a huge app fan).

zipper tab pull for ikes teacher.

ike’s assistant teacher.

all of the insides.

all in a row.


the pattern is super easy and fun to make.
i need to make myself one or seven for holding crap around here.

making things with my bare hands, to categorize

eleven months.

well. i’m a bit late on this post.
a few weeks ago, hazel turned 11 months.

our photoshoot was a total failure.

she’s too busy to sit for even just one pic.

i managed to get this good shot with the big sis.

snuggling with the bunny.

i’m closer to 12 months (ONE YEAR!!) and i have no idea what milestones happened around the 11 month mark. so. i’ll just wait for the big one year blog post to tell you all about the sweet and crazy girl.

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