february in 35 pictures.

it seems i’m getting worse and worse at consistent blogging, despite my attempts to get better and better at consistent blogging.

it’s been a rather crazy month.

i kicked it off by returning from batavia for my uncle ray’s funeral.
i had a nice day of recovering and settling back in, but awoke in the night, with anna standing next to my bed, vomiting. thankfully, she was the last of the previous bug and not the first of a new one. but she was down for the count…

after we were all on the mend, and life was mostly back to normal, anna’s bff of all time came to visit. it was the greatest day of anna’s life.

isaac has become a harry potter junkie. he speed read through the second book so he could watch the movie. sadly, due to the 78 snow days we had in february, i caved and let them watch the rest of the harry potter movies without him reading the books. he put closed captioning on. that counts right?

all of my peeps on a couch.

isaac’s buddy johnlee had a birthday playdate. adventure landing, mario’s pizza and christina’s dessertery. fun times. here they are, doing a bit of virtual motorcycle racing.

in hazel news, we have successfully brainwashed her into thinking that she loves yo gabba gabba. so, catchy little tunes are once again filling our house.

in other hazel news, she is the cutest baby of all time.

she is also the climbing-est baby of all time. she spends at least one to two hours a day on the kitchen table. usually hijacking the kids food or toys.

in crafty news, after years and years of wanting to learn to crochet, i finally signed up to take a class. then, i missed the first one because i was in new york. then, the second one was canceled. in the third week, i made this. then, it’s been canceled every week since, due to weather. hopefully, we will get the last two classes in soon.

happy hazel.

hazel’s main life goal is to get into everything. here she is, acquiring a box of matches, after realizing she could climb on a speaker and reach candles and other dangerous items. (one day, she pushed a stool to the counter and began throwing eggs onto the floor. she never stops.)

isaac and anna both created their very own harry potter paper cutouts (i’m not allowed to say dolls). they have been playing with them non-stop. at this point, they are now all crumbled and taped up. but, they press on. (also, isaac had to write “dumbledore” on the back of his likeness, so he would be reminded not to call him “vetruvius”).

on the day after valentine’s day (ha!), i picked up some heart donuts for the lid kids. they ate five total. five. crazies.

and then. it snowed.
they predicted a lot.
and school was let out early. about 5 hours before there would be a single snowflake. and then, this blizzard struck:

almost one whole inch. enough to shut down the middle of the state for the rest of the week. four days. no lie. (it was a wee bit icy in some spots).

so, we did some snow day things. like watch movies. and argue and fight. and make cookies…


and cupcakes. :)

back to hazel. yay.

we braved the wintry mix, to meet up with our friends, the deatons and do a little tag team consignment presale shopping. i went first while she watched the SIX kids in the car. then, she went, while i took the second shift in the car. by my turn, they were over being crammed in a metal box with just some goldfish and toy story. but, hazel and sully were super cute and fun in the front seat. (it was the rest of the kids that were a bit on the disastrous side).

before i went to the sale, i went through all of anna’s old clothes to see what i might need for hazel. they are opposite seasons, so there’s a few little gaps here and there. BUT, while doing so, i came across anna’s yo gabba jammies and busted them out for hazel. she was soooooo excited.

after being “snowed in” for 4 straight days, we took the kids to chuck e. cheese. so did the rest of winston-salem.

i was on anna and hazel duty most of the night. i barely saw isaac and derek. and chasing hazel through a crowded chuck e. cheese is stress inducing. i just kept plopping her on rides near whatever anna was doing.

hazel life. always.

she thinks she’s big enough to sit on the bench.

on monday. there was school again. glorious.
on tuesday. there were some surprise snowflakes, so school was canceled again.
and then they were back on wednesday. glorious.

this is hazel at the bus stop. see how happy she is? it’s because both kids had school that day. i’m sure of it.

even though i knew there was more snow coming, i’m a mean mom and i made ike do his homework. he was writing sentences with his spelling words and i let him look them up on the ipad when he doesn’t know them. when he was done, i check his sentences, and this is what he wrote for “modest”. so proud.

and then. overnight. the second blizzard in two weeks struck. to be fair. this one was maybe five inches? it was pretty. and i get why school was canceled this time.

unlike the week before, where the snow was powdery and not kid friendly, this was heavy, wet, good packing snow. the kids headed out first thing.

hazel doesn’t have any snow clothes, so she and lucy were left behind to watch. they were sad.

derek helped them build this massive igloo. isaac had already come in at this point. anna stayed out for hours.

and then. there was no school on thursday or friday.
i do not know why.
i’m pretty sympathetic to the south’s lack of ability to tend to the winter weather conditions. but this year has been a tad overboard for me. mostly because we will be making up the days until july, i think.

anyhoooo. on friday, derek took isaac to richmond for a friend’s wedding and to spend some quality time with isaac (who has had a rough couple of weeks, no doubt do to the lack of structure because of snow day mania). so, it was just me and the girlies. i tried to get them in matchy jammies for a cute “girls night” pic. but hazel was uncooperative. this was the best out of about 30 pics.

yesterday, we went to the birthday party of one of anna’s classmates. joshua. she talks about him all the time and selected this particular dress “because it’s a boy color”. it was a mad science themed party so they got to see some fire and smoke and make some goopy stuff…

despite telling me that she thought she’d be ok being dropped off, she teared up when i started to leave, so hazel and i stuck around for the whole long party. hazel didn’t mind, because she got cheese puffs and pizza and cake. fat and happy.

after the party, my quilty friend jen rolled in with her daughter and she and anna played with some playdoh. it was so fun to not have older bossy brothers around. :)

and that’s that. february. in a nutshell. a really big nutshell.
a little crazy.
on to march…

lid kid everyday life , , , , , , , ,

updating the kids bathroom.

we bought this house ten years ago.
and it was previously owned by a couple a wee bit older than us.
and there was a lot of very 1990′s-ish wallpaper.
we immediately de-wallpapered the kitchen and painted it royal blue (and you see it in approximately 78% of my photos). we meant to get to the three bathrooms soon, but then there were suddenly three lid kids and now it’s 10 years later and we are finally updating some things around here.

we (derek) actually did our bathroom a couple of months ago, but i haven’t taken any good pics of that yet, so i’ll save that for another post someday.

but, a couple of weeks ago, he dove into updating this atrocity:
(that’s how it looked before we bought the house. during our time here, it’s mostly been the kid’s bath, so it’s been scattered with mismatched towels, old bathtoys, toothpaste remnants, dirty clothes and empty body wash containers. but, the wallpaper still remained.)

derek stripped it all. and prepped everything. i picked out a paint color. i was shooting for “gender neutral” with good “put-your-house-on-the-market-ibility”. aqua. anna helped get the actual painting underway.

this was the extent of her work. she tired quickly.

derek took over and finished the task. i was at a sew in, so he sent me frequent updates.

upon completion derek’s mom took us shopping to pick out some new bathroom decor. anna (mostly, with some “guidance”) chose the chevron and assigned towel colors. and this is it. (with the curtain rod hanging a bit low because i couldn’t put it on paint yet).

and of course, the girls love it. isaac approves, but doesn’t seem to care either way. and i am sooooo happy to be rid of one more horrifically wallpapered room.

the home skillet , ,

two baby quilts.

i have two quilts to tell you about today…

the first, was for our friends, the browns. i used to babysit their two daughters for a bit before hazel was born. they are also from western new york (and have since returned to buffalo and abandoned me in the south, but i’m not bitter). anyhow. they just had a brand new baby boy. since they are non-gender-finder-outers, i had to whip up something quickly. i decided on blues and greens and white half square triangles…
baby boy hst quilt

i just quilted 1/4″ lines on each side of all the seams. it went quickly.
baby boy hst quilt

this navy blue cotton + steel fabric made a great binding.
baby boy hst quilt

i backed it in some big green polkadot fabric, with a strip of robot fabric.
baby boy hst quilt

i finished it up and shipped it off to the great white north. they were super excited and i stole this pic from their facebook of the two proud older sisters and baby micah with his new quilt.

the second quilt. might be my favorite of all time.
isaac’s teacher is pregnant with her first baby, a girl, due in june. i casually discovered that she’s not super into pink and frilly. and more into gray and yellow, which i was struggling a bit with. so. i did what i do. rainbows and low volumes.

and this pixelated heart quilt was born.

i quilted it with an all over meander (my go-to).
rainbow pixelated heart

heart close up.
rainbow pixelated heart

i backed it in this super cute girlie fabric that i bought a zillion yards of at ben franklin before they closed. of course, i have a knack for making my quilts just a little bigger than the width of fabric, so i always have to piece in a stripe. :)

i bound it in this gray polkadot fabric and i love it. i wish i had hand sewn the binding, but not so much that i would undo anything. :)

i seriously love this quilt so much. i might make one to hang in the girls room. i will make one to hang in the girls room. or maybe our living room. :)

that’s all for now.

making things with my bare hands


all the happenings in january.

guacamole hazel.

cupcake-juicebox hazel.

play-doh anna.

a new giant box came in the mail. anna moved in. isaac sorted markers for her to decorate with.

waffle maker helper hazel.

i’m told this is princess elsa. flat play-doh version.

hazel is terrible at her cheerio book.

anna the painter.

princess elsa and princess anna.

narwhal hazel.

supper life.

double decker couch.

anna with hair braided like princess anna.

banana hazel.

anna and her bff from school, sam. princess and dragon.

frozen lego ice castle.

this crazy. the crazelnut.

pancake breakfast.

isaac got a haircut. he was way overdue. it seems there was a teenager under that mop.

pack-n-play hazel.

more crazel selfies.

sisters. playing house. as sisters are wont to do.

i took theannababy out for a little one-on-one time. she chose mexican. that’s my girl.

my life with hazel the climber.

and that’s a wrap on january.

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the sad trip home.

on the morning of isaac’s birthday, my mom called to tell me that my uncle ray passed away in the night. he’s my mom’s mom’s brother. and we were all very close, growing up. i’ll save his story for another post, but for now, here’s the tale of our sad adventure home, to bid him farewell…

we had isaac’s birthday festivities as planned. then, i spent sunday getting ready. we decided that i would take hazel, so derek could get work done from home while the older two were at school and/or being tv zombies at home. and because we thought hazel might brighten some spirits.

on monday morning, we loaded up and hit the road. hazel did great for most of the trip home. just after we got into new york, she started to lose it. which sucked. because it was dark and snowy and rush hour and i wasn’t feeling great. but, we survived.

i took this happy picture before it became very apparent that i was going to be sick. i spent the next 24 hours throwing up and feeling crappy. thankfully, my mom was off and took care of the crazelnut. but, it was sad to not get to hang with family that was slowly rolling into town for the funeral.

on wednesday, the calling hours and funeral started up at 11:00 am. hazel did ok during calling hours. but, as soon as the funeral began, she got loud and silly and squirmy. so, we had to hide in a back office of the funeral home. we watched videos. ate m&m’s. played games. and took selfies.

i snapped pictures of these two collages made by cousins sandy and kim (uncle ray’s son’s wives). it was great to take the trip down memory lane. and i can’t help but notice how in every picture, my uncle ray has a big fat 100 tooth smile flashing. :)


after the funeral, we loaded up for a little reception put on by the elba fire department. it was there that my little pocket of the family resumed our normal shenanigans. reminiscing. making fun of each other. etcetera. here, we are teasing my gramps about his sunglasses making him look like a white ray charles.

after eating and being goofy for awhile, we took some photos. like this one of gramps and hazel. (ps. my gramps has had MS for pretty much my whole life and he’s fended off cancer. he turned 81 the day after this pic. not too shabby, gramps).

ok. so this pic needs some explaining. we have this 4th cousin 7 times removed (i’m exaggerating). i haven’t seen her since my childhood. evalena. (surely that’s spelled wrong). she kept insisting that jake looked like her grandson. and she took soooo many pictures of him. we were snickering about it each time. then, before she left, she insisted on one more picture. as she was taking it, i backed up to take a picture of her taking it because i’m a jerk. and my uncle frankie then photobombed it. my sister leslie just made a stupid leslie face. and my sister julie took a picture of me taking a picture of evalena taking the thousandth picture of jake. because that’s how we roll.

then. since we are NEVER all together. and will probably NEVER be again, we took a family photo. in the back, that’s my terry (stepdad), deb (mom), jakeĀ (brother), julieĀ (sister), me, hazel, leslie (sister). in front, frankie (uncle) and frank (gramps).

because of the awkward schedule, we skipped hazel’s afternoon nap, except for a 10 minute snooze on the ride. so, we kept her up as long as possible, but by 6:30, she was out like a light.

side note: hazel slept HORRIBLY for all of the nights in NY except for the first (thankfully because i was vomiting) and the last (thankfully because i had the long trip home).

on thursday, i dragged hazel out into the cold to go eat at the pok-a-dot. i mean. we were already in batavia. it had to be done.

then, off we went to aunt eleanor’s and uncle ray’s house. relatives were rolling in and out all afternoon. it was great to see a lot of folks that i haven’t seen since childhood. it brought back so many great memories. it’s just sad that it had to happen how it happened. i wish i took more pics.

after our travels. and all of the m&m bribes. and the pok-a-dot grease infusion. hazel was in desperate need of a bathing. so, off to the sink for the girl. i can’t even stand this face. :)

fresh and clean and playing games with grampa terry.

some evening snuggles before another night of crying and just being generally awake.

on friday morning, we ventured out to visit my pal julie redband varland. she’s got three kiddos with a fourth on the way and they are more or less my kiddos ages. abigail and hazel haven’t really hung out much, but we decided they make good buddies.

for lunch, i continued to make up for lost time, and picked up a chicken finger sub. i don’t know why they don’t taste the same anywhere else in the world, but they don’t.

and like that. our trip was mostly over. on saturday morning, we packed everything back up and hazel and i were on the road again. it was bitter cold in new york when we left. bitter.

hazel was an absolute champ for the ride home. we only stopped twice. she dozed on and off and just looked out the window. and ate the middles out of vanilla double stuff oreos. :)

we arrived safely around 630. hazel ran rampant around the house for about an hour. and then she crashed. and then i crashed. and our whirlwind trip was over.

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isaac’s eighth birthday.
minecraft mania.

last saturday. isaac lidbom turned. eight.

how did this happen?

anyhooo… we took some obligatory chalkboard pics of the boy as he entered into his ninth year on the planet…

first, one by himself. all proud.

then, anna joined in the fun. except she wasn’t feeling it was so fun to have all the attention on the birthday kid.

so excited…

and now. for the festivities. i’m sure i’ve mentioned it one zillion times, but just like approximately 98% of male children in america, isaac is obsessed with minecraft. so a minecraft themed birthday was in order.

for his school “party”, i made little square “grass blocks. by party, i mean, i got to go have lunch with him and pass these out during the allotted lunch time.

he was a happy camper.

when a parent visits for lunch, the student gets to sit in a little booth and they can choose two friends to sit with them. i thought isaac would pick two of his rowdy buddies, but instead, he chose a couple of lady friends. smooth operator.

i took him a gigantic slice of his favorite pizza, from mario’s. he chose that over chick-fil-a!!

then, we moved on to the actual birthday cake and party….

i had been scouring pinterest for ideas. and prepping all week. i made rice krispy treats (sand blocks), blue jello (water), and red jello (lava) and cake (grass blocks). then, with derek’s guidance and minecraft expertise, i assembled this landscape.

i made the executive decision to let go of a little cake making pride and purchase minecraft figurines for the top. for one, by the time i bought all the things i would need, it would cost about the same. for two, isaac DOES NOT CARE about fondant minecraft guys. and for three, i’m busy with a crazy baby. so. plastic figurines were plopped into place, and the cake was ready to go…

then, we had a photo shoot.


a few of ike’s buddies and derek’s parents rolled in and the party was ready to go. we even had minecraft pizza. (which was a waste because every last kid picked off the pepporoni).


then, you know. we had candles and sang.

thanks to pinterest, there is no shortage of ideas for minecraft parties. and i might have gone overboard with little items from the game. at least i didn’t label them with handy little printables that not one kid would have cared about. but for the non-minecraft literate. the pretzels were sticks. the cherry sours were red stone. the swedish fish were fish. :). the blue gumballs were blue diamonds. the green sixlets were emeralds. the rolos were gold. and the mini peppermint patties were coal.

the kids were happy to cram as much crap onto their plate as possible. here’s a bit of the aftermath.

finally. with fully bellies. and all sugared up. they hit the couch with their various internet tablets and such and got busy minecrafting. even little anna joined in. they had so much fun interacting with each other in their little pixelated world.

isaac received several minecraft lego sets for his birthday. here, he proudly displays the completed set from my parents.

ok. that’s it for the festivities.
i’ll close out with a bit about the boy.
he’s getting sooo big. sooo fast. when i was looking for old pics, i can’t believe how much he’s grown in a year. actually, i can, because he keeps needing new clothes. he’s super duper smart. and very helpful with hazel. he has endless energy. and i think he’s a good friend to his buddies. he loves outdoor adventures, like camping and exploring and hiking. he loves to spend time with his dad. he LOVES legos and he’s always making up his own kits, by making some thing and then deconstructing it and writing his own instructions. he can be the very sweetest boy ever and he can make you crazy in the next second. but, i suppose that’s how everyone is. :)

here’s a collage from eight counting back to 3 weeks old…

we love you isaaczilla!

cakes, cupcakes and other confections, lid kid everyday life , , , , , , ,

feather quilt

once upon a time, i bought a quarter yard bundle of field study. i made a big patchwork quilt with some of it. and the rest sat and sat. then, i had a baby and all things quilty were on hold.

then, one day, last february, i emerged from the newborn fog and began to sew again. with no pressing projects, i thought making a feather quilt out of my leftover field study was in order. so, off i went, cutting away.

somehow, i managed to make WAAAAY too many feathers.

so. i opted for a different layout, with less space between feathers. so i could fit more of the way-too-many that i had cut into a single quilt.

then. i started to homeschool isaac.
hazel stopped sleeping.
and this quilt sat, in this state, for months.

fast forward to last month. with all of my holiday sewing complete, i decided to pull out the feathers for one last run.

since i was tinkering with the layout, there was a bit of a learning curve on lining up these suckers.

since they weren’t “exact” or all “uniform size”, i offset them from each other and added a bit of sashing between rows. and finally, i had a top.

i used all the last remaining strips to make a binding, while i sought the perfect backing.

it didn’t take long. amh’s next line had this print that went perfectly and i got to quilting. i decided to sort of echo quilt each feather with my machine with the plan to do some hand quilting later.

for the hand quilting, i chose a few embroidery flosses that mostly matched some of the colors in the quilt and got to work. it was nice having an “upstairs project” that i could work on while hanging with the fam.
feather quilt hand quilting

forty feathers later, i was done!

and i love it.

the back. the fabric was perfect.

and finally a folded up pic, as usual.

i don’t know what the plan is for this sucker. there was a LOT of time put into it. and it’s one of my fabric all time fabric lines. but, i have no need for another quilt right now. so, i’ll likely gift it at some point. stay tuned for details…

making things with my bare hands

a quilt for derek.

i’ve never made a quilt for derek.
poor neglected husband.

so this year, for christmas, i put an end to the streak.

and made him this:

when i saw the modern neutrals at sewingly yours, i knew they would make a perfect manly quilt. the small prints were perfect for a scrappy trip along. so i got to work.

in november, i went on a sewing retreat with some friends, so i did as much prep work (in secret) as i could before my arrival. strips on strips on strips.

then i spent a full day sewing strips together in groups of six.

and then slicing the sewed up strips the other way to make strips again. :)

stacks of strips, ready to become blocks.

then my favorite. basting.

i quilted with an all over meander. bound in secrecy. and busted out the surprise on christmas…

the back.

all folded up.

ok. the end.

making things with my bare hands ,

christmas sewing commissionzzzz

quick post.

made a few items for other people to give as christmas gifts.

first up.
a set of four nifty little mug rugs for derek’s parents to give to their friend. she’s a “what do you get for the person who has everything” kind of person, so they figured they couldn’t go wrong with handmade.

there’s one for each season. sort of. there’s definitely a winter, fall and spring. but, the summer was just rainbowy because that’s what i like. i kind of wanted to keep it.

anyhow. she was at the swedish christmas party at their house, so i got to see her open them, and i’m pretty sure she appreciated them. :)

and second.
my friend wendee asked if i could make an apron for her daughter for christmas.
so i did.
i made one for anna when she was a baby, so i used that and the makeshift pattern that i concocted way back then. i think anna’s took me days. (it was when i first started sewing). wendee’s took me about an hour. crazy. and i think it’s super cute.

the end.

making things with my bare hands , ,

new year happenings.

i left off with my parents leaving town on new years eve.
they woke isaac to say goodbye, per his request.
they did NOT wake anna, per her request.
and hazel didn’t notice anything different.

but after the whirlwind of end of school, sick kids, christmas and then my parents here for five days, we were reading for a slower pace.

isaac and hazel, snuggling. he insisted i take a picture. he loves her.

knowing that i would be cracking down on my diet on jan one, i decided to have one last hurrah. anna and i sped off for a tasty lunch at the porch. we started with the salsa-queso-guac appetizer. mmmmmm.

i got tostadas teddy. so very good. and so very big. (under that pile of veggies are two corn tortillas with chipotle smoked chicken and hunks of avocado, smothered under a mound of melted cheese. fyi.)

anna went with her old standby, beans and rice.

the kids were determined to stay up until midnight on new years eve. we played a few rounds of “eye found it” which is a pretty fun game. everyone competes to get to the finish before “midnight”. all the players work together, so there’s no hurt feelings. :)

around 10:30, everyone started fading. and when derek woke me up at 11:15, this was the scene at our house. fail. no one made it. a good effort.

the next morning, it was go time. i headed off to the good old ymca. and we threw away all of the sugary terrible holiday foods that were lurking around our house.

(side note: i’ve stuck to the new plan for 6 days now (assuming i make it through the night) and i’ve lost four pounds. nevermind that i gained ten since thanksgiving.)

anyhoooo. back to regular stuff. like this knucklehead.


hazel is in full on wrecker stage. every waking moment of her life is solely devoted to wrecking. she takes everything out of any drawer she can find. she puts random things into random places. removes all of the books from the bookshelves. she has radar that tells her the very second i set my coffee cup down on the table and she makes a mad dash in an attempt to dump it on the living room floor. she climbs on everything. she’s just incredibly busy. and she LOVES to sit in drawers, buckets, baskets and so on.

and she does it all with balloon in hand.

this weekend, we went to a birthday party for ike’s buddy. there was a magician. the kids thought he was absolutely amazing. isaac got to be a volunteer. his proudest moment.

the birthday kiddo. with his SWEET lego cake.

some sunshine and driveway time.

i hate using the word “diet” to describe what i’m doing. really, i just cut out sugar and processed foods. and until i drop some pounds, i’m counting calories, but it’s not super hard to stay in my budget if i’m eating not sugars and not processed foods. anyhooo. i also cut out diet soda. i guess that’s a processed food. so, there’s been a LOT of tea being consumed around these parts. my mom introduced me to this delicious version. it’s a favorite, so far.

lastly. the dog. the baby. and the quilt.

ok. i’m up to date on everyday happenings. i have a couple of sewing finishes to post. like derek’s quilt. and some mug rugs i made for derek’s parents to gift to their close friend. and then i think i’m good to go. i really super duper want to be more regular about posting. not a binge poster like i am now.

ok. the end.

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