lidbom family camping adventures. round 2.

last fall, we attempted a family camping trip. (in a sweet circus tent). it was a little tough with a tiny, semi-mobile, terrible sleeping hazel, but we still had a lot of fun, so we decided it was time to give it another go.

this time, derek bought a super easy tent to set up (and take down. and dry out if it rains). we found a more open spot for the very mobile, much bigger and busier hazel. and we set up shop.

by the time we were all settled in, it was time for dinner, so derek got to work preparing italian sausages.

the kids went with the old standby. hot dogs.

hazel had her first not-cut-up hot dog in a bun. she’s a big kid now.

anna, proudly displaying her self-prepared meal.

after dinner, derek took the kids to the lake to fish a little. derek’s dad bought anna this super cute little fishing rod.

isaac, derek’s mini-me.

anna was way more interested in fishing that i would have anticipated.

anna and the dad.

back at the campsite, we stirred up the fire for some marshmallow roasting. and by “roasting”, i mean “slight warming so as not to get any brown or tan or off-white”.

after hazel went down, isaac and anna snuggled under a blanket and were actually nice to each other for a few brief moments.

then. there was a very long night. hazel woke up at 2 am. and really didn’t sleep much after that. fifteen minutes here and there. some of the time, she just wandered around the tent, playing. i managed a few good stretches by dragging a chair into the tent and holding her. it was horrible. and it’s not like she was going to sleep in, because at six am, the bright sun shone straight through this roof, and we were all up and awake. hooray.

so, i pressured derek to hurry along with the coffee…

then derek took isaac fishing and i took the girls to the playground.

they attempted to color, but then we realized there were approximately 18 wasps hovering around us, so we made a quick departure.

back at the camp, hazel took a nap, while anna and i played quietly with figurines. or maybe i dozed off while anna played. i can’t remember.

derek came back with a dripping wet isaac, who had decided it was warm enough to swim in the lake. he and anna had lunch and derek took them back out to swim. i waited for hazel to awaken and when she did, we had a dorito picnic.

then we headed out to find the older kids and dad, stopping to feed doritos to the geese. super bi-polar geese. they were hissing at us, as they followed us around hoping for more doritos. geese are terrible. but don’t tell hazel that.

dorito dirt face.

we took the kiddos for ice cream and then headed back to hang at the campsite. i gave hazel a good wipe down. she was as grubby as they come. look at this fresh baby-wiped face.

we had dinner. and then just hung out mostly.

we made the executive decision that one of us would take hazel home to sleep. we wouldn’t be able to function with another night like the first. after much deliberation, it was determined that derek would be the lucky winner of a good night’s sleep. :). so we packed up a lot of our camp and the baby and off they went.

the older kids and i packed some snacks and a blanket and headed over to a giant field where they were playing maleficent. anna really wanted to go. isaac didn’t. anna fell asleep. and isaac made me stay until the end. we were the only two except for a couple of pot smoking teens that rolled in for a little bit.

the second night of sleep wasn’t terrific, but it was a million times better. when we woke up, i packed up while the kids played. we went over to the rec hall area and had a delicious breakfast and waited for derek to come rescue us. and then he did. and like that, our fun family camping adventure was over.

lid kid adventures , , , , , , ,

girlz strawberry picking day.

last week, i took the girls strawberry picking at a little farm nearby.
(isaac had no desire to go, whatsoever, so that worked out nicely for a little weekday trip while he was at school).

so, i dressed them in sort of matching, sort of strawberry-ish outfits and away we went.

anna worked very hard. hazel just sampled the goods.

anna was very good at carefully selecting only the most perfect berries.

hazel hearts strawberries.

hazel in the field.

and anna in the field.

happy strawberry sisters.

more of anna working and hazel tasting.

finally, anna tried one. she’s a fan.

this kid is ridiculous.

sticky strawberry hand.

drippy strawberry juice arm.

slave labor. i saved a dollar a gallon, by putting this kid to work.

enjoying the literal fruits of the labors.

they don’t look like this in the grocery store.

we might need to go back for more. isaac discovered that he does, in fact, LOVE strawberries and two gallons of these beauties were gone in no time.

lid kid adventures ,

the frozen cakery

when we settled on a frozen themed birthday for the girl, i began to pin approximately 800 cakes and cupcakes. after much deliberation, i settled on these.

first. some snowflake decor. i made two trays full of sparkly fondant snowflakes.

i was just going to shove plastic rings on plain cupcakes for school, but then i decided to give the rings and make pretty cupcakes. i don’t think the kids cared.

for the cake, i enlisted derek’s candy making expertise for the ice “shards” on the top tier. the bottom was hastily piped rosettes that i should have redone, but time was of the essence. i hid the more terrible spots behind carefully placed snowflakes. :)

i should have noticed that most rosette cakes have some sort of trim hiding the bottom of the cake. it’s hard to fill that part in and still look good. oh well. and i cheated on the top, with toy figurines. i don’t have the time, energy, or sanity for making fondant characters.

derek made me three big trays of blue sugar for ice shards. breaking it into shard-like pieces proved to be more difficult that we thought. we threw out approximately two and a half trays worth of tiny un-shard-like sugar fragments.

overall, i’m super happy with the cake. just wish i had piped rosettes more carefully. and maybe that i had waited until closer to the party to put the ice pieces on, because they began to sag and get a little sticky overnight. now i know. :)

cakes, cupcakes and other confections ,

the epic frozen extravaganza.

so. a little background first.
the trip i took to florida with the girls last month was supposed to also have a trip to disney and universal tacked on. as we planned, it just wasn’t looking like the best financial decision. and the logistics of it all weren’t coming together as wonderfully as we had originally hoped. so, we chatted with the kids and negotiated a consolation prize. they said they would rather go to ny to see my parents (a trip which we would likely do anyways) and isaac wanted a voldemort wand and anna wanted a princess at her birthday.

so. i ordered an elsa.

and then proceeded to plan a frozen wonderland extravaganza….

she has wanted elsa’s coronation dress FOREVER. so, that was our gift to her. testing out the photobooth/backdrop for elsa.

the cake table. special thanks to derek for streamer assembly contributions. i made miles and miles of that snowflake garland and i couldn’t be happier with how it looked. the table skirt. i will never do that again.

hazel knew she wanted to get her hands on that cake.

close up of the cake. (i’ll dedicate another post to the cake and cupcakes, don’t worry). by party time, it was a little saggy.

the first bit of the party was getting nails done by the lovely and talented natalie p.

then, i had a little wand making craft, involving hot glue and a lot of grownup assistance. but, i think it went well, and the girls assembled for a group wand pic. hazel/rapunzel was not interested in photo ops.

another annababy pic, while we waited for the main event…

when we received the text that our princess(es) arrived, we rushed out to the step. we hadn’t told our anna that princess anna would also be coming, so she was so surprised and excited. (a couple of days ago, the princess party people called and asked if i would mind if they sent a free princess-anna-in-training. um. duh. no.)

this face:

the meet and greet. my anna was in awe and speechless. the princesses were so great. they never broke character, even when they were talking to each other or me.

the princesses came right in and elsa settled in for story time. the kids were mesmerized.

after stories, there was a good bit of dancing and sing-alongs.

and then. the photoshoot. all the party kiddos. minus one, who was a little nervous about real princesses.

hazel, who had a wardrobe change from rapunzel to olaf, joined in the pics. minus the olaf head. this was non-negotiable.

derek captured this olaf-elsa moment.

and my kiddo, with her heroes.

they practiced some cool ice moves.

i think if she died at this exact moment, she would have no regrets in life.

sisters with the sisters. (isaac was around for the party, and you might spot him in the background of some of the pics, but he wanted nothing to do with actually participating).

i don’t know what’s happening here, but anna’s face is just sheer joy.

after the photos, the princesses busted out a tea party with real tea cups and “melted kristoff ice tea” (water).

then it was cake and singing time.

seriously. look at her face.


the princess hugged anna goodbye and headed back to arendelle. we ate a lot of cake and doritos and drank a lot of blue koolaid. and surprisingly, my carpet gained no blue stains.

then, it was onto the presents. i won’t bore you with the pics of all of them, except for this happy face when she opened the anna and elsa sisters figurines from new gramma.

anyhow. it was the best party ever and i hope anna can remember it forever, because i don’t think she will ever have a better one. :)

we were super pleased with the princesses. they were so great with the kiddos and it was definitely worth it. we got them from the party crew in greensboro.\

and that’s the tale of the epic anna and elsa super frozen wonderland birthday party.

lid kid everyday life , , , , ,

theannababy turns five.

on friday, may 8th, the anna baby turned five.

we kicked things off with a frozen themed photoshoot in front of the big chalkboard.

and then an oatmeal breakfast complete with a birthday candle.

at school, she had a little birthday celebration, complete with gramma stopping by to read knuffle bunny and a rousing version of the happy birthday song.

i slaved over a delicious batch of frozen themed cupcakes and anna chose doritos as her favorite snack. it was also mrs. lichtefeld’s birthday, so another mom brought in fruit, to tone down the processed sugar overload that i supplied. :)

i left anna to run to isaac’s school for field day and she and hazel got to spend the afternoon with gramma. then, just as gramma left, anna’s teen bff, natalie showed up. they ate pizza and played outside and played with the dollhouse. then, they snuggled up for a movie before heading to bed for a sleepover.

now. a bit about theannababy.

she’s loves to read, write and draw. in fact, she’s a fantastic artist. she’s just starting to sound out words, with the help of isaac. she’s not too shabby at math, either.
she’s a strong willed, spirited little thing. sheesh. when she gets an idea about how things are going to go, she digs in and fights tooth and nail until the end. we’re working on compromising and not always getting your way. it’s a long and tough road, i suppose.
she can be the sweetest little person you’ve ever seen. always asking for one last “hug-kiss-snuggle”. although, that might just be a delay tactic, too. ;).
she loves to garden, especially with gramma. as evidenced in this blog time and time again, theannababy loves loves loves the chickens.
she and isaac have a love/hate relationship. they sure can press each others buttons. she definitely likes to play with hazel, who until now has been decidedly less opinionated, although that seems to be changing. she loves to pick out matching sister outfits, which are oftentimes ridiculous.
her favorite thing in the entire world is princesses. mostly elsa. and frozen. but, any disney princess will do in a pinch. she likes to read about them. watch movies. draw and color them. we have barbie sized, doll sized and little tiny figurines with clip on dresses of most of the princess. it consumes her (our) life.
she’s turning into a little person from a baby so very fast and i’m so excited and so sad all at once.

i might add to this later, but i really want to post about the PARTY tomorrow, so i wanted to get this in tonight, before the massive undertaking of blogging about the epic frozen extravaganza. :)

the end.

lid kid everyday life , , ,

the april post.


i started this post on may 1.
but it’s been a bit crazy around here with projects and school parties and anna’s birthday!!!
(that post to come. soon. maybe.)

anyhow. rewind about 40 days and that’s where this post begings.

park day with friends.

anna, swinging with her bff, natalie.

the crazel.

hazel and sully. :)

another park. another swing.

anna’s easter gift was the cinderella dress. and we discovered that hazel fits into the rapunzel dress that anna wore when she was three. :)

cute princesses.

more parks.

pretty anna.

the three knuckleheads. hazel is sure she’s big.


we went to a super cute robot birthday party for this little guy.

princess art, by anna.

matching sisters.

bought these red sparkly shoes at megathrift for anna. she’s a fan.

chicken rides.

we are spoiling the lone survivor. it probably thinks it’s a human.



cool tricks.

more swings.

chicken holders.

boy scout chili cookoff. in the miserable cold and rain.

but there were hot dogs. so that helped.

the big crazel with her oatmeal.

more princess art. it’s all princesses. all day. every day.

hazel meets a chicken. and they are both a little unsure.

so. there. april. done.

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

kristin boone is the bomb.

my pal kristin boone, who is the best photographer around, took some pics of my kids a few weeks ago.
and like always. they are AMAZING.
i like to think my cute kids have something to do with this. but, seriously though. kristin gets the best out of them. and they are always way more awesomer than i expect.

i’ve uploaded them all to flickr. if you want to see them all. but here are some highlights.














sorry for so many. it was hard to narrow down. they are all so good.
thank you kristin boone!!!!!

lid kid adventures , , ,

a chicken tale.

so. when i was writing my post for march, i intentionally left out all of our baby chick pics, deciding that a dedicated baby chicken post was in order. at the time, it was going to be a delightful tale, with future volumes. such is not the case.

i’ll start from the beginning. we are down to six grown chickens. and we don’t really like the ones that are left. they aren’t super friendly. two are downright mean. so, we thought maybe it was time for a new crew. so we went to tractor supply and picked out 15 new chicks. (hopeful for about half to be girls).

the kids were so super excited.

obviously, anna was the biggest fan.


isaac was more interested than i thought he would be. we went down to visit them several times a day.


they are so freaking cute when they are chicks.

future international chicken superhero.

hazel tried to maim them upon meeting them. then she freaked out when we all screamed “no no no!” as she pulled a wing as hard as possible. and then she was scared of them. but she slowly came back around.

seriously. it was heaven for anna.

they grew big fast. and it got warm, so we were able to take them out some.

happy chicken anna.

holding future tina fey jr??

equal opportunity chicken love.

they got big enough to fight off the chicken maimer.

we took them out more and more.

we were hoping for lots of hens. and lots of friendly chickens. the more handling, the better.

portrait of a teenage chicken.

eventually, they outgrew their box in the garage. but, we couldn’t put them in with the grown chickens yet, because they’d kill them. jerks. so, derek built a little fenced in area for them under the deck. and there they lived. it was so nice to not have to feed and water them 8 times a day. and we figured in a month or so they’d be big enough to move in with the grownups.

and then.
tragedy struck.

see this face:

it’s the face of a cold blooded chicken killer.
her rap sheet is as follows:
she killed 3 of our original flock when they were just 5 weeks old. that’s when we knew we needed to keep her away. she seemed to do ok with the grown group if they kept together, but she would go after a lone straggler or a squawker. she killed tina fey, our favorite and then chicken sarah powers. she also got a couple of babies awhile back when we hatched some eggs.

anyhooo. we were actually down to only 13 chicks because two died in the first week. and i had let lucy out into the yard and it was rainy, so i figured i’d let her get her money’s worth, because once i dried her off, i wasn’t going to let her out again for awhile. after a bit, she came in. i dried her off. noticed she was particularly muddy. put her in basement. and walked out to see if she’d been digging in yard…

and this was the gruesome scene awaiting me.

she had dug under the fence and pulled some of it away and gotten in with them. the best i can figure is they all ran out and she systematically picked them off, one by one. they were all ripped to shreds and had guts everywhere. so horrible. glad the kids didn’t see it. she mauled them 12 out of 13.

i heard the thirteenth chirping loudly from under the deck. i took it in the garage to the box (which is plenty of space for one chicken). and here it is. it’s a barred rock, just like tina fey. and hopefully it’s a girl. we’ve had plenty of name suggestions. harry potter, the one who lived. catniss everdeen, sole survivor of the hunger games. gloria gaynor, of “i will survive” fame.

we are spoiling (hopefully)her. she will be our new fave.

so, no future volumes about these babies. sad.
except for our sole survivor. stay tuned.

and a final note.
my oh-so-hilarious friend jude dropped this little gift by yesterday afternoon:

because, i obviously currently do NOT love my dog.
she’s been in solitary confinement for the last couple of day for her own safety.

anyhow. rip little baby chicks.

lid kid everyday life , , , ,

sunshiny florida trip. part 2.

on our third day in florida, we laid pretty low.
we skipped the beach and instead headed to the pool.
i took exactly zero pictures at the pool.
because of having to hold so many non-swimmers and such.
then, hazel caught up on some MUCH needed sleep and we just lounged around the trailer park. er. the manufactured home retirement community.

my dad tried to catch lizards for anna and helped her learn to ride the giant tricycles.

hazel met my cousin shaunna’s baby, trent, who is about the same age.

the kids got sweaty and grubby and sticky thanks to delicious watermelonzzz.


day 4. this is what i awaken to. a hard sleeping anna.

day 4 also happened to be the day of my gram’s memorial service. so, we spent the morning getting ready. bathing the grubby kiddos. trying to convince hazel to nap. (to no avail).

and sarah did anna’s hair up super cute to match her own.

then we rolled over to the atrium of the park and awaited the festivities.
it was really quite nice. my grampa had a catholic mass and the kids were super miserable and it was foreign and uncomfortable. this was very informal and more a celebration of my grams. a microphone was passed around the room and everyone said a little bit about their memories of her. i took some pics of her younger years that were displayed about the room.



and then. the food. sooooo good. it was catered by an italian place in st. pete and was awesome. the cookie tray:

and my giant pile of delicious italian fare. meatballs. baked ziti. salad. tortellini salad. cannoli. cuccidati. and varying sliced meats. it was ridiculous really.

i didn’t take nearly enough pictures of family. i’m the worst. so i’ve been hijacking pics from my cousins. like this selfie of me and karis and shaunna.

later, at the “after party”, there were several attempts to rustle up various groups of people to get some family shots, but it didn’t work out super swell. this is my gramma’s five kids, with my gramma’s sister, aunt florence and her daughter arlene.

i hijacked the next three pics from arlene, who took a TON.

this was the best pic we got of as many grandkids and great grandkids as we could rustle up at one point.  and my aunt michelle.  and aunt florence.  anna had just gotten unfairly reprimanded (yelled at), so she wasn’t feeling it.
florida kids big

all of the great grandkids we could manage. (anna refused).
florida kids

and then a weird assortment. my aunt michelle. my cousin nick’s two kiddos. and anna.
florida kids and michelle

another view of the giant group of folks. because you can fully see anna’s distress. :)

just me and my girls and my dad. old grampa joe. (anna would repeatedly tell me, “he’s NOT old! he’s still a KID!” which is so very true).

me and the girlies.

my aunt sharon’s husband offered to take the kids on a golf cart ride. they piled in tight. when they rolled out, a quiet peacefulness fell upon the rest of us.

after awhile, we busted out the delicious italian cuisine for another round. i could eat it everyday for the rest of my life. for realz.

after a little while, we all wound down and off to bed. i was supposed to leave the next day, but decided we needed one more beach day. :) i convinced shaunna to go with us, and other cousins, siblings cliff and nicole joined the fun. and off we went again, to fort de soto.

my little shell searcher got straight to work.

and hazel took off exploring.

half selfie with this hazel face.

beach bum.

the trees are so close to the water, so we set up shop in the shade. we brought subs and various snacks and enjoyed a sandy, gritty lunch with this view.

back to work.

for our first two days of beach trips, we were without beach toys. so lame. (one day, we had three plastic cups and four popsicle sticks leftover from the ride and those worked wonders, so it wasn’t that bad, right?). anyhow, for this trip, shaunna, a local, brought tons of beach toys. way more fun.


my girls. and shaunna’s kiddo, trent.

nicole took this pic of all of us in the super awesome gulf coast waters. (shaunna and trent. me and girls. and cliff and his baby, juliette.)

then, the fun beach time came to a close and we headed back. my dad took us out to dinner and then we had to pack and prepare for the long trip home. we had to clean up the trailer. get the car loaded. unload some groceries to my dad. blah blah blah.

i had planned on leaving when the girls woke up between 7 and 8. but my dad pretty much sad that tampa rush hour (monday) traffic is horrible and i should leave before 6 or after 9. the thought of getting home at 9 pm was misery, so i figured i would wake the girls and throw them in at leave at 6. fortunately, hazel’s little head popped up over the side of the pack n play at 530, and anna stirred awake and we got on with it without much drama.


just as we got through tampa, i realized: we didn’t have the ipad. or one of hazel’s bunnies. and i had a bag of nasty trash in my car that i had forgotten to drop in the dumpster before we left the park. fantastic. the ipad has been recovered and shipped. the bunny is lost forever? and the trash came all the way to nc with us. mmmmm.

the kids were TROOPERS on the ride home. we stopped just outside of tampa to get coffee and a diaper change. and then in savannah. for a little running about and chicken at chick fil a. :)

we drove the last FIVE hours, nonstop. we made it home in 11.5 hours and our florida trip was in the books.

tales of vacations and travels , , , , , , , ,

sunshiny florida trip. part 1.

ok. i’m skipping around.
we actually just got back from this trip, so this isn’t belated. well, technically it is. but, by my dismal standards, it’s super early.

some background.
in october, my gramma died. (that post is here.)
anyhoo. like with my gramps, a memorial service was planned for a later date, so that as much family, scattered across the globe, could be in attendance. that date was april 11. first, i was gonna go it alone. then, i decided to bring kids. then, we entertained doing disney and hogwarts with kids afterwards. then, we definitely decided that was a no-go. then, i was only going to bring anna. then, we figured it would be easier for childcare and for derek to work if i brought hazel too. plus, my fam has never met hazel. isaac didn’t particularly want to go, and he would miss a lot of school, so he stayed behind and had some quality time with dad.
sooo… on tuesday, hazel and anna and i departed for sunshiny florida.

so. this is the path. gps said it was about 10 hours and 15 minutes. we opted for a full twelve hour plan.

road trip break. burger king. a “luxury” reserved only for road trips.

we rolled in around 7:30. it was a rough night with the crazel. but, after some coffee, all was good. we met up with family and anna and my cousin karis’s daughter, sarah, hit it off immediately.

i had warned anna that we might not go to the beach on the very first day, but karis was getting ready to take her kids, so we had a quick wardrobe change, and we were off to st. pete beach. no time to waste! anna got busy collecting shells.

we had so much fun. the water was crystal clear. the sand was soft and white. and i’m spoiled for beaches for life.

karis’s kids loved my kids and vice versa. they were so sweet and good to them and i’m so thankful they were there.

hazel wasn’t super sure about the water, so we had to regroup.

anna and sarah. heart.

karis’s oldest daughter, emma, is a super teenager-y teen. drama and obnoxiousness. but, she was so great and helpful with my kiddos.

more sarah and anna.

hazel slowly warmed up to beach life.

the crazel.

my sweet annababy.

for day two, we met up with my stepdad’s parents who also live in tampa. hazel cozied right up to terry’s dad.

then. well. you know. we headed back to the beach. this time it was fort de soto. and we car pooled. all the hammerhead cousins in one loaded up minivan.

i forced the cousins to take a group shot.

anna. ready to go. this kid loves the beach.

a leisurely stroll. fort de soto was even more beautiful. and there’s no condos and restaurants and the like. just trees and beaches and ocean.

hazel, the eye rubber, spent a good portion of the day smearing sand on her face.

sarah and her minions.

my pretty beach bum on the beautiful beach.

and the crazel. in the sand. only in the sand. no water for her, thank you very much.

a mound of sand and sarah and hazel.

anna collects all the shells. shards of shells. shells that might be rocks. shells with living creatures in them.

on the way home, we stopped for ice cream. which melted quite quickly in the hot florida sun.

i obviously got blue ice cream for hazel, because this:

my aunt sharon cooked a gourmet meal of italian sausage and baked ziti and brought it over to us. so good. and day two was in the books.

and i’m going to bed.
stay tuned for the riveting account of the rest of our trip. :)

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