A great first Christmas

Here are a few photos from Hazel's first Christmas. I'm not gonna post pics of her presents because that might make me feel guilty and then I might do something crazy like box them all up and send them to Africa... along with the broccolli I didn't finish the other night.

click to enlarge

Clockwise: H with Gma and Gpa Baird; Gma Kosker putting on H's baby ring; H enchanted with the Christmas trees' candles; H playing with wrapping paper; the Kosker Christmas Eve portrait; H showing her bloomers and wearing Santa's hat; H with cousin Phoebe; cousin Kaelen in his snow fort; H getting ready to decorate the Christmas tree; Dad, Aunt Amy, and Willem preparing for a fondue feast; cousin Kathe lovin up some Hazel; proving you're never too old for a snowball fight (the FL Krumichs featured); Willem aiming for the photographer; the fondue party guests (Krumichs from PA, VA, LA, FL).


May your days be jolly...

I'm sitting here listening to 4 of my favorite people in the galaxy play a game. Yes, my Krumich relatives have taken over the house! Tonight, we're having a fondue for 15! That's a lot of cheese (and wine...and Kirsch).

So, I can't write much (if you feel relieved about that... HUMPH!). However, after two nights of laughing until I cry (one night with Lutherlyn friends and one night with my family), side splitting guffaws, and an almost constant smile on my face... it's time to put it out there... PEOPLE ARE FUNNIER ON THE EAST COAST!

I had been told this before and never brought it up because I didn't want to anger my Oregon friends. But, it's TRUE! Yes, I know funny Oregonians, but it IS different here.

One of my (Oregon) coworkers told me once that they read an article in which Tina Fey talked about developing her sense of humor growing up in Philly and it reminded her of me. I make no claims to be anywhere near Ms. Fey, but I think there's a shred of truth in a cultural sense of humor.

Time to rejoin the party!


*cue Rocky Soundtrack

I'm a WINNER! One of my favorite things to feel bitter about is the fact that I enter contest after contest in the blogosphere and have never ever won ANY of the contests.

That all changed when a fellow MUC alum decided to make a gorgeous blog and share peeks into her life.

Check out Kate's blog and drool over the prize package that's coming MY WAY (while you're at it, you'll find yourself drooling over her gorgeously decorated home and uber cute family... to me, her blog is more like a look into an alternate universe where a woman somehow manages to decorate, cook and raise kids SIMULTANEOUSLY)!

Thanks Kate!


Favorite things: Birth - 5 months

This post is in reply to frequent questions about what were the best baby gifts. Since many of my readers gave Hazel gifts, I want to BEG you not to take this personally! This is merely a list of gift ideas for future use, not the list of my personal favorites.

  • A Summer Bonnet. This is really just for summer babies, but unless the parents plan to stay inside all day (barf. I don't want to be their friend.), it's really hard to keep the sun off of little baldie without overheating said baldie.
  • Trumpette Shoe Socks. Fit better than most baby socks, stylish, and guaranteed to get compliments (not that my baby needed help in that department!)
  • BLANKETS! After Hazel arrived and baby gifts were pouring in (we felt very loved! ooo, do I measure love by tangible gifts? YIKES!), I began to stress because we received SO many blankets! Flannel, fleece, knitted, crocheted... I had blanket guilt because there was NO way we'd be able to use all of the blankets. Oh, to be young and naive again ;) Flannel blankets are my preferred burp rags because you have either a blanket or a burp rag while you're out (note: one set of flannel blankets are extra large and they were/are my favorite flannels because they worked for swaddling much better than all the postage stamp sized ones). Knitted and Crocheted blankets are lovely because I love the look of homemade, they can look a little girly, and most importantly they have air holes which gives me a little piece of mind now that Hazel has learned how to pull the blankets over her head when she sleeps. The fleece blankets are great for playing on the floor and wrapping up in for short walks. Though I have found uses for the smaller blankets, let me repeat that the largest baby sized blankets are the most helpful!

  • Diapering supplies. I'm a primarily cloth diaper user, so keep that in mind. However, universally the Prince Lionhart Diaper Warmer and 30+ flannel wipes would be a great way to help any mom be a little greener. (I also have a Munchkin Warm Glow that is great, but the PL is my favorite because it has a soaker pad that keeps the wipes from drying out). If a mama is curious about cloth diapering, it would be awesome to buy her one or two diaper systems... any kind! That's the only way she'll figure out what she prefers. Read this old post to get some ideas!
  • Long sleeved onesies, sweaters/hoodies & pants. Yes, Hazel was born in July... during a heat wave. HOWEVER, newborns have so little body mass! So, regardless of the season, I recommend holding off on buying onesies in exchange for a few warmer clothes items! We received SO MANY ADORABLE onesies that I decided not to use bibs so that I would have a chance of using the onesies. Now it's winter and I'm finally able to pull out the larger onesies... and she's not wearing them :( Seriously, I have onesie guilt now.

  • I have one wish for every new parent out there... that they may be given a SLEEPY WRAP!

Jake and 1-month old Hazel frolic with some sharks.

  • A close second is a homemade SLING! I'm having trouble finding a picture of Jake or I wearing our slings. Probably because I am ALWAYS wearing one these days and it's difficult to take a picture of one's self. Baby carriers enable parents to continue to use their hands, calm the babies, promote bonding, and look cool. Slings have to be custom made to fit the parent, so the Sleepy Wrap is a little more universal. However, I can easily just slip the sling on and after 5 seconds of fussing, Hazel is asleep. Seriously, ask any member of my church. Hazel is in a sling during EVERY church service and she sleeps the whole time! I also use it when I'm out shopping. So much healthier for your back then carrying one of those car seat contraptions and 1000 times safer for your baby (those seats are not supposed to be placed on shopping carts 'cause they fall off... not saying that I never do that, but typically I slip her into the sling and leave the seat in the car.).

  • TOYS! Until recently, toys were of no interest to my newborn. However, the HABA brand is my favorite. Quality German-made toys that look cool and are fabulously interactive.

Oh boy, I'm having trouble knowing when to stop. Looking around, I see so many other great things that I use a lot: the Ikea LEKA gym, her vibrating bouncer seat, the Boppy pillow, a Bumbo seat (which I've only borrowed, but it's so handy that now I know I want one!), BOOKS...

You really can't go wrong when buying a baby gift for new parents! Everything you buy saves them money and lets them try out a product that they may otherwise not splurge on. Babies grow so rapidly that it's great to give stuff for the early months, but I also really appreciate the fact that I have some clothes and toys that she has yet to grow into. I've mentioned before that I love organic clothing. Without a doubt, the organic items are MUCH softer. They are a little more expensive, so that's why they're a great gift to give... something the parent may not spring for themselves. Her homemade gifts (knitted hats, sweater, felted booties, blankets) will be added to the "family heirloom" boxes....


*one final thought: I REALLY appreciated the mama gifts I received. I had just gone through such an intense experience (labor and delivery) and was functioning joyfully on very little sleep... so the tokens (mama & baby yoga video, lotions, jewelry, food) that reminded me that I'm still a woman and seperate from my newborn were much appreciated!


Can I tie this photo in with Advent?

One of the perks since moving back to PA is getting involved with my old home congregation, Good Hope Lutheran Church. I took an extended church holiday while living in Oregon. We were Christers (Christmas/ Easter attendees) and that was about all the willpower I had come Sunday morning. However, living near Oil City, I am able to return to the church I grew up in.

For perhaps the first time in my life, I'm LISTENING to the sermons. I feel my religious (similar, but not the same as spiritual) mind reawakening. I've always enjoyed studying religions, but as my non-religious/Biblical scholar friend Dave once pointed out, I am rather ignorant of a lot of the Bible. I've gone through the whole questioning/ soul searching thing. Ok, well that is a life-long process, but I've gone through the rough times and discovered that I love the ELCA faith (I'll write more about this another day).

That means quite simply, that I believe that WE are saved by God's GRACE. PERIOD. In the words of Pastor Scherr, we GET to go to church, we GET to serve our neighbors, but those things have nothing to do with our salvation. Change the "I have tos" to "I get tos" and suddenly life feels free, exciting and guilt free, eh?

Last night was the last of a set of three mid-week Advent services. The congregation (more like 10% of us) get together and share a potluck-style soup dinner and then we follow a beautiful liturgy, the Holden Evening Prayer. I think it helps to be a singer when it comes to religion. Part of the reason I enjoy church so much is I love to sing, I love to sight read, I love to try out harmonies, I love to listen preludes and postludes, I love to hang-out with the choir folk (it's true, they are a super fun/ slightly naughty group of individuals)...

ANYWAY, I've become really excited about Advent this year and what it represents (or the small portion that I've finally grasped). Perhaps it's because I have my own babe and so the birth of Christ is a totally new experience through my "mom" eyes.

All that being said, I also believe in Santa Claus. To me, Santa represents a belief in the unseen, an excitement of things to come, a spirit of charity and love to others... hmmm... kinda like the Christ child! I'm looking forward to the upcoming years when I get to witness this faith and excitement in Hazel. I'm also looking forward to teaching her about Advent and the beauty of Christ's birth. Someday I'll help her wade through this season and sift through what's imaginary, what's real, and what's important... but let's not get so focused on reality that we steal any of the mystery and excitement from this beautiful holiday!
There are seven glorious days left to reflect and prepare for what's to come. Yes, shop, wrap, bake, watch White Christmas... but also remember Mary, a woman travelling at the end of her pregnancy and prepare yourself to celebrate THE birth that changed EVERYTHING!

Do you believe? In the above picture I clearly see God in two forms.


Extra Extra!

Hazel made her first appearance in the newspaper today! She will not actually be in the performance, but the photographer (me) just couldn't use a baby doll when such a Heavenly creature was available!

Click on the photograph to access the newspaper article


5 months (and one day)

photo by W.Killinger

Wow, I have been living in PA long enough to be writing ANOTHER month birthday post for Hazel!

Things are really heating up for Hazel while winter wraps its hands around us. This month she has begun to roll/flop over and to giggle. However, she really holds out on those new skills and we rarely see/hear them. She's also getting strong and will spend chunks of time on her belly with her head and feet up (such a skilled yogi!), she can sit on her own for a few seconds before tilting (TIMBER!) and judging by the drool and fierceness with which she chews on her hands, teeth are just around the corner. She may be holding out on giggles, but she has a HUGE smile that she's willing to flash at anyone who tells her she's cute. Quite the flirt (must be her father's DNA!).

She still likes to eat and sleep about every 3 hours, but can tough it out between midnight and 6am to give her mama a nice rest (except for every other night when she cries out for her feeding and due to her stubborn nature, it takes her awhile to realize that I'm really NOT coming!).

She's definitely in a mama phase. On one hand, it's pretty awesome to be someones absolutely favorite human. Yes, my parents and husband adore me, but there is something uniquely wonderful about being Hazel's end-all-be-all! On the other hand, she can be quite inconsolable (just WHERE did she get this stubborn streak?) when I try to leave the house for an hour or two. We know that she recognizes her dad, but when she wants her mama- she is serious about it! So, though this phase is inevitable, we are going to start giving her regular no-mama times in an effort to help her be more flexible. I'd love to go on a date with my hubby or snag a drink with a friend and not spend the whole time imagining her screaming her head off!

(side story: last week Jake took her home after church while I stayed for an hour long choir practice. I returned to a quiet house and eventually found them upstairs. Hazel was lying naked on the heated floor of the bathroom while her daddy was staring at her with a glassy eyed expression drinking a brewsky. After an agonizing hour of trying ever trick he knew to quiet her screaming, he was attempting to soothe her by preparing a bath and learned that she was happy as a clam just being naked. Sorry future Hazel, but it's the truth... you little exhibitionist you!).

I'll end this post with a picture of our happy little elf. (the hat was a souvenir from a Saturday Market in Seattle, the shirt was picked up when her dad and PapPap Kosker went shopping (in an attempt to even out her girly, pink wardrobe) and the felted booties are an Aunt Marianne speciality!)


new favorite

And this is when my hubby is THANKFUL that I rarely give in to shopping sprees. But, when I do, HELLO HAPPY CHICKADEE!


a Christmas gift

I've mentioned my friend, Whit, on this blog a few times. She is a life-long friend and I can say with complete confidence that she will always be my friend. She is also Hazel's Aunt. Not biologically, but an Aunt just the same. She is my stylista and soon-to-be decor consultant. (Her home looks like what would happen if Audrey Hepburn shopped primarily at Pottery Barn.) She is also a photographer.

Never one to hesitate from taking advantage of a friend, we pried ourselves off of the couch for a few hours during Thanksgiving (a huge deal!) and had a photo shoot. My grandmother and mother have saved a few baby outfits for the past few generations and so we had fun dressing Hazel up. Though the lighting was a problem, Whitney worked her magic (without photo shop!).

My mom bought this outfit in Switzerland. My first Christmas pic is in this outfit :)


recognize this?

"Solve World hunger... tell NO ONE!"

Hint: I heard this familiar line while decorating my Christmas tree. It's so wrong, but brings me so much cheer :)

bleeding hearts

Babies need patterns. They need a schedule. At 4 months, babies should sleep through the night. Crying is good for a babies lungs (ahem- dad). Let them cry through the night for 3 nights and then all your problems will be solved.

If you've had a baby, you have most likely heard these exact statements. In general, Hazel has turned into an easy baby. She just endured 5 days of company with very few crying jags. Then the floodgates erupted and she let us know that she'd like her calm life back. Cue 2 days of screaming and that brings me to this morning. I'm typing in an effort to not go to her while she screams through the first part of her nap.

There are different types of baby cries, though I can't always discern them. However, their are real tear cries, vocalizing cries when she's annoyed, and ANGRY cries. It's the angry ones that make my eardrums bleed and make me want to climb back into the womb.

Last night I put Hazel to bed in her crib (on her belly WITH blankets...ooo! Sorry western world, but when a baby prefers her stomach, there's nadda you can do about it and her fleece sleep sack just isn't enough for our chosen temperature.) promptly on schedule, at 9pm. Then I went over to the main house to tidy up and do a few dishes so that my busy parents wouldn't have to see the mess.

I returned to our apartment to find a happy Dadda with a baby on his lap. Hazel's cheeks were rosy and she had this calm, content, victorious look on her face. I kid you not, the girl KNEW she was pulling one over on her dad! As soon as Jake saw me staring, he sheepishly said "I thought she was napping until I brought her out when she fussed and I saw the clock." Juries out on whether that's the truth, but I certainly can't fault him for loving some cuddle time.

Part of me desperately wants to have Hazel sleep with us. There is nothing better than leaning my forehead against hers while I fall asleep, smelling her sweet breath throughout the night, or being greeted by a smile as soon as I open my eyes. However, I do keep her in my bed after her 6am feeding and on the mornings when we fall back asleep together, I wake up stiff from not moving.

So, I'm back to trying to give her life some predictability and I'll just stuff cotton into my bleeding eardrums.

(Author's note: crying has ended. Mama 1, Hazel 1000)


a giggle!

Hazel just let loose her FIRST giggle! Looking forward to hearing a trillion more of those this year :)



My big sis wrote a Thankfulness blog. Seems extremely appropriate for the season, eh? My head literally SWARMED like locust in the Middle East with things I am thankful for. I bet y'all can guess my Numero Uno (hint: rhymes with Basil).

However, I'm gonna boil it all down to this: I am THANKFUL for security (and Benjamins).

Over two years ago, Jake and I had just finished our big move out west. We were fresh out of school and excited about our adventure. We had lived on student loans and small work-study stipends for 2 years and our bank account was scary... in fact, I don't think the bank considered it an account. When my new employer told me that it would be two months from the time I started working to the time that first paycheck was in my pocket, my knees buckled. There as NO way we were gonna make it. So, we ate humble pie and asked my parents for another loan. It felt like SUCH a big deal to me each time they put $100 into our account. (they were so gracious about the whole ordeal- thanks ma and pa! yes, we paid them back promptly!)

Living in our new city, we discovered this GREAT grocery store (WINCO) that had super low prices. The catch with the place is that you have to pay with cash/debit and you bag your own stuff. No biggie... except we had no cash! What a cruel world it is when you can't afford to shop at the cheap grocery store (yeah, cheaper than Wal-Mart!).

Then one day early in my career, there was a sweet anonymous note and $100 bill in my school mailbox. Now, there is just a small group of wonderful people who knew about my predicament, but I never tried to figure out who my anonymous angel was because that was what they wanted. The relief that that gift brought was immense! My coworkers also pulled together and gave me a nice gift card for that store on my birthday that September.

Once again, we have been without a paycheck for an uncomfortable amount of time. However, this time we were prepared AND our bills are extremely low (we live on my parent's property and I work for them in exchange for rent). So, even though my bank account is happy, my tummy is full, and I am warm... I remember the value of a $100 bill and I am thankful for the kindness of an anonymous friend who helped me out so long ago.



Dear blog, I'm sorry that I have been ignoring you. The only computer always at my fingers is an old, creaky desktop. Though there are 3 laptops floating around, none of them ever seem to be available for little ole me. So here's a quick update on my week:

Good news: Jake made it safely to PA! Thanks to his dad for taking the time to help him load up and drive across the country. He's a better man than me ;)

Great news: We just got back from a 4 day trip to Jake's hometown. Hazel got to meet her Uncle Josh (and he got to change his first ever baby diaper!) and her Great-Gma Kosker! Hazel also got to meet our dear friends, the Tosts and interview their two sons for possible courtship in the future. Throw in meeting Jake's Aunt Mary Lou (one of the people reflected in Hazel's middle name) and Aunt Vonnie as well as spending some quality time with 3 of her grandparents... it was a wonderful trip! However, just like her mama, Hazel does NOT sleep the first night in a new place. I don't know how she can tell a difference 'cause she had been in her travel bassinet for weeks, but she surely let me know that her routine was affected!

Other news: Last night I finally agreed to make Hazel sleep in her crib. I've known for quite awhile that this would as hard or harder for me as it would be for her. For her entire life, she's slept with me or within arms reach in a bassinet. And yes, I frequently pet her and hold her hand throughout the night. I'm in love, it's my only excuse. So, with the help of Jake, I stayed in my bed (maybe with my teary face buried in pillows) while Hazel cried, screamed, whimpered, and SLEPT! When I finally fed her at 6, amazingly we all fell back asleep for a few HOURS! Guess no one got much sleep. One night down, two more to go (everyone says that it takes three nights to teach a babe how to sleep through the night). My mom just told me that she thinks Hazel is a stubborn as me... she sounded oddly pleased at this... HUMPH!

Now, to finish organizing our apartment and PREPARE FOR THANKSGIVING (my favorite holiday 'cause we spend it with Ape (mom's college roomie), Dick (looks like Steve Martin), Whit (their daughter and one of my dearest friends), and Drew (who laughs at all of Jake's jokes)!



In less than 24-hours, Jake will be HERE! We've been apart for 2 1/2 weeks and it feels more like 2 1/2 months.

To deal with her anticipation, Hazel began practicing her hunting skills. It's gonna be a daughter/daddy activity and so she decided that it was time to start practicing. Of course she didn't use a gun, but she still bagged 3 animals!

Look closely at Hazel's shirt and you'll see another thing that she is anticipating... meeting her Aunt Marianne and Uncle Christoph in Alaska! That won't be for a few months, but for now Hazel is content with seeing them on Skype and looking at their photograph.


4 months of bliss

Happy 4 month birthday Hazey Mari! Hazel seems like such a part of me, I can't believe I lived for 28 years without her.

This month, Hazel has focused on ab crunches. She wants to be sitting up and looking at everyone. So, if you try to lie her back in your arms or on the ground, she will work her abs in an effort to sit up. She also has begun cooing! It sounds more like "ahhooo" in the sweetest sing song voice. When she is in a good mood, she will try to hold a conversation. I'll speak, pause, and she'll coo, repeat until mama's heart melts and swoops her up into a cuddle.

She is definitely past the colic phase. However, when she's around a large group of people, she becomes over stimulated and is quite inconsolable. Fortunately, once again the sling SAVES THE DAY and she can stare at her mama or sleep.

It's a beautiful warm fall day in Pennsylvania. As usual, I forced Hazel to have a photo shoot when she wants to be napping, however Hazel takes after her father and is very happy when wearing her birthday suit. The girl sure knows how to work it!


designed for ME

I've always wished that I had a personal designer. I would love to call someone up, describe the perfect pair of shoes/dress/nursery decor, and have them MADE! It would save me so much time because I always have something VERY specific in mind and have to trudge store-to-store looking for something close to what I've envisioned.

My sister does not understand my obsession with owls and birds. Now I have PROOF that I'm hip and trendy and I'm suffering from a MAJOR case of the I WANTS...

Time to warm up the old charge card! Thank you Pottery Barn, I will forever be a loyal shopper (now how about a discount for blogging about this?).


my father's hands continued

FINALLY... I have the pic to go with this old post.

HUGE, right (his hands...and her cheeks)? Last night Hazel fell asleep with her head resting in her Grandpa's hand. Just like her mama used to do when she (I- in case you're confused) got tired after dinner.

Needless to say, Hazel has been getting lots of love since moving across the country! There are still many more people and relatives to meet, but the girl only has so many hours in a day. Since my hubby is away on a hunting trip (a mighty successful one!), I am REALLY appreciating the help I'm getting by living on my parent's property. I'm almost as spoiled as Hazel (however judging by the growing number of gift bags piling up around here, I'd say she's winning by a landslide)! Hazel does enjoy her solo play time, but she also loves to be held or entertained. Without my parents help, I think Jake would have come home from his hunt and found a wild beast in his wife (not THAT kind of wild beast ;)


earned her wings!

All new parents have to wade through the dilemma of encouraging their child/ building their strengths OR pushing them too hard in the wrong direction/ burning them out in the right direction. Jake's been reading some great books on the subject that taught us that Hazel needs to spend x # of hours studying an area to be an expert (clearly I didn't read the books and so I'll stop this paragraph!).

There are a few things that I know for certain that Hazel with master: camping, hiking, travelling, a musical instrument (or 3), and perhaps aviation...

Look who earned her wings by being such a good airline passenger (or because she's so cute and the stewardess adored her)!

Here she is touring Dad's Dog Food's private jet with Grandpa Orris (he's in charge of this here luxury jet). She decided that the next time she flies, she wants to go on this type of plane (3.5 months old and she's already a snob :) !

A low-key spookfest

Hazel and her Grandma Baird :)

Hazel's Shoppe of Horrors wishes you a very spooky (if you consider a sugar-high to be spooky) Halloween!


pimp my crib!

I'm in PENNSYLVANIA! Hazel and I had a delightful flight (99% true) and now we're here... to stay! That reality is a bit much for my brain. My life has been a series of 2-4 year moves for over 10 years, so thinking about living within a small radius for the indefinite is well... a shift to say the least!

For the 2nd night in a row, Hazel has let me lay her down in her bassinet at 9pm without a peep of complaint. I think this Pennsylvania air is good for her! Now that we're here, we need a CRIB! I'd love to get a crib within the week, but surprisingly, I haven't done any research yet. So, I'm gonna hit Walmart, Target, Sears, Ikea... ANY ADVICE? I know many of you have kids, love to decorate, or maybe have seen an inexpensive awesome crib.

I've tried to win hundreds (HUNDREDS) of online contests for baby gear over the past 2 years. I haven't won ONE DARN THING! Hopefully that will all change. I'm entering to win a custom designed nursery from ibabyinteriors. Come on Internet karma, don't let me down (AGAIN!).


an insult in sheep's clothing

Remember the Chicken of the Sea post? That was your first insight into my cooking prowess. It's been suggested that I should change my name to Betty (Crocker) or Rachael (Ray). I think I could easily slide into the name Julia (Child).

Due to our rapidly approaching move, we've been trying to empty our pantry, fridge, and two freezers. I'd rate our success at about a 6.

So, for tonight's dinner (a very special dinner that precluded Jake's LAST night of work), I decided to take a cue from my husband and bro-in-law, Christoph. These manly chefs often open cupboards, pull out random ingredients, and make me a feast (good enough to serve for Festivus for the Rest of Us!).

Here's what I found tonight: frozen ground beef, garden potatoes, homemade tomato paste, and garden tomatoes. Visions of Wendy's baked potatoes with chili floated in my head! However, as usual I didn't start thinking about dinner until 1/2 hour before we needed to eat. I quickly Googled "how to bake a potato" (make fun of me and I might start censoring my honesty) and learned that it takes an hour to hour and a half to bake a potato. I learned that you can microwave a potato fairly quickly, but alas I do not have a microwave. HUMPF!

So, I GENIUSLY sliced the potatoes, drizzled on some olive oil, and threw them in the oven. Then I browned the meat, threw some water, tomato paste, and tomatoes into a skillet, and waited for my hubby to wake up (he works night shift and sleeps during the day). In his usual fashion, his first thought of the day was his stomach. I proudly told him about my creativity.

His response: "Well, that makes me look forward to tomorrow's dinner."

Wow, he must be really impressed by my creativity and resourcefulness! He's looking forward to my next pantry cleaning masterpiece!

Naively, I asked him what he meant. My pride was looking for an ego boost.

His response: "'Cause it will be anything but that!"


In conclusion, I would like to state that the dinner wasn't that bad (oh, he asked me to prepare some noodles 'cause he wanted nothing to do with that topping on potatoes). However, I just cleaned the table and neither of us were members of the Clean Plate Club... a rarity for my garbage disposal husband!


Where my heart is.

The post title may have led you to think that this is ANOTHER post about Hazel, it's not. It's about HOME (duh!).

Over the past few days, there have been some MAJOR decisions made by my family. In a nutshell (a Hazelnut perhaps), my grandparents are moving out of their house and into a stoekli (a Swiss word/concept. It means that the older generation is giving up their home and farm and moving into a smaller abode on the property). This is such a huge change for my grandparents and my parents who are quickly erecting a home for them beside my parent's house. This new home will have many less steps, will not get snow/iced in, and they will not have to continue the huge amount of work it takes to own a large home and property.

When I first heard about this new plan, I was excited. I'm THRILLED that my grandparents are not moving into an assisted living facility. For one, they don't need that yet and two, that would totally change their lives. They will be able to continue their activities and it will be extremely convenient for my parents (and the Kosker's) to pop over for a visit or carpool. They want to jump on this idea before winter really sets in... that's maybe a month away!

Last night as I lay in bed thinking over this new plan, I was flooded with memories that I didn't realize I carried. Crystal clear memories of my grandparents and that house:
*Sitting on my bed brushing Gma's hair as she reads me stories.
*Sitting at my Gpa's feet getting a face massage (have never had a better one!)
*Running down to my Gparents house (I grew up on the neighboring property) and peeking in their bedroom window to see if they were napping or if I could come in (in hindsight that was probably really annoying!).
*Sitting on my porch on summer evenings and hearing them practice their flutes on their outside platform (heaven)
*Going on walks with my Grandma through the woods and running ahead so that I wouldn't have to kiss her and my sister under the kissing tree... and then reluctantly returning when Gma noticed.
*Visiting my Gpa in his garage shop. The smell of oil mixed with Wrigley's always makes me think of him. Plus, he listened to COUNTRY music in that shop... a fact that blows my mind. This is a man who listens to Classical music constantly and can identify every composer/conductor/piece. My mom actually hid the first Rock n Roll album she ever bought 'cause she thought she'd get in trouble!
*Running upstairs to grab the tube pillows and then lounging on the floor while we all watched slide shows and laughed at how young everyone looks while eating pretzels and peanuts out of small blue bowls.
*The Christmas wreath that Gpa hung upside down about 70% of the time even though he tried really hard not to.
*Stopping by their house every morning on my way to catch the bus and seeing Gma in her huge blue fluffy robe.
*Exactly where I was in the house the three times my Gma scolded me (I just realized that I've never heard her yell! What a mom!). I remember what I did each time too and I admit that I deserved the scoldings (and my sister probably deserved the punch too!).
*The kitchen where Gpa would kiss Gma and make her giggle.

I could go on for infinity. I was so lucky to be raised next door to my grandparents. They really helped to raise me. My grandfather played in the pit of the musicals that my sister and I starred in. My grandmother nursed me through every childhood illness. My grandfather babysat us every Monday night and entertained us with stories, old fashioned games, and then sent us to sleep to the sounds of his flute...

What a wonderful life I've had.

So, I'm sad. Soon, their belongings will be moved out of their home. I can describe every aspect of their house with probably 97% accuracy- right down to where Gma has her incoming and outgoing mail sitting. I'm not ready for them to leave their house. However, the memories I have are so crystal clear and plentiful. I wish I could turn back time... except I'd have to sacrifice Jake and Hazel. So, I'll stay in the present and share my memories with Hazel as she makes her own memories with her great-grandparents in their new home.


FALLin for you

Between the intermittent rainstorms and a new fall outfit that she's going to outgrow any second ("oops" says this compulsive shopper who is still figuring out baby sizes), I had to take a few pics when I could... right before nap time. Therefore Hazel was NOT happy and absolutely refused to smile or even stop crying. The best part is that she's old enough to see me from far away, so no matter where I walked (used telephoto lens), she was giving me the stink eye. She's one smart pumpkin!

However, as soon as the torturous photo shoot was over, she was in my arms and calm and went into her bassinet without another peep! That's such a huge improvement that I need to pinch myself (OUCH!).

In the photo, Hazel is sitting with a FEW of the gourds her dad grew this fall! We have an entire tub full of them!


The dirt on GREEN

It's hip to be green, ole! (Hazel at 7 lbs in a GroBaby diaper)

Though I have made many decisions about raising my baby based on what's healthiest for her and the planet, I never had to actually weigh the pros and cons of most of the decisions I've made. I wanted to be natural, minimal, frugal, and a bit old fashioned.

Recently, a friend asked me why I chose to breastfeed, how I came to that decision? I was speechless and my eyes rolled into the back of my head in a mini-seizure. I had never considered the alternative! So, I frantically tried to come up with an intelligent answer that hit on the benefits of breastfeeding without being preachy.

For me, there really wasn't an option of not breastfeeding. Fortunately it was extremely easy for me from the minute Hazel entered the world. After she was about 2 months old, my friend, Shannon, mentioned how mother's usually love the bond the breastfeeding creates. At that time I was over-tired and overwhelmed with the constant feedings and had trouble relishing the bonding. However, now that her feedings are spaced further apart and I'm finally "in my groove", I can say that I absolutely love breastfeeding!

Cloth diapering... I admit, I do it because I think it's cool. I'm proud of her huge butt. However, there are times when I have used disposables and though they really do a great job of keeping the moisture from her skin, they often leave big salt crystal-like chunks on her. That can't be good. Also, because CDs don't wick moisture away, she will be motivated to toilet train!

Here's some info for anyone considering CDing. This is what I've learned in these 3 months:

1. Cloth wipes are my absolute favorite part of CDing! Even if you want to use disposable diapers, I HIGHLY recommend cloth wipes! They are extremely easy and CHEAP! I have 3 packs of unbleached flannel wipes. They cost $11.25 for 15. I store them in a wipe warmer so they are always moist and warm. Hazel's butt is so spoiled! I throw them in the wash with the diapers and then instead of drying them, simply fold them together so that they pull the next one out of the container, make sure there's a little extra water in the wipe warmer, and voila! Some people use a little soap or fragrance oil on their wipes- I haven't experimented with that yet. Hazel's skin has been really sensitive thus far so plain water makes sense to me. Also, the flannel wipes have just enough texture and thickness that I can do a LOT of cleaning with just one and never get poop on my hands.

2. Which diaper to choose? This is overwhelming! I did a lot of internet research and there's so many different kinds that it's impossible to know what you'll prefer! I bought an assortment before she was born and have opinions, but really like having an assortment. I think Hazel does too.

I have:

*4 Gro Baby Diapers ($24.95 each- 1 shell and 1 insert) and 4 GroBaby insert packs ($16.95 for a set of 2 organic cotton liners). I LOVE these! The insert snaps into the shell. So, I can usually get about 3 uses out of the shell before washing. They adjust so I have been using them on her since birth and will continue to use them until she is toilet trained. I have two that close with velcro and two that close with snaps. The velcro are extremely easy to put on- in fact if I was going to leave Hazel with someone who's afraid of CDs, they would be able to use these! However, the velcro is so sticky that it sticks to the shell even when I'm being careful. So, those shells look more worn. This is a really new brand and I would LOVE to have more!

*6 small prefolds (can't find receipt... probably about $12). Originally I was dead-set against prefolds because there are so many new fangled diapers out there. Once AGAIN my mother was right (TWO posts in a row... the woman needs to be muzzled!). She really wanted prefolds and I thought she was just old fashioned and stuck in her ways. However, I love them! I converted when a friend gave me 30+ of regular- sized prefolds. I bought some shells to use with them (they were free, frugality trumps stubbornness) however, the regular size was too big for my preemie so I reluctantly (Gma Kosker was adamant about this one!) bought (er...graciously received) a few smaller ones. They are SO easy! You just fold them length-wise in thirds, lay them in the shells, and velcro on.

*5 Thirsties Shells ($11.25 each- 4 duo wraps sized 6-18lbs, 1 xsmall 6-12lbs). LOVE THESE! The leg openings have gussets that really protect from leaks (however some of her enormous poops can break through anything). As mentioned above, you just lay an insert in the shell and they velcro on- not any harder than disposables!

*12 Pinkerton bamboo liners ($4 each). Made by a local crafter at my local Saturday market! The crafter buys this amazing velor bamboo and surges it with a layer of more absorbent bamboo. They're long rectangles and lie nicely in my Thirsties shells. However, they're a little thin, so I put 2 in at a time or layer one on top of a BumGenius booster. to buy: preciouspinkies@ymail.com (note: I bought in bulk and got a discount!)

*4 BumGenius 3.0 ($17.95 each). I had originally planned to use only these as a good friend uses them and loves them. They are adjustable so they will also fit the baby from womb to toilet. HOWEVER, due to Hazel's itty-bitty nature, they leaked around the leg openings until recently. The best feature of these is that they feel the driest after being wet! The micro fleece is next to her skin and the absorbent pad is in a pocket. The drawbacks are that you need to wash the shell and pad after every use and I'm not a huge fan of fleece next to her skin (isn't it really just plastic?). This week is the first that I've begun using these regularly and I try to use them for night time because that's when she wears her diapers the longest (dryness trumps organic cotton).

I still wash my diapers every 2 days. I need more diapers, but soon I'll be able to use the larger prefolds, so I've been willing to do more washing in order to save some money. My advice: if you want a high-tech diaper- go with the GroBaby snaps and BumGenius 3.0 for nighttime, if you want an economical diaper- go with prefolds and Thirsties duo wraps.

Total spent on diapers: $389.40 (and almost half of them were gifts)! I will need to buy some larger Thirsties wraps, but otherwise, I might get be done. I say might be because I'd like a few more so that laundry days can be spread out. Still, the average babe uses 6,000 disposables that's about $2000! I WIN!
(I bought most of my diapers at Mother Nature's a wonderful shop and online boutique based out of Portland, OR: http://www.mothernaturesbabystore.com/)


3 months and still (finally) smilin'

WEIGHT: 11lbs, 5 oz

Ignore the drool, focus on the uber cute hoodie (thanks Aunt Kathy). Hazel is playing underneath her IKEA gym. She doesn't purposely hit the danglies, but does it accidentally and loves it! I can let her hang-out here for a small chunk of time and she smiles and "talks".
A quick photo shoot. Oh my gosh this girl is adorable! She wouldn't let me get the shot of her lying on her side, but you can see how she actually looks HAPPY from time to time now! Validation is a wonderful thing for a sleep deprived mama :)

SO BIG! It's a little chilly out, but I wanted one more photo session outside. So, no naked or diapered baby. Clearly Hazel wanted to get this picture over with as quickly as possible. She just went through a HUGE growth spurt! She now weighs about 2x's what she did when she was born. I finally boxed up her newborn sized clothing. BROKE MY HEART! It was tempting to continue to squeeze her into those clothes because I'm emotionally attached to them. However, I don't want to miss the window of her wearing 0-3 month sizes!

Wowsers. I'm a day late, but it's true! Yesterday was Hazel's three-month birthday. This morning we listened to a voice mail from Grandma Orris- I put it on speaker phone. Hazel smiled and then drooled. Clearly she thinks Gma's birthday song was a little goofy. That's what happens when your Gma's a music teacher.

It's been THREE months and though it's extremely typical- I admit that I can't IMAGINE my life without Hazel. I know I had a life before her, but I could never go back to that life/ person I was. Before she arrived, a lot of people told me that it takes 6 weeks with the baby to feel like you've found your groove. BOLOGNA! It definitely took me all three months. It wasn't until recently that the pit of dread in my stomach before bedtime subsided. Granted, one 5-hour chunk of sleep is the most I can hope for. But, our nights are finally (usually) predictable.

It took me three months to figure out that her fussiness is usually an indicator that it's time to put her down for a nap (I know, that's probably obvious to everyone else. "SHUT IT", I say to you!).

It took me three months to (ahhh... fingers are convulsing) realized that my mother was (ahhh... my heart is pounding and I just threw up a little bit in my mouth) RIGHT about putting Hazel down in her bassinet (and it took me 28 years to admit that my mother can be right sometimes). The first month I felt that it was cruel to place her on a stagnant (non-moving) surface and leave her alone for huge chunks of time. The second month, I thought that I should hold and console when she was fussy. The third month, I desperately needed some freedom and have mastered the skill of leaving a crying baby in her bed. Low and behold she (usually) takes longer naps! Happy baby, HAPPY MOMMY!


Family tree love

Today I discovered that 2 of my cousins have started to blog. I'm SO excited about this! It's pretty fascinating how my relationships with friends who blog and/or are on facebook have grown. These online communities help us to connect in ways I never imagined possible. Yes, there are drawbacks, but for a girl who DESPISES talking on the phone, these online communities make it possible for me to stay in contact and learn more about the people in my life.

Michelle and Kristin were the only cousins I had within a driving distance growing up so we've always had a special relationship. I'm so glad that I'll be able to glean more insight into their lives and thoughts now (though we may all be within driving distance in the near future! YIPPEE!!!) So, welcome to the blogosphere girls! Prepare to be stalked by me :)

I know, it's hard to believe that I'm related to these gorgeous girls! Is there any wonder why I want to claim them on my family tree? (another perk of facebook... I stole this photo off of Michelle's page :)


these pumas were made for walkin' and that's just what they'll do

Today the Haze and I walked at least 30 blocks. My legs are feelin' the burn! I want to walk as much as possible throughout downtown because if life goes as planned, these will be my last few weeks in which I can walk to a bookstore or coffee shop. So today I did both with Hazel in her wrap.

To be truthful, I also needed to get some exercise because I've been injecting ice cream into my arteries like it will bring world peace. I've been laying off dairy for awhile now (not completely, some cheese is necessary for quality of life) and we bought ice cream for company last week... I can't keep out of it! Not only that, but I actually made an ice cream booty call the other evening after Jake went to work (thank Heavens I can walk to the store!). However, I AM wearing my dojo jeans that were purchased pre-pregnancy in a very tight size. Granted, the spandex in them will never recover, but I'm wearing them!

On that note, let me just say that I've never been more accepting of my body then I've been for the past year. I think y'all know how much I loved my preggo belly and the self-acceptance has continued. It feels so wonderful to finally be content with my body. Granted, I still cringe in dressing rooms when you get the honest truth under florescent lights. But when I see my flaws, my first thought is "this body CREATED A HUMAN" and I love it.
Back to the topic: It was so wonderful to stroll through Salem, see the beginning signs of fall, and enjoy the kindness of strangers as most people can't help but smile when they figure out what the huge bump hanging off my front is. I expected to notice this during my pregnancy and did not. However, with a beautiful baby, strangers go out of their way to show kindness. Doors are held open, smiles are given, and more often than not, conversations are started. It's heart-warming. If you saw this person, I think you'd smile too...

How cute is she in her hooded sweater? Fall weather has arrived and yesterday we had our first fire in our wood stove. The smell was DIVINE! I had forgotten what that smells like. Though I have a dresser and closet STUFFED full of clothes that were gifts for Hazel, I had a surprising discovery yesterday. She is getting really close to outgrowing her newborn sizes (mostly because of her ginormous cloth-diapered bottom). So, I went to the closet to assess her 0-3 month clothing and there was hardly any! It seems that people bought her nb sizes OR 3month + sizes. Very sensible, but it was a shock to realize that I needed to go shopping! Jake and I were ridiculously excited to get to pick out a few articles of clothes for her. Did you read that... JAKE was EXCITED to go SHOPPING (by excited I mean, willing to go and actually interested in the activity... not like my level of gleeful excitement)! I couldn't believe it! Turns out shopping for his daughter is fun for him. WEIRD! So we bought her a few warmer BIG (0-3 month) items. The hooded cable-knit sweater is my favorite. Jake's on an anti-pink mission and I'm on a cute-girlie mission. This item fit both of our criteria.

These photos were taken directly after our 3- hour walk. I plopped Hazel down in her bouncy seat so that I could take off the wrap. She was due for a feeding and I fully expected an explosion of crankiness. Instead I was gifted with smiles! They are still a rarity, so I felt really lucky. After her feeding she continued her good mood and I was gifted with a few of her new coo-like noises and smiles. Of course, as I write this she's crying on my lap, she's having a little trouble falling asleep.

Wow, this is the post-o-tangents. Let me make it up to you by posting a totally irrelevant pic. This is Hazel in the sling that my Aunt Amy made (she used a super cute nut-themed fabric for our Hazel-nut).Yesterday I took her to my old school and every single person commented how she looks like me. I don't see it and man do I hope Hazel got her dad's nose! Do you see those baby blues?


The countdown has begun

In exactly ONE MONTH, the Haze and I will be boarding a plane bound for Pennsylvania (Jake will be following a few weeks later with all of our possessions). We will be leaving Oregon and starting a new life in Venango County. I am SO excited! Our move to Oregon was always meant to be a 3-5 year adventure before returning to PA. We've only been here a little over 2 years and I've loved it, but I am definitely ready to move back.

Jake was the one who settled on Venango County, the place where I was raised. Initially I was shocked, but we lived there for 2 years previously and fell in love with the area, being near some family, and have a group of amazing friends there (more precisely, within a 2.5 hour radius).

Yes, I will miss the ability to quickly travel to numerous ecosystems (coast, desert, high mountains, valley, vineyards ;) , however I'm trading that for the ability to get to a gorgeous hiking trail in 5 minutes! Living in the Willamette Valley, you have to drive at least 45-minutes to get anywhere stellar to hike. That's not ideal for a couple who avoid their car like it's a nosy neighbor.

Oh, I'm leaving those behind too! NO MORE NEIGHBORS says this hermit housewife! Yes, we like our neighbors and even have shared dinners with the Mexican family across our back fence without understanding each others' languages. However, I'm sick of having to close blinds, I'm a little freaked out why someone knocked on the door last night when the car wasn't in the carport and after I yelled "I'm coming"- no one was there, I'm tired of all of the sirens, I need some SPACE!

Our plan is to live in an apartment on my parents' property for awhile while we shop for our dream property. Living on one income, it may be a little difficult, but we are ready to settle down. Jake NEEDS land to farm (though he has done an impressive job with our tiny city lot!) and I NEED to own the walls that protect us so that I can paint them COLORS! I'm so tired of rental white, cream, beige... My walls are going to be ridiculously colorful for awhile :)

I find it a bit amusing that I'm moving back right before winter. Winter has been the number 1 thing I've been happy to be far from. However, the idea of spending an evening next to my parents' wood stove, mug of tea in hand, with the outside lights on to watch the snow fall... well, that sounds like heaven!

Yes, our life in Oregon was awesome. We have been very lucky to meet a lot of amazing people. However, there's been a big void in my life since moving here. I think I didn't really commit to the area because I knew it was temporary. Plus, there's the issue of everyone we meet has their families near-by and many other friends. So most of our dinner parties have been with people over 50. Not that I mind the age gap, I don't. But, I miss the frequent dinner parties we threw while living in PA in which a dozen old and new friends show up (some younger than 50) and we enjoy good foods, games, gossip, and indulgence!

Most of all, I'm looking forward to Hazel spending time with her 6 grandparents, 3 great-grandparents, uncle, and our close friends. There's nothing more important than family and apart from my sister and b-i-l, everyone near and dear is on the east coast. It's where we belong!

Here's a pic of where I'll be this winter. The photo is a little drab and somewhere I have some gorgeous photos of my parents' house lit up from the inside with icicles glistening outside. However, this more accurately reflects a PA winter :)


twenty.eight and life is great

Not to be all Suzy Sunshine, but this year for my birthday, I got everything I ever wanted! How often can an American consumer say that?

The Kosker's took their first family camping vacation over my birthday and look what fell out of the sky on the anniversary of my birth...

So glad that Jake was a cat in a previous life and still has those reflexes! To top off that gift from heaven, look what I found when I was unwrapping my present...

"Happy bday MOM"

So, since I was a closet Catholic school girl growing up, the only thing (if we're talking extremes here) I ever wanted was to be a mom! (It's possible that getting married was a more important goal than getting a college degree, but I will never confirm that. Yes, for me being married was a given if I was ever gonna be a mom. Who's a prude?) Since her butt said "Happy Birthday Mom", I figure that I get to keep her! WOW!

Crater Lake NP was gorgeous, but definitely only a 2-day event. I mean, how long can you look at the same lake? It was really hot during the day and the surrounding area was high dessert, so not too appealing for exploration. I love this next pic 'cause it catches Jake looking serious- didn't think that was possible! Also, please note that Jake is wearing my orange Life Is Good yoga tee. He packed ONE tee-shirt for this trip (P U!).

Since Hazel was being such a great camper, we took her for some killer (literally, ask my glutes) hikes around Crater Lake National Park . Check out the pristine water...Then Jake decided to show me his manliness and jumped off of a huge cliff. He tried to talk me into it, but since I finally have everything I want, I didn't want to risk leaving this earth.

This sweet girl and I hung-out at the base of Crater Lake while Jake tried (ouch, that word has to hurt his ego!) to fish. This pic makes me think of the ole Bible School classic "I've got the whole world, in my hands...".

For dinner we had foil packs stuffed with marinated chicken (rooster to be exact, guess how I know?) breasts with peppers and onions. We also had rice as a side dish, but I forgot to pack a pot (I also forgot an axe, extra water and matches. We looked like mega-inexperienced campers!). So, Jake went to a near-by camp site and asked a nice family if we could borrow their pot. Turns out they were from Switzerland (as is my grandfather). This made me excited and I walked over to tell them about my heritage and relatives that are in Switzerland. So, I guess to thank us for borrowing their pot and in honor of my Swissness, they gave us a HUGE bag of Swiss chocolates. Best birthday cake EVER!

Then our trip continued to Grants Pass where we spent 2 blissful days with my 2nd cousin, Becky and her hubby (I didn't get permission to post pics of them and I'm in the mood to abide by some internet etiquette today). Finally our trip ended with a swoop down to California so that I could hump a redwood....

I wouldn't joke about a thing like that.
I'll end this mega-post with one more picture of sweet Hazel. Check out her awesome hat (the pic doesn't actually show all of the cute details, but you get an idea!) made by Sarie...


two months... already? only?

2 months stats
Weight: 7lbs 11 oz (started at 5lbs 11 oz)
Head: 14" (started at 12.5")
Height: 20.7" (started at 19")
She's itty bitty (still doesn't fit in all of her "newborn" clothes!), but growing at a good pace!
This pic doesn't do justice to those baby blues. They started out more navy and continue to evolve. They're so gorgeous...sigh.
Yes, the lighting was way too bright, but I wanted to get these pics done TODAY and while she was in a good mood...WAIT. What happened? I think that it's fitting for her 2-month pic to reflect what our life has been like lately :) Actually, "the beast" as I sometimes call her, has really improved the past 2 days. Yesterday was her first (and likely only) day at Day Care and my dear friend who has the business- CURED her! Honestly, I don't know what she did, but Hazel's been more agreeable since. Yeah, she got a little upset during the photo shoot, but twice today she's napped ON HER OWN! She's been sleeping for the past hour without a pacifier and without her mama's chest to nuzzle into. For $3.20 an hour, I might spring for miracle Day Care again ;)

Still doesn't do her eye color justice, but gives you a better look at her eye and hair. This is how she fell asleep and is currently napping. I propped her 1/2 on the Boppy pillow because I'm paranoid that she's not working her neck muscles enough. I quickly grabbed the camera because she was using her arms and pushing way up, but then she collapsed and within seconds was sound asleep. Well, at least I found a nice nap position for her! (please don't warn me that she's gonna suffocate by sleeping on her belly. she's not. and I do check and kiss her frequently... no wonder she wakes up a lot!)


eliminating the elimination

Update on the elimination (AKA: starvation) diet:

I'm SO over it! I lasted 2.5 days on rice, rice products, pear juice, and fake oreos. I was hungry, dissatisfied, and grumpy. Last night, the 3rd night of this craziness, was Hazel's worst night in weeks! A change in diet should be a least semi-noticeable within 36 hours. I'm gonna remain light on the dairy because that seems to be the most common problem for little ones, but I've eat a small amount of cheese TWICE today! YUM!

As I type this, she's pushed herself back in the Sleepy Wrap so that her head is resting on my inner elbow as I type. She's studying my chin so intently while showing me her repertoire of mouth movements. How can I even think that she isn't this calm, adorable, and sweet all of the time?

And... cue sad face... add whimper... and now the cry... (off to stand, bounce, and hope that something entertaining is on my one tv channel!)


What I did for love...

the flood gates opened, and this mama grabbed the camera instead of the baby ;)

For the past 24 hours, I have been on what is called: THE ELIMINATION DIET. Also for the past 24 hours, I canNOT get that song from Chorus Line out of my head (refer to Title of post). You see dear Koskereaders, Hazel has the official COLIC stamp of approval from our Doctor. To quote from the internet site of Dr.Sears: "Colic is a five-letter word for 'I don't know'." After reviewing numerous articles about colic, I'm not sure that Hazel fits the bill. She is fussy A.L.O.T., but it seems more related to being held and bounced (or more accurately, the absence of).

Oh well. I'm relieved to know that this isn't normal, maybe I'll consider breeding again in the future. I also still love her, it's my husband who has been on the chopping block when I'm exhausted and cranky myself ;)

Now I will complain about the elimination diet. I'm going to try it for a few days to see if it has an impact on this little goddess. Is it horrible that I kinda hope it doesn't? I'm not eating wheat OR dairy! Life without bagels, ice cream, cheese? Ideally, we'll discover that only one of those things is causing the fussiness. I could give up one, but both!?!?!?!

Here's what I ate yesterday:
B: oatmeal, heavy on the brown sugar and raisins
L: rice and sliced boiled potatoes with olive oil and rosemary
D: rice tortilla with a few pieces of free-range turkey, squash, pear juice, and 6 (indulge much? don't judge.) fake oreos

Here's what life was like this morning:

her new hair product is P.yuke. only high-end stores sell it. don't even bother trying to find it!

Hazel is just as fussy as before. Darn, I was hoping for immediate results! She sleeps well through the night, but needs to be held, cuddled, and bounced continuously upon waking in the morning. I did get her to play under her gym for a few minutes. She even swung her arms around and was rewarded with the movements and clanging of the pieces of the gym! Hopefully soon she'll be able to do that on purpose. After those few minutes, the flood gates opened and her screaming began. All I had to do to soothe her was pick her up and PRESTO- she's calm! I was still exhausted, so I took my calm babe back to bed with me for cuddles and a nap. I awoke to a chest smeared with vomit and laughed at her 'cause it was all in her hair!

Now she is snuggled in her Sleepy Wrap on my chest taking another nap. Thank goodness for this wrap! She cannot fuss in it longer than the time it takes to get her in it. Currently, she's breathing out her nose loud enough for the cat to keep walking over to check on her. Very cute!

we still love each other, but I'm taking apps for a Nanny position (will pay only in P.yuke products)