pottery barn inspiration

My dad just walked in with the mail and I saw the POTTERY BARN KIDS catalogue! My palms get a little sweaty in anticipation. Just like that I morphe from my reduce-reuse-recycle self into a wanna-be Stepford wife.

Today, I made it all the way till page 11 before I felt the need to blog about my jubilee. My blogging inspiration:

The DROP CLOTH RUG! To make things even better (and a certain husband much happier), this isn't something that you can buy... nope, just a genius arts and craft idea! So, as soon as Hazel is old enough to break into paints... guess what we'll be making? I love this idea so much! Would it be too much to have one in every room of the house? I'll make sure they color coordinate to the room...

Now, onto page 27 with the two girls wearing sweater sets having a tea party. Cute, but never have I wanted to throw mud on young girls so much in my life! Poor Hazel, never will she have a friend over and be allowed to wear freshly pressed khakis with a sweater set.


brain sucker

Ok, between pity parties and Hazel updates, I fear that my blog has become a little dull. I think of brilliant blog topics throughout the day, but when I catch my fleeting moments of computer time, all I seem to think about is how I should be changing a diaper (sweet potatoes and bananas have made that chore a whole new experience!) or cleaning a toilet (I currently tend to 5... and I still don't own ONE!).

Yikes, I'm doing it again aren't I. Well, it's important that you know that Hazel is thriving on solid foods, not that that helps her to sleep any longer through the night. YES, my almost 7 month old does not sleep through the night... bring on the bad mama comments and then shove a banana up your.... Oh my, where have my manners gone?

Through it all, life is still good. Right now Hazel is sitting in her bouncy chair in an outfit that coordinates PERFECTLY! It's the little things like that that make me feel in control and with it-
like a magazine mom. It's those little things that distract me from the fact that I'm behind in the laundry and wearing a holey pair of sweatpants.

And as for a post that's not about Hazel... I'll try again another day :)


I am SO over January!

My friend, Shannon, just texted that title to me as she is hearing about my week. It all started last week when Shannon's father passed away. We are WAY too young to be burying our parents, and yet that is just me being greedy with life. I should be thankful for each day I have with loved ones instead of focused on wanting more.

This pales in comparison, but since I want a pity party, you need all of the details: Last week I was hit by the mother of all colds! It didn't stop me from going to FARMER SCHOOL however, I was just the annoying lady in the back with a baby AND constant sneezes. The good part about having a cold that day was that I didn't have kleenexes, just Hazel's flannel wipes. Why is that good? Because a dear friend had recently blogged about switching to hankies and I thought "sorry, Blue Roof, but that is just too green for me." However, I was wrong, I LOVED using the flannel wipes as my handkerchief instead of kleenexes! They feel better on the nose, they don't tear, you don't end up surrounded by nasty pieces of tissue...

Moving on, after my Farmer School (that doesn't fit my pity post topic, so more on that at a later date), I went to a family gathering at Jake's mom's house. I hadn't seen these Aunt and Uncles for over a year and yet I could NOT function. The cold had overtaken. Fortunately the cold subsided and the rest of the weekend was very nice.

Now my husband has the cold and has hardly been out of bed in two days. That's how I know it's serious, he hates being in bed (odd, I would gladly spend a day in bed at any opportunity!). And the SADDEST part... now Hazel has the cold!

She been a lump of misery since the middle of the night when she awoke full of mucus. It must be so miserable for her and she just doesn't understand it. As I write this, she's trying her hardest to breast feed, but can't figure out how to do it without breathing through her nose. Oh the tears... and mucus...

The icing on my pity cake: The week has been dominated by 2... oh make that 3 in few minutes... ambulance rides for my loved ones (Gpa fell on the ice and fractured bone perilously close to his artificial hip. He's on his way back to the hospital due to an increase of pain.; My dad is working in Michigan and thought he had my chest cold... however after a few days and a lot of worry, he took himself to the ER and now has a new stint in his heart! He's recovering nicely and should be feeling better than he has in months by the weekend! YAY!).

I would like to erase the past two weeks from history. Any takers?

Now I will wrap up my pity party with an exuberant GOD BLESS YOU!


I am an onion

I am the girl who said that I wanted to be a banker... so I could touch all that money.

I am the teen who said that I wanted to work in a skyscraper, wear suits, and carry a briefcase.

I am the woman who just signed up for a BEGINNING FARMER WORKSHOP! Granted it comes with a catered lunch and I really love catered lunches, but still I can't get over the fact that I asked my husband if I could join him to attend this class. Growing up, my BIGGEST fear in life was the killer from Pittsburgh (still is). My 2nd biggest fear was marrying a farmer and having a house that smelled like manure.

However, if you saw the joy in my wanna-be farmer's eyes each time he talks about gardening and livestock, you'd change your mind too.


Yes She Can!

I intended to write a pity post today about how my cat and daughter kept me awake all night. Well, except for the few hours in the morning when I gave in and let them both lay on me... then they slept very soundly. However, this morning I discovered why Hazel was up every hour... she was EXCITED!

Jake and I have always said that we are going to raise our kids to defy stereotypes! Clearly, Hazel doesn't need any help with that. However, someone needs to tell her that hiding her hand in her shirt makes for a creepy picture!

I know that I spend many hours day dreaming about our future home/ paint colors/ kitchen lay-outs/ project lists for when we have more money, however I had NO idea that Hazel was also preparing for the move. So, imagine my surprise when I discover that my daughter had plans to work with Tony, our neighborhood contractor/jack of all trades! The two of them have spent the morning clearing the site for my grandparents' future home. They've moved wood piles and trees without even asking if I want to try!

"Hey Mom, bug off! I'm trying to hang with the big boys and you're cramping my style!"

Operation Home Swap is well underway. Soon, my grandparents' new mobile home will arrive (our hope is that they can maintain their independence by living in a single- story, handicap accessible home) and after they move in... the Kosker's are buying their house!


look for the silver lining

This is a tough time. Everywhere I look I see suffering. Haiti. A local double murder and suicide which affects many people I care about and the entire community. A good friend's father who is dying because of his love of the drink. A mystery illness in a loved one. Grandparents aging. And worries about my daughter and a heart murmur.

Yesterday when all of these things were coming to a head, I was the lucky one. After some tests, I learned that it was a false alarm! NO MURMUR! What a relief! I'd been fighting deep, dark thoughts for days, but it wasn't until I saw my husband's jubilee as we were leaving the Doctor's office that I saw the extent to which he had also been worrying. Now, don't get mad at me for not sharing this earlier... we saw no reason to 'cause you worry until it was confirmed that there was a problem.

So, while the skies are gray and the temptation to wallow in the negative is great, keep your eyes open for the silver lining...


A winter baptism

Yes, she's standing though she didn't sink far enough to touch the ground.

Today we're off to Lutherlyn to baptize Hazel. Lutherlyn is where Jake and I met and is a huge part of our lives, so it seemed fitting to make Hazel an official Child of God there.

It's been a week of winter storms and I wanted to prepare Hazel for a true Pennsylvanian baptism...

Now that's what I call a snow angel! (she's on a swing)


6 months... or a 1/2 YEAR!

Weight: 15 lbs, 3 ounces (5 lbs, 14 oz at birth)
Length: 25.5 inches (19" at birth)

Happy 1/2 Birthday Hazel Mari! UNBELIEVABLE! I know, I say that every month. But, a 1/2 year is a L O N G time. Should I keep using capitals so you know just how old she is?

Twas not that long ago when I was trying to pretend I had a preggo belly to flaunt when really, it was probably just my gut at this point last year. Now I have this interactive pile of joy to snuggle with. I am well aware of how wonderful my life is.

Last night marked the first time that Hazel followed a command. Or, that's what it seemed like. We would say "Kiss Mama" and Hazel would turn her head, tongue already in motion, mouth open, and cover my cheek/chin/lips with slime. She did it over and over again, but she hasn't done it this morning, so I'm wondering if it was just a fluke. 6 months seems a little young to be comprehending language to such an extent.

As you can see from the above photo, Hazel's new game is rolling. She's much better at going from her stomach to her back. When someone's paying her attention and laughing or clapping, she will do it over and over again as long as someone gives her a little push back onto her stomach.

It's also time to, gulp, *tear*, start her on solid foods. I have fallen in love with feeding her. I remember the first month when the feedings took 1/2 of my day (and night) and were overwhelming. Now, I don't want to give it up.

The other big milestones are her ability to get her foot in her mouth (YUM!) and her hand dexterity. Each week we've watched her use her fingers and palms more expertly.
*Photo notes: Does anyone know how I can manually arrange the pics on a Picassa collage? I had to hit shuffle one thousand times until her roll was in the right order. The gorgeous blanket she is lying on is another Aunt Marianne creation. Marianne just whipped that up once she saw Hazel's Pottery Barn bird/owl themed bedding. The stuffed owl is from PB, but the owl and monogram on the blanket is all Marianne! I can't stop staring at it's cuteness!


for the birds

This week marked a change in my schedule. For the next few months, I will be spending 3 afternoons a week running an after-school tutoring program for Elementary kids. It's a WONDERFUL program which has a volunteer: student ratio of about 1:3! I'm thrilled to have a reason to put on something other than yoga pants and to have a brainteaser to constantly be working on (how can I improve the program? how can I help the kids improve in school?). The major perk: Hazel can go with me!

This week also marks the first time I've had a cold in over a year and Hazel received some shots which gave her a little fever and without going into too much detail, there was an episode involving an early morning feeding that ended with mama and sheets covered (I'm not exaggerating! I was fresh out of the shower and the sheets had been cleaned two days previous. We became water wasters that day!) in baby poo. GLAMOROUS life, eh?

So, after a kinda hectic week for this baby and SAHM (stay at home mom), Hazel and I enjoyed a little relaxation this morning. She sat on my lap quietly chewing on Sophie the Giraffe while we both watched the birds fluttering and feeding around all of the bird feeders surrounding my parents' living room. The room is 95% windows and it was so much fun watching Hazel's head turn to follow the birds!


DInner conversations

Last night we were invited to the home of one of Jake's coworkers for dinner. I always look forward to going to someone's house for dinner because I love food and conversation. This couple was a HOOT, the wife is a cake decorator and I sampled my way through her repertoire of the most gorgeous cakes. My brain was intrigued, my face was smiling, and my belly was s t r e t c h i n g.

It's something that few people do, share a home-cooked meal together (or even go to a restaurant together!). Over the past 3 years, we've been invited to approximately 15 people's homes. About 12 of those couples are the same age as our parents. I'm worried that my generation doesn't see the value in sharing a meal. Perhaps it's because young couples are busy with tiny tikes, new careers, new homes and extended family obligations. But I think it's often perceived as one more "to do" on our never ending lists. Inviting someone over involves cleaning the house (though not everyone does this and that's ok), making a nice meal, cleaning, and carrying a conversation. It sounds a little daunting. Especially if you're inviting over someone you hardly know (which has often been the case for Jake and I).

Once I move into my own home, I want to be diligent about this. I want to invite over old friends (I owe my dear friend Ty so many dinners that I think I'll ask him to move in with us for a month), but I also want to invite over people I hardly know.

OR vs PA: Before we left Oregon, we were invited over to 3 homes in which the dinner conversation focused on the scary state of our country/government and the importance of being prepared with guns for when THE MAN comes to take our arms away. Last night, the conversation briefly touched upon how smokin' hot our President is and how excitingly wonderful it is to be living in this country right now. I rarely give my opinion and enjoy hearing all perspectives... but once again I am reminded that PA is where I belong :)