teacher's pet

Meet Annaliese Maria

 (pronounced Annaleeza).  MY NIECE!  She is my first niece and I am really excited about my new title.  I get to love this child unconditionally, but also not respond to her when she cries in the night or poos her pants.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?  She is simply perfect... and I get to see this Alaskan Eskimo in less than 3 months!  Congratulations Marianne and Christoph, you're literally GLOWING these days (saw them via Skype last night, so I KNOW!).

btw:  my sister, Annaliese's mama, is a teacher... hence the title to this post.

Also, I couldn't resist pulling up some pics of Hazel to comare... hmmm... I think we have more twin cousins in the family (I'm often told that I look more like my cousins, Kathe and Phoebe, than my own sister).
Hazel at one week

Hazel at 2 months (which is closer to what she would have looked like as a non-preemie newborn)



I'm going to make it official, I'm taking a blogging break.  Not completely, but enough of a break so that I stop feeling guilty when days (weeks) go by and I haven't blogged.  The seasons are changing and I'm investing more energy into income producing tasks (psychiatric crisis work & running an after school tutoring center).  I love blogging, but I don't like feeling guilty when I'm too busy to log-on (I haven't been online for a solid 60 hours!).

I encourage you to sign-up for the email updates.  Your email won't be filled with spam, but when I do post, it will show up in your in-box.  That will save you the hassle of checking needlessly :)

Hazel continues to be the light of my life and everyone she's around.  She is one happy girl.  She has spent a few days at Day Care... and has amazed me with her independence!  NO CRIES during drop off.  She just begins exploring and playing, mostly on her own.  There is another girl her age there and Hazel has much to learn about sharing and being gentle... but it makes me happy to know that she does easily socialize with others and is well behaved when I'm not around (actually, it sounds like she behaves better!).  She is a snacking FIEND!  If there is not a snack cup in her hand, she walks around signing "more".  In fact, both Jake and I have noticed that she begins signing "more" even before her eyes are fully open in the morning.  GEESH!  She can also sign "hungry", say & sign "book" and she says "mama", "dada", "bok bok" (for chicken), "bath", "bye bye", "kitty cat"... ummm... probably a lot more.  She is definitely mimicking our sounds, studying our lips, and growing every day!

During my bloggy break, I am FINALLY going to make my 2009 photo album.  Now that Hazel is here, I want to do a yearly photo album.  No excuses.  (I'm talking to myself here).  I'm also going to get my Christmas-y letter written and MAILED!  Yup, it WILL BE OUT BY OCTOBER.  No excuses.  The reasons are:  I'm including pics from our photo shoot in July... and they'll be outdated by December; and we have a new mailing address and I want everyone to have our address in case they want to send us a letter!  So, if you want the Kosker update letter (or as Jake calls them "brag letter"), please make sure I have your address :)

Does anyone else feel like they're still celebrating the green leaves... and now they're beginning to change color?  YEESH!


Labor Day!

I had hoped to celebrate Labor Day with a phone call from Alaska saying my niece is on her way!  Granted, she's not due for a few more weeks, but I'm impatient to be an Aunt!

Instead, Jake worked like a horse around the property and I high-tailed it over to my parents for the day (partly because Jake's hard work included him cutting the water line!)

So, my parents and I loaded Hazel into the car and drove to one of our favorite spots... HEMLOCK BEND.  This is property that my dad and Uncle purchased, subdivided, and basically paid for my private college education (I even thanked one of the current land owners for that.  He laughed!).  Here are some pics of our Labor Day:

Hazel and I are standing on our "campsite" a small piece of land that we still own.  Behind us is a waterfall coming down the hill and below us is a gorgeous creek.  I'm hoping to camp there in October when the leaves make a golden bed on the campsite.

I hiked Hazel DOWNHILL to the Clarion River

Then my dad hiked her UPHILL (sucker!)

And last a pic to enjoy the greenery of Pennsylvania... and marvel at their identical facial expressions once again!