Bubbles for Kathy.

A very beloved Aunt is conquering Round 1 of chemo this week. It’s not her first time facing this fight. Aunt Kathy is the matriarch of the Kosker family. She’s not the oldest, but we all look to her for guidance, counseling, laughter, understanding & faith. She is a survivor.

I don’t know even the details of her past fights (I hate that that word is plural) with cancer. She is always so focused on the present and the positive. She has taken each fight with cancer and turned it into a passion for advocating for others. She spends countless hours ensuring that other people with prosthetic limbs have the support and resources that she didn’t have.

She is GORGEOUS both inside and out.

Last week she shared with me how powerful imagery is to her while conquering chemo. One of her favorites is BLOWING BUBBLES. Blowing out the cancerous cells. STOMPING out the cancerous cells.

When a loved one is ill we often feel so helpless. We can fix meals, plant flowers, pray (in Aunt Kathy’s case, she’s so popular that there are teams of people already doing all those things for her). WE CAN ALSO BLOW BUBBLES!

Please join us in BLOWING BUBBLES FOR KATHY. Snap some pictures over the course of the next week of blowing bubbles. Before her next round of chemo, I’m going to present her with a collage of people joining her in this fight. Just remember to use the power of imagery while you do it: blowing out the cancerous cells and STOMPING them out!

Please email the pictures to lazygreenmama[gmail] by Friday, July 9th (so that we have time to organize and print them. Thanks to WilsonKlugh Photography for their willingness to assist this novice photographer with developing and to my dad, grandma & kitten for joining me this morning!) You are also welcome to repost this on your blog to encourage others to BLOW BUBBLES FOR KATHY.

Many thanks,

The Kosker Family

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them. Matthew 18:20


A new form of pen pal

I have to say that though I've been at this for 2 years, this "blogging thing" (yeah, I used quotes.  it's COOL!) amazes me!

About a month ago I signed up for Google Analytics and it's WAY better than my previous stats tracker.  There are days where SIXTY people view Kosker's Idlewild.  Lazy Green Mama gets FIFTY views on its good days (and LGM has a lot of good days.  PLUS LGM attracts way more new viewers).  That means that my Kosker's Idlewild readers are loyal while my LGM readers are new and I hope they become loyal.

Growing up I always had a few pen pals.  Michelley and Megan (cousin and friend respectively) were my most serious pen pals.  In fact, recently Michelle and her husband were quoting and giggling over my adolescent letters... glad I'm so entertaining (and that they are so bored.  Ha!).  Megan's mom used to always tell my mom how HILARIOUS my letters were and my mom always wanted to read them before I sent them, but that would be so WRONG... almost as WRONG as showing a friend's letters to your MOM OR HUSBAND!  Ok, I really don't care (especially when they're like 20 years old!), but I was always surprised 'cause I never meant to be writing humorous letters.

Today a friend/coworker from my days in Oregon (Shout-out to Ray Charles.  Not that guy, a different guy with the same name!) complimented me on my humor in LGM.  It made my day.  I like that people find me to be funny... even though I usually don't mean to be.

This week I'm launching a big review/giveaway event on Lazy Green Mama.  It's Hazel's 1st BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA.  In my fantasies, I attract thousands of readers and then companies start shelling out the Benjamins for the honor of having me review their product and/or advertise on my uber popular blog and/or write for them.  It's a fantasy, but.... it.... could... happen. 

While I wait to become an overnight sensation (except for that whole already been blogging for two years), I'll be reading the Classifieds and weighing things like income/health insurance/family time/fatigue.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.  Please do me a favor and get share my writing with your MOM(s)/ HUSBAND(s... I won't judge.  Errr...yes I will.)/FRIENDS!


it's begun

...SUMMER!  Today was the first day when I felt like it was actually summer.  Being a SAHM (stay at home mom), I didn't expect to notice a change.  But there is a definite switch.  YeeHAW!

Afternoon mugginess lends itself to time on the couch, with a tall glass of sun tea, in front of the fan, making a dent in my pile of novels.

Fresh vegetables are the foundation of each dinner (oh how I'm loving our CSA!  I'll give Jake props on that one.).

A last minute plane ticket brought my sister home this week.  I think we've spent 4 days together since Christmas '07!  (We are very close and really write our blogs for each other, but am VERY glad you're along for the ride too!)  Hazel is getting very spoiled with attention and her parents are getting spoiled as Aunt Marianne gives us a day for just-the-TWO-of-us tomorrow!

As I type, my husband is hacking and hacking and hacking away at shrubs which haven't been pruned in eons (a hazard of buying a home from my elderly greenery-lovin' grandparents).

Hazel and I morph into bathing beauties at least once a week as we practice our syncronized swimming.  (swim cap a major PERK of buying a home from my elderly grandparents)
New life abounds as we finally got to bring home our KITTEN (holy cow... er... cat, I don't have any pics of her/him yet!), chickens continue to hatch (again, as I type... seriously... grumble grumble grumble... how many fowl do we NEED?) and our quail start laying eggs (first 6 eggs today!).

So, what are the signs of summer around your neck of the woods?


our world revolves around you

I always knew you'd be a great father.
I always knew watching you be a father would make me fall in love to new depths.


I didn't know how playful you would be.
I didn't know that you'd sing off-key rock songs to lull her to sleep. (sometimes I turn the baby monitor on!)
I didn't know how your face would light up each time she does ANYTHING.
I didn't know you would so selflessly take the early shift every weekend.
I didn't know how stumped you'd be by her clothes and how her clothes would usually be put on backwards.
I didn't know how much she would adore you.

~julie & hazel


inside a mother's head

I'm blaming it on a year-long lack of sleep.  I'm at the point where my fantasies involve a warm, tidy place where nothing but prepared foods/room service, a book, a bed, and myself exist (but only for 24-hours!).  Not in the stressed-out tired sense I used to feel during grad school (when I was fleetingly jealous of sick people because they got to lie in hospital beds and be served), a more content and happy extreme fatigue.

Lately I've caught myself thinking things I never would have imagined:
  • "I smell poo (visual check in diaper- nothing), guess I'll have to stick my finger in!"  (REALLY?  As if it's SO much harder to take the diaper off even if it's clean and dry?)
  • "Hey, that guy just craned his neck driving past me to check me out!  I still got it!  If only he knew that I forgot deodorant today... and I have a 24-hour old dirty diaper in my purse that I forgot to remove... and I have a baby in the backseat...."
  • "Hazel's fussy, but I don't want to let her into the kitchen.  I KNOW, I'll just throw this empty cereal box over the baby gate to distract her for a bit."
Now I'm forcing myself to go take a nap.  So that I won't subject you to such posts ever again ;)


1st Birthday Prep :)

I'm getting excited to celebrate Hazel's first birthday in about 3 weeks!  Hubby and I have a very tight budget and are a little conflicted.  I want to invite the friends and relatives who live within an hour radius (because past that our numbers grow exponentially).  So, maybe 30 people...  Any ideas of fun/ delicious/ inexpensive party foods?


11 months!

Though I make a conscious daily effort to appreciate each MOMENT with Hazel, the time has FLOWN!  Recently I was holding a 2-month old baby (Olivia) and I was struggling to remember when Hazel was at that stage.  Clearly I have memory issues!

I constantly want to freeze time, but I admit, I am enjoying each stage so much!  She is SO interactive!  Peek-a-boo always elicits one of her gravely chuckles.  She waves bye bye, but only after everyone has given up waiting for it and left.  I know she's not unique in this, but the way she waves with her hand turned inward makes me MELT!  She is a super fast and skilled crawler and enjoys the freedom of being able to explore the downstairs of the house (I thank my clutter-free/obsessed husband for this...we were baby proofed without trying!).  I can be in the kitchen and Jake can be in the back office and she'll just crawl back and forth, stopping only to dump the cat's water or clear-off the bottom shelf of our spice rack (an awesome rack that spans the entire door of our pantry. the door is currently missing a handle so it only requires a nudge to open.  NOT FUNNY!  I just hope that the lids of the food coloring continue to outsmart her! ).

I mentioned that she climbed a step last week.  It's the only time she's done that... something I'm not encouraging :)

She also is mimicking!  When I read her a book, I've noticed that after I say, for example, "bunny rabbit", she'll make a sound like "buh ra".  I affirm her sounds, but she acts so nonchalant about it that I never know if it was a coincidence.  She is on to the next thing while I repeatedly try to get her to do it again.  However, it's been happening A LOT... so I think it's for real.   This morning we were lying in bed together and she found one of her moccasins.  Instead of chewing on it like usual, she was trying to put it on!  I couldn't believe it!  Too bad for her, rubbing your foot with a shoe doesn't result in success :)

The biggest change for the month: 

 She's started with her top teeth (thought bottom teeth came first?).  She rubs her gums a lot, but it's not till nighttime that I know that she is in pain.  I know this because from 2am-7am... she wakes up repeatedly.  Oi Vey!  I figure that her teeth are bothering her just enough to rouse her from a light sleep.  With her eyes still closed, she begins to crawl until her head hits a railing or headboard.  Then her arms reach up and she pulls herself to standing (eyes still closed!).  Commence the yelling which WILL continue until mama (or dada) comforts her and lays her back down.  Repeat every 30-60 minutes.  It's kinda like sleep walking... hope this isn't a sign of things to come!

As for food, I've relaxed quite a lot and she eats pretty much everything.  Still don't give her much sugar, but she often eats what we're eating.  My favorite things to give her are peas (frozen organic peas are such a life-saver!).  She LOVES them and they take her awhile to eat.  It's the perfect appetizer to free up the floor space in the kitchen so I can cook dinner.  Her favorite foods continue to be berries and grapes. 

These monthly posts are getting harder and harder to write because there's just so much to say!  I love watching a human grow :)  One last highlight of the month... SHE CAN DANCE!  Whether it's a hymn in church or some old school rock and roll, her torso starts a-rockin'.  Fortunately for her, I've also begun dancing a lot more... someone needs to teach her some sweet moves!

Thanks Google!

This past month, I've been experimenting with a few of Google's features (not on this blog per se).  I know there's a lot of them out there and they all sound really handy, my thinking has always been that I'll get to them SOMEDAY! 

First I tried Google Adsense.  Basically, you give them permission to put ads on your blog and each time a viewer clicks on one of your adds, you get $.  I made over $9 my first month!  UNBELIEVABLE!  I literally did NOTHING and got paid for it.  SO MY STYLE!  Plus, a friend told me that the blog host that I'm using takes a portion of my money... I haven't check into that yet- way too much work.  Now that I've reaped the rewards of that work, I think I'll take the time to look into that!  Of course, some of the ads were products that my mom and I found to be really great (so joke's on me! or at least my pocket book).  That's how we found the Cloth Diaper company based in Pittsburgh (however, it's illegal for me to click on my own ads or ask someone else to!).  Plus, that blog is new and growing, so I have a new goal for June... to make $20 :)

This past week I was communicating with a company about reviewing their product and they wanted to know how many "unique" visitors my site received (first time visitors).  I had NO idea!  So, I tried Google Analytics.  It is SO cool!  I can see how many unique visitors, how many returners, what they clicked on while on my site and a lot more!  Of course, it's just one more thing to check and then I need to figure out what to do with the data.  But, I really like it!

So, THANKS Google!


A good week in review

I want to share a few highlights of the past week:

Last Thursday my mom and I hosted a wine & cheese tasting Silpada (type of jewelry) party.  It was so delicious and a huge treat to try so many gourmet cheeses (and wines and chocolates)!  It was my first official party in the new house and though there are gazillions of projects not yet started, I did get a few things done (Jake hung 4 curtains exactly a 1/2 hour before the party.  Thanks hubby!) and was really proud to show off Hazel's room... the only room that's done.  I'll take pics this weekend!  It was so fun to hang-out with almost 20 women ... and the new jewelry that's on it's way to my house ain't so bad either ;)

Over the weekend we took a road trip to visit Jake's family.  It was wonderful to relax and spend time with his parents... and have a very excited audience to show off all Hazel's new tricks (and her first tooth!) to.  We ended the weekend with an afternoon with the Tosts... T and I ditched the kids, diapers and men to enjoy a very impromptu afternoon of soda, popcorn, and the new Sex In the City movie (fabulous!).  It's amazing much more I enjoy everything now that I have a little one.  A lazy afternoon around a pool (Gma Baird's) ranks up there with a day at the spa (I imagine) and a lazy girlfriend afternoon ranks up there with an evening sipping cocktails!  I'm not going to mention the difficulties of the disruption to Hazel's nap and sleep schedule...  UGH (oh, guess I just did mention it)!

The highlight of this week has been Jake starting his new job!  SIGH OF RELIEF (the Koskers have been jobless for over two months.  Very scary.  Very stressful.)  To have him come home from work and say "I had a really good day!"  Is AMAZING!  Quite the opposite from his last job.

Last night Hazel climbed her FIRST STEP!  She was starting up the second when she noticed me watching her... and then baby go BOOM!  Though I'm excited for my growing girl, I really don't want to put a baby gate at the bottom of the steps... we'll see how that goes!

This weekend we're looking forward to an Orris Reunion and I'm hosting a small bridal shower for a friend from church.  The summer is off to a FABULOUS start!

p.s.  Please continue to vote for Hazel on every computer you can get your hands on today, Saturday & Sunday.

pp.s.  There is a fine line between perfect bacon and burnt bacon.  Be glad you're not coming to the bridal shower (unless of course you are and then please don't look closely at your mini quiche!).


Vote today through Monday.

Please and THANK YOU!  Please vote once per day per email address  computer.  No logging in required... though you do have to click vote AND submit...geesh!


p.s. the above pic is not the one you can vote on.  It's the one I would've chosen, but I didn't read the fine print and didn't want to reupload all 6 pics (they post the first pic uploaded for the Reader's Choice vote).  This is the pic that I'm SURE will win the judge hearts :)