Saturday, February 28, 2009

Plum Thumb

Tonight I was trying to be a good mommy and decided to take the kids bowling. After they each woke up from their naps, I made sure they had socks, shoes and coats on. Zeus was dragging his heels like always.

I thought it would be ok to be lazy. Yes, I know I shouldn't do that but I did.
We ordered a pizza and a couple meals for Zeus and me.

Ordered the correct sizes of shoes and then the search was on.

OH yes the fun hunt to find that perfect ball.

The kids did great! We found a bright yellow 7 pounder, perfect for them to share.

Zeus got all the names typed into the machine while I put everyones bowling shoes on their sweet little feet.

We bowled in order of age, this way we avoid any arguments over who goes first or last. It just works better this way.

So we get through 2 rounds and Zeus goes to the bathroom. While gone Zulu tries to help Ziggy get his ball. Ziggy was not going for that. So he decides to take the ball away from Zulu and the tug of war begins and just before I could break it up Ziggy falls to the ground just mear seconds after winning the fight. He falls face first never letting go of the ball. As soon as he hit the ground those blood curdling screams pierced my ears.

My first thought was "oops, you ok?" No that was not cutting it. He was hurt. He has holding his right thumb and within 2 minutes it had turned beat red and several shades of blue and purple as it swelled to the size of a plum. Oh my goodness, I felt horrible. He cried for a long time. He was really, really in pain. Zero ran to the food counter to get a bag of ice.

Ziggy just wanted momma to hold him.

I can't even begin to tell you the feeling it is to have your child just want you and nobody else. It was so special. What was terrible is, I could not make the pain go away.

After Zeus held him, examined him and talked to him Zeus reassured me that it was not broken and was not dislocated. I felt for sure it was really injured. Zeus says otherwise.

I had to hold him the rest of the game, gently putting him down when it was my turn. As fast as the ball was released from my fingers I scooped him up to hold him and comfort my poor child.

Nevertheless, he did not get to finish playing, nor did he want to.

We quickly finished the game and hurried home to get some pain killers into his system so the constant throbbing would cease.

Now that we are home he is being very calm and quiet after getting a dose of acetaminophen. Poor guy, he is definitely going to lose that finger nail for sure. It looks nasty. I will get some pictures tomorrow and post an update.

Say a little prayer for Ziggy that the pain does not last too long.

Fun times in the life of the Haskins House. Come back soon.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Why don't I listen?


What comes to mind when you hear this word.




Well for me lots of words and faces come to mind when I hear this word. Mostly family. But there are a few ladies that, having me plucked out of my range of my family, have become my family. I love to just run ideas by them. It amazes just how smart each one of them are. I definitely don't give them enough credit. I'm sorry for that.

So this time, I was stuck on that word again. I did not seem to be understanding the concept of the word and what it had to do with marriage. Yeah, that's a problem huh.

Well this time, after wallowing in self pity and writing while crying I decided to pick up the good ole telephone. Well actually my fancy pink iphone.

Oh how I love the phone. Thanks Alexander Graham Bell. I am so grateful to you dear friend. You made my life so much more manageable.

The calls were made and I began to explain my hardship or simple miscommunication. Whatever you want to call it.

Then the ladies began their wonderful words of wisdom. Oh, I'm not so good with words of wisdom, that's why I call them. HAHAHA.

Advice flows like the Niagara river. Some of it harsh, some of it simple but all of it so beautiful.

I really decided to use it this time. Not that I hadn't before but this time was different. I felt I was holding a broken egg between my fingers and these ladies had the pan to put it in.

So lesson learned. If you are going to ask for advice or help or ideas, whatever you call them. I say use them. This time a few anonymous ladies saved the day and I am so very grateful. Thanks guys, you're awesome but most of you know that already.

I am happy. The work is getting done. I will soon be less stressed and by golly your ideas saved the day.

Communication is definitely an important factor in human existence. Use it wisely. Use it often. It might just stave off a few less tears.

Blessings everyone.

Hurry Back, you won't want to miss another story from the Haskins House.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's in a Name?

Someone asked " where did your blog names come from." It made me think, oh, the wonderful things that happen at my house are not always shared with you wonderful readers. So today I thought I would share a few "lost" memories with you.

Rewind back a few years.

When my family moved here back in 2005 for my husbands job relocation we were required to endure brief periods of Zeus' absence. He was to travel off and on for the duration of this assignment. Sounds simple. No not really, ahem, but we have dealt with it.

One time during one of his trips he left a very sweet note after he left while the house was still sleeping. The note read

"I love you all a lot. Twinkle, You are more beautiful than the rays of the sun and more wonderful than chocolate. And you know how much I love chocolate! Happy Easter and Tell my little flowers to keep sprouting towards the sun. Love Zeus/Daddy"

Super sweet, huh!!! Well this was absolutely wonderful. It brought tears to my eyes. This was the first note from Zeus and the best surprise. The babies loved it so much and talked about it so much that Zeus has left a few more, 5 in all. Not every trip. Just random. It makes it a nice surprise when he does leave one.

One of the notes were actual notes, Music notes. He left about 20-25 arrows leading to the next arrow with short instructions. It was a Note hunt. The kids found it first but could not find the last few, early one morning. (Notice a trend, Zeus normally leaves while we are all sleeping)

I helped the kids out and we found the final NOTE. Yeah, not a written note, Zeus left us a Music Note. It was a 16th note to be exact. It was funny and very clever of Zeus. Definitely kept the babies busy. Just made me cry. If you haven't already noticed I am very emotional when he leaves.

I know you are still wondering about those names huh!

But did you like the first few notes. Funny! or not? What did you think?

Ok, OK, OK!!!

Wait no more!!

Once again Zeus was off to another adventure leaving us behind. This time he left another note. Here is a copy of it. Zeus gave us our names and they immediately stuck.

So that is that. The names would then become our blog identities. The babies all know their names and will use them sometimes, not often but it is funny when they are used out in public. I bet you can see the stares and faces huh. Yeah, It does turn a few heads. I just smile and laugh. Zeus can be so sweet sometimes.

Can't wait for the next one. He is really gonna have to be creative to top those. Soon we will know.

Thanks for reading and come back soon. Always something new happening at the Haskins House.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tiny task Tuesday

Welcome Back to another edition of Tiny Task Tuesday!!!

My very own campaign to help change America one simple helping hand at a time. You too can join in and help me restore true generosity without money changing any hands. Just commit to doing one thing per week for the rest of the year. Whether it be reading to a class, helping the elderly carry something, Being a good neighbor, picking up trash and many other small simple tasks.

So this week I read someones negative response to my T.T.T. It was enlightening. What I must say is, I do not do this to boast about the good things I do. I do this to show you just how easy stepping up can be. We all want change. We saw that on Nov. 4, 2008 and again on Jan. 20, 2009 but we do not know how to change or we are leaving it to Congress. Lets do it ourselves. That is the only way to truly change, in my opinion. We have become a very self-absorbed and selfish nation, unwilling to give to the needy or help the unfortunate. Lets change that. Get back to basics. I post my T.T.T. so that you know what a difference a tiny task can make. It makes me think, Hmmm, what have i done this week? Or have I done something to help someone this week? It keeps me honest and true and puts it in writing. Its all about accountability. Make yourself accountable. I'm sorry if you take this the wrong way. I am just trying to do my part to make America the place everyone wants to be, like it was 20 years ago. I do this for my children. I want them to enjoy living here and prosper. It is up to us. Join me!!!

This weeks Tasks

1. I gave my new neighbor 4 eggs so they could cook dinner since the commissary was already closed for the day.
2. I picked up all the recycling that blew all over the street twice, due to the ridiculously heavy wind.
3. I continue to coach a team of 5-6 year olds basketball.
4. I drove a friend home from the mall since she did not have a car and her hubby did not come get her.

You see these are all simple tasks that just take time, energy and strength. If you have it to give then try it. It can be exhilarating!! And other people might notice and decide to follow your lead. Thanks for logging on today to follow my T.T.T.
Come back tomorrow to see what is new in the life of the Haskins House.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Not ME! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to a her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I am going to attempt to join the Not Me Monday craze! It all started with MckMama and her crazy Many Small Children, MSC. So here it is, my first edition of NMM. Enjoy, my totally embarrassing moments of the week.

I did not plan my husband's birthday surprise party for 2 months only to go out to dinner. I would never do that.

I did not take a 3 day break from housework because my ear was killing me. No, I never stop when I get sick.

I did not try to trick my husband with his own words. Wives don't do that. Never.

I did not drink an entire bottle of Moscato by myself. I really have friends. I would never be that lonely or miserable.

I did not let my husband coach my basketball team. A good coach would never miss practice. Not me!

I did not laugh at Ryker a dozen times with his funny comments. That is not what we mothers are suppose do. Nope we change diapers and discipline and teach, never laugh.

I did not spend way too much on photographs of my little babies. Never. Who's spends lots on photos?

I did not run through the mall chasing after my 3 year old that seemingly ran faster than I. No I am not that slow. You would never see me run through a store.

We did not go dumpster diving for just the right box and find an awesome dog carrier for our pregnant pup. Yuck, that would be gross. Definitely not me.

This weekend was very successful. Basketball game was great. Cheerleader finally coming out of her shell. Gymnast is doing amazing, becoming so limber. Ziggy is starting to show so great personality and intellect. Zeus' basketball team did swell. Zeus' birthday party went well, we had a few hiccups but all in all we(26) made it and enjoyed ourselves. Happy Birthday Zeus. Better love those new suits my man.
See you again soon for more adventures from the Haskins House.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Future Actor?

Here is the conversation that Ziggy and I had this morning. He was sitting down watching Spongebob Squarepants and eating breakfast. During commercial he came to find me and tell me something.

Z: Mom I want to be in a Spongebob movie?
M: How are you going to do that?
Z: I will break the tv and jump in.
M: oh yeah
Z: You can fix it, you will be happy with me.
M: are you sure?
Z: yeah I want to be on tv.
M: ok
Z: can you help me?
M: Honey daddy would be mad if we broke his tv and mommy would be sad if you went away.
Z: OH Ta

So I guess I satisfied him with telling him I would be sad. Anyways, my child is so very silly. I love them at this age of anything is possible. It helps lighten the day. Have a great day!!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tiny Task Tuesday

Welcome to another installment of Tiny Task Tuesday.

If you are new let me explain. This is my own little way to start a change in America. What is it? Well, this is a 52 wk campaign that each and every one of you could join. All you need to do is find someone that needs help with something and without payment just do it. If the elderly neighbor struggles to take out the trash, go help them or do it for them. This campaign does not require money all it requires is your time and a little muscle here and there. So come on help me out in spreading my campaign across the country. Do 1 simple task every week and see how it multiples.
This week I am going to do this a little different. Because Zeus has been out of town I was on the other side of the campaign. I will share both sides this week. Tell me what you think?

People Helping me

1. Someone was so generous to bring my child home from cheerleading practice. Since it was so late and my boys were already in bed.
2. Someone knew I was alone with the kids on Valentines Day and stopped by with a huge box of chocolates to wish me a Happy V Day.
3. While out and about a very nice lady assisted me in carrying our food and drinks at a show I took the kids too.
These are all the people I appreciate. It is really amazing to see that the generosity of people has not disappeared. Thank you for all the help. I was humbled to think I was worthy of help.

Here's mine

1. Helped a new neighbor find their mailbox. Our mailboxes are units of 12. They are located here and there and anyone could be yours.
2. While driving I helped a car find a hole to merge onto the highway, this was a feat in itself but we worked together and she got in.
3. Helped my niece in completing a school project. She had a flat Stanley and I took him on a whirlwind tour of D.C., MD and VA. I went above and beyond by printing pictures and journaling them and putting together pages for her to show in a book.
4. Put a large box of clothes together for a sweet little girl that definitely could use some gently used dresses. Since my Zero is growing out of everything I figure we could share and help a little girl with a smile.

There were 3 more but a few little fingers jacked my list. If I find it I will update this one later. They were just trying to help clean off the desk.

Ok, So what did you do this week that impacted someone else in a positive way? How did you help? Use my Button and join in on Tuesdays to update us what you are doing to change our America. Just one person at a time. Thanks for reading and I look forward to your T.T.T.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

At just the right time

I sit here looking at this computer screen in tears thinking about the past 24 hours. Today was a ridiculously crazy day for me. I have really felt totally embarrassed by my childrens behavior today. But after reading my daily blogs that I follow. I have been relieved. God is working here, I know. He put these blogs on my page for a reason. I read them for a reason. Maybe to share them with you or just to allow myself to feel OK with life and the choices that are made.

So the first one I read is a well known author Lysa who is an amazing Christian writer. I have nothing on her. But anyways, she writes today about one of her children misbehaving at school and getting the dreaded call to THE PRINCIPALS office. Which I know how she feels!!! It is a scary feeling. But she blogs about how she felt immediate failure and that the situation made her think about redefining herself.

2 reasons I mention this. First, I had to share this amazing blogger and writer with you. Check her out she really does walk with God. She inspires me to make better choices myself.

And second reason, She opened my eyes today.

I was doing my motherly duties today by scheduling and taking my 4 beautiful children to be photographed. We go in and they are doing awesome waiting for our turn. She calls us back and the shoot begins. My kids must have taken their smiley pills this morning or something. They did wonderfully. The shoot only took maybe 15-20 minutes at most to take more than 20 Great shots. Then it was time for me to work my way through all the photos and try to order some without spending a fortune. While doing this, the kids were left to sit in the tiny studio and play legos, leapster and my i-phone. I have downloaded many games to keep them occupied while sitting in extremely boring places. This being one. Only thing is I only have 1 i-phone and 4 kids that wanted it. It turned into a little rough play to 2 kids running 20 foot circles while trying to get the i-phone from the other in the middle of the doorway. Another family trying to pick their pictures while mine simply humiliate me stand watching in disgust. I tried to keep my composure while thanking the older 2 for behaving. The situation began to escalate when the younger 2 began to throw the legos up like they were freshly fallen leaves. Bizarre. Upsetting and just a little. bit. embarrassing. I felt horrified. I felt my heart breaking like I had done little to no discipline in their short little lives. In my head I was running circles on how to deal with them, where to deal with them and why I try to do these things. I quickly made me selections, purchased the pictures and found the first door out of the store not looking back one time.

But after reading Lysas' post, I am feeling renewed. I feel God is helping me be a better mother and showing me what is important and that each one of these precious beings is totally their own being that needs guidance but ultimately make their own decisions. We are all sinners and we all make bad choices. So it is better to make them younger and be shown the correct path than to never be shown and always choose the wrong trails. Thanks Lysa! You have once again touched another life and opened my heart. Patience has been restored and a different way of Mothering begins in the morning.

Then the second post I read today was Sandy's, the organizational guru. She posted about a young mother who past this life on Valentines day. God put her post on me today so that I would not feel so guilty. A few, unmentionable things have happened the past week that have made me feel extremely guilty. I was feeling really selfish and just seriously guilt. After talking to Zeus, I was feeling even worse this evening. He unfortunately added much more weight to the shoulders that already are holding more than they can handle. Funny how that works. But after reading Sandy's beautiful post about life and death and how short our lives could be and that we are not promised another day on earth. The guilt has subsided and has been replaced with joy, happiness and 100% honest gratefulness. I am grateful to God for lending me 4 beautiful loving children. I am so very thankful that he has given me 28 years of life, married life, parenting life and all those wonderful things that he has blessed me with. I do thank him everyday but today Sandy just renews those values. My choices were not deal breakers. They were not harmful or hurtful to anyone. They were just simple spontaneous decisions that happen once a year for me. That's all. Maybe Zeus will forget or just maybe for once forgive them.

Thanks Sandy for allowing me to enjoy my decisions sans the guilt and worries. Thank you for putting life first just one more time. To all you wonderful readers out there. Read Sandy's post.
Have a great day.

Today could have been much worse. But thankfully it wasn't. It was a good day. I had my babies, we made memories, we spent the day together and we are all together resting happily. That is what matters most. So Lysa and Sandy stepped at my doorstep or computer screen at just the right time.

Blessings and stay tuned

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentines Day to remember

As Valentines Day quickly approaches I am reminded of an unforgettable Feb 14, 2006. Just like this year, Zeus was on a trip. This particular trip was Tampa, Fl. I was all alone with 3 children and a 2 month old nursing infant.

The day would start out like any other weekday. I got the big kids up and dressed for school. Made sure they had their Valentines cards to hand out and pulled up Zero's hair. She loved me to fix her hair. My friend took the kids to school in the car pool we had created. Once I went back to my bedroom Zulu was breathing quite heavily. He had woken up several times during the night crying, the reason I never figured out. I consoled him and obviously let him sleep in my bed with Ziggy, the nursing infant and myself. He seemed to be breathing rather heavily. I tried asking him what was the matter but to a 28 month old little boy, I was speaking Japanese. He did not understand what I was asking. After several attempts to calm him down from what I thought was a crazy dream, I never could get him to stop breathing like he had just run a marathon. It was weird.

So the mom in me kicked in and I called the Dr. and explained that something was wrong and I could not figure it out. They gave me an appt time of 2:30pm. I tried to get something earlier but nothing was available. Thank goodness we are less than 1 Mile from the Dr.'s office. During the entire day he did not eat or drink anything. He laid down in the fetal position the entire day. I was scared to death. I was so sad. Not knowing how to make my child comfortable. Once we walk in all bundled up with baby and gear all in tow they take us back to a room immediately. Doctor "W" takes a look and a listen and she looked up at me in terror. I knew right then that we were in trouble. We are moved to another ambulatory room with lots of lights and lots of space. The pediatric doctor says that we must slow down his breathing, which has not slowed all day. She says he is in respiratory distress. Zulu went from my bed to the couch and was very lethargic by the time we got to the clinic. I had to carry him in. Doctor "W" worked very quickly to get some steroids in him. She gave him one dose and Zulu showed no signs of change.

Now, picture this we are laying on a bed me holding Zulu down and Ziggy being held by many different nurses and techs. Doctor "W," calls in several other more Senior doctors. They come in and do their own checks, heart rate, pulse, yada yada yada. By this time we have been here a couple hours and I am getting very irritated that he is not improving. The doctors decide to give another dose of adult strength steroids. I was told it should kick in within 5 minutes. So we wait. 5, 10, 15 minutes. Nothing ,no change. Zulu is beginning to tire. Doctors decide to check his pulse oxygen again and OMG, it is at 79.

Now if you do not know anything about this I will help you. Pulse OX, as the medical world calls it is the amount of oxygen saturation in the blood supply. You can normally see this when your pulse is taken with one of those monitors they hook to your finger or toe. The Pulse oximeter, that also measures your heart rate. Now normal ranges are from 95-100, sometimes occasionally 90. 79 is dire trouble. The doctors decide to call am ambulance and transfer us to a full pediatric hospital. I am told we do not have much time before he will stop breathing. I ask to use someones phone to call my friend and neighbor. I tell her what is going on and she says she will run over to get the baby who has by this time been in at least 10 different peoples arms. ZIggy is doing well and has only nursed once while in the clinic. She says after she gets the big kids off the bus she will get over there. In the mean time I call my husband and tell him what is going on. I tell him he really needs to get a plane back to D.C.. I tell him we do not have a diagnosis just an effect. Thank goodness my neighbor who is in charge of the others, her husband works in the same unit as mine. He makes a few calls and finally gets them to get my husband on a plane back to D.C. Just not soon enough. He flight is around 7 pm or so.

While we are waiting on the Ambulance, calls are received that traffic in D.C. is very heavy and the Ambulance is 45 minutes out. The doctors are not happy. They go back out and have a conference. They tell me it is going to be too long to wait for the Ambulance and they have decided to call for a helicopter. We immediately are taken to a transport vehicle to take us a few blocks to the helipad. Zulu is fighting to stay with me at this point. I am shaking tremendously, cold and absolutely frightened I might lose my 3rd child. We pull up to the pad just as the copter is landing. Now from the the clinic to copter has been all of 5 minutes. Things are happening so fast I just nod and continue moving. The pilot gets out and comes in to check stats and get an update on the patient, my dying 2 yr old. He tells me whats going to happen and what we are doing and what hospital we are going to. Zulu is still hooked to the monitor and I have a person walking right beside me everywhere I go. Getting out of the vehicle and making that 20 meter walk to the copter was the longest walk I have ever taken. I felt that time was passing me by, like I was standing still. We get into the copter and I have to get on a gurney and they strap me down while holding my precious child fade. One of the Senior doctors comes with us. Up we go, we fly over this majestic city of D.C. with beautiful snow on the ground and dark grey clouds. This gloomy winter day is getting more dreary by the moment. We are in the copter less than 15 minutes from clinic to hospital. We were transported to Walter Reed Army hospital in Northwest D.C. We get in and Zulu suddenly comes to. He asks "where are we?" WOW, he has not uttered a word all day. He has been completely out of it for hours now. His breathing just went back to normal all on its on. A miracle. Now the ER doctors are confused why we were flown here now. They decide to admit him since the senior doctor at the clinic came with me on the flight and insisted there was something serious wrong. So we go through telling the whole story again and then BAM, he goes back into this breathing episode once again. His eyes roll back and he can not talk because he can not catch his breath. The doctors are moving like light speed by this point trying to get an IV in. They fail in the arm and decide it must go in the leg. So lots of extra help and IV is in. He has to have his leg boarded up to keep it straight and keep the IV from coming out. He gets all settled and in a room and we are still at a pulse OX of 80%. Not good. He goes on 100% oxygen. Let me tell you something, I am claustrophobic with those masks. So trying to convince my 2 yr old to wear it was ridiculous. Finally we get a nose adapterfor a baby and he is hooked up just at the nose instead of the whole face mask thingy. Much better. His pulse ox is improving. This still leaves us to what is causing this. Blood is taken, x Rays are taken. Tests after tests are done and still nobody knows. Zeus gets in around 1 am and is driven by his supervisor to the hospital. Then someone reads in Zulu's chart that he tested positive for TB, tuberculosis. Oh No, this sets off a firestorm of rushing and masking and moving. We are moved to a negative air flow room. All nurses and doctors coming in and out wear the silly masks. I try to explain that he has been treated and it was NEVER active TB. They do not understand the complicated situation with this. 4 out of the 6 in my family have tested positive and we have all been treated for the disease with 9 month regimen of daily medication. Weird but back to Zulu. He makes improvements and then falls back again. It is like 2 steps forward and 1 step back. He is treated with antibiotics and is being treated with a nebulizer as well. We are on Day 2 by this point. Doctors are still surprised at what is happening to him. He is stable and responsive and extremely tired. After being taken home by the nice supervisor to get a good nights sleep with our other children on the first night. I get them off to school and get back to the hospital quickly with toys, clothes and baby in tow. Especially since Ziggy is still nursing and I feel like I might pop. Thank goodness for the hospital getting me a breast pump so I could pump while I was there. Zulu is doing better and Daddy did a good job being on night shift after not being there for the worst of it. Doctors think he has had an asthma attack of some sort. WHAT? We never knew he had asthma. It would not be a surprise since Omega has asthma too. Ok well what caused it and how do I prevent this from happening again. The doctors are going to call this Reactive Airway Disease. It is not necessarily asthma but he is too young to give him that diagnosis. RAD is very broad but can be an allergic reaction, hereditary or viral respiratory disease. Whatever it is, this is so scary. After being hospitalized and attached to cables and tubes and having alarms go off every time his pulse Ox falls below 90 he finally gets to go home.

What a great feeling to have him acting normal. Looking normal and finally eating for once. I am so glad all the nurses and doctors at Bolling moved so quickly. They are all so great. Thank you! This is definitely not the Valentines day I had planned but I am so glad Zeus was able to get back and support us while we walk through such uncharted territory. Thanks to everyone for all the prayers. Who would have thought spunky little Zulu would be dealt such amazing situations. He is a strong boy. Tough boy. Very independent boy. Super loving boy. Wildly animated boy. He is my little Zulu and I love every mean or nice bone in his body. I must thank the Lord for blessing me with him and giving me just one more day with him.

I hope this Valentines day is much less active, and less exciting. I hope everyone has a great Valentines Day. Hug your loved ones. Kiss them and tell them how much you love them because we are not promised another day. Blessings to all

Check back soon for more adventures from the Haskins House!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy, Happy...................


Oh the sweet sound of music. This time it is playing in my head though. The song of today is....... Happy Birthday Baby. You know, Ronnie Milsap, long time ago.

So today I must dedicate my post to my husband of 9+ years. Today is the day that he reached adulthood or manhood.

Does that count?

Yeah, my Nana says you are not grown until you reach 30. So it must be true!

I guess Zeus is finally a man. HAHAHA

Today is that super special day, Zeus' 30th birthday. Whats too bad is he is in Chicago on a business trip and we are here at home. So no crazy balloons, presents or cake, well maybe cake, he just won't get a piece of it. The kids might insist on it.

So what do you want to know about Zeus?

Here are 30 things you might not have known about my dear Zeus

1. He was born in Mount Vernon, Washington Feb 13, 1979.

2. He has an older sister, and 2 younger brothers.

3. He loves to fiddle with computers

4. I am his first kiss and the rest you can figure out. (we have 4 kids)

5. Zeus is very quiet and reserved at first

6. Then he will use his famous sarcasm to get under your skin or make you laugh

7. He loves to surprise everyone and anyone

8. Spontaneity is something he is really good at

9. He is a chocolate fanatic

Funny Story
{ One time I hid all the chocolate in the house and he was desperate so he raided my baking box only to find a baking bar, he ate it. Oh yeah, he needs his chocolate .}

10. Zeus is very loyal

11. Zeus graduated the University of Phoenix with a Bachelors degree in 2004 and Masters degree in 2008

12. He loves Italian and Mexican and can't stand ANY seafood

13.He has been active duty military for 10 years now

14. He loves to read historical mystery and most history novels.

15. He is a wonderful dad to our 4 beautiful babies

16. He has become the love of my life and without him I would be extremely lonely and seriously stressed and oh so sad.

17. Zeus does not do a good job showing his love for anyone

18. Zeus loves to watch football

19. He also loves to play basketball

20. He can not cook worth anything, he has a hard time following recipes even

21. He can eat a whole batch of cookies or a whole bag of M&M's in one sitting

22. He does not have a very good sense of style, I pick out the ties and matching shirts

Am I tattling here? NO, just being honest, Sorry Z

23. Zeus has a look a like. Omega is his exact replica, brain and all

24. He is one of the hardest workers you will ever encounter, EVER

25. He works so hard he can not walk away until everything for that day or the next is complete

26. He loves to see me smile, he will tick me off just to get the smile I give when I am so furious it turns funny

27. He hates to do housework

28. He is the best wrestler our kids have ever known

29. Zeus will do just about anything if you can get him to believe it is his idea

30. Zeus hates to talk about feelings, that's why I do so much of it.

Happy Birthday Zeus. I love you and I hope you have a great day even though we are not with you on this amazing milestone.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009



Did you think I was pregnant?

NO, not me!!

But it is someone in our family. We all a little shocked but cautiously excited. This could be a lot of fun. Or it could be a big disaster. I am hoping for option number 1 but am prepared for option number 2. Getting ancy yet? Got any ideas who is pregnant? SMILING REAL BIG

ITS PRINCESS!!!! Our 6 year old Yorkshire Terrier. She is gonna be a first time Momma dog. I have been wanting to breed her for some time but this was a total, and I do mean total accident. We have been struggling to keep Princess in the yard while she was in heat. So the week of New Years Princess got out at least 3 times. She was located a few doors down. We have a neighbor 3 houses down that has 2 little males. They are definitely not the dogs/ or dog I would have chosen to breed her with but what can you do.

This is Princess's mom, Penny with her sweet Pups, one being Princess.

So it looks like we are gonna have a few DORKIES on our hands. Yeah, you are reading that right. The Doggie world has chosen to call these pups Dorkies. They are going to be hybrids. That means you know what the Mom is and you know what the Dad is. The Dad/ or Dads are full blood miniature Dachshunds. One has the same coloring as Princess and the other is solid brown. They are really cute little dogs so we shall see what Princess shall produce. This is my first time with the whole Birthing thing with a dog. I am not sure how I will do but I am preparing for the day.

Here is Princess with her Litter mates

It looks like she will give birth some time in late Feb. She is really starting to show. She has gained 2 pounds since the first of the year. Her belly is bulging. I can not pick her up with one hand any more. She has become very tired, lazy. Still barks at the mailman and anyone who walks by the house but sleeps a whole lot when she used to play Frisbee or fetch with her toys or ball. She can not jump on the bed anymore and is really struggling to jump onto the couch. She is very funny with the kids now too. She will let Zero pick her up and rub her belly. But when Zero puts her down she snaps. It is really funny. Her teets are large and swollen. I think they might be leaking too because she licks them all. the. time.

Here is Zero after getting her home. She is thrilled

I am excited because I want another pup and for it to be her pup with be perfect. Here are a few pictures of Princess as a pup.
Here she is with Zero, who is super lovey with her
Here she is after finally getting her ears up.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rocking the Guac

Well the dreaded day has come once again. Many of you know Zeus' job requires him to take short and sometimes long stints away from home often. He has been home since thanksgiving day. Yeah, quite a long stretch. I tend to get nervous when we have long stretches like this because we all get USED to Daddy being home. That makes it even harder for him to go. Even though he is not going to IRAQ or AFGHANISTAN it does not mean we miss him any less or that it is any less difficult to say goodbye because trust me, it is just the same, except we have to say goodbye more times in those 6-12 months instead of just once. That is tough. Seriously tough. Anyways so as we get prepared we like to go out to eat just before Daddy leaves or right after he returns. It is a nice family time with no CLEAN UP.

I decided we would go to a new restaurant at the fairly new Washington National Harbor. Zeus was still at work while I looked up a restaurant to try. He loves Mexican so I thought we would try that one. Never the less as soon as he came home he was ready to leave. The kids and I were not but with a little "Hey lets go to a restaurant" they were ready in 2 minutes flat.

Going to a restaurant is really a treat for us. It does not happen very often. Maybe once a month we venture out with 6 of us. There is usually gratuity and it hardly ever costs less than $50 at the cheapest. With a $100 a week grocery bill that nearly covers a weeks groceries.

Anyways, we went to this little restaurant called Rosa Mexicano. After getting there we learned that the waiters make Guacamole at your table if ordered. HUMMMM!!! Mexican restaurant? Guacamole? YES, Please!!! So the waiter pulls the portable table over to us and asks if the kids want to help.

UMMMMM, I don't think he knows what he is about to get himself into. YEAH, all 3 boys jump at the opportunity. So they all climb onto the chairs he provides for height and he brings them all a cute little apron. They are so happy. He tells them what they are about to do and lets them take over. Yeah, you read that right. He literally let them do it. Only thing he did was cut the avocado. It was so cool to see them treated like people and not babies.

OH, wow, they are full of happy little smiles and working so well together. That just about never happens with these boys. Getting dressed can cause arguments that could eventually lead to jail time. Seriously, it can be a real war zone with these munchkins. I was just the happiest mommy ever. My little boys are so well behaved, oh this is sooooooo cool. No one is crying. No one is complaining. What a feat!!! They officially Rocked the Guac.

They did great, and did I mention the Guac was awesome. YUM, I have been told that I must make this at home. "It was so easy Mom, there was only 5 ingredients." Thanks so much Omega. Oh yeah and thanks to Rosa Mexicano for showing just how EASY it was. ahem

Dinner was fabulous. The kids behaved amazing. The waiter treated them like little adults the entire evening. Zulu even asked the waiter for more ketchup all on his own with no prompting from anyone. It must have been the cutest thing ever. I was the doting proud Mommy.

Thanks Christian for being an absolutely awesome waiter. We enjoyed it, every little $25 plate worth. He even brought out nickles and dimes for the kids to throw into the fountain. Now that is fulfilling his waiterly (my own word) duties.

Dinner well spent. Memories Made. Goodbyes said. Daddy off. and Mommy tired. Mission Complete!

Join us again for another installment of the Haskins Happenings, coming soon to a blog near you.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Paw Paw

This past Jan. my children and I finally got to meet my biological father. He and his wife flew out here to visit with us a few days. If you are wondering how it all started read here. It was really cool and exciting for them to come all this way for us and me.

So the trip was going well and the kids were having a blast with more grandparents. They attach themselves very quickly to people. I think I know where that comes from. Probably me. Paw Paw was really tired and went to bed early one night while Maw Maw, Mommy and the kids watched a movie. After finishing the movie and getting ready for bed I sent the kids to bed. Zulu on the other hand had other plans. As you know Zulu is extremely rough, bull-headed, independent, animated and just a little character. He has so much spunk. So he here's something coming from Paw Paw and Maw Maw's bedroom so mister curious does not continue to his room. OH no. He decides he is gonna check on Paw Paw. He bursts into Paw Paw's room to find him snoring.

I gotta jump in here and give you a history lesson.

At our house on the weekends and Zeus' days off, we parents like to sleep in a little. I mean something past 7 am not to exceed 10am. The kids are not allowed to come in until we call them. Seems fair enough, right. When I usually call the kids in Zeus likes to act like he's asleep. Then that is when the kids go to work. They have to get him up and out of bed. This involves leaping babies, Karate chopping boys, kickboxing girls and whatever else they come up with. Zeus usually will snore will loud when they are getting close. Zulu will get in his face and yell at him and open his eyes and do everything in his power to get his Daddy out of bed.

So back to the story

Zulu runs over to Paw Paw and grabs his face ever so gently, not and smushes his cheeks together all while yelling "YOUR FAKING". Oh yes, but this time it really is not Daddy trying to get the kids to attack, this is really sleeping Paw Paw, who BTW really is snoring loudly. I can not even imagine Paw Paw's startled waking to an oh so loving and sweet little boy right in his face. HILARIOUS!!! Poor Paw Paw!! Welcome to the Haskins family is all I can think of. I think Maw Maw and Paw Paw will never forget that one. Neither will I and I promise to remind mister Zulu as he grows up. Never underestimate a child. You just never know what they will come up with and when.
Stay Tuned for more adventures from the Haskins House

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Welcome to another episode of Tiny Task Tuesday where I do something simple that positively affects the life of another individual or environment. This is a year commitment. You too can join in on my journey to better our world one tiny task at a time. Its simple really. All you have to do is find 1 thing per week that makes a difference. Pick up trash on the sidewalk, hold open a door, allow someone to go first on the HWY. No money required, just time. So what'll it be?
Here are my tasks this week.
1. I surprised a friend with a girls night in and wreath making.
2. I found some money on the ground and found its owner and graciously handed it over.
3. I coached 5 and 6 year old in basketball 2 times this week.
4. I helped someone locate a specific place.
5. I smiled at the cashier and told her to have a good day.
6. I picked up a paper cup off the ground and placed it in the nearest trash receptacle.
Come on, step up and add this to your blog. You can have a Tiny Task Tuesday. Go ahead tell me what you did this week. I'd love to hear it. Maybe, just maybe we can start our own movement to change America and bring that down home charm back to what used to be.
Lets go. Have fun finding that simple task this week.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sometimes we fail

Tonight as the kids came home from school they each handed me their report cards. Now these are not your average report cards. They do not get graded A, B, C, D, F in English, Grammar and such. They get graded 1=Below basic, 2=Basic, 3=Proficient, 4=Advanced for overall subjects and then each subject is broken down into sections that are graded S=Secure, D=Developing, B=Beginning, and N=Not introduced. These sections are like Identifies root of words, Determines values of variables in simple equations involving addition, subtraction or multiplication, Understands the basic structure of the Washington D.C. Government, recognizes the cultural origins of art from diverse historic periods, reads and notates music, comprehends concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention. The report card is not that easy to dissect actually.

I was nervous, scared and a little apprehensive when sitting down to read all 3 report cards. I sat comfortably on the couch and read through each one trying to figure out how each child is doing in the eyes of his/her teacher. Then I tried to assess them myself, by remembering the homework we do and how each responds.

UGH, this is totally frustrating and seriously whack. All the kids are passing but it seems they are BARELY passing. This does not make any sense to me. First off I have 2 that are in excel programs in school, how are they barely passing. They are all at Proficient or 3. This to me is very weird.

I remember being in school. I remember just how hard I tried for every grade. I remember the struggles to get through every class even the AP classes in High School. But elementary school was definitely not easy for me at all. So I look at my babies and hope and pray they do not struggle. I am not dumb or stupid by any means. I did well in grades 6-12. And Zeus himself is an extremely intelligent person. Heck, He has just graduated with his Masters degree with a very high GPA. He does not want that number released but let me tell you it does not get much better than that. So I sit here with tears in my eyes wondering how my 3 babies, which have 2 smart parents, are all just proficient.

I feel at this point like I have failed them. Zero is in 3rd grade and seems to be doing great. She is catching on to her math amazingly well. She is reading SO much better and understands meaning to words. I feel I have let her down. These are the years to build those all important stepping stones, load baring walls and foundation. These are the years they need me most. Do you feel that way?Am I looking at this all wrong?

Maybe just maybe I spent too much time for me. Maybe just maybe I wallowed in self pity for far too long. Maybe just maybe I expected too much from them. Maybe just maybe I should give up on my dreams for once and push them for their dreams. I guess I just thought my job as a parent was to assist. Maybe just maybe everything I thought a parent's role is, is completely opposite the real meaning of that role.

I sit here after evaluating myself as a Mom. I have successfully given myself an F for teaching and schooling. I am really feeling unbelievably hurt, defeated, and sad. I must help them learn more. I must help them learn faster. I just feel like leaving at 7:30am and coming home at 4:15pm is a very long day for a child under the age of 10. Then we sit down for anywhere from 20-60mins of homework x's 3 everyday. Then we have extracurriculars for about 1 hr twice a week to help round them out. To show them teamwork, skills and all those other things as long as instill physical activity. Then you factor in an our of cooking and 30 minutes for cleaning and then them in bed by 7:30-8pm. WOW, they did not have much time to sit and hone those skills they might be lacking in. Or have much QUALITY time with Mom and Dad. I am at a loss. What more can I do? Should I make the weekend more school time? Does it really have to be this intense? Do any of you feel this way? I hope I am not the only one out there that is feeling completely unworthy.

WOW, this motherhood thing just gets more complicated as the years go by. You think getting up at 2am to nurse your baby is hard. Honey, wait for this day. The report card day. The day you realize you have failed. The day you understand how important your job is and how unqualified you are to do it.

I have chosen to give up a few things that are my personal extracurriculars to focus on the learning aspect for my children. They are the future, not me. They are the ones that will need those skills to get through tough situations in life, not me. They are the ones that need my help, not me. They are the ones counting on me to give them the best of everything, not me. So in my journey to raise happy, healthy, law abiding, and productive members of society I have chosen to again take the backseat. I choose to be the crew. I choose to be setup team. I choose my babies.

At this very moment I am going to promise myself to put them 100% first. It is not what I want in life. It is what is best for them. I might be abandoning a lot of things but after receiving these 3 little pink sheets I feel completely inadequate. I hope you are not going through this and I hope none of you have to go through this. The deep sinking feeling is just really not fun. Quite disturbing actually. I can do this. I think. It is probably going to put me in the grave much sooner than expected but whatever I can do to get them to performing high in school that is the answer. So I guess all this rambling is just going nowhere but I just had to let it out and I know you all will still read me tomorrow so what have I got to lose? Thanks for listening. Thanks for reading. Thanks for being part of my bloggie buddies. Feel free to respond. I know I have several readers that do not respond and that is ok. I am glad you are here. Continue with me to follow this crazy, tragic, hectic, wild, happy, and insane life of a military family of 6.
Blessings to you

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Random Photo 8-25

Several of my online friends are blogging about a random photo. Basically you take your birthday and find the 8th folder, the 2nd sub folder and 5th picture, 8-25. So here it is....

This would be Ziggy in August of 2006. Here he is at 8 months old. He was pulling up to Zulu on the playground bench trying to give him a rock he had found. Such a cutie patootie. WOW, it is so amazing to see how fast they grow-up. When the kids were young we spent lots of time at the playground. Not so much anymore. They would rather go for a bike ride or jump on our trampoline.

OH, how I miss summer. Spring will be here before we know it and it will be time for my gardening to take shape. What fun that shall be.

Until then what is your random photo? Take your birth date and use the numbers to find the folders and pictures like I did. Lets see what you can come up with! Thanks SnapDragon!!!