Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas, oh wait, We have Birthdays first.

2 Boys, 2 Birthday's, 2 weeks before Christmas, Zeus gone 2 weeks. What a busy yet amazing time of year.
This year my boys asked, OK maybe begged but what does that matter, for separate birthday parties at separate places. Being the loving and pleasing Momma that I am, the answer to that questioning was simple, yes. The boys are born on the same day in December, 4 years apart. Yeah, I must have been crazy to have 2 kids in December even crazier for the same day. I mean really there are 31 days in December and our Anniversary why not have them on the same day. My body does crazy things so this was not a complete surprise. Just makes our family more unique.

Omega asked to have his party at a skating rink, ice skating that is. I could never say no, because nobody loves ice skating more than I do. Sure, Ice skating with my son, Absolutely. Omega is a bit of a quiet boy so friends are not common for him. He hangs with his sisters and little brothers friends but has little, if any of his very own. So his party attendees would be friends of his siblings, which worked out great because we are fond of the friends that attended.

 He loved skating around the rink, asking Momma tons of questions on how to skate, how to turn around, how to go backwards, how to spin and on and on and on. I loved showing him things and watching him try his hardest to figure them out, unsuccessfully.

We had a bit of a scare when Zero fell and Zeus tried to get her up and he eventually lost his footing and tumbled backwards slamming his head onto the ice. That is my worst nightmare. Thankfully there was no blood. He managed to rattle the ice underneath my feet more than 5 yards away. He lay there,  holding his head as if he were just knocked out in a boxing match. It is not fun to see your love laying there like that, especially when he does not even enjoy Ice skating to begin with. After much commotion and help up he managed to move to a hockey box with a splitting headache. WHEW, that was a close one. No concussion or symptoms of one, much to my surprise. He assured me that would be his last time attempting to do something I love. I am sad.

Zero felt HORRIBLE, as she was the one that caused the fall to begin with. I managed to explain that no matter the experience of a skater, falls happen to the best of us, even Gold Medalist take some terrifying tumbles. She dried her eyes quickly and continued skating knowing I had it under control.

Enough Drama!

A sweet, neighbor whose husband is on his way home from Afghanistan stopped by to watch all of us for a bit too. Its always fun to reach out and love those around us.

Fantastic party, great fun and lots of wet pants from little ones slipping and sliding all over the ice. I think a lot of it was intentional though. Silly babies.

Bring on Party #2, Chuck E Cheese for Ziggy.

Ziggy, being the baby of the family has never really experienced the whole Chuck E Cheese thing. His request for a Chuck E Cheese birthday was right up his alley as much as Zeus despises the place. C.E.C it is. Ziggy had a few friends attend and was absolutely the happiest I have ever seen him. He loved being sung to. He danced with Chuck E. He clapped with the crew. He smiled. He laughed. But most of all he felt as special as he is. As a parent, it was AMAZING to watch him beaming with joy during his birthday celebration. He was crowned. He earned a medal. He even attacked the ticket blaster. Birthday's are special and these two precious boys are half of my wondrous world.

Absolutely a great day. Happy Birthday to my precious Omega and Ziggy. Momma loves you babies.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Look Who's Growing Up

Yikes, thinking about my babies growing up is definitely hard to swallow. I love them being small, napping, needy and wanting to hang out at home with me. Those days are quickly coming to end. But as they grow they are given huge opportunities that make me super proud to be their Momma.

This week we had one of those moments. Zero, my oldest most precious of them all has worked exceptionally hard on her studies and this week she was rewarded of that hard work. She was invited to join the elite Jr. Beta Club. A club that recognizes and rewards high academic achievement and instills a since of community service in its members. This is awesome. I was never in a Beta Club but I was a member of the National Honor Society. So I know how proud she must feel as well as her wonderful friends.

Our family is extremely proud and quite amazed by little miss Zero's achievements. If you knew her, you know how hard she has to work for all the A's she brings home. Not one of those A's has come easy for her, countless hours of study and many tears later.

I am most excited that one of her dear friends is on the same journey as she, so she shall not go it alone.
                                     Congratulations Mascoutah Middle School Jr. Beta Inductees.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Traditions

Do you have any holiday traditions? I know growing up we had traditions passed down through the generations. Like Santa always leaving Apples, Oranges and nuts in our stockings as well as unwrapped gifts under our tree. We always opened Courtney family gifts on Christmas eve and Miller family gifts on Christmas morning. Christmas is one of my most cherished holidays. Its about family, that's why I love it so much.

Since marrying Zeus, we have made our own traditions. The most loved tradition our family has is to go to a tree farm and cut our very own tree. Over the years it seems to have gotten harder to find one because we have four little opinions added to our opinions as well. The kids look forward to tree hunting every year. This year was perfect because the weather cooperated with us. It was a beautiful sunny day in the mid 60's. Can't ask for a much better autumn day for tree hunting.

This year we hunted for about an hour or so and the best part was the babies all worked together to cut the tree down themselves. Zeus said he likes not having to do the cutting any more. Little does he know this tradition will continue when we have four adults, hahahaha.

Anyways this tree is a beautiful 7 foot white pine that has a very large girth. She is gorgeous.

We had a good time and enjoyed our little precious family moments and tradition.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christmas just got a little brighter

My kids were bummed that we would not be able to have any family here for Thanksgiving. Zero, was highly excited to my parents again. Little did she know they were not planning on coming.

So after the disappointment of Thanksgiving, they got this brilliant idea to write a poem and send it to my parents in hopes that they could convince to come out for Christmas. Zeus' parents just left last week so they have made their mark on St. Louis, but my parents have yet to make their way out here.

They promptly sent an email BEGGING them to come. The email comprised of Red and Green, huge, bold letters asking for their presence here in STL for Christmas. Quite clever of my daughter, I must say. The funny part of all this is I was completely in the dark about this email. Or this video.

So this is the poem being read by my children persuading their grandparents to come visit.

Zeus decides a picture is in order to sufficiently request a visit. Grammy and Grampy can't possibly say no to children without any shirts on in the freezing cold weather we are experiencing, or will they?

The kids then asked that their grandparents please answer them. This is what came back.

Then the kids were beyond excited that they had indeed sealed their Grandparents visit for Christmas. So what do they do? Oh yes, they write another diddy. This time a song. Who could say no to this precious angels?

Well, Grammy and Grampy had better prepare themselves this holiday season cause the St. Louis Haskins children are preparing with new songs, new choreography, plans, games, restaurants and all the many things they can fit into our schedule to share their new house, new city and new friends with their beloved Grandparents all the way from Ft. Worth, Texas. Giddy Up, cause Grammy and Grampy are coming to Town.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Fun

Halloween is always a fun event at our house. I have rules for the children though.
The children are not allowed to be anything that resembles scary, dead, demonic or negative beings.
For me the holiday is about creativity, togetherness, community and pure innocent fun.
As a family we always choose a theme for Halloween. Since Day one, there has been a theme. Every costume must be a part of the theme. Weird, yeah maybe. But it is effective.
This year took much longer to decide what we would do. We dabbled at ideas for months. I like to have costumes purchased by late August early September to beat the rush. This year we were a bit late due to many outside factors. Finally I gave the kids a deadline to decide, the morning of the deadline the children woke up and were preparing for school but were so excited to share that the night before they had finally decided on a theme. ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Fantastic. Perfect. Easy. I was elated.  So many characters to choose from that I knew I could find the costumes we needed. But this year was different, Daddy would be in town and the kids insisted that Mom and Dad dress up as well. I was a little hesitant but later decided we could pull it off.

The kids choose what they wanted to be but we had to tweak those ideas a bit, which they happily agreed. Daddy had to be persuaded, by a lot. Mommy had to do a few *cough* things to get him on board. Nevertheless, he agreed.

With a few minor set backs we dressed and headed out to trick or treat on base.


Here is the result. I think it worked, and funny how the costumes fit personalities as well.
Zeus: Tweedle Dum (original)
Ziggy: Tweedle Dee (original)
Zero: Alice (original)
Omega: Ace of Clubs, who paints the roses red. (original)
Zulu: Mad Hatter (Tim Burton)
Twinkle (Me): Red Queen of Hearts (Tim Burton)
What do you think? We enjoyed it a lot.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Are you a Soccer Mom?

Are you a Soccer Mom?

I absolutely despise that question or term, actually I find it degrading, especially when used by politicians. I believe it places a stereotype on women, one in which I do not want. So NO, I am not a soccer mom but I am a Mom to many soccer players.

This year soccer season has been extremely eventful. We had a child playing in every league offered here on base, a 5/6, a 7/8, a 9/10 and a 11/14. Oh yes, each kid had their very own team. This meant 4 different practice schedules, 4 different game schedules, 4 different sets of teammates, and 4 different skill levels. The past 2 months have been terribly busy. We've spent 5 days a week on the soccer field and sometimes had 3 kids playing at one time or had 4 kids playing back to back. Exhausting. Exciting. Heart wrenching.

As a mom, if you know me, you know I can not see quietly on the sidelines. OH NO! Much to my children's despair, I was and still am the mom screaming, cheering, yelling and coaching in my non coaching chair. I was the one running up and down the sideline with camera in hand snapping once in a lifetime moments. Oh yes, my children pretty much hate that part. But that's OK, in the end they are all so happy I was there, so happy to see the pictures and videos and excited I got to be a part of it. That's the reason I will remain the happy, loud, obnoxious and loving mom that I am.

In the middle of the season Zulu was asked to step in on a 9/10 team to help them out after several season ending injuries. He was thrilled to do it. After 2 weeks it then became a permanent position. He was now playing for 2 teams, a 7/8 team and a 9/10 team. Of all my children, he is the one that could handle the extra stress to his body. He was the one that needed a bigger challenge. So then we had 5 different teams we were shuttling children to. The best part about the 5th team was that Zulu played Omega. Seeing your children play against each other in a sport they love and excel in was beyond incredible. I was a beaming Momma. I loved every minute of my babies on that field.

This year they all blossomed in their own little unique way. We saw all the boys score many goals. We watched Zero chase down the 6 foot tall kids and steal the ball. We saw Zulu become a stand out forward. We watched Omega grow into an unbeatable Fullback. We watched Ziggy tear up the competition as a top scorer. What a great year we had. Bring on the winter so we can get to more soccer next year.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My heart

This morning after watching all the tributes to Steve Jobs my brain begin feverishly thinking, no its not a first. But really, seriously, I began to look at myself. What have I done? Have I followed my heart? Am I happy with my own job?

Those answers didn't come as a surprise. I feel I have followed my heart. The things I have done are small but I think they could and have made a larger impact on the lives of other people. My job is being a mother and a friend. I see and love on my kids everyday.

 My friends, well, that's what I miss. I have friends all over the world and the U.S. I like that part. What I don't like is not being able to help them in whatever minuscule way I can. When I think about these folks I get giddy inside. So giddy, that I want to clap my hands like Grandma Klump "Hercules, Hercules, Hercules" did in the Nutty Professor. Picture me saying "I love my friends, I love my friends, I love my friends". Oh yes, I love my friends that much. The very thought of them brings a smile to my face, even when I'm cleaning Ziggy pee off the floor and trashcan, I can smile thinking of those beautiful faces. Am I weird, probably! Most likely, but that is OK with me. Do I love my friends, more than ever. That is why this morning I am missing their simple company. Tea, coffee, crying babies or planting flowers, whatever we did together I miss. No, they are not dead. Not that kinda missing. The kind were you want to go back for just one more hour and hug them one more time and let them know they will be remembered, thought of, cared for and loved.

My heart is happy today, even as I wash the sheets and match all the unmatched socks. Those friends, don't make me name you, know who they are all around the world have made a lasting impression upon my life and today those memories are getting me through the lonely days and times I wish they were here. I really miss the silly jokes played on my family, Zeus in particular. I miss having a morning talk. I miss being asked Mommy questions. I miss doing crafts. Yeah, Its been a while since I made a pretty wreath or a diaper cake. I miss having my Christmas lights hung by standing on the back of a truck, yes we did that. Anyways, you get the point. Today my friends have taken on a new meaning. Thanks to Steve Jobs I am renewed in knowing that I am me and very happy to be me, whatever waist size, hair length or number of friends. I will continue to love no matter how "crazy" that sounds or looks like.

Friends, please know I love you all so deeply that you may never know the depth and enormity of those feelings. You are in my heart, you get me through the day and I love you.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Scarecrows and Corn and Hay Oh My!!!

What's the outside of your house like today?

Do you decorate?

Well, I've been doing a fun little decor myself over the years and each year is unique and different.

This year, well, see for yourself.

These are for you Rach!!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Go Ravens!!!

Yesterday was a super fun day. Ziggy, who was born in Maryland, was excited to visit the Edwards Jones Dome here in St. Louis. We hung out at the Rams game watching them play the Ravens, or should I say get slaughtered by the Ravens.

We took the Metro, above ground subway system, to get to the stadium.

Once we arrived we enjoyed treats and watched the teams warm up.

Ziggy yelled and cheered loudly for his beloved Ravens.

We got looked at strangely. Yeah, Mommy sporting Rams attire and Ziggy sporting Ravens attire made us stand out and look rather odd.

Ziggy learned to use binoculars.

We had a blast.

 I got to take him to his first NFL game

Mother and son time was absolutely needed and unbelievably special. Ziggy's phrase of the day, GO RAVENS!!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Zero's 11th Birthday party

Since Zeus was out of the country on his first official deployment when Zero turned 11 we as a family decided to wait until Zeus came back to have her 11th birthday party. So it was in Sept rather than August. She was completely fine with the delay.

There is never a birthday in this family without a theme. This year Zero chose to do a baking theme.
I love to jump into these themes so here I made her invitation with my nifty cricut machine.

Of course there is not a birthday without a cake. So I made her a cake to her specifications. Yea, at this age they start asking or should I say demanding things. This was one of them. She insisted. What's a loving mom to do, well of course I obliged.

  You can't have mini-cupcakes that don't match the invites. Never.

There was a definite cupcake theme happening so this savvy Mommy had to make the decorations as well. So here are a few. This is a cupcake liner streamer. We had 3 short vertical streamers

 And we had one 8 foot long horizontal streamer that all 4 kids got to help make. It actually was not hard at all and looked super cute.

I got really crafty and made the inside of the cake rather bright as well. It was a unique and one of a kind cake and Zero loved it and loved showing all her friends.

 Awww, my little girl is becoming a teenager one day at a time. She is now in middle school and I bet you can imagine what all these little girls were doing when they got here. It was one big gab session. She was thrilled to find out that 2 other girls were in her homeroom class.

I could not believe the topics that they covered. It was amazing and I had an extremely terrible time keeping up with them. They jumped subjects every 2 minutes. I loved being here and helping her make cupcakes, decorate aprons, ice cupcakes and have a great time.
We love you sweet Zero and Happy Birthday Beautiful Baby.
Love Momma