Category: Kids

Missing: All the Things I Need Daily

A few years ago I wrote about The Nine Most Lost Items in my House. Well, just like my kids, that list has grown. So I’ve decided to revise it.

I have tried to keep myself and kids organized, but I’m failing miserably. For some reason, nothing ends up where it belongs.

The original 9 are still major problems…

  • Brushes/Combs
  • Tools
  • Tape Measure
  • Shoes
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Socks
  • Nail Clippers/Nail File
  • Hair Elastics
  • Broom/Dust Pan

Now let me add to the ever growing list.

Teddy’s Glasses/His Case  He loses one of these at least twice a week. He frequently leaves his case at school (then I have to hope he can find it). His glasses have been left in the strangest places all over the house. The only way he has found them is because one of the girls or I noticed them and remembered where we saw them.

Surprise, Surprise they were in the case
Surprise, Surprise they were in the case

Lunch Bag  One of the Kraus Kids has lost two, yes two, lunch bags this school year. Don’t ask how, I have no clue. I guess this kid doesn’t want to eat anymore.


My Phone  One would think with what I do I would know where my phone is, since I need it all the time. Nope. The worst part is when my husband is at work and I can’t have him call it, we got rid of the landline. I spend quite a bit of time hunting it down (usually in the couch cushion).


Homework/School Papers  I can’t tell you how many times I say, “Put it in your back pack.” Come morning, we’re all searching for someone’s homework, field trip paper, or folder.

This folder is in a chair between two other bags. Will it be found in the morning?
This folder is in a chair between two other bags. Will it be found in the morning?

Scissors  I have five pairs of scissors, but I can never find a pair when I need it. There should be two in the kitchen, two in my desk and one in my bedroom. There’s usually a scissor crisis when I’m elbow deep in a project.

I could only find ONE pair
I could only find ONE pair

Scotch Tape  I buy this stuff by the crateful. I know exactly who is responsible for this one, Stella. She uses it for her “projects” and “inventions”. If I need any, I check her bedroom desk first.


Sports Equipment/Uniforms  I try to get there game uniforms ready the night before because it’s absolute chaos on game mornings. When everything WAS right there and suddenly it’s not, my head is in danger of exploding. On practice nights there is ALWAYS one piece of equipment missing, it never ends.


Of all the things that go missing, I think the pencils missing during homework time drives me crazy the most often.


What do you lose in your house?


Hot New Collectibles…Surprizamals!

I was offered the opportunity to review Surprizimals™ by the Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company and let me tell you, I jumped at the chance. If there is something that is hidden in some sort of container, my kids want it desperately. It doesn’t matter what it is. Blind bags, mystery bags, grab bags, things from the claw machine, it doesn’t matter, they NEED it.

Then you throw in the girls’ love of stuffed animals and now you have a winning combination.

My girls can barely fit in their own beds because they have so many. In fact I had to find a place for Maizie to put her because she was only sleeping on four inches of her bed.

Put together stuffed animals and mystery containers and what do you have? Surprizimals™.

Kraus House Mom
They’re on Stella’s bed…surprise, surprise!

They are a new line of collectible plush stuffed animals made of soft, high quality plush that hide in surprise packaging called Surprizaballs. Series one has twelve characters, with over 60 new characters to collect in series two launching in fall of 2016 (the Wackies, Cutie and Mini Surprizamals™)

They are retailing from $2.99 to $4.99 and are available exclusively at

What did we think about them?

I can’t believe how great these are, and the Kraus Kids fell in love with them.

They come in these round plastic balls and you can’t tell which one you’re going to get, it adds to the suspense.

The kids and I thought they are going to be small, like the stuffed animals that hang from backpacks, but they are not. We were shocked at their size.

Kraus House Mom
They’re sitting down too

Don’t get me started on how soft they are.

Teddy was skeptical on them, he’s a boy and wasn’t sure. He figured that they would be “a girl thing”. He ended up opening the panda, which happened to match some of his other toys, go figure. He was impressed with how soft, cute and big it was.

Just like other mystery collectibles, there are “tiers”;  common, collector, rare and ultra rare. We opened Hailey the unicorn (collector), Mandy the panda (rare) and Ellie the elephant (rare).

Kraus House Mom
The collection

Not only do you get the plush animal, inside each ball they come with their own matching activity sheet and stickers, bonus!

Kraus House Mom
Kraus House Mom
The stickers

The Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company really has a winner with Surprizamals™. My kids want to collect all of them!

Here’s the unboxing video the Kraus Kids did…

For more information, visit

Disclosure: I was sent Surprizamals™ to review, but all opinions are completely my own.

Guess who Broke his Two Front Teeth

Kraus House Mom

I’ve written about how Teddy went blind and the went blind again, well recently he knocked out his two front teeth. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but he did put two giant chips in them.

How? How did he do it?

It’s not something common.

Kraus House Mom
Look at those

He didn’t fall off his bike or do it while playing sports or when he was at the playground. He did it as only a Kraus Kid can do, he did it on a mechanical bull.

We do a charity race every year. During the race we are “gored” by the roller derby girls. The use red paint and get you as you run by them. After the race there is a party and the always shave a mechanical bull.

Every Year my kids ask to go on it and for one reason or another they don’t. This year, there was no line, so I told them they could do it. There were TONS of kids much smaller and younger than Teddy that had already gone on it.

What could happen? Teddy could happen!

As the bull came up, Teddy face-planted onto it. Down he went and there went his teeth.

I thought he broke his nose and has expecting blood everywhere. No blood, but he only had half of his front teeth.

They weren’t loose and he didn’t expose the nerves, so I wasn’t too concerned.

I called the dentist the next day and since we didn’t get an appointment until the following day, I guess they weren’t all that concerned either.

Apparently it happens ALL THE TIME, because no one asked what happened. Teddy told everyone (of course) and then I got the side eye and asked, “Where was there a mechanical bull?” Once he told the story, everyone thought he was the funniest kid ever.

Kraus House Mom
Waiting and reading

In comes the dentist, I’m thinking they are going to bond them.

Nope, his highness gets two crowns.

He is checking everything out, like a hawk and asking if they’re going to knock him out, I think

he was hoping. (They didn’t even numb him.)

Kraus House Mom
Watching everything happening

He was nervously cracking jokes and then wouldn’t you know it, of course dentist falls in love with him.

I swear getting the crowns ready took way longer then getting them put on.

Kraus House Mom
Shiny new chompers

The only bad part is he can’t bite into apples or carrots ever again because he can snap he teeth right off.

Luckily he left the dentist looking as good as new. Now we just have to keep him from having to get a new nose.

My Kids Want to Be Entitled

I love my kids and I do a lot for them. They go through phases where they think they rule the world and they get an entitled, superior attitude and that is not going to fly. You guys are no better than anyone else, you do not deserve special treatment.

There are things that I need to do and there are things I don’t. They have trouble seeing the difference sometimes.

Kraus House Mom

Things I Need to Do VS. What I Don’t

Need-Feed you
Don’t-I don’t have to make your special requests


Need-Make sure your clothes are clean

Don’t-I don’t have to put your clothes away for you or pick out your outfit everyday, especially if you’re going to complain about my choice.


Need-To make sure you are dressed

Don’t-I don’t have to brush your hair everyday, you are fully capable of doing it, just keep track of all your brushes.


Need-To clothe you

Don’t-I don’t need to keep track of where you left your sneakers, jackets or the socks I just handed you.


Need-To make sure you do your homework.

Don’t- I don’t need for you to enjoy it.


Need-To provide you with the technology needed in order to complete your assignments.

Don’t-I don’t need to allow you full reign or use of said technology.


Need-To make sure you are clean

Don’t-I don’t need to let you take a 30-40 minute shower or get you fancy soap or body wash to use.


My kids don’t act like this all the time, if fact it can be a rare thing. But when they do, I make sure they know that the world doesn’t revolve around them and they need to be conscious of the way they act and speak.

20 Questions for Stella on Her Birthday

Yesterday Stella turned 8, I can’t believe my tiny baby is now 8 years old. She is quite a character, and puts a smile on everyone’s face (maybe not Maizie’s all the time).

Every year I ask the kids 20 questions on their birthday. Here we go…
How old are you?   8

Kraus House Mom
She couldn’t blow them out

What did you get for your birthday?   GoldieBlox Survival Kit and MadLibs
What is your favorite color? Turquoise and Cyan
What is your favorite TV show?   Liv and Maddie
What is your favorite toy? GoldieBlox Action Figure

Kraus House Mom, Kraus Kids
She is beyond thrilled with her gift

What do you want to be when you grow up?   Fashion Designer and Engineer, but ultimately an Imagineer
What sport do you play? Soccer

What are you good at?   Soccer and Football
What is your favorite food?   Pepperoni pizza
What food do you hate?   Artichokes, Brussel Sprouts and Bacon
What is your favorite outfit?   Any of her Batman clothes

Kraus House Mom, Kraus Kids
Stella has a deep love for Batman

What is your favorite song?   Never Forget You and Try Everything
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?   Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter
Who is the best in your family?   Everyone
What is your pet’s name?   Goldie and Amazing (goldfish)
What makes you happy?   When Maizie’s nice

Kraus House Mom
She’s concentrating at skee ball

What makes you mad?   Mondays
What is your favorite thing to do at school?   Math and Science
Who is your teacher?   Mrs. Scanlon
Where do you want to go on vacation?   Washington DC

Kraus House Mom, Kraus Kids
She scored another cake at Dave and Busters

What was the best thing that happened when you were 7? Going to the Lego Discovery Center


Stella took a personal day for her birthday. She had never been to Dave and Busters so that’s where she wanted to go, and she wanted to go to Zara.

Happy Birthday Stella-Blue!!!

Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere


I received the Bubble Windstorm and the Bubble Flurry from Bubble Blitz and Imperial Toys to review with my kids. The second that box arrived at our house, they couldn’t wait to open it and see what was inside.

Bubble Blitz bonanza
Bubble Blitz bonanza
Bubble Windstorm: Create endless streams of bubbles with the Bubble Windstorm! This incredible bubble machine shoots hundreds of Bubble Blitz bubbles into the air at the press of a button.
Bubble Flurry: Dip the handheld Bubble Flurry’s wand into bubble solution and press the button to make hundreds of bubbles in seconds.

Once they opened it it was a race to the park to give it a try; we wanted plenty of room to use the bubbles. (They do require two AA batteries each.)

Let the bonanza begin
Let the bonanza begin

I was amazed at the amount of bubbles these created. They were everywhere and it was fantastic. The bubble solution is scented which was an added bonus.

So many bubbles, so much fun!
So many bubbles, so much fun!

The amount of bubbles created was crazy, I can’t get over it.

Bubble Blitz bubble toys can be found at Target, Walmart and other retailers. In March you can also get 25% off all bubble products at with the promo code CELEBLITZ.

My kids have had several bubble toys over the years, but this takes the cake.

Disclosure: I was given the products to review, but the opinions expressed are completely my own.

Stella’s Leprechaun Trap

I keep a list of ideas for You Tube on a white board near my desk. A few weeks ago I wrote a bunch of St. Patrick’s Day and Easter ideas on it. Included on the list was a Leprechaun trap.

Kraus House Mom
Stella’s trap made of pure imagination and determination

Stella read it, asked what it was, and flipped out. She was spewing out ideas like an erupting volcano. She couldn’t wait to build a trap. This was right up her alley. Especially once she found out once you catch a Leprechaun he has to give you his gold. Besides building, she is also a big fan of money.

If there is something to be created or built, Stella is your girl.

Kraus House Mom
Putting on the finishing touches

Last weekend I took a nap. When I woke up, she had come up with a plan, gathered her materials and built her trap. She planned out how to lure him and how to trap him.

She even found out that a Leprechaun is about the same weight as an apple. So, when she made her stairs she made sure they could hold his weight by field testing them…she put an apple on the stairs to see if the would hold up. They did.

Now all she has to do is wait for St. Patrick’s Day and see if her trap worked. I did make sure to tell her that they are very tricky and hard to catch.

Here’s Stella presenting her trap to the world…look out Leprechauns!

Good luck Stella-Blue!

I Wear Pajamas to School Drop Off

I admit it, I occasionally wear my pajamas when I drop my kids off at school. I usually change into yoga pants before I enter the great big world and on special days I actually get really dressed and put on make up before drop off (but that’s as elusive as a leprechaun).

I must admit, my attire completely depends on the demeanor of my sweet, darling children. If they are cooperative, than I can change. But that, once again, can be like that leprechaun. It can also depend on how I feel.

Today I had an incredible headache and every time I moved I could feel my heartbeat pound in my head like it was going to explode. Today my kids were lucky they even got to school. I would have brought them in my underwear if I wasn’t already wearing pants, it hurt to bend over.

Wearing pajamas to school drop off
This is what I wore today, pudding stain and all (I did have a coat zipped).

There was recently an article floating around that was going to ban parents from wear pajamas at drop off, who cares? Getting three kids out of the house can be a challenge, no matter how organized you are.

The days I do wear my pajamas, I don’t get out of the car. Since there’s usually an issue with one or more of my kids (a fight) they’re lucky I actually come to a complete stop (just kidding!).

I am the treasurer of the school’s PTO so I have to frequently enter the building in the morning to drop things off and to check the mail. On these days, I make sure I am wearing yoga pants or jeans, but if I am wearing a coat I can’t guarantee a bra. I have also forgotten to put on real shoes, but my slippers do look like moccasins.

Pajamas to school
I made two stops before I realized I had my slippers on that day.

I must say, I do feel you should have changed out of your pajamas by the time you need to pick up your kids in the afternoon (I know Maizie would be mortified if I did that).

Have you ever worn pajamas to drop off your kids?

Life in the Lipstick Jungle

Life is hard. What can make it better? Lipstick!

It does if you’re Maizie.

The first thing she does when she gets up is puts on a thick coat of lipstick. Before she even leaves her room, she’s gussied herself up for the breakfast table.

I must say, I have visions of her rolling over, grabbing a hand mirror and slathering the bright colors on before her feet even hit the floor, but I know this is not true (the mirror is in pieces).

I can’t pinpoint when the obsession with lipstick started, but if you ever get a peek in her purse it’s full of lipsticks, glosses and lipliners.

One might think, who cares? Well the caveat is…she’s only ten years old and in fourth grade.

She LOVES make-up! That’s what she wanted for Christmas and her brother and sister obliged.

She goes to school with her lipstick on. As a matter of fact, she doesn’t leave the house without her lipstick.

On occasion she will try to go to school with eyeshadow and blush, but that gets washed off before we leave the house. Her big question is…When can she wear mascara? I told her not until she can drive.

I see the looks other parents give us when she’s sporting her Kelly Osbourne look, but you know what, if it makes her happen and gives her some confidence, I’m fine with it.

She has a serious anxiety disorder and if lipstick helps her cope, so be it. No one at school has said anything to her, so as long as her trademark colored lips are accepted, she’ll keep wearing it.

Watch as her rule for playing in the snow is that Teddy COULD NOT mess up her lipstick!

Cataracts…Teddy’s Blind Again

In July we found out that Teddy was pretty much blind in his right eye because of cataracts. He had it fixed right before Halloween and for a few short weeks he could see again.

When he went to the doctor to get checked after the surgery, he checked both eyes and everything was fine. He did have a cataract in the other eye, but it hadn’t changed in months.

Ted told the surgeon he wanted it fixed right away considering how fast the other eye deteriorated. The surgeon completely agreed. He said it would have to be corrected eventually and since it wasn’t cosmetic, there’s no issue getting it done before it became a problem.

That appointment was on November 2nd. The only thing was, the ophthalmologist had to approve the surgery, just a formality. Teddy’s doctor was on fully booked and then on vacation, no big deal.

Kraus House Mom
Teddy could see on his birthday

The office called to make an appointment for the day after the doctor returned, November 19th. Good because we knew the surgeon was already booked at the hospital and could get us in soon.

The night I made the appointment, Teddy told me he thought his eye (the other one) was getting bad because he was having trouble seeing. He could hardly read (he can’t see close up with the new lens) and I already knew his nearsightedness was becoming an issue. (I took him in September because he was having trouble, but it wasn’t the cataract.)

I told him he was going to the eye doctor and then we could schedule the next surgery. Then he would be able to see. Little did I know what we were going to find out.

The cataract in the other eye had pretty much quintupled, the new eye couldn’t see as far as they hoped and he basically has no sight in the other eye.

He can see people and objects far away, but he can’t read the board and he can’t read his work. When is he going to catch a break?

Luckily he will only have to wait a couple of weeks for the next surgery. He is scheduled for December 9th. He will finally have sight in both eyes.

Kraus House Mom
This time he’s not nervous, he’s excited to see

When it’s done, he will have to wear glasses. The doctor did tell us that he may never have to change his prescription because his eyes will be surgically corrected.

For now we do all we can at school so he can manage for the next couple of weeks.

I’ll keep you updated!