Category: Kids

A Morning Shower Scene

Some days I feel like I’m living in a sitcom. The things that happen can’t be real.

Here’s what went down in the Kraus House bathroom the other morning…

Teddy was taking a shower and Stella came into the living room telling me that Teddy said he needed a bowl. In other words, he needed a “throw up” bowl. I relayed to her that he was already in the bathroom and use the toilet (I didn’t think he was actually sick).

She came right back and said he NEEDS a bowl.

I have two sets of metal bowls just for these occasions.
I have two sets of metal bowls just for these occasions.

Now I need to investigate. I open the bathroom door and he’s standing there, naked and dripping wet. I told him if he’s going to be sick, he’s golden…the toilet is right there. That’s the ultimate “throw up bowl”.

He told me he already got sick, in the shower. I look, I almost got sick. He clogged the drain.

I seriously thought about waking up Ted to take care of this situation for a good 10-15 seconds, I can’t even handle cleaning out the sink after washing the dishes never mind this bio hazard. I decided if I could give birth to that giant baby, I could clean his giant mess.

I noticed my soap was blocking the drain; I wasn’t sticking my bare hand in that shower stew for anyone. I remembered I bought new dish washing gloves the other day, I put them on. I went in and removed the obstruction. As I left the bathroom Stella said, “Well those new gloves are headed straight for the trash.”

Now, Maizie does not handle situations like this well at all. She took a pack of cookies and retreated to the top of the stairs. She was eating an entire package of cookies while using her tablet at 7:30 in the morning on a school day, I didn’t care I had bigger issues to take care of…my tub and a wet, naked kid on the bathroom floor.

Stella, being a giant nose bag, had to see what the scene looked like in the bathroom. I told her to take a look. Maizie was HORRIFIED that she even considered going near the bathroom door, let alone open it.

As she was opening the bathroom door, Maizie is screaming from the stairs, “Don’t do it Stella! Don’t look!” Of course Stella looked.

Stella turned to me, shook her head and said, “Oh-my-God! That’s gross!” I know, I know.

She had to look!
She had to look!

Then Maizie yelled (from her perch), “Teddy, you didn’t throw up on my flip flop did you?” Not, “Are you okay?” or “Do you need anything?”

Once the water drained out, I gloved up, grabbed a roll of paper towels, a Target bag (because everyone has a giant stash of them in their house) and the Clorox spray and went in. I cleaned the sh*t out of that tub. Thankfully we have a removable showerhead and I could spray it directly. I’m not going to say I handled it well, because that’s debatable.

Another problem that popped in my head, I need to take a shower. I didn’t want to go in there after what I saw.

Ted was the one who took the next shower, I didn’t want to be next (I totally would have gone days until someone else went before me). When I was in the shower I went to wash up. I went to grab my soap. It was the soap that was in the shower stew.

How did it get back up there? I left it on the side of the tub so I would remember to get a new bar. There is no way that is touching my body.

Can I reach the sink from the shower to get a new bar of soap without getting the entire bathroom soaked? I don’t care. Ted’s soap makes my skin feel like it’s in a vice and I smell like I’m running through a field, I NEED my soap.

I managed to keep the shower curtain (mostly) closed as I leaned across the bathroom to get a new bar of soap. I immediately tossed that nasty bar! My shower finished successfully.

Please tell me things like this happen in other people’s houses and not just mine!

The Things They Said and Did

It’s Thursday, so I went back to 2009 and looked at some of the posts from November and December. Here are some gems inspired by the Kraus Kids.


Maizie wet her My Little Pony’s tail and mane because she wants “A rock star pony”

Teddy pooped in the upstairs toilet today. Teddy (age 3) requires assistance with the clean up aspect of using the can. Teddy did not call for said assistance after going this morning. Teddy left his pants on the floor of the bathroom and came down the stairs on his butt. This left the dog wondering why Teddy isn’t… in trouble. Daddy is hitting the stairs with the carpet cleaner and a poor attitude.

He dressed himself...t least he has pants on
He dressed himself…t least he has pants on

Maizie will say a swear phrase and the only word she says correctly is the swear, Stella got out of her crib at naptime and locked her door and Teddy will leave the room and return with no pants on what so ever.

Stella continues to think she’s Tawny Kitaen in a Whitesnake video.

Stella had on a sour puss face in a lot of pictures back then
Stella had on a sour puss face in a lot of pictures back then

Conversation I had with Teddy yesterday.
T:why are you tired,
Me:because you keep coming in my bed at night and squish me,
T:that’s because you don’t move over.
Gotta love his reasoning.

Maizie just told me our “audium balls” (ornaments) were magical because Santa is magic.

Look at Maizie smile, so happy
Look at Maizie smile, so happy

Just took a Christmas card picture. Stella was less than cooperative, Teddy wouldn’t stop singing and Maizie had her shoes on the wrong feet. Oh well, that’s typical. Then Maizie didn’t want to take off her fancy dress and Teddy is walking around with just his underwear (on backwards) and his dress shoes. Stella has been sent to the pack n play until further notice.

If I have to watch Hero of the Rails one more time I’ll send Hiro to the smelter’s yard myself.

My aunt in Florida sent some presents, last night I put them under the tree. What a HUGE mistake.

To this day, I do not put out presents until the 24th (in the afternoon).
To this day, I do not put out presents until the 24th (in the afternoon).

Reading these takes me back and looking at the pictures, they were so little!

Teddy’s Birthday Interview

Happy Birthday Teddy Bear!

What can I say about Teddy that I haven’t already? He has a heart of gold and would do anything for his friends or family.

Kraus House Mom

He has given his tablet to his sister and his cousin when he really, really wanted to use it because he didn’t want them to be sad.

He didn’t play at recess with one of his best friends because another kid was causing an uncomfortable situation and he didn’t want his best friend to be caught in the middle.

He doesn’t complain, even when he lost sight in his eye. If the doctor didn’t tell us, we wouldn’t have known how bad it was, because he never said a word.

Every parent should fortunate enough to be blessed with a son like Teddy.

Every year I ask the kids questions, here are this year’s answers.

How old are you? 9
What did you get for your birthday? Skylanders Superchargers and a bunch of Star Wars stuff

Kraus House Mom
So happy!

What is your favorite color? Green and White (#GoBolts)
What is your favorite TV show? Lab Rats and Regular Show
What is your favorite toy? Xbox One
What do you want to be when you grow up? NFL player
What are you good at? Hockey
What is your favorite food? Ham
What food do you hate? Peanut butter and artichokes
What is your favorite outfit? My football jerseys
What is your favorite song? Secret Touch
What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Mint Chocolate Chip
Who is the best in your family? Everyone

Kraus House Mom
His Star Wars haul

What is your pet’s name? Alabama Worley
What makes you happy? Playing video games and going to football
What makes you mad? When Maizie and Stella watch YouTube on the Xbox
What is your favorite thing to do at school? Math
Who is your teacher? Mrs Marasco
Where do you want to go on vacation? Around the World
What was best memory about being 8? Getting my eye fixed and being able to see again

Kraus House Mom
Happy Birthday!!

Some of the answers are the same as always, I like how he wants to travel around the world because I would like to join him.

Happy ninth birthday Teddy!


Teddy Can See Again, Bye Cataract!

Guess who can see with both eyes again, Teddy!

He hasn’t been able to see from his right eye since June or July because he had a cataract.

Last Monday, he had it fixed. Now he can see clearly.

Kraus House Mom
His first day out and about with a “new eye”

We went for a pre-op appointment a week before his surgery and that’s when Ted and I found out that everything in his right eye was black, there was no more light going through. We just turned and looked at each other as our hearts sank for him. He never told us, he never complained about any of it.

The next day we went for a tour of the hospital. The nurse started explaining all that was going to happen, and when she asked him if he wanted to smell the flavors of anesthesia, that’s when he got nervous.

They showed us what they call the Game Room. It’s where they prepare you for surgery. There you can watch TV, movies; play games or choose from all the video game consoles. He of course chose Xbox.

Kraus House Mom
Waiting to go to the Game Room
Kraus House Mom
Video games relax him

He was fine until the nurse started to give him drops, he did yell at her…he hates to have his eyes dilated.

Ted went into the operating room with him until he was under.

When he woke up, the nurse said he was a little feisty, but that it was very common with eye surgery. He told us he needed to go back to sleep because he was tired, we understood.

After an hour, we were able to go home. He came in and planted himself on the couch and watched TV (for the next four days).

Kraus House Mom
He scored a new book and a pumpkin

I was surprised that he didn’t have to keep it bandaged. We had to give him drops every four hours. As soon as I took of the patch to give him his first drops, he could see. There was a lot of double vision, but he could see.

Kraus House Mom
Relaxing his “new eye”

We let him stay out of school until Friday, that’s when the double vision finally stopped, but I made him wear him patch. He only has to wear it to bed, but I don’t trust him and I don’t want anything to happen to it.

It’s killing him that he can’t have gym or recess yet, but he’d rather be able to see. He can’t wait to find out when he can play hockey again.

Homework is Killing Me

I hate when it’s time for my kids to do homework. I know plenty of parents that feel the same. I feel bad because I was the inflictor of the pain for many years.

So many things have lead to this deep hatred. Where do I begin?

A heavy backpack is the kick in the teeth of the afternoon
A heavy backpack is the kick in the teeth of the afternoon

My kids have the shortest attention span know to man.

This is when the arguments start; no matter how small it is, you would think the world is going to come to an end.

Someone is going to yell at another one and it’s going to escalate to epic proportions.

At least one kid will go on a 20 minute hunt for an eraser.

The erasers are used as play things and building blocks for all the tiny collectible toys
The erasers are used as play things and building blocks for all the tiny collectible toys

I can never find a pencil, no matter how many I buy.

This one of several packs bought, we've gone through one already
This one of several packs bought, we’ve gone through one already

A flea fart will distract them and throw them completely off topic, making homework time go on way longer than it should.

Someone always needs a drink or a snack.

The dog will come around needing something (to eat, go outside or just sit on my lap).

It can take well over an hour, and I can’t do anything else during this time because one or all of them needs me to sit there the entire time.

I constantly repeat myself. I constantly repeat myself.

I end up wanting to tear my hair out.

Someone’s not going to have a clue what that paper is for or what to do with it.

That paper one of the kids was just writing on is going to disappear into thin air and we ALL will have to hunt it down. It will end up in another room, one that we weren’t even in (see haunted house post).

This should be in a back pack and not on the back of the couch
This should be in a back pack and not on the back of the couch

I know that homework is going to be a fact of life for the next ten years and there’s nothing I can do about it. I just hope that as they get older, they will be able to pull themselves together and get it done without the drama.

Please tell me I’m not the only one.

Blind in One Eye…Teddy Has Cataracts!

Do you know what can happen when a kid hits his head on the ice or maybe it’s from when he hit the tree riding his bike? The lens in his eye can shatter leading to cataracts.

As of right now, Teddy is pretty much blind in his right eye; he has been since at least July. You see, he has cataracts, at eight years old.

Right now you might be thinking, “How did that happen?’ or “He’s so young.” It’s not the kind that older people get, his is from an injury.

Guess what, you can break your eye just like an arm or leg, who knew?

Cataracts in kids

Let’s start this saga at the beginning…

At his regular eye exam in February, the doctor noticed a small cataract. A follow up was scheduled for six months to follow up and check it out again. Around May, my husband said that it had gotten worse because he could see the cloudiness in Teddy’s eye.

On May 23rd, I was talking to Teddy as we were on my bed and all I could see in his right eye was a big white cloud. I immediately called the eye doctor. We got an appointment for the next day.

Teddy’s eyesight went from pretty much normal in that eye to 20/500 in a matter of three months. After doing some research I found out to be legally blind your vision needs to be 20/200, he passed that. He could barely see anything out of that eye.

The eye doctor (optometrist) immediately recommended a pediatric ophthalmologist. He even called him on his day off to schedule the appointment for us.

Teddy started to get nervous when he realized he was going to have to have surgery to get his eye fixed. I told him that it’s really no big deal and that Grampie had it done.

Then he wanted to know the details. He’s the type of kid that would have Googled it himself, so I told him how they would do the surgery. He really started to worry. Then I was struck with genius, he’s a huge fan of Lab Rats!

cataracts in kids

I told him that they were going to put a new lens in his eye and he would be able to see without any problems. I said it would be like a bionic eye. I know it was a stretch, but if it was going to make him feel better, let him think he’s going to have a super eye.

He calmed down a bit and then asked if they could add a laser to his eye.

Fast forward to his appointment with the ophthalmologist; here’s where we find out that at this point in time he has lost all vision in his eye. He can only see lights and shadows.

Now my heart breaks, but I know they can fix it.

We meet with the surgeon and he said it would be as easy as fixing an adult’s eye. The bonus, he would really have to smash his eye to break this lens.

Thank goodness he says Teddy would be put under for the procedure. No parent is thrilled for their child to go under anesthesia, but Teddy is a fighter. He can’t get the nose spray flu stuff or his blood taken without people holding him down. He’s five foot three inches and 135 pounds, he will fight something coming at his eye.

cataracts in kids

He is scheduled for surgery at the end of the month. He will be taking a tour of the hospital and they will explain everything that will happen to him.

Now if I just keep Stella from telling him they’re going to take his eyeball out, we’ll be all set.

Fish?…What? How Did This Happen?

Kraus House Mom

The kids and I went to the school carnival and since I’m on the PTO board, I had to help out with the festivities. That meant my kids were on their own.

There were games to play and prizes to be won, including fish. I was well aware of the fish beforehand (I helped plan this event) and the Kraus Kids were given strict instructions NOT TO PLAY THE GAME WITH THE FISH!!!!

So my question is: How did we end up with not one, but TWO fish?

It was the end of the night, and Maizie walked by me…carrying a bag with a fish. I practically sprinted over to her, to find out why, why, why she had a fish.

It turns out a boy in her class gave her the fish. It’s that just fantastic!

Stella (the family informant) sees Maizie has a fish and can’t wait to rat her out. I told the stoolie that I already knew she had the fish. That didn’t sit well with her.

“Why does she get to have a fish? I’m the responsible one.” (Can’t deny that.) “I hope she’s not going to keep it in her room…” She went on to tell me some of the unfortunate things the fish may encounter if it stayed in there. I told her it would stay on the mantle so we could all enjoy it (we’re so lucky).

The carnival ends and we are now fish parents. We’re all cleaning up the carnage of the night and guess what? Stella scores a fish from a friend that won six. Then there were two.

Thank God, Teddy didn’t care that he didn’t have one, three might have put me over the edge. Yea, they’re only fish, they don’t last long, blah, blah, blah. But, birds, reptiles and fish give me the creeps! And I’m the one that’s going to have to clean these slimy beasts.

We get home and of course we don’t have a fish bowl, and there’s now way in Hell I’m putting them in anything I plan on using for food, so I put them in flower vases and put them on the mantle.

Kraus House Mom
I may never use these vases again!

Now I need to go to the pet store.

At the pet store, I find out that these fish are the dirty skevortzes of the fish world, why wouldn’t they be?

The thought of putting anything fancy in the bowl that will get slimy and I’ll have to clean, NO THANK YOU!

I got a simple container (that locks…can’t trust these kids), a jar of food and a net to scoop the bastards. Goldie and Amazing (that’s their names) are transferred and by the end of the night, the water is filthy. I’m not cleaning it everyday, not happening. I’ll do it once, maybe twice a week if we can’t see them anymore.

Kraus House Mom
Locked on the mantle for all to see

I’m sure these fish will last forever.

Just a Typical Morning

On any given school day, this is pretty much how I sound.
Time to get up.
What do you want for breakfast?
Do you want ____?  (Reply: Well, …)
Yes or no?
(More suggestions follow)
Go get dressed.
(10 minutes later) Are you guys dressed?
(I go upstairs and see various stages of undress) Didn’t I ask you to get dressed?
Where did your clothes go?
You’ve got 5 minutes and then I come upstairs with the squirt bottle.
(Stella comes down completely dressed including accessories)
Where are your socks?
Brush your hair.
I don’t know where the brush is, it should be in the drawer in the bathroom.
Why are there still dishes on the table?
Brush your teeth.
Where are your socks?
You don’t brush your teeth in the living room.
Can you please go get the lunch bags?
Do you want a cheese stick?
It’s a yes or no question.
Did everyone brush their teeth?
Why not?
Where are your socks?
Put your socks on and get your shoes on!
Have you looked in the mirror?
Take a look and tell me if you need to do something.
Oh for the love of all that’s holy (and most likely some profanity) WHERE ARE YOUR SOCKS??
In the car, I’m leaving!
Anyone else out there have “trying” mornings?

Today…We Bowl

I love bowling. Whenever I go I have visions of a Grease 2 flash mob breaking out. Then I look around and realize, it’s all in my head. Here I am with my three kids, if there’s any dancing, it’s not going to be choreographed (or coordinated for that matter).
One of the bowling alleys near my house (there are two) was having a vacation special. Since Stella had never been and Maizie hadn’t gone since she was really little, whether or not they we going to have fun was a crap shoot. So this was a perfect opportunity to give it a whirl (and it wasn’t snowing).
Someday I’ll get a nice picture

We go in and they are fascinated. They always are whenever we go somewhere new.
We get our snazzy shoes on and go to gather our balls. The girls wanted to choose their ball based on color and Teddy wanted the heaviest ball he could possibly find. No, no, no that’s not how it works. Finally after some negotiations we had the balls we needed. The names were put into the scoreboard (remember when you had to do it with a pencil), the first ball ready to be thrown.
All she wants is…EVERY pink ball they have

Oh wait a minute, I look down the alley and then at those three. Every single ball they roll would end up in the gutter, so we had the bumpers (gutter guard) raised. Teddy thought he was “the Dude” (despite the fact he had never been 10 pin bowling before) and promptly got his ball stuck mid-lane. Really? Are you ready for the pro circuit now? Once he listened, he got the hang of it.
Did “the Dude” start out like this or did Munson end up like this?

Besides thinking he was “the Dude” he found the fact that he got to wear special shoes awesome. Then they deliver pizza and a “whole pitcher” of soda right to you. Not to mention he gets to throw heavy things. He got to throw things, eat some pizza, have some soda, throw things again, eat more pizza, have more soda and this went on for a couple of hours. He was loving it.
What is better than this?

The girls developed their own technique for getting the ball to hit the pins. Apparently if you squat down and lean to the side you want the ball to go to while making a frame with your hands at the pins you wants to fall will, .03% of the time. A Stella made up a special “I hit some pins” dance. And Maizie made sure the balls that came up the return were organized by color.
Part of her ritual

Waiting for the (pink) ball

I on the other hand did pretty well. Maybe it was the fact that I wasn’t drinking. But, I did get four strikes, yes you read that correctly, four strikes! I also got three spares but, those were absolutely because the bumpers were up. I may have scored the highest…EVER!!
Two strikes in a row!!!

The tie was a topic for discussion on the ride home

We had a fantastic time and the kids can’t wait to go back. I did, of course, make some observations.

If you are there with two kids, it is NOT necessary to take four of the 6lb balls. It’s school vacation and those are at a premium. You sir are just an asshole.
The amount of excuses some people will make about why they did badly is amazing. “The ball slipped.” “I took too many steps.” “My finger got stuck.” Just get over it. Me, I just go with it and say, “Well that sucked!”
Sitting on the (only) step and blocking our way to go back and forth to get our drinks and pizza is just obnoxious.
The senior citizens that bring the assload of snacks crack me up; cookies, candy, coffee cake, you name it, they had it.

Strange Things Are Afoot at the Circle Kraus

There are so many strange things that my kids do and have done that it’s hard to explain. Over the years I have taken pictures of some of the dandies that have happened at the Kraus House, because really who is going to believe me without the photographic evidence?  
This is Lola and she passes out in Koosa bowls.

Someone had a hankering for butter

This had fallen out of the fridge, bites and all

Dolls were always asleep on the floor

Tink had a rough night

Baby Yellow Birds sleeping…SHHH!!!

Opened the fridge and found this, it was fruit salad

This housed Stella’s dead moth

Doesn’t everyone have a bucket of doll parts in their bathroom

Tiniest Smallest Smallest taking a nap

Dead Barbie at the bottom of the stairs

Naked Barbie workouts

Stella can make reproductive organs, want one?

Stella removes the chocolate chips

Last but not least, this creepy ass anatomically correct doll that is frequently removed from Alabama’s mouth