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Summer Fun

SUMMER FUN…so far!

Beach trips

Gee’s pool

Uncle Tommy’s pool
Polish Festival

The new pool at Beckwith Gardens
Trip for ice cream
A rare Daddy sighting at the beach
Cupcakes in a hammock
A spider bite

Checking out some cows
Watching them get milked (me trying not to throw up from the smell)

What else does our summer have in store for us?

Some Polish Fun

Saturday we went to the Polish festival at Our Lady of Czenstochwa in Coventry. We love it there. Once I mention that we are going, Teddy can’t stand the wait, he LOVES it. All day he was asking when we were leaving.
Teddy asked me earlier in the day if I was Polish and I said I wasn’t, he said, “Are they going to let you in?” I assured him they would.
It comes time to leave and for one of the first times, I walk outside and all three kids are sitting in the car waiting to leave.  We are off!
All the food choices, what to eat first? As soon as we get there the kids settle on strawberry shortcakes. 
Strawberry shortcakes to start off the evening

I get myself a beer and a doughboy (I’d been waiting for that doughboy all week).
A beer and doughboy for me

We finish those and we’re off to the kiddie tent. The first thing the girls decided to do is take a chance with the grab bags. Really? What good is going to come out of this? Some of the grab bags had ribbons in them and if you got one of those you won one of the “big” prizes on the table. Maizie hands over her two tickets and as she’s putting her hand in, I told her to “go deep”. She didn’t and pretty much ended up with bupkus.
Stella hands over her tickets and I also told her to “go deep”; she listened. She shoved her arm way into that grab bag box and when she opened her bag there wasn’t just a second prize ribbon, but a first prize ribbon. I was afraid Maizie was going to lose her shit but she didn’t, she gave Stella a hug. Stella got to pick from some of the toys on the table and she of course picked the doll. She was one happy little girl.
Stella and her big prize…later named Rose Posie Kraus

We went on to play more game and the kids collected redemption tickets. Since we lost track of who collected what (and since Stella had the most and didn’t want a scene) we pooled them together. When the girls heard they could get hair accessories for their tickets, you would have thought they hit the jackpot. Teddy opted for a pinwheel, a pencil and an eraser, he said he didn’t need hair accessories.
Once over in the adult game tent, I won a whopping twenty five cents playing Plinko; or should I say I lost seventy five cents playing. 
My winnings from Plinko

While we were in there, it started…the band. That’s when the music overtook him. Once Teddy hears a polka, he can’t keep himself still, he MUST dance.

Time to eat. The line wasn’t too long by festival standards. 

The food line, when we left it was around the building

We were looking at the menu and decided on two Polish samplers (hold the kapusta), one for Ted and one for the kids to share (we weren’t sure how much of it they were going to eat). 

It wasn’t a hard decision
A Polish sampler with rye, of course

I just wanted a kielbasa. Teddy was nervous about trying a galumpki, but I told him if he liked them I would learn to make them.

There was a run on pierogies; they even went into Sunday’s supply. We finally got our food and sat down to eat. Well who knew the one shoveling the food into her mouth would be Maizie. She ate half of Ted’s food and was bouncing in her seat as she ate it. That is a RARE sight.
Maizie slamming Ted’s food

Teddy and Stella putting away their’s

Since everyone liked them, I will now need to learn how to make galumpkis (which my uncle says is easy). Teddy said, “How will you be able to make them if you’re not Polish?” I told him, “I’m not Italian but I make a pretty good gravy don’t I?” So in the near future I will be experimenting with Polish cuisine, I just wish cabbage didn’t smell so bad (when cooked and after eaten).
What do you have after you eat your fill of Polish food? Ice cream, of course. So back to the dessert stand we go. It’s funny going to OLC with my husband, because he knows so many people there.

Ice cream for dessert
Happy kids (except for the sun in their eyes)

We had three very happy kids and they can’t wait until next year.

Our Summer To Do List

Now that school is officially out, I asked the kids what were some things they wanted to do this summer and they had some similar responses. Stella kept adding to her list so I condensed it a bit. Ted was pretty generic and getting Maizie to tell me was like pulling teeth.
Here are their lists: 
Go on a picnic
Go in everyone’s pool (she listed everyone she knew that had a pool)
Go to the beach
Go to a water park
Play with the hose
Play with the sprinkler
Go to the zoo
Go to the ice cream store
Use the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine
Stella pretty much wants to go everywhere that she sees on TV. She also listed every little thing she would do during the day (make lemonade, play Barbies, etc); I wanted specifics not your daily itinerary.
Go to the beach
Go in the pool
Go to a gym
Go to the zoo
See fireworks
Get some ice cream
Go to the grocery store
Have sleepovers
Go to different playgrounds
Teddy was very general with the exception of the gym; he really wants to work out. I asked why he wanted to go to the grocery store, he said “Why not?”
Go to the zoo
Swim in the pool
Go to the beach
See fireworks
Go on a picnic
Maizie doesn’t like to contribute much. She kept asking Stella what she should tell me.
My List
The beach is a given, I’m doing that anyway
Different zoos (besides Roger Williams)
Picking fruit (I really want to go blueberry picking)
Go to Boston Museum of Science (I haven’t been there in almost 20 years)
Take a family trip (we’ve never been on an overnight trip)
Go to the drive in
Go to the Yankee Candle factory
See fireworks
Take the kids to a baseball game
Go to Mystic Village
Go to many other day trip places that we probably won’t get to.
Every year I have big plans (in my head) for the summer, but we usually end up just going to the beach. Lets’ see if things can change this year.
Let the sunning begin!

On The Road Disney Social Media Moms

A couple of weeks ago, I was given an amazing opportunity.  I didn’t believe it when I first got the email, I had to close it and walk away. Did I really just get invited? Little ole me?
It was true; I was invited to attend Disney Social Media Moms Celebration “On The Road”, my heart stopped for a second. For me this was an “I made it moment”; I’m legit.

Then all the questions; Who was going? How was I going to get there? Do the trains even run that early? (it started at 7:30 AM). Then I decided I didn’t care, I was going.
At a very early 4AM, I hit the road with fellow blogger Sarah at Sweet Lil’ You. We hit ZERO traffic and were actually the first two to arrive at the Doubletree in Manhattan.
We mingled outside in anticipation of the doors opening.
This makes it “real”
We made it!

Once inside, we were served a terrific breakfast (I was expecting a table with bagels and pastries) and everyone had a Mickey shaped rice crispy treat.
Delicious breakfast

I was very happy to see this

One with the show, I could hardly sit still. There were several speakers. Maria Bailey, of BSM Media was the host. She emphasized the importance of women and marketing. Gary Buchanan (Disney’s PR and blog guru) told us some exciting happenings in the Disney parks. There was even media training by Michelle Stepney, the dos and don’ts of dealing with the media and “Getting ready for your close up.” 
Maria welcoming everyone

Gary telling the exciting things about the “Monstrous Summer”

The speaker that had the most influence on me was Jennifer Labit, the founder of CottonBabies. She started her company out of necessity and on $100. I can relate to her story on several different levels. Her drive and determination truly inspired me. If I could have one percent of her success, I’d be happy.
There was also a panel of momprenuers, Lauren Levy, Susanne Bodofsky and Robin Spritzer, Bonnie Marcus and Sandra Frawley.  I was very interested in hearing how they got their start. I learned quite a bit from them as well.
Inspirational panel of momprenuers

I have had a couple of ideas for a while now and wasn’t sure what to do with them, how to get them off the ground. After hearing the honest advice and stories from these wonderful women, I am now in the process of getting my plan together, making a prototype and producing my product.
I am very grateful to have had this opportunity and who knows, maybe in a few years I’ll be up there.

My Strange Day

Yesterday was a strange day. It started out normal, but that all flew right out the window once I hit the Laundromat.
Last week the washing machine shit the bed (if it finally did is yet to be determined because it has happened before).  Since I have three kids, two of them girls that like to play dress up with regular clothes, one of the girls can easily wear three to four outfits a day and a boy who uses his shirts as napkins, I have lots of laundry every week (every day). I put it off for as long as I could, but I had to get some clothes washed. So off I go with three huge baskets full.
I get there and put all my stuff in the washers, and then I sit and wait. A guy came in, sat down and started talking to me. Whatever, we’re both sitting there. Then he starts telling me how his life completely fell apart. He drifted off into the land of TMI, and I just sat and listened; I didn’t want to be rude. (As his story went on, I felt like my friend Mimi, she talks to these kinds of people ALL THE TIME. She’s like a magnet.) As it turned out, he was a convicted felon, a mentally ill felon to boot.  Then my washer was done and I went home to dry my clothes in my own dryer.
Ted had gotten Teddy and Stella hot chocolate Coolatas while Maizie was at school, and they immediately informed her of this, hell hath no fury like Maizie jipped. So I walked with Maizie to Dunkin Donuts.
When we walk, it’s all side streets; we never go on the main road. So we’re at the corner of my block and this OLD guy with a handicap placard hanging for his mirror was at the stop sign. Didn’t think much of it, there are hundreds of people who stop at that sign every day. As we turned the corner and he drove by, he yelled out the window to me. He yelled, “Hello, hot stuff!” as he drove by. I almost fell on the sidewalk from shock and laughter.
We get to Dunkin Donuts and of course Maizie wants a donut, I did too (so much for all the walking I did). We get them and then have a seat. Then I couldn’t believe my ears or eyes.
A woman who was well into her 80s was flirting (quite overtly) with the 60ish men in DD.  One of the men got up to go to the bathroom and she said he had a nice body and then she started an inquisition. How old was he and does he date?
OMG, I’m sitting there trying not to choke on my donut. She then proceeded to tell the men he had great legs and she did too. I wish I could have taken a video, but it would have been so obvious. You go get ‘em lady!
Onto my trip to Walgreen’s; I almost hit a coyote. The sucker ran right across the street (in front of my car) and into the woods next to the miniature golf course. I will not be heading there anytime soon, nor will I be going to the playground in the area the wild beast came from, there’s plenty of playgrounds around, don’t need to visit wild kingdom.
For the rest of the night, everything else was relatively normal.

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful that school is almost out. I’m sick of getting up at the ass crack of 7AM. First thing those kids are going to learn this summer is to make their own breakfast.
I am thankful that there’s no more homework. I was getting ready to reserve a room over at Butler. I’m glad Maizie hasn’t figured out that her diorama is really a huge homework assignment. If she does, you’ll hear the screams at your house. (It will most likely be me trying to get her to get it done.)

Look, she’s smiling as she’s doing “homework”

I am thankful that Stella has so much ambition that she was furious that she didn’t have to make a diorama. So what is a girl to do? Make her own; she started her own project. If you see her and there is still marker ALL OVER her hands and arms, it’s because her diodrama is still a work in progress.

This is Stella’s diorama, I don’t know what lives in this habitat.

I am so thankful my kids love the sound of my voice. That must be the reason why they want me to repeat everything countless times.
I am thankful for the Real Housewives. My Sunday and Monday nights are filled with hypocrites and liars that don’t have anything to do with me. Really, who wants to wear tight dresses all the time? I’d be making sure my lady bits weren’t on display (on display) all the time, I’ve got so many other things to do (like hot glue beads all over my sink).

What a Weekend

My kids were livin’ large this weekend. I don’t think they’re this busy in an entire week during the summer. I hope they don’t get used to this much activity because I’m inherently lazy.
Let’s start with Friday. It was in the 90s, so I let the kids take a personal day and we went to the beach; as Stella said, “A beach day in the spring.” The cooler was packed, the kids were ready and the car was packed; we were out of the house before 8AM; that NEVER happens in the summer. We got to the beach before it even opened and we had to wait for them to open the gates.

Waiting to get into the beach

I didn’t think Teddy would spend that much time in the water because it was so cold. Silly Mommy, of course he was in the water the entire time. He didn’t care that it was 65 degrees. He did keep running up to me to make sure he still had time before the sea lions came. Stella went in and out (up to her knees) and Maizie got her ankles wet (as usual).

Nothing would keep him out of the water or Stella out of the sand

Maizie is just at the edge

Saturday morning was soccer as usual, except I was battling boob sweat (when it started a few weeks ago I was in a winter coat). Then I sprung it on the kids, we were going to “Da Pool” (my uncle’s house). Let me tell you, they can pull themselves together real quick when they want to, if they did that on school days I be a much more relaxed mommy.

Can never be too careful

Safety first, he did end up with just one safety devise by the end of the day

Once again Teddy made a beeline for the pool and didn’t get out of the water. Stella made HUGE strides at the pool. She has spent the past 3 years on the stairs on the pool and started out there on Saturday. 

Stella hang out for the past 3 years

All of a sudden my Dad announces she was about to go off the diving board.
 I couldn’t believe it, she did it. Maizie swam around like she lived in a retirement village (nothing new there).

Maizie relaxing, just doing her thing

Onto Sunday, the kids are off to Deerfield Park to play with their aunt. They played and ran and played and ran. When they go home they were exhausted, but Auntie Rey was hiding in the kitchen. I thought their heads were going to explode. (Alabama almost had a canine coronary once when she got here and then again when she left on the walk.)
After they filled in Auntie Rey of all their recent happenings they went for a walk. Now when they go for a walk with her, we’re not talking about around the block; these are epic, “holy shit my feet are going to fall off” walks. I even went to the grocery store long after they left and got back 5 minutes after they got home.
More stories and Auntie Rey had to leave, but not before Teddy got her email address. Teddy is a big fan of email.
I sat down to right this, and then I noticed it was too quiet. This is what I found.


Passed out reading Stella’s blog

She may never go to bed tonight

Today is the Day

Today is the day. I turned 40. When I was a kid I used to think 40 was so old and some days I feel it; while most of the time I can’t believe I’m actually the age I am.
How did this happen?
This morning I didn’t have to get up with the kids (it’s my birthday). When all the kids came in to wake me up, I opened my eyes and right in my face was the furriest of the four of them. (Yes, Alabama was front and center, how dare I break the routine and not feed her). Teddy was the loudest and the girls couldn’t wait to get me into the living room to show/give me my gifts.
I walked (was dragged) into the living room and saw

The kids insisted on getting a banner and made Ted hang it up after I went to sleep. It had to have a crown, of course.

On to the gifts, we take the kids to the dollar store for each other’s birthdays. Each Kraus kid gets $5 to but whatever they want. They are very proud of their purchases, they put in a lot of thought and they pay attention to what you like.
This is what I got

This is my Birthday Haul, picked out by the Kraus kids
Flowers and a rainbow centerpiece because they were just so beautiful.

Flip flops and sunglasses, because summer is coming. Notice I did not put the shoes on the table!

An egg slicer (which has been being used as a tiny guitar) and a spatula for my eggs (and it looks like SpongeBob’s)

Snacks, because I LOVE snacks! They can’t wait for me to open them. I’ll wait until after school because if not there is NO shot of Maizie getting any.

Surprisingly, this was from Maizie and not Stella. I guess Maizie has some flair buried deep down.

A travel toothbrush kit that I can use in any vehicle even a helicopter or a jet. It came with toothpaste, but we mysteriously ran out last night and needed to use the tiny one this morning.

A flamingo and a snow globe, who doesn’t want souvenirs?

Cups, can never have too many. Teddy got the red cups because I told him a story how I broke my favorite red cup when I was little during the Peter, Paul and Mary special and then couldn’t listen the Puff the Magic Dragon anymore after that.