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Thankful Thursday

I am thankful that Stella loves me so much that she’s willing to physically attack the other two kids when they make an attempt to sit next to me. Not only will fists and feet fly, there will also be a bevy of crying and foot stomping with a side of, “You don’t love me!”
I am thankful that the couches are white and evidence of Alabama’s outlawed couched sleeping is prominent. I guess I’ll have to start to do late night patrols with my squirt bottle.
I am thankful the weather is starting to warm up, now I can send the kids outside to play.  They play, play, play and wear themselves out. The downfall is they get so tired that they sometimes fall asleep before bedtime and then are up all night or they are so overtired that they will cry over Alabama licking her paw.
I am thankful that Teddy is capable of getting his own breakfast sometimes, but I wish he would understand that just because you can make one thing doesn’t mean you can make everything. He gets up at the ass crack of dawn most days and he needs to eat immediately. The other day I heard him trying to make egg salad for breakfast. He has made it before but not without someone to supervise the mayo distribution. Thanks for getting me up at 6:17AM the first day of vacation.
I am thankful that vacation is almost over. When I was a teacher, I LOVED vacation as a SAHM…not so much. When one kid wakes up, comes downstairs and smacks another (for no apparent reason) that usually means we’re not going to have a good day.

Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy

Thursday was Stella’s birthday and her last one before she is in school. So we decided to take the kids on “an adventure”. We started with lunch at Johnny Rockets and then headed off to check out Biomes in North Kingstown.

Sitting pretty

I had never been to the “little” location, but I have friends that went there quite frequently. They recently moved to a new, much larger, location on Post Road and they added a story time and craft area. My kids love to story times and crafts and they also like going to the aquarium, why not checkout both at once?
We walked in and the place in so spacious. At the first turn you see Mr. Grouper (yes from the Bubble Guppies). Then there is a tortoise that, you can touch. But believe it or not, he’s pretty quick. 

He’s pretty fast, no wonder he won the race

Teddy, who walks around like a Great Dane puppy, had no problem navigating his way around. They also have easy to read descriptions on all the tanks (Maizie read it all to us).

She read all the signs for us

Stella and Maizie were fascinated with all the different fish (they were all found in Rhode Island waters), Teddy was “meh”.

They weren’t sure if they were going to touch that tank or not

There are several touch tanks. 


Maizie loved touching the sea life

That’s when Teddy started to lose it. We got to the tank where you could touch the sharks and he had a little freak out and I thought he might spend the rest of the time sitting in the car. Maizie didn’t want to touch the sharks or “fishy” looking things, but she HAD to get a starfish.

NO ONE was touching that

Or that

Teddy got brave and Maizie handed him the starfish

Story time was wonderful and Aimee had tons of patience. Ted and I were cracking up over Teddy’s over enthusiastic participation; Aimee let him go with it. 

Storytime, Teddy is mid hand gesture

The craft was simple enough for younger kids while older kids could get more complex with their design.

Talking and working, as usual

Deep concentration from Stella


So Sparkly


Story and craft time runs every day (several times each day) and each week has a different theme. The story area also has books and activities for the kids to read and take a break from fish gazing. 

Checking out all the things to do

I don’t thing Maizie did anything else

Even though she was 5, she still wanted a ride

If you have a hankering for sea life, I highly recommend checking out Biomes. My kids can’t wait to go back.
I received complimentary passes to facilitate my review, but my opinions are strictly my own.

When a Mom Falls in the Living Room, Everyone Hears It

Usually I write about funny things that my kids do, well it’s my turn now. I did something that I’m sure some people would never want to speak of again. I fell. I didn’t just stumble fall, I fell hard like a tree in my living room. I recently wrote how I was ready to get rid of gravity, that feeling is stronger than ever now.
I would feel better if a heavy amount of drinking was involved, but it wasn’t. All I did was trip over the threshold between my living room and dining room. I have tripped hundreds of times in the seven years we’ve lived here, but have always recovered, not today.

There it is, it’s all his fault.

Since I can’t blame alcohol, I blame the Danskos. If you have worn them, you know how easy it is to turn your ankle in them. I did just that, plus a whole lot more.
I was looking for my pocketbook so I could get Maizie to the doctor. I spotted it and started to step sideways. I stepped and the side of my shoe (Dansko) hit the threshold and I started to go over. If the damn threshold wasn’t there, I would have stood a shot of recovering. Unfortunately, there was no saving myself. I went down like a tree, HARD.
All I felt was pain, head to toe pain. In less than half a second all these thoughts went through my head.

  • There is no way I’m going to make it up the hill tomorrow. (Soccer starts and Stella plays on top of a hill in the very back of the entire complex.)
  • We are having a party on Sunday and there is still way too much to do.
  • I can’t be on crutches because last time Teddy kept stealing them like the Richard sisters did to Brandi.
  • I’m not old enough for this to happen, this happens to nursing home people.
  • I’m completely sober, what’s my excuse going to be.
  • Ted is going to make fun of me.

Maizie saw the whole thing happen and was a bit concerned. I wasn’t sure what I had done to myself so when she was standing over me asking if I was okay, I told her to go get Daddy.
She went and got him. He wasn’t sure what was going on, until he saw me on the floor. By then I had enough time for the initial shock pain to wear off and just regular aches to set it. I realized I didn’t do any real damage (as far as I could tell). So I did what anyone in my situation should do, I started laughing…a lot.
Ted had to help me up and I realized I had a semi-puncture wound on my arm. From what? I have no idea.
Maizie had to get to the doctor; we were really starting to run late now. We get into the car and as we are driving my left shoulder is KILLING ME (the one I landed on) and I have a banging headache. I’m sure I will hurt much worse the next couple of days. As long as I can still walk, I’ll be happy.

For more funny stories, go to The Mommyhood Chronicles.

Thankful Thursday…Stella Style

Today is a very special thankful Thursday. Today is Stella-Blue’s birthday. Today the tiniest Kraus turns five. What can I say about Stella? Where do I begin?

Stella’s birthday breakfast!

Stella is my constant companion. There is hardly a few hours when we are not together.

The tiniest Kraus, just a day old.

She is the funniest of the Kraus kids and Maizie is her best audience.

She’s ready for her close up

She is very helpful.

Helping Auntie Rey paint

Helping Daddy clean up the leaves

She has her own sense of style. She will wear what she wants and she doesn’t care if she looks like she belongs in a retirement home or on a don’t list with a black bar over her eyes, she is going to wear it; the more layers and accessories the better.

Just a few of her many styles

Stella is also the nastiest of the Kraus kids. She will moon you for no reason or lately moon you and fart (classy little lassie) and she does it all with a huge smile and giggles.

Always looking right at the camers

She is the reason I was able to become a stay at home mom. I don’t recommend heart disease as a means of getting there, but she always has a plan.

She even had fashion flair at two

She is not only the funniest one of the three, she is also the mouthiest. I am sorry to say that most of the time I can do nothing but laugh at her. Her squeaky voice yelling at me combined with the hands on her hips and foot stomping, I just lose it.

Show those baby blues

She is a fierce caregiver to her babies. DO NOT mess with them, it will get ugly.

She’s my girl, she loves the sun

We cannot imagine the Kraus House without the lovely Stella-Blue, she had made our family complete.
We love you Bean!!

5 Things I’m Ready to Get Rid Of

Disclaimer:  This is a tiny rant, but these are things that have been getting on my nerves lately. Possibly because I’m fighting a cold or allergies and I’m tired and cranky.
Gravity-It’s causing me nothing but problems. I drop things constantly and sometimes the same thing more than once. Then I have to bend my fat ass over to pick it up, which is a chore in itself. Then there’s what gravity is doing to my body. Let’s face, gravity is not cool!
Yummy-The word, not the concept (I wouldn’t want things to taste bad because then I would just be in a constant bad mood and no one wants that.) Unless you’re talking to a child under the age of two, that word needs to be retired from your vocabulary. (Don’t get me started on “delish”.)
Dog Gas-Whether my dog burps or farts, you can smell it throughout the room, sometimes the house. If you have a dog, you know what I’m talking about.
Infomercials-Why, why, why must you put those ridiculous infomercials on kid channels? I can’t even begin to list all the things “I HAVE TO GET”. The Hub is the worst offender, by far. They have kid and adult products and Teddy believes everything they say.
Excessive Local News-We have two and a half hours of local news in the morning, a half an hour at noon, and then two more hours in the evening. That’s five hours of local news, in our tiny state. I hate to break it to you new stations but, not that much goes on around here. Then when there is a “story” half the time it’s a non-story, there’s no facts involved.
Alarm Clocks-All it does is ruin a good night sleep. I have three kids that are more than capable of telling me it’s time to get up. When I don’t ( or won’t) get up, I hear the microwave and toaster and then I start to panic as to what they are doing and cooking that I bolt out of bed anyway. Seriously, a 6 and 5 year old can do a lot of damage to a kitchen in 10 minutes, (the 7 year old is not about to make anything herself, not in the morning anyway).

The Ultimate Blog Party 2013 #UBP13

Hi, my name is Heather and I am the Kraus House Mom. I am joining the Ultimate Blog Party for the first time this year.
I have three kids ages 7, 6 and 5 and a dog that is less than intelligent most of the time. I am sarcastic and I frequently make up elaborate stories (okay, lies) to get my kids to do what I want.
I was a teacher for over 16 years in an ESL classroom. That ended when I got heart failure while pregnant with my youngest.
I am a reality TV junkie and I NEED to go to the beach in the summer. My husband and I dare our kids to get something past us when they’re older. Between the two of us, there’s not much left for them to do.
Welcome to my world!

A Weekend of Good

I am up to my eyeballs in laundry and I was hardly home all weekend. But all my years of training finally paid off this weekend. This weekend was forty eight hours that I will never forget.
A group of women that I am proud to be a part of got together and sat around. Yup, we sat (and Facebooked, Tweeted and Instagramed). All for a little girl named Belle who was diagnosed with Leukemia. This amazing group is Rhody Bloggers for Good, and that is exactly what the purpose is, to show compassion and promote kindness. Boy was there “Good” done this weekend.

This weekend I took part in a Sit-A-Thon at La-Z-Boyin Warwick, RI and I had so much fun. Many of these women I had never met in person, only talked to online. You know what, it’s like I had known them for years. We sat, we talked, we laughed all while raising money to help defray mounting medical bills. There were also many activities going on throughout the store.

We saw a princess and some Patriots.

Teddy didn’t find one he didn’t like.

The weekend raised $10,000 for Belle (and her mom got to get one of those giant checks). The site is still open for donations. all that donated, thank you very much. Your generosity is truly appreciated.

The BIG check and the amazing staff at the Warwick La-Z-Boy Store

Let me tell you, this could not have been possible without Melissaand Jen for organizing the event and the fabulous staff at La-Z-Boy, especially Jake. He was absolutely AMAZING!!! When I need furniture in the future, you can be damn sure it will be from them. Any company that would go to such lengths to help someone in their community like they did, definitely has my business.
Last night it was tough to go back to my regular furniture and to get my kids ready for school today. Now I only have a 7, 6 and 5 year old to talk to.

My Fellow Rhody Bloggers

Alicia- Born Ready Baby 
Audrey – Mom Generations 
Candice – The New Modern Momma
Carla – All Of Me Now
Carolyn- Sensory Organizing
Chelley- A is for Adelaide
Courtney – The Mod Mommy
Elizabeth – DocuMama 
Elizabeth – Learning To Juggle 
Erika- Fox Trot Press
Heather – Housewife Heather
Jane – Mom Generations 
Jen – Keekoin 
Jenn – Savor The Thyme 
Jessica – 30 Something Mother Runner 
Jessica – Keeping Mommy Sane 
Joanna – Baby Gators Den 
Jodi – Blush Mamas 
Kameron – My Wrinkle In Time 
Kerri – Six Until Me
Kirsten- The Queen of the Earth
Kristin – Mama Luvs Books
Laura –  My So Called Sensory Life
Lauren – Don’t Lick The Trashcan 
Liza – Cira’s Lyrics 
Mary- Tall Mom Tiny Baby 
Megan – A Baby Makes Four 
Melissa – Marching to a Different Beat
Melissa – A Woman of Steel 
Melissa – The Mommyhood Chronicles 
Michele – Dodging Acorns
Michelle – Wildflowers Studio 

Nicole – Running While Mommy
Renee – Lute Family
Sarah – Simply Mommies 
Sarah – Soxy’s Diamond 
Sarah – Sweet Lil You 
Sharon Mom Generations
Sheri – When The Kids Go To Bed 
Stephanie – Everyday Family Living 
Tera – Girl Gone Healthy

I Really Do Have Three Kids

I know it’s hard to believe that I actually have three kids. I mostly talk about the youngest, Stella. It’s not that I don’t want to write about the older two, it’s just that there are obstacles to that.
Maizie is like the oldest daughter from the Osbournes (Aimee, you never saw her), much like Ted; she doesn’t willingly participate in my shenanigans. Then there’s Teddy, he desperately wants to be part of my blog, but I am frequently told, “I better not read about that later on,” or “You are NOT putting that on You Tube.” Therefore my options are limited to the little one, AKA my puppet.

I found this on my tablet, this was his sick day activity.

Maizie basically refuses to act like a kid. She also gets embarrassed very easily (she will be mortified when she’s old enough to access this blog and read all the things I’ve written). Well, mostly she’s embarrassed by me. My very existence embarrasses her. The funny thing is, it only embarrasses her INSIDE the house. There was one thing that happened outside.

She doesn’t even like getting her picture taken.

She didn’t want to get her backpack out of the car and stood there as I was walking into the house and told me to get it. WHAT? Are you all right? I started singing the Dora Backpack song and she was getting disgusted with me. I calmly told her I was going to sing louder and louder until she got it out of the car. So there I am, singing “Backpack, backpack. I’m the backpack loaded up with things and knickknacks too. Anything that you might need I have inside for you. Backpack, backpack,” as loud as I possibly could.
And in a strange twist of fate, instead of being completely mortified by me standing on the front lawn basically screaming a ridiculous song, she looked at me and started laughing. I think that was the point that she realized all those threats I had made in the past, weren’t just threats; they were warnings that would quickly turn into reality. She got her bag and we went into the house. I was very surprised she didn’t stamp her feet on the way in or slam the door and try to lock me out.

A rare moment

Another Winner Dinner

Feeding the Kraus Kids is not always easy. There are times that it will completely slip my mind that I have to make dinner. But, a lot of the time, one of them doesn’t like something I plan on making. I refuse to make anyone something else. This is what’s for dinner, if you don’t like it you can have some bread (or a spoonful of peanut butter). The offender will usually eat the meal and the Kraus House is a much happier place.
Last week I decided to make rice and beans (I even made the beans, not from a can). Ted wanted the yellow rice like you get at Carolina’s on Broad Street. Here’s how I did it.
It makes A LOT

This is what you need:
All the necessary ingerdients
1 ½ cup rice (not instant)
1 ½ cup beans, any kind (I used pink beans)
1 can diced tomato
1 can Rotel
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped pepper (any color)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cup chicken broth or water
1 teaspoon cumin
1 ½ teaspoon turmeric
Salt and Pepper to taste
Saute onion, celery, carrot, pepper and garlic until slightly softened. 
Step 1
Add rice and toast a little. 
Step 2
Add beans, tomatoes, Rotel, broth (or water), cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper. 
Step 3
Stir together, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Step 4

Feel free to add cooked chicken to snazz it up. If you’re feeling particularly lazy, you can skip the chopped vegetables (which took longer than the actual cooking time) and just use rice, canned beans and Rotel with water. I was feeling ambitious, so decided to shoot the moon.
Since I’m supposed to have a low sodium diet, when I use something that is higher in sodium than I should have, I put in more vegetables to lower the total sodium content of the entire dish. It may not make complete sense, but in my head it does.
Stella “didn’t like” beans until I told her that they make you pretty and that Katy Perry eats them all the time. Now she picks them out and will eat just them sometimes and will ask if she’s pretty yet.
Maizie surprised me by eating all of it, well most of it (she didn’t like the jalapenos).
Teddy, he eats everything.