One More Week

·        I’m hungry.
·        I’m bored.
·        He/She won’t let me play.
·        Can I have some cookies?
·        Can you make pancake muffins?
·        Can I have oatmeal?
·        Can I have fridge water?
·        Screams from the other room.
·        Tears from the other room.
·        Arguments
·        I don’t want to!
·        NO!!
·        I didn’t do it!
·        It’s not mine.
·        (Name) won’t leave me alone.
·        MOMMMYYYY!!!!!!
This is just some of what it sounds like in my house.
There’s one more week before school starts and I don’t know if I can make it that long. My kids are driving me absolutely bat shit crazy. They’re at the point where they don’t care what I ask them to do, they’re going to do what they want. Well I’m going to let them have this last week, because being a teacher I know their little lives are about to change drastically and I’ll give them this time to let loose.
The yelling to me from the other room, the fights during lunch and the general asshattery (Ted’s term) will be gone, for at least part of the day. It will only be me and Stella since she is refusing to go to preschool. I’ll have plenty of one on one time to bend her to my will, make her my patsy (okay she already is but more intense training can’t hurt).
Hopefully by the time they come home, they’ll be too tired to argue with me. I know, I know but one can always hope.

Alabama Worley

Let’s discuss Alabama Worley (bonus for you if you know where her name came from). She is a rescue dog, a black lab from Western Tennessee. While I was pregnant with Stella, we discussed having a fourth child, but Stella put the kibosh on that idea. Little did I realize I was indeed getting a fourth child the day we picked Alabama up at that rest area. When we brought her into the house Stella (9 mos) screamed, Teddy (2yo) cried, and Maizie (3yo) gave her a huge hug; she licked them all, sniffed around and then flopped on the floor…she was home.
Alabama is a quirky dog. She has her own neighborhood watch, even though she’s the only member. She likes to watch the neighborhood like Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched and she sometimes suffers an identity crisis. There are times I think she believes she’s a cat, she likes to lay on the back of the couch and look out the window. Whatever you do, don’t leave the room and not bring her with you; she will either get to you or cry and whine until you come get her.

She really thinks she’s one of the kids. When we call the kids, all four of them come running; when we tell them to stand in a line, she stands next to them. Alabama likes to spend most of her time with me, when I turn around, there she is. If everyone else is awake and downstairs, she’ll still be in bed with me.
Every time I’m eating something on the couch, she comes and gets her face as close to me as possible; I mean drool all over my leg or arm close. The thing is I don’t feed her from the couch. She doesn’t understand NO, just doesn’t get it. If you try to pet her, she flops on her back and slaps you with her paws. Forget about me sitting on the floor, that’s just an invitation to walking all over me, for real.
She does some of the dumbest things I have ever seen, but then she has flashes of genius. My nephew used to take her running with him, until she figured out that when she wanted to stop all she had to do was wrap the leash around every tree or pole until it completely pissed him off and they came home. Or the day Ted bought turkey jerky; she sniffed it out through a closed door, got in the room, found it on his desk in his office, got it down and had some.
Alabama is also a very agile dog. I have seen her run from the back door and almost make it over a fence using the neighbor’s garage and a tree going at it Mario style (if you ever needed to get up a wall in Super Mario Galaxy you know what I’m talking about). She’ll move furniture in order to get a bone that got stuck, but won’t lay down when you ask. But…she knows what “good girls get”.

Kraus House Barbies

Maizie likes Barbie dolls. She plays with them, she dresses them and she sleeps with them. They go to “hot tub parties” in the play kitchen and they have horses to ride, but they always find themselves in precarious situations (and almost always naked). 
They are fortunate enough to have an abundance of clothes and shoes, too bad they sometimes lack the legs to put those shoes on.
The Barbies are lucky that they have a gym to work out in; they have to keep in shape. No one would want a Barbie with a thick middle and a saggy ass. Too bad for them that the gym they belong to has a strict dress code, no clothes allowed. Yup, Barbies work out at Naked Gym, (we’re thinking of putting together a business plan and going to the local bank to ask for a loan).
Stella even made a playground for them and a few of their closest friends, this playground was formal dress only.
But I’m sad to report that there must be a serial killer on the loose. I walked into the kitchen one day and found a naked Barbie at the bottom of the stairs (she may have been on her way to the gym) and it didn’t look like a “fall”.
Then in my bathroom I found another gruesome discovery, a bucket of dismembered dolls (maybe Courtney Love was here). 
Everyone was on edge for weeks after that. There have been some mysterious missing limbs lately, but it’s a completely different M.O. We’ll have to make sure we patrol the house more.


I have been going to Zumba for a few weeks now and I have made a few observations…
·       The people who go up front, no matter what age they are, know what they’re doing.   Unless you are that one lady that always goes by the door and moves like a three year old after raiding the Halloween candy.
·        If the instructor comes in wearing Zumba brand attire, you’re screwed. You might as well just lie on the floor in a heap, that’s where you’re going to end up anyway.
·        DO NOT go next to any other participants that have Latin blood in them. They do this shit for fun and they can do this in heels, they will make you look like you’re fighting off a swarm of bees. Even the 80 year old will make you look like a fool, consider yourself warned.
·        If the instructor wears a belly dance hip scarf, you will be doing a lot of hip and shimmy moves. The fat in your ass and legs that you’ve been trying to firm up will smack around and you will be readjusting your underwear. If you know you’re going to the class with that instructor, save yourself some effort and go commando.
·        A pregnant instructor doesn’t mean the class will be any easier. It’s almost like they have something to prove. Trust me, I believe you, you can still shake it, jump and twist through the whole hour. I’ve never been able to, so calm down.
·        Beware of any participant that comes to class wearing Zumba brand attire. I suggest you try to get them out of your direct line of vision. Their dedication needs to be commended, but they are a distraction. I can’t help but stare. These are the ones that must have DVDs at home too. They try to outZumba the instructor, sadly they rarely succeed.
·        When you are completely screwing up the moves, that’s when the bunch of guys on their way to the basketball court will stop to take a peek.
·        I have no coordination anymore. I used to dance and compete; I have trophies, ribbons and awards to prove it. I show my kids the moves in my kitchen all the time, but put me in that class and NOTHING. I can’t even get my feet to coordinate a step-ball-change; instead of a Samba I’m doing a stumble.
·        Finally, after 45 minutes I am a complete waste of space. I can hardly move my feet with the beat and I can’t even consider trying the arm coordination at this point. I just shuffle around in my spot like an old man lost in a nursing home.


Stella-Blue is her own person, with her own set of rules. He is very dramatic, very funny, kind to everyone but she can also be very mean when she doesn’t get her way.  (We call her a thug sometimes) She has a lot of her father’s qualities but she also has a lot of Gemini qualities (like me), she can turn in a second, she’s a perfect blend of the two of us. That being said, she also has our bad qualities as well.
She is one of the funniest kids I know, intentionally funny. Teddy does funny things, but Stella has a purpose for her humor. One night Ted gave her a shower and she bend down and farted which made it echo (the height of comedy for a 4 year old). It then stunk up the bathroom. Once she had her pajamas on, she walked out of the bathroom, turned around, smirked at Ted then shut the door. Not only did she shut the door, she held it closed.
Stella likes money and she can turn anything into a money making operation. She didn’t want to brush her teeth one night so I said the Cavity Creeps were going to get her (bonus for you if you remember the Cavity Creeps…they put holes in teeth). She replied with, “Good then the Tooth Fairy can come to both me and May” (Maizie has a loose tooth). She plays soccer because my dad pays her a dollar for every goal she scores. She has even said how she “needed to score some goals because she needed some dollars”.
She has fashion flair and puts most of her outfits together herself (they’re not all winners). When she looks cute, she knows it and she works it. I took her to the mall the other day and you would have thought she was queen of the world, especially while she was walking through the food court sipping her Awful Awful talking on my cell phone.
Her least appealing quality has to be her ability to nag me to do anything. Her persistence is amazing. Most of the time I’m so impressed that she’s kept up her pursuit so long that she needs to be compensated for her time. At Old Navy on our mall trip she wanted a super ball from the machine. I said no. I was planning on getting three anyway since all 3 asked for them during each solo trip to the mall, but I wanted to wait until we were leaving the store. I was waiting for a dressing room and I swear I lost count after 42 times of “Please can I have one”. 
I’m sure in the future you will hear much more about Stella-Blue, fashionita, comedienne , thug and just all around adorable four year old little girl.

Now let me start by saying I DO NOT get paid to promote products, but if you know me when I like something I let you know about it.
Teddy is a big believer in commercials. Whatever they say has got to be true and we (I) MUST buy it. The commercial for the Lysol No Touch Kitchen System came on and he was SOLD. Every time the commercial came on, he called me in to watch. When he saw a coupon, he had me cut it out (I would have anyway). Well I was at Wal-Mart last week and there was a display in the middle of the aisle for the starter kit and I had a coupon for it, so I figured “Why not?”
I gave specific instruction that it was only for me, and Daddy, to use simply for the fact that they would use it to clean EVERYTHING in the kitchen and it would be gone within the hour. Well let me tell you how handy that little gadget is.
I cook, cut and prepare a lot of chicken and it skeeves me out so I was me hands all the time. I am absolutely paranoid about salmonella. I would go so far as to wash the top of the soap dispenser and the faucets when I was done cooking. You don’t touch a thing. It reminds me of the sink my mom had at work in the hospital lab. The only thing is, if you go to move it, do it from the back so you don’t trigger the dispenser if not you’ll have soap all over your hands, Now I just need a touch faucet.

More Kraus Kid One (or more) Liners

As I read through the posts from before, it became obvious that the older they got the funnier they got. Here are some more…
The kids were playing out in the yard and Teddy and Stella came in the house. They were filthy and Stella had one hand behind her back. She says “Close your eyes”, me not trusting her one little bit immediately asked “WHAT DO YOU HAVE?” Teddy says, “We found a snake.”  I jump from the chair as Stella presents the “snake” (a foot long worm) and I run into the bathroom and lock the door. Ted came in and had to release the “snake” back to its family. Stella wasn’t quite sure if it was funny or she should be afraid of worms.
Stella is sitting in the chair with me singing her version of “”Ding dong the witch is dead” (Ding dong the witch is melting), she leans over the side of the chair toward the couch where Maizie is sitting and says, “Hey May, I’m singing a song about you”
This morning I was getting dressed and Stella was behind me. I had on black underwear with big white polka dots. She says, “Mommy you have polka dots on your panties” Me, “Yes” Stella “Why are they ovals?” Me “They’re circles” Stella “Well they’re ovals now” WHAT A PUNK!!!
Stella just walked over to me and asked “Can I have some of your money?”…her piggy bank is empty. I told her to pick up her toys.
Maizie got mad at Teddy and said she never wanted to see him again so she locked him in my bedroom. Poor guy was locked in there for 20 min before I asked where he was.
Yesterday when I came home from grocery shopping the kids were in the backyard naked smearing themselves with dirt. Why? Because they were monsters, and monsters don’t wear clothes.
Maizie is up and Ted asked her if she was going to sleep with us. Her response was, “As long as those two assholes stay asleep” (obviously referring to Teddy and Stella)
Maizie tried to “slice” Teddy with a plastic knife. When she apologized to him he hugged her and said, “I will always love you even if you do something mean. And I will always be mad at you when you’re mean.”
Stella was yelling at Teddy so I look to see what the problem was, Teddy’s ass was hanging out of his shorts. I told Teddy to fix his clothes, no one wants to see your rump. He said, “Ladies love my rump”… all I could do was laugh.
I just had to sew one of Stella’s dolls and the whole time I’m doing it my surgical audience (Stella and Teddy) kept saying “It’s okay Shaken Baby, it’s going to be alright.”
I just heard a knock on the dining room door, I opened it and it was Stella with her suitcase (she’s supposed to be in bed). I said, “Are you moving?” and she said, “Yea”, and walked past me. I asked her where she was moving to and she said, “The living room…I can’t sleep.” They have their laptop playing a whole assload of movies and she has to “Move” to the living room…I’m never going to get rid of this one.
The kids have 1 hula hoop. Maizie just came in and asked me to take off her necklace. I asked if it was too hot and she said no they were fighting over the hula hoop and didn’t want it to break.
Instead of writing my own post I just copied Ted Kraus‘ … Teddy (the 4 year old not me), noting that he can willfully pee in the yard and the dog poops in the yard, decided that HE can drop trou and pinched a loaf in the yard. May was horror struck and came in saying “You GOTTA see what Teddy did in the yard!” The H is out there now hosing him off. Dude seriously dropped a deuce… IN THE YARD! Wow.
Funniest thing heard so far today…The kids are having meatball sandwiches for lunch and Teddy is once again wearing a white t-shirt. I asked if he was going to keep that one clean and he said yes. Maizie then all indignant says, “Oh quit lying and tell Mommy the truth”
Teddy recently went to NY System and had 3 all the way. Man vs. food was on and they were there so I called him in when the guy was attempting to eat 15 wieners (or gaggas). I said to Teddy “He going to eat 15 of them” He looked at me and said, “He’s gonna poop”
Lunchtime incident at the Kraus House: Stella starts choking and coughing on applesauce (yes, applesauce), Maizie immediately runs from the room. Stella starts crying saying she has a stomach ache. I try to get her to take a sip of water and she lets out a burp that shook the walls and made me jump back. As the burp is still going on simultaneously Teddy asks if Stella threw up and Maizie slammed the door to the room she ran to. After the burp Stella said “Wow I fell better”

Reattachment Surgery for Tiniest Smallest Smallest

Stella loves her dolls; she takes very good care of them. She makes sure everyone is quiet when they are taking their naps, and if one of them is hurt (broken), she turns on the water works. Well tonight it looked like Tiniest Smallest Smallest (she names them herself) got into some sort of industrial accident, the kind where OSHA would shut you down for a full investigation. Stella was absolutely DEVASTATED. So what’s a mom to do? Try to put her back together (and take pictures).
Let me start by saying that this doll is only about 2 inches big and it’s OLD. It was my sister’s (she’s in her mid thirties) and Stella pilfed it from my mother’s house one day when she was over there. The legs on the doll pretty much just rotted off. I was trying to figure out how I was going to get the legs to stay on, so I sent Teddy to get me the “black tape”.
Let the surgery begin. I taped the legs on and held up the doll thinking it was fixed but one of the legs fell off. Now instead of a doll in two pieces I have a doll in three pieces, and to top it off Stella is hovering over me asking if she’s fixed yet.

This doll has some sort of weird ass diaper on that has stuffing in it. I asked Stella if I could take the stuffing out and she said no. Then I asked if I could just tape the diaper onto the doll. She wasn’t too keen on the idea but I told her, “If you want to save her leg then you’re going to have to make some tough decisions.” She agreed. So I wrapped at least eight inches of tape around the doll, the legs and the diaper and it held (so far). Not only did I perform live saving surgery I also gave Tiniest Smallest Smallest and extra 5/8thof an inch in height.

Story Time at the Library

Every (well as often as I could get out of the house) Thursday I would take the kids to the library for story time and to get books. Once school ended, Maizie had tennis on Thursday mornings and we couldn’t make it. Then when tennis ended I just didn’t want to get up and take them anywhere, but since school is starting in a few weeks I figured I’d get my ass out of the house and take them to the library today.
We get there and Maizie skips in and makes a beeline for the community bulletin board. I have no idea what she’s interested in, then I notice…tiny pencils. She stole a tiny pencil. Not worth the argument, keep the pencil. We head upstairs to the Children’s Library and it is PACKED. How come you people aren’t at the beach? If I didn’t have errands to do later, that’s where I’d be. The kids pick their books; Maizie and Teddy head straight for the Puppet Theater and Stella goes over to find a game for us to play and notices a Harry Potter scavenger hunt for a prize. Now Maizie had already found Harry, but at that point we had no idea it was part of a game, so we were already one ahead.
So I start to help Stella, then Maizie joins us with her hunt paper. Teddy comes over, I give him a paper and a quick explanation and he’s off; he comes running back yelling how he found Ron. Turns out they are pretty good at scavenger hunts, especially when they work together. They bring their papers to the librarian for the prize, the girls each choose a tattoo (this time Stella did not ask for it to be put on her neck) and Teddy planned ahead and chose a school bus eraser, since he’s going to school soon and “it will come in quite handy if he makes a mistake”.
It came time for the kids to go in for the story and it’s obvious that this is a new crop of parents, hovering parents. The kind of parents that when their kid whines they try to give them something else to play with instead of telling them that they’re in a library and they better knock it off and be quiet. Some of the kids can’t even get in because these hovering parents are blocking the door. Then once the door shuts, there’s a gaggle of them looking in the window.
The half hour ends and the parents rush the door. My kids know where I am so I don’t bother to get up. But poor Teddy had to go all the way around the circulation desk because the hoverounds wouldn’t let him through. We leave and get in the car and I notice that the dirty little thief stole another pencil, imagine if I ever took her miniature golfing?