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 Elf is Watching you!

He’s coming, it’s almost time.

Every year he shows up on Thanksgiving. We wake up and he’s next to the Wampa.

Kraus House Mom
Chatting on the phone and catching up with his pal, the Wampa.

Our Elf on the Shelf, Elfel (my oldest named him).

Then the countless nights of hoping he’s going to be somewhere else in the morning.

Kraus House Mom
Stuck in some things

I don’t want my kids to be disappointed if Elfel doesn’t get to “fly home at night”, especially if someone was awake upstairs, causing a ruckus.

The pressure he has of finding a new place to hang out can be intense.

Kraus House Mom
He likes the chandelier…a lot

He wants to be creative, but he doesn’t want to be touched (he is very tempting) and he wants to be out of reach from Alabama.

He also wants to be somewhere he can see everything so he can report it all back to Santa.

Kraus House Mom
He sits on things. Stella sings Wrecking Ball when he’s here.

We have asked him not to make a mess and he has listened.

The kids are getting older, so maybe he can get a bit more daring with his spots.

We shall see.

Does the Elf on the Shelf visit you? Where does your elf hang out?

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!


Life with a Dog

I am Alabama Worley and I am the Kraus House dog. Let me tell you about myself.

I bark at any and every noise that is normal. Something out of the ordinary, who cares?

Barking at NOTHING
Barking at NOTHING

If a neighborhood dog barks, I NEED to respond. It doesn’t matter what time it is. You return your calls and texts, don’t you?

It doesn’t matter how many people are in the house I need to go to Mommy for everything (even if she’s sleeping).

I no longer feel it’s necessary to stay in the backyard. I want, no I need to roll around on the neighbors’ lawns and have them bring me back home. I really like to do this on holidays.

I will smack you with my paws until you give me love. If you stop, the smacking will continue.

I don’t like anyone to put anything in that metal box attached outside the front door, especially that guy dressed in blue who carries that giant bag. How dare he come here everyday except Sunday?

I have to go outside at 11PM and bark. This is how I tell my friends I’m going to bed.

I probably licked a puddle here
I probably licked a puddle here

When I come upstairs to check on the kids with you, I like to wag my tail against the wall, just so I can see if I can wake up one of the kids.

I completely ignore Mommy when she calls me or tries to get me out of her spot, but I can hear her take a deli bag out of the fridge from three room away.

I even steal the blankets
I even steal the blankets

I walk really close behind Mommy when she vacuums, then I yelp and make her feel bad when she accidently steps on me.

I drool all over the place whenever Mommy eats baby carrots. Baby carrots, marshmallows and deli meats are the only things I beg for.

I wash my paws and leave wet spots on the couch and her bed all the time. Daddy can’t stand the sound it makes (it is pretty repulsive).

I need to be fed at 3:30PM, 5PM and 6PM by MOMMY! If anyone else gives me my food, it doesn’t count. She has to put the food in my bowl.

I use the pillows
I use the pillows

Even though I do all these things that would get on anyone’s nerves on a daily basis, she always has time for me. She always makes sure I have enough love and a spot on the bed to sleep on.

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.

Life in a Haunted House

I hear people say all the time that they think their house is haunted. Well my house really is haunted. There’s nothing creepy or malicious that goes on, mischievous and sometimes annoying yes, but nothing to make us want to pack up and leave.

First of all, we know the “ghosts”. It’s my husband’s family. We bought my husband’s grandmother’s house and there’s a lot of history here.

Kraus House Mom

Why do we think our house is haunted? A bunch of things happen around here that have no explanation, but the biggest reason is that each of our three kids have talked to a different relative that lived here, but passed away.

When they were young, under 3, they had information that my husband and I either didn’t know about or never told them about. Maizie keep talking about “Scoop”. We didn’t know who Scoop was, but said she talked to him. Later we found out that it was Ted’s grandfather’s nickname (I believe in WWII). We had no idea.

Teddy started asking my mother in law about her brothers, he knew about two of them, but one of them passed away before Ted and I were even married. This happen right after a cousin of my mother in law’s passed away (the uncle and cousin were close and mischief makers). He asked about the other brother by name and then said the cousin’s name (something my husband and I didn’t say anything about) and he told my mother in law that they were both happy. Let’s just say it freaked her right out.

Stella used to have full on conversations with my husband’s grandmother. We would hear her on the baby monitor in the middle of the night. We heard her ask her where her glasses were one night. During the day, she would point and call her name, like she was in the room.

This went on until one Easter when we were all at my mother in law’s house. Stella kept saying Naunie was there, then she said “Bye, Naunie,” and waved. She didn’t talk to her again after that.

Do I still think they’re here? Absolutely! Strange things happen all the time. At night it sounds like someone is walking down the stairs, if you go to see which kid it is, no one is there.

Something will go missing, and we (usually me) will search the entire house looking for it then give up the hunt. Later on, the missing item will show up in plain sight. Not in a place that could have been overlooked, somewhere that I physically picked up every item looking for it.

The bathroom light always goes out, Alabama will bark at thin air (but like she’s barking at a person), there is always a refection of a face in the small window next to the fireplace (only for a split second), from the corner of your eye you see someone walk by and there’s no one there, these are the things that happen.

Kraus House Mom
One of these lights goes out all the time, even with new lightbulbs

If we’re talking about things from Ted’s childhood, sometimes he gets an instant chill or goose bumps all over.

Smells are another thing. Sometimes when we come home and walk in the house, my husband can smell his grandfather. There a so many times when I’m in bed and I can smell food cooking.

Kraus House Mom
I swear I see a face in this window every night, it’s way too far off the ground for it to be a real person. I just keep it closed now, so I don’t keep looking at it.

The toilet flushed by itself the other day and toys used to go on by themselves. When the coffee maker makes sounds, Stella always announces, “Naunie’s making coffee!”

We don’t care that the house is haunted; they keep an eye on us!

Yesteryear at King Richard’s Faire

Kraus House Mom

Ever wonder what it was like during the time of lords and ladies? Well you can find out not to far from here, at King Richard’s Faire; every year in Carver, Massachusetts you can spend the day back in time (for a few weeks anyway).

In the spirit of full disclosure, my family was given complimentary tickets to I could share our experience with all of you, but that in no way influenced my opinions.

Kraus House Mom

My husband and I have been to the King Richard’s Faire in the past and we have brought our kids when they were younger. We were thrilled to bring them back this year.

I’m going to tell you our favorite parts of the realm.

The merchants, there are so many unique and hand-made items at the shops. They have everything from pottery to leather goods, jewelry and even dragon pets. I even bought Ted his third wedding ring.

There are also tarot card readers, hair braiders, tattooing and face painters.

Kraus House Mom
The realm doesn’t discriminate, all kinds are welcome including the Kraus Kids

We spent quite a bit of time in the Gaming Glen. Once Teddy found out he could throw knives and axes, he couldn’t wait to get there. Maizie and Stella gave him a run for his money, I gave the kid a chance and didn’t do it (I’m really good at throwing sharp objects; I’ve gotten plenty of parchments).

The rides were another big draw for the kids. They didn’t realize that the men had to make the rides go by either pushing them or using a crank wheel. Teddy got a little upset on the Swan (I loved the Swan) but loved the Sky Chairs.

Kraus House Mom
So much to do

If games and rides aren’t your thing, don’t worry, there’s a show every half an hour, all day. No need to worry about missing anything. The shows are great, I thought the Wishing Well Wenches were right up my alley; Stella had to go see the tiger show and Teddy was fascinated by the King’s Tournament.

People watching is one of the best reasons to go to King Richard’s Faire. Maizie was enthralled by the costumes and people wore make-up.

Kraus House Mom
All kinds of garb

The food, so many choices, but Teddy had his heart set on one thing…a turkey leg. He had been talking about it since we told him we were going. That’s all he wanted, and he was thrilled to get it. I was quite happy with my blooming onion and the girls only wanted ice cream and peasant bread (dough boys) go figure.

Kraus House Mom
Teddy is a happy boy

I must say it was a beautiful day and fun was had by all. The kids are already asking about next year. Maybe I’ll wear a costume!

Be sure to follow King Richard’s Faire on Facebook and Twitter.

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.