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.

What is a Snow Day?

They are different for everyone. I used to kind of like them when I was a teacher, as long as it was only a couple. Then when I only had one kid in school they were okay. Even when two were in school I didn’t mind as much. Now that three kids are in school, I have mixed emotions about them.
I like the fact that I can leave a package of donuts on the counter the night before and they can get their own breakfast and not wake me up. (Whenever there’s going to be snow I buy a box of donuts.) That about sums up the good part; not getting up and hustling three kids to school. The rest can (not always) be torture (on me).
The kids want to play video games, which is fine until one of them (I won’t name names) spends all the time changing her hat and won’t go on the quests, or whatever it is they do.
The calm before the storm

One of them will take the Skylander off the portal at an integral part of the game causing some sort of catastrophic event in the life of the other.
One won’t play Barbies with another.
When they do finally go play Barbies and/or Monster High the room is left like an F5 tornado hit it.
I usually forget I need to feed them lunch (they eat at school) until they complain at 2pm.
There are arts and craft supplies on every surface of the house (not much different from a weekend).
The dog gets to eat extra crayons.
My routine will get thrown off; chances are I will forget about supper.
These are just the highlights of what a Kraus House snow day is like. What is a snow day like in your house?

Another Snow “Event”

We had another snow “event” last night. I didn’t even know until I let the dog out this morning. It was only about three quarters of an inch, no big deal. Seriously, I really had no clue there was a chance of snow. We have had a decent amount of snow so far this winter. (I gauge it by how many times my husband has to take the snow blower out…it’s like a small tractor). He’s done it twice.

This is from last week’s snow day

I live in New England and I am used to the snow. Driving in snow is a lot different than driving in ice. I’ve spun out on black ice, scariest thing EVER! The people down south are having a very difficult time with their snow/ice “event” and this has nothing to do with what’s going on down there. This is something I noticed today getting ready to and bringing my kids to school today.
This is not complaining; it is observation.
What does (let’s just say) 1 inch of snow do to your morning?

  • The kids keep asking why they don’t have a snow day if there’s snow on the ground.
  • There’s enough snow to stay stuck on a kid’s boots so he can track some through the house while he’s taking out the garbage.
  • Because of the above problem, you end up with cold, wet socks.
  • There’s just enough snow that the car has to be cleaned off.
  • The snow that is getting cleared off the car ends up all over you.
  • There’s not a change in Hell your streets are going to get plowed.
  • The main streets have been sanded (salted?) so the car in front of you makes a mess of your windshield.

That’s all I have for now because I only drove my kids to school and don’t really plan on going anywhere else today (until pick up).
What observations have you made about snow “events”?

Stella’s Loose Tooth

Let’s begin this “event” on Friday…
Stella had a loose tooth (her first one) and it makes me kind of sad that my tiny baby was about to lose her first tooth. But, so it goes. In true Stella-Blue fashion this event wasn’t without a strange conversation and reasoning on her part.
I told her she should keep wiggling her tooth so it would come out over the weekend. I can’t stand wiggly, dangly teeth. I just want to pull them right out, but Ted won’t let me. She was not completely thrilled with the idea of her tooth coming out. Don’t get me wrong, she is definitely up for the money; she has been known to steal it from her brother.
Here’s our chat…
Me: You should wiggle that tooth so it falls out this weekend.
Stella: I don’t think I want it to fall out.
Me: Why not? It doesn’t hurt.
Stella: I still want to be able to suck my thumb.
Me: (Looking perplexed) What do you mean? You’ll still be able to suck your thumb. Even though being 5 you should probably lay off that a bit.
Stella: I can’t once they fall out because then I’ll get buck teeth. I definitely don’t want buck teeth.
Me: Why are you so concerned about having buck teeth?
Stella: I don’t want to end up looking like a beaver.
Me: (Trying not to laugh at her) So you’re not going to have your teeth fall out, EVER?
Stella: Nope! I’m going to be an old lady with wiggly teeth that can still suck her thumb.
Me: Well, we can see how that goes.
Now onto Saturday…
The tooth was still there, so I bought apples at the store. Teddy and I were on our way home and I get a call.
Ted: I’ve got good news and bad news.
Me: (Knowing this could go either way, I brace myself) What is it?
Ted: Good news is, Stella lost her first tooth. Bad news is, Maizie kind of knocked it out.
I was only down the street and by the time I got home her mouth had been cleaned and the tooth was recovered. There’s nothing worse than trying to find an itty, bitty tooth on the floor.
Upon further investigation, it seems that Stella and Maizie were playing with a rope (which was taken away earlier in the day because they were fighting over it) and Stella had the rope in her mouth. What did Maizie do? She yanked it out of course, along with the tooth. I must say, she saved me a whole heap of aggravation of trying to convince Stella to let me get the tooth out.
The Tooth Fairy is free to come ($5 for the first one).
Right into her piggy bank

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

The Trouble with 40



I turned 40 and I know there’s nothing I can do about it. Not to sound bitchy but, I have noticed that I do look better than some people I know that are younger than me. But there are just some things that happen to you once you hit 40 that really suck. I must say I noticed them starting around 35 but by my 40thbirthday, I really hit the skids.
Eyesight-Going, going, gone! I can’t see shit. I can’t read books anymore. I NEED to use my Nook and set the font on elderly, so there are only about 15 lines on the page. If a restaurant is dark, I have no idea what the menu says; and if I have my contacts in, forget it all bets are off. I even bought a pair of reading glasses from the Dollar Store. That’s it, time to train Alabama.

Not bad looking for the Dollar Store
Whiskers-WTF is this all about? At least I am still able to look in a mirror and seek those suckers out. I am constantly rubbing and feeling my chin. Then if I feel one, man I hope it’s not while I’m in public. Then all I can think is, “Can everyone see this monstrosity growing out of my chin?” “Do I look like Rip Van Winkle?” God forbid I look into a lighted magnified mirror. Holy shit, who the hell is that and what happened to her chin?

I need to get another pair and keep them in my purse for emergency removals
Memory-What was I supposed to write? I didn’t have a good short term memory to begin with, now FORGET IT!! If it’s not written down, it’s not happening. It took me 2 years to make a doctor’s appointment because I simply kept forgetting to do it. I would remember when I was in bed (not going to do me any good then).  I leave the store with only half the stuff I went for, sometimes I even forget when I go with a list. There’s a lot of “Oh shit, …” said around here.
Gas-I’ve never had the best gastro-intestinal system, but now one handful of popcorn at the movies and by the closing credits I can shoot myself out of there like you let the air out of a balloon. I’m just a diverticulitis time bomb waiting to go off. Seriously, just about everyone in my family has is and I’m just waiting for my turn.
Pulled Muscles (for no reason)-I can be sitting at the table NOT MOVING and pull a muscle. It happened during supper; I pulled the entire right side of my back. I wasn’t reaching, lifting or bending, just sitting. Every day I need to stretch my back to where I can tie my own shoes. Sometimes when I want to cross my legs I need to grab onto my pants to pull my leg over.
Oh 40, what have you done to me?

I’m Turning into My Grandparents



People usually start to turn into their parents, not me, I skipped a generation. I’m turning into my grandparents, my mom’s dad and my dad’s mom to be specific. It’s bordering on creepy and I may need an intervention.
New Rules-Nana came up with “new rules” daily. It could have been something big or it could have been something small, but everyday there was a new rule. Sometimes there was even a list of “New Rules” posted on the fridge. The thing is, they never last long that could be the reason why new ones keep coming up.
I find myself announcing “new rules” quite frequently. We could be in the car, at home, in a store it doesn’t matter. You never know when a new rule is going to happen and at that inception of that rule…follow it! Teddy even asks, “Is that a new rule?”
House Coats-I have two and I wear them. I’m not talking about bathrobes, I’m talking about step into, zip up the front house coats (one is velour, I know your jealous and the other is leopard fleece, you can stop coveting them now). Thet do have more flair than you’d see in a nursing home, but saying they’re fashion forward would definitely be pushing it.

I know you’re jealous




Nine times out of ten I put them on after I take a shower, before I get dressed so I don’t muss up my clothes before I head out to my destination. That one out of ten I will wear the leopard one all day if it’s chilly and I’m going to wear my pajamas all day.  You can ask my mailman, he’s seen the rockin’ ensemble
Organizing My Garbage-Well, I only organize the recycling. If you knew Grampa then you would understand completely. There were five people in the house when I was a kid and we only seemed to have one garbage can/bag on trash day. I have five people now and on trash day it looks like I cleaned out my basement every week. Poor Teddy has to take 4 or 5 trips to the curb to get it all out there.

I got it all into a cereal box!
I find myself compacting all the cardboard recycling into one small container. It could be a cereal box, a gift bag or some other random boxed food we had that week, but I feel it necessary to try to get ALL OF THE CARDBOARD into it, most of the time I am successful. If others would stop messing with my system, Teddy would cut down on his trash trips.

I wrapped my rubbish in gift bags
Sayings-I told the kids to “go wash their teeth” as soon as it was out of my mouth I looked at them. Stella was the only one that caught onto what I said, and then the inquisition began. “Why did you say that?” “Don’t you mean brush your teeth?” “Do you want us to use soap? ‘Cause that would be nasty.” I went on to tell her that my grandparents had false teeth and they would wash them instead of brushing them. Which lead to another inquisition.
I also called the refrigerator the icebox, what is this the 1930s? Teddy laughed at the slip, but of course Stella wasn’t going to let that go. More questions. I’ve also slipped and called the garbage rubbish and the iron the flat.
Naps-I have to take naps. My grandmother took a nap everyday and now I do too. The naps are not a luxury, they’re a necessity (CHF will do that to you). She took a nap around the same time everyday. I tell Stella to go get the big blue pillow and she and Alabama know it’s time. Stella gets on the other couch and Alabama gets on me. People joke and say I’m lucky, but truth is, it kind of sucks.
Stella enjoys our nap time, as does Alabama. We watch Criminal Minds and drift off until my phone goes off and it’s time to pick up the other two from school.
So I ask you, are you turning into your parents or your grandparents?

Time to Make the Donuts

Stella got a Cool Baker Donut Maker for Christmas and was all gung ho about making them, unfortunately I was the final victim of the stomach bug that took out every last one of us and it got me on Christmas day; so Stella had to wait a few days until I could deal with the mixing, forming, and endless questions that would go along with this donut making experience.

Days of asking and she finally gets to make them

I finally decided it was time to make the donuts (if she asked again I was going to lose my mind). I looked at the box, no bake. Well this just brightened my day, until I opened it and saw that I had to put EVERYTHING together. But before I could do that, I had to wash everything (definitely not one of my favorite household tasks to begin with). Much to my surprise I put it together lickety split. We’re ready to make donuts.
Seriously, all Stella had to do (I say Stella because she insisted on making them) was put water into the mix and stir. I was impressed.

Seriously, it was just add water

Stella insisted on doing it all herself

Then she had to load it into the donut plunger thing, once again easy. Stella squeezed the donuts into the molds and then the hard part…waiting the 15 minutes for them to set.

Into the fridge

Let the torture begin!

Teddy can’t wait to try them

Now I have to clean this thing again? I didn’t sign up for this. The donut goo was so thick that it came out quite easily, yeah me!!
It was 15 minutes of pure torture for Stella and her hungry customers (Teddy and Maizie). When the timer went off, I knew there would be no chance of naked donuts (I tried selling them on the idea…don’t you want them right now?).

They’re ready to be frosted

Next, onto mixing the frosting, once again just add water. I loaded it into the plunger (I didn’t want frosting in the grout of the table) and Stella Van Gough got to work.

Frosting was just as easy

Working on her masterpieces

Viola!! Ready to eat (in one bite)
I didn’t think Teddy was going to be able to stand the wait. They finally got to eat the masterpieces, all three of them. They said they were good; I’ll take their word for it.
P.S. This was not sponsored in any way, this was just another adventure in the Kraus House.

20 Questions for Maizie on Her Birthday

Happy Birthday!

Pure Joy

Breakfast Cake

Today Maizie turns eight. I can’t believe I have a kid that old, even though technically I’m old enough to have one in college. I decided to ask her 20 Questions (man were the other two mad about this). Here are her answers…
How old are you?    8
What did you get for your birthday?   Monster High Create a Monster and Yahtzee Flash

Just what she wanted

What is your favorite color?   pink
What is your favorite TV show?   Sam and Cat
What is your favorite toy?   Monster High (anything with a Monster High logo on it)
What do you want to be when you grow up?   A singer
What sport do you play?  Karate

In her gi ready for action

What are you good at?   Writing
What’s your favorite food?   Tasty meatballs in the gravy and lasagna
What food do you hate?   Mayonnaise, oatmeal, jelly
What is your favorite outfit?   Leotards
What is your favorite song?   Monster High theme song
What is your favorite flavor ice cream?   Mint chocolate chip
Who is the best in your family?   Everyone
What is your pet’s name?   Alabama Worley (Bama or Bam for short)
What makes you happy?   Stella
What makes you mad?   Stella
What is your favorite thing to do in school?   Learn
Who is your teacher?   Mrs. Scanlon
Where do you want to go on vacation?   Swimming

She’ll swim, as long as it’s a pool

Happy Birthday Maizie! I say some of the answers she gave didn’t surprise me at all, while others came out of left field. 

Dolls and Jewelry, What More Could One Want?

Now is the time of year that you look over your Christmas list and see who you need to buy for. If you have a little girl on your list, I’ve got the gift for you. Our Generation Me & You Jewellery Kit is perfect for that doll lover on your list.
Stella and Maizie were given the opportunity to try out the Our Generation Me & You Jewellery Kit and they were thrilled.

What is it? It is a craft kit that coordinates with Our Generation dolls  (sold exclusively at Target) and little girls. The kit makes bracelets for girls and for the dolls as well.
Stella love dolls and jewelry, she almost exploded with joy when this came into the house and Maizie wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass her by.  They begged and pleaded to get started.
The kit comes with three bracelets for the girls and two for the dolls. There are five ribbons to make the bracelets and four sets of string to embellish them. What more could a girl want?

The hardest decision was which ribbon to use on which bracelet. Once the decisions were made, we started. It took a few tries to get the hang of it, but once we did, it only took a few minutes to complete the bracelet.

The girls couldn’t wait to get them onto the dolls (and themselves).

Stella wore her bracelets to school every day.

*Disclosure-I was given a Our Generation doll and the Me & You Jewellery Kit to facilitate this post, but as always the opinions are all my own.