Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Messy Monday- Toilet Issues

As a courtesy to you, I cleaned the toilet bowl before photographing, because I'm OCD classy like that.  Ahem.

For this week's mess, I could talk about the toddler running with scissors, or him walking around with my eyebrow brush sticking out of his ear.  There were even a few juice box spills down the stairs, and a full-glass of iced tea spilled on my freshly mopped kitchen floor. However, I settled on our toilet dilemmas.

(Please excuse our laundry.  It happens to be great fun throwing it down the stairs).

Sunday, the toilet seat pinched my heiney...and Monday morning, it was a full-blown arse avalanche.  Before coffee. Yes, that's right, I was sitting on it when it broke.  Which made me feel really skinny and awesome.

This is the second time I will have replaced this stupid toilet seat.  Let me tell you, they do not run cheap in Germany, either.  On my last trip to the States I saw a similar model, at a local megastore for the low, low price of $17.99.  Daddy War-Bucks and I were afraid that the toilet specs may be different in Europe, so we did not purchase, and mail it back to ourselves in Deutschland.  Instead, I paid 28 Euro - which works out to be about $45.  Something tells me that my kids slamming the toilet seat down is the reason we need to keep replacing the suckers. This time I will buy plastic.  Perhaps the models that trap coins or sand dollars in crystal clear resin.  I will keep you posted on this riveting development. 

Speaking of toilets - my son recently saw a bidet for the first time at a friends' haus.  He proclaimed it to be his most favorite-est toilet he has ever seen in his life.  Imagine if I let him give it a whirl.  He may have never wanted to leave.

Another potty dilemma in our haus...MY BOY CAN'T AIM.  My bathroom always smells like pee.  It must be cleaned daily, to keep me from going over the edge.  Lysol clean-up wipes have become my new best friend.  Once, he was urinating all over the the back of the toilet lid, saying, "Look Mom, I'm painting".  Boys, will be boys.  Sometimes that means peeing in the waste basket. 

My Preschooler turned 4 this week.  The very next day, I took him to get his 4 year old vaccinations.  Not because I am on top of life like that, but b/c I am desperate to get the kids into Hourly Care, on base for the respite given to me by good old Uncle Sam.  Shots must be up-to-date. Well, let's just say, WANTED TO DIE, is an understatement of how embarrassed I felt about what I am going to lay on you.  The medic asked that we pull his pants down to his knees, so that they could inject shots in each thigh.  Well, low & behold...a poop stain, on the front, side of his little Sponge Bob Square Pants undies.  In plain sight, not to be missed by either of the people vaccinating my lovely child.  Not even going to delve into how it got there in the first place.  Note to self - before anymore injections, ever, I will make my offspring don a fresh pair of undergarments.  This too, I shall pass onto my friends, as a sort of public service announcement.

Oh dear.  As I was typing this, he waltzed into the kitchen wearing 9 pairs of underwear...all on top of one another.  Too priceless to not share:

The spider web pair are boxers that he creatively fashioned into a bandeau. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

Patchwork Bird - $1.50, Twig Wreath - $2.00, Hanging Glass Star Candle Holder $5.00

Thrifty Thursdays...a new addition to the blog.  Hausfrau is going to focus on Thrift Store Treasures, Flea Market Finds, and my favorite, Street Treats!

If you ask me about my local thrift shops, I will rattle off their opening days & hours.  I was a trash-picker before it was cool.  My Dad found it rather embarrassing.  He used to claim that it was illegal in our town.  Hah!  Here are examples why I choose to buy second-hand, upcycled, or repurposed goods.

"Luck come in the house, bad luck, get out"!  Translated by my German friend.  Ceramic Plaque $10

Some of the most unique decor in our haus has come rather cheaply, if not free.  Not only is it great for my wallet, but it is also good for Mother Earth.  Keeping things out of landfills is a wonderful source of  inspiration. 

Here is a collection of recent scores:
Milk Glass Easter Chick Cup - 25 cents, Yellow Doily 50 cents
Nepalese Wool Rug $20
European Farmhouse Ladder - a little pricy at $35, but I LOVE it!
Newest Funky chair addition to my Dining room table - 20Euro, (also a bit high).
Entire collection of German Wooden Hearts $1.00

60's School Desk $10.00
I cannot remember the price of either the wall-hanging or the iron candle stand, but they sure make me happy, and fit right in with the wild bathroom we have!

The wonderful thing about Flea Markets - especially in Deutschland, is the photo opportunities. Wonderful scenes appear, everywhere you look.  It is a Photographer's Dream!

LOOK!  My chair made an appearance in the far right of the frame.

That yellow chair in the front is calling out my name!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fun With Cheerios


Some families do really lovely things with Cheerios.  For instance, they make treats as an alternative to Rice Crispies:
                                cheerio marshmallow treats


 Or, they recycle the boxes for nifty crafts, like these beads to make an eco-friendly necklace.


Not my family.  We, and by we, I mean, mein kinder, play games like stick the Apple Cheerio to the scrotum, for fun.

Two years ago, my husband and I removed several Cheerios from A.M.'s nose, until one was stuck, and irretrievable with tweezers.  Much crying ensued, and nose blowing, and that took care of that annoying habit. 

Lately, the game of choice has become, "put-a-Cheerio-between-each-toe-on-each-foot".  Since my boys are perpetually naked, and since Cheerios are readily available, at any given time on the carpet, the game has evolved.  If I don't vacuum daily, I am afraid that people think I am offering them, or their children a floor snack.  Currently, the copious amount of Cheerios residing in the backseat of my car, is enough to feed a small family in Africa.  Facepalm.

At first glance, I was worried that the Cheerios were entering an orphus.  Luckily, that was not the case.  It would not have been a surprise, as, once, I had to explain to my 3 year old why it was NEVER a good idea to put marbles in one's butt.  Mr. Potatoe Head is allowed to use his arse as a stowaway compartment, not my boys. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Herzlich Geburtstag!

Happy Birthday, to my stepson, who, today, becomes a teenager.  (Gasp).  It is official, I have known you longer than half of your life, now.  We met, the same day I met your father...a day that changed my life, for the best, forever! 

One of my favorite memories from that summer, was when we were all swimming in Grandmom's pool, and you told Daddy that he was too old to go on dates.  "Dates, were for 17 and 19 year olds".  That he needed a wife, and that, "Rachel, looked good".  My heart melted that I met your approval.

We do not get to spend nearly as much time together as family should, but you are always in our hearts and thoughts.  Watching you grow has been fascinating.  One summer you borrowed my flip-flops, the next, you borrowed your Dad's!  By the next time I see you, you will most likely tower over me. 

When I spoke of an eye twitch that had been aggravating me, for over a week, you informed me that there was no such thing as an iTwitch...iPod, iPad, iTouch, but no iTwitch...I thought you were telling a hilarious joke.  Until I realized that you were serious, which made it even funnier.

Flabergasted by the whipped cream that came on the plate with his, "Rahm Schnitzel".

Now I see where your brothers get their, "Danger Boy", antics from.  Awesome.

Thanks for being you.
Your Step-Mom,

Monday, March 14, 2011

MESSY MONDAY - Mr. Potatoe Head Style

Mess should be a middle name in our family...rather than Michael, Mary, Mathias, or Macon.  It seems as though we have mastered the art of making a mess.   As best as I can, I try to stifle my inner control freak, and embrace the mess.  We make HUGE messes, (when no one else is looking).  Thank goodness we live in Germany, so we aren't getting a lot of drop-in guests.  Often I look around, and think, "WOW!  If anyone saw this haus right now, they would call Child Protective Services on me". 

This week, I chose to focus on Mr. Potatoe Head, because he spent the most time on our carpet.  Repeatedly, he was found on the floor, nanoseconds after he had been put away. My children love dumping playing with him.  Besides, I did not document the questionably colored poop on my Preschooler's foot and the foot stool this morning, because I was too busy throwing up in my mouth a little cleaning up.

When we owned one Mr. Potatoe Head, I would go insane looking for a missing arm, in a crowded apartment...for days on end.  When I found the missing piece, I felt empowered.  Seriously.  Sick, right?  Don't even get me started on puzzles.  In an attempt to cure myself of this twisted fanaticism,  aka - OCD, I purchased an alphabet puzzle from the thrift store with a missing Z.  What was I thinking? 

My MIL went to Disney World, and filled a box, (that wouldn't shut), with Mr. Potatoe Head parts for $20.  That night, when she went to play with him in the privacy of her hotel room, she realized that she did not buy any shoes or hats.  So she went back the next day and filled another box.  Thanks to her, I have 9874162783641829374 limbs, noses, feet, mouths, eyes, ears & accessories.  So I no longer need to obsess about a missing purse or mustache.  Now, I can spend my time obsessing about more important things, like my childrens' boogers.  Wait, I just noticed that we only have one green Mrs. Potatoe Head earring.

One more thing...everytime my 3 year old tells me he is going to stuff a lot of things into Mr. Potatoe Head's heiney, it makes the 47 times I picked up each and every single piece soooooooooooooo worth it.  Heehee.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hand Stamped Tea Towels Craft

Hand-Stamped Tea Towels - a fun, simple, & inexpensive craft, for Moms & Preschoolers to create together.

Take a tea towel, stamp with fruit, stamps, hands, whatever you desire.  I use acrylic paint rather than fabric paint.  Acrylic paint is cheaper, and frankly, I have an abundance of it.  The way to make it permanent is to heat set it before washing.  This can be done by either ironing it, (under a protective piece of fabric or towel), or to throw it in the dryer for 10 minutes on high heat...(my preferred method)!

 Squeeze out a generous amount of paint onto a plate, wax paper, or a piece of acrylic.  Spread the paint out a bit, creating an even stamping surface.  Use a protective barrier underneath, as some paint may soak through the towel, onto your surface.  Cardboard, newspaper, wax paper are all suitable options.  Be sure to adequately & evenly cover the surface of your stamp with paint.   Foam stamps work particularly well. Press firmly, and gently peel the stamp away from the fabric for a clean image.  If you aren't pleased with the coverage...or one of your stamps turns out to be a doozy...you can go back in with a paint brush and touch up any problem areas.

The sky is the limit, you can decorate clothing, curtains, pillow cases, aprons...your options are unlimited.  We have an apron that I started collecting hand prints on.  It is a fun place to capture the size of their growing hands.  Their name is written along with their age & the date, in permanent marker.  When they are men, and I am a Grandmother, (hopefully), I can show my grandbabies that their Daddies were once little boys while I am wearing my special apron.

Note:  Do not turn your back for a minute, especially after Preschooler has already had a bath for putting paint in his hair.  Be sure your camera is handy!