Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nutella is the Devil.

But unfortunately .... it's probably the yummiest thing since cookie dough ice cream.

On our recent grocery shopping trip we stopped by the peanut butter aisle to pick up a jar.  Cale and I only eat "Natural" peanut butter.  Jif's to be exact.  The first time I tried it I was skeptical and wasn't quite sure if it was a taste I could acquire.  That was 6 months ago.  I tried regular peanut butter the other day and literally had to spit it out.  It was terribly salty and just yucky.  Ha ha.  "Yucky".  Who says that?  Oh wait ... someone who has two little ones.  Anyway ... I had been extremely curious about buying a jar of Nutella.  I read the front label.  Put it back on the shelf.  And then picked it back up again and threw it in the cart.  Oh well ... what the hell ... I'll give it a shot.  At $3.18 a jar, I'll give up some Sonic drinks for a few days if I don't like it.  It sounded too healthy and flavorless and actually didn't look all that appetizing on the jar.

When we got home I opened it up and smelled it.  It smelled like sweeeeeet chocolate.  I then looked at the back of the label for the first time.  It had like 4 times the amount of sugar than the peanut butter we buy.  I took a piece of bread and spread some Nutella on half of it. 


It tasted like I was eating chocolate frosting.  In fact ... it's probably better than chocolate frosting.

I've come to the conclusion that Nutella is the devil.

Despite it being sooooooo incredibly unhealthy for you ... I can't imagine the Topinka house without a jar now.  Unfortunately, I'll only be able to eat it once a week on "cheat" day. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Maybe I'll Run Around Naked

Or something.

I just took a moment and realized that I have my whole house to myself.  Although I love all of you ... I think it's time for some ME-time.  In other words ... I'm going to go do some dishes and hang up some new blinds.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I Pinned It ... And I Did It!!

I actually completed a project that I pinned off Pinterest

Cash is needed some new organization for all of his superheroes/action figures, happy meal toys, costumes, etc.  So I stole a pin and facelifted some cheap plastic drawers.  Currently we were using them for extra clothes, socks, burp rags, etc.  But it's all just extra stuff that needs to head to the garage sale room.

It may not be a swanky organizer from Ikea that I was hoping for ... but it'll do for now...



It's not a huge improvement.  But it'll work for now.

Now off to my next projects from Pinterest...  Halloween Party/Decor.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

You Listen Here Chickadee - He Is Too A King!

Last night Papa and Busha kept Christopher while we went to Cash's meet-the-teacher and orientation for preschool.  When we went into the classroom the teacher sent all the little ones in a room next door to color while the teacher talked to all the parents.  The kiddo's started to get bored with coloring so they went outside to play.  The teacher's son (who is in college to be a teacher as well) went outside with them while Ms. Cindy finished speaking to all of us.  I'll have to admit ... there was one point I actually broke down  and became a little emotional.  She talked about how they will be going on field trips and how parents are more than welcome to come.  And that they'd have two programs which are held at the high school because over 200 people sometimes end up coming (when you throw in grandparents and aunts and uncles, etc).  And how she plays the Barney cleanup song 9 times because that's usually how long it takes for them to pick up the room once free time is over.  And how quickly they'll learn their new friends' names.  And how those friends very well could be their best friend from today until they graduate high school.  {High School}!!!  How dare you talk about my son going to high school?!  (just joking).  But still.  I'm not even ready for him to start preschool yet!


Ms. Cindy blew the whistle and all the kiddos came running inside full of hugs for their Mom and Dad.  Which again ... tugged on my heartstrings a bit.  How long will the hugs hi and bye last?  The day I don't get a hug or kiss when he tells me hi or bye is the day I will have to be put on an antidepressant.

When we got in the car Cale asked him if he met any knew friends and what their names were.  Little Ryder was his good friend.  They shook hands.  And little Natalie was naughty.  That's easy to remember.  "Stay away from naughty Natalie".  We asked why she was naughty.  He said that she was playing in the castle on the playground yelling she was Queen of the Castle (same name as my first blog title, lol).  Cale asked why that was so mean. Cash said, "Because I went in that castle because I wanted to be King and she started yelling at me to GET OUT OF HER CASTLE.  No boys were allowed."  And so starts the "Boys/Girls Only" clubs.  There's 10 kids total in Cash's class (we live in a verrrry small town).  Out of the 10 kids, only 2 of them are girls.  So the boy's club would beat the girls as far as head count goes.  But unfortunately ... I'm pretty sure the girls can hold their own.  They're tough little cookies.

So after Cash told me this it seemed to of bothered him a little as he brought it up again today.  So I decided we'd make him a King's Crown and boost his ego up again.

If you want to make your son/daughter a crown ... here's what you'll need:

* Crown template printed off the internet or hand-drawn
* Colored paper (we used cardstock and construction paper)
* Glue
* Beads, jewels, or other decorations (I had some broken pieces of jewelry and a pair of bedazzled jeans I bought at the Goodwill for a Halloween costume and used those - see pic below)
* Scissors
* Ruler
* Stapler
* Tape


1)  Print out your crown template from the internet (I googled "Crown Template" and clicked google images and printed one off there) or if you're good (which I am definitely NOT) at drawing ... draw your own.

2)  Cut out the crown and sticky tape the pattern onto the back of cardstock or other sturdy paper/cardboard.  We used two pieces of cardstock glued together.

If you have little LITTLE ones that are getting a little antsy ... I suggest either waiting until they're napping or until it's snacktime.  Obviously Christopher wasn't in the nap kind of mood so he's noshing on some crackers while Cash and I worked on his crown...

3)  Cut out some decorative designs for the crown and other embellishments and glue them on.  Here's where the King/Queen will come into place...
Let him/her pick out where he/she wants the cutouts, glitter, beads, crystals, or other motifs to go on the crown.  Or else your crown wearer is going to be upset (I learned the hard way).
Let them glue them down as well if you trust them.

4)  Cut out a band of cardboard/sturdy paper about 3 cm wide and fit it to their head.  Staple the ends to the side of the crown and cut off the excess cardboard/paper.

5)  Place some stick tape over the staples to protect the head from scratches.

And VOILA!  Your King/Queen's Crown is finished...

And the King decided to get a little silly ...

What?  Don't all Kings have Kool-aid stains on their County Fair t-shirts?

And then of course a crown just wasn't good enough.  We had to complete the costume with a cape (is that what they call it?) and a sword (which I find out I am terrible at making).  Who can resist this adorable little County Fair King ;-) ...

So take THAT "Naughty Natalie"!

After we were finished making his crown Cash told me I was the best Mommy.  I said thank you and started cleaning up.  A couple minutes later he came back up to me and told me he changed his mind, I WASN'T the best Mommy.  I asked him who was.  He said, "whatever Mommy lives at the park.  I don't know her name."  So.  If you don't live at the park ... you're not a good Mommy.  Just lettin ya know.

If you decide to make a crown for your kiddo ... show me a picture.  I'd love to see him/her wearing it!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Wedding Fit For A Kardashian

I woke up early this morning to watch Good Morning America to see if they showed any pics of Kim Kardashian's wedding. Royal Wedding or not, I love weddings.

As I watched some of the snippets, I began to wonder just how different she is than every other bride. If you take the grand scale out of the equation, I can't help but believe that she had the same butterflies and concerns that so many of us felt on our special day.

* Is this waterproof mascara? If I cry, I can't have mascara running down my cheeks.
* Is my hair right? Do we have enough hairpins in my hair to keep my tiara/veil in place?
* What if I trip walking down the aisle? Will Dad be able to catch me in time?
* Did Cale remember the rings? I'm not there to remind him to grab them before the wedding.
* Is the photographer here yet? They better not be late.
* What about the flowers? Did I order enough for everyone?
* What about the caterer. I hope everyone likes the chicken.
* Speaking of chicken, I hope that the DJ doesn't play the chicken song. I really hate that song.

I wish them the best for the rest of their lives. Marriage has its ups and downs, but I can't imagine navigating through life without my best friend.

5.5 years and still going strong....

Good Weekend

Cale came home from work early (10:30 am) this last Friday and surprised us.  He told us all to get dressed ... we were going for a drive.  We didn't really go anywhere but we always have a good time taking family drives together.  Oh the things my almost four-year-old tells or asks us.  For instance:  "Mommy, what is that smell?"  Me:  "What's it smell like?"   Cash:  "It smells like stinky eggs."  Me:  "Well .... I dont know, I don't smell anything."  Cash:  "I think it's your breath."  UGH!  Pleeeeease preschool teacher ... brush your teeth.  Or else my child will let you know about it.

A word of advice from my husband.  Do not eat Taco Bell the day before you are taking a 5-hour road trip.  He can promise you that it will take longer than five hours to get home.  Or you'll at least be riding home with all the windows open.

Friday night we put the boys to bed early since neither of them really had a nap.  Then Cale and I finished off the case leftover in the fridge and decided to play a buzzed game of "Go Fish" using our Go Diego Go! playing cards - which btw, we found at a garage sale for a whole 25 cents.  Below is a picture of my hand (bottom cards (2 left)) and allllllllllllll of Cale's cards (top).  I must say ... I'm a pretty good Go Fish player. (excuse the quality of the picture ... a) I was tipsy    and  b) I took it with my cell phone.).....

Even though I said I'm a pretty good Go Fisher ... I lost this hand.  Don't ask me how.  My excuse:  I had a little TOO many Michelob Ultra's.

Saturday we had a good day also.  Since Christopher always takes a morning nap at 10 am, I went ahead and sent the husband in to work until noon to get some overtime.  Right now we're saving as much money as we can so that we can have the best Disney World vacation ever.  Only 13 more months to go!!!  We've been reading our Disney World books to Cash as his bedtime story for the last few months.  He knows that he's going to get to go ... he just doesn't know when.  He's becoming just as obsessed with it as Cale and I are.  He's going to know how to get from point A to point B before he even gets there.  My goal is to stay one extra day and head over to the Harry Potter place at Universal Studios as well.  I've only been to Universal once when I was little and the only ride I really remember is that earthquake ride and the "Jaws" ride.  How can you forget that ginormous shark's mouth trying to eat your boat?!...

How could a 6-year-old forget that?!  Thanks Mom and Dad for the wonderful memories.  At least I know that I won't be that torturous to MY child and make HIM ride those rides.  Jeesh.

I made some Monkey Bread Saturday morning for breakfast for Cash and then Cale and I made some nacho's for lunch.  Saturday is a "cheat day" for our diet.  Before you say anything ... it's a real thing to have a "cheat day" - look it up.  We're on the Body for Life lifestyle change and so far it's working out great.  I've lost 7 lbs in two weeks.  We also took measurements at the beginning of the diet and we'll measure again in a month.  I feel better and I have more energy.  After lunch we went to some Goodwill shops (I'm into rebuilding or revamping old furniture and finds into something spectacular).  I'll post pics once I actually complete something, lol.  And then Cale took us all to get ice cream for a snack.  I love ice cream surprises.  We drove down to Mulvane for Old Settler's and took in some people watching before heading back home for a movie and some take-out.

Sunday we went school supply and grocery shopping.  Did you know that preschoolers have to buy school supplies?  Miss Cindy's Sunshine Bunch class does anyway.  And did you know that it's possible to spend 30 bucks on a preschoolers school supplies?  Well it is.  I know I know ... that's probably pocket change compared to an elementary, middle school, or high school student's bill.  But still.  Oh well ... it'll be worth it.  Parent's Magazine said that children who attend preschool enter kindergarten with better pre-reading skills, richer vocabularies, and stronger basic math skills than those who do not.  Cash is a sponge.  He went to pre-K childcare when I was working and learned a tremendous amount of things that I, nor Cale, had the time to teach him.  He knows his Pledge of Allegiance.  He can count to 30.  Of course his alphabet.  All of his colors.  A couple of letters.  Sign language for please and thank-you.  And sooooo much more.  Since I've been staying at home with him we work on his letters and recognizing numbers and shapes by doing activities.  I was constantly looking stuff up on the internet to figure out ways to teach him these things.  And then Pinterest came along.  Pinterest has change the T house for the better.  Sure I probably spend a little more time on it then I should.  But we have, believe it or not, actually made or done some of the things that I've pinned.  Like coffee can stilts.  The letter "C" as in "If you give a Cat a Cupcake".  We're having fun and making memories.  But preschool will be good for him.  And it's only 2 days a week.  But from this point on ... he's in school.  He'll have summers off for the next 13+ years and that's it.  My big boy.
After the shopping trip we all went back home and took a nap.  But of course Mommy only gets a 15-minute power nap.  I needed to clean and get some laundry done.

It was a great weekend.  Besides the surprise 30 bucks we spent on an adorable little preschoolers school supplies and the surprise ice cream treat Daddy bought us .... we didn't hardly spent any money.  Which means we'll put another $100 in the Disney World fund.  WooHoo!!

Oh wait .... I forgot .... I'm getting my hair done tonight.  That's okay though ... Mommy deserves it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hey You!

Cale:  "Let's go inside choo, chri, ama, pope, mam, --- whatever your name is."

Cash:  "My name is Cash."

My husband is starting to sound like my 75 year old grandma.  Haha.

No Expectations

Cale brought up a good point.  I shouldn't "expect" people to watch the boys.  It's not their job or duty to babysit.
The end.  No more about that subject.  We're over it.

I went to Walmart this morning at 5:30am.  That's the time to go when you're a mom.  You can get in and out in under 30 minutes.  You don't spend any less unfortunately .... but if your kid starts screaming, it's really not that big of a deal because there's nobody in there.

It's house cleaning time.  UGH.  Do you guys to as much laundry as I do?  It seems like I'm doing laundry 5 out of 7 days a week. 
Have a good day and go eat some candy.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Lot Of Catching Up

Here's what we've been up to the past couple of months...

Cale has discovered a new love.  He "has" her every Saturday on his "free day"
Her name:  "Chicken-n-Waffles" and then you throw a cold Schlitz in with it and it becomes the epitome of Whiskey Tango (if you catch my drift).

Cash has decided that if a doughnut maker, a Husker football player, or a Rockstar (which he already is in my book) doesn't work out .... He might like to be a fireman.

(these two pics are from our town's Parents as Teachers event)

And Christopher ... well ... he just wants to be like his big brother ...

While the mister and I have yet to have a date ... we did get a night without Cashie which helps a little bit.  We don't have to deal with arguing with him over bathtime and bedtime.  And we only had one kiddo to get in and out of the car when we went to the store.  And Christopher is more into looking around new places then dragging us to the toy section in every store (which btw, Cash has memorized the location of the toy department in EVERY store and knows the shortest route to them all).  All in all ... it gave Cale and I the chance to actually miss our big dude.  We talked about him a lot and it also gave Christopher a chance to have mama and dada all to himself. 

Cale and I are dealing with the "no date" thing day by day.  It's getting easier to handle.  I still think about it daily (usually when the boys are having a bad day and I'm needing a break) but it's not as frustrating as it was.  The way we see it:  It is what it is.
We play games at night or read together.  We spend some extra money and have "date night in".  And when I really think about it ...  the strongest couples I know, NEVER get time away from their kids.  My cousins are a great example.  They live out of state away from all of their family.  They don't know many people in the town they live in and they haven't gone on a date since their child was born (6 years ago).  They've been married for 10+ years but yet ... they're like newlyweds.  The way they look at eachother's eyes.  The way they speak to eachother.  It's a love that I envy and hope to regain.  Not that I ever lost it.  But when you have a constant little one tugging on your pants, you get into a certain "swing" and forget about small stuff like that in your marriage.  Cale and I are as much in love now as we've ever been.  Our family of 4 is all we have.  He's got my back and I've got his.  If I didn't have him in my life I'd be nothing more than a pile of mush.  But for now ... we're enjoying these 17 1/2 years as a family.  Sure it would still be nice for someone to step up to the plate and offer to watch the boys while he and I went to dinner and to go see a new movie.  I am with these little guys 24/7.  And only about 30 minutes of that 24 hours is alone with my husband.  We have to sneak out the front door if we want to be alone, lol.

On that note....
We're thinking next month that my Mom will keep both boys overnight one weekend.  She lives in the town where our State Fair is and my sister and niece always drive up the day before and stay the night at my Moms.  We were thinking that we could go up there that same night, spend time at the fair with the family, and then Cale and I could drive back and actually have a night to ourselves.  And then my sister could bring the boys back on their way home.
Even if that doesn't work out where Chrissy ends up staying the night, I know that Cashie can't wait to go stay up there again so he will at least go and it'll give Cale and I 1/2 of a break, lol.

What else, what else...
We have been very busy lately.  Every weekend it seems we have something going on.  We plan it that way though.  We actually got Cashie to ride more than just one ride at the Wheatfest.  Here's a couple pics from that night:

My little boy is growing up so fast.  Just last year you couldn't get him to go on anything more than a slide.  Now the kid is bored with the spaceship and dump trucks and is ready to ride the Spider/Octopus.  (It's Mommy who's not quite ready for him to ride those rides).
We've starting planning a trip to Disney World.  We're planning on late September/early Octoberish 2012.  I can't wait to see my little boys' faces light up when they see the castle.  Hell ... I'm excited just for Cash to experience the plane ride.  We're not telling them we're going.  While Christopher will still be too little to really realize it ... Cash is going to go nuts.  We'll tell him once we're at the airport, boarding the airplane.  It gives my goosebumps just thinking about it.  He calls the castle:  Mickey's Castle (instead of Cinderella's Castle) and I know from experience ... that's when it really hits you where you are:  Standing in front of "Mickey's" Castle.  I'm shedding a tear now just thinking about it.
Disney World has held a special spot in Cale and I's heart for over 10 years now.  I went once when I was 16 with my Dad, Aunt, and cousins.  And then Cale and I went back in 2001 for our first getaway.  While I had already told him: "I love you" ... it never really sank in how much until we were in Disney World.  I would've married that man that trip had he asked me.  We then went three other times after that.  In my opinion, it truly is the happiest place on earth.

The kiddos: 
Christopher is a crawling machine.  He's fast!  And he's pulling up on EVERYTHING.  Pulling up on furniture (and things) doesn't come without a price though.  He's got a new bruise on the forehead to prove it.  Poor babe.  Here's a couple pictures of what I could snap before I had to chase after the little escape artist...

And Cash.  Cash is getting easier to handle.  He still has his moments but as I said earlier ... my little boy is growing up.  He's going to be 4 in less than two months.  He starts preschool in a month.  He's learned to write the word: "Hi" and we're working on his name now.  He can write the letter "C" so far. 
Here's a recent picture of my sweetie:

I think I'm going through a "funk" right now.  The fact that Cash is starting preschool gets me all teary eyed.  It just seems like yesterday that this little constant companion of nine months emerged with his eyes wide open.  He was placed in my arms.  I could feel his heartbeat reverberating through mine.  Friends and family that came to visit cautioned that time is elusive.  That he'll grow up faster than I can imagine and to savor every moment.  But I didn't listen.  It was all to cliche and my son had only just arrived.  This baby was toxic.  The way it looked like he wore a rubberband bracelet around his wrists because of the creases of chubbiness.  The birthmark he had on his chest.  His dark brown hair and blue eyes.  The way he sounded like a little baby lamb when he cried.  I was filled with a sense of purpose, hope, and love.
I quit my job to stay at home with him.  There was never enough money but we at least had more time. 
He swings from monkey bars and climbs trees.  He wears superhero masks and costumes.  There are marathon bedtime story rituals, endless questions about how things work, and monsters in the closet.  The megablocks that were once too big for him to grasp have now turned into lego pieces that are even beginning to grow smaller.  His lego castles are becoming more intricate.  He loves KISS and the Ramones.  He's a mini-version of his Daddy.  He loves his dog and she loves him back.  She still lays by his bedroom door as he sleeps. 
I've defined myself as a mother for the last 3 years 10 months.  Stop growing Cash.  PLEASE, I beg you, STOP growing up.  Who will I be when you turn 18?  Can I find a new purpose?
As I sit here and write this snippet you came in and hugged me.  You can see my eyes are full with tears.  I try to be strong for you, Cash.  But sometimes ... crying is just a sign that I've been strong for too long.  Remember that.  Remember that it's okay to cry.  I love you son.  To the moon and back.  I love you.
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

ANYWAY....  Happier note ....

We had a family reunion in Omaha at the end of July. 

It was good times.  I hadn't seen some of those people since my wedding.  And the little ones got to meet some of their cousins for the first time.  Here's a couple pictures of the water fight they had:

(yup ... he got in trouble for that one ... NEVER shoot the photographer!)

They all ganged up on the cop.  "What's he gonna do about it?"

And what's a waterfight without tears?!  Poor Jax :(

We also visited our local garden museum:  Botanica.   That was an experience.  But we all had fun.  They opened up a new children's exhibit.  Here's some pictures from that:

Giving caterpillar kisses  xoxox


Big brother removing the leaf from little brother's mouth.

Little brother wondering why the hell big brother just did that.


It's been a busy and fun past couple months.  Sorry this was so long.  I promise to stay up to date this time.

But for now ... give all your kiddos a hug and slow dance in the kitchen.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I'm Such A Slacker

Or just plain SWAMPED lately.  But I'll catch up.  I promise.  Don't go anywhere.

Thanks, love, and M&Ms