Bennett's Late Afternoon Antics...

I didn't think it would take him long..... Hard to tell in the picture, but he is sitting pretty in the brown chair that Lila crawled up in this morning...Now they are obsessed..up and down, up and down....
It's been a crazy Monday...maybe we need to try and get out of the house tomorrow! :)

On another note, congratulations to my college friend Currey and her husband Brenden. They had a baby girl, to join older brother Graves, this morning!
Sidonie Adele - "Sidda" was born today! How sweet is that name?
Can't wait to see the first pictures!

Elise's Mid-morning Antics...

Looks like it is going to be one of those days....As I was making my trips back and forth bringing Lila and Bennett up for their morning nap, Elise was busy painting a picture- or so I thought...I returned to the kitchen to find her ever so proud of her newly discovered face-painting abilities! Luckily, we only use washable art supplies around here and so it wiped off with no problem...
Wonder what trouble Bennett is going to get into later? Surely he isn't going to let me off the hook today....

Lila's Early Morning Antics

After I fed the kids this morning I cleaned everybody up and let them down to "play" in the kitchen and den area...This is the area where I can usually give Lila and Bennett free reign...they are gated in, but they feel like they have freedom and are much happier than when in the corral (so I save that for when I really need it!). Anyway, I walked into the kitchen to take a bite of my own breakfast, and then walked straight back into the den to see what they were up to...and, what you see above is what I saw! Lila had climbed right up into one of our chairs!! She was so proud.....I got her down and then grabbed my camera because she is predictable enough that I knew she would be heading right back for the chair...and, she did!
I don't know what her infatuation with the sock in her hand is....she grabbed it out of the laundry basket (clean clothes) this morning, and has been crawling around with it ever since...
She is a funny girl....

I just told my Mom this story on the phone and so I wanted to hurry up and post the pictures so she could see....As you have guessed I had to put them in the corral so that I could type this post!
Life continues to get more and more interesting around here!

Hope everyone has a great Monday!
Love, Nicole


Low-key Weekend

We enjoyed our very low key weekend just hanging out around the house and getting some things done....As you can see above, David is trying to instill his love of soccer in Elise at a very young age. This is the ONE sport that I refuse to watch with him (I just can't handle 90 minutes for 1 goal- if/when my children are playing that will be a whole other story) and so I think he is hoping to recruit her to watch with him!

We had a great time at Camille's first birthday party Saturday afternoon, but other than that we just stayed in...I got some much needed laundry, ironing, and sewing (I know, I'm old!) done and we just spent time together as a family....

David made cookies today and, as you can see below, they were a hit with all of the kids!

Hope you all enjoyed your weekends as well!
Love, Nicole


The Greatest Show on Earth....

My parents took Elise to the circus in New Orleans last night! Above you can see Elise and "G" getting ready to go enjoy the show!!

Watching the trapeze artists...

Having so much fun! I wish I could have been there to see her expressions as she watched everything and took it all in. My Mom and Dad said she absolutely loved it, and when they asked her what her favorite was she basically listed everything they had seen.

I am trying to get more out of her today, but she knows how badly I want to know and so she won't tell me anything! I have a feeling later, when it is her idea, she probably will be going on and on....Can't wait to hear...

I remember my parents taking us when we were little so it is pretty neat to have them take her. My Dad said he remembers carrying me home like it was yesterday, and yesterday he was carrying his granddaughter home....What a great memory!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Love, Nicole

*I think David did a great job with the music. I am loving it. That was a nice surprise!!


The Music You Hear is Not in Your Head

If you haven't already heard the Jeff Healey Band kicking up Angel Eyes, you will in a second. I added a music feature to the blog for people who may want to read with some background noise. It is located at the far bottom of the page if you want to scroll to another song. Angel Eyes is a song that I have always loved and felt very appropriate for how I feel about Nicole. We danced to it at our wedding. Yes, it was prominenly featured in the american movie classic Roadhouse, but that only adds to the romance, right? I put about 15 songs on the list. Some are Elise and my songs, like Jack Johnson's better together, which she and i played every day for 3 months when she would look at photos of herself on the computer. she loved the music and Jack's relaxing voice.
A few others on there are by Colin Hay (one of my recent favorite singers and writers), Nick Drake (you will recognize who he is when you hear Northern Sky), and Coldplay (obviously a great band and well written songs like Green Eyes, again a song more about me and Nic). I also put some songs about being parents or spouses that in some way sum up random feelings I have about our Nic and the kids (Cinderella, Stay, There Goes My Life, In My Daughters Eyes). Two are admittedly stolen from the blog Bring the Rain, including the title song to that blog as well as All That I Can Say. There is nothing I can say to properly explain the inspiration you will get from reading about the strength and faith of the family on that blog. A few others are just songs we like, like Gravity by John Mayer (me), Waiting For My Real Life to Begin (me), and Prayer for Time (Nic).
If it is totally annoying let me know.


Weekend Recap

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Elise had two birthday parties this weekend! The girl gets invited to more functions than I do! Saturday morning we celebrated Lilly Kate's 3rd birthday. They are friends from mother's day out and also do soccertots together. The party was adorable. It was a safari theme, and Lilly Kate's parents did a great job of creating an actual "safari"- complete with balloon animals and animal sounds- for the kids. They also had a HUGE blow up jumper, which is always a success. Many of the girls, though, were obsessed with Lilly's Barbie jeep. For about the first two hours, things went very smoothly...everyone was sharing well and taking turns driving....

Elise and Ella on a "jungle cruise"...

Jill, Lilly's Mom, even had toilet paper rolls made into binoculars that they got to decorate and then use to look at the animals...Above you can see Elise birdwatching...
After the two hours of sharing, the heat, fatigue, and crash from the sugar high (I REALLY am not making excuses for what you about to see, but I swear my child is not usually like this---you'll see) started to kick in. I am not exactly sure what set her off, but Elise totally collapsed! All we know is that one minute Elise and Amelia were sharing perfectly fine and the next minute they were both crying...Luckily Nikki, Amelia's Mom (AND professional photographer) was there to capture them in all of their glory....
Above they are in their side by side time outs. All we could do was laugh, because really, what is the alternative....Let's just say we headed home shortly after this!!
Sunday we went to a pool party to celebrate another classmate, Harrison's, 3rd birthday as well! I went alone with Elise and so I wasn't able to take pictures because I was watching her in the pool. It was another great party! Luckily, all of us Mom's get along great, so I don't mind carting Elise around to all of her social events. It is lots of fun....(well, for the most part!)

In Lila and Bennett's world, they have been loving playing with the play kitchen. Elise really does a great job of sharing with them.....Here they are cooking dinner last night! HA!

Their most favorite toys right now are these adorable cloth balls they got for their birthday. As usual, I found them on Etsy, my favorite source, and they play with them constantly...I love how they are cute to look at as well! I am telling you, it is the simple things that make them happy!


My Dancing Machine

I was playing around with the kids before bed tonight (with my camera out, of course), and my goal was actually to catch Lila taking a few steps. I know that Aunt Mo would especially like to see. Well, I had gymnastics on in the background and Lila heard the music and, as usual, started her dancing. Luckily, I caught a little on video. This just makes me smile, and I hope it makes ya'll smile too!

I'll try to catch a fun video of Bennett soon as well, as he is also quite entertaining these days!

Elise, my little social butterfly, had TWO birthday parties this weekend. One at which she was on her best behavior, and one where....well, let's just say it wasn't my proudest moment as a Mom! Luckily, my fabulous photographer friend caught it all with her camera and so I will be posting those pics in the near future. We have decided that these pics will definitely be wedding video material! (Hopefully not for another 25 or 30 years though!)

David and I had a great time Saturday night having dinner with the Mothers of Multiples group. The group has been a great support system, as well as a great resource, from which to gather all kinds of info on the whole new world of twins! I have also met some really great friends!

Hope you all enjoyed your weekends as well.

Counting my blessings,



If I could just grow a few more arms...

We'd be all set!! We took our first trip to the pool today because my Mom offered to go with us!
Everyone really had a great time. Pools and babies make me very nervous, but we were extremely careful with all three.
Elise is a breeze because she is so cautious she is never going to let go of you! Bennett and Lila, on the other hand, LOVE to put their faces in the water and kept trying to climb out of their little floats!
It was a fun Friday!

She's up to 5....

Lila is now up to 5 steps....
Getting closer!!!!


Wednesday with Mimi and Grandpa

Lila showing Grandpa the "balls". I think she says that word (her only one!) at least 100 times a day. She is so proud.

Grandpa Ray with Bennett Raymond!

Elise played hopscotch while Mimi watched. She also showed off her swinging skills!

As usual, we got together with Mimi and Grandpa tonight. I have been bad about bringing my camera (I know! Can you believe it?) and so I wanted to post some new pictures of Grandpa with his babies. I think he is secretly disappointed that they are off of baby food, because I really think he liked feeding them (even though he loved to tease me about the "nasty" stuff I would make them eat- fruits and veggies!!!) Now he just has to watch as the mess develops- half of the food goes in their mouths and half on the floor (which is why Baxter is packing on the lbs!). The kids love spending time with them, as do I. Bennett definitely tends to stick with me most of the time, but when he sees Grandpa he is off! Right to him...maybe he somehow knows that is who he is named after?

Elise is very into figuring out how we are all related. Tonight she kept saying, "So, Mimi, you are Su Su's Mom?" "And, you are Mom's Grandmother?" It was really cute.

Family is what it is all about. We are making some major memories here. I am so thrilled that my children are getting to know my Grandparents! How AWESOME is that!

Goodnight everyone!
Love, Nicole

Happy Birthday Su Su!!!!

Happy Birthday Su Su!!

We love you very much and hope you have a WONDERFUL birthday!!
We don't know what we would do without you! You are the best!!!

Thanks for the video idea Nikki...so cute!

3 steps

Big news! Lila took 3 steps last night! Finally!
Hopefully I can get some pictures of her in action today!

Have a good day!
Love, Nicole


Happy Father's Day

"Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad." -Proverb

I put the kids to bed last night (while David was playing some very deserved Father's Day golf) in their special "shout out" to Dad outfits...That way when we woke up this morning they were all ready for the big day! We had a great morning hanging out and eating breakfast together. Unfortunately, David had to squeeze in some yard work, so he took care of that and then off to Church he went with Elise (the new summer church schedule falls right in the middle of Lila and Bennett's nap) for some special Dad and daughter time.
I plan to cook his favorite dinner later today!

My children are very blessed because they have an incredible Dad. He works extra hard while NEVER complaining, and has even before they were born (when we only hoped we would be SO blessed), to enable me to stay home with the kids- something that was a priority for both of us. He never mentions all of the golf he never plays (yesterday was a rare occurrence), or the fact that he wears 10 year old suits (while our kids are dressed to a "t"), or the fact that he drives a 10 year old "mom" car that never has the right time on the clock! All he cares about is giving all he can, both tangibly and intangibly, to his family. Although he is often away at work, he makes the absolute best of the time he is home with the kids. From the moment he walks in the door he is "on". Elise asks for him all day long and her excitement is huge every single day when he gets home. He loves to take them places on his own and plays just like a little kid on the floor with them! As they grow I hope they will begin to realize just how lucky they are! They ALREADY love him so much- it is obvious!!
So, since they are unable to tell him on their own...

Happy Father's Day Dad!
We love you!
Elise, Lila and Bennett


Sweet, yet spunky, Lila

I just wanted to back up my post from yesterday where I mentioned we may have some trouble with Lila - I was more or less joking, but her spirit continues to amaze me! Here are two examples, and this is only from this morning! I don't know how well you can see in the above picture, but she pushed a large blow up ball over to the side of the play pen so that she could STAND ON TOP OF IT- and try to escape! She was also bouncing up and down like a crazy girl on top of it!! Needless to say, that toy was removed from the "kennel'!

A few minutes later, she found a spatula and frying pan in Elise's play kitchen and started beating away! Bennett even cried it was so loud. I think that even encouraged her more...

I love my little devil!!!

Hope ya'll are enjoying the weekend!
Love, Nicole


Sweet Lila

Lila is so proud of herself today with her hair clip! It's almost like she knows she looks like a big girl...
I think I may be in trouble with this one...

Happy Friday!


Soccer Tots

I don't know why these pictures came out so badly, I'll have to do better next time!
Elise had her first soccer tots today. It was really cute! Some friends we met through the multiples group invited us to join their team and we decide it might be good to have at least one scheduled event a week this summer! As usual, Elise started off shy, but then before long she was loving it. It is hard to see, but in the above picture they were practicing "heading" the ball- by using a balloon. Below they chased hula hoops! It is more of an organized drill type setting to help build skills they will need to eventually play actual soccer. It was great exercise and she had a good time reuniting with some friends we hadn't seen in a few weeks!
The best part is that it is inside! So, no worries about sunburn and too much heat!
Can't wait for next week!


1 year check up

Check up went well this afternoon.

Here are their "stats":

Lila 25lbs 2oz and 29 3/4inches
My sweet girl is in the 75% for length and the 95% for weight...(it's ok munchkin!)

Bennett 25lbs 6oz and 30 3/4inches
My little man is in approx the 70% for length and weight.

So, growth wise, they are doing well. Everything else seems to be ok. We will re-evalutate developemental progress again at 15 months. Our Dr. seemed pretty sure that any delays (like them not walking, Bennett not standing unaided, and not too many words said) at this time are most likely due to the fact that they were preemies, and that all will happen on its own time.
So, that was very encouraging!

We are so thankful for our healthy growing babies!

Love, Nicole

Swim Lessons

Elise had her first swim lesson this morning with Will. It was so funny to watch the differences in their personalities!! Will has NO fear. He is such a boy! What a cutie. Elise, on the other hand, likes to play it safe. Definitely not a risk taker! But, she did jump off the side, kick her feet, and put her face in the water (even though it was just for a few seconds!). This is big news for an almost 3 year old! Their favorite part of the lesson was the sucker at the end. Of course.
I'll be back this afternoon to post about Lila and Bennett's 1 year check up.
Have a good day!

Another Big Birthday!

Here's a Happy Birthday Wish to Pops from the "Birthday Princess"!!
Hope ya'll are having a great trip!!
Happy 60th!!


Happy Birthday Emmy!

June is a super busy month for Parnell birthdays and today we wish Emmy (David's Mom) an extra special one!
Hopefully she is having a great time in St. Barth's celebrating!!

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday my Emmy,
Happy Birthday to you !!

(That is Elise singing to you!)

Love you!

(By the way, David is obsessed with his new Wii. He is LOVING it! I think you hands down win best birthday gift ever.)


We went on down to the Audubon Zoo...

David has been working overtime lately, so on his first day off in a while he wanted to do something extra fun with the kids. So, we took a trip to the zoo! It was really nice....
Although it was very hot, we all enjoyed it!
Above you can see Elise pointing out the monkey's play set...

Bennett and Lila stayed in the shade in their awesome new wagon! Of course, everyone had to wear their monkey outfits in the spirit of the zoo! My little monkeys loved the monkeys and sea lions the best!

Lila pointing at one of the animals...

David and his three little munchkins...They love their Daddy and had so much fun spending the day with him!! We topped it off with a trip to Creole Creamery for ice cream with Shelley and Gray. Elise was so excited to see them and was extra chatty!
What a fun day!

We'll all be going to bed early tonight!

Love, Nicole


Simple Fun

While Elise is napping (and Bennett and Lila SHOULD be!) we have been playing fetch with Baxter and hanging out in the kitchen. Now that Lila can say "ball" she is so excited to show it to me over and over. Bennett is attempting as well, but his comes out more like "da"...

I am loving these super cute OshKosh overalls I found dirt cheap at Marshalls. I remember when we were little and Jared LIVED in OshKosh overalls. SO CUTE!!

Look how proud Lila is when she stands up unaided....Now only if she would be brave enough to take a step!!

Hope you all have a great weekend!!!

Love, Nicole


Happy Birthday to You!

I took the kids to Fresh Market today because Elise wanted to pick out a "treat" for her Daddy for his birthday (I think this was partly motivated by the fact that she knows she gets a free cookie when we go there!). Above is the assortment of desserts she picked out. We decided it looked best arranged as a smiley face!

Here is E singing Happy Birthday. She takes it very seriously. Even holding the last note!

Blowing out the candle together!! She is loving all of these birthday celebrations!

Happy Birthday David!
We love you!!

Happy Birthday David!

Happy Birthay David!!
We all feel so lucky to have you! Thanks for being the best Dad and husband. Thanks for working so hard for us! You are such a huge blessing in all of our lives. We hope you have a special day...
We love you!
Nicole, Elise, Lila, & Bennett


The Summer is underway...

I can't believe how hot it is already! It is definitely a challenge to find fun things for the kids to do while keeping them safe from the incredible heat!

Yesterday we were so excited that the Barrois came over to play. We had a great time just hanging out...Ella and Elise played on the swing set and had a blast in our new MAJOR baby pool!

In order to get the sides tall enough so that Lila and Bennett aren't constantly crawling out this is how big we had to go!! But, it is a blow-up and it is super light. So, it isn't a huge deal for David to dump it out every night.

Today I took the kids to story time at the local library. Brought back so many memories. I have always loved to read and I remember that we used to spend a lot of time there when I was little!All three really enjoyed it!!

Not much else is going on around here...

Hope you all are enjoying your weeks!

Love, Nicole


Happy Birthday Lila and Bennett - The Celebration Continues...

We didn't get to do much that was very exciting during the day today, so we made up for it tonight!! We met David after his long day (poor thing) at our favorite kid-friendly Mexican place. As you can see, our children love Mexican food as much as we do!! I think Bennett ate an entire plate of rice by himself!

Had to include a picture of the big sis. She has been so happy for Lila and Bennett today. I am impressed! Although she does mention to squeeze in "I'll be 3 on July 19" to every stranger that walks by....

They were mesmerized when the waiters came to sing Happy Birthday to them!

Lila did not waste a second before digging into the dessert! Why am I not surprised???

As if that wasn't enough sugar (although we only let them have a few bites), we finished the night off with a trip to the snoball stand...

Let's just say there was some of the fastest crawling in history going on at our house after the fun sugar filled night!!

Happy Birthday little ones!! Hope we made your day special....

I want to end by listing some words that come to mind when I think of each of you:
I love watching the little people you are becoming...

Lila: blessing, munchkin, cutie pie, squeezable, makes me smile, feisty, sensitive, caring, leader, inquisitive, impatient (nobody is perfect honey), dancing machine, wide-eyed, excited, brave- yet hesitant, love, angel, heart

Bennett: blessing, little man, big boy, determined, speedy, STRONG, sensitive, laid back, huggable, kissable, cozy, sweet, big smile, flirt, mama's boy, temper (again, we all have our flaws), vocal, cautious, love, angel, heart

I am honored to be your Mom. I love ya'll!
Goodnight sweet little ones!

Love, Nicole