We have safely evacuated ourselves, our children, and our pets out of harm's way to our close friends' the Boerner's in Brookhaven, Mississippi. I guess you could call this our official hurricane hideaway. After allowing us to ride out Katrina here (with our then 6 week old Elise) they so graciously invited us to come back for Gustav. We had hotel reservations in Alabama, but after discussing our options, we decided that hanging out with them sounded like WAY more fun than hanging out in a hotel room with 3 kids, a dog, and a cat! Bax and Tiger are safely boarded at the nearby vet, and we are all enjoying our visit. Elise and Quinn are providing much entertainment and are great for keeping our minds off of the impending storm. Brad and Lissa are great hosts and are total troopers for putting up with the chaos that is now the Parnell family! Especially since Lissa is 8 weeks away from having their baby boy!
I have already taken lots of pictures and I will try to get a few up at some point. For now, we are just praying that the storm will not gain strength and that people in Louisiana and all along the gulf coast will stay safe. Please keep everyone in your prayers as well!


Worth Reading...

If you have time, check out this post. One of the things I love most about "blog world" is theway that it has opened my eyes and let me read so many people's stories- some are heart wrenching, some are hilarious, many of them I learn from, and others are just pure entertainment. One of my favorite parts of the day (can't wait to get our computer back!) is when I catch a moment of quiet and am able to open up my blog, look at the blog roll (on the right side) and see who has a new post! I get sooo excited! Some of the people are our closest friends, and some are complete strangers, but I love reading what is going on with all of them.
As you have read, we have had some behavior challenges lately with Elise, and I just felt like today's post on "Steece's Pieces" totally summed up how both David and I strive to handle those challenges, and the daily challenges of having three very small children. Her post has made me reflect a lot on how much having children does change everything (shows you what is really important), and how much I think I have changed in the past 3 years. She is SOOO right when she says that attitude is everything...and, although I am by no means perfect (or raising quadruplets like she is), thinking positively IS what has allowed us to not only survive, but enjoy the three wonderful blessings we have. Even after the exhausting day yesterday, which David so humorously recounted, when we were laying in bed trying to figure out what we are going to do with her (apparently the 12 time outs she got weren't working!), we had to laugh and smile when we thought about our sweet Elise and how much she has enriched our lives. Reading other peoples stories reminds me, on a daily basis, that for as many people that are out there that would hate to be in my position (the ones that give the looks she is talking about!), there are probably twice as many who would kill to be in my position- staying at home with 3 healthy children. Sadly, there are tons of other people out there that are never able to have children, still others that have had their time with their children cut short and other who's multiple pregnancies didn't go as well as mine did, and so when I think about those things, trying to figure out how to get pee out of a stupid sisal rug really doesn't seem like that big of a deal.
I guess my point is that I am feeling really thankful tonight...Thankful for so much, and for being so blessed, and thankful to Suz from Steece's Pieces, a complete stranger that I admire, for helping me keep it all in perspective! Her post came at the perfect time, and was the perfect reminder of what life is all about....


My little Angel

David here. Had to share Nicole's day through my eyes. Nicole called me this morning to let me know that Bennett got a bigboy haircut. That was the good news. The bad news was that Elise painted her legs with her glitter lipgloss while in her carseat. We let her have a purse that has colors, a cellphone (Ariel phone with gems), and the lipgloss. We have told her before about it only going on lips, but Nicole found her rubbing it on her legs. When Nicole took the purse away Elise told her she didn't need it anymore.
Later Nicole called me because, while in a timeout for doing something, Elise peed on the rug in anger. I was going to try to discipline this time, despite a briefing deadline in federal court. I told her all about how I work hard and the rug costs money and her pee was not a welcome addition to the rug, and she admitted peeing on it. But she told me "You can just get another one". I explained about money, need, waste, etc., but she just seemed to think it was funny. I then told her that I thought Nicole needed to spank her with the spanking spoon (little taps with a wooden mixing spoon). She usually reverses her attitude when these words are spoken, and sure enough, when I told her that it was time to get a spanking with the spoon, my little lady quickly said "Gotta go dad" and tried to hang up the phone. Nicole and I were laughing too hard to continue so I had to hang up.
Lastly, as we sat in Lila and Bennett's room on the floor playing before putting them in bed Elise got on the ottoman to play which she has been told 837 times not to do. I told her to get off it and to put the blanket that usually is laid across it back on and leave it. I put it on and she put her hand on it and inched it off while looking straight into my eyes. I told her to stop, she kept inching it off. So I told her "You might as well go get the spanking spoon because it is about to go down". Her response, "My name is not Midas, its Elise. Don't call me Midas" Nicole lost it and couldn't breathe from laughing, I left the room, and Elise just repeated it over and over as she pulled the blanket on and off.

I really feel for Nicole in the tough days with Elise. I don't know how she does it. Hopefully after school starts next week everything will be a little more structured for Elise. I know Nicole is ready for her to start having some responsibility to help pick up and help watch/play with Lila and Bennett. Right now, the only thing Elise is really on top of is yelling at us when she gets up to go to the bathroom that she is "Going to pee. I need my privacy! (SLAM!!)"

And to think, every day we look at Lila's sweet smile and smirk and think "Crap, she is going to be the problem child".


3 IS the new 2

Kate (from Jon&Kate Plus 8) said this on Oprah and I am in total agreement! At the time I just thought it was such a funny response to answer Oprah's question about the difference between 2 and 3, but now I TOTALLY get what she meant..

Elise has disappeared and the Queen of Sass has arrived...

I could give many, many, examples (from today alone!) of what I am talking about, but I will hold back..I do think I am getting a TINY glimpse into what teenage years could look like, especially when she grunts at me, flips her hair over her shoulder, and walks away- because whatever I had just told her to do wasn't sounding fun!

In addition, she has taken "button-pushing" to a whole new level. I do have to give this example, because I don't want to forget to tell her about this later. David was really late tonight (car situation- fun fun) and I had taken the kids on a walk (by the way, I can BARELY push the party stroller anymore- i am already sore from today!), so I HAD to bathe them. There was no way I could put it off. This is something I usually try to avoid doing- bathing all three at once, because even with the anti-slip mat I am convinced I am going to end up going to the emergency room with a busted chin, or lost tooth, etc... They love to stand up, sit down, splash, try to climb out, splash more, etc....Anyway, I had successfully washed everyones' hair and bodies and was draining the water when Elise decided to stand up and then pee into the tub - basically on top of Lila. Then I see Lila reaching for a cup to drink the water!!!!!!!!! I was about to throw up, but managed to re-wash all of them and get everyone dried off without an incident. Later, as I was tucking Elise in, I asked her, "Why did you tee-tee in the tub?". She looked at me with this little smirk (similar to the one in the above picture) and said, "Mom, I HAD to go the bathroom."

Both of us managed not to laugh although I know we both wanted to.

Anyway, I did continue with a whole speech about why she was wrong etc..but I got the feeling she was thinking about what Mr. Rogers would be about tomorrow or which shoes she was going to wear....

It IS fun (and infuriating at times) to watch her little mind work and to hear the funny things that come out of her mouth...Life definitely wouldn't be the same without the Queen of Sass, but I am hoping her visits can spread out a little and my sweet Elise can be here more often...Although, of course I love her and ALL of her little alter-egos!

Goodnight, Nicole

p.s. Thank goodness David brought his laptop home from work for me today!! I am SOOO missing my computer! I feel out of touch!


"But Mom, I'm going to miss the beach!"

That is what I heard this morning as I broke the news to Elise that we would be leaving today...I can't blame her. I feel the same way!
It was a nice trip, though, and a great way to finish off the summer!

All of the girls in our matching pj's (a little tradition we have)...and NO, I am not responsible for choosing the owl motif, although I do love them!!
Looking for dolphins...

She LOVED the beach so much this year...

G and Bennett...somehow he and Lila got in each others boats...

Erinn and Lila...

Jared and Bennett...
I need to find a picture of Aunt Mo...Her body had enough sun and so she wasn't able to come out yesterday, but the kids had fun playing with her too!
Now back to the real world!!!


Does it have to come to an end?

As you can see, we are still enjoying the sun, sand, and family time in Alabama....
We are all looking forward to Uncle Jared and future Aunt Erinn's arrival today! The boys will be off to play golf and we will probably head back to the beach...
I really don't want this week to end...
Monique made this neat collage and so I thought I would add it! It's been so nice having her computer here...Especially since I know I am heading home to a broken one in a few days!!
So glad to have the pictures already up!


A Couple of Good Ones...

These are two of my favorites so far from this week, so I wanted to get them posted before I forgot! Luckily we aren't feeling any of the effects of tropical storm Fay and the weather has been great here. We are so thankful!!


Life's a Beach

Our annual Legendre family beach trip started on Saturday, and so far we are really enjoying it! Luckily, the weather has been great (well, except for our attempted big night out, but I'll get to that in a minute) and both Lila and Bennett have enjoyed the beach! It was their first time really in the sand, so we didn't know what to expect- but they love it!

When we planned this trip, David found out that there was a Sugarland/LeAnn Rimes concert in the area (Mo is a big fan) and he got tickets for me, my Mom, and Mo. I don't really listen to their music (or really anything, besides Elmo, these days) but I thought it would be a fun night out (and it was very thoughtful of David). The concert was at a neat outdoor amphitheatre, which would have been really cool, except for the fact that a torrential downpour started literally 5 minutes after we got into our seats. We stuck it out for as long as we could, but to make a long story short, tons of drunk people (and smokers) trapped underneath bleachers while it is pouring was not exactly turning into a fun night for us. So, we ended up blowing off the concert (we don't know if it continued or not) and going to TCBY instead! It was fine with me...Still a fun night hanging out with my Mom and sister.

These were thankfully taken before we got drenched!

The kids are really having fun..as the below video shows...Luckily Mo had a great dance CD and they were jamming out. Bennett was not doing his usual dance moves, but Lila is so hilarious in this I had to post it.

For more pictures check out Monique's blog...
Hope everyone is having a good week!


Oh NO!

Our computer went crazy two days ago and I feel like one of my limbs has been cut off! Not only is email my main source of keeping in touch with friends (I don't have to attempt to hear a conversation over the three munchkins), but obviously I hate to be away from blog world too long...not to mention that we have been hoping we will be able to save all of the pictures we have not uploaded to Snapfish yet AND all of my stationery templates that Mo and I have worked so hard on...
Anyway, there are obviously much worse problems in life, but I am really missing the computer! So, I am over at my parents borrowing theirs for a little while, while my Mom so kindly chases my kids around downstairs!

I will have to add some pictures later...I have a really cute one of Bennett and my Grandpa Ray from this week. My Grandpa had a pretty bad fall last Friday and broke his shoulder...He is doing ok, but is in a lot of pain...Seeing the kids seems to cheer him up alot so we have been trying to visit often this week. Bennett could not understand why I wouldn't let him crawl up onto Grandpa's lap like he usually does, so finally, Grandpa just said, "Give him to me!" So we let him sit on the "good side" of his lap for just a few seconds...this seemed to pacify him! He definitely loves his Grandpa, and so I think we chose his middle name well!
Elise also had her last Soccertots on Thursday and was so thrilled to receive a trophy! She had a great time, made some new friends, and it definitely was nice to have that scheduled outing every Thursday. I really appreciate all of the other moms of multiples that helped me out with the kids!

Hope everyone is doing well, and I hope to be back to my computer before too long...I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be an easy fix and hopefully we can avoid having to buy a new one!

Love, Nicole


Rainy Day

I know I tend in this "scrapbook" to always focus on the more fun things we do and all of positive things about having three little ones so close in age(which is not usually that hard); but, let's be real, I have my days where it is a little more challenging than others to do that...

Today started off so well with the season premiere of Seseme Street (so sad, isn't it- but I am sick of the reruns!!), and we had Will Kitchen over to play (a little payback to BK for last week), and so the morning went really well...

Elise and Will creating masterpieces...

Will was pretending to snore and cracking Elise up...They are cute playing together...

Anyway, how quickly things can change...
Lila and Bennett have been in the process of giving up their morning nap for a while now, and this has been a very interesting process...I will say that I did not realize how much the morning nap (aka two baby break for me) was helping me out. Now that there is only about a 1 hour time frame during the entire day where all three are asleep (if I'm lucky), I am finding it pretty impossible to be very productive. I didn't realize how much I was getting done, aka phone calls, laundry, picking up, etc..while they were sleeping..For the past few weeks, by the afternoon when I get them all down I am so pooped I usually lay down myself! (I must defend myself- they are some HEAVY babies! And, they love to be held!)

Today, when they woke up from their 45 minute (NOT LONG ENOUGH- for them or me!!!) nap this afternoon, they both woke up on the wrong side of the bed...and this is a pretty good example of how things have been going through this "transition" time....

They were both screaming, so I carried them both downstairs, and then I offered them milk, I tried holding them both, rocking them, then taking turns calming one (which just ticked off the other one even more), all the while praying that they didn't wake up Sleeping Beauty (Elise) upstairs and wishing I could grow two more arms!! Finally, when I was about to cry, I decided to film it, and laugh instead!

I kept it short and sweet, but just add about 45 minutes on to this...

Luckily, my Mom was in town today, so after being on the "verge"...I called in reinforcements! Too bad she isn't here everyday! I always really appreciate her help...

*Please don't read this post as a pity party on my part in any way...I hope it goes without saying that I am eternally grateful for my three healthy children and the fact that I get to spend the majority of my time with them... I wouldn't want to be anywhere else! I just thought it would be funny (later on) to look back and remember how many of our "everyday" days actually went...especially this summer...

I think I am going to take some good advice from Jon and Kate Plus 8 and get some earplugs...

Happy Monday!

Love, Nicole

By the way, in the time it took for this post to load, Bennett has created a "poo-trail" down the hallway of the den. Lovely. Off to get the Clorox Anywhere.

A few things I want to remember....

1. How Elise, after attending her second birthday party of the weekend, looked at me as I strapped her into her car seat and said, "Wasn't that a nice party?"

2. How Lila, when she catches a glimpse of shoes, throws a complete tantrum until you put them on her! (I think this may be a hereditary problem)

3. How Bennett cannot really walk, but can basically scale any inanimate object within a matter of seconds. And how he celebrates when he gets to the top!


Night on the town!

It had been about a month since we last ventured out to a "real" restaurant (if that's what you call cheap - but yummy - Mexican), so when we got a last minute invite from friends last night we decided, why not? Well, several temper tantrums and food all over the floor later- we remembered! I think expectations may have been a little high to expect a 5 year old, two just turned 3 year olds, a 2 1/2 year old, and three 1 year olds to sit still for any length of time!!! It was actually fun catching up with the Barrois and Richardson families, but I think we may have enjoyed our conversation a little more from the comfort of one of our homes (where the kids could run free and explore)...and I think we'll go that route next time! :)

Unplanned, Lila and Camille had on their matching seersucker outfits which Kimberly and I scooped up at an awesome sample sale in the spring...Bennett has LONG outgrown his coordinating outfit, but his baby blue blends nicely! (David is always teasing me about how I try to coordinate them- I just can't help it...I know they won't agree to it forever!)
Had to get a pic of the cuties!

Then we had the "big kids". Elise and Ella were not in a picture mood- but those Richardson girls know how to pose! How cute!
Thanks for a fun (and exhausting!) night out!


A Cah! A Cah! (translation A car! A car!)

My sweet friend Bonnie Kate came to pick up Elise to play for a little while (she definitely needed out of the house...can we just say that boredom breeds bad behavior?) and, in addition, she dropped of some toy trucks for Bennett (I am thinking she noticed the lack of "boy" toys around here!). How sweet is that? I am definitely not implying that my children are deprived in any way AT ALL, but it is probably true that we have not bought Bennett many cars, trucks, and that sort of thing- (hey, he has to have some things to put on his Christmas list for Santa, right?) Anyway, he is LOVING these trucks! He prefers to call them "cahs" with a very funny Boston-type accent! But, I will take it- he still doesn't really say Mommy or Daddy so I take any words with any accents he chooses! One thing I found interesting is that he immediately started pushing them around and making noises (sort of like vroom, vroom...) to go with it! So, they ARE just born this way!! So funny. I am so thankful that God blessed us with this sweet boy. He is my little respite from all of the girly DRAMA of the day!! (Although I am JUST as thankful for ya'll too E and Lila!--Don't want this haunting me later!)

Hope you are all enjoying your day! TGIF!


How is it.....

...that two children, who have still not fully mastered the art of walking or talking, know how to answer the phone??????
(ok, so technically it is a Barbie computer mouse that looks like a phone)

Apparently, they received some important phone calls today...

Entertaining as always....



Happy Birthday Jared!
We love you!! Looking forward to spending time together at the beach!

Also, Happy Birthday Nikki!
You're the best!

Love, The Parnells


Catching up

Just today, Bennett has gone from not standing unaided at all to taking steps!!
Yeah Bennett! He accidentally took a few the other day, but today he knew what he was doing and has been focused on his practicing! It is so funny to me how he takes off, while Lila is so cautious and hesitant. Quite the opposite to their usual personalities in most other situations!

Lila, on the other hand, gave me quite a scare today. I put them down for their afternoon nap and after a while heard a big thud from their room. I didn't have the video monitor on and so I went up to see what was going on. I was pretty convinced someone had climbed out of the crib. Was definitely not expecting what I saw- Lila was doing full blown body slams onto her tummy in her crib-- like it was a trampoline! She was having a blast!!! That girl......

Please remind me of this if I ever say life is boring....although with my three I can't imagine those words coming out of my mouth! Too much fun!



I am sitting here very patiently (ha!) waiting for my little munchkins to wake up...Usually, by this time of day I am hoping they will sleep a little longer, but today is different. I just got back from a wonderful weekend away spent with the irreplaceable Dianne and Shelley (and Russell has now been officially added to that posse as well)! Although I missed David and the kids terribly, it was a much needed re-connect with two very important people in my life. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time....I really, really, just loved being with them....
David is the best for arranging everything and for taking care of the kids all weekend! Not that he needed it, but I think he had a little help from both my Mom and his Mom, so I am super thankful to them as well. It was easy to relax and enjoy my time away because I knew everyone was in good hands!

Below are Dianne and Russell's pride and joys...they are the sweetest dogs ever!



Hoping to get a decent pic from either Shelley or Dianne of us...I mostly took pictures of the dogs!!