The New Man in my Life

I tend to stay focused when blogging on things going on with the kids, but I am so excited about my new man that I just had to spread the joy! I am obsessed with Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps! I especially love, love the peppermint one...as those who know me well know I love anything that smells pepperminty and fresh! This soap does it all! My favorite new use for it is mopping my tile floors. I am doing this more frequently now with the house on the market and Dr. Bronner's is AMAZING! Diluted in hot water, it not only makes my kitchen smell super, but it gets up all of the stickiness and dirt so easily! BEST part is (here is where this ties into my kids) that I don't have to worry at all about them playing on floors that have been cleaned with yucky chemicals!! A huge bottle is $15, but it lasts F-O-R-E-V-E-R!!
Try it!!!
(And no, I am not the newly paid spokesperson for Dr. Bronner!)

On a side note I am now even more eternally indebted to my Mother. The kids and I went on a walk with Aimee and Mitchell this morning and while we were walking I got a call- someone wanted to come look at the house. Of course. It was about 12:30, they were coming at 3 and the house was a disaster! Luckily, my Mom was in town today, so I called to see if I could put the kids down for naps at her house (and drop off Baxter and Tiger) and then run home and clean before the showing. Of course she said yes. So I set up the pack-n-play for Bennett, put Lila in my old crib, and set up Elise in the game room with a pallet on the floor and a t.v. to watch (thinking she would definitely fall asleep if she laid still for more than 4 minutes). Rush home to clean like crazy (and mop with my favorite soap!). Don't hear from her the whole time I am cleaning, so I am assuming she is doing what she needs to do and my kids are asleep. Not so much. Actually, she was cleaning up dog pee (from my dog) in her den and playing with Lila (who had refused to take a nap). She had tried to get Lila to go to sleep for an hour, and finally gave up. Meanwhile, Bennett had slept through all of Lila's protests, only to be awoken harshly by my barking dog, when my Mom went in to get Lila. To add to the fun, Tiger had been continuously meowing loudly from his kennel in the garage (her dog, Rex and Tiger do not feel the love) the entire time. In addition, Elise never feel asleep due to all of the chaos. So, you can imagine the look on her face when I got there at 3 to escape for the showing. I decided we had worn out our welcome, put the kids and animals back in the car, and left.....


Mardi Gras Pictures- Thanks Lissa!!

I'm not sure why I am not able to make these larger, but I guess they are better than nothing!
Crazy computers....


Awesome Weekend, Bumpy Morning

We had a great weekend this weekend....I had been looking forward to some girl time with Shelley and Dianne this weekend for a while...Sadly, due to an illness in her family Dianne had to cancel her visit last minute...So sad! I miss you, D!! Shelley asked if I could still come visit, and with David's blessing off I went to New Orleans on Saturday afternoon....We had a great time catching up and visiting!! These are exciting times in the Adams' lives as well! I spent the night at their adorable house Uptown on Saturday night and Sunday morning David brought the kids down to meet up with us for a little MARDI GRAS at the annual Otis Party/Thoth Parade! We were so excited that the Boerner's also made the trip down, and we were thrilled to finally meet the adorable Tyndale! What a cutie!!! After a few minutes of shyness, Elise and Quinn hit it off as usual and had a blast spending time together. As was to be expected, David and I spent most of our time chasing double trouble around...although Bennett, Elise, and Quinn did stay up in the ladder for most of the parade...Lila, as usual, was not going to pass up an opportunity to be held. But, she did periodically get down for "dance breaks" when a good band passed!! We had no hands free for pictures, but Brad and Lissa got some and I am hoping to steal some of theirs soon! The weather was absolutely beautiful, and it was so great to catch up with old friends...many who we had not seen since the exact party last year...one of our first big outings with Lila and Bennett!

This morning, on the other hand, got off to a rough start....I am not exactly sure how it happened, but Elise took a really, really nasty fall off our one of our counter stools onto the tile floor. She didn't catch herself at all and hit her head pretty badly. I am so grateful that David's ride to work was running late and so he happened to be here with me. It was pretty scary, but with the two of us here we were able to calm her down and get some ice on it (not as much as I would have liked). I am also extremely grateful that she seems to be (other than the HUGE bump on her head) completely fine. She hasn't exhibited any of the warning signs that the Dr's office instructed me to look out for....
I really don't think these pictures do it justice....it is pretty freaky looking!

She wanted a band aid so badly, but I didn't want to put anything on her head that would interfere with whatever swelling needed to happen...so, we compromised and put a princess band aid on each of her hands...

My poor sweetie....
On a superficial note, she may have her first make-up experience for Jared and Erinn's wedding if the purple bruise isn't gone....It is only a couple of weeks away, and by the early looks of it, this is going to be a nasty bruise...

In Lila and Bennett's world it was time for some flower girl and ring bearer hair cuts! Definitely don't want them to look too freshly shorn (is that a word?) for the wedding, so I decided to take them in today. As you can see, they were both looking a little shaggy (I do LOVE this picture though- you can see how much taller Bennett is than Lila!)!!!
Lila just got a teeny-tiny trim, as we are begging for her hair to grow...But, it did help soften the CRAZY look she had going on...She is such a performer for the camera, as you can see....
As usual, Bennett has his Jim Carrey from Dumb and Dumber look going on...His hair is just so straight and so fine (hello, mini-David) that there is really nothing they can do to prevent this...But, give him a week or two and he'll be looking sharp!
I think they completely depleted the hair salon's supply of suckers, as the hair stylist had to give them one after the other, after the other, after the other to get them to sit still....was quite the experience!
No Mother's Day Out this week due to Mardi Gras, so it should be an interesting and exhausting week! I am praying for some good weather so we can put the swing set to use!
Hope you all enjoyed your weekends as well!
Love, Nicole


Exciting times

There are some exciting things going on in the Parnell household.....I have been hesitant to post about it, because I have not wanted to jinx it...but, more and more we are starting to believe it is really going to happen...As I made clear in my post about our new playroom (still LOVING it!), David and I had done a little house-hunting and then decided that we were just going to stay put....well, as we've learned in the past (hello- twins?!!) sometimes things happen when you least expect them....So, of course, after we came to terms with that decision, and were feeling really good about it, THE HOUSE appeared on the market. A beautiful house that had sadly been foreclosed on, but that has everything we would want and just needs lots of T.L.C. A house that, under normal circumstances, would have been way out of our league...a house on a very quiet street (in our same neighborhood, which we ADORE) where the kids will be able to ride their bikes and play and where we will have 1000 more square feet!!!!!!!!!
We are so, so excited. Admittedly, we are a little overwhelmed at the time, because we need to sell our house. But, we really feel like this is meant to be and we have faith that it will work out. The house needs us, and we need the house!
Part of the fun (because, let's face it, life was getting pretty boring around here-HAHA) has been the challenge of trying to keep our house in "ready to show" condition. I am thinking it may be good to just always have a "for sale" sign in your yard- because I don't think my house has ever been cleaner! The other challenge is finding a place to go with two 1 year olds, a 3 year old, a dog, and a cat while someone looks at the house (thanks for the offers, but I really can't do that to ya'll!). That is after the mad dash of me hiding away the high chairs, pet food bowls, opening all of the shades, fluffing all of the pillows, lighting candles, and doing the fastest mopping job in history of the kitchen floor (because L & B still love to throw their food)! Hilarious that I went through all of these motions this morning (with my Mom's help- thank you Mom) only to find out that I had been incorrectly informed and the appointment is actually for tomorrow morning!!!!
BUT I AM NOT COMPLAINING- Come people, come!!!!
So, this is why I have been a bad blogger lately....We've added a little challenge to the plate! But, it is a good thing, and will be a good thing...The few times we have taken the kids to the "other" house (I'm still too afraid to call it our new house), they just run and run and run...they love the space...David and I will be so thrilled if we are able to pull this off and let them grow up in all of that space! (I really hope ya'll are not picturing a mansion here- No, we did not win the lottery!! It is just a lot bigger than our house now!)

On a side note, Bennett is hilarious these days. You know how he is obsessed with Grandpa? Well, Grandpa has a cane (that he doesn't use as often as he should) and the first thing Bennett does when we get to their house to visit is to look for the cane, and to put on Grandpa's shoes. He loves it so much that Grandpa gave him a cane of his own to bring home. So now my 1 1/2 old lugs around this wooden cane all day and even SLEEPS with it!!!!!!! Seriously, he has a death grip on it, along with Mozart and his other Buddy, and off to sleep....That little man....

Well, I am off to bed....If you have any room on your prayer list (we should be way low on the priority list) say a quick one for us...Just for guidance along the way in this new chapter....

We love you!


Our loss, Heaven's gain

I felt honored to spend my morning this morning celebrating the life and death of a dear family friend, Mr. John Law. He passed away last Thursday night at his home. He had fought and beaten cancer several years back, only to have it return mid-January..Since then he had worsened quickly. The Laws were like another set of Grandparents growing up. We went to the same Church as them and my Mom and Mrs. Law quickly became friends. They had three daughters of their own (close in age to my Mom), although they were spread all around the country, and so we like to think we "subbed" as grandchildren when they were not with their "real" grandchildren. The loved their family and talked of them often, and it was obvious that the distance was only a physical one.

The Laws had a beautiful family brunch for our family before David and I's wedding, and I cherish the book of toasts that they compiled from that event. I keep it in my kitchen and refer to it every so often.

We were so blessed to have them this year at Christmas dinner with our family. Although he did not know at the time that the cancer was back, it was evident that Mr. Law was not feeling 100%. But, he still kept us entertained with his stories and jokes and was always so nice to be around. The other thing that I loved about being around them is that their love for each other (even after 60 years) was so obvious. A true committment and mutual admiration for each other that I so looked up to.
I am SO thankful that we had that time together and that is how I will remember him.

He spent his retirement doing many, many things, one of which was building and woodworking furniture...He built me this bench, and I think of him every day when I see it. Especially since it is now one of Bennett's favorite places to climb!

We were saying prayers with Elise the other night and David said a special prayer for Mr. John...Elise interrupted and said, "Daddy, is Mr. John still sick?" I wasn't sure how David was going to answer. He simply said, "No sweetie, he is much better now."

I thought it was the perfect answer.

I loved this poem that was in the program for his services today:
God saw he was getting tired
And a cure was not to be,
So He put His arms around him
And whispered, "Come with Me."
With tearful eyes we watched him suffer
And saw him fade away,
Although we love him dearly
We could not make him stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands to rest,
God broke our hears to prove to us
He only takes the best.


Throw Me Something, Mr.!

The kids had such a BLAST last night watching Mandeville's first Mardi Gras parade of the season...I was so upset that I forgot my camera, but I doubt I would have had much time to take pictures anyway! At the last minute, my parents ended up walking over to the parade with us and we were so thankful for their help! I don't know if we could have done it without them! We definitely needed the extra hands. Bennett and Elise started off in the ladder that David built last year- and they were loving it!!! Lila wanted no part of the ladder and was taking advantage of the opportunity to be held....They loved watching the bands, Bennett went CRAZY over the Clydesdale horses, and they especially loved catching beads and toys! Mitchell Plauche got to see his first parade with us! I am sad I didn't get a picture of that!
When we got home the kids were exhausted (from all of their dancing!), but still wanted a few minutes to explore all of their "loot"!

Bennett's favorite throws were the footballs, of course!

Taking inventory...

Lila accessorizing with all of her new jewelry...

Elise as well. She loved the sparkly batons they threw this year!!
She has been saying over and over, "Mardi Gras is the best!" It really is so joyful to watch them have so much fun. The expressions on their faces and watching them take everything in was just so, so much fun for us both! Happy Mardi Gras!


New Collection from two you

Four Little Lambes

I just got an email that Nick and Kami Lambe (check out their blog) delivered their quads last night. According to the email, everyone is doing well...

Baby A Sloan 2lbs 11oz
Baby B Rocco 2lbs 9 oz
Baby C Madden 2lbs 7oz
Baby D Jagger 2lbs 5oz

Please continue to keep them all in your prayers! What BLESSINGS!!
Understandably, it doesn't look like they have had time to update their blog yet...I can't wait to see the pictures!


Filled Up Weekend!

We have had a great weekend so far! Actually, without much planning Friday turned out to be a BIG night for Elise. Very last minute we ended up meeting up with the Kitchen Family for Pizza...They invited us over after for dessert (Bonnie Kate makes the BEST hot fudge) and since it was getting late we decided to bathe all of the kids together. After bath time Will and Elise were playing so well together and pretending to have a slumber party. Bonnie Kate was so excited and begged us to let her stay the night. I wasn't so sure, but we asked her and Elise said she really wanted to stay. David said he would come get her if necessary; but, our big, brave, grown-up 3 1/2 year old stayed the whole night! And, she didn't want to come home the next morning either!! She spent a lot of time at the Kitchen house when I was on bed rest in the hospital and she is super comfortable there, so I shouldn't have questioned it...I think I was just having a hard time digesting the fact that she was old enough to spend the night out!

Saturday morning David and Nick had plans for another (abbreviated) kayak fishing trip, and so Kate and I decided to meet for breakfast at the local bakery. We had a great time....After that, thanks to a great tip from Suz, we stopped by a consignment kids sale and both got some great deals! I had to post a pic of my favorite "score"..I LOVE this sweet pink dress....The picture really doesn't do it justice....

Kate and Nick had someone looking at their house, so Kate and Myrt came over to hang out a little while...Lila is so into her books right now, she begs everyone that walks in the door to read to her...Myrt wasn't so sure she wanted to share her Mommy, so Kate fit both of them on her lap...I thought this was such a sweet picture!

When the boys got back Bennett also attacked Nick to read to him! I guess they see the opportunity for a little more attention with 4 adults around and so they don't want to pass up the opportunity...

Last night the kids were all asking for Mimi and Grandpa so we had them over for a casual Muffaleta dinner...After that, more stories with Mimi!
Lila was having lots of fun dressing up...
Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend as well!
Love, Nicole


Friday outside, and Lunch with Grandpa

It's a beautiful day today and we had a lot of fun this morning playing outside! We were thrilled that Grandpa brought his Friday po-boy over here to eat it..and then he helped Bennett with his basketball skills...I am hoping all of the great fresh airs means we have an extra long nap today! I think I'll go try to take one as well!


Playroom Revealed!

First of all, I am so excited about the girls' shoes for Jared and Erinn's wedding! I ordered them from frostingcouture, an etsy store, and the came yesterday. They are PRECIOUS!!! I have looked everywhere, and unless I was willing to spend $40 each, every cream girls dress shoe has one of those block high heels, or some kind of sparkle embellishment on it. I swear. If you need white, you are golden, cream- not so much. I'm sorry, I just can't put a 1 year old and 3 year old in a high heel. Am I crazy?
Anyway, I just think these are the cutest things ever. The cream silk matches the dresses exactly and they will be super comfortable for the girls. I already had to move them to a secret hiding place because, after trying them on, they did not want to let go. I know, I have created monsters...

Secondly, I know you all have been waiting anxiously by your computers for me to post pictures of the finished playroom (HA!HA!)...Well, here you go! Most of you that know me well know that no room is ever really finished...always a work in progress, but the "bones" of the room are finished in here. The kids are loving it...Elise spends her quiet time in here every afternoon and after baths we play for a while before bed...It has been a good thing!

As you walk in we have storage for all of the balls....(and my favorite beach picture of the kids from last summer)..
We've had the big giraffe since we were getting ready for Elise's arrival...David's parents got it for us, and we all LOVE it...Also, you can see the easel that Aunt Mo gave Elise for her birthday last year, and the t.v. that we have set up for DVD's..(no cable in this room- I know we are evil parents- HA!)

STORAGE!!! Yippee!!

David's child armoire is FILLED with dress-up...I also put the shelves up above so that the kids could have a special place for their birthday crowns...I'm not finished with the shelves- they need something else- but I love having their special crowns on display...

Our art wall- to display all of their beautiful artwork....above the STEAL of a table I found at the consignment store...we keep trains in one drawer and puzzles in the other!

The infamous Rose Petal Cottage...Elise's dream Christmas wish! Santa came through for her! They all love to play in it...
So there it is...our playroom! By the way, it is ALWAYS this neat!


Lila's First Sentence...and more!

This morning David was trying to keep the kids out of our room so that I could finish getting dressed...I could hear Lila pretty determined to fight her way in...Just then I heard her say her first sentence, "I want my Mommy!"....Needless to say, this made my day, and completely started if off on a great note! My little baby is getting so big!!!!

In Elise's world, things have been quite entertaining lately! Some of her quotes from this week include, "That's impressive, Mom" (I wish I could remember what I was doing!) and "I don't eat healthy food". In fact, she actually cried last night when she saw the spaghetti and meatballs we were having for dinner. The girl would love to survive on dessert alone. I can't imagine where she gets this from?? (David, any ideas??)She was cracking us up last night with her vivid imagination. She was having a "Halloween tea party" in the dining room for which she had set the table, made "gifts" for her guests, and cooked. She was socializing well with the invisible crew, but did have to leave to report to us that Winnie the Pooh was forgetting to use his table manners and that Emily (??) was sitting in Sarah's (??) chair.... So cute and so funny! As usual, my kids would much rather play with household things than toys, and Elise does an especially
good job entertaining herself.
I just had to post this picture of Bennett because these days he is really good at just being CUTE! Just kidding (but, I mean, he is adorable- I am his Mom and am programmed to believe it!!)...he is still working on his climbing skills and is really good at the word "no"..For those who know football, he is already a pro at the "stiff-arm" and that is how he keeps Lila from stealing whatever he is playing with!!
They continue to be unique, precious, much loved, exhausting-but-completely-worth-it, blessings!


A quick summary

I just put a load of clothes in the washer to soak, which included:

1 towel with cat throw-up on it
1 towel with dog throw-up on it
1 outfit and 1 mom shirt with kid throw-up on it
1 outfit with "poo-poo" on it

And, we actually had a really fun, good day today!!!! :)



Costly Break

This is what happens when I decide to take a quick potty break and my three little munchkins' creative minds get the chance to work together.....
All of our bills to be paid, to be filed, and etc...all over the office floor....
The adventure continues...

On another note, the weather has finally been nice enough and our yard has finally been dry enough that I have been able to take all three kids out back to play on the swing set...It may not sound like a big deal, but I can't tell you how NICE it is to feel like I can handle all three out there. As much as I don't want them to grow up, I do love the ability I am beginning to have more and more to just be able to physically handle all three somewhere other than just inside our house! Feels like freedom! It will still be a few years before I brave the park alone, but we are so lucky to have a great swing set in our back yard where the kids can get fresh air and use up some of that endless energy...(now I just need to figure out a way to get some pics of them out there! No hands for a camera!)
Hope everyone had a great weekend!
Love, Nicole