my organized chaos

Over the past few weeks I have been anticipating the beginning of school, soccer, and dance and have been gathering lots of new tools to help me keep my chaos organized. I hear that some people actually read my blog (how flattering!) and so I thought I would share some of the ideas I love the best- just in case they can help someone else!

*Mom and Mo, ya'll can stop laughing now- as I am sure you find it pretty hilarious that I am writing about organization...since ya'lls organization skills put me to shame!!*

I am definitely not taking any credit for these ideas, as most have been "inspired" (I prefer over "copied") by others, but they have been really helpful and I thought it would be worth writing a little about....I will probably look back at this later and laugh..I THINK I have a lot of keep track of now, I can't even imagine when I have 3 kids in high school at the same time and ALL of the activities and things I'll have to keep track of at that point! Kind of makes me tired to even think about it!!

After seeing a fellow Mom's momagenda at a moms of multiples meeting, I knew I HAD to have one. It is just dreamy....(at least for someone as in to paper products as I am)...It has tons of room for me to keep track of my own to do list, as well as a spot for up to four children as well. I use a row for each child, and then one for two you- to keep track of the orders I need to complete. LOVE IT!!!!!! If you sign up on their website they will email you about sales and offers. They often offer 20% off and free shipping over $75, so if you order with a friend like I did you won't pay shipping. And, they will emboss your name on the front for $4.50!! FUN!

My next "tool" we have been enjoying for quite a while now....I ordered this fab magnetic calendar awhile back after seeing it on Jon&Kate. First of all, it is just fun to look at. They customize it with whatever you want, and have tons of fun colors. But, more importantly, it is a great way to keep track of the family's plans for the month and to have it posted in a place where we can all see it. I think it will be even more helpful as the kids get older and are able to read. It isn't cheap (although they also often offer coupons- I got mine 20% off- you know I am all about a good sale), but it is dry erase and will last forever!!

Since I love my calendar so much, and since we are encouraging the kids (especially Elise) to help out with simple chores around the house, I had been eyeing their chore chart as well.

I was so excited when they came out with it, until I saw the price. Kind of steep. So, I was thrilled when I stumbled across the below one at target for $10!!!

It is a big peel and stick vinyl chart...so big I ended up putting it on the front of the washing machine! But, it is at a level where the kids can see it, and our laundry room is so centrally located that it works. For now we are keeping it simple: brush teeth, no time outs, hang up school bag, cooperate at bedtime. But, its a place to start.

Lastly, the "brain" I alluded to the other day. It is actually a really simple concept. A three ring binder, dividers, and sheet protectors. Each child gets a section, and this is where you store all of those random papers that would normally be stacked on the kitchen counter- the ones that you have to have but you don't know where to put them. The ones that you need to refer to too often to file away in a cabinet (school handbook, soccer schedule, class list, etc..) This way, you eliminate the stacks, and have a binder that you can keep on the counter for quick reference when you need it, or tuck it quickly away in a drawer when company comes by. Kimberly also has a section for coupons and invites in hers- I may add that, but haven't yet...but, I do have a section in mine where I keep my house ideas- magazine clippings etc...
I have been having a good time getting organized and it really does make things easier. I by no means have it all together all of the time, but all of these little tools are things that I hope will help me get to my ultimate goal - to spend most of my time enjoying my children, instead of worrying about what I am forgetting and where we need to be.
Happy organizing!

And off they went.....

...without looking back, and without any tears....first day of preschool for Elise and mother's day out for Lila and Bennett. They were all sooo excited and ready for school! I have been looking forward to it as well..as it is the first time since the twins were born that I will have had any consistent alone time. Although I will admit it is pretty quiet around here, and even though I know they are having a blast, I do MISS my little ones. Am actually counting down the minutes until I get to go pick them up!!!
Elise wanted to play photographer this morning and insisted she take a picture of me, Lila and Bennett...they actually cooperated, so how could I not post it??!

Here are our little cuties all ready to go! Bennett actually ELBOWED his way through the crowd to get into his class and then seemed slightly annoyed that I requested a kiss goodbye. No clingy toddlers here!

I hope they have had a fabulous morning meeting new friends, working on art, and cooperating and sharing with others....I hope!!!

Can't wait to hear all about it on the car ride home....

Love, Nicole


friends, fish, and a fantastic idea

Because summer can be so crazy, it had been a while since we had gotten together with the Barrois family and we were thrilled when they invited us over for dinner last night. Will grilled fajitas (YUM) and we had a great time visiting with Will, Kimberly, Will's parents, and the kids. The kids had SUCH a blast and didn't want to leave. FUN, FUN, FUN.
All of the playing got the kids so exhausted that we finally broke the sleeping rut we had been in since our beach trip. Everyone slept all night and slept late this morning. David and I were thrilled- we both needed it!

While we were hanging out, Kimberly showed me her new "brain"- a binder she created to keep track of her kiddos and all of their paper. I LOVED the idea, had a target trip planned for the a.m. anyway, and so I got all of my supplies this morning. Can't wait to post about it in more detail. Ya'll are going to want one too. Thanks KB!!


This morning Emmy came to visit! David had been wanting to take the kids to the aquarium and so he thought this was a good opportunity. Although part of me wanted to go, I knew I should take advantage of the time to get some stuff done (like finally unpacking from the beach!) around the house, and to get organized and ready for school next week. David promised they would take good pictures and off they went! (Of course, I still texted him about 10 times to see how they were doing and if they were having fun...etc...)

I love the below pics where David turned the flash off!

After the aquarium, they walked all the way to the French Quarter to eat at one of our favorite po-boy places....then they stopped and got some rainbow sherbet after that. Sounds like a great day!!! I am so glad David had the opportunity to spend such great quality time with the kids and his Mom...and I am also thankful that I had some time to get organized and get our bathrooms cleaned!! :)
Night night!


More than she gardened for...

I am laughing at myself this post title is so corny. But, I'm going to go with it!

Today has been a fun, full day and it is only 2:30! We attended our first get together with a new playgroup today and all enjoyed it. It is a group of some of the Moms from the kids' school and I really don't know many of them. So, we will all be making new friends. It is going to be my Tuesday activity with the little ones while Elise is in school. Should be fun. I must brag on my kids a bit, I was even more proud than usual to be their Mom (if that is possible). They were definitely on their best behavior. I love days like this. Cooperation, listening, helping....ohhh so nice! :)

After that we stopped by to check on Grandpa (& Mimi) and see how he is feeling. I think I have alluded to the fact that he is not well, and the actual FACT is that he has a broken vertebrae in his spine due to a fall he had about 6 weeks ago. It is something that is very painful, takes a long time to heal, and basically keeps him stuck in one room 24/7. His great-grand kids seem to cheer him up, so I try to get them over there as often as I can, even if it is just for 30 minutes. I wasn't planning on a photo-op today (and neither was Gpa as you can tell from his pjs), but Lila climbed up in his lap and I had to snap a pic with my phone. Oh how much they love Mimi and Grandpa.....

Lila was all about stealing the spotlight today (this is not a new thing)...I think I have also mentioned in the past that the kids have a routine of running down the sidewalk to the front door (we always go in the side door) before we leave their house. It is one of those things that they've never discussed, they all just do it, and have always done it...so weird...anyway, today Mimi told Lila she could pick "1 flower" from her flowerbed by the front door. I am pretty sure Mimi meant the actual flower......

But Lila instead picked the WHOLE flower, root and all!!

She makes us laugh.....

Hope you all are enjoying your Tuesdays as well!!!

Love, Nic


Soccer Stars

David and I are so excited that Elise is going to be playing soccer this fall. He because he has always loved and played the sport and always wanted someone that "shared the love" of soccer. I actually played when I was young as well, and think it is great sport...just not one I want to watch on t.v. in a language I don't understand. But, we both think the "team" sport idea will be great for Elise and her self-esteem. It is a very, very, very, laid back league...more just to introduce them to the sport, let them make some friends, and let them get some exercise...Should be fun!!
With that inspiration (and in order to give me some free time yesterday afternoon to sew), David took the kids outside for a "field day". He has collected soccer jerseys since the kids were babies...whenever he finds one on sale or at (our fav) tj maxx or marshalls, he scoops them up. So, each little one (and their Daddy) had a jersey on yesterday and they had a "ball" playing outside.

I really do think they learned some things. Bennett told Grandpa this morning, "PaPa, I play soccer. I kick it. No hands."

So cute.

My only is concern is how I am going to convince the dynamic duo to stay on the sidelines and cheer for their sister, when I know they are going to want to be in on the action. A couple more years kiddos. It'll be your "term".

Happy Monday!


Rain, rain, go away...my little cuties want to play!

So, it rained most of our final day here at the beach. Kind of stinks. But actually, we are pretty thankful because when we left there were two tropical storms heading this way and today was really the first day that was a total wash-out. And, we managed to get about an hour of beach time in....not bad!!

The sky was so pretty at some points during the day...I'd love to recreate this on canvas...I love the blues and creams and how everything blends into everything...Does that even make sense?

Lila cooking and making some coffee....

My little man...

Lila working on a masterpiece during our indoor time (trying to stay dry)...

Aunt Mo and Elise finishing up their sandcastle...
It has been a great week and we are so thankful. What a nice way to end the summer!!
Everyone has been a huge help with the kids and I am so appreciative...they have loved every minute being here!! I know they are young, but hopefully they can read this one day and try to remember some of our trip...it has been such a blessing!
Hope everyone has a great weekend. As sad as we are to go we are looking forward to seeing David tomorrow!


Thursday fun...

Me and my three munchkins working on their swimming...with G looking on....

Snapped a picture of the kids' footprints in the sand...

Bennett playing golf...he has been talking about playing golf at the beach for weeks.. glad his dream came true!

One-of-a-kind Lila goofing around on the porch while the other two napped...

Another fun day...I can't believe tomorrow is our last day....

Hope all is well!
Love, Nicole


Carried away with the camera....

More of the same playing, building, swimming, running, exploring, relaxing, bonding, no-napping, laughing, and eating going on at the big purple house today...
We took a late evening walk and I took the opportunity to put the kids in some casual white clothes and snap a few (understatement of the year) pictures of them running and exploring...
David, Jared, Erinn, (and Henry and Maddie) had to head back to the "real" world today, and we are missing them! I am so thankful to have the rest of the week with the kids, my parents, and my sister! I love this time together....
Lots and lots of pics to follow....

Happy Wednesday everyone....

Love, Nicole