Thomas Land: Part 2

This was truly one of my favorite days of my life. The weather was perfect...a little overcast which helped keep crowds away. We got there as soon as the park opened. The boys were so excited!

We got to ride THE REAL Thomas! So fun.

I mean. Look at Shepherd's face. How could this not be the best day ever. 

When we entered the park, Joey said, "the only rule is that there are no rules." So we rode the same rides over and, ate ice cream for lunch, snuck pictures we weren't supposed to take, took Breaker on every ride we could, and Major even decided to run out during a live show to give Sir Topham Hatt a hug...and then poke him in the cheek. Haha!
We opened and closed the park...we didn't drive 16 hours to be in a hurry. 
I am so thankful for a husband who is also never in a rush, who prioritizes our kid's experiences and enjoyment. We don't plan every detail and we always have fun!

Shep's very favorite train is Percy. When you ask him why, he always answers, "Because he's nice and he carries the mail."

The real Tidmouth Sheds!

They got to ride Harold, Flynn, Winston, Cranky and more! 

Major poking Sir Topham Hatt:

This picture cracks me up. Breaker was having so much fun, and Joey was trying not to throw up. I was in my first trimester here so my stomach was a little queasy but I was still able to ride some rides. 

Shut down the park! The best day :)

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Thomas Land: Part 1

Shepherd's love for Thomas the Train has been one of the sweetest things in my life.  I will always have a soft spot for Thomas. When we realized there was a Thomas theme park in Massachusetts, Joey and I agreed we had to go. I didn't want him to outgrow his train obsession and never have gotten to go. I knew seeing him enjoy it would bring us as much joy as it would him. 

We got my mom and grandma to go with us and left town on a Thursday late afternoon. The way to get 3 kids to handle a 15+ hour drive is to have Gigi and Grammy in the backseat with their bag of tricks and treats. All 3 of them were amazing in the car! And just to go off on a tangent real quick...they did the entire drive there and back without a second of electronics. I'll talk more about my feelings on screen time in a different post. Anyway.
This part 1 post is going to be our travel pictures and our one night in Plymouth, Massachusetts. I wish we could have stayed longer! 

So one thing about Joey and I...we are not planners. I mean we will check the specifics, but we are not about to map out every second of a trip and have a strict itinerary. Having a strict plan stresses me out more than not having a plan. So we just got in the car and left and our plan was to drive as far as possible until Joey got tired of driving and find a hotel to stay for the night. Well, about midnight or so, Joey's ready to stop for the night so we pull off into a random town and pick a hotel. No vacancy. We go to the next closest hotel and check in and start settling in for the night.  I don't know what made me check, because I don't know that I have ever checked before, but I decided to check for bed bugs.  First corner of the bed I pull up I find one! So gross.

As my kids are wrestling and jumping all over the beds, 12:30 at this point, we have to pack everything back up and load 3 kids back in the car. Then I start calling hotels and there is no vacancy ANYWHERE! We chose the one town that had some convention going on and every hotel was booked. We had to drive to the next town. We finally found a hotel and got a good nights sleep before hitting the road again the next morning. 

The thing about traveling with Joey Lawhorn, he hates to stop. He wants to drive straight through and if I would pee in a cup he would encourage it so that he wouldn't have to stop. You may remember my post about when he drove straight through the night after a crazy travel day and being awake for like 36 hours so we could get to Hilton Head. So, we're on our way to Massachusetts and I have to go to the bathroom. I give him plenty of warning, and he keeps driving past every exit and I'm like "Hi. I have to pee." Finally I cannot take it anymore and I'm like "I do not care where it is I don't care what the traffic is like, pull off at the next exit we see because I'm going to pee in my pants." Also I was pregnant at the time with Chapel and you know when you're pregnant you CANNOT WAIT.
Well, the next exit happened to be one of the richest areas in the country. I was cracking up but not really because I had to pee so bad. Joey was so annoyed with me, but I gave him plenty of warning! He could have pulled over sooner. The reason this town was so annoying...we did not pass any gas stations! We had to stop at this fancy shopping area that had all of these expensive stores and nowhere to eat other than expensive sit down restaurants, and all Joey wanted to do was get fast food and get back on the road. We managed to find a Subway and I got to go to the bathroom. Just a funny little memory (that was not that funny at the time ;)

We made it to Plymouth, Massachusetts and our hotel was right on the water. It was beautiful! And the perfect location because we could walk to dinner and none of us wanted to be in the car any longer ;)

After dinner we explored the area a little bit, but we were all worn out and had a big day ahead of us so we went back to the hotel and got a good night's sleep.

The next morning we got up early and were so excited to get to Thomas Land! 

On our way out of town we stopped at Plymouth Rock! It was much smaller than we expected. I was expecting a huge boulder but it was literally a rock.

Part 2 will be our day at Thomas Land. One of my favorite days of my life :)
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Holiday World 2017

Because I cannot move forward without things in chronological order, and I don't want to just skip ahead in my blog life to my current situation...I'm going to be backtracking and posting from where I left off.  When I got pregnant with Chapel I just quit blogging, and I got so behind that it felt too daunting to start again. But its too important to me to document our memories for my kids, so I am back at it :)

Starting today with the boy's first trip to Holiday World! It was so special taking the boys to a place I went every summer growing up. Even the rides were exactly the same.  So special!!

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She's Here!

Chapel Raines Lawhorn

February 27, 2018
7 lbs 5 oz
18.5 in

We are absolutely obsessed!

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39 Weeks with Baby GIRL

This will probably be my last blog post before she is born! We have 3 days left.

We are so lucky because Joey is getting 6 weeks of paternity leave, and it started on Wednesday. I literally just COULD NOT anymore. Taking Shep to school and picking him up was killing me. I seriously cried everyday in the parking lot after I picked him up. That sounds dramatic but having to get Breaker and Major out of the car then all three of them back in the car and car seats and blah blah it was so hard.

Its been so nice having a few days before we have a newborn to relax and get our bearings (aka me boss everyone around to clean). We've been finally working on getting her nursery set up and tomorrow night we have a "Family of 5 Fun Night" planned. Shep and Major have it all planned out. The boys want to get in the hot tub, rent a movie and have a taste test, lol. Their idea. Tomorrow I'm going to buy every flavor of Pringles then they want to guess which flavor they're eating.
Tonight all of our boys were with aunts...Shep and Maj had a sleepover with their cousin, Matthew, and we dropped Breaker off with Jen so Joey and I could go to dinner and shop around for some last minute baby items. I got a few things I needed for my hospital bag, exciting stuff ;) We also got a gift for each of the boys for their sister to "give" them when they meet for the first time.

Also me:

A few weeks ago at my 37 week appointment we got to have an ultrasound and see her sweet face. The whole circus came with me to the doctor and the boys loved getting to see their sister. Major was very concerned about what was happening to me, he kept asking what the goop was they were putting on my belly during the ultrasound. 
Now, I know I'm probably biased...but. I have NEVER seen such a beautiful ultrasound picture. Someone asked if we were going to do the special 4d ultrasound this time and I said no because they always all look the same to me and I feel like you can't really tell anything. But when we had this ultrasound I really think it is the prettiest ultrasound that's ever been.

She was estimated at 6 lbs 14 oz.

So, at my appointment that day, at nearly 38 weeks pregnant, my doctor told me she would unexpectedly have to be out of town on the day we scheduled my C-section. Now, I literally cry at every single appointment, no matter what happens. I don't know why, I just get very emotional at doctor's offices. So as soon as she told me this I started tearing up. I asked if we could reschedule it so she could be there. (No.) So we set up my next appointment for the following week to meet with the other doctor she recommended. Joey came with me to that appointment, and I am relieved to say I really really liked him. He just immediately put me at ease and had a very calm demeanor. When I asked about having a clear drape for the C-section, he pulled out his phone right then and there and put it on speaker so I could hear and called Labor and Delivery. You could tell the nurse that answered the phone had a lot of respect for him and she right away found out if they could do that and said she would put it in my file and make sure they had it for me. I told him the main thing I want is it to feel like her birthday, and not a surgery. I was just very put off by Shepherd's birth, when the nurses and doctor talked about their weekend plans the entire surgery.

I have been so anxious this entire pregnancy about the C-section. I still feel it is the right decision for me, its just very disappointing.  And after Breaker's birth, I've just been so stressed out about it. 
Why its the right decision, here.
 (Long story short, during Major's labor I severely injured my tailbone and it took 8 months to "heal" but it is still (4 years later) something that I can feel everyday. And I made the decision before Breaker was born that I wouldn't risk it happening again and giving myself chronic pain.)

When Breaker was born, the doctor and staff were amazing, and so on board with every request I had. But I was so anxious and had such bad side effects from the epidural or whatever it was, that none of my requests mattered because I was so out of it. 
Breaker's birth, here.
So I've just been practically sick thinking this birth will be the same. Like, for weeks I've cried randomly throughout the day just thinking about the C-section. I'll think about it just driving down the road and feel weak. I'm crazy! I swear in life nothing stresses me out, but this sends me over the edge. 
BUT. Ever since I met Dr. Greene, I've felt very calm and not had one of my random cries over this. So while I can't guarantee I won't be having a panic attack on Tuesday when we get to the hospital, I'm going with this wave of calmness and praying it stays.
 Dr. Greene was on board with all of my requests, so hopefully I will have an easier time this go around and be able to enjoy it more.

This is my C-section birth plan, edited a little since Breaker's birth:

Family Centered C-section:
-Clear drape
-Our music playing
-Not to be strapped down
-Non dominant arm have IVs, etc
-Talk among staff be focused on the birth
-No students
-Newborn tests be delayed until recovery
-Skin to skin immediately with either myself or my husband
-Dad and baby stay with me in OR until I'm moved to recovery
-Delay bath and baby not be fully dressed until I've had bonding time (cover in warm blankets)
-My husband assist with first bath
-I will be exclusively breastfeeding, so no formula, paci or sugar water
-If baby requires any medical attention above that of a healthy baby, please communicate everything with my husband and I so we can understand and make decisions


CRL, we are so excited to meet you!

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Our Song for our Daughter

Each of our children have a special song just for them, that we chose when I was pregnant and we will always associate with them as little newborn babies.

I posted about them here.

I've also posted before (here) about our love for Dave Barnes and how he has the best timing with his songs. Well, Dave came through again and we have the perfect song for our daughter. He just released a new CD and the day he released it Joey came home and said he found her song to play in the delivery room and he'll also dance with her at her wedding to it.
Then we both stood in the kitchen and cried listening to it ;)

Remember That I Love You 

From the moment that I first held you
I knew some day I'd have to let you go
I woulda stayed there forever
But there's some things a heart just knows
I've been begging the seconds, the minutes
Always asking them to take their time
Wanna make some memories before you leave
While you're still mine
And when its time...

Whichever way the wind in your wings blows
Whichever way the dream in your heart goes
Whatever you do remember that I love you
When the world around you keeps changing
Feel like you can't keep your heart from breaking
Whatever you do remember that I love you
I love you

I wanna show you the life worth living
Try to keep you from mistakes I've made
Tell you all about Jesus
The streets of gold we'll walk someday
Hear me say, yeah

Whichever way the wind in your wings blows
Whichever way the dream in your heart goes
Whatever you do remember that I love you
When the world around you keeps changing
Feel like you can't keep your heart from breaking
Whatever you do remember that I love you
I love you

Can you just keep falling, falling
Don't know which way to go
You come out of the road you're walking
They all lead back home

Whichever way the wind in your wings blows
Whichever way the dream in your heart goes
Whatever you do remember that I love you
When the world around you keeps changing
Feel like you can't keep your heart from breaking
Whatever you do remember that I love you
I love you

I'll always be here for you
I love you
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36 Weeks with Baby #4

 I wrote this at 36 weeks, but I'm just now posting!

I cannot articulate how over it I am. I added it up and by the time she is born, I'll have spent 157 weeks of my life pregnant. Roughly 40 months, over 3 years.
I am uncomfortable, I am moody, I am huge. Everything is hard. I can't breathe. I want to lay on the couch for the next 26 days. All I do is pee. And blow my nose. And reapply chapstick. I am not a negative person, but the last month of pregnancy is the absolute longest and most miserable month, ever. I have to get out every day to pick Shep up from school, and parents are required to walk inside to pick them up. So I have to unload Major and Breaker, I put Breaker in a stroller to contain him, to walk inside for 5 minutes. Then I have to load all of them in their car seats. Being nearly 9 months pregnant and whisper-screaming at my kids to sit down and buckle up, while I'm crouching over inside the car to get Breaker buckled. I will not miss this.

I have an irrational fear of fire. I can't tell you how many times I wake up in the middle of the night and start thinking about it and can't go back to sleep. I get up and walk through the house to make sure it isn't on fire. I made Joey put a new smoke alarm in every room. I have always had a big fear of fire. I told my mom she probably should have sent my to a child therapist, because when I was little, I would pray every single night for our house to not catch on fire, and for NO ONE in the entire world to have their house catch on fire. Our house does not have normal windows. Every single window is tall and skinny, and they crank open. I am terrified there will be a fire and I would have no other option but to escape through a window and my giant pregnant belly wouldn't fit. 

 So her birthday is set for February 27th! I can't wait!
We still do not have her nursery done. Its painted pink and that is it. I still need to buy a car seat for her, and a few other random things.

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