December 2019 Wrap Up

It’s 2020? How did that happen? I probably say this every month, but December flew by! We were gone for most of the month so it really did go by in a flash for us!

We started out the first week of December in Disney World! It’s basically our home away from home where we leave our hearts behind every trip! You can read about that trip here.

After returning from Disney we were only home for about 10 days before leaving for Germany, but we sure packed a lot of stuff in those 10 days!

The kids watched our local town Christmas Parade for the first time and they loved it! It’s a little funny to me how much they enjoyed our small town Christmas parade so much since they’re really used to the big parades at Disney!

We had Christmas with my parents since we were going to be in Germany during Christmas. Of course they spoiled them with more new toys than is even imagineable!

Probably the most memorable thing that happened for us this month (besides our big trip to Germany) was that we purchased some land to the north of our house so Andrew can finally build his dream shop for the farm! This is such a huge milestone for us and Andrew is so excited to finally have a shop he is beside himself!

We spent the last 2 weeks of December in Germany! It was the most amazing trip! We all had such a wonderful time and will never forget it! I’m working on posts about Germany, there will be several so it’s taking me some time but they will be worth the wait! I highly recommend visiting Germany and if you have questions about planning a trip there just ask!

We did spend Christmas in Germany and I wasn’t sure how that would go since it was our first Christmas away from home but we don’t regret it one bit!!

More posts to come about our Germany adventures and stay tuned because we are headed to Paris soon and of course Disney World again!


Disney World November 2019

Originally we cancelled our December Disney trip back in October because we decided to go to Germany in December instead, but a few weeks after cancelling we knew we would really miss holiday season at Disney so we planned a last minute trip for Thanksgiving into the beginning of December.

For this trip we stayed at Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort for the first time. I chose this resort because it’s a moderate resort and is very reasonably priced and since this was last minute we needed to keep it on the cheaper side! Caribbean Beach also has rooms that sleep 5 people so we fit there (we are actually a family of 6 but infants don’t count!) Really the main reason I chose CB though is because Disney’s new Skyliner gondola system just opened and the main station is at CB!

Our room at CB was nice and looked recently remodeled. It was much smaller than the deluxe resort rooms we are used to, but we just sleep there so it’s okay. It had 2 queen beds and a pull down twin which slept the 5 of us just fine and they brought us a pack n play for Belle (that thing took up most of our room space). CB is a huge resort! There are tons of buildings and bus stops! Our room was in the very first building of the Martinique section so we were actually right next to the lobby and main bus stop, Old Port Royale. It was nice being next to the main bus stop but you still have to stop 500 more times at all the other bus stops before your bus actually leaves the resort property. You definitely need to allow yourself an hour to get to wherever you’re going if you have reservations to make!

The main lobby of CB is very pretty and smells amazing! I’m not sure what kind of Disney magic scents they have going on in there but it’s wonderful. The main pool of CB is pirate ship themed and has an awesome area for toddlers and little kids!

Because CB is so huge and spread out you can’t just walk to the Skyliner station either, but they have an internal resort bus that just makes a continuous circle around the resort bus stops taking people to and from the Skyliner station and main lobby.

The Skyliner is awesome! We loved it so much! From CB you can hop on the Skyliner and get super fast to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Art of Animation, Pop Century, & Riviera resorts. Because the gondolas are continually moving the process is so fast and you don’t have to wait long for your turn even if the line looks crazy long! Gondolas accommodate wheelchairs and single strollers but they do make you fold double strollers which is my only complaint!

Thanksgiving night we had dinner at Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom. We’ve eaten at BOG many times and it’s always been less than desirable, especially for 2 table service credits or a fixed price of $60/person. Food is typically slow to come out and we’ve never had a good server. The only reason we keep going back is because Rhett loves to see the Beast and BOG dinner is the only place to see him. I’m happy to report that we finally had a wonderful experience! Our server, Lola, was so sweet and very attentive and our food was very quick! I had my usual, lamb chops, and they were fantastic. Andrew has steak and scallops and they were also very good. The food, in our experience, has always been good. On the topic of BOG, the quick service breakfast there is really great and a good way to see the castle without using 2 table service dining credits but it’s not cheap so don’t go in expecting that!

We started our day 2 with a quick Skyliner ride to Epcot for a pre park opening Princess breakfast at Akershus in the Norway pavilion. If you’ve read my other Disney posts, you know we are a fan of Akershus breakfast, but not lunch or dinner. Princesses are there all day but the food for lunch and dinner is traditional Norwegian and not our style. Breakfast includes Mickey waffles, eggs, sausage, bacon, hash brown casserole, fruits, cheeses, and pastries. Belle has her own photo area prior to dining (which I’ve always thought was weird because Belle is French and Elsa is Norwegian, but I digress) other princesses there include Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, and Ariel. These are subject to change on any day but we’ve been several times over the last 4 years and they’ve always been the same.

We like the early Akershus breakfast because it allows us to hop across the sidewalk to meet Anna and Elsa before it actually opens and the line gets long! There aren’t fastpasses to meet Anna & Elsa and once the park opens the line will be very long.

Frozen 2 came out a few days before our trip so the Queen sisters were wearing their new dresses when we saw them! This absolutely thrilled Lorelei because Elsa was wearing her new white dress!

After meeting the ice Queen herself we used our very necessary FASTPASS to ride the Frozen ride which always gives us a hilarious ride photo. The kids have rode this ride so many times and they still make the funniest faces during the big drop when the photo is taken!

We had a quick service dinner in the lobby of our resort this night and it was really lacking. Andrew and I both had the Caribbean jerk chicken and it had zero flavor, I’m actually not sure they didn’t forget to put the seasoning/sauce on it?

Day 3 was our Animal Kingdom day and we cannot start an AK day without breakfast at our all time favorite, Tusker House! If you’ve never had curry chicken and rice for breakfast, you need to! Of course Tusker House has all the basic breakfast foods too. Characters include Mickey, Goofy, Donald & Daisy.

I’ve talked about it before but it’s worth mentioning again that Animal Kingdom has one of the nicest baby centers of all the parks. The park baby centers offer private bathrooms, private nursing/pumping rooms, changing tables, play rooms, sinks for cleaning bottles or pumping parts, and baby items for purchase that you may have forgot like diaper, wipes, diaper rash cream, etc. The baby center at AK is conveniently located right next to Starbucks so the kids and I hung out on there while Andrew grabbed us coffee and cake pops.

Our favorite area of AK is Pandora, the Avatar movie themed land. The kids are fascinated with the Na’Vi people and since they’re really into dressing up right now we got them some Na’Vi accessories which are so cute! Lorelei got to ride the Dinosaur ride for the first time and was pretty scared, she kept her eyes closed through most of it. She did say she wanted to ride it again though and Rhett rode it for the second time although he was scared of it last time too.

We finished off our AK day with dinner at Yak & Yeti which is another one of our favorites. I had our usual Chicken Tikka Masala which never disappoints I tried the fried wontons dessert for the first time and it may have been the best part of my meal and its hard to beat the CTM! They are cream cheese filled fried wontons with vanilla icing drizzle served with pineapples and vanilla ice cream. They were so sweet and so good!

Day 4 started with 7am extra magic hours at Hollywood Studios. We rode some rides in Toy Story land before our 8am Disney Junior breakfast at Hollywood & Vine. In the last year or so the characters here have changed, ditching the old Disney Junior characters for newer ones and we are big fans of the change! Breakfast characters now include Doc McStuffins, Fancy Nancy, Vampirina, & Roadster Racer Goofy. Lorelei really loves Fancy Nancy and MM loves Vampirina, they both have magic bands of them!

Right after breakfast I snagged a Tower of Terror FASTPASS so Lorelei could ride for the first time! She closed her eyes through the entire ride but she loved it! Rhett has been on it before and agreed again that he loved it. While Andrew and 3 kids were waiting on Lorelei & I they had their picture taken by a Disney photographer which gave me a good giggle when it popped up on my Disney Experience app.

Belle & MM enjoyed a churro snack break while the big kids rode Star Tours for the first time which they both really loved!

We finished up everything at Hollywood Studios pretty early and headed back to our resort for a 6:30pm dinner reservation at Sebastian’s Bistro. I have a really mixed review about Sebastian’s, it was a rough experience. One of the first nights of our stay I stopped by the hostess stand right at opening time to see if they had any tables open for dinner that night and the hostess was extremely rude to me which gave me a sour first impression. We already had reservations for later in the week and I almost cancelled them because I was so mad at the way she acted, but I decided to let them have a chance to redeem themselves. When we checked in for our reservation time it was a different hostess and she was also super rude. We were seated about 20 minutes past our reservation and by this point the kids were sooo done! Thankfully our server was wonderfull, especially with Belle who was a very hangry baby. Our food was definitely good. For appetizers we ordered the Caribbean pull apart rolls, jerk chicken wings, and crab cakes. None of which disappointed. For our entrees all the kids had steak which was cooked well. Andrew and I both had the Mahi Mahi and were very pleased with that. We had key lime pie for dessert which I thought was good but Andrew said was mediocre at best. I turned him into the key lime pie lover that he is now so I’m not sure whose review is more trustworthy haha! Overall I think Sebastian’s Bistro is a good choice if you are staying at Caribbean Beach resort but definitely not worth making a special trip for!

Day 5 was finally our full Magic Kingdom day! MK days are not done in true Rowlett fashion without a meal at Crystal Palace and breakfast is definitely the best! Typical breakfast buffet with characters Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger.

Magic Kingdom closes early this day at 4:30pm for a private event and it closed early the next day at 6pm for the Christmas party, but we’ve become pretty efficient so it didn’t hinder us at all. The twins of course rode Seven Dwarves Mine Train, we ate lots of cookies, and then headed to Epcot for the night to have dinner at our all time favorite Via Napoli then hopped on the Skyliner back to our resort.

Day 6, our last day, we took the first busy to Magic Kingdom and made the short walk across the street to the Contemporary resort for an 8am breakfast at Chef Mickey’s. Chef Mickey’s is a Disney staple for us and its a lively character breakfast with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy & Pluto.

After breakfast we walked over to Magic Kingdom to start our day. We had a FASTPASS to 7 dwarves but the ride was down for most of the morning. This ended up being okay because we used that FP on Big Thunder Mountain instead which Lorelei had never rode before and she really loved it! The twins also rode Splash Mountain with Andrew for the first time and even though it was super cold that day they didn’t get wet and had a blast! The first several days of our trip the weather was in the high 80s but the last 2 days a cold front came through and it was in the low 60s.

After getting everything done at MK we took the monorail over to Epcot for an early 4pm dinner reservation at Le Celier. Our Magical Express bus was picking us up for the airport at 6pm so we wanted to get in one last good meal. We really enjoy LC and of course we all had steak. After dinner we took the Skyliner back to our resort and almost immediately got on ME to the airport. Our flight left at 9pm which surprisingly with 4 toddlers was an excellent choice on our part! We let them run around the gate before boarding and all 4 of them crashed for the entire flight!

November 2019 Wrap Up

November was quite the whirlwind month. It seems like this time of the year is crazy busy and goes by so fast! We are always hard in the home stretch of harvest, the twins birthday, Halloween, the start of the major holiday season, it’s just so busy it seems like November just blows by!

The end of harvest didn’t start out quite like the beginning. The weather was not cooperative and the fall was a wet one. Muddy fields make for a difficult harvest so Andrew bought tracks for the combine so decrease compaction and ruts. Rhett really loves the new tracks!

We’ve still been hard at work homeschooling. I bought these cute little personalized letter dry erase boards for the twins to practice writing with and they think they’re really fun.

We tried to have the kids pictures done for our Christmas cards but the two little girls were completely uncooperative. I knew Belle would not be happy about it but I think her being upset got to MM too and she couldn’t keep it together either. Our poor photographer Erica didn’t know what she was in for, but she did get some good pics of the twins! I ended up getting the only decent picture in our driveway before we left and I’m glad I did because the others were not so great!

Our puppy Thor is now 4 months old and fitting in so well! He loves the kids and they really love him. The temperature starting dropping which brought on Lorelei’s nosebleeds again. She gets bad nosebleeds at night during the winter even with the humidifier running by her bed. Her ENT says she has a ton of vessel congestion in the back of nose which makes her more susceptible to them. She sleeps on the top bunk bed so we’ve had to bring her down to the bottom bunk to keep her away from the really hot dry air by the ceiling and that has seemed to help.

Andrew was able to finish harvest about mid month. The kids really enjoyed seeing the sesame being cut for the first time. The twins were newborns the last tome we grew sesame. You can read about our sesame crop here.

We took the kids to meet Santa which went about like our Christmas card pictures. The two little girls wanted nothing to do with him and the twins were happy as could be to tell him everything they wanted for Christmas!

To finish up the last week of the month we went to see the new Frozen 2 movie! All the kids are obsessed with Frozen and this was a huge hit! We took them to see Toy Story 4 when it came out back in the summer but Belle was not able to sit through them movie and I ended up leaving with her about halfway through. This movie experience was much better because Belle happily sat in her chair and watched the entire movie. The 3 oldest had a dentist appointment for a regular cleaning and checkup which went so well! The twins went back by themselves for the first time and did great without me! MM still wanted me to go with her but she let them clean her teeth and do xrays with no complaints!All 3 of the big kids have Dentinogenesis Imperfecta so an all clear checkup with the dentist is a huge blessing to us! Their teeth still look discolored from the outside but they’re holding up well! Thanksgiving morning we woke up and hopped on a plane to Disney World where we spent the rest of the month and the beginning of December! We sent November out with a bang at our favorite place!!

Sesame Crop 2019

This was our second year to grow sesame. The first year was 2015 and I never saw it because I was pregnant with the twins and hospitalized for most of the growing season and all of harvest.

Sesame is a remarkable plant, I’ve found it fascinating. It is a hearty plant. It likes sandy soil, requires minimal water and is drought resistant. Perfect for the desert regions of the Middle East and Africa where it is native. The end result is teeny tiny little sesame seeds like you see on a hamburger bun. The sesame we grow is edible in its harvested form. The only other crop we grow that is used for direct human consumption is rice, but it has to be milled after it is harvested; basically removing the shell. We also grow soybeans, but the variety we grow are not direct edibles. Our soybeans are used for human consumption but farther down the line from us.

Sesame starts it’s life with a striking resemblance to a problematic weed in our area, the pig weed (Palmer amaranth). With risk of sounding silly, this stressed me out. We grew over 400 acres of sesame this year and our large fields that looked like nothing but pig weeds were an ugly sight.

Once the sesame gets going though it definitely changes its look. The pants are very tall, most taller than me (5’7), and during pollination they bloom with beautiful lilac colored flowers. Lorelei’s current favorite color is purple so she especially loved all the purple flowers in the sesame fields. The stalk itself is laden with pods and inside the pods are hundreds of tiny seeds.

Since I didn’t get to see our sesame being harvested the first year Andrew grew it, I probably asked him 100 times this year how exactly the combine was going to get those tiny seeds. He assured me it was possible, but I’m a skeptic by nature. Sesame is not a common crop here so it has to be hauled out of state over 7 hours away! After that, a lot of it goes to Japan.

The first frost of the year in November killed the sesame plants and they were finally ready for harvest! The plants at the time of harvest look very similar to soybean plants. They’re much smaller, leafless, and all you can really see is the stalk and the pods. They are cut like soybeans also, the only difference is the tiny little sesame seeds going into the grain tank. I just knew for sure they would all blow away during the loading/unloading stages of harvest and hauling, but to my surprise they didn’t.

Overall our sesame crop was a success and great for the land to add a new crop to the rotation so as to not keep depleting the same nutrients season after season. Farmers are to be good stewards of the land for which the Lord has provided.

October 2019 Wrap Up

October is always a busy month for us, but this year it felt like it was so jammed packed it just flew by! We kicked off the month by getting a new German Shepard puppy which the kids named Thor. I’m not a huge fan of his name but the kids love the Marvel movies and Thor stuck. He’s super cute too. Thor has been a really great puppy. He’s picking up potty training well and sleeps all night in his crate without a peep. We’ve only had one major hiccup with him and that’s because he broke his leg!! Yep, Lorelei got her cast off around the middle of September and the very next month Thor broke his leg! He’s had his cast for 2 weeks now and will have it another 2 weeks. The cast doesn’t seem to bother him at all. He doesn’t mess with it and he gets around just fine with it. He still runs around to keep up with the kids and can go up and down our stairs with no problems. He had a checkup earlier this week and it seems to be healing nicely. We can’t wait to get this cast off though so he can be a normal pup again!

Harvest is was still in high gear. We were able to finish picking corn, cutting milo, and cutting rice. Towards the end of the month it started raining frequently and that has really slowed things down. We still have soybeans to finish cutting and the sesame will be ready to cut soon! Andrew was able to get all the winter wheat planted before the rain though!

We were able to squeeze in a few family outings this month in between the rains. We hit up a local pumpkin patch and spent a weekend in Branson.

One of the biggest events for us every October is the twins birthday! This year Rhett & Lorelei turned 4! Rhett wanted a tractor birthday and Lorelei wanted flamingos so we decided to flamingle on the farm! We had so much fun celebrating their birthday with our family and friends! Lorelei said this was the best birthday ever! She says that every year so I hope that trend continues!

Last but certainly not least, a favorite day in the month of October, Halloween! Frozen is a huge hit at our house! Lorelei is obsessed with Elsa and Maggie Mae is equally as obsessed with Anna. Frozen was the perfect fit for our whole gang! Rhett went back and forth about whether or not he wanted to be Kristoff of Sven but I had to give the final vote when I realized it was much easier to get a Kristoff costume in his size and he was perfectly happy with that. Belle not being able to voice her opinion just yet made the absolute cutest Olaf baby I have ever seen! She was hilarious too because she loved her little Olaf head piece and wanted to wear it 24/7! It was absolutely freezing Halloween night so we only hit up a handful of houses before deciding we really were Frozen and calling it quits. The kids still ended up with buckets full of candy and had the best time!

We had the best October and we can’t wait to see what November has in store for us! We’re ready for another Disney trip 😉

Rowlett Twins Birth Story

Last week we celebrated Rhett & Lorelei turning 4! I can’t believe how fast 4 years has gone by! The twins came into this world about 2 months early at 33 weeks. I get asked a lot about my labor experience and birth with them so I’m going to share the full story here!

My pregnancy from the beginning was what I feel is pretty normal for a twin pregnancy. I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum the first 20 weeks or so with one hospital visit for IV fluids. Super controversial topic but after 9 weeks I took Zofran during the day and Phenergan at night to combat the constant vomiting. Both my babies were born completely healthy so no side effects from that and we felt the benefits outweighed the risks, but always consult your OB! Other than feeling like I was doing nothing but throw up, my pregnancy was relatively uneventful in the beginning.

Around 25 weeks I was starting to really feel the affects of carrying 2 babies. I was having a lot of pelvic pressure and was still working full time, including 24 hour call shifts, as an RN in the Operating Room. At my 28 week appointment with the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist we discovered my cervix was starting to shorten. It was still in a safe range but had decreased significantly since my last appointment. At that point we decided it would be best for me to take it easy. Because of the nature of my job they wouldn’t allow me to do light duty so I had to start my maternity leave early. Thankfully I had saved up tons of PTO time. I had been saving it for years and had managed to accrue 6 months of paid maternity leave which was a huge blessing and I’m so thankful to my managers for working with me through that!

At 30 weeks I had a regular checkup with the MFM specialist. At that appointment my cervix has shortened even more, out of the safe range, and I was having contractions. I was sent home on progesterone suppositories, a cardiac medication that helps with preterm labor called Procardia and strict bed rest. I could see the contractions happening on the monitor but I really couldn’t feel them so I went home feeling super uneasy that I wouldn’t know if something was wrong

I woke up about midnight that same night with my stomach cramping and diarrhea (sorry for the TMI but this is important because this is a very common labor symptom and I had no idea) I tried to go back to bed but I was still having those upset stomach cramps. I have a “nervous belly” on normal days so this wasn’t really out of the ordinary for me as I was still reeling over our doctors appointment that day. The only thing that was different is that my nervous belly usually doesn’t wake me up in the middle of the night. I debated on waking Andrew up or not but me being awake eventually woke him up on his own. He suggested we go to the hospital and I said absolutely not! While in nursing school I did a semester long internship in Labor & Delivery and I did not want to be that woman that comes in all the time thinking she’s in labor when she’s really not! Andrew had to practically force me into the car to go to the hospital and I was not happy about it. I had an upset stomach, I was not in labor. I was not having contractions. I felt fine actually.

We arrived at the hospital and got checked in to L&D triage. They hooked me up to the monitors and a nurse checked my cervix. I was having regular contractions every 2-3 minutes and I was dilated to a 2. Just 12 hours prior I wasn’t dilated at all and was having minor contractions every 20 minutes or so. I was 30 weeks pregnant with twins and in full blown labor.

The on call doctor started me on Magnesium which didn’t do much to help. My OB came to see me first thing that morning and we decided it would be best to send me to the hospital where my MFM doctor is. Our local hospital doesn’t have a NICU and even on Mag my labor was still progressing. So off I went on an ambulance to the big city about 2 hours away.

The next 48 hours are really a blur. My labor wasn’t stopping, I was on the max dose of Mag and felt like death. I remember learning in nursing school that being on Mag makes you feel horrible, but nothing prepares you for the feeling of being run over by a freight train. On top of feeling awful I was having a Foley catheter nightmare. I’ve had a catheter before for other surgeries and have never had issues with them but because of the way the babies were pressing on my bladder this catheter was extremely painful! Magnesium is very hard for your body to breakdown and process and since I was on the highest dose it was extremely important for my nurses to monitor my urine output so they could monitor my kidney function. I’m a nurse myself and was completely aware of this, but the pain, y’all the pain. I’m so sorry to my nurse, Holly, because I was a horrible patient. I screamed in pain for hours, Andrew was scared and mad and he screamed at the nurses to do something. I finally told Holly if she didn’t willingly take my catheter out I would just do it myself. She reluctantly agreed and I had to use a bedpan to void after that but I felt 100x better!

After 72 hours on Magnesium I was still having contractions but they had slowed significantly and I had reached the limit on how much Mag they could give me. Somewhere in those 3 days I had got 2 steroid shots to help develop the babies lungs and now all there was to do was wait. I would stay in that hospital room until I was 37 weeks and could go back home to deliver or the twins came early, whichever came first.

At this point it was October and right in the middle of harvest. Andrew had to go back and home and get our crop out! Andrew really doesn’t get much credit but he was such a trooper while I was on hospital bed rest! He drove 2 hours back and forth from the hospital to work almost every day.

I spent 3 weeks on hospital bed rest. I had a spacious room with a great view of 1 tree and a parking lot. I wasn’t allowed to leave my room at all. I even got in trouble once for taking too long in the shower. My mom and grandma both stayed with me some when Andrew couldn’t, but honestly I didn’t mind being alone. I felt like a burden for anyone to have to be there with me so I enjoyed the time to myself more. I did a lot of online shopping and taught myself to crochet. Andrew even learned to crochet too and took his turn attempting the baby blanket I was working on 😂

I was on a couple different oral medications to control my contractions which were still coming every 30 minutes or so all day long along with the progesterone suppositories, but every night like clockwork around 7-9pm my contractions would start back up in full force every couple minutes until they could get them back under control.

One night at 33 weeks, just like usual, my contractions started back up. It was around 7pm and Andrew was planning on staying home that night. I called him and told him these felt different and he needed to come now. The nurses tried all the usual meds and tricks to get my uterus to calm down but things weren’t working this time. My contractions were coming every minute and I was dilated to a 5. I had just had an ultrasound 2 days before and both twins were still breech so we knew I would need a csection to deliver them. At this point it was the middle of the night and I had been in active labor for several hours. I was extremely uncomfortable but it wasn’t unbearable. Naturally, my MFM doctor didn’t want to come in at 2am to deliver me so he kept telling the nurses things to do to stop my labor. Andrew went to sleep on the couch in my room about this time and that’s when things really kicked into gear which HE SLEPT THROUGH. I felt my water break (actually baby A, Lorelei’s water) and called for the nurse to come check me. I was really really hurting at this point. I was hot and heavy in labor with twins and had no epidural and no pain medicine. When the nurse walked in I was sitting up in bed in the middle of a contraction and she tried to get me to lay down. Sorry to her now but I screamed some not nice things at her. She laid me down and checked me and I was fully dilated and Lorelei’s foot was right there. I could see the panic written all over her face. We were about to deliver these babies if my doctor didn’t hurry up. My doctor was finally on his way, Andrew woke up, and we were getting prepped for a csection!

I just want to throw out there that the entire month of my preterm labor fiasco I was never in any true labor pain until Lorelei’s water broke and I was completely dilated. It was nothing like people talk about or you see on tv until the very end! Everyone’s labor/birth experience is different but this was not at all what I expected.

Once in the OR the CRNA student did my spinal, it was quick and painless, I chatted with the CRNA and the anesthesiologist who was in the room to my surprise (If you’re part of the OR crew you’ll understand this reference 😂) the my MFM came in and went to work. He joked with me about waking him up for a csection at 4am and then we heard Lorelei cry! She came into this world just like she loves her life, full of energy! I didn’t get to see her but the NICU nurses and a Neonatologist were in the room and they told me she was doing perfect. Rhett took longer, he was hard to get out, he was wedged way up under my ribs (the bottom right one he had broken a few months ago). I remember feeling the immense pressure of them pushing and pulling to get him out. He finally came out screaming too! Just like Lorelei, they said he was great! They wrapped them both up in the same incubator and rolled them past me before they headed to the NICU. They were perfectly healthy. Neither of them needed any oxygen, just tiny 4 pound babies.

Having had multiple csections since this one, I can say now that my recovery from the first one was rough. Almost 9 hours of unmedicated labor followed by a middle of the night emergency csection with 2 babies was really hard on me. I was in a lot of pain for about 2 weeks. I could barely walk at all the first week. To make matters worse I had the worst spinal headache! They kept me in the hospital for 6 days after having the twins. On day 5 I had a blood patch done by an anesthesiologist to relieve my spinal headache which did provide instant relief! The twins spent a month in the NICU with no health complications, just learning to eat and grow. We are so thankful they were both so healthy!

Branson Weekend October 2019

Andrew and I celebrated our 6th anniversary this year on October 12. Considering we have 4 toddlers who have never stayed a night away from us, there isn’t much celebrating to be had for us! We decided we would make a little family weekend getaway of it!

I grew up relatively local to Branson, MO in a small lake town in North Central Arkansas. We went to Branson all the time when I was growing up. I can still remember packing the car up with cooler bags and heading to Branson to the Walmart Supercenter to stock up on groceries because we didn’t have one! Now that we live in Andrew’s hometown Branson is about 4 hours away, but my parents still live close so we chose that for our quick getaway spot since there’s lots to do for the kids!

A little funny tidbit, the girls outfits are Eleanor Rose. The romper Belle has on is several years old, I’ve had it since Lorelei was a baby and all the girls have worn it. When MM could fit in it last year I managed to find the matching dress for Lorelei to wear. This year I was bummed because I didn’t have a size up in the dress for Lorelei so they could all three match! Then all my matching dreams came true and ER decided to run the print again! I was so excited because I love this print so much and I got to get Lorelei’s size up and all the girls matched. I was quickly bummed out when Lorelei’s new dress arrived and I realized the pinks are two completely different colors from her new one and the old ones! Thankfully it was super cold in Branson that weekend so the girls got to wear their adorable Sweet LaRose monogram coats and no one could see the mismatching dresses!

We have a ton of IHG hotel points so we utilized those to stay at Holiday Inn Holiday Hills resort. We have a very spacious 2 bedroom villa and it was really nice! I highly recommend this resort for families! I’m not sure the cost because we used points and it was free but I don’t think it’s very expensive. The resort has rooms of all sizes but there’s 6 of us so we have to go big. Our room had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a full size kitchen with bar/barstools, a dining area with table, living room, and a kitchenette. Although we didn’t utilize these services, the resort is on a full golf course, has an indoor pool and a restaurant. There’s also security at the entrance and you get parking passes so it felt very safe! It’s a little bit outside Branson strip but only about 5 minutes from Branson Landing.

Andrew came home from work Friday around 11am and we headed straight to Branson to Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede that night for dinner. We chose the 5:30pm show because our kids are little and 7:30 would be way too late for them especially after a long car ride. Honestly I was a little unsure how the Dixie Stampede would go. I hadn’t been since I was a kid and couldn’t remember if it was exciting enough to hold our toddlers attention. I had nothing to worry about, they loved it! They intently watched and loved every minute of the show! Andrew and I talked about it when we left how much we couldn’t believe how into it they were!

Saturday morning we took our time getting around and had breakfast at Cracker Barrel before heading to Silver Dollar City for the day. My mom, stepdad, grandma, and brother were able to meet up with us there. SDC was fully decked out with fall and Halloween decorations and it was really pretty! We hadn’t been to SDC in about 2 and we are frequent Disney World goers so I was unsure what to expect. Honestly we were pretty disappointed. There’s literally 3 rinkydink rides for little kids to ride and everything else has a 36″ height requirement. We are so spoiled to WDW where babies can ride pretty much everything except the big rollercoasters. We were also super shocked by the insane crowds! It was wall to wall shoulder to shoulder people and the hills are so steep! Definitely not stroller friendly at all! WDW is super crowded a lot too and really crowds don’t bother us but WDW is a lot better about dispersing crowds with line ques that are enclosed. I noticed all the walkway space at SDC was taken up by people waiting in lines for food and rides. Overall even though I thought the logistics of SDC are poor, the kids still had a great time and that’s really all that matters. They really enjoyed hanging out with their grandparents and nothing beats a day with their Uncle Kyle, the biggest kid of all. We did have some great food from the big skillets at lunch and funnel cakes and I highly recommend that!

The kids tractor outfits are also Sweet LaRose. You can find them on Facebook

Pumpkin Patch October 2019

Is it really even fall if you don’t take your kids to a pumpkin patch? Probably so but I’m not buying it! Our local pumpkin patch opened up the first weekend in October so we dropped by at 10am the first Saturday it was open to beat the crowds and had a wonderful time!

Cache River Corn Maze & Harvest Days is in Cash, AR and owned by the Cureton family. They’re super sweet people and their set up is very family friendly! They have a pumpkin patch, corn maze, tractor hay rides, petting zoo, and tons of self play games for the kids! Kids under 4 are free and it’s $10 for adults! That includes everything except any pumpkins you want to take home and any snacks/drinks you buy.

The girls outfits are from Sweet LaRose, you can find them on Facebook!

Things You Shouldn’t Forget To Bring to Disney World

One of the most common questions I get asked is what should I pack for my trip to Walt Disney World? I’ve complied a short list of things you may not think of or may forget. I do not have things like clothes, toiletries, etc because I feel like that’s common sense. I’ll include links with a few items and these links are not sponsored by anyone, these are my own personal opinions of products I have used.

1. Sunscreen! I know this kind of falls under the toiletries category and may be common sense but it’s definitely worth listing. Protect your skin from the sun! You only get one set of skin for your whole life so take care of it every day even when not on vacation in Florida *steps down from soapbox*

2. Stroller rain covers! If you will be at WDW anytime between March-October you should bring rain protection. I have 2 Baby Jogger City Mini double strollers and these cheap amazon stroller covers are my favorite! They fit the stroller perfectly and protect it and the kids from even a torrential downpour!

3. Ponchos. Ponchos are really great for walking around in light rain which is does at WDW pretty much daily. I like this 12 pack of ponchos from amazon because it includes 6 adult ponchos and 6 kid ponchos.

4. Umbrellas. A poncho is pretty useless when the rain is pouring down, this is when having an umbrella comes in handy! Any small travel umbrella is worth throwing in your suitcase. We bring 2, one for each adult, the kids are always dry under their stroller covers.

5. Hand sanitizer. There are a ton of people at WDW from all over the world! A little bottle in your backpack of hand sanitizer is definitely worth keeping handy! I like to pack them in my luggage because they cost a fortune if you buy it on Disney property!

6. Clip on stroller fans. Especially if you have really young children this is a must! Babies can’t adequately regulate their body temperature and it gets very hot even in the shade! I got these from Walmart. They come in a few different colors and were reasonably priced. My only complaint is that the battery cover doesn’t stay on very well but that doesn’t affect use. Also, the battery does not last long between charges. They were really cheap though and you get what you pay for. They’ve been on 2 week long Disney trips with us now so I would say they’re worth it.

We don’t usually spend hardly any time in our room but if you want to save money there are several places to have groceries, snacks, and other items delivered to your hotel room. I always have diapers and wipes delivered so that I don’t have to take up a lot of suitcase space with diapers. If you’re an Amazon Prime member download the Amazon Prime Now! app and use their 2 hour delivery service! Delivery is free and you can have all kinds of stuff delivered directly to bell services at your Disney resort!

I often see a first aid kit listed as something to bring to Disney and I honestly think that’s a total waste. All Disney parks have first aid stations. They have everything you could ever imagine there and you don’t have to pay for it! Just recently on our last trip on youngest was very fussy and feeling warm. I noticed that she had a new tooth starting to come in and headed to the first aid station. They happily took her temperature to check her fever and gave her some Tylenol. They carry allergy, cold, headache, migraine medicine, Benadryl, bandaids, etc. You get the picture by now I’m sure. Utilize the first aid station!

If you need help planning your Disney trip please email me at My services are free and I would love to help!

Homeschool Preschool Summer Review

Even though it has been 100° the last few days, summer is almost over! The first official day of fall is just a couple days away, although it won’t feel like fall for months! Welcome to the South y’all!

Anyway, we started our homeschool journey this summer and are finishing up 15 weeks of “school”! I would say at this point my homeschool style goal is a little bit Charlotte Mason and a little bit Classical. I chose to start with Memoria Press Preschool for 2s and 3s. I figured this curriculum was a good place for us to start because Magnolia is 2 and the twins are 3 so they can all start together. The twins have been really interested in everything, but Magnolia comes in and out of attention as she pleases. I let her do what she wants, it’s still early for her but she wants to be included.

Memoria Press curriculum for this age is mostly read aloud books, bible verses, and suggestions for extra activities. Pictured below is the read aloud books for the first 15 weeks; there are a couple review weeks.

In addition to the read aloud books we are very Charlotte Mason inspired. We spend 90% of our days outside and on the farm. We try to incorporate teaching the kids about everything they do and see as we go. This often includes bugs, frogs, animals, and crops.

This summer we also did a lot of cute little activities for the animals around our house. We painted, built, and put up bird houses. We also hung a birds feeder and a hummingbird feeder. The hummingbird feeder is right outside a window on our porch and the kids have really enjoyed watching all the hummingbirds come to visit!

These cute little birdhouse kits are Melissa and Doug and I found them on amazon for pretty cheap. They’re actually really sturdy but were easy to put together. They will require at least a screwdriver but I recommend a drill if you’re doing more than one to speed up the assembly process!

We had a very wet spring and summer this year so we did have to spend several days inside. I purchased a few things for rainy days that have been some of my favorite school things! I found these wood tracing boards on Etsy and I absolutely love them! We have cursive and print alphabet which are double sided with capital and lowercase letters. One board has shapes and patterns. We also have a numbers board which came with cute little wooden balls for counting on one side but my kids are just too little for that choking hazard right now so I put those away immediately.

I have to admit the tracing boards are pretty expensive. They’re solid wood and handmade. They’re pretty heavy and will definitely last forever and with multiple children they’re worth the investment.

On the cheaper side I found these farm themed lacing cards on amazon and they were cheap! These are great for hand eye coordination and fine motor skills! I also got some cheap craft rocks and a paint pen to make these alphabet rocks. We use these for all kinds of things and will continue to use them to put words together as the kids get older.

Another Etsy purchase was this sand tray which the kids love! It has a little insert at the top to hold flash cards so the kids can trace the letters in the sand. This is another great tactile learning tool and building of fine motor skills

We tried to incorporate indoor activities into our read aloud books for rainy days too. While reading The Best Mouse Cookie we made cookies and while reading The Busy Spider we painted spider hands.

We start every day with the children’s prayers and Bible verse recitation. It has amazed me how quickly and easily the kids pick up the prayers and Bible verses!

On top of the structure activities we also make time every day for them to do their own “art” stuff. This usually involves coloring, painting, or cutting. We are at a scissor obsession stage and as silly as it is they really like for me to draw lines on a paper so they can cut along the lines.

I was really nervous to homeschool so I wanted to start early in case I was too overwhelmed, but at this age you definitely don’t need any kind of structure. I’m a very type A person and I do like having the Memoria Press curriculum book to base our weeks on and I look forward to using Memoria Press as they grow. For now it’s a good fit for my style and incorporating other styles in with it!

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