Brody and Brooke

Brody and Brooke



"everything is AWESOME .... " now that that song is in your head I want to share our recent vacation to LEGOLAND in Winter Haven, FL.

shirts from CreativiTEE Designs

Matt suggested LEGOLAND earlier this year, after we both decided Disney would wait until Brooke was at least 5 years old.  Brody has been into Lego's for a few years now and has been telling us about LEGOLAND from his Lego catalogs. Once I looked at the resort I was sold!
*Day 1*
We flew into Orlando which is only about 40 miles from Winter Haven.  We made a pit stop at CityWalk in Universal for lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co then headed to our Adventure Themed Room. The second we pulled up the kids got SO excited ... it was amazing - I won't go into too many details about the resort, because the surprises were so much FUN!  We arrived on a Monday and chose a 2 day park hopper pass.  The first day we just hung out at the hotel .. there was so much stuff for the kids to do they thought is was LEGOLAND.  We ate at the hotel's restaurant, Brick's Family Restaurant, that evening and was highly disappointed, so I definitely don't recommend the dining package.  We arrived around 7:30p and apparently the buffet ended at 8:00p, so there was NOTHING to eat and it cost us $50.
*Day 2*
The restaurant did redeem itself a little bit the next morning.  A breakfast buffet was included with our room and we had the option to choose a time frame....we chose the 7:30a - 8a slot and it worked out great because when we left to head to the park the line was out the door for breakfast!  If you stay at the LEGOLAND resort you can enter the park 30 min early and you don't have to drive there because it was literally a 1 minute walk.  I'm not sure if we picked the right day or week, but it was not crowded at all ... 5 minute wait for rides and we could walk right up to the characters for meet and greet - it was HEAVEN!  The minimum height for rides was 34 or 36 inches and they could ride with someone at least 48 inches - it was perfect because Brody was 48 inches!!!  The park is only open until 6p so we left around 4p just when the FL afternoon storm rolled in - which was completely fine, because we were beat.  For lunch we ate at The Fun Town Pizza Buffet and it was really good ... still $50 for a pizza buffet, but very good.  One of the shows that we heard great reviews about was the Pirates Cove Show and it was SO neat - it's a MUST see!  For dinner we decided to go visit some local favorites .... Harry's Old Place and Andy's Drive In and Igloo both were so good!
*Day 3*
We had some pretty good planning on this trip, because the 2nd park day was far hotter than the first and we had planned to do the water park! You do have to walk through the main park to get to the Water Park, which was good, because we could hit up some of the favorites and see a few things we missed on the first day.  We did end up renting a cabana and was well worth it ... we had a place to go to get out of the heat, a safe, refrigerator and was able to order lunch to be delivered right there. We left around 5p and headed back and napped ... we wanted to do the PJ dance party at the hotel at 8p, so since we were so tired we just ate at the Brick's Restaurant again ... the buffet wasn't as terrible when it was filled, but still nothing to brag about.
*Day 4*
Home sweet home ... we traveled home and said good bye to all the primary colors bricks.  I feel like we will revisit LEGOLAND in a few years - it was truly a great vacation!
*Tips and Reviews*
  • Bring some mini figures to trade - if not plan to buy some at $3.50 a pop - Brody had the best time trading!
  • Stay at the resort - when the final email confirmation arrived a few days before we left I was rethinking the resort it since the nightly rate was $450, but it was SO worth it - that rate included: breakfast, 2-day park hopper, SO many activties for the kids, early park entrance, free self parking or $20 valet (and that was for the entire stay - with in/out privileges), treasure chest hunt in the room, characters walking around the lobby all the time, and probably so much more we didn't even get to!  
  • NO dining package ... try a local place!


Brooke Harper Blind _ Birth Story

*November 4th - I had my last Dr appointment the afternoon of November 4th.  The appointment was at 1:40p so I packed up my stuff from work and told Holly I was sure I would see her the next day. She told me no way and she knew she wouldn't see me again pregnant and gave me hug.  As I walked out one of my bosses waved bye from the conference room then came out of his meeting to give me a hug and wish me good luck ... I told him I was sure I'd see him the next day.  The Dr told me I was at a 3 1/2 and was still about 80% effaced and if I didn't go sooner we would be induced on Thursday and 4a.  That was that ... we would be having our baby girl on November 7th (one day from my due date and 4 days until the P!NK concert).  After the doctor appointment Matt had to go back to work and I went home and picked up Brody.  During dinner I was having contractions and just didn't feel right, but I just blew them off .... while Matt fell asleep on the couch.  I got Brody to bed and was still having contractions and at this point I was pissed at Matt for falling asleep ESP after he knew I wasn't feeling good.  I left his snoring ass on the couch and went to bed around 9p - I figured I would just go to sleep and the contractions would go away (like any other night).  Around 11p I woke up to contractions - it freaked me out because that had never happened and about every other one hurt really bad!  At this point Matt had woken up and was coming to bed.  I told him that I was still having contractions and they were really strong and didn't know what to do .... He asked if we should go to the hospital and I said no so he told me to start timing them and Google on what to do and then .... went back to sleep.  So I got the iPad and leaned it against him in bed and started timing.  (My worst fear was going to the hospital and them telling me the contractions where Baxton Hicks and I had to wait until Thursday because I knew I couldn't last that long!)  The contractions were about 2-3 min apart and every other one hurt BAD.  I woke Matt back up and said .... "Google says you should go to the hospital when you have 4-5 contractions in an hour and well I've just had 8 in 20 min"  We agreed we should head to the hospital. I had my bags packed and threw the last few items in. Matt woke Brody up and thank God he was in a great mood (which is always a toss up).  We didn't call anyone at first because we wanted to make sure this was the real deal.  I was freezing and shaking like crazy and that every other contraction stopped me in my tracks, but all I wanted to do was walk it off .... I paced the driveway thru "one of those contractions" then put my garbage bag and beach towel on the seat and got in.  As we pulled away Matt and I had this conversation .... 

M-do you want anything from the Gas Station?
M-well do you mind if I stop
S-(deep sigh) I guess not .... 
M-well if we're going to be up all night I want a snack

That 10 mile drive was LONG .... it felt like an hour!!

*November 5 (Emily's 30th birthday) - we arrived at St Anthony's ER around 1a.  I asked the nurse in the ER if I could just walk up to the floor because it hurt so bad to sit, but she made me sit in the wheel chair anyways .... I just tried to stay calm and didn't say much.  We got to the room and they told us we would be staying since we had an induction date anyways.  I was in a lot of pain, but couldn't get the epidural until I got a whole bag of fluids.  I was still at around a 3 1/2 and they weren't planning on breaking my water or starting pitocin until 7a since my doctor wasn't on call. In the meantime Matt called Mom, Dad and Emily and they headed up.  I got a shot of stadol and as the nurse was giving it to me and said "now this is going to feel like you had a few cocktails" My reply .... "I know ... that's what I want!" From this point on I'm not sure on times because everything happened so fast .... Once the crew arrived Dad and Matt took Brody home and I was able to get my epidural.  I felt so dumb getting the epidural so early (only being a 3 1/2), but I needed it.  They didn't give me a high dose (because I hate not being able to feel anything), but it was just enough that I could relax.  When Matt got back we tried to relax like he needed anymore sleep we shut off the lights and closed our eyes - Mom & Emily on the other hand couldn't relax so they went to get a coffee. It was around 5:30a and the nurse came in to check me and was like "oh honey you are at a 9 already .... your doctor is not going to make this delivery.  I would have never thought you would have progressed that fast with the way the contractions where showing up"  Mom and Emily where going to be in the delivery room again so I had Matt call them and tell them to come back because they started bringing in all the gear to have a baby.  I was scared & shaking like crazy (again) ... yes this was my second rodeo, but Brody's delivery was a breeze and he was 6lb (the dr told me that Brooke was probably around 8lb ... ) plus child birth is just a scary thing! The nurse called the Dr and it was just a waiting game for her to come.  I was laying on my side and that's how I had to stay until the Dr showed up because Brooke was "right there"! The nurse told me if she put my legs in the stirrups that she would be delivering this baby.  Dr Campbell arrived and 3 short pushes later at 6:32a .... 

Brooke Harper Blind arrived!!  Topping the scale at 5lb 12oz 19in

Did I miss something? when did they break my water or when did my water break on it's own - oh yea .... that never happened - when the Dr came in she asked me if I wanted to deliver the baby still in the water sac - told her I didn't care ... she told me its completely safe and hardly ever happens - I told her it was fine then .... so Brooke was delivered still in the water sac.  When her head came out the Dr just broke the membranes over her face and the room filled with the greatest cry ever!! Those type of births apparently only happen in 1 and 1,000 births ... 


Brody and my Dad came back up a few hours later and they both have been head over heels in love with her ever since!


Baby Blind #2 _ Surprise Gender Reveal

*June 18th couldn't come fast enough for us - we were going to find out if we were having a boy or girl!!  Our appointment was at 8:30a and all 3 of us went - very excited!!

The ultrasound tech is doing all the measurements and then she gets to the butt ... Matt says to Brody "we're gonna find out if it's a boy or girl - what do you think?"  "it's going to be a girl" Brody says & Matt agrees.  I was indifferent - I didn't care which way, but to be honest I was leaning boy.  I just thought it would be cool for Brody to have a brother to share "brotherly" stuff with and I wanted to name this one after my Grandpa.  So, I was shocked to see those 3 little white lines - almost as much as I was to see those pink lines in MARCH!  After the appointment I changed Brody's shirt and dropped him off at school *side note* we weren't telling our family until Saturday - they all thought we were finding out on June 25th - so we had to keep this a secret for 4 days AND Brody was spending the night at my Mom's on Tuesday night and would be with her all day on Wednesday.  On the way to school I was trying to distract Brody by asking him "so we don't know if it's going to be a boy or girl" He proudly said "yes we do .. it's a girl" man oh man ... I was just waiting for a text from my Mom!  But .... it never happened - Brody didn't say a word and neither did I (to my mom) ....We told everyone at work, a few friends and my sister. *June 22nd was the big reveal!  We had already planned a Belated Father's Day BBQ with all the grandparents and parents so everyone would find out at the same time.  I went back and forth on how to announce it, but decided on balloons!  I borrowed a box which was already decorated, but I had something else in mind ....

When everyone arrived and I don't think it really hit them on what was going on ....

But, once they figured it out they were all super excited!!  We did a little voting and took team pictures.

Then just before the rain came in we did the reveal!!  Matt wanted to trick them a little and throw some blue balloons in the box too, but have them float away and just have the pink ones standing!


About that box I borrowed they wanted it back ... so after the reveal the winds really picked up and I couldn't even get the words out of my mouth .... "we should really move that box in before the rain comes" and the box blows into the pool and on top of Brody!!  AHHH ... we get the box out and dump some water out and I take the paper off so it can dry ....

I'm happy to say the box dried fine and I returned that bad boy yesterday!  LOL

*June 24 - The teachers at Brody's school were so excited to find out so we surprised them this morning with a cookie cake - Brody carried it down the hall with the biggest smile ever on his face.


Baby Blind #2 _ Trimester 2 _ Part 1

In case your coming to this party late ... you can catch up here.

Hello 2nd Trimester!!
*May 8 & 9 - I got a little work stay-cation and got to melt in the beds of the Four Seasons for a few days - it was heaven!! *May 13 - I was off to get the first half of a crown done - so not fun - but before that Brody and I went to check out a possible "new school" for him.  He went to this place when he was an infant and we were pleased.  At first he didn't want to go - then he was OK with going as long as I wasn't going to leave - then he didn't want to leave - he LOVED it.  When my Mom came to take me to the Dentist and boasted from the backseat "Grammy when the baby pops out I'm going to a new school!"  *May 14 - I got an email from Brody's teachers asking if everything was OK, because he had mentioned more than once that he was going to a new school soon. *May 17 - Brody's school had a Pre-K Graduation / Spring Program - the preschoolers were walking into the church (to the "graduation song") and Matt whispered in my ear ... "are you crying" no (with tears in my eyes) "Brody isn't even graduating ... try to compose yourself" it's the music & I'm pregnant - lol 

*May 18 - I got up and felt great so decided to to take the dogs for a walk.  When we got to the park I thought I would try to run a little with both of them (*side note* when I've tried this in the past it's never lasted long ... because Reese is always trying to run next to Zoe then runs into me and I almost trip) .... welp that "little" turned into a mile with both pups!  It was great!! *May 21 - Dr Appt!!  I still hadn't gained that much weight (maybe 3-4 lbs) and the heart rate dropped a bit (which they said was TOTALLY normal) and it was 158. *May 19 - I scheduled for us to have some Spring Family Pictures taken - we tried out a new photographer and she ROCKED!! She had the magic touch with Brody ... he sat and smiled and there was no running around and Matt chasing him and me being super crappy & the session ending with me throwing my arms up and saying "whatever who needs F'n" pictures anyway not sure why I crossed that out because it really usually is that way .... ANYWHO ... I couldn't be happier with the way they turned out!!

*May 25 - We went over to some friends house for a 31 Party and BBQ - I forgot how sweet it was to put a baby in their PJ's & give them a bottle & just sit there holding them ... watching them fall asleep! ahhh ... sweet Makenzie! *May 27 - We got an Eckart's gift card for Christmas and still had it so we headed that way for lunch and some Strawberry Festival fun.  Honestly we've never been to Eckart's and I'm not sure why!?!?  It was fun!!  Brody was awesome with the rides - no tears or fits when it stopped - we fed the animals carrot chips & shopped in the store. Let me just tell ya what .... I'm pretty sure every other family I saw was having a baby - no joke!!  I wanted to pick the strawberries, but the boys weren't into it so we bought some instead .... as we were looking at them and teenager and her mom came in and the girl goes "you're telling me I just went through all of that work and could have bought them HERE" bahahaha *June 1 - I was signed up and super pumped for the "Doctor Approved" 2013 USO Mud Run, but mother natural had different plans.  It POURED the night before and the morning of, but we still got up at 5:30a on a Saturday and drove to it - hoping it would let up.  We got there and took out our umbrellas, duct taped our shoes and shivered under the hatchbacks .... it was 8:15a - our start time was at 8:30a - it was time to get out of under the umbrellas and hatchbacks and head to the start line, but it was still pouring & freezing!!  I mentioned to the group .... "we should just do breakfast instead" - another agreed - "I mean we've already gave our money to the troops" - then we voted - Breakfast it was!! I was bummed, because we had a TON of fun last year!!  *June 2 - after our Eckart's trip I planned a Grant's Farm trip *those goats get me everytime*  We hadn't been there since Mother's Day 2011! So we left right after church and the goats were full again this time!!  Oh well ... honestly if the goats were crazy hungry Brody would hate it.

*June 3rd - new month new week ... I'm exercising!!  After supper I wanted to walk/run with the dogs, but Brody wanted to go with me.  So I made him ride in his stroller - I bet it's been a year since he's been in that thing - he gets in - his knees bump the tray - "I'm too big for this!!" ... luckily he's pretty easy going so he just went with it ... off we go - a jogger stroller with a 3 year old, 2 dogs and a pregnant lady! We make one lap around the park (1 mile) then he wants to run - great - honestly I can't wait for the day the two of us can go on a run together ..... so now .... it's a jogger stroller, a 3 year old, 2 dogs and a pregnant lady running - yes we are a circus act!  Brody did pretty darn good - he's sprinter (as all 3 year olds are), so he didn't last very long, but by god he made it a mile - me on the other hand was disastrous - I have 80+ lbs of dogs running with an empty stroller ... I was all over the place!  *June 4th - I got up with my alarm and watched Ellen and lifted some weights .... *June 5th-7th - slept in - had too much stuff going on in the evenings - gotta love the burst of energy spells - oh look ... just as I left it in the 1st Trimester!


Baby Blind #2 _ Trimester 1

So I left off at *March 6th - I wake Matt up and say (something along the words of) "we're having a BABY".  The next day I'm bursting at the seams waiting to tell someone else!  I try to meet Emma for coffee or lunch, but she can't get away so I just ask her something like this "so do you think you can be in the delivery room again THIS FALL?"  My initial plan was to wait to tell our family on Easter and give them an egg with a note in it .... well that lasted all of 2 days ... *March 9th - we stopped by all the parents and grandparents houses and Brody gave them this: 

This was right around the time when Grandpa wasn't doing good at all so the good news brought tears to many.  I don't like to tell anyone else but family before my 1st ultrasound and doctor appointment., but I had some pretty important events coming up .... 1st hurdle = St Patty's Parade and 5 mi.  The weather was on my side and was pretty cold so that was my "excuse" for not wanting to stay around after the run - the RUN that my ass ran the whole way with the Hubby!!  2nd hurdle = Blogger Birthday Bunco .... AT MY HOUSE.  I'm not going to lie I was terrified!!  If you're not part of a Bunco group you don't know what kind of breed these girls are.  I passed with flying colors - NO ONE asked me why I wasn't drinking.  My 1st doctor appointment was scheduled for *March 25th, but when the day finally came so did snow & lots of it .... UGH canceled and rescheduled to March 29th.  *March 29th - Everything looked great & I was right at 8 weeks along!!  I kept telling my Dr how I had symptoms and I never had them before ... she laughed and was like EVERYTHING is different the 2nd time around!!  After the appointment my mom dropped some letters in the mail to some very special people.  *March 30th - so much fun .... everyone got their letters and were surprised about the news!  *April 1st - I changed my cover on FB and said nothing else ... I did get some messages asking if it was another April's fools joke like I did the year before.  *April 23rd - doctor appointment!  I'm always super nervous about the 2nd doctor appointment .... because you're just right at the 1st trimester and the nurse always says - "it might take me a while since your so early" - she had no problems.  It was a strong and fast 169 heart rate   I can NOT believe we only have one more doctor appointment until we know what we're having ... AHH!  *April 27 - Color Run 5K!!  It was cold and raining, but we did it!!  I was super sore that night ... round ligament pains suck!!  I bit the bullet and got out my maternity clothes I had for Brody ... I do not remember having that many clothes!!  

*April 28 - I was still a little sore so I wore a pair of maternity jeans (which were too big) and was miserable the whole time I was shopping .... constantly pulling them up, very annoying! *April 30 - I felt great!!  After work I pulled weeds, washed my car & Brody and I got an icee.  Took a 12 week belly picture! *May 1 - I actually got up at 5a for a workout!! *May 2-3 - Slept in again .... lol (the burst of energy was nice while it lasted)

Cravings: Salads with Ranch (usually I'm an Italian dressing kind of girl), Soup, Ice 
Clothes: some of my pants are getting snug & the ones that still button get pretty uncomfortable by the end of the day
Symptoms: At the beginning nausea was pretty bad - I feel like I'm hungover, but its getting much better
Energy: it's off and on ....