Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas 2014....Brooks' first Christmas!

We had a great Christmas and it was so much fun having Brooks here for Christmas!  He got super spoiled and loved on which he loved.  He did sleep through most of it but when he was awake he smiled a lot.

We had our first Christmas with the Fortner family.  We always have so much fun when the Fortner's get together!  Of course Jean always out does herself and we always leave feeling so blessed.

After the Fortner's we head to my parents house and have Christmas with the Caroland's.

As always my parents always go above and beyond at Christmas.  I love the easy traditions my parents keep.  We do a quick meal and watch all the kids tear into their presents.  The older Farrah gets the more she can't wait to open presents.  It's always fun to watch her and this year she was got to help Brooks open his presents.

Can't wait til tomorrow on Christmas day!  Farrah has no idea about her "Santa" gift.  I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep tonight just because I'm so excited for her.....She's going to Disney World!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Brooks 3 months!

Brooks is 3 months old! 

You weigh a little over 11pounds.

You sleep from 11pm-8:30am!

You are wearing size 3 months in clothes and finally starting to fill them out.  

You're in size 1 diapers,

You're eating 4 oz every 3-4 hours.

You met your great grandpa Caroland!

You also got to meet Santa Claus! 

You are just the happiest baby!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dallas Marathon....2014!

My whole life I've believed I wasn't a runner and that I hated running.  A couple of months ago I had some friends talk me into running a half marathon.  I could do a half but wasn't interested in a whole marathon.  I started training the week after Brooks was born. At first I wasn't to sure I could do this.  After weeks of training and adding to my miles a week I was starting to enjoy my runs.

I have the greatest running partner ever!!  Vanessa and I run the same pace which is rare with a running partner.  On the long runs Vanessa would come run with me.  There were weeks we would run four miles and the longest we ran was ten miles together.  We would get up super early on a Saturday, 4am or 5am depending how long the run was and if James was working.  If James was working we would go run and get back by 6 am before he had to leave for work.  There were some really cold mornings but it made those runs so much better when I had a friend run with me.

 During the training we ran some races just to get an idea what it was going to be like and it was great practice too!  One weekend I talked my niece, Reagan, to run with me.  We ran the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning and it was eight miles.

The day of the Marathon was so nerve wracking!  I was nervous and excited.  Vanessa and I had made sure we didn't wear out feet out the day before and we had our meal of pasta the night before the race.  That morning we woke up early and left the hotel by 6:30 am.  Vanessa had told me that she woke up with her stomach all messed up.  We just thought it was nerves from the race.

Once we finally got to the race there were a ton of people.  I think somewhere around 10 thousand plus people were running.  We made it to where we were to stay til the race started and Vanessa's stomach was still not right.  We started the race and off we went.  There were so many people to run around and about mile six or seven it finally cleared out to where we weren't having to run around people anymore.  We had trained to mile ten so when we reached mile ten I was surprised how great I felt.  I had been told the last three miles were the hardest.  For me I'd say the last two were the hardest.  I had some injuries that I was having to work through.  About two weeks before the race I really thought I had torn my ACL in my right knee.  It was bothering me but after mile five my knees finally went numb.  It wasn't til after the race I discovered how much pain I was really in.  At mile 10 Vanessa was telling me how bad she was hurting and cramping.  I looked at her and said "Come on V!  Only three more miles!!"  

We finished our half marathon at 2:20.  Our  goal was to finish under 2 hours and 30 minutes.  After the race Vanessa and I got our medals and pictures taken and just enjoyed the winners circle before we met up with Jason and James.  We headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready to head home.  When we were headed home, Vanessa told me she started throwing up.  I looked at her and felt so bad for her.  It was then we realized she had the stomach bug!  I nearly killed by friend and running partner by running 13 miles while being very sick.  We drove home from Dallas and stopped along the way for Vanessa to throw up.  By the time we got home Vanessa couldn't stand up straight and her whole body was cramped up and dehydrated.  After talking to Jason we highly encouraged him to drive Vanessa straight to the ER so she could get some fluids.  After two liters of IV fluid they let Vanessa go home.  Talk about feeling crappy and almost killing your friend!  I'm happy to say that Vanessa was a champ and we are running our next half marathon in February!

Through this whole training process I learned so much about myself.  I've always pushed through pain and this was no different.  I had a knee injury and a foot injury.  There were so many times I wanted to stop and walk but I wouldn't let myself do it.  I wanted to prove to myself that I could do this.  There was so much self talk to quit but I wasn't going to let that happen.  I might not run on one day just to let my body rest but I was training as hard as my body would let me.  If nothing else I wanted Farrah to see her mom do something that was hard and not give up no matter how much I hurt.  To teach her this is important to me.  To teach her that no matter how bad it hurts and if its really that important to her then she can do it.  I reminded her of the bible verse  from Philippians 4:13 I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Brooks' Gottcha Day!!!

December 12, 2014 will be a day I will always remember!  It is the day that Brooks legally became a Fortner.  It seemed like the last three months flew by.  Brooks is just the perfect addition to our family and we couldn't more proud of him!

Here we are getting sworn in before the judge.

Our lawyer asked us questions but Farrah's was my favorite.  She was asked if she promised to help, love and spoil Brooks for the rest of his life and she of course said YES!

It's official!!

Thank you to all our family and friends who came and supported us on a very special day!  Amy had to leave early so we missed her picture but she was there.

Monday, November 24, 2014

IVF Cycles - Part 1

After fourteen years of trying to have a baby we have finally reached our last option.....IVF.  This is both exciting and scary at the same time.  The IVF part doesn't scare me it the not knowing part that does.  I know with out a doubt that this is what we are suppose to do next.  I know God is in control but it's still scary to walk a path that you have no answers for.

First week of July we started the process of IVF.  I went to Dallas for routine sonograms but this time they had to do a scope to see if everything was alright.  There is a reason they put you asleep when you have scopes done.  This is the second time I've had this done in my doctors office, the first time being two years ago.  Let me just tell you it doesn't get any easier!  Thankfully everything turned out just fine and I was given the clear to start my shots.

I was a bit surprised when my box of medicines came was HUGE!  After I opened it I was relieved to find that most of it was packaging for the medicine to stay cold.  Don't get me wrong it was still a lot of medicine.

I started out with having to take one shot and two pills everyday for four days.  After that I had to wait for more testing, blood work and sonograms.  After that I started with two shots a day.  There was one drug that totally stressed me out.  We had to mix three different vials and put it into one syringe.  This was stressful because if we messed it up, we messed up the whole cycle.  This one type of medicine I had to take in the morning so James was brave enough to take on this task of mixing this medicine.  The only problem was he had to give me this shot before he left for work because once it is mixed you have to give the shot.  Every morning James would wake me up at 5:45 am to give me this shot then I would go back to bed.

This is James mixing one of the shots for me.

The evening shot was a different medicine that was refrigerated and let me tell you I learned quick to warm that one up!  Putting an ice cold shot in your stomach burned!!  I should say that my poor husband was the one giving me all my shots.  The one time I gave myself a shot I bruised so badly.  By the way every shot was given in my stomach.

After another a trip to Dallas for more blood work and a sonogram I learned that I had five follicles on my right side with two really big ones and three smaller ones and five smaller follicles on my left.  From what I understand this was a great thing!  Ten follicles was just what we were praying for!  Of course the more follicles the better our chances were.  After this appointment I was told I had to add another shot to my daily task.  Three shots a in the morning and two at night.  The only thing with the new shot was that it would slow down the growth of the follicles.  We needed all ten of these follicles to GROW!

We had to wait a couple of days for another sonogram and blood work.  James and I couldn't decide with this appointment what we should do.  Do I drive down and come back in one day or do we both go down and wait?  The hard part was with my appointment times being at 10:30 am every time.  That was the latest because of the blood work and that meant we had to leave the house by 4 a.m.  Thankfully, James decided to go with me and we would just stay til it was time for the retrieval.

We left the house bright and early and stopped in Abilene for breakfast at Chick-fil-a.  After breakfast James had to give me another shot.  So yes, James is mixing my syringe in the parking lot of Chick-fil-a!  The funny part was trying to hide what we were doing so no one would call the police on us!

We learned a log time ago you have to laugh through this process and find the things that are funny!  Mixing your fertility drugs in a parking lot is funny!  Another funny part was when James was giving me a shot one evening and I was watching The Big Bang Theory and started laughing while the needle was in my stomach....NOT a good idea!

After the sonogram and blood work we hung out til we got the results.  We weren't sure if we were staying in town or if we were going back home and wait til I was ready for retrieval.  After the blood work came back we received news that we weren't expecting.  We were told that the drugs I had been taking did not work like they had hoped.  What this meant was that the only two follicles that were big enough were the only two that grew to size.  We were pretty much told that this was a failed cycle and to stop the medicine and wait for a cycle then let my body rest one month.  After that my doctor would change my medicine and hope I would respond better to the new medicine.

To say that I was surprised is a huge understatement.  I never saw this coming and I never thought this could happen.  I know I'm not getting any younger and I know it's only going to get harder for me to get pregnant the older I get.

The only thought I have after this is I don't want any what if's.  What if we stopped?  What if this new medicine doesn't work? Are we disappointed.....yes!

I'm so thankful for our families who encourage us everyday!  We decided to keep our IVF cycles very private this time.  It's so hard going through this journey and with everyone knowing and asking you how things are going.  We just don't need the added pressure.

I want to leave you with this picture.  This picture will give you a glimpse of what I'm going through.  After twenty two shots this is how swollen my stomach is.  I tried to suck in but just couldn't...haha!!

Excuse the unmade bed and laundry basket....I was just about to climb into bed and took this picture.

Little did I know we were "pregnant" and Brooks would be born two months later!  I don't know why I'm always surprised by God's timing but I am.  Fertility is such a difficult and private process.  I just want to encourage you if you know someone going through fertility treatments, please be patient!  If you have never gone through this you really don't understand and please don't say you do.  All you need to do is love them and encourage them.

Brooks 2 months!!

Brooks I can't believe you're two months!  I seriously want to freeze time.  I can't even describe how sweet you are.  You are the easiest baby and the only time you cry is when you're hungry.  You do have a little temper when you're hungry and you pout which is seriously the cutest thing I've ever seen!

Here are some of the things you are doing these days.....

You weigh 10.7 pounds! 15th percentile.

You are 23.1 inches long!  60th percentile.

You are sleeping through the night.  I give you a bottle about 11 p.m. and you wake up around 5:45 a.m.  Mommy LOVES this!!

You are wearing size 0-3 clothes.

Size one in diapers.

You have to be swaddled to sleep.

You started rolling over from tummy to back.  You have done this three times and I still haven't seen you do it.  I put you on tummy time and leave the room and come back and you're on your back.  I've tried to record you rolling over but you won't do it....haha!!

You are cooing and talking.

You have the SWEETEST smile!!

You love your sister and she is CRAZY about you.  Anytime she is talking you look for her and just smile.

You love to grab her hair and then smile when she screams to let go.  I can only imagine what this will be like in the next year.

You love your momma! When you've been fussy for dad all I have to do is talk to you and you just smile and everything is ok again.  I love this by the way!

You went to your first Texas Tech football game and slept the whole time.

You have had your second haircut...haha!

There's not a day that goes by that we don't fall more in love with this little guy!  He is a perfect fit for our family!

Happy 2 months Mr. Brooks!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Brooks' Nursery

I finally finished Brooks' nursery and I LOVE it!!  I had so much fun decorating a little boys room.  After looking at tons of nursery's I decided to decorate his room in airplanes.  I had so much fun finding all the pieces for his room.

James was a trooper when it came to painting.  It was a three day project.  Thankfully James was up for painting stripes and I was thankful for his help.  Painting stripes takes a lot of work but I love the way it turned out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Farrah's greatest decision.....

Last night James was putting Farrah to bed while I was feeding Brooks.  James will read her a book then pray then kiss her goodnight.  James came walking into the living room and said "Please tell me you heard Farrah on the monitor?"  I didn't hear anything of course.

James told me that Farrah had prayed then he prayed then she said "Dad, I need to pray again."  She said, "Jesus, I pray that you would come live in my heart and forgive me for my sins.  Amen."  James was totally shocked by this.  Farrah has been talking about this for a while now and we knew she was getting close but wasn't sure she really understood what it was all about.

After James told me I went into her room and she was asleep but I just sat on her bed and felt incredibly blessed.  Blessed to be her mom, blessed to call her mine and blessed that she will truly know the love of Christ.  There isn't a day that goes by that this little girl doesn't blow my mind.  She has such a loving heart and so passionate and I can't wait to see what she will do for the Kingdom!

So proud of Farrah and this life changing decision she made!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

Halloween this year was so much fun!  The past couple of years, Farrah has chosen her costumes but this year I wanted to surprise her.  I couldn't decide between two costumes,,,,a pirate or a super hero.  I was leaning toward a pirate then Brooks was born so I changed it to super hero's.

Farrah was Spider girl and she was cracking us up.  She put on her costume and was so into character.  She would put her mask on and would jump off the furniture and shoot her webs...I have no idea where she learned that from but it was funny to watch her.  Brooks was to small for a costume but I did find him a Superman onsie so that's what he had.  I also found James and I super hero t-shirts.  James was Batman and I was Captain America.  It was fun and Farrah loved it!!

This year our church had their Truck or Treat on Wednesday.  Farrah loved running around with her little friends and playing on the jumpers.  On Friday we took her and her cousins to the Vintage to go trick or treating.  It was so fun watching her and her cousins.  Farrah had a blast and Brooks slept the whole time...haha!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Brooks ~1 month!

Brooks, I can not believe you are one month already!!  You are growing so big and strong.  Here are just a few things that you're up to lately.

You weigh a little over 7 pounds and you're around 21 inches long.

You still wear newborn clothes but I think you're getting close to getting to 0-3 months clothes.

You're in newborn diapers but not for much longer.

You sleep really good at night and during the day.  At night you sleep on average 3-4 hours before you wake to eat.

You've been eating 3 ounce bottles every 3-4 hours.  I'm going to move you up to 4 ounces this week.

You've started to smile and it's just the sweetest thing!

You are just such a chill baby.  The only time you cry is when you're hungry.

You started sleeping in your big bed.  You're doing great but mom's not so excited having you so far away.

You rolled over at three weeks but I think it was a fluke.  If your arms are underneath you then you can roll over but if your arms are not underneath you then you can't roll over.

When Farrah talks to you, you smile real big and start kicking your legs.

Having a older sister means you get to play dress up.

You had your first haircut at three weeks!  It HAD to be done!

Happy first month!  (You have your arm up all the time.  Dad usually gives you a high five and mom says "Up Up and Away!"  Silly boy!)

You are such a sweet baby and such a blessing to us!