Wednesday, April 23, 2014

She is one....








It has been 365 days....
not that long ago....
and yet it seems like many many years...
We had been awaiting the arrival of our first daughter....
and on this day,
she made her appearance.

The past year has been the toughest in my life....
no exaggeration there.

I had spent many nights in the children's hospital with Parklen during my pregnancy....
sleeping on the tiny bed they provide for parents....
every night thinking of the baby growing inside of me and how little I felt I had to give her.

How could I possibly love another child?
I felt as though I had nothing left to give.....





Never could I have dreamed or imagined the impact that one tiny baby girl could have on my life...
our family's lives.....

She came into this world quickly and it took one look,
one moment,
one breath,
one tiny cry....
and I knew I would never be the same.

When you have children....more than one,
you find that you love them all equally....
but differently.
Each child I have given birth to, fills a different piece of my heart.....
and before Phinlynn, 
I was unaware that there was an open space.
but in her first moments,
I felt as though I was going to explode.
I could not stop crying....









There she was.
my daughter.

And there she has been....
my daughter.

When we found out we were expecting we were filled with nerves.
How would another child fit into the life we had?
How could we find the time?
What about all the sickness?
The doctors?
the hospital?


The events that have taken place in her life are huge....
and I cannot imagine going through one of the moments with out her in my arms.










She brings a light to my life that is unexplainable.
A ray of sunshine that is eye squinting bright....
She fits perfectly into our family....
perfectly into my heart....

She is petite
and lovely.
She is happy
and smart.

She brings a sense of balance to our home...
a little more pink.
A lot more love...

She brings out the tenderness in her brothers....her dad.



Last summer, When Parklen was in the ICU she and I stayed in that room for about a month....
The glass walls,
the beeping of machines,
the tubes,
the procedures,
the emergency surgeries,
the doctors,
the treatments....
it can be so tough to find happiness in that situation....
but when you have a baby to hold,
to love....
When I would look at her, I could not feel sad.
She changed the situation.
She offered a great distraction....for me, and even for Parklen......who constantly held her, even while he had a breathing tube.

Phinlynn......
you are our best surprise.
You are beautiful.
You are loved.
You are more than I could have ever imagined.
You are a blessing.
You are amazing.....

The things that God has in store for you must be incredible....
because,
although you are only one...
you have already changed so many lives!

There is a certain guilt that I feel,
a sadness almost .
The past year has been so tough,
and there hasn't been much time....
I feel like I haven't had the opportunity to spend enough time just enjoying a new baby.....
but,
then I realize......
Phinlynn never was just a new baby...
She was and is an angel....
sent to our family....
to her mother...
to offer an abundance of love and happiness in the midst of our darkest days.....

 We had a very small celebration.
Just family.
Not even all of them....


Birthday's are one of my favorite things.....
We have a huge family and usually we have HUGE parties....
but for the safety of our glass egg....we opted for a low key.......
(not to mention there are a lot of requirements needed to enter our home)

Happy birthday to our Pixie....
She.
Is.
ONE!!!
One special girl....
One smart little lady....
One cute gal.....
One killer dancer.....
ONE YEAR OLD!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

The still of the night....

There I sat,
in the empty living room.....
no one around besides the baby in my arms.....

Her shallow breaths pushing against my chest.....
I studied her features....
the glow of the midnight moon casting the only light in the room....
I ran my fingers over her tiny nose...
through her ever growing hair,
and rested them for just a moment on her cheeks....

Her eyes shut softly,
her tiny hand reached up and her fingers met my face....she kept them there.....
In that moment,
that very moment.....
I knew there was no where else I would rather be..

The circumstances could have been better......
I wished that my baby wasn't up with a fever....
I wished that her cheeks weren't kissed with redness....
that her sleep wouldn't have been disturbed,
that she wasn't completing the circle of sick kids in our home this week.

But,
in spite of all the things that could have been different...
there I was.
In the silence of the night....
and thanking God that I was the one who got to hold this baby.....
I could not help but squeeze her a little tighter,
I gave in to my desires to repeatedly kiss her face....
and there...
in the quiet of night....
I held my tiny baby...
the one with a birthday quickly approaching...
I found myself thinking how lucky I was to be there....

No distractions...
No noise...
the simple sound of breathing and the warmth of motherhood my only company....

I have found that purposefully slowing yourself down is not easy...
that forcing the pause...
implementing the foresight....
To just. Soak. It. In.....
all of it.

In parenthood,
these moments can be hard to come by.
Silence is not easily found.
But,
with conscious  effort....
every moment can turn into bliss....

I could have easily chosen to spend this moment in fear.....
but I chose the opposite....

because these times are fleeting....
for before I know it, my baby will be grown....
in no time at all,
she will struggle to fit in my lap.

Before the time of Little's passes by....
before the days of complete dependence on me expires....
before these days are gone...
I am choosing to find a ray of light....

Finding a bit of Joy.....
even if it is faint.....
because after all.....
the messes,
the chaos,
the bickering.
the spills
and the crazy....
They. Are. Life.....
and what would there be if those things weren't there?

Phinlynn is feeling a little sour today....
a tiny bit less than herself...
and because in this house....
in the home of the Henderson's....
there is no such thing as a minor illness.....
we have to investigate every little thing....

Standby for the official verdict....

in the mean time.....
there has been a lot of debate going around about parenting....and the tough job that it is.....
I mean, we all know......its tough....
It takes complete dedication to do this job well.....
and it is not easy....
but a job?
Is it really?

Ive decided to look at my position as an opportunity....
privilege....
one to love,
to teach,
to guide....
to be somebody's everything.....even for a moment.
A privilege that is denied to and cut short for so many......

Can you find the joy in the chaos?
Can you find moments of happiness in the midst of the crazy?
the messes?
the spills and the bickering?
because after all....
they are life...
and....
they prove that you are alive.....




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

just a little scare.....


uhhh can you say ham? 


Had a scare last night.....
Its always at least a little bit scary when you have a sick child......
A fearful feeling I have faced many times....

Paysen came down with a little bug over the weekend.....nothing big, but........for Parklens safety he had to go in and see the doc yesterday to rule out anything potentially dangerous that could be passed along.....its never a simple cold.... when a post BMT patient takes up residence in your home.....

Turned out to be something viral.....no biggie for the Payse man.....but concerning for the Man of Steel.....He was cleared to return to school and that was the best news for him....turns out, Paysen is not into staying home.....we left the doctors office yesterday afternoon with simple instructions....keep the boys apart.....easy enough right?!?!?!?  

Fast forward to last night......the boys are sleeping and Devan and I are finishing up some late night tasks.....up comes Parklen......"mom, I don't feel good....."
a few moments later came the vomit....

I can do vomit....I can do sick messes......they do not phase me a bit....
I have spent countless nights changing sheets and sopping up messes....
Parklen spent the first few years of his life throwing up each and every day....night....morning...afternoon.
I am not phased by the smell, by the mess....
It is brought to an entirely different level now.....
The fragility of Parklen's state....
the glass egg of which I am entrusted to.....

In a moments time, what seemed like a million things passed through my mind.....
at the forefront was "the list."
The list they send you home with....
the instructions to follow....
When to call,
When to rush to the hospital....
My mind was racing and my heart beating quickly, as Devan used soft spoken words to calm me down.  "He is going to be alright..."

He didn't have a fever and so there was no rush to the hospital....
He set up camp on the couch, looking pitiful and crummy.....
I stationed myself across the living room so I could keep my eye on him....watching for any sign of distress.
The night seemed to last for days....
the lump in my throat,
the baby girl who decided it was a perfect night to play....
the small boy who captured my attention with each breath....

As the morning rolled around my mind was fuzzy and my body weak....
Stress.
It can eat you even when you are sitting still.....it fills your body with a poison that is not easily shaken..
as I rolled over to face Parklen I was unsure what I would see....
as he looked up his eyes met mine, and then he smiled.

That little upward curve of his lips was all I needed......
A call to Denver further calmed my nerves.
Just watch and see....
no emergency.

We spent the day trying to recover from our long night....
boy smiles and baby giggles are the best medicine for such a task.
The day passed slowly and we all felt heavy from the lack of sleep....
but Parklen picked up where he left off....
there wasn't a single sign of sickness when he awoke....

I am so thankful for nights like that.....
nights that open up the curtains and offer a peek into once was....
an opportunity to lay eyes upon what used to be our normal.....
a view of how far we have come.....
a deeper appreciation for our new norm....

Can you be thankful for the mess?
I am confident that tomorrow will be filled with energy and spunk....
and for that I am also thankful....
sometimes it takes a little bit of bad to help you appreciate the good that much more.......






Thursday, April 10, 2014

A reminder........

Yesterday was our monthly Denver appointments.....
It was a long day, consisting mostly of waiting....

The doctor had plenty to say about progress.....
but more to say about what we need to remember...

Parklen looks great.....
He feels great.....
He is gaining weight,
He is gaining life.....

but he is not out of the woods yet....

The doctor took great care to stress the very importance of "staying the course."
(as if I needed a reminder......)
but it was good to hear...........

It would be so easy to begin letting my guard down.....
incredibly simple to just start living a normal life.
After all, Parklen looks like he is better....
he even acts like this is so....





Behind the curtains is a different story....
Look deeper,
past the smiles and the laughter...
slightly further than the playing and the living.....
there you will see a body full of cells....cells that are still working toward complete health.

Now is when things are hard....
it is a balance between the excitement and the joy of having a healthier boy and the understanding that a tiny pebble could take down all of these months and months worth of building to get him here.....

So.
When I watch Parklen jumping, and running and spinning about....
When I see him laughing and  playing.....
when I struggle to get him to slow down for a moment.....
When my heart swells with delight at the very sight of him and all that he is.....
I must remember to remain vigilant...

When you catch a glimpse of this boy....
when the vision of chubby cheeks and smiles overwhelms your eyes.....
you may think that my crazy is a little too much....
But we have not traveled this road, for this long to trip on a crack in the pavement.....
We have not made it this far....just to fall back.

So I will keep my crazy.....
I will hang on to my overprotective....
after all, Who would I be if I weren't her....
the crazy......germ hating mom??!

All in all, Parklen is moving right along...
he is better than anyone could have hoped he could be at this point....
its just a matter of letting his immunity build back up.
He is more compromised right now, than he was before the transplant....
and with the stuff going around this season....you can never be too careful!



In other news....
Phinlynn is adorable....
and she is almost one.....
ONE?!?!?!?!?!







Monday, April 7, 2014

keeping us busy....

Life is full of surprises when you live most every moment with in your home......
With a knowledge that most everywhere is off limits and a simple trip to the grocery store  is impossible with out the help of a trustworthy someone to keep the kids.....you learn to keep yourself busy with all sorts of stuff......



Parklen and I have been up to some things lately......
I thought I would share a portion of whats been keeping us busy.......

Not long ago I was unable to get Parklen to participate in anything aside from watching a movie or playing a video game......he had zero desire to craft.....zip motivation to try new things and hardly enough strength to pull himself off of the couch......

Things these days are a little different.......actually, a lot different.

I have always been a crafty......something that was passed down to me by my mother, who's artistic abilities are overwhelming!  There is little about art that I do not enjoy......I love creative expression, I love to create things....I love seeing and holding something that was first born as a vision in my mind.....

I have always hoped to pass a love of these things to my children.....
Paysen has it, no doubt.....
He can create something out of anything and enjoys spending time working on anything that has to do with art.....

When Parklen began to show an interest in helping me with things I was making, I was so happy!
We have so much fun together as we watch something go from just a material to something that is beautiful.........

I began stamping jewelry while we were living in Denver....something that I had always wanted to learn and found the confining walls of the apartment the perfect place to begin......as time went on I decided that I wanted to incorporate quotes and sayings that Parklen uses as he heals from his illness....or words that mean a lot to me.

I was encouraged by a couple of friends to open an Etsy shop and after returning home decided to take that leap.....

We also have been working on hand painted signs.....these tend to be very rewarding for a child because the blank slab of wood you begin with shows little resemblance to the creation at its finish....



We spend much time playing "hide and sink" and "chase the baby" as well......
We count down the hours till school pick up because we miss Paysen during the day......
We eat together,
read together,
snuggle together,
create together,
giggle together......
I love this quote......rough seas make for skilled sailors.....



It can be very hard sometimes.....to not have the freedom to load up the car and go where we please....
but it makes you appreciate everything that much more.....
A trip to Target can feel like a mini vacation.....
When I go to the dentist, and I lay back in the chair.....I feel as though I have won a prize......

Its the little things.....
Parklen's favorite song is "You are my sunshine." He sings it constantly......


When asked how he is feeling or how he got better Parklen is likely to say, "God makes me Better."


We are leaving for Denver tomorrow......
just to have some routine things done!!!
Praying that Parklen's blood tests still look great and that the doctor will be just as pleased with him as in the past!!
Should be a relatively painless trip........
I am just praying that my teething princess can manage her nap time around our driving schedule!!!!


If you are interested in picking up something custom made by us you can check out the store......