Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Three Years Already

I can't believe it. Where has all the time gone?

I can joyfully report that life is full, full of kids too! Never would I have thought that our family would end up growing quite like this. One year after we lost the twins, we were sad to celebrate the one year anniversary in a quiet house. The next year we had Zachary home and I was 6 months pregnant! This year, we have almost 3 year old Zach, 9 month old Charlie AND, we are expecting Zach's 1 year old, full biological brother to join our family in 4 short weeks! Yes, we are going to have 3 kids by mid January! We have been showered by the mercy and abundant joy of God's providence in our lives.

In a very complicated and heart wrenching way, yet very poetic all the same, two sweet little boys that never came home, made the way for two brothers to grow up together. We are scared and overwhelmed at the idea of having 3 kids 3 and younger, yet at peace and are excited to welcome the new one into our home and hearts.

In time the sharp pain has been dulled by the busy life of being a mother. Yet in some ways, knowing the joys and trials of being a mom make the pain deeper. I now know what we missed out on. Holding and nursing Charlene has been an incredible experience of bonding with my child. Knowing that I missed out on that, twice, pushes tears to my eyes during sweet moments of precious cuddling. Seeing Zach's zeal and love for life in the way that only a two-year-old boy can express, make us wish we could have seen two little boys jumping and running through our home. But, we are so thankful for the children that we have here with us. And thankful for the experience and short moments with the twins. Our lives would have been different had they lived, but now, we can't imagine life any other way.

It's nice to take the time to write and think about them. Even if it's seldom, it feels good. Healthy and healing.

I've wanted to put together pictures and some in utero video we have of the twins. I guess I wasn't ready until this week. I hadn't watch the video at all since they were born. I finally worked up the courage to pull it out of the box and watch it a few nights ago. Tiny hands and feet were on the camera and a small glimpse of one of their faces. This was while I was still pregnant. I wept. I haven't cried like that in a few years. It felt good. Even though I am so thankful and happy with my life and the children we have, I still miss them, I miss what could have been. I made a short slideshow and have watched it over and over. I guess it has been therapeutical. I wanted to post it here for anyone who would like to watch it. That being said, it was made by their mom. Someone who thinks they are completely beautiful and perfect, even though I now can see how sick and premature they really were. I am not offended if you don't want to watch it. I know images of premature babies can be frightening to some. To me, they couldn't be any more perfect, but I recognize that I have a privileged view. 














Merry Christmas from all five of us!





Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's been too long...

...And for some reason I felt like a blog post tonight. Maybe when life seems full, it's good to write down a few thoughts.

So thankful for the opportunity to raise sweet, healthy children. Basically, that's all I have to say. Maybe I can write more in the future, but for now life seems full at the Henry home. So thankful for a home, warm beds, and healthy kids.

She is changing so quickly. For now she is blonde with dark eyes.

Our little girl turned 8 months today. I just love this photo of her cuddling her Da da.

I've been trying to take random photos during the weeks, just documenting life with the kids. So often I'm not in photos and so many times I pick up the house so it doesn't look as chaotic as it really is. I'm sure someday I'll miss messy living spaces and cherish photos of me home with the kids.

We've made it a point to share our love for the outdoors with the kids while they are young. A weekly hike doesn't always happen, but it's the goal. 


Can't believe how sweet this little guy is. He even calls himself "Precious Boy".  My life wouldn't be complete without Zacharoni in it!

I hope your Thanksgiving keeps going and we all think of how sweet it is to be alive.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer Lovin'

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Zach and Lydia just can't get enough of each other!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Fun

We've been waiting for Summer all Spring and now that it is here it is flying by! I picked a beautiful bowl of strawberries from our yard tonight. Hanging baskets are in full bloom. The sprinklers are running and Zach is loving being outside almost all day!

Here are some photos from my cell phone. I tend to have it more handy than my camera these days so I get a few more photos of our recent happenings.

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Zach holding baby Charlene. He calls her Charlene and it is SO cute!

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A sweet morning nap.
Speaking of naps... everyone was actually sleeping, except for Zach...
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Still sleeping...
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Awake and sweet as always!
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I ran the Sawtooth Relay with some lady friends a few weeks ago. 62 miles of pure mountainous beauty!
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Zach taking a hit of a Clif Shot after a Sunday morning family run at the track.
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Not the greatest photo, but this is Charlie and her new cousin Romie sharing Romie's swing.
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The other cousin, Romie's big sister, Lydia. Wearing her favorite "Bruno" tshirt from Jenny.
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A favorite new baby card my Aunt Patty sent me. She made the comment inside the card "If this guy can't tell the difference between breast milk and ranch...then he deserves to dip his veggies in breast milk!" Thanks for the laugh... It's still sitting on my kitchen counter.
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Zach's new backyard furniture...and if you can see in the background...we have a yard!!
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Zach's first movie at the theaters. Cars 2! He was really more excited about ALL that popcorn!
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So believe or not, the circus came to our town today! (Just for today)
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Zach, David, Danielle and I all went and watched. It was SO hot in there Zach started peeling his clothes. Fun night and good memories!
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Monday, June 20, 2011

What to do? What to do?

Lately I've been struggling to find an answer to the question of what to do when the kids take their nap. Yes, both kiddos take a nap at the same time, most days. Super woman? I know! Just kidding, but do remember, I am the bossy sister of 6 younger siblings and I do know a few tricks. That said, please remind me why I haven't put something over my doorbell yet! Darn UPS man!! Doesn't he know it's nap time?!

So, back to my question. When the last eye rolls into the back of their sweet little heads, should I...

Clean up from lunch?
Make dinner?
Fold that basket of laundry?
Watch reality TV?
Pull weeds?
Take a nap myself?
Pick up all the deadly foot traps toy trucks?
Finish eating my lunch?
Mow the yard?

While I figure it out here are some cute pictures.

A family picture during graduation weekend.
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My sweet little niece.
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So happy for my little brother!
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There she is again :)
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I just love, love this photo of David with the kids. He's a natural!
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Monday, May 2, 2011

My Reflection

I couldn't be happier to announce the birth of our beautiful daughter. Charlene Rivers was born March 30th at 6:55am, 9lbs 8oz and 20 inches long. A moment that we've dreamed of came and we couldn't ask for more. A smooth labor one week after my due date. Followed by an uneventful delivery. Healthy and whole. A sweet, sweet baby was placed on my chest. We are so thankful.



It is really hard to explain those early moments. Exhaustion and pure elation. Deep satisfaction and great awe. Counting all the toes and fingers and studying each detail of her. Such pride and fulfillment. I have to say that I thought I would be very emotional once she came, but I was so overwhelmed with excitement I don't remember any tears. I might have cried but was too tired to have tears I guess. It wasn't until we buckled her into the car seat and I realized that we were bringing this baby home that the emotions took over.
The greatest contrast between leaving a hospital without my babies, to bringing home a daughter a few short years later. The redemption in this moment will forever be with me.

So here we are almost 5 weeks later. David is back to work. The kids and I are settling into a new normal. I wouldn't call it scheduled, each day is different, full of unpredictable moments. Zach is learning to be a gentle big brother. He is actually doing very well. I'm learning how to let things go and yet, keep up with things. Motherhood is quite unique. Talking with another mom friend, we decided that it is full of contradictions. Such as, time goes by so fast and yet so slowly. Staying home can feel very lonely at times, and yet you never feel like you have a moment to yourself. Letting the cleaning and chores go, and yet not neglecting your house completely. Balance, balance, balance... And yet, today, while I was working on preparing dinner, I caught my reflection in the microwave door. A few tears welled up, I looked awful. My hair looking slept on, the hooded sweater I've worn for weeks, pajama pants, and did I mention the purple half moons under my eyes? The tears really weren't because I looked so scary, but a true and deep contentment for my life. Even with all the food and dirt piling in the corners of my kitchen floor, a constant smell of milk on everything I own, an energetic two-year old painting my wall with his mac and cheese and thirty piles of laundry. I wouldn't trade today with anyone. Midnight feedings, really, they are magical. Quiet as it can be, just a sweet baby cuddled in close to her momma. Nothing else is going on and we can just be the two of us. With a sweet husband sleeping next to me and a precious little boy dreaming of Papas and trucks, the world feels right. For as tiring as a day in our house can be, the nights are peaceful. I am blessed.


I didn't realize that shoes were on the lunch menu today.

Our happy baby.

Just the surface of this beast!


More of my happy babies...




We have a slight addiction in our home currently. Zach watches 'Cars' at least once a day (no judgment, it gets us through). He is completely caught up in the movie, and I'm sure he has seen it at least 40 times.



To showers, 8 hours of continuous sleep, fresh makeup, and spit-up free clothes, I won't trade my sweet babies for you.
-Alyssa

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Small Percentages

As you all know, I am married to a very wise man. Someone who compliments my weak points with strength and wisdom.

Pregnancy can do quite a ditty on a woman's emotions and mental stability. I like to think that I am pretty stable and sound individual, but let me tell you, I have had my fair share of rough days these last few months.

I've tried not to post every little concern, thought and aspect of my pregnancy on this blog. Some of it is just to much information, and some of it is good for me to write in my personal journal and keep it out of the massive overload of personal information out in the blog spheres.

Everything has been going really great this pregnancy. I've made it to all the crucial developmental weeks. I have had some great friends to travel through the process with. A Dr. who has understood fears and concerns about 'last time' but has reassured that we CAN have a healthy experience 'this time'. Family that has helped out in many, many areas.

A few weeks ago we feel into a small percentage of pregnancies where the baby isn't head down. After a few weeks of trying numerous things to 'flip' the baby, we spent alot of time talking and ultimately deciding to do a procedure to flip the baby at the hospital. (Called an ECV.) There are some minor risks involved, and it was hard not to feel like we would inevitably fall into that percentage. I started to feel sorry for myself. Thinking about the twins. How everything went wrong. We feel into every small/worst possibility. Then this time to find out the baby was breech, which only happens in about 7% of pregnancies this far along. Was it worth the risk? Even though the benefit was much higher.

Cue husband. During one of my "poor me" days, whether I was crying or not, I don't remember, David was listening to me vent and be super negative about the situation. (To my credit, I had tried almost everything to flip this baby! From handstands in the pool to wearing headphones in my pants for the easy listening enjoyment of the baby! HA!)During this chat we had, David said "It can be easy to feel sorry for yourself about all the valid times we have fallen into less than desirable percentages. But we have to think about the times those same small percentages have paid to be some of our most positive experiences. Not very many people adopt, and even fewer end up with a kid like Zachary."



A lot more could be said here, but there is no need.

I wasn't going to share about the situation with the baby, I knew it would work out someway or another, plus the more people that know, the more drama, and the more updating you feel you have to do. Living in a small town with a large family on both sides doesn't always aid in keeping secrets. People at the gift shop, dentist office, parenting class and so on were all happy to know that the baby was moved into the right position yesterday by a great team of doctors. Everything went smoothly. Even this afternoon a friend who had heard came by and dropped off a gift certificate for a meal out so I don't have to cook one night.

So with half of our town knowing, I thought I would share here as well.

To self pity days, too much snow in February, even my fat pants don't fit days, and when we fall into percentages that don't feel fair, we each, really have so much to be thankful for.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Photo update

Yes, it has been forever since I've blogged. And it might be forever before I blog again. We are fast approaching the delivery day for this little Henry baby and it seems like I am running on fumes. My energy levels are at an all time low, while Zach's just get higher and higher every day! The two of us make quite the pair!

Zach turned two last month and is talking rapidly. He is growing taller by the day it seems. He is such a delight, and even though he can give me a good run for my money, my heart melts every time he lets me rock him like a baby. He is obsessed with trains, and lucky for him, all the grandmas and papas love to feed his addiction. It is pretty cute to watch him interact with all his papa's. He loves them each dearly and erupts with excitement whenever he sees one of them.

Enough with the talking, here are some pictures of over the past 6 weeks.


We took a 10 day trip to Palm Springs with David's family right after Christmas.
Zach loved the pool!



At the airport on our way home.

Oh yeah, since then, we took the Binky away. Oh man! That could be a blog post all on it's own. Could possibly be two of the most difficult weeks of my life. In hindsight I can say it was probably worth it. Probably is the key word.


Next we had Zach's 2nd Birthday.




Cookie Decorating with 2 year olds!

My family and wonderful friends threw me a baby shower last week. It was beautiful! Two of my friends are also expecting babies in the next few weeks!
Wonderful Friends!

Sue made the beautiful cake!

We received such beautiful gifts. So many of our friends and family took time to make us gifts with their creativeness and talent. We are truly blessed with such a group of irreplaceable friends and family here.

Over the last few days we have been snowed on, again! Oh! I thought Spring was in the air!

Yesterday Zach and I were invited out to a friends horse arena. It was snowing, again, but we had a great time petting and feeding the horses treats.



Lastly, I got an iPhone about a week ago!!!! So here are a few photos that have made me smile.