Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Big Reveal - Our Holiday Card

So I am pretty sure that all of our friends and family have received their Christmas cards from us so I can now share it with the world:

It is a folded 5x5 (square) card....

The Front:

The Inside:

The Back:

Monday, December 28, 2009

Next Year

Isn't it the funniest thing how we hype up this miraculous holiday and then when the time finally comes for the whole production to come together, we're so tuckered out we're like, ... "totally next year".

Oh the hope we carry into the New Year.

Case in point:

Last year, after many many years of wishing and wanting lights outside, we finally plunged down mucho dinero to buy those outdoor lights and the clips. We were all so eager to get them up. Light them. And....well, I'm not sure what we expected to happen after that. It may have actually happened had we finished the job. But seriously, who knew the peaks of our roof were that steep? Who knew???? Had we known we may have not have attempted to get up there and try to hang them. So we smarted up. We decided to leave the peaks for last. Then guess what happened, we were tuckered out about trying to figure out how to survive the peaks we decided to put it off for tomorrow. But tomorrow became next week and then next week somehow became next Christmas. But we all know hat happened to the lights right? Well, they came down in June after never have been lit because we found the amusement of our friends was not at all amusing to us. So they went down. Maybe next Christmas. Because life will get easier. Or we'll be rich that we can hire someone to do our dirty work. Then afford to pay them off after they sue us because they fell off our roof.

Well, this year, I found this little book called What God Wants for Christmas.

It is an interactive book that is a word for word narration of the story of the birth of Christ by the angel David. You read the story and as you read you unwrap 7 tiny gifts. It is a hands on way for children to learn about Christams. The resaon for the season, if you will.

Well, things were crazy with the white elephant and family that the wrapped book couldn't be found until the very end, and by that point, Cole was all like, "open my car!"


So I obliged my little man because his joy was just so beautiful. So pure.


That I decided that maybe next Christmas would be a better time to introduce the book to him. Besides, Christmas has passed right? I realize what a lame excuse that is. But it is my excuse, and I am comfortable with that. But why in the world did I ever think he would want to sit and open this book after having tasted that sweet metal Hot Wheels scent? What was I thinking? I was setting myself up for disaster. Anyway, I am sitting here, looking at that book, and kinda sad about that. Because in my quest to be closer to Him I'm kinda feeling like I am pushing Him away. So maybe tomorrow, I'll open it up, even if it is late, and read him the book. Let him unwrap those tiny little presents because I just think that a year is waaay too long to have to wait to hear such a beautiful story. So that's tomorrow's plan. Besides, next year is only like 2 days away. I'd probably better get a head start on that. Which reminds me, I also have to make White Trash/Puppy Chow that also got lost in all the Christmas cheer;)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"What about my bithday?"

Cole's social calendar has been in undated with birthday parties. So with those parties come birthdays. And gifts. So I was relieved by the slow down in parties in recent weeks. And then Christmas happened. And Christmas parties. So when I tried to explain to Cole that those parties were a celebration of Jesus I thought it would be easier to just say it was Jesus' birthday. Because it is. That is what we should really be celebrating after all.

His cousin came over Monday afternoon to play. They started talkng about birthday. They each thought it should be their birthday. So then they started arguing over whose birthday it was. Kani had a birthday in November. Cole's isn't until February. So I reminded them that it was neither of their birthdays, it was Jesus' birthday.

Cole came up to me with the saddest look on his face, and tears started to fill his eyes.

"Mommy, what about my birthday?"

And my heart broke. It just shattered to a million pieces because in his little world, he had felt forgotten. And I knew that feeling all too well. And there was nothing I could do. Because to throw him a party so that his heart would not hurt, and so that my heart would not hurt, would not teach him anything.

Oh, the irony of it all.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Multiple Blessings

Who would have know how much my life would have changed in the last year. I thought that surely this new year had new babies in store for me. He had other plans. Plans of which I am so very grateful for. Plans that have brought about unexpected blessings. Welcome blessings. Oh so very welcome blessings!

I joined MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) just after leaving my job. I was hesitant at first. To meet new people. To put myself out there. As I was forging new friendships, I was mourning old ones. I was losing faith. In people. In myself. In God. But I was seeking Him. I was desperately seeking Him. A lifeline. A raft. A signal. A church.

And through this organization, I found some amazing women. Truly amazing women that follow my blog. That follow my heart.

I was conflicted early in the year. A lost soul, you could say. I was very very surprised to have received not one, but over 4 calls when I had missed a few meetings. Because let me tell you that in all my years of friendships, it has been very rare that one friend would call and ask after me after any change in my behavior. So you can imagine my surprise when it was four. Four?! My heart was touched. By humanity. By sisterhood. By friendship. By motherhood.

These are the women I write about when I say they know my burdens. They never get tired of hearing about them. Of hearing me complain. Or cry. Or whine. Or question. They listen. And they pray.

They pray. 

And I know they do. Because I have witnessed some pretty amazing things in me through their prayer. But they're not just my blessing. They are my son's blessing. And my husband's blessing. Because they have seen a change in me. And I have seen a change in them.

Now it's not that they are any different. They are the same beautiful creatures they have always been. But I am seeing them through new eyes. They are the eyes of faith. I am seeing that all things are just as they should be.

But still, there are days when I fall off the proverbial wagon. And on those days, I have many many hands that are willing and able to walk me through the grit and the grime. {But to really walk me through. Not just say they'll walk me through. They are women of action. They call, they take me out, they visit, they write, and they read me. They read me in oh so many ways.} To bring me back to Him. To my family. To the moment. To the chaotic bliss that is my life. Because that's what it is. It's pure bliss.

I replay words from these ladies in my head over and over again:

"while the reasons may be different, the heartache is the same" -Angela

"God does not punish" -Tracy

"it's not about being forgiven, it's about forgiving yourself" -Aunt Sandra

"He places this in your heart for a reason" -Dawn

It's like when your child chases a ball into the street. He has his eye on the ball. You however, see the danger lurking. You see the bigger picture. So you pull him back to protect him. -Mama Becky talking about His plan for me

So I was blessed with that girl I always wanted. It just wasn't in the package I had envisioned it. And it was a multiple blessing. Too many girls to count. Because who has the time now when there are spouses to love on? Children to watch sleep. Girlfriends to lean on. Serious thank you letters to write. And one particular thank you prayer to make....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa Pictures

Cole had Santa pictures at school last week. Or maybe it was 2 weeks ago. Oh, yes, it was 2 weeks ago. I had the pleasure of helping his school with the pictures. Which meant that this clingy mom could stick around and make sure her sweet baby boy got some good pictures with Santa. In theory, at least. It probably would have been beneficial to have gotten to sleep before 3 am so that I can wake up on time therefore show up on time. But really? That just  makes too much sense to actually do. So we were running late. Not just one day, but both days. Which meant that Cole didn't get his good clothes washed, which meant that his ok clothes had not been ironed, and that his hair would not get combed. I think, though I am not quite positive, that I may have remembered to brush his teeth. Or I may have not remembered. Again, I was tired. Running on little sleep, and I may or may not have remembered to brush my own hair. {I did brush my teeth though, not to worry.}

So on Day 1 I didn't even try because I am a procrastinator and I thrive off of knowing that there will be another chance:

Now, by the looks of it, Santa is not very happy. Perhaps I didn't brush his teeth. He does look a little standoff-ish. Also, Cole never did smile. Now, his clothes came out better in the picture than I remembered. So kuddos to me.

On Day 2, we did much better. But that was a total fluke. He spent the night at Nana's and this was how she returned him to me. In better condition than she had received him. So kuddos to her. And many thanks to Kandi, Cole's cousin, whose jeans he is wearing. I loved them so much I went out and got a pair at JCPenney, you know the place. The one where our car was stolen, but not really....

And then, I was so excited that he was actually engaging Santa in conversation, telling him what he wanted for Christmas and this beautiful moment was ruined enhanced by I'm not sure, maybe small metal cars snuck into his Pee Pee Pocket (if you got the family Christmas card, it would make sense.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sneak Peak at The Eggleston Family Christmas Card 2009

Cutest thing ever! Yesterday, my mom (aka Nana) was rocking Cole for a nap. He was kinda in and out and Nana asks him what he wants for Christmas. His usual reply is tanker truck, Transformers, or lots of cars, as in not some, or a little, he is very clear that it's lots. She was surprised when he said he wanted a little sister. {tear} So she asked him what he wanted to name her. His reply: "Allison". For those of you that are not aware, Allison his his school crush. So I am guessing he's not really wanting a little sister for the sake of wanting a baby or a sister, I think he wants to bring Allison home.

Anyway, I thought that was nice to share. But, I've been dying to show you my Christmas card. They have yet to arrive. But I did finally have a chance to finish it up. This is the back, just a sneal peak as many of you will be getting it in the mail and I would hate to ruin it:

I really need to work on posting the pictures of the "photo shoot". Let's just say it involved a lot of candy and ice pops. Some threats too for "a talk". We got some good ones.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'd take Half-Drunk Right About Now

I am supposed to be asleep. I am stinking tired. These last 2 weeks of not going to bed until well past 2 am have caught up with me. But still, I can't sleep. Which brings me to thinking what a light weight I am and how a half a beer will knock me right out. But I am full from the crap I have been munching on ALL day. Maybe I could just throw up?

I think I was ok until I started thinking about a friend I ran into this weekend. And the heartache this has caused me. Like pierce my heart with a dull rusty knife. Just there, festering. Then I started tossing and turning, thinking of how daring it would be to put it out there. Out there for all the world to see. For everyone to know how to get to my heart. How to hurt me. Where I'm vulnerable. And how ironically, the thought of getting it out there is cathartic.

We all know of our struggles to get pregnant. I certainly talk about it a lot. Too much. I hate to talk about it. I know, it's like blah blah, blah. But I do, because it's where I am in my life right now. It consumes me. Sometimes more than the blessing I already have. And it shouldn't. But it does. But there are a few things that get me through these moments. 1.) Hubby and his unwavering support and faith. 2.) Friends who hear me, who acknowledge the hurt and who don't tire of the blah blah blah. 3.) talking/blogging about it and 4.) knowing that other people I know are struggling too. Which brings me to my point.

I don't deny that I am miserable about this. And it is so true, in my case, that misery loves company. It was comforting knowing that I had friends that are going through this with me. I feel not so forgotten. If that makes any sense. Well, this friend I ran into, we were fellow fertility strugglers with our first child. So I was comforted in the fact when we started trying again at the same time that I would have someone to turn to. Someone to share my pain with. We don't speak often, as life kinda gets in the way. Well, a few months back, I ran into a mutual friend and she commented how exciting it was that Friend was pregnant, 7 months along, with a girl! I think I cried for days. That day in fact, I wrote this post. My infertile friends were being picked off one by one, and I was the only one left. He had forgotten me. And I was hurt that I had spoken to her recently, and we had attended some of the same birthday parties, and I didn't' know. It dawned on me for the first time, how scared other people were to share their joy. And that angered me even more. And hurt me too. I felt alien. I could feel the stares from people as pregnancies were announced, baby showers were had, everyone on their toes. They don't know what to say. They can't look at me in the face, not when gifts are being opened, not when names are being announced, not when games are being played. At least, in my mind, this is what happens. People are probably oblivious, as the world does not revolve around me. Well, not their world at least. But in my world, and in my head, that is how it all goes down.

So I ran into said Friend, who has since had her baby girl, and I froze. I had not expected for my heart to drop like a ton of bricks. To see how fantastic she looked, wearing New Mommy Fabulous. So I fidgeted for my voice, for my sight, for my heart. To pull it all together. To put on a happy face, oh that stupid Happy Face - I am so sick and tired of it. To be happy and ask about her blessings. Because I don't want to have to watch her struggle telling me something she doesn't know how to share with me. And I don't want to struggle with having to listen to something I don't know that I can handle. Isn't this terrible? Who wouldn't be afraid to share their news with me? I certainly would. But I live with this stigma I have created for myself. All in my head where I usually like things. Because everything is always so pretty in there. And it always goes my way. But this heart of mine, there's no reasoning with the damn thing! It takes over my pretty little head and then things get hairy. They all become so real. And I become so vulnerable.

So infertility sucks, anyone wanna join this club too? I'd love company!



Think about it.

And though I am taking part in the Half Drunk challenge (see button on the right), I'm not drunk. But that's starting to sound like a fantastic idea. Because maybe I'll get kinky, have sex and get pregnant. And if all else fails, I can drown my sorrows. So yay! I guess.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Mailing List Made Easy

Since I have received quite a few questions about my mailing list form I just sent out, I will share how I did it.

Now, I have found one the best and easiest ways to create your Christmas Mailing List. To be quite honest, it creates itself. I didn't figure this out myself, I actually found it on Scrapless Press' blog.

It is quite embarrassing every year I send out a mass email asking for people's mailing addresses. I create a spreadsheet and spend countless hours imputing information only to have lost it and have to repeat the process again the next year.

So when I stumbled upon this new idea, I was stoked and decided to try it out with just a few select friends. And I saw my list creating itself. Super cool! It is done through Google Docs. In order to do this you have to have a GMail account. If you have read about other posts you know that I love Google. I use it for everything. I wrote about Google Reader and how it rocks in one post, I have Google on my cell phone which syncs to my Google Calendar, Google contacts, and email accounts. Google also receives all of my emails (for Chic Farm and The Eggleston Family) and I can even send email from my business email right through Google. So I love Google.

What you do is sign into your Google account. If you don't have one, you can get one here. It's free. On the top left of the screen in your Gmail, you will click on Documents. Once you are in the Documents interface, click on Create New and then scroll down to Spreadsheet.Give your spreadsheet a name, and then click Save. I named mine Eggleston Family Christmas List 2009.

You will notice that the top row is already reserved for your headers. For my mailing list, I used A-I for:
C: Address 1
D: Address 2
E: City
F: State
G: Zip
H: Cell Phone
I: Home Phone

There are also themes available or you can leave it Plain. My yahoo account didn't open the pretty image anyway:(
You don't need to add the phone numbers if you don't want to, but I thought I might as well. Your basic layout is done, now you need to go to the top menu and click on Form and scroll down to Create a form. You will now see a pop up window showing you the form fields you will use to create the spreadsheet/mailing list. You can even get fancy and change the name of each field for the form, like, "Who should I address this to?" Instead of simply just "Name". I didn't do that but you can if you'd like. Then in the form you've created there will be a button on the top that reads Email This Form. Click on this and a pop up box will appear to insert your email addresses for those you want to send it out to.

Now let's say you sent it to most of the people on your email list and remember that you forgot to send the form to someone. You go into the spreadsheet and back to Form, scroll down to Send and then follow the prompts.

And there you have it. It is that easy. Now, you can check it periodically to see who has filled the form in and start slowly addressing those envelopes! Sorry I wasn't able to even copy the pages from the Scrapless Press. Little Man put too much toilet paper in the toilet and somehow has managed to overflow the bathroom. WTH? Ooooh, I'm a lucky girl!

How showing concern can bite you in the bum....

So I was blog-hopping this fine evening and I stumbled upon Gretchen Rubin's blog, The Happiness Project where she was discussing Eight Tips to Know if You're Being Boring. Being the narcissistic gal that I am, I was studying her every word, imagining my conversations, and people's reactions. Then my mind kinda started wandering, as any self diagnosed ADD sufferer's mind usually does, to how I react. Because after all, it is all about me.

Then I got to #4, Request for Clarification. So the logic is that if you are really interested you ask them to elaborate or explain. And I was all excited that perhaps I had fooled people. Namely, Hubby. Because I do that when I haven't been paying attention to what he's been saying. Kinda like a backtrack, like clues into what was said. So I have a smart reply. Or I'll settle for any reply. Because there's nothing worse than the 'deer in the headlights' look when you're asked a question relating to the boring topic.

It usually goes a little something like this:

Husband: "Babydoll (cuz he calls me that and it freakin' gives me butterflies), did the sprinkler guy come out today (because our fabulously huge, strong, expensive, beautiful, kind dog has eaten through it again, and the AC wires, and the picnic table, and the hoses, and the thingy that holds the hoses on the cement walls, and the telephone wires, and and and....)?

Me: "Yes, I called. He came out. Fixed it. Go take a look."

Husband goes outside, I unpase movie, he pets Bad Dog, checks wire thingys, comes back in....

Husband: "It looks good. The wires blah blah blah {insert more boring man stuff here} blah blah blah"

Me: {Lifetime Movie totally paused to show concern} "So, the wires go to what and they make the sprinklers do what?

Husband: "Blah, blah, blah...."

Me: "Oh really?"

Husband: "Blah, blah, blah,... Christmas shopping at Kohl's"

and then I'm all like crap! What did I miss? Did I go shopping. Can I go shopping. For me? For Cole? For a gift? So I listen now, intently. I hang on every word he says to try to get clarification. Because if I asked anything about it he would catch on. Catch on that I wasn't listening the first time, I was just waiting to unpause Lifetime.

Husband: "So I was thinking about the budget,..."

and just like that, he's lost me again. Budgets are never fun to talk about. And now I suspect that since the budget came up in the same conversation as shopping, it's probably because I already did go shopping at Kohl's. And I'm probably in trouble.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cathed by Mimi, thankfully!

WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised. I am taking part in Momalom's Half Drunk Challenge (see button to the right). So I have to be daring, as if drunk. It's a crazy story. A long one. And there is one questionable photo-you know, just for proof that it happened. You have been fore-warned! Oh, and sadly, I am not drunk. Just still stupid.

 I've probably never mentioned that my mother in law Becky, aka Mimi, and I are very close. And when I say close I mean close. Besides the fact that I truly believe Mimi has a smile glued to her face, she has one glued to her heart too. She is crazy happy. Seriously. I have never seen her mad and she has had ample opportunity considering I have been glued to her son for 13 years. Also, she could have gotten mad when Will and I moved back from San Antonio and we lived with her. For 2 years. And all of a sudden, her empty nest, spotless clean home became home to 2 recent college grads, 2 yappy little chihuahuas, and a 3 bedroom house full of our crap.

Mimi is a nurse. A fantastic one at that. So when things get kinda hairy, and we don't know what to do, we call her. So naturally, when I was in labor, I invited her into the delivery room for the birth of her first grandchild. I know what you're thinking, that's weird. Most people are very private, and discreet. But you should know better than that. I am not. Not private. Not discreet. Nope. Not me.

Childbirth was a snap. An absolute breeze. I loved my epidural. But after Cole made his entry into the world. I felt some pain. An indescribable plain. Almost not really a pain, but a discomfort. I knew something was wrong. When I finally got up to pee, I passed out on my decent onto the potty, and somehow managed to pee and vomit at the same time. Bless Mimi's heart, she was there through it all. The nurses were all frantic. I could hear them and I could hear scurrying, and one nurse yelling for the Charge Nurse. And all I could think was that I was going to die. I wanted to ask them to just carry me to the bed but I couldn't. My energy, my voice had fled me. Finally, they got to the bed and the blood rushed back to my head. Slowly,  I came to. This, as it turns out, happens. A LOT. And they had warned me before I got up to go potty but I insisted I was fine. Guess not so much.

So, a few hours passed and I had trouble urinating. I cried to pee and only droplets would come out when I would go. So finally, my mother in law checked my bladder. She commented on how distended I was. She also mentioned that I looked pregnant. Um, hello? Just had a baby not 12 hours ago? But I knew deep down she was right. I couldn't pinpoint the discomfort and I just attributed it to delivery.

But still every time I peed it hurt. And nothing came. And then they pushed on my tummy and that hurt to. I had the urge to pee. But still. Nothing. So they finally brought in an ultrasound for my bladder. It read and the numbers went up and then it started flashing red 999. They all looked baffled. They weren't sure if the machine had broke or if it had topped out. By this time I had realized that the discomfort was pee. Like when you're on a road trip and have to pee but here's no where to go. So you hold it. Till you think you can't anymore. And you're just like, pull over, I'll go on the highway. Ok, like that. Times 10. I had to pee soooo bad!

So they cathed me. And out it came. And out. And out. They pulled out a second pee bag. And out it came some more. Over 2 liters! Everyone was amazed that it was a few times what a normal bladder could hold. Another talent I could add to my freakish resume. Yay for me!

But I was fine now. I wanted to go home with my new baby boy. To start our lives together. To welcome friends and family. To dress him in all his new onesies. To hold him, and rock him, and nurse him in his new room. In his new glider. But they wanted me to pee first. So I went. Pee dripped out. We were making progress. I could feel it. The nurses worried that it wasn't enough. But I assured them I was a little pee-er. I peed very little, but I peed often. Really. I get up like 2-3 times a night to pee. Always have. I suspect I always will. Finally, they caved. They let me go home.

As we were piling our new bundle of joy into the car, having signed all the release papers, I felt regret. Regret that I had rushed my recovery. Instantly, the urge to pee came back and I knew I wouldn't be able to. But I got in the car and I didn't look back.

You see, I was a new mom. A very nervous mom who had heard about breastfeeding. Who had read about nipple confusion. Who was susceptible to postpartum depression. Susceptible to any kind of depression. And the thought of leaving my new baby to have to go back into the hospital would have killed me. And since we had already been released, I knew I could be readmitted. But he could not. So I went home. In pain. In remorse.

Mimi came over that night. I told her about the pain. I told her about my fears. So we called my OBGYN. He advised us to call him in the morning to check in or go back to the hospital if things got worse.

Morning came. Finally. After counting sheep. And toes. And fingers. And staring all night at this little miracle that we had prayed for for so long. And I was afraid. And in pain. And in love. Mimi checked my tummy. Distended again. I begged her to talk to my Docotr. To please ask him if she could cath me so that I wouldn't have to leave my baby. I cried as she called. I feared what his answer might be. But he ok'd it.

So Mimi went to the pharmacy to buy the supplies. She came back. We went into the guest bedroom and she cathed me. Another 2 liters. So all weekend I was cathed. But I felt good. And I was able to care for my baby. I had to go all weekend with that cath. Training my bladder to pee again on it's own. We found out Monday all this trouble and pain was attributed to a Urinary Tract Infection. Which is common after labor.

But I guess you could say that this was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with Mimi. Not sure if it was the cath, or if grand-babies just have a way of bringing people closer. Whatever it was, I am thankful. And I'd do it all over again.
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