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Step 1: Buy ugly chairs on craig’s list… $10 per chair.

Step 2: Sand

Step 3: Make a paint tint…

…and prime, then paint….

…with one of these…

Step 4: Have someone else recover the cushions with a fabulous fabric… or, if you cannot decide, with two alternating fabrics… like this:

…and this…

Oh, and if you are feeling particularly fancy, dip the legs in gold (or, add step five: gold spray paint!) 

Easy.  

(Then why did it take me 5 months…?)

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Husband, we made it three years without killing each other. I mean, there’ve been some close calls, but we made it through. Happy third anniversary, husband. And what a year it has been! A new house, a Masters degree, and the baby. I am worn out just thinking about it.

You know I am not one for cards, because I don’t like to use somebody else’s words to express my thoughts. So forgive me if my words are simple.

I love you. I love you more today than the day we got married, even though I did not think this possible.  I love you and will be loyal to you and our family for the rest of my life, no matter what.  Thank you for loving me, being my best friend, and making me laugh, every day of my life.  

Here is a re-cap of the second-best day of our life, in 7 photos:

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A reader of this blog (there are people reading this blog?!?? besides my mom?) facebook messaged me to chat about circumcision.  I thought I would share my thoughts here.  Let’s discuss, moms of the world.  No shame in talking about baby penises! 

Jared and I went back and forth about the decision. I did a bunch of research and found out that initially circumcision came in to vogue because people believed it decreased the sensation in the penis and would therefore reduce the frequency and urge for boys and men to masturbate. There is no medical need to circumcise. 

I had always thought it was more work if you didn’t do it. I had heard you had to peel back the foreskin and clean that area out. But, that is the old way of thinking and is simply not true. Our bodies were made by nature and don’t really require that much maintenance. Now, we know that peeling the skin back and cleaning it, was actually introducing bacteria to the area and causing infections…the infections people thought were caused by not cleaning the area. 

I do believe it reduces sexual pleasure to circumcise. And I just did not want to make that decision for my son. I wanted to give him his body, just the way God made it, and let him decide what he wanted to do with it. 

When we talked about the pros for circumcision, they were always sort of selfish. It looks weird. We will have to explain to our more traditional families why we did not do it. Someday, when he is a teenager, we will have to tell him how to take care of it and clean it, and that will be awkward. Also, we did not want him to get made fun of by his friends for being the only anteater.  But, currently in the US only 50% of male babies are circumcised, so it won’t be as taboo for their generation. 

In the end, what sealed the deal , was watching a video of how they perform the procedure. It looks totally barbaric— especially for something that is not necessary. Also, did you know that physicians that perform circumcisions make and additional $40,000- $90,000 per year? So much extra money for so little work—that is why i think some physicians won’t really tell you the facts about it. I think some physicians are biased. 

Basically, here is the bottom line, what ever you decide, it is your decision, and you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. So much of parenting is “gut instinct,” so trust your mommy intuitions and don’t look back. Do what works for you and your family!

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I greatly dislike when people get on their blogs/twitter/facebook and pretend to be the perfect mom.  I hope I am not guilty of that.  Do not get me wrong, I think I am a pretty damn good mom, and I am very proud of myself—Lord knows it is not an easy task.  So, let me share with your my mom blunder this morning, in hopes that it will make you feel better for something “not perfect” in your parent file.  

And let me start this by saying, isn’t it so ironic when you think you’ve got it made, you fall.  As I was congratulation myself this morning for being the most put together, awesome mom ever, I locked myself out of the house with Jude inside.  You see, we just moved into this house, and I am not familiar with all the locks.  The lock to the garage door is tricky and had already locked my husband out on a past occasion.  So, I was running ahead of schedule and decided to load up the car with my work stuff and Jude’s bag for Mother’s Day Out.  I was thinking, “Way to go, Lauren!  Nailed it!  Ready for MDO an hour and a half early, already did your make up and hair and laid out a cute outfit! You rock!”

And that is when I realized I could not get back in and did not have a phone.  Of course, this is the day Jared is out of town.  All I can say is thank the lord I was wearing pants! Confession— I usually don’t.  I opened the garage and ran across the street to our neighbor’s home.  I have only met them once.  I’m not wearing a bra.  Awesome.  I call my mother who calls a locksmith.  The locksmith was on the way.  So, I just stared in the window at my baby (crowbar in hand, in case s%*# got real and I needed to get inside), who was playing with his xylophone in his playpen, content as he could be. Twenty minutes and sixty-five dollars later, I was back in my house.  Pretty sure Jude did not even know I was gone.  

(Sigh) + (Brow wipe)

So, that was fun.  Yes, I am a good mom, and, yes, I locked myself out of my house with a baby inside.  Just another morning at the Keester house.  And a big thanks to my neighbors, who I will be making a copy of our key for later today.  

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Oh, Jude, this parenting thing is difficult.  You see, you are your own little person with your own little ideas about what is good for you.  Guess what?  You have some funny ideas about what is good for you.  Let me help: don’t pull the cats tail, don’t try to crawl off the bed, and don’t eat things off the floor.  

As you grow, you will have ideas that differ from mine, and that is okay (I say begrudgingly) but here are some pearls you should take to heart.  They are written with love and honesty from your oh, so wise but still learning mother…

1.) Be the person who invites the new kid to sit by him.

2.) Be the person okay with doing the hard work. Don’t feel entitled.

3.) Be the person who sends thank you notes, even for small things.

4.) Be the person who has the courage to be themselves. Even if it is silly or not cool.

5.) Be the person who only has debt for their home and education.  These things are an investment.  Don’t rack up debt for silly things you will end up regretting.  (“Neither a borrower or lender be”). Don’t loan people money.  If you want to help someone out, consider it a charitable gift, and don’t expect to get it back. 

6.) Be the person who can laugh at themselves.  Do it often. 

7.) Get off the couch! Be active in your own life.  Play in the dirt, even as an adult!

8.) But still indulge yourself with the occasional cat nap.  Don’t underestimate the necessity of sleep.

9.) Don’t watch too much TV.  Read more. 

10.) It is okay to have a little fun when you are older, but remember to do everything you do in moderation.  Also, you don’t need alcohol to be the life of the party!

11.) Look for red flags in your relationships.  Don’t marry a girl (or boy) with daddy (or mommy) issues.  Find a strong woman with opinions of her own.  Forgive her her flaws. 

12.) Be the person with a firm handshake, but for goodness sake, don’t try to break the other person’s hand. 

13.) Be the person willing to bite off a little more than your can chew.  Be confident in yourself and that will make up the slack. 

14.) Be the person with good manners and etiquette. 

15.) Be trustworthy. Have integrity. 

16.) Be a democrat. Don’t go to OU. 

17.) Have pride in your country and your state.  

18.) And be the person who calls their mom to tell her she’s great! 

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Bear with me folks! I plan on coming back to this and have some fun posts in the works.  June has just been such a crazy time for us, what with purchasing a new home on the 1st, trying to unpack while looking over a very mobile and curious baby, and shooting a wedding every weekend in June.  I am worn out just thinking about it. But it seems as if we are getting this squared away now and even managed to paint one room this weekend.  More to come on this later, including before and after pics!

Until then, enjoy the Oklahoma heat and try not to melt.

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I cannot tell you how much this laugh melts my heart.  I look at these two boys and think “i have it made.”  They are my world. 

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Practicing our walking!