About having two

When Jack was about four months old, we were driving in the car and I was sobbing. I wanted Jack to have a sibling but I just couldn’t comprehend how I could possibly go through the baby stage again, much less with another child to take care of at the same time. And I felt like a failure and like I was missing something that other people just got. And Spencer said “I know. I don’t know what we should do.”

And I know that maybe most other new parents don’t have the same experience that I (we) did, at least as far as the extreme feelings of drowning, but it seems like most of us, caught in the midst of sleep deprivation with spit-up on our shirts and “how to prevent SIDS” pulled up on Google, probably wonder “how do you do this when you already have another kid to worry about?”

Then your baby turns one and he can eat whatever you eat and he can play by himself and sleep through the night and you take a big dang breath because now it’s easy. You could have twelve kids if they just came out like this! And so clearly, now would be the time that you realize you can have another one. At least that’s how it was for us.

And here’s some good, good news, my friends. Number two has been a hundred thousand times easier. (Having two is definitely not easier than having one, obviously, but the second baby is easier.)

There are a bunch of reasons it’s been easier for me personally, I think, but mainly it’s because now we know what we are doing. Now we know what to expect. Everything isn’t just like a tidal wave of hard, surprising change. So, I hope that’s reassuring for my one-baby friends who are scared to try for a second child. Your lifestyle is already adjusted to parent-mode when the second baby arrives.

Another major reason why I haven’t died yet is because I’m getting sleep. Not normal human sleep but much better than with Jack. And if I learned anything from Jack, it’s that my brain gets really sick when I don’t sleep. So, Spencer hatched this great idea where I sleep from 10-2 in the guest room while he has Case duty and then he comes and gets me and I take it from there. This ensures that I get four consecutive hours. We did this the first week and I was terrified that he would take it away when he went back to work but he is hanging in there with me. Not only is the sleep helping, but I feel so loved and supported, like I have a teammate in this. He is really being a rockstar. And it’s a good thing because I don’t know what poor Jack would do if I was zombie mom.

There are still days when I get worn down but for the most part, I can make it through the day and accomplish the basics. So I really recommend this method of sleeping in shifts if you can talk your spouse into it.

And of course, being back in my hometown has helped because I don’t feel so isolated and I can usually find something to do when I just have to get us out of the house.

My anxiety has been next to nothing. I haven’t had to take anti-depressants (yet but I feel confident). And I really didn’t even experience baby blues except for one evening when I couldn’t stop crying. But that was clearly hormonal and was gone by the next day.

So all in all, this has been a much more relaxed experience than I could’ve imagined. I was really expecting it to be a really bad five or so months but the first time was much harder. There are some challenges with having a two year old and a newborn but we are navigating pretty well, I’d say.

Don’t worry, Kate. You can do it!

Happy one month, Case!

Case Don is a month old today! And we are all still alive! I feel like that is a victory.

I’m holding him now, at 5:45 am, and thought I might as well take this chance, before Tornado Jack wakes up, to make a little post commemorating the day.

He’s kind of a hot mess. He’s a pretty cute guy but poor thing has bad acne, cradle cap on his forehead and clogged tear ducts that make his eyes gunky half the time. It’s the awkward phase of newbornhood, I guess.

I think his eyes will be a light blue. He looks a lot like Jack but he doesn’t really remind me of him because his facial expressions are very different. Jack was always pretty serious looking but Case has a big happy grin (and I swear he chuckles in his sleep since like day one) and a pretty intense sad face. He is feeling the feelings. I think he looks like my grandpa Ray.

I feel like he eats every five seconds but I guess it takes a lot of fuel to keep his big self going. At this moment he is wearing a 3 month outfit. Not 0-3 month.

He doesn’t like being awake and not being held. Play time on a blanket? Yeah, no thanks. Maybe his love language is touch.

He has rolled from tummy to back a couple times and is every bit as squirmy and wiggly as Jack was. And I’m barely even drinking caffeine this time!

We are pretty proud of our tall boy and feel like he has completed our family like the little cherry on top of the sundae.


In which I explain perineal massage

Okay. Here is my post about perineal massage. I’m super embarrassed to post it because it’s about VAGINA STRETCHING but I feel the world needs to know. Hopefully everyone who reads this already knows how babies get out and that there’s no stork involved.

It’s a medical post. It’s a medical post. It’s a medical post. The preggers need to know this. Okay. I can do it. Here we go.

The whole reason I’ve decided to dedicate a post to this topic is that the labor and delivery nurses who helped with Case’s birth were AMAZED that I did not need stitches (as was the doctor). When I credited it to perineal massage, they wanted to know how to do it. So. Obviously if the professionals aren’t in on this wonder, somebody needs to get the word out. I’ve had several mom friends ask me about it so I know y’all wanna know.

It’s extremely simple and extremely awkward. The OB I had with Jack told us about it and encourages all his patients to do it.

(I know many of you do not mind your stitches and feel like the end results are better. That’s fine, I’m not tryna pressure anybody.)

Supposedly there is a way to do this by yourself but it seems hard and confusing to me. So, I can’t advise about that.

Here’s how to do it:

Get some olive oil. Get your husband. Dim the lights. Haha just kidding, he’s gonna need to be able to see. Now all he does is rub the oil around down there and then insert his index and middle fingers up to the second knuckle and apply downward pressure. Just in and down. Then y’all lay there and watch tv for 15 minutes and you’re done.

It was very embarrassing at first but we got used to it quickly. You want to start about six weeks before your due date and do it every night. No big deal if you miss a night here and there. The amount of pressure he applies is up to you and can increase over time. I would aim for uncomfortable and stretched but not painful.

And there ya have it. That is how I delivered two babies (one being huge) without ever having crotch stitches.

Now you know way too much about me. You’re welcome.
Sent from my iPhone

Letters to Case

Dear Case,

I’m sorry all your stuff has most likely had Jack’s butt crack on it. Including your head. It’s just that he’s always naked and I’ve kind of given up on the concept of “hygiene.”

I know it’s not fair but as the second child, I guess you will probably have accepted that fact of life by the time you can read this.

I promise I love you just as much.

P.s. Even your pacifiers probably

Case enters the world outside the womb

I’ve been wanting to write Case’s birth story out before I forget the details. But, I’ve been putting it off because 1. Busy getting snacks for a screaming toddler with a newborn hanging off my boob 2. It was bad and I don’t want to frighten anyone who may be headed to the maternity ward sometime soon and 3. I’m afraid I’ll get super emotional and freak out from reliving the trauma. I’m not exaggerating as I normally tend to do. It really was terrible.

But, it’s a story and I’m a story teller and so I’m going to do what I do. Seriously, though, this is your warning: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant one day, squeamish or disgusted by details about childbirth, you should go ahead and click on outta here now.

It started off pretty much like I thought it might. I was laying in bed around 10:30pm, mindlessly scrolling around on my phone trying to get tired enough to fall asleep. I had gotten all cranky earlier in the evening when I found out Spencer was going to Tulsa the next day for work because I was scared I’d go into labor and he would be three hours away. So I went and pouted in bed and had fallen asleep for a few hours. And now I was awake when I felt my water break. I knew Spencer had just drifted off to sleep because I could hear his sleep breathing.


(Jumps to full attention) “What?!”

“My water just broke.”


“Yes. I wouldn’t wake you up to joke about this.” (But wouldn’t that have been funny?)

When my water broke last time, I wasn’t for sure that’s what had happened. This time, there was no mistaking it. There was a lot of fluid once I started moving around. I am so extremely glad that did not happen earlier in the day when I was at Wal-Mart with Jack. (Although, I did see my mom’s life-long bff and another family friend while I was there so I guess I would’ve had help. But still.)

So, we alerted the troops and my mom came over to stay with Jack while we headed to the hospital. I was pretty nervous on the way there because I was 95% sure there was meconium in the fluid but kept telling myself that I didn’t know all there was to know about these things so maybe it wasn’t. It was. But nobody was acting like it was a big deal so I asked our triage nurse who said “Well, it isn’t ideal but it’s not that bad.” Thanks for the super helpful explanation and reassurance, lady. 

So, I got moved to a labor and delivery room and they said they would start pitocin at 4am if I hadn’t progressed much by then (I was dilated to a 3 at that point). I went ahead and got the epidural pretty soon because as my one nurse who I actually liked during this whole ordeal said “If you’re going to get one, might as well get it now.” My sentiments exactly.  But I didn’t take it well. While the anesthesiologist was doing her thing, I could feel weird pressure on the left side of my spine and it freaked me out because last time, I really hadn’t felt anything like that. Anyway, I sat still and in a few minutes I had relief from the contractions.

Sometime around then my brother and dad showed up. My dad went and sat in a chair by Spencer where they snored and my nocturnal brother came and sat by my bedside and made me listen to obscure artists on his ipad until I started feeling horrible pressure on my…well…let’s just say it- my butt. I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom. Which is how it felt last time when it was time to push. But the nurse checked me and said that we still had a ways to go. This was very bad news because the pressure was getting worse and worse. And I could tell that she was starting to not believe me about the pain. She kept saying “Is it pain or is it pressure?” To which I replied “It is pressure that is painful!” And then she would look at me skeptically and check me again only to tell me yet again that it would be some time.

Then there was a shift change and I got two nurses this time. I think one of them was in training but I’m not sure because no one bothered to tell me. The one in training was very nice and sympathetic but she wasn’t really allowed to do anything except sit on the edge of my bed and nervously rub my leg which I repeatedly had to tell her not to do. I tried to remember to say please because she really was very nice. Eventually the other nurse whose name I never learned discovered that I was experiencing an “anterior cervical lip” which is something about the edge of your cervix not dilating completely and getting out of the way for the baby’s head. Same exact thing happened with Jack. But with Jack, it didn’t hurt this badly and the nurses left me alone and advised me to try different positions to get him to move and the cervix to open. Which they did. But that’s not how it went with Case.

This is where things started rolling downhill at the speed of lightning.

They started making me push while one of them inserted her hand and tried to push the cervix around Case’s head. Yes, it was just as horrifying as it sounds. She kept saying “Sometimes it feels better to push” to which I kept replying “Well, this is not one of those times.” Looking back, I wish I had just refused to push and not been cooperative at all and they would’ve had to do things the way I wanted but hindsight’s 20/20 and all that. I started getting scared and asked if he was stuck. She looked at me like I was the biggest moron in America and said “I don’t know. There’s no reason to think he’s stuck.” Well, I had a reason and that was because I could FEEL HIM BEING STUCK. But, no one believed me and they all seemed to think I was overly dramatic and pretending to be in pain because, after all, I had received an epidural.

By this point I could see that I was in trouble so I asked Spencer to call my mom and tell her to start praying. I wanted to call everyone I knew and tell them but I couldn’t because I was trying not to die.

Some time went by and I’m not sure exactly what all happened but the doctor on call came in to deliver the baby. Not having my doctor there was another terrible surprise. I hadn’t realized that the doctors in her practice just took turns being on call and so it was just a roll of the dice as to who was going to be handling one of the top two most important events of my life. By my wonderful luck, I managed to draw the meanest, most unsympathetic drill sergeant of a doctor that has ever lived. My mom was already there by then and she was holding my hand, I think, and Spencer was pacing around saying supportive things and the doctor and nurses all kept asking him if he was ok. For some reason, it seems like there were about 37 various health care workers in the room with us but I can’t be sure of the exact number. I felt like there were about 12 people in scrubs all touching me and looking over me. Maybe they were giving a class on the most unpeaceful delivery ever.

Now. I have done a lot of complaining about other people (which I plan to continue in a moment) but I was no hero here. I was screaming and begging for help the whole time. I mean, if there was anyone else on that floor, which there obviously was, they knew Heather Brown was in pain. Specific things I recall sobbing out: “Jesus help me!” “I can’t!” “NO!” “Dr., please stop!” and “Why is no one listening to me?!” This is so vastly different from Jack’s birth that I can’t even fathom it. I didn’t make a peep except maybe like one groan when I pushed him out. But I felt so trapped laying on that table with my legs in the air and nurses holding on to each one with a doctor’s arm all the way up me like I was a cow getting preg checked, that I was in a total panic.

They wouldn’t let me breathe in between pushes so I kept getting light headed. I knew I was panicking but I couldn’t get ahold of myself because there was no time and I just wanted to breathe for a second. And the doctor kept getting all stern with me (which I do not handle well in any situation anyway. Seriously, don’t scold me.) like she was a football coach or something and telling me to look her in the eyes and be quiet and that I was wasting energy with all my noise making. I literally, sincerely considered kicking her right in the face once. Case, like Jack, was sunny side up and instead of letting him be born like that (which he was anyway) like they did with Jack, the doctor insisted on putting her arm in there and trying to turn him over. I cannot describe how painful that was. I was screaming and begging her to stop but she wouldn’t and I really almost kicked her in the face. I kind of wish I had so they maybe would’ve knocked me out or something.

At some point the anesthesiologist came back in and put something else in my IV but I couldn’t tell you that it made any difference. I will tell you that at Mercy when my epidural had worn off right before I was pushing, they offered to give me a whole new one because they wanted me to be totally pain free. I didn’t take it but the offer was nice. I also got a shot of lidocaine in the birth canal when I had Jack. I sure wish I could’ve had the presence of mind to request that this time. Not that they would’ve given it to me. I literally heard one of the nurses say “She had an epidural but she’s just extremely sensitive.” No, jerk. There is a huge baby stuck inside me. That’s not sensitive.

Can you tell I’m bitter? I can’t help it. I don’t want to be and I keep reminding myself that they kept me and Case safe and delivered a healthy baby to me. But dang.

I asked over and over and over for a C-section but they just didn’t do it. Finally the doctor told me I had two options. One was to let her try to vacuum suction him out and the second was a c-section. I asked for the C-section. She insisted on the vacuum and said that if it didn’t work after two or three pulls then they would be forced to do a C-section. Eventually after my energy for arguing had worn out, I said “FINE!! Do whatever you want!” or something like that and so she did. My spirit was broken. I knew she was going to do things her way and was probably only offering me options because she was required by law or something.

Then the respiratory team came in the room in case the baby breathed in any meconium so now there were even more witnesses to this circus of agony. I’m not sure how the vacuum worked but I saw some white rubber suction cup thing and felt it pop off a time or two as she cheerfully said “Oops! That was my fault.” OMG OMG OMG. If I ever wanted to kill someone it was then. Then everyone got all excited about his blonde hair and I got super annoyed that they thought I should be excited because hello, if all you can see is his hair then that means the head nor the shoulders are out yet.

Anyway, they got him out and suctioned his nose and throat and he was just dandy. Then they laid him on my chest and it was just awkward and I couldn’t even hold him because he was so long. So they took him to weigh and I was in a haze but I saw a flash of Spencer with tears in his eyes and I thought “Oh, it’s really over. Whew!” Then someone said “Heather, nine pounds eight ounces!” and I yelled out “Holy S*&%!” I mean, I think I made it through that whole ordeal without cussing but that just sent me over the edge. We had no idea he would be so big and I kind of felt validated for my histrionics. I wanted to say “Ha! See! He was huge! That’s why I was freaking out!”


So, at 8:55 in the morning, Case Don Brown entered the world at 9lbs 8oz and 22 1/4 inches long with hair the exact same color as his daddy’s. What a bruiser. Of course then family was in and out of the room getting a look at our new bundle and it was the sweetest when Jack came in to meet him. He kept putting his hands up to his face and exclaiming “He’s soooo cuuuute!!”

So, in summary, we got our Case and that makes me happy and it also made me happy not to be pregnant anymore. I’ll try to write soon about what it’s been like having two little ones and some things I’ve learned already. And just because I know you are wondering, not one single stitch. Thank you, perineal massage (it really shouldn’t be called “massage.”)

So very hungry

Good morning, darlings. Oh, you aren’t up quite this early on a Sunday morning the night after the first college football Saturday of the year? I am. Because 1) baby kicks 2) intense hunger and 3) creepy dreams where I think someone is knocking on the door. Anyway, I’m telling myself that was a dream.

Here’s the difference in waking up hungry before kids versus after kids: now I would rather lay here and starve while trying to distract myself with all manner of social media than risk going into the kitchen and possibly making any noise which might wake up the man cub before he has gotten all the sleepies out. So. Hopefully I don’t die whilst waiting. Also, there is some delicious breakfast casserole just hanging out in the fridge. All alone.

But it’s definitely not worth the risk because he was up late watching the Cowboys put on an IMPRESSIVE show against FSU. He gets real into the cheering part. Actually, I think he’s like me. Easily distracted and pretty confused about most of the game but when we make a big play, he takes his cues from those around him and OH MERCY. I didn’t know galloping in a circle while screaming “go, go!” And “whoo-hoo!” Was a genetic trait but apparently so. So, that was fun and now I’m real excited about the rest of the season. As my uncle said in the first quarter, “Hope springs eternal.”

In other news, I’m still pregnant. Hugely, hugely pregnant. Like, I’m making people nervous just by being near them pregnant. The stretch marks are unbelievable. I am thinking about wearing the $6 size enormous WalMart cotton shorts to church today. And I feel like no one would blame me. At least there will be snacks there.

Okay, I’ve killed a little more time. I hope y’all have a great day. I’m going to try to creep into the kitchen and get something nice and quiet like a banana before I faint now.

What the fat pregnant ladies want to wear in the summer

Now that I’ve been very pregnant for two summers of my life (due dates of 8/16 and 9/13) I feel like I’m probably an expert at what clothes an oven cooking a bun wants to wear when it’s sweltering hot outside. It doesn’t take much to make me an expert on things, people.

I will admit that this summer hasn’t been bad. In fact, it’s probably been the most mild summer ever in the history of Oklahoma summers. But you’ll have to check the record books to know for sure. I’m just guessing here. BUT the summer I had Jack was the worst summer ever. We literally had at least 64 days over a hundred degrees that year and it was, like, 110 the day we brought him home. I don’t know if you know this, but an air conditioner can only  do so much when it’s that hot outside. Breast feeding was a real treat in an 85 degree house. I loved it. Anyway, I think if we combine and then divide these summers, we come up with the most normal, average summer there could ever be in the heartland of America. Which is where all the pregnant ladies are. 

So. I felt like all the maternity clothes makers who read my blog (which is a totally long and illustrious list) would probably appreciate if I told them how to do their jobs better. Here we go.

First of all, the best thing you can wear while pregnant in the summer is nothing. If we could get a law passed to allow that, though I support modesty as if I were born in 1862, I would be all for it. But it’s not looking too likely so let’s not dwell on it. But I do sleep naked when pregnant because 1. It’s hot and 2. None of my underwear fit.

Now let’s talk necklines. Why must they all be so plunging? When a woman is with child, those milk bags start to bulge. I understand this may be exciting for those who have never experienced large breastedness, but they could just enjoy them while they are laying in bed naked. For those of us who are not trying to show our areolas at the Dollar Store, we now have to wear a cami under every single top. I guess that’s fine if it’s winter but guess what, we are talking about summer here and WHO WANTS TO LAYER IN THE SUMMER? No one. One Sunday I literally said to Spencer “Sorry if anyone lusts over my breasts at church this morning, I’ve done all I can to contain them.” He was real worried about it as you can imagine. So, let’s get those necklines in check!

While we are talking about layering, I need to mention arm holes. All the sleeveless things have large arm pit holes which will show your bra (if you can find one to fit) so, again with the cami and/or a shrug of some sort. At this point, you could be wearing a bra, a cami, a top and something to cover your arm holes. Whew! I’m sweating just thinking about it. What would be wrong with a normal-sized arm hole or even a sleeve?

Also about layering: maternity pants have these lovely stretchy things on the top that come up over your belly to hold them up. They’re pretty comfy if you are just a fat person who wants to appear to wear pants that button when in fact, there is not button. However, if you are pregnant and it’s the summer time, you now inevitably have two layers over the belly (stretchy part of the pants + shirt). And guess what. That stretchy part of the pants is most likely either black or navy blue. And your shirt is most likely sheer (because I don’t know why). So, better wear a cami!! Seriously. It’s camis all day, errday, guys and gals.

It seems like the perfect solution to summer time pregnancy wardrobe woes would be a nice, cotton dress. You would be right unless your thighs touch. If they don’t, get the heck outta here. If they do, you’re going to be looking at some major chafing/heat rash if you wear a dress more than one day in a row.

So. Here’s what I’m wearing these days. It’s not cute but neither is me flying into a sweat- induced rage and ripping off all the layers while in line at Wal-Mart. Which is where I would be, buying myself some more $6 Danskin stretchy, cottony, loose shorts in size 2X. They are long enough and they stay up without squishing my belly (which I’m claustrophobic about) and I don’t need an extra layer over them. Pair those beauties in black or gray with a nice cotton Arizona brand v-neck (non-plunging) t-shirt (with sleeves) and you have a terrible-looking outfit that is both comfortable and practical. Also throw on some flip-flops in the next size up because your feet are probably too swollen for normal shoes.

Looking good!

Around the homestead

This morning I woke up thinking about painting my laundry room. WHYYYYYY?! I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Spencer said I have a sickness. I don’t want to paint the laundry room. But when I wake up in the morning with a vision of pretty light blue walls with white cabinets and trim, I know that I am stuck. The laundry room will be painted. I just can’t say when. It’s not like I’m bursting with energy over here. 

Oh, did I mention that in May we moved to my grandparents’ old house in my old home town? Well, we did. And there was A LOT of work to be done. That’s how I know I’m not real blogger material. I mean, I have painted, scrubbed (oh, heavens, the scrubbing), slip-covered and carpeted. And I didn’t take one picture or do one single before-and-after post. It’s shameful, really. But if anyone cleans double-pane windows, I am willing to pay. I have no interest or confidence in my ability to carry a ladder around and remove glass without breaking something. Not to mention how sweaty I would inevitably become. For now I just close the blinds and pretend there aren’t water spots, June bugs and cobwebs in them.

Speaking of home improvements, the amount of ugly wood furniture I have that needs painted is overwhelming. I guess I probably won’t do any of that until the boys are both in school. And I hire a manservant to carry heavy things for me. I’m also coveting this comforter set from Bed Bath and Beyond but I’m thinking maybe it will go on sale one day? It might not look that exciting, but let me tell ya, she’s a comfy one. Very comforting, if you will.

But really, the “have to be done immediately or I will die” projects (like painting the baby’s hot pink room to a more manly white) are pretty much under control. I just remembered that I also had a dream about the guest bathroom curtain. There currently isn’t one and apparently that is weighing heavily on my mind.

I’m going to go look at bathroom window coverings now. And possibly paint samples. Have a nice day.

Jack turns two

It’s the second anniversary of the day we met Jack. What valleys and mountain tops we have traversed! What lessons I have learned! God has used him to make me a new person and to bring smiles to everyone he meets.

Here’s a little about how Jack lives his life as he turns two.


He sleeps in a toddler bed and every morning when he wakes up, he comes and stands in our doorway and waves. Sometimes he says “Goo morning!” and sometimes he wails “I need milk!!!”

He is a runner and jumper and climber, down inside himself, from the start. When he was about four weeks old, my dad held him on his chest and said “He will crawl early.” Grandpa Timmy was right- he’s a mover and a shaker!

He’s a nosy one. He gets that from me. I prefer the term curious, actually. He has already started asking “why?” about everything. I thought that would come later. It’s tiring. Aw, and I just remembered how the nurses were laughing at his checkup when he was twelve days old and he was holding his head up, looking around (I guess he wasn’t really looking since they can barely see at that age, but he was trying). I was so new to babies that I didn’t find it strange that he could support his head already. He just needs to know what is happening at all times!


He says funny stuff all the time. The other day he told me that a baby bug had left our porch to go to church and play with Play-Doh. The cat also goes to church a lot (which, I think is good for him because I’m pretty sure he has some questionable night time activities).

He pretty much loves everyone he knows. I used to think, “Boy, he really likes them, he talks about them a lot.” But then I realized he talks about them all a lot. He wants to go visit everyone everyday. Especially his cousins Sophia and Colt even though they all fight and are not that into sharing with each other.

He loves the water park (the one at Pauls Valley. It’s really good!) and goes down the slide all by himself, but I have to catch him at the bottom because he cannot handle water spraying him in the face. It’s melt down level five. He is a sucker for anything soft that he can cuddle up to. He also loves trucks and balls. And watching cartoons. He has been a tv head ever since his eyes could focus.

I have no idea what school-type things I should be teaching him at this age but he knows his colors. He hates the alphabet. I have no clue why but he just gets aggravated if you try to get him to sing it. But he likes songs that also have motions.

He asks for ice cream every time we pass a Braum’s, see a Braum’s cup or anyone says the word “ice” or “cream” in his presence. I think I will take him to get some later since it’s his birthday and all.

He still calls our house the “new house.”


We aren’t really working on potty training. It’s called me being lazy and luckily I found a blog post that makes me feel okay with that. I still promise never to post potty training details on FB.

He likes to have a job. Everything is “Me help too!” When he asks “What do today?” and we tell him what we did and then ask what he did today, he always says “Work hard.” I love it.

Not that I would post bad things about him (because that would be kind of mean wouldn’t it?)  but he’s pretty easy to get along with most of the time. If he’s being super cranky then he is either hungry or needs to go to bed. He gets his fair share of swats for testing me on things he knows are naughty but usually that is all that is required to reassure him that those really are the rules. He takes it in stride.

We love our little munchkin and today, on his second birthday, I’m going to go pack a hospital bag for when his brother decides to join us. His world is about to change so much but it has been pretty sweet being a family of three the last two years (mostly-but the hard times were worth it).

Here’s his birth story if anyone else is feeling nostalgic today.

Why we aren’t on welfare

I started to write this as a Facebook post but then it got too long. So I’m writing it as a blog post from my phone. If you’ve never done that, I don’t advise it.


Today Spencer and I got to talking because we were both thinking about the same topic today- people in need. And I had some of those thoughts that wouldn’t go away just by talking about them. I have to write them out.

We should help people in need. Always. Even if it’s inconvenient and costly for us. But the thing is, a lot of people who think they are in need are actually just in want. In want of free things. But nothing is free. Just because you don’t pay for it doesn’t mean no one does.

I was thinking about it because I was calculating in my head as I was driving (very dangerous, I apologize) about how much we were going to pay for our doctor and the hospital for this baby after insurance (last time it was about $3500). When we were talking about it the other day, a friend suggested we try to get SoonerCare to pay for our part. But, we shouldn’t.

Let me say, my husband makes a nice income but it’s not outrageous. I have no income. So, we are not rich. We are so lucky that we have insurance through Spencer’s work. $3500 is a buttload of money for us. But, with budgeting and self-control, we can come up with it. And we have satellite tv and the internet and smart phones and we drink cokes anytime we feel like it. Oh, and I don’t have an income. So, to me, there is a lot we can cut out if we need to in order to pay our bills. And that should be our first response.

Maybe we look at things this way because we both grew up without material excess. We had what we needed but we knew what it was to be broke. So we can deal with not having everything be easy maybe. We know we can trim the fat and not die.

Another time, someone suggested we should apply for WIC. I asked why. “It’s a great program! And you probably qualify.” To me, that’s not a reason. We don’t want to have the attitude that we want to get everything “free” we can get just because we can get it.

Listen, I don’t want anybody to go hungry. Nobody. That’s why I’m glad these programs are available for the people who need them. Which I thought was people who couldn’t afford groceries. Trust me, we aren’t about to starve, praise The Lord. And I’m not against signing up for them because I’m too proud. I just want it to be there and available to those who need it rather than abused by those who want it because they can get it. I’m not judging you if you use those programs, I’m just explaining why we don’t.

I don’t know other people’s situations but I know ours. And it’s just troubling to me- especially when I think about what kind of world our kids will live in- how much the prevailing point of view (that I keep hearing) is that you’re crazy if you pass up the chance to get more from the government. It seems more greedy than needy to me.

And we don’t always do the right thing but we really want to try. And for us, this is the right thing. To work and sell and cut out the extras when times get tough. Because we can and that is such a blessing that we don’t want to take for granted.

Love y’all. Have a happy COOL July week, my friends.