Why can’t I build a house with a composting toilet… and more?

Why can’t I build a house with a composting toilet… and more?

For years now I’ve had dreams of living a simple life. A life that doesn’t require to rely on consuming city utilities. Some people call it off the grid living, but my husband prefers the term “crazy hippie”. I don’t there is a level of freedom to just relying on resources provided by God. You know, if they are available, why not use them. Rainwater harvesting, solar power, if it is there and you can afford to make the arrangements to use them, then you should be able to use them freely.

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Baby Pram to Toddler Jacket in 10 minutes

Baby Pram to Toddler Jacket in 10 minutes

I often find a piece of clothing among my kids’ possessions that I hate to depart with, just because I feel like it can still be use some how, some way, but more often than not I end up giving it away without spending the time that would take to investigate if that piece of clothing can indeed be modified to lengthen its stay in the Ard residence.

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Elimination Communication

What is elimination communication (EC) you might ask, well, after a lot of googling and research the best definition I found was the following.

EC is a practice in which a caregiver uses timing, signals, cues, and intuition to address an infant’s need to eliminate waste. Caregivers try to recognize and respond to babies’ bodily needs and enable them to urinate and defecate in an appropriate place (e.g. a toilet). Caregivers may use diapers (nappies) as a back-up in case of misses some or all of the time, or not at all. EC emphasizes communication between the caregiver and child, helping them both become more attuned to the child’s innate rhythms and control of urination and defecation. The term “elimination communication” was inspired by traditional practices of diaper-less baby care in less industrialized countries and hunter-gatherer cultures.[1] Some practitioners of EC begin soon after birth, the optimum window being zero to four months[2], although it can be started with babies of any age. The practice can be done full time, part time, or just occasionally.
Source here

I came across this method while watching My Toxic Baby, a documentary about a mother that after the birth of her little girl ponders about the toxic environment in which she is bringing up this little baby and her options when it comes to minimizing the negative effects that this toxic environment has on her baby. One of the sections in this documentary was about how while raising her daughter she was worried about how she was polluting the environment by using disposable diapers and how it takes nearly 400 years for a single diaper to completely recycle and that an average baby goes through 6000 diapers in his/her lifetime… ouch!

Anyways, I have decided to try this with Brie-Brie starting tomorrow Monday September 9th. She will be 6 months in a couple of days so I would like to see how easy/hard this EC will be for us.

I’ll keep the blog updated with the progress.

 

Perfectly imperfect

Yesterday, I had a conversation with Moose that went a little bit like this.

Me: Hey Moose, who does your Dad loves the most, in the whole wide world?

Moose: You.

Me: And who do I love the most in the whole wide world?

Moose: Daddy.

Me: And who do you love the most in the whole wide world?

Moose: You and daddy silly! Brianna too, and Tiago, but only when he doesn’t want to break my Lincoln log cabin.

So needless to say, today, I woke up with a happy heart because I know if my son, a 6 year old, can see that his daddy loves me and that I love his daddy, then things are going the way they should go.

Then I started to think about how blessed I am to have my husband in my life. I truly believe that God has shown me His power through him. Not because my husband is the most handsome, perfect hunk of a man :), but because he is totally imperfect. God cannot bring you closer to him unless he changes your heart. I believe that by being married to somebody that isn’t perfect by your human standards brings you closer to Him because it makes you better. What kind of work would God be doing in your life if things were “perfect” all the time? How can you learn if there isn’t nothing to learn?

I believe that God put Justin and I together because He had a plan, a beautiful plan for His glory. And I think that is the problem with most marriages nowadays… We do not trust that God has a plan, and we think that we know better. Is like when we are kids and our parents make a decision that we might think is terrible for us, well they have a plan, and just in that way we need to trust that God has a plan. Justin and I came from REALLY different upbringings and believe me, we had our confrontations over it. And coming to an agreement regarding raising kids has been a challenge of its own, but God has shown his mercy on every step of the way. He has shown that He is a faithful God and will always give us what we need and not what we think we want.

I sometimes get a kick at how much my view on love has changed since I was a teenager. When I think about love I think about my brother-in-law Paul Washer preaching about dating, courtship and marriage. When he talks about die to yourself and the level of commitment involved in marriage. It is amazing how many times during our married life we have come to hurdles in which we wonder why God has allowed us to get to that place, and once again we realize that we shouldn’t be asking ourselves WHY US? but instead we should ask ourselves what can we LEARN from this? God made a commitment to His church, and the church rejected him, betrayed Him, and did everything wrong, but God had a commitment, and thats the type of commitment that God calls us to have in our marriage. Not on a “deserve-type” basis, but a commitment beyond our own human understanding basis. Because that commitment is with God, and we will be rewarded for keeping it.

My husband is the best unmatched match that fits me perfectly imperfectly and I thank God everyday for bringing us together. And I’m beyond proud of the man that God has made him into.

 

I love you, but I don’t want to!

Well, at least that’s how I think T-Bear felt when Brie came home.

The day that I started having contractions before Brie was born I could see that T-Bear was suspecting something was up. Mommy was not there to change his diapers, mommy was crying, mommy was not playing or cuddling with him. Whatever was going through his little head I could tell that he knew something big was about to happen.

The night we ended up going to the hospital to have her, the boys where asleep so they didn’t even know what was going on and where we were. They stayed at home with Granpa Rodney and Momma G, until the next day when they came to visit me and Brie at the hospital.

Not a happy bear

I still remember the look of pain/terror in T-Bear’s eyes when he saw me holding this other baby… He came into the room in Grandpa Rodney’s arms, so he saw me holding her as soon as he came into the room. And as he entered, he raised his hand and pointed at me and her and made the sound that you would make if you saw somebody cheating on you. Like a “OHHHHH, how dare you” sound. He gave her and me the death stare, and I promise you I’m not joking about this. When Grandpa Rodney put him down on the bed that I was laying he didn’t know if he wanted to hug me or run away crying. He was hurt and mad all at once, but since their visit was sorta short, I think he didn’t have a chance to figure out what whats gonna happen next.

Grandpa Rodney and Momma G went home with the boys and I told Justin to just go ahead and go home since there wasn’t any sense in him staying at the hospital with me and Brie, so he went home.

That night T-Bear had a fever, diarrhea and was throwing up left and right. He did not sleep but just for like 30 minutes at the time, so I must have received 30 texts from Justin asking me what to do to make him feel better. I knew what was going to make him feel better. Me coming home and cuddling up with him. But I was at the hospital with Brie. I felt horrible.

How dare you!


The next day I was discharged from Vanderbilt and Grandpa Rodney came to get me while Momma G was watching the kids.

I got home and the first face I saw was T-Bear’s… and he was upset. Partly for the lack of sleep but I think mostly because his whole world had came crashing. He was hurt, and there was not doubt that he wanted everybody knowing that he was not happy with us, you know, for bringing “that thing” back from the hospital.

Well, long story short, the first month and a half were a mixture between him refusing to eat from me, hug me, give me high fives or giving me kisses to not go to sleep at all because he wanted me to go to sleep with him in his bed. It was sad, and made me feel really bad, but he had to understand that I loved him just as much as I did before I brought Brie home. But that was going to take a while.

Okay, maybe I love you


About around the two month mark after Brie was born T-Bear started to change his attitude towards Brie. He would come and get close to her and giggle. He was not longer trying to poker her, sit on her or try to steal her toys. He was developing some sort of curiosity that was slowly turning into love… I could see it in his eyes, and I was hopeful! He also started to change his tone with me. He was starting to act more loving and wanting to hug me and love on me, just like my old T-Bear. I was happy.

We are back in business


So, now Brie is almost 4 months, and T-Bear is a very loving big brother. He loves on her, gives her kisses and holds her hand as soon as she is at arms-reach. I must admit that I was very worried, because I did not how to “fix” things between me and him, and him and Brie, but I think he just needed time, time to realize that he was loved just as much as he was before, and that he was never going to be replaced. I am truly blessed.

1st week of homeschooling done!

Finished the first week of homeschool and Moosy is loving it. I have realized something though.
I am not saying this just because Moosy is my son, but God has blessed us with a very smart son. I had done school-like activities with him in the past but nothing like what we had done this past week, and I’m amazed at how much he loves to learn. In the first day he flew through 5 math lessons like nothing. He seems to enjoy numbers naturally. He also likes penmanship and asks to work on it daily I believe those are his two favorite subjects so far.

I have noticed that he loves to memorize things, and he enjoys getting quizzed in things that he has memorized. It seems to be a game for him. The day that we started homeschooling (August 1st) I pulled out this deck of flash cards that contains 50 countries and their capitals, by Sunday he had memorized most of them and was begging me to “play” with him and quiz him. I am a very blessed momma.

After every subject I let him play a game on the iPad or read a book as a reward and that seems to encourage him to do things well, but I have noticed that I need to be right there next to him to make sure he doesn’t get distracted. I think this will have to happen until he realizes that this is schoolwork and it is something we have to do every day. I can understand how a child like mine could get lost in a typical school system and be labeled as a problem child. Moosy does excellent as long as I’m pushing him and challenging him with something new, and with a typical school setting, there is just not enough man-power to keep a kid like mine challenged at all times.

Not sure if I have said this before, but I thank God for allowing our family to be able to homeschool, because this is definitely an immense blessing from above. I just pray that I will a good teacher and that he will stay with the same happy learning spirit.

 

 

  • Some of our friends!
  • Swamp People Cake
  • T-Bear got caught eating cake with two forks!
  • T-Bear chillaxing on Brie

Swamp People Birthday Party!

So we had a complete blast today with family and friends during Moosy’s 6th birthday celebration at the YMCA! We had a Swamp People themed party. We ordered tacos from Blue Coast Burrito, I made a red velvet cake but decorated it with fondant and we got a lot of little swamp-inspired nick-nacks…

A big shutout to my mother-in-law Dorothy and sister-in-law Mary Liz that stayed up until late hours of the night to help me with the cake. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t had made it w/o their help. They are awesome and I am very thankful for them! If anybody wondered about the cake, it was my first time doing fondant  and I pretty much used this as an inspiration for mine. I used two different kinds of fondant that I got from walmart. Duff fondant and Wilton fondant. And I’ll have to say for a total beginner like me, the Duff fondant was so easy to use and mold, and it tasted awesome. On the other hand the Wilton fondan was very hard to mold and tasted pretty disgusting. I used the Wilton fondant for anything brown (letters, rocks and the cat’s tail plants), so before I served the cake I warned everybody to avoid eating it. So next time I’m going to use Duff fondant for everything.

I wish I would had taken more pics, but between getting everybody fed, loosing my iPhone and watching Brie and T-Bear the party and fun happened, and I ended up not taking very many pics.

All and all the party and food turned out great and everybody that made it had a great time!
These are the few pics I took, but if I get my hands on more I’ll upload them later!

Life changing day

6 years ago I went to the hospital in Murray, KY for a scheduled c-section and by 7 am God blessed us with a boy. He was 10lbs 3oz and he was beautiful.

I do not remember much of the actual birth, because of all the medication that they gave me, but there is a picture that when I look at it brings tears to my eyes, because I gave him a kiss as soon as they pulled him out of my belly, but I do not remember giving him that kiss. :(

After they rolled me to my room after the birth and I came back from all that medication I started to get very nervous because he was not there with me. I remember asking for him several times. Finally when they brought him to me I nearly lost it. It was the best feeling in the whole world. Having him in my arms. My son. He was so beautiful and I felt such a sense of responsibility and at that very moment I felt as if somebody punched me in the face and said, alright, this is it, don’t blow it!  And I swear my life has changed completely since. Whomever has a child and their life does not change they should look and see if there is something amiss.

I think I believe I speak for my husband too when I said that we have been so blessed by God through Moose. Through his pure heart, tenderness, silliness and helping spirit we have been blown away by the experience of being parents. And we are so thankful to God for allowing us to care for His son and for trusting that we will do a good job. And I know that with His help, Moosy will become a Godly man one day.

All I can say tonight is, Thank You Lord for giving us such a great son! and Happy Birthday Moosy! We love you with all our hearts!

 

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