Bunnies and Babies

As all of you know, the world has gone crazy with pandemics, riots, protests and general unrest and worry in the minds of almost everyone I know.

In the midst of this all, I have been working on making masks to help with the COVID-19 effort, trying to keep up with housework and other obligations, as well as struggling to get my creative juices flowing in order to create new content for you all here in the Treadling Nation.

With the world seemingly burning around us, Josh and I decided to do something big. If you know us personally, then you probably already know this, but this is the official announcement for the Treadling Nation…

We are expecting a new homesteader around New Years Eve!!!

Josh and I are beyond excited about this and have had to deal with crazy things all around; from Josh being at every appointment inspite of the fact he knows he can’t come in the office (thank you COVID) because he wants to be there for me (what an amazing husband I have!), to me having to take multiple medications for the first time in my life.

Everything is fine; my blood pressure was just high and my midwife put me on medication to head off any issues later in my pregnancy. Everything is looking great and we are already into the second trimester. That is crazy and blowing my mind right now, for real.

If I’m being totally honest, there are sometimes that Josh and I work on a project or article and then think, “Do we really want to share this with the world?” Most of the time the answer is yes, but sometimes we do decide to keep personal things personal.

But you are in luck! In this quarter’s State of the Homestead I’m going to be updating you on the major things that have been going on here on the TreadlingHome-stead including the fight over rabbits and preparing to become first time parents.

The Great Rabbit Battle of 2020

As I mentioned above, Josh and I like to keep some things between the two of us. Most of these things are disagreements that we have either about if a particular project should be done or the way in which we are going about completing said projects.

Pretty normal for couples like us, where I have the experience and he has read a book or watched a YouTube video or two and thinks he knows better than I do. Sometimes it is the other way around, but this is how it goes most of the time.

The Background

When I was growing up, we raised all kinds of animals as food, from cows to chickens and yes, even rabbits. There are several versions of this story depending on who you talk to in my family, but here is my side.

When I was young my brother and I got a couple rabbits, Bugs and Babs named for Space Jam (I know…we were so cool!), and were going to breed them for 4H.

I was told that these rabbits would make baby bunnies and that I couldn’t name them because in about 12 weeks we would slaughter them for food. I was ok with that because of the other animals we had done that with.

Well, the bunnies came and I did good not naming them. Then, 12 weeks went by, 16 weeks went by, 20 weeks went by and I wasn’t told anything and the bunnies were still there so I decided in my child’s mind that we must be keeping them and they needed names. I know, my bad.

So you can imagine my horror when I came home with my Mom one day and found my brother and Dad SLAUGHTERING MY BUNNIES! It was super traumatic and now my family makes fun of me all the time because I was told not to name them and blah blah blah…I was 7 or 8! Cut me some slack will ya!?

Since then I vowed I would never own rabbits again and I stuck to that hard.

Josh is trying to help

Well, about a year ago now Josh and I were looking at things we could do to better prepare ourselves in case something happened to our food supply, i.e. the COVID delays and panic buying that happened.

After doing some research he decided that we needed to get rabbits. Needless to say he knew I didn’t want rabbits and why and told me that I needed to grow up and get over it because they were pretty much our only option if I didn’t want a cow or pig.

I lost my mind and yelled more than I should have, I’ll admit, but he knew how I felt about them. And on top of everything else, I just morally disagree with keeping any animal in a cage for their entire life and forcing them to breed. It is inhumane and I don’t like it. This is why we have our own chickens for eggs so I can make sure they live a good life.

With any animal that I have raised, it has had a good life filled with attention and compassion until that one bad day; and even then, I make sure to kill them in the fastest way possible to cause the least pain and suffering to the animal.

We ended up with the freaking rabbits :/

After arguing for literally months about it and explaining this idea more times than I would like to, Josh came home with a truck full of rabbit supplies. I flipped! He said he was going to do it and that if I didn’t like what was going on I could sell them and all their supplies with his blessing.

I was so mad, and still am if I’m honest. I do have to say that Josh has been doing an excellent job taking care of them, but mostly because I flat out refuse to help with them at all. He even put them behind the chicken coup so I don’t have to see their cute little faces.

He got cute rabbits too! I asked him to get the freaky looking ones that should have been cast for Night of the Leapus, but instead he got these super cute ones and I’m going to be so sad when we have to kill them.

So the moral of the story? Sometimes your husband stands up and does something even though you literally beg him not to and you want to kill him, but you can still work it out and remember that you love him.

So yeah, I guess we are rabbit farmers now too :/ Let’s welcome these cute little guys to the homestead shall we?

Our journey to finally starting a family.

Not everyone has an easy journey to becoming parents and if I’m honest, it still kind of doesn’t feel real.

Josh and I have been together for over 11 years, and married for almost 9. On our first date he said he didn’t want to have a wife and kids, so if that’s something I wanted I shouldn’t waste my time. Well, I didn’t listen to him and now he says that he meant it when he said it, but that was “before you (me)”. Isn’t he cute?

PTSD and struggling to cope

I have always known I wanted children, but with all of Josh’s struggles with his PTSD from his military service, it just really wasn’t possible and I had all but given up on the dream of having a family with the man I love so much.

Believe it or not, this was part of the fight about the rabbits, that he could have something that he wanted for us, but I couldn’t have my dreams for us. That was a long and tear filled night of talking and finally coming to understand where we were both coming from.

You see, we have had a long couple of years working with the amazing people at our local VA to get Josh the help he needed to see life as a thing worth living again. After getting medication and seeing that life isn’t so bad, he finally decided that he might be mentally well enough to have a kid.

His symptoms of PTSD are the random outbursts of anger and rage, depression and anxiety, among other things. He hadn’t wanted to expose a child to all of that, and I understood, but just wished he could see the amazing man I see when I look at him.

As a quick aside to quell any fears some may have, none of his outbursts have ever been directed at me, physical or verbal, and he always says I’m the only thing keeping him around and grounded. It’s a lot of responsibility, but I know he is worth it, and he is finally seeing that too thanks to all the hard work he has put in with the VA over the past couple of years.

Now that he has his PTSD under control, for the most part at least, his was open to trying to start a family. I am currently 33 and he is 35, so I was worried about being able to have them without intervention. Well, we were just fine as it turns out.

Here we go baby!

After he decided it was time to try, I got pregnant on the first try. Trust me, no one was more shocked than I was; and after waiting so long for a child with the man I love, I was so worried that my midwife was going to give me bad news that I drove my blood pressure up to unhealthy levels that lead to me needing to be medicated for it.

Now, going on 23 weeks in to this journey, I’m starting to settle into the idea that it is finally happening. Josh and I are finally starting the family I have always dreamt of us having.

Josh is beyond excited and is doing everything he can to keep himself from exploding with joy all the time. He said it is the first time things have just felt right for him since he got with me (such a sap, lol). He has truly been amazing and I can’t imagine going through this with anyone else. I hope this baby knows how much it is loved by so many people already and we can’t wait to meet it ❤

Now all we need to do is get everything together and prep the nursery once we find out for sure what we are having. I’ll update you all when we know for sure if it’s sundresses or suspenders 🙂

Well, that’s it for this edition of the State of the Homestead. We’ve been working on a bunch of other projects that I hope to be able to share with you all soon, but you know how it goes sometimes.


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