This Incredible Mom Built A House For Her Family Using YouTube Videos As Her Guide

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Cara Brookins didn’t know where to turn. A divorced mom of four, she had just left an abusive marriage and had no place to live.

Then, she had a crazy idea. What if she built a house. . .by herself? Literally with her own two hands? With no construction experience, it seemed impossible, but Brookins then realized she had a fount of information at her fingertips. Enter YouTube! Yes, YouTube.

With a plethora of how-to videos just an Internet connection away, Brookins threw herself into action.

She bought a small plot of land (one acre in Little Rock, Arkansas), and drew up a blueprint.

Once the city approved it, she started the massive project. She may as well have told her neighbors that she was about to build an ark—indeed, there were many who thought her idea was absolutely absurd.

However, with the support of her family, her children and helpful friends, Brookins actually did the unthinkable: She built a house with nothing other than YouTube videos as a guide. She completed the project in under nine months for about $130,000.

The house is 3,500 square-feet, and is two stories with a brick facade. Brookins dubbed the home “Inkwell Manor” because she was an aspiring writer, and she wanted her home to be a place where she could write to her heart’s content.

And that is exactly what she did. Brookins went on to write a book about her amazing experience building her own dream home.

The book is called Rise: How a House Built a Family, and it details how Brookins escaped an abusive marriage and built her own house from the foundation up with a work crew made up of her four children.

The must-read memoir takes readers through Brookins’ inspiring journey, and shows how she and her kids poured concrete, framed the walls and laid bricks for their five-bedroom house.

Brookins has also penned several other books, including “Little Boy Blu,” “Timeshifters” and “Doris Free.” You can listen to her podcast here.

[h/t: Shareably]

Hospital Charges Mom $40 To Hold Her Newborn Baby

The internet is going bananas over a hospital bill—and rightly so.

The bill, posted by new father Ryan Grassley under the username halfthrottle on Reddit has commenters shocked and confused by a $40 charge. The line item reads “Skin to Skin After C-Section $39.35.”

I had to pay $39.35 to hold my baby after he was born.

The new father explained the bill on Reddit. “During the c-section the nurse asked my wife if she would like to do skin to skin after the baby was born. Which of course anyone would say yes to. We just noticed it in the bill today.”

The photo has since been viewed over 5 million times, with nearly 12 thousand comments. And, while some commenters urged the father to alert the media and bashed U.S. healthcare, Grassley and his wife are laughing it off.

“The nurse let me hold the baby on my wife’s neck/chest,” he wrote. Even borrowed my camera to take a few pictures for us. Everyone involved in the process was great, and we had a positive experience. We just got a chuckle out of seeing that on the bill.”

Then, a labor and delivery nurse answered all our questions. Well, at least in theory.

“Doing ‘skin to skin’ in the operating room requires an additional staff member to be present just to watch the baby. We used to take all babies to the nursery once the NICU team made sure everything was okay,” she wrote. “‘Skin to skin’ in the [operating room] is a relatively new thing and requires a second Labor and Delivery RN to come in to the [operating room] and make sure the baby is safe.”

Given the benefits of skin to skin contact after delivery, it seems like something the hospitals could just throw in, doesn’t it?

But, the nurse added: “The Mom is still being closed up after the delivery. She is anesthetized from the chest down, and may feel faint, or nauseated. Someone needs to be there to make sure that the baby doesn’t slide off of her chest onto the floor, and to pick up the baby if she starts feeling unwell.”

Well OK, now that she puts it that way… I’m pretty sure we’d all pay whatever it takes to keep our babies safe and have those first precious snuggles.



A High School Student Invented A Stroller To Help Moms In Wheelchairs

When most people take their babies for a stroll, they simply pop them in the stroller and off they go.

But for those that have to use wheelchairs, that simple exercise becomes much more challenging. That’s the challenge that Sharon Jones faced.  She was shot at age 5 and lost the use of her legs. As an adult later in life, when she became pregnant, she started thinking how she might handle this seemingly basic task.

That’s where Alden Kane, a 16 year-old at University of Detroit, came in. He invented a new custom wheelchair stroller to help.

“It was great to meet her and talk to her about what she wants and doesn’t want,” he told The Michigan Catholic. “Talking to her was a big help, figuring out the workability of the device, where to put a diaper bag, whether or not she could unhook the stroller and how she can move around in the chair.”

With the success that Sharon has had with the stroller, Alden plans to make the device available to more people in need. What a great young man, and an inspiring story.

Looking for more products that help parents with disabilities? Here are some adaptive products that can help make life a little easier:

Side doors make this crib more accessible for parents with disabilities

Parents with Disabilities Online

This velcro wrap, called the Wriggle Wrapper, allows parents with limited mobility to sit and hold or feed their child more comfortably. It also can convert any chair into a high chair, making life a little easier for all parents when out and about.



This swivel car seat allows parents to turn the seat 90 degrees for easy loading and unloading into the car.


Orbit baby G3 toddler convertible car seat, $304