Saturday, March 29, 2014

Five Question Friday- 03/29/14

     Five Question Friday is a fun little post each week in which five random questions are answered. It's an opportunity for us to get to know one another a little better. Best of all is that you can participate too! Simply leave your answers to the questions in the comment field below! Or, suggest a question to be featured on a future 5QF!

1. What are you favorite foods? (Thank you Amy K. for submitting this question this week!)
     For our birthdays we each cook the other person his/her favorite meal. For my husband that meal is fried chicken and sides. For myself, I enjoy meatloaf, pinto beans, macaroni and cheese, scrambled (fried) okra etc. Of course, both meals include a delicious glass of sweet tea! Can you tell we're from the South?
     My favorite dessert is ice cream. I love ice cream. The best is coffee ice cream with cookie dough pieces. Yum! 
     For greater insight into favorite foods or the meals we typically eat, view any of the many menu plans listed on the site.  :)

2. If you could meet anyone from the past, who would it be? Why?
      I think I'd want to meet some of the individuals featured in the Bible. There is so much variation of assumptions and interpretations of people and/or events in the Bible that it would be interesting to learn from a firsthand account.  

3. What do you enjoy doing with your family?
     I simply enjoy being with my husband and son. It doesn't matter what we're doing. The mundane everyday routine is just as wonderful as if we went out and did something else. Their mere presence in my life makes it rich and I cherish the time we spend together.
     In regard to extended family, one of my favorite times is what is coming to be our annual gathering in TN. On my husband's side of the family, there are four family each living in different states. Last year we decided to all plan to come together for a weekend. The fact that 12+ family members can be together enjoying one another's company (ie no ridiculous attitudes or arguing!) for several days is a testament to the beauty of this family. I personally want a family that enjoys being together, and to be a part of a family that enjoys being together. Us coming together for this little family vacation weekend is one of my favorite ways of enjoying being with my extended family. 

4. If you could change one thing that happened today, what would it be and why?
     Today is a lazy day. Tennyson woke up rather fussy. He seems rather overtired as though he might not have gotten the most solid sleep last night. So, he's enjoying lots of cuddling time this morning with his Daddy. Hubby and I are pretty tired too. It was a more consuming week, and the rest today feels rather nice. If I could change anything about the day so far though, it would be for there to be a little more energy and productivity. But I know that sometimes you need a rest day, so I'm not changing anything just yet! (It's also so sweet to see the two of them napping together. A good Daddy just melts a Mama's heart!)

5. What do you want to be doing in 10 years?
     Wow, in ten years Tennyson will be...well, 10! Oh my, I'm not sure I even want to think of that just yet. I'm always hesitant to confine the future to a timeline of events. The only part I hope persists is us having a joyful home and life full of family! 

How would you answer this week's Five Question Friday? What questions would you like to see answered in future 5QF?

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Five Question Friday- 3/14/14

        Five Question Friday is a fun little post each week in which five random questions are answered. Best of all is that you can participate too! Simply leave your answers to the questions in the comment field below! Or, suggest a question to be featured on a future 5QF!

1. If you could be anywhere right now where would you be? What would you be doing?
      I suppose the most obvious answer to this question would be something like "beach" or "vacation" etc. While those would be nice, I don't really have an immediate longing for such. I know, I'm boring. Honestly, I don't wish to be anywhere else or be doing anything else. I'm quite content where I am. I have my home and family with me and that's exactly where I want to be and what I want to be doing. If the setting ever changed to a vacation or whatnot, then that would be just fine too.
      I did have a moment this week in which an exhausting night and overwhelming day did leave me wishing to be elsewhere. My husband watched Tennyson while I ran some errands. It was wonderful at first, but before long I began thinking of them and wanting to be with them instead.

2. What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?
      We have a couple of friends who have been absolute angels. They have stayed connected and assisted us in more ways that we could have imagined during the challenging times the past couple of months. When Tennyson arrived unexpectedly early, we were so far from being prepared for him. I was expecting to have seven more weeks to make purchases and get things ready! We didn't have a bed for him or appropriately sized clothes & diapers etc. I at least did think to purchase a carseat just a few weeks prior. Anyways, this couple went above and beyond to fill in the gaps. They picked up our crib (two hours away!), and even offered to set it up for us. They purchased clothes and a changing pad for him. They picked up our mail and kept an eye on our home during each hospital stay. She even shoveled our driveway, which was quite the snowy and icy mess. Most of all, they offered us their presence. She texted me often, and that was so wonderful to me to have that support and love. All that they were and did still astounds me. If there was ever an example of living out one's faith and following of Jesus, they are it. They didn't just sit with the knowledge of us going through a challenging time and merely say "I'm praying for you;" they acted. They were the hands and feet of Jesus meeting a need and sharing his love. "Nicest thing" just isn't adequate to describe their kindness and generosity.

3. What is your favorite sport to play? To watch?
     I played tennis beginning around fourth grade. I played through high school, then took a break. I then picked it back up and played in college. After college, tennis fell to the wayside. I still enjoy watching the game, but don't do it often. The only sport I care to watch is baseball, but even then I have to be at a game. I am really not a sports kind of person. Sports just don't capture my interest or hold my attention. I think the reason I can sometimes watch baseball and tennis is because I played these as a kid. I'm  the last person you'd want to invite to the game or to the party, but perhaps the first person for fun appetizers or snacks. haha. 

4. What is your favorite song? Why do you like it?
      My favorite song is actually the hymn, "I Need Thee Every Hour." The lyrics are so humbling and also remind me to place my focus on Him. They speak to my soul so beautifully. When Tennyson was undergoing a test at the hospital I quietly prayed, then sang this song, and then prayed some more. I still often sing it to him in those sweet nursing moments. It's a song that captures the moment whether it be "in joy or pain." The following video is a really neat version (love a cappella!).  

I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
no tender voice like thine can peace afford

I need thee, O I need thee;
every hour I need thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.

I need thee every hour; stay thou nearby;
temptations lose their power when thou art nigh.

I need thee every hour, in joy or pain;
come quickly and abide, or life is vain.

I need thee every hour; teach me thy will; 
and thy rich promises in me fulfill.

I need the every hour, most Holy One;
O make me thine indeed, thou blessed Son

5. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time? (Thank you Amy K. for submitting this question this week!)
      I'm quite the arts & crafts kind of gal. I'm drawn to anything creative. If something can be accomplished via the diy approach, then that's what I tend to do. I always have a long list of projects to be done (and another list of projects waiting to be finished). My current project is to paint some simple canvas boards for Tennyson's room. I said I wouldn't decorate the space since it's temporary, but with as much time as I spend in there feeding him I wouldn't mind some color and other little touches to bring the space together. 
       The creative side of me isn't a part that is going to be dropped simply because I now have a little one to look after. I've determined that in order to still get in this happy craft time, I'd pick one project a week and then work on it each day for only about 15 minutes. I find that I can spare 15 minutes during one of his naps. If the project needs more time then I just extend it to being a goal for next week. Hopefully I can get the "projects to finish" listed completed and clutter cleared. 

How would you answer this week's Five Question Friday? What questions would you like to see answered in future 5QF?
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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Five Question Friday- 3/7/14

     It's back! You may recall this weekly post from months past. It's just a fun little blog/vlog in which I answer five random questions each week. It's also an opportunity for you to participate as well. I thought it would be a fun way to get the RH blog & community going again, but without completely overwhelming me as I continue to learn and/or establish our new daily routine with our little one. 

     I'd love to hear your responses to the questions, or suggestions for questions to include in the future. Simply leave a comment in the field below!

Questions This Week:
1. What was the best part of your day? What was the worst?

2. What is your favorite holiday? Why?

3. If you could have any pet, what would it be? What would you name it?

4. What is your favorite thing to do outside?

5. What is the most challenging part of being a homemaker?
(Thank you Amy K. for submitting this question!)

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Pregnancy, Postpartum & Baby Favorites

     All in all, my experience has been that pregnancy, postpartum and baby don't require a tremendous amount of stuff or money. While I do have or have used other products, these are some of the ones I've found to be the most helpful and ones I've used nearly on a daily basis. Most of the post-pregnancy items pertain to nursing because ..well, Tennyson is only six weeks old and that has been our main focus each day. This favorites list will change as he grows and our focuses change. For now, my favorite pregnancy, postpartum and baby items are:

1. [Pregnancy] Body pillow & cover
     It didn't take long before I began creating what became known as my pillow forts. I used about 4-5 pillows to sleep comfortably. The best purchase I made during pregnancy was a body pillow. Best $13 spent. 

2. [Pregnancy and/or Postpartum] Belly support band
      I didn't quite reach the end of the pregnancy when the baby belly might needed to have been supported. However, I really, really wish I had one for postpartum. When I was making my list of preparations, I had included a belly band for postpartum. I've read how they aid in the belly regaining it's shape faster, so I thought it would be helpful. I didn't quite get to that point. I did get to the point of another postpartum use which is support after a c-section. I cannot express how much I wished I had this support! I believe it would have helped that post op "guts falling out" feeling as well as provide support to keep the muscles toned and scar thinner. It would also probably help the dgree of diastsis recti that resulted from the pregnancy. Two weeks had already past before I could try to find one, and so it wouldn't have done as much good. However, if there is a next pregnancy, then this item will be ordered asap.

3. [Postpartum] Loose fitting clothes & shoes

        After my c-section delivery, I didn't want anything to touch me. I wore the hospital gown until I couldn't. I then wore the same three outfits over and over. The roominess and flow of maxi dresses and skirts were ideal. They stayed clear of the incision, which was wonderful. The same applied to sleepwear. A nightgown was essential. I found a couple that even had a long button section at the top which has been perfect for nursing at night. I will absolutely be purchasing more of this type of clothing for next postpartum time.
         As far as shoes, I wore my Crocs as much as possible. I learned that one way the body tries to get rid of excess pregnancy and/or iv fluid is through swollen feet. My feet doubled and crocs were the only shoes that I could still wear. Also good to know for next time. haha. 

4. [Nursing] Nursing cover

      I am so grateful for this cover! During our multiple hospital stays people would walk into the room constantly. With the cover, I could nurse or pump without as much concern for someone walking in on me. The beauty of breastfeeding is that we can go out and all that is needed is me, the baby and this cover. So nice!

5. [Nursing] Nursing pads (Disposable Nursing Pads & Cloth Nursing Pads)

       These are essential for breastfeeding. I have had quite the supply and let down since the very beginning. I can soak clothes, bed sheets, and even the baby very quickly. Nursing pads are essential for me. I used the disposable ones initially. I really disliked how uncomfortable they are. I also didn't care for the price considering how many I was going through. So, I purchased cloth nursing pads. Nursing pads are like most cloth vs. disposable products in that in my opinion cloth is by far superior. They're so much more comfortable and keep me feeling dry. The disadvantages however are that they do require frequent washing (vs. the convenience of throwing them away after use). Comfort and cost make them worth the extra effort of washing in my opinion. I still use the disposable ones when I'm out though just so I don't have to carry around the used nursing pad. When we start cloth diapering and carrying a wet bag for those, then that may change.  

6. [Nursing] Nursing bras

       This is another item I wasn't prepared with by his surprise delivery. Like the belly band, I really, really wish I had some nursing bras since the beginning. The bras I had were great pre-nursing, but so very uncomfortable and inconvenient when nursing. It was two weeks before I got to the store to get some. I found a set of two bras for $13 at Walmart. Best $13 spent. I bought a couple of sets and am so glad I did. 

7. [Nursing] Breast Pump 

       I had purchased a single pump from the store prior to his arrival. Having had the expectation of him arriving at term and being able to fully breastfeed, I thought a simple single pump would suffice. Of course, that changed once he arrived seven weeks early. Mamas of preemies are dependent on a double pump for weeks to months while the baby grows and learns to nurse proficiently. I am so thankful the hospital worked to purchase this pump for me through my insurance. Apparently, one provision of the Affordable Care Act is that insurance companies must cover breast pumps. Whoo hoo! Not only is the pump itself of a superior quality than that which is typically sold in store, but the accessories are so helpful! I can easily pack the interior of the bag like a diaper bag and carry everything all at once. No one would even know you're carrying around a breast pump! The smaller tote with ice pack is also helpful when needing to transport pumped milk. We called it his "lunchbox" when I would carry what I had pumped at home to the NICU. haha. It has been extremely helpful during all our doctor visits and hospital stays. We're working towards exclusively breastfeeding, but until then I'm very grateful for this item (and for no out of pocket expense for it)! 

8. [Baby] Moses Basket 
          When we first brought Tennyson home we realized that we didn't have anything to place him in downstairs in our home. Everything we had gotten previously wasn't appropriate for a preemie. He actually spent the first week home napping in a laundry hamper until I could find a better solution! A pack-n-play came to mind, but I still didn't favor the massive size and the fact that they cost more than our entire crib set. I then found a perfect solution in a moses basket. It fits him well, was really affordable (<$30!), and doesn't take up a lot of space. It's so nice to have him able to nap and be downstairs with us! 

9. [Baby] Fleece sleepers

       He has lived in these fleece sleepers. For one, it's one of only a handful of clothing pieces available for a preemie. Second, it's cold here and preemies tend to require greater concern for maintaining body temperature. Since the material is fleece instead of a knit or cotton I was able to go without layering a onsie underneath it. 

       Swaddle wraps are wonderful! We've used them as a blanket substitute since a baby can't have anything in the crib to sleep including a blanket. We've also noticed that he sleeps better wrapped up. When unwrapped, he may move and startle awake. We've gotten into a habit of wrapping him up anytime he sleeps. Hopefully that will also help him understand sleeping time versus wakeful time.  The only downside of these are the velcro tabs. They make a mess during the wash by sticking to everything. 

*Note: Reviving Homemaking is not an affiliate of Target or Khols. No compensation or influence of opinion was had by the retailers for the  inclusion of products in this post.

Reviving Homemaking is an affiliate of As such, a compensation is received for items ordered through the product links provided in this post. All opinions are my own. (Thank you for supporting Reviving Homemaking through this affiliate!)

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