September is over! Onto October, which automatically brings thoughts of Halloween (Teaser: thinking Hunter may be Clark Kent for Halloween, but not set on this yet) and pumpkins (including pumpkin goodies!). Before I go full swing into the beginning of holiday season I want to mention a few of my September favorites here on the blog! I haven’t done a favorites post in a few months, but I really enjoy doing a quick round up of my favorites so I’m bringing it back for this month at least.
Favorite Part of Fall
A lot of people are pretty obsessed with fall, especially here in New England. I’m a true summer girl, so a lot of the fall excitement doesn’t warm me up as much as it does for others (e.g. I don’t drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes–sorry!), but one thing I do love about fall here is apple picking! Ironically, I don’t even like eating raw apples that much (although I love a good apple crisp–yum!) but I find the pastime of picking apples a lot of fun. We weren’t quite organized enough last year and didn’t make it out, but this year we were able to introduce Hunter to his first apple picking experience. And he loved it! He was so cute. He carried around the empty bag for awhile before we started putting apples in it. He loved watching everyone else picking apples. And he especially loved picking the apples (although he thought they were balls). He even enjoyed the experience of eating the apples (and the apple cider doughnuts back at the store!). Bringing Hunter brought the apple picking experience to a whole new level. The only thing I would do differently is definitely bring a wagon next time. Carrying Hunter at the end when he got tired and the full bag of apples was a little tough. Live and learn. But can’t wait to go again next year!
Favorite Baby Item
My day-to-day life is very focused around Hunter, especially since I’m staying home with him at this time. This month my favorite toddler item that is making my life easier is children’s books. Hunter is obsessed with books (I love it! I hope his love for books continues.). In the morning while I get ready he goes into bed with Sam and they look through a bunch of books and it keeps him quite entertained. Books have become a crucial aspect to our nap and bedtime routines (I have to limit it to 3-5 books though depending on the length because he is definitely starting to use that to stall haha). They are useful in the car, waiting for the doctor, and distracting from doing something he shouldn’t be. I am a book lover too, so I am really enjoying seeing him get such joy out of picking up his favorite book, bringing it over to us, and sitting in our laps to “read” it.
What I’m Reading
Speaking of books, I always like to share what I read this past month. In September I read Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares. This was kind of a throwback to my adolescence because this is the 5th and final book of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. But it is set 10 years later. In a way I feel like I grew up with these girls because the first one came out in 2001 when they were in high school (and so was I) and now they are adults with growing careers, relationships, and families (also like me in certain aspects). I never like to spoil a book, but this book has a very sad event pretty early on in the book that at first made me kind of angry–“Wait a minute! That’s not supposed to happen!”. I just wasn’t expecting it after reading the previous books in this series. But as the story developed I grieved with the other characters, unraveled what really happened, and got a very sweet message and some nice closure at the end. I have heard rumors of a movie (it would be the third movie of the series) based on this book and would definitely be interested in seeing it (even though I usually like watching the movie first–I know I’m the minority there! That explanation is for another post.).
I’m still really enjoying podcasts. As soon as Hunter goes down for his nap, my headphones go in and I’m listening to podcasts as I try to be productive during this quiet time. Lately my favorite podcast I have been listening to is The Birth Hour. It’s a podcast of women (hosted by Bryn Huntpalmer) telling their beautiful birth stories. Each episode highlights a different woman telling the story of her child’s (or sometimes multiple children’s) births. Each birth is so unique and I never get bored hearing of the different experiences! They try to share a variety of different types of births, whether it’s a Cesarean birth at a hospital to an unmedicated home birth in Europe, and everything in between! And what I especially love is there is ZERO mom shame. Each mom’s birth experience is celebrated and this podcast gives her that platform. I’m even thinking about seeing if they would be interested in helping me share Hunter’s birth story, although I’m still feeling a little bit nervous and shy. I also love that they highlight a variety of resources used by the mothers that helped them in their pregnancy, labor/delivery, or postpartum period. I only wish I had discovered this podcast before I delivered Hunter (but it’s definitely gearing me up for a pregnancy and birth of another someday).
Sam and I both really enjoy self-reflection and improvement. One of my other favorite podcasters, Jess Lively, is a great resource for this and I credit her with introducing me to the concept of Santosha. Santosha is an Indian word to describe the concept of complete contentment (Sam and I also love foreign words that describes something that we don’t have a word for in the English language–some of our other favorites hygge and sprezzatura). I’m not going to do as thorough job of describing Santosha as others do (but I urge anyone curious to do an internet search and read up on it if desired), but the way I apply it to my life is that I am trying to be happy with all aspects of my life at this time in my life. Jess Lively describes an example of using it well by replacing the word “but” with “and”. When I say “I’m a pediatric nurse practitioner, but currently I’m a stay-at-home mom” the “but” gives a negative connotation to being a stay-at-home mom, which is not what I want at all. I love being a stay-at-home mom! So now if I replace that “but” with “and” it reads “I’m a pediatric nurse practitioner and currently I’m a stay-at-home mom” it evokes a whole different, much more positive feeling. By embracing this concept it really helps me decrease stress and enjoy the little things in life.
And those are my September favorites! What are some of your favorites? I’m always looking for good book and podcast recommendations! Feel free to share in the comments.