You all really loved our Halloween Faves post so we’re back to share our Thanksgiving and Autumn inspired faves! We read a book to Ever every single night along with her daily devotional so we keep the bookshelves in her freshly stocked with relevant books. The thought behind that is so that we can educate her on the current and upcoming holiday or event. I also like to pull books from her library that coordinate with the colors and overall vibe of the collection. These will be up until the day after Thanksgiving. Do you have any favorites that we’re missing? Comment below so we can grow our collection too!
*Below I have included direct links to Amazon (Click on photo of book) as well as book descriptions*
Thankful, written by beloved children’s author Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Archie Preston, combines charming rhymes and whimsical illustrations to convey the importance of being thankful for everyday blessings. Like the gardener thankful for every green sprout, and the firefighter, for putting the fire out, children are encouraged to be thankful for the many blessings they find in their lives. Spinelli exhibits her endearing gift for storytelling with this engaging poem, reminding children how blessed and special they are. Meant to be read aloud, this heartwarming board book will be a treasured keepsake for parents and children alike.
2. Autumn Story
Bad weather is on the way and the autumn stores are still not gathered in! Quickly, all the mice of Brambly Hedge set to work to finish the harvesting before the rain begins. Primrose, Lord Woodmouse's daughter, meant to help, but somehow she daydreamed her way over the cornfield and into the Chestnut Woods, and before she knew it, she was lost. The sun went down, the wind rose and it began to rain. Primrose was all alone in the dark and she was frightened. Poor Primrose, would she find her way home again?
3. God Gave Us Thankful Hearts
Adventurous Lil Pup is bummed that hibernating season will soon be coming to the Great North Woods. Why should so many of his friends have to go in for the winter and leave Lil Pup without pals? Mama reminds her little wolf that not all animals hibernate, and how he can be grateful for the beautiful autumn season – for jumping in leaf piles, eating apple treats, and celebrating the wonders of fall with his forest friends. And she points out…
4. Seeds and Trees
Words are powerful. They can hurt or they can heal. It's time to tell a special tale that will warm the hearts of readers of all ages. Seeds and Trees revels in the power of words. It explores their effects on feelings and emotions. And it does so though the journey of two different seeds.
5. Thanksgiving in the Woods
Every year a family and their friends gather in the woods to celebrate Thanksgiving among the trees. Everyone brings something to share and the day becomes a long celebration of family, faith, and friendship. Told in a gentle, lyrical style, this picture book includes warm illustrations of people gathered around bonfires and long tables adorned with candles and food, singing songs and sharing laughter.
6. Autumn Story
Every year around this time, some special happens in the forest. When the leaves begin to change color, the animals come together to celebrate. Join in on the fun and find out what happens on this very special time of year.
7. Yellow Time
Lauren Stringer celebrates the coming of autumn in this exuberant, joyful ode to that magical time when the leaves are changing color and the animals are preparing for winter. Children and animals alike excitedly anticipate yellow time, when the trees release their colorful leaves to blanket the earth, crows raise their voices joyfully from the bare branches, and squirrels busy themselves preparing their nests for winter. This lyrical celebration of the beauty and fun of autumn is sure to become a perennial fall favorite.
8. Goodbye Summer Hello Autumn
As trees sway in the cool breeze, blue jays head south, and leaves change their colors, everyone knows--autumn is on its way! Join a young girl as she takes a walk through forest and town, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with every flower and creature and gust of wind, she says good-bye to summer and welcomes autumn.
Home might be a house in the country, an apartment in the city, or even a shoe. Home may be on the road or the sea, in the realm of myth, or in the artist’s own studio. A meditation on the concept of home and a visual treat that invites many return visits, this loving look at the places where people live marks the picture-book debut of Carson Ellis, acclaimed illustrator of the Wildwood series and artist for the indie band the Decemberists.
When Floyd's kite gets stuck in a tree, he's determined to get it out. But how? Well, by knocking it down with his shoe, of course. But strangely enough, it too gets stuck. And the only logical course of action . . . is to throw his other shoe. Only now it's stuck! Surely there must be something he can use to get his kite unstuck. An orangutan? A boat? His front door? Yes, yes, and yes. And that's only the beginning. Stuck is Oliver Jeffers' most absurdly funny story since The Incredible Book-Eating Boy. Childlike in concept and vibrantly illustrated as only Oliver Jeffers could, here is a picture book worth rescuing from any tree.
11. The Little Gardener
In this gentle, beautiful tale, Emily Hughes, the celebrated author of Wild, departs from the larger than life Wild-girl of her debut to pursue a littler than life Gardener, in a story that teaches us just how important it is to persist and try, no matter what the odds.
This is the story of four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. Gaston works the hardest at his lessons on how to be a proper pooch. He sips--never slobbers! He yips--never yaps! And he walks with grace--never races! Gaston fits right in with his poodle sisters.
13. It's Only Stanley
Mysterious noises keep waking up the Wimbledon family. "That's very odd," says Mr. Wimbledon each time, but when he returns from checking on the sounds, he's always reassuring: "It's only Stanley; he's fixing the oil tank." "It's only Stanley; he's clearing the bathtub drain."
Ooko has everything a fox could want: a stick, a leaf and a rock. Well, almost everything . . . Ooko wants someone to play with too! The foxes in town always seem to be playing with their two-legged friends, the Debbies. Maybe if he tries to look like the other foxes, one of the Debbies will play with him too. But when Ooko finally finds his very own Debbie, things don't turn out quite as he had expected! A quirky, funny, charmingly illustrated story about finding friendship and being true to yourself.
This cocktail is my take on a “French 75”. Traditionally, a French 75 has gin and lemon and simple syrup to top it off. I’ve made this cocktail for almost every party I’ve hosted and just keep tweaking the ingredients just a tad BUT the factor that always remains: cotton candy! I use cotton candy in lieu of simple syrup. And yes I’m still on my gut protocol so I sadly didn’t get to enjoy these this year! But I had very willing taste testers ;)
-Pinnacle Brand Whipped Vodka
-Cotton Candy (I like to order mine from the Splurge Works App! This one is pumpkin flavor!
-Cute Sprinkles (mine are from Sweetapolita)
-Wilson Creek Almond Champagne
Ghost Napkins by Daydream Society
Step 1: Mix 2 ounces of vodka with 1 1/2 tablespoons (or 3/4 ounces) of fresh lemon juice. Shake shake shake!
Step 2: Pour mixture into your glass (champagne flutes work best so the cotton candy stays dry until you’re ready to pour champagne!)
Step 3: Place cotton candy on top (be careful not to get it too close to your vodka mixture)
Step 4: Sprinkle (sometimes this involves strategic placing and that’s fine!)
I like to do steps 1-4 before guests arrive and as they arrive hand them the glass like this, and pour the champagne for effect. As the champagne is poured, the cotton candy turns into liquid and changes the color of the cocktail completely. This one was a light orange color. Spooky cute ;)
E N J O Y!
Halloween is dare I say my favorite holiday to decorate for. It allows for such whimsical decor and the color palette possibilities are endless.
I typically decorate with things I paint myself and this year Ever got to paint too! I try and aim for making Halloween more cute than spooky. And I like to use things Ever likes so she thinks I’m a cool mom.
I’ve linked and listed as many sources as I could find!
Ceramic Jack-o-Lanterns and bats Michaels
Art Piece Alissa Hummel Art | White Jack-o-Lantern Trio Michaels | Gold Pumpkin Target
Plant and Pot Shop Liv3 | Shoe Cabinet IKEA and I replaced the knobs myself with these leather pulls
Pillows Homegoods finds and man was that a good day! Haha!
Mirror World Market
Sugar Skull Banner Home Goods
Chandelier West Elm | Middle Vase Sunny and Cheer | Lanterns and House Figures Target Dollar Spot | Dining Table Target and chairs Target | Textured Chargers Target | Stools Target | Rug Urban Outfitters
Play Kitchen Pottery Barn | Storage IKEA | Skeleton Decoration Target | Ghost Wall Hanging DIY here | Rug Homegoods | Basket on Wheels Seaworthy
Tray Target (last year) | Faux Succulent Pumpkin Target Dollar Spot
Mirror Target | Basket IKEA | Pumpkin Homegoods | Spiders and Gauze Walmart
Favorite Halloween Books in a recent post here
Dresser Crate and Kids | Changing Basket Solo Cedros | Mirror Target | Unicorn Wall Hanging Target | Unicorn on shelf Crate and Kids | Cloud Shelf Target | Swan Lamp Homegoods | Sugar Skull Banner Meri Meri
Ghost Decoration Target Dollar Spot (I didn’t like the front so I turned it around, painted it, and added my own face)
Jack-o-Lantern Trio Michaels | Succulent Holder Noe Marin on Etsy
Baskets Crate and Kids
Witch Party Hats Meri Meri at Shop Liv3
Happy Halloween from the Hummels!
The first time we did a reading list of our favorite books was for Father's Day. It was so much fun and so well received that I thought we would do it year round for every season and holiday! Around here books become part of the decor. Halloween is a favorite in our house and the books are no exception. We've rounded up our favorites (obviously Coco and Minnie Mouse made the cut) and are excited to share with you! Enjoy!
*Below I have included direct links to Amazon as well as book descriptions*
1. No Such Thing
One cool day in late October, Georgia noticed something weird. Objects would move around the house and sometimes they even disappeared. Now, some people may have wondered (especially at this time of year) if this was the work of something spooky? But not clever Georgia! She has all the explanations and none of the fear! Join her in debunking the spookiest of ghoulish and ghostly mischief in this Halloween adventure!
2. Gilbert the Ghost
A warm-hearted best seller. Gilbert goes to ghost school like all the other ghosts, but he's a special ghost: he doesn't like to screech in a scary way, he doesn't want to haunt and was always polite. What will happen to Gilbert when he's sent by the principal of school to the Abandoned Tower?
A playful, delightfully illustrated book that sets the record straight about ghosts. Ghosts are not sheets with holes dragging around a ball and chain. Indeed, they're just as colorful and diverse as humans. Here you'll meet the ghost of the chimney, the TV, the kitchen, and the library, to mention just a few.
4. Vampirina Ballerina
Oh, to be a ballerina! It's a challenge for any little girl, but even more so if you happen to be a vampire like Vampirina. First of all, you have to find a class that meets at night. Then you have to figure out how to perfect your form when you can't see yourself in the mirror? And then there's wearing pink (not the most flattering of colors if you happen to be undead) and that nagging urge to take a little nip out of the other dancers. And worse of all… STAGE FRIGHT!!!
5. How to Make Friends with a Ghost
What do you do when you meet a ghost? One: Provide the ghost with some of its favorite snacks, like mud tarts and earwax truffles. Two: Tell your ghost bedtime stories (ghosts love to be read to). Three: Make sure no one mistakes your ghost for whipped cream or a marshmallow when you aren't looking! If you follow these few simple steps and the rest of the essential tips in How to Make Friends with a Ghost, you'll see how a ghost friend will lovingly grow up and grow old with you. A whimsical story about ghost care, Rebecca Green's debut picture book is a perfect combination of offbeat humor, quirky and sweet illustrations, and the timeless theme of friendship.
6. The Scariest Book Ever
Reader beware! This is the scariest book ever! Or so claims its melodramatic ghost narrator. You can go ahead and turn the page, but don't expect him to come with you. Anything might pop out of that black hole in the middle of the forest. What do you mean it's just a bunny? Well, it's probably a bunny with big fangs. Watch out, it's--picking pumpkins with its friends, you say? Actually, despite the ghost's scare-mongering, none of the animal characters in the illustrations seem scary at all. . . . What's up with that? Many delights, such as surprises after the page turn, an alarmist narrator, and punch lines to anticipate make this book a scream for both kids and parents.
7. Bonaparte Falls Apart
Bonaparte is having a tough time. It’s hard for this young skeleton to just hang loose when he can’t keep hold of himself. When he plays catch, his throwing arm literally takes a flyer. Eating lunch can be a real jaw-dropping occasion. How can he start school when he has so many screws loose? Luckily, Bonaparte hit the bone-anza when it came to his friends. Franky Stein, Black Widow, and Mummicula all have some boneheaded ideas to help pull him together. But will it be enough to boost his confidence and get him ready for the first day of school?
8. Olivia Saves the Circus
When all of the performers at the circus are out sick with ear infections, it's up to Olivia to save the day! That's no problem for Olivia, of course, because she knows how to do everything. From lion taming to trampoline jumping, unicycling to tight-rope walking, Olivia is the ultimate performer--with the ultimate imagination. Now in a board book edition perfect for little hands, readers will delight to see how Ringmaster Olivia learns to fly!
9. Boo Who?
Boo is new. And even if the other kids are welcoming, it can be scary being new, especially for a shy ghost who can’t play any of their games. (“You tagged me? Oh, sorry. I couldn’t feel it.”) Can Boo find a way to fit in and make friends with the rest of the group? From the creator of Rex Wrecks It! comes a funny story about feeling invisible — and finding a way to be seen and appreciated for who you are.
Sense is the song you sing out into the world,
and the song the world sings back to you.
With these words, Chiro's mother sends him off into the night for the first time alone. It's an adventure, but how will he find his way? And how will he find his way home? As the young bat discovers, navigating the world around him is easy as long as he uses his good sense. This beautiful and touching coming-of-age story, with mesmerizing artwork from New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long and lyrical text from Ari Berk, conveys a heartwarming and universal message: No matter how far away you go, you can always find your way home.
11. They All Saw A Cat
The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . . In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?
12. Spooky Pookie
It’s Halloween! What will little Pookie decide to be this year? Pookie tries on costumes one by one, but somehow can’t find just the right thing. The resolution to Pookie’s dilemma will delight toddlers and their caregivers alike. Told and illustrated with Sandra Boynton’s celebrated charm and pizzazz, Spooky Pookie has all the makings of a beloved Halloween classic. Boo!
13. Black Cat White Cat
Black Cat—black from the tips of his ears to the tip of his tail—only ever goes out in the day. But White Cat—white from her whiskers to her four furry paws—only ever goes out at night. He picks daisies, while she gazes at the stars. When they both feel the urge to explore a world beyond their own, Black Cat and White Cat go on a journey of discovery and meet for the very first time. Vividly illustrated with bold black-and-white art, each page paves the way toward a surprise (and surprisingly colorful) ending.
Inspired by Pixar Animation Studios' latest film, Coco, this middle grade novel retells the story of Miguel's daring adventure, and features exciting new scenes about his family.
15. Cats Night Out
From two cats waltzing to twenty cats in a conga line, dancing felines take to the streets, the fire escapes, and the rooftops in this charming concept picture book that is part counting and part introduction to music, dance, and rhythm. The short rhyming text makes it a perfect read-aloud treat, and with vivid illustrations from a breakout DreamWorks animator, readers and listeners alike will be thrilled to see what happens one night on Easy Street when a pair of cats start to groove to the beat.
16. Little Owl's Night
It's evening in the forest and Little Owl wakes up from his day-long sleep to watch his friends enjoying the night. Hedgehog sniffs for mushrooms, Skunk nibbles at berries, Frog croaks, and Cricket sings. A full moon rises and Little Owl can't understand why anyone would want to miss it. Could the daytime be nearly as wonderful? Mama Owl begins to describe it to him, but as the sun comes up, Little Owl falls fast asleep.
17. Oscar and the Bat
When Oscar hears a blackbird singing in the meadow, Bat swoops in to talk to him about sound. A sudden thunderstorm and a visiting cow give Oscar lots of opportunities to learn about sounds that are loud or soft, near or far, deep or high.
Back matter includes an index and supplemental activities.
18. Minnie's Costume Contest
Boo! It's Halloween! And that means it's time for Minnie's Annual Halloween Costume Contest! Who will win the prize for Best Costume?
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because it allows for such whimsical crafting and decorating. I like to dream up out-of-the-box color palettes for the holidays in my home decor and Halloween is so much fun to play with. I hope you enjoy this cute DIY as much as I did.
S U P P L I E S
-Ghost cut-out. I got mine at Party City (2.99) Linked here.
-Yarn. Any and all. I recommend different textures as it gives your wall hanging more depth and variety. I purchased all of mine at Michael's.
-A ruler (this isn't a necessity) You'll see in my photos that my cut isn't perfect. I eye-balled it but if you are a stickler for precision, be my guest.
-Black paint (you could use a sharpie if you don't have paint/want to paint!)
S T E P O N E
Cut your yarn to your desired length. What I love about this craft is that you can create it to fill a space in your home that you need filled. I was looking for something to go above Ever's kitchen and I decided why not make my own. So here we are. Cut as much as you think you'll need. Don't worry if it is not enough- you can go back and add more as needed. You can also use my photos for an approximate reference point.
S T E P T W O
Glue away. I used a glue gun but if you want to make it more of a kid friendly craft you can certainly try a different glue. I, for one, love any excuse to use my glue gun. It doesn't really matter if the strings of yarn are even where you are gluing because that part won't show! Just make sure you are gluing to the back side of the ghost. Pro Tip: glue one piece of yarn at a time or the glue will dry too fast.
S T E P T H R E E
Now you are ready to decorate your ghost. On the left is what the ghost looks like when you purchase it. Now, you can totally use the ghost the way it comes, but I decided to draw on my own face to keep it a little more simple. All I did was re-create the face part of it. Feel free to get creative and draw any kind of face you like- or even leave it blank. Another fun idea would be to spray paint it a fun color like gold metallic!
L E T D R Y & T H E R E Y O U H A V E I T
H A P P Y C R E A T I N G
Please be sure and share with me on Instagram if you make one!
We have been reading to Everley since she was just a little peanut in my belly. Partly because "they" say it makes babies smart but mostly out of the pure excitement of becoming parents. For me the best part was how she responded to Kurt's voice within seconds of coming into the world.
So, we know and love our books. Ever has over one hundred and counting. I thought it would be fun to round out our top favorite dad books in honor of Father's Day!
I came up with a few options for themes for my girl’s first birthday party and had a hard time deciding but this theme always had my heart! I wanted to really play on blushes and peaches and a pop of sunny yellow. Somewhere along the line I threw in some lilac which if anyone knows me is kind of out of the norm. But I’m so glad I did! I wanted to do a more whimsical version of this theme than anyone would expect. So I had fun with suns and stars and ditched the galaxies and planets.
catering by Lemonade / Everley's romper Rylee and Cru / Everley's Bow Turban for Tots / Happy Birthday and High Chair Banner Inspired Party Studio / Cake Susie Cakes Carlsbad / Cookies Debee Ruiz / Acrylic Stars and Cake and Cupcake Toppers and Number 1 Candle Meri Meri / "One" Balloon and Tissue Paper Banner Shop Liv3 / Star Balloon Meri Meri / Sprinkles Sweetapolita / High Chair Mat Gather / Invitation Art Alissa Hummel / Paper Cupcake Toppers Alissa Hummel and Printed by Zazzle
I have never learned more in one year than my first year of motherhood. But this time around these lessons will stick because as a mom once a lesson is learned there is no turning back.
10. Friendships go through seasons. If you're upset about a friendship that has drifted, don't be. If it's worth circling back around; it will. But in the meantime your heart will hurt. Deep breaths and let it go.
9. Life isn't about how many likes you get. If you connect with one person or make a difference to one person; you're enhancing your life and theirs. Sometimes people need to know they're not alone. I've found this especially as a new mom. No one wants perfection- share the real stuff. Connection is irreplaceable. Knowing you're not alone is sometimes all you need to feel sane.
8. I'm not bad at time management- I'm just that attentive of a Mom. When I first had a baby I was disappointed in myself for not getting things done when I wanted to. Who cares?! I had a happy baby who's mama gave her the world (or what I can of it anyway).
7. Society still shames for formula feeding your baby. Any way you slice it, it's true. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me to cure something that was going on with Ever with breast milk. Sorry ma'am, I don't have any.
6. I can argue with my husband until the cows come home, but I want to do better. Although it's healthy in a marriage, babies don't like bickering. So for her, we'll do better. Ok, babe?
5. If you're giving glory to god in everything you do, the rest falls into place. If you remember this one thing at the end of the day- you'll stay a lot more sane. I know this is true for me. I've become a non-dweller.
4. FOMO is real. I admittedly get upset when I see friends doing things I feel like I want to be a part of. My entire life i'd been invited to everything. I was what one would call a "social butterfly". When I had a baby that changed. People assume you can't join in on the fun most times and it's disappointing and hurtful.
3. Some things don't go as planned. They just don't happen like you'd want or think they should. This is OK. Why? Because God has your back no matter what. And your family does too. So don't lose sight of that & you'll be okay.
2. If it doesn't feel right- don't do it. Big things, small things, and in between. I've had big, exciting opportunities come my way on days that baby girl just wasn't having it. I'm talking screaming-crying-nothing is going right-kind of days. Stay home, mama. Baby comes first.
1. Self care is just as important as taking care of your family. "If mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy" am I right?! Take time out. If you're feeling like your headspace is being compromised and you just need to breathe, communicate that. Be open about it with your partner because bottling things up is good for no one. And sometimes a girl just needs to walk the perimeter of homegoods in a very strategic pattern that baby would otherwise not allow.
Happiness isn't defined by reaching goals or everything happening perfectly the way you want it to. It's rather your frame of mind as life is thrown at you. So I'm not going to make a million resolutions I know I won't keep. I'm going to make one promise to myself: find joy in every situation. I'm going to thank God for every opportunity and challenge that comes my way because I know either is meant to shape me into tomorrow's me.
Happy New Year, friends!
When I was pregnant I was (as most first time parents are) a bit scared of what was ahead. First of all, there are so many things that come with a baby. The special bathing products, the fancy temperature reading bath, the nose frieda (that was such a foreign concept to me pre-baby), the first aid things, the aspirator, the swaddles, the different sleep sacks, the owlet-the list never ends. And then you have to know how to use them. And on top of that you learn why baby does things the way she does when she does them, etc. It's intimidating and not something that you can really learn in a two hour "getting ready for baby class". These lessons had to come with time and experience and your baby actually being earth-side.
Then I had her. As I took one sigh of relief and said "ok, I got this. I can do this", in would come a whole new set of worries. First, we had two weeks of breast feeding issues followed by a diagnose of acute laryngomalacia. Hearing your baby (or what sounds like) gasp for air at nine days old on Christmas Eve was a nightmare. And learning what it was was scary. Then I google it and learned my baby had it easier than a lot of kids. And then I take that deep breath of relief again. Then the tummy issues came. And I can go on, but this post isn't meant for details about Everley's ailments.
I remember when she was around two months old I would think that I wanted her to be *just* a little bit bigger because she was so fragile and little it was scary. But she was also so tiny and cute it I didn't want her to grow.
And then she got bigger and at around four months she started to sit up. And then I thought "well, this is scary- now she can literally sit up and fall off of anything". And then I couldn't wait for her to be fully sitting up.
At six months she started to sleep on her tummy. Insert straight faced emoji here. I cannot tell you how many times I put my hand on her back to feel the up and down of her breath. But she knew how to lift her head so why was I so scared? Oh, because I'm a mom.
Then the crawling. And the bumping of the head. Oh man. Most common used expressions in our household included "do other kids bump their heads this much?", "should it be red like that?", "why does she seem so out of it", and "a yellow bruise is good, right?".
And now that she's learning to walk it's an entire new set of worries. The tumbling, the pulling herself up onto things, and still the head bumping.
So when people say "it gets easier as time goes on-you find your groove" or "it's easier as they get bigger" I just don't agree.
Motherhood is scary and it's hard. But it's rewarding and magical and the best thing I have ever done. I was meant for this. And as time goes on, I may "feel" more experienced and I may "feel" more adequate but I will not let my guard down.
I will never stop worrying about you, Everley Scout. Because the truth is, every single day that you are alive I fall more madly and deeply in love with you. So if something happens to you today, it will hurt more than it did yesterday and less than it will tomorrow.
5 AM Prelude | Exactly one year ago I was wide awake and extremely thirsty. But calm. And excited. But surprisingly calm. What a moment it is when a woman is about to become a mother. It's the most beautiful unknown I will ever experience. I was filled with so much wonder. I had no idea just how much my life would change or how much I could love another human. Because until you become a parent, that is only something you can look forward to. And there is beauty in that too. And then it happens and you are just like "ok life, I see you". And now I'm living.
I loved this entire experience. The good, the not so pretty, and the uncomfortable. Because all you can think about is you're meeting your baby and you are getting her out of you. And you get to take her home. So when you go in to have your "C Baby", you walk in the room and there are about a dozen strangers. And nothing can prepare you for the fact that you are about to be laying on an operating table naked and afraid in a dead froggy pose. Nothing except for drugs. And so it goes, a giant needle in your back. I mostly remember sitting on a cold table while they were giving me the spinal with my backside exposed and I was feeling so vulnerable. Once those bad boys kick in you are like "Ok, let's do this, let's have a baby". Your entire body is numb. It is for certain the most alien feeling I will have ever felt in my life. Because you are being cut open with a knife but it feels like someone is running a feather across your mid section. And you just feel so...HIGH.
And after five minutes, I hear "here's your baby, Alissa" and my doctor holds her up above the curtain and all I could hear was "Nants ingonyama bagithi baba Sithi uhhmm ingonyama Ingonyama". No, this is not a typo- I literally pictured her as simba (because drugs). And I see her and I want to cry, but honestly I was SO out of it. I heard her cry and then I heard my husband say "she's so beautiful" in the most sincere, gentle tone. Then I heard him repeating the time of her birth as if it was her measurements and thinking it was funny but I was still too out of it to actually laugh. And then its the moment I had been waiting for: the nurse brings over my baby and puts her on my chest. At this point, they are still putting my organs back into place and sewing me back up and my anesthesia is in it's peak. I look at her and think "oh man she is so sweet. She is my daughter. I made that. I had that inside of me for 9 months". And it became too much. I was so out of it and I instantly asked the nurse to take her away. My instinct was- "no, I don't want to hold my baby for the first time when I am this drugged up" and I was feeling so very loopy. I still feel guilt to this day about this. A moment that is pure bliss for most, was a feeling of uncertainty for me.
All of a sudden I hear the surgical team telling me that the baby is going to be taken into our post-op room and my husband was going with her while they were finishing up my surgery. What a weird feeling. You just had a baby, life literally came out of you, and then you're alone with your thoughts and you are just like "whoah I can't feel my legs".
Before I could say morpine I was being wheeled into my post-op room. I was slowly S L O W L Y feeling more myself. I remember seeing people in the halls as they wheeled me out and thinking "wow I just had a baby". It was as if it was written on my forehead. Well, technically it was written on my hospital bracelet.
I was wheeled into my room and was so happy to see my parents, my MIL, and my husband. I remember saying "did you see her, did you see her?". The nurses were giving her shots and getting her ready for me to feed her when I came in. And they put her on my chest to feed. I will share more about my breast feeding (or lack there of) story another time because it is literally another story.
We were in the post-op room for an hour and a half or so. I was enjoying having my parents and MIL there because they brought me so much comfort. Everley was smiling and sucking her thumb and making us laugh ALREADY.
We were then taken to our room where we would be for three nights and four days. OH MY GOODNESS. We seriously got so lucky. We got the largest room on the corner. It was HUGE. It made my entire experience so enjoyable. You would think everything else would be a blur because you have this beautiful new baby, but it was awesome. I remember laying there with my new baby in my arms, having the company of our family, and watching the wind blow in the trees and a little rain fall on the window. What a feeling. I remember it vividly. How beautiful.
During our stay we had a few special visitors. Auntie Ten Ten, Auntie Darcie, Auntie Tor, Grandpa Hummel, and Uncle Wes. How much fun it was to get to introduce this tiny human to some of the most important people in our (and now her) life.
The nights were long and exhausting and I had a few breakdowns, but just like that we found ourselves standing in an elevator with a cute little person that we made and I remember saying "so it begins".