Monday, May 5, 2014

My Baby Shower!

My baby shower was great, a beautiful day in early April, surrounded by lots of family and friends who showered us with tons of gifts for the little one. My mom let me partake in some of the prep because that’s just the way I am, so she kept me informed of all the major decisions as well which was nice. There were about 40 people there and my mom booked a private room at our favorite, local Chinese food restaurant.  Admittedly the Chinese food menu was a little out of the ordinary for a shower, but it was so yummy and I was looking forward to it in the weeks leading up to it. Since it was a few weeks before Easter my mom stuck with an Easter theme (which went nice with not knowing the gender, lots of pastels) she ordered a cake and cookies from her favorite baker friend. The cookies were made to look like Peeps- pink bunnies and blue chicks with little chocolate morsels for eyes and the cake was a strawberry flavor with peppermint frosting, decorating in white with real peeps and jelly beans on top. It said ‘There is wonder in the waiting!’ which is a cute phrase we saw on several of the cards as well. There was also Easter candy spread about on tables and in the little goodie bags the guests took home. 
            The guests played Baby Shower Bingo using a game card I created, I ended up making my own but used the good old internet for inspiration. The premade ones weren’t quite what I wanted, especially since the game is largely based on the presents you open and since we are getting a lot of hand-me-down items from my brother and sister-in-law we didn’t have all the standard items on our list. So I decided to go through and create my own bingo sheet in PowerPoint and then I just mixed it up so there were 5 different game boards and printed up 8 sets of them.

 I wanted to put together the gift baskets that people could win and I went with the baby theme- my favorite was the basket called ‘The baby-maker’ that had a bottle of champagne, chocolates and two movies- Magic Mike and Knocked up! There was also a ‘baby your body’ basket that had lotions, hair products, nail polish, etc. and two  for your ‘baby’ baskets one for a girl and one for a boy that had little, easter-related candy and toys for people with kids or grandkids. 

My mom also did a raffle for two of the baskets, she put a sticker on the inside of two different plastic Easter eggs, and then went around the room and had each person select an egg. The two people that had the eggs with stickers won a basket. Another cute thing she did was send around a notebook and asked people to put their gender prediction, we got some really nice notes in there.
                I went shopping the previous week for a dress, I had a maxi coral skirt that I was going to wear but I wanted to get something special for the shower especially since I haven’t bought much clothes to get through the pregnancy so I figured I owed myself the splurge. We went to the outlets which I knew didn’t have a maternity store but figured I could try some larger stuff on in regular stores. We tried the Gap first and I found a really cute maxi chevron dress. I tried it on and I looked huge! Plus the chevron stripes did not match up at the seams, which drives me crazy especially because when you are  pregnant people also look at you from the side. So I went with a completely different approach and tried on a little navy blue cotton dress at Ann Taylor that was fitted with extra ruching on the side. It is a dress I would normally never wear because it was fitted (and cotton so not too forgiving of a fabric) but I figured what the heck, might as well try it on and I really like it. I thought for a non-maternity dress it looked really cute over my bump. I also liked that since my bump was so out there in it, it created an optical illusion almost in that my bum looked smaller in it. I did make the mistake of wearing non-maternity pantyhose. I am normally not a big pantyhose wearing but I was impressed with myself that I remembered to go to CVS the day before and get the largest pair they had.  But once I put them on the day of (or rather had Chris help me into them) I realized they must make maternity ones and it was going to make for an uncomfortable day! But once we got to the shower I forgot about them.
                I got a wonderful surprise as the guests were arriving, my college roommate flew up from Florida for the shower. I was totally not expecting to see her because not only does she live all the way down the coast but she is a new mother to a three-month old herself and she just started back to work the week before the shower.  When I saw her walk in I cried! It was great having her there and I was so touched she flew up, with the little one and hubby, to be with us on our shower day.
                We ended up getting all the major stuff on the registry as gifts, as well as plenty of gift cards to pick up the remaining necessary items. We got some really great homemade blankets, a beautiful quilt that Chris’s mom made that must have taken so long, it is patchwork with some really cute, different fabrics including a Sesame Street one. She also made bibs and burp cloths and a few other blankets- she’s been very busy! We got a lot of onesies and some sleepwear, I did find since we don’t know the gender  a lot of people opted to buy non-clothing gifts, which is fine with us. I also have noticed from the shower and in general that the one thing that is tough to buy ahead when you don’t know the gender is pants! Because baby boys tend to wear what look like sweatpants and baby girls wear leggings, so Baby J does not have many pants thus far. But it will be summer so that’s ok. But otherwise onesies and pjs are universal as far as I am concerned. Based on what we got at the shower, and a few little shopping trips we have done we aren’t going to buy anymore clothes until the baby comes. Certainly we are held back by gender, but also regardless of that we don’t know what size this baby is going to be and I don’t want to have a ton of stuff that is too small for the baby to wear.

                All-in-all it was such a great afternoon, spent with family and friends, eating yummy food and cake and feeling all the love this little baby already has!

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