Sunday, August 4, 2013

Baby Shower Adventure

We have been blessed with my husband having a job where they are like family. They work together, hang out together, celebrate and support each other, just a great group to be involved with. My friend Mary and I have also been blessed with the fact we have been able to be there and involved with things that help the families. Among other things we have done morale meals for those that work and activities that are family oriented and help connect and bring together the spouses. Our latest endeavor was an idea from a wife who wanted to do a baby shower for one of the wives that recently had their first baby. A co-worker of my husband then suggested we do a yearly baby shower, so we took both and made it happen. There were more than 5 new/soon-to-be moms but we could only do those that were able to attend. We invited everyone at work and their spouses to the event and the guys decided since they were being "forced" to attend that a good old fashioned mojito/margarita contest was in order. Mary and I got to work on the decoration planning and left games (neither of us are big on games) to the original spouse that came up with the idea. Oh, did I mention we had 2 weeks to plan everything and other commitments made that time even shorter??

I had to laugh when I got together with Mary after we both agreed to grab ideas we liked off of Pinterest and the web. When we came together most of our likes were the same so planning what we wanted took a whole 15 minutes, I love having a friend like that!! We gathered what we could find (being at this point we only had a week left) and agreed we needed to be flexible due to not being able to get all we wanted before the shower. 

One thing we decided was to make the food healthy. We didn't want all the cakes and candy always pictured (trust me we had a hard time finding any that didn't). Supporting moms, to us, was helping them get a great start with nutrition and supporting most of them in their decisions to provide healthy food for their children. So we decided to make the choices healthy. Mary got to work on making simple diaper cakes to bless the moms as a parting gift and I got to work on getting food and decorations. The fact that there was 5 and it included baby boys AND girls made it all the more fun to plan. During the week we found out Mary would be leaving on a last minute trip to see family so would be unable to be there to help set up. She got her end done and I got to work tapping my inner creative self and hoping I could make this as cute as we had envisioned. 

I was able to set most of the shower up the day before and my week of cleaning was slow and sure, hard to do with 5 kiddos with a lot of energy, but got it done in time. The day of the shower I was amazed at how awesome my kiddos were helping prep food since having healthy food meant most had to be done the day of,  having choppers and kids that could squeeze lemons came in handy! My princess even made her own cantelope bassinet that she was so proud of. Getting everyone involved kept kiddos from destroying the house and gave them a sense of involvement in the day. 

The choice to go healthy adds a bit of a challenge because food really can't get put out too early,yet it was worth it. We came up with having a yogurt bar that had various sprinkles of fresh fruit, homemade granola (I did 2, one with dried fruit and coconut and one plain) and homemade nutritious muffins to accompany it. We had a big fruit and veggie plate with dip. I did 2 kinds of popcorn, one chili flavored and one cinnamon glaze that was made with honey. We asked anyone bringing food to make it healthy and made a signup on Perfect Potluck letting everyone know what we were looking for made that easier on everyone. We then knew who was bringing what and could plan accordingly from that. As mentioned before, my husband and a few other dads that were attending planned to have their own drink contest during our shower, you would think this would have been difficult but it actually added quite a bit of fun and made the atmosphere festive. I can say that the dads enjoyed being there just as much as any mommy there. We "made" them join in on the game aspect of the party, don't think they got out of that. We found them very willing and I noticed that since they were not "made" to go to the shower they really were active, competative and had a good time doing them! In the future we will definitely make sure if we do a "mommy" thing again we will consider having a "daddy" element that makes it fun for all, plus helps keep all more willing to be there! 

Veggie trays with dip helps keep the colors vivid and fun. It's hard to compete with the colors provided with fruit!

We did a fruit plate that made it colorful and allowed people to mix or take just what they wanted. 

Without the yogurt before the party but you can see our yogurt bar complete with banana palm trees that matched the decorations above them. We had raspberries, blueberries, coconut, granola, strawberry/banana mix and mixed fruit. To compliment the yogurt we had banana muffins with and without dark chocolate chips and chocolate chocolate chip muffins. Both muffins were homemade and made with healthy ingredients but yet added the sweetness "missing" from cupcakes. 

Instead of Soda Pop we offered lemonade and strawberry lemonade. These were supposed to have simple syrups but due to my one bump for the day that didn't happen. Unfortunately I ended up with a last minute trip to the store to cheat. The thought was there though!!! :) Note to self and others, make the syrup a day or two ahead of time... Yup, lesson learned. Ok, that or don't shower, some how I think the day ahead of time is a better plan though. 

The popcorn was a fun and sweet addition....

I put out small little paper bowls to keep the popcorn on the plate and away from all the wet fruit that would make it soggy. 

For such a short time to get planned I was amazed at how smoothly and easily it all came together. I had only one big "disaster" when 2 of my simple syrups burnt while I was in the shower and my watcher forgot about it. Honestly that was such a small bump in a very smooth day (not to say I wasn't devastated and bummed all that work was wasted.). Overall I have to say this was one successful baby shower, not too shabby being it was my first!!

Now to get ready for tomorrow and making some more Tiger Balm that I am low on!! This shower was awesome but added with everything else I found I was a lot more tense than I thought. That has led to some big ol' head aches that are totally relieved with a little of my balm. :) Can't wait to see if I can't make it myself cheaper than $10/little jar and yet the same ingredients!! What better to unwind than to do a fun project, right?

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