My Thoughts on Baby Showers

by - Wednesday, May 09, 2012

So, this weekend I was in Tennessee to help my Aunt Ann throw my cousin Shelly her baby shower. It's important to say, I didn't actually throw this party, but I did see a lot of cuteness, and I thought I could share what I thought really worked. These stars were supposed to be on the invitations, which were so sweet, but because of other factors and time constraints, we had a bunch to play with.

Oh! I should say that the theme Aunt Ann picked was "this little light of mine" which I thought was a very sweet and original theme. The favors (they kept calling them take-aways, is that a Southern thing?) were star cookie cutters, pretty blue sixlets, and these stars made into magnets. I thought they were so cute and simple! I am kind of sad now that I didn't grab one for myself. 

The stars also got used on the mason jars, which were filled with a little bit of sand with candles, then tied with muslin, and finally hung with a little star. They were very sweet, and by putting them around the space, they tied all of the decor together.  Aunt Ann also went out and got flowers that morning. Its a tricky thing to build a party for women that is about a male, but hydrangeas are kind of a butch flower, right? It's an interesting play in gender roles to see how people navigate that stuff, but I think the best thing to do is go pretty gender neutral, even when you do know the gender.

My Aunt Renee sent a bunch of things that she made with her cricket, which I think is the Holy Grail of crafty helpers, and the stuff she made was amazing. She made a couple of really long banners, and i think hanging this one at the entrance of the house really had a great effect in setting. I think one of the keys to having a great baby shower is to have a lot of people who really care about the baby and the mom. You don't have to spend a lot of money, but if everyone contributes something that they think is beautiful it will have a huge effect. The shower would have been cute, but I think the stuff my Aunt Renee contributed pushed it over into amazing. 

Here are some more of Aunt Renee's contributions. I loved the garlands that hung vertically, but we didn't have much luck keeping them up on the ceiling. We did have good luck with those command strips though. Whoever thought of those things is a genius. The diaper cake has a rougher trip from Texas to Tennessee, but the Momma Animal/ Baby Animal theme is seriously the sweetest cutest little detail ever. 


The other big thing Aunt Renee sent was a long garland that said "She is just about ready to pop"- it was so long we couldn't fit it all on the wall! We cut off to pop, so it is technically still true. I also like that now it could apply to Aunt Ann- "She is just about ready... for chemo.... to kick cancer's ass.... to eat a grilled cheese sandwich" See, it is truly the perfect banner?

Where the gifts sat. Notice the cute little stars hanging from the mantle. Aunt Ann made the Liam, and her girlfriend Paula made the stars. I think Shell is going to use the big blue letters in the baby's nursery. I think its good strategy to pick a few focal points like this rather than trying to decorate every corner of the room.

Aunt Ann's friend Paula also made adorable L cookies that matched the little stars. And they were delicious. These cookies did not help my diet, but I think if you threw a party where people could totally maintain their healthy eating, on some level, it might be a bit of a failure.  And come on, that baby is adorable.

I mean, if nothing else, you have to give baby showers credit for being the only party where you can be unapologetically cutesy. And I am a sucker for cutesiness.

Shelly really hates shower games, so there wasn't anything like that at her party. To be honest, when there aren't games, I miss them. I like the cheesiness, and I like things that force people to mingle. At the same time, most everyone else at the party knew each other, and Shell has a well-established group of girlfriends there, so it wasn't really necessary. So the party was some mingling, dinner, and on to presents!

I think this part is much more fun for a baby shower than a bridal shower, because everything is cute even when it is also practical. That takes some pressure off the gift opener. 

This shower was also nice because they skyped in some of Shelly's grandparents. Technology is an amazing thing. It really is a good time to live far away from family, if you really have to live far away.

Liam's gift from his great grandparents.On a side note, how beautiful does Shelly look? If only everyone weathered pregnancy so well!

Before this party, I had no idea just how many cutesy gift ideas could circulate around these parties, but man it does make sense.  Shell's mother-in-laws workmate got a Daddy diaper package for Micah, and it had goggles and duct tape and all sorts of silliness in it.

Shell's favorite gift. It was apparently something she really wanted, because that night she got that guy right out! His name is Cooper and he responds while you read your baby a story. He is not a lovey bear because he has a battery pack, but Shelly sure loves him. Maybe you can take it out? Well done to my Nana! Best gift?

Aunt Ann also put a tablecloth out that everyone could write on, and they can get it out every year for Liam's birthday week. I am totally using this idea again, because can you imagine how cool this would be to have out at a graduation party? Just adorable. And this is the note that she wrote him, which makes me tear up.

My Uncle Rob kept saying he was going to leave, but he was totally sucked into the excitement and stayed the whole night. This is him laughing hysterically while reading the breast pump box, and I think it blew his mind. I would say any party that ends with so much laughter and fun is a big success, and they certainly are getting lots of the stuff that they need, so that is a big success too. Ok, Baby Liam, time to get here!

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