Helped Plan My Shower
Since I was going to be a young mom, I had the opportunity to help plan my own baby shower. My best friend/hostess had never been to a baby shower before, so family and other friends had to contribute. I also helped. I didn’t mind as I am a bit of a control freak anyways!
I went with my husband months before to Babies R Us to complete our registry. It was fun scanning items in the store. At first we had one scanner, but my husband seemed to be doing all the scanning! The associate handed me another scanner so I could get to work as well.
I liked how you have complete access to the registry online. You can see when items are purchased from the list. As the weeks went by I got excited as items were checked off the list. A diaper bag was the first to go. I spent days thinking about who purchased it. The suspense was building!
My husband had his own “father to be” party in the next room for his friends and any other guys that were dragged along by their girlfriends. We knew that most men would feel uncomfortable at a party with ladies playing baby games, so they played video games and had pizza. It wasn’t as fun as my party, but it was a good way for the guys to feel included as they were not allowed entry without their own gift for the baby. It was a wonderful experience and we all had a great time.
The shower took place one month before my actual due date. I didn’t want to run the risk of going into labor at the party and figured that a month was a safe time ahead. A lot of work was done before the actual party. The venue was in the party room of a family member’s condo. It was nice.
We had lots of food from M&M’s. We bought the Oriental Party Pack that had spring rolls (my favorite!) and some other finger foods. We decided to have the food out so people can go up to the table and eat whenever they wanted.
This worked well as some people came earlier than others and didn’t have to wait to eat.
I made sure to have blue serving plates and blue and white cups. I know, I know, who cares right? But I like when everything coordinates.
I had the most fun making a “guess the gumballs” jar. This was done before the party. I bought tons of gumballs from Walmart and a giant plastic jar with a lid. I carefully counted the gumballs as I put them in the jar. I may have eaten a few along the way ;) I had fun decorating it with markers, paint and glitter. When I was done I told the hostess the secret number, just in case I forgot. As guests arrived to the party, they were asked to write their name on a sheet next to the jar and guess how many balls were in the jar. We kept the list as it was an easy way to keep track of who showed up so I could send thank you notes. Whoever had the closest guess, won the entire jar. It was funny when people tried to get the answer from me. I may have given a few hints to the kiddies …
I was also in charge of making the party favors. I wanted them to be different and memorable. Since I love candy, I decided to fill the baggies with various blue candies. Everybody seemed to like the Ring Pops. I also came across a lot of inexpensive cell phone charms so I included those as well. I kept my eye open for sales at stores like Stokes and Kitchen Stuff Plus. You can find packs of candles at an inexpensive price when they’re on sale. I made sure each guest went home with a bag of candies and cell phone charms as well as a pricier gift.
A few tricks up my sleeve
I didn’t realize how easy it was to spend money. We created a budget and thankfully didn’t go over. We bought a lot of decorations from Party Packagers because they have a nice baby shower section that has almost everything you need. We made sure to keep all receipts because some retailers will let you return unopened items. This is a great way to save a few dollars at the end of the day.
Another way we recouped a bit of money was having a baby lottery. I created a calendar on Bristol board of the month that I was due. When visitors arrived, they could place bets on which day they thought the baby would arrive. You could also divide days into morning or night time sections. Each bet cost $5 (you could set your own price) and we bought the winner a gift card. Of course, you can’t award a winner until after the baby is born.
We also invited a lot of people who didn’t know each other so we had to create lots of ice breakers. My favorite one was the Mystery Gift:
What you need: small gifts (candle holders, kitchen stuffs, costume jewelry etc.) tape, wrapping paper, post-it notes.
How to play: This game needs to be prepared before the party. Wrap the gift and place a post-it note on top. Write a phrase like “Pass to someone who has a dog” or “Pass to someone who was born in August.” Wrap the gift again and write another phrase on another post-it note. Make sure you use phrases that will get people talking and asking other people questions. You can wrap the gift as many times as you like with a new phrase under each layer. When it comes time to pass around the gift tell everyone that that can only unwrap one layer. They must pass the gift to someone who fits the description on the post-it note. The person who un-wraps the last layer gets to keep the prize.
We wrapped 5 small gifts and passed them around during the party. Since people had to find someone that fit the description on the note, everyone was involved and had a good time getting to know each other.
As I was opening gifts, the hostess would write the gift I received on the accompanying card. This way I could keep track of what gift I received and from whom. Another friend of mine was writing what I was saying as I was opening presents. I had no idea what she was doing until I was finished opening the gifts. She stood up and said, “This is a list of what Calley said while the baby was being conceived.” I was red! What the heck is she talking about I thought. She continued, “Thank you Aunt Carla … I always wanted one of these … Oh, I love it. Thank you guys … Ooooh … I didn’t know they made these … This is so nice … Awww, look how cute!” It was everything I said while I was opening gifts! I noticed how some people were laughing while other people like my grandma and mother-in-law didn’t seem to get it. I couldn’t help but laugh.
At the time, I didn’t really like the attention. I felt huge. I dreaded opening gifts because I knew everyone would be staring at me. I wished I could stay in the back, but I was pulled to the front of the room to my “throne.” The entire party was recorded, especially my huge belly surrounded by all my gifts. I felt like a kid in a candy store, except that the candy wasn’t for me.
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