The Baby Shower

I am feeling pretty darn good right now.

I have been stressed to the max about today and now it’s finally over and I can say that I honestly feel like I pulled it off well.

I successfully threw a Baby Shower.

My sister-in-law is pregnant. She had a baby shower out-of-state with her family a couple months ago, but apparently it didn’t go well. Her mother invited all of her own friends and only a couple of my SIL’s so it wound up being a flop from what I hear.

I felt bad and decided that I would throw a shower here for two reasons.

  • One: it would make her happy, and
  • two: our family (my brother’s family) could be a part of it.

I never had a baby shower, nor have I ever attended one so I had NO idea how to go about this. My knowledge of showers consists only of what I have seen in movies. Of course, I had my moments of “it’s not fair that I should do all this when nobody did this for me” but I tried to avoid the Pity Party thoughts and focused on what I WOULD have wanted had I been given one. I was young when I had my first so obviously my brothers (being younger than me) couldn’t do anything, my mother was dealing with her own issues at the time and I didn’t have many (any) friends so… Anyway, we are all older and in a better place right now and if I were pregnant I’m sure they WOULD do something for me. So, that is how I came to be  throwing a Baby Shower in the middle of my second to last semester of Nursing School while my husband is deployed.

My brother was beyond excited that I wanted  to do this which made me very happy since we haven’t always had the best relationship. Fortunately, he has a lot of friends because I don’t, and the party would have been a real flop if invitations had been left up to me. He invited a whole bunch of people who I didn’t know, but I trust his judgement so I wasn’t worried about any weirdos coming to my house.

In theory it was a great idea, but when it came down to it I may have bitten off more than I could chew. Well, I was starting to think that. As I said, I pulled it off so apparently I can chew a lot.

Here’s how it went down, of course, in true Me fashion, I waited until the last minute to do everything so I basically started yesterday afternoon.

First thing I did was the Diaper Cake, now, I had never even HEARD of a Diaper Cake until I googled “Baby Showers” to get ideas for decorations. It’s a neat idea, and everything but the ribbons can be used later. This is the final product.

diapers are rolled around bottles for strength and held together with ribbons and rubber bands.

Her color scheme for the baby’s room is pink, green and black so that is what I tried to go with for the party.

I was lucky because Valentine’s Day is over and now all the stores have the stuff discounted. I found milk chocolate roses 75% off! I bought a dozen! I also picked up a 2 liter bottle of every type of soda I could find because I didn’t know what everyone liked.

After I finished with the diaper cake the kids and I worked on cleaning the house while I started baking the cakes for the 3 tier that I had decided to attempt (for the first time EVER).

First problem of the night: I thought I had 2 dozen eggs in the fridge. WRONG! I had 6… eggs, not dozens. It was already getting late and I didn’t want to run to the store so I decided to work on decorations for the rest of the night and just head to Sam’s Club early in the morning.

My boys were totally grossed out by all the pink decorations; they said I should have just used the black tablecloths, lol.

of course, every single bottle was opened yet less than half of each was consumed. Can we say "flat soda"?

 

This is what I had accomplished as of about 8pm. Not bad, but not nearly done. I was already getting tired because I had been up all night the night before (that’s another story, geesh). The boys were arguing at this point and I was starting to lose my patience with them so I began working on the first tier of the cake since that was all I could make due to the egg situation.

That’s when C told me that the toilet was “still clogged”. Yeah, that’s right, I had forgotten that he had told me it was clogged hours ago.

Problem #2: I have no plunger. After the last incident with a clogged toilet I put the plunger outside; we then had a snow storm that dropped 3 feet of snow and I haven’t seen the plunger since.

I wound up having to go to the hardware store to buy a plunger. I walked in, found the nearest associate and (with what I can only imagine was a crazed/stressed out look on my face) asked him to point me toward the “biggest, baddest plungers” he had. He laughed and walked me down to them. I asked him if there was something I could pour down the drain just in case the plunger didn’t work (past experience told me that I can’t always rely on a plunger with three boys in the house. We’ve had to have the septic company out here more than once). He said the next best thing would be a snake.

Now, for all of you girly girls out there (such as myself) a “snake” is a long piece of metal that you shove down the toilet to free up a clog. It is the most disgusting thing EVER!

I bought it, all the while crossing every finger I have that I wouldn’t have to use it.

Well, you guessed it, the plunger didn’t do a damned thing. I wound up snaking my toilet and I am not ashamed to admit that I was practically crying, screaming and dry heaving all at the same time, but it worked. When that toilet flushed I wanted to shout it from my rooftop!

After scrubbing my hands until they were almost raw from the hot water, I allowed myself to take a short break from cleaning and baking. I jumped on the computer with my feet up and began typing up a shopping list for the morning. I decided to buy premade appetizers rather than making everything from scratch. That would save a lot of time and stress. That’s when I realized problem #3 of the night. It was Saturday, which meant that I was planning to go to the store on Sunday morning. Woops! Nothing opens early on Sunday! It was now too late to go to Sam’s Club and they weren’t opening until 10am (3 hours before the festivities were scheduled to begin).

I spent the rest of the night cleaning and preparing everything I possibly could because I knew I would be rushing today to get everything done since I couldn’t even BUY the ingredients until 10am.

I wound up crawling into bed around 3am. I set the alarm for 6:30, but hit the snooze until 7:45am.

Problem #4: SNOW!!! Will somebody please tell Mother nature that I’ve had enough of winter this year? I woke up to 5 inches of snow on my very steep driveway. Great! That’s just one MORE thing I have to do before 1pm. Nobody is going to get up my driveway unless I clear it and salt it. I decided to wait until it had finished snowing before even attempting to snowblow. I cleared off my truck, jammed that sucker in 4 wheel drive and backed down the driveway; packing that snow down as I went.

I headed to WalMart and picked up some last minute decorations, then decided to go to the grocery store for the appetizers rather than waiting for Sam’s even though I knew I would spend more.

Luckily, the temps rose quickly and the snow was easy to shovel. I salted, and by the time everyone arrived the driveway was almost clear.

I baked all the cakes and managed to put together my very first double layered, three-tiered cake.

I tried to put a "G" on the cake for the baby's name, but it didn't come out well.

the cake, before I put it on the pedestal

Leaning Tower of Cake

Yes, the cake is leaning. There are wooden pegs supporting it, so it is sturdy but lopsided.

frozen appetizers and turkey sandwiches

I think I did pretty well, considering I pulled it all together in such a short amount of time. I was running like a crazed woman right up until the last minute, in fact, I was still running crazy even after the guests arrived but luckily everyone was very understanding. Not everyone showed, and that was fine by me because fewer people meant less food. Enough people showed that the party was successful though, so all is well.

When my Sister in Law showed up, she was so surprised. She started crying and hugged me. Totally worth all the stress, well, almost, haha.

chocolate fountain with fruit and Bar-B-Q meatballs

I’ll leave you with a few pics from the party!

There were also cars on the street up the road because I live on a curve so it wasn't safe to park in front of the house.

The saying on the mirror is something my Dad used to say.

Z got a little out of hand so my Bro had to put him in his place.

 

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>Cookie Care Package

>First, I’d like to encourage everyone to head over to the Marine Parent’s page and link up. She’s hosting the Military Monday blog hop. It’s a great way to meet other MilSpouses and loved ones. Hope to see you there!

So, today was nice. The boys and I decided to make cookies to send to DH. Of course, after the first couple minutes I was left alone in the kitchen to finish up, but it’s ok; it’s the thought that counts and they DID want to do it. They are boys, there is only so much baking I can expect them to be excited about. They did decorate the boxes though which is good because I am not a very good artist.
We started out with the Pecan Bars, they came out great. It was my first time making these and I think it was a successful venture.
Then we made the Snickerdoodles. They came out great; as always. I don’t remember where I got the recipe, but it is good.
We then made Oatmeal Raisin Cookies which are DH’s favorite. I don’t like raisins but he says it’s a good recipe so I’ll take his word for it.
He wants photo paper but he said he doesn’t want me making a special trip to the store just for him. I told him I already had some at the house (not true) so I planned on going to the store today to get it. Well, I forgot some stuff at the grocery store so I decided to just get the photo paper tomorrow when I go out. That means I won’t ship this out until Tuesday. It also means I have more time to bake some different recipes.
I have to read a couple chapters for Peds but I think I should work on my care plan tonight rather than reading. It’s due Thursday but I always put it off and then stress out the day before. I want to try to avoid doing that if at all possible.
More snow coming this week. The kids have had more snow day in the past two weeks than we did the past two years combined. In fact, I don’t think we had a single snow day last year. Crazy!
Things are looking better. I have had a rough time since R&R. I have missed him so much that I have been less than functional. Today I feel better. I am not completely out of my funk, but I have made a significant improvement. I haven’t cried today or even felt like I was trying to hold back tears. That’s a good thing. Let’s hope I’m finally adjusting; I can’t keep going through my days like this. I have to get back to normal.

>Taking a break from baking

>So much baking… ugh, my lower back and shoulders are screaming for me to take a break. So, here I am.

I surprised myself by making the best cookies ever, Chocolate Peppermint Cookies click the link to see the recipe, if you like chocolate and peppermint, you HAVE to try these. Yummy! My diet is not going to be adhered to tomorrow, I can promise you that.

Anyway, this is what I have been working on:

Yeah, I made a few appetizers that are in the freezer, and I promise I will make the veggies, but the most important, best, most fun part of the meal is my cookie buffet. There are two more plates of cookies but they have to be made the day of, so those aren’t in the pic.
All right, back to the grind, I have to get the meatballs ready to be baked in the morning. I am trying to do all the preparation ahead of time so all I have to do is throw the sides in the oven tomorrow.
I hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving.

>Weekend Recap

>

It’s been a crazy few days. I am trying to make cookies and side dishes ahead of time for Thanksgiving. I tried to make a schedule but I’m not following it real well. I have managed to get a few things done but not nearly everything I wanted.
Here’s a rundown of things that have happened or problems I’ve encountered:
Z found all the Christmas presents I had gotten so far and then blackmailed me by threatening to tell his brothers what they were getting if I didn’t give him one of the gifts. What sucks is that it wasn’t even a gift for him; it was B’s present. Ugh, so now I have to return them and buy new things.
My washer/dryer was supposed to come yesterday and I desperately needed them. I have been slacking on the laundry because I was so excited to get the front loaders. I have baskets and baskets of dirty laundry, so much of it that Z has no more clean pants and socks are becoming scarce. Well, Best Buy called and said that the washer was in stock but the dryer wasn’t going to be in until the day before Thanksgiving. They agreed to come out as scheduled with the washer though, and I figured that the washer will spin the clothes so much better that my crappy dryer SHOULD be able to dry them without too much issue. I was right (thank goodness).
This thing is awesome. I am so happy. It sings a little song when I turn it on. It has a timer so I know exactly how long each cycle takes and it’s a big display so I can read it from the front door without going all the way down there. The clothes get so much cleaner too. And the spin cycle is ridiculous, the clothes are practically dry when they come out. There is a funny smell inside it though and the clothes smell a bit like plastic right out of the washer, but after the dryer the smell is gone so I can’t complain. The only thing is that I wonder if the dryer will have a funny smell too, in that case the first few loads should probably be towels and socks; at least until the new smell goes away. Regardless, I am super friggin happy. I love my new washer. And I know I will love the dryer too, I can’t wait for it to get here.
I called Best Buy about the power cord for my computer, they had said it would take 2-3 business days for delivery, but it’s been 3 weeks. Anyway, they are going to send me (free of charge) a power cord and a new extended life battery. WOOHOO, can’t wait for that!
My mom came down Thursday night and stayed here overnight to help me get the kids on the bus Friday so I could go to Clinical. She wound up staying until today which was nice. She kept me company while I baked cookies and started freezing the side dishes for Thanksgiving.
Speaking of clinical, I can’t believe the semester is almost over. It feels like it just began. Our teacher said that our careplans are so good that this will be the last one we have to turn in. That is awesome. They take up so much time; I understand the importance of them but 19 pages is a lot. We actually only have two clinical days left, because we have the Friday after Thanksgiving off. It’s crazy to think that this time next year I could be working as an RN.
So, I wound up making a Maple Cookie recipe that I found in a Martha Stewart magazine. They turned out super yummy. I was surprised. My mom loved them so much that she got up in the middle of the night last night and chowed down. She apologized, but honestly it was more of a compliment than anything else. I sent her home with a bag of them to share with her husband and my brother. I think I will send the rest in a care package, I know he will like them. I will just make another batch for Thanksgiving. The recipe is here, I strongly recommend trying it.
My mother in law called the other day; she told me she was sending me a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant; she wants me to use it on R+R. I told her that the boys and fancy restaurants don’t mix well. She told me that I should leave the kids home and just go with my husband. I tried to explain that we don’t go out alone. We have never gone out without the kids. Sitters were too expensive and we didn’t live near family; so after 12 years of marriage we have never been on a date. She told me that “it’s called romance” and that I should “add some to the marriage or it will never last”. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! I told her our marriage was fine despite the lack of dates and tried to explain that we actually enjoy going out with the kids. We may not go to fancy restaurants but we have fun… as a FAMILY! There was no getting through to her. She insisted that it is necessary to do this type of thing once a week (while he’s home, I’m assuming). It’s hard to take advice from a 67 y/o divorcee who has not been able to keep a boyfriend for more than a couple months the entire time I’ve known her. Of course I did not say any of this though. She was not letting up, and she began insisting that I drop the boys at her house when we go. So, I told her that R+R is such a short period of time that I don’t think it’s fair to steal a whole night from the kids. They are just as excited to see him as I am, spending one of the precious nights of R+R with their grandmother is not going to be fun for them. If we were to do something like that it would be after he’s home for good; not during R+R. We hung up soon after that because she began to get upset with me and I didn’t want to get yelled at. I’m curious to know what other people think, is going on dates routinely a necessary part of marriage or is family time a good substitute?
The timer is going off on the oven; back to baking for me. This wound up being a much longer post than I had anticipated. Hope I didn’t bore you all with my rambling. Talk with ya soon.