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.

 

>Answering the Difficult Questions

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I have had so many ideas for posts over the past few days but I haven’t had time to sit down and actually write so of course, as always, the ideas got twisted in my head and disappeared.
I guess the underlying theme with everything that is going on is the fact that we are approximately 3/4 of the way through this deployment. We are on the downhill finally and it feels so good but at the same time we still have about a quarter of the deployment left to get through. Sometimes it feels like Homecoming is so close I can taste it, while other times I sit here saying “we still have X number of months LEFT“??????
We were in the truck today driving home and B asked me how long until Dad comes home. I told him not too much longer but that we don’t know exactly. He asked me to guess, so I responded with the best answer I could come up with that didn’t sound like too long but didn’t get his hopes up only to be let down. His reaction caught me off guard. He said “why does he have to be gone so long, I miss him, I just want him to come home now”.
For the most part our kids are used to him being gone; deployments, training, even his civilian job had him away on travel. The kids don’t know any other life and it probably wouldn’t be such a big deal if they didn’t have to constantly explain it to their friends. The boys don’t normally ask me to give them specific dates, typically they are OK with an answer such as “he will be home before so-and-so’s birthday” or “we are hoping he will be home before this holiday”.
Tonight was different, B needed something more definite. He needed to know exactly how long he had to wait and I couldn’t give that to him. It is so up in the air (as it always is with the military) that I can’t even begin to speculate on a homecoming MONTH!
I decided to tell him how many days it’s been since he left. I thought that hearing that number might make him feel better. I then told him that when I get sad and miss him I try to think of all the things I want to do BEFORE he comes home; that way I can look at it as “I only have X number of days to complete this task”. He asked me to be more specific so I gave him my goals for the remainder of the deployment.
1. Learn how to make a Topsy Turvy Cake with fondant icing.
 – the practice cake will be used at Bro #2’s baby shower and the real one will be for DH’s bday. This is an example I pulled off the Internet. I will be sure to blog about the baking experience as it is sure to be quite a fiasco.
2. Complete/Pass my OB/Peds semester of nursing school.
 – after this semester I only have one left before I graduate with my RN. Then it’s off to the BSN program.
3. Exercise more and lose more weight.
4. Organize all of DH’s clothes and give him back his side of the closet.
 – I have taken over the entire closet and most of his clothes have ended up in boxes and shoved into the back of C’s closet.
I explained to him that I have a lot to do in a short amount of time and if I think of it like that it doesn’t seem so bad. He then asked me what his goals should be. We came up with quite a few ideas but narrowed it down to a more “do-able” size. His list was a little more fun than mine.
1. Learn to count to ten in Spanish.
2. Organize all of his toys in his closet so he has a separate bin for each activity i.e. Lego’s, art supplies, etc.
3. Get to level 30 on Farmville
 – yes, he does have a Facebook account but he only uses it to play Farmville and post pictures for his Dad. 
4. Grow an inch taller.
5. Get 15 A’s on spelling tests, vocab tests or math tests.
After discussing all this he seems to be feeling better. It’s just so hard to see the kids struggle to handle a deployment because I know how hard it is as an adult and time moves even slower for kids.
How do you all handle these questions from your kids?
How honest/vague are you about length of time?
Are there any goals you can think of that would be fun for all of us to try to achieve before homecoming?
I was thinking of making a Family Goal; something we can all work on together but I can’t come up with any ideas that will interest all of them. What the 14 y/o wants may not be what the 9 y/o thinks is fun and the 12 y/o is just plain hard to please.

>Another Baby Shower?

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Yet another snow day for our town. This is the 7th cancellation this year and that does not include delays and early dismissals. My classes are cancelled tonight as well. I don’t think Nursing school is supposed to be self taught, but that is what we’ve had to do so far, lol.
This afternoon I was sitting on the couch with my laptop doing some ATI assignments (online assessments and quizzes that count toward our final grade this semester) when the phone rings. It’s Bro #2. He asks me to accept his game request on Facebook. I argued, saying that I am worried about viruses but he insists he needs “neighbors”, so I give in. As I’m accepting his game invite the REAL reason for calling emerges.
A few weeks ago, they had a baby shower. Her mother hosted it in Jersey. Apparently she did not have a good time because she didn’t have many friends there and the gifts were not what she expected. She had gone to Babies R Us and signed up for a registry. She was not pleased when people showed up with $40 gifts rather than the more expensive items. My brother said it was because they “are millionaires and can afford more expensive stuff”. While they were down there he had called me and told me that she wasn’t having fun. I told him that I wish the shower had been up here so I could have gone. I would have tried to make it fun for her.
Long story short, I kind of got cornered into “looking into hosting a shower for her” here. Honestly, I had forgotten about it and now that she’s 32 weeks I figured it’s too late anyway.
Nope, the Bro asked me if I was “still planning on doing something” for her. I stumbled and stuttered and basically didn’t know how to answer. I don’t have the time or the money to do something like that. Not to mention I am slightly jealous that she would would be getting two showers when I didn’t get any. Honestly I think they just want the gifts.
So, I’m thinking about it and even though I don’t want to do it I probably should. They are the type of people that hold a grudge. They remember EVERYTHING. If I don’t do this, I will look like I don’t care.
Not to mention, they want the shower at their condo. What am I supposed to do with the kids? Parking is going to be an issue at their place. People aren’t going to be able to move around and I don’t think Bro #1 will go all the way out there for this.
The other thing is that if I were to do this I would want help. I would want to call my mom because she’s good at throwing parties, plus she’d help me cook and come up with decorations. The girlfriend and my Mom are not the best of friends, I don’t know if my mom would even be willing to help me. I brought it up to my brother and he said that “of course she is invited” but I don’t know how my mom feels about it. I guess I’ll have to see.
I will think more about it later, right now I need to get back to my assignments.