Most of my closest friends around here had babies last year between June and September. It was crazy. And very cute. Since they were all pregnant and having babies - their third, fourth, or fifth - they were too frazzled and exhausted to throw showers for each other. And while they may have said they didn't care about having a shower, I know from personal experience, Everyone. Wants. (And deserves.) A shower. For every baby. So I threw a few.
It hadn't occurred to me to post them. Then I was going through last year's photo files, and I was like, those parties were fun! So here's a little summary of the crazy good showers we had last year.
I threw showers for three different friends, one in June, one in August, one in September. And since they are all friends with each other, they had to be as different as possible, to feel unique in the same setting. I did my best.
#1 Pajama Party
I called my friend Juli and offered to throw her a shower for Baby Jane, her third girl, who was scheduled to arrive at the end of June. Due to tight schedules, we chose a Friday night the week before Jane was expected; it was close, but it was the best we could do.
So Juli knew about the shower, and provided the guest list, but I wanted the theme and details to be a surprise. I sent out an Evite with bottles of nail polish across the screen, for a "Pajama Party Shower", asking everyone to come in PJ's.
Decorations: One friend made big pink and orange paper stars, and another provided gorgeous hydrangea bouquets from her garden. I got purple plastic tablecloths for the tables, and girly plates and napkins. Also broke out my disco ball and put a pink filter on the light.
Food: Juli's husband Brian is an accomplished home chef and foodie, so I asked him to make a couple of appetizers, which he not only did, but also brought them over early and plated them all gorgeously for me. I don't even know what it all was, sorry to say, because I was running around like crazy at that point. But everyone said it was amazing.
Here's some more of Brian's concoctions, plus a strawberry w/ dip topiary another friend made, and some key lime pie cupcakes on the far right.
Activities: Because this was a pajama party, we had manicure stations at the counter, complete with emery boards, nail sticks, clippers, remover, cuticle cream, etc. And of course plenty of polish colors! One friend took it upon herself to also paint toenails for all the pregnant ladies at the party, so fun!
Favors: Every good pajama party needs music! So I made a mix CD of songs for mothers and children - I don't know about everyone else, but I still listen to mine all the time.
Songs on the CD: Wonder Woman Theme, Lullabye for an Anxious Child (Sting), Lollipop (MIKA), For Baby (John Denver), Sweet Child O' Mine (Banda do Sul), A Child's Prayer (SweetHaven), The Babysitter's Here (Dar Williams), Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Greg Laswell), Gracie (Ben Folds), She Likes Being a Girl (Judd Grossman), Family (Dar Williams), Slipping Through My Fingers (ABBA), All Will Be Well (Gabe Dixon Band), You Raise Me Up (Josh Groban), Flesh and Blood (Johnny Cash), We Are Family (Sister Sledge), Say a Little Prayer (Shawn Colvin), Baby Mine (Allison Krauss), High Over Grandmother's Pond (Alex Grant), Prayer of the Children (Kurt Bestor), Mother and Child Reunion (Paul Simon), Mama Liked the Roses (Elvis), PM's Love Theme (Craig Armstrong)
#2 Surprise Pancake Breakfast
My friend Andrea, due with Baby Paul in August, was adamant she did NOT want a shower for this baby, her fourth. When asked why, she said because the shower for her third baby was so perfect, it could never be better than that. I was at that shower, and it was very lovely, and her reason might be enough to intimidate someone smarter than me, but I said, "PHOOEY! EVERYONE wants (and deserves) a shower." But since she was being a pill, we had to go the surprise route, with her husband in on the deal.
Decorations: Here's what I loved so much about this shower. The decorations were all Andrea's! She's got this box of a gazillion paper lanterns she uses for everything, and I very sneakily asked her if I could borrow them for something I wanted to do with my girls! All I had to do was string them up, and put them over my pendants, and voila! Decorated!
Food: Obviously, if we're having a pancake breakfast, the food is the activity and the activity is the food. We had three kinds of pancakes - double coconut, Nutella swirl, and lemon blueberry.
Favors: Guess I don't have a picture of them, but I found these tiny jars of jam at World Market, so everyone got a bag with two jams, one strawberry, one apricot. I thought it went well with the pancake theme.
#3 Party of Five
This was maybe the hardest shower to come up with, just because I had already recently thrown two, and I needed this one to be different from both of them. My friend Shanna was having her FIFTH baby, and she'd been through a real doozy of a pregnancy, to put it mildly, so she needed a really great party. I played around with different ideas, but it seemed like everything had already been done (or was dumb), so I turned to the number 5 and found my muse.
The Evite called it "Shanna's Party of Five" and the picture was a collage of all kinds of "five" things I could think of - a hand with five fingers, the Backstreet Boys, 5th Avenue street sign, etc.
Decorations: I went to the library and loaded up on children's books with "five" in the title - there are lots! My search incidentally led to a couple of books my girls and I really loved, like The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean (front, right center.) It was fun to see all the different books.
Food: I kept it simple, for a mid-morning shower - five-layer trifle...
Activities: Mostly, we just sat around and ate and talked, like at most showers. But I did have one little thing for everyone to do - a jar full of candy pumpkins, and you had to guess how many sets of five little pumpkins were in there. The winner got to take the whole jar home, much to my daughters' disappointment.
Favor: One of the books I found in my book table search, was a charming old chapter book called Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney. I read the whole book before the shower, and was more than once touched to tears by the simple tales of poor widowed Mrs. Pepper and her five children's mishaps and triumphs. Thank goodness Shanna is not a widow, but I still thought this was a sweet enough book to be favor at a fifth child's shower. 5th Avenue bar attached, naturally.