Baby Showers

When our friend couldn’t wait to tell us that she was going to be a grandma for the first time, the three of us couldn’t wait to start planning a surprise shower for her. We sneakily scheduled the party for our regular book-club night and pulled off the surprise with style — she truly never saw it coming. Other than her face when she realized what was happening — priceless! — the best thing about our shower was the decor. My friend who volunteered her home for the book-club meeting/surprise baby shower created a baby-boy-blue wonderland that we all oohed and ahhed over and didn’t want to leave. (And now I really should drop the pretense that we talked about the book that night, although we did spend a couple of minutes on it, I think.) She’s a master at using things she already has — mixing vintage with contemporary — to set the mood and then adding her own special touches. Her blue-frosted cupcakes were don’t-let-a-single-crumb-go-to-waste good. And when she kicked off the evening with a pitcher full of yummy icy-blue goodness to sip before we sat down to a cool and refreshing chicken-salad supper, we knew we were in good hands as we welcomed our friend into the Sisterhood of Really Cool Grandmas. And you can join, too, as long as you have Really Cute Grandchildren. And don’t we all? Plus, we’ll even waive the iniation rite of having to sing all verses of the “Thomas the Tank Engine” song.

Crafts

Baby shower ideasBaby-shower ideasI think this is the best baby-shower idea ever: Hand-painting onesies. I helped co-host a baby shower with friends this past weekend and early in the planning stages a couple of the gals said, “We have something you’ve never seen before and everybody is going to love it” — and they were right. At the shower, we set Painting craftsup a couple tables and offered the guests plain newborn white Baby showeronesies with a variety of paints, markers, brushes and stencils. At first there was palpable art anxiety as women who declared they had no talent or skill whatsoever were a bit apprehensive about producing a work of art, but soon everybody was designing and creating like pros. It was a great icebreaker and mixer — and of course the mom-to-be ended up with some adorable clothes and great memories. You also could turn the onesies into a baby quilt or frame the painted sections for unique and personalized wall decor. It so reminded me of birthday parties when my now-20-something-daughters were young and we’d turn them loose outside with paints and T-shirts — remember making stamps out of sponges? The baby shower, however, was a little more restrained. But no less fun.

Baby Showers

Baby giftsI love getting baby-shower invitations, because who doesn’t Baby showersall adore all those sweet tiny baby things? And I would never express a preference for baby-girl things over baby-boy things because I’m having so much fun shopping for my precious 11-month-old grandson, but there’s just Baby giftssomething about little and pink and frilly that makes us grown women go sort of silly. We can’t help it. And guests got a delightful dose of that baby-girl femininity this past weekend at a shower for the daughter of a friend of mine. So much Baby shower decorationsfun! As much as I like to be sophisticated and grownup —  no, really, I do —  I cannot resist miniature pink baby buggys filled with candy. And one of the best things about baby showers in my Alabama town is shopping at the Baby’s Room, our local baby store. Expectant moms go there to pick out shower presents, parents-to-be shop there for nursery furniture and giddy grandmas go there to buy those gorgeous and impractical outfits only grandmas can get away with. Plus, I love the way the Baby’s Room folks do gift registries: You’re assigned a cubicle and you physically put what you’d like in your cubicle. Friends and family members shopping for you get to see and touch and feel your choices before deciding. (Coming in and perusing the cubicles is also a good way to keep up with who’s pregnant.) The best part of Baby’s Room shopping? The free and beautiful gift-wrapping. Actually the best part is that the Baby’s Room owners and staff make you feel special just for coming in. That’s the way shopping used to — and should —  be. Check it out at http://www.thebabysroomstore.com/.