Sunday, March 15, 2009

Baby Shower!

My good friends Susan and Michael are in the process of adopting a baby! I'm wildly excited about this! Adoption has always been something special to me and something that I hope to be able to do one day and Susan and Mike are the 1st folks I have known personally to go through the process! You can follow their progress also at Bramble River Baby

They started the process over the summer and on January 20th they got matched with a birthmom! The baby is due April 13, so preparations began in earnest! Susan sister, Judy, myself and two other friends, Elizabeth and Jacalyn began working on plans for the baby shower.

Yesterday was the big day and I must say that the 4 of us can throw a pretty good party (even more amazing is that we never met face to face to plan, all plans were taken care of via e-mail and some twittering and 1 "I'm-in-Babies-R-Us-help-me-not-buy-everything!" phone call)

Since the shower was planned for 3:00 in the afternoon we decided to have an "afternoon tea" party which turned out to be a perfect theme because yesterday was a cold dreary rainy March day and hot tea was lovely!

We'd all seen these "diaper cakes" and most are made with disposable diapers, however Susan is planning on using cloth diapers so rather than buy one, Jacayln volunteered to make one! It was pretty awesome! She included not only cloth diapers but also onsies, socks, a bottle, nipples, a teether, some pacifiers and other "baby bling" and I even got a hat to go on top so the cake can "clothe baby Jack from head to toe!" Jacayln had also gotten a coupon for formula at Walgreens and added that to the cake at the last minute! All your baby needs in one tasteful centerpiece! :-)

The finished cake right before it was placed on the table as the centerpiece!
Judy (Susan's sister) and Chris (one of Susan's co-workers) - enjoying some tea and eyeing the Wegmans pastries! Chris is pinning on a diaper pin for our "Baby Taboo" game. Throughout the shower anyone who said the word "baby" had to give up a pin to the 1st person who called them out on it - the person who had the most pins at the end won!

The whole spread! Judy made wonderful chicken salad (they are in the lower right hand corner!) - I need to get her recipe! Elizabeth made yummy homemade scones to go with the tea! The pregnant belly in the top left corner is Elizabeth, she is due in mid-May and is also having a boy.

And here's the Guest of Honor herself! All decked out with a tiara and giant button! Every mom-to-be needs a tiara! I was attempting to get Susan and the diaper cake in the pic - all I got was the top!

Jacalyn explaining the Baby Taboo game to Sara and Ciecly - 2 of Susan's book club pals.

Hanging out, getting to know each other - we all came from different parts of Susan's life and few of us had met each other.

The main event....PRESENTS for Little Jack!

Judy (a new mom herself and Susan's only sister) sharing some sisterly advice, gems such as "if you have a problem call my sister, she knows how to handle babies and things!" LOL!

Jacalyn explaining another game we played - thaw the frozen baby. We'd bought little plastic babies and then froze them into ice cubes, it person to melt their ice cube and get the baby out wins! This is where hot tea came in handy - Judy easily crushed us all by wrapping a hot tea bag around her ice cube and freeing the baby within minutes!

The other game we played was gift bingo. Before Susan began opening the gifts we all had a blank bingo board and we filled in each square with something that we thought Susan would receive and as she opened her gifts we crossed off what she got and the 1st person to get four in a row won!

For prizes we had gifts for Susan! Every time someone won a game they selected a gift from the basket and it had a note attached that they signed and then gave the gift to Susan - they were all toys for the baby. At the end, since all the prizes were won Susan got the "Grand Prize" - a Target gift card, that she can use to buy formula or other baby needs.

Enjoying getting to know each other and sharing motherly advice! Joe crashed the party, um I mean surprise Susan by showing up! Joe is fun to have around and one of Susan's lifelong friends so he was more than welcome to come!

Susan with the "Hello Kitty Rectal Thermometer" - a gift from none other than Joe.

Susan enjoying her gifts! This zebra goes well with a blanket that has a rainbow zebra on it that she received from another friend - Susan remarked that this zebra was a "serious zebra"!

Jacalyn showing off all the diaper pins used in the game, all of which were given to Susan to put to good use.

Susan got 2 hand-crocheted blankets - one from me (see previous blog entry for pics) and one from her sister! Judy even learned a new crochet stitch, just for Baby Jack! Like me, Judy also finished this about 11:30 yesterday morning! Nothing like the last minute huh?

It was a lovely afternoon and everyone enjoyed themselves! Now on to the main event...Little Jack's arrival! :-)

An Afghan for Baby Jack

I recently was inspired by the works of my great-grandmother Minnie to take up crocheting. I have been a cross stitcher for years but it was getting boring and I needed something different. I studied several afghans that Minnie had made (in her later years she had arthitis in her hands really bad and she would crochet all day just to keep the joints moving - as a result we all have tons of afghans!) to see how she did it and began recreating what she did. I mostly taught myself how to crochet, going off of what I had learned years ago making Granny Squares in Girl Scouts.

Over Christmas I bought a crocheting book at the Ben Franklin store in Newport News, VA and decided to learn for real! I started a my 1st "real afghan" in January and have been crusing along. I'm using a the same "pattern" that Minnie used which is basically a large center of solid color bordered by a contrasting color - simple yet effective.

With Susan and Mike's impending adoption I knew I had to do something crafty. I was going to cross stitch something but I'm still bored with cross stitch so, about 2 weeks before the shower I decided I'd tackle my 1st baby afghan! I went to Michael's and started optimistically at the books with awesome crochet patterns in them - some of these afghans were gorgeous and I wanted to make every one, but I was thwarted by my lack of ability of read a crochet pattern. So I went over the yarn section and picked out some soft, shimmery yarn - baby blue and white - and decided to use my simple, yet effective Minnie Pattern. When I got home I decided to use my giant afghan hook to make things go a bit faster.

When I did the white I did two double crochets in each "hole" to make it look fuller - I'd used that technique on an afghan I'd done over the summer - I was just messing around at that point - and it looked nice so I decided to try it again. Didn't seem to work so well with this yarn - either that or I need more work on my corners - because all four corners of the finished afghan curl up like little hoods or a fitted sheet. I noticed that was starting as I was in the home stretch for finishing it at 11:30 yesterday morning - the shower was at 3 and I was on the party planning committee so had a number of things to do before!

Below is the finished product - in the flat picture you can see the turned up corners.

I'll toot my own horn for a minute here and say that it came out really nice - it's soft and lightweight yet warm! I can see Susan tucking it around Jack in his car seat or stroller! I'll have to work on perfecting my crocheting techniques!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Public Service Announcement: What NOT to Twitter

I have shamelessly heisted this list from my cuz' Liz over at Not Always about Monkeys*, just yesterday I was discussing with folks things that should never be posted on Twitter/FB and then I saw Liz's blog post...consider this a Public Service Announcement:

Here are some situations where I think that it would be best to NOT update your status:

1. Joe is poisoning his neighbor's Pomeranian. With arsenic. Right now.
2. Mary is getting paid to take her clothes off.
3. Joe has explosive diarrhea.
4. Mary just ate an entire quart of Ben & Jerry's and quickly regurgitated it.
5. Joe just emailed naked pictures of his ex-fiance to her parents.
6. Mary is going to fake symptoms to get pain medicine at a Patient First.
7. Joe is laundering money.
8. Mary is telling her children that Santa Claus died because they were bad.
9. Joe is shouting at his girlfriend while putting his fist through the wall.
10. Mary just slept with her sister's husband.

And I'll add my own personal rule: If you must use the word "mounted" in a tweet or FB status, you MUST attach a picture! :0 If it's too dirty to post a picture, it's too dirty for twitter! :-)

Hmmm...What not to Twitter...sounds like a new TV show!

*See orginal post here: Failed Facebook Status Updates