Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Oh Baby! Showers Galore

I love a good baby shower! As summer is coming to a close, many of our friends are getting ready to welcome babies. (Yea!) So after returning home from a summer full of travel, I hit the ground running with lots of baby shower crafts! There are so many wonderful ideas on Pinterest. (What did we do before Pinterest!?! You can check out my baby shower board here.) 
 Group Playdate Double Shower
We had a group playdate shower for two first time mom's, with all the little kiddos running wild in my basement. I kept things simple: we did just diapers for gifts, which meant we did not have to open them at the party. I did utilize my bookshelf chalkboard. I really love this thing - It is so fun for me to update it based on what is going on. I also love this Crayola chalk - it is so bright!

We had a smorgasbord of food for the ladies and little ones. I stuck to simple games. I had advice cards (here and here) that I handed out and were sent home with the preggos. I also played a really fun candy bar game. Each lady took turns choosing a candy bar and a word they thought went together. If they got a match, they got to keep the candy bar. It was fun because all the women were helping each other get the candy bar they wanted. Plus, there were plenty of laughs with matches like "Good and Plenty" with "Pregnancy Boobs" and "Butterfinger" with "OBGYN."  I also had a "guess the due date" calendar set up on a piece of poster board. This group of women sees each other most days to work out, so it will be a fun way to count down the days till the girls deliver.

All Girls "Pink" Shower for First Baby
When we moved last summer, one girl from the same base moved with her husband as well. When she found out she was pregnant, I was over the moon. I think the first words out of my mouth were "Can I host your shower?" She is having a little girl, so we went all pinked out.

I am totally obsessed with those EOS lip glosses. I found a multi-pack of them at target in pink - so everyone went home from the shower with one in their purse. I love using a beauty product as a takeaway from a shower. I hate "crap," so giving something people can use is always my preference.

As a boy mom, I jumped at the chance to buy some cute pink clothing. I love being able to send people home with the decorations from their shower. I found these adorable numbers at Old Navy.

Since this new mom is also a military spouse, I wanted to make sure she had something to remember who was at her baby shower. We move so frequently that sometimes it is hard to remember where you were during life events. I found an adorable "guest book canvas" here on Etsy and decided it would be easy enough to create my own. I used a flat canvas and painted a tree and dots. I asked guests to sign their names and write a wish for the baby. By the end of the shower, the canvas was full of well-wishes and it serves as a record of the friends who were around to welcome baby.

I know lots of people don't like shower games, but I love them. So if you come to a shower I'm throwing, we will be playing games! For this shower, we played a nursery rhyme game where you had to complete the rhyme. Then we played my favorite shower game - it's one where you follow little instructions tied to a gift to find the gift a home. The cards tell you to pass the gift to the person with the longest hair, or the largest purse or the curliest hair. It gets everyone talking and moving, and usually gets some laughs, since I always throw "biggest boobs" in there.

As for other decorations, I went all out with pink streamers and balloons. I also made a little banner from pink fabric for baby's nursery and it made a nice welcome banner. I also made a diaper cake, because i love them and they really are simple to make and practical when you take them home.

The shower was in the morning, so we stuck to breakfast foods - french toast bake, parfaits, bagels and scones. I also sent my child away, but had a few of the moms bring their calmer children, which was fun to have some little ones around.

Second Baby, Boy "Born in the USA" Sprinkle
There is a French couple in my husbands squadron that are getting ready to welcome their second child, but their first boy. We decided on a "Born in the USA" theme.

This was a small shower with just our squadron. I made a red, white and blue diaper cake. Since it is a second baby, I filled the middle with a Nalgene water bottle for big sister and a few other goodies. We rocked the "After 4th of July" sales for decorations, including a great "Born in the USA" onesie we hung on the door.

As for games, we did a simple "match the mustache" game from here, on - you guessed it - Etsy, which was a big hit. We also did a "wishes for baby" poster. On poster board, we wrote things like "I hope you love..", "I hope you never...",  and "I hope you are..." and let people just write their wishes under each category anonymously.

We spent a lot of time asking about French culture and babies in France as well. Turns out the baby shower (at least in this particular iteration) is not done in France. I am glad we had a chance to "sprinkle" this mom while she is here.

Wow. Its been a fun but exciting month! I actually have one more shower coming up in November. It is going to be fall themed for a first time mom who is having a boy. I just had a "planning" meeting, with basically the two most amazing co-hosts you could ever ask for. The woman sitting next to us at Panera said she wanted an invite to the party.

Quiet Book Exchange, Part I

After three long months of hard work, both quiet book exchanges are completed... with the exception of a few straggling pages.

One exchange had six people each doing two pages. The other exchange had 12 people, most of whom did two pages.

Anyway, the girls met tonight to exchange pages. Earlier today, we gave our expecting friend a preview copy for her little one. We found all the patterns and ideas on Pinterest... now, I just have to bind my book.

Here are a few pictures of the completed pages:

Cute fishing page waiting to be backed and added to book. 

Fabric "Memory" Game and Storage Bag.

I've been working through some new projects all around the theme of quiet guided activities for my son. I love the idea of activities that are self contained.
I saw this idea on - where else - Pinterest. It is basically the game of memory, but with fabric.  I have so much fabric that I just love, and this seemed to be a great, quick, scrap fabric project.

I cut 40 5x5 squares, 20 from patterned fabric (2 of each) and 20 in the backing print. I put them right sides together and sewed most of the way around and flipped them. I filled mine with Polyfill, because that is what I had on-hand. You could also use interfacing, or quilt batting, or even beans. Then, I put another stitch around the outside to close the holes and make them lie a bit flat. 

The bag I just pieced together, using the outside fabric from the memory squares as the lining fabric. 

Fabric squares fit neatly into the bag.

Quick storage bag to hold activity. 

There are many ways to play with these adorable fabric squares. Line them up for a traditional game of memory and search for matches. You can also just pile them up and ask your child to find a match. My little guy likes to find things like birds and bugs, sort of like an I-spy game.