Being in the States right now, I was able to host a baby shower for my sister, before the arrival of her baby girl, Molly Jane. My co-host and I decided on a theme of yellow, pink and brown.
My mom wanted to help out a bit, too, so she was given the task of making cake dots and a cake (because two types of cake are always better than one). My mom is the queen of cake dots, as evidenced below. Look how perfect those are! Half were vanilla and half were chocolate. I brought home some German icing from Dresden, which she melted to use for the dots. She makes the art of cake dotting look effortless, huh?
The cake my mom made was also very cute, but more so sentimental, in that it was modeled after the cake from my her own first baby shower in 1980 (when she was pregnant with my sister). My mom used a photo of the cake to duplicate it perfectly, with the obvious amendment of the name. As this is my sister’s first baby, and my sister was my parents’ first baby, the cake idea was very fitting.
In the photo below, you can see a page from my sister’s baby book, on which my mom glued two photos: one of the original cake and one of her standing behind it. Fun fact: my sister was born the day after that photo was taken! I also added a little gnome to the table that I’d made for Molly at a local pottery studio. Molly’s nursery will have a slight gnome influence, so I thought it’d be appropriate for the shower – plus, my sister got to take it home as a little party favor.
My co-hostess and I had printed up some “wishes for Molly” cards and sent them out with the invitations. We instructed the guests to fill them out and bring them to the shower. For guests who could not attend, we asked that they fill it out and mail it back to us as a postcard (we’d addressed and stamped the back). My sister was so surprised. Everyone’s responses were so thoughtful – a couple made me tear up.
We also had the guests, once they arrived, predict the circumference of my sister’s growing belly. The winner of this contest got to take home a cash prize. My dad did not enter the contest, but he looked at my sister one time, turned to my mom, and made a guess. It will be of no surprise to anyone who has ever met my dad that he guessed the correct circumference down to the last centimeter. My mom rolled her eyes when she found that out, and I didn’t blame her. I imagine it gets tiring being married to someone who not only knows everything, but knows he knows everything. We set the guess-jar/cards, money jar and Wishes for Molly on a tablecloth my co-hostess and I had handpainted using Jordan Ferney’s tutorial from her blog.
My mother, who did a really good job of saving almost almost every artifact of our childhoods, sorted through box after box to uncover these baby outfits of my sister’s, which we matched to photos of her wearing the clothes and hung on a clothes line (twine + clothes pins) behind the food table. My sister got to take those home as a party favor, too, of course, for Molly herself to wear.
The morning of the shower, my dad drove to our old house to pick these beautiful fuchsia roses from the rose bushes. (Note: we still own the house; the rose-picking was not an act of theft.) My co-hostess and I covered coffee cans and paint cans with paper, filled them with dirt, and then placed the roses inside. I should specify, though, that my dad was actually the one who arranged the roses, after he noticed that my method or rose-arrangement was not symmetrical enough for his critical engineer-eyes to condone. His method was, admittedly, the better of the two. We arranged the flowers on the mantel next to some canvases with Molly’s first, middle and last name, and paper polka-dot garland.
Using old pink and yellow vintage fabric I had lying around (found it under my bed, actually!), I ripped pieces to string garland from the rafters in my parents’ front room.
My sister might not look happy to be there….but she was.
All of the guests in attendance were most impressed by the cake – not only that it was so thoughtful, but so delicious as well. I swear my mom should go into some sort of bakery-related business…
I found it rather difficult to abstain from filling every mason jar with the sherbet punch, and drinking them all in one sitting.
After all the presents had been opened and all the guests had left, my sister and mom and I sat in the living room, sorting through the gifts, ooh-ing and aah-ing over all the outfits Molly Jane would soon get to wear. My dad and brother-in-law, meanwhile, watched Indiana Jones in the den and talked about fly fishing. And in that moment, all was right with the world.