Fashion & Beauty · Food & Parties · Pregnancy

Baby Shower Details!

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In case you haven’t heard…I. LOVE. PARTIES. The decorations, the company, the FOOD. What makes a party even more fun? When it’s your party! A few weekends ago my mom and sister hosted my baby shower and they did such a fantastic job!

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Outfit
Easter was literally a week before my shower and the dress I chose totally hid my belly. I had people all day saying “aren’t you supposed to be pregnant”. :/ Because people keep saying I’m small and I don’t show from behind I decided that I was going to make sure to show off my baby bump for the shower. The kicker? You still can’t even see my bump in most of my baby shower photos – the photo above is the best shot of my belly. LOL.

The ruching of the dress definitely helps conceal any less than perfect parts but you’ll still definitely want a nude slip to keep the white from being see through and to help smooth out any bumps. Bonus: this dress will fit after pregnancy – I was able to fit into an XS at 33 weeks pregnant. This dress also comes in a bunch of other colors as well as a long sleeve option.

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Decorations
Because we still don’t know what we’re having we went with a combo of mint, coral, yellow and gray. My mom and youngest sister painted baby blocks for the centerpieces, made a banner for behind the gift and game table and used tissue poms to alleviate some empty wall space.

I believe my mom made the jeopardy board using a tri fold display and I typed up some simple signs to use on the game table. (If you have never been to DaFont, I HIGHLY recommend it – I love being able to download free fonts to use on invites and decor!)

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 Food
The food was exactly what you need for a shower – simple and tasty. Mom and my sister did funeral sandwiches, crockpot meatballs, a fruit and veggie tray and a cheese and cracker tray. The cake was my favorite – chocolate Costco cake! – and my mother even showed me the order sheet she basically murdered. She spent a lot of time explaining to the bakery EXACTLY what she wanted – complete with stapled on samples of the shower colors. Definitely keeping that order form forever. 🙂

Games
I picked out the games I wanted to play at my shower because I have a burning hate for horrible shower games. The games were split into two categories – actual games and not-so-actual games. The difference? To me, games that are similar to “how many blanks are in this jar” are not real games, they’re toss ups. Real games are games that can be played to win and require some skill on the participants’ part.

We did two faux games. Everyone who brought a book for the baby was entered in a raffle. We also did my variation on “how many blanks in the jar”, changing it to “how many diapers does mommy have in her stockpile”. We took a picture of my diaper stockpile, put it in a frame and let people write down their guess as they came in.

As for the real games, we played three – Baby Bingo, The Name Game and Baby Jeopardy. Baby Bingo is a fun way to keep guests entertained while you’re opening presents; they fill in a bingo card with their guesses as to what you will receive and mark them off as you open matching presents. The Name Game is a fun, fast game that requires guests to make as many names as they can from the parents’ names in 5 minutes – the one with the most wins! As for Baby Jeopardy, we play it as a team game and it essentially works just like regular jeopardy. The categories we used were “Laura’s Pregnancy” (details about my pregnancy like who found out first and what my symptoms were), “All About Baby” (facts about our baby like how many cousins he or she will have when they’re born and the babys’ due date), “Mommy’s Cravings” (all about what I was craving during pregnancy), “Disney Babies” (matching Disney moms to their kids) and “Old Wives’ Gender Tales” (the folklore people use to tell if you’re having a boy or a girl).

As for the prizes, we opt for giant candy bars. (Soap and candles are nice, but a huge hunk of chocolate? No contest.) Not the king size bars or the XL bars, but the really big bars you find back with bagged candy; they’re about $2 -$3 each and we typically get a few of each flavor and have winners pick one from the pile.

The Result
One of the major reasons we opted to not find out the baby’s gender is because we knew that if we found out, we’d likely end up with a load of clothes and not much in the way of baby gear. I’m still not 100% clear on why women with kids always seem to follow that same pattern, but it’s like “do you not remember that you didn’t want all those clothes either”.

Luckily, our plan worked out and we ended up getting most of the large items off our registry with a grand total of about half our registry bought. We ended up only needing to purchase the baby monitor, baby carrier, drawer organizers and the small odds and ends that I really thought would have been bought first (nail clippers, brush, nasal aspirator, etc). The turnout really could not have been better and we are so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends. 🙂

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Pregnancy

What’s On My Baby Registry

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We are in the home stretch, folks! My baby shower is just around the corner and will soon be followed by our first baby. 🙂

First, let me say that by my own admission I am a very picky person. I am NOT and will never be someone who buys something because it’s cheap and will work for now. The same rules applied when I created my baby registry; I took a lot of time to research what we truly needed for our baby, what would provide us with function and the ability to last multiple children.

If you’re unsure about which places to register with, let me give you one piece of advice – do your research and register with the ones that give you the best deals, even if that means more than one registry.

For example, if you are a Prime member (or sign up to be one) the Amazon baby registry will give you a 15% off completion discount for eligible items before a month or so before your due date. The discount can be used in two transactions up to two months after your due date! Prime members are also eligible for Baby Bucks earnings on participating baby items. Baby Bucks is a $100 credit towards diapers and wipes when items purchased from your registry (either by others or yourself) adds up to $1000. For reference: I totally thought this was way out of our range, but we’re already up to $830 of the $1000 just from people who have bought from our registry, so we will absolutely hit that mark after we finish up buying first year necessities.

Graco 4Ever 4 in 1 Convertible Car Seat
Holy crap! That’s a lot of money for a car seat! Yes. It is on the expensive side, but since I have added it, there have been tons of sales making this car seat anywhere from $199 to as low as $149, depending on the finish you choose. This car seat is designed to last your baby from newborn up to 120 pounds, going from rear facing infant all the way to backless booster. (For reference, my pre pregnancy weight was 113 pounds, so I think this has you covered for as long as your child needs a booster. 🙂 ) One and done.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat
Wait. Didn’t I just say “one and done”? You caught me. The reason I registered for the infant seat and the convertible seat is because of function. Convertible car seats are designed to stay in the car – they don’t come with a carrying handle and they don’t lock onto the strollers designed for infant seats. We purchased a double Sit ‘n Stand stroller from Craigslist after I found out we were pregnant (in excellent condition for only $60!), but we have no infant seat for those first months that the baby won’t be able to sit on its’ own. And the last thing I want to do is try to wiggle my wobbly headed infant out of the car seat while its’ still in the back of my car. In conclusion, the first couple of months our baby will ride in an infant seat and then we’ll transition to the convertible.

Baby Car Mirror
I cannot explain the terror I had when my nephew would make funny sounds in his rear facing seat and I was doing 75 on the interstate, unable to see what was going on. I immediately knew that this product would be on my registry. It hangs in front of a rear facing seat so you can see your baby while driving.

Infant Optics Video Monitor
My mother tells us all the time that even when we didn’t cry during our naps she would constantly come in and lay her hand on our chests to make sure we were breathing. Kicker? I did the same thing to my nephew when I babysat. To me, a monitor with only sound is useless. How many times has a silent baby meant a sleeping baby? Maybe 50% of the time. The other 50%? Crayon on the wall, poop smeared everywhere and a slew of other things. I want to be able to see my baby.

Diaper Backpack
Think of all the things you carry now. Add a baby, in or out of a car seat, and a diaper bag. Think you can do it? Think again. The first day I babysat, I went online to see if they made diaper backpacks. Bingo. Do yourself a favor and get a diaper backpack instead of a traditional tote bag. And do your man a favor and get it in a unisex pattern and color – no man, I don’t care what he says, wants to carry around a baby pink floral diaper bag. Then do yourself one more favor and stock that bag with a changing pad (you don’t know what’s on those public changing tables!) and a couple clear organizer bags. You may think those organizer bags are overkill, but wait until your baby poops out the side of their outfit and you have nowhere to put the dirty clothes except in your diaper bag. Ew.

Infantino Squeeze Station and Reusable Pouches
I have always wanted to make my own baby food. It’s cheaper, it’s healthier and I have control over what kinds of foods and flavors my baby is exposed to. This squeeze station makes it easy to fill squeeze pouches and the reusable pouches themselves can be safely used up to 12 times each – so much cheaper than the disposables or buying squeeze pouches from the store! I’ve also heard that the squeeze pouches are easier to organize in the freezer and perform better than those baby food cube trays.

Shopping Cart Cover
This is another thing I knew I needed when I was babysitting my nephew. First, he looked so uncomfortable sitting in the cold, hard seat and then started touching everything and putting his hands in his mouth. Now, I don’t sanitize my shopping carts because I’m older and the chances of me getting sick from that are slim and even if I do get sick it’s an annoying cold and then it’s over. With a baby, any small cold is a nightmare, so this immediately went on my list.

Ergobaby 360 Carrier
Another splurge item that will be worth its’ weight in gold. This carrier allows you to carry your baby in all positions – back carry, front carry, hip carry, all facing in or out. We are an active couple that are out and about a lot, including hiking so I figure this carrier will get plenty of use. Again, pick a neutral color that your partner is comfortable wearing.

Joovy Playard
Baby needs a safe place to play and sleep either at home or on the go. Mommy needs an attractive pack and play that isn’t covered in obnoxious prints or animals. Enter Joovy Playard and we have a winner. Bonus points for having about double the space of a traditional pack and play.

Graco Glider Elite Baby Swing
I like space saving products. This swing is a glider and bouncer in one, plus its space saving design takes up 40% less space than other swings. Score!

Bumbo Multi Seat
The first time I saw a Bumbo seat, my reaction was a little less than positive – what a waste of money. Within a week of babysitting my nephew, I was begging my sister to buy him a Bumbo. He constantly wanted to be sitting up and playing or looking around at his surroundings and I just could not hold him in that position for 8 hours. Luckily, she caved and my babysitting world changed. I registered for a slightly different type of Bumbo – the multi seat – which has the floor seat nestled into a removable booster seat and comes with a play tray. Here we are again with multiple uses in one item: bumbo floor seat for babies who can’t quite sit up on their own yet, a booster seat for older children and a high chair for feedings. You know I love it!

NoseFrieda Aspirator
Ever try using a traditional nasal aspirator on a sick baby? Bet you it was the last time you ever tried. Traditional aspirators just do not do their job well. Baby is snotty and grumpy and will just continue to get grumpier the longer it takes you to clear their boogers. This aspirator has amazing reviews and I can’t wait to try it out! Ok, I can, because I don’t want a sick baby, but just in case. 🙂

Labor Gown
There are not enough words in the English language for me to describe my absolute hatred toward hospital gowns. They’re scratchy, thin and expose your entire backside for the whole hospital to see. No. Not even a no, thank you. Just. No. As mundane as it may sound, I am not going to sit around in an uncomfortable, totally exposing gown for the entire time I’m in the hospital all the while multiple nurses and family members are in and out constantly.

Swivel Glider Recliner
Babies mean long nights for awhile. Long nights mean being as comfortable as possible. People have offered to get me wooden rockers and gliders. As sweet as the thought is, I can already imagine the frustration we would have in the middle of the night. I spent a lot of time thinking about what we need in a chair for our nursery and the top things I came up with were: rocking or gliding motion, being able to recline and comfortable enough to sleep in if we had to. (Bonus points for being an attractive, high quality chair that will get us through all our babies. 🙂 ) After a lot of searching and showing my husband our options, we both agreed that this was the chair for us. It does everything we need it to and has great ratings.
**Note: We registered for this before there was a bunch of talk that ToysRUs would be closing, so we when we heard the news we ended up biting the bullet early and purchasing it before we lost it forever – literally a week after we purchased it online, ToysRUs shut down their websites. Purchasing early was definitely a good call on our part. Similar chairs: Delta Recliner, Pulaski Recliner, DaVinci Piper Recliner, Pulaski Sutton Recliner

Misc
Obviously, these couple things weren’t the only items I registered for. I’ll finish off by giving a run down of a couple more noteworthy items we registered for. One of my most favorite baby clothing items we asked for: a “Snuggle this Muggle” outfit. Two more practical “clothing” items: pacifier clips and drool bibs. For feedings: white divided plates (do you know how long it took me to find white?!) and a silicone roll up bib. Quite possibly one of my favorite things on the registry: nursery drawer dividers. I also registered for a good number of children’s books – we’re doing a book raffle at the shower, so I figured I’d give some ideas. 🙂

I know I’ve disappeared for awhile, but we just have so much going on now that we’re down to our last seven weeks baby free. We’ve been replacing light fixtures and cleaning out the office to turn it into an office/nursery combo, building nursery furniture (I’m even tackling refinishing a thrifted dresser for the baby!) – there’s just so much to do and not enough time to do it! 🙂

For now, posts will be sporadic, but as I’m sorting my life out as a new mom I’m sure I’ll get back in the swing of things when we finally settle into a routine. Keep checking back! 🙂

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