A big celebration was in order for a very special mommy-to-be that I work with. The mommy-to-be is one of the most considerate people I know, and she has served as a mother/aunt figure in our department at work. We were all so thrilled to find out she was expecting a baby girl, and we knew she would be an amazing mommy! We wanted a very special shower to honor both her and her baby.
I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but I am lucky to work with a lot of amazing women who are both career and family focused. Somehow, they all have a little Martha Stewart in them, and it is so much fun to plan a party with them. We were all excited when one of the very talented hostesses picked the perfect theme for the mommy-to-be: a book shower. The mommmy-to-be loves to read, and we knew she would appreciate having an instant library for her baby to be.
One of the hostesses took the lead and purchased amazing children books for the centerpieces. She wrapped them in cellophane and tied each bundle with pretty jewel toned ribbons. We then stacked the books on top of cake platters to give them some more height. We also placed some of them between bookends. I then made little tiny book covers and decorated the utensil caddy with them.
Another hostesses was very generous and covered all of the catering. She spared no expense and the food was a huge hit! The party was during the early evening so we did a bunch of room temperature hour d'oeuvres, salads, and pastas that could fill everyone up as an early dinner.
We decided to do activities instead of games.
We had bib decorating supplies. We placed the bibs on clipboards so the guests could decorate them on their laps wherever they were sitting. I have been to a lot of parties where you decorate onsies and although it provides an activity for guests, I hear that the onsies are not used often (or they are used as undershirts). I thought bibs were a little more practical. You can always use an extra bib, and it doesn't have to be fashionable. It ends up covered in food in a matter of seconds.
We also had a "sign in book" where guests could leave wishes for the baby. We glued the invitation to the shower (which was a library card) into the inside pocket of the book.
Finally, on the invitation, guests were asked to list their favorite children's books so that the mommy-to-be had lots of good recommendations. We had a place to collect the cards, and then we gave them to the mommy-to-be.
A Very Special Gift for the Mommy-to-Be
The mommy-to-be always goes above and beyond for everyone in our department. We really wanted to create a heartfelt gift from all of the hostesses to show her how much we appreciate her and how thrilled we were for her. We decided to create an "emotion" book like this one for the baby, except instead of pictures of other babies, we would use pictures of our colleagues depicting the different emotions. I printed out a list of emotions for ideas, and then I took pictures of each of our colleagues acting out a different emotion. Some of the children of our colleagues also participated. I photographed each colleague in front of one of three different wallpaper backdrops (I literally just taped wallpaper to a wall in my office and had them stand in front of the paper. I took all shots from about the same distance so there was consistency when you flipped through the pages). I then assembled the book using Shutterfly. The book was hysterical! Everyone got so into it. We also figured it was win, win: baby gets to learn emotions and all of our faces at the same time. It was very well received, and I highly recommend this idea.
I really wish I could post a copy of the book to share with you, but I want to respect everyone's privacy. Instead, here is a list of the emotions we used: happy, scared, disappointed, silly, elated, mad, sleepy, guilty, bored, suspicious, joyful, brave, hopeful, love, annoyed, calm, stunned, shocked, restful, content, ambivalent, upset, exhilarated, irritated, eager, helpless, enthusiastic, mischievous, surprised, outraged, delighted, grumpy, and optimistic.
On the back cover we printed a special message thanking the mommy-to-be for always listening to our emotions and congratulating her on her baby.