A member of our extended family is expecting her first child, a girl, due to deliver in the late spring. In anticipation of the new arrival, a baby shower has been planned. Knowing the sex of the baby ahead of time makes shopping so much easier and lifts the restrictions of having to choose items in either yellow or neutral colors to cover both options.
I have probably been included in the guest list for twenty or so baby showers over my lifetime, and God only knows how many wedding showers. I have a shoebox full of little net baskets packed with rice, glass pacifiers and personalized champagne glasses to remember them by.
Talking about the shower with my daughter last night we got to reminiscing. My daughter, normally not a game player or necessarily even an overly competitive human seems to get her Mojo on at showers. It’s like the white cake with the butter cream frosting has some kind of bizarre effect on her body chemistry and she becomes temporarily mentally damaged. Once at a baby shower we played a game involving each guest being allotted eight diaper pins as they walked through the door. The rules of the game were simple. You attached the pins to your clothing and if caught crossing any part of your body, your pin was relinquished to whoever tagged you on it. She who has the most pins, wins.
This party was a particularly large one, so there were lots of people to watch. Suddenly my daughter became a total stalker, gathering pins like a greedy miser might amass coins from the poor. She followed one still fully pinned woman until the lady removed the pins herself and walked over to my girl and handed them to her telling her she just wanted to enjoy the party. Towards the end my daughter actually hurdled the coffee table snagging two pins from the habit of a nun caught crossing both her arms and her legs. OMG.
This brought us around to another funny story, once again my daughters. Several years ago she was invited to a shower being held for one of the wives of my son-in-law’s work associates. It was to be held at noon on a Sunday. My son-in-law mentioned the baby was to be a boy so my daughter bought a darling outfit which included mini-me baby jeans and shirt, and even came with a cowboy hat that would have fit my cat, and wee booties with spurs printed on them. Perfect.
As it happened, a dear friend of hers was celebrating her thirtieth birthday the night before the shower. It was to be a ladies only night, and included dinner and an evening of craziness at a rock concert in a neighboring town.
To preface this story, my daughter is a total lightweight when it comes to alcohol. One drink on her looks like twenty, so it isn’t often that she imbibes and extremely rare that she overdoes it. However, there is always an exception. They enjoyed pretty pink cosmopolitans before dinner and wine with dinner, and afterwards some forward thinker and future AA member, brought tequila. In essence, they polished that lovely glow from dinner to such a shine you could have seen your reflection in it. Fortunately, they had a designated driver and feeling no pain my girl was deposited at home well after last call. The no pain portion of the program, however, only lasted until the following morning upon opening her little red lined eyes. According to her, each individual eyelash throbbed in unison and when she sat up her head lagged about ten minutes behind but when it caught up brought with it the entire percussion section from the New York Philharmonic. For those of you who have experienced a hangover of epic proportions, and I know you’re out there, you will know that first you think you are dying and then you pray for it.
With the baby shower now only two hours away, she stuck her hair in a pony tail hoping to squeeze the pain out and got dressed. One of the requests on the shower invitation was that each guest either write or bring a short poem to share at the party. Fortunately, she had taken care of that the day before. Hers read:
Baby boys like many things,
Like frogs and bees and bugs with wings.
Trucks and trains and shiny cars
Dinosaurs and twinkling stars.
Dogs and turtles on his clothes,
And smudges of dirt upon his nose
Sweet stuffed bears and robot toys
These are things for baby boys!
What a joy it is to see
His boyish nature come to be.
He’ll love to play with mom and dad
There’s so much fun now to be had!
by Andra Mccoy
Arriving at the shower looking like something the cat brought in, the smell of cake and Jordan almonds overwhelmed her. She located a chair and sat quietly. The first game they played was Guess the Poop, which in and of itself is disgusting, but on an upset stomach totally revolting. So oblivious was she that she didn’t notice on arrival that all the decorations in the room were rose-colored. Nor did she notice there were rose petals strewn on the table or when playing unscramble the baby associate words, to which she answered each question bassinet, whether there was a “b” provided or not, did she observe she was writing on a pink tablet with a little pink pen. Also, she couldn’t figure out why everyone kept referring to someone called Carmen Rose. This only cements my belief that the acorn does not, in fact, fall far from the tree.
The gifts were piled in front of the mommy-to-be, all pink but one, and all with the name Carmen Rose on the envelopes. Oh-oh. Worse yet, she had chosen to wrap her gift in Finding Nemo wrapping paper featuring Dory. Dory, of course, having been voiced over by Ellen DeGeneres in the movie added more than a hint of irony to the tiny cowboy outfit hiding inside.
After the gifts came the poems. To a stunned silence, she read the above poem and after a pregnant pause (sorry it’s a disease with me), everyone broke into laughter. Beginning to feel as if she might live, she sampled lightly at the buffet but steered clear of the cake. It had been an eventful enough day.
“I feel like I have a hangover without all the happy memories and mystery bruises.” – Ellen DeGeneres.
I love this salad. It looks so beautiful in a large glass Tiramisu bowl. I serve it with two dressing choices.
Fresh Fruit Salad with Dressings
2 Johnathan apples, cored, halved and sliced in 1/2″ slices
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 boxes strawberries, hulled, sliced thin
3 kiwis, peeled and sliced thin
2 bananas, peeled and sliced thin
1 large antelope, seeded and balled
30-40 green grapes or mixture of green and red (seedless)
2 large navel oranges, peeled and white rind removed, sectioned
Fresh mint leaves for garnish
Cut apples and submerge in lemon juice for 60 seconds. Remove and drain on paper towels. Discard lemon juice. Store in resealable plastic bag until ready to use.
Layer all fruit in above order, placing oranges around outside of bowl as pictured. Serve with choice of yummy dressings.
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. cold water
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
Combine juices, water, and cornstarch in top of double boiler. Cook over boiling water 10 mins., stirring constantly. Combine egg and sugar and add to cooked mixture. Cool. Gently fold in cream.
Dressing 2 – Yogurt
1/2 cup Green yogurt, plain
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. finely grated orange or lemon peel