My sister’s having a baby! She’s due quite soon actually. This will be my first niece or nephew and already I want to spoil the munchkin rotten!
In the summer my sister, Sara, brought up what I’d want to be called by her child. And I said, “Karen, of course. What else would it call me?”
Growing up, my sister, brother and I always called our aunts and uncles by their first names… nothing else. Not “Aunt” so-and-so or “Uncle” whatever. First name basis. Done. I just assumed that when I became an aunt, my niece/nephew would just call me Karen.
My brother in-law came from a family where they used Aunt and Uncle before the name. Hence the question “What do you want to be called?”
Aunt Karen was suggest, and I immediately nixed that one. I felt like it makes me sound like an old lady. Then my sister suggested “Auntie Karen” which is a little better, but again I said I’d prefer to be called just my name. And then much laughter ensued and jokes were made about “Auntie Karen” and I think that’s what I’m going to end up being called, whether I like it or not.
So, as any good auntie should, I threw my mom-to-be sister one pretty awesome baby shower!
Once I decided to give it a nautical theme (that was one of Sara’s nursery ideas and I’m determined this baby is going to love the beach!) and started looking for ideas on Pinterest, things really took off. I actually had to cut myself off to prevent me from trying to tackle too much.
As the big day drew near, I started to have panic attacks that my grandiose ideas would turn out as one epic fail… just like those “Nailed it!” pictures you see on Facebook of people’s botched Pinterest attempts.
I’m glad to say it turned out pretty good, although Sara and I realized after the shower that we should have taken more pictures, but it hadn’t really occurred to us at the time. Don’t mind the horrible lighting in some of the ones I do have.
Here’s how I did it:
“Baby on Board” Banner – inspired by this banner I saw on Etsy
I found myself a onesie template on the internet and printed it, cut it out, and traced one for each letter plus two spacers on alternating red and blue scrapbook card stock. I used my Martha Stewart circle cutter (yay for scrapbooking supplies!) and cut out circles from anchor scrapbook paper (one for each letter). I also found letters on the internet and printed those out and used them as templates to trace onto blue and red card stock and spell “Baby on Board.” Then I used double sided tape to attach the letter to the anchor circle, and then the anchor circle to the onesie. I used the opposite color of the onesie for the letter. When ready to hang, cut a piece of string (I found awesome red and white string that matched the nautical theme perfectly in the $1.50 bin at Michaels!) to desired length, affix to wall, then hang onesies from the string with clothespins. It will be heavy. We sort of used the top of the window frame to help bare the weight.
Streamer Garland – method adapted from How Does She?
I don’t think I’ll ever go back to hanging streamers the old fashioned way. These are so easy to make and look amazing! I cut various sizes of red, white, and blue streamers (roughly 12″, 14″, 16″, and 18″). The real instructions are to sew them together with a sewing machine, but I don’t have them, so I used tape. I cut a piece of string (I had to estimate how big Sara’s windows were and how much I’d need, but it worked out great!). I laid the string out on the floor and taped the streamers in alternating sizes/colors to the string. I basically looped the top edge of the streamer over the string about an inch and taped it to itself so it would hang. Keep going until string is full and hang. Then I hung it up on the wall and folded the bottom of each streamer lengthwise and cut a triangle out to make it fancy (see the real directions for what I mean).
Candy Table – ideas from all over the internet
I used a white table cloth to make the red and blue candy pop and got glass jars of varying sizes and a fish bowl from the dollar store. Fill them up with your favorite red and blue candy. I used gummy sharks, red swedish fish, sour blue rings, and red, white, and blue jelly beans. I also had goldfish crackers and made blue sea glass candy (I used regular old vanilla to flavour instead of flavour oil). One of Sara’s friends and her doula thought the sea glass candy was actually real sea glass! I also had Dad bring back the lighthouse lamp that was at the cottage so I could use it since it matched the theme so perfectly! And I couldn’t resist picking up the crab toy to use as a decoration on the table.
And of course I made cupcakes. I made these piña colada ones because they’re Sara’s favorite.
Baby Pool Game – found on Pinterest
Pretty easy – Markers and a piece of bristol board. There’s a Tim Horton’s gift card up for grabs. It’s serious business.
Sara or Karen? Game
I really thought this was quite genius. My sister and I look alike and are always asked if we’re twins, even though there’s two years between us, so I decided to put her friends to the test. I printed out baby pictures of either her or me, numbered them, and stuck to a poster. Then her friends had to figure out who was who. It was quite the conversation piece, and with another Tim Horton’s gift card on the line, a very serious matter.
And that’s how I threw my first themed party! It was such a success, I sort of hope Sara let’s me throw the baby’s first birthday party.