Saturday, May 17, 2014

Our Gender Reveal Party

I'm not sure I have mentioned this on here, but I have some seriously amazing girlfriends. Ok, and their hubbies aren't so bad, either. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I really wanted to have a gender reveal party. Not because I want the world to focus on my working lady parts and whatever else people past the age of "30 again" (+20... and then some, you're welcome, mom) want to say about these types of parties. I just really wanted something positive to bring to the situation, and I wanted to make this surprise pregnancy out to be a big deal for Caydon's sake. I figure that how I treat this surprise will reflect in Caydon's mind on how I treated the surprise I had with him. I also feel that unplanned, out of wedlock  surprise babies sort of carry a stigma from society and that is not what I want Caydon to know.  So, I planned a gender reveal that I was thinking would be cake and a reveal for everyone I am closest to, but it ended up being SO much more because of my amazing friends and mom getting their hands on it.

The decor I made myself... I craft whenever I have stuff on my mind, so it was a GREAT distraction. I probably spent about $40 on all of the decor since I am very big on making things from scratch and using what I already have such as reframing pictures and repurposing little items. I also kept my eye on sales for tons of itty bitty baby girl items to pair with items I had left from Caydon's newborn days.

First up, the "Sweet Baby" candy bar. I originally was going to just do a cake and a few pieces (the gum balls, etc.) for the kids to sweeten up with, but then a friend of mine volunteered to make all sorts of sweets. The bar ended up consisting of a yummy white cake with surprise gender colored filling (that my labor partner brought), HErSHEy bars, cotton candy, gum balls, cake pops, chocolate covered sprinkles, mints, goldfish in a pink bottle (for the little ones in attendance), pink and blue sour punch straws, mints, and pink or blue frosting cookies. I can't get over how well it turned out. Oh, and the friend who made the sweets also had the apothecary jars... score for budget friendly!

Every table had some sort of decor, but it wasn't matchy matchy. Leftover blue (from a peacock costume I made) and pink (from my parents' wedding!) petals were scattered with a bouquet on some tables. I found a bunch of mustache stuff on clearance at Target, such as the items on the table below. The mustache on the sign was actually a magnet that I made sticky, and the book I bought for under a dollar. The headband and shoes were open box so I got them for around 50% off even though they were brand new and could be full price in the store. 

I also LOVE ranunculus and peonies, but I stayed with a few bunches of ranunculus and a few hydrangea (for the blue!) that I could separate to dazzle up tons of spaces (most spots having mason jars holding them... I already had all of the vases and what not) . It was very cost effective this way vs buying bouquets for each spot, and I love how it gives it a touch of pretty vs appearing overdone or anything.

I had a table by the entry for designated for voting. As a teacher myself with two teacher parents, I already had white boards and these blue and pink markers. I simply crafted the divided spaces and left the markers in a gold and white jar (a mini of the pic above).  printed and cut out ultrasound pictures, made a little bunting, framed a Wives' Tale chart, and made little flower pins for our guests to wear. The tall flowers are what my mother had there already (score), and the feather pen is from my parents'  wedding 28 years ago :)

Originally, I had planned on just serving punch, water, and cake in effort to keep it short and sweet; however, my dad wanted to do dinner so then the location was at a restaurant.  As a single mom with another on the way, I couldn't hack buying every guest dinner so it was kind of an optional dinner ordeal. My mom, aka Mrs. Manners, thought it was tacky to have an "optional" dinner so she prepared a full on Italian meal served.  I helped with the caesar salad and home made dressing ;)  The water had lemon and lime in it, while the "Sweet Pink Lemonade" had strawberries and the "Bouncing Blue Punch" (aka blue Powerade) had blueberries in it. Little did I know that fruit floats, so making them into ice cubes would have been better alternatives.  A mason jar held pink polka dots and blue chevron straws. The banner (sorry for the horrible lighting, my DSLR didn't charge correctly and I realized it too late!) says "girl or boy".

 Here is a closer up of the mini water bottles I wrapped. Caydon is a dinosaur fan, and my "Father Daughter Song" with my dad is "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John. Oh, and there are the baby's potential names if you are curious as to what I was thinking for either gender. I also threw in the "Girls are... and boys are..." poem just to make it extra sweet/ a little traditional :)

I also put pictures of myself and Caydon as a baby (he is totally my mini-me) throughout the party. I didn't have any of my ex but wish I did. I was tempted to ask his mom for it but thought that might be weird to him... wish I had now. Oh, well.

I wish I had gotten a picture with all of my friends, but here is a picture of the ladies in my family and me.
I wore blue because I thought it was for-sure a boy, even though I originally thought girl, after seeing the ultrasound. I wore the pink flowers because I still had the hope that I might have a daughter, but I wasn't betting on it. All of the guests were encouraged to wear the gender they thought it would be, but they also wore the little flower pins I made for extra fun or to show what they thought if they forgot about the clothes. :)

Here is another of my friend, Ashley, who was the ONLY person to know the gender and who wouldn't tell me in order to keep it a surprise and I. I am glad I waited, but I am also impressed with her skills because I have to admit that I was quite anxious to find out! This friend is also my Labor Partner and is now in doula school. She was originally a friend of a friend who I would talk to online as she was supporting me in my teenage pregnancy, and we ran into each other at Caydon's one week appointment way back when. I've known her for eight years ad can't even tell you how much of a rock she has been for me... so, having her at the birth and having her be the friend privied to gender information before anyone else is logical and then some to me. 

After dinner and socializing, we walked down to one of the lakes in our neighborhood. It was about a five minute walk; nice and brief in great weather. 

Since my girlfriend, Ashley (the one in the pic above), knew the gender, she also wrapped little spray cans of the surprise gender color. She did an amazing job and you can tell the TLC she put into it:

 Baby's dad also surprised me by showing up last minute after work. He was able to eat dinner with us and then find out when I did. It was a little bit awkward, but totally civil, so that was promising. He also made it into the reveal pics and spray, which was great because I know baby wouldn't want it any other way.

 All of my friends and family gathered around us, and on the count of three, they SPRAYED!

 As you can see, baby is a GIRL!
 Then it was back to the "Sweet Baby GIRL!" bar where we had more than our share of sweets. The cake was pink inside (Ashley had told me that she wasn't sure if Costco could do the color, so she is SMOOTH! hah)

The little one above is the little sister of one of my former preschool students. She was just a newborn when I first met her; I still watch them (and their new sister) on occasion. I love this family...
Oh, and her brother wrote "maybe your wrong" on the sign. Haha! SO funny. I think he wanted a boy ;)

And, finally, here is our announcement that I sent my friends who couldn't make it, and then what I used for Facebook/social media:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Stranger Danger

I haven't blogged in... quite a long while. A few of my friends remind me here and there to blog some more, but my life just has seemed so out of hectic that I have been trying to get my own thoughts straight first. Sorry about that.

So here are some updates, most of which will be elaborated on through the use of individual posts:

  • Baby's gender was revealed...  I need to post my gender reveal party (it was INSANELY cute thanks to the help of two of my closest friends and my mom). I'll announce the gender and name in that post. Let's just say I'm a happy girl :)
  • I am now in my THIRD Trimester and am working on week 27/almost 28. Time seriously flies! I would say it's when you're having fun, but it's not always the case apparently because I have been on bed rest for the past 2 weeks, in addition to 2 hospital visits, seeing an OBGYN as well as my amazing midwife, and generally don't feel well on the daily. Boo. 
  • drama. drama. drama. I can say that I honestly gave "the other woman" a shot by meeting her for dinner, but let's just leave it at the fact that a NICE girl/lady/woman (however you want to characterize "her") wouldn't be with a man who either lies to her face or who left a girl newly pregnant for her. All in all, though, it has brought me to some very real conclusions about my relationship with my ex/baby's father. I'll post my conclusions and healing process in another post, but that's all I will say about her. I hope I have more class than she does so I'm leaving it here. :)
  • Mother's Day was simple, yet great. I have had to get really creative with how I can entertain myself, as well as simply survive, as a single mom on bed rest, but I think I am finally getting the hang of things. 
  • Caydon continues to make progress with his autism spectrum disorder needs, and baby continues to bake. I really can't ask for more!

Stay tuned for more details. I swear I'm done being a stranger!!!