June 27, 2014

Non-Shower Baby Showers

I have never been much of a baby shower person. Have I been excited when my friends had babies? Absolutely. Was I ever as excited when I've received a baby shower invitation in the mail? Not so much. 

I could never understand someone cooing and oohing and aahing while opening gifts that they already picked out and placed on a registry. It's not like it was a surprise or anything.

And then there are the games: weird ones like melting chocolate bars, putting them into a diaper and having guests take a bite of the brown goop to guess the type of candy. 


Admittedly, as I've gotten older and so have my friends, the showers have become much more mature and tasteful... beautiful brunches, fun favors and let's face it, less goofy games. 

I'm happy to report that my friends both near and far know me well enough to throw me non-shower Baby Showers. These past few weeks have been busy with friends and family visiting from afar, with a few non-showers in between. 

My school chums from childhood threw me a Skype shower first; my local friends hosted a library shower next. I'll tell you more about the library shower in a later post, but first, let's talk about Skype. Skype is incredible. It's how the Sailor and I get to chat basically for free whenever he's near enough to an Internet connection overseas. We usually just voice Skype, since the video takes up too much bandwidth where he is.

I was a little skeptical when my friends offered to host me a Skype shower, though. What fun would that be, I thought? They all get to eat brunch together while I sit here on my own opening gifts in front of a screen, probably with a bowl of cereal for company? 

However, it was a total success! The gals sent their gifts ahead of time and even arranged to have cupcakes delivered right to my door in the middle of the shower, ensuring that even I had a tasty treat to indulge in. 
Giraffes were a prominent feature in the gifts!

They gathered around the laptop hooked up to a giant screen TV, while I opened gifts (and cooed and oohed and aahed...) and modeled my larger than life belly for them on the screen.

While of course it would have been fun to be in the same room together, Skype was a great alternative. 

Maybe you want to have your own Skype shower for a friend who is far away and expecting? Here are some tips: 

1. Test your Skype connection first! Luckily we did this a few weeks before the shower. My friend had a weird dancing cat on her video feed thanks to pre-installed software from her Dell laptop. (If you have iPhones or Macs, you can always use FaceTime instead of Skype and avoid the dancing cats all together.)

2. Mail your gifts to the recipient so she can open them during the shower. I knew not to open any gifts with my friends' return addresses on them until the shower; luckily another friend alerted me to incoming packages from Target. I had placed so many online orders from various places, I may have inadvertently opened her package early if she hadn't warned me. 

3. Send some food goodies to your friend! Seriously, those cupcakes made all of the difference. I love to eat and I especially enjoy eating with this particular gang of gals. I was actually feeling a little bummed that I didn't get to share a meal with them, until the cupcakes arrived!  

4. Give yourself plenty of time to mingle together before you arrange a time to Skype. I knew my friends would be late to the party (I know how long it takes us all to order our brunch when we haven't seen each other for months...) Plan to leave an extra few minutes buffer while everyone catches up, THEN make the Skype connection. 

5. Once the connection is established, make sure the recipient can actually see you! If you can't see yourself in the computer screen, there's a chance the person on the other end can't see you either. If it's a large group, then take turns chatting to the person, rather than having everyone talk at once. Sometimes conversation gets lost over a connection. In my case, there were only five gals on the other end, so it worked out to have everyone on at the same time. 

Another bonus of Skype showers? If you are not a tactile person... there's no chance anyone will touch your belly.

Later next week I'll share with you the local literary love I received at another non-shower, shower! 

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