Saturday, October 2, 2004

Babies in the Air

1 October 2004: Operation Baby Shower

It was a day of preparation. All week has been focussed on the baby shower with planning, ordering and then picking up and preparing. Friday was putting it all together.
After dropping off the boys, I immediately drove to SM Makati to run through the grocery store. Pineapples, watermelon, cat food (not for the party), ingredients for spinach dip, breads and various items I couldn't find were on my list. How can I go through a store several times and not find a jar of mayo? I don't know especially as this city loves mayo but after jogging through the same aisles, including the condiments that housed both ketchup and mustard but no mayo in sight, I gave up. The vegetables looked great so I purchased several items for a tray. We had nixed the idea of a vegetable platter because finding good raw veggies is a tough task sometimes. But I got lucky. I do have to say that the SM produce section is exceptional.
By the time I paid it was too late when I realized that now I had to carry 8 bags to my car parked across the street, through a smaller mall, up a flight of stairs and into the parking garage. Ugh. By the time I reached the stairs I asked a guard to watch half the bags while I ran the others to the trunk. The inital carry took a toll though and today my shoulders have been so very sore.
Groceries bought, I walked back across the street to National where on Wednesday Stephenie and I had put a balloon bouquet order in. With a little time to spare I also bought some costume gear for Nicholas's Christmas present and a bunch of art supplies for Rebecca's Christmas present. I know I know... her birthday comes first. I can only focus on one thing at a time! Balloons in the car, I left the Park Square I garage and moved to the Park Square 2 garage because I didn't feel like carrying the Red Ribbon cake through the entire Glorietta mall. One lucky stroke, I was parked short enough that it was a free stay.
OK, groceries, balloons, cake. Next stop, the San Antonio Plaza. Rustans had mayonnaise so that was covered. Then I saw the perfect "favor", single packs of pancake mix. Before Laura was pregnant they decided they needed a nickname for any impending baby. Pancake was chosen, their blog is called Pancake and so... each person would receive a little box of pancake mix. After all, it wasn't quite baked yet, just like their baby. A joke went around at the party that everyone should make their pancakes the day she delivers. And then it moved on to everyone should bring their pancakes to Laura and Ryan. Whatever happens, folks got a chuckle and the girls had fun tying ribbons on the boxes.
Our little Santis (an import store with great meats and cheeses and a little of everything else from sweets to sauces to wines and fresh vegetables) had prepared a sliced meat and cheese platter. They did a great job and while the tray was in the case, my counter helper said she'd received three orders for trays. I feel this is something they haven't really explored. The tray looked awesome with salami, ham and smoked turkey, next to gouda, emmenthal and cheddar.
Right next door to Santis is La Nuova Pastelleria with a case filled with delicious cakes. We didn't know if the party cake would be big enough so I'd put an order to have a light vanilla roll cake ready to be picked up and accompany the chocolate cake.
Everything was in the car and it was time to go home to unpack and try to cram everything in the fridge. For some reason all week I'd avoided grocery shopping and it was obvious with regards to the fridge contents and the kids' lunchboxes. They weren't starving, but the foods were getting *ahem* creative. Now I knew why I hadn't shopped because with food for us there would be no room for party trays, cake boxes and drinks to drown an army.
All set, I picked up the boys and Stephenie and so began the final stage of putting it all together. We plugged in our crockpots full of meatballs. Stephenie cut up all the fruits and veggies and made gorgeous platters. We counted out platters and set up the table with plates and cups. The punch would be 7Up with cranberry/raspberry juice and a peach ice float. Scrapbook pages for her baby book were put out for the attendees to sign. Balloons found their stations. I even got a shower in before making the spinach/artichoke in a bread bowl and slicing the pitas. No, I didn't make hummus. Stephenie had designed a diaper cake that looked amazing. Everything was set.
And it was just after 5.
The evening went without a hitch. Laura and Ryan came just before 6, our house filled up as people came and left. Katherine was off at a slumber party but the other 3 stayed entertained, had some dinner from the buffet then went to bed. They enjoyed their gifts. It was an easy evening with plenty of chatter.
The housekeeper had come at 3 to clean before the party, then she hung out until present time when Ian asked her to clear the table. By the time gifts were done and folks were drifting home, all the leftovers were packed away, the final dishes were being washed and there was no stress. We paid her for the evening a hefty amount (after all, she came in on her holiday).
I think Laura and Ryan had a good evening and I think the rest of the guests enjoyed themselves. Of course I'll never hear otherwise, but I know that I had a good time so I'll take their word for it and consider our first party a success.

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