Tag Archive | baby shower

The Hippy Hippy Shake

So, here we are into February already. A full 12 months of not having to the do the 9-to-5, and loving it. But what has 2012 brought already? Well, apart from the cold setting in now, quite a bit to the Domino household.

I’ve become a Great Auntie again. My niece, whose baby shower I attended at the beginning of the year, gave birth to a beautiful little girl – Evie Faith. I am so looking forward to my first cuddle.

Talking of the cold, New Year’s Day was greeted by the first of this year’s crocus in bloom on the front lawn. A few days later, several clumps of snowdrops appeared and now all along my drive is a sea of flowers which, with the sun on them, open out brightening the day and putting smiles on passers-by faces. The hellebores are about to open too, only today after last night’s heavy frost, they are hanging limp and forlorn. But they will pick up again. I hope.

I’ve managed to complete a few paintings over the weekends  For one, I tried something different to landscapes this time. I think Pink Flowers it came out rather well. 

I’m close to completing the final edits of one of my novels, ready to be published soon. It is actually quite scary after all this time to be on the brink again. Like being on the edge of a precipice – will I fly or will I fall? But then, that’s me … always nervous, always shy.

There has been one other major event in my household in January. On the 12th, my husband underwent a hip replacement operation. He’s doing okay now, but we did have a few “difficult” days whilst he was in hospital and shortly after he eventually came home. I won’t bore you with all the details as I don’t want this to be a moan, suffice to say one ward care assistant is no longer employed at our local hospital thanks to her lack of due diligence and neglect of care.

Today he managed to walk to our doctors and back on his own with the aid of only one walking stick instead of two, and yesterday was able to make us both a coffee and carry it through to me. He still needs a lot of help with washing and dressing and getting into bed, and still eating a lot of painkillers, but it is early days. Thankfully, he has been fitted with a ceramic hip joint, not a metal one like there’s been all the fuss about lately; you may have heard.  This because he is still relatively young, still working and very fit. (Time now to look away if you are squeamish!)

He did rather grin widely when he saw on the medical form he collected today what our GP had written beside Likely Date Fit For Work Again: June 2012. The smile soon fell away when I reminded him he doesn’t get sick leave pay from his company, only SSP. Apart from which, I know him only too well. Come March he will be itching to get out and do some gardening, and by then he will also be missing his job and friends at work. I’ll give it until April. You can’t keep a good man down for long!

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Baby Cupcakes

This weekend saw me in Reading for what was my first baby shower party. No, not my baby (don’t be silly), one of my nieces, her second, due this month. Baby showers have crossed to the UK from the USA. I’d often wondered what goes on at these parties as we had no such thing years ago when I was expecting. I knew gifts for the baby were given; and that, I have to admit, was the hardest part. What to buy? The party, held at my sister’s home (the anxious grandmother) was to be a surprise. I was the excuse to get my niece there, on the pretext I was in Reading for a bookclub reading thingy and was stopping by to have lunch with my sisters and our mother and wanted Jenny to join us.

I arrived to a house of frenzied balloon blowing, hanging of banners and the making a “throne” for the pregnant mum, everyone trying to get everything ready on time. With the exception of my sisters, mum and me, everyone hid in the dining room when Jenny and her husband and daughter arrived, about twenty friends and family squeezed in including Jenny’s in-laws, who had driven up from Hayling Island, Jenny’s dad, and an excited 8-year old, ready to surprise Jenny at the given moment that never came. The 8-year-old couldn’t wait, bless him, and the sliding doors to the dining room burst open, too soon for my camera to be ready to snap the look on Jenny’s face. It was a picture sadly not captured for posterity in the family album.

Menfolk then making a quick exit (they didn’t take much shooing), a room full of noisy, laughing and chatting women opened more wine and attacked the nibbles, all eyes on the fabulous cupcakes so colourful, so cute, so very good to eat, made by a wonderful cake maker, Jane Swain. Then came the gifts.

My niece’s 7-year-old daughter took charge deciding the order of gifts to be opened and helping with all the unwrapping. The presents were lovely, from rattles and plastic bath ducks, to books, darling sleep suits that said “I ♥ My Mum” and “I ♥ My Dad” (I want one), a special scroll box for keeping the birth certificate safe, to pampering gifts for mum-to-be and a thoughtful one for Jenny’s daughter: a picture frame proclaiming “World’s Best Sister”. Asked what she would prefer, a little brother or a little sister, the expectant sister replied, “I don’t care. Whatever it is, I shall torment it!” And no doubt she will. Often.

Then came a version of Mr & Mrs. Jenny’s husband had been secretly asked ten questions about their relationship and forthcoming event, and mum-to-be had to see how many she could answer correctly. She got most right. One most of us got wrong. Do you know what sense a baby develops first? Apparently it’s hearing. We all thought it would be smell.

More refills before we were cajoled into teams and given cotton bibs and colouring pens, the idea being to decorate the bibs, the best would be chosen by Jenny and receive a prize. Jenny’s mum-in-law grabbed my arm. “You’re with me!” I think this was because I am an artist. “Kit, pair with me,” pleaded my sister, Jenny’s mum. “Too late!” Now, I can paint but I cannot draw, least of all with felt tips on cotton, but one did one’s best with pens that by the time they came round to me didn’t work very well (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it). One team’s effort was a small pile of crushed nibbles splattered on the bib. “It represents sick,” being the explanation. If there had been a prize for artistic license, it would have won. The real prize? Oh, yes – sweets, which were given to the children.

After more refills, we were given cards on which to guess the details of the baby: date and time born, weight, sex, eyes, hair colour, etc; which Jenny will keep and let us know who came closest. Later, when her friends departed for the pub, poor Jenny looked forlorn, wishing she could join them. Asked what she was most looking forward to after the birth, she said, “Wine. Wine and cheese.”

So, that’s a baby shower. Now I know. A lot of fun and generosity, a lot of noise and laughter, and I think a jolly good idea. Then again, any excuse for a get together in my family is always a good idea. Now hurry up, Jenny, we are all waiting to see who guessed right. Boy or girl?