Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Baby Showers hosted by AWCB and Friends in Belgium as well as Online Baby Shower by friends back home (May 26 & June 7)

After returning from our Norway trip on Monday, I was a bit exhausted and didn't know if I'd be able to make it down to the American Women's Club on Tuesday (May 26) for a 'supposedly' important meeting as one of the volunteers had stated. Thankfully, I ended up taking the Waterloo bus down to the club and to my shock, my fellow Gift Boutique volunteers had actually planned a Surprise Baby Shower for me! I was really taken back by their generosity and outpouring of baby advice. I feel lucky to have met them all and will continue volunteering at the Gift Boutique when the baby is old enough to go to the Daycare provided at the club (she needs to be at least 3 months old and it's free when I'm volunteering).

(scroll down further for the other Baby Showers)

Here is most of the gang that volunteers in the Gift Boutique at the American Women's Club: Izumi, Ségolaine, Linda, Denise, Elaine, me, Marion, Michele, Kerstin and Heidi... Debbie is not pictured as well as a few others who couldn't be there.
I believe Marion was the instigator behind the Surprise Baby Shower...she's so sneaky!
They had a nice luncheon with sandwiches, fruit, veggies, salad and a yummy fruit and whip cream layered sponge cake for dessert!
Everyone wrote some baby advice on some index cards which I'll be putting in the baby's memory / keepsake book. Some advice included: giving the baby a small spoon of phenol or chamomile tea if they have colic; calm your baby by sitting her in a seat on the dryer; keep a baby journal; and my favorite...don't worry about the housework, play with your baby and enjoy her since they grow up quickly!
Everyone got to take home a plant which served as cute decorations for the shower. I received a very nice gift from everyone which included the following: diaper bag, musical key teething ring and pacifiers from Prémaman along with a silver baby picture frame, teddy bear in a lace dress, pink booties, floral bag and changing pad, white and gray stuffed animals (ducks) and a gift certificate to Prémaman.

On to the next shower...Some of my girlfriends in Brussels put on a Co-ed BBQ Baby Shower for Shannon and me on Sunday, June 7 (a little over one month before my due date: July 13). They sent out an online EVITE and a good crowd of 20 were able to make it (the EVITE also stated where we are registered at: Prémaman and Baby 2000). Luckily, it turned out to be a fairly nice day, so we could enjoy our drinks and food outside on the terrace along with opening presents later on. The food was amazing and displayed so nicely along with the cute decorations. The boys did a good job of BBQing along with participating in the games...and they didn't get too out of control with the beer, which we so nicely didn't deny them, granted it was a baby shower and all!

One of the games we played included guessing which childhood memory was mine or Shannon's. We had written down 10 childhood memories earlier in the week and emailed them to the hosts. Some of them were quite difficult since I said that I enjoyed playing with tractors and transformers when I was young and that my brother shot me with a bow and arrow one time and lastly how my older brother liked to sit on me and fart...of course, most people guessed Shannon! Also Shannon fooled them with one about entering flowers and vegetables in the fair and how he got best prize for two Aunt Jemima bottles that he painted and dressed as clowns next to a jar full of flowers with a sign reading “Balloons – 10 Cents Each” (he's quite artistic if some of you don't know him). Another one he mentioned was taking piano lessons for several years from a grouchy old woman that would pound on his fingers if he made a mistake. When everyone was done, the person with the most correct answers got a prize which was either chocolates or beer, I can't remember. Another cute idea that they did was string baby pictures on the stairwell of individuals who attended the shower and then everyone had to guess who was who. Not everyone had time to find a baby picture though, so it was more just for fun and a good laugh!

Overall we had a fantastic time and enjoyed everyone's company, generosity and kind words as we prepare for the arrival of our baby girl. I feel fortunate to have found such wonderful and caring friends while living abroad!

Maisie, Stephanie and Leah hosted the Baby Shower which took place at Leah and Nathan's apartment. They all made an assortment of tasty dishes and had cute decorations spread throughout the apartment. I particularly liked the chocolate covered strawberries, punch, deviled eggs, potato salad and cupcakes!
Emilie and Stephanie catching up at the shower. I met Emilie through the American Club of Brussels though she is originally from Paris, but went to college in the United States. Most people probably already know Stephanie Cohan as her husband works with Shannon and we hang out a lot...luckily, she lives on the street behind me!
My neighbor, Klara, and me enjoying some chocolate covered strawberries! We're actually both expecting...my due date being July 13 and hers being at the end of July. She's originally from Montenegro while her husband is from Serbia; unfortunately, they will be moving to Serbia in September, but gives us another reason to travel to see them!
Some beautifully decorated cupcakes that Leah was in charge of and boy did they taste good!
Some of the healthier food at the BBQ, included fruit and veggie platters and some cute tomato, basil and mozzarella skews. I loved how everything was so colorful!
Some of the gang chilling out on the terrace
Rick (Stephanie Cohan's husband / Shannon's coworker), Troy (Simone's husband), Leah and Stephanie Clark (Deloitte coworker). The boys were in charge of the meat and grilled some great bratwursts, kabobs and other things.
Maisie, Stephanie, Elitza (another Deloitte coworker), Simone and Leah digging into the food!
Dallas and Thomas who I met through my blog page back in January since they had just moved here from Atlanta. She does a much better job at blogging than I do...here is her blog page if interested: http://forthejourney.net/ (she also blogged on our baby shower)
The gift table...we received lots of useful items ranging from adorable outfits, bath tub, diapers, burp cloths, baby dinnerset / cutlery set, food separators, bottles, hooded towels and a changing pad for the dresser. In addition, everyone took a cute mini gift bag filled with candies as they left, which several of us girls made a few weeks prior (pictured in the front)
Opening up gifts...one of several cute outfits that we got. This one in particular came from Rosie and Thijs who weren't able to be there since they were getting married the following weekend.
Some adorable handmade burp clothes that Dallas made...I just hope the baby doesn't get them too dirty!
I'm basically telling Shannon that this will be his job...diaper duty!
On the terrace outside of Leah and Nathan's apartment opening presents
Our neighbor's, Klara and Ivan's cute little boy, Andrija, who is 1 1/2 yrs old

And lastly, but not least, my dear friends back in Nebraska decided to host an Online Baby Shower for me since I wasn't able to come home during my pregnancy. Missy Stithem and Tarah Greenfield put together a cute online Baby Blog page with details of where we're registered at along with other information and also a little blurb I wrote awhile back: http://alisshower.blogspot.com/2009/04/since-ali-is-not-able-to-be-back-for.html .

Thanks to those of you who have already purchased us gifts online or sent them to us. It's very nice of you to think of us over here and in no way do we expect anything! We plan on coming home for Christmas which will be the earliest we'll be back in the United States and we hope to visit as many people as possible with our new addition!

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