As of this weekend, husband & I are now the proud owners of a child-size face vacuum.
That plays music.
And it collects snot in a clear plastic attachment so we can properly marvel over what our child grew in his nose.
”It even helps distract baby by playing 12 engaging children’s tunes!”
You know, so that every time tiny homeboy hears anything remotely resembling Old McDonald or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, he’s going to instantly associate it with the time he got his face vacuumed and melt RIGHT THE EFF DOWN.
This should definitely end well.
Face vacuum and all—
or maybe even especially… because I can’t even lie, I’m legit excited to be like WHAT UP TINY ONE, LET ME DE-SNOT YOU WITH THIS MAJESTIC DEVICE—
we had ourselves the most fantastic Halloween-themed baby shower for our little light this past weekend.
I EXAGGERATE YOU NOT, that entire white roasting pan all the way to the right?
Full of my mother in law’s incredible, life-affirming chili.
And the giant bowl next to it?
THAT IS FULL OF CHEESINGS.
AN ENTIRE BOWL OF CHEESINGS.
My mom put together a caramel-cider station, complete with insulated cups, whipped cream, caramel drizzle and framed instructions for re-creating her recipe.
Like, girl did work.
While she was setting it all up, my dad rolled in with a light-up witch decoration to add to the display, proudly announcing that he’d found it in their basement at home and “it is multi-purpose, so we can change out the themes and use it for MANY holidays.
In addition to all the chili, ever, and the most magnificent cider that all apples aspire to be like, Reese whipped up delicious batches of maple- and vanilla-frosted cinnamon rolls, and Naomi (in addition to planning the whole shebang, buying/making the epic decor, and, later, shuttling me all my gifts because lol walking) brought an entire bowl of tiny Snickers.
Way back when Naomi first offered to plan the shower, she was all,
SO SHOULD WE DO GAMES
To which my reply was like,
Because let’s just call it like it is, ladies & gentle-friends:
Ain’t nobody want to play baby shower games.
For starters, I feel like a giant tool measuring out how much yarn/toilet paper I think will go around the mom-of-honor’s belly.
HOW AND WHY IS THAT A THING.
Seriously, who sat down and was like, “YOU KNOW WHAT SOUNDS LIKE SO MUCH FUN” and then came up with that?
I also particularly suck at the game where you’re given a clothes pin to wear, told you’re not supposed to say “baby,” and then further instructed to police all the other attendees and steal their clothes pins if you catch them breaking the “saying ‘baby’” rule.
Like, I’m at a point with this game where the well-meaning host hands me the clothes pin & I basically just smile, find someone who looks competitive and hand off the clothes pin to them immediately.
EVERYTHING ABOUT BABY SHOWER GAMES IS TERRIBLE.
Just feed me and let me love you up and marvel along with you as you open the tiniest, most adorable presents in the world.
That’s all I want.
Thus, when it came time to magic my own baby shower into existence, Naomi came up with a brilliant, cringe-free alternative to games:
Tiny pumpkin crafts for all.
We’d just finished decorating when my friend Kate rolled in.
“Hey, so, I got you guys a big gift that I didn’t wrap, and I just left it out in the car. Do you want to come outside really quick?“
Um, absolutely YES, because I love field trips LET’S GO RIGHT NOW.
How I made it through my childhood un-absconded is beyond me.
Please note how I am SO ENTIRELY DISTRACTED by my friend Kristi’s cute ensemble that I didn’t immediately register there WAS AN ENTIRE HUMAN BEING—
wearing a glittery bow, no less—
in the trunk of Kate’s car.
(Which sounds intensely serial-killery, but trust that homegirl was not, in fact, taken forcibly from her residence against her will.)
Adore this girl so hard for flying in for the weekend just to come celebrate this sweet little babycake of mine.
You know those moments where you’re right in the middle of Something Big, and it takes a second to register that it’s your Something Big & you’re not just there for someone else’s?
Totally me, all day.
I’d be wandering around the room—
usually on a quest for (another) tiny Snickers, or for the cup of caramel-cider I’d misplaced, again, and HEY DID YOU KNOW THEY’RE GOING TO LET ME HAVE AN ENTIRE OTHER PERSON TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR, NEAT HUH—
and it would suddenly hit me that..
oh holy wow, this is my shower.
For me & for husband & for our little baby human.
Because we’re having a little baby-human.
In, like, mere weeks.
PLEASE JOIN ME HERE FOR A DRAMATIC WHOA.
As it goes in the case of being the guest (and a half, as tiny homeboy is now the size of a basketball hoop) of honor, I was inducted into the sacred baby shower ritual of Opening Gifts in Front of a Room Full of People While They All Watch You.
Because that’s never awkward, at all.
Bless my mom so hard, you guys—
Homegirl situated herself right up next to the action, photo-documented me opening every single present, and then uploaded every picture to a Facebook album prefaced with:
“Here is the start of some pretty amazing photography #clearsthroat
AND Ashley’s awesome faces and happiness!!#drumroll“
And oh, my holy everything, is this little light of ours coming into a world full of the raddest, most amazing people.
Grandma and Grandpa bought him his very first Pink Floyd onesie, along with a CD of Led Zeppelin lullabies:
My incredible cousin bought little dude his own set of wrenches for future garage projects with daddy:
& we were thoroughly, utterly spoiled by the most gorgeous array of handmade gifts.
I mean, LOOK AT THAT THING.
Little dude now possesses a hand-knit car sweater with metal, car-shaped buttons; a super-rad, super-fluffy-plush car seat cover so he doesn’t hypotherm in the middle of winter (I’m literally picking it up by the two tabs on top that are meant to connect to the car seat handle, and going, “Ooh, what do THESE do? THESE ARE FUN”); a stack of flannel burp cloths with the most gorgeous, intricate edging; a giant, dinosaur-printed blanket that’s the perfect size for Saturday-morning-cartoon cocoons…
AND ALSO, CROCHETED PIZZA BUNTING & A MOBILE OF TINY, PUFFY CROCHET STARS.
I have all these talented friends who are like HASHTAG CRAFTS!!!, and meanwhile, I’m over here barely able to put on pants without assistance.
By the time we’d put away all the tables, loaded up the leftover food and hit the lights to lock up, I’d cried, twice, over how much this kid of ours is already loved and how lucky we are to be surrounded by so many spectacular human beings.
To stand in a room full of people you love, each of whom represents a vibrant, irreplaceable thread in your life, and to realize that every single one of them gets to be a part of your baby’s life, too—
We’re surrounded by so, so much love & light in this beautiful life, and the fact that we have the privilege of getting to introduce our sweet little wonder to all these bright, brilliant beings we know?
It might just be one of the most incredible, exciting and spectacular responsibilities I’ve ever, ever had.