Friday, January 19, 2007

Shower Me With Dumplings: The Best Baby Shower Ever


While I couldn't wait for the opportunity to hit the keyboard, BabyGeek is busy sleeping off the excitement from this morning. Two of our fabulous Tuesday Mommas are expecting in the next month, and we're all excited so we had the Best Baby Shower Ever. Since we all met after the birth of our babies, it seemed really fun to share a shower with new friends.

But what do you get for a family that already has kids? Diaper showers lack excitement ("Think of all the poo!") and second-timer (or more seasoned) parents typically already have a house full of stuff to stub their toes on.

Joy, one of the expectant moms who claims to have baby brain (but is still brilliant), mentioned that she'd heard about a "Cooking Shower"and would find one quite useful. A Google search for "cooking shower" apparently returns things like a "kitchen shower" for brides-to-be. New spatulas were definitely not what we were thinking of. So let's call it a Dinner Shower for now. If you have a better term in mind, please add it to the comments- this is a killer meme and it deserves a great and distinctive name.

The Dinner Shower (hosted at Joy's house because she has a great play area at her house for the passel of babies who accompany the Tuesday Mommas and a great kitchen) entailed everyone bringing a prepared, freezable dish. Since we had two expecting moms, we all brought enough food for two families and spent time looking like an infomercial while Cathy demonstrated her Food Saver. ("So how does it vacuum-seal soup?")

We split our prepared food into portions for both expectant moms' families (in a shower for just one mom this wouldn't be necessary). Joy's went right in the freezer while Amy's went into a cooler for the ride home.

Some people made a breakfast casserole while all this was going on (which we then divided and froze), and we all pitched in on clean up so everyone who brought food for repackaging took home clean dishes.

We had pizza and got to spend some quality time together.

The moms each received seven carefully prepared and delicious looking homemade entrees (all in portions large enough for multiple meals). What a great resource for those first tiring weeks of new baby's life.

No one needs to prepare expensive or elaborate meals, so everyone can give according to the time and funds they have available. Plus, the frozen meals mean the giver can plan ahead despite the random nature of birth and the family can control the timing of the meals.

This wonderful time together also honors community. My mom reminds me that in previous generations people always used to give prepared meals to families with new arrivals. This type of shower reinforces community in a way that shares and acknowledges the dualistic joy and difficulty of family life.

The shower's positive energy has made me realize the simple abundance in a well-timed gift of a good meal. It's enough to get me excitedly planning ahead for the hot meals I'll be dropping off after the babies are home a few weeks.


....but, if you must buy a traditional shower gift, let me suggest the Diaper Valet. It's handy.

What type of baby showers have you actually enjoyed?

How can we improve the Dinner Shower idea (including the name)?

Who has good freezable recipes? (Please share!)

11 comments:

Amie said...

I've heard of this before. A variation is to have a calendar available and people sign up to bring dinner on certain days (good for those who want to bring a hot meal or those who don't cook and would rather bring takeout of some kind). This is of course subject to change based on when baby is actually born. You could do a combination of both ideas. I just had my second baby a month ago and I would have LOVED either one.

I haven't heard a name for this kind of thing. Why not call it a "dinner party"? (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Amy said...

As one of the moms on the receiving end of these wonderful meals, I must say how nice it is to know I have lovingly made meals in my freezer. After the arrival of my first, cooking was the farthest thing from my mind!!! It was many nights of my mom bringing over leftovers, or takeout! What a great group of friends I have that offered to make my first week home an easier one. This will definately be something that I will continue for my friends! I like the name dinner party, but would call it a Baby Dinner Party!

Joy said...

As the OTHER momma on the receiving end, I feel such a huge burden has been lifted from my ever-expanding body (and ever-diminishing brain). It was so exciting to see all the yummy food filling up my freezer knowing that I had it to look forward to in those dazed and exhausting first days at home with the new baby. With a preschooler, toddler, newborn, and a hungry husband, suppertime can sometimes become a raging mess of crying kids and a complaining bear. This way, hubbie can simply take care of kid #1 and #2 while I enjoy nursing and getting to know my new little one. I haven't quite come up with another name for the "event". I guess "Super-supper-saving-pre-baby-freezer-filling Party" is off the list. ;) Hmmm...Postpartum Food Party? hahahaha...

rachelwp said...

I did a search for "frozen dinner baby shower" and came up with quite a few articles- including your post :)

Michael Phillips said...

Turkey freezes really well. It is a moderate investment in time, but a large turkey can provide more than a few meals. (We buy one every so often during the cold months. Summer is a bad time for roasting.) Roast it with the breast down since presentation isn't a major issue when you are cooking to freeze the food. After it has had a chance to cool, you strip the meat off the bones and pack it in freezer bags (we use big ones for family meals and small ones for individual meals.)

Pasties freeze well, though I would suggest leaving out the rutabega unless you happen to be from pasty country (pronounced, I was heatedly told by a UPer past-ee.)

Lil Mouse said...

this is probably pretty late, but I would say a "no time to make dinner" shower. That is pretty clear as to the purpose. Anywhoo, i found you because I was looking for ideas for what I could make ahead for a future maternity session. i had thought of chicken noodle or vegetable soup and chili, lasagna, enchiladas, and spaghetti. If anyone has any ideas you can send it to me at mujma5 at hotmail dot com. Thanks!

Hearts & Bubbles said...

How about "Fill Her Freezer Party"? That's what I'm putting on my invites for the party I'm throwing for my sister in law.

adrienne said...

Hearts & Bubbles:

Brilliant! I'm using that from here on out.

Anonymous said...

She's got a bun in the oven, but the freezer is empty!

Easy Freezy Baby Shower!

I have a TON of freezer friendly meals that I make for Once a Month cooking that I coudl share.

adrienne said...

Anonymous:

I'm so taken with the idea of once a month cooking.

The recipes would be quite welcome.

Anonymous said...

I like the rhyming one, but I am a 12 year old and as such not really entitled to childbirth ideas.