Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sip & See Pictures

One (of many) rules I made up during my second pregnancy was No Baby Showers.  First of all, I didn't need anything since I'd had two showers for Eliza before she died and gotten almost everything on my Amazon registry.  Secondly, we didn't know if the Deuce was a boy or a girl, and there just aren't a lot of gender neutral clothes out there.  Thirdly, I think I was doing the "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" thing.  I was not going to be fooled into thinking I was bringing home a baby until the moment that I walked in the door carrying my baby.  All preparation was kept to a minimum.

For example:  The week before her due date, I started crying because we didn't have any diapers fer the baby.  David suggested we run to Target after dinner and get some diapers.  But NO!  I didn't WANT to go buy diapers!  I was just sad that I didn't feel like I COULD go buy diapers.  Irrational, but that's what I was dealing with.

Since Caroline has been born, I've been pleasantly surprised by the fact that I'm not nearly as neurotic and paranoid as I thought I would be.  Our pediatrician talked to me a lot about this baby not living in a bubble, and it turns out that I'm happy to take her out and about, and more than happy to share her with the friends and family who were so supportive of us during this pregnancy.

As one person said as she held Caroline over the weekend, "This baby has been prayed into the world."

so many people love this girl!
I struggled with that for a while--I had prayed for Eliza, too!  But I don't think prayer works like that anymore--I don't get a healthy baby just because I ask for one.  The way I see it, God answers prayers from the inside out, by helping us handle the bad and the good.  And one way this happens is through the people who are part of our lives, the people who think about us and encourage us and ask on a regular basis how we are doing.  We got a healthy baby, yes, and we couldn't be happier about that.  But our prayers were answered when we found ourselves connected to people who care about us and both of our girls.  And we are SO grateful for all of those people (including you peeps reading this).

But geography limits the kind of party we can throw, so we decided to have a post-baby-shower in my hometown, otherwise known as a "Sip & See."  Because you sip champagne and see the baby, obviously!

and who wouldn't want to see this baby?
(Or, as one of my parents' friends suggested, a "Guzzle & Gawk," where you chug booze and stare at the baby.  That sounds fun, too.)

My mom hosted it on Saturday, and we invited our friends and family to come and go for a couple of hours in the afternoon.  We asked people not to bring gifts, though many of them completely ignored us.  (People just love to buy baby things, and who am I to stop them?  Caroline was delighted to get so many lovely presents.)  There was champagne and finger foods (the table decorations were so cute and wouldn't you know I didn't get a picture of it).  It was informal and really, really nice.  My mom's house is not especially well-designed for this kind of party because it doesn't have an open floor plan, but it turned out that we were all just really cozy, which was perfect for passing around the baby and pouring the champagne.

It had been really hard for me to go back home after Eliza died, because for so long I had envisioned taking her there with us and introducing her to everyone.  My visits home in the past year and a half were few and far between.  So in many ways, this felt like a true homecoming.  It was so great to see so many familiar faces, and it was even better to know that they were all there to celebrate the kind of joy that comes after such great sorrow.

We didn't make any big speeches, we didn't have any expectations.  We just hugged people and chatted with them and let our sweet baby girl be the center of attention.

not quite so sure about cousin Paige's intense love

Papa makes it all better, Nana observes closely
 And we had a few laughs.

This is totally normal for us.

Caroline is still not interested in boys yet
I'd been a little worried about how Caroline would handle all the attention, but, she loved it.

I didn't hear Caro squawk or fuss once!  She loves to be held, and she didn't care who it was as long as they were swaying or bouncing and talking sweet to her.  So I don't know about anyone else, but the guest of honor had a great time.  And by the end of the afternoon, she was completely worn out.

 So she took a nice long nap.

And she wasn't the only one!

It was the best way possible to spend the holiday weekend.  And since we've been home and back in our regular routine, I've been thinking a lot about how our two girls are a reminder of how fragile life is and how lucky we are to find ourselves surrounded by people we love.

I'll raise a glass of champagne to that anytime.

special thanks to Blair for this kick-ass hair bow


  1. So great to see you and Monica and your babies together :)

  2. Love the "Sip and See"! Totally stealing that party idea.

    I too, had two showers during my pregnancy with Alexander. I protested them both, but my mother, and D's mother NEEDED to do this for me. So yeah, next time, anything and everything will be AFTER the baby.

    Caroline looks so sweet in every-single-picture! And I love your moms house! Especially that shelf with Eliza's name on it. So so very dear, that child.

    (you look pretty good yourself there Miss Brooke! Um, can we say skinny much! You look exceptional for 2babies, back to back!)

  3. Caro looks adorable! I've had several people say "So many people are praying and I just KNOW this baby is going to be okay" and they mean well, but I want to shout "did you know Bear was going to die? But of course I just smile and nod or say "I hope so." I haven't been able to go home without Bear. As a result, I've seen my parents but not the rest of my family. We hope to go this winter! I'm sorry the travel was rough but Glad your visit was so nice!

  4. Such a nice celebration! You guys are a beautiful family.

  5. Oh I'm too emotional for this. Thanks Aunt Flo! But seriously, I just LOVE that Caroline got to be spoiled and loved on and all the things a baby should get. I love the picture of "Papa" holding her, love LOVE the picture of whoever that cute couple is - the bald guy giving her a tender embrace and the woman a gentle kiss. . .I mean, does it get much cuter?! I LOVE the shelf for Eliza. and the lil sister bow. . .Ugh - love it all. I really shouldn't read/write blogs when I'm all emotional like this. Because everything is beautiful and heartbreaking.

    But this is mostly beautiful.

    Oh, and some other things I love: the banner - way cute. Your dress - you look great! And your friends pretty braid. Very Katniss Everdeen.

  6. Goodness is Caro cute! The party looks perfect :)

  7. So glad y'all had such a lovely time! Our sip n see was much the same--just thankfulness and happiness and relief that K made it. And I officially suck bc I never posted about it. :/

  8. we had very similar weekends it seems! She is adorable!!

  9. Aww, this is giving me warm fuzzies. I really like the idea of the after party, so to speak. I've had a hard time visiting my family, too, since Genevieve died because I so looked forward to showing her off.

  10. Caroline is totally giving my son the cold shoulder. Also, I apologize for my awful rain hair. I didn't realize until I got into the car how bad it was. Embarrassing! It was such a lovely party. Great to see your sweet family and I LOVE the picture of David passed out! ha ha!!

  11. You know I have tossed this idea of...Do we do a baby shower before or after...It feels wrong to do one before since this IS a high risk pregnancy thanks to our first in loss. But it also feels wrong to do one after since in my area this isn't a common practice for showers. After reading this post I feel more comfortable with after since the real joy IS the baby. I hope I get a party like you. Thank you for sharing.

  12. I love this idea/post and especially the photos! Congratulations again to you and your entire family!

  13. Caroline is scrumptious and you are a radiant Mama. Just purely lovely to have such a nice party. I see Eliza's name in the sand proudly displayed on your Mom's shelf - that is lovely, too.

  14. awwwwww! Such perfection... xo

  15. The Sip and See is a great idea! So wonderful to have family and close friends all together celebrating Caroline! Glad it went well!

  16. Oh my goodness is Caroline adorable! It is so nice to see so many smiles all for you and your family. I love the idea of a Sip & See...we are now considering one for Maxwell since yours looked so fun.

  17. I was so sorry to miss the opportunity to hold your sweet baby. I was with my four grandchildren at the beach in Texas for an end of the summer vacation. Thanks for posting the pictures. Please let me know when you will be in Nevada again.

  18. How lovely...really.

    I said when I was pregnant I would do a shower afterwards. It looks like it was a wonderful get together to celebrate baby Caro. I love the shelf for Eliza.

  19. Where I'm from, baby showers are usually held after the baby is born anyway (which horrifies dh's relatives). Never heard the term "Sip & See," though! (or "Guzzle & Gawk," bwahahaha!) Glad you had so much fun. And I LOVE Caroline's hair bow in the last photo!