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Baby Showers

Celebrate that Pea in the Pod with a Spring Baby Shower
by Carla Beuning

Admit it. A baby shower isn't always the most fun Saturday activity. If someone you know is expecting, take this opportunity to harness the spirit of spring fever and throw the perfect spring baby shower.

Becky Long, author of "Themed Baby Showers," (Meadowbrook Press) has come up with a shower theme that is sure to "yield a bumper crop of compliments." Here's how to throw a "Garden Party" shower in honor of that "Pea in the Pod:"

  • For invitations, write party details on small note cards along with the heading "There's a pea in [mom-to-be's name]'s pod." Glue the note cards on to separate packets of pea seeds. Write "hand cancel" on the mailing envelopes to prevent the seed invitations from getting crushed in postal machinery.

  • For decorations, Paint or machine-embroider "baby shower" on cloth diapers (one letter per diaper). Or use colorful markers to write the words on disposable diapers. Hang the diapers from a ribbon clothesline. When the baby arrives, mom-to-be can put the diapers to good use. If you like, have extra clothespins on hand to hang any baby garments that are given as gifts.

  • For an activity, play "Pass the Produce." Buy twenty different produce items, like a pea pod, a carrot, an ear of corn and so on. To play, seat players in a circle with their hands behind their backs. Set one item in a player's hands and ask her to feel the item and pass it on to the next player, and so on around the circle. When an item has made its way around, place it in a paper bag so it won't make another round. When all the items have been felt, give the players paper and pencils and challenge them to write down the items in order they were passed. Award a bag of frozen peas to the winner.

  • For gifts, assign each guest a different item found in the garden and ask her to bring a corresponding gift. For example, for a green bean one might choose a green baby outfit and a copy of "Jack and the Beanstalk."

  • For dessert, serve a Pea Pod Cake. You'll need: Batter for one 13 by 9 inch cake (Prepare the batter from a packaged mix), two 16 ounce cans of white frosting, green food coloring and green sugar sprinkles. To make the cake, place 3 cupcake liners in a muffin pan. Pour the cake batter into the liners, filling each only halfway. Pour the remaining batter into a greased cake pan. Bake according to directions. Allow cakes to cool, then carefully remove the sheet cake from the pan. Wrap the sheet cake in plastic wrap and freeze it for 1 hour to make for easier cutting and fewer crumbs. Cut the sheet cake into a pea pod shape. Use the food coloring to tint the frosting light green and use it to frost the cake and the cupcakes. Set the cupcake peas in place on the cake pea pod and add frosting tendrils. Cover the cupcake peas with green sugar sprinkles.

Long reminds us that, "Guests don't often jump at the chance to give up a Saturday afternoon to drink punch and play goofy games that stifle conversation, insult their intelligence and do little to celebrate the arrival of a bundle of joy." Use these great tips to add fun to your shower. Remember that it's all about the pea that's in the pod, and give your guests, including the mom-to-be, a fun-filled afternoon.

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