Thursday, April 4, 2013

My First Baby Shower

Much like Bachelorette parties and sorority hazing, the Baby Shower is a mysterious event that women partake in that men usually aren’t privy to.  And I’ll admit, we are a little curious. Just as most dudes know what really happens at Bachelor parties versus what they tell their wives, we have similar preconceived notions for what goes on at your events (i.e. nonstop pillow and/or tickle fights). Mrs. Dude opted against having Baby Showers during both of our pregnancies, so I had no idea what one really entailed until I attended my first one recently.

I always assumed baby showers consisted of a group of women sitting around, eating salads then cake followed by long talks about baby names, lactation and episiotomies. And honestly, beyond the cake, none of those subjects is of particular interest to me. However when I was invited to the Big City Moms’ recent local “Biggest Baby Shower” event, I figured I should go see if all my preconceived notions were accurate. As it turned out, I wasn’t too far off base.
The line waiting to get inside. 
Held at a beautiful classic building in Hollywood, the Biggest Baby Shower was a massive event for both expecting parents and those with newborns. Having a 6-month-old but no uterus, I wondered how much of the event would be applicable to me and I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised.

While I didn’t hear any discussions of episiotomies (thankfully), there was quite a bit of talk of other changes that women’s bodies undergo both during and after childbirth.  One of the first brands I encountered, Belly Bandit, makes cool looking undergarments designed to help the body regain its pre-pregnancy shape. I was very excited, then quickly disappointed when I learned that their products are only recommended for women, since I still have an extra 10 lbs to drop since the Littler Dude arrived.

There were a plethora of stroller and car seat manufacturers from exotic locations like Europe, Asia and Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Before my first son was born, I was baffled by the myriad options available among the vast stroller displays I encountered. Surprisingly the pimply-faced kid at Babies R Us wasn’t tremendously helpful either. Shocking, right? I wish Mrs. Dude and I had an event like this to attend where we could learn about cool new designs, features and functions before making our decision. Before I was a parent, you wouldn’t believe how long it took me to understand the purpose of a Snap & Go and why we needed one. I saw many similarly lost Dudes at this event, standing beside ready-to-burst significant others, learning from the pros brought in from around the globe by brands like Britax, Peg Perego, Baby Jogger and several more that I never knew existed.

I was amazed how many companies make luxurious potions to help reduce stretch marks and chaffed-nipples. Thankfully, the brand reps correctly assumed I didn’t need either. Whew.
My kids love this stuff. 
With the ultra-picky Little Dude and the ultra-hungry Littler Dude, I checked out some great Organic food options from companies like NurturMe, Happy Family & Ella’s Kitchen. They each have unique health benefits for infants through toddlers by combining the best fruits and vegetables into combos you’d never expect, like Rutabaga, Cherries and Celery. I brought home several samples for both of my boys and every one has been a big hit, leading to a higher success rate than Prince Harry at a singles bar. After learning about those nutritious organic brands, I gorged myself on mini cupcakes from nearby booths for Sprinkles and Georgetown Cupcakes. I believe that’s what is known as a balanced diet.  
Don't worry, I left a couple for someone else to enjoy. 
I met a cool new mother who created an ingenious product called Zippyz. Designed for everyone who has ever struggled to change a newborn’s diaper in the dark or while they’re sleeping: pajamas that zip only halfway up, making it infinitely easier to unzip, change the diaper and re-zip. People like me who often struggle with the unbelievably tricky matrix-style snap-up pajamas will certainly appreciate this great idea. I only wish they made them in my size.

I met bottle manufacturers and myriad must-have baby accessory companies. Coincidentally, all of them have the best products on the market. There was at least one that I could verify: Summer, who makes the multi-camera video monitor system that helps me ensure that both of my boys are snoring in tandem every night.

The Biggest Baby Shower was great for several reasons. First, I finally learned that I’m not missing anything when my wife attends baby showers beside great cupcakes. And second, the event really opened my eyes as to how many unique baby products exist. I just wish this event had occurred about 6 months earlier, before the Littler Dude joined our clan. And that the Belly Bandit would work on me. 

On my way out of the event, I received a ginormous gift bag filled with products from some great baby product companies:

The Littler Dude is obsessed with this
Double Decker bus by Mamas and Papas
from the gift bag
Oh, did I mention that I won a Britax stroller, too?
My moment of fame on the red carpet.
No autographs, please.
Yes, I think baby showers are pretty cool after all. Even if one must endure extensive discussion about, um, chafing  there's always cupcakes. 

Thanks to Big City Moms for inviting me to the Biggest Baby Shower event. Though they let me in the door at no charge, the opinions expressed within this post are completely mine. For better or worse. Check out their website for upcoming events in your area. Seriously, check it out. 

What do you think about Baby Showers in general?
Leave a comment below

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Two-Line Tuesday: Swingers

"C'mon, little brother, let's go!"
"Now what am I supposed to be doing again?"

How would you caption this picture?