Monday, February 27, 2012

Gender Reveal Party

This past Saturday was the big day! Ryan was so excited to find out whether we are having a son or daughter. The party started around 2:00pm, but we went to the venue (along with a couple friends) around 12:00 to begin decorating. The Caribbean House is located on the campus of the University, and is basically on the tip of the island. The room has a wrap-around balcony that overlooks the water on three sides. It's a breathtaking view. The room itself has tall ceilings, two walls of glass doors, and plenty of open space for guests to mingle, which was a good thing since we had about 35 people at the party.

We set up the food table front and center as soon as you walk into the room. It was placed between two white columns, and we hung a banner between the columns. Three dark purple tissue paper flowers were on each end of the banner, but they didn't make it into the picture.

I used leftover scrapbook paper from a project I completed two years ago. The colors were gender-neutral but not pink and blue - perfect for this party.

On the front of the table, I glued an H monogram and a few paper rosettes to add color to the cream tablecloth.

While I was home over Christmas, I was fortunate enough to find napkins that matched the colors in the various paper perfectly.

Two cupcake stands were the centerpiece of this table. I made them out of cardboard boxes, soup cans in my friend's pantry, cream card stock, and brown crepe paper (based on this tutorial I found on Pinterest). It was somewhat labor-intensive as I had to cut two pieces of cardboard for each layer of the stand, hot glue them together, and then cut cream paper to cover the top of each one. Once I got the hang of all the measuring and hot gluing, the project went pretty quickly. They were surprisingly sturdy and were the perfect size for these cupcakes. I added a few paper flowers around the cupcakes for extra color.

To complete the food table, a sweet friend volunteered to bring fruit and vegetable platters. They were so beautifully arranged and were the perfect addition to the spread. I made a simple cheese ball the night before and covered it with toasted walnuts before the party. For the punch, I mixed together pink lemonade, cranberry juice, and ginger ale - easy but delicious!

As guests arrived, they made their way past the main table and towards a second table set up against the left wall. Here I placed two jars, labeled Boy and Girl and scraps of paper where they could guess the gender of our baby.

I also brought our white board and wrote a few Old Wives' Tales that might give some clue as to whether we were having a boy or girl. For instance, they say extreme nausea means you are pregnant with a girl. And I added my own symptoms below each "tale," such as the fact that I have not been sick at all. The symptoms were split pretty evenly between a boy and a girl. But the majority of our friends guessed we were having a boy.

I made oatmeal cream pies and brought them in a homemade gift bag (made with the same paper as the other decorations and based on this tutorial). Once we found out the gender, Ryan drew a name from the correct jar, and the winner received the oatmeal cream pies as a prize.

After everyone had a chance to eat, we passed out the cupcakes for the big reveal. Since everyone wanted to see Ryan's reaction, we took the first bite while they all watched.

Ryan was surprised and excited to find out we are having a GIRL!!! Later, he said that on Friday, he thought he saw some blue frosting on one of the cupcakes and was prepared to act surprised if it was a boy. But he truly was surprised, and that made it all the more fun. We couldn't be happier to have a daughter on the way.

The afternoon was just perfect, thanks to the help of so many friends. We are extremely appreciative of the many people who shared in our excitement and made the celebration so memorable.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Midterm Week

We have arrived at the first round of midterms for the semester. It's hard to believe how quickly these last few weeks have gone. Ryan has a test on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week. His two main classes for the semester are Pharmacology (where he will learn over 900 drugs) and Patho-physiology (a continuation of Pathology from last term). I know he would appreciate your prayers over the next several days as he studies and takes these tests. He is enjoying the classes so far and as always, is very diligent in studying and reviewing each day.

Once again, I've been reminded how thankful I am to be living on campus. Not only are we the RA's again which provides free housing and a meal stipend, but Ryan and I are able to eat all our meals together. He comes home for lunch and dinner each day which gives us a {brief} time to catch up. It is usually after midnight by the time he gets home from the library at night. I know this is just preparing me for residency when he will be at the hospital more often than not. And I definitely do not take for granted the few moments we have together each day.

This week will be busy for me as well as I make the final preparations for our gender reveal party on Saturday. I am so excited to finally announce the gender of our baby, and especially for Ryan to know! I asked if it's been hard for him since I know and he doesn't. But he said that he doesn't have too much time to think about it. While baby names and nursery colors occupy most of my thoughts, I guess he is trying to focus more on memorizing several hundred drugs.

I'll post a few pictures of some of the decorations over the next few days. Towards the end of the week, I'll be getting to work baking, filling, and frosting 6 dozen cupcakes. Oh, and have I mentioned that my toaster oven only fits 6 cupcakes at a time? It will definitely be an all-day project. Hopefully it will also be a good chance to catch up on some reading (in between taking cupcakes out of the oven).

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's a ...

Secret!! For just a couple more weeks, though. I had an ultrasound this afternoon and they were able to see the gender of our baby. We will announce whether we are having a little boy or a little girl in about 3 weeks at our gender reveal party. Originally, I planned to have the sonographer write down the gender for me to bring to a friend who would then make cupcakes with pink or blue filling for our party. But for some reason, he would only tell me the gender and said he couldn't write it down. I guess they do things a little differently in Grenada. So now I'll be the one making the cupcakes and trying to keep a secret for the next three weeks! Ryan wants to be surprised, so I haven't even told him.

Everything else looked perfect on the ultrasound today. The baby was kicking and moving and is measuring right on schedule. I've been able to feel lots of little kicks, especially in the evenings. And Ryan has felt a few kicks as well. I'll be 20 weeks on Thursday. It's hard to believe we're halfway there! I honestly have loved every minute of it and am so thankful for good health and an easy pregnancy.

Our party is scheduled for Saturday, February 25. We've reserved a beautiful room on campus overlooking the water. I have been busy making decorations and planning the menu, and can't wait to share pictures with you in a few weeks.
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