Baby Raising Competition: A third baby celebration

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

There are lots of things my third baby won't get that her siblings did:  lots of new clothes (we love handmedowns!), parents that aren't shared with two other kids, a crib that doesn't already have bite marks all over it, board books with clean, unchewed corners and no pages missing....

==Although there are lots of things she will get that her sibling didn't too:  a big brother and big sister who can't wait to meet her, parents that are far better experienced in parenting, a mother who has watched two other children grow too fast and will hold a little longer and cherish all the small moments a little more consciously. ==

Knowing all this makes me feel both a little bad for her (on all the things she won't get) but also grateful for her (for all the things she will get) and as I was filling in the initial pages of her baby book, I flipped to the page that announced at the top "My parents had a party in honor of me" and I thought, 'No, somehow she will not miss out on this one thing.'

We definitely don't need any more baby 'things' to prepare for this girl - we have bins and bins of girls clothes until she and Gem are about 7 (thank you Kate & Tausha!) and all the blankies, swaddles, bottles, slings, and strollers a new mom can care to dream about.  But I did want to have a party in which we could celebrate her impending arrival.  A way to bring our family together, include our young kids and her future cousins, and for it to be fun!! (and funny if possible).

The inspiration for the party came from 'practicing' with our kids about baby related activities (diaper changing, swaddling) and the thought (hope!!) that we will be experts this time around with our third.  Plus, we love competitions and making grown-ups play funny games - thus was born our Baby Raising Competition party to celebrate our newest addition.

Our Baby Raising Competition:

We invited our close friends and family to our house on a Sunday afternoon - boys and kids too! to spend the day together in honor of our new girl.

Our Baby Raising Competition included a delicious spread offered from our amazing guests.  (thank you, all!)  That's what happens in our family - you tell everyone not to bring gifts and they all show up with food, dessert, and diapers!  (we are so, so blessed).

We all lounged around and ate and completed a few little activities at the start of the party.  I had a  Guess how many M&M jar set up (simplest game ever), and some fill-in-the-blanks for our new girl (inspired by this pin) for her to read someday when she's a teenager and needs a reminder how much she is loved.

And then it was time for the Baby Raising Competition to Begin!  We had our guests pair up with a partner to complete a set of Baby Raising related activities to earn points (tallied on our poster size scoreboard).

Our first game was Blindfolded Pudding Feeding:  Feeders were blindfolded and knelt in front of their partners who had to sit on their hands.  The top three teams were selected for having the least amount of pudding on their faces and/or bodies (we supplied napkin bibs to protect shirts).

Our next event was Baby Food Taste Tasting:  the partners each had a chance to test five different baby foods and give a guess as to which fruit/vegetable it was made of.  We didn't blindfold them so they were able to see the color & texture which actually didn't seem to offer much help (hah!)  Teams were given +2 points for each correct baby food guess.

Then we had partners Fill in the Missing Words to our Favorite Nursery Rhymes.  I selected four of my personal favorite songs/rhymes I sing to the kids and we had the partners complete the papers to earn points for each correct word.  Greyson and his partner cousin Ariel were the only ones to get a perfect score!  Way to go Booboo!  (hahha, he had a little bit of an advantage obviously).

Afterwards, I had all the teams watch as I slowly went through the steps to swaddle one of Gemma's babydolls.  Afterwards I asked if anyone had any questions, (no one did), and then I announced that our next event would be Grown Up Swaddling using a moving blanket to which laughter erupted from the crowd.  Partners needed to decide who would be the 'baby' and who would be the Swaddler and the event was timed.  Teams had to follow the exact steps of swaddling for it to count as a complete swaddling.  It was absolutely hysterical.  (Brandon and his partner Aunt Pam won this event!  Yay Daddy!)

Finally, we finished out the competition with a relay-style Baby Raising Obstacle Course:  At the start of the timer, the first partner was asked to diaper a baby doll, put the baby in a carseat, run a set of hula hoops, and then crawl under the trampoline.  The second partner then had to remove the baby from the car seat, change the baby's diaper again, place the baby in a front carrier, and push our play vacuum along a long line.  The obstacle was completed with a 'family' photo finish!

After a close competition, our winners of the Baby Raising Competition were Aunt Uch and Kevin!  (ahem.)

The day was a fun (and hilarious) way to celebrate our third baby's upcoming arrival.  I am so grateful to have family and friends willing to spend a beautiful summer afternoon playing silly games that make me giggle.  I can't wait to show this baby girl how her favorite people in the world spent a day swaddling each other and tasting baby food in her honor someday.  Oh how she will laugh and also think her family is a bunch of weirdos.

We closed out the evening with more lounging, chatting, and laughing.  We are so lucky to have family and friends that help clean up and take extra food home (thank you!!) So as always, parties are easy to manage when people show up early to help and leave late to help.  (honestly so blessed).  And we had very sleepy kids that night after so much fun and playing all day.

Dear baby girl,
We love you, darling, so much.
We just can not wait for you to be here with us.
love you already
and then forever and ever after that,
your family

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