This past weekend was Labor Day. Minh and I took a couple extra days off so we — that is, Minh — could drive to Missouri to visit my extended family, since this was the last holiday weekend I’ll feel comfortable traveling. With assistance from my brother, two of my aunts threw us a baby shower at a local community center. I should have known based on the meticulously chosen shower invitations (featuring elephants, to the theme of Leon’s nursery), that it would be a beautiful event worthy of its own Pinterest board.
As soon as we entered the community center I was given a “Mommy To Be” sash, “Mom To Be” ribbon, and tiara to put on. The decorations were adorable and fit the theme perfectly — elephant cookies that spelled out “LEON” and “#TinyHalfAsianBaby,” diaper “cakes” shaped like elephants, and a fruit salad that looked like a (half-Asian) baby in a bassinet, among other desserts and decorations. We played some small games, such as guessing the number of chocolates in a huge baby bottle and estimating the cost of standard baby gear. But every time someone won, they didn’t actually get a prize for themselves — they just had to get up to give us one of the gifts on the coffee table in the center of the circle!
When it came time to open the gifts, I felt truly humbled. I had never received so many gifts at one time in my life (granted, they were for our family as a whole and mostly for Leon, but I got to open them)! We received cute stuffed elephants for Leon’s nursery, bath sets, toys and rattles, a diaper bag, adorable outfits of different sizes, some bottles and feeding gear, books, blankets, diapers, nursery decorations, etc. — even a car seat and a huge stuffed bear! My brother was ecstatic to give us the gift he made — it was a truck piggy-bank that he painted, which now sits on Leon’s bookshelf ready for money. Our car was so full that we had a hard time just stuffing our tiny backpacks behind the front seats when it was time to leave, and forget about reclining the seats.
It was so great to see both my mom’s and dad’s side of the family before Leon arrives, because who knows how long it’ll be after he’s born before we feel ready to attempt to travel 500+ miles. The fact that we may not see my whole family for a while makes me a little sad, but it’s a really good feeling to know that when we do see everyone again, our little dude will be smothered with so much love.
I’ve written before about how Minh’s hand on my belly was apparently the perfect recipe to calm Leon’s frantic kicks. But as we were laying in bed in the hotel room on the way back to Texas, my prankster fetus apparently decided it was finally time to let his daddy feel his dance moves. Minh said it was subtle and felt like popcorn popping. At one point a few days prior, he even saw my stomach move.
Oh, and my birthday is Sunday. Had it not been for friends probing me about plans or my dad asking what gift I want, I may have actually forgotten. I’ve been so busy planning my son’s literal birth day that my 27th spin around the sun seems insignificant. Minh pleaded with me to choose a fancy restaurant to celebrate at, rather than the cafeteria-style Mediterranean joint I suggested offhandedly. Unlike my birthdays before, this year there will be no huge party. I’m getting a crib mattress as a birthday present and I can’t think of anything that I would want more. Except maybe a maid to start cleaning regularly again — any takers?