Thursday, August 25, 2011
Superfine Baby Shower Brunch
On Sunday, my mother and I hosted a brunch celebration for my sister Elizabeth and her future baby girl; the weather earlier in the morning and afternoon cooperated nicely, so I had an opportunity to wear this beautiful white and mod-inspired floral dress. This dress was actually a gift from my mother, originally intended for a wedding, which, unfortunately, was not attended and thus, the beautiful number never worn. It fits well and is perfect for any summer occasion, with such a classic cut and vibrant colors, so I look forward to wearing it again.
Before heading to Superfine, a local favorite restaurant in Elizabeth's neighborhood, I visited the work-in-progress nursery; although a number of cardboard boxes from large purchases are scattered across the floor, generating a glorious jungle gym for her pet cats, the nursery looks incredible and charming. Elizabeth found some of our most cherished childhood rhyming books at Anthropologie, with a slight French twist; ever since, I have been calling the baby "jambon."
These quick, hurried and quite unpolished amateur photographs do little justice to the beautiful quilt my mother had sewn for the baby, to be her blanket. The quilt is the perfect size to wrap up our new baby girl, and will be perfect for the chilly winter nights as well as the thaw in the spring. I still have the baby blanket that my mother made for me, with a large teddy bear patched together from pieces of brown and camel and cream fabrics; to this day, it is so endearing and imbues me with a warm, fuzzy feeling.
As opposed to decorating with a prescribed, and typically uninspired, theme, Elizabeth decided to pull together unique pieces and embellishments to create a cozy and welcoming nursery for the baby. She has a collection of embroidered pieces, one which was done by our mom when we were both very young. I am not sure where she found this one, but I love the colors.
Elizabeth, like myself, was exposed to our mother's love for collecting, for sifting through objects and treasures from a bygone time. While we both collect kitchen and cocktail wares, Elizabeth has also garnered an appreciation for ceramic chachkas. Her obsession with pastel-hued baby animals had become something of a mild family joke; the irony has now dissipated a bit, as they look completely adorable and fitting on this shelf in the baby's nursery.
I did not take many photographs during brunch, as I was enjoying myself with the refreshing drinks, delicious food, and rich conversation with Elizabeth's wonderful and generous friends; I captured a few candid shots, however, my lack of camera adeptness and skill would surely embarrass and misrepresent the invited ladies.
This lovely centerpiece was a gift to Elizabeth from her long-time friend from university, Sara, who unfortunately was not able to be present, busy with a photography shoot, a quite important previous engagement. She and her dapper boyfriend Eric own a soap boutique and a flourishing floral arrangements business; her soap shop, and her blog, are called Saipua. I highly recommend her products for gifts or surprises, for any occasion.
Obviously, as one who is not in the exclusive club of mothers-to-be, I had never before heard of Sophie, a rubber giraffe toy, ideal for the cantankerous and frustrated teething infant. She is certainly a really cute toy, and I suppose quite useful, but I already foresee some jealousy issues arising from Elizabeth's astute and adorable labradoodle puppy, Siouxsie.
Although she is not due for another few months, Elizabeth already has an arsenal of make-you-smile-and-sigh sickeningly sweet onesies; she received many more this past Sunday, all displaying happy baked goods and sanguine creatures. The hippopotamus is one of my favorites; she also has one with a monkey, and one with a crab, which are really adorable. Unfortunately, the baby will grow very quickly, so, her time spent in these little outfits will be transient. Hopefully, I can get many photographs once she is here.
As a voracious reader and writer, a true bibliophile, naturally, I wanted to give my niece some of my favorite books from when I was a little girl. While I understand she will not be overtly recognizing the words and phrases for some time, nonetheless, I feel it is important to begin reading and sharing literature with babies at the earliest age. After brunch, which lasted nice and long, my mother was eager to read one of my stories aloud, Mr. Gumpy's Motorcar. The pictures are whimsical and childlike, with rough lines and shading.
The illustrations are a sepia-toned ink, crisp and realistic. Earlier in the spring, some geese and their goslings congregated around our parking lot for my office building, always bringing to mind this story.
Carved wooden blocks to help baby girl learn her letters; these blocks will become toys when she is older, but for now, these will be a perfect addition to the bookshelf in the nursery and can be arranged to spell various fun words.
My mom is a story reading professional: always display the pictures prominently to the entire audience.
Before brunch that morning, Elizabeth had a bit of a hiccup with one of her bank accounts, some computer glitch that the bureaucratic maze of corporation could not initially understand or handle, adding unnecessary stress and tension to the start of the day. She was quite upset, but as soon as she arrived at Superfine, her anxiety dissipated, and she felt immediately content and at ease, so pleased and overwhelmed at the generous gathering and the kindness of the beautiful women in her life.
At our parent's home, stowed away in a large album, there is a coffee-tinted photograph of my sister as a small baby, our mother, her mother, and her grandmother. My maternal grandmother passed away before I was born; what I know of her, I have gleaned from such relics as photographs and from my mother's anecdotes. In a way, with grandmother, aunt, mother, and baby, excited and beaming with anticipation for her arrival, this photograph pays tributes to all the old and new generations of our family.