Sunday, April 6, 2008

Shower? Check!

Phew! The shower went off without a hitch. Well, at least without a major hitch. And everyone had fun.

The biggest issue was my concern over getting there before the shower started. This was a birthday party weekend, as we had a birthday party both yesterday and today for the kids at noon. My husband had baseball both days (PA and playing, respectively), so I was on my own for getting them there. Unfortunately, Little Miss’s party today ended up going later than expected, so I got home around 2:45. The shower started at 4. No big deal, except that I have to go from the suburbs to Lincoln Park in Chicago and set everything up before people arrive. Traffic can easily put the journey over an hour and a half, so that was cutting it close.

Smart me, however, had made a list of everything I needed for the party from the pita chips to go with the hummus to the camera to the crock pot to melt the chocolate for my fountain and more. Then I acted on the list and gathered everything I could (some items obviously needed to stay refrigerated) and either placing them on the island where I couldn’t miss them or putting them in my car so I wouldn’t have to worry about forgetting them. That definitely made things easier.

Except that I realized that my car was a little low on gas, and I didn’t feel comfortable driving into the city and back with the gas I had. But I didn’t have time to stop and get more gas, especially since I had to make other stops.

Like getting bananas. I had stopped at my produce market yesterday and Costco, and neither had bananas. I tried a different Costco that was on my way home from the birthday party today, and no dice. What’s up with bananas lately? I’ve had a really hard time finding bananas, and I’m bummed because I love them. I don’t remember having such a large span of time in the past where bananas just weren’t available. Am I the only one missing out on bananas?

I also had to stop for the chocolate. The best place to buy the melting discs is on the way to the city, so I’d planned on stopping at the Home Economist. I hadn’t planned on leaving at 2:45, but without the melting discs, there’s no chocolate fountain, so I stopped as fast as I could.

For me, that involves running inside with just my wallet, going straight to the melting discs section (yes, I know exactly where they are – Mister Man had a chocolate birthday party for his fourth birthday where we “made” all sorts of chocolates), and racing back to the checkout counter. Where there were three people in line ahead of me. Three groups, really, as one of them was four little boys (in my view – they were probably 11 or 12 at least). Fortunately, a second line opened up, so it ended up that I just had to wait on the boys.

Who had $8. And bought candy worth $9.19. As they dickered amongst themselves over which item to take out and how to get under $8, I decided that it was easier and smarter to just give them the $2. When the cashier saw what I was doing, she would only take $1 and gave the boys the other $0.19 themselves. The best part is how happy and grateful they were. They actually turned around and thanked me repeatedly. Maybe I’m a little jaded, but I’d expected maybe a thank you but more likely a grunt of embarrassed acknowledgement before they ran outside. That put a smile on my face.

Apparently, that was the karma I needed, too, although I didn’t intend it that way. I left there at 3:01, and I made it to the WineStyles store at 3:46. That included driving around the block once to try to find parking, too. Phew!

Since I’d gotten there about a half hour later than I’d intended, much of the setup work had been done by another bridesmaid, which made things easier. The biggest difficulty was getting the chocolate to melt. Again, thank God I’d read the instruction manual (and brought it with me), as the fountain doesn’t melt the chocolate. You have to pre-melt it then pour it into the fountain, which seems rather counterintuitive to me. Yay! I brought my crockpot for just that purpose, and it melted within 20 minutes of getting there, so it was pretty much all on time.

And during the shower, I stuck my foot in my mouth only one time. I was talking to the future MIL and she mentioned how nice the shower was and how much fun she was having (ahhh, music to my ears!). I told her that I’d been a little worried, since we didn’t have anything specifically planned. The bride’s two rules were “No games, and no lingerie.” Guess who’d bought lingerie? Oops. I sort of laughed it off, but yep, that was the next set of present to be opened “from” the flower girl, the third bridesmaid who lives in Israel, and the MIL. That’ll teach me!

For anyone who hasn’t been to WineStyles, it’s a great franchise. They had a cool table set up, we brought in our own food, and they poured five different wines for us. They offered to do a regional theme for us if we wanted. They adjusted what wines they were pouring based on some of the tasted I knew. They offered to put out bottles of water for us. They poured grape juice for the eight year old and didn’t charge us a cent for her. They let me us their kitchen for the chocolate and cleaning everything up. They made a great package for the favor we chose (a bottle of dessert wine). They kept our glasses full without being overly intrusive. And it was $15 per person for our “two” hour timeslot, which really turned into 3 ½… with no rushing us out the door or anything. I highly recommend them if you have a need for an event. We had eight people, but I can see up to twenty fitting well. Oh yeah, and everyone at the event gets a 10% discount on the wine in the store.

The only downfall is that the eight year old hit a wall at about 7. She was done (and had probably had enough sugar from all the chocolate and cake!). Her mom sent her for a quick walk, which helped. But then she lost it and started crying and whining, which meant we got everything cleaned up and out to our cars more quickly than we’d originally intended. Poor kid! She was a good sport and good help through the majority of the event though. That does give me more faith that not bringing Mister Man and Little Miss to Houston for the evening wedding is the right choice!

Oh, and I almost forgot! The other bridesmaid was in charge of the cake. It was so cool! It was a square cake decorated as a present with a ribbon and everything. Plus, it even tasted good (mmm, raspberry filling!). I’m always in awe of people who make food look good like that. All my effort always goes into making things taste good. Presentation sometimes leaves a bit to be desired. Someday, I’ll take some cake decorating classes, but in the meantime, I’m always highly impressed by what people can do. Ace of Cakes is a perfect example! Sometimes freaky, but always way cool. And yes, I did take pictures, but I need to download them onto a different computer, and I’m too tired to do that tonight.

I’m just glad that duty #1 as MOH is over and successfully completed. Now I have only 9,999,999,999 more. I think. I’ve never been in a wedding before, and the bride is really quite anti-bride, so she’s no help. I know in the ceremony, I’m supposed to make sure her dress is pretty once she gets to the chuppah and take her flowers when she needs to pay attention to the groom, but beyond that, I’m not 100% sure. And when I mentioned those two tasks, they were news to her. I think I have some research to do!


Jules April 7, 2008 at 12:31 PM  

Wow! Sounds like your day was super busy. That was a really nice thing you did for those boys. Maybe your kindness will cause them to do a kindness to someone else, and so on, and so one. :)

Michelle April 7, 2008 at 7:06 PM  

Sadly, would you believe me if I told you that was actually par for the course for me?

Tomorrow: kids up, Mister Man on the bus, Little Miss to preschool, go running, get food at Costco, pick up Little Miss, meet Mister Man's bus and feed and nap them, make dinner for four families, deliver dinner, take Mister Man to Language Stars and Little Miss to the library, get home to cook the dinner I made for my family, feed the kids and put them to bed, then start to catch up on what I need to do for me.

Like I said ... it's par for the course. BUT I did turn down an invitation to a Pampered Chef party in a couple Sundays even though I was open to give myself some free time -- for now!

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