Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A behind-the-scenes peek at pre-baby shower mishaps March 10, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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WHENEVER I PLAN a major party at my house—and I’m not talking something as simple as a few dinner guests—I make lists. List of guests. To-do lists. A menu.

I clipped lists and recipes to a clipboard, my party planning organizer.

I clipped lists and recipes to a clipboard, my party planning organizer, as I planned the baby shower.

Lists help me focus and not feel overwhelmed. They help me budget my time. But plans and lists don’t always jive with how things actually work out.

Guests loved the cute mini elephant roll-out cookies I made and sprinkled with pastel sugars.

When I was making these cut-out cookies, I had to be careful not to break or burn the elephant trunks.

Take the baby shower I gave for my eldest daughter and her husband last weekend. Weeks prior to the event, I baked cookies. Elephant shaped cut-out cookies to serve at the party. And M & M cookies to place in thank you gift bags for guests. But before the dough was baked and the cookies placed in the freezer, I had my first mishap. My hand-held mixer jammed, spewing bits of whatever into the cookie dough. Into the garbage went the dough and off to the store I went to purchase a new mixer. As for the mini elephant cookies, I proceeded with care lest the trunks break or burn.

Everything went smoothly during the week prior to the shower as I completed tasks and crossed them off my list. But my luck didn’t hold. Friday morning, the day before the shower, I mixed up a cookie dough dip, not to be confused with dough for cookies. The new mixer worked fine. But the spatula broke and there I was, forking through the dip in search of the missing rubber tip. Not to worry; I found it.

Well in advance of the shower, I penned this haiku and glued it to tags.

Well in advance of the shower, I penned this haiku and glued it to tags.

Next, I assembled the thank you bags, placing a bag of microwave popcorn, a packet of flower seeds and several M & M cookies inside to match a haiku I’d written with the words pop, grow and sweet. I’d printed the haiku days earlier and glued the poem to muted pink gold-trimmed tags purchased at Target.

The gift bags, fully-assembled and ready for gifts. I purchased the bags at Party Plus in Owatonna.

The gift bags, fully-assembled and ready for guests. I purchased the bags at Party Plus in Owatonna.

When I was gluing the tags, I remember thinking, I wonder if this glue will hold. I should have listened to that inner doubt. After I’d tied several gift bags, I noticed the glue wasn’t holding. That meant more work—untying the bags I’d already tied and taping all the tags.

A snippet shot of guests gathered in my living room for gift opening at the baby shower.

A snippet shot of guests gathered in my living room for gift opening at the baby shower.

Both the spatula break and the tag snafu occurred before 9 a.m. This, I thought to myself, is not good. But the rest of the party prep went smoothly as did party day. For a March day in Minnesota, the weather was ideal, meaning no snow and good travel for all. We had plenty of food. Guests had a good time and I did, too.

The next day, after I finished washing dishes, I pulled the drain plug in the kitchen sink. The water disappeared, ever so slowly, emerging in the opposite sink. My husband removed the gooseneck. No clog there. He tried a snake. The clog remained. Then he turned on the air compressor and blew air through the drain pipe. That unclogged the clog. But he still had to head to the hardware store to replace the gooseneck section of piping which was now leaking.

As for me, I was simply thankful this problem didn’t occur on party day. Dealing with a clogged drain was definitely not on my to-do list.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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12 Responses to “A behind-the-scenes peek at pre-baby shower mishaps”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Oh the best laid plans! How well I know those. One Thanksgiving I had a major garbage disposal malfunction and Chris was under the sink with a bucket, etc. You get the picture. Not the best scenario. Your shower turned out wonderfully and I know that even with little snafus it was memorable.

  2. Jackie Says:

    ….and you pulled it off wonderfully. You are such a sweet mama, I love all the detail and love you put into this shower. That baby girl will have the best Grandma ever!!! and props to Randy for getting the drain unclogged, why do things have to happen at times like that ?

  3. Marneymae Says:

    O dear. When it rains…
    Who would have ever known the goings-on behind the scene of a post!
    Those elephant cookies are charming.
    Fun to see them show up in another post

  4. One of those moments when you have to remember this too shall pass.

  5. Sue Ready Says:

    Love the treat bags and what a perfect match all the items are for a very sweet haiku poem.The parents-to-be must have been really touched.

  6. Littlesundog Says:

    I always say the faux pas make for the best storytelling many years later. That baby girl will someday love to hear (over and over) the story of how Grandma put on her baby shower and she’ll love the parts about “things gone wrong”!


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