Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Baby Shower at Work

My coworkers had been planning this for weeks now. I very carefully didn't pay attention as much as possible to all the whispering going on around me, and was pretty successful. I know they had a blast planning for it. I had no idea how much fun the entire floor had with it.

They did a fabulous job with the decorating and the cake.
From Michelles baby shower
Chocolate, my favorite.

Here are some of the party favors. So cute and inventive.

Yep, that's me, the guest of honor at 36 weeks and 5 days pregnant.

I got the first piece of cake. Of course I had to get a piece with a tiny little foot on it. So cute!

I love the hoopy, loopy camel.

My two best friends at work, Jo and Sandy, made this gorgeous baby quilt for me. They were so worried I'd notice all the bags going back and forth, but I guess I'm oblivious. I even missed it when another coworker came in and asked how the quilt was coming along. I think she got shushed pretty quickly. I probably had my iPod on anyway. :) I think it's cool that this actually got them both back into quilting, something neither of them had touched in a couple of years.

Okay, to explain the folks on my floor. First off, I work in Center Operations Directorate. That means our various offices are responsible for keeping the center running. We're not doing glamorous stuff like sitting in Mission Control, or training astronauts in the big pool. But if we weren't doing our job, there'd be no air conditioning, buildings wouldn't get built or refurbished, no moves would get planned, there'd be no water, sewer or electricity, trash wouldn't get picked up, the grounds wouldn't get mowed, and there'd be no environmental protection. So without us, there wouldn't even be a space program. How's that for important!

Each office went together to get me a gift. And they all themed their gifts around what their offices do. And they were all so incredibly thoughtful, meaningful and funny. These guys are great, and I'm so glad to work with them.

The planning office went first. I got a piggy bank, to plan for baby's financial future. . I also got a baby book and a growth chart, and the gift box was decorated with shuttles, rockets and astronauts. I can happily repurpose the box to hold baby stuff at home.

Of course, the construction management office had to get me a building toy. One of the project managers with a 1-year old said his little boy loved to pound that toy for hours. He quickly reassured me that soon, I wouldn't even hear it. I hope so!

From the office that manages the grounds maintenance contract, they got me a bubble mower. So cute. I may have to get out there and play with it to reduce my stress levels long before baby's able to play with it.

The procurement office got together and wrote up a purchase order to get me a new baby. Complete with all the government codes (made up, I hope) and correct forms and everything.

The office that manages the maintenance for the buildings in our "mall" area got me a bottle of baby powder, because everytime they do maintenance in the ceilings, they disturb the ceiling tiles, usually bringing down some white powder. And every time, the building occupants think it's asbestos. He wanted me to remember them at work while I'm maternity leave. And they also got me a gift certificate to the other kind of mall, the one with shops in it.

The utility office got me a bunch of little things, all related to the systems they manage. Gas system (gas relief drops), potable water system (a sippy cup), electrical system (outlet covers), chilled water system (a frozen teething ring), heating system (blankets), and more. Did I mention how creative these guys are?

The construction inspection group got me a cute baby book.

Here's my office. The environmental group has to live up to their word, of course. So I got some organic onesies with Peace and Cool 2 Be Green on them. Plus, they got me some primary spill containment (bibs, diapers) and some decontamination supplies (a bath support, flannel wipes). And they all chimed in to get me a car seat. Wow! Thanks guys!

Of course, you know there's a price for all this wonderfulness, right? There was only one shower game to be played after all the presents were given out. And the only participant was me! My challenge was to don level C personal protective equipment (PPE) and change a make-believe dirty diaper on a doll. It was a timed challenge, and I'd get penalized for various things, like sticking the baby with a diaper pin, dropping him, forgetting to wipe, etc. Did I mention that about 20-30 people were watching? No pressure.

So what does level C PPE include? A Tyvek suit (sometimes called a bunny suit). You have to stick your feet into the legs and booties. Um, hello, I'm 9 months pregnant. I can barely tie my shoes, let along stick my legs in the suit. But I managed.

Next comes the goggles, respirator mask and gloves. Woops, the Tyvek suit they got me was too small to zip over my belly.

Okay, I'm ready to go. I think.

By the way, they missed the shot of me holding the baby by its head. I just wanted to clarify that holding him by his head was not the correct way to hold a baby. It did get a lot of laughs, though.

And....Go! Thank goodness they let me take off the goggles, mask and gloves. I think I might have passed out from the heat, otherwise.

Okay, how does this outfit come off?

They put make-believe poo in the make-believe doll diaper! Ewwww! (just chocolate covered almonds, but still, very realistic when I first opened up the diaper)

Okay, diaper's off. Now what?

I won't say I got a good fit, but at least I didn't stick him with a diaper pin. Of course, as everyone pointed out, the doll wasn't squirming, either.

Success! As long as you don't count that I didn't wipe, forgot to cover his pee pee, and forgot to use a changing pad. According to the totally arbitrary time scale they set up, I fell between "Rookie Mom" and "Call Supernanny". Not bad for a first time.

Okay, you got me into this thing. Now someone help me get the Tyvek off because I can't reach my feet anymore.

I did have a blast. And all the gifts were so helpful. Thanks, everyone.

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