This weekend marks shower #1. This one is definitely going to be the easiest for me (barring any bizarre tricks from my aunts, I suppose--hopefully they got that all out of their systems at my bridal shower) since it's my family and it's only going to be moderately attended. I guess we're officially getting into busy weekend season. Anyway, next weekend is shower #2 with Craig's family, which is going to be much bigger and a lot more intimidating, since I won't know some of the people there and Craig may not be able to make it in for it...all depends on how the Knighthawks do this weekend. If they win, they're in...and then Craig might be out due to playoff game travel. I can't root against the Knighthawks because they won the championship last year and have never missed the playoffs, so I guess I just have to hope (as much as it scares me) that they end up playing Buffalo in the first round, because at least Craig would be local. The Friday after that is my work shower, which should be fun (and full of good eats) but could end up a little awkward. I live in my own little world on one side of the office with my two co-researchers, and my interaction with some of the other folks in the office can be pretty minimal. It all sets up a potentially awkward situation if hardly anyone shows up, because then you find out what people really think of you. I'm sure it will be fine, but showers in general make me nervous. I'm not great with the center-of-attention thing a lot of the time, though I will admit that it's a bit of a relief that baby showers don't have the threat of embarrassing lingerie appearances or other sexual innuendos when you're sitting among family. Although...the mere existence of a baby does insinuate that that lingerie came in handy at some point. Hmmm.
The biggest difference between a bridal shower and a baby shower seems to be want vs. need. When you register for your bridal shower, it's like Christmas on steroids. You register for all of the stuff you want, even if you already have backups at home or have no real need or use for it, just because it's new and cool. That's not to say that you don't need some stuff when you get married. You're combining households with someone (in some cases, anyway...if you haven't already) and might have to get some stuff to make that merge work better. And in the midst of wedding planning, getting gifts is so much better than buying them yourself. However, for a baby shower, you're desperately hoping you get most of the stuff you registered for because the baby's going to need it. In most cases you don't own any of this stuff already, and babies take a lot of equipment--equipment you might not have the time, energy, brainpower or money to get when the time comes. So, while you still have your wits about you, you go out and register for all of the things you think you'll need, based on what you've read, other people's advice, and in some cases, what you find interesting. But at the end of the day you hope you get all of the necessary stuff, if only for your baby's sake. It's a big switch from hoping you get that cool vase or picture frame, that's for sure. We'll be thankful for whatever we get, obviously, but I'm just hoping we're not overflowing with too many of the same things and not enough of the rest of the stuff we need...hence why, when used correctly, registries are beautiful things.
I really think the only extra frivolous thing on our registry is the wipes warmer. There are other unnecessary but useful things (like the bag hooks and cup holder for the stroller, or storage baskets for the nursery), but the wipes warmer is the only real luxury, I think. Someone told us they're nice to have because babies scream when the wipes are cold. We put it on there because it sounds like a good idea and there might be someone who swears by them and is dying to buy us one...but honestly, if we don't get it, I won't be too crushed. But there are plenty of necessities that I'd rather not have to buy ourselves later on, so hopefully the showers will take care of those and we won't have to worry about them. I don't think I looked at our wedding registry more than once after our wedding, but this one will serve as a checklist...one that we'll have to revisit post-shower, armed with gift cards, ready to buy whatever else we really need for when the baby arrives. Wow, do we ever have a LOT to do between now and then!