Want to know how to make an 11 year old boy have a great big smile and melt into a puddle of giggles with his knees drawn up tightly to his chest so he can bury his sweet little face? Tell him that while he and dad were spending the morning at his baseball game, Mom was at a "welcoming shower." As you are explaining to him that this means friends of our family did this to welcome him to our family, have his sisters walk into the room carrying brightly wrapped packages all for him. Watch him as he sits and looks at the parcels and absorbs the moment before you finally have to tell him he can open them. He is looking at the gifts and cards on the table with some combination of excitement, happiness, joy and confusion about what to do with all of these.
I wish I had taken photos of his gifts. I did take a video of him opening them so we will have that to look back on later. Here is his awesome baseball cake at the shower.
It felt just a little bit like Christmas in September and no one cared that all the gifts were for the little guy. It also provided an opportunity to discuss when the girls were each born/adopted and how each of them entering our family was celebrated. R and I even went on a search for her (nearly empty) baby book. We filled in a little info we could and she really liked choosing pictures to put for each year. I know I may be in the minority here, but I'm not a scrapbooker and I had fun doing this with my 12 year old daughter allowing her to choose her favorite photos. She is also going to do her own write ups for each year of school. Not sure why a "baby book" covers school until 6th grade but it will be a fun activity for her. So any of you overwhelmed mommy's out there thinking bad thoughts about yourselves for not completing your baby books, you might just want to cut yourselves some slack and wait until your "baby" is old enough to do it with you. I promise you will both enjoy it.