Sreemantham around 28 weeks pregnant
The traditional baby shower had to be done on an old numbered month like 5, 7 or 9. We chose 7 ‘coz my in-laws were in town and my parents could fly over. Also my sister and cousin sister could fly in.
My in laws found a man who knows astrology and can calculate a good date from my horoscope details in the USA time zone. That took a couple of weeks. He was a busy man and right then had wounded himself and was at home rest. My in laws were very particular about the good date and time. It was difficult to call friends from other cities with such specific dates turning out to fall on a weekday.
While we live abroad we usually skip checking such details and go with convenient weekend days for events. But anyways this Semantham was planned to be performed on an auspicious date and time.
Now with date in hand, mom, dad, sister and cousin were looking for tickets to fly in. And we were looking for a hall to celebrate the event. Two options were either the cabana in our leasing office, which had a charge or the cabana at the neighboring apartments which was free but we had to catch someone there to book it for us. I did the latter. Weeks back met a girl who lived there. Got her number through another common friend. Her husband booked the hall for us. There was a refundable deposit.
Mom sent a list of things to buy for the pooja. I bought those. My husband was looking for caterers / restaurants, where he could order food for a group of 45 people. It was all new friends I made around the neighborhood.
My outfit- Silk Sarees
My grandma had sent through in laws- sarees and matching bangles.
All my blouses were tight. So I bought an golden blouse to match all my sarees. Loosened it and was using through my pregnancy.
Mom and dad planned to drive over. They drove over 2 days. They live 12 hours away. All my family reached the previous day evening.
I tried to help dad find some accommodation nearby on Airbnb. But they didn’t work. Finally he booked a hotel close by. The girls and my parents stayed there. My small apartment was already house full with us 4 in it (in laws).
Also I had a tentative plan in mind for the weekend after the event day to travel and tour around Seattle.
A lot of planning led to an awesome Semantham event.
On the day, morning mil made 3 varieties of rice, I got dressed in my wedding saree. We had a small pooja in my home among family.
In the afternoon, I got the keys to the cabana. My family helped me with decorations and arranging furniture around. Oh I almost forgot to mention- couple weeks back- I made the wall decorations out of paper- a flag garland with baby shower written on it, couple of flowers and leaves.
Mom and dad bought a huge lot of fruits as gift and we arranged on a table in the hall.
Later My husband went to pick up the food he had placed order for.
Meanwhile, a friend came over to help me with my hairdo. By which time, I had almost finished my dressing and makeup. Dressed up in the saree my grandma sent across. A green one. My sister and cousin were getting ready too.
Late evening the event was to begin. Everyone arrived in traditional wear. We begun. The table before me was set up with rose water, chadhanam (turmeric), flowers, and red & green glass bangles. Every lady came forward one by one. And put them all on me in a way of meaning – blesses for me and baby!
After each lady was done- mom handed over to them 2 beetle leaves and 2 bananas.
I also received a lot of gifts, some gave fruits and dates too.
Once all were done. We all and the guest began to have dinner. We chit chatted for a while in smaller groups.
I had made a box with a slit and some papers beside it with pens for people to write and drop in – wishes, tips and advice for us, the new parents and the baby!
Was a pleasant evening midst friends.