Because the "sonogram on a billboard" card has been way overplayed . . .
September 2, 2009 10:21 AM   Subscribe

Help me creatively share with our (long-distance) parents the wonderful news that my wife and I are expecting our first child.

Our estimated due date is early May 2010. We're planning on sharing the news with our families in late October (around our moms' birthdays).

There is a small chance my parents will be visiting us around this time, but it's not guaranteed, so we'd like to plan something that will work without us having to be present. The only thing that's come to mind so far:

- Mail "World's Best Grandparents" shirts back home to a family friend who will wrap them like a birthday present and hide it in the house to be discovered during a future phone conversation with Mom. Make sure dad is present when Mom opens her gift. Surprise!

Pretty simple, but now I'm rethinking it because all of the shirts I've found online suck.

Do you have any better ideas or do you know where I can buy a cooler shirt (or other item that would suffice)?

Bonus points if you can think of a creative way to tell the rest of my family afterwords (brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc.).
posted by siclik to Human Relations (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Order a photo of the sonogram on a jigsaw puzzle, with whatever details you want added to the original image (Photoshop?), through a website like this one. Mail out the puzzles.
posted by mdonley at 10:24 AM on September 2, 2009 [4 favorites]

Congratulations. The Good Granny Guide: Or How to be a Modern Grandmother is a nicely written book, and just the thing (I felt) to scribble a due date inside the cover of.
posted by kmennie at 10:25 AM on September 2, 2009

I'd mail baby booties instead of t-shirts but that's me.

You can make your own "World's Best" t-shirts or onesies somewhere like Zazzle or whatever the US equivalent is. It's easy - you pick a font and a colour and literally type in a box.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:27 AM on September 2, 2009

Does to soon-to-be grandma enjoy sewing or some other craft? If she does, you could send her a baby pattern of some sort and mention that you'll be needing a couple of these made by May, and would she like to help? Or substitue appropriate items for any other craft he/she enjoys (such as if grandpa-to-be enjoys woodwork). Only do this, though, if this is the type of thing that they enjoy doing anyway, so that it's not an obligation. Then you have a creative way of making the announcement, and the grandparents can have a happy way to be involved.
posted by azpenguin at 10:42 AM on September 2, 2009

My brother and s-i-l announced the good news with their first by sending everyone a copy of their first ultra sound with the caption "Fetus Lastname." It was a huge hit and every one got their own first picture of the little muffin.

Hilarity ensued, though, when my elderly grandmother exclaimed, "FESTUS? Who is Festus?"
posted by Sassyfras at 11:01 AM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Depending on whether your families would find this funny or not:

Dress as a chef for Halloween and have your wife wear a cardboard box oven. Take a picture of you standing next to her holding a try of buns.

I have friends who announced their first pregnancy at a dinner with a few select friends on St. Patrick's Day by having the wife remove her sweater to reveal a t-shirt that said "I've got some Irish in me." We thought it was adorable. YMMV.
posted by MsMolly at 11:13 AM on September 2, 2009

On Facebook, my friend announce her pregancy by putting pictures that were clues and then asking everyone to guess what her secret was. The first picture was two eggs (they were having twins), the second picture was two empty tequila snifters (she loves tequila and this was to symbolize that she wouldn't be drinking tequila anytime soon again) and well the last picture was of two sperm (I think she didn't send that one immediately). Anyways, I thought it was pretty cool way of announcing it. With just the eggs and empty tequila snifters not everybody got it. But the spermies made it pretty obvious.

posted by bananafish at 11:13 AM on September 2, 2009

Are they internet savvy at all? You chould send them a link to an amazon wishlist full of new baby stuff.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:20 AM on September 2, 2009

Do you and your parents use Skype? Get yourself an ostrich egg and place it on a chair. Have your wife sit on the egg. Go on camera and have her make egg-laying noises, then she gets up and your parents see the egg!

This would work just as well in person.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 11:24 AM on September 2, 2009

Do they have a computer? Buy them a webcam as a gift, when they set it up and start their first chat with you show 'em your wife's lovely belly. :D

I have a friend who keeps regular webcam communication between his kids and his parents who live in another country, I think it's the sweetest thing ever and this could set that up for your family.
posted by Billegible at 11:28 AM on September 2, 2009

Response by poster: Great ideas everyone - please keep them coming. I especially like the first two (puzzle and granny book) because it takes them a while to figure it all out and "put the pieces together".

To answer a few questions:

- Neither of our parents identify with any crafty hobbies. They all work, a lot. So while the knitting/woodworking ideas are great, they wouldn't quite work in this instance.

- Neither of our parents are particularly tech savvy. My parents did figure out how to use the laptop's webcam in Live Messenger, so we could have a video chat with them. We may be able to get my wife's parents set up with one too. The "bellly" idea is good, but my wife wouldn't be showing by mid-October, most likely.
posted by siclik at 11:32 AM on September 2, 2009

Billegible, if she's due in May, she won't have a bump in October.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:33 AM on September 2, 2009

To the OP: ask them how they told their parents that you were due. Then wait until they figure out what you're telling them.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:49 AM on September 2, 2009

well... print a t-shirt of the sonogram and have her wear it. :p
posted by Billegible at 11:53 AM on September 2, 2009

For a t-shirt, you could make your own at - customized (front, back, sleeves) in the way that appeals to you or that you think would appeal to them.
posted by VioletU at 12:04 PM on September 2, 2009

My wife and I printed up a series of T-shirts through CafePress: "Do I look old enough to be a grandmother / grandfather / aunt / uncle?"

Weeks ahead of time, while on the phone to the in-laws, we mentioned how a college friend of ours had told us a seriously funny joke which entailed mailing us a package for the punchline, and how funny it was, and how we should totally "do it" to them one day. Wouldn't tell them details, in case we ever did the joke to them.

With that groundwork in place, a few weeks later we told them we were going to do the same joke to them, and not to open the big package we sent until all the fam was there and could hear the joke.

The scheduled call-time arrives, and I launch into a meandering joke setup, making it up as a go along. As I recall, it involved barnyard animals who went into the t-shirt industry.

"Finally, the duck comes back with a new batch of shirts. And he says to the cows, just LOOK at this! ... Okay, now open the package."

"Oh-my-Gods," shrieks, and tears ensued. There was no real punchline, but they had no idea what was coming until they saw their shirts. (Shirts were rolled up in the box, individually tied with labels, so that each recipient could open the shirt and see the message at the same moment.)

Good luck, and congratulations!
posted by lexfri at 12:16 PM on September 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

You could make a card with the following layout:

Coming soon!
[baby picture of you] + [baby picture of your wife] = ?
(We're hoping it looks like (either your name or your wife's).)
posted by whimsicalnymph at 1:03 PM on September 2, 2009

For the grandparents -- maybe send them small flower bouquets with balloons that say "Grandpa" and "Grandma."
posted by thatgirld at 1:12 PM on September 2, 2009

Send them this link.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:53 PM on September 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

I used this suggestion in another thread, but it was a big hit in our family so I will recycle it. My sister announced her pregnancy by getting out a bunch of pictures to show us at a family get-together; the last one was a picture of a positive pregnancy test.
posted by TedW at 2:22 PM on September 2, 2009

My wife was pregnant and had had her first ultrasound before our wedding albums had been delivered from the photographer. Before we presented my parents with their album, we slipped in an ultrasound picture as the last page.

When we gave them the album, we all gathered 'round while they thumbed through it, commenting on each picture and the great time we'd all had at the wedding. When they got to the last page, there was a priceless moment of confusion as they tried to figure out what it was, then both realized at the same time that it was their grandchild. The ensuing moments of surprise and elation were one of those times in life you never forget.
posted by dinger at 7:17 AM on September 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

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