Something special for my sister's first mothers' day
April 16, 2012 3:25 PM   Subscribe

My sister is expecting her first child. On Mothers' Day (which is after the baby will be born), my sister, brother-in-law, and the new baby will be getting together with both of the baby's grandmothers. I don't live in the state where this will be happening, but I'd like to do something special to surprise all three mothers. What awesome (but inexpensive) thing can I do?

It doesn't have to be a surprise for my brother-in-law (in fact, he's really good at keeping secrets like this), so ideas that need a person local to the event are fine by me. This get-together will be in the Boston, MA area.

The reason for needing something inexpensive is that I'm a student and have limited funds for such a thing.
posted by ocherdraco to Grab Bag (20 answers total)
Can you hire a photography student to take their pictures?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:40 PM on April 16, 2012 [4 favorites]

Clean her house.
posted by k8t at 4:45 PM on April 16, 2012

I'd like to do something special for all three of them, not just my sister. (Also, the housecleaning thing wouldn't really work, as she and my brother-in-law are going to be in the midst of a move.)
posted by ocherdraco at 4:53 PM on April 16, 2012

Help them move.
posted by k8t at 5:48 PM on April 16, 2012

k8t, thanks for the input, but that isn't really answering my question. What is something that can be done on Mother's Day that is for all three women: my mother, my sister, and her mother-in-law, while I am several states away? I can't go there; I can, however, order something or send something to make that particular day special. Helping my sister move is not an option; she has movers for that.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:54 PM on April 16, 2012

I agree with roomthreeseventeen. I have a photo of myself, my infant daughter, my mother, and my grandmothers. 11 years later, it's even more special to me than it was then.
posted by gnomeloaf at 5:54 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

A super special fancy delicious cake!
A Skype call?

I also really like the idea of a portrait of all of them. When you say not too expensive, what is your price range?
posted by looli at 6:11 PM on April 16, 2012

I'm looking to spend no more than $50-$75 on whatever it is I do for them, though I'm happy to pay additional shipping or suchlike.

A keepsake portrait is a great idea. What else could I do?
posted by ocherdraco at 6:17 PM on April 16, 2012

What about a beautifully made and filled in family tree to frame?
posted by Nickel Pickle at 6:25 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I like Nickel Pickle's idea. Similar would be what this site is calling a legacy journal. They probably don't want to spend all day on that, but they could get a start.
posted by lakeroon at 6:55 PM on April 16, 2012

What about those baby plaster handprint kits? You could send them three and they each have one to hang up. My mom has a wall of grandchild handprint pictures. Or you could get them each a frame with spots for two pictures plus pretty paper and paint. They could do a baby footprint in one spot and a picture of the baby with the grandmother or mother from the day in the other. You could paint "Baby's name, Mother's day 2012" on the mat in the frame if you want.
posted by artychoke at 8:53 PM on April 16, 2012

you could send them each a corsage (probably a single flower for three folks could be made to fit your budget), which is old-fashioned but cute. or find a barbershop quartet to stop by and sing "M is for the many things..."
posted by acm at 6:44 AM on April 17, 2012

As your sister will be one to three weeks postpartum AND in the midst of a move, I don't think she'll welcome a professional photo at this time. She will still be quite bloated and almost certainly exhausted. She is also likely to be very emotionally fragile. Whatever you choose, it should place absolutely no demands on her, physically or emotionally. She should be allowed to sit in a chair, nursing the baby and drinking lots of fluids, dozing, not having to look nice or put on company behavior.
posted by primate moon at 11:14 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Can you get a meal (or dessert or something) delivered? Between new house, new baby, and visiting grannies that seems like a no-brainer.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:50 PM on April 17, 2012

primate moon, that's a really good point about the photo.

At this point I think a family tree for my sister and legacy journals for the grandmothers are the direction I'll go. One gift for each of them, all related to the baby's arrival, but none of which require anything to be done on the day except to open them. (Knowing my mom and my sister's mother-in-law, they'll welcome the legacy journal idea—I don't think they'd see it as an imposition.)
posted by ocherdraco at 1:35 PM on April 17, 2012

I think your family tree and legacy journal ideas are great. As a side note, I want to put in a vote for having someone (your BIL?) take a photo at the meetup, regardless of whether or not you turn it into part of a gift. I have precious few photos of myself with my baby at that age, and I really wish other people would have made it a priority to take some photos, regardless of whether or not I felt bloated or exhausted at the time. I think later on, everyone will appreciate having taken the photos, even if your sister may not like them at the time. (And who knows, she might love them!)
posted by meggan at 2:05 PM on April 17, 2012

Don't worry, my mother will not let the event pass without copious numbers of snapshots being taken—which, incidentally is another reason for me not to bother my sister by arranging that. My brother in law will undoubtedly be pressed into service, as he has the good camera in our family.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:58 PM on April 17, 2012

As a very pregnant lady that will be spending mother's day with my mom, what I'd really appreciate is actually knowing ahead of time that small little gifts for the two grandmothers are taken care of (e.g., the family tree or a rose for each or such) and that reservations are made somewhere (your brother-in-law could take care of that). But I may just not be a 'surprise' type :).
posted by ejaned8 at 2:21 PM on April 18, 2012

I'm planning to box the gifts up and either bring them myself (if I come before Mothers' Day) or send them wrapped with an explanation of what they are.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:59 PM on April 18, 2012

Update: Well, none of this went down according to plan. First, I found out that there is major family discord in my brother-in-law's family which makes a family tree not possible (a possibility I hadn't considered). Then, his mom's travel plans changed such that she wouldn't be there on Mothers' Day after all, and I scrapped any gift-giving plans after talking to my sister (though she said I totally got credit for wanting to do something; she really appreciated the thought, even though it didn't work out).

In the end, I was actually with her on Mothers' Day weekend, along with my boyfriend, my mom, my dad (who decided he couldn't wait any longer to meet his new grandson), my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. My boyfriend and I did lots of work around the house, and that was well received.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:12 AM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

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