A Perfectly Summery Baby Shower Pool Party!

While the mommy-to-be probably won't be swimming, the perfect theme for a swelteringly hot dog day would be a baby shower pool party! It's a theme laden with lots of really pretty ideas and great for a family shower.

First thing is to broadcast the theme with the invitations. If you've got cash to spare, write the invitations on a beach ball and mail that to the guests. Or, send out one centering on items related to pool-time fun like flip-flops, sunglasses, or even pretty tropical drinks. You could ask everyone to come prepared with bathing suits and trunks, but that shouldn't be mandatory, in deference to the mommy-to-be.

You could also take one of those items as the central decoration for the baby shower pool party, although the traditional baby shower themes of frogs, rubber duckies, and umbrellas would work well, too. Let's say tropical drinks would be the central theme. So, the color scheme could be lime green, cherry pink, lemon yellow, and Curacao blue. Start off with balloons in these cool, fruity colors and set them in bunches to delineate the party area. Decorate the bunches with ribbon curls in complementary colors and anchor them to large pots planted with low, flowering shrubs.

Make the baby shower lively by using different colors for each tablecloth. At the center, use a large martini glass and fill it with flowers to simulate a party drink. Surround the glass with white votive candles in colored glass containers and sprinkle the table with candy wrapped in shiny foil and confetti. Use white frosted plastic plates and fabric napkins but decorate each napkin and place setting with a sparkly stretch hair band in the fruity colors.

Set up tents or umbrellas to keep away the heat, but put the buffet table under a grass shack roof if you can. Simply set up the table near the house and extend a light awning decorated with hula skirts. The buffet table itself should be covered with a Curacao blue fabric and decorated with little martini flower arrangements. Set the baby shower cake right at the center so it can be the topic of conversation. Serve all the food on fruit-colored platters to make them really pop.

Unless specifically requested or you like the idea of smoking yourself in the heat, stay away from barbecued anything! Although if the daddy-to-be is willing to man the grill, then why not? Otherwise, serve a cool, uncomplicated menu like a pretty Greek salad with feta cheese and caramelized walnuts, wraps made with a combo of chicken-lettuce-mango for one and smoked salmon-asparagus for the other, and a make-your-own hotdog sandwich bar for the kids. Dessert could be simple fruit kebabs and an iced creamy margarita pie. For the beverages, a mommytini made of watermelon juice spiked with fresh ginger and made into a slush and topped with a garnish of a watermelon chunk and a fresh strawberry could very well be the drink of the day.

For the favors, you could go all out and present each guest with their own summer care bag of an individual sunblock, after sun lotion, and a CD of the Beach Boys music you'll have playing the whole time.