As an American millennial, my Instagram feed and Facebook timeline are both filled with fellow friends having Gender Reveal Parties. While this tradition is just a few years old, us American's love an excuse to party. So although I live in Budapest and not one of my expat friends, or my in-laws had ever heard of this, I was not going to miss my chance to join in on the Gender Reveal fun.
At our 13-week ultrasound, the doctor could see the sex of the baby but we instructed him to write it down and put it in an envelope because we wanted to wait to find out the sex of the baby with our family. I fell down the stairs and landed on my butt at 16 weeks and went for a check-up and they again wrote down the sex of the baby. Then at my 20th week appointment, just one week before the gender reveal, we had the doctor write down the results again. Now, I know we were crazy to have them write it down again and again, but at 13 weeks, we thought that was too soon to tell, and 20 weeks is the sweet spot of when you know for sure!
For the reveal, I wanted a big BOOM! Wow! Surprise! moment. So I went to a few party stores in the city and they were so confused on what I was looking for and talking about. But with a little online research I found Smile Balloon and Party Shop and they had done just a few of these before. The women who worked there thought it was sooooooooo fun, they wished they could do more Gender Reveals! They were so excited. They instructed me that a regular large box would only hold 3 balloons, and I knew I wanted bigger than big. So I enlisted the help of my friend and we built my dream box.
With 2 trips to Office Max, I got two boxes, loads of tape, paper to wrap the box, and to make DIY pom-poms. We spent two 8-hour days crafting this box. Boy was this a task! I thank you a million times over, Simbie!!!! Such a great friend that I have met here in Budapest.
Anyway, I had to throw this sucker in a taxify to get it to the Smile Balloon & Party Shop. They were so excited to fill the boxes with balloons. They had my husband and I pick out what we wanted in Blue and in Pink, then they sent us to the back of the store, as they opened up the envelopes. They then put the bill together for us to pay, and they put the receipt back in the envelopes as the colored balloons are shown on the itemized receipt. They didn't want to give it away, but they did confirm that all 3 envelopes stated the same sex for the baby. They placed the results and the receipt in the bottom of the box for us to retrieve at the party and to save for the baby book. They even got to work early on Saturday morning to fill up the box with fresh helium in the balloons for us to pick it up at 10am, so they wouldn't deflate by 6:30pm.
What a treat that my Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Cousin and Mother In-Law made it from America for the big reveal. We were also able to share the moment with my husband's huge Hungarian family. With 32 family members sharing this moment with us we knew it was going to be a moment we would never forget.
My friends and family back home wanted to be apart of the reveal, and asked for a specific time that the reveal would happen. We did Facebook LIVE during the entire party which consisted of a ton of hungarian being spoken, hugs & kisses, and people eating food. I decided that an hour and a half into the party I would do the reveal. I let everyone know, and it was such a great turn out. The LIVE event went from 11 people watching us eat, to over 30 people watching live for the actual reveal itself. It was a success.
It felt like the people who weren't physically there, were actually there, if you know what I mean. It was awesome to know that my brother and his 8 month pregnant girlfriend were watching live. My father-in-law, my sister-in-law and her 2 sons were watching. My friends from LA, Florida, North Carolina and New York were all watching live. And tons of other family members! It was about 60 people who got to enjoy the event from all over the world. Gotta love technology.
I did a speech in English as my husband translated in Hungarian and with the opening of the box, and the two confetti cannons..... we found out that we are having a GIRL!
I am so thrilled how everything turned out. The specific gender reveal party favors and additions from the party came from Amazon US, as no party stores in the city had any of these supplies.
So although I'm an expat in Budapest, I can still enjoy American traditions, and still feel the love from my friends and family from all over the world. We can't wait to meet our daughter Skyla Antoinette Varga!
Are there some traditions you are missing as an expat? Are there any concerns you have about becoming an expat?