"Today" show hosts opted for a book shower instead of a baby shower for NBC correspondent Jenna Bush Hager
, daughter of former President George W. Bush
and Laura Bush, who will have her first child in early May, People magazine reported.
The gift table at Peter Callahan Catering studio in New York, where the event was held on April 2, was piled not with onesies and blankets, but with dozens of her "Today" colleagues’ favorite kiddie reads, each inscribed with parenting advice.
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“Get a nap anytime you can,” advised former co-anchor Meredith Viera in a copy of "We’re Going on a Bear Hunt," while Hoda Kotb said Bush Hager only had to do whatever her own mom did.
But Bush Hager’s parents — Laura and George W. Bush, the 43rd president — have been more than role models through this pregnancy. Mom swept into the lower Manhattan apartment Bush Hager shares with husband Henry Hager last month to whip the nursery together.
“Put us all to work!” Bush Hager told People exclusively, describing a neutral seafoam-green color scheme because they do not know if they’re having a boy or a girl. (Shower guests wrote guesses on rolled-up cloth diapers; “Boy” was the majority pick.)
And Grandpa, who’s taken up painting in his post-White House life, contributed the artwork: a portrait of the Hagers’ cat, Bernadette, for over the crib; a landscape featuring a “baby tree” on his Texas ranch; and a still life of nightfall over the ranch’s stone cross where the Hagers were married in 2008. He titled that one “Goodnight Moon,” noted Bush Hager, 31, with a smile. “He’s become an artiste. There’s a whole new side of him and he’s so excited about the baby.”
"Goodnight Moon," the book, was also among Bush Hager’s shower gifts — this one from news anchor Natalie Morales, who said she made up a song to the repetitive bedtime story to keep it from getting boring as she read it “so many darn times” to her own two children.
And to really keep the boredom out of bedtime, "Today" producer Jackie Levin had a little something for Mom’s nightstand, too: E.L. James’ best-selling erotica, "Fifty Shades of Gray." Hager laughed and glanced over at her husband: “That’s baby number two material!”
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