It would have been easy to mistake Ashlie Chumley for a first-time mom, considering the way she dressed her new teddy bear Saturday at a mass baby shower for military families.
After all, she put the diaper on OVER the bear's bodysuit.
"That's a daddy move," joked volunteer Heather Whitehead, a military spouse like Chumley.
But Chumley isn't a rookie parent. She and her husband, Nellis Airman 1st Class Brian Woollard, have a 19-month-old son and a 2-month-old daughter.
Chumley offered this excuse for her faux pas after the shower's dress-a-teddy-bear game: "I didn't realize there was a diaper in there."
Needless to say, she didn't win the game, but she still took home plenty of baby loot.
The Nevada chapter of Operation Homefront hosted 105 military families at its first baby shower, held at the Clark County Armory on North Range Road. The families represented 111 babies, including four sets of twins and one set of triplets.
Shower coordinator Jody Shervanick said families with babies due between Nov. 1, 2010, and April 30, 2011, were invited to the shower. All branches of the military were represented.
Shervanick said Operation Homefront plans showers twice a year to accommodate all the military families that need assistance. Most of the families have a member stationed at Nellis Air Force Base.
"Don't drink the water at Nellis," Shervanick joked, "because everyone's pregnant."
Staff Sgt. Tamika Dixson, the mother of a 4-year-old boy, is expecting twin girls in April. She works as a respiratory therapist at Nellis, and the children's father, Staff Sgt. Maurice Stubbs, works as a base firefighter. He was working Saturday and couldn't attend the shower.
Dixson said Stubbs returned from Afghanistan this past summer, so she expects him to be around for the birth of their daughters. Family business caused him to miss the birth of their son.
"It's a lot easier when there's two people instead of one," Dixson said.
She went home Saturday with a double stroller and plenty of new outfits for her twins. She said it's nice to know the community supports military families.
"I haven't heard of these kind of events in the past," she said.
Shervanick said everything for the shower was donated.
"This was easily a $90,000 baby shower," she said.
Families walked away with such items as car seats, diapers, bottles, blankets, clothing, books, rocking chairs and potty-training equipment. Shervanick said the families with the greatest financial need received the biggest items.
But Shervanick said the shower wasn't just about gifts -- it was about supporting military families and getting to know the expectant mothers.
"A lot of these women are so lonely," she said, her own tears beginning to flow. "They miss their husbands; they're worried for their safety."
Shervanick, a self-described "Air Force brat," said many of the women at Saturday's event are new to Southern Nevada and have no friends or family here to throw them a shower.
She recalled e-mails from deployed fathers, while she was organizing the shower, with messages such as, "Thank you for taking care of my wife, because I can't."
Shervanick estimated that half of the families represented at the shower have fathers who are currently deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq or Kuwait. And about two dozen of those fathers won't be home when their babies are born.
Jessica Dukes expects her husband, Sam, to be present at the birth of their first child, a boy, in April. He is a senior airman at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, and he attended the shower with her.
But if there's one thing the young woman has learned during her short time as a military wife, it's this: "There's really not much planning with anything. You just kind of have to go with the flow."
Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-384-8710.