Thanks for all your input!
I finally caught my friend on the phone, and she isn't up to visitors this week yet, so one of my problems has been solved.
I will, however, still have a time conversation with my DH - because he puts time limits on visits with my family/friends even if he isn't hurrying somewhere. His experience with my family is no more unenjoyable for him than my experience with his friends.
In fact, we may just decide to ALWAYS put time limits on events, regardless.
I stopped by the local toy store and got Baby an $8 toy camcorder. It's colorful and makes noises, and frankly is more or less the sum we spent on each of our nieces and nephews for their 1st birthdays.
My reasoning was that if I let DH do it he would spend way, way too much money and be in a foul mood about it, too.
Now I'm betting that there will still be a collection for the Friend's birthday...