Thursday, September 11, 2014

First Birthday Celebration!

Holy moly, this past week has been a bit nutzo! We've had family staying at our house for the past week, as well as people visiting from out of town to celebrate a big family milestone. Monday, September 8th, was Rubes' first birthday and we had her party this past weekend. I love parties, but they can be a lot of work. That coupled with the busiest work week I've had in a LONG time, made for one tired, sleep-deprived Mama! 

We decided to do a monster-themed party, and I've been Pinning all kinds of cool things to do for decor and food. I love me a good themed party, and we had so much fun getting everything ready. It was a LOT of work, but I really tried to pace myself and do little bits for the few weeks leading up to her birthday. Overall the stuff came out pretty much like I wanted it to, and her party was lovely.

I think the easiest thing that we made were the Monster Rice Krispies Treats. A little melting chocolate in different colors, and some edible candy eyes, and we were set to go!

We also made chocolate dipped pretzel sticks, which we rolled in sparkly and colorful sprinkles, as well as some chocolate dipped Oreos. These were a bit of a pain, because we had to "glue" the sticks in with buttercream frosting, and then some of the chocolate colors were a little light to cover up the dark cookie, but add a few eyes and some icing, and voila! Monsters on a stick!

My niece and my older sister helped out, and made these AMAZING monster goodie bags. They put the faces on regular, solid colored gift bags, and added all kinds of accessories and stuff. I was thrilled with how they turned out. They are both so creative, and every bag looked a little different. 

We put out colored pieces of paper next to the red box (which you can see in the picture below). We asked people to write a note to Rubes and put it in the box. We have sealed the box (along with some pictures from her party) and we will have her open it up at her 18th birthday party. I can't wait to see what people wrote to her! 

We had lots of little ones coming (the oldest was three) so we set up a little set of tables and chairs and I printed some mister images that I found online. We put out cups of crayons next to them, and when they were done coloring them, we hung the pictures on the wall next to the table and made a little monster gallery.

This birthday party for us, was a bigger deal than most first birthday parties are, since at times in this past year we didn't know if Rubes was going to make it to her first birthday. I haven't mentioned it here before, but part of the reason I became more motivated to change how my life was going, was because we got as close as you can get to losing our girl. In October of 2013, when Rubes was just 6 weeks old, she was acting pretty lethargic and sleeping a ton. Then one night she started to vomit a lot, and we took her to the emergency room to make sure that she wasn't getting dehydrated. A VERY long and complicated story short, 12 hours after entering in the emergency room, she was placed on life support because her heart had stopped and she had been given CPR to revive her. 

We didn't know it, but she had an undiagnosed heart defect, and during the 6 weeks she had been alive, although she was eating and seemingly doing well, her body was not getting enough oxygen and her heart was working overtime. Not only did her heart fail that day, but she was in kidney failure, liver failure and her digestive system was shutting down (why she was vomiting so much). Four days later she underwent open heart surgery to fix the issue, many of the hospital staff didn't think she would make it through the surgery, but she did and continued to fight. We stayed at the hospital for 8 weeks total, while they slowly but surely got all of her organ systems back to working order and her relatively healthy. 

Now, 10 months later she is doing so well. She is physically catching up to the kids in her age group, and she is cognitively right at about age level. She is gaining weight, and her heart function looks great. Although she will have to undergo around 4 more surgeries in her lifetime to replace one of the valves in her heart, we will be prepared for those and she will go in as a healthy kid. 

This was without a doubt the most trying, difficult, terrifying experience of my life, and I can truly say that I left the hospital with her as a different person. A more kind, grateful, motivated person. So this birthday was especially important for us. Not only was it a typical big-deal-for-our-kid milestone, but it was one that reminds us of how lucky we are to actually have her here on this day. We were so blessed to have so many family and friends to join us and share in the love as well!

Make sure to check out Scarlett's camping themed 3rd birthday pictures as well for some more fun party ideas! 


  1. Love this!! We're sharing your monster rice krispie treats over at our Great Play Eat Grow Halloween Roundup! :)

  2. Love, love, LOVE the Monster Rice Krispie Treats. Attempting to make this tonight and hoping it's not a Pinterest-fail on my end. Beautiful job!

  3. Hi! Planning my Grandsons 3rd birthday when I ran across your Pinterest board. We are doing a monster party and love the rice crispys treat...but anyway loved hearing your story about your little Ruby. I pray she is doing well! Thank you for sharing! Leigh

  4. love this idea, want to make for my lil ones birthday!!

  5. Tears in my eyes! Ruby is beautiful. You're so blessed.

  6. Hi! love the rice krispie treats! where do u get the edible eyes though??