Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s a great opportunity to be creative and let your imagination run wild. I have long looked foward to sharing the day with my own children, hoping that they’ll enjoy playing pretend with me. I’ve been so excited for Maddie’s first Halloween that I’ve been too excited to sleep the last few days. Last year I was in the hospital on Halloween, and I tried to make myself feel better by thinking a year in advance to Maddie’s first time dressing up. When she was born only eleven days after Halloween, I decided that I’d combine Halloween with her first birthday party. I would sit by her bed in the NICU and tell her all about the amazing birthday party we were going to throw her the next year. So when I say I’ve had her birthday party planned for a year, I’m not exaggerating.
All of our families and friends got into it as well. We had a hippie, cat burglar, tacky tourist, chefs, pirates, Sarah Palin, pizza delivery man, USC football fan, Presidential ballot, cowboys, baseball player, bumble bee, Dr. Frankenstein, and a Monchhichi, just to name some of the guests. The kids, however, were adorable. Dorothy & the Scarecrow, Ariel the Mermaid, a flower, a lion, Buzz Lightyear & Woody, a UCLA Cheerleader, a prisoner, Superman, and of course, our little Pebbles.
It was a blast to watch the kids play. Some were too little to run around, but it was cool to know that they’ll all be chasing each other next year at Maddie’s second birthday party.
As is the custom at all first birthday parties, Maddie had a special cake that was all for her. She wasn’t sure what to do with it at first.
I was really hoping she’d go nuts and just eat it like crazy, but she was far more interested in grabbing the frosting. She DID eventually she taste the sweet sweet sugar…
…but didn’t seem too into it.
So much for my dreams of her gaining a couple pounds via birthday cake.
As much as Maddie’s party was a celebration of her life, it was a thank you to everyone who took care of me on bed rest, started prayer chains, cooked us dinner, and loves our daughter. Our only regret is that we couldn’t invite every single person that’s touched our lives. That, and we couldn’t fly all of Maddie’s world-wide fans to the party, too!
With the invitations to Maddie’s party, we included the following note: To our dear family and friends – You have given us the greatest gift, your support when Maddie was sick. Maddie is blessed, she has her health and everything else she could need. We ask, in lieu of gifts, that you please donate to the March of Dimes in Madeline’s name. Please help other babies like Madeline. Mike and I wanted to give back to other babies like our Maddie. Babies who would have never made it without the advances the March of Dimes has funded. We asked that the party guests sign a book for Maddie with their wishes for her. When Maddie is 13, 18, 30 years old, she won’t care what toys she received on her first birthday. But she WILL love to read all the special notes written to her. And, if Mike and I do our jobs right, she’ll be so happy to know that when she turned one, she made a difference in the lives of babies that had a rough start like her. Babies who went on to have fabulous first birthday parties just like her.