"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball

September 22, 2012

Katea's Birthday BASH!

My little miracle turned one and I wanted to celebrate BIG.  She's a miracle, I say it all the time. She was born 16 weeks early....that's 4 months early....she had to do all of her developing that should have been done inside me, with my help....outside, all by herself.  Her organs were formed but not developed fully, her skin was still see-through. With all the complications that could have and maybe even should have gone wrong with her, she's a miracle!  No brain bleeds.  No serious heart issues.  The only serious issue she's dealing with his her poor weak little underdeveloped lungs, and her Chronic Lung Disease.  I count my blessings everyday for that, and I have no doubt that she's made it to where she is today because of all the love and support and thoughts and prayers and fasts in her behalf!

I wanted a BIG birthday, not only to celebrate her....but to thank everyone who had a part in her first year of life.  I went with a sesame street theme because of the little Elmo she got from the NICU, that was the same size as her when she was born.  I had picked that theme a couple months ago and I had so many ideas floating around in my head of what I'd like to do.  Ana Po'oi came over and I talked to her a little bit about my ideas and solicited her help....because she's so creative and not afraid to build or try or make new things...so I thought she'd be the perfect person to help me.  And she was!  She took my ideas and put them on steriods and made them like 10 times better than what I was even picturing.  LOL. Our idea was to make it fun for the kids, so to do like carnival games....and the games were going to be the different sesame street characters and we were going to draw and paint them all ourselves.  To tell you the truth, I was a little skurred because I am not an artist and didn't know if I'd be able to do it......I'm such a perfectionist when it comes to stuff like that, that I could just see myself getting frustrated if it didn't look perfect.  LOL. 

I went to Home Depot and bought some big boards and had them cut up....the board was like 8 feet long by 4 1/2 feet high and I had them cut them into 3rds.  Ana had already made these same type boards for her family reunion, so she was super confident they were going to turn out awesome.  I was so hesitant.  The first one we did was cookie monster....she pulled up a picture of cookie monster on her phone and sat it on the floor and she drew it on the board with pencil....she made it look so easy to look at the small picture from her phone and duplicate it several times its size onto a big huge board!  She drew and erased and drew and erased until it was perfect.  Then the painting began.  This is where I jumped in and helped....once the picture was drawn, painting it was just like coloring in a coloring book.  It took us a couple hours and when it was done, I was A-M-A-Z-E-D!  I couldn't believe we just did that.  Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but it was freakin' amazing....LOL.... I LOVED it and thought it turned out awesome!  And that board sparked a crazy passion in both Ana and I to hurry and get the other 6 done! LOL

Here's our very first project......our Cookie Monster toss game backdrop
Picture on the right is blurry, but I just wanted to give perspective on how big these boards were compared to my 2 year old.  All we had left to do was to cut the middles of the cookies and his mouth out and one game was done!  Yay!
Since that board turned out so nice, we were on fire to finish the rest......it only took us a day to finish each board......and before we knew it we were almost done.
After cookie monster, we did Oscar the grouch together & Bert and Ernie together...then we thought we'd get them done faster if we each did our own instead of doing one together, so Ana did Elmo
and I did Abby Cadabby & Big Bird......I was pretty surprised at how nice they turned out, I didn't even know I could draw!  LOL

When all was said and done, we were so proud of ourselves!  They were perfect, exactly what I wanted....actually more than I expected.  I was so excited about them!

We also drew and painted this other Elmo
My idea was for people to not bring her gifts.  We were inviting people who had already done so much for us and her over this year and we wanted her birthday party to be an opportunity for us to thank everyone for all their love and support...Of course, people aren't going to come to a birthday party without a gift, so I thought it would be a good idea to ask that instead of buying her a gift, if they wanted to do something they could make a donation to Elmo at her party.....and all the proceeds would go to Team Katea and the March of Dimes!  The March of Dimes funds research for advancements in medical technology specifically in regards to preemies...and infant mortality.  I have a HUGE place in my heart for this organization.  Not only because my Katea is alive thanks to these advancements....but also because I lost my baby Cindy.  Hopefully they'll be able to find ways to help mothers who are pregnant with a subchrionic hematoma and help them so that they don't have to go through what I went through. 
We made the board like Elmo was throwing envelopes and people could go write a birthday note to Katea on the envelope, insert their donation and clip it to the board. 
The board says (in purple, the color of March of Dimes)
"Leave a penny with your thoughts...
share a nickel with your kiss...
a dime, as you tell me that you love me"
TEAM KATEA knows you love me for this!  :)

The last and final board we were making was a group painting of all of the characters....we left this one for the last, because it was the biggest....and the most work...and it honestly took forever for us to finish.  I'm so glad we got all the others out of the way pretty quickly because if we would have waited or taken any longer, I doubt we would have finished them all ontime.  Towards the last couple days, my work schedule and Ana's work schedule were super busy and always clashing, so we just worked on it here and there when we could.  We literally finished it like the night before the party....talk about cutting it close!  LOL

Work in progress...
Finished product :)

Next up on our preparation list was the cupcakes.  We were going to make 300 sesame street character cupcakes.  I wasn't even going to attempt with the time or space to bake them all myself, so I ordered plain cupcakes from Sam's club and had my sister and a couple really good friends (Dianna & Cia) come over and help me decorate them.  We finished all 300 of them in a few hours.....and they turned out awesome!  I was seriously surprising myself all around LOL

These are the finished product.....didn't they turn out so cute?!

All 300 loaded into the back of Marie's suburban....it took up the entire space. LOL

We didn't know how we were going to display 300 cupcakes....because every cupcake stand we saw was way to expensive and way too small.  So I went back to Home Depot and bought more wood and Ana's husband Lopi built us one....it was HUGE, it was perfect!
The cake topper was made from scratch especially for baby Katea by her aunties Tina and Toa!
We saw on pinterest these vegetable plates that were so cute
 but we wanted ours to be 3D, so this is what we came up with.....
My little sister Marie painted this awesome birthday banner for her...
Our candyland was the prize table where the kids could buy candy with the tickets they earned from playing the games...
Our photo booth where everyone could take pictures with the sesame street characters
My older sister Leslie was our photographer :)
Our carnival game set-up
The food was set up buffet style and Ova and his family did everything.  They made their booth food, teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef, kalua pork, rice, macarooni salad.....everything was so good!
I could have cried that day because everything came together so nicely. The whole place was nice and bright and it was lots of fun for the kids, and the food was delicious!  So glad it turned out how we planned, and so glad that it's finally over and we can rest. LOL
Thank you to Ana and to my sisters for all their help....thank you to Ova's family for preparing all the food....thank you to my family for providing the drinks/plates/forks/etc.  But most especially thank you, thank you, thank you to all our family and friends for all your love and support for our baby girl over this past year!
Happy Happy Happy Birthday my little miracle Katea!
One year down.....many many more to come!  :)


Mua said...

You guys sure know how to throw a party! That was the best birthday party EVER! Baby Katea totally deserved it, love the pic of you guys at the end, Katea looks sooooo cute! Glad we were able to be apart of this memorable day and milestone!! Love you guys always:)

Kassie said...

You did an AMAZING job.. everything was perfect!!! Wish we wouldve been able to be there. I hope you kept EVERYTHING!!! and I might want to rent your cupcake stand for the twins birthday hahaha.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET MIRACLE!!! love you guys