Inside Jersey Shore Star Ronnie Ortiz-Magro's Daughter's Magical First Birthday Party

To celebrate their daughter’s first birthday, Jersey Shore‘s Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and his on-again,off-again girlfriend, Jen Harley, hosted a “ONE-derland”-themed first birthday party for close friends and family at the star’s house in Las Vegas on Saturday. “I can’t believe she’s turning 1,” says Ortiz-Magro of his daughter, Ariana Sky.

“This past year of new fatherhood has definitely put a lot of perspective in my life,” he says. In March 2018, three days before welcoming his little girl, the reality TV star told PEOPLE he was nervous about becoming a dad. “I found out I’m having a baby girl and it’s like, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t want a girl,’ ” he revealed, adding to reporters, “I feel like I’ve done too many seasons of Jersey Shore that I know what girls can be like, and it has not given me a great perspective.” However, one year later, Ortiz-Magro could not feel more blessed. “Becoming a father definitely changed me,” he says. “It definitely made me realize what is important and what’s not important.”

“Ariana’s favorite TV show is Netflix’s Little Baby Bum,” says Ortiz-Magro. “It’s basically like a bunch of little farm animals that sing all the lullabies that we grew up on.” To celebrate, partygoers enjoyed a mini petting zoo, a bouncy house, face-painting, and were able to indulge in cakes by Freed’s Bakery. 

Though the Jersey Shore star has had his share of ups and downs, he feels that he’s evolving in the best way possible … all thanks to his little girl. “We’re going to go through a lot of ups and downs in our lives, and all we can really control is, how we react to the situations in our life,” he says. “That took a lot of years and good and bad stuff for me to realize in life, it’s about being present, and not worrying about the past, or the future, just enjoying the moment.”

Despite the duo’s rocky past, Ortiz-Magro and Harley have one end goal: to protect the wellbeing of their daughter. “Whether Jen and I are trying to co-parent, or we’re trying to work on things together, Ariana always seems first in our lives,” he says. “As long as we know that we’re being good parents, then we can take the steps to either try to work on things, or not. It’s just really is about being the best parents to that child. At the end of the day, we are in the spotlight, and Ariana is going to grow up, and see the way that we do act, and the way that we respond to certain situations. I think that they best bet is just, we just stay positive, and remember that, things can always be worse in every situation.”

“Usually, you throw a birthday like this, and it becomes mainly for the adults, all the time,” says Ortiz-Magro. “So, it’s like I have a lot of adults coming, but it’s gonna feel like a kid’s, kid’s birthday.”

There was a unicorn. That is all.

To celebrate the milestone, the birthday girls got her own smash cake. And while Ortiz-Magro is looking forward to the many more milestones ahead, he could not feel more grateful and at peace with his life now. “I’m blessed that I’m lucky enough to be on Jersey Shore, and I’ve had tons, and tons of experiences in life, but nothing compares to being a father,” he says.

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