My daughter turned 13 yesterday (deep breath); she’s now a teenager. I feel faint.
I’m not even sure how this happened, but in all seriousness, it’s so exciting to share this milestone with her. She’s always been an amazing kid to me and her dad, and we couldn’t be prouder of her (the crow’s feet around my eyes I could happily wish away, but not if it means I didn’t age these 13 years and get to see this girl grow up, so I guess I’ll need more eye cream).
Here’s a little peak into how we celebrate our kids’ birthdays every year, and how to sign HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your kids!
We’ve always started birthdays early in the morning with our kids. First thing upon waking we gather in our pajamas and open a few little presents. This is her brother opening some presents on his birthday last year.
We always blast our “birthday playlist” full of different kinds of birthday songs that we’ve been adding to every year. Silly songs like “A Berry Happy Birthday” from Ella’s favourite show as a toddler, Strawberry Shortcake, right to some birthday-themed Beatles and Stevie Wonder and Selena Gomez songs. Those soundbites remind us of the early birthday parties and celebrations through the years (if you search “birthday” you’ll find lots of fun songs). We loop the birthday playlist all morning as we eat breakfast and get ready for school.
This year we decided to step up our birthday morning game a little. Thirteen is a big number and she’s been really excited to become a teenager. The buildup for the past few weeks has been tremendous. So we wanted to watch Ella wake up her first morning as a teenager and start smiling right away…my husband and I snuck into her room at the crack of dawn and put 13 balloons around her bed. Then we crept back in when we heard her stirring. A birthday surprise to get her smiling as soon as she opened her eyes. It was so fun!
Then, downstairs for birthday pancakes.
Happy Birthday cake toppers by Lisa Leonard
We usually save pancakes for the weekends when there’s more time, but the birthday girl wanted pancakes, so pancakes it is! For dinner the four of us went out for her favourite food -SUSHI! And a party with her friends will happen soon, but for now, it’s all about her.
Happy Birthday Ella!
Here’s a little montage I made of her first 12 birthdays…time flies when you’re having fun! This was a big project, but I am so glad I’ve taken lots of photos and at least tried to get a smiling pic with her cake or at her party each year. Putting them all together with the numbers for her age thirteen years later was pretty neat. She absolutely loved it!
Do you have birthday rituals you do every birthday with your family?
To sign HAPPY BIRTHDAY in American Sign Language, first brush your flat hand upwards on chest for HAPPY
Then with middle finger extended, tap your chin once and then your chest once for BIRTHDAY.