I have yet to meet anyone who loves birthdays more than Ingrid. She is always talking about her birthday, her friends birthdays and her sisters birthdays. When one is over she starts talking about the next. She loves everything about them - especially decorating and buying gifts.
Well, with the exception of my own birthday, I love birthdays, too. Especially now that I have children. We try to keep it simple at home but drag it out over a few days, building the anticipation of the big day. I would like for them to be excited about facing another birthday instead of dismissing them like I prefer.
Early in the school year, our teacher sent home a note with details of how she would like birthdays during the school year to be celebrated. Instead of birthday treats in the form of cookies or cupcakes, she suggested that the birthday child could bring to school with them a wrapped book and present it to the class. I, personally, liked the idea and scoped out a few good book ideas. I locked it away in my memory for nine months and then, suddenly, the day is here. We chose "One" by Katherine Otoshi, a fantastic book about standing up to bullies.
The teacher asked that we include a picture of the birthday child and write their name inside the book. Here is ours.
Elodie and I started on the cake the night before. I'm pretty sure there's an exact picture of me doing this same thing. Oh how I loved getting to lick the bowl! As the last of four children, I hardly ever got to lick the beaters, though.
Ingrid still loves a "cute lunch" but since they take so much time and energy (I'm lazy in the mornings) I usually only make them for special occasions. Birthdays are such occasions. In the lunch box today were ham sandwiches cut in a princess crown shape, yellow peppers and poppyseed dressing to dip, a mini chocolate cupcake (because she finally got to have her birthday on an actual school day), and in the yellow bag a nod to her current obsession and a birthday-only inclusion - a blind bag Shopkin. I knew she would flip over that.
Before school started we did the bi-annual height measuring. At seven years old, Ingrid is four feet, three inches tall. Is that tall? I don't know.
A few weeks ago I made a floral garland to hang up at Ingrid's fairy party. That particular party isn't going to happen because I have lost all mojo and instead we are doing it at another place. But I didn't want the garland to go to waste so I hung it up outside to surprise Ingrid on her birthday.
I also bought a lot of plastic flowers to help create a fairy land in our house but, again, since they weren't going to be used for any parties, I figured I'd decorate with them outside, too. Too bad it rained over night and pretty much all morning, as well.
At 2:00 in the morning after I finished putting balloons and flowers on the house, I decided to add an extra surprise and put balloons on the car, too. Ingrid was impressed even if she pretended not to be. I have proof, though, that she liked it just fine.
While the birthday girl was away at school, Elodie and Danica entertained themselves over a little tea party. I like to look at pictures like this and imagine them as adults doing the exact same thing. I love that they will have each other for life.
Aunt Cindy and Alec drove over to Ottawa to help celebrate with us. And, thanks to Cindy, we got a rare family picture that I actually approve of!
Ingrid wanted to have Harvey's for her birthday supper and, specifically, wanted to eat it there.
There were seven of us and since the place is pretty small, we had to pull some tables together. Ingrid, Elodie and Cindy wore their birthday hats. After we all ordered and sat down the staff came over to wish her a happy birthday. As we finished, they presented her with a chocolate cake, complete with candles for her to blow out. They sang happy birthday to her and took pictures of her.
I'm pretty sure this isn't a normal business practice for Harvey's, especially since one of the ladies told us she had run down to the super store and bought the cake herself to bring back for us to enjoy! How nice! They sure did make Ingrid feel special.
As we were finally leaving, Ingrid's new friend Isabella from our street was coming in with her grandmother. So we went back inside and sat with them while they ate their hotdogs and shared our cake.
Isabella's grandmother had seen our outside decorations earlier in the morning and they went out to buy a present for Ingrid. They happened to have it in her car and brought it into the restaurant with them. I thought that was so kind.
We came home and had a few more celebrations including a piñata (what's up with these wimpy ribbon pull piñatas these days, anyway?).
Though everyone was full from the cake at Harvey's, we had to have a bit more so we could sing a proper Happy Birthday to our precious Ingrid.
And then on to the gifts! Ingrid's favourite part, of course!
I think she was excited.