Leading up to her 7th birthday, I cannot count how many nights before bed Selah would suddenly burst into uncontrollable tears while I was snuggling her. When I could finally calm her down enough to tell me what was wrong, she would sob, “I just want to stay little forever so I can snuggle you forever!! I don’t want to turn 7!!” #heartgush
We had finally decided to make a little agreement that we would celebrate her birthday but she didn’t ACTUALLY have to turn 7 :). It would sure be fine with me!!
But lo and behold, when October 8th rolled around, she confessed in a small voice that maybe she did, indeed, want to turn 7. So I permitted it. 🙂 That night, while going to bed, she confessed, “Mommy, I just wish I could still celebrate a birthday every year but only grow older every OTHER year. So I’d be 3 and 1/2 right now. That sounds nice.” I don’t know if I will ever grasp the incredible complexities in this little girl’s mind, but somehow my heart expands for her each day and I love her so much more with every sunrise. What a special little girl God made her.
In this same vein of not wanting to grow older, for years Selah would “suddenly” turn into a baby. Literally, for years, we would be eating dinner, playing a game, or at the store and Selah would suddenly exclaim, “Mom, I’m a baby today, k?” And she would drop to all fours and start crawling around speaking gibberish. This year, that little habit transformed a bit. Now, at various times throughout the day, I hear: “Mom, I’m a puppy. A BABY puppy, k?” And, in like manner, she drops to all fours and begins to bark and beg. She asks (ahem, barks and motions) to have her food and water delivered in a bowl on the floor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found her lapping up water from a bowl on the floor. She is a surprisingly convincing puppy for not having spent much time around one and I am getting used to stepping over my sweet little puppy while going about daily life.
She asked to have a puppy party this year and, of course, the ideas just started flooding in. We settled on a puppy adoption party and invited some sweet friends to come join in on the fun. The kids pulled out all of their doggy “stuffies” (as they are called by these children) and placed them in various places around the house as decoration. Selah wanted 3 waiting right in the doorway as people walked in. A few minutes before party guests were due to arrive the kids began making a banner that said, “Selah’s 7th birthday,” so that is what they are doing in that bottom picture!
We set up our dining room as the party room and adoption headquarters. Fun fact: I learned that we can print 11×17 papers so I made posters for the first time ever! You can see the basket full of puppies “that we found abandoned on the side of the road,” the carrying cases the kids got to decorate, adoption certificates and a bunch of leftover Great Wolf Lodge ears for the kiddos.
The kids’ eyes were HUGE as I explained we had found these puppies and they needed homes! I said they could each pick one and they just stared at me with mouths gaping and said slowly, in awe, “Do we…get to…KEEP…them?” When I said, “YES!” they just giggled with gratitude and joy and wonder. My goodness, I love this age!
Here are the various stations, with instructions on the “Selah’s Puppy Adoption Center” poster. Choose your favorite puppy, take your pup to the vet, design a perfect collar, decorate a doggy carrier, and receive an adoption certificate. The kids each selected a puppy and we headed to the Vet’s office! Selah had set out clipboards with “Check-up” sheets attached and various vet supplies.
I created this “Check-up” sheet after scrolling through several ideas. They were perfect for giving the kids a guide as to how to take care of their pets. I was fully expecting Selah to jump in and examine her puppy but, instead, she took on a teacher (or head veterinarian?) role and helped each friend one by one, answering questions and instructing them on how to fill out their forms and take care of their puppies. It was adorable. I was hoping this station would be fun for the kids, but I was surprised to see how FULLY engaged and “in it” they were. They carefully, diligently, and quite seriously inspected their little puppies with stethoscopes and examining tools. We weighed them and checked their eyes, ears, hearts, paws, and noses. We bandaged, provided medicine, or x-rayed them if necessary. When we were certain we had 6 healthy puppies, we moved onto crafting!
I had purchased these gable boxes from Hobby Lobby and Brian cut a hole in the front so their puppies could see through. Then, I just pulled out every sticker, gem, and crafting supply I had that might work to decorate them. They made adorable little carriers for their pups!! I also set out pipe cleaners and various beads and jingle bells so the kids could decorate collars. I cut out little circles from cardstock so they could create a tag for the collar. It was fun to see their creativity!
Once they had finished their carrying cases and collars, they signed an official Adoption Certificate!
Selah was adamant about having an obstacle course for the puppies. She and Elliott had set up a little course in the backyard and once the puppies were “officially” theirs, they took them outside and ran through the obstacle course with them! Meanwhile, I set up for lunch inside.
We, obviously :), decided to have a HOT DOG BAR for lunch, along with some “puppy” food. As we were talking about various toppings we could have out for hot dogs, Grandma suggested chili. I immediately got the vision in my head for our “Hot Dog Cafe”…Choose between a “Hot Dog” or a “Chili Dog,” (check out the picture below) and then add your various toppings!
In addition to hot dogs, we had Paw-tato Chips, Veggie Kibble, and Fetch Sticks. Super fun :).
We had a couple older siblings playing with Elliott while the younger ones paw-tied, but they joined us for lunch!
For her birthday “pup-cakes,” Selah requested Mud Pie, which is the Moberg tradition. I made these individual Mud Pie pup-cakes and we decorate them with paw prints. The Oreo paw has mint chocolate chip ice cream inside, and the marshmallow paw has cookies n’ cream. Mmm.
Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday, dear Selah!
For her birthday, we got Selah three presents this year. The shirt you see her wearing (how adorable, right?!!), a bible of her very own, and…wait for it…a puppy costume.
She basically hasn’t taken the costume off since and now we all feel like we really DO have a real, live puppy in the house! For her birthday breakfast she requested waffles with fruit. We had an amazing feast! That night, we celebrated with (more) Mud Pie! Little girl by day, puppy by night. We all laughed hysterically when she put her little head down in front of her birthday cake! Look at that puppy!
She lifted her head, howled, and eventually blew out those 7 candles. So I suppose it’s official. Our little puppy is 7 years old!
And as if all of that weren’t ENOUGH birthday fun, here is even more celebrating!
Happy birthday to our dearest Selah Bethany. You may be 7, but you will always, always be my baby girl. And I will never stop reminding you that you will NEVER be too old to snuggle me.
Well, that pawty was doggone fun! Loved your ideas, and what a lesson in compassion, caring and responsibility:-) Happy, happy belated birthday, sweet Selah!
Aunt Paula & Uncle Joe xoxo
Well, another outstanding celebration – you manage to outdo yourselves with each event! Selah may be on to something in wishing not to grow up too fast & we hope she always stays young at heart! Happy 7th Birthday to dear Selah, have another great year ahead – Woof!
Love & God Bless,
A. Adele & U. Serge