Avery LaDue is turning 4 today. However, if you factor in her true birthdate she will only be 1.
LaDue was born on Feb. 29 which makes her a leap year baby.
“She thinks it’s pretty funny,” her mom, Janelle Anderson said. “She didn’t think it was funny at first. she didn’t want to be 1 again like her brother.”
Her brother, Hoyt Anderson is 1 and a half, Anderson said. she also has another brother, Hayden LaDue, 7 and a half-brother, Jalen LaDue. Her father, Bronc LaDue, 35, lives in Trenton. Anderson, 29, married Ben Anderson, 26, and lives near Alexander.
Avery LaDue is excited about her birthday, as most 4-year-olds are.
“I want a princess tent,” she said. “I have a lot of princess stuff but I don’t have enough things. I really want cups and plates and a birthday cake.”
Janelle Anderson said this year’s cake will say “Happy 1st Birthday.” In keeping with family tradition, Avery LaDue will also enjoy her favorite foods to celebrate the big day.
“She likes pancakes, fresh pancakes,” Anderson said. “She also likes tacos so we’re having that for dinner.”
Though the big event is four years in the making, the celebration will be small — at least for now.
“It will be something small because it’s in the middle of the week,” Anderson said, adding that a bigger celebration with extended family is planned for this weekend.
Anderson said she picked Feb. 29 as the date for Avery’s birth to be induced four years ago.
“I thought it would be a neat day,” she said. “The doctor gave me a weird look and said ‘Are you sure that’s what you want to do?’ I said ‘yes, because I think it’s neat.’”
Normally the family chooses to celebrate LaDue’s birthday on Feb. 28.
Though her birth date is uncommon, LaDue spends most of her time the way most 4-year-olds do. Anderson said she enjoys music and dancing.
“She’s very fun,” Janelle Anderson said. “She loves to be outside. she loves her horse, Flicka.”
Janelle Anderson said Flicka is an Arabian horse and looks similar to the horse in the “My Friend Flicka” movie.
The horse has a history with the family, with Anderson riding it when she was 10 and lived in Wisconsin. she left the area when she was 19.
There are no reliable numbers on exactly how many babies are born on Leap day, but statistically, the odds of being born then are the same as any other day.
“The law of averages means your chance of being born on Feb. 29 are one out of 1,461,” Peter Brouwer turns 56 on Wednesday said, explaining that 1,461 equals 365, or the number of days in the year, times four, plus one for the extra day in the four-year cycle. “We figure in the U.S., there’s about 200,000 of us, and in the world, about 5 million.”
There’s also no good way of definitively determining whether mothers with scheduled C-sections or induced births avoid or embrace Leap day.
Fewer babies are born on weekends in the U.S. than on other days, according to research by the National Center for Health Statistics, and since Leap day fell on a Sunday in 2004 and a Friday in 2008, birth numbers from those years don’t tell the whole story.
What will happen this year is anybody’s guess. at Inova Health system in Virginia, where more than 20,000 babies were born last year in four hospitals, “women are running from the date. That’s what we’ve found,” said spokesman Tony Raker.
But at Florida Hospital in Orlando, “people would rather have the baby on Leap day. We have a slight increase in the number of scheduled C-sections on that day since it is a special day,” said hospital spokeswoman Sara Channing.
One of those scheduled to give birth Wednesday at Florida Hospital is Tammy Gerencser, who didn’t hesitate when her doctor proposed scheduling her C-section Feb. 29.
“I got this sheet of paper that said, ‘You’re going in Feb. 29,’” Gerencser said. she said while a few people told her, “Oh no, you need to change that date,’ other people are so excited.”
This will be her and her husband’s second child. “I was told I couldn’t have any more children, so he’s special anyway,” she said.
Andrea McGowan, a labor and delivery nurse at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, predicts that Leap day “will be like any other Wednesday” in the maternity ward. but she can give firsthand advice to anyone who becomes a mom that day: Her own daughter was born Feb. 29, 1996. “Having that birthday adds a little flair,” she said. “It’s a conversation piece.”
The towns of Anthony, N.M., and Anthony, Texas, both on the line between the states, host a Worldwide Leap Year Festival every four years the week of Feb. 29, with a carnival, car show and other events. past guests range from a 16-year-old leapling (4) who came from California, to a local man who’s the oldest at 92 (23), according to Hector Giron, one of the organizers.
Some leaplings come up with their own rituals to mark non-Leap years.
Rachel Laber, who lives in new York City and will be 24 on Wednesday (6) prefers to celebrate her birthday Feb. 28 in off years. but to placate those who argue for March 1, “I have taken on a two-day celebration the last 10 years or so.”
Jan Harrell of Ashland, Ore., handles off years by staying up until midnight with friends who shout “Happy birthday!” in “that magical nanosecond” between Feb. 28 and March 1.
“My birthday feels like a cosmic joke,” said Harrell, who turns 64 (16) this week. “But not a bad one, just a very, very funny one.”
The associated Press contributed to this story.
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Ryan Alvarez of Carlsbad is used to some confusion about his birthday, but he still wasn’t prepared for what happened the night he was carded at a Pacific Beach restaurant.
“She told me there was no 29th of February,” he said about being refused entry because he had an ID with a “fictional” date.
“I said, ‘If I had a fake ID, don’t you think that’s the first thing I’d check?’” he said. “Some people have never heard of leap year.”
Alvarez will turn 24 on Feb. 29, but technically it will be his sixth birthday, since the leap year day comes only once every four years.
The extra day is added on to most years evenly divisible by four to offset an additional six hours that occur in each 365-day year.
Ed Coonce of Encinitas was born Feb. 29, 1948, and like Alvarez, he said he once was carded by somebody who suspected he had a fake ID.
Coonce, who has his 16th birthday this year, said his most memorable birthday was in 1968, when he was a Marine serving in Vietnam. His fifth birthday was spent guarding a bridge outside the military base Khe Sanh from the North Vietnamese army, which fired on the Marines until shortly before dawn.
These days, his life is much more peaceful as a writer and artist. Coonce said he was not planning much for his “Sweet 16,” other than having a low-key celebration with family.
“Generally for us leap year babies, the fact that we have a birthday every four years make them less relevant than other persons,’” he said. “But since it’s an election year, and it is the end of the world this year according to the Mayans, maybe I should make it a much bigger deal.”
Many people born on leap year day, however, do like to celebrate big on their birthdays.
Oceanside resident Annie McPherson, born Feb. 29, 1964, will have her 12th birthday this year and said leap year birthdays are always special. her biggest celebration was when she went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans in 2004, and last year she and friends rented the top floor of the Belly up Tavern in Solana Beach for a party.
McPherson also has a tradition of sharing a nice bottle of wine with friends on Feb. 29, then replacing it with another bottle she ages for four years.
“Some people give me red wine so they can drink it with me for my next birthday in four years,” she said.
Being born on Feb. 29 can mean missing out on birthday specials, said Alvarez, who has missed opportunities to snowboard for free on his birthday at Big Bear after an attendant carded him and noticed there was no Feb. 29 that year.
On the plus side, Alvarez said there have been years when he got to snowboard for free on Feb. 28, and then again on March 1.
Leap day baby Barbi Benson of Carlsbad, born in 1960, said her Feb. 29 birthday also has been an issue when shopping online.
“If I’m trying to put in my birthday, I try to put in the 29th, and I get a message that it’s an invalid day,” she said. “So I just put in the 28th.”
Benson said her Feb. 29 birthday celebrations were bigger than Christmas when she was growing up.
“My parents always made it very special,” she said.
Vista resident Kathy Gordon said she tried to make birthdays special for her son, Cain Cooper, who was born Feb. 29, 1992.
“I think it probably bothered him growing up,” she said. “Kids would say, ‘You don’t have a birthday.’”
Gordon said she took her son to Germany when he was 16 —- his fourth birthday —- so he could visit the country where he was born. His father was in the Air Force and had been stationed there.
“Because it’s so unique when he has a birthday, it should be special,” she said about the trip.
Although most people have no say about when they are born, soon-to-be parents Matt and Kerri Stucky of Encinitas were given a choice of when their twins could be born by induced labor, and they chose Feb. 29.
“We kind of hesitated a minute, but decided having twins is kind of special and unique, so why not make it that much more special?” he said.
Similarly, Judy and Robert Gaukel of Carmel Valley chose Feb. 29, 1992, as their wedding day.
“I wanted to have a unique day and also not have to worry about it every single year,” said Judy, who is looking forward to her fifth wedding anniversary. “I thought, ‘Heaven forbid, if my husband ever forgets the anniversary, he’d have an easy out.”
Kaylani Evans of Carlsbad was born Feb. 29, 1988, and said she is excited that she gets to say, “Today is my birthday.”
As a child of divorced parents, Evans said being born on Feb. 29 meant her parents usually did not have to choose who got to be with her on her birthday.
“I’d be with one parent on the 28th and the other on the first,” she said.
Temecula resident Janae Sevre was born Feb. 29, 1992, and is celebrating her fifth birthday this year by going to Disneyland.
Sevre said she recently got a tattoo on the back of her neck that has her birth date and the words, “Forever Young.”
“It sounds kind of lame because a lot of people have that tattoo, but I’ll really be forever young,” she said. “When I’m 84, I’ll be 21.”
Call staff writer Gary Warth at 760-740-5410 or follow him on Twitter @NCTWarth.
Birthdays are an important part of a child’s life, but the leap year child’s actual birth date happens only once every four years, on February 29th. While the actual birthday celebration is certain to happen annually, in many cases on February 28th or March 1st, imagine the fun to be had when the birthday falls on a leap year. A year with the normal 365 days is often referred to as a common year, so a leap year birthday party is a chance for uncommon fun.
Those who are born on February 29th are often called leaplings or leapers, so a themed birthday party involving frogs or kangaroos could be a fun way to celebrate. the leaping animal you choose as your theme will help you determine the color schemes and decorating ideas. the Leap Year Frog Party can be blue, green and yellow, and the Kangaroo Party could be more earth-toned with brown, cream, yellow and orange.
Take the standard party games, and make them all frog- or kangaroo-oriented. you can play Pin the Tail on the Kangaroo for the kangaroo theme and Pin the Crown on the Frog for the frog theme, or Pass the Frog and Pass the Joey. for a bigger game, plan a frog or kangaroo hunt by hiding small theme animals around the yard or house, like an egg hunt.
Making your cake in the theme is a simple way of continuing the experience, and many grocery store bakeries can even do that for you. Last, but not least, you can hand out small stuffed frogs or kangaroos as party favors.
An alternative to the leaping themes for a Leap Year Birthday party could be to go with a birthday celebration theme of Superman. February 29th is the traditionally recognized birthday of the man of steel, and that can be adapted into a terrific theme party with red, white, and blue streamers.
You can even turn it into a costume party with the guests coming in their Super suits, saving Superman or Supergirl for the birthday boy or girl, of course. this could be fun for all ages from childhood to adult, because let’s face it: we all like to play dress-up and have fun, so who better to celebrate your birthday with than Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League? So make your leap year birthday special, and celebrate it in style. after all, this calendar birthday comes around only once every four years.