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Ottawa's Leaplings get ready to celebrate big on Leap Day

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Leap Day -- a day that appears on the calendar only once every four years -- holds a special significance for those born on this unique date, keeping them feeling young for decades.

2024 is the year to shine for those born on February 29.

"When you're younger? It's kind of weird because your birthday isn't on the calendar," Stacey Bottema, a Leapling who feels like she's finally becoming a teenager told CTV News Ottawa.

"I'll be 13."

Bottema, who will actually be turning 52, emphasizes the significance of her rare birthday, stating, "It's special. You get to make a big deal about it and it's a unique birthday. There’s not a lot of people born, and I don't often meet anybody that's born on the same day as me."

Ryan Baan -- also born on February 29 -- shares similar thoughts. He'll be celebrating his seventh real birthday; however, he's actually turning 28 years old.

"This year, especially, I haven't had a birthday in four years and don't often celebrate my birthday. So, we're kind of throwing a party with me and my friends. Yeah, having a good big party," Baan said.

Baan’s two younger siblings also love to have fun with their big brother's age.

"They always made fun of it and always called me the younger brother, but I'm actually the oldest," Baan added.

Meanwhile, Chantale Stucker, the owner of Creative Celebrations, is gearing up for Leap Day festivities, ensuring that Leaplings have a memorable celebration -- complete with frog-themed decorations.

"Typically, people do the frogs, but it's also, you know, lounging pigs. They’re called sexy pigs, so they use those a lot just because they like the color of them and the brightness," Stucker said.

However, as fun as a February 29 birthday might be, there are some quirks when it comes to technology.

"Yeah, it gets kind of strange filling out forms the odd time if the website isn’t set up properly," said Baan.

Bottema adds, "If I put the year I was born, it will allow me to put in the date. But there's still a few programs that won't allow you to do it. So, usually I do the 28th, so it's in the same month."

Despite these technological hiccups, Bottema humorously points out that her children, aged 29 and 19, are technically older than her, as she also just became a grandmother at the age of 12.

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