And these days that is supposed to signify a week of celebrations.
In reality, that doesn't really happen.
Let's face it, the days of summer soirees and lazy lunches with the ladies are long behind me.
(God help me, even a photograph of a friend's G and T recently caused a storm of unfounded accusations and lies in the comments section of a recent harmless travel review post. For now I will only say this: I will not feed trolls. The abuse did not unduly bother me, since it was nothing to what I've endured in real life, and these people lost the power to hurt me a long time ago. But when innocent followers were subjected to personal attacks too, I followed expert advice and removed the comments pending further counsel.)
And you know what? Despite the vipers, my birthday week has been great so far.
Okay, so I haven't been living in up in Europe, lazing on a beach in Thailand, or trekking through a rainforest in the Daintree, as I may have done on birthdays past, but I'm a mother now, and my priorities are different.
Firstly, I visited my own dear old Mum with a few other members of the family for her birthday.
Mum, bless her heart, has health and memory problems, so it felt even more important to see her this year.
This year, our presence - well, mostly that of the teeny-tiny members of the family - pretty much seemed to make her day, which made the effort to get there worthwhile.
As for me, I had my kids with me for my birthday, which was all I ever really wanted.
We had a lovely reunion over lunch the day before, catching up over kisses, cuddles and mountains of food ... They are obviously going through a growth spurt!
After grazing all afternoon, and two dinners (!), the pair of them gleefully woke me at the crack of dawn.
"Mumma, it's your birthday!", they shouted, jumping into my bed on either side of me; One bearing the card they made the night before, the other the present (a lovely photo of the two of them).
Mercifully, my birthday fell on a Sunday, so the kids then insisted on making me breakfast in bed. It's kind of a family tradition now.
Harmonie was charged with the task of keeping me horizontal, in-between fixing the toast and apple juice*, while Chase whipped up a batch of his famous scrambled eggs. (He's quite the masterchef you know).
Then they sat and watched eagerly to make sure I ate every bite. Efforts to share were quickly rebuffed. "It's too spicy," said Harmonie, screwing up her nose. (Turns out Chase had added a few herbs from the garden). "Nope, I'm making myself an omelette next," said Chase.
Soon enough it was time to go to my birthday party, organised by my brother and sister-in-law and attended by a few close relatives for a surprise.
Really, it was a kiddy party for adults too, with all the goodies that kids of all ages like. Cheerios (little red sausages) and tomato sauce. Party pies and sausage rolls. Attractively cut up fruit. Teddy bear biscuits. Cheese and crackers. Chocolate birthday cake. And the usual presents and mayhem, complete with furry kids pattering around and inspecting everything was in order. Thanks to big brother and his lovely wife for going to so much effort to have us all there.
After that, we did a little necessary food shopping, where I managed to talk Chase out of spending his pocket money on some jewellery for me. (Apparently he'd had his eye on it for ages, and was bursting to buy it for me.)
Then it was time for a swim with friends bearing gourmet snacks and gossip, followed by an early barbecue and bed.
In-between there were loads of phone calls, FB and twitter messages, and texts. I was well and truly spoiled.
Monday was back to school for the kids, and a thank-you morning tea for volunteers who had helped out throughout the year.
On Tuesday, I put in a few hard yards helping at the school parents and friends' Christmas stall. (It's surprisingly difficult helping a small child with $1.70 in his hot little hand understand he cannot buy something for $10 for his lovely Mum. Or trying to persuade another anklebiter that Granny probably wouldn't appreciate a toy toilet that makes fart noises for her Christmas present!).
Today, unfortunately, involved a visit to the dentist for the kids, and several appointments - no parties there.
Then there's an excursion for Miss 8 tomorrow, and a half-day as school finishes on Friday in a blur of farewells and overstuffed schoolbags.
And at the end of it, we will find ourselves once again on a plane, this time to Western Australia.
We'll be visiting my brother and his family in Albany. They have lived there for nearly five years now, and I've been aching to visit. Thanks to Virgin Australia's happy hour, we finally nabbed some fabulous airfares to get there. Happy birthday to me!
For a Maid In Australia, who has travelled widely throughout our Great Southern Land, it's to my shame that I admit that I've never made it to WA. Neither have the kids, so it will be another adventure we'll enjoy together.
The kids can't get their heads around the fact that it will take longer to fly to Perth than it did to fly to Nadi, Fiji; and that we'll then have to drive another 5 hours or so to Albany.
Luckily, we'll be taking our time and stopping overnight on the way from Perth to Albany.
We really cannot wait, and I'm betting, like Fiji, it will be over way too soon.
My birthday breakfast
Best of all, I'll be there to belatedly celebrate my other sister-in-law's birthday, as well as help my other big brother celebrate his this month.
We'll see more of this beautiful country of ours, and plenty of family bonding in the meantime.
May the good times continue!
* Why apple juice? Well, I still love coffee, but I am still a coffee snob, and would rather have no coffee than bad coffee. And since moving, I have not yet found my Nespresso machine. Sob. So I had to make do with juice instead. Dammit. Well, even birthday weeks can't be perfect ...