Nine. You Know, The One Before Ten.

Earlier this month (Tuesday, September 4th to be exact), Annelise turned nine. NINE.

Just who gave her permission to do that anyway?

The nerve.
Even though I'm not all that crazy about her growing up I must admit that nine looks pretty good on her.

Since her day o' birth always falls around Labor Day we managed to stretch the celebration across several days (which is just how she likes it).
~we visited her Aunt Karen, Uncle Bill & Uncle Ron out in the country, which is always loads of fun in itself, what with the pond, the fishing, the ducks, the cows, the dogs and all the nature, but throw in birthday presents and you've got the makings of one of the best days ever.

~she got a really cool new Lego set of a horse stable (from the Friends line), some Webkins and even a bit of cold hard cash, all of which totally rocked her world.

~we celebrated her last day of being eight with a trip to Mr. Gatti's pizza, which is what the almost birthday girl requested so she could eat pizza and burn some of her birthday cash in the arcade.

~she got two other birthday gifts early, a remote control helicopter and a PowerWing scooter (a cross between a Ripstick and a Razor, you wiggle and scoot simultaneously) so she could play with them over the long weekend (that was our justification at least).

~24 cupcakes (for school) were baked, frosted and sprinkled.

~she woke up, newly nine, to find her floor littered with balloons much to her surprise and delight.

~she ate her favorite egg-in-the-heart breakfast.

~I drove the new nine year old to school and it felt weird (nine is almost ten and I just can't deal).

~the birthday girl got Chick-Fil-A and cupcakes for lunch, which ratcheted up her overall birthday excitement to almost off the charts.

~we ate fajitas for supper at our favorite Tex-Mex joint with my dad and Peggy.
~I actually remembered to utilize my camera's self-timer and we all posed for a photo with the birthday girl.

~in rapid fire succession she managed to open all her remaining gifts in less than five minutes, revealing a check for a savings bond and book from Aunt Jerry, an electronic dart board from my dad and Peggy, along with some more cold hard cash, an Avengers Lego set and the Do-It-Yourself Diary of a Wimpy Kid journal, all of which she was highly thrilled with.

~the birthday girl changed her mind this year about her birthday cake, switching from the traditional Cookies & Cream cake to, wait for it, Dump Cake with Blue Bell ice cream.

And just like that, the birthday girl blew out her nine candles and settled in to a big bowl of cherry dump cake and chocolate ice cream (yes, strange combination, I know, but she's not a fan of vanilla) and I took a deep breath and tried to come to terms with her being nine.

It's been almost a month.

I'm not quite there yet.

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