Today we pause to venerate our Henry, who is officially NINE YEARS OLD. What in the huh? I have no idea how this could have happened. He assured me he would stop growing up, and yet. Yet HERE WE ARE. With most of his pants ending at mid-calf, like he's a Park Slope mom rocking the cargo capris.

Here's a recent picture of him.

Please put a shirt on, dear.

Henry is a little excited about his birthday. And he should be. I didn't think I could possibly fit any more Legos into our home, but (spoiler alert) by the end of this evening, his room will be awash in shiny new pieces. At least he's now keeping them to his room. Because he knows that if they end up anywhere else Mr. Vacuum Cleaner will gobble them up! Gobble gobble gobble!

(I do not actually talk that way about my vacuum. Besides, his name is Derek.)

Also, he will soon be enjoying a new set of Magic: The Gathering: The Card Game: Which I Can't Stand Cards. He really really REALLY wants me to learn how to play Magic and seriously nothing makes me crankier than that game. That game requires math, and I am 100% sure he is making up rules that will lead to him winning. This is fine with me, as long as it means he wins quickly, which he never ever does. I am always on the verge of losing/being destroyed when suddenly he's handing me a +9 life potion card or some shit. He tries to be an encouraging and patient coach but the whole thing makes my brain twitch. Can we just play more Uno, Henry? You know how Mama loves her the Uno.

Henry's birthday this year, like so many other years, has turned into a multi-day and multi-dessert celebration. Of course I had to bring brownies for his class, because they haven't had a birthday in their class since, oh, NEVER, THERE ARE ALWAYS BIRTHDAYS, and in fact today Henry is one of two birthday boys in the class, and the other kid is also bringing brownies. And yet I have to bake as well. I used to go for quality, but I have since wised up, and I used a mix. Suckers!

Tonight, we celebrate with The Family, and so I made a cake from this cookbook, which is an amazing cookbook for those of you who are aspiring Paleo types, are gluten-free, or just have some almond flour on hand (?).  I made it once before in sheet-cake form, and you couldn't tell that it was any different from a regular cake. Today I'm going for a layer cake for the first time since the layer cake debacle of 2005. My sister Liz came over yesterday to talk me through it. So far, so good. I haven't done the frosting yet, though. I might need to take an Ativan first.

Tomorrow we're hosting a sleepover with three other boys, and for that we ordered an ice cream cake, because if there's one thing that kids don't seem to appreciate all that much (or at least enough for my liking), it's a homemade cake. (The last time I watched them all lick the frosting off of their cupcakes and walk away, and then I wept in the bathroom. I get a little overwrought when it comes to baking.) Then the kids will watch Pirates of the Caribbean and refuse to sleep and we will tell them how unamused they are by their antics! In stern parental voices!

Oh and then on Sunday we get to go to ANOTHER kid's birthday party. Seriously, what is it with all these kids and their birthdays? We get it: you were born. NEWS FLASH SO WAS EVERYONE ELSE. EEUGH.

I'm not "eeugh"ing at you, Henry. You I like.