Well...we survived the 4 day birthday marathon! Thanks to all the friends and family who helped to make his birthday special. He will be busy for months with all his toys. It's really hard not to get sentimental when these milestones occur. I had to kick myself out of my "he's not a baby anymore" funk and realize how great these nine years have been. He has brought so much joy to our lives. Sniff....sniff. The cake was his idea. I couldn't talk him into something cute and harmless like little frogs or Disney characters. I wanted to cut their little guns from their little plastic fingers but that seemed violent too. The targets on his protective Nerf vest are a nice touch! He's a boy...it's normal...right?