Turning Nine in Quarantine

Quarantine is certainly not the time to skip a birthday celebration! Although there was no big birthday party, which actually isn’t that unusual for our family, we celebrated how we know best. With a tasty, celebration worthy meal! We feel fortunate to have a kiddo who appreciates good food so we didn’t hesitate to say yes when Sophia requested mussels and homemade ravioli al’Uovo (ravioli filled with ricotta and an egg yolk cooked to a perfectly runny consistency) for her birthday dinner. The menu was planned, the mussels were acquired and the pasta machine was cranking…and then Sophia got sick. She started to feel crummy while we were prepping the ravioli and by the time we were serving the mussels she was in tears because she didn’t feel well enough to eat and felt bad about all the hard work that went into the meal she was missing out on. While Sophia rested in bed we made our way through the mussels and delicious ravioli sans the birthday girl. Fortunately, she rallied to open birthday presents and then she was promptly back in bed with a promise from Mom that we would save the cupcakes and blow out candles the next day.

Although Sophia missed out on her birthday dinner we saved some cheese ravioli for lunch the next day. Not as good as ravioli al’Uovo but she was still happy. That night we lit candles and enjoyed the cupcakes Sophia and I had baked together the day before. The birthday girl was of course opinionated about these too. She chose a Neapolitan cupcake and the second cupcake was inspired by her favorite ice cream, Graham Central Station. A chocolate, graham cracker cupcake topped with buttercream frosting and dusted with honeycomb chocolate. The cupcakes were good but we all agreed Dad trumped Mom with his cake baking skills when he baked my cake a few days prior.

I had to check and see if I had a recap from Sophia’s eighth birthday on the website (I do) and it made me chuckle. I commented that when I wrote her 8th birthday recap that I was missing some other birthdays and hopefully I would catch up on them before she turns nine. Nope! On the plus side, I am hitting publish on this one before she’s eight and a half. Just like last year, I feel like she did a lot of growing up between eight and nine. We moved across the country in June and then across town in March. She started at a new school, a new dance studio, made new friends, ran for class representative AND was elected. With all of the changes and newness, she has taken it all in stride. It hasn’t all been roses, but she comes through each challenge with a smile on her face. She still loves dance and she’s often found tap dancing her way down the grocery store aisles or around the kitchen, which Dad loves 😉 Both she and Will really took to drawing this past year and she is quite the artist! Her interest in reading took off this year as well; she’s read more pages than Mom and Dad combined. Also, maybe somewhat by default, she is such a nurturing and sweet kid. Always looking out for the little kids in our neighborhood when we’re out playing or holding her cousin Henry’s hand when we’re on a walk. Maybe the biggest change this year is that she’s asking me and showing me each day that she’s ready for more independence. Don’t grow up too fast, sweet girl!