My sweet, infuriating, hilarious, troublemaker James. I can’t believe you are four!

You broke my heart yesterday by waking up horribly sick. Despite a cough, stomach ache, and high fever, you were still so excited it was your birthday.

birthday boy

Your daddy surprised you with birthday donuts and I’m glad, because it was the only time all day that you had an appetite. Yep, you were feeling so poorly later in the day that you didn’t even want cake and ice cream. I honestly don’t know if your sister will ever forgive you for this.

birthday donut

Watching you open presents, even while you were sick, was so sweet. You were so excited about everything — even the wrapping paper! “Oh boy! Paw Patrol presents!!!” After you opened each gift, you exclaimed, “Thank you SO much!” and then you sweetly showed every gift to your sister, saying, “We’re gonna play with this together!”

a tent!

birthday love

You slept off and on for the majority of the day, only waking up to get hugs and kisses and presents from both sets of grandparents, who were just so sad that you weren’t feeling well. It really should be illegal to be sick on your birthday. But even though you didn’t feel well, you still had a smile on your face.

While you napped (often on top of me), I thought about the day you were born, and how you fit so well on my chest. Now you’re all long limbs and giant head, but you still fit well tucked up against me, snuggled under my arm with your big head on my chest. I love how much you like to cuddle, and I hope we have many years of it ahead of us.

This has been a huge year for you. You started preschool, and you’re doing great there, even if you’re a bit naughty sometimes. We were so worried about your speech, and now you talk so much that I can barely remember a time when you were quiet. You have the funniest, deepest voice that I’m half-convinced you use only to get a laugh. I thought your sister was the ham in our family but you’re really giving her a run for her money. I’m still laughing about how you decided one day that you wanted everyone to call you “JJ,” apropos of nothing. Your preschool teachers told me that you will only answer to JJ in class. You’re such a nut.

You’re also a total daredevil. You love anything fast, anything high, and everything dangerous. I tell people that you’re like a cartoon character, because you’re always falling spectacularly but immediately jumping back up and exclaiming, “I’m fine!” I’ve yet to meet a person who can be around you for five minutes without laughing. I know I can’t.

Despite pushing me to my limits every single day, I feel so lucky to be your mom. I say jokingly that you’re on the “President or prison” track in life, but I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with your life. But not anytime soon — I’d like more time to cuddle with you.

Happy (belated) birthday to my favorite little JJ. I love you so much and I can’t wait until you’re feeling better so we can REALLY celebrate!