Today Riley is four years old, and although we had his official birthday celebration a couple weeks ago, I wanted to do something today. He was running a fever this morning but rallied by afternoon, and once JB got home from work we all had a very fancy formal birthday dinner together:

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(Sigh. Photobombed AGAIN.)

Mini-cupcakes were adorned:

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Wishes were made:

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Presents were opened:

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And road-tested:

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There was tomfoolery:

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And ridiculous toddler ass-toots:

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And somehow this guy:

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Has turned into this:

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Four! Oh, he’s all elbows and imagination and opinions and endless questions and barely contained enthusiasm these days, and sometimes I think how terrifying parenthood really is, because this love just grows and grows and grows, along with the baby who is now a boy who will someday be a man and like they all say, it goes so fast.

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Shawn
Shawn
12 years ago

Adorable! Also, just based on photographic evidence, I’m semi-convinced your husband is a maniac.

Ginger
12 years ago

Ooooh, this fast moving time shit just continues to freak me out. How can they be babies one minute then sassing you back at the dinner table the next?? Your boys are lovely and so are you. My sister always got herself a present on her kids’ birthdays, because the mom deserves some celebratin’ too. Four years worth of effort deserves some notice.

Kelly
12 years ago

Aww! Happy Birthday Riley!!!

Melissa
12 years ago

*hugs* You’re growing them up good, ma.

mnerva
mnerva
12 years ago

Awww, can’t believe he’s four!! You and your whole family are gorgeous. So nice to see happy family celebrations. Happy Birthday Riley!

Mimi
12 years ago

Awww… happy birthday to Riley! What a handsome four year old.

caleal
caleal
12 years ago

Gosh he’s so big and cute. Happy 4th, Riley!

I agree with the person who said Moms get presents. Buy yourself something! :)

kristin c
12 years ago

this is making me nauseous as I sit in my 11week old daughters nursery trying to rock her tiny ass to sleep….sleep child! Sleep! And to think, in the blink of an eye, she’ll be 4. Frieghtening & exciting & nauseating. Or maybe that is the double stuff golden Oreos…….

Amanda
Amanda
12 years ago

So… Riley got a bike helmet and a Dremel tool for his fourth birthday?

Lara
12 years ago

Gosh, I remember that picture – I thought Riley was the cutesy baby on the Internet. Now he’s the cutest 4 year old. Happy Birthday!

yaya
yaya
12 years ago

I used to roll my eyes and say “yeah yeah yeah whatever mom” when she would call me at college & ask me what I was doing that night and I would always bluff (LIE) and say “Mom, it’s a Friday night-of course I am just hanging out in my dorm with the girls watching a movie” and I still roll my eyes now at age 35 when she says “oh please do be careful driving home at 7pm, it might be a wee bit dark outside” and then I go in and stare at my gorgeous 2.3yr old sleeping son who as I recall was just born yesterday in my mind and I silently scold him in my head “you are soooooo going to lie to me about going out on Friday nights in 16yrs and make me worry like a crazy woman for the rest of my days, damn you!” A huge Happy 4th Birthday, don’t blink, tomorrow will be high school graduation, doh!

Kate
12 years ago

Man, I cannot offer you any hope that time will slow down either. My oldest just turned SEVEN and I am alternately confounded and pissed off about it. Because, seriously, how did that happen??

One of my favorite movie quotes is from Finding Neverland. Johnny Depp’s character says “Boys should never be made to go to bed. For they always wake up a day older.”

{sniff, sniff…}

Happy Birthday to Riley. He’s a handsome little devil.

Kathy
12 years ago

You’ve described four-year-olds to a “T”! Questions, check. Elbows, check. Opinions, double-check!

Donna
Donna
12 years ago

God, 4 years? 4? How the hell did that happen?
I remember when you were pregnant with him. And was reading you for quite awhile before that…..4? Really?
Your boys are sooo cute, and growing unbelievably fast. I’m getting so old. Sigh.

Diane
Diane
12 years ago

Pizza and cupcakes..what more could you ask for? Riley is such a handsome little boy and such a lucky little boy to have a loving family surrounding him.

June
12 years ago

Pizza and cupcakes – that is how we celebrated our wee one’s first, too! Congrats to the ‘rents, and happy birthday to the little man.

Cookie
12 years ago

Happy Birthday Riley. Can’t believe how fast four years goes. Looks like a great day :)

Jessamyn
12 years ago

Happy birthday, Riley! Oh, Linda. Can’t believe it’s been four years!

SanMan
SanMan
12 years ago

oh baby Riley..how cute is he!

Sarah
Sarah
12 years ago

Happy Birthday, Riley!!

Robin
Robin
12 years ago

Happy Big 4 Birthday to Riley. I remember when you brought that baby boy home. My God, how time flies.

JB’s expression is priceless….I agree, he looks kind of maniacal…but in a good way :)

alomellin
alomellin
12 years ago

Happy 4th Birthday Riley! Slow down for mama will you??

Belle
Belle
12 years ago

Riley is one absolute 4-year old charmer but I’ve always thought that. He’s adorable. It makes me want to cry bittersweet tears that I remember my now 33 year old’s 4th birthday so well. I miss that age….such new adventures every day. And dare I say it, but there is always such a special place in the heart for the oldest child. We never thought we could love another child as much as the first, but of course we could, and did. It’s just different.

Happy Birthday to Riley!

Redbecca
Redbecca
12 years ago

Happy 4th birthday, Riley!
Great pics, too!

Joanna
Joanna
12 years ago

Happy birthday, Riley! I love the photos, and I especially like the one of Dylan and JB laughing at/with each other.

Mandy
Mandy
12 years ago

I’m sitting here with my almost 4 week old son, and this posting made me cry. How can it be that this baby will eventually be four?!

Eric's Mommy
12 years ago

It does go by so fast.

Happy Birthday Riley!

LOVE the photobomb in the first picture.

Donna
Donna
12 years ago

I just want to say that you are right, it does all go by so fast. Before you know it your boys will be men. It is so wonderful that you are documenting it with words and pictures. Being on the other end of growing adults from babies, I can tell you that you will be so happy you did.

Molly
Molly
12 years ago

So cute! Your photo essays of your boys are the best – especially the one where Dylan had the cup stuck on his hand, I still laugh my ass off at that one. My own little guy is only 3.5 months old and I always wonder what he’ll be like when I read your entries. Thanks for the entertainment and Happy Birthday to Riley!

JudithinNYC
JudithinNYC
12 years ago

Happy Birthday, Riley.

IdleMindOfBeth
12 years ago

Never before have I seen such a suspicious looking newborn! ADORABLE, but very very suspicious.

Happy Birthday to the Ri-Man!

Liz Brooks
12 years ago

Happy birthday Riley!!

Laura
Laura
12 years ago

Happy birthday, Riley! I’m glad JB got to use his evil, scary clown smile for the occasion.

Jen
Jen
12 years ago

Happy Birthday Riley! Those last couple pictures have my eyes welling… my little man will be three this month… I have no idea where the time goes…

Jen @ lifelove'n'wine
12 years ago

Beautiful pictures of a beautiful family!

Maxine Dangerous
12 years ago

Riley looks so wise in his baby picture, as though he’s about to say, “The Oracle grants your wish.” :)

Angella
12 years ago

Aw, happy birthday, buddy!

So glad he was able to rally. He’s a trooper.

H
H
12 years ago

My youngest turned 18 a few days ago – and it is killing me. Oh, Linda, cherish these days. I know you know that, but I have to emphasize it because these kinds of milestones have been so hard for me.

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

Happy 4th Birthday to Riley! My son turned 4 on Saturday and we too celebrated with cupcakes and pizza.

I agree, time flies by so quickly.

SJ
SJ
12 years ago

Happy 4th Birthday to Riley! My son turned 4 on Saturday and we too celebrated with cupcakes and pizza.

I agree, time flies by so quickly.

Korinna
12 years ago

That post made me crave pizza and laugh about toddler toots.

Everytime my 15 mo. old cracks one out (usually while bending over to climb the stairs), it cracks me up.

Maria
12 years ago

Happy Birthday Little Dude!!!

Kate
12 years ago

Such a beautiful family. Happy Birthday Riley!

Shelly
12 years ago

Happy Birthday to Riley! Those photos are fantastic!

MichelleH
MichelleH
12 years ago

Oh my. Tiny little Riley in that picture!!! He still has that same expression in more recent pictures! I think it is so amazing how even when they are so new that personality still comes through. Happy Birthday Riley!!!

geri
geri
12 years ago

Happy 4th Birthday Riley! You are such a delightful guy. Linda, it’s been such a joy to watch Riley grow up through your blog. Happy Mamaversary.

Kona
12 years ago

Can I just say how much I love the fact that even as a teeny-tiny baby, Riley looks so suspicious of EVERYTHING? Because it’s pretty damn funny.

EPMaxwel
EPMaxwel
12 years ago

Wow. Awesome post- my daughter turns 4 in december, and I know just how you feel. i love your photos- such a beautiful, happy family captured in this post.

Happy Birthday to Riley! and Congratulations to Mommy & Daddy for making it this far!

HollyLynne
12 years ago

Awwww . . . Happy Birthday, Riley!

Stefanie
12 years ago

Okay, you did not MAKE those cupcakes did you? Say it ain’t so or I’m going to feel very inadequate. And it’s all about me.

Also, four is a great age!! Congrats.