Friday, March 30, 2012

Dear Kole

Oh my sweet little Kole.  You are two years old today buddy!  It's hard to believe - the last two years have flown by so quickly.



I was just bringing you home from the hospital admiring your perfect little head and features and thinking of how you were just all boy.  Even as a newborn.  And so incredibly perfect.


And now in the blink of an eye you are suddenly a toddler.  An adorable, active, mischievous, cuddly, smart, (did I mention active?) toddler.  You are still all boy and I have loved experiencing parenting all over again in a different way.

Things you are loving right now...

-Trains, cars, blocks, and puzzles.
-Dumbo, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and The Wiggles.
-Opening and closing the garage door (we do this multiple times every day).
 -Opening and closing bedroom doors.
-Walks with mommy in the stroller.
-Eggo waffles, pasta, sweet potato puffs, and strawberries.


-Doing laundry.  It's your favorite thing!  Probably because we do so much of it together.  :)  You love having the warm clothes tossed on you.  You pull me into the laundry room all the time and lead me to the dryer so I'll open it and throw the clothes on you.  Sometimes there isn't any clean laundry to fold and you get so upset.  Luckily this isn't the case that often!
-Bedtime - you have always been such a good sleeper Kole.  You give me no problem at all when it's time for your nap/bedtime.  When I pick you up and say it's time for bed you cross one little hand over the other arm.  Your sign that you're ready to wind down.


-Cleaning and taking photos with mommy.  Since you're home with me all the time you get a taste of my world every day!  We clean a lot together.  You love it and are always such a huge help.  :)


We take photos for the blog and you have become such a ham!  I love it.  

You have a special way of making my photos much more interesting.  :)  


-Your pacifier.  You only use it when you sleep and once in a while if you find one laying around the house.   I need to get rid of it soon.  Waiting for the right time and frame of mind for that one!
-Reading stories with mommy in the rocking chair (favorites are Wheels on the Bus and Good Morning Good Night).


-Playing with your sisters.  It always makes me laugh the way you park yourself right in the middle of things when they are playing.  You like to feel like you are a part of the action!


-Stacking blocks and doing puzzles with daddy.  You love it when daddy comes home from work!  You run and hug him and he scoops you up and then you won't let him set you down.  :)


-Playing at the park.  Actually playing around the park - in the trees, bushes, and parking lot.  You basically go everywhere you're not supposed to go.  Of course.  :)

Things I want to remember...

- I love how social you are Kole.  You always look at us right in the eyes to make sure we are watching you.  Sometimes you take your little hands and move our faces right in front of yours.  It's impossible not to smile when you do this.  You like our full attention.  At all times!
- You are such a mommas boy and follow me around everywhere!  We do everything together.  Everything.  You cry when/if I leave you and aside from babysitters once in a while I don't leave you much!  It's pretty rare to see one of us without the other.
-I love the way you take us by the hand to guide us to what you want.  You aren't talking much yet Kole.  Well, you "talk" all day long, but only say a couple of real words.  We've started some behavioral and speech therapy and hope that it helps.  I have gone from totally stressed out over this, to not worried at all, to worried that I should be more worried!  Time will tell how big of an issue this is, but deep down I know that you will be just fine.  I think you just like to do things on your own time line.  And stress your parents out in the process.  :)
-You are such a problem solver.  Even though you don't talk I can always tell how much you understand.  Your little wheels are always in motion and you surprise me daily with how smart you are and how much you are learning.
-You are extremely cuddly!  It's one of my favorite things about you.  You love to hug and snuggle in close to me.  At night we read stories and you let me rock you.  I close my eyes and try to hang on so tightly to those moments.  I focus on what you smell like and how it feels to hold you close.  I know our rocking days are numbered and they are moments I will never forget.  


Juggling life with you and your sisters has been a challenge for me the last two years.  There have been times, especially during difficult moments, that my mind has wandered back to the days before you were born when things were calmer, more orderly, and overall just easier.  And then I immediately get a lump in my throat at the thought of my life without you in it.  Deep down Kole I always knew I would have a son someday.  I always knew you were meant to be a part of this family.  And yes, you are in a busy stage of life.  You climb on things you shouldn't, pull your sisters hair, dump food all over the kitchen, and scream when you can't do exactly what you want.  Sometimes throughout the day you make me feel frustrated, upset, and overall just tired.  But you also have a smile that lights up the room.  And a personality that is impossible not to adore.  And often throughout the day you also make me feel happy, loved, and overall just incredibly grateful.  I am so grateful for you Kole.  We had a scare soon after you came into this world and throughout that whole experience all I could think about was how much it meant to me to raise you and your sisters.  To be here with your daddy to see you become an adorable, active, mischievous, cuddly, smart little toddler.  I thank God every day that I'm still here and that our scare didn't happen before you were born.  I thank Him every day for you Kole.  You are so special to me and I love you more than words can express.  Happy birthday sweet boy!

xoxo,

mommy

58 comments:

Krista said...

Happy Birthday Kole! My two still aren't talking either. One of them is getting tubes because he always has fluid on his ears so I hope that he turns into a chatterbox after that!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Oh Erin, what a beautiful post. Honest but upbeat too. I love your outlook on life.

And I just read your update about your "big scare". Gosh, I'm so glad you are well and here today!

Oh, happy birthday Kole :)

Cathy's World said...

Happy birthday kole. You are so precious. Your mommy is right. You have the brightest smile. Have a fun birthday.
God Bless you sweet boy. xoxo

Don't even worry about the talking Erin. It will come when he is ready. If he understands you then he will be talking soon. PERFECTLY normal.

Enjoy your day with your sweet boy.

Cathy

Sarah said...

Happy birthdays, Kole! Happy BIRTH day Erin! Our third child turned two last week. :) Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend celebrating the life that God has blessed you with. xo

Kristen@fit2feelbetter said...

Happy Birthday Kole!

Susan said...

Such a beautiful post, Erin! I wish I had started this tradition when my children were younger! Please don't worry about him not speaking yet - it will come. My daughter didn't talk until 2 1/2, and now we can't get her to stop!!!

Sarah said...

That is beautiful Erin. He was such a cute baby-look at those chubby cheeks! And an even cuter toddler if that's even possible. And you are a great mom. I love how he is your little companion wherever you go. I think of you and what you went through after he was born too...I am sure every birthday of his will bring back that scary memory...but the sweetness of life too.
Happy Birthday Kole!

Jen V. said...

Happy Birthday Kole!

What a great post Erin, you have such a way with words!

Enjoy your weekend!

Colleen said...

Happy birthday Kole! He sure does take some cute pictures.

So Cal Soccer Mom said...

What a cutie! Happy Birthday Kole! I look forward to reading your blog everyday- thanks for writing it!

Cheryl said...

Happy Birthday Kole! He is just 3 weeks older than my baby boy and they sound so similar!

My 2nd and 4th kiddos didn't really talk until 2 1/2 or 3 and now they are 11 and 4 and don't STOP talking!!I am sure Kole will be fine :)

Lucy said...

Happy Birthday to your adorable "all boy"! I love reading about your Kole experiences because George is about 6 months ahead (almost exactly). I feel like they would be such good buds - it takes a strong personality to be a boy in a house full of princesses. They would have so much to "talk" about!

Enjoy this big day with your big little man. Oh, and I just had to giggle at your pile of laundry - I recognize about 50% of the kids clothes, which are very likely strewn on my mudroom floor as we speak : )

Lucy

Anonymous said...

Oh Erin, reading your posts at work sometimes is very difficult when you make my eyes water! That was very sweet! Not only are you happy to be here but the rest of us are thankful for you in our lives as well. You are a ray of sunshine. You are our sunny side up! Thank you for being so kind and so sweet. You are an amazing mother and wife! You were born to do it! Bless you dear friend. Bless you! Stephanie

neuroticmom said...

My second son only had a handful of words (maybe 10?) when he turned two. Boys just don't have the need to verbalize like girls do. My son turned out completely fine. I got a lump in my throat reading this. Thanks Erin.

Bette said...

Happy B'day Kole! Don't worry about the not talking yet. My two girls were early talkers and my son took his sweet time. Now I can't get him to stop talking and constantly asking "why" questions!!

Nora said...

What a great letter! Our lives are so similar I enjoy reading your words and thinking about mine. I have a 6 and 5 year old girl and a little boy who turned 2 last month. He is my joy and my exhaustion right now! And he too is in speech therapy. I relate so much about the worrying/not worrying about that. I believe the speech has been great for him and I also believe it will all turn out fine. Good luck to you. Now, I want to go write some birthday letters (a month late, but who'll know?)

Nora said...

What a great letter! Our lives are so similar I enjoy reading your words and thinking about mine. I have a 6 and 5 year old girl and a little boy who turned 2 last month. He is my joy and my exhaustion right now! And he too is in speech therapy. I relate so much about the worrying/not worrying about that. I believe the speech has been great for him and I also believe it will all turn out fine. Good luck to you. Now, I want to go write some birthday letters (a month late, but who'll know?)

Delicia said...

Happy Birthday Kole being 1 is a huge deal ya know and guess what you and my hubby both share the same birthday :-) Erin this is such a sweet sweet letter especially "The End ;-)" Your birthday letters are so heartfelt.

Wendy said...

Happy Birthday from Vancouver, Canada, Kole!

~Wendy

Jean @ Flower Hill said...

Happy birthday!

Gerri said...

Happy Birthday Kole! Great letter Erin :) Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

My son didn't really start talking until he was almost three. He had his own little language no one else could understand but he didn't start speaking our language until almost three :) I always thought it was because his big sister was such a chatterbox that he couldn't get a word in edgewise :)

Kole reminds me a lot of my third child...she was a spit fire and heart melter all at the same time. She's 23 now, and she hasn't changed a bit.

Love your blog. Love your kids. Love you...you are so genuine and when I need a little ray of sunshine I know I can come here to get it. Hope you and your boy have a wonderful birthday!

Josie said...

Oh, I really can't believe he's 2! It seems like it was just a few months ago that we were having our regular discussion on "3rd baby or not". Then all of a sudden he was here and now he's so big! Can't believe all that 2 years has brought to you! Happy Birthday Kole!

LivingSolutionsid said...

Love this post! Happy birthday to Kole! Aren't little boys the best?! Although they can wear you down like nobodies business, they adore their mamas and are so darn cute! I hope you have a wonderful weekend celebrating your little guy! ~gina

Erin said...

Oh my goodness everyone. I can't thank you enough for your sweet comments! You are all so kind and have made this an even more special day for me.
Some of you mentioned that this post made you cry -- well your comments made me cry! So now we're even! :)

Stephanie - I am so touched by your comment ...thank you.

And thanks for sharing your experiences and for all of your encouraging words about Kole not talking. Fingers are crossed that he will be driving me crazy with his talking by this time next year!! :)

Lauras Crafty Life said...

Happy Birthday Kole! I love all your posts, but the letters to your kiddos on their birthdays are the best! They always get me teary eyed! You are such a great mom. I love that you are able to capture the fun and the frustrating without sounding negative - it just is life! Enjoy your little guy on his special day. :)

KC and the Sunshine Kids said...

LOVED this. I found your blog through a friend's link she had for you...

Don't fret. :) My youngest just turned two the end of January and upon his 2-year well check his pediatrician thought that perhaps he should be evaluated by a speech pathologist. At that time, just a few months ago, he was only saying less than ten real words. (Momma, up, hi, truck...) I took him to his first speech therapy appointment and 30 minutes in the pathologist inquired, "Now, WHY is it you were referred?" She indicated that SPEECH and communication for young guys is far less about REAL true spoken words but much moreso interactions. Leading by the hand, patting a chair when they want you to sit, pointing at what they want, etc etc and the ability to follow commands (Go get your shoes, etc.) SO - - do not FEAR. She also said she see's TONS of this and refers to it as "Third Child Syndrome" especially when little kiddos have older siblings...there is little motivation to actually speak because the older kids tend to just do things for them or give them what they want/need without them having to ask. We are in the same boat. Worry will only make you crazy..and there are enough actual concerns in the world that I always think, Why borrow trouble?? :)

Bonnie said...

I haven't commented on your blog before--but just read your husband's post about your experience after you had your little guy! So scary and so happy for you the outcome was as it was. We never know when our lives can change in an instant, do we?

Shannon said...

Such a sweet post and letter to Kole. I actually found your blog b/c of the scare you had after he was born thru another blog and I have to say I'm jut so glad I did. Even though I'm single without kids I feel like we have a lot in common. It must be the need to organize in me. ;)Thank you so much for all your posts, I look forward to checking in on you and your family everyday to see what's been going on!

Shannon said...

Just*

I can't handle a typo! ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Erin,
I recently discovered your blog and have enjoyed looking at it. Thank you for sharing your ideas and stories. You' ve inspired me to do some organizing, I am currently working on my pantry. My daughter also was delayed in speaking and like Kole, we knew she could understand us and she could communicate with us. She also attended speech therapy as a toddler. She is now 10 and does not stop talking ;) Have a great weekend! Cathy

Debbie W. said...

Erin, What a beautiful post. I love hearing about your day with Kole. I have had the same experiences with my son. I have 3 daughters and once I had my son, it was so different. As you have stated many times - quite exhausting and so boy but we love them just the same. Don't worry about the speech. I too was upset as I kept comparing him to what I knew with my daughters. My son is 2 1/2 and it seems only 4 months ago he blossem. The few words suddenly turned to full sentances and it seem like it happen overnight. Happy Birthday Kole and thank you Erin for your blog. I look forward to reading about you, your family and all your organizational ideas.

Jody said...

Happy Birthday Kole!

What a wonderful post, it made me tear up! My youngest will be 2 in a few months and I can't believe it either. Time goes by sooo fast.

Nikki said...

wow - I follow your blog all the time but I've never commented - but you have just described my boy .... he is now 13, nearly 6ft and still likes to be centre of attention ... he needs time to say what he has to say but given the time to explain he is such a clever kid. Kole will talk, he will be fine, I too have a girl (just one) 16 - she talked at 9 months has hasn't been quiet since - no wonder my boy was a late speaker .... he probably couldn't get a word in LOL. Off to read your other big scare post now ..... I have a feeling it is going to make me sad.

Cathy's World said...

I read the "big scare" again. I guess it really is true. We really don't know what tomorrow will bring. I am so happy that it had a happy ending.

Have a great weekend Erin and enjoy your beautiful children.

Happy Birthday Kole.
Cathy

Shari said...

Can't believe it's been another year. :(
This was such a beautiful post about him.
You described all the same feelings I have about Eden.:)

Anonymous said...

you and your husband need another "night" to make more babies!!! love how cute your kids look!!! Their So Adorable, Stay Strong,

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Kole! Sending birthday wishes all the way from Oz :)

Julie said...

Happy Birthday to you Kole. Your mum has written such a beautiful post about you. I've enjoyed reading your mum's blog posts on you getting into some sort of mischief but with that gorgeous smile you could almost get away with anything.
Love From Julie in Melbourne, Australia

Erin+Sean=Gavin said...

Such sweet and honest words.

Dani @ Run Daniella Run said...

Don't even worry about your precious boy not "speaking" yet, my daughter is 3 and I am doing some speech therapy with her also. She's as smart as a whip but lazy with her speech :) My Great Grandmother use to always say kids take a long time to talk because if they could they would tell us all about the angels they knew before they were sent to us. Warms my heart, I hope it warms yours. Happy Birthday sweet BOY!

TheFiveDays said...

Happy Birthday Kole!! What a lovely post, Erin! I am newer to your blog and just went back and read the post from after Kole's birth...wow, what you went through. Scary stuff. So sorry you had to endure that.

Two of my children have autism and I just wanted to pass along that I understand how scary it is, in a way, to investigate when you think something might not be progressing in a typical way with your child. It is a lot easier to bury your head in the sand. I have so much respect for you for not doing that with Kole. Early therapies can make all the difference!! I have found with my kids that as their speech improves, we also have fewer behavioral issues. When you can't communicate as well as you like, you get a little (or a lot!!!) frustrated! Before you know it, that little guy is going to be talking your ear off!! ;)

~Tamie

garage equipment said...

I can see the effort and the sweetness. I'm too amaze with the idea. I love it!

holly w said...

What a beautiful post. I need to be doing a better job of writing memories for my kids.

Happy Birthday Kole!

Katrina said...

This is a beautiful letter. And I just want to say that it can be typical for the youngest in a sibling group to not talk ~ sometimes they just don't need to because the older ones talk for them! My #5 - a girl- didn't talk for the longest time. All the others would say, "Avery wants ___ " and "Avery needs ___" and I would say, "Let her talk for herself." and then she would just sit there and stare at me. Then, when she finally started talking (well after the age of two) it was in a language that no one could understand. We could not figure her out! It was like she was speaking an Asian language. It was those types of sounds. But she understood all that we said, always. She's almost 11 years old now and of course talks perfectly well. No speech therapy, no therapy at all. She just, one day, spoke in full, coherent sentences. I will say that when she went to preschool (at the age of 4) that really helped. She HAD to talk in preschool because her siblings were not there to talk for her, lol. Of course she was talking before that, but I'm going to say that preschool really fine-tuned her language skills. But this is the same child that did not want to learn to read. I read to her and she loved that. But when it came time to learn her letter sounds and sigh words she just was NOT interested. I didn't worry. I figured that this is just the way this kid is! She wants to do things in her own timing. Kindergarten came and went and she was not reading. First grade came and went and she only knew a handful of sight words and her letter sounds. Second grade came and went and not much progress in that year, either. I tried all the time to teach her words and letter blends to get her to read, but she flat out refused to learn them. She'd say, "No...I don't want to." Luckily she was homeschooling at this time (as I homeschool all my kids in the elementary years) because had she been in regular school, she definitely would have been labeled in one way or another - probably put into special reading classes, or even taken out of class to be worked with in some sort of language therapy. But I knew in my heart, just a gut feeling, that I just shouldn't push it. She didn't want to read, and my goal was to make her want to read, and I knew that if I pushed her it would make her hate it. So I always let it be her choice. Anyway, during the summer before third grade she was visiting her friend's house one day. She came home that evening and was upset with me. She said, "Mom! Jenna is reading chapter books!!" and I said, "Yeah, so?" and she said, "I can't read chapter books! All I'm reading is dumb old Dr. Suess!" and calmly said, "Well, Avery...I've been trying to help you read, but you never let me. Do you want to learn to read better?" and she said YES. And so we worked on it together, and I swear she was reading grade level chapter books three weeks later. She's just an "in her own timing" type of kid. Maybe Kole is like that, too :)

Anonymous said...

Hey, Erin!

I'm so sorry for not commenting in so long. Things have been crazy here on my end. Anyway, I have been reading all of your posts and I just have to say that you all sound like everything is going so well - between your kids, your new home, school, etc. Happy birthday to Kole, too! I loved this last post... reminds me so much of my little guy Dane with the vacuuming and the mess-making. I am still amazed at how you function on a daily basis with three children when I always feel like I'm exhausted with just one! Enjoy the warm days to come and know that you have a loyal blog follower in me! I am really looking forward to your new house posts and all the decorating and organizing you get to do in it! Take care!

Shannon in PA

Jen said...

Happy Birthday to Kole!!
Erin,I have something right up your alley! I am hosting an Easter Basket link-up this week. I'm sure you'll have darling baskets for your three. Will you link up once the bunny has them ready??

ReenieK Designs said...

Very sweet !!

kami @ nobiggie.net said...

Happy Birthday Weekend little Kole! I hope you guys had fun celebrating him! <3

Becky said...

Happy Birthday Kole. What a beautiful, sweet, loving, fun tribute to you from your mom and such a treasure forever. You are so blessed to be in such a home of love. Hope you had a great day.

Malissa said...

What a cutie! Our little boys are so close in age! Mine turned 2 on March 22nd. I'm a little relieved to hear you say he's not talking much... our little guy isn't either. I know I'm not supposed to compare kiddos, but I totally remember my little girls (ages 6 and 4 now) carrying on full conversations with us, singing their abc's, etc at this age. A lot of people have told me that this is common for third babies - especially boys since his big sisters do all the talking for him! :-) My little Tyler has an dr. appt next month and I was going to ask him if he needed speech therapy. I'd love to hear your experiences and if your therapist has good pointers. He probably says 30 words or so (count them up - you'd probably be surprised at how much more he says than you think) but only simple sentences like "I want juice" or "Go outside", "What are you doing" etc. The child development specialist in me (my pre-mommy job) tells me that as long as he has good comprehension and can understand directions - that he'll probably be just fine in the long run - but I think it's natural for us to worry!

P.S. I'm glad you posted this bc it's kicking my behind to get my annual "Letter from Mommy" bday post up for my own little mama's boy! :-)

cheryl said...

Kole seems social and interactive....which ia a good sign that he is just developing at his own pace. If he is meeting all the milestones but just a little later than most that is also a good sign Many boys are late bloomers. You are wise to have started speech though. I am a speech path and I know I don't know Kole but I wouldn't stress until there is something to stress about. One idea, make the binky/pai for bedtime only, I suggest parents actually keep it in the bed to help kids associate for bed only. Keep us posted on his progress and I am happy to answer ?s if you want another opinion.

Karen At Home said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet Kole!! What a precious little boy he is. You know in your heart Mams he will be just fine!

My heart grew just reading your post, my first son is only 2 weeks old today and he is such an amazing blessing to me!

marisa said...

So happy you are getting early intervention :) All of my kids were delayed talkers, one has special needs, and the intervention early was a blessing.

Sarah said...

My second daughter had a speech delay of 80% at the age of one. With speech therapy she is now 5 and is one of the only kids in her Pre-K that can read! In Oklahoma we have a program called Sooner Start. It's a free program no matter what your income is for ages birth to three. Which is great cause health insurance isn't always the greatest in covering. Nearly all states have them they are just called something else. Once they turn three if they still need services (Speech, OT, PT etc) they will help you find something. (usually your local school) A second opinion never hurts and hey it's free (well your tax dollars paid for it at some point-HA!) Good luck and yes you do worry and then you realize they will do it when they are ready and as long as you are making sure they are getting some help if needed. Give him a hug and tell him he is loved because that is what really matters!!

Anonymous said...

Erin I just saw your comment about Kole not talking: PLEASE do not worry at all. We have a three and a half years old and about 5 mo ago he REALLY started talking. I cannot tell you HOW MANY people told me to take him to specialists ... the list would be too long. Long story short : our little man is talking in sentences now. Yes his vocabulary is more limited compared to other 3 and a half yrs olds but our boy is extremely good with numbers : he can count effortlessly to 100 ... he reads simple words etc. So he started to talk late ... so what? Our boy is very detail oriented and particular so I feel it is part of his personality. He had nothing to say until recently and now we cannot stop him :-)
Also I LOVE your blog and read it regularly - Hugs to you

Anonymous said...

Erin it must be hard as a mum to not know whether or not you should be worrying!
I work in early intervention and there are lots of things you can be doing to help Kole's preverbal skills: encouraging eye contact, turn taking, imitation games, choice making. These are all essential skills for communication and can be quite fun to play as games.
Good luck - I look forward to hearing about his progress!

Anonymous said...

Oops that was from Jane!

Erin said...

Thank you so much everyone! I feel so much better hearing about so many late talkers. I'm thrilled your little ones are all chatting up a storm now and hope that will be the case for us as well! Your kindness about this issue has blown me away. Thank you so much for sharing your stories/experiences with me!

xoxo,

Erin