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Dear Kole,

Buddy!  You turned four today.  FOUR!  I don’t know if I can write your letter this year.  Your daddy moved you into a “big boy” car seat last weekend without warning me first and I cried for 20 minutes.  I wasn’t ready for that.  And your dad will never pull something like that without warning again.  :)  I will do my best but if I become a basket case you may have to take over and write your own birthday letter like you did when you turned one.  Birthdays definitely bring out the sentimental sap in your mommy.  Besides, after that letter I think we can both agree that you are the better writer.   
You are at such a fun, adorable stage right now Kole.  I wish I could bottle you up at this age forever. And you have such a charming little personality.  Your preschool teachers always tell me that you make them all melt.  You are so polite.  “Polite defiance” comes to mind.  I’ll say “Kole – time to put away your dinosaurs”  and you answer “No thanks mommy.  I’m good playing with my dinosaurs.”  You always remind me of your daddy when you do this.  His favorite response when I ask him to do something is a polite “I’m not mad you asked.”  I can’t ever be too upset at you because I know where all of your tricks come from.  :)
You love Saturdays.  You love to wake up and watch TV in bed with mom and dad and then play play play with your sisters all day.  Every day you ask me how many more days until Saturday.  Yesterday you woke up and came running into our room and said “is it Saturday!? AND is it my birthday!?”  Unmatched excitement over the thought of both happening simultaneously.  :)

You are obsessed with Dinosaurs at the moment so a dinosaur party was the obvious way to go.  You were so adorable with your little preschool buddies.  Greeting each one and telling them “Hi! Thanks for coming to my birthday!  Do you want to come inside my Elmo jumpy!?” 

You love to jump Kole.  Our trampoline is your best friend so we knew a jumpy was the only way to go for your party.  Even though it was a dinosaur party, you picked out Elmo for your jumpy.  You beat to your own drum and we have learned to roll with it.  This day was all about you.  :)   You were basically in your jumpy from the minute it arrived at our house (10:00 am) until I dragged you out of it for bedtime around 7:00 pm.  Your dad and I are thinking the Elmo jumpy needs to become a permanent fixture in our yard.  :)

 Although you did emerge to play Ellie’s rendition of pin the tail on the dinosaur.  

And of course to blow the candles out on your dinosaur cake.  
Then it was back in the jumpy.  You cried when your friends left.  It was so tender.  You didn’t want them to leave and not jump with you anymore.  So mom and dad took turns jumping with you.  Until we could jump no more and then we recruited your sisters to fill in.  Your sisters love you so much Kole.  
You have come a long way from the days of just being one of their dolls.  :)
You are now old enough to officially complete the three musketeers.  Always up to mischief.  Always full of endless energy.  Always providing comic relief to your parents.  And most importantly – always together.  Sometimes I look out the kitchen window at you three playing together in the yard and in an instant I am so full of gratitude I feel like my heart might burst into a million pieces.  It’s the same way I feel when I pick you up at preschool.  You see my face and your little eyes just light up and you come running.  How unbelievably lucky I am to get to be your mom.  
Your favorite foods right now are noodles and yogurt and your favorite TV show is Dino Dan.  You live for weekends and you love to wear shorts.  You get so mad when it’s cold outside and I make you wear pants.  I’m always grateful that we live in a place with nice weather so that I don’t have to fight that battle too often.  :)  You are such a good sleeper Kole.  You always have been.  You tell me good night and I love you mommy and then you go right to bed without any problem.  You love books.  You ask me to read to you at least 20 times a day.  All too often we drop whatever is going on and sit on the floor somewhere in the house to read about Dinosaurs or to see what Little Critter is up to.  You are a great story teller Kole.  You love to make up stories – especially ones about big scary monsters.  You are a happy little boy but you definitely have your moments of unhappiness.  Sometimes you get mad and tell me “mom I am SO frustrated!  That makes me a boring!”  (Which means you are bored and not happy with whatever we are doing at the moment.)  
Luckily you never stay “a boring” for long because you always have three girls instantly working overtime to cheer you up.  Your own personal cheerleading team.  :)  You’ve also got your daddy who you adore and can’t get enough of.  You ask all day “when will daddy be home from work?”  You also constantly ask “is it time to go to the zoo with my daddy today?”  One of your all time favorite outings.    
Your speech has come so far in the last year Kole.  You are speaking in full sentences and are almost completely caught up to your peers.  At your last meeting with all of your preschool teachers they told me that you have achieved every one of your goals and last year’s thirty pages of goals is down to two for next year.  We have all worked so hard to get here.  I left the meeting and got in my car and cried.  I cried because I was overwhelmed with happiness and relief and most of all just so proud of you.  You are such a smart little boy Kole.  You learn so quickly and you try so hard.  I never doubted your ability to shine for a second.  
You have my heart Kole.  You have had it wrapped around your little finger from the second we met.  Sometimes your daddy gets slightly frustrated with me because you can do no wrong in my book.  I can’t help it.  You are my little boyfriend who all of a sudden isn’t so little anymore.  Even though you turned four today, you will always be my baby.  You will always have your mom’s heart wrapped around your little finger.  
But I do know that you are such a “big boy” now and so proud of it.  And we are all proud of you little buddy.  We love you to pieces and I can’t imagine our family without you in it.  Things would definitely be “a boring.”  :)  You make me smile every single day.  I can’t thank you enough for all of the smiles.  And for all of the kisses and hugs and cuddles and conversations.  I can’t thank you enough for all of the happiness you bring me by being sweet, perfect you.
Happy 4th birthday Kole!  Love you forever. 
Love, mom

xoxo, Erin
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29 thoughts on “Dear Kole,

  1. Happy Birthday to you Kole. I’ve loved watching you grow from reading your mum’s blog. Love that cheeky little smile. Love to you all the way from Kangaroo land, Melbourne, Australia. xxoox

  2. Happy Belated 4th Birthday to cute Kole:)

    I love the letter you’ve written to him, it’s both funny & touching.

    Just curious, is a jumpy usually called that or is a nickname? Here they’re called bouncy castles. I love that it’s got Elmo on it:)

  3. It was soooooo sweet! I cried, too. My little one is lying by me, he is ten months old, he is the only my child, but looking at your family photos I want more! Many hugs to you, you have really wonderful little man!
    Aljonushka from faraway Belarus

  4. Oh my goodness Erin! I’m crying like a baby here. I love these posts you write for your kids’ birthdays. Your pride and love just ooze out of ever sentence. Your kids will treasure these letters and it’s such a fun way to look back on their childhood. Thank you for sharing your heart for your kids with us and for inspiring me to be a better mom :)

  5. I cried too! What a sweet letter that will be such a treasure to have throughout the years! You do write the most precious letters to your kids on their birthdays. I need to start doing this for my kids! Happy Birthday Kole!

  6. Erin, please tell Kole “Happy 4th Birthday” from me! I have loved reading about him growing up, and it is hard to believe that he has already reached 4 years old! Kole completed your family when he was born! He is an absolute doll. Thank you so much for sharing his birthday with us – I just love reading your posts and seeing your beautiful family!

  7. Happy Birthday to Kole! He is such a cutie!!

    This may be too personal, but I’m curious about his speech therapy. I have a 2.5 year old who is not talking yet. He’s been in speech through ECI since he was a baby, but it’s not helping and we’re moving into private therapy now. He’s having a swallow test done next week and they have suggested we get his tongue clipped. I’m just curious as to how Kole succeeded and what types of problems he was having…..IF you’re willing to discuss, please let me know! I’m always interested in hearing other perspectives. Thanks so much!!

  8. Hi Erin, this post brought back memories. My son also had a dinosaur bday party theme one year. Love it! Happy bday to Kole!

    I was wondering if you could share your kitchen cabinet color? We are trying to decide and there are so many choices in white! Your new home is beautiful!!

  9. Hi Erin and happy bday to Kole! Dinosaurs were a theme for my son one year. Love it!

    I was wondering if you could share your kitchen cabinet paint color? I am redoing my kitchen and need a nice white. There are so many colors to choose from that it can be daunting.

    Thank you!

  10. Hi Missi!

    I don’t know the exact paint color that we used on our cabinets! I just picked it out of several samples my cabinet guy showed me. But it is almost identical to the white we used for all of our trim and molding and that is all painted in Frazee’s “Arothane white” 001.

    Hope that helps! Good luck with your kitchen remodel!

  11. I had to laugh – I didn’t see Kole amongst the dolls at first. Tired mom syndrome?

    My first born, my son and little guy who does plenty of wrong but I forgive it all, will be 5 in June. Over the years, reading about Kole has been a glimpse into “just a few months ago” with my son. How and when did they get so grown up?? I wish the Earth could spin a little slower or I could hit pause on the here and now and go back and relive my baby for just a few moments.

    As I was reading your letter, I was thinking, “Sounds like Kole has caught up with his speech and language skills. I wonder if he will be discharged soon?”. Lol, both as an SLP and mommy I am so happy for you and Kole that therapy and your hard work have paid off. I tried years ago to write a comment with a bunch of tips for s/l on a post where you mentioned speech concerns – and it never appeared, twice. I was happy when you started seeing positive progress and seemed less concerned.

    Hugs and birthday wishes from our family! If you are ever in Chicago area, our boys can wear each other out on a playground or pool while the girls play. :)

  12. I need a box of tissues! Happy Birthday to the handsomest boy ever. He reminds me SO much of my Patrick-his love of Saturday, his books, his “goodness” at bedtimes. Time goes too fast doesn’t it? It seems like yesterday you were just posting you had that little guy.

  13. awwwhhh… u about had me crying too…my youngest will start kindergarten in the fall and he is so excited and I am so sad (but not sad enough to have another one…ha!) …that picture of him by the baby dolls is GREAT…thanks for being a “sunny” spot to come to… :)

    on a completely other topic- I have a birthday looming (that is not nearly as much fun as being 4) and am becoming more concerned about skincare…have you already talked about what kind of skincare products you like?? I know you have talked makeup- just wondered if you had some favorite go-to products.. thx!!

  14. Thank you so much everyone!

    JC – you are a sweetheart! I’m calling you if I ever make it to Chicago. :)

    Jenny – I haven’t talked about skin care! Great post idea! :)

  15. Happy 4th Birthday to Kole. Such a sweet boy. I am currently teaching a little boy who is struggling with his speech. I love hearing encouraging stories of children his age doing well with therapy. I have suggested it to his mother, and they are thrilled to move forward. His pediatrician just kept taking a wait and see attitude, but after my youngest ( who is a speech/audiology major) taught with me a few weeks ago and said he really needs intervention now, they are proceeding with finding a private therapist. His mother seemed so relieved. She has observed her son in my class and new he was behind, but felt lost since the doctor kept saying, “he’s fine”, “he’ll catch up”.

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