New Year's Day will forever mean something completely different to Monica and me. We are going to do each of the personality profiles on the day we brought them home from the NICU. New Year's Day 2008 was the day that we brought Forrest Michael home. He busted out of Phoenix Children's Hospital that day at around noon if I recall right. We were experiencing so many emotions but, incredibly excited, scared, and proud were the main three that day.
Forrest was born at 3 pounds, 9 ounces at 4:38 p.m. on November 19, 2007. One of the main things we remember about Forrest while he was still in Mommy's tummy was that we dubbed him "Roger Rabbit on crack." He was a wild man in there. Always moving around, kicking his brothers and sister, and always giving us good sono pictures. He was hilarious even before he was born. Now we can say that some of that is still true. He loves to be moving, but it seems that he likes to be contained. He ALWAYS wants to be held, but he wants to be moving constantly while he is on your lap. Until recently, he hasn't been much of a cuddler but has really seemed to open up to hugs and kisses from people.
Right now there is an alpha-male war going on in the Graf house. Forrest, his older brother, Pius, and his younger brother, Laine, seem to be trying to establish dominance among the kids. They all three try to claim territory, toys, and people. Forrest seems to be the one who just gets mad when one of his "possessions" is taken away from him. The other two will fight, chase, and run with whatever it is they are trying to claim. Forrest will wrestle for any toy or sippy-cup when he has it first, but once he loses it he will just start to scream and not fight for it. We try to make sure that the one who started with it gets to keep it, but it is hard to keep up.
Forrest was the first one to start sprouting his teeth, and he seemed to handle it the best. Anyone would ask, "Forrest, can I see your toofers?" and he would just grin really big and show them off. He needs to grin really big because those four that he has are some major chompers. He has learned to take lids off of things that aren't baby-proof with those gigantic tusks. The puffs seem to be the one thing that all four of them will let Forrest have first because they all know he can open them for everyone.
Forrest also seems to be the one that picks up all of our tricks the best. He may not be the first to do the trick, but when he sees one of the others getting attention for a particular trick he will show us that he can do it, too. He does every trick that all of them do, i.e. he claps, he makes eyes (winks), he can tell you which football teams he does NOT like and which one he does when asked, he can do "touchdown", make muscles, blow kisses and many others that are escaping me right now. With him, it's very much as Moni says, "Monkey see, monkey do."
Forrest was the last of the four to really start talking, but now he has a conversation for anyone who walks through the door. It is so funny to make eye contact with him. He will just start jabbering away like he is really telling you something. It really is one of the funniest things I have seen any of them do. He will look me right in the eye and make a bunch of different sounds and wait for a response. I then reply with some smart-alec remark like, "Not really," or, "Well a lot of times I do,"or "I don't think that's really what happened, Forrest." Then he will respond again. Sometimes I wonder what he is thinking.
Everybody says that he looks exactly like me, and the more I look at him, I tend to agree. We seem to have a lot of the same attributes except for the hair color. That is definitely a good thing for young Forrest, as I can think of worse people to look like. But I know for a fact that he, along with his little brother Laine, has also acquired one of my worst qualities....my temper. He really is a very easy-going kid, but when he loses his temper it can take up to 15 minutes to calm him down. My mother has told stories of sitting on me when I was seven for up to 45 minutes while I threw a tantrum. Hopefully, it is something that we will be able to control as he grows up and learns to reason.
Right now, we are working hard with Forrest to get him to stand. We can trick him when he is leaning up against something and say, "Forrest...TOUCHDOWN!" and he will do it with perfect balance so we know he can do it. If he doesn't have something to hold onto, he gets scared and will go right to his butt. We have got three steps out of him, but the majority of the time when we try to stand him up he just goes straight down. We were just a little surprised because all along the way he was the first to do everything (with the exception of the talking) and he doesn't act like he even cares to try to stand. We will see how that goes, I am sure one day he is just going to take off running.
Forrest is shaping up to be a great kid. He is easily entertained, very funny, and very sociable. I still remember those first couple nights and the first time he peed on me before I went into work. It is unbelievable how far he has come and how much he has grown up. We are so proud of him and really do thank God everyday for letting us have him. WE LOVE YOU FORREST MICHAEL AND HAVE A HAPPY FORREST DAY!!!
Mom, dad and Forrest meeting each other for the 1st time. "Hi, my name is Forrest. Forrest Graf. People call me Forrest Graf."
You had the most hair back then, too! Mom couldn't keep her hands off it.
Just barely over a week old.
Mama's goldi-locked angel baby
You were still the only one at home. How did you like being an only child for a few days?
God bless the Horsey Bouncer
Frosty and daddy
You love to climb into laundry baskets (you also like to "help mama" by throwing all the clean clothes onto the ground)
We wondered if you'd ever leave that tongue in your mouth. Aunt Lainie was worried alot about this due to personal experience with a kid she knew.
Your 1st Broncos trip!
What's that Miss Emma? You don't like the "comb-over" look? Well, this is what happens when mom doesn't take action.
What a little man! You were the only one being good that day when Ashlyn took your pictures. The proof is in the proofs.
Happy Birthday, Forrest! Little did we know that the green frosting was going to make you break out in a rash all over your face that afternoon. Don't feel bad, though. Pius and Laine also ended up with the same rashes.
You ARE the leader of this 3-ringed circus! Your Aunt Jac really has you pegged.
So handsome and sweet. We're so proud of you!
Mommy, Daddy, Pius, Danna, and Laine
P.S. Please keep this whole Graf Household in your prayers. We've been trying to get ourselves well and up and running again, but the snots and the bad coughs (not to mention extreme fussiness) are not wanting to leave our cozy abode. We may have to buck it up and take them all to see the doc tomorrow.