Our first-born son, Pius, was brought home on January 9th, 2008. Pius was the biggest throughout the belly-time and always seemed to be the calmest. He was right next to Danna in the womb and the two of them always have acted like they have a special little bond.
Pius James Graf was born at 4:38 p.m. at Banner-Good Samaritan Hospital on November 19th, 2007. He was born tipping the scales at a whopping 3 lbs., 14 oz. While he was still in Mommy's belly we started calling him our "lazy giant," but he has proven us wrong to this point. After Pius was first born, he always seemed to be lagging behind the other boys. So, of course, Moni and I (with our wonderful parenting skills) just decided that he was lazy and teased him a little for being that way. We didn't know any better until all of the doctors and nurses assured us that the biggest is almost always the last to pick things up. The terrific doctors and nurses also reminded us that Pius had spent his entire life, both in the womb and out, having things done for him. He received the lion's share of nutrients and Mama's supplements just because he was the biggest. Looking back now, we think "gentle giant" might be a more appropriate nickname.
Pius and mom meeting for the first time face-to-face
Only 9 days old and already flipping the camera off!
Kickin' it....Pius style. He always used to lay like this in the NICU.
Scrub a dub dub...Fat man in a little tub
Pius has always been our most sensitive-skinned baby. He still struggles with awful diaper rashes. It got so bad in the NICU that they had to hang him out to dry with an oxygen mask blowing on his hiney. He was not happy to be stripped of his dignity....especially in front of all the hot nurses!
When the babies were first put into their NICU rooms together, the hospital had Pius and Danna in one room and Forrest and Laine in the other conjoining room. Pius REFUSED to be faced away from Danna in his isolette. We'd turn his head the other direction and not 2 minutes later, it'd be back facing her. Moni, the nurses, and I joked that Pius wanted to keep his eye on his little sister to make sure that she was alright. So since the beginning, it really seemed like Pius was always looking out for his baby sis. Another story along the same lines...this is not a lie: Pius never did move around a lot while they were in the womb. However, if Forrest or Laine would bump into Danna he would ALWAYS have a kick for either of them (we actually witnessed this happening several times during our daily sonos). He would scream in the NICU until we got him settled facing Danna. We are sure that Pius knows that he needs to keep a special watch out for his little sister because we still have trouble keeping the two of them too far apart. They even sleep next to each other in their bedroom and we'll find them jabbering and touching each other's hands through the crib rails in the mornings and after naps. It is so sweet to witness!
"Ahhh, relief.....Now don't turn me away from my sissy again!"
Pius had been the biggest since birth, with the exception of Forrest taking him over one time for a week when they were still newborns and again about 4 months ago. Forrest overtook him by almost 1/2 a pound. Recently, our regular helpers and Moni noticed that he seemed heavier again. It was confirmed when we took all four of them into the doctor last week and Pius is, once again, the big man on campus. We owe it to him being the best eater EVER (well, at least out of our four). He always sits there in his hook-on table chair so patiently...usually with his hands folded on the table in front of him and his mouth opened so wide, ready for the next bite. We always fight over who gets to feed Pius!
Forrest (L) and Pius (R), reunited again at home in the Phoenix apartment. Forrest wasn't sure he wanted to allow Pius into his Boppy circle....
Pius is so freaking adorable. His big cheeks, snaggled teeth, funky shaped head and his big blue eyes are incredible. He is consistently cuddly and he is ALWAYS willing to "make eyes". He loves to be around people, and even at the young age of 13 1/2 months he seems to want to make people smile. He's our little people pleaser. Pius is always willing to show Forrest and Laine that he's the boss but still seems to have a special soft spot for Danna. I have noticed how he acts towards her is completely different from how he acts to his brothers. For example, Pius will take full advantage of this brothers getting their diapers changed to crawl over and "geek slap" them on their foreheads! No joke. He also likes to use his infamous pointer finger to plug up their belly buttons or poke their eyeballs. With Danna, he always touches her hand like he wants to hold it and he is so much more gentle with her than any of the rest of us.
Pi-man is not walking as of this post. He has taken about 3 steps on his own, but nothing consistent yet. One of the reasons we think he's struggling with this is because of his feet. Ever since our first doctor visit a few days after being released from the NICU, Pius was noted to be in-toed. We've talked about this in past posts, but were always optimistic it would most likely resolve on it's own (that's what we've been told by their Pedi and PT, anyway). They kept saying, "We'll wait and check it again when he's rolling.....when he's crawling.....when he's pulling up.....when he's cruising on furniture....etc, etc, etc." He's been able to do all those things right along with his siblings, but this walking deal is a good bit harder for him. Even if he holds on to our fingers and walks, his little feet flop to the sides and he trips after a step or two. It's kind of sad to watch, but also adds to his character and charm. We'll see what the doctor has to say about it at their 14 month check-up appointment next week.
Everybody knows for a fact how proud GG Papa would be to have our little man named after him. Pius James, you are such a good boy and we all love you so much and look forward to seeing what kind of a man you become.
Pius with Godfather Uncle Ryno and Proxy-Godmother, Great Aunt Renee on baptism day
Daddy with his first-born
Forrest (L) and Pius (R) with their hero, Dr. Tjaden. Dr Tjaden was the first person to see all 4 of those babies that fateful day on the screen in the sono room! Oh, how we'll never forget that moment!
Chubba Hubba hanging out poolside in all his diaper speedo glory
Ah yes, the horsey bouncer. Many a naps were taken here after jumping himself to sleep.
I really think those big blue eyes could kill someone! Watch out, ladies (please disregard that, Lauren...he'd never step out on his favorite Cochran quad).
Pius has always LOVED bathtime. We were having to bathe him a couple times a day because of his sore bottom. I think that's about the time he claimed ownership of the tub. After that, when we'd bathe all of them together, he'd always act so put-out by the others being in HIS tub. He always claims prime real estate in the bath (right next to the faucet) and gets mad if the others get in his way.
Pius has always preferred sleeping on his belly. He tucks his hands under his chest and sticks his bodacious booty in the air and calls it a night.
We call Pius "bulldog" because he bows his arms out when he's on all fours, has those 2 crazy bottom teeth and is SUPER QUICK when crawling. He also likes to scrinch his nose and grunt.
Loves to be outdoors and eating the leaves
Pretty sure he won't ever have this much hair (especially if daddy has anything to say about it). Cowardly lion....I think not!
This is what happens sometimes when there are 4 babies in one house. Inevitably, someone gets forgotten when it comes to changing diapers (unless there's a green cloud of funk around their butt). Poor Pius got left out this day and his diaper was sagging to his ankles by the time we realized it. It was pretty funny....or maybe you just had to be there.
Pius and his little buddy, Danna, sharing in the ball pit
Pius "making eyes" for Budda. It really never gets old to see this. Unbelievably cute.
Pius had to "show muscles" to the photographer. What a little ham.
We Love You Pius James! You make us SO proud!
Daddy, Mommy, Forrest, Danna, and Laine
P.S. This is your reminder.......Remember to set your DVR's to ABC at 6:00 pm CST on Sunday, January 11th to watch the Graf Quad's National TV Debut on America's Funniest Home Videos! Check your local listing to make sure of the time. You should recognize us.....it'll be the video with all the screaming babies that shut up when we play Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" for them.
If any of the local family and friends are interested, we will be having a big "watch party" for the event at a place downtown. News media may or may not be there (it was a definitive maybe). If you'd like the details, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call us on our cell phones. We'd love to see you!