Thanks to Aunt Donna, Laine has had a haircut since this picture!
We have missed Laine Day for a second year in a row, and I’m sure that some day he will bring this up as proof about how much more we like his brothers and sister than him. I can guarantee that we love our Laine as much as any of our other children, we just have dropped the ball and there is really no excuse. We apologize so much, and I’m sure that we will have to continue to apologize to him in the future….but not NEARLY the amount of apologies we expect to receive from him during his adolescent and teenager years! So, we’ll call it a draw. Here’s the link for Laine Day 2009 if you want to read back and see the changes from this year.
Laine Ryan was born at 4:41 p.m. on November 19th, 2007 and he tipped the scales at 2 lbs., 4 oz. He was released from the NICU on January the 15th, 2008.
Laine’s affinity for high-5’s began shortly after birth. He still gives them out freely!
Laine was the only one out of the four that both: A)Really liked his pacifier when he was younger, and B)Was coordinated enough to actually keep it in his mouth. Forrest liked his paci but couldn’t manage to keep it plugged in….hence the thumb-sucking dilemma we have now.
I will say that I always felt a very special bond with Laine going all the way back to the NICU days. I would go by the hospital every morning on my way to work and without fail, Laine would wake up for me (or at least pry one little eye open to look up at his adoring daddy). He was my “Number-1 Buddy” back then, and he still is today. He’s the only one out of all four that I can say without hesitation is a “Daddy’s boy”….the other 3 switch hit depending on the day or are most definitely “Mama’s boys/girl”. But Laine is all mine without a doubt.
“Daddy….just one more time. Will you please tell me the John Elway story about “The Drive”? Pretty please?!”
“So this is where the Mile High Magic happens, huh dad?”
I swear, Laine is never more than 10 feet away from Billy wherever we go. He has an adventurer’s spirit but is the biggest family-man in the group. He always likes it best and is most happy when the whole fam is together at home……all 6 of us (give or take Fo-Fo some days). He’s the one that gets most upset if mom or dad steps out of the room or leaves for work.
”Come on, dad….let’s go see what kind of trouble we can get into over there!”
I sometimes wonder if The Good Lord sent Laine to me to make me repay all of my indiscretions that I put onto my parents. From all of the stories that are told to Moni and me, it’s become apparent that we have a “little Billy” on our hands. I’m quick to point out that after I turned about 9 years old, I was easily the best of the Mike and Vicki Graf kids. However I’ll also admit that for the first 9 years of my life, I probably pushed my parents (and anyone else who crossed me or even looked at me the wrong way) to the limit. Well…karma has a way of making it’s rounds, which is most likely the reason our Laine-Train is the way he is.
”Ahhhh….whaddya mean by that?! That kind of hurts my feelings. I’m not THAT bad!”
”Really?! You’re gonna say I act like YOU did, dad? Not even CLOSE, buddy!”
Now, while I make Laine sound like a little devil, trust me when I say that he is definitely NOT. Here are Laine’s strengths and weaknesses as of his second birthday…
We make countless jokes about Laine being our little serial killer and even call him Lainerzynski or “Zynski” for short after the Unabomber. But Moni or any one of our helpers and I will be the first to tell you that Laine is the sweetest one of our four…if he is in the mood. We don’t have to ask Laine, he will just give loves and hugs and kisses to anyone that he loves. At bedtime when we are winding down for the day, Laine will walk around the room and kiss all of his siblings, his parents, his aunts and uncles, his grandparents (basically anyone that he knows) spontaneously. He loves the people that he loves very much, and we are so proud of him for that.
Laine was the first to walk. He started standing and taking steps at around 10 months and was full out on-the-go by 12 months. That would make his adjusted age for walking at 9 and 3/4 months. I’m not 100%, but I’m pretty sure that is early. Forrest was usually the first to do things, but Laine blew all of them away when it came to full mobility and physical prowess. He still has incredible balance, and like I’ve told some of you, that makes him incredibly daring (Note to self here: Laine is NEVER to have the top bunk bed when the time comes!)
Because of his naturally curious, adventurous spirit, Laine often finds himself in odd predicaments and situations. He’s learned it’s much easier to get IN to those positions than OUT!
He LOVES his cars or anything that even closely resembles one. Future racecar driver, perhaps? Only if A.J. or Uncle Jim “Slammer” have something to say about it!
Bodies by Laine. Check out his one-handed push up (okay, not really….but one day soon).
He ALWAYS has his hands in something. If you can’t see or hear Laine, you’d better go find him because chances are…he’s doing something he’s not supposed to be doing! He’s our sneaky one.
He’s a class clown, second only to Pius. But sometimes, you’ve just got to stop and smell the geraniums (and maybe give them a little taste too).
Laine Ryan is easily the best eater now (not so much one year ago). He isn’t picky about any food and he almost always cleans his plate completely, and then some. Even after we are all done with our meal, it doesn’t take him long to be in the kitchen, pushing a chair to the counter, climbing it, and trying to grab some pretzels out of the jar. The kid LOVES to eat. I’m so happy that he is growing tall for his age or else I would worry that we had another Grampa Stubby or Uncle Ryno on our hands.
Laine’s biggest strength is probably his sense of humor. That kid has been laughing at things for so long now.
Laine was the first to realize that it’s funny when someone farts or burps (yes, we pride ourselves on the juvenile humor associated with bodily functions…..always have). After he farts or burps, he looks at one of us and starts giggling. The fact that we know he has a good sense of humor stretches beyond THAT stuff, though. He laughs at a lot of things. And he doesn’t start in because we did first… he laughs BEFORE we do because he thinks it’s funny! I think Laine is going to be a bit of a prankster and that will most likely get him into trouble more often than not. I pity his future partners in crime who may not realize what they’re getting in to by befriending him. He can be a persuasive little boy!
“Hey mom, check out my static-fro!”
“Do these glasses make me look innocent? Because I’m gonna need the jury to think I’m innocent.”
“Anyone seen the comic section?!”
“Oh great….now it’s time to hear about my weaknesses. I can’t watch this!”
Laine’s Areas for Improvement:
This should have been our 1st sign of Laine’s oppositional defiance disorder…flipping off the camera at 3½ months when I made him wear bunny ears for Easter pics. Or as Bill Engvall would say, “Here’s your sign…”
Laine has the worst temper of the four. This goes back to many people who knew me when I was little, knowing that I had the worst temper of all time. My mom sent me to a child psychologist for awhile when I was 5 or 6 and Moni is already doing research for Laine (not really, but probably wouldn’t be a bad idea). Laine gets so mad that he seems to lose control at times. Nothing anybody does will calm him down. I have taken many a shots from flailing arms and legs trying to get him to relax. We are trying very hard to remedy this little problem. Sometimes sitting him in timeout cools him down and distracts him long enough for the spell to pass…..SOMETIMES.
I’m not sure if this next problem totally relates to his temper, or if his selfishness/spoiled-rotten-ness causes it, but Laine is our little BADASS. Laine has beat up Pius, Forrest, and even got a couple good shots in on Danna. Pius and Forrest don’t want anything to do with Laine when he wants something from them. He bites, he pulls hair, he rubs their faces in the carpet while sitting on their heads…..he really works them over.
Pius knows what’s coming but is powerless to stop it.
And the rest is history. Good effort, Pi-Pi, but you honestly didn’t have a snowball’s chance…
Since (despite my temper) I’ve never been the physically aggressive type, I’m not sure where it comes from. Maybe he just has Little Guy’s syndrome because he is still obviously smaller than his brothers. And I haven’t completely ruled out getting some of this from Moni’s genes. After all, her siblings didn’t call her demon-ica when she was younger for nothin’! In fact, there’s STILL a little truth to that nickname for her……her horns really do seem to help keep her halo straight!
The aftermath of one of Laine’s rages… This was unwitnessed because I was getting ready for work, Billy was getting dinner ready upstairs and the kids were playing in the basement. He actually had a rug burn on his face too, but this was a couple of days after the attack. You can’t see it here, but Pius also had a bruise on the outer edge of his ear along with the bite on the cheek and scratches. INSANE.
And Forrest fell victim to the Zynski the very next day. He sustained two bites to the face. Laine has very distinctive bite marks…his are the only ones that are actually straight. It’s a tell-tale sign of a Laine attack.
Who would believe that a face this sweet could accompany those kinds of actions?! I wouldn’t believe it either if I hadn’t seen it happen.
Pius jumped on the rare opportunity to sit on Laine. Capturing a picture like this is equivalent to snapping one of a UFO or the Loch Ness Monster or Big Foot. It just doesn’t happen. This photo is completely untouched and untampered.
Laine has minor health problems that he has to deal with that the others don’t. He has reactive airway disease or “baby-asthma” and has to do regular breathing treatments (especially during the winter or if he has a cold). He has started doing much better with cooperating during the treatments and even holds the mask for himself now. I think he’s realized that they help him feel better and allow him to get on with his shenanigans in a more timely manner.
Laine also has eczema which causes him some problems. He’s been referred to a dermatologist because it got really severe during the summer. Go back up to the picture of Laine stuck in the black folding chair and take a close look at his legs…when it gets really bad, those large welts are ALL OVER his entire body! When he breaks out (usually goes hand-in-hand with cold symptoms), he is pretty miserable for about a week. Laine gets a special “taste” (what we call his dose of Xyzal allergy medicine) each morning and has special soap, diaper and skin cream that we use a couple times a week or more often when he has a breakout. His scalp gives him problems too and I believe that is the reason he HATES having his hair washed and always has. He’s fine in the bath tub until you try to wash him….
Laine, we are so sorry for being late again. You are so special to us and we love you very much. We have heard about the youngest child having the best sense of humor, and we can see that in you. We are sure that you will be the one pulling the pranks, trying to sneak stuff by us, keeping EVERYONE on their toes and telling the best jokes. Your loyalty, grit and sheer determination will take you wherever you want to go in life. We know you’ll use your talents to better yourself and help others. We can’t wait for you to show us what kind of man you are going to become. You are such a good boy and have a kind, gentle heart and we are all SO proud of you, little man!
Daddy, Mommy, Pi-Pi, Fo-Fo, and Danny