Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Dear Forrest, 

You are 12 months old. You have had a big year with so much growing up to be done. In the first year of your life, you have taught Mama and Daddy so much about life. Because of you, Mama and Daddy are constantly bettering themselves, and have found a purpose in their lives. It is not that they are not good people or have no purpose in their lives before you came along; it is that you simply bring enrichment to their lives. You have helped Mama and Daddy to become more concrete with their values, and beliefs. You inspired them to do things they would not have done before you entered their lives. 

Mama can't imagine what her life would be like without you. A year ago, the night before you were born; Mama wrote a blog post about how she felt, and added a poem. Then she did not publish the post, and decided to keep it only for her eyes until today. 

"It is the last day of me being pregnant. I am not sure if it has hit me yet even though I am feeling somewhat emotional about this. I am tearful but in a very happy way, but it still does not feel real to me that I will be in the hospital tomorrow at 7 am. Stu and I have decided to only tell handful people and to surprise the rest when we announce that our son is born.  Stu is very thrilled. He is just on pins and needles. He has reminded me several times that we will be meeting our boy so very soon. Stu is very ready to meet his son, to hold him, and bond with him. He has been telling me how difficult it is for him to just be an outsider and watch my belly grow. He knows that I have bonded with my son already through this experience, and is anxious to create his own relationship with our son.I have painted my toenails blue with glitter. I am planning on taking a long nice bath with a good book in my hand. I have tried to sleep in this morning because god knows that it will be my last time to sleep in for a long while! But I couldn't. All I could think is that tomorrow, I will be in the hospital to get ready to have my baby."

A Day Before You Were Born (Anonymous

A day before you were born, I could feel you move.
You kicked and punched and danced to your very own groove.

Three months before you were born, I saw your tiny face. 
Sucking your thumb, curled up, in a tiny dark space.

Five months before you were born, I learned you were a boy. 
We painted your nursery blue and bought your very first toy. 

Seven months before you were born, we brainstormed your sweet name,
I couldn't feel you or see you yet, but you were there all the same. 

Eight months before you were born, I stared at a pink plus sign,
knowing that at that moment, I was pregnant with a child of mine. 

You started off so small--tinier than a pea,
but all along you were the same sweet boy who now plays in front of me. 

It is sometimes hard to decipher where our lives truly begin,
but we all started in the same sweet place--hidden and tiny within.

You are so wanted since Day ONE, and it has been such a joy to watch you grow from a baby to a toddler. You have accomplished so much in a year.

 In this past month.......

You are officially a step-taker! You are able to take a few steps at time before plopping on your bottom. You still prefer very much to crawl. Mama and Daddy thinks you find that crawling takes you to the place where you want to go to much faster than you would with walking. You are still not completely confident to let go in order to walk more than a few steps. However, with your walking toy; you can walk around like a boss! 

You laugh nasally at anything that amuses you. You enjoy giving a wide opened kisses to Mama and Daddy. Nothing stops you from being adventurous, and exploring things. You love interacting with other babies! You wave your hand as often as you can to people you see. You are a dancer! You love to shake your bum when Daddy turns on Pandora. Matter of fact, Mama and Daddy have a few videos of you jiving, and grooving at Johnny Cash (You seem to prefer Bluegrass, Jazz, Western Country music).

You are beginning to make words; Mama, Daddy, LaLa (Layla), & KaKa (cats) to name a few. You still don't sign very much, however, Mama has been noticing that you are attempting to mimic signs especially Daddy, Done, and Sleep. Your favorite sign is still MORE MORE MORE. You absolutely love Shushbye, and Sesame Street--especially when they start singing, and you dance to the songs. You are very adventurous with food, and will try anything at least once. However, if you don't like the taste of food, or grow bored with eating, much to Mama's dismay, you chuck the food off your high chair tray to the dog.

You are such a boy. You've fallen, bumped, and crashed into everything that has caused Mama's heart to stop beating for a few seconds yet you brush it off, and scoot off to your destination! Mama loves being a "boy mom", and would not mind having another boy brother for you to play with! But she also wants a sister for you somewhere in the mix!

You now have 7 teeth! Four on the top, and three on the bottom. You still have a few teeth budding ,and about to pop out! Sleeping in the night is still a struggle. You don't sleep consistently, and often wake up in the middle of night in tears because of teething or night terrors or wanting your NUK but you can't find it. Mama swoops in, and picks you up then rock you back to sleep in the wee hours while gladly sacrificing her sleep just to make sure you know you are loved, and safe.

You scared Mama and Daddy recently with your instant reaction to peanut butter. They ended up taking you to an allergist, and only to confirm that you have a peanut allergy. Despite all of this, you are unfazed, and a happy boy. Matter of fact, Mama and Daddy took it harder than you did! This meant a few small adjustments to be done in the Russ household.

You had a great day recently. Mama and Daddy threw you a birthday party. Family and friends came to celebrate you! You loved the attention, and enjoyed the company especially Grandpa Dave, Jess, Grandpa M, and Grandma B (you love your grandparents, don't you). You got a lot of neat stuff. Mama's favorite was CLOTHES, but you didn't care for them! Your favorite present was the red Radio Flyer Tricycle from Grandpa M and Grandma B. Your legs were not quite long enough to reach to the pedals, but it did not stop you from asking people to push you on the tricycle!

You had your first haircut! Mama was so proud of how well you did. You took it like a champ, and was not frazzled at all! Gone was your baby soft peach fuzziness, and in its place, you had a big boy haircut. You suddenly looked older after the haircut. Of course, you were no longer a baby, but a toddler. 

You had your year old pictures taken by Michelle: PatootiesPhotography. You were such a HAM! Mama can't wait to show off those adorable pictures of you once she gets the CD in the mail!

You have your 12 months check up soon (a few days after your birthday, Mama thinks). Mama will find out how much you've grown. She thinks you've grown a bit taller, but remains at the same weight. So, Mama shall see if her guess is correct! You will also be getting immunization shots! Mama is a bit nervous about how you will react, seeing that you are older now, and can associate pain with the shots.

You are now down to two last nursing sessions. Mama plans on talking with Dr. Johnson about when, and how to wean you off the last two feedings. It is hard to believe that you are getting to be such a big boy already!

Mama is still in a disbelief that a year has literally flown by. On this day last year, Mama and Daddy met you for a very first time, and the emotions felt as real today as it did last year. You have been nothing, but a huge joy. Mama and Daddy have learned so much from you, and are looking forward to watching you grow into your toddler years.


We love you so much.


Mama & Daddy


  1. Happy birthday! He's so handsome, you'll be so glad you did these monthly pics - it's my fave thing to do every month!