Friday, July 20, 2012


...and a very big PS.

We didn't think it was possible that Joseph could be teething again...already. However, as evidenced by this:

and the paint specks all over his face when I get him from his crib, more are on the way.

He (like his sister) has been fast to get teeth in. The first couple came at four months and others followed close behind. By his one-year appointment he had 12 teeth. Twelve. As in a dozen. Our kid may not walk or talk yet but he can eat a steak. But we've had no activity for months. He has his two-year molars and his eye teeth, or canines, to go. The ones coming in now are the eye teeth, as in they take so long to make their appearance that it seems they are coming from the eyes. And, as we learned with Hannah, they are brutal.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

15 months

We had our 15-month well check yesterday, on his actual 15-month day convenient enough. We couldn't get on the schedule until the end of August and were relieved when Dr. Jennifer told us she would fit us in this week. {The perks of actually being friends with your pediatrician.} We were very anxious to see how much our little guy weighed.

And, Joseph gained a pound in a month! He weighs 20'13" and we are very happy about that. That puts him at the 10th percentile. You may think that's nothing to get excited about, but for us it is. At his one year well check he had dropped off of the normal growth chart and was very close to being considered "failure to thrive" which if you've ever gone through this, is like a punch in the gut to a parent. Now after a lot of trail and error, we've figured out how to deal with his GI troubles, he's eating well and growing. We'll stick with soy milk for the time being and hope that he continues to grow at this same pace until we go back for his 18-month appointment.

He gained an inch in length and is now 30.5" long and at the 25th percentile in the height category. His head is 18.75" which puts him at the 75th percentile. Big heads, both our kids, they get from their daddy. Hopefully that means big brains.

Developmental milestones on track. Feeding himself, clapping, identifying body parts, etc. "Can he scribble?" We'd never tried that. Usually I put up the crayons and markers when he's on the loose. So, Dr. Jennifer gave him a pen and he went to town - on the exam table paper...and on my pants. I guess he can scribble.

He's taken a step here and there. This morning he took 3 steps. I happened to have the video camera on Hannah when she took her first step. What was I thinking, that I'd get so lucky and have Joseph's first steps recorded?

I am amazed at how well he understands us. Because he hasn't said any words yet, I totally underestimated his level of comprehension. {The things you forget after the first child.} Recently I've started telling him to do things and then am taken aback when he does them. He'll help Hannah clean up the playroom by slam-dunking the toys in the baskets. {Everything has to be a slam dunk: throwing his paci back in the crib, putting the bath toys away in the frog pod, etc. is always done with force. The difference between a boy and a girl.} A week or so ago when I picked him up from his crib and laid him on the changing table I said, "You are a big boy. You don't need that pacifier anymore..." And he took it right out and handed it to me. In the spirit of the Olympics: Let the ordering around games begin!

On June 5 (that would make him 13 1/2 months old) I took "one-year" pictures of him. I know, this is ridiculous. I guess I can't get my act together. With Hannah, we did a baby package and had professionally-taken pictures of her at newborn, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. There are several reasons we didn't do this with baby #2, but mainly, to my defense, he was so unhappy and not gaining weight that it was just not that important to us. And as you know, my camera is close at hand and I take lots of pictures myself. There is no shortage of ones of Joseph. I just need to put some in frames. According to these walls, he's still 4 months.

Now what was I saying? Right, June 5. He was happy, and so we put him in the little red wagon and walked up our street to the house next to ours. It's empty and I love the door color. Then we walked across the street to Mrs. Ann and Mr. Otis's house to play in their garden. He cooperated as much as can be expected from a one year-old.

All that to say...

Joseph will have pictures done by somebody other than me on Sunday. Yay!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

life as we know it

I realize the blog has become more of a place to post quick updates and pictures then write about life and share stories, feelings, etc. I miss writing, but I can't seem to find the time. Or maybe the problem is making the time, and the blog has become less of a priority lately. I guess you could say I'm busy living right now. When I do have some free time (ha), I want to go for a run, or just sit still and read a book or flip through a magazine. I'm spending less time on the computer and more time on the floor playing with kids, worrying less about how up-to-date the blog is and focusing more on quality time reading stories, building castles, putting together puzzles and playing kitchen.

Not to mention, you might know how hard it is to concentrate (and write something that makes sense) when there is a constant barrage of background noise or when I have kids pulling on me begging for attention? And when they are sleeping, that's when I need to clean house, do laundry, go through the mail and get things accomplished. After all, for my sanity, I have do at least one productive thing each day or I feel like a slug.

People often remind me, as hard as it is at times, this time while the kids are small flies by. I want to take advantage of it. I am grateful that I get to be home with the kids. Though I have to tell you, not everything about this stage of our lives is great. It is frustrating and exhausting at times. I lose my sanity occasionally...or more than occasionally.

Hannah keeps us busy. She is quickly approaching the age of three and I have to tell you, I'm not exactly liking what I'm seeing some days. At 18 months I started seeing the signs of "the twos", so I guess it makes sense that lately we've been seeing the signs of "the threes". She is a strong-willed child, knowing exactly what she wants and how to go about getting it. Obedience has been the biggest issue and she is s-t-u-b-b-o-r-n. Time-outs and sticker charts are two of our current methods. Thankfully, she has a great personality, and fills our days with laughter and happiness. I am glad I keep a journal of the things she says. She makes me laugh as much as she melts my heart with the words that come out of her mouth. She is loving, outgoing, determined, curious, social, rambunctious, and so much fun.

...And she loves her little brother, whom she lovingly calls Josey. They really do well together, though he doesn't understand her a lot of the time, and sometimes she has trouble understanding that he's "just a baby". She is getting better about sharing, but she can be a royal pain. We're working on that... We know, usually, she means well.


As for my boy. Crying is something we have dealt with a lot of. I know it's hard to imagine how unhappy Joseph has been when the pictures you see are of him smiling and playing. But trust me, he has had a rough time. For months - eight to be exact - he has struggled with pain involving GI issues. {I posted this back in May and followed it with this update.} We have not had many happy days and that begins to wear on you...

While at the beach we took a couple days break from giving him Miralax (he has been on a fluctuating daily dose since November). He had been having (seemingly) a lot less pain since switching him to soy milk, so we weren't sure how much help the Miralax was anyway. We had come to the conclusion that the change in milk was our answer. But after only two days of not having the medicine the pain was back in full force. We had a miserable child. Within the course of 24 hours we gave him several doses of Miralax and finally that Sunday morning after we got back from the beach, we saw results and had a much happier little boy. Obviously now we are thinking that the right dose of Miralax matters more than the soy milk, but who knows... All we know for sure is that the past two to three weeks have been arguably the best he's had. Joseph has been more playful, more independent, and smiling a lot more. He's eating better and gaining weight. Things are beginning to get easier.

As for husband. Joe is spending a lot of time doing dissertation work. He has completed the additions to his literature review and data collection. He will soon start the results and conclusion chapters. In layman's terms, he is about 2/3 through with this mammoth project. If all goes according to plan, he will send the dissertation off to his mentors to be edited in the next couple of weeks. Once he makes the necessary changes, he will go up to Asbury to defend his dissertation. The kids and I will accompany him on this trip. We cannot wait to get to that point!

And that's all for now. Despite the daily challenges that come with two small children, we are happy and enjoying life. We love each other. We are blessed and we know it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

the fourth

My mind is so confused as to what day it is right now. With Joe having Wednesday off, but not yesterday, and then having his usual day off today, it's hard to believe that tomorrow is only Saturday... {I should add that Joe has still been working here at home on his dissertation, but he did take Wednesday off to play.} My mom and Will came to town to sweat with us. We ate lunch at Dairy Lane, a Sandersville staple. While there, Joseph got sick and created quite a mess. He and I ended up at the nursery next door, sitting on a swing by a koi pond. But, Hannah got her ice cream cone with sprinkles and enjoyed it thoroughly. After naps we played outside and later, lit sparklers. Joseph did not understand why he couldn't touch them. Joe cooked a yummy dinner of turkey, squash casserole, tomato pie, and grilled corn on the cob (all vegetables Hannah and I bought at the farmer's market). We had a good time celebrating America's birthday, despite the oppressive heat.

After church on Sunday:

Sunday, July 1, 2012


A couple weeks ago we spent some time at the beach with Joe's family. We ate well {North Beach Grill, Crab Shack, Sundae Cafe, and AJ's} and had a good time. Other than a run into town one day for a doctor's appointment, we stayed on Tybee, enjoying the sun and family time.

{Note: Joseph had a visit with the cardiologist. After an EKG and an echo, and a very close listening-to of Joseph's heart, we were very happy to hear that Joseph's VSD (ventricular septal defect, or hole in his heart) had closed up!}

Every day we watched the sunrise. Every. Day. Our bedroom balcony had an unobstructed view of the ocean. Our second morning, as Hannah woke us up at 6 a.m. sharp, I scooped her up (and my camera) and headed down to the sand.

If you squint, you can see Joe and Joseph on the balcony watching too...

Unfortunately, Joseph did not enjoy the beach as he had a couple months ago in St. Simons (think it was overcast while we were there). I think it had more to do with the brightness than the sun or heat. He would bury his head in my chest and want to be held most of the time. This one morning he was happy feeding Daddy sandy cheerios.

Hannah spent hours playing in the sand. Both kids preferred the water of the pool over the water of the ocean.

My good friend, Beth, and her family came down to the beach to see us. I don't get to see her very much as she lives in Kentucky. It was great seeing her and those cute twins.

Our last night, dinner at AJ's. I am sad to say we were together almost a whole week and did not take a single group picture of the whole Buck family. How did that happen?