Monday, March 29, 2010

Holy Week and spring cleaning...

Yesterday marks the beginning of the most important week of the church year.  Each year at this time I spend a good part of my time reflecting (more than usual) on the true meaning of Easter - bunnies and eggs aside.  I find myself in awe of Christ and how He laid down His life for us.  Yesterday at our Palm Sunday service the choir sang their Easter Cantata (with a beautiful solo from my hubby!).  The title could not better describe the depth and wonder of Christ's sacrifice: "No Greater Love."

It's also springtime, which brings with it two words I love: spring cleaning.  (I know you are looking for the segue-way here.  I'll get to that in a minute.)  I do love a clean house.  Joe even thinks I'm a little obsessed about it.  Or a lot obsessed.  I don't like clutter.  I don't like dust.  I like the carpet freshly vacuumed and the kitchen and bathrooms spotless.  When I practice yoga and notice that the coffee table is dusty or the rug needs to be vacuumed badly, I have a hard time staying focused.  I like to clean and organize most of the time.  That's how I harness my chi.  It's how I decompress.  I feel happy and relaxed when the house is in order.  I realize that that is not always reality with a baby in tow.  But I make do.  I clean when I can.  I pick up as I go about my day caring for Hannah.  I even put her in the Moby Wrap or Bjorn and do housework on occasion.

So that brings me to today's post.  This year I've decided to spend Holy Week combining these two ideas.  I seriously need to do some cleaning and housework, and I can always use more time in prayer and reflection.   While I clean, I'll reflect on God's goodness and praise Him.  I'll pray for friends and family and the many concerns on my mind.  I'll meditate on how I can be a better Christian.  My goal is to come to Easter morning, with a clean house and a clean heart.  Hopefully Hannah will have a good week and this will be a Lenten success.  I'll keep you posted!

On another note, Joe has completed his coursework for both doctoral classes he took in January.  Hallelujah!  He has a busy week with four worship services to prepare for.  Though he is quite nervous about me "organizing" and making my way through his kitchen, I hope he enjoys coming home to a cleaner house as the week goes by...

Here are a couple pictures from yesterday.  Hannah enjoyed the palm...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Will the real Hannah Buck please stand up?

As the parents of a baby, we know all about the milestones children are suppose to reach and about when these milestones should occur.  Holding their head up, cooing, rolling over from tummy to back, rolling over from back to tummy, grasping a rattle, smiling, laughing, squealing, making "talking" sounds, turning in the direction of a voice, bearing weight on legs, reaching for an object, sitting unsupported, pulling up to a standing position, crawling.......and on and on it goes.  It is enough to drive you crazy if you let it.  And, that's the key: you can't let it.

There is one great piece of advice that I read early on in "What to Expect: The First Year."  All babies reach milestones on their developmental time line. What's normal for your baby depends on their own rate of development.  It's so easy to compare your kid to other kids she's around or friends' kids.  "Oh, your baby is sitting up?"  Mine's not.  "Your baby is crawling now??"  Mine hasn't started yet.  But your baby is just as old as my baby...

Joe and I have been really good about not getting worried or stressed over this.  We are in no rush for Hannah to crawl, walk, etc.  After all, when she starts moving, then....well, she's moving!  I mean, heck!  I am enjoying the fact that when I put her down on the floor, she will stay in that general area until I go get her.   There is one thing we'd like her to be able to do.  Sit unsupported consistently.  For one, I'm looking forward to bathing her sitting up in the tub!  She's sitting up on her own, but when she feels like it.  She may sit for a while without one of us, and then the next time I sit her up she topples over right away.   She gets frustrated laying on the floor on her stomach or back a lot quicker these days.  I guess she'll just get frustrated enough til she does something about it!

One thing Hannah does like to do is stand.  She barely needs support.  We can hold one or both of her hands or her index fingers and she is so happy just standing there.  Her legs are strong!  When we try to sit her up she immediately straightens her legs and wants to be pulled to standing.  It's cute most of the time...  So we joke, "Will the real Hannah Buck please stand up?"  Because that's what Hannah Buck likes to do.  She'll sit in her own time.  Right now she likes to stand.  And we're ok with that.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

happy birthday mollie!!!

5 years old!

...and to her twin sister, daisy!

Not a camera-shy baby...

Check out my teeth!

Modeling the new bathing suit from Grandma.  And yes, we need to exchange it for a bigger size.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Cash for Cuisinart???

Good morning, friends and family.  Earlier I enjoyed two cups of hazelnut coffee, thanks to hubs.  Yes, I am that spoiled wife who's husband brews her coffee (though he doesn't drink it himself).  I am a blessed blessed wife for many reasons, but that's one blessing that greets me when I start my day.  I'll be in the nursery feeding Hannah and hear those 4 precious beeps from my Cuisinart coffeemaker and smile.

That brings me to today's post.  You see, the Buck family loves Cuisinart.  They make great, quality kitchen products, several of which we are proud owners.  Sad to say, the same cannot be said of our newest (as of Christmas) product.  Ben and Will, my dear brothers, gave me the Grind & Brew Thermal 10-cup Automatic Coffeemaker.  The wonderful thing about this one is how it brews freshly ground beans.  For those of you who don't know, I am a coffee fanatic.  You see, I am the woman from the Dunkin Donuts ad with the coffee cup dragging her across town... I worked at Starbucks for over a year while in Atlanta. 

I was excited to get a coffeemaker that would make such fresh coffee without me having to use my separate grinder (so lazy, right?).  The problem?  Well, I like my java HOT (note capitalization).  Joe calls me "asbestos mouth."  I have no problem exposing myself to unnecessary radiation by sticking my not-quite-hot-enough cup o'joe in the microwave.  This machine comes with a double-insulated stainless steel thermal carafe.  However, it does not keep the coffee hot.  My first cup is fine, but subsequent cups have to go in the microwave immediately after pouring from the pot.  Not acceptable. 

The other problem I have with this machine is all the parts that must be washed after each use. Count 'em - six.  The carafe and lid, the filter basket and cover, and the grinder and grinder enclosure.  (Seven parts if you use the gold-tone commercial style permanent filter.)  That's insane.  You don't have to wash a grinder every time you grind, do you?  But because it is all in one machine, moisture gets in all the parts.  Two words - design flaw.  (Coming from a Georgia Tech interior designer, you had to see that one coming.) 

I can deal with the washing of all the parts, but it's the temperature of the coffee that led me to Cuisinart customer service.  After explaining my situation and reiterating our household loyalty to their product line, I asked what could be done.  I was instructed to measure the temp of the coffee directly following brewing, to call back, and depending on the outcome possibly be able to exchange for a new pot.  160 degrees.  WHAT?  No wonder.  I was told the temp should be 180-190.  So I called back to report my findings.  This representative told me that my coffeemaker was brewing right as it should be.  Something's missing in this equation...  After expressing my complete dissatisfaction, I was given the choice of two different coffeemakers to choose from to replace mine.  I chose the Coffee on Demand model.  We bought this one for Joe's mom and she enthusiastically endorsed it.  It is a carafe-less machine that dispenses coffee by a "press to serve" lever and even has a cute little gas - er, coffee - gauge that lets you know just how much is left.  Her coffee is always hot (she's a fellow asbestos-mouth). 

I was informed by the Cuisinart rep that I would be "downgrading" by choosing this model.  If I have to "downgrade" to get hot coffee, then so be it.  I can easily use my own grinder to have that freshly ground coffee taste.  The good news is, my new coffeemaker that makes HOT coffee is on its way.  The bad news 4-6 weeks.  Ofcourse that model is on backorder.  One just like mine can ship today!!!  Wow, how funny?  Sorry, Ben and Will, your heart was in the right place.

The Coffee on Demand 12-cup Automatic Coffeemaker

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The best family far.

 ...That sums up yesterday.  Joe has been so overwhelmed in school work and church stuff.  He had his first of two doctoral projects due yesterday.  His goal was to finish on Thursday (and he did after midnight!) so that we could play on Friday.  The weather was promising to be beautiful and we wanted to spend the day together in Brunswick/St. Simons.  We drove over to Brunswick and had lunch at our favorite place - ok our favorite burger place - Five Guys.  Then we went to Target.  (You laugh, but it truly is exciting for us country folk to get to go somewhere other than Super Wal-Mart.)  We had a few baby things to buy - and ended up buying alot of baby things.  Soft spoons (only sterling so far for our baby!), nipples, formula (we have to buy hypoallergenic), diapers, bibs, etc... We bought coffee and white wine for me, cereal, animal crackers...  And Miss Impulse herself - that's me - had to throw in a cute little sundress for Hannah.

 Then we headed to the beach.  Hannah's first time!!  It was a gorgeous day - upper 70's and sunny with a nice breeze.  We parked the car, strapped Hannah in the B.O.B. and walked down to the water.  We put her little feet in the water and....COLD!  She was definitely surprised, and didn't like it too much I might add.  But she LOVED the sand.  She was fascinated by the feeling under her feet and between her toes.  Then, after a little bit, she and Daddy tried the water again and this time she liked it.  We walked down the beach and back and played on a blanket...and took lots of pictures.  So fun.  It was a great day.  To top it all off, when we got home Joe made a delicious dinner of fresh crab puttanesca salad in halved melons with a dill cucumber salad.  Perfect end... Here are *a few* of the pictures.  (Oh, and we filmed a couple videos.  Once I figure out our high-tech Handycam we will post some good ones.)  Enjoy!

Friday, March 19, 2010


So this is the first "solid" we decided to try.  We thought it would be easier on her tummy than a green vegetable, a little sweet but not as sweet as fruit.  (You're not suppose to start with fruit anymore apparently because it gets the baby used to sweet things and is less accepting to bitter tastes.)  Carrots.  I like them enough.  Joe likes them.  Hannah, however, isn't so much of a fan.  Could have been the texture.  Joe pureed them nicely, but she's used to milk, formula, or rice cereal.  Guess the substance was too foreign.  So, 2 days (4 attempts) of supplementing two feedings/day with carrots.  Now, I do have to stop right here and say that the second time we gave them to her she did actually eat several bites.  In general, she said "Get that stuff out of my face and give me milk" or something like it. 

Yesterday I got creative.  I had had it with the advice I'd been given: give her the veggie after a bottle or nursing; give her the veggie then follow with a bottle...etc. She didn't care when I gave it to her - hungry or not - she wasn't having any.  Sneaky me... Yesterday, after another failed attempt with carrots by themselves, I was frustrated but still wanted to give her some solids.  She generally likes rice cereal (especially when it's mixed with breastmilk), so I made her some.  She ate it up - 1 tbsp.  Gave her another.  Ate it up.  Then I thought to myself, "How 'bout adding some pureed carrots to this rice cereal?" GENIUS. We scraped the bowl clean.  I now have my plan of attack (and just as a friend commented to my Facebook post with this idea!).  I will gradually reduce the cereal and increase the carrots.  She will eat carrots whether she likes them or not.  Because that's what we do in this family.  (Right, Uncle Pete?)  Ok, we won't really be that mean.  She is a baby afterall. 

On a side note, carrots stain.  I find traces everywhere.  And I'm such a clean freak.  Perhaps even a little OCD at times.  Here I am wiping off her bib because the carrots are messy.  Instead of waiting until the end of the feeding, I clean up throughout the process.  I might get over this...might.  So the carrots stick to her fingers.  I find them in her creases, inside of her clothes, all over the highchair, and of course the floor.  But the most interesting part of this carrot adventure is the DIAPERS.  Wow.  I mean really.  I've never smelled and seen something so interesting.  I've smelled some pretty bad things in my life, but not exactly coming out of my child! 

Tomorrow we'll start another vegetable.  And we'll keep on keepin' on.  Until next time...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hannah's 1/2 Birthday!

Could it seriously have been 1/2 a year ago that I brought my baby into this world? Everyone always says they grow so fast. Though there are times when Joe and I talk about that time in the hospital, right before, or right after, and it seems like so long ago. We have had an amazing 6 months getting to know our daughter and watching her get to know us. It certainly has been busy (and stressful at times). Never a dull moment in the Buck house...

Kate, William, and Lauren Greene came to Jesup to visit us and celebrate: