Maybe because this month is a couple days shorter, it just seems to have blown by. We finally had a couple snow storms, which kept us home for a few days, which was actually nice. I've worked to just have more time at home, and concentrate our activities into one or two days, and that seems to work well for us.
Friday playgroup continues to be pretty much a staple weekly social activity. We used to meet primarily at our home, but we've been trying to mix it up a bit, meeting at other people's homes, or doing activities. For next month, we have a trip to a local science museum planned, and a music themed evening.
Both Flo and Joe went to the dentist for check-ups this month. Flo did fabulously, as usual. She's very well-behaved and enjoys going to the dentist. She was cavity-free and very pleased with herself. Joe, on the other hand, was completely uncooperative, and I eventually had to hold him down for the dentist to confirm a pinhole cavity (which I already suspected, but wanted to make sure). Holding him down made him really mad, and the rest of the visit went atrociously. We were referred to a special pediatric dentist that deals with difficult cases out in Columbia, Maryland. Lovely. We went to see him, and while there, Joe crawled up in their little tree house thing in the kids area, and pooped in his pants. After attending to that, I took Joe in to see the dentist, who had a very stern, disciplinarian style, which Joe didn't respond to very well, but he sort of listened. Again, we ended up holding him down, but this time they got a good count of all his teeth and a good look at all of them. Her confirmed one very tiny cavity, for which he suggested the "wait and see" approach. So, now we need to go see him every three months. I suppose this beats having Joe sedated right now. That prospect, with all his allergies and previous heart issues, makes me very nervous. I'd prefer to have it done in a hospital setting, where there are people trained to deal with allergic reactions or breathing issues. However, the dentist seemed confident he could fill the tooth in his office, and would be able to deal with anything that arises. I don't know. So, I'm happy to wait for awhile, assuming nothing gets worse, and maybe Joe's temperament and attitude will improve. You can't blame the guy, though. He hasn't had the most wonderful experience with dentists. His first one was having his two front teeth yanked out with novacaine while I held him in my lap. It was quick, but I'm sure not pleasant for him. Flo enjoyed both dental experiences so much, she now declares she wants to be a dentist.
Flo had lots of art opportunities this month with a couple different classes. One class at the Smithsburg Library with a local artist, in which they created animal sculptures with clay, and today she got to create a canvas painting at a class at Michael's Craft Store here in town. She continues to love to draw, and leaves samplings of her work all over the house. It is with a mother's discretion that I carefully sort these masterpieces, and save those I feel to be truly a piece that took some time and thought, versus some scrawling done while distracted with some other task. If it were up to her, she'd keep everything, including the seven sheets of paper on which she attempted to draw the same person's head over and over.
Flo had a milestone this month when she completed her first chapter book on her own. It was one of the Disney Fairy books called, A Masterpiece for Bess. She finished a second fairy in another series the next week, called Ruby The Red Fairy by Daisy Meadows, so she's on a roll. Fairies seem to be the topic of choice right now.
On Valentine's Day, Darren was off work, for his usual flex day on Wednesday. He took Flo to her skating class, as usual, and we spent time together just relaxing at home. It was nice to have a quiet day.
On the 24th, Flo got to go to Winterfest our the local elementary school. Her friend, and our neighbor, Dara, invited her to come along. I guess it's an annual fundraiser type thing with games and prizes. Flo had a great time and came home with a bag of goodies.
Towards the end of the month, Flo suddenly took an interest in our old videos. Actually, they're DVD's from 2004, when we apparently remembered to video the kids more frequently than we have recently. She and Joe spent a couple hours laughing hysterically at themselves (and Darren), while watching these DVDs. I, of course, wasn't in ANY of them, because I was taping everything. We'll have to work on that.
This month, as well as last month, I spent a lot of time moving all our photos from our website to Flickr.com. I wanted a way to better organize our photos, and also have the option to order prints and other photo products. I already ordered a photo book of Flo's life from birth to present. She had a great time looking through it, reading all the descriptions. I think those sort of things will make a tangible keepsake. The online photo gallery is great, but sometimes it's nice to have something to sit and look at our pull out and show friends at dinner. So, it was worth all the work of uploading, dating, naming, describing and tagging almost a thousand photos… so far.
So, the winter months are moving along… we're wondering if we've seen the worst of the winter weather, though the kids wouldn't mind a few more days of good sledding.