Thursday, April 3, 2008

March: A Summary

Well, March certainly came in like a lion this year, and a beastly one at that, in the form of sickness. On March 2nd, a Sunday morning, Peter and I both woke up totally sick with one of those bugs that makes you feel just miserable all day long and weak for days after. Fortunately John never got sick with it, but it ended up canceling my plans to head up to my mother's house in Mass. for a few days while our kitchen got remodeled. We ended up being stuck at home and living upstairs for about two days instead. FUN! But the end result was worth it and the kitchen looks great now.

As you probably already know, John turned 3 on the 8th and we had a nice family party for him. Two days later he went for his 3-year check-up with the doctor (I love our pediatrician, by the way--she's the best!) and everything looks good. She said that the things he can do at his age are unusual, that he is very likely gifted, and that putting him into a Montessori school is one of the best things we can do for him at this stage, so that made me feel even better about doing that. He's still loving the preschool, by the way. (And so am I! I get about eight free hours a week now to run errands and get things done!)

Other March happenings

  • I got invisible braces this month on my upper and lower teeth. It's called "Invisalign" and it's really cool. You can't even tell they're on my teeth! They are a little bit of a pain though (sometimes literally). I can't stand the feeling of the bottom one and I've only been wearing it at night. And I have to take them out every time I eat or drink, which is difficult since I tend to eat and drink throughout the day. But again, the inconveniences should be worth it when at year's end I'll hopefully have a beautiful new smile.

  • We finally joined Costco. Yeah!! They've got some really good food and lots of other stuff there. I don't think it will be able to replace Target as my favorite store though.

  • Easter was nice, but Peter had to go to Salt Lake City, Utah (his first time ever going to Utah) for a business trip that weekend, so John and I headed up to Mass. to be with my family. We had a nice time there, but we missed Petechuck.

  • I went to the New England Family History Conference in Franklin, Mass. last Saturday, and it was excellent. I'm excited to delve into family history work this summer.

March's best discoveries

  • The Body Shop's Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Mask

  • Ann Taylor Loft jeans (I will be writing more about this soon. Yes, it deserves its own post!)

  • Word World, a very clever and fun show on PBS that helps teach kids to read.

  • These tiny Ben & Jerry's ice cream cups that are just the right size for satisfying an ice cream craving without making you go anywhere close to overboard. You can buy them individually at Stop & Shop.

  • Clorox Green Works housecleaning supplies. I've been reading all this research about the potentially harmful effect of chemicals in regular household cleaners, and it's been making me want to find something better to use. I found it! Clorox Green Works works just as well as what I used to use and there is no price difference.

  • Debbie Meyer's Green Bags. They do what they say they'll do--they keep fruits and vegetables fresh for a lot longer. These are a lifesaver! (for my poor fruits and veggies!)

Things I'm excited about for April
1) Red Sox baseball is BACK!
2) Warmer temps coming to stay and spring really starting to pop and bloom (any day now would be nice!).
3) General Conference, one of my favorite things. This will be the first one with our new prophet and First Presidency, and a new Apostle will be called.
4) Two fun trips: 1) A two-day trip to Philadelphia with Peter and John. 2) A week-long trip to the Cayman Islands at the end of the month for the three of us and my mother. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to these trips!
5) My beloved niece Hayley turns 16 on April 29th. 16! That happened so fast. She's gone from an adorable little girl to a beautiful teenager. I love you Hayley!

These are my favorite photos from March that I haven't posted yet on the blog.

John's last day as a two-year-old (sigh). This picture reminds me so much of when he was a baby and a toddler. I have pictures of him doing this exact same thing at the same camera angle when he was younger.
We like to goof off and have fun!
I like this picture because of the expression on my sister's face as she talks to our Dad. It brings me right back to our teenage years. (Although we still use this expression a lot when talking with Dad!)
A snapshot in the family room on a rainy afternoon.
We decided this month that enough was enough and that John absolutely needed to start feeding himself with a spoon instead of us still doing it for him. It's been a battle, and when he started doing it he would only hold on to Peter's finger as he fed himself. He wanted nothing to do with me! (Mommies get so dissed sometimes.)
Isn't this chair cute? It's the perfect size for him to cuddle up on. I ordered it online this month at Land of Nod.
Johnny on Easter Sunday with some of his loot.
John's evil twin! Or, is he just really narcissistic? In any case, this is a cool picture! I caught him doing this and I thought it was so funny.
At the end of the month, there was a day when it was finally mild enough to go outside and play again. Hooray! The winter-long exile to the not-so-great indoors will soon be over.

I had to take a few pictures of him having a tantrum so that he can see them when he's a bit older and know how silly it looks to get angry and throw fits!
I love my doggy and kitties!


    Peter said...

    I can't wait for the warm weather too. It will be fun to be able to be outside with John now that he's so much older!

    Alyson said...

    You must be so organized to remember all that stuff from March. I was just thinking about what I would write about if I were to write about my March, and I couldn't remember anything! I swear my brain is gone! I blame it on my 4 kids!!

    I didn't even realize you got invisilign!! They must work since I didn't suspect. I've had braces, but I've thought about getting those since my bite isn't so great anymore. Brooke will be getting braces first though. Dang kids, always coming first! :-)

    Donna said...

    It's all in the Franklin Planner, baby! My planner pages are the record of my life.

    I recommend Invisalign, it's much better than metal braces. I'm pretty sure they do it for kids too, don't they? The only downside is that it costs more $$ than the traditional ones.

    Katie said...

    Thanks for your March update, Donna! Its so great to read what you guys do every month. I also can't wait for general conference this weekend! We're to stay home to listen to it this year - for the first time ever - because having a toddler, I am lucky if I even get to take the Sacrament these days!

    Your little guy is such a smart cookie! I want to do Montessori for Josh as well, but it is going to depend on when or if we decide to have more kids. The Montessori school here is major $$$$. Its a wonderful education, and I really believe in it, its just that on a grad student's salary it might be asking a bit much from us. We'll see, its still a few years before we have to start thinking about it.

    When are you guys coming down to Phila.?

    Alyson said...

    I don't know, I think I still throw fits every once in awhile like John was doing in that picture.

    Donna said...

    I still have temper tantrums sometimes too. Never quite outgrew that! Maybe I should have Peter take my picture when I'm having a fit sometime...oh wait, but then I'd probably break the camera and it would only escalate from there...maybe not such a good idea after all. Ha ha!

    Donna said...

    Hey Katie, yeah, Montessori is very expensive. I never thought we'd be paying what we are for preschool. But I think it's totally worth it. I'm glad you're interested in Montessori too, we'll have to talk about it! With two Ivy League-educated Ph.D.'s as his parents I'm sure Josh has a high likelihood of being gifted himself.

    I hope you have a nice weekend with Conference. We get to watch it at home because we have the BYU channel. I love that! With a young kid it's so much easier to do it at home like you're doing.

    I'm going to e-mail you now about Philly.

    Alyson said...

    We've tried both kinds of preschools. We've done Montessori and more low-key programs too. For me, personally, in the long run, it didn't seem to make a big difference. Yes, it helped excel the child at the moment, but in the long run, every one seems to catch up. That's what we had heard from others, and it was just our personal experience as well.

    Also, I didn't want to just limit myself to a strictly academic program. Kids can be "gifted" in other ways. For example, I'd heard that the program at the white church pushed creativity and art. Caroline has always exceled at art. That's why I picked that program. She loved the program there. It pushed her artistic spirit. Also, Simsbury public schools are HUGE into art. So, I thought that program would help. Caroline comes home now from kindergarten talking about Picasso and Van Gogh. I love it!

    Having said all that, perhaps down the road we'd try Montessori again for Adam. I'm open. I try to watch what my child's interests and gifts are and choose accordingly.

    I'm sure the program is working great for John though! He's such an academic kid!

    Donna said...

    Well, one of the good things about Montessori over a traditional preschool for John is that he won't get easily bored there. I looked into other preschools and they don't really do much with teaching letters, numbers, colors, shapes, and science for 3-year-olds, which is totally fine, but I think John would get bored pretty fast. The doctor said this would probably be the case too. I don't want him to become bored and discouraged with education right from the get-go; it should be fun and exciting for all kids.

    I like that a good Montessori program is tailored to each child's individual development, whether it's normal, fast, or slow. He can learn on his level there in a low-pressure way. I think it's such a great way to start the education process. Eventually the majority of kids pretty much catch up with each other and it really doesn't matter who was an early reader or a late reader, etc. I just think the learning environment is so important, and we feel that Montessori provides the best environment for John at this stage.

    I don't know if your Montessori programs did this, but at his school they do a lot of different things, not just academic stuff, and it's a really relaxed environment, with Enya music playing in the background and the kids can wear slippers if they want so that they're comfortable, and they can do whatever interests them in the room for as long or as short as they want. The philosophy is about fostering a lifelong love of learning, developing independence and respect, and that sort of thing, which is cool.

    So Simsbury schools focus a lot on art? That's good to know. I cannot get John to do art very much. I'm a little worried he'll have trouble learning to write because he hardly ever uses crayons, markers, and paintbrushes. I wish he had more interest in art! Oh well. He's so much like his old man.

    Alyson said...

    It doesn't matter if John is all that interested in art. Like I said, they all have their own gifts and he'll be brilliant at math (and I'm sure other things)!! But just be sure to expose him to art and famous artists, just so he can basically have exposure and knowledge. David isn't as interested in learning about Van Gogh as Caroline is, but I'm glad he'll be learning about them. Since I'm more of an artsy, creative type, I like that my kids be really exposed to those things.

    We had Brooke in a really great Montessori program. My main thing is that my kids just have fun in preschool and become more socially mature. The main thing is to expose them to a classroom of other kids. So, I haven't been really concerned about them becoming bored in preschool. They've always seemed to have fun no matter which program they've been in.