SOL: Back to Back Birthdays

3 years ago I got my husband this awesome cake a friend of mine had made for his birthday.

It was really an amazing cake, almost too amazing to eat. Unfortunately, I was super pregnant at the time and I probably looked a lot like this cake! Anyway, we went out to dinner with my parents at a restaurant on the water, our favorite place. The food was great and we had a wonderful time. We only had a few pieces of the cake and we were going to bring it home to eat during Memorial Day weekend that was coming up (this was a Thursday night). The next day was going to be my last day of school as per my doctor & we were having a party, etc. I also had my last ultra sound before the next week of when the baby was going to be born. Lots going on!

My husband had a great birthday, knowing that his time may have to be shared with an infant really soon.

However, he was not prepared to have to share his birthday with our daughter the very next day!

I went in for my ultra sound and they told us we were going to have to have a baby …. and we were pretty sure we already knew that. And since it was Memorial Day weekend and beautiful outside, we assumed they meant Monday.

But no, my doctor meant in 3 hours from now.  Everyone almost fainted. But we made it through and we had to go home and get stuff etc. They told me I was going to have a c-section and they would see us at 1pm. UGH! Crazy – but there was no choice in the matter so what could we do?!

2pm- we had a baby! And then life was changed from there on out. 
Happy birthday loved ones ❤️ 

 

 

 

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SOL: The End is Near

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I know on my Slice’s I have talked a lot about National Boards but it is finally almost done. This weekend I am finally submitting all of my year long hard work. 3 of 4 components and then I am taking my test June 2nd.

The amount of work that I have put into these components, is just so great. Going to meetings, writing the papers, taking days off from school, editing it late at night when my daughter is asleep,  working with coworkers to get all the evidence. It has just been exhausting.

I hope to god that I pass, I cannot imagine going through it again without other coworkers who are doing it too. They kept me motivated to continue and to get things done!

It is all in the hands of God after this weekend. I won’t find out any scores until December. Agh – the longest wait ever. 

 

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SOL: The Mute Couple 

I worked in restaurants, bars and coffee shops for years before becoming a teacher. 

I remember people watching at all of the places I worked. Being able to tell which couples were happy, which were not, which were really not, and the ones that were way too in love, newly in love, etc. 

It was easy to read the situation based on how the night went for them. As a customer service person in restaurants, bars and coffee shops, standing behind the counter and waiter stand, we would always talk about the customers. 

One thing in particular I do remember was the couples that would come in and wouldn’t talk to one another. I remember this in each setting because it always baffled me of why they would even be there together in the first place ? It was obvious they did not want to spend time together. I just really couldn’t understand why you would want to sit at a table with someone who you had nothing to say. Myself and other waiters would always talk about that couple, the mute, unhappy couple. Obviously we never knew the truth about why or what but the ambience around them was awful. But I always vowed, that would never be me. And anytime that ever happened with another person I went to dinner with, it never went much farther than that quiet dinner. This was quite a while ago. 

This memory comes to me not lightly. I have fallen into this scenario. The very one I said I wouldn’t be in. Who would have known? It scares me because it’s a real life thing and I don’t know how to make it go away. I am known for liking to talk and converse and when there is no reciprocal conversation, I find myself back to this memory, of those couples, sitting their in silence, with nothing to say. But not just at a table, all the time. Nothing to say. How can people converse without questions ? 

And don’t asking questions mean having a concern or interest in another ? 

I found this quote in this article:

“The trouble in our marriage wasn’t infidelity, it was fidelity with fatigue, a marriage gone soft and sour due to lack of attention. It was the lack of communication that nearly killed us.”

This website provides a great list of questions that you could ask to gather more information about your spouse if you have lacked communication. But they never mention about someone who complains they’re being asked too many questions. Tell me Marriages Mission International, how does one solve this ? 

And here we are. 

Mute. 

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SOL: Testing & Uploading

Last week we just took our first ELA state test as a 3rd grade and wow they did well! It ended up being 43 questions which was longer than anticipated and then on top of that it took them all day long. Some of the kids didn’t even finish until the next day.

I am so proud of them. They really tried hard. Except that one. Raced through it, didn’t read it. Theres always that one.  

At the same time as state testing, I am in the final stages of my National Boards uploading and finishing the essays/evidence/forms. What a crazy process – let me tell you! I have been taking days off to finish the papers and upload the components – it is just a crazy event altogether. I submitted one of the components today and that was super stressful.

This is just that time of year of super stress. You know it if you are teaching grade 3 and up because you are testing, finishing out the end of the year and getting everything ready. Ugh – just a lot.

I wish all teachers the best in this end of the year countdown and struggles!

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SOL: South Bronx Classroom Stories

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My first teaching job was at a charter school in the South Bronx. We were almost considered Manhattan, but still far enough up that it was the Bronx. I had never spent too much time in the Bronx outside of Yankee Games and job interviews but here I was teaching 5th grade after student teaching and working as a bartender and a preschool teacher, now I was in the big leagues.

I was so excited and beyond thrilled with being a real teacher in a real school. Now, it had been a year since I had student taught and I had taught in a upper class school, to say honestly, I was not prepared for my experience.

All I can say is thank god for my amazing teaching team. We had 2 ELA teachers, 2 Math teachers and a special ed teacher. We also had an amazing ELA coach who without her, we may not have survived. I was lucky enough that a guy I had met in a class I had taken at a different campus for my college had called me and asked if I was looking for a job, as he was the assistant principal.

Anyway, I wanted to preface the story before I began. I have quite a few stories from this school, but I thought of one today that I wanted to share since it is April & we (teachers) are tired.

So as a new teacher, coming into a new school, to a new class, half way into October, with no curriculum, and a few months pregnant, in the South Bronx…… life is stressful.

In the 1st couple of weeks of school, I lost my voice from screaming so much, and I got extremely sick with a fever. As I am a stubborn person, I clearly never went home, I continued going to work.

I don’t know if you have ever driven in the Bronx or tried to park on the streets in the Bronx, but as you can imagine it being a city, there was always traffic, never any spots, and a ton of busses.

Have you ever been so sick with a fever that the fever might have just taken over your brain and everything is in slow motion or you can’t judge distance?! Well this was the point I was at on a Friday night trying to leave school.

I made the trek to my car 2 miles away and its dark now because we got out of school so late. At this point I know I am super sick. At the point that my head might fall off kind of sick and I had no medicine. Obviously, this is the perfect time to go drive into aggressive traffic and try to make it home.

Well, I didn’t make it far down the street that my school was on when I tried to pass a NYC DOT Bus, but didn’t quite clear the side of the bus. What. The. Heck. Was. That?! 

There went my passenger’s side mirror. Gone. Vanished. I am so sick at this point I don’t even care and I know I can play it off and blame it on the Bronx!

I get home and have to explain to everyone what happened to my mirror. Unforunately, no one buys my story about it just being the Bronx.

I thought this was an appropriate story for this time of year when all teachers are super tired!

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SOL: Reggae, Bob Marley & Jamaica

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There was a time in my life during college where I lived in an apartment with my best friend & we lived next to a girl & her boyfriend who was from Zambia. They introduced me to Steel Pulse, Bob Marley, Collie Buddz and all other reggae. I became slightly obsessed.

Just the peacefulness of reggae and the mellow beats, I loved it. Steel Pulse was and is still my favorite band. We used to go see them in concerts like every year that they came to NYC. Being in NYC, it gave me many opportunities to see different concerts and bands. I was so lucky.

For my birthday in 2012 my friends and I decided to go to Jamaica. It was one of the best trips ever. We made many friends and we partied hard.

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We didn’t stay in the all inclusive resorts and everyone said that we were crazy to stay on the strip because it was a dangerous place to be. Obviously, we were young and dumb and had no fear.jam 2

Therefore, we stayed on the strip and stayed out to all hours of the night, met some people and did whatever we could to enjoy the island.

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We went in March and it was extremely hot, which was amazing because it was snowing back home.

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The best part of the Caribbean is that the water is so blue. Not only is it blue, but the sand on the bottom of the water is white and you can see everything on the ground so no little critters can get you. The water also extremely warm, even at night, very warm! So amazing.

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A fun restaurant we went to was the Jamaican bob sledding restaurant. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of it, but it was awesome. Obviously we had to take this picture. I think we drank starting early in the morning to late, late at night. Good times!

jam 6This was the main strip in Montego Bay – not a bad little town. Really nice to visit and I honestly wouldn’t recommend just staying in the all inclusive. We had so much fun roaming the streets and meeting people. But then again, it is not a trip for everything – not so much a location for families, I guess unless you do the all inclusive.

Jamaica was a place for a girls trip. I enjoyed the trip with my girls. I would love, love, love to go back with them.

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Beautiful Jamaica.

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To end my Jamaica remembrance with my tattoo quote that was part of a Bob Marley song that was the quote of my college/after college life time: “ONE GOOD THING ABOUT MUSIC, WHEN IT HITS YOU FEEL NO PAIN!”

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SOL: D31, Memories of my Grandma

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My grandma was named Josephine.

Her, my grandfather, my aunt and my uncle lived in Mount Vernon, New York in one of the other two family homes that had still been a 1 family home.

My brother and I went there a lot to play before she had died. And then we went there a lot after she died with my mom to clean up the house.

Together, my grandma and grandpa collected tons and tons of things. They were essentially hoarders. They had things everywhere. They left like piles of papers, or boxes and then more boxes and then eventually they covered it with sheets.

One memory in that house I have is dressing up in black and white checkered 50’s shoes. God I wish I still had those shoes now. I did not know the value of those when I was playing with all her dresses and shoes all those years ago.

It always smelled like flowers. I cannot tell you what kind but there were always the smell of flowers. And the pink tile bathroom. Who could forget?! 

I vividly remember the description of the house and how there were accordion doors between the living room and the family room I guess you would call it. I was always trying to clean up the house and the rooms.

I also remember running into the backyard and it being overgrown with weeds and there was a huge white shed back there but no one knew what was in it. I remember always smiling when being there. We spent a lot of time with my grandma and I am grateful for it. 

Upstairs in the house, above the the bedrooms was another whole floor that could have been bedrooms. There were 2-3 other rooms in the attic that had to have been bedrooms. I remember the wooden stairs that had a plastic casing on over them, almost like carpet but maybe it was an old protector from the wooden stairs.

I remember there always being a water cup by my grandma’s bed. I was helping my grandma do her insulin shots in her finger. I was playing on the piano that I uncovered from the sheets. And I remember always, always trying to open the windows and make it light in their house. They always had the blinds closed and it was always so dark. That was the first thing I would do when I walked into their house, even at a young age.

Lots of memories from that house. I love to drive past it now and see the huge difference in what the new owners did to it. They totally remodeled the house outside and in. I hope they kept a few of the original standing rooms or structures, but I haven’t been inside to know. It looks like a brand new house on the outside.

If my grandparents were still alive to see how the insanely crappy the neighborhood had gotten, they would have been shocked. The last time we were in that house was in 1990’s sometime. I cannot remember exactly if it was right around the time of my sister’s birth.

In honor of a great and wonderful woman, my daughters middle name is Josephine. They would have loved each other. But her memory will live on with my daughter. It was a very fitting middle name. 

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This is the last day of our 31 day writing challenge with Slice of Life. Thank you Two Writing teachers for having this challenge. It has been so inspiring! Make sure to join us in writing Slice’s every Tuesday!