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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Join us in Slice of Life writing every Tuesday with the Two Writing Teachers. 


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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If I had $10,000 to Redesign my House…

I watch too much HGTV. I have an obsession with a lot of the shows that are on there, but I really love any show that goes in and redecorates houses into amazing looking living spaces. After watching many different episodes this weekend of Fixer Upper, I thought it would be really nice to wonder what it would be like to have $10,000 extra dollars to remodel the inside of my kitchen and living room.

My favorite type of design (which is funny because I have none of this) is farmhouse style designs. I have been trying to find some pieces but it’s always so expensive, I usually just stay away from it. But I have been watching these shows on HGTV and Pinterest really is not a big help because they just encourage me to buy things, so I have been thinking bigger and outside of the box.

I started looking into a personal loan so that I could actually make these designs come true. Ever since we bought our house, I have wanted to redesign the inside, but it has always been last on the spending list. But why can’t there be a solution to this? Well, I found the answer. Taking a personal loan can help me turn my house into a dream house.  When you see what I would do, well you might just want to look it up as well!

Now that I have been looking, I honestly cannot decide what I would do… so here are my different options:

If I could redesign my kitchen, this is exactly what it would look like:

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I have a wall between my kitchen and living room, so the first thing that would need to go was the wall. Then this kitchen layout would actually be possible. The floors, the redesign of the cabinets, and that island  ($4k) would put me right around my budget of $10,000.

Now, I know the kitchen costs a lot, but if I chose a different direction, I could do my daughter’s bedroom  for my budget of $10k.

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or another bed built into the wall but a lighter design and we would have to redo the floors with hardwood floors, but it looks amazing. Adding in throw pillows from Joanna’s store would add the perfect touch.

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My last option would be my bathroom. My bathroom is big enough that there can be a few more details added into it to make it an amazing room.

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Adding in the floor, the bath tub, all glass shower and the beautiful cabinets would bring me to my budget.

It’s awesome to dream, but when you are able to make your dreams come true, that changes everything. If you don’t find out what is possible, nothing ever will be. Taking the step to move forward to your dreams is what is needed, especially when spending money and making life decisions. You may not think it is, but remodeling your house is a life decision. I know for certain if I walked into a house that looked like these above pictures, I would put an offer to buy it immediately. I am hoping I can make that same situation happen by remodeling.

 

Picking a Car Seat

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Ever since my daughter has had her car seat turned facing forward because she turned 2 and had super long legs, we have struggled with finding a great car seat. We had a few second hand ones, we bought a few cheaper versions so that my parents could have one too when we went to visit them, but overall, we just never had a good car seat after she grew out of her infant seat.

Shopping around for a car seat is also very hard! There are literally so many choices and who knows which is the best choice?! I didn’t and no one else really did either. After reading reviews, and knowing what I was looking for, the choices became easier.

We decided to go forth with a car seat that she could use now going into age 3 and then, when we had a 2nd child, this car seat starts at 5lbs and goes to 85lbs and comes with adjustments for infants. Perfect for our scenario. The Pria 85 Max has many great features.
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Even before putting the car seat in the car, I had to see if Hailey thought it was comfortable. She loved it so much she had us put it in the car. She was also very excited about the cup holder. I was also very excited as well. Do you know how many times I have to reach back there to get whatever it is that she is finished eating or drinking?!

One of my least favorite things about putting a car seat into the car is anchoring it into the seat. I always break my nails, I start to sweat, and then I get very frustrated! Well with the Pria 85 Max, I was able to do it without any of those things happening. They have a red clamp that is easy to release and clip onto the hooks under the seat. This is a mommy win.

Another mommy win is the magnetic chest clip that is super easy to open and close, and after a few tries, opening it with one hand to get Hailey out of the car. At first I struggled because I was pressing really hard since the other car seats I had needed extreme force, but not this car seat buckle. This buckle, I was actually pressing too hard! Once I figured that out, it was like a dream and I know how much time this will save me without struggling to unstrap and strap her in.

The Pria 85 Max is very easily adjustable so you can move the straps up and down based on tightness. So as Hailey gets bigger, the straps can adjust to her. I had an older version of a car seat at my mom’s house that you phyiscally had to move the straps in the back of the seat when she got bigger. I am not a car seat expert and I had no idea if I had done it correctly or not, it just seemed super dangerous and I was not a fan. This carseat has none of that nonsense and even my parents, who have a hard time tightening the straps, can get it done easily. Grandparent win!

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to car seats, my daughter is gross. She is always finding some food in there that she had eaten or she spills her juice, her yogurt, her pop tart, her breakfast… You name it ? She has spilled it! But she only spills it in her car seat. Go figure! Now, with the car seat that we had, it was nearly impossible to take that seat out of my car and put it back in, so anything that had to relate to taking it out, I avoided! The Pria 85 Max does not make you take the seat out to clean the fabric and it is machine washable (none of that hand washing business) and it is dryer safe. I have yet to have her throw up in the car seat, (knock on wood!) but if she did, the last thing you would want to worry about would how do you take a car seat out covered without getting it all over the car!? This would help mom’s out in so many ways.

Lastly, another selling point is that it has a safer side impact protection with Air Protect: Advanced air cushion system. It would protect her head if we were to be hit by another car. This makes me feel good about putting her in a car seat like this. I love anything that tells me my daughter will be safer in their product. But you know how sometimes a product will tell  you something is safe, yet you are never able to see how it is actually safe? Well that is not the case with this car seat. You can visually see the head rest that will help protect your child.

I stick with the quote I have been saying since I have found all of these wonderful products and am wishing I would have found them when I first had Hailey! If you are looking for a car seat to add to your registry, this is it!