Until next time…

31 days … not exactly 31 slices published. Humph. This year was a different journey for me. Slicing consumed my daily activities.  Small moments replayed in my mind and rolled into glorious happenings of my life. I took on my day with a fresh view of the world. Emotions, Adjectives, Verbs, and Paint a Picture Ideas constantly ran through my head. I experienced 31 days from the point of view of a writer.

For me it was an emotional journey that was not always published, but treasured all the same. Experiencing death – living after the death of a beloved relative, its tragic. Writing has helped me iron out some lingering wrinkles. 

Celebrating my sons birthday was perfect. A weekend filled with so much laughter and love. 2 days later I walked through the Emergency Room doors of Christ Children’s Hospital holding my boy and praying hard.  I played the roll of strong Mama as best I could. Reflecting on that moment eased my heart.  The piece I didn’t publish about the not so pleasant conversation I had with the Neurology department.  Well that piece showed my vulnerability.  I keep that tucked away, and silently hope that Laura knows how grateful I am that she was waiting for me with open arms, water, chocolate and time.  Time for me to spill out my fears.

Being a working mom is tough. I miss my boys’ hugs and kisses and giggles. I miss milestones.  But they are safe and happy at day care. And I get to teach.  I get to try my hand at molding the minds of growing kids. I get to educate children on not only reading writing and math, but on Respect, Self Love, Teamwork, Goal Setting and Success.

Writing has helped me understand that I really do have the best of all the worlds. An incredibly loving large family, best friends that make me complete, a job that gets me up and moving each day, co-workers I call friends, a home filled with man who loves me unconditionally and whom I love even more, and 2 perfect little boys who call me Mama.

How lucky am I to be living the life I’ve always imagined.

Cheers to 31 days!  Its been a slice!

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Poets

I am please to admit that Slicing has taken over my classroom.  My students constantly draft new ideas. I see enthusiasm in their eyes as their pencils fly across the page, filing line after line.  They are eager to share and to comment on their peers’ masterpieces.  New art forms have emerged as well.  Although Slicing is a writers world, my illustrators have grown in number and strength.  Room 16 is bursting at the seams with kids who want to bring their writing to life with pictures and colorful Pop Out Text.  I even have a few Rapping extraordinaires who wish to preform their written beats.  They still need time to perfect their image, but perhaps you’ll discover T-O and B-T as the next YouTube sensation.  Until then, I am proud to highlight an emotional writer, a 9 year old who is wise beyond her years and often shows her passion for others through her writing.  Today’s piece is a sweet poem about something we are all wishing for – Spring!  It was published after a powerful Pair and Share session we had with a 6th grade class. A special thanks to Angel for working with Shaiana Sims on the poem Wake up! Wake up! “I wanted the snow to melt and for Spring to come.  So I wrote a poem to express my feelings.  I think I did a good job because I used strong words.” ~Shaiana

Wake up! Wake up!

Snow is melting.
Flowers are blooming.
Everybody Wake Up! Wake Up!

Spring is NEAR

I feel the warm sun.
I see the green grass.
I hear the birds chirping.

Everywhere

Watch out here comes the sun!!!
The sun is taking over the snow!
There it goes! There it goes!

Spring is HERE!

Here come dresses.
Here come shorts.

Everywhere

The grass is here.
SPRING is here!

Curve ball

My fingers went on hiatus but my mind has not. Drafting line after line. A pile of mixed up thoughts is all I’ve got.

You see this Mamas been busy in a world all too scary. Just a glimpse is too much to bare. 

Doctors and hospitals. Emergency rooms and blood draws. EKGs and EEGs. “I do not yike dese stickers Mama, I do not yike them.”

But he was strong. 
Stronger than me.
He is three and was stronger than me.

I cried on the inside as I held my baby, who wants to run and jump and play.
Who I hold close as they poke and stick and test.
Not a tear he shed.
And I was humbled
By my baby boy who just turned 3 and was stronger than me.
I laid in those hospital beds and laughed, played, colored and sang away the fear with my baby boy who was stronger than me.

Oh the lessons I have learned with just a glimpse of a world I pray to never return. The tests are clear. BUT you need to see the Neurologist just to be sure. I pray for one final visit. One final word.  One final OK.

My baby has to see Neurologist now.
I am 31. Barely a scratch and my baby has a Neurologist now. A name and a face to which I attach a silent prayer. Each and every moment I pray that this man will utter some simple words.
A fluke.
Its just a thing he does. 
Hes ok.

Please tell me my baby is OK.

My 3 year old

My two Three year old isn’t a baby anymore. “Mama I a big kid” he tells me with the most adorable grin.

My three year old is the best big brother, always looking out for Noahs best interest.  He shows the most sincere empathy when Noah is sad. Even made up a little song to keep Noah smiling. And it works every time. 

My three year old is intelligent.  Knows his letters, numbers, shapes, can read a few words, and his problem solving skills amaze me.

My three year old is funny. “Mama yook at me” he giggles as he wears his sunglasses upside down. “Dats funny right Mama.” We both roar with laughter.

My three year old is loving. Hugs me tight, smacks a kiss even when I dont ask for one, sings his bed time songs with me and peeks his head out from the covers and calls “I yuv you Mama”

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Our morning

Up. Ready. Made and ate breakfast.  Meal prepped tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s lunch.  Cleaned the kitchen. I’m ready for the grind of the day, but my boys are still in dream land.

Its time for those sleepy eyes to crawl into mamas arms for morning cuddles. Wake up little ones its time for a day of fun and laughter. Of learning and discovering.  Of sing a longs and dancing. 

Mama has to work and leave you in the care of another. Loving care, yes. But still, it’s not me. I know you’ll be happy today.  And I know you thrive from the interactions with your teachers and peers. I know working it best for Mama. But, my boys, please please know this – Mama misses you every day.

Today I wake you up for day care. Tomorrow, please sleep in again, and then tomorrow WE PLAY!

Get moving

Its just a number.
Its doesn’t define me.

But it does scream. It yells eat your vegetables.  Do not drive through Dunkin this week.

Its just a number it.
It doesnt define me.

But it does scream.  Its says those pants don’t fit like they used to. That shirt doesn’t look quite right today.

Its just a number.
It doesn’t define me.

But it does scream. It begs you to get off the couch. To lace up those shoes again. To put one foot in front of the other and move.

It screams Get Back Out There!

Pinterest, oh Pinterest…

Pinterest oh Pinterest!
I hate you, you stink
I wish I could wash you down my DIY sink!
If only mind ready to remodel
Could resist.
Pinterest oh Pinterest
My credit card needs a rest.

Id rather run miles than
Make construction yard gift bags,
But here I sit Pinterest-ing in fits!

My mantle looks vintage,
With DIY aging.
Aidan’s birthdays sure to be a hit.
With hard hats and DIY work stations.

Pinterest oh Pinterest!
I hate you, you stink.

But wait – the stress is leaving,
Aidans face is aglow.
Giggles and “yay Mama I a big kid”
Pinterest oh Pinterest,
I guess you’re a hit.

The call, the routine

ANOTHER call from day care!
Friday 3:15 – Mrs. Weathers Aidan has a 101.5 fever. 
My heart shatters – I’m pulling in the parking lot, be right there.

My boy is miserable. The doctor closes at 4. We’ll never make it to Orland in time. Home. Movies and cuddles. Early to bed.

The routine – set in place 6 weeks ago when the FIRST ear infection settled into our home….

Up by 6.
*Chug a Spark
*Scrub the kitchen. Disinfect the counters, the chairs, the refrigerator, the pantry.
*Scrub all 3 bathrooms.  The toilets the sinks the floors the door knobs and light switches. Replace sick toothbrushes with clean ones.
*Clean the playroom. Disinfect as many surfaces as possible.  Open windows, be gone germs be gone!
*Wash all things day care. Push start on the laundry, disinfect the laundry room!
*Wash floors in kitchen and hallway.
*Spray Lysol everywhere!
*Noah is awake.
*Take a 3 minute luke warm shower.
*Whew, Tommy got Noah.

Write a quick blog post about the reality of being a Mama with sick babies. Babies that I try so hard to protect, yet the curse of Day Care germs is a tough competitor. Going to go cuddle and play with Noah while Aidan rests in his fever ridden slumber. Doctor later….

Student Spot Light!

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All week long my students have been eager to write. They have created draft after draft. It is awe-inspiring to watch their brilliant minds imagine, dream, observe, and recall memories as their pencils race across the page. We talked about where our inspiration comes from. Whether it be the forever abundant snow piles outside our window, or a mind boggling Math problem, ANYTHING can inspire us to write. Even nothing, yes nothing. One of my students wrote a humorous slice about Nothing! There’s one catch to this challenge though, I told the students, “I am going to take a step back as your teacher. These are your thoughts, your feelings, your observations. You write it, you format it. I will be your spell checker, your cheerleader and your number one fan! But I will not sit and confer and write with you. These pieces are to be authentic 4th grade pieces.” Here I stand, corrected and humbled. My 4th graders has risen to the challenged, faced their writer’s block head on and created Masterpieces!!

I am honored to share with you my very first Spot Light: Student Slicer Jesse Perez  “I was just thinking about my day, and thoughts of my grandpa came into my head. And the poem just popped up! I wanted to turn a sad event in my life into a happy memory. So I wrote it.”

Don’t leave we’ll take care of you.
Don’t leave we made breakfast.
Don’t leave we’ve got cooked fish.

I understand you have to go
Please stay for one more night.

You have to go now.

We’ll spread your love.
We’ll spread your passion.
We’ll spread your ashes.

I’ll see you in Heaven.

~Jesse Perez

There’s a wine for that

Summer days with my best friend tag teaming our clan of toddlers while attempting to catch up on our semi adult life -There’s a wine for that! Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling

Sunday winter nights cuddled on the couch, wrapped in my husbands arms winding down after a long weekend – There’s a wine for that! Estancia Pinot Noir

Johnson ladies night out laughing for hours, retelling family stories we’ve known for years with 12 of my most favorite chicks – There’s a wine for that! What ever kind my mom brings Sauvignon Blanc

Celebrating our annual Girls Christmas Dinner, eating way too many cheese slices and olives, devouring delicious gossip stories we’ve collected through the months and laughing til our cheeks hurt – There’s a wine for that! A ridiculously over priced Napa Valley Red.

A casual summer get together with neighborhood families, playing bean bags and splashing in the kiddie pool – There’s a wine for that! Coopershawk White Sangria.

5:30pm on a Thursday night, boys have enjoyed another sing a long / drum a long dinner session, wasn’t a bad day but long day, batter up Mama you’re the pitcher – There’s a wine for that! Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon.