Day 31: One More Post

When Slice of life Challenge was presented to our district a couple of years ago I thought There is no way I could write everyday. I hate writing. I hate teaching writing. I would pay someone from my paycheck to teach writing to my students.

After talking to a few of my coworker/friends that have done this previously, I decided to do it. How difficult could it be? ONE post a day. THIRTY-ONE posts in a month. Oh, and THREE comments a day. Um, that comes to NINETY-THREE comments in a month! But many times I found myself reading many, many, blog posts and commenting on more than three.

The one thing I learned about Slice of Life writing is that you can’t always plan out posts from days before. I honestly had planned Day 31’s post BEFORE I started my WordPress blog site! I have written of my love of checklists, and I started one for this SOL writing challenge. Partly because I can see the end in sight, but mostly because I forget.

Checklist – COMPLETE!!

So, after 31 days of sharing my life and reading about so many others’ lives, I am sad this is ending. I looked forward to checking my email for updates that someone has read my post and commented. Thank you to everyone that did read and took the time to comment. And now I feel the withdrawal symptoms will hit in the next day or two when I check my email looking for those comments from people that I may only know through their posts/comments, and not finding any. I will remember this feeling and try to comment even more next year.

Enjoy your 11 months of not having to Slice everyday!

Day 31: Everything Greek

Greek Independence Day:

Today was our Greek Independence Day program. The boys and girls wear traditional Greek costumes. The kids are given poems to memorize and perform, along with Greek dancing. As a parent and Grandparent this is one of the proudest moments, to see your child/grandchild celebrating your culture, your country, your history with pride.

This year, my dad is not here to witness his granddaughters reciting their poems and dancing. When they danced around the tables they went by my mom and noticed that she was crying. I later told my mom, “Tessie saw you crying. Are you OK?”

She responded, “Your dad loved this day! He loved videoing the kids and watching them dance days later.”

Saturdays = Greek School Days

Every Saturday growing up my sisters and I went to Greek School from 12:00 – 4:00 pm. We never missed a Saturday unless we were sick (and only the person sick stayed home). We HATED it.

Fast forward to 2008. I sign up both of my boys to Greek School.

THEY HATE IT. They hate getting up early on a Saturday. They hate that they have homework. They hate that they can’t hang out with their friends.

THEY DON’T MIND IT! They don’t mind going once they are in the car. They don’t mind when their homework is done before Friday night. They don’t mind when they get to hang out with all of their cousins (they all go to the same Greek School). They don’t mind going to yiayia and pappou’s house (my parents) to hang out afterward.

Many parents my age didn’t take their kids to Greek School or took them for a few years and then stopped because the kids hated it so much. “I hated going too, so why should I put my kids through it? Just because I suffered doesn’t mean my kids should.”

My kids were always quick to point out “Greek School Dropouts”. “See! Peter doesn’t go to school anymore. He stopped at 4th grade. Mia didn’t even finish 3rd grade. Anna never even went.”

I looked at my kids and told them with a stern voice so they knew not to EVER ask me again to quit Greek School, “Look, I am not trying to make the 8, 10, or 12 year old you happy. I am making the 40 year old you happy.”

2019. The boys completed through 6th grade. Tessie is finishing her 5th grade year in June. From Day 1 of Greek School I would drop the kids off at 10:15/10:30/10:45 (you know, Greek Time) and my phone would ring. ‘Love Cell’ would light up my screen. “Hi Dad.”

“Did you bring the kids to Greek School or you to lazy?”

“No dad. I brought them.”

“OK. Let’s go for breakfast.” OR “OK. Come to the house and we will figure out where we want to go.” OR “OK. I already ate breakfast. Come here and you can go get lunch later.”

I spent almost every Saturday with my dad hanging out. When I had to leave to get the kids at 2:00, I would lean over kiss him and say, “OK. I will try to stop by during the week. If not, next Saturday.”

He would look at me and say, “No. Bring the kids here after Greek School. I haven’t seen them. So I would. I would plan on leaving by 5, but my mom would beg us to stay for dinner so we could order pizza or else she would have to cook.

But now, he is gone. My Saturdays are lonely. I look at my phone, but ‘Love Cell’ doesn’t show up on the screen. I have talked to my sister about not bringing Tessie next year (of course I have not told HER yet) because it is so annoying being gone from the house Saturday when I am already gone all week with work. But I hear my dad’s voice, “Did you bring the kids to Greek School or you to lazy?”

And the 46 year old kid in me still wants to make my dad proud! So Tessie will go and graduate from Greek School next year, when she completes her 6th grade year.

From years past: my parents with all 8 grandchildren.

Day 30: Updates for Day 18-29

Day 18: Checklists (Kid Version):

  • The checklist has a few things on it, but the kids are off until Wednesday so we might get their list completed!

Day 21: One Minute . . . One Lifetime:

  • Some days Tessie handles her Type 1 Diabetes like it’s nothing, other days IT handles her!
  • A note she wrote (Although waking up to this broke my heart, I am proud of her for voicing her feelings and waking up the next morning with a smile):

Day 23: Spring Break? Not from Greek School:

  • Tessie did not quit Greek School!

Day 25: Break = Work:

  • Although I feel like I did get a lot done, not EVERYTHING I wanted to complete got done so I guess I didn’t overwork myself this break!

Day 26: Cousins (Part 1):

  • The sleepover was a success (a few tears from the 2-year old, but done after 3 minutes)!
  • I saw my niece and nephews on Saturday and they told my kids they can’t wait for summer to sleep over again!

Day 28: Overwhelmed:

  • Luckily, the feeling was gone by the next day with my new checklist written.
  • Unfortunately, the feeling does creep back in every couple of days/weeks.

Day 29: Cousins (Part 2):

  • Tessie is all packed up with the Sidewalk Slime Shop stuff with labels for the different slime: Oreo Milk Thickie, Unicorn Rice-Krispies, Blue-Raspberry Popsicle, and Fruity Pebbles. She also made another sign: “Don’t ask for a spoon or fork because this is NOT FOOD, it is SLIME!”

Day 29: Cousins (Part 2)

Last night my sister’s two girls, Franny (10) and Alena (7) came to sleep over for a few nights. As soon as they walked in they started their conversations (my dad used to say, “They are like chickens just clucking all day long”). Not exactly sure what they were talking about, but I had my ideas.

I went up to bed at 10 and told them not to stay up too late. “We won’t!” They all three shouted at once.

Well not sure what time they ended up in bed, but it definitely was late because I had to force Tessie awake at ELEVEN! She ran downstairs to her cousins who were already working on the day’s plan.

At 1:00 they were ready! A Sidewalk Slime Shop in Oswego! They had their table set up with a table cloth, their slime individually packaged, business cards ready, and even a cash register made out of a shoe box (see picture below).

The “cash register”

The excitement came when the first car stopped and bought a slime. The devastation came when Tessie ran in annoyed, “We just got scammed! A lady only gave $1 instead of $3.”

“Not a big deal, Tessie. A lesson to learn – count your money before the customer leaves.”

“Tessie, she came back! She made a mistake!”

A smile spread across her face and ran back to her shop. Two little girls stopped and bought some, and then an older gentleman.

Andrew walks into the kitchen. “I just saved the girls from a 95 year old pedophile.”

“WHAT? What are you talking about?” I ask as I run to the garage door.

“Well, why else would a 95 year old want to buy slime from 3 little girls?”

In walks Franny. “Um, the older man wanted to know if we had any spoons, but I told him ‘I don’t suggest you eat it.’ Then he came back after 3 steps and asked us ‘What is this exactly?’ and we told him ‘It’s slime. You play with it.’ That’s when he said, ‘That’s why it tastes funny!'”

I looked at Andrew. “Now you know why a 95 year old bought slime. He thought it was food!” [Note: most of their slime have ‘food names’ – s’mores, fruity pebbles, butter, popcorn, hot chocolate. The gentleman ordered the “Fruity Pebbles”]

Monday they are moving the shop to my mom’s house in Western Springs! I told them to add a disclaimer *Slime is not edible.

Day 28: Overwhelmed

Today I feel overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed by the amount of work I still need to do.

Overwhelmed by the lack of motivation to get it all done.

Overwhelmed with things I need to do for my dad, that I used to do with my dad [paperwork, bills, go to the shopping center he owns (owned)].

Overwhelmed with having to talk to doctors and insurance companies about life-saving insulin.

Overwhelmed with guilt that I have not gone to see my mom as often as I would when my dad was alive.

Overwhelmed with the love and support I have gotten from my husband and all 3 kids.

Tomorrow is a new day!

Day 27: Power Outage

I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today.

The sleepover with the cousins went well. My boys fed the kids cereal so I got to sleep in until 9. Who would have thought with 6 kids in the house I would be able to sleep in, but I did.

I was going to write about this Positive Education Class I am taking, but today I wasn’t as focused as I would have liked to be and definitely not focused enough to write a Slice of Life about it.

Toward the end of my online class, lights flickered, the washer and dryer stopped, my chrome froze. Then darkness. A minute later, the light returned.

I asked my husband to restart the washer and dryer as I reconnected the chrome to the wifi and logged back in to my class. Success.

Darkness! No flickering. No noise. Still and black. I had to think if I paid the electricity bill. I asked my husband, “They would at least send a ‘disconnection notice’ before disconnecting us wouldn’t they? I didn’t get anything.” I had to think when did I pay the bills. It was just a few weeks ago wasn’t it?

Then the texts come flooding in to my son’s phone. All their friends are without power. My mother-in-law, two miles away, is without power also.

So we walked around aimlessly wondering what to do without the power. We can’t watch TV, can’t be on the laptop or iPads, can’t read really (I need more than a small flashlight or candle as I get older). We couldn’t even put our feet up on our electric-powered recliners. I looked at my husband (I think he was looking at me), and I asked him, “What are we supposed to do now?”

He responded with a straight face, “I have watched plenty of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and when it got dark they closed their eyes and went to bed.”

My kids let out a groan followed by, “It’s not even midnight. How did they make the time pass when they would have to sleep so early?”

My husband told them, “I will wake you up at 5 am to do some chores. Let’s see if you stay up until midnight tomorrow night.”

With that, the lights came back on, I grabbed my chrome to start my Slice of Life writing, my husband continued watching ‘T.J. Hooker’, and the kids went back to the iPads.

Thank God we are “The Mid-Sized House in the Suburbs”!

Day 26: Cousins (Part 1)

Sunday we (my 3 kids and I) went to an escape room and lunch with my sister’s two kids and my other sister’s one daughter and son.

That evening, I went with my daughter to my my brother-in-law’s house to spend time with his two kids (cousins from my husband’s side).

Today, my husband’s other brother brought over his three kids (7, 5, and almost 3) for a sleepover. They have been waiting for this day since the last time they slept over, last summer. As soon as they walked in Alex, 5, came right up to me and said, “Thea Jenny, I know that if we don’t behave we have to sleep in the garage so I made sure to tell Leo and Joanna to take a nap before coming over.”

When they slept over during the summer they were acting up and using, “Our mom and dad let us do this” as their reason to do whatever they wanted when I would correct their behavior (eating in the family room – only the kitchen in my house; jumping on couches – only for sitting on in my house; drinking Coke – only I do that in my house). So I told them, “If you want to come to my house you have to follow my rules or you can wait in the garage until your parents come to get you.”

Well, when they went home they told their mom, their dad, their Yiayia (my mother-in-law) that “You guys might joke around and tell us to do something but if we don’t nothing happens, but Thea Jenny, SHE DOESN’T JOKE! SHE IS SERIOUS!”

So here they are today, tonight, and into tomorrow, and knock on wood, they are being awesome! If tomorrow continues like today I told them we can have another sleepover over the summer! They huddled, whispered something to each other, said goodnight, and they are out!

My kids on the other hand, walked back down saying, “I can’t go to sleep this early. it’s not even midnight!”