Day 31: Getting It Done

Thirty-one days of Slice of Life writing without missing a day (posted late some days, but still posted).

Spring cleaning the house, one room at a time.

Spending time with cousins on both sides of the family, as well as both Yiayias.

Making homemade dinners instead of eating out or on the fly, like most nights during the work week.

Scheduling appointments that have been needed to be made since January.

Caught up on all my grading.

Hanging out with my kids, talking and laughing (lots of laughing).

Relaxing, forcing myself to relax and enjoy the break!

Day 30: I’m In

My boys have not been able to play church ball since last year. All the Chicago-area churches get teams together and the kids play basketball against each other. Well, last February was the last time they go to play before everything was put on hold.

Unfortunately, their season couldn’t start in the fall, so it’s an abbreviated season this spring. The boys have to wear masks while playing and the only people allowed in the games are the 2 refs, 2 people in charge of the scoreboard/keeping score, 2 coaches per team, and the players.

My husband is in charge of taking the boys to their games. I told him I wouldn’t mind driving them since we can’t watch them play and I’ll just read my book while I wait for the game to end. But he likes this time in the car with the boys too.

The game starts at 5:45 pm and Pete is there by 5:00. I get a text saying, I’m in!

What? How? They said no parents!

I snuck in saying I’m a coach. Then guy in charge tells Coach Bill you have too many coaches. As I’m leaving the gym, the referee says ‘Where are you going? Sit down.’ and so I’m sitting at the end of the players’ bench. I’m not cheering so the guy in charge doesn’t see me.

The next 45 minutes consists of play-by-play texts. I’m grateful, but at the same time I can’t get anything done because I am anxiously awaiting the next text.

On Sunday the boys played at 4:45. I get a text at 4:25 I’m in! The play-by-play begins.

Losing 7-2. Not playing well. End of first, down 15-9.

This team has always been a tough team to beat.

We should be beating them. John’s fighting it, but shots not going in and they’re dropping 3s. 32-13.

32-21 halftime.

40-31.

Andrew makes a three. 40-36.

I get in a quick response: Come on boys! Then the texts come flooding through.

He sends a video of John scoring. 44-43.

If we had all our guys we would be able to switch our guys in, but only 7 showed up. 49-43.

John shoots. Scores. 49-45.

Turn overs are killing us.

Andrew steals the ball, we score.

49-47.

John scores, now free throws.

55-50.

56-52. Twenty-two seconds left. We have the ball.

Andrew shoots a 3.

57-55. Twelve seconds left. Our ball.

He sends a video of John. John tied the game. Overtime.

Two more videos sent and one final text: WE WON!!!!!

I know how much my boys love to play ball, but I know Pete loves watching them even more. I hope at the start of each game I get a text that says, I’m in!

Day 29: Catching Up

Spring break is a time to relax and recharge. It’s a time to see family and friends that we can’t always visit with in between the busyness of the school year for the kids and for me.

Today was a day I got to catch up with some friends. We met for lunch and just caught up on work, home, and life in general. Sharing laughs over a delicious meal was just what I needed this afternoon. We had such a great time I even suggested that we meet up again next Monday that way we can start and end spring break with each other!

I’m hoping the rest of my break goes as well as today did!

Day 28: Cousin Sleepovers

Day 1 of spring break (Saturday) consisted of Franny and Alena coming over to spend the day with us and ended with Franny sleeping over. Franny and Tessie are 3 months apart. They are both in 7th grade. They were together 4 days a week from the time they were born until the year they went to Kindergarten. After that it was once a week, on Saturdays, while at Greek School. So these breaks are always welcomed when they can be reunited for more than just a few hours.

Today (Sunday) we went to my mom’s while the boys played basketball. The plan was to leave by 7 pm, but of course we didn’t. As we started to say our goodbyes Tessie comes and whispers in my ear, Um, would it be ok of I slept over by Franny’s? Titi (my younger sister)said it is ok with her as long as I have enough insulin in my pump and I checked and I have plenty for overnight and even breakfast.

As I kiss Tessie goodnight she once again begins to whisper in my ear, Um, would it be ok if Franny and Alena sleep over at our house tomorrow night because Titi is going to help Thea (my older sister) feed the homeless so they would be bored being at Yiayia’s (grandma – my mom) house all day?

One sleepover is never enough . . . and it’s only 2 days into spring break!

Day 27: At First We May Not Know

Tessie’s 3-year Diaversary (anniversary of her diabetes diagnosis) was last week, but one of her surprises was taking place today. Breakfast with Mrs. Klick, her 1st grade teacher.

We got lucky ten years ago when John was placed in Mrs. Klick’s class. He just adored her and she adored him. We got even luckier four years later when Tessie got to be in 1st grade with Mrs. Klick. She had a fabulous year and she too adored Mrs. Klick. Actually, I have yet to meet a student or family that doesn’t adore her.

Three years ago when Tessie was diagnosed as a 4th grader, there were times that she could not go to P.E. or recess because her blood sugar levels were too low so she would have to sit in the nurse’s office. Anytime Mrs. Klick walked by and saw her, she would stop and visit with Tessie, missing out on her own lunch or plan time. As a working parent, you always hope that your child is being taken care of and loved by their teachers when they are in their care. Although Mrs. Klick was no longer her teacher, she loved Tessie like her own.

Over the years we have become close friends. As we share stories, we realize that we have similar upbringings and our parents instilled the same values in us that we are now passing on to our children. She shares Tessie’s love of baking and they often share recipes and we share our Greek traditions and foods with her and her family.

Mrs. Klick is Tessie’s greatest advocate! They have designed t-shirts for the past 2 years for the Type 1 Diabetes walk, as well as showing up and walking to support Tessie. We are forever grateful for her support and love.

In 2010, we may not have known why John was placed in Mrs. Klick’s class, but three years ago I realized why!

Day 26: Laughter

This morning I woke up, got ready, and jumped in the car. About 10 minutes into the drive I looked at the time and noticed it was 7:15 am. I didn’t realize I left so early. I laughed thinking that I am going to get to school so early I will be questioning “Is today Saturday? Where is everyone?” because when I get to work at 7:58, the parking lot is usually packed.

During my drive I was listening to 103.5. Listening to the Fred show always makes me laugh, but Ruffio’s laugh is so infectious and so genuine, I can’t help but laugh along.

I got to school and could hear laughter down the hall. I went into my co-worker’s room and joined in the conversation and laughed harder than I have in days.

The laughter continued throughout the day with my students, even during SEL and Read Aloud. My one student even said, “Wow Mrs. K. We laughed a lot today!”

After school a bunch of us went out for a long overdue Happy Hour and the laughter continued until I got into my car.

I wonder if all the laughter today was due to spring break starting today!

Day 25: Excitement

The end is near! We are down to one day with each hybrid group. I am down to 2 teaching days. My kids are down to 2 more days of learning. 

Then we welcome spring break! A week of no alarm clocks, no schedules, no work. A week of sleeping in, lunches out, hanging out with cousins. 

I have tasked each of my three children to come up with one thing they want to do over spring break. We have learned from our past mistakes of not having any plans in place. I would let them sleep in and they would take full advantage of that and wake up after noon, but then they needed some time to fully wake up and by then the day was almost over. We would find ourselves on the last day of spring break annoyed that we really “didn’t do anything”. So this year, we need somewhat of a plan.

My plan is to limit my technology use, read some books I didn’t get to over winter break, lunches/dinners out and relax. I can’t wait to see what my kids’ plan for spring break looks like!

Day 24: Today Had it All

Today I got to enjoy a few of my favorite things . . .

  • I got to sleep an extra 20 minutes since my 8 am PLC was cancelled
  • I had time to catch up with my colleagues who are friends
  • eating Papa’s pepperoni pizza for lunch
  • Tagalongs . . . a whole box
  • met with my book club
  • marked off about 1/3 of my To-Do list
  • left school right at 3:30 pm
  • took a 2 hour nap
  • spent time with Tessie
  • shopping at Target
  • Portillo’s coke
  • white chocolate mousse cake

. . . and a few things that aren’t . . .

  • attended a virtual staff meeting
  • attended another virtual meeting with 6th grade teachers
  • stopped to put gas (I had 4 miles’ worth of gas left)
  • folded laundry
  • washed the dishes

But even those things weren’t enough to ruin my Wednesday!

Day 23: Taking a Break

Things have been hectic, personally and professionally.

This past week I was frantically trying to complete all my coursework for my classes, as well as getting ready for the family parties. Today I was quite productive with getting through all my plans for the day as well as having time to help students with some of their classwork without constantly looking at the time go by.

Tech problems during my lunchtime didn’t allow for much downtime. I had to miss after school book club with my students which I was so upset about because I love the discussions we have. I hated running out in the rain to another meeting, dodging school buses and parents waiting for their children.

So tonight I am taking a break! I am writing a much shorter Slice, I ate cake for dinner, and I am heading to bed with my book. Tomorrow is another day!

Day 22: Deadlines Everywhere

Everywhere I look, there are deadlines looming.

At work, a Friday deadline to take my 5 Essentials Survey, write my lesson plans, give feedback on work turned in, put away books from our most recent book club, and have my classroom ready to welcome everyone back from spring break.

At home, deadlines to gather paperwork to file taxes, take my son for some practice drives before his driving test, and complete paperwork for my high school junior.

At school, a deadline to get through all the lessons, administer standards mastery checks, and collect materials given back in August by Friday, so we can all go to spring break with a clean slate.

With spring break just 4 days away and so many people wishing for the days to fly by, I am afraid their wishes will be granted and my wish of slowing down time will be ignored.