SOL #31: So Long, March!

We made it! 🎉 Another year, another 31 slices.

31 slices this month, 93 comments to fellow bloggers this month, and currently typing blog post #62 on this Slice of Life journey…62?!

March was quite a busy month. Reading and commenting on fellow bloggers’ posts throughout this month was a highlight for me. Each day, I made a point to comment on 3 other posts. Commenting truly is the foundation for this challenge, and you learn so much as a writer from reading others’ posts!

If you would have told me last March that I would blog 62 times by the end of this March, I would have thought you were crazy…but here we are! Writing this year was more effortless than last year, and I’m sure next year will be more effortless than this year. I  just can’t believe it’s the final day!

It’s amazing how a month-long challenge changes your mindset about the small moments in life. Each day of the month, I actively think about my small moments, moments that I would often overlook if it weren’t for this challenge. Writing and reflecting have become part of my daily routine during the month of March, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now, I just need to continue the writing and reflecting throughout the year.

Although bittersweet, it’s a perfect time for the challenge to conclude, as Spring Break has arrived. Year #2 is in the books!

FRESH

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SOL #30: Soft Foods

 

Wisdom teeth extraction complete ✓. Bring on the soft foods diet.

First meal 3 hours after extraction: Strawberry Jell-O and Salted Caramel Gelato. The one time I can excuse eating ice cream for dinner! Perfect, I still cannot feel my lips or tongue. Just spoon up the jello and carefully swallow. No chewing involved. 

This morning, I woke up pleasantly surprised to have minimal swelling and no pain in my jaw. I imagined feeling MUCH worse. As content as I feel, I have to stick to soft foods for at least 24 hours post extraction. Boooo.

Second meal the morning after extraction: Chobani Strawberry-Banana smoothie and antibiotics. Since I have to take antibiotics every 6 hours, I was up at 5:45, starving…so I chugged a smoothie and went back to sleep. 

Third meal the afternoon after extraction: Apple sauce, scrambled eggs, and chocolate pudding…in that order. An interesting combo to say the least. The apple sauce didn’t cut it, so I decided to try scrambled eggs, my first soft solid meal. I had some chocolate pudding for “dessert”. 

I am 3 meals in to my soft foods diet. As much as I love eating ice cream, apple sauce, jello, pudding, and smoothies, I’m dreaming of eating everything I can’t have…only a few more days until ☕ 🥞🍟🍕 🥨 (AKA hot coffee and chewy carbs).

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SOL #29: Morning Commute

35 minutes.

Every morning, I check the clock as I pull out of my driveway and as I pull up to school, mentally calculating what time I should arrive (given that traffic cooperates). This morning, I left my house at 6:50, which is 5 minutes later than usual, and arrived at 7:25, which is 5 minutes earlier than usual. Only 35 minutes for my morning commute?!

Not only did I make it today in 35 minutes, but I made it in less than 40 minutes a FEW times in the past week. Typically, I’m grateful to make it in 45 minutes because that means no traffic or trains.

I have never made such great time commuting from my house to work, except for when I leave at 8pm and there’s no traffic. This calls for celebration!

I could really get used to this smooth sailing to work every day. Crossing my fingers for more days like this. 🏎️

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SOL #28: Slime Time

We had an afternoon full of slime in our classroom today. What a perfect hands-on reward for our students before spring break! It takes only 3 ingredients to make ooey-gooey stretchy slime.

5 oz. of Elmer’s color glue/ glitter glue/ white glue. 

1/2 tbsp. of baking soda.

1 tbsp. of saline solution.

As a first-time slime maker, trial-and-error methods were key in making the perfect concoction of slime:

Too watery? Add more baking soda.

Too sticky? Add more saline solution

Too dense? …looks like we have to start over. 

Repeat until desired slime consistency is created.

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SOL #27: That’s a Big Pizza!

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My jumbo pizza delivery was promptly waiting for me in the main office after school. With stares of disbelief and comments like “That’s a big pizza!” and “Is that all for you?”, I quickly clarified that this jumbo pizza was for a team of 12 hungry 4th and 5th graders.

When I ordered this 30″ monstrosity, I didn’t realize how big the pizza would actually be….the size of the box was quite unexpected, to say the least. I carefully lifted the enormous box, securing my arms under the pepperoni and cheesy goodness. Luckily, teachers in the office were there to hold the door as I barely cleared the doorway. Yes, the box was THAT big.

I made my first stop at the gym, which is our team’s meeting spot. Their eyes widened when I appeared. “Is that for us?!”, they shouted, crowding around me and the jumbo pizza.

I rounded up the group, hands still firmly gripping the box, and we headed to my classroom for our pizza party. “Please don’t drop it…please don’t drop it”, I thought, over and over in my head, as I walked through the seemingly endless hallways. Finally, we made it to my classroom, pizza intact.

Look how big this pizza is compared to my hand!“, one of the girls exclaimed as she placed her hand over the 30″+ box. Her hand looked so ridiculously tiny next to this pizza box… we just had to capture her hand size as a reference to scale. Then, all the girls placed their hands over the box, laughing at how ridiculously jumbo the pizza was!

By the end of our celebration, all 30” of the jumbo cheese/pepperoni pizza was devoured. I guess it wasn’t too jumbo for the girls basketball team.

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SOL #26: A Case of Spilled Berries

It all started this morning, around 6:45am. I was getting ready to leave for work when I impulsively decided to wash some blackberries for lunch. As I rinsed and poured the berries into a container, I lost my grip, and they spilled into the sink instead.  Luckily, they were salvageable, but irritating to deal with first thing in the morning.

Fast forward to 1:50pm: My students are transitioning for snack time and read aloud. Their snacks are collected in a bin, which they pick up when it’s time for snack. Before I knew it, blueberries were scattered across our rug. This time, I wasn’t the culprit. One of my students accidentally knocked over the container as she was grabbing her banana.  Not all of the blueberries made it, but again, some were salvageable.

Two sets of spilled blackberries and blueberries before 2pm.

Okay, accidents happen…BUT then, around 8:00pm, I walked through the front door of my house, with three packages of new blueberries from the store. I almost made it successfully inside, but one package slid off the top of my balanced stack, and half of my blueberries fell onto the carpet. Granted, the blueberries were stacked on top of each other, but come on!

I mean, what are the chances of spilling berries all over the place on 3 separate occasions, in 1 day? Such a small, but strange problem of my day.

Just sheer clumsiness or bad luck? I’d say a mix of both. 🍓

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SOL #25: Countdown Begins

The countdown for spring break begins! T-minus 4 school days. While most schools are on break this week, we have our break next week.

Usually, I would be excited, counting down the days, but this year is a bit different. In T-minus 4 school days, I will officially be on break, but I will also be getting all four wisdom teeth taken out. For the first time ever, I am actually kind of dreading the last day of school before break.

On Thursday, I will leave school at 3:30, ready to enjoy some time off! Oh wait, I will be getting my wisdom teeth pulled just a few hours later. For now, I will enjoy the last few days of a pain-free mouth, hoping they go by somewhat slowly. 😨

I’ll start counting down the days for next week, when I’m able to eat without pain. 👍

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SOL #24: Slice of Cake 🍰

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Tonight, I had a family party, and that means lots and lots of food! By the time dessert was served, my appetite was nonexistent…until I heard the words mango-strawberry cake.

I am not a huge fan of cake, so I usually pass. If mango and strawberry is in my cake, count me in. Mango and strawberry are top 5 on my list of favorite fruits, so I could not pass up a slice. Bonus: The cake had 2 macarons on top. I LOVE mangoes, strawberries, and macarons!

Now for the taste: I had such high hopes for this cake, and it surpassed my expectations. It was light, refreshing, and not too sweet. The top layer was a mango-flavored gel with a mango mousse underneath. In between the yellow cake was a slightly frozen strawberry cream, mixed with fresh strawberries. The best part about this cake was the fresh fruit!

It was delicious, and now I am beyond full. My overall rating: 10/10 🤩 🍰

SOL #23: Trips to Target

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Back again, Target. Here to spend some more $$$ on some very unnecessary items. I walk through the entrance and grab a cart. I’m here to buy juice boxes for our book club celebration, so I actually need a cart. Bad idea…

My internal monologue as I make my way through the greatest store on Earth: 

Dollar Spot Section: Ooh! Make Your Own Scented SlimyGloop…cherry and blue raspberry scented?! Galaxy Squoosh-o Stress Balls?! I MUST have them. Perfect for my students to use as sensory toys. I’ll make them over spring break! *3 boxes in cart* Is that a tote bag for only $7?! I don’t need it, but I want it. Why is it even in this section!? Dollar Spot, $5 Spot, and now $7 Spot… *1 tote bag in cart*

Sunglasses Section: I could use some new sunglasses…Tries on 20 different pairs and none of them look good. So much for new sunglasses . *0 sunglasses in cart*

Clothing Section: Target has the cutest clothes. I really need to go shopping for some spring outfits. T-shirts and tanks on sale for $5?! I need a new black tee and a white tank. Should I get another black tank? Nah, I don’t need it. Continue to pick out more clothes, but do not have the energy to try them on. Next time.

Book Section:  Are there any books on sale?! Weaves through the book aisles to find overpriced books that are not on sale. I’ll just buy more books on Scholastic. *0 books in cart*

Food Section: 20% off candy? I heard the Starburst Minis and Beans are good. I should try them. *1 bag of candy in cart* Okay, where is the apple juice? Score! They are 2/$5. Mott’s or Juicy Juice? Apple juice, berry, or fruit punch? Mix of both? No, I will just stick to good ol’ apple juice. * 4 packages of Juicy Juice in cart* 

Okay, I’m done. It’s almost 6:30 and I need to get home.

I make my way through the rest of Target, glancing at all the other items I could buy, but I resist. To the self-checkout I go…

SlimyGloop, Squoosh-o Stress Balls, a tote bag, two $5 sale shirts, and a bag of Starburst Minis & Beans were NOT what I came to Target for. Leaving with the apple juice counts for something, right?

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SOL #22: Pete the Cat

 

Pete the Cat. My student’s new favorite book character. While waiting for PARCC testing to end, we pass the time with some Pete the Cat books.  I begin reading one of his favorites, Pete the Cat: Go, Pete, Go!” aloud to him, pausing at specific parts so he can participate.

“Wait, wait, wait, let me read it”, he interjects. He is eager to read each part he knows.

My student has parts of the story memorized, so he chimes in and reads along with me. Our shared reading goes quite well, as if we planned it that way. I love that he is participating willingly and has access to reading a book he would not yet be able to read independently.

After testing ends, we head back inside to blog. He is going to write about Pete the Cat, of course. It’s a little noisy for speech-to-text to blog, so we head into the hallway with Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes and iPad in hand.

Without any influence, my student places his iPad on the ground in front of him, clicks on the camera app, and begins recording himself retelling each page from Pete the Cat, with the pictures facing toward him. He has the whole first page memorized! He continues on, using picture clues to aid in his retell. As he finishes each page, he shows the camera the pictures on each page.

I step back to observe my student in action, independently retelling the story.

Two back-to-back moments are just a glimpse of the immense growth my student has made…his growth this year is AMAZING. Just 6 months ago, he sat with me in the same room and spoke in a few words or phrases. Sharing and answering questions required prompting, with many responses being “I don’t know”. Now, he is reading along with me, speaking in complete sentences, and recording himself retelling a story he recently discovered. His personality shines, and I love to hear what he has to share.

I cherish these special moments and cannot help but smile. I am SO proud.

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