First Grade Content Share…The Experience

I just witnessed hard work, dedication, kindness, support and excitement. That is what happens when students, teachers and staff come together and work on a common goal. Today was our schools First Grade Content Share. The event was broken down into four businesses. Each business created an experience you would take with you.

It all started with the Subway. Wonderful things happened once you entered this subway station. Students were selling Limited Edition Subway Cards that they created for purchase. The cost was a whopping $0.25 and it was all worth it to get the wonderful experience. To enter the train and all other businesses you needed a subway card that would be punched by each conductor at the classroom door. The creativity was overflowing throughout the floor. The students were excited and so happy to serve and show you all that they created.

The grocery store boasted with many items for purchase as well as warm out of the oven goodies you could buy. Students assisted with the purchases and had a cash register to take your money and give you change if needed. The learning that was going on in this room was wonderful. The smiles were contagious and the pleasant thank you and laughter stayed with me on my next adventure. Off to the mailroom where I could create letters that would be mailed and delivered to students later on in the day. The Post Office was a pleasant experience with helpers willing to assist and direct you to where you needed to be. Finally it was the restaurant and my face lit up when I saw the conductor of this business punching away at subway cards that were presented to him before entry. This young man was taking his job very seriously but with a smile. He made sure that each person entering the room had a subway card and if they didn’t he to directed them to the subway so they could be sure to get one. The restaurant was getting quite busy, as you needed to patiently wait for a server to take your order. They had pancakes, bacon, eggs, etc… You could be seated and enjoy your selection with a kind server bringing you food. You also had the options of smoothies, coffee and other amazing treats. The restaurant was reaching capacity so the conductor up front made sure to hold the customers at the door until people came out and then he would allow others to go in.

I was so happy to be able to witness such a wonderful event at my kid’s school. The dedication and hard work to make this happen was glowing through all that was done today. Parents didn’t want to leave because the experience was truly amazing.

I know that there are always complaints from any school you are in. Teachers that you are not fond of or experiences you have that pull you from your comfort zone at your children’s school but no matter what is said and done, today was one of a kind. Today PS32 shines brightly because of the amazing dedication the first grade students, teachers and staff showed.

I was happy to witness and experience it all. I am one very proud mom.

Hip, hip hooray to the first grade!!!

Help Gio and Isa’s Miracles

It’s that time again so on this snowy Wednesday afternoon think about donating to a wonderful cause. Please share our story and our team page wherever you can. Help our team meet our goal and help so many families that don’t have the support during a very scary time. Thank you for your support. No amount is ever to small and always very much appreciated. Let’s go Gio and Isa’s Miracles! Helping families one step at a time.

 

https://www.marchforbabies.org/caramia626

 

https://www.marchforbabies.org/caramia626

The Funk

Sometimes a feeling takes over you and you feel something inside you that leaves you paralyzed. You don’t know what it is or where it came from but you feel motionless and a warm wave of sadness starts within you and spreads throughout your body. You try to fight it but the feeling is so strong. It’s like a tug of war from the inside out until you realize you can’t win. You drop your shoulders from the weight and give up. You feel your head drop and eyes fill with tears. It’s not until the first tear drop falls that you see yourself drifting. Slowly drifting but you can’t stop it and realize you don’t even want to try so you don’t. From that moment on it gets harder and harder to pull yourself out of “the funk.”

Let me explain what “the funk” means to me. It’s a little less than depression but in the direction of depression. It’s where it hurts to smile even though you want to. It’s a weight that pushes you under water. Even though you kick and lift your head to keep above water there’s an invisible weight that holds your head steady down and you feel like you are drowning and the heaviness makes your body limp. This feeling carries on for days. You don’t let others know what’s happening. You do your best to stay positive outside so that others don’t see the sadness you are feeling inside. You smile and make sure all those around you are happy, comfortable and well but that only makes you feel more tired. You’re exhausted but you can’t let anyone in. You just can’t until one day something happens. He looks at you in a certain way that brings light into your darkness or you hear a laughter from one of your children that tries to break your trace or your best friend from far away calls out of the blue and knows something is going on. That’s when the wall “the funk” finally crumbles down and you are able to breathe again. You breathe and it no longer hurts. Your body feels light again and not achy. The smile comes to the surface from deep down within and your whole body smiles. Your life is your own again…until the next funk but until then you do your best to enjoy your life and all the blessings you are surrounded by.

That is my funk. It just happens but I know it will go away. I always hope it does.

 

I am Abraham…

Tonight for Isannah’s reading assignment she chose to read another book that wasn’t in her school baggie. She wanted to read I am Abraham Lincoln. It’s a longer book and words are definitely harder but she was determined. When we got to the part in the book about slaves and she saw the picture of slaves chained up on a boat she was very upset. She didn’t understand why they were chained and what was going on. I asked her to finish reading that part and we would talk about it. Once she finished reading those two pages we paused for a moment to discuss. Giovanni was listening in and was so happy to hear about Abraham Lincoln’s speech about freeing slaves and that all men are created equal.
We briefly spoke about the Civil War and the Gettysburg Address. It was a nice conversation with questions and lot’s of listening. They want to be like Lincoln and stand up for what’s right. Isannah said that she was going to make sure that she would do what is right but if others didn’t do it she wouldn’t stand and be with them. She would be alone if she had to but Giovanni immediately jumped in saying she wouldn’t be alone because he is doing the right thing too so they can do it together.
It truly is beautiful listening and watching the love and kindness that is within them. I wish it will only continue and become stronger. I hope that this world doesn’t destroy that faith, hope and kindness they have and want to pour unto others.
I wish we could all see things purely through the eyes of kids.

First separate birthday party

G and I began talking about their party ideas for their 7th birthday party, which was sneaking up quicker than I had planned. They both had different ideas and wanted to do different things. Then out of nowhere they both decided they wanted to do separate parties. Wait, what? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My two soon to be 7 year old twins no longer wanted a birthday party together. This blew my mind. I wasn’t ready for it. What just happened? I knew this day would come but I expected I had a few more years. I was hoping this thought wouldn’t come up until they hit 11 or 12 but I was wrong. It was happening now. Right in front of me. They were deciding and planning what was going to happen. Not only that but they turned to me and asked if they could invite their own guests. My chin just hit the table and my mouth remained open.

Did this mean not all their classmates would be invited? Did this mean no childhood friends? Wait, what did this mean? Giovanni kindly told me that he wanted to only invite his everyday friends meaning friends he saw every day. He wanted to pick and I would write his list down. Isannah then said the same thing. Here I was grabbing a pen and paper and writing down each name as they shouted them to me. I kept looking at the list and thinking about people I would like to invite but just kept my mouth shut. I was letting them take the wheel. I wanted them to feel like this was their time. After the names were shouted and after I stopped writing they each looked at their list. They were smiling and so proud of themselves for doing it all on their own. I couldn’t crush their joy. Not their moment so I sucked it up and let it go.

Fast forward to Giovanni’s party. It’s here. It’s TODAY and the excitement was real. He woke up asking me how many more hours for his party. He must’ve asked me 20 times if it was time to leave. This was what he picked and he was so excited to share his chocolate making experience with his everyday friends.

I planned all the details and when we walked in his face lit up. He was excited to show his sister the place and explained to her all the fun things they would be doing. As his guests were arriving he greeted them with smiles. It was like he was turning older than 7. I was frantic as always to make sure everything was going smoothly and all who were coming were happy but I calmed when I looked at him. He was just enjoying his day. What I loved more was that his sister was letting him be the person for this time. She allowed him to have the attention and was supportive.

Everything was going well. The kids were screaming with excitement. Singing at the top of their lungs and dancing like no one was watching. It was great. I looked around the room and was happy for him and for everything that was going on.

It wasn’t until it was cake time that I felt my chest cave in and tears began falling on the inside rather than outside. I was crying inside because when the party host placed his cake in front of him I knew it was just his celebration. It wasn’t a cake with both names on it. It wasn’t a cake placed in front of G and I to celebrate both of them. It was only placed in front of Giovanni. He sat there and looked at his cake and listened to everyone sing happy birthday and when the song was over he proudly blew out his candles and I quietly cried.

It was harder than I thought to see that happen. I was happy for him and proud but I couldn’t help feeling a little sad that it wasn’t both of them together.

I pushed that feeling away because I couldn’t let it take over me. This was a happy day. This was Giovanni’s day and this was just happiness. I remembered that Isannah would get her solo birthday party and celebrate it the way she wants. That day will be a day of friends, happiness and joy.

Let’s just say I can’t promise not feeling a little something when a cake is placed in front of her that day. I guess its just part of a being a mama of twins.

 

Make it count

You wake up and take your first thank you breath and at that moment, you have to decide if it’s going to be a good day. No matter what you are going through or the craziness you know you are surrounded by, you need to make that decision. Try really hard to just think of all the good in your life. Think about the beautiful memories you’ve created. Think about the person that makes you smile and just remind yourself you made it to another day. After you thought about all that, get on your feet and begin this day as a gift. Make it count. You may be the face that person needs to bring a smile to their face. The hope they needed to see today. Make it count.
The kindness that you have inside you spread it around. Let it infect others so that it keeps going. Today is a gift. Make sure to share it with others.

Reading Harry Potter

My husband reads pages from Harry Potter right before bedtime to G and I. If we are running late with our bedtime routine we skip the night but tonight everything was right on schedule. The kids both snuggled in their beds while he began reading where they left off. I love the silence and just the sound of my husband’s voice very animated and alive. He changes his voice and tone with every character he reads. I just sit back in my room and listen with a smile.

After they were done reading, it was time to go in each room and say goodnight. When I walked into Isannah’s room she immediately told me she wishes she was a girl witch like in Harry Potter. I asked her why and she responded by saying, “If I were a girl witch then I would be able to have powers and go back in time to where Nonna’s mom was alive so I could meet her. I think it would be a nice idea to meet Nonna’s mom. I never met her but I think about her a lot. I think that would make Nonna happy.” I just smiled and agreed with her. I said it would make a lot of people happy and she would be so happy to meet you too.
Just then she said, “I’m just happy Nonna’s mom, the white butterfly, always comes by us.”
I gave Isannah a hug with tear filled eyes. That was so sweet and tender and I truly was happy to hear that from her.
If reading Harry Potter brings out this kindness even more, I hope the books last forever.

Today brings change

Today brings many changes. From the calm wind blowing more cool air than days previous to the mentions of First Grade for our new adventure. There are many things in between that are in my heart. A lot of acceptance and faith that what lies ahead was always meant to be. It’s a day of decisions being made and the hope that keeps us afloat.

We are given each day as a gift. A day better than the last no matter the difficulties we feel or the mountains we must climb. It is still a gift we didn’t need to receive and now have to enjoy the love of family and friends. The life that is bursting around us to enjoy and take in. It’s with an open heart and mind to help us see things more clearer. Sometimes it’s easier to let fear take control but you are stronger to see above that and move forward. That is when you can see the world and the life you have before you with a clear view. Today may be your day. Enjoy it. Appreciate it. Love it. Make it what you want it to be.

Thank a teacher

We have been truly blessed every year with some amazing teachers. From the very beginning when the kids began their educational journey and I was frantic to let them go and worried about how their teachers would treat them, I saw the love and kindness in the eyes of every teacher I met. They reassured me every day that G and I are fine. It’s a beautiful bond to experience and a comforting hand that is very much needed. This year is no different. Not only are they present, available, kind and supportive they are also friends. My family and I have gone through some tough times throughout the years especially this past week and even though my mind was filled with fear and just all over the place those teachers have been present and went out of their way to make me understand that their thoughts were with us all. From the inspiring texts, to the hugs along the way, it’s been a blessing to us all. When people ask me about our current school I simply smile without hesitation just thinking of the wonderful teachers we have had and the staff that has become apart of our life. It’s friendships like these that see no boundaries, no color and no religion. It sees love, kindness and care. We are truly blessed with our kid’s teachers and in return, I would like to say thank you once again.

To all the teachers out there that take care of our children, we thank you. To those who put the needs of their students before their’s, thank you. During this time of year and every day, take time to thank a teacher.

When you find that Salon

This is a bit different for me but thought it was time to show my thankfulness to someone who truly deserves it. As women (and I’m sure a few men out there) the search for a salon that makes them feel comfortable and makes it easy for them to walk in and know they will be treated kindly, takes a lot of energy and effort. Salons these days are a bit too up tight for my taste and crazy pricy. In my search for salons I read reviews, a ton of them. Did the walk by test and tried everything to find the one that will work best for me. After reading amazing reviews you schedule an appointment. You walk in and meet the amazingly skilled person that’s worked with actors and actresses to find they are really not as great as everyone said. The service is average but the actual product not so good. You convince yourself it’s the stylist first time and she might not know your hair so you give her another try. The second time turns out even worse. Not only does she mess up your hair she gives you a million of non-related excuses. I know I don’t have a stylist license but I’ve been doing my hair forever and it is my hair so it’s been with me all my life. It’s funny how they try to give you excuses and think you will believe them.

Then you have the salons where just walking by them on the street makes you want to walk faster without looking in or the salons that are bothered by your questions. See they are all here to provide a service but it’s up to you to trust your hair, although not the most important thing in your life or world, but it’s yours.

This brings me to a new salon with an old school feel. It’s a mobile salon to be exact. That’s right, you read that correctly. It is a salon on wheels. I see people pass by it when I’m in the area. They stare and talk amongst themselves trying to understand what it is. Then I see those that pop in and ask questions with excitement. This is when Caroline, the owner of Studio in Motion just answers any and every question in a way that makes you feel comfortable. She’s not stuffy or snooty. She doesn’t give you attitude no matter how busy she is at that very moment. She answers all your questions. It’s amazing how friendly she is.

I walked in there one time a few years ago to get a blowout and she immediately identified all the unhappiness in my hair that I was trying to cover. She gave me a solution and actually corrected it. She told me everything that I knew was wrong with my hair. At that point, I had just given up on it because I was so tired of dealing with it. She made me feel comfortable instantly and I’ve been going to her ever since. Her prices are fair and she will pack that mobile bus to make sure she gets everyone in the time she promised. No matter how jammed she gets she makes everyone feel comfortable. Keeps them smiling and gets them in and out in the most pleasant way.

Her clientele is diverse. There is no type or style, everyone is welcomed and everyone leaves smiling. While I’m on her bus I see the oldest old school neighborhood clients to the youngest of clients popping in. She does them all and she’s fair. To find a salon that brings back the genuine neighborhood feel mixed with the new feel keeps you smiling.

Caroline really makes you feel like you are a part of her family during that time you are in her chair until the time you walk out. When I walk in the neighborhood and see her parked in her spot at the corner of Court Street and 1st Place in Brooklyn, I smile knowing she is there. Sometimes I just pop in to say hi because I can.