The Pregnant Science Teacher

Well, it’s been quite the school year. After two years of being out of the classroom, I returned and immediately found out I was expecting. My pregnancy is uncannily in line with the school year — about 40 weeks long, from August through the end of May. Including a couple weeks of time off before my due date, I’m only going to miss three weeks of school.

Teaching science to elementary school kids has been such a blast — definitely my favorite job thus far. The staff I work with are fabulous, my principal is super supportive, and science experiments are inherently exciting (and therefore kids are engaged without too much effort on my part!).

The kids are obsessed with my pregnancy. I have the apps The Bump, Nurture, and Ovia, all of which give me weekly updates on the size of the baby. The Bump and Nurture tell me a fruit or vegetable (for instance, at week 32, the baby is either the size of a large bok choy or summer squash); and Ovia lets me choose among a fruit or veggie, a weird-but-cute animal, a toy, or an item in a French bakery. This week, the baby is a naked-tail armadillo! Anyway, the kids get a real kick out of this.

In between 3rd-graders designing and testing parachutes, 4th-graders growing mold in plastic bags, and 1st-graders discovering that rainbows can happen even without water, I’ve been able to fit in a lot of fun stuff for myself and my husband too.

Since our New Year’s trip to Yosemite, Sean and I hosted my 15-year-old niece, Melody, for a weekend in February. We took her to San Francisco to see the Ferry Building, ride a cable car, browse the shelves at historic City Lights Bookstore, and eat gelato in North Beach. We also got to see a jazz singer perform in Oakland with Sean’s cousin and his wife and have Sunday brunch with my mom and aunt in Walnut Creek. It was a memorable weekend!

In March, my family threw me a beautiful baby shower and my little sister a beautiful bridal shower…all in the same weekend! We also fit in birthday celebrations for both my mom and mother-in-law. It was both exhausting and wonderful! Baby Bourne has everything he/she could ever need; now we just wait his/her arrival. Seven weeks to go!

The following weekend, Sean and I returned to Yosemite Valley; this time with Sean’s cousin, Steven, and Steven’s wife, Katelyn. At 31 weeks pregnant, I wasn’t quite as sprightly as I was for our New Year’s trip, but I was still able to hike to Mirror Lake and do part of the Valley Loop Trail. Sean, Steven, and Katelyn hiked to Clark Point, just beyond Vernal Falls (8 miles round-trip). The icing on the cake was Sunday brunch in the grand dining room of the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (forever known as The Ahwahnee). We’ve now seen Yosemite in winter and spring this year; the goal is to go in summer and fall too. The only difference will be that we’ll have a baby in tow!

Last weekend we went on a very speedy trip down to LA to have lunch with my dad in Santa Monica (we ate at True Food Kitchen, which was fantastic), do a 20-minute tour of UCLA (now Sean and I have seen each other’s alma maters; he attended gorgeous UBC in Vancouver), and hang out with our dear friends, Nick and Hitomi in Glendale…all on Saturday. We spent the night with Nick and Hitomi (and watched Michael Bolton’s Valentine’s Day special on Netflix…highly recommended), and then on Sunday we drove the scenic route (highway 101) back home. We stopped in San Luis Obispo for brunch at a restaurant Nick and Hitomi told us about, The Gardens of Avila. Great food in a gorgeous setting!

Dad & me

Sean in SLO

Now that we’re in the final stretch of both the school year and my pregnancy, we’re hunkering down. The only mini-trip we have planned is to Petaluma to visit Aunt Becky and dog-sit for her one weekend in May. Otherwise my weeks are full of school events like the Science Fair and Open House; and our weekends are full of childbirth classes, building baby furniture, and installing car seats, and prenatal yoga…with some socializing with friends in between. Life is good.

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Birthdays in Chicago

These are the Levy Sisters, whom I consider to be my own sisters. We’ve known each other our whole lives (in Carrie’s case, I mean that literally; Liz and I were already best friends when the cutest little redhead was born!).

To celebrate the Levy Sisters’ birthdays (both in February), my birthday (in January), and Carrie’s husband, Ryan’s birthday (also in February), we galavanted around Chicago for a weekend. Liz’s husband, Josh, offered to take time off work and have a boys’ weekend with their one-year-old son so that Liz could come hang out sans baby (for the first time since he was born!).

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On Saturday, we had a tasty brunch, shopped in Wicker Park, and indulged in some Stan’s Donuts. I remember Stan’s from my college days; they’re only other location in Westwood Village near UCLA. Highly recommended if you find yourself in Westwood or Chicago!

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Speaking of shopping…I just barely resisted buying some boots at John Fluevog. They were too expensive, but tempting!

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After perusing the shops of Wicker Park, we went to the Lincoln Park Conservatory to get out of the cold (though I really lucked out in terms of winter in Chicago; it was in the 40s both days) and into the tropics. The lush greenery and heavy does of oxygen really lifted our spirits.

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great view outside the conservatory

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Carrie and Ryan have a great apartment in Hyde Park, a fun and diverse neighborhood south of downtown and very close to Lake Michigan.

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On Saturday night, we had a fabulous dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant called Nia. Our waiter was attentive and helpful; the food was delicious, and so was the wine. Afterward we went to a brand new comedy club in Hyde Park called The Revival. We were very entertained by some improv (both musical and theatrical) and stand-up.

And to finish off our exciting Chicago Saturday night, the four of us got a cocktail at a hip bar in Hyde Park called The Promontory. I had my new favorite – a negroni – and we all had a quintessential Chicago celebrity-politician sighting. Rahm Emanuel himself was sitting just a couple tables away. Nothing like a political figure in the midst of scandal to round out a trip the Windy City. (Fun fact: Chicago is called the Windy City because of the hot air coming from politicians, not because of the frigid air coming off the lake!)

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Liz left Sunday morning to get back to her husband and son. Carrie and Ryan took me downtown to see the skyline up close and to experience the Cloud Gate (i.e., “The Bean”) in Millennium Park, and to be surrounded by masterpieces at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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I had so much fun in Chicago! Great food, great sights, and most importantly, great friends. I hope to have the chance to return.

Thanks to Carrie and Ryan for being excellent hosts and tour guides!

 

The Wooden Spoon

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The Wooden Spoon
15171 Russell Avenue, White Rock, BC

Sean’s dad and stepmom live in South Surrey, just on the border of the town of White Rock. White Rock is a hilly seaside community that has some great restaurants with great views. We took Sean’s stepmom out for a birthday brunch at a new restaurant in town called The Wooden Spoon. While The Wooden Spoon lacks an ocean view, its trendy industrial-chic decor makes up for it!

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Chalkboards, mason jars, exposed ceilings, wooden tables, and utilitarian lighting scream “2014!”, and I love it. They serve their French-pressed coffee on a newspaper napkin and have almond milk available. Their brunch was really tasty (I had the Veg Frittata), and on a later trip, Sean and I shared the super flavourful Halibut Po’ Boy. (It was scrumptious, but I only hope that they’ll one day put some dressing on the bare chopped cabbage they serve alongside it!)

The staff have all been very friendly, and this is a place we shall surely return! If you live in Vancouver, it’s worth the drive out to White Rock. Oh and be sure to mention if it’s your birthday; we got to share their amazing Tiramisu Pancakes on the house! [No photo — eaten too quickly!]

They get 5 out of 5 too. (Is there any point in doing this rating system? I think I’ll just write about restaurants I like…so expect all future Taste Tests to be positive!)