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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Nickel Creek at the Fox Theater in Oakland

On Monday night, I took BART into Oakland to meet my great friend, Alicia. We had pesto pizza at a restaurant on Grand Avenue called The Star (tasty, by the way, and with veg and GF options), and then we went to The Fox Theater to see a concert!

My family are HUGE fans of Nickel Creek, a bluegrass band who were together since they were little kids until 2008. This year they came out with an album and toured together for the first time in six years. I was lucky enough to see them in Oakland with Alicia, and my parents got to see them the following night closer to where they live in San Diego (at the Balboa Theater).

I adore each member of the band — Chris Thile (mandolin), Sara Watkins (fiddle), and Sean Watkins (guitar). They all sing, as well, and make incredible harmonies. Their music ranges from true old-timey bluegrass to more contemporary folk. I love their music because all three of them, and their cool upright bass player, are really, truly talented musicians in their own right.

I’m a huge fan of Chris Thile‘s solo work and his band, the Punch Brothers. I’ve seen him/them several times! He’s quirky and a very entertaining performer, and I think he’s the bee’s knees.

One of the highlights of the show was when Nickel Creek played “When You Come Back Down“, the song that Alicia will be singing at Sean’s and my wedding as my parents walk me down the aisle! Alicia, by the way, is an outstanding vocalist, and I can’t wait for her to sing one of my dad’s and my favorite songs on the big day!

I’m not sure that this post as expressed enough my absolute obsession with Nickel Creek and anything that Chris Thile does, so hopefully this sentence will take care of that!

It makes me so happy to be back on the West Coast where there are so many fabulous music venues. My aunt and I are going to see the Brothers Comatose, a local Bay Area band, this week. Some other bands/artists I hope to see soon are: the Punch Brothers (hehe…duh), Hozier, the Milk Carton Kids, the Avett Brothers, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Hitomi Oba, Nick DePinna, and the LeBoeuf Brothers.

Any music recommendations — artists? bands? venues?