Posts Tagged ‘self’

Hiatus + Announcements

I know that few people read this blog (and all who do are adequately informed about my personal life), but I haven’t been updating as much. Hopefully the following story illustrates my preoccupation in recent months…

I love teaching for many reasons. Today just happens to eloquently illustrate why I choose to teach eight-year-olds. They humble you & elevate you, all within the space of minutes. Not only was today my birthday, but I also announced my pregnancy to my class.

During morning announcements, our mischievous office manager wished me a “Happy 40th birthday!” (I just turned 32.) Not being age-conscious (or so I thought), I just laughed it off. One of my students, in an effort to make sure my feelings weren’t hurt, earnestly consoled me by saying, “Don’t worry, Mrs. Burchett. You don’t look a day over 35.”

I had thought of a clever way to announce my pregnancy to my students. At the end of the day, I gave them each a Dixie cup full of “baby-sized items” (baby Tootsie Roll, mini M&Ms, miniature marshmallows & a baby candy bar). I said that it was my birthday, but that I had a special message hidden in the candy for them & they’d have to use the comparing skills we’d worked on to figure out what all the items have in common to guess my secret message.

“They’re all candy.”

“They all have sugar in them.”

“You could put them in cookies to make the cookies even better.”

“They’re all foods you can’t eat until after you clear your plate.”

“They’re things you only get to eat when it’s Halloween time.”

“Every one of them is an ‘ask your mom first’ food.”

They continued on in that vein for several minutes. As it was getting close to the end of the day, I had to explain that they were all good answers, but I was looking for similarities specifically in size. We narrowed down that they were all small candies & I asked why I would have given them small, or indeed baby-sized candy.

“That’s all that would fit in the Dixie cup.”

“We’re small kids, so we should only get small candies.”

“You couldn’t afford the bigger candy bars.”

Finally, I stopped them & said, “Not only are these candies baby-sized, but something else is as well.” I pointed to my belly & looked out at the class. 5 seconds… 10… 15… At last, a girl in the back of the classroom stood up, fully outstretched her arm & pointing at me, declared (in her loudest voice), “Well, YOU. ARE. PREGNANT!” Relieved (there were, at this point, only about 30 seconds left in the school day), I smiled & admitted that yes, I was.

Now, I’ve announced my pregnancy to friends, family & colleagues, and with one notable exception, I got the best reaction from the kids. In unison, their faces filled with awe, they all started clapping & cheering – like I had just done the best magic trick & they were so proud & impressed by me.

I highly recommend making announcements like this to eight-year-olds. I do not recommend trying to be cute / subtle & asking them to infer your meaning.


Lazy or Just Caffeine-Deprived: You Decide.

I wish this post could be about the scads of amazing things that I’ve accomplished recently. Lamentably, it isn’t. I have spent the last month or so just feeling tired & lazy. This could be attributed to my attempt to (largely) give up caffeine, and if so, wow. I’ve never slept so much & accomplished so little. I am going to list things that I have done, just so I feel as though my life is not whizzing by as I nap.

  • put in extra time volunteering at all of favorite places over break (prepping for the media sale at The State, teaching new tutors for ReadingWorks & picking up extra shifts at The Little Shop for Friends of the Modesto Library)
  • started a new school year, made it through Back to School Night & successfully began a new class
  • sorted through approximately half of the things in my house that I had hoped to sort through this summer (half is better than none)
  • read more
  • watched a million episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

I really thought there’d be more on that list. Hold a hope that my energy level will rise in the near future…

Vacation Makes Me Lazy

The more time off I have, the less I seem to write. It seems incomprehensible that I make time to write when I’m busy & don’t bother when I’m free, but there you have it. I’m “a paradox, wrapped inside and enigma, wrapped inside a puzzle, that is a mystery.” Or, in more probable terms, I am lazy.

I’ve had three weeks of vacation (and yes, I do understand how lucky I am to have a teacher’s vacation schedule), and this has been my schedule:

  • spend time with my husband
  • volunteer at my local theatre
  • cook for my husband (who so often cooks for me)
  • try recipes I’ve been meaning to make for some time
  • volunteer at my local library
  • take day trips
  • spend a day with each of my sisters & my niece
  • tutor
  • sleep in
  • finish unpacking / clean the new house (this is more of a “to do” than an “already done”)
  • spend more time with my husband

All in all, I haven’t done anything life-shattering, but I have spent time with loved ones & doing things I love, so I think I’m coming out on top overall.

In 70 Minutes…

The first person who I remember from gestation on is going to turn 18. I remember her as a squalling infant & she is, very shortly, going to be a legal adult. Although I don’t put too much stock in what a certain age should feel like, I do know that this made me pause. One uncomfortable moment came when I remembered a conversation I had with her as I turned 18. She was 5 & impressed by my advanced age. She asked me how old I’d be when she turned 18 (“finally turned 18” is how she, at 5, phrased it), and I laughed and said, “Wow! 31!”

Suddenly 31 isn’t seeming so wow-worthy.

Regardless, she is beautiful, moody, bright, frustrating, gregarious, a high-school graduate & has a wicked sense of humor. Happy birthday, Lily.

Connect Four

I play this game with my husband very, very occasionally. One of the reasons why we don’t play it more often is because he feels sorry for me. Invariably, this is how our games go:

  • We begin evenly – blocking each other’s plays.
  • I think of an absolutely brilliant plan that will trap him into assisting my win.
  • He notices what I’m doing and counters it.
  • I don’t notice his counter, get disproportionately excited about how I’m going to win.
  • I lose.

I am a good strategist, adept at many games. However, something about this game just baffles me. Luckily, my husband will only play this with me infrequently, which I really appreciate. Last night, while waiting for the peanut butter cookies to come out of the oven, I talked him into a game. I was so excited that I was shaking the game as I held it. I almost had the win. Almost apologetically, he beat me yet again. Maybe next time (but probably not)!

I am…

  • wrapped in a blanket
  • always awake when my husband gets up
  • excited about the upcoming live events at The State
  • happy that a random restaurant find (Fisherman’s Galley) turned out so well (great bread, soup, fish, service)
  • contemplating tempting fate & beginning to pack for our possible impending move
  • looking for new auto insurance
  • volunteering at the library tomorrow
  • waiting until my husband leaves for work before bursting (inexplicably) into song


Ironically, being confined to my house for two weeks did NOT give me incentive to post more often. Indeed, it roughly halted all posting. I could say it was because I was focused on getting better, but it was actually because a) there’s not much to say about sitting in your house & b) I was too busy watching Glee. Here is a rough timeline of my last two weeks (post-hospital):

  • have husband help me out of bed so as not to strain abdominal muscles
  • decide shower is necessary but then wait too long & watch husband leave for work & resign self to another day on the couch
  • read an entire book
  • play computer game
  • wish people updated their blogs more
  • decide to post on own blog so as to cosmically encourage others to do so
  • realize “I ate an entire piece of toast & read another book” is not an appropriate post
  • decline to post
  • text husband about when he is going to come home
  • sigh copiously about the fact that he will be completing 8-hour workday, as per usual
  • read another book
  • text husband again (he is now x – 15 minutes closer to being home)
  • have long phone conversations with a patient mother
  • read another book

It’s been a fascinating two weeks. NOT! I feel like I regressed into the 80s to type that, but I am not going to delete it.

However, I do have some excellent news which is that we finally got a house. I think. Well, I am pretty sure. Until the key is in my hand, I won’t be positive, but conditions seem favorable. My best friend came to town yesterday (note: she fully supported my Glee addiction – validated!), and she saw it and liked it. Other than being obnoxiously large (which means my husband loves it), it is just right. It’s laid out just about perfectly. Next order of business? Finding a roommate so that their rent can be used to purchase furniture. We have 1000 sq ft of house right now, with furniture to match. That house is approximately three times the size.

So, to recap: I can put on my own pants now. We might be moving (maybe, probably, don’t want to jinx it). I wish I could sing like Mercedes on Glee. My husband is extremely patient & I love him.