Quaranteaching: Volume 3

What’s Going on in my World

I could say a million awful things about how hard and defeating it feels to be a teacher right now.

But 1. If you’re a teacher, you already know what I’m going to say, and 2. I don’t have the energy to write it down today.

Instead, I will say this: I would not still be teaching this semester if it weren’t for my school’s leadership, my students, and their families.

Teenagers forever and ever. Amen.

Oh! And I do have a little avocado-sized thing going on in my world right now.

IT’S A BABY! I’m growing one! How bananas is that?!

(We took this picture before finding out we’re having a boy, so the bananas were unrelated to boyhood. But both my grandma and mother-in-law assumed bananas = gender announcement, which is endlessly funny to me.)

If you’re interested in baby questions, read on! If not, feel free to skip ahead to my section divider that says “end of baby questions”.

How far along are you?: 16 weeks!

When are you due? Mid-July!

How are you feeling physically?: I never got sick-sick the first trimester; just had a weird incident where a sneeze made me nauseous and I barfed from that, ha! But MAN, the second trimester is golden! My energy is back and feels ramped up, I actually look more pregnant than bloated and feel like a glowing goddess. Second trimester is where it’s at. It’ll feel like this the rest of the pregnancy, right? LOLLLL I kid.

What have you been craving?: I cannot get enough oranges or orange juice. I never drank orange juice before this, and now it is all I want. Also acceptable: Topo Chico, sour candies, veggie quesadillas. Cold things are mostly good, but strong no to ice cream.

How are you feeling emotionally?: Excited and nervous and overwhelmed when I think about registries! I’m not experiencing mood swings right now, which is a relief for me, my students, and Mr. Love Teach. I tear up every once in a while when I envision little moments with baby boy (singing lullabies, when he scrapes his knee and runs for me, when he gets his heart broken for the first time). But most of the time I’m pretty even-keeled. Except for one time at Thanksgiving when I couldn’t find my husband in the grocery store parking lot and sobbed so hard I scared both of us, whoops!

How’s Mr. Love Teach doing?: Imagine the most supportive, loving pregnancy partner you can. Now multiply that times 1,000. Now add in the world’s best foot rubber, back scratcher, feelings-understander, and food-fetcher. That’s Mr. Love Teach. He’s going to be the best dad, which makes me feel better about knowing I’m bound to miss the mark sometimes as a mom. (I know he’ll miss the mark as a dad sometimes, too. It’s just hard to imagine.) He is excited and nervous! He also looks very cute with our stroller. Have you barfed yet?

How are you feeling about being pregnant during a pandemic? Blargh. Buckle up for this one.

I honestly felt fine about being pregnant and teaching in-person until this semester. At one point a few weeks ago we had 85 cases reported from our school building, and it felt completely insulting and defeating to walk in every day knowing I was putting myself and my baby at risk.

Did I know I was trying to conceive during a pandemic? I did. Did I know our schools would stay open seemingly no matter how many cases we reported? I did not. Originally when I got pregnant I had not planned on getting the vaccine until after I gave birth (I’m very pro-vax, but there haven’t been any clinical trials with pregnant women). But now, knowing the maternal mortality rate for COVID and having no clarity from or trust in the decisions that people higher up the food chain are making for my safety, I made the choice (with my OB’s blessing) to get vaccinated. I sure hope it was the right one.

—————————end of baby questions!———————————

In other important news, my dog is still cute.

Boots loves to carry around my socks in his mouth. That morning, he was so proud of himself for securing one from my husband AND me AT THE SAME TIME!

One Great Thing I’ve Watched

I am very late to the party on this one, but Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat on Netflix is one of the most delightful watches of my whole Netflix life. Not only is Samin an actual angel on earth, but the show is gorgeously fimed and feels like you get a little 45-minute vacation in every episode. Not to mention the food! And everything I learned about cooking!

Photo by Alex Lau from this article

Do y’all have her cookbook? Should I get it?

Should I also get her overalls?

What I’m Making Right Now

When I’m not eating oranges or downing orange juice, if I feel REAL motivated, I will make Chrissy Teigen’s Vegetable Tortilla Stew from her Cravings cookbook.

I’ll warn you right now: it involves chopping.

I’ll warn you again: you will not be disappointed.

I’m a born and raised Texan, which means that if you tell people around here you have a vegetarian chili recipe, many will be like, “…….but why?” But just… TRUST ME. I would rather have this over any meat chili. Why?

1) It is unbelievably flavorful

2) It doesn’t make me feel like I immediately have to lay down and hibernate to recover after I eat it

3) If I freeze it in individual servings, I have a super easy school lunch for DAYYYYYYYS. (I also try to find school lunches that use a fork or spoon so I don’t feel like I’m eating COVID particles from my fingers.)

Would you like to make it yourself? I thought you might.

From the Mouth of Babes

On Fridays, I lead a class called Aspiring Authors where we write and talk about all things writing, reading, and publishing. Last Friday, I asked my students to write a 6-word memoir on the theme “Hindsight is 2020” for an online contest. What would they go back and tell their February of 2020 selves if they could?

One of my 7th grade students wrote this.

Brave birds still fly through fog.

I know. Incredible.

So, yeah, she’s the teacher now.

Your Self-Care Action Item 

I’ve convinced myself that I’ve found a great daily self-care practice. It’s this. You ready? It’s earth-shattering.

Once a day, I go outside, away from the school building, take my mask off, close my eyes, and drink cold water.


The woo-woo part of me says this practice is so refreshing because I’m connecting with three of the four elements: earth, wind, and water.

The science part of me says I’m just dehydrated and breathing in my own mask air all day.

Whatever it is, it feels energizing. Join me if you wanna. Tag me on the ‘gram, y’all! You’re probably dehydrated, too.

I love you. Keep flying, you brave bird.


Teach (Kelly)