Monday, July 30, 2012

Tickle Me Tuesday, 75th edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Tickle Me Tuesdays, where we all share what's been tickling our fancy

If you'd like to participate (and you know you do!!), here are the rules:
1. Write a short post with anywhere from one to five items that have been tickling your fancy recently. Please include pictures and links :)

2. Make sure to link back to the party in your blog post (you can grab the button or include a text link)

3. Come back here and link up your blog post!  

4. Visit some other links and HAVE FUN!

Now it's your turn! What's been tickling your fancy lately?

Screaming in the Night

It was 2:38 AM and William had started to fuss. I turned on a dim light, and started nursing in the rocking chair next to my bed.

I was sleepy. William was sleepy.

I looked down at his sweet little face, and thought of my husband for the 100th time that day. He was gone for the week, attending an international psychology conference in South Africa. Mom was there to help me with the baby; she was sound asleep in the room next door, her white noise maker blaring.

As William continued to nurse, I lazily glanced toward the crib. And then? In the span of a second: my whole body tensed, I caught my breath, and let out a scream!

There was a GIANT COCKROACH climbing up the side of the crib!

I kicked off my flip flop and whacked it twice - still screaming, and still nursing.

It lay on the floor about two feet away from me. As I tried to calm down and catch my breath (the baby now wide awake), I wondered if there were any more monsters hanging out by the crib.

Two minutes passed by. I glanced down towards the offending creature. His antennae twitched. Then it twitched again. Then it started crawling!!!

It was back from the dead!! Cue more screaming and more frantic flip flop whacking. I was almost in tears as I picked it up in the dust pan to throw it away.

All this to say two things: 
1. I'm so glad my husband is back home!
2. I sure hope I don't pass on any of my phobias to William...

So tell me.... what creeps you out to the point of screaming??

Friday, July 27, 2012

Learning the Hard Way

Just as I was feeling almost fully recovered from giving birth, an angry tooth made its' presence known in the back of my mouth.

Three months ago, I was eating my mini wheats and minding my own business when I chipped my molar. I chipped a major chunk of it off - like a quarter of the tooth - and I accidentally swallowed it with the rest of my cereal.

I was alarmed and a little concerned, but I didn't go to the dentist. I had some good reasons at the time, something about being pregnant and too busy.

My procrastination came around to bite me in the butt last week. The tooth became infected and I endured the most miserable and constant pain ever. Three straight days of popping Aleve and Tylenol ... wondering why it barely took the edge off, and just barely for an hour. The pain radiated through my mouth and even above my left ear. It was excruciating!

I found out that I needed a root canal. And I needed it FAST because I couldn't take the pain meds they prescribed since I'm breastfeeding exclusively. The closest office that could see me the soonest was thirty miles away. Since I'm breastfeeding exclusively and haven't started pumping or using bottles yet, I had to time the visit for between feedings.

Except that the office was so far away and the procedure so long (TWO HOURS) that my mom had to interrupt the procedure so that I could feed William.

But that wasn't the worst part.

The worst part was right at first when they gave me the novocaine to numb me up. My mouth went all slack and tingly, then the dentist dug right in. Except I FELT IT!! I wasn't numb enough! I was frantically moaning and waving my arms for her to stop!

The absolute WORSTEST part (so bad that I'm making up words here!) was when she had to numb the nerve itself. A direct shot to the actual nerve. I gripped the dental hygenist's hands and screamed and cried as she did it. Worst five seconds of my life.

The bottom line here folks? Don't delay seeing a dentist. That whole root canal could have been prevented if I had had an underlying cavity filled as part of a regular visit. Sigh.

What painful life lessons have you learned recently?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dear William - One Month

Dear William,

Today you are one month old. You have grown and changed so much in these last few weeks! Just the other day, I caught myself thinking: "Awww, remember last week when he was tiny?" I already feel the Future Me missing the Baby You.

I didn't know what to expect when you came into our lives. You haven't stopped surprising us! From day one when you were lifting your little head already - to accidentally rolling over on the changing table ... you keep us on our toes! Your dad and I expected a newborn blob that cried a lot. Instead we got a happy, laid-back baby with charming facial expressions!

You will forever be the boy who made us parents. You've taught us so much already...

I didn't know I could survive on such little sleep.
I didn't know that breast feeding could be so wonderful.
I didn't know that getting peed on wasn't really so bad.
I didn't know just how awesome my mom was (and still is.)
I didn't know how easy it was to take one hundred pictures in six minutes.
I didn't know I could worry so much.
I didn't know that having you would make me love your dad even more.
I didn't know that I could love someone this tiny so very, very, very much!

It's only been a month, and you've already stolen our hearts!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I'm Back!

It was truly lovely to take a break from posting this past month. (Thanks to all of my fabulous guest bloggers!)

I'm kind of excited to be back in blogging mode once again! I've missed you all, I really have :) I hope to be bringing you snippets of my life, fun and creative finds, the odd recipe or two, and maybe even some tales from the classroom.

But for now, I have some announcements (insert microphone tapping here):

1. Tickle Me Tuesday will be back next Tuesday, July 31st. Mark your bloggy calendars and link up some favorite finds!

2. I may not be posting every day. It's a lot of pressure (I know many of you understand :)

3. August sponsorships are now available. If you want to spread the word about your business or your blog, see here. I'd love to promote you!

4. I feel so out of the loop! Did I miss a great post you wrote? If so, link up in the comments and I'll be sure to drop by!

Monday, July 23, 2012

New Mom Advice by A Life of Our Own

While I'm spending time with the little guy, my bloggy friends have generously agreed to write guest posts for me! Hope you enjoy!

Hi, all. I'm Venassa and I'm super excited to be blogging at Yes Teacher today. I don't do this very often, so I'm a little nervous. I promise I'm not sitting here trying to picture the audience, you guys, in your underwear though. I'm not that nervous, okay?

So like I said, I'm Venassa. I blog over at A Life of Our Own, cause it's just me and my little girl all on our own. Kind of. I'm in my mid-twenties and the mother of a 9 month old baby girl. You would think  nine months would give me lots of insight into motherhood, but who I am kidding - I still know next to nothing. Still, I'll try to share with you a few things I have learned. And not your cliched 'sleep when she sleeps' kind of advice, although I definitely followed that one to the best of my ability.

A) Lose All Expectations
I can't stress this one enough. There are a few things you can count on - like sleep loss and dirty diapers, but not much else.
I went to the hospital in labor expecting a natural birth, actually wanted a c-section, and ended up having a surprise C-section after being in labor for hours. I expected to breast feed. My baby wasn't having it. I expected to never feel well-rested again, but it does happen. There are weeks where my daughter will sleep amazingly, and boom - all of a sudden we're waking up 2-3 times a night for two weeks, for seemingly no reason at all.
I've learned to always expect the worst. Call me a pessimist, but it means things usually go better than expected.

B) Have a Mom Friend
Or a nurse friend, or a mom of your own, either way have someone you can call over every little freak out. When I'm particularly confused, frustrated, scared or just plain worried about something my daughter does, I always call my Mom first. If she doesn't know what to do, she knows where to send me to find out. It also helps to have someone to vent to.

My baby hates to eat. Yeah, I find it strange, too. But it's nice to have someone to call and complain to when there's sweet potatoes on the ceiling, in your eye, and the baby has yet to swallow a bite. Babies are weird. I'm told they need to learn how to eat.

C) Take Some Mommy Time
I, and so many others, have the hardest time with this. I feel so guilty leaving my daughter with a babysitter, unless I'm doing something necessary like working. But it's so important to have some 'you' time every now and then. A time to recharge, feel like a person again, and not just a mom. Just be sure to leave the little one with someone you'd trust with your life, because this little person is your life, and you can't relax if you're worrying about the baby.

And of course, soak up all the sleep you can, all the cuddles you can, and learn to love having food everywhere and anywhere. And whatever you do, don't help them learn how to crawl. It's cute for the first two days but after that it's all bumped heads and drool soaked everything. It's just a mess.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Truth by Geeky and Sassy

While I'm in "baby mode," some lovely bloggers will be stepping in to guest post for me! (Be sure to leave them some love!) I'll be popping in here and there to share sporadic baby updates with you :). In the meantime, enjoy!!

Why does everything seem to happen in the morning over coffee?  This time it was with my husband.

I'm not sure what causes my feelings of inadequacy in our marriage.  Maybe it's
the baby belly nearly 2 years after having my son,
the fact that I no longer work outside of the home,
the piles of laundry that sit in our basement family room waiting to be folded,
the lies I'm listening to and allowing to define me.  

These lies tell me I need to control things.

Let me set up the story for you.  Dishes clanked into the dishwasher as my husband helped me get some of the daily chores done so I could head outside with the kids that morning without worrying.  I was sweeping the floors for the 50th time in 3 days....My kids began fighting and the anxiety swept into the kitchen like a spring storm and my heart began to beat faster.  

Then came in my need to control.  

Controlling the timing of my husband responding to the kids "now"!  When it's not in my timing it's wrong.

I compare.  Knowing deep down I shouldn't, I still go there.  The place where I began questioning my abilities as a wife and mother and the mood changed from teamwork of getting the chores done to "I'm not good enough".

I need to combat those lies with the Truth.  God's Truth.

I am beautifully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139)
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8)
Be anxious for nothing but in everything with prayer and petition bring your requests to God and the God of all truth will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4)

These are not just words.  They are truths we who follow and trust in Jesus can know are true.  

I hope you find time every day to spend time with the God of the Universe who loves and knows you intimately.  He knows the lies you believe and desires to give you the Truth and Peace....we just need to ask.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Proposal Story by Snap, Crackle, Pop

Hello, happy Yes Teacher Crafts readers! I’m Jaclyn, filling in for our lovely host Sarah as she is away on maternity leave.

I make jewelry over at Jac & Elsie and blog at Snap, Crackle, Pop. I also have a temporary blog with the oh-so-creative name Engaged: The Blog over at my and my fiance’s wedding website. I share this only because, well, this is the story of how I got engaged, and it seemed relevant.

So stop by any of the above links and say hello! In the meantime ...

* * *

So a few weeks ago, I’m at the gynecologist. (Don’t you just love a story that starts that way?) As the nurse is going through my files, she sees that my new emergency contact person is listed as my fiance.

“Oh, you’re engaged! When did it happen?”

“A few weeks ago,” I told her.

“How did he do it?”

“He waited until I got home from work one Sunday. He came over and dropped to a knee.”

“Oh … ?”

And the lack of words in her trailed off “Oh” was the loudest pause ever.

My fiance did not write of his love with a dirigible. He did not hide a ring in a dessert or ask his best friend to hide in the bushes and take pictures (though, I recently found out, he considered it).

Instead, he walked in my apartment, tripped over his own feet because he didn’t want to turn his back to me in case I’d see the bulge of the ring box in his back pocket, turned red, sweat up a storm and shook like a freezing baby before he got on his knee and said, using my full name, “Will you be my wife?”

It was exactly the way it was supposed to be, even if he did have a ring in his pocket back on Valentine’s Day to ask me over dinner. (He chickened out. His words.) When we got drunk at my friend’s Mexico wedding a few days later and I told him, “We should go ring shopping when we get back,” he agreed. He did not say that he had left a temporary ring in the car back at the airport in Indianapolis. (Again, he chickened out.)

There was no grand plan, no grand scheme. When he woke up that Sunday morning, I don’t think he told himself, “I’m going to propose today.” He just did it.

I’m not sure where society gets off thinking a proposal needs to be some crazy, grand gesture. I’m quite glad he never asked over Valentine’s Day, in fact, because I wouldn’t want some strangers intruding in on our moment.

Instead, when he dropped to his knee and pulled out the box, I swore. When he asked me to be his wife, I clapped my hands to my mouth and said “OK!!” We hugged. I asked, “Oh my gosh, are you sure???” because I am insane. We hugged some more. I said, “Wait, there was a ring. Where’d it go?” Because in my utter happiness, I had forgotten all about that silly piece of jewelry (which, by the way, happens to be perfect -- we went shopping together and I picked four favorites for him to choose from. He unknowingly surprised me with my favorite of the four).

Then we sat on the couch, finished a bottle of champagne I had in the fridge, and reveled in the fact that we had a secret no one else on the planet knew about.

So, Ms. Gynecological nurse? You can bite me. Because my proposal rocked.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I don't know how people have babies without having family around to help out... We've been extremely blessed to have both sets of parents in town to help us, despite the fact that they live several states away! My folks are staying for a month, and my in-laws came for a week at the beginning, and they'll come again in August for a week.

They've been keeping my house in order, and watching the baby while I sneak in a nap here and there. William pays them in cuddles, coos, and general cuteness!

Everyone has to share the baby!! :)

My in-laws, loving on William

Mom helps me with his first bath (I was surprised by the camera - haha!)

My sister visited us for a few days. Don't you just love the blanket she made?

I'm also extremely blessed to have Max home for the summer - he's a grad student and can do most of his work from home!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Road Trip Tips by Beth of Dot in the CIty

Greetings, Yes, Teacher readers! I'm thrilled Sarah is having me join y'all today. My name is Beth and I blog over at dot in the city about everything from faith to food along with thrifty finds, DIY projects and more.
I also love to travel. Earlier this summer, we took a rather long road trip covering over 4300 miles in the United States. We saw family and friends across the country. We hadn't done a road trip that kept us on the road for more than a few days, so this one taught us a lot. I wanted to share a few tips for road trip  adventures and I hope you find them helpful on your next road trip.
A few ideas on what to eat:

  • Bring a variety of snacks from things you like to those you rarely eat
  • Try healthy and crunchy snacks like carrots or apples
  • Trail mix is one of my favorite road trip snacks, along with string cheese

A few suggestions on what to listen to:

  • Audiobooks pass the time well since they're long
  • Podcasts 
  • Mix cds or at least a variety of the types of cds 

As time allows during travel, use the road trip as an excuse to meet blog friends in real life. I was fortunate enough to meet up with four other bloggers while we traveled: Laura of Along for the Ride, Christa of C. Jane Create, Sandy of Sandy a la Mode and Mandy of Mandipidy!
Find the free stuff! It pays to do your homework while planning a trip, but sometimes you're lucky enough to stumble upon free stuff too. When we were in Breckenridge for the day, we happened upon free gondola rides up the mountain. It wasn't something we had budgeted time-wise, but we couldn't pass up a chance to ride a gondola in the Rockies!
Map out your rest stops and snacks; you can do this on the go from your smartphone or ahead of time online. If you don't eat fast food much, this can be a great excuse to try those chains that are not near where you live. We stopped at Sonic, Caribou Coffee and DQ Chill 'n Grill since we don't have those nearby.

Sarah, thank you for having me on your fantastic blog today. Congratulations to you and your husband on becoming parents! I can't wait to hear more about sweet William as he grows!

Monday, July 16, 2012

12 Things in 2012 by Little Gosh

While I'm spending time with the little guy, my bloggy friends have generously agreed to write guest posts for me! Hope you enjoy!

If you can read this through the magic that is the world wide web, Sarah is a wish-granter. You see, I don’t usually write over here seeing as I have nothing to do with this blog other than being a fan of Tickle Me Tuesdays and all things Sarah has in her shop.

Let me explain. My name is Julie and I blog over at Little Gosh. In the beginning of the year I made a list of 12 things. These are projects I wanted to tackle in 2012. Here is my complete list:

1. Deepen my relationship with Christ
2. Lose weight
3. Paint and do some at least five DYI projects around my house
4. Improve my cooking
5. Learn to sew
6. Get my Education specialist degree (almost there!)
7. Submit my writing for a blog as a guest blogger
8. Cut off animal products
9. Set a workout routine- and stick to it!
10-Take more pictures (of pretty much everything)
11-Volunteer somewhere
12-Learn to manage save money

See number 7? It was actually supposed to say ‘have my writing posted in a blog as a guest blogger’. But that would be beyond my control, and I’m just all afraid of not meeting my goals like that. But when Sarah asked for volunteers to help her during her maternity leave, I jumped on the opportunity. So today I get to cross something off that list, and it feels great!

How about you? Do you have any goals you are working on accomplishing?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Burrito Casserole by Modeste Musings

While I'm spending time with the little guy, my bloggy friends have generously agreed to write guest posts for me! Hope you enjoy!

Why hello there, dear readers of Yes, Teacher!  My name is Rach, and I blog over at  
Modeste Musings.  

I am super stoked to be blogsitting for Sarah today as she cares for her sweet little one.  Sarah is one of the most supportive people I've met since I started blogging.  (She's also a special ed teacher like crazies gotta stick together!)  She's been a huge encouragement to me, but that's not news to any of you who stop by here on a regular basis.  

Now on to the good stuff. 

I am currently blissfully entrenched in my summer vacation, and for me, that means a couple of things...1. having friends over spontaneously (I'm really working on that one) and 2. frantically stocking the freezer and pantry for busy months ahead (and for feeding said houseguests).

Today I'm going to share with you one of my favorite go-to can make it in serious bulk for the freezer or for a friend in need, or just to fill many many mouths without too much fuss.  And just to sweeten the deal, it involves ingredients you probably already have in your cabinets somewhere.  That right there is a win-win-win.

We call this Burrito Casserole, although I secretly call it a messy scoop of Mexican heaven.

Ok, start by grabbing this stuff out of the pantry.

A can of refried beans, a can of green chiles if you like them, about 30 oz of tomato sauce, and a jar of salsa.

You'll also need a bunch of small soft tortillas...15 to 20?  I used what I had left in the fridge.

Start by browning 1.5-2 pounds of ground beef.  And toss in a healthy pinch of the following...salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, Italian seasoning.

When your meat is browned, drain off most of the grease and mix in about half of your jar of tomato sauce (15 oz or so).  We're not measuring stuff here, folks.  That's just not how I roll in the summer.  Let 'er simmer while you work on the next step.

Open your can of refried beans and start smearing a spoonful down the center of each tortilla.  I start lining them up in my baking dish as I go.  *pssst...I'm using a stoneware 9x13, so I didn't grease it...this may not have been the wisest choice.  If you're using a foil pan (no dishes--holla!) or a glass pan, go ahead and grease that puppy up).

Soon you'll have this.  Just squeeze them in...and tuck a few on the sides if there's room.

Oh, and if you're into that sorta thing, toss a can of green chiles in with the meat.  If you like it hot, go ahead and add fancy things like jalapenos or hot sauce.  Now is also a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Ok, now it's time to smear a spoonful of meat down the center of each tortilla, right on top of the refried beans.  

Roll them up one by one and lay them in the baking dish.

Just squish them all together until you've filled all your tortillas and used up your meat mixture.

And now we layer like a big messy lasagna...

First up, sour cream.  I used what I had, which happened to be about 2 cups, but let's face it, more is always better when it comes to sour cream.

Next, the rest of your jar of tomato sauce (about 15 oz, but again, more would be fine!)

And the jar of salsa...

And now the cheese....again, use what you have, but use at least 16 oz total.  I use half mozz and half cheddar.

Put a loose layer of foil over your dish and pop it in the oven for an hour.  You can take the foil off for the last 10 minutes or so to get it brown and crispy on top if you like.

And wa-lah!

No, I don't have any fancy plated pictures of this for 2 reasons...First of all, this goopiness is best eaten in all its glory in a bowl.  And secondly, this is family cooking, people...there's no time for plating!  Dig in!

Now if you really want to crazy it up, you can buy the really deep foil baking dishes and you can double-layer everything.  If you try that, you won't be able to fill your tortillas as much so you have room to stack it all.  And if you're feeling superduper intelligent, buy enough ingredients to make 3 or 4 dishes for the freezer and get your hubby to do an assembly line with you to put them all together.  Then you can chuckle to yourself with glee on 4 separate occasions as dinner practically makes itself.  I love it when that happens.

Thanks so much, Sarah, for letting me hijack your blog today! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Life in Australia by Keep On Keeping On

While I'm spending time with the little guy, my bloggy friends have generously agreed to write guest posts for me! Hope you enjoy!

Hello all! I'm Sarah and I blog over at Keep On Keeping On. I like The Hunger Games, vintage, and all things owl. :) I live in Australia, with my parents, and little sister, and dog.


Australia. The land where dreams are born, where camels run wild, and it's hot during the day and freezing at night. Where as you cross the vast expanse you hit ocean, desert, and snow in the same continent. This is the country I call home, the place of my own. Australia, say hello to the blogging world. Blogging world, say hello the Australia.

Here, surprisingly, sheep and cattle roam (relatively) free. The sun beats fiercely down on you in summer, and it's not much better in winter. You would have seen the pictures of Sydney, idyllic, and well populated. That's not my Australia. My Australia is the desert, the vast landscape of nothing. I've only been to Sydney once.

Nullabor plains

Welcome to Australia! I've traveled the Nullabor (treeless plain) over 5 times. There's a stretch of straight road that runs just a bit over 90 miles long. It gets boring after a while, with only your family. There's the Great Australian Bight, where you can watch whales migrate. The Caiguna blowhole where it, literally, blows cool air into your face. (In the middle of the desert, mind you. Where temperatures soar to 50 degrees Celsius. It's awesome, except for the amount of flies around.)

Great Australian Bight

Flies bombard you from every direction. Summer is quite horrid, coz you're hot and sticky, and those stupid flies just won't leave you alone.

flies in Oz

If you haven't already realized, Oz is the green-and-gold country. Cricket is the main atraction in summer, AFL in winter. Some people also play rugby (Kiwis, and Saffa's), soccer (hardcore men, and soccer mums... oh the horror!), netball (girls who like wearing short skirts and ripping eyes out), and basketball (men with amazing physical strength)

Cheering on our fav sports teams.
Australia is the land of "G'day's!", mates, and bangers and mash (sausages and mash potato). The cultural diversity is wide. In one city there are Asians, Europeans, Africans, Kiwis, Aboriginies, and Australians. But as the famous song goes "We are one, and we are many!" And we are! This is only part of my Australia. Come and visit. I'd be more than happy to share it with you. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Mama Skills

New skills I've developed as a Mama:

-holding someone with a wobbly head
-eating a meal in 6 minutes flat (although being a teacher gave me practice for this!)
-knowing what's on TV at any given time during the day and night
-making funny faces
-doing things one-handed
-surviving on an hour of sleep at a time