Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

Embarrassing personal disclosure


Isn’t that what my blog is for?  Maybe I wasn’t ready to return to work today.  Steve tried to talk me into staying home because my temp was down but not quite gone.  But I insisted I felt fine so I went to work.  About 2 hours after I got there, I realized I forgot to put on a bra this morning.  I’m not well endowed and was wearing a baggy sweater so no one else noticed I am sure but I got very self-concious when I realized this oversight.  I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten it before – even in my younger days of staying out until all hours and going to work the next morning still a little drunk.  Weird.

I’ll follow that up with the nobody-cares-but-it-is-my-blog-so-I’ll-tell-you-anyway news.  You know those stupid cards all grocery stores force you to sign up for in order to receive the best prices?  Well our grocery store ties it to money off of gas.  I hadn’t cashed the points in in awhile so today I filled up my tank for $0.33 a gallon!  WOOHOO! A tank of gas for $5 – doesn’t get much better than that in my world.  Heh.



Steve just sent me a link to a you tube video that he thought was hysterical.  I’m torn…it’s funny but I feel bad for laughing.  If you don’t like cats, you’ll especially like it. (No cats are harmed…it’s not gross in any way.)  Click here and tell me what you think.

My baby is growing up


I’m home today to finish my recuperation from whatever evil bug Steve gave me. My fever is down but not gone (when I said I didn’t have one yesterday, I was delirious) and I’m not quite as achy and cranky.  I’m actually hungry right now so that is a good sign.

It’s snowing today.  Angus loves the snow almost as much as he loves playing ball.  I took a couple of quick photos of him this morning playing in the snow.  They aren’t great because I was in my bathrobe and didn’t want to leave the porch.  So for lack of anything more interesting to blog about (do you really want to hear more about my flu symptoms or our second try at nursery painting?), I give you my baby then and now.

angusinsnowsmaller.jpg   Winter of 2004

dsc01444.JPG Today.

In other news, I’ve added a few links to my blogroll.  I’ve been lazy and only updating my bloglines feed lately.  I’m sure I’ve forgotten some people but I’m feverish so give me a break.  Also, I’ve been seeing some great SBP gifts posted.  You guys give great gifts!  You saw my great SBP gift a few posts ago.  The woman who has the site the gifts were sent from has the same name as someone involved in our exchange so I thought I knew who my SBP was.  Nope.  Not the same person.  Please don’t point out that I do the matches and therefore should know who my pal is.  For some reason, matching everyone up gets me frazzled and I end up forgetting who my pal is the moment after I send out the emails.  Also, my SBP just emailed me – no she doesn’t have a taggie blanket yet – I keep meaning to order one but haven’t done it.

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Back in the Saddle Again**


I received word last night that we are back in family court as of 1/19 and assigned to a social worker. Word is they are trying to get interviews done “ASAP”. Let’s hope something finally goes our way.

Today I feel like dog poop on the bottom of someone’s shoe. Steve gave me whatever he had yesterday. I have a pounding headache, achey, can’t get warm and exhausted. No fever so I’m not sure what’s up – I usually have fever with the flu. Some kind of bug and I hope it passes through me as quickly as it did Steve. He’s starting to feel better already. So I’m heading back to my couch and blanket.

**I know that could have a lot of references. I was thinking of AC/DC when I wrote it but the more I think about the more I think it was Aerosmith. I’m notoriously bad at remembering who sings what but it sounds like Steven Tyler screeching in my head when I think about it.

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Snowy Sunday


It’s snowing and quiet here today.  Steve is sick.  The dog is bored.  I’m wrapped up in blankets watching really bad movies.  There is no football to watch.  I spent more than I should have at Target yesterday so even if it wasn’t snowing I couldn’t go shopping.  Speaking of Target, ours was having a lot of clearance sales if anyone else out there is bored today.  I picked up 4 pairs of shoes for Sabrina for only $2 and $3 dollars each.  I also got her a Steelers jersey (50% off) and a little pink cheerleaders outfit (75% off) for next football season (surely she will be home by NEXT football season, right?!?).

Other than that, I’ve got nothing today people.  Sorry.  I did list the adoption marble magnets on E-bay – Russia, China, and Guatemala.  Check here if you are interested.  I know, I know, after putting up such a fight over giving out the listing for my earrings I am shamelessly plugging the magnets.  I figured this is the target audience for the magnets and they are fun and inexpensive so I would put it out there for you all.  Again, no pity bids!  And if anyone has special requests, I can make more.

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Most of us have heard the California recently proposed a bill to make spanking a child under 4 illegal.

If you want to get a group of parents engaged in a hot and heavy debate, you need only bring up the spanking issue.  Everyone has an opinion and many are quite passionate about those opinions. I’m incredibly opinionated about a great many things and I generally share those opinions freely when asked – and sometimes without being asked.  But the spanking issue is one that I’m less clear on.

First let me say that when I say spanking I’m thinking of the occasional swat to the butt for misbehavior.  I’m not talking about it being used as a regular form of discipline.  I don’t think there are a large number of people parenting that way these days.  Yes they do exist but those aren’t the folks I am thinking of when I talk about this.  People who spank their children out of anger or in a violent manner are in another category completely and on that I am very clear how I feel.  Let’s just assume we are talking about people who spank occasionally and/or as a last resort.

Personally?  I was spanked a handful of times as a child and turned out okay.  It wasn’t something my parents used often – it was a last resort kind of thing.  We don’t plan on spanking Sabrina.  But I’ve learned over the years to never say never.  I don’t judge parents who choose to use spanking occasionally.

There was an incident I’ll never forget.  I commented on someone else’s post on spanking with it – although I fudged and said it was my nephew to simplify the story.  The real story is this:  I was working in a domestic violence shelter.  The shelter sat on the corner of a busy intersection.  We had 2 young (ages 3 & 4) siblings in the shelter one weekend.  I heard horns and yells coming from the intersection.  None of the moms paid any attention but I had a bad feeling.  I went to the door and saw the little boys playing in the intersection.  Mom wasn’t paying attention and they had wandered out.  My heart stopped as I ran for the boys.  I grabbed them both out of the road and carried them into the yard.  I almost spanked the older one as I was telling them they couldn’t go outside without a grown up.  I almost spanked him out of fear.  I had all of these images of what could have happened and I knew he didn’t grasp the gravity of the situation as he laughed up at me.  I wanted him to understand.  I wanted him to be scared.  The only thing that stopped me was the he wasn’t my child and I was there in a professional capacity.  At that moment, I knew that I could never judge a parent for spanking a child in some situations.

Honestly, that one incident was enough to put me on the fence about spanking.  I don’t think it is the best way to parent but I totally get how it can happen.  So back to the proposed bill in California.  I am against it.  It actually makes me a little angry.  I am tired of the government legislating private issues.  I am tired of people handing away their freedoms and rights.  I’m all for stopping abusive parents but I don’t want to see a mom who swats her child mid-tantrum arrested at Target.  Yes, I would like to see her find a different way to deal with it but to make it illegal?  That baffles me.  And what about finger slapping?  Does that fall under this proposed law?  The parent who lightly slaps the child’s fingers for grabbing for something hot or something sharp – are they going to be arrested too?  Where do you draw the line?  And what comes next?

Okay, I’ve had my say – now you have yours.  Comment away!  Talk about the law or your views on spanking or whatever else is on your mind.  Debate is always welcome as long as it is respectful.

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I got mail!



Am I the only one who didn’t know we had someone with such a cool web store in our midst?  I got these adorable bloomers and personalized pacifier clip in the mail today from my SBP!  Thank you Pal!  You rock!  She included a card with her website on it.  I’ve visited the site before I just had no idea it was connected with one of our own.  If you want to check it out, click here.

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8 – the temperature this morning
4 – the number of times I hit my snooze alarm this morning
10 – the number of minutes Steve spent scraping my windows (thank you honey)
23 – the speed at which the person in front of me was driving while I was cursing him
6 – the number of people who stopped on my way into the building to tell me the temperature and complain how cold it is
2 – the number of cups of coffee I had to consume to feel warm again
3 – the number of meetings I have to endure today
7.5 – the number of hours until I can go home and start my weekend
0 –  the number of updates I’ve received from my agency regarding whether or not we were resubmitted to family court last Friday
19 – the number of days until I see Sabrina again

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Memo and More Random Ramblings


** Memo to Throat-Clearer-Guy:
First off, thank you so much for choosing to sit next to me.  Secondly, I know you were trying to be less gross by only putting a medium amount of effort into your throat clearing through out our 90 minute meeting.  But there is a point at which, I would rather you just do one big loud phlegmy disgusting throat clear than listen to the constant non-effective still somewhat gross throat clearing.  Just commit, do it, and get it over with.  Or better yet?  Get up, excuse yourself, walk across the hall to the men’s room and take care of your throat issues. 
Seriously people – if you are sick?  Stay home.  I don’t want your germs.
Thank you,
The Enchanted Girl Next to You

**A woman approached me at a meeting this morning.  She wanted to say she was sorry to hear about my dad.  She has lost both of her parents and said she understands how it changes your place in the world when you lose a parent.  She referenced a scene from Grey’s Anatomy last week – when Christina was talking to George about the club.  The woman said that resonated with her because it is truly something you can’t fathom until it happens.  I had trouble accepting some of the condolences offered early on – they just made me cry.  But I really appreciate what this woman had to say this morning.  She didn’t try to rush through it because it was an awkward topic.  She wasn’t uncomfortable about it.  It was a nice, short, heart-felt conversation.  I felt comforted and understood.  That’s a rare thing.    

*  Last night as I was leaving work, it was snowing that perfect snow – big fat fluffy flakes.  It was snowing pretty hard but not sticking much because it was just barely cold enough for snow.  I stood in the middle of our parking lot looking up at the wonderful flakes falling.  They were sticking to my eyelashes and hair.  It was beautiful.  I even had the “A Few of my Favorite Things” going through my head – I had a real moment going.  Then a moron in a Hyundai almost ran me over.  Or maybe I was the moron for standing in the middle of the parking lot to watch the snow.  Regardless, it ruined my moment. 

*  Three weeks from yesterday I will be back in Guatemala.  I will have Sabrina in my arms in 3 weeks.  The next thought that immediately follows that is in 3 weeks and 4 days I will have to leave her again for 3 months but let’s not go there today.  I will be enjoying black bean paste, fruit, and heavenly coffee for breakfast while I enjoy my daughter’s and my mother’s company.

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The road to Lane Bryant is paved with the best of intentions


I sat at my desk this morning virtuously eating my banana and drinking my organic tea (it was a yummy Christmas gift…I don’t necessarily buy into the whole organic thing but that is another post).  I was patting myself on the back for remembering to grab the banana on my way out this morning so I wouldn’t be forced to forage in the vending machine for something to eat for breakfast.  I was also smug in my knowledge that I spent the time last night to make my lunch: a beautiful salad with pecans, raspberries, feta and left over chicken.  I also used a new dressing recipe for my salad – a Thai dressing with lime, soy sauce, honey, fresh basil and anchovy paste.  AND I wore a pair of pants to work today that I haven’t been able to wear for a year.  Yeah me. 

Then I hear it.  The little voice of peanut M&Ms in my desk.  They are calling me.  “Michelle…Michelle…don’t forget about us.”  I ignore them.  I am healthy with my banana, organic tea, salad for lunch, and fitting into pants I haven’t worn in a year.  But the little voice keeps calling me “Michelle we would taste way better than that banana”.  Nope, I don’t hear you, you evil little M&Ms.  “Michelle, we won’t hurt you.  One little package of us isn’t that big of a deal.”  Shut up, shut up, shut up!  I don’t want you!  I am perfectly happy with my banana and organic tea. 

I held out for all of an hour.  I finally ate them just so I could think about something other than the fact they were in my desk drawer.  Call me weak.  Say I have no will power.  But just remember, in order for them to be in my desk this morning, I must have bought them at some point and NOT eaten them.  And boy oh boy did they taste good this morning.

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