Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

There is an octopus on my head!



How does it look momma? Is it me?


Maybe I look better without it?



Mission accomplished on the plane ticket.  Not only did I get it changed (Steve made the call for me) but I am actually sitting next to Steve – which wasn’t the case on our way down to Guatemala 6 weeks ago.

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We spent a quiet day at home today.  We did get out for a walk but that was mostly my attempt to get Sabrina to take a nap.  She’s still fussy, drooling, sticking everything in her mouth, not eating as much, not napping, and generally a bit crabby.  I can’t feel or see any teeth about to pop through but I can’t imagine what else it would be.  She did nap for 1/2 an hour in the stroller while we walked.

Only 11 days until Steve is here – he booked his ticket last night.  WOOHOO!  I have to change my return ticket tomorrow.  I’m struggling to find a non 800 number for Continental so that I can change it (can’t call 800#s from outside of the US).

Krista sent me a link to all of her photos from her visit – she had some great ones!  Here are a couple of Sabrina and I that I liked.




And my favorite


Can you tell she is the photographer in the family?  We all fancy ourselves pretty good at the photo thing but she seems to have the eye.

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Not much to say today. Krista left this morning – it is hard watching people leave! Sabrina has been a bit of a bear the last day and 1/2. She isn’t wanting to eat baby food – only drink bottles. I think her teething might be kicking up a notch (oh the drool). She is taking 20 minute power naps and sleeping very restlessly at night (it is now 11pm and she’s been up 3 times already). She isn’t feverish and besides being whiney due to lack of naps is acting like herself – just a bit less smiley than normal.

What? You want to take a few photos for my adoring public? Okay, I’ll be cute.


Hmmmm…tastes like chicken.


Okay, one super cute smile for everyone out in blog world. And a thank you to Tera for the pretty dress I am wearing today.


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Torch is passed


First, I haven’t thanked all of you for the wonderful, kind words about my mommy guilt post. I saw it linked and referred to a few places – it is so awesome to know that not only am I not alone but that I’m in good company! I really needed a few dozen people to tell me to get over myself so that I could stop beating myself up about it.

Remember my post about making my own baby food? I made Sabrina some plum applesause that she thought was pretty good stuff. Well I tried again. My mom brought some meat/veggie combos but she has eaten them all. So I thought I would make some mixed veggies for her. I made green beans, peas and carrots and pureed them. She has eaten them each individually and loved them but my connoction? She HATES it. The faces we get are priceless. I have a video that is too funny but posting video here is a pain so you’ll just have to imagine it. I don’t have a great photo of her faces but this is her trying to swallow some of it:


She is really sweet about it – she tries to eat it but after a few bites she starts gagging.

My sister in law, Krista (aka Aunt Lulu), is leaving in the morning. Sabrina will miss her. Not only does she think Aunt Lulu is pretty darn cool, I think she likes seeing a face other than mine during the day.  I will miss her too – shehas been a big help as well as great company.


I titled my post about passing the torch. My regular readers may recall that I received an anonymous gift a couple of months ago. I had been talking about finally feeling hopeful again because we had begun to see some movement in the adoption process. I had been feeling pretty down prior to that and having hope again was so wonderful. I never did find out who sent me this hope necklace:


But I put it on and said I wouldn’t remove it until we were out of PGN. I ended up keeping it on until we received pink. Tonight, I passed it on to another fostering mom who has had an incredibly rough process and is still stuck. I thought it was fitting that I pass on the hope. She is a strong, funny, warm and wonderful woman and I hope that this necklace brings her some luck and reminds her to hang on to the hope on those dark days when it feels like she can’t keep moving forward. So I trust that my anonymous friend will approve of me passing the hope on.

Tonight was our weekly Friday night dinner at Cafe Sky. For those who haven’t been or who remember it fondly, a photo (keeping it small because I don’t have permission to post photos of those in the picture).


Yes, sometimes I get tired of talking about the process and agencies and poop and sleep but I look forward to these dinners each week. It is a nice reminder that I am not alone in this journey or in Antigua.

And lastly this photo just because it made me laugh. Rather than disturb a long line of mommies and babies, Karen climbed under the table (Cheri and her hubby did it as well but I didn’t snap a photo of them). And no, she doesn’t drink. Ha.


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Accidental Tourists


Today, I had the pleasure of hanging out with Tera and her daughter Emma. (Krista hiked the volcano today – she said it was an awesome trip but a rather strenuous hike.) I gave them the nickel tour and shared some of the tips that Cherie had shared with me upon my arrival. No photos of our day so I’ll share some from yesterday. Yesterday, Krista and I again wandered Antigua doing some touristy things. We went to Las Capuchinas, an old convent from the 1700s.



It is apparently a popular make-out spot for teens – we felt like peeping toms a few times. We were also amused by this form of graffiti:



Then we wandered down Arch Street. We did a little shopping at Nim Pot and had dinner at Frida’s where Krista discovered that she does enjoy a good margarita (glad I can be a bad influence even as a mommy).


And finally I can’t leave you without a little Sabrina cuteness. She has improved her sitting up and now makes it seem rather effortless.


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Embassy Date



Yes, we have PINK.  June 1st – 2 weeks from tomorrow!!  Of course I am thankful to finally have a date but I am going to email the embassy to see if it can be bumped back even a day or two.  Having a Friday appointment means we can’t leave the country until Tuesday.  That is more days off than Steve would like to take from the new job…and personally I am ready to go home.  The pink slip basically says the embassy is busy and to leave them alone because they aren’t changing appointments but I’ll give it a try anyway.  Worst case scenario?  WE ARE GOING HOME!!  The date isn’t that big of a deal.

Confessions of a bad mommy


I hear moms talk about how they treasure that quiet time in the middle of the night when their babies wake up.  It is just the 2 of them.  They cuddle.  They rock.  They say they love that time.  My confession?  I don’t love it.  I need sleep to function.  Sabrina decided she had to be held between 4 and 6:30 am.  Nothing but being held would do.  I don’t find that a warm and fuzzy time of our day.  I get cranky and frustrated.  I don’t understand why she will sleep if I hold her but freak out if I try to put her down in her crib or even down in my bed with me.  (I’m not looking for an explanation – she is a baby.  I understand that.)  I get spoiled because she usually sleeps through the night.  This morning, I told her she was driving me crazy and told her to just go back to sleep.  I told her that I didn’t want to rock her – that I wanted to go back to sleep.  (Of course I did continue to rock her.)  No she doesn’t understand my words but she can hear in my tone that I’m not saying warm fuzzy mommy things.  I finally got her back to sleep and then I couldn’t sleep because I felt so guilty.  I felt so inadequate.  I hate that I get frustrated.  I hate that I can’t just look at her sweet face and forget about that fact that I am so tired I can’t see straight.  I hate that I can’t remember that this time when she is small is so short and someday I will wish she would let me rock her.  Is there a point where we give up the mommy guilt and start feeling like we are good enough for this mommy job?  Because I feel like I am failing miserably today.



We played tourists today.  It seems most of my trips out are to get water or food or other essentials so I haven’t seen much of Antigua.  Today we wandered.

La Merced


San Jerome



We went to the Textile Museum too – it gave us a better appreciation for the beautiful weavings and embroidery we see in the markets.   Then of course we wandered over to the market.  I bought a couple of Christmas gifts and Krista bought a souvenir or two.  Sabrina was pretty much a trooper through out our tourist activities.



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Water and sleep


My agua hombre showed up this morning!  Woohoo!  I don’t have to schlep water this week.  He probably thinks I am a little loco – I was way too excited to see him.  I offered to flash him each week if he keeps showing up but he either didn’t understand me or didn’t want to see the goods.

Krista let me take a little nap this morning while she hung out with Sabrina.  I feel much closer to human now.  I really don’t know what I would do if Sabrina was a newborn because I don’t function well without sleep.

All around blog world, I’ve been reading what everyone did for Mother’s Day.  To be honest, I started feeling a little sorry for myself.  My mom left me a card and gift (thanks mom!) but Steve forgot to send his card down with Krista.  I talked to Steve and my MIL on the phone…both wished me a happy M day and I got a couple of email.  But I found myself thinking “this is what I’ve waiting years for?”  There was no hoopla, no fan fare.  Not that I feel like I deserve hoopla or fan fare…I just thought that was part of being a mom on mother’s day.  Then I thought of all of the moms out there who didn’t get to spend mother’s day with their little ones or are still waiting to meet their little ones or are wondering if they will ever have little ones.  I realized that I was woken by my daughter’s cries on Mother’s Day and I got to watch her make funny faces while eating avacados and black beans and I had the joy of watching my sister in law be charmed by Sabrina – that’s really all that I needed.  Breakfast in bed would be nice…but finally having her in my arms and knowing I never have to worry that someone might change their mind about letting us adopt her – that is gift enough for me.  So my first mother’s day may have been pretty unremarkable in the celebration category…but it was pretty remarkable that I spent it in Guatemala with my daughter.  (Ummm…Steve if you are reading this, that only goes for this year.  Next year? I want hoopla – or at least a card and maybe some waffles.)

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Too tired to blog.  Sabrina decided sleep was for schmucks last night and kept mommy up from 1:30 – 4am.

Spent the afternoon yesterday enjoying Hotel Antigua.

Sabrina enjoyed the avacado and black beans.


Aunt Krista tried out the Baby Bjorn.



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