Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

It’s done


The house is no longer ours.  It is a huge relief followed by some sadness.  I can’t even begin to describe the stress of the past week – selling a house from 600 miles away is not for the high strung (or the low strung with extra hormones surging around).  If we didn’t have family in the area to take care of a few last minute details I don’t know what we would have done.  And my poor realtor earned her commission on this one – between all of the problems that have cropped up and her permanently stressed out pregnant client.

I’m relieved because financially supporting 2 households was killing us.  Also because we don’t have to worry about anything happening to the house if there is a storm or other natural type disaster.  But sad because it was our home.  We planned to raise our family there.  It physically represented a lot of our dreams for the future.  But things change, life keeps moving, and dreams get adjusted.

My dream right now?  A stiff drink. But since I can’t have that, my dream is saving some money in the bank again and having my little family together under whatever roof we land here in our new city.  Mostly?  I want roots again.

posted under Misc. | 20 Comments »

Most wonderful time of the year


Because I hate to end the day on a crabby note…the bright spot in my day:  I found a new crack dealer Girl Scout Representative.  She met me this morning and delivered some happiness in the form of Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs.


posted under food | 18 Comments »

Chest Pains


I am going to have a freaking heart attack.  We are supposed to close on the house tomorrow and everything that could go wrong today has – starting with but not limited to our bank refusing to release the funds unless we appeared personally (in Pittsburgh!).  In 18 hours this should be over.  Hopefully my head doesn’t explode before that.

posted under Misc. | 14 Comments »

I’m just saying


First, I moved 500 miles south for this?



And second, if those of you who voted for burning my shirt in the previous post would like to nominate me for a visit and $5000 wardrobe makeover from Clinton and Stacey, I will gladly give up the shirt when they hand over the Visa with my name on it.

posted under nashville | 15 Comments »

Random crap


We are supposed to close on our house on Friday. Cross your fingers the sale goes through. We’ve been signing and notarizing and overnighting documents this week – felt like old times but no one had to sign perfectly legibly. And I don’t have to get the secretary of state or foreign consulate involved.


Sabrina is obsessed with puppies. She calls anything that isn’t mommy or daddy a puppy (and all puppies say meow) but real puppies get her all excited. (Jamie – she is in heaven with the Edie photos on your blog.) She got a stuffed puppy for Christmas and discovered it again last week. It has been with her constantly. Of course every time I try to snap a photo I get the back of her head so this on is the best I could do.


We can’t let her sleep with it because she will play with him and not go to sleep. She wakes up asking for her puppy.


I was lying in bed yesterday morning. I wasn’t fully awake yet. I felt a nerve twitch (like you get in your eye from time to time?) in my stomach. And then I realized that it wasn’t a nerve twitch – those were little kicks. Most of the other movement I feel is rather ambiguous but that was pretty clear. Freaky, weird, and way cool.


Steve is threatening to burn my favorite shirt. (Tonya don’t even comment on how many years old it is.) I don’t wear it out in public but it is so comfy I don’t want to give it up. I had a sweatshirt in slightly worse condition when we met and I did finally get rid of it. But I refuse to give up this denim shirt. Here is what he is complaining about:


The arrows of course are pointing out the holes. The next one didn’t seem like it needed an arrow. It is the other shoulder.


Who am I harming? Sabrina is too young to be embarrassed by me and I don’t leave the house in it.


Sabrina refuses to learn new words. That’s okay – she will when she is ready. She’s been stuck on the same 4 or 5 words for 6 months. But she never, ever stops talking. It is non-sense but apparently it is very important non-sense because she talks from the moment she gets up in the morning until the moment she goes to bed. And she talks LOUDLY most of the time. I love hearing her talk to her toys and herself but man I wish there was a mute button sometimes. I’ve got a headache already this morning from her yelling. I try whispering to her – that used to quiet her down – but she has caught on to my trick and continues yelling. Anyone find another way to get a little one to use a quieter voice?

posted under Misc. | 19 Comments »

Parenting tips


I got an email from Mama K today with this link to parenting advice. I thought I would share some of this wisdom with all of you.

The first one, I need to make sure my husband sees. He often makes my heart stop with his tossing of Sabrina.








Consider this my public service announcement for the month of February.

posted under humor | 16 Comments »

The name game


I’ve received some curious emails lately about whether or not we have chosen a name for our new impending bundle of joy. I’ve been coy for a couple of reasons. We do have a boy’s name picked out but then every now and then Steve will throw out the junior thing as a possibility. I don’t get the junior thing – the kid already gets his last name, is it really necessary to give him his first name too? – but I haven’t taken it off the table. I don’t think I am going to reveal the boy’s name since it is pretty much decided. I’m mean that way.

Surprisingly, we are struggling with a girl’s name. Sabrina’s name was chosen long before she was conceived. We chose it and never wavered. But this time we are having a hard time. Maybe that is because I’ve decided the baby is a boy and therefore we won’t need the girls name. If the doctor reveals it is a girl then I have additional motivation to pick one. But it has been a topic of conversation here for a couple of months. Here is the short list – feel free to tell us your favorite or add another. Our criteria is that it can’t be wildly popular (no Isabella or Gabriella or Sophia no matter how much we like them) and they can’t end in an “e” sound (-ie or -y) because our last name ends with that sound and Steve thinks it sounds weird.


Violet (Steve’s current fav)


Sawyer (unsure of how we would spell it so it was a little more feminine)

And there we are stuck. We like them all but there hasn’t been one that we instantly said “that’s it” like we did with Sabrina. We each have struck down other ideas from each other. He doesn’t get that I have certain associations with names if I know people by that name and I don’t get his like of really formal, old fashioned names.

posted under Pregnancy | 42 Comments »

Something cool


I was doing a little blog surfing while Sabrina ate her lunch today (the child can turn a piece of cheese, some peaches, and some green beans into a 45 minute meal). And after following some links, I came across this very cool necklace – proceeds benefit the family’s Guatemalan adoption. She has several cool Guatemalan themed pieces but also some representing Africa and China. Not in my budget today…but I’m keeping my eye on that necklace and wishing that family well in this uncertain time in Guatemalan adoptions. If you are looking for neat gift for yourself or a friend who has adopted – go check her site out.

posted under adoption | 6 Comments »

Baby Watch 2008


Saw my doctor, yet again, today.  She was actually pleased with some of my test results (nothing pleases the woman).  My Quad Screen results were all negative.  I did test positive for Group B Strep – some kind of bacteria that will require IV antibiotics during delivery.  The baby was bouncing all over the place during the ultrasound.  The doctor did make some effort to determine sex.  The baby wasn’t particularly cooperative.  The couple of between the leg peeks that s/he allowed didn’t reveal any boy parts…but the doctor said that sometimes the scrotum gets folded up on the abdomen  so she wasn’t confident enough to make a call since s/he wouldn’t give us a good look.

Sabrina was fascinated by the ultrasound.  She obviously had no idea what it was but she stared at the screen the entire time and giggled every time the doctor turned on the sound to hear the heartbeat.

I’m feeling good.  Still a bit tired but mostly because I haven’t been sleeping very well at night.  I think I’ve felt the baby move around a few times but then I convince myself I imagined it.  I have to say it is a very freaky feeling.

posted under Pregnancy | 18 Comments »

Faux Weiner Schnitzel


I haven’t posted a recipe in awhile. This is actually a recipe meant for veal rather than chicken but the veal is a little pricey so I’ve been making it with chicken. (Don’t you dare email me about how mean they are to the baby cows unless you have a certificate stating that those leather shoes you are wearing were made only from cows that died of old age.)

This is super easy to make and tastes great. But it does take a little time and dirties a lot of dishes.

Chicken Schnitzel

1 lb chicken breasts or tenderloins

lemon juice (like Real Lemon in a bottle)


plain bread crumbs

Kraft Parmesan Cheese (in this case it actually is better than the good cheese)

3 eggs

1 lemon

If you are using breasts, cut into several pieces (if using tenderloin, they can are already small). Place the chicken between 2 pieces of saran wrap and pound very thin with a meat tenderizer.

Set up an assembly line. A bowl with the Real Lemon juice (about 1/2 cup I would guess), a plate with flour, a bowl with egg beaten, a plate with equal parts bread crumbs and parmesan cheese – maybe 1/2 cup of each mixed together. Dip the chicken pieces in that order (lemon, flour, egg, bread crumb/cheese mix). Place them on plate and let sit for 20 – 30 minutes.

Saute the chicken in a pat of butter or oil until golden. (If you pounded it thin, the chicken inside will be done when the outside is golden.) Serve with a lemon wedge – squeeze lemon liberally all over your chicken before you eat it (trust me on this – it really adds to the flavor).

The finished product:


posted under food | 8 Comments »
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