Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

13 is going to be ugly


My child seems to have aged and hit the terrible twos at the young age of almost 20 months. What is up with that? Suddenly, the attitude is 10 feet tall and able to deflect tantrum distractions with a blink of the eye. She has started giving us dirty looks – it seems like she is saying “Why are you ruining my life?”.  She shoots me one of those looks and then screws up her face and consciously prepares to throw a tantrum.  I guess it is pay back for having the most pleasant child on Earth up until now.   I’m just amazed at how she has learned to throw around this attitude all of a sudden.


I had 2 doctor appointments today.  I went for a consult with an maternal fetal medicine guy at the request of my new (non-crazy) doctor.  I overheard his nurse telling another nurse in the office that Doc Crazy is a “nutty quack” when they were discussing trying to get my records from her.  Apparently she is notorious for ignoring record requests. Anyway, Baby Girl was not cooperating at all.  They were trying to do an echo of her heart – 2 techs and the doctor all tried to get what they needed but she would not sit still.

Then I went to the eye doctor and had my eyes dilated.  You would think with all of the medical advances they would find a better way to look at the back of your eyes.  It always gives me such a headache.


Still no DSL…still borrowing (thanks neighbor…if you ever need a cup of sugar please don’t hesitate to come calling).  It was supposed to be up yesterday and it still isn’t at almost 7pm today.

posted under family | 9 Comments »



We have arrived.   About 75% of our stuff is here (the truck was too small so we didn’t get it all…I won’t get into it because that would involve me throwing around some “I told you so”s to my wonderful hubby).  The kitchen is completely functional but mostly devoid of food.  Bathrooms and bedrooms are mostly up and running.  Still a lot to do but at least nothing critical remains in a box.  Cable was installed before the moving van arrived.  The DSL became functional in the past hour but I don’t know the password to our network so I am stealing borrowing a signal from an unsuspecting kind neighbor (why didn’t I think to check for free signals this weekend?).

We hate living among boxes but we love the house and the space.  More once Steve comes home and unlocks our signal.

posted under nashville | 11 Comments »



Does anyone else find herself having conversations (in real life) and saying “Someone was just telling me about…” then as you talking about it you realize it wasn’t really a conversation, you read it on a blog? You then are faced with either pretending you can’t remember who told you that story or tidbit of info or owning up to the fact it was a blog friend? If the person is a non-blogger, I feel like such a tool when that happens. With my husband I don’t really think about it. I find myself starting many conversations with him “One of my blog friends…”. I wonder if he thinks it is a little sad that most of my friends live inside my computer?


And my husband?  He totally rocks.  He has been busting his ass all week so that I don’t have to do any lifting – heavy or otherwise.  I pack boxes and leave them where they lie.   He comes home from work and stacks them and packs them into the cars so we can drive to the new house and then he unloads both cars once we are there.

Tomorrow (Friday) is the big move. I will be off line from tomorrow morning until sometime on Monday when they hook up our DSL at the new house. I will likely be rocking behind a stack of boxes after 4 days without my friends who live inside the computer. But you all are normally pretty quiet on the weekend so let’s keep it that way – m’kay? Guess I won’t have much excuse to not get a lot of unpacking done. Oh except this whole creating life thing – I find that is a handy dandy excuse for just about anything I don’t get done.

posted under blog | 34 Comments »

Celebrating adoption


A lovely photographer, Amy Lynn Smith, contacted me regarding the Celebrating Adoption program. (Through this program, local photographers who wish to participate offer a free sitting and proofs to a family who has adopted in the past 12 months. You are free to purchase prints or not after the sitting. You can find photographers in your area through the link above.) She is new to the program and was looking for a family touched by adoption to do a session with. Brave woman that she is thought the beautiful but squirmy and impossible to shoot 19 month old Sabrina might be perfect.

We met up at our (mostly) empty new house so there would be a big empty space for Sabrina to roam. Sabrina was not very cooperative – she is way too busy these days to sit still and if she does sit still for a second she doesn’t want to smile about it. But Amy did a great job of letting her do her own thing (she has a daughter the same age and knows it is like herding cats to get them to cooperate). We spent 2 hours coaxing and encouraging and standing on our heads to get the child to look at the camera and smile. I’m excited to see all of the results but there is a sneak preview on Amy’s site. Click here to see.


Just a little shout out for Amy. She is a stay at home mom who is passionate about photography. She works at her business part time while kids are in school and/or napping. As a mom, she is laid back about kids doing their thing so the photo shoot isn’t a stressful thing for anyone involved. She is officially launching her new site on August 1 so if you are in the Nashville area you can get some great deals on her prices before the launch. And I’m sure her prices will remain reasonable after the launch as well.

posted under nashville | 31 Comments »

The (non-crazy) doctor scoop


A flurry of packing and a very whiny child last night prevented any further details but several of you knew my appointment was yesterday and I didn’t want to keep everyone waiting.

I felt like yesterday was my first OB appointment. It was the first time I sat in a waiting room full of other pregnant women (bellies and boobs as far as the eye could see). And there were receptionists and nurses and blood takers and urine testers and doctors (plural) and cute posters on the ceiling to distract you while in stir-ups. Every person I spoke to questioned a couple of the things that Doc Crazy had done – that made me feel a little vindicated even though I know every doctor does things differently. The new (non-crazy) doc changed a few things. The ultrasound nurse was shocked that Doc Crazy wanted to sew me shut do a cerclage because she said my cervix was beautiful (made me blush…you just never know if anyone will notice those few extra moments you take to make your cervix look pretty).

They did the long ultrasound to check that all the parts are there and where they should be. Baby girl was curled up in a ball (no doubt pouting because she was hungry as usual) and wasn’t being incredibly cooperative but everything seemed to be there in the correct numbers and places.

Nothing much else to report – I liked the new (non-crazy) doctor and the staff. I think it was a good choice to change doctors and a huge thanks to Ashley for the recommendation.

Several of you asked about names…we have it narrowed down to 2. We each have a favorite. We are both pretty set on our favorites. (Oy…we haven’t even gotten into middle names yet and the 2 names don’t really go together so that isn’t a possible compromise.)

Miss Sabrina has a photo shoot today – off to make my girl clean pretty. Much easier than making momma pretty! Momma is thinking she deserves a non-fat, decaf latte this morning. Man, I miss real coffee. And beer. There is a solitary Stella Artois in the fridge mocking me and my inability to drink it.

And to anyone visiting me after I have the baby?  That basket of cookies in the last post is way more yummy and practical than balloons.  I’m just saying.

posted under Pregnancy | 17 Comments »

The verdict is in



posted under Pregnancy | 54 Comments »

Earning her keep


That’s why people used to have kids right? To help around the homestead? We thought it was high time Sabrina do something to earn those expensive gallons of milk she keeps insisting we buy for her.



We had to have a word with her when she tried to take an unauthorized break.


Before you all call Children Services, they are obviously empty. She won’t leave them alone and spends her day moving empty boxes from one place to another.

Another new favorite thing has been discovered during the move:


This little leopard print “purse”. It is actually an umbrella cover but she adores it and carries it everywhere. It is just big enough to fit a couple of legos in it so I tease her it is an evening bag – just big enough for a lipstick and ID.

posted under parenting | 19 Comments »

Leap of faith


I finally bought the first item for the baby. I’m 25 weeks pregnant today – it seemed like maybe it was time to show some faith in this pregnancy – or at least stop waiting for the worst to happen. I stopped at a consignment sale on Friday. I was looking for an outside toy or 2 for Miss Sabrina since we will finally have some outside space for her to play. I saw a very nice motorized swing for $10. It has an activity center that snaps on the tray and is gender neutral. We have no toys or accessories for a baby younger than 7 or 8 months because Sabrina wasn’t home as a newborn. So I bought Sabrina a little ride on toy for the back porch and the swing for the baby. I then immediately called Steve and asked him to reassure me that the baby is fine and I didn’t jinx us by buying a baby item. (The baby hadn’t been moving quite as much the previous couple of days leading me to worry a little.) He assured me that everything was fine. I then called my BFF for the same reassurance (since she has a uterus she seemed more qualified to reassure me that quiet days from the baby are not cause for panic). We now have our first baby item and the baby has resumed its previous schedule of playing soccer with my bladder and rugby with my spleen so I feel better on that front.

posted under Pregnancy | 14 Comments »

Packing, schmacking


Don’t tell Steve, I’m taking a little break from packing to make sure nothing exciting happened over night in blog land.

Sabrina is getting pretty good at using her spoon.  Mommy doesn’t have the same patience for it that Daddy does, so I stick with pretty neutral colored foods (like applesauce) whereas Daddy will go straight for something with tomato sauce when working on spoon skills.


We move next Friday.  Back to packing.

posted under family | 4 Comments »

Out of left field


I’ve got nothing for you today people.  We took a small load of stuff to the house last night.  I got a couple of boxes unpacked in the kitchen.  I could have taken a picture of the new washer and dryer but thought I would spare you that boredom.

When the well at Chez Smiles is dry, I tend to read other blogs with an eye toward inspiration.  This morning, the only thing that hit me was Stiletto’s post about a job interview.   It made me think of the most bizarre interview I ever had.

A small city south of the ‘Burgh was advertising for a position working with their program for homeless women.  Right up my bleeding heart alley!  (Quick aside – this was a couple of months after I started dating Steve…but I had decided before I met him to look for a job in the ‘Burgh and move there.)  I knew little about details of the program or the position prior to my arrival.  I just hoped they would pay enough that I wouldn’t become one of the homeless women.

I sat down with the director and an associate director in a little office.  They started chatting about the program, its mission, their beliefs, etc.  Within the first 5 minutes of chat, one of them threw out the word “fornicate”.  Seriously.  I’ve had some weird job interviews but I’ve never heard that word used in a job interview before.  Add to that, I had just spent the night before my interview at my boyfriend’s apartment and I was getting a little uncomfortable.  The tone of things started to turn very religious.  I don’t have a problem with that as long as religion doesn’t interfere with what is best for the clients.  (I once had a minister tell me to have my client apologize to her husband for whatever she had done to make him beat her so she could go home – so it isn’t unheard of for religion to interfere with what is best for a client.  And yes, that might have been the first and only time in my life I told a minister he was going to hell.  Okay, I didn’t say it out loud.  Or did I?)

I was used to programs receiving government funding and therefore working very hard to avoid any mention of religion.  This program used only private funding and was religion based.  Actually religion saturated.  Again, I’m not overly religious but I see therapy and case management as being mostly separate from spiritual guidance so I didn’t see any reason it couldn’t co-exist.  But one of those things that is nice to know before you show up to the interview.  Then the interview began.  The first question?  “Why do you think Jesus died on the cross for you?”  I was floored.  I have never been so thrown by an interview question in all of my life.  I stammered out an answer.  I have little memory of any question after that because I couldn’t get beyond that first question.  Before I left, I just told them that I didn’t think I was a good fit for the job.  I didn’t want to and wasn’t qualified to do the kind of work I do from a religious angle.  We shook hands and parted ways wishing each other well.

Almost a month later, I came home to a 10 minute answering machine message from the man who interviewed me.  He started out with how much they liked me, how sorry they were that we weren’t a good fit, how I had a good heart, yada yada yada.  And by the end of the message had almost talked himself into hiring me.  Nice people.  Weird interview.

posted under Misc. | 9 Comments »
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