Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

I know


2 whole days.  I don’t call.  I don’t write.  Sorry.  Nothing to report.  Had an uneventful doctor’s appointment – no weight gain for the first time in recent memory, woohoo!  Otherwise, I’ve just been in a mood.  Nothing wrong – just a mood.  A mood that got stuck mid-swing.  I don’t even have any Sabrina cuteness to share.   So I’m taking a day or two off from blogging.  I’ll leave you with some Angus cuteness.


posted under Misc. | 5 Comments »

Making it home


It takes more than ice cream in the freezer to make a house a home.  I’ve been grumbling about all this crap we have schlepped around.  I figured if I hadn’t seen it in a year, I couldn’t possibly need it.  And that is partially true.  I don’t need it in a physical sense but it is amazing what it does for me emotionally to have some of my things around me again.  I didn’t realize how much I missed some of the familiar objects that were packed away in storage.  They connect me to my past and who I was before I moved 600 miles away from everything I knew and became a stay at home momma of 1.5 kids.

Everyone has different stuff that does that for them.  For some people it is mementos in a box or hope chest.  For some it is china and silver.  For some it is personal photographs.  For me, it tends to be a strange hodge podge of things.  The amazing print that was the first purchase Steve and I made together, my “Believe” sign, my framed Scottish postcards (love my coo with his tongue sticking out), and
My antique amish buggy bench purchased at a festival in my hometown that I used to attend every year:


My $15 flea market find – an old sewing machine table (with the incredibly silly portrait of our dog hanging above it which we love):


My fun and colorful daisis found a new home in the kitchen window:


And my whimsical wooden flowers purchased at the Yankee Peddler (a tradition for many of us who lived in that area of Ohio):


Admittedly, it is all just stuff.  The only things I really *need* to be at home are my husband and daughter.  But these things help me feel settled and centered more quickly.  What makes you smile and think “home” when you see it?

posted under nashville | 12 Comments »

Help a momma out?


Farrah is working on adopting a little one from Thailand.  She is selling some darling clothes at this site (including raffling off a cute outfit every Monday) – so check that out if you are interested.  She is also putting together a cookbook as a fundraiser.  She has asked if anyone out there in blog land has any yummy recipes to contribute.  Send recipes to:  adoptingmom29 at yahoo dot com (removing the spaces and at = @ dot = .)   Thanks!

posted under adoption | 1 Comment »

Sound the alarms


Nine weeks people. That is single digits! 9 weeks! I am 30 weeks pregnant and they want to induce me at 39 weeks so that means I only have 9 weeks of being a mom to 1 child left. That means I only have 9 weeks to get ready for Tessa’s arrival. (Of course that means I still have 9 long weeks of feeling like a beached whale.)

Ask me what I’ve done to prepare. Go ahead, ask. N-O-T-H-I-N-G! I purchased a swing at a consignment sale a month or two ago. Other than that, this child has nothing. No car seat. No bassinet. No bouncy seat. No onesies. No crib. No nothing. My BFF is coming to visit this weekend and bringing me some goodies left over from her little one so that might fill some of the gaps in my lack of preparedness.  But I read blogs and visit message boards – other ladies (some who aren’t as far along as I am) have nursery themes and curtains and bedding that coordinate.  Admittedly, even when I can say things are prepared Tessa won’t have those things because I’m not a nursery theme kind of gal but still!  Gah!

Okay, you may all return to your regularly scheduled day now.  This was a test of the freaked out pregnant woman network.  In the even of a real meltdown, please send chocolate and ice cream and speak in soothing tones.

posted under Pregnancy | 21 Comments »

Marketing brilliance


This seems like such a southern thing, I was surprised to find it wasn’t a story from AL or TN. But nope, Butler Missouri has the distinction of claiming this brilliant idea.

I first saw this at White Trash Mom. I had to follow the link and check it out myself. God, Guns & Gas – a coupon for a free handgun with the purchase of every car at Max Motors.


Another thing that made me laugh today – Steve was watching Family Feud.  The question was “Top 6 answers on the board…Name someone whose ideas have changed the world”.  Dr. King was #1.  No objection there.  Ghandi and Mother Theresa didn’t make the list.  #2 Oprah.  #6 Jesus.  I’m seriously concerned about the future of our country.  Oprah has changed the world?  And not only that – she ranks above Jesus?

posted under humor | 7 Comments »

Happy Memorial Day!


I hope you are all enjoying your families and grills today.

After a much needed nap yesterday, we went for a little drive and stopped at Bruster’s for ice cream. Sabrina gave her approval to the strawberry.


posted under Misc. | 7 Comments »

Meme of five


I got nothing but a used pile of kleenex and a bad attitude this weekend so you get a meme.  It’s been in my drafts for awhile and I don’t remember where it came from originally.

1) What were you doing five years ago?

It was the end of a really ugly time in my life and the beginning of the wonderful life I have now. ‘Nuff said.

2) What are five things on your to-do list for today?

Feed the child, shower self and child, unpack at least one box, go to the grocery store, regain the ability to breath through my nose, stop coughing long enough to sleep for longer than 20 minutes.  Wait.  That is more than 5.

3) What are five snacks you enjoy?

Pita and hummus

Ice cream




4) What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire?

Set up an organization to give a chunk of it away – that would by my new job, managing the organization.


Pay off all debt

Give some to family and friends

Find a cure for the common cold – one that pregnant women can take

5) What are five of your bad habits?


Impatience – especially when driving

Not exercising as much as I should

Crankiness when sick

Not keeping the house as clean as I should

6) What are five places you have lived?






7) What are five jobs you have had?

* Worked in an ice cream shop

* County road crew – shoveled 15 tons of gravel a day for $5 an hour (no I’m not bitter)

* Case manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters

* Legal advocate for a domestic violence shelter and drug & alcohol halfway house for women

* Facilitated partial hospitalization program groups for adolescents and toddlers (not at once – they were in different groups)

posted under Misc. | 4 Comments »

And the summer season begins…


Weekends like this one, I miss living close to family.  I love Memorial Day picnics – just hanging out, chatting, playing some cards, drinking a beer, and grilling some hamburgers.  Up north, we are just considering breaking out the shorts this weekend.  Here in Nashville, I’ve been wearing them on and off for a few weeks already.

I am looking forward to a 3 day weekend with Steve.  But I’m not sure that we will do much.  This first official weekend of the summer season finds me battling a nasty cold.  And of course there isn’t much I can take for relief right now.  So we’ll have to see how things go – I might suck all of the fun out of our long weekend by lounging and napping.

Miss Sabrina will love having daddy home for 3 days.  She is a huge daddy’s girl.  She is doing what she can to keep my sick spirits up.  Her newest joy is spinning in circles.  She will spin until she falls down or spin and then try to run in a straight line until she falls over.  It keeps me laughing between coughing and blowing my nose.

A picture of the little cutie giving her bear some serious loving.


posted under Misc. | 11 Comments »

Bring on the good stuff


Thank you all for your thoughts on birthing classes yesterday.  It gave me a lot to consider.  And for all of you who advocate or participated in a natural, drug-free child birth I’ll give you a southern “Bless your hearts” and a northern “Oh hell no!”  I have huge respect for the ladies who have the conjones fortitude to get through child birth naturally.  I am not one of those women.  I am a wimp when it comes to physical pain.  When I told Steve I was surprised by the number of natural child birth advocates out there, he got a very scared look on his face.  He knows that wouldn’t end well for any of us – me, him, the doctors and nurses.  It would just be ugly.  They don’t give out awards (or even big warm chocolate chip cookies) for doing it naturally and I’m no hero.  Bring on the epidural.

posted under Pregnancy | 18 Comments »

This n’at


I was 15 the first time I had heartburn. I thought I was having a heart attack. It was from a medication I was taking so I quit taking it. Problem solved. I didn’t have heartburn again until years later when my sister was pregnant. I had sympathy heartburn on and off throughout her pregnancy. She had it non-stop and ate Tums like they were M&Ms. That was 14 years ago and I haven’t had it since.

Last night, I had my first heartburn of my pregnancy. I don’t feel like I can complain because I never had morning sickness and this was my first heartburn – but that shit is uncomfortable and there weren’t any Tums in the house.

On top of the heartburn, Tessa was seriously crowding my lungs last night and doing some sort of yoga move requiring her to push my stomach straight out with both feet. I decided to take a bubble bath while my husband geeked out on XBox Live with his buddies. I was hoping it might soothe Tessa and me. For some reason, while in the tub, the parts of my body that were submerged decided it was time to take all of the fluid in my body and retain it in my ankles and legs. Not awful but not a comfortable night.


For those of you who have done this birth thing, how important are birthing classes? I have the weird situation of having a child but never having given birth so it isn’t easy to take a class with Steve – they don’t tend to offer child care. I could take it alone. Or we’ve talked about getting the class on DVD (yes, you can do anything from the comfort of your couch these days). I just have this fear that we’ll go in to the hospital and I’ll be completely clueless about what is expected of me and what is happening. Steve laughs and says my body will know what to do but I don’t have that much faith in my natural instincts.


I read a stat about the suburb we just moved to – 46% of residents are either in their 30’s or under the age of 10. In our neighborhood I would venture a guess that percentage is even higher. There are kids everywhere – playing sports, skateboarding, running, yelling, biking, etc. It is charming most of the time. I love living in a neighborhood with a lot of families and quiet streets and sidewalks where the kids can play. But they get up and go outside really early. The screeching starts at 7am right outside my open bedroom window. The bus doesn’t come until 8.


Speaking of buses, I have a question. I am just curious – it isn’t a judgment. Why do so few kids ride the bus to school these days? There are major traffic jams around all of the schools before and after school. It seems that everyone drives their child to and from school. That was incredibly rare in my school days. You either walked or rode the bus.

I know in some places it becomes necessary. For example, in my rural hometown in Ohio, the schools use busing to blackmail parents into passing levies. Pass the levy or we will quit running buses. But from what I gather, that isn’t the case here in TN. I am sure that safety is an issue in some places but that doesn’t seem to be an issue in the suburbs I’ve lived in.


I had another appointment for a fetal heart echo this week. Tessa didn’t cooperate again so I have to go back in another 3 weeks. But otherwise all looks good. She was measuring at exactly her due date. And they estimated she weighs 2lbs 15oz right now.


Sabrina and I went to Dippin’ Dots to meet up with our new mommies group this week. We hadn’t tried this form of ice cream before – shocking considering my love of ice cream. It wasn’t bad. Sabrina was a big fan as you can see by her bewildered look when I set down the spoon to take a photo.

“Put down the camera and keep the dots coming mommy!”


And another just because she is cute. She doesn’t have a chair her size at home so she uses the bottom step as her personal perch.


posted under Misc. | 28 Comments »
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