Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.



The commentators on ESPN’s Monday Night Football suck.


Never get disgusted with the Steelers playing a boring/awful game and go to bed at halftime.  They will invariably surprise you with an exciting second half win.  GO STEELERS!


Tessa slept 8 hours straight last night.  GO TESSA!


My 2 year old can out drama your 2 year old.  Can too.


Can too.


I’ve had a post languising in my drafts file for 2 months about the loss of modesty when having a baby.  I had more people touch my no-no areas in those 3 days than in the rest of my life combined.  I am pretty sure they were lined up 3 deep to check the state of my cervix at one point.  Random people would grab my boob to weigh in on the nursing issue.  I think the guy who delivered flowers to my room might have even copped a feel.  The strangest part of it was that by the end of my stay I didn’t care anymore – and I am pretty modest in normal situations.


I was thinking about what I might wear to Blissdom ’08 while I was showering this morning.  I don’t normally think much about what I will wear to future events but my wardrobe choices are rather small right now because my normal clothing seems rather small to this post partum momma.  And there are few occasions that I have the opportunity to wear an outfit that doesn’t include a 2 year old and a 2 month old as the primary accessiories.  I quickly settled on something I knew would fit and be comfortable.  It is probably woefully out of fashion – it has been 3 years since I visited the fall semi-professional corner of my closet.  Sadly, I don’t really care.  Let’s just hope that not too many of the bloggers attending Blissdom ’08 blog about fashion.  Hopefully, Mrs. Fussypants will be too busy running the show to snap a photo and use me as a “don’t” example on her Fight the Frump posts.


Steve is going out of town for 3 days and leaving me all alone with the girls.  I’m scared…hold me.


I find it interesting that many of the people who objected so strenuously to a comprehensive medical coverage bill because it smacked of socialism are now big cheerleaders for the $700 billion bailout bill.


The Amazing Race started on Sunday.  That makes me ridiculously happy.  Steve jokes about us going on that show.  Ummm, no.  I would totally be that woman everyone hates and roots against.  I love to travel and experience other cultures but I hate the process of getting from point A to point B.  I would whine and bitch to my husband.  Everyone at home would say “why is that great guy married to that shrew?”  Just ask Deanna about the time I threw my luggage down the escalator when we were coming home from Paris.


I was appalled to hear that Ben Rothlisberger’s contract is worth $102 million.  I love Ben but how skewed are the priorities in our country when someone who can throw a ball well can make that obscene amount of money while teachers and social workers barely make a living wage at his age.  The things we reward as a society  (being attractive, acting, play sports well, etc) really disturbs me.


Can too.

posted under Misc. | 15 Comments »

2 months


Happy 2 months Miss Tessa.

I’m already missing my newborn and feeling a little sad that we’ll never have a newborn in the house again.  I am surprised to feel that way because I never thought I would enjoy a newborn but Tessa changed my mind.  Children have made me hyper aware of how quickly time passes.

posted under family | 18 Comments »



Sabrina is more fun every day.  Her vocabulary is exploding and she is learning new things all of the time.  Every time we go to a play ground, she figures out how to master a new thing and gets braver.  She still loves the weeeee (swing in Sabrina-ese) but now also thinks the slide is pretty exciting.

The little slide doesn’t cut it.  She wants the big twisting slide even if it means braving a sort of scary ladder.

And Tessa borrowed Sabrina’s stroller for the first time. She seems to like it.  I love baby wearing but sometimes it is nice to have more freedom (and less sweaty baby).

posted under family | 13 Comments »

Middle TN adoptive families picnic


The picnic in May was a lot of fun so we are on for October!

October 25, 2008
2pm – 6pm
River Park, Concord Rd, Brentwood, TN
Bring a covered dish, plates and utensils for your family

Feel free to bring balls or bubbles or other amusements for the kids.  Or not!

All adoptive families are welcome.  We had originally talked about the weekend before for the picnic but I couldn’t find a park shelter available for reservation that date and I ended up having another commitment that date.  I can’t wait to see everyone from the previous picnic and hope to meet some new families too!



There are a few things that I think must be hard wired in little girls.

The first is “MINE!”  I am sure that isn’t just little girls – it is all toddlers.  But where do they learn it?  Sabrina spends limited amounts of time with other children and I am always present.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard a child say “MINE!” in her presence.  Steve and I certainly don’t hug possessions to our chests and yell “MINE!”  Yet Sabrina has recently learned to snatch things out of our reach and declare “MINE!”

The second is the screech.  I don’t mean any ordinary screech.  I mean the ear-bleeding, shiver-down-the-spine, ice-pick-through-the-eye variety.  She has never heard another creature make a noise like that and yet she started doing it several months ago.  And it keeps getting worse, louder, and more frequent.  She has the most infectious laugh but these days tends to screech instead.  I can hardly be in the same room when Steve plays with her in the evenings because that sound makes me want to put sharp objects in my ears.  But when she giggles there is no better sound in the world.  Amazing they both come out of the same small child and both are a result of joy.


I loved reading all of the opinions on the last post.  Interesting to hear what everyone thinks. And Steve, of course, liked seeing the positive feedback on the new design.

A little Sabrina cuteness:

And I caught a smile with the camera but I was only about 4 inches away from her face at the time:

posted under parenting | 14 Comments »

What do you think?


After 2+ years of the same look, we finally switched things up around here a little but if you are looking for some Sabrina and Tessa cuteness or Michelle ramblings you are in the right place.

Because I am sure someone will ask what I am urging others to “believe” in – I just think that everyone should believe in something with her whole heart.  Doesn’t really matter what it is.


I’m late to the party again but I just became aware of this.  It started last December. Two school aged children collected some money for the Salvation Army.  They wanted to take it and put it in one of the donation buckets.  Their mom drove them, along with their 2 year old sister, to the local Wal-Mart so they could put the money in the bell ringer’s bucket. The 2 year old was asleep in her car seat.  Mom pulled up to the curb, put on her flashers, got out of the car with her older 2 children, locked the car and set the alarm.  She walked with her children 30 feet away to put the money in the donation bucket.  The car was never out of her sight.  She was handcuffed and arrested for child endangerment. (The charges were later dropped but the police chief has spoken publicly about his disapproval of the decision not to prosecute.)

In your opinion, was she wrong to leave the child in her car seat?   Whether or not it was wrong, do you feel that is an arrestable offense?

Is there ever a time it is okay to leave your child in the car?  Assuming the weather is mild (not hot, not cold) and your child is safely strapped into a car seat, the car is not running and you lock the doors behind you, consider these scenarios:

*  You realize you left your wallet on the kitchen counter after strapping your child into his/her car seat.  Your car is parked in the garage.  Do you leave your child in the car while you run back into the house to grab your wallet?

*  You are returning a casserole dish or a book to a friend.  You pull into her driveway.  Is it okay to leave your child in the car seat while you run to the front door to return it?

*  It is pouring rain.  You parked 4 slots from the cart return at the grocery store.  Do you put your child in the car, then unload your groceries, and then return your cart to the corral while your child waits in the car?

*  You realize there is no milk at home.  You stop at a convenience store to grab a 1/2 gallon.  Do you lock your child in the car and run in to purchase the milk if you can see your car the entire time you are in the store?

I’m curious what everyone thinks.  If it is sometimes okay, where do you draw the line?  And even if you personally think it is never okay, is it truly child endangerment or is it just bad judgment? Should people doing any of these things be subject to arrest?

posted under parenting | 48 Comments »

If you would like to be in the studio audience…


If you live in the general vicinity of Nashville and were bummed that the Nashville BlogHer out reach day was canceled, you might be interested in Blissdom ’08. I don’t know the details but it is certain to be a fun and information packed venue to meet other women bloggers.  Check it out here.

posted under nashville | 5 Comments »

Monday again


It is amazing how quickly weekends pass even when I don’t work.

My sister in law and brother in law visited over the weekend.  Sabrina was, as always, enchanted by Aunt Lulu and Uncle Pat (pronounced un-hat).

And Miss Tessa has started smiling for real.  It is quite sweet but I haven’t captured it much on camera.  Here is a little one:

And that is all I have time for today.  After a weekend full of aunt and uncle love, apparently being alone in her bassinet is equivalent to abuse and neglect so she is delicately screaming beckoning me to come and rescue her.  I’ve offered to dial the authorities so she can voice her complaints but I guess sarcasm is lost on her.

posted under family | 10 Comments »

Damn Dora


Just 3 short weeks ago, I bought a couple of new sippy cups.  We were going on a road trip north for Labor Day and I wanted to get some insulated cups that Sabrina could use in the car without the milk getting yucky too quickly.  I bought Dora cups.  Have you tried to buy anything unbranded in this day and age?  It is impossible.  My choices were Dora or Disney Princesses.  I’m not completely anti-princess – I just figure I will get my fill of that crap when she is old enough to ask for it.  So until she can request it, I avoid it.  So I bought 2 Dora cups.  Sabrina had no idea who that little girl was so she called her “Nina” (which is what she calls herself) and life was good.

Fast forward a few days later to her birthday party in Pittsburgh.  Someone gave her a couple of Dora bath toys.  Sabrina HATES the bath tub but seemed to think the toys looked like fun.  Once we returned home, I put her in her swimsuit (so she wouldn’t think it was a bath – she likes to swim) and gave her the Dora and Boots toys (is that the monkey’s name?) in the tub.  She had a ball.  I washed her hair and she didn’t freak out.  She didn’t want to get out of the tub.  She loved Dora (we told her that was the girl’s name) and was sad that she could only play with her in the bathtub but she was suddenly happy to take baths for the first time in a year.  All was good in our world.

Fast forward to one day last week.  Sabrina wasn’t feeling well and I was trying to get her to sit quietly instead of roaming around and whining because nothing was going the way she wanted it to.  I turned on the TV.   She was fascinated.  Then Dora came on.  She immediately recognized her and started dancing and yelling “Dora, bath”.   Dora has put a spell on my child.  When she drinks out of her Dora cup she talks to Dora.  She whines for Dora anytime she is near the bathroom where Dora lives.  Every time the TV is on (or off for that matter) she asks for Dora.  I hear the name Dora 329 times a day.  Dora is her new BFF.

We made it 2 years without her identifying with any TV or Disney character…I guess we had a good run.

posted under parenting | 43 Comments »



I didn’t want to jinx myself but since the streak ended last night I had to brag a little.  Tessa slept through the night 3 nights in a row.  I’m talking 7 – 8 hours each night.  In a row!  How amazing is that for a 7 week old baby?  I suppose technically she slept through the night last night too…she just decided that night ended at 4 am and I tend to disagree.

I was putting together Tessa’s birth announcement over the weekend.  That led me to playing with some photos – I love baby feet

and hands

and ears

and mouths

And her whole self is pretty darn cute too.  Can you believe what a chunk she is becoming?

And Miss Sabrina is enjoying her birthday gift now that daddy finally put it together.  They say this car is good for up to age 5.  What 5 year old would fit in this thing?  Sabrina is a little thing and fits perfectly at age 2.

She’s sprouted a couple of inches of legs in the past couple of months.  She’s still petite but getting tall-ish.

posted under family | 13 Comments »
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