Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

Martha would be appalled


Our tablescape for this year’s Thanksgiving celebration:

It was just us this year.† My mom came down with the flu so she stayed home.† So we kept it casual.† The food was great – except the stuffing which is unusual because I make (in my humble opinion) kick ass stuffing.† The turkey was moist and the gravy was exceptional.† I enjoyed the first glass of wine I’ve had since last Thanksgiving.† I found out 1 year ago today that I was pregnant and a drama filled 9 months ensued…so we had much to be thankful for this year.

So Martha may not have approved of our tablescape (with the cutest centerpiece ever) but tell me this bird isn’t pretty enough to make her proud:

Hope you all had a fabulous, turkey filled day!† And for those of you nutty enough to go shopping at 4am this morning – go take a nap.† Then tell me about the great deals you found.

posted under family | 20 Comments »

Happy Turkey Day


We are thankful for so much this year.† I am one lucky woman.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.† I count all of you reading this among things I am grateful for – thank you for reading and commenting and making my world a little bigger while I am home with my amazing kiddos.

posted under family | 8 Comments »

Look kids! Big Ben, Parliment!


When we moved to this suburb in May, I gleefully went to check out the brand spanking new Super Target.† It was the first store open in a new plaza being built.† The only entrance to this plaza is a traffic circle.† I told my husband that I anticipated the circle would be quite ugly once the plaza was full and traffic increased.† In this area, traffic circles are not often seen and I assumed it would cause some angst for nervous drivers.† Angst is the least of our concerns.† People can not figure out how to negotiate this simple circle.† They had to publish directions in the newspaper a couple of weeks ago and people still can’t figure it out. I’ll admit I think designing the entrance as a traffic circle was flat out stupid but I am amazed that it flummoxes everyone to the degree it does.

It is a pretty simple circle.† There are 4 off shoots – 1 to the right of the plaza, 1 in to the center, 1 to the left, and 1 to exit the plaza back onto Main Street.† Often when, someone stops dead in the middle of the circle staring like a deer in headlights.† They just don’t know what to do.† Others stop because they don’t understand that they have the right of way over those entering the circle from the spokes.† That is bad but worse are the people who don’t understand that all traffic circles work on the principle of 1 way traffic.† I’ve seen half a dozen people drive the wrong way trying to exit the circle.† I’m thinking of petitioning the TN institute an IQ requirement for drivers licenses – or at least one to enter our Target plaza.


Tessa slept through the night for the first time in 6 weeks.† I’ve never been so happy to wake up and see the numbers 5:30 on my clock before.


Proof my baby is growing up – this outfit used to be long sleeves and long pants:


I made dinner for one of my mom’s club friends last night.† (When someone has a new baby, we sign up to provide some meals.)† I decided to try a new recipe from my Cooking Light magazine.† I realized afterward that perhaps I should have tried the recipe before inflicting it upon someone else.† Fortunately it was quite yummy (I also made it for us for dinner).† It was a quick and easy meal so I’ll share it.

Chicken and Basil Calzones

Cooking spray

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb ground chicken breast

3/4 cup prepared pizza sauce

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 (13.8 oz) can refrigerated pizza crust dough

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

(I reduced chicken to 3/4 lb and added 8 oz of mushrooms, 1/4 cup finely diced onion, and a few tablespoons of red wine)

Preheat oven to 425.

Saute chicken, onion, garlic and mushrooms until chicken is no longer pink.† Stir in pizza sauce (and wine) and red pepper.† Simmer for 5 min.† Remove from heat and stir in basil.† Let cool for 10 min.

Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.† Unroll pizza dough.† Cut into quarters.† Pat each quarter into 8×6 rectangle.† Divide chicken mixture evenly between the quarters.† Top with cheese.† Fold dough over and seal edges by pressing together.† Bake 12 minutes.

posted under food, nashville | 7 Comments »

The Peanut and the Pill


Grandma and Pap-pap arrived on Friday to give the girls some loving like only grandparents can.† Pap-pap determined that Tessa would like a rocking chair.

The next morning this arrived with the grandparents:

How awesome is that?† A great gift for the kiddos that doesn’t make noise!

Sabrina was very bummed out to wake up this morning and find no grandma and no pap-pap.

Tessa loves the rocker – we’ve had plenty of opportunties to use it already.† Tessa quit sleeping through the night about a month ago.† We were just getting back to it before she got sick and now all bets are off.† She just seems unable to go more than 4 hours without eating now.† So we are up at midnight and 5-ish.† After a false start last night, Steve and I are trying to come up with some ideas to help her sleep longer between feedings.

posted under family | 9 Comments »

Meme for the not so wordy


I was tagged by Pocklock.† I filled it out before Steve came home on Thursday.

Answer with 1 word.

Where is your cell phone? Purse
Where is your significant other? Dallas
Your hair color? Blonde
Your mother? Houston
Your father? Gone
Your favorite thing? Sleep
Your dream last night? Disturbing
Your dream/goal? Happiness
The room youíre in? Dining
Your hobby? Jewelry
Your fear? Violence
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Settled
Where were you last night? Bed
What youíre not? Rested
One of your wish-list items? Dyson
Where you grew up? Ohio
Last thing you did? Nursed
What are you wearing? jeans
Your TV? Off
Your pet? Needy
Your computer? Loved
Your mood? Tired
Missing someone? Hubby
Your car? Parked
Something youíre not wearing? Contacts
Favorite store? Online
Your summer? Swollen
Love someone? Several
Your favorite color? Yellow
When is the last time you laughed? Morning
Last time you cried? Yesterday

posted under Misc. | 1 Comment »

Round up


First, no one guessed correctly yesterday.† Tessa cried first.† Sabrina entertained the masses because we had to kill 45 minutes in the waiting room full of sick kids.† Glad that little half wall they put up for the sick kids to sit behind is too high for the germs to get out.† I seethed that they were letting my 4 month old hang out in the waiting room for that long – they usually have special consideration for babies under 6 months and get us right back into an exam room.† Then we spend our 45 minutes waiting around.

The doctor believes it is a virus and she should be feeling better by the end of the weekend (assuming she doesn’t catch the plague from one of the snotty waiting room kids).† He wasn’t happy with her low amount of weight gain (hello – throwing up for a week will do that).† For those who discussed the lactose (more correctly milk protein) issue with me via email…bottom line according to doc is no bloody-mucusy stool (oops – you weren’t eating were you?) means that is highly unlikely.


Anyone else using Word Press getting (alert – highly technical term ahead) a buttload of spam comments all of a sudden?


Sabrina is truly an endless source of entertainment these days.† She is very interested in how Tessa eats.† She understands that Tessa is a baby and “Nina no baby.† Nina big girl!”† She knows that she drinks from a cup but Tessa nurses from mommy.† But she is still putting the details all together.† Yesterday, we were hanging out on the bed.† I was nursing Tessa and Sabrina was playing with that damned singing puppy (you all know the one – it will just randomly talk or sing in the middle of the night).† Sabrina suddenly declared “Puppy eat!” and tried to unsnap her sleeper to feed her puppy.† When she was unable to unsnap the front of her sleeper, she pulled up her pant leg and fed her puppy from her knee.† I laughed so hard I almost peed.

Maybe you had to be there.


Grey’s Anatomy jumped the shark for me last night.† (For those who don’t recall our previous discussion, which I can’t find anywhere, about that pop culture term, you can find more about it here.)† Sex with dead people and operating on friends – I’m done with it.† Too bizarre.† Which led my husband to say it was always too unbelievable (he hates it) but they took it to a new place last night.† I’m also pretty much over Heroes.† I haven’t watched the last couple of episodes yet (saved on Tivo) but I’m tired of not knowing who or what to root for – it feels like manipulation for manipulations sake.† I guess I’ll just have to focus on Top Chef and the Amazing Race.† Sad when reality shows are the best thing on TV.

posted under Misc. | 15 Comments »

Place your bets


The scenario:

2 kids

1 very tired momma

1 kiddo is sick and 1 is in it for the goldfish crackers

1 very small exam room at the pediatrician’s office to contain the above for an undetermined length of time

Wanna place bets on who will cry first?

posted under parenting | 12 Comments »

Running the numbers


The number of times Tessa threw up the entire contents of her stomach while on vacation: 5

The number of photos we took: 138

The number of nosebleeds Sabrina had between 4am and 8am on Monday: 4 (me thinks she doth pick too much)

The number of breathtaking views while driving through the Great Smokey National Park: countless

The number of hours of sleep I lost because I was convinced Tessa would get sick while sleeping and choke: countless – I woke up every time she made a sound

The number of healthy individuals by Monday morning: 1 (me)

Overall, it was a really nice trip.† It was a belated anniversary gift to ourselves.† The not so nice aspects of the weekend could have happened in my normal surroundings or in a cozy cabin in the mountains – so why not deal with it in the mountains?

I’m not sure what is up with Tessa.† She woke up every morning starting on Friday at 5am and threw up until getting the dry heaves.† It was completely heartbreaking – she looked so miserable.† And then she was perfectly fine until the next morning at 5am.† She changed it up on Sunday and got sick in the evening too.† She hasn’t gotten sick at all yet today so maybe she is feeling better.† Her doctor doesn’t want to see her unless it continues for a few more days.

Sabrina almost flipped the rocking chair – she was having a ball.† I brought it inside for our Christmas photo shoot since it was way too cold to do it on the front porch as I planned.

Tessa tried to warn Daddy off with a look that said “Watch it Daddy, I’m loaded” but he didn’t heed the warning and a few minutes later she threw up all over him.

The trees were encased in frost and ice and looked so cool – I took quite a few photos but none do it justice:

And because I can’t talk about a trip without mentioning food – had the best smoked pork at a BBQ place in Pigeon Forge.† Yum!

posted under travel | 17 Comments »

Technology free weekend


We went here (the Smokies):

Saw lots of this:

And this:

But due to a sick baby, we did precious little of this:

More words tomorrow.

posted under travel | 7 Comments »

Country Roads


For those who asked…no I didn’t brave the mall again today.† I actually was thinking about it but Tessa ended up getting sick so I spent the afternoon cleaning puke off of her and me.† After Steve got home, I headed to Target to pick up some other things and found some very cute PJs for Sabrina.† They didn’t have any that I was very excited about in Tessa’s size so she will wear something plain that we already possess (a hand-me-down from cousin Vanessa…thanks! Had that baby yet?).

We are headed out tomorrow morning for the cabin in the mountains.† I am longing for the days that Steve and I could just pick up and go.† It is taking an awful lot of thought and planning to make sure I take what we need for the girls for 3 days.† Hopefully, Tessa is as easy going about things as Sabrina always is.† Check back Monday to see if I need a vacation after our mini vacation!

posted under Misc. | 8 Comments »
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