Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

First Quarter Closing


My momma popped in for a super quick visit this weekend.  She was in Louisville on business so we got to spend a day with her.

You can’t photograph her straight on or her face contorts into odd expressions.  Sabrina had a grand time with Abuela.


Tessa is firmly in the “everyone who isn’t a designated bottle getter is evil” phase so she was less certain about Abuela.



For those who were unclear, Sabrina’s bangs were a result of daddy cutting her bangs.  I was hesitant to do it again because the last time she jerked and I actually clipped her eyelid a tiny bit.  It freaked me out because I kept thinking of all of the horrible ways that could have ended if she had jerked just a little bit more.  So Steve said he wanted to try.  I turned the scissors over to him.  Men are good problem solvers – he has now made it so that I don’t have to cut her bangs again for quite awhile.

I keep laughing at them.  Steve insists they don’t look bad at all.


And we haven’t managed to screw up her hair yet…


I’ve got some cute kick ass bows to show off soon!

posted under family | 7 Comments »

Why Daddy shouldn’t be in charge of hair


dsc09314 Sabrina looks like Moe of the Three Stooges.  Thank goodness it grows pretty quickly.

posted under parenting | 27 Comments »

Diary of my 11 year old self


dsc09299My diary from 1984 spans most of my 11th year (6th grade).  I turned 12 and started junior high that fall.  I wrote fewer than 3 dozen entries – several of them being nothing more than declarations of hatred for my mom or my sister (sorry guys) or love for who ever captured my hormones imagination that day.  I hadn’t yet discovered my wild side.  As a matter of fact, this first entry mentions just having finished a Nancy Drew book (loved her!).

I find the entries difficult to read because I can feel myself editing even in what was supposed to be a private space.  I never wrote about my inner thoughts – I mostly prattled on about how boring school was or how cute some boy was.  I make only 1 passing mention to my sister who had died 3 months prior to the beginning of this book.  I make no mention of the turbulent weekends spent at my dad’s house where things were falling apart since Kelly’s death.  I make no mention of the story I worked on for months to enter into a writing competition at my teacher’s urging.  I don’t discuss a whole host of things that I remember from that year.  I read the words and can feel my 11 year old self making sure the words inside couldn’t be used against me.  (By whom? Who knows?  Eleven years are sure they are the center of the world and that world is out to get them.)  And that makes me sad.

dsc09300I even apologize in this entry about my diary being boring. I blocked out the names – no one else needs to suffer the embarrassment of my sharing this silly diary.  There is a well documented crush in my diary.  I remember loving this boy as only an 11 year old girl can.  He never liked me in return but that didn’t stop the crush.  I remember lying in bed listening to Lionel Richie “Hello” on my clock radio and crying over this boy.  I can’t believe I admitted that to the whole internet.  *Awkward!*

About halfway through the year, I declared utter contempt for my former love and moved on to coveting older, even less attainable boys.  Boys who would likely have been hard pressed to know my name.

dsc09301Then junior high started.  I got a jam box (goodbye clock radio!) for my birthday – I was cool.  There was also an entry about my first pair of non-snow boots.  I will forever remember those stupid boots.  They were slouchy, ankle high black suede – as were all cool boots in 1984.  My mom tried to talk me out of them because suede doesn’t do well with snow or rain but I wasn’t to be detered. (Mom if it makes you feel any better, I learned my lesson and have never purchased suede boots again.)

dsc09302With junior high came dances and a crush on a boy who liked me back.  We went together (today’s equivalent of “hanging out”) for a few months.  That basically meant we largely ignored one another in public but spent hours on the phone each night.

dsc09304In addition to dances, junior high started the boy/girl parties featuring the old favorites: spin the bottle, 7 minutes in heaven, and anything else that encouraged kissing.

Reading it reminds me how awkward that age was.  I choose to remember the good so my brain often glosses over the rest.  I had a pretty average existence in school.  There were a few kids everyone gravitated toward, a few everyone shunned, and then everyone else.  I was part of everyone else.  I had friends.  We had fun.  But even with that, I can feel the awkward oozing from the pages.  Now do me a favor and don’t tell my mom I kissed a boy!

posted under Misc. | 8 Comments »

Time capsule


Just so that I can share the embarrassment a bit, I give you my sister.  (Not shown, the tail she was growing in her hair that year.)


People wonder why I hate real trees.  My dad is the reason.  He always waited until they went on sale and ended up with the ugliest trees.   This one looks like it ate all of the other trees.


The answer to rubic cube boredom: the pyramid.


The box contents yet to be explored.


And I apparently didn’t have an original thought.  My spelling book is covered with clever graffiti like: “gag me with a spoon”, “mental case”, “Sheila -n- Bill and Dave” (written by Sheila I presume – way to commit girl), “I hate spelling”, “I hate homework”, and “totally boring”.  I will give my 11 year old self props for spelling all of my disdainful thoughts correctly.


Take Kirk Cameron off the cover and you’d never know these were 25 years old.  Girls “problems” don’t change that much I guess.


And I found a file folder labeled “posters”.  I wasn’t allowed to hang posters on my walls so anything that wouldn’t fit on the back of my door apparently got dumped into the folder. Wow everyone is so young.  The cover of the Teen Machine magazine has a picture of John Stamos on the other side so I’m assuming that is why it made it into the folder.  And the Tom Cruise picture has David Hasselhoff with Kitt on the other side but I’m hoping I kept it for Tom.


The cover of the magazine promises:

Explosive life-story photos for Matt Dillon

John Stamos: GH Star shares his big plans

Bruce Penhall! (Who?)

Win Ricky’s [Shroeder] first sexy poster! (He looks 10 yrs old.  Sexy? Ick!)

C. Thomas Howell reveals on the set secrets from Tank!

Interviews & Photos of The Outsider’s guys! (Loved the movie)

posted under Misc. | 16 Comments »

Time in a bottle


michelle_class_book_grade_4_1I have nothing to blog about and what should appear on my door step yesterday?  A big old box from the early 80’s.  My mom is contemplating moving and is sick of dragging around boxes of stupid stuff that I haven’t looked at in 25 years.  So she sent one to me.  I don’t know what the postage was but it was worth every penny.  That photo over there?  That is me in the 4th grade.  It is a shame you can’t make out the details.  I am wearing an 80’s power bow tie (a la Diane Keaton in Baby Boom).  My mother had socially suicidal odd ideas of how a child should dress.  I wasn’t allowed to wear t-shirts or jeans that weren’t ironed or I looked like I had a mother who didn’t love me.  (Quit rolling your eyes Mom.  It is true.  Those were your exact words.)

I’m still going through the box but I’ll share the treasures as I unearth them.  Just to keep you all coming back, I’ll let you know that 1 item found is my diary (thankfully not locked because it would have been lost to mankind forever with that impenetrable lock).

posted under Misc. | 5 Comments »

She said yes


As I sit here listening to my toddler throwing the mother of all fits in her crib (don’t ask), I’m feeling all warm and squishy.  There has been this pink, puffy cloud moving around the blogosphere for the past week.  A guy had the idea to propose via blog.  And lots of people are sharing their proposal stories and waxing nostalgic and all of that crap.  (The girl said yes by the way.)

And seeing as I have nothing to blog about today am a romantic, I thought I would join in.

Steve’s proposal was, much like the rest of our relationship, a little unorthodox.  We fell hard and fast but we had both just gotten out of short lived and unhappy marriages.  We agreed we would take things slow in terms of commitment.  We definitely were going to live together for at least a year before we decided to get married.

dsc09276Christmas night around 1am (I guess that means it was technically the day after Christmas), we were sitting on the couch in his apartment.  We had just spent a lovely day with his family.  We had opened gifts, drank a good bit of wine, play some cut throat wholesome family games.  It was our first holiday together (did I mention we had been dating for 4 months at this point?) and we were feeling all warm and fuzzy because of the wine it was such a lovely day.  I was saying how much I enjoyed his family when he said “I have 1 more thing for you.”  He disappeared into the other room and came back.  He handed me a small box and said “I was going to wait until February but I just can’t wait anymore.”  I opened the box to find a gorgeous tazanite engagement ring (much prettier when it has been cleaned in the preceeding 12 months).  He told me about the ring  and said again that he was going to wait but just couldn’t see any reason to because he was sure.  He started to put the ring on my finger and I told him he had to actually ask the question.  He gave me his confused, purposely obtuse look.  I told him I wanted an actual proposal.  So he asked and I said yes.

We did manage to wait another 10 months before we tied the knot.  Deciding on our wedding date was another romantic interlude for us.  We were driving to Eat N Park for breakfast one Sunday morning in early September.  We had been talking about a destination wedding but instead decided to buy a house.  We started talking about getting married.  Steve said “Let’s do it next week at the park.”  I told him we probably needed to plan it out a little better than that.  After breakfast we drove to North Park and found a somewhat secluded picnic shelter with a pretty view.  We reserved it for October 9th because it was free that day.

Certainly not the most romantic story out there but our daily lives are filled with love and romance.

posted under Misc. | 5 Comments »

Another taste of spring


Today was another lovely day.  Sabrina doesn’t want to spend a single minute in the house.

She did enjoy a few minutes inside today.  I gave her a cookie and she must have said 30 times while eating it “I like cookies”.


Daddy arrived home in time to join us for a trip to the swings.


Tessa’s first foray on a swing.  She wasn’t impressed.


She did enjoy hanging out in the yard.  I think.


And I had to laugh.  Sabrina has grown a couple inches of legs this winter.  Her 18 month clothing still fits around her waist but is way too short.  24 month and 2T pants are the right length but I spend all day pulling them up (even the stuff with the tabs to tighten).  This dress is 2T and would be obscenely short if she wasn’t just a toddler.


We are slowly working on potty training.  I don’t know what we will do when she doesn’t have the extra bulk of the diaper to help hold up her pants.  Suspenders?

posted under family | 18 Comments »

Memo #3621


milkMemo to the 9:15 breakfast patrons at Cracker Barrel:

My apologies for disturbing your breakfast.  I just wanted someone else to make breakfast today.  We wouldn’t have come if we had realized the baby would be fussy the whole time.

I swear I never return my food but in the middle of my pancakes was a sea of batter with bobbing blueberries.  There was a brief huddle around our table because apparently the waitress needed the manager to confirm that they were in fact not supposed to be liquid filled.  And I really wanted the pancakes but waiting for another order pushed the kids over the edge.

And that is the first time my 2 year old has ever dumped her milk on the floor.  Really.

We promise not to bother you again in the foreseeable future.  We don’t plan on going out much until we stop being the family that acts as birth control for the childless and prompts those with children to be thankful they are past this stage.


The woman who ran before the milk cup stopped rolling under the table

posted under humor | 10 Comments »

Sabrina (day before) Saturday


Sabrina Friday would lack the fun alliteration.

Apparently not leaving the house with the children leads to a very dull blog.  Who knew?  We had a couple of gorgeous days this week.  Sabrina has started asking as soon as breakfast is over if we can play outside.  She has no patience for the chilly spring mornings that keep her inside until after lunch.

I picked up this bball hoop at a consignment sale a couple of weeks ago.  She loves it.  Although she prefers that mommy make the baskets while she chases the rebounds.


She is growing beyond the inch worm and ready for the Dora bike she got for Christmas.


Her favorite outside thing is BUBBLES! but mommy has trouble blowing bubbles and snapping photos at the same time.


When she is stuck inside, she takes care of her baby (sent by my wonderful STD friends) just like mommy.


She is full of drama and figuring out how to manipulate Mommy and Daddy.  Her favorite stall tactics before nap or bedtime are “Nina big girl potty?” or “Hugs? Kisses?”.  She knows both work.  We’ve had no progress on the potty training front so we either need to shelve it and revisit it in another month or two or we need to ditch the casual approach and move to potty training boot camp.

She amazes me daily with things she learns or absorbs.  She has started using pronouns and full sentences.  Of course, that usually means “I don’t like that” in reaction to whatever we have for dinner.  We’ve started family dinners (as opposed to her eating and going to bed and then Steve and I have dinner) and confirmed that she doesn’t like most vegetables and thinks meatloaf and macaroni and cheese are the best things ever.  She will eat shrimp but only if it is breaded.  She doesn’t like fish.  She will eat taco meat if it is mixed in with her refried beans.  She would live exclusively on bread, pasta, cereal, yogurt, rice & beans, and fruit if we allowed it.  The best way to get her to try something is to start eating it and when she whines for some offer to “share” it with her.

And the only way to get her to smile for a photo is to start taking pictures of Tessa which results in “Nina pictures!”


posted under family | 7 Comments »

Thank goodness they are cute


These faces are what keep me going on the days that being a mommy wears me down.  Pictures are a good reminder because they don’t talk or whine.  But they really are a lot of fun when I don’t have to take them out in public most of the time.

The only way to get Sabrina to sit still and smile for a photo these days is for her to pretend the light before the flash is a “catch ’em catch ’em stars” from Dora.  So most of our photos this week have her clasping her hands or reaching up.  (Yes, I’ve heard about Dora growing up.  Yes, I think it is asinine.  If they don’t keep reruns of Dora’s pre-ho days on, I might drop Sabrina off on the porch of the programming director for Nickelodeon.)


This is Sabrina (in her very cute cupcake PJs from Target) after I told her to stop trying to put her pinwheel stick in the outlet.  Anytime I ask her to do something or not do something she lies on the floor with varying degrees of drama.  I ignore her.  The teen years should be full of sunshine and joy around here.


Tessa hamming it up.


And her super model pose.  Rawhr!


posted under family | 7 Comments »
« Older Entries