Sunday, July 31, 2005

camp fire

Originally uploaded by shalberg.


Camping was so fun. We ended up in the site right next to James and Elissa, without planning it. It was perfect. Our site was gigantic and we used it for bocce ball and ladder golf. I don't know if thats the most common name, but you can see what I am talking about and even play a little if you click here. Our tent didn't work out quite as well as I thought it would. The biggest tent is fine, but the two tents that connect to it are a bit too low. I set up Claire's bed and there was about five inches between the top of the crib and the top of the tent. It would be nice to have a tent you can stand in, so maybe I'll keep looking. And speaking of Claire, she wasn't too excited about sleeping in a tent. I tried to put her down and it didn't work, so Mike took a shot. He ended up being lulled to sleep by her cries, but she was actually pretty quick to follow. She really seemed to love camping. She explored just about everything. On Saturday, my parents came to visit and they ended up taking Claire back home with them. We didn't really plan for that to happen, but when the option was presented, we were all for it. Claire actually kept asking for Grandma's house, and it allowed Mike and I to spend some time together. It was really nice to hang around with him the whole weekend, and see James and Elissa and their kids. You can see pictures here.

Its really nice to be home, and I am hoping that Claire missed her own bed so much that she sleeps in a little bit tomorrow. Actually, I'm pretty sure she will get up earlier than normal, but I'm still hoping for a little extra sleep!

Trauma, wedding and camping

I am finished with my first month of fourth year (trauma surgery)! It was amazing. Looking back I would always regret not doing trauma. I never knew there was so much violence in Milwaukee. Each night I was on there were constant victims from nine at night until at least five in the morning. It really opens your eyes when an 18 year old comes in five minutes from death and the team saves him. My last night was a grand finale. I think we had seven shooting victims and five car crashes. Others were more unusual, like one girl that was car surfing and fell under the car only to be dragged for twenty feet! I thought she had a serious brain injury because she kept repeating the same sentences, but after I stitched her head laceration we took her for head scans and thankfully they were negative. In the morning I saw her and she was speaking appropriately, the doctors even thought she would go home within the week!

It is crazy reading Sheela's last post about this month being long because it was my fastest month yet. I sometimes forget how hard it must be for her to be home while I am off in the trenches. I think that's why weekends like this are so precious. We went camping and just hung out for a few days. The time away from everything was really nice, especially because there are no distractions that can pull me away. It is a real treat when I can get up with Claire and play while Sheela sleeps in. Sheela deserves the rest and Claire and I always enjoy the time alone.

Another get away is coming up soon. Jim and Monica are getting married and I can't wait. They are so happy together! It just can't come soon enough.


Friday, July 29, 2005

The Last Day of Trauma!

Today is the last day Mike is on Trauma Surgery. Hoo-Ray!!! He was on-call last night, so he'll be home later today, but this is the last shift! I was thinking about the month this morning. So far, when I look back, I can always honestly say that the month went quickly and it wasn't that bad. Not this month! It was so long. It probably didn't help that he chose to do the rotation during the summer, which is always busier than winter, and that he happened to do it during Summerfest, which only added to the number of traumas they saw. But for as long as I thought the month was, I know Mike will not agree. The real struggle for me was the time commitment involved. If Mike had hated going in, it would have been a completely different story, so it was wonderful that he enjoyed it. But I'm so thankful this isn't what he wants to do with his life.

Today we leave to go camping again. Friends of ours (James and Elissa Kinsella) have been camping all week, so we'll join them today. We'll be at J.W. Wells State Park in Michigan. Its right between Menominee and Escanaba, and my favorite campground. My family went camping a lot when I was growing up, and we probably went to Wells more times than anywhere else. One time, my mom and I went on a Guided Nature Walk with a park ranger. It was at night and in the woods, and I remember being pretty uneasy about walking around the woods in the dark. At one point someone in the group walked into a spiders web and had the expected reaction of saying "Ew, spider web" and trying to brush it off. The guide said something like "You walked into a spider web?? How lucky! The webs are so good for your skin, you should rub them in." We've joked about it ever since. But anyway, we bought a tent that has THREE rooms. Small, medium and large. Its pretty fancy. That way Claire will be able to have her own room. Its actually really nice, you can set up however many of the tents you want either separately or linked together by a little tunnel. I'm really looking forward to it.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Claire's Purse

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Mmm, banana soup.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


July 27, 2002
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Happy Anniversary, Mike!

Claire and a Hippo

Originally uploaded by shalberg.


Its a beautiful day. The temperature is somewhere around 75 degrees, the humidity is gone, just a few puffy white clouds in the sky. A perfect day to be outside. A perfect day for a Brewer game! Claire even said she wanted to go, and I believe she has recovered from the two games in one weekend trauma of a few months ago. But she overheard me say the word "zoo" while on the phone with my mom, and baseball was then out of the question. The Brewers shirt came off and Claire started making animal noises: monkeys, lions, birds and especially elephants. I really wanted to go to the game, so I tried to tell her the elephants were at work. I tried to tell her they were sleeping. She didn't believe a word of it. She kept saying "Mama. Peese? (insert monkey noise) Peese? (elephant noise complete with miming of trunk) Peese?" So I gave in, and we went to the Zoo. I have been to the Milwaukee Zoo before, but I was too young to remember it. It is a really nice Zoo. We didn't get to see all of it, but we did make sure to see the monkeys (Apes of Africa) and elephants. We had a really great time walking around and checking everything out. Turns out it was a perfect day for the Zoo.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Jim and Monnie's Shower

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
It was a great time. Monnie's uncle made an incredible Mexican feast. We got to meet some of Monnie's family and see some friends that we haven't in a while. Claire ran around and played. And we stayed inside. It was way too hot to be out today.

Click on the picture to get to my Flickr photostream and see more shower pictures.

More of the Purse

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
I had no idea people actually enjoyed this. So here is another one.

Mike Hula Hoopin'

Hula Hoop
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Claire thought this was so funny. Okay, the rest of us did too, but Claire definitely laughed the loudest.

shoes on

shoes on
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Jim helping Claire put on Monnie's shoes.

shoes on

shoes on
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Jim helping Monnie put on Claire's shoes.


My parent's house was struck by lightning yesterday. It sounds like they are discovering all kinds of problems that it created. Holes in the siding all around the house ranging from very small to two foot areas, broken tv's, broken internet, broken garage door openers, broken central air, a crack in the cement where the lightning hit, broken lamps, metal pipes in the basement welded themselves together, multiple broken outlets and circuit breakers. It definitely sounds like the kind of thing that you discover more things that were zapped every day. I'm so thankful no one was hurt.

Today is Monnie and Jim's shower. I'm looking forward to it. So is Claire, she is having a very difficult time falling asleep. I keep hearing "Monnie's house". I'll give her a few more minutes. It would be really nice if she were well rested.

Today is also Mike's last weekend day of call for Trauma Surgery. He only has one more call day left, Thursday (yay!). In August he is doing Forensic Pathology, and it should be a much better month as far as time demands go. I don't know if he'll necessarily like it better, but he will be home more often, so I'll like it better.

That seems to be it for now. I'll post some pictures.

Today is....

My Mom's Birthday! Happy Birthday Mom! I hope you have having a great day!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Contents of Claire's Purse

Contents of Claire's Purse
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
This is still fun for me. She traveled much lighter today. As you can see some items stayed while others were tossed.

Again, clicking on the picture lets you use some cool interactive features.

Big tough men

We ended up having traumas all night and then into the morning. I never feel tired until I am done and collapse! Last night we had a rash of big tough men that had evidentally all found bigger, tougher men to fight with. When a 6'6" muscle man walks in with 6 stab wounds I can't help but think, what happened to the other guy!


Hey, it's just after midnight and I just got out of surgery. Another nice fellow hit by a bullet in the groin. Trouble is that it continued through his bladder and into his buttock. All better now, but he was bleeding like crazy for a while.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

For Teresa:

Contents of Claire's purse
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
The Contents of Claire's Purse Exposed!

Click on the picture for interactive features!

staying up late

So I always do this. Mike is on call and I sit up and waste hours and hours doing nothing but surfing around online, watching tv, and eating snacks (in this case its Dove dark chocolates. Yummm). I don't really know why I do this. I am a little tired and I really should go to bed, I just can't bring myself to do it. And since there isn't anyone here to make me go to bed at a reasonable hour, I just keep staying awake.

Its like I'm getting away with something or breaking the rules. I think I may be making Mike sound like a parent or The Enforcer. He's not of course. The only reason he'd like me to go to bed and get some sleep is so he doesn't have to live with a Grumpy Goose (one of Claire's signing videos deals with emotions and the grumpy emotion is played by a goose. He is grumpy because all of his friends forgot his birthday. Then of course he is surprised when his friends jump out and yell "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!". Grumpy Goose sounds good, so it kind of sticks around.), which I can understand. Maybe its a motivation problem. After all, going to bed requires me to brush my teeth, floss, take out my contacts, wash my face. Its all such a bother, and really its much easier to sit here and continue to type. Then again how much fun is it to read me ramble? Eh, maybe I should just go to bed and get some sleep.

our future??

Its The Amazing Falling Woman! I find this website is oddly entertaining. A number of medical spouses said it came very close in describing exactly how going through a residency feels. So I guess it is entertaining and slightly alarming.
Anyway, you can click on her and move her around, squeeze her through little cracks in the bubbles or find a comfortable place for her to rest. Very amusing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Blowing bubbles with Dad.


Well, I was able to get everyone in bed tonight by 8:15. Mike fell asleep by 7. Even Harry Potter, strawberry shortcake and a Brewers game wasn't enough to keep him up. So Claire and I played outside for a while and she went down at 8. I'm not tired yet, but everyone else is sleeping, I kind of feel like I should be too.
This past weekend Claire and I went to Green Bay to spend some time with my family while Mike worked. We celebrated my dad's birthday and went garage sale-ing. Claire played in her pool while we sat around it in lawn chairs reading trivia cards and soaking our feet. My parents bought a blow-up slide for her that ended up being 12 feet long. It even has a hook-up for a hose (though we didn't try that). Claire loved it. Deflating it was the most fun for the adults. We were acting very mature as we tried to bounce each other off.
On Monday Claire and I went to Sun Prairie to see Nana. We played Ring Around the Rosie and the piano, and somehow Claire had Nana and I walking around like birds (if I had a picture I would post it, I'm sure it was quite funny). We met Jimmer for lunch and then brought out big bowls of water to splash around in on the front porch. Claire slept like a log on the way home.

And now I'll post some new pictures for the enjoyment of everyone.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Originally uploaded by shalberg.
lanudry day today. a perfect day to hang clothes out on the line.


Happy Birthday Dad!! I hope you are having a great day!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Yellow Truck

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Claire likes to sit in the back of this truck and push herself around. It goes perfectly until she runs into something. Once stopped she has to get up, turn the truck around and sit down again. It sounds easy enough, but as she is trying to sit back down, she pushes the truck forward and she ends up sitting on the edge of the truck. Since it is a dump truck, the back flips up and Claire is dumped out onto the floor.

This happens a surprising number of times before she gets frusterated.

pink roses

pink roses
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Mike brought me a bunch of roses a few days ago.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Originally uploaded by shalberg.
The ladies entering the spa for some pampering while at the Grand Geneva Spa & Resort.

Painting Dots

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Claire was pretty unsure about getting paint on her hands at first, but in the end she really enjoyed it.

What a weekend

This weekend was Spa Weekend in honor of bride-to-be Monnie. I only stayed one of the two nights, but it was a great time. We had lots of fun...doing things like baking cookies, playing truth or dare, and having pillow fights.

Then on Saturday, the plan was to go to Green Bay for my uncle's wedding, but Mike didn't get home until something like 2:00 pm, meaning he had been awake and doing surgery from 5am on Friday until 2:00pm on Saturday. Claire, who had been sleeping peacefully in Nana's car, woke up and was very upset about life in general. I was up late the night before, and couldn't imagine getting Claire back in the car for two hours, and then going to a wedding, and then driving back the next day. So we avoided all the stress and just went to bed.

Today the plan is to go to Summerfest.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


I've caught Mike speaking a little Claire lately.

First, anyone who has ridden in a car with Claire knows she thinks school buses are very cool. When one is spotted, she (very loudly) announces "YELLOW BUS! YELLOW BUS!" and then after it has passed "BYE-BYE YELLOW BUS! MORE! MORE YELLOW BUS!", sometimes becoming angry at whoever is driving the car for not delivering more yellow buses fast enough. A few days ago when Mike was checking out some prices on bus rentals, he asked the receptionist if the yellow buses were rent-able. She looked at him strangely and asked "Yellow buses? You mean the school buses?"

Over the holiday weekend, we met Jim and Teresa for dinner at the Delafield Brewhaus (it was great, I recommend it). I ordered a tenderloin, and when it arrived Claire took one look at my plate and said "Poopoo". Last night, Mike was making a root beer float, and when he opened the vanilla ice cream, he saw there was something dark in the box. To be fair, the kitchen was pretty dark, but still, his first thought (or at least what he said first) was "Sheila there is something in the ice cream, I think its poop." It was actually chocolate ice cream that was left in the vanilla box after I scooped myself a bowl with a bit of each. And I should also say that this is the first time in years that we have had chocolate ice cream in the house, but still, poop?

I'm sure I am guilty of this as well. Mike will have to post examples...because...I can't think of any.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Wonderful Husband

Claire has been pretty whiney today. I don't know what its about, but its tiring. Mike picked up on it and took her to get Subway for dinner tonight. He's so wonderful. Twenty minutes makes such a difference!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Forest View

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Camping at Peninsula State Park.


Camping was wonderful. Peninsula is such a pretty park. We relaxed every minute we were there, thanks to Nana! Not having to worry about Claire was so nice. Everyone we went with had kids, and everyone made sure to tell us how lucky we are to have family close by, for more reasons than just enabling us to take a weekend away. And the break was very well timed since Mike started Trauma Surgery today. Its going to be a tough month for him. Its suppose to be one of the most difficult rotations you can choose (by that I mean stressful and time consuming). But it will give him a good look at Emergency Medicine (that is what he is considering most seriously right now), he thinks it will be a lot of fun, and he has to do a surgical rotation his fourth year it will be good. If this year is anything like last year, we'll both be really happy he chose to do the difficult stuff first. My plan is to keep busy while he is living at the hospital this month.

I'm not sure there is much else important enough to mention. Claire and I spent some time outside watching trucks today. Its so nice that its cooled off enough that sitting outside is comfortable. Claire is really getting into trucks and vehicles other than cars. Yellow buses (school buses) are her favorite, but the construction trucks and such run a close second. We have some construction on our street, and we always go extra slow to see all the activity. I think she would really love to go to the airport and look at air planes as well, but she just can't get clearance. We'll have to get Grandpa to work on that.

Beach View

camping (31)
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Camping at Peninsula State Park