Wednesday, August 31, 2005

too cool

Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Claire's Purse

Claire's Purse
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Claire has moved out of her bathroom cupboard, and for the moment, is traveling much lighter.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Claire looking cute
Originally uploaded by shalberg.

A Birthday

Mike, Teresa and I went to the Brewer game last night. We bought tickets in the 300 club, but Mike ended up getting the same great tickets behind home plate that we had last time we went to the game. So we watched the Bob Uecker ceremony from the 300 club and then went down to our other seats for the game. Teresa and I definitely did not take in as much of the game as someone else may have in our seats, but we definitely had a blast. Mike couldn't understand how we could sit ten rows away from the catcher and still not know how Lyle Overbay got to second. I guess women just watch the game a little differently than men do.

Also, I just realized today that Claire turns TWO in eleven days. How did that happen? Two? I really have a difficult time grasping that. Elissa and I were talking about Claire and Jalyn, and she mentioned a funny story which started out "Claire and Jalyn were talking...". I of course don't remember the story because I was stuck on the first five words. I have a little girl who is old enough to have a conversation with a four year old friend. Pretty unbelievable. Seems like it happened overnight.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Brewers Rule

The game last night was great. Adam Sutter drove down from Green Bay with his wife Amanda and we picked up James Chang on the way to the stadium. The Brewers ended up winning which means they beat the Marlins two best pitchers!

Sheela and I are actively plotting how to get Packer tickets. Has anyone had luck scalping?

I have about a week left here at the medical examiners. My last "gross" post drew mixed reviews so I removed it and vowed to show a bit more tact. I have a presentation next week so I have been reviewing interresting cases. One case involved a women who had a screw driver in her brain. They found it during the autopsy after opening the scull, but didn't have any idea it was there before opening her up! Turns out the murderer hammered it in through her eye socket after she was dead. Crazy.
**NOTE: This case was reported in a medical journal for anyone to read.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Well, it sounds more like Dim-mow, but Claire definitely has a spoken name for Uncle Jim now. We were looking through the wedding pictures together, and she named him in every one.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Brewers Baseball

Brewer's seem to be on quite a roll lately. Hopefully they can get back to .500 on this long homestand. Tomorrow night I am going to the game with a couple friends. First time seeing Tomo Okha, hope I can bring him some luck!

'organized fun'

I was listening to This American Life a while ago and heard about this group of people in New York City, Improv Everywhere. Basically, they "bring excitement to otherwise unexciting locales and give strangers a story they can tell for the rest of their lives". And its very entertaining. Its definately worth checking out.

Monday, August 22, 2005

After the Wedding

Jim and Monnie's wedding was so much fun. From the Rehearsal to Sunday Brunch at Aunt Leslie's house, a great time was had by all. I posted a few of my favorite pictures, and you can see all of them here.

Be sure to check out Monnie's 'something blue'...

Bride and Groom

Bride and Groom
Originally uploaded by shalberg.

on the city streets

on the city streets
Originally uploaded by shalberg.

On the Limo

On the Limo
Originally uploaded by shalberg.

First Dance

First Dance
Originally uploaded by shalberg.

After the Wedding

Jim and Monnie's wedding was so much fun. From the rehearsal at Front Row Fridays to the Sunday Brunch at Aunt Leslie's, a great time was had by all. I posted a few of my favorite pictures, but you can see all 150 of them here.

And make sure you find out about Monnie's "something blue".

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Wedding Day

Jim and Monnie are married!!!! The wedding was great, the ceremony was great and everybody had a blast. This morning we head to Leslie and Johns for a brunch and then to Irish fest for music and laughs. Look for pictures of the new couple in the next couple days.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

To Jim and Monnie...

I thought it would be a fun idea to take the cell phone around to various people while at the reception. Here is the result. I know there are messages from me, Mike Halberg and Mike Fox, the Mother and Father of the Groom, The Mother of the Bride, Aunt Carrie, Aunt Shelagh, Aunt Kate and Aly.
Its a little difficult to hear, but fun none the less...

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Little Meteorology and a Little Confession.

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
I took this picture while waiting for Mike to pick up his tux from Men's Warehouse. I sometimes make fun of Mike for being a geek, but deep down, I know I am a much bigger geek then he is. I just hide it a little better. Because, when I saw these clouds, I got really excited. They are Cumulonimbus Mammatus clouds, and they are pretty rare, and I HAD MY CAMERA! What luck. They mean conditions are right for some pretty nasty weather (wind squalls, hail, tornados, heavy precipitation). They don't mean a tornado is actually forming, but they are one of the things tornado spotters look for.

Now you all know a little bit more about the weather, and I have to go put some more tape on my glasses.

I'm Tired.

Today was (is) a pretty busy day. I had a lot of errands to do, including grocery shopping, and I ended up doing them all in the rain. You wouldn't think that the rain would be a factor, but when you add to it a toddler and an umbrella, its a project (claire would say a fun project) that takes a lot longer than you intended. When we got home, I found the internet stopped working. This happened only one other time since we first subscribed to cable internet, and it was due to the modem going on strike. I was somewhat sure thats what it was, after checking all the lights that should have been blinking, and thought I could just make a quick call and get it fixed (right, I know, a quick call to the cable company. Insert laughter here). If we needed to switch modems, I wanted to know so I could go do it right away. It of course was an hour long phone call with an operator that whose voice was so soft the strain of trying to hear her gave me a headache. In the end, the problem was solved. There is, of course, a punchline here and its that the cable was down on our area. So it was nothing that I or the operator did, it just so happened that an hour after I called, the problem elsewhere was fixed. Then Claire wouldn't take a nap. And I also cleaned our place today so when my parents arrive tomorrow for ClaireDuty they will have an area clear of toys to put down a mattress and sleep, and never find out about the environment we usually live in.
Sleeping sounds pretty good right now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Getting Ready for Halloween

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Claire dug out these spider web socks and had to put them on. The spiders glow in the dark, in true Halloween fashion. I think they are even cooler when they cover an entire leg rather than just a foot.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

20 years later...

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Claire is reading books on the ABC quilt my mom made. The alphabet squares are all cross-stitched and feature a letter along with a bear and something that begins with the letter (a bear flying an airplane and the letter A, for example). My mom started making this blanket for me when I was Claire's age, and then finally finished it for Claire (and I) last Christmas. She said the hardest part was coming up with how to assemble it all. Only 20 years in the making!

I remember playing with all the squares, laying them out and looking at all the pictures when I was growing up. I enjoy it just as much now. There is something about seeing the pictures today exactly as I remember them as a child that I don't quite know how to put into words. Its a very strong and detailed memory. And now I am able to look at and explore the pictures with Claire, which is very special.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Big Wheelin' it at the park.

A Great Saturday

It was such a relaxing day. We didn't do much at all, which is nice because next week at this time we are going to be livin' it up!

We did get some stuff done, like taking down the big desktop computer (anyone need one??). I can't believe how much space that frees up. I wish I would have done a before and after set of pictures. Going from clunky desktop to compact notebook is quite a change. The desktop works fine, nothing is wrong with it at all, we just wanted something more mobile, and more mobile we got.

The only other thing we did today was go to the park. Claire had a great time riding her Big Wheel, and we had a great time watching her.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Fair

We went to the State Fair tonight. I really love going to the fair. I'm not sure Mike has the same level of enthusiasm as I do, but lucky for me, Claire sure does. At least for now. I think my favorite part was when Mike pointed out a horse butt to Claire and Claire promptly requested "more butts".

The flavored milk was as good as ever, but we probably broke a few Wisconsin Laws when we passed on the cream puffs again. To be honest, they just don't appeal to me. I'm sure they are fantastic though, so its probably best for me to continue to believe that they 'don't look like something I'd like'. We did go to the Wisconsin Products Pavilion and were surprised with how many things are Wisconsin products. They were making fresh french fries right there in the middle of everything, and it smelled so good. Claire colored a button that was made right in front of her, Mike got to taste test a bunch of BBQ sauces, and I got to breathe the french fry air I've already mentioned. We also learned that Wisconsin is the #10 bison meat producer in the United States. I'd never have guessed it.

It was a lot of fun, especially for Claire. Its so much fun to watch her see something new. There are more pictures in the Flickr Photostream, so check them out.

At The State Fair

State Fair
Originally uploaded by shalberg.

A Few Things

1. Claire has decided to become a two-year old child, and will act accordingly. I can't figure out where she learned this behavior. I think she may be sneaking out of her crib at night and associating with bad influences.

2. The amount of laundry associated with a two-year old child who sometimes wants to pee in a toilet and other times would rather just do it on the floor is unbelievable. I did laundry today, people. Today. Here is the current laundry basket.

3. Dealing with a two-year child acting her age and peeing on the floor is no picnic. No matter what, its traumatic. No matter how traumatic, five minutes later the entire thing is forgotten.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Crime Lab

The forensics team took a tour of the Wisconsin crime lab, very cool. The building looks old and run down from the outside, but inside it looks much newer and has nice high skylights. This seems to be a pattern with government buildings - rough on the outside, nice on the inside. Mike Camp walked us around. The rooms each had a large window revealing different workers, microscopes, walls of pistols/machine guns/sniper rifles, blown up pictures of DNA code, finger print patterns and anything else you imagine in an exciting episode of CSI. Each stop was another step in the investigative process. One room had a woman analyzing documents by analyzing the specific style of the writer, another room had people busy under ventilation hoods and a sign explaining how different drugs kill different parts of your body. I found myself remembering the principles of biochemistry from my first year of medical school. I also found myself thinking that I want to help people in a way that effects a population. Maybe in Emergency medicine I will do research on gun control or drug use. Maybe I will identify intersections where my patients get in accidents, or maybe look at car designs that better protect passengers. Sounds like fun.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Brewer Game

We just got back from the Brewer game. Mike helped out with a survey some dr's from MCW are doing and in return got awesome tickets. Right behind the plate, ten rows back. It was really fun. At about the eighth inning, a big group of people who were sitting in the FRONT ROW got up and LEFT! Mike, being much more daring than I, walked right down and sat in the best seat you could ever want, right in front of an usher. The only other time I've ever sat in those seats was when my brother, Dave, played at Miller Park. He was in high school and I think it was an All-Star game. He grabbed a handful of dirt from the pitchers mound to keep as a souvenir and I accidentally kicked it over in the back seat of the car. But anyway, I was sure Michael was going to be walked out and shot for trespassing, but instead the usher did nothing. So seeing it was safe, I moved up as well. Now we both got to be on tv. We of course called our moms. Our moms demanded we wave, so we did. Then we kissed, right on national television, in front of everyone, and much to my mom's enjoyment.

A few highlights.
The Sausage Race up close and personal. (the picture is blurry because they were running THAT fast!) Mike picked the winner from the starting line.
Finding out exactly what the Brewers look like. Carlos Lee is HUGE. Not that I thought he was skinny and short, I just didn't think he was so big. Chad Moeller is definitely one of the fitter looking guys on the team and JJ Hardy the best looking.
The Bucket-Heads and their O's. They are so fun to watch.
And of course the seats, though I didn't take a picture of us sitting in our seats. But, James and Elissa kindly watched Claire for us AND tivo-ed Mike and I making fools of ourselves waving and making-out behind home plate. I haven't seen it yet, but I hear its great. And I know the Brewers ended up losing, but hey, we had a great time.

Brewers AudioPost

this is an audio post - click to play

Too Much Stuff

Too Much Stuff
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
I couldn't find Claire's purse for the past few days, but it finally resurfaced. In the mean time Claire obviously found treasures that couldn't quite fit into the purse, and she had to find a bigger storage area. Today I found Claire emptied out the bottom part of the bathroom cabinet and moved herself in.

Climbing in to play with her Treasures.

Claire and her Treasures
Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Forensic Pathology

I am spending this month in downtown Milwaukee at the Medical Examiner's office. My first day started at 8am which meant I slept in a full three and a half hours later than on Trauma surgery! The day starting by going down into the morgue where we found six bodies all covered in plastic. As they were uncovered, each story was told. One couple from a fatal car accident. The driver was going over 80mph and hit a tree. Pictures from the crime scene investigator show a silver hot rod literally wrapped around a big oak tree with the left front tire nearly touching the left rear tire! Another two bodies were suicides. Sadly the suicide rate in Wisconsin is 8% greater than the rest of the nation, so it is a big part of what we see daily. Of the other four victims we had a tragic fall, a pregnancy related death, and two homicide.

The two homicides gave me a feel for what a medical examiner does. Before starting we looked at pictures from the scene and read witness accounts of the events, then during the autopsy we recreated how each bullet must have entered the body and then inspected for likely injuries. By the end we really had some answers. Very cool.

A few notes:
1) Wisconsin's homicide rate is 41% lower than the national average.
2) The medical examiners say that the rate of middle class people who end up in the wrong neighborhood and get shot is "rare if ever." So don't cry if you are lost, but don't pick a fight either.
3) 75% of kids who shoot themselves do so with a gun that was stored unlocked, so lock your freakin' guns up!


Said to Claire at the grocery store today:

"Oh now thats the best idea I've seen all day. I'm gonna get a bag of those too!" as Claire reached over the edge of the cart and snagged a bag of M&M's.

She had to put her's back.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Beach

Claire at the beach
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
We finally got around to sending in the disposable camera we used on the beach while camping a few weeks ago. There are a few new pictures to check out on Flickr. This one is my favorite, I just love it. The quality isn't great, but that seems to add to its charm.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Good times at Jim's bachelor party. I came away from paintball looking like I had bee stings covering my body, but at least I wasn't eating the paint (see pics).

Saturday, August 06, 2005

On the way to meet Nana.

On the way to meet Nana.
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
I love this picture of Claire. She was watching Nana drive up.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Jim and Monnie's New House

Jim and Monnie's New House
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Mike, Claire and I went to see Jim and Monnie's new house tonight. Its beautiful. They have a ton of space, and Claire used every inch of it to run, jump, dance and roll around.

a quiet mess

Claire's Belly
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Yesterday I got to a point where I needed five minutes of quiet. I needed Claire to stop with the whining and the constant "Mama! Mom! Mommmyyyyy!". I was willing to do anything. So I set up her paints and let her go at it. I was fully prepared for this mess, and it was worth every second of silence it bought. Claire also really enjoyed it.

Click on the picture to see our Flickr Photostream and more pictures of the mess.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I never knew...

That driving the five minutes to the grocery store, alone, with both windows down and something other than Raffi playing on the radio could be such a thrill.

three boats and a farm

As we were going to Jalyn's house yesterday for some fun in the sun, we stopped at a stoplight where Claire could see three boats in the parking lot of a gas station. This was our conversation:

Claire: Mama! Boat!
Me: Oh, do you see a boat?
C: Yep. Bapa's boat, Grandpa's boat, Grandma's boat.
Me: Do you see Nana's boat too?
C: No! Silly Mama! (as if I were absolutely crazy for suggesting Nana had a boat)
Me: Nana doesn't have a boat?
C: No. Nana farm.

Oh, yes, how could I have missed that. Grandma, Grandpa, and Bapa all have boats while Nana has a farm. Silly Mama.

I love that she can have conversations.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Still Life

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Claire arranged this display so carefully. I watched her collect and move pieces around very seriously for almost twenty minutes. I do believe the final result is wonderful. What I wouldn't give to hear her thoughts as she did this.

This post is about potty.

Claire seems to be willing to take another stab at this toilet-training stuff. Yesterday when we got home from camping, she told Mike she had to go, and then actually went on the toilet instead of refusing to go anywhere near the bathroom. So we loaded her up with fluids and she went four times with only one accident, and even then after Mike stopped her and took her into the bathroom she finished up on the toilet. Today, she's been a little less enthused about drinking liquids all day, but so far she's been doing great. Only one accident. This morning she actually stopped playing and ran into the bathroom without saying anything at all. When I followed her, she had already gone and was getting some toilet paper. I'm so proud of her! I think it has a lot to do with Mike. He's so patient with her. I should definitely take some notes from him.

I hope we all can see it through this time.