Monday, October 31, 2005


big girl
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Halloween Night! Claire did very well. I had doubts whether or not she would want to go trick-or-treating after the first few groups of kids came through. They were pretty scary. But after a bit (when more princesses were out), she was really into it. She got the hang of the whole thing very quickly. She'd say "Trick-or-Treat", "Thank you", "Bye-Bye" and then "next house!". A real pro!

Kohler Design Center

Claire and I stopped at the Kohler Design Center today on our way to Green Bay. I absolutely love this place, and I stop every chance I get. Where else can you see a Wall of Toilets and lawn mowers hanging from the ceiling in one building? I don't think Mike understands why I enjoy this place so much, but I am happy to report that Claire thought it was every bit as fun as I did. I actually had to carry her out, she wanted to stay so badly. I think her favorite part was the bathtubs filled with water and lit up with different colored lights, all at just her level. She only tried to get in one of them, and I was very impressed with that. I did take a bunch of pictures, and you can see them all here.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Stare

There is a site I linked to, daily dose of imagery, and today's picture (Sunday, Oct. 30) is a great one. You should definitely follow the link on the right and check it out.

Or, now that its not Sunday anymore, click here to see it. I still chuckle when I see it. Its like the people caught the statue doing something bad.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

not much

Not a lot going on lately. We went to Sun Prairie for Friday and most of today. Michael got a great suit for his upcoming interviews. It is slick. He's going to look very nice, thats for sure. When we got home we had a surprise. For the past week our hot water has been smelling like rotton eggs. Very unpleasant. We were doing the dishes in cold water and Mike was taking showers at school. I would take showers here, but they were as cold as I could stand and quite short. So when we got home it was fixed! Hurray! Thank goodness for responsible/great landlords. And lastly, I stepped on and killed a big frog in Jim and Teresa's driveway. I can't seem to forget that gross feeling when I realized it wasn't a rock. Mike and I are going to watch a movie, so I guess I'll just leave you all with that.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Claire's First Movie EVER!!!

Sheela and I took Claire and her friend Jalyn to the movie theatre last night! It was a Wallace and Gromit flick called, "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit." Claire was pumped and kept telling Jalyn, "Look Jalyn, movie!" and "Uh, Oh Jalyn, Rabbit." Another first is that Claire can say her full name. This morning it is, "Me Hall-bert."

Lastly, uncle Jim is on Claire's mind today. When asked, "Who loves you Claire?" she promptly
signs uncle Jim and says, "Untle Jimmo." This is her response even if she is asked one hundred times!


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Jamal Magloir is a BUCK!!!

I got an urgent call from Adam Sutter today reporting new developments for my Milwaukee Bucks. Turns out that Jamal Magloir is now a Milwaukee Buck! The deal sends Desmon Mason and a big first round draft pick to Charlotte (or wherever the Hornets are this year). I think this will be a big season for the Bucks and I am sick of watching Jamal rip apart the Bucks, so this is great news for me.

Just so you know, I am buying a package of tickets for this season and they are all $28 tickets for just $10. Let me know if you want to go to a game and want a couple tickets (2 seats).

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Would You Rather...

Mike and I are sitting here watching the 10th inning of game three of the World Series, playing a game of Would You Rather. I thought it would be fun to include everyone.

So. Would You Rather...

Have 11 outfielders or 4 outs?

Have to play in full winter gear (snow suit, hat, gloves, moon boots etc.) or in speedos and nothing else (including shoes)?

On offence, be instantly blindfolded as soon as you've hit the ball for the duration of your base running, or, when on defense, only be allowed to play with one arm?

Not have a single pitcher on your team, or a team made up of only pitchers?

Have a team made up of people older than 85 years, or a team made up of kids under ten?

Have one strike be a strike out and one ball be a walk, or normal play?

Play in uniforms five sizes too big, or five sizes too small (including shoes and jock strap)?

Flu Shots, Get Your Flu Shots

The NYT reports that there will not be a flu vaccine shourtage this year.

Mr. Leavitt of the CDC says in reference to the flu: "It kills an average of 36,000 Americans a year, leads 200,000 Americans to be hospitalized and causes countless lost school and work days," he said. "Much of this can be prevented by simply getting a flu shot."


Monday, October 24, 2005


Coming home from having our pictures taken last week, we got stuck in traffic, and I had the chance to take some pictures from the highway. It was fun to be stopped in a place that is usually zipping along, though I admit I was probably in the minority there. Here are some of my favorites:

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Saturday Night

We had a great time last night. The Changs invited a bunch of people over for dinner, karaoke and poker. Dinner was amazing. It always is at the Chang house. Karaoke was very fun. They have a karaoke game for PlayStation (or a similar system) that knows if you are singing at the pitch you should be. If you are, the crowd cheers, your character on the screen starts dancing, and if you are really good, you microphone glows and you light up. If you are not singing well, the crowd boos, the character kind of mopes around, it may begin to rain, and the crowd might start to throw stuff at you. We were lucky enough to see a wide range of performances, and they all were very entertaining. Poker was a lot of fun too. A lot of other people had kids there, and Claire had a great time playing with friends. A very fun Saturday night!


Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Claire is always up to something cute. Today she was bringing me pretend food to eat and then giggling as I ate it. When I commented that the plastic lettuce she gave me was missing something she said, "soy sauce" and motioned like she was adding some on top! What a cutie.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Pretty Woman

I just think Sheela looks cute in this picture and wanted to show off her still new hair cut! Love you sweetie.

Michael Posted by Picasa

Grandma's Tapes

books on tape
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
A while back Jeanne (Grandma) made some tapes of her reading Dora books to Claire. This morning Claire and I broke out her tape player and spent some time listening. Very funny. Claire would answer all the questions and talked to Grandma well after the tape player turned off. Definitely a great idea for next year.


Yes, it's getting chilly

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
I wore my hat to the park, Sheela made squash soup and the packers are starting to win, winter is obviously getting closer.

To the park!

We all went to the park yesterday, and we did all kinds of fun stuff. I think just about any day this time of year is a great day to be outside. I love the cool weather.

We ran around, jumped around, and Claire even learned how to do pull-ups. It was a great time.

"Watch This, Claire!"

Watch This, Claire!
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Mike came up with the great idea of going down this metal tube at the park yesterday. It proved to me more difficult than planned.

Mike: Oh boy. This is tough. I think I'm stuck.

Claire: (laughing) Mom look! Silly Daddy!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Cool Gadgets & Stuff

I've found a few cool things online over the past few days.

This is the coolest apple slicer I've ever seen. Its kind of expensive, for an apple slicer, but it definitely looks like fun to use, and I imagine eating the sliced apple would be fun too.

This is a fun idea. Its definitely marketed to kids (I would think that after Christmas, Teresa's sixth graders will all have them, if they are cool, that is). Basically its a pen with a computer in it, and it looks like fun.

This game isn't really a gadget, but it made me think of Jim. He probably has a bunch of friends who would love to sit around and play this on a friday night!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

We played at the park today.

Originally uploaded by shalberg.


Sheela was playing with Claire. Sheela would say something and Claire would repeat. I think Claire thought of the game. First, Sheela told Claire that they were going outside. Claire repeated. Next, Sheela asked Claire to put on her shoes. Claire repeated. Then Sheela started being clever and said Claire, "Mammas really cool." Claire didn't understand that she was supposed to call her mother a cool/hip/groovy person and instead translated, "Mamma's cold."!!!!!

Thus concludes another episode of Claire the cutie!

Fun, Football, and Fotos

What a wonderful month! Lots of time with Sheela and Claire and lots of working out and playing tennis. I could get used to this quickly! I can't believe the games on lately. It started Saturday when Wisconsin came back from dead with a punt block with less than one minute left and continued as Michigan beat Penn State with no time remaining and USC (oh man, this was definitely one of the greatest college football game of all time), beat Notre Dame on a last second quarterback sneak. Of course I was going for Notre Dame Granny, but it was still a battle to the end!

I hope that everyone is enjoying this unseasonably warm weather we are having. Sheela and I are using it to get our family photo taken tomorrow. Thanks to Jim and Monnie for the gift certificate to Kaminski Photography! It looks like the perfect day, and we will be down by the lake at the beautiful lake park bistro.

I also have a cute story I will post next.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Reasons Why Claire is Mike's Daughter

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
1. This morning Dora was on one channel and college football was on another. Claire chose football, hands down, and then sat on the floor and watched it. She is still sitting on the floor watching it.

2. Earlier this morning she told me she had poop in her pocket, and then laughed like it was the funniest joke that was ever told.

3. Last weekend at Nana's house Claire found a sucker in the diaper bag and was eating it. She didn't eat lunch, so I took the sucker away and gave her a celery stick instead. She was completely fine with this trade.

4. Claire will wear a favorite shirt for days at time if I let her, no matter how much food is layered on it. Mike will too.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Find!

The Find!
Originally uploaded by shalberg.

pumpkins everywhere!

pumpkins everywhere!
Originally uploaded by shalberg.


Originally uploaded by shalberg.

not scary

not scary
Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Pumpkin Patch

We went to a great pumpkin patch tonight. It had a lot of fun stuff to do, but we got there a little late so it was too dark for some of the stuff, like picking your own pumpkin off the vine (at least in the dark it looked like the pumpkins were growing on a vine) or hay rides. But there was plenty to do otherwise and Claire was successful in finding the perfect pumpkin. She took it very seriously. When I told her to find her favorite pumpkin, she started walking up and down the rows, looking at all of the pumpkins and saying "hmmm" with her finger on her cheek. And then there it was, Claire's perfect pumpkin. She yelled: "Mom! There it is! My favorite pumpkin!" and ran to pick it up. Its just her size, with a big handle. They also had some crazy gigantic pumpkins, one of which Mike tried to lift and then seriously thought he might have a hernia (he didn't), and some really cool gourds.

Now at home, Mike just put Claire down. She laid with him on the couch happily watching the Angels vs. White Sox game three, and he just couldn't break the moment and put her to bed. I don't blame him. She can be so sweet and cuddly.

We do have some pumpkin patch pictures, and after I get them all uploaded, I'll post some.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

painting with dad

Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Modeling and Magic

Today has been kind of a long day. We spent a lot of time riding around from place to place. First, I had a photoshoot in Janesville for Blain's Farm and Fleet. That's right, check your Farm and Fleet flyer on December 8th, and you'll find me modeling a red sweater. Mike came up with the whole idea, and hopefully he (and maybe Claire) will have a chance to get in on the fun as well. After lunch and a nap for Claire, we went back out to run a bunch of errands. For most of the car ride, Claire sat in the back seat saying "Watch this, Mama (or Daddy)", and then doing something spectacular. For example, she hiked her pants up past her knee and grabbed a handful of skin on her leg. Then she would say "Watch this, Mama!" and with her other hand, she would use one finger to push down on the skin she was grabbing and at the same time release her grip. Magic! Spectacular! And even more so when Mike and I laughed and applauded. "Watch this" magic happens all day now, and the possibilities are unlimited.

And now, as I type, Claire is in bed. Mike is playing around with our video camera, putting movies on DVDs and trying to figure out a way to send a video clip by email. I am going to end this post and go drink a glass of Door County wine.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Irish Blessing

I saw this Irish blessing and smiled. Definitely belongs on a Grandpa Fitz cribbage board:

There are good ships, and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea.

But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be.

Around Madison.

We've been having a great time, and I've been taking lots of pictures. I posted a bunch below, and there are more on Flickr.

At Farmer's Market

At Farmer's Market
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
We thought we looked so good, we just couldn't pass up the chance to take pictures of ourselves.

Fun at Farmer's Market.

Originally uploaded by shalberg.

inspecting the lanterns

inspecting the lanterns
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
at Farmer's Market.


Originally uploaded by shalberg.
at Farmer's Market.


Originally uploaded by shalberg.
at Farmer's Market.


Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Claire rode the merry-go-round, and she absolutely loved every second of it.

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Nana and Bapa enjoyed it just as much.

See Jimmer?

See Jimmer?
Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Conversations with a Two-Year-Old

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
"Claire will you read me a book?"

"Ya Mom", and Claire runs off to find a book. She comes back with The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear.

"Oh, I really like that book."

"Mom favorite book."

"You are right. Are you going to read it to me?"

Claire opens the book.
"Hi Mouse. Wah Doing? Strawberry. Pick Strawberry. Up. Uh oh. Scary. Strawberry nose! Funny! Share me. Eat. The end".

That pretty much sums it up. Mom impressed!

Remember the Amazing Falling Lady?

Check this out.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


One of Claire's first words ever was "sa." We initially thought that as she got older we would either figure out what it meant or she would stop using it. Alas, this word "sa" has remained a vital word in her vocabulary. In context:

1. When asked what she would like on the table she will point at something and say "sa" if it is an unfamiliar object.
2. If Claire sees something cool that she can't identify she with say excitedly "sa!"
3. When asked where her baby doll is she will shrug her shoulders, through her hands in the air and say "sa."

Any ideas what this mystery work could mean? Did your children have mystery words?


Monday, October 03, 2005

Father & Daughter

laying around
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Laying around and watching Sesame Street together.

Google Stuff

I am reading a book on Google and how to use it most efficiently. One nice feature is googletalk. This is a program that takes maybe a minute for my computer to download and allows me to talk long distance for free using my computer headset! Sheela and I used it last month while I was studying like crazy for the fourth year Emergency Medicine test. Really great feature and if we all get it, no more paying for a landline phone (a bit of a stretch I know, but it will work great while I am in Maine during November).

Also, Google has an online phonebook. You can look people up by just typing them in first name, last name, state, or you can type exactly this: rphonebook: gerald smith, mi which leads you to your long lost friend in Battle Creek! Unfortunately the information on Sheela and I is out of date so I'm not sure how current the other stuff is.


Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Sheila and Mike
Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Originally uploaded by shalberg.

All Four
Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Door County

Mike and I went to Door County this weekend with James and Elissa. We left all the kids with grandparents in Green Bay and escaped for a few days. It was a lot of fun. We stayed at the High Point Inn in Sister Bay, stopping on the way for shopping, eating, and looking at the beautiful scenery. We did some wine tasting and had an incredible dinner at The Mink Basin, and then back at the hotel, the girls beat up on the guys during a fierce water basketball game. We went through different cities on the way home to shop at different stores, eat at different restaurants, and look at more beautiful scenery. A great time was had by all. I'll post some pictures, and you can see a bunch here.