Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Years Eve

We had a wonderful dinner at Leslie and John's last night. It was so nice to see Claire play with a few of her cousins. Its also great to have Granny and Bozena so nearby. I don't have any pictures to post, I think some of the only photos taken were with a Polaroid camera for use as Christmas Tree ornaments, but I'm sure you can imagine the warm atmosphere and delicious food that goes with dinner at Leslie and John's.

I also got my camera cords back so I was able to load more pictures. And, Claire got one more Christmas present from Bapa, a desktop computer. She loves it and has been playing games we got from the library all morning. Speaking of camera cords and Christmas, the pictures I finally got to see are worth checking out. And there are a few must mentions. One of the highlights of Christmas with my family was the (for lack of a better name) Foam Disk War Game. My mom got everybody one of those guns that flings foam disks across the room, and of course, we turned it into a girls against the guys game. Claire was mostly a neutral party, but seemed confused about who were alleys and enemies. And of course, Claire received a bunch of really nice stuff, but anyone who has ever had a 2 year old, or been around a 2 year old, can look at this picture and identify what was played with most. You can see the entire set of our Christmas pictures here.

Today is New Years Eve. Our plan for tonight is to celebrate with James and Elissa, and their kids. It will be a low-key and quiet start to a very busy January, and what promises to be a very big and exciting year for us Halbergs.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Home after the Holidays

What fun! We really had a great time this year. On Christmas Eve, Mike created the mother of all scavenger hunts, and then laughed at me and took pictures as I struggled to find clues. There were probably six clues (all taped to a toy jack) I had to find and it took me SIX hours. I did get help from time to time, but I can honestly say that from 10am until about 4:30pm I searched every single corner of Nana and Bapa's house. At the end, I found...a rake. So I brought my big prize upstairs and the room exploded into ooohs and aahhhs. HA! Good joke. The real present is fabulous, a trip to Brazil to see my friend Ana. Mike and I have been racing to get our papers in order, we leave at the end of January! I can't even tell you how excited I am.
We spent Christmas Day lounging around until it was time to leave for the Packer game. It was great, even though they lost. Just seeing the clash of Packer and Bear fans was fun. The weather was great. I actually ended up not needing a few of the layers I put on, which is not what you'd expect at a Packer game in December, but welcome nonetheless. Then we spent a few days with my family. Claire woke up the next morning at 5am ready to open presents. She wouldn't go back to sleep, but I was able to hold her off until about 7:00, no easy feat. It was a great time, and I think Mike may have found a new favorite game. Its called Pass the Pig. Its basically a dice game, but the dice are little pigs and you get points (or lose them) based on how they land. All weekend long, you could hear shouts of "Pig Out!!" "Its a leaning jowler!" "Oh man! A double snouter!" "Thats an Oinker! Ha!". It is very fun, and I actually found a place you can play it online. Definitely more fun 'in real life' though.

So then we've been home for a few days, settling down a bit. I'm looking forward to dinner at Leslie's this week and what sounds like a New Year's Eve with the Kinsella's. I think Mike has some interviews coming up as well. Back to normal!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Turning the Tables

I was re-reading my last post, and re-living the morning when some of FaveAuntCarrie's words came to me: 'You should put your child in a situation that is uncomfortable once a day'. For us, usually this means an obstacle course in the living room, or walking through deep snow without help, or even standing in her path in the hallway. But while reading my post, I realized that Claire also puts me in an uncomfortable situation on a regular basis, and its just as good for me as it is for Claire. Looking at it that way sure did make me feel a bit better about a difficult morning.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Its only 10:43 AM?

Its just been one of those days. Here is a list of Reasons Why Claire Has Thrown a Fit This Morning - in order:

1. I would not buy her a bag of gummie bears.
2. I would not buy her a spool of thread.
3. I would not let her throw spools of thread down the aisle OR pull bolts of fabric down onto the floor.
4. She wanted to walk (when she was in the cart).
5. She wanted to be in the cart (after I took her out so she could walk).
6. She wanted to stay in the car once we got to the store.
7. She wanted to stay in the store after we checked out.
8. Two fingers were in the thumb hole of her mittens.
9. She had two owies.
10. She wanted chocolate milk (when we were in the car).
11. She ate all the cereal I brought along for her.
12. She threw her hat on the floor and then decided she wanted it back.
13. I would not let her put quarters in her mouth (completely unreasonable, I know).
14. (My favorite) "Tears fell on my coat".
15. She didn't like the song on the radio.
16. I was singing along to the radio.
17. The radio was too soft. Then too loud. Then she didn't want Christmas music.
18. She couldn't find her blanket.
19. She fell down (or more accurately, threw herself down when I told her she had to say please for the blanket).
20. She got another owie from the fall.
21. Her feelings got hurt.
22. And right now, as I type, she is crying because I wouldn't let her play games on the computer.

I have a feeling there will be an early naptime today.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Claire, in the bathroom with me: Oh wow! Good job going potty on the big toilet, Mama!

Me, just now, in the kitchen: See you later, alligator.
Claire: No mama. I not alligator. I'm me.
Me: Oh. See you later, Claire.
Claire: That's better.

Monday Night Football. Blech.

We were watching a bit of the game last night, when the score was a still-reasonable 3-21, and Mike asked Claire who was on tv (it was Brett Favre). Claire said, "Thats Grandma playing football". I'm not sure exactly where that came from, but when I checked the score this morning, I figure that Grandma might have been able to do a better job.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Annual VanLaanen Christmas Party

Packer Santa Hats
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
A great time was had by all. I think this picture is my favorite, and I posted a few more below. Or you can click here and see a bunch on our flickr page.

Uncle Phil

Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Telling Secrets?

Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Trying to guess the present.

Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I hope THEY don't tell Sheela what I am getting her for Christmas!

"THEY can turn on the system and find out where you are at any time as long as you have your cell phone on you"

-Sheela Halberg


-Mike Halberg

"We need a call tracer buster, buster, buster, buster"

-Some dude in a movie that I don't remember but I do remember laughing at.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ready Already!

ready already!
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Come on! Lets go play!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Cat and Christmas.

the other cat
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Christmas decorations are up at Nana and Bapa's house. And the porch is never complete without the cat.

Starting Early.

start her early.
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
We had Claire do her own Christmas shopping this year. Mike and I are about finished. We are mostly just waiting for stuff to show up in the mail. We did a lot of online shopping this year.

In the picture, Claire is actually playing some free online Dora games. I am really surprised how well she does. They are great. She needs her own computer!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Win Number Three

The Packers won tonight on some great heroics by Samkon Gado. This is the running back they picked up from the KC Chiefs' practice squad a few weeks back. He is from Nigeria and during the game they showed his mother bundled up in the freezing weather giving the crazy Green Bay fans high fives. The anouncers said that Gado tried out for the NFL thinking he could play a few seasons of special teams and make enough money to attend medical school! What fun. I can't wait to go to the Christmas day game with my Mom, Dad, Jim, Monnie and Sheela!!!


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Can't Trick Me!

Nana and Bapa are kitty-sitting for Granny. Claire loves the cat, and surprisingly, the cat seems to really like Claire as well. This morning Bapa was asking Claire questions about the cat.

Bapa: How many ears does the cat have?
Claire: 1..2 2 Ears!

Bapa: How many feet does the cat have?
Claire: 1...2...3...4 4 Ears!

Bapa: How many tails does the cat have?
Claire 1!

Bapa: How many tails do you have, Claire?
Claire: Hm. Only a butt.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Claire got her wish!

No more Overbay. She's been asking for it all season, and now its official.

Dave, Jimmer, is this a good thing??

Flyer and My mittens

I went to a private ER today to put in a shift. One of the nurses had the newspaper and was looking at an advertisement. I leaned over and casually said, "Oh, there is my wife." She was impressed and said, "You are married to a model?" I just played it cool and then rushed home after my shift to show Sheela!!!

We took a trip to see Grandpa John yesterday. He is in a nice place that is just down the block from John and Leslie. Good to see him, and he even recognized me! When we walked in I started showing off my mittens that Sheela knit me. He tried them on and said, "Nice and soft, I think I will keep these." He turned to Sheela and said, "Yes, I think I should keep these." She agreed and so now I wipe the snow off of my car with cold hands. The Packers are 2-10 and I don't have any mittens in December. Who'd a thunk?


Lots to Blog about today.

First of all, last night we went to visit Grandpa at South Shore Manor. It was really nice to see him, and to be so close to be able to just drop in. After, we stopped by Uncle John and Aunt Leslie's for a bit. It was so nice to see everyone, and now with Granny and Bozena in town, I'm sure we'll be seeing them a lot more as well.

This morning, Claire and I woke up to find our furnace not working. As Mike and I are on the brink of residency, there has been much talk about buying a house or not buying a house. I am definitely going to keep in mind how easy it was to call the landlord and say "the furnace is not working", and then not worry about it because its not my problem anymore! Yay! The landlord was here within 15 minutes, but unfortunately he couldn't fix it, so he has someone coming over later today. Its just nice to not have that kind of responsibility, especially at a time when fixing a furnace could break the bank.

And (drum roll) here is the results of my first ever photo shoot I posted about a while back. Scroll down to the Santa Stock Up ad, and I'm on page 21. I completely forgot about it until Mike called to remind me from work. What fun!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Mo-wa. (more)

Mo-wa. (more)
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Mo-wa presents. Claire really enjoyed St. Nick's Day today. Here she is making sure there aren't anymore little presents hidden in the bottom of her stocking.

A bit much, I think.

Costumes for your iPod?? I just don't get it. Most of the costumes look like they make using the iPod impossible. And they are $40? I can definitely think of something better to spend $40 on. Why would you want to dress up your iPod anyway? I really just don't get it.

Monday, December 05, 2005

701 E. Ayer

701 E. Ayer
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Maighie inspired me to post a few of my favorite Ironwood pictures. She has the most beautiful post about the house and its memories.


Originally uploaded by shalberg.

a rare moment alone in the kitchen.

Originally uploaded by shalberg.

bathroom door

Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Two Claire Quotes.

1. Mike to Claire: "Is Mama cool or what?"
Claire: "What."

2. One morning a few days ago, as she was waking up with a cold: "Mama, my nose broken. Fix it."

Friday, December 02, 2005


Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Claire was able to part with one silver star.