Sunday, February 26, 2006


Originally uploaded by shalberg.
I really wish there was audio to go with this picture.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Four Days Left

This has been a crazy month! I have been working my butt off at the hospital (as you can tell by the pictures of me sleeping all over the house!). But in just four days I start my month of vacation! Best of all, I just got my board scores back = PASS! This means that I can relax during my month off and enjoy match day (March 15th I think).

Remember, there is a giant party coming after I graduate!


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dinner with a 2 year-old.

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
She's eating apples, see?

There is more to see at flickr, if this isn't enough. Mike was sitting across from her either copying her faces, or making the face for her to copy. Fun fun.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday Afternoon

Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Hope everyone had a Sunday as relaxing as ours.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Dad Fish

The Dad Fish
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
There has been some speculation about The Dad Fish and his wrestling abilities. So I went and asked The Dad Fish if he wanted to wrestle Samantha Fish.

As you can see, The Dad Fish went and hid behind the snail's sign.

No Swiping!

Yesterday I asked Claire where the blue clip is that I use to close the spinach bag in the refrigerator.

"I swiped it!"
"You swiped it? Where did you put it?"
"Better check the map, Mom."

Of course. The map. This can only be a direct result of the game we were playing at Nana and Bapa's house a few weekends ago where Mike would swipe something and hide it while I drew a map showing how to find it. Then Claire would go on an adventure to get it back. Its not quite as much fun, though, when the 2 year old is the one doing the swiping.

Also, we got two goldfish today. Claire had one fish a few months ago, but it didn't last more than three days. I hope these fish last a bit longer, and if not, well thats really okay too. Claire had them named before we got home: Samantha and Dad.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Changes abound!

It started last week when I was watching Mason. Jalyn came with Elissa to pick him up, and when she was here, she used the bathroom. Claire asked me where Jalyn went, and I said "Jalyn is going potty on the toilet, because she is a big girl", and I swear I saw the lightbulb go on in Claire's head. Since then, she's been wearing underwear (just like Jalyn) and going potty on the toilet (just like Jalyn). She had one accident since Friday, due to the fact that she was playing computer games and couldn't quite tear herself away in time. But otherwise she's perfect. We've even made a few trips to the store and to Jalyn's house without a problem.

And so, because she is a big girl now, I took the front off of her crib and she adores the new freedom. Now she has a "big girl bed, just like Jalyn". She only fell out one time last night, and immediately wanted to go back to sleep in her big girl bed. I didn't plan it, but its worked out really well because Claire has put the two things together. Going potty in the toilet means a big girl bed. Its good motivation. And having a 4 year-old friend that Claire idolizes is really wonderful.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


"Claire. Why did the chicken cross the road?"


"To get to the other side!"

Friday, February 10, 2006


Originally uploaded by shalberg.
Claire and Mason, James and Elissa's youngest, acting silly.

I have a perfectly sweet picture of these two, but where is the fun in that? This one is much more interesting as well as accurate.

Balloon Love.

a 'baby' balloon
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
And a picture to break up these text-only posts.

This is Claire's 'baby balloon'. She loves it so very much, as you can see.

Who can I blame?

I have been so tired lately, and that has translated into being lazy. So I have been trying to find things to blame it on. For a little while, it was Brazil. Never mind that I gained FOUR HOURS of sleep on the plane coming home. It was low-quality sleep gotten on a plane, after all. I could blame Mike. He hasn't been sleeping well, and he could be keeping me up at night. Or, it could be that I am not sleeping well, and I'm keeping him up at night, but I doubt it because then I would have to blame myself. Then there is Claire, kicking up the "I'm 2 year old" attitude, which is a giant drain on energy. And the weather? Cold and cloudy. Not exactly uplifting. So really, when you look at it, its no wonder why I'm tired!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

My projects.

I've finally started knitting Mike's second replacement mitten. I have had the first finished for a while now, but somehow, that second one has been slow in coming. Honestly, I've knit three other pairs of mittens, a pair of socks, and a scarf since I finished the first mitten of Mike's. Sorry, Mike. Now I really want to start a pair of socks for myself, but I just can't justify it if Mike's mittens are not done. Hopefully he'll still get some use out of them since its only February. I also want to try hand-dyeing yarn. I've been reading all about it and getting pretty excited to try it out, but again, not until that mitten is finished.

Mike and Jim were in a tennis tournament last weekend, and they took third. It was fun to watch Mike play again, its been a while since I have. And it was thanks to Nana that I was able to. Claire wanted to walk around almost the entire time, and Nana went along with her every time. Claire actually did spend a few minutes watching, kind of.

After the last match on Sunday, we went to the Kinsella's for the Super Bowl. I will agree with most of the reviews I have heard and say that it was a good game. I cheered for the Steelers, but I definitely wasn't very excited about the whole thing. I paid more attention to the commercials than anything else (my favorites were the ameriquest and sprite ads). And now we wait for the next season to start!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Talking with Claire

Me: What is your mom's name?
Claire: The Boss.

Claire: Mom. Come here in the living room.
Me: I can't right now.
A few seconds of silence...
Claire: Just try mom. I know you can. (Obviously we've been working on 'trying' lately.)

Friday, February 03, 2006

More pictures!

We're Here!
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
I just remembered Mike's camera had a bunch of pictures on it too, so I was able to put a few more on Flickr.

This picture of Mike was taken within the first three hours of being in Brazil. It was right after I got sick. The roads we were on were so twisty and hilly my stomach just couldn't take it. I felt better looking out the window. Maybe because I could see what was coming, or maybe because I had views like the one in the picture.

People Who Love Me

Claire and I rolled out a long piece of paper today and started drawing stick figures. She quickly titled the work "People Who Love Me", and so we started assigning names to the drawings. I drew most of the people, and Claire would finish up the faces. She did an especially good job with Bapa's face,

but when it came to her daddy, she insisted on drawing the entire person herself.

I was very impressed, I had no idea she could draw a stick figure so well. As we were drawing, we talked about each of the people we drew. Here is what Claire had to say.

Daddy: Daddy can this! (Claire would jump up and squat way down)
Mama: Mama does this. (Claire began to spin in circles)
Monnie: Honk! Honk! Monnie says Honk! Honk!
Jim: Uncle Jim is funny.
Bapa: Do some exercise.
Nana: Nana has green hair.
Grandpa: I like to drink hot coffee with my grandpa.
Grandma: Grandma likes shopping at the shopping store.
Dave: Dave swinging me at Grandma's house.
Sharon: Sharon likes balloons.

When we were finished, we taped the paper to the wall. Claire looked at it and said, in a very quiet voice, "Oh Mama. Look at all the people who love me". What a sweetie.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A present for Mike?

Its a 'Clocky'. Many people have heard the stories about how Mike can sometimes get a little confused about what time it is when he wakes up, or a little concerned that the alarm clock won't actually go off and wake him. There have been many nights that he has gotten up at 1am convinced he is late. He has even gone as far as showering, shaving, and eating breakfast before he realizes he has four or five more hours of sleep to get (I generally sleep through all this). Most nights he sets two alarms, just to make sure he wakes up. So I think the Clocky is a great thing for him. Its a normal alarm clock until you hit the snooze button. Then its wheels start to turn, it rolls off the nightstand and into some hiding spot in your room. When the alarm sounds a second time, you have to get out of bed and track it down to turn it off.

Sounds like a fun idea, but I think the design could be improved upon. It looks pretty strange to me.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Brazil 2006
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
What a great time! We got back yesterday morning and drove off right away to pick up Claire. We both missed her so much, and its great to be back home, even if it is 50 degrees colder.

Brazil was fabulous. We went to at least one beach every day. We ate amazing food, went to parties, concerts, and clubs. Ana and Luiz were wonderful and showed us a great time. They took care of everything, and it was a truly relaxing week for Mike and I.

A few things I remember:
1) Traffic is insane. Motorcycles ride between lanes of traffic. Everyone drives 80mph or faster. People walk and ride bikes across highways. On city roads, there are speedbumps everywhere, some of them completely unmarked. At one point, we were behind a policeman. He pulled over to let us pass so we could go faster. Luiz is an incredible driver. He can park his VW Polo in a spot three feet long.

2) Pretty much everyone has a year or two of English. The first phrase they learn to say is "the book is on the table". Its kind of a joke (they have a SNL-style skit where two people are having a conversation in english and the portuguese subtitles only say 'the book is on the table'). Every person I met who didn't know English said "the book is on the table" to me. Or I would say it to them and get huge laughs.

3) We had a few funny misunderstandings. Mike and I were telling Luiz that snow is good for children, they like to play in it and so on. He understood us saying that snow is good for chickens. Mike was laying on the couch and Luiz came into the room and said "Upstairs!" when he meant to say "wake up!". Mike started to go upstairs until he realized Luiz meant wake up. Ana was giving us a few options of things we could do while she was at mass. We could go along, take a nap, go to the beach. Mike thought she said we could come to mass and sleep.
"People really do that?" he asked her.
"Yes, of course"
"Really. Hm. Thats interesting."

3) One night we were going to a birthday party that was at a house in the middle of a banana tree forest. It had been raining a bit that day, and we got a late start, so we were driving through the banana tree forest at night, in the rain on a road much like the one to the cabin in Ironwood, when we came up over a hill and saw a huge puddle blocking our way. We couldn't tell how deep it was, and decided it was not worth it, so we turned around. It rained all night, and the next day, we found out the people who had already made it to the party had to call a tow truck ($400!) to get the cars out. The water was more than waist deep (they found out because one person decided to try it and got very stuck.

We did and saw so much, I don't think I even have a favorite. It really was a vacation of a lifetime, and we are already planning to go back! Thank you so much to Ana and Luiz, and their family and friends. You all made us feel so welcome!