Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fathers Day Ideas. Feel free to borrow any of them.

I asked Claire what should we do for dad for Father's Day today. Here are some of her answers:

I know! We could finish my doll house!
Wait wait wait. I remember. We can buy him a hiking pack! (Well, now that sound like a planted idea, doesn't it, Mike?)
We could get him a donut! And one for me too!
We could hide from him when he comes home and then jump out and say 'suprise!!'
We could wash all the dishes for him.
We could give him a new eraser and pencil.
We could get him a new computer!
We could make him a picture!

I think we'll do that last one. And probably do the dishes for him as well. I'm going to be doing them anyway, I might as well claim it as a gift, right?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Golden Key...and More

by: Claire Halberg, who has been talking since she woke up this morning.

A long long time a go, a big blowing storm blew the Golden Key all the way to the Golden Hotel. And a big basket caught it. And then the key and basket blew into the Golden Hotel, and sailed into 1-1-10. Thats the door that we were in. All the owners said "Where is the Golden Key?" They lost it in the Golden Hotel. And then an owner with yellow shoes came to get the key from room 1110. Do you know who it was? It was Claire. I'm the owner of this key. Its for the Golden Hotel. Not the Red Hotel. Not the Blue Hotel. Not the Green Hotel. Not the Yellow Hotel and not the Gray Hotel. Only the Golden Hotel. The owner has all different kinds of keys. They keep all the keys that they have found. And the Golden Key is special because it opens any door in the whole Golden Hotel...

So then I make sure I have room in my suitcase for the Golden Key. I'm taking a vacation to Milwaukee to see all different kinds of things. I'm coming back in eight days. I'm going on a blue plane, and you are going on a red plane. I tied a rope to your plane so you can follow my direction. Everyone has to buckle their seat belts. I have a special button that buckles our seat belts. Now our belts are buckled, and every one else is buckled too. Now we are there! Now we are ready for the bus. We have to go on one plane and two buses to get to Milwaukee, and now we are going on the bus. Its tricky, so follow my bus. Its going to go East, West, and then North. Here. I'm going to show you a map. It shows everywhere we will go, and a big line for the bus. The big brown dot is the bus station. The blue dot is Milwaukee. We have to go through the big dark cave. But there is a big short cut. We'll take the big short cut...

Now we are on the black dot. Thats the subway train. The subway train will take us to the big Children's Museum that has the Big Mouth. Do you know what that is? I'll tell you. The Betty Brinn Children's Museum! It has a Big Mouth!

It has drums and a big TV you can watch different things on. And a big sand table. Oh boy! I'm hungry! We did lots of things at this children's museum, and now its lunch time. Lets go to Subway! I get a sandwich with olives and lettuce and tomato sauce and cheese and tomatoes. And juice. You get a salad with tomato sauce mixed in. And lettuce and cheese and some olives and some strawberries mixed in. You can have some water. There you go, there is your salad. Wait!! First you have to pay for it.....

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Two Weeks of Jack

I was really surprised when I looked at the calendar and saw that we've only had him for two weeks. It seems like much longer. He's no longer the timid pup that I first described. He doesn't spend time voluntarily in his kennel anymore, and he is really making progress with learning commands. So far he does really well with 'sit' and we've moved onto 'stay' which is coming along nicely. Next is 'come'. Right now he only does that when he feels like it. Usually what he feels like doing is playing, and Claire is always ready for some tug-of-war.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Happy Birthday (yesterday) Mike!

Since Mike was camping this past weekend, Claire and I took the opportunity to finish up the office as much as we could to surprise him for his birthday. He came home a day early due to the rain, but we rushed and in the end, we were successful. I still have to move two lamps into the office, but they are currently being used. They will have to wait until we can find some replacements. The whole process of finishing the office had kind of a domino effect. A table that I was using in our bedroom was moved to the office, but it had to have a replacement in the bedroom. So I spray painted some shelves that Mike's dad and I built and used them as a replacement, but then the items that used to be on those shelves needed a place. You get the idea. Doing one room spread into three others. Anyway, here are some pictures of what we did. Nothing very drastic, just moving the components around a bit, and also adding things to the walls. Its pretty surprising that we have lived here for a year and there are still walls that are entirely empty. But that is no longer the case in the office!

As far as room decor goes, Mike is all about theme. So the theme I picked was 'Places We've Been'. It was really fun to choose the pictures. We've really been to some cool places and have some pretty amazing pictures that have done nothing but sit on my hard drive. It was really satisfying to get them up in a place where we can look at and enjoy them every day.

Then we had macaroni and cheese (the request was that I find a copycat recipe for Boston Market's cheesy macaroni, so I did. Its very cheesy, to say the least) with cornbread and angel food cake with fresh fruit for dessert. I think Claire enjoyed Mike's birthday as much or more than he did. Every day she pretends it is someone's birthday. Usually its Uncle Jim or Uncle Dave, but yesterday was the real thing and since she's had so much practice, she definitely knew what to do. I think Mike was served pretend birthday cake (complete with singing of Happy Birthday) 6 or 7 different times. It was definitely a fun day for all of us.

Friday, June 01, 2007

New York City

We just got back from an unexpected trip to New York. Actually, Mike knew he was going, he was attending a conference. But the people he planned to go with canceled at the last minute, so Claire and I went along instead. It was a great opportunity and really it couldn't have worked out better. We ended up having a fantastic time. We stayed at the Sofitel right off 5th Avenue. It was about 1.5 blocks from Times Square, where Claire and I spent most of our time while Mike was at his conference.

The one night we had there, we used very well. After Mike was finished for the day, we walked to Central Park and FAO Schwartz. Along the way we saw Rockefeller Center, Saint Patricks Cathedral, Trump Tower and the NBA store.

Then we walked to the Empire State Building. We obviously went during a non-peak time, because we didn't have to wait. But it was obvious from the large areas with the mazes of ropes that we were lucky. We bought the audio tour, and it was well worth it. It was fun to be there and look out at all the buildings, but knowing what you were looking at really turned it from 'pretty neat' to 'favorite part of the trip'. On the way back to the hotel we picked up some Subway sandwiches and ate them in Bryant Park while the Yankees game was shown on a huge screen (Mike quickly removed his Sox hat and hid it in a bag). It was just like a drive in movie. Then we went to Times Square to see the lights at night, went back to our room, and crashed.

The next day Claire and I spent most of our time in Bryant Park waiting for Mike, and then we started driving home. I've only driven through Connecticut four times, but three of those times the entire state was one big traffic jam. The only time we went through without a problem was on the way to New York this trip, and that was because it was the middle of the night. It took us 10 hours to get home last night. Twice what it took us to get there because we spent five hours in traffic in Connecticut. Its a pretty state from what I've seen, and we sure did get to spend some time looking at it while we were parked on the freeway.

Its good to be home. Mike left today for a camping trip at Baxter State Park. I'm sure he will have a great time hiking. Hopefully the weather holds out for him. Its suppose to be rainy. And hopefully, Claire and I can get some stuff done thats been on our To Do List for far too long.