Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Favorite Weather

This is my favorite time of year. I really really love it when the weather starts to cool down. You can do stuff like go to Olbrich Gardens and actually enjoy the time outside. 

Or watch Claire play soccer and not count down the minutes left in the game.

Or you can go to Aunt Monnie's house to eat apple pie and ice cream in the back yard.

Summer doesn't have anything on the fall.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Claire!

She's nine! And nine is fine.

Claire's birthday was on a beautiful cool day. We made the most of it and the new deck to have family and friends over to celebrate. There were lots of balloons,

Lots of presents,

And lots of fun all around.

Friday, September 07, 2012


Being fully happy:

Trying, as always, to avoid a picture:

 Getting a little help with her zipper from her sister:

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Last Week of Summer

The last week of summer held a few surprises for us.  First, Milena got croup. This was my first experience with croup so when she woke up in the middle of night gagging for air, I'll be honest, it freaked me out. But Mike had probably seen cases worse than hers, so he was pretty casual about the whole thing, especially compared to me. Her pediatrician called in some steroids and she easily went back to sleep. I went back to bed too, and listened to all the tiny little sounds that were suddenly loud and clear.

She was completely over it for our weekend trip to Milwaukee.  We saw a lot of family on Thursday and were looking forward to seeing more on Friday. Unfortunately, Friday Claire slipped on a wet floor at Discovery World. She cut her lip pretty severely and broke a tooth off, right at the gum line.  So we quickly packed up and went back home to see the dentist, who was willing to open the office just for us. The tooth she broke was a permanent tooth, but it was only partially erupted so what looked like a completely broken tooth was really a tooth with only the bottom quarter missing. It easily could have been worse. She has a temporary cap on it now and we are waiting several weeks to see how much damage was done to the nerve. In the mean time, we are finding out that way more people than I would have thought have had a broken tooth or two. After seeing the dentist, the girls and I piled back in the truck and went back to Milwaukee to pick up where we left off at John and Leslie's with liars dice in the dining room, dancing in the kitchen and art in the living room.

The next day we hit Veteran's Park for some paddle boating. Someone decided we should name our boats. Milena decided our blue boat would be called "Red Racer". 

Even with the drama of Claire's face, we had a great weekend. It was really nice to see so much family. 

Sunday we went to Ripon for Mike's grandma's funeral. I don't have any pictures from this, of course, but it was a really nice gathering. It was really good to see all the Halbergs again.

Finally after a busy week and a busier weekend, Tuesday was the first day of school. Its a big deal this year because we are homeschooling Claire. Or more accurately 'virtual schooling'. Our district has the option for a virtual school and this year we decided to try it.  Its a combination of in school and at home learning. Two days in, and so far its fantastic. I'll be keeping a blog about it, Lost My Rutabaga. The name was inspired by Claire, who is also keeping a blog called Hare Spray. You can follow the link to my blog but Claire's is only available if you've been invited. If you are a friend or family and want to check it out, let me know and I'll send you an invitation. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Aaaand, more Door County

When I decide to write a post, usually I start looking through the pictures I've taken since the last post. This time, the only pictures I took since the last time I was in Door County, were more recently taken in Door County. But, for something a little bit new, these pictures are mostly of my brother's kids.  They seem to *enjoy* having their pictures taken.  Which is surprising to me because my own kids act like this is painful painful torture.  To get a picture of Milena I have to be sneaky. I use a lens I can really zoom in with and snap pictures while she's preoccupied. Or if I'm using my iPhone, I turn the sound off so she can't hear the 'shutter' as I click away, kind of off to the side. 

Like these of Milena. Zoomed in and taken while she was busy running away from Dave.

But Mason and Mara (and Dave) just stand or sit there, looking cute, for just about as long as I want them to. Crazy kids. They'll get older and know better.

These were all taken at Andersen Dock. Its a great place for the sunset. Plus there is a large grassy area to play in, rocks to climb on and people fishing to watch. Can't beat it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Door County

We've been spending a lot of time in Door County this summer. The kids want to spend every possible second at the pool. When these pictures were taken, it was barely 75 degrees out. And it was windy. Claire can make her own decision to swim in weather like that but Milena needs an adult in the pool and nobody volunteered. I don't think she minded much. She played on the stairs and in the end she left just as soaked as Claire. I remember swimming in Lake Superior when I was a kid and being surprised my lips/hands/feet were blue, because no way was I cold. When you are a kid, you just don't feel it.

Eventually you do need to dry off though, because stuff needs to get done. Milena rides all the lawn mowers on display when shopping, but actually driving one is much more fun.

We've also been enjoying the Olympics. Here Claire is watching rhythmic gymnastics. Its amazing how much more jumping around there is after watching any gymnastic event.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

And she's 3.

Milena turns three today.  

I think she's relieved to have woken up to find all her teeth still in her mouth, and all her diapers still in the closet.  These two things have been causing some anxiety the past few days as she realized her birthday was getting closer and closer.  A few months back Claire explained to Milena that she'll lose her teeth when she gets older. Milena assumed 'older' meant 'three', and she's been afraid that she'd wake up on her third birthday without teeth no matter how many times we assured her she would not.  The second issue, with the diapers, she brought on herself.  She's insisted she'd start wearing only underwear once she turned three.  She does great using the toilet at home, but she's a little iffy when we are out.  Public toilets can be quite loud, and they throw her off.  As the big day came closer, she started worrying that in the night I would replace all her diapers with underwear, because she said she'd wear them. It didn't happen.

Today we have spent the day finding all the 3's I hid around the house and playing board games. She requested a Brewer cake (because it has a blue 'M') and dinner at Market Street Diner. The big double birthday party with Annesley is at the zoo, like always, this weekend. Its been a great day, and I'm sure she'll sleep easier tonight.

In July (and April, and May, and June)

This is becoming a quarterly blog, at best. We've been busy, I  guess? In any case, here are some highlights.

In the spring, we had the chance to raise four chicks. It was a ton of fun and really cool. Claire was in 100%, taking care of feeding, watering and letting the chicks out of their cage for some attention. At the end of several weeks, we got to send them back. Chicks are cool, but they are also loud, messy and smelly at times. This was a perfect set up.

Also in the spring, the small one turned three.  We had the traditional party at the zoo. This year Milena requested a Brewers cake. Her uncles like to think its because she's already a fan for life at age three but I know its because the logo happens to be her favorite shade of blue. And that the logo actually has an 'M' at the top doesn't hurt either.

There was a trip to Florida which my parents tagged along for. It was a lot of fun to spend the week with them. We didn't tell the girls they were coming until they showed up at the airport.

And there have been two trips to Door County. We'll be going there more often because we just bought a camper there, set up on a permanent site. We all look a lot like this while we are there:

And sometimes we take a break from that and go zip-lining, sunset watching or ice cream eating.  So, really we mostly look like the above.

Monday, April 16, 2012

In March

March started off cold.  I think this may have been the only snow this year. I don't remember. Maybe it was the only time we actually used the snowblower.  It was pretty, in any case.

Milena was ready to get out there, wearing Claire's protective eyewear from her science kit to keep out the wind and snow, of course.   

It soon warmed up.  All the snow melted and it was something like 90 degrees for a week, how I remember it. We put away all the snow suits and shovels. Swapped the lawnmower and snowblower in the garage, and got outside.  Hide and Seek with a Dad sandwich.

Claire and Milena are fashionable as always, but in different ways.  Claire picks things that she likes the look of. She chose the polka dots on her socks to match the stripes on her skirt and the plaid of her vest. And keeps the turquoise running throughout. She thought about it and set it out the night before. 

Milena chooses what she wears for function.  The wind was blowing her hair, better put on a hat to keep it out of her face. She really wanted to wear that blue skirt, but it was too cold, so put pants on under it.  Shoes? Whatever she can get on herself to get outside the fastest.

They can be so cute together.  Here they are playing the piano together one morning. They are even wearing matching pjs.  Come on.  Thats so sweet it makes your teeth hurt.

And this is just pretty. 

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Going on Three

Its been said before, but I'll go ahead and confirm, the 'terrible twos' are nothing compared to what three brings. Milena isn't quite three yet, give her two months, but she's definitely close enough to start acting like a three year old. The past few weeks have been trying to say the least as Milena learns some boundaries and I keep looking for a reset button.

When Claire was in Kindergarden, back in Maine, she had a difficult time adjusting to all day school.  For the first few months, she spent a fair amount of her mornings crying. One of her classmates, a boy named Michael, would try to cheer her up. He made up a song he'd sing if Claire was sad, and it always made her laugh. It was a song about a mustache, and then a beard, and then a 'moose-stache', because thats how people in Maine pronounce mustache (thats not true). Its a simple and catchy tune that Claire still sings. And it works for Milena too. When she's getting herself worked up, that song kind of brings her out of it. She'll resist at first, but its not long before she's singing it and making herself laugh. It makes me wonder if Michael remembers that and what he'd say if he knew how often we sing and laugh about it.