Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday Michaela!

Happy Birthday, Michaela!

Today Michaela turned 3 years old and was lucky enough to have Grandpa and Grandma Gold come to visit with lots of presents! All week Michaela has been excited, telling everyone that she is three and singing happy birthday to herself. It was awesome to see her so excited. I want to thank everyone who sent presents and birthday wishes as well!

Grandpa and Grandma's visit was short but sweet and very much appreciated. Malcolm and Mike went to the Mead Wildlife Area to check Woodduck houses with three students and two wildlife technicians. Luckily the wind was not blowing, as it was single digits on Saturday morning. We also got a few small projects done including fixing a few of the sqeeks in our upstairs floor, though we still have quite a few left, but now we know how to do them :)

Michaela wanted a Lion cake this year, so we rented a cake pan and I attempted to decorate another cake :) I am going to take cake decorating classes now, so MAYBE I will get better for all the birthday cakes to come!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The calm before the storm

Tonight is the calm, but unfortunately I see the horizon and it looks like it could be trouble in the future. This semester I am teaching a 5-week accelerated hybrid class (AHY). We will meet once a week for three hours and the rest of the course is online. Officially classes start next week but the AHY class is already in week 0 and reading chapters for the first day of class. I still need to finish the syllabus for the other classes this week, but I am feeling fairly confident. I am working with local businesses to have my Spring 2010 Bus 101 students visit a company to talk about HR and be involved with a employee satisfaction survey.

Christine is reading a book tonight, so I finished the last edits of November pictures from the Sakaguchi visit. If I was not a procrastinator by nature I would argue that I delay picture editing for at least a couple of months in order to look back and reflect. It was an awesome visit by my sister and her family. Steve & Bill are awesome family and Abi is definitely a cutie!

East meets West: Junco Style

Dark-eyed Junco

Every winter the bird feeders around the US are regularly visited by Juncos. One species of Junco is the Dark-eyed Junco. Subspecies of the Dark-eyed Junco include, but are not limited to, the "slate-colored" and "Oregon" or "east" and "west" Junco. The slate-colored subspecies is most often gray, with some small variations and allowances for brown and pink coloration. The Oregon subspecies on the other hand is very vibrant and has extensive brown/pink on the flanks on the back with a black or gray hood that strongly contrast the side flanks, belly, and back . (If you open the above link there are pictures of both subspecies on the bottom.)

Dark-eyed Junco

When east meets west and the help of a little Barry White, we get what may be a cross of the two subspecies, or a "Cassiar Junco"(Junco hyemalis cismontanus). That is the consensus to the identification and clarification of subspecies seen in these pictures by inquiry on the Wisconsin Bird Network. It is awesome having individuals with the same interest to bounce ideas off of, and in most cases these individuals are more experience birders with allot of knowledge. A great thanks to everyone on WisBirdN.

Dark-eyed Junco

While I find this topic fascinating, I have to wonder which of our family or friends even sees anything other than a bird.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Grandma, Grandpa, Three Shirts, & a Furlough

I hope everyone had a safe holiday season and a happy new year. It has been a while since we posted. Christine stayed in MN with the girls for an extended visit. Another week remains before Spring semester but I've had too many meetings, deadlines, and new preps to get done comfortably in a short amount of time.

So, this post is mostly about Michaela and how she helped me take a break.

Michaela has been missing family since returning to Marshfield on Sunday. She woke up Wednesday crying and wanting to visit Elizabeth. We had a short talk about how wonderful it is to visit family, but that it is a long drive and that we cannot drive back and forth every day even though it would be great if we could. Michaela liked the idea of sending Elizabeth a card so Christine assisted and we got one in the mail.

Thursday Michaela woke up crying for Grandma and Grandpa. She was not very specific to which one or what she wanted to do, nor did I ever find out, as that topic quickly changed when she threw-up on me while walking up the stairs. Michaela started crying, not because she threw-up, but because she made a mess on my sweater and her pajamas. A quick wash and 20 minutes of snuggling and I thought she was in the clear. She was watching TV on the couch when it came up a second time.....cottage cheese from the night before.....but not like you imagined! It was very solid and looked like it may have hurt coming out. Anyways, that mostly came out on the second sweater for the day leading me to grab a third shirt and requiring Michaela to get her hair washed. She cried harder getting her hair washed than anyone other time that morning. By the end of this ordeal it was already lunch time and I decided to stay home and take a furlough day. I am mandated to take one before next semester started a day at home was what the doctor ordered.

It was a welcomed break and awesome to spend time with all three of my girls. I am not sure how Christine can keep her sanity with them all day, Michaela doesn't like being outside in the cold but also goes stir crazy inside...even when sick. We are definitely missing the open gyms and children's museum in Madison this winter. By the end of the day Michaela modeled Christine's wedding ring as a toe ring, decided that they should ride her new horse, and Danielle and Michaela played hard before they stripped off their clothes and ran to take a bath.