Situation Normal

The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We're Otta-here!

Well, as you might have guessed, we have left Normal, Illinois and moved on to Ottawa, Ontario. Consequently, I have ended the Situation Normal blog. I admit that my Situation Normal posts have been getting few and far between. (Yes, Facebook ate my blog, too.)
I have started a new Fish Ottawater blog on a trial basis. If anyone other than my mother (hi Mom!) is interested in keeping up on what we are doing in Canada please let me know, and I will try to keep posting.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

less Normal, more Canada


After much consideration, I accepted a 2-year postdoc at the University of Ottawa, ON. Danny and I broached the subject with the kids by festooning their dinner with little flags. The kids knew that we were likely moving somewhere next year, and they were fairly mellow about the whole thing. I asked them for a rating of their feelings about moving to Canada, and this is what I got:

It looks like a neutral from Sam. Joseph very precisely oriented his thumb slightly north of neutral, which is a good sign.
Joseph then drew my attention to a previous conversation in which I told him that I was hoping to get a job as a professor, and that when I did, we could buy our own house. Erm...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Balmer Merlin

After leaving New York, we visited Baltimore. Here are a few of the many pictures that we look in Charm city.
An unscheduled group picture of the ladies.

Sam on the couch reading Far Side comics with Aron and Ron.

Sam with Benjamin on the couch. Sam was enamored of the Playstation. (As you may recall, we live in lame land with no such thing.) I am trying to recall whether or not Sam actually left the couch, but various people came to visit him.

Rich with Alexa--so far so good...

Joseph, Sam and Grandpa Saul

Grandma Martha, Sam and Joseph. (Two pictures--each one had a different person looking in the wrong direction.)


Joseph, Grandma Dorinda and Sam

Christmas and Staten Island


After leaving Cleveland, we headed for New York. After the massive snowstorm, road conditions were not too bad, although there were giant snowdrifts everywhere.
The kids had a great time playing in the snow. We all made a massive snowman at the park. All of us except Sam, who erected a series of shrunken snowman heads on posts.



We went to Olde Historic Richmondtownville. The kids enjoyed parts of the toy exhibit, but I don't think that they were that interested in the historic hand-tooled nail collection.

Christmas! Much chaos and presents!
Mike and Karen resting after presents.

Victoria and Joseph playing with the little dogs.

The cousins. Yes, that is Joseph's butt. I cannot tell you how many of our family photos feature Joseph's butt.

Chanukah and Cleveland


This year Chanukah was so early that it came and went before winter break. And what can be more fun than children lighting things on fire!

This year we started our trip in Cleveland. We had a great time at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. We enjoyed many taxidermied animals and miniature dioramas, which are pretty much the same as when I was a kid.

The kids got to hang out with the otters again. It looks like the otters get bored during the winter and have figured out how to keep kids at their enclosure with a seemingly endless array of tricks.

We met Michelle and Rich for dinner at Lopez (no y Gonzalez. I wonder what ever happened to Gonzales, anyway).

Not too bad a visit. Danny and I found a new regular bar within walking distance of my Mom's house. I did some shopping and got sweaters and various and sundry things (Chanukah decorations!) not to be found in Normal, IL. Argos and I had a bunch of good runs around Shaker lakes (and I didn't get lost once!).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween, halloween and more halloween


This was the cheapest Halloween ever, luckily for us. Sam wanted to be a scarecrow (from Batman, not the Wizard of Oz), and Joseph was Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events. I sewed Sam's costume out of burlap and raffia, and Sam sewed on the patches and stitching. For Joseph's costume, we already had this tiny little evening jacket that Sam picked out at the Goodwill in Riverside when he was 3. I have no idea how it survived our massive purge of possessions, but apparently it was too cute to give away. Joseph insisted that Olaf wore blue striped pants, so he helped me pick out the fabric. Under $20 for both costumes together!

The kids had a great time Trick or Treating in our neighborhood. They got about 10 lbs of candy from all the nice senior citizens.

After trick-or-treating, the kids went to the TaeKwonDo Halloween party where they played games, and spun out their sugar high until bedtime. Sam won the costume contest!

And we got a lot of use out of both costumes. We went to the Uptown Treatfest to visit all the Uptown Normal stores.

Joseph participated in the Mulberry School Halloween parade. (Sam was in a parade in his school, but we don't have pictures of it.)

Joseph displaying Count Olaf's most distinguishing feature: the eye tattoo on his ankle.

And last week we went to the Haunted Trail, where Joseph wore Sam's Iron Man constume from last year. He insisted that he needed a Tony Stark mustache under his mask. He later used said mustache to scare rabbits.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Windy chap

Joseph got to play "the man" in his class play. For some unknown reason, he chose to play his part with a British accent.
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