Monday, September 29, 2008

Slip N Slide!

Our friend Mark brought his two kids over for some fun in the sun with the slip n slide. The kids discovered that removing their swim-wear dramatically lowered their coefficient of friction. Water plus momentum minus friction equals wheeeee!
I thought this was a pretty amazing shot (click for a larger view). Nice work with the camera, Erin!

Friday, September 19, 2008

go, mommy go!

today is the first full day of round-the-clock-solo-parenting of a preschooler and a newborn (john's in berkeley for a research group meeting until monday.... but i'm sure he's really eating yummy indian food & lots of cheeseboard pizza). we went to mommy exercise this morning, for the first time since marcus' birth. i just walked and did just a few of the arm exercises. it felt great to be up and out in the fresh air so early, and i know i'll get stronger as i get back into the groove. afterwards, we walked over to the zoo with a group from our class and owen was able to check out all his keiki zoo favorites (primarily the guinea pigs), and assemble a giant floor puzzle, and hang with some friends while i nursed marcus in the shade. the honolulu zoo is really one of my favorite places on earth :)

so far we're all still alive, and in a stroke of luck, both boys are napping peacefully (call it a miracle or attribute it to my superpowers). the dishes are done. the stinkiest laundry is in almost done. i just got to take a shower. our neighbors are having us over for dinner tonight for chinese take-out. i know that it won't always be this easy, but a girl can dream....

Go Owen Go!

Owen reads Go Dog Go! from memory and context.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Slide Show

"Mommy made strawberry short cake! Can Ah get a wit-ness?!"

Marcus, chillin' at the park with his friend, Aurelia

Owen inspects the Waikiki FD equipment. They passed Owen's scrutiny with only minor marks.

The koi pond at Punahou School (down the street from us where Baradk Obama attended and learned about hope and change)
Owen, lost in deep thought. (Yes, he wore the same shirt two days in a row. You got a problem with that? 'Cause he doesn't.)

Our neighbor, Antie Elizabeth, gave Owen this robe with fire trucks on it, which Owen describes as, "Awesome" and "Real cool."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Isn't it amazing and wonderful to be here?

In the still hours of the morning after returning from a night of observing at the telescope, I found myself standing over our bed looking at Marcus, curled up next to Erin. As parents often do, I stood there watching him rest, basking in the rare silence. He was doing his erratic breathing thing, every so often pausing just long enough for me to wonder if he'd start again. And then he'd start again.

As I stood there watching him, I was overcome by a feeling that I couldn't quite put my finger on. It was a mixture of love and awe and thankfulness. I felt grateful because it was so astoundingly improbable for me to be there right at that moment.

I thought about all the experiments with civilization humans have done over the past 5-10 thousand years that gave rise to the (semi) stable, and mostly safe world we live in. A world where it was okay for me to marry who I did, and where I can provide for my family by doing something so luxurious as using fancy telescopes to study distant planets. I thought about all the experimental gene combinations that didn't work out, and the important few that did that led to my parents, to me, and eventually to Marcus. I envisioned all of the mass extinctions millions of years ago that were big enough to pave the way for the hairy little creatures, but just small enough to not wipe out all life on Earth. I then thought of all of the collisions in the early Solar System that built up the Earth through a snow-ball-like process, with our tiny little planet positioned in the Goldilocks zone of our solar system: not too hot, not too cold, but just right. And all of the stars that had to be born to fuse the heavy elements that make up the Earth, the moon, and us. And then how those stars lived and died and lived and died over billions of years in order to seed our corner of the Galaxy with those vital raw materials.

I just had to shake my head with a genuine sense of wonder that all of those events somehow lead to me standing there looking at my little son, sleeping peacefully next to my wife.

I reached down and picked him up to transfer him to his crib. But before I set him down, I held his sleeping body high above my head and smiled up at him. Marcus, ruler of my corner of the Universe and my hope for the future! Marcus, descended from a long line of winners, a born survivor, destined for great things, my boy! Marcus, my everyth--

--and then he puked on my forehead...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Marcus Smiles

It's amazing how much easier it all seems when they finally smile at you. Especially when they throw in the little fist pump!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Owen's DVD Player

Owen getting ready to watch a Clifford DVD we rented from the library. It's his world, we're just living in it. I'm working on teaching him how to use the remote. Notice how he likes to watch DVDs from within his "nest."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Marcus update

People are always asking me, "How's your little one doing?" And even though I always reply, "He's doing great," or something like that, I'm always tempted to say, "Well, I'm not really sure. We don't talk much these days."

I kid!

Marcus is an amazing kid. Here's what he's been up to lately:

The Marcus Skill Set
  1. Head raising. When I hold him upright against my chest, he likes to push away and open his eyes really big as if to say, "Look at all that stuff!" After about 5-10 seconds, he collapses with a grunt as if he was bench pressing 250 pounds.
  2. Rolling over. Just like his big brother, Marcus is a rolling-over prodigy. When we put him on his tummy, he rolls himself over onto his back!
  3. Grumbling. Also like his big brother, he's really good at making grumbling noises. When he has gas, instead of crying he makes noises not unlike the penguins from the movie March of the Penguins. We used to call Owen Sgt. Grumbles. Now, Marcus is Lieutenant Grumbles, but you have to pronounce Lieutenant the British way, which sounds like "Lefff-tenant." Also, if you put a pacifier in his mouth when he's grumbling, his grumbles sound like they're going through a guitar wah-wah pedal!
  4. Smiling. Even when he's not gassy. We're trying to catch these rare moments on camera and we'll post as soon as we do.
Here are some pictures from Marcus' fourth and fifth weeks on Earth.

While awake( ) Do Print, "Hello World!"

Baby power up.

Hanging out at Kailua beach.

Lounging. Hard.

Ebony and Ivory

Monday, September 8, 2008

Little Miss Owen

One of Owen's favorite books is Little Miss Scatterbrain, one of Erin's childhood books that somehow made it onto his bookshelf. There it sat unread until a few months ago and it has since worked it's way into regular rotation during bed time. He loves the part where Little Miss Scatterbrain tries to buy chicken quarters at the bank. HI-larious!

Those of you familiar with the Little Miss and Mr. series of books may recall that the other characters in the series are pictured on the back of each book. Owen likes us to tell him the names of each character after we're finished reading Little Miss Scatterbrain. So we tell him all about Little Miss Sunshine (the freckled, smiling book character, not the movie), Little Miss Plump (wonderfully politically-uncorrect), Little Miss Naughty, etc.

Here are two funny Little anecdotes:

1) After reading Little Miss Scatterbrain, Owen asked Erin, "What do you like best?" referring to the various characters.

Erin: "I like Little Miss Happy."

Owen: "No, you pick Little Miss Shy, 'cause sometimes you don't wanna say hi."

Erin: "Yes, that's true. Being shy means you don't want to say hi sometimes. What do you pick?"

Owen: "I pick Little Miss Helpful, that's me!"

2) The other night during his bath, Erin gave Owen the one-minute-warning that it was almost time to wash off and get out. When the minute was up, Erin said, "Okay, time to get out. Stand up so I can wash you off and then we need to clean up the toys." Owen then replied, "No, no, no, you're beeing a little bit Li'l Miss Bossy!"