Friday, January 23, 2009

Astro Children


Last night we watched Owen's buddy, Scarlett, while her mom was at choir rehearsal. During bedtime stories Scarlett informed us, "When I grow up and I'm bigger and bigger, I'm gonna learn all about dark matter."

Oh, did I mention that her dad is my office mate at the Institute for Astronomy? :) Click on the image above to learn more about gravitational lensing and dark matter at the Astronomy Picture of the Day website.

melt a mama's heart

while picking owen up at school today, his teacher shared that she likes to ask the students quick questions before they go down the slide.

today she'd asked, "what makes you happy?"

owen answered, "when marcus smiles at me".

what more could a mom want?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Self-Propelled

About a week and a half ago Marcus started doing baby push-ups, and yoga-style child's pose during tummy-time. He was getting ready to be mobile. For too long objects had lain just outside of his reach, taunting him with their crinkly sounds and smooth, cold surfaces. MarMar had decided that no more moss would gather on this stone, he was gonna roll.

It began with gripping the carpet in front of him and pulling forward, progress by the millimeter. Gradually he figured out how to roll from his tummy to his back, and back again, making a sort of herring-bone pattern across the floor. Objective reached, he would promptly need a nap. Far too much friction, not enough strength in his arms. What's this? Oooo, feet can be used to push off! This was the Eureka moment, soon the baby wipe container would be his. All his!

Well, it happened so slowly that it's hard to discern the exact moment MarMar transitioned from lump-o-baby to fully self-propelled. Only one thing is certain: it's time to search for small objects and uncovered wall sockets.

The time-lapse video below was created using Gawker and my ancient G4 PowerBook+external Firewire iSight. Frames were recorded at 0.33 Hz (a frame every 3 seconds) and playback is at 24 frames per second. The entire movie was filmed over the course of 10.8 minutes. The primary objective: Kirkland baby wipes container. The secondary objective: stuffed animal. Target of opportunity: whatever big brother is holding.



Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Toes

owen came out of his room tonight crying about his toes:

O (in whiniest voice possible): mommy, i don't like my blankets on because they are pointing my toes down.

me: okay, then... it's okay to take the blankets off

O: i think maybe i need some new toes, maybe they are the wrong size

me: hmmm. i don't really understand what you mean. that's the way my toes are too. and your toes help you balance.

O: my toes don't work for me. this one is always pointing down. i need a different foot

me: well, here ya go! (motioning a magical foot replacement)

O: that's just pretend. it didn't work.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dance Party

I was working on the computer in my home office when Owen sauntered in and asked if he could listen to my headphones. I took them off and gave them to him in the middle of the song "Connie" by El Ten Eleven. Owen listened for a bit and began to nod his head to the beat. Then he said, "Daddy, this is my favorite song."

We then decided to "put the song on the speakers" and have a dance party. Marcus joined in and Mommy captured the moment on video. Dance parties are much more enjoyable than data reduction...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

fun on the farm

while in texas, we visited my mom's sister jeanette & her family. they have about 20 acres an hour outside of houston in a town called bellville. as kids, we spent many a summer day splashing in the waters of their pond and romping around in the woods. it was such a treat to bring the boys out for the day and to see all the updates they've made to their property - especially to meet all the new farm friends - peacocks, donkeys, and goats! owen was thrilled to walk the paths in what he called "the hundred acre wood". "is winnie the pooh in here? it's kinda spooky!" he can't stop talking about riding that "big orange tractor and throwing rocks in that pond". marcus had a great time getting sleepy in the swing near the pond with nonna - his rocking buddy for the month of december.


owen meets carmen


feeding the goats with uncle dave


marcus and nonna


zeus & charlie


woohoo! with aunt jeanette


sarah, owen and his new favorite animal

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 Stats

The Johnson family blog known as Mahalo.ne.Trash traces its roots to the 6th floor hallway of Campbell Hall, the Astronomy Department of UC Berkeley. My friend and grand-mentee, Kristen, suggested that I start a blog to keep friends and family updated on our new life across the ocean. It was a great idea, but it surely would have died out after a month or two if it weren't for you, the readers, who have, and continue to inspire us to keep writing with your comments and words of encouragement. Thanks everyone!

Here's a fun little plot showing the number of posts per month during 2008. As our friend Liz is fond of saying: we need some statistics! Well, here they are. See any interesting features?


Hmmm, what happened in Month 8? Must have been something significant...

With Marcus and Owen growing like weeds, Erin prowling the beaches and trailheads of Oahu, and John on the astronomy job market, 2009 promises to be full of post-worthy developments. Stay tuned for more updates on astronomy and parenting in paradise!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

family photos

a family friend, bob, was kind enough to take these photos of our family while we were in houston for the holidays.