It is outrageously hot here this weekend--97 degrees yesterday afternoon, and we are expected to hit 101 today. Making it bearable is our shady backyard plus the fun fishy sprinkler mat that Finn's Liggett grandparents bought for him. We set it up yesterday, got Finn into his swimtrunks, and let the splashing commence! As you can see (HTML), a good time was had by all, and the cool water had us all feeling a little less oppressed in the hot afternoon.
As I'd been unable to capture Finn's auto-face-dunking on video, I tried to inspire him by blowing some bubbles of my own. Oh man, little did I know what I was getting into! See for yourself:
Now Finny periodically says "Bubbo!" and tries to drag me to the bath tub (regardless of time of day) for another session. I've been substituting regular viewings of this video, blowing his mind in the process.
Lately the Squirrelmaster has gotten quite mobile in the tub (kind of a nervewracking development). His latest trick is to flop onto his belly & then to face-plant into the suds ("Bubbo!"). He pops up gasping and grinning like a madman. Here are some shots I captured (HTML) of the proceedings.
- The Happy Lion by Louise Fatio and Roger Duvoisin. We read this book several times a day, at Finn's urging. He just starts saying "Happy! Happy!" until we get the picture. Thanks to Anne Nack for giving us this terrific book!
- "Dak-oh-Dahs" (Corn Flakes) for breakfast. This is Finn's way of saying "cock-a-doodle-doo!" when he sees the cereal box.
- Hooks of all sorts. He sees them on the drawings of tow trucks in our Richard Scarry books, and has found a few in the back of our neighbor's truck. He refers to them as "No Pat No," recalling a cactus-sitting character in Hop on Pop.
- Tubes. Paper towel tubes, toilet paper tubes, straws, anything tube-like that Finn can stick objects in.
- Stroobs (our name for strawberries). He really enjoys eating and talking about them.
- "Peek!" He loves to hide behind chairs or other objects and slooooowly peek around the edge, then shout "PEEK!" when we see him.
- Pow-wow walking. When he's being silly, he kind of crouches down and takes lots of little bitty steps, which makes me think of the Native American dances you see at pow-wows.
- Daddy blowing bubbles in the bathtub water. Finn grabs John's head and pulls it down towards the tub until John starts blowing bubbles. It looks a bit strange, but Finny absolutely loves it.
- "Ham and DumDum", a.k.a. our neighbor Kim and her dog Samson.
- His Chicken Shirt, which, when putting it on for the day, inspires our boy to start saying "bok bok bok!"
It's getting really fun to see and hear Finn string concepts & words together. Lately he's been enjoying watching our neighbor Steve building a treehouse for his boys in their back yard.
Finn narrates the goings-on in staccato bursts: "Steeb! Saw! *Cut*!" He got a little confused when I tried to explain that Steve is a daddy, too: Finn started patting my chest, reassuring me (and himself) by saying "Dad-o!" (In fact, we get into a nice little call & response flow, with me patting his chest and saying "Finny," and him replying with some pats on "Dad-o.")
There's also been some confusion with Stevie, the blind and moronic dog that lives over our other neighbors' fence. Stevie howls when we enter our back yard, giving Finn a chance to do his killer coyote impression. Things get funny when Finn confuses the two names: "Steebie! T(r)eehouse!" and "Steeb! Yawwowooo!" I enjoy the image of grown man Steve & blind dog Stevie howling & operating power tools together.
Finnegan Ascendant! The young guy is getting serious about climbing things, all on his own (if you'll let him). Just today he completed the first-ever San Jose Invitational Bi-Level Traversal (i.e. he climbed all the stairs up from basement). At lunch outside, he learned to pull himself up onto curbs using an overhead railing, and afterwards he decided to inaugurate his toilet-scaling practice.
Hey, great ideas, Finny: I was just saying how bored we'd be with a new baby in the house; good thing you've added a whole new dimension to your mobility!
PS--Later in the evening he started trying to climb our stepped tonsu chest. The kid is becoming the human fly!
Yesterday after Finn got up from his morning nap, he was very focused on obtaining one thing, and one thing only: "Maca!" (macaroni and cheese) He started saying it the minute he got up, and kept saying it as we walked into the kitchen for our post-nap snack. I figured we'd dispense with mere snacking and go all the way to an early lunch, complete with Maca.
As I put Finn into his hopper and started boiling the water, measuring out the milk, etc., I was explaining to him that the Maca was coming soon. He was watching with some interest as I drained, dumped, and stirred.
Once the macaroni & cheese was made, I spooned some into a bowl for him, turned around, and said "Here it is!". The sight of the piping hot Maca knocked our boy right off his horse! "Binny" became "Finny" as the scales fell from his eyes, and he exclaimed breathlessly and excitedly, "MACAAAAA!". It was as if he had witnessed a miracle, and he was smiling from ear to ear.
Lately the Finn-man has gotten waaay into playing hide and seek with us. Well, it's a very simple form of the game: he takes one of us firmly by the hand, leads us to a spot, and then deposits us there, sometimes commanding "Down!" From there he's off to the races, disappearing around a corner or the end of the car, only to come back moment later and shout "Boo!"
I find his commitment to the craft hilarious. He's very clear about walking me to the end of the car in particular, then dropping me off--and getting a little miffed if I stray from my post! I mean, does Dad think this is child's play or what??
Naturally photos are hard to come by during the goings-on, but I managed to snap a handful with my phone during a weekend garage session. Here they are (HTML).
Yep, our little guy is now (essentially) saying his own name--with extreme gusto. Fortunately, unlike the artificial villain in the Terminator series, he has yet to unleash nuclear war on us.
Yesterday we returned to the farm park for our Sunday adventure. Finn wore his chicken shirt in order to more fully bond with the wandering fowl. We even packed a picnic lunch with chicken in it (a little weird if you think too long about it), so between lunch, the shirt, and the actual chickens, there was lots of "bok bok bok"ing and "dok-a-dah!" (cock-a-doodle-doo!) from the Squirrel.
Here's a little gallery (HTML) of our afternoon. We visited the billy goats and cows, too, so they didn't feel left out.
[PS--During the livestock feeding, Finnster loved talking about the cow's "beak!" Apparently goats also feature beaks. (I was really glad Barbra Streisand didn't walk by just then.) --J.]
Our neighbors' cat d'Artagnan (aka Tuxstein, Tuxy, or just "you fat dumpling") has been a good sport lately as Finny becomes more comfortable petting creatures, ascending the neighbors' steps, and generally exploring the world. More pix to follow.
Our little hombre is able to get more and more specific about what he likes/dislikes, and what he would prefer to be doing at any given time. He's taken to grabbing my (or John's) hand and leading us around while providing other clues about what he'd like.
For instance, this morning after breakfast we were playing in Finn's room, and he started saying "Hat! Hat!". He took my hand, led me to the kitchen, and pointed to the basket where we keep our sunhats (a requirement for going outside these days). Then he pointed to the back door. We put our hats on, but since I was still in my PJs, we went upstairs so I could put some clothes on. Believe me, at this point in my pregnancy, walking around outside in my PJs is not something any of the neighbors need to see...
We then went outside and did the usual rounds--a stop off at Richard's fountain for some splashing and gato viewing, then a walk up and down the block to explore fence gates, ants, and plants. Thank goodness he didn't poop out until 2 houses away from home, at which point he turned to me, raised his arms and said "UP!". Once inside, he started saying "mo mos, mo mos!" (code for pretzel bits with cream cheese...he loves them and just says "more more more!"). So we were off to the kitchen for a few pre-nap mo mos. I'm sure he would have been content sitting there stuffing his face for an hour, but Leo was getting sleepy, so I packed them both off to the crib for a rest.
Once he's up from his nap, I will await further instruction
Finn is picking up the few Spanish words we use around the house just as quickly as he is the English ones...common Finn utterances include:
- Boca (mouth)
- Coche (car)
- Ga-TO! (cat--with a lot of emphasis!)
- Queso (cheese)
- Sucio (dirty)
- Matematicos (crazy wrestlers; his pronunciation of this one is, uh, "impressionistic")
We're trying to limit the crazy Nack-branded Spanglish we use all the time and stick to *real* Spanish words. He'll have enough kooky English slang to deal with, thanks to us!
- A visit from our friends Tom, Sarah, and baby Harper
- A little lunchtime excursion with Hughes
- Some random fruit-tossing
- Flexing with Dad
- Watering with Mom
- ...and screaming "Bacon!"
- Hughes: "So, has Finn wrapped his head around the whole 'new baby' thing?"
- Me: "Well, he very sweetly hugs Margot's belly and says 'baby,' but I don't know how much he gets it. It's like him seeing the Corn Flakes box and saying 'cock-a-doodle-doo.'"
- Hughes: "Yeah, if you pulled a live chicken out of there, he'd probably freak out!"
Our little fighter had his 15-month check-up today with Dr. S. Once again, he blows away the competition and has gone through quite a growth spurt, to boot! He is 33 inches tall, weighs 28 lbs 12 oz, and his head is 48cm around. He clocks in at the 90-95th percentile on all counts.
Dr. S was astounded when I told her how many words Finn can say (we've counted about 75) and that he can even understand abstract concepts (for instance, he says "Leo!" when we're trying to be sneaky and say "his buddy" or "Finn's little pal"). She says that for boys, the average at 15 months is more like 15 words! Unfortunately he was dozey and not too talkative during our appointment, so she didn't get a sampling of his skills. She did, however, get to meet Leo .
While we were waiting for the nurse to come in with the vaccination shots, I started whistling little tunes to keep Finny entertained, which he really enjoyed. As soon as I would stop he'd look up at me, pucker up, and start blowing through his lips to get me to start going again! (A mom can only sing the short lyrics to "Pony Boy" so many times...so whistling is a good alternative, and fascinating for Finn.)
Last night we had a little impromptu taco night with our pals Tom & Sarah, their daughter Harper (11 weeks), Huez* & Alex, and their son Miles (3.5 mos). Here is a little gallery (HTML) of shots from the evening, starting with the touchdown of the cute tots in our backyard. Finn was mad for guacamole and chips, so many thanks to Alex for letting us keep the leftovers!
* Pronounced by Finn as "Oot!"
Lately Finn has taken a crazy shine to my ridiculous "Der Bomber" jacket, peering excitedly at the coat rack every time he walks past. Here's a little video of him discussing "Bomb-O."