Lake Tahoe Photos

Hey, Ho, Ta-Hoe!

What a whirlwind weekend we had! We’re just back from visiting north Lake Tahoe with our friends Michael, Juliana, Cyrus, and Hazel Wiggin (aka “the Wigii”). Having slept since returning, I’m still a little bushed, but here are a few photos. Random anecdotes:

  • Both boys were eager to see Michael & co. On a little hike Henry would point at every single building and ask, “Is that Michael’s cabin?”
  • The lake water is quite chilly, so the guys mainly enjoyed their first boat ride (sailing all of 20 feet from shore in a pumped up raft) and getting carried by me. As waves smashed into us, they’d happily squeal and yell “You darn Lake Tahoe!!”
  • The Wigii are quite fit, and Michael would goad me into doing macho stuff (crazy push-up combos, swimming out into the lake, etc.). Now Finn, who tried his hand at the push-ups, loves repeating Margot’s idea for a reality show: “Man Up! with Michael Wiggin.”
  • We picked up our cabin’s keys from “the Vacation Station.” Henry’s taken to repeating whatever someone has said but adding “not” in there (e.g. “We are *not* home”), so I think he’s visited “the Negation Station.”
  • At a beachfront park on the way out of town, we met a friendly second grader named Juan. He played tag with the kids, playfully taunting them with “Toodles!” And thus “Mr. Toodles” was born.
  • On the way home as Margot & Finn slept, Henry & I chatted back & forth. The boys have a running joke where they call minivans “mouse vans” (as in Minnie Mouse). Spying one, Henry volunteered “I see a mouse in it!… I don’t see monkeys in it… Must not be monkey vehicle.”

All in all we had a ball, and we hope for many happy returns!


Maxin’, Relaxin’

Greetings from (mini-)vacation! At the moment the whole family is resting happily after a long but uneventful drive up to Lake Tahoe (our first time here–rather amazing given that Margot & I have lived in the Bay Area for a combined 15 years!). We’re sure to have more photos and stories to share soon, but meanwhile, here’s a quiet little shot of Henry enjoying the accommodations back home yesterday. As Bill Murray in Lost In Translation might say, “For Relaxing Times… Make it Front Porch Times.” 🙂


Wings Over Wine Country

In this week’s episode of “Brave or Foolhardy? The JNack Parenting Adventure,” I bundled up the lads for their first air show. Margot was off for a girls’ weekend with her friend Alethea, but I was ably supported by my fellow plane-nerd Bruce & his son Noel. As Noel is used to looking after his 4-year-old sister Anja, Bruce says “He’s good at sheep-dogging little kids.” That’s quite true, and I think Henry might need to register the online name NoelFan09 for future use. 🙂

We cruised up to Santa Rosa (about 2 hours away, north of SF), fueling up with melon chunks & cookies at a “Food Hole” (Whole Foods) along the way. I’d foolishly forgotten our stroller, making for some serious tot-lugging. As such I couldn’t get a ton of photos, but I got enough for a little gallery. Highlights:

  • Seeing a bunch of real fire airplanes up close. At bedtime later we made up stories about them (inventing a trio called Hoser, Big Belly, and Tank, who save Hoot, Milos, & co. from immolation).
  • Walking up the tail ramp & then around inside an enormous C-17 Globemaster III. Now Henry announces, “I’m a C-17! I’m putting trucks in my big boca!”–after which he tries to ingest my fingers (the “trucks”).
  • Enjoying the bunk beds on an old DC-6 Liftmaster. Finn especially liked picking at the ancient seats (“Look, Dad-O, I’m making the foam disintegrate!”) until I put a kibosh on that fun.
  • Watching the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office demonstrate the Henry 1 chopper! The machine is used for retrieving lost hikers (just like Harold in Thomas’s Misty Island Rescue). I didn’t record the video below, but we watched a very similar demonstration, complete with booming explosions, “bad dudes,” & smoke. Too bad we never did find their booth & get Henry 1 T-shirts.

Thanks to Noel & Bruce for being excellent wingmen*! Our guys were troopers with the sun & noise (“The [F-15] Eagles were too loud,” Henry keeps noting), and I foresee many happy returns.

* See what I did there? Bah-dum, tssch!


Big Fish, Big Fun

Today the dudes & I enjoyed our first “Tiny Trek” adventure. Mom-O & Finn had a blast at their session last week, but poor Henry cried his head off when he was left home (as we’d figured he was too young to join). He spent all week saying, “I want to hike!” and–when he heard that his participation required a fee–“I want to pay!” So pay we did, and today off we went.

We bombed around nearby Hakone Gardens (although I suppose “bombing around” isn’t really the idea in a tranquil Japanese retreat), exploring with pal Dillon (whose mom Finn’s dubbed “Jodi Coyote”), making origami dogs, painting paper fish, and filling out a scavenger hunt sheet (“Let’s find those turtles!”). The unquestionable hit, though, was getting to feed the giant koi fish. As you can see, keeping two kids & a camera from getting submerged/eaten is no easy task, and Henry capitalized by “eating the profits”!

Babyslang Photos

“Tom, Julian, & Cemente”

‘Tis better to give than to receive, right?

With that in mind, on my birthday I/we gave the boys a pretty great treat: front-row seats to the Exxxtreme Destruction of our driveway via a team of workmen, followed by its re-paving. For months we’d been meaning to repair the damage necessitated by our sewer line work, and last week we finally made it happen. Finn & Henry were *thrilled* to pull up chairs and watch a jackhammer-wielding Bobcat lay waste to our concrete, then scoop up the shrapnel, after which workers laid rebar & finally poured new cement. Check out our gang enjoying the show.

For me Finn’s verbal inventions were the best part. Some months ago we started making up stories about a cement truck driver named Zeke. Our barber Tom has three sons named Tom, Julian, and Clemente. Finn decided that Zeke’s boys must be named Tom, Julian, and Cemente. Thus we loved playing name-that-dude, assigning names like “Zeke” to the workers. Oh, and Finn (often aka “Blackbeard”) dubbed the hairy, heavyset foreman “Chubbybeard*’–though not to his face! 🙂

* He’d previously dubbed his pirate Mom-O “Curlybeard”


Security blanket, anyone?

🙂 (Previously: Check out the then brand-new Hen hanging out with Charlie Brown & Linus.)


Welcome Baby Jenna!

Speaking of birthdays, we extend a hearty Micronaxx welcome to our new niece/cousin baby Jenna Marie Nack, born yesterday to Ted & Stephanie Nack. Lookin’ great, kiddo; can’t wait to meet you at Thanksgiving! 🙂


Happy Birthday to Dad-o!

This past Monday, Dad-o celebrated his 36th birthday. We treated him to pizza at one of our favorite local joints, Willow Street Pizza (also known as “Mega Bot!” for their delicious fresh-baked loaves of bread you can snack on while you wait. Bot = bread, of course).

The boys would have much preferred to skip the pizza and get straight down to the business of eating Dad-o’s birthday cake, which was chocolate through and through. We showed Dad-o the cake before we left for dinner so he’d know to leave some room for it afterwards.

I think the guys were also pretty excited to sing “Happy Birthday” again since it’s one of their current favorites! They helped him blow out the candles, and then got involved in some serious enjoyment (photos) of the chocolate bounty. For Henry, the experience was only slightly marred when he bit off a piece of candle, expecting it to be delicious candy, and discovered it was not delicious at all! (Note his expression in the final shot in the gallery.)


Adventure-Packed Weekend

While Dad-o was away in Chicago this past weekend, the boys and I had a jam-packed weekend full of adventure. On Saturday morning, we visited our local fire station, where the dudes got to explore and sit in the pumper truck, tour the station, and see a fireman come down the fire pole (twice!). They also tried on some helmets and got to chat with the fire captain and firemen on duty.

Afterwards, we headed home to host a playdate at Fort Nack (a.k.a. the new playset) so Finny and Henry’s friends and their parents could enjoy the new swings, slide, fort, and trapeze. I think everyone had a ball–there were lots of kids clambering around, Finny was giving them a tour of the newly-dubbed playset-as-fire truck and explaining to the other kids how he would put out fires. There were kids on the sandbox, kids in the fort, kids on the grass, and parents enjoying the gazebo and grass for a picnic lunch.

Sunday morning found us “bageling,” our traditional Sunday-morning stroll to the neighborhood bagel joint for apple juice and cinnamon raisin bagels with cream cheese. Then we strolled home through Palm Haven with a pitstop at our favorite rock garden, which is filled with interesting small succulent plants and wee garden sculptures. After naps, we headed over to San Jose State University for a free “Pops in the Park” concert, featuring famous movie theme music, another picnic, lots of grass to run around in, *free* ice cream, and more time to hang out with our buddies big and small! It was also our friend Malachy’s 3rd birthday (thanks to his mom Shay for hipping us to the concert!), so the boys also got to enjoy cupcakes and watermelon courtesy of the birthday boy. The guys had an absolute blast and were so worn out that Finny asked to leave the concert early so they could come home and get ready for bed!

We all missed Dad-o while he was away, but we sure had a nice weekend with lots of activities to keep us busy. We were also a little sad that Dad-o couldn’t be around to party with us, but we did snap some pictures to share with him and with you. (See also some concert/picnic pics from our friend Tara.)


Giant G-Man

More smiles from a guy once addicted to The Power of Glower. 😉


A man, a plan, a tunnel…

Little “Captain Salty” explores his ship (or, to my mind, young Skywalker traipses around the bowels of Bespin):


Nighttime philosophizing with the Finnster

On Monday night as Margot & I were watching a movie, a little blonde man suddenly appeared in the doorway. “I wanted to snuggle with you guys upstairs! I couldn’t find you up there!” he declared. As I escorted him back to bed, he was eager to show me his open door: “This is where I creeped out!” Afterwards as we laid in the sack, he struck up conversation:

“Dad-O, what if your back was broken and there was a hole in it where we put food?”
“Uh… what do you mean, buddy?”
“I mean what if you were a food truck, and I was a table?”
“You were a table…? Where would you be?”
“I’d be in the kitchen, by the stove.” [Duh, dad!]
“Oh… and who would eat off of you?”
“Mom-O and G-Man. [Double duh!] You’d pull up outside, and I’d go out to unload the food.”
“Ah, okay. Would you walk on all fours, like a bear, or regular person-style?”
“I’d walk person-style.”
“Okay. You’d probably have to be careful not to dump off the food when you stood up.”
“Yeah… Hey, what if I was just wearing a table costume, instead of being an actual table?”
“I think that sounds like a pretty good plan, buddy. Okay, ready for some sleep?”
“Sure. May you rub my back first?”
“Sure, pal.”

[Aaand, *scene*]


Nurse Ratchet will see you now

Finnster, enjoying Mom’s glasses + neighbor Chris’s tools during the building of the swing set: