Big Guy Style

This morning the guys went to visit Dr. S for their annual check-ups. We’d given them advance notice, so they were pretty excited to go, and hoped to camp out in the “firetruck room”. Instead, we got the “undersea” room with the whale-shaped exam table. You can see from the photo how thrilled they were to strip down and wear “paper towel dresses,” as Finny called them.

As expected, Henry did not enjoy having lights shined up his nose/eyes/ears, and he hated wearing the little hearing test headphones (“too tight!”). However, he was totally calm and cool during the entire exam. Finny, our more even-keeled guy, also did really well, and was unfazed by the blood pressure cuff, poking, prodding, and hearing test. Also as expected, Henry shows signs of allergies, so we are going to get a blood test to determine what, exactly, makes his nose run. For now, the doc says Claritin once a day is fine while he’s sniffly.

Now for the stats. Finny: 44 lbs, 43 inches tall, 90th percentile for height and weight. Hearing and eyesight both good. Henry: 38 inches tall (hooray!), 35 lbs, 50th percentile for height, 70th for weight. Hearing probably good but he couldn’t sit through the whole exam, and eyesight probably good but he was kind of fidgety/uncooperative so it’s hard to say. The doc thinks Finny will ultimately hit 6’1″, and Henry 5’10”, which sounds about right to me!

Dr. S enjoyed hearing the guys spool up narratives about the cars they’d brought along, and Finny’s new bike. Physically and mentally, their development seems right on track (she had them do little hopping and balance tests, too). She also liked hearing about Finny’s ability to help out around the house and get himself dressed. And finally, since I promised them no shots today, we have to come back at the end of the month and get vaccinations/boosters. That will give them plenty of advance notice.


That’s How I Roll

Today was a big day for Mr. Finnegan Nack. He got his first real bicycle!

John and I had been talking recently about getting him one, and when we went to the bike shop today to find a replacement for John’s stolen bike, Finny instantly bee-lined for the kids’ bikes. As soon as he laid eyes on “his” bike (and he referred to it as such), he got on, started to ride, and would not get off. Now, mind you, this is the same kid we’ve had to cajole into riding his pushbike, and who only last week rode his Big Wheel all the way to the park up the street. So when he continued to endlessly ride the little bike around the store, and asked if we could get it, how could we say no?

He LOVES the bike. He proceeded to ride his bike all the way home from the bike shop (just under a mile!), take a quick break for lunch, then hop back on and ride it all around the neighborhood, ride it around and around at Hummingbird Park, which has a circular sidewalk “racetrack,” ride it home, take another quick break for dinner, then ride it up the street to “train track park,” ride it around and around at the park, then ride it all the way home!

I think he’s feeling like such a big boy to have his own vehicle to ride. He can snap his helmet straps himself, and he’s essentially mastered the coaster brakes already! He loves the little orange plastic bike bell we got him – he rings it all the time while he’s riding. John notes that he also loves braking hard and leaving little skidmarks on the sidewalk (true!). He’s even taken a couple spills and he just dusts himself off and gets back on, which is great (and very unlike Finny!).

I have never really seen him this excited about anything physical – so we are thrilled to see family bike rides in the near future (probably with Henry in the bike trailer, which he really enjoys – he wants me to ring my bike bell constantly, and I hear him laughing his head off back there).


Department of Vehicular Misinformation

At some point months ago, the guys & I were playing with Matchbox cars, and when they talked about a Ferrari’s engine being under the hood, I explained, “Actually that’s a mid-engine car. See, the engine goes behind the seats; you can tell by these vents here on the sides.”

They were intrigued and asked, “Why don’t we have a mid-engine car?” I chuckled and, not wanting to get into why Dad-O can’t afford a Ferrari, said “Well, those cars tend to be small inside. They’re better for guys with no kids.”

Wouldn’t you know it, this little factoid keeps popping out at the oddest moments:

  • One night Finn was mad at me for making him get ready for bed. He flopped onto the bedroom floor and most piteously said, “Dad-O, I just want you to step on me! I want there to be no more Finny, and then you’d get a mid-engine car!”
  • Henry spotted a young couple out for dinner the other day & said, “They don’t have any kids. They must have a mid-engine car.”
  • We explained recently that before we had kids, instead of the Ocho we had a Jetta. “Oh,” observed Finny, “I guess it was mid-engine.”

Despite my attempts to clarify the situation, the real info just isn’t taking. Ah well: I’ll just settle in for a life of cheerfully misinforming the boys, a la Calvin’s dad. 🙂

Transient Witticisms

Transient Witticisms: Assorted Silliness

  • Music:
    • Remarking on a hyperactive playmate, Finn observes, “Man, that kid has a lot of energy. He’s like Freddy Mercury!”
    • Finn’s Irish heritage is coming in handy: His Chris Cornell impression sounds *just* like a banshee.
    • Finn, having recently listened to Paul Simon, explained his pile of stuffed animals: “I’m making them my bodyguards & pals.” (And yes, he’s now calling me Betty, and I call him Al.)
    • Best sartorial compliment ever, courtesy of Finn: “Your black suit looks cool, Dad-O. You look like Johnny Cash!”
  • Brotherly love:
    • Finn wheels around on his too-close little bro: “Jeez, Henry, it’s not ‘Follow Finny Day!'” (Henry, giggling: “Yes it is!”)
    • “Feliz POOPleañons, Goonie!” says Finn. (“It’s años made of poop,” he helpfully notes.)
  • Baños:
    • Our potty trainee gets legalistic:
      H: “I want an M&M for pooping.”
      M: “Well, you didn’t actually poop.”
      H: “Well I *farted*!” #partialCredit
    • Finn, beaming, returns from the baño: “I really taught that pee-cake a lesson! It’ll have to ask its pee-cake parents for dry clothes!”
  • Finn leads me gently through the campground. “I thought,” he says, “we’d sit & have a little chat about silliness…”

Fun Food Finn

Toys, schmoys: All a guy needs for comic gold are some food props and a bit of cheek (in every sense).

“Hey Dad-O,” says corn-chip-wielding Finny, affecting a Southern drawl, “Aaah a hayseed! Lookit mah hay!!” And in the second shot below, he’s stuffed his cheeks (Brando-style) full of grapes, then fascinated himself by driving them around his mouth.


Milkin’ Men

On Sunday the lads had a go at milking “Contenta,” a plywood cow on display at San Jose’s History Park. I’m not sure we’d impress our relatives/ancestors back in Ireland yet, but not bad for a first try, I think.

Previously: Eggs, cows, & more on Tommy’s farm.

Audio Clips Photos

Sunday Training

It’s hardly a secret that our dudes dig all things railroad (note to self: Post birthday Lego pics ASAP!), but even I didn’t know they could get this into “training”: the boys spent easily two hours today attending to “Little Buttercup,” an 1899-vintage steam engine on display at San Jose’s History Park.

No snack breaks, no potty shots could stay these intrepid workers from the greasy completion of their self-appointed rounds. Back and forth they went, toting every filthy bolt, nut, “dipstick,” and piece of wood they could find to “Engine” (as they named “him”). We were aided & abetted by the almost-as-old retirees who patrol the shed (read: drink coffee & grumble about Obamacare). The boys would shove bolts into holes, pile up wood on buffers, etc., and I’d reward them with a booming “Oh, thanks, guys–I feel much better!” Again, this went on for hoursHere’s a little photo gallery.

At last a conductor finally asked us to stop, and the guys were pretty crushed: “I miss Engine!!” they blubbered almost all the way home. (Let’s blame the lack of food & nap a bit, too.) Still, we had a pretty terrific time; Engine now features prominently in T.A.L.B.; and the guys can’t wait to drag Mom-O back to the shed. (Hah, tag, you’re it, hon!)

Oh, that reminds me: Margot is in Europe this week (hence the lads’ free-range filth exploration), and this morning she sent a note detailing her ride on an electric train in Oslo. The guys loved it, as you’d imagine, drawing a fun response from Henry. Here, have a listen:

(In case the gray triangle above doesn’t work for you, here’s a direct link to the audio file.)


Balloons & Goons

Aerial mayhem with a team of little hams? Yeah, we’ve got that. 🙂


Best. Auto-correct. Ever.

I think my iPhone pretty much nailed this suggestion, don’t you? 🙂


Bouncy House Mayhem

Donkey kicks, “Mad Birds,” and “The Biting 4-Year-Old,” oh my! Check out some good times from the Wiggins’ back yard as we helped Juliana celebrate her birthday:


Nack Boy Soundtrack

Our boys love music. Especially songs where they can goof on the lyrics (gee, I wonder who they learned that from, Dad-o!). We’ve incorporated many variations of songs into our daily routine, such as:

  • Tricky – Run DMC (they chant this as they walk up the slides at the playground)
  • Rock Candy Mountain (when candy is near)
  • Personal Penguin (and myriad variations) – this is a bedtime tradition from waaaaay back.
  • Buds In The Car (to the tune of “pants on the ground”)
  • Fa Fa Americano (aka Wip Bip Bip Yeow, often sung while chasing each other/us)

And then there are songs that we listen to in the car that the kids really get a kick out of:

  • Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes (aka Dinos on a Skateboard)
  • Another One Bites the Dust (by famous singer Freddy Markery)
  • Ring of Fire, Rusty Cage, and A Boy Named Sue (Finny loves the bit about “cut off a piece of my ear”)
  • Peter and the Wolf
  • Buds in the Car (sung to the tune of “Pants On The Ground”)
  • Moves Like Jagger, aka “Moose Like Jacket”
  • Graceland
  • The Fast Cheap and Out Of Control Soundtrack aka “Elephant Music” (listen to it and you’ll understand)
  • Lovely Rita Meter Maid
  • Big River by the Beat Farmers
  • Party Rockin’ by LMFAO