Tranquility, with a side of puke

Oh man… It’s 12:47am the night (morning?) after who-knows-how-many days of little Henry doing his best impression of a two-ended Mt. Vesuvius. Actually it’s not quite that bad: it’s been just a few days, but having just scraped up another night’s load of barf from his bed, I’m a little spent (yet now too wired to sleep).

Earlier in the week Henry acquired a cute little panda we named Peter. As Hen sleeps on his big n’ beloved Panda Bear, he’s decided that Peter is Panda Bear’s kid, “and the Ollies are the moms.” Just now when I dashed into his room, I found that everyone had gotten pretty yucky. Hen was distraught: “I puked on Peter’s parents!!”

Ah, but that’s the thing of it: “When I puke it feels like not fun,” Henry said in the kitchen (as I scrubbed off the animals), and yet these little moments can have their charm. We love the lads so much, and we can bond through a little humor & enjoy pulling through the rough patches together. And now, having said that, let’s get past these bugs and get some sleep!

Photos Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Leftovers

The Liggetts took off this morning after a nice weekend full of “sword” fights, tree-decorating, and Team TALB. Check it out.



Finnster & Mr. L. enjoyed some most unusual “bicycling” (and more) this morning. Check out their antics below. (It kinda reminds me of “Grandpa vs. Dr. Chaos,” aka the far chubbier 1-year-old Finn.)

Photos Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

My folks, aka “The Geeps” (a permutation of “GP”s for grandparents), are in town for a long Thanksgiving weekend visit. They’ve only been here a little over a day, and the boys are having a total ball with them. They’re sleeping on the “hideout bed” in the TV room, which Finny loves to prepare at the end of the day (inflating the air mattress is involved).

Grandpa and Dad-o took the boys to the park today – Finny showcasing his bike riding and Henry his Big Wheel riding. We also did a little craft project, making felt ornaments as we waited for the turkey to cook. And both my parents are excellent at reading stories, so the boys conscripted them into covering almost the entire Curious George canon, along with several other tales.

They rounded out today with pumpkin pie, some horseplay with Grandpa, and a two-man Dad-o and Grandpa version of TALB tonight, which involved a pilgrim, a lion, and a turkey. Let’s just say things didn’t look good for the turkey. Here’s a little gallery of events.


Glovin’ from the Oven

Our scissors-wielding lads have been cutting up a storm—and cutting, and cutting, and cutting; they’re now well acquainted with the terms “confetti” and “sweeping.” I always worry that they’ll blind or stab someone, so we try to enforce smart scissors-handling, requiring the guys to carry them blades-down (or by the blades). I guess that wasn’t quite enough for Finn, though: the other day he popped onto the back porch, gripping his scissors in Mom-O’s oven mitt, as you can see here. “Dad-O!” he proudly announced, “Now I can run around with scissors!!” Well, something like that, son. 🙂


Boastin’ some coastin’

At long last Henry has surpassed the all-important 36-inch mark. Why all-important? Because that’s when a guy gets eligible for a whole lot of rides!

Hen had been patiently waiting for his chance to ride the fancy Pacific Fruit Express Family Roller Coaster at Happy Hollow. Despite being a bit peevish in general, he’s always done well with this kind of mayhem. For example, when he was two we took the boys on the Monster Kool Bus, and Henry wrapped up the ride by saying, “I crying, ‘Do it again!'”

Today we found that Henry’s tall enough to ride the coaster with a grown-up, and Finn’s old enough to ride by himself. Let the wild coasting begin!

For comparison/retro fun, here’s how Finny handled his first ride some 18 months earlier:

Babyslang Transient Witticisms

Transient Witticisms: Sewage plants, buttcheeks, and fuhgeddaboudit

  • “Dad-O,” says Finn out of the blue, “I think New Yorkers speak a language called ‘New.'” Cue discussion of ‘fuhgeddaboudit,’ ‘badabing,’ etc.
  • “Dad-O,” whispers an excitedly conspiratorial Finn, “when it’s just boys around, let’s say ‘buttcheeks,’—just not when Mom-O’s here.” (“Yeah, buttcheeks!!” adds Henry.)
  • Half asleep on his feet, Henry uses the bathroom & says “Auf Wiedersehen, pee pee.” Endlessly surprising, these guys…
  • “Dad-O, why is it a sewage treatment ‘plant’?” asks Finn. I explain that auto plants make autos, etc. “Oh,” he says, “so the sewage plant makes poop!” 
  • Homophonic fun with the big guy: “‘Dye’? Does it go into your clothes and make the grayness, like, die off?” Well yeah, kinda!
  • Finn claims the sitter let them watch “Pee-pee-est Kids.” Took me a sec to decode: ah, “PBS Kids”!

Found art with G-Man

Henry ambles past an unintended (?) dribble-painting in Oakland last Saturday:


The New Western Canon

Finn’s recently taken an interest in “writing books,” his at-school technique of stapling together a few sheets of paper, then scribbling down some random marks. The other night he took me on a tour of his oeuvre:

“This one,” he said, pointing at a blob-covered set of sheets, “is called ‘Donde Estan Los Dots?’ And this one”—a bunch of lines—”is called ‘Donde Esta El Sharp Thing?’ And this one,” he said with great pride, pointing at yet more randomness, “is called ‘The Terrifying Pig That Split Me In Half With A Cross-Tie.'” I’ll admit, I did not see that last bit coming. 🙂


The Hen Crows At Midnight

As I left my cab & ascended the stairs at 9pm tonight, I was shocked to see a little face peering out at me:

To my surprise, Henry didn’t come out to see me. I entered his room & found him behind the blinds, coolly maintaining his vigil.

“Hi, buddy. Er, what are you doing?”
“I’m just looking out my window. I’m watching some cats.”
“Oh, okay…”
“And some bikes. One went by before you got home.”
“Gotcha, gotcha… So, are you going to get some sleep at some point?”
“No, I already got some.”

Henry Nack: Keepin’ His Own Counsel Since 2009 🙂


Catching up with Charles

Never before has a kid been so excited about going to the dentist! For several days leading up to his appointment last week, Finny had been anxiously awaiting the trip to Dr. Vandi’s office. He loves seeing his buddy Charles, one of Dr. Vandi’s hygienists. And Charles loves visiting with Finny just as much!

Charles is originally from Ghana, and on Finny’s previous visit, he told Finny that lions (and other exotic animals) live in the wild there, just wandering around on the plains. Needless to say, Finny was beside himself. He told Charles all about his constant companion/blankie buddy Leo, and asked all kinds of questions about Ghana – which Charles was only too happy to answer. Charles was also very obliging and let Finny examine all the dental implements he’d be using that day – the little water jet, suction tube, and motorized tooth cleaner. He showed Finny how everything worked and let him press some of the buttons and pedals.

At the end of the last appointment, Charles promised he would either bring Ghanian currency or stamps to Finny’s next visit. And last Tuesday was the day! As promised, Charles was there bearing Ghanian stamps to show Finny, and once again let Finny examine the various tools around the dental chair. He even let Finny wear his special glasses with a little headlight! And Charles got to meet the infamous Leo. Here’s a little gallery of photos.


A Chilly Gaze

I see you, suckas. 🙂

Haircuts Photos

Shock & Faux-Hawk

Nothing, it seems, brings out our boys’ inner hambone like a trip to Barber Tom’s (well, that plus the sugar rush from a fistful of suckers). I snapped this shot of Hen while getting my own ears lowered:

Previous silliness:


Walk This Way

“It’s not amazing that adults make children,” I’ve heard it said, “so much as that children make adults.”

Today I took the lads to Santa Cruz for some good times at the beach boardwalk. They were generally great, but just trying to keep them around & unflattened by crowds can get wearying. Their “predictably irrational” approach to walking—endless weaving & start-stops, seemingly perfectly coordinated to be out of sync with each other—inevitably grinds on a parent’s nerves.

Thus after 4+ hours we found ourselves leaving Marianne’s Ice Cream shop, and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel—or more specifically, the door to the child-securing implements in the Ocho. As I towed Henry towards the door, Finn kept jerking in front of me, causing my cow-catching hand to keep grazing his head to urge him forward. Cue the following conversation (in front of some biker chicks):

Finn: “Dad-O! I hate it when you poke me like that! Just all, blah blah with your hand!”
Me: “I know, dude, but why can’t you guys just walk like a normal person?? Just head out in a direction and keep going.”
Finn: “But I like to walk like this! [proceeds to demonstrate weaving, pausing, etc. in front of me]”
Me: “I know!! And see, it just really wears out a grown-up, and—”
Finn: “But that’s just The Life Of The Kid!!”

…at which point, the biker chicks started cracking up, and so did I.

“You know, Finny,” I told him, “I’ve never been a dad before, and you guys have never been kids before, so we kind of have to teach each other patience, okay?” Okay, he said. I think we’ve got ourselves a deal.

Halloween Photos

Microghouls & Trainwrecks & Cowboys, Oh My

Happy Halloween from the Micronaxx! The boys loved sporting the excellent Thomas & Mummy costumes Mom-O created (with slight assists from Dad-O), both at preschool & while trick-or-treating. Young engineer Hen did become kind of a train wreck at school (kids touching his fragile costume, etc.), but both guys were sugar-fueled champs as I led them in neighborhood candy-gathering. (No set of stairs is too daunting to haul one’s train costume up, as long as there’s that sweet, sweet lucre at the top.) Here are some shots from the occasion, plus a video below.