Micronaxx The adventures of Finn & Henry



Saturday unfortunately marked the guys' last swim lessons with their instructors at the San Jose State Aquatic Center. We signed up for a 4-week session, and were hoping to sign up again, but it sounds like the pool will be closed this summer for repairs.

You'll see from the pictures that Finny has been making great strides on learning what to do with his legs and arms, putting his head underwater, doing some assisted floating, and generally enjoying himself in the pool. I think he's going to be quite the little fish!

And our Henry has made strides in his own way...meaning that once he actually gets in the pool, he usually has a good time. It's the getting in that takes forever and meets with a lot of resistance. He is incredibly slow to warm up to getting into the pool - he hems and haws and stalls to no end, and he usually needs a lot of cajoling from us and/or his super-nice instructor Kiyomi.

This week we showed up 20 minutes early to get Henry warmed up and in the water so we didn't have to waste a bunch of his lesson time doing it. I sat with him on the edge of the pool, we stuck our feet in, we stood on the step, we splashed around a little, and I even got him to step down so most of his legs were in the water by the time Kiyomi came over. I figured he was ready to go, so when she came, I left to go use the ladies' room. When I came out of the bathroom, I witnessed a hilarious low-speed chase, with Henry trying to outwalk Kiyomi around the edge of the pool, and Kiyomi trying to catch him and convince him to get back into the water. Henry kept looking over his shoulder and sped up a bit, heading for my lounge chair. He tried to hide behind it, then decided he would drag the chair behind him in an effort to convince us he would be happy just sitting in the chair near the pool. I laughed and redirected him back towards Kiyomi, who got him back into the pool in short order, where he proceeded to have a great time during his lesson.

Here's the gallery of the guys in action.


Three Amigos

Here's wishing a very happy fifth birthday to our pal Cyrus Wiggin! (And yes, Cyrus, Dad-O is wondering whether he can come over and play with the cool Iron Man Lego we got you. ;-))


Camera Men

I'm pleased to announce that the Finnster officially takes after his parents, and particularly his old man, in really liking to snap photos! I came across one of my old iPhones, and he now loves snapping shots of random things (e.g. an extreme close-up of unsuspecting Henry; bikini-clad mannequins at the mall). The only downside is that, like me, he now brings walks to an abrupt halt, pausing out of the blue to line up a shot. Hoisted by my own petard! 🙂

I'll try to share some Finnyfotos soon. Meanwhile, here you can see him showing Henry around Dad-O's big cam. As my friend Scott Valentine captioned it, "And the peanut butter goes riiiight here..."!


Golden Gardener

I asked Henry to quote me his hourly rate. "Sixty bucks!" he replied. In fairness, it's not every 3-year-old who can confidently manhandle a length of fence like that. 😉


Hoo Man Group

Oh my—it seems that a looen & owl have invaded our kitchen!

Recently the lads had an epic 7-hour outing to Happy Hollow with Yvonne, returning happy, tired, and crusty-faced thanks to a face painter. Henry really got into playing his part: "Dad-O, he was 'hoo-ing' for, like, an hour!" reported a slightly exasperated Finn. The boys even rocked their new look to the mall & Lego Store that evening. Boy was it tough explaining that we had to wash faces before bedtime...

Here's a little gallery featuring our Beasts of the Northern Not-So-Wild. 🙂


What is that looen doin’?

Finny absolutely loves this cartoon, which came to us courtesy of a New Yorker cartoon-a-day calendar from my mom. My vocal rendition to him consists of an urbane, slightly self-satisfied cat purring, "Hmm, I must say, that was surprisingly easy."

(Historical footnote: At age 2 Finn decided to rebrand his lion as a "looen," just so we could say "What is that looen doin'?")


Just Keep Swimming

When we were in cold and snowy Leadville for Finny's birthday, the four of us spent a lovely afternoon at the (very warm!) indoor pool just down the street from my folks' place. We took our pool noodles with us and splashed around for quite some time. Finny was really going for it! With a couple noodles wrapped under his chest, and a supportive Mom-o or Dad-o hand underneath, that kid did lap after lap up and down the pool. We decided that it'd be perfect timing to sign him and Henry up for swim lessons, so that they could get really comfortable with the water and start learning how to swim in time for summer.

Thanks to our friends the Wiggins, we found a good deal on individual swim lessons at the San Jose State campus aquatic center. We go every Saturday morning, and each guy has a half-our, one-on-one lesson with an instructor. Finny's instructor is Jess (who has a small, terrific dinosaur skeleton tattoo on her arm), and Henry's is Kiyomi. Finny is having a ball and has already made really good progress. He's practicing "torpedo arms" and kicking, putting his face in the water, holding his breath, and floating. Henry is a little more hesitant, and a little less cooperative - he likes to hang out in a little closed-off area called "the cave" on the side of the pool, but Kiyomi does a great job cajoling him further out into the big pool for practice. He floats and half-heartedly kicks, but mostly he lets Kiyomi haul him and his noodle around the pool.

The real game-changer for both guys has been goggles! Finn spent a lot of time wiping water out of his face during the first lesson, and Henry's not a big fan of anything in his eyes, either. John ran out and got a 3-pack of goggles before their second lesson and both guys were much happier with them on. We'll keep doing the lessons until the guys are feeling comfortable splashing around and nailing some of the swimming basics, and we plan on visiting our neighborhood pool a lot this summer!


Mas Espanol!

We are really happy to announce that Finnegan is enrolled in the Two-Way Bilingual Immersion program at our neighborhood elementary school, Willow Glen Elementary. He already knows and understands a ton of Spanish thanks to his 2 years at Pasitos bilingual preschool, and is very excited about continuing to learn and speak Spanish in kindergarten. He can stay in the bilingual program through 5th grade at Willow Glen, and there are middle- and high school options for continuing in the bilingual program until graduation.

The bilingual programs are very popular where we live, and you have to be chosen by a lottery system to get a slot. The ratio of children in the programs is always 50% native English speakers to 50% native Spanish speakers - so even though there may be 60 slots available, only 30 of them will go to your native language group. And the competition for slots is fierce, making us all the more excited that Finny actually got selected. His preschool teachers (maestras) were also thrilled to hear that he got in, and they know he will do extremely well in the program. He's a pretty verbal kid (suprise, surprise) in both languages!


Two tickets to the “Gun Show”!

Whether it's the warm air or something in the proverbial water, our lads have taken a real shine to shedding their shirts and putting on "muscle shows." Finn's been captaining the "fighter team" of preschool superheroes, with G-Man as his able lieutenant. The other evening they asked whether they could do a muscle show involving some tug-of-war the back yard. When I asked whether Finn was sure he could compete with me, he was quick to retort, "Hey! I'm the boss of the fighter team! I do this every day of my life!" :-p Enjoy the pics.


Construction Junction

I'm kinda charmed that the lads remain just as enamored of all things construction-related as they ever were. Yesterday Henry decided to try jousting me with a pair of tiny orange safety cones, declaring, "These are my hand-not-getting-hurt-ers, Dad-O."

As for Finny, we dig him the most. 😉


Egg Men!

Happy (slightly belated) Easter, everyone!

On Saturday evening as I put him to bed, Finn asked (for the first time, mind you), "Hey, did we remember to put out Easter baskets?" Shortly thereafter I joined the ranks of the other dead-eyed, deadbeat parents trudging through the picked-over aisle at Target, ladling Peeps & nuclear-green "grass" into my bucket. Ay carumba.

Ah, but it was worth it as I scored a bunch of Cadbury Creme Eggs—a rare treat from my childhood. Here's a gallery of the sweet, sticky action as the boys wolfed them down the next day. And the hollow plastic eggs I found proved to be a smash: Margot loaded them up for the dudes to do a morning egg hunt, after which they hid eggs for us to find! I don't think I'd hunted eggs in 30 years. 🙂


That Big-Wheelin’ Feelin’

It's another case where I must warn you: Not much happens in this video! Yet it's still fun to watch the dudes teaming up—something we see more & more these days.