Micronaxx The adventures of Finn & Henry


Numero Dos for El Segundo!

Henry Seamus Nack turned 2 years old today! Since we were flying back to SJ from our weeklong trip to Colorado, we celebrated Henry's big day on Wednesday in Leadville. His cousins, aunt, and grandparents were there for the festivities--candles, singing, cupcakes, and presents! Here's a link to the party gallery.

We can hardly believe our little Henry is already two. In many ways, it seems like he's been with us far longer than a mere 2 years, but in other ways he is still our little bitty guy. It's been terrific to see his personality bloom this past year, especially when it comes to his ability to use so many words to express himself instead of being thwarted by a lack of vocabulary and constantly seeming frustrated. Although he can be a bit slow to warm up to new acquaintances, once he does, he is a joy to be around--he's slyly goofy, often breaking into a wry grin when he's up to something. He's kind to his big brother, loves all kinds of physical horseplay, and loooooooves his Dad-o. We love it when his blue eyes sparkle and he verbalizes his observations, often asking us questions to help figure things out. Hooray for Henry! We couldn't love you more, little squirrel!


¡Escuela de Verano!

Yesterday was the boys' first day of preschool at Pasitos! Clearly our soft-pitch sales job this past week worked, because they were up earlier than usual this morning and raring to get to school.  Bags and lunches were packed, paperwork was in hand, hats were donned, buddies were grabbed, and we were off by 8a.m.

I had planned on 2 things today: 1. Hanging around the classroom for quite awhile this morning to ease the guys' transition from home to school and downplay the drama, and 2. receiving one or more phone calls that Henry or Finny were crying inconsolably and one of us needed to come get them (we were warned this is fairly common during the transition period). What a surprise that neither plan came to fruition!

As I finished up the paperwork and stashed the boys' belongings in the appropriate cubbies, both boys were already very busy playing and chatting with the teacher. I stuck around for maybe 10 more minutes, then gave each boy a smooch and took off--it was clear they were doing just fine! The phone never rang with a call from Pasitos, so we figured the day must have gone well. I think John and I were actually more nervous/worried about school than the boys!

When we arrived to pick them up, they were playing outside, and Finny ran to the gate, so excited to see us. His voice wavered quite a bit when he said "I'm so happy to see you!" It was a thin line between crying and smiling, but I think he was just really overwhelmed with how relieved he was when he saw us. Henry was holding Ollie and playing ball, and was also very happy to see Dad-o strolling in.

The teacher assured us the boys had a good day. Both had napped and played well. She also remarked that Henry didn't like having his diaper changed (no surprise to me, I guess I should've mentioned that!), and that he ate a lot (I guess he really took advantage of snacktime!). At some point Henry started crying pretty hard for Ollie (we tried to talk him into only having Ollie at nap time, but I guess he didn't want to give him  up upon waking). Finny stepped in and told the teachers what Henry wanted, and once they handed Ollie to him, he was fine. "Ollie saved the day," she said.

So all in all, a very good first day of school, and I think the boys are looking forward to going back. Just now as I was putting Finny to bed, he said "I don't understand Spanish yet. I think I will learn Spanish when I grow up to be a man. In about a week or so, I'll be grown up and will learn it then."

Update: Here's our little video recap with the lads:


Preschoolhouse Rock

The times, they are a changin' at the Nack household. One of our nannies, Tiffany, will soon be leaving us because she's due with her second baby, which means she won't exactly have time to drive 50 miles to our house twice a week and kick it with the Nack boys during the day. Since Finny's 3 and potty-trained, we'd been talking about getting him into a preschool soon. Tiffany's due date has been great motivation to kick the preschool (and daycare for Henry) search in high gear. (As Finny might say, "Step on the gas, Mom-o!")

We've got many friends with kids who are already in preschool, so it's been easy to find referrals to preschools with flexible schedules and options for pre-preschool little guys like Henry. I'd waded through tons of flyers and brochures, and surfed lots of websites before narrowing down our search to a few options. We've now toured two facilities with the boys in tow, to see how they might like the idea of going to "school" a couple days a week.

I think they're both going to enjoy themselves. During our visits, they've taken plenty of initiative--exploring the various play/craft/reading and outdoor play areas, and watching what the other little kids are doing. Finny is really excited about the idea of having his own lunchbag and plastic tupperware box for food. We made a big deal of going to Target and picking out bags and boxes. As we were leaving for this morning's preschool tour, Finny asked me if he could take his new bag and box! I hated to disappoint him but since it was only an hour-long visit, I told him we didn't need them today. ("But we'll need them in a few weeks, buddy!") As we headed out towards the car, Finny said excitedly "Come ooooon preschool!!!" like he just couldn't wait to get there. Hen was similarly pumped up, dancing with excitement.

Every time we talk about preschool or I even think about dropping the guys off for the day, I get that clutchy feeling in my chest and a little voice in my heart says "They're growing up!" I just can't believe we've hit the preschool milestone already. Now I just need to make sure Finny understands that Dad-o and I won't actually be hanging out with him and his brother while they're at preschool all day!

["I'm going to *pee* school, Dad-O!" proclaimed Finn. "I'm gonna pee in the school!" You stay classy, kiddo! --J.]


Non-Abstract Expressionism

Boy oh boy, has our little Henry started to bloom! Before I get to the good part, I will back up a little bit...For the past few weeks he's been one heck of a cranky tot--crying and shrieking at the drop of a hat, even throwing himself on the floor, prostrate, kicking his feet about the most minor incidents. He's always been a little, shall we say, demanding, but he'd really been taking it to a new level.

Now, I am happy to report, we can see that our little G-Man has really turned a corner, and maybe all the drama and cranking around was just a way for him to show his frustration about what he wanted to be doing and saying but couldn't quite put together yet. He's really talking up a storm these days, using nouns, verbs, and even adjectives and adverbs! A few weeks ago, if he wanted something, he might have just said "Ollie!" and started crying. Now, he says "Dad-o get Ollie, please!" or "Get Ollie now?*" This is so exciting for us, and I can't adequately convey just how much. The fact that he's able to string words together and express himself is so much nicer than the constant whining and crying that we'd been dealing with. Henry seems to be so much happier, too. He's smiling a lot more, he's noticeably more relaxed, and he's enjoying communicating with his big brother (exclaiming "Toe Party!!!" in the bathtub as he grabs Finny's toes).

Another fun development is that of Henry entering the realm of the abstract. His little imagination is starting to fire up, and results in him claiming "I'm a squirrel! I'm Thomas! I'm Penny (the Pig character in one of his books)!" Even when Finny's trying to get him to play along with one of his games, Henry stands up for himself. For instance, Finny will try to make us all quails, and give us quail names**, and when he says to Henry "You're Chump (the quail)", Henry replies "I'm a squirrel!"

Regarding Henry's latest achievements, as Finny might say, "Hooray for Henry! Extra huggies and smooches!"

[* It's so helpful that he's started clarifying things by adding "Now." Oh really, Hen? Your flopping down & screeching were so ambiguous. 😉
** For posterity: The quails are Pump, Dump, and Chump. Chump is the welder who has a little mask & torch. (Yes, there's a *very* elaborate backstory there...) --J.]


Birthday action!

We had a terrific time celebrating Finno's Big 3 a couple of weeks back, and now that the sugar crash has worn off, we can post our little photo gallery and a video from the birthday train ride!


Birthday! Birthday! Birthday!

Our blond, sunny, hilarious little Finnegan turns 3 years old today! We can hardly believe he's gotten so big, so talkative, and so imaginative. His head is always filled with characters and made-up stories, and he couldn't be happier to share them with us. He's also a terrific big brother to little Henry--offering him toys or books when Henry's upset or grouchy, and working hard at sharing and taking turns with his toys. As Henry gets older I hope he realizes what a nice, caring big brother he's got.

I started the day by greeting Finny with the Happy Birthday song, then we opened presents from Grandma and Grandpa Liggett. He is already in love with his new toy lawnmower and weed wacker (specifically requested by the birthday boy!), although he and Dad-o had to make a fast trip to the hardware store to get batteries and a tiny screwdriver so the weed wacker would fire up and make all the appropriate noise. (We have umpteen tiny screwdrivers, and all of them lost the minute we need them!) Henry was not thrilled about not getting to play with the new lawn toys, but we're hoping he'll either get over it, or eventually Finny will decide that sharing them is ok.

Tonight we'll take our boy out to have pizza and open some more presents. His birthday party was this past Sunday, and with Grandma and Grandpa Nack here, every day has been an adventure!

Happy birthday to our wonderful firstborn boy. We couldn't be happier to have you in our lives!

[The OSH staff seemed delighted by the presence of a PJ-clad tot dragging milk, banana chips, and a toy weed whacker through their hardware store at 7:30am. And as for sharing, Grandma & Grandpa report that Finn was great about letting Henry terrorize the grass with the new toys. When I got home they couldn't wait to show me "how nice the yard looks!" --J.]



Our little Henry is 19 months old today, and not really so little anymore! He's grown to 32.5 inches tall, 27.5 lbs, and his head is 50cm around. He's also inherited the chatterbox gene, and is busy talking up a storm these days. He's working hard at stringing words together into phrases. For instance, at the kitchen table, he will point at everything in sight and start labeling them: "yogurt! cheerios! spoon! cup! milk!" and then follow up with "want some!" He can also clearly articulate "hungry" and "all done" or "finished!". John commented today that he's very interested in calling out colors, regardless of his accuracy...so he might be pointing at a tree and say "orange!" or brandishing an orange and announce "blue! green!".

He's also working on "please" and "thank you," and tends to pre-emptively say "hankEWW" when handing something to us. It comes across as very pre-emptory and puts the kibosh on further discussion, like when he spied a sack of M&M's and shoved the toy he was holding into John's chest with an emphatic "hankEWW!" so he could get at those M's!

Hen's favorite new activity is "flying", where Dad-o (or Mom-o, when pressed) scoops him up like a little airplane and flies him around the house before coming in for a landing on Finny's bed. He absolutely loves it and is just devastated when we have to take a breather from lugging him around!


Hen Party!

What a nice birthday party we had with our little buddy Henry! A posse of niños, including Harper, Charlotte, Dominic, Ken, Julian, and Madison, along with their respective parents & of course Grandma & Grandpa Nack, were on hand to help us celebrate. Carrot cake, juice boxes, and other treats were flowing near the guys' new sandbox. Mom-O & Dad-O remain kind of bushed, so without further ado, here's our gallery (HTML).

By the way, with the Flash galleries, if you happen to be using a large monitor and like high-def images, try pressing the little square in the lower-right corner to get a full-screen display. Press the ESC key to exit when finished.


El Segundo Es Uno!

Oh my goodness. Henry is one year old today! We can hardly believe a year has flown by since he arrived on the scene last year after only 1.5 hours of labor.

Our littlest dude has got a lot going on these days--so busy growing, growing, growing. He's getting ready for many more teeth to arrive--they're making themselves known in big bumps and lumps in his boca. He's been working really hard on practicing his walking, forcefully leading his hapless escorts around the house and getting very upset when we want to take a break and sit him down on the floor!  (I am prone to calling him "Stampy" because of his disproportionately heavy footsteps!) And he's really starting to chatter away. Lots of babbling and even some honest-to-goodness words like Dada, Mama, ball, cool, go, Coco, and uh-oh. He loves his little sleeping buddy Ollie, and has warmed up to his stuffed cat (an Xmas gift from Grandma Nack).

More Henry-based action includes "rock stance": standing with his feet wide apart and jiggling one leg up and down (think David Coverdale in the 80's). In addition to assisted walking, he's able to pull himself up to standing unassisted, and has even stood (stock still) on his own for several seconds at a time. Dad-o has introduced Henry to "fountain inspection" both at our newly repaired fountain as well as neighbor Richard's kid-magnet front yard fountain.

I'm only half joking when I call Henry my bossy baby. He wants to do everything himself, and when he needs your help he's very clear about what he does and doesn't want you to do. If you try and feed him, he grabs the spoon or piece of food and puts it in his mouth--he doesn't want us doing it! He's gotten into some serious chug-a-lugging, grabbing both his and Finny's milk cups and jamming in both sippy lids at once. He'll also let us know if and when he wants to be held (or not!) and is remarkably strong for his size (evidenced by pushing himself off me when he's had enough of my lap).

This week he's gotten in plenty of playtime with Grandma and Grandpa Nack, and was introduced to his very own sandbox (a wonderful gift from them) this evening. After his initial uncertainty about sitting in the sand, he got pretty engrossed in scooping and pouring. Every day this week has been an adventure--trips to Happy Hollow, Blackberry Farm, and other parks, along with shopping trips and picnic lunches. He was yawning his brains out by 6:30 this evening--I've never seen him that sleepy! But now that he's in bed he's having kind of restless sleep. Maybe he knows his birthday party is tomorrow! Happy Birthday little G-Man!


Henry 2.0

"Where is the G-Man and what have you done with him??" --J.

John was up in Seattle for a few days this week, and upon spending some time with Henry when he returned, he asked me whether I'd swapped Henry out for a new model! Our littlest dude has undergone some major internal and external development this week. Even I noticed it. He's much more tuned in to what's going on around him, he smiles more readily, he's getting really absorbed in the toys he's playing with, and even his face looks different...older and more like a little boy than a baby. Oh, and he's babbling a lot more! He definitely knows who "da da" is, and I swear he tried saying "banana" tonight as I was feeding him one. He said "na na" a couple of times as I was talking to him about it.

These are truly welcome changes. He went through a really rough phase for the past couple months--very clingy and fussy and averse to changes in his environment. But happily, those days are over and he's really quite a pleasure to be around and to observe. He saw his brother making "fish lips" the other day at the dinner table and made them right back! He also seems to understand when something is silly and laughs right along with the rest of us. And his demeanor, which is far calmer than it was before, is fantastic. It's just so nice to see him fiddling with toys and keeping himself contented with far less intervention necessary from Mom-o and Dad-o.

Oh, and last but not least, today was the first day that Henry has not tried to eat the book I'm trying to read him--he was actually interested in looking at and turning the pages himself!


Henry OchoNuevo

Today Henry turns 9 months old. Wowee, how time flies! Little Mr. H. has been working on lots of milestones lately. Two new teeth emerged last week after a long, painful, whiny stint of teething, bringing his tooth-count to 8 (ocho!)! He's also been rolling from back to front (finally!) and back again. I honestly thought he'd never master the back-to-front roll, since he seemed so content to stay on his back once he'd rolled off his tum.

He's started migrating around the crib during the night, has graduated from baby food to table food, and is learning how to transition from sitting to lying on his tummy. He's not too happy once he's stuck lying on the ground, but he does enjoy the process of leeeeeeaning forward until he can stretch himself completely out. Henry seems to really dig standing up in his excersaucer, which we've dubbed his "disco" thanks to its music-themed doodads and the music that it emits.

All in all, he's a happy little guy with an adorable, puckish grin, which usually emerges as he's watching his big bro's antics in the tub or at the dinner table. The two brothers really seem to get a kick out of one another these days.


Henry the 8th (month, that is)

Drumroll, please! Henry Seamus Nack turned 8 months old today. He kicked off his celebration by snacking on his first fistful of Cheerios and cracking into a Yo Baby banana yogurt. (Which, based on his intestinal distress later in the day, seems not to have agreed with him very well.)

In addition to taking on Cheerios, we've been introducing more "table food" like rice, guacamole, and banana pieces. He gobbles them all down happily and waits impatiently for the next bite. I think he's teething again because he's drooling like crazy and chewing on anything he can get his hands on.

Physically, he's been making lots of progress. He's an avid practitioner of what we call the "Judo CHOP!" This is where he raises both tiny hands then quickly blasts them down to his waist and does a little grunt at the same time. We tend to see it when he's excited about something--food, new toys, grabbing my sleeve and shoving it into his mouth...He's sitting up like a champ, and as he reaches for things just beyond his wingspan, has started to roll onto his tummy. At which point, after getting over the initial bewilderment of being on his tum, he either gets mad because he's not sitting anymore, or rolls over to his back (the better to see those scintillating light fixtures!). He's babbling--he's entering his Dadaist period (dah! dah dah dah!) and is also working on "ma ma ma" and "va va".

He continues to be fascinated with and amused by his big brother--especially in the bathtub, where there's a lot of splashing and laughing. For his part, Finny has taken to intoning "No, NO, Goon-IE" when Henry's taken something he was playing with. All in all, it's a good time to be Henry, and based on the number of big grins accompanied by his twinkling little eyes, he seems to be enjoying himself.


The Big Deuce

Finny had his big-guy 2-year checkup today with Dr. S. Our hale and healthy boy checked in solidly on the 97th percentile for height, weight, and head circumference. He is 37 inches tall, which strongly suggests that he will be over six feet tall when he's fully grown. He is a whopping 33 pounds 4 oz., and his head is 51 cm. around.

Dr. S. was impressed with not only his size but his verbal acumen and his skills at pretend play. She asked if he spoke in sentences of 4-5 words, and I said "yeah, well, a lot more than that, actually. It's really like talking to a normal person," and gave her an example of one of his typical sentences these days: "Mom-o get Finny some lunch and put Goonie in the  hopper." I believe "Wow!" was her response. She also liked hearing that Finn's already got quite the imagination--calling me "the caboose" and his brother "little freight car" or "screech owl."

Our boy had to get three shots today, but he was really a champ about the whole thing--only crying a little bit after the first two. Once I picked him up and gave him a squeeze, he was fine and later remarked "Finny got some shots and cried a little bit." Now he won't have to worry about shots until he's 4!


It’s Official: The Finn-Man’s Two

Happy birthday, big-little guy.  We sure do love you a whole lot. <:-)


Finnster Party Pix (aka, “Now eat some *candy*!”)

We really had a ball celebrating the big guy's birthday with so many pals yesterday. At first Finn wasn't quite so sure he was ready for the "Totpocalypse" of toddlers descending on our homestead. Five minutes after the party started he said, "All done... all done with kids!" He then wanted to hide out in the "bat cave"--i.e. the pullout couch that Grandma Nack had been occupying. Fortunately he chilled out pretty quickly, and Grandma was a huge help in minding the sometimes overstimulated Henry.

Anyhow, it seemed that everyone had a great time, as you can see in our photo gallery (HTML). Special thanks to our pal Hughes (Hoot) for manning the camera and getting some great Finn's-eye-view perspectives on the scene.

PS: "M&Ms are *GOOD*. Finny like to EAT them!!"


All Aboard for Finny’s Birthday Party!

This afternoon we celebrated Finny's 2nd birthday (even though he's not officially 2 until Tuesday). What a fun day we had! After weeks of nonstop rain, the clouds broke and we had a gorgeous, warm, sunny day.

I made a fun Thomas the Tank Engine train cake, thanks to some helpful pictures and advice from Finn's Auntie Laura. The cake turned out far better than I had imagined--we had Thomas, his coal tender, and three freight cars. Finny was raptly watching me frost them, and although I was trying to explain that they were train cars, he didn't really get it until the blue frosting went onto the Thomas cake. Then, when I put Thomas's face on the front, it dawned on him that the cake really was a train. He started saying "Thomas! That's Thomas!" and spent quite a while looking at the cake from all angles. It was my favorite moment of the entire day.

Lots of Finny's playgroup pals and their parents came to the shindig, as did many other of our friends--Hoot, Alex, and Milos, the Hogartys, Reen, and our neighbors. And special guest Grandma Nack, who flew out from Illinois just for the party. It was wonderful to have a big Sunday afternoon playdate with the added bonus of cake, presents, and beautiful sunshine. We were thrilled that everyone could go out and enjoy the yard, especially since our living room is not very big when it's filled with so many toddlers and parents!

Finn blew out his candles like a pro, and had a really good time at his party. I think everyone else did, too, and we were reminded of how many wonderful, kind people we have in our lives.


T-Minus 30 to Birthday Hijinks!

The Thomas cake is ready, and the streamers have been strung. Let the wild rumpus start! 😀

(Click the image for a larger version.)


23 Skidoo

Old Man Finnegan is officially just one month from turning "The Deuce" (!). Don't tell him, but Mom-O has scored a whole set of great Thomas gear for his upcoming party.

Speaking of trains, "Engineer" pretty constantly insists on referring to each member of the family by our railroading handles:

  • Finn: Engineer
  • Dad-O: Conductor
  • Mom-O: Caboose
  • Henry: Little Freight Car
  • CoCo: Station Master

He's way into rattling off crazed, run-on compound sentences like "Engineer and Conductor hang out in the Thomas tunnel and Caboose and Freight Car in the TV room!"  Super good times.


Henry Weighs In

Big Henry is just that! At six months, he clocks in at 19 lbs. 7 oz, 25 and 3/4 inches long, with a head circumference of 45 cm. This means he's a little chubby for his height, but I'm guessing a growth spurt is coming on since he hasn't stretched out much from his 4-month measurements. Compared to Finn at 6 months, Henry is 1/2 pound lighter and a little over an inch shorter, but his noggin is slightly bigger.

He was an absolute dream at Dr. S's office and was quite flirty with the cute nurses. He only squawked for a second after his shots, then we sailed home in the Ocho so he could load up on cereal and milk. Dr. S. thinks we can start weaning him off the Zantac now, and start offering him water in a sippy cup after he eats solids. We're still waiting for an appt. with the pediatric urologist so we'll keep him on the antibiotics until we know more.


A Half-Year of Henry

Mr. Henry Seamus Nack turned six months old today. We can hardly believe it! Time has flown since he's arrived on the scene. He's gotten so big, and just lately he is so much more animated and alert than even a month ago. We love his giggles, his mischievous little grin and sparkling eyes, and his wonderful talent at sleeping through the night. He has started making a lot of sounds, prompting his big bro to say "What's Goonie talkin' about? Crazy baby!"

We go in for his official check-up with Dr. S. on Monday, so we'll post his stats then. He's growing like a weed, and is a big fan of his rice cereal. He cannot keep his hands off the spoon when it nears his mouth. And boy does he have a strong grip! If he's this excited about cereal, I can only imagine his enthusiastic reaction to other, far tastier foods in the near future. So Happy Half-Year, Henry! And we'll lift a teensy baby-spoon to the next six months!

[Click the image for a larger version.]