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Milestones Photos

School’s Out!

Summer’s officially here at last, and the Micronaxx are thrilled! Margot & I were able to catch Henry’s kindergarten graduation ceremony on Thursday, enjoying some cupcakes & a mini concert (stay tuned for videos). Meanwhile check out our man celebrating.

KinderCollage

LastDay

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Birthdays Milestones Photos

Happy Birthday, Big Finno!!

Somehow—to our absolute shock—we’ve done seven full laps of the sun since our once-wee man made his debut. (“The days are long but the years are short.”) Happy birthday, our blonde & dimpled treasure!

Stay tuned for more photos & videos from the celebration, but in the meantime check out a gallery of the marvelous Lego-themed cake Mom-O crafted & Finn decorated, on which each member of the fam + Grandma & Grandpa Nack appear. Here, let’s have Finn explain it; just don’t tell him I shared this clip with you. 🙂

Cake-7-(3-of-12)

Cake-7-(7-of-12)

[YouTube]

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Birthdays Milestones Photos Videos

Henry is 5!

14653314642_605479cddf_zLast week our Henry turned 5 years old. Five! We can hardly believe our “little guy” is five already. We celebrated his actual birthday on the 9th, with family gifts and a sushi dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant, where Henry’s friends “the sushi ladies” presented him with the long-anticipated and much-talked-about green tea ice cream with umbrellas in it. He was thrilled!

His favorite part of the day, by far, was opening his new Lego Cargo Train set, his special gift from Mom-o and Dad-o. He’d been talking about it for a long time and was really hoping he’d get it for his birthday. He spent the next couple of days building the engine and cars with some assistance from his equally Lego-crazed brother and father. Now we’ve got the set up and running in the basement, and in Henry’s own words, he’s “obsessed with it”!

Yesterday we had his big birthday party in the backyard. He was really excited about its construction theme – we had caution tape streamers, a dump truck mylar balloon, real orange safety cones, hardhat party hats for the guests, safety signs, a bulldozer piñata, and a box-tower building relay race. Oh – and a bouncy house! There is no kid who enjoys a bouncy house more than Henry Nack. As soon as it was delivered and inflated he was in there hopping around and doing somersaults. All the kids played so hard they were dripping with sweat and red-cheeked by the end of the party. We decided to do a post-party cool-off at the Elks pool, with a little poolside takeout Bibo’s pizza to go with it.

Here’s a gallery from the big party!

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Milestones Videos

Happy Birthday, Big Finn!

This post is a bit belated, but the party wasn’t: Happy Birthday to our big, bright, blonde boy! We had a ball (my totally sore, bouncy-house-strained neck notwithstanding ;-)), and we’ll post photos soon. Meanwhile, let’s sing!

Hear the chaos!

See the uncooperative candles that keep threatening to go out!

Celebrate our big blonde guy turning 6!

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Birthdays Photos

Hen Four, Good Buddy!

“Equal parts grumpy old man and delightful, snuggly, hilarious kid,” says Margot of Henry*, and I fully agree. Amazingly it’s been a full four years since our crazy little “El Segundo” barnstormed into town. What a crazy ride…

We’re a bit pooped from taking the lads out for some celebratory sushi, but here’s a little gallery of the terrific party we had on the Fourth with our wonderful pals, plus some delightful present-opening with my folks & then this morning.

And from memory lane:

* She also says this about me 😉

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Milestones Photos

Kindergarten-bound!

Well, our first (pseudo)academic milestone has come and gone. Our man Finny “graduated” from preschool last week, and is now officially on his way to Kindergarten in the fall. The Maestras at Pasitos put on a really fun little ceremony and potluck dinner for the graduates and families. All the kids got to make gold cardboard mortarboards and decorate them, and they each got to walk up and receive a little certificate while the Maestras said something nice about them. It was very cute and Finny was very proud. At the end, all the kids and Maestras danced to “Guantanamera.”

Henry, on the other hand, had a complete and utter meltdown just before the ceremony started. Tons of shrieking and crying to the state of hyperventilation. (Of course, this happened front and center next to all the waiting families…) “No one is paying attention to me, Mom-o! No one is playing with me! Why don’t I get a present?” I think we finally got a big ol’ glimpse of sibling jealousy. I got him calmed down enough with a little lap time, and then he was off riding a tricycle behind the ceremony until it was finished and the rest of the kids could play.

Here’s a gallery of the afternoon’s proceedings, including a fantastic surprise visit by some Mexican heritage dancers in full costume. As Henry noted: “Mom-o, they’re not wearing pants, or shoes and socks..or shirts!” But they had some mighty cool feathered headdresses and rattles on their ankles.

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Birthdays Milestones Photos

Fantastic Five!

On Saturday my Finny turned five. I can hardly believe it’s been five years since this dimpled, smiling, blond little person made us a family. Before we tucked in for the night on Friday, all four of us shouted “Adios, four!”, and when we awoke on the big day, we all said “Hello, five!” before wishing our guy a happy birthday.

Then it was off to breakfast in the hotel for a much-anticipated birthday waffle (seriously, he’d been talking about it for weeks!), followed by a very slow, traffic-jammy drive up the mountains for an afternoon of snowball fights and snow tubing. The combination of all that partying and the high altitude wore us all out, so we saved cake and presents for Sunday.

Here are some photos from our adventure so far. Happy birthday, Finny! We love you to bits!

[Note the triumphal unveiling of the giant Lego Unimog. 🙂 Finny went tearing around the room yelling “Iloveit Iloveit Ilove it” before doing “donkey kicks” of joy on the stairs. Now, if we can just finish building the thing before he’s eligible to vote, the success will be complete! –J.]

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Milestones

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.

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Birthdays Milestones Photos Videos

G-Man B-Day!

Our little Mr. Henry Nack officially turned 3 today! We had a big birthday party for him while we were with the rest of my family in Colorado last week, complete with a VW Beetle-shaped cake, homemade ice cream, and presents; check out the photos. Today we had another, smaller party with our friends the Wiggins at the park down the street. This time we celebrated with a big ol’ pizza and a tiny little cake, and lots of running around!

Although Henry has not really grown much taller during the past year, he has made enormous leaps and bounds in other ways – both literally and figuratively! Figuratively, he’s become so articulate and conversant – especially in the last couple of months. He easily articulates pretty complex ideas and observations, and recounts events and conversations in great detail. He and Finny have extensive conversations and make up elaborate narratives while they’re playing. And literally, he has started hopping and jumping around like crazy, especially when he gets excited about something. For a little guy, he gets pretty good air! He also loves physical horsing around with all of us, and usually starts laughing uncontrollably when we tumble around with him.

His love of vehicles continues unabated, and he reaped many wheeled and winged presents for his birthday – including new variations of his favorites, Lightning and Mater (from Pixar’s Cars). He is also nuts for fire fighting, and was THRILLED to receive his fireman “backpack” – which is a tank you fill with water, then pump out the attached sprayer hose (usually onto his brother).

His fondness for owls is also going strong, and he received a couple of terrific owly gifts. Grandma Nack gave him a beautiful book about an owl flying around at night, and his Auntie Laura made him a super-cute little knitted, stuffed owl with big brown eyes, named “Roy,” just like the one his cousin Patrick has.

We can’t wait to see what Henry’s next year holds in store. He’s off to a terrific start!

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Birthdays Photos

Finny’s Fourth!

We feel so happy & lucky to have gotten to celebrate the Finnster’s Fourth with so many excellent pals (both large & small), and with my folks who trekked all the way from Illinois. We couldn’t have asked for more gorgeous weather–72 with not a cloud in the sky (rather different from last year’s slightly shivery fun). Everyone seemed to enjoy packing away greasy pizza & Margot’s brilliant fire truck cake before taking a whack at the piñata. Thankfully neighborhood “big kids” Dom & Charlotte were able to liberate the candy at last.

Thanks so much to everyone for coming out and partying with us! Here’s a little gallery from the festivities.

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Birthdays Milestones Photos

“Finnegan Nack, Now with Cuatro!”

Happy B-day to our Fantastic Four-Year-Old!! We’ve had a great day celebrating the Finnster’s cumpleaños with his Nack grandparents, and we can’t wait to dive into tomorrow’s party, piñata, and fire truck cake. He was so excited about his Lego birthday present that he literally spun out of control, doing a donut by the couch! 😀 We’ll share more photos and videos soon; for now, here’s that moment of ecstasy (click it for larger):

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Milestones

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! 🙂

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Birthdays Milestones Videos

Happy Birthday to Hen!

A birthday wouldn’t be complete without singing and (cup)cake, so thanks to nephew Patrick for documenting the proceedings:

We neglected to mention that just before the festivities, Henry had been forcibly awakened from an epic nap (lest he be up all night). That left him pretty lethargic & unsure what to make of all this fuss. (In the previous gallery you can really see the effect of the cupcake sugar hitting his bloodstream!) It’s also funny to observe Finn’s oversight of the candle-blowing operation. He really had to work at not jumping in and doing the honors himself!

Nostalgic bonus roundup:

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Milestones Photos

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!

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Milestones Videos

¡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:

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Milestones

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.]

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Milestones

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.]

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Birthdays Photos Videos

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!

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Birthdays Milestones

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.]

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Milestones

hankEWW!

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!