After weeks of anticipation, Saturday night finally arrived & brought with it Finn's first sleepover at a friend's house. Henry & I biked with him to his buddy Gavin's & dropped him off for an afternoon of pizza, movies, and horseplay.
To make Hen feel a bit less left out, Margot suggested the great idea of staging a little sleepover/campout in our room. We rigged up a little blanket pup tent & transported in some favorite Richard Scarry books, Legos, and even some candy corn popcorn (!!) found & sent by our pal Maria. I love seeing the photos of Hen & me reading together, as I'm reminded of reading the funny papers with my dad. (I'll have to dig up & juxtapose the photos!)
Here's a little gallery of our sleepover.
The guys have been patiently waiting over the last month to finally carve the giant pumpkins they picked out. (Unlike in the chilly Midwest, pumpkins out here tend to rot about 5 minutes after they're carved, so we had to bide our time.) Henry designed a pretty solid owl, though as you can see in the gallery, he spent much of his time eating himself under the table—literally—with all kinds of corn (pop & candy). Finn meanwhile enjoyed breaking out the little carving kit we bought and fashioning some kind of diabolical weirdo. Mom-O reports that both were a hit with visiting trick-or-treaters.
On Saturday our intrepid scouts & I headed off to build & launch model rockets at "Rocket Into Scouting." Together with their buddy Emiliano & his dad, we (well, largely I) knocked together a few rocket kits while alternately wolfing down tacos & gluing our fingers together. Finn also tried his hand at a slingshot, firing dried beans into the great beyond, while Henry constructed a duct-tape wallet. Here are some shots of the day out.
Hen's traffic cone prayers have been answered: through Mom-O's help he's been transformed into a giant orange cone for Halloween! Finn is equally happy to have gone over to the Dark Side & become Lord Vader; Mom-O is resplendent in Dia de los Muertos make-up; and I'm discovering just how unforgiving a tight Star Trek tunic can be. ;-p Here's a little gallery from today's costume party at our friend Ella's house.
18 months old & licking a batter full of cookie dough? That's what we call getting a late start around here. Finnster & Dad-O during Grandma Nack's visit in 2009:
It's football season, and the guys have been cheering on the Fighting Irish right alongside Dad-O! Thanks especially to Grandma & Grandpa Nack for keeping them outfitted in blue, gold, and green.
Other Irish-y bits from history:
Oh, and let's hear it from the (much younger) guys themselves: Go Irish!
On this day, seven years ago, Finn tried a little bit of pumpkin (specifically the stems) while hanging out with our brand-new neighbor Maddie. Check out the shots below, as well as in this old gallery from the day.
The boys are sad, as we all are, at the passing of their beloved Grandma Liggett this past week. They keep mentioning the good times they had with her, so I thought it would be nice to show a little gallery compiled from Finn’s arrival onward.
Being a brave dad (aka KOBI, King of Bad Ideas), I volunteered to take our dudes plus their buddy Colton to the Salinas Air Show while Margot stayed back with Colton's mom Mara & younger siblings. We ended up having a ball, returning home with the same number of kids & fingers as we left with. It was particularly fun to see my old friend Hughes & his kids (a first air show for all three of them!) and to borrow his big camera lens. Here's a little gallery of the proceedings.
This weekend brought an unexpected treat: My old Notre Dame friend Bryan Mason, whom I hadn't seen in probably 20 years, paid us a visit as part of his West Coast sojourn down from Alaska (where he'd spent the summer working on a fishing boat). "I have to warn you," he jokingly told Margot and me upon arriving, "I'm pretty great with kids." And so he was, quickly immediately himself as "Tío [Uncle] Bryan," master builder of everything from Legos to sand castles.
We all had a ball taking him to a perfect beach day in Santa Cruz, and the boys were kind of blown away at all the help they got in building some epic volcanoes in the doomed "Financial City" (so named due to Henry plopping out a dozen little "banks" with a little sand mold). This morning Finn remarked, "I thought that with another adult around, it was going to be just 'talkity-talkity-talkity,' like usual at my birthday party or whatever—but it was super fun instead!" Henry enthusiastically concurred.
Here's a little gallery of the sandy goings-on.
From the archives:
“Henry, Grandma’s coming tomorrow.”
“WHAT the—? YOUR mom? She’s the BEST!! (She really plays with me!)”
The dudes were not disappointed when Grandma Nack rolled in two years ago today. Here's a little gallery of that day's proceedings.
We've long been big fans of the big men who toss around cars, refrigerators, battle axes, and more in strongman contests, so it was a treat to meet Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson—the World's Strongest Man & the actor who plays notorious head-squashing character "The Mountain" on Game of Thrones—at this weekend's Highland Games in Pleasanton. We'd promised Henry a chance to see the big guy "toss a Henry-sized object over something the height of the garage," attempting to set a world record in the process. We didn't stick around quite long enough to see whether he succeeded, but we were just happy to meet him & get away with our heads un-squashed.
The lads keep cool modeling some great shirts that Grandma & Grandpa Nack got during their recent trip to Ireland. (Thanks, guys!)
Our shovel-lovin' lads Finn (armed with Root Chop) and Hen (armed with Seymour) teamed up with Dante, Vienna, and a whole squadron of random lakeside kids to turn the shore of Lake Tahoe into an elaborate system of canals, jumps, and other earthworks. Here's a little taste from the shoreline:
Up in Tahoe I rang in the start of my 40's just two days after our friend Hans started his 50's. Just as last year we shared a cake, and this year Margot & the boys took the sting out of mortality by giving me "Benny's Spaceship Spaceship SPACESHIP!!" from The Lego Movie—a loving throwback to the 80's-vintage sets I had growing up. Amazingly (miraculously!) despite our cabin being darker than Carlsbad Caverns, we built the beast and got it home without losing any parts.
Here's a handful of photos from the festivities—including impatient Henry realizing that yes, he will actually get to eat some cake .
Q. Who's got four thumbs and is (almost) ready for the first day of school?
A. Theeeese guys.
I like to go beyond what a simple photo can capture, so I really enjoy capturing 360º spherical panoramas of our travels. (The fam is nice to indulge me as I lag behind on hikes, etc. in order to make these.) To look around some of the Lake Tahoe-area sights we encountered last week, you can click and drag on any of the photos below, or—better still—you can click the "View on Google Maps" link on each one to view it much larger.
Easy Sunday Morning
Fallen Leaf Dam