Micronaxx The adventures of Finn & Henry

31Aug/170

Portraits of the Artists as Very Young Men

At Back-to-School Night this week, Margot & I got to drop in on the dudes’ new classrooms and teachers. We were charmed to find their self portraits hanging up. Note Finn’s inclusion of green racing stripes on his glasses, plus Hen’s generous application of freckles. 😊

NewImage

NewImage

20Nov/160

Swimlover!

Henry is well known for his stubbornness - which has shown up in force every time we tried to enroll him in swim lessons. This kid HATES getting his head wet, hates getting his hair washed, hates getting splashed in the pool, and has run down the clock during countless swim lessons by simply refusing to participate and trying to talk his way out of actually doing anything.

After yet another progress-free summer at the Elks pool, having to constantly keep an eye on him, while he clung to the side of the pool, resolutely refusing to get his head or face wet, and refusing to even try to float or doggy paddle while his peers were splashing and swimming away, I decided to try, once more, to get him to learn to swim. He started weekly classes a little over a month ago at an indoor pool nearby.

Finally, slowly but surely, our man Henry is making progress! He has done more swimming and splashing in the past 6 weeks than the entire previous 7.5 years of his life! Each week on our drive to the pool, I give him a little pep talk, we talk about what he's learned so far and how great he's doing, and wonder what sorts of things he'll be learning. We chat about his nervousness, and the fact that even while nervous, he exceeds his own expectations. He's gotten a lot more comfortable with floating on his back, he can hold his breath, he puts his head underwater, he tips off the side of the pool and swims to the instructor, and he can alternate from back to front floating on his own.

He did so well last week, and was so excited to report his fantastic lesson to Dad-o and Finny that he requested that the whole family go to today's lesson so we could all witness his progress. So we all headed out to the pool, and the Nack Family Cheering Section was in full force while our man demonstrated his prowess. He did great, and Dad-o and Finny could hardly believe he was voluntarily putting his head and face in the water without complaint. A great day for Mr. Henry, capped off with a family lunch and ice cream for dessert.

11Jul/160

The Persistence of Finn

Well, if you can’t sleep at 10,200 feet—as I surely can’t for the first couple of days—you can at least have fun passing the time with Photoshop & a photo of your sprawled-out son. 😉

Persistence of Finn

11Jul/160

Raftstravaganza!

Raftstravaganza

After about 10 years of waiting for all the cousins to be old enough, John and I finally got to take Finn, Henry, and cousins Patrick and Charlie rafting down the Brown's Canyon section of the Arkansas River! All of us had a total blast - although, not surprisingly, it took Henry about 3/4 of the trip to finally start enjoying himself. (He tends to warm up to things far more slowly than the average bear.)

John and I sat in the front/main splash zone, followed by Charlie (11) and Patrick (13), with Finn behind Patrick, and Henry hunkered down in the middle of the raft for fear of getting launched out! In the gallery of photos, you'll notice his little blue helmet way down low, right in between my and John's knees. I started calling Henry "the turtle" because he was very effective at ducking down so low that the bill of his hat was sitting right on top of his life vest's shoulders. He stayed that way most of the trip, as we shot through the Zoom Flume, The Widowmaker, and the Devil's Toiletbowl. At some point I did hear him laughing, and looked over and saw his face plastered with a wide grin. He admitted at the end that he really had fun and would definitely do it again (as would all the other boys!).

Brown's Canyon is the newest National Monument, and boy was it scenic. We had an epic adventure, and we were thrilled to chaperone all the kids on their first rafting trip. The Arkansas river will definitely see more of us in the future!

[Finn got very excited by "The Widowmaker" and kept yelling, "Adios, Dad!!" :-p —J.]

5May/160

“A Beter Life” awaits

In the dystopian classic Blade Runner, where neon signs wink through the ever-present rain, the voice in a disembodied advertisement promises, “A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies!” I chuckled thinking of this when I found the sign below propped up at the entrance to Finn’s room. I guess we’d better stay out for a while. 🙂

A Better Life

26Apr/160

El Presidente Con Influenza

Finn's flu-induced fever, combined with his fascination with the name of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, topped with a sleepy lion hat, results in the following. Also known as: A typical Monday afternoon with Finn.

5Apr/160

A wonderful welcome home

Even before I’d landed back in the US, I got to see (thanks to Mom-O’s texting) a pair of little homecoming drawings that the guys whipped up for me. I love the prayer flags that Henry drew (which he says he remembered from the “Himalayan Megaquake” documentary we watched) and “you, a.k.a. Dad” caption Finn added. Are these guys great or what? 🙂 You can click each image to view it larger if you'd like.

WelcomeHome1 sm

WelcomeHome2 sm

10Mar/160

Finn Emberley

Finn’s a big fan of both Ed Emberley drawing books & the iPad app Adobe Sketch. I kinda dig how he combined the two here. 🙂

EdLooen

25Nov/150

Funny Finny

Observing me lingering at home instead of hopping on my bike the other day, Finn asked, “Hey Dad, can I call you ‘Dingleberry,’ because I notice you keep hanging around.” :-p NewImage

The boy has been on a tear lately, working on puns for his classmate & periodically disappearing into his room to write jokes that he emerges to test out on us. Some recent faves:

  • “What kind of school does a Toyota go to? Prius-school."
  • “What do you call an otter that’s in the movies? Harry Otter.”
  • “What did the guy say when he was flying around on a magic broom? 'This really sweeps me off my feet.’"
  • “What did the chef use up on his new rolling pin? All his dough.”
  • “What state does the Easter Bunny live in? Egguador.”

Thank you, he'll be here all week! 🙂

20Nov/150

In the words of FLN…

(A bored Finn, claiming "nothing to do" the other night)

F: "Well, I guess I'll just go ahead and do my homework, then."
Me: "Wow, kiddo, that's a great idea!"
F: "As Martin Luther King said, 'When you don't have anything to do, just do the right thing.'"
Me: "Really? He said that? How did you know about that?"
F: "Well...Martin Luther King didn't *really* say that. But it sounds like something he would say."

31May/150

Air Show

Grandma Nack & I took the lads to Half Moon Bay's Dream Machines car & air show a couple of weeks ago, then cruised down picturesque Highway 1, stopping off to buy fresh strawberries at a roadside farm. Check out our little gallery of the lads zip lining, battling one another in giant hamster balls, and more!

27May/150

Game Day

A couple weekends ago the Oakland A's hosted a "Little League Day" at the Coliseum. We got to walk around the baseball field on the warning track, see the players up-close, warming up, and enjoy a game against the Chicago White Sox. We all had a blast. Here's a fun little collage from the day:

17Apr/150

Snowbound!

This year for spring break we traveled back to our favorite mountain town, Leadville, Colorado. We've spent the week up here enjoying time with my folks in the high mountain air. The first couple of days were sunny, summery, and dry as a bone—spent in shirtsleeves at the park, tossing rocks into the river, and galavanting around town. The boys, especially Henry, were a bit bummed that the snow tubing and skiing opportunities were slim: it's late in the season, many of the resorts are closed, and the only snow left was in shadowy, unmelted, crunchy drifts.

They still managed to goof around in the snow and even get a little tubing in on the hill across town. Then, much to our delight, Leadville got smacked with an enormous spring blizzard that started yesterday and has carried through today. We've gotten at least 18 inches of snow so far, and it's still coming down. The boys, to put it mildly, are thrilled to see all that snow! Here's a gallery of our snowbound antics.

We were actually supposed to leave for California today, but the interstate between here and Denver was closed, and driving conditions were so bad we decided against even trying to drive down the mountains. We'll be here another full day so the boys can get their fill of powdery good times.

Snow-show!-(4-of-23)

9Apr/150

Throwback Thursday: G-Man the Ski Man

The boys are raring to go visit the fam in Colorado next week. In anticipation of that, here’s Skiier Hen hitting the slopes two (!!) years ago (man, can it have been that long already?).

Skiier Hen

23Mar/150

Throwback Monday: “Slumpy Baby Theater”

Seven years ago today: Four "Jeeps" (GP's, i.e. grandparents) + one very micro Finnster. 🙂 Not shown: the part where, if I recall correctly, Finn then peed on my dad. More photos from that day.

SlumpyFinn

22Mar/150

Sunset Beach

"The best thing about San Jose," I always tell people, "is that you can easily escape & quickly go somewhere more interesting." We did just that last Sunday, taking the boys to horse around with sand crabs & each other at Sunset Beach (a bit south of Santa Cruz). Here's our gallery.

Beach-Finn

Beach-Hen

9Feb/150

Alcatraz!

Last weekend we treated the guys to a full-day adventure in San Francisco, the focal point being a trip to Alcatraz. We rode the train up to SF, then headed out to Alcatraz via boat.

The guys were fascinated with the idea of the island prison. They couldn't get over the tiny, barren cells, and the tales of attempted and unsuccessful escapes. Finn wasn't afraid to go inside a cell and check it out, but there was no way Henry was getting in one! Due to a special art installation (featuring portraits rendered using over a million Lego bricks!), we were also privy to a couple areas that aren't usually open to the public - the hospital ward and one of the old factory buildings.  Let's just say the visit reconfirmed our philosophy of remaining law-abiding citizens!

Check out our gallery of the day's adventures.

AlcatrazLads

AlcatrazHen

2Feb/150

Private Aria

I came downstairs on Sunday morning to find this sign adoring a pillow-and-blanket fort the boys had constructed for their animals. Now I really want to hear this saber-toothed aria of which they speak! 🙂

Aria

25Jan/150

Tooth Fairy Facts, by Finnegan Nack

I had no idea about all this—did you?—but according to the newly de-incisored Finnster:

  • The tooth fairy lives in your heart.
  • When you lose a tooth, she flies up out of your mouth to get it.
  • Her husband is a strong dwarf who pries your mouth open.
  • Once you run out of baby teeth, you don’t see her again.
  • It’s unclear whether she reappears if you get old & lose teeth.
  • Your fairy is as old as you are. When you’re 80 years old, she’s 80 years old.
  • When she goes back into your mouth, a piece of money flies out of her pocket.
  • She puts your teeth into a big bag so that when she loses a tooth, she can put in one of yours.
5Jan/150

The Micronaxx ice bucket challenge

No one got doused with chilly water (frozen or otherwise) or lost a digit, I’m happy to report, during our Saturday visit to the San Jose Sharks practice ice rink with Finn’s pal Zach & his fam. The lads enjoyed tottering around on skates with the help of buckets on which they could lean. Check it out:

A video posted by John Nack (@jnack) on

Sk8ter

Sk8ters