"Man, I'm glad our flights didn't get too screwed up in & out of Denver," said Margot just now. Well, give her credit for looking on the bright side of things. It's true that our flights weren't canceled, but look at the "fun" the boys & I had while moldering on the tarmac for a couple of hours, awaiting the de-icing truck:
Henry proceded to pass out, and then—once we were in the air—puke all over the place. ("Why didn't you grab the barf bag??" demanded Finn, quite reasonably. Because your old man doesn't have cat-like reflexes, son.) Amazingly, as we finally dragged our bones through the door in San Jose, Hen lit up and said—without a hint of irony—"That was the best trip ever!" ;-P
It's pretty great knowing a little elf in Kansas City—our pal Maria—who can put her calligraphy skills to use helping the boys hear from the big elf up north. Check out the boys enjoying their letters from Santa!
What's better than tots enjoying a roller coaster? Tots enjoying a roller coaster in slow-mo to the sounds of Red Hot Chili Peppers!
Check out Finnster, our friend Malachy, and especially Henry braving Happy Hollow's Pacific Fruit Express coaster last Saturday.
Not only is today Christmas Day, today is the day we publish our thousandth Micronaxx blog post! What?!? Wow! We can't even believe we've cranked out so many posts about our boys in the past 5+ years, but we already know there will be many more posts to come.
We are having a wonderful, relaxing Christmas with the extended Liggett clan - Grandma and Grandpa Liggett, Laura (Liggett) Lingle and her family, we four Nacks, and the Lingle boys grandma Margaret Lingle. We arrived last night, just in time for stocking hanging, spreading reindeer food on the driveway, and reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas with Grandpa. After Santa visited, all the big people went to bed because we knew we'd be up early.
After a Christmas Eve sleepover at the Lingles, all four cousins were up and at 'em early this morning tearing through their stockings — oohing and aahing over new toys, stuffed animals, candy, and treats. By the time John and I arrived from our hotel at 8:30, they were raring to go on the big gifts. As you'll see from the gallery, there were lots of gleeful smiles as the packages were opened — even from the adults!
Then we were off to the park across the street for a bit of running around in the bright Colorado sunshine in new hats and mittens, courtesy of Auntie Laura's handiwork. The boys are now back inside, playing with their new toys and waiting for Christmas dinner to begin.
This year, since we're heading to Colorado for Christmas, we decided to let the boys open their "big" gifts a few days early. Finny continues to be obsessed with lions - so his gift was kind of easy. I was walking through Costco the other day and they had these enormous animal beanbag chairs, one of which was a lion. Done and DONE! I knew I'd regret it if I didn't get him the chair because it is such a colossal feline.
As for Henry, his latest fascination (in addition to owls) is traffic cones. Whenever he sees them, he's like a moth to a flame. He cannot walk by a construction site, or a playground with cones on it without stopping and moving the cones around in an effort to "block things off for safety." John had the fantastic idea to buy Henry his own real, construction-and-traffic-control grade cones. I logged into Amazon, and wouldn't you know it, they had many sizes, weights, and styles of cone to choose from. We knew Henry would go absolutely mental when he opened the cones, and as you can see from the gallery, he did not disappoint. He was also pretty pleased about the owl pajamas I made him, and is thrilled when bedtime rolls around and he can lounge in his owl peej before hitting the sack.
Little G-Man's mind has been blowing a lot recently:
- Spotting some icy grass, Henry got breathless: "Dad-O, a man named Jack Frost visited our school, and he made everything icy!! For real!"
- Poor Hen was kinda busted up after he grabbed a cat tail and shoved it into a foam tube, thus stripping it to the stem: "Aaaagh, all my cat feathers are gone!"
- When I pointed out a beautiful Fisker Karma (like the one pictured above), Henry remarked, "Dad-O, flat cars are the coolest! If we drove a [Lamborghini] Aventador, how would we even sit in it? Would we have to put the steering wheel on the ceiling?" Let's cross that bridge the next time I have four hundred grand to drop on a car, kiddo.
You know that moment near the end of a very long flight, where your plane is floating over the runway & you want nothing more for it just to touch down so you can get on with your life, and yet it seems to hover endlessly? That's how putting the boys down for the night can feel: So close to relief, yet so far away.
Thus the other night I was right at the proverbial finish line, having deflected the boys back into bed for the last time, when Finn announced, "Wait, Dad-O! I have songs, with hand gestures!!" He was so excited to show off his moves for the upcoming holiday celebration at school, and though the timing of his reveal was pretty terrible, he put on a heck of a late-night, top-bunk show for Henry & me.
Here you can check out the whole class singing Christmas & Hanukkah songs in English & Spanish. Fair warning: It's one of those stereotypically terrible parental videos, shot from the back of a crowded room in which one can barely see the kid. Look for Finn on the right-hand side right by the wall. (Full-screen viewing recommended. Hit the little button in the lower-right corner of the video, Mom & Dad. :-))
For a much more personal performance, check out Finn's reenactment by our Christmas tree:
We're the kind of family that likes to make up our own goofy versions of songs, and the Twelve Days of Christmas song is no exception! So, minus the "a-swimming, a-leaping, and a-milking", and without further ado, here is the Micronaxx version of the ol' holiday favorite:
- On the first day of Christmas, Dad-o gave to us: One elf on the shelf
- On the second day of Christmas, Auntie Laura gave to us: Two Lego advent calendars
- On the third day of Christmas, our friends gave to us: Three Christmas parties
- On the fourth day of Christmas, Mom-o and Dad-o gave to Hen: Four traffic cones
- On the fifth day of Christmas, Grandma & Grandpa Nack gave to us: Five packages from Galena
- On the sixth day of Christmas, Mom-o gave to us: Six strings of icicle lights
- On the seventh day of Christmas, Netflix gave to us: Seven Christmas videos
- On the eighth day of Christmas, Mom-o and Dad-o gave to us: Eight penguin ornaments
- On the ninth day of Christmas, Mom-o, Dad-o and the Sturtevants gave to us: Nine passengers on the Holiday Lights train
- On the tenth day of Christmas, Mom-o and Dad-o sang with us: Ten Christmas carols
- On the eleventh day of Christmas, Finn and Henry decided to make: Eleven salt dough Christmas ornaments
- On the twelfth day of Christmas, Mom-o helped make: Twelve slices of pumpkin bread!
Finn has been keenly interested in learning more about sewing, after having witnessed me make his Halloween costumes the past couple of years. I told him that a man who sews things for a living is a seamster, and he's now decided that he wants to be a seamster! He'd been begging me for a sewing lesson for about a week now. Unfortunately, my old sewing machine (which I've had since I was 17) bit the dust the other day as I was finishing up Henry's Christmas PJ's, so I couldn't give Finny the "sewing lesson" he'd been asking for.
Luckily, Amazon saved the day with a screaming deal on a basic sewing machine and 2-day shipping. So tonight after dinner, I broke out the new machine and Finny and I sat down to sew. Even little Henry was interested and came over to watch, too. I showed them how to wind the bobbin, thread the machine, and pick different types of stitches. I showed them how the foot pedal works, how to pin fabric together and then how to sew. I made a little bag out of scrap fabric to show them how it all comes together, and they were super excited to see the finished result.
Then it was time to really deliver - after letting Finny wind the bobbin, I quickly stitched up a couple of little "disguises" for the boys' new teddy bears out of felt scraps left over from Halloween. Of course, Finn's got a lion disguise, and Henry's got an owl disguise. Here's little gallery of the evening's proceedings.
Saturday night was unusually warm, making for a perfect outing to ride the little train in nearby Los Gatos. As has become something of a tradition (starting in 2010 at the Oakland Zoo, and continuing in Los Gatos a year later), our little friends Bettie & Quade joined us for the ride, this time with their little sister Juliette. Check out the action below, and in this little gallery of photos.
Last night the lads received a surprise pre-Christmas gift from the Geeps (Grandma and Grandpa Liggett): a popcorn ball decorating kit! They were extremely excited to check out all the various candies and frosting for decoration, and got right to work.
Hen, of course, snuck a couple of Tootsie rolls that were initially headed for his popcorn ball but detoured into his mouth. Finn was busily sticking Smarties, gumdrops, crackers, and candy corn onto his creation. We got in on the fun, too, and decorated our own. It was a blast and of course, the fun wouldn't be complete without a few tastes of corn after the decorating was done. Here's a little gallery of the corniness.
When life gives you small, highly animated, pre-6am lemons, you can try making this sort of lemonade.
For some reason the guys arose insanely early the other day, and Henry was inspired to build quite an elaborate setup for Thomas & friends. Here's what we whipped up before school (and amazingly, it's still standing today!).
We had a ball checking out Redwood City's winter carnival yesterday with the Wiggii. The guys were delighted to get a pair of free teddy bears ("Oso" & "Teddy," for those keeping track ;-)). We didn't last long in the snow-throwing pit, but we had fun on the teacups & lots of other little rides. Check out a little gallery from the frigid good times.
I rarely apply captions to individual photos, and the “recently used” list in Lightroom (my photo adjustment/management app) dates back roughly four years. I just now stumbled across it & had fun glimpsing into our family’s mind circa Christmas 2009.
The Casa de los Cacahuates is suddenly looking quite festive thanks to the Micronaxx tree-decorating efforts. Here's a little gallery of the guys in action last night.
Heh—I have to agree with Margot on this one:
Today's Word of the Day from my calendar is “Chivy," which should include the following…"see also: Henry Seamus Nack"
- To tease or annoy with persistent petty attacks
- To move or obtain by small maneuvers
Original meeting "to harass or chase"
Crazy Hen; poor Finn.
The lads have really been enjoying Katy Perry's "Roar," and never more so then when decked out in awesome face paint. Check out a tiny gallery from Saturday.
Tonight as we watched The Polar Express (a fun Christmas movie with more than its fair share of weird, off-putting moments), G-Man got a little spooked and retreated to a position of safety behind the couch:
We assured him that he had nothing to fear, and he quickly returned from his hideout to enjoy the rest of the show.