Monster Kool Bus!

To celebrate Finn & Henry’s first day of preschool, we grabbed burgers & headed to Lowe’s to check out play equipment. Little did we expect to see–and get to ride–the 13-foot-high, 19,000 pound Monster Kool Bus. It’s a 1956 school bus atop huge tires with 25-inch rims. Check out our wild ride!

You can see Finn start to beam, and amazingly the only upset was when Henry realized the ride was over. Now when he sees the video he says, “I crying, ‘Do it again!'”

Our in-bus video doesn’t give a complete sense of the crazy spinning sensation we got. Here’s another video (from a different location) taken by someone else:

We capped off the adventure by getting the each guy one little monster school bus toy. They’ve been popping wheelies ever since!

Oh, and parents, the bus will be at Lowe’s through July 6th, 2011 (weekdays 4-9pm, weekends 10am-9pm); 5 bucks per person.

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:


My Inner Child

Yesterday the Finnfatha & I tried a little “Freaky Friday”-style role reversal: as I tried to get him to nap a bit (okay, to let me nap, too), we decided that he was the dad-o & I was the kid. As I laid on the couch he relished bringing me blankets: “I’m putting them onto your chest & stuffing them under your chin, like a bib!” When he eventually laid down at the other end of the couch, he noticed that his “Looen” Leo was MIA.

“Kid!” he said. “Your looen is missing! I think he’s in the basement!” (meaning I’d need to get up and open the safety gate)
“Oh Dad-O,” I said in falsetto, “It’s okay. I don’t need my looen right now.”
“Yes you do, kid!” he insisted. “If you don’t have him you’ll cry and cry!”

Oh boy. So up I got, opened the gate, laid back down & shut my eyes. Soon, through the floor, I could hear Finn cackling to himself. Up the stairs he came, laughing all the way. As he came to the doorway he said, “Ki-iiiid, I have a surprise for yo-oou!!”

With my eyes still shut, and with some nervousness, I asked, “Um… is it a looen?”

“It’s NOT a looen,” he declared triumphantly, “It’s a DIPE!!” And running over, he placed a (thankfully unused!) diaper on my chest (and thankfully not elsewhere!).

[PS: As I was finishing this post, Henry spied me Googling for pictures of diapers. Now he’s convinced that this crazy diaper-helmet kid is Finny. “It’s *not* Finny!” protests his bro, to no avail. –J.]


The Boys’ First Movie in a Movie Theater

We have had quite the exciting day today. At 7:30am, our nanny Coco called and said she couldn’t make it in, since her daughter Tiffy was in labor and was due to give birth. Coco was headed to SF to look after Tyler (a.k.a. the T-Man), Tiffy’s 2 year-old, while Tiffy was in the hospital.

Since we found ourselves in the position of juggling childcare between Mom-o and Dad-o, after our morning meetings we thought we’d treat the guys to a viewing of Pixar’s “Cars 2” at the movie theater. The boys were so excited they couldn’t WAIT to get into the Ocho and head for the show. (We bought tickets online early, so we had about 2 hours of “when do we leave for the movie?” to deal with. And we’ve been hearing Henry say “I’m Mater, Dad-o” for weeks on end!)

This was our first visit to a movie theater with the guys, and we all love the Cars characters, so the four of us were pretty jazzed. Once we got out of the car and walked towards the box office, Finny kept saying “I’m so happy this is my first time seeing a movie at the movie theater! I’m so excited!” Not surprisingly, once we made our way towards the theater, Finny spied the popcorn, so of course we had to get a big bag to snack on. He was very concerned that I was giving too much of it to Henry and Dad-o, and that there wouldn’t be enough left for him (Impossible! It was an enormous bag!)

We settled in to watch the movie (Hen and Finno on booster seats–thanks AMC Mercado!), and both boys were absolutely rapt. Henry got a little freaked when there was fire in one scene, and had to take a couple short breaks, but Finny hung in there for the entire movie, only moving to come sit on my lap halfway through. They both really enjoyed it–and I get the feeling Finny’s going to be asking to go to a lot more movies! The movie, by the way, was a lot of fun–another great flick by the Pixar gang!


Happy Father’s Day

The boys and I treated Dad-o to what I consider a “Big Adventure Father’s Day” this year. The festivities started super-early with our PJ-clad dad (above) opening presents Finny and Henry picked out: tons of fun boxer shorts including the requisite “greatest dad” and “#1 dad”, and a couple of fun T-shirts.

Then after a quick breakfast we climbed into the Ocho and hit the road for Dennis The Menace Park in Monterey. It was a beautiful day, and since the boys woke up so early, we made it to the park by 9am…well before any other families. We had the entire park to ourselves, and in particular the giant (real) steam locomotive that the guys love climbing on. Our busy engineer and conductor spent what must have been almost 90 solid minutes playing on the engine*, with only a quick break for a snack and a very brief tour of the park’s other attractions. If you’re an SJ local and you haven’t gone to this park, make haste! It is well worth the drive. It may be the Best Park Ever.

Soon it was lunchtime, so we drove over to a little cafe for pizza in their beautiful courtyard. As Dad-o was finishing up his pie, Finny and I snuck away for one last secret treat–a quick walk down the street to a French bakery, where we picked up a sackful of delicious little chocolatey and nutty cookies. After a lovely driving tour of the seaside all along the Monterey Peninsula, we headed home.

Our last treat of the day was meeting up with our friends the Wiggins and their kids for a taco picnic at Rolly Slide Park. Everyone was absolutely spent by the end of the day, and after a quick bath, the guys hit the hay and Mom-o and Dad-o were not too far behind.

[ *Engineer Finn just wouldn’t be lured by other stuff: “We’re going to focus on the engine,” he informed me. –J.]

Babyslang Transient Witticisms

Transient Witticisms (Henry edition)

Not to be left out, G-Man’s contributed some fun bits lately:

  • Language:
    • Henry has taken to answering yes-or-no questions (e.g. “Do you want a snack, yes or no?”) with “Yes or no!”
    • Unfamiliar with shorts, Henry tugs desperately at his hems: “Close down… my pants!!”
    • Henry greeted me rubbing his face: “Seagull… broke my eyeball.” And later: “I’m a goofy ball!” (meaning goofball).
    • “Dad-O may you sit with you, Dad-O?” asks Henry. Quasi-palindromes from a tiny man.
    • A toddler + the word “actually” = A parent-correcting bonanza. (“Watch out for the car, Henry,” I say. “*Jeep*, actually,” he replies.)
  • Henry munches a brown M&M, eyeing the bag’s wooden shelf: “How bout… orange one? Cut it down… from the tree!”  (We’ve consequently dubbed the shelf “The Tree.”)
  • As I’m changing Henry’s diaper, he grabs my passport, shoves it between his toes, and says, “Readin’ the Dad-O book!”
  • Henry sees me shirtless post-workout & runs screaming “No, no!” He later asks, “Dad-O go to Pilates?” Dang, boy, I can take a hint…
  • Apple might describe the little guy’s slap-footed form of locomotion as “I Pad, Shuffle.”
Babyslang Transient Witticisms

Transient Witticisms (Finn edition)

We enjoy using Twitter to capture fun little bits involving the boys. We used to put tweets alongside the blog, but a few months ago we hit a technical glitch I haven’t been able to resolve. Therefore I thought I’d pull together some good recent bits from the Finnster (Henry to follow!).

  • Meat-loving Finn, learning of Dirt Devil vacuums, reports, “I’m a Bacon Devil! I like to suck up bacon!!”
  • I taught Finn about deodorant this morning. “Is it Dennis the Mennen?” he asks.
  • Safety First: From his Cozy Coupe Finn announces, “I’m locking the door so no bad dudes named Henry get in!”
  • Food:
    • Finn’s turned “Edna St. Vincent Millay” into “Edna Wasabi Sushi Magoo.” #poetaster
    • Beyonce perplexes Finn: “What are ‘Almond Single Ladies?'”
    • Came across Finn dropping yellow & black sawhorse beams into toilet paper tubes. “I’m making a good soup of bananas & chocolate” he reports.
    • We’ve somehow made a 3-year-old who loves, and asks for, “artisanal bread.” Oh my.
  • Baseball:
    • We’re at the SJ Giants game (Finn’s first ballgame!). “Are they part of They Might Be Giants?” he asks.
    • A ballgame stunt involved chipping golf balls into a kiddie pool. Relaying this to Mom later Finn said “They were using a cat pool!” (“kiddie”->”kitty”)
  • “I’m drawing you an American Eagle,” Finn reports. “Is the ‘FUselage’ where the FUel goes?” (Yes, my proto-plane nerd, yes!)
  • Baño:
    • Finn, with a fistful of pull-up, says, “Stay down, regular pants: I’ll pull you up in a minute.”
    • He’s started using the epithet “You *shy bladder*!” to yell at things. (I’m already saving for therapy.)
    • “This is a broken-down BMW,” announces Finn, disassembling a toy car. “Now it’s a BM!!”
    • “Someone’s strummin’ on the old baño!” announces Finn. Fiddle-ee-i-oh!
  • Casually filling a garbage bag with his belongings, Finn announces, “I like living in boxcars. I’m a hobo!”
  • As Finn tucked my iPhone under his blanket tonight, I heard him whisper, “Shh, I love you…

Li’l Luchador

“I’m a big weirdo, Dad-O,” announces our caped crusader. Yes, son, and we couldn’t be happier about that. 🙂


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.]


Finnegan Nack, Jedi Vocalist

Both guys have been singing up a storm these days. I’ll often hear Henry bust out fragments of the ABC song (“A B C D… play with me”–talk about concise!), and I’ll frequently catch Finn making weird little mash-ups (“Bob the Builder, done dirt cheap!!”).

Now Finn has, just like his nutty parents, started spicing up his dialog with little song fragments. Both boys love Fireman Sam, the theme song to which includes the line, “Keeps it cool & calm.” Yesterday as I chased Finn through his room threatening to gobble him up, he wheeled around, threw up his hands like a Jedi knight projecting the Force, and declared, “Keep it coooool & caaaalm!!” It was such a genuine little moment of laugh-panic, I was floored (literally) and haven’t stopped chuckling since.


Target, Land of Enchantment

Boy, I guess we must go to Target more than I imagined: Henry’s lately started volunteering the opinion that things–anything!–could be gotten at that store. Reading some Richard Scarry tales the other day, he noted–in his halting, weirdly William Shatneresque way–“Dude’s hat… popping off… Got it… at Target.” And later, when Mommy Cat burned up Pa’s shirt with her iron, Hen suggested, “Get another one… at Target.”

Target execs, if you need a sub-3ft pitchman, you know where to reach us (presumably at Target!).


Keepin’ cool with Goofy Magoo

Finn’s become quite adept at wielding a hose & ladle. The rest is wet, wet history:

(Incidentally, the video would make you think we’ve been enjoying warm weather, instead of endless unseasonable gloom. I mean, I do enjoy a good cashmere sweater, but I probably shouldn’t be able to wear it in CA in June!)




Last week I took Finny to the optometrist for his first eye exam. He didn’t seem to see so well when the nurse at the pediatrician’s office tested him, so they recommended that we see an eye doctor to get a full assessment.

I decided to take Finny to my eye doc, Dr. Feldman. My friend Tara took her twins there and said they did fine, and Dr. Feldman’s got 4 kids of his own, so I figured Finny would do well, too. I spent some time talking to Finny a few days in advance about why we were going, what he could expect, and why we needed to get the exam done. I told him about Dr. Feldman’s office, the fact that he’s my doctor too, and the sorts of things Dr. Feldman would be asking him to do (shining little lights in his eyes, making him look at shapes and letters, stuff like that.)

Once we were at the doctor’s office, Finny was very calm and composed. He followed all Dr. Feldman’s instructions, answered all his questions, and was even quite chatty with the doc. It was really cute to watch him in action–telling Dr. Feldman about the toy trucks he brought, the hat he was wearing, and what we might have for lunch after the exam.

We met Dad-o for lunch at the deli across the plaza from Dr. Feldman’s office, and while we waited, Finny and I debriefed on the whole experience. I asked him what he thought of the little flashlights, the computer, colors and shapes. Finny explained that his favorite part was, and I quote:  “when Feldman asked me to pinch the little animals on the page.” (Which was a cool 3-D vision test to find out if his eyes are working well in tandem, complete with 3-D glasses!). I loved that he referred to the doc as “Feldman”, like they’ve played basketball together at the gym for years! Sometimes I swear he is 3 going on 30. (Happily, his eyesight is also fine, by the way.)

I also love that out of all the toys in the doctor’s post-exam “toybox”, Finny went straight for the goofy green groucho glasses. The kid’s got a real appreciation for prop-based comedy!


Now bring us the friggy pudding…

What’s the old line about little pitchers…?

Somewhere (we have our theories where), Finn picked up the, ah, charming adjective “friggin’.” It’s hard to know quite how to react to his using what’s not a real curse word but not very polite, either. An example scene:

The boys & I walked to nearby Hummingbird Park for some post-dinner R&R the other evening, and Finn insisted on towing a small wagon laden with all kinds of toys. (Amazingly, and to his credit, he was careful & didn’t lose any.) At the park Henry grew naturally curious & made a move for the wagon.

“Hey!!” shouted Finn. “Dad-O, he’s going to grab my friggin’ wagon!”

Oh boy, I thought, not knowing whether to laugh or apply the brakes. Not wanting to make a stink (and maybe raise the word’s scandalous appeal), I ignored the language & calmly assured him that Henry wouldn’t take the wagon.

“Yeah,” said Finn,” but then he’s gonna grab my friggin’ police car, my friggin’ pirate ship, my friggin’ ice cream truck…”

Man oh man–what to friggin’ do? 😉


Memorial Day BBQ

We had a ball celebrating Memorial Day with a ton of pals, both tall & small, in our backyard barbecue. Thanks to everyone who came, contributed food, and kept the little guys from singing their faces off on the grill! Here’s our little gallery. (Thanks to friends Tara & Tom for contributing some shots.)