Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

Carving out a little time for something other than potty training horror stories.  We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programing tomorrow.  Mwuah-ha-ha-ha-ha.










Thursday, October 27, 2011

Flush with Pride: Potty Training Day 3

You know the old express "turning a corner"?  Well yesterday my girls banked the corner like Mario Andretti in a Formula One car and took off in a whole new, wonderful direction.  Days 1 and 2 are a distant memory in our rear view mirror.  Not only did they have multiple successes on the potty, but we even did number 2. ... a very large number 2, all on our own accord.  So what was the secret?  Well, Gina was tired of cleaning up pee - which is surprising because who doesn't fantasize about cleaning up urine for 2 days straight - so she made Day 3 an outdoor naked day.  First of all, for all the out of state/country readers, California is a very expensive place to live.  We pay an arm and a leg for tiny little houses, crammed together and we give the other appendages for gas so we can sit on a freeway for 3 hours a day.  But this is what makes it worth while.  It's late October and my girls can run around outside with out bottoms on all day and still be quite comfortable.  That's why this is paradise.  OK, Hawaii is paradise. ... but we're like Paradise's cousin who got most of her looks from Paradise's dad's side of the family. ... which was unfortunate.  Anyway, being with out the underwear gave the girls just enough extra time to make it to the potty before the deluge came.  That extra couple of seconds that would have been spent disrobing was just enough for multiple success - and success encourages further success.  After I got home we put on our big girl underwear on to see if they could make that work.  And they did.  We even got a side by side where Genevieve ran to the potty and started peeing and Arianna decided a minute later that she needed to poop and sat down next to her.  Both were successful and I swear you've never seen such a jubilant "pee-pee dance" in all of your life.  After Gina left to teach we had one accident each - Arianna was playing on the slide and just couldn't make it fast enough, and Genevieve was in the kitchen with her Nouna when she starts yelling "tissa" (pee in Greek) and comes barrelling across the house. ... she missed it by thaaaatt much.  But they made up for it later when we went to take baths.  Will undressing Arianna said she needed to go so she sat on the big girl potty and went.  A few minutes later Genevieve said "me too" and she went as well.  That's huge.  The parents who've potty trained know how huge this day was.  Those who haven't will understand soon.  And those readers who are childless are probably contemplating a life of celibacy at this point.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Urine for the Long Haul: Potty Training Day 2

The fact that Gina can't drink (and I mean drink something worth while) is making this potty training thing a lot more challenging then needs be.  I'm sure if she could just curl up with a glass of wine at the end of the day then at least she'd have that to look forward to through out all the chaos of double pee trails conversing the halls of our home.  Day 2 of potty training turned out to be even more challenging than Day 1.  Here's a prime example that I got to experience first hand: I got home at 4:30 and took over so Gina could go teach.  We sat on the potties for over an hour with no results.  I tried everything I could think of.  We tried to stand up and wiggle our pee-pee out.  We went for a bottomless march around the house to see if that could do the trick.  We tried TV, no TV, books, games. ... we even spent time just sitting and staring at each other, after which I got the strange suspicion they were contemplating my demise.  Finally I figured nothing was coming so let's at least get up and play a little before the dinner.  I told the girls we'd put on our underwear for 5 minutes. ... 5 minutes - I had a timer and everything - and then we'd come back and sit on the potties again.  1 minute.  60 seconds.  1/5th of the way through our 5 minute non potty break.  That's all it took.  Arianna starts yelling from one side of downstairs "Daddy kakka, kaaakkkaaaa!!!" so I rush over to her, scoop her up and turn to run her back to the potty.  Of course, the moment I have her in my arms I hear a desperate plea from the other side of the room "Me toooooo!!!!!"  I turn on a dime and scoop Genevieve up as well and turn back toward the potties, which seem miles away at this point.  We made about half the distance before they started.  By the time we got to the potties there were only a few drops left to put in the bowl.  The rest was on me, the floor and of course, them.  I take away two positives though, 1 being that this was my only experience for the day. ... Gina had this happen about 7 other times.  2, they both felt it coming and called me before it happened. ... just not soon enough before to avoid disaster.  Kind of like the weather man calling for hurricane conditions at the same moment you're looking out your window to watch the first clouds of the storm make landfall.  So as long as we keep moving in the right direction I think we're going to be ok.  Plus, after all the frustration that getting covered in urine can cause (unless you're some kind of sicko and that's your thing) there was one huuuuuggggee bright light in our tunnel of a day.  At bath time, right in the middle when everyone was well in the warm water of the tub, Arianna called out that she had to go.  I got her out, dried her and sat her on the big potty upstairs.  About 30 seconds later she was full stream, right in the toilet.  That was enough cause for celebration.  Just like in baseball, all the strike outs in the world can be erased by a well timed home run.  And that was a bottom of the 9th, bases loaded, down by 3 in the 7th game of the World Series home run.  So bring on Day 3. ... just let me refill the paper towel roll first.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Adventures in Potty Training: A Piss Poor Monday

Ambition. ... it's a positive trait for those who succeed, but for those who fail it's just one more reason they're a moron.  Well, we're at the threshold, firmly straddling brilliant and moronic and not certain which way we're going to go because at this point our hips are locking up on us and we're just kind of stuck here for the time being.  We decided (and like all great decisions I mean Gina decided and I'm along for the ride) that effective yesterday (Monday) we were starting this potty train express up.  The girls are 2, the baby is due in two months. ... let's get this thing rolling and see if we can make some headway before we're overwhelmed with the bean.  It's times like these that I'm fortunate to be the working parent.  Gina's method is brilliant and it shows exactly how dedicated and hardworking she is.  People might confuse a yoga instructor for being some laid back hippie, but my wife is a tenacious, determined and, yes, ambitious person.  So she took off the diapers, saddled them big girl underwear and then covered that with this shower cap looking thing supposed to keep any pee inside should they have an accident.  Here's a secret for future parents: it doesn't keep any pee inside. ... it just looks like a silly shower cap with holes in it.  Arianna did quite well. ... like, really, really well.  By the end of the day she was calling out for a potty before anything came and made it to the potty in time.  She even told me she had to poop as we were reading our bedtime stories and I told her to go in her diaper and I'd change her (she's not the greatest pooper so it could take days for anything to actually happen), but she insisted we go to a potty and not in the diaper.  It was just gas, but the instinct was there and that's important.  Also my face was right there monitoring. ... so that was "awesome" too.  Genevieve?  Oh, Genevieve. .... not so much success there.  The plan was to keep filling them with liquids and then every 30 minutes sit them on the potty till they went.  Genevieve's first attempt lasted 3 hours.  Literally.  She ate her breakfast on the toilet for crying out loud.  The only other person that did that was my grandfather and I'm pretty sure he just did it to be weird.  Then she peed in our room and just started splashing around in the puddles.  Then, after I'd gotten home, we were going to the pottys for a regular 30 minute attempts and she peed less then a foot from the toilet.  Later, she peed in her high chair during dinner. ... meanwhile her toilet remained dry and quite clean.  Add to it that when these accidents happen Gina gets excited - not like "I'm angry" excited, but more like "I'm being peed on" excited - and Genevieve's sensitive nature causes her to burst into tears in response to the change in emotion.  So now you're cleaning up pee as she (also covered in pee) is clinging on to you like a scared little monkey, instead of sitting her bare bottom down on the toilet to finish what ever else is in there.  I get that every child is different, and not all kids are ready for this at the same time, but she's the one I expected to be most ready for this.  And it's only day one.  We'll see what the stains look like after a week before we start rethinking this endeavor.  This of course is easy for me to say as I type this from my pee free office at work.  But Gina and I have one really simple parenting philosophy: children are willing and able to rise to the level of what's expected of them.  That's not to say that every kid is going to be a professional athlete or the president of America (On-Line).  But if you set realistically high goals, you'll be surprised how much your kids are able to accomplish.  They might even be potty trained with in their first month of being 2.  Then again, maybe we're just ambitions morons.

Monday, October 24, 2011

40 Counts of Goldfish Murder. ....

The big "2" was celebrated in full blown Elmo style on Saturday, and we learned quite a few things as a result.  Number one is you should never let the rented pony walk up and down your neighbors lawn after they've obviously over watered it the night before (looks like a used polo field now).  Two is that you can't put goats close to anything remotely green or they will eat it. ... I didn't know they could reach the palm tree fronds. ... but the can.  They will also eat your toddlers dress, and when you pull it out it's stained green.  Three: you can fit 22 Mylar Elmo balloons in a 4Runner. ... 23 might be too many.  Four: "too much birthday" occurs at exactly 8:15pm.  Five: someone is always bound to lose the invitation and show up at 12 instead of 3.  Six: someone else is bound to lose the invitation and spend 45 minutes driving in circles convinced they can just "stumble upon the house".  Seven: people expect a 2 year old to wear 2T. ... that's not necessarily how it works.  Eight: If you work really hard and make the cupcakes/cake too pretty, people will hesitate to eat it (I guess that's why so few people have attempted to eat the Mona Lisa).  Nine: when singing "happy birthday" to twins. ... figure our the order of the names prior to starting the song.  Otherwise it just sounds like "happy birthday dear AGreniannievea". And finally, the greatest lesson of all... buying goldfish from the pet store gets you labeled a murderer. ... so I'm now considered a goldfish serial killer.  Back story: because we were doing the Elmo themed birthday we came up with this great idea of sending the kids home with a goldfish (Elmo's pet Dorothy is a goldfish) instead of the usual candy or toys.  So we bought 40 fish and stuck them in this 4 foot tall glass cylinder and had people guess how many fish were in there for a prize - then they each got a little goldfish bowl and a fish to take home with them.  Well my mom got stuck with the task of acquiring the fish and the folks at Petsmart told her that we were committing 40 acts of murder because we were buying these fish to give away as pets.  Apparently goldfish aren't meant to live in small bowls. ... so why do we call small bowls goldfish bowls?  Because of this fact, each of these fish would likely be dead with in a week, and the blood would be on our hands.  First of all, I'm ok with fish blood on my hands. ... I'm a regular at the sushi joint down the street.  Second off. ... what the hell are goldfish for then?!  According to Petsmart, they are only intended for use as feeder fish. ... say what?!  So buying them as pets and having them die in a week is not ok, but buying them as food and having some snake, turtle or frog devourer them this afternoon. ... that's cool?!!!  Try this on for size - I'm not murdering them, I'm extending their life by said week.  Ask any rational person (and they can't be a member of PETA) if they'd rather live for one more week or be eaten by a shark today and they're going to tell you "screw the food chain, I want one more week". ... I believe the fish would agree with me.  Plus, at least 20 of those fish were extras and are now swimming in the pond out back where they will probably live for several years (just like the other gold fish that have been back there). ... so suck it Petsmart!  Needless to say, I'm not allowed at Petsmart any more.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TIME!!!!!!

The girls turn two today. ... holy hell, how did that happen?!!!  But don't take my word for it. ... here it is from the horses' mouths.



That's right. ... my 6lb 11oz and 7lb 2oz babies are now 38lb and 35lb walking, talking, full blown kiddos.   I don't know how it happened. ... it just kind of snuck up on me there.  It's times like these that I'm thankful I've got 375 in depth blog posts to remind me of all the little things I may have forgotten about.  When I first started this project I kept thinking "I'm going to run out of stuff to talk about in a week, and then what?" ... well. ... I'm still waiting to run out of stuff. ... and something tells me the "terrible two's" will provide me plenty more fodder for this fire.  So here's to year 3!  Bring it on!!!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Forever One's Baby

I had a typical, silly blog planned for today.  Something that would be uplifting, albeit minutia in the scheme of life.  And then, around 12:30 last night my phone rang.  Gina's cousin had passed away.  He was 29, same as me.  Death has a funny way of hiding from you.  It happens, we're all struck with the gravity of it, and then it quietly slips out the back door and we forget about it for a while.  When it comes back it seems like it came out of no where and we can't comprehend how this has happened, even though we've seen it happen multiple times in the past.  What kept me up for pretty much the rest of the night was not his actual loss, but that of his families.  His sisters.  His parents.  Having my own kids now. ... parents should never have to bury their young.  That's one of the cruelest things life can do to you.  If my wife died, I'd find a way to limp along until it was my turn.  If my children died. .... I can't conceive of the ability to bounce back from that.  My wife would break my heart, my children would shatter my soul.  And now, as these parents move towards burying their son, my heart weeps for them.  My heart weeps for them in a way that only a parent could.  For your baby is your baby, be it 2 years old or 62 years old.  And yesterday, they lost one of their babies.

Monday, October 17, 2011

If no one is crying, then you aren't having any fun

I'm going to make it a point to start reading fine print.  You'd think with my background that would be something I did naturally. ... but no.  Once a week I get an e-mail from this website I love called Wonder Dads.  It's a resource catered to dads that gives you insight in to all the things going on in your area so you can make the most of the time you have to spend with your kids.  Anyway, a couple weeks ago I saw the suggestion for Camp Spooky (Snoopy the other 11 months of the year) at Knotts Berry Farm - one of our local amusement parks.  It said entrance was 17 bucks so I thought if Gina and I took them for under $40 total it was a steal.  Turns out I was right.  $17 was the kids price. ...adult was $51.  Of course we already pay $14 to park and made the trek from the parking lot to the gate so. ... they already got me on the line.  Fortunately I used my AAA and we at least got 30% off.  Best $80 bucks I ever spent!  Those girls had a killer time.  They met Snoopy (Arianna was very skeptical and Genevieve just kept petting his nose like it would help her figure out what the hell this thing was).  They rode on airplanes and choo-choo's, went on a bus that swung us around in the air and a boat that spun us around like mad.  They also had trick or treating through the kids area of the park so all the other kids (us included) were decked out in costumes, and that made it even more exciting.  Of course, with any big adventures there's always water works.  Too much fun manifests itself in tears and by the time we left everybody had cried at least twice at some point in the day.  My turn was when this woman at a bug display tried to place a live scorpion on my shorts against my express desires NOT to have that happen.  I was actually on the brink of screaming "'no' means 'no' lady!" before pushing my way through the surrounding crowd.  But we all survived and added one more great day to our list of unforgettable memories.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Preview of Coming Attractions

We went to the doctor's yesterday to check in on Bean and make sure all is well, which it was.  The girls came along again because we found that if you have two strung out toddlers with you in the lobby you miraculously get a room much quicker then when it's just two complacent adults reading arduous magazine articles with legs patiently crossed.  We barely had any time to even get a small fire started before they called our names.  After the doc did her thing and asked if we had questions (Ha!  We're pros at this by now. ... only question would be if she had the winning lotto numbers) she told us that there was another couple in the lobby who's expecting twins and they had mentioned to her that they saw us.  This makes me laugh.  First, I know they didn't just "mention" us. ... like "you know doc, we saw a lovely young family in the lobby, it was delightful".  I have a feeling it was more like "doc. ... are they always that crazy?!" or "is there a return policy on these things?!"  I kid, I kid.  Our girls are awesome and I'm sure that anyone who encounters them (that likes children - this doesn't apply to those people who just hate kids) feels the same way.  But it must be interesting to see us, knowing that this is their future.  When Gina was pregnant I don't recall coming across any other parents of multiples leading up to the birth.  Afterwards, however, it seemed they were everywhere (kind of like after you buy a new car you see that same make and model at every stop light).  I wonder if we gave them hope or a chill of terror.  Hopefully it's hope. ... because they're in for terror. ... at least the first few weeks and months.  It'd be nice to know that they have a light at the end of that tunnel saying "it'll all be ok. ... eventually."  Afterwards we grabbed some coffee (decaf for Gina) and let the girls enjoy the lollipop's from the doctor's stash and run around a bit.  There were about half a dozen teenagers from the nearby high school doing homework on the patio (what happened to doing home work at home, by the way?) and this one blond girl kept popping up to stare at the girls.  She wasn't annoyed, at least she didn't appear to be, just kind of entranced.  The girls kept drinking Gina's coffee (again, it was decaf) and appearing to get more and more worked up and I though "now this is effective birth control".  I guarantee, should this girl ever decide to act on emotion with someone she loves, she's going to have flash backs to this scene and carefully consider her choices.  They should pay us to go to high schools and do nothing but play on stage while the school watches.  We'll call it a preview of coming attractions and we'll have the movie preview guy do a voice over.  "In a world where everything is covered in sticky slime, you've got two choices to make: do you wipe it up now, or press your luck. ... and wipe it up. ... later?"  Dun, dun, duuuuuuuunnnnnn.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One Tough Kopp

I'm a sissy. ... seriously.   I'm a 6'3", 220lb, weight lifting sissy.  I hyperventilate at the mere thought of a needle.  I sweat in the lobby of a doctors office.  I don't even make look at my dentists office as I drive by.  If I broke a bone I'd probably just try and ignore it out of fear of the hospital.  Gina makes fun of me all the time, but she's right. ... I am sissy la-la to the extreme.  That being said, my daughter is already tougher then me.  Last night Arianna was running toward the bath tub and suddenly stopped and yelled "owie!"  I picked her up and saw a large splinter in her big toe.  We were already naked and Genevieve was waiting in the tub so we got through bath and I took her down stairs to see about getting this thing out.  Now my eyes are about as bad as they can get, so I had my mother in law try and get it out while I held her.  The whole time Arianna just sat there in my arms, telling me about her stuffed bunny and the giant carrot he was holding.  She could care less that Yiayia was poking a safty pin in to her toe to try and remove the splinter and pinching at the skin with tweezers -  it turns out the thing was really deep in there.  We even switched places and I gave it a go while my mother in law held her.  Not one cry, not one scream, not even a mild complaint.  She just sat there through the whole thing like it was no big deal.  There are certain things I'm proud the girls inherited from  me. ... this is one of the many things I'm proud they inherited from their mother.  In a house of all girls, it appears I remain the lone sissy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Like A Good Neighbor. ...

After nap yesterday, the girls and I walked down to the school at the end of the block and played on the jungle gym for a bit.  As we were walking home we stopped in our neighbors yard because she has this little bird bath with some ceramic ducks in it.  The girls love playing in this thing and trying to gently pick up the ducks, so we're kind of like regulars in her front yard.  She's always been really nice about it, even encouraging the girls to play with her decor (insisting I not bother trying to stop them).  So yesterday, as I was trying to pry them away so we could go get dinner, the neighbor comes running out of her house and in her fantastic British accent exclaimed "Don't go just yet, I have something for the girls!"  She opens up her car and comes down the drive way, giving the girls two little ducky toys, made out of the same kind of bean bag material as a hacky sack (if you survived the 90's you know what I"m talking about).  Needless to say we didn't part from said ducks until bed time, the girls loved them.  It's not that these were extravagant gifts or even ones that the girls will remember in 3 weeks; it's the simple fact that this woman who was out and about in her own life took the moment to think of the girls as she passed these toys in her travels.  I haven't been part of a neighborhood - that classic Norman Rockwell type of one - since my parents divorced.  I've lived next to a lot of different people, but never connected with them the way my family did when we were kids.  It really meant a lot to me, that moment.  It meant more to me then to the girls. ... and it reminded me what a good choice this move was.  There were 1000 positives that have come from it. ... this made a 1001.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rainy Day Crazies

I used to love rainy days.  The smell, the sound, wrapping up in a blanket and watching a good movie.  It was the perfect excuse to do nothing and the world seemed to respond by lazily rolling along.  I've now discovered that rainy days mean toddlers can't go outside. ... and toddlers couped up inside all day. ... they go a little nuts.  Scratch that. ... they go a lot of nuts.  Our first major rain storm arrived yesterday and by the time I got home, Gina was more then ready to head off to teach.  The girls were in this is constant state of motion. ... kind of like how you see electrons displayed in those old science class movies. ... except bigger. ... and with teeth.  I think a more appropriate description would be miniature WWE wrestlers coated in flubber.  I swear, for the next 4 hours they literally bounced off walls while tackling, biting and beating on one another.  And it wasn't just each other.  At one point, while trying to diaper her sister after bath, Genevieve jumped on by back, locked her arms around my throat and bit in to my shoulder.  As I screamed she giggled and bounded away to find more damageable goods.  I found myself, at multiple times, just sitting and staring slack jawed at them, unsure of what I was supposed to do.  I've never had this problem.  This is evidence that children are supposed to be outside animals.  They're not meant to sit on a couch quietly and watch tv all day.  They're meant to run, jump, roll, climb, spin, skip, flail and flop. ... anything that involves moving in an open area.  To cage them up and deny them that ability to exhaust energy turns them from cute little sweethearts to raging monsters. ... basically the entire premise of Gremlins.  Now I know. ... and I've got the scars to remind me should I forget.  Next rainy day I'm buying rain boots and slickers.  Weather be damned, those kids aren't staying in the house. ... or there won't be much of a house left.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Never Trust a Fart. ... and Other Lessons Learned at Bathtime

For once this post does not involve me.  The unfortunate series of events happened while I was safely with in the confines of my high quality headphones deeply entranced in a lecture about corporate insider trading and SEC violations.  But I warned Gina she would be the blog post today, so here's how things went down.  I was washing dishes and Gina took the girls up stairs for a bath.  She asked me to follow when I was done and bring the diapers and jammies with me.  I did.  Upon entering the bathroom I took my usual post on the floor by the tub and began playing.  Gina told me she could do it and suggested I go back down stairs and study like I had intended.  As I was walking down the stairs I thought to myself "you know, sometimes it's important to me that I get to do things like bath all by myself - Gina misses so many bath times being gone on weekends and teaching at nights, so she should get to enjoy this."  About 45 minutes later, the horror of what unfolded next was recounted to me.

No more than a minute after I left Arianna stood up and started to pee all over the place.  Gina grabbed her and rushed her to the toilet.  As she sat there Genevieve stood up and started yelling "Porti Mama, Porti!"  Which is Greek for fart.  She would then expel said porti and giggle with delight.  This was continued a few times until her voiced turned timid and she muttered with much less delight "Kaka Mama, Kaka. ...."  Which is the Greek word for a solid porti. ... if you catch my drift.  Gina spun around in terror to see Genevieve standing their with a fist full of her own waste.  She left Arianna sitting on the potty and ran to Genevieve, but before she could reach her Genevieve had dropped the treasure in to the bath water below.  Then, she started to freak out because the floating mass was coming back toward her. ... sort of like the pool scene in Caddyshack - only not a Baby Ruth bar.  Gina noted this was odd because she had no problem holding it in her hand, but floating toward her feet stressed her out beyond belief.  In such a state she began clutching Gina to get out of the tub. ... her hands covered in poop which was now covering Gina.  This whole time I sat blissfully unaware in the room directly below.  Headphones securely on and notes happily being recorded.

Eventually everyone got cleaned up, the bathroom got a much needed scrub down and the story was shared.  The important thing is we learned a valuable lesson today:  never trust a fart.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

No Love

Most of the times our girls are very lovey - especially Genevieve, who can be quite the snuggle monster.  Last night, after baths, we went down stairs and I sat them in front of Yo Gabba Gabba so I could comb their hair and clean their ears (I'm a dad. ... sometimes I need to use TV to get things done - so sue me).  Like most parents, by the end of the day our furniture is covered in toys and stuffed animals. ... and sometimes unidentifiable subject matter. ... but mostly stuffed animals.  A lot of the girls animals were adopted from their aunts, who still had them stashed around the house.  This is especially true with old Care Bears, of which we have a small army.  Well, last night, as I sat on the couch to clean Genevieve's earrings, I sat down on one of the talking Care Bears who proceeded to ask "Can I have one of your world famous hugs?" or something along those lines.  With out skipping a beat, Genevieve, who must have been getting cranky, turned and yelled "No bear!" and went back to watching her program.  I just about died laughing.  She seemed so confident that her message had gotten across to the animatronic stuffed bear and that it wouldn't be bothering her any more during her program.  I love kids. ... they are so entertaining.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Rubber Ducky, You're the 2,017th

I'm always on the look out for things to do with the girls that are unique, new and positive.  So on Saturday, after working 10 hours to move my company's, warehouse I heard a commercial on the radio for a rubber ducky derby taking place at a local water park that was a benefit for battered children.  My sirens went off.  The girls love rubber duckies (just come join us for bath time and you'll see about 12 of them floating in the tub) and it was at a water park - which the girls love.  The icing on the cake was the good cause.  So yesterday morning I loaded them up, along with two of my sister in laws, and we trekked on down.  Turns out, this water park, which I grew up going to in the summer, is closing down to make way for an apartment complex (gotta love Southern California) so in addition to all the other story lines, add in that this was the last day this place would ever operate.  Anyway, I sent the older girls off to the big kid rides and the girls and I tackled the kiddie pool.  They had a blast. ... well most of the time.  We inadvertently walked under one of those play grounds where the buckets above slowly fill with water till they dump on you. ... they dumped on us.  Arianna was not thrilled, even though I took most of the water.  Then we went down the kiddie slides a couple of times.  They wouldn't let me take the girls in my lap so I would fly down first and then catch them when they came down side by side.  This went really well for 3 runs.  Then Genevieve ended up coming down on her back, head first and that was the end of the slides for the day.  But that was fine, the ducks were about to launch anyway.  We lined up with everyone else, along the lazy river, and when the swath of yellow floating water fowl passed us by it took everything I had to keep the girls from jumping the railing and diving in after them.  It lit them up.  But by the time the last ducky floated by, the day had taken its toll and the girls were all but zonked.  We found the other two and headed home where they promptly crashed. ... and daddy found a comfy spot on the couch.  Momma was bummed because she was out of town for another festival.  This summer's taken quite a toll on her; she feels like she keeps missing all the fun stuff.  But this coming weekend is the last one of the season, so after that we'll just have to make up for all the stuff she missed, I'm thinking the pirate festival on October 15th is looking pretty good right now.