Friday, December 28, 2007

A Very Morris Christmas

After carefully assembling 4 bikes, wrapping all of the gifts, and cleaning up from our Christmas Eve Party with Geana's family - Geana and I got to bed around 3am. The kids were up around 6am and were convinced to stay in bed until about 7. Then the mayhem started...

Paper was flying, kids were screaming, and Geana and I were having fun sipping our coffee and watching the craziness ensue. It wasn't out of control craziness, but it was certainly five excited kids craziness. My favorite moment was when Anna and Ella were playing in the corner with their My Little Ponys while Sammy was riding through the house on his scooter and the boys were trying to unwrap their Reese's cups from the stockings. A fun time was had by all. (And Santa was sure to eat ALL of the cookies that were left for him this year. That was a big mistake in years past. Sammy couldn't believe that Santa didn't eat everything. He remembered that from last year and commented to us about how he ate it all this time... the things kids remember.)

Finally we were done unwrapping and we moved all of the gifts into the playroom. After playing for several hours, the quads took a nap and Sammy played his V Smile. Geana went upstairs to take a nap and I fell asleep on the couch next to Sammy playing video games. Our neighbor woke me up an hour later when she knocked on the door with some cookies and candy for the kids. I answered the door with a pillow imprint on my face, Sammy in his underwear with chocolate all over his face, and me without my glasses on and an untamed afro. I must have looked like Santa just kicked the shit out of me. She said, "Yeah - I saw your lights on when I got home at around 2 - I figured it was a long night for you guys." She's about 22 years old and just out of college. You know it's bad when a college kid is telling you that you had a long night. (And you also know it's bad when you refer to someone as a "college kid" - when did I get old?)

Anyway - Christmas was a blast. I wish I had pics, but I have not taken them off of the camera yet. (It's been a rough week.)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

One of my favorites

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

'Tis The Season...

I think that people lose sight of what the holidays really mean. You know - Love, Giving, Peace on Earth - those old chestnuts. Instead the rat race intensifies to a point of hilarity. For example...

I went into Commerce Bank last night to purchase 2 $50 Visa Gift cards for the kids' teachers. A woman rushed in the door ahead of me, practically running me over to get in the door. I didn't think anything of it at the time. She bowled over to customer service (where you get the cards) and promptly asked for 45 gift cards in multiple denominations - $10, $25, $50, & $100. Now here's me - behind this lady - I'm only getting two gift cards to her 45. I didn't ask if I could go first, although I probably should have. After all - she did get there before me. It was one of those times where you just grin and bear it and say to yourself, "Well this sucks - I guess I'll just look around the bank and pretend I'm scoping it out for a robbery." I sat down in the chair and waited... and scoped... and plotted.

About 10 minutes later a teller comes over to where I'm sitting and, in a very low tone, says, "Can I help you?" My response, "No thanks - I work alone." A blank stare ensues. (Ok - that didn't really happen, but in my mind it did.)

She proceeds to tell me that I can't purchase the gift cards if I don't have an account with their bank. Should've known that was coming. I shrug it off and figure I can get them at Wawa or something. It just gives me an excuse to find a new location on Geana's new GPS (early Christmas gift.)

As I'm heading out the door with ZERO gift cards, the woman with 45 gift cards actually stops me and says, "I would have let you go in front of me, but I was afraid they wouldn't have enough cards."

I was dumbfounded. Stammering for a response, the only thing I could come up with was to look down and skulk away, unsuccessful in my pursuit. Cardless.

No worries though - she left the store shortly thereafter. I tailed her to her house, stole two gift cards in $50 increments for the teachers, one $100 card for me, and then made my getaway using our new GPS system.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Decorating for Christmas

First of all - Geana and I have been dreading the decorating this season. The quads are three and the boys will wreck any and everything that gets in their way. What's the point of decorating if all of your decorations are going to get destroyed??

As you may know - we got our Christmas Tree two weekends ago and not decorate it when we got it home because the Steelers were playing a big game against the Patriots and we had to give our undivided attention to Big Ben and Fast Willie at 4:15 sharp. So - our tree has been sitting in our living room for a week... naked (except for the Terrible Towel that I hung from one branch but promptly removed after the game.) This weekend, the plan was to decorate the tree. Geana stayed up at her sister's on Friday night so I cleaned up the house (after I watched my alma mater win the PA Class AAA State Football Championship on PCN!) I broke out the decorations on Saturday morning, awaiting her return. The kids were psyched! They couldn't wait for Mommy to get home and for us to start decorating. Well.... turns out Daddy made a slight miscalculation - we weren't decorating until SUNDAY! Oops.

Needless to say - the kids were quite miffed - so James took it upon himself to do a little decorating all alone. I put a bottle of nail polish on the steps as I was cleaning the night before (to take up the next trip up). I had completely forgotten it was there and in all of the celebration of the Jags winning the States I seem to have left it there. Oops again... While we were in the kitchen getting ready for the day, James grabbed the bottle, opened it up, and started painting our couch. When I caught him, he said in the most innocent of voices, "I was just decoratin' for Christmas - Daddy." Grrr..... Every mistake that I had made in the past two days was brought to fruition with his painting of the couch. I promised decorating today - wrong. I left the polish on the steps - wrong. I wasn't paying attention to who was in the kitchen while we were getting dressed - wrong. And now I had a wonderful PURPLE couch to show for it.

Sometimes things just don't go your way.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Survivor Thoughts

As some of you may not know, I'm an avid fan of Survivor (and have been since season 1). I have to say - Todd is one of the most entertaining winners in Survivor history. He's a prick. He's an egomaniac. He knows it - and he embraces it! (Richard Hatch anyone??) He's much more entertaining than someone like... say... Yul. Gotta love when the "good guys" gets voted off early.

Also - this had to be the trashiest cast ever (at least near the end). The stereotypes are ridiculous! You got Denise the lunch lady with a mullet. You got James the grave digger who is too dumb to play the hidden idles. There is Todd slimy the gay flight attendant from Utah. I'm not sure what it was about Jaime but she had a definite trace of southern trash in her as well. Jean Robert (my favorite character) tries to be the coolest dude in the world and may be able to appear as egotistical and confident, but is completely rooted in insecurity. I love people that you can see right through their facade. I only wish that Dave had lasted longer... he was just too much of a prick. Courtney was annoying and reminded me of so many female artists that I went to school with - AND she was disgusting to look at!

Not too entertaining of a post tonight... sorry. Tomorrow I'll start tracking the "Morris Family Survivor."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Tunes!

A new episode of The Quadcast is up at Check it out!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Morris Report

I feel compelled to give my 2 cents about this thing.

Unless you've been living in cave - you know what happened in Major League Baseball yesterday. Former Senator George Mitchell came out with his report, commissioned by MLB, to address the Steroid issue in baseball today.

Honestly - MLB can't do anything right. The way this report is structured and published, there is clearly a big window for players to claim slander and that the two or three main "informats" are lying. Yes - they asked the players to participate and the players declined - but that was the BRILLIANT strategy that was structured by the Players Union because they DIDN'T HAVE TO PARTICIPATE. What is going to be interesting is what Congress does with the report. I don't care what Selig says they are going to do b/c he ultimately won't do anything unless he's forced. Congress inevitably is going to bring up the issue of the records and statistics which will be fun to watch. The whole thing is rooted in the anti-trust exception which gives Congress control over EVERYTHING that MLB does (albeit indirectly).

Also - if I'm a politician - nothing but good pub for me can come from me helping to clean up a rotten game. It's a politician's dream - great publicity for them, huge media coverage, visible impact in something that people care about. (as opposed to a direct impact on something like... I don't know... education - which people care about but not as much as baseball).
If MLB was smart they would take the issue and split the union over it (players NOT using Juice vs. players who ARE), theoretically weakening the union and breaking their stronghold on everything from collective bargaining to steroid testing. If I'm Selig I say, "Clearly we have a problem that we have to fix - but I can't do it alone. I am pleading to the individual players who don't cheat, and who also want to clean up our game, to work with MLB and to rid our game of this poison. If you're not a cheater - join with me to eliminate the cheating from your game, my game, and America's game. It's not enough to be the best athlete you can be... you also should strive to be the best person you can be. Be a role model to the children of the US, be a role model to your own children. X number of children suffered medical illnesses due to steroid use in the US last year. Help us overcome this catastrophic realization." If I'm Selig - I keep pleading with them until they come forward. Be over the top and be diligent. If nothing more - he looks like he is doing all he can and the players union is hindering him. Congress will then attack the Union and not MLB. Use Congress to break up the union to your benefit. That's too obvious, though.

Don't get me wrong - they'll never get rid of steroids, greenies, etc. There isn't even a test for HGH because the body produces it naturally and everyone produces different amounts at different ages of your life. What Selig doesn't get is that, currently, he's trying to save face instead of turning this issue around breaking the union up. For years the union has controlled MLB and right now Selig holds all of the cards but he doesn't realize it. He needs to fine the owners and GM's who willingly knew that players that were using to make him "seem" unbiased. Then he needs to go after the players...
There are players who are not using. There has to be. He needs to find them and get them to help him (or at least appear to be trying to get these guys on his side). Then he says to Congress, "I've been trying to get players and their union to cooperate but they won't. I'm certain that there are clean guys in this game, but they won't come forward. I've implemented stringent testing but it's not enough." If Fehr is getting heat from congress, Selig can promise (in a back room somewhere) to back off in exchange for something like... say... a salary cap. Granted - that's shooting high - but depending on how vigilant Congress is he could really spin this thing in his favor.

That would be my strategy if I ran baseball. There may be holes in my plan because a lot depends on Congress's leverage, but I think that will be there. Selig could even turn around and plead to congress for help. See - that's the way a witch hunts work. You need to align yourself on the side that's going to look the best in the public eye and ride it as far as you can. You'd be surprised how much MLB could accomplish with this if they just play it right. Then you use your strong relationship with congress and stance on steroids as leverage in collective bargaining.

Ok - I'm done, now. More about the kids tomorrow!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Goooood Morning Morrisquads!!

We had an incredible morning today because we got up REALLY late. To add to the pressure, I had a 9:15am meeting that I COULD NOT BE LATE FOR! This is our morning:

We woke up late and it was COMPLETELY my fault. I've found myself really enjoying the early morning recently so I've been attempting to get up at around 5:30 or 6:00, have a cup of coffee and read the news, blogs, sports, etc. before getting the kids up and ready. Not this morning...

5:15am - the alarm goes off, I turn it off, and wasn't the wiser until approx. 7:09:59.

7:10am - PANIC!! Turn to Geana and tell her - "HOLY CRAP - It's 7:10!" I jump in the shower and am out in two minutes flat. I get dressed and promptly grab Sammy out of bed. I go downstairs and get breakfast ready (poptarts and nutrigrain bars) and realize that Sammy's clothes were never switched. I put them in the dryer. Geana is getting clothes together for the kids to wear.

7:20am - Geana brings down the kids and their clothes. While they eat, I finish getting myself ready for work. When they are about 1/2 way done with their food I start dressing them. They WILL NOT get dressed while they still have food to eat... who knew? They threw a fit! I think that the problem is - if you take one kid away from the table to get dressed, there is the potential for another sibling to steal that one's pop tart/nutri-grain bar or milk. Needless to say - the kids don't like to get dressed until they are DONE. Too bad for them - Desperate times = Desperate measures. Geana makes snacks/lunch and packs school bags while I get them dressed. The other kids eat while I dress them one by one by one by one (shoes & socks included). We are the "Multi-Tasking Morris's"

7:32am - Kids are dressed and are are finishing gobbling up their food. Sammy is not dressed, yet. I go downstairs and get his uniform out of the dryer (damp but wearable), bring it up and give it to him to get dressed by himself. I yell at the kids to go back to the table. They sit. I go around in a circle - spraying little heads with water, accompanied with hair gel and a brush. By the time I get around the table, Sammy is done getting dressed. I give him the bottle, gel, and brush for him to do his own hair. The quads follow me into the bathroom to brush their teeth.

7:45am - James - "Ahh... Eeee... spit... rinse." Anna - "Ahh... Eeee... spit... rinse." Robby - "Ahh... Eeee... spit... rinse." Ella - "Ahh... Eeee... spit... rinse." Sammy comes in and I leave him to his own teeth brushing skills.

7:49am - Coats on the quads.

7:51am - Coat on Sammy.

7:52am - Head out the door and into the van (in the rain).

7:57am - Everyone is buckled and ready to go. I run inside - get my work bag, ipod, wallet & keys - throw on a coat, run back to the car... and we're off!

8:02am - Arrive at St. Andrew's School.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Cutting Down The Tree...

We went to Varner's Farm Sunday to cut down our family Christmas tree. Kinda cold, VERY muddy. We got to ride on a horse drawn wagon that was pulled Bobby and Minnie (two Clydesdales). We even had to stop so that Bobby could take a pee while we were riding. Robby and James LOVED that part. I mean - for the past year our life has been, "Pee this and poop that. Be sure to wipe! When you aim for a piece of toilet paper, peeing can be FUN!"

It was nice that the boys were able to share a moment of sympathy with the horses. The gross part was that we were so close to the horse, you could actually FEEL THE WARMTH emanating from the horse urine. (I wonder what types of google hits I'll get this week.)

It was a tight schedule but we made it home in time for the Steeler's vs. Pats game.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Gatekeeper

Ok - so I'm sorry that the blog posts have dwindled down to once a week. I'll try to rectify that. That being said, I have been taking notes of funny things that the kids have done recently to share with you. Here is one from the past week...

I was doling out tangerines to the kids that I had sliced up but not peeled. I figured it would be fun to put them in their mouths and pretend that we are monkeys. Only trouble was that Anna said, "I don't like Tangerine. I'm not eating it." After a little prompting she still didn't want to have anything to do with it and the last thing I wanted to do was force her to eat something that she didn't want to eat (or play a goofy game with Daddy that she didn't want to play).

All of the other kids are playing along and after I had finished my slice, I grabbed Anna's and put it in my mouth, thinking she didn't care about it. Bad move. Talk about getting pissed off!! She immediately went into a rage that I wasn't expecting at all - complete with flailing arms, loud screaming, eyes rolling into the back of her head, foaming at the mouth, levitation, bolts of lightning, etc. My response - go into the kitchen and get her another slice of tangerine. I thought she may partake in our game, now. Wrong!! After having turned into Zuul, the Minion of Gozer, she proceeded to get up from the table with her slice in hand, walk over to the trash can and chuck it in. She turned to me and said, "Eat that tangerine, Dad." Then she stormed out to go look for the Keymaster.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Do You Believe in Santa?

Yesterday we received 3 letters from Santa Claus, all in the same envelope. There was a letter addressed to Sammy, one addressed to Ella, and one for Anna - but nothing for Robby or James. Hmm... thats odd?! (We honestly have NO IDEA who sent these letters.) Santa told each kid that he had received their letter and that they could expect to receive everything on Christmas morning that was asked for because they have been so good this year. One of the letters even said, "Tell Robby and James I say hello!!" Now - whoever wrote these letters clearly knows who our kids are. As of yet we have not shared the letters with Anna, Ella, & Sammy because we're waiting (perhaps in vain) to get another envelope for the boys. The return address was:

S. Claus
North Pole

...but interestingly enough postmarked Drexel Hill.

The way I see it - one of two things could be happening here.

1. There could be an actual Santa Claus who truly believes that the boys have not been good enough to warrant this type of letter from him (a distinct possibility, as the boys have been TERRORS recently). However, I am sincerely doubting that this is the case - but far beit from me to doubt the magic of Christmas...

2. Some shmoe (who knows we have FIVE kids) wrote eloquent letters to three fifths of our children, conveniently leaving out two of them as a cruel and hateful experiment to see if they will suffer any permanent psychological damage. Or maybe they were written as a tool of revenge from one of the kids' many babysitters...

What should we do?

a) Continue to wait for the next set of letters?
b) Share the letters with the girls and Sammy and hope that the boys improve their recent trend of bad behavior?
c) Go to the mall and beat the shit out of Santa?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Tale of Two Parties

About 12 hours after my last post I am sitting down to make this one. Whew! What a long day. The kids just went to bed and will probably sleep for the next 3 days...

We left the house around noon and headed into South Philly to go to Tunnels of Fun, and after taking the wrong exit off of I95 and quickly buzzing by Terminals A thru F at Philadelphia International Airport, we successfully landed at Tunnels of Fun on 20th Street in South Philly. This place has moved to the top of my list of places to take the kids. It is very similar to Keller's Gym and Jumpers but on a MUCH smaller scale and for MUCH smaller children. There is an age limit of 7 years old at TOF. It is about the size of a house, not a warehouse like some of these other places. They only have several small jungle gym set-ups and a single party room in the back (with seats for adults, too) but it is definitely enough. Also - the set-up is condusive to watching high order multiples while simultaneously allowing them to run free. But enough about the place... the party itself was awesome! The kids loved the balls, especially Anna, which was great because she usually hates these types of places. Before we knew it it was 3pm and it was time to load up and head over to Oasis for Dominica's party at 4pm... but wait... we made a mistake - that party doesn't start until 5:30pm! We have one and a half hours to kill and not enough time to go home and make it worth while... What should we do?!

Go to The Mall.

Yup - we gluttons were extra gluttonous today. Black Friday weekend and we about to brave the mall with all 5 kids. We knew Santa would be there (and the kids happened to be dressed nicely for the parties) and hopefully we could find some great sales as well... a win win situation.

The kids were great, by the way. They got to see Santa and stayed in their stollers the entire time (except for when they sat on the Big Man's lap. After Tunnels of Fun, I think they were happy to take a load off for awhile.

Onto Oasis. If Tunnels of Fun is nice little getaway for you and your toddler, Oasis is the freakin' mothership. This place makes Disney World look small. It is located in a HUGE warehouse with more slides, jungle gyms, and tunnels than Rhode Island has roads. This place is sent from God if you are a kid... not so much if you are the parent of 4 three year-olds and a five year old and your job is keeping track of them all. It as a really fun party but this place was work. It was geared for all ages - meaning they had stuff for little kids all the way up to big kids. (Like one of the kid's dad's who came to the party and was introduced to Geana and I as, "That's my husband over there - playing Pac Man." No lie - he was playing Pac Man for the rest of the time - 3 hours. Play time for kids... still playing Pac Man. Dinner time... still playing Pac Man. Singing Happy Birthday... still playing Pac Man. Eating cake time... still playing Pac Man. Dude - it's a kid's party - play with your freakin' kid! You only have ONE you lazy shmuck! Father's like that make me sick. Dads like that are who gives us hard workin' Dads a bad name!) Anyway - it was a good time!

We got home, put the kids up, blogged, and now I'm turning in. For you see - tomorrow is Justin's birthday party in Princeton at 11:30am @ the local YMCA. No rest for the weary 'round these parts. This weekend I will have:

Celebrated birthdays at 3 separate parties.
Ate 1 Thanksgiving Dinner
Attended a parade
Set-up my TV in the basement
Did a bunch of laundry
watched ZERO football games... good thing the Steelers play Monday Night.

Whew! Good night, all.

Talk About Ambitious...

The plan for today is to go to one birthday party from 1 to 3pm for Geana's friend's daughter. She's turning 3. That party is at Tunnels of Fun in South Philly. I've never been there so I don't really know what to expect, but I can imagine it is closer to Chuck Cheese than Chuck Close.

Immediately following that party we are heading to Oasis in Delaware County, out near us. That party is scheduled from 4 to 6pm. That means 5 hours straight of running, playing, an partying with only an hour break to save our sanity (which will be spent driving in the van - commuting to party #2).

Look for an update later tonight...

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Day of Thanks

Yesterday we went to Geana's Mother's house to celebrate Thanksgiving. We haven't had a holiday over there for awhile. It was nice to revisit the old stomping ground (Geana and I lived there for awhile when were were engaged and saving for a house). It was warm enough for the kids to play in the driveway before we ate and they all had a blast playing with Cousins Justin, Gianna, Alex, and Gabbi. Lots of food, laughs, and good times. Here is what the kids were thankful for:

Sammy - Family
Robby - Poop
James - Chocolate
Anna - Turkey
Ella - Turkey Day

We started off the day by going into town to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade. The kids saw Santa. Gianna and her friend, Megan, liked seeing some teenie bopper musicians that I have no idea who they are. It made me feel old... also made me thankful that my girls are still only 3 years old. The most interesting part of the day was when we were at Penrose Diner after the parade. It was about 12:00 and we were heading there for an early lunch, expecting to be eating T-Giving dinner at 5:30 or 6:00. Just after ordering lunch, Geana's mother called. The turkey was done several hours before it was expected to be done (we're still not really sure how.) Now we were eating at 2:00 instead of 5:30. It was too late to cancel lunch so we instituted the "Don't Eat Your Fries Rule". This rule allows daddy to confiscate any and all fries before the meal is eaten so that the kids don't eat too much. The only side effect of this rule is that Daddy inevitably eats most (or all) of the fries himself... in addition to my lunch. I call it "Taking One For The Team" but Geana calls it "Kurt Being a Pig"... either way... the kids were safe from showing up at G-Mom's with full stomachs.

As for me - I'm thankful for a lot of things this Thanksgiving. I still have a great job, I still have 5 wonderful kids, I'm still married to the best wife/woman/mother/homemaker, etc.... and this year - I have a clean living room, too! Life is good!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Outted in Kindergarten

Some asshole kid in Sammy's class told him that there was no such thing as Santa Claus.

Can you believe that?! KINDERGARTEN and kids are talking about Santa being a fraud. What has this world come to? Maybe I'm just out of touch but I don't remember thinking about Santa being fake until about 3rd grade, at least.

Sammy wasn't sure who to believe but in the end I think he bought into what Mom and Dad were selling. I'm sure he'll believe us come December 25th at about 6am. Bottom line is, I'm just appalled.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Letter to Anna

Dear Anna,

Last night I came into your room to check on you before I went to bed and you were laying there in your bed, half asleep, and you asked me for "another big hug". It was my pleasure to come over and give you an extra squeeze before I went to bed.

One day you'll be a big ol' teenager and not want to give me those hugs. I love you very much and hope you never stop hugging me.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Moving Day

No - we didn't move. I had several "moving" moments yesterday where I said to myself, "I have to blog about this." Hence the words below...

The first moving moment of the day yesterday was having the unique perspective of looking down on the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Center City as officer Cassidy's viewing/funeral was happening. My building looks right over the Cathedral and, let me tell you, you have not seen anything as awe inspiring as 800+ police officers, all dressed in uniform, paying their respects to one of their fallen brothers. I'm not one who usually gets worked up over spectacles like yesterday's but it was incredibly moving and one of those unbelievable moments that you just file away in your memory forever.

The second moving moment of the day yesterday was my trip to Sammy's Kindergarten classroom to be the "Mystery Reader." After my Dr. appointment (not a moving moment) I headed over to St. Andrew's School to read "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." The kids seemed to like the book a lot. I was nervous... really nervous. I'm not sure why. There was something cool about watching the kids faces and answering all of their questions about the book. Throughout the reading I was asked questions like, "What is that?" about an upright bass one of the people was carrying. And one kid asked why the garbage trucks had to use forks and knives to clean the streets... a legitimate question by the young lad - the obvious answer is because it was raining food! The best question came at the very end of the book and it wasn't even a question. One of the kids said, "Look there is an S." I wasn't sure where he was pointing because he was simply looking at a picture of a hill of snow on the last page. I couldn't find it - so I had him show me. "It's right there!" he sternly told me. He was pointing to a line on the picture that was there to give depth in the illustration from one hill to another, but when you looked at it from another perspective it was very much an S. Well at this point all of the kids rushed the stage and had to see the S. See - S was one of the letters they've been learning about.

Watching the kids be so excited about the new stuff they are learning was very encouraging to me. Clearly they are having fun learning about this Alphabet thing.

Sammy got to sit in the rocking chair right next to mine and help me read the story to the class. Talk about a fun time! He was definitely surprised that I was the "Mystery Reader" and wasn't expecting it at all. Sometimes it is easy to forget how full children can make your life. Their bright eyes and their inquisitive minds are something to be held onto, also to be filed away in that space in your memory forever.

Having had come from just seeing the site of Officer Cassidy's funeral - I took the minute to give Sammy an extra squeeze before I left.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Set... HUT!

We played some football today... Sammy was still at Aunt Roe's so that's why there are no pics of him.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Day With The Kids

Geana is in Bedford, PA today, attending the Mother's of Multiples State Board Meeting. This means that, all across the state of Pennsylvania, there are multiples hanging out with their father's today. Below is a chronicle of our day:

5:30 - Mommy woke up and left.

8:30 - Daddy woke up with Anna, Ella, and Robby (James and Sammy are visiting Aunt Roe)

9:00 - Arrive at Dancing School with the three kids. That's right - we were up at 8:30 and out the door by 8:50. I'm accepting "Father of The Year" votes now. Hey - just three kids is cake.

10:00 - Invade the local Dunkin' Donuts and gobble down wee fistfuls of munchkins.

10:30 - Get home from Dunkin' Donuts and use the potty for the first time today. Whew! I was livin' on the edge this morning. Potential disaster averted...

10:45 - Clean for about an hour while the kids watch Dora and Johnny & The Sprites.

12:00 - James gets home with G-Mom but Sammy stays with Aunt Roe and Justin to go to the movies. G-Mom leaves and we play dress-up until nap time at 1:00. We devoured a bag of pretzels and I showed the kids how to lick their fingers and eat the salt at the bottom of the bag.

1:00 - Nap Time

That's where we are right now. We're either going to the Zoo or to Chuck E. Cheese this afternoon, I think. It depends on the weather and my ambition once they wake up. I will blog the rest when I get back.

UPDATE - 5:55pm

We ended up venturing out to Chuck E. Cheese. I made the mistake of thinking that a Saturday afternoon at 4pm wouldn't be very crowded. WRONG! I knew that there would be some people there, but there were enough people there to make you think the Pope was speaking or something. PLUS - about 25% of the games didn't work. Literally. I'm not a complainer but I was contemplating talking to the manager. It's hard enough to take 4 kids there, but having to test every game started getting annoying. I'm too tired to list all that was broken - but it was a lot!

4:00 - Arrive a Chuck's.

4:01 - Realize I've made an error in judgment about the number of people that go to Chuck E. Cheese on a Saturday in November.

5:00 - Leave Chuck's with two spiders, two dinosaurs, and two hair clips - courtesy of our 76 tickets.

6:00 - Dinner

6:30 - Mommy Home

7:00 - BED!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Bloody Noses and other Medical Emergencies...

Sammy woke up this morning with a bloody nose. He didn't know what was happening, more than anything. I think that the uncertainty of what was going on was more upsetting to him than anything else. His frantic parents may have contributed to the crying as well, although I can't be certain.

I feel for our kids because they have two extremely dramatic parents. Sorry guys - it ain't gonna get better. Kids look to their parents to be the calming rocks in their lives, this I know. Our kids are going to have to be okay with a pebble or maybe a calming stone. For us - bloody nose = brain hemorage. We realized this morning that, although Geana and I have had plenty of bloody noses ourselves, we've never had a child with a bloody nose before. This was reason for us to be concerned. Logically - I know that a bloody nose is just a bloody nose 99 out of 100 times but that ONE time could be happening to us... RIGHT NOW! This will be that one time when the bloody nose is a sign of something else (perhaps he stuck a pencil up his nose, puncturing his sinuses and scratching the bottom layer of his eyeball and neglected to tell us). Nothing is outside of the realm of possibility at the moment we see blood all over our child's face and pillows.

It turned out that the bleeding stopped pretty quickly and it was probably the result of us using the heater for the first time, drying up the air in the house to a point that Sammy's body wasn't used to it... or he could be snorting cocaine at Kindergarten in between recess and nap time. !!LIGHTBULB!! His teacher has been saying he is restless at nap time... he woke up with a bloody nose... you tell me???

Like I said, kids - you'll have to settle for a calming grain of sand rather than the rock that you really need and desire.

In other, more serious news, Anna had her appointment with the neurologist this morning. She has Cerebral Palsy, as we had expected, but it is a very minor case. The Dr. said that she probably had a minor stroke while in utero and that she is doing just fine both physically and mentally. He recommended that we keep her in physical therapy, but not a type of therapy that targets the "disease", rather one that just gets her some exercise and lets a professional monitor her progress. He seems to think that she's going to be just fine and that is wonderful news to us.

Be sure to check out our Halloween pictures at

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

South to drop off, Moron

I drove Sammy to school today (usually Geana's job) and I accidentally came down the drop off street the wrong way. Let me tell you - people were really upset. Like, way more than they should have been. I understand I did it wrong but it was an honest mistake. Mind you - I didn't do anything illegal. Let me explain...

The street where the school is located is a two-way street, with cars going in either direction. Not a busy street, but on school mornings, significantly congested. I just happened to pull up with the school on my left, not on my right like you're supposed to. I was getting dirty looks from minivan to minivan to minivan, and one woman actually screamed at me incoherently. I was doing what any logical, well thinking parent would do and strategically pulled up to the school with my child's door closest to the curb. This way he wouldn't have to get out in traffic and then walk around the car. I particularly wouldn't want him to have to do that with all of these lunatic moms beeping their horns at his father. I pulled up with the curb on the left hand side of the car, facing the wrong way, and in doing so apparently cut in front of about 10 other cars (9 of them minivans) that were patiently waiting to drop their children off, who came up the street in the conventional manner. Yo - oops!

What complicates matters is that today is Halloween, so all of the children are taking their costumes, cookies, candy, etc. to school as well as their school materials because today is the big Halloween party that is happening at noon in the school yard. So instead of dealing with a couple of half asleep mom's who are doing their normal routine - I was dealing with a bunch of aggravated mom's who were running late because they had to get a million extra things ready this morning and had to scream at their kids to get them out the door for school and had no help from their husbands. That last line is key - at least I'm doing my part... albeit incorrectly.

Monday, October 29, 2007

"Trunk" or Treat

Kids today have it GREAT! I'm serious. Where were these "Trunk or Treat" events when I was a child?

For those of you who don't know, "Trunk" or Treat is an event where a school, church, etc. opens up it's parking lot, charges $10 per car, and then lets everyone park their cars in the parking lot. Then - all of the kids go car to car (or trunk to trunk) collecting candy. It's phenomenal! It's like an assembly line of kids gathering candy. No more does a child have to actually WALK from house to house and EARN his candy. No. Now they can simply skate down the line-up of cars on a pair of roller blades (which I saw several intuitive kids doing). We brought 300 pieces of candy and ran out.

Each of our kids got about 5 lbs. of candy. Meaning that we took home 25 lbs. of joy from this thing. TWENTY FIVE POUNDS OF CANDY! Stop and think about that for a minute. How does one go about devouring 25 lbs. of candy? (I can tell you how I started... I opened with the Reese Cups and then moved onto the Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish, followed closely by the Mallow Cups, and washed it all down with a fistful of Jolly Ranchers and a Diet Coke (I drink Diet because I'm a Diabetic)... but I barely made a dent.) To top it all off, we still have to go "Trick or Treating" on Wednesday. Plus the kids have a Halloween Party at school on Tuesday.
Good thing their school has a "wellness" lunch program. At least the schools are teaching them some kind of health regiment, because God knows we're not.

Happy Halloween... let the deluge begin!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Is it too early for Christmas??

I have always thought that you can't even begin to think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I have a feeling that the holidays have arrived for our family...

James is dressing as Santa for Halloween this year and is planning on bringing presents to all of the houses he visits (in exchange for candy, of course). He asked us to put on Christmas music in the van tonight, and we did. I have to tell ya - it was nice hearing the Christmas tunes and having he kids sing along. Anna, Ella, Robby, and Sammy all fell asleep on our way home, but not James. He was wide awake, his eyes glimmering with the thoughts of Santa Claus and Christmas Eve. The excitement was palpable. He can't wait.

I know that part of his excitement is for Halloween. He hasn't stopped talking about Santa for the past several weeks. He's been asking questions, making plans, and getting all of his ducks in a row so that he is completely prepared for the big day. In essence - he's making a list and checking it twice. I feel like Halloween is a trial run for him to play the part of Santa so that he can see what it is like from Santa's perspective. That way he knows how the big man thinks, what he expects, and how he does it. If successful, he can use that knowledge for his benefit come 12/25. Maybe he's sucking up to Santa. Maybe he thinks that if he dresses up as Santa then he is more likely to get better stuff than his 4 siblings.

Whatever the motive, he's been as cute as can be. It's going to be a fun Christmas over here in Morrisville.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bear with me, folks

I'm trying to play with changing my template, but I've never done it before and I seem to have deleted some stuff that I didn't want to delete. UGH...

I guess I know what I'm doing tonight.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ho hum.

Is anyone watching the Rockies play the Red Sox? If so... do you really care about this series? I don't and let me tell you why...

The Red Sox are the new Yankees and I can no longer stand them. The days of them being the lovable underdog are gone. Their starting line-up and rotation has a payroll that teams like the Pirates can only dream of. I mean - they paid the "Japanese Giants" $51m just to talk to Dice-K. The Pirates ENTIRE payroll is $38m (USA TODAY MLB PAYROLL DATABASE). That's why I hate the Red Sox.

I can pull for the Rockies but I really don't like the guys on their team. Jeff Francis... Brian Fuentes... Yorvit Torrealba... Matt Holiday... blah.

I am just not interested.

Case in point... Geana just came up and asked if we could change the channel. I hesitated for a second (I mean - it is the World Series), I look at the score (10-1 Boston), and say sure. Now I'm watching Friends and laughing, instead of watching baseball and falling asleep.

Not to mention, laying in bed with Geana which is always nice.

Ooo - Family Guy is coming on... gotta run!

Break out your ribbons!

It seems that every "cause" has a month these days. As if the magnetic ribbon on the bumper of your SUV wasn't enough - now you have a whole month, too!! Come to think of it, which came first - The Ribbon or The Month?

Anyway - November happens to be Prematurity Awareness Month, a cause that hits very close to home with the Morris Family. I wanted to point you towards this really cool thing that The March of Dimes is doing in honor of Prematurity Awareness Month. (keep reading it's lots of fun!) You can go to their website: where they have a link called, "Every Baby Has a Story." That link takes you to a virtual "workshop" where you can create a scrapbook of pictures, videos, etc. of your child and you also write a short "story of their life" to accompany the multi media stuff featuring your kid. When I posted Anna's page, there were about 150 stories. I expect that number to grow rapidly as the word gets out about this fun exercise. As of now there is 270.

Check it out... it's lots of fun!

Some of the stories are really touching. Take a minute to read about the other kids that have pulled through some really tough times, largely because of the research done by the March of Dimes. Enjoy!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tough Times

I don't play the "quadruplet card" very often but I'm going to play it tonight. I've had a rough day...

Our life is tough.

Really tough. I'm not talking about the really tough stuff like successfully raising five children to be contributing members of society - I'm talking about the little stuff that people take for granted. I'm talking about the battles, not the overall war. It's generally stupid stuff that shouldn't be an issue, but is for us because of sheer volume:

Putting on coats - for instance. I have to put on FIVE coats when I go outside. FIVE... and that doesn't even include MY COAT!

Putting on shoes. I have to put on 10 shoes when I go outside. TEN... and that doesn't even include MY SHOES!

Laundry. I have wash, fold, match up, and put away laundry for 5 people - and again - that doesn't even include... you get the idea. (btw - Sunday & Monday Night Football make for a great time to do laundry... come to think of it - that statement pisses me off, too.)

Brushing teeth. I have to brush (and occasionally floss) 5 people's teeth - THAT ARE EVENTUALLY GOING TO FALL OUT ANYWAY! As if the actual task isn't difficult enough, there is the constant temptation to just not do it this time. What's one night without the brushing of the teeth?? (shhh - don't tell Geana)

Baths. Washing up 5 kids in the bathtub does a wonder on your back, let me tell you. Thankfully the people we bought the house from carpeted the bathroom before we moved in. I hate carpeted bathrooms, but in this instance it is a blessing sent from God.

However - having quads isn't all bad. How many people can take a picture like this one...

and this one...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Shameless Plug!

Geana will be in Swarthmore this Saturday selling Bags & Bows. Please come if you are able! I hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Houston & Anna

I just got back from Houston where I stayed in the stuffiest hotel this side of George Bush's asshole. Don't get me wrong - it was very nice - but OMG was it full of rich, white Texans. I'm also not into the spa thing all that much and this place is a spa resort.

The trip was work related so I didn't get to see much of the city. Also, it was raining the entire time so it wouldn't have been much fun to walk around Houston anyway. I did have some great food that was supplied by the hotel (I think) for the conference and a lunch at Smith & Wolensky that was incredible.

On a very serious note Geana told me, as I was getting ready to board the plane for Philly, that the physical therapist thinks that Anna has Cerebral Palsy and that we should probably see a neurologist. Anna has fallen pretty far behind the others, physically, in the past few months - so we just recently started sending her back to Theraplay (a physical therapist near us). To give you an idea - she kind of walks like Fred Sanford and also has trouble going up and down the steps (she can do it, although she tries to get away with being carried up). She's always been clumsy and we thought that this may just be an outgrowth of that clumsiness. Her clumsiness has always been "cute" in our eyes until recently when it seemed to start having a real effect on her. I can relate - I've always been a klutz, too. The therapist noticed that she was favoring her right side and really using her left arm/leg for everything. The combination of Anna's premature birth and the fact that the issues seem to be on one side of the body are symptoms of Cerebral Palsy, from what I've read online. We'll have to wait and see what the neurologist says next week.

Anna is sharp as a tack. She is always amazing me with the thoughts that come out of her mind and some of the stuff that she does. The other day we were at a restaurant and she had the children's menu and some crayons. She colored one kid on the children's menu blue and the other kid on the menu red, all while staying in the lines. She said, "That's the blue boy and that's the red girl." It is something that we hadn't seen the other kids do, yet, and made us so proud of her. She's already starting with addition and subtraction with food on her plate, too. She's extremely gifted and I hate to see her going through any physical hardship like this.

I guess I shouldn't put on the gloom and doom before we've seen the doctor, but there is clearly something going on with her, physically. I'll be sure to update you more as time goes on...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Yard Sale!

Wow! It's been a week? Where does the time go?

We had a yard sale today at the Morris household. Let me tell you - I'm exhausted. We sold so much crap... er... stuff that I can't believe it...

(We have to say stuff now because at one point during the day Robby was mad at some unsuspecting child who was looking at some toys and said, clear as day, "Dad - He can't be in our crap!" Then to the boy, "That's MY CRAP!")

Anyway - we sold everything except for the kids today. You can finally see the floor in our basement, which is a HUGE accomplishment... next step - going out and buying MORE stuff to cover up the floor again.

I have a theory - men feel a sense of accomplishment after yard sales. After all - look at all of that crap... stuff... that we were able to clear out of our house! Not to mention - I'm the one who carried it all up and out from the basement. Nothing says manly like carrying out 2 cribs, 5 pack and plays, 3 high chairs, 2 double strollers, 1 single stroller, a glider chair, enough clothes to clothe Utah, and toys in a magnitude to make Geoffrey the Giraffe jealous, up from the basement and out to the driveway. (Annoying point #1 - I had to set up the cribs and pack & plays, only to take them apart when someone bought them... ugh.)

Women on the other hand have a sense of longing for the past and for the years that have escaped us. I'll never get it. Geana looks at an old plastic iron and starts to tear up as another baby walks away with it. She can't sell her ceramic little knick-knacks from her baby shower because they mean so much to her. (Annoying point #2 - I carried the knick-knacks back down to the basement before the sale, again wrapped in newspaper and packed in a box and I will bring them up again 2 years from now when we have our next sale without us looking at one of them subsequent to today.)

All in all - it was a successful day but I'm ready for bed.

Thanks to Mark and Mom for helping us with the kids today!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Back to Poop

Not to belabor the talk about poop, but we spent the day at Linvilla Orchards today with 6 kids (Justin was with us again) - 3 of them had diarea. I'm not sure what we were thinking...

Of course - nobody had to go when we asked before we left the house. Once we got into the van, though, the story changed. We stopped once at Aunt Lisa's house, on our way to the orchard, so that Anna could poop. She went up to the bathroom and couldn't go - so we continued on our way. A few minutes later, we were forced to pull into a Sunoco but someone else seemed to have the same problem as Anna and was occupying the only restroom for 10 minutes - before we finally gave up and left...

We got to Linvilla and took everyone to the crapper. Mind you - it was 85+ degrees out, humid, and it was the busiest weekend of the year. The makeshift bathrooms at the farm were... ripe, to say the least.

Anna pooped. James peed and convinced us that he didn't have to poop. Robby told me that he'll poop tomorrow. All other kids were in and out with no issues.

About 15 minutes later we were at the playground and Robby, on the very top of a slide, gave me a look that seemed to say - WHAT JUST HAPPENED - THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A FART!? I climbed up the slide, picked him up, and shuffled him to the bathroom. BTW - I'm sorry to all of the little children that I pushed away in an effort to get my kid.

Poop ran down his leg as we waited in line to use one of the 2 stalls at the bathroom.

Once we got in there, we decided that his underwear was unsalvageable and tossed that in the trash can. (The place smelled atrocious already so I didn't feel badly about contributing to the stench.) I cleaned his shorts as best I could and we put them back on and went on our way... commando.

As we were vacating the bathroom we ran into Mommy who was in line for the ladies outhouse. That line was much longer than the men's so I took James into the same stall that I just left with Robby. (Everyone in the bathroom who just saw me leave assumed I was coming back for more with the same kid and let me through to the front of the line - little did they know that this was James... NOT Robby... hehe.) James unloaded into the porcelain trough below and is the success story for the day. We left in under 60 seconds flat.

Back to the playground.

Robby - in the bowels of a large wooden pirate ship at this point (with lots of other little children who are wondering where that fowl odor is coming from) is having the time of his life. He's back to normal - playing and living the dream.

All of a sudden he looks over at me with a look of questioning in his eye. It isn't the same look as earlier. It was if he had learned that sometimes a fart isn't just a fart and he was trying to determine what to do. I asked him if he had to go and he said, "I think so." We rushed to the bathroom, in time for this one, and had another bout of the runs for the next 15 minutes.

After this - we left. I had enough and wanted to get to more familiar and friendly ground. Geana agreed. We went to Aunt Lisa's and didn't poop once in the 2 or 3 hours that we were there... go figure.

As far as the public restrooms count goes I'm up to about 30 of the public restrooms in Philly with only about 330,202 left to go.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Letter to Sammy

Dear Sammy,

I don't know what has happened in the past 5 or 6 months, but all of a sudden you seem to be taking an interest in sports. Your mother and I have even talked about it (yes - we talk about you behind your back). You ask to wear your Phillies clothes, you ask to watch the baseball playoffs, and then you actually follow along for a couple of innings before you get bored.

This is so cool to me!!

Getting up on Saturday's to go to soccer isn't a chore like some of your former activities used to be for you. You seem to really want to go and are excited to be playing. Now - don't get me wrong - I'm not going to be one of those Dads who forces sports on you. I mean - I did theatre in high school and college and actually pursued it as a career for awhile. I am a big sports fan, but I understand that there are other things in life, too. Which is why I LOVE it that you've really taken to playing the piano, too. Dude - this is so awesome! I guess what I'm trying to say is that - more and more - I see myself in you and it is a really weird, and cool thing. Watching you grow up is fun, especially when I can directly associate with what you are doing and are interested in. Your interests may change as the years pass - and that's okay. Every parent says that watching their kids grow up is cool - but until you experience it, I don't think you truly appreciate it.

Next year we'll go to some more Phillies games together and maybe even some Eagles games (if the Steelers have a bye week).

Ok - I'm leaving work now so that you can play me some tunes on the piano before we get ready for bed. Heck - it's Friday - maybe you can stay up and watch the NLDS game with me if you want to. We'll have to ask Mommy... but don't worry - I'll sneak you my XM radio to listen to the game in bed if she says no.



Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My most memorable trips to the ballyard.

The way I see it there are two criteria to be used for determining a great baseball game... or rather what makes that baseball game memorable. They are: The Experience Surrounding The Game and Actual Game Quality. Let me explain.

The Experience Surrounding the Game could also be looked at as "hype." Game 7 in the 2004 ALCS between the Yanks and Sox has an overwhelming amount "hype" surrounding it before it even begins and, regardless of what happens in the game, that game will be a memorable one for the person who attended - simply because of the circumstances.

The Actual Game Quality is just that. Was it a good game? A 9-0 blow out would rank low on this criteria, however an extra inning, 1-1 game, lasting until the 14th inning would rank very high on this scale.

Either one of these aspects could cause the game to be memorable and, using this criteria, I have compiled a list of the most memorable games that I've attended. It is the rare occasion when "Hype" and "Game Quality" intersect that makes the games simply amazing. Counting down - they are:

13. 1st game at PNC Park. While ranking high on the "hype" criteria, this game wasn't very memorable - except that The Buccos played the Reds and that Sean Casey hit the first HR at PNC Park. If memory serves - The Pirates lost... if not - at least that's a good guess.

12. Last game at The Vet. A similar placement on the "hype" scale as the 1st game at PNC Park and also a similar place on the "game quality" level. While I don't even remember who the Phils played, it receives a slightly higher ranking than Game 1 @ PNC on the overall list because of the history associated with The Vet. I think that last games at ballparks are higher on the "hype" level than first games at new parks - simply because of the history that is there. I remember reflecting back to my childhood at Three Rivers Stadium as I sat in the nose bleed seats in LF that day... speaking of...

11. Doug Drabek takes No-Hitter into the 9th - i.e. "The Best Mother's Day Ever". This Mother's Day in Pittsburgh was like no other. Drabek took a no-no into the ninth, forcing every father/son combo in attendance to postpone going home to celebrate with their Mothers on Mother's Day. If memory serves, this was in 1988.

10. Ripken's 3000th (and next to last) game. HUGE "hype" level here. The O's could have been playing the Annapolis Little League team that day - it wouldn't have mattered. The game belonged to Cal. The tickets we originally had were scheduled for a game that was canceled as a result of the of 9/11 attacks and then was played at the end of the season. I got to go with Geana in a celebration of our first date together that was also at Camden Yards a year earlier, see # 5 on the list.

9. Sammy's first real baseball game. I'm not talking about when he was a baby - I'm talking about him as a kid, able to enjoy and remember the experience. We went to a Pirates vs. Phils game earlier this year and Sammy actually had a blast. I think that it was more fun for me than him - but this ranks up there on MY "hype" scale - even though it was just a routine game against the Buccos for everyone else in attendance.

8. Bucco playoff games in the early 1990's. Now - all of these games were up there in "hype" but they all seem to melt together in my mind. Perhaps it is because as I grow older, I forget which game was which, but really - I honestly think that it was because the Pirates lost each of those series (and most of the games I was at) and I was devastated at the losses and therefore blocked out the specifics. Regardless, the memories of those games will forever be with me - the atmosphere of the ballpark, the sounds of the fans in the stands, rooting for my team - even if I can't differentiate all of the games from one another.

7. Erstad robs Yankees in bottom of 9th with great catch and then wins it with HR in extra innings. We're getting to the place where "Hype" and "Quality" start to intersect. This was my first game at hallowed Yankee Stadium, so it was up there in my personal "hype" criteria and then the game followed suit with the late heroics and the Yankee's losing. The game took place in 2000 on the baseball trip that I took with my Dad. He got me an Erstad Jersey that Christmas.

6. Another trip to Yankee Stadium is on the list because it was another GREAT game at Yankee Stadium. It was the game against the Jays earlier this season that was rain delayed for 90 minutes and then the game lasted 5 1/2 hours - going into extra innings. We had to leave early because we were afraid of missing our 10:45 pm connecting train in Trenton to get back to Philly. It was a scheduled 1pm game that kept us in Yankee Stadium for 7 hours. Yankees won.

5. 2000 - first date with Geana. Game @ Camden Yards. I don't remember anything about this game, particularly, except that we sat out in LF. I do, however, remember getting ice cream before the game, me spilling it on myself, and Geana laughing at me. We went to a restaurant after the game, then drove home and went to Penn's Landing because neither one of us wanted the day to end. She let me drive her Mustang home from Baltimore, I kissed her, and we ended up getting married. Fun times...

4. 1991 - Pirates clinch Division at home against the Phillies. Again - this fits into the early 1990's blurs of my childhood, but I remember some specific aspects of this game very vividly. Firstly - Drabek piched a complete game. The man was amazing. Secondly - I remember Drabek striking out Charlie Hayes to end the game and the team (and crowd) going nuts. We weren't sitting in the normal seats that we had for the Bucco games. My dad bought tickets in an attempt to see the Bucs clinch that day. We sat up the 3B line, under an overhang, in a higher up section. I sometimes wonder if I'll have that feeling again...

3. 2007 - Phillies playoff game #1 of the NLDS. This was today's game so it is pretty memorable right now. I forgot to mention the "In Recent Memory" factor when evaluating games. The atmosphere was electric at the ballpark today. This town is longing for a winner and the fans came out in DROVES to see their Phils play the Rockies. The Phillies were on the losing end of a 4-2 game, but the back-to-back jacks by Rowand and Burrell will live in my mind forever. We had seats up the LF line and Burrell's HR cleared the wall right in front of us. This game may fade as time moves on, but for now I'll keep it at #3. Hopefully we'll add some more this October to this list.

2. Millwood's No Hitter. This game is, pretty much, as high up there as you can get in "Game Quality." It was a no hitter, I kept score, and it was a really close game - involving Barry Bonds. What makes this game special for me (in addition to Bond's going 0-fer) was that it was following the March of Dimes Walk that we attend every year and I attended the Phillies game as a spur of the moment decision after the walk with my 6 year old Neice and Nephew. It was their first trip to the ballpark. We went because it was the Phanatic's Birthday. Following the game they were told, "You'll probably never experience this again - I know you don't understand this now, but remember this moment." They still talk about the day their uncle took them to the ballpark and got tears in his eyes.

1. 2000 Deciding Game 5 of the World Series - Yanks vs. Mets @ Shea. This one is - hands down - the best game I've ever been to. I got IMed at 2pm, in Philly, the day of the game by a friend who had an extra ticket, in NY. I left work, hopped on a train, and was in NY by 6pm. Our tickets were Players Union seats (I went with Donald Fehr's son ) so they were only a few rows behind 3B. Spike Lee, Kim Katrell, and Richard Dreyfus were in my section. And - oh yeah - Al Leiter pitched his ass off in a losing effort to the Yankees in one of the most memorable pitching outings I've ever seen. The Yanks won the series and I got to watch it in person. One may think that would make for a bad time for me (because I hate the Yanks) but it was a once in a lifetime experience that I'll never forget. On the subway after the game, fans were taking all of the "Subway Series" signs on the #7 train. It was incredible.

What are some of your best memories at the ballpark??

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Greatest Day in Sports

Ok - so today was the best day of sports that I can remember. Here was our day today:

Wake-up - rub eyes with Terrible Towel - get out of bed.

Get all 5 kids dressed in their Steeler's Gear.

Go to the Flea Market down the street where EVERYONE asks, "Are they ALL your kids?" Response: "Yes - one for each Ring - how many kids do you have?"

Come home & watch the Mets blow it on the computer while watching the Phillies win the division on the TV, completing the best comeback season I've ever seen (good thing we weren't wearing Pirate's clothes.)

Go to Grandma & Grandpap's house and watch the Steelers (lose).

Put kids to bed.

Blog while watching Roberto Clemente special on ESPN.

Watch the Eagle's Game.

Go to bed.

Next week - Divisional Series.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Letter of the Week - Ella

Dear Ella,

You were my angel today. While everyone was throwing fits because they didn't want to leave McDonald's playland, you just sat there - getting your shoes and socks on just like we had asked. In the whirlwind of raising five kids, I don't say it often enough, but you are incredibly special to me because I rarely have to ask you twice to do something. Usually we ask - and you do, which is wonderful! Mind you - you don't ALWAYS do what you are told, but at least you don't mess around if you don't want to do it, which I adore. I know that there are never any games with you and that you'll speak the truth about what you want. You shoot from the hip - just like your mother. You're as cute as can be and are constantly making me smile. Thank you for being the calm in the middle of our storm today (and everyday). I love you!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gear from 'da Burg.

We were going through the fall clothes from last year in an attempt to find some stuff that still fits the kids. Turns out they've grown a lot in the past year and hardly anything is gonna fit. Bummer...

We did strike (black &) gold, though. We found a bunch of old Steeler's Gear. It was pretty cool going through that stuff... If you are a Steeler Fan in the Drexel Hill area - PAY ATTENTION - there will be some significant Black & Gold to be sold at the MOM sale in October in the 18 to 24 month range. We did find ONE set of Steeler outfits that still fit the girls. They are the cheerleader uniforms that every team makes for the young girly fans - Anna & Ella will be wearing them every Sunday from now until January. For the boys - we have one Steeler's sweatshirt that used to be Sammy's and one Hines Ward jersey that used to be Sammy's so we'll be able to get through the season. We also found a Brian Dawkin's jersey that fits the boys... but somehow it found it's way into the "for sale" box... don't ask me how.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Blame Game

The boys have learned how to blame each other for the bad stuff that they do. For example - when asked the question, "Who pulled out every single toy from the closet and dumped them all over the floor?" James' response will always be, "Robby." Likewise - Robby's response - "James." What to do? This is one of the quandries of having multiples. With one - we knew who to blame, it was only Sammy. I've tried interrogating them separately - attempting to have them turn on each other Law & Order style, but that doesn't seem to work with them. I guess Ice T is a much more intimidating figure than dear ol' Dad... who knew?

We don't leave them alone that often, but we do have to leave them on their own (occasionally) so that we can cook dinner, make lunch, unclog the potty, etc. The girl's are a good source of information but I don't want to turn them into NARCS or have them start blaming things on the boys because they have learned that it's okay to do that. They are definitely not as bad as the boys, but innocent - they are not. (I went into their room last night and Ella was in Anna's bed. We just moved the girls to big girl beds the other day).

The ripping out of toys, or the perpetual bad behavior doesn't bother me as much as the not telling the truth thing. Wow - I'm becoming a parent. Watching kids grow up is so much fun... even the bad stuff.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Whif...fle Ball

This kid is amazing! I wouldn't be able to touch his stuff...

5 ADDITIONAL Reasons Why I Hate the Yankees

I took the day on Saturday to travel north, with my father, to The Bronx and watched the Yankees play the Blue Jays. Mind you - I've never had any love for the Yankees. I hate them because they have the most money. I hate them because their fans are, generally, unintelligent and obnoxious. I hate them because they win year - after year - after year - after year - after year... while the Pirates lose year - after year - after year - after... you get the point. But my recent trip has given me five additional reasons to despise the Evil Empire. Those are:

1. The lack of signage outside the stadium. Approaching the stadium from the subway, you have no idea where to go. We had tickets that said enter at gate 4. Well - we came up to gate 2 and there were NO signs as to which way to travel to get to gate 4. It's as if the ONLY people that come to this ballpark are Yankee Fans and how dare anyone come to our building who doesn't know where to go. (Never mind the fact that they play in the biggest tourist destination on the planet). I was asked by, at least, five people where a specific gate was. Clearly, we weren't the only newcomers to the stadium. The occasional sign offering assistance would be helpful, Mr. Steinbrenner. Please understand that, not everyone mindlessly worships the Yankees and not everyone knows where they are going when they come to visit your historic stadium. We finally asked a security guard and he said that Gate 4 was all the way on the other side of the stadium, but that we could enter at Gate 2 if we wanted to. "Excuse me - but my ticket says, 'ENTER AT GATE 4?'" The security guards response, "Yeah - you don't have to pay attention to that." WHAT? Do I have to pay attention to the other stuff on my ticket... like where my seats are... or can I ignore that, too? Stupid.

2. Lack of signage inside the stadium directing me to my seats. Now - I'm a veteran of ballparks (and I've actually been to Yankee Stadium before) but the numbering scheme at Yankee Stadium is dumb. The even sections are on the 3B side and the odd on the 1st base side. That's wierd to me - but I'll accept it. What is wierd is that we had tickets in section 631, but the section directly behind us (higher seats) was section 15. HUH? Also - the signs were not very clear telling me to go down or up, so we mistakenly sat up in section 15 (before being shooed down to our real seats). When we were shooed to our seats (RowE, seats 13 & 14) we walked into row E and the seats went ...10, 11, 12... and stopped at 12. HUH? Well - the row behind Row E was ALSO row E and seats 13 and 14 were in that row. Dumb.

3. Now this isn't directly related to the Yankees, but because I experienced it during a trip to see the Yankees, I'll put it on them. NJ Transit really needs to work on how it gets the people from the track into the station and vice versa. Hundreds of people on the train from Trenton got off at NY PENN station and there was ONE escalator to get up into the actual station from the platform. After getting off the train, it took 20 minutes just to get from the platform into the station. The same thing happened on our way home when we were going from the station onto the platform. Ridiculous.

4. The weather was listed on ALL major websites and weather authorities labeled the weather forcast as "Partly Sunny". Well - the game was delayed by rain for 92 minutes and started at 2:30 instead of 1:05. Not only was the game delayed - I didn't see the sun all day - not even part of it. Couple that with the fact that the game lasted well over 5 hours, forcing us to leave early so that we didn't miss the last train of the day (in Trenton) to get back to Philadelphia. I blame Joe Torre. Yankees Suck.

5. We sat next to an obnoxious, racist, loud mouth student from The University of Pennsylvania on the train ride back from NY. I'm convinced that this girl is George's granddaughter or at least related to him in some distant way.

Ok - so only 2 of these things are directly controlled by the Yankees but it doesn't change my opinion of them. I still hate them. That being said - I'd sacrifice signs and clarity at PNC Park for a playoff appearance any day of the week. It goes to show you that fans will put up with ANYTHING if your team is winning. Signs - don't need 'em... rain - who cares... unneeded delays to get to the game - doesn't matter... WE ARE WINNERS! Maybe the Pirates should try that...

Friday, September 21, 2007

L-E-T-T-E-R-S to the kids.

I've been reading a lot of "Daddy" blogs recently and I have to say - I've been inspired! Something clicked in my head as I was reading some of these blogs which makes a lot of sense to me - BB&B will eventually be an archive of words and experiences and thoughts that my kids can read at an older age. Imagine that - at 18 years old, a door is opened into your past containing words, comments, and letters from your Dad for almost your entire existence. That seems pretty cool to me.

One particular post by Baby Daddy was particularly inspiring to me and has made me decide to add a weekly "Letter to the Kids" on Fridays. My plan is to write a letter to one of the kids each Friday. I'll plan to rotate kids, but I want this letter to be to a single child, rather than to the group. The individual time that I get to spend with each one is pretty important to me (and them), so I'd like to make this an individual thing, rather than a group thing. Anyway - here's the first letter...

Dear James,

You started school the other day, buddy! I'm so proud of you. You have no idea what it is like to come home from work and hear you talk about Mrs. Tomasetti and Mrs. Brown without me even asking. It's awesome! I'm extra proud of you because I see how much you love going to school, and how much you look forward to it since you've set foot in the classroom on the orientation day. Your little eyes light up like Christmas bulbs (the big ones, not the small ones) and your words move at a mile a minute when you talk about your first two days. Keep it up, man. School can be lots of fun but eventually it will become work, too. My advice - master the fun stuff 'cause it's not gonna last forever. Paint the bear, investigate the toy kitchen, kick the ball... there is always time for work later. I'm proud of you, kiddo! I love you.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Even Kindergarten is Tough

I think Sammy's having a tough time with school. He's been complaining about his belly hurting for the past week and he's woken up in the middle of the night for the past three nights. This is extremely bizarre because he's always been that happy go lucky kid who loves everything and everyone around him. It's tough when you are a parent and you feel so helpless. I've felt helpless before with the kids (the first time I held them), but never to this extent. I wish there was something that this Wise Old Father could do or say that would snap him out of it but really - I'm just dumbfounded.

We have some ideas about why he may be upset, but we don't really know for sure. It may be the transition to Kindergarten, or because his best friend has gone to another school, but we tend to think that he is getting picked on by several of the kids in the class. He keeps talking about a couple of the kids in his class and how he doesn't like them. We have not told the teacher yet but that's probably the next step. Sometimes - Robby and James gang up on him at home and he has always had an issue with people pushing him around or putting him down (who doesn't?). He won't share what's going on at school with us, though, so we don't really know. We're also trying to NOT push him too hard to tell us in hopes that he'll open up on his own. Who knows the right approach...

I think that I feel so much more helpless this time because I sympathize with him so closely. I mean - I'm only one year removed from being sick every morning because I hated going to my job. My solution was simple - find another job... but he doesn't have that option. I remember being a kid and getting my ears flicked because they stuck so far out from my head. I remember how cruel kids can be at a very young age. I'm sure that there were kids that took more shit than I, but to this day I don't deal well with confrontation or with bullies.

It's sad to watch him go through this. Right now - all I can give is love. He's a strong kid and this to shall pass, I'm sure. I don't know what I would have done at 2 years old if, all of a sudden, I had 4 little brothers and sisters to deal with.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fake Money

This football season I've decided to start betting on 4 or 5 games a week. Mind you - we have no money and we also have seven mouths to feed on a single salary... needless to say - I had to be responsible (and creative).

The plan: I came up with a spreadsheet showing all of the games for any given week, along with the point spread and the odds taken from The spreadsheet calculates how much I win based on the fake money that I wager. I know... I know... this may seem pathetic to some - but for me it quells my competitive urges while guaranteeing that I keep food on the table for the wife and kids. See - when it comes to sports betting, I'm not motivated by $$, I'm motivated by being able to be more successful than my friend Bill (who I have convinced him to participate in this ridiculousness with me). Like every other fantasy sports endeavor that we embark upon, I'm bound to kick his ass.

We each started the season with a bankroll of $1000, and I'm trying, as best I can, to wager with this "money" as if it were real cash (although I was tempted to throw $500 on the Bengals (-6) in Week 2 over the Browns (-Frye) good thing I didn't do it). Week one I went 2-3 and lost about $30. Week 2 I went 2-2-1 and pretty much broke even. I have yet to have that big week, but this week is it... I'm sure. This week I'm taking the following 2 games as definite locks:

Detroit vs. Philadelphia (-6.5) at -110 odds:
I've had the opportunity to watch the Eagles for two games and their offense looks PATHETIC. The Eagles, again, have no legitimate WR threat. Everytime they throw to Curtis, he's covered like muslim woman. Their special teams suck and McNabb has clearly lost a step. The defense looks solid, but doesn't make up for what they lack on offense and special teams. Detroit has gone 2-0 and are looking really good in the first 2 weeks under offensive coordinator, Mike Martz. The Lions are looking to make a statement by coming into Philadelphia and winning against a "top" opponent. This is one of those games, I think, that the line is completely flipped if this game were to be played in week 14. Detroit 17, Iggles 10.

San Diego vs. Green Bay (+3.5) at -110 odds:
I'll take the home dog on this one. San Diego's offense has yet to get it going. Granted they've played the best two defenses in the league, but I think they are playing the 3rd best this week. Green Bay's defense has given up just 13 PPG after 2 weeks. San Diego is coming off of a short week as well and Philip Rivers can't seem to clear his head. Give me the Packers at Lambeau. Packers 24, Chargers 21.

I won't bother wasting your time with my picks from the past two weeks, but I'll post my results on Monday for this week's games. Please take pleasure in seeing how much I suck at this...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Falling Apart

Everything in our home is broken... no lie. A quick list of things that have broken within the past two weeks in the Morris home.

*check (battery died)

*check - (I backed into a sign.)

Video Camera
*check - (It fell off of the table)

*check - (the . key has decided to unattach itself making the simplest websites impossible to get to)

*check - (for some reason (probably grease) the middle rack got A LOT hotter than the right or left and the knob melted off)

*check - (it started running incessently and we had to replace the entire inside)

What really sucks is that NONE of this stuff is cheap. Why can't our $12 alarm clock break? Or why can't something that we NEVER use break - like the romba. I just don't get it. I'm starting to get nervous about taking the kids out of the house for fear they may come back with 9 fingers or something. Then again - all of these things broke IN our house, so perhaps getting them as far away from Mommy & Daddy as possible is the ideal thing to do.

1st Day of School

Another monumental day here at the Morris household. Today was the quads first day of nursery school. One moment from this morning
sticks out in my mind above all others. It's sad in a way... and every parent was guilty. The moment that sticks out was the moment when all of the children had gone into the school, hung up their coats and bags, migrated into the class room and sat down. At that point, the parents were forced to leave and go back out to the school yard... alone... not knowing what to do with themselves... I took a quick glance around to the other mom's and dad's and all of them had the same sad, longing for the past, look in their eyes. Perhaps they were thinking of their kid's first steps, or maybe when their little one said, "Daddy" for the first time. I'm not sure, but we all had the same look. It seemed to say, "Man - our kids have grown up. What do we do now?"

Don't get me wrong - this is a moment to be enjoyed by everyone but it also is a crossroads in our little one's lives. (It seems like we come across these crossroads on a weekly basis at this age, doesn't it?) Anna and Ella were visibly nervous as they ventured into Mrs. Tommasetti's classroom. Robby and James, as expected, just barged right in without an ounce of fear. But I think that Sammy had the toughest morning of all. He seemed to be pretty upset because school had always been HIS thing and now the quads were getting to share in this special aspect of life. It's ironic in a way - they always seem to find a way to take his stuff, and now they were taking this, too.

But have no fear - Moms and Dads, brothers and sisters - we will all get over this school thing and in 15 short years we'll be saying the same thing that we did today as we pack up to head for college. Where did the time go? Can you believe that they are so grown up? Do you remember that first day of school in Mrs. Tommasetti's classroom at St. Andrew's School? Savor these moments... every single one.

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Quadcast Episode - #10

I just uploaded a new episode of The Quadcast. If you have not listened recently, please check it out at - or you can listen at

I talk a little bit about it in the podcast, but this weather is awesome. Does anyone else feel like going outside and playing football? Sammy and I threw around the old "nerf skin" this weekend. Let me tell you - it was a blast. Then we went to Grandma & Grandpap's house to watch the Steelers play. It really took me back to the old days when I would go to Gram's house for football with my parents. Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the Steelers, or maybe it's me watching Sammy grow up, I'm not really sure - but I had the best weekend that I can remember. It was actually the first time that we've gone outside and threw around a football. We've played baseball, but never football and he was a natural. You can tell he's from da 'burgh.

I'm not trying to jump forward or anything in saying this, but I can't wait for the quads to be old enough to come out and play with us. WE COULD PLAY AN ACTUAL GAME!! How awesome is that going to be??? I've joked about it since they were born, but I'm starting to see it be a legitimate possibility in the next year or so. That's gonna be SWEET!

Ok - Geana just got home and needs the laptop. Posting to this site is so much easier than updating our site for every blog.

Tomorrow... 1st day of school for the babies! EXCITING!!!

The Old Stuff

Here is a link to the old BB&B posts from the Morrisquads website. Bigger and better things are sure to come!

Welcome to my new home

I've decided to move my blog to this site in order to attempt to gain more traffic. We'll see if I'm successful. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all of my old posts from the family website - but I may migrate them here as well. Stay tuned!