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