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.