Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

We hung our decorations this weekend and the house looks like a cross between an elf's lair and a Wawa. We got those new LED icicle lights. They produce a really white light which makes it look like florescent bulbs are creating the light. Hey - if you need cigarettes, coffee, and a hoagie - just stop on by.

Amidst the joys of decorating, all of our kids got sick. Like - really sick. Like - liquid, projectile poop, and throw-up sick. At one point James threw up in the toilet and Sammy started crying because he had to throw up, too. I got him a bucket, he puked, and then Ella called from upstairs telling me that she had soupy poop on the potty and was in need of wiping. Geana wasn't home.

I have successfully avoided getting sick because I was in Chicago last week and avoided the bug... hopefully!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

We're Almost Famous!

So Discovery Health is filming another special on us. Yesterday was the first day that they were actually at our house and were all up in our junk. The kids are hilarious. They are so well behaved when the cameras are on and then... BAM! The cameras turn off and Robby is on top of the table or James is throwing himself all over the floor because he couldn't find the toy he wanted. Gotta love 'em. More soon...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Facebook Addict

Yes - I'm totally addicted to Facebook. It is a recent development but - yes - I have succumb to the hype... and it is like crack to me. I'm ashamed.

I can now tell you what Sally in Idaho is doing just by looking up her status online. It doesn't matter that I didn't care what Sally was doing when I was in high school and, frankly, didn't really even have any meaningful dialogue with Sally when I was there. Not to be malicious, I'm just meerly stating what is fact. Well - now she's commenting on pictures of my kids and telling me about her plumbing problems like we have been best friends for years. She can even talk to me, real time, via facebook IM and tell me that her plumber is knocking on the door. I don't care about any of this, mind you, but I feel like it is good information to be gathering. Hey - you never know when you may be in Idaho and in need of a decent plumber.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Travel Stories

Even though we have four year old quadruplets and a six year old son - we CAN STILL GO OUT TO EAT. We got so many looks this weekend in Pittsburgh from amazed individuals that we were ACTUALLY out in public with our kids... and get this... they actually behave while we are at the restaurants. Whoa! If you are ever out about town and see a family with high order multiples take this note - you can't say anything to them that they have not heard before. Honestly. You are not clever. You are not funny. You are not original. But I digress...

Here are several stories of annoying people that we encountered in our escapades to The Steel City.

Dumbest. Waitress. Ever.
Picture our family sitting at a booth. Geana, Kurt, and five kids. All of the ketchup, sugar, salt, pepper, utensils, jelly, etc. are strategically situated so that the kids don't bother them prior to our food arriving. It was a six seater booth so we were pretty crammed in there - which is fine. We do it all the time. We only really get annoyed when the waitress neglects to take our dirty plates away and the dishes overwhelm our space.

We place our order:
Kurt - Breakfast Smile: Eggs, toast hashbrowns
Geana - Same
Kids: Some semblance of pancakes, french toast, and muffins. The majority of the kids had pancakes.

Well our dipshit waitress decides that it would be a good idea to BRING THE SYRUP EARLY! That's right - bring the stickiest, sugarfilled substance to our table 10 minutes BEFORE we are planning on using it. Are you kidding me? I know... I couldn't believe it either. I took a picture.

Well - because our kids are extremely well behaved they didn't touch it after we told them not to. I am still amazed at this lady.

War for Seats:
Saturday evening was spent going out with my parents, sister, brother in-law, Geana, and the kids to Quaker Steak & Lube (quite possibly the best wings/ribs place on earth). My sister and Justin (BIL) went ahead first while we were at Pap's (about a 3 minute drive away). She told them "Morris party of 11" and they gave us a 45 minute wait. Rather than have the kids at the restaurant lobby, we stayed at Pap's for another 25 to 30 minutes... when Melissa called us. The call went something like this:

Melissa - Guess what? Another party of 11 just came in and they told us that they are giving our table to them unless our entire party gets here before their entire party.

Kurt - WHAT!?

M - Yup - they said that's their policy.

K - That's a bullshit policy.

M - They don't seem to be budging on it, though. You guys should haul ass and get here ASAP.

K - Well - my policy is to keep my kids confined as long as possible in order to save their vestibule from the wrath of four year old quadruplets - but that's fine.... it's on now. We're on our way.

We loaded the kids up as fast as we could - sans coats, gloves, hats, etc... there just wasn't time. So we jumped into the van and hi-tailed it over to The Quaker Steak.

About three minutes later we pull into the parking lot and unload into the lobby. We didn't make it. Our table was gone. Our solution - as we sat there in the lobby at 7pm went something like this:

Kurt: "Hey guys I see presents over there under that Christmas tree. There looks like there is enough for all of you - take a look..."

Quads & Sammy: "AWESOME!"
Chaos ensued. A blur of brightly colored sweaters headed, en mass, to the Christmas tree. Luckily saner heads prevailed and stepped into the kids' path before they made it over to the quaint tree with the nicely decorated presents underneath. We were seated 5 minutes later.

Our trip was a blast. We had tons of fun!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pittsburgh Holiday Parade

One may ask themselves, "Self - what might you consider the best part about the Pittsburgh Celebrate the Season Parade?" The answer would be this...

Steely McBeam stealing your kid's horns!

I have to say - Steely McBeam is starting to grow on me. At first I hated him. You know - the Steelers are above all of that stupid mascot/cheerleader crap. Well - my kids liked him so I guess he's doing his job. Especially if he can convince them to root for the Steelers and not the Eagles.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gluttony & Monkeys

We spent Thanksgiving with my family in Pittsburgh and had incredible amounts of turkey, stuffing, beer, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and some other things. The afternoon and evening was spent at my cousin Eric's house. He has a boxer/rotweiler mix who Robby just fell in love with (go figure). The kids were all a bit nervous at first but by the end of the day they were letting him lick their faces and feeding him from the table. His name is Monroe:

After dinner we headed to Melissa's house to crash... which we did successfully. We woke up this morning with nothing planned so we decided to head to Eat 'n Park for breakfast. If you have not experienced the Eat 'n Park breakfast buffet you are missing out on life. Man... I miss E&P and I hope that they, someday, expand east of Harrisburg. All of the kids ate for free and I had unlimited eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, fruit, french toast, waffles... and following Thanksgiving Dinner - I probably weigh an extra 10 pounds...

Then we headed off to the Pittsburgh Zoo with Aunt Melissa and Uncle Justin. BTW - I've been to Pittsburgh twice in the past several months and last time we went to the Children's Museum for free on our reciprical membership to the Garden State Discovery Museum - and today we went to the PGH Zoo for free b/c of our membership to the Philly Zoo. I love it! Anyway there were some cute baby elephants that the kids liked to watch and the polar bears were putting on a show for us today.

I'm sure you all find this enthralling - I'm just trying to get back into the habit of writing more regularly... and if you don't like what I'm writing about... click away from this page...

until next time!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Family Update!

Yeah - I'm a slacker... what are you gonna do?

Anyway - we are back into our house. We have a new kitchen, new hardwood floors, a new laundry room, and 5 healthy kids! We couldn't be happier (except that our counter top & kitchen sink has not been installed, yet.) We've been eating a lot of Chinese food and pizza in the past couple of weeks and are in desperate need of innovative ideas of what to eat that doesn't involve extensive amounts cooking, cleaning, or washing dishes. Any ideas would be appreciated...

Thank you everyone for all of your thoughts and prayers for our family while we dealt with all of this crap for the past few months. Life is moving forward, now... so GET OUT OF OUR WAY!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Back To School... and Other Stuff

We headed back to school a couple of weeks ago and nobody has died... yet.

In some ways, the kids going back to school is great. You know - they are growing up, they are out of the house, they are investing in their future. Blah blah blah... However - while starting school we have, occasionally, come across issues that seemed insurmountable. We came across things that, at first, were potentially catastrophic and could cause the earth (our portion of it) to spin out of control. But as all things in life - these issues seem to resolve themselves as time moves on. Issues like, "What am I supposed to do when I'm sitting in class and I have to go pee - and I'm wearing this new fangled belt?!?" (You'll be glad to know that we've now navigated the belt after a month's worth of practice and can actually get to the potty, unbuckle, unsnap, unip, pull down, and pee in record time - if necessary. We try not to show off.)

You see - life goes on. As you embark on new journeys and portions of your life, it only takes one potential leak in your pants to create the determination needed to master getting that belt off, unzipping... all of it. You roll with the punches and learn how to dodge and weave to make life easier to swallow.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

STILL Better...

Monday, September 01, 2008

Looking Back

If you look REALLY close - you can see the look of shear terror in our eyes...

I spent the evening pulling our pictures off of the computer and external HD that were in the fire. I'm just afraid that the insides are going to give on them at some point because of the smoke damage. This was one of many nuggets of joy that I found in my work.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hello to the Fam!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

All Better... kinda!

Sammy is back to his old self again (just about). He just got back from a trip to the mountains with Geana and some of her friends. This was a picture of him out on a kayak on the lake. There is plenty of fun stuff that he can do while he's still letting his head heal. Kayaking is one of those things. He's also signed up for Cross-Country. We figure running is okay. Hopefully no kids will whack him in the head with a baton or something in some relay race. It's going to be some time before he can play things like soccer, football, baseball, hockey... so for now being a track star will have to suffice. The olympics help. He's starting to learn to live with the limitations, which is good. Also - this will allow him to experience other things that he may not have had the opportunity to do otherwise... yeah right.

He said a funny (is that the right word... probably not) thing to Geana yesterday. After his Cross-Country practice a group of the kids were playing a pick-up soccer game. Of course, Sammy couldn't participate. He turned to Geana and said, "Mom - I'm disappointed in you. If you hadn't signed me up for golf camp - I wouldn't have gotten hurt and had to have surgery. Then I'd still be able to do fun stuff."

I think this is harder on us than it is on him, sometimes. BUT HE GOT TO KAYAK!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Beer Post

In case you couldn't tell - I'm getting prepared for football season. It's gonna be here before you know it and this accessory is a must have. I can't wait to show up at my buddies house to watch the game with this contraption. I will never lose my seat because I had to get up and get a beer. Now only if they sold it in conjunction with this.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

When Dad's Left Alone

When Dad's left alone... this is what we wear!


I'm finding myself all alone with the quadruplets this weekend. Geana is in the mountains with some of her friends and Sammy, my parents are in da 'burgh, and I am left here with the quads. Hmm... so many options of stuff to do - we just need to settle on one.

So far we've spent our morning watching the Music HD channel and dancing to the music videos. I think the girls could do this all day but the boys are getting a bit restless. We just took our picture - that killed another 2 minutes.

The way I see it we have several options. They are.

1. Pool - but I don't really feel like going there today. I don't know where bathing suits are and getting towels together may prove difficult. I'm all out of sorts because I'm not 100% sure where all of our stuff is at this point. Pool is out. We need something easier.

2. Chuck E. Cheese - to my dismay, this will probably be where we end up. Chuck's is always an easy option.

3. Mall - we could go to the mall but the kid's just finished their birthday and have plenty of toys. Plus - we don't have much space to put them. (But Daddy could get a new cell phone - and that doesn't take up much space in the house).

4. Church - HA! Not by myself with four kids... never.

5. Derwyn House - nothing says FUN like playing in a charred up basement and smoke filled house. Yipeee! no thanks.

The moral of the story is - what is there to do on Sunday afternoons? I wish there was some sort of overwhelmingly popular sport that played games on Sundays at, say, 1pm, 4pm, and 8pm that the kids and I could watch together. That'd be great! Fun for the whole family... It's only a matter of time.

Regardless - we're going to be wearing our Steelers jersey's today... just to get ready for the season.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Heart Breaking

This picture was taken of Sammy while he was recovering in the hospital. I've looked at it everyday - just to remind myself how lucky we are and how close we were to losing him. He looks 200% better, now. I'll post a more recent picture of him soon.

We had a little party on Wednesday for Geana's and the kids' birthday. Sammy was running around, happier than clam in shit (or however that goes). I'd say he's back to his old self.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Anyone? Anyone?

Leave a comment if your house caught fire with a set of quadruplets inside on the same day that your other kid had brain surgery!

It could be worse... I could've lived here...

Huge Propane Tank Explosion and Shockwave - Watch more free videos

Monday, August 11, 2008


As I was sitting on my front step, looking out at the vast landscape of trash that stretched before me, I realized that I don't really give a crap about any of my stuff. In fact, I loathe my stuff. I am so happy to be trashing all of the junk that lives in the corners of my house. In fact - I hope it catches on fire again while it is on the curb waiting for the trash men to pick it up - that's how much I hate my stuff.

I often dream of living in a minimalist house where all we have is a hot plate, a small fridge, and a tv with the MLB package... oh... and my laptop... and a recliner... and maybe some nice speakers. And my ipod. See - this is how it starts, the accumulation of junk. Who needs this stuff? I certainly don't. I have five kids who are all alive.

They entertain me with their antics. Like today - Robby slammed his head on the dining room table while he was running away from Mommy for something he did. The day that Sammy got home from the hospital he was hanging - HEAD FIRST - off of the back of the couch. James got new Spiderman glasses today and was so excited to tell me all about them. Anna and Ella have become princesses and won't wear anything to bed except for night gowns.

Who needs stuff? I've got kids!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Haven't We Suffered Enough?

Last night Sammy and I went to watch the Pirates play the Phillies. I feel obligated to report that The Pirates looked like crap, Snell was inconsistent as usual, and the offense couldn't muster any sustainable production against Brett Myers. The game could've easilybeen a blow out instead of a close game.

Sammy had fun, though. We actually were given the tickets by Chris's (the babysitter who saved our kid's lives) son. He won the tickets at their block party and gave them to Sammy and me because he knows that I am a Pirates fan and that Sammy roots for the Phils.

Sammy had a blast, especially because we sat right behind Rhyno, the TNA professional wrestler. Sammy has never watched a day of wrestling in his life, but we may have to add that to our TIVO recordings, now. The kid had a bit of trouble seeing the action whilesitting behind this guy:

The guy was HUGE!

Life is moving forward here at my parent's house. We're off to eat some breakfast... until next time....

Friday, August 08, 2008

Back to Work, House News, and The Beach

Yesterday was my first day back in the office. As expected - I didn't get much done because everyone wanted to hear about our family's adventures in brain surgery and a house fire. It's nice to work at a place where so many of the people have genuine concern and are interested in our family.

Well finally, at about 2pm, I was able to sit down and go through me e-mails. This was probably the most touching part of my day. I had been monitoring my e-mail by blackberry while I was out of the office but this moment gave me the opportunity to re-read and sift through all of the e-mails from friends, family, co-workers, church members, etc. wishing us luck and sending us their thoughts and prayers. It was nice to revisit such an outpouring of love and support. We were offered everything from a new washer, to babysitters, to food, to toys... Unfortunately, we don't have any room for "stuff" right now. My parents house is big, but we can't really put lots of additional stuff in there and our house is in the process of being emptied so that they can clean it out.

Speaking of the house - I was able to meet with the general contractor and insurance guy for a number of hours on Wednesday. It's looking like they are going to have to replace the AC unit and all of the pipes that deliver the air to the rooms in the house (we don't have duct work so it is a high pressure, piping system). They are also going to have to replace the electrical panel and all of the wiring because it got wet by the fire hoses. Those two things, along with the living room and dining room floors getting refinished are the main things in the house that they're going to have to fix. I've been meaning to take a picture of some of the stuff in the house and post it here. I'll do that in the next several days. The appliances in the basement that will have to be replaced are 2 washers, 2 dryers, an oven, and a freezer. We're hoping that our kitchen refrigerator comes out of this alive, but it was at the top of the basement steps and has a lot of black soot on it.

Geana has been at the beach with the kiddos for the past couple of days. We felt it was important to give them a little bit of a vacation after all that they've been through. Sammy can't do much, but it's better to not do much at the beach than at home is my thinking. If you are living out of a suitcase, why not do it near an ocean. It also gives my parents some time without kids at home to decompress a bit. That being said - they are coming home tomorrow and I'm super excited because I miss the kids terribly. I can't wait to see them!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Throwing Away Clothes and Other Joys

Today Geana and I went to the house and cleaned out our bedroom. We had about 15 bags of trash to take away. The funny thing is that, all of it, is just stuff that we've been wanting to throw away for years. (Mostly Geana's old clothes.) We went through the ENTIRE room and purged anything that we haven't worn or used in the past 6 months. I got rid of some old work clothes that I will never wear again and lots of sweatshirts and things that I have not worn in years.

The one good thing was some of the other stuff we found. When we moved into our house we had two boxes of "junk that we wanted to keep" from our old master bedroom. Those boxes contained some really cool things. I saw old pictures of Sammy from before the quads were born. I found some new born pictures of the quads from the NICU. It was a lot of fun to take a look at that old stuff.

The two most touching things that I found were a letter from my Dad and a book from my Mom. The letter from my Dad was given to me when I married Geana and the book was given to me when I graduated from High School (I think) from my mother. It's funny because, here I am moving back into their home, and one of the first things I find in our house are these letters from them talking about me embarking new journeys in my life. It wasn't said in these exact words, but reading between the lines you can see that they were telling me to embrace the journey that I'm starting, and also wanted me to remember that they will always be there to support, love, and take care of me - if I ever needed it. Well this week they sure have supported, loved and taken care of me and my family more than I can ever remember. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Monday, August 04, 2008


I have not written in awhile and I apologize to my avid fans. I'm coming back now - in full force - I promise. I actually have a legitimate reason to post everyday now and provide updates on our family. (big breath) Here we go...

On Wednesday of last week Sammy was clocked in the head with a golf club while he was at golf camp. Some kid wasn't listening and got Sammy right in the head with his back swing as Sammy was reaching for a ball. The instructor called home and told Geana what had happened and suggested that Geana pick him up. She did. He came home and was a little groggy and complained that his head hurt. He laid around for most of the day but he did some things like walk to the mailbox down the street to mail a letter, and play with his brothers and sisters. All in all, he seemed in good spirits all day (considering he had gotten whacked in the head). At around 5pm he was still complaining that it hurt, which prompted Geana to call his pediatrician. They told her that if she was worried she should take him to the ER. I walked in the door at 6pm and Sammy was saying that he was going to throw-up. Geana took him to Bryn Mawr Hospital, accompanied by a tupperware bowl, while I fed the kids and put them to bed.

Shortly after the kids fell asleep, Geana called me at home and said in the most upbeat voice she could muster (as to not upset Sam the man), "Well - Sammy and I are going to get to take a ride in an ambulance to duPont Hospital in Wilmington. How exciting is that!? The Dr. said that he has a skull fracture and that he has some bleeding in his brain." My response was a little less subdued and went something like this, "HOLY SHIT - WHAT? ARE YOU SERIOUS... WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? HOLY SHIT - WHAT? ARE YOU SERIOUS... WHAT DOES THIS MEAN ? HOLY SHIT - WHAT?..."

I called my parents and had my mom come over to watch the kids. Bridget (our 17 year old babysitter) had stopped by as well b/c at first I was having trouble getting a hold of my Mom and Dad. Anyway - she stayed there while my Mom drove me to Bryn Mawr hospital to get the car. Then I headed down to Wilmington and my Mom went home to watch the quads. I don't think I'd ever driven that fast on 95 in my life. I made it there in about a half an hour.

After I arrived at the hospital, they asked me to fill out the paperwork in the ER before going back to see Sammy. Ironically enough "I Had a Bad Day" was playing on the radio. I asked the nurse if they had it on a loop, like some kind of hospital theme song. She felt bad and turned it off. I was just trying to be funny... I guess most people don't make jokes in the Children's Hospital ER... go figure. After filling out the paperwork, I headed back to the ER where there were about a zillion doctors surrounding Sammy. When he saw me he started crying. I could tell he was really scared. I learned at that point that the bleeding wasn't that bad and that they thought he had only cut a vein as opposed to an artery... or so they thought. The plan was to keep him overnight and give him another CT scan in the morning to determine that the bleeding hadn't grown in size.

The Thursday morning's CT revealed a tad bit more bleeding so they wanted to keep him another night just to be sure. It could've been the way the picture was taken or maybe the vein hadn't quite clotted yet.

Friday's CT Scan was another story. The bleeding had grown in size. We didn't know what this meant b/c the Neuro doc was still on his way from Vorhees and no other doctor would commit to telling us what it meant - saying that Neuro would have to decide. Finally - at about 4pm we talked to the Neuro surgeon's P.A. who told us that the bleeding had grown by 20% and that they needed to perform a type of brain surgery called a craniotomy to relieve the pressure. Basically what happens is that the head has room to hold only so much extra fluid (blood) and once it's absorbed it's max, then pressure starts building on the brain which could cause brain damage and even death. Sammy had what is called an Epidural Hematoma, which is when the artery is cut and does not stop bleeding, causing blood to fill his head around his brain. If you check out the wiki link, you'll see that 15 - 20% of these cases result in death, which scared the freakin' crap out of me but I kept my mouth shut to Geana until Sammy was in surgery having the pressure removed.

Sammy came out of surgery and said, "Mom - this is the worst thing that's ever happened to me in my entire life." OUR LITTLE GUY IS THINKING!! This was a wonderful thing for him to say because it showed us that he was going to be alright. Yay!

I went into the waiting room for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and told everyone the good news. Everyone took a turn coming back to see him and we all breathed a collective sigh of relief. For the first time in a few days, we were able to relax and know that the kid was going to be okay. We made arrangements to have the girls accompany Geana's sister to the beach and to have the boys stay with my parents until Sammy came home (and then maybe even a few extra days). We were out of the woods!!

I decided to head home and get some clothes and toiletries for Geana and I. Then I was going to come back and stay at the hospital with Sammy and Geana for the night. Sammy's old babysitter, Chris, was at our house and she was willing to stay as long as we needed her to. As I'm cruisin' down 95, finally feeling a bit of relief, my mother calls. "I don't want to alarm you - and everyone is alright - but your house is on fire. Chris and the kids are at Rhonda and Sandra's house across the street." I had a brief conversation with her but I don't remember much of it. I hadn't slept Wed. or Thur. night b/c I was on a wooden rocking chair so it's all pretty much a blur at this point. I sped up 95 (only slightly slower than on Wed. night when I drove down there) to get to my house with five fire trucks outside and 2 ambulances (that I saw). They weren't letting traffic up the street b/c of the fire. I told the policeman that it was my house so he let me up the street and I parked about a half a block away. I ran like the wind (and I don't often run) to Rhonda and Sandra's house where the kids were, indeed, all safe. I walked in and they were all SUPER excited to see me. I gave them all a hug and kissed their little faces more than I ever have. It was then that I got the story from Chris and Rosemarie and all the other's at the scene.

Turns out that the freezer in the basement had been on top of the wire and had frayed it enough that the wire was meeting the metal part of the freezer. That must've caused a spark which lit the fire. Rosemarie (Geana's sister) was at the house because of Sammy's surgery. She was just heading home to pack for the vacation when the fire ignited. All of my kids were in bed. Roe and Chris had heard a faint beeping. Both thought it was some sort of video game that the kids were playing. Kelly (8 - Chris's daughter) and Justin (5 - Roe's son) were still awake. They realized that the beeping wasn't coming from a toy, but from the basement. Roe opened the door to be engulfed by flames and smoke. She quickly shut the door and screamed FIRE and called 911. They got Kelly and Justin out and then went to grab the quads. Chris got Anna and Ella and Roe grabbed Robby and James. Before you knew it - they were all across the street, safe, and in Rhonda and Sandra's house. The fire dept. was there shortly thereafter and were visibly concerned b/c the 911 call said that 6 kids were in the house ages 8 and under. When they got there Chris told them that the kids were all safe and the fire dudes went about their business, breaking our windows and soaking our basement to put out the flames.

I'd like to take a minute here to say THANK YOU to the two women who saved my kids' lives. The only reason they were at our house, in the first place, was out of their love for Sammy and their want to help us out in a difficult situation. Then they saved my other 4 children's lives. I will never be able to thank them enough.

We're going to be out of the house until November, they say. Most of the damage is smoke damage, rather than actual fire damage. Who knows how much they will be able to salvage. We'll just have to wait and see. The bottom line is that all of our kids are safe and alive and I don't give two shits about the other stuff. At the end of the day - it's just stuff. I have five wonderful kids who are alive, coherent, and NOT in the hospital.

Sammy came "home" today and has been a bundle of joy. (We'll be staying with my parents for the next three months.) One of Sammy's friends came over today with his brother and sister (they are twins - the quads age) and you could see him light right up. It was really cute, actually. He had a blast telling people that he had brain surgery and lived to tell about it. And just as he's done telling about his adventures, Robby, Ella, James, & Anna chime in about the fire and smoke that they were carried out of. They followed the evacuation plan and, they too, lived to tell about it. August 1, 2008 will be a day that will forever be remembered as one of the worst days of my life, no doubt, - but at the same time... it was one of the best because I have all of my kids and I appreciate them that much more.

How many people get to say this, "Yeah - 3 hours after my son's emergency brain surgery, my house went up in flames with my quadruplets inside."

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Sammy graduated from Kindergarten yesterday. It was one of those proud moments that you have as a father. One of those few experiences that reaches the pinnacle of admiration and pride that you have in your child. You will only experience these moments a handful of times in your child's lifetime.

I asked Sammy what his favorite part of Kindergarten was, now that it is over. The conversation went something like this:

ME: Sam - what was the best part of Kindergarten.

SAMMY: I don't know.

ME: Come on - you had to have liked one thing more than anything else.

SAMMY: I guess.

ME: What is it?? What was your favorite thing?

SAMMY: Um.... the chicks.

ME: .... (silence)

SAMMY: They were cute, but when they got too old Mrs. Huff sent them away.

ME: (more silence)

SAMMY: I'm think I'm gonna try to get one of my own when I get older. Do you think we could do that? Is there a chick store? And when it gets too old we can send it away and get another one... pleeeeease?

ME: Talk to your mother.

Monday, June 02, 2008

My Birthday Day

I started the day off yesterday by taking about 20 to 25 bags to a center for single mom's. They were so thrilled. It took forever to unload everything.

Lady: "This is, by far, the biggest donation we've ever gotten."

Me: "Well - I have a lot of kids."

That made my day, regardless of whatever else happened throughout the day. But I have to say - the rest of the day was pretty good, too. We decided to NOT go to the pool and instead to have my parents and Geana's family over for a BBQ. I stayed outside for most of the day just playing with the kids and having a blast in the backyard. They were all pretty good because they understood that it was my birthday and were trying their hardest to be good for Daddy.

Perhaps the funniest part of the day was Robby going in and out of the house. He doesn't really like to have on a wet bathing suit so everytime he came inside, he'd drop trou and change back into his underpants and shorts. Then when he went outside he'd put the wet suit on again and trapse out to the backyard. This had to have happened about 4 or 5 times throughout the afternoon. And I have to say - I can't really blame him. I don't like wet bathing suits either.

Ok - I'm outta here. Thanks for stoppin' by!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Go Away already!

I'm watching the Stanley Cup finals and the Flyers are continuing to irritate me.

At the beginning of each period there is a banner that comes across the bottom of the screen, urging me to purchase Flyers season tickets for the '08-'09 season. What irritates me the most is that the game is taken out of HD in order to put up these adds. AND - the banner takes up a good portion of the screen so you miss some action. Answer me this - are Flyers fans even watching these games? I don't think so. The several that I socialize with are not watching because they are constantly reminded that they are losers when they turn on the game. The only reason they watched games 2 and 3 was to see if the Pens would actually score a goal this series. Which gives me this thought - could you imagine the Flyers playing against this Detroit team? That's kind of like me playing "king of the hill" with the quads today. Sure they tried to get up onto the couch - but my immense strength and sharp intellect denied any strategies they might have employed.

Anyway - the Pens are down 2-1 and they have to score 2 goals to win this game... it's gonna be tough...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

All Growed Up

Last night we got rid of the kids climber that they've played with since they were wee tots.

We replaced the climber with one of those new fangled computer thangs and some of 'dem readin' books.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lesson Learned

Sammy was rooting for the Flyers during this year's Eastern Conference Finals. THE FLYERS!!

I know.

I'm ashamed.

I'm not quite sure how this happened. Perhaps it is karma for the several years that I claimed to be a Brown's fan in my rebellious preteen years, maybe it is because Sammy was actually born and raised in Philadelphia and not in Pittsburgh, I just don't know...

What I do know is that an important lesson was learned by Sammy yesterday. Don't EVER - and I mean EVER - root for a Philadelphia sports team and expect to win it all.

Say what you will about the ineptness of the current Pirates, or that Pittsburgh doesn't have an NBA team - but the success of the city's sports teams is really unbelievable. 5 Superbowls, 2 Stanley Cups, 5 World Series Championships. By contrast Philadelphia CAN NOT WIN WHEN IT COUNTS. I've seen it in the Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, and now the Flyers in my 10 years in the city. It's uncanny - really.

Sammy: When you are reading these words years from now, please know that I encouraged you to root for teams from 'da 'burgh. It was your own choice to explore the path of being a "Philadelphia Sports Fan." We all make decisions in our lives that we must be held accountable for (and we may later regret). Today, little man, you know how it feels to root for a Philadelphia sports franchise. I'm sorry for you. I didn't wish this on you. It was a choice that you made on your own. If you ever wish to rejoin the legions of Pittsburgh fans, you'll always have a home here.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fathers, Sons, & Baseball...

Today Sammy had a little league game. He went 2 for 2 against the pitching machine today... talk about awesome! Just last year he had only one hit against the machine. Today, on the first day against the machine, he doubled the total. He also had 2 outstanding grabs in the field. All around, he had a great game.

I took some video before, after, and in between innings which I hope to post soon. I couldn't tape during the game because I had to work the pitching machine. (Perhaps the highlight of my season so far.)

I meant to ask this question last week but it slipped my mind. Was it wrong for me to wear my "Yankees Suck" t-shirt to Sammy's Little League game? Was it even more wrong that we were playing the Yankees the week that I wore it? I didn't think so...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

March of Dimes

Just an update for all of you faithful readers who helped us to raise over $3800 for the March of Dimes:

We raised the 2nd highest amount of all of the Family Teams in Philadelphia. Thank you very much!

It's kinda small but if you look very closely you'll see Morrisquads listed 2nd in the bottom center section of the Family Teams Newsletter:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Comparison of Criminal Activity in Pittsburgh and in Philadelphia

Article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer

Article in today's Pittsburgh Post Gazette

We Work Hard for the Money

I took the kids to the mall today to buy mommy's Mother's Day present. I know... I put stuff off. Anyway - as we were standing by the fountain, throwing our change into the pool, some dude comes up to me with a clip board and says, "Yo - you wanna make $20 per kid, cash." Usually I'm very adept at ignoring people at the mall, but this peaked my curiosity.

Me: How?

Dude: I work for a child research company and we need children between ages 3 1/2 years and 4 years old. Do they fit the criteria?

Me: As a matter of fact, they do. What would they have to do?

Dude: Just play with a lighter for a few minutes to see if they can figure out the child safety lock.

Me: (doing the math and weighing that against my parenting morals) $80? Really? Just to play with a lighter for a few minutes?

Dude: Yeah - but the lighters don't have butane in them and can't light. We just need to see if they can make it click.

Me: Dude - sign us up. Where do we go?

We proceeded to follow the dude upstairs to this little Research Center in the mall. Did anyone else know that these places existed?? I could quit my job at this rate! We went in, the kids sat down at a little table and the dude doled out the lighters while I filled out some paperwork. By the time I was done filling in all of the forms, they were handing me $80 and none of the kids were able to make the lighter work.

Woo hoo! Off to the Toy Store!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Collect 'em All

I'm not ashamed... the kids and I are collecting all of the American Idol Dolls from McDonald's. That's right... no shame!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Mall in Philadelphia

I took the boys to the mall today in an attempt to purchase some Penguin's gear. I'm not sure why I put myself through these things.

For you new readers - I live in Philadelphia, the home of the Philadelphia Flyers who will be playing the Pens in the upcoming Eastern Conference Championship. Philadelphia sports fans have been known to have a little... mmm... how should I put it... chip on their shoulder. I prefer to call them trashy, unintelligent, fanatics who have no real knowledge of the teams that the follow or the games that they watch... but that may be a slight generalization.

Anyway - while I'm standing in line with my gear some jagoff says to me, "I wouldn't dress your kids in those clothes if you want them to live." I responded with my normal nod and a smile. But after thinking about it I should have said,

"Yo jagoff... why don't you go dahn to the Orange Julius and pour some of that orange crap all over yourself in the "name of the Philadelphia Flyers." Be sure to yell and scream like someone in the world gives two shits what you think about hockey and then go bitch and moan somewhere about the Eagles inability to put a decent team on the field. When your done doing that - come back here and I'll tell you what it's like to win 5 Super Bowls and 2 Stanley Cups!"

These responses tend to come to me after the fact, though.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Writers Block

After a while of not writing on the blog, it is tough to for me to come up with something concrete to write about.. so I'll just drivel a bit until I come up with something to say...


still nothing...


EUREKA!!! Why don't I give you an update on our toilet! That's always something that people like to hear about.

The kids have recently found a fascination with our powder room toilet. They seem to enjoy stuffing large quantities of toilet paper down there and then keep flushing and flushing and flushing until the water overflows. Talk about a good time. Put the occasional toy down there and you've got hours of enjoyment.

Now mind you - our bathroom is carpeted.... (wait for the disgusting feeling to pass... you are free to read on...) The carpeting came with the house and it wasn't a priority to remove until now. Something about going through a year of potty training with four little ones makes you want to remove the carpet from your bathroom. Go figure.

So we're going to get the bathroom tiled this spring. What a better way to use our "stimulus" check than by giving it to the working class of the US. Seriously - I would recommend for everyone to use their check to improve their home or to have something that requires a trade skill done around your home/office. It's better than buying a computer that is made in China... or clothes that are made in Taiwan. If you do that - you truly are helping the US economy. Time to get off of my soap box and back down on the bathroom floor where I'm continuously cleaning up urine and toilet water...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's Been Awhile

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pirates Rant

My trip to Florida is coming to an end today and I feel that everyone in Pittsburgh should be made aware of one of my experiences down here.

The Pirates ineptness runs much deeper than the players on the field (as if we didn't know). We had tickets to the first night game in McKechnie Field history on Friday night. The game was delayed for 45 minutes because of the THREAT of rain. It was not raining... it just felt like it was GOING to rain... maybe... but maybe not... but maybe... The Pirates management had ZERO plan for the threat of rain.

It's 7:05 - game time - and the tarp is still on the field. Red's players are warming up in the outfield and near the bullpen. It's not raining.

At about 7:30 we got the first notice from the Pirates that the game wasn't going to start on time. They said, "Due to the threat of inclimate weather - the start of this evening's game is going to be delayed." No shit? Really? I kinda figured that out already. The big green tarp tipped me off, but thanks anyway. There were several huddles between Coonelly and Huntington on the field... then they ran up to the offices behind home plate and talked to Lanny Frateri... then they ran back down to the field... then they talked to Dusty Baker... then they talked to the umps... It all seemed as if they were saying, "SOMEBODY TELL US WHAT TO DO!!"

At 8:15 it finally started to rain. About 2 nanoseconds after the first drop they promptly came on the loud speaker and said, "For your viewing pleasure, the fireworks that were scheduled for after the game will be presented to you RIGHT NOW!"


With no hesitation they tried to soothe us with fireworks - it felt just like being in the 'burgh. The problem was that they left us lingering - not knowing if this meant that the game was canceled or if they were just buying some more time. Everyone was talking about this in the stands while Zambelli's explosives lit up the night sky. Nobody was watching the fireworks (the entire first base side of the ballpark could not see the fireworks because of how they were situated).

Following the display (or lack thereof for us) the Pirates came on the loudspeaker and canceled the game. It was about 8:30.

UGH. This was a complete mismanagement by the Pirates brass. I understand they can't control the weather but they needed to communicate and to have a better plan. What they should have done was this...

7:05 - promptly start the game because we know it's going to rain soon.
7:45 - announce that lightning and rain is approaching so we have to buy some time with fireworks. Players leave the field, cover it, and then have the fireworks display. It's over around 8:05.
8:15 - it starts to actually rain for the first time.
8:30 - cancel the game due to extreme wet conditions and lightning (we all know that just a little rain cancels a spring training game and that's acceptable).

This way the fans get to see the starters (the only players that people are interested in anyway) and everyone wins. Players go home early, team makes their money from tickets and concessions, fans see some baseball. I just don't get it. This display of inefficiency, although minor in the grand scheme of team plans, has made me very skeptical of the new management's capabilities of actually managing a professional baseball team.

Also - the Pirates didn't have any lids and straws for their drinks (they claimed it was for the environment - I asked) Nor did they have jalapeno peppers available for on top of the nachos. All other parks had saurkraut next to the ketchup and mustard for on your hot dogs. (Now - this is a new phenomenon that I think is great, but the Bucs were the ONLY club of the 5 places we went to NOT to offer this as a common condiment.) I can't help but feel like these things are not offered by the Pirates in an attempt to cut costs. They are all items that fit into the category of "free stuff that will not impact consumer purchasing". They also fit into the category of "stuff that makes fans like your team and ballpark more than the others and come back again."

Maybe I'm just searching for things - but I don't think so.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Bye Now!

Saturday, March 01, 2008


The reason I've been MIA recently is, in part, due to the fact that Geana had surgery on 2/14 and I've been... kinda busy. She's been in bed since her surgery and her mother has been spending the days at our house, watching the kids and nursing Geana back to health. Geana is slowly but surely coming back to her old self - and today she even ventured out to Sammy's soccer game with the family.

These past few weeks have been pretty humbling to say the least. I used to think that I did a lot around the house, only to realize I don't do nearly as much as I thought I did.

Before the surgery I would come home and give baths, get the kids ready for bed, and clean up after dinner. I would help out with the laundry and help get the kids out the door for school in the morning. I'm not "Super Dad" - just the father of high order multiples and when you are the Dad of quads - you have to do some of this stuff. After the surgery I'm still giving baths, getting the kids ready for bed and cleaning up the kitchen - but I'm also doing ALL of the laundry (including folding and putting it away) getting the kids out to school by myself, doing the grocery shopping, cleaning (really cleaning) the house, and coordinating the kids schedules (albeit with Geana's help from bed). Coordinating the schedules is something that I had ZERO involvement in before this surgery and is an incredibly consuming task.

Geana's mother has been a huge help, as has my mother and various friends from school and the neighborhood. BUT the jury is in - and having Geana laid up really sucks.

What I probably miss the most is sharing moments with her like last week's goal that Sammy scored. Or the kids laughing and screaming in the playroom while we have a tickle fight.

I'd write more - but I'm off to bath time followed by some sleep...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sammy's Goal

Sammy scored his first goal in soccer yesterday. This was quite possibly the coolest thing that has ever happened to me. Him... not so much... but ME - oh yeah!

Before I get going, let's get something straight - while I love sports, I am not one of those crazy parents who pushes his kid to be the absolute best and to win at all costs. I think that having fun and learning how to play team sports is what is the most important thing at this age (or at any age really, unless you are making a living playing professional sports). I have a degree in acting for God's sake - so aggressive athletic dad does not really describe me.

Two weeks ago I saw a noticeable difference in his play at soccer. He seemed to have overcome his primary obstacle - fear of going after the ball. Also his fundamentals of dribbling and stopping the ball seemed to be improving.

On Saturday we were talking about the upcoming game in the car and he told me that he didn't want to play defense today, but rather wanted to play offense. This was odd, because Sammy has verbally voiced his preference for Defense in the past. (Prompting me into my "Defense Wins Championships" speech). But today was different...

As we got out of the car, I reminded him to not be afraid and to be aggressive about getting the ball - when it is in his part of the field.

It seemed to have worked... and Sammy Beckham scored his first goal!

Who knew this parenting thing could be so easy!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Tug of the Heartstrings.

Today the girls went to a party at our favorite birthday party getaway, Jumpers.

What was so thrilling this time was seeing Anna climb to the top of the slides and crawl her way to the deepest innards of this large jungle-gym-type-thing that they have. She kept up with her sister (as well as the other girls at the party) every step of the way and was able to participate in all of the jumping and craziness.

This was especially touching to me because of her recent diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. The docs have all told us that she has a minor case, but none the less, it still gets to ya sometimes. Having the opportunity to see her keeping up with the other kids, physically, was an amazing moment for me.

I guess it is fitting that we're getting ready to assemble our family team for the March of Dimes this year. The March of Dimes is an organization that helps to fund research to eliminate premature births and to treat the conditions that are associated with being born early. Our kids received the best care available and because of that, they are growing up in to healthy and active little people. There is no doubt that The March of Dimes had a direct impact on the lives of our children and we're going to do the best we can to help raise $4000 for the March of Dimes this year, $1000 for each of our kids that was born prematurely. Donate if you can and let us know if you are interested in walking as a part of our family team.

Ok - I'm off of my soap box, now.

Let me know if there are any organizations out there that I can support that fund research for how Dads can avoid wrenching their backs when playing with their daughters at places like Jumpers.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Last night I, literally, curled up next to the fire with a good book. After I put The Plague to bed (what I'm calling all of the kids, these days), I started a fire and sat down and read the 2nd Harry Potter book for about an hour or so.... good stuff!

By the way - if you have not read the Harry Potter series I suggest you start. I'm at the end of the second book and I'm totally hooked. I hear the third one gets darker, but who knows... Honestly - I'm not into magic, mystical, fantasy stuff (other than sports), but I really like the books because they are more than that. They remind me of the frosting on expensive birthday cake. Not really sweet frosting but the frosting that is kind of like air and goes down without any effort at all.

Anyway - not much to say today as I've been engrossed in my reading. Hopefully the kids are better today.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Last night I came home from work late and my mother was there watching the kids. She gave me a brief synopsis of the situation:

1. Anna's got the runs
2. Robby does, too, and he's pooped 5 times in the past 2 hours.
3. Sammy has a fever of 102 and can get tylenol again at 7:30 if he still has a fever.
4. James has been cranky and may be coming down with what everyone else has so watch him closely.
5. Ella seems to be the only one who is doing okay...


Mom leaves and Geana is still at her CCD/St. Andrew's parents get together at the school. Thankfully the kids have already eaten some toast and applesauce for dinner. All I have to do is get them ready for bed and put them up...

About 5 minutes after my Mother leaves, I pop my dinner into the microwave to heat it up. Just then - Robby says he has to poop. I rush him into the bathroom and set him on the pot. I take this opportunity to ask him if he's feeling okay and ask him to tell me what has happened today. Well - he bursts into the saddest tears I have ever seen and just says, "I've had a bad day!" Immediately I go to give him a hug, and as I do, he barfs all over himself and all over me.

The phone rings.

It's Geana's friend whose husband is going to come over right now to fix the bathroom faucet that's been leaking. I kindly tell her that I'm knee deep in puke and that tonight probably isn't the best night. We hang up.

I clean up Robby and myself, brush his teeth, and then James says, "I have to poop." He goes into the bathroom, vomit still on the floor, and poops. IT'S A HARD POOP! Ahhh...

We wipe.

Now I go upstairs to get the kids clothes for bed. When I come back down Sammy is complaining of a headache. I check his temperature. 100 degrees. I give him three chewable children's tylenol pills. He doesn't want to take them. I sit down with him and talk him into taking the pills by telling him that they will make him better. Reluctantly - he takes the pills, but only after I get him a glass of water.

I dress the quads for bed.

Anna has to poop. I put her down... she explodes into the toilet. We wipe.

I carry Anna up to bed. Hug. Kiss. "Get better. Good night." I come back down...

I carry Robby up to bed. Hug. Kiss. "Get better. Good night." I come back down...

I carry James up to bed. Hug. Kiss. "Don't suck your thumb. Good night." I come back down...

I carry Ella up to bed. Hug. Kiss. "Thank you for being normal. Good night." I come back down...

Sammy is now on the couch. I get him dressed for bed.

I carry him up to bed (much more difficult). Hug. Kiss. "Good Night". I come back down....

I clean up the crusty vomit on the carpeted bathroom floor. I put all of the dirty and germy clothes in the basement to be washed.

I finally push START on the microwave to heat my food.

I quickly clean the playroom for 2 minutes while the food heats up.


Ahhh... I wash my hands, remove the food and sit down to enjoy my dinner.

Geana walks in the door, "How was your night?"

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Morris Quad!

Who knew we were a WWII artillery tractor.

Like Crack... only worse.

The kids went to the Dentist yesterday and he told James that he needs to stop sucking his thumb. Needless to say - today has been a pleasure.

Today has consisted of James yelling, screaming, kicking, throwing fits, and taking out his thumb-sucking addiction detox on his brothers and sisters (as well as his parents).

The Doc suggested we put Tabasco Sauce on his thumbs and create a sticker chart. We've done both but the poor kid can't seem to get right. I'm ready for him to break out in a cold sweat and start convulsing and foaming at the mouth. Hopefully it won't get to that point.

Checking our e-mail

Friday, January 25, 2008

Best Dynasty? And A Trip Down Memory Lane

As the big game approaches, there has been a lot of talk about the "Greatest Football Dynasty in The Super Bowl Era". The general consensus is that the Steelers of the 70's, who won 4 in 6 years are the favorite. That team has more Hall of Famers than any other team (including the current Pats). They were the epitome of domination in the NFL and were able to do so without adding necessary pieces via free agency. They were required to draft well, stay healthy, and win... a lot!

That being said - the current Patriots, if they win next week, will have won 4 in 7 years which is comparable to the Steelers (although not as impressive). What they have going for them is that they will also have an undefeated team under their belt who many are calling the greatest team ever (and it is tough to argue that point). They certainly are the best team that I've seen play in any given season.

In today's "immediate" society, where the only thing that we think about is what is currently on tv, The Steelers of the 70's are being forgotten. There is an entire generation of adults who, like me, do not remember the Immaculate Reception or the Joe Green coke commercial. Thank god that you tube has helped us to hold onto the past. When I say "The Emperor" or "The Chief" do you know who I'm talking about?

We only have the stories that have been passed down from generations before us. Hold onto those stories, share them with your kids. But also - share the new stories with your children, too. Be sure to tell them that the Giants are only the second team in history to win 3 playoff games on the road. The first was the Steelers. Be sure to tell them that Chuck Noll and his Steelers were never fined $500,000 and a first round draft pick for cheating. Be sure to tell them that Barry Bonds was indited because he lied to the government about taking steroids.

Ahhh.... the good ole' days!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Monumental Day... seriously!

This weekend marked the first of many monumental days in the life long video game journey of Salvatore Robert Morris aka. Sammy. (Really I'm not sure if it was a monumental for him or for his father).

I purchased NBA 2K8 at Target and brought it home to use as a teaching tool for Sammy to grasp the fundamental concepts of basketball. You know - one team goes this way and the other team goes that way - you pass it to the open guy until he has a good look at the basket and then that guy shoots it in. It's too cold outside and he really gets bored after about 5 to 10 minutes of just one on one so I figured a video game was perfect.

Little did I know that Sammy was ready to take that leap from playing with his leapster to playing with the big boys on the Playstation 2. After about one game, he got the general feel and idea. After that the gloves came off.

He was the Suns and I was the 76ers. Hey - I had to give him SOME advantage. I told myself, "I'm going to actually play and see how he does against real competition." Well - after the first half he was beating me by 4 points. By the end of the third quarter I had cut the lead down to 1. (If Sammy could have gotten the concept of the free throws he would have been up by about 8 or 9. He missed every free throw.)

Then, halfway through the 4th quarter, he got tired and asked to go to bed. It went something like this:

S: Dad - I'm tired. Can I go to bed?

D: Dude - it's the fourth quarter and it's practically tied. You can't cave now!

S: (a little whiny) But I'm tiiiiired.

D: Ok - we'll pick it up tomorrow.

By this time it was past 9pm at night and I could see his eyelids getting heavy. We turned the PS2 off and called it a draw.

Since then he's been asking to play all the time but we haven't really been able to. I showed him how to play against the computer so I'm sure that by the time I get home tonight he'll be ready to take me to school. Tonight I'm going to be the Heat and I'll let him be the home team 76ers. Good luck, Sam!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Secret Decoder Ring

In preparation for the fantasy baseball season, this past Wednesday I ordered Ron Shandler's "Fantasy Forecaster 2008". When you purchase the book right from his website you get special access to all of the stats and charts in .pdf and .xls formats. Mmmmm.... stats.

I was like the kid in "A Christmas Story," waiting for my Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Ring. I was checking my e-mails every half hour at work on Thursday and Friday to no avail. I actually even called their customer service on Friday to see if the order had been processed. At that time I was informed that the e-mails granting access to the online files were sent over night. I came home and turned on my laptop... waiting... waiting... waiting...

I went to bed around 11pm, without receiving the e-mail. When I woke up on Saturday morning, there the files were, in my inbox - with a little bow wrapped around them in the form of a high priority flag.

I sat on the computer for most of the afternoon yesterday pouring over the complicated sabermetric analysis tools, thinking about the upcoming season, and drinking my ovaltine.

31 days until Pitchers & Catchers report.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Hotels & Yankee Tickets!

Dad made the reservations for the hotel today and I bought the tickets for the first game of our spring training season. Astros @ Yankees. Have I mentioned lately that I hate the Yankees?

I logged onto at 10:00am and purchased the tickets. I logged on again at noon (just to see if anything was still available) and the tickets were all sold out. Unbelievable. SPRING TRAINING GAMES!! Not only that - the Yanks tickets are way more expensive than any other team's spring training tickets. Have I mentioned that I hate the Yankees? I guess they have to pay A-Rod somehow.

As a point of reference - I attempted to purchase the cheapest available seats - 200 Level way out by the outfield - $17/ticket. They would only let me buy the $27 tickets on the website - 200 Level behind home plate. There was not an option to buy the $17 seats until all of the other 200 level seats were sold, forcing those of us who are diligent enough to get online first to buy the more expensive seats... I didn't want to wait and try to get the $17 tickets for fear that I miss the window of opportunity and get shut out from getting tickets altogether. I got 4 tickets at $27 a piece (in two different rows).

Pirates' cheapest tickets are $9. I could go to three Pirates games or go to ONE Yankee game.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Bleak Mid-Winter

As the embers in my fireplace burned into the early morning, I poured over statistics in the latest release of Baseball America's 2008 Almanac. It was frigid outside and the bitter wind could be heard whistling in the night air. I smelled the musky smoke and heard the cackle of the fire and realized that we are entering the coldest two months of the year. Two months of coats and hats, gloves and scarves. Two months that are barren of baseball and where Sportscenter features stories on hockey and horseshoes. But, much like the warm fire in the cold arctic air, I had my XM radio. My little electronic device that brings me talk about baseball every day, every minute, and every second of the year - if only I choose to listen.

I fired up the gadget and on this particular night the talk was of Roger Clemens' possible steroid use and of the recent trade of Nick Swisher from the Oakland A's to the Chicago White Sox. Ahhh... the warmth of baseball.

While I listened to the voices talking at me about prospects and performance enhancing drugs, my mind drifted to our upcoming trip to Spring Training. I've gone twice before. The first time it was just Dad and me. The second time, we took Pap along.

Actually - now that I think about it - this will be the fifth "baseball trip" with my father. The first one was in 1988 or 1989 when my father and I drove around the mid-west and took in an Indian's game at old Municipal Stadium, a White Sox game in their brand new Comiskey II, and we tried to tune into Bucco games over the AM radio in our rental car as we drove through the night in far off cities. We took a train back from Chicago and got to ride in a sleeper car, realizing that it was less glamorous than we had expected and much more uncomfortable. Our second trip was more than 10 years later - after my graduation from college. We went to a bunch of parks along the east coast including The Vet, Shea, Yankee Stadium, Fenway, Camden Yards, then we headed west to Wrigley, and Jacob's Field - stopping in Williamsport for the Little League World Series along the way. Our two trips to spring training followed that.

As the years pass, I wish I had a better chronicle of each of our trips. What stands out in my mind the most about our spring training trips was the Bloody Marys that Pap ordered us at a local bar in Tampa, the Mustang convertible that we rented, and the college hoops that we watched in our hotel room each night. It's funny that the baseball games seem to be secondary on these vacations. Ironically, you look forward to the trip thinking about the cold beer and the games that you'll watch and enjoy, but when you come home what you remember most is the time that you spent with your loved ones.

Pitchers and Catchers report in 40 days.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year from the Morris Mummers...

Alone Time

One of the things that I'm realizing I miss a lot about the quads is the opportunity to have short, individual moments with each one. In a way - because there are so many of them - we miss a lot of their individual moments and realizations simply because we are trying to spend time with each of them. For example - Ella peed in her bed last night and came running into our room - all wet. I cleaned her up, pulled off her pajamas, threw one of my t-shirts onto her and brought her into bed with us. She's so small and cute. As we were laying in bed, she kept putting her little arm around me to give me a hug. (We never fell asleep because of Mommy's snoring).

On the other hand, I'm sitting in the playroom with Robby and James and we're playing with our computers. They with their toy laptops and me with my real one. They are talking with one another and having entire conversations and interactions. People with just one kid (or with kids at different ages) miss out on this unique aspect of having multiples. Here was a conversation that was just had about the toy computers and the toy kitchen in the playroom:

R: Maybe the laptop can fit in the dishwasher.
J: Don't put it in the dishwasher.
R: Why?
J: Because.
R: Go play with your digger.
J: Ok.
J (to Daddy): Robby's putting the laptop in the dishwasher and I think it should go in the refrigerator.

It's a delicate balance that we try to achieve around here. Having special one on one moments and then encouraging them to interact with each other and play together.

Fun times.