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.