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."