Thursday, December 31, 2009

Whoa Neti!

So I tried the Neti Pot today and let me tell you - it's AMAZING. It's also 100% natural and non-addictive, as far as I can tell.

Ok - so I'm about to share a story of addiction with all of you. It's a sad story... yes... and one that I am certainly not proud of. In years prior, in the annals my dark past, I have been addicted to Afrin... several times. Yes I know... it's not something I'm proud of but I need to get this off of my chest. I need to be honest and up front to all of you so that you know who the real man is that has been writing to you about his kids. Look - I have nothing to hide. I'm no longer ashamed. I remember in college, my roommates had an intervention and gathered up the 11 or so half filled Afrin bottles that I had strewn about my bedroom - then watched me for 48 hours straight to ensure that I didn't run to the drug store and that I was properly weened off of the stuff. It was a long 48 hours, but I made it through and I am a better person for it. (Cold sweats aside).

For those of you who have not used Afrin, let me tell you a little bit about this amazing invention. It is the wonder drug. Seriously. If there were one drug on this planet, Afrin would by my drug of choice. Not penicillin, not aspirin, nor morphine... nope... FREAKIN' AFRIN! You stick the bottle in your nose, gently squeeze the plastic base, and the pungent mist fills your sinuses and opens them so wide that you can drive a truck through them... and also breathe again... INSTANTLY! There is no taking a pill and waiting 30 minutes for it to kick in. It is instant satisfaction. And it lasts for hours.

The problem is you can become dependant on the stuff to breathe - or so I have heard. :) Prolonged use can also make you prone to sinus infections. And that's where I stand today. See - I fell off of the wagon again and started using Afrin earlier this cold and flu season. It is not a daily habit, but I've been using, on occasion, when I find it difficult to breathe. Well - now I have a sinus infection to show for it and the entire right side of my face feels like I got smacked with a ham.

That's when I found THE NETI POT!

I went into the medicine cabinet, looking for some Sudafed and Ibuprofen, and I came across this little box that had a picture of a lovely woman pouring something into her nose. I thought, "Hey - I'll give that a whirl!" (Immediatly followed by the thought, "Holy shit I have to take a picture of me doing this!") Well - I used it and it has saved my life. I've used it several times in the past few days and it seems to work wonders. My face isn't hurting as much any more, and I couldn't even tell you where the Afrin is right now (but I could find it if I really tried.)

Really - this whole post was just an excuse to post the picture of me using the Neti Pot... my sad and murky trials and tribulations with Afrin addiction aside. I also came across the picture below while writing this post and thought I'd share it with all of you in case you find yourself facing Afrin addiction issue and not having the blessing of 3 jackass room-mates who want to bust your balls to get you back on track.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Throw Back

Yesterday the Morris clan headed into town with Grandma, Grandpap, Aunt Melissa, and Uncle Justin to go to the Wanamaker Building Christmas Light Show in Center City, a Philadelphia tradition for many - I'm sure. We had contemplated taking the trolley and subway into town but decided to take the van rather than venture through West Philly. That adventure will have to come at another time...

I felt like we were living in "A Christmas Story" or something. It was like we traveled back in time to a place where large suburban shopping malls and online purchases didn't exist. We pulled into the parking lot, parked our behemoth, and bundled up for the chilly walk across Market Street from the parking lot into the store. The kids spilled out of the van and were immediately in awe of the skyscrapers towering over them. I guess since I work in town, these buildings have become normal and commonplace to me - but for the kids they are utterly spectacular. The kids rarely get to come into town and when they do - they have the time of their lives, it seems. Seeing the awe in their eyes and the amazement at something so large, took me back to when I was a kid and walking the streets of Pittsburgh with my parents for a play we were going to see or a ballgame we were getting ready to attend.


We went into the Wanamaker Building and secured a spot on the third floor balcony where we could look over the sprawling department store below. The show happens every hour so we had to sit still for about 30 minutes before the show started. I have to say - the kids were angels... ish... but they were good enough. The show started and large organ started to play in the store. The sound engulfed the entire store and the kids were hooked. We watched the light show, which actually is kinda plain and boring, but the kids thought it was the coolest.


After our trip back in time to The Wanamaker Building we continued along the 1920's or 1930's path and headed over to Maggiano's for lunch. Dude - I've never eaten so much food in my life. There were 11 of us, eating family style Italian food, and it just kept coming and coming. Fried Zucchini... Fried Mozzarella... Salad... Gnocchis... Chicken Pesto... Salmon... Chicken Marsala... Tiramisu... Creme Brule... Wine... Bread... mmmmm. Those bags you see us carrying below are not things we purchased in Macy's, no, they are the leftovers from lunch. Five bags full.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Christmas Peek

Here is a quick 2 minute videocast peek into the crazy Christmas morning here at Casa de Morris! I hope everyone had a Happy Christmas!



If you are interested in getting automatic updates for our videocast, click here to subscribe in itunes!

...or here for our rss feed.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yes, Sammy, There Is A Santa Claus


I found this old article from the New York Sun (I've pasted the actual text below) and it made me start thinking about Sammy... this is probably the last year that he'll believe, unquestioning, about the magic of Santa Claus. You see - he's 7 this year and will turn 8 in July. I remember being a young child and it was about this time that some of the "cooler and smarter" kids at school started talking about Santa Claus being "fake" or "not real." I didn't know what to believe, but I certainly started asking the questions at this time... and eventually, as with all of us, my questioning was justified.

Well - as we cross this threshold of life, I just wanted to take a moment to think about the power of Christmas for little children and how magical it is to them. At some point, for me, all of this disappeared and Christmas became about getting everything done, or making sure we had enough money to buy all of the necessary gifts. It became something, most certainly, unmagical. (Is that a word - spell check says no.) Anyway - I urge everyone to take a moment, read the writing from 1897 that is below, and think about the magic in our life this Christmas. While we may know the truth about Santa, the magic is NOT gone. Think about the magic of love, the magic of children, the magic of togetherness... and don't forget that magic can exist in life - even if it isn't fat and wearing a red suit.

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
The New York Sun - 1897

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
- Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Random Thoughts and Child Locators


RANDOM THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
A very good friend of mine, whose wife is expecting their first child, joyously pointed out to me the other day that, because I have so many children, I have a very slim chance of dying alone. Thanks Joe and Merry Christmas to you and yours. :-)

Onto today's post - the picture that is above goes into the files at the Morris House as the "money shot." It gets this label for several reasons:

1. They are all wearing coordinating clothing.
2. They still are in the "super cute kid" age range (2-8)
3. They are all smiling and genuinely look like they get along (we know better).

The reason I bring this up today is because we recently submitted this photo to Brickhouse Security in an attempt to win one of their Child Locator products. We found out yesterday that we won and will be receiving the child locator in the mail in the next couple of days. I can't wait to try it out - but even more... I'm hoping that it creates some fun stories for me to share with the world. Here's hopin'...

UPDATE:
I'd like to see this set of quadruplets' "money shot."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

War... What Is It Good For?

Immediately following a wonderful weekend in Harrisburg with Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and Siblings - we took the kids to the Civil War Museum on our way home from Harrisburg. We went from saying things like, "Christmas is all about family, togetherness, and love." to explaining slavery to 5 year olds.

I'm not sure why I was unprepared for this today but I had some tough conversations with the kids at the museum that were equally as difficult for me (to find the proper words) as it was for the them to grasp the concept, I think. James couldn't understand why a man was in shackles and behind bars if he wasn't a "bad" man. Anna wanted to know what all of those bumps on the black man's back were? Ella was asking questions about how people could be for sale and why a mommy and her son would be sold to different owners. Sammy did the museum created scavenger hunt and Robby really wanted to play with the guns (the picture on the right is of him hiding behind some sandbags to avoid The Confederate attacks). Anyway - the answers to their questions eventually started flowing out of my mouth and I had a real moment of clarity. As I was explaining some of the more shameful pieces of US History to four innocent Kindergarteners, it hit me that the main thing that should be communicated to them is - in our country's past some groups of people were treated really badly because of the color of their skin. And the reason that this museum is here is for us to learn about what happened - so that we can make sure that it never happens again. That ended up being the message of the day for the kids.

It's funny - when we were snowed in and sitting around the fire with our loved ones we appreciated being together and the love that we all felt - when we were learning about the concept of slavery and war - we ended up appreciating it even more.

Anyway - here's a picture of Anna in front of a gun.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Morris Quadruplets Videocast Premiere!

Introducing our latest venture... The Quadcast Videocast. This is our first attempt at a videocast and I'm hoping to return to blogging and sharing our family experiences with you in the upcoming weeks and months! Enjoy and I'll talk to all of you soon!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

2 Points!


Picture this... craziness. Kids are running in the house after a long day. It's 7:30 and they are tired, hungry, and excited to see their Daddy. Nobody is listening, everyone is fighting, and a select few children are actually crying.

Me: Guys... guys... guys...

Anna: Whaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

Sammy: Nooo... stop it! Stop touching me!

Robby: I'm NOT touching you.

Anna: Whaaaa!!!!!

Ella: STOOOOPPP CRRRYYYIIINNNGG!!!

Sammy: Yes you ARE TOUCHING ME!!!

Robby: Na-ah.

James: Hi Dad! I missed you.

Anna: Whaaa!!!

Me: Guys.. seriously - chill out.

Anna: Whaaaa!

Sammy: Daddy - tell Robby to stop touching me!

Robby: I'M NOT TOUCHING YOU!

Sammy: YES YOU ARE!!!

Anna: Whaaaaa!

James: Hi Dad.

Ella: I'm HUNGRY!!

Anna: Whaaaa!

Me: GUYS!

Anna: Whaaa!

Ella: What can I EEEEAAATTT!?!?

Sammy: ROB!

Me: QUIET!!!!!

Anna: Whaaaaaa!!!

James: DADDY - I SAID HELLO.

Anna: Whaaaa!!!!!

Me: Ok - 5 points for anyone who puts their school bag on the hooks.
Then... silence.

They shut-up and jumped into the tasks given to them. My kids are so competitive it's ridiculous. I don't know if this is a good thing or a complex at this point. As soon as I assigned arbitrary "points" to the task they immediately shut-up, focused, and became angels (albeit incredibly competitive and intense angels.) Never mind that the "points" actually mean nothing. This was completely out of the blue. We have no points reward system or anything like that. I just said the word "points" and they instinctively wanted them and did whatever was asked. The rest of the night kinda went like this:

Ok - 2 points to anyone who clears their plates.

1 point for each piece of laundry gets put into the laundry room.

3 points if you go up and get in the tub.

Amazing. I have no idea where they got this competitive nature.... oh - did I tell you that this week (following a year filled with a fantasy baseball league (where I made the semi-finals) and two football leagues) I decided to start a fantasy hockey league even though I know NOTHING about hockey outside of the Pittsburgh Penguins? So yeah - I have no idea where they get it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm Old

For the first time in my life I've decided that sleep is more important to me than staying up and doing stuff. (I know - I'm a 7 year old like that.)

I honestly just caught myself saying - hmm... if I go into the bedroom now I can catch the 11pm news and then fall asleep. What have I become?

I will leave you with two fun pictures - the first is Robby modeling the clothes that Mommy bought at the multiples sale. (Yes - his hair is blue. That's what happens when Daddy takes the boys to get hair cuts.) The second is where I found Robby hiding one afternoon last week - after searching FOREVER with no luck at finding him... and growing a bit concerned.



Monday, September 28, 2009

School... It Kicks Your Butt.

It isn't a coincidence that I have not made a post since the kids started school. I'm exhausted and I feel like I never slow down. Geana's working, all five kids are in school full-time, and I've been getting them ready to go in the morning and putting them to bed at night by myself. I've also been extremely busy at work recently and I even do laundry during football games on Sundays. Needless to say - free time has been scarce.

This being said - I've been taking some notes of our goings on here at Casa de Morrisquads and some of the highlights from the past month are:

1. It took Robby and James about a week to figure out that the teachers at school tell them apart by the glasses on James' face. One day, in the second week of school, as I was unloading them from the van, one of their teachers said to James, "Good Morning Robby." To my astonishment Robby was wearing James' glasses and James wasn't wearing anything. Both boys has big shit-eating grins on their faces. Clearly they thought this was a RIOT! As other cars were pulling up into the car line and kissing their children goodbye - I had to quickly pull mine aside and tell them that this was not acceptable behaviour. To which James said, "Well - what if we just switch our shoes?" "Fine." You've gotta pick your battles in this house.

2. It also took about a week for me to get used to styling the girls hair. We're at the point now where I feel like I can brush their hair and not have them look like they've been on a 12 hour bender. This is a major accomplishment.

3. It's taken some adjusting for Sammy, who has been out of sorts with Mommy working all the time. He's slowly coming around and this morning he even helped me get the kids dressed. See - they wear uniforms to school everyday and today was the first day that the quadruplets had to wear sweatshirts over their collared shirts. Being a second grader, Sammy is an expert on the Saint Andrew School uniforms and was showing James how to tuck in your golf shirt first - then pull on the sweatshirt - and finally pull the collar out of the top so that it lays flat on top of the sweatshirt. This makes for enthralling reading, I'm sure, but it was super cute to look over and see Sammy being an older brother and helping out the little ones. It was one of those moments that just makes your heart melt.

4. Soccer. Let me fill you in... Saturdays have been taken up with soccer. The quads are on one team and Sammy is on another. We will sit at Hillcrest Elementary school for 3 hours or more on Saturday afternoons waiting for the games to start, watching the games, throwing football, and playing on the playground. Luckily - the weather has been phenomenal. Robby has turned into a little athlete (I think because he is very aggressive and has ZERO fear. I don't know if this is a good thing or not.) He has scored 3 goals in 2 games. I'm already looking into hotel accommodations in Oneonta, NY for the Soccer Hall of Fame induction weekend in 2045.

That's it from the Morris Family. Apparently our show aired again on The Discovery Health network last week. Check your local listings b/c if I'm not posting to the blog and you HAVE to hear about our family - you can always just watch us on TV!!!

Oh - one last thing... I was listening to this song on YouTube this morning as the kids ate breakfast. I heard Ella singing the chorus as she was getting out of the van today. We'll see what notes come home... oops!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The End of an Era

Most of the kids baby things - highchairs, booster seats, bumbos, bottles - were all lost in the fire. One symbol of their toddler and infant years, however, was not. Our Quad Stroller.

We bought it from a family in NJ who had triplets but thought that the extra seat would be helpful to them. They decided that it wasn't and took it off. I remember when we got the dumb thing that the seats were painted blue and red... like it wasn't obnoxious enough as it is. I promptly painted the thing a more neutral color, reattached the fourth seat, and we were on our way.

This monstrosity took us everywhere. We took it to the zoo. We won parades by decorating it. We took it to school when Sammy had a Halloween parade. We took it to the farm. This stroller took a family that was, really, immobile - and allowed us to get places. Sure we drew attention wherever we went - but it was worth it. See, it was more than a stroller to us... it was freedom.


I took the picture above this morning. We're putting this bad boy on the block and hoping to sell her to another quadruplet family that is looking for freedom and has still not really been able to find it. Our kids are starting kindergarten and don't fit in it anymore. Subsequently - we have to find ways to pay for their school shoes, their folders, their school bags, and their activities. It's funny because I can see us moving onto another stage in the "High Order Multiple" life. We're selling away the last remnants of their infanthood so that we can move on to the next stage and survive.

Quad Runabout Stroller: $450
Quad Runabout Stroller Carrying Hitch: $150
Selling your freedom: Priceless

*We're selling the Stroller and Hitch together for $500 total if you are in the Philadelphia area and able to come and pick them up. Leave me a comment.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Movie Night.

I got home sooner than usual today because work let us out early for the holiday. With the extra time, I thought tonight would be a good night to sit down with the quadruplets and watch a good, old fashioned family movie. After searching Netflix Online I ended up deciding upon a can't miss... a classic.

Some of the more diligent readers may remember that we recently watched Jaws with the kids and had a blast. It was harmless and we made a game out of it. The kids actually had a fun time with it and so did Geana and I. Tonight on the other hand... was a different story...a Neverending Story. You'd think we were watching Silence of the Lambs. Let me walk you through the movie.

Like many people in their early 30's, I remember The Neverending Story from my childhood. I remember the song... "The Neverending Stoooohoryyyy.. da da daaa, da da daaaa, da da daaaaaa.." ...and I remember this guy...

I told the girls at the onset of the movie, without really remembering anything about the film, that there are princesses and princes and horses... and it isn't a cartoon - it's all in REAL LIFE! They perked up.
Ella: Wow - real horses? I'm gonna love it!
Anna: Me too!
James: Are there unicorns?
The were hooked. This was going to be the movie of the century - the best pick in years! (It's hard to get a movie that all four of them enjoy). Then... about a half an hour into the movie this happens:


Yup - that's the scene where the brave and beautiful horse gets sucked in
to the swamp of sadness and promptly expires. No more horses or unicorns would make an appearance for the remainder of the movie. Crap.
Anna: Daddy - I don't know if I'm gonna like this movie. Are there anymore horses?
Me (having no idea): There has to be, honey. It's a fairy tale, don't worry about it. After all - it was the swamp of sadness. You're bound to lose a couple of animals in the swamp.
Robby: Yeah - like Bambi's Mom!
Me: Shut-up, Rob. There is a cute dog coming up soon. Just wait!
Unfortunately before the nice cuddly white flying dog could show up... w
e get this guy.


This made all four kids jump out of their seats and lay on my lap - I'm being pummeled here.
James: This dog isn't fun. He's mean.
Ella: Daddy - I don't like this movie.
Robby: It's like when Olde Yeller gets rabies!
I was about to turn the movie off when our friendly dog (The Luck Dragon) showed up and the kids just loved him. Whew! Were were out of the woods. They were re-engaged and watching quietly. Things were looking up.... And then we come to this scene:


James: Dad - I can see her boobs. They should put a shirt on that statue.
Me: I know, James.
Robby: Yeah - like in Roadhouse when...
Me: Shut-up, Rob.
Okay - I made that last one up but I couldn't resist.

We finished the movie up and the kids are now in bed - surely dreaming of evil dogs, dead horses, and boobs. But honestly - the ending of that movie stinks. The empress is sitting with Bastian (the kid who read the book) and hands him a grain of sand. She tells him that this is what is left of Fantasia. She instructs him to make wishes and it will come back? WTF? Lame. This movie will be one of those movies that will remain in my head as a wonderful movie from my childhood that was ruined by watching it as an adult.

Kinda like Roadhouse.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Sheesh! I'm sorry...

Let me open by saying I apologize for not giving you your Morrisquads fill. I will strive to never let it happen again.... but it will happen so don't kill me. I do have five kids, you know.

OK - several things have kept me from posting recently. They are...

1. My blackberry broke while we were in the rain at the Harrisburg Senators game. Now I realize that I don't write my blog with my blackberry but I use my blackberry in gathering and organizing my ideas. (Stay with me... I'm about to let everyone in on a little secret). Since I carry my blackberry with me all the time, as I notice something that I find funny or humorous I make a note to myself on the blackberry. Then I'll go back to the device when it is time to post and the nuggets of hilariousness are sitting there for me to pluck from my electronic gathering tool. Follow? So - now that I have my blackberry back I'll post more. Okay?

2. I've been "slightly" obsessed with my fantasy baseball team recently. (If you ask Geana or any of my fellow league members the word "slightly" may be replaced with "completely" but I digress...) See - I gave up in early August and traded away my entire team for a few AWESOME players that I am permitted to keep into next year. Well as it turns out - I've skated into the playoffs and I'm actually beating the number one seed this week. I have a team full of guys named "Homer" "Gio" and "Skippy" but somehow I'm winning. He has a team full of superstars making millions of dollars who refuse to sign autographs and like to get drunk at bars with loose women. Anyway - I actually have a legitimate shot at winning this week and I can think of nothing else except winning at the moment (I can't help it... I'm competitive - but in a good way... really... I promise.) Don't get me started... I could go on but in the interest of keeping some readers I'll stop. Here is a cute picture of Sammy following my team and watching the Phils on TV. He's getting obsessed too. (By the way, the screen shows my team at 153pts and my opponent's team at 95. That's Brad Penny on the television - shutting out the Phillies after not pitching in weeks. The Phils have J. Happ pitching. Happ should be winning but he's not because he's on my opponent's team.)


3. School is starting and Geana has a job. For those of you who don't know, Geana got a teaching job for this fall. She has been preparing lesson plans and going to "teacher's only" days at her school. We're also trying to get the kids on a decent school schedule (going to bed early) and get all of their back-packs, lunch boxes, uniforms, etc. ready for the first day. Climbing Mt. Everest would be easier.

4. Lastly - football has started.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Williamsport = The Best Place on Earth.

The game was won in the final inning by the team from Georgia. One kid on the team from Washington State had the worst day of his young life, I suspect. We'll call him Brad Lidge. He was called on to relieve the starter in the final inning of the game. The starter, we'll call him Cliff Lee, had pitched incredibly - giving up one run through 5 and scattering about 6 hits. Little Lee opened the 6th inning with a walk and the manager immediately called for his closer. In comes the twelve year old Brad Lidge. He has a one run lead. The score is Washington 2, Georgia 1. There is a runner on first. Nobody is out. His job is to preserve the lead... and the win for his team. Lidge proceeds to throw three consecutive wild pitches - advancing the runner from first to second... second to third... and lastly third to home. Tie game. There were some intermittent hits and walks after this and, frankly, I can't remember how the go ahead run came in but the top of the 6th ended with Washington being down 3-2, having given up the lead, with only one more set of at bats to try to win the game... or go home. Young Lidge, for all intents and purposes, had lost the final elimination game for his team. He was visibly upset. But there was hope...

In the bottom of the 6th, Georgia brought in their closer - we'll call him Lee Smith. The kid was GIGANTIC! Like - I wouldn't be able to make contact off of this little leaguer. Anyway, in true baseball fashion, Lidge was given the opportunity to redeem himself in the bottom of the inning. There were two outs, the tying run on third - the winning run in scoring position on second base. This was when mighty Lidge comes to the plate. Redemption time. After several blistering fastballs, the count runs to 3-2 and the brave young kid fouls off, what seems like, 20 pitches. At this point Lee Smith is bringing nothing but heat. It's sheer power vs. skill. Lidge keeps fouling off pitches... he's staying alive. Battling. Finally - Smith reaches back for something special and blows a high hard one right past a swinging Lidge. The Georgia team erupts in celebration while young Lidge throws his bat and helmet and cowers into the dugout - where his coach embraces him and tells him, surely, not to cry for they have had a great season.

My dad, the boys, and I all piled into the car yesterday to venture 3 hours into the mountains in order to catch a glimpse of the Little League World Series - happening in Williamsport, PA.


Well, it's official. The LLWS has officially topped my list of fun things to do with the kids. If you like baseball, if you like free and fun places to take the kids, and if you like climbing up to the top of a hillside only to slide down headfirst on a cardboard box - then this event is for you. (The one draw back is that beer is not permitted. I know... I know... you CAN watch baseball without drinking beer - but it isn't quite the same.)

video

After exiting Interstate 80, the drive to Williamsport winds you through the Appalachain Mountains and, at moments, looks down upon the Susquehanna river below. We passed several card shops and fresh produce stands along the scenic drive. This is little town America through and through. Upon arrival, there are two stadiums - Volunteer Stadium and Lamade Stadium - that are connected by an awesome concourse including food stands, picnic tables, souvenir shops, and sunflower seed stands (SWEET!). Games were scheduled at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, and 8pm.

We got there just after the 2pm game started. We peered through the gate, hoping to find five vacant seats in the packed Volunteer Stadium to no avail. As we were standing there gawking at the Latin American team taking on Japan, Orel Hershiser breezed by us. It happened so quickly that I barely had a chance to tell the kids who he was. "HOLY CRAP! THAT WAS OREL HERSHISER, KIDS," I told them. "Who?" "You have so much to learn, children." Orel had just grabbed a hot dog, it appeared, and was heading back into the Press Box. So cool.

We finally settled in on the hills beyond the right field fence at Lamade Stadium. We figured that we could grab a drink, find some cardboard (for the hill), and wait for the 4pm game to start. The best way to describe the atmosphere there is like a folk festival. Lawn chairs littered the hillsides beyond the outfield fence and the smell of grilled hot dogs and hamburgers filled the air. The kids behind us stretched out a blanket and displayed their impressive collection of baseball pins that they had diligently collected throughout the week here in Williamsport.

The kids met new friends, slid down the hills, and talked about pins and baseball cards, while my dad and I sat back and enjoyed America's pastime being played by twelve year old boys from all over the world on a field in rural Pennsylvania - where 15 thousand baseball fans flocked to see them, cheered, and ate grilled hot dogs while they watched... and longed for a cold beer.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Robby's Prayer

...as dictated to Bridget, our babysitter.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rain... it breaks stuff

My parents and I took the boys to the Harrisburg Senators game on Thursday while Geana took Ella and Anna to a doctor's appointment and then got their nails done.


There are two things that I enjoy photographing more than anything else... the kids... and baseball. When the two things intersect, I thoroughly enjoy the task of snapping away photo after photo. I took this picture as we got there and uploaded it to twitpic right away... good thing I did.

When we got to the ballpark it was about 85 degrees, and rising, with 99.9% humidity. By the third inning we had spilled one large Sprite, realized that we forgot our sunblock, and went to the potty 3 separate times. (As an aside - Metro Bank Park still uses old school urinals. The last time I saw these were in Cleveland's Municipal Stadium in 1988. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about - instead of individual white porcelain urinals - they have a single stainless steel trough that runs the length of the bathroom wall. Guys have to claim their spot, unzip, and just let her rip. No privacy. No shame. No nonsense. The boys thought this was great! Upon seeing the trough, James said, "Dad - what is this? Do you take a bath in there?" Ummmm.... no.)

The kids were miserable... like "end of the world" kind of miserable. At one point we went to the ATM machine, which was in a small air conditioned kiosk, and James said, "Dad - this is the best part of the whole trip so far!" We stayed in the kiosk until an old lady came up behind us and we had to vacate the premises. I think she thought we were robbing the machine.

Then... the skies opened up in the 7th inning. It poured. And poured. And poured. Then it let up for a second... and then it poured again. We were soaked. Before the rain started, it was up to 90 degrees and the rain was a welcome relief. I've never stayed in my seats during that type of rain at a ballgame. They were still playing and we were the only people in the seats. The first baseman for the Curve, Jason Delaney, felt sorry for us and gave us their warm-up ball after they were done and starting the bottom of the 7th. Here is Sammy and my Dad in the rain with the ball. The large streaks in the picture are the rain drops pelting down from the sky.

Eventually the umps delayed the game and we left. I took a hundred awesome pics - most before the rain came. When I went to upload them to the computer, it didn't work. Likely because the rain got the camera wet. The pictures above came from my phone that I sent to facebook or twitpic. My phone died, too. As we speak it is sitting in a bag of rice - still trying to dry out. Please keep my phone in your thoughts and prayers... UGH. I learned a valuable lesson this week - STOP TAKING PICTURES WHEN IT RAINS, MORON!

Other than the phone breaking (the camera works again), we had an awesome time. Minor League baseball with the kids is so much fun! I recommend it for anyone with kids. It's actually more entertaining than the big leagues, because of the close proximity to the players and the fun games in between innings. Sammy caught a t-shirt, too.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Distracted...

First of all - I'm posting this while trying to watch the three boys and keep their excitement contained for our trip today. We are leaving for Harrisburg to see the Senators play the Altoona Curve in about a half an hour. It should be fun!

Yesterday, at the Morris house, we had a little kid's party for the quadruplets. There were twelve kids here - five of them were ours. We played on the water slide and sang happy birthday... all of the usual stuff. I think that I could get used to this staying home stuff. (I took off W-F of this week).

I'm searching for stuff to write as I'm telling Robby and James to let Sammy go to the bathroom in peace... so I'll just leave you with this picture from yesterday. I'll be posting more pics of our baseball trip today to my twitter account. Follow me if you haven't done so already... a link is on the right side of this page. BYE!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beat It

One of my fondest memories as a child was dancing to Michael Jackson's Thriller Album at one of my childhood birthday parties (probably about age 6 or 7) at my old house in Pleasant Hills. It was barely dusk. We'd been partying all day and Thiller must have been a recent release. (Playing with my cousins on the weekends still sits as the BEST thing about my childhood - particularly during football season. This event happened to be in the summertime... but I digress.) Anyway - our backyard had a patio that sat right near the house and looked upward to a hillside, sloping gradually up to a plateau at about five feet. On that evening, my cousins and I decided to use that plateau as a stage and do crazy monster dances to Thriller, Billy Jean, and Beat It.

Last night Geana and I took all of the kids to Glenolden's fireworks display. They had been postponed from earlier in the year and this was the make-up date. While we were waiting for it to get dark, the DJ was playing a lot of songs from the Thriller Album and MJ's Beat It came on. I caught myself thinking back to my childhood where - at about this same age - at about the same time of night - at about the same time of year, 24 years ago, - I was doing crazy dances to this very song with the children closest to me in my life. I don't really know what took me there - it just kinda happened. I watched the kids dancing and couldn't help but think of them in 24 years. What would they be doing? Who would they be with? Would Michael Jackson still be played at events like this?

After a bit of reflection, I immediately pulled out my camera and started to capture the kids dancing and laughing together. This was the video of Ella, James, and Robby that I got... once again Robby steals the show.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"Bow Chika Wow Wow"


Aunt Melissa & Uncle Justin got the quadruplets and Mommy Roku for their birthdays. I can already tell you that this thing is going to change our lives - especially when it gets too cold to go outdoors. It's a device that connects to Amazon.com's video rentals and to Netflix. You just log on through Roku and virtually any video that you want shows up on your TV within seconds. It's phenominal!

We started the day at Sammy's Gailic Football tournament but left after his first game because of the unbearable heat. After briefly stopping at home base, we were going to head out to the pool - but it quickly turned into a lazy day where we cleaned the house and played in the backyard instead. After playing in the sprinkler for about 30 seconds and having a mega fight about it, we decided to watch a movie with the new device. Cool A/C was the solution to today's heat.

We've decided that, until we watch our first 4 movies, we will rotate the movie selection process through the Morris Quadruplets until we've all picked one. Today was James' turn to pick the movie. After about a half an hour of browsing through movies online, he chose "Bow Chika Wow Wow" - or as most people call the movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." (Gotta love my kids!)

James and Robby didn't make it through the first 30 minutes without climbing all over everyone and decided that "Bow Chika Wow Wow" wasn't really that great of a movie afterall. I was asleep after about 20 minutes b/c, I too, have never really enjoyed this classic flick.

Although our first attempt at watching a family movie together via Roku failed (somewhat - Mommy, Anna, Ella, & Sammy are still watching) I'm sure that we'll be watching many more movies in the future.

Any movie suggestions for tomorrow?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Birthday Presents

Today is the quads birthday - and it's also Geana's birthday. She wrote this earlier in the week and I thought I'd share it with you today. Happy Birthday to my lovely wife... and to my four crazy quadruplets.

By Geana Morris:

OMG – were you freaking out when they told you, you were having QUADRUPLETS!?

Do you want the real answer? Or, the answer I give people on the street because I know it is what they want to hear?

Street: OMG, YES. I was totally freaking out. I was like, OH MY GAWD - WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?

Real: No. Strangely enough, this weird sort of calm came over me. Anyone who knew me pre-quadruplets could tell you I am not a calm sort of person. But, when faced with the overwhelming truth of something incomprehensible, my body went into this calming mode that even I can’t explain.

As my four are turning five, it is causing a nostalgic moment in which I look back and ponder wistfully at the last five years of my life. Where did the time go? The last time I looked, I had 4 babies and now I have 4 soon-to-be kindergarteners. What’s the deal with that?

As a biological defense mechanism (I suppose) my body has forgotten some of the story re: pre-birth and birth of my quadruplets. Fortunately, I have a Discovery Health show from which my most vivid recollections come. I do remember bits, like feeding time when I would line the kids up and use my homemade bowl contraption to feed them sort of like an assembly line and singing (to the tune of Down by the Station),

Up in the bedroom, early in the morning
See the little babies all in a row.
See the little Mommy feed the little babies
Chug, chug, toot, toot, off we go

I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I would need 4 cribs, lots of bottles, formula, diapers, etc. But other than that, there really wasn’t anything to prepare for prior to bringing them home. I was fortunate to find an organization called Mothers of SuperTwins (MOST). There I joined a group specifically for Quads, Quints and Sextuplet parents. The group and reading lots of books, gave me some sense of what I would need and some decisions I would need to make along the way. Like, RSV – I had no idea what that was prior to having premature babies. But I was ready for the visitors when my babies came home.

In addition to MOST, I found Mainline MOMs. The only group of people who don’t refer to me as “the quad mom” – well, most of the time. It’s a place I could go to and be Geana Morris. I am a mother to quadruplets, therefore I get the adjective. But there, I was just a mother like the rest who had too many kids and not enough hands. Albeit, I had 8 (10 really) hands, but who’s counting. This group of women didn’t let me drown alone. They forced themselves on me because they knew if they didn’t I would’ve tried to go it alone. No – they didn’t force help like bombarding and taking over babies, etc. They forced me to get out, laugh, talk, and think about other things at a time when I could’ve just vanished into a haze of babies and all of their stuff.

Oh, and the baby nurse, Rye. I had no idea who she was. Really, an online friend gave me her info and in a desperate moment when the quads were 6 months old, I called her. She came over, took pity on me and within two weeks scheduled the babies and forced me to get dressed EVERY day. That was a hard task – not the scheduling, she had that under control in ONE day. It was the dressing thing… I had no clothes! Rye saved me and my marriage. The quads still got to bed at 7:30 every night. Everyone says “Oh…. You must have gotten no sleep for the past 4 years” I definitely play into it when it will get me some sympathy, but truthfully, from 6 months old the quads slept from 7:30pm to 7:30am EVERY NIGHT. We got more sleep then singleton parents who rock their babies to sleep and refuse to put them in bed awake letting them fall asleep on their own. Suckers! (jk – not suckers, just ill advised)

Between then and now, it is all a blur. In fact, I often come to tears when looking at photos from the last 4-5 years. I have a vivid memory of Robby pushing himself up to sit and turning around to look at me (is it a true memory or Memorex – I’ll have to go watch the shows to figure it out). I especially love the clip of Ella trying to walk at Theraplay and falling back on her bum (thanks D.H. for thinking that was worth seeing). Otherwise, my heart breaks at the memories that couldn’t be stored in this over-worked brain of mine.

I do remember lots of hugs and kisses. Sheesh – I can’t get out the door without hugging and kissing everyone. I will need to remember that and plan accordingly once I start working again. I know my kids yell, because I yell. I am trying to work on that. I do as well with not yelling as I do with dieting. Every morning I wake up and it is going to be the day I do everything right…. Usually by 10am I’ve yelled and eaten the wrong things! Some day. Some day.

I’m gearing up for the first day of Kindergarten. I can’t tell if I will be emotional or not – you know, it’s been a long five years. Will I fill up at the thought of my babies growing up? Or, at the thought of how the heck did I just do what I did? Remember, in the beginning I had no idea – I still don’t. I was looking at my sister’s 14-year old twins tonight and thinking – HOLY GOD, what am I going to do with 4 of those!? No, I think I will be filling up because they survived me. Regardless of how I messed up or yelled or wanted to be anywhere but here at times, they survived. I don’t know about you, but I know there were days when the sun came up and I thought “how can I do this again?” Thinking, this cycle never stops – day after day, after day – this is hard and I’m tired – this isn’t glamorous and if one more person rushes over wide-eyed and gushing I will scream. They survived homework and tantrums. Meetings. Boredom. Because sheesh – there were times when I was bored to death. I love them and all, but hey I loved working in town and going out to lunch and taking showers and buying clothes and talking to people too. Yea… they survived me.

So, instead of all that, I give the street answer:

OMG, YES. I was totally freaking out. I was like, OH MY GAWD - WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?

Happy 5th birthday to Robby, James, Anna & Ella – the best birthday presents ever!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

New Statue

Sorry I haven't posted recently - most of my free time has been dedicated to sculpting a new statue for the front lawn...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

1 Year Ago


Exactly one year ago, yesterday, was the worst day of my life. If you are new to this blog, our family endured emergency brain surgery to Sammy (our oldest) at about 6:15 in the evening, followed by a devastating house fire at about 9:15pm - from which our friend and Geana's sister safely evacuated all four of our three year-old quadruplets as well as their own two children (cousin Justin is in the pic above). Sammy was hospitalized for a week and we were out of our house for about 4 months as it was cleaned and rebuilt. As I reflect back on those memories, I can't help but be grateful for each member of my wonderful family. We could have easily lost all of our children on August 1, 2008.

Sammy:
Thank you for being so sensitive. I know that I get on you at times for not being "tough" enough and for not sticking up to your little brothers when they gang up on you. I know you can do it and just choose not to. When I really sit back and think about it... I'm glad that you are so caring of the others around you. That deep rooted quality within your being will set you apart from almost everyone else as you grow up. I urge you to not let go of that piece of you as you get older and to let it be the foundation of who you become and share it with everyone who gets close to you. It makes you incredibly special. I love you. Thank you, also, for you increased interest in baseball this past year.

James:
You're always trying to make people laugh around you and I see the delight in your eyes when you achieve your goal. Sometimes you cr
oss the line to inappropriateness (is that a word), but as you get older and learn how to navigate that line and make people laugh without talking about poop and butts (sometimes it still works), you'll become even more funny and make me laugh even more as time passes. Thank you, also, for allowing me to link back to a poop joke in this post.

Robby:
You're brilliant. Your mother and I know it. Sometimes, though, your brilliance is lost in your strives to gain our attention. I'm sorry for that. Please know that we can see past your misbe
havior and occasional craziness into the bright, smart, and intelligent little boy that you have become. I will strive to give you the attention that you need in order to help bring out the incredible little boy that lives within you. Thank you, also, for all of your help while I've been in my cast. You've done everything that I ask of you - even taking out the trash at the ripe old age of four years old.

Anna:
You are so caring of your brothers and sister as well as your Mom and Dad. You constantly are doing things to make your siblings laugh -
usually so that they stop crying. You're wonderfully wacky and I can see the creativity that bubbles within you. You're also hot and cold, my dear. When someone crosses you (even if it's me) you aren't afraid to show me how you feel. But then your crooked smile lights up my eyes and your dimples pierce my heart. You are my grandmother - Gram Morris - through and through. Thank you for living up to the nickname, "Drama" that I gave you when you were a weeeee little baby.


Ella:
You may have the smallest body in the family but you have the biggest mouth. I can hear you as I walk up the street, walking home from work. You're usually yelling at Robby and James or calling for your Mommy. Fortunately for those around you, your hugs are as big as your mouth. Honestly - I've never felt a hug from someone that is so strong and complete as when you give me a hug. Your fake kisses, as you lick my cheek, are wonderful, too! You fill my heart and every one's who comes around you. Than
k you, also, for learning to snore so loudly that you wake me up in the morning when you come into Mommy & Daddy's bed.

Geana:
We've been through a lot this year and, though it all, we've remained together. Sometimes that's simply enough when the stress gets so great that you don't know what to do and don't know where you can turn. I'm looking forward to a new year with a little less brain surgery, some fewer house fires, and a little more time for the two of us... together. Oh yeah - and congratulations on your Master's Degree that you just finished in July. You did it - despite all of the stress and craziness!