Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What a Let Down!

For the record - keeping a chronicle of my everyday life at work is nowhere near as fun as doing so on the beach with quadruplets - but I thought I'd give it a shot to see just how entertaining it can be...

Got coffee:

Typed an e-mail:

Added some stuff:

Sharpened a pencil:

On another note - as I was commuting home from work yesterday, still in a cast, I got on the subway and nobody offered up their seat. Ok. Fine. I'm annoyed - but whatever - there is a seat at the end of the car, I will sit there. All the woman has to do is move from the outside seat to the inside seat and let me sit with my scooter in the aisle and it won't be in any one's way. Perfect. (This is an annoyance of mine, too, by the way. To all of you passive aggressive a-holes out there that ride the subway and think that the seat next to you was created for a bag, purse, or your invisible friend so that you don't have to share your double seater with me - you are mistaken. If you really don't want someone to sit next to you, man up and tell me that when I try to sit down rather than rolling your eyes at my insistence on the moving of your bag.) My children will never do this.

Anyway, I made my way down the aisle next to the lady. I stood... she didn't move... I stared at her... she stole quick little glances up at me, still not moving over... I stood some more... the subway pulled away from the station... she stared straight ahead like in a trance, no longer stealing quick glances up at me. The inside seat was still empty and it became crystal clear to me that this woman had no intention of sharing. Being a stubborn cripple these days, I refused to ask the question, "May I please sit down - after all, asshole, I'm wearing a freakin' cast." So I stood. The. Whole. Ride.

About 20 minutes later we both got off at the end of the line. I tore off down the platform on my scooter, mad as hell, but not having said a word. I was mad at myself now for not coming up with something witty to say. When...

As I was waiting for the elevator to come back down to the platform, the lady made her way up and stood next to me, also waiting for a ride up. This was my chance! I can also be a passive aggressive a-hole. The elevator opened. As a gentleman, I usually let a lady in first but today I was no gentleman. I sped into the elevator on my scooter, positioning the monstrosity that carries my left foot around these days just in front of the elevator door so that she couldn't make her way in. I smiled and said, "Sorry - there's no room. You'll have to get the next one." I shut the door and proceeded up to the station level. When the elevator opened up I pulled the little red "stop" button and went on my merry way.

Ahh... sweet victory!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

OCNJ - Day 7

I didn't have time to post last night because we were packing up to leave. Then this morning we were rushing to get out by 10am. Then my internets were giving me problems at home... At long last here is a list of events from the last day of our vacation:

1. Beach
2. Buy Hermit Crabs
3. Geana and I went out to eat crabs and drink beer... not the hermit crabs.

As I was laying in bed the other night I was thinking - "What is summer vacation without a soundtrack?" I was listening to a lot of DMB this week - so here you go... about a 10 minute slide show of our pictures.

To my kids: When you look at the posts from this vacation 10, 20, or 30 years from now, guys, I wrote them for you. Mommy and I had a great time! Thank you for being such wonderful little people and for filling our lives with so much joy and love. Every moment is a treasure and an adventure.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

OCNJ - Day 6

What is one to do with four year-old quadruplets at the beach when it rains all day?

First off - you've got to accept the fact that the day is lost and that you are going to be left to your own devices to find creative, entertaining, and fun stuff to do. A trip into town is what we decided would be fun. They have food, they have shopping, they have crafts, and it turns out - they have fire trucks. Other than the rain - it was destined to be a wonderful day!

We started off by stopping in a beach store where Ella promptly found a new pair of sunglasses that she just HAAAD to have. After much deliberation, we (Ella and I) decided that she was a bit too young for this particular pair, although they were cute. We took a picture anyway to relieve any screaming in the store. Maybe she can get them in 2026...

From there we traveled down the main drag a bit further and we found another store called "Butterfly Boutique" where we made crafts and painted stuff with the kids. It was perfect.

Back out into the rain. Grandma suggested that we seek out the firehouse - which turned into the highlight of the week so far. We walked into the station and we were promptly scooped up by fireman J. O'Neill of the OCFD and given plastic fire helmets. He took us on a tour of the station. I mean - everywhere. He took us into the kitchen, the sleeping quarters, the locker room, the room where they sit and watch tv, and of course - the garage where they park the trucks. The kids all had a million questions and weren't the least bit shy to tell them about our house fire that happened about a year ago. We headed into an ambulance where they told Fireman O'Neill about Sammy's trip in the ambulance. No doubt Fireman O'Neill could tell that the Morris Family are veterans when it comes to setting your house on fire or getting whacked in the head with a golf club.
After sitting in the ambulance and asking him about oxygen tanks and broken legs, James and Ella took turns trying on the fireman's gear. James said, "Dad - I don't want to be a mall Santa anymore. When I grow up I want to be a fireman! Okay?" I told him that he can be anything he wants to be (secretly saying, "YES!!!" to myself). Ella looked adorable in the gear. I just wished that I had the beer glasses to add to the outfit. Oh well... maybe in 2026. No - wait - if she's hanging out in the firehouse in 2026 and trying on the firemen's clothes that would also fit into the category of unacceptable. But I digress...

We left the firehouse and ventured back out into the rain. Everyone was in a great mood, despite the downpours. Nobody was even thinking about the ocean, the pool, or the sand. We stopped at some restaurant for lunch... mmm...

At this point we were exhausted. It was time to venture back to the house - but not before stopping to smell the beautiful flowers outside one of the stores.

We got home and took a nap. Remember - naps are your friend. Robby and I had a brief argument on this point but I eventually won... barely.
Daddy: Time for naps guys.
Daddy: Yes. If you take a nap you'll have more energy for later.
Robby: To do what? It's raining. We can't go anywhere.
Daddy (trying to think of something threatening): I'm gonna call the firemen and make you sleep in the station with them.
Robby: Fine. I'll get my shoes on.
Daddy: Ugh.. Rob - just go to bed.
Robby: Ok.
He puts up a good argument but when push comes to shove he knows when to give up. He makes the most wonderful faces, though.

When the kids woke up we had shrimp for dinner with Old Bay...mmm...

Then the kids did a craft with Grandma and Caitlin while I watched the Phillies game. They went to bed full, happy, and excited for Mommy and Sammy's return (which should be late this evening.)
Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

OCNJ - Day 5

So far... we've survived. Breakfast was donuts made on the boardwalk again... mmm...

I'm realizing that this blogging everyday thing is harder than you would think. I feel like I'm just giving you guys a mundane download of daily activities... but have no fear... today's post will be gripping, enthralling, and even downright controversial. (Not really... but you're hooked, right?)

We started the day with a puzzle. Fun stuff. James liked it.

Then we (Caitlin, my mother, and I) got the
kids dressed and we all headed to the beach (my dad came too.) As I sat on our porch yesterday watching fathers lugging mounds and mounds of overly excessive (albeit necessary) beach equipment up from the beach with their wives and small children rooting them on - I decided that I would venture out to the beach today despite my cast. I would not bring the mounds and mounds of equipment, though. The Morris' are minimalists. Each kid would get to carry a bucket, a shovel and a frozen margarita. I mean what is a beach vacation if you can't enjoy your kids' time on the beach? We dressed the quads, lubed them up, and set sail for the shore.

Surely you noticed the cute children burying Caitlin in the sand but look at the picture again - did you notice the pathetic gimp in the background? "HEY HAND ME A MARGARITA!"

Robby was attacked by a wave and when I asked him how big it was he couldn't stretch his hands up high enough. I asked him if he held his breath when the wave got him and he looked at me with the most indignant face and told me, "No Dad - that would be cheating." I didn't ask him to explain. I just went with it.

We spent some time after lunch around the pool - cooling off and relaxing before coming inside for naps. That's right... kids take naps on vacation from 3pm to 5pm while on vacation with Satan Dad. We all need them. We all love them. And when it's 9pm on the boardwalk - we all appreciate them!

Naps were followed by a round of miniature golf where I taught the kids that you drive for show and putt for dough. To which Anna replied, "Dad - I have no idea what that means." She
proceeded to hit a 35 on the back 9 and kicked all of our asses... I think I was being hustled because she won a round of ice cream for her brothers and sister after we finished up our round of golf. That's Tiger on the right.

Ice cream... mmm....After ice cream, golf, and dinner (not necessarily in that order) - we headed home to crash... and crash we did. The kids got ready for bed and fell right asleep in their beds. They wanted to watch a movie in their room because there is a TV and a VCR. The only problem is that the only VHS tapes that the place owns is 101 Dalmatians (which we've seen 101 times) and a Clint Eastwood western. We opted for no TV tonight and they didn't put up a fight.

Now it's time for Daddy to fall asleep. Honestly though - I'm not having to do much. My mother and Caitlin are really doing most of the work and I'm sitting in the background barking orders. But I think Anna speaks for us all in saying, "COME BACK MOMMY!"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

OCNJ - Day 4

I should've known that today was going to be a bad day as soon as I woke up. Today - we woke up at 7am again. There is just something about vacation that makes kids wake up early. I've decided to just accept this - and sleep when I'm dead.

The morning started by me coming upstairs, getting on the computer, and updating my blog - as I've done every morning. On this day the kids were out of control - running up and down the steps, jumping on the couch, screaming at the top of their lungs... anything you can think of. Geana promptly dressed the kids, loaded them up, and left to get them out of the house.

I showered and then caught up with them about forty five minutes later at a quaint little restaurant in town where they were having pancakes and eggs for breakfast. On the surface - they had seemed to calm down a bit.

From there we headed to a store which I will refer to as "my nightmare." This place is lined with shelves and shelves of breakable ceramic figurines, plates, coffee cups, jars, trays, jewelry boxes, etc. The idea is for each kid to pick one, paint it, and then they fire it in a kiln for you to pick up in a few days. Robby seemed to think that this was a good place to practice his jumping jacks and James his yoga stretches. Surprisingly - we escaped the store without breaking a thing. But don't get me wrong - it was touch and go for awhile.

We all painted something (to be picked up Thursday) and headed home to the pool to spend a few hours before Mommy and Sammy had to pack up and head back to Philadelphia for the next three days - Geana has school, Sammy a swimming banquet. (For you new readers - bad things happen when Geana leaves. I don't know why. I've stopped questioning it. It just happens. Geana went away for a weekend a few months ago and came home to Sammy's broken thumb and Ella's asthma putting her in the hospital - stay tuned...)

We headed to the boardwalk, sans Geana and Sammy. The kids all got a small toy to play with before we headed home for baths, dinner, and bed. I managed to snap this great picture of all of them playing with their toys and showing the love for their brothers and sisters:

At this point - it took a turn for the worst - nothing catastrophic... but annoying. I will leave you with a string of text messages between Geana and I from last night:

Kurt: Boardwalk tickets?
Geana: In my handbag.
K: Bummer - ok.
G: I hate school.
K: We hate your school too
G: I miss you guys already
K: We almost got caught in the rain on the boardwalk.
G: Was your cast covered?
K: Nope - I cruised home ahead of the kids. It didn't rain.

(a few minutes later)

K: Robby hit his head on the doorknob.G: Is Robby ok? Who went to the boards?
K: He's fine. Also - James fell off the top bunk but Ella broke his fall. Everyone is ok. We all went except my dad. How is class?
G: Make sure you give Ella her meds.
K: Done. Anna just whacked her head on the table when giving me hugs and kisses good night.G: Kiss them for me.
K: I did. Also did you unclog the toilet before you left?
G: Yes.
K: Ok - something must be wrong with it because it just overflowed all over the bathroom floor. See you soon!
If we live... more tomorrow...

Monday, July 20, 2009

OCNJ - Day 3

The kids, again, woke up at the crack of dawn and wanted to play. Grandpap had gone to the local donut store already and was armed with bait to lure the kids upstairs to the kitchen and bought Geana and me an extra 10 minutes of sleep. It wasn't much but it was something! Nice work Grandpap!

We decided that we wanted to spend the day doing something that Daddy could participate in. I can't swim in the pool... I can't go to the beach... I can't really do the boardwalk very well without falling on my face... so we decided to go crabbin'.

Let me preface our trip by saying I hate fishing. I hate the smell of fish. I hate the way fish feel all slimy. I hate the sight of fish. I hate anything having to so with fish. I mean - I love shrimp, lobster and crabs... but fish - not so much. We got there and the guy reached into his "bucket 'o dead, gross, fly infested fish" and cut a dead bunker in half with his hatchet, spearing him through the eye onto our crab lines. Our bait was set. I just about puked... Robby said, "COOOOOOL!" I'm a wimp. It took Anna about a half an hour to get down from standing on the picnic table because she was so grossed out. SO... either - a) Anna takes after her Dad or - b) I'm a four year-old girl when it comes to crabbin'.

We all got our chance to hold a crab. We caught one without any claws so it was safe for everyone to hold onto him.

James - who at home loves to dig for bugs, worms and other creatures - had the time of his life!

On the ride home from crabbin' all quadruplets fell asleep. I have a theory (which was confirmed today) that people are designed to nap from 3pm to 5pm. If it were not for the wonder drug, coffee, I would succumb to a nap everyday at around this time.
Dinner was spent at the Deauville Inn where Sammy decided that he was too big to order from the kids menu and asked for Chicken Parmesan instead of a hot dog, macaroni and cheese, or chicken fingers. I think that NOT ordering from the kid's menu is as much a passing of age as your first kiss or the first time you experience the death of a loved one. Well - maybe not that much but something certainly changed tonight. Our seven year-old is growing up. Here is a picture of Sammy from 2003, just before our first visit to the Deauville Inn - before the word "quadruplets" was even a thought in our family...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

OCNJ - Day 2

This morning started at about 7:00am with the kids running into our room and waking us up, unsympathetically. "LET'S GO TO THE BEEEEAAAACH!" To which we were forced to raise ourselves out of bed and begin our day. Tomorrow's response to the children will be, "I hear Grandma has Poptarts and crack upstairs - go get'em!"

Shortly after waking up we had a minor scare concerning some weird bug that had taken residence in our laundry basket. Geana had found it this morning and I, being in a cast, wasn't about to hobble all the way back downstairs just to kill a bug (but to take pictures of the kids killing the bug - that I could do). Robby quickly was on the job...

Finding the bug

Squishing the bug

After a breakfast of coffee and Poptarts, Geana headed to the beach store to get some buckets, shovels, and toys while I lubed the kids up with sun block. It wasn't long before we were ready to venture out to the beach. Well - before they were ready to venture out to the beach. As I mentioned before - I broke my foot while carrying in a loaf of bread a few weeks ago and won't be heading to the sandy shores this vacation. The kids don't seem to care much - they just want to get out of the house and onto the beach. They've been cooped up WAY too long already (only about an hour - can you tell they were ready to go?)...

The kids headed out to the beach with Mommy, Grandma, and Caitlin (our friend's daughter who came with us to help with the kids) while I sat down on the porch for the next three or four hours to finish up reading Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince and to start writing down some thoughts about our morning - while enjoying a Capri Sun of my own. This may be the most relaxing vacation I've had in years.

By the way - whoever thought of these things was a GENIOUS!

The kids, Geana, Grandma, and Caitlin came back from the beach, having taken many pictures for me to see how much fun they had. Really - even though I got to relax all day, it still stinks when you see the pictures of the kids on the beach and know that I can't participate this year. Oh well - maybe we'll come back in late August or September when I can go on the beach for a day. They look like they had a blast!

When they came back to the house, we all jumped into the pool and played a quick game of shark and Marco Polo. The kids couldn't quite grasp the rules and kept opening their eyes and singing Da dum... da dum...

The evening was spent on the boardwalk eating dinner, playing games, and getting ice cream. Robby was able to win a big shark at Wonderland Pier who he named "Bruce" and I only fell flat on my face once. (It happened to be as I was attempting to cross the railroad tracks of the little train ride that they have that runs around the pier. Sorry - I didn't manage to capture that magnificent moment on camera but I'm sure it would have been hilarious - me sprawled out across the train tracks as the locomotive fast approached... fun times.) The kids all took turns helping me navigate on my scooter and we turned it into a game after my spill. This is Anna...

After we got home and put the kids to bed Geana, Caitlin, and I went to see Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. I successfully finished the book earlier in the day and, therefore, I allowed myself to see the movie. It was amazing (as was the book). Now it's time to start the final book of the series and will probably get pretty far if the kids and Geana go to the beach again. I don't know what the plans are yet - but I'll share it with you tomorrow in my next post.

BTW - we had great seats at the movies...

OCNJ - Day 1

Our first day got us in around 4:30pm or even 5:00. I think that God created beach traffic just so that you appreciate your vacation that much more when you get there. As with all vacations that we take we brought 2 cars - one for kids and one for luggage. I drove the luggage this year.

Upon arrival we immediately invaded the pool that we share with our neighbor. They are the same people that were here last year so the shock of five kids running into the pool was less than it could have been. The woman made the comment that the boys had gotten big (as she packed up and started making her way in from the pool just as we arrived.) Anyway - cannonballs and intense screaming ensued for the next two hours.

I have to say - having four year old quadruplets is sometimes difficult to navigate with others. I mean - we got this place because it has a pool and it is easier to take the kids to the pool for a day rather than the beach. But there are times when you kinda feel bad because these people also rented this place because of the pool, and here we are taking over - because it is impossible for us to do anything less. Then again - they rented last year when we were here and came back so they must like us!

Dinner was at Pino's, one of our favorite family restaurants down here, where they had HUGE meatballs in the kids' spaghetti and my salad was pretty good. Geana had Penne Rosa and liked it. My mom had Salmon which wasn't spectacular. We'll be back there as the week moves on, I suspect.

Pictures of kids tomorrow...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ahhh vacation!

We're heading to the beach tomorrow. It's that festive time of year when we all pile in the van and head down to the shore for seven days of fun, sun, and boozing it up. Leading up to these seven days seems to inevitably be seven hours of yelling, screaming, and fighting to get out the door. Ahh... vacation!

The problem this year is that - I'm in a cast... and we haven't packed yet... and we won't have time to pack tonight because of plans... and the house is a mess... and... I can't really help. You get the idea. I still think we'll make it, though. I have confidence in the kid's packing abilities... and Geana's. :)

I'm sure we will be on the road tomorrow afternoon and the kids will be singing loudly as we tool down the highway on our way to the beach. The stress and energy to get out the door is all worth it once you're on the road. Just keep your eye on the prize.

I remember growing up - we were heading home from the beach and a car exploded in front of us in the Liberty Tunnels in Pittsburgh. Everyone had to pull their cars as close to the walls of the tunnel as you could so that emergency vehicles could get through. We ended up having to evacuate the tunnel and walk to the end of it. I couldn't tell you where we went on vacation that year but I still have the newspaper of our family walking out of the smokey tunnel, hand in hand.

Ahh... vacation memories. Here's to making more in 2009!

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All Stars!

I sat down last night to watch the HR Derby with Sammy. Is there any better sporting event to share with your 7 year-old son? I think not. We donned our team's uniforms, got some ice cream, and settled in for the extravaganza. It started off with David Cook - the legend from the other TV show that we watch together. Neither of us made it all the way through it (we fell asleep) but we had fun saying, "Back - back - back - back.... GONE!" a la Chris Berman for awhile.

Fast forward 24 hrs. to this evening and
we took our spots on the couch again... watching the hype, adoring our players, and waiting for the game to begin. This time it was Anna and me watching the game. Sammy joined us later (after his game of war with Mommy) but the night started out with just me and Anna. I started taking notes right away. Here were some of the priceless moments that I enjoyed this evening watching the game with my 4 year-old daughter:
TV: From the New York Yankees... Shortstop - DEREK JETER!
Anna: Daddy - why do they call him Derek Cheater? Are all the Yankees cheaters?
Me: Yes, dear.
Anna: That's what I thought.
Pepsi will be happy to hear that, as we're sitting there together drinking our generic brand of root beer and watching the festivities drag on and on, Anna turns to me and says, "Daddy - why do they keep saying 'Pepsi' all the time? Maybe we should be drinking that
instead of root beer." Holy crap! That marketing stuff really does work!
Why is it that the Pirates didn't even have a representative in the "All Stars Among Us?" Not one of them was wearing a Pirate's jersey. We really do stink.
Sammy came in just as the game was beginning and proceeded to expound on how he learned, at the local library, that baseball started during the Civil War when soldiers needed a break from fighting and made up baseball to pass the time. That's why it's called the Nati
onal Pass Time.
By the bottom of the 1st - Anna was asleep and Sammy was ready for bed. A fun night was had by all - for sure!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


As I'm tooling about in my Scooter 3000, struggling with all that I have to do, I can't help but think about all of the stuff that will be done by my minions once the kids get a little older. Right? To name just a few:

Trash: This morning I had to take out four cans of trash. Mind you - we don't use dinky trash cans in the Morris house... we use freakin' huge ones - the kind with an attached flip lid. I like to refer to them as mini dumpsters. The way I see it - in two years time I won't have to take out the trash again for another 10 years. I can't wait. I'm already training Sammy on this task.

Lawn Mowing: Currently we have a gentleman who graciously comes and cuts our grass for about $1,000,000 a summer. That added expense will soon be eliminated when the kids are old enough to cut the grass themselves. What is the right age? I say 7.

Dishes: As you can imagine the dishes in our household (when we don't use paper plates) can pile up pretty quickly. The kids are already clearing their plates and (sometimes) setting the table. Once we can get them loading and unloading the dishwasher I'll be able to sit back and watch the ballgame while they clean up the kitchen after dinner. Again - I can't wait.

Laundry: I have a strategy for this one. I figure that once they are teenagers the girls, at least, will refuse to wear stank ass clothes. In my mind the equation is pretty simple, "Want clean clothes, girls? Wash them your damn self. Oh and while your at it - wash mine, your mother's and your brother's clothes, too. Thanks! T-Shirts go in the second drawer and polo's in the third. On your way through - pass me a beer."

Can anyone else think of chores that children will eliminate from my list as they get older? This concept hit me like a ton of bricks today and I'm hoping to compile a full scale list within the next 2 years.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Birthdays, BBQ's, and Broken Bones

Talk about a lot going on.... wow!

Sammy's birthday went well. We got him a basketball hoop, finally got it put together thanks to help from Poppy, and now he's a regular Magic Johnson. He even beat Kevin, a seventeen year-old friend of the family, although I suspect Kevin went easy on him. Here is the star taking a second to mug for the cameras...

But what I suspect everyone will find the most hilarious piece of the weekend was me fracturing the fifth metatarsal on my left foot. Yup - that's right... I broke my foot. It happened just after we had gotten Sammy's hoop from Target. I was carrying the 250 lb. behemoth into the house in an attempt to get it out of the rain. It was still in it's box and the rain was starting to come down pretty hard. I figured it best to get the thing inside. Well... I dragged it from the street to the driveway... to the door... lifted it over the threshold... slammed it down to the kitchen floor.... BOOM!! Success! It was a tough task in flip-flops, but I got it done - sans injury. It was when I went back to the car to get the loaf of bread that I rolled my ankle on my wet flip flops on the sidewalk.

At first the ER Doc thought it was the dreaded "Jones Fracture." An ordeal that keeps people off their feet for up to 20 weeks - especially Diabetics, of which I am one - and often times requires surgery with pins to get it to heal properly. To put this into perspective - I would have only one functional leg until CHRISTMAS - including hospital time and about a week of complete immobility for surgical recovery. Yeah... that would fall into the "sucks" category for sure. Lucky for me - it was just a standard run of the mill "klutz fracture" and I'm only going to be incapacitated for 6 weeks or so. The good news out of all of this... I drove down to Delaware to pick up my cool new roll-a-bout just in time for the neighborhood July 4th parade. Ella and I won 2nd place.

Rule of thumb: If you are forced to look like a dork, for any reason at all, include a kid because then it becomes less about you looking like a shmoe and more about the kid looking adorable.

Unfortunately I head back to work tomorrow, with no kids at my side, and I will be back to being a dork...