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

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'...

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!