family

The Most Devastating 3 Hours in My Tween's Life - According to Her Anyway

tween girls.jpg

I’ll admit it: My 12 year old daughter has been through some trying times in her life thus far: She got separated from us at a playground at age 4 or 5. (You’d think I’d remember exactly when that was, wouldn’t you?). She fell at school in 3rd grade and had a small skull fracture and concussion. She’s an insect magnet: Her arms and legs are a favorite for wasp and mosquito family brunches. But by far the most traumatic event this child has sustained so far happened this past Sunday night when the Internet was out for an entire 3 hours (FYI: It took the cable TV service along with it.)

I won’t get started on my kids’ ridiculous school schedule that left them out of school from before Christmas until this past Monday. Suffice it to say, it only fueled my daughter’s “victim” status. Less than a minute after the Internet outage began, she came barreling down the stairs like she was on fire or her sister had done something she couldn’t wait to snitch about.

Her: “It’s the last day of our break and I got cut-off from facetiming with Ashley!”

Me: “You’ll see her tomorrow at school. Can you remember her face until then?”

Her: “She was right in the middle of holding up a shirt she just got! She asked me: ‘This is nice, right?’ and then the screen froze!

Me: “So? She’ll wait until tomorrow to find out if you like it.”

Her: “I wonder what Ashley’s doing now.”

Me: “I’m sure by now she’s put the shirt down and gone on with her life. May I suggest you do the same?”

Her: “What am I supposed to do?! It’s the last few hours of my vacation and now there’s nothing to do! Great!”

Me: “Why don’t you clean out your lunch bag that’s been sitting in your backpack for 5 weeks?”

Her: “You want me to spend the last few hours of my break getting ready for school? That makes no sense!”

Me: “Why don’t you guys play a board game?”

Her: “Mom. Really Mom? There’s a reason it has ‘board / bored’ in its name.”

Me: “Read a book. Draw. Paint something.”

Her: “What is this… 1982?”

Two things I should probably mention at this juncture to show you what cruel parents we truly are:: 1) Her phone is an old one of mine which doesn’t have phone service and I wouldn’t let her use mine to call Ashley back and 2) My husband has a Hot Spot which gets his phone onto the Internet no matter what.

chuck wagon.jpg

So while she was ranting and raving and criticizing us for trying to force her into pioneer life, my husband sat on the couch in front of her playing baseball on his phone. Clearly, this threw both kerosene and gas onto the fire seeing as he wasn’t only sitting there two feet away totally ignoring her, he was sitting there two feet away, immersed in his own private Internet service. As if that wasn’t sadistic enough, as she began the second stanza of her “Woe Is Me” poem, he turned to me on the couch, put his phone in my face and said: “Do you want to log in on your phone? This is the password.” See? My daughter was wrong. This was not pioneer life. If this were pioneer life, Pa would have been playing the fiddle not electronic baseball.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you would like more laughs at life’s expense, please subscribe to my infrequent newsletter and / or take a look at my books-all happenin’ at the bottom of my Home Page @ http://laughingisconceivable.com - (Books also on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_16?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=laughing+is+conceivable&s

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Microblog_Mondays.png
Laughing  IS  Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Infertile People are NOT the Only Ones Who Dread Holiday Gatherings

I don’t buy those smiles… not for a minute.

I don’t buy those smiles… not for a minute.

Expectations. They’ll get you every time. Approaching holidays fill people with expectations and people dealing with infertility with our own dirty little list of expectations tacked on to those.

Year after year, a lot of people seem to head towards the holidays expecting to be happy, to celebrate, to be around family, to open up fabulous gifts that we’ve always dreamed of, to give fabulous gifts that our friends and family members have always dreamed of, to skip down memory lane, everyone together hand in hand, fa la la la la, la la la la. Okay, let’s all shake ourselves awake for a second here. Here are the REAL expectations that we can REALLY expect. (Do note that most of these are “include alls” meaning- they will apply to holidays with friends, families, and coworkers equally.)  

Laughing+is+Conceivable+web+banner+(1).jpg

First, we expect that we’ll feel obligated to spend too much money to buy presents for people who don’t deserve them and won’t appreciate them. Then, we expect that everyone will get together. We expect that many don't want to be there. Many are simply there because they don't want to be the person who's talked about behind their back… and also, of course, for the copious amounts of free food and alcohol. 

We expect that at least one person will say something to humiliate him or herself and at least one person will say something to humiliate someone else.

As for specifics with family gatherings:

We expect some cousin to tell you how well he's doing in his business even though everyone present, even the kids, know it's bullshit.

We expect some aunt to tell you how well her kid is doing and everyone else to be thinking: "Does she really not know he's a loser?" 

We expect some to over-drink and all to over-eat.

We expect all the food will be “great” while we're sitting within earshot of the person who brought it and most of the food to be declared to be “crap” when we all talk about it on the drive home. 

And we expect at least one person in each vehicle to put in the request:

"Remind me not to do this again next year."

But those with infertility issues also expect scrutiny and being judged and being made to feel uncomfortable:

Personal questions, embarrassing questions, extremely "not-anybody's-business" questions.

And I'm here to remind you that, while all of their baby plumbing may be functioning correctly, your dear relatives have plenty they don't want to talk about either:    

So, remember:

relatives- nosy.jpg

Don't ask your 40 year old cousin Brian why he's still living with his college roommate. (Better to keep thinking it’s a beautiful romance than to suddenly confirm it’s a really creepy bromance.) 

Don't ask your uncle Steve why he was on the news with his jacket over his face.

Don't ask your designer-obsessed sister-in-law Brenda why she lives in a mansion and drives a BMW to the food stamp office.

Don't ask your brother-in-law Sam how he failed his driving test four times and his GED three times.

Don't ask your mother-in-law why every time she makes her "special-family recipe" stuffing that’s been passed down from generation to generation on her father’s side, there are always a bunch of empty Stovetop boxes in the garbage.

Don't ask your second cousin Bill why he spends his days collecting disability from a fall at work and training for an ironman triathlon.

couple unhappy in a car.jpg

And the ultimate goal for the family festivities: After the whole debacle is over, be that person in the car who says:

"Remind me not to do this again next year".......And then write it on your appointment calendar so you don't forget!

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here a few minutes ago. If you’d like more laughs at this moment in your life, please consider subscribing to my not-overly-frequent newsletter and / or buying my book for yourself or someone else who could use it this holiday season. All can be done at the bottom of my homepage: http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Microblog_Mondays.png

Being Thankful for Knowing How to Handle the Relatives

family at dinner table.jpg

To me, it’s not really quite the holiday season yet. But since Halloween wasn’t over for an hour when stores started having their Pre-Pre-Black Friday sales and the Hallmark Channel already started replacing my beloved Murder She Wrote with their heartwarming holiday “classics” (which already put my husband in a thankful mood… He’s thankful for anything that cancels Murder She Wrote. He doesn’t care whether it’s a holiday movie or a power failure.) Anyhoo…

People prepare for holidays in many ways. Some people buy decorations the year before when they’re heavily discounted and put them away in the closet. Some people buy presents at the last minute. A lot of us have to emotionally prepare for the holidays. Especially if you’ve been trying to have a baby for a while.

So this year, whatever holidays you’re celebrating, whatever gatherings you’ll be attending with family, friends, or co-workers… the turkey, ham or whatever may be roasted but you won't be. I simply refuse to let it happen.

You won't be roasted (or grilled or fried) by the relatives on whether or not you're finally pregnant, if you're really trying to get pregnant, if you've taken a vacation recently to unwind because that’s probably all you need to get pregnant, or “have you seen a doctor?” or “tried adopting?” because women always get pregnant once they decide to adopt…

Or have you spoken to cousin Kathy who has six kids because she must be doing something right...

Or if maybe you're husband isn't doing "it" right...

family-nosy relative-good.jpg

Or do you want me to move over so you can sit next to pregnant cousin Marianna because maybe you'll catch it "stupidity, stupidity, don't know what else to say to you so I'll say some more unimaginative, stupidity, stupidity, and... more stupidity" 

No, you will not be grilled, roasted, or fried by the end of this holiday season. I will not permit it.

So over the next month or so, as everyone starts to get ready for the holiday season frenzy, this blog will help everyone to get mentally and emotionally prepared.

You will not be alone. Together, as a group, we will tackle the holiday season and your relatives right here at Laughing IS Conceivable.

(Yes, I said "tackle". At this time of year, I feel compelled to use football terms... and truthfully, aren't there at least one or two of your relatives whom you'd love to see a barrage of angry infertile women throw to the ground and hold down on the front lawn until someone blows a whistle?)

From dealing with whether or not we should even attend these heinous holiday shindigs to--if we go: Who to hang out with, which rooms to avoid, who not to sit next to, and how to divert the conversation without blatantly cursing people out, although…

"Do you guys still want children?" 

"Screw off".

Yeah, that could work.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’re already feeling just a little less anxious about the upcoming holidays. If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please consider subscribing to my infrequent newsletter or checking out my little book. It’s been read by 1000s like you who have looked to laughter to de-stress from infertility / IVF and is recommended by renowned fertility professionals nationwide. http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Storms of All Kinds

hurricane couple.jpg


Laughing is Conceivable web banner.jpg

Things are strange here. Maybe it’s just us. Like during this Hurricane Florence, for instance. In my four decades of living in New York City and its suburbs, I remember exactly two hurricanes. One happened when I was in high school or at least on my way to it. Everybody got to school in the morning as usual but there were gates up when we arrived and administrators telling us to go back home. Then, about sixteen, seventeen years ago, I was walking home from my job at the limousine company in Long Island City and, while waiting for a light to change at a very busy intersection, I blew into the middle of Queens Boulevard. (Luckily I was able to fight my way back to the sidewalk and grab onto a telephone pole until the light changed.)

We had only been in North Carolina a couple of months when there was a tornado warning. I nonchalantly stopped in to a supermarket to pick up a few things.

supermarket checkout.jpg

As I stood in the express check-out line, I took a gander at the shopping carts around me: Bottles and bottles. In fact, cases and cases of water. Piles of batteries of all shapes and sizes. I looked at my hand basket: Raisins and yogurt. My husband, Lloyd called my cell phone while I was standing there. He had desperation in his voice.

“Did you check out yet?!”

“No. I’m waiting to.”

“Thank Gd! We need salad dressing.”

“Oh yeah.” I said. “We’re prepared.”

While the North Carolinians went home, put their supplies away in case of emergency and went on with their lives, we arranged our babies on a blanket and all huddled together on the bathroom floor like we were waiting for an enemy attack in a scene from M.A.S.H. Lloyd and I looked at each other, faces against the tile and said simultaneously:

“It was your idea to move here. Look what you got me into.”

Another thing we haven’t quite gotten used to in the decade plus since we moved here: How, what and when places decide to close as a storm approaches. While schools, stores and medical facilities may have a more wait-and-see approach to impending weather, churches are always the first to bail. The hurricane could be two states away and there comes the announcement scrolling at the bottom of the screen on the six o’clock news: “All services canceled.” You always have to wonder: “Is all of that ‘faith’ talk of theirs bullshit or do they know something we don’t?”

And the schools don’t have districts like we were used to. So if you live in a huge county here and the roads are fine where you live, your kids may still be home from school for weeks because the county’s schools are all closed at the same time even if the road problem is an hour away from you.

Our kids go to a year-round school which everyone but us loves. That means they go to school for nine weeks and have three to five weeks off all year long. When the schools are closed because of weather, instead of lopping off one of their weeks off and using them as make-up days, they have them go to school on Saturdays. If the county goes through with their proposed plan, this Saturday would be the first time that my kids would be subjected to this weirdness. And they’re not taking it well.

“Saturday? Well at least you’re not going to make us go. Right? Right? We don’t have to go. Right? Right?”

But my husband and I couldn’t hear their pleas over our own gleeful thoughts:

“The kids will be at school all day on a Saturday?” Cue the organ at the hockey game: “Date! Date! Date! Date! Date! Date! Date! Date! Ta dum da dum… Charge!!”

Images wafted through our minds. The first was of us being cooped up the past five days and who knows how much longer with these people. (How have families ever spent years together in one room hiding from Nazis, guerrillas, drug cartels…? After five days in our five bedroom house, I’m about to run outside and offer myself to Florence as her love slave) The next images were more pleasant: Lloyd and me- fourteen years younger. He and I were at that innocent, carefree, age: forty. Okay, so it wasn’t our ages that made us as youthful as much as our children’s ages: “Not yet born.” I’ve mentioned often how Lloyd and I had met and married “later in life”. (I hate that expression. It sounds like we were introduced at a card table in the nursing home.) So we kind of hurried it up to get married and trying to start a family. In fact, we got engaged seven months after we first met and married three months later. We are pretty lovey-dovey in general (much to my kids’ dismay), but I can’t help thinking that we long for dates in part because we’ve never given up on trying to have those dates we never had when we were dating. So in answer to my kids’ question an hour ago: “Damn right you have to go to school on Saturday. Those are make-up days! For us anyway. You’ll probably just be sitting there doing nothing for seven hours but oh well… And take the bus home, will ya? And remember to bring your key. Just in case…”

Thanks a lot for stopping by for my buffoonery! Please consider signing up for my newsletter at the bottom of the home page and perusing one of my books under well, "books". They are designed to de-stress during some of life's most anxiety-producing moments. Please always remember: Laughing IS Conceivable... And Humor Heals.  

Laughing-Is-Conceivable-Finalfront-cover-small.jpg
Book 3 Final Option 1 (1).jpg
Laughter is conceivable final Back to School cover .jpg

Write here…

Microblog_Mondays.png



One Person's Hug is Another Person's Smother

"One Person's Hug is Another Person's Smother." 

"One Person's Hug is Another Person's Smother." 

Laughing is Conceivable web banner.jpg

I've realized recently how much you can tell about people in your life by the way they hug. My husband Lloyd and I are very affectionate with each other partly because we like to hug and kiss and partly because it skeeves our children. My one daughter in particular, Carly, always attempts to wedge her entire 62 pound self between us to pry us apart. She was probably the only child ever to secretly wish for a crowbar for their twelfth birthday who is not on the FBI's radar. It's her fault that our G-rated hugs sometimes go further down the alphabet in front of our kids. In an attempt to not have her succeed in pulling us apart, Lloyd will grab onto whatever part of me he can. (You're right. Now that I'm typing it, it does seem like an obvious ploy on his part.) Sometimes he will even fuel Carly's fire. She'll be in her room minding her own business doing her homework and Lloyd will yell up the stairs: "Carly, I'm home! And I'm about to kiss Mommy!" The interesting thing is that neither my husband nor I grew up in a home where our parents ever hugged, kissed, or even held hands. So of course back then I always thought that parents showing affection to each other was normal only on sitcoms. I once was at my friend's house in high school and saw her parents kissing and flirting. I said to my friend: "What is this like a second marriage thing?"

 

couple toasting cartoon nice.jpg

 

But I'm not comfortable hugging everybody. Let's face it, nobody is comfortable hugging people whom you know are not "huggers"... like my sister and my father-in-law. They both hug from three feet away like I'm still eight months pregnant. They don't squeeze. They sort of just tap your back with their hands.  It's about as warm and fuzzy as hugging a cinder block. 

And what about friends? Anyone else still stumped on what the protocol is when you run into a friend on the street or meet up with someone you haven't seen in a while? I always get it wrong. I over think. In that three seconds it takes to visually identify the person and make my way over there, I've already weighed the eighty possible scenarios: "Oh geez, is this the one who kisses one cheek? Or is she the one who kisses both cheeks like we're in France? No, wait, I think she's a double hand grabber. Or is this the one who hugs? I guess she'll hug over and I'll go under because I'm shorter. And remember the number one unwritten rule: If we have an accidental boob bump, neither party will ever ever mention it. And then what do I do with her boyfriend? What's currently acceptable for a woman hugging a straight male friend? Do I shake his right hand and put my left arm around his back like another guy would? Or do I hug him like when I G-rate hug Lloyd and then forever wonder if he was trying to cop a feel like Lloyd does? When you see someone you know approaching and know it's going to end in an embrace, I say: Yell out instructions: "Grab both hands! Kiss right cheek!" For me, it might clear up all of my indecisiveness which typically results in something closer to a mugging than a greeting.   

Thanks a lot for stopping by!  Please stay tuned for previews of my latest book:

"Laughing IS Conceivable: No Matter How Many You're Carrying". Insanity in its Infancy

It's about getting pregnant with, staying pregnant with, giving birth to, and caring for-- more than one baby. Coming Soon! In the meantime: If you'd like Laughing IS Conceivable updates, please subscribe to my not-ridiculously-frequent newsletter at the bottom of my home page. And if you'd like more laughs at life's expense, kindly check out my books in my Laughing IS Conceivable series at the menu at the top... (One book is for parents right about now & one is for those dealing with infertility anytime.) 

 

Laughing-Is-Conceivable-Finalfront-cover-small.jpg
Laughter is conceivable final Back to School cover .jpg
Microblog_Mondays.png

The Envelope Please- Awards for my Family, Friends, & Co-Workers

award- academy award envelope.jpg

My kids recently got a bunch of year-end awards at school. I'm proud to say that among the three of them, they amassed a whopping twelve awards. When I was a kid, the awards they gave in school were based mostly on academic achievement. If you did the best on a standardized test or had the highest grades, or were the best athlete, you got an award. If you didn't, screw you. But things are different nowadays. Even the older kids are given awards for being the friendliest or the most helpful or most respectful. Why can't life be like that? We should get a certificate of achievement for everything. And I have a few I'd like to give out myself: 

Co-Workers:

The Practice Makes Imperfect Award- For the coworker who started out okay and as time goes on, actually, somehow, inexplicably, seems to get worse at their job. 

The Consistency Award- For the coworker who made a lot of mistakes at the beginning and five years later, is still making the exact same mistakes. 

The Selfish Bastard Award: For the coworker who regularly shows up late, leaves early, and does nothing in between, totally unconcerned if they're lousing up everyone else's schedule or doubles their workload.

The Selfish, Annoying, Bastard Award: For the coworker who meets all of the requirements of the previous award recipient plus, when they finally do show up to work, they sit there and talk to you the whole time. So not only are they giving you more work because they're not doing their job, they won't leave you alone long enough to do yours,

Friends & Family:

The "I Couldn't Be On Time If My Life Depended On It" Award: Pretty self-explanatory. For that person who makes plans to meet you at 2 pm and while you're still standing on the corner waiting for them like a dumb-ass at 3, finally answers your text: "Sorry I'm running late. I'm just going to jump into the shower."   

The Worst Timing / Pervert Award: For the person who only calls or knocks on your door when you're, for whatever reason, naked.

The "I Can Wear Anything." "No You Can't" Award: For the person who wears clothing whose shape, size, and / or color were never ever intended to be worn by them.   

The Promise But Don't Mean It Award: For that person who will always be there for you, any day, any time to_________ (babysit, help you move, help you pick out your wedding dress, plan a birthday party, return your library book) just not that Thursday, Friday or Tuesday that you________ (need a babysitter, are going to pick out your wedding dress, are planning the birthday party or your library book is due.)    

The "Most Likely" Awards:

awards medals.jpg

To The Teacher Most Likely to get pregnant and quit before the end of the semester.

To The Family Member Most Likely to hold a grudge for more than a decade.

To The Coworker Most Likely to flip out on a client.

To: The Child Most Likely to interrupt a private urination with a very important story involving a TV episode.   

To: The Cashier Most Likely to go on break and be replaced by the "Trainee" when it's my turn.   

To: The Friend Most Likely to interrupt my story so they can top it with their story. 

To: The Neighbor Most Likely to mow the lawn at 5 a.m.   

To: The Relative Most Likely to say multiple times that they'll come visit next time they have time off but never does. (And with this award comes my heartfelt thanks.)

Thanks a lot for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at life's expense- please consider heading over to my home page and signing up to my not-overly-frequent newsletter or purchasing one of my little books.   

Laughing-Is-Conceivable-Finalfront-cover-small.jpg

Fair Food-Part 2- Gotta Be NC Fair: The Triplets, The Husband, & Me

state-fair-sign.jpg

 

Food Glorious, Disgusting, Absurdly Over-Priced Food

Last time I talked about my family going to the Gotta Be NC Fair and how wonderfully I dealt with 11 year old triplets, inclement weather, ride wristbands and every parent's gift from Gd-- bumper cars.  But there was one aspect of fair life that I didn't mention: The fair food. (Feel free to take that as a pun.) Last time, I omitted it intentionally. I thought that the fair food required and deserved a blog post all its own. And this is it.

As I explained in the first post, "Gotta Be NC" held every May, is a smaller version of the state fair held every October. This way, we North Carolina residents get two opportunities a year to pay homage to local farmers and eat our body weight in saturated fat. I've always considered that having the two events in spring and fall respectively, serves a dual purpose: The weather is most likely going to be pleasant, and our digestive systems will have several months between events to successfully complete the five stages of gastronomic grief:

homer-simpson.gif

Denial: "I didn't eat that much fair food. Last year I ate way more. And that deep-fried butter should be no big deal. Last year I had three of those."

Anger:  "I can't believe I wasted an hour and a half at Planet Fitness that morning. If I was going to eat all that fair food, why oh why did I go to the gym when I could have been sleeping? Oh right. They had bagels.

Bargaining: (Day of the Fair) "Please don't let me get sick! Please don't let me get sick! I swear if I don't get sick, I won't eat another thing all day." (Day after the Fair) "Please let this pain be an 'antacid' blockage situation and not a 'surgical' blockage situation. If this ache can be cured by TUMS, I swear I'll only eat organic, unprocessed, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleontological vegan food from now on."

Depression: "Oh... the Thanksgiving feast in an egg roll... I can't believe I missed that booth. I saw it advertised on TV the week before and stupid me I didn't even notice it at the fair... And those chocolate covered knee caps. I forgot about those too! I mean, I don't think they're actual knee caps but I never got the chance to find out!"

Acceptance:  "Well, the next fair is coming up in just a couple of months. I'll get them then."

50% of all fair attendees never go on any rides or play any games. We just eat our way from one end of the festival to the other. Basically, the rides, the games, the blue ribbons, the bands, and all of the other attractions are just something to occupy yourself with in those brief bouts of eating downtime between: "I'm so full I never want to see fair food again" and "Hey, that smells good, let me go ask her where she got it."

Many of us fair-goers convince ourselves that we will "walk it off" during the sprawling event, failing to realize that it's difficult to do so when you're strolling with a turkey leg in one hand and a deep-fried Snicker's bar on a stick in the other. (If you never thought you could actually feel your BMI rising, you've never been to a state fair.)

state-fair-food-vendors.jpg

And gluttony doesn't come cheaply. I always prefer to get my fair food from a local business or charity that has a stand there. This way I know that it's likely to be decent food at a somewhat reasonable price because they either want your business again next week at their restaurant or the money's going to a good cause.

However, my son always wants chicken tenders and fries from one of those: "Have a good day. Scam you next fair!" tents.

I always think to myself as I order: "$7 for frozen chicken and potatoes they throw into a deep fryer. I'm surprised they call them 'french fries' instead of 'pommes frites.'" This year was different. This year the same meal was $10. I knew what was going on. It was lousy weather all weekend and attendance was way down... While the executive chef stood over the fryer tending to our order, I said to the person at the front of the tent, as politely as I could... and as quietly as I could so as not to upset the person actually touching and within spitting distance of my son's fair food:

"How come the price went up from $7 to $10 this year? The people who showed up have to make up for the people who didn't?" I knew I wasn't going to get any satisfactory answer, especially since it was more or less a rhetorical question.  But the young lady was friendly and said she didn't know because the owner usually kept the prices the same at a particular fair from one year to the next. When we got our fair food and left, my son looked at me:

"Why did you have to say that?"

I said: "Because I'm me. And no matter where I live, I'm a New Yorker. New Yorkers don't mind paying more for something that's worth it, but there's nothing a New Yorker hates more than feeling like they're getting ripped off." He still stared at me. So I  continued: "And... like I said...I'm me."

***

I really appreciate you stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my buffoonery. If you'd like to check out Part 1 of this post (which is largely about mean punishing my kids with bumper cars for a year of misdeeds): "Gotta Be NC: The Triplets, My Husband, and Me" immediately follows this post.. Also, please consider subscribing to my not-so-frequent-you'll-want-to shoot-your-inbox newsletter or check out one of my Laughing IS Conceivable books, all on the home page... or you can do both. I won't fight you on it. 

 

Laughter is conceivable final Back to School cover .jpg
Laughing-Is-Conceivable-Finalfront-cover-small.jpg
Laughing_is_conceivable_cover_spanish_-_by_removed.png

Gotta Be NC- The Triplets, The Husband, & Me

state-fair.jpg

And how many family outings have you regretted while still in the middle of them?

Fit To Be Tied... with a wristband

Every year my husband and I and our triplets (now 11 1/2) head over to "Gotta Be NC" which is a smaller version of the state fair. If you buy a $20 wristband per child instead of tickets, they can go on unlimited rides. The people selling them are very particular. They have to wrap the wristband tightly around each child's right wrist. Not the left.  Not over a sleeve. Not dangling. (Gd forbid the kid has no right arm. "Sorry, those are the rules.") If the ticket booth people worked for the criminal justice system, people on house arrest wouldn't be slipping out of their tracking bracelets every other day. This past weekend when the fair was held, the weather was a little iffy. But there are no refunds for inclement weather. If you factor in the cost of tickets and how many tickets are required for each ride, we figured each child would have to ride 5 rides for us to break even.

cloudy-day.jpg

So we got the wristbands and I looked up at the clouds and my kids were standing around deciding what they should go on first while my husband started off the day's festivities by yelling at them:

"What are you standing around for? I just spent $60! Go on something before it starts pouring!"

Finally they all agreed on a tween-approved helicopter ride. The girls went together. My son disassociated himself altogether and went on by himself. They got off the ride. They're sauntering through the exit while we're looking up at the clouds:

"Come on! Come on! What do you want to go on next? How about this one?" My husband shoved them through the gate of the adjoining ride as I called after them: "You're doing great. Another four rides and we'll break even. After that you can go on whatever you want."

Triplet C yelled back: "I'm starving! I want to eat!"

"There will be plenty of time to eat once we break even! The sooner we break even, the sooner we can eat!" Not that I had a one track mind or anything.

My Two 11 Year Old Daughters and Their Geriatric Triplet Brother 

Triplet B knew what rides she wanted to go on. Triplet C looked at Triplet B to tell her whether she too wanted to go on the ride or not. Triplet A, my son, looked up at most rides and commented thusly:

"I can't go on that. It would upset my equilibrium."

I looked at him: "Upset your equilibrium? How old are you?"

He prefers to take the can-never-be-too-careful approach to amusement park rides. He likes the rides that never leave the ground and look like an eighty year old church lady is driving them. You know how kids are always crying at carnivals because they're too short to go on the rides? My son is the opposite. He laments that all the rides he would feel safe on have a height limit of 3 feet tall. The only other would-be riders who are ever turned away are those who haven't yet mastered sitting up by themselves.

If I hadn't been a somewhat crucial part of their birth, I would swear that my daughters were born two minutes apart and half a century after my son.

Fasten Your Seat Belts... It's Going To Be a Bumpy 4 Minutes

bumper-cars.jpg

Bumper cars are something we can all agree on. Although, the second time my son went to get on them the other day he said:

"I'm not sure if I should go again. I think I pulled something." I said:

"Get in the seat. Your Medicare will cover it." I was adamant. Nobody will stop me from sitting behind the wheel of my own bumper car with all three of my children driving around the pit. Bumper cars with your kids. What a wonderful idea and legal in all 50 states. I'm never prouder of having passed my road test 37 years ago than during a round of bumper car derby with my kids. I like to personalize my hits as I gun it towards each child: "This is for crying during Final Jeopardy!" "This is for finishing my Mother's Day cake before I even got any!" "This is for handing me your report card to sign Monday morning as the bus is coming!"

I've considered renting out the whole bumper car pit for an hour or two so I can "reconnect" with my family without any innocent people getting hurt. It gets tiresome yelling at strangers: "Get out of my way! She's the one I want! You're blocking my shot!"

I suspect I'm not the only parent who feels this way. In fact, I know it. Lots of times while I'm driving around on my mission, a parent will call out to me from the other side of the gate: "Over there! Blond hair, blue shirt! Hurry! He's getting away!"

If you'd like more laughs at the triplets' expense, please subscribe to my not-overly-frequent newsletter and check out my eBook written especially for parents at this time of year: Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School. (I love my kids. I love my kids. I LOVE MY KIDS!!).. Both doable from the home page.

 

Laughter is conceivable final Back to School cover .jpg

Expect to have Holiday Expectations

So you think you dread the holidays this year because you're dealing with infertility? How about before you were dealing with infertility? I truly believe that many many people- those with normally functioning reproductive systems included- either dread or at least would rather not go to these family soirees and there's one main reason: Expectations: Either we fear that our holiday gatherings won't live up to what we expect. Or, even worse: They will.

Approaching holidays fill us with expectation: Expectations to be happy, to celebrate, to be around family, to skip down memory lane, all of us together, hand in hand.

So here we have on perfumed stationery our dainty, holiday expectation list, engraved in gold calligraphy. And on the other side, scribbled in leaky pen with a mayonnaise stain on it, is our real expectation list.

We expect that everyone will get together. We expect that most don't want to be there. We expect that most are for one of four very good reasons or a combination thereof: 1) They couldn't get out of it. 2) Free food 3) Free alcohol 4) They don't want to be the person who's talked about behind their back.

We expect that at least one person will say something about himself that he shouldn't have and at least two people will say something about someone else that they shouldn't have.

We expect some cousin to tell you how well he's doing in his business even though everyone present, even the kids, know it's bullshit.

We expect your aunt to continue the charade of how well her kid is doing and everyone else to be thinking: "Does she really not know he's a loser?"

We expect some to over-drink and all to over-eat. And we expect that some of the ones who over-drink, will somehow find a way to over-drink even if there's no alcohol served.

We expect all the food will be great while we're sitting within earshot of the person who made it and most of the food will stink when we all talk about it on the drive home in between popping Tums.

And we expect at least one person in each vehicle to put in the request:

"Remind me not to do this again next year."

But those with infertility issues also expect scrutiny and being judged and being made to feel uncomfortable:

Personal questions, embarrassing questions, extremely "not-anybody's-business" questions.

And I'm here to remind you that, while all of their baby plumbing may be functioning correctly, (although you might not be so sure when you see what they were capable of producing), your dear relatives have plenty they don't want to talk about either:

So, remember:

Don't ask  your cousin Brian why he's 42 and still living in his bedroom at home with the New Kids on the Block posters on his wall.

Don't ask your uncle Steve why he was on the news hiding his face.

Don't ask your sister-in-law Brenda why she lives in a mansion and drives a BMW to the food stamp office.

Don't ask your brother-in-law Sam how he failed his driving test four times and his GED three times.

Don't ask your mother-in-law why every time she makes her "special-family recipe" stuffing, there's always an empty Stove Top box in the garbage.

Don't ask your second cousin Bill why he spends his days collecting disability and training for an Ironman triathlon.

And the ultimate goal for the family festivities: After the whole debacle is over, be that person in the car who says:

"Remind me not to do this again next year".......

And then put it down as #1 on your New Year Resolutions' list.

Thanks a lot for taking time during this busy season to stop by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than when you first got here.  My eBook is now available in paperback too. So if you want to have a copy for when you could use a laugh during your infertility travels, or you're tired of the waiting room magazines.. (That's Chapter 6, by the way) Or want to give as a gift to someone in your life who just doesn't get what you're going through.  https://www.amazon.com//0692950117/  

 

 

Infertility at Work- at the Company Holiday Party

"My Co-Workers are like Family" office-of-angry-people

Why do people think that's a good thing? So you're telling me that you get on each other's nerves, push each other's buttons, talk behind each other's backs, and hold eternal grudges?

Mercifully, most of our extended real family, the ones with whom we spend holidays, are people we don't see that often. So whatever idiocies are said at the big family gathering.:

"I really think you should start having children. You're not getting any younger."

Or our response:

"I really think you should stop talking. You're not getting any smarter."

...are said and then we all get into our respective cars, gripe to anyone unfortunate enough to be trapped in the vehicle with us for the long & getting-longer-by-the-minute-ride-home, or a BFF on the other end of the hands-free. Then we rehash the emotional leftovers in our minds and to our spouses for the next 12 months. It's different after the company holiday event.

woman-arguing-to-man-in-care

Infertility at Work: The Company Holiday Party: (Gd help us all... everyone.)

If someone you've confided in at work about your infertility starts gabbing at the big celebration, maybe after confusing the open bar with the buffet two or twelve times, or maybe you yourself imbibed more than you should have and, mistaking catty coworkers for friends, sailed your own secrets down the River Rum... unlike with your family, you won't have to deal with the backlash until.....Not next Thanksgiving. Not next Christmas..... Monday.

1920_hero_too_drunk_holiday_party

And since a juicy bit of gossip is often the best holiday bonus people can bring home nowadays- Any seeds of "news" employees start spreading at the holiday party 2017 (assuming they even remember the holiday party 2017) will grow and flourish until New Year's Day... 2019. When finally you'll be able to get up off the hot seat because at least one of the following will have taken place:

  1. You'll be pregnant (yeah!) and they'll switch from discussing how infertile you were to how fat you are.
  2. You'll be a parent and they'll switch to discussing how much time you're taking off.
  3. People will finally have grown as tired of your infertility as you have.
  4. A fair number of employees at the December 2017 holiday party won't even be at the December 2018 holiday party because those holiday parties are only for company employees: Something which, for one reason or other, many will no longer be a year later. Of course, the most likely thing to occur to get you off the hot seat:
  5. Something new and way more delicious than your humdrum infertility will emerge at the party as the new reigning scandal:

A good old-fashioned boisterous, public cursing out; The manager feeding appetizers to the assistant manager from her cleavage; The CFO going to get her coat to leave and throwing up in the cloak room window... The possibilities are endless.

(I really appreciate you taking time at this busy time of year to stop by. I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like more laughter at infertility's expense, please check out my book above- now available in eBook & paperback: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. (Recommended by renowned infertility professionals) https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117)

 

Microblog_Mondays

Haircut Time- Nothing But the Best for the Foxes

When we first started taking the kids for haircuts, it was a harrowing experience.  We specifically picked a salon that had videos for them to watch and fun chairs like horseys and police cars for them to sit in during the deed. We traveled miles over mountains and prairies to get to this salon that catered to little kids. And the way it turned out, at least one of those kids owes me some gas money.

Every time we went, we plunked my son on the horsey or jammed him into the fire engine as he started in hysteria-mode then tired himself out and withdrew into catatonia. Good thing. Because the hair cutters in this place keep cutting, no matter what shape your kid is in. If he'd remained in hysteria-mode for the duration of the haircut, he would have ended up looking like he was in a slasher movie. But you can't ask for a more model customer than one who doesn't exhale, blink, or move a muscle. True, the emotional toll may have been irreversibly traumatic, but at least I always got my money's worth on the haircut. My one daughter wanted no part of the horsey, police car etc. She clung to daddy. The stylist proceeded to do his job. Half the hair on the salon floor was from my husband's arm. My other daughter just sat there and admired herself in the mirror waiting for someone on E! to walk in and offer her her own reality show. All things considered, I think I'd work at a place like that for about five minutes before I'd plunge my shears into my neck.

Now my triplets are 11 and haircuts are still horrible but a different kind of horrible. The following is an excerpt from my little eBook: Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School. (Available on all Amazons. Free @Kindle Library. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07261ST2P)

The Haircut of Choice is Whichever One Won’t Grow Out Before School Starts.

When it comes to haircuts for the kids, we go to the shopping center down the block where they have one of those haircut chains. Practically every shopping center down every block in the US has one of those places: Super Clips, Great Clips, Paper Clips whatever the hell it’s called. For twelve bucks a kid, it’s much better than I can do at the kitchen table. (You’d think they’d take a dollar off because I’m giving them three heads to cut, but no, never. Not without an almighty coupon.)

The women who work there are always pleasant enough sort of. Most of them give off the same vibe as the customers: “I’ve got better things to do. Can we get this over with already?” Some of them are very professional and some of them get you into the chair and bark out: “What you want?” like they’re going to yell your request to the guy at the grill behind them. And I’ve stopped trying to remember the names of the women I like. There’s no point. She won’t be there next time. I don’t know if they all quit or go into the witness protection program, but I’ve never seen the same woman working there twice.

They started taking reservations online recently. In an effort to capture the posh market, no doubt. Can a customer dress code be far behind? We’ve done the online reservation many times and someday we might even figure out how to do it for the actual location we go to. Now we just go through the routine of booking it online and showing up ten minutes later to a blank stare behind the counter telling us she has no idea who we are or why we’re there. There’s probably a hairdresser thousands of miles away in Idaho who every two months says: “The Fox family didn’t show up again. Those pranking bastards!” Then again, like I said, I can never remember which “Clips” is the one down the block: Mega Clips, Chip Clips. For all I know, I’ve been using the wrong app for six months. Nothing but the best for the Foxes.

First Day of School Blues in the Fifth Week of School

First day of school: It's so hard for any kid. Monday morning was a very hard morning for all of us... The only thing I don't get-- Yes, it was the first day of school, but not for my kids. Their school started a month ago.

So why then, this Monday morning of all mornings, did one child sit on the steps for a half hour crying and making that repetitive droning sound like he's doing an impression of my vacuum cleaner (and a very good impression, I might add) because he didn't know what to wear, while another refused to brush her hair saying she had no idea where her brush was? Of course, the third child was well-behaved. There always has to be a well-behaved child if only to show-up the others. It's never the same child by-the-way. Just like a pitcher can't pitch two days in a row. Each child needs a day or two off to rest from being well-behaved. It's a rotation. They take turns being "Kiss-ass for a day".

On this particular Monday, however, I did have a third misbehaved child played beautifully by my husband who chased the brushless girl around the living room with scissors threatening to give her a haircut should her brush not magically appear in the next thirty seconds. And I sensed by the venom in his eyes that he wasn't planning to deep-condition or blow dry like the salon does... or even let her sit in a chair. Even Great Clips lets you sit in a chair. No, he clearly was fantasizing about hoisting this eleven year old off the floor by her raggedy locks and dangling her over the couch so she and her new bob would have a soft place to land.

I still can't figure out why my kids were so miserable on other kids' first day of school. Wait. I got it. You know how guys sometimes have sympathy pains when their spouse is pregnant? They start craving things and get heart burn? Maybe it's like that. Maybe my kids (and husband) are so compassionate and sensitive towards others... okay, forget it. I can't even type the whole thing in good conscience.

In fact, come to think of it, everyone didn't turn back into their normal jovial selves until we'd arrived at the bus stop and my husband proposed a new game:

"Of all the kids you know who are starting middle school today, who do you think will get their ass kicked first?

"Sammy The-Know-It-All" got voted number one unanimously. What this kid lacks in intelligence he makes up for in obnoxiousness.

Teacher: "Who can name all 7 continents?"

Sammy: "Asia, North America, Europe... oh and Fun Fact!: Mrs. Stern, I bet you didn't know that Antarctica was originally...."

Let's face it: Any 11 year old who readily blurts out: "Fun Fact!" is a prime candidate for an ass-whoopin'. And you can almost guarantee that when they have Meet-the-Teachers, Sammy's parent will be the first to correct the teacher, typically on something that couldn't possibly matter less.

Teacher: "And when the kids finish lunch at 1:25..."

Parent: "Don't they have lunch only until 1:23? I believe they're already lined up by 1:25."

In my experience: The apple usually doesn't fall far from the know-it-all tree.

 

****

Thanks a lot for hanging out for a bit! Please sign up for my monthly newsletter: http://laughingisconceivable.com (top) & come have more laughs at your/my children's expense with my latest little eBook designed to de-stress parents right now:  Available on all Amazons & Free at the Kindle Library. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07261ST2P

Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School. (I love my kids. I love my kids. I LOVE MY KIDS!")

 

 

School Bus-ted Yet Again... (Part 2)

If you read part 1, you know that school started for my kids three weeks ago and that thus far their "regular"school bus driver was present and accounted for precisely five of those fifteen school days, having taken a smattering of days off, culminating in a full blown week-long scheduled vacation. This leaves me wondering whether announcing that she was our "regular" school bus driver wasn't referring to her bowel habits and not her work habits.

So today she was back from her vacation. Well, maybe she was. She didn't come back to work though. Is she coming back or isn't she? Did she flee to destinations unknown? I have no idea if school bus drivers have many advancement opportunities but I didn't think they had any embezzlement opportunities.

Meanwhile in her absence, my kids' bus route has had various revolving school bus drivers.

Since I stand like a tree stump blocking the roadway while my children cross over to the door side, I can't really describe the different school bus drivers, but I know they're different. It's not that I can see their faces or anything. I'm both quite short and quite near-sighted. But I know that there have been at least four different drivers. Call it my intense Murder She Wrote  and Columbo training, but I've become quite adept at discerning which left arm I see dangling out of that little school bus driver's window. In those scant three weeks, I have already assessed skin tone, tautness... These are my findings:

All of the arms are female. Two are in their mid-thirties. One is in its late forties. Three appear to be Caucasian limbs. One seems to be African American. One has a tattoo of a rose. One does bicep curls. The others do not. And if any of these women injects Heroin, it's not into her left arm.

Hopefully it will never come to that, but I feel I'd be a competent witness in a police line-up: "Could you have #3 roll up her sleeve please? The other one."

All of the school bus drivers do hand signals to my kids designed to tell them when it's safe to cross. I can do the alphabet in American Sign Language. I know all of the official baseball signs; I know all of the official football signs; and I had a bad case of road rage in NYC that lasted thirty years. But I have no idea what the hell these bus shadow puppet signs are supposed to mean. And more important... neither do my kids.

My kids have been instructed that despite the flashing red lights, the flung out stop sign and their mother barricading the roadway with her body, they are to look up to the school bus driver, awaiting her signs that it is safe to cross. So every day, they step off the bus and look up. Okay, she gave the "stop" sign. Okay, that one's clear. Now it gets sketchy. "Thumbs up". Okay, they're good to go. They start to move forward. Wait. No. The stop sign hand goes up again. (Is this woman even directing them or is she just singing along to a Supremes song on the radio?)

"Thumbs up" apparently wasn't the "Okay to move" sign after all. So my kids rock back into their original positions. This is lovely. Traffic is backed-up three blocks deep. I'm standing in the middle of the street facing oncoming traffic- my headlights playing chicken with their headlights- and there are my kids stutter-stepping and rocking back and forth. One looks like he's doing the cha-cha, one looks like a hobby horse, and the other ran up the back of both of them like it's a Three Stooges routine.

***

Join me next week for more on the Bus STOP! saga. If you've enjoyed this post, I know you'll really like my latest little eBook: Laughing IS Conceivable: From End  of School to Back-to-School (I love my kids. I love my kids. I LOVE MY KIDS!). Available on all Amazons & Free at the Kindle Library.

Also, please join my monthly newsletter.

newsletter: http://laughingisconceivable.com (quick signup at top)

eBook: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07261ST2P

 

School Bus-ted Yet Again (Part 1)

In my newest little  eBook, I have a chapter called: "The School Bus Situation: Because every year there is indeed 'a school bus situation'." This is no exaggeration. My triplets are just starting sixth grade.  The first week of school is always that adjustment period. Teachers are getting to know the kids. Kids are getting to know the teachers. Where do we sit? What time is lunch? Now that they're in middle school there's even more to get used to: Where's my locker? How do I get to my next class? What time does the bell ring? And this period of adjustment extends to the bus drivers. Where's the stop? Who's at the bus stop? What's the bus route? The only difference is: By the end of the first two weeks, teachers and kids have pretty much settled in... and "the school bus situation" is just getting revved up.

Before I get into my bus woes, one might question why we don't just do carpool.  At the moment, it's  just not an option for us and even if it were, this is one of the few things we and our kids can agree on: They have no interest in seeing us pull up to the school and we have no interest in picking them up at the school. (In all fairness to my kids, this is not the time in their lives when mother's unpredictable nature is appreciated... or should I say "predictable nature": We can all guarantee that I would frequently humiliate them with my childlike behavior by waving them over to the car with a hand puppet or putting Flat Stanley in the window or arriving early so I can set up my Peppa Pig play set on the hood.)

As for why we don't want to pick them up: Let me sum it up this way: My kids can't keep from killing each other in a 2-story, 9 room house. How do you think it's going to go on a twenty minute ride in a compact car? And knowing my kids, they wouldn't be deterred from slamming doors just because they'd have to jump out of a moving vehicle first to do it.

Not that the back seat brawl is a bad experience for my husband and me. The radio volume goes up just high enough to drown them out.

Now that you see things my way.... back to "the school bus situation".

This year the kids have to cross over a pretty busy road during rush hour to board their bus. Most parents either let their kids walk to the bus stop alone or they drive to the bus stop a block away and never leave the vehicle. It seems a tad lazy to me, but I'm used to walking miles around NYC so what do I know? I, on the other hand, not only stand there with my kids, but when the bus starts blinking its lights, I inch myself into the intersection so that any vehicle attempting to ignore the lights will have to mow down the little Jewess blocking the roadway to get past. If a vehicle somehow whisks by me, I squint to read the license plate as well as the bumper stickers so I can fully appreciate their intentions.

The first week, we had different bus drivers arriving at different times. The second week, one woman, Kim, proclaimed that she would be our regular driver. On Friday of the second week, my kids stated that Kim had announced that she would be on vacation next week. Vacation? What the hell? Does she need a rest? She's only driven the bus 6 times. The route is one big loop. Did she get dizzy spells from going in a circle and have to lie down for a week? In my illustrious 35 year career of day jobs, I never remember taking a vacation on the third week. Just like when you hear on the news that someone is accused of doing something heinous and they get "suspended with pay". What? You get paid for staying home and watching Monk reruns? How's that a punishment? And more important... Where do I apply?

***Tune in Next Week for Part 2 of "The School Bus Situation". In the meantime: If you'd like to have more laughs at every kid's expense, sign on to my monthly newsletter / take a look at my latest eBook tailor-made for parents at this very time of year:

Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School (I love my kids. I love my kids. I LOVE MY KIDS!)

It's available on all Amazons + Free download @ Kindle Library.

Newsletter: http://laughingisconceivable.com (quick sign-up at top)

eBook: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07261ST2P/

 

Back-to- Year Round What? When? Now?

Back-to-School time always sneaks up on me. If you've read previous posts, you'll know that I'm typically between two weeks and eight years behind on everything. And this "policy" of mine, for lack of a better term, doesn't discriminate: It applies equally to doing the laundry as it does to filling out camp registration forms to putting sunscreen on my children. But this year, turning around and finding that back-to-school time has sneaked up on me and smacked me in the ass isn't really just because of my "policy".  Do they have year-round schools where you live? I've never quite gotten the hang of those. And I'd better get the hang soon... because my kids will be starting one in two weeks.

I've been avoiding this whole year-round school thing like the plague. If you're totally unfamiliar with it, you probably still understand it twice as well as I do. Basically, the kids go to school for about nine weeks, then have three weeks off... all year long. So if you want to go to Maui in the off-season, you're great. If you take an annual trip to your grandmother's in Cleveland in the summer, you're screwed. It took us a good three years to find a summer camp for our kids that would be for all of them, all three of them, all at the same time, for the whole summer... all of it. Now, we're going to have to figure out what to do with them every nine weeks. What can I do with them that doesn't cost a fortune? Let's see. How many card games do I know? Maybe I could learn magic. Naaaa... I don't have to entertain them every minute. That's what the tablets and TV are for.

As if the whole year-round calendar idea wasn't confusing enough, there are four different tracks. So you could have one kid in elementary school who's on track 1 and gets out of school next week and doesn't start again until September. Then you have a kid in middle school on track 3, who goes back tomorrow and one in high school who went back two weeks ago.

I heard on the local news that there are some kids here who graduated last Friday and then started their new school this Monday. I'm not kidding. So you're like an elementary school kid on Friday and a middle schooler on Monday. Hurry up. There's not much time. Better get that puberty thing over-with on the weekend. That and learning to open a combination lock. It's like the school system is run by a soap opera writer. Monday the woman's pregnant; Wednesday she has the baby; Friday it's in third grade.

Back when my kids started elementary school, we switched them to a traditional calendar school because there was no guarantee that even all three kids-- triplets mind you-- all in the same school mind you--all in the same grade (at the moment anyway) mind you-- would be on the same track. I could see me dealing with that.

"Look, Ms. Principal, I know one of my kids is supposed to come back to school today. I just don't remember which one. Here, this one's been the most annoying the past couple of days. Just take her."

****

If you'd like more laughs at your children's expense (or at least my children's expense), please sign on to my bimonthly Laughing IS Conceivable newsletter and/or take a look at the new edition of my little, fun summer-reading eBook- For parents right now, in that 4th season of the year...

Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School (I love my kids. I love my kids. I LOVE MY KIDS!)

 

It's all about that 4th season of the year that only parents of school-aged children have: When one school year ends and the other is about to begin... Camps vs keeping them busy all summer loooooong with lame local festivals or bowling or pools. And then, before we know it, we're thrown into the whole back-to-school melee of back-to-school lists, supplies, shoe shopping, clothes shopping, doctor appointments, haircuts.... & then carpool vs bus & new teachers with that new teacher smell.

Newsletter: http://laughingisconceivable.com (top of page)

eBook: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07261ST2P/

(available on all Amazons & Nook)

 

 

My Daughter's Bedroom Takeover & Makeover #2

Last week I discussed how slow-moving we are in this house when it comes to getting things done.  I mentioned that when we picked this 4+ bedroom house ten years ago,  we had specifically done so, so that each of my triplets could eventually have his or her own room, I could have my own office, and that would leave a total of zero rooms available for anyone to ever even consider coming to live with us. My husband Lloyd and I don't really care what relatives think of us as long as they don't think of us as the couple with the spare bedroom.

I say 4+ bedrooms because there are four indisputable bedrooms with walls and floors and everything. Then you know how nowadays they give you this unfinished room that you can do whatever you want with like you can put up walls and finish the floor or you can leave it for ten years as a dark, sweltering, stifling sawdust mess? Well, we've toyed with making it into a man cave or office but so far we're still  going with the sweltering sawdust mess motif.

This is of no consequence to my daughter. She's been kvetching for her own room for years, and just like contractions, her kvetches have been coming closer together: Right now they're about 2 minutes apart. So while that sawdust museum upstairs will someday likely maybe probably who knows? be my office, she is done waiting. Her sister must move out of their room and into my current office. So next time I write a post, it will likely take me twice as long as I will be holding my PC with one hand and typing with the other while standing in the hallway between the bedrooms. (Yes, I have heard of lap tops. I told you I'm behind with everything.) With the minor task of disposing of her mother and sister out of the way, it's time to decorate. (I've concluded that the abbreviation for "interior decorating" is "deteriorating".)

The first thing she's picked out of a catalog is a $2200 swing chair. That's certainly a fair price for something that's eventually going to make my roof buckle. Do we have the dimensions on that swing? Perhaps we can sell the house and all live in the swing chair. Next is the bed which is up in the air. No I mean literally. She wants to sleep in the top bunk of a bunk bed-- preferably with a canopy. but she's willing to forgo the canopy if it's not possible, because as she stated: "I'm not totally unreasonable." And no, her sister can't sleep in the free bunk. Are you crazy? This isn't about saving space or money or accommodating anyone else you know. The bunk bed just looks cool. Speaking of looking cool, there's going to be an ice cream sandwich bench at the foot of the bed.... and a corner desk because she's going to middle school and she needs that corner desk to do her homework. I agree a middle schooler should have her own desk. I'm not sure why a normal rectangular desk wouldn't promote homework focus as well as a corner one, but apparently it won't. And the room will be painted light turquoise except for the window frames and edges which will be dark turquoise and can we get someone to paint her name on the ceiling? A quick calculation brings this room to about $20,000.

I knew I was probably wasting my time, but one day mid-bedroom designing hallucination when she was showing me where she would put her revolving shoe display, I had to finally confront her: "Not to interrupt but: Do you have a top ten hit on the charts that I'm unaware of? Have you been signed to an NBA team? Do you have any idea who your parents are? Haven't you seen me wearing the same pair of jeans your whole life and driving a vehicle that only starts every third try?"

To which she responded, predictably: "I've noticed. I just always figured you were saving up for my room."

***

Thanks for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at my children's expense, please sign on to my newsletter / take a look at my eBook: It's fast, fun summer reading for parents right now: That stressful time between when one school year ends and another begins: "Do we send them to camp? Do we keep them home? Local festivals, pools, bowling... & then prepping for back-to-school and a new year all over again." Please read the eBook. Please, please don't make me go through this alone!

Newsletter sign up at the top: http://laughingisconceivable.com

eBook: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07261ST2P (On all Amazons & Nook)

Let's Hear it for the Boys... & James Doherty

To continue with the "Let's Hear it for the Boys... and their 'boys'" June theme, I'm bringing you a post from my cyber friend, James Doherty, an Irishman living with his wife in Germany. As you'll see, he considers infertility to be the best thing that's ever happened to him. I don't know him that well, so now, I'm thinking maybe he's not quite "right". I mean how sane can you be if you think infertility is the best thing that ever happened to you? What kind of a life have you had? Where have you lived? What kind of people raised you? Infertility is the best thing that's ever happened to you??! Haven't you ever had a birthday party or gone on a trip or gotten a job you really wanted or made some nice new friends or won a raffle??... what about getting married? INFERTILITY is the best thing that's ever happened to you?! What I mean is: "What's wrong with you?!!"... Maybe I should just let him tell it.  I'm going to have some herbal tea and lie down.

(warning: children mentioned.)

Why infertility is the best thing that ever happened to me.

One man’s journey(with his wife) from infertility to having twins

Infertility is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It is also the worst thing that I have ever experienced. My story started at an infertility clinic in West Berlin, in Autumn 2014. The news was administered by a fertility doctor that had about as much emotion as an inanimate carbon rod. To make matters worse she had a face like a well-slapped arse and this is how she delivered the devastating news “You might as well not have sex anymore. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting pregnant naturally”. What an absolute weapon, I thought. I was still able to have sex, it was just the quality of my sperm that was the issue. It was the morphology and motility to be exact. Sex was, and still is pleasurable for me, it is just that I would be better off doing the Euromillions every week.

The majority of people that I met in the field of fertility, from the doctors, and nurses, to the midwives, were some of the nicest people that I have encountered. Create and protecting lives comes with a responsibility of being caring. We managed to meet the one fertility doctor that would have been more at home on Hitler’s board of advisors than in a fertility clinic. Despite the poor start and harrowing fertility journey, we now feel like we have won the lottery ten times over. After two failed and one successful IVF treatment we are now blessed with two little miracles, Max and Mathilda.

The end result was better than we ever could have expected. I am probably biased, but in my opinion, we have the most beautiful twins that I have ever seen. The road to this point was paved with depression, disappointment and disastrous failed IVF treatments. Our first two fertility treatments failed miserably and 2015 was the most horrendous year of your lives. Anyone that has been through failed fertility treatment will understand just how hard it is. I find it hard to believe that I will go through anything harder in my life.

Each IVF treatment begins with so much hope and expectation. When it fails it is like you have lost a loved one. Both my wife and I mourned what felt like a miscarriage. The fertility drugs that come with the treatment are so harsh and the side effects are nothing short of crazy. To go through this hardship and come out with the negative result was traumatic.

It is always darkest before the dawn and the second failed IVF treatment was like the wake-up call that my life needed. For our third IVF treatment things needed to change. I go into it deeper in a series of blog posts that you can see on my blog. (See Below)

I got fitter, changed my diet, lost weight, and became a better husband. All of these things were lacking and need to change. They say that a leopard never changes his spots, but I disagree. As a result of poor sperm quality, I overcompensated and became a better person and now have my two miracles, a happier healthier life and a blossoming relationship. That is why infertility is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Scantily Dad is James Doherty. Born in Dublin, Ireland and lives in Berlin, Germany with his beautiful wife Olivia and twins Max and Mathilda. His blog http://scantilydad.com/ is the World's most popular Dad blog. He writes about how we went from surviving of multiple IVF treatments to becoming a father of Twins. The blog also features contributions from other parenting bloggers.

http://www.twinmummyanddaddy.com/

http://scantilydad.com/category/change-successful-ivf-treatment-series/

Contact: james.doherty@scantilydad.com

Hi this is Lori. The tea and nap really helped. Looking to have laughs at infertility's expense? Sign up for my newsletter / check out my little eBook:

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It's my infertility story that's been downloaded by 1000s of infertility sufferers & professionals looking to de-stress from infertility with laughs. (comments by top infertility experts in "look inside".)

http://laughingisconceivable.com (newsletter sign up at top of page)

https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ (avail on all Amazons, Nook & Kobo)

Planning a Kid's Birthday Party or 2 or 3 (Part 1)

Have you ever planned a kid's birthday party? Or 2? Or 3? At the same time? So next month is my kids' 11th birthday party. Yeah, "kids'". There are three of them. Triplets... and they'd each like to have their own separate birthday party. Why not? How hard can that be? I'm sure David Tutera could pull it off during the commercials. Maybe I'll schedule the parties just like the kids were born: Three minutes apart.

At 8:51 a.m., when my son Jacob was born, we can go to the popular arcade place for his party with his friends. I'm sure he'll invite Jaden- the kid I had to hunt down every five minutes of the museum field trip because he kept running off on his own. But I'm sure he'll be much better behaved at the dark, deafeningly loud arcade with the disco balls. I know Jacob will be much better behaved with his friends at the arcade than he is with his family at the arcade. Every time we go, he has a ritual of showing his dismay for having won fewer tickets than his sisters by throwing a tantrum between the "Subway Surfer" and "Classic Mario Brothers" machines. You might ask: "Then why is Jacob permitted to go every time if that's how he acts?" I ask myself that every single time.

At 8:52 a.m., we can go to the town pool for daughter #1, Carly... (She'll love being called "daughter #1- especially when I tell her that it will psychologically scar her sister for life.) Of course Carly will bring her entire entourage. And quite an entourage it is. Depending on the day and who you ask, it can include up to 12 girls. Would it be wrong for me to start spreading nasty rumors among them now so that Carly will only be friends with half of them when the invitations go out? Otherwise it will be an hour before they even get into the pool. The first sixty minutes will be taken up by every girl telling every other girl how cute her bathing suit is and then, in round two, every girl telling every other girl how cute she looks in it. Then they will splash around and play a diving gave for ten minutes before they plant themselves smack dab in front of the pool steps. For the next hour, they will be totally oblivious to the other fifty pool-goers of various shapes, sizes, and ages, who have to squeeze around them to get in or out of the pool. They will instead be totally focused on their task of comparing the "adorable" levels of the boys in their class with the ones on Teen Nickelodeon. "Logan is soooo adorable! I know, right?!"

Then at 8:54 a.m., we can go to the climbing place for daughter #2, Hayley's party with her own cast of characters: Namely the girl who devoted most of 5th grade math class to coloring her sneakers with marker, and the boy who is way-too-neurotic-to-be-only-eleven who I'm gonna guess is deathly afraid of heights. This is not good. At 5'2", I'm in no position to climb down a fifty foot rope ladder wearing a sixth grader over my shoulder like a shawl. And, I know from experience, it would all be left up to me. I guarantee, the second that kid starts to panic, my nearly six foot husband will yell: "Bad back!" which of course is the adult version of "Not it!"

Join me next week for part 2 of the "Planning a Kid's Birthday Party or 2 or 3" when I tackle the cake, opening the gifts, & more.

A little fun eBook that's just about what we're all going through just about now. From End of School to Back to School(Thanks for stopping by. I hope you're a little less stressed out than when you got here. If you'd like more laughs at your kids' expense please sign up to my newsletter on my homepage (link below) and/or check out the new edition of the latest fast, fun-reading eBook in my series. It's just about what we're all going through just about now.

Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School. I love my kids-I love my kids. I LOVE MY KIDS!  $2.99 USD until 6/16/17 then goes up a buck.) 

Amazon. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07261ST2P/

Home Page.  http://laughingisconceivable.com

Microblog_Mondays

... What Would You Say to Your Family?

Continuing with our series: "If You KNEW You Would be pregnant tomorrow, what would you say..." (Check out the first 2 blog posts: "...What would you say... to your doctor?" and "... to your friends" (specifically friends with kids who have irritated you, upset you, depressed you, and angered you no end throughout your infertility struggles. http://laughingisconceivable.com)) So now, how about your family?

 

You know, those people you've known your whole life who have known you your whole life and love you and support you unconditionally and are intimately familiar with where every single one of your buttons is located and exactly how to push each one to irk you until you feel like beating them down with a stick? Yeah, those people.

So fast forward to the good stuff. That moment when you somehow through sorcery, a wink from the middle star in Orion's belt in the night sky, a prediction by Michael Moore, reading your horoscope, the Farmer's Almanac or via any other reliable source that you were absolutely, positively going to be pregnant tomorrow and happily done with infertility forever . What would you say to those people?

Specifically, what would you say to that person, whether it be your mother, sister, mother-in-law, sister-in-law or third cousin twice removed on your father's side? That one person who dramatically takes a deep breath, implying that this is going to be hard for them to say and then somehow always manages to summon up the courage to start every stinking sentence with: "I know this is none of my business BUT..."

"...have you been to a doctor?"

"...have you tried eating soy?"

"...don't you want to have kids?"

"...maybe it's your husband's fault."

"...it's because you're not relaxed enough."

"...how are you paying for all of this?"

"...how can you take so much time off from work?"

"...maybe it's just not meant to be."

"...you can always adopt."

"...why don't you adopt from this Country?"

"...your cousin has 3 kids and she got married after you."

"...your husband already has a child. Isn't that good enough?"

"...doesn't it bother you that your younger sister had kids before you?"

"...it's not right that you missed my baby shower. I'd be there for you."

So, now that you KNOW you're going to be pregnant tomorrow, you are at liberty to answer all of their somewhat heartfelt but mostly sphincterfelt concerns.

"Gather round everybody. I have two big announcements to make: 1) As you've probably already heard: Tomorrow I will be pregnant.

and 2) (This is where that same person (or people) in the family will interrupt.)

(Deep breath) "I know this is none of my business BUT...

"...how could you possibly know you're going to be pregnant tomorrow?"

"...is there a new blood test that can predict that?"

"...did Aunt Tilly come back and tell you?"

"...did you miss your cycle this month?"

"...do you mean there's a surrogate who's pregnant?"

"...did a doctor tell you that if..." (Your turn to interrupt.)

"As I was saying... And '2': You're absolutely right. It's none of your business."

And feel free to put in the adjective of your choice before the word "business".

(I know you're busy. I really appreciate you taking a moment to stop by. I hope, if you're going through infertility yourself, this made you smile once or twice. And if someone close to you is, I hope you feel you understand them a little bit better. Either way, I'd love if you'd consider taking a look at my little eBook. I was a professional stand-up comic for years and have written for a bunch of newspapers, magazines, blogs etc. This little eBook was written while I was going through my own struggles with infertility. (It's been downloaded by 1000s and has 4.5 stars/66 reviews.) Click the icon above or: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A. Also available on Nook and Kobo.... Thanks again! xox Lori) 

Thanksgiving: Let's Talk Turkey

Quick Note: My eBook is now (finally, mercifully) in paperback. The regular price is $9.99 USD but the new launch price through November is $8.49 (and of course free shipping for Amazon Prime.) The eBook is also on sale this month. Usually $4.99/now $3.99.

Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692950117

eBook: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

(Contact me directly for orders of 5 books or more-I'll hook ya up.)

*

It happens every year. The first cool breeze wafts through the air and with it comes the smell of panic from infertile people everywhere. Everyone anticipates the holidays. Many think: Family! Food! Football! Infertile folk also think: Interrogations! 

Soon Thanksgiving will be upon those of us in the U.S. and it's all downhill from there. That pain in the pit of our stomachs is 1/3 too much turkey, 1/3 funny tasting green bean casserole that we knew was a bad idea from the start... & 1/3 dread. Whether it be before dinner is served at 1:30, or during the meal... it's coming... we know it's coming:

"Speaking of kids... Why don't you have any yet?"

Any reasonable person would know that 1) there's likely no easy answer to this question and 2) the answer, whatever it is,  is none of their business, but we're not dealing with reasonable people.

"Aren't you trying?" (wink wink to the husband)

"You shouldn't be waiting so long. I mean, you know it's harder to get pregnant as you get older." (Knowing glare at the wife)

"How long have you guys been married? Oh, we had three kids by the time we were married that long."

And then the fricken infertility poker game starts with each person trying to up the ante. "I have a friend who had twins at 40"

"I have a neighbor whose daughter had triplets at 42."

"I read about this woman in India who had quadruplets at 51."

"Remember the octomom?"

"John Travolta's wife had a baby at 61 or was it 49?"

"Isn't he married to Kelly Clarkson?"

Luckily most of the time, you don't have to answer or even speak at all. These Thanksgiving think tanks usually run out of intellectual gas pretty quickly and simmer into a sea of stupidity.

And even worse than the family gatherings where everyone grills you like a cheese sandwich, are the ones where nobody even mentions your "situation". They all just look around and pretend they're not wondering what the deal is and you become the giant elephant in the room.

It was so much nicer in past years when others were the elephant in the room.

"Hmmm. I wonder why Uncle John didn't come this year? I'm not going to be the one to ask Aunt Celia. I'll wait until tomorrow morning and call Mom. She's bound to have found out something by then."

"Hmmm. Who's this guy Jef that cousin Susan's with? What happened to Mike that she was living with? Why am I spelling Jef's name with only one 'f'? He just seems like a "one-f-er". My sister Beth's roommate used to be in a band with Mike's sister. I'll bet she'll know what happened. I'll duck into the bathroom and call her on my cell phone."

So this year's your year. Once all the small talk has died down about how the traffic was and gas prices and "you know who I ran into last week?" and the lies about how nice her new haircut looks and how much weight we've all lost and how thank goodness she brought that green bean casserole because I look forward to seeing it every year (seeing it, not eating it mind you), then you can almost hear the thoughts shift their focus onto you and your "problem".

The key is: You must never ever leave the room. They can't talk behind your back if your back is always in front of them. You must be the last one to leave the festivities otherwise they'll dig into you before you're even off the driveway. Don't give them the satisfaction. Linger. Any excuse will do.

"Can I wash some dishes?"

"They're paper plates."

"What about the pots?"

"Aluminum foil"

"Okay, so I'll carry out the garbage."

"Well if you really want to. You can put it in the can out back."

"Nice try.... But I think I'll just sit it over here...in the corner of the living room, by the door... until we're ready to go... which we're not quite ready to do yet."

Putting trash in its place. It's what these holidays are really all about. B'dum bum.