triplets

Insanity in its Infancy

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This week, I wanted to give you an excerpt of my new book that’s just out (currently in eBook). It’s all about what it’s REALLY like to get pregnant with, stay pregnant with, give birth to, and take care of more than one baby day after day. Even though the book is a sequel of sorts to my infertility book, this first chapter is all about my infertility experience so readers would be up-to-speed and fully appreciate how I got myself into this whole “multiple babies” situation in the first place. In fact, as you can see, that’s what I called the first chapter. Hope you buy it! (I mean “like” it. Did I say “buy” it? Wow. That was awkward.)

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

Chapter One: Getting Pregnant with More than One Baby aka How I Got Myself Into This

Even if you haven’t read my first book, Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility, you just read my summary-length title which I’m thinking is enough of a hint as to how I got myself into this whole “multiple babies” situation. And this is how I got myself into the situation that got me into that situation.

A.    Waiting for Mr. Right... and Waiting... and Waiting... So what’s the holdup? Is he stuck in traffic or what?

My wedding, actually the engagement, actually the actual dating is when the lunacy began. If my husband-to-be and I had been younger, that common remark: “Let’s get married and start a family” might have been a two-part undertaking. We’ll get married and then, at some later date, down the road apiece, over yonder, start a family like a normal couple. But since we were both in our extremely late thirties when we met and neither of us had ever been married or had kids, we went from speed dating to speed mating. It was about as romantic as it sounds.

“Hi I’m Lori.”

“Hi I’m Lloyd.”

“Our names sound cute together and you smell nice. We should get married. If you don’t mind me asking: How old are you?”

“I’ll be thirty-nine in two months.”

I’ll be thirty-nine in two months!”

“Wow, that’s another cute thing to tell our kids!”

“Do you want kids?”

“I do!”

“Congratulations! I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

“Speaking of kids...uh oh look at the time on my biological clock... Half past thirty-nine. We’d better go. The rest of you can stay. The band is booked for another hour.”

After having waited so long to find the right person, I would have liked to have been a fiancee for more than twenty minutes. The only problem is that when you’re older, so tend to be everyone and everything around you. Families, both the ones we already had and the one we hoped to create, played a large part in the decision to set our plans on warp speed. Had we waited even another year or two to get married, who knows how many elderly relatives-- or potential children-- we would have had left? We weighed the pros and cons of waiting.

“On the negative side, we might not have some of our family at the wedding. On the positive side, we might not have some…of...  Hmm. It sure would un-complicate the seating chart. And we could probably save a few bucks by lopping a tier off the cake.”

But waiting was too much of a crapshoot. Who really knew how many good eggs I had left or how long our relatives would linger?   

Our plan was simple: We were going to get married and start a family all in the same day. After all, everyone gets pregnant on their wedding night, right? 

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Boy was I going to be productive that day. I was going to dance with all four of my new sisters-in-law and create their future niece or nephew all in a three hour span. Following the reception and conception, Lloyd and I would celebrate in the bridal suite / baby moon Jacuzzi (after I cleared it with my OB/GYN, of course) from which I would order everything non-alcoholic on the room service menu because, after all, I was eating for two, right? Maybe I could even speed up the pregnancy process and have a water birth since I would already be in the tub and check-out wasn’t until noon.  

Well I didn’t get pregnant on my wedding night or the night after that or the night of our first anniversary.

A.    Who Needs Medical Intervention When You Have Divine Intervention?  

During our brief engagement, Lloyd and I met a monsignor at a barbecue who blessed us, finishing with:

“Usually when I bless couples they end up having twins.”

Wait, what? I don’t know much about Catholic prayers but isn’t “Amen” Latin for “The End”? What’s with this “Oh by the way” he just tossed in there? You’re allowed to add asterisks to prayers? My first thought was:

“Oh geez, how do you undo a blessing? Isn’t that like trying to squeeze eye drops out of your pupils?”

If I’d known then how excruciatingly complicated, exhausting, and expensive the next year of my life would be, I might have taken the monsignor’s generous no-hassle twin set offer more seriously instead of gambling on what was behind Door #3. That’s the last time I ever try to undo a blessing.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! Both of my books are available on Amazon.

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ (also on Nook & Kobo)

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ (also on Nook & Kobo)

NEW! Laughing  IS  Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

NEW! Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

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I've Just Been Malled

I revel in my immaturity. Maybe it's not immaturity as much as it is childlike-ness. I'm proud of the fact that I've pretty much liked and disliked the same things my whole life. So that makes me ponder: "What in the world did I ever see in the mall?" I think I do know the answer: "Freedom". It was the first place my parents ever dumped me off with a friend, let us walk around unaccompanied for hours and then picked us up later. I think I was about 12 but since my kids just turned 12 on Friday and that ain't gonna happen... let's just say I was 15. In fact why don't we just forget the "drop-off" part altogether and say I was 16 and drove myself? 

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I'm not much of a shopper so I guess the whole mall appeal did wear off for me about the time I got a driver's license but that's where I found myself, for 5 hours no less, the other day.. When my triplets were small, their birthdays were easy. We rented a bouncy house party place, invited all of their friends to eat cake and get bouncy house burns on their arms and legs for 3 hours. That was then. Using my sound parental judgment, I thought that inviting a group of kids in varying stages of puberty might bring a whole new unwanted meaning to "the bouncy house". So for the past 2 years, I've let my kids each plan a "birthday day" to do whatever he or she wanted. This year, my daughter Carly picked the mall. Did I drop off her and her friend? Of course not. I walked 3 paces behind them for 5 hours like I was the Secret Service. I know that this would be the perfect time and place to critique my daughter's thirst for shopping that she inherited from I don't know where, but she actually did a pretty good job of shopping responsibly and not begging me for shit that I had no intention of buying. Instead, I feel more compelled to critique some of the stores. I read on the internet that if I write about the mall, I can write off all of her birthday purchases on my taxes next year. 

My disdain for certain mall stores has always been there. I distinctly remember being 17 and walking in and out of any store where the sales people seemed to be working on commission. I couldn't bear being followed around the store and asked "May I help you?" 5 times by 5 different sales people in a span of 10 minutes. (I think I actually preferred the ones who just followed me around because I was a teenager and figured I was shoplifting.) 

My short list of most annoying mall stores according to me and nobody else:

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Sephora: I am what I am so people and places that pretend to be something irk me. $20 for a blending sponge for those too high class to buy their make-up at Walgreen's. But it was the faux friendliness that was the most annoying. I told the greeter at the door that my daughter wanted the free mini-makeover as part of her birthday day. After she told us the makeover wasn't available she said: "Happy Birthday!!" with such exuberance to my daughter's friend who is of a totally different ethnic background than us as opposed to my daughter who looks like me with glasses which makes me think in all of her exuberance, the sales woman didn't even look at us.

        .   

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Build-a-Bear You've all undoubtedly heard by now about their debacle where they offered the bears at the price of your kid's age so a $30 bear suddenly became $5. (I thought of going in there to build myself a bear but didn't see the point in paying $54 for a $30 bear. ) Not that my daughter and her friend --2 sophisticated tweens-- went anywhere near this place the other day. I just hate places that make little kids want things that are so overpriced and that most of their parents can't afford.. and that require a la carte accessories. (You can imagine how I feel about American Girl dolls). I found that craze a few weeks ago very strange. People stood in line for hours and hours with toddlers. For what possible reason? Did their 3 year old say: "Hey Mommy, did you read on Facebook about the great deal that Build-A-Bear is having? Can we go? Please?!" 

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Claire's:  This is by far my least favorite mall store. Never mind that my daughter got her ears pierced there last year and almost had to go through life with a latex glove and a salesgirl's finger attached to her lobe. Also never mind the absurdly bright lights that make you feel like you got your pupils dilated at the eye doctor's then took a stroll on the sun. It's the blatant attempt to rip off young girls that I mind. Glitzy, novelty crap with jacked-up prices. Oh, but they have a great deal! Buy 3 glitzy novelty crap items with jacked up prices and get 3 free. My daughter's friend, when I wasn't looking, got a few trinkets that rang up as $40. Of course the cashier didn't tell her that what she had picked as her "3 free items" were not going to be her "3 free items" because they weren't the cheapest items she had picked. The woman just told her: "The free items come off at the end." When the girl had enough presence of mind to tell her to refund everything, the woman said: "You can pick cheaper items if you want." When she said "no" to that, the woman countered with: "Or you can buy one and get half off something else." Wait, let me go outside and look at the sign. Are we at a mall or a carnival?       

I guess we can deduce then, that I'm fine with the food  court, the parking, the kiosks, and the other hundred or so stores in the mall. My favorite mall stores by far though are the ones that nobody ever makes me go into.  

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 -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.) 

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

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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:

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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.)

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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. 

 

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

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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The "Triplets" Situation at a New School

The first day of middle school, the triplets were asked to stand up and tell a little about themselves. My daughter got up there: "My name is Carly Fox. I'm a triplet. I hate being a triplet." She was heading back to her seat when she turned around. "Oh, and I also hate my last name." Way to go on the positive self-talk, Carly. I looked up the number for the school psychologist and added it to my phone contacts so I'd know it when it came up.

Maybe I should have been one of those mothers who verbally assaults their kid by yelling:"Good Job!" every three seconds from birth through masters degree.

I told Carly-- I guess I can still call her "Carly". She didn't publicly denounce her first name. Maybe she just ran out of time. She does give me wrinkled nose face when I mention that my first name choice for her was "Samantha" but apparently Samantha Fox was a porno star and so daddy voted it down. (Funny how none of the women I tell that to ever heard of her but all the men smile knowingly like I just sent them down some smut-filled memory lane.)

So, I told Carly to feel free to revert "Fox" back to my husband's original family name: "Fuchs". And being from New York, I had no trouble giving her several specific examples of how that could go terribly awry at every middle school in the nation.

I also enumerated for her several of my girlfriends with whom I'd grown up, who lamented their last names for years and then married into far worse ones. (I don't dare get into them here. They might be reading. And you know who you are.)

As for the triplet thing, I told her that we hadn't really entertained the thought of reducing the number of embryos, and that now it was kind of late: The cut-off to make that decision was third grade.

While I dislike what she said up there for twenty-two or three reasons, I totally understand. When triplets attend a new camp or school or anything, it's different than one child. When you introduce triplets, it's like the circus side show has come to town. Everybody's staring and trying not to look shocked.

It's funny how students and campers seem to get over the novelty and forget all about it a lot faster than teachers and counselors. The girls don't look thaaat much alike: They have different colored eyes and one wears glasses. And not only don't they dress alike, you can tell just by looking at them that they're whole dressing methodology couldn't be more different: One tries on six different outfits in her room, running into the bathroom each time to look in the bathroom mirror, then runs downstairs to get the whole effect in the full-length mirror. She's practicing for the track team, without even knowing it. The other daughter puts on a t-shirt and leggings at night and calls it pajamas. Then in the morning: "Hayley! It's time to get up and get dressed! She rolls over in bed, eyes still closed: "I am dressed!"

And yet at least one teacher will ask all year: "Are you Carly or are you Hayley?" But okay. Teachers have a lot of kids to remember. Much worse, the last thing tweens want every time they're coming down the hallway is to be announced:

"Here come the Fox triplets!" like they're one big kid.

Then- and this is where her hatred for our last name comes into play- one teacher last year used to yell out:

"What does the Fox say?!" Yeah it was hilarious the first, second, thirty-fourth, fifty-second... okay it was never hilarious.

They also get: "Who let the Foxes out? Who? Whooo?!"

I keep trying to remind the kids that these people mean no harm. Still, as mother of this skulk of Foxes, I'm always tempted to get nose to nose with the wiseacre and say: "Who let the idiot out? Who? Whooo?"

Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you were able to add a few laughs to your day. If you'd like more laughs at my/your kids' expense, please sign onto my monthly newsletter and/or check-out my eBook, specifically  for parents at this time of year. Available on all Amazons-- Now available at the Kindle Library too.

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

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