Sunday, February 28, 2010

We don't need it anyway!

This weekend my fabulous friend and business partner, Liz, decided that we needed a getaway. This was planned before the whole emergency surgery thing (see last post), which made the weekend all that more needed. Josh and I have this superhuman ability to forget important things when we go somewhere- it is quite uncanny. It is usually not a trip ruiner (not a word, I know); nevertheless it is always something that would have made the trip better. This trip- a swimsuit for Josh. It would be for me as well, but I can’t swim with my 3 incisions gig. Yes, we are at a really neat spa place called the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa. They tend to run really good specials in the off season and we figured, what the hell, Josh just finished the BAR and we are super poor already, why not stack on a little more for a sanity saving 24 hours. They have a great facility with an indoor pool, sauna, hot tub, etc. Josh loves this type of thing, but, sadly, cannot participate nude. I have a fun spa appointment, so I am not too worried about it. I have no idea what Josh is going to do though (I can’t say that I care too much- I will be in blissful relaxation mode, quite possibly asleep though due to my drugs/ weakness from loss of blood). Anyway, this forgetful act is not too bad, but it made me remember another trip where our absent mindedness was a little more memorable.

Camping in Wisconsin. That’s right- we camp- kinda. Well, we have all of the stuff and can make it happen. We come off like total morons when you compare us to our friends here who have an enormous amount of camping paraphernalia. Wait- are we the dorks? I guess that depends on who you ask. Before we left Wisconsin we wanted to go somewhere we had not been- Door County. So, we decided to go camping with just the fam (I am sure we asked, but no one else could come along). We packed up and headed to our destination, excited about taking the kids to a new place- we were ready for 2 days of fun. We arrived with plenty of time to set up, make dinner and even enjoy some s’mores. The weather was nice- super exciting stuff. Well, as Josh and Madeline (she was a huge help) set up the tent Josh could not find the tent poles. He looked everywhere and in everything. Come to find out, they do not fit in the nice and neat little bag that the rest of the tent stuff goes into. I knew this piece of information, but I failed to

pass it on to Josh. Did we give up? Did we just pack up and find a hotel or go home? No! I found a clothes line purchased in the camping section at Wal-mart for $0.99! That and some bungee cords and voila- a tent- kinda! Hey, it did the job. Did we get lots of crazy looks? Did we notice people coming by more than once walking slowly past our spot? Did we hear sly comments and little snickers? Yes, oh yes we did. Good thing we have a sense of humor and would just smile and fake laugh as people stared with their -I am a better camper than you- look. The only time it was really annoying was when we actually needed to sleep in the tent. Timothy was fine in his pack’n’play, but the rest of us had a nice little blanket hanging about 6 inches from our face all night. Needless to say, we woke up early, packed up and left to check out the nearby town, which was quite cute. It was a memorable trip even if it was cut short.

Now, we forget stuff all the time- an attribute that makes my brother-in-law Wayne wake up in the middle of the night screaming and soaked in sweat. Things like, jackets, socks, medications, drivers licenses, phone chargers, keys, diapers- you get the idea. It does not and will not discourage us from pushing forward- ready to see what we will forget on our next trip!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Here we go again!

Wow, apparently I spoke/wrote too soon when I blogged about our adventures in travel. I think the latest trip officially won the prize for insane travel experiences. The plane ride on the way to Texas was just fine. We even received multiple complements on how organized we were and how the kids behaved. That is where it ended. When we arrived in Houston we had a 2 hour drive to get to my parents house in Groves (amazing metropolis- there truly is no comparison). We stopped to grab dinner half way and let the kids get some wiggles out. Well, when we got back in the car I began to feel a little twinge of pain in my abdomen. Rather than being responsible by pulling over and having someone else drive I pushed through. I honestly thought it was just a cyst on my ovary bursting (tmi- I know, if you don’t want to hear more I would just stop reading now) which happens on a regular basis and goes away fairly quickly. Not so, it just got gradually worse and worse. I just pushed through though- I wanted to get home. I was even doing the whole cold sweat thing and clenching the steering wheel while doing some breathing. I am sure Karen was a tad scared, but I assured her I was fine (I think this will tarnish my reputation when it comes to telling the truth about how I feel). Anyway, we got home safely and I managed to freak my parent completely out. I climbed out of the car; which was no small feat (it was a huge Ford Expedition because they ran out of minivans- ahh Texas and their huge vehicles). I walked slowly to my parents door completely bent over- so much drama. When they opened the door and excitedly said, “Look who's home!!!” I burst into tears and said I needed to lie down and they needed to help with the kids. I am normally not a dramatic person, so this was not expected to say the least. After lying on the bed giving directions on how to put the kids to bed and instructions on how to put up the crib tent, etc my mom and Karen made me go to the ER. My dad even ran a red light to get there as fast as possible- this is a man who has never gotten a ticket (so you can imagine how much mercy we got as teenage drivers). We arrived at the hospital and eventually got into a room. The staff was SO impressive with their lack of emotion and extreme country accents. While lying in pain I got to listen to them try to explain to another woman what a barista is- high class! Well, it turns out I had an ectopic pregnancy that was implanted on a cyst on my ovary (see, it was related to a cyst!) and was bleeding internally. I had to have surgery immediately. My doctor only partially freaked me out with her lack of real concern- it was mind-boggling.

She just held her coffee and looked put-out to be called in so early. I am glad I was delirious in pain otherwise I may have asked questions. Luckily, I made it out okay and am recovering. I am so blessed that my family and friends were there. They all jumped in and helped with the kids without question. I spent the rest of the trip laying around and not being helpful at all. If you think this is the end of the drama though you are wrong. Timothy put an explanation point on the whole crazy trip by getting sick and throwing up during most of the flight home. I am pretty sure Karen and Ashley will never come with me on any trip longer than a ride to the grocery store. Happy Trails- I can't wait until next time!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Doin' Time

I remember a time when I could freely go through my home without obstacles. I could open cabinets unhindered, I could walk up the stairs without thinking, I could even cook without fear. Well, those days are long gone; I can hardly even remember what it was like to open doors without ‘the trick’ of how to get it open. Ahhhh…those were the days. I can also remember a time when I thought baby-proofing was for weaklings, for those who could not keep watch over their children and mommy-stare them into submission. That was before my little Ethiopian came out of his placid phase. He was so calm and compliant for the first 9-12 months. I like to call it the honeymoon period (we were told that when adopting an older child, Madeline, that we would have a brief period of time when she would want to please us- HAH- we had 30 minutes. I guess I thought the term brief wouldn’t be quite so, well, brief). Anyway, we were spared a time of prison-like living with Timothy- he did not walk until 2 ½ (there are definitely some benefits to developmental delays). Now, our house is like a maze of the mind. Which doors need to be closed at all times, which cabinets are locked and what type of lock is it, how do I open the latest garbage cans, how do I get up the stairs- we literally have a cabinet tied shut with rope (no, we are not moving). I thought I would share with you some of our most creative ideas on Tibby-proofing up to this point. I am sure we are nowhere near finished trying to out-smart the little problem solver.

Timothy went through a time of turning off all the lights in the house (he was too little to turn them back on), so we went through the house and unscrewed the switch plates and turned them upside down. That way he would go through and turn them all on. I know it is not eco-friendly, but when trying to do homework or having friends over for dinner it is nice to have the lights on. Timothy’s diaper situation is a never-ending mind game for Josh and I. He simply longs to be naked, to run free and tear apart the gel pack of each and every diaper that dares to cross his path. At first we could just put onesies on him and that did the trick, then it moved to taping the diapers with packing tape. Now, we have to tape the diapers insanely making sure there are not edges poking out, then put on backwards onesie pajamas with a pair of shorts and a shirt over the pj’s. He still manages to get out when he is really determined, but our hope is to keep him busy until he just passes out at night. Speaking of sleep, the baby bed situation has been challenging as well. At first, we just had to get a new crib to replace the hand-me-down. Then we found out about the crib tent- a wonderful invention that is basically what it says, a mesh tent attached to a crib. The first version did not last too long but the following two Crib Tent II’s (an improved model) lasted a while. After those were torn apart little by little he started on the mattresses (yes, plural, we are on #4), so, naturally I just sewed a custom pillow case thing to go around the mattress. It is so tight that it took two of us to put it on. Who cares if it now smells a little? I am past that. Let’s see, we had a contractor put up a Plexiglas barrier on our banister to keep him from jumping off the balcony overlook of our living room, we are taking down pictures and putting away other decorative objects of his wrath. We have an oven lock, fridge lock- it just keeps going. With all of this you would think we could sit down and relax with him awake, but no, there is none of that. The only way that could happen is if we lived in a padded house with no furniture or stairs- don’t think I haven’t thought of being complete minimalists. Timothy is just an active fella without a stop or pause button (I have looked). Even with all of these precautions we still have the audacity to turn around or (heaven forbid) use the restroom (see results in picture below). When these transgressions take place he is sure to be on the kitchen island or his new favorite hangout, the middle of the table playing with the light fixture. The fun just never ends!

I guess we’ll just have to live in ‘constant vigilance’ like Mad-Eye Moody says, wait, I think I know why people have started calling me mad-eye Jen. It all makes sense…

Friday, February 12, 2010


This week has been pretty stressful, to say the least. In fact, I should be working right now, but my brain is mush. Let’s just say one of the minor issues of the week happened yesterday when we woke up to a leak in the garage. Oh yes, the week just kept getting better and better. Rather than going into it (too depressing), I thought I would share a few recent stores of my ditsy demise. Some of these things happen on a regular basis and others are just one-time (hopefully) incidents. Where to begin…

Pretty much every morning I have a hard time concentrating and remembering what I am doing in the shower- not in a gross way- but I will just forget if I have shampooed my hair and have to stop and think for a minute. Most frequently I can’t remember if I have rinsed the conditioner out (I went through a period of forgetting to rinse and then realizing later in the day that my hair is super slick), so I tend to just keep rinsing. Well, this morning I am pretty sure I did everything twice- I just could not get it together. You may be thinking that I was tired and just woke up, sadly though that was not the case, I had been awake for over an hour working out. It has nothing to do with drowsiness.

The other day I mistakenly squirted saline solution on my toothbrush- who needs minty fresh breath when your teeth can see so clearly?

Yesterday I went upstairs three times before I could remember why- medicine- how fitting.

A few days ago I was trying to get out of the house in a hurry (wait- am I ever not in a hurry?) and I could not find my phone. I was frantically looking everywhere I usually loose it when I realized that I was actually on the phone. Nice.

Pretty much all the time I will ask Josh what a movie is about that we are about to see. Well, by the 4th time I ask I can usually remember (well, at least I pretend to). Not to worry though, I preface my asking with, “I am sure I have already asked you this, but what is this movie about again?”

On a regular basis I will be driving somewhere and completely end up at Target or the grocery store- why is this strange? Well, I am usually headed somewhere completely in another direction.

The other day I had to go back to the car twice (in the rain) before I remembered to get the prescription that I needed to fill, which was the only reason I was going to that store. Why has there been more than one mention of meds? It is scary how many drugs are consumed in our house :).

Last week I put my contacts in the wrong eyes. This wouldn’t be too funny except how long it took me to realize that they were switched and considering that one eye is significantly worse than the other. It was making me dizzy and light headed, funny that I did not consider this out of the ordinary.

There was another time when…wait- what was it again? Nevermind…

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The J. Pond Traveling Circus

My father-in-law coined the term (at least as far as I know), “The Paul Pond Family Traveling Circus.” Well, he thought that his time of traveling with 8 kids was a big deal, but I think he may even agree that we are surpassing him quickly! I am about to head to Texas with the kids (not to worry, I have my nanny Ashley coming along- do you think I am completely crazy?!) in 1 ½ weeks. As I formulate a plan of who sits where on the plane and our crazy packing list, which will include a crib tent and packing tape, I am reminiscing of past adventures (that is a nice way of saying crazy trips). Now, these “adventures” seem to all center around the actual getting there part- the rest of the trips were, on the most part, great. Here are some highlights~

We should have seen the “sign” when two travel-related incidences brought us together. The first was when I was home from Texas A&M for the weekend when, while stopped at a stop sign, a car hit me. It was not a bad accident, but the area around the tire was bent just enough so that I could not drive. Well, my mom called Josh’s house (our mom’s were friends) and managed to have Josh bring me back to A&M (much to my dismay- he was weird). Well, that was that and we started dating. Just a little over a month later an even bigger travel crazy thing happened. I was going with his family to Colorado on a ski trip (yes, things moved quickly in our relationship- don’t judge) when on the plane I had a seizure and they had to emergency land the plane. I had never had a seizure- so this was a first- just the thing to do when you are on a trip with your new boyfriend’s family (a tad embarrassing). Needless to say, I survived and we were married a year later.

The next major incident was on our way home from adopting Madeline. We were new parents who thought a 2-1 ratio for travel would be just fine. Well, to make a long story short, Madeline was up and active (to put it nicely) for 26 hours. That’s right folks- 26 HOURS. Insane is all I can really say.

Another fun time was when we were traveling back from Texas with Madeline and she looked at Josh and said, “I don’t feel good” which was immediately followed by a continual time of throwing up. To make matters worse, while in Texas for Christmas our Wisconsin driveway was neglected, so it was covered in ice. When that is the case, I now know, it is generally not a good idea to carry your sick 3 year old up the concrete stoop to get in the front door. I slipped and photo below was the result.

Don’t dismay, we are not finished yet. On the way home from Ethiopia all was well, that is, until the last 3 hours (of a 30 hour trip). Again, Madeline got sick. So sick that there was a point when all of the seats on our row (which did not only include us) were covered in plastic trash bags or newspapers and Madeline was sitting in only her underwear and holding a bag. Just to let you know, Madeline is the loudest vomiter on the face of the earth, so the entire plane knew that something was going on. I am sure they thought it was an exorcism and were pleasantly surprised when they saw that it was just a naked Russian.

Okay, so this is the last one I will share today. Since I am doing the whole, when you brought home your kids theme, I should probably tell you about Sadie’s adventure home. Since we like to spice things up, we decided (oh, wait God and the Dr. decided) that Sadie should be born in the middle of one of the worst snowstorms Portland has seen. Not just one single day of snow, it was over a week of on and off snow in a town that has zero idea of how to handle it. I believe it was called, “The Arctic Blast!” So, when it was time to come home from the hospital everyone was in a tizzy to get checked out before the next wave hit. It just started snowing again when we were leaving, so we did miss some drama. It turns out though that when you just birthed a baby it is not the funnest thing in the world to ride in a car with chains on the tires going over heaps of ice and pot holes for 45 minutes. Especially when it should only be a 15-minute drive. To make matters worse though we were finally turning onto our street and got stuck because another car was stuck. I believe there were tears.

So, there we are, travel and Pond’s apparently don’t mix. Shoot! I really hope that my friend Karen, who is going with us to Texas next week, doesn’t read this!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You just said that?!

Here are two things I never thought I would hear from a teacher:

1. "The second time I heard the phone ring I figured out it was coming from Madeline" (she does not and may not ever have a cell phone).

2. "When I found her laying in a puddle with a big non-repentant smile, I had had enough."

Today has been a day about Madeline. Things are a little tough right now and rather than lamenting about the bad, I thought I would tell a story about her that makes me smile.

This was April 2006 right after we adopted Timothy. We were in the- go get things for new baby- mode with my mother-in-law. Well, of course, those things included photos of the trip to Ethiopia. While checking out at the photo place in Target, Madeline asked the person behind the counter, “Are you a boy or a girl?” The woman said, “I am a girl, of course” while looking at me with a, “can you believe this kid smirk”. Naturally, I said, “Oh sweetie, you are so funny!” Madeline then replied, “No you're not! You're a boy!” Me- “You must think that because she has such short hair (the tone of my voice said “shut up, shut up, shut up!”).” “No,” said Madeline, “it is because of your moo-stash!” Well, there you have it. Lila and I have never moved so fast. We tried to just laugh it off nervously and then get out fast. Of course, when we were out of sight, we could barely stand up we were laughing so hard! That is Madeline- she just says it (whether you like it or not- ooohh, maybe that is why we are here now).