Sunday, September 24, 2006

Paging The Tooth Fairy AGAIN!

Dear Tooth Fairy,

I know we had you here Friday night to pick up a shiny little front fangy tooth from Miss Sarah, and though she appreciated her $3 she has chosen to count them by fives, and believes she has $15! Well we have to ask you to come back tonight, this time for Amanda, who has lost a very pretty tooth. It is under her pillow, and she awaits you. I asked her how much she thought that tooth was worth, she thought maybe $100.

My Daughter the Star

My sweet Madeline, aka Mad Mad Maddie, graces a billboard in St. Louis, Missouri....

Friday, September 22, 2006

Attention Tooth Fairy

Miss Sarah has lost a bottom tooth and will be placing it under her pillow tonight. You know the drill. Sarah requests $60. Hell I am going to pull a few of mine if you are paying that.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Another Stellar Week

We have a broken bone count going at the Compton house. In addition to Maddie's toe, we now have William's finger, which I smashed in the bathroom door on the hinge side and broke the tip of. I took him to urgent care, he had x-rays, and they bandaged it, but because it is just the tip he will lose his nail and otherwise should heal fine. I just feel terrible about it.

So the household broken bone count is two.

Yesterday was our 10th Anniversary, and we didn't do too much to observe it. We all took a day off as a family, and intended to hit the State Fair, but I had a job interview scheduled for the afternoon and the preparations of getting the whole family dressed, and me ready for this thing, and not having anything to wear for it, so having to buy a blouse and panty hose put us way off on time. So after the interview we went home and made dinner, and got the kids to bed. It wasn't a really special celebration, but we were all together, so that was nice. And the job interview went very well, so it was a good day.

Quote of the week goes to Maddie...who said to my mother yesterday, "Grammanita, I love your child." My mom asked, "Which one?" and she replied, "Cara!" I love her grandchild too.

Happy Anniversary Honey

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Editorial in Today's Denver Post

The Diplomacy of Bill Richardson
Bill Richardson has won international acclaim for his unique diplomatic efforts over the years.
He's won the release of Americans held captive in the most difficult global hot spots - a U.S. pilot shot down over North Korea, three Red Cross workers held hostage in Sudan, captives in Iraq and Cuba.
A few days ago, the governor of New Mexico pulled off a similar achievement that is quite outside his job description.
Richardson negotiated the release of three people from the war-torn region of Darfur, Sudan - a Chicago Tribune journalist on assignment for The National Geographic along with his driver and interpreter.

Friday, September 15, 2006

It Has Been a Long Week

Broken toes, tummy aches, cactus needles in hands. Kid tantrums. Dad tantrums. Blogger issues. Money woes. Garbage not delivered to curb. Carpet cleaner ineffective. Dishes refuse to wash themselves. Kids defiant. Me apathetic. Husband agitated. Bureaucracy issues. Poop. Lots of poop. Lots of poop in unapproved places. Son playing in toilet. Cats howling at the door. Kids getting up all night.

I think tonight I am going to buy a bottle of wine and go hide in the bedroom.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Knob Rules

I knew it would happen. Rockstar Supernova selected Lukas Rossi to front their lame ass band. The word "awesome" hasn't been heard so many times since 1987. I personally was rooting for Dilana, who really is awesome, and was glad to hear that she will be doing an album of her own. Good, now I won't have to bother with the rest of those clowns.

The Black Cat Howls at Noon

There is a cat sitting outside on my porch. He is a gorgeous, long haired black cat with beautiful green eyes. My contemplating opening the door and feeding him a can of tuna is yet another reason why my husband hates me (we have two cats already, one recently found exactly where the black cat is now sitting.) I would take a picture, but I broke the button off my camera and have to get it to Best Buy to have it repaired.

He is howling.

My cats are going, shall we say, apeshit.

I don't know if it is a love connection or if they are wanting to do battle, but I have two cats riveted at the window (along with a transfixed two year old). I would open the door but I fear that bringing these feline and young boy elements together would create a perfect storm of fur and claws and blood and booboos and band-aids, and probably a trip to the vet as well.

But he is howling. He is beautiful. I could love him.

Poor kitty.

The Death of a Handbag

I live in the middle of nowhere. You can't see my house from the road. So I frequently leave my purse in the money in it anyway. Lest you think that a good economic future for you lies in the tracking down of my house and theft of my purse, let me be the first to warn you.

You don't want it.

Oh I don't care if you take it, though if you could leave my wallet with my license in it I would be delighted. But you don't want it. Trust me on this.

See, last week I stopped off at McDonalds for coffee while dropping my husband off at his vanpool. I threw the creamers into my purse so they wouldn't roll around on the floorboard of the car and get lost. After all, that would be BAD for the aroma of the van, which frankly doesn't need any help in that department, with four kids. My youngest has stashed a few sippy cups that are making what probably is a fine cheese product though I will never know.

Well I forgot about the creamers in the mad dash to get the kids ready for school. At first I knew they were there but I had to ignore them because I had to get the girls dressed and brushed and out the door, then later it rained. I put milk from home in my coffee. Well, I guess when the sun came out the van heated up and caused the creamers to "splode". All of the contets of my purse are now coated with a thick cheesy and most heinous smelling substance.

So you can have it. I don't want it anymore. But I know you don't want it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Story I Promised to Post

This was a story I wrote over the summer, and intended to post eventually, but had trouble with the pictures, and eventually just shelved it for future use. Today is the day! It fits in with the first story of my blog because it was an adventure that happened because I was bored and wanted to have some fun, only this time we didn't end up stuck in the mud on some crazy man's ranch.

It was the first Saturday in July, and I was in a real funk. I had been for a few days, and just couldn't shake the blues. The kids were nutso, the house was a mess and the funk had kept me from doing anything about it but the bare minimum, so I was determined that I would stay home and punish myself for my lassitude and slog through the mess and shape things up. I worked dilligently all morning getting laundry folded, put away, dusting and polishing.

Lunchtime came and the little darlings (read snarly anklebiters) were getting a bit peckish, and the kitchen was not yet done, dishes dirty, and would take another hour of work so I told my husband, "Lets' run down to Dairy Queen and throw some burgers or something at the kids, I don't feel like doing THIS." He, being a big fan of burgers, was so kind to oblige.

We sat in that Dairy Queen featsing on burgers and fries, and even a nice soft served dipped cone. As I enjoyed that frosty, creamy treat I knew I couldn't face the rest of that housework, and I said, "Hey, this road goes north, lets' see where it takes us!" The rest of the family, who are even less enthusiastic domestics, got very excited. We checked our tires, bought a map and headed north on 344.

The road wound around a beautiful mountain and landed us on Highway 14 at Madrid, NM. This is an old mining town turned artist haven, streets lined with sleeping dogs and great artisan shops.The town is currently the production site of a new film, "Wild Hogs" with John Travolta. I looked all over for him, because I planned to jump from the moving van and run away with him. He was nowhere to be found.

We then drove north through the neighboring town of Cerillos, which is alot more traditional New Mexico rural splendor.

From there we headed up to Santa Fe, the City Different.
Santa Fe is a great city, where hunched and wrinkled old Native American ladies sell fine turquoise jewelry on blankets on the sidewalk to heavily botoxed Californians. Where Starbucks occupies a 200 year old adobe, where the most delicious pizza can be found in one of the oldest structures in the US. It is the seat of our state government, home of the most incredible capitol building, replete with native marble and turquoise floors and walls, and boasting the best art galleries in the state. Santa Fe is probably my favorite city in the world. I wanted to take the kids to the Plaza to walk around, but couldn't find anywhere in the city to park, so when Charles suggested we show them "Camel Rock" I was really excited.

We started up north again, and suddenly I realized that we were on the road to the National Veteran's Cemetary and I told Charles we had to stop. My father's ashes are interred there, and we hadn't been up to visit his site in 11 years, the kids had never been. So we pulled in and wound around looking for the little sapling next to his headstone. It took a little longer to find this time because the sapling was no longer a sapling, aren't we clever? Well we found it and all of the kids left him a rock or a pine cone...Maddie tried to shove a stick with a dead leaf into the ground for him but the ground was so hard. It was a sweet gesture, though, for a kid who never got to meet her grandpa.

From there we wound our way up to the Tesuque Pueblo, home of Camel Rock.

(yeah it is an awesome rock)

The kids loved it, though you can't go all the way up to it, I am sure because it has been defaced, and perhaps the publo also view it is a safety does that top rock stay up there??? We were really enjoying the day though and didn't want to just turn around and head home yet, so Charles said he had been really wanting to see Los Alamos, and away we went.

For those of you who don't know Los Alamos, it is the home of the national laboratories, and "THE BOMB." It is also a city built on three separate bluffs divided by deep canyons. When you are up there you get the sensation that you could just fall off the edge of the earth, a pretty unsettling feeling. We arrived at the Fuller Lodge Museum just as the old man was going to shut the door for the day, but he saw us and said we could peek in the gift shop, which was smart because we love gift shops and spending money. The kids scoured the little shop, Maddie finding a book for herself and one for her best friend in St. Louis, Gracie. Amanda found a cool WW2 replica poster image on a magnet, and I bought another magnet, because my new refridgerator needs cool magnets. Sarah didn't find just the right thing there, so we told her there would be other chances to shop.

After leaving the gift shop we sat in the parking lot contemplating our next move. It was late on a Saturday afternoon and Los Alamos rolls up its sidewalks very early, so more museum hopping was out of the question. Charles decided to just drive the city and check out the views. Now I don't like heights, at all. I found some of the views really unsettling, but just gulped and kept my mouth shut, occasionally issuing a shudder. But it is spectacular, really, looking at the vast open spaces between the tall ponderosas. We covered all three bluffs, and then decided we would try to get a room for the night so that we could do more sight seeing in the morning. This did, however raise the issue of clothing. We had packed nothing, not a thing, not even a fresh pull up for William who was getting a bit squirmy in the old one. The only room we could find was in a bit of a dive, but they offered free breakfast, which is very appealing to Compton Men. We then went in search of clothing, diapers, toiletries and dinner.

We started off at Beall's which was fine for the kids clothes, but Charles and I didn't find anything reasonable that wasn't heinous, and there was nothing else open, so we headed over to Espanola, down in the valley, to find a Walmart (shame of all shames) and a place to eat. I wanted to go to Restaurante Rancho de Chimayo, my favorite place in all of New Mexico, but the kids were going all crazy from hunger, and Walmart had a Chili's next to it, so we just stopped there.

Now Chili's markets this new beverage to kids called "Chillin' Fruit Freezers Made with a blast of real fruit juice and loaded with Vitamin C!Rockin' Tropical Punch, Electric Blue Blast." It was a very hot evening and we were all so thirsty, and the kids really wanted to try them, so we ordered one for each girl, and the boy had milk. Well let me tell you these neon creations arrived at our table and Charles and I were pretty alarmed by the colors, so we tried a sip. Wow...loaded with a hell of a lot more than Vitamin C! Sweeter than anything I have ever tried before, and we knew we were doomed. I was pretty sure that they wouldn't sleep until midnight without benadryl. We headed the wild bunch over to Walmart, which is a nightmare with calm kids, this was pretty awful. We got what we needed and headed back up to Los Alamos.

Now in a city that shuts down at 8 on Saturdays with no trace of night life, it is also the home of a remarkable number of Yuppies. Many 30-something science types with lots of disposable income. What does a young scientist do on a Saturday night in Los Alamos? Well Smith's Grocery store in Los Alamos, part of the Kroger Chain, boasts a PRIMO liquor section. Charles parked the van and said "count how many people come out with booze" and went in search of local wine. I counted two, in the fifteen minutes he was in the store, that came out WITHOUT booze, one clearly a teenager.

Yep, its The BOMB!

We got back to our room to discover the air conditioning didn't work, and there were no screens on the windows to take advantage of that wonderful cool Los Alamos night air, so we called management and got a fan. We uncorked the wine and begged the kids to keep it down to a dull roar. I had one glass of the local white, don't have a clue anymore what that was, and it was great. It was so hot I just laid down in front of the fan and fell right asleep, and I am pretty sure the kids eventually did too. I woke up and the kids were in one bed, Charles and I in another, and we were all excited about the day.

We hit the "breakfast" a little late, it was still open but well picked over. We scarfed down mini muffins and coffee and juice for the kids, then threw our walmart bags into the van and went in search of fun. The museum at Fuller wasn't opening until noon, so we decided that we would just go hit Bandelier.

Bandelier is a National Monument and home of ancient Native American cliff dwellings. You can walk the trails in the valley and see the old kiva ruins and what remains of some homes, but you can also climb the upper trails into the cave dwellings that riddle the side of the bluff. As I said before I dislike heights immensely, and I had the baby in a stroller, and my four year old didn't want to take the high road either, so Charles took Amanda and Sarah up into the caves, and Maddie and Will and I found a path that lead to shady benches and we parked and watched. Sarah was clearly thrilled with the whole hike, she ran up ahead of Charles and Amanda and I was getting a little worried about her safety because she was so far ahead of her dad, but she climbed with skill. Charles was behind because Amanda discovered well into the adventure that she was terrified, but she still wanted to do it.

Meanwhile Maddie and Will and I found a nice shady log bench to sit on and await the return of our family, and Maddie announced she had to go potty. "I gotta peeeeeeee Mommy, really BAD!" Well there was no one around and the shade tree offered nice cover, so I picked her up and moved her behind the bench and she dropped trou and let it go. Little kids are hilarious when they really have to go. She managed to not pee all over her shoes and shorts either, I was impressed. After about 20 minutes I could see Charles and the girls working their way back down, and I was relieved to have my babies back on the ground.

We found another gift shop at the bottom, of course, and bought Willie some socks because his sandals had rubbed a blister on his foot, and Sarah finally found something she liked. It was lunch time, the kids were starved, and so were Charles and I . I suggested we head down to Jemez Springs for lunch.

As you enter the Jemez National Forest you note that the mountains are just staggeringly beautiful, covered in ponderosa pines, sadly much of it is burned from the 2000 fire that threatened Los Alamos. It is still stunning and you can see the underbrush has recovered, so the forest is coming back in a big way. You wind around the mountain roads, which can be pretty scary at points. We were headed up a hill, and at the top was a hair pin turn that was blind in both directions and as we neared the top a group of bikers came tearing around the bend and one lost control and swerved right in front of us, and nearly spilled. I was amazed we didn't hit him. But the most breathtaking part hits you on the right side of the vehicle as you wind south through the mountains, you come across Valle Grande or Valles Calderas

It was so insanely beautiful, Amanda kept asking me, "Mommy, is it real? Is that really really there? Is it really real?" I have to admit the valley is so strikingly pretty I wasn't sure I was seeing what I thought I was either.

We found Jemez Falls, where Charles and I were married almost 10 years ago. That area burned pretty badly but the picnic shelter was still there or had been rebuilt. Then we headed down to Jemez Springs, and it was pretty late for lunch by then but we were starved, so we found a cool place, The Laughing Lizard. We all loved our lunch in this cute little bistro, and admired the art, then jumped back in the van and kept on truckin'. We drove past Battleship Rock, like Camel Rock it is pretty aptly named.

We arrived in the Jemez Pueblo, and admired the stunning red rock mesas.

When in the Jemez Pueblo you have to stop at one of the little road side stands that sell Indian Fry Bread. We bought two fry breads, one for the girls to share, and one that Charles and I shared with William. The kids enjoyed watching the little old native lady make the bread, and we devoured it in the van. It was time to make our way back home, sadly, but our spontaneous vacation, which could have been a lot less costly had we actually planned it, was worth every penny. I came home recharged, and completely sans funk.


Monday, September 11, 2006

The Girl Who Cried Toe

Our smallest daughter and third child overall, Maddie, is a pill. In fact, at this very moment I hear our second child, Sarah coming my way crying, "Mommy, Maddie tried to hit me with the basket and I wanted to be with WILLIE." She is the child that wakes up her siblings to have someone to fight with, like this morning when she came in to where I was sleeping with her baby brother, and slid in between us. She snuggled me which was fine, snuggles always welcome here, but then she turned over and started tickling her brother aggressively to wake him up. I delivered a quick swat to her hind end, just to make the point, you never wake a sleeping two year old. EVER.

She left me to go walk on her sisters backs as they slept, and soon I was dealing with an all out screaming, crying, nose-punching funfest.

They are home today because of this weekend's events.

Saturday morning Maddie said she was walking and felt a little crack and her toe hurt. Her dad examined the toe and it looked fine, no swelling, able to bend, but it hurt. We decided to keep an eye on it. She walked funny the remainder of the day, and funnier on Sunday. She said she couldn't clean because her toe hurt, which we pronounced as horse poop. She is five and always makes up injury excuses to avoid helping around the house. Well, about 3 pm yesterday my husband examined the toe and noted a knot on top. I looked at it and it was a fainly purple lump. I didn't like it so I said we needed to take her in. The nearest pediatric urgent care is in Albuquerque, 23 miles away, so we headed in.

She was examined, and set up for an x-ray. I went back with her, and she was so scared about the x-ray. I lifted her onto the table, and she laid there squeezing her eyes shut and covering them with her folded arms in terror. She did this for the first four views, and the fifth she watched. After they were done they gave her a coloring book and some crayons and told us to wait in the waiting room, and I told the tech that Maddie wanted to see her films. A few minutes later he came back and took us into the viewing room, and they have the coolest computerized views. The tech looked and said the toe looked fine, I looked and didn't see anything, and a radiologist who wasn't working but just happened to be there glanced at it and pronounced that it looked pretty good. They sent us back to the urgent care area to await the nurse practitioner.

By this time the other kids were climbing the walls of the urgent care waiting room. It was after 7, they were FUNGRY, and sick of being there. We waited just a short time and the NP brough Maddie and I back again. She said she had looked at the films and they looked good, but that the official radiology report was the final word and she wasn't going to make us wait for that. She said to give her some motrin three times a day for a few days, and to watch it for redness, fever or other joint involvement. She said she would call us if there was anything on the report.

Well, we had to stop at the store and get motrin, so I also bought stuff for a fast no-cook dinner, a preroasted turkey breast, box of salad and toppings, and french bread. It was 9 when we made it home and got dinner on the table, and the kids were up until 10. I wasn't going to make them get up early to make the school bus, because I knew they wouldn't perform well in school. So at 9:30 the NP calls me. Maddie has a tiny avulsion fracture of the right first metatarsal head. She said it looked like the ligament pulled a little piece of the bone away. I have no idea how this happened but Maddie actually had a legitimate booboo!

So this afternoon I have to take her in to the orthopedist and see what they want to do.

Its funny though, after the kids were in bed Charles and I started laughing about what a great weekend we had, despite being stuck in the mud and nearly dying or losing our van (see first blog entry entitled "Why I Started This Blog") cleaning house the rest of the weekend and our daughter breaking her toe, we had such a fun time together, and a lot of laughs, and very little stress. It was our best weekend in MONTHS! (Since our last weekend involving a spontaneous adventure, to be blogged next.)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

It all began just ten years ago...

When Charles and I exchanged vows in the beautiful Jemez Mountains, at a picnic site near Jemez Falls, on September 21, 1996. It was that day that I made up the song that would drive Charles to the very edge of reason when I sang it. I called it "The Married Song."

First you have to imagine it being sung very loudly, and in an Edith Bunker voice.

And the lyrics can vary according to the situation, but it always starts with...

"We're MARRIED! la la!
And I LOVE YOU! la la la!"

I don't do it often, but when I do, it is usually in the car. I can see Charles's fingers tighten on the steering wheel, the little vein start to pop in his forehead, and it makes me smile. (Yep pretty sadistic.)

Now that we have kids I have an enthusiastic audience for this. They LOVE the married song. Poor Charles.

The guy just can't catch a break.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Why This Blog Was Created

No my husband doesn't really hate me, he loves me very much, and this month we will celebrate our 10th anniversary. But I created this blog to document just how crazy I make him with my relentless pursuit of all things different or interesting. One of these days I will go too far. I thought for a moment that today was the day.

This afternoon Charles and our three youngest kids left the house to go pick up our oldest daughter, Amanda (she is 8) from her friend's house, where she spent the night. She lives off of highway 217, and I wanted to explore it a bit. So after getting Amanda we headed south. After several miles we came to a fork in the road. The fork to the left was marked "Martinez" and I knew that Martinez lead to AO-99 which would get us back home, so I figured hey, lets go for it.

Now Charles was not as excited about this, being unfamiliar with the area, though he did agree that Martinez intersected with A0-99 he argued that it would not necessarily go straight through. I told him that I had been looking at a map and that I thought it did, so he didn't argue, mostly because I made him feel bad about it. I told him he had NO sense of adventure, and so he just drove quietly. The road was very narrow, dirt only. We wound around, he said something about scenes from "Deliverance" coming to mind. I shooshed him and admired the wild flowers. I did note that to the east there were some pretty nasty looking clouds developing, but figured we were just a few miles from our road anyway so we would be ok.

We encountered a lot of mud. Great big ruts in the road and dark, rich mud. I could tell Charles was getting more and more nervous, and to tell you the truth I was getting really worried myself. We made it through a pretty rough mud pit and Sarah, our 6 year old, suggested that we turn around. Well Charles said he would rather not go through that again, and so we went forward.

About a mile or so down from that mudpit we came to a really low spot in the road, that had standing water over it. It was about 8 feet long, and Charles vascillated. I told him if we stayed stopped in the spot we were in we would get stuck, and there was no real good place to turn around, so on we went. We plowed into the big old mud pit and stopped. Bottomed out. No going foreward, no going back.

This is the point where I am grateful there were no divorce attorneys around.

Well, we were out in the middle of nowhere, stuck in the middle of what was momentarily going to become a raging river, with four panicked children in the car, and a man about to explode. He got out and started walking for help.

Fortunately there was a ranch house just down the road about a quarter of a mile. He saw a man out mowing, and yelled for him to get his attention, but the guy didn't hear him, so he walked on down a little further. All of a sudden the mowing man drove up in his truck and said, "My wife thinks someone is dying down here. Are you dying? Or are you just screaming for the hell of it?" Charles said no, he was trying to get his attention, but didn't, so figured he would try to find help elsewhere.

The kindly samaritan said, "Oh you got stuck in the mud pit, come on lets' go" and drove him back to our van, chastizing him the whole way. He informed Charles that we weren't on Martinez but on a private ranch (yikes) and that people come joyriding all the time and he is always pulling them out and that we had no business being down there and if he breaks his axle we are paying for it, $2000, do you understand me???

Well, I was pretty relieved to see them drive up...the thunder is booming behind me, and I was about five minutes from having to yank the kids out of the van and run for high ground to watch the river sweep away our only vehicle. The guy hitched a line to our undercarriage and I slid in behind the wheel. I started it up and as soon as he gave me a little tug our van was free. He cautioned us that it was another couple of miles until the road hits a T. If we go to the left it leads to Edgewood (where we live) if we go to the right it heads for Moriarty. He said if we beat the rain to the road we could go left, but if it is raining we wouldn't be able to make it down that way and would have to head into Moriarty, if we even make it. He said we were about 9 miles from paved road.

Well, we got to the T, and it was just starting to sprinkle. We could see our ridge a few miles down and decided to just go for it. On the way we saw what he meant about not making it in the rain, there was a LOT of mud down that way. But fortunately we made it into our driveway just as it started pouring.

Charles's shoes are ruined. His pants are muddy. I think I have to go buy him some beer. But as we got out of the van, the kids said "That was FUN!"

So maybe I feel a little vindicated...