Friday, March 21, 2008

And the Wiener Is... (But no Alaskan ulu)

The Write-Away Contest hosted by Scribbit

My previous post was chosen as the 1st Runner Up in Scribbit's contest. I will proudly display my winner button! Of course, I would have loved top billing, since the prize was a nifty-looking Alaskan ulu, but the winning post from Robin was so touching - she definitely deserves it!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Watch out! It's Raining Perspective!

I hate puzzles. You know, the jigsaw kind. The kind you dump out and use the picture on the box to try to make some semblance of the chaos in front of you. The kind that taunt you with weird shapes, edges that seem to be the exact same as 250 other pieces, knobs and holes that appear to fit but really don't, and 500 trillion shades of blue or green or yellow or red. It's exasperating to me to search endlessly for the perfect piece only to discover that it's just a tad off. I have been known to shove those pieces together whether they're supposed to go there or not. I come from a family of great puzzler-doers. They open into a box filled with 1000 jigsaw pieces with as much enthusiasm as I break open a bag of chips. I've never understood how/why they do it - I'm much too impatient to stoop over a card table and cut off twenty years of the life of my eyes just to put a picture together that - for heaven's sakes - is in mint condition on the box lid!

I love Sudoku, however. Until I hit Calculus and beyond, I thrived in math and enjoyed it. And since Sudoku is a game of numbers, we're friends. I like the process of elimination and the satisfaction of figuring out which number goes into each little box. I love it when there's barely any erased pencil marks or I complete a puzzle solely using a pen. I enjoy starting with an almost empty square and deciphering the almost mind-boggling solution. It used to be an addiction of mine, but I've learned to appreciate Sudoku in moderation.

Why this paradox in my preferences? Possibly because I'm a logical learner and not a visual learner. Possibly because Sudoku is a one person endeavor and in my family, a puzzle usually is not. Possibly because I feel Sudoku is a more honest game - it doesn't seem like the numbers are trying to deceive you. Possibly because... well, I don't really know. It's just what I like.

Looking toward the future is kind of like a puzzle and Sudoku to me. I hate the fact that there are so many choices in life and yet not one of them seems to be a perfect fit. I have extremely few regrets looking back at what path I've chosen, and yet, so many times, I think to myself, "Was that the right choice for me? For my family?" I know on more than one occasion, I've "forced" some puzzle pieces in my life to fit when they really weren't supposed to. The future holds many shades of green and blue and red and yellow. Will we move again? Will my kids still love me in 20 years? Are they going to accomplish great things in life? Is my husband going to lose his job or make an amazing discovery that propels us into the lime light? Will I ever understand the stock market? Will I get to live in Germany again? Will they find a miracle cure for acne (and I ache for my children if they don't - it's the worst part of adolescence)? Will we all be flying in personal aircraft (think Jetsons)? When I wake up in 20 years, will I still have the use of all of my body? How much unwanted hair will I have to wax? Will my husband still find me attractive? How many wars will I have lived through? Natural disasters? Home repairs? Doctor's visits? So many unknowns. It's like trying to fit those pieces together without looking at the picture on the box. And I don't even like doing it with the picture!

Life is like Sudoku too, though. My joy in solving Sudoku is the process of elimination and planning that leads to a final solution. I feel in control. And so much of where I will be in 20 years depends on the same planning, elimination of negative outlooks and opinions, and my decisions. I can try to improve myself everyday so I can be the wife and mother my family still loves and looks up to. I will have the choice as to how I respond to each situation that's thrown my way. Twenty years is 240 months, 7305 days, 175320 hours and 10519200 minutes. I know there will be ups and downs, good days and bad days, days I accomplish much and days I accomplish little, days I am a patient mom and days I will wish I was more patient. In 20 years, all of my kids will be adults, and I will get to celebrate so many milestones with them - what a wonderful blessing! If I can focus on each little square and find the number that fits there, with more than a little help from above, I will solve my life Sudoku. I hope to make the best of the next twenty years - I've got a lot of living to do!

What a great way to put the "p" into perspective! I'm not normally a search-inside-myself, share-something-profound type of person or blogger, but this kind of topic just kind of initiates such thinking. Thanks to Scribbit's Write-Away-Contest for the incentive to dig a little deeper!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Uh Oh...

I thought this looked like fun...


But I have a geography teaching minor, and I missed like 200 countries. It was the pressure. Really. And the time it took me to spell "Philippines". And I even fat-fingered Austria. And I have a lot of excuses.

Now I need my geography buff brother, BIL and my niece and nephew to try. They'd beat me hands-down. But I always say there's more to geography than naming countries... :)

(Camera is MIA - I will have a great house post when it surfaces!)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

How Did I Do It?

All three kids are sleeping. At 9:15pm. Amazing! I had to post about it for the general enjoyment of the 4-5 people who skim my blog. I am so thrilled, I am doing a little work, snacking on frozen pineapple (yum!) and watching some HGTV.

This is why it worked: I WORE THEM OUT. And I didn't try to get them to nap this afternoon (except PJ, of course, you can't deny a 3-month-old a nap). We ran a few errands, signed some stuff for the house, got McDonalds and went to the park for over an hour (PJ slept the whole time - except during the tornado siren drill, so I was able to swing, slide, and generally be a Toys R Us kid), and then a quick trip to WallyWorld. First time I've attempted it with all three... and it was pretty good. They had one of those carts with the seats at the front for the two older kids, and PJ went in the cart. The Simster kept falling asleep and falling into his sister, which created some problems, but overall, we did well!

Then - just to make sure the exhaustion was complete, we took a walk around the pond behind the apartments. Then quick dinner, baths, and zippidy do dah! they were basically asleep after that! I think I can make it two more nights! :)

On another note, I am a sore little mommy. I did the walkthrough on the house yesterday and it involved like 500 squats (squatting to check on the carpet and molding, etc). Then yesterday afternoon the kids and I did an aerobic video. Today was all the Toys-R-Us-being-a-kid stuff. And I'm a bit sore. But getting buff, one sore muscle at a time!

Hopefully playgroup tomorrow will wear my them out again! Two days until we close!!

(Extra bonus: Milk was only $3.00 a gallon and I filled up the car for $3.03 a gallon! Sweet!)

Monday, March 03, 2008

You Know You're Not in Utah Anymore...

...when the National Weather Service issues a snow advisory because there is a chance of a snow accumulation of UP TO TWO INCHES!

Ya gotta love it! :)

32 Nights Down, 5 Nights to Go

We close on our house on Friday!!! And boy, are we ready! For the last 32 nights, my kids have been sharing a room. Not only a room, but a bed. We put 95% of our stuff in storage, and so we let the kids share a bed. Overall, it's worked out nicely. We have a night time routine, they go in their room and fight like cats and dogs play nicely before eventually tucking themselves in and sleeping.

In the last week or so, it's become not so nice. And pretty unbearable. They don't end up falling asleep until after 11pm and the whole time they're fighting each other and fighting us. They are sick of sharing a bed. It's worse when the weather's not great and they have to stay in the apartment all day. I don't think I could make it more than 5 more nights, so it's good that's all we have.

And take a look! It's coming along so nicely!