Saturday, October 29, 2011

This Moment - assessing the challenge

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment to pause, savor and remember.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Through Kai's Eyes: Part 1

Hi everyone!

Mom told me she was a little busy & tired from the past couple weeks of moving so I told her I would take the next blog post responsibility.

I know my parents have been really busy with the move, and Mika is busy with...well, I have absolutely no idea what you call what she does - sitting on her behind? BUT I have been incredibly productive the past couple weeks, and from my perspective, have only added significantly to the well being of everyone and everything around me.

I've learned some great new skills which I am sure make my mom & dads lives easier and I do my best to utilize these new skills as often as possible.

Examples of my great new skills:

1. I can flush the toilet. And so I do. A lot. No one else seems to understand that if you flush enough times, the water is clean enough to play in, and maybe even drink. No need for a Brita filter or a cup - they can be packed in advance.

2. I am technologically competent. Skills include turning computers & cell phones on & off, calling the police (very useful), quitting 'important' computer programs unexpectedly, & daddy's favorite (judged by the big response I get every time): I can pick up the computer!

3. I am learning how to drive a car - phase 1 complete: I can put the key in the ignition and turn on all the lights, wipers, & alarm. In the rare situation I am in a Prius, I can even turn on the car.

4. I can help with Mika - I give her her pacifier, cover her up with blankets (mom always uses little ones, I find the bigger the better - then I can cover up all  of her, face included), feed her my lunch, and yell loudly when she cries so mom knows something is wrong. I'm like a mobile baby monitor.

5. I can pack & unpack. Enough said; though I think mom & I have different systems. We're still working out the kinks in our communication.

There are many more great skills I've picked up - but I don't want to brag...I'll just assure you I'm pretty advanced, in my own opinion.

While I have developed quite a few skills in the recent weeks, I admit I'm a bit overwhelmed by how busy everyone else is & by how much everything is changing - can't find my toys, or my furniture, or sometimes my mom. I'm managing though, and have a feeling everything is still ok.

I need to go take a nap (according to mom...whah, whah, whah) so here are a few pictures to show you some things I did over the past few weeks!


Listened to Mika's secrets

Built towers

Scarface - injury of the week

Ate some bubbles
Took one more stroll through my stomping grounds

Wondered if my coffee intake is stunting my growth

Got to know the lady mannequins at the store
Ate meals at my new kitchen table

Drove my stuff to NorCal

Mom will pick this up again soon - but I'm sure I'll be back later with another update from me! They'll be labeled 'Through Kai's Eyes' - catchy, huh? Bye for now!

This Moment - moving

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment to pause, savor and remember.

Friday, October 21, 2011


I'm sitting in my house surrounded by miscellaneous toys, shoes, suitcases, and paper bags finishing up the process so fondly known as 'packing'. Our dining room is void of a table, literally purchased from underneath us as we cleaned off our 'last supper'.  The walls are strangely bare, and there is a hollow echo that resounds in the house whenever there is a loud noise - at this point in our family either a laugh or a cry.

The good byes are in full swing - people I never imagined would miss us are incredibly sad, and people I thought would be terribly sad apparently don't mind. Good byes and leaving are terrible. I'm a professional 'leaver' - having done it over the course of my life more times than my potty training son christens a 'bathroom' I had no idea we had, in a day.  No matter how you slice it, good byes and moving are terrible. They are either terrible because you're leaving somewhere that IS terrible because it is terrible, or you feel terrible leaving a place that is wonderful.

Despite the awfulness of good byes and leaving, there have been multiple funny, sweet, and/or enjoyable moments to appreciate in this particular move (provided I can reduce my stress level enough to notice them):

*Kai has started to say good bye to anything and everything, at times even bringing me a toy, telling it good bye then giving it to me and walking away - resigning himself to a simpler and more clutter free life.

* I've thrown away the same almost empty bottle of shampoo 3 times, and someone keeps taking it out of the trash and putting it back in the tub. I'm not sure if it's Chris thinking Kai threw it away on accident, or Kai thinking I threw it away because I'm crazy. Either way, I gave up...the empty bottle can stay in the tub.

* My return of an item to Babies R Us (a store I hate) was over 90 days by 1 day. Subsequently, and very unfortunately, I was given store credit to a store I hate & that is not located anywhere near where I'm moving. Hmmm....who needs a $45.23 gift card for Christmas...?

* I just sold over $400 worth of items to a woman for $69.50...she literally emptied her wallet, though I'm convinced she had a couple hundreds hidden in a non-disclosed location.

* My landlords father informed me he was former CIA - three days later he arrived at our house unannounced & began measuring all of the windows, where I observed his arrival to our house from my prime location breastfeeding on the couch.

* A man asked me to grill naked for him if he was going to purchase the grill we had posted on Craigslist - I sold the grill. To someone else.

* I went to the bank to close my safety deposit box at the bank, a task Chris had unsuccessfully attempted. When I went to make sure the box was empty, it was already open despite the fact I still had the keys. I won't be opening a safety deposit box again any time soon.

There are dozen more moments that have been worth laughing at, enjoying, or noticing. Despite the difficulties of moving (ie repacking all 10 bags to try and find a tiny bit more space for those last few horribly important items), I can say I am ready to embark on this new adventure.

Perhaps I'm so ready to embark because we've been 'barking' for so long - we've really been looking towards this move since January and it's only now finalizing. I'm indescribably excited to set up our new home, and to know it's a place I can settle in. I'm thrilled to have a pretty good idea of what the next 2 years will hold - I haven't had that since college, maybe before. Every year has held significant changes since my senior year of highschool - graduating, starting college, meeting my husband, getting engaged to my husband, marrying my husband, graduating again, starting a real job, husband starting grad school, having a baby, having another baby, and now will be nice to have 2 years with fewer changes and only 1 big move...the one we're doing now.

I'll post a couple pictures tomorrow, both a 'this moment' and some miscellaneous ones from the week and the moving process...more to come next when we're in transition before we actually depart on November 1st.

For now, the 4lbs ($6) of zucchini I bought to use the $1 coupon is calling my name - asking to be given one last shot at preservation via freezing, acting as ice in a cooler for the next 2 days, and then being transformed into the highest calling a zucchini can have - zucchini bread. (I'll put the recipe for it up here sometime).

To all of you who are currently not moving - enjoy your quiet moments and dining room tables. I'm living vicariously through you.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

This Moment - keeping in touch

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment to pause, savor and remember. 
 If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments over at SouleMama.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Life Changes seems all Sarah does these days is procrastinate in writing her blog!

The past month has been excusably busy - Mikaela Grace Odell was born on Sept 9, 2011 weighing in at a gorgeous 7.1lbs & measuring 20in long. 

She has been an AMAZING baby - sleeping & eating like a little 7lb champ and responding beautifully to her big brother's enthusiasm.

 Kai has adjusted to all of the changes quite well - after some initial shock, he's decided he likes Mika. He is quick to run to take care of her when he hears her cry - a few days ago I walked into our room to respond to Mika crying and found Kai already sitting next to her bed, pushing a pacifier towards her mouth saying "num, num, num". He's am amazing big brother, albeit clumsy. No major casualties yet!

Mika continues to spend most of her time sleeping and eating but already shows an amazingly sweet temper - bouncing back quickly when Kai accidentally bonks her head with a book or sits on her. She is also starting to smile in recognition of specific people, and is more and more aware of what is around her. She brings a definite slowness and sweetness to this otherwise chaotic time of life.

We are currently in the final stages of our moving process - with a departure date from LA officially set for the 22nd of Oct, and a departure date from the US set officially for Nov 1st. We'll be relieved once we actually put the last box in the truck and even more relieved once we stow our last piece of luggage in an overhead compartment!

I'll do my best to write a couple more blogs before the 22nd - hopefully some that are a bit more reflective on this time of 'endings'. But for now, I'll leave with a few pictures from our last month! Please visit the blog again soon - I'll be better at updating it as our life gets into more of a routine!

Auntie Rachel came for a surprise visit!

Kais Recent Going Ons:
Learning to drink from the kitchen sink

Playing with baby Mika

Supervising Mika's progress
Fighting the rose bush - and losing

learning about disguises - thank you Elmo!
Learning about big & small

The Expanded & Revised Odells

The Favorites