Thursday, March 8, 2012

Letter for February

Dear readers,

I gave up Facebook for Lent.

I am so impressive.

It's been a good thing. There is a lot wrong with Facebook. Actually---that's not true; there is a lot wrong with people, (myself included) on Facebook. Either way, the scope of the conversion isn't for this blog. I'll be back, probably. I must admit though, not being on Facebook has been very liberating. Very peaceful. After all--if we're all honest with ourselves Facebook really is a big "compare-a-thon" of everyones bodies, babies, boyfriends, and business.


When I (very begrudgingly) started this blog, it was supposed to act as a sort of "letter" to my family/friends. Then the blog just morphed into me talking about the little moments and events happening around here.  I think this happened because most of my family and friends are all on Facebook--and are very aware of what's going on around here day-to-day, (says the girl who clearly overshares on FB). Now that they can't see what Ava ate for breakfast, or hear about how badly I want to take a nap; perhaps I'll blog slightly more frequently than once-a-month.

Although--in my opinion--once a month really IS enough.

FEBRUARY, (I know it's March...)

Ava had her first birthday! Here are some horrible pictures. I took them with my digital camera, not my iPhone (mistake).

It was a Tea Party theme. Ava did not like the cake. She also did not eat the PB&J finger sandwiches. Yes, that is champagne for the adults at the party--this is Europe.

(The lamp/cabinet set up in the corner is now gone due to its apparently hazardous nature. Thanks Ava. )

Blowing out our candle! 

Refusing our cake!

Getting blocks as a present...

then ignoring the gift to play with the wrapping paper...classic.

The Mayor came to her birthday. No big deal.

Oma Gerlinde :) 
Ava's birthday was a good time.

Moving on.

I've been doing Spring Cleaning in a way that should get me an interview on the Today show, (Why wont Matt Lauer return my calls?) Keely Steger, suggested a book called Organized Simplicity, and I completely devoured this book. The author really didn't say anything that isn't something your grandma has probably told you twice, in fact--sometimes I felt like she was "re-inventing the wheel" so to speak. BUT, they way she presented her thoughts is so inspiring. It makes you  CRAVE simplicity, organization, and peace.

Sign. me. up.

Her name is Tsh Oxenreider (what?). And I'll refer to her as "Tsh," because we are on a first name basis. (Why wont Tsh return my phone calls?) Tsh may not know it, but she is very European. "Less is more" is practically mandatory over here.

We've done a complete and utter OVERHAUL of this whole apartment. For the last two months I've gone to the Thrift Store on post, with a big box of donations---three days a week. That's right, three.

Of course people WANT to buy my junk.

Cleaning, decluttering, organizing, donating, sorting, re-arranging. It's been exhausting. I've left no stone unturned; even the attic is being "de-cluttered."

We've also worked hard making all natural cleaning products. I was a little skeptical, but I've been pleasantly surprised. They work just as well as the store-bough stuff, and are safer and cheaper for everyone. By adding my Lemon Grass essential oil, it also smells amazing in here, (and consequently a little like Fruit Loops cereal).

Now that I've given up Facebook, I get a lot more done. That's actually a little embarrasing when I think about it. How much time was I really spending on Facebook? It must have been a lot because after I complete all the little day-to-day tasks, there is still time leftover. This must be what people refer to as "free time." I like it.

I have more free time now to:

paint (that's right)

read (I wasn't even sure I still knew how)

bake (bread, english muffins, and tortillas.)

run (the weather is getting a lot more mild, so I can run with Ava in the jogging stroller. It's a lot harder with that stupid stroller.

Worst. Purchase. Ever.

I should have read more reviews. The stroller is very sturdy. The tires look like full size bicycle tires. I suppose if I wanted to take it up a mountain--it would be marvelous. BUT, I don't want to take it up a mountain.

 It weighs 30 lbs, and Ava weighs about 20. It has no "self propelled" technology; I'm pushing a solid 50 lbs the entire run. You think you're in great shape until you step behind that disaster.

baby-proof (this is really what I spend a lot of my time doing. Every week or so we find something new that Ava does NOT need to be a part of. Then I spend a day or two brainstorming ideas on how to fix it. Then I spend a day or two trial-and-error style "fixing it." I don't have closets to "put things away" and a lot of my cabinet doors are not traditional enough for the typical baby proof latches, locks, and the like. Needless to say--this has contributed to simply getting rid of things deemed, "un-baby-proofable.")

Other news...

We're going to Salzberg, (remember the "Sound of Music"?) in a week. So, that'll be fun. I hope the hills are still alive.

Ava isn't walking yet. Not unassisted anyway. She stands a lot. It always looks like she's going to walk, but she does not. I'm in NO hurry for her to walk. No hurry at all.

Ava is also over her dairy allergy. Hooray! And since I'm still nursing her, that means I too can enjoy a pint of Ben&Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk.

Ava says, "Ma-ma," "Da-da," and "bye-bye ('ba-ba')." She also breaks a lot of stuff. That's not cute. She has six teeth and she loves to gives kisses, (she really does--it's adorable).

Oh! I forgot to mention she's already reading. She's advanced. 

Steven is working really hard. He's very busy. I hope they give him a break soon. It's like they're completely obsessed with him. They need to get over it. ;)

All in all we are doing great over here. I hope you are doing well too.

Take care,


p.s. I hope you didn't make mental notes of the grammatical errors in this post. Stop taking yourself so seriously. :)


  1. Finally, a Blayne fix! It's been a rough Lenten season for me, because of YOUR holiness. Sheesh. Did you even think of me before you made this decision? Obviously not.
    I've heard quite a few people say that it's shocking -SHOCKING- what they can accomplish once they give up Facebook. But I've also heard people say that getting up at 5 and working out is great, so people obviously lie.
    I'm so glad that Organized Simplicity (and Tsh) has changed your life. And since I introduced it to you, I have in turn changed your life. So, you're welcome.
    Say hi to the Von Trapps for me.

    (There's nothing but sarcasm in this comment. See what you're missing on Facebook?)

  2. :)
    So glad to read this, friend.
    She is getting so gosh darn big!

    Glad you're de-cluttering and selling your stuff. Don't get too crazy now ;) Where am I when you're getting rid of all your clothes??

    Love you and miss you!

  3. love it! glad she has outgrown the dairy allergy-- what's life without ice cream?!?! :)
    I need to read "tsh's" book; we are all about purging and de-cluttering around this house these days.

  4. What a sweet little girl! I love her hair and eyebrows! :)

    I have wanted to go to Salzburg since first watching the Sound of Music, like, 20 years ago ... that would make me 3 then ... probly 'bout right. Have fun there.