Welcome To The Cradle Chronicles!

These are the crazy confessions of a first time mommy, and her adventures in world "mom-ination." If you are coming to this blogsite by way of People.com, chances are you’re already familiar with my writing style and “Mommy-centric” blog fodder. If not, I'll introduce myself with this brief summary: Suffice it to say, I have kids. Two, in fact. Now, I’m not suggesting this defines me entirely, but it certainly goes a long way toward explaining my daily trials and tribulations with spit-up and dirty diapers. Which brings me to… Welcome to The Cradle Chronicles! I hope you’ll continue coming back again and again for more of my motherhood anecdotes, and I look forward to hearing from you. Please keep an eye out for my book, "Situation Momedy," to be released by Medallion Press in 2015 and feel free to follow me on Twitter too!

--Photos in Welcome section courtesy of Mimosa Arts Photography--

February 20, 2015
School Project

Faith, Hope, & Love…

 

 

Like most moms, I find myself jumping at the chance to be directly involved in as many of my daughters’ life experiences as possible. Since Marlowe happens to be only 4-months-old, that essentially entails being the changer of messy diapers, launderer of dirty onesies, and eternal giver of kisses and cuddles. For Gray, on the other hand, new opportunities present themselves daily, whether at home or at school. And while I’ve never thought of myself as much of a PTA mom, I’m discovering I just can’t stay away.

Gray’s daycare recently started preparing for their yearly fundraising event, and I thought I was just going to participate by attending with my husband. You know– buy tickets, break out those heels that haven’t seen the light of day in way too long, and show up to lend my support. At least that’s what I’d told myself… because with a new baby, blogs to write, a book deadline on the horizon, and a million other work and mommy-related things to take care of, I have enough on my plate already. I’m sure you know what that’s like too. Sometimes we just have to learn to say no, right? But the truth of the matter is that I find it impossible to watch things from afar; I’ve never been good at sitting on the sidelines. Hello, my name is Jenna, and I’m a busybody! It’s official. So despite my vow to stay out of it, I wound up collecting auction items and volunteering to spearhead a class project. I felt it was the least I could do to help out… Which leads me to this week’s “How-To” post. Inspired by my new obsession with Pinterest (because we all know I need one more thing to divert my attentions), I organized an art piece to have auctioned off at the fundraiser. I drew everything freehand, creating one balloon per student, and then had all of the kids in Gray’s class add their prints to it in paint. It was such a simple endeavor, but I think it turned out really cute!

 

HOW TO:

Get a blank canvas, a pencil, an eraser, a “Twin Tip” black sharpie (with both fine & ultra fine points), and non-toxic paint in whatever colors you desire, matte sealant. The photo I’ve posted is probably pretty self-explanatory, but…

~ Sketch your design in pencil (if you’re anything like me, that eraser will come in handy!)

~ Carefully trace your design with the fine point of the Sharpie (the thicker side)

~ Apply a small amount of paint to your child’s fingertip, and put two prints in each heart balloon.

~ If you want to better preserve the fingerprints, you can spray a matte sealant over the canvas once the project is complete and dry. Make sure you follow the instructions so nothing drips, and please be sure to do it in a well-ventilated area away from kids and pets. That stuff packs a serious punch!

~Add each child’s name on the side of the appropriate balloon, using the ultra fine tip of the Sharpie.

Voilà. Insta-art!!

Until next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

PS. To join my blog, please subscribe to the RSS feed at the top of your screen. This will help you stay in the loop when I release my new book later this year, “Situation Momedy!”

PPS. Don’t forget to join my Twitter  and check out my website too!

February 6, 2015

 

My "Someday I'll Get Back In A Bikini" Smoothie

My “Someday I’ll Get Back In A Bikini” Smoothie

     

In a spur of the moment decision two years ago, while tasting more samples at Costco than any one woman should consume in a single sitting (and I wasn’t even pregnant at the time), I conceded to the extravagant purchase of a Vitamix blender. I don’t know what came over me. Maybe it was those fun little pizza bagel bites, or the tasty lobster ravioli they so enthusiastically pushed on me in the deli aisle. Who knows? Nevertheless, as my husband fawned over our new toy like it was a strapping Circular Saw or a rare, small batch Bourbon, I scrunched up my nose and inquired, “But will we really use it?”

In retrospect, the answer to that question was, unequivocally, “Yes.” And that’s putting it mildly. Our Vitamix has since taken up permanent residence on our kitchen counter, and I use it daily… namely to make my favorite smoothie. I don’t say all of this to suggest that a good old-fashioned blender is chopped liver, nor do I mention it because I’m sponsored by Vitamix (which would be amazing, but isn’t the case). It’s just that a Vitamix is so darned fast and easy! And when you’re chasing after a two-year-old, a three-month-old, and five dogs, “fast” and “easy” tend to be the only options. Still, if you don’t own a Vitamix, I’m not relegating you to the “uncool” club. (If there is such a thing, which I most certainly wouldn’t know.) I imagine a regular blender is perfectly capable of making my smoothie recipe too, I’m just spoiled by the thing of beauty that is: a Vitamix. And thus concludes my overzealous glorification of a fancy blender. This post was intended to be about a smoothie recipe, and so it shall be.

At the beginning of January, I decided I was going to start eating a little healthier. I’ve mostly cut out cheese and bread, I’m skipping dessert (save for the occasional piece of dark chocolate), and I’ve quadrupled my water consumption. I’m determined to fit back into that bikini before the year 2032! Now some of you may think this is a gussied up version of admitting that I made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. I disagree. You see, I believe nothing gets thrown out faster than a New Year’s resolution, except maybe poopie baby diapers, so I refuse to put that label on it. I’m viewing my efforts as a work in progress that happened to begin the first week of January, and will continue to evolve throughout the year– or until I fold under the pressure of a particularly persuasive wedge of triple cream brie. What can I say? “Everything in moderation” is a great idea in theory, until you realize a hunk of Gouda can make your willpower crumble like a Girl Scout cookie. Which, as it turns out, is another downfall of mine.

But I digress. Instead of filling up on things I really want, like cream puffs and salted caramel chocolate torts, one of the ways I’m endeavoring to be healthier is to eat more of the “good” fats, such as nuts, salmon, and avocado. The last item is what led me to the following smoothie recipe, which I often have for breakfast or lunch, because it’s not terribly bad for me. (And because it’s freaking DELICIOUS!!) I hope you get as much satisfaction out of drinking it as I do… And if you have a Vitamix lying around, use this is an excuse to get that sucker out!

 

Gray likes it too!

Oh yeah, and Gray likes it too!

 

My “Someday I’ll Get Back In A Bikini” Smoothie

(Recipe by Jenna von Oy)

 

Ingredients:

1  Avocado

1 Ripe banana

2 Heaping spoons full of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt

2 Cups Blue Diamond almond Coconut Almond Breeze (it’s an almond milk and coconut milk blend, so the flavor is fantastic!)

1 Large spoon full of honey (I use local wildflower honey from our farmer’s market)

7-10 ice cubes

(makes 2 full glasses)

Directions:  

~ Blend until it’s the consistency you want, drink up, and dream of getting back in that bikini!!!!

 

Until next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

PS. To join my blog, please subscribe to the RSS feed at the top of your screen. This will help you stay in the loop when I release my new book later this year, “Situation Momedy!”

PPS. Don’t forget to join my Twitter  and check out my website too!

 

January 23, 2015

 

Me & My Sweet Marlowe

Me & My Sweet Marlowe (Photo by: Mimosa Arts)

 

So I clearly didn’t make the self-imposed, January 9th blog deadline I had in mind. During the winter break, while relaxing on the couch, reading a book, and leisurely sipping a cup of hot chocolate, I decided perhaps I’d give myself an additional few weeks to enjoy the peace and quiet of the holiday season, before getting back to writing. Which, if you know me at all, is clearly a joke. There was no book. Or hot chocolate. And there was definitely no relaxation to speak of. In reality, I made that decision in the throes of our Christmas chaos, while perilously teetering on the edge of my sanity. (Not really, but my New Year’s resolutions didn’t include refraining from exaggeration, so I’m sticking with that.) As it stands, we are several weeks into 2015, and there are still presents under our tree that have yet to be put away. Yes, I said our tree. Because it’s still up… And it still has ornaments on it… And the stockings are still hung. But you know what? I’ve appreciated some much-needed family time, cuddled with our enchanting new baby girl and her amazing big sister, entertained guests, consumed my share of Christmas cookies (and then some), gotten us beyond the endless string of colds we couldn’t shake in December, and finished three chapters of the book I’m releasing later this year. So I’m feeling pretty good about the current state of affairs, neglected tree and all!

Truthfully, I’m happy to hang on to that Christmas spirit for as long as possible, especially considering the joy it brought along with it. Marlowe’s joy didn’t extend much beyond drooling, breastfeeding, and messing her diaper every five minutes, but it was wonderful to witness nonetheless! Gray, ever the comedienne, provided us with nonstop entertainment. For instance, her anticipation of Christmas Eve went a little something like this:

Gray: “Mommy, where are all of my presents?”

Me: “I imagine they are in Santa’s sleigh.”

Gray: “Oh no! Is he sitting on them?”

 And

Gray: “Mommy, did Santa bring me my little sister for Christmas?”

 

Needless to say, I hope she isn’t expecting a similar gift next year. Santa’s ”sleigh” needs a little break before it can even think about carrying another present like that one!

Aside from her comedic relief, Gray has nominated herself to act as my little sidekick, helper, part-time dog-herder, and honorary babysitter. I guess there’s nothing like a new baby to make an older child rise to the occasion! Not that I ever had doubts about Gray’s ability to handle having a sibling, but I realize that changes in the family dynamic are often met with some frustration, confusion, and push back. Brad and I went into it with open minds and a lot of love, just in case. We’ve done our best to give Gray space to express her feelings about it—positive or negative. Boy, has she proven we had nothing to worry about! She insists on holding her sister every morning, singing to her each night before bed (it’s really more like a twenty-minute long musical about anything and everything, with no intermissions allowed), and spontaneously offering her hugs because ”I just love her so much, I have to hug her, Mommy.” It’s sort of astounding how early that sisterly bond develops! And the feeling is, incontrovertibly, a mutual one. If I want to make Marlowe smile for a photo, all I have to do is prop her up in front of her sister. Or even a photo of her sister. It’s a pretty cool party trick.

Gray & Marlowe-Cracking Each Other Up!

Gray & Marlowe-Cracking Each Other Up!

 

As if Christmas weren’t exciting enough, we ended 2014 with a bang. Did we stay up half the night popping champagne corks and tossing confetti into the air? Not even close. We watched a Sofia The First episode with Gray (which doesn’t brandish quite the pizazz of the ball dropping in Times Square), and then we went to bed. At 9:30. I think it may go without saying that our partying days are officially a thing of the past. But you know what? It was exactly what the doctor ordered. In fact, we’d already put on pajamas and brushed our teeth before we remembered staying up until midnight was even an option.

Despite our lack of jubilant merrymaking, late-night ceremony, and the morning hangover that inevitably follows, our year-end was a celebratory occasion nonetheless. Why, you ask? Because we came, we saw, we… wait for it… potty trained! (Of course, I’m referring to the royal “we,” since it would be a little weird if I were just getting to that turning point in my own life.) Hence, the ushering in of 2015 was all about our adventures in toileting. Maybe Mama should have gotten a bottle of something stronger under the tree. Santa, how could you forsake me?

In all honesty, after the abundance of horror stories I’ve heard, I expected the potty-training endeavor to take months. I also anticipated jumping through more hoops than a poodle at a dog show. But lo’ and behold, on Christmas morning, Gray decided she was ready to step up to the plate (or, rather, the commode) and that was that! I know this isn’t always the case, and I wish I could offer something more than encouragement to those of you who are having a rough go of it. I’d love to tell you I employed some impressive, new and improved, miracle, parenting tactic, but all of the credit goes to Gray, who made up her mind and never looked back. My daughter is nothing, if not stubborn! Mind you, I should probably give a little recognition to her trusted allies, the Disney princesses… You see, Santa left brand new princess undies under the tree on Christmas morning and, apparently, Rapunzel can make magic happen. Who knew? As you can probably imagine, with the occurrence of such a noteworthy milestone, the beginning of 2015 mostly revolved around the subject of… well, you know… that messy business. Suffice it to say I’m just playing my part as purveyor of princess panties, post-potty hand washer, cheer squad, and proud mommy. And that’s about as much as I’ll offer on that topic. Which, I would guess, makes most of you breathe a huge sigh of relief.

I can’t believe Marlowe is three months old already! I honestly don’t know where the time has gone. I’ve searched for it on my desk underneath the stacks of bills, page-long checklists, and breast pump supplies I call “paperweights,” but it is nowhere to be found. If I thought Gray’s infancy flew by like a jet plane, Marlowe’s is hurtling past like an F-15! But despite how rapidly the moments seem to be passing us by, we are treasuring them whole-heartedly. We are getting to know each and every detail of my sweet little Marlowe’s personality– how it takes her forever to wake up in the morning, how she stretches after every nap, how she treasures her cuddle time (and gets her feelings hurt if you stop loving on her before she’s ready), the way her pinky daintily extends while she nurses, how she sticks her little tongue out when I kiss her lips, that she despises being overheated, and how she offers that thoroughly beguiling smile when she hears her big sister’s voice. She is exquisite and nothing short of inspiring. And I’ll take all of the inspiration I can get right now, because I have a BOOK to finish by the beginning of April! How is that for a segue? If it sounds a little crazy that I am taking care of a newborn, running after a two-year-old and five dogs, and simultaneously writing two blogs and a book, it is. But it’s the good kind of crazy (mostly). I just take all of that chaos and put it to paper whenever possible. If I weren’t a mommy, I wouldn’t be motivated to write, so you’ll get no complaints from me about it! (A few jokes, perhaps, but I wouldn’t be me without those, now would I?) I’m appreciative of all of the time I get to spend with my girls, even when it’s hectic. I bring all of this up to say—I know you’ve gotten used to seeing my blogs on a weekly basis, but there will probably be more delinquency yet to come. For Pete’s sake, that dang Christmas tree is still up, so… it might be a week or two before I can finagle another post on here. In fact, I may begin doing posts every few weeks instead of every week, so I can have a little breathing room. At least until I finish writing the last few chapters of my book! Please don’t give up on me. Pretty soon there will be a whole book’s worth of my silly motherhood anecdotes and parenting fodder to look forward to, so stay tuned…

 

 

Until next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

 

PS. I’ve included a candid, makeup-free photo for you this month. We moms aren’t always dressed to the nines and sporting fabulous lipstick, especially when we are at home cuddling with our kids! I post professional photos more often than not, so I thought you’d appreciate seeing this side of me too.

A Makeup-free Candid With My  Little Girl!

A Makeup-free Candid With My Little Girl!

 

PPS. To join my blog, please subscribe to the RSS feed at the top of your screen. This will help you stay in the loop when I release my new book later this year, “Situation Momedy!”

PPPS. Don’t forget to join my Twitter  and check out my website too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Larry Rodriquez says:

    With or without makeup it’s all the same to me

  • Zoe says:

    Potty training! Congrats that Gray was so into it from day one!:)
    My 4 year old just BARELY started before her 4th birthday, and my newborn came around just before Christmas. I can totally relate. Congrats on both accomplishments! :)

January 16, 2015
Photo by Mimosa Arts

Photography by: Mimosa Arts

 

I’m clearly running WAY behind on the “getting back into blogging” thing… Apparently I’m a little slow going in the New Year, and the notion of returning on January 9th was downright laughable. Please don’t give up on me! I’ve added some fun new main page photos to whet your appetite (as well as the one above), and I hope to be back with a more exciting blog next week.

In the meantime, I’m thrilled to announce the winner of my Christmas Caramel Giveaway contest, Melody from Michigan. Congrats, Melody! She’ll be receiving one pound of yummy salted caramels from Firefly Confections, as well as a copy of the gorgeous new book, Artisan Caramels, by Firefly Confections owner, Sandy Arevalo.

For those of you in the Nashville area, don’t forget Sandy will be signing her book at Parnassus Books on Saturday January 24th, at 2PM. I might even be making a cameo appearance, so please come join us!

In other news, hopefully I’ll have my act together by next week. Stay tuned…

Until next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

PS. To join my blog, please subscribe to the RSS feed at the top of your screen. This will help you stay in the loop when I release my new book later this year, “Situation Momedy!”

PPS. Don’t forget to join my Twitter  and check out my website too!

  • Amy says:

    Love the new main page photos. Grey’s personality is quite vocal in each one!! Give yourself some more time to get used to having two. It’s a whole new world.

December 26, 2014
Happy Holidays! (Photo by: Mimosa Arts)

Happy Holidays! (Photo by: Mimosa Arts)

         

        

           The holidays are officially upon us, and I hope you are all in the throes of good tidings, joyful celebrating, and too many rounds of eggnog. I hope you are surrounded by loved ones, blessed by health and happiness, and looking toward the New Year with faith, hope, and a peaceful spirit.

At my house, we are doing our best to get the never-ending winter sniffles behind us, wrap presents away from prying eyes that are FAR too observant for their own two-year-old good, and trim the tree without a Basset Hound taking it down like Godzilla trampling Tokyo. If you picture ornaments and tinsel flying like they’re being hurled out of a mechanical baseball pitching machine, you’ve got a pretty good idea about the state of affairs over here.

Nonetheless, in the midst of all of the holiday hustle and bustle (more commonly referred to as absolute chaos), I wanted to wish you all a happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, & New Year. As I do each year, I will be taking a few weeks off for the holiday season, and will return in January. I’m aiming for the 9th, but wish me luck on that! I’ll be lucky if I have the Christmas cards out by then. In the meantime, please don’t forget to enter my Caramel Giveaway contest from the last post I published. How can anyone in their right mind turn down yummy salted caramels and a recipe book by Firefly Confections?!

 

From my family to yours… May your days be safe, merry, and filled with laughter and love.

 

Until next year… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

PS. To join my blog, please subscribe to the RSS feed at the top of your screen. This will help you stay in the loop when I release my new book, “Situation Momedy,” in 2015!

PPS. Don’t forget to join my Twitter  and check out my website too!

December 19, 2014
Artisan Caramels, by Sandy Arevalo

Artisan Caramels, by Sandy Arevalo

 

             In advance of the Christmas holiday (ho ho ho, and joyful, happy tidings and all that), I’ve teamed up with my friend, Sandy Arevalo of Firefly Confections, to do a special sweet treat giveaway this month. Sandy is the confectionery genius behind the wonderful salted caramels I’ve spoken so highly of on several occasions in the past. In fact, she’s so awesome, she wrote a stunning recipe book about them, which she’s in the process of releasing! I’m so darn smitten with those scrumptious little things I even contributed a quote for the book cover. Which brings me to the contest… Sandy has generously offered to give away a signed copy of her new book, along with one pound of yummy salted caramel! All you have to do is write an email to me at: Jenna@Cradlechronicles.com letting me know what your favorite Christmas dessert is. It can be as brief or as lengthy as you’d like. Please title your email ”I’m Dreaming of A Christmas Caramel,” and I will draw one lucky winner right after Christmas. Just think what a delicious start you’d have to the New Year! In case you still aren’t swayed (a.k.a. the spiked eggnog is getting to your head), Sandy has graciously given us a sample recipe to indulge in. I can say, from experience, that these are simply sublime! Introducing, her Apple Pie Caramels:

 

Apple Pie Caramel Recipe

Apple Pie Caramel Recipe

 

If you’d like to contact Sandy, she does her best to answer any and all caramel-related questions! Email: Sandy@fireflyconfections.com/ Facebook: @Firefly Confections/ Twitter & Instagram: @Sandysbaking

Special Appearance: For those of you who are in the Nashville area, Sandy is scheduled to do a signing at Parnassus Books on January 24th, at 2 PM. I’ll be there too, barring any unforeseen, crazy incidents that would prevent me from it. And it’ll take something monstrous to keep from my caramels, so Sandy and I hope to see you there!

*** The salted caramels that the winner will receive contain dairy, and are made in a facility that handles foods containing wheat (gluten), dairy, soy, nuts, seeds, and chocolate. Please make sure you are able to consume these confections before entering the contest. We don’t want anyone hospital-bound over a box of caramels!

 

Until next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

PS. To join my blog, please subscribe to the RSS feed at the top of your screen. This will help you stay in the loop when I release my new book, “Situation Momedy,” in 2015!

PPS. Don’t forget to join my Twitter  and check out my website too!

December 12, 2014
My Elephant Heart Necklace

My Elephant Heart Necklace

 

        The Christmas season is about keeping our loved ones close. For some of us that means traveling hundreds of miles by plane, train, or automobile so we can trek up the snow-covered driveway to our parents’ house, for a family gathering where we’ll do our best to dodge Grandma’s scary homemade fruitcake, overdose on Celine Dion singing O’ Holy Night (which only takes hearing it once, in my opinion), and listen to our crazy uncle (who has hit the peppermint Schnapps a bit too hard) tell stories about his recent trip to an Alpaca farm. For others it means staying home and watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, baking special cookies to set out for Santa, and praying our kids don’t wake us up to open presents at 5 am (wish me luck on that!). Regardless of how you choose to celebrate the days ahead, or which religious holy day you may practice, I imagine you’ll spend the majority of the holiday treasuring your family. It’s beautiful when a year filled with the typical hustle and bustle of school, extracurricular activities, and hectic work schedules culminates in some much-needed time together. But we need to refuel on all of that love more than once a year!

I was recently given a stunning gift that serves as a daily reminder of that notion, in the form of a necklace… an Elephant Heart Charm necklace with the birthstones of my girls, my husband, and myself. Courtesy of the generous folks at Elephant Heart Jewelry, I now wear that symbol of love everywhere I go. The meaningful idea behind the jewelry is the importance of ”carrying those you love with you, and always keeping them close to your heart.” I thought this was so endearing, I wanted to dedicate this week’s post to it. I figure my daughters won’t always be small enough to rest against my chest, as in the photo above, but that isn’t a phase a necklace can outgrow. I also figured the timing is perfect, since some of you might still be searching for that perfect Christmas gift for your own mom, sister, or mommy friend. If you’re secretly hoping for one too, may I also suggest sending your husband this way for gift ideas? In honor of the holiday season, Elephant Heart is even offering free priority shipping during the month of December, so it’s win-win!

 

Elephant Heart Necklace

 

The Elephant Heart Charm Necklace is an incredibly heartwarming gift to give and receive… But don’t just take my word for it. My former Blossom co-star, Mayim Bialik, has been open about her love of the necklace. She even wore it on a visit to the White House, and mentioned it in one of her Kveller blog posts. And she’s not the only one! An impressive list of celebrity moms have been spotted around town sporting their own special necklaces (including Camila Alves McConaughey and Rebecca Gayheart), and I’m not surprised. After all, we moms are suckers for anything that reflects our love for our kids, aren’t we? For that matter, you can put anyone’s birthstone on there. It’s a wonderful way to honor family in general– parents, siblings, best friends, or even Grandma… despite that atrocious fruitcake!

You can check out Elephant Heart’s full line of Animal Charm Necklaces here. And tell them I sent you!!

 

Until next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

PS. To join my blog, please subscribe to the RSS feed at the top of your screen. This will help you stay in the loop when I release my new book, “Situation Momedy,” in 2015!

PPS. Don’t forget to join my Twitter  and check out my website too!

December 5, 2014

 

As if it isn’t obvious, I’m pretty darn mesmerized by my daughters. Call it smitten, enchanted, enamored, infatuated, captivated, bewitched, entranced, or just plain hypnotized. No matter the word of choice, it all leads to the same sentiment… I’m head over heels in love with them both! If I worried for even a moment that my second daughter might not be as special and spellbinding as my first, boy was I wrong. There’s just something about a newborn baby that renders me starry-eyed and silly with glee. More specifically, this little girl of mine is uniquely wonderful, and I refuse to take it for granted! In keeping with that idea, here are five reasons I absolutely adore having a newborn baby. (I might have listed thousands, if it didn’t contradict the whole ”Five Things” concept I’ve got going here… )

 

  1. That smell! Who can deny the beauty of inhaling a brand new baby’s fragrance? Certainly not I. It must be some sort of primal instinct that leads us to spend our afternoons endlessly sniffing that sweet little noggin. If you’re a parent, you are likely smiling at fond memories right now; if you’re a non-parent, the visual of purposely sticking your nose into a kid’s hair for hours on end may only be slightly more exciting than a root canal. But trust me when I say that many a mom has wished she could bottle up that essence to save for a rainy day when her kids are grown. Eau de Newborn is a powerful and intoxicating memory trigger! But parents aren’t the only ones who can appreciate it… even Gray noticed it immediately. The first time she met her baby sister she leaned over and kissed her on the forehead, then started to walk away. Stopping in her tracks and turning back, she returned to breathe in the scent of Marlowe’s hair and exclaimed in awe, “Mommy! Marlowe smells so good!” If a two-year-old is capable of observing something so delicate, it’s clearly magical! I have no clue when the scent will dissipate, so I’m enjoying it while I can!

 

  1. Itty bitty everything. Fingers, toes, grunts, coos, sneezes, pajamas, bloomers, and even diaper contents. There’s nothing like a tiny human to make you stop and appreciate the little things! It’s a wonderful reminder to pay close attention to details, prompting me to absorb each and every moment with both of my girls.

 

The "Accidental" Smile

The “Accidental” Smile

 

  1. The ”accidental” smile. I know it’s probably just gas, and a messy diaper change is likely in my near future, but I’ll take it! That brief flash of my daughter’s grin is a glimpse into her spirit. It’s one of the first signs of the little girl she is becoming…

 

  1. I get to show my iPhone camera an inordinate amount of love. I mean, what’s NOT worth taking a photo of at this stage? Everything is novel and new, and must be documented in more painstaking detail than a National Geographic special on the migration of the Monarch Butterfly.

 

Marlowe Discovers We Have Dogs

Marlowe Discovers We Have Dogs

 

  1. There’s so much to look forward to… well, actually, there’s everything to look forward to! There are the obvious milestones: a first giggle, a first step, crawling, talking, and tasting solid food for the first time. But there are also the initial milestones that stir your parental senses and sentimentality: the first time your baby looks you in the eye or turns toward the sound of your voice, the first time she grabs your finger and squeezes, or the first time she stops crying because you’ve started singing to her. A few of my recent personal favorites? The first time my husband fell asleep with our new little girl on his chest, the first time Gray requested to hold her baby sister, and the first time Marlowe realized we had dogs… and clearly got a kick out of it! See the above photo montage for proof.

Until next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

PS. To join my blog, please subscribe to the RSS feed at the top of your screen. This will help you stay in the loop when I release my new book, “Situation Momedy,” in 2015!

PPS. Don’t forget to join my Twitter  and check out my website too!

November 28, 2014

 

My Poor Little Bruised Bailey...

My Poor Little Bruised Bailey…

 

Sometimes life hands you a few lemons, and sometimes it hands you a whole tree of them… super sour ones that require a boatload of sugar in order to make palatable lemonade. I’m contemplating buying stock in a grove somewhere. My point is that November has been a doozy here in our house. Gray is getting over a cold and an ear infection that keeps overstaying its welcome, and Marlowe has a cold and some serious tummy troubles that leave her screaming like a banshee for hours at a time. Typically just in time to encroach upon Gray’s naps and bedtime. Go figure. Our oldest Pug has been diagnosed with arthritis of the hips, Scoliosis in his back, and a fractured spinal column (the latter is thoroughly baffling, as the vet said it would require a relatively traumatic fall to accomplish that, and no such thing has ever occurred), and our other pup, Bailey, had to be rushed to the emergency vet this week when one side of her face suddenly began blowing up like a balloon animal. Turns out she’d managed to split her cheek open on something in the yard. She wound up with stitches and one of those goofy plastic collars that looks like we should be posting her on our roof as a makeshift satellite dish. Throw in my c-section recovery, and we’ve had a month full of medical melodrama that has thwarted our sleep schedules and taxed our wallets. Nonetheless, I am feeling exceedingly thankful as we head into our post-Turkey Day weekend… Thankful to have an incredible, enchanting, healthy (cold not withstanding) new baby girl, to be healing quickly after my surgery, to have a daughter who has such a sweet spirit that she’s making an easy transition into being a big sister, to have a husband who finds wonder, humor, and inspiration in our estrogen-heavy household (though he may change his mind when our girls are teenagers), to have a mom who was willing to come to town for three weeks and take care of one daughter while I gave birth to another, to be releasing my first book next year (yay!!!), and to have more love and support than I could ever dream of. When I think about all of the beauty and blessings that surround me, those lemons don’t taste quite so sour after all. I mean, how could I not be thankful for these guys??

My Beautiful Blessings

My Beautiful Blessings

 

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that you have a house full of healthy and happy humans!

 

Until next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

PS. To join my blog, please subscribe to the RSS feed at the top of your screen. This will help you stay in the loop when I release my new book, “Situation Momedy,” in 2015!

PPS. Don’t forget to join my Twitter  and check out my website too!

November 21, 2014

 

 

         One of my babies is is no longer a baby, and that passage of time hit me with the force of a mighty wind once Marlowe came along. I used to stare at Gray’s tiny fingers and dream of what the future might hold for us. Now her hands are busy making expressive gestures to accompany her ever-growing dialogue, building castles out of blocks, and daintily sipping tea from porcelain cups. They caress my face when she is tired, tuck themselves into mine while crossing the street, hug me before bed each night, and wave goodbye as she happily trots off to daycare. Those hands are getting more and more independent as the days go by and it is, predictably, bittersweet. It also takes having a second pair of tiny fingers to admire to another level altogether. These new fingers prompt new dreams, while simultaneously kindling beautiful reveries of days gone by. I am, in short, feeling exceedingly sentimental.

Marlowe is, of course, a different baby with her own unique traits and characteristics. The exquisite eyes that look up at me are hers and hers alone, and the sleepy smile (that I imagine is still gas at this stage) is stunningly special and one-of-a-kind. Yet there are facial features and mannerisms that remind me of Gray so wholeheartedly, it has moved me to tears on several occasions…both for this enchanting new child before me, and for the child she so closely resembles. In a way, Marlowe has resurrected my memories of Gray’s infancy. In a sense, I feel like I’ve been given a second chance to go back and appreciate Gray’s first days, as I marvel over every coo and cuddle with Marlowe. It has reminded me of moments I’d already forgotten with my first daughter, and yet I’m experiencing them for the first time with my second daughter in that magically delicious way that only an untouched experience can offer. It’s bewitching and wonderfully overwhelming… and I’m loving every moment of it.

 

Déjà vu “all over again…”

 

In Their Happy Place (L: Marlowe/R: Gray)

In Their Happy Place (L: Marlowe/R: Gray)

In Shock & Awe (L: Marlowe/R: Gray)

In Shock & Awe (L: Marlowe/R: Gray)

In Cahoots With Mommy (L: Marlowe/R: Gray)

In Cahoots With Mommy (L: Marlowe/R: Gray)

In La La Land (L: Marlowe/R: Gray)

In La La Land (L: Marlowe/R: Gray)

Until next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

PS. To join my blog, please subscribe to the RSS feed at the top of your screen. This will help you stay in the loop when I release my new book, “Situation Momedy,” in 2015!

PPS. Don’t forget to join my Twitter  and check out my website too!