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--

Archive for 'The Anecdote Apothecary'

November 6, 2015
SituationMomedy-book cover

My Situation Momedy Book Cover (Photo by Mimosa Arts)


Situation Momedy: A Labor of Love


Back in my single-girl, my-time-was-my-own, it-still-made-sense-to-wear-dry-clean-only-clothing days, before I was officially the mom of tiny humans, I was mommy to my very own canine brood. We aren’t talking one small step into a lifetime commitment with man’s best friend here; we’re talking one giant leap: I managed to amass five dogs. I repeat: five. Let’s just say I’m a big believer in the saying Go big or go home.

The fact is, I’d desperately wanted children for so long that I started baby-stepping my way toward them with kids of the hairy, salivating, kibble-eating kind. In the interest of full disclosure, I first attempted fish and a pet lizard, but those didn’t go so swimmingly. Fortunately, I’ve had better luck with mammals. Sort of. I took a few tumbles along the path to becoming a decent doggy parent too.

Case in point: Not long after I turned 30, I brought my third puppy home—a basset hound named Mia. She was a spur-of-the-moment adoption I’d made with a lot of heart and very little consideration for what our future together might entail. In my optimistic, carefree world, what was one additional dog in the house when I already had two? I’d convinced myself she would add more character to my life.

For the record, wrinkles add character; basset hounds add chaos.

Nonetheless, Mia’s still camping out on my loveseat as I write this (read: drooling all over it and leaving behind her very special brand of basset hound funk), so I guess my decision couldn’t have been too misguided. But it took a while to come to that conclusion.

First, Mia and I had to undergo the Pottery Barn Bench Construction Debacle of 2007. That’s when I learned putting together any sort of factory-made furniture that involves more than ten parts and over one page of instruction is not a puppy-friendly home project, no matter how careful you think you can be.

I congratulated myself on remembering to let three-month-old Mia outside before she christened my new rug. Then, while lost in the oblivion of bench assembly, I missed her stealthy entrance into my work zone (impressive, considering that bassets are anything but stealthy). That little rascal managed to snag a few nuts and bolts without me noticing!

That evening saw Mia trembling and vomiting. Clearly my baby was ill—at least I was astute enough to recognize that fact—so I rushed her to the emergency vet. Turns out she’d ingested two interlocking metal pieces that wound up lodged in her intestine. Their removal required immediate stomach surgery—and most of what I had in my checking account.

Numerous vet bills and countless hours of worrying later, I was in possession of frayed nerves, a doped-up dog, and the most expensive bench in the history of Pottery Barn benches. It was a financially and emotionally costly parenting lesson.

The moral of my story? Sometimes labor and love don’t mix when it comes to parenting. Oh, and installing baby gates is a must, whether your kids have paws or feet.

Photo by Micah Schweinsberg

Photo by Micah Schweinsberg


People sometimes use the term labor of love rather loosely.

“I just finished filming an exciting thirteen-hour documentary on the mating rituals of wombats; it was a labor of love.”

“I climbed K2 wearing only a Superman cape and a pair of Mukluks; it was a labor of love.”

“I simultaneously wrangled two kids, five dogs, and my husband for a photo shoot, just so we could have a kitschy Christmas card; it was a labor of love.” (For the record, I’ve tried this one, and it’s no easy feat.)

But as often as I hear the phrase labor of love, there’s one experience I’ve had in my own life that truly exemplifies it: trying to give birth to a book while being full-time mommy to the two girls to whom I also recently gave birth.

Years ago, in my dreamy little head, being a published author resembled Ernest Hemingway brooding over martinis at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Dorothy Parker wisecracking at the Algonquin Round Table, or William Faulkner puffing on pipes and slugging bourbon at his writing desk in Oxford, Mississippi. What it definitely did not look like was sneaking in twenty minutes on chapter 17 while simultaneously breastfeeding, making a meatloaf, stepping on wayward crayons and squeaky toys, and desperately wishing that third pot of high-octane coffee hadn’t just run out. As it happens, motherhood and manuscripts aren’t always an ideal (or productive) combination.

Nevertheless, just as the legendary phoenix rises from a pile of ashes, inspiration sprang from my new mommy chaos and took flight. It’s how my book— Situation Momedy: A First-Time Mom’s Guide to Laughing Your Way through Pregnancy & Year One—was conceived, and writing it brought my notion of a labor of love to a whole new, sometimes sanity-defying level. But it was more than worth it! I mean, how could I ignore an opportunity to merge my lifelong love for comedy with my passion for raising my daughters? Better yet, how could I pass up the chance to let my mommy peers laugh at my hectic and hilarious motherhood misadventures, snafus, and hard-learned lessons, such as the one I mention above involving my four-legged, fur baby?

I believe we are all better parents when we can take a step back and find the funny, and this is especially true when one is experiencing pregnancy and the new-mommy learning curve. My prevailing motherhood motto? A sense of humor—never leave home without it.

That said, every now and then a new mommy’s sense of humor gets lost in the shuffle. Mine did. I used to catch it skulking behind my morning sickness and the uneasiness of an unfinished nursery, hiding under dirty diapers and never-ending laundry loads, attempting to escape the threat and absurdity of the Mommy Wars, and getting overshadowed by that monster called The Fear of Screwing up My Kids. (Welcome to the wonderful world of anxiety!)

After I’d done enough fretting and over-Googling for all of us, I finally decided to shake it off, trust my own instincts, and laugh a little. While I was at it, I figured why not embrace the honesty and vulnerability and write a book that reminds other moms to locate their own intuition and inner comedienne in the midst of the anarchy? Sometimes it’s nice to know we aren’t alone in the madness.

With Situation Momedy, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel; I’m just trying to encourage us all to laugh as the notion of motherhood perfection rolls on by. As I mention in its preface, Situation Momedy “isn’t meant to be a how-to book. There are already tons of those out there, and they cover everything I can’t, won’t, couldn’t, and shouldn’t. Instead, this is meant to be a best friend’s guide to laughing about the realities of motherhood. Because sometimes laughter is a contagious cure-all. . . . Think of me as your self-deprecating Jiminy Cricket with a baby on her hip.”

After all, parenting may be a lifelong commitment that involves intense love and dedication, infinite patience, and more energy than you thought yourself capable of without a lifetime supply of caffeine (or maybe wine), but it also offers an abundance of seriously comical moments worth pausing to appreciate.

Because what’s the fun of the labor without the love and laughter to go along with it?


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

Jenna von Oy


*** For those of you who know WAY more about parenting than I do—and that’s probably most of you—you may not need my book to remind you to laugh in the face of your daily parenting challenges. Not to worry, Situation Momedy has something for everyone, so I hope you’ll read it anyway. It happens to be chock full of ridiculous stories from my past, both personal and career-related, in which I repeatedly throw myself under the bus. And who doesn’t love laughing at my expense? You won’t want to miss it. And it comes out THIS WEEK! You can order it HERE.

Also, a huge congrats to Christy of Marietta, Georgia, who won the SnuggBugg contest last month! Thank you to everyone who entered, and please check back soon for more fun giveaways!

PS. To join my blog, please subscribe to the RSS feed at the top of your screen.

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




October 23, 2015
At my first post-op appointment. Because no one needs to see me during the heavily medicated days. Oh yeah, and I blurred the incision site for you too. I'm not trying to make anyone lose their lunch.

At my first post-op appointment. Because no one needs to see me during the heavily medicated days. Oh yeah, and I blurred the incision site for you too. I’m not trying to make anyone lose their lunch.


As I mentioned in my last blog post, I recently had knee surgery. I’ll spare you the medical jargon-laden details (and the rather ghoulish post-operation photos), but suffice it to say I had a complex tear in my knee and the only real fix was to go under the knife. Don’t bother asking me when and how I damaged it in the first place, as I’m clueless. I suspect I busted it at some point during my second pregnancy while that lying, deceitful hormone Relaxin was coursing through my body and making me think I was capable of stretching in ways I really wasn’t. As my post-pregnant body began to transition back, I suddenly started experiencing intense pain that hadn’t been there before. Good times. I would’ve loved to have skipped surgery altogether, but there are two little girls who wouldn’t stop running long enough for me to catch up, which posed some logistics issues. Nonetheless, I made it through the surgery and I’m present. Limping and cursing my crutches, but present.

Let me first say that dealing with crutches (which my three-year-old refers to as “crunches”) whilst parenting two energetic kids has been nothing short of challenging. Or, for that matter, exhausting. And no amount of caffeine can really make a dent in that. It’s always fun when your ten-month-old can walk faster than you, especially when she has already mastered the art of being a living, breathing wrecking ball. Thankfully, my husband took two days off from work, and my mom flew in from the East Coast to help out… and by help out, I mean she wrangled kids 24/7 on my behalf. She conducted make-believe tea parties, bathed squirmy, wiggly arms and legs, packed preschool lunches, cleaned never ending Lego messes and catastrophic food spills, thwarted tantrums (but only sometimes) and wiped cherubic little bottoms. God bless her. During the aforementioned activities, I was laid out on our couch in a deliciously foggy state of delirium I like to call “vacation,” watching back episodes of Boston Legal — the story lines of which I wouldn’t recall even if getting cast in the next David E. Kelley drama depended on it.


When your ten-month-old walks faster than you...

When your ten-month-old walks faster than you…

Given my anticipation of said state of delirium and my propensity for sarcasm, I left an itinerary for my husband– which, as you can probably imagine, was something special. And I do mean special. I decided to take a new approach to list-making… micromanaging by comedy. And since my husband got such a kick out of it (or at least he was polite enough to tell me he did), I thought you might enjoy it too…

My Awesomely OCD Itinerary


Brad- Thank you, in advance, for taking care of me during my doped-up delirium. If you’ve ever wanted to tell me something wacky from your past, but didn’t because you were afraid my memory was so good I’d never forget it and I’d dredge it up again when we’re 80, now’s the time to tell me. I won’t remember jack while I’m on Percocet. I will, however, remember I love you. And that’s the important part. Thank you for taking the day off from work to be with me, and for calming my nerves while I’m an uptight, freaked out worrywart.


Thursday– Surgery

  1. My Advance Directive is in the brown pouch with my phone and Kindle. You’d better not need it, or I vow to come back and haunt my surgeon for all of eternity. I can be SERIOUSLY annoying when I want to be (and sometimes when I don’t), so he doesn’t want that. As a side note– If you do wind up needing my Advance Directive, I also hereby bequeath you my iPhone and brand new Kindle. It’s the least I can do.


  1. Please text my sister, your mom, and my four closest girlfriends to let them know I made it out of surgery without croaking. (Provided I did, of course.) You can find all of their numbers in my phone. Please also call my mom so she doesn’t go any crazier than she already is. If anyone offers to bring a meal over, please take them up on it. You and my mom in the kitchen together is a disaster waiting to happen and I have enough to worry about right now. If they offer to make dessert, and I find out you turned that down, I’ll need some additional time to come up with an appropriate punishment. It may or may not involve my crutches being used as weapons. I want that damn dessert. I’m medicated, not mental.


  1. Please remind me to pump and dump after I wake up from my surgery. We don’t need a comatose baby, and I’m worried I’ll forget to do it. You may have to help me set the contraption up properly if I’m too out of it. Just think: it’s a good excuse to touch my boobs. Not that you need one.


  1. We need to pick up Gray after my surgery– it should be done in plenty of time for that. I’ll have knee scars, but they’ll be nothing relative to the scars our kid will have if we forget her at school. On a good note, they’re expecting her at aftercare until we can get there, so if we’re running late, we have a back up plan in place.


At Home:

  1. Dinner: Please make the pre-prepared stuffed peppers for dinner. I may not eat them. Or it’s possible I may eat them and not remember I ate them. Either is fine. Please make them anyway so they don’t go bad sitting in the fridge for too long.


  1. Baths: Please give the girls a bath tonight, because I won’t be able to do it. (PS- When I try to convince you it’s because I’m not allowed to get my bandages wet, know it’s really an excuse to get out of it just this one time.)


  1. Other: Don’t let me convince you not to drink wine just because I can’t. I’m sure my mom will join you. She should consider it a preemptive gift before she spends the next two weeks watching our kids while I’m an invalid.



  1. School Preparations: I’ve already picked out the girls’ clothes for school (Yes, this is partially because I’m worried about what you’ll choose, but more because I’m afraid Gray will choose an outfit herself, then hypnotize you with whining until you numbly agree to a giant tutu and light up sandals). Please put sunscreen on them. The girls, not the clothes. With any luck, I had enough forethought to pack them lunch too, but if not, tell me to get off my lazy ass and make it for them. It’s not like I just had surgery or anything.


  1. Pick Up and Drop Off: Before you can go to work, you’re stuck chaperoning/chauffeuring my sorry butt to daycare with the girls so we can stick to our normal routine… and so I can leave Marlowe and Gray with people who are clearly in better shape (physically and mentally) to care for them than I am. This way my mom gets a much-needed rest, and I can sleep on (read: drool all over) our couch. You will then have to drag my zoned-out, zombie self home again before you head to the office. But you should definitely plan on some super exciting car conversations if I don’t fall asleep. If you’re lucky, I might remember your name by the time we pull into our driveway.


  1. Managing Me: Don’t let me convince you I can drink. Or drive. Or drink and drive. Who knows what kind of spell those magic meds will put me under!


  1. Managing Our Girls: Please give our girls extra love. (Though not in the form of sugar.) I know this will be a challenging time for them. Seeing Mommy in pain is tough, and needing Mommy when there are physical limitations will be frustrating for them. Please try to be as patient as possible and don’t be afraid to ask my mom for help!! I love you all stars and moon.


Love, your list-happy, micro-managing wife. xoxo


As you’ve likely gathered, I combat stress with humor. I promise I’m not really that glib about dying— I’m just terrible at letting other people take care of me, so comedy becomes my crutch. (Not that I don’t have enough crutches to deal with at this particular juncture!) Nevertheless, I realize there are circumstances in which I have no choice but to hand over the reigns… After I write a ten-minute dissertation on how things should be handled while I’m out of commission, of course. Isn’t that what being a mom is all about?


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 next month, “Situation Momedy!” If you you want to pre-order it now (I wouldn’t dream of stopping you), it’s already available on Amazon, through this link…

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

  • Tracy B says:

    Omg, I am laughing hysterically! Not at your pain or surgery, of course, but for your comedy because I am the same way! Thank you for your honesty. :)

  • Larry Rodriquez says:

    Now I’m feeling sympathy in a I can’t stop laughing kinda way.
    You forget anything I doubt that.
    Remember God uses pain and will not waste it.

  • Rainey Daye says:

    I didn’t undergo knee surgery with littles, but I DID break my foot when I had a 3 1/2 year old and an 8 month old. That was fun…NOT!! But someone was nice enough to gift me a knee scooter and I got quite adept at getting around on it for the four months I wasn’t walking…even did baking and washed dishes with that thing…but no laundry!! I was also exclusively pumping for my daughter and was the main milk donor for two other babies during that time…and my daughter got the flu as well at one point…fun, fun. It was interesting to see who would be walking first…me or the girlie…but thankfully it was me. Looking back now I wonder how I ever coped. But you do what ya gotta do!!

October 2, 2015


Snugg Buggin'

Snugg Buggin’


          You may or may not have been privy to the Tweet I sent out a few weeks ago, announcing that my sweet baby Marlowe has officially taken her first steps. (Yay! And God help me!) I’m sure my excitement came through loud and clear, since I think most parents look forward to the walking milestone with bated breath and video cameras at the ready. But the behind-the-scenes view of that moment was somewhat more anxiety-ridden, as the notion of two children running around my house subtly sunk in. And by subtly sunk in, I mean it hit me with all the force of the Titanic plunging into the iceberg that caused its demise.

I’ve discovered reaching milestones with my second daughter is happening more quickly and abruptly than I’m prepared for. Everything with Gray was so new and novel, it felt like I waited an eternity to witness her crawling and walking and saying her first words. I was sure she’d never give up her pacifier, sleep in her own bed, or learn to use the potty. And you know what? It turns out I liked experiencing motherhood in slow motion. In comparison, Marlowe’s infancy is flying past like a freight train with no brakes, and I’m left running down the tracks behind it, breathlessly trying to catch up. (Well, not really running so much as hobbling since I had knee surgery last week. But that’s a story for another post. On the other hand, the “breathless” part is definitely on par.)

Lately, my biggest gripe has been that I’m having trouble slowing Marlowe down long enough for a cuddle or a kiss. Rather than resting peacefully in my lap after a feeding, and letting me affectionately run my fingers through her hair, she immediately wriggles out of my arms, slides to the floor, and heads for the nearest toy bin. Apparently, I’m not nearly as compelling as a dinosaur flashlight or the castles her sister builds out of Duplos. And as much as I’m thrilled to watch her independence growing and soaring to new heights, I’m also a sucker for the baby formerly known as immobile. Because that baby was a mama’s girl and a supersized snuggler… just my kind of gal.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted via email by the designer of a fabric baby-wearing wrap called the SnuggBugg. The woman who created the wrap is a mom of six. I repeat—SIX!!! And that’s not a reference to my old Blossom character. I can barely keep up with two children, so I’d like to go on record as saying I’m highly impressed… that she both managed to start a company while caring for half a dozen children (the only thing I can handle half a dozen of is glazed donuts) and managed to remain sane while doing it. Anyway, she asked if I’d be willing to try out her wrap and give some feedback in exchange for a SnuggBugg to give away here on my Cradle Chronicles site. As you’ve likely gleaned from past blogs, I’m a huge supporter of small businesses– especially when they’ve been developed by moms with a dream. With that in mind, I jumped at the opportunity to give the SnuggBugg a chance. I also figured—why wouldn’t my readers want an opportunity to win some free product? You can thank me later and reference the end of this post for the giveaway details on that.

But first– the SnuggBugg.

If I’m being completely candid, I didn’t have high hopes for the SnuggBugg— this had absolutely zero to do with the product itself, and everything to do with my newly mobile kid. I mean, if I can’t even get Marlowe to sit still long enough to let me put a pair of socks on her feet, how the heck was I going to convince her to let me tuck her into a mini kangaroo pouch? Not to mention, Marlowe despises covers and blankets of any kind. You know how some babies adore being swaddled? How they love being rolled up good and tight like a burrito? My daughter doesn’t even want to be rolled up like a quesadilla much less a burrito, so I knew we were in for a struggle. Gray used to love being carried around in a wrap… Marlowe, not so much. If I even toss a light sheet over her feet, she flops around more than a beached whale. Nevertheless, I’d promised to give an honest critique of the SnuggBugg, so I crossed my fingers and hoped for an outcome that didn’t involve me having to test the thing out on my three-year-old instead. (Though, for the record, that might have been just fine– the SnuggBugg supposedly works on children up to 35 pounds!)

As it turns out, I had a bona fide, walk-on-water sort of miracle on my hands with the SnuggBugg. Lo and behold, Marlowe LOVED it! She didn’t even cry when I put her in it (though a blubberfest definitely ensued when I tried to take her back out). The material was comfortable, appropriately stretchy, and didn’t make me feel like I was stuffing my kid into a medieval torture device. Best of all, Marlowe curled up, breastfed, and then passed out. I think I hear the angels singing. For proof, please see the picture I posted above. I even had a hand free to take that selfie!

Getting the wrap on properly took a little getting used to–  though to be fair, I’ve found most baby wearing wraps tough to put on at first. It’s sort of the nature of the beast. It takes a little practice to figure out how each one drapes, where the sweet spot is that best supports your baby and your back, and exactly how the baby nestles within the fabric pockets. I found the instructional video on their website (www.mysnuggbugg.com) was a better help than the directions included with the wrap but I am, admittedly, a very visual person. I also had the luxury of about three consecutive seconds to read said brochure before one kid asked for bathroom assistance and the other was clamoring for the booby buffet, so it might have been helpful if I’d figured the thing out before crunch time. Nonetheless, I got it on. If I messed it up royally, Marlowe didn’t seem to care. She simply pushed my shirt aside and latched on like we’d been doing it forever, which I got a kick out of. Evidently Gray got a kick out of it too, because she happily declared, “Mommy, it’s like Marlowe’s in your belly again!” She also informed me, “Look! Marlowe is as snug as a bug in a rug!” In part, I’m sure that phrase was courtesy of her newfound rhyming obsession, but it also proves the wrap was appropriately named.

Now that I’m on crutches, it looks like we’ll be waiting a while before employing our SnuggBugg again. I can barely carry around my own body weight, never mind toting around a baby. As luck would have it, the only wrapping happening in my house right now is being done by the massive bandage around my knee. Good times. Now go check out those giveaway details!


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!” If you you want to pre-order it now (I wouldn’t dream of stopping you), it’s already available on Amazon, through this link…

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


Giveaway Details:

Send me an email titled “SnuggBugg” at: Jenna@cradlechronicles.com, and you’ll be entered to win a SnuggBugg wrap. Just let me know your favorite part about baby wearing or why you’d like to give it a try! It can be as brief or as lengthy as you wish. I will draw one lucky winner before the end of October, who will receive their wrap directly from the SnuggBugg company. A huge thank you to Lisa for so generously donating one of her wonderful wraps!



April 17, 2015
Yes, I'm wearing Mom Jeans

Yes, I’m wearing Mom Jeans


There are a lot of fashion trends that have been resurrected over the years, regardless of whether or not they should have been. Flannel shirts have returned in all of their 90’s Seattle grunge glory, wedge heels are back from the 70’s, and I’ll even admit to owning some pants that come dangerously close to resembling the Hammer pants of the 80’s. Though I probably shouldn’t admit that out loud.

I’m sure you’re wondering how all of this relates to motherhood. In my humble opinion, the award for the biggest fashion failure that should never make its way back to the mainstream goes to…

Mom jeans.

Synonymous with minivan driving, suburban soccer moms of the 80’s and 90’s, Mom Jeans couldn’t be tackier if they tried. Well, I suppose that’s not true. They could be made of polyester and come with their very own disco ball. Nonetheless, when pants are so shapeless and unflattering that they can make a bubble butt look as flat as my Pug’s nose, there’s a seriously epic style faux pas happening. Entire Saturday Night Live skits have been devoted to the subject. Need I say more?

So with all of that in mind, I was super excited to be wearing a pair of Mom Jeans in the movie I’m filming. No really. I’m just weird enough to be perversely thrilled to have an excuse to look ridiculous… And actually get paid for it!

I’ve, of course, included a photo for your viewing pleasure, but keep an eye out for the film at some point too. It’s a sweet little family film called Cecil, and I’m enjoying the heck out of working on it. It’s exciting to be at a point in my career where I get to play the mom!

Even (especially?) when it involves Mom Jeans.

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

Jenna von Oy

Ps. To keep up with the progress of the movie, you can check out the film’s twitter page: @Cecilthemovie

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 “Situation Momedy!” later this year. 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

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November 7, 2014
7 pounds, 4 ounces of Pure Perfection!

7 Pounds, 4 Ounces of Perfection!



Please join me in welcoming our new little girl, Marlowe Monroe!  I’m making this post a super quick one, as I’m still recovering and bonding with my sweet baby. Little Marlowe was born on November 1st, at 12:35 PM, and weighed in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces. She was 18.25 inches long, and she’s pure enchantment! Gray is beyond excited to have a new baby sister… I’ll let the photos speak for themselves!


We're All Enchanted

We’re All Enchanted


A Tale of Two SIsters

A Tale of Two Sisters


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!

  • Carrie says:

    Congratulations on the newest addition to your sweet little family! I cannot wait to see more pictures of Gray and Marlowe together as they grow. All the best!

  • I know this is a little late, but I just watched your update on OWN and learned about your blog. It’s exciting to visit the site today and see your wonderful news! Congratulations!

August 1, 2014


Life's A Beach!

Life’s A Beach!


There’s nothing quite like watching your child dip his or her toes in the sand for the first time. Sure, you might have seen your kid play in a park sandbox a time or two, but the beach is a different beast altogether! There’s just something unequivocally alluring about the smell of that sea air, the sound of the waves hitting the shoreline, the seagulls pelting you with kamikaze excrement.

Okay, so maybe it’s not all fun and games. (Not to mention, finding a bathing suit to fit my ever-growing baby belly was a chore and a half!)

Nonetheless, I will never forget the beauty of observing Gray’s inaugural introduction to the ocean. What a stunning scene to witness! Her curls sprang up in the dew of the marine layer, as her cheeks flushed from the sun and saltwater spray. I watched as she waded into the crest of the waves, and knelt down to run sand through her tiny fingers. She inspected carefully chosen shells, shoveled stray seaweed into a plastic bucket, and gazed out at the horizon. Her excitement over the marine life made her giggle with wonder and glee, and the joy was utterly contagious. Truth be told, I don’t think I’ve ever had so much appreciation for the beach in my life… Despite the fact that I lived so close to the Pacific Ocean for most of my adolescence! Viewing it all through the eyes of a child gave it a new sense of marvel and majesty. I was in awe because she was in awe.


Sun & Sand

Sun & Sand


I spent my afternoon being one content mama, and documenting our beach adventure. I just couldn’t resist! Sadly, my husband was unable to join us on our trip, due to his work schedule, so I wanted to make sure I came home with as many memories as possible. I couldn’t imagine depriving him of the enjoyment, so I took videos galore! My personal favorite? One of Gray bidding farewell to the waves, the ocean, and the “flamingos.” You know, because flamingos are such a common sighting off the coast of Hampton Bay. (They were actually geese, but why spoil her wonderful imagination?)

The beach trip was a blessing, and a very unexpected one at that. Our trip came about when Jill Zarin (of the original Real Housewives of New York) invited us to spend a week in The Hamptons with she and her family. We planned our travel to coincide with the airdate of our Celebrity Wife Swap episode, so we could combine the playtime with some work. Yes, Jill and I did our share of press, created a flurry of social media in advance of our show, and attended numerous high-profile events that week. But the fact remains that it was a vacation for Gray and I. I mean, who goes to stay at a beach house and doesn’t savor the dazzling scenery?! More importantly, it was an opportunity to open my daughter’s eyes to an impressive and regal landscape, one that Nashville doesn’t offer. Unless, of course, you count the catfish ponds. Which I don’t.


A Poolside Selfie

A Poolside Selfie


Wishing you and your family a beautiful and fun-filled summer!


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!

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





July 25, 2014
Ginger vs Jenna: The Showdown

Ginger vs Jenna: The Showdown (Photo credits L-R: K.J./Mimosa Arts Photography)



Even if you watched my July 15th episode of Celebrity Wife Swap, you’re probably still in the dark about the Ginger vs. Jenna showdown. There were so many funny and fantastic moments captured on camera, the real behind-the-scenes boxing match is somewhere on the cutting room floor. Editing is everything! So who is Ginger, you ask? She’s that gal in the photo above. No, not the one sitting on the steps with a look of dismay; that’s me, though I can see where there could be some confusion. I’m referring to the cheeky rascal in the brown fur coat, who stuck her tongue out when asked to pose for a photo.

Meet Ginger Zarin. (Her mommy is Jill Zarin, of The Real Housewives of New York!) She’s sassy, she’s wily, and she isn’t a big fan of yours truly. Which makes me mildly crazy, if I’m being perfectly honest. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t expect everyone in the world to love me; I’m not quite that ignorant or vain. But I never thought I’d cross paths with a DOG I couldn’t charm! (Until Ginger, that is.) And as a mom with five canine-kids of her own, I have a constant desire to express my nurturing, loving parental side… yes, even with honorary Chihuahua-children.

Now we all know that sometimes the “real” in reality television can be a bit of a misnomer, but believe me when I tell you there was nothing fake about my contentious interactions with that furry little spitfire. Ginger is no animal actor, and her aversion toward her new “swap mom” was authentic. Who knew I’d find my arch nemesis in a pint sized, pork chop-eating, vet-visiting canine? It turns out she’s my doggie adversary. She’s my pooch rival, if you will. A.k.a. she’s hell on paws.

For the most part, as evidenced by the episode itself, my Celebrity Wife Swap experience was flawless. We all enjoyed the adventure tremendously, which is shocking when you consider how awry it could have easily gone! I say this, despite any initial acerbic comments that you may have overheard in the episode. I mean, what’s a reality show with no drama? A boring one, I suppose. The truth is that we made friends for life in the whole Zarin family… The whole Zarin family that is, except for the puppy princess herself. I’m still not sure I can put a finger (paw?) on my misstep. Perhaps Ginger wasn’t fond of my staunch “Kobe beef isn’t dog food” stance, or my skepticism over dressing her in frou-frou costumes. Maybe she was irked by my own lack of swanky, fancy-pants attire, disillusioned by the fact that I boycotted taking her to lunch in a designer, leather handbag, or ruffled by my refusal to build her a life-sized shrine in the living room. Perhaps it’s because this “hillbilly” actually likes to wash her own dogs instead of sending them to a professional groomer, or maybe she simply felt I was too unsophisticated and unrefined for the posh social scene of The Hamptons. And she might actually have a point there. (FUN FACT: Ginger has more stamps in her passport than I do! She even has more Twitter followers. No joke! Check her out: @realgingerzarin) It’s possible that Ginger is doggedly proud to be a one-woman pup, or that she’s just a difficult broad to get along with in general. Some might call her affliction a Napoleon complex of mythic proportions, but I wouldn’t say that. No, I would never say that… You know, since it might just be perceived as the pot calling the kettle black (I’m only 5 feet tall).

Regardless of the reason, my time at Camp Zarin was somewhat of a hostile takeover of the canine kind. I envisioned Cujo-like scenarios in my sleep, while the Jaws soundtrack played on repeat in my head for dramatic effect. I was living in an Alfred Hitchcock fantasy, complete with black and white images of sharp fangs in dark, cobweb-filled corners. Which, if I may toot my own horn for a moment, takes a pretty damn good imagination to accomplish in a pristine, spacious beach house!

The fact is that Ginger and I have what some of you might perceive as a love/hate relationship. Evidently, hell hath no fury like a Chihuahua scorned (Or at least a Chihuahua whose mommy left to go to Nashville to play with five other doggies instead!). Even a dog biscuit couldn’t curry favor, despite several attempts to offer the proverbial olive branch. Or, in my case, the offertory kibble.

Oh, Ginger, can’t we all just get along? Rest assured, there’s zero love lost on my end, sweet girl. I will continue to bribe you with treats and vie for your affections with squeaky toy incentives.

And one day I’ll make you like me; just you wait. Sometimes I’m an acquired taste.


Until next time… Peace, Love, and Pawprints,


Jenna von Oy

PS. This blog was written in good fun; it is entirely intended to be an exaggerated, tongue-in-cheek narrative. I don’t think Ginger Zarin is the devil incarnate, nor do I think she’s a snobby Hamptons socialite! (Though it could be argued that her upscale tastes would give Paris Hilton a run for her money.) Nevertheless, I mostly think Ginger is a misunderstood soul, trapped in the body of a Chihuahua, who has every right to dislike whomever she pleases. Even if that someone is me. After all, I have been known to get a wee bit snarky from time to time. I know that’s hard to fathom.

****DISCLAIMER: No animals were harmed in the making of this blog post. The same may not be said for certain animal egos, however.

PPS.  To join my blog, please subscribe to the RSS feed at the top of your screen! Don’t forget to join my Twitter  and check out my new website too!


July 4, 2014


Happy 4th of July!! I hope you are all having a safe and festive one! At the risk of sounding unpatriotic, that’s really all I’m mentioning of the holiday today. Instead, I’m going for a little stroll down memory lane, and I hope you’ll join me…

You may or may not have read my official “I’m Back” blog two weeks ago, so I suppose I should recap. It essentially goes a little something like this: I’m pregnant (it’s a girl and she’s due in early November), I’m going to be on Celebrity Wife Swap (tune in July 15th on ABC and get ready for the chaotic adventure), and Blossom is about to be back on television after 15 years of being MIA (time to resurrect that floppy, flowered hat!). I mean that’s enough news to make you say, “Whoa!” even if you’re not Joey Lawrence. Right?

As a side benefit, all of these long-kept secrets have given me fun and funny blog fodder for a while to come. Not that I’ve ever lacked for things to say, as you well know!

Since there’s plenty of time to divulge pregnancy anecdotes and Wife Swap details, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you a bit more about the return of Blossom. Though Blossom aired in syndication for several years following our completion of the series back in 1995, it wound up being tucked away in the dark recesses of a vault somewhere, never to be seen again. Or so we thought. Lo’ and behold, the good folks at the Hub Network set out to change the fate of former Blossom addicts across the globe. We are joining the ranks of Hub Network’s other family-friendly programming such as Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman, Step By Step, Sister, Sister, and of course, Alf. And who doesn’t love Alf? Blossom is airing for the first time on cable, beginning July 7th at 10pm ET/7pm PT. The episodes will air in their original order, and there will even be a three-hour Blossom marathon on Friday, July 11th, from 9pm -12 am ET/ 6pm-9pm PT!




To sweeten the pot a little, the Hub Network created a mini Blossom reunion, complete with a wall of hats, some very special reminiscing about very special episodes, and plenty of “Whoa!”s to go around. If THAT doesn’t stir your 90’s nostalgia, I don’t know what will. (Do we need to force-feed you Saved By The Bell and Debbie Gibson songs? Say it ain’t so! ) Anyway, the reunion isn’t to be missed. Because it turns out, even 20 years later, Mayim Bialik, Joey Lawrence, Michael Stoyanov and I have Chemistry with a capital “C.” It was as if no time had passed at all. I guess there’s a reason why our show lasted five seasons, huh? Beyond, of course, the rockin’ dancing we delivered in those opening credits, which was a sight to behold. If you’ve managed to forget about our sassy, mind-blowing moves, I encourage you to watch on July 7th. You won’t regret it.




Mayim, Joey, Michael and I spent the whole reunion day laughing… about jokes we used to play on one another, particularly silly episodes, the incredible guest stars we had, and even our past wardrobe decisions, in all of their illustrious, show-stopping glory. Good times. It was like jumping into a time capsule and being beamed back to 1993, only we have more fashion sense now. Well, mostly.

Our day was a busy one– we filmed a segment for Entertainment Tonight, did a photo shoot together (when we could stop chatting and giggling long enough to smile), and even took the obligatory cast selfie to share with all of you.


IMAG1067-Blossom Reunion


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it yet again: long live the “Whoa!,” the flannel shirts, the fast-talking, and all of my acne-ridden awkward phases. Not to mention, the aforementioned dancing. Oh, that dancing! All of those wonderful memories (and embarrassing moments too) are back with a vengeance, for your TV-watching pleasure. So the Hub Network is undoubtedly the place to be on July 7th!

I suppose, in keeping with my Cradle Chronicles theme, I should tie all of this back to motherhood. It may not seem that a Blossom reunion has much to do with raising a 2 year-old, but you’d be surprised. My daughters may be a few years away from appreciating the show I was in, but it’s nice to know it isn’t lost forever. And not just because it’s Mommy’s gawky wonder years captured on tape! Being the mom of a little girl (with another on the way), I’m thrilled to see that there are still some networks out there that are concerned about offering true family programming. Even if one of those programs might involve five years worth of scary hair and costume decisions on my part. In my opinion, there are just too many shows on the air right now that encourage bad behavior. There is an abundance of “kid-friendly” shows that lack in moral integrity, and suggest that children should act like adults by the age of 10. Too many of them promote sexuality and insubordination, defy our attempts to preserve our children’s innocence, and suggest that parents are too stupid and ignorant to lead the way. I’m not living in the dark ages; I know kids are privy to things long before we were at their age, given the surge of social media and easy access to information. Regardless, I’m sick of young characters that talk back to their parents with no consequence. I rather miss the moral at the end of the story… even if it was cheesy. So, thank you Hub Network for advocating the right thing!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting Blossom was entirely pure or faultless. I recall a few episodes with bikini-clad women parading around for ratings-sake, and we definitely tackled some difficult subject matters that were groundbreaking at the time, causing quite a stir among the more old-fashioned parents. But Blossom was about a REAL teenage girl, with a REAL family dynamic– a perfectly imperfect one. And that’s what made for such good television. We weren’t 30 year-olds playing teenagers, and we weren’t pretending that life is devoid of flaws and pitfalls. I can’t wait to eventually use the show as a teaching tool with my own girls. At its core, our series stressed the importance of respect, humility, and love. What better way to do that, than through comedy! Not to mention, who can resist bestowing the era of flowered hats and “very special episodes” upon a whole new generation? I rest my case.


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!

PPS. Don’t forget to join my Twitter too!


  • Drew Zuhosky says:

    I agree with your points regarding present-day family TV programming. Back in the day, the line between family-friendly and adults-only television was established and distinct. You knew that TGIF, Fresh Prince, and the other family shows were for the family. Now, you have adults-only sitcoms, especially on the animated side, being watched by children. What happened?

  • Lara says:

    Came across your blog after spending the past several weeks rewatching Blossom. I graduated H.S. the same year your fictional counterparts did, and Blossom was a huge part of my teen years. The hats, the vests, the Chuck Taylors-with-skirts…you guys were my style icons. (Side note: I’m surprised by how some of the fashion has held up, even 20+ years later.)

    But I digress. Last spring I wrote a blog post about how I’m always hesitant to revisit certain TV shows, movies, and books because I was afraid they wouldn’t hold up, and that subsequent consumption would ruin them for me. Even so, I caught an episode of Blossom on the Hub and immediately had to DVR the whole thing. What struck me was that even though the content would seem tame by today’s standards (how many shows of our H.S.-era focused on whether or not a girl would lose her virginity, vs. the Gossip Girl/PLL years where everybody’s hopping into bed with everybody else?), Blossom was so progressive for its time.

    Anyway, just wanted to say that I’m happy the show has found a new home and, hopefully, a whole new audience. Really enjoying this portal to the past, and looking forward to what the future brings for you and the rest of the cast!