Welcome To The Cradle Chronicles!

These are the crazy confessions of a novice mommy and her adventures in world "mom-ination." If you've followed my blog on PEOPLE.com/Babies, or read my new book Situation Momedy: A First-Time Mom's Guide to Laughing Your Way Through Pregancy & Year One, you're likely 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. I also have five dogs, which throws some wacky canine parenting in the mix too. I hope you’ll continue coming back again and again for more of my motherhood anecdotes, and I look forward to hearing from you. If you haven't yet read "Situation Momedy," I hope you'll check it out! You can find a link for purchase under the "links" tab above. It makes a fun baby shower gift, even if you aren't a new mom yourself! The sequel, Situation Momedy: A Very Special Episode in Toddlerdom, is due to be released by Medallion Press in February 2017. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram too!

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

Archive for 'Photo Of The Month'

November 14, 2014

               I’ll admit any desire I had to pen this week’s post severely waned once November 1st rolled around… In case you haven’t been following along, that’s when I gave birth to my sweet new baby girl, Marlowe! Needless to say, the notion of writing any sort of blog, book chapter, or even thank you note, suddenly took a back seat to staring at her gorgeous little face. Hell, at this point I’m even hard pressed to draw up a grocery list. Can you blame me? Who wants to ponder poultry or contemplate cantaloupe when they have this beauty to gaze upon?

 

Marlowe Monroe

Marlowe Monroe

 

So what’s a mom to do in the aforementioned pickle? Well, I’m currently holding my sleeping baby in one arm, while typing with the other. After all, a multitasking mom’s gotta do what a multitasking mom’s gotta do! You can likely expect some brief posts in the near future, as I try to divide my time between a two-year old, a newborn, and a book deadline at the beginning of next year. In fact, I may switch to writing blogs every other week for a while, but we’ll tackle that topic at some point down the road. I’m hoping the idea of an entire book worth of anecdotes and parenting adventures will buy me a little latitude where the lack of new blogs are concerned. I hope? Pretty please?

In the meantime, I thought I’d share my photo (actually, photos) of the month. I realize we are only two weeks into November, but it’s already tough to imagine any other pictures replacing the poignancy of these… I couldn’t choose just one.

The first cuddle I had with my two daughters: I didn’t want any visitors on day one of my hospital stay, but the exception was Gray. My mom (who was taking care of her and holding down the fort while we were away, thank God!) brought her to us at the hospital. They spent the afternoon visiting, and we treasured every minute of it. We snuggled, held hands, talked about the significance and excitement of being a big sister, and celebrated welcoming more love into our family. It was one of the most memorable and stunning moments of my life. Love knows no bounds.

 

The First Cuddle

The First Cuddle

 

The first time Gray held her baby sister: I know I posted this last week, but it deserved to be posted again! I wouldn’t trade my little sister for anything in the world, and something tells me Gray will feel the same. In fact, I suspect she already does. I have one honored and pleased big sister on my hands!

 

The First Time Gray Held Her Baby Sister

The First Time Gray Held Her Baby Sister

 

The first professional photo of my girls: Not all hospital photos turn out well, but this one is incredible. It captures Gray’s personality and Marlowe’s newborn innocence, while still managing to show the wonder and pride of a big sister loving on her new sibling. I’m in awe and blessed beyond belief.

 

The First Professional Photo My Girls Took (photo credit: Impressions Photography)

The First Professional Photo Of My Girls (photo credit: Impressions Photography)

 

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!

 

October 31, 2014

 

Farmers Market Selfies

Farmers Market Selfies

 

In honor of Halloween and the birth of our next daughter, my husband and I have devoted much of our October to combining a lot of quality family time with fall-related outings. And since our new little one can really make her grand entrance at any time she pleases, we thought we ought to get our annual pumpkin picking out of the way before we found ourselves hospital-bound!

Gray has been eagerly awaiting her baby sister, but I suspect she still has no concept of what she’s really in for. As a new sibling can prompt feelings of separation anxiety and confusion over divided attention, we are doing our best to offer her some special one-on-one time over these next few weeks. Choosing her own pumpkin was first on Gray’s list of requests, and we were happy to oblige.

As you may recall from last year’s blog posts, our local farmer’s market is a favorite stop on the weekend agenda. This is especially true during the autumn season, when vendors come out in droves. Suffice it to say we went home with far more produce than merely a Jack-O’-Lantern or two! But it isn’t a colorful display of gourds that put these photos on my radar… it’s that smile on my kid’s face. (Because how can you not grin wildly when you’re amped up on Kettle corn and a pumpkin scouting high?) Fun was had by all, I can promise you that.

As an accompanying side story, I thought I’d include two cute comedic anecdotes from our trip. The number of funny quips coming out of Gray’s mouth seems to be growing exponentially these days, so I hope you get a little giggle out of them like we did…

 

Makeup Mischief

 As we were preparing to leave for the farmer’s market, Gray followed me into the bathroom, where I intended to wash my face and commence my morning makeup routine.

 

Gray: “Mommy, are you putting makeup on?”

Me: “Yes, I am”

Gray: “So you don’t hurt peoples?”

 

Um… REALLY??!!

 

Geriatric Gourds

           While making her pumpkin selections, which she was quite particular about, Gray spotted some bizarre looking things that piqued her curiosity. There was the squash that looked like a green Python, all-white pumpkins whose validity she questioned, and an abundance of mini munchkin pumpkins that tickled her to no end. But she was especially puzzled over a gray pumpkin she discovered. Noting it’s coloring, she inquired, “Mommy, that pumpkin is gray. Does that mean it’s really old?”

 

Pumpkin Pickin'

Pumpkin Pickin’

 

Wishing you and your family a safe and fun Halloween! I look forward to having some baby news for you soon!

 

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!

September 19, 2014
Gray's "Selfie" Speaks Volumes...

Gray’s “Selfie” Speaks Volumes…

 

At first glance, this photo may seem like an accident. It might appear to be a random shot of nothing in particular, that no one in her right mind would purposely post as a “Photo of the Month.” Upon second glance, however, I wonder if you’ll notice the details that make this picture near and dear to my heart…

This is a “selfie” Gray took while we were cherishing some family cuddle time on the couch. She stole my phone (per usual), and managed to find a way to employ the camera without the use of my password (how do kids do that?!). I stumbled upon the montage of images the following morning, and almost erased them all. That is, until I analyzed them a bit more closely. Now I’m thankful my fingers weren’t so hasty with the delete button!

I love that the view is taken from a 2-year-old’s perspective. Who needs faces in the frame when you can capture a candid snapshot of feet? It manages to encompass all three of us (my husband, Gray, and I), along with one of our dogs, and it is clear how close together we are. That’s a lot of legs and paws on one loveseat! I adore that Gray is wearing the brightest colors in the room, making her the colorful, dazzling, focal point; it’s a fair depiction of her position in our lives. And I love that Brad and I, though our bodies are largely unseen, clearly bookend our baby. We are on either side of our sweet girl, offering affection, protection, and support.

Sometimes a photo says a thousand words.

Sometimes an inadvertent selfie taken by a 2-year-old says even more.

 

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 website too!

 

 

August 15, 2014

“Caught Red-Handed”

When we visited the East Coast last month, Gray and I spent a few days at my mom and dad’s house in Connecticut. Aside from the fact that I adore being back in my hometown whenever possible, it is always a treat to watch Gray enjoy her time with “Gigi” and “Opah.” The love between grandparents and their grandchildren is stunning and unparalleled! As always, I try to take a bit of a back seat when they are spending quality time together. I think it’s important for them to develop their bond and, let’s be honest, it’s damn funny to watch the chaos ensue! I like to relax, put my feet up, and enjoy the show. Oh yeah, and take as many photos as possible…

My parents have a wooden arbor covering a portion of their patio, from which they’ve suspended numerous bird feeders. They get a kick out of watching the little guys swoop down for a snack, and I get a kick out of watching my dad spring to his feet every time a squirrel dares to intrude upon the “aviary.” I haven’t seen him move that fast since I was a teenager!

Caught Red- Handed!

Caught Red- Handed

 

In this particular “photo of the month,” my mom had asked if Gray wanted to assist her in putting out seeds and popcorn for the birds. Thankfully, I was there to capture the feeding frenzy… And I’m clearly not referring to the one created by our fine feathered friends.

 

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!

June 13, 2014

So… I’m not really back. I pinky swear. I know this looks like I’m back, but I’m not. You know, lest I get into trouble for not following the orders I received that sounded a lot like “no blogging about your life secrets until next week.” So I’m not really back. This is actually just a mirage, a figment of your overactive imagination, a hallucination of epic proportions that somehow resembles my words on your screen. Isn’t it amazing what the mind is capable of?

But I digress.

Since this post doesn’t really exist, I should tell you that next week will be the true display of magic.

No, Mary Poppins will not be descending upon your household to nanny your children while you have all-day massages, nor will Harry Potter be stopping by to teach you how to clean your house with the mere flick of a wand. It’s not that kind of magic; keep dreaming. Rather, it’s the sort of magic that happens following a woman’s promise not to blog about the goings on in her life for three months. Because three months is a LONG time to ask a chatterbox like me to keep her mouth shut! Nonetheless, I will officially be back in blogging business before you can say “Abracadabra.” Until then, I’m posting some teasers about my return. Without, of course, giving away those aforementioned secrets. I hope. Of course, if you just head over to People.com later this week, you might get to read that official blog early. I’m just saying.

Today’s teaser has absolutely nothing to do with my *magic* return, as Father’s Day deserves it’s own blog. Hence, a little photo of the month for you, in honor of my baby’s daddy…

 

Daddy & Gray-- "Planting"

Daddy & Gray– “Planting”

 

Back in May, we started our yearly vegetable and herb garden. This year, we even spruced up our front yard by planting some Gardenias and mulching! A very ambitious endeavor, if I do say so myself. Anyway, Brad & Gray had some beautiful (albeit filthy) father/daughter time outside, while I made us all lunch. Their efforts yielded a happy garden AND a happy photo!

 

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!

  • Kim Q says:

    I’m going to guess that you wrote a book. 🙂 I guess I will find out soon. All the best to you and your sweet family.

  • NW Mama says:

    what a great photo. Love to see sweet little girl’s getting dirty in the yard with their dad. so precious.
    Just read the people article about you expanding your family, now how did I guess that back in April??? Mommies are good at guessing these things, lol.. Congrats to you and your family 2 little girls are so much fun! can’t wait until you start blogging for real again. Much love to you and yours.

  • Hello! I’ve been following your website for some time now and finally got the courage
    to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Tx!
    Juust wanted to mention keep up the excellent job!

April 11, 2014

 

         

A Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess

           

          We took a little family vacation recently (I’ll elaborate on that in a few weeks…), and there was a small, in-house farm on the grounds. While they didn’t have a petting zoo, per se, there were plenty of animals to distract and delight an almost two-year old. And her parents too, for that matter! We admired the beautiful horses, laughed at the goofy goats, and chased the squawking chickens. We even learned about the egg hatchery, and narrowly escaped stepping in animal landmines that Gray now refers to as, “chicken poopie.” (Lovely.) Since it had been raining the day before our visit, the farm area was a bit soggy and muddy, to say the least. But that didn’t stop us. After all, what’s a little water and dirt? I captured this series of photos as Gray discovered the beautiful mess that is: playing in the mud.

 

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!

  • Leah says:

    The expression on her face in the last photo is priceless!! I can only imagine the laughs that girl provides on a daily basis.

    I thought of your Brenda Lee moment a couple of weeks ago. I was watching the news, I think, and someone ran into her in some unexpected location in Nashville. I don’t recall now where it was!

January 31, 2014

 

Personality Galore!

Personality Galore!

 

If I was ever concerned about the potential of having a child with zero personality, boy was I wrong. And I do mean wrong in the biggest sense of the word. Wrong with a capital “W.” Wrong like Donald Trump’s comb-over, or a rug made from back hair, or trying to teach a cat to pee on the toilet. That’s how seriously wrong I would have been.

(I’m sorry for those visuals. Truly, I am.)

Even though she’s merely 20-months old, I can tell you Gray will never be a wallflower. She won’t be the kid who prefers to sit on the sidelines during a game, or smiles politely and lets someone else win an argument. She will have to work to perfect her poker face, because her dramatic and expressive looks tend to give everything away. No really– everything! (Not that I’m complaining. Perhaps it will assist me during her teenage years, cluing me in before she sneaks out of the house or “borrows” my car without asking.) Suffice it to say, Gray wears her emotions on her sleeve, just like her mama. Subtlety is just not our forte! And while that may not serve us well in certain instances, it has definitely helped me in my occupation as an actress. I’m not suggesting my daughter will follow the same career path, but judging by her range of expressions, that notion might not be so farfetched! I’ll let you decide for yourself…

My Little Ham

My Little Ham

 

And then there’s her more “serious” side…

 

The "Serious" Side

The “Serious” Side

 

Like I said. The acting thing may not be too farfetched. God forbid!

 

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!

 

December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Due to extensive holiday travel plans with my family, I am taking two weeks off from posting new material on The Cradle Chronicles. I hope you understand, and will return on Friday, January 3, 2014, to read the next new Cradle Chronicles installment! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this year’s family Christmas photo… I’m pretty sure Gray’s face says it all!

 

From my family to yours, we wish you a happy, healthy, and blessed holiday season. See you in 2014!

 

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!

November 8, 2013

The Life of the Party

Trick Or Treat

It was Gray’s first year of trick or treating, and we hit the ground running. No, she can’t yet plead for candy until she’s consumed enough to spike the glucose level of a rhinoceros (thank God), but we wanted her to experience Halloween in all of its wonderfully creepy glory. We dressed her as a fancy little bumblebee, complete with antennae and wings. Not to be left out, I made myself a beekeeper’s hat, and pinned a giant stuffed bee to my husband’s shirt. When asked, I suggested I’d let everyone else decide which of us is really the “queen bee.” (To which my husband wryly quipped, “I guess that makes me the drone?”)

 

To Bee Or Not To Bee

 

In nearby Franklin, Tennessee, they shut down several blocks of the Main Street each year in support of the Halloween festivities. It’s a police patrolled event, so it is a safe way to allow kids to conduct the age-old practice of dressing up in something adorably ghoulish, and trick or treating their way into a sugar-induced coma.  And thousands of children show up each year to participate. I know my propensity to exaggerate, but this isn’t one of those occasions. There are, quite literally, thousands of kids… not to mention some chocoholic adults who get a little carried away with their confectionery consumption. But I digress. Fortunately, dear friends of ours restored a stunning historic home right smack dab in the middle of it all, which means we have a “home base” of sorts. They more than do their part to decorate and hand out goodies each year (no joke, they emptied six Rubbermaid storage containers of treats!!), and we’ve made a tradition of joining them. In the past, we’ve handed out candy until the wee hours, gleefully laughing at little goblins as we’ve enjoyed a glass of wine and a huge pot of chili. But this year it was so much more than that, as we brought Gray from house to house, attempting to convince her to say “Trick or Treat.” Of course, those words were never officially uttered from her lips, but the spirit was there nonetheless. Her face lit up as she approached each homeowner and held out her pumpkin-shaped goodie bag. She would peer in afterward, to see what she had retrieved. She spent the evening humming little made-up tunes, and saying hello to passersby, regardless of how scary their masks might have been. And despite the fact that a cherry Tootsiepop was the only candy we allowed her to partake in after all of her efforts, she didn’t seem to mind. Moreover, she had just as much fun passing out candy to others, when we let her join us on our distribution “shift.” It was neat to watch her rush out to the sidewalk, to drop a handful of sweets into the bag of a mini ballerina or a toddling cowboy. Her capacity for sharing melted my heart, and I suppose it reinforced something I’ve known from day one… my daughter will always “bee” the life of the party.

 The Party is Over

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

 

Jenna von Oy

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August 23, 2013

           Looking at the Rain with Bruiser  

              At one-year old, Gray already holds her canine siblings very dear, which truly warms my heart through and through. One of these days, I need to pen a longer post about how much I adore watching my daughter interact with our dogs; they share a special bond that sometimes surprises me with its intensity, and I’ve got stories galore to back that up. For now, however, we’ll focus on a brief (but memorable), chance powwow that occurred not too long ago. The picture was actually one I snapped on my iPhone, because I knew the moment wouldn’t last long enough for me to grab my better camera. With kids and dogs, the candid shots are often fleeting, and trying to get everyone to sit still for longer than 30 seconds is virtually impossible. I cherish the fact that I was able to catch this simple and peaceful exchange.

I should preface this with the fact that my pups spend a significant amount of time outdoors. Though they are definitely indoor dogs (they sleep in our bed, if that gives you any idea…), they love their daily front porch sunbathing sessions. Spring and summer seem to be their favorite seasons, offering ample opportunity to relax (read: be lazy) all day and catch some rays. Consequently, they get a little depressed when it rains for days on end, which happened to be the case a few weeks ago here at our Nashville home. I suspect everyone was beginning to come down with a serious case of cabin fever (myself included), and I wasn’t sure what kind of cure I could provide. Every time I ventured within a few feet of our front door, the dogs would thunder toward it, in anticipation of going out. Then they would regard the deep puddles and heavy deluge, abruptly stop in their tracks, and retreat. The moping was getting downright pitiful! Finally, I decided to open the front door for a bit, and let some fresh air in. Cue the really sweet snapshot of a girl and her best buddy, gazing out at the soggy day!

 

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!

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