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 had a baby in May. 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. Feel free to follow me on Twitter too!

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

June 6, 2014

Dear My Fellow Mommies, Daddies (and Non-parents too!),

 

So… I promised myself I would keep to writing a new blog every week for you, and I’ve able to keep that promise for a good while now. 90 weeks to be exact! With that said, I’m about to go on an extended writing hiatus, and I hope you’ll stick with me for the long haul. I really appreciate and depend on your readership, and I suspect I’m going to go through some serious withdrawals without you! At the risk of being too cryptic, I’m about to work on a secret project that won’t enable me to share my mommy adventures for a while, either here on The Cradle Chronicles, or on People.com. I know that probably has your interest piqued and your mind reeling with questions, and I wish I could answer them! Suffice it to say I’ve signed some non-disclosure agreements, so my mouth is shut until that project is public, which I’m told may be some time in mid-June. Since I don’t have an exact date on that, you’ll just have to keep checking in to make sure you aren’t missing the good stuff! I can guarantee I’ll have some HUGE  news upon my return… it will definitely be worth the wait!!!!! Not to mention, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? I hope?

Thanks for your understanding and your continued readership, and please join me again in June! If you want to keep in touch, please join me on Twitter, as I will still be dropping a sarcastic line or two from time to time. I’ll post some photos every now and again too, so you can keep up with Gray and I and our antics!

 

Until (a very delayed) next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

 

May 30, 2014

Dear My Fellow Mommies, Daddies (and Non-parents too!),

 

So… I promised myself I would keep to writing a new blog every week for you, and I’ve able to keep that promise for a good while now. 90 weeks to be exact! With that said, I’m about to go on an extended writing hiatus, and I hope you’ll stick with me for the long haul. I really appreciate and depend on your readership, and I suspect I’m going to go through some serious withdrawals without you! At the risk of being too cryptic, I’m about to work on a secret project that won’t enable me to share my mommy adventures for a while, either here on The Cradle Chronicles, or on People.com. I know that probably has your interest piqued and your mind reeling with questions, and I wish I could answer them! Suffice it to say I’ve signed some non-disclosure agreements, so my mouth is shut until that project is public, which I’m told may be some time in mid-June. Since I don’t have an exact date on that, you’ll just have to keep checking in to make sure you aren’t missing the good stuff! I can guarantee I’ll have some HUGE  news upon my return… it will definitely be worth the wait!!!!! Not to mention, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? I hope?

Thanks for your understanding and your continued readership, and please join me again in June! If you want to keep in touch, please join me on Twitter, as I will still be dropping a sarcastic line or two from time to time. I’ll post some photos every now and again too, so you can keep up with Gray and I and our antics!

 

Until (a very delayed) next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

 

May 23, 2014

Dear My Fellow Mommies, Daddies (and Non-parents too!),

 

So… I promised myself I would keep to writing a new blog every week for you, and I’ve able to keep that promise for a good while now. 90 weeks to be exact! With that said, I’m about to go on an extended writing hiatus, and I hope you’ll stick with me for the long haul. I really appreciate and depend on your readership, and I suspect I’m going to go through some serious withdrawals without you! At the risk of being too cryptic, I’m about to work on a secret project that won’t enable me to share my mommy adventures for a while, either here on The Cradle Chronicles, or on People.com. I know that probably has your interest piqued and your mind reeling with questions, and I wish I could answer them! Suffice it to say I’ve signed some non-disclosure agreements, so my mouth is shut until that project is public, which I’m told may be some time in mid-June. Since I don’t have an exact date on that, you’ll just have to keep checking in to make sure you aren’t missing the good stuff! I can guarantee I’ll have some HUGE  news upon my return… it will definitely be worth the wait!!!!! Not to mention, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? I hope?

Thanks for your understanding and your continued readership, and please join me again in June! If you want to keep in touch, please join me on Twitter, as I will still be dropping a sarcastic line or two from time to time. I’ll post some photos every now and again too, so you can keep up with Gray and I and our antics!

 

Until (a very delayed) next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

 

May 16, 2014

Dear My Fellow Mommies, Daddies (and Non-parents too!),

 

So… I promised myself I would keep to writing a new blog every week for you, and I’ve able to keep that promise for a good while now. 90 weeks to be exact! With that said, I’m about to go on an extended writing hiatus, and I hope you’ll stick with me for the long haul. I really appreciate and depend on your readership, and I suspect I’m going to go through some serious withdrawals without you! At the risk of being too cryptic, I’m about to work on a secret project that won’t enable me to share my mommy adventures for a while, either here on The Cradle Chronicles, or on People.com. I know that probably has your interest piqued and your mind reeling with questions, and I wish I could answer them! Suffice it to say I’ve signed some non-disclosure agreements, so my mouth is shut until that project is public, which I’m told may be some time in mid-June. Since I don’t have an exact date on that, you’ll just have to keep checking in to make sure you aren’t missing the good stuff! I can guarantee I’ll have some HUGE  news upon my return… it will definitely be worth the wait!!!!! Not to mention, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? I hope?

Thanks for your understanding and your continued readership, and please join me again in June! If you want to keep in touch, please join me on Twitter, as I will still be dropping a sarcastic line or two from time to time. I’ll post some photos every now and again too, so you can keep up with Gray and I and our antics!

 

Until (a very delayed) next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

 

May 9, 2014

Dear My Fellow Mommies, Daddies (and Non-parents too!),

 

So… I promised myself I would keep to writing a new blog every week for you, and I’ve able to keep that promise for a good while now. 90 weeks to be exact! With that said, I’m about to go on an extended writing hiatus, and I hope you’ll stick with me for the long haul. I really appreciate and depend on your readership, and I suspect I’m going to go through some serious withdrawals without you! At the risk of being too cryptic, I’m about to work on a secret project that won’t enable me to share my mommy adventures for a while, either here on The Cradle Chronicles, or on People.com. I know that probably has your interest piqued and your mind reeling with questions, and I wish I could answer them! Suffice it to say I’ve signed some non-disclosure agreements, so my mouth is shut until that project is public, which I’m told may be some time in mid-June. Since I don’t have an exact date on that, you’ll just have to keep checking in to make sure you aren’t missing the good stuff! I can guarantee I’ll have some HUGE  news upon my return… it will definitely be worth the wait!!!!! Not to mention, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? I hope?

Thanks for your understanding and your continued readership, and please join me again in June! If you want to keep in touch, please join me on Twitter, as I will still be dropping a sarcastic line or two from time to time. I’ll post some photos every now and again too, so you can keep up with Gray and I and our antics!

 

Until (a very delayed) next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

 

May 2, 2014

Dear My Fellow Mommies, Daddies (and Non-parents too!),

 

So… I promised myself I would keep to writing a new blog every week for you, and I’ve able to keep that promise for a good while now. 90 weeks to be exact! With that said, I’m about to go on an extended writing hiatus, and I hope you’ll stick with me for the long haul. I really appreciate and depend on your readership, and I suspect I’m going to go through some serious withdrawals without you! At the risk of being too cryptic, I’m about to work on a secret project that won’t enable me to share my mommy adventures for a while, either here on The Cradle Chronicles, or on People.com. I know that probably has your interest piqued and your mind reeling with questions, and I wish I could answer them! Suffice it to say I’ve signed some non-disclosure agreements, so my mouth is shut until that project is public, which I’m told may be some time in mid-June. Since I don’t have an exact date on that, you’ll just have to keep checking in to make sure you aren’t missing the good stuff! I can guarantee I’ll have some HUGE  news upon my return… it will definitely be worth the wait!!!!! Not to mention, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? I hope?

Thanks for your understanding and your continued readership, and please join me again in June! If you want to keep in touch, please join me on Twitter, as I will still be dropping a sarcastic line or two from time to time. I’ll post some photos every now and again too, so you can keep up with Gray and I and our antics!

 

Until (a very delayed) next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

 

April 25, 2014

Dear My Fellow Mommies, Daddies (and Non-parents too!),

 

So… I promised myself I would keep to writing a new blog every week for you, and I’ve able to keep that promise for a good while now. 90 weeks to be exact! With that said, I’m about to go on an extended writing hiatus, and I hope you’ll stick with me for the long haul. I really appreciate and depend on your readership, and I suspect I’m going to go through some serious withdrawals without you! At the risk of being too cryptic, I’m about to work on a secret project that won’t enable me to share my mommy adventures for a while, either here on The Cradle Chronicles, or on People.com. I know that probably has your interest piqued and your mind reeling with questions, and I wish I could answer them! Suffice it to say I’ve signed some non-disclosure agreements, so my mouth is shut until that project is public, which I’m told may be some time in mid-June. Since I don’t have an exact date on that, you’ll just have to keep checking in to make sure you aren’t missing the good stuff! I can guarantee I’ll have some HUGE  news upon my return… it will definitely be worth the wait!!!!! Not to mention, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? I hope?

Thanks for your understanding and your continued readership, and please join me again in June! If you want to keep in touch, please join me on Twitter, as I will still be dropping a sarcastic line or two from time to time. I’ll post some photos every now and again too, so you can keep up with Gray and I and our antics!

 

Until (a very delayed) next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,

Jenna von Oy

 

 

 

  • Kim Q says:

    All the best!

  • NW Mamma says:

    Good luck with your new project, soooooooooooooo does this mean Gray is going to get a sibling “I can guarantee I’ll have some HUGE news upon my return… it will definitely be worth the wait!!!!! ”
    I hope so, because you and your hubby make beautiful children. If not, that’s okay too. I love to read your blogs, will check in a little later to find out the news.
    Just found out that my oldest daughter is expecting, so here we go again with a baby in house, so excited!!!

April 18, 2014
The "Elvis Has Left The Building, But Not The Kitchen" Mousse

The “Elvis Has Left The Building, But Not The Kitchen” Mousse

         

        I’ll admit, I don’t know a whole heck of a lot about Elvis. Sure, I know he was married to dear old Priscilla, famously sang to a very nonplussed Basset Hound, and has probably been discussed in almost as many “life after death” accounts as Jesus. I know he put hip thrusting on the map, was such a hunk o’ burnin’ love that he made female fans cry and scream like banshees, rocked some seriously snazzy and bedecked pantsuits, and had Graceland built to house his family and gaudy collectibles. But I don’t know much else, unless you count that weird little fact that he supposedly dug peanut butter and banana sandwiches… Which is precisely what prompted me to create this week’s recipe, the “Elvis Has Left the Building, But Not The Kitchen” Mousse.   I’m not going to pretend to understand what drove the King’s  fascination with peanut butter and bananas. Maybe it’s a Memphis thing. Either way, the following recipe is enough to make me an official convert!

It’s a great after school snack for the kiddos, but I’ll let you decide if you feel like sharing!

 

The “Elvis Has Left The Building, But Not The Kitchen” Mousse

(Recipe by Jenna von Oy)

 

Ingredients:

1  Cup marshmallow cream or fluff

2 Oz. Philadelphia cream cheese

1/3  Cup Justin’s peanut butter (you can technically use any smooth peanut butter you’d like, but this stuff is IT!)

1/3 Cup Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter (aka heaven in a jar)

2/3 Cup heavy whipping cream

1-2 Fresh bananas, sliced

** I like to serve it with waffle cookies as well, just for variation!

Directions:  

~ Put the marshmallow cream,  cream cheese, peanut butter, and chocolate hazelnut butter in a food processor. Blend until well incorporated.

~ Add the heavy whipping cream and blend for 1-2 minutes more, or until it has a dense mousse-like consistency.

~ Don’t be cruel. Love em’ tender by serving with banana slices and wafer cookies. Yum!

 

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!

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!

April 4, 2014

 

Cooking Tips!

Cooking Tips!

 

I am a true disciple of the kitchen. Some of my quietest and most reflective moments transpire while I’m chopping fresh herbs, sautéing garlic, or fire-roasting peppers. I feel like myself as I move through the culinary process… extracting pots and pans, sharpening my good knife, and prepping my ingredients. I am in my element; I’m in “the zone.” Food Network, here I come!

 

I realize not everyone has this sort of blissful take on cooking. For some, making dinners is an interminable struggle, a time-consuming chore they dread doing at the end of an otherwise happy day… you know, while they trip over toys, wrestle kids for bath time, and desperately wish they could chill over a good book and a glass of wine instead. But what if a few small tricks could help ease the heavy load just a little bit? Because until we can all afford to hire personal chefs, or train fancy robot sous chefs (for the record, I don’t see either of those things happening at my house any time soon), any shortcuts are a welcome relief. With any luck, maybe these five pointers will take some of the stress out of it for you…

 

1. Ice, Ice, Baby: I’m just as guilty as you are about forgetting my frozen goods until two years have passed since their expiration date, but I’m trying to be better about letting my freezer work with me.  I mean, can’t we all just get along?! I’ve decided to reform my perception of the thing formerly known as, “the place I stash half-melted cartons of ice cream and boxes of Hot Pockets I’ll never eat.” Lately I’m making more of an effort to double my recipes, freeze half of what I’ve made, and then write a notation in my calendar so I don’t forget to defrost it for a dinner the following week. (While I don’t mind two nights in a row of a yummy meal, sometimes it’s nice to have something prepped for an evening when I’m particularly short on time.) I imagine this isn’t even remotely a new concept for my fellow parents out there, so I’ll skip to the real time-saving trick… Ice cube trays are God’s gift to foresight! They are perfect for pre-portioning items such as pesto, tomato sauce, or stocks. Even milk, so you never run out! My favorites? Coffee, which I use to make instant iced lattes when I’m in desperate need of an afternoon pick-me-up, and… drumroll, please… wine. No really! I often deglaze my pan with wine when making stews or sauces. This is an easy way to store the stuff you only use for cooking, so it doesn’t get corked. (Just make sure your kids don’t rummage through your freezer and think they’ve stumbled upon some pretty little homemade popsicles…)

PS. Freeze fresh herbs with a little olive oil for a quick addition to pastas and marinades. Did you also know that you can freeze fresh ginger? It makes a huge difference in Asian inspired dishes, and it lasts an inordinately long time without spoiling!

 

 2. An Herbal Remedy: Mason jars and shot glasses double as handy dandy little herb keepers! Actually, anything that can hold water will work; I’m quite partial to the vintage sake cups I’ve collected over the years. The fact is, fresh herbs quickly wilt in the refrigerator, but dried herbs don’t add nearly the same level of flavor to a dish. Consequently, it’s nice to preserve the fresh ones as long as possible. We grow a garden full of herbs each spring, and I love going out to pick bunches of parsley, rosemary, basil, dill, you name it. That said, I hate wasting food and almost always manage to collect more than I have an immediate need for. When I can’t get through the entire selection in one meal, it’s great to know I can put the stalks in water and use them again throughout the week. It saves me from another trip to the garden or grocery store. Not to mention, they make for beautiful impromptu table adornments!

 

3. A Watched Pot Still Boils:  If you’re anything like me, you don’t have time to babysit boiling pasta… you’re too busy setting table, keeping your daughter from drawing on the wall, and shouting at your dog to stop chewing the library books. Oh wait, that’s me. Anyway, I recently discovered this really cool trick that keeps me from having to stand vigil, and I’m totally hooked. Once you’ve added your pasta to the water, place a wooden spoon across the top of the pot to prevent it from boiling over. It’s that simple! I was skeptical at first too, but it seriously works. I can’t believe I’ve spent so many years blowing on my pasta water as it threatened to spill over the sides of the pot, or racing back in to stop it from overflowing like a bad science experiment, when all I needed was a wooden spoon. Who knew?

 

4. Oiler Alert: If you’re anything like me, I get very nervous about touching my daughter after dicing jalapenos, or chopping chili peppers. Actually, I get pretty nervous about touching anything, considering I’ve accidentally rubbed my own eyes afterward. Brilliant, I know. I learned the following trick from an Italian chef in Chianti years ago, and I’m eternally grateful to have it in my kitchen trick repertoire. Before dissecting a spicy pepper, coat your hands in olive oil! Be sure to get some underneath your nail beds, where the pepper oils tend to infiltrate. The olive oil will form a protective barrier, which should then allow the pepper oils to wash off a bit more easily. As a side note, milk can cut down on the burning sensation, if you forget!

 

5. Throw The Towel In: No one likes to lose a digit, and preparing dinner while distracted by tiny tots can be a dangerous ordeal. Put a damp dishtowel underneath your cutting board so it won’t slide around on your kitchen counter! A moist paper towel will work too. This will be safer for you, since you won’t have to worry about unnecessary movement as you cube and mince. Not to mention, it keeps little hands from being able to easily swipe the cutting board off of the counter after you’ve just finish chopping an entire onion. Ahem. Not that that’s happened to me.

 

** Bonus Trick: You can resurrect virtually any leftovers by putting them in a quiche! See My “Everything But The Kitchen Sink Quiche” recipe from 2013, for an example of this.

 

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!

  • Ulysses says:

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Exceptionally wedll written!

  • NW Mamma says:

    great advise Jenna, I just love the way you think and express your self through your writing.
    Love Quiche? Our favorite Quiche is made with a hashbrown potato crust. we use the dehydrated ones,so all you have to do is hydrate and press into the pan and add your favorite items and then the eggs, so easy and so yummy!!!