Jenna von Oy’s Blog: Anecdotes From the Diaper Diaries

07/20/2012 at 02:00 PM ET
Cuddle time – Mimosa Arts Photography

Celebrity bloggerΒ Jenna von Oy is a new mama!

Best known for her roles as Six onΒ Blossom and Stevie on The Parkers, von Oy is also a musician who has released two albums and is set to publish a book, The Betweeners.

von Oy, 35, wed Brad Bratcher on Oct. 10, 2010, and resides in Nashville with her husband and five dogs.

They welcomed their first child, daughter Gray Audrey, on May 21. She is now eight weeks old.

In her latest blog, von Oy shares pictures from their family photo shoot, plus observations from her first two months of motherhood.

You can find her on Twitter @JennavonOy.

It’s becoming clearer by the minute that the person who wears the pants in our family is also the one who wears diapers underneath them … and we are totally fine with that!

My professional life has always been measured by filming schedules, auditions, press events, and writing and recording music. Once I was married, my life was gauged by the quiet moments at home with my husband and puppies.

Now, I can’t imagine a life that isn’t quantified by the sweet smell of baby skin (there’s nothing like it!), little grunting noises during the wee hours, oodles of cuddle time, and tiny hands and feet. I don’t know how I survived for so long without those wonders, and I never want to go back!

It’s impossible to believe that little Miss Gray is two months old already, and it’s even more unfathomable that, not too long ago, she wasn’t yet in our lives. There’s so much love in our hearts right now, we can’t see straight. It’s downright dizzying!

Equally amazing is the discovery that Brad and I love each other even more, thanks to this pint-sized human. Despite the sleep depravity and chaos, we are finding new ways to appreciate one another on a daily basis. It’s inspiring on so many levels. I am cherishing every moment of being a mom — which is, by far, my favorite role to date!

It’s a family affair – Mimosa Arts Photography

Here is a selection of some of the observations I’ve made during my introduction to mommyhood…

1. Staring at your own child is addicting. Even the high drama of Downton Abbey takes a back seat to watching my daughter do nothing but sleep.

2. Sometimes it takes twice as long to change a diaper as it does for it to be soiled again … There’s an average Pampers lifespan of five minutes in our house. It’s crazy! Crazier still? For some reason, I find this utterly endearing.

3. Whoever invented the wetness indicator on the aforementioned diapers is a genius. It eliminates the mystery, and saves us from a somewhat gruesome show and tell.

4. Breastfeeding takes some getting used to, especially when your child eats like a barracuda. Despite this fact, some of my favorite moments are in the midst of the bonding time that occurs while my daughter dines at the “breastaurant.”

5. People will rain on your parade and insist on informing you that every time your newborn smiles, it’s because she has gas. (Whether or not this is technically true, indulge me by letting me think she’s happy to be looking at me. It lights up my day, even if it is also lighting up her britches.)

6. Laundry “day” is a thing of the past. This chore currently takes place with more frequency than a politician telling lies.

Magic mommy kisses – Mimosa Arts Photography

7. Regardless of how much space you have for photos and video on your computer hard drive, I can assure you it isn’t enough. Though I am aware I can’t document every single moment of my child’s life, it doesn’t seem to keep me from trying. College is going to be a blast.

8. Taking showers is a luxury. So is eating meals. And getting out of my pajamas, for that matter. Sleeping for more than a few consecutive hours feels downright scandalous.

9. Cutting my child’s fingernails for the first time was virtually equivalent to walking a high wire with no net … while on stilts with wheels. The world needs roving baby manicurists to take the pressure off of those of us who are exceedingly wimpy.

10. There just aren’t enough variations of the words “I love you” and “You’re beautiful” in the dictionary. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, and I’m thinking of inventing myΒ own dialect so I can supplement my vocabulary. As it stands, my daughter is likely to know those phrases in every language but Klingon.

11. Everything can be turned into a nursery rhyme. My life has become a musical number about spit-up and messy diapers. Don’t hold your breath for any kind of Broadway debut.

12. Sometimes a kiss from Mommy is the magic cure for the baby blues.

13. Sometimes it isn’t. When my child cries, it pains me enough to join her. There hasn’t been this much boo-hooing in my house since the finale of The Bachelor.

*** Bonus Observation: Global harmony might be attainable if the leaders of the free world had adult-sized WubbaNub pacifiers. Seriously. Dear WubbaNub, you get my vote for a Nobel Peace Prize.

If you are looking for a celebrity spokesperson (who clearly isn’t afraid to shamelessly plug your product), you’ve found your girl. The giraffe and monkey pacifiers have single-handedly gotten us through shopping excursions, dinners, chaotic nights of colic and … photo shoots.

I’ve never been so in love with an inanimate object in my life. And just think — that’s what I’m saying without getting paid!

WubbaNub saves the day – Mimosa Arts Photography

In retrospect, there are a few things I determined in my pre-Gray days that I feel are worth a mention as well, so we’ve now arrived at the advice segment of this month’s blog installment. Namely, take off your wedding bands a few months before you give birth!!

I cannot emphasize this enough. I grasped this lesson the hard way because, not unexpectedly, I was being downright stubborn about it. In some sort of romantic gesture, I wanted to be wearing my rings when Gray was brought into the world … a symbol of what our marriage had created and all that good stuff.

Sweet? Sure. A smart move? That’d be a big ol’ NO. And that’s putting it mildly.

Three days before my c-section, it dawned on me that I would likely be put on IV fluids during my surgery. I anticipated this would make me look a little less like the petite woman I am, and a little more like the Pillsbury Doughboy after an all-you-can-eat buffet. Little did I know, I was already well on my way.

For the record, getting my wedding rings off was as grand of a feat as scaling Mt. Everest on a tricycle. And rather surprisingly, no one really attempted to warn me in advance.

What people said: “I’m surprised your rings still fit,” which I took as a compliment regarding my lack of sausage-fingers. What people should have said: “You have no clue how much your fingers are swelling, and if you wait any longer to remove those suckers, you’re going to have to cut off either the rings or your finger.”

No joke — Brad and I tried everything from ice, to dish soap, to oil, to Windex. (In other words, we methodically worked our way through the cleaning supply cabinet … ) Ultimately, we had to truss up my finger like an Egyptian mummy, binding it with dental floss until it turned purple. It took over an hour per ring.

I’m still not sure how we managed to get the bands off, but I couldn’t move my finger for days afterward, and I still have a bruise. It was an excruciating experience. My poor husband is probably still traumatized by my instructions to “Ignore my screaming and cursing,” and “Don’t stop pulling, even if you dislocate my finger.”

So really, friends, please heed my warning. If I can save even one of you from the agony, I’ve made my peace.

Finally got my weddings rings back on! – Mimosa Arts Photography

I certainly haven’t been alone in the continuing infant education saga. My husband has had his share of trials and tribulations as well. For example, he now knows that you shouldn’t remove a diaper too far in advance of giving your child a bath. No diaper + holding a baby = wet T-shirt contest. And NOT the kind that wins you prizes, the kind that wins you surprises.

For as many things as Gray learns daily, she teaches us twice as much. Which is the way I think it should be. And there are, of course, a plethora of other lessons we have left to learn.

For instance, how in God’s name does one gracefully grocery shop with a newborn? Wandering the aisles of my local market used to be a favorite pastime, but it has taken a turn for the worse.

Gray and I recently had quite the first outing, where I quickly discovered that the only thing that fits snugly in the main portion of the shopping cart is … wait for it … Gray. So where does one put the groceries? It clearly isn’t safe to precariously balance a car seat on the front portion of the cart, lest it keel over, and every mother knows better than to awaken a sleeping baby.

Seemingly, the only place to put said infant car seat is in the main section of the cart, leaving room for nary a string bean. I suppose I could lock the car seat into her stroller frame, but then I’m stuck pushing the cart around with one hand, and the stroller with another.

This is a juggling act that would surely be bungled by even the likes of Penn & Teller. Color me uncoordinated.

Not sure who’s fussier… – Mimosa Arts Photography

We are also discovering the joys of parenting five dogs and a baby under one roof. It’s a reality show waiting to happen, not that we don’t have enough to deal with as it is!

I can’t seem to walk through any room in our house without tripping over somebody’s toy, and I’m not convinced the four-legged folks are quite so clear on who owns what. For example, I had to retrieve a pacifier from behind enemy lines the other day. Who knew basset hounds were so skilled at plotting a blitzkrieg?

And life with kids and canines has certainly taken its toll on my wardrobe. Whatever doesn’t have dog hair plastered all over it surely has drool and spit-up gracing the shoulders. Not to worry, I wear them all with pride. As one of my Twitter followers so aptly stated: “They are badges of honor.” Indeed!

As you can see, the mommy learning curve is officially in full effect. Since there are no adequate online courses for Baby 101, we are left to forge our own path. It is a beautiful, magical, hectic, crazy-making, smile-inducing, heartwarming, hands-on adventure … and I look forward to a lifetime of it!

Until next time,

— Jenna von Oy

Gazing at Gray – Mimosa Arts Photography

P.S. This is worth far more than a mere post-script to my blog, but I wanted to sign-off with this thought … I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to all (300!) of you who wrote comments on my blog last month.

Divulging Gray’s birth story was an intimate and vulnerable exposure for me, and I never imagined so many of you would connect so deeply with it. To have received such an overwhelmingly positive response was unexpected, uplifting and inspiring.

I was truly touched by the heartfelt stories of your personal birth experiences, and I appreciate your wonderfully kind words regarding Gray’s photos and name. What an incredible sense of camaraderie and encouragement from my fellow moms out there! I can’t tell you how beautiful that is … It made my heart happy.

Thank you so very much for your candor and compassion. Many blessings to you and your families, from me and mine!

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Showing 129 comments

nvi on

Love the pictures!

Jessica on

I love your blogs! And little Gray is adorable!

Brookie on

Jenna, I just adore you! I really do!

1ST and foremost- the Wubbanub is AWESOME! I am with you on that. They didn’t have those when my oldest was born, but I used them with my now 15 month old and they are so much easier to keep up with too! They’re just plain cool- until little Gray starts to cut some teeth and comes to you one day, Wubbanub in hand with the tip missing because she has used it as a teether and then you panic because “OMG she swallowed it!” right?

I too live in Nashville, and from what I can tell, you and I delivered our babies at the same hospital- GREAT hospital. I just love reading your blog because you are so easy to relate to. I feel like I could just sit down and have coffee with you and talk for hours.

All of those feelings you are having right now, and how much more you love your husband are all of the things I felt right after the birth of our first and it makes me think back to those times, and it makes me smile. So thank you for that, and thank you for sharing your experiences so far as a Mom.

It rocks to be a mom! And no you cannot take enough pictures or video- impossible. Soak it ALL in- every cry, every giggle, and even every diaper because you will blink, and you will send Gray off to Kindergarten. I know that’s cheesy, and everyone tells you “they grow so fast”, but you just don’t see it until you experience it. Look how fast and wonderfully these first 8 weeks have gone by?

Anyway, I’m rambling because that’s what us Southerners do. Keep doing what you’re doing! Love your blog and look forward to it!

Melissa on

Great pictures πŸ™‚

Abbie on

Like I have said before, Jenna I love your blog. I am not a mom (I hope to be one day). I enjoy your enthusiasm and honesty. Miss Gray is one lucky baby!

Heather S on

You should invest in a baby carrier like an Ergo!! I could not do grocery trips with an infant seat, too heavy and bulky! And bonus, when you are “wearing” your baby, it keeps pesky strangers from touching your baby (says the crazy germaphobe mom!)

E on

An easy solution for grocery shopping … wear your baby (sling ring, k’tan, ergo … whatever your pleasure).

Bella Blu on

I love these blogs and I have never commented before, but I must say your blog is such a fun and comforting to read. You have a charm that is not lost on me one bit! Gray is lovely and although I do not have the pleasure of mommyhood just yet, I so connect with all that you’ve written…and quick side note, I didn’t comment last month, but I read your very honest and heartfelt blog and I agreed with you wholeheartedly…and P.S., I love the name Gray! :~)

Val on

My trick with the grocery store when my kiddos were babies was a sling, pouch or moby wrap. It it a great way to keep your baby close and happy and still have your whole cart for groceries :o) An added bonus is that it keeps strangers (who might be carrying germs or sickness on their hand) from coming up wanting to touch your baby!

Lourdes on

I love the pictures! she is so beautiful!! I remember those days when it seems that everything in the world doesn’t matter anymore, all that it matters is this little beautiful baby in your arms. Especially when your are feeding your baby in the middle of the night and everything is quiet, and it’s you and your baby only.. magical…

Enjoy every minute of it. Spend as much time as you can with her, who cares if the laundry is not done, the house is messy or if you haven’t taken a shower? .. You will have plenty of time to do that in the future, but you’ll never get back these precious moments with your baby.

Audra on

The best way to shop is with baby in a snuggly carrier! My son and daughter both spent a ton of time in the grocery store asleep in the Ergo carrier.

Thanks for the great blog! I love the pictures!

Carrie on

Where did you get that beautiful black/multicolored dress?!?!?! LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

mommyoftwo on

Baby carrier is the answer in the grocery store. I kept my boys in them for about a year. No germy carts, no strangers touching them and I don’t have to worry about having enough space or keeping a hand on them all the time. And I got a total kick out of it the couple times I turned my son around in the bjorn – he just grabbed onto the cart handle and pushed right along with me!

Suz on

LOVE the funny, cute pics! That baby is so gorgeous!

greeneli on

Yes, wear that baby! Best thing you can do for errand runs. She’s beautiful!

Laura on

She is gorgous! Those eyes fit her name perfectly. You all look so happy and the pictures are great.

stacey on

I looove your blogs:-) i always read them when my daughter is down for a nap…a part of my me have a beautiful family:-)

Anonymous on

grays adorable, i love the shopping cart story

Kris on

Baby carrier for sure on the grocery trip. It not only keeps the strangers away BUT it keeps baby all snuggly close on your chest and they often sleep through the whole process.

I would go straight for a soft structure carrier, Boba, Ergo, Mei Tei type style with a full bottom support (no bjorns) Babylegs should be in froggy position at that age in a tummy to tummy plus you get all those up close smiles. When they can hold their little heads up unassisted you can move to a back carry and let baby see the world (sometime between four/6 months).

My 10 month old goes right to sleep on my back but it is also one of her favorite spots cause she has the same vantage I do.

torgster on

Jenna you sound like such a lovely, down-to-earth woman. I smiled at the ring episode. I had no choice but to remove mine around eight months, as my fingers blew up about the same time as my feet puffed up two sizes. And waaaay back in 1983 flats were NOT a fashion choice anyone except Princess Diana made (and I doubt SHE made it anyway)! Those shoes looked like loaf pans and my feet like jumbo blobs of dough bursting out of them.

But I digress…in any case, my problem came AFTER…when at six weeks I lost patience and “decided” the wedding band was going back on. Instantly my finger swelled around it and the pain! Suffice to say, the trip to the ER to have it cut off by a very unimpressed resident was followed by a stop at the jeweller to drop my rings off for a size upgrade lol. I never did get my pre-baby fingers back.

Lisa on

I LOVE YOUR BLOG! Your writing is awesome. I am laughing so hard at your list because I’m currently going through all the same things with my little girl. Thanks for the laughs Jenna.

Jen DC on

Ohh, she’s adorable, so pretty! And I think she looks like your husband, with your hair. All the pictures are so sweet, esp the dual pacifier hold. Classic!

Yep, everyone stole my answer: Wear her to the store. Both hands free, no falling out of the cart, no weirdos trying to touch her hands or face (I won’t lie, I’m a baby foot toucher, but it depends on the cues from the parent for me).

Jennifer on

I bought a sling from Sakura Bloom and my daughter loved it from day one. They are pretty too! She is now 15 months and still loves it. Highly recommend! BTW, love the name Gray! My daughter’s name is Elliot, so I am a fan of the unique!

Sarah on

Piece of advice for your husband. If he has chest hair, tell him to not hold the baby when he is shirtless. Little fingers + chest hair = OUCH!

My husband informed me of that one lol.

One more thing, if your husband is shirtless and holding a hungry baby, she may try to latch onto him and then get angry when nothing comes out! You’d think my husband would have learned to put a shirt on before holding our daughter!

Liz on

Jenna, the love for your child is so beautifully evident and gracefully expressed.

You are delightful, and your daughter is positively scrumptious. SCRUMPTIOUS, I say.

Shannon on

Look at the little munchkin. So sweet. You can tell how much they adore their baby girl.

LaShun on

You have a beautiful baby girl! I have enjoyed reading your blog here on People!

Heather on

Add me to the list of people recommending the ergo. It is hands down the best piece of baby gear we own! 14 months in and still using it all the time!

Sandy on

Jenna, your family is beautiful! My tip is don’t cut her fingernails, but bite them instead. An older friend of my mom’s gave me this advice when my oldest was a baby and it saved my sanity.

Julianna on

Oh, my, Gray has daddy’s eyes. She sure is a beauty! Stunning pictures, adorable post – it made me laugh so hard. Please never stop blogging, Jenna.

blessedwithboys on

Definitely wear Gray while shopping!

(I hope your Pampers plug is just for the paycheck and in reality you are cloth diapering! heehhee)

Amy on

Jenna, please write a book. You have a way with words and humor especially explaining how it is to be a first time Mom. Your family pictures are beautiful.

3poppies on

The ONLY way to grocery shop with a newborn is some type of baby carrier! We LOVED the Moby wrap for the tiny months, and the Boba and Mei Tai for the later months. Enjoy the tiny times, they grow so fast 😦

Kelly on

Beautiful pictures. She sure has her daddy’s eyes!

lora96litdiva on

Completely beautiful!

Marky on

Love your blog! Your sense of humor is so adorable and your blog is a delight to read! Gray is a darling baby–don’t be afraid to enjoy her to the max every day.

I can’t say I ever worried about people touching my children, or cooing over them while I was shopping with them in the cart or a stroller. We sometimes miss the joy of someone’s day being brightened by our baby’s smile or the older person’s heart being touched by the sweetness of our baby’s sleeping face. Most people aren’t just covered with germs and horrid bacteria that will destroy our child on contact (this is MY opinion, as well as the one of my pediatrician; it may not be yours and that’s okay). I did use a sling or front carrier, especially for #3. Taking 3 children 4 and under to the store at the same time meant that carrier was fantastic help!

Wish you all the best with your precious baby, Gray!

Marky on

Blessedwithboys, do you have to call every single person out on every single thread?? Not everyone is thrilled with cloth diapers and like everything else, it is choice of the parents! I used cloth for 3 of mine, and when the 4th came, it was disposable for me because I had more on my plate than I could say grace over. Didn’t make me bad; I did the best I could under all circumstances. You need to stop the judgmental attitude…..

Miguelina on

Next shopping trip try using a baby carrier to help with Gray. She will be placed securely on you, and this leaves your hands and cart free to shop. Its a huge help!

Shana on

For shopping I tried wearing the sling but found that since I am really short (4’11”) reaching around the adorable bundle strapped to my chest made reaching stuff difficult. I also didn’t like the car seat in the seat area of the cart since it doesn’t feel stable unless you have a graco car seat. I turn the car seat side ways and put it at the narrower end of the cart on top going sideways. That way you can still have all the space underneath for shopping. I just pull the cart from the side instead of push it and that works really well for me. πŸ™‚

Jenn on

This article had me in stitches! Very eloquently put, Mrs. Von Oy.

Congratulations on the birth of your pretty little girl and I wish you and your sweet family all the happiness in the world.

S on

Have to admit Blossom was a little before my time, and I wasnt exactly sure who you were… that being said, I am hooked on your blog, you are honest, witty, and heartfelt and I enjoyed every minute of it! Will remember the wedding rings for sure, you paint an excellent picture and I am scarred for life! πŸ™‚

Dee on

She looks like her Daddy! Very sweet, Congrats!

Lee on

First, I don’t normally respond to blgs, but this was the best blog EVERY! Everything you wrote, I could relate to! It happened to me! Twice! I had wished someone had told me when I had my first born to invet in a carrier to go grocery shopping because I’m with you girlfriend! Would have save a WHOLE lot of aggrivation! Keep enjoying this precious moment!

bh on


mdniteowl on

I have not enjoyed reading a blog as much as this one.You really should write a book because you certainly have the gift of words!!!!!!I was enthralled and couldn’t stop reading.What a beautiful family!!!Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your life with us.God Bless your precious daughter.She has already been blessed with a wonderful caring mommy and daddy!!!!!!!

Karen on

You’ve perfectly summed up what it means to be a new mom. Brought back a lot of memories πŸ™‚

Big Fan on

Precious. God Bless.

lynn on

I enjoy your stories very much. They are entertaining and sweet. Good point about the rings. I look forward to your future posts.

Courtney on

Well put sweety! Enjoy the little beauty

Amanda on

It seems you would have to wake the baby to put her in a sling. I always put the carrier in one cart, pushed it along and pulled my groceries in a cart behind me. A little cumbersome, but it worked!

tcuhornfrog on

What a beautiful family! I love the name,Gray, and your endearing way of relating to others through your whimsical writing. Thanks for being so transparent and revealing of your struggles and triumphs as a new mom. Your excitement and awe of your daughter is so refreshing and honest. Enjoy your baby girl!

bluegnu53 on

Beautiful, Jenna, and please post at least one photo of Gray and her entire dogpack, LOL. Thanks! πŸ™‚

Rhonda on

Jenna, your baby girl is absolutely adorable. Enjoy every second of her because babies grow so quickly.

donna on

Love the name Audrey!…the name Gray not at all…that should be reserved for last names and moods not first names…that being said this little girl is a doll!

Sue on

I confess that I avoid celebrity blogs. But People’s headline for this one got me! What a beautifully written post, Jenna! I went back to read about you, thinking, “Is she a writer, too?” I see that you have a book coming out. Good thing!

Sue on

P.S. I love the name Gray!!

... on

I wore my rings right up to delivery. I took them off afterward so as not to scratch baby. Same story with four babies….

Dawn on

Ah, Jenna…you made me smile and laugh out loud. I love your life for you just for hearing about it. Been there, done that, as they say.

And the rings! Omigosh! Glad you were able to salvage them, and not lose your fingers, lol!

Kisses to Gray!

Diana on

Re: Trimming babies’ fingernails – the easiest and safest way is to bite them. It sounded weird when I first heard about it, but it is impossible to hurt the baby using this technique – try it. I’ve used it on my two sons and my granddaughter.

HC on

I loved your blogpost! So sweet and so true!! Took me back to when my son was a mere infant (he’s now 4) and all the lessons, figuring out how to do everything all over again with the little one.

About the ring: What I actually ended up doing was purchasing two bigger “temporary” inexpensive rings in silver with multicolored stones. It was fun and I didn’t have to feel like my finger was naked. I actually got lots of compliments on my placekeeper rings.

About the grocery store. Always take a blanket. It took me awhile to figure out why my son would always scream bloody murder every time we went into the freezer section. I mean it really took me a long time to get that he was just cold. Duh. Mommy brain. After that, no more meltdowns in the grocery store.

Sammie on

first time parents always make me laugh. First they seem to think their baby experience is the most. And then that their baby is the most. As a mother of 3 grown children I say, don’t sweat the toddler years. The teen years are gonna feel like they’re killing you. smile.

Kimberly on

I’m due with my 3rd baby any day now, and it is really fun reading your blog! It is true the time goes so fast, my first baby is headed to Kindergarten in the fall.

Kimberly on

p.s. your daughter is a doll! I love the pictures of you both being fussy. haha

Kelly on

This made me smile, laugh and get a tear in my eye. I can’t wait to be a mother! Thank you for sharing your personal story…it’s beautiful.

Niki on

Donna, Gray is a beautiful, original name and you are a douche for criticizing it. Who cares what your take on it is? That was so tacky.

Blessed with boys, we are going to have to exile you to the category of grade A douchedom as well for your holier than thou, granola-loving, tree hugging opinion on diapers. WHATEVER diapers she uses are what she likes and what she as a mom has decided are best for her daughter….choices our forefathers fought for all of us to be free to make. So you go wash a diaper and leave the rest of us alone.

Jenna I agree that Pampers’ wetness indicator strips are the BOMB! We have the same Wub-A-Nub pacifier for our daughter! It is the only one she would entertain. Does Gray have a Sophie The Giraffe? They are awesome for teething babies. Another of my girl’s favorite things!

g2-cc8d1eff85a44f35afa2a47ebdda5958 on

Your daughter is beautiful. Just wanted to second some of the other comments β€” get a carrier for the grocery store (and everywhere else, for that matter). Make sure to get something that fully supports baby’s bottom, in other words, not a Bjorn or Infantino or similar. For something that will grow with Gray, look into an Ergo (this is what we have and it is a LIFESAVER), Boba, Beco, or similar. A Moby wrap or Baby K’tan is great for the beginning months. Ring slings, wraps, etc. are also wonderful but have a steeper learning curve.

Whatever you get, I can almost guarantee you’ll love it. And Gray will, too. My 10-month-old can be pouting or crying, but as soon as he sees me (or my husband) get out the Ergo, he starts to grin. Babies love being close to their parents!

Someone You Know on

Though I am not a mother, and having children at my age would be risky, I thoroughly enjoyed Ms van Oy’s tales of Miss Gray Audrey.

She seems like a lovely woman and I wish nothing but the best for her, Brad and little Miss Gray Audrey.

RNMom on

Jenna- Get a sling or carrier and wear her while you grocery shop. Changed my life as far as shopping goes.

Jessica on

Want your baby to enjoy a grocery store trip as much as you do? Wear your baby. I had a crier and finally decided to wear him…best thing EVER, especially since I had 2 other children and my hands were, literally, full. I could actually go to the bathroom *shocker*, clean the house (like vacuum & such) and cook dinner uninterrupted. I used a mynative baby carrier, but any sling that’s comfy for you & her will do.

Thanks for sharing your baby and your stories with us. Six remains in my memory πŸ™‚

Anonymous on

Put a hand held groucery basket under the push one and put gorceries there. Helps with easy and space.

Beth on

Once again, you cracked me up ….. blitzkrieg ! hahahaha

lissa10279 on

Love your writing style and post–Gray is just gorgeous! And mommyhood looks so beautiful on you! We used the giraffe Wubbanub for a year–it was the only pacifier my daughter had and I loved watching her discover it — as a playmate as well as a paci. Giraffe is tucked away in her baby box, but some of my fave early pics are of her holding him! πŸ™‚

Tasha J on

Jenna – LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! It is such a comfort to find another Mom struggling through the same every day things that no one prepares you for. #8 is SOO true – you really never appreciate a long shower/bath until after you have a newborn.

I, too, showed up to the hospital with my wedding band only to be told that it needs to be removed 😦

Please continue to write – and as one of the previous ladies mentioned – “You have a way with words and humor”. Looking forward to the next blog and more pictures of your beautiful daughter.

Jessica on

Jenna, I too was unsure how to get back onto the world of grocery shopping. Especially once I had a 13 month old, and a newborn. What I finally discovered was that the baby carrier was the best invention ever!! My son could snuggle on my chest in the carrier, while my daughter sat in the front and helped me shop.

Good luck with your beautiful daughter, Gray (LOVE her name by the way!!). It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job so far.

Also, keep the blogs coming- you are a fabulous writer who blends wit and intelligence seamlessly!

Yay Gray on

The first time I cut my Grey’s nails, I DID cut his little finger (major mommy tears). Then I heard after that they don’t need cutting, they just peel off nicely. He’s 2 and I still don’t cut them, they sort themselves out quite nicely.

I remember that beyond the “I love yous” is the kiss wrinkle – the one that forms between your nose and lips from puckering. πŸ™‚

marie on

Beautifully written!! Loved reading your story and look forward to more!

Stephanie Smith on

I love reading your blogs. They make me reflect on my own daughter. .she is 2 now and so much fun! My mother-in-law and my mom cut her nails for the first time.. My MIL was cutting them and MY mom had on the glasses to see.. both needing to wear glasses.. LOL .. she did nip her finger.. and they both kinda teared up. Too funny of a story not to share. Please keep writing and sharing your stories and life.

Just Me on

I just love how you can add humor into every blog πŸ™‚ It always makes me smile πŸ™‚ Thanks Jenna!!

laura on

the trick to going grocery store is either using a baby bjorn like one person mentioned, or just user the basket in your stroller frame and get those s-hooks to hang your bags on (they sell them in most baby retail stores). My graco frame had huge basket and I made sure all my subsequent strollers did as well…much easier than dealing with the seat in the cart – unless you’re using a shopping cart at Costco πŸ˜‰ great pics and glad your enjoying this phase, it goes far too quickly!

Nisha on

I have been a fan of Jenna’s since Blossom and am so thrilled to see her find her happy and normal. Love the pics, Gray is adorable!

highdesertblue on

I loved your astute observations. After four children and numerous grandchildren, I will never believe a smile is just gas! God bless your family!

Ava on

Jenna, I love your writing style and really enjoy reading your blog. Gray is so darling!

By the way, when I was younger, we adopted a dog and named her “Six” after you πŸ™‚

Adrienne on

Okay its official, I have a girl crush on you. More than that, an I-Cant-believe-what-an-amazing-person-you-seem-to-be crush.. Yeah. Funnnnnny, moving, beautiful stuff. I never want your blogs to end. And the fact that you sit at home ( or wherever you blog) and read our comments is amazing. Welcome to the undeniably best place ever.. MOTHERHOOD πŸ˜€


Shopping… wear a Moby Wrap. Two free hands and a free stroller to boot!

Lisa on

Jenna, I love your blogs! I’m not (yet) a mommy, but you give me much to look forward to. Gray is such a pretty name for a little did her well πŸ™‚

denise on

love your blog!!

as other mums already said: the solution for grocery shopping is a good ergonomical baby carrier. try the ergo or a beco. or get a didymos.
in europe there a carts in stores though with an extra part to put the car seat (secured!).

your daughter is so beautiful! and at 8 weeks I’d guess she REALLY is smiling.

Nikki on

Hi Jenna,

I just love reading your blogs. It makes me well up with hope and emotion. The journey to have a child is one of the most challenging and terrifying prospects I have ever endeavoured.

I have been trying for a family for over three years and have had three unsuccessful pregnancies. I am now 7 weeks pregnant and have our first ultrasound on Wednesday. I am absolutely terrified but I look to your posts for encouragement and hope. Thank you for sharing your journey.


PS Gray is STUNNING. but you already knew that!

Kristen on

Jenna, thanks for sharing your stories and mommy point-of-view. Motherhood is by far the best and hardest thing a woman can do…but beyond worth it. Love your sense of humor and writing πŸ™‚

~Keri on

Honey, the secret to grocery shopping with a newborn is to use a sling. She will go back to sleep after you settle her into the sling and walk-the motion lulls babes to sleep. Good luck!

Jessica on

I am a single mom with three kids under the age of five… and while everyone here is obsessed with carrying their babies (which is fine)… the easiest way for us to shop with the baby is to leave her in the carseat and latch her to the front. The same mechanism that locks the seat into the base in the car, locks the carrier onto the front part of a cart where they would sit when they get older. You don’t disturb them and you can look right in their beautiful faces when you shop. It is completely safe and thats what the carts are made for.

Best of luck to you.

Halley on

ditto the others, baby wearing is the best way to shop! And it keeps pesky strangers from touching your baby!! Get and ergo or a moby or something to that effect, and go to town! (literally, haha.) Also, babywearing is just really lovely. I loved having my sons snuggled up to me. Touch is so important for newborns, I loved, loved, loved it.

Halley on

Diana, I also “cut” my baby’s fingernails by biting them, and did with his older brother too! My mom told me about it, as she did it with us. You can feel right where you need to bite and their nails are so thin! Its too stressful for me to do it with scissors until they are old enough to sit still! I know it sounds too bizarre, but its easy and it works, and there’s no danger of cuts!

em on did she find time to write that much??

lyn on

Cute pictures of the baby!

I agree with the others about wearing the baby while shopping. I had a hugamonkey sling and it worked great for me. Even my husband loved carrying the baby in the sling. I found the sling much easier to get the baby in and out of than other baby carriers and he was always so snuggly in it.

Julie on

I love your comments on grocery shopping with a newborn! I had to laugh at myself a lot when doing that. I have twins, my husband works an opposite schedule to me, so my only option is to take the kids with me everywhere!

As newborns, I would pop their carseats in the double stroller and make my way back and forth a hundred times across the store so that I could strategically pick up items to stack in the lower basket of the stroller…flat heavy and stackable on the bottom up to the lighter and odd shaped items on top. I had two of the reusable grocery bags hanging from each handle to put fragile things like eggs, bread, and some produce in. Last was always milk or dogfood so I could carry it as I pushed towards the checkout….this also meant I could only get one of those items per shopping trip, so they became more frequent.

I was so happy to finally make it to the point where the kids could ride in those giant car shaped double carts!

sasha on

By far one of my favorite mommy bloggers ever.. congratulations and you’re doing an amazing job.. love to your family and your beautiful baby girl

Alicea on

Wubbanub = God’s gift to new parents. My son is now creeping up on 6 months old and still loves his frog and duck. More times than not, I see him chowing down on a foot or wing. Makes for really cute pictures.

It’s so nice to see other new Mom’s experiencing the same things I’m also experiencing. Our son was a 6 years in the making miracle, so we cherish every burp, shart, and smile he gives us. I don’t even remember my life before he graced us with his love.

Keep hugging that precious girl, and keep her in dresses always! Sooo cute.

Amber on

I once put on a shirt and totally didn’t realize it had puke on it. Come on – like we all haven’t thrown a shirt that we wore for only a few hours to the side to wear it again later. Well I did this, and apparently didn’t realize that this shirt I’d picked up from my wear again later stack had a nice little puke mark on it. My husband says to me you do realize that your shirt has puke on it – I look down – say No I didn’t and laugh. Even funnier – I left the shirt on – Yep – that’s how true Moms do it – lol.

Amber on

A little piece of advice from another mother: get a sling or wrap to put baby in while you shop. It’ll free up your cart and she’ll sleep even better in it than in her carseat. Happy shopping!

Kristin on

I love your blogs. Up until you came along, Constance Marie was always my favorite but you have taken her spot. I love your writing. And Miss Gray is absolutely adorable. She is just beautiful.

ECR on

Thank you for making me laugh. We’re 10 months into it and I still hate cuting her little finger nails. And the Wubbanub people are geniuses. No doubt. We are fans of Clifford in our house. Your pictures are wonderful. Big happiness abounds!

larsona2 on

As a mommy of a baby girl who will be 1 tomorrow (!!!), I can relate to everything you wrote this month. It has been an amazing and wonderful and beautiful journey so far. I have loved every single moment, even the challenging ones. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and reflections on being a mommy! Annie

Maggie on

Thank you so much for the wedding rings tip! I had no idea and am really glad to have this knowledge. I definitely want to avoid the pain you experienced trying to get them off your fingers!

paula f. on

jenna, i love your blog. you’re daughter is simply yummy and the pictures of her are beautiful. parenthood is the most amazing journey and each baby is a most precious gift.

Annia on

Adorable pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Veronica on

You can snap the car seat onto the top part of the cart…the part that snaps onto the car base snaps snuggly on the part of the cart that opens for Gray to sit in when she gets bigger…and it should latch on not just balance there…She is beautiful and I love the pictures!

Sara on

Baby Gray is beautiful! And I also suggest biting baby’s nails instead of clipping. Easy, quick and not scary, you can feel that tiny finger with your teeth so you don’t have to stress about accidentally clipping baby’s finger.

librababe on

Gray is beautiful and really blessed to have parents like you. It’s so sweet reading of the deep affection you have for your daughter. I’m sure one day she’ll read these and appreciate them! Beautiful!

Julie c on

I love your blogs and pictures.Your daughter is so beautiful and I love her name!

MiB on

Just a warning about putting the car seats on top of the cart like Jessica anf Veronica recommended. Car seats may seem like they snap on, but they don’t necessarily do, which lands numerous infants in the ER every year. Car seats falling off shopping carts (or shopping carts tipping over due to being top heavy) is a very common reason why infants have to go to the ER and paediatricians, childrens safety groups and even car seat manufaturers advice against it.

If a sling is not for you, then I too would recommend that you put the car seat in the cart and shopping baskets in the seat portion and at the bottom.

By the way, I love the picture of the three of you, there should really be no doubt that you really are her parents, after all, she has your eyes with your husbands colour. Adorable!

MA momma on

Haven’t missed a blog post yet Jenna! Just got back from a short vacation (1st one in 3 years!!!) and saw this waiting for me. I chuckled my way through it. I know I’ve said this before, but you really must write a book. The photos are beautiful, my personal fave… “mommy & baby crying.” Too cute!

For shopping trips, I was one of those moms who perched her baby carrier precariously on the shopping cart, never thought to wear my daughter, DUH! Before I had my first, a friend once told me that a great accomplishment post-pregnancy, would be a shower. If I could only accomplish one thing, to shower would be it, and for a while, that’s all it was. I’m a planner and a multi-tasker, so having to slow down after 2 c-sections was tough, but I was proud of myself for doing that one thing each day. When I was on my own, I’d put my daughter in a bouncer, strap her in, bring her in the bathroom with me and shower away. The bouncer was my God-send!

Oh, and I took my rings off about a month before delivery, and was able to get them back on about 2 weeks post-delivery. I was lucky. Took my feet about a month to return to normal!

Love on that little girl Jenna, she’s adorable!!!!

ColeB on

Seriously, our Moby Wrap and Ergo have been LIFESAVERS for everything involving being out of the house! Hands free and baby just snuggles up and sleeps. Also great for breastfeeding in public! Steer clear of Bjorns and other carriers that make baby dangle, bad for baby’s hips and spine and horrible for the wearer’s back. I cringe every time I see a celeb with a baby in a crotch dangler!

Baby Gray is beautiful! Sweet family!

Leslie on

Nice Pampers plug, Jenna. Seems like they’ve gotten to every blogger on this site. At least you should admit you’re getting paid instead of pretending you’re advertising for them from the goodness of your heart.

Editor’s note: Jenna was NOT compensated for any of the mentions on her blog, including Pampers. If a blogger receives compensation – either with payment or product – is legally required by our parent company, Time Inc., to disclose that (as readers may have noticed on Elisabeth RΓΆhm’s recent blog).

Nicole on

A baby is not a purse, a shirt or a pair of earrings. I get extremely tired of people talking about “wearing” babies. That is a phrase that needs to die a quick death.

Nina on

She, Gray, is such a BEAUTIFUL baby!! Congrats to you both!

bridget13point1 on

I LOVE every word here.I have even found some inspiration for my own blog ( Sorry for the hameless plug. πŸ™‚

Couple of things – WubbaNubs are AMAZING. We actually have the same exact one as Miss Gray. πŸ™‚

Wetness Indicators ARE awesome. I wish they had them on Baby Dry diapers, since she sleep better in them than the Swaddlers (though those did work great the first couple of months!)

Every day of my maternity leave was laundry day. Every day. Sometimes it was just so I felt like I accomplished something others than, ya know, sustaining life on nothing more than my breasts.

I insisted on daily showers. Even if it meant I had to get up an an ongodly hour to do so while my husband was home in the morning.

Cutting nails is traumatic – sometimes I just wait until it becomes a hang nail and tear or bite it off. I know, eww – but I’m a mom, it’s what we do.

As for the amount of photos – I bought an external hardrive. a BIG one during her 6th week. It was a good excuse for us to get outta the house and do some shopping. πŸ™‚

Congrats and enjoy the ride!

Janae on

Great blog. Beautiful baby! Enjoy this time, it passes with incredible speed.

I definitely echo the others about using a baby carrier. I heavily researched and decided on a Beco baby carrier, but there are many ergonomic options out there. I used them with my first son and now with my second child I find them key to keeping everyone happy and quiet on shopping trips (and often at home!). We actually *still* wander around the store and just browse around and enjoy the time together. The only time we had a meltdown in the store was when I tried to leave the newborn sleeping in the carseat – he woke up and freaked out, it sucked!

And as Jenna obviously knows: The ONLY safe place for a car seat is IN the shopping cart. Never on top.

Cat on


I’ve been so busy since your last blog that I don’t remember if I commented or not but if not – THANK YOU! I had a similar experience with the worry about bonding with my daughter and you put it so well it brought tears to my eyes – but in a good way. Thank you for sharing your lovely girl with us and your experiences too. I can see you love her more than life which is how it should be.

To be honest you remind me a lot of myself as a new mom – and not much has changed in the nearly three years my princess has been part of my life. She is the most important thing in my world and I think I rate pretty high in hers too. And I know you are for Gray too!

Congrats and welcome to the crazy club.


Michelle B. on

I love her blog and I don’t even have children yet! πŸ™‚

Cyndi S on

Hello Jenna and beautiful baby Gray, This is actually my first time ever posting on anything like this. With that being said, I love your blogs and the beautiful pictures to illustrate! Your stories are so funny,I find myself laughing out loud. I realize how much I miss the baby stages, as my boys are 20,17, and 12. Please keep blogging, and enjoy her! When they say they go grow up too fast, its so true!

Shana on

Love your blog, my daughter just turned 1, it’s been a trip!! If using a sling isn’t possible (ie she’s sleeping and you dont want to wake her in the carseat) I found some tricks for loading up groceries. One, use the space underneath the cart to stack stuff up. Two, you can hang a bag from the back of the cart (under the handle, there are two upside down U shapes that you can hang two bags off of (a bagger showed me this, super helpful). Good luck!

Rhonda on

How darn Cute are ya’ll… Thanks for the blog. it’s so much fun to read. partly because I can so RELATE and because you make it pretty darn funny! The pics are precious!!

Jholmar on

I love your sense of humor! You crack me up!

Grocery shopping with a baby can get a little difficult, but just wait til you have a food chucking toddler AND a newborn! My 1st trip solo to the grocery store with my newborn and 20 mo old, I turned to grab something off the shelf and turned back to my toddler just in time to watch her throw a dozen eggs crashing to the ground. So embarressing! She must have some crazy go-go gadget arms or something, cause that seatbelt was snug and the eggs were in the back of the cart! lol.

The juggling act of mommyhood is crazy! What I did with the newbies at the store was leave the carseat in the car and put them in the moby wrap if it was gonna be a big shopping trip. (for a quick few things I’d just pile around the carseat in the cart) They usually slept through the transition into the moby and slept snuggly against my chest the whole shopping trip. The moby wrap takes some practice, but man is it fantastic for wee ones!

Hope to read more from you in the future!

kathryn on

Love, love, love your posts. My children just turned 3 and 6 and they always take me back to that stage of life and bring a smile to my face. The time really does go by much too quickly.

I must say that I’m surprised that no one suggested leaving Gray at home to go grocery shopping by yourself! My husband is in the military, so his work schedule was anything but consistent, but most grocery stores have early and late hours, which I would use to my advantage. I would take my children for small runs during the week where I only needed a few things and then do the “big run” by myself at some point when my husband was home.

I found that my husband really enjoyed the time alone with the kids when I wasn’t around to “help” him. At first I used to give him a detailed account of what the baby/children might need while I was gone, to which he just smiled and nodded his head. I finally learned that he would figure it out, just like I did, and feel the same amazing sense of bonding that I did in doing so.

Hearing the report of everything I missed while shopping was my favorite part of returning home…that at scooping up my baby/children in my arms again. It’s amazing how much one can miss their children after being gone for just an hour!

RW on

Glad to see you’re doing well Jenna. Congrats on the little on!

forevercelebrations2012 on


I just want to say I love your name and I love your blogs! I am not a mommy yet but, I thoroughly enjoy your candid posts and I always look forward to reading about your experiences.

PS. Baby Gray is so adorable!! Congratulations!

Jules on

Hey Jenna,

Love reading your blogs. Looks like you’re adjusting well to mommyhood! You have a beautiful baby girl…enjoy!

missmiggles on

Jenna, you are wonderful – I love reading your blog!

I never used a carrier for my kidlet, I’m not that coordinated, I just always made sure I had another human (usually my mom) with me to push the stroller while I pushed the cart – that way we got a visit in at the same time πŸ™‚

And don’t listen to the ‘cloth diapers are awesome’ people, I tried them with mine and they failed miserably, so Pampers it is … although I have kept them all and hope to use them if/when I have another one – they ARE wonderful but there is still something to be said for the disposable πŸ™‚

Sarah on

Your daughter is positively beautiful and you have an adorable family! Many blessings!!!!