Jenna von Oy’s Blog: A Big Thanks to the Little Guy

11/25/2013 at 11:00 PM ET

Celebrity blogger Jenna von Oy is a new mama!

Best known for her roles as Six on 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, 36, 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, in May 2012. She is now 18 months old.

You can find her on Facebook and Twitter @JennavonOy, as well as posting on her weekly blog, The Cradle Chronicles.

In her latest blog, von Oy expresses gratitude for the gadgets and gizmos that have given her an edge in motherhood.

Jenna von Oy Blog Gray Mimosa Arts Photography

It’s that time of year when we conduct November’s annual rite of passage, gathering around the family table and mercilessly stuffing our faces full of mashed potatoes, chestnut dressing, and turkey (or turducken, if you’re slightly more ambitious with your culinary skills).

We join hands and give thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us throughout the year, reminisce about the time Uncle Bob spilled his eggnog in the cranberry sauce (talk about “sauced”), and dream of a utopian future which will enable us to beam in robot housekeepers who won’t bemoan the number of pesky after-dinner dishes piling up in our kitchen sink.

Once the harvest meal is through, we crash on the couch in a supposed Tryptophan-induced stupor, absent-mindedly watching the Macy’s Day Parade and pretending to be interested in the football games that follow, before foolishly over-indulging in round two of the day’s leftovers and repeating the grisly cycle yet again.

In anticipation of the forthcoming December holidays, some of us begin our yearly trek to the far corners of our attic to fetch ornaments and stockings (or other related symbols of the season), grumbling about untangling Christmas tree lights and wondering how last year’s evergreen is still managing to scatter prickly little needles across our living room, despite its current status as garden mulch. If we’re lucky, our children have come down from their pumpkin pie sugar high before bedtime, and we aren’t up all night nursing tummy aches — theirs or our own — or having night terrors about drunken mall Santas and 4 a.m. Black Friday shopping sprees.

But I digress. Despite the holiday chaos and impending post-Thanksgiving malaise, the point of November’s celebratory feast remains. Appropriate to its namesake, I’m thankful for every bit of it. I hope some of what I’m grateful for is a given — that my past blog posts have exposed, and properly honored, my gratitude for my loved ones and the gifts we’ve been granted.

I’m optimistic that most of you read between the silly and sarcastic lines I write, and see through to the intentions beneath them. Because all joking aside, I’m exceedingly thankful for the ability to wake up every morning to the man I love and our enchanting, wondrous daughter. I absolutely adore being a wife and mommy, and nothing makes me happier than spending my days chasing after a little girl who never stops challenging the amount of love I thought I was capable of possessing in one lifetime! The extent of my appreciation cannot fit within the confines of this post; the only thing truly large enough to hold it all is my heart.

With that said, and in keeping with the Thanksgiving spirit, I wanted to offer you a somewhat satirical rendition of a list of parent-related items I’m especially thankful for this year. Having a baby has made me infinitely more conscious of how I’ve taken smaller details for granted in the past. So this year, when I sit down to extend my acknowledgment and praise on Turkey Day, I’m giving some of those vital helping hands a little love too. In no particular order:

Roomba: You are one hell of a workhorse. Thank you for cleaning up wayward goldfish crumbs, the miscellaneous vegetable peels that miss the compost can, and the sporadic piles of paper strips that accumulate when my daughter succeeds in getting a hold of the napkin dispenser.

You allow me to enjoy my little girl’s penchant for making a mess, without stressing that I can’t get it cleaned up before company arrives. Not to mention, you suck up those giant dog hair tumbleweeds that collect in forgotten corners of our house, and you don’t even complain about it!

Best of all, you are a true caffeine martyr. You save me from hyperactive canines — and kids, for that matter — by digesting the fallen coffee beans that my husband always seems to send skittering across our kitchen floor as he refills the grinder. (Lord knows my life is hectic enough, without having a caffeinated Pug on my hands!)

I know we keep you busier than Charlie Sheen‘s attorney these days, but you handle it with style and grace … despite your propensity to trap yourself in the bathroom and aimlessly spin in circles for hours — which I personally find hilarious.

Jenna von Oy Blog Gray Barclay & Brandice DeVeau

Mr. Morning Cup of Coffee (and your sidekicks, Second Cup & Third Cup): You are my lifelines and my curative comrades. Thank you for your support and guidance, especially on those chilly mornings when I want to crawl back into bed and can’t or shouldn’t. You’ve gotten me through many a blog post, including this one!

Flashlight Army: I’m not exactly sure why my hubby owns more of you than he owns pairs of shoes, but I’ll admit you earn your keep. You bring new meaning to the phrase, “location, location, location!”

Thank you for helping to unearth the plethora of books, toys, crayons, and sippy cup straws our daughter hides under the couch. Without you, she’d be hoarding the entire utensil drawer under there — even the stray plastic sporks we’ve been compelled to save from random take-out orders.

Also, thank you for shedding light on the errant dog kibble that stows away under our rugs and drives our dogs crazy. Their endless pawing to retrieve the damn things makes me crazy, so you’ve essentially contributed toward my mental stability.

Jenna von Oy Blog Gray The Cradle Chronicles

Baby Proof Toilet Latch: My husband and I have discovered that you exist almost as much for the sanity of the parent, as for the safety of the child. Thank you for keeping little fingers from getting crushed under the weight of that maniacal and spastic toilet bowl lid (I swear he has it in for all of us!), and thank you for your constant protection. You are an unparalleled sentinel, saving every hairbrush, sock, lipstick, toothpaste tube, and toilet paper roll from certain death in a watery grave.

iVy iPod (my kitschy nickname for my iPod): Thank you for the constant Raffi and Little Mermaid earworms you gift me on a daily basis. You are too kind! You provide tunes while my daughter bathes, encouraging her to splash water all over the room … and the walls. And the dogs. To some, this may sound like a thankless job, but you are also helping Gray to express herself through music, and for that I am eternally grateful. Your choice of artists may not always be up my alley, but you literally (and figuratively) rock.

Elmo: Thank you for being Gray’s little buddy. She loves watching your show; you are by far the most famous TV star in our house! Gray is especially fond of the fact that your picture is on the front of her current set of diapers, and she’s a big fan of your Potty Time with Elmo book lately, so … perhaps I should also thank you for any future assistance you can offer in that department.

Sir Step Stool: Pretty soon Gray will be taller than me, and I swear you won’t be quite as overworked and underpaid. In the meantime, thanks for helping me stow every fragile/sharp/inedible/irreparable/irreplaceable item out of Gray’s reach. Oh yeah, and bonus points for being collapsible, so you aren’t providing her with yet another piece of furniture to climb on!

Jenna von Oy Blog Gray The Cradle Chronicles

Hat Posse: I appreciate that you don’t discriminate — that your clique encompasses every shape, size, and level of fashion-awareness. You don’t need to be Haute Couture to make my daughter smile, and you manage to make her do that without fail. Turns out, you are the one thing that can thwart a foul mood in our house! (We discovered this one evening when she begged for you amidst tears and sniffling, then immediately started laughing once you were atop her head.)

Despite the fact that I swore you and your kind off after a case of oversaturation during the Blossom years, you’ve restored my faith. You’ve cured teething woes just by being present, and proven to be a successful source of distraction when a tantrum is on the horizon.

The Crayola Crayon Coterie: Thank you for providing Gray with endless hours of fun and entertainment, even if you aren’t fond of sticking to the coloring book playground we’ve designated for you. I’m hoping one of these days your crew will stop “accidentally” wandering onto our refrigerator and front door, but I think I can see through to forgiving your transgressions. Particularly since you amuse my budding artist long enough for me to cook dinner!

Jenna von Oy Blog Gray The Cradle Chronicles

Disinfecting Wipes: Thank you for cleaning up after the aforementioned “Crayon Coterie.” Those guys can get a little out of hand, and you’re always there to swoop in and save the day. Likewise, you do a remarkable job of sanitizing our grocery store carts before we wheel around the produce aisle, which I imagine staves off some of those foul, nasty germ miscreants.

As a side note, I also owe you some kudos for getting the crusty oatmeal off of the couch cushions yesterday, and the Basset Hound drool off of the curtains last week.

Kitchen Pots & Pans: You assist me in feeding my family and you double as an impromptu drum set for my kid. What more can I ask for?

Water: Most folks simply see you as good ol’ H2O, but I know better. You’ve taught my daughter to drink through a straw, kept her from being obsessed with sugary juice drinks, cleaned strawberries off of her face and paint off of her clothes, and let her endlessly splash you around during tub time. Best of all, you tame her Einstein hair, which is no easy feat, let me tell you!

Jenna von Oy Blog Gray The Cradle Chronicles

Boogie Wipes: This should be self-explanatory. You deserve a standing ovation for keeping Gray’s nose happy and snot-free. I don’t know how you do it, but you actually inspire her to ask me to clean her nose, instead of running for the hills every time a box of tissue makes an appearance. How awesome are you??

In fact, I’m so grateful that I’ve even written you your very own ditty to the melody of that funky 70’s disco tune, “Boogie Nights.” It’s a pretty catchy interpretation, if I do say so myself! (That is, if you like waxing poetic about slime.)

And last but not least…

Her Excellency, Madame Glass of Wine: Your occasional presence, after our sweet baby is off in dreamland for the night, is much appreciated. Every now and then, we like your company at the end of a long and trying evening, so thank you for offering my husband and me an opportunity to celebrate the success of getting through another day of parenting!

We aren’t always graceful or perfect in that undertaking, but we sure do love every minute of it! You remind us to stop and take a moment out for ourselves, and you encourage us to put our feet up for a few minutes, appreciate our alone time together, and cherish all of the wonderful memories from the day.

We’ve collected many special bottles of you over the years, thanks to special occasions and our travels, and it has been nice getting to know each and every one of you. A toast to your friendship!

Obviously, the above list is a partial one. Nary a day goes by that I don’t realize how indebted I am to the various gadgets and gizmos that aid and abet my parenting! The truth is that motherhood requires assistance, and I’ve found it can come through a myriad of different channels: family members, friends, teachers, medical professionals and apparently, even miscellaneous household products.

I hope I’ve made you laugh a bit, and maybe even opened your eyes to the wonderful world of indispensable inanimate objects. They can be our parenting partners in crime! So this Thanksgiving, as you sit down to spread heartfelt love and thanks to those around you, I urge you to give a brief round of applause for the little guys … because no one should be exempt from a little validation. Even robot vacuums.

Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, blessed, and thankful holiday season!

Until next time…

 – Jenna von Oy

P.S. Any reference to a specific brand or item in my blog is because I felt it would make the post funnier, or give you more insight into what we actually use around the house. I wasn’t compensated for any of these mentions, and it doesn’t denote any sponsorship by

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Showing 7 comments

Abbie on

You and your daughter are adorable and I love reading your blog. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tee Tee on

Alright, I have to admit it… you are my all time favorite blogger and you are never, ever allowed to stop writing! ::grins:: Jenna, you’ve just got quite a way with words and I so enjoy reading your blog posts! Happy Thanksgiving to you, Brad and little Gray! Oh, and the fur babies, too!

Mommytoane on

OMGoodness I loved this! After a long day of the drain clogging, internet crashing, homework frenzy,dinner rush, laundry pile up and a sleepless night, this has inspired me and brought a few giggles into my day. Now I’m thinking of a blog post on my daughter’s blog with all her favorite things!

Keep it coming! Gray is an absolute doll!

Stacey on

Loooooved this, I love your blog, so much so that when I see it, I wait until I have uninterrupted time to read it, like when the hubs and munchkin are asleep. And boogie wipes, seriously love them.


what a great way to look at all those things that never get thanks. Your blog is so fun to read and I look forward to each and every new one you write.

Have a great holiday this year with your wonderful and beautiful family.

Mandy on

I love your blogs & relate to a lot on your list. Our daughter’s are around the same age so I am right there with you.

4mom on

Wonderful! So true!