Jenna von Oy's Blog: The Mommy Learning Curve

Please give a warm welcome to our newest celebrity blogger, Jenna von Oy!

Please give a warm welcome to our newest celebrity blogger, Jenna von Oy!

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.

She’ll next appear in Lukewarm, slated for release this spring.

von Oy, 34, wed Brad Bratcher on Oct. 10, 2010, and resides in Nashville with her husband and five dogs.

They expect their first child, a girl, in June.

You can find her on Twitter @jennavonoy.

When you consider the amount of babbling my character did on Blossom, it may not be too farfetched to deduce that I have always had an affinity for words — typically, in abundance. With that in mind, it felt fairly natural to have the folks at ask me to contribute a blog.

Truthfully, I’ve been a closet author for many years now. I’ve written and published music, started a few scripts I’ve never managed to finish, and I even recently wrote a book for young adults that I’m in the process of editing. But alas, I’m a virgin blogger!

I suppose that’s my disclaimer of sorts, and I ask for your patience as I try these shoes on for size. Which brings me to an even more exciting new endeavor I’m about to embark on … parenthood!

My impending “Mommy-dom” is overwhelming in the most wonderful of ways. Since this is our first child, my husband and I have been doing all of the reading, researching, inquiring, pondering and praying we possibly can.

We also came to the conclusion early on that, no matter how much or how often we do all of those things, we’ll never be entirely prepared for the little bundle of love and blessings that’s on her way in June. In fact, the more we study up, the more our brains seem to turn to mush!

So that said, you’ll probably sense a recurring theme in my blog entries — namely, that I am driving very slowly around the mommy learning curve. I cannot guarantee I’ll always have the answers (in fact, I may ask you for most of them), but I can certainly promise honesty and a serious dose of self-deprecating humor.

I am currently in week 23 of my pregnancy and ecstatic to be in the second trimester. My first trimester was eventful in the nausea department, so it is a relief to be back on my feet.

I’m sure many of you can relate when I say it was an all-day affair that sent me scrambling for the bathroom more than I care to admit. (Let’s be honest, no one particularly wants to donate all of their quality time to the toilet!)

I do not hesitate to say that every moment of nausea and pain has been (and still is) 100 percent worth it, but I’m admittedly a little envious of those of you who made it through the “morning” sickness war unscathed.

I, on the other hand, virtually subsisted on unsalted pretzels and Gatorade for two months before I could even consider looking at something more substantial. Even water made me gag. It’s definitely not the ideal “diet”, but it was all I could handle. (And I am a SERIOUS foodie, so that was a little rough!)

I can honestly say I wouldn’t have made it through with such aplomb, had it not been for my husband, Brad. That sweet man couldn’t have been more amazing — I was the luckiest puking, part-time couch potato in the world!

In his words, “Every night was a parlor game of ‘What can Jenna eat tonight without throwing up?'” There were zero cravings, just anti-cravings. I’m sure it was a serious practice in patience for him.

Now that I’m past that debacle, I’m back to enjoying my cooking-as-therapy routine. I’ve heard I should have enough energy to reconstruct the pyramids by now, but I’m honestly still exhausted by the end of the day.

Have you found that you are/were bouncing off the walls in your second trimester? I’d love to know if that’s just a myth!

So far, the most exciting part of our second trimester has been finding out our little one is a girl. I’ve been so convinced of this fact from day one that my husband and I have been referring to the baby as “she” and “her” from the start.

The night before our ultrasound, I told Brad, “If we find out she’s a boy tomorrow, we’re going to be turned upside down for a few days!” Our convictions had us so heavily focused on thoughts of pink leg warmers and ballet slippers, I think it would have taken us a little while to wrap ourselves around Batman Underoos and toy trains.

Don’t get me wrong — cliché though it may be, we’ve never cared about gender one way or another. We just hope to be blessed with a healthy baby. Nonetheless, it’s always reassuring to know your intuition is alive and well!

Since my Super Mom cape is on back order, we aren’t anywhere near ready to construct our nursery, our house looks like it has been hit by a cyclone, and life in general feels a bit haphazard. We have a lot of rearranging to do to make space in our home, so it’s sort of a slow-motion production. We figure we still have some time, so we’re remaining calm about it all… so far!

That said, I have a nagging feeling in the back of my head that warns me the time will go by in a blink, and June will be here before we know it.

My standard serenity mantra is: As long as our daughter knows she has parents who love her, which she undoubtedly will, she won’t mind if her room isn’t perfect when she arrives. I have faith that everything will fall into place eventually.

As you know, bringing a newborn home requires an immense amount of preparation, and one of the interesting hurdles we look forward to is having our new baby meet our five dogs.

Yes, you read that correctly … five dogs. It’s 24-hour-a-day Romper Room here at our house! My husband and I agreed a long time ago that we have a lot of love to give, and that’s one of the ways we most enjoy sharing it.

We are the proud parents of five canine children, almost all whom are rescues. (Not that you’re counting, but since there are significantly more paws than feet in our household, we like to joke that we are having a baby in order to level the playing field a bit!)

I believe that whether or not the transition goes smoothly will be dictated by how Brad and I introduce everyone to the baby. I’m sure the dogs will need to feel involved and will require some extra attention so they know we haven’t lost sight of their importance. Still, I expect there will be some quirky idiosyncrasies that surface when we bring our little girl home. It is only natural.

Ultimately, I suspect our pups will handle the change with fascination, acceptance and a surprising amount of understanding — animals amaze me that way. In fact, we have already noticed how protective they all are of my belly. More often than not, they are vying for the seat closest to it, as if it is a place of honor.

In fact, our littlest pug, Ruby, likes to fall asleep with her head resting on my stomach. Her snoring is probably equivalent to some sort of white noise machine for the little one! Watch that be the only thing that can lull our daughter to sleep when she’s born. ?

On that note, I should probably introduce you to our cast of characters, so you can learn a little bit about us…

ME: Nashville resident, part-time California resident, mom-to-be, wife, dog parent, lover of all things creative, avid reader, daydreamer, challenge seeker, Scrabble player, novice chef, foodie, wine enthusiast (though that’s severely thwarted at the moment!), amateur writer, fan of coloring outside of the lines, believer in hard work, humility, loyalty, honesty and God. Student of everything — especially parenting!!

BRAD: My husband (we met in early 2008 and married in October of 2010), best friend, and sanity manager. He keeps me from getting stressed, and his patience is unparalleled.

I have no doubt that he will be an incredible Daddy, and watching him with our little girl is one of the things I look forward to most. For the record, I also look forward to watching him change a diaper for the first time … I have a sneaky suspicion that may be a video-worthy moment.

BRUISER (Pug): My oldest, bravest, and most intuitive dog. He just turned 10, and he’s spry as ever. He has been referred to as the Colonel, as well as the Godfather. They both fit.

He has seen me through every love and loss in the last decade, and he was the first to find out I was pregnant — even before my husband! Making kids laugh is a favorite past time of his.

BAILEY (Corgi-Shar Pei mix): My sweet and loyal 8 year old — I rescued her in Los Angeles when she was a wee pup. She gets a bit territorial, but she’s a softie at heart.

If I were a betting woman, I’d put money on the fact that she’ll want nothing more than to protect our baby. I can picture her pacing back and forth in front of the crib, playing the role of sentry guard. She’s that kind of girl.

MIA “The Moose” (Basset Hound): She’s a comedienne and a hoss of a woman. At 4 years old, she’s my troublemaker, most vocal and most needy baby. Somehow it’s always the big ones who fancy themselves a lapdog!

I couldn’t ask for a more affectionate girl, and her howling never fails to make me laugh. Our dogs certainly aren’t lacking in personality! She’ll have the toughest time sharing me.

BOO (Pug): The king of neuroses, a.k.a the Woody Allen of Pug. His list of phobias seems to grow exponentially on a daily basis. In fact, we’ve recently discovered his fear of flatware and all things carbonated. God forbid there’s a vacuum or broom nearby… Evidently he has an aversion to cleaning supplies as well. I wish I could use that excuse!

Boo rescued us almost 3 years ago, and he’s a definite Mama’s boy, which I adore. I can always count on him for kisses and cuddle time. He LOVES children!

RUBY (Pug): Our little blind baby. She was so badly abused that she lost one eye, as well as the majority of her sight in the other. She is also missing patches of fur where someone put a choke collar on her — which gets my blood boiling. Her appearance can be deceiving, however — she is 10 lbs of pure sass!

She’s our resident Mr. Magoo, and she’s fearless. She’ll run head first into a tree, bark some sort of doggie cuss word at it, and keep going. She’s phenomenal.

Suffice it to say, we are one big happy bunch, who can’t wait for the arrival of our newest family member!

In advance of my next blog, if any of you fellow dog owners out there have advice on ways you’ve introduced your pups to your children, I would love to hear from you! I’m brand new to Twitter, so send me a message about it or leave me a comment here.

On that note, I think I’ve done my share of rambling. Until next time…

— Jenna von Oy

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