Category Archives: Jenn

The Ultimate Blog Party 2014


Ultimate Blog Party 2014

Hi, I’m Jenn! This is my 4th year participating in The Ultimate Blog Party and after four years I’m not sure how many different ways I can introduce myself without sounding repetitive, so this year I put together a little video that describes my blog.

(Watch video here)

Coolest Family on the Block is about birthdays, holidays, traditions, and family fun. I also love vlogging and blogging about myself and whatever pointless, sarcastic thing pops into my head, but I do all of that over at my other blog: I Make Myself the Queen.

You can read more about me on my about me page (duh) and over at my personal blog I Make Myself the Queen.

Coolest Family on the Block: Top 10 Posts of 2013

Please leave me a comment and tell me about your blog! Give me a shout out on social media so that I can follow you back!

ULTIMATE BLOG PARTY
Ultimate Blog Party 2013
Ultimate Blog Party 2012
Ultimate Blog Party 2011


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Ultimate Blog Party 2013


Ultimate Blog Party 2013
I’m using this post for the Ultimate Blog Party and North East Bloggers Network: Getting to Know You link up.

Hi, I’m Jenn! Welcome to my blog!
This is my 3rd year participating in the Ultimate Blog Party and I am so excited to meet some new bloggers and get re-acquainted with my favorites. I know how these blog parties can be. You’re trying to visit and comment on as many blogs as possible so there isn’t a lot of time to read a non-sensical diatribe by a long-winded stranger. For those of you in a rush here are the bullet points:

*Christian
*Wife
*Stay-at-Home-Mom
*1 preschool girl, 1 toddler boy, 1 small dog
*Domestically Challenged Lazy = Dirty house
*Fashion = Pajamas
*Family = important, traditions = fun
*Funny, haha!

Me blog. You read.
Blog friends? Yay!
Follow? Thank you!

Comments = 🙂
Thanks for visiting!

For those of you with more time and a longer attention span, read on. Coolness, awesomeness, and hilarity will ensue. You don’t want to miss it. There will be much laughter…it will all be my laughter, but still…

ABOUT ME

I live near Pittsburgh, PA. I’m a wife to Cool Daddy and stay-at-home mom to 3.5 year old daughter, Adaline, and 14 month old son, Jonathan (my clomid vbac baby). We’re the coolest family on the block and we put the “fun” in dysFUNctional! 😉

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*I hate cooking. (I consider making a sandwich “cooking”.)
*Dirty dishes make me want to hurl on my shoes (and fyi, I’d rather clean those vomit shoes than the dishes…proof of how much dirty dishes gross me out).
*I love planning parties.
*I have a serious addiction to ice cream.
*I’m a birth and breastfeeding nerd. I think placentas are rad. I’ve never eaten one but it’s on my bucket list (just kidding…sorta).
*I totally crack myself up (I apologize in advance)!

ABOUT MY BLOG

01 MY DOCUMENTS02

I try to keep my blog focus on creating traditions and family fun and reasons to ditch the housework and spend time with your kids. Sometimes I post about myself and the kids and which pajamas I’m wearing underneath the boogers today (I’ll tell you now…I’m probably wearing the same pajamas that I wore yesterday. And the day before that.). The truth is that the actual “spend time with your kids” part kinda keeps me from blogging as often as I’d like…and that’s okay. Occasionally the blog will go silent while I tend to things in the real world.

Glued to Mommy

Glued to Mommy

Each year in April I co-host the annual No Housework Party linky with Non-Domestic Mama. Be sure to stop by and link up any (new or old) housework or anti-housework related posts here. (Don’t forget to add a link back or a No Housework Party Button within your post.) If you don’t link up, that’s okay, I’ll just weep buckets of tears and eat snack cakes while I rock in the corner to take the pain away.

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WHERE YOU’LL FIND ME

I’m prepared for the massive amounts of subscribers that I’m going to acquire any minute now begging me, “Please share your social media links with us, Cool Mama, so that I can follow you every minute in stalker-ish fashion and never miss a moment of your riveting and entertaining bloggy ways!” Well, for you, pretend random stalker-follower from the future, I will do anything. If you’ve fallen in love with me already (it happens, people…don’t fight it) and decided that you just can’t live without me another moment then I’ve made it very easy for you to stalk my every bloggy move.

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, You Tube and more. You can find follow and friend buttons, RSS, and email subscription in the header, on the top of the right sidebar, at the very bottom of the blog, and at the bottom of every post. You’ll probably want to subscribe or follow one of those ways. Or all of them…there’s no shame in being a little excessive. We applaud it around here.

I’m not desperate, I’m just thorough. Very, very thorough. Ahem.

If you do follow me please leave me your links in a comment or message where you’re following at so that I can follow back (as in an “@” on Twitter, post on my FB wall, etc.). Thanks!

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

10 Things I’d Rather Do Than the Dishes


I truly hate doing the dishes so much that I felt it necessary to give you a list of things I’d rather do than the dishes so that you can truly understand my distaste.

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10 Things I’d Rather Do Than the Dishes
1. Pluck my eyebrows
2. Clip my toenails
3. Clean the dog’s ears
4. Wipe boogies
5. Watch Elmo’s World 3,000 times
6. Change a poopy diaper
7. Clean the toilets (Yeah, you read that right.)
8. Repeatedly bang my head against a wall
9. Drive a sharp object into my skull
10. Push a nearly 10 lb baby out of my nether-regions

No Housework Party

Related Posts:
*My Least Favorite Chore

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Me Time


This post is for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop #5.) What was the occasion? Write about the last time you stayed in a hotel. I also linked up #3.) A lie you told here.

I love my kids. I love being a mom. But when my husband asks me what I want for Mother’s Day I’m one of those awful mom’s that says that I just want to be alone. You know, peace and quiet and all that jazz. Last year my hubby had already given me the one thing that I wanted for Mother’s Day. Still I found myself needing a break and I figured I could play the Mother’s Day card and score a little “me” time.

Last year about a week after Mother’s Day my husband and daughter dropped me off at the Holiday Inn for two nights.

Cool Daddy took Adaline during the days and at nights my mom stayed at our house while hubby stayed in the hotel with me. I was a little freaked out about staying in the hotel alone overnight…and also we were trying to conceive.

I said goodbye to my family…

…and then I was all alone.

I had big plans for the weekend. I was going to get a massive amount of blogging done, or maybe do a lot of reading.

Except I didn’t do any of those things. I didn’t accomplish hardly anything and I spent most of the time laying around watching tv. But that’s just what I needed. I get plenty of “alone time” at home with my mom and husband taking Adaline off my hands every now and then, but this was different. Being outside of my own home made a huge difference. It can be hard to relax there because there’s always something that needs to be done and even if I choose not to do it I sit around thinking about how I should being doing that instead of trying to relax. It would be like someone who works at an office trying to take their vacation at the office and staring at stacks of files the whole time. My home is my office. At the hotel there was no laundry to do, no chores taunting me, no car doors slamming or dogs barking. It was so quiet and peaceful and relaxing and I was sad to see it end.

Now nearly a year later I find myself needing another mom-cation in the worst way. Remember the aforementioned baby-making? Well…it worked, and now I am the proud mama to a 2 ½ year old girl and a 6 week old baby boy.

As you can imagine there’s a lot of crying, and rocking, and nursing, and sleep deprivation going on.

And on the days that I’m really lucky there’s little gems like this…

(Yes, that is baby poop. Everywhere.)

Not only is my little man demanding but now his big sister has decided to dig deep and get in touch with the “terrible” part of her “terrible twos”. In the past two days alone there have been tears and tantrums like I’ve never seen followed by lots of “I don’t like you.” and “You’re a bad mommy.” It’s been super-fun.

The hotel is screaming my name but I have no choice but to ignore it until my little man is sleeping through the night. I’ve forgotten what quiet sounds like…I guess I’ll find out in 2013.

Related Posts:
*My Mother’s Day Gift 2011
*Happy Mother’s Day 2011

Other Writer’s Workshop Posts:
*09-22-11 A time you felt wronged by a teacher:
I sold my teacher what?!
*07-13-11 A bad day: Oh, no he didn’t!
*07-13-11 Has your child thrown a temper tantrum in public?
Create a video describing what happened and how you handled it.
: And so it begins… (Video)
*07-06-11 A list of 10 old TV shows you’d like to make a comeback.: 10 Shows I’d Like to Make a Comeback
*06-15-11 Share a Summer Camp memory.: Youth Camp Stinks
*05-25-11 Write about a time you got in BIG trouble as a kid.
The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*05-18-11 Describe a time when your child said or did something that made you laugh out loud.: Funny Things Adaline Says (Video)
*05-18-11 What was your big dream for yourself when you were 18 and had graduated from high school?: Dreams and Aspirations
*05-18-11 List ten favorite things about one of your favorite people.: 15 Reasons Why My Hubby is Awesome
*05-11-11 Write a love letter to someone (some thing?) you love.
The One That Got Away
*04-06-11 A rule I broke: In School Suspension

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!


This post is for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop #3.) A lie you told. I also linked up #5.) What was the occasion? Write about the last time you stayed in a hotel here.

I made a friend at school in Kindergarten. I think her name was Amber, but I’m not sure. One day I told Amber that I was going to be having a birthday party at Brady’s Run Park. I was not. What was actually going on was that our church was having the Sunday School Picnic at the park fairly close to my birthday. I knew that it wasn’t my birthday party…but I told her that anyway. I had forgotten all about it until we were at the Sunday School Picnic. Our family was at the shelter when a car pulled up. A little girl with a wrapped present got out of the car. Oops…busted! I had to tell my mom, and Amber, and her mom that I had lied about my birthday. I really don’t recall getting into a lot of trouble. In fact I remember our moms telling us that we could have a play date and maybe I could even ride the bus home with Amber one day (which was exciting for me because I was a “walker”). Then Amber and her mom got back into the car with the present and drove away. I don’t have any memories of Amber after that. I know that we never had our play date and sometime before the end of the year she moved away (probably to a place where people tell the truth). Amber did not come to my real birthday party that year. I’m not sure if it’s because we didn’t invite her, or if she just didn’t believe me, or if she had already moved away by then. I have absolutely no idea why I lied. It was very out of character for me. In fact while preparing for my Mommy’s Piggy Tales posts I asked my mom if she had any cute stories of me at this age. She told me that I was such a good girl all the time, I never did anything wrong, and there just isn’t anything funny about a little girl who’s always behaving herself.

The thing that I find weird about this story is…how did two 5 year old girls get the details right? How did I tell Amber the exact day, time, and place with shelter number to come to? How did she then relay that information to her mother…correctly? Why did her mom just take her to a birthday party without there being a written invitation and without speaking to my mother first? I have no idea! But aside from the lying, those were some great communication skills at work!

This post was originally included in the post Dancing in a box for my Mommy’s Piggy Tale series. That original post has been edited to create this new post.

My Piggy Tales:
*My Birth Story: I’m always late!
*Ages 3-5: Dancing in a box
*Age 5 Kindergarten: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!
*Age 6 First Grade: There’s a bra in my lunchbox!
*Age 7 Second Grade: Bossy Wheels and Shady Deals
*Age 8 Third Grade: I will not talk in class
*Age 9 Fourth Grade: I didn’t really need those fingers anyway!
*Age 10 5th Grade: Nothing’s Scary in the Fifth Grade
*Age 11 6th Grade: Jenny Got Ran Over by her Grandma
*Age 12 7th Grade: Youth Camp Stinks
*Age 13 8th Grade: “Talent” Show
*Age 14 9th Grade: (N)O Christmas Tree
*Age 15 10th Grade: The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*Age 16 11th Grade: Acrophobia Gets You the Good Seats
*Age 17 12th Grade: In School Suspension

My Young Adult Years
*Dreams and Aspirations: The Long Road There
*Friends and Fellowship: Friends Don’t Get Friends Grounded
*My First Job
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 2
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster with a Plastic Fork

You can find links to posts about my 1st-5th birthdays here: Celebrating 30 Years in 30 Days

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

1 Week Left! (3rd Trimester Recap)


Today I am 39 weeks which means only one more week to go (maybe)! Here’s what I’ve been up to (pregnancy-wise) during this trimester since my last update.

(2011-11-16 28w3d)

At 28 weeks I had an appointment. I found out that I passed my glucose test, baby’s heart-rate, and my blood pressure and fundus measurement were good. This was my first appointment with “Dr. Motormouth”…called such because of his tendency to say a lot quickly and not give you much opportunity for questions. He didn’t seem concerned about the VBAC either way but was sure to let me know that I can (and should probably) schedule a c-section anyway because I can always cancel it and the schedule fills up quickly. I declined. He also gave me a VBAC consent form to sign.

(2011-11-17 28w4d) Total Weight Gain: 19.2 lbs

Signing the VBAC consent form.

(2011-11-20 29wks)

Thanksgiving Day.
It looks like I smuggled the turkey under my shirt!
(2011-11-24 29w4d)

Around this time I stopped the prenatal workouts that I’d started the month prior. Mostly just from being busy and tired.

(2011-11-27 30wks)


(2011-12-04 31wks)

At 31 weeks I had another appointment with “Dr. Sunshine” (see this post for more info). My sister had to take me to this appointment since Cool Daddy had to work. I gave her my signed VBAC consent form and she started right away with the negativity. Without getting into much detail about our exact conversation she just kept repeating to me that I might need another c-section, that I was “making it harder on myself” for attempting a natural birth, and then nearly yelled at me about needing to understand that they might just have to take this baby by c-section. Golly-gee, that appointment was a lot of fun. I was infuriated, however, instead of arguing with her I just nodded and said, “I understand.”. I called my husband on the way home and I was in tears for fear that I would end up with this same OB again for delivery. My husband calmly told me not to worry and that when I’m in labor we’ll simply call and find out who the doctor is and if she’s there…we’ll go to a different hospital. I was so proud of him for understanding how important this is to me 🙂
All of that aside, that day once again baby’s heart rate and my blood pressure were good (she didn’t measure my fundus). And thankfully I haven’t had to see Dr. Sunshine at an appointment since then and shouldn’t have to.

(2011-12-09 31w5d) Total Weight Gain: 21 lbs
Don’t let my smiley face fool you…I was furious!

Here is where I tell you that on 12/13 I came down with a stomach flu and was sick all day. Worse than that my husband came down with it 3 days later…the very day we were supposed to go for our 3D/4D ultrasound. I called everybody that I knew to try to get a ride up there for the appointment, but nobody could take me. We couldn’t reschedule because they were booked up clear through January. So disappointing 😦
On the plus side after I had that stomach bug the little guy started moving around like crazy. I really hadn’t been feeling him too much before that. Maybe it was just coincidence but after being sick he became much more active…particularly in the evenings. I love baby wiggles 🙂

(2011-12-18 33wks)

At 33 weeks I had another appointment. This one was with “Dr. Tiny” (she’s seriously little and thin). I asked her all of the same questions I’d asked Dr. Sunshine at my previous appointment. Somehow she managed to answer everything without raising her voice, being negative, or raining gloom and doom down upon me. Fancy that.

(2011-12-23 33w5d) Total Weight Gain: 22.2 lbs

On Christmas Eve my nephew became very interested in my bump and it quickly became the favored source of entertainment among the toddlers.

Which then led to this…

For our 2nd annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition I decided to deck the bump out in style.
I know…that sweater vest is awesome-sauce!
(2011-12-24 33w6d)

New matching jammies for the whole family is another Christmas Eve tradition of ours. This year I went with the grand-daddy of all Christmas pjs…red footed long johns with a drop seat! Don’t be jealous.

(Left: cousin Aunia Center: Jenn and her big belly Right: sister Jess)

After Christmas I had maternity photos taken.
Here are a few of my favorites.
(2011-12-26 34w1d)




Another OB appointment with Dr. Tiny. Everything went well.
(2012-01-04 35w3d) Total Weight Gain: 24.6lbs
Apparently if you take photos with a crappy cell phone it will result in you looking like a squashed mushroom from Super Mario Brothers.

So…a hippo gets dressed up for a wedding…
(2012-01-07 35w6d)

My sister-in-law got married. She looked beautiful and thin therefore I will not be posting her picture here 😉 Seriously, though, I do hope to write a post in the future about Adaline’s experience as a flower girl. Anyway, there was a wedding and I went to it and I was all big and I totally shook my pregnant groove thang on the dance floor. Coincidentally this causes complete strangers to fear that your water will break before their very eyes.

By the way…a few days after this I caught a head cold (which I got from Adaline) and the stuffy/runny nose continued for several weeks. Nice.

OB appointment with “Dr. Favorite” (She’s been my favorite since before I got pregnant with Adaline. She’s that doctor that I saw for preconception/infertility treatments as well.). My blood pressure and fundus measurements were good and baby’s heartrate was good in the 150s. I had to be swabbed for the Group B Strep test and had to do a clean catch sample so they could check for a UTI.
(2012-01-11 36w3d) Total Weight Gain: 26.4 lbs

This OB appointment was with “Dr. Lurch” (he’s quiet and kinda creepy with a mortician vibe to him). Everything was good and baby’s heartrate was 137. I didn’t have an internal exam (yay!).
(2012-01-19 37w4d) Total Weight Gain: 28.4 lbs

(2012-01-22 38wks)

Another appointment with “Dr. Tiny” went well. Blood pressure, fundus, and heartrate were all good. Internal exam, bleh, but showed I’m making some progress. I experienced some pain and difficulty walking the rest of the day.
(2012-01-25 38w3d) Total Weight Gain: 28.4 lbs

(2012-01-29 39wks)


And here are the weekly belly shots from my 3rd trimester.
(Click photos to enlarge)

As far as pregnancy symptoms go…

My heartburn has been on and off. It’s unpredictable.
For the most part I don’t ever seem to get back or rib pain anymore.

Around 37 weeks my belly started to get super itchy and within a week I developed a rash. I asked the doctor and she didn’t think it was PUPPP rash and said it just seems to be irritated, dry, stretched skin. The itching has lessened over the past few days and the rash hasn’t spread.

I’ve been having hip pain during the night for most of the third trimester. This past weekend it’s getting worse and sometimes I can barely walk even during the day as they pain has also spread to my pelvis.

This weekend I’ve experienced an increase in Braxton Hicks contractions.

Since it’s unlikely that I’ll post again before baby boy gets here I suggest keeping an eye on my Facebook page for baby updates. I’ll probably post the birth announcement there long before I get a chance to blog about it.

Make your predictions now…
When do you think baby boy will get here?
How big do you think he will be?

(If this helps…Adaline was 5 days late and she was 8lb6oz 21.5”.)

Related Posts

Click for the latest pregnancy news
*Our Infertility Story: The Short Version
*Trying to Conceive: Take 3 (Secondary Infertility)
*Trying to Conceive Tuesday (Take 3 Continued)
*Wordless Wednesday: Two Lines
*Early Ultrasound 7 Weeks 2 Days
*Early Ultrasound 9 Weeks 2 Days
*The Night I Got Arrested and Changed My Name to David (not really): A trip to the ER, Ultrasound 11 Weeks 4 Days
*NT Ultrasound 12 Weeks 4 Days
*Half Way There! 20 Weeks
*It’s a…
*Wordless Wednesday: Is That a Pumpkin Up Your Shirt?
*Third Trimester Already?!: 2nd Trimester Recap (Weeks 20-27)
Cool Baby Boy due 02/05/2011
(Clomid baby) VBAC hopeful
🙂

Lilypie Maternity tickers
Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!