Category Archives: Wordful Wednesday

Volant Autumn Pumpkin Festival 2011


On Saturday, 10/08/2011, we head out to Amish country for the Volant Autumn Pumpkin Festival and the Apple Festival at the Apple Castle. Adaline was all pumped up about going to the Apple Festival 🙂

(Email and feed readers click here or click through to the blog to view the video.

These festivals are held on the same weekend every year and I always have hopes of being able to visit them both on the same day, but it’s just impossible. Last year we attended the Apple Festival first and then drove to Volant only to find that it was so packed there were no parking spaces (and Adaline fell asleep in the car anyway). The year before that we went to Volant late in the day. This year we decided to start with Volant.

We arrived right at the start of the festival and were able to find a parking space. Then we headed right for Volant Mills. There was a cute little boy sitting there on the porch just as friendly as could be saying, “Hi girl!” to Adaline, but she was not interested. It’s nice to see she’s as friendly as I am (good work, Mom).

Adaline loved finding all of the bears inside the store and riding on the rocking horse.

Next we stopped and looked at pumpkins but we didn’t pick one out since we didn’t want to carry it around with us.


After all of the pumpkin peeking we decided to go visit all of the shops locating past the mill. While we walked past the giant water wheel right next to the busy street and almost to the parking lot busy with cars pulling in and out Adaline decides she doesn’t want to hold my hand anymore and starts to struggle. Naturally there wasn’t time to explain to her that she needed to hold my hand and since desperately clinging to her arm as she tried to get away wasn’t working…I decided to pick her up and drag her across the parking lot. That’s no small feat for this 5 foot mama with a 2 year old half her size and a pregnant belly taking up all of the space. Adaline gave a real good kicking and screaming fit, “I wanna walk! I no hold hands!”. Oh, and there were about 50 people standing in line to get Amish donuts that got to witness the whole thing. I wrestled her over to the front porch of the closest store where I distracted her with a skeleton on display by getting her to sing, ” ‘Dem bones, ‘dem bones they walk around.” Once she calmed down I explained to her that she needed to hold onto my hand or Muggy’s hand when we’re outside and when we’re inside she can walk by herself. Thankfully after that we had no trouble and she held our hand every time we left a store and stayed right with us inside all of the shops. So there, judgmental onlookers…take that!

We went from store to store and everyone said how cute Adaline is (they didn’t witness the great parking lot tantrum of 2011). Sometimes she was friendly and other times not so much (“I’m not cute!”). She seemed to enjoy window shopping and would look at the stuff and then say, “Let’s go to another store!” in an excited voice. She really loved it when a store was playing music and sometimes didn’t want to leave.

Since it had been about 3 hours and I had somehow managed not to pee my pants I headed off to the bathroom. The one that I found was a single bathroom down a hallway, you’re supposed to wait outside of the hallway to give the others privacy. In front of me there was a family (Mom, Dad, and two little girls) who were taking turns using the bathroom. When Dad was in there mom came out with the girls and apologized when she saw my pregnant belly saying she knows how that is. I told her it’s no problem and that I’m used to holding it (although not for 3 hours, but she was only responsible for about 10min of that). Then all of the sudden this girl comes walking up, who looked to be my age and didn’t look pregnant, looked right at me and said, “Can I go first?” Now she did have a sense of urgency in her voice, but still…I’m pregnant. I might’ve considered it if she were elderly, or a mom with a little one, or if I flat out just wasn’t pregnant…but I am. So I told her, “I’m sorry, no. I’ve been holding it for 3 hours and when he gets out I’m going in.” And that’s exactly what happened. I made quick work of it and I apologized to her when I got out (not sure why considering I was there first…and I’m pregnant!). Ya know, having other people let you go to the bathroom first and hold open the door for you and give you their seat is part of the perks of pregnancy and apparently, I just wasn’t willing to give that up. Selfish Jenn. Selfish pregnant Jenn.

So once I got to pee and we had looked in all of the shops (yet refrained from buying anything) we were hungry. I had read online that they were going to be having a “Fancy Fall Tea” at The Meeting House, so we headed over there.

Adaline’s first tea party 🙂
Well, actually she did more purposely dropping silverware on the floor, running to look out of the window, and saying, “The nice lady will be right back.” every time the waitress left the table rather than actually having tea. But it still counts.

Tea sandwiches.

Our cute little tea pot for our table.

As usual Adaline barely ate a thing, but she had no trouble finishing off a chocolate petit four. I saw her go over to the window and look out with her little face pressed against the glass and when she walked away there was a nice chocolate smudgy mouth-print on the window. That’s classy 😉
After another visit at the window Adaline walked up to the end of the table and with big tears in her eyes and a sad voice she said, “I’m alright.” I said, “Oh honey, what’s the matter?!” to which she replied, “I touched the candle!” and burst into tears. 😦 Poor little thing. It was an electric candle, but it was hot from being plugged in all day. We got her some ice and she was fine.

Here is infamous candle. The chocolately mouth-print had already been wiped off by my mother (forgive her, she doesn’t understand yet that in the blogging world one must take photos of every little detail!).

Luckily for us there was only one lady sitting in a corner by herself sipping tea (without the sandwiches) so we had the whole place to ourselves to let the 2 year old run amuck in the tea room, throw silverware on the floor for fun, wipe her dirty mouth on the window, and burn herself. We brought a lot of ambiance to the place.
Well, if we weren’t distracting enough there were all of the passersby that would walk into the tea room see us sitting only a few feet from the door eating and drinking tea, proceed to walk around the corner going, “What is this, a tea room? Is this a shop? What is this?” to which my mom and I would reply, “Yes, it’s just a little tea room.” and then they’d mumble to themselves about how this used to be a store (an art store if they were knowledgeable) and then leave. This happened countless times. I’m not sure why everyone was so confused. When they walked in and saw my mom and I sitting at a table covered in linens and china and eating food…what did they think was going on? Did they think this was a store and we just happened to bring our own lunch, complete with tea set, and just start eating in the middle of the shop? One lady even walked up to our table (without acknowledging us) and picked up our tea pot and said to her friend, “Look at how cute this tea pot is!” There was no price tag on the tea pot. Our table was in front of a window and the tea pot was on the side of the table opposite from where the entrance was…so this lady had to walk behind my mom’s chair and pass her to the other side of the table directly across from where I was sitting and eating so that she could manhandle our tea pot. When she left I called after her, “Wait a minute! You forgot to stick your finger in the clotted cream!” Even with the chocolate mouth print on the window and the silverware on the floor we might’ve been the classiest people there.

The teapot feeling dirty and used after the unwelcome advances of a stranger…

While I didn’t get any photos of the layout inside, I did snap a picture before we went into the tea room and I put notes all over it to help you get a good visual.
(Click to enlarge the photo if you can’t read the text.)

It was time to leave Volant and I was hoping that we’d make it to the Apple Festival.

About 2 minutes before we got there Adaline fell asleep in the car. We wouldn’t have been able to go anyway because by this point (3pm) it was a sea of people and had we attempted to go we would’ve been miserable. We went home.

My only purchases for the day were Amish made bread and apple butter which I treated myself to on Sunday evening. It was sooo good and I used almost the entire jar of apple butter on those 3 slices of bread.

We’ll definitely make a trip to the Apple Castle sometime even though there won’t be a festival going on. I wonder which festival we’ll decide to attend next year…Volant or Apple Castle?

Have you attended the Volant Pumpkin Festival before? Please tell me in the comments section.

Feel free to email pictures of your trip to Volant or the Apple Castle if you would like them featured on the blog. I hope your family has a fantastically fun-filled fall! 🙂

Volant Village Shops
The Apple Castle

This post is linked to…

Related Posts:
*Pittsburgh Area Pumpkin Patches October 2011

*Beaver County Fall Festivals October 2011
Who knew there was so much to do in Beaver County?!

*The Festival of Festivals 2010

*The Spring House 2010
*The Apple Castle 2010
*Fall Family Fun 2009
*Ghosts of Halloween Past: My Childhood Halloweens
*How to make a Kleenex Box Halloween Costume
*Halloween Parade: Fall Fashion

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!

Is that an Earthquake or is my cell phone on vibrate?


Disclaimer: This blog post is about The Great East Coast Earthquake of 2011. It is also a gross overshare of all natural disasters I’ve experienced thus far. Prepare to be bored horrified, shocked, and amazed.

Yesterday while my husband was at work and my daughter was with her Grandma, I was sitting in my bed in good ‘ol Beaver Falls, PA enjoying some cake (because I work really hard and all). My dog had just run inside of his cage so that he could scratch his ears (I guess he wanted some privacy??) While he was scratching his ears I started to feel the bed move…in rhythm with his scratching. Being sarcastic as I am, even if I’m alone with no one to share it with, I thought to myself, “If he’s scratching his ears so hard that it’s moving this bed that’s going to be one big vet bill.” And then the shaking got ever-so-slightly stronger and I actually began to think that, as crazy as it might be, maybe a stray dog had somehow gotten underneath my bed and was also scratching and it was making the bed move…that was not sarcasm it was a brief, real, albeit stupid, thought that I actually had. Then, ever-the-analytical thinker, I began to think that maybe I should stay very still and assess the situation. The bed was moving ever-so-slightly and I could hear the rustling of the piles of crap that I need to clean off of the dressers. My conclusion: “Why, Pa, I do believe we just had us an earthquake.” And then I went back to eating my cake.

A few minutes later my mom called from work. She asked me if I’d felt the earth move and I told her the whole riveting story…the cake, the dog’s ears, the rustling piles of crap. (It’s the details like these that make me such a good storyteller and why 10s of you keep coming back to my blog for more. You recognize that talent and I applaud you for it.) After I got off of the phone with my mom and (sadly) finished my last bite of cake, I made my “I survived the shiver of 2011” presence known on Facebook and Twitter before calling my hubby. I called Cool Daddy and asked him if he’d survived the earthquake and he had no idea what I was talking about. So, I once again filled him in with all of the exciting details this time including all of the dramatic accounts from my mom’s office as well. He hadn’t felt a thing. He did call back later to say he’d watched the surveillance video and saw the camera shaking. Ooooo…ahhhhh.

For those of you news hounds who want the real scoop, here’s the deal…
A moderate earthquake hit Virginia Tuesday afternoon and the tremors were felt hundreds of miles away. The epicenter of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake was about 87 miles outside of Washington, D.C. around 1:51 p.m. source
…and scene.
That’s it. Everyone’s fine although many freaked out…not really sure why (let’s all calm down, people). I don’t even have any crooked pictures (at least not any that were straight before the earthquake). A few weeks ago we had a thunderstorm in the middle of the night and that shook the house more than this earthquake. And it was super loud at 4am, not something I really appreciated. Still not scary, but concerning enough to make sure my laptop was unplugged in case lightning struck…priorities, you understand.

(Note: I would like to credit this photo, but it has gone viral in a very short period of time and I’m unable to trace the original source. If you know the source, please let me know!)

Maybe I was so calm today because I’d been through this before. In 1986 when I was in the first grade my teacher set her purse in front of me and asked me to watch it while she left the room for a moment. She walked out and shortly after that our desks started shaking. It felt very similar to what I felt today. I don’t remember a single thing falling or tipping over and I don’t really remember any of the kids crying or getting upset. We all thought it was pretty cool…or at least I did.

The January 31st (1986) earthquake struck just before 11:47 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Although early media speculation had the epicenter located from Columbus to southern Canada, the U.S. Geological Survey quickly determined that the epicenter was east of Cleveland, and within a few hours the epicenter had been accurately located in southern Lake County just north of the Geauga-Lake County line. This Richter magnitude 4.96 (commonly rounded to 5.0) event was felt in parts of 11 states, the District of Columbia, and southern Ontario. Most of Ohio and western Pennsylvania experienced particularly strong vibrations that were noted by numerous individuals. The Division of Geological Survey received hundreds of telephone calls in the hours after the earthquake as did numerous federal, state, and local agencies. source

At the very end of Kindergarten on Friday May 31, 1985 there was a tornado here in Western Pennsylvania. Fridays were paydays and when my dad would get home from work we would all head up to The Big Beaver Plaza to go shopping at Jamesway (like a K-Mart or to reference some stores that are no longer in business: like a Hills or Ames). For whatever reason we didn’t go that night. I don’t remember what time it started storming, but I think that my sister and I were already in bed. Our dad was running around gathering flashlights, batteries, and radios. He said there was a tornado coming and we needed to get into the basement. Now we surely would be happy to go into our dark, dirty, cold, wet, insect-infested basement if it was going to save our lives (don’t get me wrong), but it obviously isn’t the nicest place to spend the evening. I’m not sure why my mom was so calm. I don’t know how she “knew” that we would be okay and that the tornado wouldn’t come near us. She took us out onto the porch and showed us the sky. It looked crazy, the wind was blowing everywhere it was so dark and cloudy…I don’t think that I could describe it if I tried. Then I saw (what I thought at the time was) the tornado in the distance. I’m guessing that it was just more crazy storm clouds, but I thought I was looking right at the tornado. We only looked briefly and then went back inside where we ate ice cream. I don’t remember if we ever went into the basement. Maybe my mom didn’t know that we’d be okay, but she could tell our dad was scaring us to death…so she made it fun. Who wants to go sit in a nasty basement waiting for a tornado to sweep you away? No one. That’s scary. Who wants to look at a super cool storm and then eat some ice cream? Me and my sister.

The fact of the matter is that, unlike the “no big deal” earthquakes that we’ve had, this tornado was the real deal. The terrible F3 tornado killed at least 3 people and The Big Beaver Plaza including the Jamesway was ripped to shreds.


Last year we survived Snowmeggdon 2010 also referred to as the Snowpocolypse. Snow really isn’t a big deal in PA, it’s something that we expect. Still, we hadn’t had a blizzard like this since the early 90s, so some people were freaking out. The Cool Family survived the snow by having French toast and hot chocolate.

I know that you’re amazed by my ability to come out of so many natural disasters unscathed. I’m like that dude from Unbreakable ;).

Things are pretty mild here in Western PA natural disaster-wise. We’re not prone to earthquakes or tornados (although they apparently do happen on occasion) or hurricanes or floods (although flooding is probably the most prevalent of all listed). We feel a tiny shiver and people are jumping into bathtubs the way that southerners start stocking up on bottled water when they spy a snow flurry or how people in LA start building an ark if it rains. But not me. I am cool, calm, and collected.

I rock unthreatening-out-of-character natural disasters the way that Will Smith rocks saving the world from alien beings. If you’re going to have a mild natural disaster in an unlikely area you’re going to want me there to keep things calm. I will get out the ice cream and cake and we’ll all breath deeply, sweets are key when your life is (not) in imminent danger. After said mini-disaster is over we will walk outside and see that all is right with the world and you will thank me for saving your nerves during such a trying time. You are welcome. But if while we’re gazing at the sky with a new appreciation for life we notice any ufo’s coming close…you’re gonna have to call Will Smith ‘cause mama don’t play that (and I certainly don’t share my sweets with aliens).

Disclaimer: I understand that depending on where you were during the tremor that circumstances may have been more dangerous…I am simply relaying my own, personal, completely no-big-deal experience. So far I have heard no reports of injuries or significant property damage and I pray that you and yours are all well. Also, I like to bookend with disclaimers to give us all a sense of closure. I’m sure that we all feel better now.

Where were you during The Great East Coast Earthquake of 2011, and did you feel it? Let me know in the comments!

Related Posts:
*1985: Dancing in a Box (Mommy’s Piggy Tales)
*1985: Jenn’s Unicorn 6th Birthday Party
*1986: There’s a Bra in my Lunchbox (Mommy’s Piggy Tales)
*1986: Jenn’s 7th Birthday Party (Hoss’s, rainbows, and earrings)

This post is linked to…

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!

Oh, no he didn’t!


I’ve sung my hubby’s praises on this blog before. I’ve told you why he’s so awesome, and showed you cute things he’s done, and the great Mother’s Day gift he gave me. Despite the picture I may paint here (my husband is a lot of wonderful things…but) he’s far from perfect. There are plenty of things that he does that leave me scratching my head or screaming at the top of my lungs…I just try to leave it off of the blog. Today is not one of those days, my friends.

On Friday night Adaline spent the night at my mom’s house. I woke up with a sore throat and decided to spend the day in bed. Cool Daddy had the weekend off so he was planning on painting our front steps and porch. I told him to get a color like what we already had…white with the slightest hint of blue. At some point my mom called to say that Adaline was upset and was asking for me, and since I only live a block away I tossed on some clothes to walk over to my mom’s house. I knew that I’d need to go out the back door so as not to walk on the freshly painted porch…but I decided to pop my head out of the front door to make sure my hubby had his keys. I opened the front door and saw this…
(Insert theme music from Physco here)


And then there was this

And this

Oh, yes. It wraps around the side of the house!

If this color looks familiar to you but you can’t put your finger on where you’ve seen it, let me help you.
Maybe it was here…

Or here…

Or even here…

What the…?

When I opened up the door and took a look at the paint on the porch and then looked at my husband. He had his faced all scrunched up and was bracing himself for an ear-lashing from me. “What? Why? I said white! Oh my goodness…why did you keep painting all of this, you wasted an entire day!” He gave me reasons such as, “It looked gray on the paint chip (??? I asked for white!), I thought it would lighten up as it dried (And turn to white?), I thought I should ask you to come and look at it and then I decided not to (Because your brain fell out of your ear?).

Just to give you a visual of what the previous porch color was…

Yeah, it’s just a tad off. 😉

Even though my hubby was still hard at work painting when I opened the door to this catastrophe, once I had indeed confirmed that it looked awful he was immediately embarrassed and wanted to go to the hardware store right away to get new paint before too many neighbors saw the porch. Naturally I said, “You are never picking out paint colors alone again.” So after stopping by my mom’s house to console Adaline and fill my mom in on the porch paint madness, I…with the sore throat, pregnant, having not showered yet that day, while it was 90 degrees outside…went with my husband to the hardware store.

Before we left for the hardware store I had to take photos…and since my husband was suddenly so embarrassed I hung a sign before we left lest any passerby thought we intentionally painted our porch that color (even though we sorta did).

The note reads:
Yeah, that’s NOT the right color!
(Never let Papa Smurf paint your porch!)

He showed me the paint chip he’d selected.
Yes that indeed looks very gray
(or not at all…and again I asked for “white”)

This is the color that I selected.

And here they are together.

When we got home from the store that evening my husband started putting the first coat on right away. He worked until it was dark out and I think he got everything covered with at least one coat. The next day he finished it up and here it is now…

Tada!





I had him replace the flowers in the front too since I didn’t care for the previous ones he planted over a month ago. I think the petunias look great, but it’s kinda hard to see in this light 😦

Now he has to find a way to get the blue paint off of the bricks so that it doesn’t look as though a Smurf was squashed on our sidewalk.

Believe it or not I wasn’t actually mad, I was mostly…confused.
And mildly amused…mildly.

When I went back upstairs that night before he went outside to repaint the porch he said, “I love you!” and I said, “I love you, too. Thanks for the blog post.”

This post is linked to…

3.) A bad day.
Did you see last week’s Writer’s Workshop post?
Read about 10 (Obscure) Shows I’d Like to Make a Comeback!


Related Posts:
*Large Marge Update 2: Some more stair/porch related stuff.

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!

Early Ultrasound 7 weeks 2 days


Yesterday on mine and Cool Daddy’s 8th wedding anniversary we had an early ultrasound. We were checking to see how our little one(s) were progressing. Also, since this is a Clomid baby there’s a 10% chance of twins so we wanted to see how many babies! I was 7 weeks 2 days along which means they had to do a transvaginal ultrasound.

The ultrasound tech turned the machine towards us and said that she was seeing a gestational sac and a yolk sac, but because it is still so small she wasn’t able to see the baby yet. She was going to have me come back in two weeks to check again. At this point I wasn’t crying, but I was definitely upset. I knew that not seeing a baby even this early on isn’t a great sign. I had an early transvaginal ultrasound with Adaline at 7 weeks 5 days and we were able to see her and her heartbeat really well.

Then she said that she was going to take a look around at my uterus and ovaries to see what was going on in there. While she was looking around in there she moved and twisted the probe every which way which, I’m not gonna lie, hurt quite a bit. Still I was hoping that while she was looking around in there she’d find the baby. Then she said, “I spoke too soon.” And she turned the screen around. Right away I could see slight movement inside of the sac and I said right away, “Is that the heartbeat flickering?!” She said yes! Yay!

Here’s the first ultrasound of our little one.

And just in case you can’t figure out what you’re looking at, this one spells it out for you.

The tech only saw one sac and one baby but she said that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s only one baby in there. Because the baby is so small and because she had a hard time finding it at all she said that it’s still possible there’s another in there. At this point I’d be pretty surprised if we found out it was twins. Then again she did have a much harder time than the tech that did Adaline’s ultrasound, so maybe there is another one in there that she missed.

For comparison here is Adaline’s ultrasound at 7 weeks 5 days.

The tech also said that the baby is measuring right at 7 weeks 2 days, so it’s not too small, and the heartbeat was 128 which is good for this point in the pregnancy. We’re going back in two weeks for another ultrasound to get a better look. I’m just so thankful that our little one is okay and that we were able to see the heartbeat today instead of having to wait another two weeks which would’ve been excruciating.

Related Posts
*Wordless Wednesday: Two Lines
*Trying to Conceive: Take 3: Secondary Infertility
*Trying to Conceive: Take 3 Continued
*Our Infertility Story: The Short Version

This post is linked to Wordful Wednesday at…

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!

When I Say I’m Busy…


I mentioned way back in March that my house was a mess and I needed to take a blogcation to deal with it. Well, during my “blogcation” I wrote a ton of posts, co-hosted The No Housework Party (ironic, no?) with Rachael, got the flu for two weeks, took Adaline to see the Easter Bunny, had Easter, was poked and prodded by the obgyn, had mother’s day, made a baby, redesigned my blog, and then it was June, and guess what…yeah, I never cleaned anything. Blah. The mess needs to be addressed and fast. We have a room we use for storage that’s going to have a baby sleeping in it in eight months.

Here’s what I did accomplish during my “blogcation” (researching, finding, and ordering the tables included).

But then it got junked up again and so this is what we accomplished last week….

One of the reasons why I need guest bloggers is because my computer is needed for other things. For the past two days I’ve had my laptop hooked up to my VCR and I’ve been transferring videos into digital format. Then I can either ditch or store the videos and create some much-needed space. This is going to take months. The transfer happens in real-time which means if I have 80 hours of video, it’s going to take 80 hours to transfer which means that’s 80 hours that I can’t access my email/blog. On top of my extreme exhaustion and potential nausea that may or may not begin any day now…I’m really hard at work trying to get this stuff done so that we can finally clean up this mess.

Here’s the set up that I’ve got going on.

The computer on the far left is being used to transfer audio cassettes into digital format. My laptop is hooked up to the VCR which is transferring VHS tapes into digital format. I can be in the family room with Adaline while these two computers are busy doing their transferring thing. When I have someone to keep an eye on her, then I sit at the table and scan photos into the small black scanner to the right of the laptop. When I’m done scanning I mark the back of each photo with an “s” so that I know it’s been scanned.

Needless to say that I not only have very little time for blogging since my computer is otherwise occupied, but I also am exhausted by the end of the day and just really don’t feel like writing. I have a million ideas for great posts (oh you will love the extensive Father’s Day link list if I ever get a chance to finish it!), but after a day chasing around a toddler and/or melting my brain in front of a scanner (coupled with pregnancy brain and crazy hormones), I just can’t wrap my head around writing. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I’m rambling now because words just don’t seem to make sense to me anymore.

So the less you hear from me should be a good thing. It should mean that my laptop is hard at work transferring videos. Although I may be absent from commenting on your blogs as much as I usually do, I’d really appreciate it if you could help me show my appreciation to my guest bloggers by commenting on their posts here and visiting their blogs. They are truly helping to keep me sane.

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!

Bye-Bye Betty Bride


When I was born my maternal grandmother started a porcelain doll collection for me. Every year on my birthday and Christmas I would receive a new doll. When I was four years old I still had a bad thumb-sucking habit. I used to rub something silky, like the edging of a blanket, between my fingers and suck my thumb. I’d been known to reach up my paternal grandma’s skirt at church and grab on to her slip and suck my thumb. I had a habit that needed to be broken. I don’t remember how far into the “let’s break Jenny of her thumb-sucking habit” process we were when my aunt came up with an idea. My aunt told me that if I stopped sucking my thumb she would buy me a porcelain doll. I don’t recall whether or not I had seen the particular doll that I wanted before the offer was made or if she took me to the store afterwards to pick out my “goal doll”. All I remember is that before I had completely broken the habit I already had a specific bride doll in mind. I think that it was on display in a Hallmark store and little 4-year-old me thought that she was so pretty. I remember lying in my bed at night thinking, “I could suck my thumb and no one would see me!” and then my mom would call from downstairs, “Get that thumb out of your mouth!” (How did she know?!) I knew that I was going to have to do this honestly if I wanted to get my doll. I successfully quit sucking my thumb and the doll became mine. I named her Betty… Betty the Bride (I know, I’m so creative, right?! Don’t be jealous of my sweet, sweet naming skills.).

After years passed by I realized that Betty wasn’t as pretty as I thought she was. She was, in fact, pretty creepy. She looked like she could be the main character in a thriller about a doll that was possessed. Still, I kept her and had no plans of ever getting rid of her…4 year old me would’ve been so sad. I’d had her so long that despite her creepiness, she never gave me any nightmares 🙂

Now, I’m going to show you the only picture I have of Betty and I while I was child and I’m going to need you to focus. Remember, this is about Betty. It’s not about the Grand Ole Opry hair-do that is trying to eat my face or the giant red bow embellishing it, nor is it about the Pepto Bismal pink bedroom walls. It’s all about me holding Betty.

Have you regained your composure? Good, we can move on.

Last Saturday my mom was all like, “Hey, get over here and clean all of your crap out of my attic! Mmkay?!” asked me if I could help her clean out her attic. My mom is a thrower-outer and I’m a hoarder of memories saver. When we came across darling old Betty in a box my mom asked if I was still going to keep that ugly creepy doll. Naturally I told her “yes!”. We were going to move her into a different box and my mom picked her up horizontally with one hand under her head to hand her to me. Then we heard a crack…Betty’s face popped off!

While no tears were shed and I knew that it gave me a reason to part with her, I was still mildly upset that my mom broke her. She said that she barely touched her and naturally I responded with, “You don’t pick a doll up by the porcelain! You should’ve grabbed her torso!” (duh!) and my mom apologized although she mostly found it funny. I knew that I was going to get rid of Betty. There was no point, despite the sentiment, to attempt to glue her back together just to stick her back into storage. So I did what any weird sane person would do and took a bunch photos so that I could preserve my memory of Betty the Bride.

If she didn’t appear creepy and possessed before…check her out now with her head detached!

My mom clearly snapped her neck on purpose, what with her hands as hot as the blazing surface of the sun and her crazy herculean kung fu grip, she could’ve done it subconsciously with very little effort. I was certain that she was the one to blame.

But then…

When I was looking through the photos that I’d taken of Betty I noticed something. I came across Betty in a box with another doll while my mom wasn’t even in the attic. I snapped a picture of her lying in the box and then moved on to other things. If you look closely (okay, you don’t even need to look that closely) at the photo you can see a white crack on the right side of Betty’s face (left in the photo). I didn’t notice it when I had seen her in the box, but I noticed it in the picture. Betty’s face had already snapped off at some point while in storage. Whether it was from age, heat, or other boxes carelessly being stacked on top…her face was broken before my mom ever touched her.

Well. I guess I owe my mom an apology.
Mom, I’m sorry that I accused you of ruthlessly killing Betty in cold porcelain. I know that you didn’t do it right then and I hope that you can forgive me.

To be honest, I’m a little glad that I can get rid of her without any guilt or regret (Betty, not my mom ;)).

Goodbye, Betty! You were dearly loved and you will be dearly missed. Thank you for inspiring me to stop sucking my thumb (I tried it again in Middle School just for kicks and hated it!). Thank you for watching over me all of those years with your eerie, blinkless stare. Your memory will now live on in the blogosphere forever.

Do you have an ugly or creepy item from your childhood that you can’t part with?
Tell me in the comments!

*Please stop by and read this guest post by Amanda from Gratefully Growing in Grace, leave her some comments, and visit her blog! Thanks!

For more posts about my childhood check out my “Mommy’s Piggy Tales”!

This post is linked to Wordful Wednesday at…

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!

%d bloggers like this: