Coke + Skittles =

I want to know.

What happens when you take Coke (Coca Cola) and add Skittles in a BLENDER – And turn it on?

I’ve put it out there on Twitter and Facebook but here’s the deal. I want to see video of you putting Coke and Skittles in a blender. I suggest doing this little experiment outside and without any good clothing on. But alas, I don’t know what will happen. Maybe nothing.

I think it’d be safe to say there will be a sticky explosion.

It’s safe to say that any submissions will be made into an awesome blog post!

Send em to me… jana0926 (at) gmail (dot) com

Pretty little disclaimer

* Jana A and jana’s thinking place will not be held responsible for any property damaged. You are entering into this experiment on your own free will and any damage done is strictly your responsibility. Also, don’t come crying to me when your blender is royally effed up.

The Great Gift Debate

I wanna know.

Do you let your children open their gifts at their birthday parties or do you wait until after?

It’s been several years since I’ve been to a party (other than my own child’s) where the birthday boy or girl opened the gifts at the party. I am heartbroken when we get in the car and Henry asks me, “Why didn’t he open my gift?”

I know, I know, all our kids are spoiled beyond all recognition and might say something stupid.

First I want to go on record that I DO let my child open his gifts at his birthday parties. Ok, so at his first party he had a meltdown and we had to stop early but still…

Is this new trend because we* want to pack all the fun into the party and don’t want to make the kids be still?

Is it because we don’t want to waste precious (expensive if you’re paying big $$ for the party) minutes of the 2 hour party?

Is it because we don’t want to clean up the trash?

Is it because we might be embarrassed if we got the same gift somebody else brought?

Is it because we might have only spent $10 and everybody else spent $40?

*we = y’all… not me!

I think it’s more like this, honestly:

You haven’t taught your child to say “thank you” when they are given a gift.

You haven’t taught your child to say “thank you” even when they already have what they are given.

You haven’t allowed your child to roam the aisles at Target for half an hour painstakingly choosing the RIGHT gift for their best friend. The right gift that will make his face light up like a strobe light when he opens it.

You have gone yourself and picked out what you think the child might want or what’s the cutest thing out there now. OR worse, what’s bigger and better than what your child got at their last party.

You are scared YOU might be uncomfortable if something awkward happens.

You forget your child is, well, a CHILD and may or may not say something stupid (be they the birthday kid or a partier).

If you don’t want your child to open their gifts in front of their friends, how about just ask us not to bring a gift. And mean it. And that means, other parents, if somebody says “no gifts” you shouldn’t bring a gift! Maybe a card, but NOT A GIFT!

Kids are kids.

Don’t you remember being SO excited when you were invited to a party to see how much the guest of honor loved what you got them? If not, you have a cold, black heart and are a party pooper!

Don’t you remember counting down the days to your birthday and wondering what great things you would get from your buddies?

I know we all have too much. We are all spoiled freaking rotten. Adults and children. I just purged Henry’s playroom and came up with two bins of stuff to take to Goodwill. I could come up with 4 more bins if I didn’t think World War 3 would start up in my home.

Our kids don’t NEED anything. But they DO need to learn graciousness, thankfulness, humility and also disappointment. These are teachable moments. Talk to your kids about being thankful for the gifts they receive. Teach them to say “Thank you.” Teach them NOT to say “I already have that.” Teach them to write thank you notes.

These are lessons they will take with them for the rest of their lives.

Also. Let your kids be kids!

*Discuss if you wish*

The Good, The Bad and The Hideous Part 2

I’m gonna do this a little different today! I’m feeling crazy!

The Good: Henry had his first bus-riding-field-trip yesterday. He had a blast and was really more thrilled about the school bus than he was about going to Cagle’s Dairy.

The Bad: He rode on a school bus. That means he’s officially old enough to be riding on a bus.

The Good: We got a pumpkin! I’m really bad about forgetting to get one until the very last minute because they normally rot before Halloween in the Georgia heat. We got a pretty one from the youth at the church we’ve been visiting.

The Bad: The poor pumpkin has been used all week as a notepad, a stool, a bowling ball and a pencil poker. The poor pumpkin looks like it was assaulted… but I guess it was. BY A 5 YEAR OLD!

The Good: I have my first advertiser for my blog! She’s a photographer and her ad will premiere on November 1st!

The Bad: There is really no bad side to a little extra cash. It’ll help get my baby some Christmas goodies!

The Good: I’m going to VEGAS in December! I’ve never been but I am SO excited! It’s my birthday weekend, too! There’s a “thing” going on there called I (still) Do. I’m going with my friend and it’s gonna be freaking awesome!

The Bad: I’ll need some money for it. Well, to gamble and drink. Maybe I can make bunches of money and retire. So in order to combat this “bad” please feel free to send money my way. It IS going to be my birthday, ya know…

The Good: Henry is getting so grown.

The Bad: Henry has the attitude of a 13 year old girl. *eyeroll*

THE HIDEOUS

Remember the guy that wore all peach at the school pickup? Well, I thought surely it couldn’t get worse but it DID.

Yesterday, he and his wife came be-bopping up to the school, holding hands and she was carrying their other child. HE had on ALL GREEN. Imagine frog green shorts with lime green shirt on a 250 pound man. Wrong in all kinds of ways. But turn your eyes to HER. In Barney-purple leggings with a lilac shirt. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE? Are they part of a monochromatic religion or are they color blind or are they fashion-forward and (god-forbid) we’re going to be wowed when we see the Spring fashions come out?

No. I think they’re just insane idiots who don’t know how to dress.

Anyway…

Other stuff:

Henry’s birthday party is tomorrow. We are bowling with a few friends. I don’t know how well pictures will come out because it’s Cosmic Bowling where they turn off the lights and turn ON the black lights. So it may be near impossible to get good pictures!

Then Trick or Treating on Sunday! We’re going to go to our friends’ neighborhood and hit up all the houses there.

Happy Weekend to y’all…

I Knew It Was Coming

I knew this day would come. I knew to expect it. I’ve heard stories through the grapevine of it happening. I’ve heard about the tears. I’ve heard about broken hearts, but I had no idea it would happen so soon.

Henry doesn’t want me to kiss him good-bye in the carpool line anymore.

*cue waterworks*

Yesterday, as always, we pulled into the drive and he got out of his buckle. Grabbed his backpack and got ready to exit the car. The following exchange occurred:

Me: Ok, Henry, let me get a kiss.

HL: (reluctantly leans in to kiss me – quick kiss – looks around)

Me: What are you looking for?

HL: I was making sure my friends didn’t see me.

Me: (can you feel the heartbreak already?) Why wouldn’t you want them to see you?

HL: Because I’m too old to kiss you good-bye.

Me: (crushed to the core) You’re never too old to kiss your Mom.

HL: (very shyly) Well, they made fun of me when you left the class the other day and I gave you a kiss.

Me: (I mean really, people, can you feel my pain?) It’s time to get out and head on in… Have a great day and I’ll see you this afternoon.

HL: Bye Mom, I love you.

*sigh*

I don’t even have words to follow that. I know my boy is growing up and it’s been SO evident the last few weeks. His face has changed, his attitude has gotten, uh, “older” and he’s shot up at least an inch.

The fact that he’ll be 6 on Tuesday is scary to me. How can he be 6 already? How can he be in kindergarten? How is he old enough to think that kissing his Mom bye in the morning is uncool?

Top Ten Vacations

Top Ten Vacations

Thanks to Katie over at Sluiter Nation, I’m going to present y’all with my top ten vacation memories of all time. I know you were all just dying to know what vacations were memorable to me as a child, teen and adult…

Ready for the countdown?

10. Eggs of Dawn: Was that a typo? Shouldn’t it be eggs AT dawn? Uh, no. I have no idea how old I was, maybe 8 or 9 but my sister and I were at St. Simons with my Mimi and BoPo for a week like we did every year. We always had a hotel with a kitchenette so we could eat a few meals in, rather than going out for all 3 meals of the day. My BoPo was the cook in the family. One morning he made up the most fabulous smelling eggs, bacon and grits. They brought us our plates, I took a bite of my eggs and SPIT THEM OUT. All over the place. They were NASTY! And if any of you knew my grandparents, this was NOT acceptable. But something was wrong with them. Turns out… BoPo picked up the Dawn soap instead of the oil and cooked the eggs in the DAWN. So to this day I will not buy and can’t smell Dawn dishwashing liquid. Gag.

9. But the Plane’s Still Here: In June of 2002, we went with our friends Newt and Amy to New Orleans for a few days. We made the drive from Fort Valley to Atlanta to the airport early one morning. We all hit the bathroom on the way in before getting in the security line. I won’t tell you whose fault it was, but somebody took a little long in the bathroom and we stood waiting, waiting, waiting… Got through security and hauled holy ASS to the gate. To find the door shut to the bridge to the plane. This was less than a year after 9/11 and security was TIGHT. You didn’t yell, raise your voice or ANYthing in the airport. They wouldn’t open the door for us. Apparently, once the door is closed, it’s over. Nobody else can get on. Not us. Not the family of 4 with a child with cancer trying to get to NOLA for her treatments. Nobody. AND WE WERE STILL 10 MINUTES EARLY. Much bitching and complaining ensued from the boys of the bunch. But after a few minutes, we were able to get situated with a new flight and were able to grab breakfast and wait. The rest of the trip was fabulous. We ate well. We (they) drank well… I was pregnant at the time. And we certainly weren’t late for the return flight home.

Look at us, we’re such babies. And so skinny! (obviously pre-kids)

8. My Concierge, Ann: Shortly after we got married, we went to a conference in Monterey, CA. We flew into San Jose, rented a car and drove down the coast to Monterey. Our favorite stop was at One Infinite Loop in Cupertino, CA (aka the Apple headquarters). We also got to see brussels sprouts growing and all kinds of other produce. Anyway, so we get to Monterey (but not before stopping at UC Santa Cruz to get a Banana Slug souvenir) and our hotel was so cool. This was my first experience with a concierge. Our fabulous concierge, Ann, hooked me up with a salon to get a hair cut AND color, a great route for a drive and even reservations at a fancy little French place in Carmel. She was great and we had an even better time because of her.

7. Baby Bapartment: When my niece, J, was about 4, Jason and I took her on a vacation. We, of course, went to St. Simons…our favorite vacation place in the world. She had a blast! She was obsessed with listening to “Fly Away” by Lenny Kravitz aka Lenny Ravitz. This was also the first time she had been in a hotel and she kept asking if it was our Bapartment. She called it her Baby Bapartment the whole time. It was a fun little trip. Neat to steal a kid and go play house for a few days. Fortunately, we could give her back…

6. Our Honeymoon: Jason and I honeymooned at The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. We spent a week on the Club Floor in this fabulous old resort. We ate so well. So did the waitresses. Seriously. One night we were in a fancy restaurant in the hotel when the waitress took our ALREADY EATEN plates, took them to a tray where they collected them and ATE A PIECE OF FOOD OFF MY PLATE! Shit you not. SHE ATE OFF OUR TRASH PLATES. Needless to say, after Jason and I gagged and laughed and were shocked, we left and changed our lunch plans for the next day. They were to include eating at that restaurant. Yuck. The rest of the honeymoon was fabulous. Golf (I won), massages, trips into town, lots of champagne and lots of dessert!

5. Grieving at Sea Island: I know, this isn’t really a vacation, but it was. It really was. After Charlie was buried on a Tuesday, Jason and I left the next Sunday for Sea Island. Sea Island for those of y’all that don’t know, is on the coast of Georgia and is a fabulous resort that was the host of the G8 Summit a few years ago. Anyway, we decided we would go there. It was pretty much all-inclusive. We could stay, eat, play and just BE for one price. I don’t remember much about it other than lots of tears, lots of silence and lots of hugs. It was memorable in the way that we were just able to get away and be still without people calling, coming by and needing us to jump back into life.

4. But Senora, it’s only 8am: WHAT? I can’t have a margarita at 8am? It’s noon at home! Cabo. What more do I need to say? Jason and I went to Cabo twice in a year. Once was the site visit for the conference and the next time was for the actual conference. I lump them together as one vacation because they kinda were alike. The first morning there, I got up thinking it was like noon, grabbed my bathing suit and towel and headed down to the beach. I stopped at the bar first (of course) and asked for a margarita. The guy looked at me like I was insane and said “oh, Senora, we are no open til 10. eets only 8 o’clock.” Well holy hell! Where CAN you go to get a margarita at 8am? There has to be a place. If not Cabo, then where?? Fabulously fun vacation(s). Great people, great weather and the world’s best guacamole! What more could you ask for… other than a margarita at 8am?

3. There’s That Crazy Cook Guy From TV: Or Pavarotti. Paul Prudhomme? Or Luciano Pavarotti? Am I the only one who thinks they look alike? Anyhoo… in September of 2002 we went to Phoenix to a conference and stayed at the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Arizona Biltmore. It was there we met our sweet friends Jim and Sharon. Sharon and Jason were in the conference together and Jim and I had the tough job of holding down the pool and bar areas during the day! Rough job, I know. But somebody has to do it! We all had a great time. Drank lots of wine. Had lots of great food and even had a spa treatment or two. Oh, and the most important part is that we made a baby :) Yes, this is where Charlie was made. Sorry if TMI but it’s a fact! And therefore, The Arizona Biltmore holds a special place in my heart. Oh, but you want to know why Pavarotti and Prudhomme are involved here… Jim and Sharon and Jason and I were walking to the car and passed a townhome on the property with its door open. I glanced in and went OMG THERE’S THAT CAJUN COOK FROM TV! Jason was like, who? Justin Wilson? Uh, no. Of course not that dork… the other one. The Paul one. OOOOOHHHHH. Paul Prudhomme. So of course, like all good stalkers, we turned around and walked back by. And heard him singing. Nope. Not Paul Prudhomme. It was Luciano Pavarotti. Turns out he was with his mistress who was pregnant at the time. Sa-Weet! We busted them in their infidelity!

2. Disney in a Hurricane: This one goes WAY back… to when we were kids. My dad has a plane. He’s got a little Cessna 172. Booger green stripe down the side. N12702. We flew to Disney, parking the plane at the Kissimmee-St Cloud airport. We tied it down nicely and went on our way in our rented boat car. After the first day I think, there was a hurricane warning. This was before the whole “you have 8 days to prepare because we can predict the future” thing so we didn’t have a whole lot of warning. So we couldn’t leave. Couldn’t fly out because of the weather. We went and tied down the plane with chains and did all the stuff we were supposed to. And WENT BACK TO DISNEY! We grabbed some over-priced ponchos and hit the park. I remember being some of the only people there. It was raining and windy but the park was still open. No lines. No pushy people. But also no dryness. It was a blast. This was obviously before I was scared shitless of bad weather! The plane was fine and we were able to leave when our trip was over and fly home.

1. The Ball Drop: Get your minds out of the gutter, y’all. Jason and I went to New York City for New Year’s while I was pregnant with Charlie. So it was the end of 2002. We had an absolute blast. Our main focus was going to Times Square to see the ball drop at midnight. We were able to go see a play, had lots of great food, walked until our feet almost fell off and got to check one big thing off our list. To get a decent spot at Times Square, we got down there around 4pm. Let’s not forget at this point I was 3 months pregnant and pregnant women normally have to pee a lot. Once you’re in the barricades, you’re IN. There were no potties, either. So I had dehydrated myself during the day so I could stay the whole time. We got there, hung out, stood around, stood around more and then… it was time. Time for the countdown. There were a MILLION people, literally, counting down all at the same time. It was truly amazing. Something I am so glad we have done and you know what? I’d do it again! This time, not pregnant…

Thanks for hanging on so long for that countdown…

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