Posts by: Janna


Janna is a professional parent of three girls ages 6, 4, and 1. Prior to earning an income of macaroni necklaces and bead bracelets, she was a teacher and field hockey coach. She was also employed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board where her love for wine was uncorked. She knows enough about wine to differentiate between a cheap price tag and a great buy, but there is so much more she wants to learn. Janna loves Facebook, reality TV, reading, baking, and dancing. She will also rip off her left arm rather than miss a Girls Night Out.

Review: Renieri Invetro Red 2011

Whining Down: Is My Kid an Ahole?

When it comes to measuring the successes of our parenting, I think that this is the most important question we can ask ourselves. There’s just too many day-to-day missteps that pile up and hide all of the good stuff…like the clean (I think) piles of unfolded laundry heaped on top of our missing Apple TV remote in my living room. If I can see that my child has goodness and kindness at the base of her being, then I can overlook all the mistakes.

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Review: Donna Anita Arneis 2013

Whining Down: Is my Beaver Busy or Productive?

Over the past 2 months, when someone has asked me the standard: “How are you?”, my answer is either “Good, but tired!” or “Good…just really busy.” I hate that….or as we try to say in my house, “I have strong feelings about that.” Not only is it passively provoking a follow-up discussion as to why I’m so tired and busy (which I’m too busy to do in the first place); who the hell wants to hear that from me?

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Review: Chalkboard Moscato

Whining Down: Love The CAD you Had

You liked “MWNW” for a reason, and whatever that reason is….I’m sure it sounds something like, “you won’t believe the crazy ass day(CAD) I had”. Crazy is crazy, period. But crazy also has many levels: like Lady Gaga.

I have CADS pretty much every day. How can I not? My middle daughter is mad crazy about roller skating, She wants to roller skate to and from school every day. Not inline skating…old school, clunky 4-wheel skating. Ok…sounds like a simple enough hobby to accommodate. So…that’s what we do. We put her school shoes in a plastic, jacked-up Sketchers bag and she rolls to school. Then, when we get to school, we put her clunky skates and helmet in the Sketchers bag and she puts on her sneakers. I carry the bag to and from school…day in day out. Ever’ day.

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Review: 2011 Arrogant Frog Reserve

Whining Down: Memes Who Need Wine

I love a new year. The energy is palpable as people everywhere make a concerted effort to improve areas of their lives that have been left neglected or rundown. What to call this ‘renewal’ is purely a matter of personal preference (I’ve heard everything from ‘resolutions’ to ‘iPlans’; ’inner upgrades’ to ‘mesolutions’). Whether you Gwyneth the word ‘resolution’ or not(remember her conscious uncoupling of 2014), the important thing is that we are forced to take a self-reflective moment to shake things up rather than trudge along predictably, and oftentimes…unhealthily (yes this is a real; UnPaltrowed word).

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Review: Pacific Rim 2012 Dry Reisling

Whining Down: The Roots of Parenthood

My husband and I decided to take our three girls out of school for a family trip to Yosemite. It’s been on our list of ‘mustard do’s’ since our move to California, and we knew that if we didn’t make a plan for it…it would probably never happen (as if often the case with parenthood).

A few  days before we left, I had forgotten that I signed up for our kindergartner to be ‘Star of the Week’, so we had to bring her giant class mascot bear called “Bosco” with us. And I wrote the obligatory email to my other daughters ‘ 3rd and 4th grade teachers; asking to provide any work that they would miss while we were gone. I was hoping that the girls wouldn’t actually get any work and that I would look responsible (as is often the dirt of parenthood). 3rd grader did; 4th grader didn’t.

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Review: Finca Nueva Rioja 2007 Reserva

Whining Down: Is Your Life a Good Read?

I was speaking with a mom friend about swimming as a form of exercise. Even after I mentioned the amazing non-impact and resistance benefits, she had her mind made up.

“I just don’t feel like dealing with getting wet and gross and getting in and out of a pool. I’d rather just put on my shoes and run.”

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Review: Riunite Lambrusco

Whining Down: Burning Pancakes

Weekend mornings are pancake mornings, and nothing hustles the girls to the table quicker than the smell of scratch pancakes. However, on the days I’m on spatula duty, it’s all: “Mine are a bit burnt.” “I’m just asking….but these are YOUR pancakes, aren’t they mom?” “Dad’s pancakes are the best. You should ask dad how he makes them!” What the Hell’s Kitchen? THEY’RE FROM SCRATCH!!!! No microwaves or anything! Time to investigate.

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Review: Warre’s Otima 10-year Tawny Port

Whining Down: Audible Ready

It was a Monday morning. My family and I had just returned from a three week visit in Maryland, and I was exhausted. My husband, God love him, had single-handedly moved our things out of our former home while I was away with the kids.  I sat at my computer, surrounded by cardboard, trying to come up with a plan to start getting our new house unboxed. I knew I had a solid 3 hours to work with while waiting for the exterminator to show up, so I inhaled the intoxicating steam from my freshly brewed coffee, and began the sexy process of digging out from 265 emails. Then the doorbell rang.

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Review: Berberana Brut Cava

Whining Down: F the System

It’s summer time in the US, and if I actually get a second to sit back and unwine, I’d have accomplished a lot. Although summer songs promote this idea of ‘getting friendly holding hands’ and ‘recalling walks along the beaches’, I’m not sure moms are REALLY spending the summer ‘kicking back with summer breezes; making us feel fine’. As I write this review, my girls still have 2 weeks left and I can already feel my bathing suit losing its Lycra. As much as I look forward to peacin out homework, the morning routine, and packing lunches, I’m also VERY much aware of the impending SPF (Scheduleless Parent Freak-out).

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Review: Chateau De Segries Tavel Rose


To Janna of May 6, 2004:

I know you are still pregnant, but let me start by saying, “Happy 1st Mother’s Day!” What a crazy adventure you’re about to have…buckle the freak up.

Here are a few things I thought I should let you know. Let me start with anatomy. I REALLY think you should take as many opportunities as possible to appreciate your boobs. They are never gonna look this good again. And your basement is dunzo….so enjoy all that. Kegels are b.s., IMO (which stands for ‘in my opinion’ if you’re texting: which is a verb and a form of communication that is slowly taking over actual human conversation).

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