Surprise! Valentine’s Day is coming up!  I really can’t help you with what your love might actually want for the big day.  My husband keeps asking me and I’ve got nothing.  But, if you are considering one of these, think again.

1.  The giant Hunka Love Bear.  Where would you even put this?  In a garage sale, that’s where.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka? - 5 Things Your Wife Doesn't Want For Valentine's Day
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2.  A gold dipped rose.  What? Why?

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka? - 5 Things Your Wife Does Not Want For Valentine's Day
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3.  These.  Nothing says, “let’s put the kids to bed early” like a pair of cow hoodie footies.  Or, is that a bunny?

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka? - 5 Things Your Wife Does Not Want For Valentine's Day
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4. Names drawn in sand framed art.  And, this would be a sweet gift if Sable and Jeff had actually gone to the beach, but this is just a computer generated picture.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka? - 5 Things Your Wife Does Not Want For Valentine's Day
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5.  Or these matching shirts.  Just. No.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka? - 5 Things Your Wife Does Not Want For Valentine's Day

Photo via.A quick google search of “Valentine gifts for wife” will earn you countless other great gifts, such as these.

What is the best Valentine’s gift that you have received?  Not including my son (born on February 14th), the best gifts my husband gave to me were the ones that didn’t cost any money.  Handwritten notes rank high on my list.

What are your plans for the big day or do you even celebrate?

Originally posted at Jennifer’s blog.

For us children of the eighties, the upcoming years (and perhaps most recent ones) mark an important milestone: the dreaded, amazing, awful, wonderful, scary, liberating 4-0.

It’s hard to believe that the decade of Pogo Balls and leg warmers was so long ago.

Glo Worms, we hardly knew ye.

Still, the number of years that sits between us and parachute pants has done little to dent the impact that the eighties had on those who witnessed them through the eyes of youth. They were rad. They were awesome. They were far out. But, mostly, they were weird, even if we didn’t realize it at the time.

It turns out, there were also years we might have been doing all wrong. So, hop on your skateboard (no helmet required!) while we take a roll down memory lane.

And consider:

What we were afraid of:

Killer bees. Those mofos were flying in from Mexico or Canada or wherever at any moment. And we were certain they would kill us all.

What we should have been afraid of:

Lunch meat. We were on a first name basis with bologna and we ate it. Like, a lot. And now it’s apparently a carcinogen. So that’s freaking fantastic.

What we were collecting:

Garbage Pail Kids. We kept stacks inside our dresser drawers, such wholesome cards as Oozy Suzie and Up Chuck. The gum was an added bonus. Its staleness assured hours of chewing fun.

What we should have been collecting:

Star Wars action figures that we never took out of the box. Because not being able to actually open a brand new toy is every child’s dream.

What we were buying:

Cigarettes – Grandma sent us into 7-11 unaccompanied to get her cartons of Benson and Hedges.

What we should have been buying:

Squeezits – we could have hoarded them for when production so painfully ceased.

What we were wearing:

Aqua Net. Grade school popularity was tied directly to the height of our bangs.

What we should have been wearing:

Sunscreen with an SPF higher than 2.

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Why we were mad at our parents:

They wouldn’t buy us a Mogwai.

Why we should have been mad at our parents:

They let us wear shoulder pads to the family portrait at Sears.

What frustrated us:

The local deejay always interrupting as we tried to tape New Kids on the Block and Milli Vanilli off the radio. The Snoopy Sno-Cone Maker never having enough syrup. Wanting so badly to touch the middle of a floppy disk and knowing that doing so would end humanity.

What should have frustrated us:

The game Simon. That’s how carpal tunnel became a thing.

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What we wanted to drive:

KITT, a DeLorean, the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile.

What we should have wanted to drive:

Nothing. Empty handlebars and a friend with strong leg muscles could take us anywhere we needed to go.

What we asked Santa for:

The giant train from Silver Spoons.

What we should have asked Santa for:

An actual silver spoon. Silver’s a good investment.

What we wanted to be:

A Barbizon model.

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What we should have wanted to be:

A giant nerd totally into computers. It’s pretty much a guarantee of success later in life.

What we were perfecting:

The art of prank calling. I was always too much of a wuss to prank anyone, but I’d laugh in the background like a boss while my friends did it.

What we should have been perfecting:

Texting. Sure, no one except Zack Morris actually had a cellphone, but we could have prepared for the future by strengthening our fingers with one of those grip exercisers that everyone’s dad owned.

What we were memorizing:

The lines from The Breakfast Club.

What we should have been memorizing:

The lyrics to “Ice Ice Baby.” Though technically a 1990 release, when you can sing along to all the words in a car full of people – well, that’s just fun for everyone.

What we were proud to own:

A VCR. My parents still have one of the first ever made. It’s so heavy that I can’t even lift it.

What we should have been proud to own:

A record player. The older LPs get, the cooler they become.

What we were putting on everything:

Ranch dressing.

What we should have been putting on everything:

Ranch dressing. Ranch dressing for-freaking-ever!

What we were playing:

The Oregon Trail.

What we should have been playing:

A game that didn’t convince every third grader that they were dying of cholera (or maybe that was just me).

What we were learning:

That Control, Open Apple, Delete solved all the world’s problems.

What we should have been learning:

That Pluto was a giant poser, merely pretending to be a planet when it was really just Mickey’s dog.

What we were watching:

Growing Pains, The Cosby Show, Cheers, Who’s the Boss.

What we should have been watching:

Punky Brewster. I was obsessed with this show. Had I known it would only be on for a few seasons, I would have watched it four times a day instead of a measly three.

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Who we had on our walls:

Kirk Cameron, Tom Cruise, Malcom-Jamal Warner.

Who we should have had on our walls:

Punky Brewster…..duh!

Featured image via. 

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Happy Mother’s Day to my mom whose love is bigger than ice cream.

When my mint chocolate chip ice cream fell off the cone and you handed me yours, I remember thinking, “I will never love someone enough to give them my ice cream.”

When you worked nights delivering babies at a hospital while your babies were home in bed, only to return and pack lunches, to nap instead of sleep, take us to school, and prepare meals that were never frozen or called in.

When I had a book of jokes, carried it into the car, the bathroom, and to dinner saying, “Mom, knock knock” repeatedly. For three months, you replied, “Who’s there?” mustering laughter at every corny punchline like I was a comic genius.

When you drove us to violin and piano lessons, the theatre, and softball practice, sitting in an auditorium or on bleachers saying, “Go Mozart, go Chopin, Go Chekov, go team!”

When you hosted slumber parties for 13 prepubescent girls and their 101 issues that came to fruition in the middle of the night, you tackled them with junk food and a flashlight saying, “It will all be better in the morning.”

When you were exhausted and ready for bed and I said “How about a game of Candy Land?,” you replied, “Okay honey,” even after working a 12-hour shift.

When I was sick and you’d sit on the bathroom floor, holding my hair back, taking my temp, to end up sleeping by the toilet basin, I never once suspected that you would rather be on a beach in Tahiti or curled up in bed with a good book.

When you forced us to write thank you notes and visit boring, old people in nursing homes. Even though we complained that it smelled like urine and all they did was talk about the war and good old days, you said, “Sometimes it isn’t about you. Sometimes it’s about the war and good old days and places that smell like urine.”

When you flew out to Los Angeles for the birth of your grandchild and showed me those first steps of how to be a mother.

When, four months later, you spent two weeks by a hospital bed, drinking coffee, and watching Dora the Explorer, asking the doctors and nurses the hard questions that I couldn’t think of because my baby was in a hospital bed.

When you prayed, fundraised, and gathered your village for us.

When you listened everyday to my fears and took on the heavy weight I couldn’t carry alone.

When you made every single person in your life feel that they are worth homemade brownies.

Mom.

When I think of what you are to me.

When I am tired and overworked, exhausted, and rundown, or when Addie has dropped her ice cream off the cone and I give her mine without a thought and she says, “How about a game of Candy Land?”

When she is sick and I have to call doctors and pharmacies, and my life is on hold.

All I have to do is think of you and I know exactly what to do.

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Moving is tough. We’ve done it about 13 times in 17 years, not including the year we spent living as nomads.

Five of those moves were of the cross-country variety. All of them were of the do-it-yourself variety.

As much as I love to try out a new place (I’m kind of a change junkie that way), the actual moving part never gets easier. Every time, I feel like I’m going through labor again. We just bought a house for the first time in six years, and though we moved less than a mile, I’m still feeling it.

In fact, I’ve realized there are a lot of similarities between moving to a new house and having a baby:

1. You know you have a lot of work ahead of you, but you look forward to it with intense anticipation, picturing all the good memories you’re about to build.

2. You get to pick out new things. Nesting!

3. People bring you food and offer to help.

4. As it gets closer, you start to feel nervous, and a little overwhelmed. So much to do, so little time.

5. No matter how much you prepare, things always go differently than you plan. Labor stalls. An appliance at the new house inexplicably stops working. You believe the nurse on the phone when she tells you you don’t need to come in until you can’t talk through your contractions, so you go through transition in the car and barely make it to the birth center in time to push. You find out that the large armoire the previous owners left in the bedroom was hiding a big hole in the wall that’s probably full of asbestos. There’s always something.

6. As you get into the thick of it, you feel completely disoriented, you don’t know how much time is passing, and you feel slightly out-of-body.

7. As it starts to become more painful, you say to yourself, “Wow, I knew this would be work, but HOLY COW.”

8. Then it gets worse. “WHAT WAS I THINKING?! I MUST HAVE BEEN INSANE TO HAVE EVER WANTED THIS. NEVER. AGAIN.”

9. The first night after the move/birth, everything feels so different it’s hard to sleep.

10. You’re sore in places you never knew you could be sore.

11. You’re busy all day, but you can’t figure out what you’ve done. And you somehow can’t manage to squeeze in a shower.

12. Good golly, how can there be this much laundry?

13. After a few weeks, things start to level out, and you start to feel somewhat normal, but in a whole new place, with a whole new perspective.

In case you’re curious, I’m at #11 right now. Love our cute old house. Will love it more once we’re unpacked (and once we fix that big hole in our bedroom wall—true story).

This article was originally posted on Annie Reneau’s blog, Motherhood and More. Featured image via.

…or five rules on how to not gross everyone out.

Potlucks are a very popular way for church and school groups or large offices to throw a celebration with lots of food. It keeps costs down and you get a huge variety of food for relatively little work on the hosts’ part. People are typically split down the middle when it comes to their fondness of them: you either love them or hate them.

I’ll agree. You have to keep your mind pretty sheltered and not think too much about the fact that you have NO idea what the condition of someone’s kitchen is. If I walk into a restaurant and their sanitation grade is below a 92, I turn and walk out – no questions asked. Truth of the matter is, most people’s home kitchens would get shut down if the health department showed up. But really, don’t let that stop you from enjoying that macaroni and cheese.

We were at a banquet recently, and as I stood in the insanely long line, I had a lot of time to watch everything that was happening around me. And as I watched, I realized that there are a lot of people who either have never been to a potluck. There’s something about the 7 different types of macaroni and cheese or baked spaghetti make them lose all common sense of basic etiquettes.

But before you get your crock pot in a wad, this is NOT directed at anyone who plans these things. Until you’ve tried to plan ANYTHING for more than 50 people with multiple moving parts, you’ll have no idea how real the struggle is to get people to respond to your emails, requests, emails, threats, and sobbing ugly-cry emails. It’s no joke and it’s no walk in the park.

This post is for all those people – the planners.

Here’s how you can be a good potluck dinner guest:

Rule #1: Just because there’s a lot of food doesn’t mean it should all go on your plate.

I mean come on… do you really need to put a whole fried chicken on your plate at one time? And then plop 4 pieces of pizza on top of it? This is not Golden Corral. There is not a host of cooks in the back whipping up more food. See that line behind you? Those people want to eat, too.

Rule #2: Just like a traffic jam, you can only go as fast as the person in front of you.

Chronic offenders of this are the elders and the youngins. I think the elders are pushing because they were supposed to eat 2 hours ago and the youngins do it because let’s face it… what kid can resist the pull of 20 different desserts and jello salad?

Rule #3: Don’t use your fingers. For anything. EVER.

Nothing makes me want to drop my plate and run for the nearest exit like seeing someones fingers get even remotely close to community food. Just. Ew. If you hit a dish that has no serving spoon, use your fork – but this is only good once. And do I even need to mention double-dipping??

Rule #4: If you drop it, pick it up, and put it away.

I witnessed at least 2 people drop serving utensils on the ground that night. I get it.. stuff gets slippery and it drops. But for the love of God and all that is holy – do NOT even THINK about picking it up and putting it back in the dish.

Rule #5: Clean up after yourself.

You came, you brought your dish, you ate, now pick up your styrofoam plate and throw it away. Remember, this is a volunteer thing and the people who will end up cleaning up after you  probably had to organize the whole thing and they are tired. So. Very. Tired.

I’m sure I’m missing some other “no-no’s”. What would you add?

This post was originally featured on Kristen Daukas’s blog, Four Hens and a Rooster. Featured image via.

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1.) Whether you breastfeed your six-year-old

2.) Or never breastfed at all because formula just seems less gross than attaching a miniature person to your boob.

3.) What your baby’s hair looks like (looking at you Beyonce)

4.) Whether you circumcised your son

5.) How clean your kids are

6.) How clean your house is

7.) How stained your clothes are

8.) Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or work outside the home

READ MORE: Can We Stop Mom Judging?

9.) What kind of birth you had. The fact is you no longer have a human inside of you so kudos to you.

10.) How much unmicrowaved deli meat you ate while pregnant

11.) How much television you let your kid watch (or computers or video games)

12.) Whether you share a bed with your kids or they have their own rooms. Or their own houses.

13.) Your stance on childhood vaccination

14.) Whether your kid is a brat or hyper or not a good listener. I get it. There’s only so much you can do. They are their own annoying little people.

15.) How much junk food you give your kid

READ MORE: Are You Mom Enough?

16.) Whether you spend your whole trip to the park on your cell phone

17.) If you sometimes give your kids ice cream for breakfast. I mean, it does have dairy in it so it’s kind of healthy right?

Things I WILL Judge Another Mother On:

1.) Whether you’re skinnier and/or prettier than me. I don’t care how hard you worked to look like that. That shit is just unacceptable.

This post was originally featured on Eve’s blog, That’s My Apple