January 2016Life Love and Hiccups: January 2016

Monday, 11 January 2016

Sorry To Burst Your Bubble... But Let's Talk Feet For a Minute

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Brought to you by Nuffnang and Clarks

I know you are probably not going to want to hear this... especially since we are smack bang in the middle of enjoying our leisurely carefree days with no arguing over homework, or piles of school uniforms taunting us about how they need to be ironed, stinky school shoes and sports shoes trying to suffocate us with their stench and lovingly packed lunches left uneaten just begging for a lecture (that no one will pay any attention to) about homeless people who are starving and would hand over their left kidney to be able to eat that lunch etc etc

I almost feel kinda bad shattering your relaxed state of mind by saying this but ummm sorry to tell you -the school year is sniffing at your tail.



Then again maybe you are ready to pluck your eyelashes out if you have to hear Im bored one more freaking time, or perhaps you are at the point where you are seriously contemplating renting your squabbling children out to a Family Planning Clinic for a new age teenage birth control experimental program.

Maybe you are SO ready for school to go back that you have had to physically stop yourself from driving the kids to school and banging on the door begging for someone to spare you.

Either which way, school is on the horizon whether we are ready or not.

It only seems like last year that I arrived at the school gates with a fresh little newbie in his shiny new shoes, an oversized uniform and a backpack that threatened to topple him if he dared to stand still for mere seconds. I remember reluctantly allowing myself to be led from the classroom in a blubbering mess to leave him to begin his educational journey.

It didn't help that I was eleven months pregnant which meant my hormones were raging and it took a good seven days for the swelling to ease around my eyes and at least three months before I managed to get through a day where I didn't do a drive by stalking at lunch time in the hope I might spot my little learner playing happily in the playground.

The years have flown by since then, and I now have all three squids at school, the fresh little newbie is heading into year nine (hold me) and still not a day goes by that I don't ply them with the usual end of day questions - Who did you eat lunch with? Who did you play with? and Did you learn anything new today?

I cant help myself, and despite knowing full well that the responses Ill get will be nothing more than a ferocious eye roll from the teenager, and a chorus of I dont knows, I cant remember and nothing much from the other two, I still insist on asking them pretty much every single day.

For two of my kids, going back to school is no biggie. In fact they kind of look forward to it because HELLO - Social life and all that.

For the youngest though, hes not entirely thrilled about the prospect. Motivation isn't exactly oozing from any part of him in fact motivation is kind of non existent all together and so for the few weeks before school goes back we use the old back to school shopping as a form of bribery to convince him that it isnt all that bad.'

I was pretty much the same as my youngest when I was a kid. Whilst I cant actually remember my first day of school, I do recall that school wasn't really my favourite way to pass a day and the only thing that would give my parents any relief from the back to school suffering I put them through towards the end of the Christmas school holidays was the annual trip to buy our school supplies.

This is when I would play them hard and insist that only the cutest smelliest erasers, pens and pencil tins would do and I would simply die if I was forced to go back to school in anything but these


Of course there was no way in hell either my parents or my strict catholic school for that matter were going to let me rock up to school in a pair of Doc Martins and so I resigned myself to the fact that the only thing my wide platypus feet would fit into were a pair of sensible no nonsense lace ups.

I couldn't even go for the petite Mary Jane style buckle ups that were my back up choice because my hideous hoofs were anything but petite.


Thankfully, for both us and our kids there are loads of choices these days when it comes to school shoes and what if I told you that there is even a clever shoe that has the almighty power to keep your kids feet looking and smelling fresh?

Its true! Seriously no more stench suffocation thanks to Clarks Fresh Steps. These clever shoes have a built in hi-poly antibacterial footbed that helps reduce odours and prevent bacterial and fungal growth! These shoes also come in a range of sizes to fit any foot; music to my ears for this mum of boys.

Clarks shoes are school proof and have a shoe to suit every size and shape of foot and a style to appease even the fussiest of schoolies. With over 170 years of caring for our kids feet, Clarks specialist trained fitters can carry out a 10 step check to find the Perfect Fit for your childs feet.

From the Mighty Tuff - designed to minimise scuffs and last longer than standard leather shoes and the Machine Washable Cross Hype to the Dual Fit Sports  - an all purpose leather shoe that is designed for both playground play and classroom style, with velcro straps that have a removable innersole so that as your child feet grow, so do the shoes, a visit to a Clarks store will allow you to cross one back to school chore off your list with the minimum of fuss.
Clarks totally get it, they understand what school shoes are all about and they understand the struggles that often play out between parents wanting the best for their kids feet and quality for their money and kids wanting comfort and style and whats on trend. Consider them as a reliable mediator who are not only known as the original school shoes in Australia, but have the reputation as the best and for good reason too.

FYI, Clarks has got an Instagram and Facebook competition thats so simple and gives you the chance to win a pair of Clarks for your childs entire class! This is what you have to do:

1.      Follow Clarks on Facebook or Instagram
2.      Share your School Proof Tip with them and tag @clarksaustralia and #SchoolProofTips for your chance to win!

Its that easy!

Rightio, I have to go pack... we are heading away tomorrow for a bit of a getaway. See you at the beach!

Do you have a newbie starting school this year?
What can you remember about your first day of school?

I Smell Change In The Air

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

You So DID NOT Get That From Me! Did You?

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Have you really sat down and thought about all those traits that we as breeding humans unknowingly pass from one generation to the next?

The traits that we inherit from our parents, and then those traits further develop and fine tune before we inherently pass them on to our own children and so on and so on?

I'm not talking about uncooperative cowlicks, mono brows, dimples, bucky front teeth or even embarrassingly webbed little pinky toes (thanks Mum, Sorry Sam) or any other weird and wonderful physical quirks.

Nope I've got my finger firmly pointing at those various things we say and do that we realise our parents also said and did and then suddenly one day we look at our kids saying and doing those things and then we're all "Holy Shitballs - you are me, I mean I am you, I mean ... YOU SO DID NOT GET THAT FROM ME..... did you?"

One day... a long long time ago, a little girl was doing her best impersonation of a little turd. This particular day she had spent arguing with her brother, hiding empty smoked oyster tins under bed and letting an abandoned stray cat give birth to five kittens on her bedroom floor before her mother turned to her and screeched despairingly "One day, you'll get yours!"

The mother denies this of course, although I am going to go out on a limb and blame age for her not remembering such a heavily loaded threat (ahem - notice I didn't say OLD age mum? You're welcome).

Many moons later we stumble upon the scene of another nerve frazzled mother who finds herself face to face with her very own turd interpretation.

"Stop!" She cries, upon empty ears.

"Stop dumping all your clean clothes in the laundry because you can't be bothered putting them away!"

"Stop hiding empty chip packets and watermelon skins between the cushions on the couch."

"Stop pegging shoes at your brother. Stop throwing coast hangers at your brother. JUST STOP IT ALREADY!"

Silence.... before the mother who has by now developed a very unbecoming eye twitch, moves in reaaaaaal close to the turdish one and with a flick of her pesky cowlick she stamps her webbed toe, raises her hairy monobrow (wait no, I dealt with that years ago) and hisses through genetically bucked teeth... "One day you'll get yours!"

"hahahaha you're eyes twitch when you are mad mum...Whatever" comes the nonchalant response from the talking turd before he grabs the last slice of watermelon and walks from the room.

"WHATEVER? WHATEVER!" she shrieks. "How dare you say Whatever to me, your mother, your own flesh and blood who gave you life and admittedly a whole lotta wonky genes" she calls after him in vain.

She spins on her heels to her snickering husband and demands "Did you hear that? He said WHATEVER to me. How?... Where the... WTF????!!! Where'd that come from?" she squeals.

"Ummmm you!" the husband replies rather hesitantly as he backs away from the room.

"ME???? Pfft as if! They so DO NOT get that kind of stuff from me!" she snarls.

***** crickets *****

"WHATEVER" she says with a single finger salute and storms from the room.

I think the theory is that hand me down traits are somehow caused by enthusiastic little clumps of DNA that attach themselves to cells and stuff  in the baby making process and then they lie dormant whilst their new host acts all cute and sweet and baby like and then one day... BAM! They awaken and possess their host and leave you completely dumb founded as you stare at this once cute human being and they stare back at you all "Whaaaaat" like and WHAM! You feel like you are staring into a mirror and yet it is this creature who is some kind of mutated genetic cocktail of your kid AND your mother AND your father AND (insert any other influential relative) staring back at you.

Errrrrrr *shiver*

Yeah, you know what I am talking about.

Oh and for the record... I got the middle finger salute from my Dad's side.

Whatever!

OK Fess up - what do you say that reminds you of the things your parents might have said to you once? You know the things that you swore on your sweet Strawberry Shortcake you would never ever in your lifetime say or do?
What about your kids? See any frustratingly familiar traits coming through?


I Smell Change In The Air

Sunday, 3 January 2016

I Smell Change In The air

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2016. Holy Shitballs... already?!

I remember someone once saying to me that "the older you get, the faster time moves"... or maybe I read it somewhere... either way it's something I have come to realise for myself that it is true because every year just seems to blend into the next and we are jumping years like a motorised pogo.

Christmas and New Years Eve was a quiet event at the Stackhouses.

It couldn't have been more perfect.

Christmas Eve involved the usual big shindig at our house and this year my sister in law was in charge of the food whilst I was on decorating duty.

Predictably I went for a copper and gold and marble theme because I figured since I spent pretty much a whole year professing my love for them, they needed to be part of our end of year celebrations... that and ok OK, I may have seen it as an excellent excuse to treat myself to some marble plates and copper accessories.

Whatever.

Christmas is about giving.






Christmas Day itself went by in a flurry of gift opening, prawn scoffing and champagne guzzling spread over two locations - home for the morning - lunch at my parents - and then back home for the afternoon again.

I have to tell you - one of the highlights for me from Christmas this year was opening the gifts my children gave me. Each of them chose their own gifts for Carl and I, but more than the actual items themselves - it was the thought that went into those gifts that got my heart working overtime on the mush making.

The teenager who has recently started working in the holidays, spent his very first pay check on some Coney Island Glasshouse candles for me because he knew they are my favourite.

Our middle munchkin chose a pineapple mug for me because HELLO ... PINEAPPLES! As well as a dream sign because he "knows how important dreams are to you mum".

Last but by no means least my little trippy hippy gave me a peace sign keyring and I will treasure that forever.

I seriously have no word to describe our New Years Eve...  other than perhaps... perfect.

We chose to spend the last night of the year on our own, as a family, reflecting on the things that made 2015 special for us and all that we are grateful for.

Whilst the year we were saying farewell to had proved to be (for us like it was for so many), a roller coaster of highs and lows, the fact that we closed the door on it together, happy and healthy, set the intentions for the year to come.

The extent of our celebrations included a box of sparklers and our end of year ritual where we each wrote a list of things that we didn't want to take into the new year with us - worries, problems and fears, and then we set fire to them together.

As silly as it may sound, it was our way of preparing ourselves for the year ahead and by putting our trust in the universe that those worries will be taken from us, they are no longer ours to carry into a brand spanking fresh new year.



Now I'm no psychic, nor do I own a crystal ball, but I feel a lot of change is in the air for 2016.

For me personally, it is a year that I will be focusing on creating my own change and my time will be spent liberally on the things that make me happy - family, friends, and my various businesses.

I am intent on ridding myself of habits that serve me no good, taking better care of myself and exploring new interests.

I absolutely blazed through 2015, doing far too much, thinking too much and worrying too much and so 2016 will be different, because I will make it different.

2016 will be about slowing down, being more present, creating more balance and finding joy in every day.

Every year my mate Bron encourages us to choose a word that would be our word for the year ahead. A word that perhaps represents ours goals and dreams and hopes for how our year will flow.

For me, my word for 2016 is 'change'.

And how that word will play out for me.... only the days and months ahead will tell, but I am looking forward to sharing all that may be with you guys.

As for you my friends, I hope the year ahead brings you all, everything you hope for and dream of.

May it be a year that you one day whisper "wow, now that was a hell of an awesome year".

Have you got a word for 2016?
Do you have any big (or small) goals for the year ahead?