You know, I started this blog way back in 2010. It seems like ages ago now.
It was just after Riya was born, which is just a year and a bit after Kyla was born. Somehow I thought I could juggle being a business-owning, working mom with a blog. It really sounded like a good idea at the time. It was a great way to document and remember all that we were experiencing on this journey and at the same time, I could reach out to a community who knew what I was going through.
And it was great!
I’ve always written through my feelings. Whether that was pouring it untidily into a diary or in 3 page long letters to friends, or worse – boyfriends. Man if only I could burn those now. (Remember doing that? And then doing all those complicated folds to make it look cool before giving it to them?! If you do, you’ll appreciate this song – it’s one of my favourites.)
This blog has become an awesome extension of that. I can work through all the many things that one goes through in a lifetime. The birth of my children, the death of my father, my kid saying I hate you and quite literally, a million other things. I scroll through old posts and smile at how terribly I wrote or at all the baby photos of the kids. Sometimes I’m shocked by some of the things that I said out loud and sometimes I’m grateful that I said it. This blog has gotten me through many things and I adore it. And you for reading it and connecting with me. It’s really wonderful.
But how has blogging affected my kids?
There’s so many avenues that this post can take in the sense that I could talk about the fact that we get to experience SO many wonderful things that we may not have normally experienced – like taking a trip to Robertson. Or the fact that when we were in Robertson this past weekend, we were recognised by our children. That means that people know us because they’ve seen so many images of my kids. I don’t really know how I feel about that, so that’s why I’m not going to talk about it. Instead I want to focus on the fact that because of the nature of my blog and the fact that so many of you lovely people have decided to read it, I get sent things with the hopes that they make it onto the blog or my social media pages.
So, the other day I came home with a package that had been sent to me by a fabulous brand that wanted to work with us on a small campaign. This happens fairly regularly (maybe once a month – that feels like a lot to me) and the kids already know that most often, those packages are for them.
Usually I tell them about it on our way home. Hype it up a little even. And then I just give it to them. Because it’s awesome and I like the fact that my hard work on the blog means that I can spoil them a little. But this week has been a bit of a nightmare. It’s obviously holidays but still, they have been downright awful at some points this week. You know, aside from telling me that they hate me, they have been fighting, excluding one another from games and just generally being a bunch of chops.
I was done.
So I didn’t give it to them.
Instead I just put it on the kitchen counter and carried on with the rest of my day. Eventually they noticed the bright pink case on the counter and immediately wanted to open it. To which I replied, “Nope!”. Guys, you had to see the look on their faces. They couldn’t believe it.
Then I sat them all down and explained that I have to work very hard to get these things from the blog and that doesn’t mean that they just get to have them. They need to work a bit too. In this specific instance the toys are each in their own wrapping so that I can slowly give them to them as they earn them. And they need to earn them in two ways.
The first is by being good. Eating all their vegetables, sharing and just generally listening to what I say when I say it the first time. The first day went so well. My gosh, I could literally have had angels in my house. So I rewarded them at the end of the day with their first pack. Kyla had obviously been thinking long and hard about this, and so she suggested that I give the rest to them on Easter.
“Mommy, you can give us the one on Friday and then the one on Sunday. If we good. Oh, but then I must remember to be good for so long. Um, I don’t think I will remember. Maybe you can just give it to us for three consecutive days instead.” At first I didn’t know whether to laugh at how cute it was or to be shocked at her perfect use of consecutive. So I did a little of both. Anyway.
The second is by doing their very own giveaway. They need to style the photos, come up with the content and maybe even do a small video for me. Then they can keep the contents of the drop.
My kids are busy styling and taking photos for their first giveaway. I think maybe some of what I do has rubbed off on them ?
— Cindy Alfino (@CindyAlfino) April 10, 2017
They seemed to love the idea and so they spent the whole of Monday afternoon styling photos of the toys in their packages. It was so entertaining watching the ask the other to move one a little bit this way and a little bit that way. Standing back and zooming the lens. Going up close and just seeing the toy through their eyes.
Which means that by the end of the weekend you’ll bear witness to their very first giveaway!
I hope you’re as excited about it as I am!