Cherish Your Cherubs: Affection

I’m a little late with my Cherish your Cherubs post this week and I’m sad this is the last task. I want to say a special thanks to Naomi @ Seven Cherubs for hosting this project. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. 

This week’s task was an easy one for the menagerie and me as it was all about showing affection.  Affection is the corner-stone of our family. My boys are very loving and we have lots of spontaneous cuddles and kisses. In fact, there’s often quite a lot of argie-bargie in the evenings over who gets to sit on whose lap for a cuddle first!

Affection helps reassure us that we are loved. The Wilful One is such a sensitive soul and can often sense when I’m not having a good day. He’ll often come up to me and give me a hug and a “Love you, mum” before running off again to play. Likewise, I’m very conscious of his feelings and insecurities and if we ever have cross words,  we’re always careful to reassure him with a cuddle and an “I love you”.

As for Bam Bam, well I’m quite sure he was a koala in a past life. It’s impossible not to be affectionate with this kid. If you are sitting on the floor, he’ll be sitting on you. He constantly demands “UP” and I have to admit he rarely gets turned down from me as he gives the best cuddles ever. Even his kindy teachers love to steal cuddles from him.  There is nothing quite like the feeling of  a little toddler body with arms and legs wrapped around you and their face buried into your neck. Love, love LOVE!

I can honestly say that I could cuddle that kid all day. Lately, with both of us being sick, we’ve had a few days like that!

I think it’s very important for boys to know and express affection. My boys are very fortunate they have a daddy who think so too. It’s a wonderful thing to see a rough neck tradie who is not afraid to cuddle and kiss his little men and tell them how much he loves them. Considering he wasn’t raised in a very demonstrative family (unlike mine) I find this nothing short of amazing.

The boys cuddle each other too. They can often be found draped over each other on the couch and if they are being parted there’s always a brotherly cuddle goodbye, if not a few tears!

My affectionate little boys give me hope that they will grow into affectionate big boys who will be able to comfortably demonstrate love to the important people in their lives. Especially their mum!!

Did you grow up in an affectionate family? How do you show affection to your children?

 

 

 

 

Cherish Your Cherubs: Praise

It is week 4 of joining in with the lovely Naomi at Seven Cherubs for the Cherish Your Cherish Project. To date, I have Recorded, Remembered & Interviewed my cherubs. This week’s project was to up the ante in the Praise stakes. I will stop short of saying that this venture was a complete failure. It was definitely more challenging than I anticipated.

I think we are usually pretty good at praising the boys. I’m conscious of developing their self esteem, especially the Wilful One, who can be quite sensitive and takes criticism poorly sometimes (he gets it from his father, I’m sure).  I know how well he responds to praise and positive feedback so I try to employ positive reinforcement with both of them as much as I can. He has a star chart and a rather complex rewards system which he responds well to (he loves complex) and in the evening we reflect on the day with a focus on the positives.

As for Bam Bam, I love it how he is like a puppy when praised. He gets this little body wriggle, just like our dog does when he’s expecting a treat. He’s so often a little terror, it’s a lovely contrast and I really must make more of an effort to bring out the best in my baby boy.

However, it’s a sad truth that our ability to support, cherish and provide a positive environment for our family is intrinsically linked to our own state of mind and sense of well being. In my case, both of have been in poor shape this week. I confess to being very short tempered with the boys. With a head full of ickyness, I’ve been especially intolerant to noise and meaningless chatter. I have caught myself many times talking to the Wilful One in a very critical tone. I’ve always felt horrid afterwards but haven’t been able to stop myself.

Children are so forgiving though, aren’t they? My little-big man knows how sick Mummy has been. Overall, he’s been very patient with me and tolerated my scolding without the narky attitude that has been making an appearance lately (he’s 4 going on 14).  I know he has appreciated when I have managed to acknowledge and praise the times he played nicely with his brother or did what he’s been asked without fuss or heel-dragging.

I have been more mindful of saying sorry to both of them for being a grump and thanking them for their efforts to help mummy out. There have been lots of extra cuddles and “I love you’s”.  It’s so lovely that they realise sick mummies need TLC too.

This week I also braved up and asked a question of the Wilful One which I omitted from the Interview last week. “How am I doing as your mummy & what can I do better?”   His answer: “You are awesome but you could smile more”. Sweet and not surprising given this week.  Noted and taken on board, little man.

Cherish Your Cherubs: Interview

Well it’s Monday again (already?) and it’s time for the latest installment of the Cherish Your Cherubs Project. I must say I faced this week’s exercise with a fair amount of trepidation.  Interviewing my eldest Cherub is not an easy task. Give me Lady Gaga or Mariah Carey or some other high maintenance celeb any day!!

The Wilful One is hard to interview for a number of reasons.  Firstly, the whole process had to be low key as any hint of being involved in a serious activity sends my normally level-headed preschooler completely troppo. The sheer excitement at the prospect of being involved in something that vaguely resembles a grown-up activity really is too much for him. 

Secondly, it’s very hard to get a straight answer out of this child at the best of times. Every response is thoroughly considered. If options are given, he will create alternative options.  Even determining what he wants on toast for breakfast is a long winded process full of pros and cons, usually ending in several rounds of toast with a rainbow of toppings. Or if I’m not feeling charitable, he’ll get vegemite. And is usually just as happy *sigh*

Sooo…. here is the “interview” that was carried out under the guise of a casual breakfast conversation over the rainbow toast that was this morning’s offering.

We had a big weekend, how are you feeling?

Fine. I had a big sleep, you know.

What did you like most about Kai’s birthday party on Saturday?

Playing the Wii games.  Oh, and the shark cake. {The “Wii games” were actually arcade games – the party was at Timezone. And it turns out Kai’s mum is a cake decorator who made an awesome Great White cake which was obviously a big hit with my shark loving son}

Do you think Daddy had a good Father’s Day?

Yup.

What do you love best about Daddy?

Giving him cuddles & when he rockets me into bed. {The fastest way to get the dawdling preschooler into the top bunk}

It was great to see your cousins yesterday. What was the best bit about that?

Playing hungry frogs with Angus. {Wish I’d caught a snap of this – it was a very serious business & super cute. Hungry frogs is a version of Hungry Hippos – not sure if hungry frogs is the actual name though!}

What was your favourite part of  yesterday?

Playing pool with Grandy. I love Grandy.

What’s your favourite game to play?

My Leapster, the Wii and doing Reading Eggs. Oh and your iPhone and iPad. {Shall we just say technology?}

What’s your favourite food?

Cupcakes and bananas with peanut butter. Can I have one of those Father’s Day star cookies? {I do love this recipe from Donna Hay http://www.donnahay.com.au/menus/christmas/clever-cookies/star-cookies}

Suffice to say, things deteriorated rather rapidly after the breakfast time cookie request and the interview was promptly ended.

For the sake of equality, I did try to interview Bam Bam as well. This is as far as I got:

What’s your favourite thing to eat?

Cake

What’s your favourite thing to play?

Pool

What’s your favourite thing to do?

Cat

Rightio then…

I really am having lots of fun cherishing my cherubs with Naomi from Seven Cherubs (http://www.sevencherubs.com/) Pop over & see if anyone had more success than I did with the whole interviewing  gig!

Cherish Your Cherubs: Remember

This week’s Cherish Your Cherubs project subject is “Remember”. I’ve been trying to think of an outstanding special moment for each of the boys to write about but there are so many to choose from. I’ve decided to write about my most favourite family memory to date.

Christmas Holidays 2010

We stayed in a beach front apartment at Moffat Beach, Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast.  This was our first real holiday away with just the four of us for one whole week. It was one of the best holidays I’ve ever had.  Every day we played in the park, walked along the beach, built sand castles, splashed in the waves and swam in the pool.

I will always remember it as the holiday where Will learnt to swim (dog paddle) all by himself and Nick had his first ever milkshake (the beginning of a life long obsession, no doubt).  We played 100 games of snakes and ladders and ate sausages almost every night.

We were relaxed. We were happy. We enjoyed each others company.

Most of all, I will always remember this holiday as bursting full with promises of so many wonderful family holidays to come.

Cherish Your Cherubs: Record

I’m joining in with Seven Cherubs Cherish Your Cherubs Project for the next few weeks. Week 1 is Record. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now to capture my boys as they are now. I’ll print these out & put them in the boys’ memory boxes (hang in there – I’m afraid brevity isn’t my strong point)

William – The Wilful One

4 yrs 9 months, 112cm, 20.8kg

From day one you have been described as an old soul. It’s like you’ve been here before. You often say things way beyond your years.

You are bright, caring, energetic, compassionate, inquisitive, competitive and sometimes sulky. You love to make up games with complex rules. You often get put out if someone else wins or things don’t go your way.

You have an amazing memory. You are like a sponge, asking questions all the time, processing information then making connections. I love having conversations with you.

At the moment you want to be a scientist. You have always wanted to be a singer/rock star. You make up songs all the time and look forward to Kinda Dance at preschool every week. You want to learn to play the saxophone.

You love going to Grasshopper soccer and riding your big bike. You will be ready to ditch the training wheels soon.

You are friends with everyone at preschool but have a few close ones you play with all the time (mostly girls).

You talk a LOT!

You always insist on saying hello to people in the shops because “it’s polite”.

Your similes always make me giggle: “I’m so tired I could sleep on a moth”, “I’m sore as a limpet”, “Daddy’s as grumpy as a polar bear” and absolutely everything is “as flat as a pancake”.

You love sushi, tacos and anything sweet.

Your favourite colours are pink, purple and orange ( in that order).

Your favourite books are Hairy Mclary. We own most of the series and you know them all by heart.

Your most treasured possession is a stuffed shark called “Sharky” who you got from Underwater World for your 3rd birthday. You sleep with him every night and you say that he keeps all your favourite dreams inside him.

You are a wonderful big brother and even though you get frustrated by Nick sometimes, you take such good care of him and help mummy a lot.

I can already see the man you will grow into and it makes me so very proud. I’m even more proud of the gorgeous boy you are right now.

I love you to the moon and back.

 

 

Nicholas – Bam Bam, Nick-Nack

2 yrs 4 months, 89cm, 14.6kg

You are my little pocket rocket. You hardly ever stop. You run, jump, fall, run some more and climb, climb, climb!

You are so mischievous. Nothing is safe from your curious clutches. You get into absolutely everything. Child-proof  is not Nick-proof.

You are very boisterous. You can get a bit rough and hit but are very good at saying sorry. You are getting better at being gentle and the cats aren’t so scared of you now!

You are so very, VERY loud! You know how to make yourself heard and convey what you want even if you don’t know the words. “Up”, “Stay”, “On”, “More” and “No Way!” are a few of your most used words. You are saying more and more each day. Will and I get so excited when you say something new.

You are great at puzzles and building things. You love books and are very good at finding things in the pictures.

You love to sing and dance with your brother. In fact, you love everything about your brother. His name was one of your first words. You miss him when you are apart and you copy everything he does. I love to see you cuddle him and hear you playing and laughing together.

When you do finally stop running, you give the best smoochy cuddles. You love to be close and even if we are playing on the floor you prefer to be sitting on me.  I love it when you snuggle into bed with me in the mornings.

When it comes to food you eat anything and everything and lots of it! You love your lactose-free milk and you are obsessed with the biscuit barrel.

You are allergic to sleep. Especially when I try to get you to nap, you fight it at all costs. Even though you are getting very heavy, I often rock you for a while. I don’t mind much at all. At the moment you insist on sleeping with Elmo, a Teddy daddy had when he was a baby and a fleecy blanket.

Your favourite colour is yellow.

Your favourite TV show is Dora the Explorer. You could watch it all day.

You love the trampoline and having picnics out on the front lawn. You climb the fence and peak over to watch daddy coming home from work.

Everyone who meets you falls under the spell of your golden hair and big blue eyes. Your kindy teachers steal cuddles all the time. You are adorable and demanding and frustrating and adorable all over again.

When you wrap your little arms around my neck and squeeze tight I think my heart will burst.

I love you to the moon and back.

Grateful for…two little boys

… with too many toys!!

I am very grateful that my boys are so close.  Not just in age but as brothers and best mates. They are so very different but have already begun to compliment each other’s strengths and together they are shaping up as quite a formidable team.  God help me in years to come.

No matter what the game, they play so well together. So grateful that Bam Bam is now old enough to play along with all of the Wilful One’s complex rules and storylines!

I love that they can play trucks and trains and pirates, all the while relishing in each other’s pure boyness. I’m sure different sex siblings can be just as close and I certainly don’t mean to generalise. We don’t push our boys towards toys or games with a particular gender bias. Believe me, there are lots of games of house (complete with breastfeeding mummy’s) and they have a kitchen set up, play dress ups with my shoes and love putting on my make up. The Wilful One’s favourite colours are even pink and purple!

While we don’t get too caught up in gender bias, I’m amazed at how often I get asked when I will try for a girl. My response – why would I do that?

It is chaotic  rewarding enough with our little family of four. And, quite frankly, I would ruin a girl. The theme of this blog and my handbag obsession are about as girly as I get. I’m really not sure what I would do with a girl, especially now that I’m surrounded by so many boys!

I know for a fact The Man is also very grateful for boys. The thought of dealing with a teenage girl makes both of us shudder and I’m sure,  after finding out we were having a girl, my husband would go straight out and buy a chastity belt and a gun.

I find it interesting that people think that as a woman I would feel the need to have a daughter. I can honestly say even when I was pregnant with the boys I had no preconceptions (pardon the pun) about what gender they would be. I was just so grateful for relatively smooth pregnancies and births resulting in BIG healthy babies. Ok, possibly not that grateful for the big part.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to join in with the Seven Cherubs’ Cherish Your Cherubs Project.  I’ve been wanting to do some posts reflecting more on my boys and this is the perfect opportunity to start. It was this reason I started blogging in the first place, after all.

Today, I’m linking up as usual with Maxabella Loves… because I truly am grateful for my two little boys.