A few of you asked how I keep memories safely tucked away for the boys after I shared a little glimpse of their baby books. It seems silly for me to give any sort of advice on this matter- I am not someone who keeps scrapbooks or journals. In fact, up until a few years ago, I never picked up a camera. I studied abroad for six months in New Zealand and I brought ONE disposable camera for the entire trip. Yeah. There are great chunks of my life that are completely undocumented, and left to memory. And I am completely okay with that.
Now obviously times have changed- but I am still not someone who documents life with any regularity, except for keeping this space (and I can hardly believe I’m still here, writing and sharing after all this time). I don’t use Instagram or Facebook, I’m not really into over-sharing, and I only pull out my camera a few times a week. Vijay doesn’t love being photographed, so besides catching little moments here and there, I try not to be in his face with my efforts to keep our memories alive. I guess we kinda just live in the moment- or at least try to. That being said- everyone needs a baby book, as well as family photo albums. So here is what we do…
When I was pregnant with Vijay, I kept a memento book, of sorts. The little wooden book shown above was what I used to keep notes from friends, cards, pictures of my baby shower, and other little odds and ends. One of my favorite things to look back on are these cards (below) that everyone wrote to me at my baby shower, with little pieces of parenting advice and words of encouragement (thanks Beth for that brilliant idea!). I’d love to say that Vik has a “pregnancy book” as well, but…that just didn’t happen!
Once Vijay was born, I started documenting his early years in a baby book (now Vik has the same one, just in a different color). I love these books– they are fill-in-the-blank (which is about all you have the brain-power for when you are a new mom), and they have space for pictures. I love their handmade feel- each one is unique! I also love the paper pockets for storing little odds and ends, and I especially adore the hand-lettered, and hand-drawn pages (please understand the tiny glimpses- these pages contain rather personal writing!).
Each of the boys also has a memory box where I store treasures- gifts, cards, drawings, favorite objects. I also have a copy of the New York Times from the day they were born. I think they’ll like to see what was happening in the world when they entered it!
Finally, I keep family photo albums. Every time I download pictures, I choose a few to add to a folder on my computer labeled “Album.” Once a year, I print all the pictures using Snapfish or Shutterfly, and I put them all into a cloth-bound Kolo albums. I can fit two years into a single album, which I love. I don’t think the boys will want to inherit 30 albums, so I try be picky, without leaving out any memories. I’ve been surprised to find that Vijay loves looking at these albums together. We pull them down on rainy days and talk about all of our good times together as a family. Have you ever noticed that toddlers LOVE seeing pictures of themselves? I wonder when we lose this enthusiasm and start getting self-conscious about seeing ourselves in photos.
The one area where I fall short is video. I have a few videos of Vijay as a baby, and none of Vik (gasp!). I guess I’m not really sure what to do with video. I’d love suggestions if you have any to send my way. I’d also love to hear how you keep your family’s memories. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas!