Friday, January 27, 2012

Baby Books--Check!

Before the babies were born, I ordered this set of baby books made especially for twins:
Image Credit

Back then, I naively thought I would easily and routinely update these baby books since much of the book was simply fill-in-the-blank or check boxes.

How hard could it be, right?

Then the babies came.

Then I started blogging.

Ultimately, I didn’t update the books because _______________________________(fill in the blank with any reasonable excuse).

While I knew the blog and the letters documented our lives in a way these books never could, I just couldn’t escape the guilt I felt when I thought of how I had neglected the books.

(Plus, if I never completed them, Marty could rub in my face that he was right about me wasting money on books we'd never use and proving Marty wrong is motivation enough for me to complete almost any task).

Then, being the emotional hoarder that I am, I realized the closet was becoming increasing packed with items I just couldn’t bear to throw away (like all of their daycare daily reports, anything that had a crayon scribble, outfits from every holiday…)

The baby book albatross project weighed down me. It was that one item on my running to-do list that just kept getting pushed to the bottom, and if you are as driven by to-do lists as I am, then you know the feeling—the nagging reminder that you just don’t have it together.

It was so important to me, so symbolic of my mommy competence, so representative of my OCD personality, that I added it to my birthday list. I would conquer complete these books before I turned another year older.

I will confess that I ultimately tackled this project on a day off when the babies were at daycare. I don’t recommend attempting this task when you have any distractions. Believe me, it won’t take much to pull your attention away from the mess.

Materials Needed:

  • A plethora of baby memorabilia
  • Plastic containers (one for each child, one for mommy)
  • Plastic envelopes file thingees (surely that's what they are called)
  • Photo boxes and dividers
  • Journal pen
  • Glue stick
  • Time
  • Motivation (guilt works, too)
  • Patience
  • Internet (and more time)

BEFORE: As you can see, empty diaper boxes make great, cheap make-shift storage. For the first 17 months or so, I simply threw anything I thought might be memorable into a box and shoved placed it lovingly into the closet.

1: After assembling my supplies, I assessed the goods and planned my attack.

2: I re-discovered my “mom book.”

3: I stared at the mound of papers I collected in just 3 short months of daycare, wondering, how, at this rate, I would ever find room for at least 17 more years of school work (times two).

4: I separated the papers into two stacks: one for Drew and one for Emily. These papers were then placed into plastic envelopes file thingees.

5: Yes, I had even saved the feeding and pooping documentation from the first days in the hospital. Yes, it went in the mom book. Something tells me the babies won’t be interested in knowing whether they fed from the right or the left or whether it was wet, poopy, light, or dark. For me, it is a testament to the fact that I lived through it.

6: I then began sorting the clothing into stacks: one for Drew, one for Emily.

7: The hardest part of filling out the baby books was not remembering the details about Emily and Drew; it was actually remembering what was going on in the world in June 2010. I was pregnant. Wasn’t that news enough?? Seriously, it’s not as easy as you think to find things like average cost of a loaf of bread, number #1 on the music chart, box-office hits. You’d think it would be as easy as just googling the date. It’s not.

8: I organized the miscellaneous pictures by occasion. Since I had printed at two copies, Emily and Drew will both have a picture box and I have one as well. Filing should be much easier now that I have dividers.

9: It’s coming together!

10: Three stacks: one for Emily, one for Drew, and one for Mommy

11: Ready for storage

AFTER: Neatly tucked away in the top of the closet! Now it’s easy to add things as we decide to save them because each item has a place.

19. Update Emily and Drew’s baby books.


KERRY said...

Hahaha you wrote this post for me!! I am that person and my older kids are 12 and 8 lol with baby books that aren't complete and keepsake stuff shoved in a plastic bag in their wardrobe. I just don't think to do it and then 12 years go by :0
I need to finish it all up, it's driving me mad lol
You did a wonderful job, bet you were tired afterwards though! I am an emotional hoarder too but it does get easier as they get older to throw out that old movie ticket or 534 Christmas cards ;)

Michele said...

Great job! I know how daunting those tasks are. I keep three sets of albums as well - one for each girl with mostly pictures of them, and then a "family" album. I started doing digital scrapbooking about a year ago, and while ultimately costing more $, I can honestly say I'm within 3 months of actually BEING CAUGHT UP WITH ALBUMS.

But now I've run out of room to put the albums.

Heather B said...

How exciting! I have several unfinished baby books stuffed under their beds with no idea if they will ever get done. Congrats on crossing this off your list.

Beth said...

'Atta girl!
While I know that you are happy to have those memories preserved for your little sweeties, I bet you are just as happy to have that big job finished!
Good job. It is impossible to keep up with those books while caring for multiple babies in that first year, so going back and catching up is really hard. The quads' books are kind of, mostly finished, but their memory boxes get things sorted and added regularly. I have to consider that good enough.
Congrats on checking a major item off of your to-do list!

Tami said...

My first son has a completed book, my second son has a partially completed book, my third… well… it has his name on it.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Oh, I almost didn't read this post. I literally haven't opened the girls' baby books. FAIL!!!

Over the past week, I've been going through a very looming collection of scrapbook / baby book stuff. I'm kicking into gear...mark my words!

Part of me was inspired by trying to get my clutter under control...wanting to be more organized...and wanting to feel CAUGHT UP.

The other part of me was inspired by my dad bringing my baby book to me a couple of weeks ago, sadly very incomplete. I don't want my girls to feel that one day. :/

I do love how proving you're right (like flaxseed, was it?) motivates you, too! You are, indeed, human. :) :)

The Preppy Girl in Pink said...

It is so hard to stay on top of those things when you already have your hands full. I have plastic tubs for each of my girls and we pick what goes in them each year. Now, that they are older...they get to put some say into it. It amazes me to see what they choose compared to me.

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

Way to Go! There is nothing more motivating than proving our husbands wrong...LOL! And documentation for future enjoyment...of course!

Happy Friday!

Johanna said...

Good job!!! They will be so thankful to have this when they are older. And so will you. :)

Miss Megan said...

GOOD FOR YOU!! I am totally jealous really...I have several baby books and I filled out the prenatal part while I was still pregnant....and well, the rest of it hasn't been touched since the addition of the girls. Eek!
I feel awful for not completing their baby books, BUT, 1 - I don't have one from when I was a baby, and really, I don't miss having it, and 2 - I have all of their milestones out there in bloggy land! So I can pull that up at any time and see what exactly they are doing at what point. It's not as organized as a baby book, but I am trying to convince myself that it is just as good =)
Good for you for doing this!!!

Emily said...

Good for you!!

Jen W said...

In my crazed-pregnant-lady insanity I insisted on these Very Hungry Caterpillar Baby books, wrote the boys' names in them and promptly never touched them again. They are in a closet. I truly have no desire to really do anything with them, but can't return them (um, bought them 2.5 years ago) and can't resell them unless I find someone who has my kids' same names. I blame pregnancy brain.

jen@ living a full life said...

You are such a good mommy. I didn't do any of these things for my kids! I thought I would but I just never found the time.

Tasha said...

What's a baby book?

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