22 May 2018

Memory Keeping with a Baby

Sometimes I feel a bit like the family historian.

I'm also not always entirely sure my family wants a historian...but they get one, whether they want one or not.

I've always been the one writing things down, taking photos, organizing memories and mementos so that the events of the past never fall entirely out of reach.

I got my first journal for my 7th birthday and I kept a regular journal from then until around the time I started blogging regularly, which was after I finished college. I have an innate urge to record stories and to tell them.

The things that happen in life are too precious to me to allow them to be forgotten too soon.

I knew I wanted a baby book for Cyrus long before he was born. We're a natural fit, the baby book and me. I know plenty of experienced parents roll their eyes at the idea of having time to write down and record memories in a baby book...but I tend to believe we naturally make time for the things we love most.

And I love recording memories.

The stylish part of me wanted a really stylish baby book. A bit modern and minimalist. No cartoonish animals gallivanting across the pages.

I came across Polka Dot Print Shop online and sent a link to my sister telling her that I was pretty sure that these were my dream baby books...and look what she brought me from America:

I love it! When I was a kid, I was famous in my family for going to extreme lengths to avoid the chore of carrying the diaper bag because of how "babyish" it looked. I'll be honest that the lack of appreciation for overtly babyish styles has stayed with me for life. What I do appreciate are high quality designs, and I have been so happy to spend a couple hours filling out my baby book as best as I could.

Because I knew that the earliest I'd get a baby book wouldn't be until little boy was a few months old, I took notes throughout his early months in my planner of anything I knew I might want to record.

I am very impressed with the thick paper of this baby book, and I love that the ring binding with hard covers allows me to add photos and cards to the blank pages included for such purposes without worrying about breaking the binding or bending the covers due to adding extra items to the book.

I will say that a couple of questions aren't quite my style. I guess I'm just not the sort of person to really have a "favorite part" about labor.  In all seriousness, my immediate mental response to that question was: "???"

Also, "Things that helped Mommy relax"


"Relaxing" was not really part of the program when contractions initially began at 3 minutes apart and proceeded to become more frequent than that very quickly. But I doubt little boy will care much about knowing that kind of stuff when he grows up. So the sorts of things I record are more like the stories of the nurse asking if Angel and I had an arranged marriage or a love marriage, and stories of Angel coming back into the delivery room to ask me when we got married and what ethnicity our baby was for the purposes of his birth certificate.

Clarification of such facts is a good idea before they are recorded permanently on legal records.

There are also pages in the book for the dad to write in--while Angel is not as big on the "memory keeping" stuff as I am, he also thinks it's important to write letters and I think he will be glad to have the chance to write a bit about what this experience has been like.

I particularly liked the family tree pages. Because of those pages, Angel actually made sure to find out all of his grandparents' full names so that I could write them down. On my side, I was able to write down all of my great-grandparents names, which is particularly cool because Cyrus is named after one of my great-grandpas.

I've already gotten to write down tales like that of his first roadtrip and the ensuing "Passport Photo Walk of Death," which is a story I won't be forgetting anytime soon, even if I didn't record it.

I'm glad I managed to find my "dream" baby book and I'm so thankful for my sister granting my request and making room in her luggage to bring it here (this woman arrived in Malaysia with 2 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, and 2 dresses for herself packed for a 6-week-trip, the entirety of the rest of her luggage was devoted to bringing stuff that the rest of us had ordered or asked her to acquire. She's hardcore.)

Do you have a baby book? Does memory-keeping come naturally to you, or does it feel like more of a chore?
Erin Peyerk said...

That is a cute baby book! I had a book for our son, but I wasn't as consistent with writing in it as I had wanted. My blog became more of my baby book because it was just easier. :)

Suzanne said...

I used to manufacture scrapbooking products so I've kept many scrapbooks over the years. They have provided so much joy when rereading them. We forget so many details or moments altogether.

Sadly since I moved on from that business I grew tired of keeping memory books. Now I just do an annual calendar for the whole family. It isn't the same thing at all.

I think Cyrus will cherish this book when he grows older. My nieces used to love looking through the scrapbooks I made for them, especially when they were young.


Beth (Coffee Until Cocktails) said...

This is a great baby book! I started a scrapbook for my son that I'm still stuck on the first several months of his life (and he's 4 years old now) and I think part of the problem is I'm creating everything myself. I like that this book kind of gives you a guide. Maybe I should look for this and just start over, lol!

Anthea said...

This is such a lovely book! I think it is a wonderful idea to keep these and your son will appreciate it when he is older and can read through the memories you've recorded.
Your sister is so thoughtful to make room in her luggage!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Aw, that's so sweet of your sister to bring the baby book you really wanted (and other things the family asked for). I really like the look of it - very classic and nice. I'm sure Cyrus will love it when he gets older. I know I like looking back at my school memory book that my mom filled out - and then I filled out as I got a bit older. I'm a big fan of memory keeping, so I know I'll do something like this if I ever have kids.


Becky Ginther said...

I love that you do this! I know as a teenager and even as an adult I loved going back and looking at the baby book my mom kept. I don't know that we'll ever have kids, but I have an "Our Family" book where I've recorded information and stories about me and my husband. Maybe we'll have nieces or nephews or family down the line who will be interested. Or maybe it will just get thrown out, but I still like doing it lol.

Kristina said...

I like how you kept it simple by taping in photos. I used to like scrapbooking and I like the idea of it. I have a memory journal that I'm supposed to be keeping right now, but I haven't wanted to devote the time and effort to it the last few months, so I haven't put anything in it yet. So then I started wishing I had gone with something more like what you have that has some prompts rather than a totally blank journal.

Trish @ The Trish List said...

Such a great baby book! I love doing things like this but I never seem to finish. I suppose I need to get going on one for my little guy who just arrived. Thanks for sharing!


Carolann @ Finding Ithaka said...

I love this!! I am a huge memory keeper. I love scrapbooks and journals and photos and saving momentos. I'm even doing a journal and a photo scrapbook of deployment because I think that even the hard things need to be remembered. I want to be able to look back on deploymen positivetly and keeping the photo book is helping me with that!

Sana said...

I feel like blogging is a memory keeper for my life, I just have to remember to add my memories to it!