Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Every once in a while, I have a good idea

Before Lucas was born, I had already decided not to have a traditional baby book. Part of my reason for this is that I've never once seen a baby book that was actually completely filled in. The makers of the baby books put in all of these blank spaces and questions, and inevitably, you only fill in like a third of them, and then you feel bad every time you look at the book, because you realize that you never made note of the momentous occasion when your child first "Coughed artificially (a polite little cough to get attention.)" (That's a direct quote from my husband's baby book. Shockingly to no one, that blank is not filled in.)

So I decided I would make Lucas a scrapbook instead of getting a typical baby book, which sounds unbelievably ambitious, except that I discovered a company (and when I say that I "discovered" it, I obviously mean that a nurse my husband used to work with gave him a catalog to give to me, and then I forgot to look at it for about two years) that allows you to make individual 12x12 scrapbook pages online, and then they'll print and send them to you. It's fabulous. (The company is Studio J. And no, they didn't pay me to say this. But if they want to give me free stuff, I won't say no. You know, just in case they're reading my blog.)

If you make your own baby book, you can look like a super mom because you've recorded the dates of events like "first time in a lake" and "first high five" and not like a slacker mom because you forgot to record when your child "first ran with confidence" or "first said 'I won't'." (Those were really in my husband's baby book. Who writes these things anyway? Seriously.) The problem, of course, is actually remembering to write down the dates for random, vaguely interesting milestones. Enter my good idea (which, in all honesty, I can't totally take credit for.)

After Lucas was born, my mother-in-law brought him some cute gifts that she had gotten him from the Hallmark store, and in the bag with the gifts was this little datebook:
Yes, I wrote the word "Lucas's" over the phrase "Life is a Special Occasion." (Also, yes, the extra "s" does belong after the apostrophe to make "Lucas" possessive. I promise.)
So I stuck the datebook in Lucas's diaper bag, and every time he did something amazing (which, let's be honest, was every day), I could just write it in the appropriate date square in the datebook immediately instead of hoping I'd remember which things belonged in the baby book AND hoping that I remembered to write them in whenever I got around to it. Plus, since I had the diaper bag at all of his pediatrician appointments, I could immediately write down his height and weight at each appointment rather than trying to remember to write it in the baby book at home... which I wouldn't have remembered to do, so Lucas's baby book would've looked like mine, where my mom recorded my height and weight at birth, 9 months, and four years old.

I also used the book to keep track of when he tried new foods for the first time so that I could check for potential allergies. Just thought I'd share in case you were wondering why "first ate tomato paste and onion powder" seemed like a momentous occasion to me.
So instead of trying to remember if "First time someone said baby looks like a dinosaur while crawling" or "First time baby gave someone a wet willy" is in the baby book and then remembering to write them down, they are now in the calendar, and I can transfer them to the scrapbook later... if I ever get around to it.

Anyway, my advice to new moms is to stick a small calendar in your purse or diaper bag. Or just go ahead and pre-apologize to your kids for the fact that their baby books are mostly blank.


  1. my mom started a baby book with my older sister, realized that it was impossible to do, and the rest of us got nothing. i always said that, when i have a kid, i'm going to make sure to do one. this is seriously a genius idea.

  2. Thanks!!

    Mine and Dan's baby books are actually pretty well filled-out, comparatively speaking, but there are so many random things that you're supposed to fill in that it just seems impossible to really fill them.

  3. Your blog is a nice legacy for you and your family. As well as the date book.

    Blog hop comment #3 Mrs Remington