June 20, 2010

An Open Letter to My Husband

PJ-Newspaper Dear  Hubby,

Today is Father’s Day. Or is it Fathers’ Day? (Oh, whatever. I can never get it right. Both kind of work… focus…). I woke up bleary-eyed as I am prone to doing these last 7 weeks and remembered that I was going to make you coffee in bed, and have your gift nicely wrapped and a sweet if scribbly card made by our children, just for you. I was going to make you brunch with our friends, laze about with you for awhile and then make a nice dinner, after which, well that is for us to know and the interwebs to speculate.

Instead, you got your coffee when you came downstairs much later (I did make it for you, to my credit… at least there’s that), your gift was stuffed into a Christmas box which Version 1.0 opened and presented to you before you had time to be surprised, your card never materialised and I went for a ride with my friend after brunch, leaving you home by yourself with our two children for a couple of hours. Dinner was mediocre and we haven’t talked in the past hour as you’ve been upstairs with Version 1.0, and I’ve been downstairs with Version 2.0 and on a call for work, and it’s doubtful that we’ll get a chance to, erm…. connect… before I fall asleep beside my breastfeeding child after I’ve done some research for my meetings tomorrow.

So today didn’t quite pan out as I had planned for you, to make you feel like you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and the rock in our family of misfits, and the most caring, generous, patient and deliciously evil-humoured man I have ever known. I have been selfish today, but somehow you managed to make me feel like you were happy I was. Our kids have been trying, but you took it in stride, like you do every day. You even remembered to tell your own dad how much you love him.

There is no one better than you. No one by a long shot. We are the most fortunate family to have you, and love you more than any scribbly card could ever say.

Hope you had a good one, Lover.

June 2, 2010

Lest We Forget

The other day a new mom asked me when my daughter had gotten her first tooth and how quickly they came in. I was shocked to find I couldn’t remember. Clearly fuzzy on the dates. It didn’t even occur to me that two years later, I may actually have burned out enough brain cells with lack of sleep and too many firing pistons to render my short-term memory completely frigging useless.

When I was a child, my mom kept a baby book for each of us. While I realize she may have skimmed some sections, she did a pretty good job of keeping locks of hair, drawings and paintings, and all her dates relatively correct.

I had always loved going through those books when I was younger and now they would mean even more to me, to compare the development of my own children to see if there were similarities or differences, and whether that neurotic thing my kid does with her eye-rolling and tossed hair is similar to what I did at that age (clearly she gets it from her dad).

I tried. Really hard. I really did. I put all the keepsakes in one (or five) places so I could organise them later. I’ve kept every memorable piece of artwork, every greeting card, all the well wishes, etc. But god help me if I can ever get around to actually writing down the salient memories in an appropriate form. I have three baby books for my daughter. THREE! With nothing in any of them. Thankfully I can use one for my new son, but what will I do with the third? Maybe we’ll get a dog.

I can’t even find my kid’s medical history. The preschool wants proof that her immunisations are up to date. I remember having some slips of paper somewhere  that we were handed when we went for shots. I remember some type of passport we were supposed to bring but failed to every single time.

So, anyways, I have been trying to figure out how to do this without causing myself too much anxiety. I want to do my baby books. I really, really do. I suspect it will be fun. But maybe if I could somehow capture things day to day, I could capture the really cool memories and not just milestones like first poop and first swear word (rhymes with “duck”).

First, I figured since I do a pretty good job of keeping my tweets and Facebook status up to date, why not capture all of those in one place? I found Momento, a mobile app that scans all your online social networking accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc.) and amalgamates all your updates per day. So, I can go back to any date in the past and see what I had written. Almost guaranteed, I had updated Facebook with all the major milestones, and more recently Twitter. Still not in a baby-friendly format but at least the data is there, along with amusing anecdotes and rages, so I can one day update a true baby book, when she’s 12 or something.

Then I tried Kidmondo – an online baby book making site. I’ve just signed up tonight so we’ll see if it’s any less cumbersome than the other tools I’ve seen out there, or whether there is a way to quickly update from my phone or somewhere else without going through a big process.You can include rich media and also package it all up for a printed book one day. I like that option.

Anyone else used anything that doesn’t require sitting down for an hour at a time and trying to remember what you wanted to write? Any ideas on what you think your kids will really want to read when they are older, vs. what we think is so awesome?

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