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?


Nicole said...

hey- as you may have noticed as of late, i've been documenting stuff about C & P on my blog. Wish I had started sooner. Usually, after taking a few pictures, it gives me an idea of what to blog about. I can document certain milestones without going into crazy detail like first poop etc. - I've been enjoying doing it this way and I feel better knowing that I finally got my butt in gear and did something to chronicle their important moments. Eventually, I'll somehow get the blog put into a book for them.

Anonymous said...

How about reading old posts from babycentre.ca? we used to be pretty faithful recording stuff, on there at least up to our kids' first birthdays.

Your blog just made me feel really guilty, but i'm trying to confort myself in the fact that I have pics and videos of major stuff, and that thanks to my husband, we are now keeping track of my little one's language development (first swear word included,in Spanish, lol)

Michelle said...

I was so good at keeping a journal for Bibiane when she was born and did write down a lot of that early stuff. I am glad I did because I have a new mom who asks me all the time how old Bibi when she....? But I will tell you that I write in it few and far between and it's okay. The point is that you are writing it down. Sometimes i start an entry with a list of things I should write about. I plan on one day (yah, one day!) stuffing pictures in it so that she can have it when she is older. With twins on the way I have no idea what I am going to do but I do know that what I do does count.

Anonymous said...

Stephanie, I had a lot more time to record events than you do, despite studying for final exams. I think, if you look back at all the entries on your facebook and copy them on some word application for now, that should help you. I'll try and find some things you've sent us in the email.


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