A lazy mom's guide to scrapbooking
Every New Year’s, I wind up pledging to get myself more organized. And for years, what that meant was sifting through the huge box of wedding mementos and photos and scrapbooking them into a gorgeous album. I wanted to do it quickly, before I forgot the little details of my wedding day. I got married in 1999. I moved the box from Pennsylvania to Florida, to two apartments and finally a house. I never scrapbooked it.
I was going to be better when I had my first child, in 2009. I was going to keep up faithfully with his baby book to preserve every new accomplishment and “kids say the darndest things” moment.
Last year, as he approached his second birthday and my memory fuzzed (when was it he rolled over again?), I realized I needed to get on this goal. In the laziest way possible.
Maybe lazy is a bad term. Moms are anything but lazy. In fact, we’re so busy down here in the parenthood trenches that anything that doesn’t have to be done -- laundry, groceries, basic cleanliness -- is going to get put on the back burner. A baby book, for me, looked like it was going to go the way of my wedding scrapbook.
Then, I had two breakthroughs.
The first was discovering the One Line a Day journal ($16.95, Chronicle Books). It’s a fat little memory book with a page for each day. The dates do not have years listed -- instead, there are slots for five years. You get six short lines per year (think the length of a Tweet) and as you progress, you’ll be able to look back and see the little moments for five years at a time.
I started writing in it on Mother’s Day last year and now make an entry every night before I go to bed. It records his early sentences (May 10: “Tak you welcome!" Translate: "Thank you, welcome!”), trips to the beach (June 25: “Nate looked at Siesta Key and said ‘Sandbox! Big Sandbox!’ ”) and milestones (July 17: “Converted crib to toddler bed”). I’m not profound, but I’m consistent, and I think the blurbs about our daily life will become even more meaningful the older he gets.
But what if you want a more complete picture of your child’s life, with photos and videos and stories that don’t require a pen and paper and nightly commitment?
You can do a lot on the Internet -- there are websites for online baby books that look pretty cool Kidmondo is one I have heard good things about) or you could upload all your photos or video to share sites.
I meant to do those things. It just seemed like a lot of work to get started. That’s when I had my second breakthrough after seeing the Google Chrome commercial where a dad makes a virtual baby book via gmail for his daughter.
How easy was that? I already was e-mailing funny stories, photos and videos to my parents and inlaws. So I created a gmail account based on my son’s name and started cc’ing him on those stories. Sometimes their replies were so interesting that I forwarded those to my son’s e-mail address, too.
I haven’t done anything fancy, it’s completely disorganized, but it’s there for me when I do get the time to tackle it and make it pretty. And if I never dress it up, it still promises to be good reading down the road.
Much more convenient than rooting through that dusty wedding box in my closet.
--Courtney Cairns Pastor
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