Since becoming a Mamma, I have been thinking even more about memory keeping, especially since our baby Alex is growing like a weed and changing daily; and our beloved fur girl, Victory, will not always be with us physically. (Victory is well and she is doing well and we hope to have many, many more years with her, as we cannot imagine life without her!) We are throughly enjoying our time with our girls! Therefore, I want to preserve as many fleeting moments as I am able. I am a visual person and it brings us joy to have tangible ways to preserve moments. Below are a few ways that I preserve and plan to preserve our memories.
1. Baby Hand Print and Foot Prints — I purchased this kit prior to going to the hospital. Soon after coming home, with the help of my Mom, we made Alex’s newborn hand and foot prints! They are so tiny! I am really glad that we did this to capture an impression of her hand print and foot print as a newborn. We also did this in a similar way with our fur girl, Victory — see here and here.
2. Promptly Journal – I love making photo books; however, I wanted to find a simple way to capture this time in our lives so I purchased a childhood promptly journal, which helps you capture your child’s complete history from your pregnancy until your child is 18 years old. There are pages for your to document your pregnancy; pages month for the first year of your baby’s life; and then there are pages for each birthday until age 18. Each section has places to document your child’s favorite things and then it has questions that help prompt you with what to say. Additionally, there are places to add photographs, and there are even places to write letters to your child. So far, it has been manageable to keep up with; and I have had fun completing this book and inserting tangible items to capture memories, and it will hopefully be a nice keepsake for Alex enjoys when she is older.
3. Birth Story – I wrote a more detailed and personal birth story for Alex for when she is older augmented by images of her birth sharing the entire experience with her, while it was fresh in my mind. (I keep a folder on my computer where I save such documents in one place, which helps keep things organized.)
4. Pregnancy Announcement and Baby Announcement – I designed our pregnancy announcement and our baby announcement that we mailed out to friends and family along with using a custom stamp and seal for both announcements. It is a nice way to memorialize this type of exciting news in a tangible format!
5. Monthly Portraits (first year) – I am going to do my best to take monthly portraits of Alex and Victory and Alex together to capture what Alex looks like each month during the first year. Then, I will likely move to yearly portraits! Of course, I will always do impromptu photo shoots!
6. Monthly Blog Posts (first year) – I plan to do monthly blog posts sharing thoughts and highlights from that month as a way to remember each month with Alex during the first year!
7. Photo Books – I have made a photo book from our wedding, honeymoon, and our annual vacations together since 2011! I love them! I have also made a baby book for Alex leading up to and through her birth. I plan to make another photo book capturing her first year and I plan to subsequently make yearly photo books of Alex, including our fur girl, Victory, of course!
8. Annual Calendar – I have made an annual calendar for us for at least the past five years and we really love them! They also make great gifts and they are the perfect size for a desk! I plan to continue this yearly tradition!
9. Photo Magnets – I like to make photo magnets for our refrigerator of our favorite images! Our refrigerator is covered in images, photo magnets and quotable magnets which can easily be swapped out, etc. They also make great gifts, too!
10. Prints – I have always made a point to print our images as I edit them, and then frame them around the house. Since having Alex, I have even more images from my phone and ‘big camera.’ So, in order to keep up on everything, each week, I download the images from my iphone (I usually edit the images from my iphone on my phone as I take them) and from my CF card on my camera and cull and edit the images and save them on my computer in two places as a back up. Then, each month, I print these images. (I have to do this process somewhat consistently, or else it become unmanageable to keep up with.) Further, there are a variety of places to get prints made online. I try to document our everyday as it unfolds in images, which typically turn out to be the best images that occur spontaneously.
11. Albums – After I print the images each month, I put them in a photo album. I know that this may be outdated, but I really like having our images in chronological order and organized in tangible form. I have been doing this since Doug and I met and it is nice to have some semblance of our images. Plus, it is always nice, sometimes, to go through images from the past and reminisce. I also have started a photo album for Alex, which contain images specific to her.
12. Frame Prints – I make fine art prints of the images that I frame to put around our house. It brings us joy to have our images around the house to actually look at versus having hundreds of images on a phone or computer! I try to update prints in our frames throughout the year, on multiple occasions, with the images that we especially love and want to see each day! I use simple frames for the wall and I also use simple frames for around the house for those frames that are not hung on the wall.
I hope that this helps give some ideas for preserving the fleeting moments that go by much too quickly!