Wednesday, July 25, 2018

My favorite ways for memory keeping for a baby

There are of course many ways to memory keep for a baby. The most traditional being a baby book and photographs. For some reason, I just wasn't feeling the baby book and while I do take quite a few photos (who doesn't?), I have found that for me two other methods work best.

1. A five year diary

A five year diary is a diary where on every page there is the date for example July 16 and then five entries, one for every year. You add the year and write. There isn't much space per year, but I find it works wonderfully for a baby diary. I just want to jot down a few special things from the day. That's all I have energy for at the end of most days anyway. Sometimes not even that. I definitely have blank days when I could not either muster the energy to say anything, or I was too upset to say anything nice. While I aim to keep the diary real, I also want to keep it nice. This is for the Kiddo to read someday, I just want to her to know what life was like and how much we adore her. And there have been days I just could not remember a single thing that happened that day (this happens more than you'd think, days just turn into mush).

So, what do I write about? A lot of "firsts", of course. The first time she smiled, crawled, went to a restaurant, slid down a slide, said a word... Lately it's been a lot of first words. If I feel like nothing special happened that day (mostly because I'm drawing a complete blank, then on the next day I'm like "oh, she said 'grey' for the first time while pointing at a grey car, how could I forget that!"), I write about general things. What's the current evening routine like. What are her favorite foods, toys, activities etc. How much she loves going to the store ("kauppa, kauppa"). About her love/hate relationship with the robot vacuum. Things that seem obvious now, but probably wont be in a few months. If there's nothing else, I tell her how much I love her. And I always add a heart in each entry.

I've been keeping the diary for almost two years now, starting the day she was born and I love reading the previous years entry (and feel sad when there's no entry). You forget things so fast, things that you thought you'd remember forever, so I just love this. I won't lie it frequently makes me tear up.

2. The 1 second everyday app

I heard about this from Elise and immediately downloaded it. It's a phone app, where you take a video clip everyday, cut a one second bit from it (you can also cut a 1,5 second clip, which I use).Then the app makes a video for you of all the clips from the year. A home movie just like that! It's a bit like the five year diary in a video form. I find they complement each other wonderfully. One second doesn't seem like much, but it really is enough once you have several clips. When there's a whole year worth of clips, the video is something like six minutes long. You get lovely home movies where you really see the growth and development of your baby. It's amazing. While I love photos, in videos the people really come to life. I try to include myself and Jake and other people in them too, but a lot of times it's just the Kiddo. Kiddo from the front, Kiddo from the back, Kiddo climbing, Kiddo eating...

I started taking the clips when I did the pregnancy test and the videos are so amazing to watch ("look at us, just lounging on the couch watching TV pre-kid, hah!", "oh, there you were born!"). The Kiddo loves them too and asks to watch them almost everyday. I also made one from our recent trip to see my parents. I just took a ton of clips and mashed them together and now the Kiddo has a video of grandparents (and aunt and uncle) she sees less often. I plan to make ones for her birthday and Christmas too, and maybe a day in the life, if I could just remember to (I've been literally thinking about it for months).

I can't believe how easy it is to make really nice home videos with this app. I think she'll appreciate these when she's an adult too. I know I will watch them when I'm old and grey and just be sobbing at what a little baby I had. I wish I could share one of the videos with you, but if you want to see a really nice one check out Elise's video for 2017.

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