Feb 18, 2014


Sam baby book 1 detail
It seems that this is project completion month.  As soon as I was done with the new baby’s afghan, I got serious about finishing up Sam’s baby book.  Getting it done has been on my “to do” list for an entire year.  That was not the plan and I’m a bit frustrated with myself for taking so long to get it done.  But, in the end, I am just happy that it is completed.
The set up:
The baby book consists of a 12x12 American Crafts Album and Becky Higgins Photo Pocket Pages in Design AF and H . 
Ninety percent of the album is the story of Sam's first year in photographs.  The other ten percent is filled in with journaling.  I used the Seafoam Core Kit for titles, background paper and journaling. 
Sam baby book 1
Following the title page, I used one page for pre-Sam photos and journaling and then jumped right in to his birth day and our time at the hospital.
The next two-page layout includes photos of his nursery, our home and our first few days at home as a family of three.
Following the introduction pages, I used a standard set-up for all of the remaining pages.  
For each month, I used one Design A page protector, one Design F and a Design H insert page between the two.  The top of the insert is labeled with Sam’s age.  The bottom of the insert includes a little write up about what he was doing (milestones, favorites, etc) that month.  The 3x4 pockets on the right hand page include his weekly photos for the month.  The rest of the pockets are filled with a combination of favorite photos from the month and bits of journaling. 
Sam baby book month one
Sam was born on the 20th of February.  Rather than worrying about sorting photos for a specific 30 day period (from the 21st of one month to the 20th of the next month), I used calendar months to keep things simple.  For example, all of the photos from the “three month” pages were from May, even though he didn’t hit the three month mark until May 20th
Sam baby book one year- - - -
With the completion of Sam’s baby book, I have mixed feelings about the quality of record keeping that I’ve done for him. Some things I love.  Other things I regret. 
What I love:
The pre-baby photo series of my growing baby bump.  You can read more about that here.
Sam baby book 2
The weekly photos.  I love seeing the progression from tiny newborn to almost-toddler.  It is amazing how much he changed in the course of one calendar year and I love how the weekly photos make the changes visible.  It seems like he often looked “the same” for four or five weeks and then would have a sudden change of features.  If you are interested, I wrote more about Sam’s weekly photo project here.
The fact that I have lots (and lots) of photos of his first year.  I gave my camera a good workout in 2012.  The photos are a mixture of candid shots and attempted photo shoots.  Few, if any, of them are perfect but I love them all.  They are his story.  They are the story of our family. 
The monthly write ups.  On the 20th of each month, I wrote a “this is what Sam’s up to” update.  I wrote about his sleep schedule, his favorite things, his first laugh, first tooth, first day at daycare, etc.  Less than two years later, I remember very few of these types of details and am so, so thankful that I got it all in writing while it was still fresh.  
These are the things that make me a proud mama.  They make me feel like I did a good job of documenting the big first year of his life.  
What I regret:
The biggest thing that I wish I could add to the list above is deeper, more reflective journaling. 
I would love a deeper record of what I was thinking during my first months of mama-hood - not necessarily for his sake, but more for my own.  With the impending arrival of Baby P, I would love be able to dig out a journal from Sam’s first few months and read about some of the emotions that I experienced as a brand new mama. 
Moving forward:
I plan to update/add to Sam's book with a two-page spread each year on his birthday.  He turns two this week and the first add-on pages will include favorite photos and some journaling from the time between his first and second birthdays.
A single layout isn't much room for documenting an entire year, but I know that I have the backup of our family Project Life albums to fill in all of the details and that works for me. 
It hasn't happened yet, but I would also love to include an 8.5x11 insert for each year moving forward that includes a letter that I write to Sam and one that Brian writes to him.  
And with that, I get to cross another goal off of my list and start scheming for Baby P's baby book - which I plan to complete in a very similar fashion. 

No comments:

Post a Comment