I had big plans of being a scrap book mom. For my first born’s baby book I searched everywhere for one I liked and never found one. I decided I would make my own and bought a ton of scrap booking supplies. Guess how much I got done on it? 0%. I have a sack in the closet that has scrapbook paper, hospital bracelets, baby footprints, etc. Some day I’ll get to it… In the meantime, I’ve been doing some other things that I think are great ideas for anyone who wants to save memories, but doesn’t have the time, money, or patience to scrapbook whole childhoods for each of their kids.
1. Create an email address for each of your kids.
When I was pregnant and we picked out a name for Poptart I claimed an email address for him. I kept it simple, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can send pictures, document big milestones or funny things he said. Start from your pregnancy and continue throughout his childhood. I always cc myself and my husband. You can also cc grandparents or whomever you want kept in the loop of life’s moments. Then one day, you can give your responsible teen the email and password. I like this because I can do it from my phone immediately when something happens that I want to share with him. Like the time we were in the throes of potty training and he pooped at the top of his play set. It’ll be a great reminder to him that he needs to take care of me when I’m old. I mean, I had to deal with crap like this! [pun intended].
2. Create a Youtube account.
You know all those videos that are on your phone of your kids doing adorable things? Is that the only copy you have? Does the quality get messed up when you try and send it one to grandpa because you have an iphone and he has an android? Do you wish you had a way to add a description or story to each video? If you answered yes to any of these, get a youtube account! You can use your email or the one you created for your kid. Anytime something special happens, like your sweet baby crawls, or you want to document your toddler saying boops instead of boots because it’s freaking adorable, you can upload that video.
Note: You can set videos to private (only you can see them), unlisted (anyone with the link can see it), or public (everyone can see it, even pedophiles.. I only bring that up just to remind you to be mindful of what is public. Most of mine are set to unlisted. This means I can send the link to anyone I want and they are able to watch it, but it will not pop up in searches at all.
3. Download the “1 Second Everyday” app.
This nifty app called “1 Second Everyday” lets you record a one second video each day, then merges them all together to create a keepsake video. You can mash up a week, a month, a year or even several years. One of the features I appreciate is easy rotation of vertical videos. Vertical videos are one of my pet peeves. Bear (husband), bless his heart, always seems to take them that way. It can also randomly select clips from videos already on your phone to fill in days for you. What a fun, easy way to take a walk down memory lane! It costs $4.99, so it’s not free. But hey, that’s less than a scrapbook costs.
4. Create a family yearbook.
It’s just like the yearbooks you used to get at the end of the school year…but, instead of a bunch of photos of people you won’t ever remember, it’s your family! This is something I have not personally done. Rose’s sister-in-law, Buttercup, does this for her family. I absolutely love the idea though. Any photobook website will do. Buttercup uses Shutterfly. You can get crazy and customize every page with arrangements and captions, or just dump a bunch of photos in the uploads and let the automatic book generators do the work. If you are also keeping up with your planner-journal and your kids’ emails, you can pull some of your funny quotes or memorable moments from there.
Pro tips from Buttercup:
- Do not, I repeat DO NOT, ever pay full price for a photo book. Those websites always run a 40 or 50% off coupon (usually around holidays). You are able to start and save projects so don’t order until they are doing a coupon promotion.
- I made a “First Year” book for each of my kids (basically their baby book), and then family year books after that.
- I made my daughter’s first year book like four years after she was born. And I’ve missed a few. My last one was 2015 so I’ve thought about combining a couple years. There are no rules. I always tell myself it doesn’t have to be perfect and it’s only going to be as stressful as I make it on myself.
5. Use a planner -journal.
I have a whole blog post about this gem, so I won’t spend too much time on it. You can find it here. Basically, use your planner to jot down a memory each day whether it is something you did or a something funny your kid said. Using a planner is a great habit to get into. If you are using your planner every day anyway, this is an easy way to hold on to some special memories without having to make extra time to journal.
**Disclaimer: No, I did not get paid to mention Youtube, 1 Second Every Day, or Shutterfly. Maybe one day when we are boss bloggers Youtube will see this shout out and throw money at us…Ha!
Our time on this Earth is fleeting (James 4:14). I hope these tips help you savor some of its seconds. I remember yesterday Poptart fit in the crook of my arm… except that was three years ago.
May your memories be many and merry,
At this moment: Peanut Butter is napping. He’s been sleeping all day since having an allergic reaction to penicillin. That was scary! Poptart is at Home Depot with Bear. The weekends are when I have the longest chunks of uninterrupted time to work on blog stuff since Bear is home to help with the kiddos.