Some parents are amazing at documenting their children. They start a baby book even before their child is born and consistently update a memory book with all the milestones along the way. Unfortunately I am not that parent. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to be that parent – I even purchased a baby book with the greatest intentions of completing every page. Yet here we are, 5 years, 2 kids and 3 moves later and it remains blank.
Thankfully I have let go of the self-imposed obligation that is the baby book. Having the ability to enjoy the moments without feeling the pressure of cataloging everything is truly freeing.
Using other simple methods we have logged memories and milestones of our kids that have been far more conducive to frequent moves, crazy schedules and all that comes with our military family life.
Portable Growth Chart
Growing up we kept a chart of our height through the years by marking a door way with our measurements. As a child I still remember standing against a doorframe and having my mother mark my height with a dash and dating next to it. We would step back and see how much taller we were than the last time we measured. Over the years the doorframe filled with these markings. Home was never questioned because it was the same place from Kindergarten through graduate school. My family lived in the same home for 20 years. Being a military family, my children already have a far more fluid definition of home. Our family fell in love with the idea of having a portable growth chart that could easily be taken from one home to the next as we PCS. You can purchase a pre-made portable height chart that easily rolls up or you can use directions like these provided by Heather of WhipperBerry to create your own DIY portable growth chart for your family or as a baby gift!
Newborn Memories Ornament
Creating an ornament that holds the newborn hat and hospital bracelets from your baby’s first days is a wonderful way to reminisce about the joy that your child brought to your family. Our children love to find their own ornaments and place them on the tree and hear about their first days of life.
If you are like me then you probably find these newborn items each time you move and put them into a “safe place” (aka a drawer) where they stay until you move again. Pack, unpack, repeat. Next time you see them just place them into a fillable plastic ornament. It doesn’t matter if your child is 1 or 10. The ornament will bring joy to the holiday decorating. Furthermore, an ornament is the perfect place to safely keep these precious items over the years.
Oh the Places You Will Go Yearbook
We often mark school years by the influential people who work with our children. Each year we ask the teachers of our kids to sign a “yearbook” without our children knowing. This is one of my favorite ways that we document their school years. To do this we simply purchased a copy of Oh The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss which we drop off with their teachers. We include a note marking the page and ask for a note of encouragement for our child that he will read upon graduation from high school. Our first teachers wrote that will be read 16 years later!
While we started this process in preschool, don’t worry if your child is further along in school. You can use the yearbook starting at any point! Additionally you can use this method with teachers, coaches, friends and family. As a parent, you could even include a note on the birthday of your child each year.
Although it is years away, I truly cannot wait for our boys to receive their books upon graduation!
Qeepsake Text Message Memory Journal
Qeepsake is a lifesaver when it comes to documenting my children. This revolutionary app was created by parents who understand the busy life you lead with kids. As a military family Qeepsake has been even more vital because it is one less thing I have to keep up with when we PCS! Qeepsake texts you a question about your child. You text back your response, and an entry is added to your child’s private journal. Don’t worry if your child is out of their baby or toddler years. Qeepsake asks questions based on your child’s current life stage but you can also update your account with information on earlier years. When you are ready you can order a beautiful memory book that contains all of the entries and photos!
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