Sometimes the days at home with little ones seem to drag on and on... and on. But everyone who has been there and done that seems to agree that this time of life will fly past, and we will really miss it when it is gone. I can already see it happening. I can't quite believe that our big girl is 3. It seems like yesterday that it was just Matt and I.
There are so many cute and funny and fun moments that I treasure being at home with our little ones (as well as the moments I probably would rather forget!). Although, I can't remember every detail, I want to try and record many memories as I can. I am also striving to make sure that Miss Chilled (#3 child) isn't going to be left with 2 photos to represent her whole childhood, while her big sister has every minute of her life recorded!
Here are a few things I (try to) do to record some of our family memories:
1) A photo a day
Even if we are just at home, I keep my camera at hand and try to get at least one photo of our day.
2) A video a month
At the end of each month (and other times if I remember), I get out the video camera and try to get some footage of our kids. I am particularly interested (being a Speech Pathologist) at getting a bit of talking on camera, so I can observe how our kids are changing and growing.
3) Taking note
I was so much better at this with our first child! I have a notebook with weekly notes recorded for Miss Chatterbox' first 6 months, and monthly notes until her first birthday. I also have lists of words she was using at 12, 15 and 18 months. I actually did almost as well recording Mr. Cheeky's milestones, but this has all gone downhill with baby 3. I wrote a couple of things for her at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and recently at 8 months... oops.
There is nothing pretty about these notebooks, or these records, but at least the information is there, and maybe one day I can use it to create something pretty.
4) Funny phrases/ anecdotes
A lot of these get forgotten, but I try to record a couple of funny incidents in my notebook, or even put it in a status on Facebook (I hope that Facebook will always allow access to old updates).
5) Special occasion journals/ photo albums
I had this habit drummed into me as a child, and I resented it back then! On family holidays or other special occasions, I try to keep a bit of a daily journal of the main events or highlights. This means that we avoid going back to look at photos and thinking, "where was that?" or even, "which child is that?"!
Apart from recording memories, there is also the need to organise these records. I have a lot of work ahead of me in this area, but here are some ideas of good ways to organise memories:
One motivation for me to start blogging was to have a digital record of (part of) our lives. I like the idea of being able to have photos and text together. If you want to do this, but don't want other people to read/ see your blog there are options for keeping your blog private, or having invited readers only.
2) Photos on computer
Up until recently, our photos were a bit of a mess on the computer. A couple of months ago, I realised that the best way for us to organise photos was in separate folders for each month (e.g. June 2011, May 2008), rather than try to describe the events of each photo.
I also upload all our photos onto http://www.snapfish.com There are other similar websites. I like the idea that our photos are not bound to a single computer, so are protected from a computer crash etc. Another option is of course saving copies onto an external hard drive (we used to do this, but our external hard drive was corrupted and we had to pay a lot to rescue the files from it), or onto CD Rom.
3) Videos on computer
Again, ours are organised by date, and saved on both our computer and the video camera (we haven't reached our camera's 11 hour limit yet). I have only edited a couple of clips. I am a LONG way behind. I think I am able to upload videos onto Snapfish, but need to look into it a little more. Does anyone know of a good web-based site for saving video (apart from a public site such as You tube)?
4) Ordering Photo books
I like the idea of creating photo books online, and having them printed, rather than using bulky albums. Unfortunately the photo books are quite expensive, and I still have a lot of photos to be compiled and printed. I have to limit myself to printing a couple of photo books every now and then (or maybe ask for them for Christmas/ birthday presents).
Other ideas? How do you make sure you record memories regularly? How do you organise your records/ photos/ videos?
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