Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tips for Thursday

So, after some additional blog reading, I think that my Tips for Thursday is going to move to Wednesday, so I can participate in Works For Me Wednesday, over at Rocks In My Dryer. For today, I will keep it here on Thursday (can't really go back and make it a Wednesday post now).

Today is a tip that I received from a mom friend of mine. She passed away from cancer about 18 mos ago, but I am very appreciative of a tip she shared when she dropped off a dinner for my family in the days following the birth of my son.

She suggested that I select a stuffed toy to be a "Birthday Bear" and that every month during the first year, take a picture of the baby with that bear. It provides a great gauge for how they are growing and changing. She said she started it when her kids were younger and now, they just take annual pictures with the bear on their birthdays.

I loved this tip. I decided on a birthday bear for my son, in his case it was actually a stuffed bear. I took a picture of him and the bear every month for the first year and then every three months the next year and now, every year on his birthday. My husband mocks me, asking if I will still take his picture with that bear when he is a teenager (if he lets me, I just might). When I did his first year scrapbook, I was able to build a two page layout that showed his progress from month one to twelve very clearly.

When my daughter was born, my Mom and son went to the hospital gift shop and bought her a pink fluffy bear. It became her birthday bear and I have carried on the same tradition with her.

Conveniently, though they are different bears, they are both Ty Bears, so they are the same size, so they also can serve as comparison between the two kids.

I always have to remind myself that I need to take the picture. There has been at least one occasion where the kids had had their bath, read their books and were about to be placed in bed when I recalled that I needed to take that picture. In those cases, not considering the next day to be an option, I dragged them downstairs set them in the picture chair with their bear and snapped away. Those pictures show one tired child in their PJs with their birthday bear, but it is still the milestone picture that I will always have.

I love to look back at all of the pictures to see how they have changed and grown.

Do you have a tradition by which you measure how your child has grown and changed?