Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Birthday Bear

This is a "re-run" of a previous Works For Me Wednesday. I "borrowed" the re-run idea from Rocks In My Dryer, our gracious host.

Today is a tip that I received from a mom friend of mine. She has since lost the battle with cancer, 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?


Kim @ Forever Wherever said...

What a cute idea! They grow so fast! Merry Christmas!

Family O'Foxes said...

I love this idea but my kids are out of that stage.

A friend shared with me an idea she does. Every year on her & her husbands anniversary she puts her daughter in her wedding dress and takes a picture.
I've done a few times. It is fun to do.