Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tracking the Milestones

One thing that I can tell you is that when your kids are little, time flies by. It seems like just yesterday that I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my son, only when I look at him, I realize that it was actually 8 years ago that I was pregnant.

When my son was first born, I had a friend that delivered a meal to me through a women's club I was in. She shared with me an idea that I have been using ever since. She shared that each month she had taken a picture of her children with the same stuffed animal. This allowed her to observe how little they were and to visually measure their growth.

I had a stuffed bear that he had received as a gift and I selected that to be the "birthday" bear. Each month of his first year, then every three months of his second year, and every year on his birthday since then, we take a picture of him with his "birthday" bear. (Did the same thing for my daughter when she came along!) When I assembled the scrapbook for his first year, I put all twelve pictures on one page. It was a great way to look back and see how he changed over that first year.

In addition, when I was a new mom, I quickly learned that everyone wanted to giv me free or cheap pictures (and why not, if you find a customer that will come back every year for pictures, you can make a lot of money in the long run). So, each month, I took him to a different studio and got a free 8x10 of him. (Again, did the same thing for my daughter.) Sometimes, I would buy a couple of wallets or other pictures to share with family and friends, but most of the time I was able to exercise constraint and only get the free pictures. As with the birthday bear pictures, after doing it monthly the first year, I pared it back the following years to every six months taking them for a photo session. I typically get more pictures to share when we go for their birthday pictures than for the mid-year pictures, but I always get my 8x10. As a result, I have a nice 8x10 album that tracks their growth.

This post shared at Works for Me Wednesday.