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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Looking Beyond the Baby Book: How to record memories in the 2nd year & beyond.

I will forever be grateful that I found Tiff's post over at A Day In My Life. If it weren't for her post about the photo book she made as an alternative to a traditional baby book, I can pretty much guarantee that all the photos I took of Elsa over the past year on the 1st of each month would STILL be stuck on my computer waiting for me to catch up on 6 years of blog books.  Instead I was motivated to get 223 of my favorite images into a book for me to publish using my favorite bookmaking site. When Elsa turned one I was at a loss as to how to keep recording her milestones in a way that didn't require a lot of effort. I knew I would have plenty of photos, but I didn't know how to tie all the text together or even what exactly I would be able to blend together into a cohesive book.  I searched for a 'prompt' so to speak, and what I landed on is so simple yet so full of information about Elsa each month of her second year.

All I have to do is complete sentences that begin with the word "You". I jot notes on our family calendar and in my daily journal so it's really easy to pull everything together. Despite my best intentions it wasn't possible to keep up with making new monthly pages so that task was left for the end, BUT it wasn't hard because I had all the information in only two places.


Opposite the page with text (I make those in Photoshop almost the exact same way as Tiff), I placed a full bleed photo of Elsa with her white chair.  Like the basket series I did every week for 52 weeks, I used a consistent prop to show her growth. Granted she's so wiggly the chair was off in the background sometimes!


The colors for the numbers were chosen based on whatever outfit she was wearing for her photo shoot. Knowing this ahead of time was good motivation to mix up the colors she wore. I didn't realize how much dark pink she has!


 After the initial spread for each month the layouts vary depending on how many photos I was able to get that month. All but a couple of times I did her mini sessions on the 1st of each month since her birhday is July 1st, but the information for each month covers the entire month. What that means is that below she's exactly 14 months old in the photo, but all the milestones happened over the course of the month she was 14 months old. Make sense? I wanted the 14 to go with the things she did at 14 months, not by the time she turned 14 months. Confused yet? I know I had to stop and think a few times as I sorted out the months, milestones, & photos so I was consistent! Have you noticed that's something very important to me yet? :)




I was able to sneak in a dear photograph spread which I loved! Julia was a little younger than Elsa when her photo was taken next to the same tree, but with birthdays in October and July this was the closest I could get of them in the same dress.


The very last 'you' on every month is 'you' are loved! and so that's what I titled the book.
I hodge podged a font to make the 'you' fit my needs. I'm too cheap to buy a font so I altered one to get the look I wanted. I simply enlarged it for the cover.


I'm still on the fence about whether I'll use the same format for her 3rd year. I think it would be great to go back and make a page a year for Sam and Julia with some highlights of the year, but I think it might be too late :( Besides, they have Alphabitty Moment books to remember their younger years. Eventually they'll have blog books too. What have YOU done to record milestones for your little ones?

If you want to see all of Elsa's book you can click here. Enjoy!

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2 comments:

  1. I love this idea for recording milestones.

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  2. Great post! I'm sure lots of moms want to be able to record their baby's milestones like this. And you did a wonderful job of designing each page too! I love it. I started a project that would help motivate moms to do projects like this!

    Our website, FamilyTales helps to capture your baby's life story with just 1 minute a day.

    We'll send out "smart" questions that are time-specific and prompts that aims to help parents document your child's special moments, e.g. "What your baby's current footwear look like?" or "What was the last thing your baby did that surprised you?"

    We are looking for moms and dads to try out FamilyTales and give us honest feedback about the process.
    You can check it out at: http://www.thefamilytales.com

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