Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Making It More Real

I have always been an avid scrapbooker. When I was single, I had so much free time (after spending hours after school preparing for the next day, week, month, and year) that I filled it by scrapbooking our family memories. Then I started dating Brian, and my time was shortened, but I managed to find time to scrapbook the memories that we were making together. Then we got married, and you can imagine how many wedding photos I had the joy of finding ways to create memories with. But now with the freedom of being in my own home, making my own schedule, and finding ways to cut back the extra hours at work, I happily scrapbooked to my hearts content during the first three years.

And then Addie came, and I was so wrapped up with being a stay at home wife and mother (I still had this odd mentality that I only had two weeks to do everything in my house that I wanted to do- 2 weeks being what Christmas break was) that the mountain of pictures from the hospital, her first week, and month just grew bigger and bigger. During her nap, I began plugging away and made some headway- I now have only two ziploc bags of unscrapped photos (not just of Addie but of my family from way back when), woohoo for me!

Then came Project Life and I completely freed myself from feeling like I was behind in my scrapbooking in any way. I am so caught up, it tickles me to look through the book and see all of our memories for this year up to date!

(Sigh of relief!)

Wait! Hold that thought! We have so many scrapbook pages of Addie from the moment she was born to now! How do I give Baby equal treatment? I am a firm believer in the idea of equal treatment of children. Issac and Jacob are wonderful examples of what happens to families when parents show preferential treatment to one child over another.

I am not the kind of person who sees the first born as being the only child worthy of special things and each subsequent child getting all of the leftovers and hand-me-downs (although those things are still important as the cost per child goes up). I believe that the first, second, third, fourth, etc. child are all special gifts and should be treated as such. I also wanted this baby to have something special. So I decided that I was going to make Baby #2 a special scrapbook of memories. (Addie only has tons scrapbook pages but not an actual scrapbook dedicated to just her.)

A few Saturdays ago during Addie's naptime, I began cleaning out my stockpile of scrapbooking materials. I had a 3 ringed 8.5x11 album that was not being used and an idea hit me. Premake/prepare as many pages as possible, put the book in order, and pull together pieces of cardstock and patterned paper that can be used on a layout. I did.

The categories are as follows:

  • Title page- with places for a preferably black and white picture of the baby, for me to write down the official time of birth, and Brian came up with the idea of using the open spot on the white paper for a foot print (love it!)
  • How We Announced- the picture of the proud big sis and a print out of this blog post.
  • God is Good- the story I told in this blog post.
  • Mommy's Thoughts on the First Trimester- from Monday's blog post.
  • Nursing- a printout and photo from this blog post.
  • Planning for the Baby: The List
  • Our 3rd Dr's Appointment
  • Our 4th Dr's Appointment
  • The Ultrasound- it is at this point that we will find out what we are having.
  • Mommy's Thoughts on the 2nd Trimester
  • Your First Visit to Ft. Lauderdale- I will still be pregnant at this point, but I know of a certain GrandTiti, Uncle Jack, and Cousin Belinda who are excited about Addie and Baby's visit.... oh, yeah, and their parents, too.
  • Our 5th Dr's Appointment
  • Our 6th Dr's Appointment
  • Out 7th Dr's Appointment
  • Baby Shower Guest List- in Hispanic cultures, it is customary for each baby to receive a shower and my aunts are already in the process of planning it.
  • Baby Shower- a 2 page layout with a couple of babseball card holders in between for extra pictures of the event.
  • Our 8th Dr's Appointment- I am currently counting this as the last appointment before D-Day since I am having a C-section. However, I realize that there may be a few appointments thrown in for good measure. If so, I'll add those appointments into the album as well.
  • The List: What we Packed For the Hospital- I wish I had taken an inventory of what we took to the hospital for Addie. The album is being packed in the bag... you'll see why in the next bullet point.
  • At the Hospital- a 2 page layout of our stay at the hospital and three baseball card protectors for lots of extra pictures. I am also including an empty page protector for hospital mementos- the button our hospital gives with the baby's footprint on it, the wristbamds (which won't come off until we are home), the little information card that is put into the little glass crib (all of this is stuff I collected for Addie, but never had an actual place to put it.)
  • Full Page Photo of the Baby- Scrapbookpictures.com offers prints in a variety of sizes. One size is the 8.5x11. I plan of finding a photo I love and putting it in this slot- with no embellishments.
  • Mommy and Daddy's Thoughts- During one of the rare, quiet moments at the hosptial, I want Brian and I to just write a little something to the baby about how we are feeling right then at that moment (notice, I said "quiet memoents". That will affect what we write, I'm sure!).
  • First Week Layout- A layout of snapshots that happened throughout the first week.
  • And then I have 2 page layouts set up for each of the months in the baby's first year. I also have baseball card protectors in each layout to hold extra photos from that month. Because the first year also includes a monthly doctor's visit, I will include an insert (maybe a 5x7 or a 8.5x4) which includes the stats from the visit, record of shots, and a photo so I can see the changes from month to month.
  • I have also included 2 extra layouts in the album for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • First Birthday- At the end of the album I have a 2 page layout set up for the baby's first birthday and baseball card protectors for extra photos. We do first birthdays big around here.
  • The final page in the album is going to be a letter from me to the baby. I added a letter from me to Addie at the end of her birthday album and I think it is a great way to end this album.
Each page mentioned above (except the "God is Good" page), will include at least one photo if not more.

After putting the album "skeleton" together and filling the page protectors with the papers that I will be using, it made the idea of having this baby more real to me than it has ever been. Yes, my belly is incredibly big for only being past my 1st trimester (Addie didn't show until I was at least 4 or 5 months), but putting this album together and seeing all of the milestones to come and knowing that this book will come together month by month, just made me want to have the baby now (way too early, I know).

So much to come. So many exciting things in store. So many sleepless nights (only towards the beginning.... when you bring them home from the hospital and realize there is no little button to push for help, and every little sound they make keeps you up at first). So many nights on the couch because after a C-section, climbing into our bed is impossible for the first week or two. So many moments of just sitting on the couch watching every flutter of the eyelids, every smile, every yawn and being in wonder of this new little person that I have the honor to be the mother to. So many reassuring hugs and kisses for Addie so she in no way feels that she has been dethroned or replaced. So many prayers being made on behalf of the two gifts that Brian and I have been blessed with. So much to come.

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