Our desktop computer is officially on the fritz – forcing me to use husband’s cute little laptop. Cute and cramped. And all my pictures are on the desktop (don’t worry, we have carbonite back up for them). Nevertheless, I am determined I won’t let this stop me from blogging.I’m grateful to at least have a computer to work on. It just means there won’t be many pictures around here for a while. We’ll try and make up for that with words, even if it takes a thousand at a time…
I am a compulsive, addicted, prolific journaler. So it is no surprise that besides my series of personal journals (currently filling #75) I have a journal for each of my children. The scraps of paper on which my mother wrote little notes about me as a child are so precious to me, I knew I wanted to do the same for my children. But with three under 5, I also knew I’d need a better system than the occasional scrawl on a sticky note that maybe made it into the right folder at the end of the day. So here’s my simple and effective system.
I have some deep bookshelves in the hallway off my kitchen (which is actually the center of my house). The shelves are deep enough for a little something to be stored on them in front of the actual books. This is where I keep my children’s individual journals, open, with a pen in each of them, ready and waiting. Whenever a cute thing is said or done, I literally stop everything and quickly jot it down. The central location of the journals and never having to look for a pen makes jotting things down very convenient.
To save time, I dispense with dating each entry, but just have monthly headings, such as “January 2010”. If I can’t write it down right away, I try to do it by the end of the day. In this way I have a journal of all those adorable things my kids do and say.
The journal doesn’t have to be anything special – even a small, spiral bound notebook will work. It’s just so you can keep it all in one place. I chose to have one book for each of my kids, but you could combine to simplify even more. I want each of my kids to have their own for a keepsake, though.
If you’re child isn’t talking yet, there’s still plenty you can journal about that they would enjoy reading about later. I need to get one for Seth, in which I plan to write down his baby milestones while we wait for him to talk. Claire has only begun to talk now, but I like to list the words in her growing vocabulary about once a month. The first pages of Jesse’s journal are filled with a proud mommy’s list of his signing vocabulary, as well as accounts of how he enjoyed his second Christmas (I didn’t start his until he was one). I have just recently begun to write down prayers for my kids in their journals – hoping seeing these prayers and the answers will help build their faith.
Recording the individuality of my children is how I make an effort to cherish each of them for who they are. No matter how many children I have, I want them each to know they have a special place in my heart. I hope that establishing a simple system for this will allow me to keep it up even as days get busier and my poor, fried mommy brain fades. 🙂
If I didn’t write it down, I’d never remember these ‘word snapshots’ that capture the joy and wonder of small children. Here’s an example of what I’m so glad will not be forgotten…
Jesse had a “G is for Grasshopper” school page today and said, “We eat grasshoppers.” I said, “No, God has provided plenty of other food for us to eat, so we don’t have to eat grasshoppers.” He argued his point, though, explaining that at Grandma’s house “We chop them up and put them in ice cream!” Ahh, yes – that mint chip icecream with ‘grasshopper’ in the title! I conceded the argument.
More quotes I’ve been saving up for you all tomorrow!