I have three baby books for Emily. I bought a traditional baby book that I filled out oh, I'd say the first 15 pages of. It is a lot of journaling and even with one baby I found that it was way more time consuming and just not my thing. The second baby book is one that a friend brought to the hospital. It's called "all about baby" and is small and super easy to fill out. It has a spot for pictures on page and asks fill in the blank questions on the other side.
The questions are fun and easy. It has a section to list who came to visit at the hospital, first picture, first family picture, questions about the baby's first toy, etc, etc. It was so simple that I filled out the entire book in an afternoon and had most of the pictures printed for my scrapbook already. This is Emily's book and she has taken it to show and tell at school and "read" it to just about everyone who has ever visited our house. She loves the pictures of herself as a baby and it is sturdy enough that I don't mind her walking around with it.
The third book is her scrapbook. I started with the traditional title page with a newborn picture and a picture of her at one year old. Her first year is very detailed with pictures of her first bath, first solid foods, first Christmas, etc, etc. Not an expert scrapbooker but someone who loves it I have by far put in the most time into this book. After her first year the pages become more sporadic. I have every major holiday and activity (like dance class, soccer, vacations, becoming a big sister, etc). I continue to add to this book every chance I get and am always looking for paper and stickers to match her latest feat (new bike, etc).
Palmer has two baby books. He has a small traditional baby book similar to Emily's all about me book and his scrap book. I have finished his first year and the major holidays and birthdays since his first year. It feels good to be "caught up" with the kids' scrapbooks and makes it nice to work on things that just happened. I need to add pages for our Disney World trip last year and this year's Halloween pictures. It is a constant work in progress and Bret sometimes makes fun of how I keep napkins from their parties or different little keepsakes from the different events (like the program from Emily's first dance recital) always with the thought that it would a nice touch to the kids' scrapbooks.
I have done the same for Bret and I's book that has yet to be started. I have a tub of just stuff that someday will transform into an awesome scrapbook of our lives together. I still have things left from college spring break trips, the night Bret proposed, our honeymoon, and our first house that we owned. Sometimes trying to figure out where to start our book is enough to keep me from even trying.
As we prepare for our third baby I have noticed that I have NOTHING saved yet for a new scrapbook. I take that back. When I first found out I was pregnant I took a picture of the positive pregnancy test and emailed it to Bret who was on call. So I have a picture of a positive pregnancy test. I also have sonogram pictures. I decided that although I am not a big fan of the "belly" picture that I wanted at least ONE picture of me pregnant with this baby. I went through our camera last night and realized that I don't have one already. So sometime before this baby comes (even it if it right before we get to the hospital) Bret is going to take the typical side shot picture of me and all this baby. I also plan to keep the name cards and bracelets, the cards, etc, etc. It may be a while before I get started on this baby's book but I'll get to it eventually.
Someone (not a scrapbooker) once asked if the kids would ever really "appreciate" all the time that goes into their scrapbooks. To be honest I don't care. I do it more for me than for them. I like looking back at their lives. Children grow so fast. It seems like just yesterday I was pregnant with Palmer and waiting for him to come and now in a few weeks he will be 3 years old. Emily is almost six. As they get older the time goes by faster. It feels like we have less and less of it and the pictures and pages that I put together some how captures that in a way I don't know how else would. As much as Bret teases me for taking a playbill for our first Broadway show in NYC or finding post cards simply for background for the scrapbook pages I am going to create for our vacations he too appreciates looking through them and remembering things as well.