Monday, March 30, 2009

Multiple Kid Mondays... Record Your Memories

So I thought I'd blog about birthday parties after last Thursday's MOMS lunch discussion, but I decided instead to blog about memory keeping. This is definitely inspired by Big Al. Yes, we do call our beautiful blonde daughter Big Al from time to time. Ali Kate is short enough, but Big Al is a term of affection. Anyway, she's a talker...and lately she's been trying to put abstract concepts together. She's known hundreds of words for several months now (she just turned 2 in January), but she's beginning to put together abstract concepts. Well, today I was teaching her about open and close in regards to the elevator at preschool when we were dropping of A and I. Since then, everything has been "closed" this morning. When I tried to tickle her tummy, I said, "Ali Kate, show me your tummy." She said, "No, it's closed." At lunch she didn't have her chair scooted out far enough to climb into it, and she said in total exasperation, "My chair is closed!" So I fixed it of course.

Things like these are what I want to remember. Like when I put her down for nap a few minutes ago, she said, "I don't want to take a nap." Then came my daily response to her daily comment, "We always take a nap after lunch." Then she so sweetly said, "But I sirus." (That's toddler speak for "I'm serious.") I had to keep from laughing at her while I put her in her bed.

When you have four tiny kids, your days fly by before you know it. Then when you look up, your oldest daughter is starting kindergarten (I can not believe this even as I type it). So I've really been trying to keep up with the things I don't want to forget. How?

Well, there are always the standard birthday videos, school pictures, etc. We of course do all of those things. But I also scrapbook (albeit only once every couple of months). I used to keep my kids their own journals where I wrote them love letters and talked about what they were doing, saying, etc. Now I blog and write tidbits here and there. My scrapbooking has gone from mostly birthday parties and celebrations to pages about each child at a particular age. I really try to record funny quotes (like today's little post), funny stories, mispronunciations, things they say about friends, how big they were, etc. Those are the things I love to remember.

My new idea is that I'm going to get each child a new journal with no promises about how often I'll write. (My perfectionist self always has a tendency to set unrealistic goals like "I'll write in them daily...) With four kids, really? Highly unlikely. Totally unlikely. And I'm not going to write letters. I'm going to just jot down quick quotes, anecdotes, stats (size shoes, weight, height), current friends, etc. I'll do this whenever the fancy strikes. I'm going to probably keep these with my cookbooks on my kitchen counter so that I can grab them and jot down things when I have a few seconds. Especially after listening to Jean on perfectionism last week, I won't be stressing out about entering things daily or even weekly...just whenever I have a chance. Got a doctor's appointment? Just grab a kids' journal or two and write while you're waiting. Waiting for dance class to end? Use a couple of minutes. With the old journals, I actually tried to journal talk about stress and unenjoyable (even for someone like me who likes to write). I can't fathom trying to keep four daily journals for all of my kids. So the relaxed, do-it-as-you-can approach is the way to go!

Now you better believe that there will be some serious journaling and serious scrapbooking of Abby starting kindergarten! If you're reading this Jean, I need that releasing talk again! :)

Anyway, with four kids...I always have a new anecdote or crazy story. Our life borders on insane sometimes! And I want to remember these days. When my house is empty and has really clean carpets with Sharpee-free walls in the hallway and stain-free laundry to do in only two hampers...I want to sit down on my nicely upholstered sofa and flip through journals, scrapbooks, and videos. Until then, I'll be making memories with my kiddos in my new home with Ali's Sharpee artwork on the front hallway and a stack two feet high of stain-treat laundry on the dryer. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Want to post your ideas about memory-keeping or anything about your life with multiple kids? Join in. Just put your name below and link back to your blog entry. You are more than welcome to use my button if you'd like. I can't wait to read your entries!

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