Happiness is: a journal for my baby

07/28/2010 at 2:51 pm | Posted in Happiness is, Small Fry | 10 Comments
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The day we brought Small Fry home from the hospital, I started writing stuff down. It was part coping mechanism, but mostly I wanted to capture every single thing about her.

The best way I know how is to write.

I’ve kept a journal on and off since I was about 10. I still have that very first diary, with it’s purple striped pages and faux gold lock. With entries like, “Mommy cleaned my ears today.” and “Hot dogs at school – yeah!” written in my big bubble handwriting, I will always treasure that book.

Keeping a journal for newborn Small Fry was a no-brainer. Sometimes I only wrote two sentences a week. Or in my anxiety-ridden state, I’d document every single thing I ate for five straight days in an attempt to figure out WHY WON’T SHE STOP CRYING? That little book also holds the good stuff, like her first smile. And the time I discovered her sleeping on her belly for the first time.

I tore through that little 3-inch-by-5-inch baby book in no time, so I bought a bigger one. With polka dots, of course.

I fill it with letters to my daughter, little notes about the funny things she says, when her first teeth appeared. It also has some of her scribblings, from lazy mornings when we’re lying in bed together. And also a couple of desperate letters of apology written frantically as I sat outside her door listening to her cry herself to sleep.

This book means the world to me. And I hope someday it will mean the world to Small Fry.



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  1. What a great idea!!

  2. I was doing so well with documenting in the first couple years with Ian. I have fallen down on the job with that big time. Thanks for giving me the inspiration to pick it back up!

    And the part about the desperate letters of apology. Hit me straight in the heart. Know exactly how you feel.

    • Writing those letters really helped me get through CIO. Now I read them and actually smile.

      And hey, you’re doing a wonderful job of documenting Ian’s life on your blog. Love keeping tabs on him over there!

  3. I’ve never been good at keeping journals (I’m shocked that I’ve kept up with the blog so well), but I write everything down in my calendar. It’s a minimal look at everything I’ve done, but it helps me to remember. And I have every calendar since I started this in 2002! I can tell you what my husband and I have done every weekend since we started dating!

    • How cool! I love the idea of a calendar as a memory book!!

  4. I love looking at the feeding schedule my mom kept for 2 months! I, like most moms said I’d keep an actual journal but I haven’t and I really can’t remember most things. I didn’t even finish B’s 1st year scrapbook (he’s 5)!

    You are doing a beautiful thing for both of you.

    • I hear you on the scrapbook. STILL working on Small Fry’s first-year book (like once every few months). My goal is to finish by her 3rd birthday … then probably her 4th birthday …


  5. what a great idea! I need to do this!

  6. I do the same thing for my now 3-year-old daughter and am SO glad to see others doing it. I find it surprising sometimes when I re-read my entries that I had completely forgotten about events or funny things she said until I read them in my own handwriting. If there’s ever a fire, my journals for her will be one of the first things I grab.

  7. I wrote to my daughter weekly when I was pregnant, and now journal for her sharing all we do, her funny moments and, like you, apologies for the times I’m not the Mama I want to be…. I don’t get to update it quite so often at the minute because life with a toddler is busy, but it’s so precious to look back on, and I’m already imagining what a heartfelt gift it will be when I give them to her someday.

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