What parent doesn't like to take a lot of photos of their babies these days? We are constantly pulling out our cameras to take photos or videos! We try really hard to live in the moment, but even now, when Bennett is only two, we look back at photos from when he was just a few days old, or sitting in the bumbo chair laughing, or learning to walk and those photos and videos are so precious to us. So we thought it would be neat to take a specific photo each month that would document his growth, but this photo project turned into so much more!
We wanted the photos to be somewhat consistent to show how much Bennett had grown so we chose to do the photo each month on the arm chair that is in the nursery and Bennett was next to an 8" x 12" photo frame. Each month, I would switch up the paper in the frame so that it displayed the number of months for that photo and would include a coloured background that matched Bennett's outfit or coordinated with the season we were in.
After I was done taking the photo, I would write notes on the back of the paper including the date, how much Bennett weighed in that photo, what size of clothing he was wearing in the photo, the developmental milestones that Bennett hit that month, and what our family had been up to recently.
I continued to do this for Bennett's whole first year. Sometimes, I would be a couple days behind on taking the photos and felt rushed to get it done, but generally, I looked forward to taking the photo and taking a few minutes to reflect on the past month - time flies by incredibly fast with these little kiddos and it is nice to look back on the details of our life. I also loved the idea of having a photo from each month so I can put the photos together in some kind of thoughtful gift for Bennett when he gets older so that was a big motivator for me to not miss a month.
When Bennett turned one, I wrote some fun facts on the chalk board and took a picture of him next to it. And then I typed out some notes to Bennett about what a whirlwind the first year of parenting was and how much Cam and I love him. And when the next month rolled around, I was already in the habit of sitting down and writing notes for Bennett and I quite enjoyed this time of reflection so I have continued to type notes every month.
Our second son, Sullivan, was born in March so I have decided that I will do monthly photos of Sullivan (which so far have both gotten photobombed by Bennett). And once Sullivan turns one, I will continue to take special photos on the boys' birthdays each year (and of course, there will be the 5000 other photos we take between birthdays)! And lastly, I will continue to write monthly notes to the kiddos for as long as I continue to enjoy doing it and feel like the notes will be interesting for the boys later in their lives.
Another motivating factor for me keeping notes for the kiddos is that I sometimes wonder what life was like for my parents when they had young kids in the house. My mom has health issues now and can't answer my questions about her life as a mama of young kiddos and I often wish I was able to learn more about what she was like before her personality and memory were greatly affected the way they have been. So if Cam and I are ever in the scenario where something has happened to us or our memories, we would have these neat notes to pass on. And if we both live to 115 (which is the age Cam actually wants to live to because then he will have seen life in three different centuries), then the notes can act as a diary of sorts - a journey back to the early years of our marriage when we had little kiddos - a time to fondly reminisce about.
Here are Bennett's photos:
Here are the photos we have taken of Sullivan so far:
And what fun would it be if we didn't compare photos a bit?! Here's a photo of Bennett (Left), Sullivan (Centre), and me as a baby (Right) - these are their mama's boys for sure, am-i-right!?!. Look at all of those chubby cheeks!