Of course, I'll be shopping for them both, but times sure do change right before your eyes, and truthfully even before you know it's happening.
For each of the four children, I have a baby box. It's nothing fancy, a big plastic bin that has items from their childhood I thought were important enough to keep. There are report cards, year books, trophies, ribbons, programs from school events, sports shirts, pictures they've drawn, letters they have written, and the like.
The oldest three all have a hand-knit child-sized afghan in their baby box that my grandmother made for them (just like the one she made for me that I still have). Sadly for us, she was no longer with us when the youngest was born.
|My grandmother made blankets for my children that are cherished memories for us now.|
Just a sampling of what's in the boxes... my oldest was active for many years in martial arts (he still is, in fact). He also was a regular participant in sports (almost undefeated seasons in wrestling, and he played for his high school football team too). So, I have newspaper articles about those things that have his name listed, in his baby box. I also have his very first football trophy out for this picture (we're talking waaaaaaaaaay back, when he was in grade school still). His favorite book from his childhood is in there, as are the blanket he came home from the hospital in, and a piece from his baby crib set that I painstakingly sewed and quilted by hand (I was very young, and we didn't have a sewing machine, the sheet is in the picture, but I went the whole nine yards and did a complete set).
|Sampling from the oldest child's baby box.|
|He was always so gentle with his little sis.|
My second oldest played the violin for a few years, so his very first learning CD is in the box. The baby blanket the hospital gave him, and that we brought him home in, is in there too. He started ball playing early, and his first T-Ball trophy is in this picture. His favorite book ("If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,") a scrapbook of his entire childhood, and his graduation cap are also included. He's also got a few coins in there from his great-grandfather that are dated and put in cardboard (from the country his grandfather grew up in).
|Sampling from the box of the second oldest child.|
|All geared up to help bring his newborn sister home from the hospital|
My daughter had a prayer book (the button still works that recites the main verse) that she loved for years, and that's in her box. She was/is also very active with all things dance, so she has moments from that in her box too. She has her Shutterfly memory books from each year...and her "One Fish, Two Fish," book which she could recite by heart even before she could read. And she has three scrapbooks in there filled with things from her childhood. My favorite thing, which isn't in this particular picture, is the outfit she came home from the hospital in...the little ruffles on the rear end of the bottoms that matched the dress still make me laugh. She was such a beautiful baby!
|Mommy and Me drawing. :)|
The youngest doesn't have a big box yet (he's only 5-yrs.-old) but he's on his way. In his box we have the hat, outfit, and blanket we brought him home from the hospital in, his first Christmas Santa Suit, and his favorite crib toy.
|From our youngest child's baby box.|
Never mind the mismatched wood, that's driving me bonkers, but is totally temporary. Hubby just purchased a trio of homemade wooden tables that we have to stain, and while I love them, I will love them even more when they are the right color! Our other tables though, have been moved to the family room, and it was in the library where I had the boxes all unpacked, so it is in there the pictures were taken (mismatched wood and all ;) ).
I took the boxes out this weekend because we will get to see my oldest and his wife over the holidays (they are out of state, so that is always a treat!), and he's about to have his own child...so his box will go to him. It will be bittersweet to hand it over. He's at that age now where he's getting nostalgic a bit, and has started asking for things from his childhood. I love that...but it also means he's not a baby anymore (something I've known for awhile, but you know how it goes when they're your own).
It was extremely enjoyable to go through the baby boxes (of course once I got into one, I had to go through them all). The treasures in those boxes wouldn't mean a thing to anyone outside of the family, but to those of us in the family, they mean the world.
So now I'm finished going through the baby boxes that belong to my children, and I am curious: What kinds of ways do you document the precious memories from your children's youth? I'd love to hear about it!