Edward’s baby book, Part 1

So happy to finally share the first part of Edward’s baby book with you all. As you might know from this post some three months ago, I’d decided to put together my own baby book for Edward because I wanted to have the freedom to decide for myself what I wanted to go into it. Two changes that happened along the way: Firstly, I decided to use a Becky Higgins mini album instead of the kikki.K DIY album, and secondly, I ended up mixing cards from the Seafoam Edition kit with cards from the Baby core kit. This was actually my first time using the physical cards from a Project Life core kit in my memory keeping. It felt right to do it for Edward’s baby book. I wanted to write things by hand, rather than type them up on the computer, and I felt that the design of the cards would effectively give an overall feel of a ‘baby book’. (Please note that I’ve deliberately left the writing slightly blurry, for the sake of maintaining some privacy.)

For the title page, I chose one of the title cards which had space to put Edward’s full name and the name of the person/people who put the book together. (That would be me: “Mum!”) Then I simply picked a 3×4 journaling card for a personal note from me to Edward and a filler card to frame one of his ultrasound photos. For the remaining 3×4 pocket, I printed out one of my favourite photos of Bear from his first couple of weeks. All three cards are from the Baby kit.

I have to admit that in trying to start this baby book, I developed a slight brain freeze which lasted a few days. I just could not work out what I wanted to do and where I wanted to start. It was seriously quite overwhelming staring at all the different card options lying in front of me. In the end, I just started throwing cards I liked into pockets and to be completely honest with you, that’s how I came up with the layout of the title page. It was totally random, but I liked it immediately. So here’s my big tip: Sometimes if you feel stuck when you’re starting out, just choose the cards which you instinctively like and start putting them into pockets and go from there.

For the second page, I wrote a bit about our process of trying to fall pregnant and our joy when we finally discovered that we were! This took up the 6×4 Seafoam journaling card. Then I picked a 3×4 Seafoam journaling card to write about the first people with whom we shared our happy news. I added the ‘You’ filler card from the Baby kit because I liked its design, and I included a ‘selfie’ shot of our family at the time. I used the yellow polka dots filler card from the Baby kit as a background to frame the family shot. For both the ultrasound and the family photo, I simply slipped them into the pockets without any adhesive. I left them both at an angle because I liked the effect of it.

All journaling on the third page. The ‘medical staff’ prompt card is from the Baby kit, and on it, I simply wrote a bit about our obstetrician and how I’d developed gestational diabetes again. On the other 3×4 journaling card, I wrote down Edward’s due date. As for the 6×4 journaling card, I wrote a brief overview of our family as a sort of introduction to the pages that would follow. Both journaling cards are from the Baby kit. The filler card is a Seafoam one.

The fourth page is the first of five pages where I write about each member of the immediate family, including our own parents and siblings. This page has a photo of Rick and myself – one which we took as part of my maternity series. I’m constantly surprised by how ‘fresh’ I look in this photo – the sleepless nights obviously hadn’t kicked in yet. The two 3×4 journaling cards are from the Seafoam kit, and on the top one, I wrote some things about me and I gave the bottom one to Rick for him to jot down some random stuff about himself. (Yes, my favourite food is chicken, and yes, Rick has a beard.) On the 6×4 journaling card (also Seafoam), I wrote a brief summary of how Rick and I got together, when we got married, and when each of Edward’s four brothers were born.

The fifth page continues the story of our family, with photos of Cameron and Angus and a bit about both of them. There was never a question of whether or not I would include a photo of Cameron in this book. I’d written about him in all of the other boys’ baby books and since I was going to include a photo of all the members of our family in Edward’s, of course I had to include one of Cam. I chose one of Rick and myself holding Cameron close to us, not long before we said our final goodbye to him. It is one of my favourite photos, and hopefully, it is a photo that will help the other boys to understand that Cameron was our baby, just like them. On the journaling card next to Cameron’s photo, I wrote a little about when we found out his heartbeat had stopped and the short time that we spent with him. The photo of Angus is of him lying around in our bedroom after quiet time. Both journaling cards are from the Seafoam kit.

The sixth page is about Pete and Jamie. Again, I decided against up-close portrait shots, and chose photos of the two boys just ‘doing their thing.’ I like the negative space in each of the photos, as it gives the layout a bit of ‘breathing room’ which I like. On each of the journaling cards, I included their birthdays and a bit about each of their personalities. This is what I did for Angus’ journaling card as well. Both cards from the Seafoam kit.

The seventh page is about my side of the family: that is, my parents. I chose a group photo that we’d taken at their place which shows them with the three boys. On the 6×4 Seafoam journaling card, I wrote about each of their families and also a bit about their migration to Australia. On each of the 3×4 journaling cards (from the Baby kit), I wrote out their Chinese names, which I felt was important to include as part of the family history.

The eighth page is the last page of this section of the baby book, and it’s about Rick’s side of the family. Again, I went with a photo of his parents with the boys to mirror the one of my parents. I went with a portrait photo, so that I would have more room on a 6×4 journaling card to write about Grandpa and Nan’s family history. The bottom half of the page is about Rick’s sisters. I love that photo of the two of them with Rick, taken at Angus’ birthday party last year. Both journaling cards on this page are from the Seafoam kit.

* * *

As you can see, I used no embellishments in this baby book because a) I wanted to keep it simple, and b) it’s really not my style to use embellishments. In all my memory keeping projects outside of my Project Life albums, a black felt-tip pen has been my main tool and Edward’s baby book is not exception.

I look forward to sharing the second part of Edward’s baby book in the next few weeks, which is all about the pregnancy. If you have any questions, ask away!

To read about my memory keeping framework for each of our children, go here.

What sort of ‘baby books’ have you guys done for your child(ren)?

18 comments

Nirupama August 12, 2013 at 5:01 am

This is so wonderful! I’m sure he will treasure it. I love that you included a picture of Cameron. Such a lovely way to include his oldest brother as well. Thank you for sharing this inspiration :)

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Amanda August 12, 2013 at 6:03 am

Thank you so much for this Ronnie!! You know I’ve been hanging out for this post and as always, I’ve come away filled with inspiration and eager to start my own projects. I love your clean, uncluttered style, the handwritten messages and memories and your choice of photos. I love that you’ve included your photo with Cameron, such a precious photo and such an important part of your family and your family’s story.

The baby kit cards and ‘seafoam’ cards all tie in beautifully together… my next step is to order the baby kit I think… can I ask did you purchase yours online or from a local store? Also, what made you change to the Becky Higgins album as opposed to your initial thought of using the kikki-K one. I have the kikki-K ones but am wondering if there’s something I’d not considered before I begin using them for my baby album project…?

Thanks again Ronnie for sharing your wonderful memory keeping process and album with us all xx

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Pink Ronnie August 12, 2013 at 6:14 am

Thanks for your kind words Amanda! I should’ve explained in the blog post about why I changed albums. It was because I realised that on a single page of the kikki.K album, I could only fit one 6×4 photo with two 3×4 journaling cards one only two 6×4 photos. However, on a single page in the mini album, there are two 6×4 pockets and two 3×4 pockets. In the end, I decided I needed the extra real estate. :)
Ronnie xo

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Amanda August 12, 2013 at 7:24 am

Thanks for clarifying that for me. I don’t have a huge amount of photos so I think the kikki-K DIY album should still work for me. I just hope it can handle the extra bits and pieces being stuck in…. although I assume that’s what this album was made for! Thanks again Ronnie x

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Pink Ronnie August 12, 2013 at 9:11 am

I just realised I forgot to answer your other question – I buy all my PL supplies from http://projectlife.com.au
Ronnie xo

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Amanda August 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Thanks lovely!! xx

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Sue Ko August 12, 2013 at 6:23 am

I love that you have included your family’s chinese names. It’s given me an idea that I should include my boys’ chinese names in their albums and their meanings. It’s such an important part of their story xx

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Andrea August 12, 2013 at 7:17 am

Beautiful as usual. Love the inclusion of the Chinese names for your side of the family. Does Edward have a Chinese name yet? Would you be kind enough to share how your children were given their Chinese names, if they have.
Mine was given by my grandfather, ye ye. As I cannot write Chinese, I had my name engraved on a chop as a record.
Thank you Ronnie.

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Pink Ronnie August 12, 2013 at 9:14 am

Hi Andrea,
You just reminded me that I haven’t written Edward’s Chinese name in his book! Yes, he has a Chinese name. Each of our five boys have one. When we first fell pregnant with Cameron, my dad came up with a Chinese phonetic equivalent of our surname ‘Mason’ and then together we worked out a shortlist for two additional characters and I chose the final ones. Then with each subsequent boy, we’ve kept the last character and simply chose a different word for the second last character.
Are both your parents Chinese?
Ronnie xo

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Cindy August 12, 2013 at 8:09 am

Wow, beautiful!
I totally agree these albums should be handwritten!
I just made a pregnancy/birth album in a mini album (with the midnight kit), but now I also want to make one for my boy!
He already has a photo album about his birth, but I love how you have included your whole family & their history. That is just the greatest idea! I think I might have to “borrow” that from you :)

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Sandra Bunch August 12, 2013 at 8:19 am

Beautiful Ronnie. It’s really fun to see your paper style too. I love how you always keep it so simple and stylish

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Fiona August 12, 2013 at 10:32 am

What a lovely album! I love how you wrote your parents’ Chinese names and included that part of your family story. I have yet to make any kind of baby album for my kids, but this one looks pretty manageable!

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Corina Nika August 12, 2013 at 2:26 pm

That is so beautiful, and you my friend are so inspiring!

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Christina August 13, 2013 at 4:00 am

I love how you included Cameron is this book. It truly is something you need to let the boys discover – that they had another brother even though it was for a short while. Thanks so much for sharing.
Christina (grey patch) xx

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Jessica August 13, 2013 at 8:37 pm

I’m inspired to do this for my little one now! He’ll turn three in October and I’ve been a bit mopey, for lack of a better term, about how much he’s changing. There is so much intellectual growth right now, independence (or the struggle for it, and perhaps against it at the same time) that sometimes I just sit and watch him, to try and soak it in as much as possible. I wonder if recording his baby years would help me a bit, to remind myself of all the little things, to know it’s written down and captured, so I can let go a little more and celebrate where he’s headed. :)

Anyhow, back to your wonderful book – I love the combination of PL cards! I have a question about the baby kit specifically: what would say the ratio of pregnancy journal/prompt cards to baby journal/prompt cards is?

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Pink Ronnie October 6, 2013 at 11:54 am

Hi Jessica,
I don’t know how I missed your questions! So very sorry for not getting back to you earlier. I think there’s a lot more baby journal/prompt cards. Probably only a handful or pregnancy ones.
Ronnie xo

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debie grace August 15, 2013 at 1:49 am

You know what, your children will forever cherish these artsy projects you’ve been doing. I may say this all over again but, really, you inspire me a lot, Ronnie. :D

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I love hearing from you!

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