Baby Books

I’m sorry for the inactivity of the blog this week. I have been living the inverse of the old proverb “if you want something done, give it to a busy person.” Since my spring semester doesn’t start for another week, I’ve had nothing urgent to do, so I’ve done nothing at all.

My father was my coach for this championship year.

My father was my coach for this championship year.

While at my parents’ house, I continued the process of separating the artifacts of my past into an object and a memory. As long as the memory is preserved, the object can be discarded. As Jenny says, it’s not my parents’ responsibility to take care of all of my old junk. During past visits, I got rid of hopelessly out of fashion old clothes. (I think I still could have fit into them, because I wore baggy clothes in high school and haven’t grown all that much since then.)
A page from my tenth-grade English journal.

A page from my tenth-grade English journal.

This time, I mostly went through boxes of all my academic stuff, mostly from high school. I photographed old sports tropies and the pages of composition books where I had written essays and journal entries that earned good grades. Jenny was astonished by the fact that I kept the certificates from every award and accolade I ever received, even though the bulk of them were so minor as to be of no consequence. I removed those from their decorative folders and brought them back to Texas, where I plan to scan them, along with assignments and reports that were more lengthy than the ones contained in the composition notebooks. I looked through our computer area for old floppy disks that might contain digital copies of those reports, but I no longer own a floppy drive, and the computer programs that could read the files are now obsolete, so the hard copies are probably the best I can do anyway.
More to the point, on the last night that we were there, my mom brought out the treasure box with things from my earliest childhood. Going through the layers, I rediscovered books that I had created as school projects in elementary and middle school–those must have made an impression on me, since I continue to be a book maker (and even plan to turn this blog into a book). At the very bottom was my baby book, the ultimate object of our search. We hoped that by reading it we would gain insight and strength for Sunflower’s birth.
The baby book confirmed the details that I had discovered in a report that I wrote in seventh grade, and found in one of the boxes. The assignment must have been to research and report on the current events on the day of my birth, at the personal, local, national, and international levels. Jenny is worried about how big our baby will be, and gave me the stink eye after learning that I was nine pounds, six and a half ounces, which, as far as she is concerned, is way too big (she most often uses the word “monster” to describe my baby size). The report quotes my mother’s journal records about how she was having back labor and contractions, but still did all of the housework, including laundry, vacuuming, and washing dishes before my father came home and they headed to the hospital. I came quickly once they were at the hospital; they got there in the afternoon and I was born at 7:42 pm.
Jenny had also planned to go through keepsakes and remembrances at her mother’s house, but never got around to it. We did look at the formal dresses her mother saved from Jenny’s high school dances. Although it is hard to part with them, we think that we can donate them to an organization that reworks them for current teenagers. We brought one back to try this; the designated donation event is in a couple of months.
While we were there, we neglected to look at Jenny’s baby book. However, when her mother came to Austin this weekend for the baby shower (more about that soon), she brought the baby book and we looked at it yesterday evening. Jenny was no small baby herself, tipping the scales at eight pounds, four ounces. She claims that this is average, but I don’t think it’s that different from me. We learned from her baby book that she was a very contented baby from a young age. She always loved to eat, pick on her older brother David, and squeeze the kittens. Her family always had kittens. We can only hope that Sunflower will share all of those attributes, along with Jenny’s love for chocolate milk.
We don’t yet have a baby keepsake book, and want to get one soon. Our Lamaze teacher told us that if we bring it to the hospital, the nurse will put Sunflower’s hand and foot prints in it at the same time that she does the official copies. She pointed out that the nurse has lots of experience doing this and will do a good job, whereas if we try it at home we will end up with a blurry smudge on the page and ink all over the floor.
I like the fact that my baby book was customized for our religion, and had special pages about the blessing, etc. However, even with the vast reaches of the internet, I can only find one or two LDS baby book options–this is the most common one, and I’m not sure that I like it, even after only seeing the cover. If you have seen this book or have other suggestions, please leave a comment.


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