The life and words of Ashley, Erin, and Michelle

Ideas for Scrapbooking Changes Over Time September 14, 2010

Have you ever said or heard the phrase “They grow up so fast”? Kids aren’t the only ones who change (quickly or slowly) over time, though. Another great example would be pregnancy – possibly the most rapid and visible change a women will ever undergo! Or, for you green thumbs out there, do you love watching your garden go from a square of black soil, to a lush expanse of greenery, to a colorful crop of ripe goodies or fragrant flowers? Scrapbooking a single photo of your garden in full bloom or your child at age four is great, but scrapping a page about how that child or garden changed over time tells a fuller story. And it’s just so much fun to see those seemingly-small changes week by week (or month by month, or year by year, etc.) add up over time to a much bigger change! In the examples here of my weekly belly photo scrapbook pages, if you compare one week to the next there’s not much change. But looking at the beginning and the end of one trimester shows quite a difference! (Click on images for full credits)

It takes commitment and discipline to track changes over time. I’m terribly forgetful – despite reminders set on both my phone and my husband’s, we would often forget to take a picture until right before bedtime, or even the next day. But even if I was tired, or didn’t feel like it, I made myself take that picture. Often it was in front of my bathroom mirror, or holding the camera out in front of my belly myself!

Here are some other ideas of what you could track over time: child’s growth (daily, weekly, monthly, and/or yearly), your yard, your garden, a single flower or vegetable plant (from planting all the way to blooming), a room in your house, school classroom, haircuts, your body (especially if you’re on a diet or trying to lose weight – maybe pair each picture with your weight that day/week/month?), holiday preparations (photo a day in December?).

All of these examples are things that may not show a big difference day to day, but it’s fascinating to see that series of photos side by side – a vivid representation of the passage of time.

To help you get started, here’s a few templates I found that are perfect for scrapping changes over time (images are linked!):

Here’s one specifically for babies, but could definitely be used for any pictures/theme!

Scrapping with Liz at Scrap Orchard offers this set of templates to scrap your goals:

Now I’d love to hear your thoughts! What are some other changes you can capture over time? Do you have a great template or other resource you can link us up to?


Pregnant and Traveling … with a Toddler March 24, 2010

Tuesday, 7:30 pm – We pull out an hour behind schedule (the imaginary one in my head). Proceed uneventfully to the Fairfield Inn and Suites near Chicago’s Midway airport. Cai kept up a constant stream of jabber that we assume was his commentary on crazy Chicago drivers, weird highway smells, and the drab scenery.

In the car on the way to Chicago

9pm (now Central time) – Josh brings back cold, unsalted french fries and CRISPY chicken instead of grilled from McDonalds, bringing down a hungry pregnant woman’s wrath on his poor almost-bald-now head. Cai tries to see how many times he can almost fall off the bed before mommy has a heart attack and screams I’M HUNGRY SO YOU BETTER WATCH HIM at daddy.

10pm – Cai’s not impressed with the hotel playpen, and knows that since he can see mommy and daddy, they can see him, too, and surely they won’t leave him in there?! Mommy remembers why Cai has his own bedroom at home. Everyone finally falls asleep and he only wakes up a couple times.

Wednesday (barely) 3:28 am – The hotel phone rings, letting us know that breakfast is served from 6:30-9:30. Still haven’t figured out why they needed to tell us at 3:28 am, especially since we won’t even be here for breakfast. Mommy’s bladder is now awake.

3:30 am – Josh’s alarm goes off and the day begins. We somehow manage to leave not one, but both phone chargers and our car charger at the hotel.

5:30 am – After waiting in the cold for 20 minutes or so to check our bags and carseat, we make it through security, redress and gather our stuff, and hike to the furthest possible gate. Once I’m settled, Josh takes Cai and re-hikes back to the food court at the  other end, giving momma a chance to alternately stare vacantly into space and get annoyed with her phone’s Facebook temper tantrum.

Sleepy boys waiting to board

6:30 am – We enjoy special boarding privileges as parents of a young child. A very exhausted Cai seems to enjoy looking out the still-mostly-dark window and handles takeoff like a pro, then falls asleep for the first 45 minutes of the 2 hour, 45 minute flight. Although tired and fussy, he does pretty well the rest of the flight as well, switching between mommy and daddy and emptying the seat pockets as fast as we can refill them.

Naptime comes early when you're up at 3:30 am!

9:30 am – After deplaning in Houston, we walk briskly to, again, the furthest gate, sit for 5 minutes, and board our connecting flight to San Antonio. No potty break. Cai sleeps the entire flight this time, and doesn’t awake until I walk off the plane. Poor kid!

10:45 am – Mommy’s long-suffering bladder finds the nearest bathroom.

11:00 am – We snag our luggage with no difficulty, meet up with my Dad, and maneuver out of the confusing, construction-laden tangle of airport traffic. After a delicious lunch at Tiago’s, a cabo grill, during which we speculated on the meaning of “cabo,” Dad deposited us at his room in the Residence Inn and returned to work. We returned to bed.

4:15 pm – I rouse from my exhausted collapse to take a warm bath. Ahh! Time to tackle final planning for the next few days! House hunting, job interviews for Josh, zoo visit, and waterpark are all on the agenda.

Stay tuned for more!


Pregnancy Round Two: Ten Things I’d Do Differently September 23, 2009

Filed under: Life in General — michellehuegel @ 11:15 am
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No, I’m not pregnant again. Yet. Just to clear that up! But we do plan on it sometime in the semi-near future, and I’ve been thinking about what I want to do differently now that I have some “experience,” so to speak. Some of these I planned to do the first time ’round, and life got the better of me, so I guess we’ll see how well my willpower (and memory) holds up during round two!

1. Plan! When we first decided to try for a baby, there was no consideration given to time of year, finances, housing, nothing. And I got pregnant so quickly there was no time for reconsideration! We’re actually talking now about what time of year we want to have another child, whether the finances are there or not, and where he or she would sleep, among other considerations.

2. Begin taking a prenatal vitamin, eating healthy and exercising before we even start trying. The first couple of months are crucial to a baby’s development, and many women don’t find out they’re pregnant until two or three months along. I want to give my baby the best start possible.

3. Enjoy every precious moment now with my son and husband.

Riverfront Park Sept. 19 2009 (MSU vs ND game that day!)

With a second child, my time will be even more limited. I think there must always be a special connection with a firstborn, but I know it’ll be hard for him to understand why mommy can’t give him her whole attention all the time when we have a second child.

4. Take even more pictures! Remember to take a weekly “belly picture” – I was very inconsistent with this the first time and really regret it. At the same time, don’t forget to keep taking regular pictures of Cai as he grows and changes so fast into a little toddler!

5. Keep doing those prenatal exercises – especially Kegels!

prenatal yoga

They might be a cliche, but I can see now how they help. I’m a fan of Yoga and Pilates for relaxation and flexibility, too. Also, hopefully if I exercise throughout, I’ll drop the baby weight quicker and gain less in the first place. It’s a happy thought, anyway!

6. Sneak in every nap possible, especially if I’m as tired with my second pregnancy as I was with the first! I know this will be even harder with a toddler, but I promise myself to sleep when Cai sleeps, and ignore the death wails of dirty laundry, dishes, toilets and floors. They’ll survive.

7. Take time for me. I know, all you moms out there are laughing. But I’m serious! The only way to remain sane through the ups and downs and pregnancy – and I imagine this is even more true with a toddler – is to make time to “recharge” my spiritual, emotional, and mental batteries.

8. Trust God that He knows what’s best for both me and the baby, and let things progress on God’s timing, not mine. I’m not sure I regret inducing labor with Cai, but I’ll always wonder if it would’ve gone differently, been less painful or a little smoother, if I’d waited a little more patiently.

9. After giving birth, let the nurses keep baby in the nursery for the night!! This was a tip almost every mom told me before I had Cai, and I thought there was no way I could “abandon” my baby, and surely I would be a terrible mother if I didn’t want my precious bundle of joy right next to me every minute. Looking back, I realize that that’s the last opportunity for a few hours of uninterrupted sleep I would have for months! Of course, I’ll ask the nurses to bring baby to me to nurse (no formula or sugar water), but he/she is not going to sleep any better in the bassinet next to my bed than in the nursery!

10. Relax and enjoy every moment. Pregnancy is an amazing, life-altering time, and I want to appreciate each and every new thing, everything that’s different from the first time and everything that’s similar. Every pregnancy is one of a kind, and it doesn’t last forever, even if it sure seems like it at about 8 1/2 months! I think I may print this list out and keep it nearby when we decide that it’s time to try for another precious little one, to remind me and keep me on track.

Is there anything you’d add to my list, things you would do differently with your second (or third or fourth…) pregnancy? If you’ve never been pregnant before, what are some goals you have for your first? I’d love to hear your opinion!