Invest in a number of disposable cameras. Leave one in your purse, the diaper bag, the car, your family room, the stroller, and anywhere else you think you might be with your kids. It may take you longer to finish a roll of film, but when a photo opportunity arises, you will be prepared. Also, whenever you have film developed, ask for duplicate prints. Immediately put one set aside for the albums and use the other set to share with family and friends.
Keep your video camera where it is easily accessible. We keep ours in the living room. As a result, we find that we take at least a few minutes of video every few days. Often, it includes both kids, but we do make an effort to record each one separately as well.
Declare a semi-annual Album Day. Again, enlist the help of the older kids and then twice a year, break out the albums and pictures and update everyone’s albums. Let the older kids update their albums; the job will be finished in less time.
If you’ve decided to keep a journal for each of your children, make it a rule to make an entry in each child’s journal every time you sit down to write. If you find that you spend so much time on the first child’s entry that you are strapped for time or creative energy to do the second (or third, fourth, etc.) child’s entry, rotate the order in which you write. For example, if today you start with John’s journal, then do Ann’s and finish with Sam’s, next time, start in Ann’s, then do Sam’s and finish with John’s. This way, each child will at least have the occasional benefit of your creative energy.
Whenever possible, buy the same baby book for each child. There are a few advantages to doing this. First, once some of the standard information (family trees, how Mommy and Daddy met, etc.) has been assembled for the first child, it can be easily copied into the books of the younger children. Second, since each child’s book has the same format, there shouldn’t be much difference in the amount and type of content from one child to the next. In the end, each child will have a baby book containing roughly the same amount of information.
· Leave the baby book you are currently working on in plain view. However good your intentions, if the book is put away with the promise of working on it “soon”, it probably won’t get finished.
Finally, on those days when working on the kids’ albums feels more like a chore than a fun task, think of the pleasure you will have in one day turning these personal histories over to your children. And who knows? Maybe it will be the start of a wonderful family tradition that will be continued by your children.