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Turn the page: calendaring your kids in 2012

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Calendaring is the best way I know of to make time stand still.

When Tessa was born, my friend Juli (scrapbooker extraordinaire) gave me a beautiful handmade calendar that she designed especially for my daughter.

I’ve previously written about my documentarian tendencies. So it seemed natural when my children were born that I would add my kids’ journal entries to my nightly routine. Call it anal retentive, obsessive or rigid (as my husband jokingly has), but I am happy to capture each day of their lives until they are able to do so themselves. I plan to turn over documenting duties to them on their 12th birthdays, but for now this is how I’ve captured every single day of their lives — nearly 4000 for Tessa and  than 3200 for Reed.

Here are some of Tessa’s calendars (Juli’s creations are the two in the upper left) — several year’s worth of covers…

and snippets of early entries (I can’t share any current ones with you — she’s a Tween now — with secrets!):

Reed has calendars, too. The covers of his calendars are at the top of this post, and below are some of his entries (and yes, the second child’s is sloppier; what’s it to ya?).

Thanks to my mom for filling in on the overnights she’s had them. And yes, the kids LOVE scanning a month of their lives and remembering an earlier time.

All you need to do the same is a 2012 calendar (marked down by now) for each child, one that have room to write in each square. You’ll also need the discipline to write one sentence a night.  That’s all! You and your kids will be reaping the rewards  far into the future.

And from the future, even the most vitriolic of temper tantrums (your kids’ or yours) can appear quaint.

Lori is a mom via open adoption to Tessa, 10, and Reed, 8, and they live in the metro-Denver area, just 2 miles from where Lori first fell into her own journal habit.  Which evolved easily into a blogging habit, which she feeds at Her first book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption, will be published by Rowman & Littlefield and available in mid-2013.

Lori Holden
Author: Lori Holden

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  • comment avatar Amber Johnson January 10, 2012

    I have honestly never considered doing this. Sometimes I like to go back and look through my old day planners and it’s always a hoot to see what I was up to. Great idea for kids’ lives, too!

    • comment avatar Lori Lavender Luz January 10, 2012

      And it’s nor really that difficult because it requires only about a minute a day. At the end of the year you have a whole calendar to look back on and hoot about.

  • comment avatar JoAnn January 10, 2012

    What a great idea! I’ve never done this, but have written a LOT of milestones down. I love looking back through!

  • comment avatar Jenny - Monkey Toes January 10, 2012

    oh my gosh! I was in awe of you before, but NOW…what’s the next word after awe? at a loss for words. You amaze me. This is wonderful!!

    Does it count that we write down every meal, every day? guess it shows where my priorities are.

    • comment avatar Lori Lavender Luz January 10, 2012

      Now THAT would be something to see!

      For my kids, there was an entire year that could have been summed up thusly:

      Breakfast: cheerios
      Lunch: mac & cheese
      Dinner: pizza

      I know that your food diary has a lot more variety!

  • comment avatar Chris Bird January 10, 2012

    I did this for the first few years of Reagan’s life and kept up pretty well with it. Then I decided to start to using a traditional journal, I lost momentum. I need to go back to this – it kept things simple. Love your collection!

  • comment avatar Sheri January 11, 2012

    This is a great idea! You and your kids will cherish this forever!

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