Ever since a Creative Memories consultant presented at one of my mothers of multiples club meetings last year, I've had a couple ideas pinned to the virtual pin board in my brain (why didn't I invent Pinterest, she asks herself again).
One project was to fix up the scrapbook frames that I worked on previously. Another quickie little mommy-friendly project that a MoM shared was to make a scrapbook (traditional or electronic) with pictures of family members in the style of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle. The intention is to help little ones match loved ones' faces with their names.
I narrowly escaped getting sucked into the Creative Memories vortex, but I went with a Shutterfly photobook on this one. To be honest, I'm usually disappointed with Shutterfly's quality, but they keep sending me irresistable discounts via email. This project, sadly, was no exception to the grainy photo letdown.
Still, I'm very happy with the books overall. I made one for Sophie and one for Michael, both pretty much the same but swapping their own appearances at the beginning and end. For example, Michael's starts with "Michael, Michael, who do you see?" (like the "brown bear") and ends with Sophie listing all the people in the book (like the "children"). Sophie's book is the opposite.
We gave the books to the kids after dinner last night, and they were immediately engaged. They love books in general, being read to, and pointing to different objects on each page. Last night Uncle Nick and Uncle Joe's ears might have been ringing as Sophie and Michael not only pointed them out in the books but said their names quite clearly. (They also say "Ucka Doe" when placing the guitar puzzle piece in their musical intrument puzzle. Their language and memory skills are fascinating these days.)
I limited photos in the book to the kids' aunt, uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, and family pets. I dedicated the books to loved ones who would fit in those categories but whose lifetimes unfortunately did not overlap with Michael and Sophie's--the kids' Uncle Ryan and both sets of my grandparents. Throughout the year and especially on occasions like Ryan's birthday, we also share a pair of Whispers From Heaven teddy bears with the kids that Mike's mom bought for them before they were born. They see his picture and will learn his name that way.
As exciting as it was to hear Michael and Sophie start saying "mommy" and "daddy" months ago, there's a special satisfaction watching relationships grow between the kids and their extended family. These books, learning the names and loving faces, are an effort toward that growth.