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#31 of 45 Old 05-24-2011, 02:10 PM
 
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I think I have more detachment now than I did even a couple years ago. Case in point: The other day while sorting through boxes of papers in our home office my little guy found and dumped out a plastic bag that had a bunch of cards in it. Upon closer inspection it was a bunch of cards from my baby shower...stuff my mom had evidently at some point stored in my packing trunk that I had all my sentimental childhood stuff in. I called my mom up and asked her about it. She said those were the cards that hadn't made the cut to get put into my baby album (which she meticulously filled out). I asked her what she wanted me to do with them and she wants them back if I don't want them...which I don't!! I DO want to keep my baby book which is in our bookshelves right now and which will go into our SMALL amount of sentimental storage when we sell this house and hit the road in an RV in a few years...but the stuff that didn't make the cut from people I don't even know? Yeah, not interested in keeping that!! So now I have to set that bag aside till the next time I see her so it can go back into that overstuffed and overcluttered farmhouse my parents live in...prob never to be seen again for the next 20-plus years or so!!

 

Another thing...that packing trunk of sentimental stuff? Yeah a quarter of that space was taken up by a dollhouse that was handmade for me when I was eight and I was keeping to give to my future daughter(s) if they ever came to be. While the furniture itself was decent, the house was made of extremely thin wood and has not held up well. After saving it back for the last 23 years...it is gone as soon as the weather cools off this fall enough for us to start pulling things out of the attic to sort (the attic is the last bastion/stronghold to overcome in the fight to declutter and minimize our belongings)!!


Married to my computer geek since 11.04.06. Mama to our little dude Bug (born 7.14.09, peanut allergy, asthma) and our rainbow baby girl Sweetpea (born 4.14.13). Forever missing my angel babies--Riley, Paisley, and Waverley!!

Decluttering my life...

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#32 of 45 Old 05-24-2011, 05:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by texanromaniac View Post

I think I have more detachment now than I did even a couple years ago. Case in point: The other day while sorting through boxes of papers in our home office my little guy found and dumped out a plastic bag that had a bunch of cards in it. Upon closer inspection it was a bunch of cards from my baby shower...stuff my mom had evidently at some point stored in my packing trunk that I had all my sentimental childhood stuff in. I called my mom up and asked her about it. She said those were the cards that hadn't made the cut to get put into my baby album (which she meticulously filled out). I asked her what she wanted me to do with them and she wants them back if I don't want them...which I don't!! I DO want to keep my baby book which is in our bookshelves right now and which will go into our SMALL amount of sentimental storage when we sell this house and hit the road in an RV in a few years...but the stuff that didn't make the cut from people I don't even know? Yeah, not interested in keeping that!! So now I have to set that bag aside till the next time I see her so it can go back into that overstuffed and overcluttered farmhouse my parents live in...prob never to be seen again for the next 20-plus years or so!!

 

Another thing...that packing trunk of sentimental stuff? Yeah a quarter of that space was taken up by a dollhouse that was handmade for me when I was eight and I was keeping to give to my future daughter(s) if they ever came to be. While the furniture itself was decent, the house was made of extremely thin wood and has not held up well. After saving it back for the last 23 years...it is gone as soon as the weather cools off this fall enough for us to start pulling things out of the attic to sort (the attic is the last bastion/stronghold to overcome in the fight to declutter and minimize our belongings)!!


I HATE cards! My MIL sends me cards for every holiday and I think it's very sweet, I love that she thinks of me and takes the time to do it. But I open it, send her a thank you, and toss it immediately in the recycle bin. I just can't hold on to stuff like that, though I used to.

 

I wouldn't even ask your mom anymore, just start chucking stuff girl, it's yours!

 


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#33 of 45 Old 05-24-2011, 05:41 PM
 
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My plan is to send my kids grandparents and my sister (there aunt with no kids who is a school teacher) an annual 'portfolio' of their arts and crafts. I know the grandparents will hold on to it because they have lots of space and lots of boxes of older projects, pictures, clothes etc... I think my sister will hold onto it because she loves kids and always swoons over the pictures I send her of my dd's art. I will keep a very minimal amount of things that I like around and when they make something I like more add that item to the portfolio I will send. And I'm sure if at any point either of my kids truly NEEDS that hand print and leaf turkey they made at daycare the relative that received it will be willing to give it back... in exchange for a larger more recent turkey perhaps:)


be good family...

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#34 of 45 Old 05-25-2011, 06:48 AM
 
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I am curious what y'all do with family/children's portraits. In our old place we had 5x7 and 8x10 frames all over the place, on various surfaces as well as the walls. After a time it began to bother me but my husband is one of those that thinks the more the merrier. If I let him we'd be overrun with portraits on every available surface and every inch of wall space. We are both on our second marriage and between the two of us we have six kids and three grandchildren. As you can imagine that is alot of photos!!! I had a plan for when we moved (which we did a couple months ago). I wanted the photos, the best ones, hung on one wall only and the only frames I wanted sitting on surfaces would be us as a couple although of course I didn't want those everywhere either. So now one wall of the dining area holds children/grandchildren portraits (and a couple of our parents). It seems like quite a bit but they're not covering the entire wall. In fact, I rather like it. I feel like I can breathe easier now without eyes staring at me from every wall. lol!

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#35 of 45 Old 05-25-2011, 07:28 AM
 
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I scanned all my photos and then I have one long box that slides into the top of the closet for the originals. Still don't know what I am going to do with them but I am making a family book for my son- starting with his Great Grandparents and then on up to him. I make my books through Walgreens. They come out really nice and they are not that much to store when you don't have much- probably the size of a regular book. I actually took that extras, after scanning them all, and let the Ex with an envelope of some. I also back up my pics monthly- it's easy to do now that I am caught up.

 

As far as attachment, I always feel so weird compared to others. Several years ago, the place I lived in caught on fire. It was in the upstairs apartment while I was at work. My place suffered a lot of water damage and smoke damage. Other than my uniforms (which I needed for work obviously) the rest of the stuff wasn't that important. When I received the check for replacing stuff, I just deposited in the bank and it sat there.  I remember I had to go get everyday clothes (The military replaced the uniforms for me) and my friend at the time thought I was going to spend the whole check on clothes and shoes and stuff. All I ended up buying (and why I remember this list I don't know) were a bathing suit (always been a swimmer) flip flops, 2 pair of shorts, 2 tank tops, 2 v-neck t-shirts, 1 pair of sandals, sneakers, undergarments, 2 summer dresses and 2 sets of workout clothes. I also bought a small backpack and I did replace my mountain bike. I lived in CA at the time, so weather permitted easy clothing choices. I was so happy and my friend was horrified that I would wear just a few things. The bulk of my closet was taken up by my uniforms, as I had several combinations and various equipment stored too, that I had to have. When I deployed on a ship, I literally cleaned out my closet and took everything with me. I think I added a camera and some cd's and a player (this was pre-computer days) The only things that went into storage at a friends house were my bike and my car. bouncy.gif I was always amazed when pack out time came for deployment, watching box after box come out of the apartments we all lived in. 

 

Another thing, I am alienated from my family, by their choice, so I don't have the stuff coming in like most people. I make all the choices for DS and myself and I am actually very grateful that I can, without worry or guilt. I know it's hard when you have family member pushing things on you.

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#36 of 45 Old 05-25-2011, 01:40 PM
 
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I also am not sentimental about most things.  I know that I won't be getting much stuff from my grandparents and parents because they know that I might end up giving it away.  I'm glad that they know.

 

Out of boxes and boxes of stuff that I kept from my childhood, I kept one big plastic bin full.  I went through the stuff while at my parents' house and I could tell my mom was bothered by all the things I threw away/gave away.  I recently bought a plastic bin for each of my kids.  I let them keep what ever they want or I want in there.  When/if it becomes full before they are an adult, we'll go through it and decide what can be thrown away to make space.  So I'll never have more than a bin full for each of them to keep.  I also plan on making a baby blanket-sized quilt out of some of their baby outfits/blankets that I have kept for each of them.  Oh and their baby books, which contain their birth stories and some pictures and growth records.  I'm not keeping anything else.

 

 

ETA:  I do take lots of pictures of the kids and us as a family.  those are all digital and are on my computer and backed up on cds in a small safe box along with our birth records, ss cards, marriage license and passports.


Wife to J. Mama to DD(3yo) & DS(1yo)
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#37 of 45 Old 05-25-2011, 02:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Maela View Post

Out of boxes and boxes of stuff that I kept from my childhood, I kept one big plastic bin full.  I went through the stuff while at my parents' house and I could tell my mom was bothered by all the things I threw away/gave away.  I recently bought a plastic bin for each of my kids.  I let them keep what ever they want or I want in there.  When/if it becomes full before they are an adult, we'll go through it and decide what can be thrown away to make space.  So I'll never have more than a bin full for each of them to keep.  I also plan on making a baby blanket-sized quilt out of some of their baby outfits/blankets that I have kept for each of them.  Oh and their baby books, which contain their birth stories and some pictures and growth records.  I'm not keeping anything else.

 


I really like the idea of letting them add thing that are special to THEM!   And having them know that that bin is the limit keeps it manageable!

 


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#38 of 45 Old 05-26-2011, 01:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LVNTEXAS View Post

I scanned all my photos and then I have one long box that slides into the top of the closet for the originals. Still don't know what I am going to do with them but I am making a family book for my son- starting with his Great Grandparents and then on up to him. I make my books through Walgreens. They come out really nice and they are not that much to store when you don't have much- probably the size of a regular book. I actually took that extras, after scanning them all, and let the Ex with an envelope of some. I also back up my pics monthly- it's easy to do now that I am caught up.

 


Another thing, I am alienated from my family, by their choice, so I don't have the stuff coming in like most people. I make all the choices for DS and myself and I am actually very grateful that I can, without worry or guilt. I know it's hard when you have family member pushing things on you.

 

I am sorry to read that your family has alienated you, particularly as you have a DS and as you are going to the effort of putting a family book for him. Anyway their loss I guess, and you sound as if you have accepted it.
 

 


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#39 of 45 Old 05-26-2011, 06:14 AM
 
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Clutterwarrior--thank you!!! It was a long process and after many year of mental abuse, I had to make the best decision for me. I put my foot down and they chose not to like it. I still think family history is important and we are a bit of a different family, on our own and our friends are our family, but DS doesn't know any different. I tell him that he is loved and I won't lie about things as he gets older. If when he is older and can understand, he chooses to contact them, then so be it. Ok...back to the regular thread. : )

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#40 of 45 Old 05-26-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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I HATE cards! My MIL sends me cards for every holiday and I think it's very sweet, I love that she thinks of me and takes the time to do it. But I open it, send her a thank you, and toss it immediately in the recycle bin. I just can't hold on to stuff like that, though I used to.

 

I wouldn't even ask your mom anymore, just start chucking stuff girl, it's yours!

 



Most of the time when I give a gift, I do not give a card.  I feel like its a waste of money because ultimately the person really does just throw them out.  I will make one out of scrapbooking stuff I have or have my son draw one.  But I keep it simple.  However, I do keep cards from when my babies are born and from their 1st holiday's and 1st birthdays.  I either cut them up and use them in scrapbooking their baby books, or just insert into their baby books whole.  After the 1st year though, I do not keep them.

 

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#41 of 45 Old 05-26-2011, 08:24 AM
 
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my mom kept one of those plastic filing bins filled with stuff from my childhood, well it turned into two of them... hospital records, baptism stuff, medals, art etc... I recently just got rid of most of it though.  I really liked going through it growing up but now I'm to the point where I don't get the same thrill and decided to let it go.  I kept a few things but I went from two of the bin things to not even half of one.  I don't feel regret, those things just weren't important to me anymore.

 

I also don't accept family heirlooms if I won't use them... luckily, no one has ever pushed them on me.  My grandma has serious issues with saving all family things and hoards any furniture or special items from older family members who have passed.  It causes her to have a larger house than necessary and makes other family members annoyed because my grandma is to nervous to let anyone have any of it for fear it might get ruined or given to someone else outside the family or something.  My mom always complains about how she could probably USE some of it but it just sits in my grandma's basement getting older.  I don't mind though because I don't like owning anything i don't really love.  My mom just wants function, but being aesthetically pleasing is part of function for me.

 

I also don't like gift cards unless it IS the gift (and I still don't keep it for more than a week at most.)  I don't give cards at all.

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#42 of 45 Old 05-26-2011, 02:23 PM
 
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I want to go back and read some of the posts here, but I wanted to add:

 

*I am so thankful my Mom saved a few things from my childhood.  On the day I was born, my Daddy brought me a little stuffed Dream Pet dog.  It looks very well loved! I cherish it to this day and have said that if our house EVER catchs on fire to grab the box it's in. My Dad died when I was in my early 20's, so just having that gives me some comfort. My Mom had my baby shoes plated with silver and I still have those.  I have a couple of other stuffed animals, books, etc. from when I was a small child.  My Mom also kept two small "first year" baby books with all my 1st's and even put special notes in there through my teen years.  I love looking back at that and seeing her handwriting  (she's still alive, thank heavens!). I also still have my original wooden toy box that I used as a kid (crazy, looking back I only had a small toy BOX full of stuff! I never remember having tons of toys laying around.) I kept a few things from my childhood/early teens like my softball gloves and some notes from friends.  Honestly, I could probably go through and purge some of those things because I haven't looked at them in decades and they are just filling space in my garage.  I don't have a lot of stuff, tho.  I am really gravitating to the minimilist side. ;)

 

*For my kids I have a special little box of some baby items (pacifiers, shoes, hospital keepsakes, etc.)  They are shoe box size and stored in the closet with my beloved Dream Pet dog.  As for artwork and school stuff, I saved almost everything from preschool and kindergarten, but now I'm getting choosy....only keeping the really cute stuff (and the I love you Mom notes).  I will probably go back and purge all of that stuff and only keep a few things from each year.  We keep baby books on all 3 kids and I also have a book called "Oh, What You Said" which is just a little blank journal to write down all their funny little sayings.  All the stuff I have is pretty minimal, but sentimental.  I don't think I could purge everything.  As for pictures, we have them on the computer and backed up on a hard drive.  I will probably also back them up on a thumb drive eventually.  Had the computer crash once and luckily everything was backed up except one month of pictures.  We have tens of thousands of digital pictures!  THAT is one thing I regret!


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#43 of 45 Old 05-26-2011, 11:28 PM
 
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I'm probably middle-of-the-road on this issue. I have a lot less clutter than any real-life friends, that's for sure! Our house is not bare by any means, but it is small and livable. We don't trip over stuff, like some neighbors in similar homes.

 

My DH has one under-the-bed size/type of box with all his mementos, including trophies and such. It lives on the shelf on his side of the closet. He also has one scrapbook his mom made for him when he went to college. Normal size binder-style photo album with those magnetic pages (bad for archiving, but not really a big deal to him). He does have more personal, sentimental, random items than I do. Stretched Pepsi bottle, some bobblehead thing, poster-size collage from his track star days, a heavy Darwin sculpture, and random 80s and 90s items of clutter. They are all contained to one room -- our family office.

 

I had one 12x12 box of mementos that were not scrapbook-able that also lived on DH's side of the closet on the shelf until I photographed the items and ditched them. I do have several scrapbooks that I have made over the years, with the most interesting pictures and mementos (either photographed, or scanned and sized and printed, or flatish ones adhered right in the book) from my life journey. Most of my personal belongings from childhood, though, were given away or thrown out by my step-mother when I left home at age 17. I was mad and sad at the time, but got over it rather quickly. My step-brother let my best friend go into my room a few times to grab some of my belongings before it was all tossed. Thank goodness she is the practical type and grabbed my clothes and shoes and such -- only a few mementos. LOL (My dad and I have settled our differences and are very close now that he got serious help, but I have never seen my step-mother - the woman who raised me from age 8-17 - nor my step-brother since.)

 

All the scrapbooks and photo albums are in a bookcase in our living room. They go into the laundry basket along with our small fireproof box and laptops and external hard drives in the event of an evacuation (which we'd had twice).

 

I let DD, age 10, keep what she wants, but we are limited in volume due to our small house and general lifestyle/home decor (not minimalist in a strict sense, but clean, clear surfaces with a balance of empty space with functional items and "pretty" items). She has been participating in the donation process and cleaning process since she was a year old. Yep, I start 'em young! LOL She currently has two file boxes of items she doesn't want in her bedroom, but doesn't wish to donate or recycle at this time. They are opaque plastic boxes with flip-back lids that reside in my side of the closet. We have a double-check system. LOL She can remove items from her bedroom or other personal spaces at any time. She puts them in my closet: one pile for donation; one pile for the aforementioned boxes. I go through the items and adjust according to my attachments. Financial or sentimental, I don't sell anything, but I do find specific new owners of the pricier items and some sentimental items. I do keep some sentimental items that she "donated", but they don't count towards her allocated space. I have an old Trofast storage bin (medium size) from a system we donated years ago where I keep those items.

 

I also have baby clothes and fabric items up through age 5 for a quilt I have yet to make. I took quilting classes just for this project!!! LOL I know I want to make one large quilt (cuddle-size for her) and one small decorative quilt (art-size for the wall for me). I just haven't found the designs I love yet. Well, technically, I have a picture of the art-size one in my head already, but I want to use the leftover scraps from the cuddle-size one and I do NOT have a specific design idea for that one. One specific baby dress is the focal point of the small quilt that will be handstitched onto a simple scrappy-style background.

 

And, I am a scrapbooker and LOVE it! So, I do have a lot of her childhood mementos for her books. A few years ago, I gathered everything from preschool and scanned everything I still liked; let DD look everything over; then recycled it all. I HAD 90% of the items in a photobook program when I realized I was missing a good-size chunk. It took me awhile to hunt all of it down (it was filed exactly as it should have been and I have no idea why I didn't check there first! LOL) and when I got it all scanned in and went to add it to the existing online folder, everything was gone. Blah. The raw material is still on my computer, but I haven't gotten up the interest to re-do all the creative work.

 

I teach art in my DD's school (for five years now). I go to workshops to learn the lessons hands-on and then I teach them in the classroom (8-10 lessons each year times 2). It is a formal art program and I have almost as much art as DD does! LOL We also have family art night at her school twice a year, so DH has some art, too. (He has a hidden talent!!!!) Last year or the year before, I scanned or photographed every piece of art. DD and I used the best pieces to decorate the big blank wall in our kitchen and we change it up every so often from a small selection. We sent some to grandparents (and had been doing that prior to her school days) and we used some as wrapping paper and cards for birthday gifts. DD decorated her bedroom walls with a few pieces (from the "best" category and they get rotated). The majority got recycled.

 

As I create my life journey scrapbooks, I make a big huge mess with "stuff" and thoroughly enjoy the entire process (emotionally and creatively). A lot of the memories are challenging, shall we say, and it has been the most productive and cathartic form of therapy for me. I adore my finished scrapbooks! Many friends and family love looking through them, too. When I am finished with each volume (I don't do them chronologically, but rather by subject or period of my life), so much "stuff" is sent to friends and family (if they want it) and recycled (and "released"). A scrapbook is a creative expression for me and takes up a lot less room than all the mementos and photographs. DD loves looking through them all. Except for a few small mini albums and DD's baby book, I have a general rule of thumb to cut down on the volume of stuff. If the photos are digital, then the final product needs to be completed digitally (online photobook). (I scan and recycle the non-pictures.) If the photographs are in my hands (pre-digital age), then I create physical scrapbooks with all the physical photos and mementos -- paring down along the way.

 

All the crafting supplies (photos and mementos included) are contained to the family office, as well as DH's odd assortment of keepsakes. In effect, the only cluttered room in our house is the family office. Most people don't consider it cluttered at all. I consider it cluttered because it is the hardest room to clean and, consequently, is the last to get done.


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#44 of 45 Old 06-07-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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we have a lot of lovely photos of the kids and I'm thrilled that we have them, but they're all digital <3  We occasionally print one out that we hang on the wall (a hand full, maybe?)  Also, we take pictures of the kids art and things that we'd like to keep... so we have that stuff, it's just not cluttering up our house (just our hard drive. LOL)


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#45 of 45 Old 06-07-2011, 02:21 PM
 
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We take TONS of pictures of DS and I have them all digitally filed by month and then year with the dates taken as the title of the photo. We don't print them out though. I've printed out a few to put in his baby book which I have almost completed (he's 14 months right now).

Once he starts creating things like art and cards and such, I plan on saving a few of those. I will try to keep them very organized. But, I am different from you in that I loved seeing all my stuff from when I was a kid. My family are all pack rats so I come by it honestly. But, I'm trying to keep that pack rat tame and will not allow it to just fill up boxes with things that I don't really want or need. So, I'm planning on keeping things that are really adorable or sweet and putting those in a journal like book- probably one for every 5 years. Pictures will go in there, little anecdotes of things he says and does. That way, he can look back on them if he wants and DH and I can look at them when he's a teenager and remember how sweet he used to be. I don't think you need to save the circle the picture homework or every single picture that has ever been colored though. And, your kids might be different from you- they might be sad if there aren't some things saved from their childhood.

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