With Bimmer's second birthday sneaking up on me, I am reflecting a lot about the time she's been with us. Puff and I tend to think we're good parents. We are active with her and try to expose her to the world outside The Bungalow & her school. We're not "sit around and watch TV all day" kind of people. Bimmer is well-rounded and sweet and interested in learning. (I like to say she's smart too, but then I just feel like I'm being biased.) She is inquisitive and has been since day one. One thing I strive to do as a parent is to make memories... both for her, and for us as well.
The word "tradition" gets thrown around a lot at Christmas, but I want to establish "traditions" with her all through the year. I want there to be occasions and things she can always look forward to.
#1 - Valentine's Day Card: I want Puff and I to always get her a Valentine's Day card, write in it all the mushy stuff that she will hate to read when she's a teenager, and then stash them away to give her when she's grown up and moves out
#2 - Easter Basket: Growing up, the Easter bunny always hid my basket. I won't need to do that this year, but plan on doing it in the future. We have also always gotten her bunny books to put in her basket, so I want to continue that as long as they're age appropriate. I also have bunny ears that we got her for her first Easter that I plan to always include.
#3 - Photos with Blocks: Her monthly photos will end when she hits two (which upsets me greatly) but I fully intend to force her until she's 18 to pose each year on her birthday with those blocks. Also, once she starts school, I will have her pose on the first day of school with her grade. Yup... until she's a senior. Yup... she will probably protest and I am fully prepared to offer a bribe in those teenage years. Also, for as long as it's age appropriate, I want to do her photos with a custom t-shirt. I've already ordered this year's and cannot wait to see it!
#4 - Travel Postcards: With the exception of her very first trip to Florida (I blame missing that on her only being 5 weeks old and me having new mommy brain) we have sent her a postcard from every trip we've taken. Yes, the trips she is on with us. I want her to have a GINORMOUS collection by the time she is done with college. I typically send them on the last day we are there and include tidbits on what we have done there, where we ate, if anything monumental happened. I sent her one from The Fort on her first visit, and haven't sent more, but that's just because we go there several times a year. Come to think of it, I haven't sent one from Atlanta on any of those visits. Better get on it. We also love that my dear friend, Anna, sends her postcards from far away places each year when she travels abroad. We definitely love receiving them!
#5: Professional Photos: Do I dare call this a tradition? Yes, I do. Because I fully intend to have photos taken professionally of our family once every year. If not more. Right now, I'm on track to do yearly photos with our pro photog in The Fort for Bimmer's birthday and then having a local photog friend take pics in the fall that we can use on our Christmas cards. Pictures are a big deal to me and I love having professional ones taken. I am behind on making Shutterfly books with them, but I intend to get around to doing that eventually with all of the shoots we do.
#6 - Birthday Cards: I know Bimmer's birthday plans and parties will always change. Some years may be big shindigs with all her friends. I hope that as she gets older, we can convince her that she needs a vacation over her birthday. (A late May birthday is such an ideal time!) But with every year, I know that Puff and I will write her a sweet card. And it will go in her memory box for her to take with her when she's older. I fully intend to do this every year for as long as I am physically able. I hope that she will cherish them as much as I enjoy writing them to her.
#7 - Family Time: With both my parents and Puff's parents living all spread out, I want our visits with family to be super special. Right now, we are rotating visiting the FIL in the Great White North in odd numbered years, and visiting my mom in Florida in even numbered years. I like that we spend Easter and Thanksgiving with the MIL and Christmas always with my family. I want there to be trips with my parents and times when they come to SC to visit us.
#8 - Christmas: Oh, Christmas. This is the time of year when you all think about traditions. In the traditional sense, ya know? A few things we have started with Bimmer that I plan to continue.... putting up the tree on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, having St. Nick drop by and always including an ornament and pajamas in the stocking, and sending photo Christmas cards to our friends and family. Once she is old enough to understand Santa, we will have to come up with our own way of doing things there too. One thing I know for sure? Her gifts will be wrapped. (Did you know people actually get Santa gifts that are unwrapped? C'mon - lazy parents!)
I hope that you each have your own family traditions that you are celebrating with your children. Some could be passed down from your childhoods, and some could be new. Either way, I hope that all of my readers are filling the time with your family as meaningfully as you can!