Meg's birthday party was yesterday. Having a baby on a holiday weekend worked out GREAT. We spent all weekend cleaning and having the party and now we get a bonus day off to enjoy the leftover food and clean house.
The party went really well, but after all the presents were opened it looked like a wrapping paper/toy bomb had gone off in our living room. I was already having trouble remembering what came from whom. Also, my parents gave her a ton of little stuff and I knew I'd never remember everything in their gift. As we started to clean up the living room, I remembered the method I used for my baby shower gifts and how well it worked.
I'm sure I read this tip in a magazine long ago and tucked it in some far corner of my brain, but when I started using it I thought it was just a stroke of genius thought up by sleep-deprived me (the shower was when Meg was two weeks old). At the shower, someone wrote a list of the presents and who they were from, but I lost it. So I kept the presents in a big pile to make sure I didn't forget about anything when I went to write thank-yous. They stayed there for a month.
There were several things I wanted to return, so I decided to take them out of the pile and - genius! - take a picture. That way I could return the items and still have something to look at when I wrote thank-yous, because, even if I wrote another list of presents, I knew I'd lose it again. Plus, "0-3 month outfit" could describe a lot of what I got and I wanted more description. Once I was on a roll, I decided to take a picture of all of the presents and put them away. When I downloaded the pics, I put them in an folder called "Baby Shower Presents" and labeled each one with who it was from. I still like looking through the folder sometimes. At this point, I don't remember what of our baby stuff was hand-me-downs, what was baby shower gifts, or what I bought. Its fun to look and realize something we've used a lot came from so-and-so. Also, I used some of the pictures as filler on the baby shower page in Meg's first year scrapbook.
So yesterday as I was cleaning up, I took a picture of each present. Everything has been put away and I don't have to rack my brain trying to remember if I'm forgetting something when I write thank-yous. I also made a list (mainly because some people just gave money and I didn't take a picture of the checks), but even if I use the list for thank-yous, I think it will be really fun to have pictures of all the stuff Meg got each year. When she's older, she can look through them and realize _____ got her the toy she's loved for years. (Although I suppose it could come back to bite me if I return something and she wants to know what happened to it. Not a problem this year, since we're not returning anything.)
P.S. By the way, I'm a terrible person and never actually wrote thank-yous for my baby shower. But I still could, since I have the pictures! I suppose this means instead of taking pictures I should have just written the stupid thank-yous, but I maintain the pictures are still a good thing to have. I have been really on top of thank-yous for every occasion since, because I don't want to be known as the-one-who-doesn't-write-thank-you-notes, but still...
P.P.S. This was one of Meg's presents. Did you have these when you were little? You pull them out to make them longer as your feet grow. I remember I'd have to keep stopping to push them back in, since they'd gradually come apart as you were skating. My sister-in-law bought them, since my husband's family also had a pair. I can't believe how little some toys have changed in 20 years!