February 6, 2013 · filed under life

I have some questions

1. I think I have an idea of what to do with my photos. I put some on flickr, put some on smugmug, and at the end of the year, I’ll make a pretty book at blurb. But what should I do with videos? Right now I capture short videos on my iPhone…and that’s it. Should I learn iMovie, string clips together, and make mini home videos? Should I burn them to DVD or publish them to YouTube? What works for your family, with long-term preservation in mind, but also maximizing short-term sharing of cool videos with family and friends?

1b. Aside from photos and videos, what else should I be doing to document life with these babies, either for me or for them? I’m not a traditional journaler, and I don’t have a baby book for either of them. Should I? For those of you with kids who are a little bit older, what are you glad you did when they were little?

2. My SIL and I are going to make some freezer meals together every few weeks. What is your most favorite make-ahead freezer meal?

3. Do you live in DC? If so, will you check out my friend Elissa Silverman’s campaign for City Council at Large? Elissa is super smart and would be an amazing public servant. I’m going to be co-hosting a meet and greet for her, so if you’d like to learn more, let me know. The special election is April 23rd. http://www.elissa2013.com/

4. Are you on Twitter or Instagram? If you are, and I don’t follow you already (that you know of), will you tell me your twitter/instagram name so I can follow you there? I love the blog but I find twitter especially to be much more fun in terms of actually having a conversation. I completely stink at replying to blog comments and emails.

5. This is not a question. Just a photo of toppling babies in outfits I describe as “prison jumpsuit chic.”

our morning. Love these brothers!

6. Fill in the blank: _______________ is just totally amazeballs/rocking my world/the best thing ever. Bonus points if it’s something I’ve never heard of before.

Thank you, friends! Can’t wait to read your answers.


31 Comments

  1. K
    February 6, 2013 7:44 pm

    Um, they are some of the cutest prisoners EVER.

    I think the best thing I did with both Ezra and Iris is make a photo album of them organized by age. I used one kind of like this:

    http://www.paperplayers.com/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=730

    Because as strange as it seems now, I honest to goodness find the time kind of blurring together. It’s scary. So having those albums when I know how old they were in them has been really nice.

    I think the thing MOST rocking my world right now is the Hormel/Kirkland bag of bacon that I just started buying at Costco. Zip zap in the microwave for 40 seconds and there is BACON.

  2. Sandra C
    February 6, 2013 9:00 pm

    I just started making albums using Project Life and am loving it. Many people do it week by week but I just focus on putting in the pictures that I happen to take. Perhaps it would work for you, especially since you’re so busy now with the two boys?

  3. Jane
    February 6, 2013 9:21 pm

    1. I use babysites.com to document my two. When I decide I’ve had enough of documenting life there, I will purchase the site on CD. Also I have been pulling journal entries off it and making shutterfly books for each of their years (only when I get a free code from shutterfly – but amazingly I’m caught up until Charlie turns 3 next week.)
    2. Chili is good. Jerk chicken. Lasagna. Also I like cutting up sweet potatoes and baking them. then freezing in muffin papers/cups. Also shredded zucchini – then I thaw a few a day and add to a breakfast skillet. Good way to eat veggies for breakfast.
    3. No
    4. Twitter: seejane (I don’t tweet much). Instagram: janem15
    5. adore the prison suits.
    6. my new crockpot and girl scout cookies (ha! I’m apparently old!)

    • Janet
      February 7, 2013 9:28 am

      Jane, that’s another site I have never heard of. Off to check it out further. I am so glad I asked this question!

  4. Jane
    February 6, 2013 9:22 pm

    oh and if you want to see our babysite. send me an email and I’ll email it back.. It is almost 6 years old!

  5. Jodie
    February 6, 2013 9:57 pm

    Re: 1b) get a “one line a day” journal. It’s a great way to document the little pieces of your days and a great way to record milestones and funny kid quotes. I got mine on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0811870197/ref=mp_s_a_1?qid=1360205834&s r=8-1&pi=SL75

  6. Brooke
    February 6, 2013 9:59 pm

    1. Well, in addition to the blog posts, I am filling out a traditional baby book. I just posted about how I’m tackling photos (blurb for instagram, Kolo albums for most pictures). I’m also keeping a One Line a Day journal (you can buy on Amazon). They have tiny spaces where you write a sentence or two each day for five years. I think it will be so fun to see how much things change in our daily lives over that time.
    2. I second the suggestion for chili. Lasagna is also good. I’m sure pinterest has a zillion suggestions…
    3. Not in DC, but good for your friend!
    4. I’m bythebrooke88 on instagram.
    5. Prison chic looks good on your boys.
    6. My new nursing bras (I finally spent the money on a couple of nice ones and it makes such a difference)

    • Janet
      February 7, 2013 9:36 am

      Ooh, you answered all 6! I think I need to invest in some better nursing bras. It ain’t pretty over here…

      Off to read your post to see how you are keeping all those pics of cute Zuzu!

  7. alison
    February 6, 2013 11:07 pm

    1. Dunno – I just have them on my computer or phone. This is one place I am failing.
    1b. I have tubs where I am saving keepsakes fro both kids like favorite outfits and their first pacifier and stuff. I tie a little ribbon around the tag or whatever and label it. I know it will be an amazing thing for them to go through some day. But I am behind in the labeling part! For when they get older I did a great album of all of Lily’s artwork from preschool that I know I will treasure.
    2. Chicken pot pie, just make the filling then later you can de-frost, throw a frozen puff pastry on top and bake. Yummy dinner!
    3. Sadly, no.
    4. Also no. I keep wondering if I should do Twitter, but I feel like I’m over-committed online anyway.
    5. Love those boys.
    6. Making soup with no recipe with whatever is in my fridge. I’m always so proud of myself when it turns out edible!

    • Janet
      February 7, 2013 9:37 am

      Tubs! Yes, I think I need to buy these on my next Target trip. I’ve already set aside the outfits they wore home from the hospital, stuff like that.

      I would DIE OF HAPPY if you got on twitter and tweeted me all day. :)

  8. Leslie
    February 6, 2013 11:41 pm

    I’m really only qualified to answer 2& 4…My biggest tip for freezer meals is to cook a few pounds of ground beef with onion, garlic, chopped carrot and celery. The, portion the cooked meat and freeze to use in sauces, chili, tacos and stroganoff. The met at already done and most of the time you just have to throw the rest together. My go-to freezer meals are lasagna roll-ups – same ingredients as lasagna but easier to portion out and freeze. A basic recipe can be found here: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Spinach-Lasagna-Roll-Ups. I also love to freeze cooked, smashed pinto beans, chicken enchilada casserole and chili. I’ve also frozen meatloaf in mini-loaf pan and muffin tin sizes. Because I just cook for one, I find that saving the majority of what I cook in the freezer gives me lots of quick options for lunches and dinners.

    I think you’re already following me on Twitter but just in case, my Twitter name is totallyleslie.

    Your children are handsomely delicious. And by delicious I mean nothing creepy or cannibalistic.

  9. J.A. from Amsterdam
    February 7, 2013 5:25 am

    Janet, I pin a lot of recipes… here is my one for freezer meals! http://pinterest.com/jaerts/freezer-make-ahead-meals/

  10. Shari
    February 7, 2013 8:10 am

    1) I also keep a physical baby book along with flickr,Instagram, YouTube and my blog. I do use Art Kive on my iphone to document art projects, found love notes and letters to the tooth fairy and stories that Hannah concocts.

    4) We are friends on Instagram. :) I am boring but my name on twitter is @ShooieFox

    6) My Nikon 300 and Lightroom4

    Your boys are adorable and your photos make me want to pop threw my computer and kiss their faces.

  11. RA
    February 7, 2013 9:49 am

    Er, these are the only ones I feel like I can answer, and I know we are connected on the Twitters. :)

    1b. I write down a line a day in cheap journals from Target. Last year, I just wrote the date as I went along, and this is my second year going. It was my lazy way of doing this project from Design Sponge.

    2. Chili, chicken tacos, and cookies! Ha. I can email you all of these recipes.

    6. I feel like I’m on a streak of really good books lately. Right now, I’m reading and enjoying The Distant Hours, by Kate Morton, and The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater. Last month, I really liked Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown, and Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett. And this ballet barre boot camp is kicking my butt in a good way!

    • Janet
      February 9, 2013 8:15 pm

      Good for you on the boot camp!

      I have had that design sponge project on my “to do” list for awhile but never did it before the babies came. Darn.

  12. jen
    February 7, 2013 9:51 am

    1- Have you tried Vine? It’s Twitter with videos. I suppose it doesn’t solve the issue of what to do with them once they’re on your computer, but it might be a fun way to share them in the meantime.
    1b- I am going to be horrible with this, I already know. I have a friend that prints Blurb books for each child every year. Another friend fills out books the old fashioned way and I have many friends that do the “one line a day” journals. Sorry I’m not much help in this department! I love the idea of a tub for each child filled with keepsakes.
    2- I think I’ve only made freezer meals once in my life. Mostly because I forget they’re in there and then they get all freezer burned before we can eat them. Fail.
    3- I don’t live in DC, but my sister does. I’ll pass along your friend’s name!
    4- Not on Twitter, but am on Instagram @jonnifer
    5- The pictures of the boys falling over in a series makes me imagine they are in a car driving on curvy roads. :)
    6- The best thing ever right now is our Vitamix. Jon has been making me “rainbow smoothies” for breakfast – beet, orange, banana, kale, spinach, beet greens, blueberry, strawberry, apple, parsley, chia seeds, flax seeds and almond milk. They taste amazing and my doctor is pleased as punch that I’m getting so many good nutrients without added sugar. Our afternoon smoothie is tons of spinach, celery, parsley, and pineapple. The baby moves a lot after i drink these so I think he/she must like them, too. :)

  13. Chrissie
    February 7, 2013 9:56 am

    1. I am not a mom, so I can’t give any specific advice, but I feel like if I were I would definitely want to create home movies and save them both on a hard drive and DVD. I know that I love looking back at my own home movies from my childhood – they are so special – and I’d want to do the same if I had kids of my own.

    1b. Same rule applies here, but if you’re not a traditional journaler, what about monthly/semi-yearly/yearly letters to your boys (maybe with some photos attached) chronicling their development and what’s happening in your lives? Also I love the idea of a baby book as well.

    4. We are already Instagram pals (@booknerdgirl). I love seeing pictures of your boys! :) I’m also on Twitter with the same user name, but hardly tweet these days – just pop in on occasion for news and such.

    5. Cute!

    6. Two things I’m loving this week: The first is a standby recipe of mine for gluten-free (and super easy to make) peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. They are naturally gluten-free because there is no flour, but if you don’t have gluten issues then no need to worry about making sure the vanilla/chips/etc. are gluten-free: http://laurafriendly.com/peanut-butter-cookies

    The other is this newly-released Disney animated short called Paperman – so cute and well done: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aTLySbGoMX0

    Hope you enjoy!

  14. Liz
    February 7, 2013 10:08 am

    1. I’ve been putting all videos on YouTube. Though I keep most of them private because I don’t like sharing everything. (Crazy, I know.) I’m terrified that my computer will crash or I’ll lose my iPhone, so every couple of weeks, I go through and back up my phone and computer photos/videos. I’m using Flickr’s pro account to store photos and I’m about half way through my entire library of photos from early 2004. I think I’m half way through uploading 2011′s photos. I also set those private too, for now.
    1 b. I plan on making yearly albums. I’ve also been taking weekly photos (in different outfits so I can remember my favorite ones) and monthly photos (with the cute white onesie and tie). And I have keepsakes like hospital bracelets, hat, outfit, etc. that I plan to place in a shadow box (or a couple of shadow boxes). Right now, I’ve just been keeping everything like that in an old baby gap giftbox until I have the time to make the shadow boxes. And I plan to use my monthly blog posts for his yet-to-be-made baby book. I have a traditional baby book, but I’ve been pretty bad about keeping up with it.
    2. I go to one of those places where you can make your freezer meals there and take them home, because I am just no good at meal planning and buying all the proper ingredients. I’m actually going tonight!!
    3. I do not, but yay friend!
    4. We follow each other (I think). I know I follow you anyway!
    5. I love stripes on boys.
    6. I’m doing a free trial of Lightroom4 thanks to your suggestion and I absolutely love it. That’s how I edited D’s Valentine’s Day photos. I also love the app Postagram to send printed Instagram photos to my family since they rarely get on the Internet. They LOVE getting them in the mail, and they’re only $1. In fact, if you sign up, I think you get your first 5 for free. And sometimes I send one to myself because I have an abnormal amount of frames that require small, square photos. It’s just so easy since you can do it all from your phone. Kind of a pain to plug in your credit card info and addresses the first time, but after you do it once, it’s SO EASY to send them all the time. And one time they didn’t deliver my photo so I just had to report it on the app and they sent another one for free, no questions asked.

  15. Vivi
    February 7, 2013 12:14 pm

    I think you can also upload short video clips to Flickr. Otherwise maybe use Vimeo? That seems a little more personal and more visually appealing than YouTube (which is great but not that great for sharing personal videos in my opinion).
    I don’t have children so I don’t know what would be a good idea, only probably that I’d try to do something that doesn’t take too much time so you’re more likely to keep it up.
    I’m vivibruns on Twitter and Instagram by the way! Your babies are the sweetest, I really enjoy seeing all your pictures on Instagram.

  16. Erin
    February 7, 2013 2:48 pm

    I had a baby book for my son (that got lost in a move!) and then didn’t do one for my daughter… for the longest time I felt terrible that I didn’t do one for her but honestly? I never looked back at his (before we lost it) so it doesn’t even phase me now. I’m more of a pictures person.

    I follow you on Twitter (@shesabigstar) and I think I requested you on IG (@shesabigstar)… I need to double check that bc I love seeing pics of those beautiful babies!

  17. LeeAnn Baker
    February 8, 2013 12:47 pm

    Your sons are simply perfection. I can’t think of two cuter babies.

    I attempted a baby book but it didn’t work for me. What did work for my style was a baby calendar. I could jot down milestones like teeth, walking, talking, words, crawling, etc. and remind myself of exciting events throughout the year. These were the major things I was interested in finding out about when I had kids – when did I walk, how big was I at 3 months. It was helpful.

    Another idea that has worked for me is creating a folder for each year. I keep small things, artwork, notes, etc. My idea is that all 18 folders will fit into one box. This fits with the amount of storage I have available.

    Hope these help and take care!

  18. terra
    February 8, 2013 6:22 pm

    I have no good advice, but those babies are SO CUTE!! Toppling babies FTW!!

  19. Birdie
    February 8, 2013 9:54 pm

    Love the line a day journal idea! I write in a journal every few weeks.
    I like idea of notes in my writing.

  20. Diane
    February 9, 2013 10:59 am

    So Cute!!!
    1. I have been using iphoto and making photo books with shutterfly, blurb etc. Wherever I get a good coupon code from. Am still figuring out how to share videos best. Will be reading through here and getting ideas.
    1b. I do have a baby book but I also just take notes of things they are doing. Don’t know best way yet to keep this information for me.
    2. Soups freeze very well. and enchiladas and mexican casserole. Now I’m hungry.
    3. No
    4. already following each other :-) gingermaxim
    5. I love stripes!
    6. Downton Abbey. I am late to the party but was immediately sucked in. And watching my boys learn to show affection to each other.

  21. Meaghan
    February 9, 2013 5:52 pm

    Hi Janet. I’m a long term reader and I have never commented before! Firstly can I say congrats on your beautiful twins, and congrats to you in what a wonderful job you’re doing!
    As for documenting their lives, I’ve found this hard for my own two. It’s hard to find a balance between documenting, but not having it be a chord and something you dread doing. With my first, who is nearly 4, I bought a baby book and think I’ve filled in her birth story….and that’s it! With my second I didn’t even buy a baby book. I’m a very nostalgic person and feel like my children’s childhoods are going so fast and the memories are slipping through my fingers. But when #2 was born and I had 2 yr old and very unsettled newborn to deal with, and PND on top of that, I just didn’t have the time or energy to document anything. But now I have found three things that work for me….both are easy, not time consuming (well not too time consuming !!), and yet give me a space to document all of the precious moments. Firstly, I have a “mom’s one line a day” journal, one for each child. It provides enough space for a few lines each day. I write down milestones, what we did that day, or just what I’m thinking. Because there’s not much space it’s quick and not intimidating! Secondly, I have a “my birthday book,” for each child. Each year on their bday there’s a space for pictures, developmental progress, and a little interview that you do with your child. Then at their 18th bday it’s a nice little gift of memories you can give them. Lastly, I have a a “my quotable kid” journal for each child. I just write in it when I feel like it…for my son (20 months) it’s just a list of the words he knows and the sentences he is starting to say. For my daughter (almost 4), I write down the funny thoughts and things she says…when I can remember! I think it’s important to record your children’s babyhood/childhood but in a way that isn’t just one more thing you never have time to do as well as you had hoped. Nothing worse then mothers guilt! Anyway, good luck and I’m interested to know which route you choose to go. PS all my
    “Journals” are on amazon for under $20.

  22. Alissa - MissC
    February 13, 2013 11:21 pm

    You are so amazing. I don’t know how you do what you do with those two little men. Honestly, if it were me (since I know how hard BFing and pumping are) I would have gone to formula. You are a rockstar!