Organizing Family Photos

I have spent all my spare time this week trying to organize our family photos.  No, I am not taking about the actually hard copies–they still sit in boxes in our basement.  They have been there since we moved to our house here in Colts Neck, 5 years ago.  That is a project for another day. Instead I have spent all this week trying to organize our digital photos.  All the photos we have accumulated since buying our first digital camera when our oldest was about 5 years old–that is almost 10 years of photographs that have been transferred to CDs, USB drives, online storage, from computer to computer sitting there waiting to be enjoyed.

I love my digital camera and my iPhone camera and I although I am not a “photo” person, I have accumulated almost 5000 digital photos (don’t be too impressed this number includes lots of duplicates and photos that need to be deleted)–the big question is what to do with them.  I am not a scrapbooker and although I would love to make some albums on Snapfish–let’s face it–I will never get around to it and if I did they would probably end up in those boxes in the basement.

Now, don’t get me wrong–I LOVE looking at photos but there has to be a better way to organize them.

Some suggestions for digital photos:

1) BACK UP and then BACK UP again; always have copies of all your photos/albums (I lost a laptop hard drive once and my biggest concern was the photos; thankfully I could restart the device is safe mode to retrieve all the photos)

2) Look into online storage; this can also serve as your back up

3) Find a way to organize and take the time to do it (I am using Photoshop)

4) A friend suggested making an album a year on sites like Snapfish and I thought this was a nice compromise especially if you have little ones–it forces you to weed through all the photos and pick your favorites

5) Delete those awful photos–you know the ones you would never want anyone to see, the ones with your finger in the view finder, eyes closed, unflattering by anyones standards–let’s face it you will never print them out and they are just taking space.

Do you have any other suggestions? I would love to hear them.

On a parting note, I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed looking at each and everyone of these photos.  The memories each photo brings me is priceless.  So although I may not know what to do with my digital photographs or how to keep them organized, I do know that I am going to try to take as many photos of my kids growing up as I can because let’s face it, my memory sucks already so I can’t imagine what it will be like in 20+ years.






Can Moms with Different Parenting Styles Still be Friends?

This article, “Can Moms with Different Parenting Styles Still be Friends” caught my eye this morning.  I think because I have often thought about this, especially when my boys were younger, and we have talked  about “judgement” in the Bosom Buddies Breastfeeding Support Group many times. We have talked about how judging other mothers and other parents can be so harmful since we all parent different. Here is a post I wrote awhile back about the harm of judging parenting in public especially when the scenario involves a child who is autistic. Since we never know the whole story and have not walked in the other parent’s shoes there has to be a better way to show support or kindness.  Even moms and dads parents differently, each with their own style, so we are bound to run into other mothers who just don’t “see it” or “do it” like we do.

Parenting can be like politics.  Everyone has their own opinion and those who deviate from your passionate stance can cause a strong visceral like response. My hubby begs me to not talk politics at parties or in any social situation because I can get “heated”.  I love debating and I can be very opinionated (and of course, my opinion is the right one [said with a smile]).  Parenting is like that; we feel strongly about our beliefs and how we choose to raise our kids.

Soooo can moms with differing parenting styles still be friends?  What do you think?

This video was released a few weeks ago and I posted it on The Lactation Lady, LLC Facebook fanpage but I want to add it to this post.  I loved this video when I saw it–I love the mom, her facial expressions and intonation of her voice are perfect.  I have said all these things at some point in time. I did not “share it” on my personal Facebook page because I know that may of my fiends would not “get it”–many of my friends think I am that “crunchy/crazy” momma and they did and do not feel the same way I do–but they are my friends nonetheless.  For all you crunchy momma out there, I hope you get a good laugh:

“Recovery Time” After Childbirth

An article in a UK paper today caught my eye, “Women need a whole year to recover from childbirth despite the ‘fantasy’ image of celebrity mothers, study claims.”  Article here,  Quote from article:

“New mothers may be told that they will be back to ‘normal’ within six weeks of giving birth, but a new study has found that most women take much longer to recover.”

I love that they put normal in quotes because the reality is that there is no normal and NOTHING will ever be the same but I would go on to argue over the use of recovery too.  There is no recovery–instead of thinking that women need to recover, as if this was a malady or illness, I prefer to think of it as “time to adjust” or “transition”.  Time to adjust to the new “normal” or transition into the beginning stages of parenthood.

Six weeks is NOT enough time to adjust.  Parenthood is a whole new ballgame.  Giving women more time to transition into their new role, supporting them as a new mother, would benefit society as a whole.  A mother who has had time to adjust to her new role as a parent may transition more easily into a working mother’s role when compared to the mother who must return to work at six weeks.  The stress and pressure of a new mother returning to work impacts her family negatively.  The mother at six week has not fully adjusted physically or mentally—not to mention the negative effect on the breastfeeding relationship.

Wouldn’t it be nice if mothers were given a full year to adjust to “their new job”.

Parenting Without Judgment

I just finished reading this article, in which a mother of an ADHD child describes how she has come to realize her parenting skills are often judged by other parents.  This is such a near and dear topic to me.  Not only in the case of a parent who has a child with a diagnosed disorder like ADHD or Autism but all parents feel this way at some point.

Picture the mother who is grocery shopping with a newborn and her other children in tow and someone has a tantrum (hopefully not the mom)—it does not matter what the tantrum is about—it could be about nothing, but it never fails there is always someone there to “observe” the situation and pass judgment.  Not knowing the background or the specifics–not have empathy regardless of the background or specifics does not come easy for most people.  Who knows?  Maybe the child is ill and we all know they are cranky when they are sick….or maybe that child has autism and social situations are a challenge–who are we to judge?

I am not a perfect parent and I have yet to meet that perfect parent–(those who put on the perfect parent facade are shams)—try not to pass judgement on others and be as supportive as possible–you may need the same sense of understanding and support one day.

Here is a quote from the article:

“Instead of judging parents whose children appear out of control, why not extend some empathy and compassion? To parents who don’t have an ADHD child: The next time you see a child running wild, don’t assume the parents have no control, or are bad disciplinarians. Instead, offer words of encouragement, make a comment to lighten the mood, or better yet — offer a hand. Or possibly even a cookie.”

Looking Inside the Twinkie

I am a self proclaimed health food nut and this article in yesterday’s New York Times caught my eye, “Looking Inside the Twinkie.”  It was a blog interview with author Steve Ettlinger about his book, “Twinkie, Deconstructed.”  I thought this was a new book but I found it was actually published in 2007 when I looked for it on Amazon (why is the kindle version more expensive than the hardcover?).  This book looks like a good read.  We eat far too many processed foods and these foods do not hold a nutritional value for us.  Here is a great quote from yesterday’s article:

“They get hard, but they don’t spoil. I’ve got a bunch of them scattered around my office. I’ve got one from 2005 in my hand. It’s a little hard. I don’t think I’d want to eat it. It’s solid, but it hasn’t spoiled. As part of my research, I made Twinkies at home. We made cake from scratch with whole-food ingredients. It was yellow cake and cream filling from whipped cream with sugar and vanilla. It was absolutely delicious, and we devoured most of them right away. I wrapped one in plastic wrap and put it aside, and it was solid green in a week.”

What we put in our bodies is important–what we give our children to eat is even more so.

Parenting style can help prepare children

Just read a great article about how parenting can help prepare children for school–I would take it a step farther and say that parenting prepares children for life.  Unless your children are going to live like a recluse or maintain an anti-social lifestyle, teaching children to interact with others, be respectful of others, and empathetic (empathy is one of the most important traits that I want to instill in my boys) are important tools for a meaningful existence.  This article from Australia was focused on school, but I really wished they focused on the broader picture,

My boys and I talk about everything.  Simple things that seem so obvious to me.  For example, if you have been invited to a party, you should not talk about the invitation or party at school in front of others who may not have been invited.  It would hurt their feelings.  About how to be inclusive and not exclusive.  Treating everyone nicely.  How to mediate, how to stand up for yourself AND others.  Often we will read articles, books, or see something on TV and discuss the human reactions.  I want my boys to be caring, kind, generous, and grateful.

I would love to see more articles about topics like this with concrete ideas for parents.

I love the idea of discussing “life scenarios” with kids–what would you do?  Why? How would that make you feel?  How would that make someone else feel? Why?  Ethical solutions, empathy, and living as if you are not the only person in the world is one of the best gifts we can give our children.