Saturday, April 2, 2016

A to Z April Challenge: B is for Baby Stuff

Genealogists and family historians get a lot of satisfaction from chasing their ancestors’ stories. Finding a diary, a message on a postcard, or a photo with a name attached is like the sun coming out after a storm. One day we will be somebody’s ancestor. We need to leave our descendants a little bit of sunshine too. So here is my story told alphabetically, not chronologically: Growing Up in Cradock.

is for Baby Stuff.

My daughters are new moms. Even though their babies are not even six months old yet, they are already experiencing that emotional realization of time passing too quickly as they pack up the newborn onesies and sleepers to make way for the 3-6 months ones. The need to hold on to those sweet moments is probably why mothers the world over since the beginning of time save SOMETHING for sentimental reasons.

My mother was no different. Here are her reminders that I was sweet once:



Book – a Christmas gift from my grandaunt Violetta Davis Ryan. It is called “Off to Bed” and includes seven stories “for Wide Awakes.”

Blonde locks – there used to be MORE hair in that little clump, but over the years, strands have come loose. Most baby books and memory boxes today have a special spot for that souvenir of baby’s first haircut. I cannot remember where Momma kept mine, but many years ago we attached the blonde locks to a velvet heart to go into a shadow box, one project that never was completed.

Box of baby teeth – well, what can I say? I guess the Tooth Fairy didn’t keep them after all.

Baby beads – A NECKLACE! That is how hospital personnel identified babies back in the 1950s. Yeah, with a strangulation hazard. Pink beads for girls. Blue beads for boys. They ARE cute though. By the late 1960s when my sister came along the hospital attached pink or blue bead bracelets instead, much safer yet still worthy of saving. My little grandchildren will not have anything like this. They had electronic security devices on their ankles like criminals on house arrest might wear. A sign of the times.

Bonnet – A crisp French bonnet was the ultimate gift for baby girls. My mother saved it and had it cleaned and starched for my daughter to wear on her first Easter.

Jordan wearing my French bonnet 1982

Be brave beholding a bounty of blogs at the A to Z April Challenge.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.   

67 comments:

  1. Lovely memories on the baby theme, especially that cute photograph of your daughter in her Easter bonnet - she looks so happy.

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    1. Yeah, she was a happy little baby.

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  2. Aaww bless. It brings back memories for me. But I am also happy that my daughter, now 24, is flourishing in her chosen career. We still share sweet moments. I don't think that ever goes away. Lovely post, thank you.

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    1. I'm glad mine are grown. The tween and teen years aren't so pretty. LOL

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  3. Love that starched bonnet! How nice to have a memento. My mother kept the christening gown and if you had your baby christened before the age of 6 months it was lent to members of the family, both my children, boy and girl used it along with various cousins' offspring.

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    1. My mom and I made separate christening dresses for my girls. Daughter #1 had a boy so I doubt she will put him in that dress. I wouldn't - it really looks girly, much like a bridal gown.

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  4. Goodness you have touched my heart! This is such a precious part of life, and I wish them all luck and happiness. Time moves too quickly and before you know it they aren't babes anymore! Enjoy it all.

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    1. You got that right! So I'm loving on the grands as much as possible.

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  5. So sweet! My son was born in the early 90's and I should have a beaded bracelet somewhere the hospital sold to me - along with the hospital photo and the birth announcement I sent out. And I still have some of his little baby outfits. Time does move too quickly. Alana@RamblinGarden from
    Ramblin with AM

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    1. I saved outfits that my mom and/or I made but not too many others. The hospital photos were not very good. I know my babies were cuter than that!

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  6. Haha! My son with his security ankle bracelet as well. I do guess it's better than a strangulation necklace!

    Farin; from The Newest Vazquez

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    1. It's a different world. The maternity wards today are in lock-down mode. I'm sure mothers were smoking in bed when I was born.

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    1. Thanks and thanks for the visit.

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  8. I keep considering whether I want to jump into genealogy studies. So much is documented anymore, it may be the time to get into it.

    Transformed Nonconformist

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    1. Jump in -- every day is an adventure. You'll never be bored.

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  9. What wonderful memories. I have a cherished Teddy Bear.

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  10. Wendy, this is delightful! Fun to reminisce, isn't it? My oldest daughter born in the 70's had a pink bow in her hair. The hospital used pink for girls and blue for boys. Here's my "B" post. http://gaylwright.blogspot.com/2016/04/b-is-for-bongo-not-drum.html

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    1. Yes, it is fun looking back. Was my neck that tiny? I had to read some of those stories while I was at it too.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. SO cute!! And how sweet that you still have those items :)

    Happy B Day!
    ~AJ Lauer, an A-Z Co-host
    Twitter: @ayjaylauer

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    1. I'm glad for all the little heirlooms, both mine and my ancestors'. Thanks for stopping in and checking on me!

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  12. There were little teeny tiny envelopes in each of my kids' baby books to put a lock of their hair. And we had ankle bracelets when I was born.

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    1. Oh yes, I remember those. I don't think my girls' baby books had envelopes. I need to go check.

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  13. I remember my first time. Very nice. @authorparomita from
    The Diary of a Rolling Stone

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    1. Thanks for the comment and visit.

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  14. Oh my goodness!! That little outfit with that gorgeous bonnet is just fabulous!! Lovely memories I have my baby book which came free with my delux carriage and cards from everyone. I kept everything from my 4 girls' births and gave to them when they married. They all had a first photo taken in the hospital except my second one as she was born Christmas day and no one was working (sigh). My mom gave each of the girls a silver bracelet when they were baptized.
    Thank you for sharing and stirring up our own memories!
    My Genealogy Challenges

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    1. I love the bracelet idea. Our hospital pictures were not good. My daughter in Savannah (the girl in the bonnet) had a wonderful experience with a hospital photographer the day after her baby was born. They look like studio portraits featuring a variety of poses with just the baby, baby and mom, baby and dad, the whole family. You couldn't ask for better.

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  15. How neat how your mom preserved these pieces of your childhood! Such a cute bonnet!

    betty

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    1. That is some humdinger of a bonnet. I doubt French bonnets are even available anymore.

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  16. Love it!! I have recently found my mom's baby book - handmade by my grandmother in 1930. I love it, too!!! I'm not much a modern-day scrapbooker, but I see it as much more personal than following the pages of a published, fill-in-the-blank, place-picture-here books. Thanks for sharing. ~ Please pop over to my sight where I'm Livin' Out Loud 4 Jesus. www.merriehansen.com

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    1. Oh your mom's book is such a great treasure. Lucky you! Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. lovely to have those memories, and yes time flies is such a cliche- but for a reason.
    visitor from planet A-Z

    http://allfeathersfurandfins.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. It does fly, and the older I get the faster it flies.
      Thanks for the visit!

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  18. I enjoyed going down your memory lane and feel nostalgic about my mom. I'm going to call her right away now. Thanks for sharing :)

    http://www.malavikka.blogspot.com//

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    1. Good -- I hope you have a beautiful conversation and that you ask some questions about your childhood that you might have forgotten or not even have known. Thanks for the visit!

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  19. I cherished the hand-crocheted baby afghans and booties from my Aunts and Nana. This is a sweet post.

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    1. I would too! I gave my daughters the crocheted baby blankets that they used as babies. Thanks for the visit!

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  20. Precious mementos. That bonnet is gorgeous! And the whole outfit it beautiful. I have an empty envelope in my baby book that once contained long-gone baby hair. But my mother still has a little lock of it.

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    1. Thanks Anna. I hope you get that lock of hair back for that envelope!

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  21. What a great B post Wendy it took me back to when my son was small

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    1. Lovely. Looking at MY things makes me think about my girls' baby books and what I saved of theirs.

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  22. Oh I didn't know about the necklaces in hospital or the tradition of baby bonnets. Wow!

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    1. What? No necklace in Australia? You must still be a baby ;-) My girls had a white plastic or vinyl bracelet with pertinent facts typed on it. No charm at all.

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  23. Sweet Baby treasures and memories. Funny comparison on the choker beads and security anklets. Now that was some bonnet...love it that your Mom made it...I remember your comments about her sewing. All of the heirlooms from Book to Baby Teeth are great keepsakes and perfect for this Letter B post.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. I credit my funny daughter for the "house arrest" comparison. We didn't see the security device because the baby was in a blanket. Daughter warned us not to get too close to the door because an alarm would go off. She said, "She's on house arrest."

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  24. I did baby books for all of my kids and I have a few things but I somehow mixed all their teeth together so nobody know which tooth belongs to who.

    Finding Eliza

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    1. I confess I've mixed up my girls' teeth too. They were too close in age and losing teeth at the same time.

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  25. Such a cute B post - love seeing all the baby stuff that has been saved. I blogged on my Baby book mama saved.

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    1. Great. I'll have to find that post and read about your baby book.

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  26. awww, these are sooo sweet!!!! :)

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  27. Electronic devices? Country Australian hospitals haven't come that far yet! But it wont be long!!

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    1. HA -- what ID system does your hospital use now?

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  28. What wonderful memories. Happy to see them :)

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  29. Great post! I still have my baby bracelet.

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  30. Such lovely memories. I recently became a mom and was pleasantly surprised when my elder sister brought toys of her son who is now 20! The fact that she had carefully kept them all these years for me got me teary eyed!

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    1. How sweet. I didn't save too many toys - some were loved to death.

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  31. Lovely post and memories, I love keepsakes like these, thank you for sharing them :)

    @LunaNoctis from There She Goes

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    1. I hope my girls think the way you do when they see what I've saved of theirs. Thanks for visiting.

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  32. Now that's a bonnet!! We didn't have beads, nor did my children. We had rubber name tags attached to tape. ...I have mine and my daughters'. Mum saved "all" of my baby dresses and I recently found a lock of my hair and was surprised by the colour. I don't think I kept my girls'

    I'm impressed by your recall Wendy and love the now and then photos. Amazing how the essence remains so similar.

    I'm impressed by your recall Wendy and love the now and then photos. Amazing how the essence remains so similar.

    @cassmob from
    Family History Across The Seas

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    1. I saved dresses that I made for my girls. Thanks for the visit.

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  33. Sorry the iPad copy and paste went a bit nuts ;)

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  34. This brings back a flood of memories for me too. I love seeing the baby things and remembering how it felt to hold them and how good those sweet babies smelled. Thank goodness for grandbabies, and although the details have changed, the feelings have not.

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