Hailey's ME Book

Monday, 16 October 2017

Hailey started daycare during the summer shortly after Mui Mui was born. It was a difficult decision to put her into daycare because I had a year of maternity leave ahead of me, which meant I didn't have to go to work. However, I just knew that there was really no way that I could take care of both of them on my own five days a week.

For the longest time, I was reluctant to put Hailey into daycare because she wasn't able to talk. At 20 months, we had an assessment with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) and found that she had a speech delay and required speech therapy. By the time she started daycare at 26 months, she only had a handful of words and often needed prompting to say them.

I was always scared that if I put Hailey into daycare at the time, she wouldn't be able to tell anyone if she got hurt. Or perhaps even neglected because she wasn't able to communicate effectively. However, I have heard from many parents about how their child/children learn so much from other kids at daycare. It gave me a lot of hope that Hailey will learn to socialize and eventually learn how to talk one day.

During our daycare orientation, the teachers asked us to create a "ME Book" for Hailey. This book can contain photos, cards, stickers, letters/notes, etc. Anything that she may find comforting when she is having a difficult time saying goodbye or when she misses us anytime throughout the day.

We haven't printed out photos in a long time. In fact, I still have this empty picture frame I got from our honeymoon that I have yet to fill. After I had picked up the photos that night, I tried to sit down with Hailey so that we can enjoy them together. However, she was more interested in playing with my washi tape and trying to "feed" them to her bunnies.

I didn't spend a lot of time putting the ME Book together, but I was really proud of how it turned out. It's very similar to smash booking which is merely a form of memory keeping. In comparison to scrapbooking, smash booking is kinda random and often doesn't require much planning and organizing. For the ME Book, I basically taped down all the photos using washi tape and added some stickers from Hailey's collection as embellishments.

Daycare ME Book, Smashbook, Quick Scra pbook
Hailey looks like a little model from a catalogue in this picture. I love it!

Daycare ME Book, Smashbook, Quick Scrapbook
This picture is from Hailey's First Birthday Party. I wonder if she recognizes herself as a one-year-old.

Daycare ME Book, Smashbook, Quick Scrapbook
"Bus" in Cantonese was one of Hailey's first words. Since the primary language spoken at the daycare was English, I wanted to make sure that the teachers who look through her ME Book with her would understand what she was saying when they came by this photo. 

Daycare ME Book, Smashbook, Quick Scrapbook
This was a photo taken at a family event at a church. Hailey was part of a toddler watermelon eating contest. 

Daycare ME Book, Smashbook, Quick Scrapbook
This is actually a photo of a photo. We took this picture at a wedding photo booth the year before. It turned out to be one of the cuter family photos we have (even though Hailey looked kind of uncomfortable).

Daycare ME Book, Smashbook, Quick Scrapbook
I love photo booths at weddings and parties, so I decided to create a DIY photo booth for Hailey's second birthday party. The DIY photo booth turned out very popular.

Daycare ME Book, Smashbook, Quick Scrapbook
I got Hailey hooked on Disney princesses very early on. These two princesses need no introduction. 

Daycare ME Book, Smashbook, Quick Scrapbook
This was our first photo as a family of four. Hailey was terrified of Mui Mui when we first brought her home. In fact, for the first week, they couldn't even be in the same room together. This is a photo of when Mui Mui turned one-month-old, and it just reminds me of how much Hailey had grown into her role as a big sister.

Daycare ME Book, Smashbook, Quick Scrapbook
We got a glider board for our stroller shortly after Mui Mui turned 1 month as it was getting tiring to carry either of them when we go out. Hailey took to it very quickly, and she loved being my little helper to push Mui Mui around. 

Daycare ME Book, Smashbook, Quick Scrapbook
Hailey's loves her bunnies and bear. She sleeps with them every night. And even when it's not bedtime, she would often "tuck them into bed" pretend to sleep next to them. 

Daycare ME Book, Smashbook, Quick Scrapbook
This one was from Halloween 2016 when Hailey was 17 months old and one of my favourite photos. She was dressed up as a Wilderness Explorer (from the Pixar movie Up)! This was a costume I created for her when she was only five months old. You can read more about it here. As you can see, I purposely labelled the "kite" badge because it was one of Hailey's favourites. Also, Hailey tends to point at little details of a picture and ask people to label it for her even though she knows what they are.

This was a quick and fun project (at least it was for me). I very much enjoyed putting Hailey's ME Book together. As well, I was able to put my hoard of washi tape to good use. This project also reminded me of how much I love putting together smash books and perhaps I should revisit this hobby soon.

What does your child/children have at daycare to help comfort them when they miss you?

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