A long, long time ago — even longer than my last blog post, if you can believe that — I decided to undertake a project. It was for a pregnant friend and a newly unpregnant sister-in-law: a journal that I wish I had to keep track of the changing realities of being a new mom that I’d realized were fleeting even if they seemed like they would last forever in the moment. For a while there in month two of babyhood, I thought I’d never pull away from HGTV and “Law & Order” reruns. By the time summer hit, I’d forgotten all about that phase. Not yet a blogger, I’d been writing a lot about my son but not so much about me. Even if I had, I imagine it would have been sprawling and not of much help if/when I wanted to look back to see if/when I might have been bordering on PPD or when the thyroid slump came on or when I was thoroughly smitten and full of joy.
Thus was born the idea for Catching Ripples Journals for Busy Parents, a place with monthly prompts to remind me what to notice and document before it changed. I later revised the postpartum year/focus-on-mom journal for a different friend and then made a toddler version to keep track of my son’s developments since I kept saying “I’d have to check the blog” whenever my husband asked about something the boy started or stopped doing. And that was a lot of text to sift through!
So now I’ve got new revisions — prototypes made the expensive way at Kinko’s and so that I could see what works and what doesn’t. There’s a Toddler Age Two version and the Postpartum Journey – Mother’s First Year. I will soon be making an Age Three version as we’re nearing that milestone, and I have a friend who wants one with more space to write, so I will probably make an extended version, too. After I was unable to meet a deadline to send these to a Silicon Valley-area focus group with swag bags, I got the urge to get serious. When I heard about a local craft show, I decided maybe that was a good goal. The holiday market was tiny and poorly attended, but I was glad I got out there to act like someone who had a product and to network with some other crafty women.
Still, this, the development of my tutoring & editing business and some other unexpected developments have been taking up a large portion of my time. I hope to have a new blog not too long into 2009 that will roll all three — this plus Crunchy-Chewy Mama and Inexact Science: Raising Healthy Families — into one so I can put on a better face and keep up more regularly.
Please check out the Catching Ripples R&D page at http://catching-ripples-journal.blogspot.com/. I’m open to suggestions on manufacturing/production as well as feedback on the journal itself. Production cost for the small run I did came in a little over $12 a pop, much more than I’m sure I would find with another process, but I had to get something in hand. I’d request a donation toward amount if you’d like to try one out, and I’ll certainly discount any future sales to folks who test-drove this one.
It’s exciting and also intimidating to try this on!