When Ali was born, my Mom allowed me to take out a semi-permanent loan of my baby book for comparison purposes.

And I’m quite positive that she is going to promptly cancel my loan after this post.

If not from this post, then in fear that I would one day post “The Bathtub Pic” of baby me, my brother JC, and my Dad.

Don’t worry, Mom. I know that no one wants to see that.

(Including me.)

(Mom, Would you like to come pick that picture up, please?)

Anyway. My baby book: IMG_9155

The poor book looks older than me. It’s missing its cover, the pages are all yellowed and pitiful, and the sticky that’s supposed to be holding the pictures and captions in place destickified years ago.

But I still love looking through it – I don’t remember any of the events pictured, since it stops before I got old enough for memory (really, I’m just impressed that I, as the second child, even HAVE a baby book – so no complaints regarding the longevity of it’s continuance), but what it does do is bring back memories of looking through it as a kid, and my thoughts about the book at that time.

For instance, my biggest beef as a child was that my brother was ALLLL up in my baby book, and I wasn’t in his book ONE. SINGLE. TIME.


When I was young, I just knew that my parents did this simply to spite me as the middle child, but as I’ve matured to the ancient age of 28, I do realize that he was around for my baby book, and I was not around for his.

And I can accept that.

And what helps me accept that is that I get to laugh at the way they dressed him. Sure, I was in smock, but he got to wear full German Lederhosen:


Now. Back to me. As a child, I was always confused by the picture on the right:

I just couldn’t understand how I was walking at one month old, but baby books don’t lie. So obviously, I was.

Then there are the hippy photos of my Mom, which coincidentally always had that orange-ish tint to them, something that none of the other pictures had.

It’s almost as if the orange photo tint was some sort of aura that wafted off of hippyish people…

But THEN as I continued through the book, I remembered WHY I was so upset about JC being in my baby book.There were whole pages of pictures of JUST him.IMG_9173In MY baby book!

Next are the pictures from my first Easter:IMG_9182Correction. Pictures of my BROTHER and my COUSINS on my first Easter. My baby book, people!!!

I was relegated the the bottom corner of the page, not good enough to put in the cute cousins shots with the rest of them, I suppose.

At least JC was in smock. There’s always that.

And at least my little brother isn’t anywhere to be found in my baby book – I can hold onto that small victory, even if he wasn’t born until years after my baby book was yellowing with age.

Oh wait. Unless you skip to the very last page, where he can be found, in a photo taken years after all of the other photos.IMG_9219
It’s almost as if they wanted to make SURE I knew I was the middle child or something.


Aside from my Middle Child issues (which, by the way, I don’t REALLY have, just ask my Dad), the most puzzling page in my baby book was from the May after I was born.

I am nowhere to be found on this page, nor is my Mom. The photos were taken at the Indianapolis 500, and brought unlimited hours of puzzlement and confusion to my childhood years.

There were three pictures:


There was my Dad…


My Dad’s friend’s wife…


And my Dad’s friend.

Or, rather, my Dad’s friend’s shirt, since that’s all I ever noticed.

What does that even mean?!

And what in the WORLD does it have to do with MY baby book?

Some questions, I fear, are best left unanswered.

17 thoughts on “The Baby Book of Burning Questions

  1. Alright, that shirt MUST have some hidden meaning. Is it some stab at homosexuality and abortion? What else could it mean?

    People wore some weird stuff back then.

  2. I have no idea why those last three photos were in your baby book! The shirt though, was part of an unofficial, traditional contest of sorts that lots of people did (still do?) at the Indy 500. I guess it was sort of like Dragon Con, trying to be a little outrageous. Beleive me, Bruce's shirt was TAME in comparrison to some of the others! The 500 is the last of this month. Want to go and do some research?

  3. Well at least what pictures there are of you in your baby book are of one little cutie patootie (you … not your brothers or any other family member).

  4. I totally hear you about being the middle child!!! You really need to find out what the deal is with that shirt ad let us know!

  5. Just cruising by, following a link to your hilarious yet useful mom jeans entry. The t-shirt slogan was tweaking most of the then-current hot button progressive issues, all in one go:

    "No nukes" (this wasn't all that long after Three Mile Island nearly blew up, and nuclear power was a big issue — I remember going to a march on Washington in high school) (It may have been related to the fear of nuclear winter, too, come to think of it)


    gay rights

    Save the whales (a la Greenpeace), the then-current environmental focus

    I remember the shirt, actually. It was amusing at the time.

    BTW, the orange color of those pix of your mom may have been about the lighting. ASA (a/k/a ISO) 800 or 1600 film did that weird color shift in low light.

    Now I feel old.

  6. If it makes you feel any better, Rachel, I also had random pictures of a picnic my parents went to before I was born in one of my baby books – and I was the first born child!….What? What do I mean by "ONE of my baby books"? I mean my parents had 2 baby books of me…but perhaps I shouldn't have brought that up to a middle child. My bad.

  7. Hahaha, this post cracked me up! As a (mostly) only child I have one (or more) scrapbooks for each year of my life until college when I started scrapping on my own. Crazy. After reading your post I am renewing my dedication for equal opportunity scrapbookong for my girls. And I will make sure I don't put any random pics from before they were born. :)

  8. Okay, hilarious. First of all, your dad was handsome (he looks like the police officer from MONK) and you have got to find the info on that shirt.

    As a firstborn I can't comment on the middle child thing, but just be glad you have a baby book. Poor James has his baby book concealed as a computer (the pics haven't even been printed out) and baby #5 will probably just be happy we actually found the camera on enough occassions to take a picture!

  9. I was always jealous because Mike had a baby book and I did not. Mike's also has things in it that have nothing to do with Mike. I found the only pic I have ever seen of my paternal grandfather (not with Mike).

  10. People have books of baby pictures?!! Wow….

    The shirt is cracking me up! I'm glad your dad explained above. I wonder if people still do it. I would love to find it at the thrift store. It would be on my back twenty seconds later.

  11. Heh! As a first born child I was always amused that my baby book contains pages of text surrounding the photos. My brother's (middle child, two years later) has pictures and captions. And my sister's (nine years after me) is a straight-up photo album.

    I always swore I wouldn't do that. Which is probably why I have three baby books for Elizabeth, none of which I bought, all blank. Although my sister has promised to help me make a scrapbook for her so she'll probably end up with something else other than the blog!

  12. Don't really know if that should be considered your baby book…it's more of a scrapbook of sorts :)

    I can see a lot of Eli in that picture of JC in the German outfit, hope that outfit doesn't get passed down to Eli!

    That shirt is so random & very strange, I definitely think you should go to the Indy 500 this year with your Dad & do some research on this shirt contest!

    I think your mom should write a guest post in response to all your baby book questions.

  13. random comment of the day: judging from online pics, your mother looks the very same. good genes, rachel, good genes. : )

  14. LOL- that shirt is HILARIOUS! Ha- it makes everything else a wash…a picture is worth a thousand words ;)

  15. My mother was recently doing some Spring cleaning and gave me all of my photo albums. Being the youngest of 5 as I went through MY BABY book I recognized that my mom thought my older sister was me NUMBEROUS times. I took out about 12 photos of my sister and showed them to my mother and asked her if she truly thoguht the photos were of me. She was still unsure of whom they were of but to me and my sister it was ovious.

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