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It’s A Milk Thang w/ Holly Root!

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Totally Mommy Podcast

Episode 31

Elizabeth’s partner in super power milk, literary agent HOLLY ROOT is today’s cohost. They discuss lipase (it’s a milk thang, baby), their Good/Bad/Funnies (Jeans fitting! Word Recognition Joy!/ Whiney with Mama! Photo Stress!/ Funny Songs Inspired by baby!) before answering listener questions about how to deal with difficult father in laws/grandfathers to your child and how to approach the sensitive subject of starting a family with a loved one who is infertile. Enjoy!


Jennifer S says:

Advice for Elizabeth about the photo situation … I struggled with the same thing and was at a friend’s house recently who has a 2 year old. She had photobooks she had created for her daughter’s first year divided up into 3 month increments. So at the end of 3 months (i.e. at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 1 year) she would take all the great photos from that 3 months and create a nice photo book with them. I loved the idea and tried this for my son’s 0-3 months and it worked great! I have been collecting all my photos in a Google+ album and asked my family to upload their pics to the album too. Then I transferred all the good pics from Picasa (Google’s web albums that interacts with Google+) to Shutterfly and they have a great feature on the website where you upload all the pics and they will do an auto-arranged photobook for you that you can rearrange and put captions on each page. It took me maybe 2 hours and will be even less the next time around now that I know what I am doing. I also found a coupon online for a free photobook so that was an added bonus 🙂 I have also heard they have an app for your phone where you can easily upload pics from the phone’s photo album so it’s easy to get them into your Shutterfly account. As another added bonus, my parents and in-laws both really liked the book so I just ordered 2 more for them to give as grandparent gifts.

I plan to keep doing this every 3 months for the first year and then we’ll see what I decide after that. Not sure if that is the type of process you are looking for, but it works for me!

PS – another trick I do is as I am taking the 20 pics just to get the good one, I immediately delete all the bad ones from my phone’s photo stream just so I don’t have to sort through them later on. This practice helps as well.

PPS – I have no good ideas for the videos though, so anyone else that does, please let me know!

Wendi says:

Hi Elizabeth! I’m a freak when it comes to pictures!! I love actual hard copies in photo albums. I print most of the pics I take and keep them in albums in chronological order by date! My kids love to pull them out and look thru them. I also back them up on an external hard drive and have them on Shutterfly. I am in need of help though with all of the videos as well!! What do people do with these!?? I did have them on a website OneTrueMedia but it went away this past year! I have turned a few into DVDs but like you said, will those last over the years?? But I would love to have video of myself and family when I was little to watch, so essentially these are being saved for my kids!!

Steph says:

My photo system is as follows:
My photo library on my computer is through Lightroom, I try to download photos from my phone once a week but let’s be real, I set that outlook reminder three months ago and hit dismiss every time. So it tends to be a once every few months project (my phone is backed up to iCloud though because I wouldn’t want to lose them forever). Lightroom has a great way to mark photos for deletion so it’s quick to select out those bad photos.
As for hard copies, every once and a while I’ll upload a batch of photos to mpix and get 4x6s printed for us and the family to pick through. This is just for picture frames, my office, etc. long term storage will be printing photo books via mypublisher. I love their quality best and they usually have good sales if you follow them. Again.. Have I made it through one to print? No… But that’s the goal.
For videos I’m better at this, I have a running project in iMovie that I dump all videos into. I’m still burning DVDs but also retaining the files in my computer and cloud based external storage (we use crashplan)

For the writer inner with the in laws, another idea to help the daughter connect with her grandparents would be to show her pictures of them at home before you go. That way she’s more comfortable seeing their faces. Another item on my to do list is to make a custom photo board book with pictures of our far away relatives so that my son is able to identify them and will be able to learn their names. Google it, it’s out there and not that expensive either

Ashley says:

Thanks for the advice. We actually do have a photo book of family faces that I put together when she was very young so she knows their faces and names. As she has gotten older we try and hype up visits by talking about them ahead of time and she is very excited about the idea of the visit. I hope it will get better as she gets older; I loved the idea of a planned activity for just the two of them. Thanks!

Krista says:

Hi guys! Weighing in on the photo album sitch… How about Flickr? You get a terabyte for free, can upload directly from your phone, keep ’em private, organize into albums and tag tag tag. It’s what I use to keep my phone clear of the all the videos I’ve taken for that One Second Everyday app. Oh, you might want to get that too. 😉

Cassie says:

When my first son was born, I made a blog solely devoted to recording weekly events and pictures (rearingavery.blogspot). This was also an easy way to share images with family members out of state. As I would prep each photo, I would save a hi-res to a folder. At the end of the year, I used Blurb to make photo albums for the family. It wasn’t too time consuming b/c the photos were all ready to pop in. I did this for the first four years of his life.

For the past two years, I’ve used Pinhole Press and highly recommend them over Blurb. The quality is exceptional.

Now that I’m on my second son (5 months), I’ll combine the albums and it’ll be CONSIDERABLY thinner as I’ve been more reliant on my iphone camera and the SLR has been sitting in its case.

But, to make a long story short, our son LOVES to sit down and look at albums of himself and so do the grandparents. I divided up the book in chapters by month and the opening spreads had all the baby book details I copied over from my blog.

Regarding video, we dump many on YouTube and keep the rest on the computer / hard drive. We also copy to Amazon cloud and sometime Flickr. Our back-up hard drive crashed and we lost all our honeymoon pictures that we hadn’t printed out, so we keep multiples now.

Ellie says:

As far as the photo situation, we recently had to find a solution as well when I managed to completely filled up my phones memory… And my little girl is only a month old! We decided to go with google drive. It’s so easy to upload everything, and then you can access everything easily and instantaneously with an app. Additionally it is super easy to organize all of your pictures and videos.

Andrew says:

Hi everyone, great ideas! Our baby girl is about the same age as “Baby Oprah.” So we have a ton of photos as well and I recently researched many backup options. It’s really easy to put this off, but don’t do it.

We use a multiple backup system, just in case. We have 1TB external hard drive, which can be used as a cloud backup using an app, directly from your phone. I also upload photos from our shared photo stream to Google Drive and Flickr which is both free.

If you use iPhones, Apple has a new, easier system of archiving photos across all devices coming this fall with their system update. The free storage is still only 5GB, but you can pay a monthly fee for more space.

Great podcasts. Keep up the good work!

Andrew says:

Here are a couple articles on cloud drive comparisons, if you decide to roll with that…

Which cloud storage service is right for you?

Free cloud services compared.

Any questions, just let me know. Good luck!

PS: I don’t work for CNET, but they seem to have good tech reviews broken into civilian terms.

Hannah says:

For storing photos I use photo bucket, and then if I ever want hard copies of photos, I use Walgreens. I upload the photos I want onto the Walgreens website, place my order and then they call or email when it’s time to pick up.

Regina says:

I want to echo some of the other suggestions above for photo organization. I take a ton of photos to make sure I get a good one and then immediately delete all the duds. I store photos on an external hard drive in folders arranged by month. This makes it a little easier to find what you’re looking for later. I also make printed photobooks (I like to use Blurb) so that I have the best photos at the ready. We print a few 4×6 photos for framing and update them from time to time. These we upload online at Walgreens and then swing by to pick up the next day. This also comes in handy for printing photos for relatives. Good luck!

Dominic says:

For the picture thing, have you considered using the Google Drive? If you’ve got a gmail account you can access the Google Drive which stores all kinds of files for free, you just have to sign into it.

I think you can upload videos or pictures to it, as well as just regular documents and keep them in a folder.

It helps when backing up files because you can access the files on any computer if you sign in, so it’s helpful when you’re switching from computers.

I think you can do the same with videos and pictures.

Kat says:

I’m one of those freaks with a crazy close relationship with my parents. I think the real shift happened sometime when I was in college and I started to understand my parents’ existence as individual, autonomous adults instead of as beings that emerged fully formed to carry out the duties of being my parents. It took a few years but our relationship matured and now I feel like I can really rely on them as fellow adults who nurture me and who prioritize me in a way none of my friends do. And I, in kind, put a lot of effort into looking after them as they get older too.

Sarah says:

Groovebook. It’s 2.99 a month. Quality is ok, but it’s a GREAT way to print 100 time stamped pics straight from your phone for 2.99 a month. You can even arrange to send copies of the book automatically to friends and family for another 2.99. It’s fantastic and almost mindless.

Allison says:


We tried Groovebook too, but were totally converted to chatbooks on Instagram. Every 60 pics you upload it send you a new bound 6×6 book for like, $8 a month. You can choose your cover photo and exclude any you don’t want in there. You name them as well and they send them undated volumes. Check it out!

Sara says:

I just ordered my first chatbook. Thanks for the suggestion, and thanks Totally Mommy for bringing this up.

Jackie says:

Hi Elizabeth! I am the 2nd letter writer from this episode. Shortly after I wrote you, I found out I was pregnant. I was so nervous to tell my sister but she has been super supportive. Thanks for the advice!

Danielle says:

Photo ideas: I have my phone linked to Google+ which automatically uploads all photos and videos that I take to the Google cloud, which can also be accessed through Picassa. I have an android phone, but I’m sure you can link an iPhone too. It stores the photos by date and they are very easy to access, download, or use for other applications. I love the idea of a photo book, which are easy and fun to create with your still photos, but what I do is create a movie for each year that incorporates slide shows of our photos and video clips set to music. I make it in iMovie, which I am able to operate even though I am not at all tech savvy, although it does take me MANY hours. However, I’m sure you could also hire someone to do this for not too much money. I put it on a DVD as well as upload it YouTube with a privacy setting and send the link to friends and family. I’ve given these to my husband as a Christmas present the past two years and he loves them! We watch them occasionally and cry at how fast the kids are growing up and it will be really fun to show them to the kids when they get older. (Side note, my older son’s birthday is New Year’s day so it makes it convenient to document his life in these end of year videos, but you could also do them based on Teddie’s birth date instead of by calendar year)
Here’s a link to one of the videos so you can see what I mean

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