When my Mom got back from her trip and showered Squishy with swag, I realized that I needed to start keeping track of what we have and what didn’t have for Squishy. My heart skipped a beat because I knew what that meant–a brand new excel file with tabs and categories and summaries. ❤ My social scientist heart was a flutter. 😍
My inventory started with four categories (with one tab each): (1) onsies, (2) caps and mittens, (3) booties and socks, and (4) linens and beddings. With over 80 entries, it took me one night to inventory the items in these categories. Although, I have to admit that it would have been faster if I didn’t keep stopping and oooh-ing every time I encoded something that was extra cute (which was all the time 😅).
A week or two later, we went on a shopping trip with Lola that merited an additional category: gear. We only have a few entries here, but it’s really best to start your inventory when you have a few things so that it’s not overwhelming.
My love for inventorying probably stated back in college when I began my love affair with Microsoft Excel. But I think what cemented it was when I found real ways to apply excel in every day life (as opposed to classroom exercises) later on. I taught in a pre-school for two years before I started teaching in a University. One of my big projects for the pre-school was to create an inventory system for their library. I categorized and encoded all of their books. It was so much fun! I love children’s books! I loved being assigned to the reading center of during our classes—little people would choose their favorite books, cuddle up beside me, and ask me to read it out loud for them. ❤ It’s magical when you see how a book can provide a child with genuine entertainment.
So yesterday, as we were finalizing a baby shower package for a friend, I knew I had to add a book to our gift. We went to the bookstore and after I finished picking out cute cardboard books, I came across an inexpensive copy of Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault’s Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I’ve memorized this alphabet book because the kids used to make me read it to them over and over again. I was gushing about the book so much that Mikey decided to buy it for Squishy! ❤
On our way home, I realized that I could add a new category to our inventory: books! ❤ Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is the first book we bought for Squishy, but we already have a couple of children’s books at home that we’ve collected through the years. We really hope that Squishy falls in love with books! Mikey started reading phonetically at 2 years old and my fondest memories as a child would be afternoons spent in the public library with my Mom. ❤ We don’t have many public libraries for kids here, so I’m excited to invest in Squishy’s personal library (hello, BOOKSALE!). We don’t have many entries yet, but I’m already making a shortlist of must-haves: Oliver Jeffers, Eric Carle, Robert Munsch, Laura Numeroff, and so much more (I guess it’s not really a short list 😅).
The best part of inventorying is having the information at your fingertips at all times. I uploaded our inventory on Dropbox, so I can access the updated file when I’m out! It was really useful when we registered for Squishy! I’m still figuring out a system to inventory items that we would have to replenish like wet wipes, baby detergent, and diapers. I’m not really sure if it would be feasible to update the excel sheet every time we use something later on. I was recently told that a new born baby can go through 12 diapers in a day. 😱 I don’t think I’ll have the energy to whip out my laptop and update my inventory every time I change Squishy’s diaper. 😅