Here’s what I found out about Presidents’ Day (and probably should have already known!): Presidents’ Day started out as George Washington’s Birthday, celebrated on his actual birthday, February 22. In 1971, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act (who knew?!) led to the move to celebrate it the third Monday of February each year. (The Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved Memorial day, Washington’s Birthday, and Veterans Day from fixed dates to designated Mondays, and created Columbus Day as a new Monday holiday.) Because Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, the theme of the day expanded to include him, too. Since 1862, the Senate has traditionally read aloud Washington’s Farewell Address on this day. If you feel so moved, you can read his address at this site: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/washing.htm
The Katy Report: I would call our weekend All-Church Retreat a success. Michael and I managed to participate in most of the activities—singing, sessions with the speaker, meals, a family game on Saturday evening. We switched off who had to run off to take care of Katy so the other could stay back for the activity. And often we both got to participate together, which was nice. During whole group activities, we spread her quilt out in an open space and sat down on the floor with her.
Katy had a “nuclear meltdown” on Sunday morning, then fell asleep, so we headed out early so she would be sleeping on the two-hour ride home. She slept the rest of the afternoon to “recover” from all of the stimulation of the weekend. Consider the difference between her usual quiet day at home with Mommy to a day-and-a-half of bright lights, people speaking into microphones, a room full of singing, little kids and adults coming over to see her and talk to her. No wonder she was exhausted!
Everyone was so sweet and welcoming to her. When Michael and I both got called up at the same time for “The Price is Right” game, there were at least three people who jumped up to watch her in our absence. Even though we were a little self-conscious about some of her crying, several people commented that she was a quiet, good-natured baby. The folks in room next to ours didn’t hear her cry at all during the night, for which I was grateful.
This was our second year to attend the retreat, and I’m looking forward to making it an annual family event. It’s a really special time for the children who come year after year, and it’s a safe environment for parents to let their kids run around a little wild with other kids and just enjoy themselves, while parents don’t have to be quite as hyper-vigilant as usual—everyone watches out for everyone else.
Mom-Tip Monday: Since Katy lives so far away from so many of her relatives, I always knew that I would make photo albums of her relatives and hang pictures low on the fridge for her to see and familiarize herself with their faces. But I read a suggestion in a parents’ magazine that took this idea one step further: The Texas mom made a book that contained not only photos, but a simple narrative with each one. Her child’s name is Taft, so one page said, “Will Taft be sweet and loving like Aunt Abby?” and another said, “Grandpa Weber fixes people’s teeth and loves to watch football with Taft sitting next to him on the couch.” I love the idea of incorporating words and memories with the photos! I will be creating something like this for Katy throughout the years.