Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu

Last year, it was tomatoes, this year it's the swine flu.

In case you've been living under a rock for the last 72 hours, the swine flu is particularly virulent strain of the influenza virus which looks to have originated in Mexico, and is now spreading across the world. It's prompted states of emergency, a World Health Organization pandemic alert, and canceled high school sporting events in at least two states. Texas is ground zero for the flu's invasion of the US, and being here you'd think I'd be scared out of my wits. Which I'm not.

As with the tomato/salmonella outbreak from last year, let me see if I can add a dose of perspective to the current crisis. In 2007, 37,248 fatalities occurred on America's roadways, and about 1-in-3 of those was alcohol-related. (Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System) That's the equivalent of an average-size jetliner crashing, every single day. And yet, I don't see any media frenzy, mass installation of automobile roll bars, or outlawing of any alcoholic drink. If we do it for the flu, we ought to do the same for something so common and preventable, as car accidents.

Don't get me wrong: We should promote public health and encourage people to take necessary precautions. But let's not warn people not to travel, or scare folks out of their wits. The flu has only killed one person in the US. Any death, especially that of a child, is sad. But let's keep things in perspective.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Time Flies

Wow, I can't believe that Friday is the first day of May. The summer is fast upon us and I am not ready for it. I always think that this coming summer is going to be calmer than last but it never works out that way. In retrospect, I think I'm grateful for that though.

Last summer we spent with the Wright, in California and awaiting Jonathan's arrival. This summer we are traveling the country and even the world. Hyrum and I are making a ten day trip to Northern Europe. (If you have any suggestions about what to see in Stockholm, Oslo, Bergen, Helsinki, and Copenhagen let me know.) and then we get to attend a family reunion in Yellowstone and then off to Utah for a few days with family. After that we're driving to San Diego for Andrew's Wedding. Luckily we get a few weeks to breathe before we make a trip to New York to see Grandma and Grandpa Hollingshead. Boy, are we excited.

It certainly makes for a little excitement though. Hannah is so excited to go to Yellowstone. Hyrum keeps talking about the bears. We'll see if he can deliver. We keep talking about riding the train in Europe and she is going to be sad when she finally realizes that doesn't include her.

Life is good though. We're keeping busy and doing well. Hyrum is working hard on papers and making deadlines for his consulting. I'm keeping busy sewing and taking care of the kids, and fine tuning our summer plans. Hannah and Jonathan are just going with the flow. As long as they get fed and changed they're happy campers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ahhh . . . When to sew?

My little brother, Andrew is getting married. Yay! I am so happy for he and Naomi. They are getting married in July in the California San Diego Temple. It gives us a good reason to extend our summer road trip a few weeks.

I decided it would be fun to make the little kids clothes for the wedding, if Naomi agreed, of course. And she did. I since have found that finding time to sew with two kids especially Jonathan is kind of funny. They will get done but when? Million dollar question, there. I have the vests cut out and hope to finish them this week. We shall see. The little boys are wearing black vests with a purple bow tie. The little girls have purple dresses with a red sash. The tulle is hot pink. It should be fun. I'll post pictures when they are done.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Whirling Deervish and Little Bug

These two kids are pretty crazy. Jonathan is crawling everywhere now. It all started yesterday. Hannah and I were in the other room and guess who came around the corner, Jonathan. There he was just a smilin' and so happy with himself. Today he is everywhere. The doors around out apartment are now going to be shut for the next five months. He's a great kid.

I don't know that Hannah will ever top the Vaseline incident. Frankly, I hope she never even comes close. Today she decided to see what happens when you stick a wad of toilet paper up your nose. All of a sudden heard her screaming in her room and then her she comes screaming and yelling, "Ouchie, ouchie." I finally got her calm enough so she could tell me she had something up her nose. It was probably a good thing she had been crying because her nose was pretty slimy. We blow few times and out came the toilet paper. I'm just glad it wasn't a marble or something like that. On the good side, it did help convince her that a nap would be a good thing today.

Everyday brings new adventures. Earlier, Jonathan had crawled under the table. Hannah quickly followed suit and sat under whispering quietly to Jonathan that they were hiding. At one point I walked by and she said, "Mommy coming, oh no. Hiding." So funny. Jonathan just loved it. He loves it when Hannah plays with him. Yesterday they were both digging in the Tupperware cupboard. It's moments like this that remind me why we have two kids. It's because every kid needs a friend. It's great to see them love each other.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Our little Hannah Bug is doing great. I realized that Jonathan is pretty much in the limelight every time I post on here so here is one for Hannah.

Right she is doing pretty good. We have good days and bad day but hey, that is what having kids is all about. The last week almost every morning she has gotten up and helped herself to a plastic container and the Cheerios. I love independence when it comes to food. She loves to dress up and is constantly asking if we're going "Bapa's house (Grandma and Grandpa's house)".

She has a sweet tooth the size of Texas. She can spot a sweet treat a mile away. Chocolate was one of her first words. Thanks Grandma Hollingshead. Whenever I bring out my mixer she has to be right there and no matter what I am making, she had better get a taste.

She has so many words and loves to talk and sing. The other day she told me she wanted to sing the Mommy Song. I had no idea what that was and asked her to sing it for me. She proceeded to sing, "Mommy song, mommy song, mommy song," over and over again to her own little tune. She then did this for Hannah, Jonathan and Daddy too. It was great.

She has a wonderful imagination too. She could have a conversation with just about anything I think. This may because of me. Yesterday we were talking to her balloon. They have a tendency to escape the car while at the grocery store and we were just telling it to stay in the car as we were getting out. This happens regularly so consequently she also talks to spoons, bugs, stickers and more. It's pretty fun.

Potty training is the bane of my existence these days. She was doing great and has completely forgotten how to do it again. Ahhhh. I hate laundry and I have only added to the pile. We've passed the point of no return though and we will get this done, someday.

She continues to love her brother but she loves to lay on top of him. We have to remind her to "give him space," then she talks about everyone's space for five minutes. She really is a joy to have. She is learning so much and we are really having fun with her.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Adventures with Soap

As I searched for a title to this post, several ideas came to mind:
  • "Ten baths in a day"
  • "It sure is quiet...too quiet"
  • "What in the world could she have been thinking?!?"
  • ...some other equally inspirational comment.
The afternoon started out calm enough: we had just gotten the kids fed and put down for their naps, and were settling down to watch the final session of General Conference. From Hannah's room came a knock, which was a bit odd. She's been letting herself out of her room for several months now, and isn't bashful about it. No, something was definitely amiss.

I went to open the door, and discovered the reason for her knocking. It was quite impossible for her to open the door herself, because the doorknob, and most of Hannah, were covered with Vaseline. Despite the claims of the marketing literature, this gooey substance had not melted into her skin, but instead had gotten all over her head, including the hair she's been working to grow the past 2 years.

Unfortunately, the picture really doesn't do the child justice. The stuff was all over her hair. She looked like she had just taken a shower or greased her hair back or something else. It was disgusting.

Needless to say, we didn't get very much out of the conference session, but instead spent close to an hour bathing our daughter, cleaning her toys and bathing her again. After trying hand soap, children's shampoo, adult shampoo, dish soap, eggs, and finally vegetable oil, she went from smelling like a watermelon to a french fry, but the petroleum jelly is still in her hair. It may be a few days before things get back to normal at our house.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Strawberries and more

A couple weeks ago, the kids and I went out to Fredericksburg, TX and picked strawberries. We went with some friends and Hannah had a great time playing with the their kids. She also did a wonderful job picking me about 1/2 a pound of green berries. Oh well, the experience was fun. We brought them home and have enjoyed homeade strawberry jam and some tasty strawberry muffins.

In addition to the strawberry picking we did get all the vaseline out of Hannah's hair. By Tuesday she said her head hurt from all the scrubbing we had done. Poor kid. Jonathan is sitting up by himself and even gets up himself on occasion. While it is not yet his prefered mode of transportaion, he is crawling more and more everyday. He's been a littel cranky the couple days. I think tooth number three is on its way. Yay for growing babies.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Jonathan Update

Well, Sunday, my baby is seven months old. I can't believe it. Not only has the time gone by so quickly but he has had an explosion of tricks lately. Everyday he is sitting up better and today he even crawled a little bit. He has two teeth, the front left top and bottom and I think more will be on the way shortly. He generally sleeps between 8 and 10 hours a day, we're hoping it becomes more often the latter. Jonathan has also started reaching out for me when I pick him up. It's so fun. He and Hannah love sharing a room and playing after they have been put to bed. I have found Hannah in the crib a couple of times. He is eating solid foods and finally will take a bottle without too much problem. He is growing up and I can't believe it. Today we put him in a 24 month sized pair of pajamas. He filled out the torso. The arms and legs were a little long but he is a big boy. We are so happy to have him in our family.