Friday, August 31, 2012

A Final Summer Hoorah

The boys have been wonderful with their new brother and sister.  They haven't shown an ounce of jealousy toward the twins, which is pretty amazing if you ask me because the babies take about 99% of our attention lately.  With Greg gone for two weeks, and me preoccupied with the babies, we knew we needed to schedule some quality time with our two favorite toddlers.  So, before Greg returned to work for his regular work week, we had Grandma Betty watch Archer and Avonlea, and took the boys out for the day.  The outing also served as a great final hoorah to summer.  Palmer starts preschool soon, and I've noticed the beginning of a crisp fall breeze each evening.  Autumn is just around the corner, and it's time to take advantage of summer fun before it's too late.

We spent the day at Liberty Park, a favorite for the whole family.  We relaxed in the sun, had a picnic, and the boys had a blast running amidst the park equiptment, splash pad, and musical playground.

Sew Cute

I  consider myself a fairly crafty person, however, I will readily admit that sewing is not my forte.  This lack of ability is not from a lack of trying.  Using a needle and thread just does not come naturally to me.  So imagine my delight when my talented seamstress friends and family kindly, and successfully, sew for me.  I outright told my best bud Jenn that I wanted her to sew me a couple carseat covers for my shower gift and she generously obliged.  Aren't they super adorable?  I get just as many compliments on our carseat covers as I do on our actual babies when we go out in public.

And one day when I mentioned to Grandma Betty that I needed to purchase another cover for our Boppies, so that I could wash the current ones in use, she said she thought she could sew them herself.  She made her own pattern and sewed up these cute things within a couple days.  I actually like them better than the original covers, the patterns are fun and the fabric is much softer.  (Boppies have proven to be a huge help with the twins when having to nurse and prop up a baby with a bottle at the same time.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One Month Old Twins

The twins turned a month old on the 24th.  The month has just flown by; honestly, it's been a bit of a blur.  The babies are doing a great job growing.  They each weigh about 8 pounds and are around 22 inches long.  They both caught up to their big brothers' birth sizes by their actual due date.  Seems they just needed to be born in order to have all the room they needed to grow.  They have been eating nonstop.  They are definitely going through a growth spurt right now.  Twins have proven to be a lot of work, but for sure, they are are worth the effort and are so much fun to have around.  We all just adore Archer and Avonlea.  This is what is going on with the twins at one month of age.

Archer - Archer is such a sweet baby boy.  He is almost always content and has a very calm disposition.  He eats a little less than his sister, and is a little longer and leaner.  When awake he is happy to just chill and look around.

He has learned: to nurse, burp, and lift his head for a short period of time.
He likes: nursing (more than his sister), relaxing and sleeping
He dislikes: baths, being burped, being in the carseat
Things he does that makes us laugh: a lot of grunting - whether he's happy or fussing, wrinkles his forehead often

Avonlea - Avonlea is already a little diva.  She likes to get all the attention of whoever is around.  She has quite a temper too, and will let you know, very adamantly if she is unhappy.  She has a lot of spunk and we love her for it.  She is always hungry.  She has chunked up a lot during her first month and consequently has grown some big round cheeks and a few chins to go with it.

She has learned: to nurse, burp, and lift her head for a short period of time.
She likes: baths, being held
She dislikes: being put down or put to bed, being by herself
Things she does that makes us laugh: when mad she makes a very loud insistent cry that sounds like a jungle bird, goes cross-eyed often

Two Weeks Without Dad

Greg went to Santa Clara, California two weeks after the twins were born for some business training.  He was gone for 12 days, so basically by the time he returned, he has missing half of the twins life.  Pretty sad.  Everyone in the family was upset about him leaving, including him, since it was such bad timing.  However, we survived.

Thankfully, I have wonderful family and friends who stepped up in his absence.  I had so much help!  I had meals brought in every night from my ward.  Betty came over most mornings so that I could take a nap, and a friend of the family, Susan, come over on the mornings that Betty didn't.  I hired a wonderful babysitter, Madison, to watch Palmer and Brody in the mornings.  She picked them up, took them to her home, and played with them until Brody's naptime, in which she brought them back to the house.  In the afternoons I often had friends take Palmer to their home for playdates and a couple nights I had friends, or London, take both boys out for some fun.  Nancy came over a couple nights to help with kids or clean house.  Sariah was home in the evenings and weekends, and had the second week totally off of work.  She changed diapers and helped me feed babies round the clock.  The only time I really had to go it alone was at night, and I even had offers to help with that.  Everyone was so great, so great in fact, that I didn't even have to ask for the help.  The Relief Society President insisted on bringing in meals.  My friend Tennisa set up a schedule for babysitting and contacted friends in the ward to fill in spots.  (Honestly, I would be very happy spending my whole life in the 27th Ward; they really embody what it means to be a "ward family.")  And my family just showed up and asked me what they could do.  I am so lucky to have such great support in my life!  I'm pretty sure I would have been rocking back and forth, huddled in a corner, without everyone's help.

Greg had a great time on his trip.  He was able to meet up with an old co-worker and friend and they hung out together most nights.  He also met up with his cousin who lives nearby for a couple fun nights on the town.  And he went sightseeing in San Fransisco with a few fellow trainees over the weekend.  They saw the San Fransisco Bridge and went on a tour of the city on segways.  I think he might have got the better end of the deal.  But, he did miss us all and was very happy to come home.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Life as We Know It with Twins

During the twins first few weeks of life, we have mostly been in survival mode.  I'm usually up and out and back in the swing of things pretty quickly after having a baby, but the twins have proved to be a bit more demanding.  However, they are surely worth all the hard work.  We just love them.  And thankfully, we have been blessed with so much help from family, friends and ward members.  We've have family clean our house, family/friends/ward members watch Palmer and Brody so that I could focus on the babies, and meals brought in almost every night by our ward.  Everyone has been so amaing!

This is what has been going on with the members of Team Hess since the arrival of our new recruits.

Avonlea - Avonlea had her two week check up and is growing like a weed.  She weighed 6 lb. 10.5 oz. and was 20.4 inches long.  She gained 6 oz!  We call her little piglet because the girl loves to eat, all the time!  She eats every three hours and is on the same schedule as her brother.  She also has a bit of a temper.  I can already see that having a girl is going to equate to some serious drama!  She is so sweet and so beautiful.  We, along with many others, think she looks like my mom.

Archer - Archer also had his two week check up and is likewise growing well.  He weighed 6 lb. 12 oz. and was 21.25 inches long.  He eats about every three hours like his sister.  He is a very mild natured baby.  He reminds me a lot of Palmer as a baby, in his good disposition and his many facial expressions.  He is our sleepy baby.  Avonlea is often found wailing in his ear as he sleep undisturbed.

Brody - We were a bit concerned about how Brody would react to the arrival of the babies.  Brody has always liked being the baby of the family.  And he is very much a mama's boy.  But he has not shown an ounce of jealousy concerning the babies.  He really, really loves them.  He is always reaching out to them whenever he sees them saying, "I take care of baby," or rubbing their heads and exclaiming in a high pitched squwal, "Aw!"  He and Palmer have been babysat a lot lately by family and friends and they've had great fun on all their playdates.

Palmer - We knew Palmer would adapt well to the babies.  We knew he would just adore them, and we were right.  He talks to them, sings to them and always responds to every baby cry or complaint with an empathetic, "Aw, baby Archer/Avonlea, awwww!"  He likes to hold the babies and even on occasion has fed the babies a bottle.  He is always ready and willing to help fetch whatever Mom or Dad need when caring for the twins.  He has been entertained on playdates even more so than Brody, because there have been a few days where Palmer went to a friend's house during Brody napped.

Lera - I am very busy these days, as you can imagine.  Frequently I don't get to shower and often I don't even get dressed until the afternoon.  I feel like I spend my life feeding babies.  I've been having a lot of trouble with my body not making enough breastmilk to meet the demands of the twins.  I had grand hopes of tandum nursing, but for the past couple weeks I've not even been able to make enough milk for one baby, let alone two.  Each feeding session currently lasts about an hour since I nurse a baby for approximately 40 minutes and then have to suppliment that nursing session with 1-3 ounces of formula in a bottle.  It is very, very frustrating and I've spent a lot of time, effort and tears trying to find out what is going wrong.  Currently I am trying a medication my doctor prescribed to boost my supply.  As can be expected Greg and I aren't getting much sleep at night, about 3-5 hours of interrupted snoozing.

Greg - Greg went back to work last week.  He was able to spend the first couple weeks of the babies' lives at home with the family.  He has still been waking up all night long to help with the babies like the champ of a husband he is.  He also wakes up at night with our two year old who has a tendacy to need to go potty in the middle of the night, and then wakes early in the morning before work if the boys decide to wake up early.  He left for a ten day business trip on Sunday, and we were all very sad to see him go.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Twins' Newborn Photo Shoot

Aubrie Tolman Photography is to thank for these beautiful pictures of our twins. The photo shoot was exactly one week after the twins were born. I think the pictures turned out great! Archer and Avonlea are just so darn sweet. We feel so blessed to have them in our family.

Archer -

Avonlea -

Twins together (my favorites!)-