Monday, December 31, 2012

Five Month Photo Shoot

We took the babies in just after Christmas for their five month photo shoot. They wore their matching Christmas outfits; the whole family wore red, black and white on Christmas Sunday. Archer was not happy at all during the session.  In most of the pictures he was crying.  He really doesn't like to sit up a whole lot unsupported or be on his belly, which are the two poses that the photographer kept trying to do. Even though he wouldn't give us any smiles, he's still a cutie. Avonlea almost always does very well in front of the camera, and on this particular day was smiling like a champ.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Five Month Old Twins

Archer and Avonlea turned five months old on Christmas Eve.  The time really has flown by.  They are such sweet, good babies.  And I am very grateful for that, otherwise I don't know how I'd make it through each day with four little ones.  The twins are so smiley.  They light up easily and with just about any attention from anyone.  They have become a lot more aware of each other, which is really cute.  They smile at each other and jump and kick when they see each other.  However, this new awareness has cause some jealousy when I pick one baby up and not the other.  They will let out hurt cries when they see that their sibling is getting love and attention when they are not.  A lot of times I can ask one of the boys to come talk to the crying baby until I am able to attend to him or her, and that usually pacifies them.  The whole family just loves this little duo!

Archer has grown a lot this past couple months.  He almost always out eats his sister.  He has become a solid little baby.  Everything about him seems to be big: his hands, his feet, his smile, his voice, his energy and his personality.  He is always cooing and chirping.  This is what is going on with Archer at five months of age.

He has learned: to bounce himself in the bouncer by moving his legs back and forth

He likes: the bouncer, blowing bubbles, being held, being tickled, being talked to, hearing himself talk, lullabies, baby toys and mobiles

He dislikes: belly time and pacifiers

Things he does that makes us laugh: emphatic, loud and high pitched baby squeals, big smiles and big laughs

Avonlea has struggled with eating the last month.  Quite often she doesn't seem interested and during a couple feedings a day, we can only get her to eat about half as her brother.  She seems to have slimmed down a bit, but she is still growing steadily and well.  She is starting to be more vocal, and is cooing and squealing along with Archer, just not as loudly.  This is what is going on with Avonlea at five months of age.

She has learned: to roll over

She likes: being held and cuddled, seeing her brothers (she smiles huge when any of them come within eyesight), playing in the new baby gym Archer got for Christmas, baby toys - especially stuffed animals, her pacifier when sleepy, and mobiles

She dislikes: being alone

Things she does that make us laugh: sweet smiles that come quickly, and a lot of snorting

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Recipe - Calzone Rolls

We tried a new recipe this past week and it was a winner, with everyone. Sadly my little guys who used to eat everything like champs have become a little picky. As of late, dinnertime usually doesn't end with cleared plates and full bellies. But with these calzone rolls, the boys ate everything on their plate and even asked for seconds. Greg loved how meaty they are; I loved how easy they were to prepare. We will definitely be making them again.

Calzone Rolls

2 loaves frozen bread dough, thawed
1/2 pound sliced ham
1/2 pound sliced hard salami
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup jarred marinara sauce

Roll each loaf of dough into a rectangle about 8 inches by 12 inches.  Layer ham and salami down the center of each rolled loaf lengthwise.  Top meats with 1 cup shredded mozzarella for each roll.  Fold short ends of each loaf in about 1/2 inch and seal. Roll from the long sides and pinch well to seal the entire loaf. You should have 2 long rolls.  Bake, seam side down on a greased baking sheet in a 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cut each roll into 8 slices and serve with marinara for dipping.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Candy Detorant Attempt

As much as I tried to avoid it and encourage my children to eat fruits, vegetables and whole wheat, my children turned out to be candy fiends.  They ask for candy all the time.  And as anyone with small children knows, every holiday that comes and goes leaves you with a plethora of candy.  I never buy candy, yet somehow we always have a bowl full of it in our kitchen.  It actually sits atop the refrigerator in hopes that having it out of reach and eyesight will lessen its call to the Hess children.  That hope is in vain.  Palmer often scales the kitchen counters to grab whatever he desires and Brody has learned to pull up a dining chair in order to satisfy his sweet tooth.

One night before bed, right after I brushed their teeth, they asked for candy.  I of course told them no.  Just as the wailing and gnashing of teeth was about to begin, I had a brilliant idea.  I told the boys there was a very important reason why they couldn't have candy at that moment.  I then directed them to the computer monitor and googled images of cavities.  These weren't your normal regular run of the mill cavities that I showed them.  I pulled up picture after picture of gruesome, decayed, holey teeth.  I told the boys that this is what happens to someone who eats too much candy.  And that eating candy after brushing your teeth results in the biggest cavities.

The boys were enthralled.  They are boys; they like that kind of stuff.  They got within inches of the computer screen letting out enthusiastic squeals of "ewww!" and "yucky!"  The whole time I was smiling inside thinking I had finally won the war against candy.

I turned off the computer and told the boys to scurry to bed.  Brody cried out for one more picture of yucky cavities.  I obliged and pulled up this humdinger of a picture.

He got real close to the monitor and curled up his lip in apparent disgust.  Then very slowly and in a trance-like voice said, "I... want... candy... still."

Oh well.  I tried.  I suppose fear isn't the best way to teach proper nutrition anyway.

Trees, Lights, Santa and Elves

We have been busy taking in as much Christmas splendor this holiday season as possible.

We first attended The Festival of Trees.  Some of our favorite trees this year include: an ice cream tree, a Lego tree, many Mickey Mouse trees, a hot wheel tree, and a tree made of chewed up bubble gum.

The boys enjoyed playing in Kids Corner.

And we made our final stop at the gingerbread houses.

We went downtown early this year to see the Temple Square lights to avoid the colder weather.  Apparently everyone else had the same idea, because it was incredibly crowded!  We took Trax there and back, which I think was the boys favorite part of the trip.

We went on A Walk with Santa, hosted by the local fitness center.  The boys told Santa what they wanted for Christmas.   Palmer told him two scooters and two big coloring books.  Santa asked him why two, and he informed Mr. Kringle that one was for him and one was for Brody.  And Brody asked Santa for, "a ooter" (scooter).  The babies spent some time with Santa.  They weren't too impressed.  And then the boys went on a candy cane hunt and made out with a whole lot of sugar.

We made a quick trip to Gardener Village to see the Elves on display.  By the time we got there it was snowing pretty heavily and it was very cold.  We had the babies with us, so we only stayed for 15-20 minutes.  Even though it was quick, Palmer and Brody were still very happy and excited about the outing.

Activities we've also done that are not pictured include: decorating the tree, bringing gently worn winter hats to Culvers for The Salvation Army in exchange for frozen custard shakes, visiting Nana's tomb during the Valley View Luminary and stopping by the dairy's store for scones and chocolate milk and decorating, as well as very soon after eating, a gingerbread house.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Recipe - Dill Vegetable Dip

This is my go to dip for vegetables and chips.  It is super quick and easy and I always have the ingredients on hand.  I recently made it for our scrapbook overnighter with a plate of vegetables.  Besides it's yummy taste, I also really like it because it's quite healthy.  Too often we eat vegetables and salad with dips and dressing that are not healthy at all.  So its nice to have a snack that is tasty and all around good for you.
Dill Vegetable Dip

2 cups light sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped dried onions
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
Mix all seasonings into sour cream.  Chill in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before serving.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Greg's Doppelgangers

Brody pointed to our Everybody Love Raymond DVD collection the other day and informed me, "That's Daddy."  He has mistaken Greg for Ray Ramano a few times and Greg did not like the comparison.

I personally think Greg looks like Harry Connick Jr.  Greg doesn't like this comparison either.  He says Harry is ugly... crazy man!

What do you think?  Do you see any comparison?  Do any of you have a Doppelganger?