Monday, September 24, 2012

Two Month Old Twins


Archer and Avonlea are two months old today.  I thought the first year flew by with my first two boys, but with twins, it goes even faster just because they keep you so busy.  They are still as sweet as can be.  They are content babies who love to eat, snooze and cuddle.  They are waking twice a night now; once in a while they only wake up once.  Sadly, they currently both have their first cold, but they are still growing well and healthy.  We are so grateful to have double the joy in the Hess home!  This is what is going on with the twins at two months of age.

Archer- Archer is getting really expressive and smiley.  He grins at just about anyone who talks to him.  His cry had gotten deeper in tone.  He is always looking around and is very observant.  In fact, he is often difficult to feed because he is so actively observing everything around him.

Stats: 10 lb. 11.5 oz. (25%), 23.8 in. (80%), head circumference measured 14.7 in. (5%)

He has learned: to smile, coo, cry real tears and my dad says he witnessed his first chuckle yesterday
He likes: rattles, baths, being swaddled, being held
He dislikes: the car seat
Things he does that makes us laugh: funny expressions

Avonlea - Avonlea is becoming more content and fusses less often than before, but when she is mad, she still lets you know it.  She doesn't smile as easily but when she does, her smile is huge. Right now she usually sleeps longer stretches than her brother, but she also usually eats a little more each feeding.  Amazingly, she can eat a whole bottle while practically sleeping.

Stats: 10 lb. 10 oz. (44%), 23.4 in (80%), head circumference
She has learned: to smile,coo and cry real tears
She likes: being held, the swing, belly time, being swaddled, baths
She dislikes: being alone
Things she does that makes us laugh: puffs out her cheeks and blows bubbles

Friday, September 21, 2012

Say What?

Our little boys talk nonstop.  And usually most things that come out of those little mouths gives us a good laugh.  Palmer is so very animated when he talks.  He talks with intense eye contact, with his eyes wide open and his hands adamantly moving about.  Brody talks like a baby still.  His vocabulary is huge but is speech his still quite muffled and he is breathy and pauses inbetween almost every syllable.  Greg and I, as well as many members of our extended family, can often be caught mimicking his signature speech because it's just so distinctinve and adorable.  This is what the boys have been saying lately.

Palmer:

At dinner he asked me, "Does Jesus have a washing machine?"  Can you tell there's been a lot of laundry going on at the Hess home?

He informed his cousin, "I suck my thumb when my mouth is cold."

Calls McDonalds "Old McDonalds."

He currently describes most things and people as, "cute."  Even if that thing is more so rough and manly than cute.

Tells random people at the store or on the street, "I have two babies."

Brody:

Everything he comes in contact with brings on the request of, "I see in it." or, "I smell it."  He also sniffs everything he looks at even if it doesn't have a scent.

When around a baby he always asks, "I kiss him/her?" or, "I take care of him/her?"

Calls McDonalds "Mickey Donalds," as in Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

While playing in the crib with Archer he said, "Oops, I almost step on his head and make him a scary zombie!"

He has picked up each of the babies once on different occasions.  We've have several talks with him about how that is not okay and that he could hurt a baby.  He always responds, "I strong!"  (We tell him we know that, but it's still not okay to pick up a baby on his own.  We are really hoping the lesson has set in now, and that the behavior won't be repeated.)

Palmer and Brody:

Brody let out a fake sneeze while saying the words, "Bless you."  Palmer used to do this often, and it cracked us up every time. Love that Brody has picked it up now.  Brody also has just started calling sneezes "Bless yous."  The other day he sneezed and said, "Whoa, that was a big bless you!"

 Both boys have started saying, "What the..."  For a few days Palmer was saying it about every other sentence.  I'm not sure who they picked it up from.  I've caught myself saying the catch phrase a could times, as well as Greg and Sariah, and have even heard it in the boys' cartoons.  Since it sounds like the boys are about to swear when they say it, we have informed them that it is not a good thing to say.  After catching themselves for a day or two, and saying sorry each time, they have quit saying it so often.  Crazy how even at the ages of two and four, words can just slip out of their mouths.  It's a good thing that we don't swear ourselves and won't be passing on the foul habit to our children.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Recipe - White Cheesy Chicken Lasagna

I've started cooking again.  It usually takes me about a month after I've had a baby to get back into the kitchen.  This time with the twins, and Greg being out of town, it took even a little while longer.  My ward was amazing during this time and brought in dinner for our family for an entire month!  And for a week after that I used up the freezer meals I'd made before the twins arrived.  Now is the time for me to once again be providing meals for the whole family, not just the two babies I feed round the clock.  This lasagna is a recipe that I recently tried, and it's a good one.  It is super cheesy and very delicious.  It was a hit with the whole family.

White Cheesy Chicken Lasagna

1 package lasagna noodles
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat
1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and salt, and simmer until bubbly. Mix in the broth and milk, and boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Season with the basil, oregano, and ground black pepper. Remove from heat, and set aside. Spread 1/3 of the sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer with 1/3 of the noodles, the ricotta, and the chicken. Arrange 1/3 of the noodles over the chicken, and layer with 1/3 of the sauce mixture, spinach, and the remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange remaining noodles over cheese, and spread remaining sauce evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with parsley and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Four Year Old Preschool

Palmer started preschool last week.  We went to an open house a couple weeks before preschool started and he was so excited about his new school and his new teacher.  He talked to Miss Kathy quite a bit, telling her about his family, his new babies and his old preschool teachers.  He then explored the classroom happily playing with the little kitchen, sand table, slide and basketball hoop.  He was having so much fun that he didn't even make it outside to play on the bigger equipment.

He has been going to actual classes for a week and a half now and I can already see that he has learned so much.  For the first time he is writing his name on his own, and very legibly, I might add.  He sings me a new song that he has learned almost daily, and he is even learning words in Spanish.  Almost all the students in his class of 12 four year old are boys, which is very different for him.  At the gym daycare, his previous preschool and  church, he is surrounded by girls.  It has been great for him to be able to get out of the house and be stimulated socially, academically and creatively. I think this year of preschool is going to be a great experience for him.  Here's our little stud on his first day of four year old preschool.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Twins' One Month Photo Shoot

We took the twins to JC Penney for their one month photo shoot.  With all of our kids I have had their pictures taken each month, and I plan to continue that tradition with the twins.  Honestly it's a bit of a pain to keep up on them, but once the year is through, I'm always happy I did it.  They grow up and change so quickly, and I'm glad to have each stage and milestone of that first year captured on film.  We dressed the babies in their blessing outfits for this session.  They were both pretty fussy but, thankfully, we were still able to get some good shots.  I especially love this first one.  It so depicts our twins, as well as serves as an acurate portrayal of how the twins behaved during their blessings.












Thursday, September 6, 2012

Babies' Blessings


We had the twins' baby blessings last Sunday.  There were two other babies blessed during the meeting, for a total of four babies!  Coincidentally, all the babies started with the letter A - Aidia, Archer, Avonlea, and Astin.  There have also been a couple other babies born in our ward in the past couple months who have "A" names.  Greg blessed both our babes.  It was Greg, my dad, our friend Christian, and the Bishopric in the circle.  Archer was a sweet little angel.  Even though he was awake he didn't make a peep through the whole blessing.  Avonlea screamed the whole time until the blessing came to an end.  Our little girl is such a firecracker!

In Archer's blessing Greg said that Archer had come into our family at this time for a purpose.  He blessed him with health and strength, both physically and spiritually.  He blessed him to be a beacon of light, and to be like Christ.  He was blessed to have a love for his siblings and a love of all mankind.  And he was blessed with the desire to serve a mission and marry in the temple.

Avonlea was also blessed with health and strength, physically and spiritually.  Greg said she would be blessed with virtue, following in the footsteps of her mother (aw.... such a sweet husband I have!).  Greg said she had a sweet spirit and that she would be blessed to marry in the temple and experience the joy of motherhood.

We had a luncheon at our home afterwards with the family and a couple close friends.  We all ate and chatted.  The kids played, and the babies were totally spoiled and got lots of cuddles from their loved ones.

Summer Thunderstorm


 We had a couple thunder storms last week.  It's been a nice change from the blistering heat of summer.  During one particularly large rainfall, the boys eagerly put on their rain gear and ran outside for some splish splashing fun.  They had a great time.  I know they have been going a little stir crazy being stuck at home more often than not, while their mom takes care of newborn twins.  But honestly, I think they would have been overjoyed with playing in the rain no matter what the circumstances.  Oh, the simple joys of childhood!