Sunday, July 28, 2013

One Year Old Twins


We made it! Before I had the twins my friends with multiples said the first year was the hardest. And I'm not going to lie, it's been a lot of work. It's been overwhelming and exhausting. I've been stretched father than I thought possible. But it has been wonderful too. Twice the trials; twice the reward. Honestly, we count ourselves lucky to have been blessed with two beautiful, healthy, sweet, fun babies. They really seem to have grown up a lot in the last little while. They look big. They are started to show the first signs of being a toddler and leaving behind some of their babyish mannerisms. Bottles are gone. We never carry them in their car seats anymore. They are busy, always on the go and always getting into things. They are starting to communicate. They babble, yell, point, and let you know whether they are happy or sad. They still get a lot of attention when we go out in public. I'm guessing as they get older it will be less apparent that they are twins, and they won't be quite the celebrities they are now. However, they will always be popular in the Hess home. This is what is going on with the twins at one year of age.

Archer:
Archer is just one of the boys. He loves to play and rough house with his older brothers. Sometimes he is a little too rough and tough for his twin sister. He is a boy through and through. He is good natured, very smiley and chuckles a lot. He does like to be held and cuddled, but more often he wants to be on the floor crawling around and exploring. He fights going to bed at night, especially if he gets a glance of the bathroom, i.e. the bathtub. The boy would live in the bathtub if I let him. Here are a few facts about Archer at a year of age.

Stats: Weight - 21 lb. 5 oz. (34%), Height - 31 in. (81%), Head Circumference - 22%, Weight to Height Ration - 11%
He has learned: to pull up to a stand, to drink from a sippy cup
He likes: baths, eating, going on walks, toys, crawling around, playing with his brothers at play places, getting tickled
He dislikes: watermelon, being in the high chair i.e. being contained
Things he does/about him that make us laugh: dancing, big toothy grins and sudden little chuckles

Avonlea:
Just like Archer is a true boy, Avonlea is a girl through and through.  She is more sensitive, more fragile, less rowdy.  She is a sweetheart.  She loves to be held and given attention... from just about anyone.  She never wants to be alone.  She follows me from room to room; she cries if I am out of sight.  She and Archer are a little posse who roam the house together.  They are side by side whether they are eating, playing or on the move.  She babbles and talks almost constantly.  She has so much "sugar and spice and everything nice" in her that it more than makes up for the time I waited getting my little girl.  Here are a few facts about Avonlea at one year.

Stats: Weight - 19 lb. 6 oz. (27%), Height - 30 in. (74%), Head Circumference 9%, Weight to Height Ratio 14%
She has learned: to say Archer and says it a lot
She likes: being held, her binkie, dolls, toys, playing with her brothers, going on walks, peek a boo, and being sang to
She dislikes: being alone
Things she does/about her that make us laugh: funny sounding baby talk, sweet smiles and little giggles

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dr. Seuss Thing One and Thing Two Party

We had a Dr. Seuss themed birthday party for the twins.  I know, the Thing One and Thing Two theme is so overused with twins, but it's so cute and fun, I couldn't help myself.


We held the party at a nearby park.  We were able to reserve the pavilion through Grandma Nancy's HOA connections.  It was a really big, nice, covered pavilion, next to a huge field and a playground.

We served sub sandwiches, chips, potato salad, assorted vegetables with dip and watermelon.  Auntie Rie made the smash cakes for the babies and Aunt Andrea made the big cake for everyone else.  I didn't cook one thing!  Which was good planning, because Greg had to work all day right up until the party.  With Sariah's help, I barely was able to get everything set up before the party began.

The decorations were simple, but ended up looking pretty cute.  All the plates, utensils, balloons and table clothes were red and turquoise to match Thing One and Thing Two.  A life sized Cat in The Hat banner greeted everyone.  And each table had a centerpiece inspired by a different Dr. Seuss book (stuffed animals, handmade truffala trees, quotes and books, thanks to my wonderful friends Ces and Martha who loaned me cute decorations from their previous Dr. Seuss parties).  We had party hats for everyone: Cat in the Hat hats for Greg and I and Thing One/Thing Two hair for everyone else.


We had a craft table with Cat in the Hat crayon packs and the makings of a Thing One/Thing Two puppet for each kid to complete.  And we had a fill in the blank Dr. Seuss quote paper for the adults to challenge themselves with.

 
Everyone ate, then we watched the babies eat their personal cakes, which they did not enjoy much.  Archer actually sobbed because it was so messy.  Funny how different the kids can be, Palmer and Brody dug into their first cake and covered themselves in cake and frosting.  Then the babies opened presents with the help of their Grandmas.  The older kids played on the park equipment and played football in the field.

 

The party was quite the success.  We all had fun visiting and playing, especially Archer and Avonlea.  The twins were spoiled with presents and attention!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

One Year Photo Shoot

We had what we thought was a wonderful idea to have the twins' one year pictures taken with them eating a cupcake.  Their actual birthday was the day before we had their photo shoot.  We gave them a piece of cake that evening.  Archer's reaction to that piece of cake should have clued me in that the cupcake during their photo shoot might not be the best idea; he did not like getting messy from the cake and actually picked it up and chucked it across the room.  During the photo session, Archer once again wanted nothing to do with the messy sugary treat.  He picked it up, threw it down and then proceeded to sit on it.  The only pictures we have of him where he is smiling and happy is when the cupcake is long gone... so he just looks like a messy little boy with no pictured explanation of his dirtiness.  Avonlea on the other hand was a champ with her cake and scarfed it down well and happily (she takes after her mom, haha).


















Thursday, July 18, 2013

BRODY Wan Kenobi

A hooded towel + a bubble wand = BRODY Wan Kenobi.  This boy is obsessed with everything and anything Star Wars.  He watches the movies, plays the video games, and imagines everything to be a lightsaber, a gun or a space ship.  We went to the library last week.  Palmer used the kid computer to play games, I pushed the babies around looking for books and movies to check out and Brody spent the entire time looking at a single Star Wars book (for 40 minutes straight).  He loves it!  The force is strong with this one.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Happy 4th and Recipe - Spinach Feta Pasta Salad

We spent the Forth of July with our West Valley ward friends.  We have been a bit homesick since moving.  Celebrating the holiday with them was just what our family needed.  The Nelsons had their annual barbecue.  They always provide the meat and everyone else brings a side or dessert to share.  We brought Spinach, Feta Pasta salad.  It is my favorite pasta salad.  I didn't remember to take a picture, but take my word for it, it's pretty and delicious.

Recipe - Spinach Feta Pasta Salad

1 box large pasta shells
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
a bag of fresh spinach
2 tomatoes
Italian dressing to taste

Cook pasta according to box directions.  Drain.  Do not rinse with cold water.  Put hot pasta in a large mixing bowl.  Add cheese, spinach and tomatoes.  Mix.  The spinach will wilt as it mixes with the hot pasta.  Add dressing to taste.  Store in refrigerator.  Serve when chilled.

We all ate yummy food, chatted with each other while the kids played together and enjoyed an amazing fireworks show.  The babies had a hard time at first with the noisy fireworks, especially Archer.  But with some cuddles they both eventually calmed down and fell asleep.  Palmer and Brody were enthralled by the fireworks.  I remember the year before Brody had decided to stay inside the house and watch cartoons.  This year we wouldn't have been able to tear him away from the fireworks.  We all returned home tired, covered in ash and very happy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pearls of Toddler Wisdom

I love the words that come from the mouths of small children.  At least daily Palmer and Brody say something that I think I need to document because it's so cute.  Unfortunately I usually don't remember most of them.  However, here are a few recent pearls of toddler wisdom that I have been able to recall.

Palmer:

Pointing at a cemetary, "That's where zombies come out!"

Calls cupcakes "pupcakes" and blankets "blanklets," doorbells "dingbells" and latter day saints "latter day space."

Greg asked him "Palmer, do you know what is at the top of the temple (referring to the Angel Moroni).  Palmer responded, "a fairy!"

Brody:

"Avonlea cries a lot.  Archer cries some." (I will attest that this is a very true statement.)

Is obsessed with Star Wars.  Everything that is long and thin is a lightsaber.  Just about everthing else is a space gun.  He calls Chewbacca "puppy," and Darth Maul "Transfumes" (his word for Transformers, which he thinks are part of Star Wars).

"Measures" himself several times a day by starting his hand at his feet and going up his body to his head while counting.  "I am 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 tall."  The number varies from 5-10 depending on what number he gets to by the time he reaches the top of his head.