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Twins Welcome New Year

Two adorable twin brothers entered the world around 9:15 p.m. New Year’s Day, becoming the first babies born in Brainerd in 2018. Rhys Peterson was born at precisely 9:12 p.m. at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center, and was quickly followed by his brother Kai at 9:15. Rhys and Kai, 6 pounds 1 ounce, 18.5 inches long and 5 pounds 15 ounces, 18 inches long respectively, were born to parents Jessica and Mark Peterson of Baxter. Jessica said she hadn’t figured out how to tell them apart yet. That was understandable, because they were equally cute. In the meantime, the twins wore hats labeled “A” and “B” for easier identification. Other than making adorable squeaking noises in protest of being moved into position for photographs, Rhys and Kai mostly stuck to sleeping peacefully when introduced to the press. They’ll need their rest if they’re going to help their nearly 2-year-old big brother, Axel, get into mischief later on in life. Axel hadn’t met them yet because of hospital flu restrictions, but the new members of the family can home in about three days. When she found out she would be having twins, Jessica couldn’t find her car for 10 minutes she said. “I was in shock,” she recalled. The pair’s names have a special duality combining the elements of fire and water: Rhys means “fire-y warrior” in Welsh while Kai means “ocean” in Hawaiian, Jessica said. Their personalities align with their names: Rhys was the more talkative one. Asked to describe parenthood to someone who doesn’t have kids, Jessica said it was terrifying, but also rewarding. Watching children learn how to interact with the world -- whether to do good or be naughty -- was satisfying, she said.