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Now one year old, 2014's first babies double joy for Brainerd mom

Things may have been busy this past year, but Brainerd mom Bethene Marolf feels doubly blessed. Marolf gave birth Jan. 3, 2014, to twin boys, fraternal brothers - Patrick Robert and Ronald Michael - who were the first babies born in Crow Wing Cou...

Patrick (left) and Ronald Marolf, who were the first babies born in Crow Wing County in 2014, play at an activity table at their house in Brainerd. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery)
Patrick (left) and Ronald Marolf, who were the first babies born in Crow Wing County in 2014, play at an activity table at their house in Brainerd. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery)

Things may have been busy this past year, but Brainerd mom Bethene Marolf feels doubly blessed.

Marolf gave birth Jan. 3, 2014, to twin boys, fraternal brothers - Patrick Robert and Ronald Michael - who were the first babies born in Crow Wing County in 2014. They were delivered by Dr. Steve Senica at Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd.

"This past year I have had a blast," Marolf, who is raising the boys on her own, said. "I am so blessed. These guys have been so awesome. Things have been busy, but my best friend has helped me out a lot.

"The first six months was the most challenging to try to find time to get some sleep or take a shower with the two of them ... but then I figured it out and got them swings."

Marolf said the twins have been relatively healthy, except they had colic for about a month and a half and then in late December and into January they've been sick and have had fevers. Marolf said Ron was born with a blocked tear duct and has had two surgeries. Ron will be getting glasses soon as his vision is blurry.

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"He can't see well, his depth perception is not very good," said Marolf. "But he does pretty good.

"They (the doctors) thought Patrick had hip dysplasia, but he didn't."

The twin boys have their own personality. Ron is the inquisitive one and always wants to know what is going on.

"He will try to figure it out until he knows what is happening," Ron's mom said. "Both the boys are pretty relaxed, but Ron is more relaxed."

Patrick is Marolf's daredevil.

"He is always trying new things," Marolf said. "He's my little brute and he is a flirt, a shameless flirt ... He is the one who always wants attention."

Ron likes fruit, especially peaches and Patrick likes peas and spinach.

The boys started crawling at five months and walking along furniture at 7 ½ months. Patrick began walking on his own at 9 1/2 months and Ron was 11 months.

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The fraternal brothers look a lot alike, with Ron having more hair. Patrick, who was the smaller baby when born, now weighs more, at 19.6 pounds. Ron weighs 17.4 pounds. Marolf said they were born small and they continue to be in the smaller percentile with their weight and height, compared to other toddlers their age.

"They sleep good and for the most part they play really well together," Marolf said. "Patrick has his moments and Ron just waits ... And then they go right back at what they were doing."

Marolf said she will be 63-years-old when her boys graduate from high school.

"I have had people say to me 'Oh you have such cute grandchildren," Marolf said. "And then I have to tell them 'No, I am their mom.'"

What has helped out immensely, Marolf said who changes about 640 diapers a month, is being a member of the Brainerd Lakes Area Moms Of Multiples. Moms Of Multiples is a support group offering information, advice and camaraderie for women with multiples or expecting multiples.

Marolf said, besides the support part of the group, it has helped her with buying clothes and toys for the twins at a reasonable price.

Ron and Patrick were named for Marolf's late father Ron, who passed away, and his best friend of 50 years, Patrick. The two friends are buried next to each other near their deer stand on private hunting land they loved in Backus. With those two friends and now her two sons who will always have each other, Marolf said the name choices seemed appropriate.

Marolf was six-and-a-half months along before she knew she was pregnant. She didn't have morning sickness but began to feel the boys moving. A trip to the doctor confirmed it. And several weeks later, two heartbeats confirmed the twin boys.

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"It has been absolutely fabulous," Marolf said. "They are such a joy."

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl .

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