Another year has passed and the kids keep progressing.  I swear they act like they're 9 years old.  We completed our now-annual Disney cruise a few days ago.  What a trip.  The kids actually remembered where things were on the boat. Amazing. This was also the first cruise for Baba and Papa.  What fun it was!!!

This year we had a pretty big birthday party too -- PIRATE style in keeping with the cruise events.  What a blast.





We just got back from a 7-night Disney Cruise (ship was the "Fantasy")  and I am again speechless when someone asks me how it went.  It was so good I just can't get the words out sometimes.  The boat and crew were beyond great,  but more than anything I learned a lot from the twins. 

After a few cruises on Royal Caribbean (before the twins), we decided that the goals of this cruise would be to: do everything for the kids; treat them like royalty; listen to every word they say; do everything together. SUCESS!  

I learned from the last week that the most important thing I can do as a father,  is to really take time to listen to what they are saying [or trying to say] to me.  In every instance,  there is a genuine cause or concern on their part.  The more time I take to listen,  the better the outcome. It really took a cruise to put this into practice but I am so happy we did it all together. 

Both kids are sharp as a tack -- but in their own way. 

Zander is more emotional and can't enunciate quite as well as Zella,  but he is so full of love and happiness that exudes from his warm eyes and huge huge smile.  Check out his love in some of these photos.  He cares so much for his sister -- always wanting to make sure she has something that he does (sharing), and also quick to chase, tackle and lay on her.  Zander is also very mechanically inclined. He is mesmerized and drawn to any kind of switch, button, knob, gizmo, attachment and always seems to be re-engineering bad designs.  He is an amazing little kids with more love than all of us.  His nicknames are "moose" and "pirate Zander".

Zella can say anything that you can -- sometimes parroting but mostly understanding and communicating very well.  She will say "that's ok Zander" and pour the love on Zander.  She has really stolen her old dad's heart and will undoubtedly be driving a red corvette at 16.  Zella is also the singer of the two.  She knows many songs but loves "Let it Go" the most.  She knows and can sing most of the alphabet song and is one of the best huggers on the planet.  She is also the dancer of the two.  On the cruise her favorite activity was the dance parties.  

Favorite movie is Frozen.  I think we've watched it almost once a day for the last four months.  We bought the CR and listen to it a lot and actually used it to learn some new dances before the cruise.  Zander's favorite show is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse but they both love to to dance the Hotdog Dance (we all do :)

Together they can climb anything, love everything, sleep great, play perfectly and generally just be fantastic kids.  They know all of their colors, shapes, most of the alphabet and single digits.  It's hard to describe all they know... it's a lot. 

They are also very health and pretty big.  Shoes are huge; clothes are for 3-4 yr olds and they love to color and role play in the house.  We're almost out of diaper sizes so potty training is underway.

On their birthday, headed to the cruise.... showing"two" yrs old

Lunch in the concierge lounge with Mom

Zander re-engineering a light-wall

First night at dinner -- love the suit dude!

Dancing... in my Princess Anna dress

Our first night onboard...

Sorry Zander -- had to post this one....

Both kids dancing with Mickey (bottom right ) at the dance party

Zella got to dance with Minnie by herself. She's clapping and twirling...

Yup -- he know's his way around an ipad or a computer....

and they love to hold hands....

hot tub selfie....

Both kids love the water and have been taking swimming lessons.  Zander can jump off the edge by himself in the deep end of the pool, turn around and make his way to the edge. All on his own. Wow!

St Maarten....
The kids can just float and lounge in the water for ever.  They love the salt water. 

Castaway Cay with sexy topless Zella
Zander was all about building castles and she was all about the water.  Didn't want to get out and kept pushing herself to see how deep she could walk.  There were almost no waves so she would walk her way out to her shoulders.... really. We kept saying "too deep" and she'd turn back to shore... all on her own. 

in her element....
I put Zella on the float and she just loved floating around in the water.  I'd say "spread you legs" and she would be un-sinkable. She did fall in once but had no problem going under. 

love water (see Zella on the right?)
We found a small water park and they were in heaven.  Zella always gravitates towards other girls -- sometimes her own age and always to the 10 yr old group.  

our favorite Princess: Sophia the First

look carefully -- kids are being corralled :)


Thank you Jesus for the two little ones that have graced our lives. I learn more from them than anyone else on the planet.  I wouldn't be good without my great wife. She loves, supports and puts up with me while being the best Mom I've every known. 

CU next year.


Found this note on my iPhone....

From Oct 10, 2012 (right after babies were born)

Magnesium sulfate muscle relaxer for uterus

Steroids for twins lungs

8 water broke
9pm 5 cm
10:30 pm epidural
1am 10 cm
Head to or
1:30 push
Zella 2:19
Zander 2:30

Zella 44cm  17.25 4'11
Zander 5'0

Birth cert
Ringling and school
Vital statistics

Baby saline dropper
Cool humidifier
Primi diapers pampers




We made it... one full year.  It's hard to remember all of the emotion and tribulation that we experienced over the last few years. It's also very easy to forget how little the babies were a year ago,  and how many people had a part in their development, birth and growth.  You know who you are... thank you so much. 

The babies feel so grown up all of a sudden with the development curve at a steep upward angle.  A lot of new words, Zella walking 5 or 6 steps, emotional growth, peepee in the potty... you name it, we're doing it. 

Zander has gone thru a biting binge with his sister as the target.  To me it never seems like anything but a form of communication -- never in anger. So it should go away soon (already waning). He has a smile, gigle and laugh that can melt your heart.  He also can cry and wake the neighborhood -- even when he's really not crying.  The most exciting thing for me is that Zander loves watching airplane videos,  and will sit in my lap watching with an airplane in each hand yelling our zooooooooooom as he flies the plane over his head.  I seem to recall something similar with Tyler 25 years ago :)

Zella is no stranger to flying the airplanes with her hands but doesn't make as much noise :) She's a girl after all :)  She is a great walker.  On her birthday she and Jessie unlocked the code and all of a sudden she was taking 5,6,7 steps with her big sister.  I heard screaming and thought someone got hurt... ha ha. Julija says that Zella is always "busy" and she is.  There is always something going on that she needs to attend to. 

Baba and Papa are here from Latvia.  They came over for the birthday party and have a very special bond with the babies.  There are only a few people that will make them really light up when they come in the room,  and they're on the list. 

Thank you God for blessing us with a perfect family.  We pray that you will help us to be great parents for all of them and continue to surround us with family, friends and people that love them.

Here are a bunch of pictures that should make you smile...



Twins: 11 months old

The house is a buzz with excitement of the pending birthday party -- decorations, cakes, food, entertainment, venue and invitations are all in order or on order. Very exciting but in the meantime,  I've got a blog to run here :)

The phrase of the last month could be "adventurous" or "wiggle-worm"... maybe both, but I can tell you their awareness and spirit are at a very high level.  You can't carry them anywhere without their hands and feet reaching and kicking everything within close proximity.   If you even think "no" in your brain,  they go after it.

Walkers have been clocked at just under 90 mph on the tile with scuffed, scratched and broken ankles the flavor of every day. Every drawer has been broken into; every cabinet door opened, explored and slammed; every light socket checked to see if mom and dad put covers on; every plant tasted; every block knocked over; every book chewed on; the list goes on.  Oh yes... they are 11 months old. 

Zella stood on her own today for 30 seconds or so.  Not too sure who was more surprised,  but it was sure cool.  Zander is lagging the walking department but he is no slouch when it comes to moving around.  He just does things his own way and still has the cutest looks ever.  He has gotten shy... to the point of a scared cry if someone gets in his face without mom or dad close by.

Zander's cool development this month is that he will hold a model airplane above his head and make flying airplane sounds.... zooooom. SWEET.

between the two of them they understand and can kind'of sound out these words: ball, light, mom, dad, hi, doggy, bottle, diaper, hungry (sign)... maybe a few more. Zella has also been heard saying what sounds like "Zander".

Party on!