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This journal is about raising identical twins.
One Hundred and First MonthPrevious entries
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Tuesday, Dec 6, 2005 (8y+4m)The twins are one hundred months old today. They went to school as usual. They had piano lesson in the afternoon.
After dinner, we set up the Christmas tree while the twins did their homework. When I tucked the twins in bed, Joanne popped a surprise question. She asked "Have you had sex?" I asked where they learned the word. Then they told some story about one of their friends use the word "sex" instead of "gender" when she referred to male and female. I told them gender and sex can mean the same thing, but sex also have other meaning. In their science class, they learned about animal mating and making babies. I told them sex is the same a mating. Joanne also said that sometimes the people in movie do yucking things. I didn't go further to give them the proper sex education because I myself was unprepared for such question so surprisingly soon.
Wednesday, Dec 7, 2005 (8y+4m+1d)The twins went to school as usual. They had music class in the afternoon. Their music test results had returned. Joanne got 113 and Jasmine got 120. The test passing score is 100, but the teacher's expectation was 120. Other students in their class didn't do too well either, one of their classmates only got 106. The twins helped mommy in decorating the Christmas tree. We had French onion soup and Lasagna for dinner. Both were frozen food from Costco, but they were both delicious.
While chatting over their homework, Jasmine mentioned that she had a nightmare last night. But when daddy asked her to tell, she said it was too scary to talk about it.
Thursday, Dec 8, 2005 (8y+4m+2d)The twins went to school as usual. Mommy's tennis team had a dinner gathering. She dropped off the twins to Jocelyn's place before dinner. The twins played with the other three J's (Jocelyn, Jessica and Jonathan) until mommy picked them up again before 9pm. Daddy came home and heated up some left over as dinner. After they came home, the twins practiced for tomorrow's Chinese dictation test before going to bed.
Friday, Dec 9, 2005 (8y+4m+3d)The twins went to school as usual. Mommy invited several moms to our house for a late breakfast after they dropped off the kids at school. The twins received their first trimester's school report today. They did well and received good comments from the teacher. In the afternoon, mommy took the twins to shopping at Macy's because there was a special sales today, some items were 50% off and mommy had a Macy card that qualified for another 15% off on some items.
There was no homework today. The twins got to watch TV along with us after dinner. They also could watch a recorded show of Charlie Brown off ABC tonight.
Saturday, Dec 10, 2005 (8y+4m+4d)We went out to dim sum lunch with Clarie's family. After lunch, they came to our home. The kids played video game. The adults chatted for awhile and watched a Chinese movie on DVD. In the evening, we changed venue to Claire's home. The twins brought some of their video game along. It was a pot luck dinner, we bought a Dungeness crab and a rock cod and some BBQ pork. Terence's family was invited too. We had a delicious dinner. Claire's grandparents would leave the next day. So it was kind of a farewell dinner for them. After dinner, we played the Chinese domino game. Clarie's grandpa said the last time he played the game was when the Japanese invaded China. He still could play it very well despite a half century hiatus. The kids played Eyetoy Play2. Clarie's dad bought the game awhile ago and it was still in the box until today. After the game, Claire's mom set up the Karaoke machine. We all took part in singing. The kids picked the Christmas songs and they all sang loudly into the microphone. We kind of took turns, when the adults sang, the kids ran off to play hide and seek on their own. We sang until 1:30am before we left the party. The twins were so hyped up that they stayed up until they reached their beds.
Sunday, Dec 11, 2005 (8y+4m+5d)Due to the late activity last night, we stayed in bed until the last minute. The twins had an outing today at 11:30am. We fed them a big breakfast before leaving the house. We dropped off the twins at the San Jose Center of Performing Arts with their music teacher. Their music teacher took a group of her students to the backstage tour of the Nutcracker ballet. After the tour, they watched the ballet too. We went to Santa Row for lunch and returned to pick up the twins at 3:15pm. Jasmine said her favorite part was the dragon dance and other international dances inside the ballet. I asked them to compare the show to the Barbie's nutcracker DVD, they both the live show was better.
At 4pm, we went out for snack with Christopher's family. Christopher's daddy is on a business trip to Shanghai. We invited their family to our home to play. The kids played video games and some other toys. They stayed until 7pm. Since we had a late afternoon snack earlier, we had a late light dinner at 8pm. We watched some Chinese movie on DVD while the twins practiced piano and did their home work. We sent the twins to bed early because they stayed up late the night before.
Monday, Dec 12, 2005 (8y+4m+6d)The twins went to school as usual. They practiced piano and worked on the homework before dinner.
Tuesday, Dec 13, 2005 (8y+4m+7d)The twins went to school as usual. After school, they went to Jocelyn house. Annette went there too, the kids played for about an hour. Then the twins went to their piano lesson in the afternoon. Their piano teacher said Jasmine's music test score was the highest among the classmates. Jasmine would receive a prize in front of the class tomorrow. The teacher told the twins what they would be tested next week. Jasmine said that she already know how to identify all the tones such as tonic, supertonic, ..., leading tone etc.. So the teacher gave her the test on the spot and Jasmine got all the answers right. Joanne later found out Jasmine's test and she said she would have passed it too. After dinner, they did homework on vocabularies and making sentences.
Wednesday, Dec 14, 2005 (8y+4m+8d)The twins went to school as usual. The twins went to their piano class in the afternoon. It was the last piano class before the holiday season. The teacher presented each student a Christmas gift. Since Jasmine got the highest score at Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Exam among her classmates, she got the biggest gift. Jasmine asked why her box was smaller than Joanne's. The teacher meant better, not necessarily physically bigger gift. The twins also got their examination mark form back. But the examiner's handwriting was worse than a physician's. The score sheets were mostly unreadable and almost every single word must be guessed based on the context.
Joanne's music exam report:
Programme: Marks A2. The pulse? was? clear and both hands were well articulated but make more? of the dynamic contrasts? and make sure you produce a consistent? logato? line?. You hurried slightly to the final cadence. 21
B3. A confident and effective? performance. The echoes were well judged and triplets? were articulated clearly. There was? a slight tendency? to shorten longer notes? however. 25
C1. A good start whil? established a strong? pulse and showed an understanding of this jazzy style but it became? much less? secure? rhythmically in the second half. 22
Scales and Arpeggios
Notes are? well known? and almost? all flowed? at a clear pulse. Make sure hands? are? exactly? together? in? the contrary? motion? scale. 17
Pitch? was? largely? accurate? except? that? the B♭ was? forgotten?, but rhythm? was? not? confident? and the? pulse was? ???? throughtout? 13
Aural Tests A - well done. B - mostly accurate?. C - just? one? small? slip?. D - both responses? correct?. 15
Additional Comments TOTAL 113 Parts? of this? exam.? showed excellent potential, so you must aim for B3 standard? in all pieces and? practice? sight reading regular? -- then? the? final? ... Maximum (Pass) 150 (100) Total required to Pass 100 to Pass with Merit 120 to Pass with Distinction 130
Jasmine's music exam report:
Programme: Marks A3. Hands? were well balanced and it flowed? easily? at a clear pulse, but the reading? was? a little untidy? and brighter tone should be produced. 23
B3. A confident and well articulated reading? with well judged echo effects, but longer notes were sometimes shortened and this? disrupted the pulse a little. 25
C2. Lines? were shaped with care and it was? secure? rhythmically throughout. There was? just one untidy? bar?. Perhaps it needs to be a little quieter? to describe? this? sleeping cat?. 24
Scales and Arpeggios
You know? the?? patterns well and always set? a clear pulse?. Just an occasional tentative? beginning. 18
R.H. - accurate in both pitch and rhythm.
L.H. - rat??? less secure? but you kept going.
Aural Tests A - well done. B - mostly correct. C - wrong. D - both responses were accurate. 14
Additional Comments TOTAL 120 There is much? to praise? and real potenital is shown? but you must? give close attention? to detail and work regularly? at the supporting? ... Maximum (Pass) 150 (100) Total required to Pass 100 to Pass with Merit 120 to Pass with Distinction 130
The twins worked on their homework after dinner. They also use the Internet to print out their research on an animal of their choice. Joanne researched on rabbits, Jasmine researched on penguins.
Thursday, Dec 15, 2005 (8y+4m+9d)The twins went to school as usual.
Friday, Dec 16, 2005 (8y+4m+10d)The twins went to school as usual. It was the last day of school before the winter break. Mommy and the twins picked up daddy from work after they came off school. Daddy took half a day off from work so that we could start out early on a trip to Reno. We started our trip a little before 3pm. We went through the Bay Area commute hour traffic. We were in Sacramento for dinner before 6pm. We continued our trip after dinner and we were in the Eldorado Hotel in Reno at around 8:00pm. The drive was smooth except for the traffic jam when we started out in the Bay Area and when we passed through Sacramento. We had several families meeting at the hotel because we all booked the same deal at $99 for two nights of stay at the hotel. Some families booked additional night at $25 per night. Sonya's family arrived first at around 7pm. We arrived at around 8pm, Christopher's family arrived at around 9pm. Ashley's family arrived at around midnight because they started their trip after dinner.
Saturday, Dec 17, 2005 (8y+4m+11d)We got up at around 7:30am in the morning. Christopher's family (Cary, Ellen, and Joie) and ours left the hotel at 8:30am and headed towards Mt. Rose ski area. The other families left a little later because they all brought their own skiing equipment. We left early because we knew the rental line was usually long. It turned out that the ski area was not too busy, so we got through the rental process quite quickly. Christopher wanted to do snowboarding and skipped learning to ski all together. His 4 years old sister Joie took a skiing lesson instead. Since it was their first skiing/snowboarding trip, they didn't ski with us. We skied with Sonya's and Ashley's family (Winston, Anna and Brandon). Sonya's family (Richard & Lucia) also had their friends including Natasha (Chuck & Dawn). The skiing condition was less than perfect, it was windy at times and we got icy rain near the end of the day. The twins wanted to stop when the cold wind hurt their faces. Most of us skied till 3pm. Daddy and mommy skied till the lift closed at 4pm.
We returned to the hotel. After everyone took a shower, we went to the restaurant downstairs. With 18 people, we were split into 3 tables. We put 8 kids at one table, 5 husbands at one and 5 wives at another table. The kids had great time at their own table and everyone behaved well and ate their meal properly. The adults were chatting throughout and after dinner. When the kids started to be impatient, we left the restaurant and proceeded to Circus Circus. The kids played games for stuffed animals. Sonya and the twins worked out some exchange deal for their prizes. Jasmine got a Santa bear and Joanne got a bear at the end. Other kids got some toys too. The other family left early to got a good sleep after a day of hard skiing. Sonya and our family stayed to see the next midway show. On our way back to our rooms, we saw the magician Doc Cheathem in the Silver Legacy hotel. We stopped and watched his performance with a deck of playing cards. He did some amazing tricks. The kids were so impressed that they kept asking "How do you do that?", but the magician gave the same response everything "I did it very well." The kids couldn't have enough, but since it was getting late, we had to return to our rooms.
Sunday, Dec 18, 2005 (8y+4m+12d)Since everyone was exhausted from yesterday's activities, we didn't get up until 8:30 today. Ashley's family was in the adjacent room next to us. We opened the door connecting the two rooms and the kids had fun having breakfast and watched morning cartoon together. All the kids from other families joined us later too. We had eight kids gathering in front of the TV in our room.
It snowed all night last night. We could see a thick blanket of snow covering everything outside our windows. We found out later in the news that Reno got 18" of snow today.
Christopher's and Ashley's family decided not to ski today because it was snowing non stop all day. They left at around 11am.
The rest of us returned to Mt. Rose. Natasha had another family of her friend joined the skiing. It was snowing very hard and very windy too. Basically it was a blizzard where visibility was very low. The snow on the ground was powdery and very deep. We heard multiple cannon shots in the morning and they were probably for avalanche control due to the heavy snowfall. We arrived at Mt. Rose quite late it was past 11am when we got ready to ski. The kids skied with the parents until 2pm. They all wanted to quit because taking the chairlift up the mountain in a blizzard was quite painful. We bought ski masks for the twins, but they said they could breath well through the mask. The six girls played in the snow instead. The twins, Sonya, Natasha and her two friends built a big snow ball that was 3 feet in diameter. They went in and out of the lodge to keep themselves warm between plays.
Daddy left the twins with mommy and went to take a snowboarding lesson. The lesson was too slow because the other students were spending too much time on the ground. One ten year old girl in the class was nagging and whining to her father every time she fell and wasted everybody's time. The class was supposed to be one hour long, but we couldn't finish in two due to the wasted time. Finally the instructor summoned a snowmobile sleigh to take the six students back to the lodge.
When daddy returned to the lodge, all the families in our group have left. Mommy and the twins waited for daddy patiently. The cafeteria was closing up too. We changed into dry clothes, took bathroom trips before going back to our car a little before 5pm. Less than 20 cars was left in the parking lot which was full in the morning. We figured we were very late to leave. We took another 15 minutes to brush off the 4 inch thick snow on the car. We left at around 5:30pm. Daddy drove off slowly on the snow covered ground with the 4WD turned on. We were glad that our car have four wheel drive because the driving would be a lot harder without it. After we came off Mt Rose, mommy took over the driving until we reached Sacramento. It was raining heavily most of the way and it was snowing over Donna Summit too. The hardest part of the driving was the splashes and sprays that hit our windshield whenever we passed those 18 wheelers on the highway. The sudden splashes often blinded us for a second or two because the wiper could not clear the windshield fast enough. The drive down the mountains were quite smooth. The highway was open with no snow chain requirement. The twins took a long nap on the way. They watch a movie on DVD after they woke up.
We arrived at Sacramento at 8pm. We had dinner until 9:15pm. Daddy took over driving for the rest of the way. The twins watched another DVD and stayed up the rest of the way. We arrived home at 11:17pm.
The twins took showers while mommy unpacked and started the laundry. Jasmine cried in the shower. She said Joanne hit her. Joanne denied that she hit her on purpose. Daddy told her that people didn't hit people by accident. Even if that was true, she still needed to apologize and ask for forgiveness from Jasmine. Mommy was upset about their fighting regardless of who was at fault. Mommy took away the twins' TV privilege for the next week. Since there would be no school for the next two weeks, the twins were actually looking forward to watch a lot of TV during the holiday. They didn't protest about their punishment because they knew whenever mommy punished them, there would be absolutely no appeal and any nagging and whining would simply double the punishment. The twins would definitely talk among themselves about what they did and what they deserved.
Monday, Dec 19, 2005 (8y+4m+13d)The twins were in their winter break. Mommy took them to ice skating with Annette. We went to dinner with Christopher's family.
Tuesday, Dec 20, 2005 (8y+4m+14d)Jocelyn and Jessica's family came to our house to play with the twins.
Wednesday, Dec 21, 2005 (8y+4m+15d)The twins and mommy went to play tennis with Ashley and Brandon and their mom Anna. They went to Kitso for a Japanese lunch. They did some grocery shopping before coming home. They had to do their research report on an animal of their choice in Chinese. They also practiced piano.
Thursday, Dec 22, 2005 (8y+4m+16d)Mommy took her car to the shop for routine maintenance. Daddy took a day off from work to make the weekend a 5 day Christmas holiday. When mommy came back, the twins also came over and climbed into our bed. The family talked and chatted in bed for quite a while.
When we got out of bed, we went out to lunch with grandma Chui at Koi Palace restaurant. The restaurant was packed even on a week day. We had to wait for almost an hour for the table. We finish lunch at 2:30pm.
We came back to the south bay and went to Costco for some shopping. Mommy took the twins to Big 5 Sports to buy ski gloves for the twins. Their mittens were getting too small and they had to borrow the gloves from Sonya whose mom brought couple extra pairs. They could only find one pair that fit and was also on sales. She would look for another pair later. Mommy also took the twins to grocery shopping. She bought a Dungeness crab and she make crab meat noodles for the family. Aunt Elaine and grandma Chui joined us for dinner. They stayed to watch TV before leaving.
Mommy was in a good mood. Jasmine asked mommy if they were still being punished from their fight. Mommy said no because they were good babies for the past few days. Joanne doubled checked and asked if they could not see TV. Mommy said okay. The twins were so happy and watched a few episodes of Naruto recorded in the past few weeks.
When daddy tucked them in bed, Jasmine talked about one of her dream. She said that she was in some kind of museum with more than 10 rooms. In one of the rooms, there were some stormtroopers, but they didn't attack her. In the other room, she found something like a bike that flies. She said she rode of the bike but it didn't go too fast or flew too high. Apparently, Jasmine was dreaming about Star Wars movies. She might have psychic power because the hover bikes she dreamed did not show until episode VI which they have not watched yet. Anyway, they would have a good night sleep because they got an early parole from their punishment.
Friday, Dec 23, 2005 (8y+4m+17d)Daddy took grandma Chui to the clinic for a check up. It used up the morning and well past lunch time. We had lunch before returning home. Mommy and twins stayed home.
Saturday, Dec 24, 2005 (8y+4m+18d)It is Christmas Eve. We went to Santa Row for lunch, we had pizza and other stuff. After lunch, we bought some clothes for the twins at Jacardi for Christmas. Then we went to watch Chronicle of Narnia. The twins liked the movie a lot, though they have not read the book before.
After the movie, we followed an address list published by San Jose Mercury News to see some spectacular Christmas lights in Sunnyvale. The newspaper listed over 10 homes where their Christmas lights decoration was worth mentioning. We only picked two due to lack of time.
We joined Siu-ling and party for dinner in a French restaurant in San Mateo. We were home before 11pm.
Sunday, Dec 25, 2005 (8y+4m+19d)On this Christmas day, it was family time. Mommy's and daddy's family joined us for a dinner party. Mommy were busy since the morning to do grocery shopping. Daddy and the twins stayed home all day. They practiced piano for a while and spent the rest of the day watching TV. Due to daddy's influence, the twins, especially Jasmine, was hooked on the TV show "How it's made" on the Science Channel. It was a show about how products we used from day to day were made. The twins were especially amazed about the production of bubble gum, potato chips etc., things that they eat. They were interested in how eye glasses lens were made because daddy wore eye glasses.
Monday, Dec 26, 2005 (8y+4m+20d)We went to lunch with Christopher's family. We stayed in the restaurant till after 2:30pm. Christopher invited the twins to play in his house. Since we had no other plan, so we spent the afternoon at Christopher's home. His dad bought many DVDs from China. We picked and watched the cartoon "Valiant". We were about to leave when Christopher took out the Pictionary Junior game. We stayed to play the game past dinner time. We stayed for dinner too. The kids played some Nintendo games together we came home. The twins practiced piano and took shower before bed time.
Tuesday, Dec 27, 2005 (8y+4m+21d)After a 5 days long weekend, daddy returned to work. The twins were still enjoying their 2 week holiday. Mommy took the twins to Artopia to do some craft projects. Jocelyn's family joined them. They originally planned to watch the movie Cheaper by the Dozen 2, but since the twins had not watched the first movie yet, they postponed the plan.
Jocelyn's family lend us the "Cheaper by the Dozen" DVD. We watched the movie after dinner.
Wednesday, Dec 28, 2005 (8y+4m+22d)We hired some tree experts to prune the trees in our front and back yard. It cost us $750 to prune three birch trees, three plum trees, one liquid amber in the front yard, two citrus trees and one guava tree in the back yard. It took a 4 men team 2.5 hours to finish the job. That was $75 per man hour or $75 per tree. We wondered if we paid too much for the this kind of labor job. We actually paid more 3 to 4 years ago when we pruned the trees. But anyway, we didn't have the equipments to do the work ourselves.
Jocelyn's family came over to play for a while before they went to see "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" in the theater. After the movie, they went to window shopping. Then they went to dinner at a Korean restaurant. The two dads joined the families at dinner. We all returned to our home for the kids to play together until 9pm. The twins were allowed to go to bed without their piano practice after taking a shower.
Thursday, Dec 29, 2005 (8y+4m+23d)The twins were still in their winter break. They slept through the morning. When they got up, they played in the bed without bothering mommy. Mommy took them out to have udon for lunch, and then went shopping in Stanford mall. The twins returned home for piano practice and did some reading on their own.
After dinner, the twins wanted daddy to teach them how to make Chinese style steamed egg custard. Daddy showed them how to crack the eggs, beat them, mixed into milk and sugar. Joanne asked daddy, "Why is the baker mean?" Then she said "because he beats the eggs and whips the cream." The twins took turns to scoop the mixture into the bowls. Daddy put the bowls into the steamer and set the fire. The twins were so enthusiastic that they pulled a chair to sit next to the stove. Daddy told that they should set a timer and then do something else. After half an hour, we declare the effort a failure, because the steam was too strong and the egg had too much air. Instead of smooth creamy custard, we get something like a sponge cake texture. The twins said it still tasted good. Next time we would set the fire to extra low to make sure the cooking would go too fast.
After dessert, daddy showed the twins the "Photo Booth" software on our new iMac G5 computer. The twins were hysterical when they took funny distorted pictures of themselves. They sent some of the crazy pictures to Sonya and Shannon before they went to bed.
Friday, Dec 30, 2005 (8y+4m+24d)Daddy took off from work early. We invited Ashley's and Terence's family to our home for dinner. Mommy prepared some ramen for the kids. The adults had Chinese hot pot for dinner. The kids came to the table to get extra toppings for their ramen. The kids crowded around the computer after dinner. We had to order them to set up a board game to promote some person to person interactions with the other kids.
Saturday, Dec 31, 2005 (8y+4m+25d)In the evening, we went to Deanna's home for the New Year Eve dinner party. The host invited 12 families. Including parents and kids, there were close to 50 people in the party. The twins played with the other girls of their age. The kids grouped into 3 types, girls, teenage girls and teenage boys. Each group entertained themselves without bothering the adults. The adults also clustered into groups to chat.
The host bought a roasted pig to serve us. Each guest family also brought a dish to share. After dinner, the kids went out into the yard to play "capture the flag" in the dark. The adults played casino games for the rest of the night. Each family contributed $10 as prize money in exchange for 200 casino chips. The family with the most chips at the end of the night won $60. Second place won $40 and the third place won $20. Mommy represented our family and she lost all her chips in very short time. After the New Year countdown, the families except ours played the last 5 games in a showdown. It was almost 2:30am when we got home.
Sunday, Jan 1, 2006 (8y+4m+26d)We slept through the whole morning. We got up at around 2:30pm. We went out to the store to buy something to eat. In the evening, we went to Christopher's home for dinner. The host also invited Joie's piano teacher and Benjamin's family. After dinner, the kids played on the Nintendo game cube and watched "Sky High" on DVD. The adults played Mahjong. We went home after midnight.
Monday, Jan 2, 2006 (8y+4m+27d)We were woken by the housekeepers at 10:30am. After the housekeepers finished their chores, we went out to lunch with Annie's family and Christine. Christine came alone because Jocelyn and Jessica needed to stay home to finish homework before school started again. The twins already finished all the homework a week ago. So their two week winter break was totally worry free.
Joanne said she had a sore throat. Mommy said Joanne wasn't dressed warm enough when she played "capture the flag" outdoor. After lunch, we went to the mall to do some exchanges. Of course, the twins wanted to stop by the Disney store. There were some sales items after New Year and Christmas. We bought four Santa hats for the kids.
We left something at Deanna's New Year Eve party. Bonnie and Deanna stopped by to deliver on their way to Deanna swimming practice. Jasmine played with Deanna for a while when Joanne was busy practicing her piano.
We invited Christopher's family to our home to have ramen for dinner. Ramen was easy to prepare but yet a quick and fulfilling dinner. We watched a concert on DVD before the guest left. After we sent the twins to bed, we watch the movie "Seven Swords", a Tsui Hark film on DVD.
Tuesday, Jan 3, 2006 (8y+4m+28d)The twins set their alarm clock before going to bed last night. They got up on their own and woke up daddy and mommy. They were very excited to go to school. They said they missed their friends a lot. I said they went on a ski trip with Ashley during the holiday. But they said they didn't see their other friends.
When they got home, they did their homework and practiced piano without mommy asking them to do so. They finished their work without mommy raising her blood pressure. That made mommy very happy today.
Wednesday, Jan 4, 2006 (8y+4m+29d)The twins went to school as usual. They also had piano class after school. They did their homework and practiced piano in the afternoon.
Thursday, Jan 5, 2006 (8y+4m+30d)The twins went to school as usual. They also had piano lesson after school. Before the winter break, they had piano lesson on Tuesday. Their lessons were moved to Thursday. They did their homework and practiced piano in the afternoon.
The twins chatted and had fun while working their homework. As a result, they took the whole night with not much progress. Mommy was mad and sent them to bed regardless. Mommy wanted them to explain to the teacher why their homework was incomplete. It was no longer mommy's effort to make sure their work was done on time. They were old enough to take responsibility of their own actions and consequences.
Friday, Jan 6, 2006 (8y+5m)The twins are 101 months old today.
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started on Jan 9, 2006