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This journal is about raising identical twins.
One Hundred and Thirteenth monthPrevious entries
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Wednesday, Dec 6, 2006 (9y+4m)The twins were 9 and 1/3 year old today. The twins went to school as usual. But the school was not as usual today. They found the dead body of a 18 year young male near the daycare center on campus. Part of the campus was cordoned off for police investigation. The teachers told the kids that the teenager was probably overdosed on some unknown substance and there was no evidence of foulplay or violent crime. He might have died of the overdose or just simply froze to death because of the recent cold spell.
Daddy worked overtime and came home at 9:30pm. The twins were still awake in bed. They told daddy that what happened at school today was scary, but they were not scared. Daddy told them that this serves as a lesson on why taking drugs is bad.
Thursday, Dec 7, 2006 (9y+4m+1d)The twins went to school as usual. They helped mommy put up the christmas decoration. We decided not to put up a Christmas tree because it would take too much effort.
Friday, Dec 8, 2006 (9y+4m+2d)The twins went to school as usual. The twins typed in their piano scores into the computer using a MIDI editor. With the music in MIDI format, they can have the computer play one part and they can practice the other part. They had learned how to use the MIDI software back when they were crazy about the Highschool Musical TV show. Now, they used their skills with their piano practice.
Saturday, Dec 9, 2006 (9y+4m+3d)We had lunch with aunt Elaine and grandma Chui in the afternoon. We stayed home in the afternoon. Starting in the late afternoon, the guests started to arrive. We held a pot-luck party at home. The purpose of the party was to view the photos from our Spanish trip. In additonal to the travel group, we also invited Christopher and Claire's family. All the families in the trip contributed their photo albums. Even Henry in Chicago had uploaded his pictures earlier in the week. We combined all the albums in the computer and sorted them by the timestamps. We had just over 2000 pictures in total. After dinner, the whole party gathered around the computer to watch the slideshow. We setup to show one picture per second, the show lasted more than half an hour including occasional pauses to explain some special shots. By the time the show was over, the kids were all long gone and even some adults were not paying attention anymore. Since the group took different side-trips when we were in Spain, we got to see what each other missed. Anyway, it was a great party.
Cornell's family stayed over in our guest room because it would be too late for them to return to Sacramento after the party. Cornell was very excited because he could get the twins attention after all other guests have left. They played until 1 am in the morning.
Sunday, Dec 10, 2006 (9y+4m+4d)Yesterday, Jasmine W's mom asked our family out to have breakfast this morning. Mommy got up early in the morning just to find out that Jasmine's mom had changed her mind without letting us know earlier. Mommy was quite upset because she could have stayed in bed longer in the morning. She made breakfast for the guests and the twins instead.
Mommy called Janna's mom and we went out with Janna's family to have brunch at the twins' favorite pancake place. The kids sat at their own table, they ordered their own meal from the waiter. After lunch, we went shopping at Fry's Electronics. We looked at different kind of handheld game machines. We asked the twins which one they liked. Without hesistation, both said they liked Nintendo DS Lite because they liked what Claire has. They both said they didn't want the SONY PSP because they had played with Terence's machine before and they didn't like it. After they chose the DS lite, we decided to buy it from Costco instead because it has a better bundled offer. We bought one DS Lite and the Nintendogs games for the twins to share as their Christmas present. They liked Nintendogs because they played with cousin Natalie's copy before. They opened their Christmas gift early with our approval.
In the evening, we went out to dinner at The Kitchen in Millbrae. It was a very good new restaurant, we heard many good praises about it since its opening. Claire's mom booked two large tables at the restaurant. So we gathered a few families to have a great dinner at the famous restaurant. The food was very tasty and creative too. The kids played with their games after they finished their meal. Claire also brought her DS Lite and Terence and Christopher were very interested in watching over the girls shoulders. The twins continued to play with their DS Lite after they came home. We sent the twins to bed because they wouldn't know when to stop on their own.
Monday, Dec 11, 2006 (9y+4m+5d)The twins went to school as usual. They practiced piano with the help of the MIDI playback they did before. Jasmine showed us her wishlist for Christmas, she included a video game "Tamagotchi Corner shops 2" and a backpack. Mommy told her that she already got the Nintendo DS Lite for Christmas, she should not be too greedy.
Tuesday, Dec 12, 2006 (9y+4m+6d)The twins went to school as usual. They received gift money for Christmas from aunt Elaine and grandma Chui the other day. They decided how to spend the money on their own. In the afternoon, they convinced mommy to visit the game stop store. They bought the game Jasmine wished for with their own money. Jasmine wrapped the game with a piece of paper and wrote "Don't open till Christmas".
Wednesday, Dec 13, 2006 (9y+4m+7d)The twins went to school as usual.
Thursday, Dec 14, 2006 (9y+4m+8d)The twins went to school as usual.
Friday, Dec 15, 2006 (9y+4m+9d)The twins went to school as usual. Today was the last day of school before the winter break. The twins behaved like they have just come out from prison. They spent the whole afternoon playing their Nintendo DS game. They had not touched it for the past few days because mommy didn't let them. Jasmine opened the wrapped game despite she wrote "Don't open until Christmas" on the wrapper in her own writing. She explained to daddy that Joanne made her open the new game. Joanne explained that since they wrapped the game themselves, there was no surprise.
Saturday, Dec 16, 2006 (9y+4m+10d)We went out to lunch with Jasmine W. and Ashley's family. After lunch, we came home to do a slideshow of our Spain vacation. Ashley's parents were very interested to visit Europe themselves and they wanted to share our experience. The kids ran upstairs to play on their own. Jasmine W. and her mom had to leave early because she had Chinese school in the afternoon. While the guests continued to watch the slideshow, daddy went to grandma Chui's home to help out. They had an appointment with the cable man to install cable TV service. Since daddy knew a little about video connection, grandma wanted daddy to be present for the installation. The appointment was originally set between 8-10am this morning, but they showed up yesterday morning, hence we missed it. Then they change the appointment to 4-6pm. They called several times to move the appointment back 30 minute. After waiting for over 3 hours, the cable man called at 7:30pm to cancel the appointment because he couldn't make it. These cable people from Comcast was really screwed up.
Sunday, Dec 17, 2006 (9y+4m+11d)We went to lunch at SiuLing's place. She prepared some Cantonese style rice porridge with cured duck. Sharleen brought some Chinese style pan cakes to go with the porridge. Terence's family, Claire's family, Agnes's and Evon & Ronald were all invited too. At 3:30pm, the party ended abruptly because all of a sudden, Agnes suggested a quick shopping trip in San Francisco. Since they wanted to maximized the shopping time before closing, everyone rushed out the door including the hostess. Mommy went with the shopping team. Daddy took the twins home. Terence's family had a photo shoot appoint at the picture studio. Claire had a birthday party to attend.
When we got home, the twins practiced piano until 5:45pm. We left for the cinema to meet with Claire's family. We watched "Happy Feet" together. The kids said they liked the movie. It was technically very advanced animation because the computer imagery was very realistic. Mommy were waiting outside of the theatre when we came out. We went out to dinner together.
Monday, Dec 18, 2006 (9y+4m+12d)The twins were in their winter break. They didn't have to go to school. They had a play day with Ashley and Rachel. They went to dinner with Ashely's family and Ms Dong who used to be their teacher. They went to Ms Dong's home after dinner to enjoy chocolate as dessert. The night was very cold. It was already 41°F when daddy left work at 8:30pm. The temperature would drop further to 28°F tonight.
Tuesday, Dec 19, 2006 (9y+4m+13d)The twins didn't need to go to school. Christopher's family would spend their Christmas in L.A. We invited their family and Benjamin's family over for a play day and potluck dinner. They brought most of the dishes, we only provided the place.
Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006 (9y+4m+14d)The twins followed mommy to shopping at Valleyfair mall. Benjamin and his mom went too. It was pouring rain today.
We went to dinner with Joceylyn's family in the evening. After dinner, they came over to our house to try out their new cell phones. They opened up a family account with Cingular with 4 free phones. We had been wanting to switch away from Verizon, because the reception at our house was not very good. We hesistated to switch because we didn't know if we would just move from one bad service to another. When they came to our house, we were able to see how all 4 models of their phones worked in our house. All 4 phones got 5 reception bars out of maximium of 5. Terence's family stopped by too. They also used Verizon and they only got 1 bar out of 5. So it was not just a problem with our phones, the service coverage was not good. When Jonathan came in, the first thing he did was to ask to watch Star Wars Episode III. We played the DVD to entertain him while the adults chatted. The girls ran upstairs to play on their own. The guests left before the movie finished.
Thursday, Dec 21, 2006 (9y+4m+15d)Mommy went to Cingular and opened a new cell phone account with two free phones. Cingular had a promotion for limited time. Mommy caught a good deal before it expired. Since daddy's company has business deal with Cingular, we received a 5% on service too. She picked two Motorola SLVR L7, one black and one pink. When the twins came home, they helped mommy charge up the phones rightaway. They said they wanted to hide them from daddy to give daddy a surpise.
Friday, Dec 22, 2006 (9y+4m+16d)They went to Benjamin's home for a play day. In the evening, we went out to dinner with grandma Chui and aunt Elaine. They came to watch our vacation pictures. Anut Elaine brought a birthday cake. We cut the cake before they left.
Saturday, Dec 23, 2006 (9y+4m+17d)We went to Santana Row for lunch. We expected many people there. But we were surpise the place was like a ghost town. Looked like many people went out of town. In the aftermppm. we went to cousin Natalie's home. The twins played with their cousin all afternoon on their Nintendo DS Lite games. In the evening, grandma Ling and grandpa prepared us a hot pot dinner. We played mahjong with great grandma before and after dinner. We came home at about 10pm.
Sunday, Dec 24, 2006 (9y+4m+18d)We went to lunch with Benjamin's family. After lunch, they wanted to visit the Cingular store to see if they could also catch the promotion before it expired. The twins came home to practice piano. Mommy went out to have coffee with Jocelyn's mom while daddy stayed home with the twins. We started to watch Back to the Future III on DVD, but we didn't finish before dinner. We went out to dinner with Jocelyn's family. We went to their home to sing Karaoke. Jocelyn's mom bought a new Karaoke machine as Christmas gift. We sang until midnight because their family wanted to wait past midnight to open the gifts. Kids in the US want to open gift on Christmas day instead of boxing day. After we said goodbye and Merry Christmas to their family, we went home. The twins opened all their gifts before going to bed. They played with one of their gifts and stayed up until 1 am.
Monday, Dec 25, 2006 (9y+4m+19d)It is Christmas day. The weather forcast said it would be rainy, but it turned out to be a very sunny day. We all slept in until 11 am. We went out to lunch at a Shanghaiese restaurant. Most of the stores and restaurants were closed, so we didn't even try. We just headed straight for Chinese restaurant.
We came home and asked if the twins were interested to play mahjong. They were excited to play. They learned to play quite awhile ago, but they were not old enough to play strategically. We found that they could play pretty well now. Mommy and twins led all the way, daddy was the biggest loser until the second to last game. Daddy won a hand that scored 13 points (番), (自摸 + 小三元 + 混一色 + 對對胡 + 花) That one hand turned daddy into a winner over all three females of the house. We suggested to stopped after two rounds, but the twins wanted to played more so we completed 4 rounds. We started at around 3pm and we didn't finish till dinner time.
Since we were busy with mahjong, mommy didn't cook dinner. We had leftover as our Christmas dinner. We sent the twins to shower. They were supposed to practice piano, but we let them watch "Deal or no deal" and "1 vs 100" on TV. The twins surfed the Internet searching for good deals on Nintendo DS games before their bedtime.
Tuesday, Dec 26, 2006 (9y+4m+20d)It was still Christmas holiday for daddy. The twins woke up daddy in the morning. We talked about the After Christmas Sales at Fry's Electronics last night. They said they wanted to go shopping with daddy in the morning. We left mommy home and went shopping. The twins headed straight to the video game department. While daddy looked for good deals in the store, the twins played some demo. Joanne had her eyes on Yoshi's Island. She played the demo many times and she really liked the game.
We picked up grandma Chui on our way home. After we picked up mommy from home, we went to lunch. We dropped off grandma at her home and continued to shop at Macy's. We came home for a short break. The twins practiced piano and worked on their school project. We went out to dine at a Japanese charcoal fired BBQ restaurant. The food was okay, but it was way way overpriced. When we came home, the twins spent more time working on some playdough and modeling clay for their school project.
Mommy helped Joanne pull out a molar that was wiggling. Joanne still had another molar that had started to come off. The tooth moved position and her retainer did not fit any more. She got our permission to not wear her retainer until she got to see the dentist again.
Wednesday, Dec 27, 2006 (9y+4m+21d)The area was hit by a severe wind storm. Many trees came down and damaged power lines. Our home was out of power in the middle of the night. Mommy said the CD player came on and off three times in the middle of the night due to some power surge. The occassional music woke up mommy until she unplugged the machine. Daddy woke up in the morning to find everything was off. No light nor heat. The hot water still worked though. Daddy went to work without disturbing the family.
Since the house was unheated, the twins didn't want to get out of bed. Mommy let them sleep until noon. In the afternoon, they went to visit Ms. Dong. When Ms. Dong learned about the power outage at our home. She asked our family to stay for dinner. She prepared Beijing style cold noodle. Mommy showed her how to cook Cantonese style rice porridge. Daddy joined them for dinner after work. The kids went to the room to play. The adults chatted until 9:30pm before we returned home. Based on the time shift in an electric clock, we estimated that our house lost power for more than 11 hours. We were fortunate to get the power back because the news said tens of thousands of households lost power and many wouldn't recover for days.
Mommy checked Jasmine's teeth and found a molar with a big hole in it. It was an old tooth sitting on top of an emerging new tooth. Apparently the tooth was about to come off, and the shifted position created a gap that trapped food particles. Mommy helped Jasmine wiggled the tooth by hand, hopefully it would come off before we see the dentist after the holidays.
Thursday, Dec 28, 2006 (9y+4m+22d)The twins again slept until noon. They went to Annette C's home for a play day. The twins had not visited Annette for a long time ever since she changed to another school. They went out to a Korean tofu restaurant for dinner. Daddy joined them at the restaurant after work.
Annette's family came to our house after dinner. We chatted in front of the TV. We also showed them our Spanish vacation photos too. The kids went off to play video games. The twins each received a knitting kit as Christmas gift. Jasmine had not touched her kit since she opened it. Joanne had played with her kit for several days already with no success. Mommy couldn't help because she doesn't know how to knit. Joanne asked Annette's mom to teach her some knitting techniques. By the end of the evening, Joanne already knit a 5"×2" strip. The guests stayed until 11pm.
Friday, Dec 29, 2006 (9y+4m+23d)The twins were in bed knitting when daddy went to work. Joanne said she didn't know how to teach other kids because she couldn't see how they knit from a different angle. She said mommy asked her to teach Joie to do origami before, and she wouldn't do that again. Jasmine said she gave up on knitting because it was too hard to learn.
Kimberly came to our house in the afternoon for a playday. Jocelyn, Jessica and Jonathan came to our house to be baby sat. Their parents were busy today and we took care of them for the afternoon. The girls played together and the TV entertained Jonathan.
The news of Saddam Hussein's execution was all over the TV tonight. The twins asked about him. We only told them a criminal got the punishment he deserved.
Mommy continued to wiggle Jasmine's loose tooth. It was flopping around in her mouth and probably a hard yank would take it out. However, Jasmine would let mommy pull it. Jasmine would wiggle it on her own and hopefully it would fall off by tomorrow.
Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 (9y+4m+24d)Mommy went out to buy breakfast in the morning. But the twins didn't wake up. Mommy returned to bed instead. Daddy went to grandma Chui's home to help her with her cable box. The Comcast people only connected the cable box to the TV antenna and told her to used channel 3 to receive the program. It was not even hooked up to the VCR. Daddy helped her rearrange the connections to use composite vidieo out for better picture quality. Now her VCR could tape the cable programming. We took a lunch break around noon. Grandma came to our house for lunch. The twins just got out of bed. After lunch, we started a game of Mahjong. The twins took turn to play mahjong and rotate out to practice piano. The twins were pretty good and won many games. But they didn't have the skill to get win high scores yet. Even though they won many game, but they didn't win large amount of chips. At the end of the game, grandma won the most chips. Daddy took grandma back to her house and continued with the cable box setup. The twins stayed home and played with the computer on the Internet all afternoon.
In the evening, we went out to dinner with aunt Tina to celebrate her birthday in advance. We planed to buy her family dinner, but uncle Ivan grabbed the bill before we did. When we returned home, the twins played more on the computer while we watched TV together.
Mommy helped the twins wiggle their loose tooth. She finally got Jasmine molar out. It had been dangling with only one root attached. We could see the new tooth fully emerged just under the old one.
Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 (9y+4m+25d)We stayed in bed until 11am. We then went out to lunch with Ashley's family. The kids played with the Nintendo DS game after lunch. Since Ashley also got one for Christmas, they connected the games. Ashley bought 6 extra virtual puppies for her Nintendog game. We really took our time in the restaurant. We didn't get home until 3:30pm.
We went out again for dinner with Christopher's and Terence's family at 6:30pm. Terence was so excited when he ran in and found the seat next the the twins was empty. He took the seat with a big smile. He was a little disappointed to find that the twins didn't bring their Nintendo DS because we told them they spent too much time on it already. Joie initially said she did not want to sit next to Terence. But about half way through the dinner, she changed her mind and played with Terence throughout the second half of dinner. The twins were big girls compared to them, they only did some drawings when they were bored. Christophers sat next to his daddy and he didn't play with any other kid. We finished by 8:30pm and rushed off after a few quick Happy New Year wishes. We rushed to the next activity. We went to Deanna's home for the New Year countdown. Their annual New Year celebration has a regular following. We were glad we were invited among the almost 50 people in the party. The twins disappeared into the crowd quickly. They had looked forward to play with Deanna for a few days now. We noticed that Nintendo DS was the most popular game in the party. Almost every girl had a DS. They connected their game machines wirelessly to play games together.
The adults had a casino night as usual. Each family paid a $10 entry fee for 500 chips. At the end of the night, the family with the most chips won $60. The second place won $40, and the show won $20. Mommy did very well at the blackjack table and became the chip leader before the countdown. The adults had Champaign and the kids had sparkling apple cider to celebrate the New Year. The adults bet all their chips at the roulette table for 5 last rounts to decide the winners. Some family were lucky to grow their chip counts by 10 folds in a few rounds. Mommy's chip leads fell off the winner's list. We bet all our chips on the last round because we knew for sure we were out of the running. Unfortunately we lost the round.
The last event of the night was to exchange gifts. We were told to bring any Christmas gift that we want to get rid of to the party for exchange. Each person who brought the gift can open a mystery gift or snatch one from those were already opened. Most gifts were not very desirable because the purpose of the game was to get rid of unwanted gifts. There were a few that were hot items that changed hand several times. The kids were very involved in the game. The game ended at 2am. When we left at 2:30am, a few families were not ready to leave. The twins didn't want to go either, but we had plan the next morning. We were all in bed at around 3am.
Monday, Jan 1, 2007 (9y+4m+26d)Welcome to 2007.
We got up at around 10:30am. We left the house by 11:30am. We picked up great grandma in Alameda and continued our way to San Francisco. We had lunch with Samantha's family at 1pm. Samantha also had a Nintendo DS. The girls played each other's games. Samantha had a large collection of the DS games. The twins got the better end of the deal.
The girls were surprised when they found out they were third cousins. Samantha said she wanted to spend more time with her cousins. The twins had played with Samantha many times over the years but they also didn't know she was their cousin. Daddy told them that they should have known all along because Samantha's family had been included in our family tree we did few years ago. The family tree is still posted on the wall at home.
After lunch, we went to the new Bloomingdale in downtown San Francisco. It was the first time we went there since their grand opening. In fact, though the new Bloomingdale was new to San Francisco, we had a Bloomingdale in Stanford shopping center for many years already. Ever since the south Bay Area got the renewed Valleyfair mall and Santana Row a few years ago, we didn't really have the need to shop in San Francisco anymore.
After we dropped off great grandma at her home, we stopped by to meet Natalie's family. Mommy bought a sweatshirt for Natalie this afternoon. We called them up and found that they were having dinner at a restaurant. We dropped off the shirt with her at the restaurant. And we got a table next to them to have our dinner too. Natalie said they didn't go anywhere today. They woke up at around noon and stayed home watching TV all day. School would start again the next day. So we just returned home and sent the kids to bed early.
Tuesday, Jan 2, 2007 (9y+4m+27d)The twins got up on their own in the morning. They set up the alarm clock the night before. They had been responsible for their own wake up routine everyday. Mommy told them that if they were late for school, they would go to the office to get the late slip themselves. Ever since we put them in charge, we don't need to bother setting our own alarm clock. The twins had been sleeping till noon for the past two weeks. We were impressed that they could get to school on time on the first day.
Wednesday, Jan 3, 2007 (9y+4m+28d)The twins went to school as usual. When they came home, they were busy with their diarama project. They were to write a fable and do a diarama about the story. When Jasmine went to bed, she put a plastic bag next to her pillow. Mommy asked her why, she said the smell of the modelling clay made her sick. Jasmine puked in her bed before when she was sick last time. She knew how to prepare for the worst.
Thursday, Jan 4, 2007 (9y+4m+29d)The twins went to school as usual. Raymond, Derek and their mother came from Irvine. They stayed at their friend's home since yesterday. Their friend built a beautiful house from scratch recently. Mommy said the house was comparible with 6 star hotel quality with marble floor, beautiful cherry cabinets, crown molding around all ceiling lines etc. The twins and mommy went to visit them in the afternoon. Raymond and Derek bought along their Nintendo Wii game. The twins had a great time playing the new game. Daddy joined them for dinner at the restaurant. After dinner, we all returned to their friends beautiful house for dessert. Daddy got to watch them play the Wii. It was such a well design machine that no wonder it won so many awards. We left before 10pm because the twins had school the next morning.
When daddy tucked the twins in, the twins said they were discussing games machines. They both said SONY games were no fun. Nintendo had much better game machines. For example, the DS had a touch screen, the Wii had the motion sensing remote and both machines had WiFi and internet connection etc. Also both loved Mario Brothers which SONY didn't have. If we could trust these two little critics, we probably should sell short on SONY's stocks.
Friday, Jan 5, 2007 (9y+4m+30d)The twins went to school as usual. They went to the dentist for their teeth cleaning in the afternoon. Joanne said the dentist told her that three more baby teeth to come out and then she would be done. The dentist told Jasmine that three of her teeth had some shadows and should come off soon to make room for the new ones. Mommy bought them the Yoshi Island game for the Nintendo DS which Joanne had been drooling for.
When they came home, they took a nap for two hours. Daddy went to a farewell dinner for some old-time coworkers. We had 9 people around the table and all had been with the company for over 10 years. One retired at age 66 and she will have a route 66 party in two week to celebrate a new route she would be taking. The other was laid off recently and he was employee number 3. After the company was acquired by new management, seniority became a disadvantage. There was rumor about another budget cut coming and that usually comes with more layoff.
Mommy and twins stayed home for dinner. Mommy helped Jasmine wiggle one of her teeth that had shadow in the X-ray. It came off after a few minutes.
Saturday, Jan 6, 2007 (9y+5m)The twins are 9 year and 5 months old today.
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started on Jan 8, 2007